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Big Microsoft first-party title canceled, high-up exec on the way out

377w ago - 1up Yours this week (11/09/07) mentions a couple of "hot rumors" near the end of the podcast. Here are the transcripts from the relevant segments in the podcast:

Shane: I won't go into exacting detail because these rumors haven't been confirmed but they're definitely swirling around. They're probably gonna break next week. So a preview of what you may be seeing next week. A big Microsoft first-party title that has been in the works for a very long time that people are very excited for, sounds like it's being canceled. And a Microsoft executive who's pretty high up, who's been a voice for the company, sounds like he's on the way out. (1:58:11-1:58:37)

Simon: How solid are these rumors? (1:58:46-1:58:48)

Shane: I would give these rumors like a 97-percent chance. (1:58:50-1:58:55)

• The voices are host/EGM editor Shane Bettenhausen, 1UP Network VP of Content Simon Cox, and Jane Pinckard of GameGirlAdvance.
• The source link downloads a one-minute MP3 file, which is cut from the original podcast and contains only the relevant segment.
• For the full podcast, please see first alternative source.

Mp3 available here.

Game makers, game players are angry at GameStop

377w ago - A lot of people sure hate GameStop.

The Grapevine-based video-game retailer is probably the best-known buyer and seller of used games, and that side of the company's business has angered a lot of people.

Gamers, for one, are ticked that the company generally offers just a couple of bucks to repurchase games that originally sold for $50 or $60. The other factions peeved at GameStop right now are the actual game publishers and developers, who don't get any revenue when GameStop resells a used game rather than a new one.

The first group, the gamers, has a (slightly) legitimate point, but the second group needs to stop being such a greedy bunch of idiots.

Shopping blog Consumerist .com ran a long exposé this week from an anonymous GameStop store employee detailing all the ins and outs of working and shopping at the chain.

When it came to the issue of buying used games, the employee noted that GameStop's low-ball prices are notoriously unpopular.

The source does mount a somewhat valid defense on GameStop's behalf, noting that the retailer buys every used game that comes through the door, even if it's a title that will be extremely difficult to resell.

The employee then goes on to note that, if you really want to get full value for your used...

Bungie "actively" working on new IPs and Halo

377w ago - Halo 3's out, Bungie's off the MS leash, but there's no time for rest as studio manager Harold Ryan reveals the developer is already hard at work on not one but two new IPs, and new Halo games.

"We're actively engaged with the senior staff here on a couple of new IPs right now, but the team that can generate cool Halo games is still running full-speed as well," Ryan has revealed in an interview with Develop magazine.

Speaking about Halo and the split with Microsoft, he said, "Obviously Microsoft wanted us to make more Halo games. Both I and some of the more senior guys from the original Halo game have deep piles of game designs for the Halo universe that we are excited to build at some point".

"If the stars align and motivations are good and the platforms are right we'll do them," he teased.

He explained that new game prototypes created during the development of Halo 2 were ditched to deal with the hefty workload that was Master Chief's second outing. But it's not dead and buried.

"We kept that prototype running throughout the development of Halo 3," he said, "and now we have a creative team which feels like they own that".

Ryan continued, "We also have Halo DLC on the way, and a new IP prototype that we are very excited about. Then we have other Halo...

Quartermann: More MGS PSP, More Sonic Games

377w ago - Plus, remember THQ's N64 wrestler No Mercy? It's coming back.

It's Friday and we're all still reeling from the news that NPD numbers won't be gracing us in the weeks ahead, but as the latest issue of EGM falls into subscriber hands, the Quartermann's able to bring you the latest rumors. And lest we forget, Quartermann was right on the money about Bionic Commando.
This month, an old rumor resurfaces in a new form, as BioShock is apparently back on for PlayStation 3. Previously, it'd been speculated that Microsoft tied up 2K Games' aquatic adventure as an exclusive, but there's a change in the tide, as the world of Rapture may be Cell-enabled in 2008, after all.

And while Metal Gear fans are pouting over the most recent Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots delay, Kojima Productions hasn't been snoozing about taking the series in other directions. While everyone else is taking their franchises to Nintendo DS, Metal Gear is sticking to PSP, with a brand-new (that's not a spin-off) game headed to the portable, this time taking Snake back to the early days of his career.

We'll leave you with two last tidbits. One, THQ's WWF: No Mercy for the Nintendo 64 is coming back via the WiiWare service with completely updated rosters. Two, the lackluster performance of Sonic the Hedgehog hasn't deterred...

DivX and Xbox 360: A Potential Win-Win For Everyone

377w ago - DivX (DIVX) followed up Tuesday night's earnings report with a presentation at the JP Morgan SmMid cap conference. After having just undergone their quarterly confessional, I didn't expect to hear any new information, but wanted to tune in anyway.

Luckily, I was rewarded when midway through the Q&A session, JP Morgan analyst Paul Coster coyly probed Kevin Hell about whether or not we were about to see DivX support on the Xbox 360. The question seemed to catch Hell off guard, and while his initial reaction was enthusiasm, there was something about his tone that suggested that Coster might be onto something.

Here is the exchange verbatim, but in order to appreciate the awkwardness of the exchange, you should really listen to the quote at the 24 minute mark of the presentation and make your own decision as to whether or not you hear a sense of urgency in Hell's response.

Coster - "Just a minor point here, but there was a recent Microsoft (MSFT) conference where I believe their media extender now incorporates the DivX codec on it, is that correct? Can you confirm that and does that mean we're soon going to see Xboxes with DivX on them?
Hell - "Yes! that, uh, we're in discussions with Microsoft on that at this point in time, so I can't go into any great detail on that. Um...
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