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Gaming News Round-Up: October 20th, 2004

Today's round-up includes news of Jakks Pacific's financial status, lawsuit notwithstanding, information on the GBA's incursion into Chinese territories, a little rental ...
Today's round-up includes news of Jakks Pacific's financial status, lawsuit notwithstanding, information on the GBA's incursion into Chinese territories, a little rental action with your GameSpotting, and confirmation that Pokemon is sprouting a dual dual-screen personality. - According to financial results released via the Associated Press, toy/game creator Jakks Pacific's third quarter financials are extremely positive, with revenues hitting $206.1 million, an increase of 128 percent from last year's $90.3 million during the same quarter. In particular, the company's 'TV Games' line of licensed all-in-one game joysticks were singled out, with chairman and chief executive Jack Friedman commenting: "We are extremely pleased with our third-quarter results and the dramatic success of our TV games line of products." Though the company also markets lunch boxes, art and activity kits, and action toys, the 'TV Games' line, including Atari, Namco, and Activision licensed products, has been the major success. However, the toy/licensing part of Jakks is also involved in today's WWE lawsuit, alongside THQ, though this has not affected either the 'TV Games' side of the business, or, obviously, results for the previous quarter. - Chinese-targeting firm iQue, who also produce the Nintendo 64-based iQue console hardware for the Asian market, have announced, via Bloomberg Japan, that they will be launching Nintendo's Game Boy Advance SP in 21 different locations across China, including Shanghai and Beijing. iQue Ltd. chairman Dr. Wai Yen set up the company as a joint venture between himself and Nintendo to crack the difficult Chinese market. Although it's not clear that the iQue, which has the ability to play network-downloaded games via Flash cartridges, has yet been a complete success, the company is also trying the portable route with the GBA SP, since the iQue, like the N64, needs a television to function. There's no word yet on localized software titles for the GBA SP - the iQue received specially Chinese-localized versions of several major N64 titles, including Super Mario 64. - Consumer game website GameSpot has announced a further partnership with leading video game rental service GameFly, which will see GameFly options integrated into the site's navigation, and feature 'Rent It' buttons on individual game pages. With Netflix-style game rental options increasingly popular, this move looks aimed to help cement GameFly's strong position in a field which will likely see many more competitors in the next few months, as well as provide an additional incentive for GameSpot Complete subscription members in the form of a special 21-day free trial to the rental service. - In news revealed via this week's Famitsu Magazine in Japan, Creature Inc's Tsunekazu Ishihara has confirmed that the forthcoming Pokemon Diamond & Pokemon Pearl handheld RPGs will appear on the Nintendo DS handheld, and not the Game Boy or Game Boy Advance, as previous core Pokemon titles have done. These new incarnations are described by Ishihara as the "true successors" to Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire, the last major new GBA titles in the series. Considering Nintendo has repeatedly billed the DS as a sideline to the Game Boy series, not a true successor, it's interesting that one of the company's major handheld franchises is planned to transition onto the DS, even before the handheld hits stores worldwide.

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