Late Night Consoling

Tonight's story about Take-Two publishing SEGA's sports series at value pricing is one that really catches my interest. Forever now, gamers have been promised that the prices of games will drop. Some head-way has been made in this department, with a few titles debuting at $39.99 and the $19.99 Greatest Hits/Player's Choice/Platinum titles being successful enough that more titles are added to those line-ups. However, we have yet to see a big-name, high-quality title released at a budget price. If Take-Two's interpretation of value is $30 or less, it'll be incredibly interesting to see how gamers react to the situation where they only have two NFL titles to choose from and both of them are of roughly the same caliber. If successful, will it spark a trend or will publishers simply ignore it?

PS2 Xbox Take-Two Teams Up with SEGA Take-Two Interactive announced today that they will co-publish and distribute the SEGA ESPN sports lineup worldwide. Even more interesting, in their press release, Take-Two President Paul Eibeler states, "We are also adding the compelling element of value pricing to this high quality line...with Sony and Microsoft not publishing sports titles this holiday season, there is a significant competitive opportunity for ESPN Videogames titles." Looks like to me if there's ever a chance for SEGA to take EA's football crown, this is it.
PS2 Xbox GCN Viacom Takeover of Midway Likely GameSpot is reporting tonight that Viacom CEO and Chairman Sumner Redstone is poised to purchase enough stock of Midway to take the company private and then will sell the publisher to Viacom. This idea is fueled by reports that Redstone has hired a financial advisor to assist in a possible decision to increase his stake in the common stock from 72.4% to 80%. By purchasing Midway, this will enable Viacom to become a factor in the gaming arena, since it has plenty of hot brands to take advantage of, namely MTV and Nickelodeon.
GCN Nintendo Releases New Memory Card GamerFeed reports tonight that Nintendo has released to retailers a new memory card, quadrupling the storage to accomodate 1,019 blocks, or 8MB. There is no explanation as to why Nintendo has decided to release this new card, but one could hypothesize that some new games down the road will require a large amount of space. Either that or they caved to gamers' demands for more storage. In any case, they're available now for $29.99.
PS2 Technic Beat Coming to the US Attention music game fans, another popular Japanese title is coming your way! Mastiff has announced they will release their hit title Technic Beat later this summer. GamerFeed describes the gameplay as having "...players listen to music represented in the game by radiating concentric rings of sound. Picking up the beat, they dance into the middle of the rings and try to 'catch' the music." Confused? You can check out the screenshots in the PS2 media section, but they won't help you.
PS2 Xbox GCN Konami Secures Rights for Dragon Booster A new cartoon series slated to begin airing this fall has already found someone to develop licensed games. Konami announced today that they have secured the rights for Dragon Booster, an anime-style production set in a world where humans and dragons co-exist. A representive of Alliance Atlantis, the cartoon's owner, commented, ""Dragon Booster was thoughtfully crafted from its inception not only to provide our video game partner with compelling, rich content, but to deliver key elements specific to the gaming community." Sounds like this show was created solely for licensing purposes.
PS2 Xbox GCN Misc. Q&As/Interviews TeamXbox talks Dead or Alive with Tomonobu Itagaki. Computer and Video Games kicks off part one of three interviews with some bigwigs at Microsoft. Today's installment is a conversation with the head of Microsoft Games Studios, Shane Kim.
PS2 Xbox GCN GBA New Releases This Week The big title this week is The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, obviously for the GameCube. Over on the GBA, we get Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon and Saber Wulf. The PS2 serves up Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 while the Xbox scores Puyo Pop Fever, Powerdrome, and Knight's Apprentice, Memorick's Adventures. The only multi-console release is Ribbit King (PS2, GCN).
  Misc. Media/Previews
PS2 GameSpot starts us off tonight with screenshots of Technic Beat. GamesAreFun has some E3 screencaps of Final Fantasy XII. GameSpy tries to fit in with a few shots from Jak 3 and a preview of Gungrave OD. IGN treats us to a direct feed of Gran Turismo 4's Hong Kong track.
Xbox TeamXbox sets the roof on fire with a preview of Dead or Alive Ultimate. GamerFeed has a preview of the multiplayer mayhem Iron Phoenix. GameSpot has an official movie for the RPG Sudeki.
GCN The Magic Box hosts some new screenshots of Resident Evil 4. Planet GameCube secures a trailer for Donkey Konga 2: Hit Song Parade. IGN has a hands-on preview of Puyo Pop Fever.
GBA IGN has screenshots of two games tonight; The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Fairly Oddparents 2004.
PS2 Xbox GCN GameSpot starts out with a preview of Call of Duty: Finest Hour (PS2, Xbox, GCN), the console version of the popular PC series. GamePro rises from the dead to give us a first look at Fight Club (PS2, Xbox). GameSpy goes sports crazy with screenshots for these multi-platform EA games: Madden NFL 2005, NBA Live 2005, NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005. Also provided by GameSpy are shots of Spider-man 2 (PS2, Xbox, GCN), OutRun 2 (PS2, Xbox), and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. IGN tells us the five best things about ESPN NFL 2005 (PS2, Xbox) and has some footage of Red Ninja: End of Honor (PS2, Xbox).
Console Game of the Evening: Crazy Taxi 2 for the Dreamcast. "The "forgotten" sequel. CT1 has been ported to all the major consoles, and CT3 is an Xbox exclusive, but they're not porting CT2 to anything and since it came out so close to the end of the Dreamcast, it was basically ignored." (submitted by Schnapple).