The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041, a day so painful to some that it is referred to only as the "B-Ballnacht". Thousands upon thousands of the world's greatest ballers were massacred in a swath of violence and sports bigotry as the game was outlawed worldwide. The reason: the Chaos Dunk, a jam so powerful its mere existence threatens the balance of chaos and order. Among the few ballers and fans that survived the basketball genocide was Charles Barkley, the man capable of performing the "Verboten Jam"...Here's the trailer.
Sony considering PS3 price cuts?[ps3]
Statements made by Sony senior VP Takao Yuhara and reported by the Associated Press suggest that Sony may be looking to rethink PlayStation 3's price tag to help balance recently announced falling profits. Yuhara was quick to note, however, that no decisions on the matter have yet been made. In the company's most recent fiscal quarter, the PlayStation division--in recent years one of the company's strongest performers--saw losses of 54.2 billion yen ($447 million), though increased revenue in the electronics division helped to buoy losses to some extent and beat overall analyst expectations.
In Sony's following fiscal year, beginning March 1, 2007, the company hopes to break even with its gaming division. "Such factors, including price cuts to some extent, are factored [into those goals]," said Yuhara, indicating that cuts may be coming within the next 13 months. "We may look at the price as part of our strategy to expand the market when the timing is right." Tahara's comments run slightly contrary to those made recently by SCEA's Jack Tretton, who stated that PS3's price cuts will not come "as soon or as drastic" as PlayStation 2's. Tretton's comments, if taken literally, would mean that PS3's price will remain uncut until next June. However, Sony is likely to have different pricing strategies for various worldwide markets.
EA hires Mercenaries (2)[ps3]
After reporting its third fiscal quarter results today, Electronic Arts announced that it has signed an agreement with developer Pandemic Studios to co-publish Pandemic's upcoming nonlinear action sequel Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. The deal will be handled through EA Partners, the company's publishing arm aimed at independent developers. Similarly, the retail presence of Valve's Half-Life 2 and its related products is handled through EA Partners.
"EA Partners is committed to providing the world's best development studios with access to EA's unrivaled global publishing resources, helping gamemakers reach the widest possible audience," said EA Partners VP and general manager David DeMartini.
To date, including in today's press release, Mercenaries 2 has only been announced for the PlayStation 3 platform, though its predecessor Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction was a multiplatform game releasing on PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Official announcements have not explicitly used the term "exclusive" to describe the game. Last year, Computer and Video Games printed an Official Xbox Magazine UK-sourced preview of Mercenaries 2, prompting rumors that the game is in the works for Xbox 360. Some have also taken today's announcement by the multiplatform-heavy EA as suggesting that an Xbox 360 release is likely.
"Pandemic Studios is excited to join forces with EA Partners to give Mercenaries 2: World in Flames a spectacular global launch," said Pandemic CEO Andrew Goldman. "Mercenaries 2: World in Flames will set the bar for explosive, open world action games in the next generation, and everyone at Pandemic is excited that fans will be able to get their hands on it later this year."
EA commits to Wii and DS, confirms Spore DS and Sims Wii/DS[wii] [ds]
Electronic Arts today held an investor conference call following its third fiscal quarter earnings report, during which executives restated the company's determination to lead third party publishers in market share on Wii and Nintendo DS. EA has noted in the past that Nintendo will always lead on its own platforms, but it plans to secure a number two market position--number one amongst third party publishers--by way of both its general and EA Sports labels. To help EA reach its targets on Nintendo platforms, executives pointed to the recent acquisation of Headgate Studios, slated to develop exclusively for Wii. EA has also set up a Wii-exclusive development group at its EA Canada offices in Vancouver, though there are known to be Wii games in development at other EA studios as well.
In terms of specific titles, the company confirmed earlier reports that Will Wright's ambitious evolution simulator Spore will be coming to Nintendo DS as well as PC. Last February, a job posting revealed that Spore was in the works for "multiple Handheld [sic]" platforms, suggesting both Nintendo DS and PSP, though at this point there has only been further indication of a DS version.
EA also confirmed the upcoming version of The Sims for Wii (screenshots), which has been featured on the official website of EA Japan but had not yet been announced by the company's Western divisions. Today it was also revealed that the game, entitled My Sims, is in the works for Nintendo DS as well.
All three games are expected to ship during EA's next fiscal year, which begins March 1, 2007.
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Mega Man 6 for the NES. "Mega Man + Rush armor = Bio-Booster Armor Mega Man!" (submitted by RevRaven)