What we lack in decent page design, we make up for with lackluster articles and late reports.
Friday, March 12, 2004
Metal Gear Solid Interviews
Konami's Japanese site is running a short information piece about Silicon Knights and their role in MGS:TTS.

Game Informer managed to beat us once again, securing an interview with Denis Dyack at the recent Las Vegas DICE summit for game developers. One interesting thing is that Dyack says that there will be another Konami / Silicon Knights / Nintendo joint venture game in the future, and that it is to be an entirely original game. In the past, Dyack has said that the idea was being entertained, but this seems to be direct confirmation of a future project. Dyack also mentions that he'd love to do a modern Kid Icarus or a new Zelda title... whether that means anything or not is another story entirely.
Viewtiful Joe Info
IGN is running a story which claims that, according to inside sources, both Viewtiful Joe and Killer7 were originally planned as PS2/GC titles, but that Sony's American branch wouldn't let Capcom release them, as the title (supposedly) didn't play up to the PS2's technical strengths. If this is true, it could explain the recent rumors about a PS2 port of Viewtiful Joe.
More European Bundles
Rumors are spreading that Nintendo of Europe plans to release a special Pokemon Colloseum GC bundle, containing a GameCube, special memory card, GC/GBA link cable, and the game. They've released a Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes package, a Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles package, and a few other custom bundles. The bundles often contain a specially colored GC with a custom "cover disc". Nintendo has actually released custom discs, by themselves, in Europe before, allowing for minor acts of approved and easy system modification.
New Budget Title -- Enter the Matrix
Atari's Enter the Matrix is now a $30 "Player's Choice" GC title.

...and there was much wailing and grinding of teeth.
Upcoming (and new) Releases
Recently, Mastiff announced that it would be publishing Taito's Space Raiders (a shooter/action game with ties to Space Invaders) for the GameCube. Stores should be selling it sometime in early April for a mere $19.99.

Empire Interactive plans to release BAM! Entertainment's Starsky & Hutch for the GameCube by the end of March, at the $19.99 budget pricing. The game was released on the PS2 last year, but the GC port was cancelled. The GC version was release in Europe, however.

This should have been listed in the weekly "new games of the week" update, but we missed it. Worms 3D should now be available for purchase at the relatively low price of $30.
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Japan Gets "Joy Spot"
NCL recently announced the upcoming introduction of "Joy Spot", a wireless hub system for the GBA. Joy Spot broadcaster units will be located in game stores and similar establishments, allowing gamers in the vicinity to battle, trade, download news, and access special promotions and games. Any GBA unit with a wireless adaptor and the proper games should be able to wander into a Joy Spot zone and take advantage of the service, for free.

Mario Golf: Advance Tour and Pokemon Fire/Leaf are the first two wireless games which are confirmed to offer extra functionality within a Joy Spot zone.
Rumored DS Spec Sheet
Over the past 24 hours, an apparent page from the Nintendo DS spec sheets has surfaced on the net. A few sites (such as PlanetGameCube) have made the "leaked information" accessible. The image appears to be a screen capture of a single page from an Acrobat file. If this leak is true, it seems that the DS will have:

  • ARM946E-S Main processor (at 67 Mhz)
    8KB Instruction cache; 4KB Data cache.
    TCM - 32KB Instruction, 16 KB data cache

  • ARM7TDMI subprocessor (at 33Mhz)

  • 4MB RAM
    The two ARM processors will share 32KB of processor RAM.
    There is also 656KB of VRAM. Whee.

  • 256x192 LCD Screens

  • Touch Sensitive Screen
    One of the two screens will be touch sensitive.

  • 262,144 colors

  • 2-D Graphics Capabilities
    4 layers of backgrounds, 128 sprites

  • 3-D Graphics Capabilities
    Up to 120,000 polygons per second, 4 million vertices per second (coordinate conversion), and up to 30 million pixels can be drawn per second.

  • Microphone Jack

  • 16 Channel ADPCM/PCM Sound

  • Wireless communications
    Based on IEEE802.11 technology (Bluetooth?)

  • Joypad and Buttons
    A B R L START SELECT buttons return, along with the + joypad. X and Y buttons may be added.

  • Built in power management
    Similar to the GBA's sleep mode?

  • IGN claims that they've gotten unofficial confirmation from developers that this information is correct, and that the ARM7 processor is used for GBA emulation.
    Wednesday, March 10, 2004
    Nintendo DS - Code Named Nitro
    It appears that WarioWorld.com, NOA's developer support site, briefly featured a link to a "Nintendo Nitro" system subsite. The "Nitro" term appears to either be an outdated alternate name for the Nintendo DS, or the current development name for it (much like the Dolphin was the development name for the GameCube). NOA has changed the link to "Nintendo DS".

    Yes, this is a slow news day.
    Tuesday, March 09, 2004
    Another NOA Corporate Interview We Didn't Get
    GMR Magazine recently published a rather brief interview with NOA's Perrin Kaplan. Nothing of note was revealed, but you can visit GMR's site and read the interview for yourself, if you so wish.
    Wacky Game Deals
    Looking for some cheap games or accessories?

    XIII for $20 at Toys R Us/Amazon (also valid in all Toys R Us stores)

    Metal Arms: Glitch in the System for $10 (after rebate) at EB (Buy it for $20, then mail in the Sierra Vivendi $10 rebate coupon... which can be found at places at EB, GameStop, GameCrazy... or try downloading and printing the coupon, hosted by DealRush.com)

    Cubivore for $30 (As the game is fairly hard to find, this is a decent price. Inexpensive shipping too!)

    GBA eReader for $20 (Inexpensive shipping too.)

    Buy 1, Get 1 Free "Classic" Game at EBGames.com

    Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for $30 at Fry's Electronics (in store only)
    Viewtiful Joe on the PS2?
    Capcom has a Viewtiful Joe street team site set up, administered by Fanpimp.com. A recent update includes this somewhat cryptic statement:

    Super Cool Sites for PS2
    Viewtiful Joe will soon be released for PS2. I want to know what super cool sites you visit for PS2. Send me a list to viewtifuljoe@fanpimp.com.

    What is odd about this is that when Capcom was asked about this, they simply said that there are no current plans for a PS2 version of the game. A port may be coming to the PS2, but for now the site is a bit of a mystery. It isn't an "official" Capcom run site, but it is being run with Capcom's full support.
    Release Dates and More
    Namco finally confirmed the US release of Tales of Symphonia, giving it a "Summer 2004" release window. Some online retailers are already listing it for a July release.

    BAM Entertainment plans to release the GBA and GC Starsky & Hutch games sometime this month. While the Xbox and PS2 versions were released last year, the GC port never made it out in the USA (although it was released in Europe).
    Monday, March 08, 2004
    Master Sword Replica at PGC
    Planet GameCube recently ran a story covering a replica of the Master Sword, which had been custom made for one of their readers. It's an interesting looking thing, so visit Planet GameCube's story and take a look for yourself.

    More Famicom Mini
    It seems that Nintendo is considering expanding the Famicom Mini series, which has been selling quite well in Japan. No word yet on which games might be included in any future releases.
    Nintendo Seizure Case
    Another group is suing Nintendo over seizures induced by playing video games. Eric Martin, mayor of St. Martinville, LA, claims that his son suffered from seizures brought on by playing Nintendo video games. Nintendo maintains that video games don't cause seizures, and that it makes every effort to ensure that people prone to seizures have full warning of the possible risks and side effects of playing video games. The Martins aren't satisfied and want more warnings on the packaging and in the games themselves, along with having all games ranked by the level of seizure risk, every game inspected and (possibly) redesigned so as to lower or remove the risk of seizures, a national advertising campaign warning folks of the risks, and the opportunity for anyone to return or exchange a suspect game.
    In Stores This Week
    Another week begins, bringing along a new batch of game releases.

    GameCube: Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, MVP Baseball 2004, Carmen Sandiego: The Secret of the Stolen Drums, and Worms 3D.
    Warp Pipe 0.3.5 Released
    Project Warp Pipe, the first online tunneling application for the GameCube, reached release 0.3.5 today. The software allows players to play LAN enabled GC games online, treating their broadband connection like a giant ethernet cable. While you do need a fairly high speed connection to get decent results, it is a thrill to play Mario Kart online. The current build supports Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Kirby Air Ride, and 1080 Avalanche.

    Warp Pipe is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and BSD.

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