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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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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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March 2, 2008

Patapon Review

Patapon
Sony Computer Entertainment
PSP
Single player
"E" for Everyone
Rating: 8 out of 10.

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When Sony first showed me Patapon in December, I didn't know what to make of it. Firstly, it's rhythmic, and I love rhythmic games. It's a side scroller, not a plus in my book. But it is cute, very cute. If you're not a lover of cute, then maybe you'll find the art interesting - it was designed by the popular French graphic artist, Rolito and the 2D art involves catchy abstract shapes, and colorful environments.

The principle of game play is that you have to lead the Patapons through a series of epic battles against opposing armies and gigantic monsters. You control the Patapons by pushing buttons that make drumbeats and send commands like march, attack, and defend. There are six different drumbeats that are combinations of X, O, box, and triangle. For example, circle, circle, box, circle might mean charge. You have to push the buttons in time to the background music, which is also in time to the action. If you chain a bunch of commands together, then you unlock a special mode where your attacks do more damage.

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May 17, 2007

The Bigs

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

Today we're looking at the Xbox 360 version.

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

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

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

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

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

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March 3, 2007

SEGA's NYC Demo Day

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


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

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

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

Continue reading "SEGA's NYC Demo Day" »

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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SCEA Releases PSP Demo, Firmware 3.10

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

PSP Demos

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

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


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January 24, 2007

EA Demo Night

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

Command and Conquer 3 - The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative and The Brotherhood of NOD continues as the third Tiberium war begins. This is a pretty solid RTS for Xbox 360. I was surprised at how easy it was to command my troops across the whole map. The PC version ships on March 28 and the Xbox 360 version ships in Spring 2007.
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Def Jam: Icon - What can I say, these Def Jam games are massively popular. This one integrates hip hop music and fighting like never before. The music actually affects the fight. Drive him down with a series of punches that grow stronger because they match the bass line. Environments pulsate and debris flies along with the music. There's also an all new single player story mode that takes you from nobody to hip hop mogul as you build a record label, discover new talent, and become a hip hop icon yourself.
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Medal of Honor Vanguard - I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: Everyone likes killing Nazis. This latest installment of the highly successful WWII FPS is back and it looked great. They've simplified the HUD and gotten rid of the medpack system. Now when you're hurt you go hide in the corner and heal. This ships in March 2007 for PS2 and Wii.
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NBA STREET Homecourt - Featuring a brand new game engine that will knock your socks off, this wild street trick basketball game returns. This game is totally next gen with guys sweating, muscles rippling, cloth physics, all very smoothly integrated into game play. A new animation engine makes all the crazy moves you can pull look fluid. New controls let you create hundreds of tricks on the fly. Get ready to defy gravity and practice saying "Not in my house"!
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January 13, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 12, 2006

EA’S MEDAL OF HONOR HEROES FOR THE PSP IS OFFICIALLY SONY APPROVED AND SHIPPING IN NORTH AMERICA OCTOBER 23, 2006

Epic World War II battles go portable with Medal of Honor™ Heroes for the PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) system… Electronic Arts’ highly anticipated Medal of Honor Heroes has been Sony approved in North America and will be on store shelves on October 25, 2006.

For the first time, players can take all the authentic World War II (WWII) action of Medal of Honor™ (MoH) on-the-go. Building on the key tenets of the franchise including historical accuracy and authenticity, Medal of Honor Heroes is the newest addition to the critically-acclaimed Medal of Honor franchise which is credited with pioneering the First-Person Shooter (FPS) WWII genre with its original release in 1999. This marks the exciting debut for a Medal of Honor game, as well as a WWII FPS game, on the PSP system.

Medal of Honor Heroes will be available exclusively for the PSP system – with an entirely unique storyline and PSP-specific feature set. Players will experience a totally new single player campaign, and can choose from six different multiplayer modes within 15 different maps, while participating in wireless multiplayer sessions with up to 32 players – the most EVER offered in a PSP game’s multiplayer infrastructure mode. Up to 8 gamers can also play across the room in a local adhoc connection. “Quickplay” missions in skirmish game mode, allow players to jump right into the action or to create customized mission scenarios for added re-playability.

In Medal of Honor Heroes players will experience new MoH moments as they battle their way through three campaigns as their favorite lead characters from past Medal of Honor games. Take on the role of Lieutenant Jimmy Patterson – star of both the original Medal of Honor, and the classic Medal of Honor Frontline™ – in an untold chapter of his time in Holland as part of Operation Market Garden. Play as Sergeant John Baker, from Medal of Honor Allied Assault™ Breakthrough, and sabotage German defenses on the Italian coastline to help the invasion forces crack Hitler’s iron hold on Europe . Don the officer’s cap of Lieutenant William Holt from Medal of Honor European Assault™ – and return to the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge to complete unfinished business for the OSS . Along the way, players will unlock over 20 classic characters to use in multiplayer games, adding both variety and personality to their online** experience.


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October 10, 2006

ACTIVISION'S GUN SHOWDOWN SHIPS TO RETAIL SHELVES NATIONWIDE

Santa Monica, CA – October 10, 2006 – Saddle your horses and get ready to ride, Activision, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) GUN™ Showdown for the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system has shipped to retailers nationwide. A free roaming action-adventure, GUN Showdown expands the untamed West by allowing players to work both sides of the law as a gunslinger who must shoot, knife and dynamite his way through an epic story with new wireless multiplayer and Quickplay modes, exclusive missions, and gameplay features unique to the PSP system.

“GUN Showdown lets players experience the renegade nature and gritty lawlessness of the West all in the palm of their hands,” said Will Kassoy, senior vice president of global brand management. “With pick up and play action and all-new wireless multiplayer functionality, GUN Showdown adds to all of the great elements of the original console game and delivers the ultimate in PSP system action.”

In GUN Showdown gamers dole out vengeance as they face-off against corrupt lawmen, a murderous preacher, a renegade army psychopath, and merciless outlaws. In a world where greed, lust and murder reign, players wage war on horseback, hold up banks, collect bounties on prisoners dead or alive, and commandeer trains as the lines between good and evil are drawn in blood.

Extending the GUN console experience, GUN Showdown delivers five new missions that expand upon the rich story as well as deliver new gameplay mechanics, characters, and weapons and a host of Quickplay modes. Gamers can also team up or go head-to-head in Showdown mode which includes Deathmatch, Golden Cross and Texas Hold’Em poker gameplay modes via the PSP system’s wireless network capabilities.

GUN Showdown will soon be available for the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, for a suggested retail price of $39.99 and is rated “M” (“Mature” – Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language and Use of Alcohol) by the ESRB.

For more information on GUN Showdown, please visit http://www.activision.com.


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GET READY FOR TAKE OFF AS NAMCO BANDAI GAMES’ ACE COMBAT® X: SKIES OF DECEPTION GOES GOLD

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (October 9, 2006) – Become a part of the high-flying new portable action as leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Ace Combat® X: Skies of Deception has gone gold and is scheduled to land on store shelves nationwide on October 24, 2006 for the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system.

Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception will bring Ad-Hoc multiplayer game play, with up to 4-players, to the series for the first time via the PSP system’s wireless feature. With licensed aircraft such as the F-14D, F-22, and Tornado F3, a strategic AI system where the course of the player’s actions will directly affect their mission objectives, and an all new original storyline, Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception adds up to the most realistic and fun portable flying game to date.

“Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception is set in an entirely new world and includes original tunable aircraft and Ad-Hoc multiplayer. These exciting additions will guarantee a unique portable aerial combat experience for Ace Combat fans,” said Yoshi Niki, Product Group Director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc..

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September 28, 2006

Bethesda Softworks Announces Oblivion™ for PLAYSTATION®3 and PSP®System

September 28, 2006 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks® announced today that its blockbuster role-playing game, The Elder Scrolls® IV: Oblivion™ will be a launch title for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system this November in North America, and next March in Europe when the new console is expected to be released there. In addition, The Elder Scrolls® Travels: Oblivion™ will be released on the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system in the Spring 2007 in North America and Europe.

Both the PLAYSTATION 3 and PSP system titles will be published exclusively in North America by Bethesda Softworks, while in Europe, Ubisoft will serve as co-publisher. Complete details on both games are available in Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine’s (OPM) exclusive cover story (November issue), which hits newsstands Oct. 10. In its article OPM previews the gameplay, graphics, and new content in Oblivion and concludes: “If any game is worth the price of the PS3, Oblivion is it."

Released in March for Xbox 360™™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows, Oblivion has already earned high praises and awards from publications around the world. Official Xbox Magazine (US) gave Oblivion a 9.5 out of 10 and an Editor’s Choice award, calling Oblivion “An Absolute Masterpiece.” G4 TV named it the Best Game of 2006, and PC Gamer (UK) ranked Oblivion #1 on its list of the Top 100 PC games of all time.

Metracritic.com lists Oblivion as the highest rated game of all time on Xbox 360. Oblivion has also been nominated for numerous awards in upcoming events, including the Golden Joystick Awards (five nominations) and The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards (five nominations).

“We’re very excited to be able to bring a game like Oblivion out for launch for the PLAYSTATION 3,” said Bethesda Softworks president, Vlatko Andonov. “Oblivion’s countless awards and commercial success to date make it clear that PLAYSTATION 3 owners are in for a real treat this November.”

Oblivion features a powerful combination of free-form gameplay, unprecedented graphics, cutting edge AI, character voices by acting legends Patrick Stewart, Sean Bean, Terrance Stamp, and Lynda Carter, and an award-winning soundtrack. Gamers can choose to unravel Oblivion’s epic narrative at their own pace or explore the vast world in search of their own unique challenges.

After the mysterious and untimely death of the Emperor, the throne of Tamriel lies empty. With the Empire ready to crumble, the gates of Oblivion open and demons march upon the land - laying waste to everything in their path. To turn the tide of darkness, you must find the lost heir to the throne and unravel the sinister plot that threatens to destroy all of Tamriel.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is rated “M” for Mature by the ESRB and will be in stores throughout North America on November 17. For more information on The Elder Scrolls and Oblivion, visit the official web site at www.elderscrolls.com.

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September 26, 2006

YESSSSS! NBA LIVE 07 FROM EA SPORTS SHIPS TODAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – September 26, 2006 – The chance to play with complete control over all of the dazzling passes, signature dunks, jump shots and free throw routines of your favorite NBA stars in the world’s best-selling* basketball video game became a reality today after Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) shipped NBA LIVE 07 to stores throughout North America.

Developed by EA Canada, NBA LIVE 07 features NBA superstar Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets on its cover, and it is available on the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game systems from Microsoft, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, mobile and PC. It will ship to stores in North America on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system on September 27th.

On Wednesday, September 27, McGrady and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, who is featured on NBA LIVE 07 packaging in France , will help launch NBA LIVE 07 at the world’s only NBA Store on 5th Avenue in New York City . Beginning at 1:00 pm Eastern Time, the first 150 fans who have registered to pre-purchase the game from the NBA Store will receive an autographed copy of the game from McGrady and Parker and have the opportunity to meet the players.

Outside North America, NBA LIVE 07 will be available to stores worldwide on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 with Parker and Boris Diaw of the Phoenix Suns on the cover in France, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks on the cover in Germany and Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies on the cover in Spain. McGrady is featured on the cover in North America and all other territories.

This year NBA LIVE 07 introduces ESPN Motion and streaming ESPN radio podcasts delivered right to your console in game through a ground-breaking new ESPN integration package available on the Xbox 360™ and PlayStation®3 consoles. Fans connected online will be able to watch NBA game highlights, segments from Pardon the Interruption or Around the Horn, interviews and analysis from SportsCenter, and more. Fans will also be able to download and listen to ESPN radio podcasts as they play NBA LIVE 07, including segments from Dan Patrick, Mike & Mike, Stephen A. Smith and others. All this is in addition to live ESPN Radio SportsCenter updates every 20 minutes, the ESPN Ticker and ESPN News.

Legendary broadcaster Marv Albert and former Chicago Bulls star Steve Kerr call all the action from the best seats in the house as you take your game to the highest level in NBA LIVE 07. With all-new EA SPORTS™ Total Freestyle Control and revolutionary gameplay -- complete with ultra-realistic moves and player emotions --the highly acclaimed basketball video game from the EA SPORTS brand plays as good as it looks. Pull off moves only the pros perform as you replicate the styles of your favorite NBA players. Elevate to the rim for an electrifying dunk and bring the crowd to its feet, or look to your superstars to shift momentum with the game on the line. Featuring all-new levels of ability for your EA SPORTS Freestyle Superstars, the power to switch their skills on-the-fly, and advancements to fan-favorite features like All-Star Weekend and Dynasty Mode™, the hardwood is yours for the taking in NBA LIVE 07.

Developed in Vancouver , B.C., by EA Canada, NBA LIVE 07 is scheduled for release on the PlayStation®3 later this year. Learn more about the game at http://nbalive07.com or download new screenshots at http://info.ea.com.

* Based on total franchise sales according to NPD Data.

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September 13, 2006

THE PUCK DROPS HERE! EA’s NHL 07 SHIPS TO RETAILERS TODAY

Redwood City, Calif. – Tuesday, September 12, 2006 – The golden age of console hockey returns! Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced that the NHL® 07 videogame ships to retailers in North America today under the EA SPORTS™ brand. In stores just in time for the opening of NHL training camps, NHL 07 allows players to feel like they can play like a pro without ever touching the ice.

Featuring an unmatched level of freedom and control, NHL 07 represents a watershed moment in the history of the console hockey. The revolutionary EA SPORTS Skill Stick gives users the power to play in the game as it is on the ice, without taking their thumbs off the analog sticks. The left analog functions as your skates and the right as your hockey stick to give you a skill-based execution with an intuitive feel.

Stunning new presentation, AI enhancements and animation overhauls create players who look, act and play like they would in the NHL. Gone are the days when a one-timer was the only way to score in a hockey videogame. Now look to your teammates and know how to best use their strengths with New Player-Specific Behaviors. Be the Playmaker and find your Sniper open in the slot, or let your Dangler make pylons out of the defense.

Off the ice, act as the General Manager in an enhanced Dynasty Mode™. Do whatever it takes to meet an owner’s expectations by properly managing rosters and using your creativity to fit player salaries under the new cap. Whether you’re running the front office or dominating the rink, NHL 07 is the most realistic hockey video game ever created.


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August 30, 2006

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

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

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

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

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August 23, 2006

NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC.'S PAC-MAN WORLD RALLYT ZOOMS ONTO STORE SHELVES NATIONWIDE

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (August 22, 2006) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Pac-Man World Rally™ has shipped and is available in retail outlets nationwide for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Nintendo GameCube™ and PC.

Developed by Smart Bomb Interactive, Pac-Man World Rally puts players behind the wheel to race through a variety of Pac-Man World environments as Pac-Man®, Jr. Pac-Man and other famous Namco characters such as Mr. Driller®, Mappy® and the Prince from Katamari Damacy™. In the fastest and most exciting kart racing game ever, players can race for the win or fight it out in colorful Battle Arenas with unique weapons, power-ups and a variety of Pac-Man powers. The newest installment in the franchise also includes the villains of Pac-Man World: Toc-Man, Spooky, Erwin – and introduces the most evil of them all, Pac-Devil!

“Pac-Man World Rally gives fans of all ages the opportunity to enjoy the franchise’s first-ever kart racer,” said John Whitmore, Director of Internal/External Development at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “The game’s roster of popular classic characters, challenging tracks and finely tuned power sliding mechanics are sure to deliver an unforgettable gameplay experience.”

Players will experience an unprecedented sense of speed as they race against their friends or the computer on fun and exciting new tracks with unique new kart racing features, including:

* Play as Pac-Man and other famous Namco characters! – Play as the iconic characters from the Pac-Man universe, or choose from an all-star cast of classic Namco characters such as Pooka, Fygar, Mr. Driller and more!
* The most outrageous Battle Mode ever seen in kart racing! – Pac-Man and friends have a whole new set of weapons to duke it out in custom single-player and multiplayer Battle Arenas!
* The Pac-Mobile! – No matter what character you choose, if you eat enough Pac Dots on the track you can transform into the giant Pac-Mobile and gobble up the competition!
* Shortcuts galore! – Keep your eyes peeled for Pac-Man’s classic fruit power-ups – they open hidden Fruit Doors that will catapult you into the lead!

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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.

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August 17, 2006

Payout Poker and Casino™ For the PSP Hits Shelves This Week

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that Payout Poker and Casino™, an arcade gambling game for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system has begun shipping to retail. Developed by Bits Gaming Ltd, Payout Poker and Casino allows players to try their luck in four exclusive gambling destinations, with 14 challenging gaming favorites including Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha Hold ‘Em, Blackjack, Craps and many more.

Gas up the jet and put the champagne on ice! It’s time to put your gaming skills to the ultimate test. Payout Poker and Casino™ allows you to explore 4 of the world’s most lavish gaming palaces and own a piece of the action. Texas Hold’ em, Omaha, Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Slots, and more…amass wealth beyond your wildest dreams playing 14 of the hottest poker and casino favorites. Deal in your friends and go head-to-head online. Create your own unique High Roller using the vast character customization feature and fine-tune physical features like hair, face and body types, personality types, as well as a wide variety of clothing and accessories. Is Lady Luck on your side?

· Play 14 Casino favorites in 4 of the world’s most exclusive casinos – Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Craps, Slots, Wheel of Fortune, and much more!

· Create your own high rolling winner! – Customize your own character with physical features like hair, face and body types as well as a wide variety of clothing and accessories

· Two modes of play – Single Player and Party Play.

· Accessorize your character on wild Casino shopping sprees – spend your winnings on the finest swag at Casino boutiques

· Explore a living Casino – unique 3-D interface allows you to roam the casino floor and choose your favorite game

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August 10, 2006

SEGA ANNOUNCES SEGA GENESIS COLLECTION FOR PS2 AND PSP

SAN FRANCISCO (August 10, 2006) – SEGA of America, Inc. today announced that the SEGA Genesis Collection for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system will be available at retail this fall. SEGA Genesis Collection will be the most comprehensive gathering of classic SEGA products ever assembled; with over 30 titles in one compilation.

“SEGA has always been, and will continue to be, an innovator of gaming technologies,” said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. “The Genesis was the first 16-bit gaming system released in 1989, setting a new standard for gaming hardware technology for years to come. SEGA Genesis Collection will take gamers back to experience the golden age of gaming during the 1990s.”

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August 3, 2006

EA ANNOUNCES 55DSL COLLABORATION WITH NEED FOR SPEED CARBON

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

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

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

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

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July 27, 2006

PREPARE FOR ACTION AS SNOOPY AND WOODSTOCK TAKE OFF IN THEIR HIGH FLYING QUEST IN NAMCO BANDAI GAMES’ SNOOPY VS. THE RED BARON!

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. has released a brand new set of screenshots for its upcoming title Snoopy vs. the Red Baron featuring Snoopy, Woodstock, and the rest of the popular Peanuts® gang!

Set in a world based on the timeless comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron takes Snoopy on a high-flying adventure to a place only Snoopy could dream up! While slumbering atop his dog house, Snoopy once again imagines himself as a virtuoso flying ace fighting against his archenemy The Red Baron. Soar with Snoopy in his World War I bi-plane, the Sopwith Camel, as he takes on his enemies in sky-high dogfights, no-holds-barred air races and daring missions that take him behind enemy lines.

As you can see from these latest screens, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron takes fun and adventure to new heights. Guide Snoopy as he gallantly defends the skies, battles side by side with his closest friend and confidant Woodstock and powers up with as much root beer as he can lay his paws on. Fly through vibrant worlds and battle through over 20 missions as you collect clues in an attempt to put an end to The Red Barons evil plans and rescue Charlie Brown!

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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.
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July 12, 2006

Midway Games Holiday Preview

I met with Midway today and saw their holiday 2006 lineup.

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar - This is a Turbine developed MMO for the PC that will ship "when it's ready." Beta testing begins around the end of August. They believe that they've created a state of the art MMO set in Tolkein's world. It's a large world where players have to act in groups and changes are persistent. Explore the world and fight monsters to unlock accomplishments and special skills. You can customize your character by developing different skills. It's easy to play, the quest list is showing on the right side of the screen all the time with specific steps that you have to take. There are classes and professions. Bree town is a major gathering place that Turbine forsees as a bustling city full of player and nonplayer characters where you can train and participate in secure auctions. There are huge open areas like the Misty Mountains. Even though I was looking at an alpha build I thought it looked good. You can drag and drop to equip items. Quests encourage you to participate in group activities so there are some social aspects to it.
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Mortal Kombat Armageddon In the seventh of the series for PS2 and Xbox, Midway brings back over 60 characters from the earlier versions. A huge feature is Kreate-A-Fighter where character creation is totally tweakable down to (or up to) breast size. If you add it all up there are millions of combos of different features that you can customize. You can also customize fighting style and button combos and write a bio for your character. Then you can take it all online and battle against other people's characters. There's also Kreate-A-Fatality where you enter a series of 3 button presses and can make your fatility as complex as you want. We're talking about ripping out skulls, spines, beating hearts. There's also a hidden mode that they're releasing information about in August. Konquest mode is bigger and better with better graphics and more realistic melee fighting. It's a single player story driven mode with boss battles that are the classic MK style. There are 20 plus backgrounds, some classics revisited now in 3D. This ships in October 2006 for PS2 and Xbox.
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Mortal Kombat Unchained - This ships in October 2006 also and is for PSP. It's got ad hoc WiFi multiplayer combat. There are 30 characters. Honestly, this looked fine but after seeing the Xbox version the PSP didn't look so great.
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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.”

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July 3, 2006

Ea TAPs Elliot Sadler as cover athlete for Nascar 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 30, 2006 – With more NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers at the highest level of the sport gaming than ever before, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that its EA SPORTS™ branded NASCAR® videogame, NASCAR® 07, will feature NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler on the cover. The longtime gamer has been heavily involved in all aspects of EA’s NASCAR franchise since he joined the Cup ranks in 1999, including taking home the championship trophy from last years’ EA SPORTS Drivers Gaming Competition in Bristol, TN, making him the perfect driver to showcase on the cover.

“I’m thrilled that EA has chosen me as their cover athlete for the game this year,” said Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M’s Ford Fusion for Robert Yates Racing. “I’ve been a big fan of this game for a while now and play it as often as I can whether I’m on the road or at home.”

“The changes for the game this year are really going to impress folks,” Sadler added. “They’ve brought the excitement and speed aspects of our sport to the forefront and put the control in the hands of the player. It’ll feel like you are right there in the car with me, feeling that adrenaline rush I get every time I’m out there on the track.”

Todd Sitrin, vice president of marketing, EA Tiburon, stated, “Over the years we have watched Elliott deal with some of the most exhilarating racing situations in the sport and come out on top. He represents what NASCAR 07 is all about, dealing with difficult situations and not letting it get to you, but instead focusing on the next opportunity and doing what you can to win.”

About Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler comes from a long line of racing history on the short tracks of Virginia, his home state. He spent two years in the NASCAR Busch Series before joining the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series ranks in 1998 with Wood Brothers Racing. After four seasons, Sadler and Wood Brothers parted ways and he secured a spot behind the wheel of the No. 38 M&M’s Ford at Robert Yates Racing.

2006 marks Sadler’s eighth season of competition on NASCAR’s premier circuit, where he has amassed three wins, a Gatorade Duel victory and six pole positions. Sadler has the distinction of being one of only four drivers to stay in the top-10 in points throughout the entire inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup in 2004.

About NASCAR 07

Get an inside look at the incredibly fast and dangerous world of NASCAR racing with NASCAR 07. The control is now in the hands of the player as they attempt to navigate through intense moments with drivers racing inches apart at 200 mph. Push your car to the limit and leave drivers in the dust as all-new effects from screen blurring to camera shaking highlight every detail of the action. Modify your car’s handling to your exact specification with a user-friendly sliding scale that makes for ultimate control behind the wheel. Get a NASCAR 101 racing education in a one-on-one tutorial from Kenny Wallace, then select your favorite driver and invest skill points to help him reach the pinnacle of the sport: The NEXTEL Cup Series championship.

NASCAR 07 will be on store shelves September 6th and is rated “E” for (Everyone) by the ESRB. The game will be available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and NASCAR® will also be available on the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system.

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June 27, 2006

MICRO MACHINES v4 Zips By The Competition and Lands on Store Shelves Nationwide

New York (June 27, 2006) – Grab some friends, start your micro engines and prepare for the craziest and most addictive multi-player mayhem ever as Codemasters ships the classic series MICRO MACHINES v4 video game to retail outlets nationwide.

The ultimate pick-up-and-play racing game MICRO MACHINES v4 brings its own brand of hilarious multiplayer madness to the most fiendish race tracks – right under your nose! On PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows PC and the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system with a Nintendo DS version to follow, MICRO MACHINES v4 is the fastest, most fun mini racer with hundreds of cars to collect, loads of levels to race and tons of people to play. The property is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and is developed by 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 arrives 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, gamers 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 – 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!

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June 23, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARTIST

SONG

30 Seconds To Mars

Battle Of One

AFI

Summer Shudder

Al Fatz

Came Down

Anti-Flag

This Is The End (For You My Friend)

Atreyu

Ex’s And Oh’s

Audioslave **

Revelations

Bishop LaMont feat. Chevy Jones **

The Best

Cartel

Say Anything (Else)

Cord **

Go Either Way

Damone

Out Here All Night

Dashboard Confessional

Reason To Believe

Dynamite MC **

Bounce

Feezy 350

Playa What

Glasses Malone **

Right Now

Hit The Lights

Until We Get Caught

Keane

Is It Any Wonder?

Less Than Jake

Still Life Franchise

Lupe Fiasco feat. Jonah Matranga

The Instrumental

Matchbook Romance

Monsters

Omnisoul **

Not Giving Up

Rise Against

Drones

Riverboat Gamblers

On Again Off Again

Saves The Day

Head For The Hills

Shorty Da Kid **

Get Loose

Spank Rock

Backyard Betty

Sparta **

Future Needs

Taking Back Sunday

Spin

The Panic Channel**

Teahouse Of The Spirits

The Pink Spiders

Easy Way Out

The Rapture**

WAYUH

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

In Fates Hands

The Sleeping

Don’t Hold Back

Trae

Real Talk

Underoath

Ever So Inviting

Wolfmother

Woman

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


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

EA ANNOUNCES NEED FOR SPEED™ CARBON

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

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

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

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June 22, 2006

ALEXANDER OVECHKIN LIGHTS THE LAMP WITH EA’s NHL 07

Redwood City, Calif. – Thursday, June 22, 2006 – Washington Capitals rookie phenom Alexander Ovechkin has signed with Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) to be the cover athlete and spokesman for its EA SPORTS™ branded NHL® 07 game. Drafted first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Ovechkin lived up to his potential and put forth the third most prolific rookie campaign in NHL history. Exceeding his freshman status, Ovechkin made his presence known by finishing the season third overall in the League for points (106), tied for third in goals (52), and first in shots (425).

“To me, I feel like your accomplishments have been recognized when you make the cover of a videogame," said Ovechkin. “I have been playing EA SPORTS games for years and am honored to be a part of the NHL® 07 team.”

Ovechkin exploded onto the scene in the 2005-06 season, playing with a level of intensity, passion, and talent that is causing many to label him the new face of the NHL. At the age of 20, he has already won the Valery Kharlamov Trophy as the best Russian player in the NHL and is a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy for outstanding rookie. More telling of his reputation around the League is his nomination for the Lester B. Pearson Award, an honor bestowed upon the outstanding player as voted by his peers in the NHL Players’ Association.

The golden age of console hockey will return when NHL 07 debuts with gameplay innovations that will allow players to feel like they are actually on the ice. Featuring an unmatched level of freedom and control, NHL 07 will represent a watershed moment in the history of the console hockey when it ships throughout Canada and the United States in September 2006. Hockey purists and casual fans alike will feel like they can play like a pro when they pick up NHL 07.

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Buena Vista Games Demos

Desperate Housewives - Think of this game as a fresh new season to play with 12 new episodes. The central question is "should you be bitchy or should you be nice?" as you manage your character and your home life. The game starts off and you're a new housewife on Wisteria Lane. You create your character and choose your husband. The game has the feel of The Sims but with more intrigue and manipulation. It seems well written. They're working with a writer from the show. You've got a composure meter that you need to maintain so you can play with the big girls. There are a series of mini-games also, such as cooking, gardening, sneaking around and spying. Unlock your dark past in this narrative driven adventure sim. This is PC only and ships in October 2006.

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Every Extend Extra - This PSP game from Q Entertainment ships in November 2006. As with most Q Entertainment games, the music is interactive with the game play. This is very much like Rez, where you target a bunch of objects and hold down the button; when you let go everything explodes. The music sort of keeps time with the action. You can detach the target quickly to go get crystals and to greate chain reactions. The name, "Every Extend Extra" refers to the fact that the better you are at the game the longer it lasts.

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TRACY McGRADY BECOMES THE NEW FACE OF EA’S NBA LIVE 07

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Wednesday, June 21, 2005 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) announced today that Tracy McGrady, one of the most explosive and electrifying athletes over his nine-year NBA career, has been selected the new face of NBA LIVE 07, scheduled for release this fall under the EA SPORTS™ brand.

The Houston Rockets forward joins an exclusive list of NBA players to be selected to the cover of the best-selling EA SPORTS basketball franchise*. McGrady will serve as spokesperson and will be the center-piece of NBA LIVE 07 advertising, marketing and packaging in North America and several other countries around the world.

A two-time NBA scoring champion and six-time NBA All-Star, McGrady embodies athleticism and masterful skill, characteristics that the best-selling NBA LIVE 07 videogame brings to life. McGrady led the league in scoring by averaging 32.1 points per game in 2003, when he became the youngest NBA player to average 30-plus points per game since Bob McAdoo in 1974-75, and has remained one of the game’s most popular and entertaining players. McGrady finished 12th in NBA scoring (24.4 ppg) this year and averaged 6.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. It was the sixth time in his career he has scored more than 24 points a game.

“I’ve always looked upon the EA SPORTS athletes as fan favorites so I’m honored to be named this year’s NBA LIVE 07 cover athlete and join the EA SPORTS family,” said McGrady. “Each year there is tremendous anticipation around the league as players wait to see themselves in NBA LIVE and I feel like this year my virtual self plays more like me than ever before. This is as close to playing in the NBA as you get.”

McGrady joins an exclusive list of superstar athletes previously featured on the cover of the best-selling NBA LIVE franchise, including Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat (2006), Carmelo Anthony (2005), Vince Carter (2004), and Jason Kidd (2003).

This year NBA LIVE 07 will play as good as it looks with gameplay advancements that build upon the depth and authenticity that the NBA LIVE franchise has delivered for more than a decade. Powered by next generation technology that EA showcased at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), NBA LIVE 07 will introduce the next generation of basketball gameplay with EA SPORTS™ Total Freestyle Control, a new feature that gives users more control over athletes than they ever imagined. By introducing a ground-breaking next generation AI system that is both intuitive and intelligent, combined with advancements to fan-favorite features like All-Star Weekend and Dynasty Mode™, NBA LIVE 07 will continue to deliver its award-winning gameplay experience to fans worldwide.

This year NBA LIVE 07 will partner with the worldwide leader in sports to deliver more ESPN content in-game while you play than ever before. The most advanced ESPN integration package with never-before-seen features will be available only through NBA LIVE 07.

The official NBA LIVE 07 website will host news and information on this year’s game, behind the scenes looks at the TV commercial shoots and the making of the game, as well as contests, videos, screenshots and pod casts with some of the top 2006 NBA Draft picks. Go to www.nbalive07.com for the latest news and features for NBA LIVE 07.

Developed in Vancouver, B.C., by EA Canada, the studio which is also home to the popular NBA STREET and NCAA® March Madness® franchises, NBA LIVE 07 will be available on the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, and PC.



NBA LIVE Cover Athletes – North America
NBA LIVE 07 - Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets
NBA LIVE 06 - Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
NBA LIVE 2005 - Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
NBA LIVE 2004 - Vince Carter, Toronto Raptors
NBA LIVE 2003 - Jason Kidd, New Jersey Nets
NBA LIVE 2002 - Steve Francis, Houston Rockets
NBA LIVE 2001 - Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA LIVE 2000 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
NBA LIVE 1999 - Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics
NBA LIVE 1998 - Tim Hardaway, Miami Heat
NBA LIVE 1997 - Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
NBA LIVE 1996 - Shaquille O'Neal, Orlando Magic
NBA LIVE 1995 - New York Knicks vs Houston Rockets


* Based on total franchise sales according to NPD Data.

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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend For PSP Hits the Store Shelves in North America!

Lara is portable! The all-new adventure Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend for PSP is in stores today throughout North America, which marks the triumphant return of the world’s most beloved gaming heroine as she sets off to raid the most deadly tombs throughout the world! Lara Croft looks better than ever, and brings PSP gamers into the striking and adventure-filled world of Lara Croft. The new single-player Tomb Raider game includes three exclusive multi-player modes and a series of unique bonus features. The new features include PSP-only soundtrack pieces, 3D wallpapers, image galleries, and Lara skins! The three unique-to-PSP multiplayer gameplay modes offer an exciting challenge to those looking for gaming of all kinds - intense multiplayer racing, fast-paced head-to-head treasure hunts and extreme obstacle courses. Head on over to your local store now, and grab your copy before it sells out!

Watch TV Anywhere, Anytime on PSP with TiVoToGo

Watching your favorite TV shows on the go just got easier now that PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) users can transfer content from a TiVo digital video recorder to a PSP system. After announcing an initial test in November, TiVo has made transfers to a PSP system available to all TiVo® Series2 subscribers via an updated TiVoToGo feature.

PSP® users can now benefit from the convenience of TiVoToGo to catch up on sports, sitcoms, and other TV programming wherever, whenever they want. With the PSP systems 4.3-inch widescreen, high-resolution TFT display, portable TV has never looked so good. The PSP system’s display technology is capable of delivering 16.8 million colors on a brilliant LCD screen.

The enhanced TiVoToGo offers automatic transfers and conversions so TV programs recorded the night before can be synced and waiting for you on your PSP system the next morning.

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June 16, 2006

Eidos confirms ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider

Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, confirms today that they are developing a special ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider.

The new game is being developed by Crystal Dynamics, who recently launched Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend on Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox, PC and PSP, with versions on Nintendo DS, GBA and GameCube later in 2006.

“Our ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider, is a one-off title to celebrate both Lara and Tomb Raider, it will appeal not only to the loyal fans of the Tomb Raider series but will also attract a totally new audience.” Said Larry Sparks, Head of Brands Management at Eidos.

Tomb Raider™ originally launched in 1996 and is still one of the best selling videogame franchises of all time, with over 30 million copies sold.

The special ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider will be available on PlayStation 2, PSP and PC.

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Lemmings

By Old Timey Gamer

Score 5 out of 5

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The story of the Lemming civilization is one of hardship and, ultimately, benevolence. Forever traveling across a haunted landscape strewn with thick, industrial-grade piping, ruins that one may expect to find in Ancient Greece or Egypt, and even pits of lava from the very bowels of hell itself, Lemmings face extinction on a daily basis. Certain historians have questioned, from time to time, the ability of Lemmings to not only survive but to thrive. To them, it is quickly pointed out, often delivered as a joke, but at heart meant seriously, that the Lemming has no predator other than its own stupidity.

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Readily identified by a unruly mop of shockingly green hair, a Lemming (Lemmingo Dimwittum) is content to follow the one in front of it--the asexual nature of the creature along with its rather unusual mating ritual would make an interesting future study--even if the next step would cause it to fatally fall from a precarious height or sizzle in a pool of burning lava. True, throughout Lemming history, certain creatures have performed heroic, selfless acts, thereby dooming itself to save the rest. The most common of these feats involve acting as a blocker, causing the unstoppable march of the Lemmings to reverse direction, say, from a path that would carry the group off the edge of the known universe and into certain death.

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That Lemming society has clearly benefited from these selfless acts is not in question. However, a group of experts (that have been dismissed by some as being crackpots), who have closely analyzed every aspect of Lemming society, have made a remarkable discovery: the creatures are saved from certain doom by an invisible hand. Apparently, the actions of a master class, known as Gamers, ultimately decide whether Lemmings live or die.

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Now, only a select few can ever hope to join the ranks of this master class. For to be a Gamer responsible for the continued survival of an entire civilization not only requires a pair of hands willing to hold the platform upon which this world exists (known as a PSP), but also demands a certain skill-set that many find extremely difficult to master, namely exceptional analytical thinking, unquestionable hand-eye coordination, and impeccable timing.

For more than 15 years, I have been a proud member of this select group, unable to stop myself from saving the Lemmings on multiple platforms, from their first appearance on the Commodore Amiga to their most recent on the Sony PSP. (I even have a vague recollection of playing this game in a good; old-fashion arcade in the 80’s…perhaps this is just a figment of my imagination, a mythologizing of my past. Is there anyone out there who can confirm if this was a coin-op game back then?) By far, this latest version is the best. The Lemming world has never looked or sounded as good.


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June 14, 2006

EIDOS ANNOUNCES SHIP DATE FOR LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: LEGEND ON PSP™ SYSTEM

San Francisco, Calif. (June 13, 2006) – Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, part of SCi Entertainment Group Plc (SEG), confirmed today that Lara Croft’s latest and most anticipated adventure, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend™, will hit stores for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system on June 21st in North America.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is the seventh title to be released in the Tomb Raider™ series and marks its first leap into the world of the PSP system. This all-new quest brings Lara face-to-face with her past and takes her on a race to discover one of history’s most famous artifacts. Lara travels to international exotic locations and returns to the tombs to bring gamers one of the most exciting adventures of her career.

“Bringing Lara Croft to the PSP system was an obvious step for the Tomb Raider series,” says Bob Lindsey, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Eidos, Inc. “The PSP system’s amazing graphical and technical capabilities allow the gameplay experience of Tomb Raider: Legend for the PSP system to remain true to its console counterparts.”

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend will bring PSP system gamers into the striking and adventure-filled world of Lara Croft with the new single-player Tomb Raider game which now includes three exclusive multi-player modes and a series of unique bonus features. The new features include PSP system-only soundtrack pieces, 3D wallpapers, image galleries and Lara skins exclusive to the PSP system. The three unique-to-the-PSP-system multiplayer gameplay modes offer an exciting challenge to those looking for gameplay of all kinds - intense multiplayer racing, fast-paced head-to-head treasure hunts and extreme obstacle courses.

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MERCURY SET TO RISE AGAIN

SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 13, 2006 - Ignition Entertainment, a worldwide developer and publisher of interactive software, announced today their plans to bring the addictive puzzler sequel "Mercury Meltdown" (www.mercurymeltdown.com) to the PSPtm (PlayStation®Portable) system. Scheduled for an August 22nd launch, Mercury Meltdown expands massively on the unique game play of the highly-acclaimed PSP system launch title, "Archer Maclean's Mercury."

Modeled after the old-fashioned wooden labyrinth game, Mercury Meltdown lets you take control of a liquid mercury 'blob', guiding it around traps, door switches, spikes, moving floors and other hazardous elements. The sequel features a fresh, vibrant graphical style with a zany cartoon quality.

"While remaining true to the first game, Mercury Meltdown has a more accessible look and feel designed to appeal to a wider audience," said Paul Robinson, president of Ignition Entertainment. "Gamers who loved the first Mercury title will still find their favorite elements, now with over 160 challenging levels, party games and new mercury blob physics."

Revisit the twists and turns of this unique series, with numerous new game play features including:

* State-of-the-art blob physics including normal mercury, solid, cold and hot forms.
* Freeform game progression.
* 'Ghost' and 'Replay' modes to view your past game performance.
* Super-fast load times.
* Downloadable content via Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's official YourPSPtm website.
* Hidden labs and party games to unlock.

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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" »

PS2 and PSP Continue to Outsell Current and New Generation

In the month of May, Sony Computer Entertainment America continued to lead the videogame industry with PlayStation 2 and the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system ranking as the top selling hardware and portable platforms in the U.S. according to data released by the NPD Group.

Six years after its initial release, consumer demand for the PlayStation 2 remains strong and it continues to be the most popular console on the market, outselling new generation hardware. May NPD data showed that PlayStation 2 sold close to 232K units compared to Microsoft's Xbox 360 which sold 221K units and Nintendo's GameCube which sold more than 33K units.

On the portable gaming front, the PSP system sold close to 160K units in May, making it the top-selling portable platform. Nintendo's Game Boy Advance ranked second selling 152K units, while the Nintendo DS was third with 146K units. In the period since its record-setting launch in March 2005, the PSP system has outsold all other next-generation handhelds in North America, with more than 4.7 million units sold. The PSP system's unparalleled gaming experience and strong first-party and third-party content continue to drive consumer demand in the region.

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June 8, 2006

KONAMI SHIPS GRADIUS COLLECTION TO RETAIL STORES WORLDWIDE

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – June 6, 2006 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., today announced that Gradius Collection for the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system has shipped to retail stores throughout North America. Delivering more than two decades of top-notch shooting action, the game includes five different Gradius titles, complete with updated gameplay options and a media viewer that lets players relive the history of the legendary Vic Viper.

One of the longest-running and most critically acclaimed franchises in video game history, the Gradius series is known for its adrenaline-soaked side scrolling space shooter action. As players defeat more enemies, they will acquire power-ups that allow them to customize different aspects of their ship and take on increasingly aggressive waves of enemies and colossal bosses.

Gradius Collection includes five classic games for players to enjoy, including Gradius, Gradius II, Gradius III, Gradius IV and the long awaited first North American release of Gradius Gaiden. Gamers can play each game as they were originally presented or can choose to alter different aspects of each title’s gameplay for an updated yet timeless gaming experience. Each game can also be played in its original screen ratio or in new widescreen and zoom modes to increase the view of the action.

Taking advantage of the audiovisual capabilities of the PSP system, Gradius Collection features a Gallery Mode packed with content from the series. Players will be able to enjoy videos, trailers and music tracks before returning to the Vic Viper for another dose of pure shooting action.

Gradius Collection is rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99. For more information on the game, please visit www.konami.com/gs .

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June 7, 2006

Panda Software is giving away a PlayStation Portable every day during FIFA World Cup 2006

GLENDALE, CA June 7, 2006

Panda Software has launched a prize drawing for users who buy or renew the Panda Titanium 2006 and Panda Platinum 2006 consumer security solutions during the World Cup finals. Every day of the World Cup tournament, Panda will give away a PSP (PlayStation Portable) console accompanied by EA Sports’ FIFA World Cup 2006 video game.

This June, the FIFA World Cup will give hackers the ideal occasion to launch massive scale phishing attacks and hoaxes against computer users.

The FIFA World Cup has already been used by hackers on two previous occasions to lure users. In May 2005 the Sober.V worm enticed users to open an e-mail attachment with malicious code by offering free tickets for matches as a decoy. Users need an anti-malware solution to tackle both known and unknown viruses.

This new promotion is open to users who buy Panda’s software for the first time and clients of the Panda Software consumer security solutions who renew their licenses during the World Cup.

This Panda Software promotion runs from June 9 to July 9. Users who want to take part can do so via phone or Internet. Once they buy the product or renew their license, participants must register their products in the company’s client database. Winners will be chosen in a computerized drawing. Panda Software will contact them by phone or e-mail, and publish the winners list on its website. Winners must confirm their personal details by sending an e-mail to fifa2006@pandasoftware.es or by phoning 00 34 918 063 700 within 15 days of being announced as a winner.

Pedro Bustamante, Marketing Director at Panda Software, hopes users will take advantage of the promotion to enjoy the World Cup and boost their PC security: “I wish the best of luck to participants in the promotion, so they can enjoy this World Cup with a little bit more excitement thrown in. In any event, users that choose Panda Software can be sure that with get complete protection against all kinds of computer threats, and full tech support from the Panda team, available 24 hours a day.”

More information on the promotion’s terms and conditions is available at http://www.pandasoftware.com/promotions/fifa2006

Users interested in trying a Panda Software solution before buying it can download a free trial version at: http://www.pandasoftware.com/download

Find out more about the company at: http://www.pandasoftware.com/about_panda/about_panda

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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.

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THE LEGEND OF HEROES(TM) II" FOR PSP(TM) SYSTEM SHINES GOLD

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (June 7, 2006) - Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that "The Legend of Heroes(TM) II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch(TM)" for the PSP(TM) (PlayStation(R)Portable) system has gone gold. With accessible gameplay and enhanced enemy A.I., this visually dazzling game unfurls a coming-of-age tale of two heroes who must combine courage and strength to save their world. Part of the "Gagharv Trilogy" in Japan, "The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch" promises carefully crafted character art, an epic storyline, and the always endearing "pet system" that make this RPG series unique.

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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.

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May 18, 2006

E3 Coverage - Atari

Test Drive Unlimited - The entire game takes place on the island of Oahu. There are over 100 licensed vehicles and 1000 miles of road. It's all pretty much online races. There can be up to 8 player online races. You can drive around randomly exploring. When you encounter another player you can challenge him to a race. Then you lay out the course on the map and start racing. The world can have up to 1000 players on the same server so you probably won't have to race the same person twice, unless you want to. There will be online racing clubs to join. This game ships in September 2006 for PS2, PSP, PC, and Xbox 360.

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May 12, 2006

E3 Coverage - Capcom

On Wednesday I got to meet with my good friend Alicia Kim and see Capcom's line of upcoming games. Alicia's really the one who launched my career as a game reviewer about 5 years ago when she hooked me up with a Dreamcast and a whole lot of SEGA games.

Lost Planet - You're on a very cold planet. In fact, the whole game is about how cold it is and how much thermal energy you can gain and store. You have to maintain your thermal health in this futuristic scifi 3rd person action adventure. This comes out on Xbox 360 in Q1 2007.

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Dead Rising - This game comes out soon, in August 2006. You're a photo journalist in a mall that's been overridden with zombies. You can use anything as a weapon, and I did. I was beating up zombies with a huge teddy bear. It was hysterical.

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Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins - This game comes out for PSP in September 2006. It's a sequel but everything in it is completely new. It's a 2D side scroller. The great thing is that when you die you come back in at the same spot where you died. This prevents you from having to redo the entire level over and over again until you get it right.

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Capcom Puzzle World - This game is for PSP and ships in October 2006. It's all previously seen content but new to the PSP. It includes Super Puzzle Fighter, Blank Blank and three versions of Buster Brothers

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Power Stone Collection - This game is for PSP and ships in October 2006. Again, no new content, just Power Stone 1 and Power Stone 2 ported to PSP. It's a multiplayer fighter with wacky weapons. You collect power stones to unlock abilities and weapons. You can take your own screenshots, so if you beat the crap out of your friend really bad you can take a screen shot, save it to the memory stick, copy it to the PC, and e-mail it to all of your other friends.

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Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded - This game is for PSP and ships in October 2006. It is 19 Capcom arcade games such as Street Fighter 2.

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Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2 - This is for PS2 and Xbox and ships in October 2006 with 18+ classic arcade games.

God Hand - This is for PS2 and ships in October 2006. Developed by Clover Studios, this can best be described as a samurai game set in a future western style world with funky surf music. It has over the top action and lots of fighting.

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E3 Coverage - Mercury Meltdown

I met with Ignition Entertainment and they showed me Mercury Meltdown for PSP. You control a little blob of mercury and have to navigate through mazes. It's party Super Monkey Ball and partly that game we had as kids where you roll a marble around on top of a wooden box and try not to get it in the holes. They kept the core gameplay the same but there are lots of new aspects to it. You move through 3D mazes, flip switches, navigate rollers, and try not to split up the big ball. There's multiplayer mode.

You can do different things with the mercury. You can heat it up to make it more blobby and make it go faster. You can turn it into a ball bearing to run up two rails. And you can make it cold, which makes it sticky and less likely to fall apart.

There are 160+ levels and 5 party games.

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E3 Coverage - Psyclone PSP Speakers

I saw a very cool set of PSP speakers today. I would show you pics but it was just a prototype. This is pretty high end stuff and it sounded very good, way better than the Logitech or Logic3 speakers that I have. They use "TM Technology" which is a digital amplifier that cleans up imperfections in mp3 files.

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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.

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May 8, 2006

EA UNVEILS THE NEXT GENERATION OF GAMES AT E3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EA™ branded E3 lineup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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May 7, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Console Games

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

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

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

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: Fall 2006

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

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

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

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

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

Platform: PlayStation 2
Release Date: Fall 2006

Windows PC Game

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

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

Handheld Games

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

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Date: To Be Announced

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

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

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

Platform: PSP system
Release Date: Fall 2006

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

Platform: PSP system
Release Date: Fall 2006

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

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release Date: Fall 2006

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

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

Games for the Game Boy Advance include:

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

Licensed Games

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

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

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

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

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

May 5, 2006

D3PUBLISHER OF AMERICA TO BRING ‘TWISTED NOIR’ TO PSP™ (PLAYSTATION®PORTABLE) SYSTEM WITH DEAD HEAD FRED™

LOS ANGELES, CA – May 4, 2006 - D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA) will be turning heads at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) as D3PA announced today that it will be showcasing Dead Head Fred at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 10-12, 2006. Created specifically for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system by developer Vicious Cycle, Dead Head Fred draws players into an original alternative universe as they embark on a quest for vengeance to solve their own murder by using the decapitated heads of enemies to battle through environments designed to showcase each head’s unique abilities. Dead Head Fred is anticipated for release in Q1 2007.

“D3PA’s focus is to find great intellectual properties that have unique gameplay elements, distinctive characters and environments that draw players into the game-world,” said Brian Christian, vice president of product development, D3PA. “Vicious Cycle has combined their creativity and cutting-edge technology so that Dead Head Fred delivers on all three counts and it has twisted humor that gamers are going to enjoy.”

“Vicious Cycle has a great working relationship with the team at D3PA and we are pleased to be collaborating with them on Dead Head Fred,” said Eric Peterson, president at Vicious Cycle. “D3PA has given us the time and freedom to create a game that will introduce compelling gameplay mechanics to the PSP system using the Vicious Engine. The combination of a completely original IP with our cutting-edge technology will deliver a game unlike anything before on the PSP system.”

In Dead Head Fred, players take on the persona of private detective Fred Neuman. Savagely murdered and then resurrected in a bizarre scientific experiment, Fred is without his memory or his head! The game immerses players in the action with the most revolutionary camera to date on a handheld device as they collect, upgrade and switch heads on the fly to strategically fight malformed mutants, ghoulish gangsters, and maniacal mob bosses in a unique and compelling story of revenge and redemption.

Continue reading "D3PUBLISHER OF AMERICA TO BRING ‘TWISTED NOIR’ TO PSP™ (PLAYSTATION®PORTABLE) SYSTEM WITH DEAD HEAD FRED™" »

May 4, 2006

Me and My Katamari Fan Contest Rolls Onto Web Site

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (May 4, 2006) – Leading video games publisher NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that it has launched a Katamari costume contest on the official Me and My Katamari™ web site. By visiting http://katamari.namco.com/, fans of the award-winning series will be able to submit pictures of their favorite Katamari inspired apparel – hats, complete costumes, etc. – for site visitors to view and enjoy.

From now until June 30, submissions will be received and judged by NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. Prizes including prince puppets, autographed soundtracks and official T-Shirts will be awarded to the best entries.

Continue reading "Me and My Katamari Fan Contest Rolls Onto Web Site" »

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!

Continue reading "Eidos Releases Two Video Developer Diaries for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!" »

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

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" »

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 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" »

EA DRAFTS HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER REGGIE BUSH AS COVER ATHLETE FOR NCAA FOOTBALL 07 VIDEO GAME

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 28, 2006 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that former University of Southern California All-American running back and 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy® Award winner Reggie Bush will appear on the cover of NCAA® Football 07, the newest iteration of EA SPORTS™ best-selling college football video game franchise.

“This has been an amazing year for me and being chosen for the cover of NCAA Football 07 is a great way to end my college career,” said Bush. “I’ve grown up playing EA SPORTS games and never imagined I would see myself on the cover of one.”

Bush, who is expected to be one of the top picks in the NFL Draft this weekend, also won the Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year), Doak Walker Award (Best Collegiate Running Back), 2005 Associated Press Player of the Year Award and The Sporting News Player of the Year Award. Starting all 13 games for the Trojans in 2005, Bush led the nation in all-purpose yards per game (222.3) and yards per rush (8.7), guiding USC to its third straight appearance in the national championship game.

NCAA Football 07 is all about turning the tide and features an all-new momentum system where big plays, defensive stops, and special teams keep you in constant struggle for momentum and can change the game at any time. Unprecedented graphics produce living stadiums that capture every moment in complete detail, including the authentic stadiums, mascots, and marching bands, making NCAA Football 07 the most realistic college football gaming experience ever.

Developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon, NCAA Football 07 will be available in July on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. It will also be available for the first time on the Xbox 360™ and the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system. The game’s official website is www.ncaafootball07.com.

Continue reading "EA DRAFTS HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER REGGIE BUSH AS COVER ATHLETE FOR NCAA FOOTBALL 07 VIDEO GAME" »

Earache Extreme Metal Racing

Stourbridge, England, April, 28th, 2006 - Metro 3D Publishing, Earache Records and games developer Data Design Interactive unveil the pack shot for the all-action packed racing game ‘EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING’ for PlayStation2, PC and PSP all formats which will be due for shipping on 7th July 2006.

EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING will feature ten evil Earache racing teams burning a lot more than rubber through hell and other wastelands. Along with themed tracks from the combatants on the starting grid there’ll also be a plethora of extreme Earache classics making up the soundtrack of the game from such luminaries as Napalm Death, At The Gates, Cathedral, The Haunted, Hate Eternal, Cult Of Luna, Beecher, Urkraft, Anata, Mistress, Severe Torture and many others.


EARACHE ARTISTS CONFIRMED AS RACING 'TEAMS' :

Mortiis

Deicide

Morbid Angel

Akercocke
Decapitated

Biomechanical
Municipal Waste

The Berzerker

Linea 77

Society 1


Ashley Mortimer, Marketing Manager, Earache Records says:

"Earache prides itself on innovation. As an independent label we've been on the cutting edge of unique and groundbreaking music for 15 years and we relish every opportunity, particularly a new or unusual one. We don't know of any other labels who have released their own game and the cross-marketing possibilities are really exciting. Culturally we don't think music and gaming are so far apart, many music fans play computer games, and nearly all gamers listen to music so we have teamed up with DDI and Metro3D to produce Earache Extreme Metal Racing. Your car shreds the opposition, the soundtrack shreds your ears - what a great combination!"


EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING uniquely was conceived and created by 16 year old Gothic metaller Sky Nash and all started as a possible way to not only keep her amused but potentially to dissuade her from following her overworked father into a gaming career.


Frazer Nash of Frazer Nash Communications describes how his daughter created the game during work experience at developer, DDI: “Sky, then just 15, was given a huge responsibility to design her own (tongue in cheek) game. By the end of the first week, she had created a Gothic-looking game, complete with drafted levels and an awesome soundtrack. 12 months on and with professional development courtesy of Sam King and Mike Rooker (art), Mark Gemmell (production), Karl White and Julian Salter (Programming) at DDI. Aimed to appeal to Goth / Rock music fans the world over, Metro 3D have created EARACHE EXTREME METAL RACING - a monster of a game.”


Continue reading "Earache Extreme Metal Racing" »

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 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 19, 2006

SCEA Media Bulletin: PlayStation Family Continues to Lead Videogame Industry

In the month of March, Sony Computer Entertainment America continued to lead the videogame industry, with PlayStation 2 and the PSP(PlayStation Portable) leading the pack as the top selling hardware and portable
platforms in North America, and PlayStation 2 leading software and accessory sales, according to data released by the NPD Group.

Consumer demand for the PlayStation 2 remains strong, March NPD data showed that PlayStation 2 was the top selling hardware platform selling close to 277K units compared to Microsoft's Xbox 360 which sold fewer
than 192K units and Xbox which sold close to 83K units, and Nintendo's GameCube which sold almost 63K units.

On the portable gaming front, in March PSP sold close to 186K units, making it the best-selling portable in terms of dollar sales. Following a record-setting launch last March, the PSP has quickly become a cultural icon and a market-altering force with more than 4.5 million units sold in North America.

NPD data also showed that PlayStation 2 led March sales on the software front, selling more than 6 million units, while software for Microsoft's Xbox sold close to 2.2 million units and Xbox 360 sold more than 1.6 million units, software for Nintendo's GameCube sold close to 1.5 million units. To date more than 345 million units of PlayStation 2 software have been sold in the U.S.

Continue reading "SCEA Media Bulletin: PlayStation Family Continues to Lead Videogame Industry" »

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." »

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR PSP SYSTEM NOW AVAILABLE

NEW YORK, NY – April 18, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that Major League Baseball® 2K6 for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system is now available in stores across North America.

“We are thrilled to bring Major League Baseball 2K6, the most authentic and feature-rich MLB® video game available, to the PSP system,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “Baseball fans will now be able to have the ultimate MLB experience wherever they go. Not only will gamers enjoy a bevy of exciting features found in the other versions of the game, but a PSP system-exclusive Home Run Derby Career Mode as well.”

Major League Baseball 2K6 for the PSP system incorporates many of the features included in the console versions, such as A.I. powered by Inside Edge™ technology; intuitive Swing Stick™ control; the all-new Payoff Pitching™ system; World Baseball Classic Mode; and commentary from Jon Miller and Hall of Fame legend Joe Morgan. In addition to these stellar features, Major League Baseball 2K6 for the PSP system debuts the PSP system-exclusive Home Run Derby Mode, a tag team-style hitting match, pitting gamers against the best sluggers in baseball to achieve home run career supremacy. Lastly, online play – both ad-hoc and infrastructure – are supported to deliver seamless online play on the go.

Major League Baseball 2K6 is rated “E” for Everyone and is the only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game that will be available on every major gaming console, including Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, and the Nintendo GameCube™. The PSP system version is available now for a suggested retail price of $39.99; with the Xbox 360 version available for $59.99; and the PlayStation 2 and Xbox titles available for $39.99.

Continue reading "2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K6 FOR PSP SYSTEM NOW AVAILABLE" »

2K Sports Announces World Poker Tour® for PSP™ System Now Available in North America

NEW YORK, NY – April 18, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that World Poker Tour® for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, is now available in stores across North America. World Poker Tour for the PSP system, based on the highly popular World Poker Tour television poker series, delivers a bevy of new, entertaining features, allowing gamers to experience the exciting world of poker wherever they go.

“World Poker Tour pioneered televised poker, creating unprecedented interest in the card game and a true cultural phenomenon,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “Now available on the PSP system, World Poker Tour delivers a wealth of awesome features, including prominent poker venues, comprehensive player customization, unparalleled A.I. logic, as well as unique online play. It is by far the most complete poker game for the PSP system.”

Poker buffs test their luck and skills in World Poker Tour for PSP system, as they can create and customize their own characters to play against the virtual equivalents of real World Poker Tour pros such as Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari, Erick Lindgren, Evelyn Ng, Lyle Berman, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi and Phil “Unabomber” Laak.

World Poker Tour for the PSP system includes a completely revamped and more intuitive A.I. system allowing gamers to play against more than 1,200 different characters, all with their own unique playing styles and behavior, in some of the world’s most prestigious poker tournaments. As players increase their career earnings, they can unlock PSP system-exclusive custom clothes and events.

With over 4,000 custom variations of poker, gamers can challenge computer opponents or take their custom poker game online to make their mark as poker masters. With online play connectivity, users can connect wirelessly with other PSP systems, and/or PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems. World Poker Tour for the PSP system features exclusive tournament and “final table” venues that PSP system players can host online for both PSP system and

PlayStation 2 World Poker Tour players!

World Poker Tour for the PSP system is rated “T” for Teen and is available at the suggested retail price of $29.99. World Poker Tour is also available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Nintendo Game Boy® Advance.

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

Continue reading "2K Sports Announces World Poker Tour® for PSP™ System Now Available in North America" »

Namco Bandai Ships World Rally Championship for PSP

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (April 18, 2006) – Get ready for a heart-pounding, adrenaline-rushing thrill of a lifetime as leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that World Rally Championship (WRC) for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system has shipped. Rated ‘E’ for Everyone by the ESRB, WRC is available for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

“WRC is the perfect pick-up-and-play racing game for a handheld system, “said Jeff Lujan, Business Director at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “As the only official game of the FIA World Rally Championship, fans of the franchise can play online and race friends on their portable gaming console anytime; anywhere.”

WRC offers a complete World Rally Championship season across five continents and 16 countries, and includes a vast array of wild terrains and surfaces including such first-time locations as the streets of Japan and the hills of Mexico.

WRC is based around the 2005 season and features 30 official and fully deformable 2005 WRC, Evolution, and Extreme spec cars from leading manufacturers such as Ford, Subaru and Mitsubishi, as well as all 36 official WRC 2005 drivers and co-drivers.

Offering 64 Super Specials Stages on gravel, tarmac and snow, WRC incorporates six exciting game modes encompassing single and multiplayer levels, including Quick Rally, Time Trial, Single Rally, World Championship, Head-to-Head Wireless and Turn-based Multiplayer, as well as Wireless Multiplayer (Ad-Hoc) for up to eight players.

For more information on WRC and all of NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.’s products please visit www.namcobandaigames.com.


Continue reading "Namco Bandai Ships World Rally Championship for PSP" »

April 13, 2006

Crave Entertainment Gives PSP(tm) System Owners Reason to Flip with Dave Mirra

Newport Beach, Calif.--April 13, 2006--Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames, today announced a brand new installment in the popular BMX Franchise, Dave Mirra BMX Challenge for the PSP(tm) (PlayStation(r)Portable) system.

"Dave Mirra is the king of BMX, widely recognized and admired in the action sports lifestyle community," says Jim Flaharty, senior vice president of Crave Studios. "His enthusiasm for his sport and videogames make him a great partner and an invaluable contributor to the development process."

Dave Mirra for PSP system features 17 levels with 9 different environments and 9 bikes from which to choose. Up to 4 players can compete via ad hoc wireless play. Player characters are customizable, and Dave is the featured rider.

The game is expected to be available in October 2006 for an MSRP of $29.99.

Dave Mirra is listed as one of the most recognizable names in sports today, an honor he shares with the likes of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. He currently holds more Gold Medals than any other competitor in the history of the X Games. Dave has "placed" in more than 50 action/extreme sports competition, such as "Action Sports Athlete of the Year" at the 2005 ESPYs, and a Gold Medal in Bike Park at the 2005 X Games.

Continue reading "Crave Entertainment Gives PSP(tm) System Owners Reason to Flip with Dave Mirra" »

April 10, 2006

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

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

The features of the PSP version of the game include:

· A completely revamped and innovative artificial intelligence system allows gamers to challenge more than 1,200 different characters, all with their own unique playing styles and behaviors;

· Gamers are able to bump up their career earnings and unlock custom clothes and invitational events found only in the PSP version;

· Players can create more than 4,000 custom variations of poker, and choose to play against computer opponents or take their custom poker game online to battle for poker supremacy;

· With online play connectivity, gamers can connect wirelessly with other PSP systems or online to compete against players across the country on both the PSP and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system;

· The PSP version of World Poker Tour features exclusive tournament and “final table” venues that PSP players can host online for both PSP and PS2 players of World Poker Tour!

Continue reading "2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES WORLD POKER TOUR® FOR THE SONY PSP™ HAS GONE GOLD" »

Official TV Commercial Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

Lara Croft is known for traveling the world, however tomorrow it is her new adventure, Tomb Raider: Legend, which is taking a journey as it is set to ship to retailers on April 11th! The wait is over, and the time has come for celebration. What better way to mark the occasion than to deliver you a copy of the official television commercial which you can expect to see on some popular channels soon! Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend marks the return of Lara Croft to the tombs, and with the highly detailed interactive environments, it is definitely a game that you do not want to miss! Lara Croft moves with beautiful fluid movement, and her new acrobatic moves coupled with the gaming dynamics brought by gear such as the magnetic grapple make this the most intense tomb raiding experience to date! The commercial features some great action adventure sequences, along with a lot of the stellar praise that Tomb Raider: Legend has been receiving from the press!

Here's the Ad.

Continue reading "Official TV Commercial Released for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!" »

April 7, 2006

Eidos Releases 6 Spectacular New Videos for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!

There are only a few days remaining until the North American launch of the most anticipated game in the Tomb Raider franchise yet! Since the day when you can finally make Tomb Raider: Legend your own is so near, it is time to overhaul you with media, as we are releasing 6 spectacular brand new videos! Tomb Raider: Legend features the return of Lara Croft to the tombs, and she has gained some brand new acrobatic moves and gadgets which make traversing the beautiful interactive environments pure joy. These new videos give you another sneak peak at some of the great new features of the game such as how Lara Croft can climb around with beautiful fluid movement, the new magnetic grapple gadget in action, and some of the deadly traps that she encounters in the tombs. On top of it all, we also are showing you a few cut-scenes which are displayed in true cinematic quality.

Continue reading "Eidos Releases 6 Spectacular New Videos for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend!" »

April 4, 2006

EA ShiPS From russia with love For the PSP

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that From Russia With Love™ for the PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable) system has shipped and is on store shelves. Making its debut as the first Bond game on the PSP system, From Russia With Love gives players the opportunity to experience the timeless fiction of the classic James Bond movie. Invest in your character and customize the ultimate Bond for a whole new level of gameplay options, including an all new single player mode consisting of 8 exciting missions, multiplayer mode with ad-hoc wireless, 16 new Bond challenges, several new unlockable Bond villains and classic Bond gadgets and weapons.

From Russia With LoveÔ is the first game to put PSP players in the universe of the classic James Bond films. Set in the original 60’s Bond era, the game features movie-based missions as well as original, action-intensive sequences, a broad and deep variety of gameplay, social multiplayer experiences, gorgeous women, and classic, upgradeable weapons and gadgetry with modern mechanics. Sean Connery, the original Bond, reprises his role as the dapper Mi6 agent in this innovative, retro-styled and highly anticipated console title from the infamous Bond franchise. The highly anticipated game currently is available on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and the Nintendo GameCube™.

This game has been rated T (Teen) by the ESRB. More information on the game can be found on the official website at www.007.ea.com.

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Majesco Ships Bust-a-Move Deluxe for the PSP

EDISON, N.J., April 4, 2006 – Addictive, bubble-bursting gameplay hits retailers across North America today as Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL) ships Bust-A-Move Deluxe for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system. In this handheld iteration of the popular series, players fire bubbles from the launcher in an attempt to match and pop three bubbles before the allotted time is up. Bust-A-Move Deluxe is available for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

“Bust-A-Move Deluxe remains true to the series’ classic puzzle gameplay while adding new features exclusive to the PSP™ system,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “The 500+ puzzles in game offer a great deal of depth for players on the go.”

Offering addictive fun for both casual players and hardcore gamers, Bust-A-Move Deluxe includes four exclusive new modes and four new characters to the series. Whether playing solo or head-to-head with a friend in two multi-player modes, gamers will be challenged by more than 500 different puzzles in Bust-A-Move Deluxe.

Licensed through Taito and developed by Dreams, Bust-A-Move Deluxe is available now at retail outlets nationwide. More information can be found online at www.majescoentertainment.com.

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April 2, 2006

Pursuit Force

Score: 3.5 out of 5
Sony Computer Entertainment America
Rated "T" for Teen

Pursuit Force is a combination racing and combat game that offers enough variation in game play to keep you on your toes. Nothing about it is all that special, but it's good for some entertainment.

As a member of the Pursuit Force, you are assigned to bring some law and order to Capital City by taking out five criminal gangs who have overrun the city. The gangs found in the game range from the Capellis, your typical mafia crime family, to the Vixens, a group of scantily clad high tech thieves. Most of the game is centered around pursuing these gangs using various vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, speedboats, and a heavily armed helicopter. A small portion also involves some on-foot action, but those segments are few and far between. Chasing down enemy cars sounds like any pursuit game, but it gets better - you can actually lean out of your moving vehicle with a weapon to inflict some damage, and most importantly, abandon the vehicle entirely and leap onto another. The best is when you can jump out of your vehicle and onto the enemy's, all the while shooting at them in a glorified slo-mo. It reminds me a little of Mad Max, especially The Road Warrior where he's driving the truck at the end and all the bad guys are fighting with him. After grabbing onto the roof or hood of an enemy's ride, you need to work to shoot down the driver and possibly a heavily armed passenger or two to regain control, all while trying not to be shot or tossed off. The fence swings both ways though, and you may find a gang member on your hood trying to commandeer your vehicle as well. If you successfully bring criminals to justice lawfully, it will boost the "Justice Bar". Once activated, you can then slow down time during vehicle jumps, shoot at enemies in mid-air, and even restore player and vehicle health. It sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of the controls it isn't too bad.

Overall, vehicle control is just what you'd expect, except that the boats are too sluggish and the motorcycles too flighty. Smashing into other vehicles and obstacles won't destroy your car, at least right away, but they will slow you down and sometimes spin you around and put you out of the race. There are about 30 missions overall, grouped by the five gangs you need to take down. The missions range from eliminating a series of gang members in an alotted time to taking control of a bus while keeping its speed over 100 mph (how original!). BigBig does a good job of keeping the game play varied but consistent so it keep you on your toes. You always start off in your vehicle (boat, car, motorcycle), then jump to the perp's vehicles, overpower them and use their vehicle. So there's lots of changes but overall the game play is similar enough that you don't have to spend too much time trying to figure out what's going on. Each mission gives you the ability to unlock better weapons, more missions, better cars, etc. In addition to the missions there are time trials and racing levels. My guess is that it would take about 15 hours to master this game and complete all the levels.

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

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March 29, 2006

SNK PLAYMORE USA SLUGS PSP(tm) System Owners

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

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

About METAL SLUG
The METAL SLUG franchise first appeared in arcades in April 1996 on the Neo-Geo MVS arcade platform and later on AES home entertainment system. The first title, METAL SLUG quickly gained a reputation as a spectacularly hand animated one or two-player run and shoot game with a sly sense of humor. The METAL SLUG series follows the story of two military factions, the Rebellion and the Regular Army, and their constant struggle for power.
About SNK PLAYMORE USA CORPORATION
Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION (SNK) develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia. Founded in 1978, SNK is one of the largest privately held interactive entertainment content providers in the world. Known for such franchises as THE KING OF FIGHTERS, METAL SLUG, and SAMURAI SHODOWN, SNK continues to be an industry leader by focusing on their rich arcade history. More information on SNK PLAYMORE CORPORATION can be found at www.snkplaymore.co.jp

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March 28, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

About The Warrior's Code

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

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

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

March 25, 2006

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

· Cornelius - Drop, Count Five Or Six

· Early Man - Closing In (The Medley)

· Interpol - Evil

· Mogwai - Hunted By A Freak

· Pavement - Serpentine Pad

· Preston School of Industry - Line It Up

· Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Grandmother Wolf

· Stephen Malkmus - Loud Cloud Crowd

· The Double - Icy, Idiocy

· Yo La Tengo - Today Is The Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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March 22, 2006

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

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

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

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

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March 21, 2006

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

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

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

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

Key Features:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading "TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL ESSENTIALS NOW AVAILABLE IN RETAIL STORES" »

ME AND MY KATAMARI ROLLS TO RETAIL

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

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

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

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

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March 20, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading "WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PARTNERS WITH SNOWBLIND STUDIOS FOR JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES VIDEOGAME" »

March 15, 2006

JOIN THE FAMILY AND BECOME THE GODFATHER

Electronic Arts announced today that The Godfather™ The Game has gone gold for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. Gamers worldwide will step into the Don’s dangerous world of intimidation and negotiation via their PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft or PC on March 21st in North America and March 24th in Europe. The Godfather The Game will also be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and PSP (PlayStation® Portable) handheld entertainment system later in 2006. EA’s The Godfather The Game puts you at the center of one of the world’s most revered stories. In the role of a young man just entering the Corleone family, you create your own mob character and work your way to the top. For the first time ever, you will go beyond the films and book to actually step into the living world of The Godfather fiction throughout 1940s New York City. You will work your way up the mob ranks your own way, choosing just how much force to use as you rise to power.

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March 13, 2006

Exclusive World Baseball Classic mode in MLB 2K6 video game

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

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

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

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March 11, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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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!


Continue reading "MICRO MACHINES returns to video gaming as Codemasters confirms plans for MICRO MACHINES v4" »

March 9, 2006

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

March 8, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me and My Katamari Rolls to Gold for the PSP System

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

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

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

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

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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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Nemesis of Tomb Raider: Legend Revealed

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

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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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MLB 06 The Show Ships

You don't have to wait for the World Baseball Classic to start this Friday (3/3/06), nor do you have to make the pilgrimage to Arizona or Florida for Spring Training Ball, and you sure don't have to wait the 33 days, 4 hours, 23 minutes and 14 seconds until Opening Day to get your baseball action - MLB '06 The Show is here!!!

With the announcement of MLB '06 The Show hitting store shelves today, we wanted to make sure you the latest assets for both PS2 & PSP.

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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 27, 2006

Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code

Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code has been designed, upgraded and completely enhanced for its debut as a sequel. Featuring intense combat and fast hack-n-slash action, The Warrior's Code has a brand new art style, 3D engine, characters, and storylines as well as the ability to play multiplayer games on the PSP system's network and via the Internet.

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

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

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February 15, 2006

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES GO! SUDOKU VIDEO GAME FOR THE PSP SYSTEM

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SAN FRANCISCO FEBRUARY 15, 2006 Today, Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, in an agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe, announced Go! Sudoku for the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system. Go! Sudoku is the addictive puzzle game that is taking the world by storm and will be released in North America in March 2006. Go! Sudoku, is an interactive experience that requires gamers to place numbers inside a grid so that every column, every row and every box contains the number one to nine only once. Go! Sudoku contains 1,000 puzzles in four single-player difficulty levels, along with many multiplayer modes. With customizable backgrounds and energizing music, Go! Sudoku brings the popular puzzle to a new level.

Created in Japan, Sudoku has become a worldwide phenomenon. Many newspapers around the world have featured Sudoku puzzles, and Sudoku books continue to top bestseller lists.
"Ubisoft is very excited to bring Go! Sudoku to the PSP system," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "Now everyone can enjoy this incredibly addictive game on the go, against the clock or competing with friends."

Go! Sudoku features include:
•Pass the time – Go! Sudoku provides the perfect companion for the daily commuter looking for an enjoyable way to pass the time.

•Multiple game modes – Take to your commute with four main game modes at hand, including three multiplayer modes (Pass mode, Versus mode and Battle mode) and one single-player mode (Solo mode).

•Replay value – 1,000 mind-boggling puzzles will keep users entertained for ages, while up to 200 additional puzzles will be available for download.

•Beginners welcome! For those unfamiliar with Sudoku, don't fret. Go! Sudoku comes equipped with both Training and Tutorial modes that teach beginners the basics of how to complete Sudoku puzzles of all difficulty levels.

•Picture perfect – Customizable game screen backgrounds allow the display of personal photos, providing the user with a sense of individuality.

•Record keeping – Comprehensive Best Time tables for all 1,000 puzzles, with the option to merge records via the internet with other Go! Sudoku players.

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Ubisoft Ships Exit for PSP

SAN FRANCISCO February 14, 2006 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, announced that Exit , the puzzle action game for people of all ages and exclusively for the PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system is shipping to retail shelves throughout North America this week.

As "Mr. ESC", a professional escapologist who can rescue people from just about any situation Exit players must guide themselves through numerous obstacles while rescuing victims from life-threatening situations. Situations include braving fires, earthquakes and other disasters in various environments such as buildings, hospitals and subways. Players will undertake myriad actions, including running, jumping, climbing onto ledges and climbing down ropes on their way to becoming the ultimate escape artist.

"Exit has never made a burning building seem like so much fun before," said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing at Ubisoft. "With its timed missions and obstacles like total blackouts, we're proud to bring yet another truly cutting-edge and exciting puzzle game to gamers."

Key Features:
•Intense action puzzler: Players use decision-making skills and wits to escape various obstacles while rescuing people from more than 100 different emergencies. Additional levels are also available for download.
•Do whatever it takes to get everyone out in time: Rescue people and find the fastest way out while braving exploding factories, burning buildings and flooding subways. Players will climb ladders, move objects, slide down ropes and collect numerous rescue devices to assist them in their missions.
•Turn victims into allies: Saved characters can be enlisted to help move heavy objects, master tricky obstacles and help each other.
•Smooth, stylish character design and movement: Accompanying the intense action are some of the most stylish graphics to be seen on the PSP system, allowing for a viscerally and aesthetically satisfying experience.

Continue reading "Ubisoft Ships Exit for PSP" »

February 14, 2006

2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES UNIQUE NEW FEATURES FOR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL® 2K6

NEW YORK, NY – February 14, 2006 – 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today new standard-setting features for Major League Baseball® 2K6. With innovative Swing Stick™ technology, astounding Pure Motion Physics and the distinguished vocal talents of play-by-play broadcaster Jon Miller and National Baseball Hall of Fame® legend Joe Morgan, Major League Baseball® 2K6 is the only baseball video game that matters on any console.

“The development team has worked extremely hard on creating unique and exciting features to appeal to every fan of the game,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. “All these new features – the innovations in the batting system, the new pitching mechanics, Artificial Intelligence tendencies driven by Inside Edge™, the new Pure Motion Physics movement system and so much more – combine together seamlessly to create an authentic and thrilling MLB® video game.”

New, exciting features for Major League Baseball 2K6 include:

· Swing Stick™- Using the design and functionality of other top-selling 2K6 games, the Swing Stick mechanic brings a new level of intuitive control, allowing players to use the Right Analog Stick to control the swing of the bat. Timing, guessing the location of the pitch and swing choice are key to successful execution.

· Payoff Pitching™- Introducing a new philosophy to pitching in Major League Baseball video games, pitchers must spot their pitches correctly, taking into account pitch type and break as they throw to a target area.

· Catcher Mechanics- For the first time in any Major League Baseball video game, catchers can call the game, giving gamers playing as pitchers an idea of where and what to pitch.

· All-Star Commentary- The most entertaining Big League commentary returns to Major League Baseball 2K6 as veteran announcer Jon Miller delivers all the play-by-plays and Hall of Fame Legend Joe Morgan calls the on-field action. Additionally, Jeanne Zelasko and Steve Physioc join the team, previewing the team matchups during the season and provide analysis during the playoffs.

As the exclusive and only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game to appear on every major gaming console, Major League Baseball 2K6 will be available for the Xbox 360™ and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system, the Nintendo GameCube™ and the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system. Major League Baseball 2K6 is slated for release in spring 2006.

Continue reading "2K SPORTS ANNOUNCES UNIQUE NEW FEATURES FOR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL® 2K6" »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 11, 2006

PQ: Practical Intelligence Quotient

Score: 3 out of 5

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Addictive puzzle games are beloved members of the portable games market. I've got a friend who still carries around a mini-Tetris keychain and uses every spare second to play. PQ is a series of much deeper puzzles that require some forethought in order to win. To clear each puzzle, you need to move your character (a man who appears as a white silhouette) through a 3D world to a radiating exit.

The obstacles that are placed in your path is what will test your intelligence. You can't jump, look at that a white man who can't jump, but you can push, grab, and climb. Blocks are placed in your way and you'll have to push, drag, and rearrange them to help you reach the exit. And then it gets more complicated as escalators, switches, conveyor belts, revolving doors and lasers are added to the mix. Now you have to rethink the strategies that worked on the easier puzzles.

And so you advance through PQ as the game calculates your PQ score. This takes into account how quickly you were able to get through the puzzle in how many steps. The countdown timer puts a lot of pressure on you, but if you get stuck you can fail a level and take your time to figure it out.

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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.

Continue reading "Madden NFL 06 Xbox 360 Super Bowl simulation - who will win it all?" »

January 30, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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January 29, 2006

Killzone for PSP Announced

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

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January 27, 2006

JOIN THE FAMILY AND BECOME THE GODFATHER

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

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

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


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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 18, 2006

Veoh Makes Sony PSP a True Video Platform

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

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

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

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

About Veoh

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

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

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January 17, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Ape Escape Academy Ships

Ape Escape® Academy for PSP™

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

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

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

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January 15, 2006

UbiSoft Demo Day

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

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

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

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

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

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January 13, 2006

UBISOFT ANNOUNCES TOM CLANCY'S SPLINTER CELL® ESSENTIALS

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

SCPSP_BOX_Factory_HighPunch.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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January 12, 2006

EA ANNOUNCES DEF JAM FIGHT FOR NY: THE TAKEOVER

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

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

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

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

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January 11, 2006

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

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

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

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

PQ for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) features:

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

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January 9, 2006

Me And My Katamari

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

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

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

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

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January 5, 2006

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

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

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

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

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December 28, 2005

Pinball Hall of Fame

Score 4 out of 5

Pinball fans finally have a great PSP pinball game. Pinball hall of Fame is a compilation of 11 of Gottlieb's greatest pinball machines released over 60 years. All the great tables are there: Ace High, Central Park, Big Shot, Genie, Black Hole, Victory, Tee'd Off, Going Nuts, El Dorado City of Gold, Strikes and Spares, and more. Historical information is included about each table describing the designer, the design goals, and the year in which it was produced. Then, there's a feature by feature guide that shows you what to do on each table and how the bonuses are doled out.

Two players can either play against each other on the same PSP or against each other using two PSPs and a single game disc. Game play is about as authentic as it could be with realistic sounds and table action. Gravity is realistically reproduced on each table; the ball bounces consitently off bumper and arcs consistently across and up the table. At first it takes a little time to get used to seeing a whole pinball table as a two parter on the PSP screen, but once you adjust to that this game is just good ol' fun for pinball lovers.

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December 23, 2005

Me and My Katamari to Hit PSP in March 2006

The King is back in all his brilliance to keep the Prince and his cousins continuously rolling as you take the adventure on the road with your PSP. The royal family, taking a break from their celestial construction, find themselves on vacation on their very own sunny island when the Prince finds himself cast with the responsibility of creating islands of katamari for homeless animals. Play as the Prince or any of his returning and new PSP exclusive cousins as you roll up new objects in all new levels. Take on friends in wireless play as you roll up as many objects as possible! Enjoy the fun and quirkiness in an all-new installment for its first ever foray into the handheld world.

KatamariPSP10.bmp

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December 22, 2005

EXIT FOR PSP DEBUTS IN FEBRUARY UNDER UBISOFT LICENSING AGREEMENT

SAN FRANCISCO DECEMBER 21, 2005 Today Ubisoft, one of the world's leading video game publishers, announced that it has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Taito Corporation of Japan to publish
and distribute three video game titles in 2006. Under the terms of the agreement, Ubisoft will distribute the Taito-developed games in North American and European territories. The first title to be released by
Ubisoft will be Exitâ„¢, a puzzle action game for people of all ages, exclusively for the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system in February.

"Exit's unique graphics and fluid style make this yet another innovative puzzle game in Ubisoft's arsenal," said Jay Cohen, vice president of publishing at Ubisoft. "Ubisoft is excited to be bringing three of the industry's most innovative titles to gamers this year."

As Mr. ESC, a professional escapologist who can rescue people from just about any situation Exit players must guide themselves through numerous obstacles while rescuing victims from life-threatening situations. Situations include braving fires, earthquakes and other disasters in various environments such as buildings, hospitals and subways. Players will undertake myriad actions, including running, jumping, climbing onto ledges and climbing down ropes on their way to becoming the ultimate escape artist.

Key Features:
• Intense action puzzler: Players use decision-making skills and wits to escape various obstacles while rescuing people from more than 100 different emergencies. Additional levels are also available for download.
• Do whatever it takes to get everyone out in time: Rescue people and find the fastest way out while braving exploding factories, burning buildings and flooding subways. Players will climb ladders, move objects, slide down ropes and collect numerous rescue devices to assist them in their missions.
• Turn victims into allies: Saved characters can be enlisted to help move heavy objects, master tricky obstacles and help each other.
• Smooth, stylish character design and movement: Accompanying the intense action are some of the most stylish graphics to be seen on the PSP system, allowing for a viscerally and aesthetically satisfying
experience.

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December 19, 2005

Sony Game Night

I went to a Sony party and demo night last Thursday and had some fun. They had the one party feature that virtually guarantees that attendance will be worth it: an open bar.

I played Tourist Trophy, a realistic simulation motorcylce raching game from the same studio that developed GT4. There are a lot of the same tracks as GT but switched around for motorcylce racing. The sound effects are taken from an actual motorcylce going around a track. There are more than 35 tracks and over 100 bikes. The bike handled well, predictably, and consistently. I enjoyed playing this very much. It is scheduled to ship in March or April of 2006.

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

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December 14, 2005

NBA Ballers: Phenom

This morning I met with Midway and they showed me NBA Ballers: Phenom, the sequel to last year's hit NBA Ballers (1.5 million copies sold). The game ships in March 2006 for Xbox and PS2. An updated version of the original, NBA Ballers Rebound will be available for PSP. Although far from complete, the PS2 and PSP versions looked great.

The premise behind the game is that this is an RPG for basketball players. With a deep story mode and a lot of wide open game play there is plenty to do. The story revolves around a series of 2 on 2 tournaments (2 on 2 brings back memories of NBA Jam) and side missions that are like mini-games. Gamers create their character and assign attributes. Later, attributes increase according to how you play the game (if you are strong on D when you play then your character's defensive attributes go up). The other way to increase attributes is to drink a Sprite which is something like drinking a potion in that it gives a temporary attribute boost. Attributes can be boosted also by wearing special items like better sneakers.

As far as in-game dynamics, this game looks good. The character modeling is very strong and the players look like themselves. Because it is 2 on 2 there is now team play calling. The animated trick moves, called "Act A Fool" are hilarious. It's all about showmanship and tricks.

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December 13, 2005

NAMCO ANNOUNCES SNOOPY™ VS. THE RED BARON

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (December 12, 2005) – “This time I’ve got you, Red Baron! This time you’re mine!”…Leading video games publisher and developer Namco Hometek Inc. today announced Snoopy™ vs. the Red Baron, an exhilarating aerial-based action adventure game starring Peanuts® top dog Snoopy and a cast of classic characters. While taking a nap atop his doghouse, Snoopy has a magical dream and becomes a World War I flying ace who must pilot his bi-plane in a heroic attempt to foil the plans of his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. Featuring 50+ single-player and co-op missions, action-packed dogfights and customizable planes across six unique environments, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron will be coming to the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, Xbox® video game system and the PC in Fall 2006.

Snoopy vs. the Red Baron lets players climb into the cockpit to pilot Snoopy’s famous Sopwith Camel and other unique aircraft in perilous dogfights, high-speed air races and heart-pounding missions deep behind enemy lines. As players barnstorm across six massive, free-roaming play fields in search of clues for the location of the Red Baron’s secret hideout, players can upgrade their aircraft with a collection of 25 unique, comical weapons and other unlockable gadgets, including the player-guided Woodstock missile. Classic Peanuts characters including Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Marcie and Sally will aid Snoopy on his mission, providing him with hints and tips to track down the despicable Red Baron.

“Snoopy’s longstanding rivalry with the nefarious Red Baron persona is one of the most acclaimed Peanuts storylines, giving Namco the perfect premise to create a family-friendly video game,” said Jeff Lujan, Business Director at Namco Hometek, Inc. “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron introduces an original gameplay experience with high-flying aerial action that is sure to entertain kids of all ages and extend this classic story’s legacy.”

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December 9, 2005

OUTRUN 2006: COAST 2 COAST DRIFTS ONTO PSP SYSTEM, PLAYSTATION 2, PC

LONDON & SAN FRANCISCO (December 8, 2005) - SEGA Europe Ltd. and SEGA of America, Inc. today announced OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, the latest installment in the iconic OutRun series and the first to appear on the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. OutRun 2006: Coast
2 Coast on PlayStation 2, PSP system, will be released on March, 2006 with a PC version to be released soon thereafter.

The enchanting draw of the open road has never been so appealing with the choice of one of 12 fully licensed Ferrari models, featuring the all-new F430 and 575 Super America. Gamers will feel the throaty whine and that distinctive Ferrari exhaust note as they power their way across 30 glorious stages from the best of the OutRun2 original and the new OutRun2 SP arcade experience. Race from coast to glorious coast with a fresh new mission structure, a license mode and online play with up to 6 players in both head-to-head and co-operative play.

"Out Run 2006: Coast 2 Coast represents our strategy to revitalize a stable of recognizable SEGA properties for gamers in the Western markets," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "OutRun conjures up fantastic memories for many hardcore gamers and this mammoth new version is sure to turn a new generation on to a true arcade racing classic."

With platform specific missions, the player will also be able to unlock PSP system exclusive content by connecting with the PlayStation 2 version, and vice versa. Stack up the OutRun miles from the sun-drenched sands of Palm Beach to the charms of Cape Way to unlock new tracks, cars and much more. With a girlfriend by your side and open country before you, which route will you take?

Continue reading "OUTRUN 2006: COAST 2 COAST DRIFTS ONTO PSP SYSTEM, PLAYSTATION 2, PC" »

December 7, 2005

PoPoLoCrois: An Unbelievable RPG for the PSP(PlayStationPortable) System

Sunnyvale, Calif., December 6th, 2005 - Agetec, Inc., a leading publisher of entertainment software, is excited to announce that the classic, Japanese title PoPoLoCrois™ for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system is now available at North American retailers.

"PoPoLoCrois is a highly anticipated role-playing game for the PSP," says Mark Johnson, vice president of marketing, Agetec, Inc. "It is a beautiful adventure with an exciting storyline that people of all ages will enjoy this holiday season."

The charming tale of PoPoLoCrois follows the adventure of Prince Pietro as he battles to save his beloved kingdom from the chilling grips of the evil Ice Demon and rescue his mother, the queen of PoPoLoCrois, from a mysterious eternal slumber. Pietro and his friends encounter a vast array of dangerous dragons, fierce monsters and other crazy creatures in their quest to solve the mystery of the Kingdom of Darkness.

Developed exclusively for the PSP by G-Artists and Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, the title features gorgeous artwork with a zoom feature to focus on every brilliant detail. PoPoLoCrois has a convenient quick-save option for playing on the go, and a diverse, whimsical soundtrack that brings the charming characters to life. Featuring a classic turn-based battle system, PoPoLoCrois has over 30 hours of gameplay with exciting Japanese-style anime cut scenes, which offers players a reason to stay glued to their PSP!

Continue reading "PoPoLoCrois: An Unbelievable RPG for the PSP(PlayStationPortable) System" »

Crave Entertainment Brings Back the Golden Age with Pinball Hall of Fame for PSP(tm) System

Newport Beach, Calif.-December 6, 2005-Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of console videogames, today announced that Pinball Hall of Fame for the PSP(tm) (PlayStation®Portable) system has shipped to retailers throughout North America. Featuring a compilation of 11 of Gottlieb's greatest tables recreated in a 3D environment, the Pinball Hall of Fame authentic visuals and sound effects take players back in time to when pinball machines ruled the arcades. The game also allows two players to compete via a wireless connection using a single game disc.

Continue reading "Crave Entertainment Brings Back the Golden Age with Pinball Hall of Fame for PSP(tm) System" »

December 6, 2005

2K Sports Announces Major League Baseball 2K6 - The Exclusive 2006 Multi-Platform Baseball Title

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 5, 2005 - 2K Sports, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: TTWO), announced today that Major League Baseball 2K6 is slated for release in early spring 2006. Featuring New York Yankees All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter as the cover athlete and official spokesperson, Major League Baseball 2K6 will debut new features that will set a new standard for baseball video games.

Major League Baseball 2K6 will be the exclusive and only officially licensed Major League Baseball video game to appear on every major gaming console including the Xbox 360(tm) and Xbox® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP(tm) (PlayStation®Portable) system and the Nintendo GameCube(tm).

"We've assembled an amazing team to deliver the highest quality baseball title on every major video game platform," stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio. "2K Sports has pushed the boundaries of our entire line-up of games this year and Major League Baseball 2K6 will be no exception."

"With Major League Baseball 2K6, 2K Sports has captured the essence of our National pastime," stated Derek Jeter. "It's been a great pleasure and honor to represent the finest baseball game on any video game system. I'm really impressed with the new graphics and features that Major League Baseball 2K6 will bring to baseball fans everywhere."

As one of the most respected and recognizable Major League Baseball players, Derek Jeter wrapped up the 2005 season by winning his second consecutive Gold Glove award Over the last 10 seasons (1996-2005), Jeter
leads the major leagues with an impressive 1,924 hits and ranks second with 1,154 runs. As the team captain of the New York Yankees, Jeter's charisma, talent and intense drive have earned him numerous awards and
have cemented him as one of the greatest players to ever don the Yankee pinstripes.

Continue reading "2K Sports Announces Major League Baseball 2K6 - The Exclusive 2006 Multi-Platform Baseball Title" »

November 29, 2005

The Sims 2 Goes Gold for the PSP

Electronic Arts today announced that the The Sims 2 has gone gold for the PSP handheld videogame system and will be on store shelves by December 7th. With The Sims 2 for PSP, gamers can wirelessly delve deep into the mysteries of Strangetown and swap secrets with other PSP players to discover the unknown in this classic Sims 2 location. The full 3D world allows gamers to take their Sims through the adventures of Strangetown with five brand new neighborhoods and 20 unique locations custom-built for the PSP!

The Sims 2 for the PSP maintains the traditional and addictive gameplay that challenges players to keep their Sims happy, healthy and sane. Moreover, in addition to managing their Sims motives and wants, PSP gamers can fill their Sims homes with various exclusive, unique items available only on the PSP.

The Sims 2 is Everywhere!

When The Sims 2 PSP ships to store shelves on Dec. 13, the PSP version joins other console and handheld game versions on store shelves including The Sims 2 for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube, the Game Boy Advance, and the Nintendo DS. Fans can even purchase The Sims 2 Holiday Edition, a special-edition holiday-themed version of the world’s best-selling PC game of 2004, The Sims 2. Additionally, mobile versions will be available across all major carriers this winter. The Sims 2 is officially everywhere this holiday season!

The Perfect Gift for Anyone on Your List
The Sims 2 makes a great gift for all your friends and family. The Sims franchise is recognized for being one of the few game brands to achieve popularity across all ages and genders. This widespread appeal has resulted in incredible success, with a string of top-selling games and combined sales for the franchise exceeding 58M units worldwide.

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November 17, 2005

THE KING OF ALL COSMOS ROLLS ONTO THE PSP™

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (November 17, 2005) – Leading video games publisher and developer Namco Hometek Inc. announced today that Me and My Katamari™ (working title), the first portable version from the award-winning Katamari franchise, will be launching in North America and Europe in 2006 exclusively for the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system. Me and My Katamari is the third installment in the Katamari series and delivers more of the simple and addictive game play enjoyed in Katamari Damacy™ and We ♥ (Love) Katamari™, this time for the handheld platform.

“The mesmerizing appeal of the Katamari franchise’s game play continues to transcend cultural boundaries and receive critical acclaim,” said Yoshi Niki, Business Unit Director, Namco Hometek Inc. “We are excited to expand our offerings to the PSP system, so that our fans can play Katamari whenever and wherever they are.”

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

New, exciting features found in Me and My Katamari include:

* Wireless play for up to four people on the PSP system;
* A cast of playable characters that includes the Prince and his cousins – a mix of familiar faces and new additions;
* A host of customization options for player characters, including new masks and headgear, as well as the ability to wear them on the head, face and body;
* A new island interface that highlights player options and the different stages represented by animals in need of a new homes.

Continue reading "THE KING OF ALL COSMOS ROLLS ONTO THE PSP™" »

November 2, 2005

Bandai’s The Legend of Heroes for PSP Goes Gold

CYPRESS, CA – November 2, 2005 – Bandai Games Inc. today announced that “The Legend of Heroes(TM): A Tear of Vermillion(TM)” has gone gold for the PSP(TM) (PlayStation(R)Portable) system. Featuring more than 100 distinctive characters, over 50 hours of gameplay, and an extensive storyline, this game is the first true role-playing game for the PSP system.

In “The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion,” players take on the role of Avin, a 17 year-old boy who embarks on an adventure in search of his sister, Eimelle. With a trusty animal companion at his side, Avin must journey through one of the most captivating 3-D environments available on the PSP system. Developed by legendary Nihon Falcom in Tokyo, “The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion” is the second installment in a remarkable Japanese series known as “Gagharv Trilogy.” Their other well-known RPG works include the “Ys,” “Brandish,” and “Sorcerian” Series on many platforms and brands.

Continue reading "Bandai’s The Legend of Heroes for PSP Goes Gold" »

November 1, 2005

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" »

Logitech PlayGear Amp

Logitech sent me some goodies yesterday and I've taken the liberty of evaluating the PlayGear Amp, an amp and speakers designed specifically for PSP. They come in a nicely designed case that got covered in cat hair within seconds of touching my desk.

logpga-case.jpg

The case is well constructed and padded. There are compartments for the PlayGear Amp and associated equipment.

logpga-incase.jpg

Continue reading "Logitech PlayGear Amp" »

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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