MARCH 2001 NEWS

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April 1, 2001

    Forum
    We need more members in the forums so if you haven't been there yet make sure you do so. Any questions you want answers to will be answered right there. Who knows, I may even be giving away some prizes in the coming weeks. (Expect more details soon!)

    Poll
    A new poll is now on the Main Page of the site. Make sure you go there now to vote.

    Playstation 2
    Koei have announced that their third Kessen title will be playable online. Details are still scarce but the game is still a way off with the second title still to hit shelves.

    XBox
    Well while the world is waiting for the XBox, so is Bill Gates. This is what he said at the opening address at the TGS in Japan;
    "I have the same excitement about Xbox that I did about the PC, or the first version of Windows. I can't wait to get my hands on Xbox!"

    XBox
    I have added a preview to yet another launch title on the XBox. This time it's NFL Fever 2002.

March 31, 2001

    XBox
    The Tokyo Game Show is underway in Japan at the moment and Sega have dropped a bombshell. They have announced that they are developing 11 titles on the XBox system. Sega America have confirmed that some of the titles will appear over the next 12 months, although they are remaining tight lipped about what they may be. They have also named 4 of the titles which are as follows;
    Jet Grind Radio Future (tentative title): Gamers should get ready to skate, grind and trick to a new beat. "Jet Grind Radio Future" is a next-generation street action game for Xbox that delivers fast-paced action, new awesome tunes and an artistic look that's truly groundbreaking.
    Sega GT (latest version): The most recent version of "Sega GT" delivers adrenaline-filled, full-contact auto racing that allows gamers to design, build and customize the world's hottest cars and capture all the heated thrills found in high-performance driving. GUNVALKYRIE: "GUNVALKYRIE," the next-generation shooter for Xbox, takes players to war to ignite the battlefields by joining an elite force of mercenaries to battle it out for control of the universe. Panzer Dragoon (latest version): Xbox owners will be the first to return to the stunning world of Panzer Dragoon. They can take flight once again to explore the lush beauty, fierce technology and mysterious dragon-breeding culture of one of Sega's most sought-after franchises.

    Tecmo have delivered a surprise at the TGS. They have confirmed that they are developing Dead Or Alive 3 on the XBox. The interesting part is that at this stage it looks like the game will be an exclusive title on the system.

    Yet another interesting bit of news from the TGS concerns yet another development team working on teh XBox. As well as Smilebit and Wow Entertainment from Sega working on XBox games Visual Concepts have confirmed that they have also begun working on some games for the system. No word yet on specific titles.

March 29, 2001

    XBox
    Thrustmaster has signed with Microsoft to create and distribute third party XBox controllers and peripherals. While the company will likely begin with controllers and steering wheels it is possible that they will also move into developing memory cards, light guns, and dance pads. The first peripherals are expected to be ready by launch.

    Pyro Studios, who are currently developing Commandos 2 on a variety of platforms have confirmed that they will likely be working on the Xbox, with Commandos 2 a real possibility for conversion. They currently have tow other titles in development with details and platforms still to be announced.

    Here's another turn for the good on the XBox. Apparently Microsft have revised the specs yet again with the systems hard drive space being bumped up from 8GB to 10GB.

    Gamecube
    Nintendo have announced that Taiwan's Macronix International Co. will build a new production line to create the LSI chips for use on Nintendo's new console, and almost certainly the Gamecube.

    Playstation 2
    The Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty is available now in the UK as a demo version which is sold with Zone OF Enders. Unfortunately it looks like the demo has hit a few snags with some reports that the disc won't work on some PS2 systems. Konami have stated that there is no fault with the programming but that there may be a problem with the disc manufacturing or with the actual PS2 hardware. The game actually either takes about 5 minutes to load the levels or pauses the game entirely. Expect more news soon. No word yet it this will cause a delay in the Australian release.

    Onimusha has becoming the first million selling game in Japan on the Playstation 2. No word yet on the Australian release date.

March 27, 2001

    Playstation 2
    If you walk into your local video game retailer today you should be able to pick yourself up a copy of Star Wars: Starfighter. All I can say is do it now. This is an awesome title and one which will keep Star Wars fans very happy indeed. Click here to read the review. Awesome.

    XBox
    Online reports are beginning to surface the Microsoft will be delaying the XBox launch until 2002 in America. Microsoft are yet to comment on the rumour and it must be taken with a grain of salt. If anything develops read it here first.

    I have added a preview to yet another very impressive looking launch title on XBox. This time it's Oddworld: Munch's Odyssee.

March 25, 2001

    Apology
    Firstly I have to apologise for the lack of updates this week. It's been a pretty stressful one with the 3Com Corebuilder 5000 at the school where I work deciding to pack it in last weekend. It appears that the school was hit by lightning and the UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) couldn't cope sending a nice jolt of electricity through the core builder and frying it. For those of you unaware this controls the optical fibre to the 14 computer labs throughout the school. After patching it all up on Monday we got most computers re-routed through backup fibre modules only to have another failure on Wednesday, which took down the entire school network again. Thursday was spent re-routing the entire network through hubs taken from non-critical labs. I have had to spend the week ordering new switches, UPS's and fibre modules which will cost a whopping $60,000. One benefit is that the school will be going from a 10MBit backbone to each lab up to 1,000MBit backbone. Oh let the frags begin.

    What does this mean for the site? Well I've been bloody busy lately but things are settled for now (120 out of 250 computers are on the network which is all I can expect). The new equipment will be coming into Australia in a week or so but until then the updates will resume as normal. Oh BTW I've also been hooked on Star Wars: Starfighter on PS2. A review will be up shortly but I can tell you this. It's quite possibly the best game on the system to date. Awesome.

    Playstation 2
    Exactly how well is the Playstation 2 selling? Extremely well is the answer. Sony has confirmed that they have shipped 10 million units to retail. The original Playstation took a whopping 3 years to accomplish this. The breakdown by territory is as follows;
    Japan: 4.65 million (March 4, 2000 launch)
    North America: 2.76 million (October 26, 2000 launch)
    Europe: 2.63 million (November 24, 2000 launch)

    Revolution Software have confirmed that they are developing a third Broken Sword game for release on the Playstation 2. The previous two games are among the best adventure games ever and a third has been highly anticipated for some time. Expect a release in 2002.

    XBox
    Electronic Arts have confirmed that the are developing both Madden NFL 2002 and NASCAR 2002 on XBox. Both titles will be available for the systems launch in America later this year.

    Dreamcast
    Sega have confirmed that Red Lemon Studios' shooter, Take The Bullet will not be release in America. The game will only be available in Europe. Definitely a change from the norm. No word yet on an Australian release.

    Metro 3D have confirmed that they have cancelled all Dreamcast development. The titles include Armada 2: Exodus (which is still headed to PS2) and Dark Angel.

March 22, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Empire Interactive have confirmed they will be releasing a Antz racing game on the Playstation 2 as well as the XBox. The game is based on the hit Dreamworks movie and will allow you to race with any of the characters from the movie.

    I have aded a review for Electronic Arts' boxing title, Knockout Kings 2001. It's not a bad game so check it out.

    Dreamcast
    One of the most promising games last year was Team 17's Stunt GP. Unfortunately the game was cancelled when the publishers decided it wasn't suitable for release. Now however things look a light brighter, for Europeans at least. Eon Digital have announced that they have secured the rights to the game. A release is expected a the end of March. No word yet on a US or Australian release.

    Following the sad death of Isao Okawa it is believed that Tetsu Kayama will be named the new president of Sega following the shareholders meeting in June.

    XBox
    I have added a preview to another XBox launch title from Bungie Studios called Halo.

    Poll
    A reminder to everyone that if you haven't voted in this months poll I ask you to go to the Main Page to answer the following question; Which Arnie movie would you most like to see made into a video game?

March 20, 2001

    XBox
    Microsoft have released all new details and screens from teh first batch of XBox games. I have just added previews to Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding and Codename Gotham. You must check out these games.

    Playstation 2
    Dolby Laboratories have announced that 30 game titles will use Dolby Digital 5.1 sound on the Playstation 2. Acclaim, Argonaut, ATD, Brain In A Jar, Criterion, Eidos, Infogrames, Jester, Microprose Motorsports, Rage, Sony Studios, and Squaresoft are some of the companies confirmed to be using the sound format. The Bouncer will be the first game to include 5.1 sound here in Australia.

March 19, 2001

    Other
    Some sad news today as it was confirmed that SEGA Corporation President Isao Okawa has passed away. Okawa-san rescued Sega by donating around 85 billion yen (around $AU1.2 billion dollars) of his own personal fortune only a month ago. This helped the company clear a lot of it's debts and will surely see the company continue well into the future. He was also fundamental in seeing Sega move away from hardware (Dreamcast) and towards a software and networking future. He will be sadly missed by gamers across the globe. Sega of America issued the following statement;
    "Sega of America regretfully announces that Isao Okawa, chairman and president of Sega Corporation, passed away on March 16, 2001, at 3:47pm due to heart failure at the Tokyo University Medical Hospital. A private vigil is scheduled for his family, and company funeral services are being planned."

    Dreamcast
    It looks as if Fox Interactive are reconsidering their developments on the Dreamcast. The company is expected to announced this week that some, if not all, of it's Dreamcast titles will be scrapped. The company currently has four games in development including Buffy The Vampire Slayer, World's Scariest Police Chases, Planet of the Apes, and Alien Resurrection. Expect more news soon.

    Many people are still reeling with the news that Eidos have scrapped the Dreamcast version of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2. Well now you may be able to do something about it. Some upset fans have started a petition online to try and help Eidos change their minds. Sure, it probably won't work, but a slim chance is better then none. Click here to put your name on the petition immediately. To date the petition has gained almost 15,000 signatures.

    Are you ready to s#%$ yourself with fear? Jaleco have announced that Illbleed will be released in America on April 1st. As for an Australian release? Anyone's guess.

    Gamecube
    According to cube.ign the Gamecube will have the ability for a RAM expansion pack at a later stage. Naturally if Nintendo decide to go ahead with the expansion the amount of RAM will be determined as it's release nears, if it ever happens.

March 16, 2001

    Playstation 2
    It looks like Sony may be looking towards the future already. The company has struck a $400 million five-year business deal with IBM and Toshiba to produce a new microprocessor. The new chip, codenamed "Cell", will be designed at IBM's Austin offices in Texas. According to the Wall Street Journal the chip will be designed primarily for use in the Playstation 3. Of course the design of the chip will take several years, and then a couple more prior to the launch of the system.

    Konami have confirmed that while they are developing games on all available systems they will be focusing their development teams on the Playstation 2. Konami's Executive Corporate Office, Kazumi Kitaue, recently told Reuters that "We plan to spend about 70 percent of our development resources on games for PlayStation consoles next year,". He also stated that they are very confident that the Gameboy Advance will continue Nintendo's success in the handheld market.

    Interplay have confirmed that MDK2 Armageddon has finally gone gold. The game is expected on the shelves by the end of the month in America. The Australian release is currently set for March 30 although the game may be delayed by a few weeks for manufacturing.

    Contrary to earlier reports Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty may still be released in America during 2001. Konami America have stated they still believe the game will be released in fall 2001. An Australian release, as per usual, will most likely be a couple of months later.

    Gamecube
    Nintendo Europe has set a release date for the Gamecube. The system will be available in (Northern) Spring 2002, or Autumn 2002 here in Australia. With the XBox also delayed until this date the Playstation 2 will have this Christmas to itself. The Gamecube is set for release in Japan this July while Americans will see the system in October 2001.

    XBox
    Bizarre Creations, the development company behind Metropolis Street Racer, have confirmed they are developing a racing game on XBox. While the game won't be MSR for legal reasons the games will be very similar in style. No word yet on a release date.

    Microsoft have announced that they are working on a snowboarding title called Amped. No details about the game have been revealed yet although the game is expected to be shown off in the coming weeks.

March 14, 2001

    Forum
    For those of you who never read the front page you will be glad to hear that I have now put a forum on the site. Sure it will start off small (50 posts in the first 24 hours is not too bad though), but expect some big things. Hell I may even put the news in there first from time to time when I am away from my web site computer. Check it out and make sure you register so you can reply and add new topics.

    Playstation 2
    It looks like a European, and therefore Australian, release date is almost settled for Gran Turismo 3. The game is apparently set for release in the second week of June. The Australian release should be very close to that date as well.

    I have added a couple of previews to the site. The first is for EA's latest sporting game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001 while the second game is EA's racing game, Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing. Yet another sports preview has been added to the site this time for Acclaim's excellent looking All Star Baseball 2002.

    Dreamcast
    Those of you who have been in the forums will have heard that Daytona USA Online will, well, no longer be online. This news was announced on Computer & Video Games.com and was most likely caused by Sega's dumping of their European network development teams.

    Speaking of Daytona I have added a preview to the site of the Dreamcast port, Daytona USA. Enjoy.

March 11, 2001

    Playstation 2
    You Kataoka, who works for Sega's AM2, has stated in an interview that he would like to release Virtua Fighter 4 on Playstation 2 this year, although he thinks it will be very difficult to do so. An early 2002 release now looks likely.

    While the original Evergrace is just about to hit the shelves here in Australia From Software have announced that they are working on a sequel, titled Evergrace 2. The game will actually be set several years before the original title and will allow your party to have 3 characters.

    I have added a preview to 3DO's World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks.

    Dreamcast
    One of the hottest games expected this year, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 has been cancelled. Eidos reconsidered the title following Sega's announcement that it will move to become a software developer and dump the Dreamcast. Those of you wanting to play the sequel will have to pick up a Playstation 2 as development is continuing on that version.

    Other
    A gentle reminder for some people that this isn't the only page on the site. Some of you are accessing the news page only. Click here to go to the main page of the site. Make sure you bookmark the site while on the main page.

March 10, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Namco have confirmed several new titles in development for the Playstation 2 and PS@ based System 246 arcade board (making a home conversion very likely). The games set for release during 2001 are;
    Tekken 4, Soul Calibur 2, Ace Combat 4, Tennis Game, Baseball Game, Soccer Game, Vampire Night, Tales of X, Mr. Driller New Work, New Ridge Racer, New Moto GP, and finally a RPG from subsidiary Monolith Software. That list should keep gamers happy for quite a while.

    I have added a preview to Interplays awesome looking Playstation 2 action RPG, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. Check it out now.

    Dreamcast
    Ubisoft has cancelled Roswell Conspiracy Theories on the Dreamcast. No reason for the cancellation has been given (although it should be fairly obvious really). The GBC and PSOne versions are still in development.

March 7, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Do you love Metal Gear Solid? If so, listen up. Konami are giving you the chance to get your name in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty. Click here to go to the English entry page. Selected name will be used on soldiers Dog Tags and will be used throughout the game. How cool is that?

    XBox
    Konami have confirmed they are working on Air Force Delta 2 for the XBox. As yet there is no release date but if it is anywhere near as good as the Dreamcast original, which was called Deadly Skies here in Australia.

    Rumours are beginning to surface that the XBox may not be released in Japan until 2002 due to a lack of developer support there. So far only Konami have announced any games for the system. More news is expected in the coming weeks when Bill Gates gives a speech to announce more details in Japan.

    Dreamcast
    Although Ozisoft had reported that Phantasy Star Online would be release in early March it has now been confirmed that Australian gamers will have to wait until March 23rd.

    A couple more reviews have been added to the site. The first game is Crave's realistic fighting game Ultimate Fighting Championship. The second game is the surprisingly good flight sim, Starlancer.

March 5, 2001

    Playstation 2
    A lot of people have been asking me if Zone Of Enders will come with the demo of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty. The answer to that is a resounding yes. Unfortunately, ZOE has just been delayed here from 23rd March to April 6th.

    I have updated the preview for Electronic Arts' Star Wars: Starfighter with new information.

    Dreamcast
    Some sad news has just passed over my desk in relation to upcoming Dreamcast games. Jack Of All Games, who distribute Take 2, Sierra, and Blizzard's games in Australia have confirmed that they will not release any more Dreamcast games here in Australia. As a result games like 4x4, Hoyle Casino, Who Wants To Beat Up A Millionaire? won't make it onto Australian shelves. Even sadder is the news that Half Life may also fall victim to the cutbacks although Leanne Pine (the Australian PR Manager) said that they may consider releasing this title depending on overseas success and local demand.

    I have updated the preview for Ubisoft's Grandia II which should hit the shelves late this week.

    Schedule
    Once again I have updated the release schedule. This time there has been close to 50 changes so if you want to seen when a game is coming out have a look at the Previews & Release Schedule page.

March 3, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty has been delayed until 2002. Konami had stated that the title would be released during 2001 and Ozisoft have listed the game as 1/11/2001 however a spokesman for Konami told FGN Online that the game won't be released until 2002. The good news, Konami are aiming for a worldwide release on the same day.

    Dreamcast
    Team 17 have confirmed that Worms World Party won't include support for the Dreamcast Broadband adapter.

    Gamecube
    Nintendo have announced that NEC has completed construction of a new semiconductor plant in Japan. The plant will be used to manufacture the Gamecube system and will be able to output several hundred thousand chips per month. The cost, 80 billion yen (Around $AU1.2 billion).

    According to online reports Namco have begun development on Gamecube ports of Ridge Racer and Tekken Tag Tournament. Apparently the company is very disappointed in sales of the Playstation 2 games.

March 1, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Some sad news for those awaiting Unreal Tournament on Playstation 2. Apparently the developers have had trouble getting the i.Link feature to work with the PAL game and have had to remove it completely. This i.Link feature would have allowed 4 Playstation 2 systems to be connected so that each player could have his/her own TV screen to watch instead of a split screen. The 4 player split screen mode has not been affected.

    Poll
    The beginning of a new month brings with it a new poll to the site. This month I am asking which Arnold Schwarzenegger movie you would most like to see ported into a game. Go to the Main Page to vote now.

    Competition
    A big congratulations goes out to Matthew Yeadon from Edensor Park who won the Dynasty Warriors 2 competition.

February 28, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Electronic Arts have released a new release schedule and there are a couple of surprises for Playstation 2 owners. Following the news a couple of weeks ago that EA Sports Rugby would be released on 6/6/2001 comes the news of a release date for Cricket 2002 of 11/10/2001. Super Bombad Racing (Star Wars themed kart racing) is scheduled for release on 15/5/2001 while Rally 2002 is scheduled for release on 5/10/2001. Unfortunately it looks like The Undying has suffered a slippage from August 17 to October 26, 2001.

    For those of you who are unaware the latest Official Australian Playstation 2 magazine is now available. As well as the preview and reviews there is a major article about this years releases. Unfortunately many of the dates listed are incorrect (such as Metal Gear Solid 2 baing available in September. The cover CD includes playable demos of Dynasty Warriors 2 and NHL 2001. The magazine has MotoGP on the cover and is available for $14.95.

    I have added a review to Namco's awesome racing game MotoGP. Check it out immediately.

    I have updated the preview for Volition's stunning looking Red Faction with new information and screen shots.

    Dreamcast
    Sega have announced that they will shed 300 jobs, or about 12% of their workforce. Sega will be accepting resignations from staff until March 12th. This is all as restructuring move as Sega moves away from the Dreamcast and hardware and into software development.

    Poll
    A reminder to everyone that today is the last day to vote in the poll on the Main Page. If you haven't voted yet make sure you do so immediately.

February 26, 2001

    Top 10 List
    There are some games that everyone wants to get their hands on. Sonic Adventure 2, Phantasy Star Online, Gran Turismo 3. This article names my 10 Most Wanted, and a few that just missed out. Click her for Most Wanted Games of 2001.

    Playstation 2
    Sony have announced details for the Playstation 2 hard drive. The unit will have a whopping capacity of 40GB (That's several times bigger as the average PC today). The unit will be released in Japan in July and will allow users to download and store information such as game patches/upgrades from the internet. No word yet on the price but given the size it won't be cheap.

    I have added a review to UbiSoft's awesome platform game, Rayman Revolution. Check this game out immediately.

    I have added a preview to Sony's interesting looking Extermination.

    Dreamcast
    Sega have revealed some details about Crazy Taxi 2. This time the game is set in New York and you will have the ability to tune up and upgrade your vehicle. It will also be possible to pick up several fare paying customers at a time while the cabs will be able to jump over other cars on the roads. The game will also include several new characters. The game is currently 60% complete and scheduled for release here in Australia on 1st July.

    Sega is suing KMart. Yes you heard it right. Apparently the retailer has failed to pay bill for Dreamcast systems totalling 2.2 million dollars ($AU4 million) dating back to 1999. This partially explains why KMart stopped carrying the system back in June 2000. Expect more news soon.


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