Weekly Rewind: #3
Hey there, and welcome to the third installment of the Weekly Rewind. As you know by know, we’ll take a look at all the week’s big news, our front page poll, and the most popular games out there. E3 is next week, so it’s no surprise that a lot of the news this week has to do with new games being announced. As usual, send all comments to aaront [at] psxextreme.com. Enjoy!
The week’s big news…
In a statement issued today, Sony announced that the NFL GameDay, NCAA GameBreaker, NBA ShootOut, and NCAA Final Four franchises have been placed on hiatus until next year. Not to worry though, Sony intends to debut a new NHL series this fall.
"As the single largest selling genre of console games, the market for sports titles is extremely competitive," the statement reads. "After listening to our consumers and taking a hard look at the football and basketball franchises, Sony Computer Entertainment America has decided to provide the development teams with the additional time needed to make products competitive and more importantly to provide compelling new content for our consumers."
Most of you out there are saying “big deal” and while you’re probably being sarcastic, it IS a big deal. Back in the day of the original Playstation, it was 989, not Sega that was pushing EA to keep its product fresh. Not only did 989 push Madden, many people thought the arcade-stylings of Gameday were superior to the product EA Sports was delivering.
Those days are long gone, and for the past few years, 989 has been the butt of many jokes amongst gaming journalists. As bad as many of their games have been, however, they recognized that they needed work, and games like this year’s MLB 2005 show that they are capable of releasing quality products when given the time and money to do so.
This isn’t the first hiatus the series have taken, and the amount of improvement that an extra year made the last time around was negligible. I guess we’ll have to see what a difference a year makes for the guys at 989 this time.
In other news…
Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 has been announced, and not one person on the planet is surprised. I just hope there’s no need for us to drive a car this time. Also, who isn’t looking forward to more crappy voice acting from the pro skaters? That’s always a hoot.
Ray Lewis will grace the cover of Madden 2005. The accused murderer joins Allen Iverson, Randy Moss, Mike Tyson and many others as wonderful role models gracing videogame boxes.
Terrel Owens lands the ESPN NFL 2005 cover. Say what you want about him, but he looks like a choir boy next to Ray-Ray.
Electronic Arts announced the long-rumored GoldenEye 2, which has been renamed to reflect the fact it bears no relation to the Nintendo 64 game. Retitled GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, Ummm, so just taking the 2 off of it means that it’s totally unrelated? I think people’s expectations for this game went way down hill with this announcement. Doesn’t EA realize how much a sequel would sell? They’re sitting on a pile of cash and they don’t seem to know it, which is something very un-EA-like.
Sony has trademarked the name “Nico” in Japan, which further confirms the existence of the Ico sequel. For those of you unfamiliar, Ico is one of the best games for the Playstation 2, and one that should be in your collection. Oompa!
1 PS2-Hitman: Contracts
2 PS2-NBA Ballers
3 XBOX-Hitman: Contracts
4 PS2-Need For Speed: Underground
5 XBOX-Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora
6 XBOX-NBA Ballers
7 PS2-Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3
8 PS2-007: Everything Or Nothing
10 PS2-Fight Night 2004
Seriously, who is still renting Mafia? This is making me crazy. Perhaps it’s the only thing in at Blockbuster, so people don’t have a choice. Hitman is racking up the rentals on both the PS2 and the Xbox this week, so perhaps people are heeding my warning of try before you buy on that one. The highly addictive multiplayer of Pandora Tomorrow is going to keep it on these charts for a while, which is a rare feat for an Xbox game. New to the top ten this week is Fight Night, which has received positive reviews all around.
PSX Extreme Poll Update…
There’s a lot of optimism amongst you crazy readers out there as 37% of you think that Sega’s going to announce a new console. 29% of you think it will be on their own, while 8% think that it will be in conjunction with Nintendo. Now, if it was with Nintendo, don’t you think that Nintendo would be talking about a major announcement too? Sega is a profitable company for the first time in years, and it’s because they are no longer making a console. There’s no chance, none, zip, zilch, zero of them making a new console. I’m looking for something pretty lame out of this explosive announcement – it’s just a clever way to get people talking.
It seems like companies no longer prefer to keep their E3 titles a secret, and news of new games and sequels has been out of control this week. There hasn’t been anything groundbreaking announced, however, so I think that there are still a few aces up the sleeves of the big guys. I leave for E3 in 24 hours, so I’d better get packing! If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at aaront [at] psxextreme.com . See you next week!
5/8/2004 Aaron Thomas