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Sony PStwo Launch October 26 2004At least that is the buzz in the game world right now. I have noticed the decline of PlayStation 2 stock at my local retail outlets, and wondered if people were buying them up in anticipation of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. However, now it is a bit more clear. Apparently, Sony has been clearing the stock of the current PS2 so that they can launch the next iteration of the console - the Sony PStwo. Confused? You shouldn't be.

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.

Click here to discuss the Sony PStwo on the Gear Live Message Boards.

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Nintendo DS Launch Date and PriceWal-Mart, Gamestop, EB Games and other retail sites currently have the Nintendo DS for sale on their respective websites via preorder. While this is nothing out of the ordinary, many are wondering if the launch date and price furnished at these sites are legitimate, especially since Nintendo has yet to make an official announcement on either. All sites have the DS listed as being available on November 30, 2004 (my birthday, send a DS) at a price of $199.99 (or if you're Wal-Mart, $199.82!). This is not the first time retailers have listed pricing and launch dates before the manufacturer, and it isn't always spot on. My sources are telling me that the date is a safe one. I believe the Nintendo DS will be availble in retail stores before Thanksgiving - and for $50 less.
ICO Sequel Playstation 2Give a warm welcome to the newest member of the Gear Live team, Dorian Lake! Dorian will be reporting on videogame industry news and happenings, along with in-depth game reviews.

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.
Nintendo Gamecube Microphone Mario Party 6No word yet on whether this peripheral will be bundled with Mario Party 6, scheduled for release on December 6, 2004. However, after much speculation on exactly what Nintendo was referring to when they stated that Mario Party 6 would be employ a very different gameplay mechanic when compared to the previous iterations, gamers began coming up with multiple possibilities. An Eye Toy-like camera, a gyroscope controller, and a few other ideas all seemed plausible. Finally, Nintendo has let the cat out of the bag. The Nintendo Gamecube Microphone is the device that will be used to interact with the new Mario Party title. As you can see in the picture, the microphone plugs into the second memory card slot, which means you don't have to give up a controller slot to use it. What does it do? Well, one game described is a 3-on-1 minigame where the lone player must yell "Fire!" into the microphone to attack the other three players. Now, why can't this just be done with a controller again?

Burnout3



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.

Click to continue reading Burnout 3 Game Review


Game Boy Advance GBA SP $79.99 price drop



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.
Acclaim Entertainment Files for Bankruptcy Out Of Business Olsen TwinsAcclaim Entertainment, longtime videogame maker, has finally filed banruptcy due to their inablity to find funding. The company has made it known for the last couple of months that they were hurting financially, and the lawsuit from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (due to their poor selling games) surely didn't help. The videogame publisher is responsible for franchises such as NBA Jam, All Star Baseball, Turok, Juiced, BMX XXX, and others. Games that have been completed will more than likely find homes with other publishers - however, games like 100 Bullets and The Red Star may have more difficulty since they are unfinished.

Read More | Gamepro
Thanks Doug!
Playstation 2

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
Game Boy Advance GBA Price Drop 79.99According to major game retailers Electronics Boutique and Gamestop, the early copies of pricing materials received by the company indicate that the price of the Game Boy Advance SP handheld game system is set to drop. This isn't unexpected, as the Nintendo DS handheld is set to debut in the United States in the month of November somewhere below the $200 mark. So what is the expected cost of the GBA SP after the price drop? A very consumer friendly $79.99 seems to be in order - a $20 price drop from it's current $99.99 price point.
What Makes a Great Videogame

As Gear Live braces itself for the onslaught of games approaching us this Fall, we thought it would be a good thing for to reflect on what is it that makes a videogame great? What things do we look for in our reviews, before making a recommendation? What factors are more important than others? Interested to know? Click on the link find out!

Click to continue reading Editorial: What Makes a Great Videogame?


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