NewsPro Archive

May 2004

Friday, May 28, 2004

Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy Goes Gold
Steve @ 9:51 PM EDT
Chicago-based Midway Amusement Games, LLC, announced today that their 3rd-person action Psi-Thriller has gone gold. Levitating to store shelves on June 14th, Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy provides gamers with ground-breaking gameplay elements, melding 6 different Psi powers with a traditional arsenal of weapons. Showcasing stellar graphics and one of the most innovative physics engines to date, Psi-Ops delivers a refreshing take on the action/adventure genre.

Proving that your mind is the ultimate weapon™, players take on the role of Nick Scryer, an American Psi-operative soldier, who must take down a terrorist organization set to overthrow world order, known as The Movement. Scryer must fight strategically against The Movement by using and combining his Psi powers; Telekinesis, Mind Control, Pyrokinesis, Mind Drain, Aura View and Remote Viewing, in order to win a very serious “mind game” against an amassed army of brainwashed terrorist super soldiers and the powerful Psi elite.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Codemasters: Tony Kanaan Wins Indianapolis 500
Steve @ 4:23 PM EDT
Indianapolis, IN – May 27, 2004 –Tony Kanaan passed Scott Dixon to take the checkered flag in a pre-Indy 500 video game simulation conducted by Codemasters. The race took part in celebration of the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 and the upcoming release of Codemasters’ video game, IndyCar® Series 2005, which ships for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft on June 22, 2004.

Kanaan took the lead on the last lap by passing Dixon on the outside in the final turn. In the heart-pounding finish, it was a combination of precise steering and advanced tactics that allowed Kanaan to overtake Dixon and scream across the finish line. Like its predecessor, IndyCar Series 2005 is the only next generation video game to feature the full IndyCar Series experience along with all of its major circuits, including the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“For IRL drivers, winning the Indy 500 is the ultimate dream,” said Tom Bass, senior product manager, Codemasters. “We’ve re-created the race so accurately that Tony Kanaan could very well be celebrating two victories in one week.”

IndyCar Series 2005 adds head to head 12 player online play via Xbox Live, improved graphics, rear view mirrors and steering wheel support. The game includes official IndyCar Series racing teams and drivers with up to 33 cars and 15 tracks, including the newly featured Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. Masterclass training, narrated by Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year Dan Wheldon, and accurate introductions made by ABC Sports commentators combine to give racing fans the ultimate racing experience.

“IndyCar Series 2005 allows fans to get a taste of IndyCar Series action first hand,” said Nicole Polsky, director of licensing for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The game creates such a realistic experience that many of the IRL drivers use it to keep sharp when they are unable to get on the track.”

X-Men Legends Fan Site Kit Available
Steve @ 4:19 PM EDT
Here's a message from Activision that we'd like to pass onto you:

The X-Men Legends Fan Site Kit is now available for download from the official site, the Mutant Vault, at http://www.x-men-legends.com/site_kit.php. Inside you'll find art, screenshots, logos and game information to get X-Men fans started on building a fan page. This release is only the beginning, as we expect to add additional content to the site kit in the coming months.

Also this week at the Mutant Vault we've added a new production update from producer Blaine Christine as well as some E3 2004 photos. Check back in the coming weeks for more new X-Men Legends goodies.

MLB SlugFest: Loaded To Implement Live 3.0
Steve @ 4:15 PM EDT
CHICAGO – May 27, 2004 - Midway Games Inc., a leading interactive entertainment industry publisher and developer, today announced that MLB SlugFest: Loaded is expected to be the first ever video game to implement Microsoft’s recently announced updates to Xbox™ Live 3.0 via customizable, online tournaments. MLB SlugFest: Loaded is scheduled for release on June 21, 2004, for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

Using the ability to create, customize and run online tournaments while in-game, as opposed to using the previously established XSN Web site, MLB SlugFest: Loaded gamers are to be the first to be given the ability to create in-game tournaments, an option that Microsoft has announced will soon be available for any game across all genres. Tournaments are to consist of 4, 8 or 16 teams and can be controlled by the user via private, password-protected channels that allow invited players only to join.

“The SlugFest development team has been working very hard over the past few months to integrate some of the great new features that Microsoft has helped to successfully execute through the recent updates to Xbox Live,” said Matt Booty, senior vice president of product development, Midway Amusement Games, LLC. “These new features dramatically increase the level of interaction when it comes to playing online, and we are proud to have MLB SlugFest: Loaded introduce them to the Xbox Live consumer.”

“We’re thrilled to see Midway be our first publisher to take advantage of the tournaments feature added to Xbox Live via the recent service update,” said Julia Miller, Director of Marketing for Xbox Live. “This new functionality will expand the experience gamers can have when they challenge their friends on Xbox Live, and MLB SlugFest: Loaded is a great game to see this start.”

About MLB SlugFest: Loaded

MLB SlugFest: Loaded is the only baseball videogame for the 2004 season featuring Midway’s classic fast and furious gameplay with hard tags and over-the-top animations. This year’s SlugFest features today’s greatest baseball players with the addition of over-the-top abilities, including turbo-speed running, highlight reel-worthy fielding, earth-shaking collisions and, as one would expect from a Midway Sports title, the ability for a player to catch fire and turbo charge the game action.

In addition, all-new gameplay features add a measure of depth and adrenaline yet to be matched by competing, simulation-like baseball titles: Customizable Instant Replay, providing gamers with complete control of the numerous camera angles available to get the best view of towering home runs and diving catches, Exploding Scoreboards, giving players the ability to light up stadium jumbo-screens with one swing of the bat, and also, the most updated MLB team rosters available in any game of its kind. Furthermore, players will be able to for the first time in the SlugFest series, take coaching skills, players and/or teams online for both PlayStation 2 and Xbox Live, one of only three 2004 baseball videogames to have such capabilities. Additional online capabilities will include voice chat using an optional headset and an on-screen sports ticker tape that allows players to track ongoing MLB action with a live news feed from MLB.com, offering up-to-date scores and stats. It also features an Online Tournament Mode which allows online users to match-up at anytime against the stiffest competition coast-to-coast where winners take all and the losers goes home. MLB Slugfest: Loaded also includes a completely original soundtrack from new breakthrough bands, including tracks from Ivory Wire, Buckfast Superbee and Flipswitch.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

E3Expo Wins Major Award
Steve @ 5:51 PM EDT
WASHINGTON, D.C.--May 25, 2004--The Electronic Entertainment Expo
(E3Expo) has been designated as the trade show with the "highest
buying power" in the nation, the Entertainment Software Association
(ESA), the show's owner, announced today. According to a recent survey
by Exhibit Surveys Inc., E3Expo has the largest percent of attendees
who plan to purchase products exhibited at the show within six months.

Separately, the show has been honored with awards for "Best Show
Daily," "Best Overall Web Site," and "Best Email Promotion Campaign"
by the International Association of Exhibit Managers (IAEM). The show
is the 31st largest trade show in the country, according to TradeShow
Week Magazine's "Tradeshow 200" current rankings.

"E3Expo management works hard to ensure that the show delivers
maximum value for its exhibitors, and we are thrilled to receive the
Exhibit Surveys award, validating our efforts to offer E3Expo
exhibitors the highest quality attendee base with which to conduct the
business of games," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA, the
trade association that owns E3Expo and represents U.S. computer and
video game publishers. "We appreciate the recognition by both Exhibit
Surveys and the IAEM, and will continue to strive to make E3Expo the
best trade show on earth for both exhibitors and attendees."

First held in 1995, the E3Expo is the world's largest trade event
exclusively dedicated to showcasing interactive entertainment and
educational software and related products. In 2004, the E3Expo
celebrated its 10th anniversary, and hosted more than 400 exhibitors
in 540,000 net square feet of exhibit space -- a total sell-out for
the show. Sixty-five thousand industry professionals from 87 countries
around the globe gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC)
for the four-day interactive entertainment trade show. E3Expo 2005 is
scheduled for May 18-20, 2005, in Los Angeles. For more information,
please visit http://www.e3expo.com

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone Coming to Xbox
Steve @ 6:02 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES--May 25, 2004--Atari and Stormfront Studios, under license from Hasbro, Inc., have announced plans to develop "Forgotten Realms(R): Demon Stone(TM)," an action-adventure game set in the popular "Dungeons & Dragons(R)" world created by Wizards of the Coast. Designed by Stormfront Studios, creators of "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," and originally in development for the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, "Demon Stone" will now also be available for the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft this fall.

Featuring a storyline developed by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, "Demon Stone" will also feature the extraordinary talents of actors Patrick Stewart and Michael Clarke Duncan, who will lend their voices to two prominent roles in the video game. "Demon Stone," which is scheduled for release in Fall 2004, is set in the popular "Dungeons & Dragons(R)" world created by Wizards of the Coast. "Demon Stone" is being developed by Stormfront Studios, creators of "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."

"Demon Stone's" intense, cinematic action is set entirely within the visually stunning Forgotten Realms fantasy world. Familiar characters, such as the famous drow Drizzt Do'Urden(TM) and the legendary mage Khelban "Blackstaff" Arunsun; and terrifying monsters, including Dragons, Orcs, Slaadi, Yuan-Ti and Trolls; as well as geographical locations straight from the popular D&D campaign setting will make appearances and serve as backdrops throughout the game. The story of "Demon Stone" revolves around the adventuring party's unwitting intrusion into an age-old conflict between two warring demonic armies -- one led by a Githyanki Princess and the other, a Slaad Lord. After inadvertently releasing both demons back upon the world after eons of imprisonment, it becomes the adventurers' quest to right their wrong and restore order to the world of Faerun.

In "Demon Stone," the player directs a party of three characters -- a Fighter, a Sorcerer and a Rogue. The player controls one party member at a time -- switching between them on the fly -- while the other party members are controlled by the engine's sophisticated artificial intelligence. For example, when the player controls the Fighter, the Sorcerer and Rogue will continue to engage in combat, cast spells and assist the player in defeating all challengers. In many situations, the characters will be able to divide and conquer difficult objectives -- while the Fighter holds back a horde of Yuan-Ti snakemen with brute force, the Sorcerer supports him with devastating ranged magic, while the Rogue sneaks above and behind them for a coup de grace. The player participates seamlessly in each critical moment as the characters are cinematically switched from one perspective to another.

"Demon Stone" will utilize an extensive fighting system which is both easy to learn and visually stunning. Characters will perform amazing attacks and feats at the simple touch of a button, but the system has sophisticated features for advanced players who want to tailor their attacks to maximize their damage in specific situations. Unique special attacks, combinations, linked combos, super attacks and even group super attacks allow advanced players to excel against their most fearsome foes.

In addition, "Demon Stone" will allow players to upgrade their characters with a branching path of new feats and combos as they gain experience and levels. Each character will feature a number of unique abilities, such as the Fighter's combat skills and strength, the Rogue's stealth and lock-picking abilities and the Sorcerer's plethora of new spells. For example, when upgrading the Fighter, the player might have the choice of upgrading his Strength, his Melee Skill or his Hand-to-Hand skill. Within those choices, there will be other dependencies, such as the requirement to earn Power Attack before Cleave can be acquired.

"Demon Stone" is scheduled for release in the fall of 2004.

Metal Slug 3 Ships For Xbox
Steve @ 5:54 PM EDT
WALL, NJ. – May 25, 2004 – SNK NEOGEO USA CONSUMER CORPORATION, the
US publishing arm of the SNK NEOGEO CORPORATION, announced today that
the company has shipped the first home version of the hit arcade title METAL SLUG 3 for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. METAL SLUG 3 will support the Xbox™ Live leaderboards and is exclusively for the Xbox in North America.

In addition to everything that made the arcade original a worldwide hit, the Xbox version of METAL SLUG 3 will have some brand new features and original missions accessible once you’ve cleared certain conditions. Players can choose from over 10 new slug vehicles exclusive to METAL SLUG 3, including the Slug Copter and the very unusual Elephant Slug, which comes complete with a trunk-spray weapon. METAL SLUG 3 features stunning hand drawn animation, detailed backgrounds, and massive bosses and explosions.

Leading gaming site GameSpot raves, “The mighty METAL SLUG 3 is a white-knuckled offering set to evangelize the virtues of 2D in a big way on Microsoft’s powerful console…It is shaping up to be an outstanding shooter for the Xbox.” Yahoo! Games Domain proclaims, “Based on our play experience, the final game may go down in history as one of the most enjoyable run-and-gun affairs ever.” Adds Official Xbox Magazine, “Considered to be the best installment in the long-running series…METAL SLUG 3 doesn’t hold anything back in the way it plays, looks, or handles…This is amazingly addictive stuff.” Xbox Nation sums up, “METAL SLUG is simple, expertly refined 2D action…it might be called the ultimate gamer’s game.”

“We’re delighted with the fantastic response METAL SLUG 3 has received from the press,” said Ben Herman, SNK NEOGEO USA CONSUMER CORPORATION President. “The METAL SLUG franchise has always been a consumer favorite, and now fans can see exactly how they stack up against everyone else on its Xbox Live Leaderboard.”

METAL SLUG 3 features includes:

• 5 challenging stages and a wide array of unique enemies
• Fight off huge crab-like creatures and large locusts on a deserted island in the South Seas
• Release the souls of zombies emerging from a plane crash in snow-covered mountains
• Dive into a battle against submarines and frogmen guarding an underwater bio-weapons factory
• Battle evil forces in the blazing South American desert
• Journey into outer space to encounter Morden at his stronghold
• Take alternate routes and explore exciting new stages with Crossroad Entrances on each level
• Attack vehicles include the METAL SLUG, Camel Slug, Rebel Armor, Slug Mariner, Ostrich Slug, and more. Find all 10 models for increased firepower and defensive capabilities.
• Cool weapons include handguns, power-up guns, grenades, cannons, and more!

Eidos Ships Thief: Deadly Shadows
Steve @ 5:18 PM EDT
San Francisco, CA (May 25, 2004)– Eidos plc, one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announced it has shipped to stores across North America the highly-anticipated Thief: Deadly Shadows for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft and PC. Thief: Deadly Shadows is the third chapter in the Thief saga, which originated the stealth gaming genre. For the first time in Thief franchise history, the game will be available on a game console and will feature a third-person perspective. Thief: Deadly Shadows leaves actions, decisions and consequences in the hands of the gamer - the master thief Garrett.

In Thief: Deadly Shadows players are tasked with saving the world from an impending dark age. As in the original game, stealth, character choices, weapons and tools work in combination with a richly interactive world to give players freedom to solve game problems the way they want to, rather than simply figuring out the path game designers had intended. Gamers can sneak, club, distract or kill their way past any problem encountered within the game world.

"When the first Thief game shipped, it was about the only stealth game available. That didn't last long--Thief spawned a host of competitors and imitators. But Deadly Shadows is, to my mind, the ultimate stealth simulation. It isn't just an arcade game or an action game masquerading as a "sneaker," but a full-blown simulation of a world where shadows are your only friends, silence your greatest ally and every character you meet a potential threat. Everything in the game, from lighting to sound to AI to physics to the tools and weapons you carry--everything is designed for stealth. Throw in a strong storyline and a truly memorable central character--Garrett, the master thief--and you have the makings of something really special." Says Warren Spector, director of Ion Storm.

Thief: Deadly Shadows features a powerful physics system, amazingly intelligent AI, dramatically enhanced character modelling and animation, a groundbreaking sound propagation system, state-of-the art lighting and graphics, and for the first time in franchise history a third person perspective. The game systems combine to enhance gameplay and challenge the player.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Shadow Ops: Red Mercury Goes Gold
Steve @ 2:33 PM EDT
Atari and Zombie, Inc. are pleased to announce that development is complete on "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury," the highly anticipated cinematic action game for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft. The game features AAA Hollywood production values in sound effects, music, script writing and cinematics to create the ultimate interactive summer blockbuster. "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" is expected to be available at retail stores in North America on June 15 and in Europe on June 18.

"'Shadow Ops: Red Mercury' is the most intense first-person action game ever made," said Jean Philippe Agati, executive producer at Atari. "With nail-biting action sequences, hard-hitting enemies, a variety of incredibly detailed environments and THX(TM) Game Certification for the best audio and visuals, 'Shadow Ops: Red Mercury' will offer gamers a completely immersive experience and they'll be blown away by the cinematic feel and gripping Hollywood-style action of the game. It's a race to save the world and no threat has ever been more real."

"Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" will offer players a gripping action movie-style experience through its unprecedented Hollywood production values and ground-breaking sound effects. In the game, the player fills the battle-ready combat boots of Frank Hayden, a special forces operative hand picked to track down and destroy the stolen "Red Mercury," a secret substance of unspeakable power that threatens the world with nuclear annihilation. The player will face off against blood-thirsty terrorists, renegade military forces and highly trained enemy special forces in a last ditch desperation mission to prevent the ultimate terror from reaching the world's greatest cities.

Zombie, Inc. partnered with AAA Hollywood talent for sound effects, script writing and music to make "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" the most cinematic action game ever created, essentially blurring the line between Hollywood summer blockbuster films and interactive entertainment. The game's groundbreaking Hollywood elements include:

-- Soundelux, the Academy Award-winning sound studio best known for their work on films such as "Kill Bill," "Gladiator" and "Black Hawk Down," created all the sound effects for the game, including immersive directional sound for ultra-realistic combat situations.

-- Inon Zur, a renowned composer of award-winning music for film, video games and television, created an all-original score for "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" that includes more than an hour of sweeping interactive music that reacts to the player's actions and changes for each location.

-- All music for the game was recorded at the Seattle Symphony, providing for a powerful performance and a more compelling audio experience.

-- The game has earned the coveted THX(R) Game Certification indicative of the immersive and compelling audio experience usually heard only in blockbuster Hollywood films.

-- Writers Tag Medillo and Ric Roman Waugh, renowned for work in films and video games, wrote the entire script for the game, including all in game cut-scenes and cinematics.

-- Developer Zombie, Inc. traveled the world researching locations for the game's levels, taking thousands of digital photos to create ultra-realistic textures for game locations like the Congo, Kazakhstan, Syria, Chechnya and more.

-- Zombie, Inc. met with military consultants, including former special forces members, to create realistic character motion and military movements in the game; special forces members also provided motion capture animation for the game's cinematics.

-- More than 30 minutes of movie-like cinematics were created by Attitude Studios; cinematics were storyboarded and shot like a Hollywood film, using dramatic angles and sweeping shots to further immerse the player in the interactive blockbuster experience.

-- "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" uses Epic Games' industry-leading Unreal(R) Engine to accurately recreate the realistic and gritty look of the game's many locations; the engine's power provides for eye-popping visuals, highly realistic textures, dramatic special effects and blistering multiplayer action.

"Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" is expected to release in North America on June 15 and in Europe on June 18. For more information on "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury," please visit the game's official Web site at http://www.shadowopsgame.com

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Paris Booster Pack Now Available for PGR 2
Steve @ 7:20 PM EDT
Microsoft Game Studios today announced the arrival of new downloadable content for the popular Xbox® racing title, Project Gotham Racing® 2. The PGR™2 Paris Booster Pack includes eight cars to race on seven new tracks in the beautiful "City of Lights." Gamers can download the PGR 2 Paris Booster Pack via Xbox Live™ for $4.99 (U.S.) beginning today, May 20.

The PGR 2 Paris Booster Pack will have gamers racing through the streets of Paris in some of the hottest cars around, including the Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z51, the Ferrari 250TR and the Porsche 356 A Carrera Speedster. Gamers' driving skills will be put to the test as they zip through L’Arc de Triomphe, Les Monuments Célébres and Elysées Challenge while racking up Kudos and showing the competition how high-speed racing is really done.

Project Gotham Racing 2 is the follow-up to the smash hit Project Gotham Racing, and offers circuit-based racing through highly detailed, photorealistic urban environments. Racers can choose from more than 100 of the hottest cars while navigating their way around 10 exciting cities, mastering corners and accelerating through the straightaways before moving to a different venue. Players also can race against up to seven friends at once using System Link or match up against seven players online utilizing the Xbox Live service. Project Gotham Racing 2 was developed by Bizarre Creations and is available now for an estimated retail price of $29.99 (U.S.). For more information, please visit the official site at http://www.xbox.com/pgr2

Top 10 Xbox Games for April 2004
Steve @ 3:13 PM EDT
Released by NPD today, this is the Top 10 Xbox games list for April 2004.

1. Fight Night 2004 - EA
2. Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow - Ubisoft
3. NBA Ballers - Midway
4. Halo - Microsoft
5. Hitman: Contracts - Eidos
6. MVP Baseball 2004 - EA
7. Ninja Gaiden - Tecmo
8. ESPN MLB Baseball - Sega
9. Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn of Destiny - Konami
10. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - LucasArts

Official MLB Slugfest Loaded Website Launches
Steve @ 2:51 PM EDT
CHICAGO – May 20, 2004 – Midway Games Inc., a leading software industry publisher and developer, today announced the launch of the official website for its upcoming baseball title, MLB SlugFest: Loaded. Players can now step-up to the plate and online at http://www.mlbslugfestloaded.com to get the latest news and updates on the EXCLUSIVE, over-the-top baseball video game delivering multiplayer, online tournaments via the newly renovated Xbox Live 3.0 service.

Officially licensed by the MLB and MLB Players Association, MLB SlugFest: Loaded is, as its name suggests, “loaded” with every gaming feature imaginable. MLB SlugFest: Loaded is on-fire, in-depth and online in a way no other baseball game has ever been before. “On-fire” means that gamers will get more over-the-top moves, more control on the mound, more options at the plate and more outrageous commentary from Tim Kitzrow and Jim Shorts than ever before. “In-depth” means that we’ve added, arguably, the deepest Franchise Mode ever in a baseball videogame with the inclusion of the Baseball Mogul™ engine. And finally, “Online” simply means that the best multiplayer baseball game is ready for the largest multiplayer audience possible…SlugFest: Loaded is soon to be available online for both PS2 and Xbox Live. It’s baseball season, folks, and it’s about time to throw out the first pitch SlugFest-style!

MLB SlugFest: Loaded will be available June 2004 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

E3 2004: Darkwatch from Sammy Studios
Steve @ 10:30 PM EDT
Los Angeles, CA – May 12, 2004 — Sammy Studios, Inc., a developer, publisher and global distributor of interactive entertainment content, today premiered a live game demonstration of Darkwatch at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Darkwatch is the company’s internal development debut, an original video game property blending Vampire-Horror and Western genres to deliver a unique cinematic first person shooter (FPS). Sammy Studios is holding presentations of Darkwatch for the duration of E3, held May 12-14, 2004 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Demos will take place inside a replica of an in-game haunted church featuring a 33’ tall spire that scrapes the ceiling of the exhibit hall. The church serves as a dedicated theatre, incorporating state-of-the-art projection and surround sound technology to deliver a stunning live game demonstration. Sammy Studios is located at booth #424 South Hall.

Also today, Sammy Studios launched the first phase of a new Web site
dedicated to Darkwatch at www.darkwatch.com. Designed by the
award-winning team from My Pet Skeleton, the site captures the game’s stylistic look through amazing 3D visual effects and offers up the first comprehensive look at the game. Darkwatch comes to the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system* and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft® in spring 2005. The title has an MRSP of $49.99 and is not yet rated.

“Darkwatch will establish Sammy Studios as a creator of compelling original franchises,” said Tim Pivnicny, senior VP of sales and marketing, Sammy Studios, Inc. “We have a great game being created by a talented and passionate team. Our goal at E3 is to premiere it with the prominence it deserves. We want to elevate excitement for those who already know Darkwatch, and firmly implant it in the minds of the uninitiated as a game event for the coming year.”

Darkwatch introduces a mysterious secret society that has protected
humanity from evil since the dawn of civilization. Their newest and most deadly agent is Jericho Cross, an outlaw gunslinger pulled into their ranks after an unfortunate close encounter with a vampire lord. As the one responsible for unleashing the vampire and his minions on the West, Jericho must use his new vampire powers to hunt him down to prevent the American Frontier from being overrun by the undead, and to save his own soul from a damned eternity.

Darkwatch promises a cinematic video game experience with remarkable
game play variety in an FPS. With Jericho’s supernatural abilities,
mysteriously advanced Darkwatch weaponry, shattering melee attacks unique to each weapon, armed vehicles and a deadly demon steed, players lay waste across a Wild West infested by Vampires and other supernatural creatures. Darkwatch creates a “living” West, where the choices the player makes lead to different paths and abilities based on a unique reputation and experience system. The experience is further enhanced with location-specific damage, letting players tear apart the undead, and innovative use of Havok physics for dynamic objects that can be improvised as weapons.

The new Web site is the destination for the latest information on
Darkwatch, setting its premise and revealing key game features. Visitors can access the newest screenshots, video trailers and artwork, download wallpapers, post messages, “Join the Darkwatch” to receive updates and even preorder the game. In addition to the dedicated game site, Sammy Studios has launched a forum where the Darkwatch community can exchange thoughts and ideas up to and beyond the game’s release. The Darkwatch forum is located at http://forums.sammystudios.com, and the Web site is
now live at http://www.darkwatch.com.

E3 2004: Mad Catz Shows Its E3 Line up
Steve @ 10:28 PM EDT
San Diego, California, May 11, 2004 - Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (“Mad Catz”), the world’s leading third party video game accessory manufacturer, announced today its official E3 2004 lineup of new video game accessories. Mad Catz will feature the newest and hottest accessories available for the PlayStation®2, Xbox®, GameCube™, and Game Boy Advance gaming systems.

“Our new products represent a sample of the incredible innovation that our developers are bringing to the video gaming industry,” said Darren Richardson, President and CEO of Mad Catz. “For example, our newest GameShark product is a true convergence device that adds multi-media capability to the PS2. We are also introducing products that capitalize on the fast-growing online gaming segment and a number of products, like the Disc Repair Kit, that represent new entries into adjacent product categories. Our goal is to develop new products that can leverage our leading brands, product design expertise, low-cost manufacturing capability and extensive distribution network to drive continued growth during the transition to the next console cycle.”

Some of the innovative new products that Mad Catz will showcase are:

GameShark®2 Cheat Codes and Media Center (PS2)

Broadband enabled to keep your GameShark up-to-date with guaranteed codes for 1st day of game releases – available on http://www.GameShark.com

3D graphic engine

Music provided by Fear Factory

USB storage device reader

MP3 file support

Photo and Image viewer

Compatible with all PS2 gaming systems

Xbox Live Pad (Xbox)

Integrated Xbox® Live™ controller with built-in communicator for online gaming
Mute/volume control

Quality headset included

Compatible with all 100+ Xbox Live titles

HipCom Wireless Headset (Xbox)

Wireless Xbox® Live™ headset with communicator for online gaming

Compatible with all cable and wireless Xbox controllers

Unblockable RF technology

Transfers data signal to and from headset and communicator

MicroCon Wireless Control Pad (Xbox)

Wireless solution of the leading and original micro controller in the market

Contains all the features, comfort and control of a full-size controller

Zombie Pad (Xbox and PS2)

Next generation controllers in design, colors, and lighting

Unique crackle/ zombie skin paint job

Fully-functional, limited edition controllers
Light Blaster (PS2)

New technology light gun that works with all HDTV, LCD, and rear projection televisions

Vibration kickback, rapid fire, automatic reload

GunCON compatible
Micro Multi-Port (PS2)

4-player multi-port lets four players go head-to-head using one controller slot

Sleek new space saving design fits two side-by-side

Built-in memory card slot

Compatible with all games displaying the multi-player logo

Universal Arcade Master Pro™

Universal arcade stick for PSX, PSone, PlayStation2, Xbox and GameCube

Compatible with all analog and digital fighting games that require one joystick

Customizable faceplate skins downloadable at http://www.GameShark.com

Universal Disc Repair Kit

Motorized repair unit removes scratches and blemishes on any CD or DVD – games, music and movies

Helps repair skipping, scrambling and disk load errors

Forms protective layer to prevent future blemishes

Works with mini-discs

Universal Ethernet Power line Wall Mount (Xbox, PS2, PC, Mac)

PS2 and Xbox compatible – simply plug one wall mount next to your Ethernet modem and the other next to your game console

Works with any PC and Mac that has a Ethernet port
Utilizes existing power outlets in your house to transfer data at higher speeds than traditional wireless solutions

Enables online gaming

Universal System Selector HD

Fully HD compatible system selector

Component color separation for richer, brighter colors and high quality sound

Remote control

Unique system under glow

Thin, 1-inch in height

5.1 Sound System/Game Theater (Xbox, PS2, GameCube)

Five 30W speakers and one 50W subwoofer sound system

Dolby Digital, Pro-logic II and DTS decoder build in 200W RMS

Decodes even without home system receiver

Converts regular RCA output devices, such as GameCube, into 5.1 signal

Connects to any audio output device with RCA jacks
Liquid Game Binders

Unique, liquid style CD binder to store games, music, movie

Unique design holds manuals and CD cover art

Ultra-protective CD sleeves

Downloadable graphics at http://www.GameShark.com to customize cover

E3 2004: Atlus Bringing Xbox Live Fishing to Xbox
Steve @ 10:11 PM EDT
Irvine, CA (May 12, 2004) - Atlus U.S.A., Inc., a leading publisher of interactive entertainment, announced today its plans to publish the only Xbox Live enabled fishing simulation, Pro Fishing Challenge, for the Xbox for release in Summer 2004.

Cast your line, set your hook, and prepare for the most realistic fishing simulation on the Xbox. Pro Fishing Challenge replicates all the excitement and tension of fishing without having to leave the comfort of your living room. Participate in one of the many Tournament Modes and earn money to buy the latest tackle and equipment. You can also choose to relax and just enjoy the scenery on any one of the four photorealistic lakes. Once you think you’ve mastered the single player modes, you can take your angling skills to the ultimate test and challenge the best fisherman on “Xbox Live”

"This is the ultimate fishing simulation, period," said Yu Namba, Project Lead, Atlus U.S.A., Inc. "With Live capability, limitless customization and unrelenting realism, no other fishing game on the market comes close to delivering the immersion of Pro Fishing Challenge."

Pro Fishing Challenge Features:

  • Explore 4 huge photorealistic lakes complete with day and night cycles.
  • Incredible simulation of lake environments and fish ecology which include variable weather effects, water temperature and wind speed.
  • Customize your own fisherman with different clothing items and accessories!
  • Equip your angler with over 100 pieces of tackle: rods, lines, reels and lures.
  • The only fishing game with Online Multiplayer! Challenge the best anglers around the world on “Xbox Live.”
    Pro Fishing Challenge has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information, visit the official Atlus website at http://www.atlus.com.

    E3 2004: Sammy Announces Iron Pheonix for Xbox Live
    Steve @ 10:05 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES, CA – May 12, 2004 — Sammy Studios, Inc., a developer,
    publisher and global distributor of interactive entertainment content, today launched the Web site dedicated to the upcoming 16-player online fighting game Iron Phoenix at http://www.ironphoenix.com. Designed by Beck Interactive, Inc., the site highlights the video game promising to bring a new experience to 3D fighting as the first-ever online multiplayer fighting game. Iron Phoenix introduces a number of new elements to the fight genre with squad-based melee combat, wire-fu style Kung-Fu fighting, a weapons-based moves and combos system and team play that includes the ability to string together combos between characters. Players will battle with more than ten playable characters and nine unique weapons in massive battle arenas, with beautiful indoor and outdoor environments set in a mythical ancient China. Iron Phoenix will also offer a rich
    single-player mode, with a story and setting drawn from classic martial arts epics. Developed by InterServ International, Inc., exclusively for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft®, Iron Phoenix brings multiplayer Kung-Fu fighting to Xbox Live™ in Holiday 2004. The title has an MRSP of $49.99 and is not yet rated.

    “With Iron Phoenix, we have created a new game genre using online
    multiplayer,” said Tim Pivnicny, senior VP of sales and marketing, Sammy Studios, Inc. “Iron Phoenix is simultaneously a fighting game and a melee combat game, and it incorporates game modes and play mechanics inspired by squad-based shooters. Add Kung-Fu weapons and fight moves motion captured from professional martial artists and you are looking at a video game experience like nothing before it.”

    Iron Phoenix follows the fate of a set of powerful weapons created from shards of a massive meteor. A legend claiming absolute power to anyone who controls all the weapons becomes the thunder portending a storm; a call to arms for the greatest warriors to gather for the final decisive battles. The newly launched Iron Phoenix Web site introduces this rich universe, taking visitors through a virtual tour conducted by the game’s legendary master warrior Qi Go. As master to Kai and Mia, two young warriors on the quest for the weapons, Qi Go tells the story behind the Iron Phoenix meteor and reveals some of the coveted weapons forged from it. Master Qi Go begins his schooling Kai, Mia and future warriors with a look at game play modes and the massive indoor and outdoor battle arenas that will be the ultimate Iron Phoenix proving grounds. Throughout the robust site, visitors will have access to artwork, screenshots and videos, as well as downloadable content such as wall papers and character avatars. The most promising warriors can post on Message Boards, preorder Iron Phoenix and sign up for a newsletter to get constant updates as the game progresses towards release. In addition to the dedicated game site, Sammy Studios has launched a forum for the Iron Phoenix
    community at http://forums.sammystudios.com. The Iron Phoenix site is now live at http://www.ironphoenix.com.

    E3 2004: SNK Announces SVC Choas for Xbox Live
    Steve @ 9:58 PM EDT
    WALL, NJ. - May 12, 2004 - SNK NEOGEO USA CONSUMER CORPORATION, the US publishing arm of the SNK NEOGEO CORPORATION, announced today that the company will publish the first home version of the hit arcade title, SNK VS CAPCOM: SVC CHAOS, exclusively for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

    SVC CHAOS fully supports Xbox(tm) Live, so consumers can take on opponents around the neighborhood or across the country in the ultimate battle for survival.

    SVC CHAOS features 36 famous fighters including 17 SNK playable characters, 17 Capcom playable characters, and 2 Secret Bosses. SVC CHAOS has also added bonus characters from some of the very best 2D fighting games ever made, including THE KING OF FIGHTERS, FATAL FURY, and SAMURAI SHODOWN and Street Fighter. Exclusive to this game are special characters such as Capcom's Mega Man and Red Arremer, and SNK's Shiki and Athena.

    "For fans of arcade fighting games, SVC CHAOS is the ultimate dream match," said Ben Herman, SNK NEOGEO USA CONSUMER CORPORATION President. "Now players can bring the arcade home and test their fighting skills against anyone in the world."

    SVC CHAOS PRODUCT FEATURES:

    * Choose famous characters such as Mega Man, Shiki or Athena.

    * A total of 34 characters from SNK and CAPCOM are playable from the beginning.

    * 2 secret boss characters are available if certain conditions are met.

    * Multiple modes of play including Arcade, Versus and Practice.

    * Utilize the special or super special moves unique to each character.

    * Max out the 3 levels of the power gauge to increase effectiveness of the special moves.

    * Strategically adjust the timing of your attacks by using the Forward Ground Step move.

    * Go beyond the Super Special move with the exclusive Exceed Move to inflict massive damage.

    E3 2004: Gamebryo In Playboy: The Mansion
    Steve @ 9:49 PM EDT
    NDL, a leading developer of 3D graphics technology for the computer and video game industry, announced today, from the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), that Gamebryo(R) is being used by game developer Cyberlore in the creation of the upcoming title, Playboy: The Mansion(TM) for the Xbox(TM), PlayStation(R)2 and PC. Cyberlore has fully integrated Gamebryo into its Prometheus Engine(R) to improve graphics and reduce the time and resources associated with cross-platform development.

    Previewing at E3 this year, Playboy: The Mansion is a highly anticipated game co-published by ARUSH Entertainment and Groove Games. The title blends state-of-the-art social simulation with traditional role-playing and empire-building gameplay. Playboy: The Mansion demonstrates the cross-platform and graphics capabilities of Gamebryo as well as the product's ability to integrate with proprietary, internal engines. Cyberlore's Prometheus engine is delivering the title's simulation and gameplay with Gamebryo, enhancing its look and feel by handling all of the 3D graphics.

    "NDL has a strong engineering and technology foundation and a proven track record of assisting development teams to deliver hit titles on time," said Jon Walsh, spokesman for Groove Games and ARUSH Entertainment. "After evaluating the technology, it was apparent that Gamebryo was the ideal solution for our project on both the business and technology fronts."

    "Game development has become an extremely competitive and complex business," said Joe Minton, president and chief executive officer of Cyberlore. "NDL enables us to create compelling graphics and gameplay within the development timeframe set forth by our publishers. Integration with Prometheus was seamless and the combined solution is helping us cost-effectively deliver a better game."

    E3 2004: Microsoft's Xbox E3 Announcement
    Steve @ 9:46 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES - May 10, 2004 - To a packed house of video game leaders two days before the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3), Microsoft Corp. boldly showcased its plans to lead the industry in games, online services, software and alliances. Flanked by legendary sports stars, including Muhammad Ali, St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk and Denver Nugget Carmelo Anthony, Microsoft Chief Xbox® Officer Robbie Bach and Electronic Arts Inc. President of Worldwide Studios Don Mattrick brought down the renowned Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles by announcing Electronic Arts' commitment to bringing its critically acclaimed games to the Microsoft® Xbox Live™ online gaming service starting this summer.

    "EA has always been a great publisher for Xbox," Bach said. "We're strengthening our alliance by bringing EA's world-class games to Xbox Live, the undisputed leader in online console gaming."

    Through this long-term agreement, many of EA's major franchises will be coming to Xbox Live, with more than 15 titles expected in the coming months including "Madden NFL™ 2005," NBA LIVE 2005," "FIFA Soccer 2005," and "Need for Speed™ Underground 2," as well as "Burnout™ 3," "TimeSplitters Future Perfect™" and the popular online franchise, "Battlefield." The news is welcomed by nearly 1 million Xbox Live members in 24 countries pining to play EA franchises online.

    Blockbuster Xbox Games Coming Soon

    In addition to the EA announcement, Microsoft showcased breakthrough titles, bringing new levels of personalization, compelling story lines, and graphics superiority only achievable on Xbox. Capping the night, Microsoft demonstrated the continuous innovation and leadership of Xbox Live as the premier online service for console video games now and into the future.

    Microsoft revealed that the highly anticipated blockbuster "Halo® 2" will be on store shelves Nov. 9, 2004. "Halo 2" is the sequel to one of the greatest games ever made, "Halo: Combat Evolved," with more than 4 million copies sold worldwide. Although much of the story line of the game remains one of the industry's best-kept secrets, the battle comes to Earth as Master Chief, a genetically enhanced super soldier, is the only thing standing between the relentless alien Covenant and the destruction of all humankind. "Halo 2" promises graphics that push the powerful Xbox hardware to its limits and gameplay that showcases breakthrough Xbox Live play.

    Proving that its game pipeline is fully loaded, Microsoft also showcased upcoming games that redefine their respective genres through compelling story lines, personalization and jaw-dropping graphics achievable only on Xbox. These games also reflect the boundless imagination of their creators:

  • "DOOM 3" (Developed by id Software and distributed by Activision Inc.). A console exclusive for Xbox, "DOOM 3" draws players into the most terrifying and gripping 3-D gaming experience ever created. Built on id's revolutionary new 3-D graphics engine, "DOOM 3" delivers an epic clash against pure evil as gamers battle the forces of Hell alone or cooperatively on Xbox Live.
  • "Dead or Alive® Ultimate" (Tecmo Inc.). Tecmo's esteemed development group, Team Ninja, has created the ultimate "Dead or Alive" fighting experience, "Dead or Alive Ultimate," by coupling the original version of "Dead or Alive" with a completely redesigned "Dead or Alive 2" on the Xbox video game system to create one of the first 3-D online fighting games. Both games will be Xbox Live multiplayer-compatible, enabling players to test their fighting skills against a vast community of gamers from around the world.
  • "Fable™" (Developed by Big Blue Box Studios and Lionhead Studios for Microsoft Game Studios). In this groundbreaking role-playing adventure game, gamers choose the path of righteousness or a life of evil, and watch themselves transform into a reflection of their actions and decisions.
  • "Forza Motorsport™" (Microsoft Game Studios). "Forza Motorsport" is the first fully customizable racing simulation for Xbox. This groundbreaking game allows gamers to drive hundreds of the hottest cars in the world from more than 60 manufacturers at breakneck speeds. For gamers eager to put their reputation on the line against the best on Xbox Live, "Forza Motorsport" takes the checkered flag.
  • "Jade Empire™" (Developed by BioWare Corp. for Microsoft Game Studios). From the developer of the acclaimed "Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™" comes an action role-playing game with an innovative new fighting engine. More than 30 martial-arts fighting styles have been incorporated into the game, and only by mastering them and using the right ones at the right time will players rise to the top in the world of "Jade Empire."
  • "Xbox Live Arcade™." This fall, the casual games people love to play with their families will be playable on their television screens with "Xbox Live Arcade." Games will include puzzle games such as "Bejeweled"; card games such as poker, hearts and bridge; and classic action and arcade favorites such as Namco's "Dig Dug" and "Galaxian©." Microsoft is working with leading companies - such as Atari Inc., PopCap Games Inc., GarageGames and Nolan Bushnell's uWink.com Inc. - to bring a robust offering to "Xbox Live Arcade."

    E3 2004: Shadow Ops: Red Mercury With THX
    Steve @ 9:42 PM EDT
    Atari's upcoming military blockbuster, "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury," the highly anticipated cinematic first-person action game for the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, has earned the coveted THX(TM) Certified Game(TM) status. THX ensures that the game has the potential to deliver the immersive and compelling audio and video experience typically found in blockbuster Hollywood films. "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" will be available June 22 and will offer players a gripping action movie-style experience through its unprecedented Hollywood production values and ground-breaking sound and visual effects.

    The THX Certified Game program, launched in September 2003, provides game publishers optimization of the development environments that were used to produce "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury." These capabilities leverage the cinema design and film post-production experience of THX and provided the "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" sound designers and visual artists a means to push the limits of interactive content creation. In addition, THX expertise in audio/visual playback provided a level of consistency across all elements of the game that were created in different studio locations, ensuring the artistic vision of the production team was maintained throughout its development.

    "Video games like `Shadow Ops: Red Mercury' are moving closer to Hollywood blockbusters, incorporating 5.1 surround soundtracks and visual effects that match the realism of feature films," said Mark Tuffy, director of advanced technology at THX. "We are thrilled to work with Atari to help its team of developers create a truly groundbreaking game experience. This partnership reinforces the commitment of THX to innovation that raises the production standards for game development."

    "Working closely with THX to deliver the most realistic and impactful audio and video experience is another example of how Atari is continually blurring the lines between games and films," said Jean Philippe Agati, executive producer, Atari. "With a richly textured universe of sounds and emotional depths, `Shadow Ops' will provide players with a new level of realism that will change the way they play games."

    Set in the near future, "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury" will engulf players in the world of an elite Delta Force operative. When a female Russian double-agent discovers information on "Red Mercury" -- a secret substance that can be used as a nuclear accelerant -- players must travel the globe from the Middle East to the African Congo to the battlefields of Eastern Europe to find and control Red Mercury before terrorist organizations can use the device for mass destruction.

    For more information on "Shadow Ops: Red Mercury," please visit the game's official Web site at http://www.shadowopsgame.com

    E3 2004: Nyko Announces New Xbox Live Headset
    Steve @ 9:34 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 12, 2004--Nyko Technologies(TM), a leading manufacturer of innovative peripherals for video and computer games, has produced an ideal headset alternative for use with Xbox(R) Live Online Games -- the Nyko SpeakerCom(TM). The controller-mounted SpeakerCom allows players to speak and listen without the ear discomfort and distraction that might be caused by a headset.

    The Nyko SpeakerCom is plug-and-play. The combined speaker and microphone unit plugs into the controller and Xbox(R) Live Communicator.

    "The popularity of Xbox Live has created a new element, adding voice communication to gameplay," said Susan Corben, director of marketing, Nyko Technologies. "Both our company gamers and Nyko product fans have told us that for some players the headset can be distracting. The Nyko SpeakerCom solves this issue."

    The Nyko SpeakerCom's high-quality components provide great sound quality. The unit requires no batteries.

    Nyko's SpeakerCom will be available at all major retailers.

    E3 2004: EA Finally Announces Its Support for Xbox Live
    Steve @ 9:27 PM EDT
    Redwood City, Calif. – May 10, 2004 – Electronic Arts today announced one of the most anticipated events in the history of videogames: EA and Microsoft have struck an agreement that will allow players of EA SPORTS™ and EA GAMES™ titles to compete and play online through Xbox Live™. Players will have access to voice communication, tournaments, ladders and all the fun of online play. Terms of the agreement were not released.

    The first game to include Xbox Live capability will be NCAA® Football 2005, scheduled for release in July. Madden NFL 2005, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 2005, NASCAR® 2005: Chase For The Cup, NBA LIVE 2005, NHL® 2005, and NCAA® March Madness™ 2005 will follow. EA GAMES titles on Xbox Live include GoldenEye: Rogue Agent™, Need for Speed™ Underground 2, Battlefield: Modern Combat™, Burnout™ 3 and TimeSplitters Future Perfect™.

    “Microsoft has always been one of our best business partners,” said EA Chairman and CEO Larry Probst. “This agreement took time because we needed to get it right. This agreement enlists EA to further expand the Xbox Live community and allows us to build a business around premium content. The agreement is good for Microsoft, good for EA and most of all, good for the players.”

    “Since launching the Xbox Live service less than 18 months ago, we already have nearly a million subscribers in 24 countries around the world,” noted Microsoft Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach. “The addition of blockbuster EA franchises to the Xbox Live service promises to reinforce our strong online position and bring even more gamers into the Xbox Live community.”

    EA’s Xbox Live titles will provide features that bring the unified Xbox Live experience to the millions of EA Xbox gamers. EA’s Xbox Live features will deliver world-class EA games, as well as an online community through EA online. EA Xbox Live features include Quickmatch and Optimatch, as well as supporting current Xbox Live Gamertags and voice communication. EA also will support the existing Xbox Live friends list, and additionally offer the EA Messenger service for easy communication amongst other Xbox Live friends.

    E3 2004: Lucas Arts Announces E3 Line up
    Steve @ 7:57 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 11, 2004--LucasArts, the interactive entertainment division of Lucasfilm Ltd., today announced that it will showcase five new, highly anticipated computer and video game titles at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this week in Los Angeles. Tapping into the extensive creative synergies within Lucasfilm, LucasArts will focus its force on delivering innovative and unparalleled interactive Star Wars(R) experiences that are tied to major film events in 2004. The company will also continue its commitment to introducing exciting and original game titles with the debut of Mercenaries(TM), an explosive new action-shooter set in massive, open-ended environments.

    "This is an important year for LucasArts and an exciting one for consumers," said Jim Ward, newly appointed president of LucasArts. "With the growing convergence of Hollywood and gaming, we're uniquely positioned with the Star Wars franchise to deliver unmatched, integrated experiences that blur the lines between the cinema and living room. Working closely with Lucasfilm, we look forward to taking Star Wars to the next level across all mediums."

    Star Wars Franchise Sets Bar for Film and Game Convergence

    LucasArts will launch Star Wars Battlefront(TM) day-and-date with the release of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD on September 21, 2004, allowing consumers to watch the classic movies then power up the PC or game console, extending the experience through the game.

    Additionally, LucasArts will ship Star Wars Republic Commando(TM) in conjunction with the release of Star Wars: Episode III movie trailers this fall. Star Wars Republic Commando is a squad-based first-person shooter set during the Clone War era, between Attack of the Clones and Episode III.

    The company will also release Star Wars Galaxies(R): Jump to Lightspeed(TM), an expansion pack to the critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online persistent Star Wars universe that is set between Episodes IV and V.

    In addition to games tied to film events, LucasArts will debut Star Wars(R) Knights of the Old Republic(R) II: The Sith Lords(TM), the sequel to last year's award-winning role-playing game set in the unique timeframe of the Old Republic, 4,000 years before the movies.

    Building on the commitment to expand its portfolio, LucasArts will also unveil Mercenaries(TM), a virtual playground of destruction that delivers the next level of free-form gameplay in massive interactive environments.

    LucasArts E3 Lineup - Titles At-a-Glance

    Star Wars Battlefront: An action/shooter game that gives fans and gamers the opportunity to re-live and participate in all of the classic Star Wars battles like never before. Players can select one of a number of different soldier types, jump into any vehicle, man any turret on the battlefront and conquer the galaxy planet by planet online with their friends or offline in a variety of single player modes. Battles are set up in more than 15 environments across 10 diverse planets, such as Hoth, Endor and Tatooine, in addition to memorable Clone Wars locations like Kamino and Geonosis. Star Wars Battlefront will be released for the PlayStation2, Xbox and PC on September 21, 2004, day-and-date with the release of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD set.

    Star Wars Republic Commando: A squad-based first-person shooter that lets players explore the elite world of the Star Wars military. Leading a three-man squad of Republic commandos, players embark on a variety of missions that go deep behind enemy lines in more than 14 intense and challenging levels, spanning three unique campaigns. As a Republic commando, you will have more than a dozen deadly weapons at your disposal, including the game's ultimate weapon -- your squad itself. The innovative "One-Touch Squad Control" system lets players command orders to their squad with the touch of a button. Star Wars Republic Commando will be released in Fall 2004 for the Xbox and PC.

    Star Wars Galaxies: Jump To Lightspeed: The struggle between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance extends into space with Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed, the first expansion pack for the award-winning Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game set in the Star Wars universe. Positioned in the Star Wars timeframe between Episode IV and Episode V, this first extension opens 10 vast and distinct space sectors, spanning from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim, for players to explore while engaging their opponents in intense real-time combat or uniting with friends in battle or exploration. Players can embark on more than 100 new missions, venturing through asteroid fields, nebulae and space junkyards while honing skills in four new space-specific professions. Star Wars Galaxies: Jump To Lightspeed will be released in Fall 2004 for the PC.

    Mercenaries: A revolutionary third-person combat-action game that places gamers in a virtual playground of destruction and delivers the next level of free-form gameplay in massive interactive environments. The game gives players the opportunity to take on the role of a soldier for hire in an open-ended world, letting players choose to be one of three mercenaries: an American ex-soldier, a British secret agent or a Swedish bounty hunter. Each playable character has unique strengths and weaknesses that affect gameplay. The nonstop action within Mercenaries is heightened by the integration of the Havok physics engine, making everything within the environment act and react as it would in real life. LucasArts will deploy Mercenaries in Winter 2005 for the PlayStation2 and Xbox.

    Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Beginning approximately five years after the events of the first KOTOR(TM), Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords takes players on an entirely new journey as they assume the role of what is believed to be the last Jedi in the galaxy. The game features a cast of memorable returning characters and sinister new villains. Using more than 30 new Force powers, players can turn weak-minded enemies against one another in combat with "Force confusion" or see through doors and view character alignment with "Force sight." Assigned to protect the Old Republic and the Jedi Order from the terrifying Dark Lords of the Sith, players must explore and battle through seven diverse worlds while being challenged whether to choose the light side of the Force or surrender to the lure of the dark side. The Sith Lords will be released for the Xbox and PC in Winter 2005.

    LucasArts will be showcasing its product lineup in Suite 153A/Concourse Hall in the Staples Convention Center by appointment only on May 12-13. The suite will be open to all show attendees on May 14 beginning at 12:30 p.m.

    LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems and PC. Based in Marin County, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts was created in 1982 by George Lucas to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multi-faceted entertainment company.

    E3 2004: Midway Announces Hollywood Stars in NARC
    Steve @ 7:54 PM EDT
    Underscoring its commitment to publishing fulfilling interactive entertainment experiences for consumers, Midway Games Inc., a leading interactive entertainment publisher and developer, today announced that several Hollywood stars are to lend their voice talents to its upcoming NARC(R) video game. Scheduled for release in early 2005 for both the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft, NARC is an in-depth, 3rd-person action/shooter game that poses the ultimate challenge; you can walk the line or you can cross it.

    Assuming the video game persona of Jack Forzenski, an undercover narcotics agents fighting the war on drugs, is Michael Madsen (Kill Bill Vol.2, Reservoir Dogs), a star well-versed in the interactive entertainment field. Rounding out the ensemble are Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Blade II,) who plays the corrupt Captain Ed Kowalski, and Michael Wincott (The Crow), who gives life to the drug kingpin, Mr. Big.

    "We strive to incorporate an extremely high level of production values into each of our video games and the inclusion of such distinguished voice-over talent certainly adds to that level of quality," said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. "We are delighted to be working with all of these individuals and feel their prodigious abilities will enhance what is already an extremely high entertainment quotient for the game."

    About NARC

    NARC will make a bold statement as a gritty crime drama that offers an intense and thought-provoking view into the seedy world of the war on drugs. Playing as dual characters in the elite NARC squad, Jack Forzenski and Marcus Hill, consumers have a seemingly simple choice; they can walk the line or they can cross it.

    Eight Rockland police officers are slain by a drug dealer tripping on an unknown substance, during a routine traffic violation turned bloodbath. The DEA sends Dt. Marcus Hill to help in the investigation. Marcus was once part of Rockland's police force, until two years ago when his partner Jack Forzenski was kicked off the force. Unable to reconcile his deteriorating relationship with Jack, Marcus left for the greener pastures of the DEA. Now he must again work with his old partner (who's back on the force), and Captain Ed Kowalski, his former boss. Together, they investigate the new mystery drug, untangling a web of lies, betrayals, secrets, and temptations.

    Additional information about NARC can be found online at http://www.midway.com

    We're Back
    Steve @ 3:10 AM EDT
    We're back to our headquarters. First, we are truly sorry for not having any E3 updates during the show. This being our first E3, we were a little short-handed. We will catch everyone up on all the updates either later on, or tomorrow. It's been a long day, and a wonderful experience, and we'll show you it all.

    We also have loads of media and pictures that we will post, including Booth Babes.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    We Made It!
    Steve @ 9:28 PM EDT
    We are in the E3 Expo Center we speak (or "type" I should say)! There are a ton of updates, and announcements. It's very crazy over here! We hope to give all of the awesome updates. They are kicking us out of the media center right now, but we will be back tomorrow!

    Monday, May 10, 2004

    We're Off to E3 2004!
    Steve @ 10:31 PM EDT
    Our plane will be leaving soon, and we will soon be in LA. We are hopefully going to be able to provide you with all of the latest E3 updates as usual, but if for some reason there are no updates, we will catch up on everything as soon as we can! This is our first time going to E3, and Bobby and I are pumped!

    VU Games' E3 Product Line up
    Steve @ 3:39 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES, May 6, 2004 - Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) today announced its multi-platform product line-up for the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The company will showcase 18 highly anticipated titles, including: World of Warcraft™ from Blizzard Entertainment, marking VU Games' entry into the massively multi-player online role-playing games category, StarCraft: Ghost™, a tactical-action console game set in Blizzard's epic StarCraft® universe; Half-Life®2, the sequel to the 1998 PC hit that won more than 50 game-of-the-year awards; Crash™ Twinsanity™ and Spyro™: A Hero's Tail, the latest installments from two highly successful original character franchises; Van Helsing™ and The Chronicles of Riddick™: Escape from Butcher Bay, titles based on major theatrical releases from Universal Pictures this spring; and Fight Club™, a gritty fighting game based on the feature film from Fox Filmed Entertainment.

    "VU Games will feature an exciting range of highly creative games at E3, including hit franchise sequels, movie-based games, and new intellectual properties," said Bruce Hack, CEO of VU Games. "We are showcasing titles that target the global marketplace across all major console platforms and the PC and featuring the company's great big, innovative entry into the MMORPG business from Blizzard."

    The titles listed below will be on display at VU Games' E3 booth (#1200) located in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center (listed in alphabetical order):

    The Chronicles of Riddick™: Escape from Butcher Bay

    Experience life behind the eyes of Richard B. Riddick as he sets foot inside Butcher Bay, the toughest prison this side of hell. Set before the events of both Universal Pictures' upcoming summer release The Chronicles of Riddick, starring Vin Diesel, and the 2000 cult classic Pitch Black, the game tells the story of Riddick's dramatic escape from the previously inescapable triple max security slam Butcher Bay, home to the most violent prisoners in the galaxy. Featuring the likeness and voice work of Vin Diesel, the game is played from a primarily first-person perspective (with special third-person actions). Using cutting edge normal mapping technology, the game meticulously recreates the horrors of the prison with vivid realism. To escape, players will have to make maximum use of the game's stunning environments, including using shadows, subterfuge and distractions to avoid patrols. Moving and attacking in darkness is particularly effective for Riddick as his haunting "eye shine" gives him the ability to see without ambient light. However, stealth won't serve every situation and players will be able to take the action up close and personal. As Riddick, players will be able to sneak up behind enemies and snap necks or fight face to face using fists, elbows and grapples. Additionally, players will be able to capture weapons such as shanks, shotguns, or assault rifles and use these to cut a swath of destruction through anyone who gets in their way. Riddick will be available in June of 2004 for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

    Crash™ Twinsanity™ (Titled Crash™Unlimited™ in Europe and Asia Pacific)

    A new evil has invaded the island paradise of Crash Bandicoot®, with plans of destruction. In a strange twist, Crash reluctantly pairs with his archenemy, Dr. Neo Cortex, in order to save the world. Through this unorthodox partnership, Cortex is abused as Crash's favorite weapon when Crash and Cortex are controlled as one in this all-new gameplay mechanic. Gamers will encounter reactive enemies, fully immersive environments and a wacky cast of brand new characters in Crash Bandicoot's craziest and funniest adventure ever. Crash Twinsanity is scheduled for release third quarter 2004 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft. Outside of North America this game will be titled Crash Unlimited™.

    Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs™

    Introducing Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs™ the 3rd expansion pack to the best-selling, award-winning Dark Age of Camelot® massively multiplayer online role-playing game. You'll discover an underground city in each of Camelot's three realms, replete with hidden dungeons, new mysteries, fearsome enemies and catacombs that can be set up to host private adventures. With new classes and enhancements to character customization as well, Catacombs brings a whole new world of challenges to the Dark Age of Camelot fan. Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs is scheduled for release in December 2004.

    Empire Earth® 2

    From the discovery of fire to the technological frontiers of the future, Empire Earth® 2 will serve up worldwide conquest on an epic scale. In the sequel to GameSpy.com's 2001 "PC Game of the Year," gamers will take control of a fledgling civilization and strive to forge the greatest of all empires. Empire Earth 2 builds upon the success of its predecessor by adding unique units, powers, leaders, and inherent bonuses to all of the game's 14 different civilizations. The game's new Crown System will provide temporary, but potent, rewards for players who demonstrate excellent military, economic, imperialistic, or cultural ability. A war planning screen will help teammates ;coordinate their efforts by allowing them to use a map of the world to diagram troop movements. Multiplayer competition will feature nine different game types, including new additions to the series such as "Hot Spots," which force gamers to capture and hold positions of strategic importance. Lastly, Empire Earth 2 will include popular player-requested features like recorded games, improved tournament support, multiplayer co-operative scenarios, and advanced statistics reporting. Empire Earth 2 will be available the first half of 2005, for the PC.

    Evil Genius™

    In this clever and entertaining strategy/life simulation game created by Elixir Studios, the player assumes the role of a wicked mastermind bent on achieving global domination through the construction of the ultimate doomsday device. A tongue-in-cheek take on the 60's spy thriller genre, Evil Genius™ offers the player the chance to be the villain and control a secret island fortress complete with powerful (and strangely dressed) henchmen, mindlessly loyal minions and a wide range of hilarious gizmos. All the everyday tasks of the megalomaniac are available to experience as players build a secret base, train minions, gain infamy and notoriety by completing daring missions, toy with the forces of justice by setting clever traps, torture captives with ingenious devices, and develop evil super weapons to complete a nefarious master plan. Evil Genius is scheduled for release in September of 2004, for the PC.

    Fahrenheit™

    Fahrenheit™ is a spectacular psycho thriller, set in New-York. For no apparent reason, ordinary people are randomly killing total strangers with the same ritual and pattern. Lucas Kane becomes one of these murderers. Finding himself in control of Lucas, the player is haunted by strange visions and the desperate need to find out what is happening to him. At the same time he must keep one step ahead of the police, especially Inspector Carla Valenti and agent Tyler Miles. A constant interaction with the storyline makes the story change as a result of your decisions. Fahrenheit gives gamers the unique chance to play both hunter and hunted, which in turn leads them to speak, explore, interact, fight and confront unknown dark forces. The final countdown has already begun. Fahrenheit is scheduled for release winter 2004, on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and PC.

    Fight Club™

    Players will be immersed in this gritty visceral world of fighting by playing as one of the many characters from the Fight Club movie. The extreme realism of the game will have players feel every punch and kick by delivering shocking visuals of broken bones, blood stained ripped clothes and real-time facial deformation in fully interactive environments familiar from the movie scenes. A no-holds-barred realistic fighter, the game will portray the brutality of street fighting while encompassing the artistic style, settings, storyline and characters from the movie with an extremely realistic fighting system and jaw-dropping special effects. With 3 different fighting styles and intuitive controls, ability to create fighters and online gameplay, the game will create a deeply rewarding yet challenging and unique experience for fighting fans of all levels. Fight Club is scheduled for release in fourth quarter 2004, on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

    Ground Control® II: Operation Exodus

    Ground Control® II is a real-time tactics game set in a gritty science-fiction universe. It delivers explosively fast game play focusing on combat tactics with full use of the 3D battlefield. Weather and other environmental effects also affect the unit's performance on the battleground. In the war torn year of 2741, Captain Jacob Angelus of the Northern Star Alliance (NSA) becomes the central figure in the fight against the warmongering Terran Empire. In an attempt to crush the NSA permanently, the Terran Empire sends in an alien race of powerful warriors - the Virons. It soon becomes apparent that the situation is bleak for the NSA and that their only hope is to embark on an Exodus to another part of the galaxy. Jacob Angelus must find a way to let his people survive. Ground Control II: Operation Exodus will be available in early July 2004, for the PC.

    Half-Life®2

    1998: Half-Life sends a shock through the game industry with its combination of pounding action and continuous, immersive storytelling. Valve's debut title wins more than 50 game-of-the-year awards on its way to being named "Best PC Game Ever" by PC Gamer and launches a franchise with more than eight million retails units sold worldwide. Now: Half-Life 2. By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environments to the behaviors - even the emotions - of both friends and enemies. The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist, Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people - people he cares about - are counting on him. The intense, real-time gameplay of Half-Life 2 is made possible only by Source, Valve's new proprietary engine technology. Source provides major enhancements in the advanced facial animation system, physics, graphics and AI. Half-Life 2 will be available for the PC.

    Leisure Suit Larry™: Magna Cum Laude

    Developed by High Voltage Software, Leisure Suit Larry™: Magna Cum Laude is the coming of age story about Larry Lovage, nephew of Larry Laffer, the series' original lovable loser. In Magna Cum Laude, Lovage starts as a pathetic loser enrolled at Community College who spends most of his time in his dorm room, or on campus striking out with women. After hearing about a reality TV dating show visiting his college campus, he resolves to revitalize his life and win. Over the course of the game, Larry sets out on an epic search for love (or its equivalent) and finds that things don't always go as planned. The Leisure Suit Larry videogame franchise began in 1987 with The Land of the Lounge Lizards, the first of seven games in the series. Since then, the Leisure Suit Larry games have sold millions of units worldwide and its games are considered collector items. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude will be available in October 2004 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and the PC.

    Men of Valor™

    Men of Valor™ is an historical action experience that portrays infantry combat during the Vietnam War. Combining the latest Unreal technology with the gameplay expertise of 2015 (developers of the award-winning Medal of Honor: Allied Assault), the game immerses the player in the humid jungles of Southeast Asia in the most controversial conflict of the modern era. Men of Valor follows an American Marine through the early stages of the conflict in Vietnam to the Tet Offensive. Touching on the some of the most familiar scenes of the war as they exist in the popular imagination, the player guides his group of fellow soldiers through the hardship and confusion of the battlefield, bonding with them as they do their duty for their country with the heroism and valor typical of the American soldier, but unsung during the turbulent times. Men of Valor will be available in October 2004 for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and the PC.

    Predator™: Concrete Jungle

    Gamers will hunt down their prey in an urban killing zone as they take on the legendary role of the lethal Predator within this 3rd person action extravaganza. The intergalactic hunter has its sights set on Earth in this new console game. In Predator™: Concrete Jungle, the gripping tale of the fearsome alien's history on Earth unfolds between two separate time periods, first the 1930s and then in the 2030s, as the Predator embarks on a mission of revenge upon an organized crime empire and its leader who seek to conquer all Predators. Taking inspiration from the popular film franchise, the game allows players to roam a vast city landscape stalking human prey while armed to the teeth with hunt-adapted vision modes, cloaking technology, and extraterrestrial weapons of annihilation. Predator: Concrete Jungle will be available in the fourth quarter 2004 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

    Red Ninja: End of Honor™

    Red Ninja: End of Honor™ is a third person action game that cohesively blends a variety of game-play features including action, adventure, stealth, and seduction and fighting. All these elements have been placed into Japan in the 1500's, here the power of the samurai class is fading and the use of the Ninja has become necessary to hold any political power in this chaotic time. Kurenai is a young girl who's world is destroyed when she and her father are attacked by the deadly Black Lizard Clan, a group that captures her and brutally hangs her by a wire and leaves her to die. Miraculously, she survives and is rescued and adopted into a clan where she obtains complete mastery of her unique weapon, the Tetsugen (steel wire). Kurenai has pledged her undying loyalty to her new family. She now lives to avenge her father's death and will go to any means necessary to destroy the Black Lizard Clan. Red Ninja: End of Honor is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2004, on the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.

    Spyro™: A Hero's Tail

    Spyro must save the Dragon Realms from the Evil Red Dragon who has planted light-sapping Dark Gems all over the Dragon Realms in an attempt to capture and control the world. With the help of his allies, Spyro must seek out and destroy all of the Dark Gems to return the lands back to normal and to save the Dragon Realms from the evil dragon's tyrannical control. Full of brand new dragon powers and abilities, gadgets, real-time morphing environments and five playable characters, A Hero's Tail is the greatest Spyro adventure yet! Spyro: A Hero's Tail is scheduled for release fourth quarter 2004 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and Nintendo GameCube™.

    StarCraft: Ghost™

    StarCraft: Ghost™, Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming tactical-action console game, refines the epic experience of StarCraft® to the level of the individual soldier. Engage the StarCraft universe face-to-face as Nova, a deadly Ghost operative in the employ of the Dominion. With the help of a determined group of allies, follow story-driven missions that take you from massive planetary battles through dangerous solo operations to an unexpected turn of events that leaves the fate of the universe in your hands. Featuring a revolutionary new style of gameplay that showcases Nova's physical and psionic abilities, as well as an arsenal of sophisticated weaponry, off-planet call-downs, and vehicles straight out of the StarCraft strategy game, StarCraft: Ghost will be available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and the Nintendo GameCube™.

    Tribes®: Vengeance

    In Tribes®: Vengeance, the next installment in the Tribes franchise gamers become immersed in a roiling galactic thriller. Throughout the game, the player catches glimpses of myriad interrelated stories that unfold behind-the-scenes and is given the opportunity to experience the full scope of the single-player story through multiple viewpoints and characters. Utilizing the Vengeance Engine powered by Unreal technology, the world is brought to life with characters that have facial expressions and fully-realized personalities, vehicles that kick up dust as they pass by, and weapons that display spectacular effects. Tribes: Vengeance will also build upon the Tribes series' legendary online multiplayer action by continuing to focus on team-oriented goals and fluid movement. Developer Irrational Games has hired one of the Tribes community's leading developers to head up the design and creation of the game's multiplayer component. Particular focus is being given to making Tribes: Vengeance easily accessible to the video game modification (MOD) community. Irrational Games and VU Games have worked together to ensure that Tribes: Vengeance's game modification tools are easily accessible and robust. Tribes: Vengeance will be available in the fourth quarter of 2004, for the PC.

    Van Helsing™

    Van Helsing, the third-person action game, transports players to a new world of fantastical reality set in 19th century Transylvania - home to the legendary Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolf Man. As the renowned monster hunter Van Helsing, players must hunt down and destroy the evil that inhabits these ancient lands before darkness engulfs the world. As players progress through Transylvania and the strongholds of Castle Frankenstein and Castle Dracula, they'll encounter untold fiends and evil minions including the legendary dark prince Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolf Man and Igor as well as a host of original creatures created for the game including stone gargoyles, fell spirits and banshees. Van Helsing will be available May 7th for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and Nintendo's Game Boy® Advance.

    World of Warcraft™

    In World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming online role-playing experience set in the award-winning Warcraft®: universe, three years have passed since the aftermath of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne™, and a great tension now smolders throughout the ravaged world of Azeroth. As the battle-worn races begin to rebuild their shattered kingdoms, new threats, both ancient and ominous, arise to plague the world once again. Being "massively multiplayer," World of Warcraft allows players to assume the roles of Warcraft heroes and interact with thousands of other players online as they explore, adventure, and quest across a vast world. Whether adventuring together or fighting against each other in epic battles, players will form friendships, forge alliances, and compete with enemies for power and glory. World of Warcraft is being developed for PC and Mac and is currently in the closed-beta phase of testing.

    Ubisoft Announces Splinter Cell 3
    Steve @ 2:50 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES -- May 10, 2004 -- Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, today announced that Ubisoft's Montreal studio is currently developing Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(R) 3 (Working Title), the next installment in the now-legendary Splinter Cell(R) franchise. The Splinter Cell(R) titles have consistently received some of industry's highest-ever review scores and most prestigious awards, and have sold, cumulatively, more than 6 million copies worldwide. Splinter Cell(R) 3 will be shown for the first time ever in a theater-style demo at Ubisoft's E3 booth -- #1046 in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, and is scheduled for a PC launch in late 2004. Details on other platforms will be forthcoming.

    With Splinter Cell(R) 3, Ubisoft's celebrated Montreal development studio returns to the legendary Splinter Cell(R) franchise, for an action gaming breakthrough. With the first Splinter Cell(R), Ubisoft redefined stealth action and set new standards for dynamic lighting; Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(R) Pandora Tomorrow delivered an online multiplayer experience that awed even jaded gamers, and Splinter Cell(R) 3 will continue the tradition of pushing the interactive and technological possibilities of video gaming. It will offer the best graphics in this generation of games, a completely immersive and interactive environment, innovative gameplay and a completely unique collaborative multiplayer experience. Splinter Cell(R) 3's features - all courtesy of cutting edge visual and sound technologies - will set an industry benchmark once again.

    "With Splinter Cell(R) 3, the series evolves to give gamers a new kind of gameplay that ensures the Splinter Cell franchise will continue to set standards for the industry," said Yves Guillemot, President and CEO of Ubisoft. "We expect Splinter Cell(R) 3 to be the best-looking game on any platform, period, thanks to Ubisoft's incredible command of the latest technologies and visionary creativity - after all, we created the first Splinter Cell(R), which completely redefined stealth action."

    About Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell(R) 3

    The year is 2008. Information Warfare has evolved into the most dangerous threat to global stability. You are Sam Fisher, Third Echelon's most skilled Splinter Cell(R) operative. You are assigned to execute a hazardous series of operations to investigate and eliminate a new source of information attacks, originating in North Korea. To succeed, you will employ a host of unconventional counterintelligence activities to gather intel, disrupt enemy operations and neutralize adversary targets.

    As Information Warfare evolves, so must the Splinter Cell(R). You must penetrate deeper into hostile territory and operate undetected, closer to the enemy than ever before. At your disposal is a lethal array of tactics ranging from Combat Knife techniques, experimental prototype weapons skills, and more radical hand-to-hand techniques such as the Inverted Chokehold. Experience the thrill of acting as a lone operative fighting tomorrow's threats in the field, and of cooperating online with a partner to accomplish crucial missions. Die in action, and the free world dies with you.

    KEY GAMEPLAY FEATURES

    -- DEADLY AGILITY: Incredibly complete and fluid variety of moves including athletic and stealth moves, as well as stealth kills

    -- AS GOOD AS REAL: Never-before-seen graphics technology offers the best visuals ever to appear on any platform. Advanced physics engine allows rag doll physics, particle effects and perfect interaction with the environment

    -- REAL WEAPONS OF TOMORROW: The most complete arsenal of weapons and gadgets, from the combat knife to experimental prototype combat systems

    -- AMAZING REPLAYABILITY: Totally open level design with multipaths and optional secondary objectives

    -- ULTIMATE CHALLENGE: Intelligent all-new A.I. with personal attributes, natural behavior where non-playable-characters are aware of their environment and remember past events

    -- CO-OP STEALTH: Play multiplayer with a friend and coordinate your infiltration in an all new multiplayer challenge

    -- THRILLING SCENARIO: Gut-wrenching in-game sequences. Gripping plot with multiple twists and turns

    King Arthur Videogame from Konami Announced
    Steve @ 2:44 PM EDT
    REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. - May 10, 2004 – Konami Digital Entertainment – America, a division of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., and Buena Vista Interactive, a publishing label of Buena Vista Games, Inc. today announced plans to publish video games based on one of the summer’s most anticipated films, “King Arthur.” Under development by Krome Studios PTY, Ltd., the King Arthur video game will utilize footage from the Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films movie and feature likenesses of characters from the film. The game is being developed for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and the Nintendo GameCube™.

    “Having seen early footage of the film, it’s clear this is going to be an adventure that will translate well into a great action video game,” said Geoff Mulligan, Chief Operating Officer, Konami Digital Entertainment - America. “With the game shipping in the fall, we will offer gamers and movie fans an exciting way to take their experience with King Arthur beyond the silver screen.”

    “The King Arthur video game is inspired by the epic true story that gave rise to the King Arthur legend,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager of Buena Vista Games. “By working with the talented team at Krome and Konami, the real story of King Arthur will be played out with intense battles, innovative combat and realistic environments.”

    The King Arthur video game will immerse fans into the lush environments and vivid scenery from the film. Players take control of the motion picture’s heroes – Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere, Tristren or Bors – and utilize their unique skills as they embark on a perilous mission revealing the historic tale of the real Knights of the Round Table. Featuring single or cooperative play, combat on horseback and multiple mission types with diverse goals, the King Arthur video game will provide a cinematic action adventure experience of epic scale.

    Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean, Top Gun), directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), and written by David Franzoni, the King Arthur film will hit theaters nationwide on July 7, 2004. Bolstered by stars including Clive Owen (Gosford Park, Beyond Borders), Keira Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham, Pirates of the Caribbean) and Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast, Cold Mountain), the film portrays the true story behind the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

    More details about the King Arthur video game will be unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, May 12 – 14, in Los Angeles at Konami’s booth #800.

    For more information on Konami, please visit: http://www.konami.com/usa

    Midway's E3 Line up Announced
    Steve @ 2:38 PM EDT
    CHICAGO, May 10, 2004 - Offering a concentrated and focused lineup of high quality interactive entertainment products, Midway Games Inc. today announced its roster of titles scheduled for exhibit at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), May 12-14. Headlining the selection is Mortal Kombat: Deception, the next product in the top-selling, history-making franchise. For the first time ever, Mortal Kombat will be going online and full product details will be unveiled at a special, invitation only event the Tuesday night before E3. On the show floor, Midway will also be showing off a near final version of the much anticipated Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy™ and the first-person action thriller Area 51®, which will feature online play for up to 16 players.

    "Supported by a tightly focused release schedule, expanded relationships with leading entertainment companies, as well as a strengthened in-house management team, this E3 heralds a new era for Midway," said David Zucker, president and CEO, Midway. "The current sales success of recent releases The Suffering and NBA Ballers are strong indicators that our revised product strategy and renewed vision have us on the proper path to success."

    Midway's exciting E3 product lineup includes:

    Area 51
    The U.S. Army has received a distress signal from Area 51 where a viral outbreak has just shut down the research facility. A small Hazardous Materials unit led by specialist Ethan Cole is sent to investigate. As Cole, players will delve into the mysterious confines of Area 51, discovering a deadly mutagenic side effect of the virus that controls the minds of those infected, as well as an ancient alien colony buried beneath the facility. Chilling conspiracies such as the extraterrestrial crash at Roswell and the staged lunar landing, are investigated in order to solve the enigma of Area 51 before the viral mutagen is released and irrevocably mutates all life on Earth. Area 51 is scheduled to be available for the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox™ videogame system from Microsoft in fall 2004.

    Midway Arcade Treasures 2™
    Midway Arcade Treasures 2 brings more than 20 all-time classic arcade games to next-generation consoles, many for the first time, including the original Mortal Kombat, and smash-hit sequels Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3, Spy Hunter 2 and Gauntlet 2. Additional classics include NARC, Total Carnage, Cyberball 2072, Wizard of Wor and many more. Players can enjoy hours of retro-gaming fun and watch a full-feature documentary on the origins of these interactive pioneers. Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is scheduled to be available for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube™ in fall 2004.

    MLB Slugfest®: Loaded™
    Unlike any other baseball game available, MLB Slugfest: Loaded takes the fast and furious gameplay style Midway Sports games are known for, and adds a deep and rewarding franchise mode through the addition of Baseball Mogul. Also new to this year's version is online multiplayer on both PlayStation 2 and Xbox Live. MLB Slugfest: Loaded is scheduled to be available for PlayStation 2 and Xbox on June 21.

    Mortal Kombat: Deception
    Delivering the most complete fighting experience and progressing the lethal intensity which the franchise has been known for since its 1992 debut in arcades, Mortal Kombat: Deception is set to revolutionize the fighting game genre. With unlimited online competition, Mortal Kombat: Deception features multiple fatalities per character; multi-tiered interactive backgrounds and extensive new game modes. Plus, for the first time ever, an enhanced free-roaming Konquest mode, an action/strategy board game and a unique puzzle game serve to compliment the improved fighting mode that has established the Mortal Kombat franchise as the ultimate fighting game of all time. Mortal Kombat: Deception is scheduled to be available for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in fall 2004.

    Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
    An all-new battlefield weapon is deployed… the mind. And Nick Scryer, an American psi-operative must use his to defeat The Movement, a deadly terrorist organization. Undergoing an excruciating procedure, Scryer has his mind wiped clean so he can infiltrate the Movement undetected. Aided by double-agent Sara Blake, Scryer wields a whole new arsenal of weapons consisting of Remote Viewing, Telekinesis, Mind Control and Pyrokinesis in addition to the traditional armory needed to strategically defeat this new menace. Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy is scheduled to be available for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on June 14.

    Shadow Hearts®: Covenant™
    The sequel to its critically acclaimed predecessor released in 2001, Shadow Hearts: Covenant takes place over a year after the original ended, and finds Yuri embarking on a new expedition during World War I in a fantastical world of magic and creatures. Cursed by a secret cult that is taking advantage of the war to fulfill their evil ambitions, Yuri's morphing abilities are weakened. Yuri and his companions must journey to find a cure for his curse and defeat the malevolent cult. Shadow Hearts: Covenant is scheduled to be available exclusively for the PlayStation 2 in fall 2004.

    Friday, May 7, 2004

    ICP and Tera Patrick at the Eidos E3 Booth
    Steve @ 11:51 PM EDT
    Fans and media can meet and sign autographs with multi-platinum
    recording artists “INSANE CLOWN POSSE,” and Vivid Film Star “TERA PATRICK” at the EIDOS booth during the Electronic Entertainment Expo May 12 and 13.

    WHO: Insane Clown Posse, one of the most successful underground bands of all time and creators of an insane blend of rock and hip hop, the two-man team consisting of Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J have launched an empire that has left a mark on music history. The band’s successes are numerous, including: the longest running hip-hop record in the Billboard top 200 history; the creation of the second highest grossing wrestling organization in the country; founding Psychopathic Records – their own label; and building and ever-growing strong fan base of over a million dedicated Juggalo fans…all without massive radio and video play.

    Tera Patrick, renowned drop-dead gorgeous Vivid Video starlet, is one
    of the most sought-after stars in the business today. A former Penthouse Pet, Tera is the only woman in the business to be featured on the covers of Playboy and Penthouse simultaneously. Tera has made appearances on “The Howard Stern show,” “Wild on E,” and “The Man Show,” as well as in mainstream magazines including “Stuff.”

    WHAT: Insane Clown Posse and Tera Patrick, both featured playable
    characters in the “BackYard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood”
    console video game, celebrate their appearances in the video game by meeting fans and conducting autograph signings at the Eidos E3 booth in Los Angeles on May 12 and May 13. Tera and ICP will be available for media interviews.

    WHEN: Tera Patrick: Wednesday, May 12, starting at 2:00 PM

    Insane Clown Posse: Thursday, May 13, starting at 2:00 PM

    WHERE: Electronic Entertainment Exposition – E3 Los Angeles

    Eidos Announced Its E3 Lineup
    Steve @ 11:43 PM EDT
    At E3 2004, Eidos reinforces its dedication to developing
    platform-leading, content-rich brands. Among the games highlighted during the show are:

    Hitman: Contracts: When you kill for money, there are no rules, only contracts to be executed. Hitman: Contracts™ takes you deeper into the mind of Agent 47. Enter a world of crime, sin and greed. Encounter his greatest adversaries, completing the work that made him so ruthlessly efficient and deadly precise, the ones that shaped him as an assassin. Travel anywhere the work requires, to assignments in Paris, Hong Kong, Siberia, England and many more. Understand nothing counts except the target. Take on the role of 47 and do what you must to get the job done, because in the hands of a professional Hitman everything becomes a weapon. For the PS2, Xbox and PC

    Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes The Neighborhood places gamers deep in the heart of Small Town America, USA. Backyard Wrestling Inc. has announced "your town" as the location of its first live pay per view. They've put a million dollars cash prize on the line for the wrestler who's got what it takes to destroy every obstacle in their way to the main event and ultimately the unified BYW championship. Defeating the most hardcore backyard wrestlers will not be enough; as the lure of "easy money" has attracted the attention of the most violent professional wrestlers to ever set foot in a ring. When hardcore backyard brawlers, chair swinging backyard babes and blood thirsty professional wrestlers choose your town as their battle field...There Goes The Neighborhood! For the PS2 and Xbox

    Crash ‘n’ burn is all about mods. Choose a hot ride, customize it, floss it, and race it. Modify it with an array of body kits, spoilers large and small and finally top it off with some custom paint and vinyl. Supercharge your ride for high horse power thrills, get the nitrous ready and then take it to the mean streets of Miami, San Francisco, L.A. and New York, show the competition what your ride is made of. When the race starts all you see are 15 shiny cars ahead of you. Your primary objective is to take first place at all costs; your secondary objective is to make sure no one else finishes. Side swipe, T-bone, and spin out your opponents. Run them into barriers, rip, shred and tear their cars apart. Laugh as you leave their cars a-blaze behind in a burning heap of metal and rubber you as you pass them for the win. The last driver with four wheels left wins. Then do it again, online, with 15 of your friends. For the PS2, Xbox and PC.

    Get On Da Mic: You think you have what it takes to make it to the top of the Hip Hop game? Then Get On Da Mic and prove it! You’ll start your career as an up and coming rap star on the mean streets of your neighborhood. As you gain respect in the game you’ll get a chance to cut your first demo, then an album, and if you’re good enough you’ll finally blow up the mic at your own concert. Go from broke to bling, there’s nothing more fabulous than the life of a rap star. For the PS2

    Imperial Glory: Forge the destiny of the world amid the turbulent times of the early 19th century. Lead one of the Great Empires in titanic conflicts, or achieve economic dominance backed by shrewd diplomats and resolute military. Choose to rule as absolute despot or constitutional monarch. Unleash Hussars, Lancers, Dragoons and Imperial Guards across more than 50 battle maps – from the green fields of England, to the icy wastes of Russia and sweeping deserts of Morocco – all in stunning, full 3D. Fight for naval dominance in breathtaking, real-time sea battles. This is an age of change - be at the leading edge of modernity or your civilization will fall by the wayside.

    Singles – Flirt up your Life: Get ready to look good and strut your stuff. Singles - Flirt up your Life is taking you where no computer game has dared to go. If you’ve ever wanted to play a game where the goal is to get down and get busy, then look no further. Singles – Flirt up your Life is an Adults Only game that promises to show you the real results of playing cupid. For the PC, electronic distribution.

    Official MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Website Launches
    Steve @ 11:31 PM EDT
    Microsoft Game Studios today announced that the official site for MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is now live at http://www.xbox.com/mechassault2 . The site contains stunning new screens, gameplay descriptions and a list of features for this highly anticipated new 'Mech title for Xbox. MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf will offer an entirely fresh and exciting gameplay experience for seasoned combat veterans and newcomers alike. Players will battle on foot, in the air and in massive 'Mechs as they attempt to control the Inner Sphere.

    Microsoft Game Studios has also updated the name of the game to MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf to reflect the enhanced single player experience and more strategic gameplay that is focused on the player, not the machine. The intense action, destruction and easy pick-up-and-play game style is still there; but now solo gamers will find the single player campaign is now significantly richer, with a deeper storyline, new vehicles, NPC interaction and missions delivered on the fly.

    “MechAssault 2 is about you, the player -- not the machine," said TJ Wagner, producer of MechAssault 2. "You’re the lone surviving MechWarrior from the Wolf’s Dragoons fighting to hold back the tide of chaos."

    MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is in development by Day 1 Studios, creators of the original MechAssault for Xbox. In MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, gamers will be able to step outside the 'Mech and live the life of a human pilot in a fresh new single player game. Tanks, VTOLs and BattleArmor will offer players plenty of opportunities to rain destruction on their opposition in both single and multiplayer games. Xbox Live gamers will enjoy a whole new level of strategy, as BattleArmor-equipped players 'jack enemy 'Mechs and VTOLs drop supplies to their teammates. Both online and off, MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf will offer players an unparalleled gaming experience. MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is set to arrive on retail shelves in January 2005.

    Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Announced
    Steve @ 11:18 PM EDT
    New York, NY – May 6, 2004 – Rockstar Games, the world-renowned publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., is pleased to announce Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, the third installment in the multi-million unit selling, genre-defining Midnight Club racing franchise. Rockstar Games has also announced a partnership with DUB, America’s premiere automotive lifestyles magazine, to infuse Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition with an unparalleled level of expertise and understanding of the latest and hottest trends in the automotive industry and street customization scene. Developed by Rockstar San Diego, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition will be available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox video game system from Microsoft and is expected to hit North American and European retail shelves this holiday season.

    “The Midnight Club series has re-defined the racing genre with its revolutionary open-ended racing and seamless integration of street racing culture,” stated Dan Houser, Rockstar Games’ Vice President of Creative. “Now, through the combination of Rockstar San Diego’s technical prowess and DUB’s notoriety as the pulse of the automotive lifestyle world, we are poised to once again push the boundaries of speed and style well beyond anything ever seen before in racing games with Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition.“

    “The previous Midnight Club games set the standard and raised the bar for racing games in the 21st century,” said Jay Panek, Producer, Rockstar San Diego. “Now, with Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, we are taking every opportunity to expand upon the signature features of the Midnight Club series, as well as creating all-new features, to produce the most exhilarating street-racing game ever. DUB's involvement, combined with our own experience at making open city racing games will undoubtedly solidify and legitimize Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition as the preeminent racing experience.”

    “We at DUB are extremely excited for the opportunity to bring our knowledge and influence to Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, which is sure to be the quintessential racing game for any true aficionado of the automotive and racing lifestyle,” said Haythem Haddad, Creative Director and Co-Founder, of DUB. “The flair for innovation and cultural progression that Rockstar Games and DUB are universally known for will undoubtedly become the trademark of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition. We look forward to working with Rockstar Games to exceed the limits of what is expected of a racing game."

    Codemasters E3 Live Web Cam; E3 Lineup
    Steve @ 11:04 PM EDT
    New York, N.Y. – (May 6, 2004) – Global interactive entertainment company Codemasters announced today the company will offer a unique, “Big Brother” style view of its E3 showcase via a dedicated area on its website. Featuring reports direct from the booth, a live web cam feed will allow viewers to see the show floor activity as it happens.

    Codemasters‘ E3 Live page, located at http://www.codemasters.com/e3live , will launch as this year’s E3 Expo opens next Wednesday, May 12, in Los Angeles. In addition to the live web cam, readers can obtain regular news posted on the company’s line-up, including Colin McRae Rally 2005, MTV Music Generator 3: This is the Remix, IndyCar Series 2005, Dragon Empires, Soldiers: Heroes of World War II and a few big surprises, along with a blog diary from Codemasters’ online staff describing the high points of a hectic E3 schedule.

    In addition, the Web site will host interviews with Codemasters development teams as they reveal their latest games. Website visitors will have opportunities to interact with the teams in forum settings. Giving everyone a glimpse of the Codemasters E3 experience, log on to http://www.codemasters.com/e3live beginning Wednesday, May 12.CODEMASTERS U.S. E3 LINE UP:

    CODEMASTERS E3 LINE UP:

    Colin McRae Rally 2005 (Xbox)
    Dragon Empires (PC Online)
    IndyCar Series 2005 (Xbox)
    Soldiers: Heroes of World War II (PC)
    MTV Music Generator 3: This is the Remix (PS2, Xbox)
    Operation Flashpoint (Xbox)
    Perimeter (PC)
    Wartime Command (PC)

    Sega Announces Its E3 Lineup
    Steve @ 10:56 PM EDT
    SAN FRANCISCO (May 6, 2004) -- SEGA® of America, Inc. today announced its fall and winter lineup of entertainment and sports titles to be featured at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2004. Extending its reach as an independent content publisher, SEGA will feature titles developed for a broad base of home and handheld platforms including PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube™, and the Game Boy® Advance. SEGA's booth will be located in Concourse Hall, Room #151, Los Angeles Convention Center.

    The SEGA entertainment lineup features a thrilling blend of action, adventure, sports, platform, and puzzle games, including the highly-anticipated debuts of Astro Boy™, Otogi™ 2, and the return of several classic SEGA franchises like Sonic The Hedgehog ®, Virtua Figher™, and Samba de Amigo™ – all of which have been enhanced for EyeToy by Yuji Naka's award-winning SONICTEAM studio.

    ESPN Videogames, SEGA's sports studio, gears up for the 2005 season packed with unmatched visual enhancements and a deeper level of ESPN integration. The ESPN Videogames lineup includes impressive additions to gameplay that further blur the lines between an authentic ESPN broadcast and a sports video game. The ESPN Videogames 2005 series promises players an unrivaled experience into the world of sports entertainment.

    "Our multi-platform lineup at E3 2004 underscores a new global publishing initiative that combines our industry-leading brands and IP with acquired titles that coincide with North American demand," said Hideaki Irie, president and COO, SEGA of America, Inc. "With an enormous catalog of legendary franchises and the addition of some hot acquisitions, SEGA has extended its reach and is well positioned for future growth."

    "Building upon the foundation of ESPN Videogames, I'm thrilled about our 2005 lineup," states Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, makers of ESPN Videogames. "This year's games not only showcase ESPN Videogames commitment to excellence, but also invite gamers to explore a host of innovative new features."

    · Altered Beast™ (PlayStation 2): As a special military operative, you are sent to investigate a deadly genetic outbreak in a small West Coast town. Hunted by unspeakable horrors and haunted by your past, you soon discover that in order to overcome evil, you must become more than evil. The only thing that can save you is your darkest power, the ability to transform into a variety of powerful beasts. As you defeat wave after wave of failed genetic experiments, the line between human restraint and primal instinct blurs, until nothing is left but the savage desire to uncover the true nature of the beast. [This title is not yet concept approved by Sony Computer Entertainment America]

    · Amazing Island™ (Nintendo GameCube): Amazing Island is a competition-driven, magical monster simulation game that takes place on a fantastic island in another world. The "Black Evil" has taken over this lush and colorful land and has captured the once happy natives -- the Maboo tribe. Players have the ability to defeat the "Black Evil," take back the land and return it to the Maboo tribe. To do so, gamers use their imagination to create their own monster - from nearly an infinite number of possibilities - and enter it in a series of competitions involving timing, speed and head-to-head battles. The victor wins magical orbs that hold the power of the island.

    · Astro Boy™ (PlayStation 2): Join Astro, the robotic superhero with a human mind, in a jet-fueled adventure to reunite the robotic race with humans. Working with Tezuka Productions and Sony Pictures Consumer Products, SEGA's SONICTEAM studio has faithfully recreated the Astro Boy universe, paying homage to a classic icon of Japanese anime that is now a featured series on Cartoon Network. In Astro Boy, gamers use Astro's Rocket Feet, Arm Cannon, 1,000,000-Horsepower Strength, X-Ray Vision, and other special abilities to help save Metro City. With each case solved, Astro's skills develop, preparing him to face off against the strengths of Atlas, Acheron, the Blue Knight and more!

    · Astro Boy™: Omega Factor (Game Boy Advance): Join Astro, the robotic superhero with a human mind, in a jet-fueled adventure to reunite the robotic race with humans. Using his seven super abilities, Astro faces off against the likes of Atlas, Blue Knight, and more than 40 other characters from Osamu Tezuka's iconic anime franchise. Developed by Treasure in conjunction with Hitmaker, Astro Boy: Omega Factor brings classic 2D gaming to the GBA along with an original seven-episode story crafted from previous versions of the Astro Boy animated series. Playing as Astro, gamers learn about justice, compassion, evil, courage and the history of the landmark character – all while building Astro's Omega Factor and strengthening his character and super-human abilities.

    · Blood Will Tell™ (PlayStation 2): Blood Will Tell is a modern day action epic adapted from the classic manga by Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy). Like the original manga, the game follows the adventures of Hyakkimaru, a samurai haunted by a shocking secret who embarks on a quest to uncover his past and regain his humanity. As a newborn baby he was robbed of every limb, every organ and even the ability to cry. He replaced his missing parts with weapons and departed on a quest to destroy the fiends who robbed his organs, hoping to regain his body and his future. Throughout the game, Hyakkimaru's friend Dororo is there to help and guide players and fight alongside Hyakkimaru.

    · Headhunter™: Redemption (PlayStation 2, Xbox): Twenty years after the devastation caused by the Bloody Mary Virus, a new order has emerged, based on two distinct but totally independent worlds, divided by the ultimate consumerist society – ‘Above' and ‘Below'. Headhunter: Redemption continues the gripping story of Jack Wade, a veteran Headhunter keeping order in a futuristic world overrun with unchecked consumerism, vicious organized crime and mind-controlling mass media. When Jack and his protégé, the sassy, streetwise Leeza X, stumble upon an arms smuggling operation that threatens the status quo, they must work together to deliver an oblivious world from impending catastrophe, confronting their darkest fears beneath a shroud of evil that blankets the city.

    · Otogi™ 2 (Xbox): Otogi 2 takes place directly after the events chronicled in the original Otogi: Myth of Demons. Raikoh, the famed undead warrior, managed to temporarily save the Japanese population from an onslaught of demons, but had not been able to vanquish them all before returning to his grave. The demons have now resurfaced from hiding places within the sacred capital of Japan, and they are attempting to take control of man once more. In response, five brave warriors take their own lives in a ritual to resurrect Raikoh. Raikoh rises again and the five selfless warriors rise with him, all set to take on the encroaching demon spawn as a team.

    · Puyo Pop Fever™ (Nintendo GameCube): SONICTEAM revamps Sega's signature brainteaser with wacky new puzzle pieces and a combo-crazy Fever Mode. Play as Amitie in the Story Mode and take part in an adventurous tale that requires a zen-like level of concentration and mad reflex skills to complete. Amitie will encounter a rogue gallery of crazy characters who are all willing to challenge her in the ultimate ‘Puyo' battle. Players try to obliterate their opponents by linking explosive combinations, and bombarding them with massive chain reaction combo attacks in Fever Mode. The title also features a tremendously addictive multiplayer mode that'll keep players twitching for months.

    · SEGA SuperStars™ (PlayStation 2): SEGA SuperStars for EyeToy is a compilation of 12 mini-games featuring classic SEGA characters and games redesigned exclusively for Sony's PlayStation 2 camera add-on. Now instead of just playing a favorite SEGA game, gamers are part of it! Race through with Sonic, battle Akira or Rau of Virtua Fighter™ fame in a toe-to-toe power attack or play a variety of instruments in Samba de Amigo™ rhythm. Multiple mini-games across a variety of genres ensure that there is plenty of fun for the entire family.

    · SPIKEOUT™ Battle Street (Xbox): Ten years ago, bad blood spattered the streets in a turf battle between two now-legendary gangs: Team Spike (led by Spike) and Team Inferno (led by Michael). Now, Spike Jr. has spurred a new war against Team Inferno, which is still being led by his father's nemesis. Players get to explore a vast 3D world to engage in true hand-to-hand melee combat against a massive number of enemies. The game's Xbox Live feature allows players to experience cooperative gameplay with friends. Bonus online features include downloadable items, stories, characters, sound files and much more.

    · Virtua Quest™ (Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2): Virtua Quest is a 3D Action/RPG that features both core RPG elements (exploration, treasure gathering, and character development) and a strong fighting component. The player assumes the identity of a young boy named Sei (pronounced "Say"). As the player explores each stage, he/she will discover "Virtua Souls" – data clusters that contain information about the martial arts abilities of the legendary Virtua Fighter characters. These clusters give the player the ability to easily perform complex fighting moves. As the game's story progresses, Sei discovers that only he can unlock the potential of the Virtua Souls, and he subsequently gains the attention of an evil syndicate known as Judgment 6.

    · ESPN NFL 2005 (Xbox, PlayStation 2): It's the season of the fan. The year of people coming together to celebrate sports. ESPN NFL 2005 is uniting fans with a coupling of the most responsive and intense gameplay and the richest multi-player gaming experience possible. Maximum Tackling™ brings unique on-field control allowing gamers to go for the wrap-up tackle or deliver the big highlight hit. The addition of the V.I.P. System™ allows gamers to play friends, even if they're not there! Players are invited to show off their coaching skills in Franchise mode and utilize Weekly Prep™ to fully plan the training schedule, intensity, and regimen each week. Full online leagues and tournament play with living rosters rounds out the most complete online experience.

    · ESPN NHL 2005 (Xbox, PlayStation 2): Poised to defend its title as the #1 rated hockey video game, ESPN NHL Hockey returns to the ice with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. Improved player control, an all-new fighting engine and lightning fast gameplay truly capture the feel and pace of NHL-caliber hockey. ESPN NHL 2005 features breakthrough new ways to play including online leagues, multi-player mini-games and a deeper franchise mode adding endless replay value to an already robust lineup. With exclusive ESPN presentation players will experience all the on-ice action called by ESPN veteran commentators, Gary Thorne and Bill Clement. ESPN NHL 2005 makes skating with the NHL's elite a reality!

    · ESPN NBA 2005 (Xbox, PlayStation 2): The king of the court gears up for release. ESPN NBA 2005 will change the way virtual basketball is experienced with a host of new graphical improvements including self-shadowing, advanced reflective lighting, and full 3D crowds. Huge gameplay improvements in IsoMotion™ and the revolutionary 24/7 mode ensure the most responsive control and the most satisfying basketball experience. Let the next movement begin.

    · ESPN College Hoops 2005 (Xbox, PlayStation 2): In collegiate basketball, there's a world of possibilities no matter how big or small the college program. A season of success or defeat can be determined with one single decision, one coaching change, and even one shot. ESPN College Hoops 2005 is the only game that realizes the passion and pageantry of collegiate competition. ESPN College Hoops 2005 brings the unbridled emotion and wonderful magic only exhibited in a real college basketball game.

    Atari To Reveal New Marc Ecko Videogame
    Steve @ 10:51 PM EDT
    New York, New York, May 6, 2004 - Atari, Inc., a leader in interactive entertainment, and fashion pioneer Marc Ecko, creator and founder of the urban lifestyle brand Ecko Unltd. and publisher of COMPLEX magazine, are joining forces to create the first truly authentic video game based on urban culture and graffiti art. A sneak peek at Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure will be available exclusively at Atari's booth (Petree Hall #4003) at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles May 12-14. In graffiti terms, "getting up" means getting your name (or tag) out and visible.

    In announcing the partnership, Bruno Bonnell, Chairman and CEO of Atari, said, "Videogames have become a huge part of the urban lifestyle but no game has yet to truly capture the look, attitude, action or sound of urban culture. We have an incredible opportunity to change that....to be the first to get it right and share the authentic experience with gamers worldwide. Marc's vision of Getting Up fuses his expert knowledge of youth culture, his talent as a graphic artist and his passion for gaming. It's nothing less than extraordinary and Atari is thrilled to be a part of it."

    Marc Ecko, said, "This game will be genre-defining. Revolutionary. We will put the flag in the ground of popular culture with Getting Up. Over my seven-year journey to get this thing made, I have had the good fortune to have met and explored opportunities with many different publishers. Atari allowed me the freedom to challenge the status quo manner in how games are developed, and that is precisely why it is the ideal home for this title. This is a dream come true for me."

    Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure is being developed by The Collective and is currently slated for release in June 2005. More details about the game will be released in the weeks to come.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2004

    Terrell Owens Signs for ESPN NFL 2005
    Steve @ 3:41 PM EDT
    SAN RAFAEL, CA - (May 5, 2004) - ESPN Videogames today announced the signing of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver and NFL record setter, Terrell Owens, to serve as cover athlete for ESPN NFL 2005. The highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed ESPN NFL series, ESPN NFL 2005 promises the ultimate virtual football experience. Boasting seamless visuals, brand new features and innovative gameplay, ESPN NFL 2005 is scheduled for release in Fall 2004.

    "Terrell Owens is the ultimate NFL athlete, exuding true passion, high energy, and raw talent," states Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts Entertainment, the makers of ESPN Videogames. "Terrell stands out as a dominant figure in football. Whether setting the NFL record for most receptions in a game, delivering a ferocious block on rushing plays, or pumping up his teammates and the crowd, Owens embodies the spirit of the NFL, making him a perfect fit for our cover."

    Terrell Owens makes his debut this season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Since being drafted in the NFL in 1996, Owens has been named to play in the Pro Bowl four years in a row, broken the record for most game receptions, has averaged over 1,000 receiving yards since the 2000 season and has built a solid reputation as being one of the league's most dangerous offensive players.

    "I'm always looking for new and different ways of integrating football into my life," states Owens. "It's only natural that I'm a part of ESPN NFL 2005. I'm one of the best on the real field and ESPN NFL 2005 is the best on the virtual field. It's a perfect match and I'm excited to be a part of the ESPN NFL 2005 team."

    ESPN NFL 2005 promises pigskin fans the most responsive and intense football gameplay ever seen in the highly anticipated sequel to ESPN NFL Football. Revolutionary game features, rich multi-player gaming, seamless visuals, and authentic ESPN presentation permeate the game, enveloping players into a unique experience.

    Thief: Deadly Shadows Goes Gold
    Steve @ 3:36 PM EDT
    San Francisco, CA (May 5, 2004) – Eidos, one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announced that its highly-anticipated, action-stealth game Thief: Deadly Shadows, developed by Ion Storm, has gone gold for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and the PC. Thief: Deadly Shadows will be available at retail beginning May 26, 2004 in North America.

    “Thief: Deadly Shadows brings the Thief gameplay to a whole new console audience without sacrificing the elements that made the originals such fan favorites. The addition of a fully-supported third-person mode, to supplement the traditional Thief first-person view, adds a whole new dimension to gameplay,” said Warren Spector, studio director at Ion Storm. “Add to a cunning and robust AI system, a lighting and shadow system that dynamically effects stealth gameplay, an audio system and sound implementation that constantly amaze, as well as graphics that are, at times, astonishing. And there you have Thief: Deadly Shadows. Plenty for me and the team -- and players --to be excited about!”

    Thief: Deadly Shadows places you in the role of Master Thief Garrett, the quintessential anti-hero that steals from the rich and keeps for himself. In Thief: Deadly Shadows, Garrett finds himself assisting the Keepers, the secret society that trained Garrett in his youth. He is tasked with preventing a prophesised Dark Age from coming into fruition. Thief: Deadly Shadows was developed by Ion Storm, creators of the critically-acclaimed Deus Ex series.

    Thief: Deadly Shadows will continue the Ion Storm tradition of open-ended emergent gameplay the studio is famous for. The freedom to choose a unique play style is what sets Thief: Deadly Shadows apart from any other game further immersing the player into the adventure. Thief: Deadly Shadows features a powerful physics system, startlingly smart AI, enhanced character modelling and animation, a groundbreaking sound propagation system and state-of-the art lighting and graphics for which Ion Storm is famous for.

    Thief: Deadly Shadows ships to retail in North America on May 25th, 2004.

    Official E3 Insider Website Opens May 10
    Steve @ 3:34 PM EDT
    LOS ANGELES--May 5, 2004--E3Insider ( http://www.e3insider.com ), the official consumer Web site of the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo(E3Expo), will go live on May 10 - 14 with improved features and a new one-of-a-kind "fan cam" offering the general public an unprecedented look inside the world's premier interactive entertainment trade show, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today.

    The site, now in its second year, delivers an all-access virtual tour of E3Expo that is uniquely available to the official event site. E3Insider will not only provide the most comprehensive coverage available of the trade-only show, but for the first time ever will offer raw and unedited "fan cam" footage unavailable anywhere else. Through the "fan cam," consumers will be able to see the show through the eyes of a gamer who will have unlimited access to the games and products, exhibit floor, backstage and other restricted areas at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), where the show will be held.

    "E3Insider opens the official 'virtual doors' to E3Expo so that consumers from around the globe have the opportunity to 'See What's Next' for the computer and video game products that will change the future of interactive entertainment," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA, the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers and the owner of E3Expo. "This year's improved site delivers even more exclusive ways to access the show, offering game enthusiasts a uniquely in-depth view of the event that makes E3Insider the best place on the web to experience the show."

    By offering consumers a way to see the show through interactive coverage, photo galleries, video clips, news from exhibitors and interviews with industry leaders, E3Insider will provide the ultimate virtual show experience. The site drew more than ten million hits during the three days of the 2003 show and double that number in the month after.

    E3Expo is the world's premier trade show for computer and video games and related products, and will be held May 11 - 14, 2004. The show, now in its tenth year, is owned by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. For more information, please visit http://www.e3expo.com or http://www.theesa.com.

    E3Expo is a trade event, not open to the general public. Only working journalists with qualified media outlets will be eligible to register for media badges. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted, including infants. This policy is strictly enforced.

    Tuesday, May 4, 2004

    Activision's E3 2004 Line up - Doom 3 Xbox
    Steve @ 6:03 PM EDT
    Santa Monica, CA – May 4, 2004 – Activision, Inc. will showcase eight key titles from its fiscal 2005 game slate at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo, taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 12 - 14. The company’s lineup is comprised of high-profile entertainment properties and titles created by some of the industry’s premiere development talent. The slate includes games based on such highly anticipated movies as “Spider-Man®2,” DreamWorks’ “Shark TaleÔ” and “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events™,” as well as id Software’s™ gripping 3D action game DOOM 3™ and The Creative Assembly’s award winning RTS game Rome: Total War™.

    Activision Debuts High-Profile Entertainment Titles:

    Spider-Man®2 – Based upon the biggest movie event of the summer from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and including other world famous Marvel comic book characters, players experience what it’s like to be the world’s most celebrated Super Hero, Spider-Man. Players can swing, sling, dive, jump and scale the heights of Manhattan to protect the innocent, in a living city with Super Villains, common criminals, vehicles, trains and helicopters. Players re-capture the movie experience by following the main storyline or choosing to embark on missions that challenge them to perform good deeds, deter random crimes, and face classic Marvel comic book villains such as Mysterio, using innovative new combat moves in locations from the film and environments exclusive to the game. Spider-Manâ 2 is being developed by Treyarch and has been rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB. (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC).

    DreamWorks’ Shark Tale™ – Players experience the fun and adventure of the DreamWorks movie by assuming the role of Oscar, a fast-talking little fish working his way up the food chain, who becomes an unlikely hero as he searches for an easy path to fame and fortune. Players undertake more than 25 adventure-packed missions set in their favorite film locations and new environments exclusive to the game. With a blend of original and film-inspired gameplay, players immerse themselves in a hip, underwater urban culture featuring the gritty environments of Reef City and funky tunes inspired by the film. DreamWorks’ Shark Tale™ is being developed by Edge of Reality for the console versions, Vicarious Visions for the Game Boy Advance and Amaze Entertainment for the PC and has not yet been rated by the ESRB. (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC).

    Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events™ -- Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is based on the book series and upcoming Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies film starring Jim Carrey, Jude Law and Meryl Streep. It is the only game that lets players experience first-hand the misadventures of the savvy and resilient Baudelaire orphans as they narrowly escape from the clutches of the villainous Count Olaf who is after their inheritance. In the game, players switch between the three orphans, mastering each one’s unique skills to solve puzzles and collect various items to build ingenious inventions. By combining their talents, the Baudelaire orphans work together to outsmart Olaf’s troupe of creepy cohorts and overcome sticky situations. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is being developed by Amaze Entertainment and has not yet been rated by the ESRB. (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC).

    X-Men™ Legends -- The first 3D action-RPG based on the popular Marvel characters, the X-Men, X-Men Legends challenges players to master the attributes of their favorite X-Men by creating, customizing and controlling teams of four mutants in real time. Assuming the role of more than a dozen popular Super Heroes, each with individual mutant powers and fighting skills, including Wolverineä, Gambitä and Stormä, players lead teams of mutants as they battle the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and other Marvel villains on a quest to stop the extinction of mankind and determine the fate of the world. X-Men Legends is being developed by Raven Software and has not yet been rated by the ESRB. (PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube)

    Activision Redefines Innovation by Partnering with Premier Development Talent

    DOOM 3™ – id Software's terrifying battle with the forces of Hell is invading the Xbox®. A massive demonic invasion has overwhelmed the UAC’s Mars research facility leaving only chaos and horror in its wake. As one of only a few survivors, you struggle with shock and fear as you fight your way to Hell and back in an epic clash against pure evil. Battle alone or team up with a friend and fight your way through the horror in the exclusive two-player co-op mode, or test your nerves against other space marines in intense multiplayer action over Xbox Live. Built on id’s revolutionary new 3D graphics engine, DOOM 3 draws you into the most frightening and gripping 3D gaming experience ever created. DOOM 3 is being developed by Vicarious Visions and executive produced by id Software and has not yet been rated by the ESRB. (Xbox)

    Namco's E3 Line up
    Steve @ 2:03 PM EDT
    San Jose, Ca., (May 4, 2004) – Namco Hometek, Inc. unveiled today its strongest new games line up to date, to be showcased at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, May 12-14, 2004 (booth #1300, L.A. convention center).

    New installments of Namco’s best-selling franchises will make their debut at the show, including ACE COMBAT® 5, TEKKEN® 5, Xenosaga® EPISODE II, Dead to Rights® II, TIME CRISIS®: CRISIS ZONE, Tales of SymphoniaÔ and Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2.

    Namco will also showcase new original content including Street Racing Syndicate, DEATH BY DEGREES featuring Nina Williams from TEKKEN®, Ghosthunter, Baten Kaitos, The Adversary, and Taiko Drum Master (tentative title).

    “Namco is showcasing its most impressive line up of new content ever at this year’s E3 Expo,” said Robert Ennis, chief financial and operating officer for Namco Hometek Inc. “We have taken our core franchises to exciting new levels and are introducing some incredible new content with our biggest showing ever at E3. We think convention goers will really take notice of Namco’s significant presence this year at the show.”

    Elevating to new heights in 2004, is ACE COMBAT 5. Introducing Wingman Command, ACE COMBAT 5 is the premier air combat game combining ultra-realistic graphics and dog fighting with the sheer excitement of soaring through the air, destroying enemy planes and ground targets. Players experience the thrill of commanding a squadron, knowing that the squadron’s fate is in their hands. The game features over 50 different licensed planes and an intense storyline with over 30 missions, providing hours of non-stop flying action -- making ACE COMBAT 5 bigger and better than ever before! Shipping in Fall 2004, ACE COMBAT 5 will be available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.

    Nights are filled with high-risk, nitrous-injected, illegal racing on real city streets in Namco’s Street Racing Syndicate. With money, pink slips and respect always on the line, and cops lurking behind every corner, SRS is taking street racing games to a new level. Players can customize over 40 licensed cars with authentic parts, cool paint, and anything else bought or won from sanctioned or illegal races. Race in both closed track and open city environments, meet at secret locations or pull up on opponents on the open streets. And for the first time ever, throw down with real-life opponents all over the world via online pink slip races. From hot cars with lifelike physics and damage, to beautiful models picked from the pages of today’s top import magazines, SRS delivers the most intense, complete street racing experience ever in a video game. Shipping in Autumn 2004, SRS will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, and the Nintendo GameCube.

    Dead to Rights II marks the return of action-hero Jack Slate and his K-9 companion, Shadow. In this super-charged sequel, Jack and Shadow find themselves once again in the mean streets of Grant City, ensnared in a labyrinth of crime, corruption and betrayal. Dead to Rights II is a third-person action shooter featuring gritty, Hong Kong cinema-style action and innovating new gameplay mechanics such as greater interaction with Shadow; brutal, all-new disarm moves; a lightning-fast 360 degree fighting engine; vicious melee weapon battles; and a dramatic new spherical slow-motion diving system. Shipping in Fall 2004, Dead to Rights II will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video system from Microsoft.

    TEKKEN’s ultimate assassin, Nina Williams, stars in DEATH BY DEGREES as the voluptuous undercover operative sent to recover a stolen weapon from a disgruntled terrorist who double-crossed his own underground organization. Using a cutting-edge combat system to fight enemies in all directions, DEATH BY DEGREES combines signature moves from TEKKEN with firearms and melee weapon attacks. Shipping in Fall 2004, the game will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

    The epic sequel, Xenosaga EPISODE II picks up right where EPISODE I left off. With a new, more realistic looking character art style, players can look forward to improved graphics, an improved battle interface and more outdoor environments (rain, snow, rivers, etc). Xenosaga EPISODE II will be shipping in early 2005 exclusively for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

    Tales of Symphonia is the latest installment in Namco’s enormously popular Tales franchise. Using characters designed by renowned anime artist Kosuke Fujishima, Tales of Symphonia, allows players to command real-time battles in a unique 3D battle system that gives them full control over the characters, executing hundreds of special attacks and magic spells. With more than a dozen mini-games and side quests at the player’s disposal, Tales of Symphonia offers over 80 game play hours. The game will ship exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube entertainment system in July 2004.

    Ghosthunter blends the action and adventure aspects of a third-person shooter with macabre humor. Players battle vengeful sprits and are equipped with a selection of high-tech weaponry and gadgets specially designed for hunting and capturing ghosts. Diverse cinematic locations set the scene and make the game come to life with eerie versions of familiar sights, including an Alcatraz-style prison and a haunted ship. Ghosthunter will be available in the North American market in August 2004 for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

    Players can enjoy an unprecendented level of interaction with the environment in TIME CRISIS: CRISIS ZONE, the most ambitious new installment of the TIME CRISIS® series to date. Using the GUNCON®2, gunfire has a realistic effect on almost everything in the game: players can blow up items on shelves and tables, shatter glass windows and doors, and destroy beams, statues, and even desktop computers. Players who have two GUNCON®2 guns can select a single- or double-gun game to take down enemies John Woo style, adding a fun and unique element to the game. Shipping in September 2004, TIME CRISIS: CRISIS ZONE will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

    In Namco’s Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2, players can train and compete in actual Grand Slam tournaments. Create and customize players in Pro Tour Mode, then take them through the tennis rankings all the way to the top. Players compete in the Australian Open, Roland Garros (French Open), Wimbledon, and the US Open against such pros as Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lleyton Hewitt, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Anna Kournikova, and ten others! Shipping in Summer 2004, the game will be available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

    Enter Baten Kaitos on a journey to unlock the mystery of the lost sea in an enchanting story of friendship, betrayal, and prayer. Over 1000 types of "Magnus" cards deliver an intense battle system combined with breathtaking graphics and a world overflowing with character detail. Baten Kaitos will be available for the Nintendo GameCube.

    THQ Reveals Its E3 Plans
    Steve @ 2:00 PM EDT
    THQ Inc., the #2 independent videogame publisher, today announced plans to debut several of its highly anticipated console, PC and handheld releases at next week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Console gamer content including Destroy All Humans(TM), The Punisher(TM), WWE(TM) Day of Reckoning(TM) and Full Spectrum Warrior(TM) will be available for demonstration along with brand new PC titles S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. THQ will also present the most expansive mass-market product portfolio in the industry, including games based on "The Incredibles," "The Polar Express," and "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," three of the biggest feature films scheduled for holiday 2004. These titles and others will be available for hands-on demonstrations in the THQ booth, #1024, in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center May 12-14.

    "Our 2004 portfolio caters to every segment of the game playing audience," said Brian Farrell, president and CEO, THQ. "Games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Destroy All Humans, Dawn of War and Full Spectrum Warrior are already winning critical praise and gaining traction at retail. Additionally, we have an expansive portfolio of games based on premiere mass-market brands including 'The Punisher' along with highly anticipated holiday feature film releases, such as 'The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie,' 'The Incredibles,' and 'The Polar Express.' In addition, THQ Wireless is also unveiling sports applications for wireless devices at the show."

    THQ's E3 Lineup includes games in every genre, including:

    From the Silver Screen:

    The Incredibles -- Following the success of the Finding Nemo videogame, which shipped more than five million units worldwide, The Incredibles is the second offering in THQ's three property deal with Disney and Pixar. The Incredibles tells the story of a family of undercover superheroes that are trying to live a quiet, suburban life, but are forced back into action in order to save the world. The game is expected to launch simultaneously with the film, which will hit theaters on November 5, 2004. The Incredibles videogame will bring action and adventure to the PlayStation(R)2, Xbox(TM), GameCube(TM), PC/Mac, and Game Boy(R) Advance systems this fall.

    The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie -- Based on the highly anticipated November 2004 release of "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," this action platform game is being developed by Heavy Iron Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, released in October 2003. The SpongeBob character continues to hold the #1 Q-score rating for kids aged 6-14 and is the most watched animated show in TV history by kids. The franchise also has all-ages appeal, with 30% of viewers between ages 18-49. Scheduled for PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC this fall.

    The Polar Express(TM) -- Based on the tent-pole holiday release from Warner Bros. Pictures, The Polar Express, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks, brings the magic of Christmas to life in beautiful CG animation. The game is being developed by THQ's Australian studio and will ship for PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC in conjunction with the film release this holiday season.

    For the Hard Core PC Gamer:

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl -- Boasting some of the richest graphics ever delivered on a PC, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl brings to life the actual Chernobyl terrain in the year 2012 -- six years after a mysterious second explosion rocks the landscape. As a "stalker" exploring the vast "Exclusion Zone" to procure artifacts for the black market, players must survive mutant creatures, dangerous anomalous areas, competing "stalkers" and a military charged with quarantining the 30 square kilometer area. Developed by GSC Game World and powered by the all-new X-ray engine, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is scheduled for release on the PC this fall.

    Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War -- From "Game of the Year" developer Relic Entertainment, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War takes strategy gaming to new cinematic, visceral heights. Set in a universe ruled by brutal warfare, four ancient enemy races collide with a single objective -- annihilation of all others. Named to PC Gamer's "Top 10 Games of 2004" list and garnering PC Gamer's April issue cover feature, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War is scheduled for release on the PC this fall.

    Core Titles:

    Full Spectrum Warrior -- Based on a training tool developed for the U.S. Army to reinforce training at the Infantry level, Full Spectrum Warrior is the most realistic portrayal of urban warfare via true squad-based gameplay. After garnering many critical accolades including Best of E3, magazine covers such as OXM, a perfect score from Maxim, as well as Playboy's June Game of the Month, the much-anticipated Full Spectrum Warrior is scheduled for release on the Xbox(TM) in early June and on PC this fall.

    The Punisher -- Developed by THQ's Volition studio, The Punisher is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series. The game is built for players to enter the mind of the Punisher. More than just shooting, it will be important for players to walk into a room and think 'What would The Punisher do?' Features like character interrogations and highly interactive environments add a layer of depth that truly set this game apart. The Punisher is scheduled for release on PS2 and Xbox in early 2005.

    WWE Day of Reckoning -- Developed by Yukes, WWE Day of Reckoning features the WWE's top Superstars including, Kurt Angle(R), Chris Benoit(R) and Triple H(R). Players will transform a rookie's dream into a Superstar's reality as they fight their way to the top of WWE programming in an all-new story mode filled with deception and betrayal. WWE Day of Reckoning from THQ and JAKKS Pacific is scheduled for release on the GameCube this fall.

    Destroy All Humans! -- Developed by Pandemic Studios, creators of Full Spectrum Warrior, Destroy All Humans! turns players' conventional expectations of playing the human defending against an alien invasion to now allow them to play the alien hell bent on infiltrating and taking over all of humanity. Destroy All Humans! delivers an open ended world where the player can rain down destruction from his UFO or land at any point to walk among the humans as the 3rd person alien subverting and terrorizing all of humanity. Packed with humorous science-fiction mythology and tons of conspiracy theory. Players will soon discover that it is better to be the superior being. Scheduled for release on the PlayStation2 and Xbox in early 2005.

    THQ will also showcase Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams, the next installment in THQ and Nickelodeon's million-unit selling original Tak franchise. Additionally, THQ and Nickelodeon will unveil their first game for the PlayStation 2 Eyetoy(TM), Nicktoons (working title), in which popular Nickelodeon characters interact in multiple Nickelodeon cartoon environments.

    THQ Wireless will demonstrate several new games on the latest mobile devices, including Olympics 2004, Midway, NFL, NHL and a baseball title. For more information on THQ's 2004 E3 lineup, visit http://www.thq.com

    Red Dead Revolver Released
    Steve @ 1:54 PM EDT
    NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 4, 2004--Rockstar Games, the world-renowned publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., is pleased to announce that Red Dead Revolver for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft is in retail stores in North America. The game will be in stores in Europe on May 28, 2004 for both the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft.

    "We are all thrilled to have created a Western game that is different than anything Rockstar has done in the past," said Sam Houser, President of Rockstar Games. "We feel this franchise will add a greater diversity to our lineup while providing a fun, pick-up-and-play action game punctuated with Rockstar's distinct sense of style and humor."

    "More than anything we wanted to deliver an astounding game that is a fun, visually stunning, arcade-style shoot-em up experience," stated Diego Angel, President of Rockstar San Diego. "The technology and theme combined to give us the opportunity to create truly unique environments, colorful characters, and a storyline that captures an authentic Western feel unlike any other console game available."

    A blazing arcade-style third person game fueled by precision gunplay, Red Dead Revolver is a classic tale of vengeance on the untamed frontier. The addictively fun, innovative combat scheme rewards accurate and ruthless elimination of backwater lowlifes. Ride down outlaws on horseback, fight bloody duels aboard trains, command stagecoaches and more in your quest for justice. Punctuated with dark humor and filled with the elements that make the Wild West so compelling, Red Dead Revolver's story is told through full motion cutscenes and breathtaking in-game visuals.

    Additional information about Red Dead Revolver is available at: http://www.rockstargames.com/reddeadrevolver