« December 2005 | Main | February 2006 »

January 31, 2006

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Video Developer Diary 2: "Making It Real"

Today we at Ubisoft continue with our ongoing series of video developer diaries for the upcoming Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. We continue to drill into what it takes to create a Ghost Recon game in the next generation, all direct from the people making it happen! We will continue to keep the world updated on the development of GRAW, with the delivery of even more of these video developer diaries in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for these and additional overall goodness for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter as it approaches its March 2006 ship.

For this second installment we dig even deeper into GRAW's development. Get the first hand info on how the development team is working hard to re-create the near-future military realism that the Ghost Recon brand has been known for. The full implementation of the Integrated Warfighter System (IWS) is of focus in this video diary. Hear how players will be able to utilize a suite of cutting edge technology to play GRAW in exciting new ways. See how the developers have taken pain-staking measures to replicate this technology in the next generation of gaming. On
the battlefield of the future intelligence will be of the highest importance. GRAW will have it in droves, leaving the choice of how and when to use it up to the player. See how this plays out with real-life footage, and all new amazing in-game footage, showing exactly what they are talking about.

This exciting new video is a mere click away.

Madden NFL 06 Xbox 360 Super Bowl simulation - who will win it all?

Bolstered by a tough defensive effort that limited NFL MVP Shaun Alexander to just 70 yards rushing and sacked Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck four times, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their fifth overall Super Bowl championship in a game simulated by EA SPORTS, downing the Seahawks 24-19 in a preview of what might happen in Super Bowl XL.

The game, which was simulated using the best-selling video game Madden NFL 06 for the Microsoft Xbox 360, played out in a way not unfamiliar to Pittsburgh fans – the Steelers moved out to an early lead using the pass and taking advantage of a timely turnover, and then turned to their relentless rushing attack to hold off the surging Hawks and secure the title.

Playing in his hometown of Detroit, Steelers RB Jerome Bettis garnered Super Bowl MVP honors by scoring two touchdowns in the game to go with his 41 yards rushing, getting his team on the board first with a one-yard plunge late in the first quarter to cap a ten-play, 74-yard drive. The teams exchanged field goals in the second quarter, and Pittsburgh upped its lead after recovering an Alexander fumble on the Seattle 24-yard-line. Three plays later, Steeler RB Willie Parker took the ball off right tackle for a seven-yard scamper which made the score 17-3 – a daunting margin that very few Pittsburgh opponents have been able to overcome.

Seattle got another field goal to cut their deficit to 11 points midway through the third quarter, but Alexander was finding no running room and the Steeler defense was bringing constant pressure against Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck. Still, the Seahawks managed to close to 17-13 after Alexander finished a seven-play, 66-yard drive early in the fourth quarter with a short dive off the left side. Pittsburgh responded, however, by pounding the ball on a clock-chewing drive, taking more than six minutes off the clock by going 73 yards in 13 plays – 11 of them runs – to move up 24-13 after Bettis again scored on a one-yard run.

With little time left, Seattle moved the ball down the field quickly and got six more points as Hasselbeck connected with Darrell Jackson on a 19-yard scoring pass, but their two-point conversion failed, and the ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Steelers, who ran out the clock to celebrate their win.

Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger finished an efficient 19 of 28 passing for 173 yards, while Parker picked up 52 on the ground. The Steeler defense was paced by linebacker Joey Porter, who finished with seven tackles and two sacks, while Troy Polamalu added seven tackles. Hasselbeck ended the day completing 21 of 29 passes for 220 yards while Jackson had 91 receiving yards. Lofa Tatupu had eight tackles and Grant Wistrom finished with two sacks for the Seahawks.

DreamWorks Animation SKG & D3Publisher of AmericSign Worldwide Publishing Agreement For Flushed Away

LOS ANGELES – Jan. 31, 2006 – D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA), a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, today announced a worldwide publishing agreement with DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE: DWA) for video games based on the forthcoming computer animated feature film “Flushed Away”. The first games are scheduled to be released for console systems and handheld systems including Nintendo DS™, and Game Boy® Advance in Q4 2006 to coincide with the release of the DreamWorks computer animated feature film on November 3, 2006.

“This agreement with DreamWorks Animation SKG is a significant milestone for D3Publisher of America,” stated Careen Yapp, vice president of licensing and business development for D3PA. “Our blueprint for success has always included both original intellectual properties, as well as licensed titles from top entertainment companies. 'Flushed Away' will be a key title for us in 2006 and we are very pleased to be working with the DreamWorks and Aardman Animation teams to deliver a fun gaming experience that expands on the computer animated feature film.”

“Flushed Away” is a story driven, 3rd-person action-platform game that captures the characters and humor of the film. The games will also feature new characters and environments that are unique to the game that will enrich the world of “Flushed Away”. The console products will be developed by Vicious Cycle, and the handheld products will be developed by Altron and ART.

About DreamWorks Animation’s “Flushed Away”

From DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Features, the teams behind the worldwide hit “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”, comes the computer-animated comedy “Flushed Away”. Blending Aardman’s trademark style and characterizations with DreamWorks’ state-of-the-art computer animation, “Flushed Away” is a madcap comedy set on and beneath the streets of London.

Roddy is a decidedly upper-crust “society rat” who makes his home in a posh Kensington flat, complete with two hamster butlers named Gilbert and Sullivan. When a common sewer rate named Syd comes spewing out of the sink and decides he’s hit the jackpot, Roddy schemes to rid himself of the pest by luring him into the “whirlpool.” Syd may be an ignorant slob, but he’s no fool, so it is Roddy who winds up being flushed away into the bustling sewer world of Ratropolis. There Roddy meets Rita, an enterprising scavenger who works the sewers in her faithful boat the Jammy Dodger.

Roddy immediately wants out, or rather, up; Rita wants to be paid for her trouble; and, speaking of trouble, the villainous Toad – who royally despises all rodents – wants them iced…literally. The Toad dispatches his tow hapless hench-rats, Spike and Whitey, to get the job done. When they fail, the Toad has no choice but to send to France for his cousin – that dreaded mercenary, Le Frog.

D3Publisher of America, Inc. is a subsidiary of D3Publisher, with headquarters in Tokyo. D3Publisher of America’s strategic focus is on licensed and original titles from leading third-party developers that appeal to mass-market consumers or gaming enthusiasts. Based in Los Angeles, D3Publisher of America distributes and publishes software for personal computers and the major console platforms including Game Boy® Advance, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DSÔ, PlayStation® game console, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ portable entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. For additional information on D3Publisher of America and its products, visit the website at http://www.d3p.us

DreamWorks Animation is principally devoted to developing and producing computer generated, or CG, animated feature films. With world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced CG filmmaking technology and techniques, DreamWorks Animation makes high quality CG animated films meant for a broad movie-going audience. The company has theatrically released a total of nine animated feature films, including Antz, Shrek, Shrek 2, Shark Tale and Madagascar. DreamWorks Animation's newest release, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, opened in theaters October 7, 2005.

January 30, 2006

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. To Publish World Rally Championship for the PSP™ System

SANTA CLARA, Ca., (January 30, 2006) -- Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that is will publish the popular rally racing game, World Rally Championship (WRC) for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system in North America. The first officially licensed WRC rally game on a handheld, WRC provides the hi–octane thrills, pace and dynamics of rally across the globe to the gamer on the move.

“We are excited to bring one of the most popular rally racing franchises to the handheld market,” said Jeff Lujan, Business Director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “WRC offers the most exhilarating rally racing experience available for the PSP system.”

The only official game of the FIA World Rally Championship, WRC offers a complete WRC season over 5 continents and 16 countries with a vast array of wild terrains and surfaces including the streets of Japan and the hills of Mexico.

Based around the 2005 season, WRC for the PSP system features 30 official and fully deformable 2005 WRC, Evolution, and Extreme spec cars; from manufacturers such as Ford, Subaru and Mitsubishi as well as all of the 36 official WRC 2005 drivers and co-drivers. WRC also offers sixty-four point-to-point stages on gravel, tarmac and snow with 6 game modes encompassing single player, multi–player and Wireless Head-to-Head support.

WRC for the PSP system will ship to retailers in March 2006. For more information on WRC and all of NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.’s products please visit http://www.namcobandaigames.com.

EA and Crytek announce development of Crysis

Redwood City, Calif. – January 30, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company and award-winning developer Crytek, today announced they will bring Crysis, an exciting new first person shooter, to gamers worldwide. Developed by Crytek, the makers of the award-winning Far Cry™, Crysis will be an original first person shooter game for PC based on new intellectual property.

“Our focus has always been on innovating gameplay and technology, and bringing new experiences to gamers through our original intellectual properties,” says Cevat Yerli, CEO & President of Crytek. “Crysis will be a showcase for that commitment and will offer gamers from all over the world the next step in FPS gaming.”

Shooter fans will face a new kind of gameplay challenge requiring adaptive tactics and customisation of weapons and armour in dynamic, hostile environments as mankind struggles to survive in the face of a horrific alien invasion.

Crysis will bring together the creative and technical talent of Crytek with the publishing expertise and unrivalled reach of Electronic Arts. Crysis is to be published by EA following the worldwide relationship announcement between the two companies and is being developed using the leading-edge technology of Crytek’s proprietary engine CryENGINE™ 2.

“We are delighted to reach the next level in our relationship with Crytek,” says Tom Frisina, Vice-President and General Manager for EA Partners. “Nurturing creative talent and bringing original intellectual property to the world of interactive entertainment is a key focus for EA and EA Partners. Crysis will bring an entirely new FPS experience to gamers everywhere.”

Capcom's RE 4 Achieves Player's Choice and Earns Game of the Year Awards

SUNNYVALE, Calif. January 31, 2006 — Capcom®, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced its critically acclaimed survival horror masterpiece, Resident Evil® 4, has been awarded inclusion into Nintendo’s Player’s Choice program for the Nintendo GameCube™. The game will be relaunched with new packaging at a suggested retail price of $19.99. In addition to this recent achievement, the rave reviews from press and overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans for both the GameCube and PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system versions have resulted in multiple “Game of the Year” accolades. Based on the popular Resident Evil series, which has sold more than 27 million units worldwide and is Capcom’s highest selling series, Resident Evil 4 is rated “M” for mature audiences from the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

Just a few weeks into the year, a number of media have already announced their best of 2005 awards. Highlights include prestigious “Game of the Year” honors from numerous esteemed outlets including Game Informer, GameSpot, GamePro, Spike TV Video Game Awards 2005, UGO.com, G4TV’s X-Play, Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Game Revolution, Lee Enterprises, GameZone.com, New Times Media, WorthPlaying.com, Real Detroit Weekly, GameSpot Readers’ Choice, Blender’s Readers’ Poll, IGN Readers’ Choice and Lawrence.com Gamer’s Voice Awards. Moreover, the GameCube version of the title earned first place status among games for the platform from IGN Cube, GameSpot, GameSpy, GameZone.com, Advanced Media Network and Home Theater Magazine. Resident Evil 4 was also included on lists of top games for 2005 from high profile media including PSM, Play, Associated Press, Cox News Service, Gannett News Service, Universal Press Syndicate, San Jose Mercury News, Maxim Online, Sound & Vision, Tacoma News Tribune, Hartford Courant, Global Gaming League, Punch Jump and The Oregonian.

In Resident Evil 4 players are reacquainted with Leon S. Kennedy, Raccoon City Police Department’s idealistic rookie cop from Resident Evil 2. It has been six years since the destruction of Raccoon City and in that time, the U.S. government has been able to destroy the nefarious Umbrella Corporation. Fast forward to 2004 and players rejoin Leon, who is now a U.S. agent with a top-secret mission. He has been tasked to look into the abduction of the President’s daughter and his investigation has led him to a mysterious location in Europe. As Leon encounters unimaginable horrors, he must find out who or what is behind everything.

Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment. Founded in 1983, the company has created world renowned franchises including Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mega Man, Viewtiful Joe, Devil May Cry and the Onimusha series. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, the company maintains operations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Tokyo and Hong Kong. More information about Capcom and its products can be found on the company’s web site at http://www.capcom.com.

January 29, 2006

Players Flex Their Mental Muscles With Brain Age for Nintendo DS

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- After decades of exercising players' thumbs, Nintendo is now moving to their minds. Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day for Nintendo DS(TM) will help players flex their
mental muscles. Brain Age represents the first in a series of U.S.brain-training titles that already have taken Japan by storm.
Brain exercise has been a hot topic lately. Baby Boomers and test-prepping school kids alike want to challenge themselves. In fact, a recent Time magazine article cited Brain Age in its exploration of the trend of people looking for ways to exercise their brains.
But Baby Boomers picking up a video game system? It's not as far-fetched as you might think. Three separate titles in the brain-training series are currently a huge craze in Japan. Each of them has achieved sales of more than
1 million units, with the most recent title hitting that milestone in less than a month. The craze has been fueled largely by older players, many of whom had never played a video game system before.
Brain Age (known as Brain Training in Japan) was inspired by the work of Professor Ryuta Kawashima, a prominent Japanese neuroscientist. His studies evaluated the effect of performing reading and mathematic exercises to help stimulate the brain.
"Young or old, everyone looks for ways to get a mental edge," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "Our brain-training series, led by Brain Age, builds on the popularity of word and number puzzles and acts as a treadmill for the mind."
Brain Age presents players with a series of fun mental brain-training challenges that incorporate word memorization, counting and reading. It even includes sudoku number puzzles, which have become extremely popular features in newspapers around the country. The distinctive touch screen of Nintendo DS lets users write their responses, just as though they were using a PDA. Players even turn the Nintendo DS sideways to make it feel more familiar, like a book. The more often users challenge themselves, the better they become at the tasks and the lower their estimated DS "brain age."
Nintendo's brain-training series of games represent a cornerstone of Nintendo's aim to expand the world of video games to new audiences. The second title in the series, Big Brain Academy (known as Brain Flex in Japan) offers
players 15 fun activities that test their brain powers in areas like logic, memory, math and analysis. Up to eight people can play with a single game card, and each activity takes less than a minute to complete.

Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day is rated E for Everyone and launches on April 17. Big Brain Academy is Rated E for Everyone and launches May 30.

Killzone for PSP Announced

Today we announced that the popular Killzone(tm) franchise will be available on PSP later this year. The PSP title is called Killzone: Liberation and is a third-person action game that puts you into various missions to rescue hostages from the evil Helghast. Inspired by the events in Killzone for PlayStation2 (released in November, 2004), the story
continues in Killzone: Liberation with the battle against the Helghast still raging on.

"We were keen to ensure Killzone: Liberation was totally unique and offered PSP owners a different Killzone experience. So, Killzone: Liberation has been developed from scratch" creating what we think is an
intense portable gaming experience." Stated Hermen Hulst, Guerilla Managing Director. "Although Killzone: Liberation is totally new it stays true to what made the first Killzone such a great success - the characters, weapons, style and a continuation of the same great plot."

FINAL FANTASY XI: TREASURES OF AHT URHGAN AND XBOX 360 VERSION LAUNCH ANNOUNCED

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (JANUARY 27, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ entertainment products in North America, announced a simultaneous launch for FINAL FANTASY® XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan™, the third expansion pack for the title. The long-awaited release of FINAL FANTASY XI for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will also be available that day. Specifically, retail product and service will be available as listed in the following regions (based on time zone differences) – April 18 in North America, April 20 in Europe and Japan.

FINAL FANTASY XI, the first cross-platform, cross-continent massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) will be accessible on Xbox 360 for the first time to players in North America, Europe and Japan. Gamers will be able to communicate and play together no matter where they are or from what platform they connect - the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows® operating system or Xbox 360 (platform based on region availability). FINAL FANTASY XI has more than 500,000 subscribers in North America, Europe and Japan, combined. With the release of the third expansion pack and Xbox 360 version, the world of Vana’diel® will be an even livelier place to visit, expanding the community even further.

Treasures of Aht Urhgan can be played along with the original version of FINAL FANTASY XI (which is required to play any of the expansions) and does not require the Chains of Promathia™ and Rise of the Zilart® expansion packs. The third expansion will be sold separately for PlayStation 2 and Windows users at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $29.99 (USD). Treasures of Aht Urhgan will be available as part of the complete package for Xbox 360 which includes PlayOnline™, FINAL FANTASY XI and all three expansion packs for the title - Chains of Promathia, Rise of the Zilart and Treasures of Aht Urhgan at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (USD).

Features
- Players will uncover the tales and legends surrounding the the Aht Urhgan Empire.

- New jobs, including the highly requested Blue Mage and Corsair, have been added to expand battle strategies even further.

- Along with additional areas to explore, powerful monsters have also been added, including the Mamool Ja, a powerful tribe of the beastmen that hold dominion over the Mamool Ja Savagelands, a land hostile to the Near Eastern Aht Urhgan Empire.

- Keeping with the FINAL FANTASY XI principles, system enhancements in addition to those listed have been implemented to enrich gameplay in a variety of ways.

- On Xbox 360 gamers will be able to see and hear the world of Vana’diel like never before in high definition video.

- Join a community of over 500,000 with players from around the world and on several platforms.

Services Fees
North American service fees remain the same and are as follows: FINAL FANTASY XI subscribers will receive their first 30 days of access without charge. Aside from Internet service provider access charges, the free trial period will begin on the date players create their first “Content ID” or character. Any additional Content IDs purchased are also available without charge until the end of the free trial period. After 30 days, players can continue to play FINAL FANTASY XI by paying a monthly fee of $12.95 (USD) for one FINAL FANTASY XI character, and can create up to 15 additional characters for an additional charge of $1.00 (USD) per character, per month. Payment for monthly access charges must be made by credit card only (restrictions apply).

System Requirements
FINAL FANTASY XI for Xbox 360
Requirements for Xbox 360 version are as listed: Xbox Live® account, Broadband connection (Xbox 360 does not support 56K connection) and Xbox 360 Hard Drive.

FINAL FANTASY XI for Windows
The minimum system requirements for FINAL FANTASY XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan are as follows: Windows 2000/XP, Intel Pentium III 800Mhz or faster processor, 128MB RAM, DirectX® 8.1 compatible sound card, DVD-ROM drive, 56K or faster Internet connection, and GeForce series or Radeon 9000 series video card with 32MB of RAM. A DVD ROM drive is required to install Treasures of Aht Urhgan and the Vana’diel Collection.

FINAL FANTASY XI for the PlayStation 2
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment America, FINAL FANTASY XI for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is pre-installed on internal Hard Disk Drive (40GB)(for PlayStation 2). Available for a suggested retail price of $99.00 (USD), the internal Hard Disk Drive attaches to the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation 2), which connects to both broadband or dial-up networks, and rests in the expansion bay of the PlayStation 2 console.

For updates and information on FINAL FANTASY XI please visit: http://www.playonline.com/ff11us/index.shtml.

Redesigned Nintendo DS Announced

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata today announced Nintendo DS Lite, a slimmer version of the best-selling Nintendo DS™. Also featuring brighter screens, Nintendo DS Lite will launch in Japan in March. Nintendo DS Lite will be less than two-thirds the size of the original Nintendo DS and more than 20 percent lighter.

Nintendo DS has enjoyed extremely strong sales in Japan and around the world, selling more than 14.4 million units worldwide. The Japanese sell-through of the existing Nintendo DS hardware exceeded 5 million within 13 months, which made Nintendo DS the fastest-selling video game system there.


Nintendo will announce more information about the availability of Nintendo DS Lite in North America and other territories in the future.

January 28, 2006

The Movies

By Old Timey Gamer

Score 4.5 out of 5

Excellent production values, great characters, a complete catalog from action to horror, liposuction and pyrotechnics, “The Movies” for PC has it all, and the game play is more engaging than any of this past summer’s blockbuster films. “The Movies” combines two great elements in one package, an addictive tycoon/builder game and a simple to use movie-making tool.

The game begins in the 1920s and an empty movie lot. Players need to first build the facilities and sets that will allow them to begin making movies. The game adroitly takes players step-by-step through the action during the initial stages, making the fundamentals of “The Movies” easy to learn. Which is good, because once the business of movie making begins, players will have their hands full. The main problem is the directors and stars: they are moody creatures prone to boredom and stress. If not managed properly, they will turn to food, drink, or other vices in search of relief, which in turn can cause them to become drunks or get fat, potentially ruining their careers. Luckily, there’s rehab and liposuction to solve these two particular problems. In my first game, my movie studio, Missing Ear Productions, specializing in horror films, met with disaster when I pushed my director too hard and he became a raging alcoholic. Players must also keep their lot attractive, research new technologies, and maintain the buildings and grounds of their studio in order to gain prestige, win awards, and, ultimately, produce blockbuster movies

Even though there’s much to think about, “The Movies” constantly delights and surprises. The graphics are top-notch, one can zoom into the action and see many interactions and details, and there are elements of humor, throughout. In addition, the stars have distinct personalities and will come to feel like real people. There’s even the option for gamers to create their very own movie stars.

It’s all about making movies, though, and the game offers two options: a script can automatically be created or players can create their own script from scratch. Creating the scripts and editing movies became my favorite part. A script is created by combining any number of scenes together. The general action and number of characters in the scenes are pre-determined, each lasting anywhere from a couple of seconds to close to a minute. For instance, a scene will show two characters fighting each other. If the gamer wants to select this for inclusion in his movie, all he needs to do is decide who plays what role. A clear tutorial explains the process and it’s pretty easy to pick up. In no time, I was off making movies. The only shortcoming is that there are only a limited number of scenes and it’s not possible to control the camera angle, so that after the third or fourth movie, I wished there was more, or even that it was possible to create my own scenes.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

Overall, there’s much to enjoy in “The Movies.” It will even get the creative juices flowing. Hopefully, the creators at Lionhead Studios will build upon this success with expansion packs containing more scenes or even a more powerful movie-making tool, which will give gamers more choices and control.

January 27, 2006

2K Sports Announces Torino 2006

New York, NY - January 25, 2006 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), through a uniquepartnership with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), the exclusive licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for interactive entertainment software, today announced that Torino 2006(tm) - TheOfficial Video Game of the XX Olympic Winter Games is available now at retail stores across North America, and will be available at retail stores in Europe on January 27th.

Torino 2006(tm) gives gamers the chance to participate in one of the most exciting sporting events of 2006. With a multiplayer mode for up to four players, gamers can compete head-to-head or in turn-based play that simulates the global stage of one of the most exciting sporting events in 2006. The XX Olympic Winter Games will take place in Torino,Italy from February 10-26, 2006.
Additional features of Torino 2006(tm) include:

* 15 different events in eight winter sports disciplines including Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Luge and Skating
* Challenge your skills with three difficulty levels in each discipline
* Enjoy an intense live atmosphere portrayed authentically with expert commentators, TV camera angles, realistic background sound and sparkling scenes of the Italian wintry landscape
* Play against friends and family with the exciting multiplayer mode for up to four players
* Intuitive controls create a fun "pick-up-and-play" capability the whole family can enjoy

"We greatly appreciate the partnership we've had with ISM. Their guidance from the many years of experience working on officially licensed Olympic video games has enabled us to create Torino 2006(tm), a truly exciting and authentic winter sports title," said Matthias Wehner, Marketing Director of 2K Sports.

"We are very pleased to be working with 2K Sports. Their reputation for creating exciting, successful sports games and their marketing expertise will ensure the success of the Official Video Game," said Raymond
Goldsmith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ISM.

Torino 2006(tm) is rated E for Everyone in North America and PEGI 3+ inEurope and is now available in North America and Europe for the PC,PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system and Xbox(r) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

For more information on Torino 2006(tm) and other 2K Sports titles,please visit http://www.2ksports.com.

JOIN THE FAMILY AND BECOME THE GODFATHER

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., January 26, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced March 21st as the day The Godfather™ The Game videogame will be on store shelves in North America and March 24th in Europe. Developed by EA, the highly-anticipated open-world videogame is based on the critically-acclaimed book by Mario Puzo and the classic film by Paramount Pictures through a strategic licensing relationship with Viacom Consumer Products. In less than two months, gamers worldwide will step into the Don’s dangerous world of intimidation and negotiation via their PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft or PC. The Godfather The Game will also be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and PSP (PlayStation® Portable) handheld entertainment system later in 2006.

EA’s The Godfather The Game puts you at the center of one of the world’s most revered stories. In the role of a young man just entering the Corleone family, you create your own mob character and work your way to the top. For the first time ever, you will go beyond the films and book to actually step into the living world of The Godfather fiction throughout 1940s New York City. You will work your way up the mob ranks your own way, choosing just how much force to use as you rise to power. Relive classic moments from the fiction and experience open-world gameplay alongside unforgettable characters from the film such as Luca Brasi, Sonny, Tom Hagan, and of course, Don Vito Corleone himself.

“The Godfather is one of the most exciting, dramatic and memorable works of fiction in the world; for the videogame, we felt it was important to build a complex and responsive open-world that puts you in the heart of the action,” said David DeMartini Executive Producer of The Godfather The Game. “The deeper you are into the experience the better the game gets,” DeMartini added.



“Our goal has always been to maintain the legacy of The Godfather and empower players to interact in the world based on one of the most remarkable motion pictures of all time,” said Sandi Isaacs, Vice President of Interactive at Viacom Consumer Products. “Electronic Arts has been an exceptional partner and we’re incredibly excited to launch one of the most anticipated games of the year.”

January 26, 2006

MAJESCO ENTERTAINMENT CONFIRMS SPRING RELEASE FOR NEW “GUILTY GEAR” HANDHELD TITLES

EDISON, N.J., January 26, 2006 – Handheld gamers have two new reasons to fight as Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL) today announced handheld installments of the popular Guilty Gear fighting series. Guilty Gear Dust Strikers for the Nintendo DS™ and Guilty Gear Judgment for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system are due in early spring. Both games are being developed by ARC System Works.

“Widely praised as one of the leading 2D brawler franchises, the Guilty Gear series has a long history of offering gamers deep, character-driven game play,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “These exciting new installments will provide hours of entertainment while offering two unique new game play experiences that fans can enjoy on the go.”

Guilty Gear Dust Strikers for Nintendo DS features 21 historic Guilty Gear characters whose intertwining stories reveal all-new insights into each character’s personality and past. Players battle on multiple levels across both DS screens, against the computer or up to four players via wireless networking. The game also features six modes of play including Arcade, Story and VS Battle plus seven unique touch screen mini games and a Robo Ky Factory where you can customize your fighting moves.



Guilty Gear Judgment for the PSP™ system offers gamers incredible value by combining two games on one UMD. The game includes the fast-paced arcade fighting of Guilty Gear X2 #Reload plus a brand new side scrolling experience in Guilty Gear Judgment. Guilty Gear Judgment features 20 Guilty Gear character favorites, including Sol Badguy, Potemkin, May, and Dizzy; 18 levels of 2D side-scrolling action; and special moves like Psych Burst, Dust Attack and Roman Cancel. In addition, both games within Guilty Gear Judgment offer wireless multi-player connectivity for up to two players.

January 24, 2006

CAPCOM® PACKS A PUNCH WITH STREET FIGHTER® ALPHA ANTHOLOGY FOR THE PLAYSTATION2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – January 24, 2006 – You win! The ultimate in arcade brawlers comes home as Capcom® today announced Street Fighter® Alpha Anthology for the PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system, a monumental compilation of the entire Street Fighter® Alpha arcade series. The collection features direct arcade conversions of Street Fighter® Alpha, Street Fighter® Alpha 2, Street Fighter® Alpha 2 Gold and Street Fighter® Alpha 3 which have never before been available together in one package. As an added bonus, the “pint-sized” Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix® (also released on consoles as Pocket Fighter®), is included which brings the total to five action packed games on one disc. Street Fighter Alpha Anthology is scheduled for release throughout North America in summer 2006. To date, the Street Fighter franchise has sold more than 27 million units worldwide.

All titles in the collection feature three core gameplay options. Arcade mode pits competitors against a series of CPU controlled opponents in order to beat the game. Versus mode allows two players to choose among the cast of characters for intense head-to-head battles. Fighters can practice special moves and combos to hone their skills in the training mode. Additionally, all four Alpha titles feature survival mode as well as a dramatic battle mode which allows 2-on-1 tag team matches.

Street Fighter Alpha brings together a cast of 13 characters from the collective Street Fighter universe. The series’ inaugural title introduces super combos and alpha counters to add a new dimension to fighting. Street Fighter Alpha 2 ups the ante with 18 fighters and several new options including high and low Alpha counters as well as more moves and combos for each character. In addition, the second title launches the Custom Combo system which lets players use up a super meter to perform devastating multi-hit combos. Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold is an enhanced version of the previous game featuring different versions of some of the characters. The most robust entry, Street Fighter Alpha 3, includes an unprecedented 25 characters and offers players the choice of three “isms” fighting styles made popular in previous Street Fighter games. Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix rounds out the anthology with miniature versions of popular Capcom fighters in fierce battles. Combatants vie to collect power-up gems as they perform an array of special attacks and powerful combos.

Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment. Founded in 1983, the company has created world renowned franchises including Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mega Man, Viewtiful Joe, Devil May Cry and the Onimusha series. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, the company maintains operations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Tokyo and Hong Kong. More information about Street Fighter, Capcom and its products can be found on the company’s web site at www.capcom.com or www.capcom.com/streetfighter/.

SEGA ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNING 'CONDEMNED: CRIMINAL ORIGINS' FOR PC

SAN FRANCISCO (January 25, 2006) - SEGA® of America, Inc. today announced Condemned: Criminal Origins™ for the PC. Condemned: Criminal Origins, awarded Best Xbox 360 Action Game of 2005 by IGN.com, is a suspense-filled, first-person psychological thriller that made its debut with the launch of the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.
Developed by Monolith Productions, the game allows players to experience an unnatural level of psychological tension as they use their instincts and forensic tools to track down serial killers and bring them to justice. Players
will take on the role of Ethan Thomas, an FBI agent in the Serial Crimes Unit (SCU), whose pursuit of relentless serial killers leads him through detailed urban environments filled with terrifyingly real sociopaths who lurk on the periphery of humanity.
“This critically-acclaimed hit is sure to keep PC gamers on the edge of their seats,” said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America. “Experience all the tension, horror, and first-person combat in this
innovative atmospheric thriller that PC gamers have been longing for.”
Condemned: Criminal Origins features amazingly photorealistic environments and true-to-life sound effects that transport players directly to the scene of the crime. Gruesome weapons can be fashioned by clever players from the environment: paper-cutter handles, wooden planks, and lead pipes ripped from walls, can all be used to attack opponents. The enemy AI is highly intelligent as well. Enemies don't merely run at the player; they find an appropriately powerful weapon to attack with and then hide in the shadows, waiting for an open opportunity to
strike.
Condemned: Criminal Origins has also received the following accolades for its superior gameplay and audio excellence, including the GameSpot.com Best of 2005 award for Best Sound Effects, the GameSpy.com editor's choice award for Top 5 Xbox 360 Game of the Year, and the IGN.com The Best of 2005 award for Best
Use of Sound.
Condemned: Criminal Origins for the PC is slated to ship in Spring 2006.

For more information about Condemned: Criminal Origins, please visit http://www.condemnedgame.com.

January 20, 2006

PING! EA’s MVP 06 NCAA BASEBALL SHIPS TO STORES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Wednesday, January 18, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that MVP™ 06 NCAA® Baseball, the first-ever college baseball videogame, has shipped to retailers under the EA SPORTS™ brand. Produced by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C., MVP 06 NCAA Baseball is the latest offering from the makers of the critically acclaimed MVP Baseball™ franchise and celebrates everything that makes NCAA® baseball unique – aluminum bats, dugout clearing homeruns, relentless hustle and stadiums filled with passionate fans and school spirit.

From the same developers that have made the MVP franchise a hit, MVP 06 NCAA Baseball has an all-new Load and Fire Batting system that intuitively emulates stepping up to the plate. The game is the first EA SPORTS game to implement ESPN real-time features including an ESPN ticker and live ESPN Sportscenter radio updates. With 128 of the nation’s top teams, 19 authentic stadiums and a deep college-specific Dynasty Mode™, users can now slug it out on the “Road to Omaha®” with baseball’s brightest young stars.

“Playing to earn a National Championship for the University of Texas was one of the greatest moments of my life; Needless to say, I’m still really nostalgic about it and this is a great way for me to re-live it again and again,” said David Maroul, 2005 College World Series MVP and MVP 06 NCAA Baseball Cover Athlete. “I’ve been waiting for a game like this to come out for a long time. I just can't believe how realistic the game is.”

Complete with an engaging visual presentation and ESPN’s Mike Patrick and former Stanford All-American Kyle Peterson calling the action, MVP 06 NCAA Baseball also features an all-new Custom Ballpark feature, a rich Create-a-Player option and new online* features for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox Live®.



MVP 06 NCAA Baseball, which joins NCAA® Football and NCAA® March Madness® in the EA SPORTS™ family of popular NCAA-licensed properties, is available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. The game is rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB with a MSRP of $29.99.The official game website is http://www.mvp06ncaabaseball.com.

Codemasters announces ArchLord –the MMORPG where one player will rule the world

New York – January 20, 2006 – ArchLord, one of the most anticipated MMORPGs currently in open beta service in Korea, has been secured for distribution and operation across North America and Europe by Codemasters Online Gaming.

ArchLord is the creation of NHN Games, one of the biggest Korean MMO developers and publishers. When it launches in Q3 2006, ArchLord will deliver a unique competitive premise to MMO gamers - the opportunity to rise to become the game world’s supreme ruler. Every month, one player will take control of the world and with it the opportunity to wreak havoc on their cowering enemies as the player gains control of supreme global Archlord powers!

“ArchLord is an incredibly important signing for Codemasters Online Gaming and NHN has delivered an amazing world and a unique player objective,” said David Solari, Director of Codemasters Online Gaming. ”This incredible feature, where players compete to become the ArchLord and personally shape the game world, has never been seen before in any MMO. It’s sure to capture the imaginations of Western gamers and make ArchLord a landmark MMO launch for 2006.”

“We are overjoyed to be working with the online gaming division at Codemasters to bring ArchLord to Western gamers,” said Jung Hwan Kim, Senior Manager of Overseas Business Team at NHN Games. “Codemasters has a proven pedigree in PC publishing and massive ambitions in the MMO sector with a great team that we were keen to work with on such an important next-generation MMO title as ArchLord.”

The game’s world, Kantra, is fantastically realized with stunning visuals, created using Renderware, and the game features incredibly atmospheric in-game audio recorded by the world famous London Symphony Orchestra. ArchLord will also introduce one of the most advanced and complex PVP combat systems ever in any MMO, utilizing sprawling free battle areas and special guild battlefields that enable players to battle in fearsome guild versus guild battles.

With an ever-evolving storyline of conquest and betrayal, ArchLord presents an epic adventure in which players band together as they quest for the ancient relics of the Archons. Each relic bestows great power on those who possess it and when relics are combined they deliver ultimate mastery over the fundamental forces of creation for there can only be one Archlord!

“We are extremely pleased to add ArchLord to our ever growing and exciting MMO portfolio,” said Ed Relf, Head of Marketing for Codemasters Online Gaming. “ArchLord is a fresh take on the MMO genre, bringing incredible key new features and mixing them with already popular elements that appeal to both a new wave of players and established MMO gamers.”

ArchLord will launch in Q3 2006 and will be published and operated in North America and Europe by Codemasters Online Gaming, the company’s recently formed online entertainment division. Prepare for total domination with more information available on the game’s official website launching soon at http://www.archlordgame.com.

January 18, 2006

Veoh Makes Sony PSP a True Video Platform

SAN DIEGO--Jan. 18, 2006--Veoh Networks, Inc. (http://www.veoh.com), the first Internet Television Peercasting Network, today announced that the majority of its catalog of more than 20,000 independent, user-published videos is now available for download and enjoyment on the Sony PSP computer entertainment system. Veoh automatically downloads videos of interest to a PSP owner's device each time they connect it to their PC.

The recent introduction and adoption of portable video players mean consumers all over the world are looking for high-quality content to watch while on the go. Using Veoh's unique Peercasting model, the network easily and efficiently distributes TV-quality, full-screen video to be played on a PC or Mac or on a variety of new portable devices. Thousands of iPod owners are already filling their players with thousands of videos available through Veoh. From music videos and comedy sketches to how-to sessions and all things automotive, PSP and iPod enthusiasts will find compelling content.

"Portable video is a hot topic for consumers, with many devices introduced and lauded earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show. Consumers clearly want to see their content when and where they choose," said Dmitry Shapiro, CEO of Veoh Networks. "Veoh is designed to support the many viewing choices consumers need, including the living room TV, their laptop and portable video devices. Our network allows anyone to publish TV-quality video that can be watched everywhere."

Veoh integrates with the Sony PSP Media Manager, sold separately through Sony, allowing easy export of videos from the Veoh Network to a person's PSP. Veoh's peer-to-peer distribution technology, unlike streaming video, gives portable device owners a place to discover high-grade video they can watch wherever they are.

About Veoh

Veoh software, installed on a PC or Mac, creates a virtual television network that allows video bloggers and independent producers, as well as film studios and TV networks, to distribute TV-quality, full-screen video to hundreds of millions of users with broadband connections. Producers can publish unlimited amounts of TV-grade video content to the network, providing consumers with unparalleled choice in television programming and control over their viewing experience.

Unlike rogue P2P networks that are used to share mostly pirated video, Veoh is a community of publishers and consumers, where published content is approved by editors, and consumers are assured they get what they request. The system also integrates tightly with RSS, providing content producers with easy publishing to multiple video systems.

About Veoh Networks, Inc.

San Diego-based Veoh Networks is the first Internet Television Peercasting Network, reaching hundreds of millions of viewers with broadband connections throughout the world. Veoh allows content producers, from video bloggers (vloggers) to motion picture studios, to deliver TV-grade, full-screen video directly to consumers, without financial, geographical or regulatory restrictions found in traditional broadcasting systems. Veoh is privately held and venture-capital funded.

OFFICIAL AND 1® STREET BALL WEBSITE NOW LIVE!

January 17, 2006 Ubisoft, one of the world's largest videogame publishers, today announced the launch of the official Web site for AND 1: Streetball, scheduled to ship for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft in March 2006. Visitors to http://www.and1streetballgame.com will be updated regularly with new details, materials, and goodies.

Visitors to http://www.and1streetballgame.com will receive comprehensive product site information, images, and video related to AND 1: Streetball. In addition, visitors can download exclusive music tracks from the AND 1 Soundtrack, watch highlight clips from real life AND 1 MixTape Footage, hop on the 1s and 2s with DJ Greenlantern's mini-game mixing studio, answer a questionnaire to figure out their streetball name and more. The website provides the ultimate AND 1: Streetball experience.

AND 1: STREETBALL WEBSITE: A USER'S GUIDE

Product Site (Updated Regularly with New Details and Materials as Launch Approaches):
Sections include:
oGame Info, with details on game features, storyline, players, moves, multiplayer information, and more.
oDownloadable Music from the official AND 1 Soundtrack
oIn-depth player sections including real life video and gameplay footage
oIn-depth court information
oExtras, with wallpaper, screensavers, webkit, and a winamp skin
oMedia, with screenshots, video art, concept art and comics
Visit early and often as new items will appear frequently!

Check it out now http://www.and1streetballgame.com the only place to get your complete AND 1: Streetball Fix!

NAMCO NETWORKS LAUNCHES NEW COLLECTION OF GAME RINGTONES

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2006) – Namco Networks, a leading publisher and developer of wireless games and content, today launched its latest series of videogame ringtones, available to subscribers of Namco’s ringtone service, PAC-MAN’s Arcade Corner™.

Exclusively available through PAC-MAN’s Arcade Corner, the new ringtones include sounds from Namco’s award-winning console phenomena, Katamari Damacy™ and its recently released sequel, We Love Katamari™. New ringtones from the hit games series Tekken®, Ace Combat™, and Time Crisis® are also available, along with ringtones from classics PAC-MAN®, Ms. PAC-MAN®, Galaga® and Sonic the Hedgehog by SEGA. PAC-MAN’s Arcade Corner distributes game ringtones from many of Namco’s other popular console and arcade games as well as from the games of other game publishers.

“Namco Networks recognizes the prevalence of arcade and video games in our culture and that consumers of mobile entertainment find value in and identify with these popular games,” said Scott Rubin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Namco Networks. “PAC-MAN’s Arcade Corner gives consumers the opportunity to personalize their mobile phone experience with their favorite video game sounds.”

Namco Networks continues to be the only game publisher with an application dedicated to video game ringtones and a large catalog of video game-based true tones. Namco Networks plans to continue expanding its ringtone catalog with exclusive content from more Namco games as well as from games of other publishers.

"SAMURAI SHODOWN V" Ships Exclusively for Xbox

WALL, NJ. - January 17, 2006 - SNK PLAYMORE USA CORPORATION, the US publishing arm of the SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION, announced today that they have shipped SAMURAI SHODOWN V exclusively for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. SAMURAI SHODOWN V, one of SNK's greatest fighting franchises now features full Xbox Live® online game service support and the addition of Tournament Mode.

SAMURAI SHODOWN is considered one of the greatest fighting franchises of all time, and is the first appearance of the series on any current generation of consoles in North America. According to Richard Li of top gaming site, 1UP.com, "The series has become one of the flagships of SNK PLAYMORE. It's spurred a subculture devoted to the competitive nature of the game."

About SAMURAI SHODOWN V
SAMURAI SHODOWN V is the story of one Samurai's quest against the Shogun which leads to the gathering of the bravest warriors.

SAMURAI SHODOWN V features

" Xbox Live® support featuring Tournament Mode
" Choose from a total of 26 fighters including 14 new characters to the franchise
" Select characters designed by world-renowned manga artist Nobuhiro Wazuki
" Power up the Rage Gauge and unleash death combos for extreme damage
" Force your opponent into slow motion with Spirit Strength
" Original Japanese version included.

About SNK PLAYMORE USA CORPORATION
Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION (SNK) develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia. Founded in 1978, SNK is one of the largest privately held interactive entertainment content providers in the world. Known for such franchises as THE KING OF FIGHTERS , METAL SLUG, and SAMURAI SHODOWN, SNK continues to be and industry leader by focusing on their rich arcade history. More information on SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION can be found at http://www.snkplaymore.co.jp

SNK PLAYMORE USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION with offices in Wall, NJ. It handles operations in North America, including publishing, marketing, development and localization. More information on
SNK PLAYMORE USA can be found at http://www.snkplaymoreusa.com

January 17, 2006

25 to Life Ships to Stores Today in North America

Eidos is putting the power of the streets in your hands as the blazing new game 25 To Life ships today! It’s time to shine up your badge, or get your bling on, as the battle for the streets is about to begin. Not only do you get to bump your favorite hip-hop beats in the fight of your life, you can play as one of our unlockable celebrity artists too!
Check out Tech N9ne, Daz, DJ Envy, and Kurupt and put them to use to protect your hood. The time is here.

Represent... Online!

JUMP INTO THE NEXT GENERATION WWII FPS EXPERIENCE WITH EA’S MEDAL OF HONOR AIRBORNE

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., January 17, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced Medal of Honor Airborne™, the newest installment from EA’s critically-acclaimed Medal of Honor™ franchise which was credited with pioneering the First-Person Shooter (FPS) WWII genre when it debuted in 1999. While building on the key tenets of the franchise including historical accuracy and authenticity, Medal of Honor Airborne is set to redefine the series by introducing players to an entirely new way of experiencing a WWII FPS – namely the fully interactive Airborne experience. As the first game in the Medal of Honor series to be released on next generation platforms, Medal of Honor Airborne will ship to stores in Winter 2006 under the EA™ brand for the PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems, Xbox™ 360, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft, and Windows PC.

Step into the boots of Boyd Travers, Private First Class of the 82nd Airborne Division and engage in battles throughout Europe. From rocky beginnings in Sicily to war-winning triumphs in Germany, each mission begins behind enemy lines, with an intense and fully interactive airdrop. Your ability to determine your own starting point dramatically changes the way each mission plays out. View the entire operation from the air, and then control your parachute to choose your landing spot. On the ground, gather your senses and assess the terrain. A wide variety of authentic, customizable weapons are at your disposal, each with distinct characteristics. Choose your path in this free roaming FPS environment. Medal of Honor Airborne will also feature exceptionally photo-realistic characters, adding to the intensity of the cinematic, story-driven game.

“Medal of Honor Airborne is a step in a new direction for the franchise. While integrating our state-of-the-art, next-gen technology into every aspect of the game, we are introducing innovations that will redefine the series and impact the genre as a whole," explained Patrick Gilmore, VP and Executive Producer at EALA. “By fully controlling the airdrop from your very first step through landing, Medal of Honor Airborne adds a new dimension of player choice by letting you decide where every mission begins and how it plays out.”

The Medal of Honor Airborne development team continues to ensure that the ideals and integrity of the prestigious congressional Medal of Honor are accurately reflected in the game. The producers sought counsel from numerous expert sources to make certain the game is historically accurate and as true to the WWII Airborne experience as possible. Serving as a military spokesperson for Medal of Honor Airborne, Capt. Dale Dye, who has worked as the Military Technical Advisor for the last 7 Medal of Honor games, will help to create a truly authentic experience.



Developed by EA Los Angeles (EALA), Medal of Honor Airborne has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information on Medal of Honor Airborne and the Medal of Honor franchise, please visit: http://www.moh.ea.com.

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES WORLD POKER TOUR® FOR THE SONY PSP™

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 17, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), today announced that World Poker Tour® (WPT) for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system is slated for release this spring. World Poker Tour for PSP features real-life professional poker stars and venues featured in the popular World Poker Tour television series with enhanced A.I. players, customizable characters and online capabilities compatible with PlayStation®2 consoles.

“With the growing popularity of televised poker shows such as World Poker Tour, poker has become a mainstream sport,” said Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “By partnering with the trusted World Poker Tour brand, we are bringing both gamers and poker fans alike the most realistic poker experience available. And now that World Poker Tour will be available on the PSP, gamers can enjoy the game wherever they go.”

World Poker Tour for PSP allows gamers to take a seat at the world’s most prestigious poker tournaments and make their mark in the virtual poker arena. The game will feature the virtual equivalents of real pros such as Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari, Erick Lindgren, Evelyn Ng, Lyle Berman, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi and Phil “Unabomber” Laak.

Online connectivity is a major part of playing World Poker Tour on the PSP. Gamers will have the ability to connect wirelessly with other PSP systems or online to compete against players across the country on both the PSP and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. New enhancements to World Poker Tour for PSP include a completely new and innovative artificial intelligence system that allows gamers to challenge more than 1,200 different characters, all with their own unique playing styles and behaviors. Gamers who are able to bump up their career earnings can unlock custom clothes, accessories, and invitational events found only in the PSP version. Players can also create more than 4,000 custom variations of poker, and choose to play against computer opponents or take their custom poker game online to battle for poker supremacy.

“We are thrilled to be launching World Poker Tour on the PSP with 2K Sports,” says Andrea Green, VP of Global Consumer Products, WPT Enterprises, Inc. “2K has far exceeded our expectations for this game and recreated the thrill of our TV show with simulated casinos and events in the palm of your hand. We can’t wait to see where this takes us in the future."

World Poker Tour is currently available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Nintendo Game Boy® Advance.



For more information, log onto http://www.2ksports.com.

Nintendo's True Swing Golf Lives Up to Its Name

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine playing a golf video game that gives the same feel as swinging a club. Not just mashing buttons or toggling a joystick, but really swinging through the ball to make it sail toward the green. True Swing Golf, launching Jan. 23 for Nintendo DS(TM), marks a new level of realism for a video golf game.
Beyond the hallmarks of a great golf game, such as 15 beautiful 3-D courses, character customization and upgradeable gear, True Swing Golf lets players use the touch screen of Nintendo DS to actually swing a stylus to
launch their shots down the fairway. The touch screen accurately registers everything from powerful drives to delicate greenside approaches. Players can even angle their clubs to slice or hook the ball in either direction.
The dual screens show aerial views and close-ups of each hole.
"This is a golf game that could not be played on any other system," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "As an avid golfer, this game has me muttering to myself as often as the real thing."
The touch screen also allows players to access menus, switch clubs, change camera angles or send messages to other players. As players progress through the rankings, they earn money to buy better equipment to enhance
their games. Just like on real-life courses, players can even make wagers with their in-game earnings against opponents. Whoever wins the round takes home the prize money. Up to four players can compete on the links, even if only one of them has a True Swing Golf game card.
Pros and amateurs alike can pick up True Swing Golf and tee off with ease. And because Nintendo DS boasts a long battery life, players can enjoy round after round, whether they're on a plane, in a car or just relaxing at
home (or in a business meeting).

True Swing Golf is Rated E for Everyone. For more information, visit http://www.trueswinggolf.com.

Ape Escape Academy Ships

Ape Escape® Academy for PSP™

· Mini-games – Compete in more than 40 mini-games including hockey, golf, dodge ball, karate and more, with a huge variety of game styles, each overflowing with frantic fun and wacky-humor

· Compete wirelessly – Featuring Wi-Fi wireless LAN (Ad Hoc) connectivity, up to two players with a PSP and the game can challenge each other

· Share mode – Ape Escape Academy features 13 share mode games where two to four players can compete together on one PSP

· Collect your games – The Game Collection feature allows players to create a list of their favorite mini-games and replay the mini-games they have attempted, either to practice for the harder versions of that mini-game or get a high score

Ape Escape 3 Ships

Ape Escape® 3 for PlayStation2

· Mesal Gear Solid – In a collaboration with SCEI and KONAMI, play in Mesal Gear Solid mode which parodies the Metal Gear Solid franchise with monkeys as commandos

· Playable characters – Choose to play as either Kei or Yumi at the start of the game with the new ability to transform into various morphs

· Morphed characters – A transformation meter allows various morphs to complete certain battles that include a knight, a western kid, a ninja, a Kung Fu Master and an Arabian prince

· More games – Play two different mini-games including the Super Monkey Throw Stadium where players compete flying distance by throwing monkeys, or the Ultim-ape Fighting game where two monkeys battle using the two analog sticks

There's also something called Simian Cinema where you create your own replay movies.

January 15, 2006

UbiSoft Demo Day

I spent several hours with the crew over at UbiSoft on Thursday and Friday and played a whole lot of games. I also met a streetball player named Escalade. I'm like a twig next to him - he's a foot taller than me and twice my weight. Nice guy though.

CSI Three Dimensions of Murder
This is the first 3d CSI game and as such it is much closer to the TV show than previous versions. The opening full motion video is just like the show, and the crime lab is a reproduction based on the set. There's more interaction with characters, then environment and evidence. It's not just pixel hunting anymore. The environment is more complex which means more complex clue hunting. You recreate each crime, process your own evidence, get warrants, in short you do everything. There are 5 cases and the game will ship in March 2006 for PC.

Splinter Cell Essentials
This will ship for PSP in March. There are 9 missions, of which 5 are new. They tried to create the same control system on the PSP, light/shadow meter, danger meter, circle controls the camera, the stick moves Sam, box crouches. The missions are set from when Sam become's a Navy Seal in 1992 until the present day. There's a jail level that is similar to the jail level of Splinter Cell Double Agent (see below). You can save at any time. There's a lot of hiding and shooting. In ad hoc mode you can play spy vs. spy. As always, it is your choice whether to kill or simply immobilize. Content is different on all platforms.

Splinter Cell Double Agent
Same is having a tough time and he's in jail in this forth of the series. In the past, gamers tended to view Sam as a soldier, and the developers really want him to be perceived as more of a "bad ass super spy". He's on NOC - non official cover and if he's caught that's it our governement has no knowledge of him or his mission which is to infiltrate a terrorist cell as a double agent. As a double agent you have to balance the consequences of your actions, balance the good with the evil. For example, should you murder or be discovered? There are some tough moral decisions - the good of the many outweighs the needs of the few. All versions are the same storyline but the missions are different. Escape prision, join terrorist cell, following the storyline exactly or going off on little side explorations. There are some coop elements with NPC companions where you have to help each other over barriers and such. It's a mix of action and puzzles and a design goal was that you shouldn't get frustrated by repetitive trial and error.

And 1 Basketball
This started as a clothing company with the Mix it Up Tour where they filmed streetball and then dub in hip hop tunes. Now it's grown into a streetball tournament with style. There are open runs where anyone plays in the tournament, then a main run where the 5 best players take on the And 1 team. It's authentic in that they mo-capped real players and everyone in the game is based on a real player except for your character. You create your character and then he's in all the cut scene which is a cool attention to detail. In story mode you play tournaments until you earn an And 1 contract. The new control system uses both analog sticks to sort of dial in a move. There are three levels to each move, the setup dribble, the showboat and the ankle breaker. There are 10 national and 4 internation tournaments. There are 13 exclusive tracks on the soundtrack. When you win the game you unlock a special Mix It Up tape. There's online play for PS2 and Xbox and the game ships in the end of March

Exit
Meet Mr. ESC, an escapologist who is a master in the art of escape for hire. Each level is timed, has specific objectives and usually has companions to save. The game ships with 100 levels and there will be another 100 available for download when it ships in February. The game really had a strong classic Prince of Persia feel to it. I liked it.

Blazing Angels
This flight arcade game comes out for Xbox and Xbox 360 in March with very similar content for each but with the 360 version tweaked with better graphics and sound. You play as an american with 3 wingmen in the squadron flight combat game. Each wingman does something different - one repairs your plane while you're in the air. On Xbox Live there can be up to 16 player battles, either co-op or dogfights. There are 40 authentic aircraft and you can fly axis and allie planes. The storyline follows WWII and there are 18 missions in places ranging from London, Pearl Harbor, Berlin, and Paris. Missions are a mix of air to air combat and bombing.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
I played a level or two of GRAW and loved it. There's a good balance between strategy and tactics. It seems awfully realistic and looks great. They're using the horsepower of the 360 well. It's easy to get the hang of the controls although the HUD takes a little getting used to. I have to say that I really enjoyed hunting down the enemy.

January 14, 2006

EA ANNOUNCES THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II FOR THE XBOX 360

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., January 13, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that the highly anticipated PC game, The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II will make its exclusive console debut when it ships in Summer 2006 on the Xbox 360™. Players can now command epic Middle-earth battles presented in spectacular high-definition from the comfort of their very own couch. To add to the intensity of the experience, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 is the first game in The Lord of the Rings™ series that will be playable over Xbox LIVE™*. Players will be able to challenge friends online and engage in intense, action-packed real-time battles.

“Living these cinematic battles in high-definition with stunning surround sound, all from the comfort of your living room couch on the Xbox 360, is an extraordinary experience,” said Louis Castle, VP of Creative Development at EALA. “Adding the ability to battle it out with friends via Xbox LIVE is also really exciting.”

Based on the PC version of the same name, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 will bring players into the heart of Middle-earth to live the battles seen in the blockbuster New Line Cinema films and classic J.R.R. Tolkien literary fiction. The game boasts a new and intuitive console-specific control scheme that will allow novice players to enjoy the game’s signature strategy gameplay while giving expert players the flexibility needed to engage in a deeply complex strategy experience. Players will directly control hundreds of units in an attempt to defeat enemy armies, conquer new lands, and seal the fate of Middle-earth.

Developed at EA’s Los Angeles studio, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 offers players a new depth of The Lord of the Rings fiction never before explored in an EA console game. The game makers at EALA have brought The Lord of the Rings world to life in accordance with an agreement with The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises that grants EA the rights to develop games based on the books, in addition to a separate agreement that allows for games based on the New Line Cinema films.

The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 has not yet been rated by the ESRB and the PC version is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB. For more information about either game, please visit: http://www.bfme2.ea.com. .

*Online play requires Internet Connection. Xbox Live online play also requires subscription to the Xbox Live service.

FINALISTS FOR THE 9th ANNUAL INTERACTIVE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS ANNOUNCED

CALABASAS, CA - January 13, 2005 - The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) announced the finalists for the 9th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards. These peer-based awards recognize the outstanding products, talented individuals and development teams that have contributed to the advancement of the multi-billion dollar worldwide entertainment software industry. The Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 9 in the "The Joint" at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The finalists in each category are as follows:

I. Game of the Year:

a. Overall

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)

- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)

- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

b. Computer

- F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Monolith)

- Sid Meier's Civilization IV (P: 2K Games, D: Firaxis Games)

- Battlefield 2 (P: EA, D: Digital Illusions)

- Age of Empires III (P: Microsoft, D: Ensemble Studios)

- The Movies (P: Activision, D: Lionhead Studios)

c. Console

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)

- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)

- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

II. Outstanding Innovation in Gaming

- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)

- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- The Movies (P: Activision, D: Lionhead Studios)

III. Outstanding Achievement:

a. Animation

-Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

-Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montreal)

-Rise of the Kasai (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Bottlerocket Entertainment)

-Oddworld Stranger's Wrath (P: EA, D: Oddworld)

b. Art Direction

-Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

-Peter Jackson's King Kong (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montpellier)

-Ultimate Spider-Man (P: Activision, D: Treyarch)

-Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)

c. Soundtrack

- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)

- SSX On Tour (P: EA, D: EA-Canada)

- Wipeout Pure (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Studio Liverpool)

- The Warriors (P: Rockstar Games, D: Rockstar Toronto)

- Burnout Revenge (P: EA, D: Criterion Games)

d. Original Music Composition

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- Rise of the Kasai (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Bottlerocket Entertainment)

- Gun (P: Activision, D: Neversoft Entertainment)

- Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)

- Kameo: Elements of Power (P: Microsoft, D: RARE)

e. Sound Design

- F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Monolith)

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (P:/D: Ubisoft)

- Condemned: Criminal Origins (P: Sega, D: Monolith)

- Peter Jackson's King Kong (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montpellier)

f. Story and Character Development

- Peter Jackson's King Kong (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montpellier)

- Gun (P: Activision, D: Neversoft Entertainment)

- Call of Duty: Big Red One (P: Activision, D: Treyarch)

- Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (P: Ubisoft, D: Gearbox Software)

- Sly Cooper 3: Honor Among Thieves (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America D: Suckerpunch)

g. Game Play Engineering

- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- Lumines (P: Ubisoft, D: Q Entertainment)

- Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species (P: Microsoft, D: Blue Fang)

h. Online Game Play

- Battlefield 2 (P: EA, D: Digital Illusions)

- Mario Kart DS (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

- Age of Empires III (P: Microsoft, D: Ensemble Studios)

- Project Gotham Racing 3 (P: Microsoft, D: Bizarre Creations)

- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)

i. Visual Engineering

- F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Monolith)

- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- Kameo: Elements of Power (P: Microsoft, D: RARE)

- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

j. Game Design

- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

- Peter Jackson's King Kong (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montpellier)

IV. Outstanding Character Performance:

a. Male

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- Gun (P: Activision, D: Neversoft Entertainment)

- Oddworld Stranger's Wrath (P: EA, D: Oddworld)

- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (P:/D: Ubisoft)

- Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)

b. Female

- Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)

- Gun (P: Activision, D: Neversoft Entertainment)

- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montreal)

- Need for Speed: Most Wanted (P: EA, D: EA-Vancouver)

V. Genre Awards:

a. Sports Game of the Year

- NBA 2K6 (P: 2K Games, D: Visual Concepts)

- MLB 2006 (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- SSX On Tour (P: EA, D: EA Canada)

- MLB 2K5: WS Edition (P: 2K Games, D: Visual Concepts)

- Super Mario Strikers (P: Nintendo, D: Next Level)

b. First-Person Action Game of the Year

- Call of Duty 2 (P: Activision, D: Infinity Ward)

- Condemned: Criminal Origins (P: Sega, Monolith)

- Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (P: Ubisoft, D: Gearbox Software)

- F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Monolith)

- Battlefield 2 (P: EA, D: Digital Illusions)

c. Role-Playing Game of the Year

- Jade Empire (P: Microsoft, D: Bioware)

- Dragon Quest VII (P: Sqaure Enix, D: Level 5)

- Dungeon Siege II (P: Microsoft, D: Gas Powered)

- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (P: Nintendo, D: Intelligent Systems)

- Radiata Stories (P: Square Enix, D: Tri-Ace Inc.)

d. Fighting Game of the Year

- Soul Calibur 3 (P:/D: Namco)

- Tekken 5 (P:/D: Namco)

- Fight Night Round 2 (P: EA, D: EA-Chicago)

- WWE Smackdown VS Raw (P: THQ, D: Yuke's Co. Ltd.)

e. Action/ Adventure Game of the Year

- God of War (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sony Computer Entertainment America-Santa Monica)

- Shadow of the Colossus (P:/D: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (P:/D: Ubisoft)

- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Montreal)

- The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Radical Entertainment)

f. Racing Game of the Year

- Forza Motorsport (P: Microsoft, D: Microsoft Game Studios)

- Project Gotham Racing 3 (P: Microsoft, D: Bizarre Creations)

- Mario Kart DS (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

g. Children's Game of the Year

- Chicken Little (P: Buena Vista Games, D: Avalanche Software)

- Madagascar (P: Activision, D: Toys for Bob)

- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves (P: Sony Computer Entertainment America, D: Sucker Punch)

- Tak 3: The Great Juju Challenge (P: THQ, D: Avalanche)

- We Love Katamari (P:/D: Namco)

h. Downloadable Game of the Year

- Oasis (P: PlayFirst, D: Mind Control Software)

- Egg v. Chicken (P: PlayFirst, D: GameLab)

- Chuzzle (P:/D: PopCap)

- Tradewinds Legend (P:/D: Sandlot)

- WIK: Fable of Souls (P: Microsoft, D: Reflexive)

i. Family Game of the Year

- Guitar Hero (P: Red Octane, D: Harmonix)

- Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (P: Nintendo, D: Konami)

- LEGO Star Wars (P: TT Games, D: Traveler's Tales)

j. Simulation Game of the Year

- The Movies (P: Activision, D: Lionhead Studios)

- Silent Hunter III (P: Ubisoft, D: Ubisoft-Romania)

- Animal Crossing (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

k. Strategy Game of the Year

- Age of Empires III (P: Microsoft, D: Ensemble Studios)

- Civilization IV (P: 2K Games, D: Firaxis)

- Empire Earth II (P: Vivendi Universal Games, D: Mad Doc)

l. Massively Multiplayer/Persistent World Game of the Year

- City Villains (P: NCSoft, D: Cryptic Studios)

- Guild Wars (P: NCSoft, D: ArenaNet)

- Lineage II: The Chaotic Principle (P:/D: NCSoft)

- Final Fantasy XI: The Vana'diel Collection (P:/D: Square Enix)

m. Handheld Game of the Year

- Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (P: Nintendo, D: Capcom)

- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (P: Rockstar Games, D: Rockstar-Leeds)

- Burnout Legends (P: EA, D: EA-UK Fusion)

- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (P: Nintendo, D: Alpha Dream)

- Nintendogs (P: Nintendo, D: Nintendo EAD)

n. Cellular Game of the Year

- Mile High Pinball (P: Nokia, D: Bonus.com)

- Skipping Stone (P: I-Play, D: Gamevil)

- One (P: Nokia, D: Digital Legends)

- Ancient Empires II (P:/D: Glu Mobile)

- High Seize (P: Nokia, D: Red Lynx)



"It was a blockbuster year for video games," said Joseph Olin, president, AIAS. "The competition for the Interactive Achievement Awards was cutthroat, and all these finalists deserve credit for their innovation and vision."

Finalists for each genre and craft category are selected by a peer panel of eight to 12 AIAS members. The members of the peer panel play and evaluate all nominated titles in their assigned category. Interactive Achievement Award recipients are then determined by a vote of qualified Academy members. AIAS voting is secret, conducted online and supervised and certified by eBallot. The integrity of the system, coupled with a broad-based voting population of AIAS members, makes the Interactive Achievement Awards the most credible, respected and recognized awards for interactive entertainment software.

"It was a great honor to lead a panel of my fellow game developers, whom I respect greatly, as we played, discussed, and sometimes debated the various aspects of game design achievement for 2005," E. Daniel Arey, creative director, Naughty Dog - SCEA. "This process of picking finalists for the AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards is vital to further advancement of state-of-the-art games, in that who better than fellow peers deep in the trenches of development to evaluate each other's work, and to recognize innovation and achievement from a discerning, industry point of view."

January 13, 2006

DreamCatcher to Publish FUEL

Toronto, January 12, 2006 – DreamCatcher Games, an award-winning publisher of PC and Console games, today announced it will publish FUEL, its upcoming racing game, a motor-head’s action vehicular marathon, on Windows® (worldwide) and Xbox® (North America only). The game will ship worldwide in May 2006.

Off-road it, use an ATV or personal watercraft and hustle your way to the finish line at top speed! Play as one of ten characters from around the world and race in your choice of over 35 vehicles. There are no rules in this all out frantic race. This is a no-holds-barred, free-for-all, action-packed game, with one goal – get to the finish line first! …and scoring points along the way would help!

Game Features:

* 3 different racing games in 1 – Off-Road, ATVs and Personal Water Crafts!
* From the Caribbean Islands to Morocco to the Snowy North, travel around the world as you compete in the wildest races ever!
* Collect as many points as possible to help you gain fuel boosts!
* Over 70 single player tracks are available and un-lockable.
* Drive anywhere and do whatever it takes to finish the race!
* Featuring Split-Screen, 4 Player Multiplayer mode, and Free Roam mode.
* Over 35 distinct vehicles to choose from!
* Use your skills, and show-off with up to 20 stunt tricks to acquire more points!
* Smash anything and anyone to get more Fuel points and improve your time.

· A motor-head’s action-thinking, vehicular marathon!


Get your motor runnin’! Visit the official game site for more details and updates at http://www.FuelRace.com. The game has an anticipated ESRB Rating of ‘T’ for Teen in North America and PEGI 12+ in Europe.

The saga continues; NCsoft launches newest chapter for original Lineage game

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 11, 2006—NCsoft® North America today announced the release of Episode IV: “History and Memory™,” the latest content expansion for North American subscribers to the original Lineage® massively multiplayer online (MMO) PC game. This expansion provides subscribers with 230 megabytes of new geographical locations to explore, an enhanced new player experience, plus additional mage and elven magic spells. Episode IV is free to all current Lineage subscribers.

One of the key new areas added in Episode IV is Pirate Island. Accessed from a hidden dock, players will explore a tropical island in search of treasure and adventure, battling skeletal pirates, giant parrots, and trying to find and tame a rare raccoon with magical powers. Players may also hunt beneath the waves of the formidable Abyss Lake, a dangerous yet profitable new zone that promises a higher difficulty level of play over existing underwater zones. Both Pirate Island and Abyss Lake lead to another new zone, the Elemental Ruins, where players will face various ghost-like monsters and other bizarre creatures.

In addition to new locations, monsters, items and spells, Episode IV brings significant enhancements to the new player experience. New players now begin with a Talking Scroll in their inventory. Clicking it will give players key information about the game that was previously more difficult to come by. Those who turn this special beginner’s scroll to the correct non-player character in a new player zone will receive enough armor, weaponry and money to jump directly into combat instead of training to level 5 before adventuring outside of town.

Lineage is currently available via free download at http://www.lineage.com. Lineage comes with a 7-day free trial period. After that, a subscription of US$15 per month is required to continue playing. Customers can save money by purchasing four months in a single transaction at a rate of US$11.25 per month.

GAMETAP ANNOUNCES LICENSING DEALS WITH THREE NEW PUBLISHERS

ATLANTA –January 11, 2006 - GameTap, a first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), today announced that it has expanded its considerable vault of games as a result of licensing agreements with Interplay Entertainment Corporation, SNK PLAYMORE USA Corporation and Riverdeep Inc.

The current deal will significantly increase the already electrifying lineup of video games on the GameTap network. “GameTap is continually striving to provide our subscribers with new and exciting gaming content through licensing agreements with premiere publishers,” said GameTap General Manager Stuart Snyder. “We are the destination for everyone interested in getting their video-gaming fill, and Interplay, SNK PLAYMORE and Riverdeep will bring a great collection of both classic and newer titles that are sure to keep our subscribers entertained. The addition of Riverdeep also adds to GameTap’s library of educational games, a genre that we are looking forward to continually grow.” GameTap launched with nearly 300 games and has grown from there, with new games added to the service each week.

The agreement with Interplay, SNK PLAYMORE USA Corporation and Riverdeep Inc. adds over 150 new games to the GameTap service, including titles such as: Battlechess, Clayfighter, Earthworm Jim, Giants, Ikari Warriors, MDK, Ninja Commando, Sacrifice, Shock Troopers, Virtual Tennis, Viva Soccer, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and Oregon Trail.

In addition to the new publishers, GameTap has already licensed hundreds of games from other publishers including Activision, Atari, Eidos Interactive, G-Mode, Intellivision Lives, Midway, Namco, SEGA, TAITO, Team 17, Ubisoft, Vivendi Universal Games, Codemasters, Cyan, Ironstone, Taurus Media, Electronic Arts, Capcom®, Take-Two Interactive Software, First Star Software, Dreamcatcher Interactive, Knowledge Adventure and 3000AD and Telegames.

Turner has set the subscription rate for GameTap broadband entertainment network at $14.95 per month.

EA AND DIGITAL ILLUSIONS ANNOUNCE NEW BOOSTER PACKS FOR BATTLEFIELD 2

Redwood City, Calif. – January 12th, 2006 – The award-winning Battlefield 2™ is about to get a boost… Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Digital Illusions today announced that 2 new Booster Packs will be released for the award-winning Battlefield 2™ PC game. The two packs, which will each retail for $9.99 in North America, €9.99 in Europe and £5.99 in the UK, will be available exclusively online at http://www.downloader.ea.com. Powered by the Battlefield 2 game engine, Battlefield 2: Euro Force™, releasing Feb 8th, will introduce the all-new European Army to three brand new maps. Battlefield 2: Armored Fury™, releasing March 28th, will focus on large mechanized battles in the American heartland.

In Battlefield 2: Euro Force, the European Army joins the Battlefield fray for the first time on PC. Complete with seven new weapons and four new vehicles, the European Army will be sent into battle against MEC and Chinese forces on three brand new maps. “Operation Smoke Screen” takes place amidst the burning wreckage of an oil field on fire. “The Great Wall of China” will see Chinese Forces attempting to repel a European attack in the shadow of the ancient landmark. “Taraba Quarry” takes place in a large canyon which holds a vital tactical advantage.

Battlefield 2: Armored Fury will add three new maps, all set in the rural heartland of America where the US forces defend their homeland from Chinese and MEC forces. This Booster Pack will also introduce two new vehicle classes: Attack Jets with the ability to use rocket pods and cluster bombs, and agile Scout Choppers which will reveal nearby enemies. “Midnight Sun” takes place on the Alaskan border, where Chinese forces make landfall. “Operation Harvest” will take the player to the vast open plains of Pennsylvania where only the expert use of air and armor will assure victory. “Operation Road Rage” sees all-out tank warfare on the freeways of America.

Battlefield 2: Euro Force and Battlefield 2: Armored Fury are developed by Digital Illusions Canada, the creators of Battlefield Vietnam™ and Battlefield 2: Special Forces™. Battlefield 2: Euro Force and Battlefield 2: Armored Fury require Battlefield 2 in order to play. For more information about Battlefield 2: Euro Force and Battlefield 2: Armored Fury, please visit http://battlefield.ea.com.

Ubisoft Announces Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Critical Hour

SAN FRANCISCO JANUARY 12, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announces that it will release Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Critical Hour for select current-generation video game consoles in March 2006. In Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Critical Hour, Ubisoft's Quebec studio blends the finest elements of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® series to create the most complete chapter to date. This latest chapter marks the return to the franchise's roots by reintroducing the deeply strategic and tactical gameplay synonymous with the Rainbow Six name, while incorporating classic in-game elements such as vintage maps and weapons, all rebuilt using today's technology. With an SRP of $29.99, Rainbow Six Critical Hour will bring an exciting new seven-mission single-player campaign and 18 multiplayer levels to gamers who want more gameplay from one of the most popular franchises on Xbox Live online gaming service and http://ubi.com.

r6ch.JPG


Key Features
• The end of an era: Rainbow Six Critical Hour's storyline bids on nostalgia as John Clark retires and passes the torch to Ding Chavez.
• Classic missions return: Chosen by fans, eight single-player missions from the original Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear games return, revamped with today's technology.
• Return to tactical gameplay: Through slower pacing and an enhanced combat model, strategic planning is the central element of gameplay.
• Advanced combat model: Choose your steps wisely as your actions could mean the difference between life and death. Weapon accuracy is affected by in-game maneuvers and events such as running, crouching, standing still or firing while injured.
• Superior multiplayer experience: Rainbow Six Critical Hour comes equipped with a superior multiplayer experience, including the revolutionary Persistent Elite Creation (P.E.C.) mode, as well as the new and innovative Assassin and Free-for-All modes.
• Close-quarter battles: Maps in narrow corridors with non-linear level design challenge even the most tactical of gamers, increasing the importance of the infamous one-shot kill.
• Weapons and equipment: Enter the battle with today's most advanced weaponry (more than 20 weapons in all) and high-tech equipment.
• Span the globe: From Idaho to Venice, Mexico City to Siberia, team Rainbow travels the world to serve and protect the innocent from terrorist threats.

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL® ESSENTIALS

SAN FRANCISCO January 12, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials, a spy action game available exclusively for the PSP (PlayStationPortable) system. Available spring 2006 and developed specifically for the PSP system, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials
will offer a new and unique gaming experience with a storyline drawn from the highest-rated spy action series of all time.

SCPSP_BOX_Factory_HighPunch.jpg

"Splinter Cell Essentials is a groundbreaking handheld game that has everything Splinter Cell fans love about the top-selling franchise," says Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft North America. "It will also feature a number of surprises that will allow players to dive deeper into the story of Sam Fisher."

About Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Essentials:
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials takes players deep into the Splinter Cell saga. Experience all-new missions and objective exclusive to the PSP system, and discover the untold story of Sam Fisher through flashbacks to various missions from the entire Splinter Cell franchise, including Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent
.
Key Features:
PSP system debut: The highest-rated and top-selling spy franchise hits the PSP system for the first time, pushing the boundaries of yet another platform.

Developed specifically for the PSP system: Unique gameplay sequences designed specifically for the on-the-go nature of handheld gaming with a new adapted interface.

Exclusive content: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials starts where Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent ends, and takes players to the years before Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell when Sam was still a Navy Seal.

A game of gadgets for your gadget: Features all the weapons and gadgets from the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell franchise, in addition to some new ones exclusive to the PSP system version.

Accessible wi-fi multiplayer: Challenge your friends in Spy vs. Spy Deathmatch multiplayer mode.

For more information about Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials please visit http://www.bewaresamfisher.com and http://www.splintercell.com

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Video Developer Diary 1: Cross Com

Today we at Ubisoft are happy to unveil the first in an ongoing series of video developer diaries for the upcoming Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. These video pieces offer an inside look at the design, development and revolutionary features of Advanced Warfighter as told directly from the people making it happen. This is an exclusive window for gamers into the creation of this highly anticipated title, and an interesting approach to detailing and demonstrating exactly what is taking this installment in the Ghost Recon franchise to the next level. This is the first in the series of these developer diaries. Over the next few weeks we will be offering fresh new information and visuals in similar
fashion. Keep your eyes peeled for these and additional overall goodness for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter as it approaches its March 2006 ship.
Watch the video.

For this first installment we take a look at the Cross Com feature, which is completely new to Ghost Recon. This feature will allow gamers to play Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter in exciting new ways. On the battlefield of the future communication can be the key to victory. The Cross Com keeps the Ghosts updated with up to the minute intel on the fly, allows for an all new way to interact with and utilize your squad and gives unprecedented flexibility to the player while moving through the streets of Mexico City fighting intense enemy resistance. But don't take it from me check out the video.

January 12, 2006

EA ANNOUNCES DEF JAM FIGHT FOR NY: THE TAKEOVER

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 10, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading independent videogame publisher, and Def Jam Enterprises, LLC, a media and marketing affiliate of Rush Communications, announced today that Def Jam® Fight For NY™: The Takeover will ship to retail outlets nationwide this spring on the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system. Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover, the prequel to the award-winning Def Jam Vendetta, let’s you experience the ultimate hip hop fighting game anywhere you go.

Playing as the hottest artists and celebrities in Hip Hop including Busta Rhymes, Carmen Electra, Lil’ Kim, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Snoop Dogg, and Xzibit, you’ll be able to unravel the events that lead to Def Jam Vendetta and find out how D-Mob got to rule NYC. Featuring new fighting moves and new venues, where players can gain respect by winning fights and rising among the ranks of the crew. Players can create their own fighter with gear from Def Jam University, Phat Farm, Brand Jordan, Ecko Unlimited, Enyce, Rocawear, Sean John, State Property, Reebok, and more. For the first time ever players can battle in 1-on-1 death matches using PSP’s wireless functionality.

“We are excited to continue our strong relationship with Def Jam and bring this critically acclaimed franchise to the PSP for the first time ever,” said Craig Rechenmacher, Senior Director of Marketing for EA. “The exclusive new fighting moves, new gameplay content and original story mode bring a completely fresh Def Jam experience to the handheld.”

“Def Jam Interactive’s first PSP title has proven to be an exciting and entertaining product. Again, EA has developed an unparalleled title and we are confident that Def Jam Fight For NY: The Takeover will go far beyond everyone’s expectations.” said Lauren Wirtzer, VP of Marketing for Def Jam Enterprises.

The game is being developed by EA Canada in conjunction with Japan-based AKI Corporation for a scheduled ship in spring 2006 under the EA brand. This game has not yet been rated by the ESRB. Screenshots of the game can be found at http://info.ea.com.

Nintendogs Packs the Doghouse With Year-End Awards

In 2005 Nintendogs(TM) established itself as an unforgettable pop-culture phenomenon. The revolutionary puppy trainer program ended 2005 among the top video games of the year. Highlighted in publications like The New York
Times, USA Today, Time magazine and Parade, Nintendogs continues to prove its appeal to gamers and people of all ages. Continuing its ground-breaking excellence in 2006, Nintendogs also won a "2006 Innovation Award" from PC World.

The title was the recipient of a number of awards and was featured on year-end gift lists that included:

* PC World: Nintendogs wins a "2006 Innovation Award"
* Associated Press: Nintendogs is a "Best Game of 2005"
* BusinessWeek: Nintendogs featured on "Best Products" list
* Entertainment Weekly: Nintendogs highlighted on "The Must List"
* Chicago Sun Times: Nintendogs is on the "Game Of The Year" list
* FamilyFun.com: Nintendogs is No. 1 in the "Annual Video Game Toy Test"

These accolades along with numerous others bolstered Nintendogs' status as a "must-have" video game from Nintendo. Nintendogs has surpassed sales of 1.5 million units since its U.S. launch in August. For more information about Nintendogs, visit http://www.nintendo.com

January 11, 2006

UBISOFT'S FAR CRY INSTINCTS TO DELIVER NEW ADVENTURES ON XBOX AND XBOX 360

SAN FRANCISCO, CA January 11, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that its award-winning Montreal Studio is developing two new titles inspired by the recently
released Far Cry Instincts video game. Far Cry Instincts Next Chapter (working title) for the Xbox video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will introduce players to an entirely new story, characters and game features that reflect and improve upon the critically acclaimed elements of the first title. Far Cry Instincts Predator for Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will feature both Far Cry Instincts Next Chapter and an enhanced version of the original Far Cry Instincts game. Offering the kind of lush and deep natural environment true to the Far Cry brand, Far Cry Instincts on Xbox 360 will captivate gamers with its enhanced graphical reality and gameplay. Giving gamers the opportunity to discover the Far Cry universe in an optimized, high-definition environment, the game takes advantage of Xbox 360's multi-core next-generation engine for improved performance. Gamers will experience advanced pathfinding and new enemy and vehicle artificial intelligence for improved chase scenes and more enemies on-screen at one time, allowing for more adrenaline-rushing fast-action sequences. Far Cry Instincts Predator and Far Cry Instincts Next Chapter are slated for release in spring 2006.

"Far Cry Instincts quickly became one of the most talked-about games of 2005 because of its blend of high graphical quality, wide open environments and immersive gameplay elements," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft. "Ubisoft is confident that Far Cry Instincts Predator for Xbox 360 and Far Cry Instincts Next Chapter for Xbox will be among the best games this year."

About Ubisoft:
Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through its strong and diversified lineup of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge videogame titles to consumers. Ubisoft generated revenue of 538 million Euros for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, an increase of 8 percent over the previous fiscal year at constant exchange rates. To learn more, please visit http://www.ubisoftgroup.com.

D3Publisher of America Releases 1st Game for PSP™ system PQ: Practical Intelligence Quotient Now Available!

LOS ANGELES – Jan. 11, 2006 – Gamers all over the world will be testing their intelligence as D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA), a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, today announced the release of their first game for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, PQ: Practical Intelligence Quotient. A 3D puzzle game that tests player’s problem solving skills, PQ uses the PSP system’s Infrastructure Mode and allows players to post their PQ score on the worldwide ranking site to see how they rank against other players around the world.

“This is our first title for PSP and we are confident that it is the perfect game for the platform,” commented Yoji Takenaka, executive vice president and COO for D3PA. “PQ offers players a meaningful reward for completing the game, an actual intelligence score. It will attract PSP users who are looking for a great game at a great price.”

Developed by Nowproduction, Inc. of Osaka, Japan for D3PA, PQ: Practical Intelligence Quotient for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system is available with a MSRP of $29.99. The game uses a measuring system that was created under the guidance of Professor Masuo Koyasu of Kyoto University in Japan that determines players ‘Practical Intelligence Quotient’ or PQ.

PQ for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) features:

· 100 3D logic puzzles moving blocks and stairs, avoiding walls and lasers, pulling switches and maneuvering with maps
· 13 puzzle types use various obstacles and methods to test a player’s problem-solving abilities
· Scores are based on not only solving the puzzle, but also take into account how fast and how many moves are used
· Players can then post their PQ score using the PSP system’s Infrastructure Mode to receive a worldwide ranking and compare their score with other players

D3Publisher of America, Inc. is a subsidiary of D3Publisher, with headquarters in Tokyo. D3Publisher of America’s strategic focus is on licensed and original titles from leading third-party developers that appeal to mass-market consumers or gaming enthusiasts. Based in Los Angeles, D3Publisher of America distributes and publishes software for personal computers and the major console platforms including Game Boy® Advance, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DSÔ, PlayStation® game console, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. For additional information on D3Publisher of America and its products, visit the website at http://www.d3p.us.

TALES OF LEGENDIA™ GOES GOLD

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (January 11, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Tales of Legendia™ for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system has gone gold. The latest installment in the renowned Tales role playing series lets players embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries of a legendary ship and take on fearsome creatures using a unique fighting system influenced by the award-winning SOULCALIBUR® series.

An original adventure in the Tales universe, Tales of Legendia sets players in a lush game world that is actually a massive ship called the Legacy, a remnant of a civilization long past. Assuming the role of main character Senel, an Alliance marine skilled in an art known as “eres”, players will experience a dramatic storyline and uncover the truth behind the Legacy. In the process, the characters learn the depths of their relationships in an epic tales of love and heroism.

Tales of Legendia combines the depth and storytelling of a traditional RPG with the action and strategy of a fighting game, letting players explore the Legacy and uncover its secrets, while taking on fearsome enemies with the game’s new X-LiMBS (Crossover Linear Motion) battle system. Influenced by the acclaimed SOULCALIBUR series of fighting games, X-LiMBS lets players unleash attacks never before seen in a role playing game such as throws and rapid fire combos and execute potent team attacks. Boasting detailed and vibrant 3D graphics, Tales of Legendia features an all-new cast of characters and close to 30 minutes of anime cut scenes featuring characters designed by artist Kazuto Nakazawa, renowned for his work on the animated sequences in Kill Bill: Volume 1 and the anime series Samurai Champloo.

“With its classic RPG gameplay, innovative battle system and stunning art style, Tales of Legendia sets a new standard for interactive storytelling,” said Yoshi Niki, business unit director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “The new X-LiMBS battle system adds a level of fighting depth never before seen in a role playing game, further enhancing the player’s bond with the characters and adding a new element of combat strategy to the series.”

Tales of Legendia is rated T for “Teen” by the ESRB, and will be available in stores this February.

For more information on Tales of Legendia, please visit http://tales.namco.com/legendia/.

REVENGE RULES FOR EIDOS’ ROGUE TROOPER

San Francisco, CA (January 11, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading developers and publishers of entertainment software, today confirms that ROGUE TROOPER™, a futuristic tactical action game based on the 2000 AD comic strip, will be released in North America in Spring 2006 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and PC.

"Rogue Trooper™ has the attitude, the artillery and the technique to deliver a high quality third person tactical action game experience to players. We're delighted to be working with Eidos on bringing Rogue Trooper™ to gamers everywhere." Jason Kingsley, CEO and Creative Director, Rebellion.

A Genetic Infantryman (G.I.), Rogue is one of an elite regiment of biologically-engineered clone troops, created to overcome Nu Earth’s hostile atmosphere and fight, unhindered, against the brutal Nort War machine. After witnessing the betrayal and annihilation of his entire regiment at the Quartz Zone Massacre, Rogue has gone AWOL, determined to hunt down the traitor general who sent his brothers-in-arms to their deaths.

ROGUE TROOPER™ blends intense third person action and next generation stealth, as Rogue wreaks revenge armed with the very latest experimental weaponry. Rogue’s arsenal offers him a unique advantage over his
opponents; encoded bio-chips containing the digitized personalities of his fallen comrades are implanted in his gun (Gunnar), helmet (Helm) and backpack (Bagman), each offering their full military experience at the player’s fingertips.

Rogue Trooper features intense online gameplay modes, where gamers experience up to four-player co-operative gameplay in all new maps.

UBISOFT TO DEVELOP VIDEO GAME BASED ON UPCOMING TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES CG MOVIE

SAN FRANCISCO JANUARY 11, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that it has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement with 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) and Mirage Group to develop and publish Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® a video game based on the new CG feature-length film being produced by Imagi Animation Studios and to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in the U.S. and The Weinstein Company internationally. Under the agreement, it is expected that the video game will be available for
gaming consoles in conjunction with the movie's planned release in early 2007.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will be the first all CG animated movie in the history of the franchise. The PG-rated movie will derive its tone from the original comic-book series and will be grittier than the previous live action pictures.

"Ubisoft has demonstrated its strong commitment to making quality license-based games and truly understands the spirit of one of the world's most famous children's brands," said Christian Salomon, director
of licensing at Ubisoft. "Ubisoft is thrilled to be bringing the Turtles back in an exciting new adventure that will attract the first generation of enthusiasts all the way through to the current and future generations of fans."

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been an international phenomenon for more than twenty years. The property began as an underground comic book and is now one of the most popular licenses; the 4Kids TV show is
broadcast in more than 90 territories and the toys, movies and video games are popular throughout the world.

"We are excited that the Turtles are returning to the big screen in 2007 and pleased to partner with Ubisoft for the creation of a new movie-based Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game," said Alfred R. Kahn, chairman and chief executive officer of 4Kids Entertainment. "We are confident Ubisoft's commitment to quality, strong international
distribution and presence in the worldwide video game market will complement the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie experience and help generate added excitement for the Turtles brand."

For more information about Ubisoft, please visit http://www.ubisoftgroup.com and http://www.ubi.com.

25 to Life Has Gone Gold!

Eidos has fired off the golden bullet this week as 25 to Life has officially Gone Gold! Be the law, or break the law, there’s only one week to wait before the choice is yours. It’s like you can already hear the sound of the streets ring with gunfire mixed over your favorite hip-hop beats. It’s time to let your own attitude and style shine through as you bring your own personalized character to battle it out with up to 16 players online! Whether you get a blast from throwin’ Molotovs, or prefer to safely pick off your foes with a RSG1 sniper rifle, there’s a weapon to complement any style from our diverse arsenal.

Will you lead a life of crime, or protect and serve at any cost? Choose wisely... the future of the streets is in your hands. 25 to Life will be available in North America starting January 18th, 2006 on PS2, Xbox, and PC.

January 10, 2006

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES MONSTER 4x4 WORLD CIRCUIT FOR XBOX

SAN FRANCISCO – January 10, 2006 – Today, Ubisoft announced Monster 4x4 World Circuit for the Xbox video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Scheduled to ship in North America March 2006, Monster
4x4 World Circuit lets players control the world's most powerful trucks and go head-to-head in pulse-pounding off-road competitions all over the world. Whether you're grinding through the desert of Egypt, crunching up snowy mountains in Russia, or smashing up trees in California to make the ride a little bumpier for the guy behind you, keep your eyes on the prize: The cash you earn on the circuit goes to customize your trucks and build up your ultimate Monster machine.

Monster 4X4 World Circuit features include:

Customize your machine: Personalize your truck's appearance with sweet paint jobs and decals and soup up its performance by maxing out its speed, jumping and destruction capabilities.

Money makes the wheels go round: Win races, unleash spectacular stunts and jumps, and demolish everything in sight to win cash and upgrade your Monster truck to the ultimate stomping machine.

Test your skills on 40 tracks: Tear through 40 Monster events in the hairiest off-road circuits your tires have ever seen.

Show the world what you're made of: Smoke the competition as you blaze through exciting new locations all over the world, such as Egypt, Moscow, Barcelona, San Francisco, South Dakota and more.

Dominate in every mode: Master your tricks in Quick Race mode as you taste all of the thrills, spills, twists and rolls of Monster Truck racing. Then turn up the heat in Single Race or Monster League Championship mode and leave your opponents choking.

Challenge friends to multiplayer: Demolish friends in four-player split-screen races or crush their hopes of domination in four intense new mini-games.

Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through its strong and diversified lineup of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video
game titles to consumers. Ubisoft generated revenue of 538 million Euros for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, an increase of 8 percent over the previous fiscal year at constant exchange rates. To learn more, please visit http://www.ubisoftgroup.com.

NCsoft, ArenaNet Announce Guild Wars: Factions

Bellevue, Wash., Jan. 10, 2006— NCsoft®, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announces Guild Wars®: Factions™, the next chapter in the critically acclaimed Guild Wars franchise from ArenaNet® studios. The Factions campaign will release in the second quarter of 2006. It offers players an incredible gameplay experience with many new choices, including new regions, professions, skills, missions, and monsters, along with expanded options for both Cooperative and Player-versus-Player (PvP) play, and enhanced features for guilds.

Players will get their first chance to experience the new campaign when ArenaNet opens its servers to everyone for the Guild Wars: Factions Global Free-for-All PvP Weekend. This worldwide event—scheduled for January 20 through 22—is open to both existing Guild Wars players and to those who do not have a Guild Wars account. ArenaNet is distributing free access keys to the event at http://www.guildwars.com.

The event will enable players to experience two new professions being introduced in the campaign, the Assassin and the Ritualist. Participants will also be able to try out a number of the skills added to Guild Wars: Factions, including some of the deadly skills of the Assassin and the arcane spells of the spiritual Ritualist. They will also be able to get familiar with the new PvP continent, Battle Isles. Battle Isles will introduce players to new PvP experiences, new and expanded arenas, new quests, and a new explorable area as well.

Another feature available during the Guild Wars: Factions Global Free-for-All PvP Weekend is Observer Mode, where players who aren’t participating in a battle can view the proceedings and check out the strategies and tactics used by top-ranked guilds as they fight for supremacy.

"We’re excited to be offering this free preview of Guild Wars: Factions to players throughout the world,” said Patrick Wyatt, co-founder of ArenaNet. “Factions is a huge step in the continued evolution of the game, and I think gamers are really going to be excited about the new features they’re going to see!"

In September of 2005, Guild Wars surpassed more than one million units sold in North America and Europe, a milestone reached in less than five months. Guild Wars is a competitive online roleplaying game that rewards player skill more than time played. Players explore a rich fantasy game world, acquire skills, build personalized characters and compete in head-to-head guild battles with players from around the world.

X MARKS THE SPOT AS CAPCOM® RELEASES THE LATEST BLUE BOMBER COMPILATION WITH MEGA MAN® X COLLECTION

SUNNYVALE, Calif. ¾ January 10, 2006 ¾ The famous blue action hero returns in this latest installment to Capcom®’s growing Mega Man® anthology with the release of Mega Man® X Collection for the Nintendo GameCube™ and the PlayStationâ2 computer entertainment system. Mega Man X Collection revisits the celebrated Maverick Hunter with the library of classic Mega Man X games (Mega Man X through Mega Man X6) from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and PlayStation game console. Witness the beginning of the futuristic version of the blockbuster franchise and experience the never-before-released-in-the-US Mega Man PlayStation game: Mega Man® Battle and Chase. Mega Man X Collection is rated ‘E’ for everyone by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) and is now available at retailers across North America

“Building upon the success of Mega Man Anniversary Collection, Capcom now delivers an even more incredible compilation of games from our premiere videogame icon.” said Todd Thorson, director of marketing Capcom Entertainment. “The Mega Man X series of games has revolutionized the long standing Mega Man franchise. Combining them in a comprehensive package is simply a fantastic value.”

In the Mega Man X Collection, Mega Man X must thwart Sigma’s army of renegade reploids and their evil plan of destroying the world. Faced with intense challenges, X, his robot partner, Zero and Dr. Light must band together to intercept and prevent the forces that threaten total annihilation. Mega Man X Collection features a retrospective of X’s humble teenage beginnings on a 16-bit system to its initiation into the 32-bit era. Players will be challenged to prove their gaming skills once again as they battle through each subsequent adventure while unlocking a host of bonus features and artwork. This collection continues the tradition of delivering a universally appealing and high quality product at a superior value.

Mega Man X Collection boasts the following features:

· Mega Man X through Mega Man X6 in one collection!

· The US debut of Mega Man Battle and Chase, the only Mega Man racing game ever created!

· Original art, remixed music and much more!

Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment. Founded in 1983, the company has created world renowned franchises including Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mega Man, Breath of Fire, Devil May Cry and the Onimusha series. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, the company maintains operations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Tokyo and Hong Kong. More information about Capcom and its products can be found at http://www.capcom.com.

Did You Know?

The long blue bar. The yellow block. And those darn zigzag things whose images stay on your brain. These familiar Tetris shapes started a generation of video game fans. Now Nintendo is putting a new spin on the classic with Tetris(R) DS, available March 20 exclusively for Nintendo DS(TM), which incorporates the use of Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's wireless gaming service.

Hard-core and casual gamers alike became obsessed with the original. Tetris DS builds on that emotional attachment by combining the original game with new types of game play that could only be possible on Nintendo DS.

Each of the six modes of play features a theme based on a classic Nintendo game, such as Super Mario Bros.(R), The Legend of Zelda(R) or Metroid(R). The traditional Tetriminos (falling blocks) and line-clearing
strategy remain the staples of the game, but the touch screen adds a new element of interactivity.

Some modes give players special Tetris puzzles to solve. Others feature head-to-head action between two players, or massive wireless battles between 10 DS users, even if only one player has a game card. Players also can log onto Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to compete in two- or four-player battles. Tetris DS even includes a point-based rating system based on players' battle results. Opponents can see one another's ratings, which indicate their skill levels.

Every gamer, whether competitive or casual, will find a way to reconnect with one of the most popular puzzle games in history. For more information about Tetris DS or other Nintendo products, please visit http://www.nintendo.com

January 9, 2006

Live Postings

I'm pleased to announce that I bought a Verizon Wireless PC Card for BroadbandAccess. Now I've got broadband speeds almost everywhere that I go so I can take my laptop to meetings and demos and post my notes online. So now things like previews can get posted while I'm in the demo. I don't know about you, loyal reader, but I think that's pretty cool.

This moves me closer to my goal of providing timely information and insight about games. Happy reading!

CURIOUS GEORGE™ SWINGS TO GOLD!

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (January 9, 2006) – Global video games developer and publisher, NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. today announced Curious George™ has gone gold for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system, Nintendo GameCube™, Game Boy® Advance and PC. An action adventure title, based on the February 10th animated feature film of the same name from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, Curious George invites players to experience madcap mishaps and mischievous fun as the world’s most inquisitive chimp. Curious George will be available February 1st and is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

For more than 60 years, children and adults alike have followed the tales of the lovable little Curious George – known for his insatiable inquisitiveness and taste for adventure. The story begins as The Man with the Yellow Hat travels to Africa in search of a lost artifact and returns with some unexpected cargo — a precocious chimpanzee named George.

Curious George allows players to meet and interact with their favorite characters from the animated film in this exciting and colorful game world. As the fun-loving George, players can run, jump, climb and swing through 12 action-packed levels including the jungle, museum and Big City. Players must also use the character’s skills, which include crafty escapes and distracting performances, to elude trouble and avoid one entertaining predicament after another. Throughout George’s big adventure, players are encouraged to be curious and explore the “Curious Objects” in each environment – drawers to peek in, machines to activate, trunks to pop open and even chairs to bounce on! Interacting with these objects awards players “Curious Points,” which enable them to purchase items in the Museum Gift Shop including concept art, scenes from the animated movie and accessories for George. Curious George also features bonus features, special unlockables and challenging mini-games to provide players hours of replay after the main story is finished.

“We are excited to be one step closer bringing this lovable character to life in console and handheld video games,” said Jeff Lujan, business director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “By working together with Universal, we’re taking a fresh approach to a classic brand – offering plenty of fun, curiosity and family-oriented gameplay.”

Curious George is developed for consoles and the PC by Monkey Bar Games and for handheld gaming systems by Torus Games through a licensing agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group.

For more information on Curious George, please visit http://www.curiousgeorgegame.com/.

NAMCO NETWORKS OFFICIALLY ESTABLISHED AS MOBILE GAME SUBSIDIARY

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Jan. 9, 2006) – Namco Networks, a leading publisher and developer of wireless games and content, today announced the official establishment of NAMCO NETWORKS AMERICA INC. as the mobile-dedicated subsidiary for Namco Bandai Holdings (USA) Inc..

“While the wireless content division of Namco America has always been heavily involved in the publishing and development of mobile games, the establishment of this mobile-dedicated company allows us to concentrate exclusively on mobile content and be a leader in this rapidly growing and changing industry,” said Kenji Hisatsune, President, CEO and COO of Namco Networks. “Like Namco America before it, Namco Networks will continue to provide fun, high-quality mobile games that ‘push the envelope’, both in content and in the leveraging of increasingly sophisticated mobile technology.”

Namco Networks will continue to expand its comprehensive catalog of branded and original games, which already includes arcade classics like PAC-MAN®, Ms. PAC-MAN®, Galaga® and Dig Dug®. Namco Networks will also be adding 3D mobile games to their catalog, including games based on the best-selling Namco brands Time Crisis® and Ridge Racer®.

Namco Networks will continue to create and publish new games that are cutting edge, taking advantage of the networked nature of the mobile phone and other unique technologies that the mobile platform provides.

Namco Networks will also remain a provider of other exclusive mobile content based on video games to all major carriers, including ringtones of video game sounds and music, and wallpapers, which feature characters and screenshots from video games.

“Namco Networks is committed to providing great content to the growing number of consumers looking for fun and entertainment ‘on the go’ on their cell phones and PDAs,” Hisatsune said. “Through our top-selling games, strong partnerships and consistent revenue growth, we have created a reputation as a leader in this industry, a reputation which is maintained by our team of dedicated professionals.”

Ace Combat Zero

This is a prequel to the successful Ace Combat 5 flight and combat simulator. The Ace Combat style gauge is new. When you go into a mission you can strictly follow your mission or fight against the intercepting plans. How well you do it and what you do will earn you style points. If you just go after money you'll be a mercenary, soldier, etc. The stages change depending on how you play them and what type of style you have.

Enemies fly a lot smarter than previous versions. They'll try to lure you into their wingman's sites, and when you're chasing them . You can give your wingman commands against air or ground targets. Icons show you where targets are. The backgrounds, mountains, the ocean, and the horizon look very good. At the end of every mission you can see your replay. There's also a replay on a grid that shows how you flew the whole mission. There are over 100 rival aces, and downing them brings a cut scene, so you'll want to replay battles in order to beat them all.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

Ace Combat Zero is from Namco and will be available for PS2 in spring 2006.

Me And My Katamari

This is an all new installment with all new magic and quirkiness, and it shows right from the opening movie. The king, queen and the prince took a vacation and went swimming. They found flooded islands and now they need to roll up Katamari to recreate those islands. The interface is all new and the menus are part of the game. You can customize your character more. All the cousins are back and there are some new ones. Animals come onto your island and ask for help. The game uses the d-pad and the face button (triangle to go forward, etc). Can still do dashing and quick turns. The simple and fun graphics translate well onto the PSP. The songs are a mix of the last two versions and also some new ones.

There's wireless ad-hoc (2-4 players) where you'll compete to pick up specific items like rings, treasure chests, and crowns. You can bash into your opponent and try to steal their stuff.

Environmental effects (like ice) are new. You can roll into and out of rooms and buildings. There are approximately 20 different levels.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

The game looks good and is easy to control once you get the hang of it. It's very cute but also has enough quirkiness that adults will find it fun. It's got a music mode so you can just listen to the music, which is a plus because the music tends to be rather pleasant.

Nintendo's Electroplankton Turns Music Novices Into Mixing Maestros

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether you're musically inclined or musically impaired, Nintendo's new Electroplankton(TM) will make you a mixing maestro. The musical experience, launching today exclusively for
Nintendo DS(TM), lets users score music by using the touch screen or speaking into the microphone. Sounds can be sampled, manipulated, changed and rearranged to help even novices create engrossing beats and harmonies.
Electroplankton exemplifies Nintendo's commitment to expand the frontier of innovation in the video game universe. Electroplankton, for instance, could not be possible on any other system. Only the special features of
Nintendo DS make it possible for users to compose music ranging from techno beats to ethereal rhythms. And because Nintendo DS is portable, users can make music whenever and wherever inspiration strikes.
"Electroplankton is a great way to kick off what promises to be an exciting year for Nintendo," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "It's the kind of casual game
that will attract a broad audience and help Nintendo DS continue to expand its lead as the most popular new hand-held system."
Getting started with Electroplankton could not be easier. Users simply choose one of 10 music-making modes and dive right in. One mode lets users manipulate the leaves of a plant using the touch screen. As colorful plankton launch into the air, they bounce off the leaves in melodic combinations. Another mode acts as a sampler. Users record up to four different sounds with the microphone and then layer them over drum loops to create a personalized beat.
The game was designed by renowned Japanese electronic artist Toshio Iwai. His artistry adds both beauty and whimsy to Electroplankton and makes it as much a delight for the eyes as it is for the ears.

Nintendo has selected a distribution method for Electroplankton befitting its quirky character. Electroplankton, Rated E for Everyone, is available now through Nintendo.com and major online retailers, as well as at the Nintendo
World Store in New York.

January 6, 2006

Turner Broadcasting’s GameTap Network and Intel Team-Up To Bring Broadband Gaming to the Digital Home

LAS VEGAS – Jan. 6, 2006—GameTap and Intel Corporation today announced that GameTap, Turner Broadcasting’s first-of-its-kind broadband games and entertainment network, is verified to work with the Intel® Viiv™ technology platform, bringing the digital PC entertainment experience to life 10 feet away on a television monitor.

GameTap offers access to original programming and more than 300 of the greatest videogames, playable from a broadband connected PC. With games from a wide variety of platforms, genres and publishers, GameTap has been heralded as the “#1 pick” in Electronic Gaming Monthly's “Hot 10 List” for January 2006.

With the “10 foot” version of GameTap, consumers will have on-demand access to a universe of games and video programming on their television monitor through their PC running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. As an Intel Viiv technology verified service, it is now easier to play GameTap using wireless USB peripheral game controllers and MCE remote control. Rich 3-D navigation and sophisticated graphics, combined with the speed of processing through Intel’s powerful dual-core processors, will make the GameTap gaming experience a unique Intel Viiv technology verified application.

“Playing GameTap just got better for consumers as we take the experience beyond the PC environment and into virtually any room in the home,” said GameTap General Manager Stuart Snyder. “The ability to expand the playground to a large screen and experience the network in a bigger way brings the consumer into an even more immersive world of video games and makes playing even more compelling.”

“For all of us who love playing video games, GameTap’s effort to bring its huge selection of video games to the comfort of the couch is ground-breaking,” said Intel’s Kevin Corbett, vice president, Digital Home Group and general manager, Content Services Group. “Adding this type of experience to Intel Viiv technology-based PCs furthers our goal of bringing new forms of interactive entertainment to the living room.”

“We’re pleased that GameTap is making their library of on-demand games available in an optimized format for Media Center Edition Users,” said Dave Mendlen, director of Windows Consumer Marketing at Microsoft Corp. “They join our growing list of content providers, helping us deliver consumers the most diverse and relevant selection of digital lifestyle and entertainment content available at the touch of a button on a remote control.”

GameTap features everything from Pong®, Pac-Man® and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell®, to Sonic® and Myst®. Turner has licensed nearly 1,200 games from 24 publishers, including Activision, Atari, Capcom®, Cyan, Codemasters, Dreamcatcher Interactive, Eidos Interactive, Electronic Arts, First Star Software, G-Mode, Intellivision Lives, Ironstone, Knowledge Adventure, Midway, Namco, SEGA, TAITO, Take-Two Interactive Software, Taurus Media, Team 17, Telegames, 3000AD, Ubisoft and Vivendi Universal Games.

To play, game lovers just download the GameTap software, which acts as a gateway to the GameTap vault. The multi-level vault features a diverse mix of titles and platforms – something for everyone. These are organized in a series of game rings, including "hot picks" and user favorites, as well as games organized by game type (e.g., action, adventure, strategy, etc.) and game system (e.g., Sega Dreamcast and Genesis, Atari 2600, PC games and more). Once a game is selected, each title displays an associated "InfoCard" that includes directions for playing, control options, and tips, as well as parental controls (the vault contains "E," "E10+" and "T" titles, only) and top scores from the GameTap community.

Because games reside securely on the PC, not across a network, they play as if they were still on the console or at the arcade, with fast response times, 3D effects, and original colors and characters. Like a premium channel, subscribers will pay a flat monthly fee for an "all-you-can-play" experience on up to two household PCs and also can have several sub accounts.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at http://www.intel.com/pressroom.

Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 delivers advanced computing plus easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment, including live and recorded television, movies, music, photos and radio, that consumers can enjoy when and how they want. It provides an all-in-one digital entertainment hub, accessible on either a PC monitor or TV display, using a single remote control.

INXS SET TO ROCK OUT ON XBOX LIVE

In the band’s illustrious 25 year career, INXS has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, hosted a hit television show “Rock Star: INXS” and recently released their latest album, “SWITCH” to critical acclaim, but can they play Halo2®? Vocalist J.D. Fortune and his newest band mates will challenge lucky fans in the latest Xbox Live™ “Game with Fame®” session.

Fans that are interested in the chance to challenge INXS in Halo 2 on Tuesday, January 17 must fill out an entry form at http://inxsusa.com/xboxgamewithfame/ by 5:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT on Monday, January 16 to enter to play the band. Selected fans will receive a confirmation email and friend request with the time of event and the band’s gamertag.

“This will be a great way to meet all the loyal INXS fans out there,” said new vocalist J.D. Fortune. “It’s been a wild ride thus far, but we can’t wait to take break from our world tour and get on Xbox Live to challenge our fans from all over the world. They better come ready though, because I’m gunning for them!”

The Xbox Live "Game with Fame" program gives Xbox Live subscribers the unique opportunity to meet, chat and play against some of today's hottest stars. Past "Game with Fame" celebrity players include Ludacris, The Strokes, Hoobastank, Staind, Incubus and Simple Plan. For further information on other Xbox Live events, be sure to visit the "Game with Fame" Web site at http://www.xbox.com.

“SWITCH” is a fitting title for the new INXS album. After all, the band’s 11th studio disc arrived on a new label, recorded by a new producer and features, most important of all, a new lead singer. What hasn’t changed is the band’s knack for writing classic songs that mix modern rock and dance styles. Their hit single “PRETTY VEGAS” made its debut on both the Billboard Top 40 Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100. There sound has made them one of the most popular bands on the planet, as proven by more than 30 million albums sold worldwide, 18 Billboard hits, 23 UK hits, 34 Australian hits and 6 consecutive top ten UK and US albums. INXS will launch their sold-out Switched On tour in Vancouver on January 18th. The initial 31-date leg runs through to Boca Raton in Florida on February 26th

For more information on the band please visit http://www.inxs.com or http://www.inxsusa.com.

Xbox Live continues to transform and unite Xbox game communities worldwide, with a presence in 24 countries worldwide and a global community of more than 2 million members. As the first and only global, unified online console games service, Xbox Live offers world-class games, intelligent matchmaking, tournaments, unique programming and integration with http://Xbox.com.

EA ANNOUNCES THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH II COLLECTOR’S EDITION

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., January 6, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II Collector’s Edition – the first ever Collector’s Edition DVD release from the highly successful The Lord of the Rings franchise. The sequel to last holiday’s critically acclaimed PC game is filled with exclusive The Lord of the Rings™ game content that will offer fans an opportunity to delve into parts of the Middle-earth they’ve never seen before.

Scheduled to ship simultaneously with The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II in February 2006, The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II Collector’s Edition will be available at select retailers with a suggested price (MSRP) of $59.99 and is rated T for Teen by the ESRB.

Expanding on The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth, the new real-time strategy (RTS) game will allow players to engage in heated battles with Elven and Dwarven armies plus heroes and creatures that have never been seen in The Lord of the Rings films. The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II Collector’s Edition will offer everything the sequel does plus entirely new and exclusive content.

For the first time ever, The Lord of the Rings fans will now have access to all the behind-the-scenes details of creating a blockbuster The Lord of the Rings PC game. The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II Collector’s Edition will feature…

* Exclusive Bonus DVD with Content Provided in High Definition (HD)
o Mastered in HD for the ultimate high resolution experience on your PC or connected HDTV
o Entire musical score features original music created exclusively for The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II
o In-game cinematics and trailers in high resolution and surround sound
o “The Making of The Battle for Middle-earth II”: The story of the team behind The Battle for Middle-earth series including never before seen videos and exclusive interviews with key development team members
o “The Art of the Game”: The ultimate collection of artwork created for the game, including hundreds of cinematic paintings and key pieces of concept work

* Exclusive In-Game Content
o All new fire-breathing Dragon – on the battlefield, this impressive unit can only be controlled by players who purchase the Collector’s Edition (shown in screenshot above)
o Special graphic treatment for “create-a-hero” units identify Collector’s Edition gamers during on-line play
o Multiple exclusive maps including signature locations from The Lord of the Rings films – such as Weathertop and Argonath

* Exclusive Campaign Map Poster
o Two-sided, 11x17 color poster
o Gorgeous high resolution map of Middle-earth created exclusively for the game – “Good” side lists out all the campaign locations from the good campaign while the “Evil” side lists out its campaign locations and descriptions
o The perfect companion piece while playing the Good or Evil game missions

* Exclusive NVIDIA Rebate Card
o A rebate coupon for savings on a new NVIDIA graphics card

“We believe we’ve created something very special with The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, and our team felt passionate about making a Collector’s Edition that is truly special for the fans,” said Mike Verdu, Executive Producer at EA Los Angeles. “The exclusive content including the behind-the-scenes footage, amazing concept art, cinematic paintings and sequences, the extensive soundtrack, and access to the unique dragon unit adds new dimension to the gaming experience.”

Developed at EA’s Los Angeles studio, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II introduces players to depths of the fiction never before explored in an EA game. The game makers at EALA have brought The Lord of the Rings world to life in accordance with an agreement with The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises that grants EA the rights to develop games based on the books, in addition to a separate agreement that allows for games based on the New Line Cinema films.

For more information about The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II and The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II Collector’s Edition please visit: http://www.bfme2.ea.com.

NINTENDO EUROPE TAKES THE NEW YEAR BY STORM WITH OUTSTANDING HAND-HELD SUCCESS

5th January 2006 - Without a doubt 2005 was the year of the handheld console. With the highly successful launch of the Nintendo DS and the continued success of Game Boy Advance SP Nintendo has dominated the handheld market. Following Nintendo DS's launch in Europe in March, almost three and a half million Nintendo DS have been sold.

Worldwide sales have shown a similar pattern with millions turning to Nintendo for their portable gaming. Approximately 13 million* Nintendo DS are now in the hands of people all around the world.

In Europe sales of Nintendo DS have been significantly bolstered by the launch of ground breaking games such as Nintendogs, which sold 1.6 million copies in Europe since launch in October and Mario Kart DS which stormed the Christmas charts with its global Wi-Fi capabilities, selling 800,000 copies in Europe since its late November launch.

Game Boy Advance has once again continued to sell well throughout the year with Pokemon continuing to go from strength to strength, sales of the latest game Pokemon Emerald reaching a staggering 1.2 million since it launched in October 2005.

European gamers have a lot to look forward to in 2006, with the launch of Prof. Kawashima's Brain Training: How old is your brain? and Animal Crossing: Wild World, both of which have been a huge success in Japan, selling over one million each, and are launching soon in Europe.

The Nintendo DS is available for around 129 Euros. Mario Kart DS and Nintendogs are now available for around 40 Euros and both games are also available in bundle packs (including a copy of the game and a Nintendo DS), available for around 149 Euros.

Click onto http://www.nintendo-europe-media.com for all of the most up to date official information on Nintendo.

* Combined sell-thru numbers in Japan, US, Latin America, Australia and other territories

January 5, 2006

Crave Entertainment Puts Pedal to the Metal with Tokyo Xtreme Racer DRIFT

Newport Beach, Calif.--January 5, 2005--Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames, today announced the next installment in the popular street racing series, Tokyo Xtreme Racer DRIFT for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The game is expected to be available in early 2006 for an MSRP of $19.99.

Tokyo Extreme Racer DRIFT takes the adrenaline of street racing into the mountains and onto very demanding courses. Race real production cars on real mountain courses. Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Mini, Volkswagen and more are all there to be tested on some of Japan's toughest terrain in Iroha, Haruna, Rokko and Hakone. State-of-the-art data recording techniques ensure that the courses look, feel and race just like the real thing.

Tokyo Extreme Racer DRIFT has two distinct racing challenges. As a race car driver, you take part in official mountain races during the daytime and then race for pride (and car upgrades and parts) at night. The idea is to earn money from day races to enhance your car and then bet car parts in night races. Sponsors will further enhance your income if you are successful. There are uphill and downhill races, day and night time races, challenging weather and season conditions and a nerve-ending one on one rival racing battle system.

Game features include:
o Drive and compete in licensed cars from Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Mini, Volkswagen and more.
o Customize your cars in endless combinations.
o Master the driving art of "Drift" and earn respect and victories.
o Race in the picturesque and authentic mountain sides of Japan.
o Compete in official day and unofficial night races.
o Winding hills, changing weather and grueling environments affect the race course and test your driving skill.
o Multiplayer competition with rival races.

About Crave Entertainment
Based in Newport Beach, California, Crave Entertainment is a subsidiary of Handleman Corp. Crave, a publisher of videogame entertainment products creates games for the major console platforms including PSP(tm) (PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo DS(tm), Game Boy® Advance, Nintendo GameCube(tm), the PlayStation® game console, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. For more information about Crave Entertainment, please visit http://www.cravegames.com.

Gates Outlines Vision for the Digital Lifestyle and Showcases New Products and Technologies From Microsoft

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 4, 2006 — Highlighting key consumer products such as Xbox 360™ and offering the first broad demonstration of the consumer features of Windows Vista™, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates showed how the company is delivering on its vision for a digital lifestyle where devices, services and applications work together seamlessly. In his 10th annual keynote address at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Gates demonstrated how Microsoft® Windows Vista, Xbox 360, new mobile devices and the emerging wave of software-based services will deliver more connected and richly personalized experiences for consumers.

In his keynote, Gates said that the consumer electronics industry is poised to deliver a quantum leap forward in rich, interactive, high-definition experiences. “Technology has revolutionized how we listen to music, watch TV, play games, communicate, and manage and share personal information,” he said. “In the years ahead, further exciting innovations will unify the software, hardware and services in people’s lives, offering them even richer, more engaging and deeply connected experiences.”

Windows Vista Unveiled

In the first broad demonstration of Windows Vista for consumers, Gates showed how Microsoft’s next-generation operating system, due later this year, will offer customers powerful new advances in security, search capability and digital entertainment. He highlighted how Windows Vista will bring clarity to customers’ digital world and help them easily accomplish everyday tasks, instantly find what they want, enjoy the latest in entertainment, keep their personal information safe, and stay connected at home or on the go.

He highlighted some of the most compelling consumer-oriented features of Windows Vista, including a sleek user interface, richer multitasking experiences and deep integration of search throughout the operating system. He also showed the new Windows® Photo Gallery, which will make managing and working with digital photos easier.

He showcased the most advanced Windows games platform for everyone from casual players to hard-core gamers, including stunning graphics capabilities, by premiering Microsoft Games Studios’ forthcoming “Flight Simulator X,” the most realistic flight simulator in the franchise’s 25-year history.

Gates was joined onstage by MTV Networks’ Music Group President Van Toffler to showcase the forthcoming URGE digital music service, which is designed to bring people’s emotional connections with music to the forefront of the digital entertainment experience. URGE will give users of Windows Media® Player 11 instant access to more than 2 million songs from major and independent labels as well as exclusive MTV Networks programming and content.

Demonstrating the Windows Media Center capabilities of Windows Vista, Gates cited growing momentum around the platform by announcing that more than 6.5 million Windows XP Media Center Edition-based PCs have been sold from more than 130 computer manufacturers worldwide.

In another sign of momentum for Windows XP Media Center 2005, Microsoft announced that Comedy Central has joined a group of 110 Online Spotlight content partners and that forthcoming Media Center PCs will include CableCARD support for high-definition programming without a set-top box. This will allow users to plug their digital cable signal directly into their PC to watch and record premium cable content, including high-definition programming, without a set-top box.

Xbox 360 Leads the Way in High-Definition Entertainment
Just a month after the global launch of the new Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, Gates discussed the product’s strong momentum in delivering high-definition hardware, games and digital entertainment experiences. Xbox 360 is on track to be the fastest-selling video game console ever, forecast to ship between 4.5 million and 5.5 million units worldwide by the end of June 2006.
Gates noted that Xbox 360 has also become a powerful application for high-definition television, adding that nine out of 10 Xbox 360 owners currently own or intend to purchase a high-definition television set.* He announced that more than 50 new high-definition Xbox 360™ games will be available by June 2006.
Building on Xbox 360 leadership in high-definition experiences, the company announced plans to deliver a new Xbox 360 external HD DVD drive in 2006. The new drive will offer millions of Xbox 360 owners the ability to easily enjoy HD DVD movies and will provide consumers with even more choices for experiencing high-definition content, in either physical or digital form.

Using Xbox 360 and the Xbox Live® service today, consumers are already able to access high-definition entertainment such as Xbox Live Arcade titles, game demos and high-definition movie trailers. Consumers can also use their Xbox 360 system to access high-definition television and movies from their Windows XP-based Media Center PC.

Gates’ keynote also showcased the momentum behind Xbox Live, announcing that more than half of all Xbox 360 owners are already connected to the online games and entertainment service, which boasts a worldwide community of more than 2 million members. He demonstrated Electronic Arts Inc.’s forthcoming EA SPORTS™ “Fight Night Round 3,” scheduled to be available in February 2006, and announced that a free, playable high-definition demo of the game is now available at the Xbox Live Marketplace, a one-stop digital download center where consumers can access high-definition games, music and movie content from leading industry partners.

Staying Connected With Powerful Windows Mobile-Based Devices

Gates highlighted the Treo 700w, an innovative new device that brings Palm Inc.’s celebrated ease of use to the Windows Mobile® platform. The Treo 700w, available exclusively on the Verizon Wireless network, combines a great mobile phone with easy access to wireless
e-mail and business applications, giving professionals more ways to stay connected while on the go. The Treo 700w is available at retail Jan. 5.

The keynote also included a demonstration of how future technologies will transform the way people manage information in the office or on the go, communicate with
co-workers in richer and more immersive ways, and be more productive wherever they are.

Continuing his keynote, Gates showcased Microsoft’s advancements in mobile entertainment by unveiling next-generation Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers from Toshiba Corp., Tatung Co. and LG Electronics. The new devices, scheduled to be available this year, will feature extensive battery life, support for new high-resolution and widescreen (16:9) displays, direct audio/video recording, gaming, FM tuners and direct connections to digital cameras.

New Content to Energize the Digital Lifestyle

Gates’ keynote address highlighted a number of new alliances that use Microsoft software to provide broader and richer content to consumers. He showed Starz Entertainment Group’s new Vongo video download service, which offers more choices and great experiences for people using Windows Mobile-based devices. Vongo subscribers will enjoy unlimited access to more than 1,000 first-run movies and video selections as well as the streaming Starz TV channel.

Microsoft announced a broad agreement with DIRECTV Inc. that will open up new ways for consumers to enjoy their digital media in the networked home and on portable devices. Microsoft and DIRECTV will work together to enable digital content to flow between Windows-based PCs, DIRECTV devices, PlaysForSure™-based portable media devices and Xbox 360.

It was also announced that Microsoft and British Sky Broadcasting (Sky), the leading pay-TV provider in the U.K. and Ireland, plans to create a Windows Media Center version of Sky’s forthcoming broadband content service, Sky by broadband. The service will enable millions of Sky TV customers to access video content from their PC, including hundreds of movies and sports clips.

Windows Live Services Deliver Rich, Seamless Experiences

In the area of software services, Gates previewed new Windows Live™ offerings, designed to bring together relationships, information and interests that are important to people on PCs and a wide range of devices. He unveiled two new telephones from Royal Philips Electronics and Uniden America Corp., designed to work with the voice communications capabilities in the upcoming Windows Live Messenger, the soon-to-be-released successor to MSN® Messenger, which has more than 200 million active accounts around the world. The new phones will allow consumers to make calls from a cordless handset connected to both the Windows Live Messenger service and public telephone networks. The Philips VOIP433 Dual Phone will debut in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America in 2006. The Uniden WIN 1200 Digital Cordless Phone will offer people another option for making calls over the Internet and will be available in North America in spring 2006.

Gates also previewed forthcoming services for Windows Live and Windows Vista that will help people find and manage their entertainment on the Windows-based Media Center PC or Microsoft TV IPTV Edition-powered set-top box from almost anywhere in the world. TV gadgets on Live.com will enable people to find, manage and share personalized TV recommendations as well as remotely schedule recordings on their Media Center PCs.

Gates concluded his keynote address by looking back on the great momentum of 2005 in consumer technologies and outlining key trends that will shape future innovation in the consumer electronics industry.

“The incredible momentum around all these new products and services shows that the digital lifestyle has truly gone mainstream this year,” Gates said. “Now it’s time to bring together the devices, software and services in people’s lives and take all these experiences to the next level.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

You’re hired! EA Announces The Sims 2 Open for Business

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 4, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, today announced that its Maxis studio is developing The Sims 2 Open for Business, the third expansion pack to the fastest-selling PC game, The Sims™ 2. With The Sims 2 Open for Business, commercial creativity is in your hands – create any kind of business, from trendy clothing boutique to blooming floral shop, a bustling restaurant perhaps, or become a mogul with an original business of your own design - the Sims’ world is open for business!

Make Your Dream Store a Virtual Reality

Ever had a great idea for a business? Build it and see how it works!

The world is your entrepreneurial oyster in this all-new The Sims 2 expansion pack, allowing you to experience the victories and challenges associated with creating, owning and running your own business. From the layout and merchandise, to the employees and materials, you choose what your Sim needs to create a profitable and fun business.

Who’s the Boss? Your Sims Are!

In The Sims 2 Open for Business, your Sims will learn what it takes to build a clientele and keep loyal customers happy while improving employee morale and managing a lucrative business. Players can even help their Sims to create and craft new items to sell and meet customer demands. As each customer is different, you’ll be able to apply sales techniques to woo even the most discriminating shopper. Dress your employees in wacky outfits to entertain cranky customers or drop the price for an unsure browser. From training, promoting, hiring and firing, you’re ultimately the boss who calls all the shots!

Learn the Tricks of the Trade

Do the things your Sims love to do while getting virtually paid for it! Keep your employees knowledgeable and the workplace happy, because before you know it you’ll have the most entertaining, booming business in the neighborhood! Flaunt your team’s assets while vying for the “Best of the Best” award, an honor guaranteed to improve their business reputation – and yours!

“The Sims 2 Open for Business is truly an innovative and fresh addition to the franchise. It allows players to build their own business from the ground up, exploring a whole new economic landscape while pursuing their dreams of commercial success. said senior producer, Tim LeTourneau. “For years players have been asking for the ability to play with their Sims in a work environment. Now they will be able to do just that, unlocking not only their Sims business potential, but their own as well. It’s really a whole new way to play the game.” “Whether you’re a clever tinkerer or a master craftsman, your dream store can become a virtual reality as your Sims world becomes open for business!”

The Sims 2 Open for Business is the third expansion pack of the critically acclaimed PC game, The Sims 2. With streamlined gameplay, stunning graphics, and a lifetime of replayability, The Sims 2 Open for Business maintains the core components of creativity and customization that are integral to The Sims experience while allowing gamers to practice their skills at the trade of their choice. With more than 58 million units sold to date, The Sims franchise maintains a unique appeal that allows gamers to create and control the lives of their Sims thus leaving the creative power of their Sims world in their own hands!

Rated “T” for teen by the ESRB, The Sims 2 Open for Business was developed under the EA™ brand by EA’s award winning Maxis studio.

For more information, or to find out how the game will play on your favorite platform, please visit http://www.thesims2.com

EA ANNOUNCES OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST OSCAR DE LA HOYA AS COVER ATHLETE AND SPOKESMAN FOR EA SPORTS™ FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 3 FOR XBOX 360 AND PSP

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 4, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that Oscar De La Hoya will serve as cover athlete and spokesman for EA SPORTS™ Fight Night Round 3. Olympic gold medalist, former WBC & WBA super welterweight champion, WBC welterweight and super lightweight champion, De La Hoya is recognized as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and will be featured on the cover of EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 3 for the Xbox 360™ system and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system. Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward will grace the covers of the game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft.

“It’s exciting to be contributing to a project that pushes the popularity of boxing to a new level and to a new audience,” said De La Hoya. “EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 3 is so realistic anyone can pick up the game and learn about the actual sport while having a fun time doing it. The visuals in the game are so amazing. You can actually see the emotions on my face change throughout the round.”

EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 3 brings the most intense boxing videogame experience to the virtual ring. Film-quality graphics and innovative gameplay establish EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 3 as one of the best-looking and playing Xbox 360 sports game on the market.

Developed by EA Chicago, EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 3 is scheduled to ship in February 2006 for the Xbox 360, PSP, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game’s official website is http://www.fightnightround3.com.

January 4, 2006

MVP 06 NCAA Baseball Goes Gold, Shipping in 2 Weeks

Electronic Arts is pleased to announce that MVP 06 NCAA Baseball has officially gone gold for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game will ship to retailers under the EA SPORTS brand on Tuesday, January 17.

The fourth edition of the MVP franchise – the highest-rated and top selling baseball game of the past three years – presents a completely new baseball experience with MVP 06 NCAA Baseball. The first-ever college baseball videogame, MVP 06 NCAA Baseball includes all-new gameplay innovations, including Load and Fire Batting that intuitively emulates stepping up to the plate, and revolutionary ESPN integration, featuring a real-time ESPN ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen and live ESPN Sportscenter radio updates. With 128 teams and 19 authentic stadiums, gamers can now experience the spirit of college baseball and battle their way to Omaha – the home of the College World Series.

The game was developed in Vancouver, B.C., by EA Canada. MVP 06 NCAA baseball is rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $29.99. The game’s official website is http://www.mvp06ncaabaseball.com.

Namco and Bandai Officially Integrate In North America, Creating NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.

Santa Clara, Calif., (January 4, 2006) -- NAMCO HOMETEK INC. and Bandai Games Inc. today announced that the integration of their two companies is now complete. The two companies are now officially known as NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. in North America. The company now operates out of the Santa Clara, California facility, formerly held by NAMCO HOMETEK INC.

Effective January 2, 2006, NAMCO BANDAI Holdings (USA) Inc. (formerly called NAMCO HOLDING CORP.) owns all of the BANDAI NAMCO Group US subsidiaries including Bandai America Inc. (Toy), Bandai Entertainment, Inc.(Visual/DVD), NAMCO AMERICA INC. (Arcade machine), NAMCO CYBERTAINMENT INC.(Arcade facility), NAMCO NETWORKS AMERICA INC. (Mobile games) and NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.(Video games).

“We are thrilled that the integration of the two North American entities is now complete and we are all now under one roof,” said Genichi Ito, the new President and CEO of NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “We are proud to be part of the new NAMCO BANDAI Games America family and look forward to a successful year ahead."

“The integration of our two companies has been a team effort over the last several months,” said Naruo Uchida, who is joining from Bandai Games Inc. and now serving as the Corporate Planning Senior Vice President of NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “We have worked together to fuse the many strengths each of our companies have to form one strong North American operation.”

The integration brings together two of the most well-respected Japanese-owned interactive entertainment companies. With brands including Pac-Man®, Tamagotchi®, SoulCalibur®, Naruto and Tekken®, NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. ’s separate brands now fall under one strong brand, with many new properties and offerings also on the horizon.


Bandai Games Inc. is a subsidiary of Bandai America Inc. and a leading publisher of interactive entertainment software for next generation game consoles. Unique characters and stimulating game experiences highlight Bandai Games Inc. distinctive product lineup which include hit properties such as Inuyasha and Digimon. The company was formerly headquartered in Cypress, California. NAMCO HOMETEK INC. is the U.S. consumer division of NAMCO LIMITED, a Tokyo-based world leader in the high-tech entertainment industry, and is an award-winning video games publisher for next generation game consoles.

Nintendo's Hand-Held Systems Buck the Holiday Trend

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo's 15 years of unsurpassed leadership in portable video gaming continued unabated through the 2005 holiday season. Sales figures show that Nintendo's dual-screened Nintendo
DS(TM), fueled by hit software and new global Wi-Fi capability, has sold approximately 4 million units to date in North America alone. Combined with Game Boy(R) Advance, the world's most popular portable video game line,
Nintendo now enjoys a combined U.S. market share of 78 percent.

Nintendo also reports U.S. sales of Mario Kart(R) DS, released on Nov. 14 and featuring live, global Wi-Fi competition, has topped the 1 million mark in just seven weeks. And Nintendogs(TM), made for Nintendo DS, has surpassed sales of 1.5 million units since its U.S. launch in August.

"At a time when some sectors of the video game industry are softening, Nintendo DS and the Game Boy Advance line remain shining stars because of their fun experiences and innovative game play," notes Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "It's important to note that these strong figures represent Nintendo hand-held units and games that consumers have purchased and are now enjoying at home or wherever they like to play."

The Nintendo DS launch title Super Mario(R) 64 DS has sold 1.3 million units in the United States alone. Other DS games that are enjoying dramatic success in the United States include WarioWare(TM): Touched! and Advance
Wars(R): Dual Strike.

The strong U.S. performance of these titles has been mirrored in Japan, where in just more than one year from its Dec. 2, 2004, launch, Japanese consumers purchased more than 5 million Nintendo DS units. This makes the
Nintendo DS the fastest-selling video game machine in the history of the Japanese video game market. In addition, Nintendogs, Animal Crossing(R): Wild World and the two games in the brain-training series (Brain Age and Brain Flex) achieved sales of more than 1 million units each. This is another record in Japan, as an unprecedented four titles have surpassed 1 million units sold in just more than one year from the launch of a system. In addition, Mario Kart DS and WarioWare: Touched! also are nearing the 1 million sales mark in Japan.

All around the world, players have been competing on the new Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection wireless gaming service. Within seven weeks of the service launch more than 10 million game connections have been made and more than 550,000 unique visitors have connected globally.

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems.
Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy(R) Advance SP, Nintendo DS(TM) and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich,
diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games and more than 353 million hardware units globally,
creating enduring industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid(R), Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at http://www.nintendo.com/.

January 3, 2006

CAPCOM REVEALS DEVIL MAY CRY 3: DANTE’S AWAKENING SPECIAL EDITION FOR THE PLAYSTATION2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

SUNNYVALE, Calif. January 3, 2006— Capcom, a powerhouse in the multi-billion dollar video game industry, today announced Devil May Cry®3: Dante’s Awakening Special Edition for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system will join Sony’s “Greatest Hits” collection. Featuring a redesigned package, the special edition will feature a horde of additional content, new options and an additional playable character. In Devil May Cry 3 players take on the role of Dante, the world’s toughest demon slayer, in a fast-paced thrill ride filled with complex storylines, striking graphics and unadulterated stylistic action. The game carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) and is planned for release on January 24 at retailers throughout North America for a suggested retail price of $19.95.

Several thousand years have passed since the demon warrior Sparda raised his sword against the unholy world to save the human race. Victorious and assured that evil forces had been confined, Sparda joined mankind and fathered Dante, a half human-half demon son infused with the power of a supernatural lineage. However, Dante was not the only son Sparda had sired. As devoted as Dante was to defeating the forces of evil, his twin brother, Vergil, was consumed by power and upheld the legacy of his sinister ancestors. One moonlit night, a mysterious tower materialized beside Dante's “Devil May Cry” investigative agency. On the rooftop stood his brother along with his inhuman minions goading Dante into a confrontation.

Devil May Cry 3 unfolds an earlier chapter in Dante's history, before the original Devil May Cry, to the fateful clash between Sparda’s twin sons, divided by the divergence of their chosen paths. Along the way, Dante encounters formidable foes and unusual characters including a mysterious man named Arkham and a female hunter named Lady whose mission is to take down all demons, including Dante. These precursory events disclose the complex roots of Dante's character and reveal insight into his clouded past.

Devil May Cry 3 preserves the fast-paced action that has made the series so popular. In addition to its strong roots, the game increases the intensity of gameplay with a new "style" system, which adds an additional level of depth. Depending on preference, players can choose to use short-range, long-range, defensive or evasive play styles. Each system has its own range of gameplay features and players can choose to power up their favorite style for increased special attack abilities. The range of options available in Devil May Cry 3 immerses players in a non-stop, thrilling escapade.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening Special Edition includes a wealth of exclusive new features:

· New playable character – play as Dante’s evil twin brother, Vergil, with his own unique “Dark Slayer” fighting style

· New “Jester” enemy – previously featured only in cut scenes, Jester has been implemented as a new boss character

· Turbo Option – this new feature boosts the game speed by 20%

· Two continue system options

o Original yellow orb system – use yellow orbs to restart from the last checkpoint

o New gold orb system – continue unlimited times and use gold orbs to resume from the same spot or replay from the last checkpoint if there are no gold orbs left

· Adjusted difficulty levels offer more balanced gameplay as players choose from five options including a new Very Hard mode

· Bloody Palace Mode – Dante is pitted against an onslaught of enemies in this survival mode

· Movie Mode – Unlocked cut scenes can be viewed either one at a time or all in a row

The elements above bolster the impressive offerings of the original Devil May Cry 3:

· Unrelenting, hard-core gothic action

· Fresh new character design – Dante appears younger, but still has his stylish swagger and rock star good looks

· Huge arsenal of weapons – Handguns, powerful shotguns, tricked out guitars and much more

· Combo system – Equip Dante with up to four different weapons that can be swapped at anytime, allowing the freedom to develop a range of fighting moves and combinations

· Customize up to six different fighting styles

o Trickster – Evasive style which allows Dante to deftly dodge enemy attacks with speed and finesse

o Swordmaster – Close-range specialty maximizes the impact of up close attacks with the blade

o Gunslinger – Long-range style that lets Dante blow away enemies with his fire arms

o Royal Guard – Counter attack and guard expertise against strong enemy power

o Quicksilver – Unlockable style that allows Dante to stop time and cause massive damage to enemies

o Doppelganger – An unlockable that produces a replica that fights alongside Dante

· Enhanced graphics – Fully textured rich backgrounds utilizing 3D polygons as well as real time rendering for in game cut scenes and intro movie

· Multitude of demonic enemies – More ferocious than ever before with powerful weapons, the ability to transform and fly and other challenging surprises

· Obtain orbs throughout the game to purchase new weapons, fighting techniques, increase strength and more

· Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II support

· Hidden weapons, items, characters, difficulty levels and more

Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment. Founded in 1983, the company has created world renowned franchises including Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mega Man, Viewtiful Joe, Devil May Cry and the Onimusha series. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, the company maintains operations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Tokyo and Hong Kong. More information about Capcom and its products can be found on the company’s web site at http://www.capcom.com.

Your Ad Here
Your Ad Here