Video Game Originals and Opinions

Kaz Hirai on GameCube and Xbox: 'Where Are They Now?'
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Kaz Hirai on GameCube and Xbox: 'Where Are They Now?'

If there is one thing Sony is known for touting, it's the lifespan of its consoles. And while some may have scoffed initially, Sony has proven that the hardware it manufactures does stick around for a long time. In speaking about the seemingly late arrival of Home and the time it's taking to get it to market, Kaz calls into question the boasts of installed base among Sony's competitors, asking "where are they now?" So I know some people have been talking about who will be number one in this generation, and what have you, but before we get into that question, what about the life cycle management? If we want to compare apples to apples, let's see a ten year life cycle, because I don't see that anywhere else. If somebody wants to say that they're going to have a larger installed base, we should compare notes after ten years, because otherwise we're not talking about the same thing. And we certainly don't do the consumer the disservice of basically saying that the consoles have gone by the wayside because we have a new one. Right now, a prime example? PS2 is nine years into it. Where's the Xbox? Where's the GameCube? Same thing with the original PlayStation. At some point we looked around and asked what happened to the Saturn? Where's the N64? So if we're doing that, let's compare apples to apples, and for me, because we're on a ten year life cycle, unless we're talking ten years it doesn't really make that much sense to me. You have to admit, Nintendo (who used to see consoles well into the lifecycle of their successors) and Microsoft sure couldn't seem to stop GameCube and Xbox production fast enough, while PS2 still chugs along. Read More

'LittleBigPlanet = iTunes + eBay' Comment 'Hot Air'
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'LittleBigPlanet = iTunes + eBay' Comment 'Hot Air'

Remember yesterday, when we brought word from SCEE President David Reeves that LittleBigPlanet would be something like "iTunes meets eBay"? Well, now we have LittleBig trouble in Sonytown. In what is said to have been a post in MediaMolecule's blog, which now seems to have been removed: Amidst all the madness on the way home, we were rather shocked to find a pile of nastygrams awaiting us. What could this mean? Did sackboy go out and throw up on someone's new suede shoes? Ah no, it was merely a case of ye-olde-internet-crossed wires. Fear not, ye peeps of the intertubes, see here for calming balm: http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=200029 but of course you'd much rather read something like this and not worry about all of that hot air… indeed, just take a dip into any other of the articles libipl.net has been collecting, bless them. Right? Lovely. Tea. Drink it. Yummy. Quick cover-up, or another exec speaking out of turn? You be the judge. Read More

Rumor: PSP 3000 Design Sample
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Rumor: PSP 3000 Design Sample

Another PSP redesign? Already? That appears to be a possibility, as a poster from the PSP China forums had posted several images of a "design sample" for a new PSP. New features are said to include a PlayStation-branded "Home" button, a reduced metal ring, and a microphone. Says the poster: "The pictures are actually of a design sample; whenever a new system is to be created, designers will follow Sony's instructions in creating several different versions. This is one of the versions that was created and then discarded. Next year when we buy this PSP, it will be slightly different, but I believe the microphone and smaller metal ring will remain." When asked, Sony of course delivered a "No comment." Read More

Gamecube, Wii Controllers Facing Court-Ordered Ban
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Gamecube, Wii Controllers Facing Court-Ordered Ban

Patent infringements -- gotta love 'em. Success breeds lawsuits, it would seem, and Nintendo's the latest victim. After failing to shoot down a $21 million patent infringement verdict, Nintendo's tried and true controllers may not be on shelves for much longer. Defeated by Anascape Ltd. of Tyler, Texas, Nintendo must now post a bond or pay royalties in order to circumvent the ban. If Nintendo fails to comply, the Wii Classic Controller, Gamecube WaveBird, and the regular controller will all be forcibly removed from store shelves -- starting tomorrow. Anascape's patent covers "certain configuration of the remote to control six types of motions at the same time." Now that Anascape is entering the market, they claim Nintendo has "clogged the channel." Obviously, Nintendo isn't the only company subject to Anascape's patent. However, Sony licensed the patent in 2004 and Microsoft settled their lawsuit in May. Nintendo, then, is a final bastion -- still denying the patent's validity. Shame the court doesn't agree with them. Well, at least now Nintendo actually has a reason to claim the Gamecube never happened. Read More

Capcom's #9: Mega Man, or 'Hard' Man?
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Capcom's #9: Mega Man, or 'Hard' Man?

If there is one thing that Mega Man games are renowned for, it's their challenge. Of course, growing up, I didn't get this much. Other than the odd spot here or there, Mega Man games were a weekend rental for me. It wasn't until Mega Man X came out and the time I noticed the old games were getting harder to find that I started scrambling to grab them for keeps. On the other hand, there is Mega Man Zero, Inti Creates' pioneer Mega Man project before ZX, and before 9. That was a game made to break people. Of course, there are ways to lighten up the challenge: These involve lots of grinding, application of power-ups, then having the game knee you in the groin and make fun of your mother. And on a side note, while I have a rough time with the first MMZ title, I can breeze through MM2 with no troubles; I've a friend who's the exact opposite. Guess it takes all types. Anyway, it comes as little surprise that with Mega Man 9, in spite of its cartoonish facade, Capcom is once again aiming to break you: Mega Man 9 is very hard. We didn't want to do Mega Man, but easy. We want players to get better, we want them to remember. I've always tried to challenge players, and I think there are gamers who miss being challenged by games. So says Producer Hironobu Takeshita. And so the time draws ever nearer, before I find out if my oldschool skills are a match for the sadists at Inti Creates. For masochistic gamers, though, it may interest you to know that Takeshita has expressed interest in bringing more of his brand of pain to the Wii. Read More

Nintendo: We're Sorry for E3, But...
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Nintendo: We're Sorry for E3, But...

Feel like Nintendo, through their E3 press conference, slapped your delicious strawberry ice cream cone right out of your helpless little hand? And then spat in it? Well, if it makes you feel any better, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is sorry. "We are sorry about [the E3] media briefings, specifically for those who were expecting to see Nintendo show something about Super Mario or Legend of Zelda," he said. "However, the fact of the matter is the so-called 'big titles' need a long, long development period," he added. "We really didn't think this year's E3 media briefing was the time to do so." Silly Iwata, you know you can't placate Nintendo fanboys with logic! But then, in a twisted sort of way, I suppose that's why Nintendo's current strategy is actually working. Nathan Grayson is a news editor for Kombo.com. He was last seen checking himself into protective custody. Read More

Mega Man 9 GamerPics/Themes, Shirts on the Way
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Mega Man 9 GamerPics/Themes, Shirts on the Way

Ah, it's a good time to be a Mega Man fan. On Capcom*Unity, Kramez reveals the whole story behind the concept of the Mega Man 9 "box art" t-shirts worn by Inafune and his staff at E3, of which only four were made: It was quickly decided by the marketing group that if we were going to release a game that looked like it came from 1987 that we should run the whole marketing campaign as if we were working in the games industry in 1987. From there, it was a very easy leap to putting in a call to I Am 8-bit artist Gerald de Jesus, who we comissioned to create the beautiful/horrible homage to past packaging Mega Man mindcrimes that you see above. He adds that "Capcom's marketing team in the US is super-stoked that everyone is getting what we're doing with the box art (including the Japanese dev team) and I promise you that we'll have some t-shirts of this beauty available for purchase soon!" I am so there. In addition, Capcom's Corporate Officer/VP of Strategic Planning & Business Development, Christian Svennson, was asked if there would be a Mega Man 9 theme/GamerPic setup, now that the game has been announced for the Xbox 360. And according to their Product Manager, they are "in the plan, o it sounds like it's happening at some point. :D" The question now is, might we have a chance to make a Mega Man Avatar? Read More

E3 2008: Cammie Dunaway Says She's No Fake
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E3 2008: Cammie Dunaway Says She's No Fake

People have had several grievances with Nintendo's E3 presentation this year, and one of those involves Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo's Executive Vice President. Leading off a show that lacked the substance to satisfy the more dedicated in our hobby's ranks, Dunaway has taken a bit of heat over the whole incident from fans and gamers, who have accused her enthusiasm for the product of being fake. And through Wired, she assures us that she is the real deal. During her interview with Wired's Game|Life blog (see the link at the bottom), she assured readers that Nintendo is still thinking about the hardcore fan, and that they do have projects in development (such as those of the Mario and Zelda teams), but they "don't talk about things until we are confident that they are in a place where we're going to be able to deliver on them in relatively short order after talking about them." Granted, those seem to be more the exception than the rule, with the likes of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl taking what felt like forever to reach store shelves, but the faster turnaround for the likes of Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii, announced at last year's E3, may represent a status quo Nintendo feels more comfortable with. Read More

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