MAY 2001 NEWS

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May 31, 2001

    Forum
    The forum is expanding every day now with over 1000 messages posted since it began only a couple of weeks ago. If you haven't joined yet make sure you do so immediately and discuss anything related to games, or anything else for that matter.

    Playstation 2
    Well Acclaim has finally shipped Crazy Taxi on the Playstation 2 and are expecting big things. Worldwide shipments of the game have reached 400,000 units and after a few hours play I can safely assure everyone that it's a great port. Expect a review of the game soon.

    Speak of review I had teh (mis)fortune of reviewing Midway's NBA Hoopz. Even if your a NBA Jam fan you'd be hard pressed to like this game.

    Competition
    Stay tuned in the coming days for an all new competition on Future Gamez.

    XBox
    Smilebit, the developers behind Jet Set Radio Future on the XBox have confirmed that the game shown at E3 was only 10% complete. The game shown was simply amazing and if the developers can improve even further above the brilliant Dreamcast game then they are guaranteed of a massive hit when it is released.

    Jez San, the Chief Executive of Argonaut has confirmed that their XBox title, Malice may be headed to other platforms. They are still talking to several publishers, some of who want the game to be an XBox exclusive (any bets on Microsoft there?), while others would like to see the company release the game on XBox, as well as other next generation consoles.

    I have added a preview to THQ's XBox launch title New Legends.

    Industry
    Could it be the one of the biggest publishers is about to be sold? Apparently Interplay have issued a press release stating that they are in "discussions" with a third party about purchasing the firm. There is no doubt that the company has been in some financial difficulties lately despite impressive games such as MDK, Giants: Citizen Kabuto and the massive Baldur's Gate. Obviously the number one candidate is Microsoft after signing a massive deal with Interplay recently for exclusive rights to The Matrix on console for six months. Other companies mentioned include Activision and UbiSoft.

    There is a date for the Tokyo Game Show at last, and it's getting later and later in the year. The show is now set at the Makuhari Messe on October 12-14. The game will be closed to press for only a couple of hours on the first day. Hmmm...

May 27, 2001

    Playstation 2
    I have added a review to another 3DO title called Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 which is a lot better then their previous game on the PS2, Army Men: Green Rogue.

    XBox
    Well, the E3 show may be over but the fallout certainly isn't. Sony president Ken Kutaragi has fired some strong words at Microsoft. In an interview with the Financial Times Kutaragi said teh following;
    "Microsoft was finished before it even got started, they have no games." He continued by saying "Microsoft has put itself out of the game." "Retailers in the U.S. are already disappointed. Microsoft does not understand the entertainment business. Retailers told me that on a dollar basis, they expect 70% of their sales will come from PlayStation [2]. The remaining 30% will come from Nintendo and Xbox but almost all of that will be from Nintendo." "The processing speed of their console is not fast enough and the graphics were rough." "The next game platform belongs to Sony and Nintendo."

    It's going to be a major let down for gamers but apparently Halo will not include online gameplay for the XBox. Bungie have admitted however that there is a chance they may release a separate product at a later date, depending on how the development team feels. Fortunately the XBox version will include a 4-player split screen mode.

    Dreamcast
    Well, it's finally over for the Dreamcast in Japan. Sega Japan have confirmed that the Dreamcast has completely sold out and that there is no chance of producing any more units. The company is holding back only a couple of thousand units for a bundle with Sonic Adventure 2.

    Crave have confirmed that they have canceled Ultimate Fighting Championship: Tapout on the Dreamcast.

    AM2 have delayed the release of OutTrigger by a couple of weeks in America. The game was expected on the shelves in late June however the game has been pushed back until July 25th 2001. Apparently the delay is due to scheduling of Sega titles, as well as tweaking the 4-player online gameplay.

May 24, 2001

    Playstation 2
    I have added a preview of Sony's higly anticipated Wipeout Fusion.

    Gamecube
    Well it's all over for teh E3 show, but the big news hasn't stopped. On Monday, the day after E3 finsihed, Nintendo have announced that the Gamecube will retail in America for $US199. That's $US100 lower then the XBox and at this stage $US100 lower then the Playstation 2, although many predict Sony will announced a small surprise for early November as well.

    One of the big announcements at E3 was Sonic Team developing Phantasy Star Online for the Gamecube. Many people expressed disappointment that it didn't look much different from the Dreamcast port, but there is one big difference. The Gamecube port will allow 4 players on the one console in 4 seperate windows. Now that's power.

    XBox
    Interplay and Planet Moon have announced that they are developing an XBox port of their PC, and soon Playstation 2, hit game Giants.

May 20, 2001

    E3 Show
    I have started to add some game previews to this site for recently announced XBox and Gamecube titles from E3. Head on over to the E3 page to check them out.

May 18, 2001

    E3 Show
    It's all about the E3 show baby. Yep instead of cluttering up this page I have created a seperate page with all the latest E3 info. Before teh show has even started there have been three major announcements. The first was Sony's announcement of a partner to get the Playstation 2 online. The second is a release date, price and info for the XBox launch and the third announcement from Nintendo will definately upset Microsoft. For all the news check out the E3 Page

May 16, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Naughty Dog, the development team behind the early Crash Bandicoot games on the PSOne are set to unveil an all new game for the Playstation 2. While little is known at this stage a trailer released on the web shows some wonderfully detailed worlds while ps2.ign has learned that the game goes by the name of Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy.

    I have added a couple of reviews this week. The first is for 3DO's action game Army Men: Green Rogue while the second review is for Electronic Arts' highly anticipated First Person Shooter Quake III Revolution.

    Dreamcast
    Have you been waiting for several high profile Dreamcast games here in Australia? Well so have I. I've been reviewing the games for several weeks now in anticipation of a released "confirmed" for that week. Every time a release date arrives the games are no where to be found. Well it's pissing me off. Australian gamers are taking it royally up the ass while gamers the world over are playing games like Phantasy Star Online, Daytona USA 2001, Skies of Arcadia and Quake III Revolution. Enough is enough. Ozisoft can make up any excuse the want but this is intolerable. We paid good money for the Dreamcast and have received nothing in return. So what am I trying to get at? Not too sure really but Ozisoft are now stating that all these games will be available on the 25th May 2001. Want to express your opinion on the situation why not go to this thread in the forums and have your say.

    While gamers are eagerly awaiting Crazy Taxi 2 on the Dreamcast news is surfacing from Sega Japan that the game will be coming to the arcades in June. Originally it was expected that the game would only arrive on the home console.

May 14, 2001

    Dreamcast
    According to reports out of Japan the main programming is complete in Shenmue II. This doesn't mean the game is complete, only that the bulk of the game is and they are now into the testing stage. As long as no major bugs are found in the game we should expect and announcement from Sega Japan in the next couple of weeks regarding a release date (or possibly at E3). An English release is not expected until early 2002 to allow for language conversions.

    Gamecube
    I have added my first Gamecube preview and it's a stunner. LucasArts have just released (awesome) screens of Star Wars Rogue Leader the sequel to Rogue Squadron on the N64.

May 12, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Well a quite unbelievable thing happened today. Sony Japan officially released the Playstation 2 Linux developers' kit that allows people to develop games for the system at home. Although Sony initially expected to sell 1,000 units the company doubled it's shipment to 2,000 units. How well has it sold? Well the entire allocation sold in a staggering 8 minutes. That's 4.1 units sold per second. Sony are taking names to replace any cancelled orders and apparently that list is 3,500 people long. Hopefully the success of the device, which retails for almost $AU600, will see Sony release the developers kit around the world later in the year.

    Although it has been known for quite some time, and it's been listed in the Playstation 2 Release Schedule on this site, Interplay have officially confirmed the existence of Star Trek: Shattered Universe on the Playstation 2. The game is currently slated for release here in Australia in mid November.

    XBox
    LucasArts have just announced Star Wars: Obi-Wan as an exclusive for the XBox. Make sure you check out preview which I added to the site today.

May 10, 2001

    Playstaiton 2
    We recently told you about Gran Turismo 3 receiving a Platinum award in Famitsu magazine in Japan. Well now the actual scores are in and the game has scored a whopping 39/40.

    Sony have announced plans to hold it's own product show later in the year rather then appear at the ECTS show in London. This is the second company after Nintendo ditched plans to appear at the show some time ago. No details on the Sony only show have been announced yet.

    With the recent announcement that Activision had picked up the rights to release Bloody Roar 3 in America comes the announcement of some minor changes to the game. As with previous versions of the game the character "Marvel" has been re-named to "Shina". The biggest change however is the removal of the Debug mode which allowed you to play with the look of the characters and lighting in the levels. Sadly there is still no word yet on a PAL release.

    I have added a new review to the web site. This time I have take a look at Electronic Arts' Tiger Woods 2001.

    Acclaim have an interesting looking racing title coming up called Paris-Dakar Rally which I have previewed.

    Gamecube
    Fox Interactive and Vivendi Universal Publishing have recently announced that they are developing a game exclusively based on the Die Hard movies for the Gamecube. The game will be set after the last movie and will be called Die Hard: Next Generation. The game is a 3D shooter set over 12 levels and sees McClane fighting alongside his daughter. The game is slated for release in late 2002.

    Rumours are beginning to surface that Nintendo will be showing off versions of Donkey Kong and possibly Star Fox on the Gamecube at E3. Expect more details just prior to the show in a weeks time.

    Another rumoured title set to make an appearance on the Gamecube at the E3 show is Rogue Squadron. This follows the tech demo of the game at the Space World show in Japan last August.

    Dreamcast
    Eidos and Pyro Studios have denied the rumours that Commandos 2 has been canned on the Dreamcast. The game is still very much in development with a release expected later in the year.

    Sega have confirmed several release dates for Dreamcast games in Japan. The most interesting one is OutTrigger which is now set for release on July 26. Another interesting release is the US version of Shenmue on July 5th which has been enhanced from the original Japanese release. The game will sell at the low price of 3,000 yen (about $AU40).

May 7, 2001

    Playstation 2
    It seems as if Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec has been eagerly awaited by gamers in Japan. Sony shipped a whopping 1 million copies of the game with over 468,000 copies being sold-through to customers on the first day alone. Expect that number to be much higher after next week's sales. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that around 20% of people were buying a Playstation 2 at the same time to play the game. Expect the same buying frenzy when the game hits America and Europe in a few months time.

    Apparently Capcom are already planning to unveil Onimusha 2 at this years E3 show. The game is reportedly set for release by March 2002 in Japan and will likely be released in America and Europe shortly after.

    Dreamcast
    I have added 2 reviews to the site of two very different games. First up is Sega & Overworks' excellent RPG Skies Of Arcadia which is due out late this month. The second game is Sega's less then impressive Sonic Shuffle. Think hard before you lash out on that one.

    XBox
    Bethesda Softworks have announced that they are developing Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind for the XBox. While a release date has not yet been specified (it may be announced at E3 the game will likely be released at or just after the systems launch in America.

    Microsoft have announced the acquisition of Ensemble Studios, the team behind the Age of Empire games. The company will remain working in Dallas to finish off Age of Mythology, their latest game.

May 4, 2001

    Industry
    The big news of the last couple of days has been the demise of one of the worlds largest gaming sites, Daily Radar. Their website has been indicating for the last couple of days that the game site has closed down. Unfortunately revenues of online gaming web sites have dried up in recent years. I personally enjoyed the many years of news from Daily Radar, and Next Generation online as it began its life, and can understand how hard it is to keep a good web site running.

    XBox
    Want to be the first to play The Matrix? You'd better pick up an XBox. Microsoft have struck a deal with Interplay to ensure that the game will appear on XBox for at least 6 months prior any other system including Playstation 2 and Gamecube. In exchange for the exclusivity Microsoft are lending the cash strapped Interplay $US5 million ($AU10 million) for 2 years. So other big news is that the XBox version will include some online gameplay (with Microsoft ensuring in the contract that Interplay spend $US500,000 on the online gameplay).

    To continue on from the deal it also looks as though Microsoft will be getting several more games from Interplay. These include Giants, Galleon, Sacrifice and the recently announced Hunter: The Reckoning.

    While Microsoft may have snagged the rights to The Matrix it seems as if 3DO aren't so sure about the system and have confirmed that they won't be developing on the system at all in the near future.

    Playstation 2
    Electronic Arts have officially confirmed the cancellation of two James Bond based games, Bond Driving and The World Is Not Enough. The news is not all that bad however with EA confirming an all new Bond based PS2 game called 007: Agent Under Fire. The game will actually include mostly FPS action combined with some driving aspects. It sounds like the 2 cancelled games have merged. Expect more info and screens from E3. The game is expected to ship in Q'4 2001.

    Midway has announced a large focus on the Playstation 2 in the near future. The company has confirmed 7 titles for 2001 as 12 titles for 2002. The games expected this year are CRAT Fury & Gauntlet: Dark Legacy (Q'2 2001), NHL Hitz 2002 & Spy Hunter (both Q'3 2001), NFL Blitz 2002, Arctic Thunder, & Legion: Legend of Excalibur (all Q'4 2001).

    Sony has announced a release date for the highly anticipated Dark Cloud in America. The game will ship to retailers on May 29. The Australian version is currently expected in July.

    Dreamcast
    Yet another game has bitten the dust here in Australia. Apparently THQ have cancelled all plans to bring out Evil Dead here unless a retail specifically orders a large quantity of the stock.

    Poll
    For those of you who never visit the Main Page I have added a new poll asking which video game based movie you are most excited about. Last months question about which gaming system you intend on buying next had some interesting results. The Xbox was the clear winner with just over 38% while the Gamecube was second with 21%. The biggest surprise was that the Dreamcast is still third with 15% while the Playstation 2 had a dismal 11%. Obviously a lot of people haven't seen Gran Turismo 3 in action yet.

May 1, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Sony have denied the rumours of an official price cut announcement at E3 later this month. The price of the system was recently lowered in Australia to $AU699 from $749 in many stores.

    I have updated the preview to Volition's highly anticipated shooter Red Faction. To say that this game is good is a big understatement. It's looking awesome.

    Dreamcast
    Sega Europe has announced an official price cut in their Dreamcast software. Upcoming titles such as Sonic Adventure 2, Crazy Taxi 2 and OutTrigger will all retail for 29.99 pounds rather then 39.99 pounds as with previous titles on the system. No word yet on a price change here in Australia.


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