Archive for November, 2009

19
Nov
09

Yuji Naka

Yuji Naka , is a video game designer, programmer, the former head of Sonic Team, a group of Sega programmers/designers, the lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog and the head of Prope.

After graduating high school, Naka decided to skip university and stay in his home town. During this time, Naka worked long hours at various menial jobs. After quitting his last job, Naka saw that Sega was looking for programming assistants. After a brief interview, he was hired and began working on a game called Girl’s Garden, which earned him critical praise and fan appreciation. He programmed the original Sonic the Hedgehog game, while Naoto Ōshima designed the character and Hirokazu Yasuhara designed the stages. Naka has also produced several other titles like Nights into Dreams…, Burning Rangers and Phantasy Star Online. In early games he was often credited as “YU2” (in reference to Yu Suzuki) and “Muuu Yuji”. He is one of the few famous Japanese game creators to speak fluent English.

Naka also helped create a popular EyeToy game for the PlayStation 2 called Sega Superstars, and finds mention in Shadow the Hedgehog where GUN soldiers will occasionally call out “Mister Yuji Naka is all right” Yuji Naka has a cameo in Virtua Striker 3 along with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Eggman, and a group of Chao.

In news released on March 16, 2006, Naka announced that he intended to create his own game studio, independent of Sega and Sega Studio USA. This decision bears resemblance to Naoto Oshima’s departure of Sonic Team in 1999, when he founded Artoon. And Hirokazu Yasuhara’s departure of Sonic Team in 2002, when he moved to Naughty Dog.

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13
Nov
09

Xbox console ban is ‘permanent’

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Thousands of Xbox 360 owners who have been cut off from Microsoft’s Xbox Live service will have to buy a new console if they want to play online again.

Microsoft told BBC News that banned machines will be permanently barred and “unable to connect to Xbox Live”.

A message displayed on affected consoles said there was “no recourse for terms of use violations”.

Microsoft has barred as many as 1m gamers from Xbox live for modifying their consoles to play pirated games.

“Users of banned Xbox consoles can recover their profile to another, unmodified Xbox 360 console to resume their Live service,” the firm told BBC News.

“The banned console will be unable to connect to Xbox Live.”

However, modified consoles will still work offline.

‘No recourse’

Microsoft said barring gamers was part of an ongoing drive to curb piracy.

But a statement from them suggests this latest wave was timed to prevent people from playing pirated versions of the widely-anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

We believe that even one modified console on the system is one too many
Microsoft

“We can assure you that if an Xbox Live member follows the Xbox Live terms of use, purchased a retail copy of Modern Warfare 2 and played the game on an unmodified Xbox 360, no action will be taken,” the firm said.

Microsoft said that it had banned a “small percentage” of the 20 million Xbox Live users worldwide.

Many gamers modify their consoles by installing new chips or software that allows them to run unofficial – but not always illegal – programs and games.

Some BBC News website readers claimed that they had “modded” their consoles to allow them to make back-ups of games that they had already bought.

“Discs are very fragile things and some users like to have their games backed up,” said Donald Glass of Aberdeen.

“After all you will have paid £40 for a new disc. It is my opinion that once you buy a disc you should be allowed to do whatever you want with the media as long as you do not break copyright laws.”

Microsoft has not said how it was able to determine which gamers to disconnect.

“We do not reveal specifics, but can say that all consoles have been verified to have violated the terms of use,” the firm said in a statement.

It said that gamers who had been barred were using their modified consoles to “play illegally pirated games”.

“We believe that even one modified console on the system is one too many”.

Industry figures suggest that piracy may cost the video game industry as much as £750m a year.

Reports have speculated that new “mods” could soon be on the market that allow gamers to get round the blocks.

03
Nov
09

Prince of Persia 2010 reveal

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Ubisoft has failed to deny that a new Prince of Persia game will be revealed early next year, as recently claimed by the team behind the upcoming movie adaptation.

 

Speaking during a trailer preview event at Bruckheimer Studios (via Neoseeker), the movie team claimed that Ubisoft will be announcing a new Prince of Persia game in spring 2010, “but it’s not their place to give out any details”.

So we asked a Ubisoft rep if the team’s claims were true, to which we were issued a swift “no comment”.

The movie is due out in North America on May 28, so the supposed new game announcement would happen very shortly – or around – then.

We quizzed Ubisoft Monteal president, Yannis Mallat on his plans for the launch of the film last month, and he told us: “I can’t comment actually, at the moment (laughs).”