Our previously rumored PStwo release has been all cleared up. Rather than being a brand new product launch, it is more of an alteration to the current product. As you can see by the picture, the PlayStation 2 has been redesigned to be smaller, lighter, and just more compact. It reminds me of a thin DVD player. Sony has even taken the liberty of adding an on board ethernet port for those of us wanting to jump online while gaming. The updated console is about the size of a book, or thin laptop, making it a lot more portable than the previous iteration.
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Consumers immediately will be able to pick up and play the new system, as it comes with a free software feature, PictoChat, embedded in the system hardware. PictoChat allows DS owners to write messages with an on-screen keyboard or the stylus and send them wirelessly to other DS users nearby. Users can text chat, draw artistic messages or share secrets, all without saying a word. And a Nintendo DS in sleep mode will spring to life if it senses another DS in transmitting range, alerting users to each other's presence and setting the stage for an impromptu conversation or game session.
More than 100 companies have signed on to create games for Nintendo DS, while Nintendo itself is already developing its first 20 titles. Electronic Arts, the world's largest independent software developer and publisher, already has announced that its powerhouse franchises of Madden NFL, The URBZ: Sims in the City, Need for Speed Underground, Tiger Woods and GoldenEye will support Nintendo DS.
The DS will also include a Metroid Prime: Hunters demo as a pack-in. Prime Hunters is a multiplayer-capable FPS, while PictoChat is a communications software that lets players send messages and drawings to each other. For Nintendo, this will mark the first time since The SNES where a fully functional game is packed in at a system's launch. Industry insiders will notice how this announcement coincides with today's PSP-extravaganza at the Sony TGS event. This will be an interesting war.
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Nintendo DS Design Finalized
A few years ago, in anticipation of the PlayStation 2 launch, Sony released the PSone. It was a regular Playstation, just mini-sized. It was a great move, as it allowed Sony to continue selling the old hardware while early adopters opted to pick up the newer, sleeker PlayStation 2. So what exactly is the PStwo? Well, it is just a much smaller version of the current PlayStation 2. About 30% smaller. Despite it's size, don't expect a price drop. All signs point to the console remaining at $149.99 USD. Oh, and the GTA: San Andreas delay? That was so that the game would launch on the same day as the PStwo. Good thinking on Rockstar's part.
Now if only Microsoft could think of a way to shrink down the enormous XBOX.
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Two exciting PlayStation 2 games were revealed by Sony of Japan last week. The first was what a lot of Sony fans have been waiting for: a semi-direct sequel to ICO. While previous news stories had christened the game NICO, the actual name of the game will be Wanda and the Colossus. At this point not much has been revealed about the title, besides the fact that the same development team behind ICO is making the game and it will share much of the same style as a result. You can go to the website devoted to the game here. (caution: the site is in Japanese)
The second game is titled Genji, which is being developed by the former Capcom developer of Street Fighter 2 fame, Yoshiki Okamoto. He left Capcom to create a separate company (named Game Republic) and this game is the result. Set in an alternative Japanese history in the year 1159, very little has been revealed as far as gameplay. You can go the website devoted to this game here.
Hopefully in the near future (the Tokyo Game Show, perhaps?), more will be revealed about these Sony-published games.
This has been a pretty exciting week for me. First I was able to snag a hard-to-find Rio Carbon unit. Then I managed to pick up EA's latest racer, Burnout 3 for the Playstation 2 on its release date. After getting tired of waiting for the next Gran Turismo, I decided to give this racer a try. My library really needed a solid traditional racer, and boy does this thing deliver. We know that all of our readers love to play games as well, so click below to read Gear Live's first of what we hope will be many game reviews to come.
As it turns out, our previous speculation was correct. Nintendo has officially reduced the price of the Game Boy Advance SP handheld portable to a cool $79.99. If you have not yet picked up one of these, now is the time to do it, as the SP is totally chic and fits in very nicely with other high tech gadgets. Nintendo has set up a new site, Start Mayhem, to push the new price point.
Read More | Gamepro
Looks like everyone is waiting for the arrival of new consoles. Either that, or gamers are saving their hard-earned dollars for the the explosion of games announced for this Fall. In any case, analysts predict that sales for the entire year are expected to be flat compared to 2003, at $18.2 billion, though that amount was an all-time record.
Read More | Yahoo News
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