Thursday, October 12, 2006

News round-up

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.

Source: GameSpot
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)

December 2006:
- 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.

Source: Capcom
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))


Mandalayon said...

Warum denn schlecht geschrieben bei Consolewars? Wirklich besser fand ich deine englische Übersetzung jetzt eigentlich auch nicht (und ja, das 'literal' hab ich gesehen ) (^_^)

Falafelkid said...

Hi Mandalayon.

First of all, please write in English. Thanks. Secondly, while they probably mean ´unknown player´, they write ´mysterious player´, something I rectified to make it more understandable.

It´s just generally unclear and, I am afraid to say, it´s simply badly written. And yes, it´s a literal translation with only very minor tweaks so, obviously, my translation is as bad as the original.

Grandmaster B said...

How was interviewing Sacha? Borat is a classic, I love his stuff. Well all Ali G's personalities.

Sony's credit rating getting downgraded is HUGE news. That is, well just very dramatic.

I'll be getting the JP system as I always do and I think I will get Kororinpa and unsure on the other title I will get. Maybe Wii sports.

Has Wii Sports got depth for one player mode? If so I definately want it.

Falafelkid said...

Hey Grandmaster.

The Borat interview was ace. Sacha ever so slightly went out of character when he asked me if I had lived in the UK, so I told him a bit about myself. It was also really funny, of course. If I find the time, I may post the interview on YouTube later.

Grandmaster B said...

Yeh that would be great, I'd like to see it. I've also been hunting for this movie somewhere........

Mandalayon said...

Concerning consolewars, I just want to state that I don't like it at all, but this wasn't so bad compared to other German newspages.

Just wanted to add one more thing about this story: A better source for the same news is Aussie-Nintendo

And one more thing about the Clover Studios: (via claims that they've got an anonymous source telling them that Clover wishes to split from Capcom in order to form an own, independent studio.

Spak-Spang said...

I wish Ubisoft could (or has and will announce)wifi LAN support for this game.

I don't mind not having online, but I think this game will rock as a LAN party game.

Anonymous said...

The most positive IALS ign board post ever :

Julian Eggebrecht is a techi nerd.
He is jive talking.
Those graphics wont make the gameplay better.
Once you are over it you won't care about the visuals if the gameplay sucks anyway.
The Wii controller coupled with creative heads are in it to win it.
When we get first generation Red Steel type launch graphics I garuantee you that this is only the beginning.
The graphics will improve to the fullest. Just be patient. The interaction through the remote will give you a new feeling.

These are the words that count : A new feeling, Carmine7

You wont get a new feeling controlling a ten million polygon tank with the same mushroom control sheme.

Its nice to have a proper subtle transition from Gamecube to Wii graphics. It doesnt scare people of.

I'm tellin you its just right. Your concerns will vanish granted.

Falafelkid said...

There is an interesting article on Next-Gen about when Microsoft may want to turn their multi-billion investment that is the Xbox project into a profitable segment.

Analyst Matt Rosoff from the research firm Directions on Microsoft has this to say on the subject:

I personally think Sony will have a really hard time with the PS3—fewer games at launch, $200 price premium, and yet they're losing more money per console than Microsoft is on the 360. More long-term, imagine no PlayStation 4 and how Microsoft might profit from such an environment.

Interesting thought, there. I don´t think any analyst ever really considered what would happen if PlayStation3 would be the last of its kind.

Read the entire article, though. It´s all very interesting and well written.

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