I would have to say that it has been quite an interesting week in gaming. We have had companies file for bankruptcy, new consoles announced, and games given away for free online just to name a few things. You may also notice that I don’t normally do the Week in Review, but we have decided to rotate the duties on this particular feature in order to give you different writing styles and that gives other people a chance to focus on reviews. At any rate, I hope you enjoy this.
The company I was just referring to was none other than 3DO. Trip Hawkins founded 3DO in the 1990s after having successfully starting EA in the 1980s. On Wednesday, 3DO filed for bankruptcy protection in a Northern California court. The company is seeking to either liquidate its assets or sell the company as a whole. Earlier this month the company had mentioned it was looking into merging or even selling the publishing rights to its game. The staff was also warned of massive layoffs to occur in July. It doesn’t look like they made it that far. As of this writing, the company website has no press release concerning the events.
In a move that I found incredibly surprising, Sony has announced the release of the PSX in Japan. The PSX will be a redesigned PS2 that has some added media features such as built in Ethernet, a 120GB hard drive, USB 2.0, memory stick capabilities, a slot loading DVD recorder, a TiVo style subscription service, a TV Tuner, and rear mounted controller ports… Yes, rear mounted. The US release is expected sometime next year. There has been no information released on the price of the PSX, but I just have a feeling that it’s going to be a little on the high side.
Front and Back of PSX
In other news, Blizzard has said that the much anticipated expansion to WarCraft 3 has gone gold and should be available on July 1. The expansion will feature a new single player campaign, new units, an advanced world editor, and numerous multiplayer maps. I can guarantee you that Soda will disappear for a few weeks right near July 1st. Blizzard has also announced that Ghost has been delayed until sometime in 2004.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection has shipped for PS2 while RtCW: Enemy Territory is available online for free. The retail expansion version of Enemy Territory was cancelled and released online free of charge instead. You do not need the original RtCW to play Enemy Territory.
Bungie has posted an FAQ on the PC version of Halo speculated to be released late summer of this year.
In an interesting move, Simon & Schuster Interactive has launched a website for one of the strippers from the upcoming Outlaw Volleyball game, Summer.
EA and Sega are currently in talks about a North American merger. This is a bad move in my opinion. I can see EA killing off the Sega Sports line and that would be bad for sports fans everywhere. I would much rather see Sega with MS and have the Sega games be Xbox exclusives. This is not due to
my love for Xbox, but my desire to see Sega develop some games properly on great hardware w/ online features. I would really love them to give EA a legitimate run for their money.
Just in case there was any question about if Enter the Matrix was doing well, Atari announced they had sold 1 Million copies in the first week on the shelf. They are expecting to sell a total of 4 Million copies when all is said and done.
Another surprising bit of news this week happened during a conference call with Take Two Interactive. During a Q&A session with Take Two’s Jeffery Lapin stated that an unannounced SKU would appear on Xbox in the fourth quarter of the company’s fiscal year. It wasn’t confirmed that a Grand Theft Auto title was in the works, but it was hinted by Lapin that that was the case. You can read more about it over at IGN. If that is the case, it will be a nice treat for Xbox owners and casual gamers alike. Many people had gravitated toward the PS2 strictly to be able to play games in the GTA series and w/ the exclusivity contract coming to an end with SCEA I have a feeling people will look towards the console as a whole instead of picking it strictly based on the availability of a certain GTA game.
That about wraps up my first Week in Review. It feels like one huge news post, but I guess that is really what this is supposed to be…