When you read about this stuff it still seems incredulous. Officials in Thailand have banned Grand Theft Auto IV after a teen claimed to have murdered a cab driver after having seen it in the game. Thai newspapers report that the 18 year-old tried to steal the taxi then killed the 54 year-old driver when he fought back. Bangkok Police Capt. Veerarit Pipatansak claims that “he wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game.” If convicted, the teen could face the death penalty, a high price to pay for a video game.
Which do you guys think is more ludicrous, the fact that the kid was influenced enough to commit a crime or that the officials think banning the game will stop the problem?
Read More | BBC
If the video above is any indication, and it appears to be genuine, then some stores didn’t get the memo that Grand Theft Auto IV isn’t to go on sale until April 29. It seems that one Tony Warner was able to purchase his copy a couple of weeks early. In the video, Tony shows off the GTA IV case, the disc itself, as well as the game’s intro. If you are completely wanting to get your hands on the game early, we suggest getting out there and looking around. Skip the Gamestop’s of the world and head straight to places that are clueless about these things, like your local Wal-Mart. Let us know if you have any luck. Rockstar isn’t gonna be too happy about this one.
EA‘s upcoming open-world game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is being pushed back until 2008, further relaxing the pressure on a still crowded holiday season for games. Speaking to developer Pandemic Studios President Josh Resnick, IGN coaxed out a few more details:
We’re adding nothing at this point. Our only goal is to make gamers proud that they own a copy of Mercenaries 2 by making the highest quality next-gen open-world experience the world has ever seen. If that sounds ambitious, then you should see how many cans of caffeine our programming guys have choked down during the past two years of development.
Resnick also complimented Rockstar and said that he wasn’t concerned about competing with Grand Theft Auto IV because, as he puts it, “We know gamers are bloodhounds when it comes to sniffing out a quality gameplay experience, and we’re hoping that scent leads them directly to Mercenaries 2.” He said they were using the extra time to focus on fixing bugs, tuning the physics and working on the mission structures.
The delay was initial rumored because retail outlets adjusted their release dates from late ‘07 to 2008, forcing Pandemic and EA to confirm the delay. Commenting on the leak, Resnick said, “Those dang sneaky retailers! You just can’t seem to keep a lid on something once they hear about it.”
Read More | IGN
In some rather surprising (and extremely disappointing) news, Take-Two has announced that it is reducing its fiscal 2007 guidance due to Grand Theft Auto IV for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 being delayed until fiscal 2008. Currently, GTA IV is set for release in the second fiscal quarter of ’08. Take Two’s second fiscal quarter runs from February 1, 2008 to April 30, 2008. The delay is due to additional time required to finish developing the game.
Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of Take-Two, stated, “With Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar is setting a new standard for next generation video games. Certain elements of development proved to be more time-intensive than expected, especially given the commitment for a simultaneous release on two very different platforms. We all recognize that perfecting the game is vital and I can assure everyone it will be worth the wait. We owe it to the game’s millions of fans, to our dedicated development team, and to our shareholders to make sure that Grand Theft Auto IV is a groundbreaking gaming experience that takes maximum advantage of next generation technology.”
Sam Houser, Founder and Executive Producer of Rockstar Games, added, “The new consoles are allowing us to create the Grand Theft Auto game we always dreamed about. Every aspect of the game and its design has been completely transformed. The game is huge and is pushing the hardware platforms to their absolute limits. The top engineers from Sony and Microsoft are working closely with the team in Edinburgh right now, helping us to fully leverage the power of both platforms. As always, our goal is to surpass even the wildest expectations of the game’s fans, and to create the ultimate high definition video game experience.”
Originally scheduled for a September release, Blacksite: Area 51 has been pushed back until November 5. The announcement was made during a Midway conference call, where the European release date was revealed to be October 26.The game is set for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
This is a smart move be Midway, as Blacksite would otherwise be competing more directly with Halo 3, and by releasing in November, they also manage to space the title away from heavy-hitter Grand Theft Auto IV.
Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Activision, Bungie, CAPCOM, Driving, E3, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Fighting, Games for Windows, Games for Windows Live, LucasArts, Microsoft, Namco, PC, Puzzle, Release Dates, Retro, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Special Editions, Sports, Strategy, Take2, Third Person Shooters, THQ, Ubisoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade
Over on Gamerscore Blog, a list has been posted with all of the games being shown at E3 that will be available this year. Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live Arcade games, Games for Windows-branded titles, and Games for Windows Live-enabled games. It’s a lot to digest, and with big name games like BioShock, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Guitar Hero III, Sonic the Hedgehog (the original, don’t worry), Puzzle Quest, Company of Heroes: Opposing Forces… let’s just say there’s something for nearly everyone.
Read More | Gamerscore Blog
It always seems a bit silly to declare a “winner” of E3. It’s just so juvenile. This is a complex industry that can’t be distilled down to the simple question of “who beat whom.”
But we just can’t help it, can we?
Comparing the three keynotes this year, however, really is a grab-bag of possible outcomes. All three offered something interesting, and picking a single “winner” this year more than ever depends how you define “winning.”
My rundown is after the break.
Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Accessories, Action, Activision, Adventure, Bungie, CAPCOM, Casual, Corporate News, Driving, E3, Electronic Arts, First Person Shooters, Hardware, Microsoft, Party Games, PC, Puzzle, Release Dates, Retro, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Simulation, Special Editions, Sports, Strategy, Survival Horror, Take2, Third Person Shooters, Trailers, Ubisoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Live Marketplace
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend E3 this year – instead, I’m on vacation in Cape Cod, using awful hotel Wi-Fi to watch streamed press conferences. Not the most glamorous way to take it all in, but exciting announcements, great games and new details are welcome no matter how you hear about them.
Here’s my personal transcription (in very brief form) of all the announcements and showings, along with some reflection on what Microsoft had to show.
In three days, the Internet is set to crash once again when the newest (the second of three) GTA IV trailer sees the light of day. Hopefully we’ll be seeing something more action-oriented this time around, as opposed to the first, which was more of a showcase for Liberty City than anything else. The video is titled “Looking for that Special Someone” and a special website is being prepped by Yahoo in order to withstand the insane amount of traffic it will receive once the trailer goes live. Anyone want to place bets on how long it’ll take for the site to crash?
Expect us to pick it apart piece by piece once it goes live, and later in the week Kyle and I will be debating over the excruciating details and nuances the trailer presents us with.
As an added bonus, last week, the Turkish Official Xbox Magazine revealed several tasty nuggets about GTA IV. Everyone loves lists, so I present you a list of GTA goodness:
- There’s a slight vibration with every footstep when you run (sorry PS3 players)
- No more HUD (health and armor indicators are gone), and instead everything is visual – if you have armor, you’ll see the bulletproof vest and it will visually deteriorates
- Flamethrowers and rocket launchers are in the game
- Explosions are larger, and the game features a missions where you cause a chain reaction of car explosions
- Cars don’t explode from crashes or hitting them; you need to actually blow them up
- Niko doesn’t get tired, he just begins running slower over time
- The game is much more time-sensitive. An example that isn’t necessarily in the game was a mission where you need to catch a train by a certain time, and if you don’t, you don’t get to do that mission.
- Gore is more prevalent; bullet wounds show, blood appears as you shoot people, they limp when shot in the leg, hold their arm if it’s shot, and running people over is “disturbing”
- No more eating, working out or having a girlfriend, but skills improve over time
- 100% completion yields secret vehicles and “plenty of goodies”
- The land size is larger than the three cities (sans countryside) from San Andreas
No more girlfriends? Hooray!
Read More | Xbox Live Addicts
The already heated video game-console war between Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 just got a little more interesting. In October, Rockstar’s already controversial Grand Theft Auto IV will be released, this time on both PS3 and Xbox 360, marking the first time a GTA game debuts on both consoles the same day (before the games would debut on PS2 first, then months later on XBox and PC). Anyway, Microsoft is attempting to one up Sony by shelling out a whopping $50 million for two exclusive GTA IV “episodes”, downloadable via the XBox Live Internet service. Games on Xbox Live generally cost $10 or less, but expectation is that Microsoft will charge at least $20 for the GTA IV add-ons. We think it’s a major gamble on Microsoft’s part, but if it pays off, it could help cement their dominance over the still-struggling PS3.
Read More | New York Times