Oblivion Coming to PS3, PSP?[ps3] [psp]
The internets were set ablaze today by rumors that Bethesda Softworks' successful The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (X360, PC) will be coming to both PlayStation 3 and PSP on November 6, 2006. The source of the surprising news was a release list allegedly sent from Bethesda. Such versions of the game would certainly not be out of the question--many games have already been announced as coming to both Xbox 360 and PS3, so Bethesda should have no problems with such a port. Bethesda has also brought The Elder Scrolls franchise to a variety of mobile phone platforms in the past, so it would be feasible to introduce a scaled down version of Oblivion somewhere in between the mobile and full-scale iterations.
However, the actual believability of the rumor leaves a bit to be desired. Though many online news outlets have used rather ambiguous language to describe the item's origin, the only actual source that seems to be cited is a vague post on the Gaming-Age Forums. Oblivion is listed right alongside other confirmed games such as several Star Trek games and existing Bethesda properties such as IHRA racing series. However, each other game is listed by its full formal title, ie. "AMF Extreme Bowling 2006" or "Pirates of the Caribbean: Legend of Jack Sparrow;" The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is simply "Oblivion." When asked who the list was sent to (retail, press, analysts), forum member "snatches," who made the original post, claimed he did not know, but that he works in distribution. There do not appear to be any other sources who have received the same email and come forward on the matter.
On the other hand, Bethesda will be showing Oblivion at E3 in some form. While it is common for publishers to show major recently released titles at the show--Square Enix will have Final Fantasy XI (PS2, X360, PC) on display, for example--the company may also be unveiling new versions. Bethesda recently confirmed to Shacknews that the game will be there, but did not specify platforms. When asked for comment on this particular matter, a Bethesda representative told Shacknews as expected, "We currently have no announced plans to release Oblivion for any other platforms other than PC and Xbox 360."
New Virtua Tennis a Reality[ps3] [xbox360]
Sega recently pledged that, starting today, it will be revealing new games for various systems on a regular basis leading up to this year's E3, which begins May 10. Today's announcement is the next iteration of the popular Virtua Tennis series. Virtua Tennis 3 is being developed by Sega AM3, and will be hitting PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. "Great pick-up and playability, life-like details, and incredible physics are benchmarks of the series and will make Virtua Tennis 3 the standard by which all tennis games are judged," said Sega of America's VP of marketing Scott A. Steinberg. The game will feature an improved Player Creation Mode as part of Career Mode, along with a brand new set of minigames.
Virtua Tennis 3 is set to ship in spring 2007, and will appear at the upcoming E3 2006.
How Awesome Are Friend Codes, Asks Nintendo[nintendo] [ds]
You may recall news of a survey sent out by Sony earlier this year asking gamers for feedback on possible features for an online console gaming network. Yesterday, Nintendo took similar action with a survey gauging reactions to the online implementation in each of the currently-released DS games compatible with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. The survey is freely accessible, but be warned that it will not accept data without a unique user ID in the URL; filling it out as is will return an error at the end, but feel free to check out the sorts of questions being asked.
The most relevant questions are listed here. It asks users to grade the online experience in each game he or she has played, as well as the overall DS online experience. A large number of features are presented, with users requested to indicate which would be most desired. These include web-based friend list management, greater personalization options, better stat comparisons, a Friend Code system that is universal rather than game-specific, monitor friends through Nintendowifi.com, and so on.
It is likely that the research being conducted will be used not just in further DS online implementations, but in the current development of Revolution's online service. Some of the potential features listed would be very impractical to retroactively add to the existing DS service, implying that they are being considered for the future.
Lumines 2 Exists, Say Hip Hosts[ps2] [psp]
Sony has launched its official E3 website, which will cover PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PSP news and game coverage from the upcoming show. During a short teaser video currently posted on the site, the two Gamer Advisory Panel hosts mentioned that Lumines 2, the sequel to Q? Entertainment's polished PSP puzzler Lumines, will be present at E3 in some capacity. The revelation confirms yet another game listed on an alleged Ubisoft release schedule, which despite being official denied by the publisher has been consistently accurate in recent months. Interestingly, Lumines 2 is noted as coming to both PlayStation 2 and PSP. However, it was one of few games listed which was not given a release date.
Microsoft's E3 Coverage Begins[xbox360]
Shortly after Sony launched its own E3 coverage site, Microsoft did so as well via Xbox.com. There's a variety of content up, including videos, an interview with Microsoft's Peter Moore, and a retrospective of Microsoft's past gaming year.
Gamasutra has an interview with Gearbox's Randy Pitchford, going into the studio's interesting management structure as well as Pitchford's opinions on various current industry trends.
IGN has a video interview with David Jaffe and Cory Barlog on SCE Santa Monica's upcoming God of War II (PS2).
Game Informer has an interview with LucasArts' David Perkinson about Traveller's Tales' upcoming LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, GBA, PSP, PC).
Screenshots: Yakuza (PS2).
GameSpy checks out Q? and Phantagram's Ninety-Nine Nights (X360).
Movies: Lost Planet (X360).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
WWF Royal Rumble for the Super Nintendo. "As far as I know, it was the first wrestling game to feature a steel chair. And MAN was it satisfying to smack someone over the head with it." (submitted by volitionism)