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PS3There’s no doubt that the PlayStation 3 will be in high demand at this year’s E3, but rumor has it that there will be limited hands-on access to the new console.  In an effort to soothe concerns, Ryan Bowling of Sony Computer Entertainment America explained that they “. . . are expecting big queues to see the PlayStation 3 and so will be taking great care to manage the crowds in the best way possible. All press will certainly have no problems seeing everything we are showing. This year is going to be huge for us. Not just in terms of what we’re showing, but in the major announcements we have planned.”  I think the biggest announcement that most gamers are likely to want at this juncture is a firm ship date of the PS3, as well as list prices that are palatable.

Bearing that in mind and with Nintendo planning a large production at E3 in regards to the Revolution, is there a chance they’ll steal Sony’s thunder?  They’ve already admitted that their hardware will be underpowered in relation to the Xbox 360 and PS3, yet it doesn’t seem to concern Nintendo execs in the slightest.  That seems a bit strange when you consider how much marketing muscle has been flexed in the past by Sony (and Microsoft), in regards to hardware specs, speed, and sheer power.  Nintendo is taking a different approach and has been for some time.  By all appearances they blend quietly into the background, yet they’re obviously doing something and doing it right.  To get an idea of how right, we’ll do a quick comparison of Sony and Nintendo’s bottom lines (as of March 2005) after the jump.


Read More | SPOnG (rumor)

Click to continue reading Will Nintendo Steal Sony’s Thunder At E3?


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Red Steel Logo
Following on the reported information in the May 2006 issue of Game Informer, Ubisoft has officially announced Red Steel for the Nintendo Revolution in a joint press release. The title will be an exclusive launch title for the Revolution, and will make use of the Revolution’s unique controller. Red Steel seeks to immerse the gamer in modern-day Japan, through swordplay and gunplay. Early screens look very good, and hopefully this will be the first of many third-party game announcements as we lead up to E3. Full press release follows.

Click to continue reading Ubisoft Announces Red Steel for Revolution


Revolution

Gamesindustry.biz reports Nintendo of America Senior VP George Harrison has claimed that the Revolution will launch in the United States with around 20 titles. Supposedly 1/3 of the launch titles will be first-party games, with the remainder coming from third parties. Hopefully, this will mean a huge improvement from previous Nintendo product launches; the Gamecube launched in the US with 12 titles, and none of these were first tier properties, with the “biggest” names being Luigi’s Mansion and Factor 5’s Rogue Squadron. Without a real system-seller available at launch, the system never seemed to recover. Harrison admits Nintendo’s past mistakes, hoping to have a strong launch and strong follow-up over the next year.

Read More | Gamesindustry.biz


Revolution Specs

IGN has published Revolution specifications leaked from various game developers. IGN claims these numbers come from developer documentation and benchmark results, but without confirmation from Nintendo, these may or not represent final hardware. However, given Nintendo’s claim for the relative power of the Revolution versus the Gamecube, these specifications do not seem out of line. IGN’s report includes an IBM “Broadway” CPU running at 729Mhz, and the “Hollywood” GPU running at 233Mhz, with 3MB integrated texture memory. Total system memory apparently clocks in with 24MB “main” 1T-SRAM plus 64MB “external” 1T-SRAM. Without access to how the system components are laid out, it is difficult to tell what impact this segmentation will have on the overall performance of the game console.

Compared to the specifications of the already released Xbox 360, and upcoming PS3, the Revolution isn’t going to be a graphics processing monster; Nintendo fans have reacted to this news by carrying the party line, “Its not the graphics, its the gameplay.”  While this may be true, it will certainly leave Nintendo at a disadvantage when eye-candy is compared with its competition.

The lack of heavy-duty specifications may not have that great of an impact on what Nintendo is trying to accomplish. Nintendo has said that HD resolutions are not going to be supported by Revolution. With a standard definition output resolution at 480P, the Revolution only has to push 1/3 of the Xbox 360’s native resolution, 720P. Sony promises 1080P gaming, over six times the pixel output of Nintendo’s console. Within these constraints, it seems like the Revolution will be able to deliver on what Nintendo has promised: a unique gaming experience combined with top notch first-party content. Hopefully this will allow Nintendo to carve a niche in the next generation marketplace.


Read More | Revolution.IGN.com


Nintendo has been very tight-lipped about the IBM “Broadway” CPU and ATI “Hollywood” GPU chips set to power the Revolution but earlier today, IGN released a tasty morsel that lets in on the details. The CPU clocks in at 729 MHz, roughly 50% faster than the GameCube, but nowhere near the 3.2 GHz, triple-core Xbox 360. This is all well and good, and exactly in line with Nintendo’s assertion that they’re simply not competing for horsepower anymore, instead focusing on innovative gameplay and peripherals. Meanwhile, the “Hollywood” GPU will clock in at 243 MHz. These numbers are from sources with access to development kits, so take them for what they’re worth, but I wouldn’t expect much of an increase at launch time. System memory will come in at about 88 MBs, with (apparently) an addition 512 MB of internal flash memory for storing data and downloaded games.

Perhaps most promising is the Revolution’s announced expandability with regular ol’ SD cards, and even more exciting, USB-based storage devices. Quoting the Game Over article we mentioned earlier, “Most importantly, Iwata mentioned, were the USB ports that are built into the Revolution ‘so practically any storage method can be used’.” Perhaps any USB-based external hard drive? We’ll see.

Read More | IGN


Revolution

Satoru Iwata has indicated that first party Nintento Revolution games will be priced at $50 or less. Further, he suggests that $50 is really the high point in pricing that the customer will accept. There does seem to be some resistance to the $60 price point for Xbox 360 games, particularly when some titles offer significantly less content than their previous-generation counterparts for more money.

Game publishers complain that its the amount of money that they are spending to deliver these hi-definition experiences that necessitates these price increases, but that fails to explain the price differentials between PC and console versions. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion offers very nearly the same graphical experience on the PC and the Xbox 360 (assuming that the end user has the appropriate PC hardware) but the PC version of the game is still $10 less. Not being a game publisher, its difficult to understand the actual budget allocations for games, but it would seem for the end user that there would be vastly more expenses in developing for a PC platform where there is little control over the game environment, particularly in tuning and testing.

Certainly, there are gaming experiences on the Xbox 360 that can’t really be duplicated on the current generation, such as the new Ghost Recon game and the Xbox 360 version of Fight Night, but at least at this point, these seem to be the exceptions, rather than the norm.

Read More | Game Over


DescriptionNintendo today announced that over 1,000 Sega Genesis and (Hudson/NEC) TurboGrafx games will be available for download to play on the Revolution’s Virtual Console. This rounds out the offering to date—a pantheon of legacy systems including games from the NES, SNES and N64 systems.

Perhaps even more exciting was the announcement that game developers can choose to distribute their games expressly through the Virtual Console, (as opposed to relying on an expensive hardcopy distribution model), opening the floodgates to smaller, independent developers and increasing the potential gamespace by an order of magnitude at the very least.

The new forms of innovative software that can be created by any size developer will be made available for download via Revolution’s Virtual Console service.

Nintendo has held for some time that their goal is not to compete directly with the graphics or pure processing power of the Xbox 360 or the PS3, but rather to target an entirely new demographic, currently untapped—mainstream everyone—those intimidated or otherwise turned off to video games. Too much of the non-game-playing public finds themselves longing for the days of Space Invaders and Pac-Man, intimidated by the extreme graphics and complex gameplay found in the current generation’s offerings. A console that can play tens of thousands of simple classics and (hopefully) hundreds of new, creative offerings using a completely different, wholly intuitive controller could very well do some amazing things to the market as a whole.

My only hope is that we’ll see some of the great third-party SNES classics released for the Revolution. Chrono Trigger and Earthbound would suit my fancy just fine. (That, and that they don’t rename the Revolution something completely ridiculous. I’m looking in your direction, “Nintendo Go.”)

We’ll be live at E3 in May, bringing you our hands-on coverage of the Revolution, so stay tuned.


Press Release | PR Newswire


Revolution

The guys over at Revolution Report were able to snag a few new imaages of the Nintendo Revolution console, on display at the GDC. The disappearance of the “mystery port” that was previously seen on the back of the console is noticeable, as is the miniscule size of the controller. It was expected that Satoru Iwata would announce the official name of the product, but all new announcements regarding the Revolution will have to wait until E3. We have two more photos, after the jump.


Read More | Revolution Report

Click to continue reading New Revolution Pictures from the GDC


Description The Wall Street Journal has put together a great article featured in this weekend’s paper. The article’s subtitle is as follows:

Videogames are reshaping the entertainment business. But the moguls who make them are still largely unknowns. Our look at how the game is played.

The article looks at everyone from “The Game Gurus” like Shigeru Miyamoto to “Hardware Heavies” like Ken Kutaragi to “Entertainers” like Peter Jackson to “Team Players” like Tony Hawk. I’d highly recommend checking out the article - you have to been a subscriber to see it online. Otherwise, run out and grab a copy of this weekend’s paper starting tomorrow. Oh, you may learn about news issues outside of the video game world as well!


Read More | WSJ.com


DescriptionWell all know that if Nintendo wants to gain a significant amount of market-share in the upcoming console war, they’ve gotta change their image - and fast. Perrin Kaplan, VP of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, discusses the industry, Nintendo, and its “new look” in the linked Forbes article.

The major difference for Nintendo right now (indeed, the key to its “new look”) is its “Blue Ocean” philosophy—something that executive vp of sales and marketing Reggie Fils-Aime has discussed many times now. “Inside Nintendo, we call our strategy ‘Blue Ocean.’ This is in contrast to a ‘Red Ocean.’ Seeing a Blue Ocean is the notion of creating a market where there initially was none—going out where nobody has yet gone. Red Ocean is what our competitors do—heated competition where sales are finite and the product is fairly predictable,” Kaplan explained. “We’re making games that are expanding our base of consumers in Japan and America. Yes, those who’ve always played games are still playing, but we’ve got people who’ve never played to start loving it with titles like Nintendogs, Animal Crossing and Brain Games. These games are Blue Ocean in action.”

So what do you think of this ‘Blue Ocen’ strategy? Will it actually work?


Read More | Forbes


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