Xenon, Revolution and "Zelda" (Mania.com)

By:James Stevenson
Date: Friday, March 11, 2005

With Game Developers Conference going on, there are lots of fun little bits of information coming out everywhere. While it has been mostly quiet on the Sony front (besides announcing that it will make games easy to develop for PS3), Microsoft has been roaring and even Nintendo has badass-extraordinaire Reggie Fils-Amie talking some smack before their keynote. But first, Xenon.


The next Xbox is going to have a lot of power under the hood, and it also going to offer a lot of different features. Besides being online with every game and in high-definition with every game, you can expect some other interesting aspects as well. The online service will be amped up with lots of more information about who you are playing against. Every game is going to offer customizable soundtracks. Without a hard drive, you'll be hooking your MP3 player up. Flash drives will store user profiles with your own settings (imagine a universal "Invert look" for first-person shooters).


We know some other things about Xenon from sources inside Microsoft development as well as third parties that can't keep their mouths shut about the unit. We have a feeling you'll be free from a lot of previous restrictions with this new unit, but don't take our word for it.


Nintendo also reached out with its own news that the Revolution will also feature wireless internet support. While there wasn't much else said about Nintendo's new console, it appears that it may show up in some form behind closed doors at May's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.


Also on Nintendo's docket was the announcement that wireless internet support is coming to the DS later this year. It will be free to the user and so far we know that MARIO KART DS will support 8-player online support and ANIMAL CROSSING DS will be focused towards online play and communication.


In addition to that, the newest trailer for Nintendo's THE LEGEND OF ZELDA for GameCube was shown. You can download it at www.zelda.com, and boy is Nintendo on top of the world right now or what? The trailer is absolutely incredible, and pretty much defines what will be the most anticipated game of the year. There is something darker about this version of Zelda, more imagination, ghosts, boars. Things could change when I get my hand on Xenon, but right now my most anticipated event is ZELDA's release.


Regardless, GDC is usually just the big set-up for the industry extravaganza that is E3. I'll be there and in the coming weeks we'll keep you up to date on all the Xenon, Revolution and PlayStation 3 tidbits we're allowed to share.


Tidbits


FABLE is coming to the PC with new content... TOMB RAIDER, 25 TO LIFE and HITMAN: BLOOD MONEY have all been delayed... STAR WARS GALAXIES will get its second expansion in RAGE OF THE WOOKIES, based somewhat on portions of REVENGE OF THE SITH... FULL METAL ALCHEMIST will get a sequel this summer...


On Shelves


Next week is kind of a big build-up to the release of Sony's PSP, but there are a few big titles. Nintendo's DONKEY KONG: JUNGLE BEAT is a platformer that uses the bongo drums to control the game. It's a lot of fun and one of the most innovative games in a while. TOM CLANCY'S RAINBOW SIX: LOCKDOWN is out for the PS2 and Xbox and continues the popular series. A couple new DS releases: YOSHI'S TOUCH & GO is a lot of fun, however POKEMON DASH might leave you wanting.