Today’s news roundup sees a rumoured takeover of EA by Microsoft, Project Natal receiving support from 12 major developers, the Wii receiving a price cut throughout the globe, and Splinter Cell: Conviction seeing a confirmed February release.
Microsoft Possibly Eyeing Up EA Takeover
Rumours have been flying around suggesting a possible takeover of EA by Microsoft. The rumour may not even have an ounce of truth in it, but this hasn’t stopped driving up the stock of both companies. EA saw a rise of 5.24% in stock, while Microsoft saw a 0.9% increase. While the talk has been touted as “unsubstantiated chatter,” there’s no denying the plausibility of the rumour.
The videogame market has been steadily slowing down this year, leaving EA perhaps a bit vulnerable. A takeover could put Microsoft firmly in control of the gaming market, with EA representing a 20% share in the publishing market and Microsoft taking 35% of hardware sales. Microsoft’s corporate PR manager David Dennis stepped in following these rumours announcing “there is no truth to this rumour, [Microsoft has] no plans to purchase EA.” [Reuters]
Project Natal Support Announced From 12 Major Developers
In a move to perhaps take some of the limelight off Sony at Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft announced just minutes before Sony began their press conference Project Natal development is currently taking place at 12 major third-party developers across the globe. The likes of Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Capcom, Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, Konami, MTV Games, Namco Bandai, Sega, Square Enix, THQ, and Ubisoft are currently involved with the project.
Don Mattrick, senior vice president for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, announced “The support of these creative partners testifies to the excitement that 'Project Natal' is generating among the most innovative minds in the industry.” No details on exactly what they’re working on, but Microsoft promised more will be announced later this week during TGS via a panel, featuring the likes of Hideo Kojima and Capcom's Keiji Inafune speculating on what they believe Natal can achieve. [1UP]
Wii Price Cut Confirmed For America And UK
Following an endless source of rumours and hard evidence, Nintendo has officially announced a Wii price cut. The price will hit North America first with a $50 drop to $199.99. The price cut is set to hit on September 27th, with no changes to what you’ll get in the box. Analyst Jesse Divnich of Electronic Entertainment Design and Research speculated on the move, suggesting the decision was “not a reactive strategy towards the recent Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 price cuts, but rather a pre-emptive strategic decision.”
He also points out this move may be an attempt to take as much control of the causal market as possible before Microsoft and Sony can release their own motion controllers. As for the Brits, Nintendo UK announced a Wii price cut is set from October 2nd as well as “a new configuration of Wii hardware from 2nd October 2009 which will replace the current offering and will include the Wii console and Wii Sports with the new Wii Sports Resort game and Wii MotionPlus accessory.” No details on what the price will be yet, but this will surely be revealed soon. [Edge-Online]
Splinter Cell: Conviction Still On Track For February
Ubisoft’s very own Yves Guillemot recently announced fears of even more game delays, thanks to the overcrowded early 2010 season. Thankfully his fears did not include Splinter Cell: Conviction, as Ubisoft confirmed at the Tokyo Game Show that the title is still on track for a February release after already being delayed in 2009. Conviction was originally set for release way back in 2007, but after poor initial feedback, Ubisoft decided to take the time to build the game again from the ground up, pushing the game all the way back into 2010. [CVG]