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.
Victor Godinez, author of the Dallas Morning News article from the GameStop conference in Texas, has updated his blog with additional information. There are quick impressions of the various company presences at the show. Sony’s Resistance: Fall of Man was “pretty standard first-person shooter fare… well executed, fun to play, and graphically impressive.”
For the Wii, Godinez indicates that graphics have generally improved since E3. Sword fighting mapping isn’t 100% precise in Red Steel, but seems to be much closer than E3.
On pre-orders, the company line as of Sunday is still that there will either be very limited pre-order campaigns or none at all. GameStop appears to be really gunshy with the pre-order situation. It may be possible that GameStop will get enough console allocation assurance from Sony and Nintendo, but it isn’t looking particularly likely. However, there is at least one person on the 1up forum boards that claims to be a GameStop manager whose store will be offering pre-orders on Tuesday, October 10.
Read More | PunchButton DMN Blog
Read More | 1up Message Boards
Joystiq and Kotaku are running with the story that the above image could be the final packaging for add-on Wiimotes. Given Nintendo’s recent proclivity to try to emulate all things Apple, the box makes a lot of sense (just look at how much it resembles the packaging for the new iPod nano. Still, we’re going to keep being our skeptical little selves and guess that this isn’t really the final box. For starters, Nintendo seems to be basing everything around a white motif, so having extra Wiimotes come in black boxes doesn’t really fit with their packaging design for the Wii itself. Also, as some forum posters noted over at Joystiq, this looks a lot like the boxes for the promo Wiimotes that were given out at the Wii press event in Japan.
Read More | Kotaku.com
According to the website “bits bytes pixels sprites” (what, you couldn’t find a shorter domain name??) some folks have talked with Gamestop employees and found out that there will be a nation-wide managers/owners meeting this Friday, during which execs will learn about the allocations of PS3s and Wiis that each Gamestop will be receiving.
Given that this info is coming from a single Gamestop in Texas, it may not be the best lead we have. Still, it gives us a good reason to keep refreshing WiishList and PS3Me all next week. With under 2 months left, we’re getting really close to the launch window for both these consoles, and we’re beginning to wonder how much longer Sony, Nintendo, and our local retailers will keep us in the dark!
Read More | bitsbytespixelssprites.com < ugh>
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
If you’re planning on buying a PS3 at launch, chances are money isn’t a problem for you. So it won’t matter that now IGN is reporting that PS3 games may retail for around $75 - $85 USD. This is right in line with earlier comments from Kaz Hirai earlier, so you can’t exactly say they didn’t warn you. Still, it might be quite a shock to those of you out there that just barely scraped together the cash for a console.
The economics of the PS3 are not looking good right now - Sony has already agreed to take a loss on the console (which some analysts put at up to $300 / unit), so their main source of recouping money is by charging royalties for publishing titles on the console. But with game developers spending more and more to develop next-gen games, studios need to make a fair amount of money off of each title sold. Given that, Sony is quite reluctant to put too much financial pressure on studios and thereby alienate their already cash-strapped supporters. For Sony, this means either 1) not making any money or 2) raising the prices of games.
Update: Sony has clarified the pricing for PS3 games, stating that games will retail for up to $59.99 in the states, which is the same as titles for the Xbox 360. See the SonyStyle store here
Read More | IGN.com
Since Sony has removed the rumble from their Playstation 3 controller, the “Dual Shock” moniker no longer applies. 1up did some digging through some trademark filings, and found an unusual one coming from Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. A request for the word “SIXAXIS” was made, and while the descriptors of the usage of the trademark seem incredibly varied, the new design of the controller and the “six-axis” motion sensitivity would seem to make this a good fit.
Read More | 1up
New rumors have surfaced via Digitimes that Microsoft is planning to include an integrated HD-DVD drive in the Xbox 360. The rumors have the new Xbox surfacing as early as the first half of 2007, according to the unnamed sources within the Taiwan optical drive industry.
Microsoft’s smackdown and denial of the rumors should hit soon, since the company has been adamant that HD DVD would only be for games. The last time this was suggested by Toshiba, Microsoft was quick to issue a denial. There are a number of reasons why this would be a bad idea on Microsoft’s part. First, they would splinter the market between those that have the HD DVD and those that don’t. Second, the cost of the HD DVD drive would make this prohibitive. While absorbing a loss on each Xbox 360 console makes sense to Microsoft while building a user base, the loss is mitigated by the fact that Microsoft gets license fees from game publishers for every game sold. Adding an HD DVD drive only adds to the loss, without adding more to the bottom line. Third, while Sony is launching with a Blu-Ray drive, they haven’t shown yet that this is the course that the consumer wants to take. Microsoft has time to sit back and evaluate the market and decide later as things develop. Fourth, the backlash from existing consumers would be great if Microsoft released an updated console within the first 18 months of the console’s life span.
Read More | Digitimes
Many gamers have been speculating about what Bungie plans to do after the release of Halo 3. Some on the Internet have declared that the third game in the series will be the last, closing the trilogy. Dean Takahashi at Mercury News has dug a little bit, and found some interesting information. According to Takahashi, two of Bungie’s top employees aren’t working on Halo 3, and are working on another secret project at the company. There are also indications that there is yet another team working on a separate project at Bungie as well. Halo 3 development seems to be proceeding well, though apparently the game has gone through a script rewrite.
Bungie’s past work seems to indicate that they are willing to leave a game world when they have told the story they wanted to tell, but with an upcoming movie, the recently released graphic novel, and their ongoing Halo universe novels, it seems hard to believe that the company would leave this world alone for long.
Read More | Mercury News
Ah internet, how is it that you’re always one step ahead in the rumor-mongering!? Just when people were getting bored speculating about the Wii price and release date, you find yet another rumor to start!
The image to the right is what some are claiming may be the PS3 and Wii demo kiosks, though who knows where they came from or how anyone got ahold of them. I wouldn’t hold your breath though… there are roughly a bajillion companies out there that make a living off of creating tradeshow-floor displays and demo kiosks, and chances are Nintendo and Sony have asked several of them out there to bid on a proposal and try to create the demo units that the consoles will be housed in. However, I think there’s still some interesting information to be gleaned here - chances are both Sony and Nintendo gave specifications about what the demo kiosks should hold and how they’re set up… and with that in mind it’s interesting to note that the Nintendo kiosk doesn’t include the nunchuk attachment for the Wiimote, and that the Sony booth appears to have corded controllers attached to it. Could those even be PS2 controllers that don’t have the built-in tilt sensor?
While we’re doubtful that these will resemble the final forms of these kiosks, it’ll be interesting to see just how much of each console’s functionality will be present in their demo kiosks. Will Wii players be able to try out games that use the nunchuk? And will PS3 players be able to test out the tilt sensing capabilities of the new controller? Right now it’s looking like the answer to both those questions is “No.”
Read More | NeoGAF Forums