Could Sony Australia have let out the biggest secret in regards to the Playstation 2 launch out of the bag early? Well according to the official Playstation web site Gran Turismo 2000 will be a launch title on the system come November 30. There had been rumors but this is the first indication that may be fact. More information may be release at the ECTS show next week.
Spyro the Dragon was one of the most popular series' on the Playstation and now Universal Interactive Studios have announced plans to develop a 4th title for "several consoles" in 2002. In fact the game is expected to hit the Xbox and Gameboy Advance as well as the Playstation 2. Interesting to say the least. What next Crash Bandicoot? Well it is another Universal title.
The ECTS is just around the corner and there should be some amazing games on show. Confirmed for the Playstation 2 is Metal Gear Solid 2, Ready 2 Rumble 2 and Rayman 2: Revolution.
Half Life has been confirmed for release in America on November 1st. At the moment the Australian version is expected to be released in October however it is expected to also be delayed until November. The game will not include any online gameplay but will include a new mission called Blue Shift which is about 30% the size of the original game.
Who loves Pamela Anderson? Well not me, she may be a little front heave (not a bad thing) but she has the acting ability of a chimpanzee. Anyway it now looks like Ubisoft's game based on her VIP series has been canned.
In case you don't regularly visit the Main Page I have put on an interesting article regarding Sega's future plans. This article is titled Is Sega Losing Faith In The Dreamcast?. In this article is the amazing revelation from Acclaim that Crazy Taxi and Zombie Revenge are in development from Acclaim. Sega, quite naturally, are denying the claims.
18 Wheeler's release has been brought forward in Japan. The game, which is similar to Crazy Taxi was due to be released on October 21 however development on the title has gone so well that the game is now due out on October 12th. The one big plus for this game over Crazy Taxi is the addition of online gameplay.
Although Acclaim have cancelled development of Ferarri titles, F355 Challenge is not affected and will still be released in late September.
Delphine has announced that a fourth game in the Moto Racer series is currently in early development stages for the Playstation 2.
According to Id Software's CEO, Todd Hollenshead, Electronic Arts are in early stages of developing Quake III Arena for the Playstation 2. Although Sony doesn't have any plans yet for online gameplay you can bet that it isn't too far away, and Quake III Arena will probably set an example.
Acclaim has announced that their Ferrari F360 currently in development for the Playstation 2 has been cancelled. A statement was made and as follows;
"Due to a decline in revenues brought about by the transition in the market, Acclaim has reevaluated the investment requirement for Ferrari and made the decision to suspend future development of all titles under the Ferrari License.".
The Dreamcast version of Ferarri F355 is not affected and is still on schedule for a September release.
Sega has announced the October Dreamcast release schedule, and it's hot. The dates are as follows;
Bleemcast! has been given an official release date of Septemer 15th. This emulator will allow you play Playstation games on the Dreamcast, with graphical enhancements.
Argonaut has unfortunately announced that they will not be developing any more titles for the Dreamcast. Their only title, Red Dog is already on store shelves.
Well what a turnaround. The Dreamcast in Australia has been slashed in price from $AU499 ($US300) to $AU299 ($US180) which is GST inclusive. Ozisoft have slashed the price to become more in line with America which has had the system on sale for $US149 for some time now. This price reduction will take effect from Thursday August 24th.
With the Playstation 2 announcement last week of an unexpectedly high $749 price point this could be the boost that Sega needs. Dreamcast sales have stagnated in recent months and sales have only topped 25,000 units after 7 months of release, and that includes around 15,000 sold in the first 3 days after launch. This lower price will make the system an impulse purchase to consumers, and not the heavy investment that it was in the past. With several top titles due out in the next couple of months it may not be too late for the little white box.
One of the major launch titles in Australia is bound to be Capcom's Street Fighter EX3. While the game may have been met with averages reviews in Japan Capcom are promising improvements for the release in America. Firstly, and most importantly, the developers have eliminated all of the slowdown that plagued the Japanese version. Other improvements include an in-game movement list, a random player mode and the ability to select CPU controlled characters in multiplayer mode.
Sorry about the lack of updates this last week but I have been flat out with work after some server failures. I have started to increase the number of PS2 previews with several completed this week and plenty more on the way. Also if you haven't voted yet in the POLL make sure you go to the Main Page and do so immediately.
While you may be slightly disheartened by all the cancellations in Dreacmast land there is some brilliant news for those waiting for Virtua Tennis. According to Ozisoft the title has been brought forward from September 22 to September 8. Thats only 3 weeks away people.
Yet more cancellations for the Dreamcast this time Infogrames seem to have dropped UEFA Striker 2001 and Independence War II from their schedule. More worrying is that the highly anticipated action game Max Payne has also been removed from upcoming game lists at Take 2.
As if the delay to November 24 wasn’t bad enough Sony Computer Entertainment Australia has announced that the Playstation 2 won't actually launch in Australia until November 30th. The $749 price point has been confirmed. Here is a part of the press release;
Eidos Interactive have confirmed that they will publish Thief 3 which is currently being developed by Ion Storm for the PC and Playstation 2. No release date has been announced but many of the developers originated from Looking Glass who developed the first 2 Thief games before the companies demise.
The number of Dreamcast cancellations is spiraling of late and the latest game to hit the can is none other then Colin McRae Rally 2.0. Unfortunately Codemasters have cancelled all plans for Dreamcast development to "focus on appropriate platforms".
According to rumors on the web Ubisoft have also announced that they have ceased production of Road To El Dorado the game based on the upcoming Disney movie.
Yet another game has bitten the dust. This time it is the highly regarded Messiah from Shiny Entertainment. No reason has been give about the cancellation yet.
In a surprise move Sega have announced that they will not appear at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show 2000 in Japan. This is one of the largest gaming shows in the world however Sega have stated that they will hold their own event. This follows the news that Square and SNK will not attend the TGS either.
A price has been set for the Playstation 2. The system will retail for $CA449.99 which is around $AU500. Remember that the Australian version will cost $AU749 while the American system will launch for $US299 or $AU500. If only they could even out the prices importing wouldn't look sooo tempting.
One of the hottest games on the PC over the last couple of years was Baldur's Gate. Unfortunately the conversion to Dreamcast, which has been underway for some time now, has been cancelled. No reason was give for the cancellation of this awesome online RPG.
Remember Floigan Brothers which is being developed by Viaual Concepts. Well it's still coming out, but not until mid-next year at the earliest. IGNDC couldn't get any reason for such a lengthy delay from its expected 2000 release.
A semi-sequel to Sega Bass Fishing, called Marine Fishing is coming to the Dreamcast. The game is currently scheduled for release in Japan on October 19th.
Capcom has announced that their RPG, Eldorado Gate will be release in Japan on October. The game will become bi-monthly with a RRP of 2,800 yen. ($AU35).
Magic Box Gaming has stated that Shen Mue: Chapter 2 is possibly due for release in March 2001. This is still a rumor though.
Sega has announced that they will not be publishing Illbleed in America. No doubt the Climax Graphics title will be picked up by another publisher, perhaps Activision who handled their first title Blue Stinger.
A state of disbelief overcame me the other day to here that Sir Alec Guinness passed away a last Saturday night after a short illness. Alec was the man who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars movies and although he despised the movies he will be forever etched into celluloid history. For older fans he will probably be more noted for Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge Over the River Kwai. You will be missed Old Ben.
There has been a clarification in the price for the Playstation 2 in Australia. The system will in fact retail for $AU749 ($US450). You can expect the system to possibly dip as low as $AU699 at retailers upon release.
Activision has announced that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 will be heading to the Playstation 2 in early 2001. No details have been announced yet regarding enhancements to the game.
Dee Dee Planet was Sega's second simple network game after Chu CHu Rocket however the game has been put hold to sort out some networking bugs. The game, which doesn't have a release date any more, was expected to hit the shelves in the coming weeks. I wouldn't expect to see an Australian release any time soon.
18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker was one of the games which I got to test while visiting Ozisoft recently and now the game has a Jpanese release date. The game will hit retail on October 21 with America delayed until early 2001. No word yet on the Australian release date but I would also expect early 2001.
Fox Interactive has confirmed that Croc 2 has been cancelled on the Dreamcast. No reason has been given for the cancellation. This is a shame as the series would have sold fairly well on the Dreamcast.
Nintendo of America has announced that there will be no playable Dolphin software at Spaceworld in Japan later this month. It is believed that the system will be shown, perhaps with some rolling demo's, and a release date, name and price may be announced.
The Playstation 2 has officially been delayed. While most people were expecting the system to launch on October 26th to coincide with America, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has just confirmed that the system will not hit shelves in Europe until November 24th. This is a delay of 4 weeks from the American date. The system will retail in England for 299 pounds ($AU750) but it is important to note that this delay in Europe will in no way affect the American October 26 launch.
At this stage the Australian launch is still up in the air as well. There is still no release date or expected retail price although it now looks likely that the system will not be released until at least November 24 or slightly later. The price still remains a mystery although I wouldn't be surprised if the system carries a RRP of $699, in fact you can almost count on it. This is $AU300 more then the Dreamcast which many parents will now as a much cheaper alternative this Christmas.
The reason for the delays in Europe are simple. The system is selling extremely well in Japan and the rest of the world will follow suit. Currently Sony have shipped 3 million units to stores in Japan with little slowdown in sales over the months since launch. In fact the system is selling about 30 times more units then the Dreamcast. Expect more details soon.
It looks a permanent price drop is on the cards.... in America anyway. The $US50 rebate is set to end this month but according to GameWEEK the system will permanently be dropped to $US149 ($AU250). Even though the system is now selling in Australia for $AU399 this is still a big difference. C'mon Ozisoft do something now to increase sales before its too late.
While this may have been floating around the web for a couple of days now but a couple of new games have been confirmed for the Dreamcast. The first, biggest title, is a sequel to Virtua Tennis is on the way and will include online gameplay. Another title called Hundred Swords is headed to both the PC and Dreamcast from Sega.
Speaking about Virtua Tennis Ozisoft have informed me that the title has been delayed from August until September 22nd.
More game reviews have come out of Japan. The major title reviewed was Grandia II which scored 29/30 in Dreamcast Magazine, 35/40 in Famitsu and 26/30 in Famitsu DC. The other major title was F355 Challenge which received scores of 25/30 in Dreamcast Magazine, 29/40 in Famitsu and 26/30 in Famitsu DC. Both these titles will be available before the years end here.
Dead Or Alive 2 is one of the biggest games headed our way. But now you'll be waiting a little longer. The game, which was meant to be released this week will be stuck in Melbourne for a couple more days until it is cleared by the classification board. The game is now due out next week but is looking awesome to say the least.
Jack of All Games have confirmed that they are still awaiting Tony Hawk's Pro Skater which they are expecting to hit their warehouse within the next fortnight.
Playstation 2 shipments have smashed through the 3,000,000 barrier in Japan. This has only taken 5 months to achieve, something that took the original system 19 months to do. The original system is now up to 77,350,000 sales worldwide.
Sega are apparently pulling out of arcades in Europe and America. Apparently the company has had massive downturns in sales, which has made the territories unprofitable for companies. There will still be some more games although the numbers will soon start slowing down.
Sega of America has announced that they will begin their All-Stars program soon. This will see classic Dreamcast games reduced to $US19.99, about half their current prices. The games include NFL2K (15/8), NBA2K, House Of The Dead 2, Sonic Adventure, Sega Bass Fishing (22/8) and finally Crazy Taxi (31/10).
While Sega are making all the big sports into games for the Dreamcast one sport is severely lacking, soccer. Sega Europe CEO JF Cecillon has confirmed that work began on the definitive soccer game at the beginning of the year. No word yet on features or release dates.
Do you think that Microsoft will try to ease into the gaming market? Definitely not so. According to Robbie Bach, the senior VP of Microsoft's game division, has stated that they will sped $US500 million ($AU850 million) on the system in the first 18 months.
A new poll is now up on the Main Page which is asking which RPG you are most looking forward to in the near future.