The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 04.13.04

Whu? Wha? Whassat?
*Wake up, you lazy git!
…Marvin? What the hell is this?
*Get up! You’ve got the news to do!
Huh?….Uhhh…. You go ahead… Me ill…
*I don’t know… A couple of all-nighters to finish some uni work, and suddenly he thinks he’s got the right to take a day off.

So, looks like it’s up to me, then. I’m Marvin, and Snorlax over there is Misha. I’m doing your news this week, but because Misha’s tired from working, there’s no commentary. Sorry if that upsets you, all four loyal readers, but I’m sure he’ll have something special for next week. Or maybe not.

Now, on with business.

News

Microsoft vs Apple: Round 3,486

Latest reports from various online sources suggest there may be a method to Microsoft’s “no hard-drive in X-Box 2” madness. CNet reports a US patent granted to Microsoft for “a gaming system (that) includes a hard disk drive for storing applications and other data”, which is seemingly at odds with the developer’s No-Drive strategy. Furter developments emerged when reports began to surface of an alledged drunken admission from “X-Boss” J. Allard in which he talks about plans to release a seperately-available, portable hard drive, with not only the capacity for storing saved-games and updates, but also mp3 and wma files, with full playback capabilities. Current plans suggest that the suposed “iPod-killer” would be sold as a loss-leader opromotion, at around $100.

Marvin: So basically, Microsoft want to create the next generation of memory card. For once, I’m actually hopeful that a M$ project will take off. The last time they did a loss-leader, it worked (just about)

credit: CNet, Engadget, spong.com

Nintendo to showcase many DS titles at E3

Reports from hugely-respected Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu suggest that Nintendo’s games lineup for its new DS system is not a source for worry, and some people have claimed. Hirokazu Hamamura, president of Interbrain, the Japanese publishing company that boasts Famitsu amongst its products, has been offering his highly optomistic insights into the DS. “This will be a product unlike anything available right now, and will come with a touch screen” he said, before mentioning Ninty’s readiness to showcase up to 30 DS games at E3 in May.

Marvin: Well, this seems to be promising for Nintendo, especially coming off the sales news. I just hope they’re not 30 different version of Pokemon DS…

credit: gamesradar.com

PSP FF @ E3?

Current speculation from Japan suggests that Square Enix may be showing off TWO new Final Fatasy games for the PlayStation Portable at E3. According to the reports, one will be a port of a PS1 title (though details are unconfirmed, some are saying the smart money is on a port of FF7), while the second will be a completely new game, with rumours of connectivity with the upcoming FF XII on PS2.

Marvin: Meh. All speculation. And even if they are true, it’s only Final Fantasy; It doesn’t matter
*BZZZT…ERROR….REBOOT…..*
Ah, that’s better. I was channelling Alex Lucard for a moment there.

credit: spong.com

Jak is back

The first footage of hotly-awaited PS2 platformer Jak III has been released. The (45 Mb) Quicktime clip can be found here, courtesy of gamesradar. Highlights include story-so-far snippets to bring us up to date with post-Jak II developments, and some nice explosions. Lowlights? Sidekicks…

Marvin: Well, looks like fun. At least it seems to be a cut above the average platformer; The Jak series has always stood up well

credit: gamesradar.com

N-Gage 2: Ready to flop?

As you read this, the N-Gage 2 will be having its ceremonial unveiling in London. Current preview pics (courtesy of spong.com) suggest a more rounded shape, and an integrated digital camera. Rest assured, as more news develops, 411 will have all you need to know.

Marvin: If there’s one thing The Kliq agree on, it’s how much the N-Gage sucks the proverbial monkey balls. And i don’t see how a new version is going to help matters, really. Unless thaty’ve totally redesigned it with games in mind. which I doubt.

credit: spong.com

Satoru Iwata interview @ Gamespy

GameSpy have an interview up with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. In it, he talks about Nintendo’s “New Direction”, the difference in competing against companies where games are not the main business focus, the company’s “Kiddie Gamer” label, and the lessons to be learnt from the GameCube’s troubles, amongst other things. The interview can be found here

Marvin: Just a shame it’s GameSpy doing the interview. I could have pulled better questions out of my heatsink…

credit: gamespy.com

Commentary

*Look, I already told you. Misha’s tired, and I’m not the comment guy. So nothing this week, OK?? Calm down…

Plugs

*Oh, look who’s recovered
Shut up.
*Anyone would think you don’t trust me to do the plugs properly…
After the grief I got from AAAlex about those comments you made the other week, NO.
*Whatever. I’ve already saved you this week. You still owe me BIG for this…

Right. Now on with the pluggage.

Yeager can have top-spot, because he suffered from database problems this week. and because debuts are special, and deserve limelight.

Laflin is, as ever, talking sports. It’s his thing, and he does it well, so he’s worth reading.

Berg is ever-analytical, and is ever-accurate. Somebody give this man a job in the industry, he’d make millions on Wall Street…

AlucardTM has his Top 30 up to number 13. And there are surprises in store…

Reviewageness:
Jackson: Firefighter
Baxley: Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life

And now, I’m going take Cory’s advice, and get some sleep. G’night all.
*And so the sloth returns to his natural habitat…
Meh. Zzzzzzzzz……