Mistwalker Keeps Getting Busier[xbox360] [ds]
Mistwalker, the development studio founded by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and boasting many ex-Square developers, has its hands full. The studio has already announced two RPGs for Xbox 360, Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, as well as an RPG for Nintendo DS, ASH: Archaic Sealed Heat. Well, according to a GameSpot report on the latest issue of Famitsu, Sakaguchi has revealed that Mistwalker is also working on yet another title. No platform or genre was named but, given the studio's pedigree and current lineup, it wouldn't be too out of line to surmise that it might be an RPG.
The game will presumably not be released until at least the other two 360 games have hit shelves. Blue Dragon is set for a 2006 release, with Lost Odyssey to follow. In October, Sakaguchi mentioned that ASH was about a year away from release. Looks like late 2006 is the time to watch for the Mistwalker lineup.
Project IM Projected for 2007[ps3] [xbox360]
Few details are available at this point, but Danish dev studio Zero Point Software has announced an upcoming FPS title for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. The game, entitled Project IM, is still in the early stages of development, and uses Epic's Unreal Engine 3, which is turning out to be pretty popular next-gen tech. The game is also apparently the first of a trilogy, which is turning out to be an extremely popular every-gen format. Zero Point hopes to release a trailer early next year, with the full game following in 2007. The game has yet to secure a publisher.
Sony Releases PSP 2.60[psp]
Sony has released yet another firmware update for its PSP console, bringing the current version number up to 2.60. The official site notes that it adds functionality such as support for podcasts by way of RSS and music playback in WMA format. Not noted on the official site is the likely news that homebrew exploits may be "fixed" by the patch.
JCPenney Wants Lots of Your Money[xbox360]
The Xbox 360-less Xbox 360-wanters out there are probably familiar with the exorbitant prices people have been paying to obtain the desired console by way of Ebay. It's a little shady, but it's hard to blame some random guy with a 360 for wanting to make a few hundred bucks when the opportunity is right there. It's a little more suspicious, however, when it's an actual nationwide corporation grossly inflating prices without even the promise of speedy delivery. The online branch of department store JCPenney is currently listing an "XBox 360 Platinum Bundle" for an astonishing $799.99. The bundle comes with nothing more than the $400 Premium system and a $20 Play and Charge kit, meaning the store is adding a $380 premium (pardon the pun) to the system. Not only that, but they apparently won't even ship for two weeks.
(Since time of writing, The Internet has apparently bought up all of the stock. Trying to purchase the system result in a message stating "Item currently unavailable.")
GameCube Not Doing So Hot[gamecube]
Despite remaining a profitable machine for Nintendo, the GameCube is less profitable than it used to be, with the manufacturer showing a 42% drop in sales of the console from the company's fiscal year 2004 to its fiscal year 2005. Company president Satoru Iwata recently noted that the machine is on its last legs, which explains Nintendo's incredibly heavy focus recently on its handheld division, driven by DS and supported by two current Game Boy models.
For those who are confused regarding Microsoft Points and Gamerscore and all that Xbox 360 jazz, IGN explains it all.
GameSpot has a Q&A with SCEA's Ryan Hamlyn on Pursuit Force (PSP).
GameSpot has a diary-style preview of Nintendo's Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS) and updated impressions of Square Enix's Final Fantasy IV (GBA, also SNES). IGN also checks out Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Metal Gear Solid 3 for the PlayStation 2. "The Metal Gear series moves on by going back in time forty years. Making up for the convoluted plot of MGS2, Kojima gives us a great game that keeps the MGS gameplay "solid" while adding and changing some key elements, and more top notch characters." (submitted by Omaha)