Mega Man/Dead Rising Creator Will Quit Capcom
Wow, it seems that grouchy old Keiji Inafune really wasn't kidding when he recently announced that he hated his job and wanted to retire. Writing on the blog of Capcom subsiduary Daletto, the vociferous developer explained that he has decided to quit and pursue a new career.
I entered the company as a character designer and 23 years passed in an instant. As a developer, I've reached the top at Capcom. There are no more stairs to climb. I'm leaving Capcom with the intention of starting my life over.
People that really know me, can see where I'm coming from. I'm not a regular dude. It's probably because I'm strange.
I'll do my best. Thank you. - Keiji Inafune
Sayonara, Inafune-san. Thanks for Mega Man, Onimusha and Dead Rising! Apparently he'll be searching for his next position immediately without taking a break... though considering that he frequently decries the Japanese games industry and slags off rival companies, he might have to consider a change of scenery. I wonder if Bethesda could use another guru? [Daletto (translated)]
Sales War: Microsoft Expands, PS3 Gaining, PSP Bombs
The quarterly financials are in, folks... meaning that it's time to pore over the figures and come up with some contentious comparisons between Microsoft and Sony. Luckily I've done the hard work so that you don't have to.
First up: Microsoft. The software giant has announced record-breaking revenue of $16.2 billion for this quarter (ending September 30), an increase of 25% over the same period last year. They've seen year-on-year growth thoughout all of their divisions, ending up with a net income of $5.4 billion- and net profit of $382 million for their Entertainment Services division (which includes the Xbox 360).
While Microsoft managed to improve in all sectors, Sony has had a much more asymmetrical quarter throughout its hardware divisions. PSP sales have halved from 3 million to 1.5 million this second quarter... but the PS3 isn't pulling any punches. Hardware sales have slightly increased, but software sales have skyrocketed from 38.7 million in 2009 to 60.1 million units! This has pulled the Networked Products and Services division out of a 59 billion yen loss into a 6.9 billion yen profit.
Here's where it gets interesting. According to the latest sales figures, there's only a gap of 5 million units between PS3 and Xbox 360 sales (39.2 million PS3s compared to 44.6 million X360s)... with Sony selling at a faster rate this last quarter. Sony was able to shift 3.5 million PS3s between July-September whereas the Xbox 360 sold a lower 2.8 million, meaning that they have lost a little ground since Q1, but are still effectively gaining on Microsoft. This holiday season is likely to be pivotal for both companies, with Motion Control providing an interesting new proposition for existing consumers without actually being in significant direct competition. Sony sold over 6 million PS3s last Christmas, for the record...
5th Cell Unveil New XBLA Shooter
5th Cell, the studio behind the recently released Super Scribblenauts, has released a teaser site and trailer for their newest project. Entitled Hybrid, this latest title is a gritty postapocalyptic shooter featuring two playable factions: Paladins and Variants. It's set for an XBLA release, though the exact date is up in the air at the moment. Why not check out the website for some cryptic backstory? [whatishybrid.com]
I hope (vainly) that we'll still be able to summon objects into existence with a magical notepad. Dropping whales or the Eiffel tower onto enemies will make for a brand new take on the FPS genre...
Powerful PSP2 Won't Use UMDs? [Rumour Control]
Yet more choice PSP2 rumours have oozed onto the internet courtesy of Kotaku, who recently claimed that a number of sources divulged information about the upcoming handheld after a closed-doors demonstration at TGS. Their latest unverified intel suggests that the PSP2 might ditch the UMD optical discs, instead storing downloadable games on Memory Stick much like the PSP Go. Uh oh. Apparently Sony are still deliberating the exact details of the storage system; though we hope that they'll allow other retailers to sell downloadable PSP games and decide their own price levels if the system goes completely disc-less.
Their 'sources' also reckon that the PSP2 will pack a gigabyte of RAM, which is almost double the amount you'll find in an Xbox 360.
Personally I think that the PSP 2 will ditch the UMD format. The constantly-spinning drive had a terrifying effect on battery life and took up a lot of space that could otherwise have been used to pack in more hardware or improve the form factor. File this one under very likely. As for the RAM, I think we'll need to sit back and wait. [Kotaku]