JUNE 2001 NEWS

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June 30, 2001

    Site Closure
    Don't worry folks I won't be gone for too long. I'm off to Melbourne for a couple of days for my grandma's funeral. Thanks for all your support and I will be back by Thursday with reviews of Red Faction and Escape From Monkey Island. A quick note though that both these games are superb and I would have no hesitation recommending them. Expect full reviews later in the week.

    Forum Competition
    With over 1600 messages the Future Gamez Forums are going exceptionally well. And now I have a little surprise. Last month I said there would be a new comp on the site. Well, that is sort of the case. You see, over the next month I will be selecting at least one person to win a prize, as well has holding random competitions. Depending on what system they own I will allow them to select a game from my review copies. There are rules and regulations so check out the COMPETITION PAGE immediately.

    Playstation 2
    Sony has dropped the price of the Playstation 2 in Japan by 4800 yen to 35,000 yen to prepare for the upcoming console war with Nintendo and Microsoft. That is equivalent to $AU555, still quite a bit less then Australia's current $AU699 price point. It's unlikely there will be a price drop here however as the system was permanently dropped by $AU50 only a matter of weeks ago.

    Jack of All Games have confirmed that development of Tropico on the Playstation 2 has been stopped. It's unlikely the game will ever see a release now.

    Gamecube
    Nintendo have confirmed that both Luigi's Mansion and Wave Race: Blue Storm will be launch titled in Japan on September 14. Both games will retail for 6,800 yen.

    Dreamcast
    Sega of Japan have either cancelled or moved development to other systems of 5 Dreamcast titles. The games are Alien Front Online, Dynamic Golf, Far Nation, Bikkauiman 2000, and Aqua Panic. No word yet on which titles have moved development to other systems.

    POLL
    You may like to know that there is a new poll on the Main Page. Make sure you cast your vote for which PS2 title you are most interested in immediately.

June 29, 2001

    Sad News
    Sorry if my updates are a little lacking over the next week but my Granmother passed away on Wednesday the 27th and I'm a little depressed. She'd had a great innings at a few weeks short of 95. Love you grandma.

    POLL
    Just a reminder to everyone that this months poll is about to close. If you haven't voted yet head on over to the Main Page to do so immediately.

    Playstation 2
    I have managed to finish off the review for Electronic Arts' awesome racing game, Rumble Racing. Check it out, you may be surprised like myself.

    I have updated the Playstation 2 Schedule page as well as the Out Now Playstation 2 page.

June 27, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Sony have confirmed that Gran Turismo 3 has been delayed to August 10 as previously reported. This delay is for all PAL territories, not just Australia. Hopefully it's to make some changes to the game and not just for marketing/promotional purposes.

    A couple of big releases have hit the shelves in the last couple of days. Perhaps the biggest is THQ's Red Faction which I have been playing for a couple of days now and is stunning. I suggest that you all head out a pick this one up ASAP. Another game which was released in the last couple of days is the LucasArts developed Escape From Monkey Island.

June 26, 2001

    Lack of Updates
    Sorry about the lack of updates guys but I have been in bed with a severe flu for the last 4 days. I have also been kept busy with a new addition to the family... no folks not a child. A little 9 week old cat, who is still nameless after almost a week. I have also been on a downer as my Grandma is seriously ill in Melbourne. I may have to go down there if things detoriate as the doctors are predicting. If I disappear for a few days you'll know why, but the site will continue as soon as I return.

    Dreamcast
    No Cliché has laid off all it's staff members and effectively shut it's doors. The developer of Toy Commander on the Dreamcast has also ceased development of Agartha on the system and are looking at resurrecting the company. Exactly how remains unclear but it's sad to see the developers of the hit game Relentless/Little Big Adventure close down.

June 23, 2001

    Playstaion 2
    Sony have confirmed that they have picked up the distribution rights to Sega's first 7 games on the Playstation 2. The deal will see Sony distribute such potential hits as Space Channel 5 (two games!), K-Project (working title), Virtua Fighter 4, Ferrari F355, Head Hunter and Ecco the Dolphin. No word yet on release dates but Virtua FIghter 4 is expected in early 2002.

    I have added a review to Heroes Of Might & Magic: Quest For The Dragonbone Staff. It's quite a good game so check it out if your after something a little different.

June 21, 2001

    DVD
    No I'm not starting a DVD section on the site but had to report that Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace will be hitting the shelves here in Australia on October 17. The dvd will be a 2 disc set and will include a feature length commentary from George Lucas and other crew members, 7 deleted scenes, trailers, 9 TV Spots, and much, much more. This is going to be awesome.

    Playstation 2
    Square have apparently commented that they are experimenting with using the Playstation 2 Hard Drive with Final Fantasy X. The Hard Drive will apparently reduce the 3-4 second battle load times to a second or less thanks to the caching. But don't worry if you don't want the Hard Drive unit the game will still be perfectly playable. Expect more news closer to release.

    A bit more news on the Hard Dive front with Sony denying rumours from Japan suggesting that instead of reducing the price on the Hard Drive peripheral every year or so Sony will increase the capacity with each new model. It seems unlikely that changing the specs each year is economical, but it is possible.

    Dreamcast
    Sega has released what is set to be one of the biggest Dreamcast games this year. Sonic Adventure 2 has just hit the shelves in America and is expected in Japan and Europe in the coming days. As for Australia, last I heard it was set for release on Friday, but 2002 seems likely given the current climate.

    XBox
    Philips has announced that they will be the DVD-ROM supplier for the XBox. They were selected due to their ability to meet the short production timelines.

June 19, 2001

    Competition
    Congratulations to Sam Boy who has won the latest competition in the Future Gamez Forums. Sam Boy has picked up a Playstation 2 game of his choice, and it's a hard one. He's still deciding from 4 titles which I have offered him. Well done.

    Playstation 2
    While Sony are yet to officially confirm it, it's looking more and more likely that Gran Turismo 3 has been delayed by 4 weeks until August 10th. Expect confirmation from Sony, one way or another, on this site in the next couple of days.

    I have added a review to Sony's highly anticipated Resident Evil/Metal Gear Solid styled game, Extermination. Fortunately it's a pretty solid title so check it out.

    XBox
    Microsoft have settled a lawsuit brought about by XBox Technologies for use of the XBox name. The details have remained a secret but the console will remain the XBox.

    Dreamcast
    Sierra has confirmed that Half-Life has been cancelled on the Dreamcast due to changing market conditions.

    I don't usually do this but I have to plug Topshop. They have just put a special which has seen a price reduction on the excellent Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX. Go to www.topshop.com.au and into the Dreamcast Games section to order this game for the dirt cheap price of $23.65, a reduction of over $AU55. Be quick, as there are only 300 copies of this superb title. They also have Ducati World but I wouldn't recommend this game if it were the last on earth.

June 16, 2001

    Forum Competition
    With over 1600 messages the Future Gamez Forums are going exceptionally well. And now I have a little surprise. Last month I said there would be a new comp on the site. Well, that is sort of the case. You see, over the next month I will be selecting at least one person to win a prize, as well has holding random competitions. Depending on what system they own I will allow them to select a game from my review copies. There are rules and regulations so check out the COMPETITION PAGE immediately.

    Playstation 2
    It's one of the most anticipated games in PAL territories on the Playstation 2 and Future Gamez is proud to have one of the first reviews in the world. The game, EA Sports Rugby. Check out the review of this excellent title immediately.

    XBox
    Microsoft have admitted worries over the Xbox already, or it's broadband connection at least. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stated that by including broadband support the my have diminished demand for the console. In and interview on the Financial Times website Steve Ballmer stated "We have grown more pessimistic about this than we were a few years ago... It has proceeded more slowly than we expected." He also states that it could be 5 years before broadband (such as cable) reached half the population.

June 14, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Capcom have officially announced details for Onimusha 2. The game is set for release on March 7, 2002 in Japan and will be set in 1573. The game will include all new characters and the developers are going through all new motion capturing for the game. There is still no release date for the original title here in Australia, although September seems the safest bet. A couple of big games have hit the shelves in the last couple of days. Possibly the biggest title in Australia (for sports fans) is EA Sports' Rugby which looks a lot better then the screens would indicate. For action fans Sony has just unleashed Extermination. Expect a review of both games soon, but if you can's wait I will tell you now that both games are quite impressive.

    Dreamcast
    Ermm hellooo?? Does anyone realise the Dreamcast is still alive here in Australia. While it may be on life support and running on battery backup Sega's system is still getting some games. Arriving 15 months late (yes, it's been that long since the initial release date) is Chu Chu Rocket. No really, it's meant to be out in stores in Australia, now.

    Another game which has apparently just hit the stores is Id Software's Quake III Arena. It's true, it's out there, and it's only 4 months late. Phew...

June 13, 2001

    Competition Winner
    Congratulation to Odin in the Future Gamez Forums who has picked up a copy of Psychic Force 2012 on the Dreamcast simply by answering two simple questions. For those of you wanting the answers; 1. The game was developed by Taito. 2. The game received 71% overall here on Future Gamez.

    Playstation 2
    Well here's a game which you probably weren't expecting to see in America. Tecmo, the developers of the hit game Dead Or Alive 2, have confirmed they will be releasing Gallop Racer 2001 on August 21st. The game allows you to bet on horse races and, well, that's pretty much it. The game includes over 1500 horses to bet on and realistic weather conditions. Tecmo have confirmed that the game will only undergo a limited run and will only be available at selected stores. A PAL release is extremely unlikely but if it does happen I'll be first in line to have a look. No really, I will. I swear it.

    Sony have announced that worldwide shipments have surpassed 13 million units at the beginning of June. This is a phenomenal amount, and with 73 million PSOne systems shows Sony's dominance. The Dreamcast didn't even manage 10 million units worldwide.

    I have added a preview to Namco's impressive looking platformer Klonoa 2.

    Gamecube
    Nintendo have confirmed that Perfect Dark 2 (tentative title) is in development for the Gamecube and should be released by the end of next year. Once again Rare are developing the title which should continue the companies string of hits.

June 10, 2001

    Forum Competition
    I have put up one in the Dreamcast section of the Future Gamez Forums. If you want to enter be quick. You only have until midnight tonight (Saturday 9th June 11:59pm).

    Playstation 2
    I have added a preview to Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 which is set to appear on the Gamecube and XBox as well. Check it out now.

    XBox
    It appears that Microsoft may have pencilled in a tentative date for the XBox launch in Europe. The system will appear on Friday March 15th. It is expected that a pre-sell campaign, much like the Playstation 2's will be begin by Christmas. The Australian date will hopefully be very close to the European one, possibly the same.

    Mr. Itagaki of Tecmo has recently stated that Dead Or Alive 3 will not make it to the Gamecube or Playstation 2. He said that it would be technically impossible without a degrade in graphic quality, they are aiming to create a No. 1 fighting game, so a down conversion is not considered at the moment.

    Dreamcast
    In a sad move Lionhead have confirmed that they have put the Dreamcast port of Black & White on "permanent hold". This was prompted by Sega dropping the title from their publishing schedule. It is possible, but more and more unlikely, that another publisher will pick up the title.

    POLL
    Don't forget the poll on the main page. This month I am trying to determine how many games you have purchased in the last 12 months. The results to date have been somewhat surprising.

June 8, 2001

    Playstation 2
    While we here in Australia are still awaiting THQ's Red Faction American's are going nuts over the title. In the first four days the game has sold a whopping 61,000 units with 75,000 units sold through until June 5.

    Sony's highly anticipated Dark Cloud has been bumped back a couple of week from July to August. No word yet on an exact street date.

    XBox
    Sega has confirmed that they are developing Power Smash 2, or Sega Sports Tennis 2K2 (or Virtua Tennis 2 as it was previously known), on the XBox. No release date has been given.

    Dreamcast & Playstation 2
    Well I had to create a new category for this bit of news but Sega has announced plans to release online compatible games that can be played on either a Dreamcast or Playstation 2. The deal will see gamers competing between platforms on a variety of titles, although the initial game, Guru Guru Onsen 2. The Dreamcast version is expected in August while the PC and PS2 ports will be available by Christmas. While this board game title will most likely never make it outside Japan it paves the way for other mainstream titles from Sega in future.

    Dreamcast
    Sega have officially announced a release date for Shenmue II in Japan. The game will be released on September 6th, 3 days before the systems 2nd American birthday. Strangely Sega have also indicated that the game will include a limited edition Virtua Fighter 4 "Premium Disk". It remains unclear what this will include as Virtua Fighter 4 has only been confirmed for the arcade and Playstation 2. Could Sega have a big farewell present up their sleeves still?

    Arcade
    I promise. I'm not going to start covering the arcade news. But here's another interesting big of news for everyone. Apparently Sega may not be totally exiting the arcade hardware business after all. Last weekend at the "Contents Strategy Conference" Sega announced plans for a Naomi 3 chipset. No other details such as specs or release date have been announced yet, but it's exciting news.

June 7, 2001

    Arcade
    Well I don't usually cover arcade news but in this case I'll make an exception. The PS2 bound Virtua Fighter 4 is apparently scheduled to be released into arcades in Japan on August 8th.

    Playstation 2
    In another move to solidify it's Internet support SCEA have announced that they have struck a deal with Sun Microsystems to include Java support on the Playstation 2. This will allow users to access Java scrips on many web sites providing full functionality.

    I have added a couple of very hot reviews to the site. The first is for Acclaim's port of Sega's classic arcade and Dreamcast game, Crazy Taxi.

    Another review recently added to the site is that of Sony's brilliant Formula One racing game, Formula One 2001. It's a great racing game with some excellent bonuses.

    You want more? Well I have also added a review of Acclaim's All-Star Baseball 2002, which is the only baseball title to make it to PAL territories.

    Still not convinced that I do a lot of work on this site? Well I have added a preview to Acclaim's highly anticipated Shadow Man: 2econd Coming which is due out this August. It's looking hot.

    Gamecube
    Rumours are circulating on the internet that the Mario game to be shown at Spaceworld is almost complete and will be a launch title on the system. What a surprise! Expect more details closer to the systems launch.

June 5, 2001

    Playstation 2
    Sony Computer Entertainment America have announced a list of musicians to provide music for Gran Turismo 3 when it hits the states. Music will be provided by Apollo Four Forty, Gran Theft Audio, Lenny Kravitz, Motley Crue and Papa Roach. Snoop Dogg will also have an all new exclusive track in the game. Sony are still in negotiations with several other artists to use their music in the game with more announcements expected prior to the July 10 American release.

    Namco has officially confirmed that they are developing Tekken 4 on the Playstation 2. While it has been heavily rumoured for almost a year now, and the arcade game was advertised at E3, a Playstation 2 version was only announced last week in Japan.

    GameArts have announced that they are teaming up with Enix to develop Grandia II on Playstation 2 with a release date close to Christmas in Japan. They are also working on Grandia X which is expected to be released in mid 2002 with network support. In return Enix will be investing 99.2 billion yen in GameArts.

    Sony Japan are releasing a new model Playstation 2 on June 8th. They will also be reducing the retail price of the Playstation 2 from 38,900 yen to 37,800 yen, or about $AU15.

    Americans can look forward to a new Playstation 2 demo disc on June 12. The disc, which retails for $US5.99 will include the latest demo's with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 rumoured to be the big name game on the disc.

    According to gamestop.com Sega's first in-house developed games on the Playstation 2 have been given the following release dates. NFL2K2 and NBA2K2 will be released on October 15, 2001 and November 15, 2001 respectively. Virtua Fighter 4 has a release date of February 15, 2002.

June 2, 2001

    Playstation 2
    It seems as if the "never officially announced" game The Undying from Electronic Arts will not be going ahead. Apparently the game was only under consideration, despite it appearing on EA release schedules.

    Dreamcast
    It has been on the cards for a while now but it is beginning to look more and more likely that Half-Life has been canned for the Dreamcast. While not confirmed by Sierra, dreamcast.ign have a news article that most retailers in America, including EB's and Babbages have pulled the game from their schedules and refunded deposits. It's not looking good for what was to be the one of the best, and last, games on Sega's system.

    Well it looks as if Bleemcast! has been a resounding success. Apparently the disc, which allows people to play Gran Turismo 2 on Dreamcast has been selling out. That was until Sony muscled in on retailers in America and ordered them to remove disc from sale. Unsurprisingly Bleem! is now taking Sony to court. In related news Bleem! has announced that the second disc will allow gamers to play Metal Gear Solid.

    XBox
    I have added a preview (and fixed the link!) to THQ's XBox launch title New Legends.

    Poll
    Last month poll has now closed and there was a clear winner. Final Fantasy with 32.4% of the vote was your most anticipated video game based movie. This months poll is asking how many video games you have bought in the last year. Go to the Main Page to cast your vote.

    Gamecube
    Nintendo have announced that the Gamecube will retail in Japan for 25,000 yen (about $AU400). The unit is set for release there on September 14th. Nintendo are hoping to sell 4 million hardware units and 10 million games worldwide by March 2002.

Special Feature

    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.


OLD NEWS
2001 :
2001 E3 SHOW MAY  APRIL  MARCH  FEBRUARY  JANUARY 

2000 :
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1999 :
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1998 :
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