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MAY 2003 NEWS
May 31, 2003

    Preview
    Indycar Series has been in development at Brain in a Jar for some time now, and is shaping up as one of the best looking racing games in years. Based on the American racing sport the races take place on oval circuits, with up to 33 cars on track at once. It's will be nice to get away from teh glut of Formula One racing games at last, and this game should do the job perfectly. The game is currently expected around late June.

May 30, 2003

    Price Drop
    In a move that is destined to be a further boost to the market Sony have dropped the price of the Playstation 2 in Australia from $399 to $329. Microsoft, not to be left behind, have also dropped the price of their console to the same pricepoint. Here's Sony's official press release:

      Getting into PlayStation®2 gets even easier!
      PlayStation®2 console reduced to AUD$329.95

      Sydney, 29 May 2003 Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCE Aust.) today announced that the RRP of its PlayStation®2 console has been reduced to AUD$329.95 effective Friday 30th May 2003.

      "Local market conditions have allowed us to facilitate more affordable prices in Australia," said Michael Ephraim, Vice President of SCE Europe and Managing Director of SCE Aust/NZ. "Were giving potential customers the perfect opportunity to embrace the best in home computer entertainment and be part of one of the most exciting times in the history of gaming," Mr. Ephraim added. This new affordable price will replace alternative types of "value" promotions that have been in effect over the past 3 months.

      Customers that take advantage of the new price will be set to enjoy a wide range of home entertainment options. These include DVD functionality, music CD playback and a library of over 500 games starting from as little as $49.95 for the extremely popular Platinum range of games. This range is set to have several new titles released over the next few months expanding the range even further. In addition, PlayStation®2 offers the latest in home entertainment innovations including Network Gaming, due for release later this year.

      "Were pleased to widen the doors into the PlayStation entertainment world. At this price, customers make a small investment that immediately reaps massive value and is the key to unlock the most exciting entertainment potential in the future," Mr. Ephraim added.

    Preview
    Legacy of Kain Defiance is yet another stunning looking game in the action RPG series of games. With over 6 months remaining in development this game not only has the graphics but promises to be the best game in the series to date, and that's an impressive feat. Here's a preview of Eidos' upcoming title.

May 26, 2003

    Games
    Electronic Arts have confirmed a release date for Soul Calibur 2 in Australia. The game will hit shelves on September 29th, a little later then expected.

    Blizzard have pushed back the release of their highly anticipated Starcraft: Ghost until early 2004. Here's the official statement from Blizzard: "We firmly believe that this additional development time will prove invaluable, ensuring that the game will truly expand on the legendary gameplay experience found in the previous StarCraft titles. As with all Blizzard products, our goal is to make StarCraft: Ghost the best it can be, and we will not release the game until it's ready."

    Preview
    Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution has just been confirmed for release in Australia thanks to Gamenation. With a release date of late July there isn't too much time to wait. As the title suggests this game is more of an evolution then entirely new game. This verison has two new characters, and improved graphics engine and many more unlockable extras. Here's the preview.

    TV Shows
    Well Catalyst the other night was a rather interesting program. Sure if you're involved in the games industry you wouldn't have learnt that much, but for the mainstream public it should have been an eye-opener. It was a little disappointing that the Playstation 2 Online services were barely mentioned but considering they were following a XBox Live game it was little surprise. Let's hope there are more programs similar to this in future.

May 22, 2003

    TV Shows
    Just a quick one, and yes I know there's only an hour until airing but at 8.00 tonight on ABC's Catalyst program they will be covering game development in Australia. It may not have much about the PS2 but should be interesting anyway. Here's what the TV guide says about the show: "Looks at a new world of computer entertainment being created in Australia. Massively multi-player games (MMPs), will allow up to a million people, each with their own character, to play against each other online in virtual worlds."

May 21, 2003

    Games
    Namco has confirmed they will release MotoGP 4 in Japan this October. No word yet on a release outside Japan. Racing fans may like to note that MotoGP 3 has just hit the shelves in Australia. Expect a review soon.

    Kazunori Yamauchi has mentioned that Gran Turismo 4 will push the limits of the Playstation 2 to its maximum and as a result there won't be another sequel on the system. Can anyone mention Playstation 3? As for the damage it's still not happening in this game although the developers are looking at putting penalties in place for wreckless drivers.

    Review
    Dakar 2 has hit the shelves in Australia and Chris has finished off the review. The first Paris-Dakar game was the perfect example of how not to create a rally game. Unfortunately the developers don't seem to have learned, or improved, that much at all really.

May 20, 2003

    E3 Show
    Well the E3 Show is finally over and Sony were showing as strong a list of games on the Playstation 2 then anyone else. The only other system that could come remotely close was the PC with Doom III and Half Life 2 standing out on that system. Still, there was plenty on show for the PS2, with online games being pushed considerbly. If you haven't read all the news then head on to the E3 page.

May 13, 2003

    Review
    The Mark of Kri from first impressions points to a Disney styled platform game, but that couldn't be further from the truth in this blood thirsty action title from Sony. Chris has given this game a long hard look and came away extremely impressed. Check out the full review now, and then go buy this game.

May 12, 2003

    Games
    A reported preview trailer of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (yes, that's apparently the name) has been leaked on the web. The clip shows solid snake in the jungle eating a snake before being attacked by enemies and dispatching them swiftly enough with several guns. It's possible that the clip is a leaked preview to be shown by Konami at the upcoming E3 show. Expect more details, and a copy of the clip when, or if, officially released in the coming days as a countdown on Konami's web site indicates.

    Codemasters has confirmed that Colin McRae Rally 04 will be released on all formats in November 2003. The game will include many improvements and refinements over the previous title in the series.

    EA Sports have announced some details about SSX3. The first is that the company is making massively large environments to explore using seamless transitions between scenes with each level being 5-10 times larger then in the previous title. Also the game will include around 100 mini-games. The title is currently expected towards the end of 2003.

    Namco has confirmed that they are working on a new Ridge Racer game to be called R: Racing Evolution. The game will include 11 real an fantasy tracks and 8 different racing types including rally and drag. The game is currently expected in Q'4 2003 in Japan.

    Namco has also confirmed that they will be releasing Time Crisis 3 on Playstation 2 in Q'4 2003 in Japan. The game will not only include the original arcade missions but also levels exclusive to the home version.

    Playmore has once again delayed the Japanese release of Metal Slug 3 this time from May 22 to June 19.

    From Software have confirmed they are developing a new game in the Armored Core series of games. No details have been announced.

    Electronic Arts have confirmed securing the rights to Superman until the end of 2005. Will it be enough time give the development problems the new movie is having at Warner Brothers. The movie was already meant to be shooting for a 2004 release, but there still isn't a director let alone actor for the main role.

    Companies
    Sega has confirmed that they have pulled out of the deal to merge with Sammy which was to go ahead in the coming year. Also, Namco has confirmed that it has scrapped plans to merge with Sega leaving Sega looking for another buyer... any takers? I'll put some money on Infogrames and Electronic Arts... but that's specualation.

    Speaking of Infogrames, they are no longer. The company will now be known as Atari. Return of the classic brand name. But why?

May 11, 2003

    I'm Back
    Well there was no e-mail on the ship hence my inabilty to update the web site. A 56k connection in Fiji cost me $7 per 20 minutes just to check the e-mails from family. Speaking of e-mails all e-mails that have been sent to me since April 28th were corrupted in the download from the server so I'll need you to re-e-mail any important question or information. I'm pretty much falling asleep already so I won't update any news today but with E3 only days away expect plenty of news.


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