Hitachi and Rambus have ended their litigation without going to cours. In case you didn't hear the story last year Rambus were suing Hitachi (who make the Dreamcast's SH-4 CPU) due to infringements of patents related to high speed memory interfaces. Apparently the out of court settlemtent will see Hitachi paying Hitachi a royalty fee every quarter. The best news for gamers is that this will stop any possibility of Hitachi having to cease production of the SH-4 CPU.
Genki have issued a public apology for several bugs in their latest game in Japan, Shutokou Battle 2, which will be known as Tokyo Extreme Racer 2 here in Australia. When, or if, this game is ever released in Australia, it is certain that these bugs will be fixed.
Sega will release a port of the PC game Magic The Gathering in Japan by the end of this year. The game will include support for online battles as well as the Keyboard, VMU, and VGA Box.
Shiguru Miyamoto has confirmed that the next installment of Zelda will be heading to Dolpin in two years. However, due to his usual quality testing and the availability of Dolphin development kits it might be a while later then that.
A rumour posted on Magic Box Gaming is that Capcom are planning to port Marvel Vs Capcom 2 to the Playstation 2. The game will include the online gameplay and the hidden characters will no longer be hidden.
Well Capcom are doing it again. Not only were they happy with updating Resident Evil 2 for the Playstation but have just announced that they will be developing, and enhancing, not one but two more titles. These titles are none other then Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and Dino Crisis. No word yet on release dates although I severely hope that Dino Crisis 2 makes its way onto the system as well.
Eternal Arcadia which was previously known as Project Ares has undergone another name change. The game will now be called Skies of Arcadia in both Japan and America. Apparently there were some legal reasons for the name change. Well at least the initials are now SoA instead of EA.
Sega of Japan has postponed the DreamEye camera from this June to an indefinite date. No reason has been given for the delay.
Namco has denied the rumours that Soul Calibur 2 is being developed for the arcades. The also mention that if the game was in development it would now run on the Naomi board or Dreamcast. Sales of the original title were well below expectations with only half of the expected 2 million sales to date.
For those of you who have not yet voted in this months poll on the Main Page I suggest you do so immediatly as there is only a couple of days left in the month to vote.
According to Acclaim, who are distributing Dead Or Alive 2, the game will be enhanced from the US version. The Australian version will include 4 new characters, new moves and more competitive gameplay. Expect more details to be announced as the game nears its August release date.
Following the reports about the enhanced version of Dead Or Alive 2 comes the rumours that the game will be released in Japan as well. It is almost certain that the Australian and Japanese version will include the same enhancements.
Shen Mue 2 may be closer then we thaink. Apparently development of the title is progressing at 3-5 times the rate of the original which may see a release for the sequel as soon as the end of this year although 2001 still seems more likely.
Australian based coders Titanium Studios has ported the original Quake to the Dreamcast. The conversion was to show off the wase of proting games from the PC thanks to WinCE. However due to the cries of support for the conversion the company is now considering developing the title to completion.
Contrary to reports that Konami will no longer be converting their Dreamcast games to the PAL system comes the news that Nightmare Creatures 2 is coming to Australia. GT Interactive currently have the game set for a release in August alongside the Playstation version.
GT Interactive have confirmed that Midway Arcade's Greatest Hits Vol 1 will be released in Australia by the end of this month.
Those of you looking forward to the release of Shutokou Highway Battle 2 in Japan will be somewhat saddened to leard that the game will not include a 2 player mode as the developers were apparently unhappy with the performance of the game in the battle mode.
Microsoft have purchased developers Bungie Software. The company which is developing Halo will become one of the major Xbox developers. Take 2 has secured the rights to publish all thier titles after selling their 19.9% equity in the company to Microsft.
Could it be that Sonic Team are going to develop on other platforms. While it's highly unlikely in the short term if the Dreamcast fall out of favour it is possible with the development team becoming an independent company. Yuji Naka recently had this to say with GameWeek about the matter: "My main focus is Dreamcast, but Sonic Team is separating from Sega, so anything is possible" and "I do not think very highly of PlayStation 2. There have been many problems with it. With Dolphin and X-Box, however, there is a possibility. Who knows? If I did decide to do something outside of Dreamcast, I would be inclined to go in that direction, yes."
SNK, who announced the closure of their US offices, are now pulling out of Asia (except Japan). The company has announced that development will focus on the arcade, Playstation 2 and Neo Geo Pocket Color. Unfortunately joint development plans with Sega have been cancelled which almost certainly ends the chance of KOF2000 on the Naomi chipset.
Hasbro has announced that Frogger 2 will be headed to the Dreamcast in America this September. No word yet on an Australian release.
According to Famitsu DC Visual Concepts are developing a new game called Resurrection. The developers of hits such as NBA2K and NFL2K haven't said a word on the game although the source is usually fairly credible. The only detail is that the game is set to include an online component.
All those waiting for Seaman: The Forbidden Pet to arrive in America and Australia have yet another thing to await. Apparently some of the voicing in the game is being by Mr Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy. For Star Trek fans such as myself this is exciting news. Live long and prosper my friends.
Konami has announced that Olympics 2000 - do your best Japan will be released on August 31 for the Playstation 2 in Japan. The game will support up to 4 players and will contain 12 events. The most interesting news is that via the Dance Dance Revolution controller you can actually run with your feet to controll the character. No word yet on a release outside Japan although it is unlikely.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that Nascar 2001 is currently 40% complete and will include 30 playable drivers, over 20 tracks and visable damage to the cars. The game is currenly set for a release late this year.
Eidos have revealed a list of 10 titles which will be heading to the Dreamcast. The games are as follows; Tomb Raider (Q1 2001), Hurdy Gurdy, Timesplitters (Launch), Project Eden, Legacy of Kain 2 (Q4 2000), Kegacy of Kain: Blood Omen, Commandos 2, UEFA Champions League, and an unnamed secret title from Core Designs.
If you've been looking for Resident Evil: Code Veronica on Australian shelves you can sit back for another week. The game which was meant to be released in June 14th has been delayed by six days until June 22nd. At least Zombie Revenge is out now for those requiting a gore fix.
Sega Japan has announced thay they have postponed Virtua Athlete 2K by a couple of weeks in Japan until July 27th. No word yet on a release in America/Europe although it would be a great title for conversion before the Olympics.
Sony are re-modelling the Playstation 2 in Japan to eliminate the ability to insert mod-chips into the system. The new model will be called SCPH-15000 as opposed to the initial model called SCPH-10000. The price will remain the same and there has been no other word yet of any other changes to the system. My guess is that Sony may also build the DVD drivers into the system (as will happen in America and Europe) thus removing the memory card problems.
According to Gamestop The Bouncer is confirmed for release on October 26th in America. That would make the game a launch title.
The biggest game of the year on the Dreamcast (well one of the biggest), Half-Life, has been given a release date in America of September 17th, several months before the expected date of November/December. No word yet on an Australian release date.
Seaman has also been given a release date in America of Auguset 8th.
According to IGNDC Ubisoft have confirmed that they will be porting their PC adventure game Hype: The Time Quest to the Dreamcast. The game is expected to be released in early 2001.
Ripcord Games have announced that Spec Ops: Omega Squad will be released on the Dreamcast in America on August 16th. Addiationally Military Operations In Urban Terrain 2025 will be released in November and will include online gameplay for up to 8 players at a time.
Sega and Turbine Entertainment have scrapped development of Frontier for the Dreamcast. This game was a huge multiplayer space combat game. The cancellation was a mutual decision between the two companies.
LucasArts have denied the report from last week that they are developing a Star Wars game set between the Episode I and II movies. Still there is alway hope.
According to online reports Microsoft are now going after Midway as an aquasition to help boost the Xbox's game lineup. The company which has had some great hits with Ready 2 Rumble, Gauntlet Legends, Mortal Kombat and Hydro Thunder. There is still no word yet if Microsoft have suceeded at last in purchasing one of the major developers in the world.
SNK, the developers of the King of the Fighters and Metal Slug series of games is closing its doors in America and Europe. The closure includes all development and publication of their titles. The company will still operate in Japan where most of the titles are made and while there is no chance of SNK publishing the titles outside Japan there is a possability that the major titles will be picked up by other publishers.
SCEI have announced details about the combined Playstation 2 hard drive and network add-on. The hard drive will have a 10GB capacity and will include a high speed network interface for cable modems etc. The units slots into the consoles PC Card Terminal and should be available in Japan by the end of this year. No word yet on price of availability outside Japan.
GOD (Gathering Of Developers) have announced that they currently have three Playstation 2 games in development although titles have not been revealed yet.
The Gathering Of Developers (aka GOD) have released some details regarding their upcoiming Railroad Tycoon 2 on the Dreamcast. The simulation game will incldue online gameplay as well as four exclusive scenarios. GOD are also looking at implementing mouse support for the game.
Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi has confirmed that the Dolphin will be shown to the public at the Japanese game show Spaceworld this August. He also mentioned plans to unveil their online strategy at the event. Not surprisingly the system won't be seen on store shelves until 2001 in Japan.
For those of you who play Half-Life on the PC you may be interested to know that Sierra has released a new patch to take the game to version 188.8.131.52. Check out their website for new details.
I'm off to a Frags party tomorrow to play some Counter Strike, Q3A, Unreal Tournament and Rogue Spear. That's network gaming wil 60 people for over 14 hours solid. Hopefully I will be alright with a severe case of the flu and an inner ear infection so if you don't hear from me for a day or two you'll know why.
Here's a sad piece of news for European readers out there, oh and Australians. According to EE Times the Playstation 2 launch in Europe (and hence Australia) will occur "shortly thereafter" the US launch which is scheduled for October 16. No official word yet from Sony Europe or Australia.
Sony have announced that the Playstation 2 will be compatible with any USB mouse and not jsut their own mouse.
A new mod chip for the Playstation 2 has been released in Asia. The chip allows you to play (cough cough) "backed up" copies of software and may disable the security for American and European games as well (It's a bit hard to test this though).
Sony has announced that they North American Playstation 2 games will ship in the DVD styled cases. The inside of the case will include small plastic tabs to hold the manual which some DVD owners (such as myslef) may have seen, especially from American DVD cases.
Sega of Japan have announced that the Dreamcast mouse will be released to coincide with the release of OutTrigger in Japan later this year.
Nintendo's Hiroshi Imanishi has announced that both the Dolphin and Gameboy Advance hardware is complete and the company is now waiting for software to be completed before the launches.
LucasArts has announced that they will be releasing a Star Wars game for the Dolphin launch next year. The game is set between Episode I and Episode II on the silver screen.
An interesting rumour from Magic Box is that Mother 3/Earthboud 3 for the Nintendo 64 has been cancelled and is now heading to the Dolphin. No word yet from Nintendo on the rumour.
Just a reminder to people that there is a new poll on the main page from the beginning of the month. If you haven't voted yet make sure you do so. The question : How many Dreamcast games do tou currently own.
Playstation 2 game sales in Japan were once again weaker then expected but show strength in some of the launch titles. EA's FIFA Soccer World Championship was in 2nd position with 109,014 sales. Following that title were the following positions;
Starting today in America the Dreamcast is now retailing for $149.95 ($AU260). The system must still be purchased at the full $199 price however after ringing up a hotline you can connect through to SegaNet (the Dreamcasts online service) where you can apply for a $50 rebate. This rebate is only available until August 31st when the rest of the online games are going to start appearing.
Latest game sales for the Dreamcast in Japan shows some promise, although not as much as you would hope for. Sega's Sakura Wars, a slight upgrade from the PSX version manages to sell 95,582 units putting it in 3rd place on the overall charts. Rent-A-Hero No. 1 managed to sell 41,261 putting the game in 4th spot. Climax's Super Runabout managed sales of 22,867 for 7th position while the only other entry was FOG's Kyuuen no Kizuna Sairin Shou in 28th position with 4,853 sales.
Koei, the developer of Kessen on the Playstation 2, has announced plans to develop titles on the Xbox. No word yet on what titles will make it to the system however Kessen, or one of the sequels, seems likely.
Sony have decided to spens a fortune on their Playstation 2 production plants. Sony have announced plans to spend 125 billion yen (approx $AU1.8 billion) to improve production facilities for the system. 23 billion yen will be spent to add extra production lines to the graphics chip plant, 67.5 billion yen will be spent to build a new graphics chip plant while the remaining 34.5 billion will be spent to increase the capacity of the LSI plant. At the moment 500,000 systems are being developed per month while the new output will react 2.2 million units per month by next april when the new graphics chip plant will open. Sony are planning on expanding the Playstation 2 technology into consumer products such as digital TV's.
Kessen has been one of the success stories on the Playstation 2. With sales of 360,000 units on Sony's new system and confirmation that EA will publish the game outside Japan a sequel was always an option. KOEI Japan has confirmed that there will be two sequels. The first will appear before then end of this fiscal year in Japan which is March 31, 2001. The following sequel will be released by March 31, 2002.
Konami have confirmed that they are working on Suikoden III for the Playstation 2. No word yet on features or a projected release date.
Core Design have confirmed that they are working on a new Tomb Raider game for the Playstation 2. Apparently the game will drop the Tomb Raider name. The game is schedule for release in early 2001.
Sega Europe has dropped the price of the Dreamcast to £149, a decrease of 25%. Sales of the system doubled in the week after the price drop but still trail both the Playstation and Nintendo 64. A price drop is expected in Australia on July 1 when the GST is introduced. Expect the new retail price to be between $350 and $450, with $399 the most likely pricepoint.
Is the Dremacast dead in Australia already? I get a lot of e-mail asking that very question. While I like to think no there are signs that all is not well with the system. Activision has confimed that they have shelved plans to release Toy Story 2 in Australia. Other titles such as Tony Hawk's 2 and Quake III Arena are still scheduled for release in Q'4 this year. Following on from that comes the news that Star Wars: POD Racer will not be coming to Australia. I am still awaiting confirmation from the distributers here however EB"s have removed the title from their lists.
The highly anticipated Metropolis: Street Racer has once again been delayed. The game which was expected to be released in September has been pushed back until September 8th in Europe with Australia to follow closely behind with America a couple of months later. This game is becoming more and more like Rainbow Six every month with more and more delays. Bizarre's racing game was meant to be released before the end of last year, until the main programmer quit the company before completing work on the title. Fortuately the word from the E3 show is that this is an awesome game and definately worth the wait.
Speaking of Rainbow Six the game is now due in Australia sometime in September. Hopefully the conversion to PAL won't be too much of a problem for the developers.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica has been given a release date in Australia. Capcom's latest survival horror game should hit the shelves on 14th June. Thats a week and a half away people. Resident Evil 2 is already out now so if you never played the Playstation version I suggest you pick that up as well.
Sega Europe have announced a new release schedule which Australia should follow fairly closely. The release list is as follows;
According to IGN64 development on the Nintendo 64 version of Resident Evil: Zero has been cancelled in favour of a Dolphin version. Perhaps lacklustre sales of the first Resident Evil on the N64 had something to do with it.
Temco have confirmed that they are developing a new Top Gear game for the Playstation 2. The game, which is called Top Gear Dare Devil will be released in America in November.
A Japanese web site, previously known as Amusement Graffiti are reporting that a sequel to Yu Suzuki's Ferarri F355 Challenge is headed back to the arcades, as a sequel. Apparently the game will include 9 courses and customizable cars and may be released before the original hits the Dreamcast in August/September. The game is currently beta testing in some Japanese arcades.
While System Shock 2 was announced last week in America there is even better news. The game will include online gameplay which is another boost for Sega's online gameplay dreams.
Namco of Japan have denied the recent rumours that they are developing a Naomi arcade racing game.
Namco have denied that Ridge Racer V is in development for the Nintendo Dolphin. Only time will tell however.