The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video Games 06.29.04

*Oh, hello there. Misha’s not here right now, so it’s just me, Marvin, for the moment. And since I don’t do intros on my own, we’ll get straight to the news
WAIT!!! I’m here!!!
*Too late. Intro’s over.

News

X-Box 2: Provisional specifications

An internal leak from Microsoft has shed some light on when gamers can expect to find inside their X-Box ” when the machine, currently codenamed “Xenon” is released.

Three 3.5Ghz PowerPC G5 CPU cores, built on to one silicon die
500Mhz ATI graphics unit with a 10MB on-board framebuffer
256Mb of main RAM shared between the graphics unit and CPU system
The ATI graphics unit will be able to read straight from the level 2 cache on the CPU cores, thus allowing for a 1MB shared ‘scratch pad’ which can be accessed from all three CPU cores and the GPU, which itself will include a number of unique and powerful extensions to the pixel and vertex shader systems in DirectX 9.0
A 100BaseT (100MB) network socket (Xbox only has 10BaseT) plus USB 2 sockets for connecting peripherals
Four controller ports
The leaked memo, purporting to be a written by a member of the Microsoft research division Xbox Advanced Technology Group, also warns that developing games for the machine will be complicated, due to the multi-threaded processors, but contains no word on whether or not the machine will feature an internal hard drive

Misha: Hmmm. A Microsoft machine using Mac-based technology…
Marvin: Eh. This is likely to be a fake, you know that?
Misha: PErhaps. But that’s still some serious power they’ve got there…

credit: Gamesradar.co.uk

Pint, click, point, click, YAY!

In the wake of recent programmer defections from Lucasarts, it seem the aformentioned coders have set up a new company, to be known as Autumn Moon Entertainment. Some of the new codehouse’s employees have credentials including Day Of The Tentace and the Monkey Island series, which is just as well, because their first game is going to be (surprise, surprise) a point-and-click adventure. Titled “A Vampyre Story”, it’s apparently going to be a game done in the classic Gothic Horror style of the 30s & 40s, with an infusion of Monkey Island humour, leading to a product allegedly desc ribed as Tim Burton-esque (no bad thing). Expected release date: Halloween 2004

Marvin: Another genre rehash, eh? Well, at least it’s being done by people who know what they’re doing…

credit: Spong.com

Japanese release date: Sakura Taisen 5

September 22nd. That’s when Sakura Taisen V: Episode 0 Kouya no Samurai Musume (quite a name, there) gets released in Japan. 7140 yen is what it’ll cost you.

Misha: You can bet Lucard’s got his order in already…

credit: The Magic Box

Caution: Animals crossing the channel

Animal Crossing is due for a European release veeeeery soon, and to plug it, Nintendo have set up a very shiny little website, right here. You’re all encouraged tro check it out.

Marvin: Well, it’s all very pretty, I suppose…

credit: cubed-3.co.uk

Commentary

*Look, it’s hard enough for Misha that he’s away from Sheffield and all his consoles. He’s only got his GBA with him… And he can’t think of anything to comment on.
It’s true. I know I usually try to have a good commentary if it’s a slow-news week, but there’s just nothing here right now. The problem is excerbated by being unable to buy any new games… Apologies, folks. I’ll have something better next week, I promise!

Plug it in, plug it in

The “new Nintendo handheld” stuff from last week seems to have been the hot topic on 411 recently. Bryan does his best to analyse the situation (but fails to find any sense in it… And if he can’t do it…), while LiquidCross is, unsurprisingly an Angry Gamer about it.

Cory has baseball in mind… But not for much longer, it seems.

AAAlex is definitely back, now. See? I told you he’d not be vanishing again…

Liquid also has a Mega Man Collection review up.

Mailbag and Psi-Ops review, AlucardTM is writing more now he’s on holiday than he did before.

I can’t help but wonder if Eric has come across a copy of
Gore Vidal’s “Dreaming War”…

Right. That’s that done. I’m off
*Make sure you give Bebito the Phone-It-In Machine back before you leave…
Quiet, you. Go back to your LiveJournal.
*But putting wind-up comments in yours is *so* much more fun…