Late Night Consoling

By Chris Remo, Aug 15, 2005 8:17pm PDT Well, LNC is back after a short break.
  • Xbox 360: Hard Drive or Not?

    [xbox]

    Adding more fuel to the 360 hard drive fire is a Game Informer interview with Xbox chief J Allard. Though Microsoft has still not made any official announcements that the Xbox will ship with multiple hard drive options, Allard's wording implies that there might be a version that does not include a hard drive, or at least a version that includes a smaller-capacity hard drive.

    "It's something we're not ready to announce yet. I don't think it's a one-size-fits-all [approach] over the next five-year horizon," said Allard. "We've said [to developers], 'Hey look, don't bank on the hard drive always being there.' There may be a scenario in the future where we don't want to have a hard drive." This is a rather disappointing development; the Xbox hard drive was by all measures underused, and many gamers have hoped for better hard drive support in Xbox 360 games.

  • X05 Confirmed For Amsterdam

    [xbox]

    As many analysts and publications have speculated, Microsoft's X05 event is indeed occurring in Amsterdam on October 4-5. Microsoft has held the event every year since 2001 (excepting 2004) to showcase new developments on the Xbox front. This year, they claim that several Xbox 360 titles will be playable.

    Microsoft's regional vice president of Xbox Europe, Middle East, and Asia seems to have taken a cue from the Satoru Iwata book of public relations, explaining that "we put a great deal of thought into determining the location for X05. We have a lot of exciting announcements to make this year and it was essential that we make them in the right place. To tell you our rational for choosing Amsterdam would reveal some of our plans and we want to keep those as secret as possible!" Maybe they'll finally explain all of this hard drive nonsense.

  • San Andreas, Hold the Coffee

    [ps2] [xbox]

    It looks like San Andreas will be heading back to stores within a couple of weeks. A GameStop page for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas shows an M-rated version of the game set for release on August 22. The game is available for purchase on preorder. GameSpot apparently contacted the retailer, and a representative confirmed that preorders are infact being taken for the title. The same article also indicates that several retailers may not restock the product, even with its Hot Coffee scenes removed. However, with GameStop and EB, soon to be merged, controlling about 25% of the gaming retail market it is unlikely this will be a widespread decision.

  • Holy UMD, Batman!

    [psp]

    ...is the name of a press release issued today by Fox Home Entertainment describing three films to be released in October on the PSP's UMD format. The lineup is comprised of Never Die Alone, featuring DMX; Ong-Bak, featuring Tony Jaa; and Batman. The latter film, by the way, is not the Batman starring Michael Keaton and directed by Tim Burton, but rather the Batman starring Adam West and directed by...Leslie H. Martinson. So, look out for that.

  • Bet on Soldier to Bet on Consoles?

    [gamecube]

    French developer Neko Entertainment is claiming on its website that it is working with Bet on Soldier developer Kylotonn to create versions of the game on PS2, Xbox, GameCube, DS, and PSP. The blurb indicates that the game will use Neko's "crossplatform engine". They claim it will be online on PS2 and Xbox, and will utilize the wi-fi functionality of DS and PSP. Neko estimates that development will take eight to ten months.

    Worthplaying claims that Digital Jesters, who is publishing the game, is unaware of any such news. If Digital Jesters' contract is not exclusive, it is possible that Neko and Kylotonn are pursuing development independently, with plans to approach Digital Jesters or another publisher at a later time. However, developing for all platforms without publisher support does seem like a rather risky move.

  • Arcade/Dreamcast Shooter Comes to the Cube

    [gamecube]

    O~3 Entertainment announced today that Japanese shooter Chaos Field will be coming to North America exclusively for GameCube. The game, developed by MileStone, was originally an arcade game and was then ported to Dreamcast and GameCube in Japan. What is noteworthy about this is that the game came out at the end of last year, well after the Dreamcast's time.

    O~3 president Chris Jelinek notes, "Chaos Field is an excellent example of the new breed of arcade action coming out of Japan. Our philosophy is to make the hottest Japanese arcade games available to players in North America, and Chaos Field is just the first of many more to follow."

  • New Unreal Championship 2 Content

    [xbox]

    In the wake of Halo 2's Multiplayer Map Pack, Unreal Championship 2 developer Epic Games and publisher Midway have announced that new UC2 content is available over Xbox Live. The downloads consist of four new maps (one for Capture the Flag, two for Deathmatch, and one for Overdose) and ten new characters. The content is free to owners of the game.

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    Gamasutra has a chat with Castlevania overlord Koji Igarashi.

    Official Playstation Magazine (by way of 1UP) takes a critical look at Sony's portable console, asking What's Up With the PSP?

    GameSpot brings us Day 1 of a Spartan: Total Warrior designer diary by Clive Gratton, lead programmer for Creative Assembly.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2

IGN looks at JoWooD's Legend of Kay.

GameCube

1UP tries out Nintendo's Mario Superstar Baseball.

Portable

1UP takes a look at Treasure's Gunstar Super Heroes (GBA).

Multi

Game Informer previews Many Games (On Many Platforms) at Atari's press event today. GameSpot has some updated impressions of Neversoft's Gun (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, PC). IUP also takes a look at Gun (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, PC). IGN looks at SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! (PS2, Xbox, GCN). Finally, 1UP has footage and a developer interview for The Collective's Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (PS2, Xbox, PC).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Quake III Arena for the Dreamcast. "A console version of why we are all here in Texas this weekend. Anymore really need to be said?" (submitted by amrbean)

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Comments

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  • Speaking of the UC2 updates, they also changed a load of other stuff. None of it's really serious or major.
    Gameplay changes:

    • Fixed team kills being counted for Weapon Master
    • Fixed winning a TDM round by the Weapon Master bonus causing it to count as two rounds won instead of one
    • Fixed issue where if a player was standing on the enemy flag base and a teammate captured the flag to win the round, the flag would get into an invalid state
    • Fixed the extremely rare sniper rifle freeze
    • Added the ability to play DM on Overdose maps
    • Fixed issue with lightest characters using a slower speed.

    Graphical changes:

    • Fixed "Loading" text being outside the safe zone for the second splitscreen viewport during pre-join dynamic loading
    • Fixed characters being stuck in the T-pose after round cycle
    • Fixed static meshes in DM-AcidRain improperly disappearing during a split-screen match
    • Fixed spectator camera going into first-person view in UC Classic mutator

    Networking changes:

    • Fixed user unable to join session with all private slots when joined by accepting a cross-title invite
    • Fixed clients getting stuck if kicked while precaching the next map
    • Fixed the inability to activate split-screen after choosing to join a friend's Xbox live match while in split-screen mode, then backing out to the main menu
    • Fixed a loading freeze that would happen sometimes under extremely bad network situations while joining a server
    • Fixed a rare problem related to a client sometimes not closing its connection properly
    • Fixed an extremely rare freeze when transitioning to a new match on the same server
    • Changed the order client connections are serviced to prevent clients with poor connections from being skipped due to network saturation, which aids lower bandwidth clients when the server is under stress
    • Major reduction to server outgoing bandwidth, which should reduce lag issues significantly
    • Tweaked the default client network speed


    Miscellaneous fixes:

    • Fixed radioactive glow not going away on round reset when using the radioactive mutator
    • Fixed occasional ghost players visible after round change
    • Fixed Warrior Spirit not showing the proper description when Raiden uses it
    • Fixed unable to bypass the controller removal message if the second player in split-screen removes their gamepad at the same time that the game travels back to the menus
    • Updated some localization text