PS3 games best-rated - Analyst

EEDAR research results show 1-in-8 games for Sony console get average review scores of at least 85%; rate drops to 1-in-50 for DS and Wii.

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Anecdotally, Nintendo's DS and Wii systems have a glut of subpar offerings rushed out to capitalize on both systems' wide-ranging popularity. Electronic Entertainment Design and Research analyst Jesse Divnich today offered a bit more concrete evidence to support that notion in a report breaking down games' average review scores by the quarters in which they were released.

EEDAR's Jesse Divnich.
EEDAR's Jesse Divnich.

Surveying more than 3,000 retail releases from 2006 to 2008, Divnich found that only 2 percent of games released for the Wii and the DS received a quality score (an EEDAR review aggregate number similar to those from Metacritic or GameRankings) of 85 or higher on a scale of 0-100. The PSP fared marginally better, with 4 percent of its games released in the time frame considered high-quality games (those scoring 85 or higher).

On the high end of the spectrum was the PlayStation 3. About 13 percent of the games released for Sony's console scored 85 or better, compared to 10 percent of games for the Xbox 360. Industry-wide, about 5 percent of games surpassed the high-quality threshold.

The EEDAR report also examined how the fourth quarter holiday logjam of game releases is tied to average review scores. While Divnich found that about 5 percent of releases are high quality no matter which quarter of the year one looks at, he did note an uptick of games in the lowest quality bracket during the holiday period.

During the fourth quarter of the each year, an average of 41 percent of games either scored less than 55 by EEDAR's review aggregation system or had fewer than three reviews. Only 30 percent of first quarter releases fell into that category or 33 percent of games launched in the second or third quarters. Regardless of the review score numbers, Divnich found good reason for publishers to launch so many of their games in the holiday rush despite objections from core gamers with neither enough time nor money to play them all.

"Regardless of how you slice the data, games that score 85 or above in quality sell 15 to 20 percent more in their lifetime if released in the holiday than in the off-season," Divnich said.

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