NewsPro Archive

December 2004

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Ships
Steve @ 3:46 PM EST
Microsoft Game Studios announced today that MechAssault® 2: Lone Wolf, the sequel to one of the most popular Xbox® action titles, has shipped to North American retail stores for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.). The perfect way to spend those well-earned holiday gift cards, MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf offers gamers a rich BattleMech experience, both offline and online via Xbox Live™.

Gamers looking to track their combat history and the current status of the persistent universe of Conquest Mode will be able to do so at the newly launched official site, at http://www.mechassault2.com This new site allows gamers to not only track their game stats, but also read up on vehicles, 'Mechs and tactics while interacting with other MechAssault 2 fans in the community forums.

MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf was developed by Day 1 Studios, creators of the original MechAssault for Xbox, in conjunction with FASA Studio, the developers of the award-winning MechWarrior and MechCommander series for Windows and Crimson Skies for Xbox. In MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, gamers can step outside the 'Mech and live the life of a human pilot in a fresh new single player game. Tanks, VTOLs and BattleArmor offer players plenty of opportunities to rain destruction on their opposition in both single and multiplayer games. Xbox Live gamers can enjoy a whole new level of strategy, as BattleArmor-equipped players 'jack enemy 'Mechs and VTOLs drop supplies to their teammates. Both online and off, MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf offers players an unparalleled gaming experience. For more information about MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, please visit http://mechassault2.xbox.com

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Rainbow Six: Lockdown Announced
Steve @ 2:50 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO – December 23, 2004 – Ubisoft today announced that Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 4 (working title), will now be officially titled Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Lockdown™. The game is being developed by two of Ubisoft’s award-winning studios: Red Storm Entertainment, the maker of the original Rainbow Six, & Ubisoft’s Montreal Studio. For continuous up-to-date news on Rainbow Six: Lockdown, visit the teaser website at: http://www.rainbowsixgame.com

In Rainbow Six: Lockdown, players lead Team Rainbow, the world’s most elite counter-terrorist unit, as they are called into action and dispatched into unfamiliar territory to battle a bioterrorist threat. Stakes escalate as they are personally targeted by an evil terrorist organization. Used to protecting the lives of others, Team Rainbow must now embark on a mission to fight and save some of their own.

Rainbow Six: Lockdown will build on the ingredients that have made the Rainbow Six® franchise a runaway success, and will introduce a new single-player experience with a personal, darker storyline, state-of-the-art equipment, and offer gamers the chance to play as two members of Team Rainbow.

Multiplayer modes will return with enhanced features. Additionally, PlayStation®2 and Xbox® versions will get new & amazing exclusive modes that will bring the multiplayer experience to a further level of excellence.

Game features include:

•Stunning graphics and ultra-realistic “ragdoll” physics deliver staggering realism and spectacular close quarter firefights.
•Superior multiplayer experience: One of the best multiplayer games ever returns with the classics: Adversarial & Cooperative modes through Split-Screen & on-line. Additional exclusive modes will make their appearance with:

o PlayStation®2 - New Rivalry Mode pits Rainbow operatives against trained mercenaries in objective-driven, team-based adversarial gameplay.
o New Xbox® Live™ “Career Mode” allows players to create their own operative, improve their skills and acquire extra equipment in all-new objective-based missions.

•Increasingly intelligent enemy A.I.
•New weapons and equipment.
•Tension-building sound effects.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Majesco Announces Raze’s Hell for Xbox
Steve @ 3:45 PM EST
EDISON, N.J., December 21, 2004 – Cutesy characters finally get their comeuppance as Majesco, a provider of diversified products and content for digital entertainment platforms, introduces Raze’s Hell, a new third-person shooter developed by Artech Studios, available exclusively for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and is scheduled for spring of next year.

A darkly comic action-shooter set in a fantasy world overrun by fiendishly cute creatures, Raze’s Hell follows the exploits of Raze, a monstrous anti-hero who takes a no-holds-barred approach to stopping an onslaught of adorable characters and restore his planet to its naturally ugly state.

“Anyone who has been driven crazy by the cloying sweetness surrounding some of today’s popular characters will appreciate the ultimate goal of this hilariously gruesome game,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “Raze’s Hell is a creatively executed integration of humor and action that should satisfy those looking for something different in a video game.”

Under the leadership of their twisted Princess, the Kewletts are trying to impose their disturbingly distorted view of utopia upon the masses. Raze goes to war against the Kewletts, gaining the respect and assistance of some of the other inhabitants of the planet. As he grows in power, Raze works his way closer to the capital of Kewtopia to uncover the truth behind the Kewlett takeover.

Announced features of Raze’s Hell include:

  • 20 massive mission-based levels set in surreal alien landscapes;
  • Full Xbox Live support through a variety of gameplay modes;
  • Split-screen cooperative action;
  • Intense large-scale battles, intelligent AI that takes cover, sounds alarms and fights back;
  • Over 10 devastating organic weapons that mirror traditional military weapons plus rolling, stealth and melee attacks;
  • Over 20 fiendishly cute enemy types armed with deadly jack-in-the-boxes, lollipop axes and even bunny rocket launchers;
  • Riotously grisly deaths and devilishly fun mini-games;
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 sound support.

    Raze’s Hell for Xbox is scheduled for release in spring 2005. More information on this product as well as Majesco’s entire lineup can be found online at http://www.majescogames.com

    Gamefly Rentals
    Steve @ 5:22 AM EST

    Want FREE VIDEO GAME RENTALS? You know you do. Go to Gamefly and start your free trial. Gamefly offers unlimited game rentals delivered to your door! Pick your games. Check your mailbox. Play and send back for more. No due dates. No late fees. Free Shipping. This is how it should be.

    Monday, December 20, 2004

    Forza Motorsport Website Launch and Ship Date
    Steve @ 6:11 PM EST
    Microsoft Game Studios today announced the launch of http://ForzaMotorsport.net the official website for its highly anticipated driving simulator, Forza Motorsport. The site, which went live today, promises to stimulate the appetites of speed-hungry car enthusiasts with a more revealing peek at the Xbox racer that many have craved since its unveiling at the 2004 Electronics Entertainment Expo.

    ForzaMotorsport.net will feature:

  • Car Builder an innovative car builder page enabling car enthusiasts to modify the look and performance of six cars the Acura NSX, Nissan 350z, Audi TT, Silvia, Hyundai Tiburon and Volkswagen Beetle. Fans can apply various high-performance aerodynamic modifications including spoilers, bumpers and side skirts as well as select engine and drivetrain mods. The car builder offers a mere taste of how gamers can transform an ordinary stock car to a speed-drenched racing machine in Forza Motorsport.

  • Car Cultures a page dedicated to the wide-range of cars and car cultures that make up Forza Motorsport. Five unique groups of car cultures are examined American Muscle, Tuner/Drifter, Super Unlimited, Exotic Modified and European Motors. The page features exclusive in-game footage of each car culture, allowing gamers to compare and contrast each group s cars and the style in which they can be driven.

  • Screens exclusive visuals of 24 of the more than 200 cars included in Forza Motorsport, as well as dozens of other screenshots

  • Tracks a section devoted to the real-life tracks and realistic environments in Forza Motorsport

  • Music exclusive music clips from Forza Motorsport s soundtrack

  • Online a page devoted to Forza Motorsport on Xbox Live, which lists some of the various multiplayer modes of play

    In addition to the worldwide launch of http://ForzaMotorsport.net, Microsoft Game Studios also announced that the new ship date for Forza Motorsport is now April 2005.

    For more information on Forza Motorsport, please visit http://www.ForzaMotorsport.net or http://www.xbox.com

    EA Invests in UbiSoft Entertainment
    Steve @ 6:07 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 2004--Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced an investment in international game developer and publisher UbiSoft Entertainment, headquartered in Rennes, France. The investment represents approximately 19.9 percent interest in the company -- shares purchased as a block from Talpa Beheer B.V. to be completed upon obtaining antitrust clearance from the U.S. government. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    THQ Signs Deal for Constantine
    Steve @ 6:03 PM EST
    CALABASAS HILLS, Calif., Dec. 20 -- THQ and SCi Entertainment Group have signed an exclusive agreement naming THQ the North American publisher for the "Constantine" video game, licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Comics, and based on the Warner Bros. Pictures film. The game is scheduled to be released for the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system and Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft in February 2005 in conjunction with the film's release.

    Based on the DC Comics/Vertigo "Hellblazer" graphic novels, the supernatural thriller "Constantine" tells the story of John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a man who has literally been to hell and back. When he teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost.

    The video game will closely follow the script of the movie, allowing gamers to play as John Constantine in third-person mode. The story will move between the planes of Earth and "Hell L.A." introducing terrifying enemies from the movie as well as new enemies created for the game. Players will encounter an arsenal of horrific artifacts including The Crucifier, the Holy Shotgun, and the Shroud of Moses.

    Friday, December 17, 2004

    Splinter Cell Chaos Theory New Screens
    Steve @ 6:49 PM EST
    Gamers worldwide will get to experience Sam’s latest series of objectives – along with groundbreaking co-op and versus multiplayer modes – in March 2005; for now, five new screens deliver a taste of the game’s industry-leading graphics, realistic light and shadow, and, of course, Sam Fisher – operating undetected with a host of new gadgets and moves, closer to the enemy than ever before. Just a few of the awe-inspiring elements that will make Splinter Cell Chaos Theory the Spring’s must-have title.

    Splinter Cell Chaos Theory Screens

    The Incredible Hulk Announced
    Steve @ 3:49 PM EST
    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17 -- Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) today announced the development of The Incredible Hulk(TM) for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube(TM). Developed by Radical Games, creators of the critically-acclaimed The Simpsons: Hit & Run(TM), the new action/adventure game will feature the ultimate in destructible environments, an awesome Hulk-powered ability to weaponize any object and a massive free-roaming, fully interactive world.

    "Our collaboration with Marvel on The Incredible Hulk will give gamers the opportunity to play as one of the most powerful and exciting characters to ever exist," said Michael Pole, EVP, Worldwide Studios, VU Games. "The Incredible Hulk will deliver unlimited power and freedom immersed in an authentic world that will engage Hulk fans and core gamers."

    "We are very excited to have Radical developing this new Hulk title, continuing another blockbuster Marvel game franchise," said Ames Kirshen, Director Of Video Game Development at Marvel Enterprises. "Vivendi Universal Games and Radical are creating an interactive world where the player will have all of the freedoms and larger than life abilities of the Hulk in enormous and interactive 'sandbox' environments which really capture the essence of the character."

    In The Incredible Hulk, players can jump anywhere, climb anything and smash everything -- even destroy entire buildings -- as the Hulk, the strongest hero there is! Gamers will create their own Hulk-powered weapons from anything they can rip out of the environment, unlock new moves to battle huge enemies in epic boss fights and experience deep and varied game elements by exploring free-roaming non-mission and side mission gameplay.

    Based on The Incredible Hulk character franchise from Marvel Enterprises, this action-packed game is brought to life through a compelling storyline written by Eisner Award-winning comic book writer Paul Jenkins (Hulk, Spider-Man) and high-quality original art created by signature comic artist Bryan Hitch (The Ultimates), providing an unprecedented integration with The Incredible Hulk universe.

    The Incredible Hulk will be available at retail in Summer 2005 for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

    New Project: Snowblind Info and Screens
    Steve @ 4:57 AM EST
    This week, Eidos released a ton info on Project Snowblind. Gameplay Trailer #2 can be found here: http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=153

    Project: Snowblind will be available at top retailers on February 23rd 2004 across North America for PS2, Xbox & PC. Be sure to check out the website for more info.

    Project: Snowblind Screens

    Website: http://www.projectsnowblind.com

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Coming to Xbox
    Steve @ 4:27 AM EST
    New York, NY December 16, 2004 - Rockstar Games, the world-renowned publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., is pleased to announce that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is making its way to the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. Developed by world-class designers Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Xbox® and PC will be in stores in North America on June 7th, 2005 and in Europe on June 10th, 2005.

    Playboy: The Mansion Soundtrack Announced
    Steve @ 4:14 AM EST
    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 16, 2004 - Hip Interactive's wholly-owned subsidiary, ARUSH Publishing, in conjunction with Groove Games, today announced that the highly anticipated multi-platform video game release, "Playboy: The Mansion," will feature a diverse soundtrack including music from more than 40 artists. Players can select from eight different stations ranging from hip-hop to rock to house music, setting the mood at their virtual "Playboy Mansion." Developed by Cyberlore Studios for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft and PC systems, "Playboy: The Mansion" is rated M for Mature by the ESRB, and is slated to launch in January 2005.

    Emerging bands such as Start Trouble, The Wylde Bunch, The Rosenbergs, Aquavibe and Sugarcult have songs featured in "Playboy: The Mansion," as well as established artists including Petey Pablo, Felix Da House Cat, All-American Rejects and Sander Kleinenberg. In the game, players can purchase stereos and select music for different areas of the virtual Playboy Mansion. The soundtrack not only will allow players to customize their experience, but also serves a gameplay purpose by entertaining guests, and in turn, keeping the party going.

    "With 'Playboy: The Mansion,' you can create the ultimate virtual party, and as the best hosts like Hef know, a party isn't a party without great music," said Jim Perkins, president of ARUSH Publishing. "We're thrilled to showcase music from amazing up-and-coming artists, and think there is something for everyone, with rock, punk, hip-hop, and even flamenco music available on your Playboy Mansion's radio."

    Songs from the game's INgrooves radio station, which features dance and house music, will be featured on a CD release mixed by DJ Felix Da House Cat, and released in retail stores and on the Internet in January 2005.

    Artists Featured in "Playboy: The Mansion" Include:

    Petey Pablo; All-American Rejects; Sugarcult; The Rosenbergs; Start Trouble; Wylde Bunch; Aquavibe; Felix Da House Cat; Sander Kleinenberg, featuring Miss Bunty; Swollen Members; J. Boogie's Dubtronic Science; F.I.L.T.H.E.E. Immigrants; Armand Van Helden; Autopilot; Blue Van; Bob Berg; DJ Sneak; Dolla Skills; Eastern Sun and John Kelly; DJ Excess; Imperial Assassins, featuring Judge D; Jimmy Bruno; Jimmy Grand; Joey DeFrancesco; Like Minds; Matthew Skutnik; Michael Tello; Out, Out; People Under The Stairs; Poncho Sanchez; Prince Charming; Ray Roc; Reflekt, featuring Deline Bass; Silvertide; Simply Jeff; Sweatshop Union; The Moontrane Conductors; Toadstyle; Tony C And The Truth; Tricia Muldrow; and Young Rome.

    Mortal Kombat: Deception Wins Best Fighting Game
    Steve @ 4:09 AM EST
    CHICAGO – December 15, 2004 – Midway Games Inc., a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer, announced today that Mortal Kombat: Deception received the "Best Fighting Game of 2004" award at Spike TV's second annual "Video Game Awards Show" held Tuesday evening at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA. Developed by Midway's Chicago studio, Mortal Kombat: Deception beat out such notable nominees as Def Jam: Fight for New York (Electronic Arts), Dead or Alive Ultimate (Tecmo), Fight Night 2004 (Electronic Arts) and WWE: Smackdown! vs. Raw (THQ).

    "We're honored that Mortal Kombat: Deception has been awarded the title of 'Best Fighting Game,' particularly since the recognition comes directly from the gamer," said Steve Allison, chief marketing offer, Midway. "We're pleased to see that Mortal Kombat: Deception was able to deliver what fans of the series and the genre expect - an innovative fighting system, unparalleled depth and brutally intense action. No other fighting game franchise can deliver the thrill - both online and off - like Mortal Kombat."

    Released in October 2004, Mortal Kombat: Deception has shipped more than one million units and remains on track to become the fastest selling game in Midway company history. Mortal Kombat: Deception is available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and is expected to release for the Nintendo GameCube™ in March 2005.

    For more information about Midway Games visit http://www.midway.com

    Blitz: Playmakers Announced
    Steve @ 4:03 AM EST
    CHICAGO – December 16, 2004 – Midway Games Inc., a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer, announced today the development of Blitz: Playmakers, a new, unlicensed videogame exposing the harsh realism and troubling, behind-the-scenes stories of a fictional professional football league. Blitz: Playmakers has been in development at Midway’s Chicago studio for the past year in collaboration with a writer from ESPN’s controversial "Playmakers" TV series. Blitz: Playmakers goes behind the glitz and glamour of the game through a revolutionary campaign mode that explores the on-field violence, off-field fallout and front-office politics of professional football. Blitz: Playmakers is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2005 on multiple videogame console platforms.

    "Midway's Chicago studio has laid the foundation over the past year for what is the ultimate alternative to watered down NFL sanctioned football games," said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer of Midway. "No longer bound to the NFL license, there will be no league restrictions on content and gamers will finally experience what makes playing a football videogame really fun: off-field controversies, dirty hits, excessive celebrations and much more. Blitz: Playmakers buyers will be assured of one thing - our game will include all the gameplay and fun the NFL won’t allow."

    About Blitz: Playmakers

    Blitz: Playmakers will feature a powerful story mode that, for the first time ever in a football videogame, explores the realism, lifestyle and drama found in professional football. Players will take the helm of a downtrodden football franchise and retool the players and coaching staff in a quest to guide them to the league championship. Additional features include intense multiplayer action with head-to head online play and complete customization of players, teams, stadiums and more.

    Blitz: Playmakers: First Screens

    Thursday, December 16, 2004

    Splinter Cell Chaos Theory Website Launch
    Steve @ 2:21 AM EST
    December 15, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest videogame publishers, today announced the launch of the official Web site for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, scheduled to ship for Xbox, PS2, GameCube and PC in March of 2005. Visitors to http://www.splintercell.com arrive at the Splinter Cell portal site, headquarters for the brand and the jumping-off point to other destinations designed to bring the Splinter Cell universe to life, including a brand new way to experience first-hand the world of a Third Echelon operative.

    In addition to a comprehensive product site that contains images and information related to Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, visitors can access the unique Chaos Theory Experience, a Flash presentation that delivers an emotional punch by thrusting visitors directly into Sam Fisher’s world, illuminating selected details of the compelling storyline, and highlighting just how important Fisher’s work is to combating information warfare and maintaining global security. The Chaos Theory Experience will ultimately consist of six separate modules (and is launching with one); registered ubi.com recruits will be alerted by email when new modules appear.

    MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Goes Gold
    Steve @ 1:09 AM EST
    Microsoft Game Studios announced today that MechAssault® 2: Lone Wolf for Xbox® has gone gold and is on schedule to ship to retail stores in North America on December 28, for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (U.S.). Gamers looking for the perfect post-holiday action fix will get more than their fill with MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, which offers gamers the chance to tear up the opposition and environments on more than five destructible worlds. Utilizing Xbox Live, MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf will have gamers battling for domination of the Inner Sphere in a variety of online multiplayer modes.

    To coincide with the impending release of MechAssault® 2: Lone Wolf, Microsoft has launched a new mini-site at http://mechassault2.xbox.com. Visitors to the site will find a veritable war chest of information on the upcoming Xbox® action title; including a gameplay video, wallpapers and dozens of screenshots. To further immerse themselves in the MechAssault universe, visitors will be able to read all about 'Mech and vehicle specifications along with details about the game's online conquest and multiplayer modes.

    MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is in development by Day 1 Studios, creators of the original MechAssault for Xbox, in conjunction with FASA Studio, the developers of the award-winning MechWarrior and MechCommander series for Windows and Crimson Skies for Xbox. In MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, gamers will be able to step outside the 'Mech and live the life of a human pilot in a fresh new single player game. Tanks, VTOLs and BattleArmor will offer players plenty of opportunities to rain destruction on their opposition in both single and multiplayer games. Xbox Live gamers will enjoy a whole new level of strategy, as BattleArmor-equipped players 'jack enemy 'Mechs and VTOLs drop supplies to their teammates. Both online and off, MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf will offer players an unparalleled gaming experience. For more information about MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, please visit http://mechassault2.xbox.com

    Microsoft & Spike TV's Video Game Awards
    Steve @ 1:04 AM EST
    Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Halo 2 and Fable received a total of three awards at last night's Spike TV's Video Game Awards. Of the six categories in which MGS games were nominated, Halo 2 took home the award for Best First Person Action game, while Jason Jones and Bungie Studios, developers of Halo 2, grabbed the award for Designer of the Year. Fable, developed by Lionhead studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, earned the award for Best Role-Playing Game. Halo 2 was also a nominee in the Best Graphics, Best Soundtrack and Game of the Year categories.

    Nominees of Spike TV’s VIDEO GAME AWARDS 2004 were determined by the Video Game Awards Advisory Board, made up of a group of gaming industry experts. Winners were determined by votes from the Advisory Board and consumer voting. Viewers exclusively determined the winner in three award categories -- these are the Fan Favorite awards of “Most Addictive Game” and “Best Gaming Website” as well as the Viewers Choice award of “Best Gaming Publication.” For the first time this year, Virgin Mobile subscribers were able to vote for Spike TV’s VIDEO GAME AWARDS 2004 nominees directly from the Virgin Extras Menu on their wireless phones.

    Conflict: Global Terror Announced
    Steve @ 12:47 AM EST
    We dug this news up from last Friday.

    SCi Games, one of Europe's leading games publishers, today announced the title of the next game in the no.1 selling Conflict series, as CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR.

    CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR, due for release in autumn 2005, is set in the very near future and focuses on the increasing threat of terrorism gripping the World. Developed by Bath-based Pivotal Games, CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR takes the Conflict brand in a new direction from previous installments of the best-selling games series.

    Teaming up once again with the original Desert Storm Delta Force - Bradley, Foley, Connors and Jones - your four men now form part of an elite anti-terrorist unit tasked with minimising the worldwide threat from active global terrorist groups. The game takes place across the world, in a number of different and hostile locations and against a merciless and corrupt enemy; this is your squad's greatest challenge to date.

    Ray Livingston, Product Manager for SCi Games said; "Without giving away too much at this early stage, CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR has taken all the best bits from the previous three games and added a whole lot more. We are conscious of keeping fans of the previous games happy while at the same time attracting a new audience to the Conflict brand and we're sure the result will do just that."

    CONFLICT: GLOBAL TERROR will be available on Sony PlayStationTM 2, Microsoft XboxTM and PC in autumn 2005.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    Chevelle Set for "Game with Fame" Contest
    Steve @ 5:59 AM EST
    Rock 'n' roll returns to Xbox® Live™ as Chicago-based rockers Chevelle will challenge gamers in the latest "Game with Fame" contest. Gamers hoping to take on hard-rocking brothers Sam, Joe and Pete Loeffler in Halo 2 should visit http://chevelleinc.com/xboxgamewithfame/ to sign up for the contest. One hundred lucky winners will be chosen to get a chance to play the band on December 20; while 10 runners-up will win a copy of the band's latest album, "This Type of Thinking Could Do Us In."

    Phantom Dust Coming to Xbox from Majesco
    Steve @ 5:57 AM EST
    EDISON, N.J., December 14, 2005 – A devastated future highlighted by the near destruction of the human race is what awaits gamers as Majesco, a provider of diversified products and content for digital entertainment platforms, today announced Phantom Dust. An action/strategy game developed by Microsoft Games Studios Japan, Phantom Dust will be available this winter for exclusive play on the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

    “Phantom Dust is one of the great new titles we have scheduled to kick-off our 2005 product lineup,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “Developed by Microsoft Games Studios Japan, Phantom Dust will take full advantage of Xbox Live™ by allowing players to obtain and trade more than 300 of the game’s “skills” online, while giving them a deep and involved single-player game experience at the same time.”

    Successfully released in Japan where it has earned a coveted score of 34 out of 40 from Famitsu magazine, one of the top video games publications in Japan, Phantom Dust is an anime-inspired game set in a post-apocalyptic era where chaos has forced people underground for safety. Players must journey above ground in a quest to learn who and what was behind the destruction, but the surface is a place of deadly evil filled with unimaginable abominations. It is also home to mysterious particles known only as Phantom Dust, a force unlike any other that has given some members of the human race unimaginable super powers.

    Featuring more than 200 single-player missions where players can build up their skill inventory, Majesco’s Phantom Dust also features several multiplayer modes via Xbox Live. Once connected, players can attain special skills and unlock new battle arenas by winning and competing in Live battles. Players can then trade these skills with other Xbox Live users, attempting to amass the more than 300 skills available. A game of fast-paced action and cunning strategy, Phantom Dust will test the physical and mental prowess of even the most advanced player.

    Phantom Dust for Xbox is scheduled for release this winter. More information on this product as well as Majesco’s entire lineup can be found online at http://www.majescogames.com

    MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf "Play and Win" Contest
    Steve @ 5:52 AM EST
    Gaming on Xbox® Live™ just got even more rewarding, as Microsoft Game Studios today announced the MechAssault® 2: Lone Wolf "Play and Win" contest. Gamers hoping to win a copy of MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Limited Edition need only fire up the original MechAssault on Xbox Live and start playing. Players who log at least 20 hours on Xbox Live playing the original MechAssault between December 13 and December 27 will be eligible for a chance to win a copy of MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Limited Edition, which contains two additional maps and special behind-the-scenes footage of the game’s development. For more details on the "Play and Win" contest, please visit http://www.xbox.com/playandwin. MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is set to ship to retail stores on December 28.

    Friday, December 10, 2004

    New Screens - 25 to Life
    Steve @ 8:44 PM EST
    Do you hear the barrage? The streets are alive with the sound of gunfire. From the streets to the suites, 25 To Life is the game that will bring street life live and direct into living rooms across the globe. Represent your hood, throw up your set and take it to the streets online with 25 to Life officially slated to ship to retail Spring of 2005 across North America for PS2 & Xbox.

    http://www.25tolife.com

    25 to Life New Screens

    Wednesday, December 8, 2004

    Winning Eleven 8 Comes to Xbox
    Steve @ 5:30 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- December 7, 2004 - Konami Digital Entertainment - America, a division of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc, today announced the signing of U.S. National Team defensive star player Eddie Pope as the official cover athlete for Winning Eleven 8(tm). The game will be released this spring on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PC DVD-ROM and, for the first time, on the Xbox® video game system.

    "As one of the greatest defenders in the history of U.S. Soccer, Eddie Pope has redefined his position and is truly the perfect cover athlete for Winning Eleven 8," said Rob Goff, Product Manager at Konami Digital Entertainment - America. "With his help and the many numerous additions to this year's game - including the franchise debut on the Xbox - there is no doubt Winning Eleven 8 will own the playing field."

    Pope added, "Being on the cover of a video game is the new standard for any athlete. I've always been a big fan of Winning Eleven and I'm honored to be a part of it because this is the best playing soccer game in the world. Konami has managed to capture the passion and excitement of the game down to the smallest details. It's an incredibly realistic soccer experience."

    Developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, Winning Eleven 8 delivers a wealth of new moves, tricks and more in-depth gameplay. This includes new free kick and penalty kick techniques, an innovative indirect free kick move and a new dribbling system that offers more control as gamers go one-on-one against opposing players. Winning Eleven 8 will also include an on-screen referee - another first in the series.

    Further adding to the realism of the game, Winning Eleven 8 will feature 136 club teams, 57 national teams (including the Italian, Spanish and Dutch leagues under the official license), and control of up to 4,500 of the world's greatest soccer players. Players are brought to life through photo realistic graphics and authentically modeled features, as well as individual styles of play, movement and ball control. Along with these new features will be more advanced player stats that govern every aspect of their play.

    Winning Eleven 8 will be available at retailers nationwide in spring 2005 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PC DVD-ROM and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2004

    Midway Appoints Harvey Smith
    Steve @ 3:18 PM EST
    CHICAGO – December 6 , 2004 – Midway Games Inc., a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer, announced today that it has named Harvey Smith the creative director for Midway Studios-Austin. An industry veteran with more than 10 years of experience in game design and development, Smith will report directly to Denise Fulton, head of Midway Studios-Austin.

    "Harvey brings a wealth of creative and technical expertise to the studio and we are confident that his input at all levels of development will further enhance the quality of our products," said Fulton.

    Mr. Smith joins Midway from Ion Storm Austin, where he served as project director on Deus Ex: Invisible War and lead designer on the award-winning, Deus Ex. Prior to joining Ion Storm, he worked at Multitude as the lead designer on Fire Storm, an innovative tactical squad game that was one of the earliest video games to feature voice-communications between players. Smith's additional gaming credits include CyberMage, System Shock, Thief 3, Ultima VIII and Super Wing Commander 3DO.

    Earlier in his career, Mr. Smith held a variety of design and leadership-related roles emphasizing communications, team building and game design. His creative interests are linked to player _expression and game ecology, and he has spoken on both these subjects, among others, at various seminars and conferences around the world.

    NBA Ballers and Midway Arcade Treasures Hit the Millions
    Steve @ 3:14 PM EST
    CHICAGO, Illinois – December 6, 2004 -- Midway Games Inc., a leading interactive entertainment publisher and developer, announced today that two of its titles, NBA Ballers and Midway Arcade Treasures, have shipped more than one million units worldwide since their respective releases. NBA Ballers shipped to retail outlets in North America on April 5, 2004 and in Europe on October 14, 2004. Midway Arcade Treasures shipped in North America on November 24, 2003 and on February 6, 2004 in Europe. The compilation of classic Midway arcade titles retails for $19.99.

    “We’re extremely proud of the tremendous success of both NBA Ballers and MidwayArcade Treasures,” said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. “NBA Ballers has proven that consumers thoroughly enjoy Midway’s approach to over-the-top, lifestyle-driven sports games and the strong success of Midway Arcade Treasures goes to show that great, classic arcade games never lose their entertainment value.”

    Friday, December 3, 2004

    MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Trailer
    Steve @ 4:41 PM EST
    Download the MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf trailer right now from Xbox Exclusive. This trailer will be playing in Regal Cinemas throughout the United States until December 5.

    MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Trailer

    Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Now Available
    Steve @ 2:16 AM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA – December 2, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s leading video game publishers, today announced that Prince of Persia: Warrior Within™ is now available on store shelves for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™ and PC. Developed by Ubisoft’s award-winning Montreal studio, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within stars a transformed master warrior Prince on a perilous quest to unseal his mortal destiny. Hunted by a supernatural creature hell-bent on his destruction, the battle-weary but hardened Prince embarks upon a treacherous journey to a cursed island underworld to save his life. Featuring a darker storyline and the revolutionary Free-Form Fighting System, the game delivers nonstop, pulsing action up through the jaw-dropping end. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is rated MATURE for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence and Sexual Themes, and has an MSRP of $49.99.

    “Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is already one of the most critically acclaimed games this year,” said Ubisoft vice president of marketing Tony Kee, referring to the game’s outstanding review scores from PSM Magazine (10 out of 10) and Official Xbox Magazine (9.6 out of 10). “Warrior Within builds on the momentum of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time by creating a darker, edgier experience. With more ferocious enemies, deadlier bosses, more treacherous environments and a new, innovative combat system, this beautiful masterpiece will rule the holiday season.”

    About the Game

    Enter the dark underworld of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the sword-slashing sequel to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time™. Hunted by the Dahaka, an immortal incarnation of Fate seeking divine retribution, the Prince embarks upon a path of carnage and mystery to defy his preordained death. His journey leads to the infernal core of a cursed island stronghold harboring mankind’s greatest fears. Only through grim resolve, bitter defiance and the mastery of deadly new combat arts can the Prince rise to a new level of warriorship – and emerge from this ultimate trial with his life.

    Game features include:

    •Free-Form Fighting System: An intricate new combat system lets you wage battles in boundless ways. Manipulate the environment and the enemies themselves to develop your own unique fighting style. Plus, an all-new projectile attack system allows for a variety of combat tactics.

    •A violent underworld revealed: Explore and conquer a breeding ground for the most brutal, unrelenting monsters to torment mankind.

    •Control the ravages of time: Ravage enemies with the devastating new combative powers of the Sands of Time, and discover astounding variations in fighting gameplay.

    •Fight harder, play longer: Hours upon hours of action await you in your fight for survival, including various bonus incentives for those who finish the game.

    Halo 2 Sells Over 5 Million
    Steve @ 2:12 AM EST
    Global Phenomenon "Halo 2" Surpasses 5M Units in Sales Worldwide, Supercharging the Xbox Live Community and Xbox Console

    Kicking off the start of the frenzied holiday shopping season, retailers welcomed hordes of Xbox consumers over Thanksgiving weekend. Gamers flocked to purchase the Xbox video game system, Xbox Live subscriptions and Xbox games, not the least of which was the blockbuster "Halo 2."

    Transcending borders, Xbox gamers around the globe continued to devour copies of "Halo 2," which has now sold more than 5 million copies worldwide since its launch on November 9. In fact, the "Halo" franchise has exceeded the 11 million unit mark, with cumulative sales from "Halo: Combat Evolved," "Halo 2" and "Halo" for Windows.

    Xbox consoles are proving to be hot purchase items at retailers this holiday. Console sales in the United States increased nearly 50 percent in sales this week, when compared to Thanksgiving week last year. Holiday shoppers continue to recognize the unrivaled entertainment experience and incredible value of the Xbox game console.

    "'Xbox' and 'Halo 2' are on most consumers' must-have lists this holiday season," said Robert McKenzie, Vice President of Merchandising at Gamestop. "Popularity for both the Xbox console and its number one title 'Halo 2' is an early indication that Xbox will enjoy a stellar holiday season."

    The Xbox Live community has already logged a record-setting 28 million hours playing "Halo 2", more than any other Xbox Live game in the two-year history of the global service.

    The instant action and immersive gameplay in "Halo 2" propelled gamers to play online for an average of 91 minutes per session, approximately the same length as a major motion picture. Out of a universe of more than one million Xbox Live members, "Halo 2" on Xbox Live has already attracted more than 900,000 unique users.

    In addition to the "Halo 2" phenomenon, Xbox is satiating the entertainment appetites of both adults and children, of all ages and personalities. "Fable," the ground-breaking Xbox role-playing adventure game from Lionhead Studios and Microsoft Game Studios has reached new heights, racking sales of more than one million units worldwide in only two months since its availability at retail. Other great games for the entire family include the Platinum Hits series, with seven new offerings at a tremendous value of $19.99, including "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3" from Ubisoft and "NFL Street" from EA.

    Xbox is also reaching new consumers with the launch of Xbox Live Arcade on November 4, introducing a new social experience for gamers of every level with popular retro classics and broad appeal games like "Dig Dug", "Bejeweled", and the fully Xbox Live-enabled "Fuzzee Fever" directly to Xbox over the Xbox Live service.

    In North America, holiday shoppers can purchase the Xbox console, two full premium sports games ("NCAA Football 2005" from EA Sports and "Top Spin" by Microsoft Game Studios) and a two-month trial subscription to Xbox Live™ for just $149.99.

    "This year's holiday offer provides something for everyone in the family and is a great value for Xbox consumers," said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president, worldwide retail sales and marketing for Microsoft's Xbox. "With the combined value of the Xbox console and two great games, the retail offer opens the door for new and old customers alike."

    Wednesday, December 1, 2004

    Xbox Live Madden Championship
    Steve @ 8:54 PM EST
    DECEMBER 1, 2004 – In a move sure to be embraced by athletes and sports gamers nationwide, today Electronic Arts and Microsoft Xbox announced that Xbox Live will be the presenting sponsor of the 11th Annual EA SPORTS™ Madden Bowl™, the premiere party that kicks off Super Bowl week on February 3, 2005. For the first time in the tournament’s celebrated history, the Xbox console will be used to play Madden NFL 2005 at the event to be held prior to Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, FL. Details on the 2005 EA SPORTS Madden Bowl, including official tournament rules, will follow at a later date.

    The EA SPORTS Madden Bowl, which occurs the Thursday night prior to the Super Bowl, pits the top NFL players against each other in a single-elimination, winner-takes-all tournament using the latest-and-greatest version of the best-selling Madden NFL football video game. With superstars like P.Diddy and Big Boi of OutKast looking on, last year’s EA SPORTS Madden Bowl in Houston saw reigning champion Dwight Freeney of the Indianapolis Colts defend his title against a host of NFL superstars provided by PLAYERS INC, including Byron Leftwich, Ahman Green, Jevon Kearse and Willis McGahee.

    The Xbox Live Madden Championship

    To celebrate being named the official gaming console of the 11th Annual EA SPORTS Madden Bowl, Xbox Live is proud to announce the creation of one of the largest, most prestigious, online football gaming tournaments ever created -- the inaugural Xbox Live Madden Championship. Starting on November 24, 2004, any eligible player who wishes to participate in the Tournament must register at: http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live/tournaments/maddenchampionship.htm

    The winner of the inaugural Xbox Live Madden Championship will not only be known as “The World’s Greatest Online Gridiron Gamer”, but they will also win a trip for four to attend the world’s most exclusive Super Bowl party, the 11th Annual EA SPORTS Madden Bowl. While in Jacksonville, the winner takes on the ultimate Madden gamer as he/she battles the two-time defending EA SPORTS Madden Bowl Champion, Dwight Freeney of the Indianapolis Colts.

    “This season, my goal on the field is to go to Jacksonville and win the Super Bowl with the Colts; but one of my off-the-field goals is to continue to dominate all gamers on Madden NFL 2005 on Xbox,” said Indianapolis Colts All-Pro defensive end Dwight Freeney. “I have already beaten the best Madden players the NFL has to offer. Now, I look forward to beating the best the online world has to offer when I face off against the Xbox Live Madden Champion.”

    “It is no secret that the EA SPORTS Madden Bowl is the most popular football video game tournament amongst NFL players and celebrities each year,” said Bill Nielsen, Director of Xbox Marketing. “It is also no secret that Xbox is the console of choice when it comes to playing sports games. The addition of Xbox and Xbox Live to the 11th Annual EA SPORTS Madden Bowl will not only enhance the gameplay that the athletes will experience at the EA SPORTS Madden Bowl, but it will continue to reinforce to our consumers that there is no better place to experience sports gaming than on Xbox and Xbox Live.”

    Madden NFL 2005, which has sold four million copies so far this year, celebrates the franchise’s 15th anniversary by pushing the boundaries of realism forward with new defensive innovations, including the Hit Stick that for the first time makes playing defense as fun as playing offense; an immersive new Storyline Central in Franchise Mode, where player chemistry and personalities come alive; and enhanced online* features including Xbox Live support. In its 15-year history, Madden NFL video games have sold more than 40 million copies.

    “We are excited to offer the NFL players a chance to compete on Madden NFL 2005 on Xbox and Xbox Live during the 11th Annual EA SPORTS Madden Bowl,” said Jordan Edelstein, senior product manager, Electronic Arts. “This has been the premiere kick-off event at the Super Bowl for 10 years now and partnering with Xbox Live makes perfect sense for both our brands.”

    Xbox gamers and Xbox Live subscribers can regularly visit http://www.xbox.com/live for news, information and future updates on this year’s EA SPORTS Madden Bowl.