Action Trip, PSP, GT4, 2K Games and new consoles! (Mania.com)

By:James Stevenson
Date: Friday, February 04, 2005

It's been a bit of a crazy week or so around the videogaming land. So in this week's Gamers' Thumb there will be a quick run-down of the big news along with knee jerk reactions. First things first though, the folks that will hopefully be providing a lot more content than this overworked, under-rested college student: Action Trip.

The boys at Action Trip are here to provide much more content. Troy's busy with his worse semester of college ever and is planning a wedding to boot. Meanwhile, I'm still around, but have other writing obligations along with my own schooling here at the home of the Cornhuskers. Troy will drop in when time allows, and I will continue to write Gamers' Thumb on a weekly basis along with dropping in my own take on a couple games each week as well as working on print Games coverage.

This new coverage is just in time for a couple of big announcements. First thing is that the PlayStation Portable will be released on March 24th at a price of $249.99. Now that seems steep compared to the Japanese price, you do get a carrying case, headphones, a 32MB Memory Stick Duo, and the first million owners get a copy of SPIDER-MAN 2 (the movie) on UMD.

Now this package isn't bad, but I don't really need a set of headphones, or a carrying case, or that small of a memory stick, or even a movie of which I already have the DVD. In fact, I'd much prefer a PSP that is separate and only costs $199. Even then, the unit is sexy enough that I've got to have one. The 24 "Launch Window" titles look good, though many are PlayStation 2 games I've already played, and at $50 for many of them, it's not going to happen. MVP BASEBALL, LUMINES, METAL GEAR SOLID AC!D, APE ESCAPE, RIDGE RACER, TWISTED METAL: HEAD ON, and WIPEOUT PURE all seem like winners to me.

Speaking of another winner, GRAN TURISMO 4 is coming out on the 22nd of this month. Yes, this month. Good for gamers, irritating for this journalist who has been eagerly awaiting code, now to find out he's just going to get a retail copy of the game. I was so looking forward to writing a preview and taunting you all. But nevertheless, my HDTV is ready for the 1080i support that the game features. It's kind of funny now that FORZA MOTORSPORT was delayed. I think Microsoft's big hope was to beat GT4 out... looks like that won't happen.

Another interesting bit, 2K Games, the new Take-Two subsidiary that seemed poised to be a new Sports Publisher, is going to be publishing a new CIVILIZATION game, ELDER SCROLLS IV, and CALL OF CTHULU. Heh, I guess this dispels the sports publisher notion, and it might even brand 2K Games as Take Two's most interesting and high-profile name tag with all of these good looking titles coming out.

Finally, it's almost certain that Xbox Next (or Xenon) will be playable at this year's E3. I have it on good word that all publishers are required to show their games in 720p on the show floor. Sony and Nintendo both apparently will show their new consoles, the PlayStation 3 and Revolution, respectively. However, its unknown if they will be playable at E3.

Tidbits


NBA STREET VOLUME 3 is gold, and the GameCube version will feature some Nintendo characters... Paradox is bringing the classic negotiation board game, DIPLOMACY to the PC... Activision has the license for a SHREK 3 game...

On Shelves


NBA STREET VOLUME 3 is one of the big games on shelves this week, special features for the GameCube fans should sell some more units there... PC fans get to finally play KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC II and last but not least, DEATH BY DEGREES should be a hidden gem. Otherwise it's a pretty slow week.