The new Pokémon game is a Battrio expansion…

– Pokémon Battrio, a Japanese exclusive arcade
– collect real life circular Pokémon chips to use in battles
– new version of this arcade game will be hitting Japanese arcades soon
– new battle chips will also be available to purchase
– new chips include Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version characters such as Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott

Damn, I was really hoping it would be a new game ala Colosseum/XD on the Gamecube. I really enjoyed those games. Here’s hoping we’ll get a real game revealed soon.

Sony attacks Nintendo and Microsoft over hardware

“[Microsoft and Nintendo] are starting to run out of steam now in terms of continuing to be relevant in 2011 and beyond. I mean, you’ve gotta be kidding me. Why would I buy a gaming system without a hard drive in it? How does this thing scale? Motion gaming is cute, but if I can only wave my arms six inches, how does this really feel like I’m doing true accurate motion gaming? Our view of the ‘Game Boy experience’ is that it’s a great babysitting tool, (but) no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He’s too old for that.” – Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Jack Tretton

Tretton sees the opportunity to bash both Nintendo handheld line and Microsoft. How long until Tretton starts eating crow?


Nintendo’s “Secret” Past

I once did a project on Nintendo years ago for school. I pretty much omitted any details about how Nintendo used to have sex hotels and a taxi company and other bizarre stuff.

Nintendo, the world’s family-friendly video game maker, formed under less virtuous auspices. Before Nintendo made video games, they made playing cards for gangsters and ran their own love hotel, which some assert their own founder frequented—during work. Saucy!

It’s strange to imagine that the family friendly Nintendo of today was once a company with many different adult businesses. However, I am not mad that it was like that back then, after all it was a regular business before they even tapped into video games.

Source: Kotaku

Level-5 finally talks about their Western Studio

When Level-5 opened an office in California last year, many assumed the Fukuoka gaming giant was planning on using the office to sell its Japan-developed titles in overseas markets. CEO Akihiro Hino appears to have a bit more in mind than just this.

In a Nikkei Trendy interview that was conducted in February, Hino revealed that the North American studio is planning its own titles, which are also being developed in North America.

“We have five staff members at present,” said Hino. “Titles that are being planned in the North American office are being developed in that region. The office staff is mostly Japanese, but we’re using a style of development where we collaborate with local staff, so I believe we’ll be able to make something that matches the North American market well.”

Check out the whole article here. Level-5 also plans to show off 20 games at the Level-5 Vision conference to be held this August. You mean I gotta wait until almost next year for some Level-5 3DS love besides Layton 5?

Well finally Level-5! I was beginning to wonder the fate of your western studio. Now just make sure you bring over Ni no Kuni for the PS3, and all of those 3DS games you revealed months ago. PLEASE?

Play For Japan – A Mission Statement

We’ll try to keep it simple. The earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit Japan on March 11th has resulted in untold devastation, a still-developing and uncertain situation with nuclear radiation, and an inevitable humanitarian crisis. Help is needed in significant amounts.

The videogame industry obviously has special ties with Japan. Our favorite games are made there, our friends and family work and live there. The gaming industry and community at-large is highly passionate and can be charitable beyond words.

The sole purpose of this “Play For Japan” campaign is to communicate and channel that passion and generosity into the overall relief effort. On this site, you’ll find links to donate directly to selected and legitimate charities performing relief work in Japan. You’ll also find other fundraising opportunities in the form of local events and charity auctions, as well as a spot for anyone in the industry or community to express themselves as this crisis and recovery unfolds.

If you want to help, write, auction, contribute, get in touch:

Twitter: @PlayForJPN (#playforjapan)


Direct E-Mail: Coming soon. (We are faster than the Internet, it would seem!)
Source: Play For Japan

Devastation in Japan haults Game Industry

While game companies in Japan have took to donating money to the relief efforts in Japan, they are still effected in many different ways. Street Fighter 4 on the app store is now priced at 99 cents and all proceeds will go to relief efforts in Japan.

The big earthquake and horrible tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 is taking its toll on the game industry. Several games have been delayed or canceled either because of their content, because the time missed out on working on the game, or because the release was due in the near future.

Disaster Report 4, IREM’s latest disaster game that has faced delays for months due to quality control, has outright been canceled. The game features a big earthquake striking a city in what looks like to be Japan. You can see why it was canceled. I was looking forward to it only because I enjoyed Nintendo’s own Disaster Day of Crisis for the Wii, but I can’t get upset when Japan has faced a tragic catastrophe.

MotorStorm Apocalypse and Yakuza of the End both for the PlayStation 3 have been delayed in Japan due to their content. MotorStorm is a racing game, and the latest sequel is set in a post apocalyptic world (No word on a delay for the west, though the UK release is said to be up in the air). Yakuza of the End takes a departure from the usual gameplay, and adds in Zombies in what looks to be the end of the world.

Square-Enix has shut down their Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV servers temporarily to help conserve energy. The company has said the servers will be shut down for at least a week. Konami has also shut down their Metal Gear Online servers to conserve energy.

DLC for games such as Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood have also been delayed. Xbox Live in Japan was set to get new features but these have now been delayed as well. PlayStation Network is having problems in Japan and all users are being told to back up their content.

Nintendo has delayed Steel Diver for the Nintendo 3DS most likely due to it being released on March 17 after the earthquake happened. In the game you control a submarine and attack other ships. Content could apply here too, but it definitely hasn’t been canceled. Konami is delaying a Powerful Golf game for the DS.

Hideo Kojima of Konami and Yoshinori Ono of Capcom both were unable to make it to work due to power outages and will work from home on personal devices.

Several gaming events have also been effected. Capcom has canceled a tournament for Super Street Fighter 4 that was due for March 27th. However, they are trying to see if they can reschedule it for the future. They have also canceled all Monster Hunter Festa events

It seems that the majority has been delayed due to their release being near the earthquake. Totally understandable when the country of origin has faced major devastation.

I honestly hope Japan can make a quick recovery and that they do not face anymore disasters. The American Red Cross is sending $10 Million to the Red Cross Society of Japan, so our efforts aren’t in vein. I urge everyone to donate, the minimum is just $10.

Source: Andriasang

Blizzard turns 20 today

Happy 20th Birthday Blizzard. Blizzard has prepared a special message for the fans today thanking them for their continued 20 years of support. Here’s hoping to another 20 years of Blizzard games that entertain us.

Nintendo confirms livestream GDC keynote

Nintendo of America announced via twitter they will stream their keynote:

Can’t join us at #GDC? Watch Mr. Iwata’s “Video Games Turn 25” keynote via LIVE webcast tomorrow @ 9a.m. PT. Stay tuned for the link!


Pokémon franchise turns 15!

Today I am happy to announce that the Pokémon series (my favorite game series of all time) has turned 15 today!!! The original Pocket Monsters Red & Greed debuted in Japan on February 27th, 1996. We got them in September 1998 as Red & Blue.

Junichi Masuda celebrated at Pokémon Center Yokohama where they also played music from Pokémon Black & White for the first time in public.

Pokémon started off with 151 of the monsters 15 years ago. As of September 2010, there are now 649 Pokémon!

I am a huge Pokémon fan having bought the manga, anime & films, toys, plushes and almost all of the games since I first played over 10 years ago.

I hope Pokémon continues the success that has never ended because each time a new chapter debuts, my interest is always reignited to 100 percent!

Duke Nukem Forever to support steamworks

Today, Gearbox announced on their forum that Duke Nukem Forever will support steamworks:

What does this mean for you?

It means that regardless of where or how you buy Duke Nukem Forever on PC, your purchase will be tied to your Steam account, ensuring that you’ll always be able to install a copy of the game even if you lose your disc.