Monday's News Bits

As a special treat to all you readers, we thought we'd do a special April Fools news update. The following are some various game related stories collected from around the net, and one which is totally false. They're all pretty incredible, but see if you can pick out the one that's the odd man out.

German Designers Create the PainStation: Sony asks them to change the name.

Two German developers have created a device they call the PainStation, a version of Pong with a slight twist. The concept is simple: two players go head to head over the unit, which has a screen and two large areas to place your palm, known as the Pain Execution Unit. Along the sides of the screen are various symbols, and if the player misses hitting the ball with their "paddle", the PEU will deliver a various form of pain to the user, based on which symbol the ball hit. This pain can range anywhere from heat to electric shocks, to punches.

The designers, who were attempting to create an artistic project for the Academy of Visual Arts in Cologne, have found that people will actually leave with bleeding hands just to stick it out through the game and win. And you though thumb blisters from playing your favorite games were bad.

In the meantime, Sony has warned the duo that they will need to change the name of their machine in order to avoid confusion with Sony's own PlayStation game console. Personally, I don't blame them.

Norrath richer than Bulgaria: But how's the food?

In a shocking revalation, it has been decided that the world in which Sony's MMORPG Ever Quest takes place, Norrath, actually has a higher Per Capita Income than the nation of Bulgaria, and it's just slightly less than that of Russia.

Professor Edward Castronova from Callifornia State University at Fullerton calculated the statistics. Apparently, the ammount of trading of characters, items, creation of items, and just plain man-hours put into the game add up to a higher monetary total than the ammount of money taken home per year by the average Bulgarian citizen. Bulgaria has yet to respond.

Indonesian Conglomerate Buys Controlling Interest in Koei: Company to Romance of the Thousand Islands games?

In a move that surprised many industry watchers, Danata Sugar Inc., a corporation headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia has bought a controlling interest in Japanese game manufacturer Koei.

Koei, makers of historical strategy games such as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, were forced to sell 75% of their stock after having their worst financial year ever.

"Lately Koei has been in a slump," President Koichi Asabura said in an interview with Japan's financial journal, Nihon Keizai Shimbun. "Our flagship series, the Romance series, has not been as successful in recent years as it originally was, and other titles were not received in as favorable conditions, both inside of Japan and overseas. For that reason, we decided to sell a significant portion of our stock."

Most of the stock in the company is owned by Asabura, and the decision to sell it came straight from his offices. Strangely enough, Datana Sugar, Inc., one of Indonesia's major sugar producing and refining corporations, stepped up to take the company's offer.

"It was not just a matter of business," Datana's president and CEO, Jaya Darmadi said in the same Shimbun article. "I've actually been a big fan of Koei's games since they started on the Nintendo. I guess part of the decision was a guilty pleasure on my part."

It is not known whether this will change Koei's release schedule significantly, but as one of the biggest developers/publishers in Asia, it wouldn't be surprising to see a game or two on hold.

Live Action Dragonball to Come from Twentieth Century Fox: Kamehame-what?

Dragonball fans, rejoice... or fear. Twentieth Century Fox recently acquired the rights to produce a live-action Dragonball movie. While details are still sketchy at this point, fans are already speculating on who will make up the cast for the movie. Ideas range from Wynona Ryder as Bulma to Donald Sutherland as Master Roshi. Only time will tell what the future holds for this venture, which considering the huge following the series has in the states, should do well in the box office, regardless of quality.


04.01.02 - 9:47 AM
Sensei Phoenix