From Earnhardt to Foo

Got this in Infobeat as well. I’ve kinda grown to like Foo’s tunes since I first heard ‘Learn to Fly’. I bought the CD soon after and must say, it get’s a lot of play…

Grohl gets guitar from Earnhardt Jr.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Singer Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters was happy with the gift of a new guitar, but the timing made it bittersweet. The Gibson guitar came from stock car racer Dale Earnhardt Jr., who’s a big rock music fan. “Two days after I got the guitar I heard that his father had died,” Grohl told reporters last week. Earnhardt’s dad, one of NASCAR’s biggest stars, was killed in a crash at the Daytona 500. “It’s an amazing guitar,” Grohl said. “We’re doing a couple more shows in the next month and I plan on using it just to let him know that I’m rockin’ it for him.”

Hey, hey, hey!!!

Received this via Infobeat today. Oba-tabidy…

‘Fat Albert’ getting live-action film
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The character “Fat Albert,” created by Bill Cosby, is coming to the big screen as a live-action film. Cosby and his wife will be executive producers for the film planned by 20th Century Fox. No start date has been set for the feature, which is being produced by Davis Entertainment Co. “For the millions of ‘Fat Albert’ fans, trust me, he could not be in better hands,” said Cosby, who is writing the screenplay with Charles Kipps. “Fat Albert” and his friends will be based on Cosby’s standup routines about a group of urban youths in Philadelphia. The characters also were featured as a long-running Saturday morning cartoon on television.

We goin’ to sing a song for you….

Looking good for GC launch

Things are looking good for an on-schedule GameCube launch according to Cube.IGN.

The firm (Japanese electronics giant NEC ) stated that mass production of the GameCube GPU kicked off in January of this year, with an output capacity of roughly 10,000 pieces per 8-inch wafer on a monthly basis. The fact that NEC is readying the chips at this stage suggests that Nintendo will meet its projected launch dates for GameCube in Japan and in the US without delays.

Finally. A Nintendo console without the three year wait.

Inside “Area XBox”

Very interesting article about XBox and the halls of “Area Xbox”. Here’s a snippet:

This is a conference room where you could plot the end of the world.

The entrance is flanked by steel panels. The room glows Kryptonite green. Metal walls slide back to reveal technology prototypes. A laser light of green is embedded on the surface of the conference table. Tap on a flat-screen monitor, and a projector screen hums out of the ceiling. Tap it again, and a live video of the room streams onscreen. This den of destruction is Microsoft’s.

This isn’t your daddy’s Microsoft, though. The room is in a building that sits four miles from the main campus. From One Microsoft Way you have to drive east to the end of Highway 520. And the 1,000 employees inside aren’t working on the next killer office application. They’re working on the Xbox, Microsoft’s first video-game console, due this fall.

Check it out here.

Battlestar Galactica is back

I wasn’t a huge fan of the original, but here ya go…

LOS ANGELES (Launch) – Bryan Singer, the director of “X-Men” and “The Usual Suspects,” will executive produce an updated version of “Battlestar Galactica,” USA Television Production Group President David Kissinger announced Thursday. Singer will also co-create the new series and, schedule permitting, serve as the director of the pilot for the cable network. “Bryan Singer’s vision for ‘Battlestar Galactica’ will bring a new level of intensity and epic ambition to a series that already has one of the most devoted fan bases in television history,” Kissinger said. “Battlestar Galactica” chronicled the adventures of a fleet of starships from an ancient civilization in search of a lost colony known as Earth. The 1978 TV series starred Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict.

Nintendo colors decided

Pocket.IGN has the final color choices that have been decided for the GBA. The white version of the handheld will be called Arctic, the purple version will be Indigo, and the semi-transparent version will be Glacier.

Cube.IGN has nailed Indigo as the main color for the GC. Nintendo has even referred to the color as their “symbol color”. Other colors may be available launch.

XBox broadbandless???

From Daily Radar News:

Xbox will not have broadband capability at launch, a highly placed Microsoft source confirmed today.
The delay, to 2002, is due to a slower-than-expected adoption of broadband, the source indicated. Since the Ethernet connection is built in to Xbox, the console presumably will still work for networked games at 56K or lower, which would make it fine for playing deathmatch games, but not for massively multiplayer online titles.

When reached for comment, a Microsoft spokesperson merely stated that nothing has been announced. He indicated that more news would be forthcoming at the E3 trade show in May, although inside sources expect one sooner.

This has been shot down on a few sites, but there has been no official word from MS.

[edit]

Daily Radar has updated the article with a correction. It reads…

Xbox will not have broadband content at launch, a highly placed Microsoft source confirmed today.

The delay, to 2002, is due to a slower-than-expected adoption of broadband, the source indicated. Since the Ethernet connection is built in to Xbox, the console presumably will still work for networked games designed to be played on current modem technologies including DSL, LAN, cable and 56k, which would make it fine for playing deathmatch games, but the oft-mentioned and vaguely defined broadband content (streaming movies, massively multiplayer RPGs and online music) promised by both Sony and Microsoft would still appear to be some way off.

The Dreamcast didn’t support online gaming for quite a while, but it sure is receiving a lot of praise now that Phantasy Star Online is out. What a difference a few words can make.
[/edit]

Nintendo and the Sports game question

Very interesting explanation over at Cube.IGN for Nintendo’s decision to kill Retro’s in-process “Football 2002” title. This kinda makes you wonder. Sony has always been home to EA and their recently disappointing 989 Studios. Microsoft has some pretty decent in-house sports games and reportedly is pretty tight with Midway. Where does that leave Nintedo?

Ever heard of a company called Visual Concepts? How about a coupla little games called NBA2K1 and NFL2K1? How would you like to be playing an NFL2K-based game on GameCube launch day on your shiny new NGC?

Visualize This
As far back as two months ago, reports came out that developer Visual Concepts was secretly eyeing GameCube development hardware. At the time, it didn’t make much sense. As you’ll all remember, at that point Sega was still a hardware player and everyone from every company in the world seemed to deny that they could be in talks to feature software from the developer on their system. Well, now that’s changed, and I’ve received word from some trusted sources that Sega Sports will deliver an NFL title ## guess which one ## for GameCube in time for the holiday season; a launch title. It is most definitely a go, according to people much more in the know than I will claim to be. On multiple platforms, at that ## but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. At least now we know why Nintendo had no trouble swooping in and terminating Retro’s Football 2002 title. Which still makes me mad, by the way.

Kinda give Sega a console to carry on the tradition and answers Nintendo flailing (‘cept for the original Kobe-ball) sports lineup.

Gorilla(X) sized games list

GorillaX has done a lotta homework and has compiled a list of all of the XBox games in developement.

From the site:

The Official un-Official XBox Games Reference Library
################################################################################
Everything you see here, is public information gathered from the internet press.

In making this compilation, the rule of thumb was to make absolutely NO assumptions, and to have press confirmation on everything. As a result, the main table has about 98% accuracy of information.

Sources: MSXBox, GameSpot, IGN, FGNOnline, Daily Radar, and CVG.

All the titles on the main table ARE coming to XBox, most of them will be in the first year or two (this is only the first generation of XBox games). Provided for each title, is it’s name, genre, release data, and links to their developer(s) and/or publisher(s).

More VF4 Goodness – GS & IGN

GameSpot has some more info on the forthcoming VF4 arcade game.

The male character shown in the clip looks like a traditional Chinese Buddhist monk. He is bald and has a long robe draped over his body. He is relatively young and is proficient in the martial arts style of, Rakan Ken. This fighting style is one of the disciplines that have been passed down for many generations as part of the general Shaolin teachings. Unfortunately, the female character was not shown and Sega did not discuss any specifics regarding this second VF4 fighter. Of course, each of these new characters will have their own fighting arena. As expected, the Chinese monk fights in an old Buddhist monastery.

Features specific to the Naomi 2 arcade version of Virtua Fighter 4 include the ability to save and transport ones win/loss records and other game data from one arcade machine to another through the use of the magnetic card. Other features include the ability to share data with cell phones, and an external saving device, which could very well be the PlayStation 2 memory card.

VF4 - Wolf Hawkfield VF4 - Pai Chan

VF4 - Lau Chan

Screenies from GameSpot.

Also, PS2.IGN has some additional info on the demo footage being ran at the AOU (Amusement Operator’s Union) show in Tokyo. Additional screens available here

The character models are bigger, more detailed, and illuminated with much more precision. The quality of the lighting effects that reflect off of every surface is exceptional, and the animation and collision detection of things like joints, musculature, folding clothes, and other features is more refined ## check out the details on Akira’s gi and Aoi’s hakama, or Wolf’s abs for that matter.

No new characters have popped up yet, of course. The screens we have feature only familiar faces so far: Akira, Lau, Pai, Aoi, Kage, and Wolf. The stages in which they fight catch the eye even more than the characters at times, though. There’s a Chinese temple at sunset, where flocks of birds float into view. In contrast, a Grecian ruin sits underneath a stormy sky. A Bavarian castle is surrounded by snow, which the characters seem to leave trails in as they move around the ring. If you prefer more pleasant weather, there’s a beachside ring, surrounded by AM2’s signature palm trees and placid seas.

In another article on IGN.PS2, the three button control has apparently been finalized. Also, the Buddhist monk also sports some pretty slick moves.

In terms of factual details, we’ll start off with the confirmation of the game’s three button system. Suzuki has previously suggested that AM2 was trying out the four button system of VF3 and the three button system of the original two games, and apparently the three button system won out. The video also suggests that all the old characters will make a return – they’re all shown in new Naomi 2 form. Additionally, one of the new characters is shown – a bald guy wearing flowing yellow robes. In some ways, the game’s parry reverse system makes us think of a Jackie Chan movie. Truly something you need to see in motion.

Namco goes Woo’ish with Dead to Rights

First look at Namco’s new third person action game over at PS2.IGN. The action looks to be similar to Max Payne where the main character shows some John Woo moves such as shooting while diving in different directions while firing twin weapons.

Here is a quote from the article:

Perhaps the coolest aspect about this early game was the disarming scenes, in which the lead character Jack Slate grapples an enemy, steals his shotgun, and then dusts him. Namco’s team plans to animate the enemies’ deaths realistically, with characters shoulders swaying back and forth, their heads popping back with force, and limp bodies crumbling to the ground. Enemies contain about 10 different impact points along their body for a variety of animations. Slate also can shoot while diving in four different directions, backward, forward, left and right ## and will certainly dive off high ledges, balconies, and crates, for cinematic effect.

This one looks to be one to watch for. I’m adding it to my “Keep and eye on” list right now…

Here are a few pics coutesy of PS2.IGN. Go the the article for a few larger versions of these…

Dead to Rights - Pic 1 Dead to Rights - Pic 2


Dead to Rights - Pic 3 Dead to Rights - Pic 4

Doom III shots

John Carmack, id genius, was giving a new video card a spin this morning in Japan. He had a nifty little piece of software testing it out. I think they call it Doom III. Voodoo Extreme has a few shots. THESE ARE NOT RENDERS! These are Real-Time shots. Still looks early, but very big potential. Can you imagine what the mods for this baby are gonna look like?

Now take your Sega and your Namco and add a pinch of Sony..

Things just keep getting more interesting. Reuters is reporting that Sony will be working with Sega and Namco “to build an advanced version of PlayStation2 to be used in game centers. The new console, however, will carry some major enhancements separating it from the PlayStation2 it rolled into living rooms last year. These include monitors and video cameras rigged up to a high-speed network to connect players in different centers.”

Broadband communication between Namco and Sega arcades running on Sony Hardware? Gaming is getting good.

[edit]MSNBC just added an article on the subject. Get it here[/edit]

Sega/Pace Set-Top Specs

Sportplanet has the specs for the new Sega/Pace Dreamcast enabled set-top box.

Today Pace announced the specifications the box is a digital TV decoder, based on a hard disk, and integrates the Dreamcast CPU chip and graphics processor. A disc drive is not included, so boxed Dreamcast games are not compatible. With the present 40Gb hard disc version, up to 60 Dreamcast games are capable of being stored on disk which will probably be available on a pay-per-play basis over some kind of Broadbrand basis. The box will also contain similar feature to the TiVo boxes available.

Kinda makes you wonder if they are going to make DC games on disc or whether you can connect a external CD.