Slave to the Game

Filling you in on the oddball gaming news

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After three weeks at the top, the PSP is knocked down by Nintendo's handheld in an almighty tussle.

With the launch of the new PlayStation Portable Slim in Japan, along with the release of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, a PSP-exclusive title, Sony's handheld has been enjoying some time at the top of the Japanese charts.

However, this week it was just pipped to the post by the Nintendo DS Lite, which sold 87,445 units, compared to the PSP's 86,895, according to figures released by Media Create for the week ending October 7.

The other consoles did as follows: the Wii sold 20,704 units, the PlayStation 3 10,822, PlayStation 2 10,446, and the Xbox 360 1,547. Media Create notes that the release of a new DS Lite in red and black likely caused the figures to leap up in this chart.

On the software side, Halo 3 may have debuted at number one in the region, but the game dropped down to number 36 in its second week on sale.

Don’t get too excited just yet, as there still is no date attached to the PSP’s PlayStation Store, which has seemingly been in the works for years. (Next year is about as good as dates go for it.) But it is coming, and with it will be exclusive games that are being designed for the PSP. Sony is currently at work on seven downloadable PSP games which are basically full retail games. These range from action games to music games to music and a shooter, although none of the titles have been announced at this time. These will be playable via memory stick and should take up somewhere in the neighborhood of one-third to one-half the size of a UMD, which can contain 1.8 GB. The store will be PC-based, so you’ll download games through your PSP and then transfer them by USB or memory stick.

I’m certainly happy to hear this is finally coming to fruition – it’s certainly taking Sony long enough. And in case you’re wondering, there will indeed be PSone games on the PSP Store, some of which will be exclusives.

Talking as part of an in-depth interview published on Gamasutra today, Kojima Productions' Ryan Payton has revealed that there are over 200 developers working to complete Metal Gear Solid 4 for PlayStation 3, also commenting on the game's use of DualShock 3.
Discussing the eagerly awaited Metal Gear Solid franchise continuation, which was one of the most high-profile titles at the recent Tokyo Game Show, Payton noted:

"But the game is definitely under a lot of pressure, because the way things are turning out, this could be the first "must have" PlayStation 3 title on store shelves. Or, if not the first, then the second or the third. So, in that sense, there's a lot relying on it. People at Sony know that, and we've got literally 200 guys working on this title, day and night, making sure that it's perfect."

This means that Metal Gear Solid 4 sports one of the largest teams ever working in the same location on one game title - Payton clarified that these developers are all working on the PlayStation 3 title within the Kojima Productions division of Konami:

"We have that many in our group right now. We have over 200... we've been just beefing up the team as we got deeper and deeper into development. And then maybe after the game is finished, we'll get a little bit leaner and meaner."

Elsewhere in the interview, which also covers many of the design decisions and artistic sensibilities that are feeding into MGS4 as a title, Payton discusses the DualShock 3 feedback for the title, noting:

"This will be the premiere DualShock 3 supporting game coming out within the next six months. Gran Turismo 5 is, I'm sure, going to be impressive, but we've got some things that I can't talk about that people are going to really dig."

He also added, as part of the detailed Gamasutra interview, which was originally conducted at Tokyo Game Show this year:

"What's funny about the DualShock, though, I realized yesterday when some writers came in and I just placed the controller in their hands and had them play MGS4; for some reason it took them like ten or fifteen minutes to realize that the game had rumble. They would stop and say, "Oh! This -- you've got the DualShock 3!" And it's funny because you don't really realize it unless it's not there."

The full Gamasutra interview with Payton, posted on the site today, also includes a number of other notable revelations on the design decisions and artistic sensibilities that are going into the game.

British fans of Nintendo Wii and Star Wars will get a first glimpse of the console’s upcoming Light Sabre peripheral at a gaming festival being held later this month. LucasArts will be exhibiting the peripheral alongside its forthcoming Wii title Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, at the GameCity festival, due to be held between 24 and 28 October. Unfortunately, gamers will only be able to get in touch with their Jedi sides and use the Light Sabre on one day: 26 October.

Although LucasArts didn't say if the peripheral or the game will be available to buy at the festival, the demo should at least gives gamers the chance to wield the Light Sabre ahead of the previously announced Spring 2008 release date.

The peripheral should also help the festival, which is being organised by Nottingham Trent University, fulfil its mantra of “exploring videogames in new ways”.

It's hard to say what exactly Sony's console did to get Valve head honcho Gabe Newell's bad side. Did it lose his dog? Hit on his wife? Get drunk and embarrass itself at a party he hosted? Whatever the reason, Newell does not like the PlayStation 3, and he reaffirmed his feelings in an interview with Next-Gen.
When asked whether he still thought Sony needed to do a "do-over," Newell responded: "Absolutely. I think [PS3 is] a waste of everybody's time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There's nothing there that you're going to apply to anything else. You're not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they've created. I don't think they're going to make money off their box. I don't think it's a good solution."
Well, ouch. But if it sounds like this doesn't bode well for the PS3 version of The Orange Box, which staggers behind the just-released PC and 360 versions, you can rest easy -- Newell assures Sony gamers will won't be disappointed.

"I think the people who have The Orange Box on the PS3 are going to be happy with their game experience," he said. "We've done the PC and 360 versions here and EA has a team doing the PS3 version -- and they'll make the PS3 version a good product; EA got the job done in putting a lot of people with PS3 experience on the project. But I think it's harder to get it to the same standard as the 360 and PC versions."

Newell's never really been a fan of the PS3, comparing Sony's hardware to the Sega Saturn and declaring the machine a "total disaster" back in January.

"The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels, I think it's really clear that Sony lost track of what customers and what developers wanted," said Newell. "I'd say, even at this late date, they should just cancel it and do a 'do over.' Just say, 'This was a horrible disaster and we're sorry and we're going to stop selling this and stop trying to convince people to develop for it.'"

Nintendo released this week their game line-up for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS for the Holidays and into Sprint 2008.

By the end of 2007, Nintendo expects the library of Wii games to grow to 140, not counting nearly 200 downloadable Virtual Console titles, while the Nintendo DS library should be nearly 450. It is a pity that Mario Kart for the Wii is so far out (Sprint 2008), I really think that game would be really fun to play on the Wii. On the other hand there are so many other games that there will be something for everyone to play on the Wii this Holidays. The lists below for the Wii and DS are only partial.

Nintendo Wii Game Line-up:

Oct. 1: MLB(R) Power Pros from 2K Sports
Oct. 1: Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire(TM) from D3Publisher of America(R)
Oct. 2: Crash(R) of the Titans from Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
Oct. 5: Balls of Fury(TM) from DSI Games
Oct. 8: Donkey Kong(R): Barrel Blast from Nintendo
Oct. 9: FIFA 08 from Electronic Arts
Oct. 9: Bleach: Shattered Blade(TM) from SEGA
Oct. 9: LOONEY TUNES: ACME ARSENAL(TM) from WB Games
Oct. 10: Arctic Tale from DSI Games
Oct. 15: Sea Monsters from DSI Games
Oct. 16: Thrillville(R): Off the Rails(TM) from LucasArts
Oct. 22: EA PLAYGROUND from Electronic Arts
Oct. 23: Backyard Football from Atari, Inc.
Oct. 23: The Sims 2(TM) Castaway from Electronic Arts
Oct. 23: Rockstar Games Presents(TM) Table Tennis from Rockstar Games
Oct. 23: The Legend of Spyro(TM): The Eternal Night from Sierra
Entertainment, Inc.
Oct. 23: NARUTO(TM): Clash of Ninja(TM) Revolution from TOMY Corporation
Oct. 25: M&M'S(R) Kart Racing from DSI Games
Oct. 28: Guitar Hero III(TM): Legends of Rock from Activision
Oct. 29: Battalion Wars(TM) 2 from Nintendo
Oct. 30: Ben 10(TM): Protector of Earth from D3Publisher of America(R)
Oct. 30: Showtime(R) Championship Boxing(TM) from DSI Games
Oct. 30: NEED FOR SPEED PROSTREET from Electronic Arts
Oct. 30: THE SIMPSONS from Electronic Arts
Oct. 31: Manhunt 2(TM) from Rockstar Games
October: Spider-Man(TM): Friend or Foe from Activision
October: Bee Movie(TM) Game from Activision
October: Tony Hawk's Proving Ground from Activision
October: Ultimate Duck Hunting(TM) from Detn8 Games Ltd.
October: Mercury Meltdown Revolution from Ignition Entertainment
October: Namco Museum(TM) Remix from NAMCO BANDAI Games America
October: Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity from The Game Factory
October: Avatar: The Last Airbender(TM) - The Burning Earth from THQ
October: Bratz: The Movie(TM) from THQ
October: Cars: Mater-National from THQ
October: Nicktoons(TM): Attack of the Toybots from THQ
October: SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis(TM) from THQ
Nov. 5: Fire Emblem(R): Radiant Dawn from Nintendo
Nov. 6: DanceDanceRevolution Hottest Party from Konami Digital
Entertainment, Inc.
Nov. 6: LEGO(R) Star Wars(TM): The Complete Saga from LucasArts
Nov. 6: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games(TM) from SEGA
Nov. 12: Super Mario Galaxy(TM) from Nintendo
Nov. 13: Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 from Atari, Inc.
Nov. 13: Godzilla Unleashed from Atari, Inc.
Nov. 13: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary from Eidos, Inc.
Nov. 13: BLOCKS from Electronic Arts
Nov. 13: MEDAL OF HONOR HEROES(TM) 2 from Electronic Arts
Nov. 13: LUXOR: Pharaoh's Challenge from MumboJumbo
Nov. 13: Geometry Wars(TM): Galaxies from Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
Nov. 19: Link's Crossbow Training(TM) (packaged with Wii Zapper(TM)) from
Nintendo
Nov. 19: SMARTY PANTS(TM) from Electronic Arts
Nov. 20: Jenga World Tour from Atari, Inc.
Nov. 20: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords(TM) from D3Publisher of
America(R)
November: Trauma Center(TM): New Blood from Atlus USA
November: Star Trek: Conquest from Bethesda Softworks
November: Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey from Disney Interactive
Studios
November: Hannah Montana: Spotlight World Tour from Disney Interactive
Studios
November: High School Musical: Sing It from Disney Interactive Studios
November: Garfield Gets Real from DSI Games
November: Furu Furu Park from Majesco Entertainment
November: AMF Bowling: Pinbusters! from Mud Duck Games
November: Ghost Squad(TM) from SEGA
November: WWE(R) SmackDown(R) vs. Raw(R) 2008 from THQ
November: Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 from Ubisoft
November: CSI: Hard Evidence from Ubisoft
November: My Word Coach from Ubisoft
November: Petz: Catz 2 (name not final) from Ubisoft
November: Petz: Dogz 2 (name not final) from Ubisoft
November: Petz: Horsez 2 (name not final) from Ubisoft
November: Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 from Ubisoft
Dec. 4: Alvin and the Chipmunks from Brash Entertainment
Dec. 4: The Golden Compass(TM) from SEGA
December: MX vs. ATV(TM) Untamed(TM) from THQ
December: Super Swing Golf(TM) Season 2 from Tecmo, Inc.
December: Rygar(R): The Battle of Argus from Tecmo, Inc.
December: Cranium: Kabookii from Ubisoft
December: Nitrobike from Ubisoft
Holiday 2007: NiGHTS(TM): Journey of Dreams from SEGA
Winter '07: SoulCalibur Legends(TM) from NAMCO BANDAI Games America
Jan. 21: Endless Ocean(TM) from Nintendo
Feb. 10: Super Smash Bros.(R) Brawl from Nintendo
Feb. 15: Yamaha Supercross from DSI Games
Feb. 19: Sonic(TM) Riders: Zero Gravity from SEGA
February: No More Heroes from Ubisoft
February: Wild Petz Tigerz from Ubisoft
March: Obscure: The Aftermath from Ignition Entertainment
Q1: LUXOR 3 from MumboJumbo
Q1: One Piece(TM): Unlimited Adventure(TM) from NAMCO BANDAI Games
America
Spring '08: Mario Kart(R) Wii (name not final) from Nintendo



Nintendo DS Game Line-up:

Oct. l: The Legend of Zelda(R): Phantom Hourglass from Nintendo
Oct. 2: Chibi-Robo(TM): Park Patrol from Nintendo
Oct. 2: Backyard Hockey 2008 from Atari, Inc.
Oct. 2: Holly Hobbie(TM) & Friends from Majesco Entertainment
Oct. 2: Crash(R) of the Titans from Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
Oct. 2: The Legend of Spyro(TM): The Eternal Night from Sierra
Entertainment, Inc.
Oct. 9: FIFA 08 from Electronic Arts
Oct. 9: Flipper Critters from Ignition Entertainment
Oct. 9: Bleach: the Blade of Fate(TM) from SEGA
Oct. 9: LOONEY TUNES: DUCK AMUCK(TM) from WB Games
Oct. 15: Flash Focus(TM): Vision Training in Minutes a Day from Nintendo
Oct. 15: The Aly & AJ Adventure from DSI Games
Oct. 16: Cheetah Girls: Pop Star Sensations from Disney Interactive
Studios
Oct. 16: Thrillville(R): Off the Rails(TM) from LucasArts
Oct. 16: Fish Tycoon(R) from Majesco Entertainment
Oct. 16: Super Collapse! 3 from MumboJumbo
Oct. 17: Prism(TM) from Secret Stash Games(TM)
Oct. 19: Betty Boop's(TM) "Double Shift" from DSI Games
Oct. 22: EA PLAYGROUND from Electronic Arts
Oct. 23: THE SIMS 2 CASTAWAY from Electronic Arts
Oct. 23: Rhythm 'n Notes: Improve Your Music Skill from AGETEC
Oct. 23: Backyard Football 2008 from Atari, Inc.
Oct. 23: Napoleon Dynamite from Crave Entertainment
Oct. 23: Ed, Edd n Eddy(TM): Scam of the Century from D3Publisher of
America(R)
Oct. 23: Hannah Montana: Music Jam from Disney Interactive Studios
Oct. 23: Disney Princess: Magical Jewels from Disney Interactive Studios
Oct. 23: Power Rangers: Super Legends from Disney Interactive Studios
Oct. 23: Zoo Hospital(TM) from Majesco Entertainment
Oct. 23: FRONT MISSION(R) from Square Enix, Inc.
Oct. 23: NARUTO(TM): Path of the Ninja(TM) from TOMY Corporation
Oct. 25: Sea Monsters from DSI Games
Oct. 25: Arctic Tale from DSI Games
Oct. 30: Ben 10(TM): Protector of Earth from D3Publisher of America(R)
Oct. 30: Suite Life: Circle of Spies from Disney Interactive Studios
Oct. 30: Dr. Seuss: How the Grinch(TM) Stole Christmas from DSI Games
Oct. 30: NEED FOR SPEED PROSTREET from Electronic Arts
Oct. 30: THE SIMPSONS from Electronic Arts
Oct. 30: Puzzle de Harvest Moon from Natsume Inc.
Oct. 31: Dementium: The Ward from Gamecock Media Group
Oct. 31: Solitaire Overload(TM) from Telegames, Inc.
October: Spider-Man(TM): Friend or Foe from Activision
October: Bee Movie(TM) Game from Activision
October: Shrek(R): Ogres and Dronkeys(TM) from Activision
October: Tony Hawk's Proving Ground from Activision
October: Touch Detective 21/2(TM) from Atlus USA
October: Animal Genius(TM) from Scholastic
October: Build-A-Bear Workshop from The Game Factory
October: Avatar: The Last Airbender(TM) - The Burning Earth from THQ
October: Cars: Mater-National from THQ
October: El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera(TM) from THQ
October: Nicktoons(TM): Attack of the Toybots from THQ
October: Ratatouille(R) Food Frenzy from THQ
October: SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis(TM) from THQ
October: Chessmaster: The Art of Learning from Ubisoft
October: Imagine: Babyz from Ubisoft
October: Imagine: Fashion Designer from Ubisost
October: Imagine: Master Chef from Ubisoft
October: Imagine: Animal Doctor from Ubisoft
October: Wild Petz Dolphinz from Ubisoft
Nov. 6: Dora the Explorer(TM): Dora Saves the Mermaids from 2K Play
Nov. 6: Go Diego Go(TM): Safari Adventure from 2K Play
Nov. 6: Baby Pals from Crave Entertainment
Nov. 6: Horse Life(TM) from D3Publisher of America(R)
Nov. 6: LEGO(R) Star Wars(TM): The Complete Saga from LucasArts
Nov. 6: Chicken Hunter from MumboJumbo
Nov. 6: DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS(TM): Joker from Square Enix, Inc.
Nov. 10: Showtime(R) Championship Boxing(TM) from DSI Games
Nov. 13: Enchanted from Disney Interactive Studios
Nov. 13: BOOGIE from Electronic Arts
Nov. 13: ORCS & ELVES from Electronic Arts
Nov. 13: Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends from Majesco Entertainment
Nov. 13: Geometry Wars(TM): Galaxies from Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
Nov. 19: Mario Party(R) DS from Nintendo
Nov. 20: Godzilla Unleashed Double Smash from Atari, Inc.
Nov. 20: Jenga World Tour from Atari, Inc.
Nov. 20: LUXOR: Pharaoh's Challenge from MumboJumbo
Nov. 20: FINAL FANTASY(R) XII: REVENANT WINGS(TM) from Square Enix, Inc.
Nov. 26: Master of Illusion(TM) from Nintendo
November: Call of Duty(R): Modern Warfare(TM) from Activision
November: Ontamarama(TM) from Atlus USA
November: Draglade(TM) from Atlus USA
November: Elf Bowling(TM) Collector's Edition from Detn8 Games Ltd.
November: Garfield Gets Real from DSI Games
November: Clue(TM)/Mouse Trap(TM)/Perfection(TM)/Aggravation(TM) from DSI
Games
November: Contra 4 from Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
November: Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2008 from Konami Digital
Entertainment, Inc.
November: Strawberry Shortcake: The Four Seasons Cake from The Game
Factory
November: Bratz Super Babyz(TM) from THQ
November: Bratz: 4 Real(TM) from THQ
November: Warhammer(R) 40,000(TM): Squad Command(TM) from THQ
November: WWE(R) SmackDown(R) vs. Raw(R) 2008 from THQ
November: Ninja Gaiden(R) Dragon Sword from Tecmo, Inc.
November: My French Coach from Ubisoft
November: My Spanish Coach from Ubisoft
November: My Word Coach from Ubisoft
November: Petz: Catz 2 (working title) from Ubisoft
November: Petz: Dogz 2 (working title) from Ubisoft
November: Petz: Hamsterz Life 2 from Ubisoft
November: Petz: Horsez 2 from Ubisoft
November: Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 from Ubisoft
Dec. 4: Alvin and the Chipmunks from Brash Entertainment
Dec. 4: The Golden Compass(TM) from SEGA
Dec. 10: RIP: Death Volunteers(TM) from Telegames, Inc.
December: Diary Girl from Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
Jan. 15: Barnyard Blast from DSI Games
Jan. 21: Advance Wars(R): Days of Ruin from Nintendo
Jan. 25: M&M'S(R) Kart Racing from DSI Games
Jan. 31: Command & Destroy from DSI Games
January: Miami Nights from Ubisoft
Feb. 4: Professor Layton and the Curious Village(TM) from Nintendo
Feb. 12: New Zealand Story Revolution from Ignition Entertainment
Feb. 15: Yamaha Supercross from DSI Games
Feb. 19: Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer from SEGA
Feb. 26: Bubble Bobble Double Shot from Ignition Entertainment
February: Imagine: Figure Skater from Ubisoft
February: Wild Petz Tigerz from Ubisoft
February: Assassin's Creed from Ubisoft
March 4: Disney Friends from Disney Interactive Studios
March 29: Ultimate Card Games from Telegames, Inc.
March: Insecticide from Gamecock Media Group
March: My Life Coach from Ubisoft
Q1: Eco Creatures: Save the Forest from Majesco Entertainment
Q1: Polar Bowling from MumboJumbo
Q1: Slingo Quest from MumboJumbo
Q1: Tropix from MumboJumbo
Q1: Polar Golf from MumboJumbo
Q1: River King: Mystic Valley from Natsume Inc.
Q1: Harvest Moon DS Cute from Natsume Inc.
Q1: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games(TM) from SEGA