Last week, IBM proudly showed off the processors that will drive Microsoft’s next-generation games console, the Xbox 360.
With the chips now rolling off Big Blue’s production lines, it seems certain that the Xbox hardware will be ready for the ambitious launch date – 22nd November in America, 2nd December in Europe, 10th December in Japan. However, things aren’t looking quite so rosy on the software front.
The first admission of bad news came when software developer THQ announced its financial results, and admitted that its key racing game Moto GP 2006 wouldn’t be out until after the new year.
To make matters worse, THQ’s wargame The Outfit will also slip into next year, while the hotly-anticipated Saint’s Row, an expansive Grand Theft Auto-style crime caper that was expected to be one of the 360’s launch hits, won’t be available until next summer. All three games were shown, in pre-production form, at the unveiling of the Xbox in Amsterdam last month.
There are still plenty of bankers in the expected launch line-up – insane racer Project Gotham Racing 3 being our favourite – but Games Digest reports that a list of launch games submitted to the German videogames rating board has a worrying omission. The list included FIFA, NBA, Final Fantasy and a host of other familiar franchises, but no Perfect Dark Zero, the long-awaited prequel to the N64 classic.
We’re praying this is a mistake - if Perfect Dark doesn’t turn up in time for Christmas, we’re going to have to make conversation with our relatives. Oh, the horror.