It is looking like Sony’s Playstation 3 launch may be missing a few titles; Bethesda Softworks recently announced that Elder Scrolls: Oblivion has been pushed back to 2007, according to a report from GameSpot. In addition, rumors have Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog also being delayed to 2007 along with Vivendi Universal’s F.E.A.R. Other titles could potentially miss the launch window at this point, but with so few consoles shipping software availability would seem to be the last thing on Sony’s mind.
Read More | Gamespot
GameStop/EBGames have revealed the contents of their mega-Wii bundle that will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow evening. The bundle will include the following:
- Wii Console
- Wii Memory SD 1 GB
- Additional Remote
- Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- Trauma Center: Second Opinion
- Red Steel
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance
- Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz
- Madden NFL 2007
- 12 Month Product Replacement Plan
- Game Informer Gift Subscription
All of the above will sell for $694.88, making the fantastic EB/GameStop PRP and the subscription to their in-house magazine’s price about $45. While the game selection is decent, the addition of the forced PRP and magazine subscription seems over the top. Add to that the fact that third-party 1 GB SD memory cards sell for about $25 starts pushing this bundle into the price-gouging territory. Hopefully, the amount of consoles that Nintendo ships this holiday will make bundles like this less popular, but consumers may decide that spending a little extra will be worth it for some peace of mind as the Wii launch date nears.
Read More | GameStop
Dave Karraker, Sony’s new head of corporate communications recently gave Gamasutra a lengthy interview about his history and the upcoming Playstation 3 launch. Karraker’s industry experience included work for Crystal Dynamics, 3DO, and Sega of America. Prior to working at Sony, Karraker worked with Marth Stewart during her prison stay; this type of experience under pressure may be a benefit when trying to work with some of the foot-in-mouth problems some of Sony’s executives seem to have.
Karraker discusses some of these issues in the interview, particularly in reference to some of Ken Kutaragi’s more outrageous statements. He also talks specifically about what he feels Sony brings to the table, including 1080p and Sony’s vision for their online network.
Karraker states that Sony is pushing a more open network where basic functionality is provided by Sony, and third parties will have the option to either provide their own support for matchmaking, ranking, and achievements, work with a third-party provider like Xfire or Gamespy, or work with Sony’s implementation. Not having a universal experience may hurt Sony when compared to Microsoft’s Xbox Live. However, Microsoft’s relative lack of flexibility is not without its drawbacks, either; witness Epic’s problems providing party-based ranked matches online for Gears of War.
Also discussed was Sony’s downloadable game content. Here again, Karraker can’t seem to resist poking at the offerings from Microsoft and Nintendo, stating:
I think what you won’t see is just a flood of games that some might consider to be throw-away games. We’re going to populate the store with true, good games that show off the hardware, so it’s not just going to be a bunch of redos and hacks.
For being Sony’s official mouthpiece for corporate communications, this interview seems to be remarkably straightforward. Sure, for the most part Karraker toes the party line, but there are some good insights in the interview.
Read More | Gamasutra
A post on the IGN boards purports to be a listing of the Wii allocations of each Target store for the console’s launch. There are two lists, one list of allocations and another that lists which store number belongs to a particular location. For those that do not want to do the matching, another user has kindly coded a quick application that will let users search for the particular store that they are interested in. If true, this information combined with the previous guide to getting a Wii on launch day should help gamers decide where to spend their time camping out when the console is released on November 19.
Update: A member of Infendo’s forums details Target’s launch day plans here, and confirms that the allocation numbers are accurate. According to this information, stores open at their normal times, tickets get handed out at 7:00 AM for people in line. It is starting to sound like there are going to be tons of Wii consoles hitting the market on launch day, given Target’s fairly large allocations.
Read More | Wii Finder
Read More | IGN Boards
Nintendo of America today announced that Wii owners will have 32 Wii titles and 30 Virtual Console titles available within the first five weeks of the console’s launch date. While third-party software publishers are still polishing Wii software that may or may not be available day-and-date with the console’s launch, Nintendo promises that most or all of these will hit the launch window. As titles get locked down, Nintendo will release an official software launch list. Games appearing within the first five weeks of launch include Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Excite Truck, along with a host of titles from premiere third-party publishers like Activision, Atari, EA, Konami, Sega, and Ubisoft.
Nintendo is also promising 30 Virtual Console games before the end of December, including classic games from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo (SNES), Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, and NEC’s TurboGrafx16.
A full list of the launch window titles for both the Wii and the Virtual Console continue below in Nintendo’s official press release.
A Japanese report in Nikkei Keizai Shimbun indicates that Sony will only be offering 80,000 consoles on launch day in Japan, down from their initial estimates of 100,000. The reason cited, according to GameDaily, was continuing component shortages which have continued to plague Sony’s new console. GameDaily talked with SCEA and there will be no changes in the North American launch allocations. The shift does call into question Sony’s ability to continue to feed hardware into the various markets and may be the first indication that other markets may suffer more intense shortages later.
Read More | GameDaily
Sony has issued a press release in conjunction with today’s Gamer’s Day event. Sony’s announcements today included the availability of 20 first and third party games to become available during the holiday season; it was not mentioned which of these would be available day and date with the Playstation 3. Sony also apparently confirmed that first party title NBA 07 would support 1080P. While people have seen early shots of the Playstation 3 network interface, the company today officially confirmed that the Playstation 3 GUI would be based around the XMB (Xross Media Bar) found on the PSP.
Sony also discussed their Playstation store; first-party game titles will be priced at less than $15, and they officially introduced their first downloadable game, Blast Factor.
Accessory pricing has also been finalized for the US market, with the SIXAXIS controller retailing for $49.99, the memory card adapter selling for $14.99, and when the BD Remote Control becomes available, it will sell for $24.99.
Sony also announced that they will be offering a special premium in the first 500,000 PS3 systems shipped; much like the first wave of PSP systems included Spider-man, the first 500,000 Playstation 3 systems will come with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” on the Blu-Ray format.
The full list of launch window titles continues below.
Update: Resistance has been confirmed to be running at 720p.
Read More | Playstation.com
It seems the internets just can’t get enough Wii information - and with the launch a little over a month away, tasty pics and rumomrs are springing up all over the place. Just so you don’t have to go anywhere else, we’ve compiled all of this week’s major Wii stories into one meaty, juicy post.
See more after the jump, including pics of the first Wii accessories, launch date rumors, and other tidbits.
Over at the NeoGAF forums, a user has posted a couple of slides that purport to be from Best Buy’s upcoming holiday console roll-out. If the slides are accurate, gamers would see the Playstation 3 demo area set up by October 20th, and Nintendo’s Wii kiosks set up on October 29th. According to the slides the current Xbox 360 console demonstration areas would be removed, and demo consoles would be moved to the shelving areas like the Xbox and Playstation 2 are currently featured. The new demo area would basically be a complete Sony home theater solution, from a Sony Bravia flat-panel television, a 7.1 surround system, and, of course, the 60 GB Playstation 3. Matching the Bravia LCD with the Playstation 3 will ensure that gamers will be able to see for themselves if a full 1080P video path offers an improved gaming experience.
Read More | NeoGAF Forums
A report from investment group Mackenzie Financial would have North America receiving one million Wii consoles on launch day. The report quotes Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada VP and General Manager as saying that they are “looking at a million (units) for North America at launch.” He then continues, “If we get what we’re supposed to get, this will be our most plentiful launch… in… 15 years…” The second qualifying statement makes the statement less firm. So, while nothing is completely confirmed for the launch numbers, at least Nintendo of Canada is aiming high. Launch numbers for the new console have ranged from a low of 400,000 to the current high, one million, and the actual numbers will probably fall somewhere in between. Still, it at least seems that Nintendo will be in a better position unit-wise than Sony in the US.
Update: Nintendo issued the following bizarre “correction” to this story at Gamespot.com:
A number of outlets have reported a misstatement about the number of Wii consoles that will be available in the Americas during the launch rollout. In fact, the truth is even better. After the Americas lead the worldwide launch on Nov. 19, Nintendo expects to sell 4 million Wii consoles globally by the end of 2006, with the largest allotment available in the Americas. Although we expect a huge demand for the consoles, we are working to ensure a plentiful supply and a consistent flow.
Does this mean more than one million consoles for launch, or is this just Nintendo being coy with the blogging world?