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January 31, 2007

Major League Baseball 2K7

I met with my good friends Anthony (from 2K Sports) and Katie (from Access PR) yesterday and they showed me Major League Baseball 2K7 on Xbox 360 and PS3. It's going to be available on everything except GameCube and Wii (they would have had to create a whole new control system and couldn't do it in time for the season) and it will ship in the first week of March 2007. i was pretty impressed with it. Overall, the graphics and sound are great. The details are all there, from Inside Edge statistics that affect AI on a play by play basis, to 150 signature style individualized player animations, and even to shirts rippling in the wind and little puffs of dirt coming up from player's footsteps. The commentary was reasonably interesting, at least for the few innings that we played. The heckling "Hey, I stole your girlfriend Jeter") was pretty cool.

Here's a screenshot from PS3:
MLB2K7PS3_plateslide.jpg

Pitching controls remain the same, using the "Payoff Pitching" system and now you can even control the catcher and have him call the game. Hitting is the same using the swing stick. On PS3 you also have the option to swing using the controller due to it's 6-axis motion sensing capability. I couldn't get the hang of this during the brief time that I had with the game. They reworked a lot of the fielding so that momentum when running seems more real than last year. They also revamped every stadium, including lighting down to the way that shadows affect hitting. The PIP baserunning makes it easy to control runners.

Here's a screenshot from Xbox360:
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There is online play with online leagues for both Xbox 360 and PS3.

Also new is the ability to manage your budget and set ticket prices in franchise mode.

Here's a PSP screenshot:
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Top Level Features:

• Signature Style - Player-specific batting stances, waggles, home run celebrations, step-ins, step-outs, windups and deliveries bring each player to life like never before.

• True Fielding - Fielder positioning, relay and cutoff A.I. has been redesigned to allow for better, more authentic Major League defensive play. Defensive alignments are now based on who is at the plate.

• Dynamic Throwing System - Responsive throwing mechanics coupled with unique animations for infield, outfield and situational throws brings your command of the ball to a new level.

• Inside Edge™ - Updated for the 2007 season, Inside Edge™ data is now tied into USER control at the plate. Playing into your pitcher's or hitter's strengths will now reward you with a boost in hitting power.

• Next Generation Player Models - 2K7 player models are brought to life with exquisite accuracy. Now body type, player faces, accessories, uniforms and hats match their real-world counterparts down to the minutest details.

• Franchise Finance - Team news, attendance, ticket prices and fan “buzz” will all play a key role in the success of your franchise. Each of these elements can affect your seasonal profit or deficit, affecting budgets for subsequent seasons.

• Unprecedented Commentary - All-Star duo Jon Miller and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan return to the broadcast booth to deliver the best commentary in the business.

• Hi-Def Baseball – Seamless camera work, new crowd audio and stunning replays keep you in the moment through the duration of a game.

• 2K Sports Online Play – Go head-to-head and compete in leagues and tournaments against the best players on the planet.

• Soundtrack – Nirvana, Sublime, The Stooges, Pixies, 311, The Specials, Tapes ‘n Tapes, DFA 1979, Thermals dnd more.

SCEA Releases PSP Demo, Firmware 3.10

Sony Computer Entertainment America is making it even easier to check out the hottest software for the PSP®(PlayStation®Portable) system with a new initiative to offer downloadable demos regularly via the official PSP site ( psp.us.playstation.com ) and the PlayStation Web site ( us.playstation.com/PSP ). Separately, a new firmware update (version 3.10) is now available, enhancing the PSP Internet browser and audio playback.

PSP Demos

PSP owners can now download a demo for KillzoneTM: Liberation directly to their PSP system from the official PSP site; the demo can also be downloaded to a PC from the PlayStation Web site and transferred to a PSP system. Killzone: Liberation is a third-person shooter that puts players into 16 intense missions to rescue hostages from the evil Helghast. Killzone: Liberation was developed by Guerilla, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Additional first and third party demos will be offered on an ongoing basis, with Syphon Filter®: Dark Mirror and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 slated for release in the coming weeks.


PSP Firmware 3.10

PSP Firmware 3.10 is now available for download and includes the following updates:

* Conserve Memory has been added as an optional setting for your Internet browser, enabling you to view a Web page that contains a larger amount of data because less memory is used to display the page.
* Dynamic Normalizer has been added as a feature under “Sound Settings,” providing automatic volume adjustment for playback of music tracks or other audio sources with varying output levels.

Out of the Park Baseball 2007 springs into life

Wednesday 31st January 2007 – With spring training around the corner Sports Interactive, the sports management development specialists, have announced that Out of the Park Baseball 2007 will be available, exclusively via digital download in time for the new season.

In OOTP Baseball 2007 players get the chance to do almost anything a real life general manager can do to guide their team to glory. Players can also create their very own fictional baseball universe, create and import fantasy teams and players or simply compete with other human players in an online league.

“No baseball simulation on the planet offers you this much flexibility and this much fun,” said Marc Duffy, Product Manager at Sports Interactive. “OOTP Baseball 2007 is ideal for historical, fictional, and online fans alike”.

Available for PC and Mac, franchise managers are able to set their line-ups, replace aging veterans with a rookie from the minor leagues, send their scouts to comb the upcoming amateur draft pool, or get a closer look at that free agent pitcher from Japan.

"We’ve spent a long time listening to our fans,” commented Markus Heinsohn, Lead developer of OOTP Baseball 2007. “The last version was a giant step forward for the good of the game and this year sees the addition of some of their most requested features."

Out of the Park Baseball 2007 will be released on March 23rd 2007 priced at $34.99 / €29.99. Pre orders, blogs and further information can be found at www.ootpbaseball.net

Key Features and improvements

Improved interface and usability

OOTP Baseball 2007 features some great user interface improvements that make the game easier and more enjoyable, including: a league creation wizard, a simplified navigation model with intuitive icons, a detailed in-game help system, improved in-game screens, and manager and online league commissioner “portals” that centralize the most commonly-used tasks.

The ultimate control over your baseball universe

OOTP Baseball 2007’s flexibility in configuring a baseball universe is unparalleled. Players have complete control over the structure, rules, and finances of their world, including the new abilities to add or delete leagues at any time, to have leagues “feed” players into other leagues and many other new league options. No simulation game has ever been this flexible.

Huge advances in the historical league experience

Historical leagues now feature an automatic expansion mode, including protection lists and expansion drafts. OOTP Baseball 2007 can also now import the history of a league prior to the selected year, giving players complete historical data and record books! Other new historical features include automatic adjustment of league financials, league strategies and rules (i.e. playoff format, schedule length). Sports Interactive re-introduce the concept of ghost players and the new option to block fictional players from reaching the major leagues. Combined with vastly improved statistical accuracy in historical leagues, the end result is the best possible way to replay the history of baseball starting in 1901, but yet with OOTP Baseball 2007 characteristic flexibility. A historical fan’s dream.

Fictional

Fictional leagues come to life like never before, thanks to the help of a wider variety of league news & stories, a player morale and popularity system and the ability to create fictional player portraits using the FaceGen technology.

Online

The online league mode of OOTP Baseball 2007 has never been more user-friendly and functional than in this year’s edition. The new commissioner portal will greatly reduce the administrative burden of running a league. Online GMs benefit from new features as well, such as an automatic waiver pullback option and an adjustable draft pool date that will give online leagues much more flexibility in processing amateur drafts. Commissioners can also now add and edit league news items and write game recaps, which will display both in-game and on league HTML reports. Commissioners can also send messages to all users and manually select all-star team members and award winners, including a new custom award of player’s choice! These features are available in solo play as well!

League expansion wizard

The new league expansion wizard helps you expand your league much more smoothly by scheduling an expansion draft and handling the submission of protection lists.

Trading

The trading model in OOTP Baseball 2007 has been vastly improved. GMs can now mark players as “untouchable” or “on the block,” with a corresponding effect on that player’s morale! The “shop player” feature allows you to quickly identify desirable trading partners and new trade-related reports put all of the information you need right at your fingertips. A “make this work now” button asks player’s trading partners to tell them exactly what is needed to make a deal under negotiation to happen immediately!

In-game experience

The experience for those players who enjoy playing out each game has improved greatly in OOTP Baseball 2007, including: strategic one-pitch mode, more natural play-by-play text, a “short PbP” option that displays just the outcome of the play and many other improvements to the in-game screens. Additionally, players can now write their own recap of the game that will appear in a game news article and will be saved along with the history of their game!

Improved AI and player development

The AI does a better job of managing its team than ever before and extensive statistical analysis and testing results in the most realistic player development system in any baseball simulation game.

Returning fan favorite features

Based on popular demand, a number of “fan favorite” features from previous versions of OOTP will return in OOTP Baseball 2007, including: an optional star-based rating system, adjustable AI player evaluation based on statistics/ratings, weather, ghost players, bullpen warm-up, and team focus.


About Sports Interactive
Sports Interactive (SI), is the world's leading developer of sports management simulations for home computers. SI's pillar titles cover a range of sports, including football (the Football Manager series), ice hockey (the NHL Eastside Hockey Manager series) and baseball (Out of the Park Baseball Manager). Founded in 1994 and based in North London, SI has a full-time staff of 34 and employs the services of more than 1,500 part-time researchers across the globe. Seven of SI's creations are among the UK's Top 20 best-selling PC games of all time. The company's future games will be published by the global computer and videogames giant, SEGA. Further information on the company and its games is available from the SI website, www.sigames.com.

2K Sports Announces All-Pro Football 2K8

NEW YORK, NY – January 31, 2007 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today the return of football to its video game line-up with All-Pro Football 2K8. The critically acclaimed 2K football series once again hits the gridiron with the legendary gameplay, innovative features, and outstanding visual quality sports gamers have come to expect from 2K Sports.

“Football gamers have been awaiting the return of the 2K series,” said Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “All-Pro Football 2K8 will deliver an authentic next generation gridiron experience and we are happy to give fans another choice in the football category.”

All-Pro Football 2K8 will be available this summer on next generation video game systems.

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


About Take-Two Interactive Software

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a global developer, marketer, distributor and publisher of interactive entertainment software games for the PC, PlayStation® game console, PlayStation®2 and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment systems, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Xbox® and Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™ and Game Boy® Advance. The Company publishes and develops products through its wholly owned labels Rockstar Games, 2K and 2K Sports, and Global Star Software; and distributes software, hardware and accessories in North America through its Jack of All Games subsidiary. Take-Two's common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website at www.take2games.com.

January 30, 2007

Midway Winter Gamers Day

I spent a few days in Las Vegas last week to visit Midway. They booked The Joint at the Hard Rock for a great event that highlighted several of their 2007 and 2008 titles. They had some great sushi and the scotch was flowing freely; what could be bad?

BlackSite: Area 51 This FPS is due to ship summer 2007 for Xbox 360, PC, and PS3. The story is pretty cool. You're sent into an area because some troops are missing and all of a sudden all hell breaks loose. There are all sorts of creepy crawlies that come after you. My favorite are the ones that you kill but their heads pop off and continue to pursue you. Midway promises realistic sound, but I couldn't tell because it was in a crowded noisy room. The graphics look great and lighting effects were very cool. The massively destructible environment is another cool thing. All in all, the short level that I played was a whole lot of fun. There's also a basic squad based element, which I mainly used to order my guys ahead on point. There were some performance issues, but it's a very early build. All in all, this is a title that I'm looking forward to.
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Hour of Victory This Xbox 360 WWII FPS is built on the Unreal Engine 3 so it looked fantastic. The innovation with this title is the ability to switch between 3 characters. There's the brawny charge ahead and gun Nazis down character, the stealthy slit their necks from behind character, and the eagle eyed sniper. At various points in each level you are given the opportunity to switch guys. Interestingly, you can do any part of the game using any character although some are better at certain parts than others. I found that using the brawny charge ahead and gun Nazis down character made this game feel exactly like Call of Duty. Not a bad thing for me, because I love these WWII shooters. In fact, I can remember a night when the guy in the apartment above me asked me to stop storming the beaches at Normandy (Medal of Honor) because it was 2 in the morning. I wonder how many other people like them. How much of a market is there for them? Very little was said about multiplayer modes, although the level looked like a good multiplayer design. The other cool thing is that you can take over turrets, planes, tanks, etc. That's always tons of fun in multiplayer.
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They also showed Stranglehold which looks like so much fun. I've written about it several times before.
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They showed a trailer for The Wheelman with Vin Deisel. I can never tell very much about a game from the trailer. It's too early for me to have anything to say about this one.

They showed a great video about the controls for Mortal Kombat: Armagedon for Wii. This looks like a lot of fun. It's basically a combination of swipes and motions with the remote and a little button pushing. I'm really looking forward to playing this one.
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And finally they had playable The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar which is a MMO for PC. They announced that it will ship on April 24, 2007. They just started a pre-order program which gets you the game for $9.99 per month or $199 lifetime. It looked good and there was a lot of excitement about it.

Midway also has a few Nintendo DS games. They are targeting this casual gamer market with some brain teasers and puzzle games.

TouchMaster Collection a wide variety of 23 mini-games popularized in Midway’s Touchmaster counter-top touch-screen arcade game systems which are very popular in bars. There's Trivia, Solitaire, Gem Slide and Mah Jongg. You can play by yourself and upload your score to a global website, or take on others over the Nintendo WiFi network. These games were a lot of fun. I was surprised at how much time I spent playing this and am looking forward to it coming out.
Touchmaster4.jpg

Hot Brain: A compilation of brain-teasers, puzzles and challenges. They didn't show this one, but it sounds a lot like Brain Age or Big Brain Academy. Exclusive to the PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) system, the game allows you to test your skills in several single player modes or you can play with up to three people via ad-hoc connection.
HotBrainPSP4.jpg

January 29, 2007

MIDWAY CONFIRMS THEORY IS A FACT: BLACKSITE: AREA 51 IS COMING SUMMER 2007

CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 29, 2007 – Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment industry publisher and developer, today announced BlackSite™: Area 51®, an action packed, first person shooter experience which pits gamers against alien enemy forces using the infamous U.S. government landmark, Area 51®, and the surrounding areas as the battlefield backdrop. BlackSite: Area 51 is currently in development for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and for the PC.

Developed by Midway Studios - Austin, BlackSite: Area 51 is a next-generation game that will redefine the first person shooter (FPS) genre. While other FPS titles claim to feature
“action-packed, highly realistic gameplay,” BlackSite: Area 51 takes next-gen gaming to an
all-new level integrating cutting edge technology, game design and story writing to create the ultimate entertainment experience. The player’s modern-day emotions and fears are driven into a world charged with grave responsibility affecting lives hanging in the balance and eventually finding himself torn between his professional orders and his own ethical standards. In the end, only the actions of the player and his squad can shape the outcome of BlackSite: Area 51 during this potentially pivotal moment in history.

“BlackSite: Area 51 gives players the opportunity to experience next-generation, first person shooter action in one of the world’s most intriguing and mysterious environments,” said Denise Fulton, studio head, Midway Studios - Austin. “Gamers will be instantly immersed in the game’s seamless storyline, set in the desert and small towns surrounding Area 51 that feature highly detailed environments that transform themselves into awesome battlefields. Without question, BlackSite: Area 51 will raise the bar in the next generation FPS genre with its stunning visuals, life-like squad interactions and its multitude of online multiplayer modes.”

About BlackSite: Area 51

Featuring a powerful single-player campaign, along with multiple online multiplayer modes,
BlackSite: Area 51 delivers vicious combat action, next generation graphics and A.I., and a plethora of powerful weapons and vehicles. Set in present day, players take the role of a decorated military veteran charged by the government to lead a squadron of “secret soldiers,” each with his/her own specialty skill set, into the Rachel, Nevada area to fight off the invasion of unidentified enemy races.

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.

News at Your Fingertips

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- As the options for news multiply, Nintendo is putting a simple solution for straight news right in the palm of your hand -- in the form of the Wii Remote(TM). The News Channel, free to Wii(TM) owners, will debut on the console's Wii Menu beginning tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 27. Using the international resources of the Associated Press, the News Channel gives you key stories in multiple categories from across the country and around the world.
"What Wii has done for video gaming, we hope it will also accomplish for news," says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "Just by pointing at your TV screen, you become your own interactive editor, instantly accessing the latest headline stories, whether they originate in Kansas City or Kyoto."
"The Associated Press is always looking for innovative ways to expand its audience for news and information," said Jane Seagrave, vice president and director of AP's digital division. "The Wii News Channel extends our global reach even further, on yet another platform, offering our news to people who otherwise might not see it."
The simple user interface allows Wii owners to spin a virtual globe and point to the location of a news event using the Wii Remote. Stories will be listed under headings including Business, Sports, Arts/Entertainment, Technology and Science/Health to allow users to quickly access information in the order they want. At any given time, dozens of stories might be available for each category. In the global view, stories can be grouped by region instead of category. Icons show which stories have been read, which stories are text-only and which ones come with news photos. Because Wii caters to all different ages, the interface allows users to change the size of the text. By using the "always-on" system functionality of WiiConnect24(TM), stories will be updated frequently, even while owners are sleeping.

The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii(TM), Nintendo DS(TM), Game Boy(R) Advance and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold nearly 2.2 billion video games and more than 387 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario(TM), Donkey Kong(R), 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.

Wii-kly Update: Four New Classic Games Announced for Wii Shop Channel

Today Nintendo adds four new classic games to the popular Wii(TM) video game system's Wii Shop Channel. The games go live at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Nintendo adds new games to the channel every Monday. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets.
This week's new games are:

Mario Kart 64(TM) (Nintendo(R) 64, 1-4 players, 1,000 Wii Points): Put the pedal to the metal in this worthy successor to the Super NES(R) classic, Super Mario Kart(R). Mario Kart 64 boasts great graphics, tons of unique power-ups and a stunning 3-D version of the legendary Battle Mode. With improved courses and a revolutionary head-to-head four-player mode, Mario Kart 64 is sure to win the heart of any race-driving fan. The game includes 20 different courses filled with dips, valleys, jumps, tunnels and bridges. Smooth, precise control -- a trademark of all games from Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto -- will bring players back time and time again for freewheeling fun.

Contra(R) III: The Alien Wars(TM) (Super NES(R), 1-2 players, 800 Wii Points): In the year 2636, the Alien War continues, and it's up to two soldiers, Jimbo and Scully, to put a stop to the alien invasion. The aliens have ravaged the Earth with their powerful organic and technological weapons. Players can join with a partner and battle through six stages of nonstop run-and-gun action. Collect power-ups, including bombs, flamethrowers, spread shots, lasers and machine guns to take out the aliens. Control Jimbo and Scully as they travel through war-torn cities, race on air bikes, ride missiles and ultimately break into the alien base to defeat the alien boss once and for all.

Bonanza Bros.(TM) (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, 800 Wii Points): Mobo and Robo Bonanza are enjoying their favorite television show when the picture crackles and the shadowy figure of a mysterious stranger appears on the screen. This figure asks them to collect certain items that he has placed inside various buildings to test his security force. If they return the items successfully, Mobo and Robo will be rewarded. The two of them state that they will get the job done in just three minutes. However, little do they know that each building is packed with security guards who will raise the alarm if they are caught red-handed. Fortunately both Mobo and Robo are equipped with bullets that can knock the guards unconscious for a few seconds. A huge reward will be given out if Mobo and Robo are apprehended. Help the infamous Bonanza Bros. infiltrate a number of different locations ranging from banks to mansions to casinos, and don't get caught.

Comix Zone(TM) (Sega Genesis, 1 player, 800 Wii Points): Sketch Turner is an artist in New York City. One day while Sketch is drawing, a huge thunderstorm strikes the city. A bolt of lightning hits Sketch's image and brings it to life. That image is Mortus, a megalomaniacal mutant who wants to become real and rule the earth. Mortus magically transports Sketch into the pages of his comic book so that he can end his creator's life and become real. Inside the comic book, Sketch meets General Alissa Cyan, who believes he is a superhero that came to save their post-apocalyptic world from the evil brought by Mortus's hand. Now that he's a comic book superhero, Sketch can really put the hurt on the bad guys. Instantly, Sketch can fight like a one-man mercenary platoon.

January 24, 2007

EA Demo Night

The other night my good friends at EA invited me to come over and see some of their upcoming titles. Overall, it looks like they have a strong spring liineup. I spent so much time there that they were kidding me that I should help pack up.

Command and Conquer 3 - The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative and The Brotherhood of NOD continues as the third Tiberium war begins. This is a pretty solid RTS for Xbox 360. I was surprised at how easy it was to command my troops across the whole map. The PC version ships on March 28 and the Xbox 360 version ships in Spring 2007.
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Def Jam: Icon - What can I say, these Def Jam games are massively popular. This one integrates hip hop music and fighting like never before. The music actually affects the fight. Drive him down with a series of punches that grow stronger because they match the bass line. Environments pulsate and debris flies along with the music. There's also an all new single player story mode that takes you from nobody to hip hop mogul as you build a record label, discover new talent, and become a hip hop icon yourself.
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Medal of Honor Vanguard - I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: Everyone likes killing Nazis. This latest installment of the highly successful WWII FPS is back and it looked great. They've simplified the HUD and gotten rid of the medpack system. Now when you're hurt you go hide in the corner and heal. This ships in March 2007 for PS2 and Wii.
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NBA STREET Homecourt - Featuring a brand new game engine that will knock your socks off, this wild street trick basketball game returns. This game is totally next gen with guys sweating, muscles rippling, cloth physics, all very smoothly integrated into game play. A new animation engine makes all the crazy moves you can pull look fluid. New controls let you create hundreds of tricks on the fly. Get ready to defy gravity and practice saying "Not in my house"!
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SSX Blur - This game looks absolutely sweet. I cannot wait to get my hands on this. As a huge SSX fan throughout the entire franchise and a Wii fan this is one game that I need to have. Use the nunchuk to steer down the mountain and the remote to pull off countless tricks. It felt to me like it would be possible to get into a zone where I would be just sitting there at one with the game, locked into it and using the Wii controller transparently.
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UEFA Champions League 2006-2007 - This is one beautiful soccer/football game. I was really impressed by the smoothness of the animation - players flow from one action right into the next. Controls have been tweaked as have player and ball physics. The result is a responsive game where moves can beat a guy one on one. The twist is that it is built around a collector's card system. You build your team using player cards that you collect online and then enter the tournament.
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Warhammer Online: Age of Reconing - I didn't see much of this PC title from EA Mythic (Dark Age of Camelot). It looked like nonstop combat.

Tetris on EA Mobile - This was the big surprise of the night. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a big fan of playing games on phones, but Tetris and Tiger Woods were playable. Tetris actually looked pretty good on the video iPod and is available on iTunes. The controls are integrated into that iPod wheel so if you're good with that you'll be able to manipulate Tetriminos (the blocks apparently have a name according to the press release) rapidly.
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January 18, 2007

ACADEMY OF INTERACTIVE ARTS & SCIENCES DONATIONS TO LIGHT UP CHILDREN’S SPIRITS WITH STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT FUN CENTER

CALABASAS, Calif. – January 17, 2007 – The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) is putting on a fundraising drive to sponsor a Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation Fun Center, a mobile entertainment unit that rolls right up to young patients’ beds or anywhere in a hospital setting to help pediatric patients forget about their illness, even if just for a few moments.

The AIAS will donate $1 for every member’s vote for the 2007 Interactive Achievement Awards to Starlight Starbright, and all proceeds will go towards acquiring a Fun Center for placement in a hospital.

“We are overjoyed to support this great program that provides young patients with entertainment, excitement and even a distraction during their exhaustive treatments and long hospital stays,” said Joseph Olin, president, AIAS. “The gaming community understands the hardships these children face while hospitalized and is pleased to give back and be a part of such a supportive and respected organization.”

“We would like to thank AIAS for its support of our Fun Center program,” said Paula Van Ness, CEO, Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation. “A Fun Center uniquely counters the isolation and fear that hospitalized children often face and is a welcome guest when other visitors aren’t around. We hope each and every member of AIAS casts a vote!”

The Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for seriously ill children and their families. In addition to Fun Centers, some of the programs that Starlight Starbright has designed for these children include Starlight Sites – playrooms and teen lounges in hospitals – and PC Pal laptop computers so kids can play games, e-mail, chat with friends, and even do homework from their hospital bed.

The Interactive Achievement Awards® are the only peer-based awards that recognize the year’s best video games, computer games, online entertainment, outstanding individuals and groundbreaking development teams that have propelled the advancement of the multi-billion dollar worldwide entertainment software industry. The awards presented by the AIAS are determined by a vote of field-specific, qualified Academy members, making the Interactive Achievement Awards the most sought-after, respected and credible recognition for creators of entertainment software.

The AIAS has more than 10,000 members who are dedicated to serving the entertainment software industry. The 10th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards®, hosted by actor, comedian and avid video game player, Jay Mohr, will take place during the 2007 D.I.C.E. Summit on Thursday, February 8, 2007 at “The Joint” at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

About Fun Centers:

Fun Centers are mobile entertainment units containing flat screen televisions, DVD players and Nintendo gaming systems. While diversion is the Fun Center’s primary purpose, these entertainment centers do much more – they improve the quality of a pediatric patient’s life. Fun Centers help hospitalized children, whether they are nervously awaiting surgery, sitting restlessly during a long treatment, or feeling lonely in their hospital room, cope by providing countless hours of fun and distraction. Caregivers report that Fun Center use may even result in a reduced need for pain medication.

To date, there are more than 5,000 Fun Centers in hospitals across North America.

About the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation:

Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation is a nonprofit organization that transforms the lives of seriously ill children and their families through imaginative programs that educate, uplift their spirits, foster a sense of community, and help alleviate the pain and fear of prolonged illness. Starlight Starbright offers an impressive array of in-hospital, outpatient, school and home-based programs and services that touch the lives of more than 180,000 children and families each month. To learn more visit www.starlight.org.

About the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences:

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts. The Academy’s mission is to promote and advance common interests in the worldwide interactive entertainment community; recognize outstanding achievements in the interactive arts and sciences; and conduct an annual awards show (Interactive Achievement Awards) to enhance awareness of the interactive art form. The Academy also strives to provide a voice for individuals in the interactive entertainment community. In 2002 the Academy created the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, a once yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment. The Academy has more than 10,000 members, with the board comprised of senior executives from the major video game companies including Bioware/Pandemic, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Ubisoft. More information on AIAS and the D.I.C.E. Summit can be found at http://www.interactive.org and http://www.dicesummit.org

NCAA MARCH MADNESS 07 FROM EA SPORTS SHIPS TO STORES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 17, 2007 – Fans can now defend their home court and bring the crowd into the game like never before with NCAA® March Madness® 07, after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) shipped the No. 1 selling* college basketball videogame to stores throughout North America today. Rock the house, stifle your opponents with smothering defense, and create turnovers that lead to easy transition baskets as you punch your ticket to the Final Four®.

NCAA March Madness 07 features Adam Morrison of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats on its cover and is available on the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Last year Morrison led the NCAA® in Division I men’s basketball scoring and was selected third overall by Charlotte in the NBA Draft.

This year NCAA March Madness 07 debuts on the Xbox 360 by capturing the intensity and atmosphere that characterize college basketball with interactive, 3-D college environments. Never before have home court and the home crowd meant more as your players rise to the occasion or wilt under the pressure of charged-up, authentic college courts. Feel the intensity rise, then watch as each player responds differently, trying to maintain composure. As the atmosphere heats up your player composure ratings affect the all-new Intensity Control that changes momentum by allowing you to pump up the crowd, motivate your teammates, raise your own composure or even intimidate your opponent. Plus, become immersed like never before by interacting with student sections, school mascots, cheerleaders, and even the band.

Beyond the atmosphere, NCAA March Madness 07 delivers a strategic college basketball gameplay experience by offering custom playbooks for each team through the Floor General Playcalling system, the EA SPORTS™ Lockdown Stick that allows your players to pressure the ball, force turnovers and pester opponents on the court, and an enhanced Dynasty Mode™ with new School Pride and Recruiting features that let you build your school into a national powerhouse. The game features 325 Division I universities and colleges and the popular voices of college basketball with ESPN’s Dick Vitale and Brad Nessler calling the action courtside.

With the most advanced ESPN integration package available in NCAA March Madness 07, fans connected online via Xbox LIVE® will be able to watch college basketball game highlights, segments from Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn, interviews and analysis from SportsCenter, and more. Fans will also be able to download and listen to ESPN radio podcasts as they play NCAA March Madness 07, including segments from Dan Patrick, Mike & Mike, Stephen A. Smith and others. All this is in addition to live ESPN Radio SportsCenter updates every 20 minutes, the ESPN Ticker and ESPNews.

NCAA March Madness 07 is developed at EA Canada in Vancouver , B.C. The game is rated “E” for everyone by the ESRB. Learn more about the game at http://www.marchmadness07.com or download new screenshots at http://info.ea.com.

* Based on total franchise unit sales in 2006 according to NPD Data.

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 SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2006, EA posted revenue of $2.95 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com.

January 13, 2007

THE FARE FRENZY RETURNS WITH SEGA'S 'CRAZY TAXI: FARE WARS' FOR THE PSP® SYSTEM

SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON (January 11, 2007) – SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars coming exclusively to the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. All-new twists have been included in the classic Crazy Taxi experience including for the first time, multiplayer modes that allow two people to play cooperatively or competitively. Now gamers can relive the addictive, action packed gameplay of the original Dreamcast games, Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2, on the go. Hang up those fuzzy dice and register for a cabbie license this Summer 2007 with Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars developed by Sniper Studios.

Only skilled cabbies need apply in Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars, where drivers are more aggressive than ever to earn the big dollars by speeding fares to their destination, no matter what the obstacles. Brand new multiplayer gameplay features provide endless entertainment where players can steal passengers from other cabbies by bumping their opponent's car and create chaotic competition on the road. Navigating through traffic, hills, and obstacles isn't easy, so it takes a skilled cabbie with no fear to earn the big bucks. Players can drive through the two original maps of Crazy Taxi, including the arcade map and the original Dreamcast map, both inspired by the steep hills, trademark cable cars, and breezy waterfront of San Francisco. Then they'll head for the Small Apple maps in Crazy Taxi 2, which is inspired by New York's large building fronts, hectic downtown streets, and the city's famous Central Park and subway system.

"With over 2.7 million games sold to date in the Crazy Taxi franchise, SEGA is excited to bring back such a popular series from our vault of classics," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars is fun, frantic, and highly addictive, and perfect for gamers on the go." The simple concept of competing for fares, is successfully built upon gameplay containing a variety of timed missions and mini-games, making it fun and challenging for short stints or hours on end.

Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars offers cabbies several single player modes including the mission-based Arcade mode, where skilled drivers earn time bonuses, and Time Trial mode where drivers collect the highest fares possible in the time allowed. In addition, for cabbies to practice their crazy driving skills, two mini-game training modes are available. They include Crazy Box, a collection of 16 original Crazy Taxi mini-games and Crazy Pyramid, mini-games arranged in a pyramid that drivers must complete to unlock more mini-games from Crazy Taxi 2.

Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars introduces new multiplayer modes for two cabbies to collaborate or compete wirelessly via Ad Hoc. Drivers can also record and save gameplay replays of their driving performance in Crazy Taxi 2 on the PSP system's memory stick to replay and show off.

About SEGA® of America, Inc.
SEGA® of America, Inc. is the American Publishing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA® Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. The SEGA® of America Web Site is located at www.SEGA.com.

About SEGA® Europe Ltd.
SEGA® Europe Ltd. is the European Publishing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA® Corporation, and a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. The SEGA® Europe Ltd. Web site is located at www.sega-europe.com.

Sniper Studios
Based out of Redwood City, Calif, Sniper Studios is an independent video game developer founded in 2005 by industry veteran Matt McKnight. Sniper Studios offers videogame development at all levels of the production channel including artists, designers, producers, directors and more. Recently, the company partnered with SEGA Inc. on Crazy Taxi for the PSP which is scheduled to release in 2007. Other unannounced projects are also underway and include production on all types of games including console and handheld titles. Information on Sniper Studios can be found online at http://www.sniperstudios.com.

January 12, 2007

Fun With Statistics

Isn't it amazing how Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all claim to have dominated the holiday season? It really is true that you can find/manipulate statistics to show anything you want. And it doesn't take a master's degree in epidemiology to see it. Read the two press releases I posted today and you'll see what I'm talking about.

I realize that this is not a real market survey, but in NYC it was pretty clear who the winner was. I didn't hear a single person even mention Xbox 360. I heard a lot of people say they stood on line to get a PS3 just so they could turn around and sell it on Ebay. Needless to say, there was daily buzz about the Wii. Everyone wants a Wii. Matt, can you get me a wii? Wow this thing is really cool - I want one.

Of course, my friends, family, and family friends in NYC aren't really a very good sample of the entire country.

I'm looking forward to hearing more stories about who won the holiday season.

Xbox 360 Outsells Wii and PS3 This Holiday

The results are in

Consumers have cast their votes and Xbox 360 was the best-selling next-generation console of the 2006 holiday season in the United States , outselling the PlayStation 3 and Wii combined in December and outselling all next-generation consoles in November and December. The Xbox 360 garnered a 51% market share in the United States for December 2006. ( US NPD, January)

Gamers get into Gear

Like “Halo,” “Grand Theft Auto,” and “Zelda,” “Gears of War,” is tracking to be one of the best-selling video games of all time. By the end of next week, “Gears of War” will have sold more than 3 million copies to consumers worldwide in just 10 weeks.

Following on the success of “Gears of War,” 2007 will quite simply be the best year for great games in Xbox history.

* By holiday 2007, there will be more than double the 160 next-generation games available on Xbox 360 today, including highly anticipated MGS titles such as “Halo 3,” “Blue Dragon,” “Crackdown,” “Forza Motorsport 2,” “Lost Odyssey,” Mass Effect,” “Project Gotham Racing 4” and “Shadowrun.”

* Third party publishers continue to flock to the Xbox 360 for its high definition fidelity, ease of development and unmatched online capabilities. Surefire hits coming from third parties in 2007 include “Assassin’s Creed” (Ubisoft), “Dance Dance Revolution Universe™” (Konami), “Grand Theft Auto IV” (Rockstar), “Guitar Hero 2™” (Activision) and exclusives like “BioShock” (2K) and “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” (Ubisoft).
* This week, we announced more than 20 million Xbox Live Arcade games have been downloaded to date, including “Assault Heroes,” “Small Arms,” “DOOM” and this week’s release “Ms. Pac-Man.” Other popular games will join Xbox Live Arcade's library as the platform’s popularity continues to grow, including the highly anticipated "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night" from Konami and "Heavy Weapon" from PopCap.

Xbox Live—The Largest Social Network in the Living Room

With more than 5 million active members, two-million messages crossing the network a day, and three-billion game play hours logged to date, Xbox Live has become the largest social network on television. And Xbox Live innovations like Achievements, Gamerscore, and Reputation are changing the way people play games and share their games and entertainment experiences with friends.

Xbox Live is also an on-demand culture, where entertainment powerhouses like CBS, Lion’s Gate, MTV Networks, Turner Broadcasting, Paramount Pictures, UFC, and Warner Brothers are entertaining one of the most captive 18-34 year old communities online today. Seven weeks ago, Xbox Live and its studio partners began offering hit TV shows and movies in high and standard definition for download. According to the studios, the social games and entertainment network has already become #2 in Internet downloads of hit TV shows and movies, but #1 in high definition and #1 in the living room—where it matters most.

The countdown is on

200 million Windows gamers around the world can mark their calendars as the availability of Windows Vista on January 30 draws near.

During the CES keynote address, Bill Gates and Robbie Bach demonstrated the ease and simplicity of connecting people who play games on a Windows Vista-based PC to friends who play on Xbox 360 using “UNO” (Mattel Inc.) — one of the many new, upcoming casual games optimized for Windows Vista and one of the top casual games currently on Xbox Live.

At CES, Microsoft also announced the Games for Windows portfolio, which includes “Shadowrun” and “Halo 2,” the first titles to utilize Live services to connect the gaming experience between Windows Vista-based PCs and Xbox 360. And who doesn’t want one Gamertag, one friends list, one set of achievements, as well as voice chat and game invites across Xbox 360 and Windows Vista? It’s something only Microsoft can offer the world’s largest population of game players.

The overall games line-up, all that take advantage of the new operating system’s revolutionary technology and more user-friendly gaming features, include:

* “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive/Funcom)
* “Age of Empires® III: The Warchiefs” (Microsoft Game Studios/Ensemble Studios)
* “Alan Wake” (Microsoft Game Studios/Remedy)
* “BioShock” (2K Games/Irrational Games)
* “Company of Heroes” (THQ Inc./Relic Entertainment)
* “Crysis” (EA Partners/Crytek)
* “Disney·Pixar’s Ratatouille” (THQ/Heavy Iron Studios)
* “Flight Simulator X” (Microsoft Game Studios/ACES Studio)
* “Frontlines: Fuels of War” (THQ/Kaos Studios™)
* “Halo 2” (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios)
* “Hellgate: London ” (EA Partners/NAMCO BANDAI Games/Flagship Studios)
* “LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy” (LucasArts/TT Games)
* “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” (Midway/Turbine Inc.)
* “Marvel Universe Online” (Microsoft Game Studios/Cryptic Studios)
* “Rail Simulator” (EA Partners/Kuju Entertainment)
* “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio)
* “Supreme Commander” (THQ/Gas Powered Games)
* “World in Conflict” (Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment)
* “Zoo Tycoon® 2: Extinct Animals” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
* “Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania®” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)
* “Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

Nintendo Records Best Holiday Selling Season in U.S. Video Game History

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- There has never been anything like it. Independent U.S. sales figures released by the NPD Group today confirmed a red-hot launch for the new Wii(TM) system by Nintendo, and the crowning of the portable Nintendo DS(TM) as the best-selling video game device of any type for both the holidays and all of 2006.
Along with stunning success for The Legend of Zelda(R): Twilight Princess
and historic sales of accessories, including more than 1.5 million extra controllers for Wii alone, Nintendo recorded the most successful across-the-board holiday performance in U.S. video game history.

Among key results:

* Consumers purchased every Wii console available at retail -- more than
a million in just the 44 days between U.S. launch and year end.
* With sales of another 1.6 million systems in December alone, Nintendo
DS achieved full year sell-through of 5.3 million.
* The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was purchased by an
extraordinary 86 percent of Wii buyers, or more than 900,000 games for
that system alone. Coupled with the companion version released in
December for Nintendo GameCube(TM), the two versions of the newest
Zelda title totaled approximately 1.5 million unit sales in less than
seven weeks, which would represent one of the five best-selling games
for the entire year.
* Wii owners also purchased an average of three additional games from a
wide library of choices, in addition to the Wii Sports title packed in
with every hardware system.
* Two Nintendo DS titles, New Super Mario Bros.(R) and Brain Age(TM):
Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, also were top-10 sellers for the year.
* Throughout the November/December holiday shopping period, Nintendo
accounted for more than half of all video game hardware systems sold in America.

Earlier this week, Nintendo increased its projected worldwide financial performance for the year ending on March 31 to be the best in company history.
"Millions of players, both hard-core and brand-new, are already enjoying the unique entertainment provided by Wii, but demand for the system remains incredibly high," says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "So our work is just beginning. We're dedicating ourselves to maximizing both manufacturing and distribution full bore throughout 2007, to make sure everyone who wants to experience the future of video gaming can do so just as soon as possible."
The momentum behind Wii will continue unabated through the early weeks of 2007, with retail debuts of WarioWare(TM): Smooth Moves, Wii Play(TM) and Mario Party(R) 8 from Nintendo; a host of third-party releases; and a steady stream of classic games made available via download with the Wii Shop Channel.

The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii(TM), Nintendo DS(TM), Game Boy(R) Advance and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold nearly 2.2 billion video games and more than 387 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario(TM), Donkey Kong(R), 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.

January 8, 2007

RAZER™, THX® UNVEIL RAZER MAKO™ 2.1 BI-AMPLIFIED SPEAKER SYSTEM AT CES 2007

January 8, 2006 – Las Vegas – Razer, a leading manufacturer of high-end precision gaming and lifestyle electronics peripherals, will unveil and provide hands-on demonstrations of the new Razer Mako™ 2.1 speaker system, Razer DeathAdder™ infrared sensor mouse, Razer Pro|Type™ iPod docking keyboard and Razer Pro|Click Mobile™ Bluetooth notebook mouse at CES, January 8 – 11, 2007, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in South Hall, Booth 35160.

“Razer’s new line of products being showcased at CES, which include the Razer Mako, Razer DeathAdder, Razer Pro|Type and the Razer Pro|Click Mobile, truly reflect the future of interactive entertainment,” says Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff, president, Razer Group. “This new product lineup continues to express the originality of our ideas by aggressively pursuing what consumers want in design and engineering. We did not get to where we are today by ‘playing by the rules’; we arrived here by setting them.”

Razer, the creators of the Razer Barracuda gaming audio system, is proud to introduce the Razer Mako 2.1 THX Certified bi-amplified multimedia speaker system at CES 2007. The Razer Mako represents a groundbreaking new desktop speaker design from the sound engineers and scientists of gaming industry leader Razer and audio industry pioneer THX Ltd. The Razer Mako 2.1 is the first desktop speaker system to incorporate THX Ground Plane™ and THX Slot Speaker™ technologies, which raise the bar for acoustic fidelity and performance in the desktop category. Whether the listener has connected their desktop computer, gaming console, television, CD deck, or portable MP3 player as the Razer Mako’s input source, the system will deliver sonic presentations that are the best-in-class for any 2.1 desktop speaker system.

“The advantage of multimedia and PC speakers is that they can be conveniently positioned on desktops and bookshelves. But, sound reflecting from desktop surfaces interferes with the direct sound, creating uneven frequency response at the listener’s ear level,” said Laurie Fincham, chief scientist at THX. “The Razer Mako 2.1 is the first multimedia speaker system designed from the ground up to provide optimal performance on the desktop. The THX Ground Plane and Slot Speaker technologies ensure the speaker drivers are very close to the desktop surface, doubling the output and delivering smooth and even response at all frequencies.”

Features:

* THX Certified for premium sound quality and performance.

* Patented THX Ground Plane and THX Slot Speaker downward-firing mid-range drivers and tweeters design which creates a spacious soundstage that turns any desktop surface from an acoustic hindrance into an integral part of the soundstage.

* True, bi-amplified satellites with two channels of 50W with full digital DSP control.

* An overall system frequency range of 30-20,000 Hz and Axial Response Limits of +/- 2dB at 40-18,000 Hz (-6dB at 30 and 20,000Hz).

* 300W of total system power, with 6 channels @ 50W each.

* ClassHD™ Digital Amplifier technology with full DSP control that makes previous-generation Class AB and Class D amplifiers obsolete.

* ClassHD™ technology scales power in sync with the music, resulting in operation at a much higher efficiency curve, improved Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), improved EMI, reduced idle consumption, and lowered amplifier delay.

* For those moments when surrounding silence is needed, the Razer Mako offers an amplified headphone jack on the wired remote control. This allows for improved headphone performance over the standard pass-through found in normal desktop systems.

* The sleek Razer design created with premium materials and finishes will deliver best-in-class acoustic performance while maintaining attractive desktop aesthetics.

The Razer DeathAdder 3G infrared sensor gaming mouse is a quantum leap over current generation optical technology. Fully optimized for high speed motions, the Razer DeathAdder features everything needed for high-performance gamers.

Features:


· 1800 dpi 3G infrared sensor technology for enhanced precision.

· 1000 Hz Ultrapolling™/1ms response providing pinpoint accuracy and lighting fast speed.

* Five programmable, ultra-large non-slip buttons with Hyperesponse™.

* A 16-bit ultra-wide data channel.

* Zero-acoustic Ultraslick™ Teflon fleet.

* Always-On™ instant response.

* Award-winning On-The-Fly™ sensitivity drivers.

* Right-handed form factor.

Razer has been building quality input devices since 1999, which makes it one of the select manufacturers in the industry. As the worldwide leader in high-performance input devices for the quickly growing field of motion control, Razer Pro|Solutions are precision instruments built to last, and to deliver increased productivity, control and precision to professional users that demand the best from their electronic peripherals.

Sleek, streamlined and functional, the Razer Pro|Type is the first keyboard to integrate a universal iPod dock into its design, facilitating a lifestyle element prevalent in today’s culture. The pairing of the iPod dock in the keyboard allows for easy synchronization and charging of all iPods without the hassle of additional wiring.

Features:

· 10 customizable profiles where consumers can easily configure keyboard profiles according to their needs.

· 10 programmable keys where consumers can switch profiles and launch applications with just a touch of a button.

· Ultra touch sensitive keys for enhanced and extremely precise key response.

· On-the-fly profile switching that allows viewers to swap keyboard profiles upon program detection.

· A one-touch hub for multi-media programs and everyday computer functions, which includes line-out and two USB ports for convenient connection to other peripherals.

· A full set of media hot keys that provide one-touch access to media programs.

· A gently sloping wrist rest giving way to an ergonomic design, resulting in a mixture of comfortable usability and a clean minimalist design with a pure white exterior paired with blue ambient light.

The Razer Pro|Click Mobile is the most precise Bluetooth notebook mouse in the world today, catered for individuals on the go or whenever space is a constraint.

Features:

* 1200 DPI Infrared Sensor.

* Bluetooth 2.0 (with Adaptive Frequency Hopping).

* Ambidextrous design.

* Long Battery Life.

About Razer:


Razer™ is the world’s leading brand in high-end computer gaming peripherals. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Razer™ enjoys an extensive distribution worldwide in all major countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle-East. Razer™ designs, engineers and markets cutting-edge gaming peripherals that provide professional computer gamers with the competitive edge through a combination of technology, innovation and design. Razer’s research and development team collaborates with leading professional gamers to develop proprietary technology for next generation gaming peripherals. Razer’s superiority in gaming peripherals stems from its ability to understand and conceptualize peripherals that gamers need and thereafter bring the product from drawing board to retail shelves.

Each Razer™ peripheral bears the invisible signature of hundreds of professional gamers, gaming enthusiasts and engineers and each Razer™ gaming product is built from single components; pieced and assembled with care and precision to optimize gameplay for all professional gamers worldwide. Engineered to near perfection, Razer’s reputation of being the leaders in gaming technology is embodied in every single Razer™ product.

For more information on Razer, log onto www.razerzone.com.

ABOUT THX LTD.

THX Ltd. is dedicated to developing new ways to make the creation, delivery and presentation of entertainment content more efficient, more powerful and more enjoyable. Today, the world’s premier commercial cinemas, post-production studios, car audio systems and home entertainment products incorporate THX technologies and have achieved the coveted THX Certified status. For more information, visit www.thx.com.

THX and the THX Logo are trademarks of THX Ltd., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All rights reserved.

Wii-kly Update: Three New Classic Games Announced for Wii Shop Channel

Today Nintendo adds three new classic games to the popular Wii(TM) video game system's Wii Shop Channel. The games go live at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Nintendo adds new games to the channel every Monday. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets.
This week's new games are:

Gradius(R) (NES(R), 1-2 players, 500 Wii Points): Across the galaxy, there exists a distant planet known as Gradius. Gradius' peaceful existence has been brought to an end by an intense space invasion by a race known as the Bacterion. To save the planet, the hyperspace fighter Vic Viper has been deployed to fight the Bacterion invasion. Players pilot the Vic Viper through seven stages, shooting and dodging through deadly obstacles, while using various power-ups, including missiles, lasers, options and shields. The Vic Viper's target is the enemy fortress, Xaerous. The only way to end the war is to plunge deep through the enemy forces and destroy its very core.

Soldier Blade(R) (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, 600 Wii Points): A new shooter in the "Star Soldier" tradition. Players play as an SIA (Special Interception Airforce) pilot flying the heavy assault fighter "Soldier Blade." Players face the Zeograd invasion force with weapon attacks that change each time they grab a power-up item. Players can unleash three different kinds of attack depending on the color of the power-up item. New features, such as the "Gunbody" option for avoiding enemy attacks and the "Burst Out" system (which has a different effect depending on the power-up level), add a strategic element that requires players to make snap decisions about which items to grab and when to use special attacks. Awesome boss battles await players at the end of each operation. Playing in "CHALLENGE" mode requires players to try to get as many points as they can in a limited amount of time.

Dungeon Explorer(TM) (TurboGrafx16, 1-5 players, 600 Wii Points): Dungeon Explorer is a multiplayer action/role-playing game where up to five players can play at the same time. The story takes place in underground dungeons. Players can choose from eight different character types: Fighter, Thief, Warlock, Witch, Bishop, Elf, Bard or Knome. Depending on the character, the types of magic, attack strength and movement will all vary. To survive, players must know all about their enemies' weaknesses. Players also must know about the special attributes of each magic spell and use them to their greatest advantage. In team-play games, working together is the key to victory. Any combination of Wii Remotes and Nintendo GameCube(TM) controllers can be used in multiplayer games.

Windows Vista Ushers in New Era of Gameplay

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 7, 2007 — Kicking off the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with a bang, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled revolutionary games, technologies and partner support for the first-class gaming platform, Windows Vista™.

CES attendees will get hands-on experience with 15 of the hottest Games for Windows® titles, including some of the first games to deliver stunning graphics and gameplay through Microsoft® DirectX® 10 that will challenge any game for superiority in visual fidelity: “Crysis™” (EA Partners/Crytek) and “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive Ltd./Funcom). Gamers will also experience “Shadowrun™” from Microsoft Game Studios, the first of many titles that will bring the Live games and entertainment network on Windows Vista for true cross-platform gameplay.

In addition, during the CES keynote address, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach demonstrated the ease and simplicity of connecting people who play games on a Windows Vista-based PC to friends who play on the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system for a cross-platform game challenge with “UNO®” (Mattel Inc.) — one of the many new upcoming casual games optimized for Windows Vista.
Connecting Windows Vista and Xbox 360
Delivering on a vision that Microsoft presented at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006, Microsoft Game Studios’ “Shadowrun” and Mattel’s “UNO” are part of the first wave of Live titles that bring the benefits of Xbox Live® to gamers on Windows Vista, including an active community of nearly 5 million gamers, a single identity for each gamer across Windows and Xbox 360, as well as Achievements, which redefine what it means to conquer a game and share accomplishments with friends. The Live gaming and entertainment network will enable gamers to play and communicate online across both of Microsoft’s gaming platforms, bringing more players and their friends together to play and connect in new, exciting ways. In addition, “Halo® 2” for Windows Vista (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will also support Live, including enabling Windows gamers to communicate with Xbox Live gamers and earn Achievements in the famed “Halo 2” campaign — a first for any “Halo” title on any platform.
Optimized Casual Games for Windows Vista

Puzzle-playing, fun-loving casual game players also will benefit from Windows Vista-optimized gameplay, with new titles available on MSN® Games (http://games.msn.com/en/vistagames). Bringing realistically detailed graphics and enriched gameplay features to casual players, the downloadable Windows Vista-based titles will be launched in conjunction with the new operating system in late January. The feature-length games include updated versions of the popular puzzlers “7 Wonders of the Ancient World for Windows Vista” (Mumbo Jumbo) and “Luxor 2 for Windows Vista” (Mumbo Jumbo); the all-new action and adventure game “Bliss Island for Windows Vista” (Codemasters); the crystal-collecting, quick-shooting fun of “Crystal Quest for Windows Vista” (Codemasters); “Spinword for Windows Vista” (Slam Games), a brainteaser combining word puzzles and arcade action; the gem-filled matching puzzle “Jewel Quest® 2” (iWin); and the updated and graphically enhanced action adventure “Darwinia for Windows Vista” (Introversion). In addition, the ever popular “Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved” (Bizarre Creations) will be making its debut on the PC. Requiring fast thinking and an even faster trigger finger, the PC version of this retro-inspired title will, along with most Windows Vista-optimized titles, support gameplay with both the keyboard and the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows.

Windows Vista itself caters to the casual game player. Updated versions of game classics such as “Minesweeper,” “FreeCell” and “Solitaire,” as well as all-new titles such as “Chess Titans,” “Mahjong Titans” and the family-friendly adventure game “Purble Place,” will be included with Windows Vista from the start and will be easy to discover by way of the new Windows Vista Games Explorer.

Games for Windows Portfolio

Taking advantage of the new operating system’s revolutionary technology and more user-friendly gaming features, the diverse Games for Windows portfolio of titles includes something for everyone, from the most hard-core enthusiast to casual players. Games such as “Crysis” (EA Partners/Crytek) and “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive/Funcom) exploit the DirectX 10 technology in Windows Vista with vivid new levels of graphical detail and depth, while the highly anticipated titles “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio) and “Halo 2” (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will be the first to utilize Live services to connect the gaming experience between Windows Vista-based PCs and Xbox 360.

The Games for Windows portfolio includes the following titles:

· “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive/Funcom)

· “Age of Empires® III: The Warchiefs” (Microsoft Game Studios/Ensemble Studios)

· “Alan Wake” (Microsoft Game Studios/Remedy)

· “BioShock” (2K Games/Irrational Games)

· “Company of Heroes” (THQ Inc./Relic Entertainment)

· “Crysis” (EA Partners/Crytek)

· “Disney·Pixar’s Ratatouille” (THQ/Heavy Iron Studios)

· “Flight Simulator X” (Microsoft Game Studios/ACES Studio)

· “Frontlines: Fuels of War” (THQ/Kaos Studios™)

· “Halo 2” (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios)

· “Hellgate: London ” (EA Partners/NAMCO BANDAI Games/Flagship Studios)

· “LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy” (LucasArts/TT Games)

· “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” (Midway/Turbine Inc.)

· “Marvel Universe Online” (Microsoft Game Studios/Cryptic Studios)

· “Rail Simulator” (EA Partners/Kuju Entertainment)

· “Shadowrun” (Microsoft Game Studios/FASA Studio)

· “Supreme Commander” (THQ/Gas Powered Games)

· “World in Conflict” (Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment)

· “Zoo Tycoon® 2: Extinct Animals” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

· “Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania®” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

· “Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games)

DirectX 10
The DirectX 10 API (application programming interface) in Windows Vista is built from the ground up to provide gamers with a rich and incredibly detailed graphic experience. Consumers can see this technology in action in the Games for Windows booth at CES with the NVIDIA GeForce 8800, the first DirectX 10-enabled discrete video card to hit the market, powering demos of “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Eidos Interactive/Funcom) and “Crysis” (EA Partners/Crytek). DirectX 10 utilizes the new Windows Vista Display Driver Model and Shader Model 4.0, giving developers the tools to bring amazing game environments to life and maximize the power of the latest video card technology.

Games for Windows Brand Momentum Continues

Games for Windows has allied with new publishers that are committed to making it easier, safer and more fun to game on Windows. Atari, LucasArts, Midway, Turbine Inc., and 2K Games join THQ, Vivendi Universal, Microsoft Game Studios and other leading publishers in releasing new Windows-based titles that feature the Games for Windows branding bar, which assures consumers that the games will deliver great new gaming experiences on the operating system. Newly announced branded Games for Windows titles include “Disney·Pixar’s Ratatouille” (THQ/Heavy Iron Studios), “Frontlines: Fuels of War” (THQ/Kaos Studios), “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” (Midway/Turbine Inc.), “Supreme Commander” (THQ/Gas Powered Games), “World in Conflict”(Sierra Entertainment/Massive Entertainment) and “Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals” (Microsoft Game Studios/Blue Fang Games). Those games, alongside previously announced branded titles, will meet a set of technical guidelines including easier installation, increased reliability and support for key Windows Vista features such as the Games Explorer and parental controls.

As part of the packaging and branding initiative, Games for Windows branding will be displayed in gaming sections of Circuit City, CompUSA, GameStop Corp. and Wal-Mart. Consumers can explore the Windows platform and titles in stores nationwide, which will help make their experience of finding and buying Windows games faster and easier.

In anticipation of the Windows Vista launch, GameStop is installing playable Games for Windows demo kiosks in 750 GameStop stores across the United States in January, enabling gamers to experience firsthand the latest in Windows games.

In addition, retailer backing for Games for Windows has begun to expand globally, with the first European retailers, PC World and Virgin, rolling out Games for Windows-branded signage and in-store promotions in time for the launch of Windows Vista.

About Games for Windows

Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system in the world for games, delivering the widest range of titles, the most gaming hardware choices, and advanced gaming technology for players of all types. With Windows as the cornerstone, the Games for Windows platform offers publishers and gamers the most enjoyable and innovative gaming experiences available on a PC. More information can be found online at http://www.gamesforwindows.com.

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.

Content Providers Validate Xbox Live as One of the Top Distributors of Online Entertainment Content

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 7, 2007 — The surprise entertainment hit of the holidays wasn’t in theaters; it was in the living room. With more than 1,000 hours of premium high- and standard-definition content available, Microsoft Corp. announced today at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that Xbox Live® Video Marketplace became a clear leader in the distribution of online entertainment content. In just two months since the launch of the service, the Xbox Live community has been given access to top high- and standard-definition content, from top partners CBS Broadcasting Inc., MTV Networks Co., Paramount Pictures Corp., Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Ultimate Fighting Championship and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Xbox 360™ is again leading where it counts, as the only next-generation console offering downloadable high-definition TV shows and films in the U.S.

Content Partners Thrilled With Early Success of Service

“Xbox 360 has become one of COMEDY CENTRAL’s leading digital distribution platforms,” said Caleb Weinstein, senior vice president, strategy and business development, COMEDY CENTRAL. “In nearly two months, Xbox has become our second highest performing digital distributor. COMEDY CENTRAL is thrilled to continue this partnership and is working to bring more and more content to Video Marketplace in the coming year.”

“Bringing our content to the coveted gaming audience on the Xbox 360 has been a huge success and has exceeded our expectations,” said Andrew Mellett, vice president of video on demand for Warner Bros. “In fact, Xbox 360 has become one of the top distributors of our content direct to consumers’ TV sets over the Internet.”

Microsoft Announces Lionsgate as Newest Content Partner

On stage at CES, Microsoft also announced today a new partner for Xbox Live Video Marketplace. Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF) will be bringing a lineup of high-definition films to the service in the coming year. Films such as “An American Haunting,” “Blair Witch Project,” “Crank,” “The Descent,” “Employee of the Month,” “Hard Candy,” “Ninth Gate,” “The Punisher,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “Saw III,” “See No Evil” and “Stir of Echoes” will be available for download on Xbox Live Video Marketplace in high definition in 2007.

“This partnership is great for Lionsgate. The Xbox gamer is the same moviegoer who wants to watch ‘Saw III’ or ‘Crank,’” said Jon Ferro, executive vice president of Lionsgate. “That is why we are so thrilled to bring Lionsgate films to Xbox Live Video Marketplace. Bringing our content to this audience makes perfect sense and reflects our commitment to remain at the cutting edge of content distribution to new media platforms.”

Xbox Live: A Leading Online Provider of High-Definition Content

Xbox Live, the only online social network in the living room, is a thriving community of more than 5 million members who have the ability to download a wealth of high-definition games, television and movies. On Xbox Live, the largest online distributor of high-definition content by volume, the vast majority of subscribers choose the high-definition version of media when given a choice between a standard- or high-definition download on the network.

“Until recently, HDTV owners still had a limited variety of content at their fingertips. Now Xbox 360 is one of the premier sources for high-definition content in the living room,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Xbox 360 is the one-stop-shop for the best in high-definition entertainment, whether consumers choose to access our industry-leading catalog of more than 160 high-definition games or to view high-definition television shows and feature films available through Xbox Live or using the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player.”

Xbox 360 Offers a Variety of High-Definition Entertainment Choices

With Xbox 360, Microsoft’s goal was to provide customers with a wealth of choices for enjoying high-definition content. For those who are ready to jump into the next generation of DVD, Microsoft also offers the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player. With a projected annualized attach rate of 28 movies per player, HD DVD has proven to be the consumer’s favorite next generation format, according to Nielsen data.

Adding to the growing number of ways consumers can experience their entertainment on Xbox 360, Microsoft also announced at CES plans for the winning combination of Microsoft® TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition and Xbox 360, expected to deliver next-generation television experiences, including standard- and high-definition live television channels, video-on-demand and digital video recording — all on Xbox 360. IPTV on Xbox 360 is expected to be available to consumers by the 2007 holiday season and will be offered by select service providers that are deploying TV services based on the Microsoft IPTV Edition software platform.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a superior video game and entertainment system delivering the best games, unique entertainment features and a unified online gaming network that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a catalog of more than 160 high-definition games and is available in 37 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Xbox Live

Xbox Live is the first and most comprehensive unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across 25 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, TV shows and movies 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 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.

Microsoft Integrates IPTV Software Platform With Xbox 360, Creating All-in-One Digital Entertainment Device

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 7, 2007 — At the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft Corp. today announced a new solution that will bring together two of its leading entertainment products, the Xbox 360™ gaming console and the Microsoft® TV IPTV Edition software platform, to create a unique digital entertainment offering. IPTV on Xbox 360™ is expected to be available to consumers by holiday season 2007 and will be offered by providers that are deploying TV services over broadband networks based on the IPTV Edition software platform. The solution was unveiled during Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates’ CES keynote address Jan. 7.

The integration of a video gaming console with Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services is intended to deliver a first-of-its-kind entertainment experience. IPTV on Xbox 360 is expected to give consumers all the advantages of an advanced TV service along with the benefits of next-generation gaming, as well as unique new capabilities that the integrated solution brings. Xbox Live®, the largest online social network in the living room, will be seamlessly integrated into the experience, providing consumers with a wide range of community-based features, such as voice chat, sending and receiving text and voice messages, and accessing Xbox Live Marketplace, all while watching TV. For example, while a TV viewer is enjoying his favorite football game, he can receive a message from a friend inviting him to a join voice chat while watching the game, or to play a game of their own with EA SPORTS™ “Madden NFL 07” on Xbox Live.

“Both Xbox 360 and Microsoft TV IPTV Edition by themselves deliver unique and exciting entertainment experiences today, but IPTV on Xbox 360 is truly a solution that is greater than the sum of its parts and will enable even more exciting experiences to delight consumers, service providers, content providers and game developers alike,” said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division. ”By integrating these industry-leading solutions, we are delivering on our promise to drive innovation and enable new connected entertainment experiences for consumers in a way that only Microsoft can.”

With the addition of IPTV Edition functionality, Xbox 360 builds on its position as the centerpiece for high-definition digital entertainment in the living room, offering the best in next-generation games, TV and movies along with the ability to share experiences online with the industry-leading online game network, Xbox Live. Xbox 360 continues to extend its lead with more than 10.4 million consoles sold in 37 countries since launch.

The Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform enables a best-in-class digital TV service that offers advanced features such as instant channel zapping, a rich and responsive user interface, video on demand with branded video-on-demand storefronts, digital video recording and high-definition television. Some of the world’s largest telecommunications service providers have chosen IPTV Edition as their IPTV software solution, with scale commercial deployments currently under way with AT&T in the United States, BT Group PLC in the United Kingdom , Deutsche Telekom in Germany , T-Online in France and Swisscom in Switzerland .

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 network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a catalog of

more than 160 high-definition games and is available in 37 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About the Microsoft TV Platform

The Microsoft TV platform is a family of software solutions that help TV service providers create and deliver new digital TV services that delight consumers. Designed to help cable providers and telecommunications companies derive more value from their digital video and network infrastructure investments, the Microsoft TV family supports a full range of services including interactive program guides, digital video recording, high-definition TV, on-demand programming and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services. The Microsoft TV platform works across a full range of set-top boxes and TV devices. More information about Microsoft TV can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/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.

E-mail from Peter Moore

These are truly exciting times for all of us in the Interactive Entertainment Business.

Fresh off a phenomenal holiday season, we now stand at the forefront of a company-wide vision of Connected Entertainment, articulated just moments ago by Bill Gates and Robbie Bach at this year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas . It’s a vision to make entertainment more personal, more interactive, and more social, making it easier to connect with communities and share experiences. All delivered through one consistent, simple user experience.

I’d like to update you on several key announcements we made at CES in support of this vision of Connected Entertainment, but first let’s take a moment to reflect back at what we’ve accomplished this holiday and celebrate how far we’ve come.

Where We’ve Been

In little over a year on the market we sold over 10.4 million Xbox 360 consoles in more than 37 countries, exceeding our commitment to pass the 10 million mark by the end of 2006. And in a market environment that saw strong launches by our competitors, Xbox 360 was the top choice this holiday season.

Keeping our commitment to sell 10 million was no small feat, and while we caught more than one industry pundit off guard by exceeding this number, our success comes as no surprise to me. I’ve known all along that within the IEB we have the most innovative, talented people in the industry, who aren’t afraid to take risks, drive innovation, and make big bets.

When we launched Xbox 360 in the Fall of 2005, we bet big on what we saw as three major market forces that would define the next generation of consoles:

· Social Gaming: Last generation, Xbox outpaced all consoles with a 10% internet attach rate. Now, we announced tonight that the Xbox Live community has eclipsed 5 million members, with over half of all consoles connected.

· High Definition: In late 2005 HDTV’s were just entering the consumer mainstream. We met these early adopters with a primary reason to upgrade to HDTV with Xbox 360. Now, 2006 saw more growth in high definition entertainment than any year before, and our launch timing put us at the forefront of this growth.

· Digitally Distributed Content: We bet early on that consumers would demand a device capable of delivering high definition content straight to their living room. Now, over 100 million pieces of standard and high definition content have been downloaded from Xbox Live Marketplace.

By betting big and driving innovation on these market forces, we’ve delivered one of most powerful and complete gaming experiences of the next generation, giving consumers more access and more choice than ever before.

This holiday Xbox 360 owners had more than 160 games to choose from – the strongest first year lineup of games in console history, highlighted by our record-breaking attach rate of 5.3 games sold per console. Leading our lineup was the blockbuster hit Gears of War, which sold more than 2.7 million copies after only 8 weeks on the market and won numerous Game of the Year awards.

I’m especially proud of the continued success of Xbox Live Arcade , with more than 20 million games downloaded to date, including titles like Assault Heroes, Small Arms, DOOM, Street Fighter II, Uno and more. Opening up this new digital distribution channel plays a vital role in broadening the console market, and set an extremely high bar for our competition to match.

With Xbox Live we’ve created an online experience that’s simple, easy and fun, and, with more than 5 million members, it’s well on its way to our stated goal of 6 million Xbox Live members by June 2007. What’s truly special about this growth, however, is the “stickiness” of this service. Once you join Live, you’re hooked. The average Xbox Live Gold subscriber has more than 21 friends, and every day there are 2 million messages (text/voice/picture) sent across the Xbox Live network. These friend connections are key to our growth heading into the future.

Xbox Live also makes it simple to download entertainment content, with more choices available every day from a growing list of partners. Right now, over 70% of Xbox Live members are downloading content from Xbox Live Marketplace.

We’ve come quite a ways since launch, bringing together the right technology with the right content to create an unbeatable customer experience. But as we heard from the keynote earlier tonight, the best is yet to come.

Where We’re Going

There was plenty to get excited about from the stage at CES for both Xbox 360 and Games for Windows.

The launch of Windows Vista marks the most significant event yet in our commitment to revive the Games for Windows brand. With gaming and graphics at its very core, more robust family settings, and games explorer, Vista is undoubtedly the best gaming OS ever made and a clear win for PC gaming enthusiasts and casual players alike.

For Xbox 360, we sold in excess of 10.4 million Xbox 360 consoles in 2006 and remain on track for 13-15 million units shipped by the end of FY07. We demonstrated our ability to turn our thought leadership into market leadership. Now in 2007, our challenge is to use our position as market leader to continue pushing the innovation envelope and connecting consumers ever more tightly to their games, their friends and their lifestyle.

2007 will quite simply be the best year for great games in Xbox history. As Robbie announced earlier this evening, this year we’ll more than double the 160 games available today, with a truly remarkable amount of AAA quality titles to keep gamers engaged throughout the entire year including Lost Planet, Forza Motorsport 2, Crackdown, Mass Effect, Too Human, Shadowrun, Bioshock, Guitar Hero 2, Dance Dance Revolution Universe, Assassin’s Creed, Blue Dragon, Project Gotham Racing IV, Grand Theft Auto IV, and the most anticipated title in gaming history … Halo 3. This incredible slate of titles will keep gamers of all interests racking up achievements throughout the year.

Since the beginning, we’ve said gaming should be a social experience, where community matters and friends are just a blade away. Now, we’re bringing the Xbox Live community to Windows this summer, enabling tens of millions more to join the fun and delivering on the promise made by Bill Gates at last year’s E3. On stage we showed for the first time, through a game of Uno, what the Live experience will be on the PC, and how it enables casual and hardcore gamers alike to connect with their friends regardless of what platform they’re on.

Earlier tonight we also addressed a consumer demand that’s growing louder and more intense every day: people want more high definition content, and they want to choose how it’s delivered. We’re meeting this demand with three ways to get high definition content on Xbox 360.

First, we offer the most affordable HD DVD player on the market that’s selling out at retail. HD DVD is quickly becoming the format of choice for consumers, with an industry-leading projected annualized attach rate of 28 movies per player.

Second, we’re the only gaming console to offer high definition downloadable movie and TV content, rocketing to the #2 internet download service and #1 where it counts - in the living room, and in high definition. With over 1,000 hours of content, we’re posting content as fast as we can “ingest” it into the system, with high definition downloads leading the way. Just recently, COMEDY CENTRAL Senior Vice President Caleb Weinstein announced that “In nearly two months, Xbox Live has become our second highest performing digital distributor.” Now, even more content partners are lining up to get into this service, including new addition Lionsgate will bring an all high definition movie line-up to our rapidly growing digital library.

Third, we’re bringing the next generation of TV to Xbox 360 with IPTV. Shown for the first time running on a Xbox 360 at CES, IPTV unlocks the potential of TV with a much faster, easier and simpler experience. This combination delivers a complete connected entertainment experience as we saw on stage with voice chat and game invites sent and received while watching TV. And with DVR, you can accept an invite and get in a game without ever having to miss your favorite show. With over 16 partners testing or deploying this software in test markets, it won’t be long until this 1-2 combination hits the mainstream.

With so much on tap, I expect us to continue to push the envelope on all fronts in 2007 – games and game development, Xbox Live, entertainment content, and allowing all these choices to connect in meaningful ways.



We should be proud of all we’ve accomplished, and to have laid the groundwork for the even bigger innovations of the future.

Thanks to all of you for your efforts. Here’s to a spectacular 2007 and beyond.

Peter

January 2, 2007

KONAMI SHIPS KARAOKE REVOLUTION PRESENTS: AMERICAN IDOL TO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., today announced that Karaoke Revolution® Presents: American Idol for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system has shipped to retail stores throughout North America. Based on the #1 hit FOX television series, the game lets players put their singing ability to the test as an American Idol contestant, performing an all-new selection of 40 chart-topping songs while being evaluated by world-famous judges.

Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol lets players take on the coveted role of an American Idol contestant in the new American Idol mode as they follow the path of actual contestants on the hit TV show - auditioning, earning an invitation to Hollywood and facing the expert evaluation of three judges, including Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. Players can choose to sing 40 all-new songs, ranging from contemporary hits to classics from the 60s, 70s and 80s, using a PlayStation 2 system USB microphone of headset.

Introducing a unique new gameplay mechanic to the series, comments from the judges and popularity with the crowd will determine whether the player moves on to the next round of the competition. Harnessing the unique personalities of Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, the judges will critique specific aspects of the player’s performance through fully-voiced commentary. These segments provide specific feedback for improving the player’s performance while further immersing them in the American Idol experience. Players can also create their own character in the Character Customization mode and even use the EyeToy™ USB camera (for PlayStation 2) to import their likeness into the game.

Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol is rated E10+ by the ESRB. The game comes bundled with a USB microphone for a SRP of $54.99 or available as a standalone game, compatible with any USB headset or microphone, for a SRP of $39.99. For more information on Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol, please visit www.konami.com

About Konami
Konami is a leading developer, publisher and manufacturer of electronic entertainment properties. Konami’s titles include the popular franchises Metal Gear Solid®, Silent Hill®, Dance Dance Revolution® and Castlevania®, among other top sellers. The latest information about Konami can be found on the Web at www.konami.com. Konami Corporation is a publicly traded company based in Tokyo, Japan with subsidiary offices, Konami Digital Entertainment, Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan, Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. in the United States and Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH in Frankfurt, Germany. Konami Corporation is traded in the United States on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol KNM. Details of the products published by Konami can be found at www.konami.com

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