Microsoft has release XNA Studio for video game developers on Monday to ease in the creation of video games for its current console as well as for its next console. The product is meant to help developers exchange code amongst teams in order to speed up development and standardize systems for porting video games from PC to Xbox (2) and vice versa. This means that the tools will be able to assist developers to keep their budget and keep video games from being ridiculously overpriced. According to Microsoft executives, XNA will be help developers keep next generation video games on the same level as the current Xbox video games. We’ll just have to keep our eyes wide open during the months to come and see if these promises are fulfilled.
Read More | CNet
The much anticipated PSP GTA title has been delayed until third quarter 2005. According to their fiscal reports, the title will be set in Liberty City. Whenever they do decide to launch the title, it will sure to be a top seller just as the other GTA titles have been. Also stated in the report is news that the launch of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition will occur in April for the PS2, Xbox and the PSP. Take-Two interactive promises a great line-up of video games once again this year that are sure to hit the top of the charts.
Read More | Yahoo!
Microsoft has hired Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, to produce two exclusive games for its next generation console, Xbox 2/360°. The Final Fantasy series has been highly successful in the Sony Playstation world, and an Xbox exclusive might give Microsoft the edge it needs to topple the number one company in gaming. It is also no secret that Microsoft has had a tough time penetrating the Japanese video game market. Having Sakaguchi on board can definitely help in that respect. The two games are said to be released shortly after the launch of the console on a worldwide basis. We eagerly anticipate what creations Sakaguchi will have in store for us.
Read More | The Inquirer
New trademarks are always great fodder for the old rumor mill, and this one is no different. Nintendo has trademarked the name “Nintendo V-Pocket”, with an emphasis on the “V” as you can se in the logo. Now, what exactly is it? Some think it may be related to the plan Nintendo may have to put the Palm OS on the Nintendo DS. Others believe it may have to do with the much talked about Nintendo DS wireless network that the Big N is supposedly cooking up. It could simply be the name of the GBA/Nintendo DS video player add-on. Whatever it is, I am 99% sure it is DS related, as the logo uses the DS style font. Of course, being that it is now February, prepare to hear the words “we’ll see at E3” quite a bit.
A couple of days ago, TRUSTe made it known to the internet community that for the first time in two years they were going to suspend a sites status as a TRUSTe sealbearer. Gratis Network was to be the one to garner that dubious acheivement, but today the companies announced they have come to an agreement. If you read the release, you basically see that Gratis has decided to comply and go through corporate training. This basically tells us that they are admitting to wrongdoing. Regardless of what kind of training they go through and compliance they follow from here forward, what about all the damage already done? Multitudes of Gratis members have complained about all the spam they get just from signing up to any Gratis Internet site looking to gain free electronics. Check out the full press release after the jump.
Big news out of the STI camp today, as they finally took the wraps off of the Cell processor that we have heard so much about over the past year as it relates to the Playstation 3. However, what you may not have known is that the Cell will have a major impact on much more than just the videogame industry. You see, the Cell is a major evolution in processor technology, and companies like Intel, AMD, nVidia, ATI are all taking watch. STI just one upped them all in a major way. I have taken the liberty of rounding up some of the more interesting articles from all over the interweb that will help you understand just what the Cell is all about:
Alright all you Playstation fanboys - you will not have to wait until E3 to catch a glimpse of Sony’s highly anticipated next generation console. Sony’s Playstation 3 will be unveiled at an unspecified event sometime before May 18, 2005. Sony representatives confirmed that they will have an event planned where they will premier the PS3, but haven’t given the specifics. The race between next generation gaming systems is beginning to heat up and will only continue to do so as we approach E3.
Read More | GameSpot
This one is for all you Nintendo fans out there - it looks like the company is planning to open up a Nintendo branded concept store at Rockeffeller Center, NY. A quick look at Nintendo’s jobs page at their corporate website confirms this, as they are seeking a Retail Store Manager to oversee the new project. Obviously, if this goes well, we may see more NIntendo Stores open across the country similar to the way Apple Stores caught on. This is a bold move by Nintendo, as the company has certainly lost some ground in the United States videogame arena to Microsoft and Sony.
Read More | Nintendo Careers
Two big announcements from Sony in just as many days, cool! Sony’s much-anticipated new handheld, the PSP, is coming to the US on March 24th. It’s coming in Value Pack form only, which includes a 32 MB Memory Stick Duo, headphones with remote control, battery pack, AC adaptor, soft case and cleaning cloth, movie/music/game video sampler UMD disc. Those who have already pre-ordered are getting an extra treat: The first one million PSP Value Packs will include a special UMD video release of the feature film Spider-Man 2 from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Now, ready for the bummer? The price of the Value Pack is going to be $249.99, almost $50-100 more than many expected it to retail for.
Read More | Yahoo Finance
It took them long enough, but TiVo has finally released an SDK which will allow developers to program web services and other applications for TiVo DVR’s over a network. The basic JavaHMO is an example of a program that is written to give the TiVo more functionality, but was a labor intensive project since there was no SDK at the time of its development. The first kit available to developers includes three applications - a weather module, an RSS reader, and some sort of game. Time will tell if this will be another one of those “too little, too late” deals, as Microsoft’s Windows Media Center 2005, Comcast, and others have been gaining on TiVo with much success.
Read More | The Motley Fool