Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox herald themselves as the latest in video game evolution. But many third-party game developers see the competition among the two new consoles and Sony's year-old PlayStation2 as the real study in Darwinism -- and it is the game makers who may ultimately decide which consoles survive. \nGame designer Steven Rechtschaffner, for one, is convinced "the games sell the consoles." \nRechtschaffner's "SSX Tricky" snowboarding adventure is one of several titles, including football simulator "Madden NFL 2002" and the cartoony crash-up derby "The Simpsons: Road Rage," that Electronic Arts is releasing for all three systems. \nBy hedging their bets, EA and other third-party game manufacturers limit their risk while waiting to see which consoles players will favor. \n"We don't have to automatically develop for every console out there," said company spokeswoman Trudy Miller. \n"All of these consoles will sell out for Christmas this year, but the real challenge will be to sell 10 million by next year." \nIf game developers pull away from a flagging system, its library of games stagnates -- which tends to drive away even more potential buyers. \nNintendo vanquished Atari and Colecovision in the 1980s. More recently, Sega's troubled Dreamcast system fell victim to Sony's PlayStation1 and Nintendo's N64. \nIronically, industry veteran Nintendo has become the most vulnerable in the new competition. With a year's head start, Sony has already entrenched itself by selling nearly 20 million PlayStation2 consoles. \nMost third-party gamers expect PlayStation2 to be the core of their business this year and some have dedicated exclusive games to it, such as Konami's "Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty" and EA's "007: Agent Under Fire." \nThat leaves the fight mainly between the US$299 Xbox and the US$199 GameCube, with Xbox promising 15-20 launch titles while GameCube has only five to seven. \nNintendo has found itself fighting not only for consumers, but also for game developers. It has responded by focusing on younger game players with family-friendly third-party software. \nJapanese game maker Konami, which developed the series of "Castlevania" monster-hunting games for Nintendo's previous systems, plans no immediate releases for GameCube. \nBut it does have the action flight adventure "AirForce Delta Storm" ready for the launch of Xbox. "It takes time to learn how to develop for a hardware system ... and there was some shortage of [GameCube] development kits," said Konami spokesman Chris Kramer. \nTDK Mediactive, which produced the Xbox game "Shrek" based on the popular animated comedy, had the same problem, according to CEO Vincent Bitetti \n"We thought "Shrek" would skew toward Nintendo's younger audience and figured GameCube would be a better fit, but we had to do the game in a very compressed period of time and could not get the GameCube development systems," Bitetti said.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient