Sonic Forces: Speed Battle behind the scenes video showcases game’s development

SEGA Europe has released a development video showing a behind the scenes look at the upcoming mobile tie-in to Sonic Forces, titled Sonic Forces: Speed Battle. Developed by Hardlight Studios, creators of the Sonic Dash games, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle is an online multiplayer version of their endless runner and takes place in Sonic Forces settings. Interestingly, the game was initially tested using a multiplayer version of Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom. The game is currently soft launched in select territories, but a wide release should be happening soon.

The History of Sega Japan R&D, Part 3: Innovative Heights and the End of an Era

REUNIFICATION AND TWELVE INNOVATIVE R&D STUDIOS

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Playing up an executive managing director and joking about the state of the Dreamcast at the time, says a lot about Sega’s attitude at the time.

In Part 2 we covered Sega’s golden age, but great heights inevitably can bring great lows. Sega had lots of up and downs throughout their history. They also had great games, lots of them! But ultimately Sega did not make that much money from the Saturn. However, in the arcades they did absolute gangbusters. Sega needed to change their approach in regards to development and also their hardware. The solution was to make the Dreamcast and NAOMI arcade hardware the same and have all of the internal studios make games for it,in turn allowing them further grow and prosper. Twelve R&D studios in total were established, and the nine software studios were not split into arcade and console divisions – they made games for everything. Hisashi Suzuki and Yu Suzuki would manage the arcade business, with Hisashi putting in his final stretch at Sega before retirement.

House of the Dead 4 for PSN took almost a year to port


So House of the Dead 4 is finally going to hit a home console, I have wanted a home version ever since I first laid eyes on it way back when SEGA released their ‘next gen’ trailer with Virtua Fighter 5 and (cough, cough) Sonic 06. The new PS3 port is built from the Lindbergh arcade board, the same board that runs Virtua Fighter 5, its supposed to make PS3 porting easy.

“It took almost a year to adapt The House of the Dead 4 for the console, from the initial game design to the product,” a Sega representative explained in an e-mail to Siliconera. “The main obstacles in converting The House of the Dead 4 from the Lindbergh board to the PS3 were the OpenGL and the data format conversion.  Also, the PS3 has only 256MB of RAM while the Lindbergh board has 1GB, making the conversion challenging.”

 “We did more than simply upscale the resolution to 720p. We brought the game render buffer up to 720p as well,” says SEGA “This makes the graphic quality and resolution far superior to all of the previous versions. In addition, we have re-made almost all of the UIs [user interface] in HD resolution.”

House of the Dead III recently made its way to PSN, featuring Move support plus a ton of unlockables. I want to say as an arcade fan, I’m glad SEGA is putting in work on these ports. I think SEGA has had a bad reputation due to their Genesis and Dreamcast ports. I’m glad they are willing to sit and make this title look spiffy on screen.

SEGA of Japan Has the Best Restrooms: Video Interview With Toylets Producer

Courtesy of YouTube show OtakuVerseZero comes a unique interview with Hirotaka Machida, producer of the urinal game Toylets. Machida shows off the game, thankfully using simulated blue urine coming from a statue, and discusses the development of the unique “console”. Highlights include the discussion of the game’s “controller” and how the development team presented the game to the board of directors. Check out the full interview for proof that wackiness is not dead at SEGA.

Thanks to reader SEGA_Portuguese for the link!

Metacritic Scores Individual Developers

How annoying is it to get into an argument about how good a game is, only to have somebody throw a link to Metacritic at you? Well gamers can rejoice, as now that same thing can apply to arguing how good a developer is!

Metacritic has recently added the ability to search for individual developers, with each developer given their own score based on the games they’ve worked on. Of course, this is in no way a proper method of scoring how “good” somebody is, as even an assistant co-co-co-producer credit for an amazing game can bring up the score of an otherwise awful person. Also, some great retro games are not rated or credits are not yet given. For example, Morio Kishimoto is at a 69 but is only rated for his work on Sonic and the Secret Rings. He also directed Sonic Colors but has yet to be credited or scored for that.

After the break, check out the pointless numbers now assigned to our favorite (or least favorite) SEGA devs! It’s like in high school, when you’d rate the boys… or girls. I rated the girls. Yeah…

Sonic 4 Episode 2 Development Details Revealed

Thanks to Shadzter of The Sonic Stadium for sifting through SEGA’s forums and finding these nuggets of information, direct from Brand Manager Ken Balough. Ken held an impromptu Q&A and revealed the following:

• Episode 2 is in the early development stages
• SOA and SOE are both giving feedback and input on Episode 2
• Episode 1 sold well for SEGA commercially, meaning a bigger budget is likely for Episode 2
• Balough knows how many Episodes Sonic 4 will have, but can’t comment right now. Amount was decided during Episode 1′s development.
• Balough admits that some elements of Episode 1 could have been better and says Episode 2 gives the opportunity to address them.
• Episode 2 is not a Sonic CD remake. Idea is to bring new zones with things you haven’t seen before.

Great news in my opinion. I enjoyed Sonic 4 Episode 1 (rating it a B), but hoped that SEGA would hear criticism before diving into Episode 2. From the sound of things, they are doing just that. Perhaps the best bits of news are a larger budget and NEW ZONES! What haven’t we had yet? Spaghetti Mine Zone? Lava Ice Zone? Empty Nothingness Zone? I’m certain there’s some sort of environment we haven’t seen yet. Check out direct quotes in Shadzter’s original article.

[Source: The Sonic Stadium]

Gran Turismo 5 used to have a Yakuza 3 ad


Gran Turismo 5 was suppose to have a nice Yakuza 3 advert, what happen? It got delayed, so much so that Yakuza 3 turned into a faint memory and SEGA moved on to Yakuza 4 and the upcoming zombie game. Oh, now the team is doing Binary Domain.

Now that Gran Turismo 5 is out, it has been reported to have sold 2.4 million copies in 4 days. SEGA should have taken them on the advert offer for Binary Domain and Yakuza of the End.

[Source: AndriaSang]

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 awesome update!

Today is the day! The much talked about, much speculated at day of Sonic 4 reckoning. It came in the form of a press release and a Sega rep will be revealed more info on ‘ON THE SPOT’ tonight.

According to this press release, the release date of Sonic 4 will be pushed back to the later half of 2010 to insure the high quality of the game.

To me, this sounds like great news! I can’t wait to scour forums after I publish this article to see the new and inventive ways nerdy Sonic fans can spin this news into a negative light.

Also mentioned on the press release, SEGA confirmed that Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I will be coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch via Apple’s iTunes App Store.

Hit the jump for the press release, also make sure to tune into ON THE SPOT for the second part of the reveal tonight!

SEGA pushing Xbox 360 development


SEGA shared plans for this fiscal year already and one of those was software release plans. SEGA plans to release 15 Xbox 360 games, while PS3 and Wii will only get 11 titles released.

SEGA also expects 360 to be their biggest platform in software sales, with 2.66 million units. For PS3, SEGA expects 2.52 million units and Wii SEGA expects 1.55 million units.