Week in Review – 11/10/03

November 17, 2003

Last week was filled with dreams of a possible Halo related surprise. There were many theories as to what Microsoft might do for the 2 year anniversary of Xbox. After all, the “surprise” last year was Xbox Live so there was no reason to believe we wouldn’t get an equally large surprise this year right? Wrong. November 15th came and went without a peep from the Redmond giant. The rumors ranged from an additional price drop for the Xbox, a price drop for Halo, to Halo 2 being available on Black Friday (day after thanksgiving). Needless to say, the rumors were nothing more than rumors.

The rumor mill was also busy at work concerning Nintendo. They had originally released a statement telling of a new product to be shown at E3 next year. Many of the gaming sites took this to mean the N5 would be shown. Nintendo has now come out and denied any claims that the N5 will be at E3 next year. The product is going to be neither a home console nor a portable machine according to Nintendo Executive Director, Jinyou Mori.

Despite Bandai denying the claims, it would appear the Nintendo is attempting to gain control of the Japanese company. It is very unclear if Nintendo’s interest in Bandai is anything more than monetary at this point, but I am sure we will hear something in the near future about this possible deal. The article is very detailed and quite confusing to follow.

Sony has announced a new contest in order to boost holiday sales of its PS2 Combo Pack. One lucky winner will receive a check for $1 Million just for purchasing a PS2. Consumers purchasing a PS2 Combo Pack will need to register their serial number on the playstation website by January 16. They will then be entered into a drawing for the cash prize to be given away in March.

I have a real surprise for you this morning. I know none of you saw this coming but the Ngage is still doing horribly. Sales have been so horrible in fact that for $199 you can now purchase an Ngage and 3 games from EB or Gamestop. That is after a $100 rebate from either store as some retailers have stuck with the list price of $299 without any freebies. Unless you live under a rock, you probably also heard that the Ngage’s encryption has been broken. This has allowed crackers to publish the games for download online. Nokia has initiated an aggressive program to stop the crackers and has reportedly enlisted the help of law enforcement and various IPSs. While I don’t care for the Ngage, I don’t condone the blatant theft of their property. I am also not sure why someone would willingly play the games meant for the Ngage on the unit itself or by other means.

That is all I have for you this week in terms of news. I did complete my review of TMNT and it should be online very soon. I also know that Pretzel is wrapping up his review on Call of Duty. In between gaming sessions, I have been hard at work trying to streamline things here with v2. I am also interested to see what you guys think about having a customizable interface here at SB. I will probably start a poll this week in the forums so make sure you visit.