At long last we have come to the NextGen Magazine after the first E3, so we get reactions from the developments from that event – and there were some biggies.
This issue’s cover is a still from Wipeout – a PS1 game, while the headline asks if 3DO can turn it around. First – wrong platform for this game. Second, Hah! Not likely – though they’re still in a better spot than the Jaguar.
Sam Tramiel Interview: Speaking of which, we’re opening on an interview with Sam Tramiel. An interview with Sam opened the first issue of the magazine, and now he’s back to discuss the Jaguar’s price drop to $149 – over half that of the Japanese price for the PlayStation and the US price of the Saturn.
Sam tries to talk this up, but he’s still pretty reserved about Atari’s prospects – he can’t outright say the Saturn is a dead console walking at this point – but it’s pretty much done. The only real argument that he can raise against Sega and Sony is that Atari’s price is lower. The problem is, if you don’t have the games, that’s not going to help you, and if you don’t get the install base you won’t have the games. Atari’s only real strong games are Space Hulk and Alien Vs. Predator – while the Jaguar version of Doom was developed by John Carmack, it also didn’t have any music.
E3 News: The first E3 has come and gone and… holy crap did some stuff happen this first E3.
First off, Sega broke the Saturn’s earlier planned street date, putting it on store shelves on May 11th, with Tom Kalinskie pulling a Steve Jobs before Steve Jobs did it by saying the system is available now.
Playstation had Michael Jackson show up at their party and then, at a press briefing that was after Sega’s, announced that their platform was $100 less than Sega’s was. Then, as the cherry on top of the awesome sundae – they had Tekken and Twisted Metal available to play.
Meanwhile, 3DO had nothing, and the Jaguar had their Hail Mary price drop combined with unveiling a home VR headset.
The Ultra 64 has been delayed (as was not mentioned in the relevant issue of Nintendo Power), but they did have the Virtual Boy on the floor.
Finally, the PC had several big titles on the floor – or at least titles we now consider big titles, such as The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall, Crusader: No Remorse, and Magic Carpet II.
Joyriding: AOL and Compuserve are letting everyone out of the Walled Garden. Welcome to Eternal September.
Other News: Phoenix: The Rise & Fall of Home Videogames is out. The fourth revision of this is on my to-read list.
Arcadia: Home consoles are competing with publishers’ arcade game releases. The short version why is – Japanese arcade makers tried doing more involved releases features that couldn’t be replicated in the home (Hang-On and the G-LOC Cabinet), but those were generally too expensive for American operators, so they balked – that and operators at more wide locations (laundromats, pizza parlors, etc.) found they didn’t fit with the location. So, instead, manufacturers responded by adapting console hardware – instead of having beefier hardware in the arcade version – which also means that now home ports are much closer to the arcade versions.
3DO Feature: The gist of this article is if a 3DO Manufacturer can put out a $200 system or close with the 3DO M2 Spec, before the Playstation comes out, due to both the PS1 and Saturn’s increased price points and the N64’s delay, they’ll win. This is interspersed with rundowns of the specs for a couple of different models of 3DO.
Except no, 3DO can’t win from here. Price is good, software is better. 3DO has no Tekken, no Dragon Quest, and no Final Fantasy. It has the worst version of Doom. The best it has going for it is Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which came out on the 3DO first.
Alphas: We start off with Wipeout for the PS1 – which had a really strong showing. The PS1 is also getting Gunner’s Heaven from MediaVision (which also looks like a Treasure shooter), and Demolition Derby, and mech sim Crazy Ivan.
The Jaguar CD has Highlander The Series, and the Saturn has Virtua Racing and Ray Force.
Finally, for the PC, we have a preview of the adventure game Frankenstein: Eyes of the Monster (starring Tim Curry!)
Reviews: As before, I’m sticking with the notable titles, rather than doing a blow-by-blow. There are some big games on this issue though. Playstation has Tekken and King’s Field (which they’re kind of lukewarm on). The Saturn has Daytona USA (which they would like to go away with), and the 3DO has their closest thing to a mascot game – Gex, and D. Those are… probably the closest the system gets to killer apps.
The PC however, has the biggest array of big titles, with Jagged Alliance, Hardball IV, and X-Com: Terror From The Deep, whil the Mac has Bungie’s first early big game with Marathon.
Finally, in the Letters column, we get a really toxic letter from a rando. Goes to show that Toxic Gamer Culture is sadly not new to the 21st century.
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