Late Night Consoling

Well, Shackers, I've been working here for a year now. My first console news column went up on July 25, 2005. The time since then has gone pretty quickly! It's nice to be able to write for a site whose readers frequently post responses that are actually interesting, not to mention comprehensible. There is not exactly an overabundance of gaming news sites about which one could make that claim. So, thanks!
  • Wii Releasing on October 1?

    [nintendo]

    With Nintendo keeping quiet lately about its upcoming Wii console, one rumor topic that has been consistenly popping up is that of the machine's still unannounced release date. Earlier this month, various industry sources pegged October as the most likely month for the system's release.

    Today, Nintendo announced release dates for its fall first party DS lineup (see news item below), and along with the schedule came an intriguing hint:

    The fourth quarter of 2006 will herald a new era for Nintendo with the launch of its remarkable new Wii(TM) home video game system. But that's not what this news item is about! How could that be, you ask? Perhaps the secret to the launch information for Wii is somehow encoded in the text of this news item. You might want to pore over it for a few hours before staying up all night to debate phraseology and comma placement with your friends online. Or maybe it's all just a scam to get you to read the other games we have launching this fall. One of the two.

    It's impossible to know for sure whether there's any substance to the clue or not--and Nintendo certainly isn't saying anything further on the matter--but, assuming Nintendo does intend for us to read between the line, various internet detectives have inferred a couple potential dates.

    Nintendo has stated that Wii will be released in the fourth quarter of 2006, and company president Satoru Iwata promised that its North American release date will come before Thanksgiving, which means the machine will ship between October 1 and November 22. Nintendo may plan to set aside Wii's release week and briefly avoid diverting marketing to DS titles, and the only weeks falling within the Wii launch timeframe that are not also mentioned on the given release schedule are the weeks of October 1 and November 20. November 20, in addition to cutting it quite close to Thanksgiving, also happens to come days after the release of Sony's PlayStation 3; most industry sources seem convinced that Nintendo will want to pre-empt its competitor. That leaves the week of October 1, and if Nintendo follows its own tradition and releases the hardware on a Sunday--which it has done in North America for Nintendo 64, GameCube, Game Boy Advance SP, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Micro, and DS Lite--that would suggest the date is October 1 itself.

    Of course, this is all just rumor and speculation.

  • Rampage Climbs to Wii and DS?

    [nintendo] [ds]

    Recently, sharp eyed gamers noticed new game listings added to retailer CD Universe and rental site GameFly. The game in question is Midway's Rampage: Total Destruction, listed as coming to Wii and Nintendo DS. Midway also released the game earlier this year for PlayStation 2 and GameCube. An followup to the classic city-destroying sidescrolling arcade hit, Total Destruction enjoyed a less than stellar critical reaction upon its release, but Midway must see something in the title.

    To solidify the rumors, GameSpot has apparently received word from a source close to the publisher that the Wii and DS games will be announced soon. "It won't be long now," claimed the source. Midway has already announced plans to support Wii with versions of its football franchise Blitz: The League, as well as movie license games Happy Feet and The Ant Bully.

  • SingStar Heads Over to North America

    [ps2]

    Sony Computer Entertainment America today released a fact sheet indicating that SCE London's popular SingStar karaoke franchise for PlayStation 2 will finally be making the trek over to North American shores. Entitled simply SingStar, the game is set to arrive this fall. It supports up to 8 players, and comes bundled with two karaoke microphones and 30 songs. The game also has support for the PS2's EyeToy camera, allowing players to insert their own images into music videos.

  • Square Enix Announces Summer Release Dates

    [ps2] [ds] [psp]

    Square Enix today announced the North American details of its summer lineup, consisting of three upcoming games for PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS, and one that has already been released for PSP. Systems and developers are listed in parenthesis.

    - July 18: Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP, tri-Ace)
    - Aug. 15: Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2, Square Enix)
    - Sep. 19: Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (NDS, TOSE/Square Enix)
    - Sep. 26: Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (PS2, tri-Ace)

    Dirge of Cerberus and Valkyrie Profile 2 have both been bumped up a week from their previously known dates.

  • Nintendo Announces DS Release Dates (and More)

    [nintendo]

    Nintendo today announced the North American release schedule for its first party fall lineup for Nintendo DS. Developers are listed in parenthesis.

    - Oct. 9: Clubhouse Games (Nintendo)
    - Oct. 16: Nintendogs Dalmatian (Nintendo)
    - Oct. 23: Magical Starsign (Brownie Brown)
    - Oct. 30: Pokemon Ranger (HAL Laboratories)
    - Oct. 30: Children of Mana (Square Enix)
    - Nov. 6: Elite Beat Agents (iNiS)
    - Nov. 13: Yoshi's Island 2 (Artoon)
    - Dec. 4: Custom Robo Arena (Noise)
    - Dec. 4: Kirby Squeak Squad (HAL Laboratories)

    Though the announcement only specifically covered DS releases, Nintendo revealed that Tose and Square Enix's Final Fantasy V Advance will be released on November 6.

    The company also reaffirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will be available for GameCube this fall and for Wii upon the system's launch ("That will all happen on... Oh look, we're out of space," reads the press release).

  • PSP Greatest Hits Launch Today

    [psp]

    As noted last week, today Sony Computer Entertainment America launched its Greatest Hits program for PSP, which sees five titles repriced to an affordable $19.99. These are SCEA's Ape Escape: On the Loose, Climax's ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, Clap Hanz' Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee, Incognito's Twisted Metal: Head On, and SCE Studios Liverpool's Wipeout Pure

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    On FileShack, we've got the Gears of War (X360) Fan Site Kit sent over from Epic.

    GameSpot has a Q&A on SCE London's SingStar (PS2), today announced for North America.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2

IGN checks out SCE Studios Japan's Ape Escape: Million Monkeys (PS2) and the PS2 version of Yuke's' Wrestle Kingdom (PS2, also X360).

XBOX/X360

GameSpot checks out Capcom's Dead Rising (X360). Game Informer checks out the 360 version of 2K Sports' NHK 2K7 X360, also PS2, Xbox, PS3).

PORTABLE

We previewed a few DS games. GameSpy previews Neversoft and Rebellion's GUN Showdown (PSP).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Caveman Games for the NES. "Because after all.. the world needed a shoddy Track & Field clone with cavemen and dinosaurs. Data East does it again." (submitted by volitionism)