This is a brief news and rumour round-up to cope with the tide of tidbits that popped up in the last fewe days. I was busy interviewing comedy star Sacha Baron Cohen in his role as Borat Sagdiyef. Go see the movie, it´s the most hilarious comedy in years.
1.) Nintendo World 2006
Nintendo Co. Ltd. will hold a showcase event in early November to demonstrate both the DS and Wii to the public, as GameSpot reports:
The event will take place November 3 and 12 in Nagoya and Osaka, respectively. The event will also visit the Makuhari Messe, the very site of last month's Tokyo Game Show and a previous Space World site, for two days on November 25 and 26. There is no admission charge. Visitors will be treated to hands-on Wii demonstrations and sneak peeks of the newest DS titles.
Nintendo World may, in fact, become a regular event, much like the former Space World events, which were held every year until 2001.
Thanks to: Joystiq
2.) Japanese Wii launch titles
Wii will launch in Japan with 16 launch titles and another 7 before the end of the year, German news site GameFront reports, not citing a source.
Launch titles on 2nd of December 2006:
- Wii Sports (Nintendo)
- Odoru Made in Wario (Nintendo)
- Zelda no Densetsu: Twilight Princess (Nintendo)
- Hajimete no Wii: Your First Step To Wii (Nintendo)
- Wing Island (Hudson)
- SD Gundam Revolution (Bandai Namco)
- Elebits (Konami)
- Ennichi no Tatsujin (Bandai Namco)
- Caduceus Z: 2-tsu no Chou Shittou [Trauma Center] (Atlus)
- Red Steel (Ubisoft)
- Necro-Nesia (Spike)
- Tamagotchi no Pika Pika Daito-ryo-! (Bandai Namco)
- Crayon Shin-Chan: Saikyou Kazoku Kasukabe King Wii (Banpresto)
- Kororinpa (Hudson)
- Swing Golf Pangya (Tecmo)
- Super Monkey Ball: Uki Uki Party Daishuugou (Sega)
14th of December 2006:
- Bleach: Wii Shiraha Kirameku Rinbukyoku (Sega)
- Rayman Raving Rabbids (Ubisoft)
21st of December 2006:
- Need For Speed Carbon (EA)
- Cooking Mama: Cooking with International Friends (Taito)
- Sengoku Musou Wave (Koei)
- Mahjong Taikai Wii (Koei)
- Furi Furi (Taito)
Source: GameFront (German)
Thanks to: GoNintendo
3.) Sony credit rating downgraded
Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings (registration required) has downgraded several types of Sony Corp. debt to ´BBB+´, the fourth out of eight categories. Joystiq has published the company´s justification for the move.
Reasons for the downgrade include:
* Sony's "game segment will likely incur large losses over the next three to five years"
* "Sony can no longer price its products at a material premium to its competition"
* Delay of the PS3 in Europe
* The big Sony battery recall
* The "PS3 is likely to face more severe competition than [the PS2 did]"
* "Sony has also been showing weaker financial results and credit metrics compared to its rivals in recent years"
Why does this downgrade matter? Lower-rated bonds make it more expensive for Sony to borrow money, increasing the cost for the company to finance operations. Higher borrowing costs also make it tougher for the company to drop prices on the expensive PS3 to a more palatable level in line with the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. It's also, like, totally embarrassing to have your bonds downgraded.
Disney were downgraded by Fitch to the same rating four years ago; a status that was unaffected by the merger with Pixar. The official ratings definition reads:
Good credit quality. 'BBB' ratings indicate that there is currently a low expectation of credit risk. The capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse changes in circumstances and in economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.
BBB is the lowest category in the ´investment grade´. Below that, all categories are seen as speculative. The plus symbol denotes a tendency towards the upper limit of that particular bracket.
Source: Fitch Ratings (registration required, through Joystiq)
4.) Clover Studio dissolved
Capcom has decided to close its subsidiary Clover Studio, responsible for acclaimed titles like ´Viewtiful Joe´ and ´Okami´. In a note to investors, they give the reasons for the dissolution thus:
Clover Studio Co., Ltd. has met the goal of developing unique and creative original home video game software, however, in view of promoting a business strategy that concentrates management resources on a selected business to enhance the efficiency of the development power of the entire Capcom group, the dissolution of Clover Studio Co., Ltd. has been raised and passed at a Board of Directors' meeting.
Thanks to: 1UP, GoNintendo
5.) Amazon temporarily reduces PS3
Online retailer Amazon has reduced both PS3 models by $100, before returning back to the original price.
While there was initial speculation that Amazon may have preempted a Sony statement confirming a price reduction, it is now believed to have been an error.
Source: GameFront (German)
Thanks to: DaProfessor
6.) Red Steel multiplayer details divulged
German news site Console Wars is reporting new details about Red Steel multiplayer modes, linking to a CVG page as their source that, however, returns a 404 error. The info is nevertheless most interesting, though the brief article is badly written. Here is a literal translation:
Next to the common Deathmatch and Team-Deathmatch modes, there will be a new one called ´Mission mode´. (...) As soon as the game begins in Mission mode, the Wii remote rings like a telephone. Pressing the ´1´ button, you answer the call and are given the mission objective. You have to accomplish it before your opponents can do so.
These objectives contain one of the three or four Deathmatches, in which an unknown player needs to be hunted and eliminated. How do you recognize this player? Simple: the closer you get to the target objective, the faster the Wii remote will beep. The further away you get from him, the slower it will beep. The unknown player himself has to try and survive the given time limit.
Source: CVG (offline, through Console Wars (German))