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March 31, 2006

Opening Day Announced for OOTP Baseball 2006

Friday 31st March, 2006 – With the new baseball season just hours away, Sports Interactive, the sports management development specialists, have announced that their latest masterpiece, Out of the Park Baseball 2006, will be released on May 31st.

Available via digital download only, Out of the Park Baseball 2006 offers gamers the ultimate in realism with its brand new pitch-by-pitch game engine, unrivalled playability and unparalleled customization. You can create your own fictional baseball universe or team dynasty, sign free agents, draft hot prospects, and more, creating the most engrossing franchise management game ever.

Via his personal blogs on the official game website (www.ootpbaseball2006.com) Lead Developer Markus Heinsohn has kept fans up-to-date with the latest game developments and feature implementations and more are planned in the run up to release. “The community has played an important part in the game’s growth during the past seven years and for me it has made perfect sense to keep them informed every step of the way as the game evolves. Without them, OOTP 2006 wouldn't be what it is once released - the best baseball management game ever.”

Out of the Park Baseball 2006 will be released on PC and Mac and is available from May 31st 2006 priced at $34.99. Pre orders and further information can be found at www.ootpbaseball2006.com


Core game features

Manage your own baseball franchise

Set up the line-ups, your pitching staff and depth charts. Demote the struggling rookie, put the injured starter on the DL and trade for a backup catcher. Manage the 40-man roster, keep an eye on the waiver wire and scout the upcoming amateur draft pool. In OOTPB 2006 you can do almost anything a real life GM can do to guide your team to glory.

A realistic and accurate simulation engine

No baseball game is complete without stats and OOTPB 2006 is king. In addition to the multitude of statistics, a fully flexible engine allows you to make all the calls pitch-by-pitch. The game is truly as real as it gets.

Customizable financial system

Featuring the most flexible financial system in any baseball simulation ever made, OOTPB 2006 lets you mirror existing intricacies or allows you to invent your own. The only restriction is your imagination.

Scouting and coaching staff at your disposal

All of the staff in your franchise have varying strengths, weaknesses, personalities and of course contract demands. OOTPB 2006 puts all of your man management skills to the test; it’s in your hands!

Endless possibilities with historical and fictional leagues

Play the game with the real life setup of every major baseball league in the world and in addition, you can import every historical baseball season from 1900 to the present day. If that’s not enough simply create your own fictional baseball league.

Create or join an online league

Featuring a full online league mode, commissioners and multiple owners can battle it out against each other over the internet. Integrating seamlessly with FTP and HTML you can upload and download files and share them with friends.

Slick and intuitive interface

Utilizing the technology and expertise of Sports Interactive, the game has a faster, smarter and slicker interface than ever before. What’s more, it’s fully skinable allowing you to change the game to suit your own personal tastes.

MIDWAY Shoots And Scores As NBA BALLERS: PHENOM Hits Store Shelves

CHICAGO – March 31, 2006 – Midway Games Inc. (NYSE:MWY), a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer, today announced that NBA Ballers: Phenom, follow up to the million unit-plus selling NBA Ballers, has shipped for the Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft and is scheduled to be available on April 5 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Midway also announced that NBA Ballers: Rebound for the PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable) system is scheduled for release on May 2.

Backed by a multi–million dollar marketing and promotional campaign, NBA Ballers: Phenom sets a new standard for basketball videogames. The highly anticipated sequel in the NBA Ballers franchise takes flight with even more player customization options and all–new game modes that make NBA Ballers: Phenom the most in–depth and innovative basketball game in Midway's rich basketball history.

"NBA Ballers: Phenom is a unique combination of the franchise's highly praised, fast–paced basketball gameplay and the culture of today's professional athlete celebrity, " said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. "Midway is continuously looking for ways to improve the player's ability to fully customize and interact with the game environment and to ultimately make decisions throughout the gameplay experience that affect the end result. NBA Ballers: Phenom retains the over the top basketball gameplay that Midway is known for while also offering the player so much more, both on and off the court."
NBA Ballers: Phenom Multi-Million Dollar Marketing Campaign includes:

* National television advertising campaign on multiple mainstream broadcast and cable networks ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, TNT, MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central, BET, and Spike TV
* SpikeTV’s NBA Ballers Week commenced in April with two (2) NBA Ballers: Phenom–focused episodes of "GameHead" and will continue through launch with integrations across the network's popular programming.
* Large presence during 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend included sponsorship of Club NBA music events, product sampling, and giveaways
* Aggressive online campaign to top-tier enthusiast and mainstream consumer sites including NBA.com, Gamespot.com, IGN.com, and UGO.com, among others
* Print advertising campaign across multiple major video game and consumer publications including FHM, VIBE, Game Informer, and Official PlayStation Magazine
* National launch program across all game retailers, where gamers receive a 16 song NBA Ballers: Phenom Soundtrack featuring video game exclusive tracks by artists like Jin, Basement Beats, and Phife from a Tribe Called Quest. (Limited time offer, while supplies last)
* Dedicated web presence at www.nbaballers.com, the official website of NBA Ballers: Phenom.

About NBA Ballers: Phenom

NBA Ballers: Phenom is a revolutionary sports video game that introduces an entirely new open world and interactive environment, featuring an exciting story mode and even more player customization opportunities than its predecessor. Set in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles, the player controls his own destiny, embarking on a personal quest to become tomorrow’s NBA phenomenon. For the first time ever in the NBA Ballers franchise, the NBA Ballers: Phenom story mode allows the unique opportunity to develop both on and off-the-court adventures. Players can follow the Baller’s dream by getting noticed on the court and drafted into the NBA, as well as become an entrepreneur off-the-court complete with clothing line, record label and movie deal.
About NBA Ballers: Rebound

NBA Ballers: Rebound is the only one–on–one basketball videogame available for the PSP highlighting the rags–to–riches path from an unknown Baller to today's biggest NBA superstar and is based on the original Midway title, NBA Ballers.

About Midway

Midway Games Inc. (NYSE:MWY), headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with offices throughout the world, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for major videogame systems and personal computers. More information about Midway and its products can be found at www.midway.com.

2K Sports' Final Four Predictions

This year’s NCAA tournament contained more surprises and upsets than a full day of day-time soap operas, with favorites Duke and Connecticut knocked out of the Final Four. At cbs.sportsline.com, none of the two million brackets submitted this year had all four teams. In the Yahoo Sports pool, just one of more than a million entered had all four.

The folks at 2K Sports have run a series of simulations on our NCAA Basketball Game, College Hoops 2K6 to determine the winner of this year’s tournament based on the four remaining teams: Florida, LSU, George Mason and UCLA. Based on the simulations in our game, UCLA is like likely winner with a 48 per cent chance of winning this year’s title. Hopefully this will bring you and your readers some good old fashioned science and statistics to the last leg of this unpredictable tournament.



ODDS OF WINNING TOURNAMENT

UCLA 48%
LSU 28%
FLA 18%
GMU 6%

Coverage for Sale! Placements for Sale!

Wagner James Au wrote a fascinating article for Kotaku's Preview Ho blog column about websites that sell placements. This is when a web site, like GameSpot or IGN/GameSpy, sells a prominent link to a story. So you go to GameSpot.com and IGN and see a list of featured reviews or featured previews and it turns out that the games listed there weren't selected because they are better, but rather they were selected because a media buyer bought that placement.

From the article:
This source sent me some invoices for a game studio client. (For good measure, I faxed copies to my Gawker editors.) Several were from Gamespot, and while most of the items referred to legitimate ads, a couple mentioned something called "Front Door rotation"-- or what Gamespot staffers refer to as a "gumball". Gumballs are those thumbnail screenshots you see on the front page of Gamespot, when you visit the site-- clicking on these takes you to an article about the game.

In the Gamespot invoice I looked at, a gumball for two weeks cost the media buyer's client over $7000.

"You can purchase messaging plus units that increase the likelihood of an article about your game showing up on their front page," the source said. In other words, if you want your game to get more editorial prominence, you pay extra.

Then the source showed me an invoice for the same game, this one from
IGN/Gamespy. What Gamespot calls a gumball, Gamespy calls, less charmingly, a "Gamespy Spotlight". But the content and the principle is basically the same: the Spotlights are those thumbnail screenshot links that you see on the site's front page. "What you're looking at on the front page is not what the editors decided is the best game," the media buyer informed me.

Of course, when contacted directly, both sites saw nothing wrong with what they had done.

Have they done anything wrong? In my mind they have. Every publication talks the talk that they have a separation between ad sales and the editorial process, that the editorial process exists in a vacuum and is totally impartial. But how can that be? If a game publisher can buy coverage or placement, then can we really believe that the coverage is impartial? Could that be why every single game that these sites review gets a high rating? How many times have you seen this, "blah-blah game is so boring that I couldn't play it long enough to review it, but it has it's merits. I give it an 8.5 out of 10"? Could it be that the entire industry is formulated around the very premise of "you give me good placement and tell people to buy my game and I'll buy some ads from you"? Unfortunately, I think the answer is yes.

I spent 5 years as senior management (Technical Director of PC Magazine Labs) at PC Magazine, the flagship publication of Ziff Davis Media. Compared to other technology magazines we had a very high standard of ethics. We weren't allowed to accept gifts valued at over $50 because it might look like we were influenced by the company we were covering. We weren't allowed to own any tech stocks because that might influence coverage. Yet, the Editor-in-Chief met with the Publisher on almost a daily basis. For those of you who don't know, the Publisher is basically the head sales guy. Our editorial calendar had to be approved by the Publisher; we could only write stories that the Publisher felt he could sell ads against. In fact, when I was laid off in 2004, I was told that "ad sales is having difficulty selling enough ads about your stories to justify having you work on those stories." The separation between ad sales and editorial coverage certainly looked a little blurry to me as I packed my boxes.

So now we have a whole industry that swears that editorial coverage isn't affected by ad sales. I know that we, as readers, would like to believe that as much as the magazines and websites would like to convince us of it. After all, who wants to think that the review they're reading is tainted by the prospect of selling an ad? But it's deeper than that. Even if the reviews are unbiased, the choice of which product to review is not. Kotaku pretty much proves that with their investigative reporting and I'm telling you that my experience is that it is true.

Do we, the gaming public, want the stories that we read spoon fed to us based on ad sales? Do we even want favored placement of a link based on ad sales? I think not. We gamers are a special breed. We want to know that the news, reviews, previews, editorials, etc that we read are honest through and through. Personally, I'm sick of watching sites plug bad games for weeks as if they were gifts from God. There's a grassroots revolution across the web to get rid of that crap. Game On!, like many other blogs, is dedicated to providing honest and accurate stories. That's what this blog is about and why our tagline is "from one gamer to another."

What can we gamers do to combat the game publisher-media complex? We can turn to the independents for their unbiased opinions. It's reached the point where I can't trust anything that the big sites have to say because I know how this business works. I rely on the little guy to tell me the truth. The guy who writes a blog to satisfy his own curiosity, the guy who writes a blog because he wants to share his love for games, that;s the guy's whose opinions matter. The web is supposed to be a level playing field, and a level playing field is one in which the honest little guy deserves as much, if not more, attention than the multi-million dollar media buy influenced sites. It is up to us as gamers to keep it that way.

March 30, 2006

The Adventure Company Releases Official Trailer For Crime Stories

About Crime Stories:

Travel from the busy streets of New York City to ancient Mayan ruins as you take on the role of Martin Mystère, the brilliant detective investigating the brutal murder of the highly reputed scientist, Professor Eulemberg. What fascinating discovery had the professor uncovered and why is he now dead? Engage your inner detective and solve this horrific crime and the mystery that lies beneath…

* A cinematic investigative thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours!
* Beautifully detailed 3D graphics with rich, colorful environments to explore.
* 3rd person gameplay with numerous inventory items to discover and interact with.
* Creative and original puzzles that will challenge you!
* Loads of characters to talk to and assist you with your investigations – you choose what you want to say to them.
* A dark and disturbing tale of betrayal and murder!
* A rich atmospheric soundtrack accompanies gameplay and adjusts to your surroundings.

Crime Stories has an ESRB rating of ‘T’ for Teen and is currently available in retail stores across North America.

Here's the trailer.

To find out more about Crime Stories please visit:
www.crimestories-game.com

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Available Now For The PlayStation®2

SAN FRANCISCO March 30, 2006 - Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that its hit title Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has shipped to retail outlets and is currently available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is the next installment in the critically acclaimed, squad-based military shooter franchise, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon®. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system has an ESRB rating of T for Teen and an MSRP of $49.99.

About Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter:

The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur and there is no longer a clear opponent. New enemies and new threats require a new type of warfare - a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts. In 2013, the U.S. Army will implement the Integrated Warfighter System (IWS) evolving what we know as the modern soldier. IWS combines advanced weapon systems, satellite communication devices and enhanced survivability into one fully integrated combat system. The IWS program has been developed to meet these new threats head on. Now, it can be tested on the battlefield. Following an insurgence in the heart of Mexico City, the U.S. Army's most elite Special Forces team is deployed to the center of the conflict to regain control of the city. Greatly outnumbered but fully equipped with the IWS, this elite team is the first and last line of defense on the battlefield. They are the “quiet” professionals. They are the Ghosts.

Key Features:
Put on the new lethal, fully-integrated combat system developed by the U.S. Army for its elite soldiers.

The satellite powered CROSS COM communication device:
- Enhances your strategic vision of the battlefield, and allows effortless command of your squad and other allied forces.

- Direct precision air strikes, Apache gunship support and artillery strikes.

Master deadly prototype high tech weapons that are inspired by actual army research programs, like the Crye caseless assault rifle.

Fight through the war-torn streets of tomorrow's Mexico City in exclusively-designed maps.

Online Multiplayer:

3 team-based adversarial modes (Team Survival, Assault, and Supremacy) playable over Sony Online.
10 dedicated multiplayer maps from historical urban zones to shantytowns.

For more information on Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, please visit www.ghostrecon.com.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Demo Assaults Xbox 360!

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat hits shelves on April 12th, but to make the wait a little easier we’re giving you a free taste of the critically acclaimed multiplayer action. Download your free online multiplayer demo from Xbox Live Marketplace, and experience the no-holds-barred intensity of the massively popular “Bridge Too Far” level. Fly helicopters to the top of towering cranes and skyscrapers, to gain prime Sniper vantage points. Two rivers provide natural barriers, but the raised drawbridges mean a Hummer can execute a heart-stopping jump to gain the element of surprise. Add powerful tanks and devastating artillery strikes to the equation, and it’s no wonder the most popular map from the Xbox version will soon be the definitive multiplayer experience on Xbox 360.

To Download the Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Demo:

1. Sign in to Xbox Live from the Xbox Dashboard. For more info about connecting to Xbox Live, visit www.xbox.com.
2. Download your free demo from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

The next-generation debut of the critically-acclaimed Battlefield franchise, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat has been completely rebuilt for the Xbox 360, and delivers all-out war on the modern battlefield.

With new maps taking you to Wake Island, the wilds of the Middle East and the snowy landscape of northern China, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat escalates the battles to a new level of excitement. The game also adds all-new vehicles including snowmobiles and mini-gun equipped vans that offer new ways to eliminate your enemies, rounding out the more than 30 vehicles in the game.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat also delivers the Battlefield’s trademark multiplayer action on Xbox Live, delivering ferocious 24 player online battles, fighting as one of four high-tech armies – the US, the European Union, the Chinese, or the newly formed Middle East Coalition.

Agent 47 Displays Methods of Accessing His Targets in the Latest Video

In order to execute the perfect hit, a detailed plan of action is needed. However, though planning is essential, the actual implementation is where your life is on the line, and a single mistake could be deadly. In order to gain access to your target, you must use a variety of tactics, all without being seen. This latest video shows Agent 47 in action, as he gets close to his target, and obtains a position to make the kill. Hitman: Blood Money, the latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise gives Agent 47 brand new moves to gain access to his targets and puts the decision making in your hands, as the brand new levels provide you with complete freedom to determine how to make the hit. Prepare to make a killing, as Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship this Spring 2006, for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

Download the new video now at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=159

Verizon Sponsored Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend begins Friday March 31

The first ever first Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend takes place this weekend, courtesy of Verizon.

From March 31 through April 2, Xbox 360 gamers are invited to connect to Xbox Live and enjoy an action-packed weekend of multiplayer gaming in a community of 2 million players, free of charge.

The Verizon-sponsored Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend will feature 72 hours of nonstop events, constituting the largest programming effort of online Xbox multiplayer games ever. Events include:

· A 72-hour multiplayer schedule of the most exciting games on Xbox 360.

· Game with Fame with Kamal from The Roots in NBA 2K6. Look for Gamertag “RootsGWF” on Friday, March 31st from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. Eastern (12 P.M. to 2 P.M. Pacific).

· Download the Xbox Live exclusive acoustic high-def performance of “Single” and Unwritten” from Xbox Live Artist of the Month, Natasha Bedingfield.

· Xbox Ambassadors will be online all weekend hosting new gamers on Xbox Live.

· Lucky 7 Play & Win: You could win simply for playing! Play a total of at least seven hours over the weekend to be entered into a drawing for Xbox Live prizes.

· Ubisoft Challenge: Play Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter with members of the game's development and marketing teams on Friday March 31st from 10 P.M. to 12 A.M. Eastern and Sunday April 2nd from 8 P.M. to 11 P.M. Eastern.

· Frag Doll Friday: Take on Ubisoft's fierce gaming crew on Sunday, April 2, starting at 6 P.M. Eastern (3 P.M. Pacific) in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.

· Beat the Xbox Team: Challenge Xbox insiders to College Hoops 2K6, Bankshot Billiards 2 and EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 3. Earn bragging rights and win awesome Xbox prizes.

In addition, the exclusive Verizon One Million Microsoft Points giveaway offers gamers the chance to win points to purchase the latest Xbox Live Marketplace digital downloadable content, including Xbox Live Arcade titles and the hottest game and entertainment content, while supplies last.

For more details visit - www.xbox.com/livegoldweekend

UBISOFT DELIVERS NEXT CHAPTER IN FAR CRY INSTINCTS FRANCHISE FOR XBOX 360 AND XBOX

SAN FRANCISCO, CA March 30, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that Far Cry Instincts Predator for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Far Cry Instincts Evolution for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft are available in stores today. Far Cry Instincts Evolution for Xbox introduces players to an entirely new story, and new characters and game features that reflect and improve upon the critically acclaimed elements of the first title. Far Cry Instincts Predator for Xbox 360 includes both Far Cry Instincts Evolution and an enhanced version of the original Far Cry Instincts game. Both games are rated "M" for Mature and have an MSRP of $59.99 for Far Cry Instincts Predator and $29.99 for Far Cry Instincts Evolution.

"Ubisoft is building on the critically acclaimed Far Cry Instincts brand with the addition of a stellar new adventure that fans of the franchise have been anxiously awaiting," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft. With an action-packed single-player campaign and an array of addictive multiplayer modes, combined with the highest graphical quality available on current and next-generation consoles, Far Cry Instincts Predator for Xbox 360 and Far Cry Instincts Evolution for Xbox further exemplify why Far Cry is one of the hottest franchises available to the Xbox audience."

About the Game*
The incident at Jacutan Archipelago changed Jack Carver's life forever. Jack has had little choice but to embrace the disturbing talents unleashed by Krieger's unique brand of folk medicine. Back at his home port in Micronesia, Jack thought he had finally found paradise. But when a gorgeous woman draws him in on a dangerous heist, their sun-drenched days take a chilling turn. Hunted for a murder he didn't commit, Jack must draw on his most savage instincts to make his predators his prey.
Game features include:

• Wage war across land, sea and air in a breathtaking tropical wilderness. Take control of 10 drivable vehicles like gliders, ATVs and jet-skis, as well as new vehicles like armored pickups and transport trucks.

• Experience massive gunfights with over 20 action-packed weapons. Cause some serious damage with shotguns, machines guns, traps, and all-new weapons like poisonous dart guns and Molotov cocktails.

• Hunt and be hunted by unnervingly brilliant AI enemies or battle friends in 22 multiplayer missions and 5 customizable game modes. Includes all the classic modes like Predator, as well as the all-new Seek-and-Secure mode.

• Create the perfect paradise. Build your own custom maps and share them on the Xbox Live® online gaming service for explosive multiplayer action

*Refers to Far Cry Instincts Evolution. Far Cry Instincts Predator includes both Far Cry Instincts Evolution and 2005's Far Cry Instincts.

New FTC Game Shopper Survey Shows Major Improvement in Retail Ratings Enforcement; Game Retailers Pleased With Results

WILTON, CT (March 30, 2006) - A new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Undercover Mystery Shopper released today shows dramatic improvement in retail enforcement of computer and video game ratings over the past five years, a result applauded by the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), the trade group that represents the $10-billion-dollar computer and video game industry's leading retailers. The rate at which minors were able to purchase Mature-rated games dropped from 85% in 2000 to today's level of 35% for IEMA member companies, who collectively account for approximately seventy-five percent of the industry's volume.

“I am exceedingly proud of our member companies and their commitment to self-regulation in stemming the sale of Mature-rated games to minors," said Hal Halpin, president of the IEMA. "The FTC’s results very clearly indicate that the nation’s leading retailers of games have steadily improved and are quickly approaching the compliance rates of the Gold Standard, movie theatre owners. In the two years since our carding policy, we have made significant and tangible progress in working with our partners in the industry, with empowering and educating parents, and with those concerned with the issue. And with the industry responding in such a visible and proactive fashion, it is clear that legislative efforts are simply not required.”

The study also showed major improvements in retailers across the board in levels of "carding" underage kids who tried to buy M-rated games (an increase from 15% to 50% from 2000 to 2005), as well as a significant increase in the number of stores which provide information about the rating system to their customers (from 12% in 2000 to 44% in 2005). IEMA members carded kids 55% of the time, and posted information about the rating system 51% of the time.

"Today's FTC shopping survey results affirm what we've been saying, which is that voluntary retail enforcement of video game ratings works, and that retailers are genuinely dedicated to making their enforcement policies succeed," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade group representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. "The fact is retail enforcement of video game ratings is now equal to or even better than that of any other media. With that said, retailers must continue to move forward with these important efforts, and we know they remain committed to even higher enforcement levels in the months ahead."

"The significant, across-the-board increases in retailer enforcement and education indicate strong support of ESRB ratings, particularly among national retailers, which account for 90% of total game sales," said Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) president Patricia E. Vance. "Store policy compliance has improved three-fold since 2000 when the FTC first conducted these studies, and we will continue to work with retailers in their efforts to train store associates and educate their customers about ESRB ratings."

The FTC's press release on its study can be found at:
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/03/videogameshop.htm

About the IEMA:
The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) is the non-profit trade association dedicated to serving the business interests of leading retailers that sell interactive entertainment software (including video and computer games, multimedia entertainment, peripherals and other software). Member companies of the IEMA collectively account for approximately seventy-five percent of the $10 billion annual interactive entertainment business in the United States. [http://www.iema.org]

PAX '06 Musical Guests: Mike Relm, The Minibosses, MCFrontalot and More

Seattle, Washington - March 30, 2006 - Penny Arcade Inc today revealed the musical lineup for gaming fest Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), slated to turn Washington State into a gamer's nirvana August 25th-27th. Artists expected to participate in the 3rd annual game culture celebration include architect of hip-hop culture Mike Relm, along with returning musical guests The Minibosses, MC Frontalot, Optimus Rhyme, The Video Game Pianist, and the Neskimos.

This Friday, March 31st is the early bird registration deadline for PAX which means gamers can still buy a three-day pass for less than the price they might be planning to shell out for The Godfather game. Online registration is now live at www.pennyarcadeexpo.com. Contestants for the Survivor-style Omegathon gaming Olympics at PAX are drawn only from the pre-registration attendee list. Those selected to participate in Omegathon will compete in multiple game formats for crazy big game prizes.

The PAX06 exhibit floor, which will offer playable game demos of titles still six months away, is already 90 percent sold out, with new sponsors including Turbine, NC Soft, Prima Games, The Behemoth, Flying Lab, Creative Labs, Tablestar Games, Garage Games, Nvidia, Klei Entertainment, Sweet Kitty, Pink Godzilla, Mythic Entertainment, Privateer Press and Paizo Publishing.

About Penny Arcade Expo
Started by videogame-oriented comic strip creators Gabe and Tycho in 2004, Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is a 3-day, round-the-clock celebration of games and game culture. It includes an exhibition floor filled with playable demos of games that won't be on shelves until next year, a conference program of game industry speakers on topics related to gaming, music concerts, game tournaments and more. For more information visit www.pennyarcadeexpo.com.

About Penny Arcade
Equal parts online comic and commentary, Penny-Arcade (http://www.penny-arcade.com) covers videogames in a way that is genuine, insightful, and respected by the gaming community. What started as a hobby for Jerry "Tycho" Holkins and Mike "Gabe" Krahulik has, over five years, grown into an online phenomenon that serves 45 million page views a month to millions of readers worldwide. In addition to the comic strip and PAX, Penny Arcade Inc. also manages Child's Play (www.childsplaycharity.org), a gamer-driven charity for sick kids in Children's Hospitals across the world.

March 29, 2006

SNK PLAYMORE USA SLUGS PSP(tm) System Owners

WALL, NJ. - March 29, 2006 - SNK PLAYMORE USA CORPORATION, the US publishing arm of the SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION, announced today that in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of their classic arcade franchise, METAL SLUG, they will be releasing the greatest array of METAL SLUG titles ever assembled for the
PSP(tm) (PlayStation®Portable) system in fall 2006. The METAL SLUG COLLECTION will feature six great METAL SLUG titles from the past on one UMD. Included in the collection will be METAL SLUG, METAL SLUG 2, METAL SLUG X, METAL SLUG 3, METAL SLUG 4, and METAL SLUG 5.

The METAL SLUG COLLECTION will be perfect translations of the arcade classics and feature Wireless support for intense two-player action.

About METAL SLUG
The METAL SLUG franchise first appeared in arcades in April 1996 on the Neo-Geo MVS arcade platform and later on AES home entertainment system. The first title, METAL SLUG quickly gained a reputation as a spectacularly hand animated one or two-player run and shoot game with a sly sense of humor. The METAL SLUG series follows the story of two military factions, the Rebellion and the Regular Army, and their constant struggle for power.
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 an industry leader by focusing on their rich arcade history. More information on SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION can be found at 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 www.snkplaymoreusa

SNK PLAYMORE USA Announces THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006 for the PlayStation 2

WALL, NJ. - March 29, 2006 - SNK PLAYMORE USA CORPORATION, the US publishing arm of the SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION, announced THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006, an original 3D fighting game designed specifically for home consoles, and produced by noted artist and designer, Falcoon. KOF 2006 will ship for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in summer 2006. THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006 is the sequel to SNK's first 3D fighting game, THE KING OF FIGHTERS: MAXIMUM IMPACT.

Currently celebrating its twelfth year as one of the most popular fighting video game franchises in the history of gaming, THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2006 will continue to build on the series' rich history with several new characters, as well as many returning favorites. KOF 2006 will feature characters from THE KING OF FIGHTERS: MAXIMUM IMPACT and a number of hidden characters.

"KOF 2006 will be a perfect mix of speed, beauty and an all-new story line." said Ben Herman, SNK PLAYMORE USA president. "Our fans expect our fighting games to be fast - whether they're 2D or 3D, and KOF 2006 is not going to disappoint them."
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 an industry leader by focusing on their rich arcade history. More information on SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION can be found at 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 www.snkplaymoreusa.com

Vicious Gameplay Video Released For Urban Chaos: Riot Response!

When trying to take back a city held hostage by a ruthless gang of pyromaniacs, there is no need to play nice. The new action packed first person shooter Urban Chaos: Riot Response puts you in the shoes of Nick Mason, a true civic super hero in charge of the elite anti-gang unit T-Zero, and you have been given clearance to use any means necessary to take back your city. This week’s gameplay video gives you a sneak peak at what the psychopathic gang known as the Burners have in store for them, and from the looks of the video, they are going to have some serious regrets about ever lighting up their torches. Normally a stun gun is one of the more peaceful weapons, however when innocent civilian lives are at stake, leaving it on a tad bit longer than normal to take out a burner in true pyromaniac style can prove a point. Just in case they didn’t get the message, a few up-close blasts from a sawed-off shotgun should make it clear that the time for playing games has passed.

Download the gameplay video now at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=162

The city needs a savior, and Urban Chaos: Riot Response puts you in control of the justice, this June 2006 for the PS2 and Xbox.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend Has Officially Gone Gold!

It seems as if Lara Croft has acquired the Midas touch, because her latest game Tomb Raider: Legend has officially Gone Gold and is ready for production! Tomb Raider: Legend marks Lara Croft’s return to what she does best, as she is set to travel the world raiding the most deadly tombs the series has seen yet. Equipped with new acrobatic moves and beautiful fluid movement, Lara Croft allows you to explore the vastly detailed and interactive environments with such grace that makes the experience like poetry in motion. Action, adventure and beauty... what more can you ask for from a game?

The time is growing near when you can finally join Lara Croft on her latest adventure as Tomb Raider: Legend is set to ship in North America on April 11th 2006, for the Xbox360, PS2, Xbox and PC!

New Trailer Released for Rogue Trooper Featuring Stealth Combat!

Rogue Trooper, the new sci-fi action shooter game based of the comic book series from 2000 AD, puts you in the shoes of a pissed off genetic infantryman whose sole purpose is getting revenge on those who set up his race for destruction.

Vastly outnumbered, take on full platoons of soldiers with only the aid of your fallen comrades, whose bio-chips have been implanted into Rogue’s gear. With such a difficult task at hand, the only chance you have at success is to plan out your attack, stay low, and strike when it hurts the most. Luckily for Rogue Trooper, his comrades Gunnar, Helm and Bagman have a few surprises in store for their enemies. Set up Gunnar as a turret, to provide cover fire while you get a better vantage point. Use Helm to act as a Holodecoy to distract your enemies as you attack them from behind. And when the situation calls for an ambush, Bagman is more than happy to lay down a field of micro-mines to ensure that it’s an explosive encounter. These special abilities give Rogue Trooper the edge he needs, and along with his massive arsenal of high-tech weaponry, anyone who stands in his way is in for some pain.

Revenge will be yours this Spring 2006, when Rogue Trooper ships for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

Download the new trailer now at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=161

The Adventure Company Ships KEEPSAKE

Toronto, March 29, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, today announced that KEEPSAKE has been shipped to retailers across North America. In the enhanced North American version, players will be immersed in an enchanting world of mystery reminiscent of King’s Quest® and Syberia® with a touch of Harry Potter®.

The adventure unfolds as you take on the role of Lydia, a young girl headed to the gates of Dragonvale Academy to become an apprentice. The Academy is an institution of magical research – a place where the arcane arts are taught to a new generation of mages. Upon Lydia’s arrival, she discovers something is terribly amiss... She finds the keepsake she gave her best friend Celeste, but Celeste and the other scholars are nowhere to be found. In this world of mystery, beauty, and unparalleled imagination you will explore and master the forces of magic to uncover the secrets that lie beyond the gates of Dragonvale Academy. Challenge yourself to solve the mystery behind the strange disappearances, the beloved keepsake, and the treachery that lurk the halls of the prestigious Academy.

Features:

* Deep and involving storyline where suspense and mystery await at every turn
* Navigate easily throughout the vast campus using the new in-game map
* Interact with an intriguing cast of characters with the addition of fine-tuned dialogue to minimize repetitive scripts
* New voiceovers have been added including: Mustavio, Celeste, young Celeste, Elvander, and Zak
* Explore stunning environments designed in intricate detail using dynamic lighting and shading
* Unique in-game ‘Active Hint System’ helps players progress further into the game without being stumped by difficult puzzles
* Easy to use interface that evolves as new feature becomes available
* Compelling 3rd person gameplay powered by a state-of-the-art graphic engine
* Learn to cast spells, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and overcome daring trials designed to test your wits rather than your dexterity
* Enlarged ‘hotspots’ making navigation more fluid and intuitive

Developed by Wicked Studios KEEPSAKE has received an ESRB rating of ‘E’ for Everyone and is available at retail for SRP$29.99. For more information, please visit www.AdventureCompanyGames.com or the official website www.KeepsakeGame.com

TURNER BROADCASTING’S GAMETAP SPURS EVOLUTION OF BROADBAND ENTERTAINMENT WITH NEW LOOK, CHANNELS AND SHOWS

ATLANTA - March 29, 2006 - Don’t touch that dial, er, game controller! GameTap, the first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), today unveiled the all new “GameTap TV,” which features a dynamic mix of new channels and shows for the rapidly growing broadband community with more than 250 videos on demand. GameTap also surpasses a key milestone today by offering more than 400 video games, making it by far the largest collection of on-demand games on the internet. In addition to its new look and content, GameTap subscriptions are now available at a new price of $9.95 per month.

“Broadband entertainment is a brave new world, and as industry leaders, we’re taking it in brave new directions,” said Stuart Snyder, GameTap’s General Manager. “By boasting the largest library of on-demand games coupled with original shows all at the right price, GameTap is at the forefront of broadband entertainment and culture.”

At the center of the new “GameTap TV,” GameTap now offers an array of channels each with their own unique focus, all still appealing to fans of the video games lifestyle. In addition, the shows are easily accessible and fun to watch thanks to the “big screen” TV-style viewing controls which also allow subscribers to bookmark programs, games and more, so they can click back to their favorites at any time.

“GameTap is about playing games and a whole lot more,” said Ricardo Sanchez, vice president of content. “We have compelling and funny TV shows that you really can’t find anywhere else. Every week, we launch new games on our service and serve up original shows to entertain you on gameplay breaks—we don’t just push recycled TV content and cutting room floor material at our audience.”

Among the new channels that GameTap’s subscribers will experience for the first time are:

· OnTap channel: This guide delivers the latest programs on the GameTap service. Whether you want the new episode of “Space Ghost Coast To Coast,” with Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak in the hot seat or the “Tapped In” story of the SEGA Dreamcast, the best shows on “GameTap TV” are always “OnTap.”

· GameTap Originals channel: Exclusive shows you won’t find anywhere else! All of the GameTap original programs are housed in their entirety on this channel, such as the reality show “Challenged” (friends settle grudges with game-offs), “GameTap Survival Guide” (experts teach novices all they need to know to master specific games), “The Class of…?” (a pop-culture clip and quiz show), and “Hyper 5” (a top five countdown show spotlighting the wild, weird and wacked elements of games), to name a few.

· Music channel: The world of games collides with the music scene in original programming and music videos. This channel brings top musical artists to the network, including “GamePads,” a show about celebrities and how games have impacted their lives, and this month’s debut of “GameTap 10,” a celebrity-driven top 10 favorite video games countdown show, featuring segments with Fall Out Boy, Joe Nichols and Dem Franchize Boyz, with many others in the wings. Also featured are dozens of music videos spanning the rock, hip-hop and country genres.

· Animation channel: Debuting later this spring, the channel will kick-off with an original series of animated shorts about a campus computer lab and its unusual characters in a usual situation. It is being developed by Soup2Nuts, the creators of “Home Movies,” which airs on Cartoon Network. Other original animated features are also in the works.

· Games channel: With an industry record-setting library of more than 400 games, this channel lets subscribers preview games in the network prior to selecting what they want to play. Among the marquee titles joining this month are “Crazy Taxi,” one of SEGA’s most revered offerings and “King of Monsters 1 and 2” from SNK. Capcom also delivers its first batch of games, leading off with the legendary “Ghouls ‘N Ghosts” and “Ghosts ‘N Goblins,” as well as classic fighter “Dark Stalkers.” “Populous” from EA, “Oregon Trail” from River Deep and “Baldur’s Gate” from Vivendi Universal round out GameTap’s new March titles. Stay tuned for what’s new in April: Capcom Week, SNK Week, “King’s Quest” Week and “Street Fighter” Week.

With its ever-expanding menu of shows and games, GameTap has established a solid leadership position in on-demand broadband entertainment. The estimated 184 million consumers using broadband in 2005 will nearly double to 360 million in the next five years. With a robust catalogue of on-demand offerings and new competitive price point, GameTap will remain a frontrunner in the broadband movement.

Go to www.gametap.com to preview the shows or sign up for the all you can play and watch broadband network for $9.95 per month.

March 28, 2006

AN EPIC JOURNEY BEGINS AS KINGDOM HEARTS II SHIPS IN NORTH AMERICA

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (March 28, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc. (Square Enix), the publisher of Square Enix interactive entertainment products in North America, and Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today that the highly-anticipated role-playing game (RPG), KINGDOM HEARTS® II, has shipped to retailers nationwide. Exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, KINGDOM HEARTS II is the sequel to KINGDOM HEARTS, one of the top ten best-selling PlayStation 2 titles of all time in North America (Source: The NPD Group, Dec. 2005).

KINGDOM HEARTS II features an all-star ensemble voice cast led by Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense,” “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”) as the main character Sora, joined by David Gallagher (“7th Heaven”) as Riku, and Hayden Panettiere (“Racing Stripes,” “Raising Helen”) as Kairi. KINGDOM HEARTS II will also feature the voice talents of Jesse McCartney (“Summerland,” Recording artist, “Beautiful Soul” CD) as the mysterious boy Roxas, Brittany Snow (“The Pacifier,” “American Dreams”) as Namine, Christopher Lee (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”) as Diz; Steve Burton (“The Last Castle,” “Taken”) as Cloud, Rachael Leigh Cook (“She’s All That,” “Josie And The Pussycats”) as Tifa and Mena Suvari (“American Beauty,” “Rumor Has It”) as Aerith, all characters from FINAL FANTASY® VII; and Hedy Buress (“Boston Common,” “If These Walls Could Talk”), Tara Strong (“Fairly OddParents : Shadow Showdown,” “Teen Titans”) , Gwendoline Yeo (“Desperate Housewives,” “24”) as the popular female-trio Yuna, Rikku, Paine from FINAL FANTASY X-2. In addition, many of the original Disney film voice actors are reprising their role for this project, including Ming-Na (“ER,” “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”) as Mulan, James Woods (“Be Cool”) as the villain Hades and Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) as Chicken Little.


Since its release in September 2002, the original KINGDOM HEARTS for the PlayStation 2 has shipped more than 2.6 million units in North America. Bridging the gap between the original and the sequel, KINGDOM HEARTS: CHAIN OF MEMORIES followed in December 2004 for the Nintendo® Game Boy Advance® system. With the release of the Japanese version of KINGDOM HEARTS II in December 2005 (1 million units shipped during the first three days after the release date), the series has shipped in excess of 7.5 million units worldwide.

The world of KINGDOM HEARTS joins classic Disney characters and worlds together with a new story filled with new characters and environments from the expertise of Square Enix. The result is a remarkable, innovative, original property that has captured the attention of both gamers and critics alike. In KINGDOM HEARTS II, players will travel through the worlds of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Steamboat Willie and Tron as well as revisit worlds from the original, including Aladdin, Disney Castle, Hercules, The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The game features more than 100 Disney characters, including the new additions of Chicken Little, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch and one of Disney’s favorite villains, Pete. The game also also introduces new, original characters such as Roxas, members of Organization XIII and the Nobodies, all designed by Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura, director and character designer of the KINGDOM HEARTS series. Nomura is best known for his creations in the top selling titles FINAL FANTASY VII, VIII, X and X-2.

“KINGDOM HEARTS II is a perfect demonstration of what can be created when two companies with astounding resources come together,” said Daishiro Okada, president and COO, Square Enix, Inc. “The result is an absolutely stunning video game that will engage gamers of all ages in multiple worlds both familiar and new."

“The creative collaboration between the Disney and Square Enix production teams has resulted in a game that is not only innovative but truly remarkable in scope,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “With the addition of new worlds from Mickey Mouse’s classic screen debut in ‘Steamboat Willie’ to the current film franchise ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ KINGDOM HEARTS II covers the spectrum of Disney properties.”

KINGDOM HEARTS II follows Sora, Donald, and Goofy on their continuing quest, after the events of KINGDOM HEARTS. Sora is looking for his lost friend Riku, while Donald and Goofy are searching for their missing king. The story begins in Twilight Town, a quiet burg nestled between night and day. Sora and friends are joined by a vibrant new cast of characters, including the king himself. Together, they will encounter countless dangers in worlds both familiar and brand new.

KINGDOM HEARTS II features a new and improved real-time battle system which provides an increased selection of commands, such as performing special attacks and cooperative attacks with members of your party, adding strategy to the gameplay. Players can also perform the “Drive” to transform main character Sora into his various forms, altering his skills and abilities. Examples include the Brave Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of Goofy allowing him to use two Keyblades; the Wisdom Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of Donald allowing him to increase his magic power; and the Master Form, in which Sora absorbs the power of both Donald and Goofy and increases both his attack and magic powers. These new features bring additional challenges and excitement to players and further enhance gameplay.


Japanese pop artist Utada Hikaru returns to sing the theme song for KINGDOM HEARTS II. The song titled “Sanctuary,” the English version of its original Japanese release “Passion,” was written specifically for KINGDOM HEARTS II. More information on the artist can be found at http://www.utada.com .

The launch of KINGDOM HEARTS II is supported by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, driving the message “New Allies. New Worlds. New Adventures. The story is not over.” The campaign rolled out in mid-March and will continue for three months. The broadcast campaign began on March 27 and will run for four weeks. Both :15 and :30 spots will run on networks including Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Fuel, Fuse, G4, MTV and MTV2. The print campaign includes Electronic Gaming Monthly, Game Informer, Official PlayStation Magazine, NewType USA and Disney Adventures. Online advertisements will appear in a variety of sites including 1UP.com, IGN.com, Gamspot.com, Neopets.com, AOL.com, MSN.com, and Yahoo.com.


BradyGames' KINGDOM HEARTS II Official Strategy Guide provides information to assist gamers in helping Sora successfully battle through every world in this highly acclaimed sequel. A comprehensive walkthrough with extensive coverage of all the worlds and detailed area maps with item callouts help players navigate through the game with ease. Players will also learn how to master every mini-game with uncanny efficiency and defeat evil minions with helpful tips and game-tested boss strategies. As an added bonus, a two-sided Gummi Ship foldout containing expert tactics to decisively win each Gummi Ship battle, plus cool artwork of the heroes in their alternate costumes, is provided. Players will also love the Gummi Garage, an all-inclusive list of blueprints and Gummi blocks, to aid them in constructing a top-notch Gummi Ship. The Official Strategy Guide, part of BradyGames' Signature Series, will retail for $19.99 US / $26.99 CAN and is also available online at http://www.bradygames.com .


And for die-hard fans, BradyGames is offering another collectible - a KINGDOM HEARTS II Limited Edition Strategy Guide. This exclusive product features a Signature Series strategy guide with one of four special cover designs-not available anywhere else. A copy of Jiminy's Journal is also included, for players to record their progress through the entire game. With more than 400 stickers, the Jiminy's Journal will help players keep track of characters, treasures and more. A deluxe jacket encases this limited edition package. The KINGDOM HEARTS II Limited Edition Strategy Guide will retail for $29.99 US / $39.99 CAN and is also available online at http://www.bradygames.com for a limited time only.

KINGDOM HEARTS II is available at North American retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (USD). Additional information can be found at http://www.kingdomhearts.com . The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has rated the title “E10+” for ages 10 and up. For more information about the ESRB, visit http://www.esrb.org .

UNTOLD LEGENDS THE WARRIOR'S CODE FOR THE PSP (PLAYSTATION® PORTABLE) SYSTEM SHIPPING TODAY

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - March 28, 2006 - Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE) announces Untold Legends The Warrior's Code for the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system is shipping to retail stores in North America today. The Warrior's Code is the next game in the Untold Legends series, following the top-selling Brotherhood of the Blade. The Warrior's Code is a completely new action role-playing game (RPG) featuring an enhanced combat engine, all-new 3D graphics, with special effects, new spells and lighting, and new multiplayer game modes. Untold Legends The Warrior's Code carries a suggested retail price of $39.99.

"The Warrior's Code builds upon the success of the original game while reaching out to new PSP system owners and fans of the action-RPG genre," said Chris Sturr, senior brand manager, Sony Online Entertainment. "The Warrior's Code brings an entirely new level of gaming to the PSP system with an all-new story mode told through in-game cut scenes and two new multiplayer modes featuring cooperative play for up to two players or player-to-player battles for up to four players via either WiFi, or now for the first time, online."

As one of five completely re-designed, shape-changing characters, players will challenge their hack-and-slash skills through an epic storyline consisting of five exciting chapters with dramatic in-game cinematics, voiceovers and exciting, colorful art design. In addition, there are more than 45 areas featuring interactive objects, devious traps, destructible walls and creatures.

The Warrior's Code utilizes the online capability of the PSP system and features two online multiplayer options. The cooperative option features story driven co-op play for up to two players which seamlessly integrates with the single player game. The player-vs.-player option offers combat-focused battles for up to four players. Both options feature a macro-chat communication, online lobby and matchmaking system.

About The Warrior's Code

In The Warrior's Code, the realm is one of chaos and oppression as a powerful warlord's horrific minions continue to slaughter and enslave the people. When members of a secret shape-shifting race begin to disappear, suspicions of an insidious plot to exterminate them lead many of its members to flee into the wilderness for survival. While struggling to escape capture and death, some of the shape-shifting refugees stumble upon a carefully guarded secret that rekindles hope for freedom and peace in the realm.

Key features in The Warrior's Code include:
- Evolutionary Combat Engine - Experience all-new action-RPG combat through an upgraded combat engine, featuring a wider variety of combat moves and special abilities, dynamic attacks of opportunity, and all the intensity of fast hack-n-slash action.
- Epic Storyline - Play through five exciting chapters with dramatic in-game cinematics and voiceovers.
- Enhanced 3D Game Engine - Featuring enhanced graphics, special effects, and lighting with streaming music.
- All-New Online Multiplayer Mode - Featuring story-driven two player co-op play seamlessly integrated with the single player game, or combat-focused player vs. player battles for up to four players.
- New Playable Characters - Five shape-changing player character types featuring enhanced customization and a wider variety of enhanced animations.
- Enhanced Quest System - Challenge yourself with a wider variety of quest types and upgraded Quest Journal.
- New Hand-Crafted Environments - Explore more than 45 all-new areas featuring dynamic events and a wider array of interactive objects, devious traps, destructible walls, and creatures.
- Unique Monsters - Battle and employ different combat strategies against more than 40 unique monsters with improved Artificial Intelligence.
- Massive Boss Battles - Experience 12 massive boss battles featuring interactive lairs and unique new gameplay challenges.
- Enhanced Item System - Collect and utilize a wider variety of items and enhancements and store.

For more information please visit www.untoldlegends.com

SUPER BOWL XL CHAMPION PITTBURGH STEELERS COACH BILL COWHER TO GRACE COVER OF NFL HEAD COACH FROM EA

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 29, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Bill Cowher will be on the cover of NFL Head Coach¸ available in stores June 20, under the EA SPORTS™ brand. NFL Head Coach is in development at EA Tiburon, EA’s studio responsible for other NFL videogame franchises including: Madden NFL Football and NFL STREET. This is the first-ever 3D sports strategy game where you can experience the emotional rollercoaster of coaching with the most true-to-life and authentic sports strategy game ever created.

Cowher, the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL, is fresh off his first Super Bowl title with a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL in Detroit. In 14 seasons under the leadership of Cowher, the Steelers have earned 10 postseason berths, captured nine division titles, advanced to six AFC Championship games and have made two Super Bowl appearances. The Pittsburgh-area native is one of only six coaches in NFL history to claim at least eight division titles and ranks ninth in NFL history for longest head coaching service with one team.

“With NFL Head Coach there is finally a game that gives true football fans the chance to strategize and become the head coach of their favorite team,” said Cowher. “Coaching is about leadership and everyone will now see how difficult, but also how rewarding coaching can be.”

NFL Head Coach challenges gamers to build and manage every aspect of a football team from the ground up. A simple conversation system and an engaging graphical interface allow users to immerse themselves into the lives of an NFL head coach. As head coach, you develop a team strategy, execute it on and off the field, and try to build a winning organization year after year. Your status as a coaching legend will rise and fall based on all of your actions as you strive to become the greatest head coach of all time.

NFL Head Coach will be available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft, and PC-CD. This product is not yet rated by the ESRB. For more information log on to www.nflheadcoach.com.

KONAMI SHIPS beatmania TO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 28, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced that beatmania™, the first DJ simulation video game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, has shipped to retail stores nationwide. Expanding Konami’s library of leading music video games such as Dance Dance Revolution® and Karaoke Revolution®, beatmania lets players step into the virtual DJ booth as they create music from a number of genres using the game’s unique turntable controller.

beatmania combines fun, fast-paced music with eye catching visuals to create an original experience in the music genre. Using the game’s turntable controller, players perform music by hitting keys and scratching the turntable as indicated by the action on the screen. Players can choose to perform more than 50 tracks, including music by Moby, Timo Maas and other popular songs or select tunes from one of the many leading genres of music, including pop, techno, hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, trance and house.

beatmania contains both the original beatmania and beatmania IIDX games that were previously released overseas. Each game consists of several different gameplay modes that make the game easy to learn, yet challenging for advanced players to master. Depending on the skill level of each player, the game can be played with either five keys plus the turntable or the controller’s full seven keys and the turntable for the ultimate intense DJ experience. Players can choose to spin alone or competitively with a friend, and even upload their high scores to an online leaderboard to see how they stack up with the competition from around the country.

“beatmania expands Konami’s leadership in the music genre with a fast-paced experience that recreates the energy of a club and puts the player at the center of the music,” said Jason Enos, Product Manager with Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “With two full games in one package, more than 50 diverse songs to choose from and a turntable controller that brings the hit arcade experience into the home, music fans are in for a treat when they start spinning and scratching with beatmania.”

Exclusively for the PlayStation 2, beatmania is available as a bundle with the game’s turntable controller for a SRP of $59.99 or as a standalone game for a SRP of $39.99. beatmania is rated “E10+” by the ESRB. For more information on the game, please visit: www.konami.com/gs

KONAMI MAKES ITS XBOX 360 DEBUT AS RUMBLE ROSES XX SHIPS TO RETAIL

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 28, 2006– Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Rumble Roses XX™ has shipped to retail stores in North America for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Konami’s Xbox 360 debut, the follow-up to 2004’s smash hit all-female wrestling video game features an eye-catching lineup of beautiful wrestlers with killer moves, as well as immersive new gameplay modes and online play.

As the “best looking” Xbox 360 game, Rumble Roses XX features more than 20 playable characters including all the popular ladies from the original Rumble Roses – such as Reiko and Dixie. Dressed in flashy outfits and equipped with several costume changes, these wrestlers defy the imagination with all-new new jaw-dropping character models, designed to take advantage of the graphical power of the Xbox 360.

Rumble Roses XX features a number of modes where players pummel their way through the game’s many characters to unlock additional opponents and items. The new Tag Team mode allows for unprecedented group mayhem in the ring, complete with special combo moves and character relationships that change with the results of each match. Dangerous curves lie ahead in Battle Royal and Handicap Match modes, while the all-new Queen’s Match lets two wrestlers battle it out with the loser performing embarrassing acts such as the limbo. The new Street Fight mode lets the girls take out their aggression outside of the ring, unleashing no-holds barred moves as they attempt to knock out their opponent. Players can now also create their own wrestlers with the game’s new Character Customization mode, choosing from a large collection of body types, outfits, accessories and fighting styles to build the ultimate female grappler. Rumble Roses XX also includes online play for up to four players, so competitors from around the country can team up with one another or go toe-to-toe.


In addition to traditional wrestling moves such as suplexes, submission holds and elbow drops, each wrestler has specific attacks linked to her personality that allow her to string together a number of moves to create unique combinations. As each character gains experience in the ring, they will become stronger, developing muscle tone and becoming more proficient in their favorite moves. With the game’s Superstar system, characters will receive bursts of energy as the crowd cheers them on to victory. Depending on how they wrestle, players will develop their character into a “face” or “heel,” each with unique moves that reflect their personality in the ring.

Rumble Roses XX is rated “M” for Mature by the ESRB and carries a SRP of $59.99. For more information, please visit: http://www.konami.com/gs.

Half Life 2 on Xbox's Poor Sales

There's an interview with Gabe Newell today in GameDaily. I've spoken with Mr. Newell in the past and he's a pretty interesting guy.

Anyway, there's a paragraph there that says "That product was the first big retail disappointment we've had in the history of the company," he said. "So that sort of caused us to scratch our heads a little bit. We've never missed our forecast on any significant product before, so the fact that that product under performed by somewhere between the factor of two to three was really surprising to us. We still haven't figured out what the hell that meant."

I figured out what the hell it meant. I figured it out when Half-Life 2 arrived in the mail and I put it in the Xbox. That game sucked. Something was lost in the transition from PC to Xbox that rendered it boring. I still remember sitting there with my friend Mike and the two of us were trying to jump over some pipe and crawl under some steam. What the heck was that? I didn't know Half-Life 2 was a platformer.

The thing is, they made that game tedious to play. The PC version was a thrill a minute, but the Xbox version was, in a word, lame. I think that what happened was that Valve knew that the PC version was excellent and they were blinded by that when developing the Xbox version. I'm trying to think of when the last time a game was good on 1 platform and then actually good on another. Unreal Tournament was a fantastic PC game and an awkward console game. Anyway, my point is that Valve should have looked at Half-Life 2 for Xbox as a stand alone console game and not been influenced by their previous success on PC. Console is tnot the same as PC. The gamer's mentality is different between PC and console. Console users want everything spelled out for them, clear cut objectives, and then we just cut a swathe of death between objectives. PC gaming can be more wide open, although consoles games can be open too they usually aren't. An important difference is that PC games are controlled by a keyboard and mouse and console games are not, different games appeal to each.

As Old Timey Gamer said, "Once they had us jumping over pipes in Half Life 2 that was then end of that."

March 25, 2006

Get Another Inside Look at the Commandos Strike Force Team in the Latest Developer Video!

Commandos Strike Force, the intense stealth combat game which fuses first person shooter style gamplay with strategic stealth combat is almost at your fingertips. To give you another inside glimpse of Pyro Studios hard at work redefining their successful franchise we have made another developer video available over at Eidos Interactive. This week’s video goes into detail about the teams involved to make the different versions of Commandos Strike Force for the PS2, Xbox and PC, as well as how they strived to make the game set itself apart from other games in the first person shooter genre. There is also a segment that goes into detail about the extensive testing that was done on the title, to ensure that it stands up to their rigorous standards of quality. The wait is almost over, as Commandos Strike Force is set to ship April 4th in North America for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

Download the video now here: http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=155!

THE ADVENTURE COMPANY LAUNCHES OFFICIAL CRIME STORIES WEBSITE

Toronto, March 24, 2006 – The Adventure Company announced today the launch of the website for Crime Stories, its investigative thriller now available in retail stores across North America. Junior detectives and adventure gamers alike will be able to find character information, screenshots, artwork and much more at www.crimestories-game.com.

Play as the brilliant detective Martin Mystère as you investigate the brutal murder of the highly reputed scientist, Professor Eulemberg. What fascinating discovery had the professor uncovered and why is he now dead? Travel from the busy New York streets to ancient Mayan ruins as you investigate this murder.

Only you can solve this horrific crime – and the mystery that lies beneath it…

· A cinematic investigative thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours!

· Beautifully detailed 3D graphics with rich, colorful environments to explore.

· 3rd person gameplay with numerous inventory items to discover and interact with.

· Creative and original puzzles that will challenge you!

· Loads of characters to talk to and assist you with your investigations – you choose what you want to say to them.

· A dark and disturbing tale of betrayal and murder!

· A rich atmospheric soundtrack accompanies gameplay and adjusts to your surroundings.

Crime Stories has and ESRB rating of ‘T’ for Teen and is currently available in retail stores across North America.


To find out more about Crime Stories please visit www.crimestories-game.com

March 24, 2006

The Adventure Company’s KEEPSAKE Goes Gold

Toronto, March 24, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, today announced that KEEPSAKE has gone gold. Developed by Wicked Studios, this epic tale of mystery, fantasy, and friendship will take you deep into a world of beauty and boundless imagination.

Embark on a journey like no other. Playing the role of Lydia, a young girl headed to the gates of Dragonvale Academy to become an apprentice, you will be fascinated by this enchanted world. Upon Lydia’s arrival, she discovers something is terribly amiss... She finds the keepsake she gave her best friend Celeste, but Celeste and the other scholars are nowhere to be found. Accompanied by a unique companion, challenge yourself to solve the enigmas that lie beyond the gates of Dragonvale Academy and uncover the mystery behind the strange disappearances and the beloved Keepsake...

Features:

* Deep and involving storyline where suspense and mystery await at every turn
* Explore stunning environments designed in intricate detail using dynamic lighting and shading
* Unique in-game ‘Active Hint System’ helps players progress further into the game without being stumped by difficult puzzles
* Easy to use interface that evolves as new feature becomes available
* Compelling 3rd person gameplay powered by a state-of-the-art graphic engine
* Learn to cast spells, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and overcome daring trials designed to test your wits rather than your dexterity


Developed by Wicked Studios, KEEPSAKE has received an ESRB rating of ‘E’ for Everyone. For more information, please visit the official website www.KeepsakeGame.com.

Far Cry Instincts Goes Gold

Today, Ubisoft announced that Far Cry Instincts Predator for the Xbox® 360 and Far Cry Instincts Evolution for the Xbox® are now gold and will be on store shelves March 30, 2006.

Far Cry Instincts Evolution introduces the player to an entirely new story, characters and game features that reflect and improve upon the critically-acclaimed elements of the Xbox first title. Far Cry Instincts Predator features both Far Cry Instincts Evolution and the original Far Cry Instincts game, released in Fall 2005. Offering the kind of lush and deep natural environment true to the brand, Far Cry Instincts Predator will captivate gamers with its graphical reality and gameplay enhancements.

Far Cry Instincts Evolution will be available for the Xbox® at the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $29.99 and Far Cry Instincts Predatorfor $59.99.

For the latest news about your favorite paradise FPS, don't forget to visit the official game's web site on www.farcrygame.com.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR XBOX & PS2 TO SHIP ON OPENING DAY OF BASEBALL SEASON!

BREAKING NEWS - SAN RAFAEL, CA - MARCH 24, 2006

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR XBOX AND PS2 SHIPPING ON OPENING DAY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON!

Baseball fans now have two things to celebrate on April 3rd! Just in time for Opening Day, Major League Baseball® 2K6 for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system ships to retailers across North America on April 3rd.

The only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game to appear on every major gaming console, Major League Baseball 2K6 catapults gamers into the ultimate MLB experience with a bevy of exciting features, such as addictive gameplay, striking graphics, the new Swing Stick™, Inside Edge™ technology, unparalleled online play, and more.

Major League Baseball 2K6 is rated "E" for Everyone and will be available in North American retail stores for $39.99 on current generation platforms and the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system and $59.99 on Xbox 360.

For more information click on www.2ksports.com

NCsoft Forms Subsidiary, NCsoft China, in Shanghai

SEOUL, South Korea, March 24, 200— NCsoft® Corporation (KSE:036570.KS), the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, today announced the opening of NCsoft China, a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai, China.

The new company is a result of NCsoft’s acquisition of a 51 percent equity stake in NC Sina, a joint venture formed by NCsoft and Sina.com in 2003. NCsoft China now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of NCsoft and will strengthen the company’s content development and publishing power in the ever-growing Chinese game market.

NCsoft China will not only provide services for existing games created by NCsoft’s global network to the Chinese market but also will develop and publish new games that will appeal to Chinese gamers’ interests.

NCsoft currently has branch offices in the United States, Europe, Japan, China, Taiwan and Thailand for overseas services. It also has established NCRC (NCsoft Research and Development Center) in Beijing, China and NCsoft Japan in Osaka, Japan to reinforce the company’s global network for content development under its commitment to “global infrastructure, local content.”

About NCsoft Corporation
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft Corporation is the world’s leading developer and publisher of online games. Founded in 1997, NCsoft is home to Lineage®, the world’s most successful online role playing game and also to Lineage 2, City of Heroes®, City of Villains™ and Guild Wars®. In coming months, NCsoft is poised to launch other massively multiplayer titles including Auto Assault® and Guild Wars Factions™ in addition to various casual games via its game portal, PlayNC™. NCsoft has offices in North America, the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, China and Thailand. In fiscal year 2005, NCsoft posted revenues of KRW 338 billion or approximately US$346 million. For more information about NCsoft visit http://www.ncsoft.com or http://www.PlayNC.com.

EA LINES UP THE WORLD’S TOP SOCCER SUPERSTARS FOR 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP

Redwood City, Calif., March 24, 2006 – This is your chance to step onto the pitch and play with your heroes in the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ Finals! Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today revealed the superstar players who will be featured on the front packs of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ video game around the world. Designed to celebrate each country’s top star, the cover athletes have been individually selected to represent their team, their nation and their loyal fans. Working in partnership with adidas, the only official branded sports apparel manufacturer for the real-world 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament, EA has been able to deliver customized covers for nearly a dozen countries.

“We are thrilled to have the world’s top athletes representing 2006 FIFA World Cup in each of these countries,” said Clive Downie, VP of Marketing, EA. “Game players around the globe are engaging in this phenomenal tournament by experiencing it for themselves through the video game.”

“2006 FIFA World Cup lets players live out their greatest soccer fantasy of playing with their heroes. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with EA and provide direct access to each of the superstars,” said Thierry Weil, head of football sports marketing at adidas.

Demonstrating athletic excellence, undying determination and masterful skill, the line-up of players featured regionally on 2006 FIFA World Cup are true sports champions.

TEAM

ATHLETE

PACK AVAILABILE IN:

China

Zhi Zhen

China

England

Frank Lampard

England

Germany

Lukas Podolski

Germany

Italy

Alessandro Del Piero

Italy

Mexico

Jamie Lozano

USA, Canada, Mexico

Portugal

Simao

Portugal

Netherlands

Arjen Robben

Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg

Switzerland

Ricardo Cabanas

Switzerland

Spain

Xavi

Spain

USA

Claudio Reyna

USA, Canada, Mexico

All other countries will feature the FIFA World Cup trophy and the Official Emblem.

Players step into the heart of the action as they play their favorite team or most loathed opponent. Featuring stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, gamers experience the 12 official stadiums as they take their team from qualification to glory. In addition to taking control of one of 127 national teams, players will enjoy groundbreaking new play modes. Global Challenge tests even the biggest soccer fanatic by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup history with modern teams. True champions can challenge their friends in eight-way multiplayer matches and take advantage of tremendous in-game un-lockable content such as legendary players and exclusive licensed football apparel.

2006 FIFA World Cup, developed by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C. will be available on April 24 in North America and April 28 in Europe and Asia. The game will be available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® and Xbox 360™ video game systems from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™, and Game Boy® Advance, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, PC and mobile. The game is rated is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB and has a PEGI rating of 3+.

Screenshots and renders can be downloaded at http://info.ea.com.

###

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers, and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA SPORTS BIG™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2005, EA posted revenues of $3.1 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S and/or other countries. Official FIFA licensed product. FIFA World Cup is the property of its respective owner and used with permission. Microsoft, Xbox and Xbox 360 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark and PSP is a trademark of SCEI. Nintendo DS, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance are trademarks of Nintendo. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Official licensed product. © The Official Emblem, the Official Mascots of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ and the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy are copyrights and trademarks of FIFA. All rights reserved. Produced under license by Electronic Arts Ltd.

Agent 47 Prepares to Make a Killing in the Latest Video for Hitman: Blood Money!

To be a professional hitman, you must always be prepared. Not having a proper plan put together will only lead to mistakes, and as the world’s deadliest assassin, Agent 47 does not make mistakes. Planning the proper hit takes strategy, wits and precision; the ability to get into position unnoticed, execute your plan, and then leave without a trace. It’s like an art form, and the latest video from Hitman: Blood Money shows the legendary artist of execution at work as Agent 47 puts together a plan that ends with the perfect shot. The latest installment of the Hitman franchise puts you in control, as you determine the best way to make the hit... but be prepared, for the blood will be on your hands.

Download the video now here:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=159!

Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship this Spring 2006, for PS2, Xbox and PC.


March 23, 2006

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams

Score 4 out of 5
Rated "M" for Mature
Capcom Entertainment, www.capcom.com

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

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams begins approximately 15 years following the annihilation of the infamous Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga at Honno Temple. Another dark shadown now looms over Japan as Nobumaga's successor, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, has decided to align himself with the evil Genma forces. Assume the role of Soki, a young warrior who possesses incredible power and skill, along with several other cohorts to try and thwart Hideyoshi's pursuit for power.

The Onimusha series has long been a favorite of mine. The formula is a good one: present enemies that gradually grow more difficult and couple that with some puzzles to keep the brain as active as the fingers. It works for me. Essentially, your character needs to destroy evil Genma (think of them as spiritual monsters). After you strike down each enemy warrior, you capture his soul and maybe some health. The souls are like experience points that you can use to improve your weapons and characters. You learn special (and devastating) attacks and unleash them on monster after monster.

New to Dawn of Dreams is the ability to control more than one character. The game has been rounded out to be more of an RPG as you contol a party and have the chance to improve your characters skills. This increases replay value, but in my opinion it makes the game more complicated than it has to be. You can give commands to your allies such as tell them to wait, follow, attack, defend, etc. You can combine your power to perform insanely powerful attacks. The cast of characters includes a girl named Jubei, a mysterious monk named Tenkai, the powerful and gorgeous Ohatsu and the Japanese-Spaniard brawler named Roberto. Each character possesses his or her own set of skills and special abilities.

This is a beautiful game. That's clear from the initial cinematic. The Onimusha series has always been beautiful. I remember insisting that my girlfriend sit and watch the initial cinematic from Onimusha 3. These guys really know how to create stunning graphics. The detail is impressive, the colors are vivid, and the effects are almost mesmerizing.

The world seems almost endless, with many many nooks and crannies to explore. There's always a hidden chest somewhere. It's two DVDs for crying out loud. New are "tests of valor" which enable you to obtain new items not found within the game environmnet by completing min puzzles and time events or challenges.

I do have several gripes with the game. Many times the camera angle is poor and confusing. It can be adjusted, but who wants to take time out from a battle to adjust the camera angle? Sometimes the enemy will knock you off the screen. I've even noticed that occasionally when I'm blocking I get hit. If you add all of these issues together you can end up with a frustrating battle.

However, this game is so good otherwise that my gripes don't really detract from it all that much. I love the battles and the weapons. The multi-character thing is very cool because you learn how to use each character's different style to your advantage. And, like I said before, this game is gorgeous.

THE PAST COMES ALIVE AS SEGA SUPPORTS NINTENDO REVOLUTION’S VIRTUAL CONSOLE

LONDON & SAN FRANCISCO (March 23, 2006) – SEGA Europe Ltd. & SEGA of America, Inc. today announced that they will be providing SEGA titles as part of the Virtual Console system for Nintendo’s new generation console Nintendo Revolution.

“SEGA continues to develop innovative ways to showcase its new generation leadership,” says Naoya Tsurumi, Chief Executive Officer, SEGA of America, Inc. and SEGA Europe, Ltd. “SEGA’s support of the Virtual Console system will introduce more gamers to classic Genesis hits and reinvigorate many of our popular brands.”

Nintendo’s Virtual Console will allow Revolution owners to download and play classic NES, SNES and Genesis games through the Revolution network. With a game library of more than 1,000 titles for the Genesis, SEGA is planning to provide a “best of” selection for gamers, enabling them to relive their favorite titles.

BLAZING ANGELS SQUADRONS OF WWII CLEARS FOR DEPARTURE FOR XBOX 360, XBOX, AND PC

SAN FRANCISCO March 23, 2006 Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today proudly announces that Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, the intense squadron-based flight action game, has released for Xbox 360 and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft and PC in the U.S. and will be arriving in North American stores this week. Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII will be releasing on March 30, 2006, in Europe and Australia.

"Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII is a very exciting launch for Ubisoft," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "This is the first flight game for Xbox 360, and it takes full advantage of the technological and graphical power of the new system, delivering a truly amazing and gorgeous flight combat gameplay experience like no other game in its genre before."

In Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, players test their air-combat skills as they experience the most famous battles of World War II. As a squadron leader, players can fly up to 38 WWII aircraft in both single-player and multiplayer missions.

Developed by Ubisoft, Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII features innovative squadron-based combat, in which each artificial intelligence wingman's specialized skill can be used to the pilot's advantage. During the course of the 18-mission campaign, players will evolve along with their wingmen into an ace fighting force. Spectacular graphics enhance the combat experience in true World War II battle sites such as England, Germany, France, Morocco, Pearl Harbor, Midway and Tokyo. The heroic storyline that follows the evolution of a single squadron and the cinematic presentation create moments reminiscent of classic World War II movies. Pilots fly in close to Germany's industrial terrain during a bombing raid or emerge from the fog and cloud cover over London to engage the enemy. Up to 16 players online can engage over the Xbox Live® online game service in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons in 10 additional missions.

Key features of the Xbox 360 and Xbox versions include:

• WWII's most epic and famous air battles: Experience the greatest air battles of World War II in famous locations from across the globe. Whether it's the Battle of Britain, the attack on Pearl Harbor or the fierce fighting over Berlin, the player and his squadron will be tasked with turning the tide of war.

• Innovative squadron-based gameplay: Command AI wingmen and make use of each one's special abilities. The pilot's heroism and leadership will grow during the course of the 18-mission campaign. Engage in legendary air battles and lead a squadron of Blazing Angels to victory.

• A large variety of realistic-looking WWII aircraft: Pilot 38 authentic WWII aircraft including the famous P-51 Mustang, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the British Spitfire, and planes like the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt and the Japanese Zero in multiplayer. From the wing rivets to the nose art to the detailed cockpits, these planes look like the real thing.

• 18 heart-stopping missions in a compelling storyline: Pilots will begin as untrained recruits and evolve through battle experience into ace combat pilots. WWII missions will take place around the globe in a large variety of locations such as London, the Pacific theater, North Africa, Normandy and Berlin.

• Authentic WWII atmosphere: Fly low over Germany's industrial terrain for a bombing raid, strafe the islands of the Pacific, or emerge from the cloud cover over London and engage the enemy. The environment is so real you'll feel like you're the pilot in a famous WWII movie.

• Planes are easy to handle and fun to fly: No need to attend the Air Force Academy to pilot these planes; players can jump right into air combat action without extensive tutorials.

• Xbox Live for up to 16 players online: Engage in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons on huge maps with large formations.

Key features of the PC CD-ROM version include:

• Heart-pounding single-player campaigns: Over 18 missions grouped into a compelling historical battle campaign. More than 40 missions in standalone modes (Mini-Campaign, Arcade and Ace Duel).

• Thrilling multiplayer combat: 16-player online and LAN play in 10 game types (Dogfight, Aces High, Seek and Destroy, Onslaught, Bombing Run, Kamikaze, Historical Battles and Capture the Base) in three multiplayer modes (Solo, Co-op and Squadron).

• Innovative graphical features: Amazingly detailed terrain including a variety of high-resolution specular maps. Photorealistic recreations of iconic cityscapes and locations including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the London Bridge and the ships in port at Pearl Harbor.

• Over 39 flyable high-definition, authentic-looking planes: High-resolution plane models (8,000-10 000 polygons per plane) and usage of large textures for the planes (1024x1024 = 4 Mb of texture per plane). Other aircraft features include multiple plane skins and nose-art, and destruction details for each plane model. Over 70 planes can be seen in the sky at once.

• Detailed vehicles and 3D-modeled people: High-resolution and 3D detail for over 40 vehicle models, and all vehicle models have damage levels. Each 3D-modeled person has over 10 animated movements.

• Impressive sound features: Hear all the combat excitement with the 48 KHz high-quality sampled sound and up to 64 3D sound sources 5.1 compatible.

Blazing Angels will ship with an ESRB rating of T (Teen) for Xbox 360, Xbox and PC. For more information and updates, please visit www.blazing-angels.com.

© 2006 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Blazing Angels, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

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 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 www.ubisoftgroup.com.

Ubisoft Announces Monster 4x4 World Circuit is Available Now

SAN FRANCISCO March 23, 2006 Today, Ubisoft announced Monster 4x4 World Circuit is available in stores now for Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. 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 is rated E for Everyone and has a MSRP of $19.99.

"Monster 4x4 World Circuit is the game fans of Monster truck racing have been anxiously waiting for," said Helene Juguet, director of marketing at Ubisoft. "Players will get to experience the thrill, the mayhem and all the pulse-pounding action of piloting the world's most powerful trucks, tearing through the most extreme-off road racing circuits known to man."

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.

"Shadow of the Colossus" Dominates 6th annual Game Developers Choice Awards with Five Awards, Including Best Game

SAN JOSE, Calif. - March 23, 2006 - Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation(r) 2 adventure "Shadow of the Colossus" was the recipient of five top honors including Best Game at the 6th annual Game Developers Choice Awards. The ceremony, produced and hosted by the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and presented by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), is the only peer-based, open nomination awards program in the industry where honors are bestowed to developers by developers. Recipients were announced last night at the 2006 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Jose.

"Game creators have earned the recognition we give other celebrities such as movie stars and pop singers, and they've provided an undeniable contribution to world culture in light of the hours of entertainment they deliver,"said Jamil Moledina, director, Game Developers Conference. "Games really are a 21st century art form, and our goal in hosting and producing the Game Developers Choice Awards is to validate the achievements of these creative artists."

Nominations were free of charge and open to all IGDA members, ensuring that the nominees reflect the international development community's opinions. The IGDA membership voted on the finalists.

The recipients for the 6th annual Game Developers Choice Awards are:

Best Game

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Kenji Kaido, Yasuhide Kobayashi, Fumito Ueda

Audio

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems / RedOctane)
- Eric Brosius, Kasson Crooker

Character Design

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Atsuko Fukuyama, Hitoshi Niwa, Shunpei Suzuki, Fumito Ueda

Game Design

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Junichi Hosono, Fumito Ueda

Technology

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD / Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige

Visual Arts

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Koji Hasegawa, Masanori Kajita, Hironobu Nakano, Fumito Ueda

Writing

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions / Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Tim Schafer, Erik Wolpaw

New Studio

Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts)
- Caroline Esmurdoc, Tim Schafer

Innovation

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems / RedOctane)
- Greg LoPiccolo, Ryan Lesser

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD / Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige, Hideki Konno, Shigeru Miyamoto, Kiyoshi Mizuki

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Junichi Hosono, Fumito Ueda

Recipients for the evening's special awards were:

Lifetime Achievement

Richard Garriott

First Penguin

Will Crowther, Don Woods

Maverick

Mike Dornbrook, Eran Egozy, Greg LoPiccolo, Alex Rigopulos

Community Contribution

Chris Hecker

"Developers fuel the creative engine that propels the gaming industry forward and it is of paramount importance to recognize their hard work producing brilliant games," said Jason Della Rocca, executive director, IGDA.

The 6th annual Game Developer Choice Awards are supported by Platinum Sponsor Motorola and Gold Sponsor AGEIA.

For more information about the awards and all the recipients, please visit www.gamechoiceawards.com.

About the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)

The International Game Developers Association is a non-profitprofessional society that is committed to advancing the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community. For more information on the IGDA, please visit www.igda.org or e-mail info@igda.org.

About the CMP Game Group

A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the CMP Game Group offers market-defining content, and drives community through the Game Developers Conference, GDC Europe, the Serious Games Summit D.C., GDC Mobile, GDC Asia, Game Developer magazine, Gamasutra.com, the Independent Games Festival, the Game Developers Choice Awards, and GDCTV. For more information, please visit www.cmpgame.com.

About CMP Media

Through its market-leading portfolio of trusted information brands in the technology, healthcare and lifestyles industries, CMP Media has earned the confidence of more professionals and enthusiasts in these fields than any other media company. As a result, CMP is the premier provider of access, insight and actionable programs designed to connect sellers and buyers in each of these industries in ways that yield superior return on investment. CMP Media is a subsidiary of United Business Media (http://www.unitedbusinessmedia.com), a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $3 billion.

2K Sports Creates All-Star Music Lineup from Matador Records for Major League Baseball® 2K6 Video Game

New York, NY – March 23, 2006 – 2K Sports, the sports publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), today announced that Matador Records, among other record labels, is providing music for the in-game Major League Baseball® 2K6 soundtrack. This is the first time Matador has licensed a block of music for a video game soundtrack to showcase the label’s diverse and revered catalog of artists. Music from Major League Baseball 2K6 will also be featured on the newly launched 2K Beats Internet radio station as a key component of 2K Sports’ extensive 2K Beats music marketing and integration campaign.

Featuring a motivationally-charged and catchy mix of music, Major League Baseball 2K6’s soundtrack features 19 songs, including songs from influential Matador artists such as Interpol, Stephen Malkmus, Pavement, Belle & Sebastian, and Guided By Voices.

Major League Baseball 2K6 will feature the following Matador Records’ tracks:

· Belle and Sebastian - To Be Myself Completely and Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie

· Cornelius - Drop, Count Five Or Six

· Early Man - Closing In (The Medley)

· Interpol - Evil

· Mogwai - Hunted By A Freak

· Pavement - Serpentine Pad

· Preston School of Industry - Line It Up

· Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Grandmother Wolf

· Stephen Malkmus - Loud Cloud Crowd

· The Double - Icy, Idiocy

· Yo La Tengo - Today Is The Day

“We are excited to have Matador Records involved with Major League Baseball 2K6, given the label’s strong reputation for representing some of music’s most influential and eclectic bands,” said Tim Rosa, Director of Brand and Lifestyle Marketing for 2K Sports. “Matador’s participation creates a robust and compelling soundtrack that redefines the notion of ‘baseball music’ without tampering with the authentic MLB experience gamers expect.”

“We are pleased to license a wide range of songs from Matador artists for the 2K Sports Major League Baseball 2K6 video game,” said Matador co-founder Gerard Cosloy. “Given that our roster is filled with avid gamers and baseball fans, this was a natural fit.”

2K Sports’ new music marketing initiative, 2K Beats, includes an exceptionally deep level of in-game music integration featuring access to artist bios, songs, photos, discography and contact information. Also, as the first Internet radio station by a video game publisher, 2K Beats will feature online artist pages, radio promotions, partnership programs and special events.

In addition to featuring the premier of Major League Baseball 2K6’s soundtrack, 2K Beats radio will include all of the past and present music tracks from 2K Sports’ critically acclaimed titles available for streaming at www.2ksports.com/2kbeats.

“2K Sports is at the forefront of video game, technology and music convergence,” said Tim Rosa. “So, an Internet radio station that showcases the music of 2K Sports is a natural evolution for our brand.”

As the exclusive and only officially licensed MLB® video game to appear on every major gaming console, Major League Baseball 2K6 will be available this spring for Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system and Nintendo GameCube™. Including innovative features such as Inside Edge technology, Swing Stick™, a new movement system and realistic player collisions, Major League Baseball 2K6 takes the virtual baseball experience to the next level.

Major League Baseball 2K6 is rated "E" for Everyone and will be available in North American retail stores this spring for $39.99 on current generation platforms and $59.99 for Xbox 360. For more information, log onto http://www.2KSports.com

Nintendo President Challenges Developers to Create Bold New Games

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo President Satoru Iwata today challenged a crowd of game developers to think differently and take a fresh approach to the creation of video games. During his keynote address at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Iwata said Nintendo will provide developers with the tools they need to disrupt the traditional methods of game creation, much as the company already has.

These tools include the controller for Nintendo's next home console (code-named Revolution), which lets users control the action on their television screens through the motion of the controller itself. The controller lets game developers create new kinds of gaming experiences, ones that enhance the experience for hard-core gamers while making video games moe
accessible and less intimidating to novices. The new forms of innovative software that can be created by any size developer will be made available for download via Revolution's Virtual Console service.
"This new approach is like stepping onto an unexplored continent for the first time, with all the potential for discovery that suggests," Iwata said. "No one else can match the environment we're creating for expanding the game experience to everyone. Our path is not linear, but dynamic."
Iwata also announced partnerships with Sega and Hudson to offer downloadable access to their classic games via Revolution's Virtual Console. Revolution owners will be able to relive their past gaming glories from the Sega Genesis console by playing a "best of" selection from more than 1,000 Genesis titles, as well as games sold for the TurboGrafx console (a system jointly developed by NEC and Hudson). These games join Revolution's access to 20 years of fan-favorite Nintendo games from the NES(R), Super NES(R) and Nintendo(R) 64 eras.
Iwata also revealed for the first time that a new game called The Legend of Zelda(R): Phantom Hourglass would be released for Nintendo DS later this year.
Iwata, a game developer himself, revealed behind-the-scenes stories about the development of three key initiatives.
For the industry leading Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, internal engineers and developers overcame a series of hurdles to make the system seamless and flexible enough to allow players to choose to play wirelessly either with friends or against unknown opponents. The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection reached 1 million unique users in just 18 weeks -- nearly five times the adoption rate of the leading online game console network.
He described a pivotal meeting in coming to agreement on development of the incredibly popular "brain games" in Japan. A leading Japanese scientist attached a sci-fi-looking wired helmet to a Nintendo staffer and then visually demonstrated stimulation of brain activity as the staffer played prototype software.
Finally, he described the hundreds of sketches, dozens of prototypes and company-wide collaboration that led to the final form of the unique Revolution controller system, which resembles a traditional TV remote control. He called the related research and manufacturing costs of the new control system, "...our method to disrupt the market...realizing a new way to connect a player to his game."

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 360 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 www.nintendo.com.

March 22, 2006

Latest Xbox Live facts & stats

Xbox Live Connectivity & Usage:

Since Xbox Live's online gaming network launched in November 2002, gamers have spent over 1.5 billion hours on the network playing games online with their friends around the world. This is equal to 65 million days of gaming or close to 200,000 years. With our top title, Halo 2, which is being played on both the Xbox and Xbox 360, gamers have spent over 500 million hours playing online.

Today over half of all Xbox 360 consoles sold worldwide are already connected to Xbox Live. This is a significant leap over the nearly-one-in-10 consoles that were connected to Xbox Live on the first generation of Xbox.

Not only are the majority of our owners connected, but they are also spending more time connected to the Xbox Live community on Xbox 360 than ever before. The average number of gaming sessions on Xbox Live on Xbox 360 is currently at 25-a-week, which is up dramatically from the average of 6 sessions-a-week we saw on the original Xbox.

In fact, online gaming through Xbox Live is now a proven form of mainstream entertainment. The 18-34 male audience is comparable in size to the same audience tuning in to see the most popular network TV shows like CSI or The Office.

Xbox Live on Xbox 360 continues to grow as a social community; we are seeing an average of 600,000 text messages sent every day between members on the service.

Top WW Xbox Live Titles on Xbox 360 to date:

Call of Duty 2

Perfect Dark Zero

PGR3

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Dead or Alive 4



Xbox Live Marketplace:

Consumers have quickly jumped to the Xbox Live Marketplace as their one-stop download center. In fact, over 85% of connected Xbox 360 consoles have already downloaded content from Xbox Live Marketplace.

We have already had over 10 million downloads on Marketplace in the first 4 months on the market, reaching this milestone faster than iTunes did when it launched. Playable game demos remain the most popular item with over half of our consumers downloading these.

Gamers have also quickly adopted the new Microsoft Points stored value system, as 1 in every 5 connected consumers to date has already started using Microsoft Points on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Online entertainment through Xbox Live is not just limited to games. We recently announced a full year of exclusive entertainment content from our partner Epic Records. Entertainment content like music videos and movie trailers have been very popular with Xbox Live members, as 25% of users have downloaded this content from Xbox Live Marketplace.

Xbox Live Arcade:

Xbox Live Arcade has been an instant hit on the Xbox 360, with over 60% of all connected consoles already downloading and playing Xbox Live Arcade titles.

Every Xbox Live Arcade title has a free trial version. To-date, we are seeing on average 20% trial to purchase conversion rates across all Arcade titles, with our top title converting at 39%.

In just the first couple of months on the service, we already have seen over 3 million downloads of Arcade games.

Top WW Arcade Titles on Xbox 360 to date:

Geometry Wars

Marble Blast Ultra

Gauntlet

Smash TV

Zuma

The Adventure Company Releases Concept Art for Keepsake

Toronto, March 22, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, today released 6 sketches from different environments in KEEPSAKE.

Take a glimpse into the beginnings of KEEPSAKE, an epic tale of fantasy and boundless imagination that unfolds in a world of unparalleled beauty. Embark on a journey of enlightenment playing the role of Lydia, a young girl headed to the gates of Dragonvale Academy to become an apprentice. Upon her arrival, she discovers something is terribly amiss... She finds the keepsake she gave her best friend Celeste, but Celeste and the other scholars are nowhere to be found. Players will be fascinated by this enchanted world on their quest to uncover the mystery behind the strange disappearances, Dragonvale Academy, and the beloved Keepsake...

Features:

* Deep and involving storyline where suspense and mystery await at every turn
* Explore stunning environments designed in intricate detail using dynamic lighting and shading
* Unique in-game ‘Active Hint System’ helps players progress further into the game without being stumped by difficult puzzles
* Easy to use interface that evolves as new feature becomes available
* Compelling 3rd person gameplay powered by a state-of-the-art graphic engine
* Learn to cast spells, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and overcome daring trials designed to test your wits rather than your dexterity

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

Stunning New Trailer Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

This trailer is worth watching. The gameplay looks amazingly fluid.

Lara Croft is back in action, and her new adventure is the best looking Tomb Raider game you’ve ever seen! Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend marks Lara’s return to the tombs, which are now larger, more immersive and interactive then ever before, delivering you the true sense of adventure and exploration which made the series rise to the top. Next generation graphics coupled with the beautiful fluid movement of Lara Croft ensure that both the environments and gaming’s lead heroine are absolutely stunning to watch. Her new acrobatic moves along with new gear such as the magnetic grapple make traversing the deadly terrain of the tombs absolutely exhilarating, as you take control of Lara Croft and perform death defying stunts at great heights. The latest trailer gives you another look into Lara Croft’s latest adventure, and it will prove that Tomb Raider: Legend is definitely a game you do not want to miss!

Download the new trailer here at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=158

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is almost here, as it is set to ship April 11th 2006 in North America for the Xbox360, PS2, Xbox, and PC, with the PSP version to follow shortly after.

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR XBOX AND PS2 HAS GONE GOLD!

Major League Baseball 2K6 for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the latest in the popular Major League Baseball 2K video game series, has gone gold and is set to hit store shelves on April 11. Major League Baseball 2K6 showcases standard-setting features, stunning graphics, unparalleled gameplay and online play.

As the exclusive and only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game to appear on every major gaming console, Major League Baseball 2K6 brings baseball to life with a slew of exciting features. The new Swing Stick™ swinging mechanic, Payoff Pitching™, a revolutionary new pitching system, AI-driven Inside Edge™ technology, Pure Motion Physics, World Baseball Classic Mode, new catcher mechanics, and an all-star commentary lineup featuring Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, among other features all contribute to the realism and authenticity of the game.

Major League Baseball 2K6 also includes a motivationally-charged and diverse mix of music tracks from artists such as Stephen Malkmus, Pavement, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai and Guided By Voices.

Major League Baseball 2K6 with these features and more will be available on April 11, 2006 for the Xbox and PS2!

For more information click on www.2ksports.com

EA AND DIGITAL ILLUSIONS ANNOUNCE BATTLEFIELD 2142 FOR PC

Redwood City, Calif. – March 22, 2006 – Fight an all-out war for survival in the year 2142. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Sweden-based developer, Digital Illusions, today announced development of the next installment in the award-winning Battlefield™ franchise, Battlefield 2142™. The ground-breaking first-person shooter is scheduled to ship this fall for the PC.

The year is 2142, and the dawn of a new Ice age has thrown the world into a panic. The math is simple and brutal: The soil not covered by ice can only feed a fraction of the Earth’s population. Some will live, most will die. In Battlefield 2142, players will choose to fight for one of two military superpowers in an epic battle for survival, the European Union or the newly formed Pan Asian Coalition. Armed with a devastating arsenal of hi-tech assault rifles, cloaking devices and sentry guns, players will also do battle using some of the most imposing vehicles known to man. Massive battle Mechs wage fierce combat on the ground, while futuristic aircraft rule the skies. When facing one of these new behemoths, players will need to use their wits and an arsenal of new countermeasures like EMP grenades to level the playing field.

"Battlefield has long been synonymous with innovative, best-of-breed online multiplayer action," said Sean Decker, Executive Producer, DICE. "By stepping into the future with Battlefield 2142, the team at DICE has reinvented the rules of engagement for the next century.”

Team play features allow up to 64 players to enter the action on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or work behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their teammates. With in-game success, players increase their rank and unlock awards, including new weapons, medals and more, delivering the most comprehensive and flexible persistence in the Battlefield universe to date.

For more information about Battlefield 2142, please visit http://battlefield.ea.com

NCsoft’s Auto Assault Revs Up, Goes Gold

AUSTIN, Texas, March 22, 2005—NCsoft® North America announced that Auto Assault® has reached gold master status and will appear on retailers’ shelves in both North America and Europe April 13. Also, customers who purchase and register their Auto Assault pre-order boxes will receive the benefits of a special in-game weapon and loot bonus, plus a four-day head start for game play.

Auto Assault, the sixth major online game published by NCsoft, was developed by Colorado-based developer, NetDevil®, LTD. The first massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in a post apocalyptic setting, Auto Assault combines fast action with the depth of role-playing games and features fully destructible environments. The game is also expected to launch service simultaneously in North America and Europe on April 13. Pre-order customers may participate in the four-day head start beginning at 9 a.m. EST on April 9. Players who wish to participate in the head-start may purchase the Auto Assault pre-order box, currently available at retailers across North America, and register the product at www.PlayNC.com.

“Auto Assault is a dream come true for gamers who enjoy the depth of traditional online role-playing games but crave the fast, frenetic pace of action games,” said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft North America. “This title has everything you’d expect from a MMORPG – all at 100 miles per hour.”

“We are very excited about the upcoming launch of Auto Assault, but this is just the beginning,” said Scott Brown, president of NetDevil and project lead. “One of the reasons we partnered with NCsoft is that they provide the best value to their customers, with free content expansions in addition to other ways to grow their game worlds. Auto Assault customers will be able to enjoy new content for years to come.”

In Auto Assault, players can choose to be a Human, Mutant or Biomek character and set out in a post apocalyptic land in personalized combat vehicles, fighting for the few resources left on a shattered Earth. Combat is extremely fast-paced and challenges abound as players blast through buildings, set fire to forests, and level entire settlements. Player avatars may own many different vehicles, specialize in several crafting disciplines to create truly unique items, and participate in player-versus-player battles both in arena combat and in contested outpost areas.

Auto Assault’s standard edition box will be available at an expected retail price of US$49.99. The Limited Edition, which includes a headset to utilize the game’s voice chat system, will be available for an expected retail price of US$59.99. Both the standard and Limited editions of the game include the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Sixty-day game time cards will also be available at many North American retailers for an expected retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

For more information about Auto Assault, go to: www.autoassault.com.

About NCsoft

NCsoft - North America is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is part of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. NCsoft, with its own development and publishing offices in Texas and California, also works with subsidiaries and third party developers throughout North America to develop and publish innovative online entertainment software products. In 2004, the company launched two massively multiplayer titles on the same day: Lineage® II and City of Heroes®, and in 2005 the hit games Guild Wars® and City of Villains™ were released. In 2006, NCsoft will be launching other massively multiplayer titles including Auto Assault and Guild Wars Factions™. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.PlayNC.com.

About NetDevil, LTD

NetDevil was founded in 1997 under the inspiration of Jumpgate™, the world's first massively multiplayer space simulator universe. NetDevil is an independent game development company dedicated to the construction of massively multiplayer universes. NetDevil is committed to creating immersive, interactive virtual worlds in unique settings outside the typical fantasy genre. For more information, please visit http://www.netdevil.com.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur and there is no longer a clear opponent. New enemies and new threats require a new type of warfare and a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts.

G.R.A.W. is the first Xbox 360 title that has really impressed me. Others, such as Kameo, impressed me, but G.R.A.W. is almost stunning at every turn. A great multiplayer mode and a solid single player mode make this title highly recommended. However, there are a few little glitches that hold me back from rating it a 5.

The graphics and graphical details are breath taking. The heat haze over Mexico City and the fact that you can even read the small print on various signs around the city are two examples of the attention to detail. Everything's textured and the lighting and particle effects are attention grabbing. The sound effects are pretty strong also. The gunfire sounds realistic, the explosions will rock your living room, and the enemies' shrieks of pain will make you feel good.

Using the Cross-Com, a communication device powered by satellite technology, you'll always be kept up to date on the latest happenings on the battlefield. Attached to the soldier's monocle, the Cross-Com provides full situational awareness and command of the battlefield. Command the Ghost squad and remote allied forces and drones, and direct artillery and air strikes. See what the squad sees and receive visual and auditory intelligence from allied forces and unmanned drones. It sounds great, but it's takes a lot of my attention away from the actual combat.


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

One of my gripes is that my comrades seem particularly stupid and like to stand there in plain view as if no one ever trained them to take cover. Another is that enemies seem like they're in plain sight but I can't shoot them because their cover extends magically beyond its visual presence.

Now that I got that out, I have to admit that the single player campaign is as thrilling as any I've played. And that's not even what the game seems to be about. The developer's focus must have been on multiplayer because there are a ton of different game modes. You could play a single life last man standing or a 16-player capture the flag and anything in between. There are a ton of maps. Co-op play over Xbox Live is supported, although it's different from the single player campaign and not as much fun.

All in all, G.R.A.W. is a great game that falls just short of being perfect.

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES ANNOUNCES POINT BLANK DS FOR THE NINTENDO DS

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (March 22, 2006) Leading video games developer and publisher NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that its classic arcade series Point Blank DS, will make its debut on the Nintendo DS in Summer 2006. With stages from all three games in the series being included in the new portable collection, fans of the popular shooting series will have their hand-eye coordination tested, by using the DS stylus as their weapon of choice to shoot down everything from clay pigeons to aliens in the fun mini games of Point Blank DS. A fun and addicting game on the go, Point Blank DS will have players tap tap tapping their way to victory as they take on four different difficulty levels in over 40 different stages including Namco's popular coin-op arcade series digitized for the first time.

The portable return of the retro series will also boast five different modes including:

* Arcade: Play through four different levels of difficulty in a variety of mini shooting games.
* VS: Challenge your friends using the wireless feature to find out who's the quickest draw (requires only one game card)
* Brain Massage: Play through various stages while the game analyzes your abilities and gives you feedback.
* Freeplay: Select any stage at any time to challenge your best score.
* Games Museum: New stages adapted from Namco's classic coin-op arcade series.

For more screens and information on Point Blank DS, check out the official Namco Bandai Games America Inc. website at http://www.namcobandaigames.com/

Are Gamers Anti-Social, or Do Games Make Gamers Anti-Social?

Many times I've heard people say that gamers are anti-social. We'd rather sit in front of a console than go out and meet people. We'd spend umpteen hours in an online community before we get together with friends. I even know a married couple who spend more time together in the online world of Everquest than they do in real life. The question is, are gamers anti-social to begin with, or do games make gamers anti-social?

I play a lot of games and it used to be that there were a lot of 2 player games. By 2 player I mean games where 2 people can sit in the same room and play the same game together. Split screen first person shooters, racing games, fighting games, and sports games used to be the best gaming experience. Some of my fondest memories of my 20's are of playing NBA Live or Madden NFL together with friends. Not to mention Gauntlet, or other RPGs like Baldur's Gate. It was so much fun to get together, hang out, and play games. That's far from anti-social.

There are fewer and fewer games like that today. The trend is to make everything single player on a single console and multi-player is online only. I've even heard of game developers who feel that this is a step forward, that multi-player split screen was primitive, and that online is the only way to play. RPGs are no longer multi-player on the same console. Some FPSs don't even have a split screen mode, or even worse they (Black) don't even have multi-player.

My theory is that games make gamers anti-social. Is it really a step forward that everyone should sit alone at home and play together online? I think not, because where is the interaction that takes place around the game? Where are the high-fives and the jokes, the stories about our day at work, the break for dinner and the beloved pizza and beer? They are gone, because everything is being pushed online. I believe that console manufacturers want everything online so they can compete with each other in the new online frontier. But the casualty of this competition is gamers, gamers that want to sit in the same room, play together, and socialize.

The way I see it, online gaming is just about the game. Any community revolves around the game. Why should my friend sit in his house and play with me online when he could come over here and we could actually interact as human beings?

My conclusion is that we're being separated physically and pushed online because console manufacturers and game developers see online multi-player as the future and 2 player on the same console as backwards and outdated. All this does is make more gamers sit alone at home, forsaking real interaction with friends for virtual community. "Game night" now means everyone sitting alone at home, and that just isn't right. Gamers may be somewhat anti-social to begin with, but one player per console is just making it worse, not better. Games should have multiplayer on the same console and multiplayer online to give a variety of options. We shouldn't have to sit home alone in order to play with a friend.

Which do you prefer, multiplayer online or multiplayer on the same console? Write a comment and let me know.

EIDOS CONFIRMS JUST CAUSE FOR XBOX 360 AND RELEASES NEW SCREENSHOTS!

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San Francisco, CA (March 21, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, confirms today that Just Cause will be published on Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Just Cause is being developed by Avalanche Studios and will be released in Autumn 2006.

In Just Cause, gamers play the role of a field operative and specialist in regime change charged with overthrowing the corrupt government of San Esperito. The rogue South American state is suspected of stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, and Rico’s mission is to negate the threat this poses to world peace. Just Cause emphasizes player choice as it gives gamers the freedom to tackle missions as they choose: playing the island’s factions against one another, inciting a rebellion among the masses and building alliances with rebel forces and drug cartels.

Pushing the capabilities of any console, Just Cause is set on an unprecedented scale in terms of missions and size. The massive world will take the average gamer over 40 minutes to cross, from one end of the island to the other, and that’s without being distracted by one of the 300+ missions you could choose to accept along the way. The island can be explored by land, sea and air, as you will have at your disposal one of the most varied and exciting array of vehicles ever seen in a video game.

Christofer Sundberg, Founder and Creative Director of Just Cause developer, Avalanche Studios said, “We are proud that Just Cause will be available on Xbox 360, as well as current generation platforms. Our aim has always been to deliver a next-gen experience and with the power of the Xbox 360 you are going to see something really special.”

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March 21, 2006

NEW CALL OF DUTY 2 XBOX 360 TITLE UPDATE NOW AVAILABLE

Santa Monica, CA – March 21, 2006 – Fans of the award-winning, blockbuster hit, Call of Dutyâ 2, will be locked and loaded with today’s Title Update for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), the Title Update offers significant enhancements, including improved multiplayer performance, the ability to reserve friend slots in private game lobbies, post-game lobbies so friends can play longer, configurable host options and more. The Xbox 360 update will be automatically applied the next time users log into Xbox Live® with Call of Duty 2.

For fans of Call of Duty 2 for Windows® PC, Infinity Ward and Activision have also revealed new details surrounding the upcoming release of a highly-anticipated update, which will include the previously announced PunkBuster™ anti-cheat technology, as well as two new multiplayer maps: Rhine and the longtime community favorite Harbor, from the original Call of Dutyâ.

CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: 3 DIMENSIONS OF MURDER AVAILABLE NOW FOR PC

SAN FRANCISCO March 21, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: 3 Dimensions of Murder has shipped to retail stores and is now available for PC. CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder is based on CBS' hit television drama set in Las Vegas. CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder has an ESRB rating of M for Mature and an MSRP of $29.99.

CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder will continue the authentic experience of Ubisoft's popular CSI video games. Players will work alongside Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows and the rest of the original Las Vegas cast to help solve intense cases and investigate crimes using cutting-edge techniques and real-world forensic equipment. CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder improves upon the successful core design concepts of previous CSI games, featuring an all-new, real-time 3D engine, enriched character interactions and animations, and longer, more immersive stories.

"With CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder we are taking gamers back to where all the success began, with the original CSI cast in Las Vegas," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "We have worked closely with CBS to integrate the newest elements from the hit CSI television show to deliver not only the most authentic CSI game available to date, but the most exciting and immersive crime solving experience currently available on the market."

Key Features:

• NEW 3-D Graphics: Investigate crime scenes that are more like the hit TV show than ever. Move around the crime scene and get a close-up look. Feel like you are really using the tools for collection and detection of evidence and interact with the CSI cast like never before.

• Five New Cases with Deeper Plot Lines with Shocking Twists: Players will be drawn into the action with improved character interaction and longer, more immersive cases. The five new and distinctive cases will draw players in like never before.

• New Mobile Crime Lab: Just like the hit TV show, CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder features the GMC Mobile Analysis Unit that can be used to analyze evidence quickly in the field.

• More Satisfying Evidence Analysis: Players will really feel like they are solving the case, not like the computer is solving it for them. Use high-tech tools to collect and process evidence such as, Mikrosil casting material, magnetic powder for enhanced finger print analysis and Luminol for detecting traces of blood evidence.

• The Original CSI Series is the #1 Hit TV Show: CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder returns to the original Vegas-based series. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation remains the top show on TV with 26 million weekly viewers.

CSI is the top-rated television drama on network television and won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Series in 2003 and 2004. The series was created by Anthony Zuiker, is executive produced by Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Ann Donahue and are produced by CBS Productions and Alliance Atlantis Communications, in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

The CSI franchise published by Ubisoft has sold more than 1.6 million units worldwide since the first CSI title was released in March 2003.

Ubisoft has also published CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as well as CSI: Dark Motives and CSI: Miami. CBS Consumer Products manages the worldwide licensing, merchandising and video activities for these properties.

About CSI: Crime Scene Investigation:
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION and elements and characters thereof ©
2002-2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Alliance Atlantis Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION is a trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. and outside USA is a trademark of Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. ALLIANCE ATLANTIS with the stylized "A"design TM Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. CBS and the CBS Eye Design TM CBS Broadcasting Inc. Software © 2006 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Company logos are trademarks of their respective owners. No celebrity endorsements implied. Game engine © 2006 Telltale Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About CBS Consumer Products:
CBS Consumer Products, a unit of CBS Enterprises, manages the worldwide licensing, merchandising and video activities for a diverse slate of properties owned or controlled by the CBS Corporation. Additional information is available by visiting www.CBS.com.

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. Ubisoft 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 www.ubisoftgroup.com.

EA’S THE GODFATHER THE GAME WELCOMES YOU TO THE FAMILY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 21, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced The Godfather™ The Game videogame has shipped and is on store shelves today in North America and March 24th in Europe. Gamers worldwide can 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. 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. A Limited Edition for the Xbox and PlayStation 2, featuring behind the scenes content including footage from voice over sessions with James Caan and Robert Duvall, also is available in stores. The Godfather The Game for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system will be available later in 2006.

EA’s The Godfather The Game puts the player 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 choose which style to work your way to the top – Il Capo Tutto di Capi. The game goes beyond the films and book to actually create the living world of The Godfather fiction throughout 1940s-50s New York City. 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. Actors from the film, including Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall, reprised their roles lending their voices to the game.

“The Godfather is one of the most exciting, dramatic and memorable works of fiction in the world and we worked very hard to create the Godfather Interactive experience,” said David DeMartini Executive Producer of The Godfather The Game.

“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.”

The Godfather The Game was developed by EA Redwood Shores where such hit franchises as Lord of the Rings™, James Bond, and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® games are made. MSRP for the Godfather is $39.95 for PS2, Xbox and PC in North America. The limited edition is also available on PS2 and Xbox will have an MSRP of $49.95 in North America and features exclusive behind the scenes looks at the making of The Godfather The Game. More information about EA games is available at the game’s homepage at www.godfather.ea.com. The game is rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

UBISOFT AND BEST BUY ANNOUNCE ONLINE VIDEO GAME TOURNAMENT

SAN FRANCISCO MARCH 21, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers and Best Buy, North America's leading specialty retailer of consumer electronics, announced an online video game tournament for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. The tournament will be facilitated by the Global Gaming League and kicks off on the Xbox Live® online game service April 1 and continues through May 1. Entrants must have Xbox Live Gold to participate. The two teams that make it to the finals will battle for the grand prize of a Dodge Caliber at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 11.

"Best Buy makes sure gamers have everything they need to compete online," said Jill Hamburger, vice president of video games at Best Buy. "And this tournament has it all - phenomenal gameplay with Ghost Recon, live interaction with your opponent on Xbox Live Gold and great prizes. It's going to be fun."

For the first three weeks of the competition, teams of two will compete against thousands of other teams as they eliminate each other for the top spot to compete in the deathmatch final. The two finalist teams will then travel to E3 and compete for the grand prize of an all-new 2007 Dodge Caliber, a sporty five-door compact car with a powerful stance that provides the functional flexibility of an SUV. The first- place winner will also receive $5,000 and the second-place winners will each receive cash prizes of $1,000.

"There is no doubt that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is the killer game for Xbox 360 and the online tournament is a great way to experience the game with thousands of other players in a heated competition," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is going to blow up on Xbox Live."

Tournament registration began March 19 and ends March 31 on
www.bestbuy.com/gamingtournaments. Visit the site for more information and
official rules.

About Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter:
The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur and there is no longer a
clear opponent. New enemies and new threats require a new type of
warfare - a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts. In 2013, the U.S. Army
will implement the Integrated Warfighter System (IWS), evolving what we
know as the modern soldier. IWS combines advanced weapon systems,
satellite communication devices and enhanced survivability into one fully
integrated combat system. The IWS program has been developed to meet
these new threats head on. Now, it can be tested on the battlefield.
Following an insurgence in the heart of Mexico City, the U.S. Army's most
elite Special Forces team is deployed to the center of the conflict to
regain control of the city. Greatly outnumbered but fully equipped with
the IWS, this elite team is the first and last line of defense on the
battlefield. They are the "quiet" professionals. They are the
Ghosts. Tom Clancy"s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for Xbox 360 and the
Xbox computer and entertainment system from Microsoft is now available
in stores. The PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system version will
ship in late March 2006 and the Windows® PC will be arriving in May
2006.

For more information on the tournament please visit www.bestbuy.com, www.GhostRecon.com.

TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL ESSENTIALS NOW AVAILABLE IN RETAIL STORES

SAN FRANCISCO March 21, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announces the availability of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Essentials in retail stores at the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $39.99. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials is the first Tom Clancy video game developed specifically and exclusively for the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system, offering a new and unique gaming experience with a storyline drawn from the highest-rated spy action series of all time.

"Ubisoft is very excited to bring the Splinter Cell franchise to the PSP system," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Just as with previous Splinter Cell games, Ubisoft's development team pushes the boundaries of yet another platform with Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials."

About Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials:
Immediately following the events of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent, Sam Fisher is placed under arrest and brought to the NSA headquarters for a debriefing. As a government interrogator questions Sam's involvement in terrorist activities, Sam discovers that fraudulent mission files depict him as an unstable, violent and insubordinate
agent. Caught in a menacing conspiracy, Sam Fisher will now have to search his past to find out who is behind all this and ultimately begin the quest to clear his name.

Key Features:

Exclusively designed for the PSP system: Contains a new adapted interface, as well as unique gameplay sequences designed specifically for the on-the-go nature of handheld gaming.

Storyline spans the entire Splinter Cell series: Play through the years before the original Splinter Cell game when Sam Fisher was still a Navy Seal to sneak-peak events from the upcoming Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent game.

All new missions: Enter the world of international espionage with 5 new exclusive missions, including the NSA Headquarters, in addition to 4 "flashback" missions covering all corners of the earth.

A game of gadgets: Use all the latest in spy weapons and gadgets from the Splinter Cell series, in addition to authentic new ones exclusive to this version.

Always on the move: All the classic stealth-action moves you love, plus exciting new killer moves.

Accessible multiplayer mode: Challenge your friends in a wireless multiplayer match with Spy vs. Spy Deathmatch.

For more information about Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials, please visit www.splintercell.com.

Microsoft Announces Xbox 360 Inventory Surge and Spring Games Lineup

REDMOND, Wash. — March 21, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the broader availability of Xbox 360™ consoles and provided details about the new games and entertainment experiences available to gamers this season.

Beginning this week, Microsoft will distribute two to three times the number of Xbox 360 consoles to the retail channel weekly. With component supplies in full production and third manufacturing partner Celestica Inc. now producing the next-generation console along with partners Wistron Corp. and Flextronics Corp., Microsoft is producing more Xbox 360 consoles than ever.

“Today we have turned a major corner,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “With more consoles on their way to retail, 80 games available by June, and new content and experiences coming to Xbox Live® all the time, there has never been a better time to own an Xbox 360.”

Blockbuster Games on the Way

The Xbox 360 games portfolio expands this spring with new next-generation titles from leading developers and publishers that cater to every genre, age, skill level and budget. Gamers can choose from a range of truly next-generation games such as “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” (Bethesda Softworks/2K Games), an Xbox 360 console exclusive with beautiful next-generation graphics and a huge world to explore; “Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter” (Ubisoft Entertainment SA), the latest version of the successful Tom Clancy series that once again pushes the boundaries of multiplayer boundaries on Xbox Live; and “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend” (Eidos Interactive Ltd.), the next-generation debut of the very popular Lara Croft series.

In addition, new titles are coming to Xbox Live Arcade all the time, including “Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting,” “Uno” and the free full version of “Texas Hold ’Em Poker” by Riverbelle. Great titles that gamers can expect this season include these:

· “2006 FIFA World Cup™” (EA SPORTS)

· “Battlefield 2: Modern Combat” (Electronic Arts Inc.)

· “Blazing Angels” (Ubisoft)

· “Burnout Revenge” (Electronic Arts)

· “Dynasty Warriors® 5 Empires” (KOEI)

· “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” (Bethesda Softworks/2K Games)

· “Far Cry Instincts Predator” (Ubisoft)

· “FINAL FANTASY® XI” (Square Enix Inc.)

· “Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter” (Ubisoft)

· “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend” (Eidos)

· “Major League Baseball 2K6” (2K Sports)

· “The Outfit™” (THQ)

· “Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis” (Rockstar Games)

· “Rumble Roses XX™” (Konami)

· “Top Spin 2” (2K Sports)

· “X-Men: The Official Game” (Activision)

In addition to new games, consumers can extend the experience of existing Xbox 360 titles with new downloadable content available on Xbox Live Marketplace. Microsoft Game Studios confirmed new content for “Project Gotham Racing® 3,” including exciting cars and achievements. Fans of “Perfect Dark: Zero™” will have access to additional content, including downloadable multiplayer maps. In addition, the unique experience of “Kameo™: Elements of Power™” will be extended through new online cooperative gameplay options and exciting new costumes for Kameo and her warriors.

Xbox Live Digital Content Distribution Sets Records

Xbox Live Marketplace, a digital download center freely accessible to any Xbox 360 owner with a broadband connection, has reached more than 10 million downloads faster than iTunes did when it launched. In fact, more than 85 percent of connected Xbox 360 consoles have already downloaded content from Xbox Live Marketplace — everything from game demos and arcade titles to premier movie trailers and music videos.

Xbox 360 will continue to deliver new online gaming and entertainment experiences including the “Battlefield 2: Modern Combat” game demo (Electronic Arts), the “Burnout Revenge” game trailer (Electronic Arts), and the “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” Horse Armor Pack (Bethesda Softworks/2K Games), which will all be available this spring on Xbox Live Marketplace.

About Xbox and Xbox 360

Microsoft revolutionized the gaming industry with the November 2001 launch of Xbox® (http://www.xbox.com), its first-generation video game and entertainment system, now sold in 26 countries. Microsoft introduced its next-generation system, Xbox 360, in the 2005 holiday season in Europe, Japan and North America, and has launched the system in Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. The system will be launched in Australia and New Zealand March 23, 2006. Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com/xbox360) is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers.

About Microsoft

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

ME AND MY KATAMARI ROLLS TO RETAIL

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (March 21, 2006) Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Me and My Katamari has shipped exclusively for the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system. Now fans of the award-winning Katamari franchise can roll-on-the-go with all of the same glorious gameplay, loveable characters and colorful graphics they've grown to adore. The third installment in the Katamari series behind Katamari Damacy and We ¥ (Love) Katamari, Me and My Katamari will now allow fans to enjoy the title anytime, anywhere. The title is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

A host of new special features are rolled into one amazing package as Me and My Katamari includes four-player Ad Hoc wireless play, customizable characters, a new island-themed interface and a handful of new cousins newly created for the PSP system.

"We are extremely excited with how the Katamari series has evolved and progressed onto the PSP system," said Yoshi Niki, Product Group Director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. "Whether you are a fan of the Katamari series or just enjoy portable gaming, Me and My Katamari offers addictive gameplay and colorful graphics that will satisfy anyone's on-the-go gaming cravings."

An epic undertaking of earthly proportions, this time the King calls upon his pint-sized son, the Prince, and all of the cousins for help. Taking a break from celestial construction, the King of All Cosmos takes the royal family on vacation to a tropical island paradise, where they become tasked with the responsibility of creating new Katamari islands for homeless animals.

For more information about Me and My Katamari for the PSP system, please visit http://katamari.namco.com.

BioWare/Pandemic Studios is Looking for a Few Hundred Good Men and Women

San Jose, Calif., Game Developers Conference, March 20, 2006 –

BioWare/Pandemic Studios, the global video game developer, is mounting a major recruiting drive to attract new talent to its award-winning international studios to work on some of the most exciting next generation titles in the industry. The company, which was formed last year through the fusion of Pandemic Studios, a leading developer of action titles, and BioWare Corp., a developer recognized for its story and character-driven games, is looking to hire video game development professionals at all of its four locations across all development disciplines.

“We are looking for people with top technical skills and a passion to work on games that will challenge the industry for creative impact and success,” said Roberta Riga, VP Human Resources for BioWare/Pandemic Studios. “We work very hard to maintain a creative, collaborative, and open environment. Whether you are leading the development of a hot new title or ensuring that operations are running smoothly, at BioWare/Pandemic Studios you are always an important part of the team.”

The company is seeking to fill positions at Pandemic Sstudios’ two locations (Brisbane, Australia and Los Angeles, California) as well as at BioWware’s two studios in Edmonton, Alberta as well as and the recently announced Austin, Texas location. Work is now underway in BioWware Austin is where work is now underway on a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) title. The new game will mark BioWare’s debut in the MMO space. Applicants may view job postings and submit materials for BioWare through jobs.bioware.com, and for Pandemic through www.pandemicstudios.com/jobs_la.php (for careers in Los Angeles, Calif.) or www.pandemicstudios.com/jobs_brisbane.php (for careers in Brisbane, Australia).



About BioWare/Pandemic Studios

BioWare/Pandemic Studios was formed through the fusion of two industry powerhouses and private equity firm, Elevation Partners. A leader in the action/adventure category, Pandemic Studios joined forces in 2005 with BioWare, a company known for its role-playing games rich in story and character. Co-equal and complementary, the newly partnered video game studios are working both in tandem and separately to develop new, original titles as well as continuing to leverage the licensed franchises and owned-IP each is known for including: MercenariesTM, Destroy All Humans!TM, Full Spectrum WarriorTM, and Star Wars BattlefrontTM II from Pandemic and Mass EffectTM, Dragon AgeTM, Baldur’s GateTM, Neverwinter NightsTM, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old RepublicTM and Jade EmpireTM from BioWare. Focused on next-generation platforms to create bold new concepts in entertainment, the studios are located in Los Angeles, California; Brisbane, Australia; and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For more information, please visit http://bioware.pandemicstudios.com.

EIDOS CONFIRMS XBOX 360 RELEASE DATE FOR LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: LEGEND

San Francisco, CA (March 20, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today confirms that Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend will be released for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft on April 11th in North America and April 7th in Europe, in line with the release of previously announced versions for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC.

Delivering unbelievable visuals that take full advantage of Microsoft’s next-generation video game and entertainment system, Lara’s premiere on Xbox 360 is grounded in the series’ tomb raiding roots. Created by Crystal Dynamics, Lara exploits the power of Xbox 360 with its newly created graphics system for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend.

With support for real-time per pixel lighting, shadows and normal-mapping among other improvements, the Tomb Raider world achieves new heights of atmosphere, tension and beauty. New levels of detail and texture yield realistic effects on Lara herself as she gets dirty and wet during her expeditions through the rugged terrain of the environments she explores.

“Xbox 360 allows us to bring Lara to life like never before with intricately animated expressions, fluid movement and realistic abilities like never before,” said Matt Gorman, Senior Brand Manager for Tomb Raider, “It enables us to make the Tomb Raider experience far more realistic and immersive in a next generation, high-definition world; dynamic, lush, living realms that are wholly Tomb Raider, and that belong completely to Lara Croft, the likes of which has never been seen on any console.”

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is the seventh title to be released in the Tomb Raider™ series, which originally launched in 1996 and is still one of the best selling videogame franchises of all time, with over 28 million copies sold.

Microsoft's Handheld

A E Interactive: Microsoft's Plans For Handheld Game Player And "iPod Killer"

There was an interesing article in The Mercury News blog this morning about Microsoft's plans for a handheld device that would compete with Sony, Nintendo, and Apple to play music, video games and video. Sounds like it really competes with the PSP.

My reaction was sort of "it's about time". Microsoft is pretty good at being the second mover in many fields so this news doesn't surprise me. They are so good at letting someone else pioneer a new device or software and then copying it and marketing their version better.

Pokemon Trozei Ushers in Second Decade of Worldwide Pokemon Phenomenon

Celebrating its 10th worldwide anniversary in February, the Pokemon franchise has reached more than $25 billion in worldwide retail sales. But the illustrious franchise is not stopping there as it introduces its latest video game. Pokemon(R) Trozei for Nintendo DS(TM) is available in stores now It's a visually mesmerizing game with highly addictive game play for people of all ages.
The slide-action, frenzied puzzle game is designed to be straightforward for all players. The intuitive nature of the touch screen and stylus provides trouble-free game play for gamers of all experience levels. With more than 380 popular Pokemon characters appearing as puzzle pieces, now Pokemon fans can slide a Snorlax or even "Trozei" a Torchic.
Players use the stylus to line up four puzzle pieces in a row either vertically or horizontally. This creates a "Trozei," which can be converted into a chain reaction by lining up three Pokemon in a row and then two in a row to clear those pieces from the screen. Players get higher scores depending on how long they keep a Trozei going. But don't let the pieces stack up too high or it's game over.
Through the DS local wireless function, players can share with friends all the precious Pokemon that they've added to their Trozei List. Now, friends also can share Pokemon Trozei buddy icons, which they can add to their instant messaging index of images. And later this month, DS Download Stations will allow Nintendo DS owners to wirelessly download content onto their Nintendo DS system at participating retailers free of charge.

For more information about Pokemon Trozei or to download exclusive Pokemon Trozei buddy icons or desktop wallpaper, please go to www.pokemontrozei.com

March 20, 2006

Metroid Prime Hunters and Tetris DS Begin a New Era of Competition

REDMOND, Wash., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo's wireless gaming service welcomes two incredible new games that will raise the level of competition to dramatic new levels. Metroid(R) Prime Hunters is Nintendo's first real first-person shooter for Nintendo DS(TM), while Tetris(R) DS features classic puzzle action remixed with retro Nintendo themes. Both games launch today, and both are playable on Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's wireless gaming service. Together they reinforce Nintendo's commitment to making games that appeal to both hard-core and casual gamers.
"These two games really showcase the range of abilities of the world's favorite new portable game system," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "They will further help drive Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection as the hottest Wi-Fi format ever introduced to games."
In Metroid Prime Hunters, the legendary Metroid franchise continues with new hunters, new abilities, new weapons and new alternate forms. With worldwide Wi-Fi connectivity, there's always a band of hunters eager to challenge a player's skills. Metroid Prime Hunters is also the first Nintendo DS game to offer real-time voice chat, letting players talk to one another before and after they face off in a multiplayer match. The chat technology functions much like a two-way radio and lets players intimidate opponents with some friendly trash talk. With this free service, players who have exchanged their Nintendo DS friend codes can converse through Nintendo DS across the Americas. Players must be logged on to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to use the chat feature.
Metroid Prime Hunters lets players battle in more than 20 action-packed arenas across seven multiplayer modes, including Battle, Capture, Bounty, Survival, Defender and Nodes, as well as the exciting Prime Hunter mode, where players battle to become the most powerful hunter in the arena. New hunters join the Metroid universe, including Trace, Sylux, Noxus, Spire, Kanden and Weavel, all battling against Samus in both single-player and multiplayer games. Each new hunter has a unique background, fighting style and individual alt forms to match up against Samus' Morphball.
Not to be outdone, Tetris DS includes six modes, each based on a theme from a famous Nintendo character or game. The classic block-building game finds new ways to entertain. Some of the modes make use of the Nintendo DS touch screen. Newcomers and longtime fans alike will find new surprises. Using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, up to four players compete in two- orfour-player battles against friends or strangers. And with just one game card, up to 10 players can clash using DS Download Play.
The wildly popular Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection recently reached an all-time gaming record of more than 1 million unique users worldwide in less than four months. That represents more than 29 million game-play sessions. In November 2005, Nintendo of America's agreement with Wayport brought free wireless access to users at participating McDonald's restaurants in the United States. Since that union, players have connected at almost 6,000 McDonald's locations across the country.

Metroid Prime Hunters is Rated T for Teen and Tetris DS is Rated E for Everyone. To learn more about Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or the extensive online stat tracking, log onto www.nintendowifi.com. For more information about Tetris DS, visit www.TetrisDS.com. And for more information and videos of the bounty hunters in action, visit www.metroidhunters.com.

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PARTNERS WITH SNOWBLIND STUDIOS FOR JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES VIDEOGAME

BURBANK, Calif. - March 20, 2006 - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will launch the JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROESTM videogame, based on the legendary DC Comics' super hero team and developed by Snowblind Studios, for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system in Fall 2006.

The JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES game will feature an original story from award winning comic book and animation writer Dwayne McDuffie (Static Shock, Justice League, Teen Titans, Damage Control, Deathlok).

"In JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES, gamers get to play Batman and Superman together along with an amazing team of super heroes wielding unprecedented powers for stand alone action on consoles and the PSP system," said Jason Hall, Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "The game utilizes Snowblind's innovative gameplay technologies and the respected story writing of Dwayne McDuffie to bring fans and gamers some of the best super hero battles in the universe."

"Working on JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES is exciting, because players will get a chance to experience the superpowers of these well-known and loved super heroes together first hand," said Paul Knutzen, Game Designer, Snowblind Studios. "This is a real opportunity to bring the celebrated characters to life in dynamic gameplay, showcasing their individual powers and their incredible capabilities working as a team."

"Comics and videogames go hand in hand, so it's only natural to have a game featuring iconic characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman," noted Paul Levitz, DC Comics President and Publisher. "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will do a great job of bringing the Justice League to life."

Self-published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by critically acclaimed Snowblind Studios, JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES is an action adventure game with role-playing customization featuring Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna and other unlockable Justice League super heroes. Each hero possesses an array of character-specific, upgradeable superpowers resulting in unique controls and fighting-styles. Engaging in one-to-two player cooperative combat, gamers will be able to customize and master these superpowers as they travel through interactive and destructible environments spanning the farthest corners of the universe.

NAMCO NETWORKS EXPANDS PRESENCE WITH ONLINE RETAIL STORE: CLUBNAMCO.COM

SAN JOSE, Calif. (March 20, 2006) – Looking for that exclusive PAC-MAN T-shirt or toy? Building on its mobile game success, Namco Networks, a leading publisher and developer of wireless games and content, today announced that PAC-MAN fans everywhere can purchase exclusive Namco game and character-themed memorabilia from www.clubNAMCO.com.

Recognizing the overwhelming consumer demand for souvenirs that capture the essence of Namco’s games, the company is expanding its online presence to provide merchandise from these arcade classics that have become mega-hits on the mobile platform. In addition to these popular collectibles, in the near future, Namco Networks plans to offer exclusive video game ringtones and cell phone wallpaper on the site.

clubNAMCO.com features products, some of which were previously unavailable in the Americas, commemorating arcade hits, such as PAC-MAN®, Ms. PAC-MAN®, Galaga® and Dig Dug®. Especially popular and generating high demand is a series of mechanical plush PAC-MAN toys, which debuted at the consumer technology show, DigitalLife 2005 in New York City. These battery-powered toys feature the infamous and evasive PAC-MAN and those pesky ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. Other game-themed products include t-shirts, collectible figures and even a PAC-MAN shaped cushion.

“There has been so much enthusiasm around the 25th anniversary of PAC-MAN and the related merchandise showcased at E3 and DigitalLife,” said Scott Rubin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Namco America. “We are excited to give fans of PAC-MAN and other retro classics the opportunity to purchase these specialty items they’ve been waiting for. clubNAMCO.com is the next step in Namco Network’s vision of providing game fans with a complete mobile and online entertainment experience.”

Official ArchLord website launches revealing exclusive info on player ascension and new movie

New York (March 17, 2006) - Codemasters’ official website for ArchLord, the MMORPG where one player will rule the world, is now live at www.archlordgame.com. In addition to revealing the first details of the unique ArchLord player ascension system, the site also carries the game movie ‘Episode 1: The Legend of Chantra.’

With its unique competitive premise, ArchLord is a fantasy based MMORPG unlike no other in today’s market and due to launch in Q3 2006. The ArchLord system, which sees one player rise to become the game world’s supreme ruler for a month, revolves around a player securing three holy relics known as Archons.

ArchLord’s game world is the mystical land Chantra, and play is set deep within the world’s Middle Ages. In order to challenge for the ArchLord crown, players embark on specific quests to gain great knowledge surrounding the true history of Chantra and the Archons that reside within.

Within its borders, Chantra’s diverse and challenging landscape holds three immense castles, each fiercely protected from those who wish to enter. To challenge for the castles’ rule, players and their guilds must fight their way through a hoard of enemies, guardians of the sacred Archons.

Victory will yield reward in the form of an Archon and a summon to the battle arena. Here players are pitted against one another as they challenge for control of all three Archons. From here it is but a mere glimpse to being crowned ArchLord as you go head to head with the current monarch in a battle like no other. Success brings power! Death brings nothing but sorrow. Win your fight and be crowned the ArchLord!


Boasting eight playable classes to choose from including Human Archers, Knights and Mages, Orc Berserkers, Hunters, and Shaman or the ever so delectable Moon Elf Spiritualist & Elementalist, ArchLord will be published, exclusively for Windows PC, in North America and Europe by Codemasters Online Gaming in Q3 2006. For more information, visit the official website today at www.archlordgame.com.

MARVEL and BUNGIE STUDIOS BRING VIDEO GAME PHENOMENON HALO TO THE COMIC BOOK ARENA

NEW YORK – Bungie Studios, part of Microsoft Game Studios, has joined forces with Marvel Comics to release a highly anticipated graphic novel inspired by one of the most popular franchises in the history of the video game industry. The universe of the Xbox phenomenon Halo will be brought to life for the first time in comic form via the Halo Graphic Novel (HGN), a 128 page full-color jacketed hardcover book with an anticipated July 2006 release.

The HGN is independently produced by Bungie Studios, while Marvel has signed on as the exclusive publisher obtaining print and distribution rights. The HGN is the first exciting result of this new partnership and additional Halo comic projects are in the works.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Halo property, as it’s proven to be an international sensation since its very inception,” said Ruwan Jayatilleke, Director of Development, Publishing. “And being that I am an avid Halo fan, this creative synergy in the graphic fiction medium makes it all the more thrilling.”

The Halo Graphic Novel is an anthology of original stories set in the Halo universe representing an unprecedented display of visual storytelling. Building on the success of the critically acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 video games, the graphic novel will feature the series' iconic characters, weapons and scenarios and the epic struggle against the alien threats known as the Covenant and the Flood.

The HGN's main storyline and three additional stories are the work of some of the comic industry's most brilliant artists and writers including Moebius, Phil Hale, Ed Lee, Tsutomo Nihei, Jay Faerber, Andrew Robinson, Simon Bisley and Lee Hammock. The novel will also include a substantial collection of gallery pages showcasing original, never-before seen Halo inspired artwork from all-star comic book artists as well as Bungie's own art team.

“The chance to give our faithful fans something this special was a chance we had to jump at,” said Harold Ryan, Studio Manager of Bungie Studios. “Re-exploring the Halo universe with some of our favorite comic book artists and writers – indeed, some of the greatest of all time – was a true labor of love and we couldn’t have picked a better partner than Marvel to help us achieve our vision."

“With Marvel and Halo’s similar loyal fan bases, we are confident that Halo’s transition into the comic book arena will further bolster the characters, storylines and huge popularity of the property with not only the longtime, dedicated Halo fans but among comic book fans as well,” said Dan Buckley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Marvel Entertainment, Publishing.

March 17, 2006

KONAMI’S FROGGER TURNS 25!

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 17, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. announced today details about the 25th anniversary of the classic Frogger video game series. Celebrating a quarter century of video game history, the Frogger franchise marks a milestone as one of the most universally adored characters in the industry. Ever since the game first appeared in the arcades in 1981, Frogger has captured the hearts of gamers everywhere. The initial objective of the game was to scoot a friendly frog across a busy five-lane highway and over a perilous river to peaceful lily pads. The simple, yet addictive "Hop 'N Dodge" gameplay made Frogger accessible to players of all skill levels, allowing it to quickly develop an immense fan base and become an instant success. With over 20 million games sold to date, Frogger continues to be one of the most memorable and beloved characters in the history of video games.

“One of the original video game icons, Frogger remains just as popular today as when he first tried to cross that busy street 25 years ago,” said Catherine Fowler, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “We are celebrating Frogger’s silver anniversary with a variety of new products and programs that will ensure that he remains an enduring figure to an all-new generation of gamers as well as the millions of existing fans of the franchise.”

As part of this anniversary celebration, Konami plans to introduce a host of new and exciting Frogger products throughout the year. Starting this month, a dedicated Frogger 25th anniversary website will be launched at www.frogger25th.com . This site will provide up-to-the-minute information on all activities tied to the year long celebration, from events and contests to product information and special surprises. Konami will also introduce new Frogger games, including a special Frogger 25th Anniversary mobile game that will take players through the evolution of the character, from classic arcade trendsetter to console gaming hero.

In celebration of his birthday, Frogger will also be hitting the road to celebrate with all of his fans. Starting with the St. Patrick’s Day parade today in New York, the costumed character will be sharing the gift of green, commemorating 25 years of entertainment by handing out special anniversary gift items. In addition, Frogger will be hopping across America throughout the year, making appearances at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose in March, CTIA Wireless 2006 Conference in Las Vegas in April, the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in May and the San Diego Comic Con event in July.

Also starting this month, the Frogger faithful will be able to participate in a national sweepstakes entitled “Show us Your Frogger.” Participants will be able to submit photographs that demonstrate their devotion to Frogger throughout the year at the official Frogger 25th anniversary web site and be entered into a drawing to win a number of prize packages. Prizing and entry details for the “Show us Your Frogger” sweepstakes will be made available at www.frogger25th.com.

For more information on Frogger’s 25th anniversary and to keep updated on upcoming news and announcements, go to www.frogger25th.com .

EA ANNOUNCES BLACK & WHITE 2: BATTLE OF THE GODS EXPANSION PACK

Redwood City, Calif. - March 16, 2006 - You’ve conquered Eden and its tribes, now return to find an even more powerful foe – a rival god who is determined to convert your subjects and become the ruler of Eden. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, today announced that Lionhead Studios is developing Black & White® 2: Battle of The Gods, an expansion pack for Black & White® 2, which will become available to customers worldwide in April 2006 via retail channels and the EA downloader at www.downloader.ea.com

The Battle of the Gods expansion pack for Black & White 2 offers player a host of new challenges in a much darker, more sinister game world. It takes the player back once more to the world of Eden where something strange has started to happen: The Aztecs have not accepted defeat lightly and by making a huge number of human sacrifices they have raised their own evil deity, forcing the player to return to Eden to fight it head on. As customary in the Black & White world, the player has the freedom to choose how they will rise to this new challenge by either countering the evil deity’s actions with good deeds or attempting to defeat him with extreme evil.

Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods will feature a brand new creature, two new lands and four new miracles. An all new enemy unit AI system enhances the battle experience but players will have to watch out for two new enemy armies and their ultimate weapon: the new enemy creature. There will also be six new challenges and other new content for players of the PC game to explore.

Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods, the expansion pack for Black & White 2 is being developed by Lionhead Studios and distributed by EA. For more information on Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods, Black & White 2 and Lionhead Studios please visit www.blackandwhite2.ea.com Black & White 2: Battle of The Gods requires Black & White 2 PC to play.

The Adventure Company Ships Crime Stories

Toronto, March 16, 2006 - The Adventure Company announced today that its investigative thriller, Crime Stories has shipped to retailers across North America.

As the brilliant detective Martin Mystère, you have just been called upon to investigate the brutal murder of the highly reputed scientist, Professor Eulemberg. What fascinating discovery had the professor uncovered and why is he now dead?

Intelligent and inquisitive, Martin will captivate you with his eccentric personality as he takes you on an adventure all over the world confronted with danger, crime and mystery. Only you can solve this horrific crime – and the mystery that lies beneath it…

* A cinematic investigative thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours!
* Engage your senses with brilliant high-quality environments to explore and just the right music to set the mood.
* Many interesting objects to search for, collect and use.
* Creative and original puzzles to solve.
* Loads of characters to meet and talk to - you choose what you want to say to them!
* A dark and disturbing tale of betrayal and murder!
* From the award winning publisher of MISSING® and Syberia®.

Crime Stories has an ESRB rating of "T" for Teen.

About DreamCatcher Inc.:

DreamCatcher Inc. is a leading worldwide publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software. Established in 1996, the company markets its products under two popular labels: DreamCatcher Games, featuring the critically acclaimed, best-selling game Painkiller; and The Adventure Company, the number one brand for PC adventure game sales worldwide including award winning titles such as Syberia and Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None.

DreamCatcher products include titles for the PC as well as leading hardware platforms - the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PlayStation® Portable (PSP) system, the Xbox® video game and entertainment system, the Nintendo GameCube® and Game Boy® Advance.

DreamCatcher’s head office is located in Toronto, Canada. The company also services European, Middle Eastern and Australasian territories through its international office based in Paris, France.

Visit www.dreamcatchergames.com for more information.

March 16, 2006

John Carmack OF ID SOFTWARE To receive Star on Walk of Game

MESQUITE, TX, March 16, 2006 – Legendary game developer and id Software co-owner and technical director, John Carmack, will be awarded a star for Lifetime Achievement on Walk of Game on Thursday, March 16. The ceremony will take place at Walk of Game, the destination honoring leaders of the video game industry, located inside San Francisco’s Metreon, a mecca for the gaming community.

Carmack and the other 2006 inductees will be honored at a reception at Metreon, where the stars will be unveiled. The 2005 inductee for Lifetime Achievement, Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari and creator of Pong), will headline the event. In addition to Carmack, Walk of Game will induct Sid Meier (creator of Civilization®) for Lifetime Achievement, and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider), StarCraft®, Final Fantasy and EverQuest® as favorite Games/Characters.

Among his many accomplishments, rendering technology developed by Carmack stands at the forefront of gaming evolution. Since 1996, id Software’s technology platforms, including the QUAKE® series of engines and the DOOM 3® engine, have been used in nearly 100 products and accounted for more than 30 million units and well over $1 billion of game industry revenue worldwide. Game technology developed by Carmack and id Software has been used in every id Software title released as well as Half-Life, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II, Call of Duty, and many other popular games.

Through Carmack’s initiative, id Software was the first company to release source code to the online community of fans - fostering and developing a group of aspiring programmers, artists and designers. id Software has freely released its entire source code base for every technology through the QUAKE III Arena engine through the General Public License.

About id Software:

id – Freud's primal part of the human psyche and one of the hottest game shops on Earth – has been rocking the gaming world from Mesquite, Texas since 1991. As a renowned leader in the industry, id Software forged such frenetic titles as Wolfenstein 3D®, DOOM®, DOOM II®, QUAKE® QUAKE II®, QUAKE III Arena®, QUAKE 4™, Return to Castle Wolfenstein® and DOOM 3®. With intense graphics and mind-blowing action, id’s games have helped redefine the modern video game, continually setting industry standards for technology and gameplay. Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.

About Metreon:
Metreon is the first-of-its-kind entertainment center located at Fourth and Mission streets in the heart of downtown San Francisco featuring an eclectic mix of the Bay Area's best restaurants, shopping venues, theatres, and entertainment destinations.

Agent 47 Practices His New Moves on a Giant Chicken in the Latest Batch of Screenshots for Hitman: Blood Money!

Normally it’s rare to come across a man in an oversized bird suit, but at the world’s largest party, the Mardi Gras, it’s commonplace. However, what’s definitely out of the ordinary is to see a professional hitman stalking such a man in costume. Sadly for the man in the bird suit, he must have rubbed Agent 47 the wrong way, because in the latest batch of screenshots he is trying out a few of his new kill moves at the bird man’s expense!

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

New Orleans is just one of the many brand new locations that Agent 47 travels to in Hitman: Blood Money, and it looks absolutely amazing! Advances in technology allow for a never-before-seen amount of characters to appear on-screen at once, making this ultra realistic party environment one of the most astounding locations that gaming has ever seen. These massive new environments, coupled with new features such as the Blood Money system, which allows characters in future levels to react to you based on the style you chose to complete previous missions, guarantee that Hitman: Blood Money is definitely the most impressive hitman experience to date. Prepare to make a killing this Spring 2006, when Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship for the PS2, Xbox and PC!


Midway Demos

I met with Midway yesterday at the W Hotel where they had the greatest rice krispy squares dipped in chocolate.

SpyHunter: Nowhere to Run
spyhunter.jpg
This ships on June 19, 2006 for PS2 and Xbox. It's more than the same old SpyHunter because there is an added 3rd person action element staring The Rock. It's pretty melee heavy. I got to play this one and it was a lot of fun. Driving had that exciting combat. I kept dying during the level with the boat. The gun battles and fighting were pretty cool and they really bring a new dimension to the game.

Stranglehold
stranglehold.jpg
This will be Midway's first next generation game for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. It's a John Woo project, the spiritual sequel to Hardboiled. Chow Yun Fat plays Inspector Tequila and the game takes place in both Hong Kong and Chicago. There is environment is massively destructible and rooms look like a gun battle took place there with debris on the ground and the walls being all chewed up by bullets. The theatrical effects are there with blood spray and the animation is very fluid. There's also Tequila Time where you move in real time and everyone else moves in slow motion. It's being developed by the same team that did Psi-Ops and they're using Havoc physics and the Unreal Engine 3.0. Stranglehold is scheduled to ship in winto 2006.

The Ant Bully and Happy Feet
These are two cute games that will come out alongside the Warner Bros movies. Happy Feet is a bunch of dancing penguins so it will be part rhythm game and part belly sliding like a snowboarding game.

Mortal Kombat Armaggedon
mkarm.jpg
This is the culmination of all MK games to date with every (roughly 60) characters from all the other games together in a 3D fighter. There is an in-depth Kreate-A-Fighter mode complete with Kreate-A-Move and Kreate-A-Fatality. It's also possible to define victory and taunting animations. There's online play. There's combat in the air where you can jump up and grapple with your opponent. The all new Konquest mode looked pretty sweet, almost enough to be a game itself. MK Armaggedon will ship in Fall 2006 for Xbox and PS2.

Rampage Total Destruction
rampage .jpg
This ships in April 2006 for PS2 and Gamecube. Play as 30 different monsters, each with a unique personality and wreak havoc. For $19.99 it also includes versions of the old Rampage.

NCAA Predictions from 2K Sports

The development team at 2K Sports ran over 1,000 simulations in our College Hoops 2K6 game on the original Xbox, PS2 and Xbox 360’s for these results. The final four teams - Duke, Uconn, Villanova and Texas - were simulated an additional 1000 times.

ncaa.JPG

For some reason the brackets aren't displaying properly. To see the complete bracket, right click on the graphic and select "view image".

NEW YORK, NY - March 7, 2006 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that College Hoops 2K6 for Xbox 360(tm) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft is now available at retailers across North America. As the only college basketball game available for Xbox 360, College Hoops 2K6 delivers a truly authentic collegiate experience, showcasing superior next-generation graphics, unmatched gameplay, all of the fan-favorite features found in the current-gen versions and an updated and expanded roster of teams and players.

"We are pleased to bring the acclaimed College Hoops 2K6, the only next generation college basketball title, to Xbox 360 gamers," said Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "College Hoops 2K6 exemplifies the college basketball spirit through an engaging atmosphere, exciting gameplay and unique features that truly enhance the overall experience."

2K Sports' highly acclaimed College Hoops 2K series, now available for Xbox 360, immerses college basketball fans into all of the action with Xbox 360- exclusive features including stunning player models, detailed college arenas complete with full 3D crowds, and realistic animated sections for the band, home and visiting crowds. The college style of play is fully realized for Xbox 360 with accurate game pace and speed, and focus on players' shot distribution and defense in the post. College Hoops 2K6 also includes the entire suite of features found in the current-gen versions, such as Shot Stick, V.I.P. System(tm), Coach's Clipboard, Midnight Madness(r), Strip 'n' Rip System, and Pre-season and Selection Sunday broadcast shows hosted by Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg.

Through Xbox Live(r) online game service, College Hoops 2K6 provides gamers with the most realistic, interactive gaming experience with seamless head-to-head online play. The comprehensive online features also provide stat tracking, buddy list management and online leagues.

College Hoops 2K6 for Xbox 360 is rated "E" for Everyone and available in North American retail stores for $59.99. For more information, please visit www.2Ksports.com.

Game Boy Gets Pretty in Pink on March 27

Girl gamers and spring fashion fans get their wish on March 27 when Nintendo introduces the latest color in the Game Boy(R) Advance SP palette: Pearl Pink. It's the latest in a line of pink high-tech products designed specifically to cater to the tastes of girls and the people who shop for them. The Pearl Pink version features the recently upgraded screen that displays games in brilliant color. The system will retail at an MSRP of $79.99.

Girl gamers represent a growing demographic. According to a survey by the Entertainment Software Association, 43 percent of video game players are female, while women over the age of 18 represent a greater portion of the game playing population (28 percent) than boys from ages 6 to 17 (21 percent). In addition, a February 2006 survey by Zanthus shows that nearly a quarter(24 percent) of Game Boy Advance SP owners are female.

The Game Boy(R) line remains the best-selling franchise in the video game industry, with more than 188 million hardware units sold worldwide. Game Boy Advance owners enjoy a vast library of nearly 850 games of every kind.

For more information about Game Boy Advance SP, please visit www.nintendo.com

March 15, 2006

Battlefield 2: Euro Force™

The Battlefield 2: Euro Force™ Booster Pack is now available for download via the EA downloader. Developed by Digital Illusions Canada, Battlefield 2: Euro Force™ is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB. Battlefield 2: Euro Force™ will be available for $9.99 USD via download at www.downloader.ea.com.

The European Union joins the battle in, Battlefield 2: Euro Force™, the first booster pack for Battlefield 2™. Take the powerful new Euro Force into action against Middle Eastern Coalition and Chinese armies as you battle for control of all-new Asian locations.

Battlefield Battlefield 2: Euro Force™takes you on the offensive admist burning oil fields, the Great Wall of China, and the immense Taraba Quarry , each having a unique tactical advantage on the battlefield.

The action escalates in each new map with the latest high-tech vehicles and weapons including attack helicopters, battle tanks, assault rifles, and much more.

The Battlefield 2 game engine and physics system brings the modern battlefield to life like never before. The material penetration feature measures weapons' ability to fire through barriers based on their composition and players will need to know the difference between concealment and cover in order to survive.

Team play features allow players to enter the action on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or work behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their teammates.

Features:
3 new maps, from armor battles in Burning Mesa to close-quarters mayhem around the Great Wall of China

4 new vehicles including updated battle tanks, attack choppers and fighter aircraft

7 new devastating weapons

All-new European Union Army

Generalized Triggering System used to control key elements of the environment

Online multiplayer action with 64 players on the PC

Join a squad or select Commander Mode with the new night vision filter to assume the strategic role of a battlefield commander directing his forces.

Character Persistence and Growth. With in-game success, players can attain additional ranks and unlock new awards

Full in-game community support. Voice-over IP supported with USB headset

Available via EA's downloader service

ACTIVISION AND LIONHEAD STUDIOS BREAK-A-LEG WITH THE MOVIES: STUNTS & EFFECTS EXPANSION PACK

Santa Monica, CA – March 15, 2006 – Suited up and ready for action, Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and Lionhead® Studios today announced The Movies™: Stunts & Effects, the expansion pack to the 9th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards’ “Simulation Game of the Year.” Building on The Movies’ critically acclaimed gameplay, The Movies: Stunts & Effects ups the ante on movie production with the addition of stuntmen to the lot, a movie-making toolset, a diverse selection of dangerous stunts, astounding visual effects, impressive new sets and a number of brand-new techniques and technologies that can be used when making a movie. Currently in development at Lionhead Studios, The Movies: Stunts & Effects will be released Spring 2006 and has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

The Movies: Stunts & Effects allows players to hone their movie making skills with features that can turn an ordinary script into an extraordinary blockbuster. In addition to stunts and effects, the game introduces new backdrops, costumes and props, as well as upgrades to the Advanced Movie Making mode that lets players take control of even more movie features. Players are further immersed into the Hollywood lifestyle as they train and manage stuntmen, as well as compete for industry awards and achievements by uploading their movies to www.themoviesgame.com for the entire world to see.

The online community for The Movies continues to grow with new movies being posted daily. The website, www.themoviesgame.com, has attracted more than three million unique users, has received more than 300 million hits*, and currently features more than 60,000 user-created movies, available online for anyone to view.

The Movies for Windows® PC is available now for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and is rated “T” (Teen with blood and gore, crude humor, mild language, sexual themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, and violence) by the ESRB.

*These statistics apply to www.themoviesgame.com/community.

More information on The Movies can be found at www.themoviesgame.com.

“Viva Piñata” Universe Revealed — Entertainment Property Brought to Life by Microsoft, Rare and 4Kids Entertainment

REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK — March 15, 2006 — Microsoft Game Studios and 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) today celebrate the introduction of “Viva Piñata,” a high-energy, mass-appeal entertainment property created by Rare Ltd. that brings a vibrant world of living piñata animals to video games, television and beyond. The “Viva Piñata” universe showcases an engaging cast of colorful, wild-roaming piñata animals that entertain and challenge imaginations.

“Viva Piñata” will offer a number of entertainment elements enjoyable for everyone — from kids to adults. The “Viva Piñata” world will include a Saturday morning 3-D animated television series, slated to premiere this fall on 4Kids TV™ on FOX, that is produced and created by 4Kids Entertainment, known for such powerhouse properties as Yu-Gi-Oh!®, Pokémon®, Cabbage Patch Kids® and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®. An immersive video game developed by Rare Ltd. exclusively for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system is scheduled to debut this holiday worldwide, enabling gamers to create and customize piñata-filled adventures in their own evolving world. The 4Kids Entertainment licensing program will result in additional licensed products launching in 2007. Additional information can be found at http://www.vivapinata.com.

“With ‘Viva Piñata,’ we are introducing a revolutionary brand that will entertain, inspire and excite children, families and creative minds around the globe,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Corp. “With Rare and 4Kids Entertainment we will best showcase the vibrant world of ‘Viva Piñata,’ enabling a mass audience to have an immersive experience via the animated television series, the Xbox 360 title and related merchandise.”

“Viva Piñata” — The Animated Television Series

The “Viva Piñata” television series is set to air in the U.S. in fall 2006 on 4Kids TV — 4Kids Entertainment’s four hours of children’s programming broadcast Saturday mornings on FOX. In this comedy series, created by 4Kids Entertainment, a cast of piñata “friends” embark on wild adventures on Piñata Island. The appealing characters and their charming personalities are sure to entertain and stimulate the series’ audience as they accompany the piñata characters on their zany adventures.

“We are very excited about partnering with Microsoft to share the ‘Viva Piñata’ universe with the world,” said Alfred R. Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. “The potent combination of the Microsoft Game Studios and 4Kids will ensure that the ‘Viva Piñata’ world, including the video game, television series and merchandising program, attracts a worldwide audience.”

“Viva Piñata” for Xbox 360

Set to release this holiday season worldwide, “Viva Piñata” is a customizable, social and spontaneous game that invites players of all ages and skills to explore an immersive world where they are challenged to create and maintain a living garden ecosystem that grows in real time. Beginning with a few basic tools, players build and take control of their environment to attract and host more than 60 species of wild piñata, utilizing hundreds of customizable elements to create their very own distinctively unique thriving paradise.

“Viva Piñata” gameplay continues to evolve with new content available via the Xbox Live® service and the ability to play, trade and interact with more than 2 million gamers via the online service.

Following the strategic alliance previously announced in January 2006 with Microsoft, 4Kids’ exclusive representation agreement includes all broadcast, home video, music and merchandise licensing rights on a worldwide basis for the “Viva Piñata” property.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. The system was launched in Europe, Japan and North America in the 2005 holiday season and was launched in Colombia, Korea and Mexico in 2006. The system will also be launched in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan later this year. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Xbox Live

Xbox Live is the first and only unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy to find the friends, games and entertainment people want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects more than 2 million members across more than 24 countries together to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, free playable game demos, music videos and movie trailers, as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

About Rare Ltd.

Rare Ltd., one of the world’s leading video game developers, was founded in 1985 by Chris and Tim Stamper. Based in the United Kingdom, Rare is the mastermind behind some of the most popular video games available, including multimillion-dollar sellers “GoldenEye 007,” “Perfect Dark®,” “Banjo-Kazooie®” and “Donkey Kong 64.” In November 2005, Rare released “Perfect Dark: Zero™” and “Kameo™: Elements of Power™” for Xbox 360, the second-generation video games console from Microsoft, and continues to entertain the world with the upcoming release of “Viva Piñata.” For further information visit www.rareware.com.

About 4Kids Entertainment

Headquartered in New York City with an international office in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE), is a global provider of children’s entertainment and merchandise licensing. 4Kids, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, provides domestic and international merchandise licensing; product development; television, film, music and home video production and distribution; media planning and buying; and Web site development. For further information, please visit the Company’s Web site at www.4KidsEntertainment.com.

About 4Kids TV

4Kids TV, 4Kids Entertainment’s four hours of children’s programming broadcast Saturday mornings on FOX, features popular animated series for both boys and girls including Magical DoReMi™, Winx Club™, Bratz®, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®, Sonix X™ and G.I. Joe Sigma 6™. For more information, please visit www.4Kids.TV.

About Microsoft

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

JOIN THE FAMILY AND BECOME THE GODFATHER

Electronic Arts announced today that The Godfather™ The Game has gone gold for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. 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 on March 21st in North America and March 24th in Europe. 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.

More information about the game is available at the game’s homepage at www.godfather.ea.com. The game is rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

Sony Admits PS3 Delay

There's an article on GameDaily this morning that Sony is pushing the shipment of the PS3 in Japan back to November. This is a big deal. If it isn't available until November in Japan, then when will it come here? Could it possibly be available in North America and Europe by the holidays? This could be a major coup for the 360 if it gets a second unopposed holiday season.
GameDaily BIZ: The news source for video game industry professionals

Sony executives indicated that the holdup is a copy protection scheme for the Blu-ray DVDs.

BLAZING ANGELS SQUADRONS OF WWII GOES GOLD FOR XBOX 360, XBOX, AND PC

SAN FRANCISCO “March 14, 2006 Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today proudly announces that Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, the intense squadron-based flight action game, has gone gold for the Xbox 360 and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft and PC and will be releasing to U.S. stores on March 23, 2006.

In Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, players test their air-combat skills as they experience the most famous battles of World War II. As a squadron leader, players can fly up to 38 WWII aircraft in both single-player and multiplayer missions.

Developed by Ubisoft, Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII features innovative squadron-based combat, in which each artificial intelligence wingman's specialized skill can be used to the pilot's advantage. During the course of the 18-mission campaign, players will evolve along with their wingmen into an ace fighting force. Spectacular graphics enhance the combat experience in true World War II battle sites such as England, Germany, France, Morocco, Pearl Harbor, Midway and Tokyo. The heroic storyline that follows the evolution of a single squadron and the cinematic presentation create moments reminiscent of classic World War II movies. Pilots fly in close to Germany's industrial terrain during a bombing raid or emerge from the fog and cloud cover over London to engage the enemy. Up to 16 players online can engage over Xbox Live® online game service in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons in 10 additional missions.

Key features of the Xbox 360 and Xbox versions include:

• WWII's most epic and famous air battles: Experience the greatest air battles of World War II in famous locations from across the globe. Whether it's the Battle of Britain, the attack on Pearl Harbor or the fierce fighting over Berlin, the player and his squadron will be tasked with turning the tide of war.

• Innovative squadron-based gameplay: Command AI wingmen and make use of each one's special abilities. The pilot's heroism and leadership will grow during the course of the 18-mission campaign. Engage in legendary air battles and lead a squadron of Blazing Angels to victory.

• A large variety of realistic-looking WWII aircraft: Pilot 38 authentic WWII aircraft including the famous P-51 Mustang, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the British Spitfire, and planes like the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt and the Japanese Zero in multiplayer. From the wing rivets to the nose art to the detailed cockpits, these planes look like the real thing.

• 18 heart-stopping missions in a compelling storyline: Pilots will begin as untrained recruits and evolve through battle experience into ace combat pilots. WWII missions will take place around the globe in a large variety of locations such as London, the Pacific theater, North Africa, Normandy and Berlin.

• Authentic WWII atmosphere: Fly low over Germany's industrial terrain for a bombing raid, strafe the islands of the Pacific, or emerge from the cloud cover over London and engage the enemy. The environment is so real you'll feel like you're the pilot in a famous WWII movie.

• Planes are easy to handle and fun to fly: No need to attend the Air Force Academy to pilot these planes; players can jump right into air combat action without extensive tutorials.

• Xbox Live for up to 16 players online: Engage in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons on huge maps with large formations.

Key features of the PC CD-ROM version include:
• Heart-pounding single-player campaigns: Over 18 missions grouped into a compelling historical battle campaign. Over 40 missions in standalone modes (Mini-Campaign, Arcade and Ace Duel).

• Thrilling multiplayer combat: 16-player online and LAN play in 10 game types (Dogfight, Aces High, Seek and Destroy, Onslaught, Bombing Run, Kamikaze, Historical Battles and Capture the Base) in three multiplayer modes (Solo, Co-op and Squadron).

• Innovative graphical features: Amazingly detailed terrain including a variety of high-resolution specular maps. Photorealistic recreations of iconic cityscapes and locations including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the London Bridge and the ships in port at Pearl Harbor.

• Over 39 flyable high-definition, authentic-looking planes: High-resolution plane models (8,000-10 000 polygons per plane) and usage of large textures for the planes (1024x1024 = 4 Mb of texture per plane). Other aircraft features include multiple plane skins and nose-art, and destruction details for each plane model. Over 70 planes can be seen in the sky at once.

• Detailed vehicles and 3D-modeled people: High-resolution and 3D detail for over 40 vehicle models, and all vehicle models have damage levels. Each 3D-modeled person has over 10 animated movements.

• Impressive sound features: Hear all the combat excitement with the 48 KHz high-quality sampled sound and up to 64 3D sound sources 5.1 compatible.

Blazing Angels will ship with an ESRB rating of T (Teen) for Xbox 360, Xbox, and PC. For more information and updates, please visit www.blazing-angels.com.

© 2006 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Blazing Angels, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

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 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 www.ubisoftgroup.com.

March 14, 2006

Spore Lecture from GDC

Spore Gameplay Video - Google Video

Check out this video of Will Wright's lecture about Spore at GDC. This game looks amazing.

You build a society from the cellular level, constantly evolving you species. It starts almost like Pac Man where you eat what you need to survive and ultimately becomes a cross between an RTS and Sim City.

The video is about half an hour long and worth watching. This sort of reminds me of when Lisa Simpson built a whole society out of a tooth and a static shock for a science project.

ATARI'S ‘DRIVER: PARALLEL LINES’ TAKES OFF

NEW YORK, NY, March 14, 2006 – Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) today announced that Driver: Parallel Lines, the upcoming Hollywood-style action driving game, has shipped to retail stores worldwide. Driver: Parallel Lines is the fourth installment in the blockbuster Driver franchise that has achieved sales in excess of 12 million units worldwide. Developed by award-winning studio Reflections Interactive, Driver: Parallel Lines is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Driver: Parallel Lines offers an open, fast-paced driving action-movie experience and features an unfolding storyline of double crossing and revenge set over two distinct decades in New York City.

“Driver: Parallel Lines goes beyond the typical driving video game by delivering a cinematic experience reminiscent of a Hollywood-style action movie, coupled with a dual-era storyline, revenge, and an incredible soundtrack that is unparalleled,” said Rick Mehler, Director, Marketing, Atari, Inc. “As the game returns to its roots of non-stop driving action, Driver: Parallel Lines also takes the genre one step further by incorporating Reflections’ top-notch driving physics that will both challenge and exhilarate gamers.”

Driver: Parallel Lines places gamers in New York City during two distinct eras – the 1970s and today – and centers on TK, an 18 year-old driving prodigy seeking fortune and fame. Gifted, popular and arrogant, TK is one of the best drivers-for-hire in town and is known by everyone – from street hustlers, petty criminals, and racer boys to the shadowy crime figures that pay for his skills at the wheel. TK gets involved with a scheming group bent on taking down one of the biggest names in the underground crime scene. However, TK gets double crossed and ultimately is imprisoned for 28 years.

Fast forward to 2006 where the action kicks back in, and TK is older, meaner, and determined on settling some serious scores. TK needs to call on every driving trick in his considerable repertoire to tame the over-powered road machines that 2006 presents him. After twenty-plus years in jail, it’s time to hit the streets once again.

Driver: Parallel Lines boasts a diverse in-game soundtrack consisting of 80+ songs from both eras. A number of hip-hop, punk, rock and dance tracks from a varied roster of artists like Blondie, David Bowie, Funkadelic, Iggy Pop, WAR, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Roots, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio, Kaiser Chiefs, Secret Machines and The Dead 60’s are included on the soundtrack. Driver: Parallel Lines also features several amazing new exclusives from ground-breaking artists such as Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash, Suicide, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arthur Baker, Mylo, Paul Oakenfold, Lifesavas featuring Vernon Reid, and the Audio Bullys.

Driver: Parallel Lines tempts gamers to modify and juice up cars while engaging in the most thrilling Hollywood-style car chases ever. Driver: Parallel Lines provides a free roaming, stylized New York City. With over 30 diverse missions and nearly 50 mini missions that load without wait times, incredibly realistic driving physics, a brand new story and a top-notch soundtrack, Driver: Parallel Lines will be a must-have title for action driving fans. For more information visit www.atari.com/driver.

About Atari

New York-based Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S. The Company’s 1,000+ titles include hard-core, genre-defining franchises such as DRIVER™, The Matrix™ (Enter The Matrix and The Matrix: Path of Neo), Stuntman™ and Test Drive®; and mass-market and children’s franchises such as Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues™ and Dora the Explorer™, and Dragon Ball Z®. Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext – ISIN: FR-0000052573), the largest interactive games publisher in Europe. For more information, visit www.atari.com.

March 13, 2006

UBISOFT'S MICHEL ANCEL DUBBED IN KNIGHTS OF THE ART AND LITERATURE

Today the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres knighted Ubisoft's Michel Ancel, video game creator of Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil and Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie along with director and general manager of Nintendo EAD, Shigeru Miyamoto and author Frederick Raynal as knights of arts and literature for their outstanding achievement in video games at a ceremony in France earlier today.

France's Order of Arts and Letters recognizes eminent artists and writers who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. This is the first time that video game developers are honored this distinction.

Exclusive World Baseball Classic mode in MLB 2K6 video game

The rip against the “World Series” in other countries has always been that it’s not truly a worldwide event. This has finally changed with this month's launch of the World Baseball Classic tournament. Enthusiastic fans from Japan to Mexico to South Africa are finally being treated to baseball on a global stage.

Whether or not WBC will endure and become a popular tradition is yet to be determined. But in the meantime, baseball fans and gamers alike can experience this historic milestone event exclusively at home with 2K Sports’ Major League Baseball 2K6.

MLB 2K6 is the only major league baseball video game to feature World Baseball Classic as it faithfully replicates all 16 teams, logos, uniforms and authentic all-world tournament structure.

Coming this spring, MLB 2K6 will be available on all major consoles – Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP and GameCube.

SEGA's Condemned: Criminal Origins Goes Gold for PC

Today SEGA announced that its award-winning Xbox 360 launch title, Condemned: Criminal Origins, has gone gold for the PC. With the launch date set at April 11th, PC gamers are less than a month away from the haunting thrill and excitement that took critics and gamers by storm on the Xbox 360. In Condemned: Criminal Origins, gamers play Agent Thomas, an investigator in the FBI's Serial Crimes Unit (SCU), whose pursuit of relentless serial killers leads him through urban environments filled with sociopaths lurking in the shadows, waiting to destroy him.

March 11, 2006

Brand New Website Update for Tomb Raider: Legend Including a New Trailer!

And you thought that new screenshots featuring Tokyo would be enough for one day! Today we are loading you up with new content by also bringing you a massive new web update! Two new characters have been added,
including the Yakuza boss Shogo Takamoto, and the wealthy media mogul Toru Nishimura. Details about the recently revealed Tokyo level have also been included, along with descriptions for a couple more of Lara
Croft’s new weapons and gear. And how could we possibly forget Lara’s stunning attire that she wears to corporate party in Tokyo? Think that’s enough? We have also added a brand new trailer which shows Lara Croft in some truly breathtaking sequences! Talk about a Tomb Raider: Legend media overload! Head on over to www.tombraider.com now to check out the new assets! Seeing is believing, when Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend ships April 11th for the PS2, Xbox and PC, with the Xbox360 and PSP
versions to follow shortly after.

Check it out!

Lara Croft Looks Stunning in the Latest Batch of Screenshots Featuring a Stop in Tokyo!

When getting ready to travel the world in search of rare artifacts, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. Dual Pistols... check. Magnetic Grapple... check. Cocktail Dress... CHECK!! That’s right, Lara Croft is traveling to Tokyo, and she is definitely dressed to impress! When you are there to crash a party, it’s not a crime to look sizzling in the process, now is it? But why is she there? Well, she needs to collect some information about the rare artifact that she wants to add to her collection, the... now we can’t go and spoil that for you yet! But what we can reveal is a brand new batch of screenshots featuring Lara Croft in one of her beautiful new outfits as she bursts into action on the rooftops of Tokyo!

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

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is going to be coming your way April 11th, 2006 for the PS2, Xbox, and PC, with the Xbox360 and PSP versions to follow shortly after!

MICRO MACHINES returns to video gaming as Codemasters confirms plans for MICRO MACHINES v4

MM_kitchen2_151205.jpg

New York (March 10, 2006) – It’s been called “the most playable game in the world” and was the party game of choice for a gaming generation - now a MICRO MACHINES video game is set to return to game screens as Codemasters today announces the revival of its classic series.

A smash-hit series through the 1990s, Codemasters has once again secured the rights to the miniature vehicles for an all-new video game that promises a real return to the MICRO MACHINES game’s much loved, all-out fun, racing gameplay. The property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS).

MICRO MACHINES v4 game, titled as a sequel to the last MICRO MACHINES game from Codemasters, is now in development for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows PC, PSP (PlayStation® Portable) system and Nintendo DS. Scheduled for a summer 2006 release, development is back with the team at Supersonic Software, creators of some of the most acclaimed MICRO MACHINES games and more recently Mashed and Mashed: Fully Loaded.

Mixing miniature mayhem with maximum multiplayer racing, the MICRO MACHINES v4 game will arrive packed with knockabout, breakneck racing in the fastest scale miniatures, complete with explosive weapon power-ups. Letting players loose with hundreds of vehicles, each with distinctive performance abilities, they will be racing their inch-long miniature motors on the wildest tracks where everyday household objects appear immense in size and can become lethal hazards.

Sport cars, street racers, stock cars, 4x4s, beach buggies, lowriders and muscle cars are just some of the MICRO MACHINES models gamers will be taking out on the improvised tracks around the MICRO MACHINES house, garden and – for the first time – beyond!

Fans of classic MICRO MACHINES games will rejoice in the return of some of the series’ most popular racing arenas. Spin out around the breakfast table littered with cereal spills, tear through the kitchen, turbo boost around the pool table (while avoiding the treacherous pockets), or hit the gas during the drive around the rim of the bath, carefully negotiating the ferocious waters pouring over the edge of the bath.

As well as the familiar feel-good environments, MICRO MACHINES v4 game sees the racing world expand further than any previous MICRO MACHINES game. Go beyond the house and garden tracks and discover what it’s like to race across house roofs, in the sewers, through supermarkets, museums and even down to the farm, with its danger-packed chicken coop!

Of course, it wouldn’t be MICRO MACHINES without an arsenal of power-ups and weapons to collect and use on the opponents while racing. The MICRO MACHINES v4 game brings all the favorites back, including –the car-mounted giant hammer!


With much more unique game content yet to be revealed, the MICRO MACHINES v4 game is set to capture the dynamic, fast, fun gameplay of its classic predecessors when it launches in summer 2006 for PlayStation®2, PSP, PC and Nintendo DS.

CAPCOM’S ONIMUSHA®: DAWN OF DREAMS RECEIVES MPSE 2006 GOLDEN REEL AWARD FOR BEST SOUND EDITING IN COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT

SUNNYVALE, Calif ¾ March 10, 2006 — Capcom® today reveals Onimusha®: Dawn of Dreams, the latest chapter in the critically acclaimed Onimusha series, has received the MPSE 2006 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Computer Entertainment. The epic action game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system was bestowed the prestigious honor at the 53rd MPSE awards ceremony held on March 4, 2006 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Chosen by members of the motion picture and television industry, each year the MPSE presents the Golden Reel Awards which acknowledges the year's best work in the various areas of sound editing for movies, television, home video and computer entertainment. Based on the Onimusha franchise which has sold more than seven million units worldwide, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams focuses on the destiny of a new hero whose courage and fortitude must withstand the adversaries that wait in ancient feudal Japan.

“It is an honor to be recognized for the team’s efforts in sound editing alongside other talented groups from the motion picture and television industry,” said Yoshinori Ono, producer, Capcom Co., Ltd. “We take great pride in the production effort that we put behind Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams and I am thrilled this project was highly regarded for its technological merits in sound.”

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams begins approximately 15 years following the annihilation of the infamous Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga at Honno Temple. Another dark shadow now looms over Japan as Nobunaga’s successor, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, has decided to align himself with the evil Genma forces. Players assume the role of Soki, a young warrior who possesses incredible power, along with several other cohorts to try and thwart Hideyoshi’s pursuit for power. This latest iteration exceeds its predecessors and continues the franchise’s artistic excellence by delivering an ambitious saga with more intense gameplay, expansive environment and a new fighting system; creating a deeper and gripping experience that the series is known to deliver. Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is now available at retailers across North America and carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

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 on the company’s web site at www.capcom.com.

Microsoft Offers Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend Through Verizon Sponsorship

REDMOND, Wash. — March 10, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the first Free Xbox Live® Gold Weekend, presented courtesy of Verizon. From March 31 through April 2, Xbox 360™ gamers are invited to connect to Xbox Live and enjoy an action-packed weekend of multiplayer gaming in a community of 2 million players, free of charge.

The Verizon-sponsored Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend will feature 72 hours of nonstop events, constituting the largest programming effort of online Xbox® multiplayer games ever. Events will include the following:

· A 72-hour multiplayer schedule of the most exciting games on Xbox 360

· Xbox Live Arcade leaderboard tournaments

· Xbox Live Play and Win contests

· Xbox Live veterans hosting new gamers on Xbox Live

In addition, the exclusive Verizon One Million Microsoft Points giveaway offers gamers the chance to win points to purchase the latest Xbox Live Marketplace digital downloadable content, including Xbox Live Arcade titles and the hottest game and entertainment content, while supplies last.

“This blend of technology — Xbox 360 and a Verizon broadband connection — gives gamers the best possible online experience,” said Jerri DeVard, senior vice president of national marketing and brand management for Verizon. “We think that providing gamers with exposure to this amazing service combination will change the way they view their Xbox 360 and gaming in general. Verizon is proud to deliver the first-ever Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend.”

Xbox Live momentum has accelerated since Xbox 360 was launched, with more than half of all Xbox 360 owners connecting with the online games and entertainment service, which boasts a worldwide community of more than 2 million members.

Verizon provides high-speed broadband connections to more than 5.1 million American households, providing digital subscriber line (DSL) access at various speeds and even faster access services using the company’s all-fiber-optic FiOS Internet service, available at downstream speeds up to 5 megabits per second (Mbps), 15 Mbps and 30 Mbps.

“The Verizon sponsorship is a gaming platform first, demonstrating that online gaming through Xbox Live is a proven form of mainstream entertainment,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “We commend Verizon for providing Xbox 360 gamers with the opportunity to play exciting new games with or against anyone, anywhere, for free.”

Additional details about the Verizon-sponsored Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend events can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/livegoldweekend.

ARENANET AND NCSOFT ANNOUNCE APRIL 28 AS GLOBAL RELEASE DATE FOR GUILD WARS FACTIONS

March 10, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA): ArenaNet® , developer of the award-winning online roleplaying game Guild Wars®, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today the release date of Guild Wars Factions™, the hotly anticipated second game release from the critically acclaimed studio. Guild Wars Factions will be available in stores worldwide April 28, 2006.

Guild Wars Factions takes place on the Asian-inspired continent of Cantha, where new and existing Guild Wars players join an epic quest to defeat an ancient evil and save a war-torn empire. Roleplaying and competitive player-versus-player gamers alike will be able to join together in guild alliances to take control of territory and determine the fate of Cantha. New scored challenge missions and strategic competitive missions allow players to test their roleplaying prowess and earn the right for their alliance to take control of cities, towns and outposts. Large-scale alliance battles pit teams from opposing factions against each other in a struggle to conquer new territory and redraw the battle lines across the continent of Cantha. New elite missions allow the most skilled players exclusive access to areas designed to be the ultimate cooperative challenge.

“Guild Wars Factions is an exceptional game that invites players to immerse themselves in a truly epic adventure unlike any they have seen,” says Patrick Wyatt, a co-founder of ArenaNet. “The four new mission types create a unique experience that will engage both the roleplaying and competitive gamer in cooperative conquest of territories and strategic battles. Set against the landscapes of the visually stunning, Asian-themed continent of Cantha, and with two new characters to choose from - Assassin and Ritualist - Guild Wars Factions will redefine the online RPG experience.”

New players will join the more than one million gamers already playing Guild Wars worldwide, and existing players will have a new continent and storyline to explore within the universe of Guild Wars, the ground-breaking online roleplaying game that took the gaming world by storm in 2005 with its innovative design, depth of play and no-subscription-fee model. While Guild Wars Factions is a standalone product that does not require Guild Wars to play, gamers with Guild Wars accounts who purchase Guild Wars Factions will be able to play in both campaigns with their existing characters and even gain extra character slots.

For gamers who can’t wait until April 28 to get their hands on a copy of Guild Wars Factions, ArenaNet is hosting a massive beta test event in which all existing Guild Wars players and their friends are invited to delve into the experiences awaiting them in Cantha. For those who want to be the first to enjoy all that Guild Wars Factions has to offer, a limited edition pre-order package is currently available at retail stores throughout North America. This pre-order pack includes an access key to the Factions Preview Event (FPE) on March 24, and also provides access to Guild Wars Factions twenty-four hours before the street date, exclusive in-game items for each of the game’s new professions, a “friend-key” that gives access to the FPE for friends without an existing Guild Wars account, a limited trial of Guild Wars (original Prophecies campaign) for a friend, a tactical guide, a quick reference card, and a CD that includes concept art, wallpapers, and in-game trailers.

For more information, please visit www.guildwars.com.

March 9, 2006

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES OVER G FIGHTERS EXCLUSIVELY FOR XBOX 360

SAN FRANCISCO MARCH 9, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced Over G Fighters exclusively for Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Over G Fighters is the only modern jet fighter game to deliver intense and exciting aerial combat showcasing the awesome power of modern aircrafts on Xbox 360. Over G Fighters is being developed by Taito Corporation and is scheduled to ship worldwide in North America and Europe.

In Over G Fighters, a terrorist organization threatens the world's peace and security as players take to the skies in a united world air force. Players command more than 30 of the most powerful jet fighters ever conceived and battle for air superiority in massive dogfights in the skies above Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Players combat enemies in the air and on the ground with challenging and dangerous strike missions against well defended targets deep in the heart of hostile territory.

"With Over G Fighters, Ubisoft is delivering one of the most comprehensive and accurate flight titles ever created," said Tony Key, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Harnessing the power of the Xbox 360TM, Over G Fighters depicts a precise recreation of the world's most distinguished jet fighters in battle and further demonstrates Ubisoft's strength in the next-generation air combat genre."

Key Features:

• Fly the world's most powerful fighters: Fly every modern jet fighter in the Western arsenal including the F-22A Raptor, the US air superiority fighter of the 21st century. Face more than 90 Western and former Soviet enemies and get in the cockpit of the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16C Fighting Falcon, F/A-18C Hornet, Su-27 Flanker, MiG-29A Fulcrum, and F-117A Nighthawk.

• Attempt more than 80 intense missions in a modern-day global conflict: Players take the fight to the enemy in aerial battles all over the world and face massive, challenging missions with interlocking sub-missions. After successfully completing the sub-missions, players will attack the most challenging primary mission objective.

• Check six: With 360-degree cockpit views from realistic, highly detailed and functional instrumentation. Players will feel the G-forces and hear the roar of jet engines in 5.1 channel stereo as they ignite the after burner.

• Get right into the action: Kick the tires and light the fires! Players can jump right into the action and instantly engage in dogfights either one-on-one or in massive dogfighting "furballs."

• Flight data recorder: Players can save their combat triumphs and learn from their defeats by recording and replaying their aerial exploits.

• Xbox Live® online gaming service for up to eight players online: Engage in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons on huge detailed maps with varied geographies.

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 www.ubisoftgroup.com.


TAITO CORP. 2005, 2006. All rights reserved. Published and distributed by Ubisoft Entertainment under license from TAITO CORP. Over G Fighters is a trademark of TAITO CORP. used under license from TAITO CORP. Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Produced under license from Boeing Management Company. Lockheed Martin Trademarks used under license to Taito Corporation. Produced under a license from Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation. Cooperation: Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or in other countries.

Crave Entertainment News: Return to the Tables with Crave's World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In"

Newport Beach, CA - March 9, 2006 - Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames, today announced the third installment in the best-selling poker video game franchise in North America, World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In". WCP: All In will be available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation Portable) system, and Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft

WCP: All In features some of the most recognizable and successful poker stars in the world, including Howard Lederer, his sister Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, Amir Vahidi, Paul Darden, and Robert Williamson III. Joining the roster for this year's edition are noted international poker superstars Marcel Luske, Thomas Bihl, and Erin Ness, who parlayed a victory at a Maxim Magazine office tournament into a seat at the 2004 World Series of Poker.

"Our World Championship Poker franchise has quickly gained a reputation as the game for people who like to 'play' poker, rather than just watch it," said Rob Dyer, president and COO. "With new features like Scenario Mode, Multi-table online tournaments, and the Reputation system, World Championship Poker will continue to be the most realistic poker experience on any video game console."


About World Championship Poker: All In
Developed by Point of View, World Championship Poker: All In continues to feature the most innovative one player career mode. Career mode now includes series tournaments, mixed games, and reoccurring home games. Other new features of WCP: All In include:

" 18 types of poker, including Texas Hold'em, Five Card Draw, Seven Card Stud Omaha and More.
" Multi-Table Online Tournaments
" Scenario Mode: Players are presented with a series of poker "puzzle" challenges that gradually increase in difficulty.
" Lucky Charms: Players can improve their luck through this Career Mode skill.
" Mixed Games: Play two or more variations of poker during a single game, with the game changing every time the dealer button makes it around the table.
" Play with new pros - in game character likenesses and voices, as well as play styles and iconic signature personality traits for some new pros: Thomas Biehl, Marcel Luske and Erin Ness, as well as returning pros: Howard Ledrerer, Annie Duke, Robert Williamson III, Greg Raymer (PlayStation 2 and PSP System), Amir Vahidi (PlayStation 2 and PSP System), and Paul Darden (PlayStation 2 and PSP System).
" Reputation System: How well you play, your success in mini-games, and a number of other factors enhance (or hurt) your reputation in Career Mode - which unlocks extra tournaments and more lucrative action for you.

World Championship Poker All-In will support for the EyeToyTM USB Camera (for PlayStation®2), which allows online opponents to see each other as they play, in addition to supporting text chat. The Xbox 360 version of the game supports Xbox Live® online game service including Scoreboards, Voice/Chat and Live Aware.

A Frustrating Lack of Save Points

Today I am the Gaming Curmudgeon. I have a major gripe against the console gaming community. There simply aren't enough save points or checkpoints in games. This means that every time I make a mistake I have to start the level over again. After a while this isn't fun anymore. It just becomes memorizing a series of steps that work and trying to figure out the end. It is a puzzle, but not a good one. It sucks the enthusiasm right out of me.

PC game designers understand this and they usually have a ton of save points or checkpoints. This allows you to play freely and save regularly so that when you die you don't lose too much of your game. This is the way it should be done.

Maybe this bothers me so much because I play so many games every year. I don't have the time to repeat levels over and over again. This lack of save points can really ruin some games. I'm on the verge of giving up on Black, which is sad because I love the game. But if it takes an hour to get through a level because I have to keep repeating it, then my frustration builds and before I know it I just don't want to play the game anymore. It's also a convenience issue. If a friend calls and I have to go running out, then I can't even save. So I leave my PS2 on to save my place in the game. Sometimes it is on for days.

If any game designers read this, then please at least think about adding more save points and checkpoints to your next game. This is a change that the gaming world needs.

The Countdown to Oblivion Has Officially Begun!

As you’re already aware, the long-awaited "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" has finally gone gold and will begin shipping to store shelves across the country on March 20th. To tide over anxious gamers, the official Elder Scrolls homepage will update daily with exciting new content such as screenshots, wallpapers, previews, reviews and other captivating glimpses into the world of Oblivion. Be sure to check back daily for all the latest information at www.elderscrolls.com.

The gates to Oblivion are almost open. The countdown has begun.

Brain Awareness Week Reinforces the Need to Exercise Your Brain

It's easy to tell when your body is out of shape, but what about your brain? International Brain Awareness Week begins March 13 as baby boomers and others are looking for the best way to exercise their brains.
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day for Nintendo DS(TM) launches April 17 on the heels of the week designed to increase public awareness about the brain. Users write their answers or draw a picture on the portable Nintendo DS touch screen to keep their "DS brains" young and fit by performing mental activities quickly.
Dr. Elizabeth Zelinski, dean and executive director of University of Southern California's Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, says games like Brain Age can help keep older generations of Americans' minds active. "Americans can do a great deal to maintain and even improve their mental abilities," Zelinski explains. "Aging is about taking on new challenges for our minds. Nintendo's Brain Age is a great way to do that."
Americans of all ages are always looking for ways to get a mental edge and Brain Age acts as a treadmill for the mind.
In Brain Age, first-time users take a few tests to establish their DS brain age. Holding the DS like a book, users perform activities like drawing lines to connect letters and numbers in order, counting the syllables in well-known phrases and other brain-stimulating activities. Sharing a game card allows users to compare their results with family and friends.

For more information about Brain Age, visit www.nintendo.com

NCsoft Announces Publishing Deal with Spacetime Studios

AUSTIN, Texas, March 8, 2006—NCsoft® Corporation (KSE:036570.KS), the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announced today its latest partnership with a new company in Austin. Spacetime Studios™, composed of a core team with previous leadership roles on successful franchises such as Privateer, Wing Commander and Star Wars Galaxies, will publish its next game under the NCsoft brand.

Collectively the Spacetime group has shipped 14 previous titles, two of which have been million-unit sellers.

“Having the Spacetime team on board is a great step forward for NCsoft,” said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft North America. “This group has a proven track record in creating games in the space genre. They’ve also been successful in developing massively multiplayer games and we believe that’s a winning combination and a perfect fit for the NCsoft lineup of products.”

“Spacetime and NCsoft is a great match,” said Gary Gattis, Spacetime Studios co-founder. “They are a top-notch publisher that really cares about their developers and the quality of their games. NCsoft has shown us strong support and a willingness to provide a great balance of direction and freedom to develop a game that we have been dreaming of doing for years.”

About NCsoft

NCsoft’s North American business is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is part of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. NCsoft, with its own development and publishing offices in Texas and California, also works with subsidiaries and third party developers throughout North America to develop and publish innovative online entertainment software products. The company launched two massively multiplayer titles on the same day in 2004: Lineage® II and City of Heroes®, and 2005 released the highly anticipated, Guild Wars® and City of Villains™. NCsoft expects to launch more massively multiplayer titles in 2006. More information about NCsoft can be found at http://www.PlayNC.com.

About Spacetime Studios

Spacetime Studios is an independent game development company located in Austin, Texas. They have just begun a next-generation, AAA-scale MMO with an original IP. The company’s focus is on making a killer, top-of-the-line competitive game, with the technology, design and art creativity needed to make it happen. Spacetime Studios is an experienced, extremely successful team of veterans in the genre, with 14 shipped titles under their belts, two of which are million-plus sellers. More information about the studio can be found at http://www.spacetimestudios.com.

March 8, 2006

Black

Electronic Arts
PS2 version reviewed
Score 4.5 out of 5

Black is a game that brings out some passion in me. It is just downright fun to blow guys away and shoot the hell out of everything. That's what it is all about. And it feels great.

You play as a black operative who is in prison after he went on a mission. It was one of those "you get caught and we'll deny everything" kind of missions. The plot line slowly unfolds through a series of conversations that take place between battles. It's the old telling of the story after it took place. That's about all that matters as far as storyline is concerned. And one more thing, if it moves kill it. Actually, if it's on the screen kill it. Things don't have to be moving to be targets.

This game is a real shoot 'em up FPS. Complete with crazy weapons that you can use to blow enemy heads off and my favorite accurate grenades that blow guys to bits. It's non-stop firing. If you can't get an enemy then destroy his cover and then take him out. For example, if an enemy is hiding behind a car, shoot out the tires of the car, the car drops down, then take the guy out with a head shot. I'm smiling as I write this because it cracks me up that I like to shoot stuff as much as I do. This is frenetic combat, with glass raining down and barrels exploding all over the place. I always wonder what terrorists need with so many exploding barrels in their hideouts...

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

It's important to know what the top left shoulder button zooms and the bottom left shoulder button has you kneel down or stand up. The up direction on the d-pad toggles between single shot, burst mode, and full automatic firing. Not only is the game named Black but it also looks black, so it's best played with the lights down low. I find it best to pick guys off from far away with head shots, but sometimes it's fun to charge right in with the shotgun.

I have two gripes about Black. The first is that there is no multi-player. If ever an FPS needed a multi-player it was Black. I don't understand what the rationale was for not having a multi-player mode in such a great FPS. The second is that checkpoints are few and far between. This means that you have to play the same level over and over again until you get it right. I'd be happier with more checkpoints at least, or maybe even a save point here or there. It's for those two reasons that I can't give Black a perfect score.

Daxter Moves Up His Game's Launch Date for the PSP System to March 14, 2006

In a move to steal the spotlight once again, Daxter, the wily ottsel from Naughty Dog's best-selling Jak and Daxter franchise, has convinced Sony Computer Entertainment America to ship his first solo project, Daxter for the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system a week early, moving the release date to March 14, 2006. Excited to show fans his heroic side, Daxter is eager to prove he is no longer just a sidekick.

The first title developed by Ready At Dawn studios, Daxter sets the standard for character action games on the PSP system and follows the ottsel's solo adventures between the end of Jak and Daxter and the beginning of Jak II. Created specially for the PSP as a modern 3D platformer, Daxter sports a full-featured move set, highly detailed graphics and incredible animation detail. From the start of the game when Daxter finds himself in an unfamiliar place and tackles his fear of bugs by taking a job as an exterminator, to the wild adventures and challenges en route to rescue Jak, Daxter takes players on a platform game thrill ride.

In addition to numerous hours of single-player fun, Daxter also supports Ad Hoc gameplay through a unique multiplayer mini-game called "Combat Bugs." During these mini-games, players can customize bugs they've collected throughout the game and battle them against other players' bugs in "Rock Paper Scissors" inspired combat.

Daxter also features interoperability between the PSP and PlayStation 2 with Jak X: Combat Racing. Players who connect Daxter for PSP and Jak X: Combat Racing for PS2 via USB cable between the two systems can unlock new characters and vehicles for Jak X: Combat Racing and special costumes and a vehicle in Daxter.

Developed exclusively for the PSP system by Ready At Dawn, Daxter is published by Sony Computer Entertainment America and rated "E-10+"

BELIEVE IT! SHONEN JUMP’s NARUTO™ Now Available For Nintendo GameCube™, Game Boy®Advance From TOMY Cor poration & D3Publisher of America

LOS ANGELES – March 7, 2006 – The moment that North American NARUTO fans have been waiting for has arrived – BeliEve it! D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA), a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, and TOMY Corporation today announced the release of SHONEN JUMP’s NARUTO: Clash of Ninja for the Nintendo GameCube™ and NARUTO: Ninja Council for Game Boy® Advance. These titles represent the first video games based on VIZ Media's hit anime series SHONEN JUMP’s NARUTO to be released in North America. D3PA and TOMY will release two additional NARUTO games, one for Nintendo GameCube™ and another for Game Boy® Advance in the second half of 2006.

“I have watched SHONEN JUMP’s NARUTO become a phenomenon in Japan over the past few years and we are very proud to be able to finally bring these video games to the millions of fans in North America," commented Yoji Takenaka, executive vice president and COO for D3PA. “NARUTO has been compared to Harry Potter, in both the storyline and its popularity, and we think the NARUTO fever is just beginning in North America.”

“We have very high expectations for the success of NARUTO in North America and are pleased to bring these exciting games to both long-time NARUTO fans and those that have recently discovered these amazing adventures,” said Isamu Takahashi, chairman of TOMY Corporation. “TOMY has had the honor of working with VIZ Media from the beginning on the NARUTO video game series and we have no doubt now that our relationship with D3Publisher of America will result in further success in North America.”

A smash-hit when originally released in Japan, NARUTO: Clash of Ninja (Gekito Ninja Taisen) for the Nintendo GameCube™ and NARUTO: Ninja Council (Saikyo Ninja Daikesshu) for Game Boy® Advance follow the storyline of the popular graphic novels. In a world where ninja hold the ultimate power, Naruto Uzumaki is infused with the spirit of a once fearsome Nine-Tailed Fox and is a ninja-in-training who is learning the art of Ninjutsu with his classmates Sakura and Sasuke. The trio studies under the instruction of their teacher, Kakashi, who helps the group face dangerous and daunting tests and challenges. Through their adventures, the young ninjas learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right versus wrong.

NARUTO: Clash of Ninja for the Nintendo GameCube is a fighting game for 1-2 players where gamers may choose to play as one of eight different NARUTO characters. Using special character-specific moves, players take on challengers in one-on-one fights to determine who is the greatest ninja. Developed by 8ing, NARUTO: Clash of Ninja for the Nintendo GameCube™ is available with a MSRP of $39.99 and an ESRB rating of “T” for cartoon violence.

Featuring seven levels of side-scrolling action, NARUTO: Ninja Council for Game Boy® Advance allows gamers to play as either the unpredictable Naruto or the steady Sasuke. All the favorite characters from NARUTO are in the game, each with specific ninja moves fans will recognize from the series. Developed by ARC Systems, NARUTO: Ninja Council for Game Boy® Advance is available with a MSRP of $29.99 and an ESRB rating of “E10+ “ for cartoon violence and mild suggestive themes.

Featured exclusively in the monthly SHONEN JUMP Magazine, NARUTO adventures by creator Masashi Kishimoto are read by over 750,000 readers in the US. NARUTO stories are also available in graphic novels from VIZ Media at bookstores and retailers nationwide.

NARUTO recently debuted on Cartoon Network in the US and YTV in Canada, achieving phenomenal launch ratings with Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14. In Japan, since publication began in 1999 in Weekly Shonen Jump, and based on the manga’s popularity, the anime made its debut on TV TOKYO in 2002. Since then, NARUTO has become one of the most popular animated shows achieving immense success as a TV title as well as a licensed property for toys, trading card games and video games.

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

TOMY Corporation is a subsidiary of TOMY Company, Ltd, with headquarters in Tokyo. The newly created Consumer Software Division’s mission is to develop and publish game titles for the North American marketplace, based both licensed and original intellectual properties. TOMY currently publishes for the Nintendo GameCube™, Game Boy® Advance, and Nintendo DS™. TOMY also develops and manufactures a portfolio of toys and games including: Thomas and Friends™. Constructables, and Gearation brand toys and games. Information on TOMY and TOMY products can be found at http://www.tomy.com/tc/

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN

JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and at www.VIZ.com.

TOM CLANCY'S GHOST RECON ADVANCED WARFIGHTER SHI PS TO RETAIL THIS WEEK FOR XBOX 360 AND XBOX

SAN FRANCISCO March 7, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has shipped to retail stores for Xbox 360 and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is the next installment in the critically acclaimed, squad-based military shooter franchise, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon®. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter has an ESRB rating of T for Teen and an MSRP of $59.99 for Xbox 360
and $49.99 for Xbox. The PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system version will ship in late March 2006. The PC version will be arriving in May 2006.

"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will set a new benchmark for what is possible in graphic quality, content and intense multiplayer action," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Already, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is among the highest-rated games released on any next-generation platform and is being hailed as the killer app for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. This is the game that Xbox 360 owners have been waiting for."

"[Tom Clancy's] Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is not only the best tactical shooter I have ever played, it is one of the most immersive and exciting shooters ever." -- Game Informer Magazine, April 2006

"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter should prove to be Xbox Live's killer app on Xbox 360 for months to come"" -- Official Xbox Magazine, April 2006

"Warfighter is by far the best Ghost Recon game in the series and a hands-down must-buy shooter for the 360." -- Electronic Gaming
Monthly, April 2006

About Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter:
The face of war has changed. Enemy lines blur and there is no longer a clear opponent. New enemies and new threats require a new type of warfare - a new type of soldier. Enter the Ghosts. In 2013, the U.S. Army will implement the Integrated Warfighter System (IWS) evolving what we know as the modern soldier. IWS combines advanced weapon systems, satellite communication devices and enhanced survivability into one fully integrated combat system. The IWS program has been developed to meet these new threats head on. Now, it can be tested on the battlefield. Following an insurgence in the heart of Mexico City, the U.S. Army's most elite Special Forces team is deployed to the center of the conflict to regain control of the city. Greatly outnumbered but fully equipped with the IWS, this elite team is the first and last line of defense on the battlefield. They are the "quiet" professionals. They are the Ghosts.

Key Features:
• Next-generation gaming technology: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is built from the ground up for next-generation consoles, taking full advantage of powerful technology with amazing textures, lighting and particle effects, multi-windowing, and state-of-the-art physics. Current generations will be built using top technology that pushes those systems to their limits.
• Become the soldier of the future: Gain access to the future of military technology. Using a fully integrated combat system with cutting-edge weapons and revolutionary communication systems (see below), gamers will embody the soldier of the future. Based on actual U.S. Army research, the Ghosts give gamers a realistic view of how war will be fought in the next decade.
• Revolutionary feature: Use the revolutionary Cross-Com, a communication device powered by satellite technology. Attached to the soldier's monocle, the Cross-Com provides full situational awareness and command of the battlefield. Command the Ghost squad and remote allied forces and drones, and direct artillery and air strikes. See what the squad sees and receive visual and auditory intelligence from allied forces and unmanned drones.
• Stunning urban environment: One city, multiple locations. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter takes place entirely in Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities. A stunning, meticulously detailed universe will provide complete immersion in the urban war of the future.
• Top-notch multiplayer experience: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter returns to deliver industry-leading multiplayer and cooperative gameplay for one of the hottest online franchises with a host of exciting new features.

Ubisoft set the benchmark for online play with the launch of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon in 2001. Today, Ghost Recon has become one of the best experiences on Xbox and the Xbox Live online gaming service and has sold more than nine million units worldwide. For more information on Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, please visit
www.ghostrecon.com.

Burnout Revenge for Xbox 360 Roars onto Retail Shelves From EA

Chertsey, Surrey, UK – March 7, 2006 – Revenge is a dish best served online and in high-definition. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that Burnout™ Revenge is now available at North American retailers for the Xbox 360™. The game is rated E10+ by the ESRB and carries an MSRP of $59.95.

The flagship version of Burnout Revenge and the franchise’s debut on next-generation consoles, the Xbox 360 version of the game delivers an all-new suite of online features and explosive content to complement the game’s stunning high-definition graphics and audio.

Burnout Revenge adds two new major online features for the Xbox 360: Live Revenge and Save & Share. Live Revenge tracks gamers’ relationships with everyone playing online, creating real-time rivalries among strangers and keeping vendettas running with friends and enemies. The new Save & Share feature allows gamers to record replays of their most spectacular crashes, share them with their friends and post them online. Gamers can also go online and browse other players’ shared clips and recommend their favorites.

In addition, Burnout Revenge adds 10 new crash junctions, dozens of completely re-worked tracks and cars built from the ground up to crumple, rip and tear in the most violent, spectacular crashes ever seen in a video game.

“High-definition graphics and audio are a given for Burnout Revenge,” said Alex Ward, creative director, Criterion Games. “Our focus with Burnout Revenge was to go beyond the eye-candy and deliver next-generation gameplay, taking advantage of the Xbox 360’s powerful Xbox Live experience.”

Burnout Revenge will release under the EA™ brand and was developed by Criterion Games in Guildford, UK.


For more information about Burnout Revenge, please visit http://burnout.ea.com. A new trailer for the game is also available now for download on Xbox Live Marketplace

BioWare/Pandemic Studios Celebrates Creative, Commercial Success in 2005

Los Angeles, Calif. and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, March 7, 2006 — BioWare/Pandemic Studios celebrates a banner year in 2005 with four top ten titles, including three original games. The company, one of the world’s largest independent video game developers, is proud to have received more than 50 industry awards as well as rave reviews from customers and critics alike.

Highlights include:

· Mercenaries™, developed by Pandemic in Los Angeles and published by LucasArts, was the best-selling game based on a new intellectual property for all of 2005, according to NPD. This innovative 3rd-person action-shooter also received an IGN.com “Editor’s Choice Award,” scoring an impressive 9.1.

· Jade Empire™, developed by BioWare in Edmonton and published by Microsoft, was IGN's Xbox Game of the Year and one of the top sellers for Xbox in 2005. IGN called Jade Empire “the greatest RPG on Xbox” and rated it a near perfect 9.9 (out of 10). The Associated Press named Jade Empire to its list of the Best Games of 2005, while Metacritic tabbed it as their RPG of the Year and, at the Ninth Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, it was awarded Game of the Year in the RPG category.

· Star Wars Battlefront™ II, developed by Pandemic in Los Angeles and published by LucasArts, made history by surpassing its predecessor, Star Wars Battlefront™ to become the best-selling Star Wars™ video game of all time. With more than 4 million units sold to date, Battlefront™ II was ranked by NPD as the second best-selling game in the United States for 2005 despite having been on the shelf for only two months.

· Destroy All Humans!™, developed by Pandemic in Brisbane and published by THQ, sold more than one million copies adding to the impressive roster of successful original titles the studios are known for. The innovative twist on the classic science fiction flying saucer genre has been delighting critics with its sleek retro design and snappy, irreverent humor. Hailed by Team Xbox as, “Utterly unique and delectable.”

In addition to the awards received for their titles, the studios themselves received significant industry honors. Pandemic Studios was named the “Best Overall Developer for PS2” by IGN, and BioWare was honored as one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” for the third year in a row.

“We are truly honored to be sitting amongst our most valued publishing partners on the ‘best of’ lists,” said Josh Resnick, president of Pandemic Studios. “The best-selling entertainment our studios have been releasing over the past few years is made possible by the passion and applied genius of some of the best talent in our industry. At both BioWare and Pandemic, the team ethic is at the center of our success.”

BioWare/Pandemic Studios’ strategy is to continue to invest and take the creative risks to produce exceptional new games, and in particular, new intellectual properties. Collectively, the studios have sold more than 28 million copies of games accounting for more than $800 million in revenue.

“And, the best still lies ahead for BioWare/Pandemic,” added Ray Muzyka, joint CEO of BioWare Corp. “The advent of next generation platforms opens up new vistas for us to experiment with new approaches and fresh ideas. By pushing the limits of these new worlds and building ‘event’ products, and by continually focusing on creating the best place for team-oriented talent, we will continue to drive innovation in the industry and deliver top-quality games to our valued community of fans.”

In November 2005, Elevation Partners, a private equity firm, announced the formation of BioWare/Pandemic Studios, a creative and management partnership of two leading independent video game developers. The joint investment, including future capital needs, is more than $300 million. The companies each have two co-founders, and under the deal, all four became shareholders and senior executives in BioWare/Pandemic Studios. The combined group comprises close to 500 employees, with offices in Los Angeles, Edmonton, Canada, and Brisbane, Australia.

About BioWare/Pandemic Studios
BioWare/Pandemic Studios was formed through the fusion of two industry powerhouses and private equity firm, Elevation Partners. A leader in the action/adventure category, Pandemic joined forces in 2005 with BioWare, a company known for its role-playing games rich in story and character. Co-equal and complementary, the newly partnered video game studios are working both in tandem and separately to develop new, original titles as well as continuing to leverage the licensed franchises and owned-IP each is known for including: MercenariesTM, Destroy All Humans!TM, Full Spectrum WarriorTM, and Star Wars BattlefrontTM II from Pandemic and Mass EffectTM, Dragon AgeTM, Baldur’s GateTM, Neverwinter NightsTM, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old RepublicTM and Jade EmpireTM from BioWare. Focused on next-generation platforms to create bold new concepts in entertainment, the studios are located in Los Angeles, California; Brisbane, Australia; and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For more information, please visit www.bioware.pandemicstudios.com.

Me and My Katamari Rolls to Gold for the PSP System

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (March 7, 2006) Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Me and My Katamari has gone gold exclusively for the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system. Shipping this March, the award-winning Katamari franchise makes its portable debut and features a cast of zany characters, inviting graphics and utterly addicting gameplay that fans of the series have come to know and love. Me and My Katamari is the third installment in the Katamari series and promises to deliver the same level of enjoyment as its predecessors, Katamari Damacy and We ¥ (Love) Katamari.

Me and My Katamari includes a variety of new, exciting features including Ad Hoc wireless play for up to four people on the PSP system, an island-themed interface and improved customization options for player characters to wear items on their head, face or body. Me and My Katamari also introduces a handful of new cousins created specifically for the PSP system version to the expanding cast of quirky Katamari characters.

"Whether you have minutes or hours to play, Me and My Katamari is the kind of game PSP system owners have been waiting for," said Yoshi Niki, Product Group Director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. "From the bright, colorful graphics to the addictive gameplay, long-time fans and newcomers to the Katamari series will quickly understand why this franchise has won over the hearts of so many gamers around the world."

An epic undertaking of earthly proportions this time, the King calls upon his pint-sized son, the Prince, and all of the cousins for help. Taking a break from celestial construction, the King of All Cosmos takes the royal family on vacation to a tropical island paradise, where they become tasked with the responsibility of creating new Katamari islands for homeless animals.

Developed by NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., Me and My Katamari is rated “E” for Everyone and will be available in March. For more information about Me and My Katamari for the PSP system, please visit http://katamari.namco.com.

NEW CHAPTER IN CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED ONIMUSHA SERIES IS BORN AS CAPCOM® RELEASES ONIMUSHA®: DAWN OF DREAMS FOR THE PLAYSTATION®2 COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

SUNNYVALE, Calif ¾ March 7, 2006 — A new nefarious threat emerges as Capcomâ today announced the release of Onimusha®: Dawn of Dreams, a new epic action game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Based on the award winning, multi-million selling Onimusha franchise, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams focuses on the destiny of a new hero whose courage and fortitude must withstand the adversaries that wait. Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams promises to exceed its predecessors by delivering an ambitious saga with more intense gameplay, expansive environment and a new fighting system that allows for the control of various characters throughout the game; creating a deeper and gripping experience that the series is known to deliver. Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is now available at retailers across North America and carries an “M” rating for mature audiences by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

“The Onimusha series has been praised by consumers and the press for its addictive gameplay and immersive experience, this new Onimusha is no exception,” said Todd Thorson, director of marketing, Capcom Entertainment. “Even with the success of the first three titles, we went back to the drawing board, reevaluated the series and retooled the gameplay and made something that is fresh, exciting and distinctly Onimusha.”

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams begins approximately 15 years following the annihilation of the infamous Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga at Honno Temple. Another dark shadow now looms over Japan as Nobunaga’s successor, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, has decided to align himself with the evil Genma forces. Assume the role of Soki, a young warrior who possesses incredible power, along with several other cohorts to try and thwart Hideyoshi’s pursuit for power.

With unbelievably detailed graphics and expansive environments that exceeds its predecessor, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams includes major enhancements to the franchise such as new character interactions and evolved cooperative gameplay elements. With a brand new game system, players can choose a fellow warrior to assist Soki in battle at any given time. Watch as the pair combines their power to perform ultimate attack moves to eliminate enemies. Furthermore, gamers can order his or her ally to wait, attack or act on the defensive. Players can also rapidly change between the two onscreen characters, allowing them to control the partner he or she had escorted into battle and relegating the main hero to ally status. This new system takes advantage of each character’s skill and adds a new dimension to the gameplay.

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams possesses a compelling cast of warriors, each with their own unique abilities, attacks and storyline including: Soki, with his broadsword, is viewed amongst the Oni as the world’s last hope against the Genma and whose power could potentially be humanities greatest threat; Akane, whose mastery of the martial arts grants her extra mobility, and can wield her sword with speed and grace; Tenkai is a mysterious monk who can hear the voices of the dead and use his staff to fend off enemies; Ohatsu is the niece of Nobunaga Oda who uses a grappling hook to swing across gaps and firearms to eradicate the Genma; Born to a Japanese mother and Spanish father, Roberto is a missionary who wants vengeance for the Genma’s persecution of his friends. Unlike Onimusha characters before him, Roberto specializes in hand-to-hand combat.

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams boasts the following features:

· An all new Onimusha experience – An epic action RPG that includes major enhancements to the franchise such as new characters, character interactions and evolved cooperative gameplay elements.

· New gameplay system – Implementation of a new fighting system allows for the control of various characters throughout the game. Each playable character has unique abilities and storyline that intertwines to form one ending.

· New ‘Allies System’ - Players can switch between the main character and partner in real-time, anytime. Give commands to your ally: tell them to wait, follow, attack, defend, etc.

· “Tests of Valor” – Obtain new items not found within the game environment by completing mini puzzles and timed events or challenges.

· All new compelling storyline – Players new to the series need not have played the previous installments in order to enjoy the story. The story picks up with Nobunaga’s successor, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, as he aligns himself with the insidious Genma forces.

· Most expansive environments in the series – The scale of environments has been multiplied in order to accommodate a more open ended gameplay experience with the ability to go back and search for additional items.

· Continued artistic excellence in the Onimusha series – Building upon the series tradition of delivering an amazing visual experience, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams realizes unbelievably meticulous graphics that span over a multitude of diverse stages. Traditional Japanese landscape and architecture are recreated in rich detail.

· Unlockable content – Keeping with the franchise’s tradition, the game is further enhanced with unlockable costumes and the addition of the long awaited two-player co-op mode.

NCsoft Reveals Auto Assault Limited Edition Retail Package

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2006—NCsoft® North America today revealed the contents for the Auto Assault® Limited Edition retail game pack that will be released to stores in North America when the game launches this spring.

Auto Assault, developed by NetDevil®, LTD and published by NCsoft, is the first massively multiplayer role-playing (MMORPG) game featuring post apocalyptic car combat in a fully destructible world. Highlighting the Auto Assault Limited Edition package is the HS-150 headset by Creative to use with the game’s built-in voice chat system, and an Auto Assault soundtrack CD featuring music specially created for the game by electronic music pioneer Richard Dekkard.

The Auto Assault Limited Edition will also contain the game client, access to an exclusive in-game remote control car (pet), and all three starter packs for the Auto Assault Online Trading Card Game from Worlds Apart. Also included in the package is a 14-day trial code players can give to friends that do not already have an Auto Assault account.

The Auto Assault Limited Edition will sell at an anticipated price of US$59.99, a tremendous value compared to other similar game offerings. Auto Assault preorder purchases can be applied to the Limited Edition or standard edition of the Auto Assault game. Subscription pricing for the game will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information about Auto Assault, and its upcoming open beta event to begin March 17, go to www.autoassault.com.

Nintendo's Wi-Fi Service Logs Its 1 Millionth Player

REDMOND, Wash., March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo's wireless gaming service has hit an all-time gaming record of 1 million unique users, in less than four months in operation.
Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection lets Nintendo DS(TM) owners log on cost-free to compete or interact in a variety of games, from racing in Mario Kart(R) DS to community-building in Animal Crossing(R): Wild World. The 1 millionth user was a player in Japan, who logged on to play Animal Crossing: Wild World.
"Players are embracing our model of a compelling, safe, easy-to-use wireless gaming service," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "Those 1 million users represent more than 27 million game sessions."
On March 20, two new Wi-Fi-enabled games arrive in the Americas to draw even more players to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Tetris(R) DS brings a twist to the addictive classic puzzle game. Up to four players can compete against friends or strangers, near or far. Tetris DS features multiple modes themed with retro Nintendo characters and music.
Also launching March 20, Metroid(R) Prime Hunters features competition using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, but players get an added bonus: the ability to chat with one another before and after battles, using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Players can use this Metroid chat feature to agree on match parameters and to relive their battle glories. This riveting first-person shooter lets players choose from a variety of characters and weapons, with extensive replay options.

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 360 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 www.nintendo.com.

March 7, 2006

Majesco Portable Demos

Guilty Gear Judgment and Guilty Gear Reload - a straight port of Reload from the consoles and an all new game, Reload. Reload is a side-scroller heavy on the fighting. There are lots of special effects like fire and plenty of screaming. There are 20 levels, 6 bosses and 21 characters, where you start with 2 characters and have to unlock the rest. Guilty Gear Reload has 23 characters all unlocked from the begining. There's traditional arcade mode, mission mode, wireless vs. mode. Heavy metal anime worlds. Total pandemonium. Looks like a fun fighter.

$39.99 release in early May 2006

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Guilty Gear Dust Strikers for DS - uses both screens on a multi-tiered fighting level. Fight 4 other players at one time. There are power ups that you can pick up and throw at opponents or use the touch screen to store them and use them later. Typical Guilty Gear graphics and audio. With 4 fighters it's almost like a party game. Mini-games uses the touch screen where you unlock moves for robo-ky as he takes other players' moves and assimilates them.

$29.99 release in mid to late April
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Bust-A-Move PSP
More puzzles than any other Bust A Move before, with over 500 puzzles. Classic puzzle mode. There are 12 characters, many of which are unlockable. Same game - make a 3 bubble combination and it falls. Multi-player in ad-hoc mode. There are some puzzles in multi-player that aren't in single player. They still use the screen in landscape although the puzzle only occupies 1/3 of the screen. Russ the producer says that they tried to have the screen portrait but the buttons on the PSP aren't lined up intuitively then.

$29.99 release in late April or early May.
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6 New PC Screenshots for Fuel

March 7, 2006 - DreamCatcher releases 6 PC and 3 high resolution XBOX screenshots from FUEL to showcase some of the 20 stunts available to players in this high energy multi-vehicle racing game.

The Ultimate Racing Experience!

Play as one of 10 characters from around the globe. Switch between off-road vehicles, ATVs, or personal watercrafts – choose from over 35 vehicles! Perform stunts and tricks racking up points as you navigate through a variety of terrains including: Amazon Run, Orient Express, Chilled to the Bone, Tropical Turmoil, Beaches n’ Babes, and over 20 other available and unlockable exciting locations from around the world. Compete in the wildest race ever!

There are no rules in this all out frantic race. 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!

· Collect as many points as possible to help gain FUEL boosts!

· Over 70 single player tracks available and unlockable

· Drive anywhere and do whatever it takes to finish the race!

· XBOX® features split-screen, 4 player multiplayer mode, “Reverse” and “Sandbox” modes


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

FUEL will be releasing in May 2006 worldwide for the PC and on XBOX® in North America only. For more information on FUEL visit: www.FuelRace.com

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Launch Trailer Available Now!

Today we at Ubisoft are pleased to release the official launch trailer for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. This marks the game's imminent decent on retail, and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is ready to take gamers to the next generation in style. Keep your eyes peeled for more information as GRAW quickly approaches its release this week!

This trailer rocks!

This final piece of official trailer goodness for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter lays it all out. Feast your eyes upon stunning in-game footage that will let you know exactly what to expect when you play Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Amazing graphics, intense action, and amazing multiplayer gameplay. ¦Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is ready to help usher in the next generation of gaming in a big way. See what the critics are already saying about Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. "Look upon this game and cry tears of joy!" Indeed. This exciting new video is a mere click away

NBA Star and Streetball Legend Rafer Alston Featured in Ubisoft's AND 1 Streetball

Ubisoft's AND 1 Streetball video game will feature NBA star Rafer Alston as the unlockable player "Skip to My Lou." A streetball legend, Rafer Alston is currently the starting point guard for the Houston Rockets, average 11.6 points per game and 6.6 assists. Considered one of the best streetball players of all time, Alston achieved his legend status on the hallowed grounds of Holcombe Rucker Park. It was here where Alston was given the nickname Skip to My Lou based on his unique style of play.

Alston is credited as being the catalyst for the AND1 MixTapes. In the late 90s, a tape featuring his playground highlights known as the "Skip Tape" circulated like wildfire throughout the streetball community, eventually landing on the desks of AND 1. Amazed by Alston's moves, AND 1 invited him and other streetballers to Linden, NJ to film a game which would later become AND 1 MixTape #1. The tapes influenced a generation of streetballers and propelled AND 1 to become the definitive streetball league. One of the few streetballers to successfully transition to the NBA, Alston has played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and Miami Heat in addition to the Houston Rockets during his 8 year career

Rafer.jpg


Real Name: Rafer Alston
Nickname: Skip To My Lou
Hometown: Queens, New York
Born: July 24th 1976
Height: 6"2
Weight: 170lbs
Position: Point Guard
Jersey Number: 11

Affiliations: AND 1, Houston Rockets

UBISOFT GOES ALL-IN WITH TOM CLANCY'S RAINBOW SIX® VEGAS FOR NEXT-GENERATION CONSOLES

SAN FRANCISCO MARCH 6, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that it is developing Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® Vegas for next-generation and current-generation video game consoles. Scheduled for a fall 2006 release and developed by Ubisoft's award-winning Montreal studio, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas is the fifth iteration of the multimillion-selling Rainbow Six tactical shooter franchise.

The stakes are high when the world's most elite counter-terrorism unit enters Las Vegas, where over 36.7 million men, women and children visit each year. Sin City, the home of the famous Las Vegas Strip, flashy hotels, high-rolling casinos and world-famous celebrities, becomes the setting for a terrorist threat of global proportions. What happens when one of the world's most famous cities is held hostage by terrorists? Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas will be Team Rainbow's next-generation console debut on the heels of the critically acclaimed Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and the highly anticipated Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent. Today, with more than 13.5 million units sold worldwide, the Rainbow Six franchise is known as one of the best multiplayer experiences and is hailed for its immersive single-player games.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas will push the envelope of technology through graphics, artificial intelligence, physics and animations created by Ubisoft's award-winning Montreal studios, which house some of the world's best talent, including Senior Producer Chadi Lebbos who was the lead on Rainbow Six 3®.

"Rainbow Six is back and better than ever," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Building upon the online success of the Rainbow Six franchise and harnessing the power of the next-generation experience, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas will be the benchmark against which all next-generation games will be measured. With Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter being released this month to wide critical acclaim, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent also due out this year, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas makes it a perfect trifecta for the Clancy series in 2006."

Rainbow Six fans will be pleased to know that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas is featured in a world-exclusive first-look in the April issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, available on newsstands March 14, 2006.

DRIVER: PARALLEL LINES – A FAST RIDE WITH HOT TUNES

NEW YORK, NY, March 6, 2006 – Atari, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATAR) today revealed first details about the soundtrack to its forthcoming Hollywood-style action-driving blockbuster Driver: Parallel Lines. Alongside over 70 legendary tracks which bridge the game’s dual gameplay eras – 1970s and today – with effortless cool, the soundtrack will include a number of exceptional world-renowned artists from the worlds of hip hop, punk rock and dance to provide brand new music exclusively for Driver: Parallel Lines. The music and artists have been chosen to reflect the two distinct gameplay eras as well as New York City, which has been the inspiration and source to so much of the world’s music.

Working with Nimrod Productions Ltd, one of the most established audio production companies in the video game industry, Atari has selected some of the top artists to supply new exclusive material for Driver: Parallel Lines including Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash, Suicide, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arthur Baker, Mylo, Paul Oakenfold, Lifesavas featuring Vernon Reid and the Audio Bullys. Interviews with some of the artists involved in Driver: Parallel Lines are available exclusively for subscribers to the official website www.atari.com/driver.

In addition to the brand new exclusives, the two eras will be underscored by a remarkable roster of legendary music, with David Bowie, Blondie, Iggy Pop, WAR, The Temptations, Funkadelic, Marvin Gaye, Parliament, and Average White Band amongst those scoring the 1970’s era, and bands including The Roots, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio, Kaiser Chiefs, Secret Machines, The Dead 60’s lend their visceral sounds to the New York cityscape of 2006.

“In taking the successful and stylish Driver brand to iconic New York City in the 70’s and today, we wanted to make sure the soundtrack captured and evoked the setting to really elevate the experience,” said Stephen Baer, Senior Product Manager, Atari, Inc. “The soundtrack for Driver: Parallel Lines draws on an incredible mix of legendary and new talent to create the perfect complement for riveting gameplay.”

“The melting pot of the New York music scene stretches across so many musical boundaries that it seems to effortlessly create an infectious mix, from obscure 70’s gems to classic tracks, and important new bands to the modern day musical heroes,” said Marc Canham, co-founder of Nimrod and the game soundtrack composer and music producer for Driver: Parallel Lines.

Developed by award-winning studio Reflections Interactive, Driver: Parallel Lines is the next installment of Atari’s legendary action-driving franchise. Players can modify and juice up cars while engaging in the most thrilling Hollywood-style car chases ever across a free roaming, stylized New York City with over 35 diverse missions, no loading times, incredibly realistic driving physics, and a brand new story set in 1978 and 2006.

Forthcoming Hollywood-style action-driving Driver: Parallel Lines will be available for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. A must-have title for action driving fans, Driver: Parallel Lines Limited Edition will include a separate soundtrack CD featuring tracks written exclusively for the game from music legends Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, Arthur Baker and other breakthrough artists. Further information about the Limited Edition will be revealed prior to launch.

For more information about Driver: Parallel Lines and to sign up for exclusive content including weekly artist interviews, trailers and more, visit www.atari.com/driver. Additionally, the site features a live MP3 player where visitors can select and play tracks from the game soundtrack.

Nemesis of Tomb Raider: Legend Revealed

The newest villain in the Tomb Raider franchise has finally been revealed and man is she... mystical! Amanda Evert is an old friend of Lara Croft who was thought to be killed while excavating a tomb while back in graduate school. Little did she know that she would come back from the dead, and let’s just say that the friendship isn’t what it used to
be... While you may think this is a spoiler, we’ve barely scratched the surface because there is definitely more to hear about this mysterious new villainess! Since we know you are shaking in anticipation to take a look, here’s some new screens featuring Amanda in action. There will be much more to see when Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend ships April 11th in North America for the PS2, Xbox, and PC, with the PSP and Xbox360 versions to follow shortly after!

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2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES COLLEGE HOOPS 2K6 FOR XBOX 360 NOW AVAILABLE

NEW YORK, NY - March 7, 2006 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that College Hoops 2K6 for Xbox 360(tm) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft is now available at retailers across North America. As the only college basketball game available for Xbox 360, College Hoops 2K6 delivers a truly authentic collegiate experience, showcasing superior next-generation graphics, unmatched gameplay, all of the fan-favorite features found in the current-gen versions and an updated and expanded roster of teams and players.

"We are pleased to bring the acclaimed College Hoops 2K6, the only next generation college basketball title, to Xbox 360 gamers," said Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "College Hoops 2K6 exemplifies the college basketball spirit through an engaging atmosphere, exciting gameplay and unique features that truly enhance the overall experience."

2K Sports' highly acclaimed College Hoops 2K series, now available for Xbox 360, immerses college basketball fans into all of the action with Xbox 360- exclusive features including stunning player models, detailed college arenas complete with full 3D crowds, and realistic animated sections for the band, home and visiting crowds. The college style of play is fully realized for Xbox 360 with accurate game pace and speed, and focus on players' shot distribution and defense in the post. College Hoops 2K6 also includes the entire suite of features found in the current-gen versions, such as Shot Stick, V.I.P. System(tm), Coach's Clipboard, Midnight Madness(r), Strip 'n' Rip System, and Pre-season and Selection Sunday broadcast shows hosted by Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg.

Through Xbox Live(r) online game service, College Hoops 2K6 provides gamers with the most realistic, interactive gaming experience with seamless head-to-head online play. The comprehensive online features also provide stat tracking, buddy list management and online leagues.

College Hoops 2K6 for Xbox 360 is rated "E" for Everyone and available in North American retail stores for $59.99. For more information, please visit www.2Ksports.com.

March 3, 2006

Brand New Website Redesign for Hitman: Blood Money Along With a New Trailer

The time is coming near for some serious activity with our friend Agent 47. What better way then to start it off with a brand new redesign for the official Hitman: Blood Money website! Not only does it come equipped with more content such as 20 new screenshots and a new Guide to Being a Hitman video, to up the excitement even more we have included a brand new trailer as well!

Hitman: Blood Money is the latest installment of the popular Hitman franchise, putting you in the shoes of the world’s most deadly assassin, Agent 47. Equipped with some new kill moves and a weapon upgrade system, Agent 47 travels to locations in the United States for the first time to work on earning “blood” money by doing what he does best. New to the franchise, the Blood Money system allows players to adjust Agent 47’s notoriety level, which represents his visibility status based on his past methods of achieving his hits. In other words, if you accomplished your last mission by shooting everything in sight, other characters will start to react accordingly by recognizing you as a wanted man. Check out the latest trailer now to see the most recent sneak peak at the game. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Prepare to make a killing as Hitman: Blood Money is set to ship this Spring, 2006 in North America!

To take a look at the newly redesigned website, check out www.hitmanbloodmoney.com.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Xbox 360

Today we at Ubisoft continue with our ongoing series of video developer diaries for the upcoming Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. These diaries drill deep into what it takes to create a Ghost Recon game in the next generation, all direct from the people making it happen! Keep your eyes peeled for more information and additional overall goodness for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter as it prepares for its release next week!!

Click here to view the video.

For this third installment we take a tour of Mexico City. Get a behind the scenes look at how the development team decided on Mexico City for the backdrop of the latest Ghost Recon game. Not only is it about location, but how to replicate and implement this location using next gen technology. See how the developers took this vast urban environment and broke it down in terms of level design, gameplay and overall player experience. 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.

Eidos Unveils New Futuristic Site for Rogue Trooper!

Eidos Interactive today launches a new futuristic website for ROGUE TROOPER, a tactical action game based on the 2000 AD comic strip which is set to be released in North America in Spring 2006 for the PS2, Xbox and PC.

The official site is now live at www.ROGUETROOPER.com.

The site is an introduction into the universe of the Genetic Infantryman (G.I.), with detailed information on characters and weapons used on Nu Earth. The hi-tech site is a detailed hub of up-to-the-minute information on the game - allowing you to size up your opposition with detailed briefs on enemies, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, plus a tactical tutorial with a video section illustrating a few of the multiple ways to play the game.

There are a host of downloadable videos, wallpapers and even artwork available on the site, plus a selection of screenshots, including some 360 view shots, which the viewer can navigate around.

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, with encoded bio-chips containing the digitised personalities of his fallen comrades, each offering their full military xperience at the player’s fingertips.

New Commandos Strike Force Team Tactics Video Released by Eidos!

Download Now at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=155!

Commandos Strike Force, the intense stealth combat game, not only fuses first-person shooting style gameplay with strategic stealth combat, but also allows for on-the-fly switching between different members of the elite Commandos Strike Force team. This new feature provides you with more options to fit your play style while allowing a completely new element of strategy that puts you in control of the action. To showcase some of the new strategy possibilities by utilizing the different strengths of your commandos, we are bringing you a brand new gameplay video focusing solely on team tactics. Lead a frontal assault with your Green Beret, and take out problematic enemies from a distance with your Sniper; or pick off enemies one by one with your Sniper, and use your Green Beret for protection before they get too close... the choice is yours to decide and the possibilities are endless.


Go download the video now and see some examples for yourself! Commandos can do what armies cannot as Commandos Strike Force is set to ship April 4th, 2006 in North America!

State of Emergency 2

Published by SouthPeak Interactive
Rated "M" for mature
Score 3 out of 5

The follow-up to State of Emergency, which sold more than 1.5 million units worldwide, SOE2 continues the series and the Freedom movement to rid the world of the oppressive Corporation, an evil corporate dictatorship that is intent on the global enslavement of the masses. The game opens like a movie, which sets a very cool tone and the the story unravels around the Justice Corporation's execution of a riot instigator who has been in prison for four years. Spanky sets up the show so the escape can go down during a live television execution and from there is just gets wild.

The third person camera angles are generally pretty good but sometimes leave you fighting enemies that you can't see. This is a challenging game that rapidly goes far beyond easy. At times I felt that it was tedious and repetitive, but all games are sort of like that to a certain degree and SOE2 does keep you hooked through the story. There is a frustrating lack of save points which means that you will have to replay levels over and over again until you reach a save point. And while I'm talking about the bad aspects of the game I'll throw in that SOE2 must have THE weakest sniper rifle of any game I've ever played. It doesn't zoom. What kind of a sniper rifle doesn't zoom? That's, as the great gamer Slim Daddy would say, "unacceptable".

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

There are 12 single player missions that get progressively more difficult and combine to unveil a cinematic story experience. Another cool aspect of game play is that there are a lot of characters on the screen at once. The crowd becomes alive and it is possible to influence the crowd so they make your mission easier. And to meet those crowds are swarms of enemies, all ripe for being gunned down.

There are a whole lot of vehicles that can be controlled during game play: helicopters, tanks, amored personnel carriers and speedboats. They all weild massive destructive power and are fun to drive.

An unsettlingly fun mini-game exists in the form of torture. Yes, folks, a torture mini-game. Smack your victim weakly and he won't tell you a thing, but get frustrated and smack him too hard and you'll kill him. I said it in YRB and I'll say it again, "who knew torture could be so much fun?"

Xbox Best of Platinum Hits

March 2, 2006 – Microsoft announced today a new retail program called the Best of Platinum Hits, the next evolution of the wildly successful Platinum Hits Program. The Platinum Hits and the Platinum Family Hits Programs innovated the retail space by providing the best games at the best price for customers. Moreover the program has provided new business opportunities for publishers and retailers. To date more than 100 games have participated in these programs with each game, extending their life in the market by more than two times the average game.

The new Best of Platinum Hits Program extends this concept even further by providing consumers with popular Xbox titles for the low price of $9.99 (SRP). Starting March 2006, best-selling games like Fuzion Frenzy (Microsoft Game Studios), Project Gotham Racing 2 (Microsoft Game Studios), and MechAssault (Microsoft Game Studios) will be available at the new price point.

"Microsoft is very happy to introduce this new program to our customers. With over 24 million Xbox's and over 200 million games sold worldwide, we believe this new program provides a great value to Xbox owners, our retail partners, and publishers" states Gunn Robison, Director of Games Retail Marketing for Xbox.

The roster of titles participating in the first wave of the Best of Platinum Hits Program includes:

• Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Bethesda Softworks)
• Enter the Matrix (Atari)
• Fuzion Frenzy (Microsoft Game Studios)
• Project Gotham Racing 2 (Microsoft Game Studios)
• Shrek 2 (Activision)
• Soul Calibur II (Namco)
• Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (Ubisoft)
• Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Island Thunder (Ubisoft)
• Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3(Ubisoft)
• Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow (Ubisoft)
• Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (Ubisoft)
• Tony Hawk’s Underground (Activision)
• Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 (Activision)
• True Crimes: Streets of LA (Activision)
• MechAssault (Microsoft Game Studios)
• Counterstrike (Microsoft Game Studios)

EA AND DEPECHE MODE COLLABORATE ON SIGNATURE SONG FOR THE SIMS 2 OPEN FOR BUSINESS

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 2, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that the signature sound of legendary alternative rock band, Depeche Mode has been translated to The Sims native Simlish language for the first time ever. ‘Suffer Well,’ a popular track from Depeche Mode’s critically acclaimed album ‘Playing the Angel,’ has been recorded in Simlish and will be made available to fans of music and PC games through The Sims™ 2 Open for Business, the third expansion pack to build on the celebrated The Sims™ 2 entertainment experience.

The Sims development team created the unique Simlish language by experimenting with fractured Ukrainian and Tagalog, the language of the Philippines. Inspired by the code talkers of WWII, Sims creator Will Wright also suggested experimenting with Navajo.

“Like the Sims, Depeche Mode is a worldwide phenomenon, with a distinct style. This unprecedented collaboration brings together two celebrated entertainment icons, and gives millions of Sims fans the opportunity to hear one of their favorite bands sing in Simlish, a language that appeals directly to them,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Music Marketing at EA. “Simlish is an emotion-filled language that defies translation—it’s a great fit for the music of Depeche Mode which is so focused on creating a mood, and appeals to people on an emotional level.”

Depeche Mode’s lead singer, David Gahan, said, "Depeche Mode has always been open to new ways of sharing our music, but re-recording a Simlish-language version of 'Suffer Well' just sounded completely bizarre. Of course, that's why couldn't resist doing it."

A video for the song, featuring footage of Depeche Mode and gameplay from The Sims 2 Open for Business will be available at thesims2.ea.com and www.depechemode.com.

The song is also included in the PC game, The Sims 2 Open for Business, which puts commercial creativity in the hands of gamers who can create virtually any kind of business for their Sims, from a trendy clothing boutique or hip beauty salon to a blooming floral shop or bustling restaurant chain. As a savvy entrepreneur, your Sim must keep an eye out for slacker employees and be prepared to fire them as quickly as they hired them!

Twenty Five years into a career that has influenced countless artists--while selling 50 million albums and playing to approximately 10 million people--Depeche Mode continue to enjoy massive success. ”Playing the Angel,” the band’s 11th studio album, spawned the radio and club hit “Precious” while 2005’s triumphant U.S. tour featured multiple sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “Playing the Angel” debuted on the Billboard pop album chart at #7 and has reached #1 in 18 countries while selling nearly 2 million copies worldwide. As their new single “Suffer Well” emerges on radio, the band continues to tour in support of ”Playing the Angel,” their highly praised new album (Sire/Reprise). With 800,000 tickets sold on the European leg of their massive world tour--where they’ve sold out an imposing 69 stadium and arena dates throughout 30 countries--Depeche Mode is set to return to the U.S. to headline opening night at Coachella (April 29) as part of a new round of North American dates that will be announced shortly.

The Sims 2 Open for Business builds on the critically acclaimed gameplay of The Sims 2. It will be on store shelves March 2, 2006 for the PC platform.

Also making musical appearances in the game are “Things Can Only Get Better” by Howard Jones, “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo and “Synthesized” by Epoxies.

UBISOFT TO PUBLISH CATZ® VIDEO GAME EXCLUSIVELY FOR GAME BOY® ADVANCE

SAN FRANCISCO MARCH 2, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that it will unleash Catz®, the first kitten simulation game to be available exclusively for Nintendo's Game Boy® Advance. As part of its licensing agreement with MTO Co., Ubisoft will distribute Catz worldwide in March 2006, with the
exception of Japan. Catz carries an ESRB rating of "E" for Everyone and a MSRP of $29.99.

Catz is a pet simulation game that lets owners name, train and play with adorable kittens. Players adopt a customized kitten from one of thirteen different breeds. Gamers will earn their kitten's love and loyalty by remembering to feed, groom or play with it. Toys and accessories can be purchased for the kitten from the in-game store. Kittens can communicate with their owners through a variety realistic sounds effects including purring and different types of meows. "Ubisoft is pleased to bring the first kitten simulation game to the millions of Game Boy Advance owners around the world," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Now there is a virtual option for cat lovers! We are confident players will enjoy caring for and watching their kittens grow."

Key Features:
• Adopt and raise a kitten of your own – earn points for excellent care.
• Thirteen breeds to choose from including Persian, Himalayan, Abyssinian, and the exotic Ocicat.
• Feed, groom, play with, cuddle, or shop for your cat. The way you raise your cat affects its personality.
• Listen carefully as your cat communicates with you through a variety of realistic sound effects, including purring and different types of meows.
• Use your allowance to buy toys and accessories for your cat at the at the store
• Visiting mode: By linking two Game Boy Advance systems, players can tour around the block to visit friends.


For more information and updates about Catz, please visit www.ubi.com.

In March 2006, Ubisoft will also launch Petz®, a compilation from the bestselling Dogz® and Catz PC series. Petz will include Dogz 5 and Catz 5 for PC. Features will include new breeds in the PC series, interactive environment, and mini-games. Petz carries an ESRB rating of "E" for Everyone and a MSRP of $19.99.

See Our Civic Super Hero in Action as Eidos Releases the First Official Trailer for Urban Chaos: Riot Response!

Every night you go home, snuggle up under a warm blanket, and have a nice peaceful night’s sleep. Little do you realize that people put their lives on the line to prevent ruthless gang members from turning your humble abode into a blazing light show. The merciless burner gang has taken a city hostage, and they want nothing more than to watch as the city, along with the people in it, turn into a pile of ashes. The time has come to call on the last line of defense. Urban Chaos: Riot Response, the high-velocity action shooter, puts you in control of Nick Mason, a member of the elite anti-gang unit, T-Zero. Equipped with military grade hardware, you have been given clearance to use whatever means necessary to take your city back from the clutches of anarchy. Fight alongside other heroes such as Firemen and Medics, protect the civilians at any cost, and bring the city’s enemies to justice.

View the trailer

Since we know you want to see the T-Zero squad in action, we are releasing the first official Trailer for Urban Chaos: Riot Response! The city needs a savior, as Urban Chaos: Riot Response comes your way this June, 2006.

March 2, 2006

The Adventure Company Announces Game Enhancements for KEEPSAKE

Toronto, March 1, 2006 - The Adventure Company, a leading publisher of PC adventure games, today announced the specific enhancements that will be added to the North American version of KEEPSAKE.

Enhancements will include the following as well as many others to enrich the gameplay experience:

* New voiceovers for various characters including: Mustavio, Celeste, young Celeste, Elvander, and Zak
* The addition of an in-game map
* Fine-tuned dialogue to minimize repetitive scripts
* Enlarged ‘hotspots’ making navigation more fluid and intuitive
* Improved pathfinding with Zak and Lydia

Developed by Wicked Studios, KEEPSAKE is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and fantasy. The compelling and involving storyline is revealed as players take on the role of Lydia, a young girl who embarks on a quest that unfolds across the enchanted campus of Dragonvale Academy. Upon her arrival, she discovers something is terribly amiss... She finds the keepsake she gave her best friend Celeste, but Celeste and the other scholars are nowhere to be found. Players will be fascinated by this world of beauty and boundless imagination on their journey to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances, the treachery that lurks in the halls of Dragonvale Academy, and the beloved Keepsake...

Features:

* Deep and involving storyline where suspense and mystery await at every turn
* Explore stunning environments designed in intricate detail using dynamic lighting and shading
* Unique in-game ‘Active Hint System’ helps players progress further into the game without being stumped by difficult puzzles
* Easy to use interface that evolves as new feature becomes available
* Compelling 3rd person gameplay powered by a state-of-the-art graphic engine
* Learn to cast spells, understand the secrets of the runes and glyphs, and overcome daring trials designed to test your wits rather than your dexterity

New Xbox 360 Screen Shots For Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent

About Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent

With the entirely new direction of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent, Ubisoft has reinvented the best-selling and highest rated espionage franchise. The revolutionary double agent concept immerses players in the world of international espionage more completely than ever, expanding the story and depth of Sam Fisher's character and evoking players' emotions by drawing them deeper into the gaming experience. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent will push the limits of each platform based on its respective technological capabilities, taking advantage of a collaborative development effort between Ubisoft's award-winning development studios in Montreal, Shanghai and Annecy, France. Across all platforms, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent will have the features that have defined the Splinter Cell franchise - amazing graphics, fluid animations, advanced artificial intelligence and open level design. Furthermore, each platform will feature exclusive content and offer a unique game play experience.

Storyline

Veteran agent Sam Fisher is back. But he's never faced an enemy like this before. To stop a devastating terrorist attack, he must infiltrate a vicious terrorist group and destroy it from within. For the first time ever, experience the relentless tension and gut-wrenching dilemmas of life as a double agent. As you infiltrate a terrorist organization in its American headquarters, you must carefully weigh the consequences of your actions. Kill too many criminals and you'll blow your cover. Hesitate too long and millions will die. Do whatever it takes to complete your mission, but get out alive.

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


Key Features Include:

• Dual objectives to fulfill: NSA government agents and terrorists will each want you to accomplish opposing tasks at the same time.

• Discover the tension of being a double agent: Use actual tactics employed by today's real-life double agents to sabotage the terrorists' plans.

• Explore a branching storyline with multiple endings: Your choices have an impact on how the story and game play unfolds.

• A world of international espionage: Missions from all over the world, from Asia to Africa to the heart of the US. Experience extreme situations: underwater or in a sandstorm, hiding behind the dust or smoke - and even skydiving.

• New authentic gadgets: Master the latest weapons and gadgets used by NSA government agents in addition to black-market terrorist weapons.

• Innovative online play: The critically acclaimed multiplayer action of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is back with entirely new innovations for each platform.

March 1, 2006

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

March 1, 2006 - Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, is pleased to announce that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighterâ„¢, the next installment in the critically acclaimed, squad-based military shooter franchise, has gone gold on Xbox360. Check below for further details on Xbox and PC release dates.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will be shipping for the PC in May 2006. Ubisoft has extended the launch of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the PC version allowing the developers more time to put the finishing touches on the game and make it the best possible PC gaming experience.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft will be available March 9 worldwide. For the Xbox it will be shipping March 9 in the U.S. and March 16 in Europe. Look for more news regarding Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter in the coming days.

In the meantime, make sure you visit the game's official website www.ghostrecon.com for up to date information and assets.

EA CELEBRATES 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY™ WITH EXCLUSIVE Release of officially licensed videogame

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 1, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) will celebrate the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ - the world’s largest sporting event - with the launch of 2006 FIFA World Cup™, the event’s only officially licensed videogame. The videogame will ship on all platforms including Xbox 360™ in April 2006 in anticipation of the real-world tournament which begins in June.

2006 FIFA World Cup, under the EA SPORTS™ brand, will feature stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, 12 official stadiums that will be used at 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany and stadiums from each qualifying region. Gamers will be able to play as their favorite team from qualification right through to a virtual reproduction of the tournament in Germany.

“The FIFA World Cup will be the single most watched sporting event by a worldwide television audience, bringing together soccer fans from around the world,” said Joe Nickolls, lead producer of the game. “Our game, 2006 FIFA World Cup celebrates this passion by capturing all of the national rivalries in-game, enabling fans to play their heroes and be a part of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.”

With enhanced player animations, EA SPORTS has emulated close to 100 of the world’s superstars, capturing their playing styles and individual likenesses. In addition to enabling gamers to participate in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany by taking control of one of 127 national teams, the game features new compelling modes of play, including the groundbreaking Global Challenge that will test even the most hardcore soccer fan by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup™ history. Furthermore, the game supports up to eight-way multiplayer matches and boasts a plethora of in-game unlockable content such as legendary players and exclusive apparel.

For the first time ever, the officially licensed game of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany will be available for download via mobile phones. Upon release, gamers can purchase 2006 FIFA World Cup through major North American carriers and will have the option of downloading either English or the Spanish language version of the game. This robust title features all of the 32 international teams vying for the most coveted title in soccer and offers gamers on-the-go a compelling gameplay experience that truly captures the essence of the sport and this global event.

2006 FIFA World Cup, developed by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C., is scheduled to ship on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® and Xbox 360™ video game systems from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™, and Game Boy® Advance, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, PC and mobile. The game is rated is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB.

GameTap Monthly Update for Feb/March 2006

GameTap’s vault continues to expand with new games and shows! Since Turner Broadcasting’s GameTap launched with 300 games and a slew of original programming, new content has been added every week with a catalogue now approaching 400 titles and constantly updated programs.

Among February’s notable additions were a couple installments of the Lords of the Realm series, Pitstop and three Might and Magic games, while the “Mexican Pac-Man” short was recognized by Adweek as one of the top 50 commercials of 2005 (download a copy at ftp://puppetshow.mullen.com and see for yourself).

February’s Top 10 Most Played List:

1. Army’s Men: Sarge’s War

2. Galaga

3. Root Beer Tapper

4. Worms Armageddon

5. BurgerTime

6. Pac-Man

7. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

8. Hoyle Slots & Video Poker

9. Dig Dug

10. Sonic the Hedgehog

This month, three of SEGA’s most popular games are coming to GameTap, including the world’s first 3D CG fighting game! Also, Capcom will be entering the GameTap arena with nine – yes nine – additions to the GameTap library.

On the original programming front, big news is on the horizon in terms of content and presentation, so expect a detailed press release soon. We will reveal this much though – two of the biggest names in the punk and country music scenes, respectively, will be featured in shows addressing their love of video games.

GameTap is a first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network that delivers hundreds of the greatest games-on-demand plus original programming via a broadband-connected PC. Be sure to check out the latest and greatest games and original programming at www.gametap.com.

Stay tuned for all of the latest news in games and programming!

* All release dates subject to change

MLB 06 The Show Ships

You don't have to wait for the World Baseball Classic to start this Friday (3/3/06), nor do you have to make the pilgrimage to Arizona or Florida for Spring Training Ball, and you sure don't have to wait the 33 days, 4 hours, 23 minutes and 14 seconds until Opening Day to get your baseball action - MLB '06 The Show is here!!!

With the announcement of MLB '06 The Show hitting store shelves today, we wanted to make sure you the latest assets for both PS2 & PSP.

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

Get a Taste of Revenge with the Latest Rogue Trooper Screenshots!

How would you feel if all of your comrades were brutally massacred, and the only one left behind with the aftermath was yourself? That’s the case for Rogue Trooper, the last of the Genetic Infantrymen, and he’s pissed off and hell-bent on revenge. Having taken the bio-chips containing the digitized personalities of his dead friends, their souls come alive in his equipment. With the abilities of Gunnar, Helm and Bagman at his side, Rogue Trooper is ready to dish out the world of pain that was dealt to him. Rogue Trooper features intense sci-fi action in a futuristic battlefield where you must use your surroundings to gain the edge you need to take on full armies single-handedly. To give you another
glimpse of the vengeance, we’re bringing you 10 new screenshots!

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

Rogue Trooper is set to ship this Spring, 2006 for the PS2, Xbox and PC!

EA’S FIFA STREET 2 SHIPS TO STORES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – February 28, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that FIFA Street 2, which features gifted Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo on all packaging worldwide, has shipped to retailers under the EA SPORTS BIG™ brand. FIFA Street 2 captures the flair and skill of soccer in an arcade videogame experience that features real players performing over-the-top tricks in authentic locales around the world.

Ronaldo is the new face of FIFA Street 2 after bursting onto the international scene with Manchester United in 2003, where his ball skills and tricks earned him a reputation for being one of the world’s most exciting and electrifying wingers.

“This is quite an honor to be the new face of FIFA Street 2,” Ronaldo said. “The game mirrors the same ideals and philosophies that I use in my approach to everyday football. I played on the street growing up where I had many one-on-one battles, so it’s exciting to be a part of the EA SPORTS family and contribute to a style of football I’ve been playing all my life.”

FIFA Street 2 builds upon the arcade game experience of the original that was launched last year with a greater emphasis on skills battles, a larger selection of tricks, including for the first-time ever in-game juggling, and a new way to win with Game Breaker. In addition, FIFA Street 2 introduces signature moves for the world’s most skillful star players, juggling mini-games, 10 new venues and a customization package that allows you to create your own soccer playground, your own characters and your own way to play. An overhauled Artificial Intelligence system and advancements in gameplay, including Trick-Stick defense and user control of the goalkeeper, make this new game distinguish itself from the original.

With 320 players to choose from, including the superstars of the game, legendary street masters, or a created character, players can rule the streets and make names for themselves by mastering an arsenal of tricks in FIFA Street 2.

Developed in Vancouver, B.C., by EA Canada, the studio which is also home to the popular NBA STREET and best-selling FIFA Soccer franchises, FIFA Street 2 will be available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and Nintendo GameCube™. The game also will be available for the first time on the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system and Nintendo DS™. FIFA Street 2 is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB with a MSRP of $29.99. The official game website is www.fifastreet2.com.

Vivendi Universal Games Launches Nationwide Search for the Hottest Unsigned Music Talent for Scarface: The World Is Yours Video Game

Los Angeles (Feb. 28, 2006) ­ Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) has launched the ³Scarface: The World Is Yours Video Game Soundtrack Talent Search,² a nationwide talent contest running on MySpace.com that will reward the best unsigned music talent in North America with the chance to make it big ­ inclusion of a song in the upcoming hit Scarface video game and the opportunity to perform in front of music and video game industry leaders at a major concert event in Hollywood. The nomination process is now open at www.myspace.com/scarfacegame .

By nominating and voting for their favorite unsigned MySpace Music artist, MySpace users will choose a winner to be featured in Scarface: The World Is Yours, a major video game release due out this fall, alongside some of
today¹s hottest music artists. In addition, the winner and two runner-ups will be flown to the music capital of the world ­ Los Angeles ­ to open for a major label headline act at a concert event during this year¹s video game
tradeshow, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (³E3²). More than a thousand people will attend the concert including executives from Interscope/MySpace Records and VU Games, celebrities, tastemakers, fans and press.

³There is no question that music continues to play a pivotal role in video games and video games continue to play a pivotal role in promoting new artists to a wide audience,² said Cindy Cook, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer for VU Games. ³Through this contest, we are giving musicians an unprecedented opportunity to be seen and heard by potentially millions of fans worldwide as well as the opportunity to be associated with this year¹s most anticipated video game and one of Hollywood¹s most iconic characters.²

To be considered for the contest, musicians must have a profile that includes musical tracks and artist information on MySpace Music (music.myspace.com).

The top 200 artists nominated by the MySpace community by March 7th will have their music heard by a panel of music and video game industry judges, who will determine 20 finalists. On March 20th, one track from each finalist will be posted on the Scarface MySpace profile for a final round of voting to determine the winner. The track with the most votes by March 28th will be featured in the Scarface: The World Is Yours video game.

Music acts, fans and MySpace users should visit the official MySpace.com contest page to participate in the nomination process currently running at www.myspace.com/scarfacegame.

For more information about Scarface: The World Is Yours, please visit the game¹s official Web site at www.scarfacegame.com .

WEBZEN SIGNS EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE PUBLISHING DEAL WITH RED 5 STUDIOS

SEOUL – Feb. 28, 2006 – Global online entertainment company WEBZEN, Inc. (NASDAQ: WZEN) today announced that it has signed an exclusive worldwide agreement with U.S.-based Red 5 Studios, Inc. to publish a new MMOG property. The contract was executed today at WEBZEN’s headquarters in Seoul.

Creating tremendous industry buzz and anticipation since the company’s inception in September 2005, Red 5 Studios was formed by key members behind Blizzard Entertainment®’s World of WarCraft®, including the game’s Team Lead Mark Kern and Art Director William Petras and Online Director for Asia, Taewon Yoon.

“WEBZEN and Red 5 Studios share the same vision and passion to create next generation online games that can successfully suit the tastes and demands of gamers worldwide,” said Nam Ju Kim, CEO, WEBZEN, Inc. “We are confident that projects such as these will help WEBZEN reach its goal of becoming a top global online games publisher.”

The core members at Red 5 studios have proven their development prowess in launching successful online game properties such as Diablo II, Starcraft series and Warcraft III on a global scale. As such, WEBZEN is being heralded for obtaining the company’s promising new game property, which is primed to deliver worldwide market appeal. For WEBZEN, the publishing deal is an important component to its mid-and long-term objective of building a world-class games portfolio.

“WEBZEN offers the optimal environment for developing games, with its world-class technology and overall expertise in online game entertainment,” said Mark Kern, President and CEO, Red 5 Studios. “WEBZEN is becoming a huge force in the global online games marketplace. Their commitment and determination partnered with our unique game concept is a winning combination for a blockbuster title.”

The new game from Red 5 Studios is in its initial stages of development, and more details on the title will be released at a later date.

This publishing contract marks WEBZEN’s second global publishing deal, after acquiring in 2005 the worldwide license for All Points Bulletin (APB), David Jones’ online game, for both PC and XBOX360 platforms.

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