April 2005 Archives
April 28, 2005
Michael G. Shapiro, the music composer for the newly released Empire Earth II. In addition you'll find:
April 27, 2005
It appears that a sudden wave of WOW subscribers have cancelled their accounts after being severely disappointed in the new player-vs-player honor system implemented last week. The 35-page thread in the official WOW forum has 700 posts of disappointed people and actually stopped working for some reason.
In addition there is another thread almost 1200 posts large (as of now) of people who hate the new honor system. Hopefully the new Battlegrounds should add true PvP combat to the game, we shall see...
April 25, 2005
Between the images of the Xbox 360 being shown on the ourcolony.net web site and the leaked image of the final design it appears that the leaked image is indeed the final design of the Xbox 360. The images from outcolony.net match up perfectly with the leaked image and now spong.com has a very interesting article detailed Microsoft's attempts to plug the Xbox 360 image leak.
Basically the article details how many gaming publications already had the picture of the Xbox 360 from the "front-on" but could not release the image until May 12. But it seems that somewhere within Europe the image was first leaked and soon after quickly spread over the Internet. They also suspect that someone at MTV may have leaked a second image (pictured above), an actual photograph of the removable 40GB hard drive. The only reason for this speculation is that the press only has access for the "front-on" image so the hard drive image had to come from a different source.
Interestingly enough there is still more for eager Xbox 360 to discover, including the view from the back as well as a view of the controller. But did Microsoft really expect to keep this a secret until May 12 after sending the image to thousands of gaming journalists throughout the world?
Computer and Video Games is reporting that around 15 to 20 titles, many of which are new installments in established franchises, will be available during the launch of the Xbox 360.
Some of the new titles reported include Rare's long-awaited and hotly anticipated Perfect Dark Zero, Project Gotham Racing 3, Need For Speed Underground 3, Test Drive, and potentially EA's next Burnout game.
As for Halo 3, don't expect to see that at launch-time, but longtime rumors have speculated that Halo 2.5 may come pre-installed on the hard drive. However, the hard drive will be sold separately by Microsoft rather than being an out-of-the-box feature. Halo 2.5 will most likely have much improved visuals that will support 720p resolution and some new multiplayer levels.
The real questios is just how great can a dozen rushed Xbox 360 title be on launch-day? Anyone remember the Xbox launch title Shrek?
April 23, 2005
According to reliable sources close to different sites around the Internet, this indeed is the final design of the Xbox 360. It actually looks ... quite nice. Very much like an ipod with the smooth curves, and what's interesting is the lack of any controller ports. It seems like the rumors of wireless controllers are indeed true.
Of course, this could just be yet another elaborate hoax, but I don't know. This design seems like it could be the real deal. What do you think?
April 22, 2005
April 21, 2005
Today I went to the Games & Mobile Forum where a few interesting little items were revealed to huge audience of 307 people (that was the actual attendance).
John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, started the conference off with his keynote address and revealed quite a few interesting tidbits.
First the foremost, Smedley revealed that the PS3 will allow online microtransactions (just like the Xbox 360) and these transactions will become more commonplace in the near future.
Smedley then described a future where you could play an online game via your PSP, PS3, PC, and cell phone where you would be able to play the same game utilizing the same character on all platforms. The graphics and experience may be slightly different – for example, you would only be able to perform inventory management of your character on the cell phone version of the game while the PSP, PS3, and PC versions would play the same but have different graphic engines. However, it was important to note that these online games would not be separate games, they would all be the same game, using the same character, across different platforms, where you can play with the same people online. He also said we should expect to see this sort of gameplay within the next six months.
As for selling items within Everquest via Station Exchange, Smedley said that they were still figuring out the exact pricing but expect the Station Exchange to be live in June. He also warned that SOE programmed extensive monitoring tools which will alert SOE if players are excessively camping certain creatures or treasures and may ban these people from EQ.
As for new online chatting interfaces, Smedley explained that they were working on a single text and voice chat interface which would work across all platforms and games (PS3, PC, PSP, Everquest, etc.). So rather than having to leave Everquest to chat with your friends playing an online game on PS3 you could chat across platforms and games within a single interface. No timetable was given for this technology.
All in all it was an interesting keynote to see where SOE is planning on moving in the future.
April 19, 2005
It appears that Nintendo might just bypass the PS3/Xbox 360 war at E3 this year. Their next-generation console, codenamed Revolution, may not be shown even though they claimed in the past that it would be unveiled at this year's E3 conference.
According to Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata he is "worried about rivals nicking all his best ideas at this early stage" which is pretty much the exact same reason why Mario 128 wasn't shown at last year's E3 and why Super Mario Sunshine wasn't initially shown years ago. Instead, at this year's E3 there will be game demos, but no console or controller will be shown.
Sounds like Nintendo just wants to stay out of the firefight between Sony and Microsoft. This isn't necessarily a bad move, but it's just sad when Nintendo can't unveil their new console at the world's largest gaming expo without being overshadowed. Pitty.
April 18, 2005
As every single gaming web site reported today GameStop has purchased Electronics Boutique and the new company will be known as GameStop Corp. Combined the two companies will have over 3,200 stores worldwide, about $3.8 billion in annual revenue, and nearly 22% of the total US video game market.
What will be interesting is that this new company will have a huge monopoly on the video game retail business and will pretty much be able to make or break a game release. And when you factor in Wal-Mart, the two companies will combine to control around 50% of the entire US video game retail market. The big get bigger yet again!
April 15, 2005
Rockstar has finally released some new information on their new game, The Warriors, an adaptation of the 1979 cult-classic. The game appears to be a huge, sprawling beat-em-up that includes a prequel to the movie with a deep but user-friendly fighting system. The levels will feature GTA-like open levels but yet stay true to the original film.
When describing the game Rockstar used the games "Double Dragon" & "Streets of Rage" as loose comparisons. Hopefully there will be a lot more information at this year's E3.
The Warriors is due to come out later this year for both the Xbox and PlayStation 2.
April 14, 2005
April 13, 2005
Eurogamer is reporting that they have seen the new Xbox console and that it is indeed called "Xbox 360", the console itself has a concave design, and that the console's color is white. Maybe.
Even Eurogamer is saying that their information might not be accurate. However, their information would support the "leaked" image of the new Xbox 360 controller (which is white) as well as images from the ourcolony.net web site which appear to show the buttons from a white controller.
As for the new name and logo, they are reporting that the logo is described as a simple, round nexus with "Xbox 360" written inside it. Previous rumors had simply the numbers "360" in the disc. It really is amazing just how much press Microsoft is getting on a system which hasn't been confirmed and/or might not even exist.
Now that would be perhaps the one of the greatest hoaxes of all time, don't announce the Xbox 360 at all and just announce the next version of Windows or something at E3. Could you imagine the press?
April 12, 2005
It seems like a day can't go by without the mention of E3, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 ... and today is no different. Although today is a rather slow news day it is interesting to see the list of confirmed games being shown at E3. However, keep in mind that the "really big games" won't be announced until just a few days before E3 or at the event itself, such as Spore and the new Blizzard game (oops, said too much!).
Anything on the list look interesting? Click on the continue link to view the entire list.
Buena Vista Games:
High Moon Studios:
Sony Computer Entertainment:
Sony Online Entertainment:
April 11, 2005
Seems like today is the day of Xbox 360 news and rumors. The latest rumor is being reported by engadget where Microsoft and Pepsi are going to team up to give away over 9,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the weeks ahead of the console's official release. The contest will work in a very similar manner as the Pepsi/iTunes giveaway and use an under-the-cap registration method where one console will be given away every ten minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine weeks straight.
Assuming that the Xbox 360 will be released in mid-November as many people expect, this contest would start at the beginning of September. Which brings up an interesting question, if you win an Xbox 360 in September ... what are you going to play on it? Many people expect an updated/enhanced version of Halo 2 or perhaps demo versions of all the release titles for the Xbox 360.
Either way can you imagine how much these suckers are going to sell for on eBay?
First Xbox 360 was going to be launched before E3 on May 16th at 6:00 pm in downtown LA. Then last week Sony decided to have their launch event for the PlayStation 3 on the exact same day only at 3:00 pm, three hours before the Xbox 360 launch party (and ten miles away which might as well be a million miles when it comes to LA rush hour traffic).
Now Brandweek is reporting that the Xbox 360 will be launched during an MTV special on May 12th. The MTV special, hosted by actor Elijah Wood, will feature a performance by rock band the Killers, and will feature athletes and celebs showing off the console's new features. In addition, MTV will air teaser spots prior to the event and screening parties will be held in countries in which MTV airs.
Sony, it's your move...
April 8, 2005
After E3 what on earth will the gaming community talk about? Between Xbox 2, PlayStation 3, Spore, and who knows what else this is shaping up to be an interesting E3. And now we're starting to hear rumors on some gaming projects.
Over at Computer Games Magazine they take a look at some potential upcoming projects including Crytek's (Fry Cry) next game, Gas Powered Games' (Dungeon Siege) next game, Remedy's (Max Payne) next game, id Software's (Doom) next game, 3D Realms's (Duke Nukem Forever) next game, and a few others.
Perhaps the funniest/saddest entry is Peter Molyneux's next project:
Lionhead’s Dimitri – Until just yesterday, nothing was known about this game except for the code name but the Computer and Video Games site revealed via a chat with Lionhead’s Peter Molyneux that the game is about recreating the player’s real life. Er…ok. That’s it folks…nothing more to see here..move along.
April 7, 2005
April 6, 2005
According to a survey conducted by Credit Suisse First Boston, Sony’s PSP didn’t quite hit the million mark they were expecting in the first week of U.S. sales. Credit Suisse said that Sony likely sold between 600,000 to 700,000 of the units, which means that 300,000 to 400,000 of the units are still sitting on U.S. shelves. Meanwhile stories in Canada, which had severely limited shipments of the units in order to accommodate the “strong” U.S. demand, had to hand out rain checks to their customers.
Meanwhile, according to Famitsu, the DS has outsold the PSP in Japan by more than 70 percent and Nintendo is expecting to have shipped over 6 million DS units by end of March.
Remember, no portable gaming device has ever beaten Nintendo. Can the PSP make it?
April 5, 2005
Wow, I guess Nintendo is finally getting into the online play arena, even if it's a little late it's good to see.
April 4, 2005
Over at Grimwell Online they are predicting the near-term death of World of Warcraft. The entire article is rather interesting and makes many comparisons to other MMORPG games which ran a similar course.
Basically he states that WOW players will quickly burn through all the game content and then be left with little to no long-term socialization options. And when the "next big" MMORPG comes out everyone will move over to that one having "completed" WOW.
It's an interesting read, what do all you WOW players out there think?
April 1, 2005
Every year the gaming community tries to outdo each other with their April Fool's jokes. Here are a few that I've encountered so far (not all gaming related). If you see any good ones add them!