Sony Restructures, Cuts Workforce[ps2] [psp]
After losses of $90M when profits of $90M were expected, Sony now has plans for a drastic restructure of the company. The move is being primarily instigated by recently-hired CEO Howard Stringer as well as president Ryoji Chubachi and CFO Nobuyuki Oneda. Stringer claimed that "We have made promises before, but we failed to execute them. We must fight like the Sony warriors that we are."
Over the course of the plan, which will be complete by 2008, Sony will cut 7% of its worldwide workforce of 151,000. 4,000 employees in Japan and 6,000 employees elsewhere will be affected by the cuts. Additionally, 11 of the company's 65 manufacturing plants will be closed and 20% of its products will be discontinued. This is in addition to the 20,000 jobs Sony has cut over the past few years as part of a separate plan mainly affecting the company's unprofitable electronics division.
Rockstar Announces Documentary, GTA Packs[ps2] [xbox] [psp]
Rockstar announced its creation of a documentary following the low rider car scene, describing the film as "a portrait of a community working together to build the ultimate customised vehicles, while struggling to legitimise their lifestyle under close scrutiny of the authorities." The announcement indicates that the film, entitled Sunday Driver, will be released on the UMD format, used with Sony's PSP console. However, its inclusion on a DVD in an upcoming GTA bundle indicates it may eventually make a standalone jump to the bigger small screen. What GTA bundle? Well...
Rockstar also apparently plans to announce tomorrow the release of two Grand Theft Auto bundles, one for PS2 and one for Xbox. The PS2 unit consists of GTA: San Andreas in modified Mature form as well as a bonus DVD containing the game's machinima prequel movie and the aforementioned Sunday Driver documentary. The Xbox release, called The Trilogy, appropriately contains the three current-style GTA games: GTAIII, GTA: Vice City, and GTA: San Andreas. It also contains the re-Matured version of San Andreas, though no other special features were mentioned.
The PS2 set will retail for $49.99 and The Trilogy will go for $59.99. Both will be available October 18.
McGee Working on Bad Day L.A. Movie[xbox]
In an interview released today at Idle Thumbs, designer American McGee revealed that "we are working on a film version of Bad Day LA and have recently attached a very well known animated executive producer/writer who will be taking up the charge to adapt the game story into a film story." McGee's upcoming Bad Day LA (Xbox, PC) is a humorous action game in which the player controls Anthony, a homeless man who ends up saving Los Angeles from every disaster imaginable: fires, meteors, biochemical terrorist attacks, riots, zombies, and so on. McGee hopes with the game to spur discussion on the American "culture of fear."
When asked about his next project after Bad Day LA ships next year, McGee indicated it would be another of his "twisted tales" games in the tradition of Alice (PC):
"Not saying exactly what it is at this point, but I have my way it will be distributed online (no box product initially), feature lots of cool fairytale worlds/characters, and be delivered in hybrid mix of episodic content and sandbox/exploration gameplay."
Miyamoto & Dog Hitting New York[gamecube] [ds]
Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto will be visiting the Rockefeller Plaza Nintendo World Store in New York City this Sunday, September 25. The first 200 people in line to meet Miyamoto are guaranteed to receive an autograph, and the first ten people in line will have the chance to have their Nintendogs interact with Miyamoto's Nintendog using the DS game's Bark Mode multiplayer function. Nintendo will also be giving away DS skins featuring the designer's signature.
GBA Micro Launches Well[gba]
GameSpot reports that Japanese publication Dengeki Online has released sales figures for the Game Boy Advance Micro's launch period. The console sold approximately 148,000 units in its first week, besting the GBA SP's launch record of 110,000 units. Reports indicate that between 40% and 60% of the units sold were the Famicom-themed model. North American retailers should start getting the Micro next week, though a Nintendo representative noted that "every store sets its own in-store date."
Sega to Open In-House CG Studio[ps2] [xbox]
Developer/publisher Sega will be opening its own studio focusing on CG creation. The studio's duties will encompass CG for pre-rendered cutscenes, in-game rendering, business software, theme park rides, TV animation, and possibly game work for other developers. Sega issued the following statement: "With the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 expanding the possibilities of how well we can express art on screen, CG will become an even greater element of the gaming experience."
The company has seemingly been in overdrive lately, aggressively pursuing outside developer relationships and announcing several next- and current-gen games based both on existing and new intellectual property.
Next Suikoden Heading to North America[ps2]
The fifth part of Konami's well-known Suikoden series of RPGs has been confirmed for localization in North America. The game will be released on PS2, though no release date has been given as of yet. Suikoden IV was released in North America this past January.
Computer And Video Games has an interview with good old Jeff Minter in which he talks about his games and wacky music visualization work.
GameZone previews Eighting's Zatch Bell: Momodo Battles (PS2).
Screenshots: Dead Rising (X360).
Eurogamer has some updated details on Nintendo's online-enabled Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS). GameSpot previews SCEA and Think and Feel's The Con (PSP). PSX Extreme tries out SCEI's Loco Roco (PSP).
IGN checks out 2K Sports' World Poker Tour 2K6 (PS2, Xbox, GBA, PSP) and Midway's L.A. Rush (PS2, Xbox, PC). GameZone previews Heavy Iron's The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer (PS2, Xbox, GameCube, DS, PSP, GBA, PC).
Screenshots: Need for Speed Most Wanted (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, DS, GBA, PSP, PC).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
F-Zero GX for the GameCube. "Because I'm drooling to play it and ready to kick my girlfriend out of the house the day I get it." (submitted by email@example.com)