Late Night Consoling


I was reading a preview of Resident Evil 4 the other day in some magazine (I get so many these days I can't keep them all straight), and I read a part where Shinji Mikami said something to the extent that the game's graphics were 'only possible on GameCube.' Now, I read stuff like that every other day here, but for some reason this one just stuck with me, and I thought about it a bit, and I ultimately came to the conclusion that Mikami wasn't lying, but he wasn't quite telling the truth either. We've all seen what really amazing developers can do with any platform, be it PS2, Xbox or GameCube. So when I read a sentence like that, I now read it as 'our programmers could only do this on GameCube.' We've all sort of come to accept this idea that with cross-platform titles, the Xbox will always have the nicest graphics with the other two fighting it out for second place. Take a good look at that Resident Evil 4 movie we've got on FileShack and ask yourself: is there any reason why the GameCube version of Splinter Cell has to have crappy lighting effects and shadows? Now I'm no developer (I'm going into PR, not development), so maybe the size of the game disc or the advanced AI in Splinter Cell prevents the other stuff from being possible. But I can't imagine that given the time and expertise, the same graphics couldn't be reproduced on that platform. Ever since Sega tried to explain that Sonic the Hedgehog couldn't exist on the SNES because it didn't have "blast processing" I've been skeptical of any claims of one platform's superiority over another, and while I'm not denying that there are big advantages and disadvantages (like RAM, the hard drive and sheer storage space on the game disc), you have to wonder if given more time (and a better relationship with Nintendo) more GameCube games would look a bit more like their Xbox brethren.
PlayStation PS3 with 802.11x? PSP WiFi Hotspots? According to (by way of, Sony is planning on including 802.11 wireless networking in their next-generation PlayStation, which will be used to connect wirelessly to the PSP, which has already been confirmed to include 802.11 WiFi networking. While not directly related per se, this article does seem to agree with rumors I've been hearing lately that suggest the planned Bluetooth support in the PSP has been dropped in favor of exclusively supporting WiFi. While this is good in some regards (WiFi offers much more bandwidth), WiFi is notoriously poor when it comes to power consumption, something that Bluetooth excels in. Also mentioned is that Sony plans a network of "hotspots" for PSP users to play online, with a single subscription allowing access from the complete network nationwide.
PlayStation Then again... Then again, maybe not. GameSpot contacted Sony and asked a company spokesperson to comment on the above story, and the response was surprisingly candid. They didn't deny any of the above suggestions, but instead said that the story was based on notes from an internal meeting "about four months ago," during which "a range of possible future scenarios were discussed." So it may be true, it may not be true, but hey, at least the source is genuine.
Nintendo PS3 Xbox Next-Generation Announcements Imminent? The latest edition of the Game Over column over at CNN/Money reports that they are "fairly sure" that Microsoft will unveil the first details from the Xbox 2/Ybox/Xenon/Xbox Next/Josephine at their pre-E3 press conference at E3. That's not too much of a surprise, but the author "hasn't ruled out" the possibility of both Sony and Nintendo announcing something related to their next-generation platforms. Keep in mind here that at the absolute most, we're talking about pre-rendered CGI approximations of gameplay, plus a loose spec sheet and a name...but hey, that's enough to get me excited. How about you?
Xbox Microsoft's Hard Drive Patent The Internet was briefly abuzz today at the discovery that Microsoft has been awarded a patent for saving game data to a console's hard drive. Does this offer some clue as to the future of the Xbox platform as CNET theorized? Could this be the proof people have been waiting for that the next system will indeed include a hard drive? In a word? No. It was filed in March of 2001, well before any plans for the Xbox 2 got underway.
Xbox Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow Announced Ubisoft today announced Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow, one of those standalone expansion pack dealies that are so popular these days (think Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm). Fans of Rainbow Six 3 have a lot to be excited about with this game, as it will be one of the first games to take advantage of the upcoming Xbox Live 3.0 features, which include advanced messaging, user-created tournaments and more. Also new is a split-screen co-op mode for offline multiplayer. On a related note, two new levels are now available for download for the original Rainbow Six 3, details of which are up at Team Xbox (one of which looks an awful lot like a well-known Counter-Strike level).
GameCube PS2 Xbox FarCry Instincts Announced Also announced by Ubisoft today is FarCry Instincts, an enhanced port of the recently released PC title to unnamed consoles (but I think it's safe to assume it will appear on at least PS2 and Xbox, and quite possibly GameCube as well). The game is in development at Ubisoft's Montreal studio, which worked on the original Splinter Cell among others, and the port is said to include "all-new gameplay scenarios that require different strategies and survival tactics to complete." Online functionality is unknown, but given Ubisoft's previous experience it's not at all unreasonable to expect support for both PS2 and Xbox Live.
GameCube No Multiplayer in GameCube Pandora Tomorrow? Yeah, you knew it was too good to be true...while nothing's official yet, Cube.IGN mentioned in their most recent letters column that the upcoming GameCube version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow may ship without any multiplayer modes of any kind. Originally a representative from Ubisoft had been quoted as saying that all three console versions of the game would support online multiplayer, including the GameCube, but since then they've been totally mum on the subject. Hopefully we'll know for sure next month at E3. One thing we do know is that the GameCube port of Rainbow Six 3 won't support online multiplayer, although that will at least contain split-screen co-op.
PS2 Resident Evil Outbreak 2 Confirmed IGN is reporting that the next issue of the Japanese magazine Famitsu will reveal Resident Evil Outbreak 2, a sequel to the game that only just came out here, but did quite well when it was released in Japan a while back. The sequel is said to include the same style of online multiplayer, and also feature the same characters as the first game. Hopefully this one will be online in Europe, as the first has been confirmed to ship offline-only in that territory. Having played the game, I can honestly say that even with online multiplayer it's basically just another Resident Evil. Without it? There's no reason for it to exist at all.
GameBoy Advance Next Round of NES Releases Revealed? A list of ten games is up at The Magic Box tonight, which the site claims is a look at the next batch of Famicom Mini releases for GBA in Japan. Among the games listed are the original Mario Bros, Cluclu Land, Dr. Mario, Ghosts n' Goblins and Dig Dug. Let me just say this right now: if you're really stupid enough to pay $20 for Mario Bros, a game that's been included as a free bonus with every Super Mario Advance game for GBA, well...jeez, I just don't know. You'd have to be really, really, really stupid. Either that or just painfully obsessed with childhood nostalgia (to the point of pure idiocy).
GameCube PS2 Xbox GoldenEye 2 Developers Confirmed While there's still a lot we don't know about the game known as GoldenEye 2, one thing that is known are two of the people working on the game: GameSpot is reporting that Dan Orzulak, a former Bungie employee who worked on Halo is on the team, as is character designer Takayoshi Sato, who worked on the first two Silent Hill games. Draw your own conclusions there.
GameCube "Shocking" Phantasy Star Online News? Apparently the next issue of the Japanese magazine Dorimaga will contain a "shocking" announcement about the future of the Phantasy Star Online series. Considering that the last one reduced the combat system to a card game, the only thing that could shock me right now is if they went back to being a single player only series (okay, that would really shock me...but I'd love it nonetheless).
PS2 Misc. Q&As/Interviews GameSpy has posted a Q&A with members of Dropbox, a band that has been contracted by Atari to re-record the Transformers theme song for the upcoming PS2 game of the same name (sorry guys, but if it's not by Lion I'm just not interested). Also, GMR Magazine has an interview with Yozo Sakagami and Ryuji Odate, the producer and director of Namco's Death by Degrees, the upcoming Tekken spinoff starring Nina Williams.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameCube IGN has a comparison of the GameCube and GBA versions of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, new movies from WWE Day of Reckoning and shots from Fire Emblem: Souen no Kiseki, The Magic Box has new shots from Resident Evil 4 and Homeland and Nintendo of Japan has launched a teaser site for Fire Emblem: Souen no Kiseki.
PS2 GameSpot has new media from Kaena and Death by Degrees, The Magic Box has new shots from Dragon Quest VIII: Sky, Sea, Earth and the Cursed Princess, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact and Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose, GameInformer has some details from Death by Degrees and the official site has opened up for the North American release of La Pucelle Tactics (thanks insert credit).
Xbox IGN has new shots from Jade Empire, a new trailer from Knight's Apprentice, Memorick's Adventures is up at GameSpot, 1UP previews Xyanide and Team Xbox has the first details and images from Twilight of Laraleth.
GameBoy Advance The first shots (as far as I can recall) from Boktai 2 are up at The Magic Box.
PS2 Xbox CVG has new media from Red Ninja and DRIV3R (both PS2, Xbox) and Team Xbox has new shots from MLB SlugFest: Loaded (PS2, Xbox).
Console Game of the Evening: Truxton/Tatsujin for the Sega Genesis. "A simple shoot-em-up with addictive gameplay. Nice soundtrack. Hard to describe its pull, but it's just a classic!" (submitted by KeiL).

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