Just when you thought that developers have started to favor the Xbox 360 over the PS3 when it comes to hardcore RPGs on the home console front, along comes a damper of a news. Although huge legends like Hironobu Sakaguichi and Nobuo Uuematsu have jumped aboard the Microsoft bandwagon and released a fair number of RPGs, those failed to sustain the hardware sales of the console which repeatedly fell back to pre-RPG levels after a few weeks. This time round, we have some rather disappointing piece of news to report – Mistwalker Studios’ third Xbox 360 title, Cry On, has been canned.
Looks like the Nintendo Wii will be getting a whole lot of shovelware love from Gameloft, as the latter has recently announced that it is working on an apparently strong line-up for WiiWare – the new downloadable game service from Nintendo for their next-gen (now current gen) console. The entire library of new games has been slated for launches across three continents, mainly in Europe, the US and Japan. This line up will feature a host of games including Block Breaker Deluxe, Midnight Pool, Midnight Bowling and TV Show King. All these games will be built from scratch or is some sort of rehashed title that has been recreated specially for the Wii platform, taking advantage of the motion sensing controller in order to maximize your gaming enjoyment.
Looks like those living in the US have more reasons to rejoice – only if they’re big fans of Nintendo, that is. The Japanese video gaming company has plans to roll out a brand new Nintendo DS Lite color, bringing a seventh color choice to folks living on that continent by parading cobalt and black on a single console. I guess two-toned consoles seem to be picking steam these days, what with the initial release of the Brain Age 2 bundle that came with the crimson/onyx handheld console. Get ready your calendars, boys and girls, and mark February 10th as the date to make a beeline towards a major game retailer near you.
Gamers on the Xbox 360 platform will get yet another chance to crack their brains with a new range of brain games, bringing the Brain Challenge game to Xbox LIVE Arcade. According to Gonzague de Vallois, senior vice president of Publishing, Gameloft, “The tremendous growth of mass-market, casual games coupled with the massive consumer acceptance of gaming platforms such as Xbox LIVE Arcade, has opened up a significant opportunity for Gameloft. Xbox LIVE Arcade is the perfect vehicle for us to expand our presence with players of all types.”
Most game developers already find it a pain to come up with a game on a single platform, let alone a multi-platform release that will surely take ages for a simultaneous release. After all, optimizing code for one platform to another is a whole new ball game, and more often than not we find games running on platforms that we totally don’t expect – take Doom on the iPod and Viva Pinata on the Xbox 360 for example. To add to all this craziness, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli has declared, “Theoretically, anything could run anywhere.” Why did he say that? Let’s dissect his statement after the jump.
Everyone knows that the Xbox 360 isn’t the most reliable console around, and in fact has been the one that saw most returns to the manufacturer due to the “Red Ring of Death” phenomenon. Microsoft isn’t going to take this mistake lying down though, and will respond to complaints as well as research into just why the Xbox 360 is currently experiencing such a high failure rate. It seems that Xbox 360 owners can now contact Microsoft for a free replacement for up to 3 years from the day they purchased their consoles. Gamers in the past who have had to fork out their own money for repairs after the initial 1-year warranty can also seek for refunds according to Microsoft.
Everyone knows that Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, although those just below him in rank are catching up fast. Imagine how much richer he’d be if Microsoft didn’t just sell 244 copies of original Windows Vista in China with the rest purchasing pirated copies, but I digress. Apparently Microsoft has recently announced its earnings for the third quarter in its fiscal year, showing the Entertainment and Devices Division operating at a cool $315 million loss. While this is a mere drop in the ocean for Bill, it’s still a huge pile of money to the rest of the world. Anyone wants to take a guess on why the Entertainment and Devices Division are bleeding money? The Xbox 360 line comes into mind.
The 20GB PS3 from Sony must surely hold the record as the shortest lived console in the world, at least in North America. This model will no longer be available to consumers living on that part of the world since Sony claims on behalf of its consumers and retailers that the demand favoring the 60GB model was 10 to 1. I personally find these numbers hard to believe, particularly when Sony acted unfairly and supplied a minute supply of 20GB models to retailers around the country. Many speculate that this is due to the higher financial losses incurred whenever somebody picks up the 20GB model, so pulling the plug on this SKU so early in the game means Sony is trying to stem the bleeding.
The good folk at Joystiq have touched upon a really sensitive topic – Is the novelty of the Wii wearing thin after the initial euphoria that followed after the launch period? There is seemingly a “drought” in terms of game titles being released for the Wii, and there will be a certain segment of the Wii population who have gotten tired of bowling the 759th frame in Wii Bowling. What are your views on this? Is the Wii really that short on new titles to keep gamers entertained, or is this just some rant from the hardcore community?
You know it is really sad when Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) has a mere handful of games that were released exclusively on the PSP platform, while the majority of the others were readily available in a much more graphically superior version on the PS2. Unfortunately, the PS2 is slowly but surely being phased out with the recent introduction of the PS3, which leads to the question – where will the PSP get its list of ported games from in the future? The answer, ironically, lies in its rivals – the Nintendo DS Lite and ageing Game Boy Advance.
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