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Posts with tag namco-bandai

Time Crisis 4 trailer assures us they still suck at voice acting

Giorgio, Evan, and William. Those are your main characters for Time Crisis 4 and your mission is to battle terrorists -- wait, no, they're not terrorists. But they are! Insert cheesy voice-over and explosion. This trailer is bad. Not bad as in "this game sucks" but it's hilariously bad like Zero Wing. But, as they say at the end of the trailer, at least it won't be boring. These games are a lot of fun to play and have eaten our quarters for over ten years. We're excited to test it out in our homes!

Katamari not named Beautiful coming to PS3


Namco got us all hot and bothered when it listed Beautiful Katamari heading to the PS3 on its website a few weeks ago. However, all hope of playing Beautiful Katamari was dashed when 1up confirmed with the game's director Jun Morikawa that the title will not be coming to Sony's console.

Wait! Don't jump off the bridge yet; all hope is not lost! Morikawa said "the series will definitely be making its way to the console soon," which is great news for the junk-collecting faithful.

So instead of getting just a port, we can now look forward to an entirely new entry in the series.

Namco considering motion control in Soul Calibur IV


While the chances of us getting platform-specific characters, like Spawn, aren't very likely in Soul Calibur IV, Namco is hard at work at offering other bonuses. In an interview with 1up, Katsutoshi Sasaki, the game's director, said his team at Project Soul is looking into the possibility of including Sixaxis motion control. He said it's "something that we're considering, but we'll have to come up with some good ideas for it first."

But that's not all. In the same interview, lead programmer Masaaki Hoshino said they're also hoping to give gamers the ability to save their custom characters to the PS3's memory card and take it to a friend's house to do battle.

Although it seems like it would be difficult for the developers to include any sort of motion control that would make sense, toting your custom characters on a memory card would be pretty handy. All we care about, though, are Ivy's friends and finally some Soul Calibur online action!

Beautiful Katamari rolling back home - probably


Namco Bandai's recent site update has unearthed a veritable treasure trove of info. First Eternal Sonata's inevitable move to the PS3 and now Beautiful Katamari is listed as being available for the PS3 in the future too. While neither of these titles have any sort of release date beyond "To Be Determined," it's nice to know that we have two potentially excellent Japanese specialties on the way.

We're intrigued to see what sort of control system they come up with for the SIXAXIS. It seems like the perfect game to utilise some motion controls, especially since a Wii version also seems to be in production. As long as they don't make the same mistake some developers have and allow an option for analogue controls.

Namco not happy about PS3 sales, states new plan

Namco Bandai shot out a statement recently that went over their latest software plans for the next-gen consoles. Citing slower sales than expected from the PS3, they imagine their Gundam Musou title (Dynasty Warriors: Gundam outside of Japan) will only sell 300,000 copies instead of their previously estimated 500,000.

From their statement: "PS3 did not make a good start, which will make the transition from the old game console to the next generation system more prolonged than we had earlier thought. This will keep a lid on sales of our video games in the first half, although we believe that sales of PS3 will increase in the second half (to March 2008)."

Namco Bandai announced a total of 23 PlayStation 3 titles in that time frame (24 for the 360) and the Nintendo Wii gets the majority of 37 titles. This translates to one thing: multi-platform. If the PS3 sales are slow, which they are, then Namco Bandai isn't going to stick around and keep making exclusive titles on Sony's platform. Why else would there be more for the 360 than the PS3? They've got one exclusive, we think, and most of the others will be multi-platform. Whatever the case, let's hope sales pick up so Namco Bandai can make a fantastic game utlizing the full potential of the PS3.

Namco Bandai present incredible earnings

It's no secret that Namco Bandai is a huge advocate of Sony and the PlayStation 3 -- just like how Capcom might be a huge advocate for Microsoft and the XBox 360. There's no shame in it. Every developer and publisher might find their niche in certain hardware and dev kits. That's why when Namco Bandai (hereafter known as NamBan for the heck of it) released their earning statements for the period ending March 31st, we must rejoice at their success.

First up, NamBan's full year profits were in the green with a 71% growth, despite slower-than-expected sales of the PS3 and its games. The last quarter ending saw an increase of 1.8% in net sales (about $3.83 billion). Most game sales were generated in Japan, with heavy hitters including Gundam, Tamagotchi (seriously?), and Power Rangers (seriously!).

They're doing well and expect to increase further next year. They propose a 4.5% increase to net sales, operating income to rise 6.6%, and net income to go up by about 9.3%. None of this matters, though, unless we go out and buy their games. So, everyone together now, let's say that tired line we know and love: Riiiiiiiiiiiiidge Racer! Break!

New Gundam Musou: Lightning Strike video

For those diehard Gundam fans that enjoyed the first go-round on the PS3, Namco-Bandai recently released another title in the series in Japan. Judging from the video here, it looks a lot more promising. Mobile Suit Gundam: Lightning Strike is currently enjoying great success overseas in Japan. There is no word on a North American release yet, probably because Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire reviews were pretty dismal. At any rate, judge for yourself. Take a look at the video and determine if North American gamers should deserve another crack at the Gundam franchise.

Gundam Musou PS3 pack for Japan -- why Gundam?

Sometimes you just have to put your foot down... why the heck would Sony choose the new (read: another) Gundam game to pack with the PS3? It's not exactly a series that has had much luck outside of the anime that spawned these games. Anime games in general aren't usually up to snuff (though that Sword of the Bersek: Guts' Rage game for the Dreamcast was pretty freakin' sweet). In any case, Gundam Musou is set to bundle up with the PS3 on March 1st in Japan.

Included in this bundle pack is the 60GB model PS3, a copy of the game, 8 art cards, a... "technical file", and a character file. These files probably pertain to the characters found in the game. The price? 69,800 yen, as opposed to the price of 59,800 yen for the console alone. This doesn't sound like that great of a deal, but maybe the items bundled with the game are sizable and detailed. We'll see.

Namco-Bandai wants to make more games with Sony [update 2]

Namco-Bandai and Sony have created an alliance to take market share away from Microsoft and Nintendo, according to a recent article at Bloomberg. Their joint venture will be named Cellius, Inc. and Namco-Bandai will own the majority of it -- barely. They get 51% ownership, which is enough. Sony spokespeople said: "Cellius will use Sony's Cell chip, which powers PlayStation 3, to create games for the console and content for mobile phones and personal computers." So this venture spans beyond the PS3 itself! That's probably a good idea.

You can check out some more business-oriented details at the original article, but it's mostly information that gamers already know. In any case, this should be a pretty good alliance -- was it Namco-Bandai that was expressing financial difficulty a while back? It was probably Atari... but Namco-Bandai started the whole "we need to sell 500,000 units to generate a profit for our games" deal. Now, if only Apple joined up with these two... iPhoneStation Portable anyone? iPSP... genius.

[update 2: It should be noted that the Cellius organization/project/venture is going to be headed by the mind behind Riiiiiidge Racer, Isao Nakamura, not Ken Kutaragi as earlier stated.]

It's Gundam great! Mobile Suit Gundam info/boxart blasts off!

Well, it's time for another Gundam game. What's this one about? Well, for all you lovers of everything Gundam, we'll summarize the summary from Just Pause. It's U.C. 0068, Degwin Sodo Zabi has become the leader of the Republic of Zeon. He starts a new government, proclaiming himself sovereign of the new Principality of Zeon. You take control of a rebel in this new principality and you know what? You battle the Earth Federation. Interesting twist, indeed. Or you could be boring and play as the "good guys" (totally subjective if you're a Gundam fan). Get prepped for some mech-space-earth-everywhere destruction upon PS3 launch. Oh! Almost forgot. This here's the boxart. It's pretty keen.

[Thanks, Scott!]

Square-Enix and Namco-Bandai are on the patch

At a press meeting in Tokyo yesterday, president of Square-Enix Yoichi Wada and vice-president of Namco-Bandai Shin Unozawa talked about the next generation of gaming and the importance of online features. They stressed this was not limited to MMO's but all future titles. A lot of the talk seemed to beat around the bush for lower development costs, citing ad placements in games (ramping it up for the online world ... ads are in a ton of games already, so possibly a randomized billboard or something? You know?) and software updates rather than gratuitous amounts of bug testing. Which is a patch, more or less.

So, is releasing software updates better than actually going through bug testing? Sure, it costs less, but those who've played games like Oblivion know that these updates can come too late -- eternally trapped as a vampire since the quest to cure was bugged, unable to enter this guild or that, effectively losing many hours of work on the game. But would such a thing have been caught by bug-testers anyway? If nothing else, the release of next-gen games would be pushed back a lot farther without patches as an option.

Hopefully the PS3 will smartly incorporate software testing but not allow unfinished or unpolished games to reach the market (although it does happen...). Oh, about the Playstation 3, Unozawa tossed in: "The Playstation 3 will definately sell." That's nice of him to say! That's "definately" reassuring.

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