Get Salamander Over the Net

Konami considers putting the Salamander and Gradius Deluxe Packs on one CD and selling them directly over the Net; asks for consumer input.

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Good shooters are hard to come by. Especially from Konami. The company has always felt that shooters were a niche market in the US and therefore chose to release few its fighting titles here. However, with the successful US release of two Konami RPGs, Suikoden and Vandal Hearts, the company is testing the waters and may decide to release a number of its fighting titles here after all.

Konami is the holder of at least four different series of shooters - Gradius, Parodius, Salamander, and Twin Bee - and has released several of its classic shooters on Deluxe Packs. So far, Japanese gamers have seen Deluxe Packs of just about all of Konami's shooters. The US audience, however, has been left out.

Two game packs are currently being considered by Konami for introduction to the US market on a single CD: Salamander and the Gradius Deluxe Pack.

Salamander packs three shooters - Salamander, Salamander 2, and its US-release counterpart Life Force into one CD - with no slowdown. Konami's previous Gradius Deluxe Pack included the original arcade Gradius and Gradius 2 Gofer (never seen in the US). Both packs are outstanding shooter collections that rightfully deserve US releases.

Konami is thinking of adding the Gradius Deluxe Pack to Salamander and releasing both in the US on one PlayStation CD for a price tag under US$40. It would be selling the pack to gamers direct, most likely through an 800 number posted on its web page. The only thing Konami is asking for is your feedback - if you think this is a good idea, you need to e-mail the crew at Konami and tell them.

If you're a shooter fan or hard-core gamer, send your word of support for this plan to mib@konami.com. If the response is clear, maybe US gamers will finally be able to play these fantastic games. Plus, this may be a first step in getting other niche market games released here through direct sales.

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