Also, let me know what you guys think about this New Console Releases section I've put in there. Is it something I should keep doing or does it take up too much space? I don't really like using actual news items just to announce that things have shipped, so this seems like a good alternative. In the future it would happen on Monday instead.
Zelda to Miss Holiday Season Release[gamecube]
In a rather succinct press release, Nintendo has announced that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will not in fact hit its original Holiday Season 2005 release date. The game has long been expected to ship some time in November, but the publisher is now claiming that "the game will now launch in 2006 globally". Nintendo of America vice president of marketing and corporate affairs Perrin Kaplan stated that "the Zelda development team has requested extra time to add new levels, more depth, and even higher quality to Zelda...while this may come as a disappointment to many eager fans, it will absolutely enrich the game." GameSpot estimates that the game will not be released until Nintendo's next fiscal year, which begins April 1. One might infer that Revolution will not ship until well after that.
DS Gets a Discount; GBA Micro Release Set[ds] [gba]
The onslaught of anticipated Nintendo DS releases is commencing next week with Advance Wars: Dual Strike and Nintendogs, and in preparation Nintendo has announced that the console itself will receive a $20 price cut to $129.99 on August 21, the day before the aforementioned games hit stores.
Nintendo also revealed the Game Boy Micro's official release date of September 19, although no price point was given. The device, which plays all Game Boy Advance games, corrects a few GBA SP design shortcomings--it has a standard 1/8" headphone jack and adjustable screen brightness. Nintendo has still not offered any official word on whether they plan to launch the Play-Yan accessory in non-Japanese territories. The Play-Yan is a GBA cartridge which plays sound and video files stored on an SD card.
Xbox Execs Skip GC; PS2 Price Drop?[ps2] [xbox]
Outspoken Xbox heads Robbie Bach, J Allard, and Peter Moore are apparently declining to make the trip to Leipzig for tomorrow's Games Convention. This suggests that Microsoft won't be making any big 360 announcements at the show, possibly waiting for their own X05 event in early October.
GamesIndustry.biz also claims that a German-language Microsoft web page cites a price point for Xbox 360 as CHF 600 (Swiss Francs). This translates to 387 Euro and US$479. If the price is indeed correct, this would suggest a price of 399 Euro, which in many cases translates directly over to US$399. Many analysts have been speculating that in the wake of Sony's continued hinting of an expensive PS3, Microsoft might consider a higher price point than the US$299 that was previously assumed.
Speaking of Sony, the same article also suggests that the PS2 might undergo a pre-holiday season price drop, a possibility described by senior sources in Leipzig as "common knowledge". UK retailers, however, were not aware of such a move. With GameCube already at $99 with a Smash Bros. bundle and the Xbox 360 launching soon, it is by no means unreasonable to expect Sony to take measures to make their aging PS2 a more attractive buy.
That Xbox Was Pretty Big[xbox]
Apparently, "Xboxes are huge" jokes still aren't old with Xbox executives. A San Jose Mercury News article (free reg. required) has Microsoft's Peter Moore admitting that the Xbox "was 'a little big''--as he showed a slide that pictured a house-sized Xbox atop a large construction mover". Moore continued to note that it "couldn't fit through the doorway in most Japanese homes". That wacky Moore!
On a less done-to-death note, Microsoft announced that contract manufacturers Flextronics, Wistron, and Celestica will build Xbox 360 consoles in three Chinese factories, which should give Microsoft the manufacturing flexibility needed to launch 360 simultaneously in Europe, Japan, and North America. Whereas Xbox had a 500,000 unit US retail launch with sales of 1.4M in its first calendar year, Microsoft hopes to launch 360 with a retail stock of 2-3M units, a stock which the company plans to continually replenish.
Sony Dev Details Shadow of the Colossus[ps2]
The US localization producer for Sony's upcoming Shadow of the Colossus (PS2) has created a thread on the PlayStation.com message boards in which he answers some questions about the game and its relationship to the cult classic Ico, which was developed by the same team. Most relevant is this post, in which he categorically answers several questions posed by forum denizens. Some highlights:
Shadow features an imaginary language that is in fact the same one used in Ico. The game will apparently give players "a number of questions which may lead you to want to play Ico again." The length is between 8-12 hours depending on the skill of the player, but it can take up to 20+ hours if played thoroughly, and the game will have unlockable extra modes. The game will support 16:9 and progressive scan.
Possible Announcements at Games Convention[ps2] [xbox]
1UP speculates on a few possible announcements and demos that might occur at tomorrow's Games Convention in Leipzig:
Microsoft is expected to discuss the launch of Xbox 360 in Europe. Hideo Kojima will discuss Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3) (though probably won't show actual footage until Tokyo Game Show). EA and Criterion are likely to have Black (PS2, Xbox) in playable form. Shingo Takatsuka will discuss Pro Evolution Soccer 5/Winning Eleven 9 (PS2, Xbox, PSP, PC).
About a year ago a colleague and I did a rather silly and unprepared three-part interview with Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert. For some reason Part 3 has only just surfaced on Idle Thumbs.
GameDaily chats with American McGee about Bad Day L.A. (Xbox, PC).
Gamasutra has a Day in the Life feature from Coray Seifert of Large Animal Games.
This Week's North American Console Releases
EyeToy: Play 2 (SCEE London Studio | Tue.)
Metal Slug 4 & 5 (BrezzaSoft | Tue.)
Geist (n-Space | Mon.)
Hello Kitty: Roller Rescue (Xpec | Mon.)
Sonic Gems Collection (Sega | Tue.)
Death, Jr. (Backbone Entertainment | Tue. | PSP)
Sigma Star Saga (WayForward | Mon. | GBA)
Several retro ports for GBA: Board Game Classics; Centipede/Breakout/Warlords; Connect Four/Perfection/Trouble; Gauntlet/Rampart; Marble Madness/Klax; Millipede/Super Breakout/Lunar Lander; Paperboy/Rampage; Pong/Asteroids/Yar's Revenge; Risk/Battleship/Clue; Sorry!/Aggravation/Scrabble Junior; Spy Hunter/Super Sprint (DSI Games | Mon. | GBA)
Lizzie McGuire 3: Homecoming Havoc (Climax | Tue. | GBA)
That's So Raven 2: Supernatural Style (A2M | Wed. | GBA)
Darkwatch (High Moon Studios | Tue. | PS2, Xbox)
Here on the ol' FileShack we have some gameplay video from the Xbox 360 version of Monolith's Condemned: Criminal Origins (X360, also PS3, PC). IGN has a preview and some video of Ubisoft and Crytek's Far Cry Instincts. GameSpot previews Creative Assembly's Spartan: Total Warrior.
GameSpot has an "association mode spotlight" for Visual Concepts' NBA 2K6 (PS2, Xbox, X360). They also take a hands-on with Treyarch's Ultimate Spider-Man (PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, GBA, PC). GameSpy previews Raven's X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP, PC). IGN details progress on Criterion's Burnout Revenge (PS2, Xbox, X360).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Warzone 2100 for the PSOne. "A 1998 3-D RTS with massive artillery duals and literally hundreds of units thanks to mix and match weapons and chassis = Gaming Heaven" (submitted by GreenCrescent)