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Breaking: Grand Theft Auto IV Delayed Into 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV logo

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.”


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The Min-E3 2007 Games Lineup

E3 logoSure, the convention is much smaller this year and all, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a ton of games to be seen. Eurogamer has posted a list of the announced lineups and then some of what you’ll be seeing at E3. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have been quiet on what they’ll be showing, so it looks like we’ll need to wait until their respective showings to know for sure. The event is taking place next week, so expect it to be a busy week in news.

But please, please, please, Nintendo, show me Animal Crossing Wii. Something. Anything. Please?

Read More | Eurogamer

New Grand Theft Auto IV Trailer In Three Days, And New Details

Grand Theft Auto IV

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 Adults Only Manhunt 2 Saga

Manhunt 2 Wii box artTake Two is in what we call a pickle. Manhunt 2, set for release on July 10, has received a preliminary ESRB rating of Adults Only. Initially, this was believed to be a major problem due to the fact that some major retailers – such as Walmart – wouldn’t carry the game. Walmart composes a significant portion of the videogame retail market, making the AO rating a major blow.

Then came word that Nintendo doesn’t allow AO-rated games to appear on its systems. In other words, no Manhunt 2 on Wii, or at least not until the game receives a lower rating.

But as with books, television and movies, different content is meant for different audiences. That’s why the ESRB provides ratings to help consumers understand the content of a game before they purchase it. As stated on Nintendo.com, Nintendo does not allow any AO-rated content on its systems.

How about Sony, who was supposed to see the game land on both the PlayStation 2 and PSP?

Currently it’s SCE’s policy not to allow the playback of AO rated content on our systems.

So where does this leave Take Two and Rockstar? They’re left with a very limited number of options, none of which are particularly attractive.


Take Two Board, CEO Ousted At Shareholder Meeting

Posted by Christopher Sasaki Categories: Corporate News, Take2

Take2 LogoInvestors expected that Take Two’s shareholder meeting today would result in the ouster of most of the board and CEO of Take Two Interactive. An Associated Press report indicates that investor groups representing the majority shareholders in the corporation would seek to replace five of the board members up for re-election including the CEO. Nearly half of Take Two’s shares are controlled by two investment funds, so this large block would seem to have no problems getting what they want. What impact this will have on any possible acquisition offers to Take Two is unknown at this time, but one would expect that there would be a period of adjustment as the new board members and CEO take stock of the company and determine a course of action. This wouldn’t seem to impact high profile titles from the publishing group, like Grand Theft Auto, but titles from smaller subsidiaries may be impacted by the change in leadership.

Read More | Associated Press Via Businessweek

GTA IV Trailer Now Online

GTA IV

Rockstar Games officially released the first teaser trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV. Scheduled to ship on October 16th, the game will be the first entry in the series for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. The trailer gives a brief, but detailed look at the updated look for Liberty City, and the focus this time appears to be on a Russian immigrant character. Beyond that, it is hard to get a feel for where Rockstar is taking the sandbox game series, particularly story and gameplay-wise. One can get glimpses of the product parodies that gamers have gotten used to for the game, but beyond that, the trailer does it’s job – whet gamer’s appetites for more to come.

Read More | Rockstar Games

Rockstar, Activision jump on Wii Bandwagon w/ ManHunt, Guitar Hero

DescriptionEven with a strong launch and a significant amount of buzz, it’s still too early to say that Nintendo will necessarily become a favorite of third-party publishers. If today’s news is any indication, though, they’ve definitely made some headway. Yesterday, Rockstar Games (yes, THAT Rockstar Games of GTA fame) announced that they will be producing Manhunt 2 for the PSP, PS2, and Wii. While Manhunt definitely isn’t the best game Rockstar’s ever produced, this might mark the company’s first baby-steps towards producing more games for Nintendo’s consoles. Similarly, Activition recently announced strong support for the Wii, including a version of Guitar Hero that will likely be tailored to take advantage of Nintendo’s motion-sensitive Wiimote. From the company conference call:

The key difference in our strategy versus the prior cycle, is that in addition to full support on Sony and Microsoft platforms, we will aggressively target the Nintendo platforms consistent with our multi-platform strategy and Nintendo’s expected growth. In fiscal 2008, we will double our offerings on the DS and the Wii, including Spider-Man, Shrek, Transformers, and Guitar Hero.

With production costs for “truly” next-gen titles on the Xbox 360 and PS3 skyrocketing, it’ll be interesting to see if studios decide that they can make more money producing content for Nintendo’s fledgling console.

Read More | Take2 Games

Update: Fixed the headline, Killzone is definitely NOT heading Wii-ward. What was I smoking…

Read More | Activision Investor Relations via The Tanooki


Bully For Me

Posted by Rob Stevens Categories: Adventure, Culture, PlayStation 2

BullySaturday was a school work day, with two group meetings early in the day. Once I got home, however, I found a copy of Rockstar’s latest, Bully, waiting for me.

I stayed up until 2AM playing it.

The game is very accessible, but they way they’ve structured the game in several places serves to keep the tension up. You’re basically in perpetual trouble, late to class, out past curfew, etc. When you’re trouble meter is on the rise, you have to avoid the prefects or you’ll be busted on the spot (though you learn ways out of that). The more trouble you’re in, the more likely you are to get a one-way ticket to “The Head’s” office.


Playstation 3 Could See Exclusive GTA IV Content

Grand Theft Auto IVAccording to Eurogamer, Rockstar North is working on exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV content for the Playstation 3 on top of the already announced downloadable episodes for the Xbox 360. Speaking with a source “close to Rockstar North,” Eurogamer reports that the new content should be “much the same deal” as the Xbox 360, “except unique to the platform.” While far from being confirmed, exclusive content would certainly help Rockstar maintain a good relationship with Sony. And, of course, this would force true Grand Theft Auto fans to lay out more money to have all the content available to them.

Read More | Eurogamer

GTA: Vice City Stories Site Launches

GTA Vice City StoriesRockstar Games just launched the official site for the upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the PSP. The site features the cultural parodies of the 80s that were first seen in the original Vice City, along with wallpapers, a downloadable trailer, screenshots, and some gameplay video clips. The site promises to release details about the soundtrack for the game as well as how multiplayer will be implemented in the game.

Read More | Rockstar

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