Nintendo, ever the master of shooting itself in the foot, has quite possibly found the worst time to unveil some of their future plans for the Wii. Originally, way back in 2005 Nintendo stated that the Wii would have DVD playback, and the fans rejoiced - this was a much-lauded departure from Nintendo’s strategy with the Gamecube of focusing ONLY on gaming. After a long silence, Nintendo confirmed earlier this year that the Wii would NOT in fact have DVD playback. The reason given was that this would help to lower the cost of the console for consumers and ultimately wouldn’t make much of a difference, given that DVD player penetration is already quite high, worldwide.
Now comes the curious news… just today (barely a week before launch) Sonic Solutions announced that they had been tapped by Nintendo to create a DVD-playback solution for the Wii. The announcement stated that the Sonic Solutions will be working on a software-based playback method that will be released with an updated Wii console sometime in 2007. First of all, there’s the question of firmware updating - given that Nintendo has engineered a relatively flexible, updatable OS for the Wii, why hasn’t Nintendo thought about figuring out a way to implement this software on the current Wii console via a software update? Can the current Wii not handle this amount of processing? And second, REALLY REALLY bad timing Nintendo… are you trying to convince anyone that might be wavering on whether or not to pick up a Wii to wait until 2007? The current news really doesn’t make any sense at all - we can only hope that Nintendo will clarify all this and hopefully tell us that our circa 2006 Wiis will eventually be DVD-compatible.
The full announcement can be found after the jump.
Read More | Sonic Solutions Press Center
My old friend Billy at Game Informer just posted a rumor that we could see a Halo 3 demo by mid 2007. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that were the case, but I’d guess Q3 if it were me. But the more interesting part is that this could be the first demo to come with a price tag.
Pop Quiz: What’s the best way to raise the price for a game beyond the acceptable mass-market threshold without actually raising the price?
Answer…Hide the upcharge in something else that the customers will buy without a second thought. In this case, a chance to play a stripped down, early version of the game (probably multiplayer only) a few months early. My gut instinct is that Microsoft could charge 800 points ($10) for the demo and fans would pay it. That would effectively make the price for the full game $70.
Microsoft has officially denied the latest rumors regarding the release of a 100 GB hard drive add on for the Xbox 360. In addition, the company also clarified their investments in chip design research to GameDaily. Microsoft’s official stance on the 100 GB add-on is that “Microsoft currently has no plans to release a 100 GB HDD.” The spokesperson was unclear about where the image originated.
In addition, the New York Times recently speculated that Microsoft’s investment into chip design research signaled that the company may be seeking to create its own chip for the next iteration of the Xbox. While any research that Microsoft develops may in fact show up in future versions of the console, Microsoft stated that officially, the company is mainly interested in investigating hardware architecture from a research standpoint.
Read More | GameDaily
For all of you out there wondering whether your $370 Xbox bundle we reported on earlier is ever going to arrive, I got the answer in my Inbox the other day:
Thank you for your recent Frys.com order. Unfortunately, a clerical error was made during the composition of the Ad for an item contained in order # XXXXXXXX Due to the error we will be unable to fulfill your request. Your order has been cancelled. Please note that your credit card has not been charged. For further assistance you may contact us by phone at 1-877-688-7678 or Email at email@example.com
Additional information regarding errors and omissions policy can be obtained at:
We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.
In other words: “Whoopsie! But now that we have your attention, want to pay $100 more for the same thing?”
The whole fiasco just leaves a bad taste in my mouth… color me naive, but shouldn’t retailers have to honor their listed prices whether or not it’s a screw-up on their end? I can’t imagine this kind of bait-n-switch happening in an actual brick-and-mortar store. On the other hand, an Xbox 360 Platinum bundle with 3 games for $449 is still a pretty good deal, so we’ve included the link in case you’re still interested.
Read More | Frys.com
It seems the internets just can’t get enough Wii information - and with the launch a little over a month away, tasty pics and rumomrs are springing up all over the place. Just so you don’t have to go anywhere else, we’ve compiled all of this week’s major Wii stories into one meaty, juicy post.
See more after the jump, including pics of the first Wii accessories, launch date rumors, and other tidbits.
Victor Godinez, author of the Dallas Morning News article from the GameStop conference in Texas, has updated his blog with additional information. There are quick impressions of the various company presences at the show. Sony’s Resistance: Fall of Man was “pretty standard first-person shooter fare… well executed, fun to play, and graphically impressive.”
For the Wii, Godinez indicates that graphics have generally improved since E3. Sword fighting mapping isn’t 100% precise in Red Steel, but seems to be much closer than E3.
On pre-orders, the company line as of Sunday is still that there will either be very limited pre-order campaigns or none at all. GameStop appears to be really gunshy with the pre-order situation. It may be possible that GameStop will get enough console allocation assurance from Sony and Nintendo, but it isn’t looking particularly likely. However, there is at least one person on the 1up forum boards that claims to be a GameStop manager whose store will be offering pre-orders on Tuesday, October 10.
Read More | PunchButton DMN Blog
Read More | 1up Message Boards
Joystiq and Kotaku are running with the story that the above image could be the final packaging for add-on Wiimotes. Given Nintendo’s recent proclivity to try to emulate all things Apple, the box makes a lot of sense (just look at how much it resembles the packaging for the new iPod nano. Still, we’re going to keep being our skeptical little selves and guess that this isn’t really the final box. For starters, Nintendo seems to be basing everything around a white motif, so having extra Wiimotes come in black boxes doesn’t really fit with their packaging design for the Wii itself. Also, as some forum posters noted over at Joystiq, this looks a lot like the boxes for the promo Wiimotes that were given out at the Wii press event in Japan.
Read More | Kotaku.com
According to the website “bits bytes pixels sprites” (what, you couldn’t find a shorter domain name??) some folks have talked with Gamestop employees and found out that there will be a nation-wide managers/owners meeting this Friday, during which execs will learn about the allocations of PS3s and Wiis that each Gamestop will be receiving.
Given that this info is coming from a single Gamestop in Texas, it may not be the best lead we have. Still, it gives us a good reason to keep refreshing WiishList and PS3Me all next week. With under 2 months left, we’re getting really close to the launch window for both these consoles, and we’re beginning to wonder how much longer Sony, Nintendo, and our local retailers will keep us in the dark!
Read More | bitsbytespixelssprites.com < ugh>
Over at the NeoGAF forums, a user has posted a couple of slides that purport to be from Best Buy’s upcoming holiday console roll-out. If the slides are accurate, gamers would see the Playstation 3 demo area set up by October 20th, and Nintendo’s Wii kiosks set up on October 29th. According to the slides the current Xbox 360 console demonstration areas would be removed, and demo consoles would be moved to the shelving areas like the Xbox and Playstation 2 are currently featured. The new demo area would basically be a complete Sony home theater solution, from a Sony Bravia flat-panel television, a 7.1 surround system, and, of course, the 60 GB Playstation 3. Matching the Bravia LCD with the Playstation 3 will ensure that gamers will be able to see for themselves if a full 1080P video path offers an improved gaming experience.
Read More | NeoGAF Forums
If you’re planning on buying a PS3 at launch, chances are money isn’t a problem for you. So it won’t matter that now IGN is reporting that PS3 games may retail for around $75 - $85 USD. This is right in line with earlier comments from Kaz Hirai earlier, so you can’t exactly say they didn’t warn you. Still, it might be quite a shock to those of you out there that just barely scraped together the cash for a console.
The economics of the PS3 are not looking good right now - Sony has already agreed to take a loss on the console (which some analysts put at up to $300 / unit), so their main source of recouping money is by charging royalties for publishing titles on the console. But with game developers spending more and more to develop next-gen games, studios need to make a fair amount of money off of each title sold. Given that, Sony is quite reluctant to put too much financial pressure on studios and thereby alienate their already cash-strapped supporters. For Sony, this means either 1) not making any money or 2) raising the prices of games.
Update: Sony has clarified the pricing for PS3 games, stating that games will retail for up to $59.99 in the states, which is the same as titles for the Xbox 360. See the SonyStyle store here
Read More | IGN.com
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