The stories for this week:
- Nintendo DSi Priced and Dated
- Full Frontal Nudity in GTA IV: The Lost and Damned
- Killzone 2 Next Week
- Robot Entertainment and Bonfire Studios Rise From Ensemble's Ashes
- Midway Has Myriad of Problems
Nintendo DSi Priced and Dated
The Nintendo DSi was finally priced and dated for North America this week. It will be out April 5th at the price of $169.99, a $40 uptick on the current price of the DS Lite. I personally am not very excited about the DSi and still think it will divide the DS platform a lot. The DSi forgoes the GBA slot and adds two VGA cameras and an SD slot. Without the GBA slot you can’t play any GBA games nor can you play the Guitar Hero games which use the GBA slot for the controller. With the addition of the SD slot will come DSiWare games that you can download onto it. These games are of course incompatible with the DS and DS Lite. Same goes for any DSi game that uses the cameras for gameplay. It will be interesting to see how well the DSi sells and how confused people become once DSi-only games start coming out.
Full Frontal Nudity in GTA IV: The Lost and Damned
Probably one of the larger news items this week was the fact that the Xbox 360 exclusive DLC, The Lost and Damned, for GTA IV contains a cutscene with full frontal male nudity. Yes, you get to see the pork and beans at the end of a cutscene. This comes after the camera has teased you with showing the junk many times. We all know Rockstar likes to push the envelope and although I haven’t seen it said on any major news outlet or television, chances are good it will be coming. I personally don’t have a problem with this since it seems the ESRB was okay with it and even put the warning of it on the rating. As long as it was never hid from the ESRB like Hot Coffee was, there really shouldn’t be too much of an outrage.
Killzone 2 Next Week
The latest game to attempt to claim the term “killer app” for the PS3 comes out on Friday. The uproar over the Edge review, which gave it 7 out of 10, is just hilarious. To be honest, I reviewed the original game and I found it to be quite good. The biggest problem it had was that it was technology that was beyond the power of the PS2. I think this time around, unless they really push the system, the technology should not create slowdown at the level of the original. I think Guerilla’s game was unfairly given too much hype as a Halo killer and I think the hype has been built up again with this release.
I’ve really found that FPS as a whole is becoming very derivative. I am interested in seeing how Killzone 2 is and I think the graphics will be excellent but the story and gameplay may not reach that level. The Killzone universe just doesn’t have the following of the Halo universe and I don’t see Sony going to the level Microsoft has with broadening the story through things other than just the games. I’m not sure this is a “killer app” and I have a feeling it will sell as well or worse than the original game unfortunately.
Robot Entertainment and Bonfire Studios Rise From Ensemble's Ashes
And so the two companies are announced in the same week. Robot Entertainment will be the one covering Halo Wars stuff as well as supposedly continuing the Age of Empire games. One would guess there are other games they are working on as well. Bonfire is working on a game described on its site as "fast, fun and addictive," with "an in-depth story, combat and game play." No word on system or systems this game will come out from. This is good news for the former Ensemble studio and we wish them the best of luck.
Midway Has Myriad of Problems
As I reported last week right here, Ubisoft did indeed pick up the publishing rights to Wheelman and the game is still coming out March 24th, so they aren’t slapping the Driver name on it as far as we know. Along with that Midway had a bunch of stuff dumped on it this week. First up is that they have been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. This wasn’t a bit surprise since they had been warned a while ago. Next up was the word that they would not be at E3 because they are unable to pay their ESA membership fee (whoops!). Last up is the creditors in the Chapter 11 filing are up in arms about Sumner Redstone’s bargain basement sale of his majority stocks to a Mark Thomas for $100k. Mr. Thomas is likely to reap a huge amount of money when Midway comes out of bankruptcy, leaving Midway’s creditors possibly in the lurch. Could there be an insider trading charge upcoming? Who knows. Let’s just hope Midway gets back to making games again and somehow get the ship righted.