Miyamoto Hints at/Reveals a Few Details[nintendo] [ds] [gamecube]
Gaming and gadget websites Joystiq and Engadget teamed up to conduct a fairly lengthy interview with legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto, who discusses Nintendogs, the DS, and, most relevant to the whole News thing, the next-gen Nintendo Revolution.
Nintendo has already mentioned that while the recently-announced spacial remote control-like device is clearly the console's primary controller, the company has been working on some kind of "shell" that can house the main controller and provide a more traditional controller layout. In this recent interview, Miyamoto indicated that the shell will be essentially the same as a Wavebird (Nintendo's wireless GameCube controller), and that it has already been completed. He did not clarify whether current-gen GameCube controllers plugged into the Revolution's legacy ports would be able to play next-gen Revolution games.
In regards to development, Miyamoto explained that Nintendo strove to create a similar development environment in the Revolution to GameCube's, to minimize the amount of adjustment required. It seems that some level of Revolution development can be done using the GameCube's development environment, "which makes it very easy for ... projects on the GameCube development kits to just switch over ...and have those games ready for the Revolution." He also noted that while it took several months for games to really exploit the unique features of the DS, he expects it will be a quicker process with Revolution, seeing launch titles fully take advantage of the Revolution's features.
Miyamoto also showed off the Game Boy- and DS-compatible Play-Yan media player, however he did not answer whether it would finally be released outside of Japan. Past rumors have suggested Nintendo is considering launching the device in Europe.
The designer also addressed concerns that Mario is showing up in too many games, thus diluting the franchise. He responded by noting that Mario platform games are still handled by his personal team, and are only released every several years. In regards to spin-off Mario titles, he explained that Nintendo sees the character's presence as more of a brand signaling that the game is appropriate for gamers and non-gamers, and introduces anybody to a wide breadth of genres.
The full text of the interview is here.
Multiplayer in GTA:LCS[psp]
Rockstar Games has updated the official site for Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PSP), and it includes details of three of the game's multiplayer modes. Other as yet unannounced multiplayer modes will also ship with the game. Liberty City Stories will support up to six players over local wi-fi.
The three game types revealed are Liberty City Survivor, Protection Racket, and Get Stretch. Liberty City Survivor is basically a deathmatch equivalent, in which "killing another player earns you a point but kill yourself and a point will be deducted." The site also implies that this mode can be played with teams. Protection Racket, a team game, puts one side on the defensive and one on the offensive. The offense must destroy the opposing team's four limosines, after which the roles will reverse and the same goal will be attempted by the opposite team. The team which destroys the limos in the shorter amount of time wins. Finally, Get Stretch is essentially capture the flag, but with a car instead of a flag. The team to drive home the higher number of the opposing team's cars wins.
Sadly, there was no mention of any kind of cooperative mode, but you never know. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is set for release later this month.
DS: Studio Ghibli Illustrating RPG, More Mana Details[ds]
Eurogamer is reporting that the artwork in Lost Magic, an upcoming Nintendo DS RPG, will be done by legendary animation house Studio Ghibli. The production company is responsible for such films as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and the recent Howl's Moving Castle. The game casts the player as a boy who controls an ancient wand containing the magic of a long-dead god. The spells are cast by forming patterns on the DS' touch screen, and more powerful spells are created by combining the patterns of multiple spells. Intruigingly, the game also apparently features RTS elements in the form of the player's command monsters with varying statistics and abilities. The game is set for release in Japan towards the end of the year, and should make it to North America some time thereafter.
Square Enix also revealed several developers working on the recently-announced Children of Mana (DS). In the Producer role will be Kouichi Ishii, who had Designer and Lead Designer roles on the pre-PlayStation Final Fantasy titles, as well as the Lead Designer role on most of the Mana/Seiken Densetsu titles. Masato Katou of Chrono Trigger/Cross and Xenogears will be handling Scenario; Nao Ikeda of Legend of Mana and FF: Tactics Advance will be on Character Design; the music will be a collaboration between Secret of Mana's Kenji Ito, Shadow Hearts' Masaharu Iwata, and Drag-on Dragoon 2's Takayuki Aihira.
In more random Square Enix news, the company also announced a Final Fantasy faceplate for Game Boy Micro.
X05 Game Rumors[xbox]
With Microsoft's X05 event in Amsterdam only hours away (and with our own Maarten covering it), a few rumors are popping up regarding what games will be on display, based on a list of developers that will be in attendance. Bioware will be there, and some time ago the company suggested that they are developing some kind of FPS/RPG hybrid based on a new intellectual property. There's also a rumor that EA will be present with previously unfinished game based on a comic property. Acclaim's dead-in-the-water The Red Star was recently bought by an unidentified party, so it could very well be that. Finally, Ubisoft is said to be showing something that isn't Ghost Recon. 1UP surmises it might be Splinter Cell, which wouldn't qualify as much of a surprise. Me? I'm hoping for Beyond Good & Evil 2, but then again I'm a masochist who loves crushing disappointment.
Sony Releases PSP 2.01, Jerks Release Fake Patch[psp]
In response to recent hacking of the PSP 2.00 firmware, Sony has quickly released version 2.01 in Japan. Apparently, no features are present other than correcting the flaw that allowed for the recent hack. The patch has not yet been announced outside of Japan but IGN is reporting that North American PSP owners have actually been able to obtain it through the system's Network Update.
Concidentally enough, there has also been a fake patch circulating around the internet that claims to be an official Sony product. However, several sites are reporting that it will break your PSP. So don't download anything suspicious, you hear?
1UP chats with Nintendo writer Alan Averill and producer Tim O'Leary about Intelligent Systems' upcoming Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GCN).
Gamasutra catches up with industry veteran Michael Berlyn, whose credits span the Infocom text adventures, Bubsy the Bobcat in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, and Syphon Filter. After a break of a few years, he's somewhat reluctantly back in the games biz.
1UP checks out From Software's Armored Core Formula Front (PS2).
Screenshots: Top Spin (PS2, also Xbox, PC).
Movies: NBA 2K6 (X360, also PS2, Xbox).
Screenshots: GTA: Liberty City Stories (PSP).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Contra: Hard Corps for the Sega Genesis. "Great guns, characters, enemies, bosses... Everything you could expect from a Contra game, including being hard as hell! (I couldn't beat it without cheating)" (submitted by Acid Gumball)