Who wouldn’t want to have a camo-skinned PSP? Kotaku reports on limited-edition PSP packaging by Konami, promoting the upcoming portable Metal Gear Solid game – Portable Ops. There are two editions containing a Portable Ops UMD, camo PSP, three special pins and a special PSP carrying case with matching strap. This package can be picked up for 29,190 yen ($250 approx.) starting December 21.
The one pictured right is the “special” special edition, and will be available by mail order only. It will include all of the above, including a genuine snakeskin PSP case and strap and, as Kotaku puts it, “even fancier packaging.” Fans will be able to get their hands on it for 39,690 yen ($340 approx.); it will also be available from next month.
The Tokyo Game Show this year saw Epic’s Tim Sweeney speak on various topics including the challenges of multi-core processors and PS3’s Cell processor, as well as some new details on Unreal Tournament 2007 for the aforementioned console.
Sweeney talked specifically about the difficulties of programming for multi-core processors, saying that it takes “about twice the effort and development cost” for these processors when compared to a single-threaded one. IBM, Sony and Toshiba’s custom-developed Cell processor is no different: the PS3 Cell chip “required about 5 times as much cost and development time than single-core.” He also said that the complex Cell architecture “introduces some economic difficulty for developers.” The Xbox 360 processor wasn’t part of the discussion.
However, he was full of praise for Sony when it came to the company’s open network scheme for the PS3’s online service. “Enlightened business model” were the exact words he used to describe the console’s online capabilities, as opposed to Microsoft’s closed platform Xbox Live which seems to be “quite negative toward user-created content” as the company has encountered.
Having praised PS3’s online network, he then proceeded to mention that users will be able to create Unreal Tournament 2007 levels and mods on the PC and play them on the PS3. After noting that the mod community was an “essential part” of the company’s success, he said that the company would love to transfer this mod community over to consoles, letting modders and mappers create content on their computers and then have them distributed online, as well as on the PS3.
As for Unreal Tournament 2007‘s release date? Epic’s Jay Wilbur disclosed that they plan on shipping the game to PC and PS3 in Q2 or early Q3 2007.
In related news, Kotaku reports that Koei‘s Fatal Inertia, initially pegged as a launch title for the PS3, has been delayed to Winter 2006. The company cites problems with the Unreal Engine 3, though they do mention that they being helped by both Sony and Epic on this. When asked about multiplayer by the site’s editor, the game’s producer said that he was “dreading this question,” as they’ve been having issues with their middleware platform. As noted by Kotaku, it seems that multiplayer is planned, but not set on stone yet.
The report also discloses that both Fatal Inertia and i, the company’s new PS3 title, will be in 720p, with the former making use of the console’s tilt controller. Koei also indicated that they are in discussions with Microsoft to bring over the titles to Xbox 360.
Kotaku recently had the chance to visit the SNK Playmore HQ in Japan, getting to play with Falcoon, the creator of King of Fighters Maximum Impact, and chat with the Marketing Manager of the company. It’s an interesting read, but the most attention-grabbing part comes when the author asks about SNK’s stance on PS3.
“My first impression is that it’s expensive. The PlayStation 2 is good enough. It’s small and cheap. For us, for manufacturers, we have to invest in a new system, and the PlayStation 3 is a risk. There won’t be enough consoles at launch. Few consoles mean few software sales. We need to wait three or four years. Maybe 2009-2010 is a good time to release a game for the PS3.”
Basically, the company doesn’t intend on supporting the PS3 in the near future, though it has expressed interest in developing for Nintendo’s Wii. SNK currently plans on launching Metal Slug Anthology as a launch title for the Wii.
“Why do games suck so much” is a topic that has been going around since the dawn of time. Many developers have spoken out on the rising cost of development, disinterest in original games by publishers, and so on. But what exactly is it that makes the studios push out such crap? According to Salon writer James Wagner Au, it’s the press previews.
I found it at an E3 cocktail party in Beverly Hills, shortly after I’d begun introducing myself not as a journalist but as a writer with the virtual world Second Life-not a game per se, but close enough, evidently, for folks on the business end of the industry to lower their shields. The topic was the gaming press, and on that subject, the opinion of a top exec from a major publisher was decidedly bottom line.
“Press previews are very important to our sales,” he casually mentioned to me over martinis, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Retailers don’t know anything about games. So we show them previews of our titles from the game press, and they reserve shelf space for our games on the strength of those.”
And just like that, the gaping mouth of suckage was staring me in the face. Or rather, it had always been there, but I just hadn’t noticed until then.
In his post he states that Kotaku will begin a “Preview Ho of the Month” feature starting next month that will take a look at the most “egregious, blatant promotion for unreleased games from across the gaming press.” Looking forward to that!