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August 5, 2008

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Launches August 11

SAN RAFAEL, CA, August 5, 2008 – Telltale Inc., the leader in interactive episodic entertainment, is announcing that "Homestar Ruiner", the first of five monthly Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People episodes, will premiere Monday, August 11. "Homestar Ruiner" will release on Nintendo's WiiWare™ download service in North and South America and worldwide on PC simultaneously. WiiWare availability for Europe, Australia and New Zealand will follow shortly.

As the star of the popular Homestarrunner.com web cartoons, Strong Bad has been answering emails (in boxing gloves), pranking his friends, pummeling his enemies, and making people with questionable taste snort milk out of their noses for years. Now he's branching out to star in the monthly Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People series developed in partnership with Homestarrunner.com creators Mike and Matt Chapman.

In the season premiere, Strong Bad's plans to beat the snot out of his rival Homestar Runner backfire, and he ends up with an unwanted houseguest cramping his style. Now he needs to get life back to normal, by any means possible. Comical point-and-click gameplay progresses the story, with side quests, mini games, achievements, and an "extended play" sandbox mode that unlocks after the story is completed rounding out the game experience.

"Homestar Ruiner is a great series premiere and kick-off for the season. The next five months will be filled with lots of surprises," says Telltale CEO Dan Connors. "This is how we always envisioned episodic gaming—monthly releases, straight into the living room. We’re happy to be working with the Chapmans and Nintendo to make it a reality."

New Strong Bad episodes can be downloaded from the Wii™ Shop Channel each month for 1000 Wii Points™. The series takes advantage of the WiiConnect24™ technology by giving players the ability to send Strong Bad-themed emails to Wii friends directly from the Lappy. Photos taken using the in-game camera feature can be attached to emails, allowing players to show off Easter eggs uncovered or hidden costumes collected during the game.

"We are very excited," said a Videlectrix spokesperson from his pretend high-rise office, "Our last game topped out at 8 bits. We've heard this one might reach 9 or 10!"

Downloadable versions of each Strong Bad episode will also be available for the PC exclusively from Telltale's website, with preorders starting today at www.telltalegames.com/strongbad. Episodes can be purchased individually for $8.95 or as part of a five-episode subscription for $34.95. As with Telltale's popular Sam & Max series, customers who purchase the full series from Telltale will later be eligible to get a disc version for the cost of shipping and handling.

After the "Homestar Ruiner" premiere on August 11, storylines in the monthly episodes will run the gamut from political struggles to rock’n roll to the world of videogames (of course), building to the exciting season finale in December. Many fan favorite characters from Free Country USA will appear in each episode, along with special new super 8-bit style mini-games from Videlectrix. Additional details about the series can be found at www.telltalegames.com/strongbad.

About Homestarrunner.com
Homestar Runner was conceived in 1996 by Mike Chapman and friend Craig Zobel as an idea for a weird kids' book they would only make a few photocopies of for friends. In 2000, Mike and brother Matt dusted off the idea and launched Homestarrunner.com, featuring the Flash-animated exploits of the characters. Since 2002, they have updated with new cartoons almost every week including the popular feature 'Strong Bad Email' in which fans get their emails answered by the cartoon's charming antagonist, Strong Bad. Mike and Matt write and animate the cartoons with Matt and Missy Palmer providing voices for the characters. The site has been featured and mentioned in the New York Times, Wired Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and, most importantly, two songs from the site were featured in the Guitar Hero series.

Continue reading "Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Launches August 11" »

July 28, 2008

EA KICKS-OFF MADDEN NFL 09 LaUNCH WITH MADDENPaLOOZA CELEBRATION

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., July 24, 2008 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that Madden NFL 09 will celebrate its launch with Maddenpalooza, a music, sports and gaming fan festival hosted at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on August 11. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the award-winning Madden NFL franchise and the release of Madden NFL 09, Maddenpalooza will run from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. the day before the official August 12 launch date. The event will feature live musical performances by bands from past and current Madden NFL soundtracks, including Good Charlotte who will headline the music stage. In addition to the music performances, Maddenpalooza attendees can enjoy a number of fan-friendly festivities including autograph signing stations with retired NFL legends, interactive NFL activities, 300 Xbox 360® gaming kiosks to play Madden NFL 09, and a Wal-mart pop-up store where customers can be among the first to purchase their copy of Madden NFL 09.

”Maddenpalooza will truly be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of one of the most popular video games in history,” said Director of Marketing Chris Erb. “The fan festival will provide an interactive experience for Madden fans to come together and experience Madden NFL 09 before its launch.”

Each summer, the launch of Madden NFL has emerged as a highly anticipated event that wins the attention of both consumers and media across the country. Past Madden NFL launches have centered around the concept of Maddenoliday, where thousands of Madden NFL fans flocked to stores and took the day off from work and school to immerse themselves in that year’s copy of Madden NFL. This year, with Maddenpalooza, EA SPORTS™ will take it to the next level for the 20th anniversary of Madden NFL. Hosted at the Rose Bowl, the stadium where John Madden and the 1976 Oakland Raiders won their first Super Bowl, Maddenpalooza brings together the impressive mix of elements from sports, entertainment and video games that have made the Madden NFL franchise an American pop culture icon.

In addition to Good Charlotte, whose song “The Anthem” first appeared on the Madden NFL 03 soundtrack, other music acts scheduled to perform include Busta Rhymes, Rev Theory, Airbourne, From First to Last and Young Dre The Truth. Each of these bands will perform throughout the day – leading up to the first sales of Madden NFL 09 which will begin at 9 p.m. PST at the Wal-mart pop-up store located within the Rose Bowl stadium.

Admission to Maddenpalooza is free, tickets will be distributed through the Los Angeles based radio station KIIS, as well as various other local radio stations and promotional partners. There will also be a limited amount of tickets available at the Rose Bowl on August 11 through a first-come-first-serve basis.

Madden NFL 09, the First Sports Game That Adapts To You, introduces over 85 new features and enhancements. Whether you are a seasoned veteran, or a franchise rookie, Madden NFL 09 will continuously asses your skills and adjust the gameplay to keep the experience both fun and challenging, all while training gamers to become better Madden players. Madden NFL 09 also includes a brand-new broadcast presentation package featuring Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond, online leagues, and the most realistic graphics in franchise history.

Continue reading "EA KICKS-OFF MADDEN NFL 09 LaUNCH WITH MADDENPaLOOZA CELEBRATION" »

Wii-kly Update

If variety is the spice of life, we’ve got an extra-spicy lineup for you this week on the Wii™ Shop Channel. From bouncing balls to out-of-control cars to hardcore fisticuffs, the latest game additions offer an incredibly diverse mix of Wii™ thrills. So if you’ve been saving up your Wii Points™ for something new and different, here’s your opportunity to cash in and kick up some serious fun. Enjoy!

Nintendo adds new and classic games to the Wii Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time 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:

WiiWare™

Pong Toss—Frat Party Games™ (JV Games, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone—Mild Language, 800 Wii Points): Pony up—it’s Pong Toss time. Compete against your friends or the computer in this ultimate party-game favorite. Play on a regulation table with up to four players. Make consecutive shots for the Fireball bonuses and Roll-Backs as you or your team try to dominate the table and reign as Pong Toss champs. In Speed Pong, up to three challengers can compete at the same time. Speed and strategy are the keys to this fast-paced game. Jack up your opponents by using a slew of power-ups that will slow them down. The first one who sinks the last cup wins it all. Be fast. Be furious. Be victorious.

Virtual Console™

Chase H.Q.® (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older—Drug Reference, Mild Violence, 600 Wii Points): This is a different style of racing game in which you attempt to catch criminals by chasing them and ramming their cars off the road. Playing as two cops from the NYPD special “CHASE H.Q.” unit, the first half of each stage involves you maneuvering your unmarked car in a heated chase, followed by an action sequence in the latter half. Once you reach the target vehicle, you flip on your lights and siren, and then try to stop the culprits by repeatedly colliding with them. Use your different gears wisely as you make your way through streets and around corners, and be careful not to hit objects or other cars, or you’ll lose speed. Also at your disposal are turbo units for temporary extra speed and ramming power.

ART OF FIGHTING 2 (NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated T for Teen—Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Violence, 900 Wii Points): Released in 1994 by SNK, ART OF FIGHTING 2 sees 12 characters compete for the title in the toughest fighting contest of them all: King of Fighters. Each character has a range of deadly techniques in his or her arsenal, and players must use these lethal techniques to fight their opponents. As in the original ART OF FIGHTING, however, using a deadly technique lowers a character’s mental-energy gauge. For this reason, players must use these techniques carefully. Meanwhile, players can taunt an opponent to exhaust his or her mental energy, and even suppress their opponent’s techniques if successful. This type of mental-energy offense and defense gives ART OF FIGHTING 2 a uniquely enjoyable spin on the fighting-game genre. Further adding to the strategy required to win, an attack will become stronger or weaker depending on exactly when the button is pressed. And even if a player is thrown, defensive action is possible with the timely press of a button. All of this adds up to an intense and nail-biting fighting-game experience not found anywhere else.

July 25, 2008

Crave Lets the Cat out of the Bag with Purr Pals(tm) for Wii(tm)

Newport Beach, Calif.- Jul 23, 2008 - Crave Entertainment, a leading distributor and specialty publisher of console videogames, has released Purr Pals for Wii(tm). A full-featured pet simulator, Purr Pals offers hours of interactive kitty cat fun as players adopt and customize their very own virtual kittens!

Adopt, raise and play with your own cute virtual kitten created from a selection of 40 breeds and hundreds of facial and body combinations. Players use their Wii Remote(tm) to groom, clean, feed and interact with their virtual pet by controlling a laser pointer, fishing string and other play items. Pet owners can also enjoy meow-a-long melodies or playing ping-pong and mini-games with their kitty. Customized indoor and outdoor environments and fashionable kitty accessories round out the furry fun, while competitions make for some friendly rivalry.
The game is currently available at retailers throughout North America for a suggested retail price of $29.95. Purr Pals has been rated "E" for Everyone.

Continue reading " Crave Lets the Cat out of the Bag with Purr Pals(tm) for Wii(tm)" »

June 23, 2008

Wii-kly Update

Everybody loves a classic battle between good and evil. With the latest additions to the Wii™ Shop Channel, your greatest challenge will be choosing where to wipe out the bad guys—in deep space, on mean city streets or in a monster-ridden fantasy world. Whatever the venue, be ready for outrageous enemies and memorable missions you’ll relish from beginning to end.

Nintendo adds new and classic games to the Wii Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time 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:

WiiWare™

Gyrostarr™ (High Voltage Software, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone—Mild Fantasy Violence, 700 Wii Points): Gyrostarr challenges you and up to three additional players to pilot your ships through a series of twisting, turning technoplasma tracks while battling a variety of deadly alien foes at ever-increasing speeds. While fighting and maneuvering, you must collect enough energy to activate the ancient warpgate at the end of each track. Succeed, and you can journey to the next, even deadlier track. Fail, and the gate will slam shut, destroying your ship. Enhance your ship with weapon pickups, coordinate attacks with your friends to fire powerful combined blasts and use your grapple to snag energy and pickups in the midst of combat. Control your ship with the Wii Remote™ controller, Nunchuk™ controller or Classic Controller™, or use the “paired” control system that allows two players to use a connected Wii Remote and Nunchuk or Classic Controller at the same time. Offering 50 levels of intense action, powerful pickups, high-speed bonus levels and mayhem for up to four players, Gyrostarr is a killer arcade challenge.

Virtual Console™

Alex Kidd in Miracle World (Sega Master System, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone—Comic Mischief, 500 Wii Points): In this platformer from the 1980s, you’re Alex Kidd, looking for your lost brother Egle. In order to find your brother, you’ll have to contend with the evil Janken the Great, who will send his henchmen and monsters at you to thwart your progress. One aspect of this adventure is that you’ll have to play the classic game of “rock, paper, scissors” against the henchmen in order to defeat them. With 16 different levels to conquer in order to save Egle, this classic is sure to test your skills and your wits at the same time.

BURNING FIGHT (NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older—Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence, 900 Wii Points): Released in 1991 by SNK, BURNING FIGHT is a side-scrolling hand-to-hand-combat action game. In pursuit of Casterora, leader of a huge syndicate that has escaped from New York to Osaka, the protagonists are three detectives: Duke, Ryu and Billy. Each character fights using a combination of punches, kicks and jumps, plus his own particular special move, activated by simultaneously pressing the jump and attack buttons. These lethal techniques have enormous destructive force, but they also consume a great deal of energy. For this reason, players must use their special moves with skillful timing. Luckily for the detectives, new weapons and additional health can be found by breaking things like phone booths and street signs along the way. A boss, who must be defeated in order to continue the mission, awaits players at the end of each stage. You can also take on the gang with a friend, but beware—attacks by one player can damage the other, so keep an eye on where your partner is in the heat of the battle. End Casterora’s reign of terror once and for all.

January 20, 2008

UbiSoft 2008 Preview

I met with Ubisoft the other day and talked to them about the games that they are working on for 2008. I saw a bunch of demos, and played some games. They even brewed a fresh pot of coffee for me.

Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 - It's the 10 year anniversary of the franchise and it returns with a bigger (meaning more game play) story. Due out in March 2008. There's a greater degree of character customization in equipment and experience points can be applied to better weapons. Enemy and squad AI is better. There's been a huge expansion of co-op game play - friends can jump in and out of the game on the fly without restarting levels. It's the same core game play as version 1 with simple team controls. They've worked hard to add verticality to the levels such as looking up and seeing an enemy through a skylight and then having to go outside and climb up onto the roof to get him. There's destructible cover so you can't sit in one spot and hide. You sort of have to think and plan rather than charge right in. There are 7 locations and each location has multiple scenarios.
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Far Cry 2 - They set out to keep the best parts of the original. The intention is to keep it real yet exotic so this version takes place in Africa. There's 50 square kilometers of open game world, mostly savanna with some jungle. All objects are coded meaning that nothing is just a stupid graphic so trees grow while you're playing and everything can take damage. There's wind and light from the sun that change as the day progresses. No mission will ever be exactly the same because there's a randomness about how enemies are deployed; they're not always in the same place at the same time. It's fast paced and from what I saw there was a lot of fire which is always a good thing. One fascinating thing that Clint Hocking (Creative Director) brought up is that it is now cheaper in terms of utilizing system resources to create vegetation procedurally than it is to make it animated. The game is due out roughly around holiday 2008. It will be the same game on console as on PC with the PC version having higher resolution.
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Petz Bunnyz - This cute little DS game is basically targeted at young girls who want to play with fluffy bunnies at Easter time. It's not my kind of game, but if you have a daughter who wants to raise a virtual bunny and play with it then this would be a hit.

Continue reading "UbiSoft 2008 Preview" »

November 11, 2007

NBA Live 08 Review

Review by Matt Congdon
Score: 2 out of 5

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The first EA Sports game that I played was Madden 64. I was horrified. I explicitly asked for NFL QB Club 98 for Christmas, but I was stuck with madden (what does my mom know about football or games). In my eyes this game sucked hard. How can you make a game without an NFL license or endorsements? When wanting to play as the Patriots I was stuck with some team named “Foxboro”, not to mention that the graphics sucked and so did the game play. I would describe it the pinnacle of boring. I promised this would be the last EA Sports game I would buy.
Later in life, I got a PS2 and decided to give EA Sports another chance on a different console. I was thrilled at Madden 2001,. The game kicked ass, and it kept getting better as the years passed. EA Sports produced a string of brilliant games and that kept getting bigger and better. I thought this was the kind of company that was out for the players not the dollars. Their hockey and basketball games all were a lot of fun to play and somehow the developers improved them from year to year.
Of course, EA Sports let me down. They suck again, They have started a long down spiral, passing mediocre a year or two ago and they are now about as bad as I can imagine [[I’m trying to avoid obscenity. Sucks is ok, but I draw the line at shit. MDS]]. NBA LIVE 08 illustrates this point. This game is crap. EA Sports just threw money and a deadline at a development team. It is inexplicable to me how a company can mess up basketball so badly after having good editions for last generation consoles. The game looks alright on an HDTV, but on an SDTV looks very distorted and odd. It seems like there are a lot of fisheye type replay angles. There are so many flaws that, the decent game they might have had for PS2 is now damaged goods.

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October 14, 2007

Midway TNA Impact! World Premiere

I'm down in Atlanta covering the world premiere of Midway's TNA Impact! video game. This is a very cool event focused on what looks to be a very cool game. We've rubbed elbows with TNA wrestlers, played the game against lead designers, drank an awful lot of bourbon, and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. You might even say it's been "Total Non-stop Action".

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I'm going to follow this up with a post tonight about the actual wrestling match. They got us press passes so we can get right up front and hopefully we'll take some great photos. I've also got some interviews with wrestlers that I'm going to post. I had a great time talking to Samoan Joe. He and I both wrestled in high school and then played judo afterwards. And now I write this blog and he beats the crap out of people in an 18 month undefeated streak.

The game looked very good. The wrestlers worked closely with Midway on facial capture, mocap, and the dynamics of the game. The 6 sided ring is there - they're adding cages, glass, and barbed wire later. The version we saw was about 60% complete so it was a little buggy, ie you could throw guys through fences and stuff. It was really fun to play, not like other wrestling games which have traditionally been a mix of button mashing and really hard to memorize combos. I thought that even at this early stage it had a very good feel to it in terms of how satisfying it was to lay the smackdown on someone and the rhythm of counter-attacks and reversals. One thing that I like in particular is the way guys react to getting punched; if you punch a guy in the face he grabs his face, and if you kick him in the gut he grabs his gut.

There are a lot of grapples, reversals, alternate-grapples, and aerial moves. It's pretty fast paced for a wrestling game. There's the beloved Irish Whip, climbing the turnbuckles, and running around the ring. The ropes ripple when you run into them which is a nice touch.

We only played some one on one quick play. They're adding a story mode, create-a-player, tag team, and online play.

Oh yeah, and Samoan Joe says he's going to kill you.

Continue reading "Midway TNA Impact! World Premiere" »

May 17, 2007

The Bigs

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This game will ship June 25 and be available for 360, ps-3 psp, wii. This is the first 2k sports game on Wii, all aspects of the game use the Wiimote - pitching, catching, running.

Today we're looking at the Xbox 360 version.

Why The Bigs? It's a heroic baseball game, over the top, arcadey. The game celebrates the sport of baseball and make highllights and dramatic moments happen, including big catches, wall catches, dives, etc. It's all genuine MLB licensed products with all teams and all stadiums, but with a little bit of a dramatic flare.

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There are super slo-mo diving catches. What the players do is still tied to stats but also like a mini-game of timing button pushes to pull off the spectacular. In a double play timing is critical, hold onto it for too long and they slide into and knock you down. There's a knock over catcher button mashing to get slider on your side and then you bowl the catcher over and maybe he loses the ball. 2K Sports is bending the rules to make the game more interesting but not taking it to extremes like MLB Slugfest which was a ton of fun but not very much like baseball.

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There's a turbo meter and a big play meter. When pitching, throw strikes to earn turbo, batter takes ball and gets turbo, use turbo to enhance pitches and hits, use turbo in the field to run to the ball or whip it in from the outfield. Turbo becomes pretty important tactically. Pitches based on button that you push to choose pitch, aim with reticle, them meter fills up. Batting is simple - contact green or power red; you can influence direction of the hit with the left thumbstick. You manage baserunning with the left analog stick and color coded base running icons over each guys head. It's easiest to advance all or retreat all using bumpers. The big play meter gives you power blast ability to drive ball deep just by making contact, or make a defensive big play meaning big heat so all pitches are super charged and when you strike the opponent out you steal his points

Homerun pinball is Katie's favorite feature. It was pretty fun. It's like batting practice in Times Square and all the signs and objects are worth points when you hit them. It's a lot of fun and very competitive.

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multiplayer - 2-4 players coop switching turns
online play also

Continue reading "The Bigs" »

March 7, 2007

Upcoming Pokemon Battle Revolution Named as First Wi-Fi Game for Wii

Nintendo Reveals Strong Second-Quarter Lineup for Wii, Nintendo DS

REDMOND, Wash., March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Wii(TM) owners of all ages have
discovered the fun of playing with a group of friends in the same room. Now
for the first time players can compete with one another near and far with
Pokemon(R) Battle Revolution, a game of remarkable firsts:

* the first Wii game to include Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection play
* the first Pokemon game for Wii
* the first game to link Wii and the hand-held Nintendo DS(TM)
* and the first Wii game that can be controlled using Nintendo DS

When Wii and Nintendo DS are linked, players can use their Nintendo DS
units as controllers or import characters from the upcoming Nintendo DS games
Pokemon(R) Diamond Version or Pokemon(R) Pearl Version. Pokemon Battle
Revolution launches on June 25 exclusively for Wii and brings a dramatic new
chapter to the Pokemon franchise, which has sold more than 155 million units
worldwide. Pokemon Battle Revolution also serves as one of the standouts in
Nintendo's second-quarter launch lineup, which the company revealed today in
conjunction with the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Pokemon Battle Revolution will be joined by Super Paper Mario(TM), the
first Mario(TM) game for Wii; Mario Party(R) 8, a multiplayer party game; and
Big Brain Academy(TM), a brain-training game that builds on the phenomenal
success of the Nintendo DS brain games. These will add to the ever-growing
library of Wii games, which will total more than 50 by the end of June.
Nintendo DS fans will see the arrival of Pokemon Diamond Version and Pokemon
Pearl Version, two surefire smash-hits.
"With strong third-party support, Wii and Nintendo DS have games on the
way for both casual and veteran gamers," says Nintendo of America President
Reggie Fils-Aime. "Our new ways to play have attracted millions of players
around the world. This lineup demonstrates our commitment to leading the
industry with the future of video gaming."
Third-party publishers also have stepped up their support of both Wii and
Nintendo DS, recognizing these systems as the hottest things going in the
video game industry. The list of games for April, May and June includes the
following:

Wii
April 9 Super Paper Mario Nintendo
April Prince of Persia Rival Swords Ubisoft
April Bust-A-Move Bash Majesco
April Bioncle Heroes Eidos
May 15 Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Midway
May 29 Mario Party 8 Nintendo
May Tamagotchi Party On Namco Bandai
May Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Disney Interactive
at World's End
May Escape from Bug Island Eidos
May Spider-Man The Movie 3 Activision
June 11 Big Brain Academy Nintendo
June 25 Pokemon Battle Revolution Nintendo
June Cosmic Family Ubisoft
Spring Heatseeker Codemasters
Q2 Legend of the Dragon American Game Factory
Summer Shrek the Third Activision
Summer Transformers the Game Activision

Nintendo DS
April 22 Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl Nintendo
May Pirates of the Caribbean 3 Buena Vista
May Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu Atari
May Pony Friends Eidos
May Diner Dash Eidos
May Touch the Dead Eidos
June 4 Nintendo DS browser Nintendo
June 4 Planet Puzzle League Nintendo
June 11 Touchmaster DS Midway
June Zendoku Eidos
Spring Naruto Ninja Council 3 Tomy
Spring Time Ace Konami
Spring Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom Konami
Q2 Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon Natsume
Summer Shrek the Third Activision
Summer Transformers: Autobots Activision
Summer Transformers: Decepticons Activision

Game Boy(R) Advance
Summer Shrek the Third Activision

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.
Pokemon USA, Inc., a subsidiary of The Pokemon Company in Japan, manages
the property outside of Asia which includes licensing, marketing, the Pokemon
Trading Card Game, an animated TV series, home entertainment, the official
Pokemon Web site and an online retail center www.pokemoncenter.com. Just
coming off its 10th worldwide anniversary in 2006, Pokemon was launched in
Japan in 1996 for play on Nintendo's Game Boy(R) and has since evolved into a
global cultural phenomenon. Pokemon was introduced in North America in
September 1998 and today is one of the most popular toy and entertainment
properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.

March 3, 2007

SEGA's NYC Demo Day

SEGA was in town the other day and I checked out a bunch of their games. Almost everything they showed ships on March 20, 2007. I'm not sure why March 20 is such a significant date for them that they have to deliver every game on that same day. But whatever, I'll take them. A bunch of these were really fun. Virtua Tennis is always fun and Armored Core played pretty well, that is if you like blowing things to pieces.


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Virtua Tennis 3 for psp, xbox 360, ps3. This game flat out looks great on the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The attention to detail is superb: little puffs of dust come up from your footsteps when you run on the clay court, the linesmen move out of the way when the ball is hit at them. You can create your own player, customize him or her as far as appearance, cloths and equipment. Then you practice and play on the world tour, slowly advancing and improving your skills. On Xbox 360 there's a whole online leaderboard system. Four people can play together online from four different consoles. You can watch other people's online matches and develop your strategy against them.

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Armored Core 4
This is a mech game, but unlike other mech games you can actually move quickly in this game. Most mechs feel like you're piloting them through molasses, but in Armored Core 4 you can jump and strafe and all those good things. Multiplayer online is new. There are 6 different factions. They wanted to make it appeal to new players and veterans as well. You start in the Independent City and it's sort of like a training mission. There are over 35 different missions. You have primary and secondary fire weapons. Your mech is highly mobile and you can strafe; there's regular boost and quick boost for dodging during combat. In general, mechs are more agile than before, and I can say that it seemed so when I played. I could jump over stuff and quickly cut to the side to avoid enemy fire. It's for ps3 and 360 and ships on mar 20. You can customize appearance with paint and emblems and can use the colors to camoflage yourself. This is pretty cool because you could do something like put on desert camo to fight in the desert and have an advantage. You can trade weapons and parts with other players online; some missions are search and rescue, most take 20 minutes or more, mechs have primal armor which is like a force field.

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Sonic and the Secret Rings
, just released on Tuesday. This game was designed specifically for the Wii and has more of a 2d feel to it. You tilt the controller left and right to steer while Sonic naturally accelerates. Press 2 to jump, snap the controller forward to catch some more air and do your homing attack. It's an arabian nights story where Sonic needs to find 7 rings before the evil genie does. There are 8 different game worlds each with a few tracks. As far as multiplayer, there are 40 party games for up to 4 players. They all have different movements of the controller depending on the games. It's an E rated title targeted at family fun. This is a solid Sonic game and I hold Sonic games in high regard. There was a time when I sunk at least 80 hours into Sonic on my Game Gear. Man, that was a long time ago.

Continue reading "SEGA's NYC Demo Day" »

February 4, 2007

Majesco Winter Gamers Day

I met with Majesco a few days ago and checked out their spring lineup. It's essentially casual games, ie not hardcore gaming, on Wii and DS. I liked a few of them, but I can't help but remember that Majesco once shipped BloodRayne. That was a great game and you couldn't really ask for something more hardcore than that. Times have changed and markets have changed. My guess is that it has more to do with the finances of developing and publishing blockbuster titles. Nothing that Majesco showed me is going to run away with the market, but there's certainly fun to be had.

Cooking Mama Cook Off - This innovative game for Wii puts you in the kitchen where you learn recipes and cooking techniques. It was pretty fun on DS and now they've got a Wii version with 55 new recipes. An interesting thing that they did was add an international element. There are 10 countries, each with a champion and 2 dishes. So you can compete against the little Spanish girl to make paella and that unlocks the paella recipe. It's really a bunch of clever cooking based mini games. For example, you hold the Wii controller upright and spin it like you are spinning pizza dough on your fingertip. The speed with which you spin the controller dictates the size of the pizza. There's 2 player split screen which should be a blast at parties. It'll ship in April for $49.99.
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Cooking Mama: Cook Off Trailer

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February 1, 2007

Yahoo Article About Wii Parties

I was reading this article about Wii parties. Apparently the Wii is a cultural phenomenon. I think it's true. I brought the Wii to Thanksgiving and Christmas and everyone had a great time. We had multiple generations playing. Everyone loves the motion sensitive controller. I love it. I'm excited about what developers will do with the control system as they learn to understand it better. It's such a creative thing, that little Wii.

January 31, 2007

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.


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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.

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January 29, 2007

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.

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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.

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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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January 12, 2007

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.

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January 8, 2007

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.

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November 10, 2006

Wii Will Rock You

The Wii arrived this morning and the household was filled with joy. Nina immediately jumped in the box that it came in.
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Nintendo sent me a bunch of stuff, including an extra controller set, Zelda, and Excite Truck. Here's the package laid out on the unfinished wood floor of my apartment.
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First, the facts. The Wii will be available November 19, 2006 at an MSRP of $249. I've heard a lot about people being forced to buy bundles and that's just the stores forcing you to buy extra crap. It comes with on Wii Remote controller, one Nunchuk controller, Wii Sports (some cool games that will get you into the "swing" of things), sensor bar, power cord and standard composite cable. If you want component or S-video you'll have to buy that separately.
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The box itself is a sleek little thing with a shiny plastic finish. It's about 8.5 inches long, 6 inches wide, and less than two inches thick. It weighs less than 3 lbs.
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There's an external power supply that isn't too big. It can be installed either horizontally or vertically.
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A self-loading media bay (it sucks the disc out of your hand) plays single or double layered 12 cm optical discs for Wii and 8 cm Nintendo GameCube discs. There's a bay for SD memory which is probably there so you can show photos on your TV or to expand the 512 MB of internal flash memory.
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There are also four ports for Nintendo GameCube controllers and two slots for Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards.
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It's a nice piece of hardware. It's got built in Wi-Fi, two USB 2.0 ports and a PowerPC CPU made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process, jointly developed by Nintendo and IBM.

The key to the whole thing is the sensor bar, which can be placed above or below the TV screen. It's unobtrusive when installed, and then a long cord runs down to the Wii console.
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November 2, 2006

Nintendo Hosts Cross-Country Launch Events to Satisfy Consumer Demand for Wii

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- With just 17 days until the worldwide launch of the Wii(TM) game console in the Americas, Nintendo is throwing big bashes to celebrate the momentous occasion. From New York to Los Angeles and untold places in between, shoppers won't have to wait long to be the first to buy Nintendo's revolutionary new Wii video game console when it goes on sale at the stroke of midnight the morning of Sunday, Nov. 19. However, video game fans will have to get in line fast, as demand is high for this season's hot holiday product.
Toys "R" Us Times Square in Manhattan and GameStop at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles will host official Nintendo midnight launch events to satiate rabid fans who can't wait to get their hands on Wii. The events will feature live music and entertainment, fun, games, special guests from Nintendo -- and a countdown to the moment that will change the way video games are played forever. Other retailers nationwide are expected to hold their own midnight launch events, so consumers should check with their local retail stores that sell video games.
"Who'll be the first person to line up?" asks George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Will it be a Zelda fan in New York or a soccer mom in Los Angeles? We're going to make sure these events help everyone feed off one another's energy and enthusiasm."
"Toys 'R' Us Times Square will be the first store in the United States where customers can both experience, and purchase Wii, Nintendo's new revolution in gaming," says Ron Boire, President, Toys "R" Us, U.S. "As a family oriented store, we are thrilled with the potential of the Wii system to bring parents and kids closer together. There is no better place to launch this truly innovative gaming console than The World's Greatest Toy Store."
"Just like our retail outlets, Wii has something for every kind of gamer," says Steve Morgan, President, GameStop Corp. "As the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer, we're ready to kick off the celebration at midnight on Nov. 19th, and help show the world a new way to play."

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October 12, 2006

Nintendo and AiLive Announce New Tool for Creative and Easy Wii Development

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo and AiLive Inc. announce the immediate availability of LiveMove, a groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence product, that enables the Wii Remote(TM) to learn.
Instead of complicated programming, developers need only take a few minutes to train the Wii Remote by examples. LiveMove lets developers focus directly on creative work without the burden of onerous coding requirements, helping them quickly unleash the potential of Wii(TM). The only limitation is the game creator's imagination.
"The Wii coupled with AiLive LiveMove will usher in a new era of natural game control," commented AiLive Chairman Dr. Wei Yen. "Powered by AiLive's patented Context Learning, LiveMove will allow the game industry to move away from indirect digital control to more natural analog control for the first time."
"In early 2006, I challenged Dr. Wei Yen and his AI scientists to develop AIware for the Wii Remote. When Nintendo's development teams saw LiveMove, we instantly recognized how it would greatly increase our ability to explore and experiment with new concepts and make our lives easier," says Genyo Takeda, Senior Managing Director/General Manager of Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd. "This revolutionary tool liberates the imaginations of game creators. We are more than happy to share this collaborative LiveMove tool with independent Wii software developers all over the world. From a cowboy's lasso to a samurai's sword or a chef's cooking utensils, we just can't wait to play the developers' new, 'unexpected' applications."
LiveMove is currently available exclusively to Wii developers and priced at a mass-adoption license fee of $2,500 per seat. Tutorials and demos will be offered by AiLive. For detailed information about LiveMove, visit AiLive's website at www.AiLive.net.

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September 14, 2006

Nintendo's Incomparable Wii Console Launches Nov. 19; MSRP $249.99

NEW YORK, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo will reshape the home entertainment and video game landscape with the launch of its heralded Wii(TM) home video game console. The Americas will lead the worldwide launch on Nov. 19. Wii will be sold as an affordable, mass-consumer product at an MSRP of just $249.99. The price includes one wireless Wii Remote controller, one Nunchuk(TM) controller and the groundbreaking collection of five different Wii Sports games on one disc, which anyone can play using simple movements, experienced or not.

Every Wii console includes another distinctive feature: a series of on-screen "channels" that make up the Wii Channel Menu, which makes the console approachable and customizable for everyone, from the most avid gamer to people who have never played before. The Wii Channel Menu is the starting point for all of the console's functions. The "channels" offer a gateway to a rich variety of entertainment options. When connected to a TV, the Wii Channel Menu offers a simple interface, letting users pick games to play, get news or weather, view and send photos or even create playable caricatures of themselves to use in actual games. Additional functions allow users to redeem Wii Points and download classic games to Wii's Virtual Console(TM). The variety of options available through the Wii Channel Menu motivates both gamers and non-gamers to turn on Wii's power every day.
Wii is creating worldwide excitement with its unique control system, an inventive, first-of-its-kind controller whose position can be detected in a 3-D space. The new controller allows users to pinpoint targets in games or move through the Wii Channel Menu with precision and ease. This intuitive control system will be understood immediately by everyone, regardless of their previous experience with video games. With this one small controller, Wii makes games both easier and more intense than anything previously experienced. For example, in the Wii Sports tennis game, players swing the Wii Remote like a racket to hit the ball, as in real life. They can add topspin or slice the ball just by angling their hands and wrist like they would in a real match.
"Wii reinvents games for the devoted player," says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "But more importantly, Wii breaks the wall separating players from non-players by delivering the best game experiences for the most affordable price. We believe the next leap is games for the masses -- young and old, gamer or non, alone, with a friend or with the whole family."
Fils-Aime made his remarks in New York, shortly after Nintendo executives in Japan announced Wii will launch there on Dec. 2.
Between launch day and Dec. 31, Wii owners will enjoy a robust lineup of 30 software titles, with selections for everyone from video game veterans to newcomers. Some top Nintendo launch titles include Wii Sports, a compilation of tennis, baseball, golf, bowling and boxing; The Legend of Zelda(R): Twilight Princess; and EXCITE TRUCK(TM). While publishers are free to set their own prices for games, first-party Nintendo titles will have an MSRP of $49.99. Wii's self-loading media bay also can play the entire library of more than 530 Nintendo GameCube(TM) titles from day one.
Third-party developers around the world have lined up to provide unprecedented support for Wii.
"I believe the Wii will attract new and casual gamers to the world of interactive entertainment," says Larry Probst, Chairman and CEO, Electronic Arts. "It's a fun, easy and economical system that will become a bridge to gaming for mainstream audiences. At EA, we are putting more support behind the Wii than any Nintendo hardware launch since the Super NES."
"The Wii is changing audience interaction, opening up whole new experiences that have never been possible in video games," says Robert Kotick, Chairman and CEO, Activision, Inc. "With the instinctual control of the Wii Remote, Nintendo is advancing the gaming experience to the broadest audience of gamers. Activision is excited about the launch of the Wii and the opportunity it offers. So much so, we plan to have five titles available at launch -- our strongest lineup ever for a new console. We have more development resources devoted to the Wii than to any previous Nintendo platform. The Wii is likely to have a profound impact on the size, growth and overall opportunities for the video game market."
"The Wii control scheme opens up unexplored areas for our talented teams to innovate when creating games," says Laurent DeToc, President of Ubisoft North America. "It's invigorating for us. We believe that it will help create a new level of interest in video games and engage more players around the world."
Additional information about the list of Virtual Console games and the pricing structure will be revealed in the coming weeks.

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August 30, 2006

ACTIVISION'S MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE SCORES AWARD-WINNING COMPOSERS

Santa Monica, CA – August 29, 2006 – Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) announced today that award-winning composers Chance Thomas (Peter Jackson’s King Kong, Lord of the Rings series), Cris Velasco (God of War) and Mark Griskey (Best of LucasArts Original Soundtrack) have scored the upcoming, critically-acclaimed Marvel™: Ultimate Alliance video game. The trio has produced over 50 minutes of original music for Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, including arrangements for multiple game levels, the in-game cinematics and the Super Hero™ and boss battle themes.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is Raven Software’s highly anticipated action/RPG that allows players to create their Marvel dream team from the largest roster of Super Heroes ever in an epic quest that will determine the fate of Earth and the Marvel Universe. With over 140 popular Marvel characters and a playable cast of more than 20 Super Heroes, including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Blade and Captain America, gamers will embark on a dangerous journey across exotic terrain and well-known comic book locations like Atlantis, the Shield Heli-Carrier and the Skrull home world in an attempt to defy Dr. Doom and the world’s most notorious Super Villains.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance will be the first Super Hero game available this fall for all next-gen gaming systems. Additionally, the game will be available for current-gen consoles, handheld and PC platforms, and carries a “T” (Teen – Mild Language, Violence) rating by the ESRB.

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August 22, 2006

MERRY MADDENOLIDAY! EA’s MADDEN NFL 07 HITS STORE SHELVES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – August 22, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced that Madden NFL 07, the newest iteration of the EA SPORTS™ best-selling football franchise with the exclusive videogame license of the NFL and PLAYERS INC, is in stores everywhere today. Madden NFL 07 continues to lead with innovation and gameplay by reinventing the running game with the all-new Lead Blocker Control and the new highlight stick so you can run like the real players run. NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode comes to Madden NFL 07 this year, where you can live the life of an NFL Superstar.

Madden NFL 06¸ since its launch, has sold more than 6.5 million copies*, and was the #1 selling videogame of 2005 in North America. Madden NFL Football has become a cultural phenomenon, with more than 51 million copies sold (LTD), and the launch day becoming a holiday for many avid fans.

“Madden NFL Football has become a cultural phenomenon and, with Maddenoliday, we are honoring all the Madden gamers across the country who line up at midnight and then take off the day to play Madden NFL 07,” said Todd Sitrin, VP of marketing for EA Tiburon and EA SPORTS brand. “We continue to bring innovative changes to the game every year, and now with the improvements in the running game, Madden NFL 07 is even more authentic. You will know how it feels to be actually on the field playing with the pros.”

You now control the running game like never before with Lead Blocker Control in Madden NFL 07. For the first time ever, step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback and smash through, overpower, or slash away from would-be tacklers as you fight for every yard. Innovative rushing controls give you a game-breaking ground attack featuring all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs.

NFL Superstar: Hall of Fame mode makes its debut in Madden NFL 07 on the Xbox 360 and is even deeper for the current generation systems. You can create and customize your own player and guide him one Sunday at a time from that position on the field for an all new way of experiencing the game. Madden NFL 07 Franchise Mode is deeper than ever before. On current generation platforms, now scout collegiate prospects with the all-new NFL Draft Scouting System and the College All-Star Game, or watch players around the NFL impact their teams with the new Franchise Player Roles feature. On Xbox 360, participate in an interactive player rehab through mini games.

For the Xbox 360 there is an all-new Mini-Camp mode where you can build up your players attributes by running him through skill-based, combine-type mini-games. In the off-season use Mini-Camp to condition players or rehab injuries to get back on the field faster. Track your career accomplishments in Franchise Mode to earn Madden Gamer Points, then risk your points against the computer or live opponents in the same room.

In its second installment on the PlayStation® Portable system, Madden NFL 07 brings you a new exclusive mini-games -- return kicks, avoid tackles, and players can aim for the high score in “End 2 End.” And for the first time you can transfer an entire season in Franchise mode from your PlayStation®2 to your PSP system.

September 1 in Denver, CO is the kick off to the highly-anticipated 5th annual EA SPORTS™ Madden Challenge, played exclusively this year on the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, with a $100,000 grand prize check for the Finals winner. Void where prohibited. Eligibility Restrictions Apply. Tournament runs on published dates in each city. For additional details and Tournament Official Rules see www.maddenchallenge.com.

Entering its 17th year and with more than 51 million copies sold life to date, Madden NFL Football continues to stand out as the most popular football videogame franchise of all time with a combination of innovative new features and the most authentic football gameplay. Developed in Orlando, FL by EA Tiburon Madden NFL 07 will be available on August 22 on Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™, PC (as well as www.downloader.ea.com), PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and Game Boy® Advance. Madden NFL 07 is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $59.99 for the Xbox 360, $49.99 for the PlayStation 2 console and Xbox, $39.99 for Nintendo GameCube, PSP, and PC, $29.99 for Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance. In Europe, Madden NFL 07 launches on PS2, Xbox, NDS, PC, PC Downloader August 25 and on Xbox 360 and PSP September 8. For more information check out www.madden07.com.

Continue reading "MERRY MADDENOLIDAY! EA’s MADDEN NFL 07 HITS STORE SHELVES TODAY" »

August 3, 2006

EA ANNOUNCES 55DSL COLLABORATION WITH NEED FOR SPEED CARBON

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that fashion street wear brand 55DSL will be coming to Need for Speed™ Carbon. Exclusively designed items from 55DSL, plus a selection of garments from their ‘Zurka and the 55 Vagabonds’ winter collection, will feature prominently on key in-game characters in the game,developed by EA Black Box in Vancouver, British Columbia. Need for Speed ™ Carbon delivers the next generation of adrenaline-filled street racing and will challenge players to face the ultimate test of driving skill on treacherous canyon roads..

55DSL items are specifically tailored to the game, bringing with them the unique style and tone of the brand. Exclusively designed clothing for the game, will be available only through local EA events around the world and pre-order campaigns.

Andrea Rosso, the Creative Director of 55DLS is enthusiastic, “When the opportunity to work with EA, and in particular Need for Speed™ Carbon, came along, it seemed like a natural progression for us. I’m a gamer and I’m going to play this game for sure so to see characters wearing our exclusively designed t-shirts and other items, is really amazing for me.”

“This partnership adds another layer of authenticity to our role in street culture”, says Larry LaPierre, Executive Producer. “Having 55DSL integrated so tightly within Need for Speed™ Carbon adds an increased sense of realism to the game and gives fans the opportunity to wear exclusively designed items that brings them closer to the action.”

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July 25, 2006

Nintendo Game Offerings Heat Up as the Weather Cools Down

The fourth quarter of 2006 will herald a new era for Nintendo with the launch of its remarkable new Wii(TM) home video game system. But that's not what this news item is about! How could that be, you ask? Perhaps the secret to the launch information for Wii is somehow encoded in the text of this news item. You might want to pore over it for a few hours before staying up all night to debate phraseology and comma placement with your friends online. Or maybe it's all just a scam to get you to read the other games we have launching this fall. One of the two.
As the weather cools down, the Nintendo portable game offerings heat up. FINAL FANTASY(R) V ADVANCE makes its way to Game Boy(R) Advance SP on Nov. 6. As series go, FINAL FANTASY is to video games what James Bond is to movies. FINAL FANTASY loyalists will enjoy an opportunity to debate which installment was best.
Nintendo DS(TM) owners are the big winners. Every week or so, another huge DS title hits, from the Touch Generations title Clubhouse Games(TM) to fan favorites like Elite Beat Agents(TM) and Yoshi's Island(TM) 2. Clearly a gamer's idea of paradise, here is Nintendo's upcoming DS lineup:

Oct. 9: Clubhouse Games(TM)
Oct. 16: Nintendogs(TM) (Dalmatian)
Oct. 23: Magical Starsign(TM)
Oct. 30: Pokemon(R) Ranger
Oct. 30: Children of Mana(R)
Nov. 6: Elite Beat Agents(TM)
Nov. 13: Yoshi's Island(TM) 2
Dec. 4: Custom Robo(TM) Arena
Dec. 4: Kirby(TM) Squeak Squad

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July 13, 2006

EA UNVEILS DEVELOPMENT ON SIX TITLES FOR NINTENDO’S Wii – MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., – July 13, 2006 – Get ready to run, jump, drive, race and win with the flick of a wrist! Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today revealed six new games that are in development for the upcoming Wii™ from Nintendo. EA’s dedicated Wii development team is crafting six custom-designed titles including new releases from the Madden NFL, Need for Speed™, Harry Potter™, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR ®, SSX™ and The Godfather™ franchises. Each title will remain true to the hallmarks of its franchise but is being designed to maximize the power of the Wii hardware and take full advantage of the uniqueness and innovation of its one-of-a-kind controller. The Wii version of Madden NFL will be demonstrated for a group of elite critics and industry media later today at EA’s Studio Showcase 2006. Additional titles currently under development will be announced in the coming months.

“Once we started to experiment with Madden on Wii, there was an explosion of innovation. Everyone in the studio is energized by the creative opportunity afforded by both the hardware and controller. By reaching into our catalogue, we are able to bring a fresh and distinctive experience to some of EA’s most popular franchises. Creatively, the game play possibilities are staggering and endless,” said John Schappert, Senior Vice President and General Manager, EA.

“Nintendo is excited to see the broad array of signature franchises that EA’s talented development teams are designing for Wii,” says Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO, Nintendo of America Inc. “The combination of sensational games with Wii’s unique play control will thrill players and breathe new life into video games.”

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June 23, 2006

EA UNCOVERS TOP SECRET IN-GAME MUSIC SOUNDTRACK FOR MADDEN NFL 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., – June 23, 2006 – Crank it up, gamers! The football pre-season kicks off with a bang as Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) reveals the 35 songs that will be featured in Madden NFL 07, becoming the de facto soundtrack of the 2007 football season. The bone-crunching action and heart-pounding adrenaline of the grid iron is intensified by the game’s one-of-a-kind mix of rock and hip hop.

“Year after year, the music selected for inclusion in EA’s smash hit football series invariably becomes the soundtrack of the football season, moving beyond the game to turn up in football stadiums and on live TV broadcasts,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Music Marketing at EA. “The Madden NFL Football franchise is recognized across North America as a driving force behind break-out bands… this year EA does it again.”

Players step onto the field in Madden NFL 07 with the thundering roar of the crowd in the background and the air filled with pounding rock anthems and energizing hip hop beats. Dr. Dre’s protégé who first appeared in NBA LIVE 06 and NFL STREET 2, Bishop LaMont now makes an appearance on Madden NFL 07 with a track featuring Chevy Jones, while Lupe Fiasco is on deck with Jonah Matranga. These hot tracks are included alongside new releases from fan favorites AFI, Audioslave, Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday. Also this year, game fans will be spellbound by new music debuts from Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars, Dave Navarro’s band The Panic Channel, and Rise Against whose sophomore record is anticipated to be one of the biggest rock albums of the year.

Again this year, the hip hop production team Da Riffs remixed nearly a dozen original NFL FILMS music pieces will be showcased throughout the menus and in gameplay.

The complete in-game soundtrack for Madden NFL 07 includes:

ARTIST

SONG

30 Seconds To Mars

Battle Of One

AFI

Summer Shudder

Al Fatz

Came Down

Anti-Flag

This Is The End (For You My Friend)

Atreyu

Ex’s And Oh’s

Audioslave **

Revelations

Bishop LaMont feat. Chevy Jones **

The Best

Cartel

Say Anything (Else)

Cord **

Go Either Way

Damone

Out Here All Night

Dashboard Confessional

Reason To Believe

Dynamite MC **

Bounce

Feezy 350

Playa What

Glasses Malone **

Right Now

Hit The Lights

Until We Get Caught

Keane

Is It Any Wonder?

Less Than Jake

Still Life Franchise

Lupe Fiasco feat. Jonah Matranga

The Instrumental

Matchbook Romance

Monsters

Omnisoul **

Not Giving Up

Rise Against

Drones

Riverboat Gamblers

On Again Off Again

Saves The Day

Head For The Hills

Shorty Da Kid **

Get Loose

Spank Rock

Backyard Betty

Sparta **

Future Needs

Taking Back Sunday

Spin

The Panic Channel**

Teahouse Of The Spirits

The Pink Spiders

Easy Way Out

The Rapture**

WAYUH

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

In Fates Hands

The Sleeping

Don’t Hold Back

Trae

Real Talk

Underoath

Ever So Inviting

Wolfmother

Woman

** Indicates song will debut in Madden NFL 07 before being released to retail


Continue reading "EA UNCOVERS TOP SECRET IN-GAME MUSIC SOUNDTRACK FOR MADDEN NFL 07" »

EA ANNOUNCES NEED FOR SPEED™ CARBON

Redwood City, Calif. – June 22, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that Need for Speed™ Carbon is in development and will hit the streets this November. Developed by EA Black Box in Vancouver, British Columbia, Need for Speed Carbon delivers the next generation of adrenaline-filled street racing and will challenge players to face the ultimate test of driving skill on treacherous canyon roads.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to reinvent the franchise and continually uncover new and exciting trends in car culture. Canyon Racing is a real test of a driver’s skill and we think it provides a fantastic game play opportunity to lean into,” said Larry LaPierre, the game's executive producer.

What starts in the city is settled in the canyons as Need for Speed Carbon immerses you into the world’s most dangerous and adrenaline-filled form of street racing. You and your crew must race in an all-out war for the city, risking everything to take over your rivals’ neighborhoods one block at a time. As the police turn up the heat, the battle ultimately shifts to Carbon Canyon, where territories and reputations can be lost on every perilous curve. Need for Speed Carbon delivers the next generation of customization giving you the power to design and tweak your crew’s cars in every way using the ground-breaking new Autosculpt™ technology. Represent your car class, your crew, and your turf in Need for Speed Carbon, the next revolution in racing games.

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June 2, 2006

Nintendo Rakes in the Accolades for Its Wii Console and Games

REDMOND, Wash., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2006 has awarded Nintendo its highest honor. Nintendo's upcoming Wii(TM) console won the Best of Show award, as well as the best hardware award. Nintendo's Wii Sports title won the best sports category, Excite Truck(TM) for Wii won as the best racing game and The Legend of Zelda(R): Phantom Hourglass for Nintendo DS won as the best hand-held game of last month's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
"It's extremely gratifying to hear independent confirmation that our approach resonates so dramatically with the people who know video games best," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "These multiple awards demonstrate which company has momentum and which products will be in the highest demand this holiday season."
Nintendo won five Game Critics Awards, more than any other publisher or hardware manufacturer. The Game Critics Awards are issued annually by an independent group of journalists from 37 leading North American media outlets that cover the video game industry in newspapers, in magazines, online and on television. For more information about the Game Critics Awards, visit www.gamecriticsawards.com.
The Game Critics Awards add to the long list of accolades Nintendo received after E3 from the video game media. A sampling is below:

IGN.com
Best Platform Game: Super Mario(R) Galaxy
Best Puzzle Game: Mario vs. Donkey Kong(TM) 2: March of the Minis
Most Innovative Design: Wii Remote
Best Hardware/Peripheral: Wii Remote
Best Hand-Held Game -- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

GameSpot
Best Hardware: Wii
Best Platform Game: Super Mario Galaxy
Best Puzzle/Rhythm Game: WarioWare(TM): Smooth Moves

The GameTap broadband entertainment network:
Best Adventure Game: The Legend of Zelda(R): Twilight Princess
Best Platform Game: Super Mario Galaxy
Best Sports Game: Wii Sports
Best Portable: New Super Mario Bros.(R)
Best Surprise: Wii Remote
Best Announcement: Super Smash Bros.(R) Brawl

Game Trailers
Most Innovative: WarioWare: Smooth Moves
Best Action/Adventure Game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Best Sports Game: Wii Sports

Advanced Media Network:
Gadget of Show: Wii Remote
Most Innovative: Super Mario Galaxy
Booth of Show: Nintendo booth
Best Trailer: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Best Surprise: Snake from Konami's Metal Gear Solid series in Super Smash
Bros. Brawl

Gamehelper.com:
Best Adventure Game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Best Platform Game: Super Mario Galaxy

Continue reading "Nintendo Rakes in the Accolades for Its Wii Console and Games" »

May 25, 2006

Nintendo News: Nintendo Announces Wii Information, Worldwide Shipments

REDMOND, Wash., May 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Following its overwhelming debut at E3 2006, Nintendo today announced the current fiscal year unit shipment forecast for its new home game system, Wii(TM). Nintendo also confirmed that the price of the Wii system, which incorporates unique freehand control, will not exceed $250 in America, or 25,000 yen in Japan. The company plans to ship 6 million systems to retailers around the world between its launch in the fourth quarter of 2006 and the end of its fiscal year on March 31, 2007.
The projections are part of a full-year financial forecast that sees growth of 18 percent in sales globally, based on anticipated continuing strong demand for the Nintendo DS(TM) portable game system, as well as a successful launch for Wii.

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May 18, 2006

E3 Coverage - SEGA

I had a good time over at SEGA with Jenny. Overall, they've got an impressive bunch of games.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz - This is a Wii launch title and I'm looking forward to it. Playing is a good demonstration of how the Wii controller can be used. Imagine that you are holding the puzzle tray in your hand. Tilt the controller the way that you would tilt the puzzle tray to move the monkey the way you want. It makes the game very cool. There are 50+ mini games and 50+ puzzle trays. Some of the mini games have creative ways of using the controller. For example, in the hammer throw you twirl the controller and release the button to throw the hammer.
smonkeybbb.bmp

Sonic Wild Fire (working title) - This is another Wii launch title. Sonic falls asleep reading the Arabian Nights and journeys into that world. It was fun to control him running through the game using the controller, tilting it to turn, flicking it up to jump. I got pulled out in the middle of this demo so I don't have much more. I also don't have a screen shot for this one.

Midieval II Total War - This is a PC only title due to ship in November 2006. It's being developed by a 40 person Australian team. There are 21 factions, 17 of which are playable. They doubled the resolution at which the graphics engine runs. They replaced the battle engine. Troops are now individuals that move and think independently within the context of their orders. You can upgrade the troops and see the difference in how they battle. There's a vegetation system that makes for great looking trees and bushes. The environment has strategic value so you can use it to win battles by trapping the enemy. The battle was something to see. Troops look around for their next opponent, corpses stack up in pools of blood. You can fight in the Crusades where there's a whole aspect to the game of managing the relationship with the Pope.
mid2tw.jpg

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May 11, 2006

Opera on Nintendo Wii

Oslo, Norway and Los Angeles, Calif. - May 10, 2006: Opera Software, a world leader in Web browser technology, today announced that Nintendo's much anticipated new generation game console, Wii, will use the Opera browser.

Users of the Wii console will browse the Internet using their consoles. Navigating via the innovative new Wii Remote controller, users can visit Web sites in between gaming sessions.

"Nintendo is clearly visionary in leading the gaming industry into the new era in gaming, and a wonderful partner for Opera," says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Nintendo, and work with them to deliver the best gaming experience on the Wii console and the Nintendo DS(TM)."

"For our Wii console launch in 2006, we required a browser that was fast and secure with support for the latest standards including AJAX. Opera proved perfect for our purposes and is an exceptional addition to both the Nintendo DS and the Wii console," said Genyo Takeda, senior managing director and general manager, Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd.

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E3 Coverage - Nintendo

Nintendo showed 27 titles for Wii. They're not all launch titles though; they wouldn't commit to a specific number of launch titles. The Wii is actually very cool. I have to admit that I'm more excited about the Wii than I am about the PS3. The way I see it, Microsoft and Sony can throw more horsepower at games and have better graphics. Big deal. Gaming is still the same just with better graphics. But the Wii is new and radical. The controls are totally different from anything else that I've played. Honestly, after PS3 is going to cost as much as a house, I think I'm much more interested in Wii. There's a bunch of different controllers, the usual nunchuck controller and then there's the classic style controller which is like a GameCube controller, and there's a prototype zapper style controller which is like a gun.

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

Madden NFL 07 - using the Wii controller is very cool. You use the controller like the football. You snap it to start the play, then you pass with it, and shake it to juke.

The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess - this is so cool. The controller takes some getting used to. You use both hands to play, aiming with the controller and swinging your sword by swiping with the controller. The game looks great.

Wii Sports is golf, tennis, and baseball. You use the controller like you would play the sport. For instance, you serve in tennis and then swing to hit the ball as it comes to you. Very cool stuff.

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Nintendo Names New Characters in Smash Bros. Game for Wii Console

Nintendo unveiled a spectacular video of Super Smash Bros.(R) Brawl for the company's upcoming Wii(TM) console. The amazing footage also revealed a variety of new Nintendo characters who will be playable in the game, including Meta Knight, the sword-wielding nemesis of Kirby(TM); Pit, the angelic archer from Kid Icarus(R); Zero Suit Samus, the powerful Metroid(R) series heroine minus her versatile armor; and Wario(TM), who demonstrated a noxious attack of gastronomic proportions.

Nintendo also revealed that the game would include Snake, the gritty soldier from Konami's hugely popular Metal Gear series.

Nintendo issued the surprise announcement during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, which continues through May 12. Super Smash Bros.(R) remains one of Nintendo's most popular franchises, both for its fun, over-the-top battles and because it brings the most popular characters in Nintendo's universe into one common setting. The latest incarnation, Super Smash Bros.(R) Melee, is the best-selling game of all time for Nintendo GameCube(TM).

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May 9, 2006

Wii Will Offer Unprecedented Video Game Experiences for Everyone

LOS ANGELES, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than 20 years, video game players have used body language to "help" them play. With Nintendo's upcoming Wii(TM) console, those movements become a real part of the play. After grabbing the Wii Remote for the first time, hesitation gives way to concentration. Confidence builds. Excitement morphs into pure delight. And everyone watching says the same thing: "Hey -- let me try!"
What drives this phenomenon? A remarkable controller and games that enhance the experience ... realizing that the swing of your arm -- not the movement of your thumb -- causes a baseball to leave the park or a sword to find its mark. The Wii console introduces the next leap in gaming, one where players not only control their characters on the screen, but they also become them.
"The Wii console gives every game developer a tool to create new experiences, not just linear advancement," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "It will attract all kinds of new players, and thoroughly satisfy the hard-core gamers."
One of Wii's launch titles will be Wii Sports, a new type of product designed to expand the video game experience to everyone, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience. These games will form the bridge that connects current gamers to newcomers. Wii Sports will include a tennis game that lets up to four players swing at, hear and feel the ball. Anyone can pick up the Wii Remote and start hitting straight shots and lobs, with top spin or a slice, using their forehand or backhand, simply by simulating the arm and wrist movements of a real tennis game. In the baseball game, players can hit or pitch a baseball using the Wii Remote as the characters on the screen mimic their movements. And in the golf game, players can drive the fairways or putt for the cup simply by swinging the Wii Remote as if they were swinging a real golf club. Games can be played with small, precise hand movements, but it's likely people will want to immerse themselves physically in the reality of the experience.
The Legend of Zelda(R): Twilight Princess also will launch at the same time as Wii. It will thrill gamers with its captivating storyline, stunning game play and gorgeous look. The game makes use of the unique Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller for elements like fishing and special sword attacks.
Other Wii games in development include Metroid(R) Prime 3: Corruption, which redefines how first-person shooters look and feel. Players use the Wii Remote as their pinpoint-accurate arm cannon, while the Nunchuk attachment can be used to deploy a variety of functions, such as the Grapple Beam. The amazing Super Mario(R) Galaxy represents a crowning achievement for legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and his team. Mario(TM) floats from planet to planet while performing massive zero-gravity jumps in an environment new to gaming fans.
Excite Truck(TM) builds on a classic Nintendo franchise, but features a radical play mechanic in which players hold the Wii Remote sideways like a steering wheel. On jumps, they must balance it to make sure their vehicle lands squarely and earns a turbo boost. Many games make racing look real, but Nintendo also makes it feel real. WarioWare(TM): Smooth Moves contains about 200 microgames that will have players holding the Wii Remote to their hips to do a hula-hoop motion, curling it like a barbell or putting it on their head and doing squats.
The Wii console already enjoys strong third-party support. Nintendo is working with every major publisher worldwide to create fresh intellectual properties and host strong, classic franchises on the console. Gamers can look forward to multiple offerings, including:

* Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam(TM), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Call of Duty(R) 3 from Activision

* Sonic and Super Monkey Ball games from SEGA

* DRAGON QUEST SWORDS(TM): The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors(TM) and CODENAME: FINAL FANTASY(R) CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: Crystal Bearers(TM) from SQUARE ENIX

* Madden NFL from Electronic Arts

* Rayman Raving Rabbids(TM) and Red Steel(TM), the only original first-person game built from the ground up exclusively for the Wii launch, from Ubisoft

* and a SpongeBob SquarePants title from THQ.

Gamers also can expect ground-breaking offerings from Atari, Buena Vista Games, Eidos, Konami Digital Entertainment, Majesco, Mastiff, Midway Games, NAMCO BANDAI Games, Atlus and SNK. Nintendo and publishers large and small worldwide will introduce original franchises of all kinds, aimed both at pleasing the hard-core crowd and encouraging new generations and demographics of people to play.
"Once again Nintendo has challenged the status quo and opened new creative landscapes for us," says John Schappert, EA Canada's senior vice president and group studio general manager. "We look forward to creating original experiences for the Wii console while seeing how some of our best sellers play using the extraordinary controllers."
In addition to a healthy selection of new games, Wii will enjoy one of the largest launch libraries in video game history thanks to its built-in Virtual Console and backward compatibility with Nintendo GameCube(TM). The Virtual Console provides downloadable access to Nintendo games from the NES(R), Super NES(R) and Nintendo(R) 64. The Virtual Console also will feature a "best of" selection from Sega Genesis titles and games from the TurboGrafx console (a system jointly developed by NEC and Hudson).
Wii will launch worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2006. Prices and other launch details will be announced at a later date.

Continue reading "Wii Will Offer Unprecedented Video Game Experiences for Everyone" »

Nintendo Introduces the Next Leap in Video Games

LOS ANGELES, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Anyone can tell you how video games look. Nintendo wants you to experience how they can feel.
Today Nintendo unveils the next leap in gaming by demonstrating its upcoming Wii(TM) home console, which lets users manipulate action on their television screens through the precise, life-like motion of the Wii Remote.
Continuing Nintendo's long tradition of developing highly innovative products that redefine the standards for the industry, Wii (pronounced "we") will allow players to "feel" games in a way never known before: the adrenaline of a tennis match, the thrill of making an airplane bank or the rush of gripping the wheel of a speeding truck. The control scheme is simple enough that everyone, no matter what their prior gaming experience, can use it with ease and will want to try it.
"Not only is Wii compelling to current game players, but it also will entice new players with new experiences," explains Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. "To expand the total number of game players, we must make our experience both friendlier and more compelling. With Wii, it is."
Iwata made his comments during Nintendo's annual media briefing in Los Angeles prior to the start of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) global video game trade show. Thanks to Nintendo's leadership in innovation, Wii will challenge conventional thinking and will be a disruptive element in the video game industry.
Players manipulate their games through the motion of the remote control-like Wii Remote, which also includes a built-in speaker. In a four-player tennis game shown during Nintendo's media briefing, the Wii Remote became a virtual tennis racket, from the vibration of the hit to the sound of the ball. The Wii Remote's sensors are delicate enough to enable players to hit straight, add slice or put top spin on the ball.
Depending on the game, the Wii Remote could be a weapon, a baseball bat or an airplane. The applications are limited only by imagination. The Nunchuk controller attachment also includes a motion sensor, a development that suggests additional creative possibilities for this dual control system: Games could involve the use of a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. Or a clamp and a scalpel. Or a pair of boxing gloves.
A new, immersive playing experience represents the most important factor to keep the industry healthy and growing. For more than a year, Nintendo has demonstrated living examples of how this strategy continues to work to the benefit of players, Nintendo and the marketplace. New interfaces can change the gaming landscape almost overnight, as evidenced by the success of the hand-held Nintendo DS(TM) system. To date, more than 16 million units have sold through to gamers of all types. Between now and the end of 2006, more than 100 new, envelope-pushing games will launch for the system to continue the tremendous momentum it enjoys worldwide.
Wii will be available in the fourth quarter of 2006 and priced affordably for the mass market. It will feature a very quick startup, silent operation and low power consumption. These elements make the "sleepless" WiiConnect24 experience possible. Users never need to turn it off. The combination of the new interface, including the Wii Remote, the Virtual Console and WiiConnect24 (which takes advantage of the console's low power consumption represents a true leap forward in gaming.
Games in development for the Wii console include a third chapter in the Metroid(R) Prime series, a new Mario(TM) game and The Legend of Zelda(R): Twilight Princess. Additionally, dozens of developers worldwide are working to bring new experiences to the Wii console. Nintendo will expand the gaming circle to as many types of people as possible, including lapsed gamers and people who have never played before.
Along with Wii Sports, which includes the tennis game, the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will launch at the same time as Wii and thrill gamers with its captivating storyline, stunning game play and gorgeous look. The game makes use of the unique Wii Remote functions for elements like fishing and special sword attacks. The game also will be playable on Nintendo GameCube(TM), but without the widescreen format or special controller functions.

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E3 Coverage - Nintendo Press Conference

I had a little problem with the Nintendo press conference this morning. For some reason I had it on my calendar for 10:30 and it was really scheduled for 9:30. So I'm walking around Hollywood and Highland wondering where everyone is. Suffice it to say I missed a large portion of the press conference.

Satoru Iwata, President
Nintendo wanted to expand the number of people who play games. Target current gamers, those who have lost interest and new gamers. Stylus makes gaming easy, so will Wii controller. Most lapsed gamers have wonderful memories of games they used to play. The virtual console will satisfy them. Load times really try our patience. Wii will solve this problem by booting very quickly. Wii never sleeps and there is a mode called Wii Connect 24 – console enters standby mode where it is responsive but using low energy. “What we are aiming for is a system that is new every day.” Wii Sports – tennis, golf, baseball in 1 game – everyone will like it.

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ACTIVISION ANNOUNCES NEXT-GENERATION CONSOLE LINEUP

Santa Monica, CA. – May 8, 2006 -- Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today confirmed that the company is currently in development on three launch titles for both the PLAYSTATION® 3 computer entertainment system and Wii™ (formerly code named Revolution) platforms. The company has been working closely with both Sony Computer Entertainment America and Nintendo on the development of Call of Duty® 3 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, which will be released on both next-generation systems, as well as on the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Activision also is developing two completely different games based on the Tony Hawk franchise – Tony Hawk’s Project 8™ for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam™ for Nintendo’s new Wii system. In fiscal 2007, the company will release 10 games for the three next-generation platforms including the titles listed above as well as X-Men: The Official Game for the Xbox 360.

Additionally, at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo Activision will unveil a sneak peak from its highly anticipated Spider-Man 3™ video game that demonstrates the in-game model of the renowned Super Hero and the power of next-generation technology. Activision’s Windows PC lineup is led by id Software’s Enemy Territory™: QUAKE Wars, the highly-anticipated online team-based first-person action game.

These announcements underscore Activision’s commitment to being a leader on all of the next-generation gaming systems. The company established an early leadership position on the Xbox 360 and according to the NPD Group, has the #1 Xbox 360 game with Call of Duty® 2. Activision’s next-generation slate is anchored by well-established, recognizable brands that the company owns or controls.

Activision also announced its game lineup for the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo, taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 10 - 12, 2006. The company’s slate showcases games for both next-and current-generation consoles and Windows PC platforms.

“Activision will showcase a diverse and well-rounded game slate at this year’s E3 convention,” said Mike Griffith, President and CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. “We expect that our well-established brands and multi-platform development strategy should continue to provide us with an advantage in the new console era. The next-generation console systems feature significant visual and audio enhancements that will continue making video games more accessible to audiences worldwide.”

Next-Generation Launch Titles:

Activision’s PlayStation 3 system launch lineup will take advantage of the hardware’s multi-core processing to deliver smoother, faster gaming experiences that will closely resemble feature film quality values. The company’s launch games for Nintendo’s Wii system will fully utilize the Wii’s revolutionary freehand-style controller by offering more immersive gameplay.

Call of Duty 3, the follow-up to the #1 next-generation game, delivers the intensity of being closer than ever to the fury of combat during the battle for the Liberation of Paris, the most harrowing campaign of WWII, known as The Normandy Breakout. Through a seamless narrative, Call of Duty 3 delivers the rush of unrelenting battle and breathtaking action of the Allied offensive that changed the fate of the world. (PlayStation 3 system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Wii, Xbox, PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system; fall; not yet rated by the ESRB)

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is an all-new action/RPG that features over 140 Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains and the largest roster of comic book characters ever seen in a video game. Players get to create their Super Hero team from over 20 playable characters including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Blade and Captain America, and through their actions determine the fate of both planet Earth and the Marvel Universe, which is revealed in one of several epilogues. (PlayStation 3 system, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable) system, Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Windows PC; fall; not yet rated by the ESRB)

Designed and built exclusively for Nintendo’s next-generation and handheld systems, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam delivers a totally innovative and unique skateboard experience focused on head-to-head racing. The game allows players to feel the breakneck speed of downhill competition as they tear up the world’s steepest terrains while performing tricks and outmaneuvering opponents in such locations as San Francisco, Machu Picchu and Hong Kong. Taking on the role of Tony Hawk or one of nine characters, players compete in time-based challenges in one of three gameplay modes including race, trick and slalom. (Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance; fall; not yet rated by the ESRB)

Reengineered from the ground up for the PlayStation 3 system and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 immerses players in the definitive skateboarding experience using ultra-realistic graphics, enhanced physics and extremely responsive controls that simulate the feeling of skating with every trick and bail. The game challenges players to experience the intensity and pressure of skating against some of the world’s top pros in true to life competitions as they aim to become the #1 skater. (PlayStation 3 system, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PSP system; fall; not yet rated by the ESRB)

Powerhouse E3 Lineup:

Set to redefine online action gaming, id Software’s Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars is the ultimate team-and objective-based multiplayer experience. Developed by Splash Damage and executive produced by id Software, the first person strategic action game is set within the epic QUAKE® universe in the year 2065 and pits the Allied troops of the Global Defense Force (GDF) against a new Axis of Evil – the barbaric and technologically advanced Strogg. Built on id Software’s new MegaTexture™ rendering technology and featuring strategic team play, persistent character promotions and the universe’s most powerful weapons and vehicles, Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars transports players to the frontlines of an epic new war for Earth. (Windows PC; not yet rated by the ESRB)

Building on The Movies™’ critically acclaimed gameplay, The Movies: Stunts & Effects™ Expansion Pack ups the ante on movie production with the addition of stuntmen, death-defying stunts and new stunt double characters; a new particle effects engine that let’s players enhance their scenes with incredible visual effects including fireball explosions, shattering glass, smoke and steam; an all new “Freecam Mode” that allows players to adjust the camera location, angle, field of view and path to create truly unique movies; and the addition of new miniature sets that let players create dramatic sweeping angles. (Windows PC; summer; Rated “T” (Teen – Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Tobacco Violence) by the ESRB)

Based on DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming film, Over the Hedge™ takes players on an all-new adventure beyond the movie as they assume the roles of RJ the raccoon, Verne the turtle, Hammy the squirrel and Stella the skunk and turn a suburban neighborhood loaded with dangerous obstacles and traps into their personal playground. (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and the PC have been rated E10+; Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS have been rated E by the ESRB; available on North American retail shelves May 9)

X-Men: The Official Game catapults players into an original storyline that serves as a prelude to Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Studios’ upcoming film, “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and allows them to command the distinct powers of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they face off against formidable enemies, battle through massive environments and embark on an epic quest to save mutant-kind. (Rated “T” (Teen - violence) for Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and PC by the ESRB; Rated “E-10+” (Everyone 10 and older – fantasy violence) for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance) by the ESRB; available on North American retail shelves May 16)

Building on last year’s #1 poker title and the #1 brand in poker, World Series of Poker®: Tournament of Champions takes a story-based approach putting players on the Pro Circuit as a new pro and protégé of Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. Players test their skills at the premier Circuit Events in hopes of qualifying for the winner-take-all, invitation-only Tournament of Champions at the Rio Resort in Las Vegas. Along the way, they face-off against more top pros than ever before, including Joseph Hachem, the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion and Jennifer Tilly, the Academy Award nominated actress and World Series of Poker bracelet holder, among others in hopes of bringing home the Tournament of Champions trophy. (Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PC, PSP system; fall; not yet rated by the ESRB)

New Online Content:

Further expanding the experience of the #1 title for the Xbox 360, Activision will release four all new Call of Duty 2 Xbox 360 multiplayer maps at E3 that unleash a blistering barrage of battle for gamers. The four maps will be available via Xbox Live® online game network. The Bonus Pack features two maps set in Germany and will be released for free. While the Skirmish Pack contains two additional maps set in Russia and France will be sold for 400 Microsoft Points™ through Xbox Live® Marketplace.

Video taped comments from Activision’s CEO, Robert Kotick, concerning E3, the PlayStation 3 system, Nintendo Wii and the future of digital entertainment, are available at www.thenewsmarket.com/activision. Media can preview and request broadcast-standard video digitally or by tape at no cost from this site.

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May 8, 2006

EA UNVEILS THE NEXT GENERATION OF GAMES AT E3

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 4, 2006-- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced its next generation of game titles for the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) taking place in Los Angeles May 10-12, 2006. EA’s line up of EA SPORTS™ and EA™ branded games for the Xbox 360™ video game system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, Nintendo Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PC and mobile phones will be showcased in EA’s booth #1000 in the South Hall. With a renewed focus on original and wholly-owned intellectual property EA will unveil an array of titles and the technology that drives gameplay innovation.

Shown exclusively behind closed doors, EA is presenting its recently announced next generation console action title out of EA Montréal, ARMY OF TWO™; Will Wright’s original PC work in progress, SPORE™; and the newest PC iteration in the acclaimed Command & Conquer™ series, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™.

The EA SPORTS line up will go behind closed doors in the EA SPORTS Lab highlighting the technology that fuels the gameplay innovations for the ’07 lineup. Madden NFL 07 will be playable on the PlayStation 3 console, Xbox 360, PSP system, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.

“EA is leading the industry with a new generation of games on a new generation of platforms,” said Paul Lee President of EA Studios. “We’re pushing the technology to provide more innovation in our EA branded games and authentic athletic performance in our EA SPORTS games. We’re also leading the resurgence of PC gaming with groundbreaking titles like Battlefield 2142, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Crytek Studio’s Crysis and of course Will Wright’s new game, SPORE.”

“EA is demonstrating a ground-breaking level of quality and innovation at E3 this year,” said Frank Gibeau, EA Executive Vice President and General Manger of North American Publishing. “Games like ARMY OF TWO and NBA LIVE 07 are going to unleash the power of new consoles like PlayStation3 and Xbox 360. Madden NFL 07 makes great use of the new controller on Nintendo’s Wii system.”

“E3 is a showcase for EA’s portfolio of globally recognized entertainment,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager of International Publishing, Gerhard Florin. “Titles like FIFA Soccer, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II and the Battlefield franchise are among the most popular games in the world.”
EA SPORTS™ branded E3 line up

Along with playable demos that showcase deep new offerings of Madden NFL 07 and NCAA Football 07, EA will feature tech demonstrations of NBA LIVE, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR and FIFA Soccer behind closed doors in the EA SPORTS Lab. These demos will illustrate the new tools and development philosophy that drives gameplay and feature innovation in EA SPORTS games on next generation consoles. Highlighting the EA SPORTS Lab will be never-before-seen technology that delivers authentic athletic performance— the athletic movements, awareness, look and emotional intensity that bring characters to life in EA SPORTS games. The Lab will also feature a demonstration of ESPN content integrated in upcoming EA SPORTS games, including ESPN ticker and ESPN SportsCenter Radio updates.

Madden NFL 07 - With the exclusive video game license of the NFL and its players, Madden NFL 07 continues to be the #1 football franchise in history with more than 51 million copies sold. In its 17th installment, you control the running game like never before. For the first time ever, step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback and smash through, overpower, or slash away from would-be tacklers as you fight for every yard. Innovative rushing controls give you a game-breaking ground attack featuring all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs. Developed by EA Tiburon, Madden NFL 07 will launch in August on the Xbox 360, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo GameCube™, PSP system, PC, Nintendo DS and Game Boy® Advance. Madden NFL 07 is also in development on the PlayStation 3 console and Nintendo Wii.

NCAA® Football 07 - Momentum changes everything—now college football’s most celebrated videogame turns the tide with NCAA Football 07. Whether battling your biggest rival or playing for the first-ever BCS National Championship Game in Dynasty Mode™, success on the field depends on your ability to maintain momentum. Featuring unprecedented graphics that capture every moment in complete detail—from the authenticity of the stadiums, mascots, and marching bands, to the true-to-life look and feel of the players on the field. NCAA Football 07 delivers the most realistic college football experience ever. NCAA Football 07 is scheduled to ship in July on the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, Xbox 360 and the PSP system.

NASCAR® 07* (Working title) - Take risks, be rewarded, and become a champion with NASCAR® 07* on the PSP system. With all-new Adrenaline Moments, use your skill and instinct during the most intense situations and control the outcome by avoiding disastrous wrecks and flying debris. Maintain your focus on dangerous conditions ahead with the new RaceBreaker feature, which guides you through every treacherous moment of the race. With all-new speed blurring, realistic spark and smoke effects, and camera shakes, get your adrenaline pumping and experience the all-out drama and intensity of 190-mph racing with NASCAR 07.

EA™ branded E3 lineup

The EA game line up is as diverse as the audience games reach today. Gamers will have all-new experiences on award-winning franchises or discover completely new franchises; EA titles will demonstrate that next generation has arrived on the console, PC and handheld devices.

ARMY OF TWO™ - You’re not alone soldier, not anymore. At E3, EA unveils details of the action title that has been kept top secret for the past year. Developed at EA’s boutique production house in Montréal, Canada, the new, original game will redefine strategic TWO man cooperative play when it launches on the PlayStation 3 console and Xbox 360 in 2007. ARMY OF TWO will throw gamers into hot spots ripped from current day headlines where they will utilize unique TWO man strategies and tactics while seamlessly transitioning between playing with intelligent Partner AI (PAI) and a live player. When one man is not enough, it will take an army of two to fight through war, political turmoil and a conspiracy so vast it threatens the entire world.

Battlefield 2142™ - The year is 2142, and the dawn of a new Ice age has thrown the world into a panic. The soil not covered by ice can only feed a fraction of the Earth’s population. The math is simple and brutal: Some will live, most will die. In Battlefield 2142, players choose to fight for one of two military superpowers in an epic battle for survival. Armed with a devastating arsenal of hi-tech weaponry, including assault rifles, cloaking devices, EMP grenades and sentry guns, players can level the playing field against massive Battle Walkers that control the ground and futuristic aircraft that rule the skies. Massive online* battles for up to 64 players drop gamers on the front lines as part of a formal squad, or behind the scenes in Commander Mode to direct the strategic assaults of their team-mates. Battlefield 2142 also introduces an all-new game type for the first time in franchise history: “Titan” mode, which challenges gamers to control the battlefield and destroy their opponent’s Titan - a massive flying warship - while defending their own. Battlefield 2142 is developed by Digital Illusions/DICE Sweden and is slated to ship for PC in Fall 2006.

SPORE – SPORE takes players on an epic journey from the origin and evolution of life through the development of civilization and eventually into the outer reaches of space. Create a creature, then control every dimension of its evolution from pond scum to galactic god. Experience multiple styles of gameplay as your creature advances through different stages of development. Fight for survival in the wild, develop a sprawling metropolis, trade and war against rival civilizations and explore the outer reaches of the galaxy. Every aspect of the universe from creatures to vehicles, buildings to plants, are created by the player and automatically shared with other players, providing a limitless number of worlds to explore and play. Create, control and explore your universe with SPORE. SPORE is under development for the PC by legendary game designer, Will Wright.

Crysis™ – Crysis is all-new first person shooter from Crytek, the award-winning developers of the critically-acclaimed hit Far Cry. Powered by the revolutionary CryEngine™2, Crysis delivers next-generation PC technology, graphics and gameplay. Set in 2019 after a colossal asteroid crashes to Earth, Crysis begins amidst a tense military standoff between the North Korean and United States governments for control of the impact zone. Amid rising tensions, the asteroid suddenly bursts open revealing a massive alien ship, which begins freezing vast portions of the island and altering the global weather system. The invasion of Earth has begun. Crysis features an epic three-act story of alien invasion where players are able to customize their armor and weapons in real time to confront an ever-changing enemy and a harsh, dynamic environment. Advanced enemy AI employs realistic military tactics, forcing gamers to actively outsmart their opponents rather than simply reacting to them. Crysis is slated to ship for the PC in Winter 2006.

Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars™ – The genre defining Command & Conquer series is back! The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and The Brotherhood of NOD continues…and the third Tiberium War™ is about to begin. Welcome back, Commander. Command & Conquer, the groundbreaking series that put the Real-time Strategy (RTS) genre on the map, is returning in full force with Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars. This highly-anticipated next chapter takes the popular series back to its roots in the Tiberium universe and features the fast, fluid gameplay that Command & Conquer is known for and a gripping story that will redefine storytelling in RTS games. Experience a revolution in RTS gaming with a breakthrough single player campaign that rewards you for your gameplay style. Add layers of strategy to your gaming experience by building mobile bases, wielding the power of terrifying Ion Storms on the battlefield, or customizing your armies by combining units. Battle it out online with native voice-over IP, integrated clan support, and new spectator modes that let you play RTS games like a sport. Windows PC, 2007.

The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II for the Xbox 360 – Now command the epic battles of Middle-earth from your living room couch! Take control of huge armies and venture into the heart of Middle-earth to live the battles seen in the blockbuster New Line Cinema films and classic J.R.R. Tolkien literary fiction—all in spectacular high-definition. The game boasts a new, intuitive console-specific control scheme that allows novice players to enjoy the game’s signature Real-time Strategy gameplay while giving expert players the flexibility needed to engage in a deeply complex strategy experience. Directly control hundreds of units in an attempt to defeat enemy armies, conquer new lands, and seal the fate of Middle-earth. As the first game in The Lord of the Rings™ series to be playable over Xbox LIVE™*, add to the intensity of the experience and challenge friends online* to engage in action-packed real-time battles. Summer 2006.

SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME challenges players to master Superman's unrivaled powers to save Metropolis. Based on 60 years of DC Comics and the upcoming motion picture, SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME creates the ultimate open-world super hero experience. As the Man of Steel™, you’ll hone your unworldly super powers such as Flight, X-Ray Vision and Freeze Breath to fight villains that only Superman™ can defeat. SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME will be available on Xbox 360, the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, the PSP system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.

Def Jam® Fight For NY™: The Takeover – Experience the ultimate hip hop fighting game anywhere you go. Master over 180 new fighting moves and 50 new dirty moves in order to win fights and rise among the ranks of your crew. Create your own fighter and battle through over 40 of the hottest artists and celebrities in Hip Hop including Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Snoop Dogg, and Xzibit. With a new story, new moves, new venues, and head to head wireless gameplay, Def Jam Fight For NY: The Takeover is the summer's must have title for the PSP system.

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May 7, 2006

Buena Vista Games Unveils New Video Game Lineup at 2006 Electronics Entertainment Expo

BURBANK, Calif. — (May 8, 2006) — Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced its largest and most diverse lineup ever of console, computer and handheld video game titles to be showcased at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), May 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Booth No. 1024 in the South Hall.

With a broad portfolio of video games that appeals to a wide audience, BVG’s portfolio includes titles inspired by major theatrical releases, popular and award-winning television shows and new intellectual properties.

“Buena Vista Games’ 2006 portfolio features the most diverse and extensive product mix to date, with titles based on the rich movie and television brands of The Walt Disney Company and new original properties that we look to build into evergreen franchises for the future,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “We continue to strengthen our self-publishing business with compelling new games that have broad entertainment appeal across all audiences and all major markets worldwide.”

For console game players, BVG will showcase a broad range of titles including Turok, an FPS game set on a mysterious planet that is based on the Classic Media comic book license; Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action, based on the “super hero movie within a movie” of the box office hit film “Chicken Little”; Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures’ futuristic computer-animated film; Lumines Plus, the first console extension of the highly popular Lumines puzzle franchise; and Disney’s Kim Possible: What’s the Switch?, the first console game based on the hit Disney Channel franchise.

For Windows PC users, Desperate Housewives: The Game, based on the award-winning ABC/Touchstone Television series “Desperate Housewives” will be available for game play for the first time.

BVG’s strategy for its kids games portfolio is focused on three endeavors in 2006 – the launch of the Disney on the Go brand; new efforts in handheld preschool learning games with the launch of Disney’s Little Einsteins for Game Boy® Advance; and migrating handheld franchise hits to the console for sophisticated gameplay in a family-safe environment with Disney’s Kim Possible for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

BVG will showcase handheld games for all major handheld platforms (the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance). The company’s handheld portfolio will include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, based on the upcoming summer blockbuster movie; Spectrobes, a new original title being developed in Japan; Lumines II, Every Extend Extra and Meteos: Disney Edition, action puzzle games from Q ENTERTAINMENT; and games based on popular Disney Channel properties including “Hannah Montana,“ “Little Einsteins,” “American Dragon,” “Phil of the Future,” “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” “That’s So Raven” and more. Also, BVG will present new titles for young girls based on the Disney Princess franchise including a game based on the upcoming DVD release of “The Little Mermaid.”

Along with its self-publishing business, BVG continues to work with its licensing partners on phenomenal games based on Disney and Disney€Pixar properties. THQ Inc. will showcase Disney€Pixar Cars and Bethesda Softworks will show Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow in their respective booths at E3.

Console Games

Turok*
Turok is an epic, story-driven FPS game set on a dark, mysterious planet in the near future. Players take on the role of Joseph Turok, a former Black Ops commando, now part of an elite Special Forces squad on a mission to take down a war criminal on a genetically-altered planet. After the ship is shot down while approaching the planet, Joseph Turok must use his instincts and elite military training to elude an army of well-trained soldiers, and the ravenous, unpredictable creatures that populate the dangerous environment. Joseph Turok’s mission? Survive at all costs.

Platforms: Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system
Release Date: 2007

Lumines Plus*
Lumines Plus is a pulsing new version of the original PSP system game for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Lumines Plus includes new skins and a two-player battle mode.

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: Fall 2006

Disney’s Meet The Robinsons
Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, based on the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated film, is a time-traveling action/adventure game. Players will experience the adventure as Wilbur Robinson, helping him chase the dastardly Bowler Hat Guy and his diabolical robotic hat Doris through multiple timelines in an attempt to thwart their evil plans. The game weaves in and out of the film’s plot, expanding the Robinson world and offering an all-new adventure. Wilbur will have a host of gadgets at his disposal as he battles enemies and solves puzzles while pursuing Bowler Hat Guy and trying not to alter the future.

Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance
Release Date: 2007

Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action
Inspired by the “superhero movie within the movie” finale of Walt Disney Pictures’ box office hit film “Chicken Little,” Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action features Ace, the superhero alter ego of Chicken Little, and the Hollywood versions of his misfit band of friends: Runt, Abby and Fish-Out-of-Water. The crew of the intergalactic Battle Barn faces off against Foxy Loxy and her evil Amazonian sidekick, Goosey Loosey, who have an evil plan to take over Earth. Battle evil alien robots through multiple levels across the solar system and combat your foes in one of three distinct game play modes: Ace on foot as a soldier, Runt as the driver of an armored tank, or Abby as the pilot of a spaceship. The original Chicken Little and his friends Abby, Runt and Fish we know from the film are featured in cut scenes throughout the game.

Platforms: Wii, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS
Release Date: Fall 2006

Disney’s Kim Possible: What’s the Switch?
Kim Possible and her perennial nemesis Shego must grudgingly team up to bring everything back to normal when the minds of Dr. Drakken and Ron Stoppable are switched in this action-packed adventure. It’s now up to Kim and Shego to save the day – together.

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: Fall 2006

Windows PC Game

Desperate Housewives: The Game
A lifestyle simulation game for Windows based on the hit ABC/Touchstone Television phenomenon, Desperate Housewives: The Game lets you become the newest housewife on Wisteria Lane, extending the experience from the TV series through new storylines. As a new housewife, you must uncover delicious scandals and reveal some shocking secrets of your own. The gameplay is a story-driven adventure, in which each episode contains unique plot points and secrets for you to uncover.

Platforms: Windows XP and Windows Vista
Release Date: Fall 2006

Handheld Games

Spectrobes
An original concept and new intellectual property from Buena Vista Games, Spectrobes introduces two junior Interplanetary Patrol officers named Rallen and Jeena who learn of strange, prehistoric creatures called Spectrobes that possess special powers. These Spectrobes hold the key to defeating a vicious and merciless force, known only as the Krawl that threatens to destroy the galaxy. The two heroes embark on a mission to save their galaxy – to do so they must excavate, awaken, train and collect all the Spectrobes they can and battle to defeat the Krawl.

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Date: To Be Announced

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, based on the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures’ film, is a swashbuckling third-person action/adventure. Players will engage in game play that reflects the cunning world of the film franchise -- with an abundance of disloyalty, humor and revenge. Players embark on a daring adventure while sword dueling and hunting for hidden treasure in the quest for the legendary Dead Man’s Chest.

Platforms: PSP system, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance
Release Date: June 27, 2006

Lumines II
Lumines II is the highly anticipated sequel to the extremely addictive puzzle-based video game, Lumines. Gamers control squares made of four smaller block pieces that are dropped into the playing field one at a time to form same-color squares. The vertical “timeline” sweeps across the playing field from left to right and wipes the same-color squares from the playing field. Unmatched blocks pile up, and the game ends when the pile gets to the top of the playing screen. Advance through many action-packed levels, each with its own musical theme and sound effects.

Platform: PSP system
Release Date: Fall 2006

Every Extend Extra
Every Extend Extra is a unique “puzzle shooter,” brought to the PSP system by the creators of the critically acclaimed hit Lumines. Every Extend Extra delivers an addictive gameplay experience through a fusion of arcade-style shooting action, cutting-edge music and visuals. Players evade enemy attacks and then use perfect timing to blast their foes in a colorful display of explosive chain reactions. The bigger the chain reaction results in the higher the score and the larger the rewards.

Platform: PSP system
Release Date: Fall 2006

Meteos: Disney Edition
Meteos: Disney Edition is a new version of the popular galactic action puzzle title Meteos featuring beloved Disney characters.

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Date: Fall 2006

BVG will also showcase upcoming handheld titles including for the Nintendo DS:

Disney’s American Dragon: Jake Long, Attack of the Dark Dragon
Disney’s Kim Possible: Global Gemini
Hannah Montana
That’s So Raven: Psychic on the Scene
Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Tipton Trouble

Games for the Game Boy Advance include:

The Cheetah Girls
Phil of the Future.
W.I.T.C.H.

Licensed Games

Disney€Pixar Cars
Published by THQ, Cars, the video game, is a high performance interactive experience in the open world created in the film, challenging players to relive the excitement created by Lightning McQueen and his friends. Fans will discover unique characters and environments inspired by the film with more than 10 playable characters and 30 races and mini games to choose from. The game features a fully immersive recreation of all major environments introduced in the movie, including Radiator Springs and Ornament Valley, which will offer distinctive racing experiences to players while maintaining the artistic style of the film.

Platforms: Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube®, Nintendo DS, PSP system, Game Boy Advance, Windows PC and Mac
Release Date: June 2006; Xbox 360 and Wii versions – Fall 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
What’s not to love about Captain Jack Sparrow? Play as Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swann as you hack and slash your way through fully interactive environments, including burning buildings, wrecked ships, and misty moonlit caves. One minute you are fighting hordes of enemies and the next you’re evading capture by the Royal Navy. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow is being published by Bethesda Softworks.

Platforms: PlayStation 2 and Windows PC
Release Date: Summer 2006

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April 21, 2006

NINTENDO AND AOL.COM SEEK THE FIRST CONSUMER TO PLAY REVOLUTION

REDMOND, Wash., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo and AOL.com are in hot pursuit to pick one lucky video game fan to fly to Los Angeles to be the first in the world to play Nintendo's next home console, code-named Revolution.
After signing up at www.aol.com/nintendo-first-to-play, three finalists for Nintendo's First-to-Play Sweepstakes will attend Nintendo's international media briefing on May 9 prior to the start of the Electronics Entertainment Expo, the most important video game industry event of the year. The winner will appear on stage to experience the new console in front of thousands of top industry insiders and reporters.
"No consumer has ever played this new Nintendo system before," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "But more importantly, no one has ever interacted with video games in this way before. Our next home console will revolutionize how people play and experience video games."
The new Nintendo console will open the world of video games to new audiences through the use of its innovative controller. Shaped like a remote control, it allows users to direct the action on the television screen through the motion of the controller itself.
"As one of the leading game destinations on the Web, we are thrilled to partner with Nintendo to give our AOL Games community the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the very first person to play the highly anticipated Revolution console," said Ralph Rivera, Vice President & General Manager, AOL Games.

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April 12, 2006

UBISOFT UNVEILS EXCLUSIVE NINTENDO REVOLUTION TITL E: RED STEEL

SAN FRANCISCO APRIL 11, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced the development of Red Steel, an exclusive first-person action title for the Nintendo Revolution (working name of the new Nintendo platform). Red Steel is set in modern-day Japan. Players will master both the ancient art of the katana and the sophisticated technology of modern firearms taking advantage of the emotion and immersive gameplay possible only with the Revolution's remarkable controller.

"We're honored to announce this exciting new franchise and we're confident that Red Steel will be the must-have title for the Revolution when it launches," said Serge Hascoet, chief creative officer at Ubisoft. "We have been working closely with Nintendo to take full advantage of the innovative controller to create a thrilling experience that can only exist on the Revolution."

Red Steel will make its worldwide debut in May 2006 at E3 in Los Angeles. With the style and flair of a contemporary action movie, Red Steel will appeal to gamers who thirst for a new video game experience, as well as those who may have not previously considered picking up a controller.

"Nintendo is excited to have Ubisoft bring Red Steel to the Revolution launch lineup," said Reggie Fils-Aime, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Nintendo of America. "Ubisoft makes some of the most innovative and critically acclaimed games in the industry and from what we have seen from Red Steel it is going to be a standout exclusive title on the Revolution."

Ubisoft has a strong history of creating some of the industry's top-selling video game franchises. To date, the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® and Rayman® franchises have each sold more than 15 million units worldwide and the Prince of Persia® franchise alone has sold more than eight million units worldwide. The Red Steel brand will reflect this expertise and build upon Ubisoft's past to invigorate the future experience allowed within the Revolution platform.

Ubisoft will disclose more specific information on Red Steel in the coming months and Nintendo will reveal more information about the Revolution and its unique controller at E3.

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March 23, 2006

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

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

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

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Nintendo President Challenges Developers to Create Bold New Games

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

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

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy(R) Advance SP, Nintendo DS(TM) and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games and more than 360 million hardware units globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid(R), Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

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February 14, 2006

HASBRO TAPS ACTIVISION TO PUBLISH RANGE OF VIDEO GAMES BASED ON THE TRANSFORMERS FRANCHISE AND LIVE-ACTION FILM FROM DREAMWORKS AND PARAMOUNT PICTURES

PAWTUCKET, R.I. Feb. 13, 2006– The Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and Activision, Inc, (NASDAQ: ATVI), a leading publisher of interactive entertainment software products, announced today a license that grants Activision the global rights, excluding Japan, to develop console, handheld and PC games based on Hasbro’s renowned TRANSFORMERS brand. The first game will be tied to the much-anticipated July 4, 2007 movie release of the live action TRANSFORMERS film from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

The TRANSFORMERS brand has been one of the best-selling boys’ action brands in a wide-range of categories, from toys to publishing to apparel, since its launch as a global property in 1984. Hasbro is currently gearing up to activate one of the Company’s most ambitious marketing and merchandising programs yet to coincide with the live action movie in 2007.

“We are thrilled to work with Activision to bring the widely popular TRANSFORMERS brand to the world of digital entertainment and introduce millions of consumers to our best-known TRANSFORMER and biggest hero of all time—OPTIMUS PRIME,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, president of the Hasbro Properties Group (HPG). “As the leading developer of video games, Activision shares our passion and excitement for the TRANSFORMERS story line. We know this world-class and creative team will bring TRANSFORMERS to life in powerful and exciting ways as we immerse a broad audience in this pop-culture phenomenon.”

“TRANSFORMERS has all of the elements necessary to translate incredibly well into video games,” said Mike Griffith, President and CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. “We look forward to bringing the Transformer robots to life with the latest interactive technology and graphics.”

The announcement of Activision as the global game publisher for the TRANSFORMERS brand marks the beginning of Hasbro’s commitment to bring its well-known toy and game brands further into the digital media space. This effort follows the reacquisition of its video gaming rights from Infogrames Entertainment SA last June.

“Video gaming is a natural next step for our classic properties as children and adults alike live more of their lives around technology,” said Ritson-Parsons “We see the digital arena as a great complement to the lifestyle experiences that we’re providing to consumers in a variety of categories.”

In addition to console, handheld and PC-based games, Hasbro plans to expand the TRANSFORMERS brand’s reach through ring tones, mobile gaming and a host of other products for gaming fans of all ages.

Continue reading "HASBRO TAPS ACTIVISION TO PUBLISH RANGE OF VIDEO GAMES BASED ON THE TRANSFORMERS FRANCHISE AND LIVE-ACTION FILM FROM DREAMWORKS AND PARAMOUNT PICTURES" »

November 16, 2005

Nintendo Announces Play Control System for Next Hardware

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo of America today announces it will include a play control system in its next home video game system, code-named Revolution, coming in 2006.

By using a password-controlled setting, adults can decide what flexibility they'll allow younger players to have in playing video games rated E (Everyone), E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older), T (Teen) or M (Mature). The system
also ensures that dedicated adult gamers can opt to play without limitations. How does it work? The actual game software will contain a code indicating the rating, which will activate the control system to remain locked or unlocked. The feature will be included in every Revolution console worldwide.

"Even though many Nintendo games are rated E, E10+ or T, we believe this kind of feature should be included in the hardware. It's the right thing to do," explains Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president
of sales & marketing. "Game ratings are on the front and back of every game package, so families can easily make a decision about whether a game is right for them."
Game ratings are determined by a consensus of at least three specially trained raters reporting to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. ESRB raters are of various ages and backgrounds, and to ensure their objectivity, are not permitted to have any ties to the computer and video game industry. The rating system, in place since 1994, is frequently cited as an example for other industries to follow.
"Nintendo has added an important tool for families in Washington state and around the world," said Gov. Chris Gregoire. "This new option gives parents more information and more control over what video games their kids play and at what age."
Nintendo's next console will usher in a new era of video gaming. It will feature a controller designed to be used with either one hand or two, a first in the video game industry. The position and motion of the controller itself
dictates the action on the television screen. A second, plug-in expansion gives hard-core gamers additional control for more in-depth game play. Revolution will play both new game discs, as well as Nintendo GameCube(TM)
discs. It also will have access to 20 years of fan-favorite games, including those from the Nintendo(R) 64, Super NES(R) and NES(R) eras.
The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems.
Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy(R) Advance SP, Nintendo DS(TM) and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems extend Nintendo's vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games and more than 353 million hardware units globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid(R), Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). A wholly owned subsidiary Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

Continue reading "Nintendo Announces Play Control System for Next Hardware" »

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