Tag Archives: News

We Got Hacked, But We’re Back!

For those of you who still frequent the site, you may not know this, but a few days back we got hacked so we were unable to login to the site and make any updates.  Thankfully we had a backup, so we’re back in action.  The bad news is that we lost a year’s worth of content.  Thankfully we now use YouTube to host all of our content so everything is still there: https://www.youtube.com/projectcoe

Breaking: Amazon Console Controller Leaked

Behold the mighty Amazon game console controller…

amazon-bluetooth-controller1Here’s the scoop, Anatel, the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications leaked the image of the supposed Amazon game console earlier this morning.  As you can see it looks remarkably similar to the Xboxx 360/Xbox One controller.  It has multimedia functions on the lower portion of the controller and apparently uses AA batteries and Bluetooth to communicate with the Android-based console.

There have been rumors for months now that Amazon will be entering the console space with a sub-$300 console that’s apparently going to look like the PSOne.  With this news, and the news that Double Helix was purchased by Amazon, it looks all but official that Amazon will be announcing their introduction to the console race any day now.  What do you all think?

 

Welcome the Analogue Nt

The fine folks at Analogue Interactive have just announced a brand new project to exist alongside their highly successful Analogue CMVS Slim.  The Analogue Nt is an NES, but unlike any you’ve ever seen before.  What makes this one so special is that it is apparently the only aftermarket NES that won’t use emulation in order to get carts to work.  The original motherboard has been completely reengineered in order to output the very best audio and visuals, including true RGB-out and stereo sound.

The system itself is being designed from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum, making it aesthetically unique.  The system will also support four-players simultaneously, although only a very few amount of games ever supported four-players.

The only other news we have at the moment is that the Analogue Nt will play Famicom and NES titles, although the promotional pictures also show Famicom Disk games so I’m not entirely sure if this unit will be compatible with the existing Famicom Disk System or if there’s more to this shiny box than the folks at Analogue Interactive are telling us.

Analogue NtPre-orders will begin towards the end of March, and I’m working on securing an interview with Chris, the main man behind Analogue Interactive.  In terms of my initial thoughts and impressions behind the concept I think a lot will come down to execution.  The standard NES was notorious for having pins bend on the main connection, having lackluster video and audio output options, but featured tons of phenomenal games.  If we can truly get pure RGB-out from the system with stereo sound, and the price is somewhat affordable then this could be a very interesting device to keep your eyes on.  Clearly this is going to be aimed at those that want the absolute best possible quality from their NES experience as there are countless other retro systems out there that play multiple games from the era, but the key difference here should be the overall quality.  I’ll be getting my hands on the system in the coming weeks/months (depending on when the initial batch ship) and will have a full report at that time.

What do you all think of this neat little box?

Nintendo Introduces Universal Nintendo Network ID, and Brings Miiverse to 3DS

During today’s Nintendo Direct, Nintendo finally confirmed that in a few short weeks 3DS owners will be prompted to update their system’s firmware. The update will bring two extremely important features to the platform. The first is the universal Nintendo Network ID, which will combine your Nintendo 3DS and Wii U accounts into one. This should make purchasing downloadable content much easier as you can simply allocate funds to your Nintendo Network account and not have to constantly manage two separate accounts. Sadly purchases made on the 3DS Virtual Console will not transfer over to your Wii U, which is a feature many had been hoping for. For clarification, imagine downloading the original Super Mario Bros. via the 3DS Virtual Console, many were hoping it would then transfer over to the Wii U if said game was already available on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, but alas no. Players will still be required to buy both versions.

The other big update is the inclusion of Miiverse for the 3DS. This is long overdue and should please long-time fans of the 3DS. As someone who adores Miiverse on the Wii U and PC, this is a welcome addition. Personally I had hoped it would be here by the time A Link Between Worlds arrived on November 22nd, but I can wait a few more weeks I suppose.

Are there any other features you were hoping would be added? How did you feel about the Nintendo Direct as a whole? Anyone else super excited for Super Mario 3D World after seeing the latest trailer/feature list?

SNK Playmore Terminates License Agreement With Tommo

Well that sure was short-lived. The Neo Geo X officially went on sale December 2012 to extremely critical reviews. In fact you’d be hard-pressed to find a single media outlet that gave the device any praise at all. When I finally got mine I didn’t think it was horrible, but it certainly had some faults.

Poor Steven had to actually send his Mega Pack Vol. 1 back to Tommo because it wouldn’t allow him to update his system’s firmware. It left such a sour taste in his mouth that he hasn’t touched his X since. I think all of us knew this device wasn’t going to last long, because if anything it was tarnishing the name of Neo Geo and SNK as a whole. I suppose someone from SNK Playmore finally had enough, and as of October 2nd, 2013 the Neo Geo X is dead. SNK Playmore had some extremely harsh words for Tommo in their press release, which I’ll highlight for your reading pleasure.

“Upon termination of the License and Distribution Agreement, SNK has demanded that TOMMO Inc. immediately cease any and all manufacturing, distribution, marketing & promotion and selling of the Licensed Products.

In addition, SNK has demanded TOMMO immediately cease all sales of the “SNK NEOGEO X Arcade Stick” product being sold separately from the NEOGEO X GOLD Plug and Play Console, and remove the “SNK NEOGEO X Arcade Stick” product from store shelves and online retailers. In order to protect our intellectual property rights such as “NEOGEO” and “SNK”, decisive measures will be taken against all unapproved NEOGEO X products not subject to the License Agreement.”

Ouch! This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who have been following the Neo Geo X. SNK’s original Neo Geo AES platform was praised the world over as being one of the most advanced pieces of technology back when it was originally released in the very early 90s. The X was the polar opposite, and has been slammed by the media for being essentially a cheap emulation box.

I know a lot of you likely have questions as to what will happen now, and I’ll try and answer those questions with one sentence. The Neo Geo X is a dead, unsupported, and now illegal piece of hardware. If you own one, take very good care of it because it will no longer be supported in any official capacity. If you see one for sale and are curious, jump on it because it will no longer be sold anywhere except on eBay for outrageously high prices.

So long Neo Geo X, it was fun while it lasted.

Breaking: SEGA Sammy to Purchase Atlus for ¥14 billion ($141.6 Million)

We can now confirm that Atlus’ parent company, Index Holdings has been bought out by SEGA Sammy for ¥14 billion, or around $141.6 million USD. The news was confirmed by Atlus itself, via their official Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/atlus_jp/status/380274765572751360

Information is still breaking on the deal, but the Atlus brand will officially join SEGA on November 1st. This news seems to make the most sense as it will allow Atlus to remain a third party publisher. Prior rumors had pegged Nintendo and Sony as potential buyers, but it was SEGA Sammy that eventually won out in the end.

I expect more detailed information to break in the coming hours, so I’ll likely have an update from Atlus itself shortly.

Update: SEGA Sammy will acquire Index Holdings, and form a new subsidiary called SEGA Dream Corporation, albeit this name is open to change.  There has been no mention if the Atlus brand will be discontinued or not.

Special Service Announcement

When we first joined YouTube, on December 25th, 2007 we had very limited video content. After all it was difficult for all of us to capture our own footage as capture cards were still very primitive, or ultra expensive. We eventually started using game trailers and other media as video content for our reviews, but unfortunately we began getting flagged for copyright infringement. This led us to leave YouTube altogether. Eventually I picked up a basic SD capture card and started doing retro reviews of old SEGA Saturn and Dreamcast games. Before that I had experimented with off-screen capture techniques, but was displeased with how they turned out. Long story short, the Saturn and Dreamcast content was very well received by the YouTube community, so much so that for the past two years I have been inundated with requests to do more videos on retro consoles, specifically these two. The problem is that earlier this year I purchased an HD capture card, and really didn’t want to look back. Here are two videos I published years ago to show the quality of the SD capture card.

The videos do a fine job as they are. They get across what I’m talking about, but the colors are all washed out, grainy, and overall don’t look that great. My voice isn’t too hot either because this was before I bought a professional-grade microphone. This is why I haven’t returned to retro consoles because they require an investment. You need to order a bunch of special equipment from upscalers to cables and everything in-between in order to do these consoles justice. Sure I could have gone the easy route and said screw it, but I wanted to highlight what these machines were truly capable of. It didn’t help that when I moved I put all of these old consoles in storage, so right there digging them out is easier said than done.

Yesterday was the Dreamcast’s 14th anniversary of its North American launch, and I am super pleased to announce that after a two year hiatus, I will be returning to the retro scene in a very big way. If you watch our YouTube channel you know that I’ve been talking about the Neo Geo X lately and have been capturing HD footage directly from the hardware. While that console isn’t the ideal retro platform, as it’s an emulation box, the overall quality of the videos impressed me enough to push forward with my other endeavors. So all the specialty equipment I needed for the Dreamcast and Saturn has been ordered, and within the next two weeks I should be able to resume my retro content for the SEGA Dreamcast. Saturn content will follow once one more item is ordered, but I am working with a limited budget here, so please keep that in mind. On top of these two platforms I also have a Consolized MVS ordered, which should be arriving within the next month or so. That gives me three distinct retro platforms to create new videos for. I’ve also embarked on a new crusade…

While I really wanted this to arrive yesterday to coincide with the 14th anniversary of the North American launch of the Dreamcast, it wasn’t meant to be. One day later is fine by me though. What this is, is a brand new Dreamcast game released in April 2013. It’s actually a reworking of a 2009 Dreamcast game, but whatever. The point is that the Dreamcast is still very much alive and well, even years after its official demise. I hope this unboxing video and showcase proves how serious I am about pushing our retro content moving forward. This is only the beginning!

Sony’s Pre-TGS Conference Reveals New Hardware, and Much More

Sony made quite a big splash on their home turf this morning with a wide assortment of announcements. Here’s a quick round-down of everything they revealed and my thoughts on the news.

The first big reveal was the announcement of a remodeled PS Vita. It’s 20% thinner, and 15% lighter than the previous model. It replaces the OLED screen with a LCD screen, and increases the battery life by one hour. It also includes one gigabyte of on-board storage, although there’s not very much you can do with that, but one would assume this would allow the system to use this storage in lieu of memory cards, but this hasn’t been confirmed as of yet. If it does remove the need for memory cards that will certainly be a selling factor for a lot of people.

Vita SlimSpeaking of memory cards, Sony announced price drops for the Vita memory cards in Japan, and also announced a 64GB model, which will retail for 9.980 yen or about $100 USD. Personally I still think the pricing is way too high. A 64GB SDXC card can be easily found for $60.

The new Vita will go on sale in Japan on October 10th, and will retail for 18,980 yen or around $190 USD. It will be available in six colors, and as of writing this there has been no confirmation on when this new Vita will be made available outside Japan.

The next big news was the announcement of several big Vita exclusives including a remastered or deluxe version of Soul Sacrifice called Soul Sacrifice Delta. Details are scarce at the moment, but we know it will include new content and a more fleshed out storyline. Sony also announced Soul Sacrifice 2, but didn’t say anything about it.

SEGA announced Phantasy Star Nova, which takes place in the popular Phantasy Star Online 2‘s universe. Shame PSO2 has yet to make its way outside Japan as of yet, but this new one just might as it’s more of a traditional RPG, which just so happens to be featured in this rich universe. Up to four players can team up online should they choose, but the emphasis is on single-player this time around. Much like Soul Sacrifice Delta, Phantasy Star Nova is set for release in 2014.

In a somewhat surprising move Sony announced the PlayStation 4 will be available in Japan on February 22nd. There will be several SKUs available, but the core model will retail for 39.980 yen or about $400 USD. Since the system is region free I’m fairly certain a lot of Japanese die-hard Sony fans will import it from North America or Europe. Never thought I’d say that before. Sony says the reason for pushing the platform into 2014 is to strengthen the Japanese software for launch.

SEGA announced Yakuza Ishin will debut not only on PS3, but on PS4 as well. It will retail on February 22nd, making it the biggest named franchise for the Japanese launch of the new PlayStation.

During a sizzle reel several other Japanese developers showcased short teasers of upcoming games, but not much was revealed. The list of titles highlighted include Natural Doctrine, Guilty Gear Xrd, Deep Down, Lily Bergamo, Wonder Flick, and more.

The last piece of news Sony announced was something called PS Vita TV, which could be a fantastic device for the site, because it might allow me to capture footage of Vita games. That’s assuming Sony doesn’t include High Definition Copy Protection (HDCP) over HDMI like they did with the PlayStation 3. Ok, I’m getting ahead of myself. This is the PS Vita TV.

PS VIta TV1

PS Vita TV2

PS Vita TV3This device allows over one hundred Vita games to be played directly on your HDTV, while using a DualShock 3. The system reads Vita game cards, and memory cards, but no word yet on how digital downloads will work. We know it has access to Hulu and Netflix though. Why do I say “over 100 Vita games” you might be asking, well any games that require specific use of the Vita’s unique features like the touch screen or back track pad obviously wouldn’t be able to be used. The device will also allow remote play with the PS4, meaning you could have your PS4 in one room and play it on another TV in the house with a DualShock 4. This functionality will be added via a firmware update later next year. The PS Vita TV will be available in Japan on November 14th and will retail for 9.480 yen or around $95 USD. Once again, no word on if and when it will be released outside Japan.

All in all that’s a pretty decent amount of information from Sony’s pre-TGS conference. What do you guys think of this? I, for one, am really hoping Sony does away with the copy protection on their HDMI-enabled devices such as the PS Vita TV and PS4. The only way to record PS3 footage right now is to use component cables in order to bypass the HDCP. If they don’t include that on the Vita TV than I will most certainly pick that up for future video content. As for everything else, it’s nice to see them announce a remodeled Vita, although a savings of only $10 is hardly worthwhile in my opinion. Would have been nicer to see this one debut at say $150 or so. That way not only would there be an obvious savings right away, but if the device doesn’t require memory cards because of the internal storage there would have been great word of mouth post-launch as well. I’m also shocked the PS4 won’t be hitting Japan until early next year. It’s amazing how times have changed, no?

Microsoft Announces Xbox One Release Date

This is it folks, the Xbox One will be released on November 22nd, exactly one week after the PlayStation 4.  It will be available in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and the USA.  This also happens to be the exact same day Microsoft released the Xbox 360 back in 2005.  That’s pretty much all I’ve got to say about that.

Nintendo Announces Big Pokémon News

Are you a Pokémon fan like Steven, well if so, Nintendo has some pretty awesome news for you. During today’s special Pokémon Direct, three big pieces of news broke. The first was that the limited edition blue and red 3DS XLs will be released in North America, Europe, and Japan on September 27th. That’s two weeks before the official release of the game, leading everyone to agree that these systems won’t come with the game pre-installed.

3DSThe next piece of news was the announcement of the Pokémon Bank. For years players have been asking for something like this, a permanent home for their Pokémon. The Pokémon Bank allows players to store up to 3,000 Pokémon for use in future Pokémon games, as well as X & Y. There is a small catch though, and that’s the fact this new service requires an annual fee to access. While we don’t know the official North America and European pricing at this time, the service will only cost 500 Yen (about $5) a year in Japan, so we assume it will be priced accordingly here. Nintendo also revealed the Pokémon Teleporter app, which will allow owners of Black & White and Black & White 2 to transfer their Pokémon to the Pokémon Bank. Nintendo said there will be a trial basis before the fee kicks in, but we don’t know how limited the features will be at launch.

Pokemon BankThe last bit of news will likely be even more exciting to long-time Pokémon fans. It was revealed that Professor Sycamore will not be the one offering Chespin, Fennekin, or Froakie as your starter Pokémon. Instead those will be offered from a friend. The Professor will instead offer players Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle, as a nice throw-back to the original Pokémon games. That means you can now have two starter Pokémon! These classic Pokémon will also have the ability to eventually reach their Mega Evolutions, although players will need to locate a special item called the Mega Ring, and also acquire a Mega Stone in order to trigger the Mega Evolution while in battle.

That’s pretty much all she wrote on today’s special event, but it should be more than enough to get Pokémon fans excited. So are you?

Wii U Price-Drop, 2DS, and Release Dates Announced

Nintendo had some pretty wicked announcements to make today, so I figured I’s sum them all up for you guys here. First off was the big news that the Wii U will be getting a $50 price cut effective September 20th, bringing its retail price down to $299.99. This date also coincides with the release of the Wii U Wind Waker bundle. As you might have guessed, the $300 Wii U is for the Deluxe model. This price drop was much-needed and should help boost sales going into the all important holiday period.

WW BundleNext up was the confirmation of release dates for Nintendo’s biggest games on the Wii U and 3DS.

Wii U Release Forecast

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD – September 20 (Digital – $49.99)

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD – October 4 (Physical – $49.99)

Wii Party U – October 25 (with Wii Remote Plus for $49.99)

Super Mario 3D World – November 22 ($59.99)

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – December 6 ($49.99)

Wii Fit U – Holiday 2013

Mario and Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games – Holiday 2013

3DS Release Forecast

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure – September 24

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril – Fall

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – October 25

Skylanders SWAP Force – October 13

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! – November 19

Sonic Lost World – October 22

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – November 22 ($39.99)

Mario Party: Island Tour – November 22 ($39.99)

It’s interesting to see how much earlier Wind Waker is coming out on the eShop compared to in-store. I, for one, and hoping this trend continues as it is super convenient. The last bit of news was the introduction of an entirely new entry level 3DS, called the Nintendo 2DS. It’s essentially a 3DS except it doesn’t play games in 3D, but does everything else. It retails for $129.99 and will be available for the launch of Pokémon X and Y on October 12th. The new system is based on a slate design instead of a clam-shell design, and skews towards a younger demograph.

2DSThat’s a lot of news for one morning. What do you all think? I know the 2DS isn’t aimed at me, and besides looking ugly as sin I think is a smart move. Parents will eat this up at only $130. The Wii U price cut was needed, and I think it now looks much better than before, and the line-up of software looks excellent. What say you?

…And Now For Something Completely Different…

It’s not very often I’ll post a video about a book, which is about the end of arcades in America.  In fact I’ve never done this before.

This was simply too good to pass up.  The novel is called The Final Day at Westfield Arcade and it’s currently available on Amazon.com for about $10, and also via the Kindle shop for around $7.  The trailer for the book looks extremely interested.  For anyone who has ever been into arcade, this will likely be a fantastic read.  If nothing else, the trailer sure brought back some good memories.

The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition Announced

Let’s start the story off with the game’s official trailer.

SNK Playmore released the home console version of KoF XIII back in late November 2011, and now the game is making its way to Steam on September 13th for $29.99. If you pre-order now you can get it for only $24.99. SNK Playmore also revealed there will be an online beta, in order to test the new netcode. If you’re interested you can sign-up here.

The Steam Edition will include all the DLC from the console versions, but the promise of new net code is by far the biggest addition to the game. One of the glaring faults of King of Fighters XIII was the poor netcode.

Anyone up for the challenge?

New Nintendo Direct Tomorrow

Nintendo just tweeted that a brand new Nintendo Direct will be posted tomorrow August 7th (my birthday!) at 3pm UK time/4pm EST/7am PT.  The new episode will focus on previously announced titles for the Wii U and 3DS.  Perhaps Nintendo will use this opportunity to pimp The Wonderful 101, which has been completely under the radar for months now and is gearing up for release.  It would also be safe to guess that the big N will talk about Pikmin 3, and likely Mario & Luigi Dream Team for the 3DS.  I also hope we get an update on A Link Between Worlds, Wind Waker HD, and DKC: Tropical Freeze.  Anything in particular you guys are looking forward to?