Late Night Consoling

Sorry so late tonight, guys!
  • Wii to Preempt PS3?

    [nintendo]

    Nintendo has so far released launch information about its upcoming Wii console quite sparingly, so far only confirming that the machine will be out before Thanksgiving and for under $250. However, according to P.J. McNealy of American Technology Research, Wii is already entering production, meaning it might be hitting shelves sooner than expected. By contrast, Xbox 360, which launched in the US on November 22, did not enter production until late September of last year. McNealy's firm believes Wii's retail release could be as early as this coming September. Sony's PlayStation 3 has been announced to go on sale November 17.

    Chris Morris of CNN/Money spoke with other anonymous industry sources who also expect a release in September or October. This is consistent with reports earlier this year from sites such as IGN, which claimed that various developers are planning for a launch in that time frame.

    There is plenty of precedent among Nintendo consoles for a release earlier in the fall rather than later. While GameCube launched in November, separated by mere days from Xbox's launch, the NES and SNES both launched in August while the Nintendo 64 launched in September.

    And now, here are your more dubious Wii release rumors. A recent issue of Sports Illustrated For Kids offhandedly printed the launch date for Wii as being November 6. However, it seems unlikely that such a publication, which is neither part of the gaming press nor the mainstream press, would be privy to such information so early, particularly with print magazine lead times being what they are. It is more likely the author's article grabbed the date from an online retailer or some other similar source, which have been known to make up release dates on a fairly regular basis. Delving even further into the realms of dubious rumors, a French blogger claims that he got a Nintendo executive drunk at an airport and learned that the console will be released October 31. Make of that what you will.

  • Sony Ad Criticized as Racist

    [psp]

    Sony has taken flak over the last several days for a PSP billboard ad currently running in the Netherlands. It features an apparently angry Caucasian woman, with white hair and a white outfit, clenching in a white-gloved hand the face of an apparently intimidated black woman wearing black clothing. The advertisement's text reads "PlayStation Portable White is coming." Various groups and internet denizens have accused the ad of racism or racial insensitivity. For Sony's part, the company claims that the sole purpose of the ad is to showcase the "contrast between the Black PSP model and the new Ceramic white PSP model." Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, a representative from Sony UK noted, "I would like to confirm that we categorically are not running this advert creative in the UK."

    Sony has come under fire for its PlayStation-related advertising campaigns before. Towards the end of last year, residents of various urban areas complained about graffiti-based advertisements Sony had paid real estate owners to stencil onto prominent buildings. In September, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the PlayStation brand, Sony ran an advertisement in various Italian publications depicting a man with a Christ-like crown of thorns, which upon closer inspection was made up of bits of metal fashioned into PlayStation button symbols. The text of the ad read, "Ten years of passion." The Vatican and various Catholic organizations protested the ad, which was retracted.

    Last week, a blogger wrote on what he saw as perhaps subconsciously racist images in Sony's brightly colored game Loco Roco (PSP). He pointed out that the main enemies of the game share striking similarities to mocking depictions of African Americans as seen in blackface minstrel shows, which lasted into the early 20th century. Such imagery is exceedingly rare in the United States in modern times, but is known to be less controversial in countries such as Japan, which do not have the same history of black/white race relations. The blog post kicked off a storm of controversy throughout the gaming press.

  • Tokyo Game Show to be Enormous

    [ps2] [ps3] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [nintendo] [ds] [psp] [gba]

    The official site of the Tokyo Game Show has been updated, and according to translated reports, this year's show will be the "largest ever." One hundred thirty four companies with 1,702 booths will be present, no doubt with a heavy focus on next generation consoles. Sony is expected to have many of its PlayStation 3 launch titles playable. Nintendo, as is traditionally the case, will not maintain a corporate presence at TGS.

    TGS will be held September 22-24 in Chiba, Japan.

  • Xbox 360 With Built-in HD-DVD? No, Apparently

    [xbox360]

    This weekend, Australian news source iTWire published an interview with Toshiba's Mark Whittard, speaking on the HD-DVD optical media standard spearheaded by Toshiba. Interestingly, Whittard stated that Microsoft is planning to support the format "natively" in its Xbox 360, suggesting that in addition to the external HD-DVD drive coming later this year, the company will release an updated model of the console with such a drive built in.

    This rumor was quickly shot down by the Gamerscore Blog, run by Microsoft marketing employees. "We have no plans to release an Xbox 360 with an internal HD DVD," stated the blog post. If such a 360 model ever surfaces, it is likely a long way off.

  • Be Featured in the Bob Ross Video Game

    [nintendo] [ds]

    Earlier this year, developer AGFRAG announced that it is producing a Bob Ross painting video game for Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC. Now, the company has launched an art contest which will allow six artists to have their work featured in the upcoming game. The grand prize winner will have his or her artwork featured on the cover, alongside artwork by Bob Ross himself. Entries will be judged by Certified Bob Ross Instructors.

    It appears that the game's release is still some time away, as contest submissions will be accepted until September 15 of this year.

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    From Ubisoft, we've got a video feature on the motion capture techniques used in Rainbow Six: Vegas (PS3, X360), corresponding with the text Q&A we put up last week.

    EA sends over an NCAA Football 07 (PS2, Xbox, X360, PSP) containing gameplay footage from the game as well as interviews with Reggie Bush and Vince Young.

    IGN has a Q&A with Incognito Entertainment's Brian Upton about the upcoming Warhawk (PS3).

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2

GameSpy checks out Nippon Ichi's Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories (PS2).

Screenshots: The Sopranos: Road to Respect (PS2, also Xbox 360).

XBOX/X360

Game Informer goes hands on with Capcom's Dead Rising (X360).

GCN/Wii

Movies: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii).

PORTABLE

GameSpot has somne brief translated details on Q-Games' Star Fox Command (NDS).

Screenshots:Deep Labyrinth (NDS).

Movies: Miami Vice (PSP).

MULTI

IGN previews Bugbear's FlatOut 2 (PS2, Xbox, PC).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Twisted: The Game Show for the 3DO. "Best game to grace the 3DO. Twisted is loaded with humor and consisted of a bunch of mini games. Lot of fond memories playing this together with friends and family, and the main reason I still have the 3DO hooked up today." (submitted by OpTiMaLhUnTeR)