More Developers on 360[xbox]
As the release of the Xbox 360 approaches, more and more developers are throwing in their two cents regarding its capabilities and development environment. GameSpot has translated remarks from several developers quoted in Japan's Famitsu Xbox magazine.
As one might expect, Tecmo's outspoken Tomonobu Itagaki supports the 360, calling it "the best solution at the current time." The multi-core issue also continues to come up, with Capcom's Keiji Inafune predicting that "we'll be seeing two kinds of games for a while after the Xbox 360's launch: games that feel like something on current-generation consoles and games that feel like they're Xbox 360 titles." Masanori Takeuchi wishes that Microsoft had gone with a higher-capacity disc format, claiming that "the volume of data in [his game] Enchant Arms won't fit into a single DVD."
The comments are varied, with plenty both positive and negative, and present a good overall cross-sections of the concerns developers are having with the upcoming system.
Xbox 360 Cracked Wide Open[xbox]
Team SmartXX has apparently managed to acquire three Xbox 360 development kits, which they have dissected and photographed extensively for your edification. Some of the photographs get extremely close-up, and the whole things looks quite legitimate.
PSP: Made in China[psp]
A Reuters article reports that Sony has begun outsourcing manufacturing of its PSP console to Taiwanese firm Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which maintains factories in southern China. Hon Hai is the company responsible for the production of Sony's PS2 as well. Sony Computer Entertainment cites the reasons for the deal as lowering production costs and keeping high production capacity.
PSP launches in Europe and the Middle East on September 1.
Bioware Headed For 360[xbox]
Bioware has apparently revealed to IGN that the acclaimed developer has two games in the pipeline for Xbox 360. The first is Jade Empire 2, while the second is speculated to be Bioware's previously mentioned FPS/RPG powered by Unreal Engine 3. IGN expects a formal announcement on the part of Microsoft or Bioware in 2006.
Remaining Halo 2 Maps Now Free[xbox]
Halo 2 (Xbox) players who elected not to buy the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack now have all of the new maps available via Xbox Live. Up until now most of the maps required payment to access, either by way of the map pack or through purchase over Live. The five maps released for free today are Relic, Elongation (a relic of the Halo map Longest), Terminal, Backwash, and Gemini. Updated playlists will be available next week.
360 DRAM Provider Revealed[xbox]
Microsoft has announced that the provider of the Xbox 360's DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) will be the German firm Infineon. The console uses 512MB of DRAM. The details of the agreement were not revealed.
InfiniumInfineon will also be providing two other components of the 360 in the form of an integrated chip powering the console's wireless controller as well as an "advanced security chip".
Namco and Sony BMG Settle
In a press release yesterday, Namco and Sony BMG Music Entertainment announced that they have come to a settlement over Sony BMG artist Lil' Flip's use of Pac-Man sounds on his song "Game Over". The actual outcome of the settlement was not revealed, though it seems to be amicable as the companies' joint statement read, "NAMCO and SONY BMG are pleased to have resolved this matter and we look forward to continuing our business relationship in the spirit of our mutual respect for intellectual property."
Namco to Gameify Afro Samurai[ps2]
Hip-hop samurai licenses based on Japanese manga/anime seem to be in the air lately, with yesterday's Samurai Champloo (PS2) news and now Namco's announcement of an Afro Samurai adaptation. The manga, which is currently being adapted into an animated series and feature film, both of which feature Samuel L. Jackson, will be the basis for at least two video games in the next five years. Though a platform was not announced, it seems safe to assume that the games will come to PS2 or PS3. "With its gritty and unique mix of hip-hop and samurai styling, 'Afro Samurai' is perfectly suited for video games," said Namco's Jeff Lujan.
Gamasutra begins coverage of Game Developers Conference Europe, featuring news from the event as well as features on various lectures.
GameSpot has coverage of a Penny Arcade Expo panel on Hot Coffee (it never dies!) featuring one of the guys from Red vs. Blue as well as a member of an advertising and game consultancy firm.
GameSpot also has a Q+A with NBA Live 06 (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, PSP, PC) producer Dean Richards.
GameSpy previews Game Arts' Lunar: Dragon Song (DS).
GameSpot goes hands-on with EA Canada's SSX On Tour (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP). GameSpot also previews Blitz Games' Pac-Man World 3 (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP, PC). IGN looks at Cauldron's Gene Troopers (PS2, Xbox, PC). IGN also has a first look at Codemasters' TOCA Race Driver 2006 (PS2, Xbox, PC).
Screenshots: NHL 2K6 (PS2, Xbox, PC).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Two Tigers in the arcade. "The arcade game Two Tigers was a big time quarter burner. Trying to bomb battleships while shooting down planes was tough. Those waterspouts never appeared fast enough. Just give me 10 more seconds!!!!!" (submitted by crastabule)