Lionhead's highly anticipated online game, Black & White, has been delayed until early 2001. The game, which was expected to be released in November, has taken longer to develop for on the Dreamcast then expected and has also suffered because of the delays to the PC version.
Grandia II is nearing it's Japanese launch and Famitsu have reviewed the highly anticipated RPG from Game Arts. The game scored a massive 35/50 (9,9,8,9) which is 87.5% and higher then the classic original game scored.
Sonic Team has announced that they are working on a sequel to thier hit maracca game Samba de Amigo. The new version should be released around Q'4 this year in Japan. Still awaiting an Australian release of the original... don't hold your breath.
Dreamcast Magazine has revealed that Capcom aren't planning many changes to Dino Crisis on Dreamcast. The game will remain identical to the PSX version albeit with higher resolution images. THe only addition is support for the VMU with the LCD screen being used to display health weapon etc. The game is due out in Japan on September 6th. Ozisoft have stated that an Australian release is likely although no date has been set yet.
Bioware have already released the excellent MDK2 on the Dreamcast and have announced that Baldur's Gate will be heading to the system in the future. Now Bioware chief Greg Zeschuck has alsmot conformed that Neverwinter Nights may also be headed to the system when he stated "Neverwinter Nights is primarily online, which Dreamcast supports - put two and two together."
Pop n Music 4 is set for release in Japan on October 12th. The Japanese love music titles so this should prove to be a major boost to the Dreamcast over there.
Want to know what the top games are in America for the week ending 9th July 2000? Well here's the list;
Konami have announced that they have enlisted famous filmmaker Kaizo Hayashi has the director of their action game Seven Blades to give it a more cinematic feel and a better storyline. The game is currenly scheduled for release at the end of the year.
Ubisoft have confirmed that F1 Racing Championship will be a launch title for the Playstation 2 in Europe on October 26.
Sega's books are beginning to look a little healthier. According to Ookawa, the president of Sega, the company are expecting a surplus of 1,500,000,000 yen ($AU18.75 million) by March 2001. Dreamcast shipments should hit 4.93 million units world wide as well. THe president noted that the company is still loosing 10,000 yen on each system sold.
Although not yet announced officially, it seems that Nintendo are preparing a sequel to Wave Race as a launch title for the Dolphin.
Below is a list of systems sales in Japan for the first half of this year.
Only a couple more days left to vote in the poll on the Main Page. Go there now if you haven't voted.
The big news for the month has just been confirmed. Epic Megagames has finally confirmed that Unreal Tournament is headed to the Dreamcast, possibly in time for Christmas this year. San Francisco development studio Secret Level are handling the conversion which bagan only after the E3 show. Also confirmed is that the game will make use of the keyboard and mouse. There is still some concerns about the 16MB RAM in the Dreamcast compared to the recommended 64MB on PC however with minor modifications to levels this problem should be overcome. Expect the game to be fully online playable upon release.
More information has emerged about Ubisoft's conversion of Grandia II for GameArts. The text in the game has already been translated to English with a stack of paper 4 foot high required. Ubisoft are now making sure that the English used is legible and interesting to read. The voice overs are being handled by the same company that did Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation with recording expected to begin in August. All going well Grandia II may be ready for release late this year.
While we are still awaiting the arrival of Virtua Tennis in Australia, news has emerged that the Japanese version will inlcude online gameplay.
Ubisoft have announced details about Speed Devils Online, the follow up to the hit Dreamcast launch title. The game will use the same game engine as the original which is great news considering it's technical excellence. The car count will be doubled from 10 to 20 while there will be 14 completely new tracks to master. Best of all, the game will include support for 5 online racers at once.
Imagine this in the home. A Playstation 2. Very cool. Now imagine 16 systems built into one box with 16 CPU's and 16 Graphics Synthesizers. Throw in 2GB RAM and 512MB VRAM and the system is virtually unmatched. Sony have planned to call it the GScube Development System. But it won't be available to play games. Instead the system will be used as a high end graphics system to create real-time computer graphics for movies and games. Several companies which have shown interest at the recent Siggraph show were Square, DreamWorks and Warner Brothers.
Sony of Europe has announced new plans for the ordering system in Europe. The pre-order system will no begin on September 7th. No doubt Sony will have a better idea of how may systems will be available and will only issue the same number of order forms as machines.
Speaking of pre-orders apparently Australians will have to get in quick. Speaking with a major publisher (who will remain anonymous) today they have received word from Sony that store orders for the Playstation 2 are around 500,000 units. The bad news is that Sony Australia believe there may be as little as 50,000 units in the country this year. Better get those orders in quick.
According to PS2.IGN Jumping Flash may be returning to the Playstation 2. Apparently Sony are preparing the title for release at, or very soon after, launch.
Futurama would have to be one of the most love TV shows at the moment and Matt Groening has announced that a game based on the series will be hitting the Playstation 2. No details regarding the style or release date have been announced yet.
Thanks for all the thanks regarding my job. As you can expect I am pretty busy getting the hang of things there. However the great news is that I now have ICQ working after finding a way through the fire walls. I should be contactable almost 8 hours a day now and while I might take time to answer any questions if I am out of the office I will be a lot more accessable then now. ICQ No: 14948450
Just a quick reminder that the POLL on the main page will close in a couple of days. If you haven't voted this month go to the Main Page now.
Jet Grind Radio is undergoing a couple of changes for release in America, which includes and entirely new course. But the big change is that the game will include music from Rob Zombie and Jurassic-5. While there has been some rumour that this music would replace the Japanese music that is not true. The musidc is being included for use with the new course.
Quake 3 Arena will not be ready in time for the SegaNet launch on 7th September. The game has been pushed back until the first week in October although the developers haven't give a reason for the delay.
Finally there has been some figures for Dreamcast sales in America. According to Bloomberg the sales were as follows;
THQ have announced that their upcoming wrestling game WWF Royal Rumble won't be online playable. Apparently they were having too much trouble with the network and keeping the game fun.
Eidos have announced that they will be developing a game based on Chicken Run for the Dreamcast. The game is being developed by Blitz Games. Expect a release late this year, near when the movie comes out in Australia.
I just thought you might all like to know that I have quite BIG W. I am now working full time at Merrimac State High School and will be home every night to work on the site.
Virtua Tennis is selling like hotcakes in the USA. Sega of America have announced that their initial shipment of 50,000 units from last week is sold out, but that stores can expect more stock to arrive late this week. Hopefully this phenomenal game will spur on sales of the system worldwide. Australia can expect the game in late August/early September.
One of the biggest games in Japan on the Dreamcast has been Seaman: Forbidden Pet. Now, just as America is about to see the original, the games developers Vivarium have announced plans for a sequel called Seaman Version 2001. The new game will include improved vioce recognition, an above the tank view, increased vocabulary for Seaman, and year 2000 date changes among other things.
Those of you who live in Europe will be somewhat concerned with the news that the pre-order system for the Playstation 2 beginning on August 14 has been put on hold. According to Sony the system is still on target for the 26th October. Perhaps there are some concerns over stock availability? A new pre-order date will be announced later.
Koei has announced that they will be developing a range of network compatible games for the Playstation 2. The first game is expected to be released within a year and will include some of Koei's biggest franchises. Some of these titles include Nobunaga's Ambition, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Winning Post.
Namco has announced that they will be showing a playable demo of Moto GP on the Playstation 2 from July 25-30. The game is not expected to ship to stores until October, 3 months from now.
It looks as if there may be a name for the Nintendo Dolphin. According to online reports Nintendo's newest console will be called the "Star Cube". This is still to be confirmed but Nintendo will hold a press conference in Japan on August 23rd in which details, including the official name, are likely to be revealed.
While there has been some debate about the inclusion of online gameplay in Half-Life some new information about the game has been revealed. According to the developer the extra mission in the game will be called Guard Duty where you play a security guard and will be about 30-40% the size of the full game, certainly a bonus.
Ripcord has announced that Legend Of Blademasters and the follow up multiplayer title Quest of the Blademasters will be merged into one game for the Dreamcast. The game is set for release in America this September witht eh launch of Sega.net.
Ubisoft are going to get into the swing of the Playstation 2 in a big way. The company currently has 16 Playstation 2 titles in development with 5 intended for release on day 1. These games include Donald Duck, Rayman 2, Dinosaur, Jungle Book and F1.
French developers Cyro Interactive have announced that they are developing 5 Playstation 2 titles at the moment.
Eternal Ring is one of the big release for the Playstation 2 this year. This action RPG will include full speech voice overs in the game unlike the Japanese version which had text when the characters spoke to each other. The characters game speed has also been increased however the game will still not include maps as it would make the game too easy according to the developers.
In case you haven't noticed I have added in a news item about the Ozisoft Visit in Sydney. Let me know what you think.
I have finally updated the Coming Soon page with all the latest Dreamcast release dates. Why no Playstation 2? There are no definite dates. As soon as they appear they will be added.
I have also update the Past Polls page with the results from teh polls on the main page over th last 4 month. Sorry about that one.
Tecmo have begun to release details about the Japanese version of Dead Or Alive 2 on Dreamcast. The game is being described as an "Intelligent Fighting Game" where the story will change according to the fighting method being used. The game is currently set for release on September 28th in Japan with sales projections of 300,000 units over there. With regards to the Australian version Acclaim still have the title set for late August with several enhancements, including new characters and stages, over the US version. Only time will tell if the European and Japanese versions have the same improvements.
Ubisoft/Criterion's Deep Fighter, a sequel to the PC hit Sub Culture from a few years ago, have delayed the game in America from mid-July until August 8th to irion out a couple of last minute bugs. The Australian version of the game is set for release in August.
LucasArts will release StarWar Episode 1: Starfighter for PlayStation 2 in US this fall, a Star Wars space combat title. This fast-paced flight action game immerses players in a series of dramatic missions to help save Naboo from the powerful and menacing Trade Federation. Star Wars: Starfighter takes full advantage of the robust graphic capabilities of PS2 by presenting more than 20 realistic and beautifully rendered 3D starships amidst a variety of 14 incredible environments set in air and space. The game sets players on an epic journey that begins on Naboo and continues through the climactic assault on the Droid Control Ship inspired by the motion picture Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.
As you can probably tell I am back from my holiday in Sydney. Fortunately the weather was excellent and I did all th touristy things. On the final day before leaving I managed to drop in on Steve O'Leary and played some of the hottest games due out over the next year. Expect a full report on these games in the next day or so as well as hands on impressions.
While in Sydney I also visited Katy Richardson at Ubisoft for a drink and a chat. Katy informed the this was her last week as she is heading overseas for a couple of months and I wish her all the best. The good news for gamers is that Evolution is due out any day now, with couriers expected to deliver the stock to Ubisoft early this week (so hopefully by now).
It's only a quick update today because I'm literally stuffed. I drove for 12 hours yesterday to get home and walked in the door at about midnight.
"Sega Enterprises" is changing it's name in Japan. The company will be dropping the "Enterprises" from October and will be known simply as "Sega".
Sega has announced their special Sega Sports Pack for America. The pack which will include a black Dreamcast unit, a black controller and BOTH NBA2K and NFL2K. The price will be a very reasonable $US219.99. This is only slightly more then the standard system now. Don't expect to see this pack in Australia, especiall since we're still waiting for NFL2K.
Chu Chu Rocket has taken off in Europe. The game was released for free to those who sign up for the online service after June 9th. In a little under 3 weeks 100,000 copies of the game were sent out. Now if Ozisoft would come up with a deal like that we'd all be a little happier.
Sega of Japan have announced some release dates for major titles in Japan. Capcom Vs SNK has been scheduled for September 8th while Eternal Arcadia (no name change in Japan) will be released on the 14th in a standard and special edition. September 21st will see the release of Sakura Taisen 2 (standard and special ed.) and Atlus's RPG DeSpiria. Tecmo's highly anticipated Dead or Alive 2 has been given a September 28 date while Let's Make More Professional Baseball Team will also be released on September 28.
I have to say farewell for a while. I'm taking a holiday for a bit over a week. This Monday I am heading off to Sydney with my girlfriend and will hopefully return in about 10 days. If I can I will continue to update my web site from down there however I can't promise anything. If I get a chance I will also drop into some of the distributers there including Ozisoft, UbiSoft and Jack Of All Games.
The GST is now in affect in Australia. The price of games has generally risen slightly while hardware prices have dropped a little bit. Now might be a good time to shop around for bargains and incorrect prices.
Speaking of great deals have a look a http://www.simplygames.com who are clearing out a lot of Dreamcast games for 14.99 pounds. Although the website is based in the UK it has free shipping which means that their 30 Dreamcast games can be purchased for about $37.50 each. I picked up MDK2 and V-Rally 2 at this price with many more top titles discounted including such gems as Speed Devils, Wild Metal, and Ready 2 Rumble (which I already have). The site also has huge reductions of Playstation, Gameboy Color and N64 titles.