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NewsPro Archive

July 2002

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

5 New Screens of Conflict Desert Storm
Steve @ 2:35 PM EDT
Time to put your training to use as you snake across the sands of Iraq to battle Saddam and his ruthless army. Gotham Games, a new division of Take Two Interactive Software Inc., announced the new title Conflict: Desert Storm, available this fall for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox™ Video Game system from Microsoft®, and PC.

Conflict Desert Storm Screens

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Exclusive 'Robotech: Battlecry' Collector's Edition
Steve @ 12:34 PM EDT
Limited-Edition Set Packed Full of Exclusive Content

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - July 30, 2002 - TDK Mediactive, Inc., a global publisher of interactive entertainment software, announced that it will be issuing a Collector's Edition for the fall launch of "Robotech(R): Battlecry(TM)," available on the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube(TM) video game system. The limited-edition collectible can be pre-ordered now, exclusively through Electronics Boutique and GameStop. Each box will be individually numbered, with only a very limited quantity being produced.

The "Robotech: Battlecry" Collector's Edition will include:


  • "Robotech: Battlecry" video game - A copy of the cel-shaded action shooter title based on the highly successful anime series.

  • Exclusive "Robotech: Battlecry" game soundtrack - A complete CD of new, re-recorded versions of the original series' music, recorded exclusively for "Robotech: Battlecry."

  • Exclusive "Robotech: Battlecry" T-shirt - A specially designed T-shirt featuring unique artwork of "Skull One."

  • Exclusive "Robotech: Battlecry" art - Five cards featuring all-new, full-color, pre-production concept designs bundled in an original art folder.

  • Exclusive "Robotech: Battlecry" lenticular motion card - Uniquely transforming game art that can only be found in this limited-edition set.

  • Exclusive "Robotech" Defense Force dog tag - A high-quality, individually numbered dog tag dictating the exact edition number of the set.

    "'Robotech' is a strong property with a very big following. The loyal fans deserve, not only an amazing game, but also an extensive collection of exclusive extras," said Stefan Serwe, vice president, global marketing, TDK Mediactive. "Special-edition packaging is long overdue in the U.S. market, and it's a great way to give something back to all the loyal gamers who have been starving for a first-rate 'Robotech' title."

    The collector's edition boxes are priced at $79.99 (U.S.) and can be pre-ordered now at Electronics Boutique and GameStop store locations or online at www.EBGames.com or www.Gamestop.com. The "Robotech: Battlecry" Collector's Edition is scheduled to ship for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in September and GameCube in October. More information about the "Robotech: Battlecry" Collector's Edition can be found at www.robotech.com and www.tdk-mediactive.com.

    Monday, July 29, 2002

    Latest Xbox Releases
    Steve @ 2:53 PM EDT
    The last 3 games to come out for Xbox were: Mike Tyson Heavyweight Boxing (Codemasters), NCAA Football 2003 (EA), and Crazy Taxi 3 (Sega).

    We are going to have a review of Crazy Taxi 3 for you very shortly.

    If you want them now you an order NCAA Football 2003 here.

    Saturday, July 27, 2002

    There Has Been a Lack of Updates. Here's Why.
    Steve @ 12:31 PM EDT
    Why the lack of updates you ask? Well I am very sorry, but I was on vacation all this week. Regular updates will resume on Monday, some possibly over the weekend. Apparently the rest of the staff is also on vacation, but don't worry XBE will be back to normal. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

    Friday, July 19, 2002

    Yet Another New Colin McRae Rally 3 Video
    Steve @ 4:22 PM EDT
    New York ­ Friday, July 19, 2002 - See the world of Colin McRae Rally 3 with a new video showcasing some of the game¹s global locations, now available from: http://www.codemasters.com/colinmcrae3

    As Colin McRae, players drive through a grueling series of international rally locations and experience the feel of tarmac, gravel, dirt and rain-soaked road surfaces. In each season, players compete in six rallies, complete with six stages and Super Special stage. Before each rally, a Shakedown day allows racers to perfect the set up of their car.

    Experience a high-speed world tour through Japan, Spain, USA, Sweden,
    Finland, Greece, Australia and the UK, with every stage individually
    pace-noted by co-driver Nicky Grist.

    Go around the world in under 60 seconds in the new Colin McRae Rally 3 video located at: http://www.codemasters.com/colinmcrae3

    It¹s what lies ahead | September 27, 2002

    Pierce Brosnan To Be In James Bond 007: NightFire
    Steve @ 12:48 AM EDT
    Electronic Arts announced today that it has reached an agreement with Pierce Brosnan to use the famous Bond actor’s likeness in their upcoming video game, James Bond 007: NightFire™. The game, which uses an original storyline created exclusively for the interactive project, is based on the Bond universe and will be released worldwide the same month as the newest 007 film starring Brosnan, "Die Another Day" produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. NightFire is currently under development and is scheduled for a simultaneous release on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™ and PC-CD.

    "Pierce Brosnan and Bond have created an unbeatable combination for the franchise over the past few years, so we’re excited to have Pierce aboard to help deliver to fans the ultimate Bond experience," says Chip Lange, VP of Electronic Arts marketing. "I am confident that together, Pierce Brosnan, EA and NightFire will make for the most dynamic and appealing Bond game yet."

    NightFire promises to stay true to the tradition of the James Bond property. The game will feature more than 10 stunning exotic locations from around the globe and outer space, as well as offer an all-star cast of villains and allies, including sexy Bond women, both new and familiar to the 007 universe. Each of the mission levels will offer enormous, highly detailed 3D environments that can only be experienced through the eyes of Bond.

    Neil Haldar, Vice President of Production and Business Development for MGM Interactive, observes, "We welcome this fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Brosnan, who so masterfully personifies James Bond, and to re-team with a great partner like Electronic Arts on Nightfire to deliver the finest integration of creativity and technology to date."

    Wednesday, July 17, 2002

    Driver 3 Announced for Xbox
    Steve @ 9:59 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES, July 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Infogrames, Inc. (Nasdaq: IFGM - News), a leading global publisher of interactive entertainment software, is creating a third installment in the smash hit Driver(TM) series, currently titled Driver 3, for the Xbox(TM) video game system by Microsoft, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Nintendo GameCube(TM) and personal computer. The game is being developed by Infogrames’ own Reflections Interactive in Newcastle, England, the team responsible for the original two Driver games and the current hit release, Stuntman.

    "Gamers love the Driver series and have made it one of the best selling games of all time -- Driver 2 continues to top the sales charts on the original PlayStation," said Jean-Philippe Agati, senior vice president and general manager of Infogrames’ Los Angeles studio. "Reflections is already working on bringing all the excitement associated with the Driver franchise to the next generation consoles."

    Tuesday, July 16, 2002

    Rally Fusion: Race of Champions
    Steve @ 4:44 PM EDT
    IT'S TIME TO GET REAL.

    Experience a new dimension in rally driving. Engine screaming, hair raising action and super-realistic features put you in the driving seat. Now you can:

  • Flip your pro-rally car, smash your screen, pile headlong into a tree. And walk away.
  • Scare the hell out of your co-driver
  • Trounce your mates in multi-player mode
  • Grind, slide and skid your way through 20 tracks and 9 huge environments including rain forests, arctic glaciers, desert dunes and tropical islands
  • Check out up to 20 kick-ass cars including Peugeot, Mitsubishi, Ford and Audi
  • Show over 30 world-class drivers from past and present how to drive
  • Players must put their skills to the ultimate test as they battle it out of for the 'Race of Champions' crown

    THE CARS:-

    There are a total of up to 20 different vehicles in the game each with their own unique handling and statistics that affect their speed, acceleration, braking, steering. These are divided into 3 distinct categories which become unlocked as the game progresses:-


  • Class C
    This level of difficulty consists of a range of smaller cars, including both classic rally and more up to date cars:-

    Ford Escort Mk 1
    Opel Kadett
    Toyota Rav 4
    Formula France
    RoC Buggy


  • Class B
    This level of difficulty consists primarily of cars that have featured in the World Rally Championship throughout its history:-

    Ford Escort RS Cosworth
    Peugeot 206
    Toyota Celica GT4
    Lancia Delta Integrale
    Peugeot 306
    Toyota Corolla
    Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI
    Seat Cordobra


  • Class A
    Also more widely known as Group B cars. This level consists of cars that are no longer eligilble for the World Rally Championships due to the fact that have are so powerful that most of them have been banned at some point:-

    Audi Quattro
    Opel Manta
    Saab 93 Turbo
    Lancia 037
    Peugeot 205
    Lancia Stratos

    THE ENVIRONMENTS:-

    Desert Heat
    A high-speed rally course that runs through the blistering heat of a dry, hot landscape.

    Arctica
    A treacherous course that leads cars through one of the most challenging environments.

    Inca
    A wet course set in a tropical rainforest. Consisting almost entirely of muddy trails, this course is very slippery.

    Ocena
    Situated on a beautiful tropical island, formed from volcanic rock.

    Canyon Fire
    An intense high-speed circuit that runs through a dramatic canyon environment.

    Alpine Climb
    One of the most dangerous courses, situated within the mountains of a popular ski resort where one wrong move could send you off the edge of the mountain.

    Gran Canaria
    A parallel track which sets two cars against each other in a thrilling head-to-head race.

    Metro
    Set inside a huge park in the middle of a city.

    Stadium
    A unique event set in a gigantic stadium with thousands of spectators cheering you on.

    MODES OF PLAY:-

    Race of Champions Mode
    This mode allows players to enter the annual 'Race of Champions' Tournament. Players can work alone or join forces in a team to try to win two competitions - Champion of Champions or the Nations Cup. There are 3 levels of difficulty - Intermediate, Advanced and Professional and progression happens through these stages.

    RoC Challenge Mode
    This mode allows players to compete through a series of competitions. Players will be prompted to enter a driver profile which will then record the players progress throughout the game, as well as recording a range of data across the tracks like fastest lap, biggest jump, biggest crash. There are also 3 levels of difficulty: Class C, Class B and Class A. During the course of the challenge mode, the player will be awarded trophies for winning challenges, with some special ones thrown in aswell including 'Wrecker' - first car wrecked, 'Veteran' - over a certain mileage, 'King of the Hill' - winning all the hill climb challenges. There are a range of challenge types that are unlocked over time in accordance with the players success:-


  • Rally Challenge
  • Features a single car driving around a circuit for a number of laps
  • Circuit Challenge
  • Features up to 4 drivers racing around a circuit for a number of laps
  • Rally Cross Challenge
  • Features up to 4 drivers racing through a rally course
  • Driving Challenge
  • Pits drivers against the clock in an attempt to record the best times on an obstacle course full of challenges
  • Hill Climb Challenge
  • Features a single car traversing a dangerous mountain road in an attempt to record the best time - without falling off the mountain !
  • Elimination Challenge
  • A up to 4 driver knockout challenge that takes place on both circuits and rally stages. At each checkpoint on the course, the last place driver is eliminated
  • Follow the Leader Challenge
  • Each driver has a health-bar that depletes whenever the driver is not in the lead resulting in a constant fight for first place and survival to the end
  • Head to Head Challenge
  • A race between 2 drivers in identical cars around a range of courses including circuits and rally stages
  • Race of Champions Challenge
  • A knockout tournament where players race in identical cars around a parallel track which takes place over 3 heats of head to head racing

    Quick Race
    Quick Race allows the player to go straight into the action and is perfect when you want to play multiplayer with friends. Initially your Quick Race options will be restricted to a selection of cars, tracks and challenges with more being unlocked as the player progresses. Quick Race options cover the following:-


  • Rally
  • Feature a single car driving through a rally course in an attempt to record the fastest time
  • Rally Cross
  • Features up to 4 drivers racing through a rally course in an attempt to finish first
  • Circuit
  • Features up to 4 drivers racing on a circuit track in an attempt to finish first
  • Elimination
  • Up to 4 driver knockout challenge on both circuit and rally stages - at each checkpoint the last player is eliminated
  • Extreme Hill Climb
  • Combination of a hill climb track with the bumper to bumper race format of Rally Cross - more cars means more chances of falling off the edge of this treacherous course - first to the top or furthest distance traveled wins
  • Follow the Leader
  • Each driver has a health bar that depletes whenever the driver is not in the lead - a constant fight for first place and survival to the finish line
  • Relay
  • Raced between two teams of up to 4 drivers each, at the end of each lap drivers must stop their cars in a special zone, only once this has been done can the next driver in the team take over
  • Checkpoint
  • A timer is introduced at each of the course's checkpoints - its old fashioned arcade style gameplay as the player races across the course trying to beat the clock
  • Custom Championship
  • A highly powerful tool that allows players to create their own unique championships which features multiple event types. This championship can be competed in both single and multiplayer modes
  • World Tour Mode
  • A long distance endurance challenge in which players have to beats the clock across 4 different locations, a continuous clock is kept across all of the tracks and players have to cross each checkpoint before the time runs out. Car damage plays a crucial role in this mode as too much damage early on will effect the players abiity to meet the checkpoint in time
  • World Tour Extreme Mode
  • This time the player is racing against other cars - there is no longer a timer at each checkpoint, instead each car's times are recorded and accumulated across the event and the winner is the driver with the lowest overall time

    DRIVERS:-

    Class C
    This level of drivers consists mainly of people for who rally driving is not their chosen form of motor racing, consisting mainly of motorbike and sports car drivers

    Class B
    This level of difficulty consists of skilled rally drivers who have spent several years racing in rally events

    Class A
    This level of difficulty consists of what are considered to be some of the finest rally drivers to have ever competed in rally sport

    DEVELOPMENT TEAM INFORMATION:
    Climax Brighton

    PLATFORMS:
    PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo Gamecube™ and the Xbox™ video game system

    Monday, July 15, 2002

    Radica Announce Xbox Compact Pro
    Steve @ 7:33 PM EDT
    Radica UK Ltd, the UK's number 1 third party manufacturer of peripherals* under the highly rated Gamester brand has announced the UK launch of their latest Xbox controller. Designed and developed in house by a team of leading designers, the Compact Pro will provide gamers with a high quality alternative to standard sized Xbox controllers. Further advances have also been made to ensure that Compact Pro will appeal to the most hardcore of gamers, including rubberised thumbsticks with increased resistance and modified action buttons.

    "We are committed to providing innovative and quality products that enhance gaming enjoyment for everyone, and once again our development team have excelled themselves" commented John Doughty, managing director of Radica U.K. Ltd. "We received feedback that all of the current controllers on the market were too chunky for some UK gamers, who would prefer something more in line with the size of controllers on other formats. We decided to take the opportunity to use this feedback to produce this superb compact version to sit alongside our standard controller, ensuring that we have a product that suits the needs of all Xbox owners."

    Friday, July 12, 2002

    Halo in Development for PC and MAC
    Steve @ 4:52 PM EDT
    Microsoft Game Studios announced today development of the PC and Macintosh versions of the critically acclaimed Xbox first-person shooter, "Halo: Combat Evolved."

    Initially developed for Xbox by Bungie Studios, "Halo: Combat Evolved" is a science-fiction first-person shooting game that takes place on a mysterious alien ring-world. The PC adaptation is being developed by Texas-based Gearbox Software and based on the game's original concept. Gearbox has a strong reputation for bringing triple-A gaming franchises to multiple platforms.

    "PC gamers worldwide will soon be able to dig into the addictive gameplay of 'Halo,'" said Stuart Moulder, general manager, Microsoft Game Studios. "By combining the success of 'Halo' on Xbox with Gearbox's proven talent in the first-person shooter genre, PC gamers are guaranteed a lively and 'up-all-hours' single and multiplayer experience on the PC."

    The award-winning "Halo: Combat Evolved" for Xbox earned the distinguished honor of being the fastest million-unit seller ever for any next-generation console according to NPDFunworld (SM). Statistically, this means that more than six copies of "Halo: Combat Evolved" were sold every minute of every day between the launch of Xbox on November 15, 2001 and April 8, 2002.

    "We've been dying to play Halo online with a PC ever since its spectacular launch last year," said Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford. "The team at Gearbox has the experience and the talent to not only bring Halo to the PC, but also to add enhancements that exploit the multiplayer capabilities that PCs are known for."

    The Macintosh version of "Halo: Combat Evolved" will be developed by Westlake Interactive and published by Destineer, which has brought other top Microsoft games to the Macintosh including "Age of Empires II" and "Links Championship Edition." Development of the Macintosh versions of "Halo" will occur simultaneously with Gearbox's development of the PC version.

    "Our goal is for Mac and Windows users to battle each other on foot, in vehicles, and in the air next summer when the best first-person shooter ever created comes to both Macintosh and Windows," according to Destineer President Peter Tamte.

    Halo for PC is expected to be available in summer 2003. The Macintosh version is also expected to be available in 2003. Additional information regarding game content, features and enhancements will be announced at a later date.

    Another New Colin McRae Rally 3 Video Released
    Steve @ 3:45 PM EDT
    New York ­ July 12, 2002 ­ See the 2002 Ford Focus RS WRC and the other
    rally cars that star in the game, Colin McRae Rally 3, in a new video, now available at http://www.codemasters.com/colinmcrae3

    In addition to the Focus, players will also experience being behind the wheel of three other 4WDs, four 2WDs, classic cars and bonus cars, each authentically recreated in full detail.

    Each car¹s visuals are impressive, with over 16 times more detail than those in Colin McRae Rally 2.0. Featured cars include: Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 7, Subaru Impreza WRX 44S, Citroen Xsara Kit Car, Ford Puma Rally, Citroen Saxo Kit Car, Fiat Punto Super 1600, MG ZR , Ford RS200, the Lancia 037 and others to be announced.

    It's what lies ahead | September 27 2002

    Thursday, July 11, 2002

    X-Men: Next Dimension Features and Info
    Steve @ 2:50 PM EDT
    X-Men: Next Dimension plunges players into a powerful enemy's plot to rid the world of mutants. Leaving traditional arena-based fighting games in its wake, X-Men: Next Dimension is the only console fighter game that carries epic super hero showdowns across expansive 3-D levels. Players fight as 24 different X-Men characters through interactive environments replete with combat-induced damage.

    GAME FEATURES:
    Authentic Super Hero Action - 8 maps with up to 26 sections feature massive 3-D environments that make for the kind of large-scale battles usually found in comics and movies. Throw a punch at an opponent and send him through a window, then, continue the fight into the next section. The action flows completely uninterrupted as levels, and the story, merge together seamlessly.

    Expansive Fight Options - Gamers battle Bastion and his evil minions with the addition of thrilling aerial combat, wicked chain combos and 8-way movement. A super meter system is also accessible to players of all skill levels.

    Epic Characters, Epic Story - Fans can fight as 20 of their favorite X-Men (plus four secret characters) as they weave through a story wrought with intrigue. A Versus Mode lets players set out of the story and fight one-on-one in arcade-style combat. May the best mutant win!

    DEVELOPMENT TEAM INFORMATION:

    Paradox Development - PlayStation 2 and Xbox

    EXAKT Entertainment - Nintendo GameCube

    Wednesday, July 10, 2002

    Xbox Advertising Brings Home The Gold
    Steve @ 9:57 PM EDT
    LONDON, 10th July 2002 Ð Two advertisements for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft have captured the prestigious Cannes Lion awards at the 2002 Cannes International Advertising Festival.

    ®Champagne, a short film originally created as a ®viral marketing piece for the Xbox launch, won a Golden Lion in the Best Creative Film category. It underlines, in a highly engaging and visual way, the Xbox philosophy Ð that life is short, our time is precious, and everyone should find more opportunities to play in our daily lives.Ê A great response led to ®Champagne also appearing on television and in cinemas in Europe.

    "There were four Gold winners that could have taken the Grand Prix award in any given year, and after Nike's 'Tag' spot, the 'Champagne' spot for Xbox was the favourite among the judges,Ó said Jeff Goodby, president of the 2002 Cannes Lions judging panel and Chairman, Goodby Silverstein & Partners.Ê

    ®Mosquito,Ó a 60-second TV and cinema commercial creates specifically for the European launch of Xbox, picked up a Bronze Lion in the same category.Ê The piece neatly illustrates what can happen if you forget how to have fun and play in life by telling a ®fableÓ about a group of mosquitoes who lost the ability to sing and play.

    The advertising by Xbox was created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, who accepted the awards.Ê Derek Robson, Group Business Director, BBH London, said, ®WeÕre thrilled with these prestigious awards for the work weÕve done on behalf of Xbox.Ê We felt these pieces really communicated the Xbox brand vision Ð that we need to elevate play to its rightful place in our lives.Ê ItÕs important to balance work and play, and both ®ChampagneÓ and ®MosquitoÓ bring those notions to life in a very engaging way.Ó

    ®WeÕre very excited that BBHÕs work was recognised by the Festival,Ó said Neil Thompson, European Marketing Director, Xbox.Ê ®WeÕve set out to raise the quality bar in video game advertising to appeal to a broader audience, with a more inclusive feel.Ê Video game advertising has come of age and both ®ChampagneÓ and ®MosquitoÓ are of the calibre youÕd expect from a major consumer brand like Xbox.Ó

    ®Xbox leads the console market in terms of performance and fantastic game experiences, and itÕs very gratifying that these prestigious judges have chosen TMChampagneÕ and TMMosquitoÕ as leaders in the creative advertising field,Ó said Harvey Eagle, European Advertising Manager, Xbox.Ê ®We realise that broadening the market for gaming by redefining peopleÕs notions of play is a massive challenge, and one that won't be accomplished overnight, but we feel TMChampagne and TMMosquito further our goal of making play, and video games, a more important part of people's lives.

    The International Advertising Festival, also known as the Cannes Lions Festival, is the largest gathering of international marketing and advertising professionals in the world.Ê This year, about 9,000 delegates from the advertising and allied industries attended the event, which showcases over 13,000 ads from all over the world. Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, which rewards the best advertising work produced throughout the world in TV, Print, outdoor and on the Web, as well as the most innovative and creative media solutions.

    Tuesday, July 9, 2002

    Report Forcasts That Online Gaming Will Be Successful
    Steve @ 4:28 PM EDT
    London, UK, July 9, 2002 - Emerging video game platforms are poised for rapid growth, as a confluence of factors enables advanced multiplayer experiences on consoles and PCs, improved games on mobile phones and other handheld devices, and simple, yet engaging interactive TV games. According to a new study commissioned by the European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) and carried out by Screen Digest, spending on these emerging services by European consumers will grow from Euros 127m in 2001 to Euros 6.5bn in 2006, a growth of over 5000 per cent.

    While the new online services being launched for Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube will start slowly, the report forecasts that these will ultimately be very successful and generate more than Euros 2.5bn in European revenues by 2006. Indeed, online console gaming is itself expected to become an important driver of broadband Internet deployment as a predicted 16.6m households in Europe connect their game consoles to the Internet over the next 5 years.

    Another big new opportunity for the leisure software industry will be next generation mobile phones. With mobile operators searching for ways to balance their books after spending out on 3G licenses, games will be one of the most important new services offered to their subscribers. New handsets with colour screens that allow games to be downloaded to them are coming to European shops this year and the report predicts they will be in the hands of 60m Europeans by the end of 2003. From small beginnings (around Euros 70m in 2001), the report forecasts that consumer spending on mobile phone gaming will hit Euros 2.2bn in 2006.

    "As the technology, networks, and business models come together, online gaming in all its forms will become the next significant growth driver in the interactive entertainment business," says Ben Keen, co-author of the study. "All these new outlets for gaming are finally ready to break away from the margins and usher in a dramatic new phase of growth for what is already an impressively buoyant industry."

    Like many areas of the games business, British companies are world leaders in bringing games to the digital TV viewer. Games are already one of the early success stories of the interactive TV (iTV) era and Screen Digest predicts UK consumer spending on iTV games will more than double from £50.7m in 2002 to £132m in 2006. The total European iTV gaming market will be worth close to Euros 470m in 2006.

    According to Roger Bennett, Director General of ELSPA: "The non-retail computer games sector is poised for a major take-off. Already Internet gaming is proving extremely popular, with EA.com's casual games site, Pogo, the most visited site on the Web logging 4.4 billion minutes of play in January this year. Digital television is also proving a valuable games portal, notably for female gamers with Skydigital claiming that over 40 per cent of players on its Gamestar service are women."

    "While the traditional bricks and mortar games market will continue to grow, the development of wireless gaming, interactive TV, streaming, online console gaming and internet games enables publishers literally to think outside the box. They have huge opportunities to develop new revenue streams and most importantly, to maximise sales for their existing intellectual properties. Publishers will be able to reach out to a more diverse gaming audience, offering more opportunities to play across a wider range of platforms. The future is good for the industry and good for gamers too".

    Internet PC gaming has been over-hyped by many. However, while there have been notable "dot com" failures in the field, there have also been resounding success stories. Led by multi-player games like Everquest, Ultima Online and Asheron's Call, the number of paying subscribers to Internet games now exceeds 1m worldwide. Screen Digest forecasts this will grow to 7m by end-2006, including 1.4m in Europe. These subscribers will push Western World consumer spending on PC-based Internet multiplayer games to $1.3bn by 2006, with Euros 265m of that in Europe.

    While the popularity of multi-player PC games is expected to increase, that market is poised to be eventually eclipsed by the emerging market for "games on demand". Although take-up of such downloaded and "streamed" games by European PC owners will initially lag, the number of users is projected in the report to hit 5.5m by the end of 2006. The European Game on Demand market is expected to be valued at Euros 930m by 2006.

    The ELSPA/Screen Digest study, "Wireless, Interactive TV, & Online Gaming," marks the first time that the prospects for all these new outlets for games have been thoroughly examined. It provides an unprecedented analysis of each market, including the technologies, growth accelerators and inhibitors, leading firms, and market forecasts.

    X10 Details
    Steve @ 4:26 PM EDT
    Warthog have announced that they have signed the publishing rights to their original property X10 to Conspiracy Entertainment.

    Conspiracy has worked with Warthog before in creating games for The Warner Bros. Licenses Tiny Toons and Animaniacs , via Conspiracy’s joint venture with SWING!.

    X10 is a first person shooter for PC, Xbox, GameCube and PlayStation®2. X10 places a gamer as a soldier, who, under strict instructions, must explore the world of X10 and tackle anything the environment throws at them, including political intrigue, military factions and deadly predators.

    “New properties are becoming rarer and rarer in games these days so it is always exciting to sign one with a publisher”, said Warthog’s CEO Ashley Hall. “This is especially the case with X10 as our existing relationship with Conspiracy means that we can work together from day one towards making X10 the success it deserves to be.”

    “We are very pleased to team up with an outstanding partner like Warthog to develop a new game and a new game IP for today’s increasingly discerning consumers. We are confident X10 will deliver an incredible gaming experience with both stunning graphics and intense game play," said Peter Bergstrom, Senior VP of Conspiracy Entertainment.

    Friday, July 5, 2002

    Medal of Honor: Frontline Coming October
    Steve @ 7:00 PM EDT
    Slow news day yesterday and today, but as I was browsing around EBGames.com I noticed that they added MOH: Frontline to the Xbox's release list. They claim it's coming out October 22. Let's hope this is true and that the Xbox version has some nice added features.

    MoH: Frontline

    Wednesday, July 3, 2002

    Splashdown Now In Stores
    Steve @ 9:13 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 3, 2002--Infogrames, Inc., a leading global publisher of interactive entertainment software, announced today that the wild water racer, Splashdown(TM) has shipped to stores for the Xbox(TM) video game system. Published under the Company's Atari(R) brand, Splashdown is already a smash hit on the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system. Splashdown for Xbox boasts superior graphics and two never-before-seen levels to enhance the cast of crazy characters and Sea-Doo(R) watercraft.

    "Splashdown is the definitive water racing franchise. Using the amazing capabilities of Xbox, we're able to take the game to the next level," said Jean-Philippe Agati, senior vice president and general manager of Infogrames' Los Angeles studio. "The power and unique handling of the four authentic Sea-Doo(R) watercraft classes gives players maximum control as they attempt crazy acrobatic stunts and race full throttle over huge waves."

    Splashdown whisks players to the four corners of the globe through 18 race environments, rendered in exquisite detail. Racers will blast through the waters of Bali, skim along the Great Barrier Reef and navigate the canals of Venice. The Xbox version introduces two new eye-popping courses, Ruminer Point, Maine and The Florida Keys, Florida, and features bigger waves for players to catch massive air for tricks and jumps. With more than 40 tracks and tons of shortcuts and hidden areas, Splashdown is loaded with a variety of challenges and astonishing scenery.

    Eight over-the-top characters from around the world take players for a spin around the track. To keep the action hot, each character is armed with special abilities in speed, handling, stunts and agility. Each performs unique tricks like the heart attack, superman and rollover. Racers Andy Pierce, Hailey Hollister, Kyoko Takahashi, Jeremy Wallace, Amman Ra, Sebastien Kleinemann and a secret unlockable character return to vie for the number one spot in circuit and career modes.

    Splashdown has three main modes: Career, Versus, and Arcade. In Career mode, the player has the opportunity to prove single-player prowess, building a team and vying for the championship of the water racing circuit. Meanwhile, Arcade mode makes competition personal with four intense events, including Circuit, Time Trials, Countdown and Free Ride. Along the way, players can collect up to five new wetsuits placed around each course. Versus mode pits two players against each other in a head-to-head showdown. Three difficulty levels, hilarious character dialogue and spectacular wrecks complete this wild water racer for timeless entertainment and unparalleled fun.

    Developed by Rainbow Studios, Splashdown is available at most major retail stores this week for an estimated street price of $49.95 and is rated "E" for Everyone.

    Loads of Info for Colin McRae Revealed
    Steve @ 8:57 PM EDT
    New York - July 3, 2002 - Colin McRae Rally 3 is about giving gamers the professional rally driving experience in what¹s being touted as one of the most anticipated games of the year. Today Codemasters reveals the full list of rally-spec cars and stages that will be featured in the game.

    Colin McRae Rally 3¹s development team is eyeing a level of visual and technical detail that surpasses any other racer. Placing players in the shoes of legendary rally champion Colin McRae, will provide a breathtaking sense of being on and, often, off the road in a fully weighted and authentically functioning 2002 Ford Focus RS WRC. In addition to the Focus, players will also experience being behind the wheel of three other 4WDs, four 2WDs and several other vehicles, with additional bonus cars to be discovered.

    Featured cars include:

    … Citroen Saxo Kit Car
    … Citroen 2CV Sahara
    … Citroen Xsara Kit Car
    … Fiat Punto Rally Car
    … Lancia 037
    … Ford Focus RS WRC 2002
    … Puma Rally Car
    … 1986 RS200
    … MG ZR Rally Car
    … Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7
    … Subaru Impreza WRX (44S)
    … Subaru Impreza 22B Sti
    … Plus additional Bonus cars to be discovered

    Visually, all cars featured are hugely impressive and over 16 times more detailed than the cars in Colin McRae Rally 2.0. The polygon count for the Focus model is up to a staggering 14,000, compared to about 800 for the previous game. This level of detail effectively gives players a Focus simulator to take on the rally stages, making the gameplay intensely more rich. McRae¹s co-driver Nicky Grist is personally pace-noting every stage featured in the game as he would for a real rally. Again, this commitment to detail is an essential part of capturing the spirit of the player being part of an actual rally championship.

    The main championship game is a grueling series of races across eight
    international rallies offering tarmac, gravel, snow, dirt and rain-soaked road surfaces. In each year, players will race in six rallies, made up of six stages, with an additional Shakedown day and Super Special Stage.

    Countries featured:

    … Japan
    … Spain
    … USA
    … Sweden
    … Finland
    … Greece
    … Australia
    … UK

    The original Colin McRae Rally game defined rally sport games. Colin McRae Rally 2.0 enhanced and drained every last bit of gas from the PSone to lead the genre. Now, as the world leading series comes to the new generation of console platforms, Colin McRae Rally 3 accelerates to surpass all
    expectations.

    TimeSplitters 2 Website Now Live
    Steve @ 8:50 PM EDT
    Once again coming to you with the hottest news in interactive
    entertainment, Eidos Interactive is excited to announce the Official
    TimeSplitters 2 Website is now LIVE for the world to view! This will be THE depository for ALL of your TimeSplitting needs! An extensive list of features will provide gamers abroad with the finest in TimeSplitters 2 info and goods! From a detailed look at the story behind TimeSplitters 2, to a detailed look at the cast of renegade characters you will be able to play...and...well...kill! Inside looks at locations in the TimeSplitters 2 world, tasty downloads such as wallpapers and trailers, and direct access to the TimeSplitters community will be updated in the near future!

    So cut the monkey-business and get to the site! TimeSplitters 2 is slated for a September 2002 release....
    http://www.timesplittersgame.com

    New Colin McRae Video
    Steve @ 3:51 PM EDT
    When the flying Scotsman’s car leaves the tarmac, there’s no telling which way up it’ll land when you’re behind the wheel of Colin McRae Rally 3.

    See what happens to the 2002 Ford Focus RS WRC as the game’s stunning damage engine is revealed in action today in a new video, available from: http://www.codemasters.com/colinmcrae3

    When it gets hectic, it’s not just the car that gets thrown around. Both McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist are fully animated and react to every movement. They sway under cornering, pitch forward under braking and Nicky even grabs hold of the roll cage to steady himself in a collision.

    Damage to Focus too much and your only option may be to retire from the rally, without the all-important championship points. The driving seat beckons at the beginning of the next rally, but points will have to be made up to stand a chance of becoming a champion.

    Crash out and see the new Colin McRae Rally 3 video located at:
    http://www.codemasters.com/colinmcrae3

    DroneZ Info & Feature List
    Steve @ 3:41 PM EDT
    In DroneZ, players lead characters, Sidd or Eva on a mission to free mankind from the deadly V-Space Network, the computer enemy that controls the future. DroneZ dominates the V-Space Network – cyber-insects who forbid people to disconnect. With the help of a “real world” hacker, players must fight to stay alive as they travel from various network memory locations and avoid the DroneZ deadly lasers. A free-aiming weapon scanner, tons of bonus powers, shield generators and secondary equip players for pinpoint attacks. Defeat the DroneZ protections with rapid-fire weapons and players steal victory.

    This 3rd person shooter is based on the popular franchise for the personal computer, which earned high acclaim among hard core gaming enthusiasts worldwide. DroneZ for Xbox™ is anticipated for release Q1 2003

    Features:

  • Mission-based futuristic action shooter
  • Eye-popping cyber-space environments
  • Great Xbox™-specific textures and effects: Realistic real-time lighting and shadows, very smooth camera and animation
  • Free-aiming weapon scanner for pinpoint attacks
  • Tons of bonus powers, shield generators and secondary weapons
  • Developed by Zetha GameZ, DroneZ utilizes its proprietary 3-dimensional technology, which attributes to the game’s eye-popping cyber-space environments, detailed textures and special effects, including real-time lighting, shadows and animation.

    Tuesday, July 2, 2002

    ValuSoft Purchased By THQ
    Steve @ 11:51 AM EDT
    THQ Inc. today announced that it has completed its previously announced purchase of substantially all the assets of ValuSoft, Inc., a leading publisher and distributor of consumer-priced interactive entertainment and productivity software.

    This acquisition will allow THQ to enter a new market segment through ValuSoft’s extensive line of high quality, reasonably priced software targeting the casual computer user. ValuSoft’s catalogue primarily consists of family entertainment, war games and home productivity products. ValuSoft’s expertise in distributing to this market segment will open additional channels of distribution for THQ’s own robust line of mass-market PC products at the $9.99 to $19.99 price range.

    The acquisition is not expected to have an impact on THQ’s 2002 earnings but it is expected to be accretive to its 2003 earnings.