Archive for January, 2006

Sonic the Hedgehog makes his PS3 and 360 debut

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Sonic The new Sonic game will be released simultaneously on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, says a Sega boss.

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In another scoop for Famitsu magazine, they quote Sega on its intention to release the next-gen Sonic the Hedgehog game simultaneously on both 360 and PS3. Just for the record, we can’t imagine anything cooler than more Sonic. We’ll keep you updated.

SONIC’S SIMULTANEOUS NEXT-GEN SHENANIGANS [CVG]

007 headed back to PS3?

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Bond The new James Bond game, Casino Royale, will be released with the movie in November — but which consoles will it be on?

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Not long ago, we reported that the next James Bond game, Casino Royale, was scrapped for next-generation systems in favor of the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube. Now, with the film of the same name due for release in November, we’re hearing that the game might be headed to PS3 and Xbox 360. The source, as always, is Electronic Arts’ jobs postings.

EA is currently advertising various jobs for the project on their recruitment website, asking for “top talented people in the industry to work on the next gen platforms - PS3, Xbox360 and Nintendo Revolution.”

That’s from CVG, and it’s also been reported on GameSHOUT. We can’t find the exact posting they’re talking about on Jobs.EA.com — any thoughts?

More from the rumor mill on the job listing we can’t find: EA says Casino Royale’s release will coincide with the PS3 launch and the movie’s opening on November 17. We don’t think they are really calling the PS3’s launch date, but hey, you never know.

CASINO ROYALE HEADS FOR NEXT-GEN AGAIN? [CVG]
Will Bond see PS3 release date? [GameSHOUT]

EARLIER: Casino Royale is said to be slated for current-gen systems.

More launch predictions from analysts

Monday, January 30th, 2006

This time, some Japanese analysts think the PS3 could launch in that country between April and June.

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The Japanese magazine Famitsu interviewed two analysts in a recent article, one of whom suggests the PS3 will be released there between April and June. Another says May and June. And in one more non-shocker, they suggest that the Japanese launch will have limited software support, and that the system will cost more than $350.

On a related note, being an analyst must be a sweet gig. Hang around, talk about games, do interviews with Famitsu and make predictions for which you have no personal stake and very little basis in fact. We’re sure they did their research, but still, it always seems fishy to us when “industry watchers” come out pretending to know Sony’s inner workings. Maybe they’re just shooting in the dark in hopes of saying “told you so” a few months down the road. Maybe journalists just need someone who seems like a reliable source to say the obvious. But either way, they can’t all be right, so take their estimates with that in mind.

Japanese Analysts Predict Console Launch Dates [Gamasutra]

New Call of Duty and Spiderman titles on the way

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Spidey The job boards report that Activision is working on next-gen versions of their popular Call of Duty and Spiderman series.

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Career postings from a major developer are once again making our lives a lot easier, this time by revealing new Call of Duty and Spiderman titles for the next-gen systems, which we can safely assume means PS3.

No major details yet, but here’s one of the job descriptions from Activision’s web site:

Treyarch develops leading-edge games for the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, and next-gen consoles. We have a position open for a graphics programmer on an upcoming Spider-Man or Call of Duty title.

We’ll keep you updated.

Activision Jobs (for some reason, doesn’t work in Firefox)
Spider Man and Call of Duty to hit the PS3 [GameSHOUT]

Namco plans four games for PS3

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Tekken The longtime Sony ally revealed the genres of several games that it may release early in the PS3’s life cycle.

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Namco updated its Japanese web site to represent four new games — a fighter, a shooter, a sports game and an RPG. That’s all we know for sure now, but of course, we can expect a new edition Tekken (the fighter), which was previewed at E3.

Punch Jump, which reported the update, says that the games may be ready for the PS3 launch. It’s hard to pin this down exactly, though, since the launch window right now is about 8 months wide.

We’ll keep you updated when we hear more about Namco’s PS3 titles.

Namco to drop four to PS3 [Punch Jump]

Programmer says PS3 ain’t so tough

Monday, January 30th, 2006

A programmer at British developer Volatile says that PS3 development is comparable to that of the PC, and easier than PS2.

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Lyndon Homewood, who’s a lead developer at Volatile, the studio that’s working on a zombie game called Possession for PS3, spoke to the Guardian gaming blog about the ease of programming for the PS3. He says that, because PS3 is based on the same Open GL architecture that is used for PC graphics, it should be easy to make the transition to the new console.

“ES is designed for things like set-top boxes and mobile phones, where you want the fundamental graphics but don’t need some of the fringe stuff that Open GL has. Because you’ve got that on PS3, it’s going to be much easier than the PS2 to get something up and running - there are hundreds of books out there for it, so you can do your background reading. All the documentation is there.”

So, after a few rounds of complaints on PS3 development, we’ve got a band of developers sticking up for the system. For more technical details, check out the full interview.

Possession and the art of PS3 programming [Guardian]
PS3 Not Difficult to Develop For, says Volatile [GameDaily]

Sony source: PS3 is scheduled for Fall ‘06

Friday, January 27th, 2006

A “well-placed mole” inside Sony says what we’re all thinking: the PS3 is slated for a fall US release.

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Kotaku reports the source’s statements today:

A well-placed mole tells me that Sony has green-lighted the Playstation 3 for a Fall release in North America. Sony is still evaluating when it will hit in Japan, but they are apparently still shooting for the increasingly-imminent Spring.

Key Sony personnel, I’m told, are on the ground there now trying to figure out how to handle the launch.

Makes sense, right? Hard to imagine it’ll make it to Japan in the “Spring,” since for all we know the console hardware isn’t ready yet. But, hey, you never know.

PS3 Hits US This Holiday? [Kotaku]

Wal-Mart gets in the game

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Wal-Mart The nation’s largest retail chain is gettin’ ready for the PS3 — or, at least, they’ve got a page on their site for it.

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Maybe this isn’t huge news, but we thought you’d be interested to hear that Wal-Mart is promoting the PlayStation 3, as well as the Nintendo Revolution, on its web site. We still don’t know when either system will be released, or any pricing or launch title details, but hey, it’s never to early to get started.

Walmart’s PS3 Page
Wal-Mart Opens Doors on Revolution, PS3 Sites [Kotaku]

Factor 5 gearing up for more PS3 development

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Factor 5 More news from the job boards — developer Factor 5 is hiring in a big way for PlayStation 3 programmers and designers.

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The company, which is currently working on Lair, a dragon-themed game that is said to be a PS3 launch title, is apparently working on at least one other “original” project for the PlayStation 3. They’re hiring all sorts of new programmers and designers, some with specific PS3 details in the job description.

Nothing too revealing, sadly, but at least we know we can expect more from the guys who created the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series.

Factor 5’s job listings
FACTOR 5 RAMPS UP PS3 DEVELOPMENT [CVG]

EARLIER: IGN goes wild with job posting news.

Sony gets its finances back in order

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

PSP Riding high on strong TV and PSP sales during the holiday season, Sony surprises investors by posting a big profit instead of a big loss.

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After profits rose 17.5 percent in the October-December quarter, Sony adjusted its forecasts for the rest of the financial year (ending in March). Instead of losing $86.9 million, the company now expects to make $608 million on $64.3 billion in sales.

What caused the turnaround? Strong sales of flat-panel televisions during the holidays, as well as the widespread popularity of the PSP, which outsold PS2 this holiday season.

Sony is in the midst of a big cost-cutting period, led by their first non-Japanese CEO, Howard Stringer. Though a lot of questions loom ahead — the PS3, Blu-ray, and so on — this is good news for the company, and perhaps a sign that Stringer’s plan is working. We shall see.

In related news, Nintendo also posted strong profits for this quarter, and they’ve announced a new, smaller version of the DS (aptly titled DS Lite), for release in Japan in March. No word yet on when it hits the States.

Sony Sees Profit As It Attempts Turnaround [AP via Forbes]
Sony posts strong quarterly results [Gamespot]
Nintendo posts strong Q3 profit [Reuters via CNN]