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NewsPro Archive

March 2002

Sunday, March 31, 2002

Check out 5 Brand New Sega GT 2002 Screens!
Eric @ 5:51 PM EST
Heres a little treat for you. 5 new screens of Sega GT 2002 from GameJam. Enjoy! Sega GT is set to release sometime in June.


Sega GT 2002 Screen Gallery 1  

Happy Easter
Steve @ 1:50 PM EST
Everyone from XBox Exclusive would like to wish you a Happy Easter. We hope the Easter Bunny came last night and brought you some nice things. And if you do not celebrate Easter, then we still hope you have a great day. So, take some time off and enjoy the day!

Thursday, March 28, 2002

No XBox Shortages in Europe
Steve @ 3:39 PM EST
LONDON, 28th March 2002 – Microsoft today announced that weekly replenishments are ensuring that strong demand for the Xbox video game system is met, benefiting retail, third-party publishers and gamers.

Microsoft’s replenishment strategy, which enables weekly shipments to retail from the Xbox factory, has ensured that Xbox systems are on sale with no stock shortages. This helps retail by enabling them to meet demand for Xbox, and helps third-party publishers by swiftly ramping up the Xbox installed base.

“We’re more than pleased with the success of Xbox so far,” said Toys R Us Divisional Director of Merchandise, Richard Barry. “Sales have been great, especially considering it’s March and not November. There has been a high software and accessories attach rate, which is also very encouraging. We’re receiving steady supplies of Xbox from Microsoft and expect them to continue to fly off the shelves, especially around the Easter holiday.”

Microsoft’s replenishment strategy means that a steady supply of Xbox systems will be hitting retail on a weekly basis, ensuring there is enough product to cope with current demand. Microsoft expects to ship between 4.5 million and 6 million Xbox systems world-wide by the end of June. Xbox is the only console manufacturer with a European factory (in Sárvár, Hungary), which means stock can reach any retail outlet in Europe in under three days.

“We are very pleased with the success of Xbox in Europe to date,” said Sandy Duncan, Vice President, Xbox Europe. “We’re happy with the strength of Xbox sales, and especially happy with the software and peripheral attach rate which we believe will set a record level for the launch of a console in Europe. When you consider that we didn’t launch before Christmas, the feedback we are getting from retailers is even more encouraging. We’re off to an incredibly strong start in Europe and gamers are obviously liking what they see –feedback from new Xbox owners has been fantastic.”

It’s All About The Games

Word-of-mouth recommendations and stellar reviews are driving gamers to the great games available on Xbox, including “Halo,” which earned a perfect 10 score from the influential European gaming bible Edge. Based on anecdotal evidence from retail, “Halo” is the highest-selling first-party game in the launch portfolio. Third-party games selling well include “Max Payne” from Take-Two Interactive and “Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions” from Activision.

Scott Dodkins, Senior VP, Activision Europe, said: "Sales of our launch titles Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions have exceeded our expectations, and we're looking forward to upcoming releases like Spiderman: The Movie. Microsoft has been an excellent partner for us and we're happy to be part of an exciting launch."

More than 25 Xbox titles are now on sale, with more being lined up in the next weeks such as “Championship Manager: Season 1/2” (Eidos), and “Shrek” (TDK Mediactive). And, a steady stream of titles will support Xbox up to June 2002, including “FIFA World Cup 2002” (Electronic Arts), “Moto GP” (THQ), “Spiderman: The Movie” (Activision), “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Electronic Arts) and “Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex” (Universal Interactive).

Ubi Soft Announces Deathrow for Xbox
Eric @ 3:28 PM EST
Get Ready for Fast-Paced Action and Full-Contact Aggression - A Unique High-Adrenaline Rush is Coming to the Xbox™ This Fall

28 March 2002 - Ubi Soft, one of the world's largest video game developers & publishers, today announced Deathrow, a fast-paced team combat sport designed and developed by Swedish game developer SouthEnd Interactive, exclusively for the Microsoft® Xbox. In Deathrow there are no rules and full-contact aggression is not only legal, it's required! The fastest, toughest players are victorious and the slow and weak are defeated. The game combines the lightning-fast gameplay of third-person action games with the cooperative team play and gritty roughness of rugby, offering a unique combat sport experience.

"Deathrow has the perfect combination of aggressive hand-to-hand combat, third person action and cooperative team play to appeal to action, fighting and sports gamers alike," said Anne Blondel, director of third-party development, Europe, at Ubi Soft Entertainment. "This is an incredibly competitive game that will definitely pump up your heart rate as you experience all of the intensity and action it has to offer."


About Deathrow
The object of Deathrow is for you to win matches by whatever means necessary, either by scoring as many points as possible before time runs out, or by severely injuring your opponents and removing them from the field of combat. As the game begins, two teams of four players square off in a combat arena to compete in an intense, unmediated slugfest to determine the champion. As you engage in fierce hand-to-hand combat with highly intelligent AI opponents seeking retribution for not only themselves, but also for their fallen teammates, you'll soon understand the sacrifices necessary to become the supreme team of the league.

Deathrow has a team management component allowing you to customize your own team according to your style of play. You can build your players' statistics from match to match while gaining speed and power bonuses. Injured players can be healed between rounds if you have enough money, or you must save your winnings to buy them back. With more than 130 unique characters, dozens of holds, and over 800 base animations, Deathrow is graphically immersive and intense.

Deathrow also features:

Multiplayer support for up to 8 players

Highly detailed characters, modeled using more than 55 bones each for life-like movement, and up to 7000 polygons each for a realistic character shape.

Facial animation capable of blinking and talking, and expressing pain, anger, happiness and other moods.

More than 15 combat sports arena locations, each with their own unique architecture and gameplay elements.

13 playable teams, each with their own background, special abilities, and motivation for competing.

Automatic victory if you remove all of your opponent's players from the field of combat.

Xbox effects such as bump-mapping, specular lighting and bumped reflection mapping.

The ability for users to import their own music.

Deathrow is scheduled to ship to retail shelves worldwide in Autumn 2002.

Deathrow Screen Gallery 1  

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Release Date List Completely Re-done
Steve @ 9:51 PM EST
Brian has completely re-done the release list. This summer looks to be a good one for our XBox. World Series Baseball from Sega, Hunter: The Reckoning, Prisoner of War, and Sega GT 2002, are just some of the games that will be worth buying come this summer.

Release List

First XBox Screens: Legends of Wrestling
Steve @ 6:41 PM EST
Here are the first Screens for Legends of Wrestling. They are looking rather impressive.

The game looks to be unchanged, except for the graphics. The visual look of the wrestlers has been given a complete overhaul from the PS2 version. In this version, the characters are definitely made to look like their action figure counterparts, thanks to their shiny bodies. Unlike the PS2 version, their bodies, and features, now look proportional and less exaggerated. -Jeremy


Legends of Wrestling Screen Gallery 1

Crave Launches Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter Web Site
Steve @ 3:42 PM EST
LOS ANGELES--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--March 27, 2002--Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of videogame entertainment, today announced the official Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter Web site, www.huntthemdown.com, dedicated to its game being launched Fall of 2002.

Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter, an original title from Crave, offers a compelling combination of first person action and arcade space combat, as Mace Griffin unravels a deep, and dangerous, mystery.

"This Web site has been specially designed to immerse gamers in the dynamic, futuristic universe in which Mace operates," said Mark Gersh, Product Manager at Crave Entertainment. "The game's backdrop is one of corporate, political and religious intrigue and this site provides an opportunity to explore this new, and very elaborate, universe."

Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter is set hundreds of years in the future, where Mace Griffin, an elite government ranger, becomes a bounty hunter and sets out to discover the truth behind his team's ruin. The game utilizes the proprietary "Tusk" engine which allows two key gameplay innovations: the movement within and between different types of environments, and seamless transitions between first person action and arcade space combat.

Many of the species, weapons, locations, ships and characters from the game will be introduced in the context of the universe through news stories and sub-sites posted on the Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter Web site. The anticipated release for both the Xbox and PC platforms is third quarter 2002. The PC product will be co-published with Electronic Arts.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Xbox Gets Stung! Buzz Buzz Buzz
Eric @ 9:49 PM EST
You are an insect!!!

A genetically modified, highly trained killer bug, with a bad attitude, an arsenal of deadly weapons and an itchy trigger finger!

‘Stung!’ from Prey Digital Studios, is a new action kill ‘em up which offers groundbreaking new gameplay elements, realistic environments and a cast of crazy, creepy crawly characters.

THE STORY

Since the Fifties the military had been using top secret scientific research to explore the possibilities of using insects as weapons of war. Undetectable by radar, able to access high security facilities, carry viruses and even in some cases able to survive a nuclear blast, the potential was enormous. However, as the cold war came to an end and funding became more difficult to come by, the top brass decided to put an end to the project, shutting down the laboratories and transferring the scientists to other more necessary research.

Now, in the present day, a group of genetically enhanced, highly intelligent (well, mostly!) and angry insects have escaped from a long abandoned research station. Heavily armed with an array of tiny yet deadly weapons they have vowed revenge on the human race. On their way out of the laboratory they managed to take with them a vial of the secret formula which turns average, everyday bugs into super effective killing machines, meaning that their insect army will grow and grow…

It is a day or two before a routine security patrol notices that something is amiss and informs the relevant department at the Ministry of Defence. The scientists that had been involved with the project were hastily gathered together to formulate the best way of keeping a lid on the whole affair. Eventually it is decided that the only solution is to fight fire with fire. Another highly trained and enhanced insect will be revived to track down and destroy the rogue bugs!......

THE GAME

Choosing from one of up to six different characters, each with slightly varying abilities and attributes, the player must battle his way through a variety of realistically modeled levels, each based on familiar environments but seen from a completely different perspective. As well as fighting his way through hordes of gun toting enemy bugs and dangerous larger creatures, the player must also avoid other dangers that could seriously damage his health; steam from boiling kettles, inescapable spider webs, extremely sticky flypaper traps and of course the deadly bug spray! Of course, being able to fly does prove to be extremely useful in avoiding these hazards and getting up to hard to reach places, where there may be a hidden weapon or power up just ripe for the taking!

There will be twelve main locations, of which most will be divided into two or three sub-levels. These sub-levels will still be large areas with ‘checkpoints’ which have to be completed correctly to allow the player to continue to the next stage. Initially the player will start with only basic weaponry, but as he progresses through the game more advanced and powerful weapons will become available along with other items such as spare ammunition and first aid packs. Similarly, the enemies that the player encounters as he progresses through the game will become more heavily armed, more intelligent and more heavily armoured, requiring the player to become accustomed to the strengths and weaknesses of the various different weapons that become available to him. The player must also gain familiarity with the flying capabilities of the insects as certain key areas within the levels can only be reached in this way. Playing with an insect that does not have flying capabilities will require the player to interact with his on screen environment in order to gain access to the difficult to reach areas.


Online and LAN gaming will be fully implemented in Stung! allowing for the player to take part in both death-matches and team play. Specific levels will be carefully designed for use in these modes which will contain lots of intriguing places for the player to explore as well as the main battle areas.

The death-match levels will be classic killing action - shoot first, ask questions later, while the team games will be variations on well established gameplay ideas. ‘Capture the Flag’ becomes ‘Capture the Flea’ - with the players competing to score points by successfully maintaining possession of the elusive flea. ‘Protect the Queen’ will require one team to guard the ant nest base while the opposing team must try to gain access allowing them to find, and assassinate the Queen Ant who is hiding deep within the catacombs of the nest.


Prey Digital Studios are a dynamic new team based in the heart of the Norfolk countryside in the UK. All of the team members have several years experience within the games industry and the cutting edge 3D game engine technology has been developed entirely in house..

The self financed early demo of STUNG! which was created some months ago has been very well received and an updated version showing more gameplay features and advancement in technology has just been completed easily showing that Prey Digital Studios are more than a match for even the biggest name developers.


Stung! Screen Gallery 1  

Brain Tracking Technology on Xbox
Eric @ 4:06 PM EST
DARIEN, Conn., March 26, 2002: IBVA Technologies has brought their brain tracking technology to the Microsoft Xbox.

"We've been waiting for this for over a decade," said Drew DeVito, President of IBVA Technologies, Inc. "There is finally a consumer product that has the power to do everything we've always wanted to do with braintracking in the home."

Stephen Hawking said in an interview last year, 'We must develop as quickly as possible technologies that make possible a direct connection between brain and computer, so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than opposing it.'

"I'm not sure if Mr. Hawking knew how close we are to that now in the affordable consumer market," said DeVito, "The Xbox really brings a level of technology into the home that we didn't think could hit the $299 price range in this day and age. But Bill Gates did it, and we are ready to run with it."

"We can bring hard core brain tracking technology to the Xbox." DeVito added, "We've currently got some good braintracking running right now on the Xbox that truly brings a new game experience that most gamers could never have imagined before. For instance if you're racing along in Project Gotham or Rallisport, and your concentration is broken, our system will pick that up and kick in the handbrake to spin your control out of your hands. We can also attach that to the gas pedal, or do both, or do it in reverse! It's wild stuff, and we want to go much further. But we've gone about as far as we can without Microsoft's help. We understand how important the Xbox is as a home technology and want to bring in brain/computer interface technology to the Xbox as soon as possible. This kind of gaming technology is truly in the spirit of the Xbox. I'm asking Mr. Gates to help bring this technology to the masses via Xbox technologies. It's time to bring gaming off the screen and into your head."

Hunter: The Reckoning Officially Coming June 2002
Steve @ 4:03 PM EST
26 March 2002

THE FEAR HUNTER

Discover that unspeakable horrors are all around you and not just on stage at a Pop Idols concert in Interplay's latest action-fest, Hunter: The Reckoning.


Monsters are everywhere disguised as normal people all around you - but only Hunters can see them for the horrors they truly are. This is the premise behind Interplay's new blood-soaked, third-person action-horror title, Hunter: The Reckoning out in June 2002 on Xbox.

Based on the immensely popular pen and paper role-playing game from White Wolf, Hunter: The Reckoning gives fans a chance to live out their zombie-slashing fantasies in a pacemaker-exploding Xbox game.

The plot revolves around the idea that monsters are all around us, all the time, but the public are unaware of their existence. Werewolf attacks are explained away as rogue bears in parks and a vampire's next feed is merely a statistic on the missing persons list.

There are certain members from all aspects of society who are blessed (or cursed) to see through the deception and these few are the ones with the responsibility of keeping the rest of humanity safe. They are the Hunters.

Gamers can choose from four characters, each representing a different creed or type of Hunter. Each has unique moves, magic abilities and weapons. With the differences comes a need to fight the undead masses tactically, using the strengths of the chosen Hunter.

Better still, four players can fight side-by-side simultaneously through 23 different environments, including a derelict prison, a graveyard and a gothic church. It won't be an easy ride, however, with up to 30 monsters on screen at any one time.

Sharpen your axe and oil your shotgun. There'll be a lot of undead nasties to wade through when Hunter: The Reckoning is published by Interplay and distributed by Virgin Interactive this June.

Features


  • Single or multiplayer madness. Up to four Hunters battle evil simultaneously.

  • Non-stop action through 23 heart-stopping environments, including a cemetery, gothic church, train station and prison.

  • Unload both barrels on 20 types of monsters from zombies to werewolves to vampires, including 7 boss characters.

  • Deal out the damage with over 20 melee, ranged and spell weapons including axes, shotguns, swords and flamethrowers.

  • Secret unlockable characters and character variants for gamers to discover.

  • Characters skills and stats improve throughout the game to make them even more deadly.

  • Take apart your enemies piece-by-piece by dismembering heads, arms and legs.

    Screens Updated
    Steve @ 5:38 AM EST
    In case any of you were wondering, I just completely updated our Screens page to this day. We currently have screens for over 80 XBox games. Some of our newest screen shots include Mech Assault, Jedi Starfighter, and Sega GT 2002. So be sure to check out what your missing.

    All Screens Here

    5 New Shots of Hunter in Action
    Eric @ 12:11 AM EST
    Here are 5 brand new shots of Hunter: The Reckoning. The game is now set to be released in June 2002. Enjoy the new screens!

    Hunter: The Reckoning Gallery 1  

    Monday, March 25, 2002

    Even More Sega Games on XBox
    Steve @ 9:12 PM EST
    On Sega's Japanese website, they made an announcement that they are going to be making XBox games that were on previous Sega systems. The games have yet to be announced, but we will let you know what games are coming from Genesis, Saturn, or Dreamcast as soon as we get the word.

    Here is the announcment translated from Japanese. Some of the words wording my not make complete sense, but you can get a general idea on what it says.


    For Xbox it agrees to the cooperation development of the software

    March 25th of 2002
    Corporation cool net entertainment
    Corporation Sega

    Corporation cool net entertainment (head office: The Tokyo Ota Ku, Representative President: Kamata complex male) with corporation Sega (head office: The Tokyo Ota Ku, Representative President: Hideki Sato), the dream cast which is sold so far, the Sega Saturn, it sorted the title which presently is proud of deep-rooted popularity from midst of the game software of Mega drive, anew new Al Lee it agreed to developing the version which is done jointly for Xbox as a software.

    As the dream cast, the Sega Saturn and Mega drive etc. from midst of the game software of the Sega brand which is sold so far, it confers marketability and the desire etc. of everyone of the user in regard to consideration and between both corporation concerning the title which it develops, selects, the specification only of Xbox in regard to addition, being joint, also it develops. We plan the sale of plural titles after the summer of 2002, in regard to these software we advertise, sale means with that Sega does.

    As soon as future to be decided formally, concrete title name, to in addition in regard again you announce.


    Like I said, some of it doesn't make complete sense, but that's it.

    Friday, March 22, 2002

    Totaled! Full Game Details
    Jeremy @ 10:25 PM EST
    Title: Totaled!
    Publisher: Majesco, Inc
    Developer: Rage Software
    Platforms: Xbox(tm)
    Release: June 2002

    Game Summary:
    Totaled! is the adrenaline-fueled, classic-car, smash-em-up that your driver's ed teacher warned you about. Climb into a Hot Rod, Muscle or Performance Car and rip it apart at the expense of your opponents. No engine tweaking, tire balancing or pit stops, just glass-smashing, metal-mangling fun.

    Features:
    * Extensive, realistic damage and wreckage system;
    ---- Both the outer shell of the car (hood, fenders, doors) and the chassis underneath can sustain damage;
    * 12 hotrods, muscle and performance cars, each with their own driving styles & attributes;
    ---- Exceptionally detailed at over 10,000 polys each;
    ---- Nitro boost for that little extra kick;
    * Totaled! runs at 60 fps, providing flawless, highly detailed action and environments;
    * Multi-player: destroy your pals with up to 4-player split-screen competition;
    * Scoring based on the deranged audience's "Crowd Pleasure" meter;
    * Game Modes: Career, Arcade, Multi-player and Team games;
    * 18 customizable game types & challenges. Among them;
    ---- Free for All - standard deathmatch style of game;
    ---- Hunter - score from hitting a changing designated target (you or other vehicles);
    ---- Stuntman - points are scored for pulling off stunts, jumps, spins and destroying breakable objects;
    ---- Eliminator - a race where the last player to pass through successive checkpoints is eliminated;
    ---- Offensive Driving - take out an opponent in a given time period;
    ---- Defensive Driving - a two-on-one challenge where the objective is to stay alive;
    ---- Multi-tag - hit every other vehicle in the arena within a given time frame;
    ---- Bus Jumping - go for as many as you can!
    * Target Jumping - dodge traffic, hit the ramp and nail the target;
    * Exciting replay/highlights system;
    * 8 indoor and outdoor tracks and arenas with unlockable extras, plus 4 areas for Challenges.

    Official Morrowind Trailer Released Today
    Steve @ 6:38 PM EST
    Today, Bethesda released the official trailer for Morrowind. The video is available in WMV and Quicktime. You can also Pre-Order Morrowind on their website for $49.99.

    Morrowind Official Site


    More Info on MechAssault and First Screens!
    Eric @ 5:04 PM EST
    Pilot the most powerful weapons available in the 31st century, a 40-foot tall walking tank known as a BattleMech. MechAssault is a 3rd-person action/shooter, where environments are not only fully destructible, they’re your weapons. Choose from a dozen ’Mechs ranging from quick 30- tonners to huge 100-ton beasts. Configure your ’Mech and optimize it to crush your opponents. Challenge yourself with 20 single-player missions and get prepared for the ultimate multiplayer online experience.


    Features:
    Massive Destruction on a whole new level - Every structure, bridge, tower, or bus is fully destructible. Blow away everything in the world bit by bit. Blast the side of a building to expose rebar, hanging insulation, and even enemy snipers. Use the environment against your foes. Running low on ammo? Just drop that 20-story building on the infantry and save the firepower for the big guys.

    Pilot one of a dozen devastating walking tanks - Gamers control the most awesome piece of military machinery ever created. Choose from a dozen unique and formidable BattleMechs each with enough firepower to level a city-literally!

    Online and Split-screen multiplay - Battle your friends or enemies over the internet! Taunt your competition or strategize with your teammate with full voice communication. MechAssault will ship with complete Xbox online capability and split screen multiplay.

    Upgrade your ’Mech mid-mission - Pre-mission BattleMech configuration and weapon upgrades within a mission allows players to customize the ’Mech chassis to suit style or mood. Swap out weapons, outfit your ’Mech with Jump Jets, or maximize your armor-the choice is yours.

    Amazing special effects - Intense, jaw-dropping weapon and damage effects all but demand that the player fire a weapon just to see the effect on the environment. Lasers light up the sky, Particle Projection Cannons electrocute opponents, and magnetically accelerated slugs from the Gauss Rifle are a sight to behold.

    Dynamic mission-based gameplay - Gamers will be given their military objectives by operatives on the ground and must figure out the best way to accomplish them. The fun starts once you hit the ground running as unexpected events turn routine missions into chaotic all-out frag fests.

    Epic BattleTech storyline - Engaging heroic characters and stories draw upon the rich 15 year BattleTech history. Play as a member of the fierce WolfDragoon mercenaries and lay the smack down on some poor unsuspecting pirates.

    Cinematic storytelling - A mission-based storyline punctuated with cinematic scenes provide key information and clues, as well as heighten the drama and importance of the events.


    Awesome audio - Extensive voice messaging and themed interactive music changes to reflect and drive the pace of the current in-game situation; and audio that reflects the current and constantly changing state of the world are all featured. The experience is heightened using Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.



    MechAssault Gallery 1  

    MS Announces Mech Game for Xbox!
    Eric @ 2:30 PM EST
    REDMOND, Wash. — March 21, 2002 — Microsoft® Game Studios today announced that “MechAssault,” a sci-fi action/shooter game based on the highly successful “BattleTech” franchise, will be available exclusively for the Xbox™ video game system.

    “MechAssault,” a futuristic sci-fi third-person shooter game, will allow gamers to command a huge walking tank known as a BattleMech. Players will battle foes and take out enemy structures while manoeuvring a huge BattleMech, or ’Mech, through a variety of environments. A dozen powerful BattleMechs are available in “MechAssault,” each with massive firepower. “MechAssault” features complete destruction on a level never seen before – everything in the world can be destroyed bit by bit. Gamers can play a variety of missions with multiple objectives that require tactics and skill. “MechAssault” on Xbox also will include online features.

    “We are going to blow action gamers’ minds when they unleash the massive firepower and military strength of ‘MechAssault,’” said Pete Parsons, director of marketing for Microsoft Game Studios.

    “MechAssault” is being developed by Day 1 Studios.

    First pics and movie coming later today right here at XboxExclusive.com

    Right Hemisphere Makes it Easier to Develop XBox Games
    Steve @ 3:09 AM EST
    SAN JOSE, Calif., Game Developer Conference, March 21 /PRNewswire/ --
    Right Hemisphere, the world leader in 3D translation, texturing and publishing technology announced today that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has selected Right Hemisphere to develop a key game production tool for inclusion in the Xbox Development Kit - Deep Exploration Xbox Edition.

    Right Hemisphere's Deep Exploration technology will allow game developers to quickly and easily take advantage of the advanced Xbox graphic capabilities by providing them the ability to instantly preview advanced 3D graphics from any of the popular 3D modeling packages, and translate between any of these packages at whim. In addition, Deep Exploration Xbox Edition is the ideal interface for fine-tuning aspects of Xbox specific art.

    "Deep Exploration Xbox Edition will help give more power to the Xbox artist," said Drew Angeloff, Xbox Tools and Middleware Program Manager. "Microsoft selected Right Hemisphere because of the unique translation solution, flexibility and openness of their technology and because of their strong reputation in the game development community."

    "We are very excited about this opportunity to create a win-win-win for Microsoft, game developers and game players, said Michael Lynch, CEO of Right Hemisphere. With Deep Exploration Xbox Edition there will be more games with better effects available on the Xbox. Game developers will have to spend less time and money, and game players will get a better experience on the Xbox than any other platform."

    Deep Exploration Xbox Edition will be available Q3 2002 from Microsoft as part of the Xbox Development Kit.

    Thursday, March 21, 2002

    XBox Controller S: The Entire Details
    Steve @ 3:29 PM EST
    Xbox Controller S is Microsoft’s answer to gamers that wanted more choice, and a controller that better suited their style of play. Smaller than the standard Xbox controller and featuring a new button layout, Xbox Controller S allows gamers to choose the controller most comfortable to them.

    The following are differences between Xbox Controller S (available at retail) and Xbox Controller (available at retail, and packaged inside all Xbox Video Game Systems).

  • Size/Comfort — Xbox Controller S is smaller. This design enables gamers with smaller hands a proper fit and is more comfortable for them during extended periods of play.

  • Primary Button Placement — With Xbox Controller S, the new button placement is a more traditional cross layout. The four primary buttons are easier to reach, which is an important feature in certain games where quick button combination selection is necessary.

  • Ease of Reach for Secondary Buttons — The black and white buttons are located below the primary buttons instead of at the top of the controller.

  • Revised D-pad Surface — For improved directional movement, the surface of the D-pad has been modified into a cross pattern.

  • Start/Back Buttons— These buttons are now located below the left thumbstick.

  • Thumbstick Surfaces — The surfaces on the thumbsticks have been changed slightly, and an increase in surface area allows more thumb room.


    Xbox Controller S is slightly different from the Japanese controller in the following ways:

  • Cable Length — The length of the controller cable has increased from 2.5 meters to 3 meters.

  • Updated Button Appearance — To more closely resemble Xbox Controller, the look of the primary buttons has been updated.

  • Revised D-pad Surface— Minor improvements in the D-pad surface make it more comfortable for extended play.

  • Revised Start/Back Button Height — To reduce inadvertent actuation of the buttons, the height of the start/back buttons has been lowered by a few millimeters.

  • Stronger Springs in the Triggers — For better tactile feedback and a more intense gameplay experience, the springs in the triggers have been reinforced.

  • Jewel Color—The green jewel has been replaced with a black Xbox jewel.

    Zona Joins Up With Microsoft
    Steve @ 3:10 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Zona, Inc., the Massive
    Multi-Player Online Game (MMOG) server and network solution provider, today is announcing that the company has joined the Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox(TM) Tools & Middleware Program for MMOG middleware development. The Xbox Tools& Middleware License gives Zona, Inc. the right to develop an Xbox version of Terazona(TM), the highly scalable, secure, fault-tolerant, total server and network solution for Xbox online games. Terazona(TM) is capable of supporting tens of thousands of users on a server and drastically lessens the time-to-market for online game developers.

    "Xbox is the only console that can bring online Massively multiplayer gaming to the living room," states Montgomery Singman, CEO of Zona, Inc. "Currently, there are more publishers creating online games for Xbox than employees that originally engineered the console itself."

    "Xbox is the only console with a built in hard drive and broadband
    capabilities making it the only serious console for online developers," said Drew Angeloff, Xbox Tools Program Manager. "Terazona will give Xbox developers a technically sound head start when developing massively multiplayer online games."

    Using the Zona, Inc. MMOG server and network solution Terazona(TM), video game developers will be able to focus on enhancing the game play experience and no longer be forced to spend time and money on network, server, infrastructure, and operational issues. Within one online game, Terazona, with its advanced distributed network architecture, can support 32,000 users vs. a maximum of 4,500 users on competing systems. Zona's Application Framework provides a thin-client solution that has a high emphasis on scalability, fault-tolerance, network security, cost-efficiency, short time-to-market, and high quality of services required by most MMOG applications.

    First Screens of Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter for Xbox
    Eric @ 12:53 AM EST
    Here are the first screens of Star Wars Jedi Starfighter on Xbox. Keep a eye out for this one in May.


    Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter Gallery 1  

    Wednesday, March 20, 2002

    European XBox Launch a Success
    Steve @ 1:26 PM EST
    LONDON, 20th March 2002 – The dust has cleared from the European launch of Xbox, the future-generation video game system from Microsoft, and preliminary reports indicate it’s a runaway hit.

    Thousands of gamers queued up at stores in the 16 European launch countries on the evening of 13th March to be among the first to purchase Xbox, resulting in a near sell-out in its first day at retail. Early reports also show a huge demand for games and accessories, with most customers leaving stores not only with an Xbox, but with multiple games and accessories. Top-selling games include “Halo™,” “Project Gotham Racing™,” “RalliSport Challenge” and “Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee™” from Microsoft® Game Studios, and “Dead or Alive 3” from Tecmo, “Max Payne” from Take-Two Interactive, Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions from Activision, and “Jet Set Radio Future” from Sega/Infogrames.

    “We have been pleased with Xbox sales over its first weekend,” said Lisa Morgan, Commercial Director for GAME and Electronics Boutique. “Hardware sales were particularly impressive on launch day and we’ve seen a good attachment rate covering both 1st and 3rd-party games. The strong line-up of day-one games has undoubtedly contributed to a successful console launch for Microsoft.”

    Microsoft’s replenishment strategy means that a steady supply of Xbox systems will be hitting retail on a weekly basis, ensuring there is enough product to cope with current demand. Microsoft expects to ship between 4.5 million and 6 million Xbox systems world-wide by the end of June. Xbox is the only console manufacturer with a European factory (in Sárvár, Hungary), which means stock can reach any retail outlet in Europe in under three days.

    “I’m excited to finally see Xbox in the hands of gamers,” said Sandy Duncan, Vice President, Xbox Europe. “I’ve always known that Xbox is the best video game system ever, but after playing games with people at launch I see that gamers also recognise the amazing power and intense fun that only Xbox can offer. European gamers have welcomed Xbox into their hearts and into their homes in a big way.”

    Word-of-mouth recommendations and stellar reviews are driving gamers to the great games available on Xbox, including “Halo,” which earned a perfect 10 score from the influential European gaming bible Edge.

    Twenty Xbox titles are now on sale, with more lined up in the next two weeks such as F1 2002 (Electronic Arts), Genma Onimusha (Capcom), Championship Manager: Season 01/02 (Eidos), and Shrek (TDK Mediactive). And, a steady stream of titles will support Xbox up to June 2002, including FIFA World Cup 2002 (Electronic Arts), International Superstar Soccer 2 (Konami), Moto GP (THQ), Spiderman: The Movie (Activision), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Electronic Arts) and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (Universal Interactive).

    "We had a very good weekend with Xbox," said Bruno Bonnell, Founder and CEO, Infogrames. "We have had to produce more copies of Jet Set Radio Future, one of our Xbox launch titles, to keep up with demand. Trans World Surf is also doing well for us. This is a very good sign for the long-term success of Xbox, and we look forward to a long partnership."

    The buzz surrounding the launch of Xbox manifested itself in many ways. A survey of new Xbox owners by Amazon.co.uk suggested that 74% were planning to take a day off work to stay home and play games – nearly half (46%) were going to feign illness as an excuse. Celebrities are not immune to the charm of Xbox either – it even contributed to Britney Spears' recent split from Justin Timberlake due to his apparent preference for Xbox. And anecdotal reports show that Xbox has entered our vocabularies – sorry Harry Potter, but “wizard” is out…if something’s cool, then it’s “totally Xbox”!

    First Screens of Crimson Skies on Xbox
    Eric @ 1:45 AM EST
    Here are the very first screens of Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge for Xbox. This is one of the most impressive looking Xbox games to date and really shows off the true power of the system. Now everyone keep your fingers crossed for online play for this baby!

    Crimson Skies High Road to Revenge Gallery 1  

    Tuesday, March 19, 2002

    Gunvalkyrie Now In Stores
    Steve @ 11:59 PM EST
    SEGA® of America today announced the launch of "GUNVALKYRIE™," a science-fiction-fueled action title available exclusively for the Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft®. Developed by SEGA’s legendary Smilebit studios, the developers behind the hit "JSRF – Jet Set Radio Future™," "GUNVALKYRIE" delivers a rich anime-inspired storyline, jaw-dropping graphics and innovative 360-degree third person action.

    Set in a futuristic past overrun by nightmarish technological advances and hordes of giant mutant insects, "GUNVALKYRIE" takes gamers through epic outdoor environments and deep into labyrinthine caverns on their quest to save the world from the effects of unchecked technological progress.

    Armed with a jet pack and upgradeable weapons and armor, "GUNVALKYRIE" gives gamers the ability to move freely through massive interactive environments by mastering breathtaking aerial maneuvers. Featuring heart-pounding 360-degree combat sequences where enemies attack from all directions, "GUNVALKYRIE" is an intense exercise in speed, strategy and survival.

    "‘GUNVALKYRIE’ delivers some of the most intense, innovative action available on any console, bar none," said Mike Fischer, vice president of entertainment marketing, SEGA of America. "A blend of old school action and next-generation sophistication, ‘GUNVALKYRIE’ takes full advantage of Xbox, elevating third person action to dizzying new heights."

    The "GUNVALKYRIE" story follows a brilliant scientist named Dr. Hebble as he discovers a string of incredible technological breakthroughs after harnessing mysterious energy emitted from Halley’s Comet. When these advances accelerate beyond his control and the mysterious doctor goes missing, the results threaten to destroy mankind. In response, GUNVALKYRIE, an organization formed to police the misuse of technology, sets off to retrieve Dr. Hebble and return order to the free world – by force.

    New Details On Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX 2
    Steve @ 4:00 PM EST
    Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX™ 2 allows players to travel with Mat Hoffman, Mike Escamilla, Chad Kagy, Cory Nastazio, Joe Kowalski, Rick Thorne, Kevin Robinson, and Simon Tabron to eight cities across America. Players can perform thousands of tricks as they experience multiple modes of play: Road Trip, Wreak Havoc, HORSE and many multi-player split screen modes. Players can also build their own BMX, course using the next generation Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX 2 course editor.

    GAME FEATURES:

  • Ride Like the King of BMX – Players can ride with the skills of the undisputed king of BMX – Mat Hoffman (10-time world vert champion), or ten other top pros including Mike Escamilla, Joe Kowalski, Chad Kagy, Cory Nastazio, Kevin Robinson, Simon Tabron, Ruben Alcantara, Seth Kimbrough, Nathan Wessel and Rick Thorne.

  • Trick Morpher and Flatland Tricks – Manuals, wall rides, tire-taps, grinds, and air tricks can be “morphed” to create new tricks on the fly. Mat Hoffman’s Pro BMX is the only BMX game to offer flatland tricks like the backpacker, whiplash, and hitchhiker.

  • Custom Courses and Photo Scrapbook – Players can use the next-generation BMX Course Editor to create their own dream BMX courses with millions of different variations of ramps, rails, fun boxes and other obstacles. Players can now take control of the camera and snap photos of their best tricks and courses to keep in their own scrapbook.

  • Multiple Modes of Play – Modes of play include Road Trip, Free Ride, Wreak Havoc, HORSE, including two player split screen featuring exclusive O2 “PUSH” technology, and several multi-player split screen modes.

  • Road Trip Across America – Players can explore eight enormous free-roaming cities that come to life with helicopters, boats, cars, and pedestrians. Full motion video and a nonlinear game progression with multiple tiers of objectives further enhance the road trip experience.

    Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter Coming In May
    Steve @ 3:43 PM EST
    SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 19, 2002--Star Wars(R) Jedi Starfighter(TM) for Xbox(TM) to Release in May Coincident with Premiere of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones

    LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC will unleash the power of the Force on the Xbox video game system this May with the release of Star Wars Jedi Starfighter. The game, which launched to critical acclaim last week on PlayStation 2, will give Xbox gamers a chance to experience the exhilaration of piloting the Jedi starfighter from the upcoming film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. The Republic's new prototype Jedi starfighter possesses advanced capabilities no pilot, craft or weapon has previously had -- Force lightning, Force shield, Force reflex and Force shock wave.

    Star Wars Jedi Starfighter for Xbox presents more than 20 breathtaking one and two-player cooperative story-based missions set amidst a variety of new and beautifully rendered worlds and environments from Attack of the Clones. In addition to the ultra-fast, ultra sleek Jedi starfighter, players can battle in three other original heavily armed and highly maneuverable craft, the Havoc, Zoomer and Freefall. Missions take place over land and in space, with players skirmishing against more than 40 starships and capital-class vessels -- including some notable enemy craft from the Star Wars: Episode II film.

    Microsoft Announces Crimson Skies; Coming This Fall
    Steve @ 2:38 PM EST
    REDMOND, WA — March 19, 2002 — Hop into the cockpit of a high-flying, fully loaded aerial hotrod in Crimson Skies™: High Road to Revenge, the newest game under exclusive development for the Xbox™ video game system.

    Microsoft® Game Studios today announced that its critically acclaimed action-adventure franchise, Crimson Skies, is coming exclusively to Xbox this fall. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge combines the thrills of low-to-the-ground air combat with the swashbuckling style of an action-adventure movie. Players pilot powerful fantasy aircraft in a game reminiscent of a classic Hollywood tale, as they battle enemy aces and navigate tricky stunts in single- and multiplayer modes. As the handsome and daring air pirate Nathan Zachary, players barnstorm through 1930s America hunting down the murderers of Nathan's best friend.

    Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge includes the following key features:

  • Environments that serve as weapons. Use the natural environment and man-made structures to great advantage. Trigger landslides, collapse water towers and bridges, or fly through "danger zones" to destroy or avoid fast-approaching enemies.

  • Fully loaded aerial hotrods. Pilot one of 10 warplanes armed to the teeth with napalm missiles, magnetic grapples and sandstorm cannons. Swoop and dive to elude bogeys just itching to take down the good guys.

  • Multiplayer madness. Dogfight enemy aircraft in four-person splitscreen multiplayer mode. Fly solo or with a squadron against human and artificial intelligence opponents.

  • Secrets in the skies. Swoop high and low in a search for stunt zones, which uncover bonus weapons and more.

  • Flight school not required. Command the air with ease in the true spirit of combat flying. Focus on the art of dogfighting, not the science of flying.

    James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire Coming Next Week
    Steve @ 2:33 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 19, 2002--The world of James Bond is brought alive on the next generation console systems with the release of James Bond 007 in...Agent Under Fire(TM) for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) and the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft in North America. In partnership with MGM Interactive for the highly coveted 007-license, Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) is publishing the games under the EA GAMES(TM) brand. The games follow the top selling(a) PlayStation(R) 2 version released last fall. The Xbox version will be available on March 26.

    Similar to the PlayStation 2 version, gamers of the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube systems will engage in a first-ever 007 experience on the respective platforms. The game delivers a unique and complete Bond adventure that immerses the player in the exciting world of secret agent 007 through 12 mission-based levels -- comprised of first-person action, covert stealth and fast driving -- spread out over 10 exotic worldwide locations.

    The action levels will give players the option of blasting their way through each area using high tech weaponry, quietly relying on spy-craft tricks and state-of-the-art gadgets as well as nerve tingling stealth to accomplish mission objectives or a combination of all three.

    The driving levels, developed by the team behind EA's award-winning Need For Speed(TM) series, will feature an array of 007 exotic cars and other vehicles inspired by the Bond movies, including the BMW Z8(TM), Aston Martin DB5(TM), as well as a MGF-34 combat tank. True to the Bond universe, the vehicles are filled with Q-lab weapons and gadgets including rockets, guided missiles, machine guns, oil slicks, smoke screens and more.

    Helping to enrich the game experience, both versions feature new enhancements including a more robust multiplayer mode -- specifically, the addition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) bots -- that is set in 12 unique arenas and five varying modes. In addition, players can select between three difficulty modes -- Operative, 007 and 007 Agent -- in between each level if they chose to do so.

    Agent Under Fire for the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox consoles was produced by Electronic Arts in Redwood City, CA and Electronic Arts Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia. More information can be found on the official EA product web site www.007.ea.com. Both versions carry an ESRB rating of "T" (Teen) and MSRP of US$49.99.

    Midtown Madness 3 Announced for Xbox
    Eric @ 1:10 AM EST
    Swedish game developer, Digital Illusions (DICE) is currently working on bringing out the latest version of Microsoft's best selling Midtown Madness for the Xbox video game system. The original contract was announced in 2001, without disclosing the actual title.


    "Midtown Madness 3 and the Xbox build upon the legacy of the Midtown Madness franchise by leveraging the powerful graphical and audio capabilities of the Xbox, explained Pete Parsons, director of marketing for Microsoft Game Studios. In developing Midtown Madness 3, Digital Illusions has allowed gamers to experience the rush and thrill of unrestrained racing through highly detailed and fully interactive urban environments."


    "Midtown Madness is a prestigous project, and Microsoft shows great trust in Digital Illusions by contracting us for the development of maybe the worlds best known racing game. The previous games has sold very well and we expect this to do equally good. Through our successful partnerships Digital Illusions has now positioned itself as one of the leading developers, said Patrick Soderlund, CEO Digital Illusions."

    Midtown Madness 3 is set for a fall release, we will have more info on this title in the near future.

    First News & Info on Xbox Keyboard and GameShark
    Eric @ 1:02 AM EST
    For all the people who cried about playing a FPS with a 2 joystick controller that makes playing FPS on Xbox simple and fun (gasp), it looks like your crys have been answered thanks to Interact. They are planning to release a keyboard labeled "The SharkBoard" for Xbox this July that will work with any Xbox game that supports the keyboard feature (which means none of the current ones will, but many of the big games coming out such as Unreal Championship should). Interact has also revealed that they will release a version of GameShark for Xbox. In any case, this should make a lot of people happy and provide more gaming options for gamers and developers alike. There's been no news on a mouse for Xbox as of yet, but with a keyboard already in the works there is a 98% chance a mouse of some sort is planned too. Here is the first pic of the "SharkBoard" and a features list.



    Product Description:

    Whether you‘re playing a game with keyboard support or entering all the latest codes into your GameShark, we have the answer. Just plug this keyboard into your XBox and you‘re ready to go.


    Key Features:

    * Update Your GameShark Code List With Ease.

    * Compatible With All XBox Games That Offer Keyboard Support.

    * GameShark.com Hot Keys Take You Directly To The Source For GameShark Codes And More!

    New Sega GT 2002 Screens
    Eric @ 12:36 AM EST
    Here are a few new screens of the highly anticipated GT racer from Sega. The game is set to see release in June 2002 and will make full use of the Xbox hard drive. A online version will be released, and an add-on disc with more tracks and cars. This should help extend the replay of this game. It is also expected that you will be able to download tracks and cars for free once you install the add-on, or if you have the online version. This summer it looks like Sega will give all the Xbox fans there own GT racer, will it be a GT3 killer? Just going to have to wait and see, but if anyone can do it Sega can!

    Sega GT 2002 Gallery 1  

    Monday, March 18, 2002

    Midway Releases All-New NFL Blitz 20-02 for Xbox
    Steve @ 4:25 PM EST
    CHICAGO--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--March 18, 2002--Next-Generation Adrenaline-Style Football Game has Evolved to Deliver Over-the-Top Football Action and All-New Features.

    Midway Sports(TM), the sports brand of leading software industry publisher and developer Midway Games Inc., announced today that NFL(R) Blitz(R) 20-02 will ship tomorrow for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube(TM). The only dedicated extreme-style football videogame for next-generation systems, NFL Blitz 20-02 showcases exclusive 8-on-8 action and over-the-top, adrenaline-style gameplay and real NFL attributes. NFL Blitz 20-02 is currently available for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and Game Boy(R) Advance.

    Officially licensed by the NFL and PLAYERS INC and featuring real NFL teams, players and stadiums, NFL Blitz 20-02 has evolved to bring fast-paced action, visually stunning graphics and NFL strategy to the next-generation of game systems. NFL Blitz 20-02 has been totally reinvented, delivering more than just an arcade or simulation football game, but a mix of extreme-style action and authentic NFL realism.

    "NFL Blitz 20-02 will bring an in-your-face realistic football frenzy with outrageous plays, hits and action to Xbox and Nintendo GameCube," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway. "The all-new NFL Blitz 20-02 will rival any football highlight reel."

    New, next-generation features have been added to NFL Blitz 20-02, bringing tremendous depth and intense excitement to the series. To keep the opposition on its toes, gamers can use the new "Impact Player" feature to edit the route or assignment of a featured NFL player for any offensive or defensive play they call. By dominating either side of the ball -- moving the chains or blowing through the line to sack the QB -- gamers can watch their team catch "on fire" and perform even more outrageous moves and over-the-top animations, including motion-captured moves from professional stuntmen.

    To add even more authentic attributes to the ferocious gameplay of NFL Blitz 20-02, Midway signed an exclusive deal with Oakland Raiders defensive back and perennial Pro Bowler, Charles Woodson, to appear on the package cover and in advertising materials. Woodson also participated in a motion capture session, where he performed his signature moves.

    NFL Blitz 20-02 Xbox and Nintendo GameCube Key Features

  • Extreme Football -- The best extreme-style gameplay available on any console
  • Player Format -- New 8-on-8 format adds more players to the NFL Blitz mix
  • Impact Player -- This revolutionary play-calling system allows the player to "on-the-fly" alter the route or assignment of the impact player within any play in the team's playbook
  • Outrageous Animations -- More than 1,500 animations, including the motion-captured moves of professional stuntmen
  • Multiple Player Models -- Player models that feature different body styles based on player positions
  • Spectacular NFL Stadiums -- All of your favorite NFL stadiums in all of their next-generation, high poly-count splendor
  • Real NFL -- "Officially licensed" means that gamers can play all of their favorite NFL teams and, of course, all their favorite players, too, each with real body styles, abilities and attributes

    Midway Games Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment software. Midway videogames are available for play on all major videogame platforms including the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy(R) Advance.

    For more information about NFL Blitz 20-02 and Midway Games visit www.midway.com.

    Friday, March 15, 2002

    Crazy Taxi 3 High Roller First Screens
    Steve @ 1:35 PM EST
    Here is some little baby screen shots of the game, but it's better then nothing. Let's go make some Craaaazy money!

    Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller Gallery 1  

    State of Emergency Coming to XBox
    Steve @ 1:15 PM EST
    In a recent press release from Take-Two, they announced that they had an increase in sales.

    "Net sales for the quarter were $283 million, a 79% increase over net sales of $158 million for the same period a year ago.

    The press release goes on and has a section for "Future Published Products," and here's what is says.


    Future Published Products

    "Fall/Winter product releases are expected to include new titles for the Company's Grand Theft Auto and Midnight Club brands, State of Emergency for the Xbox, Stronghold Crusader and Hidden & Dangerous 2 for the PC, several additional releases for the PlayStation(R)2 Greatest Hits program, Grand Theft Auto 3 for the Game Boy Advance, as well as the launch of MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch on a variety of platforms."

    Thursday, March 14, 2002

    Cel-Shaded FPS Based on UT2 Engine Coming to Xbox
    Eric @ 2:47 PM EST
    March 13, 2002 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment today announced the development of XIII, a unique first-person shooter (FPS) game that creates a completely interactive graphic novel within a cel-shaded world. XIII is based on the comic license of the same name from Belgium comic book author, Jean Van Hamme, and the game will be powered with next-generation Unreal® II© technology. XIII will appear across PlayStation® 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and PC CD-ROM and is targeted for a Q1 2003 release.

    "We are constantly striving to push the gaming envelope, and XIII will create a world so unique and enthralling that gamers will become instantly engaged, said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubi Soft North America. "From the revolutionary first-person cel-shade animation, Unreal II technology and unique storyline, XIII reaches the limits of interactive gameplay never experienced before."

    XIII is the first FPS to utilize cel-shaded graphics to create a visually stunning effect unique within the action genre. The next-generation animation and Unreal II gameplay technology combine to illustrate XIII's complex and immersive story. XIII features a conspiracy of epic proportions, and players will unravel clues behind the story's compelling and mysterious events through the game's unique flashback visuals.

    Ubi Soft, the world's second largest publisher, has a dedicated internal development team in Paris, France to ensure XIII's gameplay is innovative and offers a finely balanced combination of action and stealth, while showing players as-yet unheard of levels of interactivity and freedom. The Unreal II technology will enable development to ensure that textures are exceptionally smooth, enemy artificial intelligence is at the pinnacle of technological game design, as well as being perfectly fluid animated, even at high frame rates. Multiplayer gameplay features a host of new modes, with 4-player split screen on all console formats, and online play on both PC and Xbox.

    Xbox Launches in Europe & Australia
    Eric @ 2:44 PM EST
    LONDON -- March 14, 2002 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced that the future-generation Xbox video game system has landed in Europe and Australia. With Xbox already on store shelves in the United States, Canada and Japan, it's time for the Xbox generation in Europe and Australia to get a taste of the superior graphics and amazing games that Xbox has to offer.

    With the best graphics, sound and game experiences, Xbox is the most powerful video game system available. It has been launched with much fanfare and excitement in every market.

    "We have enjoyed successful launches in North America and Japan, and we're excited to bring the future of video games to Europe and Australia," said Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer (CXO) at Microsoft. "It's all about the games, and the power of Xbox means that games are more realistic, bigger, more innovative and closer to the original vision of the developer."

    Xbox is on sale for an estimated price of $649 (Australian), including GST, in more than 700 Australian stores, and €479/£299 (actual retail prices may vary) at thousands of retail outlets in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    After going on sale in North America in November, Xbox and many Xbox games already have garnered some of the most prestigious awards in the video game industry. These award-winning games, as well as new European-centric titles, are available at launch throughout Europe and Australia.

    "There is already tremendous buzz and anticipation for our launch titles in Europe," said Sandy Duncan, vice president of the Xbox Division at Microsoft Europe. "Gamers can't wait to get their hands on such blockbuster Xbox games as 'Halo (TM) ,' 'Dead or Alive 3' and 'RalliSport Challenge,' a fantastic racing game developed specifically for the European market."

    The launch day lineup includes U.S. best-sellers "Halo (TM) ," "Project Gotham Racing (TM) " and "Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee" (from Microsoft® Game Studios) as well as third-party titles such as "Dead or Alive 3" (Tecmo), "Jet Set Radio Future" (Sega) and "Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (TM) " (Activision), all of which are exclusive to the Xbox platform.

    A total of 20 games are available today, and a total of 60 titles are scheduled to be available by the end of June. Many more are in development from some of the world's best game publishers and developers, including Electronic Arts, Infogrames, Sega, Codemasters, Eidos, Ubi Soft, Activision and Konami.

    "Xbox is a welcome addition to European video game culture," said David Gardner, European general manager and senior vice president at Electronic Arts. "It's a terrific system that offers new levels of graphics, gameplay and fun. I've already played a few titles on Xbox, and I think European gamers are going to love this new video game system.

    "EA games such as 'FIFA World Cup 2002' look and play great on Xbox," Gardner said. "In the next few months you'll see several more titles from EA including 'NBA Live' and 'NHL 2002' and, later in the year, 'James Bond, Agent Under Fire.'"

    "Microsoft has been a great partner to work with," said Scott Dodkins, senior vice president at Activision European Publishing. "It has listened to third-party publishers and kept us well informed along the way, allowing us to plan early to bring great games to Xbox."

    "With Xbox we have the opportunity to start new franchises such as 'Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions' and extend our proven franchises starting with 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater' and 'Star Wars® Obi Wan (TM) ' from the Star Wars series by LucasArts Entertainment Company. The games look and sound great on Xbox, and this can only be good for everyone."

    Building momentum for Microsoft's European launch, green light shows and celebratory events greeted gamers waiting to get their hands on the future of video games. London's Virgin megastores held weeklong activities prior to launch, culminating in a midnight opening at which the first Xbox was sold. Similar midnight events were held at the Mondadori in Milan, Italy; at retailers across Spain; and in Melbourne, Australia.

    Wednesday, March 13, 2002

    First Screens of Quantum Redshift
    Eric @ 11:43 PM EST
    Here are the first screens of Quantum Redshift by Microsoft. We will have more on this game when it is released.


    Quantum Redshift Screen Gallery 1  

    Microsoft is Hooked, On Fonix That is
    Steve @ 1:08 PM EST
    SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 13, 2002--Fonix Speech Recognition Technology will be Supplied to All Xbox Game Developers Via Xbox Software Development Kit; Fonix Text-To-Speech Available Via Upgrade

    Fonix(R) Corporation, the leading provider of natural-user interface technology and voice solutions for wireless and mobile devices, announced today it has signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft(R) (Nasdaq NM: MSFT) to provide the Fonix proprietary Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) engine for the immensely popular Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

    Beginning in the second half of 2002, the highly-accurate Fonix U.S. English ASR for game developers will begin shipping to all Xbox game developers via the official Xbox Development Kit (XDK), Microsoft's primary game authoring tool. During the remainder of 2002, Fonix will provide ASR for Xbox in the following languages: U.K. English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. The Fonix-enabled XDK will allow developers to create games that recognize the user's voice, permitting the user to direct on-screen action, input information, and otherwise interact verbally with the game environment.

    "With the powerful technology behind Xbox, artists are able to attain their creative goals and realize their creative visions," said J Allard, General Manager, Xbox Platform, Microsoft. "Fonix voice recognition will play a significant role in future Xbox game development, making the games more interactive and user friendly."

    "This announcement further demonstrates the expanding commercialization of Fonix ASR," said Kurt Flygare, vice president of sales for Fonix. "Xbox is clearly one of the most prominent and influential entertainment technology platforms in the world today. Potentially, millions of users will have the opportunity to experience the power of Fonix as a result of this agreement.

    "By becoming the speech recognition provider for Xbox, Fonix has once again proven it is on the cutting edge of natural-user interface technology," Flygare noted.

    Fonix ASR powerfully discerns speech in multiple languages at normal speeds and intonations. The solution is speaker-independent and does not require training to the user's voice. It also accommodates finite-state grammar, which allows for complex speech input, and can detect speech in high background-noise environments. Among the key benefits of Fonix ASR technology for Xbox developers is a remarkably small footprint command-and-control engine that drives all onboard speech recognition functions. Fonix is also offering game developers two additional upgrades to the Microsoft XDK components: natural-sounding Text-To-Speech (TTS) technology, which enables game characters to read on-the-fly text in a variety of languages and dialects, and Fonix Professional Services to provide help with speech integration and support. These upgrades are available to game developers immediately.

    Entry of voice commands into the Xbox video game system will take place via a microphone/headphone combo set such as the Xbox Communicator, which is unique among video game consoles in that it plugs right into a slot on the controller, and will be available as an optional peripheral for Xbox.

    Fonix ASR and TTS technologies are used by a number of major manufacturers and technology providers around the world including Compaq, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Samsung, Seiko Epson, and Unisys. For a full explanation of Fonix and its voice interface technologies, visit www.fonix.com. For more information about Xbox, visit www.xbox.com.

    Triple Play 2002 Coming Next Week
    Steve @ 12:27 AM EST
    In a recent press release from EA Sports, the PS2 version has been shipped and the XBox version is coming very shortly.

    "Triple Play 2002 for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft ships the week of March 18th."

    Tuesday, March 12, 2002

    Dead or Alive Movie In the Making
    Steve @ 5:23 PM EST
    TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 12, 2002--Characters from best-selling video game series "Dead or Alive(R)" will become larger than life when big-budget movie hits theaters next year.

    Leading video game publisher Tecmo announced today that it has finalized an agreement to allow Mindfire Entertainment to acquire the worldwide live-action production rights for "Dead or Alive(R)," the hit video game series.

    "Dead or Alive" is among the most successful and critically acclaimed fighting series on the video game market today, with accumulated worldwide sales of 3.2 million to date. The latest installment, "Dead or Alive(R) 3," was a bestseller for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft when it was released November 15th, 2001. The series debuted with "Dead or Alive(R)" for arcade and PlayStation(R) game console. "Dead or Alive(R) 2" was published on the Sega Dreamcast(R) video game console. "DOA2: Hardcore(TM)" was one of the premiere titles at the launch of the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system.

    "To us, `Dead or Alive' is the perfect motion picture franchise," said Mark A. Altman, COO of Mindfire Entertainment, the award-winning independent production company that produced such critically-acclaimed films as "Free Enterprise" and "The Specials," starring Rob Lowe. "DOA has set the standard for fighting games on every next-generation gaming console and has a loyal fan base throughout the world that is eagerly anticipating the release of a feature film based on this extraordinary video game series."

    "We have prided our Dead or Alive series on being very dramatic and full of action with a very realistic, true to life feel," said John Inada, Marketing Director, Tecmo, Inc. "It's only natural that these beloved characters make the leap into movies. We're very excited to be working with Mindfire on making DOA as successful in motion pictures as it has been in the video game market. We know the millions of DOA fans around the world will be thrilled to see their favorite characters on the big screen in a big budget movie."

    In the "Dead or Alive" series, the world's greatest fighters battle each other in order to win the world-famous Dead or Alive tournament. Production on "Dead Or Alive -- The Movie" will begin later this year with an expected theatrical release in 2003.

    New Racing Game "Quantum Redshift" Announced
    Steve @ 5:18 PM EST
    REDMOND, Wash. -- March 12, 2002 -- Microsoft® Game Studios today expanded its racing portfolio with the announcement of a new racing title to join the likes of "Project Gotham Racing (TM) " and "RalliSport Challenge." "Quantum Redshift (TM) ," a futuristic racing game developed by Curly Monsters Ltd. exclusively for the Xbox (TM) video game system, is due for release in fall 2002.

    Set approximately 100 years in the future, the game features a new organized racing tournament of speed and daring, on tracks from all over the world. Gamers choose one of seven unique character pilots, and "Quantum Redshift" challenges them to display a rare combination of raw racing skill and savvy weapons strategy to achieve ultimate victory. However, as players progress through the game, more characters and tracks become unlocked, providing even greater challenges for them.

    This new title has something for racing fans as well as action/fighting fans. Characters are equipped with a special ship and weapons. Each character has a counterpart nemesis, whose only goal is revenge through taunting, tormenting and attempting to sabotage the pilot at every turn. The nemesis storylines, ranging from political adversaries to estranged lovers, develop through cut scenes and animation throughout the game. The importance placed on defeating, and even humiliating, the character's nemesis is designed to please both racing and action gamers.

    "Quantum Redshift" puts gamers in command of the most extreme, hyperspeed racing machines that travel in excess of 650 mph and are able to interact with the terrain. As players progress, they unlock not only new characters but also new speeds (five in all), providing a racing experience like no other. In addition, the vehicles are equipped with highly advanced offensive and defensive weapons systems, allowing characters to attack each other with everything from plasma bolts to tidal waves. Players will have the opportunity to race on a total of 16 detail-laden tracks and compete in up to four-player split-screen against their friends.

    POW Revealed From Codemasters
    Steve @ 5:15 PM EST
    Built on a rocky outcrop, with barbed wire and search lights around its perimeter, the infamous Colditz Castle was designed to be the ultimate holding camp for WW2 Allied Prisoners of War (POW) and said to be escape proof.

    Gamers will have the chance to put the castle's security to the test with its recreation as one of the featured camps in Prisoner of War, coming later this year to PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC screens.

    Codemasters' 3rd-person adventure game captures the heroism of Allied escape attempts from POW camps during World War II and Colditz is its toughest stronghold.

    Prisoner of War's developer, Wide Games, has built a faithful recreation of the castle's exterior. Its interior has been developed from historic references right down to the rich detail of elaborate rooms, peeling wallpaper in the corridors and the ironwork on the balconies. Unexpected areas of the castle have also been added, including tunnels and secret passages.

    For the game's hero, Captain Lewis Stone, Colditz's imposing surroundings, network of rooms and corridors bring fresh challenges.

    "Colditz presents opportunities for the player to put skills learnt in previous camps to the test," explains Carl Jones, producer of the title at Wide Games.

    "In Colditz, stealth and planning is even more important. It's even harder for the player to get away with things as spaces are far more enclosed. There are fewer places to run to in an emergency and the guards roam the castle in greater numbers."

    Complete with a blockbuster conclusion to the adventure, Prisoner of War is being developed for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC by Wide Games and will be published by Codemasters in this summer.

    ABOUT PRISONER OF WAR

    The routine of an Allied Prisoner of War in a 1941 POW camp is ruled by the daily cycles of regimented routine - roll calls, mealtimes, exercise and the ever-present guard patrols.

    However, for the more determined prisoner, identifying and exploiting the loopholes in such a routine opens all kinds of possibilities.

    For Captain Lewis Stone, American airman and POW in Stalag Luft, it's those loopholes that could provide the key to uncovering German military secrets and mounting a daring escape plan.

    Capturing the intrigue, danger and heroism of Allied escape attempts from POW camps during World War II, this is the experience offered by Codemasters ' Prisoner of War, a new kind of escape adventure game coming to PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. Its gameplay delivers a tense 3rd person adventure where the player's bravery, stealth and cunning will ensure Stone wins the day.

    Kakuto Chojin Coming This Fall
    Steve @ 2:18 AM EST
    REDMOND, WA — March 11, 2002 — Microsoft Game Studio announced today that Kakuto Chojin™ will make a North American appearance this fall on the Xbox™ video game system. Kakuto Chojin was originally announced last year as "Project KX."

    Kakuto Chojin is a gritty street fighter with dark, edgy, and mysterious, battles that take place in dark alleys and rain-soaked rooftops. Combatants fight with raw emotion and use styles uniquely their own. There is nothing cute, comical, or cartoon-like about these battles. It's a life or death battle for survival. When a fighter strikes, the opponent will know it. Boasting an Advanced Fighting System, Kakuto Chojin offers players a completely different effect every time they spar. With cascading shadows, head snaps, flexing muscles and buckling legs, Kakuto Chojin immerses players in the dark, gritty underworld of street brawling. Kakuto Chojin is under development by Dream Publishing.

    Monday, March 11, 2002

    Midway's All-New SpyHunter Comes to XBox
    Steve @ 2:40 PM EST
    CHICAGO--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--March 11, 2002--High-Adrenaline Missions and Relentless Action Redefine Spy Hunter to Create Electrifying Gaming Experience for Next-Generation Systems

    Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that SpyHunter(R), the all-new remake of Midway's popular 1980's action-racing game, will ship tomorrow for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) and the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft. SpyHunter is scheduled to ship for the Game Boy(R) Advance in June and is available now for the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system.

    With a next-generation 3D design, incredible high-tech weaponry and a sleek new vehicle (the G-6155 Interceptor), the SpyHunter player is on a mission to save the world and must make split-second decisions. The ultimate counterintelligence prototype vehicle with morphing abilities, the G-6155 Interceptor has offensive and defensive weapons including 25mm cannon machine guns and heat-seeking missiles. The G-6155 Interceptor morphs on-the-fly into a deadly high-velocity speedboat, a turbo jet watercraft or a supercharged motorcycle with a turbine engine (horsepower classified), which helps players escape and evade the relentless onslaught of enemy fire. Additionally, as an added in-game bonus, Xbox owners will receive the original 1983 arcade classic, Spy Hunter(R), in its entirety, included as an exclusive hidden feature.

    "Now Nintendo GameCube and Xbox owners can experience the addictive SpyHunter gameplay," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway. "SpyHunter was an enormous success on the PlayStation(R)2 and we expect it to be a top videogame on the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox as well."

    The SpyHunter player can never relax while maneuvering through 14 high-adrenaline missions around the globe to exotic locations such as Panama, Key West, England, Germany, France, the Middle East and Venice. Each location is modeled to a high degree of photo-realism and provides recognizable landmarks and scenery to offer compelling visual themes.

    To add even more intensity to the relentless action, Island Gold Recording act Saliva has recorded two versions of "The SpyHunter Theme." Based on the Peter Gunn theme song, a new lyrical version, as well as an instrumental format, are included in the game.

    SpyHunter Xbox Key Features:

  • The next-generation version includes the Spy Hunter arcade classic videogame in its entirety as an exclusive hidden feature
  • The G-6155 Interceptor, a new vehicle that morphs on-the-fly into a deadly high-velocity speedboat, a turbo jet watercraft or a supercharged motorcycle and contains offensive and defensive weapons, including 25mm cannon machine guns and heat-seeking missiles
  • Explosive weaponry for both offensive and defensive attacks -- including machine guns, missiles and EMP weapons -- and counter-attack weapons such as oil slicks, smoke screens and flame throwers
  • All-new 3D design with photo-realistic levels and recognizable landmarks and scenery
  • 14 in-depth missions encompassing exotic worldwide locations such as Panama, Key West, England, Germany, France, Middle East desert and Venice

    DVD Content:
  • Behind-the-Scenes making of SpyHunter
  • Saliva's "The SpyHunter Theme" song and music video along with the "Your Disease" music video

    Remembering the Tragedy
    Steve @ 2:46 AM EST
    Here at XBox Exclusive, we would like everyone to take the time to acknowledge the tragic events that happened on September 11, 2001.

    America was attacked 6 months ago today. Many lives were lost and many heroes were made, but this only makes our country stronger and more united then ever. Now is the time to take a moment of silence and remember the lives that were lost on September 11. 8:46am will be the exact time to remember the first attack.


    God Bless America

    XBox Pulled off Some Shelves in Japan
    Steve @ 2:35 AM EST
    Japanese retail chains Laox and Sakuraya have decided suspend all sales of the XBox console. The reason they are doing this is because there is many complaints that the XBox is scratching game discs. But please be aware that these two chains are still selling XBox games. Microsoft has received about 588 complaints from Japanese XBox owners. XBox Exclusive will keep you updated on this matter.

    Friday, March 8, 2002

    Dead or Alive 3 Add-On Disc Coming For Free
    Steve @ 10:21 PM EST
    TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 8, 2002--Tecmo, Inc. announced today that it will be releasing a Booster Disc(TM) for the game Dead or Alive 3(TM), available only on the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

    A revolutionary, first-of-its-kind idea, the Booster Disc will be included free of charge on the demo disc for the June issue of the Official Xbox Magazine and will feature a new movie and costumes for the DOA3 fighters. The June issue of the Official Xbox Magazine has a street date of May 7. Players will need a full version of Dead or Alive 3 to see the new material. For those who don't yet own Dead or Alive 3, the demo disc will also include a new playable demo to sample what the game has to offer.

    "The Booster Disc is my way of personally thanking gamers for supporting Dead or Alive 3," said Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of the Dead or Alive series. "We developed Dead or Alive 3 first and foremost for the U.S. market. When we created this bonus material for the Japanese and European versions of DOA3, we didn't want American gamers to feel left out. That's why we're offering these extras free of charge. It's a win-win situation for everybody. Of course, the only system on which this is possible is Xbox, thanks to the built-in hard drive."

    "Tecmo has always focused on advancing new technology and maintaining excellent relations with our consumers," said John Inada, Marketing Director, Tecmo Inc. "This is the perfect match between those two ideas. We're trying something that's never been done in the industry before, and the reason we're doing it is to give back to the consumer, who is our #1 priority."

    The idea of giving gamers more value for their money, by taking full advantage of the Xbox hard drive, is a surprising innovation for consoles. Microsoft was very excited about the potential for the hard drive to revolutionize gaming. "This is a unique and revolutionary idea to offer bonus material for a game post-launch free of charge," said J. Allard, General Manager, Xbox Platform. "Xbox is the only system on which this is possible out of the box. We are proud of the pioneering spirit of third party developers such as Tecmo who push the envelope of technology while showcasing the full power of Xbox, the most powerful video game system on the market."

    Dead or Alive 3(TM) is the third installment in Tecmo's popular fighting game series. The suggested retail price is $49.99, and the ESRB rating is Teen. Gamers can order Dead or Alive 3 at Tecmo's website (http://www.tecmoinc.com). For additional information about the game, visit the official Dead or Alive 3 website (http://www.deadoralive3game.com), which offers wallpaper, screenshots, and a movie of action-packed fighting footage.

    NFL Fever 2003 This Summer
    Steve @ 1:24 PM EST
    REDMOND, Wash. -- March 8, 2002 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced it will release "NFL Fever 2003," its exclusive football title for the Xbox™ video game system, this summer in time for the start of the 2002 NFL season.

    A smash hit in its rookie season, this franchise will include several new customization and presentation features and gameplay enhancements. In "NFL Fever 2003," gamers can customize uniforms, playbooks and plays. "NFL Fever 2003" updates will include up-to-date rosters, the NFL’s new eight-division format, the new expansion team, the Houston Texans, and new stadiums for the Bears, Lions and Patriots. The gridiron game also will feature online capabilities.

    The post-game highlight reel, which proved to be a big hit with gamers last season, will be expanded in "NFL Fever 2003." Additional gameplay features, along with the "NFL Fever 2003" spokesperson and the in-game announcers, will be announced before the game’s launch.

    "Microsoft® sports franchises are defining great sports gaming on Xbox," said Ed Fries, vice president of game content for Xbox at Microsoft. "‘NFL Fever 2003’ builds on this success with new enhancements, game-play features and online features."

    Microsoft Clarifies Erroneous Press Report
    Steve @ 1:23 PM EST
    REDMOND, Wash., March 7, 2002 -- An apparent misinterpretation of information on a Microsoft Japan Web site resulted today in a media report of a recall of Microsoft's Xbox™ game console in Japan. This report is incorrect. There is no recall of Xbox in Japan or any other market.

    The Xbox Japan Web site did report that Microsoft Customer Care Japan had received a small number of inquires (significantly less than one percent of systems sold) from customers reporting small scratches to the outside edge of some game disks after use in the Xbox game consoles. While this is not a common occurrence, and minor scratching is primarily a cosmetic issue that does not affect performance, a positive customer experience is of the utmost importance to Microsoft. Xbox Japan responded accordingly in its statement offering to evaluate any Xbox system that a customer is concerned about. If a system needs to be repaired or replaced for any reason, Microsoft will do this immediately.

    After successful launches in North America and Japan, demand for Xbox continues to be high in all launched markets, and production continues at a rapid pace. Microsoft will launch Xbox in Europe and Australia on March 14, 2002.

    Six Developers Making Exclusive XBox Games
    Steve @ 1:20 PM EST
    REDMOND, Wash. - March 8, 2001 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that six world-class design studios plan to create exclusive games for the Xbox™ video game system, all of which will be published under the Microsoft® label. The game companies, which join 18 other studios that are creating first-party games for Microsoft, are Blitz Games Ltd., Curly Monsters Ltd., Double Fine Productions Inc., Radical Entertainment Inc., Vision Scape Interactive Inc. and Yeti Interactive. These alliances further demonstrate the game community's confidence in Xbox and in Microsoft's commitment to becoming a leading video game publisher.

    "These artists have ambitions of delivering games that push the bounds of what's possible in video gaming, making them a perfect fit for Xbox," said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox games publishing at Microsoft. "As their publisher, Microsoft will support them with technical support, testing, marketing and distribution power while the artists focus on bringing their imaginations to life on Xbox."

    The six new developers join Oddworld Inhabitants Inc., Peter Molyneux's Lionhead Satellites and Microsoft's in-house Xbox development teams such as Bungie Studios as game designers for Microsoft's publishing arm. The newly announced companies have strong roots in the video game business.

  • Blitz Games Ltd. has developed PC, PlayStation, Dreamcast and N64 hits such as "Chicken Run," "Frogger 2," "Glover," "Action Man: Mission Xtreme," "Action Man 2: Destruction X" and Disney's "The Little Mermaid II."

  • Curly Monsters was formed in 1998 and has team members that worked on key titles for companies such as Psygnosis Inc. Its most-recent title was the well-received "NGEN Racing" for the PlayStation in May 2000.

  • Double Fine Productions Inc. was formed by LucasArts star game designer Tim Schafer. His background includes a series of award-winning games such as "Grim Fandango," "Full Throttle" and "Day of the Tentacle."

  • Radical Entertainment, with headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, has developed top-selling games for publishers such as Electronic Arts Inc., Fox Interactive Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Sega Entertainment Inc. and THQ Inc. Recent high-grossing titles include "MTV Snowboarding," "Jackie Chan Stuntmaster," "NBA Basketball 2000" and "Independence Day."

  • Vision Scape Interactive, located in San Diego, Calif., is a premier developer of interactive video games, software and animation for series television. Since 1997, VSI has designed video games for next-generation consoles manufactured by Microsoft, Sony and Sega, as well as online interactive games, working on high-profile titles such as Jet Moto 3, Twisted Metal 3 & 4, EverQuest, Game Day '99, and Land Before Time.

  • Yeti Interactive, located in Montpellier, France, creates premier games based on its own original content and characters. Key members of the development team for the award-winning action games "Rayman" and "Rayman 2" founded Yeti in August 2000.

    "Xbox is the first and best chance there is to create the games we've been hoping to do for years," said Tim Schafer, game designer and founder of Double Fine Productions. "Having Microsoft as a publisher is great because they've got the determination and resources to make the game right, and to bring it to an enormous worldwide audience. They're also exciting to work with because of their commitment not just to future-generation technology, but to future-generation content."

    Thursday, March 7, 2002

    Microsoft Deals With the Defects In Japan
    Steve @ 3:38 PM EST
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp stepped up its efforts on Thursday to deal with an increasing number of customer complaints in Japan over scratched discs in its Xbox video game machine, offering to repair or replace any defective products.

    Microsoft Japan said earlier this week it would replace any consoles determined to be defective.

    On Thursday it said it would unconditionally replace all hardware and any damaged software because it found some scratches on discs that could not be explained.

    "We do not consider this a recall," Microsoft spokeswoman Midori Takahashi said, adding that the scratches found on the edges of the DVD (digital versatile discs) did not interfere with game playing. The software giant launched the Xbox in Japan two weeks ago, hoping to convince Japan's notoriously fickle gaming public and software creators that its machine can rival those of Sony Corp 6758.T and Nintendo Co. Ltd. 7974.T on their home turf.

    The scratches, which Microsoft says were most likely caused by DVD discs spinning in the console, improper placement on loading trays or by the sliding tray itself, were also reported in the United States after the Xbox was launched in mid-November.

    Highlighting the importance of the Japanese market, Microsoft has made special efforts to cater to the market here with a specially designed, smaller controller and a limited edition of 50,000 translucent Xbox consoles available only in Japan.

    The spokeswoman said Microsoft had not determined the cost of repairing or replacing any consoles or discs.

    Although Microsoft has not published official figures, sources said it was able to ship about 125,000 Xbox consoles in the first three days after it went on sale on February 22. In March 2000, just after Sony launched the PlayStation 2, the successor of its best-selling PlayStation machine, it suffered a setback when a glitch in software memory cards disabled the playback of DVD videos.

    European XBox Commercials
    Steve @ 3:30 PM EST
    While we are enjoying our XBox's here in the US, the European market will be getting their's on March 14th. Here is some info about the commerical they are seeing.

    "Mosquito" TV Spot Will Premiere On Playmore.com on 11th March, Hits TV On 13th March In Major European Markets

    LONDON, 7th March 2002 - What do stressed-out mosquitoes and European video gamers have in common? They both need to "Play More", according to a new television and cinema commercial supporting the 14th March launch of Xbox, Microsoft's future-generation video game system.

    The commercial, titled "Mosquito", premieres on playmore.com, the Xbox European brand experience site on 11th March and will begin running on television from 13th March in the UK, France, Germany and Italy.

    "Mosquito" is filmed in the manner of a nature documentary and opens on a huge jungle. Everything is sleeping and the jungle is quiet. The camera closes in on a beautiful little mosquito hovering in the air - the light illuminating its delicate wings. We can hear the sound of its wings moving. In fact, it sounds like the mosquito is actually playing a melody from a song ("Am I wrong?" by Etienne de Crecy). Other mosquitoes soon swarm together and join in the song until they resemble a graphic equaliser. As the camera pans out we realise that the whole jungle is reverberating to the sound of mosquitoes playing music. All the other animals are enjoying the music too - including a body-popping slug and a couple of giraffes having a boogie.

    A voice-over explains that a long time ago, nature gave mosquitoes the gift of music. They were the best musicians in the world, although only a few knew it. But one day, forced to stop playing, the mosquitoes got a proper job - sucking blood. We see mosquitoes in different environments jumping onto human skin, sucking blood, and being swatted away. None of the mosquitoes played anymore and they soon became miserable with this way of life, but it was too late - every time they tried to start playing, humans tried to kill them.

    The commercial ends with a row of mosquito corpses littering the floor next to a small child who is innocently playing. As the child gazes into the camera, the narrator says: "Humans, you have a natural gift for playing. Don't lose it.. Never forget it or one day you'll suck too." The commercial ends with the Xbox logo and the end line "Xbox. Play More"

    Kung Fu Chaos Announced
    Steve @ 3:27 PM EST
    REDMOND, Wash. - March 7, 2002 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that "Kung Fu Chaos™," a '70s-style kung fu brawler game, is currently in development exclusively for the Xbox™ video game system.

    "Kung Fu Chaos" allows up to four people to battle it out on huge interactive movie sets that provide an added challenge to the mayhem. In true Hong Kong style, the combat features over-the-top gigantic leaps, suicidal stunts and multiple-opponent action. Gamers can choose from an outrageous cast of characters, each with unique brawling capabilities.

    "Kung Fu Chaos" is about fun, competition, glory, humiliation, insults and back-stabbing. "Kung Fu Chaos" features the music track "Kung Fu Fighting" and the soundtrack from "Enter the Dragon." It is being developed by Just Add Monsters Ltd. (JAM) and is scheduled for release in fall 2002.

    "Kung Fu Chaos" includes the following key features:

  • An incredible cast of characters. "Kung Fu Chaos" features an outrageous cast of would-be superstars. Each character has a unique fighting style, an array of hilarious mistranslated taunts and a repertoire of spectacular special attacks. The cast includes Chop & Styx, the lone samurai with a kid strapped to his back; Ninja Fu Hiya, the ninja who tries too hard; Candi Roll, who's done her fair share of fighting on the casting couch; and Xui Tan Sour, avenger of her father, brother, village and pet goldfish.

  • Combat - with a twist. It will take more than just a cool move to win this game. "Kung Fu Chaos" features a combat system with the added twist of humiliation. Pummel opponents with slick moves or power up with taunts that add to the impact. Combat moves are easy to learn but deep enough for experienced players to gain new skills and really go to town on their enemies.

  • Amazing environments. Huge animating structures, traveling sets, incidental details and spectacular action sequences all come together to deliver epic battles that are fast-paced, highly competitive and downright funny.

  • Gameplay diversity. Featuring a wide range of single- and multiplayer gameplay modes, mini games, team-play possibilities, customizable options and unlockable features, "Kung Fu Chaos" is a pick-up-and-play gameplay extravaganza designed for a wide range of players.

    About Just Add Monsters
    Just Add Monsters' mission is to be the best digital entertainment developer for the social gaming masses. Social gaming is about fun, competitive, state-of-the-art games that everyone can pick up and play. Former Sony Computer Entertainment developers Mike Ball, Nina Kristensen and Tameem Antoniades founded Just Add Monsters Ltd. (JAM) in March 2000 in Cambridge, United Kingdom. JAM became a subsidiary of Argonaut Games Plc. in October 2000 with Jez San OBE joining the board and is developing its debut title, "Kung Fu Chaos," as a Microsoft first-party exclusive for Xbox.

    About Microsoft Game Studios
    Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide games company with three core businesses: games development and publishing, the Microsoft® Xbox video game system, and Zone.com. Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/) is the Internet's largest game site.

    Many Club Football Games From Codemasters
    Steve @ 3:22 PM EST
    Codemasters signs Europe's greatest football clubs and promises an individual Club Football action game for every one.

    Thursday March 7 - Codemasters has executed a massive coup by signing computer and video game rights deals with 15 of the most successful football clubs across Europe. The licenses will be used to make a major impact in the valuable football action games market with what is set to be the biggest development and publishing project in Codemasters' 16-year history.

    The acclaimed UK based game developer and publisher will produce and simultaneously launch an individually branded and badged game for each club initially across two gaming platforms - PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

    In the UK, the project will result in a Club Football game for every PlayStation 2, and Xbox gamer including: Arsenal Club Football, Aston Villa Club Football, Chelsea Club Football, Leeds United Club Football, Liverpool Club Football, Manchester United Club Football, and Rangers Club Football. Another eight European editions of the game will also be published [see below for full list].

    Delivering a club specific game for every fan, this unique way of bringing a football action game to market taps into the very soul of football - the tribal fanaticism of club supporters. Each game will carry the headline brand of an individual football club and the overall series will be sub-branded as Club Football.

    Club Football is being designed to be the most realistic, playable football action title brought to market. Uniquely, each club edition of the game will be tailored specifically to each featured club and will include accurately modelled stadia to recreate the genuine match day experience.

    The game enables players to create themselves as a digital footballer and join the club's first team alongside their heroes. All the official players in the game are photo-realistic having been modelled in 3D using a new photographic technique, exclusive to Club Football. On pitch gameplay puts the gamer as a key player in the squad in matches against their club's rivals in a series of championships.

    Simon Prytherch, head of the Codemasters' Football Studio, has been charged with designing and developing the game and it is his most ambitious project to date. Simon's experience includes making LMA Manager the best-selling football management console game franchise.

    "It's every fan's dream to train and play for their club," says Simon. "To come out of the tunnel and onto the hallowed turf; to see all the familiar players beside you with the roar of your club's supporters; that's just a taste of the atmosphere we're going to deliver in Club Football."

    Codemasters' series of Club Football titles is currently under development and scheduled to launch in autumn 2002. The premier line up of international football clubs confirmed to date, which will each have an individually-branded game produced, is:


  • Arsenal (England)
  • Aston Villa (England)
  • Chelsea (England)
  • Leeds United (England)
  • Liverpool (England)
  • Manchester United (England)
  • Rangers (Scotland)
  • Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
  • Hamburg SV (Germany)
  • FC Bayern Munich (Germany)
  • Ajax (Netherlands)
  • FC Barcelona (Spain)
  • AC Milan (Italy)
  • Inter Milan (Italy)
  • Juventus (Italy)

    Wednesday, March 6, 2002

    Circus Freak Studios Emerges From the Bigtop
    Steve @ 1:54 PM EST
    Development Group Brings a Carnival of Fun to Video Games

    CAMPBELL, Calif., March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- As the flap of a brightly painted tent flies open, an eerie green glow accompanies a haunting burst of calliope music, unleashing a unique game developer on the world.

    "Something wicked this way comes," proclaims Caroline Esmurdoc, President, CEO and Ring Mistress of Circus Freak Studios. "The video game industry will never be the same. Our talented and experienced teams will leave enduring and awe-inspiring marks on the face of gaming."

    Circus Freak Studios is currently developing Superman: The Man of Steel for the Xbox. Superman: The Man of Steel is based on DC Comics' Superman license and will be published by Infogrames, Inc. "We are thrilled to be working on Superman," says Esmurdoc. "At long last, there will be a game experience worthy of the Superman license. Superman is an archetypal character, a larger-than-life icon that towers over the landscape. We will make certain that the scale of our game is majestic enough to provide a backdrop for such a figure. Having the chance to portray the vast array of Superman's powers and create the definitive Superman game is the opportunity of a lifetime."

    Early buzz on the game has been extremely positive. In the words of Official Xbox Magazine: "Superman is going to be massive!"

    Truly a three-ring circus, Circus Freak Studios is a highly skilled and creative group of veteran industry professionals dedicated to pushing the boundaries of art, technology and design. Individually, the various performers have shipped over 100 games across multiple game consoles. Collectively, these performers have worked together for over three years, have jumped through the fiery hoops of multiple development cycles, and have created a strong team
    bond.

    The Circus has come to town and it will not soon be forgotten.

    About Circus Freak Studios

    Formally founded in 2001, Circus Freak Studios is a leading developer of interactive entertainment software. The company is privately held and is headquartered in California. Further information about Circus Freak Studios can be found at http://www.circusfreak.com.

    Konami Ships 3 New Games
    Steve @ 1:54 PM EST
    Although the XIX Annual Olympic Winter Games have come to a close, the spirit of competition and high-altitude fun continue as Konami of America ships ESPN NBA 2Night 2002, ESPN International Winter Sports and ESPN Winter X Games(TM) Snowboarding to retail outlets nationwide. The new adrenaline-filled sports games for Sony PlayStation®2 and Microsoft Xbox(TM) videogame systems are rated "E" for Everyone by the ESRB, and carry a suggested MSRP of $49.99.

    "We are very excited about these three additions to Konami's already strong line-up of quality sports titles," said Justin Kubiak, product marketing manager for Konami of America. "ESPN NBA 2Night 2002, ESPN International Winter Sports 2002 and ESPN Winter X Games Snowboarding 2002 demonstrate the company's commitment to delivering a wide variety of competitive sports games across multiple platforms."

    Debuting on the PlayStation® 2, ESPN NBA 2Night 2002 is a fast-moving hoops game featuring all of the authenticity, emotion and intensity of the NBA. Konami backs Brent Musberger and Stuart Scott's witty commentary and insightful analysis with realistic player animations, crisp graphics and full ESPN integration. A sequel to last year's ESPN NBA 2Night 2001, the new game includes player feedback and now sports-enhanced gameplay mechanics. The new "turbo" feature enables players to blow by defenders and drive through the lane with style. With gameplay designed for up to eight players (two PS2 multitaps required), ESPN NBA 2Night 2002 is the next best thing to actually being on the court.

    Players take a shot at alpine glory with ESPN International Winter Sports 2002 for the Microsoft Xbox (already available on the PS2, Nintendo GameCube® and Game Boy® Advance). This new version features a diverse collection of 10 Olympic-style sports including Downhill Alpine and Slalom Skiing, Bobsledding and Figure Skating. An easy-to-use control scheme, rich graphics and representation from eight different countries give players the pick-up-and-play thrills and chills that have been a part of Konami's sports heritage since the original Track and Field.

    ESPN Winter X Games Snowboarding 2002 for Microsoft Xbox (already available on the PS2 and Game Boy Advance) features four real-life X Games events including Big Air, SuperPipe, Snowboarder X and Slopestyle. Included in the game are 30 all-new multi-level courses with bigger "kickers" and twisted rails for incredible acrobatic tricks. Adding to the game's realism are unparalleled graphics and the ability to choose from one of 13 pros, including Peter Line, Todd Richards and Olympic silver medal winner Danny Kass. Players can now also carve a path in the Snowboarder Mode by creating a character from scratch and earning their way to the ultimate competition: The Winter X Games!

    Ubi Soft Announces Sequel to the Rayman Series
    Steve @ 1:12 PM EST
    March 6, 2002 - Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the largest video game publishers in the world, today announced plans to release Rayman® 3 Hoodlum Havoc in the U.S. and Europe this fall with availability on all next generation consoles and PC.

    With more than 10 million copies sold, Rayman is one of Ubi Soft's most popular brands. Created by Ubi Soft Game Creator Michel Ancel when he was only 19, the character with no arms and no legs has been a true crossover game, attracting both younger and older fans. The Rayman series of games has been consistently recognized for its quality: Rayman® 2 The Great Escape - was voted best Sega Dreamcast™ game in 2000 by IGN.com, the largest internet gaming web site in the U.S., and best platform game (PlayStation) by ebworld.com. Rayman Advance was voted best platform game and best graphics on a portable console by IGN.com at the 2001 E3 trade show.

    "Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc presents the leap forward that the current generation of gamers have been anticipating," said Christine Burgess-Quemard, Managing Director of International Production, Ubi Soft Entertainment. "With groundbreaking technology and a brilliant story, this title fully reflects Ubi Soft's dedication to creating cutting-edge entertainment."

    With the new innovative tactical arcade battle system, Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc's game play offers a fresh and exhilarating experience to the action-adventure genre. Rayman explores never before seen regions inhabited by off-the-wall creatures. Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc is not only an epic quest, but also a whimsical comedy unveiling a rich tale of cartoon fantasy adventure.

    "Since Rayman's inception in 1995, I have been involved with the development of the Rayman games, and the team has already taken the franchise to new heights," said Michel Ancel, Game Creator, Ubi Soft Entertainment. "The extravagant imagination that has gone into the design of Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc will not only appeal to our existing fan base, but also attract a whole new group of players to the genre."

    Tuesday, March 5, 2002

    MK: Deadly Alliance Website Officially Launches
    Steve @ 11:40 PM EST
    CHICAGO--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--March 5, 2002--Midway Games Inc. (NYSE:MWY), a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that the Web site for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance(TM) -- mortalkombat.midway.com -- has launched. The site will give Mortal Kombat fans access to information and assets for the next-generation version of the videogame. Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is currently in development and scheduled to ship fall 2002 for the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy(R) Advance.

    The new Mortal Kombat Web site contains a download section, featuring various Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance-themed items to choose from, such as wallpaper, screensavers and banners. Additional content such as FMV, gameplay video footage and bulletin boards are planned.

    "Gamers are eagerly awaiting Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway. "This Web site is a great way for fans and newcomers alike to get a glimpse at the all-new next-generation Mortal Kombat videogame."

    Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance marks the re-launch of the Mortal Kombat series with an all-new engine delivering punishing action that will challenge long-time fans of the franchise as well as next-generation game lovers. The videogame features intense hand-to-hand and special-weapon combat, secret hidden moves and combinations with deadly body blows and fatalities.

    Midway Games Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment software. Midway videogames are available for play on all major videogame platforms including the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy(R) Advance.

    For more information about Midway Games and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance visit mortalkombat.midway.com.

    Knockout Kings 2002 Ships
    Steve @ 11:36 PM EST
    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BW SportsWire)--March 5, 2002--EA SPORTS Best-Selling Boxing Franchise Delivers a KO With an All New Game, Featuring Lightning-Fast Gameplay and Gorgeous Graphics.

    Bone crushing combos, dazzling footwork, epic knockouts and boxing's biggest moments are prominently featured in the fastest, most intense version of the Knockout Kings(TM) series to date. EA (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced the release of Knockout Kings 2002, for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft.

    The Knockout Kings 2002 redesign increases the game's responsiveness and fluidity, boxers now move with the speed and agility of their real life counterparts. Players now can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee when playing as Ali. The vastly improved boxer polygonal count makes for the most detailed boxers in the history of the franchise. Face mapping technology allows EA to record every feature on a boxer's face and recreate it in the game. Face mapping brings to life the punishment and emotion in the ring by utilizing more than 30 points on the face to render expressions and damage throughout the fight.

    Players can feel the difference over previous fighting games which left the health meters on screen during a match, letting your opponent know when you are in danger of being knocked out. With the force feedback controller now delivering an increasingly rapid heart rate as an indicator that the boxer is close to being knocked down, gamers will realize that they need to box defensively or go for a quick knockout without their opponent knowing.

    The game features the sport's most coveted legends and current champions, including boxers exclusive to Knockout Kings 2002 like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Lennox Lewis and Oscar De La Hoya. Felix "Tito" Trinidad, Zab Judah, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Fernando Vargas also are featured with a myriad of fictional boxers, each with their own unique personas, attributes, strengths and weaknesses. In total, more than 40 licensed and non-licensed boxers are available to choose from or you can create your own.

    The career mode allows players to create and manage the development of a boxer from neophyte to world champion with the create-a-player feature. After creating a boxer by selecting skin color, facial hair, trunks, and more, the player must work the boxer up through the ranks by developing boxer's attributes through points earned in the ring. Opponents will deliver deeper and more varied strategies as players work their way up in rank for gameplay depth. Players complete the career mode when they successfully unify all the belts in the Lightweight, Middleweight and Heavyweight divisions.

    The Knockout Kings 2002 soundtrack includes top artists and songs from the likes of LL Cool J, "The G.O.A.T.," Doc Levi & Kevski, "Ovadose," Hidden Masters (PKSO and The Abbot), "TKO," Motion Man featuring Kutmasta Kurt, "Winner Takes All" and Styles of Beyond, "Style Tips."

    In addition to the music soundtrack, the exciting commentary and analysis from Larry Michael and Max Kellerman keep the gamer informed on what is happening from a strategic standpoint. Referees in the game include Mills Lane and Richard Steele, keeping things fair by calling out low blows and backhands that can lose a fighter points from the judges' card. Jimmy Lennon Jr. makes ring announcements to give the fight a big time feel.

    Knockout Kings 2002 for the PlayStation 2 console and Xbox are rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB. Consumers may purchase the game directly by going online at http://www.eastore.ea.com or by calling toll free at 877-EA GAMES (877/324-2637). The game has a suggested retail price of $49.95.

    Monday, March 4, 2002

    Pretty Big Day for XBox Tomorrow
    Steve @ 8:45 PM EST
    Well, tomorrow five new XBox games are sceduled to come out. Let's hope they all make it out tomorrow. Konami is bringing us 2 ESPN Winter Games. Activision is bringing us the best skateboarding game ever made, Tony Hawk 3. Microsoft is releasing the highly anticipated, Rallisport Challenge. And EA Sports will be releasing Knockout Kings 2002 for our XBox tomorrow. These games mark the first batch for the new month to be released.




    Rallisport Challenge
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
    ESPN International Winter Sports 2002
    ESPN Winter X-Games Snowboarding 2002
    Knockout Kings 2002

    Not a bad lineup for tomorrow!

    So which one of these games are you waiting for the most? Let us know!

    First Screens of Rainbow Six: Raven Shield
    Eric @ 5:35 PM EST
    Here are the first screens to go along with the press release of this hot new title in the Rainbow Six series.


    Rainbow Six: Raven Shield Screen Gallery 1  

    Next Generation Rainbow Six Announced
    Steve @ 1:17 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 4, 2002--Ubi Soft Entertainment, one of the world's largest videogame publishers, today announced plans to develop and publish the next installment of the best-selling Rainbow Six series of games with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Raven Shield.

    Ubi Soft will release Rainbow Six: Raven Shield on both the PC and the Xbox(TM) video game system in the fall of 2002.

    Rainbow Six: Raven Shield is the sequel to the immensely popular Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear, 2000 Action Game Of The Year, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, 1999 Action Game Of The Year (a). It will be the third game in the Rainbow Six line, which has sold more than 6.7 million copies worldwide.

    The Rainbow Six franchise is known for its action-packed game play and heart-stopping realism, and Rainbow Six: Raven Shield will continue the tradition. Developed by Ubi Soft's Montreal studio, in close collaboration with Red Storm Entertainment, Rainbow Six: Raven Shield features a brand new Tom Clancy storyline in which Team RAINBOW is led all over the world in a string of dramatic operations. The game will utilize graphics technology provided by the next-generation Unreal(TM) engine to power 15 new single-player missions that include the discovery of a cache of biological weapons and stopping an armed gang from terrorizing a London bank.

    "Fans have been pleading with us for a long time to come out with another chapter in this blockbuster series of games, and Rainbow Six(R): Raven Shield will be worth the wait," said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubi Soft Entertainment Inc. "The secrecy behind this project has been crucial to the evolution of the game. We'll be ready to unveil all the action at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this May."

    Gauntlet Dark Legacy XBox Bound
    Steve @ 1:00 PM EST
    CHICAGO--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--March 4, 2002-Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that Gauntlet Dark Legacy(TM) for the Nintendo GameCube(TM) will ship tomorrow and is scheduled to ship for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft in April. Gauntlet Dark Legacy is available now for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system.

    Recreated for next-generation systems, Gauntlet Dark Legacy is a one-to-four player action-adventure videogame, which allows as many as four game players to battle cooperatively and interact simultaneously. Gauntlet Dark Legacy is the first and only videogame to offer this feature for the Nintendo GameCube. Continuing the time-honored "hack-n-slash" style of gameplay, players work as a team as they embark on a quest to save the world. Using a force of special weapons, exotic magical powers and deadly combination attacks, players slay hordes of evil minions and hideous creatures - such as Golems, Dragons and Chimera - while searching for treasure, evading traps and solving the many mysteries of Gauntlet Dark Legacy.

    "Gauntlet Dark Legacy is four-play at its best," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway. "The cooperative gameplay gives the game great depth and replayability."

    Whether playing alone or with companions, players adventure through eight magical realms - Mountain, Desert, Forest and Castle and the new Ice, Town, Sky and Dream worlds. Throughout each mystical realm, players are challenged to find obelisks, rune stones and countless other items, while confronting more than 50 different enemies and challenging bosses. Players can choose from a variety of characters - including the new Jester, Sorceress, Dwarf and Knight - which possess the ability to perform special turbo attacks and deadly combination moves during battle. Each character has different attributes, so players must decide which character they believe is best equipped to handle the next adventure. Players can also find more than 21 secret characters and unlock their hidden, split personalities.

    Saturday, March 2, 2002

    Japanese Controller Coming to US
    Jeremy @ 7:55 PM EST
    The Japanese Xbox controller, hailed by many to be superior to the U.S. controller, will be coming to the United States this spring. The controller will be identical to the one released in Japan, except for a few small changes. First off, the controller jewel will look like the one on the U.S. controller. Second, the cord will be extended to 9.8 feet. This new controller will be called the Xbox Controller S and should be available by May. This controller will not replace the one on the U.S. market, they will co-exist. This situation is much like the one Sony faced when they released the Dual Shock controller on the PlayStation. They kept the original controller, as well as the dual analog stick controller, on the market, then released another controller as an alternative to this, the now-famous Dual Shock. This new Xbox controller will carry a cost of $40.

    Friday, March 1, 2002

    Virtua Fighter 4.1 on XBox?
    Steve @ 10:31 PM EST
    Nothing is official, so don't get all hyped up yet. This is just a Rumor. CVG is reporting that VF 4.1 is in development for Xbox and is due out on May 10. Sega has not made this public yet, so there's no way of knowing if this is true or not.

    "Sources close to Yu Suzuki, the legendary creator of the Virtua Fighter series and driving force behind Shen Mue, have confirmed that the developer has been speaking of a version 4.1, for release late this year for the arcade and Xbox."

    We'll let you know as soon as we get the official word from Sega.

    First Screens and info on Exclusive Star Wars RPG
    Eric @ 12:26 AM EST
    Long before the Galactic Civil War, an epic drama begins.

    Engage in this saga set in the Golden Age of the Republic - over 4,000 years before the first Star Wars film, when both Jedi and Sith number in the thousands. With the Galaxy reeling from a recent conflict with the Dark Lords, the ongoing battle between the Jedi and the Sith rages on. Your actions determine the outcome of this colossal galactic war - and your destiny as a Jedi.

    Immersive, action-packed Star Wars role playing experience with customizable and evolving playable characters.

    Your group, comprised of up to 3 characters, can include humans, droids, Twi'leks, Wookiees and more.

    Fast paced mini-games -- such as racing swoop bikes, or manning turret guns.

    Journey spans ten different worlds ranging from the familiar to the new.

    Locations include Tatooine, Sith world of Korriban, Jedi Academy on Dantooine and Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk.


    Star Wars Knights of the old Republic Screen Gallery 1