Snackbar Speculator: Re-re-re-redesign?

January 3, 2010

We’re back with another edition of Snackbar Speculator.  This week’s topics: The return of Vice City, the demise of NHL 2K and the PSP’s identity crisis.

Current scores:

Andrew Passafiume: -35

Graham Russell: 0

Shawn Vermette: 5

Grand Theft Auto V to take place in Vice City

Rockstar has made a habit of revisiting locales from previous Grand Theft Auto games, and rumor has it Grand Theft Auto V will be no exception. The instruction manual for the recently released Episodes from Liberty City featured a fake poster for a movie titled Liberty City, It’s Over. However, that fake poster appeared to be plastered on top of a different poster. This poster, when compared with some in-game posters from GTA: Vice City, appears to be the exact same poster. This has led to speculation that the next GTA will in fact take place in Vice City.

Andrew: Rockstar themselves have said they are done with Liberty City, so it wouldn’t surprise me that they decide to go back to Vice City. There was also the website that showed plane tickets bought by GTA IV’s main protagonist, Niko, for a trip to Vice City. It seems like the fairly obvious choice. 80%

Graham: It’s a good a place as any.  They’re invested in the places they’ve created, and they haven’t seemed eager to revisit San Andreas.  65%


Shawn: Considering the Grand Theft Auto series has only visited three cities over the course of its existence, one of which was just used in Grand Theft Auto IV, the odds are fairly good that Vice City is the next stop. Add in all the little hints that Rockstar has dropped over the past year, and I’d say it is a pretty good bet that Vice City will play host to Grand Theft Auto V. 85%

Take Two cancelling its NHL 2K series

Outside of its NBA 2K series, Take Two has released dud after dud in its various sports series. In fact, Take Two has announced that they may lose up to $30 million this year thanks to its sports portfolio. Now there’s rumors that they are considering cancelling their NHL 2K series entirely rather than spend the money to try to compete with EA in hockey. There’s no doubt that if Take Two put the effort into a sports game, they can compete with EA as NFL 2K5 and MLB 2K5 and their entire NBA 2K series can attest to…but do they want to continue doing so anymore?

Andrew: This seems a bit unlikely, seeing as their NHL 2K series is next to NBA as their most popular sports series, both in terms of sales and critical acclaim. It seems incredibly unlikely they would decide to cancel that series out of all of them. But they is always a possibility, albeit a very small one. 15%

Graham: Let’s be honest here.  Hockey isn’t that popular nationally, so a second-place game, even if it’s better, doesn’t have great prospects.  2K looks at games like GTA and the piles of money they bring in…and then they look at an NHL game.  See what I’m saying? 50%

Shawn: For the last couple years, the NHL 2K series has pretty much sucked, especially compared to EA’s NHL series. Considering the beating Take Two has taken recently in the sports arena, it might be smart to at least give it a rest…but somehow I doubt they’ll do the smart thing. 35%

Sony readying yet another PSP redesign

Sony loves to redesign their systems, as the PS3 and PSP can attest. Sony has released 8 different configurations of the PS3 to date, and 4 different designs of the PSP. However, Sony may not yet be done redesigning the PSP. Rumor has it that because of the failure of the PSP Go to take off, Sony may be readying another redesign already, this one with the UMD drive intact.  

Andrew: Although the Go was pretty much a failure, I could see another PSP re-design (along with a small price drop) being one that boosts the sales of the system a bit. I think they had the right idea with the Go, but the steep price point and lack of UMD support really killed it. I would be very surprised if we don’t see another PSP re-design this year. 85%

Graham: They’re readying something.  Past experience with Sony and Nintendo would suggest that they’re always working on a new revision of (or successor to) everything.  I think they’re going to ride out the PSP as long as they can, and a new UMD-enabled PSP would serve as a mea culpa for the Go.  It’d also be a white flag…but there are times for that. 70%

Shawn: The PSP Go was a stupid idea from the start. However, every other redesign of the PSP has resulted in a boost in PSP sales for awhile. Because of this, I would be shocked if Sony DIDN’T redesign the PSP again in the near future. 95%