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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.

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June 23, 2008

ACTIVISION’S GUITAR HERO®: ON TOUR FOR NINTENDO DS™ TAKES THE SHOW ON THE ROAD TO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE

SANTA MONICA, CA – June 23, 2008 – After playing to sold-out crowds in living rooms around the world, the blockbuster video game Guitar Hero is hitting the road with Guitar Hero®: On Tour for Nintendo DS™, Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced. Available now at retail outlets nationwide, Guitar Hero: On Tour brings a new dimension to handheld gaming and gives fans the ability to shred along to their favorite tunes with complete portability.

Packaged with the revolutionary Guitar Hero™ Guitar Grip™ peripheral that fits snugly into Nintendo DS, and a unique Guitar Hero pick-stylus, Guitar Hero: On Tour delivers a unique experience by challenging handheld gamers to rock out and prove their shredding skills on one of the most diverse set lists ever offered in a Guitar Hero game, including master track hits from Nirvana, OK Go, No Doubt, blink-182 and Bloc Party.

“Guitar Hero: On Tour offers handheld gamers an all-new Guitar Hero experience letting them unleash their inner rock star anywhere, anytime,” said Dusty Welch, Head of Publishing for RedOctane. “Utilizing the innovative Guitar Hero Guitar Grip peripheral and Guitar Hero pick-stylus, and taking full advantage of the unique voice and touch abilities of Nintendo DS, Guitar Hero: On Tour is going to again redefine how fans can experience music.”

Designed from the ground up specifically for Nintendo DS, the game continues to build on the franchise’s signature easy-to-play, yet difficult to master addictive gameplay, and now lets players take their experience wherever they go. Players use the Guitar Hero Guitar Grip, which mimics a guitar fret board, and the Guitar Hero pick-stylus on the touch screen to strum their favorite tunes and create their rock ‘n’ roll legacy in career mode. Fans can also join together to play co-op mode using a local wireless connection, or battle each other in a Guitar Duel using new Battle Items unique to Nintendo DS.

Guitar Hero: On Tour is developed by Vicarious Visions, is rated “E 10+” (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB and is available now at retailers nationwide. For more information about Guitar Hero: On Tour, visit www.GuitarHeroOnTour.com.

About Activision, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Founded in 1979, Activision posted net revenues of $2.9 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008 .

Activision maintains operations in the U.S. , Canada , the United Kingdom , France , Germany , Ireland , Italy , Sweden , Spain , the Netherlands , Australia , Japan and South Korea . More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company's website, www.activision.com.

June 20, 2008

Legendary Games Reimagined: SPACE INVADERS EXTREME and ARKANOID DS Launch Today

LOS ANGELES (June 17, 2008) – TAITO Corporation (TAITO™), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Co., Ltd., announced that SPACE INVADERS EXTREME™ and ARKANOID™ DS were shipped to North American retailers today.

These highly anticipated releases are legendary titles reimagined for the 21st century. SPACE INVADERS®, a worldwide sensation since its original release in 1978, has been reborn as SPACE INVADERS EXTREME for Nintendo DS™ and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, SPACE INVADERS is as addictive as ever, with this new edition carrying on the classic gameplay experience while adding fast-paced new twists.

Meanwhile, the 1986 blockbuster hit ARKANOID comes exclusively to Nintendo DS with multiple modes and playful new backgrounds. With ARKANOID DS, players can test their skills against other DS users through the multiplayer option.

Loved around the globe for generations, these milestone titles in computer game history are simply timeless. Both SPACE INVADERS EXTREME and ARKANOID DS were developed to appeal to fans of the original titles and a new generation of players alike. The exhilarating arcade experience is now portable and available on store shelves today.

Features: SPACE INVADERS EXTREME

* New Look: The classic design of the original SPACE INVADERS, now with revamped graphics and new background movies that add to the game’s excitement.
* New Music: Get in the groove with upbeat techno tunes that are synched to gameplay.
* New Mini-Games: Experience varied gameplay with mini-games (Rounds) that are launched mid-game – they add to the fun, and are a good way to rack up points.
* New Twists: Discover exciting twists to the classic game that provide exciting, fast-paced game play.
* New Functionalities:
o DS Version
+ Worldwide (Japan, North America and Europe) two player competitive play and score ranking available via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
+ Two player wireless competitive play and game sharing available
+ Compatible with Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS™ Lite Rumble Pak
o PSP system Version
+ Two player competitive play available via ad hoc wireless connection

Features: ARKANOID DS

* Explore three game modes that offer varied gameplay designed for a wide range of users.
* Compete against two to four players via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and enter high scores in the ranking system.
* Decorate ARKANOID DS with colorful designs by trading points gained through gameplay for fun backgrounds and icons.
* Rock to an irresistible soundtrack produced by Zuntata, TAITO’s award-winning sound team.

SPACE INVADERS EXTREME is rated E (Everyone). ARKANOID DS is rated E (Everyone). Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings.

SPACE INVADERS EXTREME will be available at North American retailers for the suggested retail price of $19.99 (USD). The official website can be found at http://www.taito.com/csm/title/2008/sie/index.html.

ARKANOID DS will be available at North American retailers for the suggested retail price of $19.99 (USD). The official website can be found at http://www.taito.com/csm/title/2008/arkanoid_ds/index.html.

About TAITO Corporation

TAITO Corp. (TAITO) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Co., Ltd. With headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, TAITO operates core businesses such as game arcade operations, coin-operated game machines, and mobile phone content services. A seminal part of gaming history, TAITO caused a worldwide sensation with its arcade legend, SPACE INVADERS, and developed such fan favorites as EXIT™ and ARKANOID. Today, TAITO continues to thrill game lovers of all generations by offering both classic and new family-oriented titles on the latest gaming platforms. TAITO delivers a wide range of entertainment experiences with the goal of providing consumers with fresh surprises and new discoveries. More information on TAITO can be found on the Internet at http://www.taito.co.jp/english.

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April 23, 2008

Midway Gamers Day 2008

I recently went out to Las Vegas for Midway's Gamers Day at the Red Rock Resort. They showed a few games: NBA Ballers: Chosen One, Wheelman, TNA Impact, Unreal Tournament 3 Xbox 360, and This is Vegas were playable. They also announced a Mortal Kombat and DC Comics game, which looked like a MK fighter with Scorpion, Sub Zero, Superman, and Batman confirmed as characters. There was a lot of excitement in the crowd about that one. We wondered how the whole fatality thing would play out with the super heroes, for example, would DC want Superman to rip out his opponent's skull and show it to him? They also announced sequels for Game Party and Touch Master as well as Blitz: The League.

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There was a lot of talk, especially from Midway execs like Mark Booty, Interim President and CEO, about how Midway is reaping the benefits of centralization and standardization. The different studios share assets like game engines and design tools as well as knowledge. You could see how licensing the Unreal Engine and then using it to build every game is paying off in terms of how the games look, how complex the game play is, and how quickly they can come to market.

The big focus was on This is Vegas. The game is being made by Surreal Software in Seattle - they've been working on it for three plus years. It's an open world of a likeness of Vegas where you gamble, party, race, and fight. It's an ambitious project to create a world that big. This gives players the chance to live out "their Vegas fantasy." It looked OK, nothing special in terms of graphics or audio. The focus has definitely been on game play. I did the dancing mini-game, the same that was shown during the press conference. I thought that it was fun. I wonder about it conceptually though. My concern is that by offering many types of game play it may end up asking players to play in ways that they don't want to play, for example, the guy who wants to drive around and beat people up may not be the same guy who wants to enter a dance contest. But I talked to Darci Morales about this concern and she said that if you don't want to play a particular mini-game you don't have to. The point of all the mini-games is to build your buzz and gain experience and you could choose to do that however you want. I'm mainly interested in seeing how all of the different games and gaming mechanics translate into a holistic gaming experience. I think This Is Vegas is noteworthy because it looks like it'll be a hell of an achievement for Surreal and Midway when it is done and it deserves merit if only for being a massive effort at establishing an open game play world with lots of variety. I'm not sure whether that translates into being a successful game in an overall sense. I'd get a better idea from a more in depth demo where I could see how the player goes from one mode to the other, how fluid that is, and how all of the different modes combine.

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April 1, 2008

Security Implications of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP

I had a really interesting talk about a month ago with some staff members from a maximum security facility for minors somewhere in the USA. I agreed to keep tany identifying information confidential and it is irrelevant anyway. They wanted to know what I thought about the security implications of residents (mostly teenagers) having Nintendo DS and Sony PSP in the facility. They had seen that I write a lot about network security for different magazines and sites and also seen this blog so they thought I would be a natural choice to speak about these issues. I thought it was an interesting exercise.

On the surface, what harm could there be from allowing some kids to play portable video games? It doesn't seem like such a bad thing.

This is what I came up with. There are probably more things that can be done that I might have gotten to if I had some more time to brainstorm.

1. The Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP can physically be used as weapons. You could hold one in your hand and hit someone with it. You could sharpen a stylus and shank someone with it. You could break a UMD and use the sharp edge to attack someone. If you allow the kids to have the device then you have to allow the chargers and maybe the headphones; the cords of either could be used to strangle someone.

2. The Nintendo DS has a plastic blank filling the compartment where a GBA cartridge gets plugged in. The inside of that blank can be used to conceal contraband. Likewise with the UMD bay of the PSP, and maybe even the Memory Stick Slot of the PSP.

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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.

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May 11, 2007

Pokemon Review

Pokemon Diamond or Pearl
Nintendo
Rated E for Everyone
Score: 5 out of 5
Players: 1-8 (1-4 in battle)


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What can I say? I'm 37 and I love these pokemon games. I find them highly addictive. I played Ruby until I won, which took tens of hours. I'm well on my way towards logging that with Diamond. Today I noticed that I've played 10 hours to date. I don't know what it is exactly, but the combination of exploration, puzzle solving, and turn based combat is fun. I also think that maybe the relationship between trainer and pokemon, in otherwords, my odd affection for my pokemon, is another thing that draws me in. I also love how everyone I battle says something like "prepare to lose" or "you're so weak this isn't even a challenge" and then I wipe the mat with them.

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When you start your adventure in Sinnoh, you choose between 3 pokemon, Turtwig, Chimchar or Piplup. I chose a Turtwig and named him Turdwiggle. Today, he turned level 20 and between his Razor Leaf and Absorb he can beat the crap out of anyone. There are over 100 new pokemon such as Munchlax, Weavile, Lucario, Mime JR, Bonsly, and more. You pick whether you want your character to be a boy or a girl, then find and train pokemon, which really means you battle, earn experience, and teach new more effective moves to your pokemon. You travel from town to town and battle with Gym Leaders to advance. There's also a storyline about Team Galactic who wants to control the universe.

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March 31, 2007

Custom Robo Arena

Score: 3.5 out of 5
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo DS
ESRB: E 10+

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Custom Robo Arena is very much like Custom Robo for GameCube. It's a familiar concept that battles are waged between robots and not between people. The twist is that you play as a kid who does all of the battling, not as some kind of futuristic soldier. And the battles take place in a ring, or arena, not on the battlefield. The robots are small and called "robos" instead of being some sort of huge mech kind of thing. Overall, the game has a charming interface and graphics, and the combat is limited to taking place in a ring. I think the combination of those factors makes this a very good game for children who are interested in robots. Also, geekier adults, such as I, will enjoy the extensive robo customization features.

I had actually written a much longer review, but for some reason it simply disappeared. My guess is that I hit "publish" but didn't hit "save". Gotta love duplicating my efforts.

You play as a kid who is starting a new school and wants to join the robo team. In this, you walk around the town and talk to people. Unfortunately, this part reminded me of Pokemon for GBA, which is my way of saying that it isn't really up to DS standards. Although, to be fair, when you talk to someone the artwork is pretty good. It's just that the exploring the town part is very basic.

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The real action comes in the robo arena. Before the battles you can tweak your robot by modifiying different parts such as guns, pods, body frame, bombs, and legs. You can make your robot heavily armored and slow, or give it one really good gun, a light body, and then hop around and shoot. The ability to customize your robot so heavily is a major strongpoint of the game. There's strategy involved in building and configuring your robo and then there's tactics involved in the actual fighting. Fighting is pretty fast and frenetic, and best of all no one gets hurt so this seems like a pretty good game for kids. I also like the way that the fighting is confined to a ring, which sends the message that fighting is only ok under controlled circumstances.

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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.

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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January 31, 2007

Major League Baseball 2K7

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

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

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

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

Here's a PSP screenshot:
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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 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.

Continue reading "Nintendo Records Best Holiday Selling Season in U.S. Video Game History" »

October 13, 2006

NINTENDO DS LEADS VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY GROWTH

REDMOND , Wash., Oct. 13, 2006 – As both an entertainment and a business, Nintendo DS™ today is the powerhouse of the U.S. video game industry, driving nearly all industry revenue growth so far this year. Without this portable system, the video game industry growth overall would be nearly flat when compared with 2005, according to independent sales figures from the NPD Group of Port Washington, N.Y.

Through September's end, the U.S. industry overall shows revenue growth of 11 percent when compared with the same period in 2005. Nearly all of the growth comes from the portable DS – without it, the industry would report a mere 1.6 percent growth over the past nine months. DS hardware and software units posted a robust gain of 203 percent when compared to the same period in 2005. The news is the same globally: Nintendo recently announced estimated full-year shipments for DS hardware will grow to 20 million units from 17 million units worldwide, while estimated DS software shipments increased to 82 million units from 75 million.

"Numbers dramatically show the value of reaching out to the masses with products that are compelling and comfortable," says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "And this perfectly sets the stage for our breakthrough Wii console, which appeals to both core players and current non-players with an intuitive control system and a price everyone can afford."

The NPD numbers also indicate that during September, Nintendo DS lifetime U.S. sales surpassed more than 6.2 million units. That total includes more than 1.4 million units of the new Nintendo DS Lite systems, which launched just 16 weeks ago on June 11. It's important to note these numbers represent Nintendo DS systems actually purchased by customers, not ones shipped only to stores.

"During a home console generation upgrade, consumer interest in existing consoles tends to drop as anticipation for new consoles increases. Hand-held game hardware and software revenues have kept the industry afloat," says Billy Pidgeon, Program Manager, Consumer Markets: Gaming at IDC. "Hand-held gaming has spurred real industry growth, and Nintendo's longstanding leadership in this space continues to drive this market."

This summer, Nintendo launched its Touch Generations brand to help newcomers to video games identify which nontraditional and pick-up-and-play titles are appropriate for them. The response from consumers has been enthusiastic, as four of the top 10 best-selling Nintendo DS games are Touch Generations titles. Touch Generations games include Brain Age™: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day and the three versions of Nintendogs ™. And at the same time, avid players also are fueling growth: the New Super Mario Bros. ® title, exclusively for Nintendo DS, is the third best-seller among all video games this year, including console games.

Nintendo's internal statistics show the Touch Generations brand continues to reach more women and older gamers. Nintendo statistics show a significant percentage of all Touch Generations software buyers are female and are age 25 or older, demonstrating the broad appeal of Nintendo titles like Brain Age and Big Brain Academy™, which provide engaging and entertaining content for baby boomers and seniors alike.

For more information about Nintendo DS, visit www.nintendods.com. For more information about Nintendo's Touch Generations brand, visit www.touchgenerations.com .

Continue reading "NINTENDO DS LEADS VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY GROWTH" »

September 26, 2006

Mage Knight Destiny's Soldier for Nintendo DS Ships To Retail

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (September 26, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. today announced that Mage Knight: Destiny’s Soldier™ for the Nintendo DS™ system has shipped and is available in retail outlets nationwide.

A turn-based strategy title based on the best-selling collectible miniature game from WizKids Games, Mage Knight: Destiny’s Soldier takes players to a time where war is rampant and the fate of the land rests in the hands of one brave warrior.

Players take on the role of a warrior who is tasked to fight and rally as many troops as possible in an effort to restore peace and keep the Land alive. This warrior must prove himself by fighting hard and earning the respect of other soldiers by engaging in small battles along the way. The more respect a player earns, the more inclined others will be to fight alongside him in an all-out war against those trying to destroying the Land.

“The Mage Knight™ franchise has always delivered a solid gameplay experience with lasting appeal,” said John Whitmore, Director of Internal/External Development at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “While staying true to the traditional tabletop game, Mage Knight: Destiny’s Soldier allows players to strategize, customize their armies and conquer the magical Mage Knight universe.”

Mage Knight: Destiny’s Soldier provides players with a deep and structured combat system based on the established Mage Knight rules. Players can explore and conquer more than 80 maps including forests, mountains, villages, icy plains and other various types of terrain throughout the Land. Players can also build an unstoppable custom army by utilizing more than 90 different units of troops through recruitment and conquest.

Mage Knight: Destiny’s Soldier is rated “E 10+” for ages 10 and up by the ESRB, is now available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $29.99.


Continue reading "Mage Knight Destiny's Soldier for Nintendo DS Ships To Retail" »

TAKE YOUR FAVORITE DISNEY CHANNEL CHARACTERS ON THE GO WITH THREE NEW VIDEO GAMES

BURBANK, Calif. — (September 26, 2006) — Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced that “The Cheetah Girls,” “Phil of the Future,” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Tipton Trouble” are now available. “The Cheetah Girls” and “Phil of the Future” are available for the Game Boy(R) Advance. “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Tipton Trouble” is available for the Nintendo DS(TM). All three games are rated E for Everyone by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

“Kids can take their favorite Disney Channel characters anywhere this fall with new adventures from ‘The Cheetah Girls,’ ‘Phil of the Future’ and ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,’” said Craig Relyea, vice president of marketing, Buena Vista Games. “With the recent success of ‘The Cheetah Girls 2’ Disney Channel Original Movie, we’re particularly excited to offer fans more ways to interact with the performers’ story.”

In “Phil of the Future,” developed by Handheld Games Corp. for the Game Boy Advance, players help their favorite characters from the popular Disney Channel series save a town overrun with the mischievous pets from the future – “The Blahs”. As Phil, Keeley or Curtis, players collect and assemble more than 20 futuristic gadgets to solve puzzles, overcome obstacles and capture the blahs to save the day. With several mini-games and unlockable features, “Phil of the Future” offers players hours of fun.

Join “The Cheetah Girls” as they dance and sing their way to a talent competition in Spain, where the top prize is a record contract. Players take on the role of each of the four Cheetah Girls – Galleria, Chanel, Aquanetta and Dorinda, plus Galleria’s pedigree pooch, Toto. To prepare for the big gig in Barcelona, players create their own tunes in the music studio, choreograph dance moves and coordinate Cheeta-licious outfits. The game also features mini jobs for each girl -- flip ribs on the grill with Aqua; teach dance with Dorinda; make music with Galleria and Toto at home or coordinate outfits at a high-end fashion store with Chanel. Developed by Gorilla, “The Cheetah Girls” is an adventure that fans won’t want to miss.

“The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Tipton Trouble” is an action platform game from developer A2M, based on the Disney Channel’s popular TV show, “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” The game enables players to enter the world of Zach and Cody, 12-year-old twins who live with their mother in one of Boston’s swankiest hotels. As in the TV show, the twins attempt to save themselves from 14 outrageous situations by jumping, crawling, climbing, running and racing to conquer enemy forces. Players can race through corridors on Zack’s skateboard, shoot various objects like water balloons, bubble gum and cream pies from Cody’s amazing vacuum, and unlock mini-games that feature two-player wireless action.

Continue reading "TAKE YOUR FAVORITE DISNEY CHANNEL CHARACTERS ON THE GO WITH THREE NEW VIDEO GAMES" »

September 22, 2006

Tom and Jerry Tales

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment gives their fans the chance to get into the chase themselves, when the two hilarious, chase-filled TOM AND JERRY TALES games for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS ship on October 31! Putting an emphasis on what Tom and Jerry are all about - the chase - the TOM AND JERRY TALES games allow gamers to play as Jerry who must make his way through the house to survive, running through mouse holes, destroying the house through interactions with Tom and recovering the precious cheese Tom has stolen along the way. Each version of the game features exclusive content-the GBA version includes various mini-games to keep the chase moving, while the NDS version includes touch-screen activated events that require players to use lightening quick reflexes to cleverly avoid Tom and create general mayhem in the house.

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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" »

Nintendo Offers Bonus Item for Fans Pre-Ordering Pokemon Mystery Dungeon

Have you ordered your copy of Pokemon(R) Mystery Dungeon yet? If so,
great! If not, what are you waiting for? It's the first ever Pokemon
game where you play as an actual Pokemon. If that's not enough to whet
your gaming appetite, Nintendo is offering everyone who pre-orders the
game (by placing a deposit at select retailers) a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
Rescuer's Guide, featuring a game preview and other Pokemon information.

Pokemon games always sell about a bajillion copies, so you'll want to
order early. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team plays on the new
Nintendo DS(TM) Lite and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team plays on
Game Boy(R) Advance SP. Both let you play as a Pokemon and talk to other
Pokemon as you encounter randomly generated dungeons and work through the
engaging storyline. Both versions launch Sept. 18 and are Rated E for
Everyone.

Starting Sept. 12, The Official Nintendo Power Player's Guide for Pokemon
Mystery Dungeon will be available at retail. Readers will find all kinds
of helpful information, including in-depth details about all Pokemon and
where they can be found in the game, full walk-throughs of every dungeon
and advanced battle tips.

Continue reading "Nintendo Offers Bonus Item for Fans Pre-Ordering Pokemon Mystery Dungeon" »

Nintendo Reveals its Dark Secret

A new Nintendo DS game is arriving with the stealth befitting a ninja assassin. Tenchu(R): Dark Secret, made exclusively for Nintendo DS(TM) sneaks up on you -- then grabs you by the throat. Be on your guard because it launches today.

Keep in mind you can't just find a ninja on any old street corner. Thus, it'll take skill and knowledge to obtain Tenchu: Dark Secret. The game, Rated T for Teen, will be available exclusively at GameStop and EB Games stores nationally.

Princess Shizu is a young woman married to a cruel warlord. After an attempt on her life, you must use your ninja skills to play through 40 missions to protect her and reveal her would-be killers. You can strike with a sword, plant secret grenades and even construct your own weapons.

If you're running low on supplies in your single-player missions, connect to Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's wireless gaming service. There you can meet with friends and strangers to buy, sell and trade important items. The only thing more fun than playing as a ninja is fighting another ninja for supremacy. Just meet with another player on a local wireless connection and match wits until one of you reigns supreme.

Continue reading "Nintendo Reveals its Dark Secret" »

August 10, 2006

Nintendo's Brain Age Sets New World Record, Training Millions of Brains Each Day

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest craze to sweep the planet is Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day for the portable Nintendo DS(TM). Selling more than 4 million units worldwide, including 600,000 in the Americas, 3 million in Japan and 500,000 in Europe, the top-selling title redefines how millions of people now think about video gaming.
Brain Age first took Japan by storm with its edition that includes a series of math and memory puzzles designed to keep the mind agile. Even after selling 3 million copies in the 15 months since launch, Japanese sales are not showing any signs of slowing. The title was launched in the Americas and Europe this year and maintains a similar trend of steady weekly sales. Around the world, game players, baby boomers and seniors are intent on keeping their minds sharp by making Brain Age part of their daily routine. For many of them, Brain Age is the first video game they've ever played, showing Nintendo's efforts to expand the audience of players is highly successful.
"Brain Age is so easy to pick up and play, regardless of your experience level," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications, whose "Brain Age" has improved to age 20 (the best score you can achieve). "You can play it for 10 minutes or an hour and keep yourself feeling sharp. As a baby boomer, it's like a treadmill for my mind."
Brain Age is a cornerstone of Nintendo's new Touch Generations brand, which helps gaming newcomers identify which titles might be appropriate for them. The second title in the brain-training series, Big Brain Academy(TM), launched in the Americas on June 5 and already has sold more than one quarter million units. Both titles have helped to lay the foundation for Nintendo's upcoming Wii(TM) console, which also will include fun, simple games that everyone in the family will want to try.

Continue reading "Nintendo's Brain Age Sets New World Record, Training Millions of Brains Each Day" »

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.”

Continue reading "EA ANNOUNCES 55DSL COLLABORATION WITH NEED FOR SPEED CARBON" »

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

Continue reading "Nintendo Game Offerings Heat Up as the Weather Cools Down" »

July 24, 2006

Nintendo News: The World Goes Portable with Nintendo DS - 21 Million Sold!

REDMOND, Wash., July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo delivers on its promise to bring video gaming to the masses. In less than two years since its Nov. 21, 2004 launch, Nintendo has sold more than 21 million Nintendo DS(TM) systems worldwide. By comparison, Apple(R) shipped one million of its ever popular iPod(R) music players in its first 19 months. The rate of Nintendo DS units being sold equates to 23 systems per minute -- that's nearly one every two seconds -- non-stop since launch.
"We're thrilled to be announcing this milestone today," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications, "especially since Nintendo DS was North America's top-selling video game system of any type in June. We attribute this success to Nintendo's overall strategy of offering something for everyone -- from five-year-olds caring for their Nintendogs to 65-year-olds tuning their mental agility with Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day."
Nintendo recently launched the new version of its popular portable system, DS Lite, featuring a smaller profile and more brilliant display. Beyond appealing attributes such as dual screens, a touch screen, a microphone and seamless Wi-Fi play, DS popularity also is being propelled by a unique mix of software that appeals equally to mainstream players and those new to the category.
The Touch Generations line of fun and accessible games for all ages and skill sets features the red-hot Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day and Big Brain Academy(TM), as well as the enormously popular and innovative Nintendogs(TM). Nintendo DS sales success is also supported by video gaming sensations, New Super Mario Bros.(R) and Animal Crossing(R): Wild World.

Continue reading "Nintendo News: The World Goes Portable with Nintendo DS - 21 Million Sold!" »

July 21, 2006

Majesco Holiday Games Preview

I met with Majesco a few days ago and looked at their holiday games. They're now making casual games for DS. I understand that casual gaming (games with easy instructions that you can just pick up and play for a minute or two) is hot, but I want to see more hardcore games because that's what interests me. And probably anyone reading this for that matter. I just couldn't really figure out what Majesco's overall objective is by coming out with all of these inexpensive casual style games.

Guilty Gear X2 and Judgment - For PSP, this game ships in September 2006. Guilty Gear X2 is a straight port of the Xbox title with 22 characters. You can use the analog stick or the d-pad for control. There's two player ad hoc versus mode. Judgment is a sidescroller like Final Fight with unique moves for each character. There are five core characters. You meet new characters, fight with them, and then unlock their story mode. There are 19 areas for each character. The right shoulder button is a powerful back attack.
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Mech Assault Phantom War - This is a mech fighting game for DS that ships in September 2006 for $29.99. There are campaign and multi-player modes, 4 player ad hoc game play. There are 24 missions on 4 planets. You use your mech to bring generators back online. There are 20+ mechs, battle armor, tanks, and turrets. The game uses a lot of voice to tell you what to do so you'll have to actually listen to your DS for once. You pick up salvage to replenish health and power up weapons. Take over enemy mechs. This looks like a fun game. Multiplayer can be team based or not. THere's a Phanto Melee mode in which heavy dense fog makes you rely on your radar for combat.
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Monster Bomber - This DS title ships in September 2006 for $19.99. This is a casual game for the DS. Aliens invade earth in this bust a move meets missle command meets space invaders game. There is single cartridge four player multiplayer which is pretty cool because 4 friends can play with only a single copy of the game. Basically, you fling balls of color at the matching color enemy and then go for combos of coloration.
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Naco Libre - This DS title ships in October 2006 (when the DVD comes out) and will cost $29.99. When I saw it, it was about 35% complete. The plot follows the movie with cut scenes from the movie. There's also a 4 player ad-hoc mode. They're using a technique they're calling "photo puppetry" to creat characters with a realistic head and face and a cartoony body. The result is realism combined with comedy. This is going to be the first wrestling game on DS and will also come with mini games that use the touch screen.
NachoDSCover.jpg

Continue reading "Majesco Holiday Games Preview" »

July 11, 2006

Namco Bandai Games Announces Gunpey for Nintendo DS and PSP (PlayStation Portable) System Portable Platforms

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (July 10, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Gunpey for the PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) system and Nintendo DS(TM) is heading to retail holiday 2006. From the mind of game industry legend Gunpei Yokoi and Q Entertainment, comes Gunpey, an exciting, innovative and challenging puzzle game with dynamic music that changes as you play. Gunpey will test your reflexes, stretch your mind and dazzle your senses.

“Addictive and easy-to-learn, Gunpey was originally conceived by Game Boy(R) creator and legendary game developer Gunpei Yokoi. It has now been re-imagined by the creative minds at Q Entertainment in a perfect dream collaboration that should excite any hardcore gamer,” said Naruo Uchida, NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.’s Product Group Director. “This title embraces the signature touches of a product conceived by Yokoi. It is accessible, original, and intuitive, yet a challenge to master. Additionally, it combines the ground breaking music integration that has become Q Entertainment’s signature.”

Continue reading "Namco Bandai Games Announces Gunpey for Nintendo DS and PSP (PlayStation Portable) System Portable Platforms" »

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.

Continue reading "EA ANNOUNCES NEED FOR SPEED™ CARBON" »

Nintendo News: New Super Mario Bros. Surges Past Half-Million Mark

After just 35 days on store shelves, New Super Mario Bros.(R) for Nintendo DS(TM) has racked up sales in excess of one half million in the United States alone. That's a sell-through rate of more than 20 every minutes since the game went on sale May 15.
New Super Mario Bros. marks a new adventure for Mario(TM), the most popular video game character in history. The classic feel of the game attracts newcomers and old-school fans alike, and the gaming press has universally praised New Super Mario Bros. as a near-perfect video game. IGN.com raves: " ... it absolutely is something special. This game marks a brilliant return to Mario's side-scrolling environments, with a look, feel and play that feels unbelievably classic, with new elements that do a fantastic job advancing the design."

Continue reading "Nintendo News: New Super Mario Bros. Surges Past Half-Million Mark" »

June 20, 2006

D3PUBLISHER OF AMERICA BUSTS INTO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE WITH BREAK’EM ALL FOR NINTENDO DS™

LOS ANGELES – June 20, 2006 – D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA), a publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software, today announced the release of their first title for the Nintendo DS™ Break’em All. Players will attempt to break’em all in classic arcade puzzle solving action as they fight their way through more than 3 million variations of randomly generated levels and out-duel challenging bosses. Three unique gameplay modes such as Tokoton, Quest and Survival offer compelling single player action or multiplayer games for 2-8 players via the wireless feature for Nintendo DS. Break’em All is available now on stores shelves across North America with a suggested retail price of $19.95.

“Game genres ebb and flow in popularity, but compelling arcade style games are always a favorite among gamers,” said Alison Quirion, vice president of marketing, D3PA. “Break’em All is easy to pick up and play, but challenging to master as it offers hours of entertainment for one low price.”

Jam packed with levels ranging from the super simple to supremely difficult, Break’em All allows players to control their paddle with pin-point accuracy using the touch pad and stylus and offers 12 diverse bonus powers to power-up their ball. Break’em All will challenge the most skilled players as they strive to set and break multiple records for High Score, Maximum Rallies, Bricks Broken and more!

Break’em All was developed by Warashi and is rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB.


Continue reading "D3PUBLISHER OF AMERICA BUSTS INTO RETAIL STORES NATIONWIDE WITH BREAK’EM ALL FOR NINTENDO DS™" »

June 19, 2006

Sudoku Craze Goes High-Tech With Sudoku Gridmaster for Nintendo DS

REDMOND, Wash., June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- During the busy summer travel season, it's a rite of passage for travelers young and old to stock up on games and puzzles for entertainment during long flights and car trips. Nintendo is declaring summer 2006 the "summer of sudoku."

Sudoku Gridmaster(TM) launches June 26 exclusively for Nintendo DS(TM), letting vacationers take more than 400 sudoku puzzles on the go and save their progress at any stage. The compact Nintendo DS fits into bags, whether it's being carried onto planes or toted to the beach. For those who like to travel light, the new, lighter, brighter Nintendo DS Lite makes all your portable
games look better than ever.
"The Nintendo DS touch-screen controls make it easy for players to write, change and save their answers," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Sudoku Gridmaster is one of the many ways Nintendo is getting new audiences involved in video games."
Sudoku Gridmaster contains four levels of difficulty, giving sudoku novices and experts alike a variety of challenging puzzles. Players use logic to fill a grid with numbers. It sounds simple, but its addictive nature has helped to make sudoku one of the most popular puzzle games in the world. Sudoku Gridmaster also adds some features to enhance the experience in ways not possible when doing the puzzle on paper. With a touch, players can highlight an entire row or column. Or they can highlight all instances of numbers at once. And of course, a grid can be saved for hours or days before the player plays again.
Sudoku Gridmaster is one of the first titles in Nintendo's new Touch Generations brand, which highlights titles with appeal beyond core gamers. The distinctive Touch Generations logo helps gaming newcomers identify which titles might be the most fun for them. For more information about Sudoku Gridmaster and all the Touch Generations titles, visit
www.TouchGenerations.com.

Continue reading "Sudoku Craze Goes High-Tech With Sudoku Gridmaster for Nintendo DS" »

June 13, 2006

Watch the return of the greatest multiplayer series with MICRO MACHINES v4 first game play video

See it in action with the new video now available online at www.codemasters.com/micromachines

New York (June 13, 2006) – Remember what pure fun looks like, as Codemasters unleashes the first video of MICRO MACHINES v4. Multiplayer mayhem like this is the reason friends were invented, as gamers can see for themselves at www.codemasters.com/micromachines.

MICRO MACHINES v4 has now gone gold and is speeding towards its June 27th ship date for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP system, and PC with a Nintendo DS edition to follow. The MICRO MACHINES property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS).

Everything gamers love about the MICRO MACHINES games is back and tuned up several notches. It’s time again to race tiny sports cars around the dinner table firing pint-sized rockets at friends knocking them over the edge. But no hard feelings, what’s a glass of spilt milk between friends? Just a road hazard is all.

Up to four players can challenge each other on MICRO MACHINES v4’s genius household raceways, weaving between train carriages on a model railway or ripping up the baize on a pool table.

A tantalizing taste of the massive fun to be had in this micro world is online now at www.codemasters.com/micromachines. Players can also prepare for the trash talking on the forum at www.codemasters.com/forum.

ABOUT MICRO MACHINES V4
Mixing miniature mayhem with maximum multiplayer racing, Micro Machines v4 comes packed with knockabout, breakneck racing in the fastest scale miniatures, complete with explosive weapon power-ups. Letting players loose with hundreds of vehicles, each with distinctive performance abilities, players will race inch-long miniature motors on the wildest tracks where everyday household objects appear immense in size and can become lethal hazards.

There’s an arsenal of power-ups and weapons to collect and use on opponents while racing. Micro Machines v4 brings all the favorites back – such as missiles and bombs – and provides new ones to attack with, including flamethrowers, heat-seeking missiles, plasma guns and, of course, the car-mounted giant hammer!

* Engage in madcap competition racing with your micro motors on the wildest tracks around your house, garden and beyond...
* Spin out on the breakfast table, turbo boost across the pool table or hit the gas as you race around the rim of the bath.
* Use your arsenal of power ups to blast your opponents with the flamethrower or heat-seeking homing missiles to throw them off course.
* Hundreds of tiny turbo cars to collect or trade. Or, up the stakes when you play for keeps with ‘pink slip racing’.
* Unlock bonus tracks with PSP system to PlayStation 2 connectivity.
* PSP system & DS wireless capability for up to 4-players, PC online multiplay and LAN.
* Unlockable multiplayer and single player content.
* Earn credits to unlock tracks and cars then trade with your friends.
* Track editor choose your own route through the garden or science lab… then challenge your friends to do battle!

Continue reading "Watch the return of the greatest multiplayer series with MICRO MACHINES v4 first game play video" »

Nintendo Joins Celebrities to Benefit Pediatric AIDS

Dozens of celebrities, philanthropists and children got their hands on the new Nintendo DS(TM) Lite on Sunday during an A-list fund raiser in Los Angeles for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Celebrities like Christian Slater, Ellen Pompeo and Rachel Bilson played New Super Mario Bros. with kids in the Nintendo DS Lite Lounge on the same day that Nintendo DS Lite went on sale in the United States.

"Nintendo has a long tradition of making the lives of kids brighter, and our participation in this event underscores our commitment to the community," said George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications.

Each hour a different celebrity worked at the Nintendo DS Lite Lounge, while dozens of others worked in other areas of the "A Time for Heroes Celebrity Carnival." Every year, more than 100 Hollywood celebrities donate their time to raise money for pediatric AIDS research. This year's event was designed to raise more than $1 million.

Continue reading "Nintendo Joins Celebrities to Benefit Pediatric AIDS" »

Nintendo's Big Brain Academy Is the Most Fun You Can Have With Your Brain

REDMOND, Wash., June 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Quick -- which weighs more, three snails or a ladybug? How much is seven plus nine plus four? And was that sequence of sounds you just heard baby-baby-girl or girl-baby-baby?
Nintendo's new Big Brain Academy(TM) challenges players with a series of wacky mental tests in areas such as thinking, memorization, computation, analysis and identification. Players complete as many of these tasks as possible in 60 seconds as the difficulty level rises. Big Brain Academy, the second installment in Nintendo's wildly popular brain-training series, launched June 5 exclusively for Nintendo DS(TM).
In Big Brain Academy, users encounter a series of 15 different tests that involve use of the Nintendo DS touch screen. Activities include counting the number of blocks in a stack, matching pairs of colorful panels and deducing which object on a set of scales weighs the most. Big Brain Academy then rates users' performances by giving them a letter grade, suggesting a career option based on their areas of strength and assigning their in-game brain a weight. The better the score, the heavier the brain.
Brain training has become a worldwide phenomenon. The three software titles in the Nintendo DS series have sold more than 6 million copies in Japan. The first brain-training software, Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, went on sale in the United States on April 17.
Up to eight DS owners can compete wirelessly in multiplayer games, even if only one person has a game card. It will be sold under Nintendo's new Touch Generations brand, which encompasses titles that anyone can pick up and play, even with little or no experience with playing video games. It represents Nintendo's ongoing commitment to expand the world of video games to new audiences. Big Brain Academy is Rated E for Everyone.

Continue reading "Nintendo's Big Brain Academy Is the Most Fun You Can Have With Your Brain" »

June 12, 2006

Nintendo DS Lite

Score 4.5 out of 5
$129.99 MSRP

I've been playing with my DS Lite for a few days now and I'm ready to write a review. Overall, I really like it. I'm a big fan of the clamshell design (not that the clamshell is new I'm just saying I like it). The pearly white finish is sort of strange. It's like it's been "ipodified". But the finish seems scratch resistant and that's a good thing.

dslite0.jpg

I've been getting a lot of looks carrying the DS Lite around. No one knows what it is yet. It's much sexier than the original DS. Just the right size to fit in my front pocket or a cargo pocket. It's 133 mm (5.2 in) wide, 73.9 mm (2.9 in) long, and 21.5 mm (0.85 in) high. The height is the key dimension because the DS Lite is very thin. It's also light, weighing in at about 216 gm. or less than 8 oz.

dslite1.jpg

I like the design of it. My girlfriend had some interesting things to say about it. First of all, she's really not a gamer. She does play occasionally. She thought the DS Lite was a makeup case. She would never think that it was a Nintendo. She thought that the original DS looks cooler because you can tell it is a portable game just by looking at it. I think she's got the whole thing backward as far as Nintendo is concerned.

dss0.jpg

Continue reading "Nintendo DS Lite" »

O~3 Entertainment Announces ““Konductra”” for the Nintendo DS

SANTA CLARA, CA, June 8, 2006 – O~3 Entertainment, an interactive entertainment publishing and distribution company, today announced that “Konductra”, a fast-paced puzzle game for the Nintendo DS(TM), is scheduled to launch later this month. Featuring four different gameplay modes, “Konductra” is a touch-based puzzle game where players match colored tiles, create patterns, and work to block opponent’s lines. Taking full advantage of the wireless connectivity of the DS, “Konductra” allows players to either challenge puzzle masters from around the world using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or go against a neighborhood friend via local wireless LAN.

“‘Konductra’ is a game that is perfect for the entire family, and a must have for those long summer road trips,” said Chris Jelinek, president of O~3 Entertainment. “With simple, fun, addicting gameplay, ‘Konductra’ is one of those rare games that you’ll find yourself playing for hours and loving every minute.”

About “Konductra”
Developed by oeFun, “Konductra” challenges players to create and destroy lines with colored tiles to either earn points or attack an opponent. This unique, but elegant puzzle title offers four game modes, including Task, Score, VS. CPU, and VS. Human. In both versus modes, the objective is to beat the opponent by filling up the rival’s board as quickly as possible by destroying lines on the player’s own board and sending them to the opponent’s board. Gamers destroy lines by matching tiles and using the stylus to trace from like colored conductors running along the four edges of the screen.

Continue reading "O~3 Entertainment Announces ““Konductra”” for the Nintendo DS" »

June 8, 2006

MIDNIGHT MADNESS EVENT KICKS OFF "SUMMER OF LITE"

Saturday, June 10, 9:00 p.m. - Sunday, June 11, 2:00 a.m.

WHAT: Hundreds of hard-core fans and eager consumers will line up this Saturday, June 10, to be the first consumers in the United States to buy the highly anticipated new Nintendo DS Lite hand-held video game system when it becomes available at midnight.

Video game icon Mario will be at the event along with fans dressed as Nintendo characters. The event also will feature music from a local DJ and free pizza for people in line. The first 100 people to purchase a Nintendo DS Lite will receive a free DS Lite case and a copy of the new Brain Age game.

DS Lite is poised to be the cool new gaming system for the summer. DS Lite is less than two-thirds the size of the original Nintendo DS, more than 20 percent lighter and features a brighter screen. Priced as low as $129.99 at retailers throughout the United States, consumers will be rushing to retailers to get their hands on one. To date, nearly 17 million Nintendo DS systems have been sold worldwide.

WHO: Consumers and passionate video game fans of all ages

WHEN: Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11

9 p.m. People line up to purchase Nintendo DS Lite

Midnight – 2:00 a.m. The Nintendo World Store opens its doors to consumers and the first Nintendo DS Lite systems go on sale

WHERE: Nintendo World Store

10 Rockefeller Center

New York , NY 10020

(646) 459-0800

http://www.nintendoworldstore.com

Continue reading "MIDNIGHT MADNESS EVENT KICKS OFF "SUMMER OF LITE"" »

June 7, 2006

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT BRINGS JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES GAMES TO NINTENDO HANDHELD SYSTEMS

BURBANK, Calif. - June 7, 2006 - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will launch JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROESTM: THE FLASHTM for Game Boy® Advance system and JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES for Nintendo DS™ system in Fall 2006. Distributed by Eidos Interactive, the games will release simultaneously with the JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES games for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system.

JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES: THE FLASH, developed by WayForward Technologies for the Game Boy Advance system, lets gamers play as DC Comics' The Flash, wielding his Speed Force to strike enemies before they can strike back, unlock powerful combination attacks and slow-down time to defeat adversaries in slow motion. As the Fastest Man Alive, gamers also enlist the support of fellow Justice League members by calling in special attacks from Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other DC Comics super heroes.

JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES for the Nintendo DS system, developed by Sensory Sweep Studios as a prequel to the console title, lets gamers use the stylus to control and unleash the superpowers of Batman, Superman, The Flash and Wonder Woman. Gamers use objects within the destructible environment against enemies at will and also call in devastating attacks from other DC Comics super heroes, like Aquaman and Green Arrow, to help save the world from certain destruction.

About Sensory Sweep Studios
Sensory Sweep, well known for its cross platform technology, is one of the industry's leading independent video game developers. Having worked with publishers such as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, EA, Capcom, 2K, and D3, Sensory Sweep remains one of most sought after development studios and is among the largest independently owned and operated.

Continue reading "WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT BRINGS JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES GAMES TO NINTENDO HANDHELD SYSTEMS" »

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 30, 2006

Nintendo Launches New 'Touch Generations' Brand for Nontraditional DS Games

REDMOND, Wash., May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting in June, Nintendo will begin branding its more casual Nintendo DS(TM) titles under the new Touch Generations label. The Touch Generations brand will include titles that anyone can pick up and play, even with little or no experience with video games. It represents one of the many ways that Nintendo is making it easy for new demographics of people to be introduced to video games. Three new games, including a second brain-training game, will be added to the Touch Generations category in June.
"We remain committed to turning video games into an inclusive mass medium that everyone can enjoy," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Touch Generations will help novices and newcomers identify the fun and uniquely engaging experiences that are available only on Nintendo DS." These current and upcoming games will be identified by a distinctive logo, and will help non-gamers and casual gamers quickly identify which games might be appropriate for them. Touch Generations will be one element of Nintendo's multimillion-dollar campaign to get more and more people interested in video games.
The first seven titles in the Touch Generations brand include the following upcoming games:

* Big Brain Academy(TM) (launches June 5): The second title in the brain-training series tests players in five areas: thinking, memorization, computation, analysis and identification.

* Magnetica(TM) (launches June 5): A simple puzzle game challenges players to connect and eliminate like-colored marbles before they reach the goal.

* Sudoku Gridmaster (launches June 26): This version of the wildly popular puzzle grid features more than 400 sudoku puzzles, all of which were hand-picked by the original creators of sudoku.

Touch Generations also will include the following already-released titles:

* Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day (launched April 17): More than 5 million people around the world test their brains daily in areas like math, counting, reading and memorization. Many purchasers include older people who had never previously played a video game.

* Nintendogs(TM) (launched Aug. 22, 2005): The hugely popular puppy simulation and communication program lets users pet their pups using the touch screen and teach them commands using the microphone.

* Tetris(R) DS (launched March 20): Nintendo's greatest characters team up with one of the most popular puzzle games of all time.

* True Swing Golf (launched Jan. 23): In this realistic golf game, players simply slide the stylus across the touch screen to strike the ball and send it flying.

Touch Generations titles can be enjoyed by hard-core gamers and beginners alike, as evidenced by the positive reviews the gaming media have given to many of these titles. But as Nintendo adds new titles to the Touch Generations category, the two groups will be able to come together and identify their common ground.

Continue reading "Nintendo Launches New 'Touch Generations' Brand for Nontraditional DS Games" »

May 23, 2006

UBISOFT AND TOUCHSTONE TEAM UP TO CREATE "LOST" VIDEO GAME

SAN FRANCISCO MAY 22, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced a long-term worldwide licensing agreement with Touchstone Television to develop and publish a video game based on the Emmy Award-winning television series "Lost." Developed by Ubisoft's award-winning Montreall studio and scheduled to hit retail shelves worldwide in 2007, the game will be offered for home and portable consoles as well as PCs.

"We are delighted to work with Bryan Burk, one of the biggest producers in Hollywood and with Touchstone Television," said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer of Ubisoft. "That they have chosen us for the adaptation of the cult series "Lost" is the best homage that a producer can make to the creativity of Ubisoft."

"This deal is another example of how truly powerful the "Lost" brand is," said Bruce Gersh, senior vice president, business development, ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television. "We are excited to work together with Ubisoft to create a gaming experience that will allow fans to further immerse themselves into the mysteries and intrigues of the series."

"The creative appeal of"˜Lost" transcends borders with its character driven stories and addictive mysterious mythology," said Julia Franz, executive vice president, Touchstone Television. "It's not enough for fans worldwide to just watch 'Lost,' the game is a wonderful opportunity to organically extend this creative phenomenon into an interactive consumer experience."

"Many of us on "Lost" have been hardcore gamers for years and the chance to work with Ubisoft, a company behind some of our favorite titles, has excited us to no end," said "Lost" executive producer Bryan Burk. "With the ability to tell new interactive stories within the "Lost" universe, we're giddy to be developing a game that, once completed, will be as engaging and fun to play as it is to create."

J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof co-created "Lost" and also serve as executive producers, along with Bryan Burk, Jack Bender and Carlton Cuse. "Lost," which is filmed entirely on location in Hawaii, is from Touchstone Television.

Continue reading "UBISOFT AND TOUCHSTONE TEAM UP TO CREATE "LOST" VIDEO GAME" »

May 18, 2006

MARVEL AND ACTIVISION'S X-MEN: THE OFFICIAL GAME TAKES A STAND ON RETAIL SHELVES NATIONWIDE

Santa Monica, CA – May 16, 2006 – Inspired by Marvel Entertainment’s legendary Super Hero franchise and serving as a prelude to the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Studios’ feature film “X-Men: The Last Stand,” Activision, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) X-Men: The Official Game premieres today at retail outlets nationwide. The game catapults players into an original storyline that allows them to command the distinct powers of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they battle classic Brotherhood villains including Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike and Multiple Man and traverse unique environments that showcase each character’s abilities while embarking on an epic quest to save mutant-kind.

X-Men: The Official Game is the first Super Hero game for the Xbox™ 360 video game system from Microsoft and is available for a suggested retail price of $59.99. The PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft and the Nintendo® GameCube™ versions are available for a suggested retail price of $39.99. The PC, Nintendo DS™ and Game Boy® Advance versions are available for a suggested retail price of $29.99. The console and PC games have been rated “T” (“Teen” – violence) and the handheld games have been rated “E-10+” (“Everyone 10 and older” – fantasy violence) by the ESRB.

“In X-Men: The Official Game, players will experience the events leading up to the ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ feature film,” said Will Kassoy, vice president of global brand management, Activision, Inc. “Co-written by Zak Penn, the screenwriter of the film, and legendary comic book writer Chris Claremont, and featuring the voice talent of Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore and Alan Cumming, the game truly enables players to become a part of the X-Men movie universe .”

For the first time, X-Men: The Official Game lets players truly experience the powers of three popular Super Heroes from the X-Men movie universe by allowing them to take on the roles of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they wield and upgrade their signature powers and maneuver through unique environments designed to showcase their Super Hero abilities. Assisted by other X-Men characters including Storm and Colossus, players will use an advanced control scheme to master and control the characters as they unleash Wolverine’s combat rage, experience Nightcrawler’s acrobatics and teleportation powers and glide through the air on Iceman’s ice slide.

For more information on X-Men: The Official Game, please visit http://www.x-mengame.com.

BradyGames' X-Men: The Official Game Official Strategy Guide is available at electronics, book, and software retailers nationwide, and online at http://www.bradygames.com.


Continue reading "MARVEL AND ACTIVISION'S X-MEN: THE OFFICIAL GAME TAKES A STAND ON RETAIL SHELVES NATIONWIDE" »

May 11, 2006

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.

Continue reading "E3 Coverage - Nintendo" »

May 9, 2006

KONAMI ANNOUNCES WINNING ELEVEN: PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2007

LOS ANGELES – Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Booth #800 – May 9, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSPâ„¢ (PlayStation®Portable) system, and PC, as well as the series’ debut on the Xbox 360â„¢ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Nintendo DSâ„¢. Marking the return of the world’s top soccer franchise, the game extends its leadership position with new international teams, new modes of play and astoundingly realistic gameplay.

The world’s best rated soccer video game franchise, Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 expands upon the series’ unmatched realism with faster gameplay, more responsive control and improved artificial intelligence. Players will now make intelligent runs without the ball, identifying opportunities and pointing to where they would like the ball to be delivered. Similarly, the game is now more physical, with defenders jockeying for position and strikers working to turn their opponent as they receive the ball. The game’s shooting system has also been refined, letting players take more snap shots, while volleys have been updated for more player control.

Players will also be able to enjoy the Beautiful Game in more ways than ever before with new play modes. International Challenge mode lets players compete through four continents of opposition to become a champion, while Random Selection Match lets gamers take the field with a group of players selected at random from a predetermined league or geographic area. The popular Master League mode returns with more options, allowing players to take complete control of their favorite team and control its destiny for an extended period of time.

Continue reading "KONAMI ANNOUNCES WINNING ELEVEN: PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2007" »

FIND OUT WHAT AWAITS OVER THE HEDGET IN ACTIVISION'S NEW VIDEO GAME

Santa Monica, CA – May 9, 2006 – Based on the highly anticipated feature film from DreamWorks Animation, Over the Hedge™ the game from Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) is a wild adventure that immerses fans in a backyard gone crazy, while taking the players beyond the story seen in the movie. Over the Hedge is the only game based on the feature film that lets players relive movie moments and go beyond the film in three different games being released simultaneously for consoles and PC, the Nintendo DS™ and Game BoyÒ Advance. In the games, players assume the roles of RJ the raccoon, Verne the turtle, Hammy the squirrel and Stella the skunk and turn a suburban neighborhood loaded with obstacles and traps into their personal playground.

“In collaboration with DreamWorks Animation we have developed three unique titles introducing new characters and all-new storylines expanding the Over the Hedge world,” said Kim Salzer, vice president of global brand management, Activision Publishing. “The games give movie and video game fans control of the four main characters and lets them experience firsthand their camaraderie and wacky adventures.”

In the console and PC versions of Over the Hedge, gamers find themselves in suburban madness when they choose to play as RJ, Verne, Hammy or Stella and switch between the characters or engage in two-player co-op with a friend. Comprised of more than 30 puzzle-filled levels, players use golf clubs, hockey sticks and other everyday items as they dodge lasers, defeat enemies and plan and execute heists. Fun mini-games such as suburban mini-golf and golf cart destruction derby extend the game play and offer players a chance to increase their health by collecting snacks, boost their energy through power up items and unlock exclusive content such as concept art, film assets and more.

The handheld versions of Over the Hedge give players two unique adventures. The Nintendo DS version takes place after the events seen in the movie and features an all-new storyline in which the characters must figure out how to save their woodland home from the encroaching home development. Over the Hedge for the Game Boy Advance closely follows the storyline of the movie allowing players to live the adventures of the movie.

Over the Hedge the game was developed for the console platforms by Edge of Reality, for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS by Vicarious Visions and for the PC by Beenox.

Over the Hedge is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube™ and PC are rated “E10+” (“Everyone 10+” – cartoon violence and crude humor – content suitable for persons ages 10 and older.) The console versions are available for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and the PC version is available for a suggested retail price of $19.99. Over the Hedge for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance are rated “E” (“Everyone”– mild cartoon violence – content suitable for persons ages 6 and older.) The DS and the GBA versions are available for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

BradyGames' Over the Hedge Official Strategy Guide is available at electronics, book, and software retailers nationwide, and online at bradygames.com.

Continue reading "FIND OUT WHAT AWAITS OVER THE HEDGET IN ACTIVISION'S NEW VIDEO GAME" »

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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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.

Continue reading "EA UNVEILS THE NEXT GENERATION OF GAMES AT E3" »

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

Continue reading "Buena Vista Games Unveils New Video Game Lineup at 2006 Electronics Entertainment Expo" »

May 5, 2006

Xploder Cheat Saves for Nintendo® DS® - blows games wide open

With this advanced desktop application you can connect your NDS to the PC, allowing you to manage save data, download new cheat saves and saves from DS games on your PC.

Pre-loaded with the very latest cheat saves for games such as Animal Crossing: Wild World® (including Maximum Money and every item unlocked), Nintendogs® (including all gold tools unlocked) and Mario Kart® DS - Xploder gives you access to special features and in-game options and is fully updateable for the latest games.

Back-up important game saves from DS game cartridges to your PC, and free up valuable 'save slots', you can even add save descriptions, or delete unwanted game saves, all at the click of a mouse button.

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EIDOS AND TT GAMES ANNOUNCE BIONICLE® HEROES

San Francisco, CA (May 4, 2006) – Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, and TT Games, the makers of LEGO® Star Wars™, today confirms a new LEGO™ adventure in BIONICLE™ HEROES, set for release in fall 2006 on PlayStation™ 2, PC, Nintendo Game Boy Advance™, Nintendo DS™, and NINTENDO GAMECUBE™ (NTSC only).

BIONICLE HEROES brings to life the most powerful and exciting LEGO characters ever seen in one game, in an action-packed world of adventure and discovery. Take control of a young hero as he steps out of the real world and into the strange and dangerous universe of BIONICLE. Only by mastering the powers and special abilities of the greatest BIONICLE heroes will he be able to overcome the many challenges ahead.

“2006 is a huge year for BIONICLE. We are providing strong levels of support for the brand in 2006 and we are excited that the same winning team behind the success of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game is making the official BIONICLE videogame”. Said Jay Bruns, Director of Global Partnerships and Alliances for LEGO Group. He added “With such a pedigree of highly entertaining and engaging titles for young gamers, we are really looking forward to seeing the BIONICLE range bought to life in an immensely fun and immersive experience, both for our core BIONICLE fans and for those new to the universe.”

Continue reading "EIDOS AND TT GAMES ANNOUNCE BIONICLE® HEROES" »

May 4, 2006

Eidos Releases Two Video Developer Diaries for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

You have seen the game, now it is time to take a trip inside the development studio behind Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend. Crystal Dynamics has brought Lara Croft back to the top, and you will find that not only are they skilled at game design, they also have a good sense of humor! In these two video developer diaries you get to hear from members of the development team about what their thoughts are regarding Lara Croft and the new game. Also take a look at some of the design aspects that were used to create the fluid movement system, as well as a nice tour of the sound studio where music genius Troels Folmann works.

Download the videos now over at:
http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=158!

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New Nintendo DS Lites the Way for Mario

REDMOND, Wash., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of people around the world already enjoy playing Nintendo DS(TM), and the system's future looks even brighter. On June 11, Nintendo DS(TM) Lite joins Nintendo's video game family when it launches in the Americas. The lighter, brighter version of thehot-selling Nintendo DS is expected to be priced as low as $129.99 at retailers throughout the United States. The inaugural color is an elegant Polar White with a raised DS logo on the cover.
Nintendo DS Lite arrives just in time for players to pop in the latest version of one of the most storied franchises in video game history. New Super Mario Bros.(R), launching May 15, updates classic Mushroom Kingdom action with new features and fun.
"DS Lite and New Super Mario Bros. represent a double shot of gaming excellence," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "We've got something for both lovers of beautiful, new gadgets and fans of old-school gaming."

Nintendo DS Lite comes with a variety of distinctive changes that set it apart from the original -- and from all other hand-held video game systems:

* It's less than two-thirds the size of the original Nintendo DS and more than 20 percent lighter.
* Its two bright screens can be adjusted to four levels to adapt to different lighting conditions and to extend battery power.
* The microphone sits in the center of the unit, and the LED lights are clearly visible whether the unit is open or closed.
* The stylus is 1 centimeter longer and 1 millimeter thicker than the stylus of the original, and slides into a side storage slot.
* The Start and Select buttons were repositioned for easier access.
* A removable cover keeps the Game Boy(R) Advance cartridge slot clear from dust and debris when it's not in use.

New Super Mario Bros. is just one of the many Nintendo DS games that look great on Nintendo DS Lite. Players set off on a side-scrolling platform adventure bursting with the style and superb game play that got many people hooked on video games in the first place. The Mushroom Kingdom is populated with friends and foes, both new and old, and tons of power-ups, including mushrooms that make Mario mega- and micro-sized. The Super Mario franchise has sold more than 184 million games worldwide, which makes it one of the top-selling video game franchises of all time.
Ever since its November 2004 launch, the original Nintendo DS has helped to redefine perceptions of what constitutes a video game. Many systems have been sold to people who are discovering video games for the first time. Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's wireless gaming service, has seen more than 1 million connections worldwide. Thousands of people every day log on to battle one another in Metroid(R) Prime Hunters or see who has all their Tetriminos (falling blocks) in a row in Tetris(R) DS.
Nintendo DS continues to broaden the market for video games. Nintendo DS has software that appeals to older gamers, hard-core gamers and even lapsed gamers. Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day went on sale in the United States on April 17 after encountering massive success in Japan. Nintendo will continue that momentum by introducing two upcoming titles that require more brain power than firepower. On June 5, Big Brain Academy(TM) arrives to challenge users with a variety of mental tests designed to evaluate various skills. Then on June 26, Sudoku Gridmaster will keep number crunchers busy with more than 400 sudoku puzzles, each one sanctioned by the original creators of sudoku.

Continue reading "New Nintendo DS Lites the Way for Mario" »

May 3, 2006

Crave Entertainment Announces E3 Lineup

Newport Beach, Calif.--May 3, 2006--Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames for the casual gamer, today announced its lineup for the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), to be held May 10-12, 2006 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. Crave will showcase its titles at South Hall booth #846.

"The past year has been tremendously successful for Crave," said Rob Dyer, COO of Crave Entertainment. "World Championship Poker continues to lead the pack as the first choice of serious poker players, and with brands like VeggieTales we are expanding our presence in the family gaming space. Crave has solidified its position as the leading publisher of casual games on the gaming consoles."

World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer "All In" (PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP(tm) (PlayStation®Portable) system and Xbox 360(tm)
The third installment of the best-selling poker video game franchise in North America, features some of the most recognizable and successful poker stars in the world, including Howard Lederer, his sister Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, Amir Vahedi, Paul Darden, and Robert Williamson III. Joining the roster for this year's edition are noted international poker superstars Marcel Luske, Thomas Bihl, and Erin Ness.

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

VeggieTales LarryBoy and the Bad Apple (PlayStation®2 and Game Boy® Advance)
When the citizens of Bumblyburg need help, there is one superhero who they can always count on: LarryBoy! For the first time ever, the amazing smash hit VeggieTales is coming to game consoles in the heroic adventure LarryBoy and the Bad Apple. The adventure platformer game allows gamers to help LarryBoy in his quest to right wrongs and save the good citizens from the Bad Apple and her webs of temptation. Scheduled for an August 1st simultaneous release with the full length feature DVD, now fans can "Be that Hero!"

The VeggieTales brand has sold over 47 million video units & over 6 million audio units in 12 years and is the #1 values-based product line in the U.S. The launch of the new LarryBoy title is the game kids have been clamoring for!

Gun Club (PlayStation®2)
This non-violent target shooter allows gamers to enter the shooting range, steady their nerves, and take aim at the bull's-eye. The game puts over one hundred faithfully recreated firearms in the hands of the player who can try his or her skill in a wide range of immersive 3D practice environments, from indoor ranges with paper targets, to hillsides with watermelons or flying sporting clays. A certification mode challenges would-be sharpshooters' skills, and detailed descriptions and information for every firearm make it a must-have for gun collectors and enthusiasts.

Dave Mirra BMX Challenge (PlayStation®Portable)
The next installment in the popular BMX franchise gives you BMX Legend Dave Mirra (one of the most recognized action sports athletes in the world) as the featured rider and the option to customize player characters. There are 17 levels with 9 different environments throughout the game. With 9 bikes to choose from and up to 4 player ad hoc wireless play, it's time to ride.

Hard Rock Casino (PlayStation®2 and PlayStation®Portable)
Gamers can try their luck at more than 20 different casino games, including table games, machine games, poker rooms and sports bets, while experiencing high-stakes areas, invitation-only tournaments and many unlockable upgrades for your highly customizable character.

Beginning with a modest bankroll, players must amass winnings and establish their reputation as the highest roller at the Hard Rock Casino. Along the way, they will encounter unique tournaments, characters, side tasks and unlockables, keeping the game play fresh and challenges exciting.

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (Game Boy Advance)
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, from Craig McCracken, creator of The Powerpuff Girls, features the somewhat shy Mac and his imaginary friend, Blooregard Q. Kazoo. The game is inspired by memorable episodes from the Cartoon Network hit series and allows fans to control Mac and Bloo as they solve quirky challenges and complete mission objectives. The action takes place in and around Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and features many of the signature characters from the show including Wilt, Eduardo, Coco and more.

Camp Lazlo (Game Boy Advance)
Camp Lazlo is an eccentric animated series from Cartoon Network that chronicles the odd but happy camping life of a Bean Scout named Lazlo and his bunkmates at Camp Kidney. Players can take alternating control of Lazlo, an optimistic, high-energy Brazilian monkey, Raj, a wise and compulsive Indian elephant, and Clam, an eccentric and highly intelligent pygmy Rhino, to compete in a variety of camp challenges, earning the right to represent their camp in a final tournament against - the Squirrel Scouts.

Continue reading "Crave Entertainment Announces E3 Lineup" »

CONSUMERS ON THE GO TURN TO MAJESCO ENTERTAINMENT FOR PORTABLE FUN

Edison, N.J., May 3, 2006 – Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of digital entertainment products and content with a focus on video game publishing for portable systems, today announced its product lineup being showcased this month at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), May 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“With more than 40 million handheld systems in the marketplace, our development focus is ideally timed and leverages the portable expertise that has served the company so well” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing. “Our 2006 portable software lineup offers a broad spectrum of consumer choices, as well as innovative uses of each system’s technology.”

PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable) system

Guilty Gear Judgment - offers gamers incredible value by combining two games on one UMD. The game includes the fast-paced arcade fighting of Guilty Gear X2 #Reload plus a brand new side scrolling experience in Guilty Gear Judgment.

Nintendo DS™

MechAssault®: Phantom War (DS) - brings the future of interstellar combat to today’s handheld gamers in an explosive third-person shooter based on the best-selling Xbox game from Microsoft Game Studios. Commandeer over 20 types of vehicles, including ‘Mechs, Tanks, Turret and BattleArmor while wreaking havoc with a fully upgradeable arsenal.

Monster Bomber (DS) – A new take on classic arcade gameplay, Monster Bomber challenges players to power up and fling different colored balls on the Touch Screen to hit rapidly

descending, multi-colored monsters on the top screen. Destroy all monsters and you pass the stage but if they reach you first, it’s game over.

Cooking Mama (DS) – Let Mama show you how to cook on your Nintendo DS! Featuring 76 different recipes, Cooking Mama challenges players to use the stylus as their master kitchen tool to chop, slice, pan fry, knead, grate, mash, peel and more. Share recipes with up to 4 other people or transfer a saved game to a friend via the DS wireless link.

Continue reading "CONSUMERS ON THE GO TURN TO MAJESCO ENTERTAINMENT FOR PORTABLE FUN" »

May 2, 2006

LARA CROFT CATAPULTS ONTO THE NINTENDO PLATFORMS

San Francisco, CA (May 2, 2006) -- Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, is pleased to announce further details of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend on Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™ and Game Boy® Advance. Available this fall, the handheld versions will faithfully capture the detail and breadth of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the soon-to-be-released Nintendo GameCube version.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend on the Nintendo platforms will deliver the same innovative level of gameplay and high production value experience that has helped the PlayStation®2 and Xbox® versions rise to the top of the sales charts all over North America and Europe. Nintendo fans will be able to experience Tomb Raider’s dynamic controls, Lara’s fluid movement system, engaging puzzles, and gorgeous environments.

“There are a host of new and exciting features for Lara on the Nintendo platforms,” said Senior Brand Manager Kathryn Clements. “With the stunning graphics of the original games optimized to Nintendo’s platforms, Legend will further extend the reach of the Lara universe.”

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

Continue reading "LARA CROFT CATAPULTS ONTO THE NINTENDO PLATFORMS" »

Buena Vista Games to Create and Publish New Original Video Game Property - Spectrobes

TOKYO — (May 1, 2006) — Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced that it is creating and publishing the company’s first video game based on an original property, Spectrobes. Set to release exclusively for the Nintendo DS, Spectrobes is an anime-inspired action/role playing game that is being developed by Jupiter Corporation in Kyoto. The announcement was made this morning from BVG’s local offices in Tokyo.

“We’ve experienced tremendous success developing new intellectual properties such as KINGDOM HEARTS in Japan, and the innovation and style of Spectrobes are a perfect fit for the expertise of renowned developer Jupiter Corporation,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “Spectrobes is a new and unique property with endless potential for a dynamic entertainment company such as The Walt Disney Company. There is tremendous interest in this franchise from other divisions such as media networks, online and consumer products.”

“Based on BVG’s original concept and utilizing the creative style of Japanese anime, manga and traditional Japanese art, Spectrobes is an innovative game developed by the outstanding team at Jupiter,” said Kentaro Hisai, producer at BVG Japan. “The game’s intense real-time battle and unique excavation features should enthrall gamers throughout the world.”

Spectrobes introduces two junior Interplanetary Patrol officers named Rallen and Jeena who learn of strange, prehistoric creatures called Spectrobes that possess special powers. These fossilized 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.

Spectrobes is infused with the edgy, highly stylized look and feel of Japanese anime and manga, and uniquely combines original characters, a compelling story and breakthrough gameplay. Spectrobes allows players to excavate, train and battle with nearly 500 unique creatures -- utilizing every interactive feature of the Nintendo DS. Once the creature is excavated using the touch screen portion of the Nintendo DS, the Spectrobe is then awakened and can be utilized in real-time battles with enemies. Players must collect, train and help their Spectrobes evolve in order to progress and succeed in the game. With highly customizable elements and powers, each Spectrobe is unique to individual game players.

Continue reading "Buena Vista Games to Create and Publish New Original Video Game Property - Spectrobes" »

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC. ANNOUNCES GAME LINE-UP FOR E3 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (May 2, 2006) – Leading video games publisher NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today plans to showcase 19 of its highly anticipated console, PC and handheld releases at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, May 10-12, 2006 (booth #824 in the South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center).

"This year's E3 marks the debut of our integrated title line-up and exemplifies the industry strength behind the NAMCO BANDAI merger," said Genichi Ito, president and CEO of NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. "Our strong commitment to extending popular franchises, creating original content and developing strategic partnerships with key licensors allows us to deliver quality games for all ages, interests and platforms."

New installments of notable franchises to be unveiled at this year's E3 include Xenosaga® EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra, Tales of the Abyss™, Pac-Man World Rally™, Ace Combat® X: Skies of Deception, Tekken®: Dark Resurrection, The Legend of Heroes™ II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch™ and Mobile Ops™: The One Year War.

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. will also be showcasing its highly-anticipated PC titles such as Mage Knight Apocalypse, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos and HELLGATE: LONDON from Flagship Studios.

Popular licensed properties making their debut at the show include The Fast and The Furious, Snoopy vs. The Red Baron and Charlie Brown All-Stars.

Renown anime based franchises on display for play include Naruto: Ultimate Ninja, Zatchbell: Mamodo Fury, .hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth, IGPX, One Piece: Grand Adventure, and Eureka Seven Vol. 1: The New Wave.

Popular Franchise Sequels:

Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra (PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system)

A year has passed since Xenosaga® EPISODE II. Shion has resigned her post at Vector Industries after realizing that the company is deeply connected to the cause of the Gnosis phenomenon. She has thus joined forces with Scientia, an underground organization, in order to unveil Vector's true objectives. Featuring more than eight hours of movies including voiced cut-scenes, Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra is the exciting conclusion to the epic trilogy loved by RPG fans worldwide. Players will experience an updated battle system combining the best aspects of the first two games, while introducing the new Break system. Xenosaga EPISODE III: Also sprach Zarathustra will also feature an extensive mini-game complete with a mini-game map editor. Uncover the future of humanity this Fall 2006.

Tales of the Abyss (PlayStation 2)

Tales of the Abyss puts players in the role of Luke fon Fabre, sole heir to a family of aristocrats. He was kidnapped several years ago, and the shock left him with no memories of his life before. Luke is suddenly thrown into the outside world where he knows nothing of those who might be his friends, or those who already are his enemies. This epic story is told with some of the most realistic character models ever used in the Tales series and beautiful anime cut-scenes by Production I.G. Tales of the Abyss also features the Flexible Motion Battle System where the player controls characters in a free-roaming battlefield. Players can start their epic quest in Fall 2006.

Pac-Man World Rally (PlayStation 2, PSP(PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo GameCube, PC)

Pac-Man World Rally lets players race through a variety of environments from Pac-Man World as Pac-Man® , Pac Jr. and other beloved characters from past Namco classics. In one of the fastest and most exciting kart racing games ever, players will race for the win or fight it out in colorful Battle Arenas with special weapons, power-ups and a variety of Pac-Man powers. The race begins in Summer 2006.

Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception (PSP system)

Featuring an entirely new world and story, this first PSP system installment of the popular Ace Combat franchise features a suite of highly detailed and realistically modeled licensed aircraft. New additions include original aircraft and wireless multiplayer, ensuring Ace Combat for the PSP system will be a memorable experience. Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception also features a Strategic AI System where mission objectives reflect a player's decision. The PSP system takes flight with Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception in Fall 2006.

Tekken: Dark Resurrection (PSP system)

Tekken: Dark Resurrection is one of the most explosive fighting games to arrive on the PSP system. Featuring some of the most realistic graphics on a handheld platform, Tekken Dark: Resurrection will have 19 stages with destructible objects. Players will have the choice of two new characters Lili and Dragunov allowing for more than 30 characters to choose from. This extensive list of characters is possible through character customization with more than double the items seen in TEKKEN®5. Using the wireless connectivity of the PSP system, players can battle friends using their customized characters. The fighting genre will resurrect on the PSP system in Summer 2006.

The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch (PSP system)

The popular RPG series makes another appearance on the PSP system with The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch. In this game, players embark on a pilgrimage to find 5 shrines in Tirasweel, and discover a mystery left behind by a mysterious witch. Taking place in a beautiful world inhabited with rich details, players are quickly drawn into the storyline. Enemies appear on the world map, eliminating random battles. They can gauge the player's strength and will "turn tail and run" if they sense the player is stronger than they are. The prophecy is set to take place in June 2006.

Mobile Ops: The One Year War (Xbox 360)

Mobile Ops: The One Year War opens when rebel space colonies launch a brutal bid for independence from the Earth Federation. Advanced ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) has rendered range sensors and communications useless, resulting in the rise of new war machines called Mobile Suits. These ultimate instruments of destruction, capable of metal-clashing hand-to-hand combat, completely redefine modern warfare. Fight on foot, in vehicles and in Mobile Suits in a robust single and multiplayer experience through multiple scenarios and battlefields. Pick your side, choose your weapon and prove your supremacy.

PC Titles:

Mage Knight Apocalypse (PC)
A select group of heroes must defeat the Apocalypse Dragon, a seemingly unstoppable five-headed monstrosity that has been summoned by the forces of Chaos in Mage Knight Apocalypse. Five unique character classes can be selected - all with hundreds of weapons, armor and abilities to customize. These heroes will battle hundreds of unique enemies with brilliant special effects in a beautiful 3D world. Players will adventure as they've only before imagined as they explore with a free camera, engage in multiplayer missions. Dynamic enemy scaling and multiple alternate scenarios means near infinite replay-ability. For the PC in Summer 2006.

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos (PC)

Faithful to the Warhammer® world, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos puts the focus squarely on the battlefield with a real-time combat system that gives the player unprecedented customization and control of his army. This RTS focuses on armies and battling while de-emphasizing the tedious aspects of base and resource management. Players will also have the opportunity to use environments to their advantage, as well as customize Heroes and Champions with inventories and skill trees and challenge opponents in dueling. Choose from a variety of modes for both casual and competitive play coming to a battlefield on a PC near you in Fall 2006.

HELLGATE: LONDON (PC)
HELLGATE: LONDON combines the depth of role-playing games and action of first-person titles, while offering infinite playability with randomly created levels, items and events. The player creates a heroic character and then, completes quests and battles through innumerable hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable appearances and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create their own unique hero.

Licensed Properties:

The Fast and The Furious (PlayStation 2, PSP system)

Inspired by Universal Pictures' upcoming film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, this game will immerse players in the underground world of drift racing – a form of racing that replaces simple drag racing with a rubber-burning, automotive art form that consists of an exhilarating balance of speeding and gliding through a heart-stopping course of hairpin turns and switchbacks. Set in a world related to, yet separate from, the movie, the game features a ground-breaking drift mechanic that makes drifting accessible to both beginning and veteran racing game drivers. The gameplay features evolutionary new systems like the Drift Indicator that make The Fast and the Furious the most accessible yet realistic drift game. Created through a licensing agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, this must-have racing title drifts to retailers in Summer 2006.

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron (PlayStation 2, PSP system, PC)

While snoozing atop his doghouse one day, Snoopy has a magical dream. Just like in the celebrated Peanuts® comic strip, he becomes a virtuoso flying ace, piloting his World War I bi-plane in a heroic attempt to foil the plans of his archenemy, the Red Baron. Join Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang as you soar above six vividly rendered worlds. Pilot Snoopy’s famous Sopwith Camel and other unique aircraft in perilous sky-high dogfights, air races and heart-pounding missions with dozens of comical weapons and gadgets at your disposal. Snoopy vs. The Red Baron takes to the skies in Fall 2006.

Charlie Brown’s All-Stars (PlayStation 2, PSP system)

The cast of Peanuts has come together in an entertaining and fun pick-up-and-play baseball game, Charlie Brown’s All-Stars. Players can help Charlie Brown end his 900 game losing streak as they play baseball with an incredible cast of more than 30 Peanuts characters. Players can also take part in any of four Party Games, including batting, fielding and pitching contests, as well as a good ol’ fashioned game of “Lucy Says.” As players progress through the game they will have the chance to enjoy classic Peanuts storylines, artwork and unlock tons of bonus content including every baseball-related Peanuts comic strip. Charlie Brown’s All-Stars steps up to the plate in Spring 2007. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Anime Based Franchises:

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja (PlayStation 2)

Experience the hit manga and TV series NARUTO like never before. Join Naruto and his friends in their Ninja Academy quests as they battle the best in the land. Fight as one of more than 12 playable characters in interactive stages while performing powerful ninjutsu moves. Players can battle in close combat, use weapons and call on support characters to assist with super attacks or drop off power-ups. Tons of replay value is added with unlockable features and more! Players can enroll in the Ninja Academy in June 2006.

Zatchbell!: Mamodo Fury (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube)

Players join Zatch, Kiyo and other characters from the hit manga and TV series ZATCHBELL! as they battle to become the mighty mamodo king! This time, up to four players can choose from more than 20 different playable teams. With three gameplay modes including Story Mode, VS mode and Arcade Mode, players can experience all the action in environments faithful to the TV series. All voice acting is even done by the U.S. TV show cast. Zatchbell!: Mamodo Fury hits consoles Fall 2006.

.hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth (PlayStation 2)

The hit video game and TV series returns to the epic fantasy online RPG stage on the PlayStation 2. Years after the events of the first .hack installment, the most popular MMORPG in the world has returned from the ashes as “The World: R2”. As Haseo the Terror of Death, players are thrown into his quest for revenge in his search for the mysterious PK (Player Killer) Tri-Edge. This time, players will interact in the real and virtual worlds with fellow “The World” players through various chats, mails, and fully voiced video news clips. Together with Haseo’s virtual partners, login to challenge and solve the mysteries of “The World”.  hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth arrives in stores in Fall 2006.

One Piece Grand Adventure (PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube)

Based on the popular comic and anime series, One Piece: Grand Adventure delivers battles that take place with a new free-moving Vs. Battle action system that will offer hours of entertainment. The game has also been completely revamped with the inclusion of an engrossing Adventure Mode, sending players on various mini-game filled quests as well as allowing players to create their very own band of roving pirates. One Piece: Grand Adventure hits stores in Fall 2006. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

IGPX (PlayStation 2)

The thrill of the popular Cartoon Network series IGPX, comes to the PlayStation 2 in an exhilarating fashion. Delivering the intense chase as you battle against your opponents, IGPX provides a type of thrill never before experienced. By creating a strategic scenario with a variety of formations, players are able to participate in combinations with partners that will deliver high-impact attacks. IGPX takes the flag on the PlayStation 2 in Fall 2006.

Continue reading "NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC. ANNOUNCES GAME LINE-UP FOR E3 2006" »

Metroid Prime Hunters Fans Get Ready to Rumble - For Free

Nintendo is shaking things up this summer by offering a free Nintendo DS Rumble Pak(TM) with the purchase of Metroid(R) Prime Hunters for Nintendo DS(TM). The accessory fits into the Game Boy(R) Advance cartridge slot and delivers good vibrations to immerse players even further in the smack-talking, morph-balling, Wi-Fi multi-playing Metroid action that Nintendo DS owners are raving about.

Continue reading "Metroid Prime Hunters Fans Get Ready to Rumble - For Free" »

May 1, 2006

SQUARE ENIX TO SHOWCASE ALL ENCOMPASSING LINE-UP AT E3 2006

Los Angeles, Calif. (April 24, 2006) – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix™ interactive entertainment products in North America, will have on display entertainment experiences for all platforms at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) to be held May 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in South Hall, Booth #746. Square Enix will hold a preview event and reveal special product announcements during its press briefing on Monday, May 8.

“E3 attendees will be immersed in Square Enix’s most diverse line-up ever,” said Daishiro Okada, President and COO, Square Enix, Inc. “We're evolving and growing, extending the Square Enix brand beyond video games to a variety of entertainment vehicles and a broader consumer base bridging the generation and gender gap. Our goal is to provide consumers with the most engaging and immersive entertainment experiences possible and we hope to give attendees at E3 a taste of what’s to come."

Following is a partial list of entertainment products Square Enix will have on display:

PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system

Dawn of Mana

Dawn of Mana™, the first true Mana sequel in a decade, reveals the origins of the legend behind the Mana Tree and the Sword of Mana™. Breaking the series’ 2D mold, Dawn of Mana brings the world of Mana to three-dimensional life while preserving the atmosphere that fans have come to know and love. Players can see for themselves how vividly characters and monsters move about these new yet familiar surroundings. This installment of the Mana is a true action-adventure, with sweeping plains and mountains stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s a world ripe for adventure!

A World of Sensation

“Touch” is the theme of Dawn of Mana’s world. You can virtually feel realistically rendered, lifelike objects.

The release date for Dawn of Mana will be announced at a later time. Dawn of Mana has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America.

DIRGE OF CERBERUS -FINAL FANTASY VII-

Three years after the events of FINAL FANTASY® VII, an unknown group of seemingly unstoppable soldiers appears, bringing a swift and bitter end to the peace enjoyed by the people of the world. The members of this enigmatic group are the ones who were trapped under the ruins of Midgar for three long years—the Deepground soldiers. Vincent Valentine finds himself pursued by several elite members of the mysterious Deepground organization. An unrelenting chain of events leads Vincent to the truth behind his past—and forces him once again to be the key player in a battle for the planet itself and all those living on it.

Just what is the connection between Vincent's past and the recent attacks? When the world is engulfed in darkness, his gun will toll a dreadful dirge…

DIRGE of CERBERUS™ will be released Summer 2006. The ship date will be announced at a later time. This title is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

FINAL FANTASY XII

As war looms on the horizon, the mighty Archadian Empire begins a campaign to subjugate its neighbors. The small kingdom of Dalmasca shares their fate, and it is here that our tale begins.

Two years after the fall of Dalmasca, the citizens are without guidance and direction. In the capital city of Rabanastre, the denizens gather and await the introduction of Archadia’s new consul. To Vaan, a young man living on the streets of Rabanastre, the Empire is a hated enemy who took the life of his brother, the only family he had left. In an effort to exact revenge, Vaan hatches a plot to break into the palace and steal from the occupying imperials. There, he gets more than he bargained for as he runs into Princess Ashe, the sole surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne. Together, the two will embark on an incredible journey through Ivalice, tracing the mysteries behind the Archadian Empire’s invasion. The choices they make will determine the very fate of the world.


Active Dimension Battle

The Active Dimension Battle (ADB) system enables players to move seamlessly between exploration and combat. Jarring random battles and their load times are a thing of the past, keeping you in the world from start to finish.


An All-New Combat System

Characters act according to an intricate “gambit” system of actions and reactions that you determine. As they fight, characters earn license points that can be spent to broaden their knowledge of magic, arms and armor.

FINAL FANTASY XII will be released Fall 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

VALKYRIE PROFILE 2: SILMERIA

Hundreds of years before Lenneth’s tale, another saga lies concealed by the gods. The valkyrie Silmeria once served Odin loyally, but after an incident ignited a conflict between them, Odin forcefully reincarnated her as a human. The human soul that would carry her spirit was that of Alicia, Princess of Dipan. Ordinarily, Silmeria’s consciousness would have been sealed, her spirit dormant until she was next summoned… However, the forced transmigration causes Silmeria’s spirit to awaken within Alicia, leaving two souls to inhabit a single body. The spirit that should have been sealed has awakened—a situation Odin will not ignore for long.


Photon Action System

This installment introduces the new Photon Action System to the classic side-scrolling action format found in the original. Projecting photons grants players more freedom to explore and expands the action, resulting in challenging puzzles with clever solutions. Add to that “sealstones” that affect the laws of nature in dungeons, launching strategy to new heights.


Advanced Tactical Combination

The unique, highly acclaimed battle system of the previous game has evolved into the Advanced Tactical Combination Battle System. Feel the exhilaration of accelerated battles raging across 3D environments for more spectacular and more strategic combat than ever before!

VALKYRIE PROFILE® 2: SILMERIA will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB. This title has not yet been concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America

Online

FINAL FANTASY XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan

The once sleepy port town of Mhaura has become the center of unprecedented commotion. The cause of this disturbance can be attributed to the arrival of mercenary recruiters from the Aht Urhgan Empire, a land far to the east of Windurst. Starting in the city of the Tarutaru, they have been touting the benefits of their Empire-sanctioned business throughout Vana'diel® in an effort to garner the interest of prospective candidates, and also seek to organize a ferry route from Mhaura to the Imperial capital of Al Zahbi. The majority of the conservative townspeople frowns upon the insistence of their foreign visitors. However, the large number of action-starved Mithran mercenaries is putting pressure on the governor, who is gradually losing her resolve to refuse entry to the Empire's ships.

Why is the Empress so desperate to recruit mercenaries? What trouble is brewing in the Near Eastern land of Aht Urhgan? The road to epic new adventures will soon be revealed...

FINAL FANTASY XI and the brand new third expansion, Treasures of Aht Urhgan™ are available now on PlayStation 2, Windows® and Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. This title is rated “T” for Teen. For more information on FINAL FANTASY XI and all of its expansions please visit: http://www.playonline.com/ff11us

Handheld

Game Boy® Advance

FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE & FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE

The classic FINAL FANTASY games that premiered on the Super Nintendo® Entertainment System are now making their way to the Game Boy Advance! Hot on the heels of FINAL FANTASY IV ADVANCE (now available in stores), FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE and FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE will soon be available to handheld gamers. However, these titles are more than simple ports—every aspect of the games has been reviewed and enhanced. Additionally, a host of brand-new elements have been seamlessly merged with the original games, providing unexpected surprises for longtime fans. With new dungeons, new job classes, and other exciting features, both old-school players and newcomers can enjoy these genre-defining FINAL FANTASY titles in a portable format!

The magic of the FINAL FANTASY classics is returning to gamers’ hands—and soon the wait will be over.

FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE & FINAL FANTASY VI ADVANCE will both be released 2006. These titles have not yet been rated by the ESRB.

Nintendo DS™ System

Children of Mana

In ages past, an island called Illusia floated at the center of the world. At the heart of the island towered an ancient, enormous tree that stretched up to the very heavens. For ages past, chaos and sorrow had engulfed the world until at last its salvation appeared in the form of a boy, a girl, and a holy sword.

Time flowed on and peace returned. The sword and the tree remained, and they soon came to be known as the Sword of Mana and the Mana Tree. Followers of the Mana Tree returned to Illusia as the world started slowly but surely down the path to recovery.


More Magic with the Eight Spirits

The eight elemental spirits are a staple of the Mana series. These powerful allies aid you with healing and special status effects. They can also unleash fearsome magic upon your foes.


Cooperative or Competitive Gameplay for Up to Four Players

The greatest innovation of this installment of the Mana series is allowing four players to advance the story and solve quests together while maintaining the feel of an action RPG. Players' actions affect each other in a gameplay experience completely unlike previous action RPGS!

Children of Mana™ will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

DRAGON QUEST HEROES: ROCKET SLIME

The latest game from the creative minds behind the 2005 RPG classic, Dragon Quest™ VIII: Journey of the Cursed King™, has arrived on the Nintendo DS. The hero of this brand-new action-adventure is a slime—one of the most popular monsters from the Dragon Quest series. The game is set in the kingdom of Slimenia, a peaceful land that is suddenly invaded by a mysterious cartel called “the Plob,” who then proceed to kidnap all the slimes in the capital city of Boingburg. Our protagonist, Rocket, is the only slime left behind, and must embark on a journey throughout Slimenia to save his friends and uncover the Plob’s nefarious plot!


Bounce, Stretch, and Carry

The adventure stages consist of our hero bouncing and stretching, as well as carrying various objects on his head, while solving the mysteries behind each area, and rescuing his captured slime friends along the way. Simple, streamlined controls allow players of all ages and skill levels to take part in the action with ease.


Fierce Tank Battles

Each adventure stage culminates in Rocket hopping aboard a colossal slime-shaped war machine called the Schleiman Tank and battling it out with the enemy’s Monster Tanks. Customize tanks by collecting a vast array of weapons and items. Call upon allies, each with their own individual personality and abilities, to aid in the heated tank battles. Even shoot your fellow slimes so they can infiltrate and sabotage the enemy’s Monster Tank! Pit tanks against a friend’s in exciting player-vs.-player action, using the Nintendo DS wireless multiplayer game feature!

DRAGON QUEST HEROES: ROCKET SLIME™ will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

FINAL FANTASY III

The only FINAL FANTASY that was never localized—the third installment of the original series—will finally reach North American shores! Lauded as “legendary” by the Japanese fan base, FINAL FANTASY III has been reborn, incorporating the latest in portable gaming technology. Using the features of the Nintendo DS to their fullest, FINAL FANTASY III features graphics that have been reworked and remodeled in 3D, while maintaining the mythical FINAL FANTASY look and feel.

This is the fans’ chance to complete the circle. The legend of FINAL FANTASY III is reborn.

FINAL FANTASY III will be released 2006. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH

Asgard, the realm of the gods, remains locked in an eternal struggle between the benevolent Aesir and the demonic Vanir. With the end of the world approaching, Odin, Lord of Asgard, summons Lenneth Valkyrie to his side. Possessing the ability to hear the thoughts and feelings of men and women in their dying moments, he charges Valkyrie to search Midgard, the world of mortals, to recruit and train the souls of worthy warriors to join the ranks of the Aesir in the Sacred War. VALKYRIE PROFILE®: LENNETH brings the classic PlayStation® game console title, originally released in 2000, to the PSP system with completely new CG cut scenes. tri-Ace, the developers behind the acclaimed Star Ocean® series and Radiata Stories™, introduce new fans to the spectacular combo attacks, unique side-scrolling environment, and gripping storyline that first captivated players six years ago.


Additional CG Cutscenes

To give players a deeper understanding of the plot and to complement the game’s dramatic storyline, additional CG cutscenes have been incorporated. Some of these new scenes contain links to the story of VALKYRIE PROFILE 2: SILMERIA.

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH will be released 2006. This title has been rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

Mobile - Square Enix

BEFORE CRISIS -FINAL FANTASY VII-

The Shinra Company achieved the pinnacle of success by monopolizing Mako energy and gaining unstoppable political power. It came at a price though. Many had fallen victim during Shinra's rise to the top, and those with great hatred for the company were far from few. The rebel group Avalanche was formed with the intent of eradicating the Shinra Company and all those within its greedy corporate circles. With its very existence in danger, Shinra was forced to take secret measures. The company entrusted everything to its elite unit: the Turks.

BEFORE CRISIS™ -FINAL FANTASY VII- allows players to take on the role of a new recruit in Shinra's elite Turks unit and conduct various missions and operations. Utilizing the mobile network, multiple players are able to simultaneously participate in real-time combat. Several other features possible only on mobile phones are also included, creating an exciting new experience.

BEFORE CRISIS -FINAL FANTASY VII- will launch 2006. North American compatible handsets TBA.

FINAL FANTASY I

Since ages long past, the legend of the Light has been handed down from generation to generation. The legend tells that the world would remain safe so long as the Crystals maintain their brilliance. Should they lose their light, the skies will blacken, the land wither, and the seas rage. In this hour, four warriors would appear--they are the Warriors of Light. Originally released in 1987, FINAL FANTASY's enthralling story and extraordinary graphics spawned a series now numbering twelve core titles. FINAL FANTASY retains its original charm while making the evolution to convenient play on mobile phones.

FINAL FANTASY I will launch 2006. North American compatible handsets TBA.

Mobile - Taito

3D Space Invaders

Space Invaders are back–now in 3D! Reborn using 3D polygon functions, that timeless classic can now be experienced from new camera perspectives with the press of a button. Set the perspective to first-person and get ready for an exciting, realistic invasion!

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Chase H.Q. 3D

Chase H.Q. 3D is the latest version of that legendary, realistic car chase action classic. Originally developed for the arcades in 1988, Chase HQ was ported to various consoles such as the Amiga, the Atari ST, the Commodore 64, the Genesis, the Sega Master System, and the TurboGrafx-16. Today, you can enjoy Chase HQ on your mobile phone. Go undercover and pursue criminal suspects with the help of your operator, Nancy!

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Elevator Action 3D

Originally developed for the arcades in 1983, Elevator Action, has been ported to several consoles, such as the Commodore 64, the Game Boy, the Game Boy Color, the NES, the Saturn, and the ZX Spectrum, where it has since enjoyed a large and loyal following. Fans of the original and fans of the FPS genre will be pleased to find that classic Elevator Action has now been realized in 3D with crisp graphics, special tactical elements, and fast-paced, FPS action.

Availability and North American compatible handsets TBA.

Continue reading "SQUARE ENIX TO SHOWCASE ALL ENCOMPASSING LINE-UP AT E3 2006" »

April 29, 2006

Mastiff Ships Paramount Pictures' Top Gun for Nintendo DS

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-April 28, 2006-Video Game publisher Mastiff today announced that Paramount Pictures' Top Gun for Nintendo DS(tm), under license from Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, has shipped to retail. An action-packed tribute to the blockbuster movie hit of 1986, Top Gun takes advantage of the unique Nintendo DS interface for high octane mastery of the sky.

Top Gun for Nintendo DS takes a look at the danger and excitement that awaits every pilot at the Navy's prestigious fighter weapons school. Top Gun players enter as rookie pilots, selected along with a handful of other pilots for elite training at the US Navy's Fighter Weapons School. To become the best fighter pilot in the world players must to go head to head with the best of enemy fighter pilots.

Top Gun puts the player in the cockpit of a heavily armed jetfighter plane. The game includes 10 single player missions (plus 2 unlockable secret missions) such as high altitude dogfights, escort missions, and protecting airspace, over a variety of terrain with dramatic weather and visual effects. Top Gun also features head to head play for two, three or four players. High quality sound effects take advantage of the Nintendo DS's ability to deliver virtual surround-sound.

Top Gun features include:
" Top Gun Competition Campaign includes elite training and realistic combat
" Choose different fighter planes, each with different handling characteristics
" 10 (+2 unlockable) diverse missions across arctic, ocean, forest and desert zones
" Weapons include machine gun, fire-and-forget missiles, homing missiles
" Multiplayer dogfight for 2-4 players
" Stunning visual effects include explosions, water splashes, smoke, and gun/rocket trails
" Challenging weather effects include sun, rain, animated clouds, and snow
" Pulse-pounding music reminiscent of the movie soundtrack


Continue reading "Mastiff Ships Paramount Pictures' Top Gun for Nintendo DS" »

April 28, 2006

EA MARKS RELEASE OF 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP™ GAME AND ANNOUNCES RENEWED PARTNERSHIP WITH FIFA

Redwood City, Calif., April 27, 2006 – The chance to play with your heroes for soccer’s most important trophy became a reality this week after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) started to ship the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ game to stores around the world. The event’s only officially licensed videogame has developed enhanced gameplay attributes and stunning graphics that bring to life close to 100 superstars, and captures all of the spirit and pageantry of the real-world tournament. It is the closest fans can come to experiencing 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ without playing in it.

Along with the release of 2006 FIFA World Cup, EA and FIFA announced the extension of their long-term partnership, making EA the worldwide and exclusive FIFA Licensee for soccer action simulation, manager and arcade-style games across all console platforms, PC, handheld platforms, mobile phones and online formats. The on-going partnership will allow EA to continue to bring the most genuine soccer gaming experiences to consumers with the authenticity of the FIFA soccer world, and includes games for the future FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014. Working together, EA and FIFA will continue to bring their combined passion for interactive sports entertainment to millions of sports fans around the world for years to come.

“Renewing our strategic partnership with FIFA will enable us to continue to deliver the most authentic football titles to fans who have helped to make our FIFA games the most successful football videogame franchise in the world,” said EA’s Gerhard Florin, Executive Vice President and General Manager for International Publishing.

In 2006 FIFA World Cup, users step into the heart of the action as they play their favorite team or most loathed opponent. Featuring stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, gamers experience the 12 official stadiums as they take their team from qualification to glory. In addition to taking control of one of 127 national teams, players will enjoy groundbreaking new play modes. Global Challenge tests even the biggest soccer fanatic by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup history with modern teams. True champions can challenge their friends in eight-way multiplayer matches and take advantage of tremendous in-game un-lockable content such as legendary players and exclusive licensed football apparel.

Continue reading "EA MARKS RELEASE OF 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP™ GAME AND ANNOUNCES RENEWED PARTNERSHIP WITH FIFA" »

April 27, 2006

OVER 140 MARVEL CHARACTERS COME TOGETHER IN ACTIVISION'S NEW MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE GAME

Santa Monica, CA – April 27, 2006 – Over 140 Marvel characters come together in Activision, Inc’s. (Nasdaq: ATVI) Marvel™: Ultimate Alliance, an all-new action/RPG that features the largest roster of comic book characters ever seen in a video game. Players assume the roles of more than 20 Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man, Wolverine, Blade and Captain America, and through their actions determine the fate of both planet Earth and the Marvel universe – revealed in one of multiple epilogues.

“Marvel: Ultimate Alliance delivers a new twist on action/RPGs where players’ actions and choices ultimately determine what happens to the Marvel universe,” states Will Kassoy, Vice President of Global Brand Management for Activision. “This coupled with the game’s enormous character roster will deliver an action-packed experience that comic book fans have been waiting for.”

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance features a deep, rich gameplay experience by offering total team customization, where players create their own team name, icon and vehicle, as well as establish their team reputation as they play throughout the story. Gamers also have the option to level up each character individually to their liking, or all team members at the same time to keep their heroes balanced. With the game’s new combat system, players battle against the world’s most notorious Marvel Super Villains in the air, underwater, and on the ground, using grappling, blocking and dodging moves, by charging up their Super Hero powers before unleashing them, and using environmental objects as one and two-handed weapons.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance features a unique storyline where the missions players accept, the objectives they complete, and their interactions with other characters throughout the game directly impact how the story plays out. The game also features a robust multiplayer component where fans can band together with friends as their favorite Marvel Super Heroes, and fight evil in both on and offline cooperative story modes. There’s also a Competitive Mode where the game tracks various in-game stats so players can see how well they stack up against one another – affecting the amount of experience points earned and how equipment is distributed.

Created by Raven Software and C.B. Cebulski, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance will be the first Super Hero game out for all next-gen gaming systems, and will also be available on current-gen, handheld and PC platforms. The game is currently rated RP (Rating Pending) by the ESRB and is planned to ship this fall.

Continue reading "OVER 140 MARVEL CHARACTERS COME TOGETHER IN ACTIVISION'S NEW MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE GAME" »

April 26, 2006

Majesco Ships Guilty Gear Dust Strikers for Nintendo DS

EDISON, N.J., April 25, 2006 – Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL) announced today that Guilty Gear Dust Strikers for Nintendo DS™ has shipped nationwide. Developed by ARC System Works, Guilty Gear Dust Strikers features 21 franchise characters battling it out in vertical brawls that span both game screens.

“Guilty Gear Dust Strikers is designed to take advantage of the DS’ unique dual screen layout and touch screen mechanic,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “As the first series offering for Nintendo DS™, Guilty Gear Dust Strikers will appeal to core franchise fans and portable gamers looking for a deep fighting experience they can enjoy with friends.”

Sol Badguy, Potemkin, I-No and Dizzy, along with 17 other character favorites return in Guilty Gear Dust Strikers. Players who master seven touch screen mini-games can unlock combo moves they can use to customize their character in the Robo-Ky Factory. In addition, up to four players can compete in wireless multi-player games where the last man standing wins.

Rated ‘T’ for Teen, Guilty Gear Dust Strikers is available exclusively for Nintendo DS™ for a suggested retail price of $29.99. For more information, please visit www.guiltygeards.com.

Continue reading "Majesco Ships Guilty Gear Dust Strikers for Nintendo DS" »

April 21, 2006

NFL MVP SHAUN ALEXANDER SELECTED FOR COVER OF EA's MADDEN NFL 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 20, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that NFL MVP and NFC Champion running back Shaun Alexander will appear on the cover of Madden NFL 07, the newest iteration of the EA SPORTS™ best-selling football franchise with the official videogame license of the NFL and its players. With this year’s focus on the running game, Alexander is the perfect representative for the cover of the most popular football videogame franchise. Last year Madden NFL 06 sold more than six million copies.

“To be on the cover of Madden NFL 07 is a big milestone in my career since I have always been a huge fan of this franchise,” said Alexander. “EA SPORTS is focusing on the running game in this year’s version, so I was honored when I was chosen to be on the cover to represent the improved running game.”

Alexander, who was named the NFL MVP and selected for his third consecutive Pro Bowl this past season, is the hottest running back in the NFL. He has rushed for over 1,150 yards in each of the last five seasons. As the most valuable player in the NFL he rushed for a league-high 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns on 370 carries. He also caught 15 passes for 78 yards and one touchdown, scoring an NFL-record 28 touchdowns, setting a new single-season rushing touchdown record. In addition, he extended his NFL-record number of seasons with at least 15 touchdowns to five. During the season Alexander became the Seahawks career leader in rushing yards (7,817) attempts (1,717) and 100-yard games (33).


Continue reading "NFL MVP SHAUN ALEXANDER SELECTED FOR COVER OF EA's MADDEN NFL 07" »

April 18, 2006

ALL-STAR CAST SECURED FOR SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME FROM EA AND WARNER BROS.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 18, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today they have secured an all-star cast for the voices in SUPERMAN RETURNS™: THE VIDEOGAME. The game will feature the voice and likeness of Brandon Routh (Superman/Clark Kent) as well as the voices of Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Parker Posey (Kitty Kowalski) and Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen), all reprising their roles from the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film directed by Bryan Singer.

Launching with the film this summer on June 28, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME allows players to experience a real sense of flying, and master Superman's unrivaled powers in order to save Metropolis. Based on the classic DC Comics books as well as the upcoming motion picture, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME draws from more than 60 years of comic lore to create the ultimate open-world super hero experience.


Continue reading "ALL-STAR CAST SECURED FOR SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME FROM EA AND WARNER BROS." »

April 17, 2006

New Nintendo Software Lets Players Exercise Their Brains

REDMOND, Wash., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo's ability to appeal to younger generations with innovative, imaginative and inspired video games takes a mature twist today, as the company launches its creative vision for consumers of all ages. Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day for Nintendo DS(TM) is designed to keep people's minds active with fun mental workouts that incorporate the user-friendly voice-command and touch-screen capabilities of Nintendo DS. Brain Age also includes more than 100 sudoku puzzles.
"Adults with little or no video gaming experience don't have to worry about complicated button mashing," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing, whose Brain Age is 30. "Brain Age is just the latest example of Nintendo's commitment to creating software for a broad range of consumers with varying levels of experience."
Brain Age is the U.S. version of the popular brain-training software in Japan that already has sold more than 2 million units. The title provides an entertaining and engaging way for Nintendo to reach out to a broad audience, including seniors and baby boomers (who began turning 60 in January).
Brain Age can be a part of an overall regimen for keeping the brain active, says Dr. Elizabeth Zelinski, dean and executive director of Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. "Nintendo's Brain Age should be just one element of an active lifestyle that includes mental stimulation, exercise and a good diet," Zelinski says. "Brain Age is a great way for people to keep challenging themselves." Brain Age challenges cognitive abilities with exercises like memorizing words, counting and tracking people as they enter and exit a house, and drawing lines to connect letters and numbers in alphabetical and numeric order.
Nintendo continues to push the boundaries of video games. The company broke new ground with noncompetitive game play in Nintendogs(TM), fused music and art with Electroplankton(TM) and now introduces brain-training exercises with Brain Age, which appeals to consumers of all ages. Launching April 17, Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day is rated E for Everyone and is expected to be priced as low as $20 at retailers throughout the United States.
For more information about the title, visit www.brainage.com.

Continue reading "New Nintendo Software Lets Players Exercise Their Brains" »

April 11, 2006

Tantalus and Kemco Announce Top Gear for Nintendo DS

Tantalus Interactive is happy to announce its partnership with Japanese publisher Kemco to develop an innovative new racing title for the DS platform. The two companies collaborated in 2003 to produce the award winning Top Gear Rally on GBA, a game ultimately published by Nintendo. This extension of the relationship will see the creation of an original racing title for the DS, leveraging Kemco’s popular Top Gear brand. The new game, Top Gear: Downforce, will ship late in 2006 and will be the second DS release for Tantalus, following on from the hugely popular SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Avenger.

Tantalus CEO Tom Crago said the company was happy to have the opportunity to develop another title in the Top Gear franchise. “We loved the original Top Gear on N64, and of course our rally title on GBA was a big success. This time around we’re attempting something completely different. We want to create a racing game that feels perfectly at home on the DS platform, something built from the ground up to exploit the cool features of the hardware.”

Kemco President Masakatsu Hirose shared Crago’s enthusiasm. “Top Gear Rally on GBA rates among Kemco’s most successful releases. Many people enjoyed this title, and we know that with Tantalus we can create a new game within the franchise that will be just as popular.”

Top Gear: Downforce will be a ‘top-down’ style racer, boasting 3D models, robust vehicle physics, and the ability to place hazards on the track surface using the touch screen of the DS. The game will also allow for wireless multiplayer races and data sharing between players.

More details about Top Gear: Downforce will be available at E3 in May.

Continue reading "Tantalus and Kemco Announce Top Gear for Nintendo DS" »

April 10, 2006

Nintendo DS Focuses on Gray Matters with Sudoku and a New Brain Game

Big Brain Academy(TM) is the second game in the record-breaking brain-training series taking Japan by storm. In Big Brain Academy, players perform a series of fun and mentally stimulating mini-games. The game then assigns them a letter grade and cites a famous person or profession with a similar set of skills. This graphically appealing title measures skills like thinking, memorization, analysis, identification and computation. Big Brain Academy, Rated E for Everyone, launches May 29.
A month later, sudoku fans will find themselves in number-crunching heaven as Sudoku Gridmaster makes its way to Nintendo DS on June 26. The system's touch screen makes choosing or writing numbers easy. Players will find more than 400 puzzles, all of which were selected by the original creators of sudoku.
Sudoku is the most popular puzzle game in the world right now, and Sudoku Gridmaster puts hundreds of puzzles in portable form, just in time for the summer travel season. To satisfy novices and sudoku experts alike, the puzzles come in four difficulty settings: practice, easy, normal and hard. Sudoku Gridmaster is Rated E for Everyone.

Continue reading "Nintendo DS Focuses on Gray Matters with Sudoku and a New Brain Game" »

March 24, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

TEAM

ATHLETE

PACK AVAILABILE IN:

China

Zhi Zhen

China

England

Frank Lampard

England

Germany

Lukas Podolski

Germany

Italy

Alessandro Del Piero

Italy

Mexico

Jamie Lozano

USA, Canada, Mexico

Portugal

Simao

Portugal

Netherlands

Arjen Robben

Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg

Switzerland

Ricardo Cabanas

Switzerland

Spain

Xavi

Spain

USA

Claudio Reyna

USA, Canada, Mexico

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

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

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

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

###

About Electronic Arts

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

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

Continue reading "EA LINES UP THE WORLD’S TOP SOCCER SUPERSTARS FOR 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP" »

March 23, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

Best Game

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

Audio

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

Character Design

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

Game Design

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

Technology

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD / Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige

Visual Arts

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

Writing

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

New Studio

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

Innovation

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

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

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

Recipients for the evening's special awards were:

Lifetime Achievement

Richard Garriott

First Penguin

Will Crowther, Don Woods

Maverick

Mike Dornbrook, Eran Egozy, Greg LoPiccolo, Alex Rigopulos

Community Contribution

Chris Hecker

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

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

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

March 22, 2006

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES ANNOUNCES POINT BLANK DS FOR THE NINTENDO DS

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

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

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

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March 21, 2006

Pokemon Trozei Ushers in Second Decade of Worldwide Pokemon Phenomenon

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

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March 20, 2006

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

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

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March 11, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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March 9, 2006

Brain Awareness Week Reinforces the Need to Exercise Your Brain

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

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March 8, 2006

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

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

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March 7, 2006

Majesco Portable Demos

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

$39.99 release in early May 2006

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

$29.99 release in mid to late April
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March 1, 2006

EA CELEBRATES 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY™ WITH EXCLUSIVE Release of officially licensed videogame

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 1, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) will celebrate the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ - the world’s largest sporting event - with the launch of 2006 FIFA World Cup™, the event’s only officially licensed videogame. The videogame will ship on all platforms including Xbox 360™ in April 2006 in anticipation of the real-world tournament which begins in June.

2006 FIFA World Cup, under the EA SPORTS™ brand, will feature stunning visual representations of the world’s superstar players, 12 official stadiums that will be used at 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany and stadiums from each qualifying region. Gamers will be able to play as their favorite team from qualification right through to a virtual reproduction of the tournament in Germany.

“The FIFA World Cup will be the single most watched sporting event by a worldwide television audience, bringing together soccer fans from around the world,” said Joe Nickolls, lead producer of the game. “Our game, 2006 FIFA World Cup celebrates this passion by capturing all of the national rivalries in-game, enabling fans to play their heroes and be a part of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.”

With enhanced player animations, EA SPORTS has emulated close to 100 of the world’s superstars, capturing their playing styles and individual likenesses. In addition to enabling gamers to participate in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany by taking control of one of 127 national teams, the game features new compelling modes of play, including the groundbreaking Global Challenge that will test even the most hardcore soccer fan by recreating classic moments in FIFA World Cup™ history. Furthermore, the game supports up to eight-way multiplayer matches and boasts a plethora of in-game unlockable content such as legendary players and exclusive apparel.

For the first time ever, the officially licensed game of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany will be available for download via mobile phones. Upon release, gamers can purchase 2006 FIFA World Cup through major North American carriers and will have the option of downloading either English or the Spanish language version of the game. This robust title features all of the 32 international teams vying for the most coveted title in soccer and offers gamers on-the-go a compelling gameplay experience that truly captures the essence of the sport and this global event.

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EA’S FIFA STREET 2 SHIPS TO STORES TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – February 28, 2006 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that FIFA Street 2, which features gifted Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo on all packaging worldwide, has shipped to retailers under the EA SPORTS BIG™ brand. FIFA Street 2 captures the flair and skill of soccer in an arcade videogame experience that features real players performing over-the-top tricks in authentic locales around the world.

Ronaldo is the new face of FIFA Street 2 after bursting onto the international scene with Manchester United in 2003, where his ball skills and tricks earned him a reputation for being one of the world’s most exciting and electrifying wingers.

“This is quite an honor to be the new face of FIFA Street 2,” Ronaldo said. “The game mirrors the same ideals and philosophies that I use in my approach to everyday football. I played on the street growing up where I had many one-on-one battles, so it’s exciting to be a part of the EA SPORTS family and contribute to a style of football I’ve been playing all my life.”

FIFA Street 2 builds upon the arcade game experience of the original that was launched last year with a greater emphasis on skills battles, a larger selection of tricks, including for the first-time ever in-game juggling, and a new way to win with Game Breaker. In addition, FIFA Street 2 introduces signature moves for the world’s most skillful star players, juggling mini-games, 10 new venues and a customization package that allows you to create your own soccer playground, your own characters and your own way to play. An overhauled Artificial Intelligence system and advancements in gameplay, including Trick-Stick defense and user control of the goalkeeper, make this new game distinguish itself from the original.

With 320 players to choose from, including the superstars of the game, legendary street masters, or a created character, players can rule the streets and make names for themselves by mastering an arsenal of tricks in FIFA Street 2.

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February 28, 2006

Players Can Battle Wirelessly and Talk Smack With Metroid Prime Hunters

The new Metroid(R) Prime Hunters launches March 20 and is an action-packed first-person adventure game for Nintendo DS(TM). Up to four players can play wireless matches locally or using Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's wireless gaming network, which lets them hook up with friends or battle strangers. Each gamer also gets a Hunters License, which keeps track of key game-play stats and lets opponents size up one another before a match. Nintendo DS owners also will soon let their voices be heard as the title features wireless voice chat technology that lets players talk to one another before and after they face off.
Ever since the demo version of Metroid Prime Hunters came bundled with the first Nintendo DS systems, gamers have been eager to get their hands on the full game. Their patience has paid off. With new bounty hunters, precision touch-screen controls, wireless Wi-Fi battles and voice chat, Nintendo introduces a new level of creativity and fun to this storied franchise.

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February 27, 2006

Super Princess Peach Showcases a Real Damsel of Distinction

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 27 PRNewswire -- The life of a princess isn't always an easy one. Nintendo's Princess Peach, for instance, has found herself the victim of multiple kidnappings since her debut in the classic Super Mario Bros.(R) for the Nintendo Entertainment System(R) in 1985. But her frequent nemesis, Bowser, has wised up and instead kidnapped her repeat rescuers, Mario(TM) and Luigi. Now it's up to Peach to show she can go from pretty-in-pink to butt-kicking babe without missing a beat.
Super Princess Peach(TM), debuting today exclusively for the popular Nintendo DS(TM), sends the parasol-wielding heroine on a mission to rescue the Mario Bros. from the clutches of Bowser. But Peach finds herself mysteriously overwhelmed by strong emotional vibes as she approaches his castle on Vibe Island. Undaunted, she channels these vibes and uses them to defeat her enemies. She floats through the air when she's happy, waters plants with her tears and catches on fire when she's mad.
"Peach has never been a pushover, but this classically styled game really lets her put the hurt on her enemies," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Our damsel in distress has become a powerful leading lady."
Players must use Peach's newfound powers to help them navigate through eight different areas, where she fights bad guys, collects coins and rescues imprisoned Toads. The side-scrolling platform game will satisfy old-school purists, while everyone will enjoy watching Peach whack enemies with her parasol. Super Princess Peach turns the genre on its crown as only Nintendo can. Super Princess Peach is Rated E for Everyone.
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 23, 2006

Portable Tetris DS Blends New Games with Classic Nintendo Characters and Music

Tetris(R) DS will have players humming along as their thumbs move at lightning speed. On March 20, Tetris DS launches exclusively for Nintendo DS(TM) with six game modes, each themed with classic Nintendo characters and remixed classic Nintendo music. The new ways to play reignite the addictive passion of one of the most popular games of all time.

Players can connect to Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's wireless gaming service, or choose one of six other ways to play:

Mission: In this Legend of Zelda(R)-themed mode, players race the clock to complete the missions that appear on the top screen before time runs out.

Catch: In this Metroid(R)-themed mode, players try to land Tetriminos (falling blocks) on any side of an ever-growing floating pile of Tetriminos. Once players complete a 4-by-4 square, the Tetrimino will explode in all directions and earn points.

Puzzle: Players solve up to 200 tricky Tetris puzzles at their own pace with the help of just a few Tetriminos provided. Players tap the orientation they want to use and then the Tetrimino will automatically fall into place as Yoshi(TM) monitors the action.

Standard: This Mario(TM)-themed mode features the same addictive game play that made the original Tetris so wildly popular. Players guide Tetriminos and form horizontal lines to clear them away. Mario runs around Super Mario Bros.(R) levels in the background.

Touch: This unique Balloon Fight(R)-themed take on Tetris really shows off the touch-screen capability of Nintendo DS. Players use a stylus to drag and move a giant stack of Tetriminos to make them fall into horizontal lines. In early levels, they can tap to spin them just the way they need them. Players have as much time as they need to carefully plan their moves.

Push: The goal of this multiplayer Donkey Kong(R)-themed mode is to clear two lines at a time to push the group of Tetriminos into an opponent's red zone. Players can't let their own Tetriminos build up too high, or it's game over.

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February 21, 2006

Two New Titles Announced For Nintendo DS

It's been more than 20 years since Nintendo's highly acclaimed franchise, Super Mario Bros.(R), first hit store shelves. On May 7, eager fans from Mario's classic days must wait no longer to see the brothers return in an all-new platformer with the launch of New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo DS.

On the heels of Valentine's Day romance is in the air, even in the Mushroom Kingdom. But Princess Peach wasn't able to celebrate with her special someone, seeing that she's been taken prisoner by Bowser and Bowser Jr. Only the Mario Bros. can rescue the princess from her evil captors as they battle familiar enemies like Goombas and Koopas along with new foes and big bosses.

New Super Mario Bros. is loaded with features and characters that could only exist in the Mushroom Kingdom, including all-new power-ups like the Blue Shell, in which Mario can ride, and a massive Mushroom that makes himultra-huge. The title features stunning 3-D models moving through lavish, cleverly designed 2-D worlds, culminating in a final showdown for the freedom of Princess Peach.

Then, on June 5, another title launches for Nintendo DS. In Magnetica(TM), marbles roll down a twisted path toward the goal and it's up to players to stop them by launching new marbles into the oncoming ones. The marbles will disappear if players match three or more in this massive marble elimination. All actions are controlled with the stylus in this title that satisfies even the strongest puzzle addiction.

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February 15, 2006

Opera for Nintendo DS

This is great! It's like two things that I love are getting married. Hopefully the DS can browse the web faster than the PSP.

Oslo, Norway - February 15, 2006: Opera Software today announced that it will deliver the World Wide Web to Nintendo DS users in Japan. In Opera's agreement with Nintendo, Nintendo DS users will now be able to surf the full Internet from their systems using the Opera browser. The Opera browser for Nintendo DS will be sold as a DS card. Users simply insert the card into the Wi-Fi enabled Nintendo DS, connect to a network, and begin browsing on two screens.

Earlier this year, Nintendo reported that 13 million Nintendo DS systems were sold to consumers around the world within just 13 months of its debut in November 2004. Nintendo DS combines unique dual screens, touch screen, voice recognition and wireless and Wi-Fi communications capabilities. According to an independent market research company in Japan, Nintendo DS has become the fastest selling video games machine to top the 6 million sales mark in Japan in just over 14 months since its Japanese debut, breaking the old record held by Nintendo's Game Boy Advance.

"The incredibly popular Nintendo DS is already Wi-Fi enabled to support real time gaming, so adding Web browsing capabilities was a natural evolution for this device," says Scott Hedrick, Executive Vice President, Opera Software. "Gaming devices are growing more advanced and a great Web experience is becoming a product differentiator for gaming manufacturers. Opera is excited to work with Nintendo to deliver a unique dual screen, full Internet experience on Nintendo DS."

With an on screen keypad and stylus, users can easily navigate the Web from their Nintendo DS with PDA-like functionality. Based on the same core as the Opera desktop browser, Opera delivers superior speed and rendering of Web pages on the Nintendo DS.

"Within just five seconds of turning on the system, the Nintendo DS is already fully operational. This makes it the ideal device to enable people to swiftly obtain the latest information from the internet, wherever they are," says Masaru Shimomura, Deputy General Manager of Nintendo's R & D Department. "Opera exceeded our expectations with its user friendly interface, quick access to all your favorite sites, ease of use and, most importantly, in making the best use of the Nintendo DS system's unique double screens and touch screen features. Opera is an important partner for Nintendo in our efforts to further expand the users of the Nintendo DS."

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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.

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February 9, 2006

The Legend Builds: Nintendo DS Offers Bold New Features

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The video games industry's "story of the year" for 2005 is growing even more compelling early in 2006, as Nintendo today announced major new initiatives for its hot-selling Nintendo DS(TM) portable game system.
In a matter of weeks: DS owners will sample free games simply by visiting their local game retailers; players will enjoy live, real-time Wi-Fi voice interaction with their portable game play; the 1 millionth DS owner will log onto Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's wireless gaming service; and a new lighter, brighter DS will make its debut in Japan. Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing, announced the new DS features during his keynote address today at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' D.I.C.E. conference in Las Vegas.
"Nintendo DS was the only video game system that exceeded expectations in 2005, simply because it dared to be different," Fils-Aime said. "By further enriching the ways in which players can compete, play and sample new games, that process is accelerating in the opening weeks of 2006."

Here are the details announced at the D.I.C.E. conference:
DS Download Service: Starting next month, Nintendo will offer all DS owners free downloadable game demos and other downloadable content at thousands of participating retail locations around the United States. An in-store kiosk will beam wireless demo versions of games and other downloadable content into a players' Nintendo DS system. Users simply stop by the store with their Nintendo DS, click "DS Download Play" on their system and choose one of a variety of DS games they want to sample. The game will download automatically and users can play all they want (even if they leave the store) until the Nintendo DS is turned off.
Sequentially, players can try out as many games as they want, letting them test drive the wide array of games that can only be played on Nintendo DS. The first DS Download Service stations will include free demos of Tetris(R) DS, Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, Mario Kart(R) DS, Meteos(TM), True Swing Golf and Pokemon(R) Trozei, along with a Metroid(R) Prime Hunters video clip. The selection of games and other downloadable content at DS Download Service kiosks will refresh quarterly.

Metroid Chat: The new Metroid Prime Hunters game for Nintendo DS will give gamers the ability to chat directly with one another before and after matches played via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Players in North America simply click the chat icon and say what they have to say. The microphone of the Nintendo DS picks up voice communication and transmits it to the people on their friend list. Players can use the chat function before a match to agree on settings or after a battle to relive their glories. This Teen-rated first-person adventure arrives March 20 and promises to open a dramatically fun new facet of gaming to Nintendo fans.

Nintendo DS Momentum: Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection now boasts more than 20 million different connections, representing more than 850,000 unique users worldwide. Nintendo DS has enjoyed extremely strong sales worldwide, selling more than 14.4 million units worldwide through December. The Japanese sell-through of the existing Nintendo DS hardware exceeded 5 million within 13 months, which made Nintendo DS there the fastest-selling video game launch ever. In addition to Metroid Prime Hunters, Tetris DS also launches March 20. Using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, up to four players can compete in wireless two- or four-player Tetris DS battles against friends or strangers, near or far.

Continue reading "The Legend Builds: Nintendo DS Offers Bold New Features" »

February 1, 2006

Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop Celebrates Grand Opening in Retail Stores

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (January 31, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Tamagotchi(R) Connection(TM): Corner Shop(TM), a shopping simulation set in
the virtual world of Tamagotchi(R) for the Nintendo DS(TM), has shipped to retail outlets in North America. Based on the wildly popular Tamagotchi(R) virtual pet that has sold more than 40 million units worldwide since its 1996 debut, this playful simulation allows aspiring shop owners to open and run their very own boutique stores.

“Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop offers the same charming characters and tongue-in-cheek humor that was the hallmark of the original Tamagotchi toys,” said Yoshi Niki, business director at NAMCO BANDAI Games
America Inc. “By optimizing the use of Nintendo DS’ touch-screen functionality, this title offers a variety of fun, accessible mini-games that appeals to gamers and non-gamers alike.”

In Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop, players help primary characters like Mametchi, Memetchi or Kuchipatchi set up a shop, with the ultimate goal of creating a “royal” shop that is a favorite of Princess Tamako. Players can select from a variety of different stores, including a bakery, beauty salon, dental office, flower shop and more. Once the shop is open, players will help their customers by completing mini games with the Nintendo DS stylus. Players apply makeup, treat cavities and decorate cakes to earn “Gotchi” points, the Tamagotchi money unit, and progress towards “royal” shop status. Shop interiors can be customized and cute Tamagotchi characters will make appearances throughout the game.

Fans of the egg-shaped toy that simulates the life cycle of a real pet can currently purchase the new Tamagotchi Connection Version 2. The toy allows tweens and teens to collect “Gotchi” points, which can be used to shop for treats and toys, and to use secret codes to unlock special shopping areas not available anywhere else in the programming. In addition, wireless technology allows Tamagotchi owners to “connect” with others, allowing their pets to become friends, trade gifts and mate to create future generations.

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January 31, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About DreamWorks Animation’s “Flushed Away”

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

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

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

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

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January 29, 2006

Players Flex Their Mental Muscles With Brain Age for Nintendo DS

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

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Redesigned Nintendo DS Announced

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

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

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January 26, 2006

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

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

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

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


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January 17, 2006

Nintendo's True Swing Golf Lives Up to Its Name

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

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January 12, 2006

Nintendogs Packs the Doghouse With Year-End Awards

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

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

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

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January 10, 2006

Did You Know?

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

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

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

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

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January 9, 2006

Nintendo's Electroplankton Turns Music Novices Into Mixing Maestros

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

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January 6, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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January 4, 2006

Nintendo's Hand-Held Systems Buck the Holiday Trend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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December 19, 2005

New Pokemon Puzzle Game Lets Players Slide Into Fun

You've got the slide rule, the water slide, the slide projector, the slide guitar and the Electric Slide. But none of them is nearly as fun as the new slide-action puzzle game for Nintendo DS(TM) called Pokemon(R) Trozei.

Nintendo systems have always been home to great puzzle games, and the additional abilities of Nintendo DS add a new dimension to game play. Players use the touch screen to slide Pokemon puzzle pieces side to side or up and down. Lining up four in a row (vertically or horizontally) makes a "Trozei" and clears those pieces from the screen. When players create continuous Trozeis by lining up three in a row, then two in a row, they will clear the screen faster and increase their score.

Pokemon Trozei features two single-player modes and two two-player modes. As an extra bonus for Pokemon fans, players also try to add each of the more than 380 Pokemon featured in the game to their Trozei Lists. Pokemon(R) Trozei launches March 6.

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December 13, 2005

MAJESCO DELIVERS HOLIDAY FUN FOR THE NINTENDO DS WITH ‘BUST-A-MOVE DS’

EDISON, N.J., December 13, 2005 – Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of digital entertainment products today announced Bust-A-Move DS has shipped for Nintendo DS. As one of the most popular puzzle games, Bust-A-Move DS delivers an entirely new bubble-bursting experience for the popular handheld.

“Bust-A-Move is one of the most popular puzzle series of all time and our newest offering brings a unique level of challenge to the Nintendo DS,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “The game’s addictive game play and attractive price-point makes Bust-A-Move DS a fantastic holiday gift for video game players and puzzle aficionados alike.”

In Bust-A-Move DS, players fling bubbles from the bottom screen to the top in an attempt to match three bubbles and cause them to pop before their allotted time is up. Bust-A-Move DS is the ultimate party game that allows up to five gamers to compete simultaneously via the Nintendo DS wireless link.

Additional bubble-bursting features include:

* Over 250 puzzles to complete plus secret puzzles – 500 in all;
* All-new sling shot action using the Nintendo DS stylus allows players to control where their bubbles hit;
* Stock special bubbles for the right moment to get maximum points;
* Perform strategic attacks with havoc-causing bubbles via the touch screen in multiplayer mode;
* WiFi capabilities allow players to challenge opponents anywhere in the world.

Currently available at retailers nationwide for the suggested retail price of $19.99, Bust-A-Move DS was developed by Happy Happening and is licensed from Taito Corporation. For more information visit: http://www.majescoentertainment.com.

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December 6, 2005

Buena Vist Games Ships More Than 2 Million Copies of The Chronicles of Narnia Video Game in Europe and North America

BURBANK, Calif. — (December 6, 2005) — In anticipation of Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media’s epic feature film release of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” on December 9, retail support of the movie-inspired video game has been brisk throughout North America and Europe. Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), announced today that the company has shipped more than 2 million units of the multiplatform video game to retail outlets in the two regions. The video game is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy® Advance system and PC*.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video game launch marks the largest self-publishing initiative executed to date by Buena Vista Games,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “There is great excitement building for the release of the film and that buzz has helped ignite an event atmosphere at retail for the video game. By building upon and expanding the Narnia entertainment experience, BVG is playing an important role as the next content creation engine for the company.”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video game takes the classic story from the renowned book from C.S. Lewis to new heights by bringing the feature film’s cinematic experience to life in a stunning interactive adventure. Players can take on the role of each of the four Pevensie heroes – Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy – to battle the White Witch’s sinister minions in team-based, action-packed combat.

In the action/adventure console and PC versions, players take on 15 levels of combat and puzzle-solving game play. The console and PC games also feature seamless integration of film footage with game play and includes extensive use of voice talent from the film.

“The ever-expanding video game marketplace is of great interest to me,” said Andrew Adamson, the film’s director. “It was such a thrill to work with the Buena Vista Games and Traveller’s Tales teams to provide creative input for the video game, which has resulted in a beautiful translation of the film into an epic interactive experience.”

"Transitioning from the movie into the video game area is an uplifting experience because every person who has read the book has longed to go to Narnia,” said Douglas Gresham, stepson of author C.S. Lewis. “With the video games, people can not only visit Narnia but they can control the heroes' actions. In a sense, they can invent their own adventure within Narnia."

In addition to strong retail support throughout North America and Europe, the game is receiving positive reviews from video game critics. IGN.com, a leading online video game site, recently awarded The Chronicles of Narnia video game the prestigious IGN.com Editor’s Choice Award, an 8.3 out of 10 review score and described the title as “a near perfect example of how to make a movie-based video game the right way.”

Continue reading "Buena Vist Games Ships More Than 2 Million Copies of The Chronicles of Narnia Video Game in Europe and North America" »

Buena Vist Games Ships More Than 2 Million Copies of The Chronicles of Narnia Video Game in Europe and North America

BURBANK, Calif. — (December 6, 2005) — In anticipation of Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media’s epic feature film release of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” on December 9, retail support of the movie-inspired video game has been brisk throughout North America and Europe. Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), announced today that the company has shipped more than 2 million units of the multiplatform video game to retail outlets in the two regions. The video game is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Game Boy® Advance system and PC*.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video game launch marks the largest self-publishing initiative executed to date by Buena Vista Games,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “There is great excitement building for the release of the film and that buzz has helped ignite an event atmosphere at retail for the video game. By building upon and expanding the Narnia entertainment experience, BVG is playing an important role as the next content creation engine for the company.”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe video game takes the classic story from the renowned book from C.S. Lewis to new heights by bringing the feature film’s cinematic experience to life in a stunning interactive adventure. Players can take on the role of each of the four Pevensie heroes – Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy – to battle the White Witch’s sinister minions in team-based, action-packed combat.

In the action/adventure console and PC versions, players take on 15 levels of combat and puzzle-solving game play. The console and PC games also feature seamless integration of film footage with game play and includes extensive use of voice talent from the film.

“The ever-expanding video game marketplace is of great interest to me,” said Andrew Adamson, the film’s director. “It was such a thrill to work with the Buena Vista Games and Traveller’s Tales teams to provide creative input for the video game, which has resulted in a beautiful translation of the film into an epic interactive experience.”

"Transitioning from the movie into the video game area is an uplifting experience because every person who has read the book has longed to go to Narnia,” said Douglas Gresham, stepson of author C.S. Lewis. “With the video games, people can not only visit Narnia but they can control the heroes' actions. In a sense, they can invent their own adventure within Narnia."

In addition to strong retail support throughout North America and Europe, the game is receiving positive reviews from video game critics. IGN.com, a leading online video game site, recently awarded The Chronicles of Narnia video game the prestigious IGN.com Editor’s Choice Award, an 8.3 out of 10 review score and described the title as “a near perfect example of how to make a movie-based video game the right way.”

Continue reading "Buena Vist Games Ships More Than 2 Million Copies of The Chronicles of Narnia Video Game in Europe and North America" »

Animal Crossing: Wild World Highlights Nintendo's Hand-Held Holiday

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 6 -- Whether your hands are outdoors covered in gloves or indoors roasting by an open fire, Nintendo has a game to keep them happy. Today the second installment of the extremely popular Animal Crossing(R) franchise makes the leap to Nintendo DS(TM), with Animal Crossing(R): Wild World, a new community-building game that incorporates use of Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's new wireless gaming service. Game Boy(R) Micro and Game Boy(R) Advance SP owners will get to enjoy two new titles, Mario Tennis(TM): Power Tour and the combo puzzle package, Dr. Mario(R) & Puzzle League.
Fans in Japan already have assured that Animal Crossing: Wild World will enjoy a huge success. The game debuted at No. 1 on the sales charts, and Weekly Famitsu, Japan's tough-as-nails video game magazine, scored Animal Crossing: Wild World a 37 out of a possible 40 points.
"The original Animal Crossing for Nintendo GameCube became a huge sleeper hit, selling more than 1 million units," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "The Wi-Fi capabilities of Animal Crossing: Wild World will create a fun, expansive community that will entice even novice players to check it out."
Animal Crossing: Wild World lets players move into a village and have fun fishing, catching insects, remodeling their homes and interacting with their neighbors. Best of all, the game makes use of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which lets users near and far connect with their friends via certain Wi-Fi hotspots at no additional charge to visit one another's towns where they can find exotic fruit, hunt for new animal species or just hang out with their friends. For more information about the game, visit www.animal-crossing.com.
After just three weeks, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection has logged almost3 million connections worldwide. Already nearly 200,000 unique visitors worldwide have signed on to play Mario Kart(R) DS and other games. The next Nintendo game to make use of the service will be Metroid(R) Prime Hunters on March 20. For more information about Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, visit www.nintendowifi.com.
Not to be outdone, the video game industry's most beloved character, Mario(TM), appears in two Game Boy Advance games being released today as well. Mario Tennis: Power Tour takes players on a role-playing adventure as they rise through the ranks to become tennis pros. It's a great way to keep tennis skills sharp during the cold winter months. For more information about the game, visit powertour.mariotennis.com. Fans of puzzle games will spend countless hours this holiday season playing through the addictive fun ofDr. Mario & Puzzle League, a combination of two classic puzzle games on one cartridge. For more information about the games, visit www.puzzleleague.com. Both games look great, whether users play them on the hip new Game Boy Micro, the new Game Boy Advance SP, which sports a brighter, backlit screen, or the secondary slot of Nintendo DS.

Continue reading "Animal Crossing: Wild World Highlights Nintendo's Hand-Held Holiday" »

November 29, 2005

EA’S BURNOUT LEGENDS RACES TO RETAIL FOR THE NINTENDO DS

Chertsey, Surrey, UK – November 29, 2005 – Get ready to take your rage on the road … Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced that Burnout™ Legends has shipped to North American retailers for the Nintendo DS™ portable video game system. Burnout Legends sets the standard for on-the-go automotive anarchy, combining the series’ trademark speed, destruction and depth with new features, gameplay refinements and connectivity.

Built from the ground-up for the Nintendo DS, Burnout Legends uses the touch screen to allow gamers to control their car in spectacular crashes by employing “aftertouch.” The game also features nine gameplay modes, including crash, road rage, pursuit and white-knuckle multiplayer via Wi-Fi.

Burnout Legends delivers updated versions of the most explosive moments from Burnout™, Burnout™ 2: Point of Impact and Burnout™ 3: Takedown™, with new gameplay, new cars and new surprises.

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November 4, 2005

Nintendo's Q1 Software Lineup

Even after the holidays are over, Nintendo will give you something to celebrate. The first quarter of 2006 will see the arrival of much-anticipated games like Metroid(R) Prime Hunters, as well as only-from-Nintendo experiences
like Electroplankton(TM) and Odama(TM). Everyone should find something on the list below to help them chase away the winter blues.

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November 1, 2005

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® 3: Mutant Nightmare Kicks and Punches Its Way To Retailers Today

Today Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®3: Mutant Nightmare ships to video game retailers nationwide for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Nintendo DS.

Continue reading "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® 3: Mutant Nightmare Kicks and Punches Its Way To Retailers Today" »

Press Release-Majesco Unveils 2005 Holiday Lineup

EDISON, N.J., October 31, 2005 – Showcasing an exciting roster of products for the gamer on everybody’s gift list, Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), today announced its video game lineup for the forthcoming holiday season. With offerings to support every major gaming platform, Majesco’s release schedule is headlined by innovative titles like Infected and hot licensed properties including Aeon Flux and Teen Titans™.

“Video games are one of the most popular gift items for the holiday season and our diverse lineup offers something for gamers of all ages and tastes,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “Whether you’re looking for a competitive game play experience or a great value, Majesco’s upcoming releases offer shoppers quality and variety.”

Highlights of Majesco’s premier holiday lineup include:

Infected (PSP™)

Available November / Rated M / SRP $39.99

One of the most exciting titles available exclusively for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable), Infected features pulse-pounding two-gun action as players cleanse the mean New York City streets of mad, flesh-hungry “Infected.” Planet Moon Studio’s zombie-fest offers an engrossing single-player campaign and four Wi-Fi multiplayer modes that allow players’ avatars to invade opponents’ PSP systems. Infected also features an in-game soundtrack comprised of top metal bands from Roadrunner Records including Slipknot, Ill Nino, Chimaira and more.

Aeon Flux (PlayStation® 2, Xbox™)

Available November 15 / Rated T / SRP $49.99

Aeon Flux bridges the fever-dream essence of the cult-classic animated TV series with the mass-market appeal of the upcoming feature film starring Oscar® Winner Charlize Theron who lends

her voice and likeness to the game. Developed by Terminal Reality, Aeon Flux features a palpitating blend of stealth, speed and acrobatic combat.

Teen Titans™ (Game Boy Advance)

Available Now / Rated E10+ / SRP $29.99

Developed by Artificial Mind & Movement, Teen Titans, licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is based on the highly popular Warner Bros. Animation television series and DC Comics characters. In Teen Titans, players switch control between Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven to take advantage of each Teen Titan’s trademark moves and abilities. Players advance through a crime-ridden city of hostile environments as they face off against notorious villains Brother Blood, Jinx, Gizmo and Mammoth. Console versions are planned for release in early 2006.

Majesco also plans to release several other titles in its $19.99 value line this holiday season, including:

* Kong: King of Atlantis (Game Boy Advance)
* Strawberry Shortcake Summertime Adventure Special Edition (Game Boy Advance)
* Looney Tunes™ Double Pak (Game Boy Advance)
* ATV Quad Frenzy (Nintendo DS)
* Golden Nugget Casino® DS (Nintendo DS)
* Monster Trucks DS (Nintendo DS)
* Super Black Bass Fishing (Nintendo DS)
* Texas Hold ‘Em Poker DS (Nintendo DS)
* Worms 4: Mayhem (Xbox, PC)
* Majesco’s 3-in-1 Rec Room Challenge (Game Boy Advance)
* 3-in-1 Sports Pack (Game Boy Advance)

Continue reading " Press Release-Majesco Unveils 2005 Holiday Lineup" »

: THE HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE VIDEOGAME GOES GOLD!

EA and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are pleased to announce that the Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireÔ videogame has gone gold and is scheduled for release on November 8, 2005 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCubeÔ, Nintendo DSÔ, Game Boy® Advance, and Windows PC. In the following weeks, the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire videogame will make its debut on the PSPÔ handheld entertainment system.

Releasing in conjunction with the Warner Bros. Pictures film based on J.K. Rowling’s fourth book, the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire videogame offers you the chance to experience all the thrilling moments of the movie and master magic in cooperative play with up to two of your friends.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry is mysteriously selected as the fourth competitor in the dangerous Triwizard TournamentÔ and must confront a fire-breathing dragon, rescue friends from the icy depths of the Black Lake, and navigate the twisting mysteries of a vast, enchanted maze. Experience all the adventures of the movie - from the QuidditchÔ World Cup campsite to a heart-stopping duel with Lord VoldemortÔ himself!

For the first time in the videogame series, the magical world of Harry Potter™ comes to life with in-game characters that look like their big-screen counterparts. Explore nearly a dozen cinematic locations that mirror those in the upcoming film.

Join forces with friends to combine and cast spells cooperatively creating more powerful magic than ever before. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all playable characters in this action-packed game where magic is everywhere!


Continue reading ": THE HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE VIDEOGAME GOES GOLD!" »

October 27, 2005

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES PETER JACKSON'S KING KONG: THE OFFICIAL GAME OF THE MOVIE HAS GONE GOLD

SAN FRANCISCO October 27, 2005 Today Ubisoft announced that Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, based on Universal Pictures' December 14 release, King Kong, from three-time Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), has officially goneGold on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCubeâ„¢ system and Windows® PC. The title will launch in North America November 22 at the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $49.99 and is rated T for Teen.

"Ubisoft is extremely excited to reach this milestone in collaborating with Peter Jackson, Wingnut Films and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group," said Yves Guillemot, president and chief executive officer of Ubisoft. “The response among the media, core gamers and the mass-market audience has been tremendous and we can't wait to launch Ubisoft's most impressive and successful game of 2005 " Peter Jackson "King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie."

While the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft version of Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie is slated to go Gold the first week in November, it too will launch on November 22, 2005, alongside its console counterparts and the Game Boy® Advance title Kong The 8th Wonder of the World. PSP
(PlayStationPortable) system and Nintendo DS versions of Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie will launch soon thereafter.

The King Kong Collaboration:Michel Ancel, creative director at Ubisoft, regarded as one of the top innovative minds in the video game industry, and his team at Ubisoft's Montpellier (France) studio are working with Peter Jackson and Wingnut Films to capture and create the King Kong movie dynamics through a unique video game experience.

"It's an absolute pleasure working with Ubisoft on the video game," said triple Academy Award winner and King Kong director Peter Jackson. "Being able to collaborate closely together from day one is of utmost importance, which is why we've given Ubisoft unlimited access to every creative aspect of our film production. We really want the game and the film to be part of the same universe."

We're amazed by Peter Jackson's creativity and what he brings to the project,” said Michel Ancel, creative director at Ubisoft. Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie is a creation that closely follows the storyline of the movie yet, as video games have the innate ability to do, will push the emotional tension of the film to even greater depths. Players will experience unprecedented dual game play within a movie-licensed game which alternates between Jack Driscoll in first-person and as King Kong in third-person. These contrasting perspectives will immerse players into the journey featuring epic battles, tough choices and a dynamic experience within the visually stunning environment of Skull Island."

Continue reading " UBISOFT ANNOUNCES PETER JACKSON'S KING KONG: THE OFFICIAL GAME OF THE MOVIE HAS GONE GOLD" »

October 26, 2005

Majesco's Winter Wonderland

I met with Majesco last week and we went over their holiday and spring lineup. Most of it looks pretty good. I'm really excited about Infected.

Teen Titans is due to ship in February 2006 for gamecube, ps2, and xbox. It is up to 4 player story mode coop or arena. In coop mode you can switch between titans at any time to make use of their special attacks. The game has the look and feel of the cartoon with locations from the shows and more than 12 voice actors involved. Each character gets upgrades to his/her special attacks and can pull off combo moves. There are 24 characters to choose from in arena mode, which is an up to 4 player free for all. There are also some puzzle levels that are like retro games, ie pong and invaders.

Jaws Unleashed is due to ship in February 2006 for PC, ps2, and xbox. Built on the Echo the Dolphin engine, this is a story where you play as Jaws and attack and destroy everything. If you're really careful you can disembody your prey before consuming it. They are adding cinematic fatalities to the game. There are more than 12 kinds of boats and different ocean and land areas (mainly harbors and docks) to be explored. The night levels were pretty cool - the moon reflects off the ocean's surface and down below it is murkier than during daylight.

Age of Empires is due to ship for Nintendo DS in January 2006. Built on the success of earlier Age of Empires games this brings a solid foundation to wifi enabled 4 player battles. User profiles track scoring and bonuses so you can compare yourself to friends and enemies. They're currently working on adding more artwork, streamlining game play, and tweaking the battle system to show more graphics in the results. You can use the stylus or the d-pad to control troops. There are 28 missions total, 5-6 per campaign.

Continue reading "Majesco's Winter Wonderland" »

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