NOVEMBER 2001 NEWS

November 29, 2001

    Silent Hill 2 Important Information

    Apparently there are some technical problems with the DVD extras disc bundled with Konami's Silent Hill 2. Ozisoft, the games Australian distributor, has released a statement with how to get a replacement. Here is the statement in its entirety;

    Sydney, 27th November, 2001 - OziSoft, Australia’s premier distributor of interactive software, wishes to advise that there is an apparent compatibility issue in relation to the bonus "The Making of Silent Hill 2" DVD included free inside every copy of the highly anticipated, survival horror game Silent Hill 2" recently released for PlayStation 2.

    OziSoft has been advised by Konami that the bonus DVD "The Making of Silent Hill 2" has been encoded with the Region 2 copy-protection code and not the Region 4 DVD code, that is the standard for Australia and New Zealand. This will cause the bonus disc not to function on Region 4 only DVD players (including the PlayStation 2). However, the disc will function correctly when played on multi-region DVD players.

    OziSoft values its customers and places the highest importance on delivering a superior level of customer service. OziSoft has moved quickly to resolve this issue by initiating production of the correct Region 4 "The Making of Silent Hill 2" DVD.

    Customers who wish to receive a replacement Region 4 DVD disc can contact the "Making of Silent Hill 2" DVD hotline on 1800 833 311. A Region 4 replacement DVD disc will be dispatched to customers before the 25th December 2001.

    Please note that this issue does not affect the Silent Hill 2 game disc. The game disc functions fully and correctly, giving the player the ultimate terrifying horror experience on PlayStation 2.

    OziSoft appreciates it customers patience and understanding in resolving this issue.

    Web Site Closure
    No, Future Gamez is not closing down, but one of the best online game news sites is. As of yesterday FGN (Fastest Gaming News) Online has closed down for good. This follows a downturn in the industry and a lack of advertising on the site. FGN Online attracted about 50,000 visitors a day and is the second major game site closure this year following the closure of Daily Radar earlier in the year. While the site was the competition it is a massive blow to the gaming community in general as FGN Online has the most up to date information and news for the last 4 years. FGN Online will be sadly missed. For more information and farewell comments visit www.fgnonline.com.

    Games
    It was rumoured last week but now Square has confirmed that Final Fantasy X will ship in America on December 26th, Boxing Day. Unfortunately I spoke with Anne Carroll at Sony Australia today who said the PAL release hasn't changed from its Winter 2002 release date.

    According to reports online Namco are currently 60% of the way through development of Soul Calibur 2 for the arcade. The game includes 20 characters and should be release in Q'2 2002. The company has already begun ports of the game to Playstation 2, Xbox and Gamecube for a simultaneous release on all systems.

    Capcom have apparently set a release date for Onimusha 2 in Japan. The game will be release on March 7, 2002 and following the success of the original Onimusha Warlords we can expect a release outside Japan by the end of next year.

    Company
    Square president and CEO Hsashi Suzuki is standing down following a poor 2001 result where the company has lost around $AU200 million. Suzuki will remain as chairman of the board while Yoichi Wada, the Chief Operating Officer will take his place.

November 28, 2001

    System Price Change
    As many of you have noticed the price of the Playstation 2 has crept up here in Australia over the last couple of weeks. Most retailers have put the official price up from $499 to $529. I spoke to Anne Carroll at Sony Australia today about the matter. She explained that the price drop was decided by Sony Europe prior to the September 11 attacks in America and that is was already heavily discounted above other territories. Unfortunately, since the attacks this price simply could not be sustained and a $30 increase was necessary.
    What everyone must remember is that neither Sony nor the retailers make any profit at this price, and in fact with discounting in stores there is usually a loss on consoles. In recent months you would have also notice the price on some software being decreased with titles like Tekken Tag and the EA Sports range selling for as low as $49.95 in some stores.

    Sony Japan today announced a price cut for the Playstation 2 from 35,000 yen to 29,800 yen. The price cut takes effect from November 29th. Sony America are still holding firm on their $US299 price point at this stage.

    Games
    Some good news today from Sony with confirmation that, like America, the release of their flagship platform title, Jak & Daxter has been brought forward by a week from December 14 to December 7th. That's just over a week away now.

    The Little Birdie
    A little birdie landed on my shoulder today and whispered something that may get a few people very excited. Apparently there is a certain development team trying to complete a very fast futuristic racing game in time for Christmas. This game was recently pushed back to January/February but work is progressing very well at the moment, which may see the title brought forward again. Remember this is only a whisper at this stage but Santa is still working overtime to make a lot of people happy by Christmas Day.

    Forums
    A reminder to everyone to enjoy the Forums on Future Gamez which now have over 2,500 posts. They have been a bit quiet of late, but I am back in there on a daily basis answering questions and throwing in my 2 cents worth. Click here to go there immediately.

    Poll
    It's the last couple of days for the poll so if you haven't voted yet do so immediately to let us know what pre-Christmas game you're most interested in.

November 27, 2001

    Forums
    A reminder to everyone to enjoy the Forums on Future Gamez which now have over 2,500 posts. They have been a bit quiet of late, but I am back in there on a daily basis answering questions and throwing in my 2 cents worth. Click here to go there immediately.

    Poll
    A reminder to everyone that there is only a couple of days remaining in the Poll to the right. Make sure you vote now before it's replaced with the December poll.

    Review
    I have added a review to Criterion's spectacular racing game Burnout which is being published in Australia by Acclaim. Impressive.

    Also added is a review for the Toka developed, Swing Published, Acclaim distributed title, Hidden Invasion.

November 25, 2001

    Games
    Still getting over the thrill of Metal Gear Solid 2, if your an American. Well, here's something we can all get excited about. Hideo Kojima has mentioned that there will be another Metal Gear Solid game, but that he would like to see someone else direct the next game rather then himself. Kojima also said that he expects to be involved in the initial planning stages of the game. Before you ask, not there is no systems planned, the game hasn't begun development or planning yet, and there is certainly no release date. Still at least the PS2 game won't be the last as was feared after comments earlier this year.

    Namco Japan has announced details of their upcoming games. The company expects to sell 600,000 units of XenoSaga Episode 1: Ser Wille Zur Macht when it is released in February 2002. More importantly however they are looking to sell 450,000 units of Tekken 4 which is currently expected to be released before the end of March 2002. We can expect PAL releases a couple of months later.

    Review
    I have added a review to Electronic Art's impressive FIFA Football 2002 which is on shelves now. There have been some pretty drastic changes to the gameplay this year so you may want to check out the review first.

November 23, 2001

    Games
    Confirmation today from Acclaim that several more unannounced (for Australia at least) PS2 games are headed here by the end of the year. Acclaim will be bringing several Cryo games including Dune, a strategy game based on the latest TV series still to be seen in Australia, Mega Race III, a sequel to the hit PC game from a few years ago, Woody Woodpecker is a family game of some description, Atlantis III is a strategy game with no links to the recent Disney movie and finally The Shadow Of Zorro which is an adventure game. Next year Acclaim will also be bringing in the adventure game Jekyll & Hyde which has been in development for quite a while and should hit the shelves in February.

    According to reports Square are considering moving the release of Final Fantasy X from January 2002 earlier one month to December 2001. Apparently the company has completed the translation earlier then expected and may try to get the game out by Christmas. Expect confirmation in the next couple of days if the game is to be brought forward. The PAL version is currently expected in March next year.

    Schedule
    I have once again updated the release schedules to include Acclaim's titles above as well as several other date changes from THQ, Sony and UbiSoft. Click here to check out the latest Australian release dates.

    Dreamcast
    While many people believe that this year will be a three horse race for domination between XBox, Gamecube, and Playstation 2 it may not be the case. Sega are dropping the price of the Dreamcast from $US79.95 to only $US49.95, the price of one game on other systems. This is phenomenal value considering the number of quality titles that can be picked up rather cheaply these days. No word on a PAL price drop in time for Christmas however to clear the remaining stock.

November 22, 2001

    Forums
    A reminder to everyone to enjoy the Forums on Future Gamez. They have been a bit quiet of late, but I am back in there on a daily basis answering questions and throwing in my 2 cents worth. Click here to go there immediately.

    Games
    Well, it's happened yet again. Electronic Arts' highly anticipated (just check out the poll) Cricket 2002 has been delayed yet again. The game is now scheduled for December 21st, just a couple of days before Christmas. Hopefully Santa is reserving a spot in his sleigh for a last minute rush on gifts.

    It appears the Mummy Returns which Ozisoft had told me was delayed until 2002, may have snuck onto store shelves early. I'm still looking for verification that the game is out but it may not be far off.

    Review
    I have added a review to the Criterion developed follow up to Trickstyle. The Sony published Airblade must be considered by all extreme sports fans.

    Preview
    I have added a preview to Universal's upcoming Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex which looks like a solid continuation of the hit series. The game should hit the shelves in Australia during the next week or so.

November 19, 2001

    Games
    Sony America have confirmed that Naughty Dog's platform adventure game, Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy will actually be shipping a week earlier then expected. The game will not ship on Tuesday December 4, instead of December 11. Unfortunately there is no word yet on the PAL release also being brought forward from the current December 14 date.

    Sony have announced 4 more bands for their upcoming interactive music game Frequency. The new artists include No Doubt, Jungle Brothers, Curve and Akrobatik. These bands bring the number of bands to 17 and include wonderful artists such as Paul Oakenfold, Roni Size, Lo Fidelity All Stars, Fear Factory, The Crystal Method, BT, Juno Reactor, DJ Q-Bert, Dub Pistols, Orbital, Powerman 5000, Meat Beat Manifesto and Funkstar De Luxe. Now that is one stunning line-up of talent with many original songs as well as older favourites. No Doubt, for example, have done a remix of "Ex-Girlfriend" just for the game.

    According to rumours on the web, Electronic Arts are working on an all-new surfing game. Better still, the game is apparently being developed at EA's Australian studios on the Gold Coast (only a few minutes from here) although I haven't heard anything on the game myself. So it's still a rumour, but given the location of the development studio where else would a company get more hands on surfing experience?

    Midway have delayed their highly anticipated NFL Blitz 20-02 to Q'1 2002. The game was expected to hit American shelves by Christmas. Let's hope it's a lot better then NHL Hitz 20-02 which I am struggling through at the moment for the sake of a review.

    Review
    I have added a review to Namco's impressive light gun game, Time Crisis 2 which is available now here in Australia. It's quite impressive.

November 16, 2001

    Games
    There's some sad news for Australian gamers with THQ today announcing yet another delay for Capcom's stunning Devil May Cry. This time the game has been pushed back to December 14th. Hopefully this will be the actual release date.

    At long last the most anticipated game on the Playstation 2 has hit the shelves, in America. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty is in stores now with Konami shipping a massive 1.8 million units to retail.

    Konami has announced that they have pre-sold 400,000 copies of Silent Hill 2. The game is currently expected to hit Australian shelves on November 23rd.

    While Airblade is available now in Australia (expect a review soon) the game has just been snapped up for distribution in America by Namco. Exactly why Sony America didn't get the job remains unknown. Sadly for Americans you will have to wait until February to taste the delights of Criterion's hover board game.

    Preview
    I have finally added a preview to Gearbox's impressive FPS, Half-Life. The PC game is shaping up very nicely indeed.

November 15, 2001

    Games
    Konami have finally set a firm release date for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty. The game will be released in Europe on February 22nd 2002, jsut 2 days before my Birthday!! :) As yet there is no confirmation of an Australian release date although it should be pretty close to that date, if not the same. While talking about the game Konami have also stated that they plan on selling 2 million copies of the game by March 2002 in America alone.

    Electronic Arts have confirmed development of two more Playstation 2 titles for release early next year. The first game is Pirates Of Skull Cove which is expected to be released on February 19th. The second game is Simpsons Cheap Skater which is being developed by Fox and should be released around March 22nd if all goes well.

    A slight delay for another Electronic Arts title however with Simspons Road Rage delayed by a week from December 7th to December 14th.

    I have updated the Previews & Release Schedule page with plenty of new game dates in the lead-up to Christmas.

    I have also updated the Reviews & Game List page with all the latest released games and reviews.

    Poll
    Well the poll on the right is certainly turning up one very surprising result to date. If you haven't voted yet make sure you do so to let us know what your most wanted pre-Christmas game is.

    Preview
    I have added a preview to UbiSoft's impressive looking multi-player racing/platform game, Rayman M which is the Australian name for Rayman Arena.

November 14, 2001

    Games
    Hitman 2: Silent Assassin has been confirmed for release on the Playstation 2 in 2002. The game will have many enhancements over the PC original and will have very open gameplay, much like Grand Theft Auto 3.

    Sony Europe have officially launched their Wipeout Fusion web site. The site is Flash based and has all the racing team info and plenty of screens. The web site is located at the following address: http://www.wipeoutfusion.com/

    Review
    I have finally added a review to Treasure's very different game, Freak Out. The game has been out for a while not but has been generating some interest, especially from fans of the Japanese developer.

    I have added a review to the Z-Axis developed game Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 which should keep extreme sports fans quite happy.

November 11, 2001

    Hardware
    Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Kaz Harai has confirmed that Sony will be increasing production of the Playstation 2 from 1.8 to 2 million units a month. The company also expects to ship 10 million units in North America by March 2002, and Kaz also confirmed there are no plans for a price drop this year in America.

    Games
    Confirmation today that Warthog was contracted directly by NewKidCo to create a new Playstation 2 game based on the upcoming 20th Anniversary edition of Steven Spielberg's E.T. which will hit cinemas mid next year. No word yet on what will be included in the game or a release date.

    Publishers
    UbiSoft have officially launched a new web site www.ubi.com which is primarily to act as a portal to their online games. At the moment the content is aimed towards their PC titles such as Conflict Zone, IL-2 Sturmovik, Conquest Frontier Wars and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Rogue Spear: Black Thorn. The web site will also eventually be used for online console systems, including Playstation 2.

    Review
    I have added a review to Midway's Arctic Thunder. If you had the remotest consideration for this game I strongly suggest you read the review immediately.

November 9, 2001

    Publishers
    THQ have begun making moves to acquire Rainbow Studios. The development company has had a strong of hits of late including Motocross Madness, ATV Offroad Fury, Star Wars Racer II: Racer Revenge, Atari Splashdown (which hits stores this week) and Matt Hoffman's Pro BMX. This would be yet another major boost to THQ who only last year purchased Volition who have since released the hit games Summoner and Red Faction.

    Games
    Word has come in today that Acclaim have officially delayed the release of Shadowman: 2econd Coming until an unspecified early 2002 release date. Still, it should be worth the wait.

    Gearbox has confirmed that the highly anticipated port of Half-Life will be released in America on November 14, a day before the XBox launch. Fortunately, European and Australian gamers won't have to wait too much longer either with a release date of November 23 (give or take a few days) now set.

    Preview
    At long last I have added a preview to EA's impressive looking cricket game on Playstation 2, EA Sports Cricket 2002. This game looks like a definite purchase for cricket loving PS2 owners.

November 6, 2001

    Games
    According to Dan's JP3 Page Jurassic Park Survival has been canned. The game was being developed by Savage Entertainment but "Due to conflicts with Universal-Vivendi over payment, Savage has ceased working on the Jurassic Park game" a Savage spokesperson told DansJP3Page.com. The game has been slipping in release schedules for months now and while little has been seen from the game is was to be a massive 3D action game similar to Tomb Raider.

    Apparently Sega are looking at getting the American version of Virtua Fighter 4 in stores around March 2002. This would likely put the Australian release also in March or April 2002.

    After the delay of Final Fantasy X to 2002 gamers were left looking for another RPG to keep them excited this Christmas. Most likely that game will be Interplay's Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The good news is that the game has gone gold in America and should be available soon. The PAL version should also follow in a few weeks and is currently slated for release on November 30.

    Review
    It's been a while coming but I have finally found the time to complete a review of the Sony/Team Soho game, This Is Soccer 2002 which is the Australian name for This Is Football 2002 in Europe.

November 4, 2001

    Interview
    I have added an interview with Craig Sullivan from Criterion on the site where he discusses their upcoming game Airblade. Check out this interview immediately.

November 1, 2001

    POLL
    In case you missed it I have added a new poll to the right. This month I am going to see what is the most important thing to you when it comes to buying a game. Cast your vote now.

    Games
    Sadly, one of the hottest games this year, EA Sports Cricket 2002 has been delayed yet again. This time the game has been delayed from November 23rd to December 7th. Hopefully this date will stick to try and get the game out in time for Christmas.

    Those of you anticipating the EA action game, Bond: Agent Under Fire will be please to hear the game has passed Sony's QA testing in America and has just gone gold. This will make the American November 13 release a certainty, with Australia to follow days later.

    According to Konami sales of Silent Hill 2 have hit the million mark worldwide. The Australian release is currently set for November 23rd and will include a bonus disc with behind the scenes development information.

    Those of you looking for Take 2's Grand Theft Auto 3 may have to look a little harder. Following scores of 10/10 in the Official Australian Playstation Magazine and 9.6/10 on PS2.ign the game has sold much quicker then anticipated.

    Review
    I have added a review to Electronic Arts' impressive NHL 2002 which is a vast improvement on last years impressive game. If you like sports games at all then you should be checking this review out now.

October 31, 2001

    SPECIAL FEATURE: DVD & Home Theatre Info
    Many people who have a PS2 use it to watch DVD movies. But are you really set up for the full experience? Do you know what all the terms are when people talk about anamorphic pictures, DTS sound of optical leads? This Special Feature will help you unravel some of the mystery. Make sure you check out the DVD & Home Theatre Info. It's not as detailed as it could have been but gives you some of an idea. If you have any further questions or queries make sure you e-mail me straight away.


OLD NEWS
2001 :
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2000 :
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1999 :
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1998 :
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