PS3 in October?[ps3]
Retailer GameStop has updated its online listings to include 31 PlayStation 3 games, all of which are of course available for preorder at a price of $59.99. EBGames also has its listings stocked with PS3 preorders at the same price. While many have been reading into the games' release dates quoted by GameStop (every game is listed as coming out October 1, 2006, with the sole exception of Metal Gear Solid 4), it's worth noting that EBGames has its shipping dates as either April 30 or May 1, 2006. GameStop and EB are the same company now, so if either entity did in fact have verified release date information, it's safe to assume it would be shared with the other division.
The sites also list out of date, incorrect, or obviously speculative information about various games. For example, they both contain the Starbreeze-developed The Darkness as being published by Majesco, but Majesco dropped the project late last year. GameStop (but not EB) also lists Metronome, a stunning adventure game project being worked on by a Swedish group called Team Tarsier. That game was also included on initial Xbox 360 preorders a year ago, but has still yet to be announced for any specific platform other than tentatively for PC. Monolith's Condemned: Criminal Origins (X360, PC) is also listed on GameStop; that game was only just confirmed for PC following its Xbox 360 debut.
The bottom line? Sony has committed to delivering the PS3 this year, but be wary of preorder claims for specific titles. When gamers started speculating based on a list of confirmed PS3 titles, Sony immediately pulled the document from its site, so it's probably safe to assume that we're going to have to wait to see what PS3 games will hit this year.
EA Sees 31% Drop in Profits[ps2] [ps3] [xbox360] [xbox] [gamecube] [nintendo] [ds] [psp] [gba]
The details of EA's worldwide downsizing yesterday came at staggered intervals, but by the end of the day, the details were still not clear. The 5% number concerning how much of the company's workforce was let go is still the most current estimate. However, today EA announced its fiscal third quarter profits, which suggest another reason for the trimming beyond the stated "adjustment period." The company saw profits in the third quarter drop 31% from the same quarter of the prior year, with revenue dropping 11% from $1.43 billion to $1.27 billion. Having already decreased its expectations for the quarter, EA still missed its revised estimates. The company expects another drop from last-year profits in the following quarter.
Stock in EA (NasdaqNM: ERTS) dropped 2.2% to $53.88 running up to the announcement, but gained 2.7% to $55.00 afterwards.
Many point to the shortage of Microsoft's Xbox 360 as one factor in dwindling sales, as consumers are looking to hold off on current-gen purchases but unable to obtain next-gen systems. EA head Larry Probst expects both Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Revolution consoles to launch in the "middle of the fourth quarter" of 2006.
Ubisoft Finds Lost Magic (LostMagic? LOSTMAGIC?)[ds]
Ubisoft sent official word today of Lost Magic, an RPG/action/RTS for DS developed by Taito. The game was designed by Yoshiharu Sato, who served as an animation director and/or character designer on many Studio Ghibli animated films. Lost Magic tells the story of a wizard named Isaac who must rid the world of an evil force with the use of seven wands. The wand casting mechanics make use of the stylus, in the form of combining patterns to create hybrid spell effects.
The game also features realtime strategy elements, in that the player actually controls units in the game world by with the stylus. Ubisoft's announcement likens it to the control found in a PC RTS. There also seems to be a strategic one on one duel mode that is enabled for online play. Though the press release contains the term "Nintendo Wi-Fi connectivity" and "a Wi-Fi connection," stopping short of actually including the official online term "Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection," Ubisoft's Tony Kee made reference to "the global connectivity of the wi-fi mode." Hopefully this isn't one of those cases of mistaking local wi-fi for online functionality.
Lost Magic will ship in North America and Europe this spring.
Train Your Brain on a Budget[ds]
Having announced the upcoming release of Brain Age (DS) (aka Brain Training), Nintendo has now revealed the price point for the game-ish software. It will come in at the industry-standard "budget" price of $20.
New House of the Dead Film Next Week
A sequel to the Uwe Boll game adaptation House of the Dead will be premiering Saturday, February 11. However, Dr. Boll was not sitting in the director's chair for this one. The film is billed as a direct sequel, but it is an original production by the Sci Fi Channel. House of the Dead 2 stars Emmanuelle Vaugier, Victoria Pratt, and Sticky Fingaz, none of whom were in the first movie. It is directed by Michael Hurst, responsible for the heist-gone-wrong flick New Blood and the...something flick The Baby Juice Express.
The trailer for the movie, whose tagline is "It took only a single zombie to spawn an army; it'll take everything humanity has to stop it," is available at the official Sci Fi website.
Nintendojo speaks with Lance Barr, the Nintendo industrial designer who crafted the NES and its iconic controller. He still works for Nintendo of America in Redmond.
Screenshots: Ninety-Nine Nights (X360).
IGN previews Capcom's Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (DS).
GameSpot has a "contender diary" for EA Chicago's Fight Night Round 3 (PS2, Xbox, PS3, X360, PSP). IGN looks at The Collective's Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (PS2, Xbox, PC) (so does Game Informer) and Z-Axis' X-Men: The Official Movie Game (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, PC).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Chu Chu Rocket for the Dreamcast. "Reason? One of, if not the, first online console. Simple puzzle multiplayer. Nothing like sending the cat to some cocky bastards rocket to take him down a few pegs. Good times." (submitted by broly1718)