Consoul's Blog Consoul Games: August 2004

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Quick updates for the last few weeks:
The Nintendo DS design and name have been finalised. Nintendo were planning on renaming the device (the name "Nitro" was being used by developers), but it has become so well known as "the DS" now that a name change seemed counter-productive.
Check out the final design:

and closed:

This slick new look easily rivals that of the PSP. Given that the NDS won't be anywhere near as susceptible to screen scratching and will have a much longer battery life, it looks like Nintendo could really give Sony a run for its money.

The official PSP release date has slipped back from November to December. After growing doubts about the product, Sony have released a new streaming video apparently showing a working handheld PSP running under its own power. Upon close inspection, the footage actually shows a PSP that is cabled up to another unseen device and the demonstrator seems to be very careful not to show the back of the unit at all. Furthermore, the footage included Gran Turismo 4 running on the PSP screen - which may have been convincing had Gran Turismo developer Kazunori Yamauchi not publically announced that they have not even started porting the GT engine over to the PSP yet. The smoke and mirrors continues. I predict that the PSP will not be released anywhere in the world this year.

Underground PS2 coder Sjeep (of HDLoader infamy) has briefly re-surfaced in the wake of HDLoader's demise. A commercial product called HDAdvance that is a shameless rip-off of Sjeep's no-longer-available HDLoader has appeared on the market. When I say it's a rip-off, I mean it is literally the same software with a couple of cosmetic changes. Sjeep recently appeared on the ps2-scene boards under one of his other guises (FilterX) to freely release a cut-down version of HDAdvance. It seems that the very same people who cracked his original software are now retailing a knock-off version and Sjeep has returned the favour by cracking their version and giving it away free. The irony is that he is now effectively spreading a pirate version of his own software. If Sjeep can't profit from his software anymore, he might as well do his best to ensure that no-one else does.

Have been playing many wacky Japanese PS2 games recently. Highlights include:
Curry House CoCo Ichibanya - Undoubtedly the first curry-making simulator.
The Daijibin - Protect Japanese cities from the attack of the 500ft bikini girl.
Taisen Hot Gimmick Cosplay - Arcade mahjong with an anti-American misogynist streak.