Japanese Console Hype Shifts[ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]
While, unsurprisingly, Sony's PS3 remains the most anticipated console in Japan, both the Nintendo Revolution and Microsoft's Xbox 360 are gaining some ground in that market. According to a recent survey, 72.3% of the 1,000 surveyed gamers are looking forward to buying the PS3, up from 60% in July. All three companies are enjoying better prospects, but the anticipation gains by Nintendo and Microsoft are more significant proportionally. 21.9% of gamers are considering the Revolution, up from 8% in July, and 5.8% are looking to buy an Xbox 360, up from 2%. While the situation is looking up for Microsoft, the company still has an uphill battle ahead to increase its console's demand in the territory, to which Microsoft has repeatedly pledged its support recently. Without the ubiquitous appeal of the Sony brand, the many franchises and the portable juggernaut of Nintendo, or simply the advantage of being Japanese, the Microsoft guys have their work cut out for them.
Treasure Still Treasures 2D[xbox]
With games like Gunstar Heroes (Gen), Astro Boy: Omega Factor (GBA), and Ikaruga (GCN, DC), there's no question that developer Treasure has a reputation as one of the finest crafters of 2D gameplay around. Fans of the studio will be pleased to know that even with yet another generation of consoles approaching, that won't change. As Treasure kicks off the next generation with a not-yet-officially-announced title for Xbox 360, the developer will stick to its 2D guns. "There is no major difference in terms of gameplay for the games that we develop regardless of whether it is for console or handheld because they are all based on 2D action," said a representative. While not a particularly suprising move, it's nice to know that there are a few well-known studios--The Behemoth being another--continuing to perfect 2D gameplay.
Treasure's immediate next game will be the long-awaited Gunstar Super Heroes (GBA), due next month.
Madden 360 To Look Like... Madden[xbox]
Remember that "Madden Next-Gen" footage EA released earlier in the year? You know, the one with the great animation and individual snowflakes and ridiculous level of detail. Well, there's finally some new footage available. Unfortunately, in a turn of events that might hypothetically in the future be referred to as "pulling a Killzone", the new footage is somewhat underwhelming compared to what we were shown before--and EA even claimed it would get better than what they had on display.
The new video certainly looks quite nice, and it continues to improve graphically on what has been done in the series, but it's something of a letdown after the earlier promises. For those in doubt, 1UP has confirmed with EA that the video released today is in fact new. While 1UP speculates that the animation could be "placeholder", that seems a bit unlikely. Especially in a game focusing this heavily on individual character models, it seems a bit late in the game to be publically releasing placeholder animation as trailer material.
Majesco Woes Continue[ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]
Adding to a financial situation that's getting more and more grim, publisher Majesco (NASDAQ symbol: COOL) posted an operating loss of $38.6M on $4.6M in revenue this past quarter, in sharp contrast to an operating income of $3.1M on $20.5M in revenue during the same quarter of last year. The report was even lower than the projections by both analysts and Majesco itself; the company predicted losses of $19M-$22M. In response to the loss, Majesco has now lowered its full-year outlook as well, expecting a full-year loss of $40M-$45M on sales of $60M-$65M. The loss is widely attributed to the disappointing commercial performance of titles such as Double Fine's Psychonauts (PS2, Xbox, PC) and GlyphX's Advent Rising (Xbox, PC).
The press release indicated that Majesco will attempt to pursue "low-risk opportunities in the mobile and online markets with our existing intellectual properties as well as new products", in addition to continuing its focus on higher-profile games.
SSX On Tour Soundtrack List On Web[ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]
EA has revealed the full 41-song track list for its upcoming SSX On Tour (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP). It consists of acts such as Jurassic 5, The Hives, Pennywise, We Are Scientists, and quite a few other bands about which I know nothing at all.
Another GTA Game Being Made[ps2]
Surprising approximately nobody anywhere, Official PlayStation 2 Magazine reports that a new Grand Theft Auto game is in the works for PS3. Thankfully, as one would expect, it will be making use of a new engine. No confirmed details are available on the game, and its release date is completely unknown. Apparently, however, Rockstar received its development kit just last month, so expect the game to be a long way off.
Wipeout Pure: Stealth Edition[psp]
In a rather odd tie-in, Sony announced plans to release a small version of Wipeout Pure on the same UMD as the movie Stealth. The game, entitled Wipeout Pure: Stealth Edition, will feature a subset of the content of the full game, containing three tracks, three vehicles, and three modes, as well as one Stealth-based level and the option to pilot the Stealth plane from the movie. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president Ben Feingold calls it "an unparalleled entertainment experience that marks the next phase in portable entertainment," whereas many might simply call it "a paralleled marketing maneuvre," but, hey, to each his own.
The Stealth UMD will retail for $39.95. Most UMD films are priced between $20 and $30, and most PSP games are priced between $40 and $50.
GameSpot has a Designer Diary #1 from Aaron Loeb, producer for Planet Moon's Infected (PSP).
GameSpot has a developer video interview for Sonic Team's Sonic Rush (DS).
IGN checks out the Game Boy Micro packaging.
Gamasutra has a Day in the Life of Phillip Bossant, executive producer and art director on America's Army. He describes the experience of working on a contract game for the U.S. Armed Forces.
Screenshots: Urban Reign.
IGN takes a look at 2K Sports' Amped 3 (X360).
Screenshots: Sega Casino (DS).
Movies: Infected (PSP).
IGN checks out Maxis' The Sims 2 (PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, PSP, GBA, PC). GameSpy previews Luxoflux's True Crime: New York City (PS2, Xbox, GCN). Game Informer goes to a THQ press event and tries A Bunch of Games (On Many Systems).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Metroid Prime for the GameCube. "Brings me back to my childhood, while being pleasing to the eye" (submitted by rthsmshr)