A Bad Week for Voice Actors
This week it was announced by the Air Agency talent agency that Keiji Fujiwara has passed away at 55. 55 is an awfully young age to pass away, but he had been fighting cancer. Fujiwara’s most recent role was as Reno in the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is sure to be very inconvenient for Square Enix, assuming that the recording sessions for the Final Fantasy VII Remake project have not yet wrapped. Fujiwara also voiced Axel in the Kingdom Hearts series and Ardyn in Final Fantasy XV.
In other tragic news Rick May has also passed away this week. May will be best remembered for his voice rolls as the soldier class in Team Fortress 2, and as Peppy and Andross in Star Fox 64. May suffered a stroke back in February, and was moved to a nursing home for recovery. Unfortunately, this move to the nursing home happened at the very worst time conceivable, as everyone is currently scrambling to self-isolate to avoid dying from the Chinese plague. Suffice to say that May died due to coronavirus complications, he was 79.
Both men will be missed.
As an addendum, Paul Haddid, the voice actor who played Leon S Kennedy in 1998’s Resident Evil 2, has reportedly passed away. This news is hot off the press though, so hopefully this is not misinformation. Paul Haddid was 56.
Rumour: Apparently the Resident Evil 4 Remake Is a Thing That Is Happening
Another week, another Resident Evil project gets leaked. This rumour comes from the same source as last week’s reveal of Resident Evil VIII. Apparently M-Two, the company who made the Resident Evil 3 Remake, is currently working on a remake of Resident Evil 4. The game will allegedly release in 2022, presumably for the PS5, Series X, and the PC.
It makes a certain kind of sense that Capcom would like to remake Resident Evil 4 – it is basically Capcom’s Final Fantasy VII, in that it continues to influence the development of games today, and Capcom will probably never get out from under the shadow it casts over them. That is a long way of saying that it is a very widely known property, and Capcom think they stand to make a pretty penny by remaking the game. The problem here is that Resident Evil 4 is still an excellent game, and the mechanics do not feel archaic in any way.
Many people had assumed that if the Capcom remaster project went ahead then the next game up would be either Resident Evil: Code Veronica or Resident Evil 0, neither of which are the best loved games in this series, but both of which have strong fundamentals which have the potential to be remade into amazing games. Code Veronica in particular has an amazing setting, with some memorable story beats and some forward looking gameplay mechanics. Of course this was somewhat let down by some goofy story beats and some bosses that do not quite work. It felt as though it was not allowed enough time in the oven. A Code Veronica remake could have been amazing. On the other hand Resident Evil 4 already is amazing, and no matter how well M-Two execute on the remake they will still inevitably come up short. Resident Evil 4 kind of steered away from the horror fundamentals of the series, so if M-Two pivoted back into the horror formula for the Resident Evil 4 remake then their game could still be legit by virtue of having a very different tone, but it still seems like wasted opportunity to remake a game that still holds up awesomely.
More Launch Woes for PS5
Things are going from bad to worse for the PS5. Last week TDT reported on insider leaks which suggested that PS5 units were failing at an unacceptable rate, yet now that might not be such a problem since people might be hard pressed to get their hands on one. This week Bloomberg has broken the story that PS5 stock might be considerably constrained for its first year on sale. Apparently Sony is planning to produce somewhere between 5 and 6 million units for the console’s first year on sale. For reference Sony produced 7.5 million units for the PS4’s first year on sale. Further, this 5 to 6 million figure is Sony optimistically assuming that they can begin producing consoles without issue in June, which appears no certain thing given our current woes with the Chinese Plague.
Bloomberg also reports that most developers are assuming that the PS5 will sell for between $500 and $550. It is unclear on what basis they think this. They might be going off of insider information, or they may be forming their opinion off of the material costs of Sony’s box – but if it is the latter then Sony still have the latitude to take a small loss on each console sold in order to sell the PS5 at a more palatable price.
Sony are going to begin assembling their consoles under extremely tumultuous circumstances, and that combined with the console’s alleged failure rate cannot help but lead one to question whether Christmas 2020 is still an advisable release to target. Apparently Sony is playing a game of chicken with Microsoft, and are refusing to delay unless Microsoft does so first – but then Microsoft sounds like they are a lot more prepared for the coming generation than are Sony, and so they seem less likely to delay their own Series X console.
So long as archrival Microsoft Corp. doesn’t push back the release of its next-generation Xbox, also expected at the end of the year, Sony won’t delay either.
It is hard to know what to recommend regarding the PS5 console. Given its failure rates and probably dearth of content at launch then it would probably be wise to wait on a purchase, yet if one does hold off on a purchase then they may have difficulty in getting their hands on one at a later date.