News, rumors and other information (originally posted 03/27/96)
3DO and Cirrus Logic Team-up
At 2pm, Tuesday (3/26), 3DO announced a new partnership with Cirrus Logic (makers of PC video cards). This agreement will license the 3-D portion of 3DO's M2 technology for Cirrus Logic to integrate into a new PC graphics 3-D accelerator. This new hardware will be optimized to work along with Microsoft's recently announced Direct3D standard under the Windows 95 API. This new 64-bit 3-D engine will be capable of processing more than one-half million polygons per second at peak, supporting complex photo realistic 3-D worlds. In addition, the rendering engine generates more than 100 million pixels per second, giving users more than 640 x 480 resolution and greater graphics detail, bringing the arcade experience to the PC. The potential goal of this is to establish a new video processor standard, which Cirrus Logic in turn hopes to convince other video hardware manufactures to adopt. This could be a good shot in the arm for 3DO since this hardware will allow programmers the ability to port M2 titles to the PC platform with greater ease. For more information on this item feel free to read 3DO's press release on the subject.
Game Zero in Europe
Well, for all of our European readers, life has become a bit easier. You can now visit our site in Europe courtesy of Volume On-Line at: http://www.vol.it/team-0. Initially this mirror may experience lag in its content updates, but as soon as we have the kinks worked out, we hope to have only a brief delay in mirroring information to the site. We're also looking into expanded coverage of European titles and release information, so keep your fingers crossed.
One Million Sold
On Monday, March 25th, Sony announced that since its launch on September 9th, 1995, North American sales of PlayStation consoles has now reached one million units. Sony also claims that they now hold a total 76 percent of the "next-generation" unit sales since September of last year. As well, they have indicated that they held 25 percent of all console sales and 46 percent of all total dollar sales -- in the "next-generation" console market place -- for September through December of 1995. Additionally, Sony claims a total of combined first- and third-party North American software sales of well over seven million units since launch. For more information on this item feel free to read Sony's press release on the subject.
Shipped on Saturday
"What was shipped last Saturday?" you might be asking... Well, according to Capcom, their highly anticipated PlayStation game, Resident Evil set out for stores on Saturday the 23rd. The official street date is still marked for March 29th, although it is possible that some stores may break that date. Also, keep your eyes peeled to these pages, we will be presenting a full (and accurate) strategy guide to this game very soon.
* * * (originally posted 03/08/96)
Sega U.S.A.'s Merger
Sega recently announced that their Sega U.S.A. division (responsible for Sega's U.S. theme parks and arcade titles, has merged with MCA (involved in the music/recording industry) and Dreamworks (a Steven Spielburg company) to form Sega Game Works. This new division will be responsible for new development and expansion for the Sega arcade theme parks. The first title to be released under this grouping is Virtua Fighter 3. According to Sega, Virtua Fighter 3 will make use of the Model 3 hardware, allowing processing of 60 million rendered polygons per second using a full color palette of 16 million colors. The Model 3, using a custom processor (the PowerPC 603C) also provides for built in anti-aliasing and 32 levels of transparency.
In other Sega News
Our sources at Sega also commented on other items: For instance, we learned that while the Japanese market will be receiving a newer model Saturn (this model will be smaller, lighter, and about $50 (US) cheaper than the current model), this particular hardware will not be coming to the U.S. market. Apparently Sega of American is investigating alternate routes for bringing down the cost of the Saturn for U.S. consumers in a way that does not involve the introduction of a whole new piece of hardware. Also, on the software side of things, Panzer Dragoon 2 is still moving right along, this title is approximately 70 percent complete at this time with no expected delays.
Nintendo 64 Delay in Japan
Well it has been confirmed today, though no real surprise, that Nintendo's new 64-bit platform launch is being delayed in Japan. The new launch date will be on June 23rd. Japanese pre-orders on the console are allowed to begin on April 21st, simultaneous to the launch of their advertising campaign. In light of this event, Nintendo of America assured us that the Japanese delay will not have an effect on the U.S. launch currently slated for September of this year. Look below for more of an explaination behind the delay... (NOTE: referenced item is actually confirmed rather than rumored at this time.)
XBAND and Basketball
In brief, all of you Genesis basketball fans should start warming up your button finger... XBAND has indicated that the game NBA Live '96 is slated for access on the XBAND network soon (estimated availability is marked for about a month from now).
* * * (originally posted 03/06/96)
Square's US Commitment
We spoke with Square Soft's U.S. offices today, and for the most part they would only confirm established news from Japan. We did learn a few new things though. Aside from the information that Final Fantasy VII may have an international release, Square U.S. indicated that their future commitment to game developement will consist only of U.S. developed titles (ie: there currently are no plans for further conversion of Japanese released games). On the subject of U.S. games, there will not be another game released until sometime next year, and there are apparently four titles under consideration, with at least two of them slated for next generation platforms. Square informed us that they themselves have little more detail on their future developements since they must wait for approval on all projects from their Japanese offices.
Rayman hits PC
Currently available in Europe, Rayman for PC CD-ROM will be hitting the U.S. shores on April 1st of this year. As of this time, the game appears to be essentially the same as its console versions, although this particular release will be changed some in relation to the European PC version. Apparently the changes are related to play control. Also, Ubi Soft did indicate that there will be new next generation platform based games coming out, unfortunately gamers will have to wait until E3 for details.
* * * (originally posted 03/05/96)
Intel Releases MMX, Promising to put PC-Gaming into a new realm
Today Intel released some new PC technology to be integrated into all new Pentium chips that they hope will revolutionize PC-Gaming. This new technology, named MMX, will massivly boost PC performance in graphics, video, audio, all without a price jump. For the technically inclined, the technology does this through extensive use of branch prediction, superscalar execution, and superpipelining -- accessed by 57 new processor instructions. This technology promises to boost PC's speed by 400% under MMX programmed applications. Many of the key PC developers have already annonuced support, and most are expected to follow.
Many Developers are already talking, "...we're very excited about Intel's MMX(tm) technology. It allows us to take PC games to new heights of realism in graphics and sound that were previously not possible. By taking advantage of the MMX(tm) instructions, we're able to achieve a 4-times improvement in graphics handling that allows our action games to utilize ultra-realistic 16.7 million color modes where previously we could only use 256 colors." -- Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic MegaGames.
Most of you may have heard by now the rumour that Nintendo may delay the Japanese launch of its Nintendo 64 console until some time this summer. This could in turn delay the US launch until this Winter. Well, the Game Zero staff has been doing some digging on the subject and has come across some interesting information. As it stands Nintendo has not provided confirmation either way on this, so we must point out to you that this news item falls well within the area of rumor. As many of you well know, the Nintendo 64 processor uses a larger than normal sized silicon wafer in its manufacturing process. As it stands right now only a few other companies use this larger wafer for chips -- one of them being Intel with their Pentium Pro processors. Also, the actual yearly production of these larger wafers is very small in comparison to their standard sized counterparts. So what's all of this getting at? Well, less of you may be aware that a few companies have been demanding more than their fair share of manufactured silicon. In fact, information we have (remember RUMOR) indicates that these companies (ie: Intel, etc...) are getting priority on receipt of wafers, causing a general shortage for other customers. This in turn is giving Nintendo cause to believe that they can't meet their own production deadlines, which then could cause a delayed launch. Of course we will be persuing this story further so that we can get everyone the details. Be sure to check back.
Color Dreams Still Kicking
Believe it or not, the rebels of gaming history are still around. But, what may surpise you even more is what they are up to. Apparently they have dropped out of the video game industry -- aside from contract programming for other companies -- and are getting into the hardware market... No, they're not making consoles, they're manufacturing desktop digital cameras. Their first product, available soon, is a tri-pod mounted camera unit which can sit on your desk. This camera will connect to your PC via the serial port, and will allow you to do frame/video grabs of rooms, TVs, and just about anything else you want to point it at. As well, it will do captures from slides. Captures are done at a screen resolution of 640x480, and get this... Estimated cost for the unit looks to be in the $200 range, making it one of the most inexpensive digital cameras to-date, as well as a very affordable input device for use on web pages! Our contact within Color Dreams has also indicated to us that they are working on software that will allow the camera to be used for various jobs such as live web-cam.