Last Updated: 08/18/99 05:00 A.M. EDT

QuakeStation News

Wednesday, August 18th, 1999
We'll Be Quake'n In No Time...
According to IGNPSX, Quake II is getting ready to kick ass:
    Quake II to Rock in September

    Activision pushes back Quake II as it prepares for Sony final testing.

    As the summer days wane and Activision's most phenomenal technological achievement reaches its final stages, Quake II fans who own a PlayStation can finally start the real heavy, wet, gooey slobbering. Although Quake II has been officially pushed back a few times in the last year, an Activision representative told IGNPSX that the game is nearing completion, and will go into Sony's Test Lab (or Q&A Department), in the next couple weeks. After testing, Activision can then move on to burning gold discs, cranking out the discs, packaging and shipping the game.

    Quake II was originally due in late 1999, but was pushed back several times, as the development team got to grips with PlayStation's engine, which lacks the floating point processor inherent in games of this nature. After seeing Quake II at E3, IGNPSX was impressed with the team's ability of re-creating Id's classic first-person shooter on such an underpowered console. Deathmatch and single-person levels are fast-moving, well-textured and enable four-person deathmatches.

    Developed by Hammerhead Studios, Quake II was first out on the PC in December 1997. At the time it was a technological achievement on the PC. When it finally arrives on the PlayStation this September, it will stand as one of most difficult games ever to port from a PC game to Sony's 32-bit console.
Get ready for some frag'n... :)

Tuesday, August 17th, 1999
New PlayStation Quake II Site
After nearly 14 months on its own, QuakeStation finally has a companion. Simply titled Quake2 For The Sony PlayStation, this site offers news, screenshots, links, and an interesting history/info section. Definately worth checking out.

PlayStation Price Drop
PlayStation Price Drop IGNPSX reports that the PlayStation price tag has been officially slashed (appearantly, all of the previous slashing was un-official) to $99:
    Hot on the heels of former Sega CEO Bernie Stolar's departure, Sony Computer Entertainment America was quick to hit its competitors by officially announcing a $30 price drop for PlayStation. Sony's first console, which launched in North American in 1995 at $299, now sells for $99.

    As an added buying incentive Sony also announced additions to its Greatest Hits lineup, including Activision's A Bug's Life, Sony's Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Gran Turismo, and Spyro the Dragon, and 989 Studios' Cool Boarders 3 and Twisted Metal III.

    By making its announcement this morning (Monday, August 16, 1999), Sony is strategically countering the highly anticipated launch of the Sega Dreamcast on September 9, 1999 a week or so earlier than industry pundits expected. IGNPSX made several phone calls to videogame and PC game retailers last Wednesday and not one EB or Software Etc. manager knew of a price drop, though many suspected one in September. "We probably won't know until the day of the price drop," said one retail manager. "We know they'll drop the prices, but we just don't know when."

    Nintendo quickly followed suit, with a new pricing of $99 for Nintendo 64, announced today from its HQ in Redmond, WA. As with every price drop in the history of Sony's and Nintendo's battle for videogame dominance starting in 1996, Sony led the way by slashing prices, and Nintendo following with an similar announcement.

    "We believe this is going to make what is already a tough market for our competitors a little more difficult,'' said Andrew House, vice president of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America in Foster City, CA.

    "The $99 price point has always been part of Sony Computer Entertainment America's strategy to bring the world's leading videogame entertainment system to the broadest audience," said Kaz Hirai, president and chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "With a console in more than one out of every five U.S. households, we are well on our way to establishing PlayStation as the de-facto standard in videogame entertainment. Now with PlayStation set at $99, we have taken the next step in our long-range plan to bring the platform to a mainstream audience of all ages."

    The price drop won't go into effect immediately, however. Sony explained its reduced price takes effect on August 23, one week from now.

    "With the announcement of our new pricing structure, PlayStation is poised to dominate its fifth holiday season,'' said Jack Tretton, vice president, sales, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Our retail partners have been enthusiastic about this new price and are looking forward to meeting the demand the new $99 price will create."

    Sony's PlayStation enjoys an industry leading 20 million installed units in North America and a 56% share of the North American market. There are now more than 600 PlayStation games on retail shelves.
It should be noted that upon further investigation, I've found out that the new $99 PlayStation will not include the I/O port on the back of the system. This means that you will not be able to use a GameShark or Game Enhancer on this system. InterACT is currently designing a GameShark that will work with the new system, but all current devices will not work.

This is excellent news. I'm not expecting the lower price to slow down Dreamcast's sales at all (I'll be getting one on 9/9/99), but this could be a good way to get PlayStation to appeal to non-gamers. This could also make it easier to own more than one PlayStation for link-cable games. *COUGH* Quake II *COUGH* :)

Monday, August 16th, 1999
Video Gamer's League (VGL)
Quite possibly the coolest news in ages: There is a new organization that will be holding console game multi-player events across North America throughout the coming year: The Video Gamer's League. The icing on the cake (or the cherry on the Sundae, depending on your tastes) is that Quake II for the PlayStation will be one of the featured games! VGL has already organized an events page with the projected city event dates, and a list of games for the first season. Hopefully there will be even more news on this promising idea in the near future. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 11th, 1999
Two hot stories straight from the "somewhat related department"...

Carmack Speaks reports that John Carmack, owner of id Software, talked about the possibility of a Dreamcast version of Quake III Arena at this year's QuakeCon mega-event. Here's the 411:
    John Carmack, owner of id Software, recently spoke at this years QuakeCon. While he'd already went on the record talking about id's relationship with Dreamcast before, Carmack spoke some more about Sega's Dreamcast after someone brought the issue up.

    Things were moving along great between id and Sega before there was a hitch with a mutual NDA agreement that Sega didn't want to sign, and then things got quiet for a while. They've recently started chatting again about a possible Q3:A port to Dreamcast. "Hardware-wise, is't the closest thing to a PC we've got," Carmack explained. They would be able to port basically the entirety of Quake 3 onto the console.

    Needless to say, the Dreamcast's built-in modem makes this all the more exciting. It may be possible in a Quake 3 port to play against other console-users over the net (it would certainly be silly to port the game over without adding this feature.) "Bringing console gamers on to the Internet is one of the biggest things we need to do," Carmack said.
Given Dreamcast's built-in 56K modem and it's technological similarities to PC 3D Hardware Accellerators, I think a DC port of Q3A is a given. And as far as Carmack's last quote: Amen.

Medal of Honor
Let's face it. PlayStation's one major weakness is the lack of quality First Person Shooters. With the exception of (you guessed it...) Quake II, there really aren't any "great" FPSs on the PlayStation. Well, that will hopefully change with EA's upcoming "Medal of Honor". PSX.IGN.COM has a preview up of this game. It features several screenshots which look great. It looks like Quake II may have some competition afterall. Well, sorta... :)

Thursday, August 5th, 1999
Q3A 4 PS2?????
According to the "Top Story" at PlayStation Studio, chances are that Quake III Arena will be making it's way to the PlayStation 2. Take a look:
    Yep you read right. Quake 3 Arena will be coming out as a possible launch title for the PlayStation 2. As you know Midway has a contract with id Software to exclusively publish their software for the consoles. Today Midway penned an exclusive contract with Sony to publish Quake 3 Arena for the PlayStation 2. YES!
The article went on to discuss the that Quake III Arena will be a PlayStation 2 exclusive. There are already quite a few holes in this theory:
  • Just last week, John Carmack, head of id Software, expressed his interest in making a version of Q3A for the Dreamcast. He said that the Dreamcast hardware was extremely easy to port to.

  • The whole modem thing. Dreamcast is shipping with a built in 56K modem. According to recent news around the 'net, PlayStation 2 will be shipping with no modem at all. How on earth is Quake III Arena, an online only game, going to come out the system that has no modem, but not come out on the system that does have a modem? I hope this gets cleared up soon.
Aside from the glaring inconsistentcies, this is very exciting news. I just hope id makes and official announcement sometime soon to clear things up.

According to the PlayStation Quake II product information page at Game Dealer, the PlayStation version of Quake II had been delayed until September 29th (a.k.a. 09/29/99). While most would find this to be dissapointing news, it makes sense. Quake II was previously slated for an August 15th release date, which just a little more than a week away. If the game was coming out that soon, we would have already seen some reviews popping up. By pushing the release date back a little further, it appears that Hammerhead is really tyring to make PSXQ2 the best possible game it can be. What more could you ask for?

Sunday, July 18th, 1999
New Screenshots @ GameFan OnLine
GameFan recently recieved and posted five new screen shots of PlayStation Quake II. Here they are:

Click For Larger Image Click For Larger Image Click For Larger Image
Click For Larger Image Click For Larger Image

These images have been added to the screenshots section.

Thanks to "FreakNek" for the news tip.

Saturday, July 17th, 1999
Quake II: Undisputed Champ?????
Off The Record In the most recent edition of "Off The Record" at PSX.IGN.COM, word is that the PlayStation version of Unreal has been canned, and Unreal will be coming out on PlayStation 2 instead:
    Unreal Going PS2

    It seems that Epic is ready to move the Unreal engine over to the PlayStation 2 hardware. Tim Sweeney was heard in an interview with The Adrenaline Vault that he anticipates a mere half-year to get a PlayStation 2 specific version up and running. Not too shabby...
This announcement shouldn't take too many people by suprise, as Unreal has HUGE system requirement on the PC (I own it, but can't play it because my PC is way too slow), and getting this game to run on the PlayStation would be a very hard thing to do. Epic has made the smart move of bringing Unreal to PS2. With the specs that PS2 has, it should be able to chew Unreal up and spit it out.

The other interesting fact surrounding this announcement is that Unreal was the only game poised to give Quake II any competetion at all for the crown of "Best PSX First Person Shooter". With Unreal out of the picture, it's looks as if Quake II will be the undisputed king of PlayStation First Person Shooters.

Friday, July 9th, 1999
Quake II @ Game Dealer
PlayStation Quake II Cover Design Game Dealer is now giving gamers the opportunity to pre-order the PlayStation version of Quake II!!!!! The game is going for $36.95, and according to the information they have provided, the game will be available August 15th!!!!! If Game Dealer is where you normally purchase your games (I don't trust buying on-line, but that's just my opinion), than click here.

Also included on the product information page is the PlayStation Quake II jewel case cover design, which is pictured to the right.

Got Time to Kill?????
Everyone knows that Quake II is a heavily anticipated title, but it isn't for one reason. Besides being a great single-player game, Quake II is going to offer PlayStation gamers one of the best multi-player experiences ever. Got some time to kill until Quake II is released? PlayStation MAX has got you covered. They recently released their picks for the ten best multi-player games on the PlayStation (sorry, no FPSs made the list):
    10. Rogue Trip
    09. Tobal 2
    08. Gran Turismo
    07. Tekken 3
    06. Dance Dance Revolution
    05. Un Jammer Lammy
    04. Duke Nukem: Time To Kill
    03. Hot Shots Golf
    02. NBA Live '99
    01. Ridge Racer Type 4
The entire article can here read here.

Thursday, July 1st, 1999
QuakeStation: Back in Business!
After a two month hiatus, QuakeStation is back! Besides being re-opened, QuakeStation turns a year old today! As everyone knows, there is no better way to get things rolling again than some news...

Preview @ PSX.IGN.COM
There is a massive preview over at PSX.IGN.COM. The latest installment in this preview deals exclusively with multiplayer. How good is Quake II multi-player on the PlayStation? You may be pleasantly surprised:
    Activision had a little get-together on Friday, June 25th to show off its PlayStation games in development. And to our surprise, the company was more than willing to put its upcoming Quake II up for play in four-player multiplayer mode.

    The game still has a little bit longer to go in development, but we have to say one thing: wow. The four player mode is absolutely stunning. The screen is split up into four equal portions, one for each player. Even with four screens moving independently, the game barely slowed down. There were a few frame drops when you got close to another player or near a bitmap explosion, but Quake II is just as fast and detailed in four player mode as it is in the normal single player game (minus the resolution, naturally).

    The game wasn't set up to automatically switch to the better weapon once you pick it up, but that's an option that will be added later in the development cycle.

    If there is anything to complain about, it's the Analog support. The version at the party was very hard to control using the analog sticks of the Dual Shock controller but the control schemes can be altered, and we didn't get a chance to change our configuration in the short time we had with the game.

    In all honesty, the multiplayer game looks and plays better than the N64's multiplayer mode. And that's no lie just ask the IGN64 guys. They were there, too.
This news is a reason to pull out some fireworks early. Besides a great single player experience, Quake II is also going to offer what PlayStation fans have been dying for: a great multi-player experience. Be sure to check out the full preview for more info and screenshots!

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