Gamer’s Hangover News Report – 08.02.04

NEWS

PS3 Almost Breathes A Sigh Of Relief
credit: Gamedaily.com

So Steve Ballmer made the following announcement at Microsoft’s annual Financial Analyst Meeting last week:

“There’s no new Xbox in the next year, but, man, are we hard at work on that next Xbox; that’s all we’ll say.”

I only wonder how many people he sprayed with sweat while doing it.

Anyway, this has led to runaway speculation that the next Xbox won’t be out until 2006, although the more logical conclusion is that it’ll be out Christmas 2005.

See, speaking to financial analysts, one has to assume that he was meaning the fiscal year, and Microsoft’s 2005 fiscal year ends well before Christmas of the calendar year.

Or he could have meant a strict calendar year from the meeting, which still leaves August through December of 2005 open.

The truth is that this news story is all around one line, and almost a throwaway line at that, in a Microsoft meeting. Are we sad people for this?

My guess: Xbox2 launches November 2005.


credit: Gamedaily.com

I’m mailing this in because I really don’t give a rat’s ass about the Final Fantasy series, outside of how manic it makes a certain segment of the gamer population:

Quiter made an interesting discovery while digging through the Japanese patent and trademark office database: On June 1st, Square Enix applied for a trademark on the phrase “Compilation of Final Fantasy VII” and an accompanying logo.

The logo has since been sighted in numerous mediums, from banners in the Japanese subway system to various magazines including V-Jump. The speculation is that “Compilation of Final Fantasy VII” refers to the recent resurrection of Final Fantasy VII-related characters and stories. This would explain the logo’s appearance alongside information pertaining to the Advent Children film and Before Crisis mobile game.

Still, others maintain that the trademarked phrase indicates a type of bundle deal in the works, or perhaps refers to the third Final Fantasy VII project hinted at in V-Jump. Without any further details or information there’s not much else to report, though we’ll definitely keep you updated.

See? It’s funny, isn’t it?

As if Doom III Wasn’t Enough”¦.
credit: Gamedaily.com

Atlus sticks it’s neck out again this week, announcing five titles in development for the bizarre-but-still-cool Nintendo DS. Four are sequels of existing product lines.

1080 Snowboarding: Snowboard Kids
A DS version of Shin Megami Tensei
A DS version of Choro Q
Jinsei Game DS, which is apparently based off of a Japanese board game. I didn’t know they even HAD board games in Japan. I thought it was all DDR, FF, and karaoke.
Caduceus, an “original action game.”

So there you have it, Atlus steps up with some titles for the new Nintendo DS, starting the inertia rolling and making things just a little more uncomfortable in the Sony handheld department, no doubt.

Oh, and there was supposed to be sarcasm in that last statement if you missed it. Of course, the only one of those franchises I’ve even played is 1080, so what do I know?

Come On Turnip, One More Drop”¦.
credit: Spong.com
Atari is cashing out prior to Midway’s moving the Unreal franchise over to Epic Games. Atari is releasing Unreal Tournament: Editor’s Choice Edition’ for PC’s this fall.

Following news that Midway had struck a deal with Epic Games to publish several Unreal games from 2005 onwards, Atari has announced its final fling with the franchise before it officially becomes its ex-publisher. In a last ditch effort to squeeze the last dregs of profit from the license, Atari is releasing Unreal Tournament Editor’s Choice Edition’ for PC this autumn.

As the Spong chaps put it: Effectively, this version will be the same as Unreal Tournament 2004, but with a few extra shiny bells and whistles. The major improvements mostly relate to the mission-based Onslaught mode’ with new maps, a new weapon (some form of mobile artillery) and two new vehicles: a two-seated flying Cicada and an armoured Paladin tank. A selection of community-created content and mods will also be thrown into the deal.

Let’s be real: By the time this is out Halo 2 (and some might even say Doom III, but I’m not one of them) will be out and nobody will give a damn about a few new sprites in Unreal. Of course, after the Driv3r fiasco, Atari needs some change for the parking meter, so more power to em.

News? No. Rumor? Yes.
credit: Spong.com
Most of you have never heard of Martin Hollis. He was the head of software at Rare before he left to form a new UK development studio. What you have heard of is two of his more famous creations: Perfect Dark and Goldeneye, as Spong puts it, “two of the most well-respected console games ever”.

So Hollis has been dropping hints about Zoonami’s first game, something with the working title Game Zero. Now the Zoonami website is up, and I’ll let Spong take care of the description:

The homepage displays a picture of a desk littered with a silenced pistol, a hefty briefcase, some 1960’s style spectacles, a red telephone and an ashtray. Intriguing, eh? Assuming that this isn’t an artist’s impression of Martin Hollis’ office desk, we’d hazard a guess that Game Zero’ will be some kind of espionage or hitman-themed game. Whatever shape it eventually takes, if it manages compare to the quality of Goldeneye, it could be something very special indeed.

See? No news. Just pure speculation based on some html. Sometimes I just LOVE the game news sites.

Pimp-Licious

Yeager has had twice the news pool since Misha has been on holiday for a couple of weeks.

If Ashish was smart, he’d hire Bryan as his marketing director.

While I, personally, find political parties more and more repugnant as I get older, I still can’t fault A-Will in taking an interest.

So Murphy comes over last weekend and decides to try out the Sports Guy’s “Diver Down” recipe. Brutal. All it is is a shot of rum in a Corona, but that shot effectively makes two beers into four, and four beers into eight, and that’s still not as many beers as I had Saturday night. Murphy discusses the death throes of Star Trek, which is a situation I wish I could expedite with some line-item editing of the UPN budget “¦ or a shotgun “¦ whichever.

Eric S. is apparently going away from 411, if Hyatte is to be believed. No matter. I will honor my pledge to help him unpack “¦ someday.

I’d like to say that I’m personally waiting to post this late just so I can link to Nute‘s latest column, but that’s not entirely true.

Quasi-Random Thoughts

Again, not much this week.

It’s getting harder and harder to find time to play games AND write about them. I hate to think that I’m letting the responsibility of adulthood actually get between me and my reviews but I’m starting to think that it’s actually happening. However, it’s not all a bad thing. The time that’s being leeched off of my gaming is going to more “¦ uh “¦ personal activities, and that’s a trade-off anybody with a Y-chromosome will support.

I also blame Murphy and his damned Diver Downs for knocking me out of my game on Sunday. Blame blame blame!

That’s another problem with getting old. You can’t bounce back from alcohol poisoning like you used to. There was a day I could drink whatever I wanted and not even get buzzed. Then I got buzzed but felt perfectly normal the next day. Then I only got hangovers after big drinking nights. Now, if I get moderately sauced, I’m ruined for the next day. Even if I follow the water-and-aspirin routine to the letter, my stomach does gymnastics routines well into the next day. This is why I should stick to root beer.

So next week “¦ ah, if nothing else, there’ll be lots of NFL camp news to go off about.

Until then, get some sleep.

-Cory