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Some stores selling silver systems soon, says sale sheet

A scant few days before E3, we saw signs that the Metallic Silver Lite, long since available in Japan and Europe, would be available in North America next month, but since then, we haven't seen so much as a scrap on the subject. Thanks to the latest Best Buy sales sheets, savvy gamers were able to suss out that the snappy new (to us) shade will be sold beginning with the seventh of September. Will you step into the silver spotlight, or will you practice a smidge of sensible self-restraint and stroll on by?

DS redesign speculation returns, gets quashed

Like a bad penny, talk of a redesigned DS never seems to go away for long (we can't resist gossiping about the prospect ourselves). Many predicted an announcement at E3, only for the LA event to pass without incident, but now the speculation is back with a vengeance, courtesy of Kotaku and "several industry sources" that aren't Nintendo. According to the whispers, the next DS will release early next year, and will feature screens that are slightly bigger than the current model, both of which will be touchscreens. Dual touchscreens? Amazingly, it's a possibility that we haven't seen discussed yet, and a fairly intriguing one!

Sadly, an industry source that is Nintendo has since dismissed such idle chatter as a load of old baloney to GamesIndustry.biz, though they used the more professional "rumor and speculation." Not that such denials mean a great deal nowadays.

Source: New DS! -- Internet
Source: Not! -- Nintendo

Rumor: Tony Hawk's Motion signals another add-on

Is Activision about to dip its bloated, corporate toe into the murky world of DS peripherals once again? Whispers about the next Tony Hawk game shipping with a motion-sensing device that plugs into the handheld (à la the Guitar Grip) have been flying around since, well, since the company revealed that the title would "utilize new technology not yet seen on the DS."

And now, your honor, we present the latest piece of evidence: an OFLC rating for a DS game known as Tony Hawk's Motion. Could that name suggest anything other than a motion-sensing device or self-applicable go faster stripes for your DS? We've already seen the Guitar Grip peripheral snapped up by tons of people with a higher cramp tolerance than us, so maybe Activision wants more of that sweet pie.

[Via Shacknews]

[Update -- Fixed errors, thanks Pyro!]

Ah, the crazy, unhinged world of the DS plug-in peripheral. Activision's Guitar Grip was far from the first to appear on the scene -- back in 2006, Metroid Prime Pinball shipped with the Rumble Pak, while a DS camera, the Love and Berry card reader, and Taito's paddle controller are available in Japan. And who can forget Mag Kid's downright odd (and dangerous) "slide sensor"?

Lucky reader catches early Dialga/Palkia DS Lite

The Limited Edition Pokémon Pack, containing an Onyx DS Lite with Dialga and Palkia art, a DVD, a case, and a poster, isn't supposed to be in stores until the 17th. However, according to reader Tom, at least one Fred Meyer put it out early. He found it on a shelf next to the other DS Lite systems during yesterday and grabbed it.

"I went in hoping to find out if they'ed be carrying them," he said. "I got my answer. :)" This could be an isolated incident or it could be a case of one retailer not getting proper notification of "street dates" -- or Tom could be messing with us. Tom, if you're out there, your Pokemans DS: show us it! And if you happen to live in the Pacific Northwest or Alaska, pop into your local Fred Meyer and see if you can find a new DS while you buy overpriced groceries.

[Update: He showed us it!]

Mass Effect, other BioWare franchises possible on DS

Sonic Chronicles may lead to more familiar franchises for BioWare's handheld division, according to statements made by Chronicles lead Miles Holmes. Holmes says that the company is considering DS versions of its major franchises, including Dragon Age, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect. "Basically anything that reinforces the franchises," said Holmes.

His choice? "I tell you which one I would want. I want the Mass Effect one." He goes on to say that "a DS version would be an awesome way to keep interest alive and keep it going in addition to the next [Mass Effect game]."

Is this a confirmation of a Mass Effect DS sequel? Absolutely not, but it shows that BioWare is at least thinking about their own games on DS.

Gallery: Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

[Via GamesIndustry.biz]

Rumor: New Pokemon creatures revealed

Supposedly, the image on your right are silhouettes of new pocket monsters set to premiere in Nintendo's upcoming cash generator Pokemon Platinum. For those of you with very good sight, that would be them to the right of this text right here.

Japanese site blue skY is reporting that this image is an advertisement from a Toys R Us in Japan. We'd like to comment further, but up until today, we didn't know there were Toys R Us chains in Japan. For those of you who're Pokemaniacs, care to comment on these?

Do they resemble the shapes of other Pokemon?

[Via Go Nintendo and Pokemon Platinum]

Rumor: Survey 'reveals' GTA Chinatown Wars details

A UGO reader participated in an unspecified survey about an "upcoming game," which, judging by the kind of information presented in the questions, is definitely Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. For example, question 18 begins with the premise "The title of this new game is called Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, by Rockstar Games."

If this is a real survey, then it has backhandedly revealed previously unknown gameplay information about the new handheld version of the mega-popular franchise. However, that information is of the "glaringly obvious" variety that you could "learn" by pretty much imagining the game.

For example, one question asks responders to rate the importance of features like "OPEN WORLD" and "MATURE STORYLINE." To be fair, this question does go on to mention genuinely interesting new features like ad-hoc multiplayer, replayable missions, and stylus-based minigames, but if you're just now learning from this survey that GTA has "mature storylines," you'll be very excited to hear about its new "car theft" feature in which you totally steal cars.

Pachter: expect a new DS in Japan this year

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter agrees with some of the other predictions we heard this year: a new DS system is on the way. According to investor notes released by the company, falling demand for the hardware in Japan will motivate Nintendo to introduce the next revision of the DS "before the end of the calendar year."

Nintendo of Japan, if you're reading (and you aren't): we can solve this hardware demand problem without the need for a new console (although Pachter believes the next iteration is ready): just pack Dragon Quest IX, when it comes out, with a DS Lite. It doesn't even have to be an exclusive color.

[Via Joystiq]

Gamestop reveals Chrono Trigger date, price?

Square Enix hasn't said anything official about the release date or pricing of the Chrono Trigger port yet. We held out hope for a budget price, since it's a port, and since the $20 price point for Arkanoid DS and Space Invaders Extreme, both new games, proves that Square Enix can charge less than $40 for a game now and then.

Not this time, apparently! According to a Gamestop listing (which is even linked from the site's front page), Chrono Trigger will come out December 1 at the familiar $40 price point. Not that Chrono Trigger isn't worth $40. Just ask eBay!

Rumor: Kingdom Hearts coming out this year in Japan [update]

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days' teaser website has turned into an actual website now, with menus to click on and everything else you'd come to expect from a Square Enix website. It's still lacking in compelling content, however, aside from a downloadable wallpaper and a beautiful background song. (You can also see the Japanese character profiles for Roxas and Axel, as well as browse through a few screens in the "Story" section.)

The other interesting 358/2 Days news is that in the manual for the DS remake of Dragon Quest V (which released last week in Japan), an ad for the game boasts "Coming 2008." We'll probably find out for sure at Square Enix's DKΣ3713 event whether this is true or just an advertiser's wishful thinking, although it's important to keep in mind that us non-Japanese gamers will have to wait for localization, anyway.

[Update: Everything on the website is translated into English here. Thanks, Monkey!]

[Thanks for the original tip, supa_s!]

Hope for long-lost Jagged Alliance DS?

Way back in 2005, Strategy First announced a DS version of Jagged Alliance 2 Gold, which became increasingly vaporous as time passed. Gamefly now lists a Jagged Alliance game coming October 9, from publisher Empire Interactive. It may be a sign of renewed life for the Pocket PC Studios-developed port, or it could be the work of a new development team to whom the rights were granted after prolonged inactivity.

Jagged Alliance is a military strategy game series that originated on PC in 1994, involving player-controlled squads of mercenaries. Not only do the mercs have different skills, they interact differently with one another when teamed up. The player's actions lend a reputation that also affects the mercenaries' willingness to work.

[Update: Eric pointed out that Strategy First officially cancelled all their projects. Either Empire has picked up the pieces or this is an unrelated project.]

Three DS news items you might have missed

With several major press conferences yesterday and a deluge of media assets, it's easy to miss all the smaller news items that popped up. We've rounded up three of them for you so that they won't be completely forgotten!

1. Retro Game Challenge logo! Yep, there it is, right above our post. It doesn't look too different from the Retro Game Master DVD logo, but we'll find any excuse to talk about this wonderful, nostalgic title. In fact, keep an eye out for our hands-on impressions from the E3! For now, you can check out five new screenshots in our gallery below or have a look at the Retro Game Challenge sell sheet past the post break.

2. Zoo Games is working on a Puzzle Quest clone? Any time we see the words "puzzle" juxtaposed with images of fantasy-type warriors, as was the case with Puzzle Kingdoms, our minds immediately go to last year's surprise hit, Puzzle Quest. Though developer Infinite Interactive already has two official Puzzle Quest clones in the works, the hybridization of RPGs and puzzle games are addictive enough that we don't mind seeing knock-offs. We hope to see more than just three pieces of character art for Puzzle Kingdoms soon!

3. Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades coming out less than six months after Guitar Hero: On Tour? Alright, so you might have heard that Vicarious Visions is preparing a Guitar Hero DS sequel for the holiday season, but if you stop for a minute and think about it, you'll realize that the original game came out only three weeks ago! That's a shorter gap than the time in between Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith's releases (8 months) for consoles!

Gallery: Puzzle Kingdoms

Continue reading Three DS news items you might have missed

DS Daily: The latest rumor

The redesign rumors just won't stop, will they? The latest cuts the GBA slot, may or may not add an accelerometer, and reduces the size of the already-slim handheld ... and may just come with a sizeable price cut. Think it's viable? If you wanted a redesign, is this what you had in mind?

E308: New DS rumors abound

Here we go -- with the Nintendo press briefing just hours away, the rumor brigade in Los Angeles is kicking things into high gear, and there are all sorts of rumblings about the DS. According to IGN, a number of things may or may not happen this week, including but not limited to:
  • Activision (wait, didn't they bail on E3? No matter; they have their own presentation coming up tomorrow night) announcing a(nother) DS peripheral that will add tilt and motion functionality to the handheld via the GBA slot
  • The next Tony Hawk game is rumored to be the first to use the Activision peripheral
  • Nintendo is preparing to provide built-in tilt and motion within the carts of some upcoming games
But the most interesting thing from the rumor mill is the big possibility we've been discussing of late: DS Micro ahoy! Word is that Nintendo may be preparing to release that redesigned handheld after all, but per these rumors, it looks like the new design is not meant to supplant the current Lite model -- which explains the color explosion. The slimmed-down DS may sacrifice the GBA slot and could possibly feature that accelerometer functionality built-in. The best part? We may be looking at a drastically-reduced price -- IGN is talking about a DS that's $100 cheaper than the current model.

Our own JC Fletcher is on the ground in LA as we speak, and David Hinkle is en route, so we hope to have more information -- or at least, more rumors -- for you soon. Whatever happens, we'll probably be scratching off a few of our DS predictions very soon.

Rumor: USA to be awarded Silver

The Gloss Silver DS Lite has been shining in Europe and Japan for some time now, but it hasn't made an appearance in North America as of yet. Well, that's not entirely true: half of the Metallic Silver DS Lite makes up the Guitar Hero: On Tour special edition system. But we never got the back part.

An unspecified "source" has suggested to GoNintendo's RawMeatCowboy that this tragic omission will be corrected this September, with the release of an all-silver DS. That sounds perfectly plausible to us, especially since its partner in shininess, the Metallic Rose, has been released.

It's nice to have such a low-impact rumor so close to E3. We may get a new color, and that would be nice; if not, that's okay too! It's certainly a lot tamer than all those other rumors we've been dealing with.

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