Gyakuten Saiban 4 [Limited Edition]

Gyakuten Saiban 4 will be released in Japan Arpil 12. We in the West know this game as Phoenix Wright and this games have been sold like hot cakes. Gyakuten Saiban 4 is the first game to be developed for the Nintendo DS and is not a GBA remake like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All. Gyakuten Saiban 3 have only been released on GBA in Japan.

Here’s a quote from Play-Asia.com:
The game takes place seven years after Gyakuten Saiban 3 (so far only released on GBA™ in Japan) and is the first game in the series that no longer features Phoenix Wright (Ryuuichi Naruhodoh in Japanese) as the main character. This time, you take the role as Housuke Odoroki, a 22-year-old lawyer fresh out of school. His legal partner is a magician named Minuki, his mentor is named Garyu Kirihito, and his prosecuting rival is Kirihito’s younger brother and famous rock star, Garyu Kyoya.

Once again, your task in this game is to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and survey crime scenes to prove yourself. A new feature is the Minuku System. The bracelet on Odoroki’s left arm can be used to zoom in on witnesses to gather information about them. It is used primarily in court to look for motions or actions made by witnesses that show nervousness, like playing with one’s fingers. The move even comes with a new phrase, “SOKO DA!” which in English means “right there!”

It’s too bad that Gyakuten Saiban 4 is Japanese only and does not have an English translation. I would realy liked that. The game comes in two versions, one standard version (game only) and one Limited Edition.
Gyakuten Saiban 4 [Limited Edition] contain the following:

  • Gyakuten Saiban 4
  • Gyakuten Saiban 4 Headsphone (preorder gift, only as long as supplies last)
  • Gyakuten Saiban Encyclopedia
  • Gyakuten Saiban Animation DVD
  • Gyakuten Saiban 4 Box

You can buy the Gyakuten Saiban 4 [Limited Edition] from Play-Asia.com, it wil cost you US$ 129.90.

The normal edition of Gyakuten Saiban 4 can be bought from:
Play-Asia.com (US$51.50 with shipping)
Yes-Asia.com (US$44.99 , free shipping)

Here’s the link to the official Gyakuten Saiban 4 game site (Japanese only).



Xbox 360: Dashboard update, May 7

On May 7 we get a new Dashboard/firmware update on Xbox 360 (aka. Spring update). One of the biggest news is Windows Live Messenger support. Microsft will also release, this summer, a small keyboard to connect on the 360 controller (se pictures). (Source MajorNelson.com and Xbox.com). [UPDATE] Here’s a link to real pictures of the prototype of the keyboard (TeamXbox.com).

Here’s the complete Dasboard update list:

  • A richer Achievement notification pop-up will showcase the name of the unlocked Achievement and the gamerscore value without needing to leave the game to check the Achievements list.
  • Enhanced family settings features for Xbox Live communications enable different defaults for video chat and voice chat.
  • A new Xbox Live Marketplace blade lets Xbox Live members access the content they seek—whether it is game content or TV shows and movies (available in the United States)—from one place on Xbox Live.
  • Updates to Xbox Live Arcade allow owners to quickly see which Xbox Live Arcade games their friends are playing and join in the fun. Xbox Live members can also compare progress of leaderboard scores and Achievements directly with all friends on their friends list. Expanded “Tell a Friend” capabilities make it easier than ever to boast about Achievements and high scores.
  • Expanded “Tell a Friend” capabilities make it easier than ever to boast about Achievements and high scores.
  • A new option in Auto Downloads provides faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox Live Arcade games.
  • New progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing options by letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded from Xbox Live Marketplace.
  • Extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.
  • The name of game in tray is now displayed in the dashboard.
  • When the tray icon is highlighted, a list of achievements, game icon and gamerscore for that game is displayed.
  • Video trick modes are enabled for content that is being progressively downloaded from Video Marketplace.
  • Playback progress bar indicates download completion.
  • Improved skip forward, skip back functionality during video playback.
  • Switchable aspect ratio now available during video playback (Auto to Letterbox, Zoom, Stretch, Native).
  • Player and friends lists now quickly show session presence information for quick identification of users that are joinable.
  • Support for streaming WM-DRM protected content from a PC
  • Folder view for video content on connected devices
  • H.264 video support: Up to 15 Mbps, Baseline, Main, and High (up to level 4.1) Profiles with 2 channel AAC LC and Main Profiles.
  • Added MPEG-4 Part 2 video support: Up to 8 Mbps, Simple Profile with 2 channel AAC LC and Main Profiles.
  • Show folder hierarchy for video content played from all devices.
  • Bookmarks are stored for each video that the user plays remembering the users last location in the file as well as the aspect ratio that the user choose for that file.
  • Video trick modes (fast forward, rewind, chapter skip) can now be used while downloading Video Marketplace content.
  • Skip forward and backward functionality has been improved to skip to the next or previous chapter. Each video is divided into 10 “chapters” allowing you to quickly skip around video content.
  • The information bar that is turned on via the On Screen Display (OSD) now shows you exactly where you are in the playback of the video file. In addition it will also show for Video Marketplace content how much of the file has been downloaded and where the “chapters” exist in the file.
  • Windows Media protected content (WM-DRM) can now be streamed from the PC to the console. If the WM-DRM license is missing or corrupted then a specific error message is displayed to the user. Bookmarking is also stored for protected content.
  • When the user is in the dashboard and an Xbox 360 game is in the console then the name of the game is displayed in the tray icon of the dashboard. If the user highlights the tray icon then achievements and gamer score are displayed for that game based on the signed in user. Xbox1 games show the name and image of the game.
  • Bookmarks are stored for each video that the user plays. The user can delete all bookmarks but this will reset all bookmark information for every video that the user has played. The bookmark database is exposed in the system/memory/system items
    When a user selects an item for download from Marketplace then the system will determine if there is sufficient disk space for the item and, if not, will ask the user to delete content on the HDD. The system provides a sorted by size list of videos, game trailers, demos and arcade content to aid the user in the deletion process. The same list of items are also available from within memory so that users can quickly see which items are consuming the most disk space.
  • The console will block the user who attempts to download content onto a storage device that will never have the capacity to store the item without deducting any points associated with the content item.
  • The screensaver is disabled when playing photos from any source

Here’s some comments on the Dashboard update from IGN.com and GameSpot.com. There is a video presentation of some the new featerues at on10.net.
Pictures are from Major Nelson’s Flickr.



Xbox 360 – HD DVD player

I ordered the Japanese HD DVD drive last week from Play-Asia.com when they sold it for only US$136, quite a bargain (it’s now back to normal US$199). You can also get it from Amazon.co.uk.

The HD DVD drive comes with the drive it self, a USB cable, a remote, a setup disc and an AC adapter. The remote have Japanese text, but it’s straightforward to use. You don’t need the setup disc, I didn’t use it anyway. I think it only update the Xbox 360 firmware to support the HD DVD drive. But if you updated the dashboard last fall, you should be fine. The AC adaptor is universal, mean it takes 100-240V 50/60 Hz. You only need at travel plug/socket adapter, or if you have an old VCR or radio power cord, that will work just fine.

This mean, that if you find an HD DVD player at a low price some where in the world, all HD DVD drives will work on any Xbox 360. The drive is not region locked. HD DVD is region free so you can buy movies from around the world. The player will only play DVDs in the region you Xbox 360 is coded for. So if you live in Europe, you can only play region 2 encoded DVDs in the HD DVD player.

I have only tested one movie, The Bourne Supremacy, on a 17″ LCD monitor with VGA connection in 1280×1024 (so the movie play in 1280×720). The picture look real good and I’m looking forward to the day when I get myself a big HDTV. But I have to say that the step from DVD to HD DVD wasn’t that quantum leap as going from VHS to DVD. Still, the HD DVD is a good purchase and will be better with a bigger TV.
I like the HD DVD movie menus. They look better than DVD menus since the movie still plays when you press the menu on the remote. I also like the picture in picture feature.
When I tried capture some screenshots of the movie with menus etc. on my SDTV capture card, I found out that you have to set the Xbox to PAL-60 to play HD DVD movies on a SDTV. It doesn’t support 50 Hz. That’s why I had to take screenshots of the movie with my digitalcam.
The disctray icon on Dashboard is spilt in two when the HD DVD drive is connected to the 360. With the upper half you can start a game as normal and with the bottom half, you start the movie which are in the HD DVD player.


The next pictures are taken with a digital photo camera, since that’s the only way I can capture good screen photos.

When you press the Guide-button on the remote/controller while watching a movie, you get the standard info blade and can then press the Yellow-button to go back to Dashboard.

And this is how the folder strucutre is when you connect the HD DVD drive to a Windows XP with the right drivers.

Very short about Easter

Palm Sunday
Jesus rode into Jerusalem. People cheered at him and they layed down their cloaks in front of him. Some also layed down small branches of trees.

Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday)
Jesus had his last supper with the disciples and it was the institution of Mystery of the Holy Eucharist. Later in the night, Judas betrayed Jesus Christ when they where in Gethsemane.

Good Friday
Jesus had to carry his cross to the execution site, Golgotha. He hanged on the cross for several hours before he died.

Easter Sunday
When the women are looking for Jesus tomb, they find it empty. Jesus had ressurected.

Some Wii news

I’ve been away for some days, so I’m trying to catch up.

Super Mario Bros. on Virtual Console will now work OK with component cables. According to the Norwegian Nintendo website, Nintendo is working on fix for other VC releases released before April 2007.

The Norwegian Nintendo site also have Impossible Mission (Commodore 64) listed as April release on VC. So this will probably mean that more C64 games will come to the Virtual Console soon.

I’ve read on N-philes.net that an external harddrive for the Wii may be in the works. The reason for this is that eSOL have sendt out a pressrelease saying:
(Tokyo, Japan – April 4, 2007) eSOL Co., Ltd. announced today that their leading embedded middleware products, “PrFILE2″ FAT file system and “PrUSB/Host” USB host stack, were selected for the “WiiTM”, from Nintendo Co.;.

Both software products constitute fundamental functionalities in the Wii console – managing and transferring data and files with external media. In particular, PrFILE2 provides file management functions which read and write data of theSD memory card, as well as other media;. PrUSB/Host functions are used in Wii, to provide USB host functions.

PrFILE2 is a FAT file system supporting FAT12/16/32 and VFAT. It has an architecture that can support application specific customization requests flexibly and quickly.

PrUSB/Host is a USB host stack compliant to USB1.1 and 2.0 (Full Speed/High Speed) specifications to implement USB host functions in an embedded system. By embedding PrUSB/Host, direct communication with USB devices is supported without using PC. Optional Mass Storage class driver enables using USB flash memory, other mass storage device and digital camera as the external storage.

I hope this will mean we can, when a new update for the Wii’s firmware comes out, use external USB drives like memorysticks and USB harddrives as storage mediums and that we can download Wii demos from the Wii Shop Channel.

Nintendo’s Q2 PAL releases for Wii, DS and GBA can be read at Eurogamer.net. There is no European release date for Super Paper Mario yet, but it’s already out in US.

Retro Gamer #36


I got the latest Retro Gamer issue 36 in the mail today. And this is what it has to offer:

  • The Making of… Banjo Kazooie
  • Company Profile: Sega Technical Institute
  • The Re-Making of… Street of Rage
  • The Classic Game: Punch-Out!!
  • Developer Lookback: Melbourne House
  • The Making of… Castlevania – Symphony of the Night
  • The Spirit of the Mad Gamer: Coputer and Video Games (CVG)
  • The Making of… Pitfall
  • The Classic Game: Shufflepuck Cafe
  • Retroinspection: Wonderswan
  • The Making of… Armalyte
  • The Making of… Turbo Esprit

So there should be much interesting reading. You can buy the magazine online from Imageshop.co.uk.