Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Xbox Buddies Newsflash (Abbreviated Edition)

  1. It's like Christmas ... in March ...
  2. Xbox Next updates
  3. Industry happenings

  1. It's like Christmas ... in March ...

  2. Xbox Next updates

    • Rumor has it Microsoft may choose to not only ditch the hard drive in Xbox next, but forego any of the next-gen optical (Blu-Ray or HD-DVD), too.
    • Microsoft said they won't be showing at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in March, but will show at E3 in May. Sony said they won't show the PS3 in GDC, but will beat Microsoft to the punch by showing the PS3 before E3. That could be as late the pre-week launches, though.
    • Speaking of Sony, details on the Sony/Toshiba/IBM PS3 processor, "Cell", look amazing. We're looking at above 4GHz performance, and a clustered processor model similar to what the space shuttle had (possibly even including the "traffic cop" processor").
    • Xbox next is looking like it's going to be out this fall (which in game parlance, could be as late as November).
    • Games are looking amazing for Xbox next. Beside the RPG Oblivion, a bunch of titles are exciting to me. None, however, more than Final Fantasy coming to Xbox. Sort of. But better. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy, and founder of the new Mistwalker game developmet studio, has announced he's working on two next-gen RPG titles that will be Xbox 2 exclusives. They also look like they will include the collaboration of the Final Fantasy music maestros.

  3. Industry happenings

    • Electronic Arts is a freaking animal. Besides building the biggest studio (a game studio) in Hollywood since the Warner Bros. studio, they're signing 15-year licensing exclusity deals with the likes of the NFL (don't need that Madden cachet anymore) eating up smaller publishers, and even look like they're on a hostile takeover bid for Ubisoft. Yes, I'm torn, but I think this aggressiveness is actually good for the industry. I just hate to see the end of the ESPN sports offerings -- better and cheaper licensed fair than EA's stuff.
    • Ion Storm is no more. Publisher Eidos shuttered the Austin studio earlier this month, after the folks there diligently put out the Deus Ex and Thief mega-franchises. Even though 35 folks were ousted, Eidos said they'd be hiring 50 additional folks at their San Francisco development studio. A week-plus later, it looks like someone may be acquiring the publisher itself. There are strong leanings toward both Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Bono's (U2) Elevation venture capital company. We'll see.

Just as a pseudo warning, my next bog is probably going to a wee bit on the selfish side, as I talk about the new way I Xbox ...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

More coming soon ...

Yeah, so there's been too much of a lag since my last arm-chair analysis of the video game industry. Don't worry, I miss it, too.

CES was a no-show as far as Xbox Next, and it looks like it's out for this year's GDC as well.

I'll post some new stuff soon (hopefully), but it'll have to fit in between my acting stuff and the Super Bowl partying.

Speaking of acting, check out my acting blog to see how things have been busy on that front ...