Monday, October 31, 2005

++100th post++ A mobile Revolution? ++100th post++

Yes, it´s my 100th post. I would like to thank everyone for staying with me this long and contributing to this site. Personally, I would like to thank - in no particular order - HereticPB, sssd, Thunder_Emperor, RobotPlague, Shoxware_Games, iMoron, Matt, MetalDave, AkiraRastaMan, Raphael, Jay, Mr.Nintendo, Revaen, DlphnMod, Kraid, Nomadx469, Product_Number_18, Ben, Witness_the_Revolution, Dos, Dan_Smith, Dahila, DarkenedJib, Kydd, RawMeatCowboy, CountChocula, TruthSeeker, Blogging sucks t3h p33nz0r, Fihu, WhiteDragon33, MSG, Phalanx, Geof, Sage and Blegh, who left the very first comment. Also Stabby, Lectoid, Googleplexer, Derek, Brian, EgyptianPirate, DJ, Dreamcloud, Runnin_Blue, Niwre, HJ, Swiggy, not_that_anonymous and all those anonymous posters who have also contributed greatly. I am sorry if I have left anyone out. I am sure I may have to extend that list. I don´t want to single out the people I have actually become close friends with. You know who you are and I thank you most of all.

EDIT I am so sorry! How could I forget you guys? NZ_Guy, Go_Phoenix and Pi.

Now down to business. In fact, down to Business Week. They have interviewed Shigeru Miyamoto and he has said something very awkward. Please read:
In the future, what do you think video games will be like?

It's convenient to make games that are played on TVs. But I always wanted to have a custom-sized screen that wasn't the typical four-cornered cathode-ray-tube TV. I've always thought that games would eventually break free of the confines of a TV screen to fill an entire room. But I would rather not say anything more about that.
This comment is very intriguing, since the Revolution´s size really would suggest that it is meant to become the first portable home console, albeit a contradiction in terms. This is what I feel fuels the rumours about a visor of sorts the most and because of it, I myself have never really been able to refute such rumours. This is why I have asked Jim Merrick quite frankly about the Revolution´s size, whether it will be portable and, if so, what kind of screen could be used on the road. I have not yet received his answers but expect them within a day or two and will add them to this post. I just felt that I should post Miyamoto´s statement now, so you get the news as soon as possible. Stay with me for the update. Once again, thanks to everyone who has contributed to this blog and will do so in the future.

Source: Business Week

Thanks to: Product_Number_18

Saturday, October 29, 2005

More news very soon

A Spanish gaming site called MeriStation has interviewed Hideo Kojima who spilled a bean or two concerning when we might get new info on the Revolution. Here´s Revolution Report´s translation:
MeriStation: We saw statements (from [Nintendo President] Satoru Iwata's video conference) about the Nintendo Revolution controller. Has it been tested already? What opinion do you have of it? Do you have some ideas for future games?

Hideo Kojima: As the creator, my work is to create original and intuitive games, giving importance to the experience of gameplay. Therefore, innovation is very important. I believe the step has given Nintendo, in order to approach video games to a currently non-casual gamer public, has been huge. I have a couple of ideas to the ones that go through my head when I'm able, but of course, I cannot say anything. You will have news very soon.

Kojima is scheduled to speak at the Video Game Symposium on December 2nd of this year, immediately following Nintendo Game Designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s speech.
Check my older post Keynote speech to counter Xbox360? for all the info on the event. Also, check the comments. In them, gochie claims to be one of the organizers and he writes:
Hi. Falafelkid, the purpose of this event is to understand "interactive entertainment industry, past present and future = origins and history" through DIEC's speakers who witnessed TV game or interactive entertaiment history.

>Nintendo might choose your event to reveal further information regarding the Revolution?

No. That is wrong.
Because this is an academic event based on this purpose.

However, DIEC2005 is "totally precious!" I guarantee it, anyway;)
And, we will provide DIEC 2005's program details maybe in November.
I would expect that we will get new Revolution info in November, too. After all, Kojima did say ´very soon´.

And speaking of more news, this is my 99th post. For the coming anniversary I will be able to post an exclusive interview which, hopefully, will give us some interesting answers. Check back daily. I should have it up by Monday.

Sources: MeriStation, Revolution Report

Thanks to: Product_Number_18

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Game Helix: "Revolution will launch in May. One more big secret up Nintendo´s sleeve."

This is astounding news from the Game Helix toolbar news service, which makes me slightly suspicious. But here it is:

Nintendo is aiming for a MAY Release date! This is official news straight from Nintendo! Nintendo wants to show off the hardware in May and launch the system worldwide the same month. This is as much of a marketing tactic as it is designed to give time for the developers to complete the games. "There is one more secret left" say Reggie Fils-Aime. "That secret will be shown to the world at E3 in May of 2006. Then everyone will understand the reason behind the controller's design and its capabilities." Mr. Fils-Aime stressed the importance of consumers needing to see the Revolution in action to truly understand it. Furthermore he feels that once the Revolution is shown in its entirety that it will generate a gaming mania and that it is very important to launch the product soon thereafter to capitalize on the excitement. What is the big secret? Your guess is as good as any. I guess we will have to wait until E3 next year to find out. Look for an update for this story with an exact day in May as soon as it is available. This story was an exclusive interview brought to you by GAMEHELIX! In other words if you don't have the GAMEHELIX toolbar chances are your fellow gamers have no clue about this information.
EDIT Right, I´ve done some research into this and I guess this news must be fake. Anyone can construct a toolbar like that and get their own URL on the effectivebrand server. In fact, I have a pretty good idea who is behind this:
The latest trend in gaming seems to be coming from the new GAMEHELIX Toolbar that you can download onto your desktop to get the latest news. If you remember I first wrote an article about this a couple of days ago as it began popping up on sites all over the web. With news from IGN updated 24/7 it is absolutely amazing.

Well the hottest trend now is the ability to chat through the toolbar. So I decided that I would join this latest phenomenom.

SeriousGamer007 will be holding a chat every Friday at 4:00PM Pacific Time through the GAMEHELIX Toolbar. That is right! No need for IM anymore. I will be chatting with Gamers for the first time in a long time this Friday at 4:00 PM Pacific Time. Don't have the toolbar installed yet?

Dang you need to get with the latest, hottest thing to do in gaming.

Don't worry click on the link below! It ROCKS!

Spread the word to all your fellow gamers. This Friday SG007 will answer your hard questions. How I get my information. And just maybe even who I am.

This is one event you don't want to miss. Make sure you get all your gamers in there. Because this chat will only be available on the NEW AND LATEST TOOLBAR....GAMEHELIX!!!

SG007 is revealing all this Friday! Get in the HELIX or get OUT!
Source: Seriousgamer´s Blog, Game Helix

Thanks to: Product_Number_18

Developers unhappy about PS3

There are reports of developers being unhappy with the PS3, for a number of reasons. Here´s GameScience´s story:
The latest issue of Japanese economy magazine, Weekly Diamond, reveals that developers are unhappy with the state of PS3 development tools, and software is likely to be late in coming for the hardware. The article states that PS3 dev tools have only just started shipping to developers this month, while 360 tools were shipped last summer. Furthermore, SCE has not yet announced the price of the console, so developers are unable to predict what audience they are targetting games at. President of Enterbrain, Hirokazu Hamamura, says "We are unlikely to see games exhibiting a level only PS3 can achieve until the end of 2007."

The article goes on to compare the benefits of PS2 as a cheap DVD player when it launched in 2000, with PS3's Blu-Ray playback capabilities, the main difference between then and now being that the industry is currently deep in a format-war for next-generation video, and that Blu-Ray movies still don't exist. It is therefore deduced that the number of users who will pick it up as a cheap Blu-Ray player at launch is somewhat smaller, and that sales of game software will be key for the system.
Sources: GameScience, Shuukan Diamond

Thanks to: Joystiq

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Revolution is rallying support

Famitsu magazine is reporting that the Revolution is attracting the interest of yet more developers, particularly in Japan. Here´s the rundown:
Hironobu Sakaguchi (president of ´Mistwalker´, creator of ´Final Fantasy´ series) comments that the controller makes you feel like you're touching the screen. Simply trying out the controller filled him with ideas, he admits.

Yoshinori Kitase (producer at Square Enix, ´Final Fantasy VII´, ´Kingdom Hearts´) reveals that he loves to go home after a long day's work, lay down, pick up the television remote with one hand and flip channels on the television. Games require him to move and hold the controller with both hands, and for first person shooters, things get even worse, as he's required to set up a table, mouse and keyboard. Kitase believes that the Revolution controller will allow people to play while laying down, using the controller to shoot things and wield guns. More strikingly, he states that the Revolution controller doesn't just change the content of a game, but the lifestyle of its players.

Atsuhi Taniguchi (producer at From Software, ´Tenchu´) states that he would want to use the expansion pack shown at the press conference (the analogue pad expansion, which Nintendo expects to include with the remote right out of the box) and make a first person title.

Hiroshi Tanibuchi (producer at Konami, ´Powerful Pro´) states that he personally likes games that make you move your body and is interested in making an action game that uses both hands. He's also interested in the Revolution-DS link up.

Akihiro Hino (producer at Level 5, ´True Fantasy Live Online´, ´Dragon Quest VIII´) believes that the Revolution will give birth to new types of games. He is personally interested in making an RPG where you hold a shield in one hand, a sword in the other and mount a head set on our head -- although he laughs that this would be impossible. More seriously, he seems concerned about players getting tired due to all the hand movement, regardless of how much fun their having. The hardware has a lot of potential, but he hopes that games are designed so that even if they're played for lengthy periods people won't get tired.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi (president of Q Entertainment, `Space Channel 5´, ´Rez´, ´Lumines´) states that he'd like to think up some way of combining the controller with music. He wants to create a game that gives the feeling of hooking up directly to your physical senses.

Kouji Okada (president of Gaia, ´Shin Megami Tensei´, ´Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner´) believes the controller will allow for a completely new type of RPG, adding that he'd like to try out many new challenges.

Yoshiki Okamoto (president of Game Republic, creator of ´Street Fighter´ series) believes that the controller has such appeal that even people who lack imagination light up with wonder at what can be done with the device. He admits to having just a few ideas himself, including an action RPG and a horror game so scary that it almost makes you throw your controller.

Noritaka Funamizu (producer at Craft & Meister, ´Resident Evil: Outbreak´) believes that that the controller will fit perfectly with games where you move a cursor about - in fact, he believes the controller can do more than an ordinary mouse. A simulation with a focus on action would be perfect for the controller, he suggests. Funamizu closes off his comments with the prediction that those who've been making games since the old days will have an easier time with the Revolution (a group that includes him, he points out).

Gouichi ´Suda 51´ Suda (producer at Grasshopper, ´Killer 7´) has gone into a bit more depth as part of a similar feature in the latest issue of Famitsu. Following some heavy praise where he suggests that the controller could change the face of gaming, Suda reveals that he's finalizing plans for an original Revolution game. While details are a secret at this point, he tells us that we can expect something extreme, in line with what one expects of a Grasshopper title. The game will focus heavily on direct input through the controller, and will, he promises, exceed Killer 7.
However, there is also a report elsewhere of one industry hotshot being turned off by the Revolution.
Mark Rein (vice president of Epic Games, ´Unreal´): ”[Nintendo fans are in for] the most crappy, cheap, I-wish-I-hadn’t-bought-it gimmicks ever”.
Personally, I believe the last statement is not true. Someone in that position simply cannot afford to put a major player in the industry down. Who knows? If things go well for Nintendo, Mr. Reign will have to come a-knocking on Iwata-San´s door all too soon. No disrespect to Joystiq, who posted the story. But god knows where they got it from. At any rate, we can be sure of a few good Revolution games from Japan. That´s not too bad.

EDIT In my opinion, Mark Rein was badly misquoted. His words were used out of context. Here´s the actual quote, word for word:
"Don´t kid yourself. You´re gonna see more gimmick, crappy, cheap, I-wish-I-hadn´t-bought-it, gimmick games based around that controller than you could ever possibly imagine. I guarantee it. There´s gonna be lots of people who say: ´The whole reason for this game is this controller. We need the perfect game for the controller.´ And all it will be about is this controller - and not necessarily a great game."
Still an outrageous statement and showing plenty of incompetence. But substantially different from the first versions floating around the net. Because he only meant to say that there will be a lot of games developed for Revolution that will be gratuitous with respect to the controller functionality. He was not dissing the console per se.

Sources: IGN, IGN, IGN, Joystiq

Thanks to: Fedboy, Product_Number_18

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Merrick interviewed by German newspaper

Jim Merrick, head of marketing at Nintendo of Europe, has been interviewed by a German newspaper. Here are Merrick´s quotes translated with the interesting parts printed in bold:
"Nintendo is an entertainment company. We do not own movie studios. Neither are we hardware manufacturers. The ´Revolution´ may be able to play back movies on DVD - but that is not an important feature for us. We offer good interactive entertainment instead. That is not a question of hardware or power, though. All that is irrelevant. Only the games matter," says Merrick.

Microsoft may also be pursuing the strategy of widening the target audience, "but we see nothing of that - they still produce the same games, which are perfected only with a particular target group in mind. We prefer to take a step back in order to widen the target audience," says Merrick. "The average person today cannot relate to a videogame. (...) If you picture a videogamer nowadays, it is a pale juvenile who drinks Cola and eats crisps. That should not be so."

"The youngest gamers are four to five years old. We will not abandon our market share in this demographic. But we will try to score with the older target groups. In Japan, games which exercise your brain are very popular with people around 35 and older. Those are not the kind of people you would call videogamers," says Merrick.

"We are well aware that the game market is price-sensitive, especially when trying to reach a mass market. I very much hope the ´Revolution´ will cost less than the Xbox360´s 400 Euro," says Merrick. The new Microsoft console was only expensive because of, for instance, its support of high-definition television (HDTV). "But only few people can put that to use. We will not do that," says Merrick.

"Nintendo will also establish an online community. But we do not want to make the mistake of charging for such a service first, and only later make it worth the consumer´s while. With our portable console Nintendo DS, we will choose a different path. Our online service, starting with the game ´Mario Kart´ in November, will be free to gamers. (...) With the Nintendo ´Revolution´, however, not all online games will be free of charge for users."

"We are not worried because of the Xbox. The offering will be limited and the type of games will not be appealing to all target groups. There will always be a group of tech-fans who will instantly buy the new console generation. But the mass market will not move in on the device - at least not, until they see what Sony and Nintendo have on offer next year. If our strategy of reaching a wider demographic takes hold, we have a very good chance of becoming market leader by the end of 2007," Merrick hopes.
Bold statements, there. Unusually bold for a company that has always preferred to avoid the issue of leadership in the home console market.

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24.10.2005, Nr. 247, page 21

Thanks to: Product_Number_18

Camelot all cryptic

The Nintendo-prone studio Camelot seemingly made a very cryptic statement when the controller was revealed. Here´s what they wrote:



Now, Babelfish translates this into the following:
Tokyo game show

The pattern which becomes details announcement of the controller of レボ....... It is the overseas sight, but don't you think? being recorded before IGN hugely, it increases. Bodily sensation リコモン? ?

Night postscript: Don't you think?, the new arrival picture of revolution (includes the controller) being released, it increases even with the Nintendo Co. sight. Also TGS forum keynote presentation flowing with the streaming, it increases. Because the meeting place it could not go, just a little you will see.......

Furthermore postscript: The extent which becomes well. The just a little real thing it comes seeing? (It is displayed kana?)
The statement is by their Webmaster, who seems to be hinting at the fact that the controller has not yet been revealed in all its functionality. Can anyone translate this properly, please? There might be something of interest in there.

Source: Camelot

Thanks to: JoelCool

Global Revolution launch after April

CVG has the following story:
Revolution launch goes global?

Nintendo president looking to a near simultaneous worldwide Revolution launch some time after Q1 next year

Various areas of the internet are reporting this morning that, speaking to Japanese news outlet Nikkei Business, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has outlined plans for a possible simultaneous launch of their next-gen Revolution console some time after April next year.

Iwata reportedly states: "I want to put it on the market to as many countries as possible at the same time." However, Nintendo's president also confirms that we won't be seeing the console or its magical wavy wand of mystery until after April, suggesting that - as expected - the Revolution will be the last of the next-gen machines to spring onto shelves.
Nikkei Business have not updated their webpage with this story, but the weekly paper only has a very limited number of stories online. In my mind, this story could very well be reliable. But, again, I very much doubt a PS3 release in spring. So their conclusion seems to be wrong. In fact, if the Revolution can launch in April or May, I would expect it to launch before the PS3.

Also, the Nintendo hotline apparently got updated. It used to mention a launch "in the later half of 2006." Now it announces an "estimated for release in 2006.

Source: CVG

Thanks to: Anonymous poster

EDIT Spong has a similar story, claiming a Nintendo source told them about a worlwide launch in June.
Global ship-dates emerge – countdown begins

Nintendo will ship the Revolution console in June of 2006, it was revealed to SPOnG overnight, with technology and manufacturing partners letting slip Nintendo’s plans for a shock global launch.

It was thought that Nintendo would keep with tradition and deliver a staggered home console launch, with the US following Japan, and Europe keeping up the rear, as it were. This will not be the case. Rising to the challenge set by Microsoft’s Xbox 360, all territories will see launch within a month. A global roll-out with Japan, the US and Europe seeing hardware in the same day is thought highly unlikely.

“As of early October this year, we had agreed with all key partners that a global ship date of June 2006 was achievable,” said one of SPOnG 's several sources associated with the Revolution manufacturing process. “Nintendo will get the launch in Japan and America and Europe as close as possible. It will be like the Xbox 360 launch, only tighter.”

“Everyone at Nintendo in all territories is now focusing on a global launch in June of next year,” another highly-placed source told us yesterday afternoon, under terms of anonymity. “The European launch might slip into July, but that’s it. Everyone at Nintendo has been briefed for this date and the official release schedule everyone is working to shows Revolution down for June 2006; this is simply a matter of fact.”

A mid-2006 release had been hinted at as early as May this year, when memory supplier MoSys inadvertantly revealed the launch window of the Nintendo's next generation system. However, this is the first time other sources have corroborated the faux pas.

In related news, pricing speculation for Revolution has quietened down, with the magic 200 number now seated firmly in the minds of analysts. Although SPOnG has been unable to clarify the Revolution launch price point with anything near the same accuracy as we have its launch date, a tag of $200 for the US, €300 in mainland Europe, and £200 in the UK is a near certainty.
Source: Spong

Thanks to: Pikachu0071

EDIT Now even MCV UK follows suit. They talk of September as a possible launch month, but they pretty much confirm rumours of a global launch:
Nintendo hatches secret global launch plan for Revolution

Nintendo is set to mirror Microsoft’s Xbox 360 launch strategy, the Japanese firm believed to be planning a global rollout for its Revolution system next year.
According to online reports emerging today (October 25th), Nintendo’s next-generation GameCube successor could hit Japan, US and European retail as early as June 2006.

However, MCV understands that September is more likely, although no official announcement is expected until early 2006.

Responding to the claims, a Nintendo of Europe spokesperson told MCV: “This is a rumour and we don’t comment on rumours.”
This is good enough for me. Three reliable sources is all a good journalist needs. Whether it´s June or September, the Nintendo Revolution will have a global launch.

Source: MCV UK

Thanks to: config

EDIT Unbelievable. All the big sites are coming out to play now. Now even GameSpot has the story:
The Revolution will be globalized

Nintendo prez targets simultaneous worldwide release sometime after April 2006; says Rev will be "complete failure" if it doesn't outsell the GameCube.

TOKYO--Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed that the company is aiming for a simultaneous worldwide release of its next-generation gaming console, the Revolution. Iwata also confirmed that the system will be coming out after March in 2006.

Talking about the Revolution in an interview with Nikkei Business, Iwata stated, "I can only say that it's coming out during 2006, but it will be after the current fiscal year. We hope to make it a simultaneous worldwide release as much as it's possible."

Since the current fiscal year for Nintendo ends on March 31, 2006, it means the Revolution, as predicted by analysts, will likely be released somewhere between April 1 and December 31, 2006.

When asked by Nikkei Business if he has any specific sales figure targeted for the Revolution, Iwata stated that he hopes the console will sell at least more than the GameCube, which has shipped 18.76 million units as of June.

"It [the Revolution] would be a complete failure if we didn't sell more units than the Nintendo GameCube," said Iwata.

The system's controller, which was revealed in September, was the focus of much of the console's buzz. Surprisingly, Iwata revealed to Nikkei that Nintendo's former president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, was not involved in any way with the creation of the Revolution's controller.

Iwata told Nikkei Business that the Revolution's controller uses several different types of technology, though he did not go into specifics. However, he did note that the controller can be used with any kind of monitor, even digital projectors.
Source: GameSpot

Thanks to: Zapdos

In conclusion, that means a global launch is confirmed.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

First Revolution graphics?

Could these ´Test Drive Unlimited´ screens be the first Revolution graphics? A guy called Caio Bruno posted the story today over at GameSpot:

The brazilian game site UOL Jogos has put this week Test Drive Unlimited Images in Revolution Game Gallery, there is new Images never seen before on GameSpot These are the new Images:Here and here

Now, I would never have thought that the first Revolution graphics would pop up on a Brazilian games site. But why would they have been filed under Revolution? What do you think?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Good news galore

Hello and welcome once again to my blog. Thanks especially for sticking around now that I don´t have the time tp update daily. But the wait has been worth it. There´s plenty good news around.

First of all, Game Informer apparently confirmed that Hideo Kojima is busy working on a Revolution title - and it´s not Metal Gear. The news is not yet on the magazine´s website. But various news sites carry the story. Remember, this is the man that brought us ´Boktai´ for the Gameboy Advance. Kojima loves innovation and I am sure he will eat up the Revolution (pun intended - remember Kojima comparing the new consoles to food?)

Secondly, Time Magazine has voted the Nintendo Revolution as one of the ´5 New Things That Will Blow Your Mind´, along with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and IBM's Multilingual Automatic Speech-to-Speech Translator. Good company. Thanks to IGN for the story.

There you go: Plenty good news.

EDIT Concerning Hideo Kojima, this is his English blog, fresh off the PR newswire. There will be no exclusive info on upcoming projects I fear. But remember where you saw the link first ;)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Q3/Q4 release confirmed?

Just days after claims that the most recent financial report made a passing reference to a spring release, Nintendo Now has quite a different story. The source is still Nintendo itself, but this time it´s a consumer hotline. Here´s what they write:
Upon calling the Nintendo-Hotline (1-425-885-7529), a friend to one of our Nintendo Now Executives uncovered a recorded comment which states and I quote, that the Revolution will arrive “in the later half of 2006.”

The complete recorded statement is as follows:

"As the company with the strongest heritage of innovation, Nintendo moves the bar for all next-gen systems by employing a wide-ranging strategy that will attract more kinds of gamers to more kinds of games. When Nintendo's new console, codenamed Revolution, arrives in the later half of 2006, everyone will discover the meaning of all-access gaming."

To make this even more intriguing, back at E3 2005, Nintendo released this same exact statement in an official press release. The only difference between the two was that it merely stated 2006 and nothing more. This seemingly non-important fact actually has some further implications tied to it. More specifically, the recording from Nintendo’s Hotline went on to further explain the recently announced "freestyle" controller for the Nintendo Revolution. This means that the recording was done after the Tokyo Game Show. In other words, sometime between E3 2005 and TGS 2005, Nintendo added the "later half" qualification to "2006".

Now, I was unable to verify this statement since I´m not at home. But I guess the recording does exist. However, I regard information from a consumer hotline only as somewhat trustworthy. If the comment in the financial report can be verified after all, that would be the more reliable source, no doubt. From experience, though, I would expect a launch no earlier than summer 2006 myself. This is simply how long it will take for a sufficient number of third party titles to be ready for launch. So I expect the financial report claims to be wrong. And regardless of how unusual it is to have a hotline break some real news, the claims do coincide with my own predictions.

EDIT Oh, and of course it´s also a possibility that the financial report may relate to a Japanese launch date, while the US hotline would talk about a US launch date. Thanks to Infendo for helping my tired little head consider the obvious ;P But, again, unlikely when you consider a possible launch line-up.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 unrelated

Since some people are still wondering whether is related to the Nintendo Revolution: It is not. It is indeed related to Red Swoosh, a network solutions company.

I myself used to think ´rs´ might be an abbreviation of ´revolution system´, but then I found this page on the Wayback Machine (a long-term version of the Google cache, if you will). The page reads:

Q: What IS the IGN Downloader?

A: The IGN Downloader is software which greatly enhances the efficiency and speed of downloading IGN content for our users. It greatly improves the speed and quality of service we are able to give you. IGN Downloader can increase your download speeds dramatically, sometimes by as much as 200%

Red Swoosh, under testimonials, quotes IGN as saying:
Red Swoosh provided us with a robust Content Grid product that scales to handle our 10 million users, and our ambitious delivery goals.

So, the IGN downloader used to be an IGN service in collaboration with Red Swoosh. There you go. Proof.

Spring release confirmed?

If true, this would really be splendid news, people! Infendo has cited the financial report most people have picked up on. Apparently, there was a hint about the Revo launching in spring, which noone else seems to have picked up on. More on this story soon.

EDIT Right, I have got a bit more time now. It seems that Revolution Report broke the story. However, they mentioned this detail only in passing, which is weird. I know some people associated with the site and they are reliable guys, no doubt. But if Revolution Report was totally sure about this aspect in the document, wouldn´t they post this as the main story? Maybe they are a bit unsure about this themselves.

The English translation of the Nintendo document (found here) contains no references to the Revolution. The Japanese original (found here) may do, though. But I cannot even open the document. I guess we will have to wait for someone Japanese to translate the relevant paragraph in it. Anyone?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Keynote speech to counter Xbox360?

There will be another keynote speech by Nintendo soon. It will be a more humble venue, taking place at a university in Kyoto. And this time, Miyamoto will speak. The complete lineup is quite impressive, though. Read for yourself:
On 2 December, a National Symposium about videogames will take place at Ritsumeikan University, in Kyoto. The Digital Interactive Entertainment Conference 2005 will be about the history and future outlooks of Interactive Entertainment. Speakers include Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo, Hideo Kojima from Konami's Kojima Productions and Namco's Tooru Iwatani. The symposium presentations are scheduled to run as follows:

10:00 - 10:45
Symposium opening
Koichi Hosoi (professor at Ritsumeikan University)

10:45 - 11:45
Keynote Lecture "Design Prospects of Interactive Entertainment"
Mitsuhiro Takemura (Chair Producer at Ritsumeikan University)

12:50 - 15:15
Symposium part 1 "Origins of Game Design and Technology"
Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari)
Atsushi Oogaki (Chief Producer at NHK)
Tooru Iwatani (Namco Incubation Centre Conductor)
Masayuki Uemura (Nintendo Advisor, Professor at Ritsumeikan University)

15:30 - 17:30
Symposium part 2 "Game Design and Technology: Now and the Future"
Shigeru Miyamoto (Nintendo, Head of Development)
Hideo Kojima (Konami, Kojima Productions)
Robin Walker (Design Lead at Valve Corporation)
Hirokazu Hamamura (President of Enterbrain)

17:30 - 17:40
Symposium close

Thanks to N-Next and Game-Science. The official site (in Japanese) is here. Now, I think it is not entirely out of the question that there will be news regarding Revolution. Here are the pros and cons regarding big Revolution news:


* The list of speakers is impressive (it´s an important event)
* It´s a week before the Xbox360´s launch in Japan
* Kojima is speaking right after (and has stated his interest in the Revolution)


* Iwata is not there (no big news without the president)
* It´s a week after the Xbox360´s launch in the US (November 22nd)
* Miyamoto will only speak for half an hour

So while it´s the right timing to counter the Japanese Xbox360 launch, it´s unlikely that there will be previously unheard of news. It´s simply too late to counter the Xbox360 launch world-wide. However, consider that Nintendo might divulge more information prior to the 22nd of November. Subsequently, there might be more details at this event in Kyoto. That´s the most likely scenario in my mind.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Nintendo is "A-OK"

This is another one of those weird stories that will play into the hands of every N-Game believer. This page has cropped up on the server. It´s blank apart from the letters ´A-OK´. The page is called ´Status´. Thanks and kudos to Joystiq for bringing this to my attention. It´s probably another funny coincidence (a web designer in Redmond having a laugh, I guess), but, well, even I must admit it´s not the first time. Remember the Shangri-La thing...? Anyway, at least everything is ´A-OK´. Now we know.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

EDGE to reveal more info?

Interesting teaser advert in the current ´EDGE´ Magazine. Joystiq has the story:
Apparently, there´s a scan from the October issue of EDGE Magazine touting a mysterious article on the Nintendo Revolution—or a glowing vertical slit of some kind—in issue 156 to be released October 27 (at least in the UK).

In addition, there’s a circular view of organic-cell-like shapes in a microscopic view on the opposite page, which could be construed to make up the letter “E” (we think).

Now, The ´E´ need not have anything to do with the Revolution. But it´s interesting that it´s spelt in a viral design. And even if this is unrelated after all, EDGE might have new info on the console. If the scans are real, though. Can anyone confirm this?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Revolution to be least powerful

This is another one of those slightly cryptic posts, I´m afraid. So read on only if you trust me. At any rate, the following is a fact: Nintendo Revolution will be the least powerful of the three consoles. So much so that games will have to be toned down in order to be ported. However, the controller requires additional programming anyway (which was news to me also), so it´s not any more demanding for the developers. Not much more anyway. And bear in mind that the development of exclusive titles is really helped along by the fact that the hardware is not too heavy. And exclusive titles are what Nintendo needs given the controller, so this strategy does add up. If you still consider the above bad news, allow me to console you (pun intended). Firstly, I just got back from Microsoft´s ´X05´ event in Amsterdam and the Xbox360 games do not look like a quantum leap in graphics either. If Nintendo manages to churn out a performance that is visibly better than the Gamecube, they have already levelled with Microsoft in terms of looks, albeit the tech specs will differ drastically. And secondly, there is a rumour accompanying this fact - and it is that Nintendo may be aiming for a $99 launch price. So good news, altogether.

EDIT Joystiq has now picked up on the story. They seem to have heard the $99 rumour from a different source. At least, they are not citing me.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sony copies controller?

Sony has patented a controller that is eerily similar to Nintendo´s Revo controller. Thanks and kudos to Darkenedjib for the story. I have spent some time to find the original US patent. Here´s the main picture:

The New Scientist had a short story on it at the end of August. Here´s what they wrote:
PlayStation gamers are always looking for exciting new ways to control the onscreen action, but using a camera to track a player’s body movement has not worked reliably, admits Sony. The camera gets confused by other things in the room.

Sony’s new idea is to plug a webcam into the console, and give the gamer a handheld wand similar to a pocket flashlight. The wand has a battery, a few mouse-like buttons and several different coloured LEDs that can be switched on and off in various combinations.

By pressing the buttons and waving the wand towards the webcam, the gamer can click to shoot aliens, drag-and-drop images on screen and navigate menus.

The webcam is tuned to see only pure bright colours and map their motion in space, so it can ignore ordinary room lights. And if two people have wands with different coloured LEDs, they can play against each other.

The main difference to the Rev controller may be that Sony seems to be content with two dimensions. Their controller patent seems to be nothing more than the good old light pen we have known for twenty years. Of course, the camera is able to decipher the two-dimensional input into a makeshift 3D image. At the London games expo 2001, SCE already demonstrated a similar technology. I was using a sword that was brightly coloured so the camera could pick up on it. Knowing the dimensions of the sword, the PlayStation could deduce the position of the object simply by analysing the dimension´s distortion, i.e. by perspective. However, Sony has never released anything of the sort. So I guess this is a far cry from a proper 3D technology, which Nintendo has opted for. Here´s a quote from the patent:
It is not necessary that image capture device 104 has depth capability, as the corresponding scales from images captured at image plane 117a and image plane 117b may be used to provide a relative degree of distance corresponding to respective image areas occupied by user 102a and user 102b. According to this relative degree of distance, the amount of movement for input device 100 to cause a corresponding movement of a cursor on display screen 108 may be adjusted. For example, if the user is closer to image capture device 104, then larger movements may be used to correspond to a movement of a cursor as compared to smaller movements when the user is at a farther distance.

So Sony´s magic wand seems to be more of a copy of Microsoft´s magic wand, seen here.

This story already caused some Nintendo fans to scream ´copycat´. But the Microsoft tool also appears to work in two dimensions only and it is not intended for gaming.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

ATI countdown

ATI, the manufacturer of the Revolution´s graphic chip codenamed Hollywood, has started a countdown on their website. The only clue is the formula: ´d / t = V´. It means distance divided by time equals velocity. Sounds complicated, but it´s very basic. An example of a distance measurement divided by time is the familiar miles or kilometers per hour measure. So, unsurprisingly, whatever product they will reveal, it has to do with speed. The countdown counts down to Wednesday, 5th of October. Here´s the info for the relevant timezones:

GMT: 7:00

Japan: 16:00
Berlin: 9:00
London: 8:00
New York (EDT) 3:00
Los Angeles (PDT): 0:00

Kudos to Derek69kdfsyubg on this GameSpot forum thread for bringing this to everyone´s attention. There is naturally some speculation on the board as to whether the countdown is related to Nintendo´s Revolution. While that is not impossible, I myself think it´s more likely that it is related to the Xbox360. The reason is Microsoft´s European showcase event ´X05´ which takes place in Amsterdam on the 4th and 5th. I will be attending as well. Speakers are Robbie Bach, J Allard, Peter Moore and Michael Cassius. Also, representatives from Epic, Bioware and Silicon Knights will be present and I hope to interview some of them. If they are willing to comment on the Revolution, I will update you promptly. Concerning the ATI countdown, though, I guess it is either unrelated or to do with the Xbox360.

EDIT It is a possibility that the countdown is concerning the new Radeon series, apparently called ´X1K´. Over on the Rage3D forums someone has posted the following pic without saying where he got it from. The background equals that of the countdown: