Street Fighter II HD - AKUMA
I know it's probably not the most significant (or thought provoking) news, but holy crap- Capcom's new look for Street Fighter II is downright mind-blowing. It is awesome in the truest sense of the word (inspiring awe, not the slang). Now, the reason why these new character designs are so amazing is because these are the in-game sprites you'll see during normal gameplay. Incredible.
It's really a demonstration of how far technology has gone- a triumph of new over old. Considering that the gameplay is going to stay exactly the same (good decision), this will be THE definitive version of Street Fighter II. The characters will be sharp, in HD, and HUGE on the screen. The only problem I have with these new designs is the same problem I had with the Street Fighter animated movie- the guys look like they're in Super Steroid Fighter II.
But it does beg the question: Why don't more games do this? It absolutely outclasses almost anything they could do with 3D graphics. It just seems logical that developers should go with the kind of 2D graphics we've always wanted now that we've got the technology to produce it. People would eat that shit up.
PSP Slim Details Revealed
So it looks as though Sony is finally going to do the PSP redesign that's been rumored for at least a year. Not only that, but the changes are actually really significant- even more so than the DS Lite.
Think about it: The DS Lite gave brighter screens, a sleeker design, more battery life, and other very minor changes like moving the microphone and the stylus slot. Now look at what the PSP Slim would offer: New screen (probably brighter), 4 times the battery life, slimmer design, faster UMD drive, redesigned buttons, and 8GB internal flash memory, and they're still debating whether or not to include a camera with that. And it'll stay the same price.
With the DS Lite, sure, you'll look cooler holding one, it'll fit better in your pocket, and your screens are much easier to see. With the PSP Slim (if the rumors are true) it'll fit better in your pocket, the load times for games will be shorter, the buttons easier to use, and you'll have 8GB to play around with. The DS Lite is all aesthetic; the PSP Slim is both more aesthetically and functionally appealing.
So can this save the PSP? I say yes. The PSP has been getting better games and will only continue to, and remember, the PSP was outselling the DS in America until the DS Lite came out. If history should repeat, the PSP will still have a fighting chance.
Christmas 2007 to Change The Face of Gaming
That site may be Australian, but we're facing the exact same situation here: There are too many blockbuster games coming out this holiday season. How are people going to choose? Many of these great (and expensive to develop) games are going to get left by the wayside; that's how.
As we all know, gamers have money to spend, but not an endless supply. So that means that not every game is going to get purchased, and not every developer is going to recoup all the development costs just yet, even if they did make a fantastic game that would sell fine if it wasn't being released alongside so many other hard-hitters.
I think that as a result of this, developers and publishers are going to start to take a good, long look at the concept of a "Summer blockbuster." People like playing games in Summer, especially those who just got out of school and have extra time and money to spend.
Maybe not Summer 2008, but certainly Summer 2009 we're going to see one of the best Summer line-ups yet. Of course, that's only if things go as they likely will and many companies learn the hard way that releasing in that September-December window doesn't guarantee good sales, at least when every other developer is counting on the same thing.
That's exactly why Halo 3 is September instead of November: Because November's a little crowded this year.
WEEKLY SAMPLER: Friend Codes Averted / Super Smash Controls / RE4 Wii vs. GCN
NOTE: I'd just like to make a note of this now before someone inevitably brings it up a couple weeks or months from now: I started these In The News response segments five weeks prior to 1UP.com's "Rewinding the Week" thing. Thank you.