Late Night Consoling
Also, get some Console Games of the Evening in. I'm running out!
PS3 Cheaper than X360 in Japan?[ps2]
1UP reports that Japanese site CoolGamer has a news post indicating that the latest issue of Famitsu featuers an interview stating that PS3 will sell for 40,000 yen or less in Japan, a number which Sony has suggested in the past as well. 40,000 yen is roughly $345, which is right around the approximate $350 price point Microsoft announced for the Japanese premium Xbox 360 bundle, the only option being offered in that country.
1UP seems to put a lot of stock in CoolGamer, claiming that "not once has their news turned out to be a false lead" in regards to the Japanese games market.
The Gizmondo Mafia
So it seems rumors connecting high-ups at flailing portable console manufacturer Gizmondo to the Swedish mafia are actually quite true. Executive officer Stefan Eriksson, who resigned just last week, was apparently the brains behind an organized crime outfit called the Uppsala Mafia. Gizmondo's Swedish office is located in the same town as that organization's base of operations. Eriksson has served time for various charges of fraud. Gizmondo's "head of security" Johan Enander, known as the "Torpedo," was Uppsala's debt collector and was found guilty of blackmail and assault. Enander and another Gizmondo employee also suspected to have Uppsala involvement, may have resigned last week as well.
Gizmondo lost almost $100M between October 2003 and October 2004, when the device launched in the UK, and expects to post losses of $210M for the first six months of 2005. By contrast, the recently-resigned Eriksson earned over $3M (and $100,000 to buy a car) for his services with the company. Additionally, Eriksson and fellow former Gizmondo executive Carl Freer own a company called Northern Lights, which was paid $3.5M for development of the games Chicane and Colours--even though those games were actually developed by Indie Studios and Warthog.
Write All Over Your DS[ds]
Nintendo announced via a press release today that it has signed a deal to license Zi Corporation's handwriting recognition software for use with its Nintendo DS portable console. The deal will allow developers to use the handwriting recognition technology in their own DS software. The technology has support for English and many other European languages, as well as Chinese and Japanese.
It's unclear what sort of use this will have in actual games, but maybe it will finally motivate a developer into releasing some PDA software, which with its stylus and upcoming online support the DS seems almost perfectly suited for. Plus, if the software was released on a GBA cart, you could still keep a DS game in there at the same time, similar to how the DS' GBA cart Rumble Pak operates.
Grasshopper Confirms Revolution Title[nintendo]
Following up on last week's Nintendo Dream interview with Japanese game developers regarding the Revolution controller, Grasshopper's Gouichi Suda (aka Suda 51), producer of Killer 7 (GCN), has confirmed that the studio is in fact developing a Revolution title. Suda believes that Nintendo's recently-unveiled controller could change the face of gaming, but he declined to state just how it would factor into his upcoming game. He did, however, claim that the title will "exceed Killer 7."
Video Games[ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]
The creators of Video Games Live, the concert series featuring video game music performed by a live symphony and choir, have announced that the remainder of the previously-scheduled tour dates have been cancelled. The last shows will be Seattle on October 29 and Vancouver on October 30; anybody who has purchased tickets for performances after those dates can receive a refund for the ticket price, minus the order's handling charge. Initial dates were phenominally successful, leading outspoken creators Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall to add many more shows than could be supported with the resulting demand.
Tallarico and Wall released a "special message" later, addressing fans directly. Tallarico notes that they had "NO control over what bigger corporations decide." Wall indicates that the organizers will be adapting a different strategy with future attempts, targeting cities one by one and marketing them heavily, rather than simply announcing dozens of dates all at once.
Koei in Kanada[ps2]
Koei, the publisher and developer best known for its Dynasty Warriors franchise, is opening up a Canadian development studio in Toronto. The studio will serve as Koei's North American base, and is currently working on two PS3 titles: the sci-fi racer Fatal Inertia and an unannounced game.
The studio adds to the growing list of Koei locations that already includes the UK, France, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and Lithuania.
Even more developers chime in on the Revolution controller. Famitsu has enthusiastic responses from Yoshinori Katase, the Square Enix producer behind Final Fantasy VII; Akihiro Hino, the Level 5 producer of Rogue Galaxy and Dragon Quest VIII; Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the head of Q Entertainment who produced and/or designed Rez, Space Channel 5, Lumines, and Meteos; and Noritaka Funamizu, a designer on Street Fighter II.
GameSpot checks out Koei's Fatal Inertia (PS3). IGN looks at another fatal game, Tecmo's Fatal Frame III: The Tormented (PS2).
Screenshots: WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 (PS2, also PSP).
Movies: WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 (PS2, also PSP).
GameSpot previews EA's NBA Live 06 (X360, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP, PC).
Screenshots: Test Drive Unlimited (X360).
GameSpot checks out Climax's Kingdom of Paradise (PSP). 1UP has more details on Capcom's Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (DS) and previews of Ubisoft Montreal's Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World (GBA) and Zippo's SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo (PSP). Space Invaders Evolution (PSP).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Run Saber for the Super Nintendo. "You probably missed out on this killer Strider-esque game, but pick it up if you find it! Two-player co-op sidescrolling action with some creative bosses and level design." (submitted by megarust32).
psp 2.50 update for the non-homebrew crowd.