Late Night Consoling


It's Friday the 16th, and this is my 535th Late Night Consoling (not including the 11 LNC EX posts), and sadly, my last. I'm going to write up a much more sappy story (I'm sure) that will run sometime on Sunday afternoon (following my usual ShackReviews update), but I'd still like to thank the LNC regulars that have stuck with me over the last 32 months, who have not only been great to hang out with here, but have really helped immensely in the evolution of these nightly roundups. I spent some time this afternoon reading through the many writing submissions we've received from applicants for my replacement, and I'm very confident that we'll not only find someone who can fit in here, but that we'll find someone very soon. It's not going to be easy deciding, but whoever it is will do great. So whoever this person turns out to be, be sure to give him/her/smismar the same kind of support and feedback you gave me. Well, not the same kind you gave me at first...some of that was a bit brutal (ever read the original LNC comments? Yikes!). So thanks again, and I'll see you all on Sunday, and after that in the comments. I may not be here to post 'em, but you can bet I'll keep reading them every night.
PS2 Battlefield: Modern Combat Announced Looks like the rumor mill was right about this one...yesterday EA and Digital Illusions announced Battlefield: Modern Combat, the somewhat awkwardly titled PS2 expansion of the ridiculously popular PC Battlefield games. As its title would suggest, this is a modern war game although it's not tied to any specific war (unlike the two PC games), and it is a full broadband-only PS2 only game. What remains to be seen is whether or not the rumored Xbox-exclusive game turns out to be real or not, although if it is real (and I strongly believe it is), I'd expect it to be the centerpiece of EA's announcement that they will support Xbox Live at E3 (assuming that happens). Thanks Battlefield Central for the tip.
Xbox Xbox Live Downtime Next Week Looks like you'd better hold off on those Shackbattles next Wednesday...starting at approximately 6:00 AM PST, Microsoft will be taking Xbox Live offline for around 24 hours as they prepare to upgrade the system to the eagerly-anticipated Xbox Live 3.0 (AKA Tsunami). Whether or not any of the new features will be available right after the upgrade is unknown, but I'd be surprised if Microsoft rolled them out before their big E3 press conference.
Xbox Factor 5 on Xbox 2? Kudos to Computer and Video Games for digging up another bit of information that might shed some light on Factor 5's future, now that they've officially dropped the GameCube platform. Apparently Microsoft's big XNA announcement contained quotes from Factor 5 president Julian Eggebrecht, who says, "As we move into next-generation development, the expectations of gamers and the abilities of hardware open almost limitless possibilities for content creators. Without the right tools, developers will not be able to keep up with the pace - XNA is what the industry needs right now." XNA, if you've forgotten already, is Microsoft's toolset for next-generation PC and Xbox titles.
Square Enix Square Enix Doing Better Than Expected Square Enix, which has been a financial whipping-boy for a while now, delivered some positive info to investors today: they're raising their forecast for the fiscal year that ended on March 31st to a net profit of 8.7 billion yen (roughly $80 million), some 7.4 percent higher than their initial prediction. The merged companies are still pulling in about 45% of what they made individually, so the merger hasn't gone perfectly, but this is to be expected, particularly after subsidiary Digicube went bust.
SEGA! Sega Registers Totally Uninteresting Patents Sorry, but that's really the truth here...the Internet's been abuzz for the last 48 hours about two "video game software" patents that Sega has filed for in Japan. The two titles are "Ghost Squad" and "Nosferan", which let's face it, are about as vanilla as you can get.
Xbox Ninja Gaiden Tournament Registration Opening Soon Microsoft and Tecmo have announced that on Monday, May 3rd, registration will open for the North American arm of the Ninja Gaiden Master Ninja Tournament at this URL on (which is dead at the moment). In order to participate you'll need to have completed the game on the normal difficulty at least once, so get cracking.
Xbox Halo 2 Update We had an off-week there, but now that Bungie has relaunched, a new weekly Halo 2 update is online, containing the usual batch of snippits from the development of the game. Also new at is a single new rendered image which offers a closer look at the ODSTs that you'll fight alongside with in the game.
PS2 Xbox Next Dark Alliance Sans D&D Apparently Interplay has lost their license deal, which previously allowed them to continue producing Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance titles even though they lost the rights to the Dungeons & Dragon license as a whole. That's the bad news. The good news, is that (assuming they don't get evicted first) the Dark Alliance series will continue, only without the Dungeons & Dragons or Baldur's Gate name, and instead it will use an Interplay-developed ruleset.
Xbox Microsoft Japan on Low Sales There's an interesting article up at GameSpy tonight looking at the utter failure -- or minor success, depending on who you ask, of the Xbox in Japan. The article contains quotes straight from Microsoft's Xbox Japan division, so it's definitely worth a read if you're interested in seeing the sales of the console put into context (it's sold as well as the 3DO, which really was considered to be a moderate success over there, thanks largely to Capcom's support).
PS2 Urban Sims Announced Yes, just when you thought EA couldn't possible pimp out The Sims any more, they've managed to...pimp out The Sims even more. IGN has posted the first details and images from Urban Sims, a new PS2 game in the series that's more hip and in your face or something like that.
Xbox Sid Meier's Pirates! on Xbox? Computer and Video Games is reporting that "reliable shipmates" have informed them that Atari will announce plans to release the upcoming remake of Sid Meier's Pirates! for the Xbox at E3 next month. Is this likely? My magic 8-ball says "all signs point to yes." And I always trust my my Magic 8-Ball...well, except for that time it told me "Better Not Tell You Now" when I asked about whether or not Sega would make a Dreamcast 2...we had a bit of a falling out for a while after that.
GameCube PS2 Xbox Misc. Q&As/Interviews CVG has gone interview crazy tonight...they've got a two part (part one, part two) Drakengard interview with a whole slew of people from Square Enix, as well as a Q&A with John Kroknes, the CEO of Amuze and the director of the upcoming PS2 and Xbox title Headhunter: Redemption. Also, GameSpot has a Def Jam Vendetta II interview, talking with Josh Holmes, EA's producer of this upcoming cross-platform sequel.
  Misc. Media/Previews
GameCube A new trailer from Resident Evil 4 has been released, and can be found at GameSpot, IGN and Planet GameCube and IGN has posted new shots from Fire Emblem: Souen no Kiseki, a Unity progress report, footage from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and new shots from Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation: Ambition of the Judgment Six (oh yeah, that just rolls off the tongue) and Tales of Symphonia.
PS2 The Magic Box has the first (scanned) image from a new character from Final Fantasy XII (surprise! It's another androgynous character!), GameSpot has new previews of Jak 3 and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, along with new media from La Pucelle: Tactics, Spy Fiction, Transformers and UFC: Sudden Impact, IGN goes hands-on with Samurai Warriors and has new media from Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, GameSpy has a new preview of Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, GameInformer goes hands-on with EyeToy: Groove, Capcom has posted a teaser trailer for Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 on their Japanese-language site, and Namco has launched a new Japanese site for Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Got und Bose and they've also posted a new trailer from Ace Combat 5 on their site (hit "download" then "movie").
Xbox IGN has all kinds of new stuff from RalliSport Challenge 2 and Microsoft Japan has launched a new web site with stuff from upcoming arcade-to-Xbox conversions like Guilty Gear XX# Reloaded.
GameBoy Advance New shots from Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon (which will be released here fairly soon) are up at The Magic Box.
PS2 Xbox GameSpot has new media from Mercenaries and Fight Club (both PS2, Xbox), IGN, GameSpy and GameInformer all have new previews of Red Dead Revolver (PS2, Xbox), Team Xbox has new shots from Mortal Kombat: Deception and Atari has updated their official site for DRIV3R (PS2, Xbox) with new media.
Console Game of the Evening: Pac-Man for the Atari 2600. "The first console game I remember owning, this is really a weak port of the arcade original, but it's been permanently imprinted on my brain, particularly because of those great, iconic 2600 sound effects." (submitted by jason bergman).

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