NewsPro Archive

November 2004

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Midway Acquires Paradox Development
Steve @ 11:26 PM EST
CHICAGO--Nov. 30, 2004--Midway Games Inc. announced today that it has acquired Paradox Development, the studio now developing Midway's upcoming videogame, Mortal Kombat(R): Shaolin Monks(TM). Midway acquired privately-held Paradox in an all-stock transaction for 333,334 Midway common shares. The acquisition further strengthens the Company's internal development capabilities as it brings two talented development teams to Midway. This marks the third acquisition in recent months to bolster Midway's high quality game development. In October, 2004 Midway acquired Austin, Texas-based Inevitable Entertainment Inc., the development studio working on Midway's upcoming new videogame, AREA 51. In April, 2004 Midway acquired Seattle, Washington-based Surreal Software Inc., the highly accomplished video game developer behind the successful videogame, The Suffering.

Midway President and Chief Executive Officer David F. Zucker commented, "In acquiring Paradox Development, we have added a talented and established developer that not only deepens our internal product development organization but also brings incremental fighting-genre expertise to Midway. We have made great strides in improving our overall quality of games, and the industry and our customers have recognized this accomplishment. Today's acquisition further strengthens our ability to expand on our current portfolio of games and produce new high quality, top-selling games for the future. Furthermore, the Paradox teams' expertise in the fighting genre is an excellent fit with Midway's product strengths and will help us extend the Mortal Kombat franchise into the action-adventure genre and release a highly engaging title in the Mortal Kombat universe annually."

Based in Moorpark, California, Paradox Development is a successful creator of high-quality interactive entertainment products, with an emphasis on games within the fighting genre. Founded in 1994 by Christine Hsu, the former COO/CFO of Malibu Comics, Paradox Development has developed 13 titles, including seven fighting games, across multiple platforms.

Next Rainbow Six Franchise Announced
Steve @ 4:48 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 30, 2004 –Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, today announced its plans to launch the next installment in the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six« franchise for the Sony PlayStation«2 computer entertainment system, Xbox« video game system from Microsoft and the PC in Spring 2005. With the Rainbow Six franchise known as one of the best multiplayer experiences and hailed for its immersive single-player games, the next Rainbow Six game follows Team Rainbow, the world’s most elite counter-terrorist unit, as they are called into action into unfamiliar territory as they battle a BIOTERRORIST threat. Stakes escalate as they are personally targeted by an evil terrorist organization, ultimately ending with the capture and torture of one of the team’s premier members. Used to protecting the lives of others, Team Rainbow must now embark on a mission to fight and save its own. Team Rainbow does not negotiate with terror. It destroys it. The game is being developed by two of Ubisoft’s award-winning studios: Red Storm Entertainment, the maker of the original Rainbow Six, and Ubisoft’s Montreal Studio.

The next Rainbow Six game will build on the ingredients that have made the Rainbow Six franchise a runaway success, and will introduce new multiplayer elements that inject a vitality and depth into an already stellar multiplayer franchise. In addition to completely new, more ominous and groundbreaking multiplayer content, the single player will experience a new personal darker storyline, state-of-the-art equipment, and offer gamers the chance to play as two members of Team Rainbow: Ding Chavez, the fearless leader of Team Rainbow, and a new sniper role portrayed by Dieter Weber, whose must cover his team’s movement with deadly accuracy. His aim is matched only by his attitude.

“The next installment in the Rainbow Six franchise will take the best and make it better – the Rainbow Six franchise enjoyed an unprecedented year run as a top online title, and the next episode will deliver an even bigger multiplayer punch, with the addition of two revolutionary modes that take the game in a completely new direction,” said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft. “This time its personal as Team Rainbow becomes the target. They must react in unprecedented ways to a direct threat – Tom Clancy’s gut-wrenching tension, pulse-pounding action, close-quarter battle and hallmark realism are about to get a whole lot darker.”

About the Game

Command Team Rainbow in their toughest mission yet. When one of your
own is taken hostage, do you follow orders or do you break them in order to save the life of one of your own men? The next Rainbow Six title features a thrilling single-player campaign that has you playing as either the confident team leader, Ding Chavez, who never leaves a man behind, or as the team’s arrogant sniper, Dieter Weber, who never misses a shot. The final result: a totally immersive experience – which becomes even more compelling when gamers go online to play against other fans from around the world, using voice chat to communicate with one another.

Additional game features include:

• Superior multiplayer experience: One of the best multiplayer games ever returns with a revolutionary multiplayer experience for Xbox Live and the PlayStation 2.
o Xbox Live: New “Career Mode” allows players to create their own operative, improve their skills and acquire extra equipment in all-new objective-based missions.
o PlayStation 2: New Rivalry Mode pits Rainbow operatives against trained mercenaries in objective-driven team-based adversarial gameplay.
• New weapons and equipment: Complete your mission with all of the tools of the trade including new items like motion trackers, battering rams, and the deadly MTAR-21 micro assault rifle.
• Stunning graphics and ultra-realistic “ragdoll” physics deliver staggering realism and spectacular close quarter firefights.
• Tension-building sound effects: Creaking floorboards, whispers and hostages begging for their lives hint that a threat lurks around every corner.
• Increasingly intelligent enemy A.I.: With every mission, enemies get more dangerous using tactics like flanking, suppression fire and room clearing.

No Updates for a Week?
Steve @ 4:45 PM EST
Well with Thanksgiving and all, we were here, but there wasn't much news to post. Now that all the holiday's are done with (for now), there should be some news worthy enough to post (we hope).

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

American Chopper Shipping Soon for Xbox
Steve @ 3:47 PM EST
MINNEAPOLIS--Nov. 23, 2004--Activision Value Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision, Inc., in a licensing agreement with Discovery Consumer Products, announced today that it has shipped its newest release, American Chopper(TM), based on the phenomenally successful Discovery Channel series of the same name. Available now for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system for a suggested retail price of $29.99, American Chopper has been rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB. The game will be available for the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft in early December.

American Chopper provides a dynamic platform for players to build and ride personalized themed choppers, challenging your racing skills on a variety of missions and earning style points to unlock new bikes along the way. Taking its cues from the top-rated series, players will help the show's stars Paul Teutul, Sr. and Paul Teutul, Jr. build some of the sickest bikes around. The player will get to ride the signature theme bikes, such the POW/MIA Bike, Jet Bike, Black Widow Bike, or can create their own customized choppers and then put them through the paces. Players will experience life-like physics and handling as they cruise through each adventure.

"The realism of the garage is at your fingertips without getting them dirty," said Dave Oxford, General Manager, Activision Value Publishing Inc. "This game gives players a unique opportunity to understand the intricacies involved in customizing these choppers, combined with the thrill of commanding them on the virtual open road."

Nyko's Wireless Air Flo Controller Ships
Steve @ 3:45 PM EST
LOS ANGELES--Nov. 23, 2004--Nyko Technologies(R), manufacturer of innovative peripherals for video and computer games, has shipped its Wireless Air Flo(TM) controller for the Xbox(R). The cable-free unit utilizes Nyko's patented Air Flo technology to provide gamers with a consistent flow of fresh air through the controller handgrips.

With Nyko's exclusive technology for reliability in wireless, the new controller features unblockable long-range gaming without response lag. The Wireless Air Flo controller for Xbox includes multi-channel design for simultaneous use of up to 8 controllers without interference. The automatic power save mode ensures long battery life, so gamers can enjoy up to 50 hours of wireless game play.

The new controller carries Nyko's patented Air Flo design with new, variable speed control for custom hand cooling. It is ergonomically designed for optimum comfort, style and performance. Nyko's wireless product includes dual expansion ports, ultra responsive D-pad and unique configuration of black and white buttons on both the shoulder and original locations for greater accessibility. The controller also includes a variable vibration function.

"We're excited to extend the Wireless Air Flo technology to the Xbox," said Susan Corben, director of marketing, Nyko Technologies. "You can use up to 8 controllers at the same time which is ideal for friends who want to get together for a multi-system gaming session."

Wireless Air Flo for Xbox features include:

-- RF Wireless technology

-- Multi-channel design

-- Patented Air Flo technology with variable speed control

-- Dual expansion ports on receiver

-- 4 AA batteries provide up to 50 hours of wireless game play

-- Compatible with Xbox Live(TM)

-- Variable vibration function

-- Detachable joystick for arcade-style gaming

-- Black and White button layout in both original and shoulder locations

Monday, November 22, 2004

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Released
Steve @ 3:34 PM EST
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--Nov. 22, 2004--Electronic Arts today announced the release of the latest highly anticipated video game in the James Bond(TM) series, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent(TM). Going where no previous Bond game has dared tread, this first-person shooter gives players the chance to explore the dark side of the Bond universe and experience life as a ruthless, unpredictable villain. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is available on the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft, and the Nintendo GameCube(TM) under the EA GAMES(TM) brand.

"By allowing fans to step into the shoes of the 'bad guys', GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is the most exciting, cutting-edge episode of the Bond video game series to date," said Patrick Gilmore, Executive Producer at EA Los Angeles.

The focus of this action-packed game shifts from that of 007(TM) himself to the corrupt underworld and its criminal masterminds. Players wreak havoc as they make their unrelenting rise through the ranks of villainy. On globe-spanning missions of vengeance and demolition, players encounter such legendary villains and Bond girls as Xenia Onatopp, Dr. No, Goldfinger, Oddjob, Scaramanga, and Pussy Galore.

Players can exploit over 100 different weapon combinations through the dual-wield gunplay system, or go head-to-head, melee-style, by taking enemies hostage or knocking them out with one punch. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent fully integrates single-player, multiplayer split screen, and online gameplay for the PlayStation 2 console and Xbox. Featured game modes include story-based campaign missions spanning 20 gripping single-player levels and more than 20 intense multiplayer arenas where players can engage in deathmatch-style showdowns and objective-based team vs. team scenarios.

Officially licensed by MGM Interactive, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was developed at EA's Los Angeles studio. The game is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and has a US MSRP of $49.99. For more information, please visit the game's official site at http://www.goldeneye.ea.com

Friday, November 19, 2004

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Goes Gold
Steve @ 3:16 PM EST
Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, today announced that Prince of Persia: Warrior Within™ has reached gold master status for the Sony PlayStation«2 and Microsoft Xbox«. Fall’s most highly-anticipated action-adventure game, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within stars a darker, edgier Prince on a journey to defy his own preordained death. The game delivers the innovative Free-Form Fighting System that allows players to create their own signature fighting style as the Prince, now a Master Warrior, has a great variety of advanced and lethal fighting techniques. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within also features a deep, mysterious storyline that leaves players guessing until the tremulous end, and deadly combat sequences so intense it will leave your heart pounding for more.

Available in stores December 2nd, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is rated “M” for Mature and will have a MSRP of $49.99.

MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Fan Site Kit Available
Steve @ 3:13 PM EST
Microsoft Game Studios announced today that the official MechAssault« 2: Lone Wolf Fan Site Kit (FSK) is now available for download at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/mechassault2 The FSK (35 MB) includes screenshots, logos, wallpapers, concept art and a fact sheet to help webmasters create heavy-hitting fan sites dedicated to the sequel to one of the best-selling action titles for Xbox«. MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is set to ship on December 28, 2004 in North America.

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

Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball Ships
Steve @ 3:08 PM EST
MINNEAPOLIS--Nov. 18, 2004--It's time to take on paintball's elite players in Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball(R) from Activision Value Publishing, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision, Inc. The game, which is available exclusively for the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft, allows players to face off against 20 of the sport's top pros on actual tournament fields, using top-of-the-line paintball gear. Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball is available in retail stores nationwide for $39.99 and has been rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB.

"We wanted to create the most authentic paintball experience possible," said Patrick Kelly, Vice President of Studios, Activision Value Publishing Inc. "Paintball is an up-and-coming sport that requires skill and accuracy and this game is the best virtual platform for paintball enthusiasts to practice their skills."

Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball allows players of all skill levels to "ball" like the pros. Players will battle on real-life Paintball fields in tournament locations such as Huntington Beach Open in California, Island Open in Aruba and SC Village in Los Angeles.

They can choose from 179 different field layouts and hundreds of game configurations. Special features allow players to feel like they are inside the game, a stance and mobility-based targeting system allows for shooting accuracy changes, and Quick Look allows players to look around without their body shifting.

Players can hone their paintball skills on their own as a novice with basic skills and equipment and advance from rookie to pro before facing off against multiple players. Once their skill level has been increased, the more experienced players will want to try the multiplayer game option, which offers both system link and Xbox(TM) Live play. Using Xbox Live voicechat, players can coordinate strategy and identify opponent positions with their teammates, bringing the reality of the game to their living room.

World Championship Poker Shipping Soon for Xbox
Steve @ 2:56 PM EST
LOS ANGELES (Nov. 18, 2004) – It’s a house full of poker enthusiasts these days, Poker nights at home, professional Poker events on TV, and now, thanks to Crave Entertainment, World Championship Poker for videogame platforms. Crave Entertainment, a leading publisher of videogames, announces the release of World Championship Poker for PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and Nintendo Game Boy Advance. The version for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft will be available this holiday season and playable over Xbox Live.

“Poker has become the latest obsession,” said Vincent Bitetti, president, Crave Entertainment Inc. “Type the word “poker” in a search engine and more than 67 million websites emerge ready to inform, entertain, tutor or take ones money all in the name of poker. We’ve created World Championship Poker to satisfy this age-old drive to outsmart, outwit and out gamble one’s opponent.”

Get the low-down on high-stakes poker with 12 World Championship Poker games including: Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hold'em, Seven-Card Stud, Five-Card Draw and Pineapple. Players may advance their skills in “Career Mode” as they play their way through over 50 poker tournaments.

World Championship Poker also features poker tutorials and six tournament locations, ranging from a tropical island to a Mississippi riverboat. Players create customizable characters with more than 80 different options to mold your player’s look. Players can compete and voice chat online via “GameSpy” for PlayStation 2 and via the world’s only unified global online console games service, Xbox Live.

Exclusive to the Xbox version is the ability to compete against gamers in 24 countries over the world’s only unified global online console games service, Xbox Live. Xbox Live features for World Championship Poker include Scoreboards, Voice/Chat and Live Aware. In-game user created content is also available, allowing gamers to create a custom profile and take it online to challenge other players.

Now available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and Game Boy Advance, World Championship Poker‘ has an MSRP of $19.99. World Championship Poker‘ will be available soon for Xbox.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

New Ghost Recon 2 Screens
Steve @ 3:20 PM EST
Check out the newest screen shots of Ghost Recon 2 that were released today. Ghost Recon 2 will be available this week in stores.

Ghost Recon 2 New Screens

Colin McRae Trains With Colin McRae Rally 2005
Steve @ 2:07 PM EST
New York (Nov. 18, 2004) – Rally legend Colin McRae is turning to technology as part of his training regime for the 17th Race of Champions on December 4, 2004. In preparation for the event at the Stade de France outside Paris, the Flying Scotsman asked Codemasters, creators of his video game Colin McRae Rally 2005, to install next generation online gaming systems at his Scottish base.

The Colin McRae Rally 2005 game uses online connectivity that enables McRae to compete in virtual rallies, head-to-head against real people over high-speed Internet connections.

Using Colin McRae Rally 2005 and its online racing set up, McRae is ready to take on all comers:

“There are people all over the world playing the game online, so I’ll be looking for some international competition to help sharpen my reflexes. There are some great players out there on the game so come the Race of Champions itself, I should be well prepared to make sure that I can perform at my peak for the GB team.”

For the Race of Champions itself, McRae is teaming up with F1 star David Coulthard as part of Autosport Team GB, and will use the online game as a simulator in preparation for taking on the French, captained by current World Rally Championship leader SÚbastien Loeb, and the German team featuring multiple F1 champion Michael Schumacher and works rally driver Armin Schwarz.

The Race of Champions pits the world’s greatest rally and racing drivers against each other in fierce competition. Colin is a previous winner of the individual event, and this year will also be part of the GB team entered in the Nations Cup section of the event where 2-car national teams race in a variety of cars on parallel tracks. NASCAR greats Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson will also be competing in the event, alongside 2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan.

McRae has a long association with simulation and computer game technology. He has worked with game designers Codemasters for more than six years creating ever more sophisticated versions of the $7 million-plus selling Colin McRae Rally video game series.

The latest version of his game, the ground breaking Colin McRae Rally 2005 is now available for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft and PC with both versions featuring online racing. Colin McRae Rally 2005 is rated E for Everyone by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and carries a suggested retail price of $29.99 for the Xbox version and $19.99 for the PC version. For more information about the game visit the Colin McRae Rally 2005 web site at www.codemasters.com/colinmcrae2005

Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 Ships
Steve @ 1:57 PM EST
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - November 18, 2004 - Konami Digital Entertainment - America, a division of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., today announced that Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix(tm) 2, exclusively for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft, has shipped to retail stores nationwide. The latest Dance Dance Revolution(tm) (DDR) installment for the Xbox, DDR Ultramix 2 breaks it down with a new line-up of hit songs, exclusive content, all-new gameplay modes and enhanced Xbox Live(tm) support.

"The Dance Dance Revolution series has been consistently recognized for its innovation and physically engaging gameplay," said Jason Enos, Product Manager at Konami Digital Entertainment - America. "By leveraging the Xbox system's power, we have been able to push the online features via Xbox Live(tm) and bring our fans a DDR experience that is every bit as innovative as the game itself."

By accessing the Xbox Live(tm) service, players can compete head-to-head with other dancers nationwide, conduct online tournaments with up to 16 players total, view Internet rankings, talk live with other Dance Dance Revolution fans, upload content, and download new songs, dance steps, challenges and characters.

Also boasting a bigger music library than ever before, Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 includes more than 65 songs, new game modes and content exclusively for the Xbox console. Downloadable songs will be available in packs of 5 songs for $5.00/pack. The game also supports all the downloadable song packs from the original Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix game - offering an unprecedented 100+ songs to choose from at launch. The game features top hits from Delirium, ELVIS, Freestylers and the Commodores - plus remixes by top dance acts, including Paul Oakenfold, Svenson & Gielen and Jondi & Spesh.

Chock full of new game modes, the game features something for everyone in the family. Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 now offers a Party Mode, a compilation of various games that allows players to compete against their friends for ultimate dance supremacy in completely new ways. Challenge Mode and Battle Mode have returned with all new gameplay. Battle Mode keeps players on their feet all night long with up to four players competing simultaneously, while Challenge Mode lets players dance through various rounds of play completing specific goals and objectives.

With new modes, as well as popular DDR features such as the "Workout Mode" where players can track calories they burn, Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 is a must-have for any fan of the series. Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 is rated "E" for Everyone by the ESRB and is available with a dance pad for the SRP of $64.99 or as a stand-alone for $39.99. To learn more about Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix(tm) 2 please visit http://www.konamihwi.com/ddr_ultramix2

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

ESPN College Hoops 2K5 Now Shipping
Steve @ 3:26 PM EST
SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--Nov. 17, 2004--ESPN Videogames today announced that ESPN College Hoops 2K5 is now shipping to retailers for both the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and Xbox(R) videogame system from Microsoft(C). This critically acclaimed college basketball title delivers the most realistic college hoops experience by introducing new gameplay features including an all new passing system called Pass-N-Go, a deep new franchise offering titled Legacy Mode, enhanced ESPN presentation, and new visuals that promise gamers the most authentic 'college hoops' experience on the market.

The innovative Pass-N-Go passing system allows gamers to utilize two different passing techniques, regular directional passing and lead passing to beat their opponents to the hoop. These two passing mechanics give the user freedom to pass to the open man, or make a riskier lead pass that leads a teammate to the basket. Both passing buttons also feature advanced controls where a gamer can perform a give-n-go pass or an alley-oop at great risk, but can result in an even greater reward.

Legacy Mode starts the player in the role of a head coach for a "small-time" college program. The player must learn how to manage the elements of recruiting the right talent, scouting potential players, and teaching suitable skills in order to improve the current team's win record. By balancing budget and time resources properly, the gamer will attain specific goals and improve his or her attributes. Players who can continue a successful coaching trend may be offered new positions at prominent colleges. Accepting new job offers gives the player better budget resources, allowing for better recruiting and scouting. As they progress through their career, Legacy Mode players will receive new and more difficult goals to accomplish.

ESPN College Hoops 2K5 promises sports fans unparalleled ESPN telecast-style presentation featuring the return of Jay Bilas and Mike Patrick giving all the play-by-play and more stylized wipes and graphics. Enhanced audio in ESPN College Hoops 2K5 delivers the most accurate crowd noise, college chants and fight songs.

ESPN Videogames are produced by Visual Concepts -- SEGA's sports studio.

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

TRON 2.0: Killer App Leader Board
Steve @ 3:23 PM EST
BURBANK, Calif. (November 17, 2004) Buena Vista Interactive, a publishing label of Buena Vista Games, Inc., announced today its online leader board plans for TRON 2.0: Killer App, the company’s recently released first person shooter. Players can track and compare their stats compiled during play over Xbox™ Live by logging on to http://www.tronkillerapp.com TRON 2.0: Killer App recently shipped for the Xbox« videogame system from Microsoft to North American retail outlets.

We wanted to deliver an exciting and competitive experience with TRON 2.0: Killer App on Xbox™ Live, as well as give strong support to the TRON community,” said Mike Scharnikow, marketing manager at Buena Vista Games. By launching the leader board we are giving players the chance to show how they have honed their skills on the unique weapons and game modes offered by TRON 2.0: Killer App.”

Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space In Stores Now
Steve @ 3:21 PM EST
Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space, the sequel to one of the best-selling Xbox« action-platformers, has shipped to retail stores for an estimated retail price of $39.99 (U.S.). Gamers are encouraged to go pick up their copies and prepare themselves for an epic quest to discover why time is disappearing.

Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space is the world's first 5-D game, giving players control over both Time and Space. Developed by Japan-based Artoon, Co. Ltd., Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space throws players into the shoes of a heroic cat bravely taking control of time in order to face tough battles and puzzling challenges. Just like using a VCR remote control, players' customized cats have the power to slow down the action, pause, review, fast-forward, record and even combine the powers in challenging situations. As the story unfolds, players will also step into the role of the enemy pigs to gain control of the space continuum in a variety of stealth missions. Players will create their own customized pigs to gain control over black holes and worm holes.

Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space features various multiplayer modes that will allow gamers to get their friends in on the action. Players can grab a friend and play through the story in two-player Cooperative Mode, compete in multiplayer Battle Mode with up to four players on one Xbox or make their ways through the single-player missions on their own. Those who choose to play through the storyline cooperatively will need to overcome tougher groups of enemies and unique two-player challenges with strategy and teamwork. Cooperative players will also be rewarded with unique map locations that are only accessible in two-player mode. In Battle Mode, gamers can choose to lead a squad of cats using time control powers or command a team of enemy pigs using space control powers. Whether they are playing through single player missions or any of the multiplayer modes, players can fully customize their cats and pigs by designing the character's face, body and clothing. Blinx 2 is rated "E" for Everyone. For more information, please visit http://www.xbox.com/en-us/blinx2/default.htm

Backyard Wrestling 2 Released
Steve @ 3:17 PM EST
Today is the day, the wait is officially over. Today, a destructive ripple resonates through the world of traditional wrestling in the most formal of fashions.

BYW2 takes to the airwaves. Get your first peek at the TV Spot that will grace many of your favorite programs! This time it's all real-time check out these real-life backyard superstars in this sweet spot.

http://www.eidosinteractive.com/downloads/search.html?gmid=148

http://www.bywgame.com

Eidos Ships Crash 'N' Burn
Steve @ 3:14 PM EST
Eidos has news today to start your engine! Eidos announces Crash 'N' Burn, for PS2 and Xbox, is shipping to stores across North America! The ultimate game for racing fanatics with a taste for reckless carnage will be available in a matter of hours! Crash 'N' Burn's circuits take you from the greatest American cities full of graffited streets and towering skyscrapers to the greatest American natural wonders including the Grand Canyon, the ancient red wood forests, and both glimmering coasts! And, whether you prefer a rugged black truck with brand new rims or your sleek ruby-red sports car complete with an outrageous spoiler, Crash 'N' Burn has got it covered bumper to bumper!

Plus, competition is high! Not only are there 16 vehicles on the track in each race, but they may be driven by some great up-and-coming racers from all over the world! That's right, Crash 'N' Burn can be played online for both PS2 and Xbox with up to 16 players each race! And, as if the nitrous isn't already surging, Crash 'N' Burn will be avilable for the awesome price of only $19.99! Crash 'N' Burn for PS2 and Xbox ships today, November 16th, to stores across North America.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Logitech Announces New Wireless Extension
Steve @ 4:16 PM EST
FREMONT, Calif. - Nov. 16, 2004 - Logitech today eliminated a major nuisance for online gamers: connecting a gaming system to an inconveniently located broadband Internet connection. The new Logitech(R) Play Link(TM) wireless extension offers one-step wireless. Consumers just plug it in and play online games on their PlayStation(R)2, Xbox(R) and PC game networks, even if their Internet connection is on the other side of the house.

With the Logitech Play Link wireless extension, there is no need for expensive, complicated wireless networks, no software to configure, and no drilling through walls or running cables under carpets. Instead, the Play Link wireless extension consists of two small wireless transceiver boxes. One plugs into the Ethernet port of an internet router or modem and the other plugs into a game console, PC or other device - instantly providing a wireless broadband connection.

In a recent study, Framingham, Mass-based research firm IDC reported that 68.3 percent of console game owners are aware of online gaming services, up from 46.3 percent in 2003. However, only 15.4 percent of PlayStation 2 and 13.7 percent of Xbox owners have played online games.

"We hear it all the time," said Jef Holove, director of product marketing for Logitech's Interactive Entertainment BusinessUnit. "Gamers have their PlayStation 2 or Xbox in their living room and their broadband connection in a home office. The Logitech Play Link wireless extension provides an easy, affordable way for those who want to game online but haven't because of the complexity of home networking. The setup is fast and truly plug-and-play - you plug it in, and it just works."

Designed as an affordable and simple enabler of online gaming, the Logitech Play Link wireless extension features 900 MHz RF technology, which achieves a range of up to 100 feet, and delivers encrypted communication so that the one-to-one connection is secure. The product is able to work without software or drivers because the two devices are paired during manufacturing so that they only work with each other. The Play Link transceivers transmit data, with no latency, at a rate of up to 1.5 Mbps. The product is specifically designed to ensure a persistent connection, so gamers don't get dropped from their game.

The Logitech Play Link wireless extension can provide one-step wireless access for any Ethernet-enabled device, such as a laptop, a digital video recorder, a satellite receiver, or a network printer. With no software or drivers required, it's easy to move a Logitech Play Link transceiver from device to device, allowing people to surf the Internet on a laptop one minute and then easily switch over to an online game the next.

The Logitech Play Link wireless extension will be available on store shelves in the U.S. and Canada, and online at http://www.logitech.com , later this month for a suggested retail price of $99.99.

Tom Clancy Triple Pack Released
Steve @ 4:09 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – November 16, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest videogame publishers, today announced that a Tom Clancy Triple Pack for Xbox« video game system from Microsoft will be available at retail outlets across the U.S. this week. The collection, entitled Tom Clancy’s Classic Trilogy, is a special three-DVD set and includes three platinum Xbox titles:

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™: The military shooter that set the bar for realistic special forces action.
o 15 missions and dozens of weapons (30+ hours of gameplay).
o 3 modes of multiplayer warfare over Xbox Live and offline.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell™: The award-winning stealth action masterpiece that broke graphical barriers and took the gaming world by storm.
o 9 stealth action missions (20+ hours of gameplay).
o 3 extra premium downloadable missions via Xbox Live.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3™: Still the No. 1 title on Xbox™ Live, this counter-terrorism game set the standard in multiplayer innovation.
o 14 single-player missions (20+ hours of gameplay).
o Endless online multiplayer replayability.
o 7 premium multiplayer maps downloadable via Xbox Live.

With sales of more than 4 million units in the United States alone, the Clancy games represent the No. 1 selling Xbox family in that console’s history. Now, for the first time, gamers can enjoy the three titles that started it all at a phenomenal value – just $39.99 for all three games.

Atari Anthology Now Available
Steve @ 4:01 PM EST
BEVERLY, MA, November 16, 2004 – Capturing the nostalgia and sheer fun of the original video game revolution, Atari, Inc. today announced that ATARI« ANTHOLOGY™ is now available at retailers nationwide. Featuring the largest collection of Atari games ever assembled, ATARI ANTHOLOGY includes 85 classic Atari games being made available for the first time ever for the PlayStation« 2 computer entertainment system and Xbox« video game system from Microsoft.

“ATARI ANTHOLOGY is the best of yesterday’s content combined with the benefits of today’s technology,” said Nancy MacIntyre, vice president of Marketing for Atari’s Beverly Studio. “Featuring a huge selection of timeless games from every genre imaginable, and finally now available for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, ATARI ANTHOLOGY is the ultimate gamer’s game and belongs in every player’s collection.”

Capturing the nostalgia and magic of the original games, ATARI ANTHOLOGY spans an array of gaming genres including Arcade Originals, 2600 Arcade Games and 2600 Adventure Games, as well as numerous offerings in the Action, Sports, Mind, Casino, Racing and Space genres. The 85 classics include arcades hits such as Asteroids«, Battlezone«, Missile Command«, and Pong«; sports games that include everything from football to volleyball to bowling, while retro fanatics can play rare gems like Casino™, Tempest™ and Circus Atari™

Adding a contemporary spin, ATARI ANTHOLOGY incorporates new Challenge Modes such as the psychedelic Trippy Mode, Time Warp and Double Speed, all of which test player’s skills in extreme conditions, which results in a greater variety of fun. The game also boasts a sleek new 3D interface that provides a seamless portal into all the games, almost like a gaming time machine.

ATARI ANTHOLOGY is available now for a suggested retail price of $19.99 and more information on this product as well as the Company’s entire lineup can be found online at http://www.atari.com

Ghost Recon 2 Shipping This Week
Steve @ 3:46 PM EST
San Francisco, CA – November 16, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, announced today that Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™ 2 for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft is available this week at retail outlets across the U.S. The long-anticipated sequel to the first, legendary Ghost Recon, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 for Xbox, developed by Red Storm Entertainment, has been completely reworked to take advantage of the latest Xbox technology and will once again establish a new standard for addictive and immersive single- and multiplayer action.

With a realistic storyline set in the hostile terrain of North Korea in 2011, a killer Lone Wolf single-player mode based on prototypical soldier-of-the-future combat equipment currently being developed by the US government, a full team of new Ghosts, a brand new over-the-shoulder camera angle (in addition to the beloved first-person perspective), and incredible graphics and technology, gamers will soon find themselves fully immersed in the chaos of the war of tomorrow. Xbox™ Live fans will enjoy Xbox Live 3.0 features, 24 multiplayer maps, support for 16 players, 7 co-op modes and 10 adversarial modes.

“Ghost Recon 2 will thrill gamers of all ranks, from hardened soldiers to new recruits, as they are plunged full-force into high-tension, near-future combat situations,” said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft. “The Ghosts don’t play around, and neither do we – Ghost Recon 2 delivers all the hallmarks of a Clancy classic: realism, industry-leading graphics, total immersion, insane action, attention to even the smallest details and, of course, endless hours of multiplayer madness that will establish Ghost Recon 2 as yet another Clancy powerhouse on Xbox Live. It’s the military shooter to own this holiday.”

Call of Duty: Finest Hour Arrives In Stores
Steve @ 3:43 PM EST
Santa Monica, CA – November 16, 2004 – Soldiers…it’s time to heed the call and experience cinematic intensity and the chaos of battle as never before with the release of Activision, Inc.’s Call of Duty™: Finest Hour™, a gritty new World War II action game for the PlayStation«2 computer entertainment system, Xbox« video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube™. Activision is supporting the launch with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign that includes television, print, theatrical and online advertising. Developed in conjunction with Spark, Call of Duty: Finest Hour is currently available in retail stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $49.99 and carries a “T” (“Teen” – Blood, Violence) rating by the ESRB.

The advertising campaign for Call of Duty: Finest Hour has already begun with national spots showcasing the most realistic and intense combat ever airing in front of such programming as the recent network television premiere of the “Lord of the Rings,” and continuing with airings during primetime, syndicated and cable programming and national sporting events, including "Fear Factor," "The Simpsons," "NFL” on CBS' annual Thanksgiving Day game and ESPN's "SportsCenter."

Additionally, Activision will sponsor select movie and special programming on fX, TBS SuperStation, TNT, MTV, BET, SpikeTV and G4. Activision will also deploy troops for a nationwide in-theater campaign, beginning in early-December with life-size Call of Duty: Finest Hour standees in theatre lobbies and a trailer in front of such highly anticipated feature films as "Alexander," "Ocean's 12" and "Meet the Fockers."

“An all-new experience for the consoles, Call of Duty: Finest Hour is an absolute thrill ride, driving players and their squads through intense WWII battles as they head for the final assault on Germany,” said Kathy Vrabeck, President, Activision Publishing. “By marrying advanced technology with the Hollywood talents of actor Dennis Haysbert, award-winning composer Michael Giacchino, veteran writer/producer Michael Schiffer and rock-and-roll superstar Brian Johnson, we’re able to deliver a completely unique experience that is unrivaled in its realism and intensity.”

Call of Duty: Finest Hour thrusts new recruits and hardened soldiers alike into a gripping, movie-like WWII combat experience played out at the height of the war through three Allied campaigns – Russian, British and American. Gamers are immersed in the unfolding drama as they take on the roles of six brave soldiers fighting to survive grueling and intense battles, from the steps of Russia’s famed Red Square to the harsh deserts of North Africa and onto the final and ultimate goal of Germany itself. Mixing exciting vehicle-based action with an array of intense infantry missions, players step into the boots of such outfits as Britain’s Popski’s Private Army as well as Gen. Patton’s famed Third Army 761st “Black Panther” Tank Battalion.

The title features authentic sights and sounds, scores of soldiers and incredible special effects that engulf players into the thrilling single-player action. With four modes of play and new maps, Finest Hour also delivers heart-stopping team-based online multiplayer combat for up to 16 players on the PS2 and Xbox. Xbox owners can also enjoy full Xbox-Live support as well as system link gameplay.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Need for Speed Underground 2 Ships
Steve @ 7:43 PM EST
Electronic Arts today announced that Need for Speed(TM) Underground 2 has shipped to retail stores nationwide for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM), Game Boy(R) Advance and PC. The sequel to last year's run-away hit which sold over 8 million copies worldwide, Need for Speed Underground 2 features a massive, free-roaming game world where players can immerse themselves in the tuner culture as they race through more than 125 miles of open road.

True to the tuner culture, players can enhance their rides with an unprecedented 70 billion possible car combinations, including deep performance tuning, to create the ultimate street racer. Players can cruise through the streets in style with hundreds of new visual upgrades such as hydraulics, spinner rims, and scissor doors and hoods. As gamers explore the city's five distinct interconnected neighborhoods, they'll encounter rival street races that can erupt any time, anywhere, or put their skills to the test by entering the hottest competitions in town. With new gameplay modes including StreetX, Downhill Drift and the Underground Racing League, as well as online(1) play for Xbox Live(TM), the PlayStation 2 console and PC, players will need more than just style to prevail.

Upon entering the world of the underground, players will instantly be introduced to Brooke Burke, former-host of E! Entertainment Television's popular travel series, "Wild On." Burke plays the streetwise organizer of an elite underground circuit as she guides players to become the top racers on the streets.

On the way to racing glory, Need for Speed Underground 2 players will be able to hear Snoop Dogg's unforgettable remix of The Doors' legendary rock song, "Riders On The Storm" -- an exclusive track that can only be heard in the game. The beats keep pumping as players turn up the music with 27 hit songs from renowned artists such as Chingy, Mudvayne, Terror Squad, Xzibit and Queens of the Stone Age.

Developed in Vancouver, B.C. by EA Canada, Need for Speed Underground 2 is rated "E" for Everyone by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $49.99 for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube, $39.99 for PC and $29.99 for Game Boy Advance. For more information about the game, please visit http://www.needforspeed.com

Midway Adds Three Industry Leaders
Steve @ 6:05 PM EST
CHICAGO – November 15, 2004 – Midway Games Inc., a leading interactive entertainment software publisher and developer, announced today the appointment of three industry leaders who add significant depth to Midway's internal product development capabilities and are expected to be instrumental in next generation game development. Scot Bayless, former Electronic Arts and Microsoft veteran, will head Midway's Chicago studio. Denise Fulton, former Eidos and Electronic Arts veteran, will head the new Midway Studios-Austin. Stephan Martini, an award-winning artist and visual designer brings his talents to the position of visual design director at the Chicago studio.

David F. Zucker, Midway's president and chief executive officer, commented on the appointments, "We have made great strides in attracting proven winners to the Midway team over the last year-and-a-half as industry leaders recognize the Company's successes. We're highly confident that Scot, Denise and Stephan's proven creative and management talents will be valuable complements to our internal product development capabilities and important assets as we create even more engaging, best-in-class games for the current and next generation of consoles. All three bring extensive experience and accomplishments from the videogame industry to Midway as well as achievements and recognized performance in other entertainment and software disciplines. As entertainment mediums converge, we expect these broader skills and experience will be invaluable to Midway's product development capabilities."

Scot Bayless, vice president, Chicago studio, joins Midway from Electronic Arts, where he produced the most recent games in the highly popular James Bond 007 franchise and brings an extraordinary range of talents to his new role at Midway. Prior to his work with Electronic Arts, Mr. Bayless served as a studio manager at Microsoft, revitalizing the company's Simulator franchise with reconceptions of Flight Simulator and Combat Flight Simulator and the addition of the successful new title, Train Simulator. In addition to his videogame software expertise, he has managed PC and console technologies, military engineer technology and feature film extensions.

Denise Fulton, Studio Head, Midway Studios-Austin, was most recently at Ion Storm where she served as the company's executive producer, managing the production teams on Deus Ex: Invisible War and Thief: Deadly Shadows. Ms. Fulton began her career in the videogame industry at Microsoft as a graphic designer, and then moved into a management role, supervising internal and external teams in the production of several children's software titles. She then moved to DreamWorks Interactive, where she built a PC production group and was responsible for the hiring and training of a team of managers, artists, programmers and designers. Following her term at DreamWorks, Ms. Fulton joined Electronic Arts Canada, where she spent four years as a producer and senior development director.

Stephan Martini貥, visual design director at Midway's Chicago studio, comes to Midway from Cyan, Inc. where he was the visual art director for the hit videogame, Myst. Mr. Martini貥 has over 20 years of acclaimed industry experience and worldwide recognition for his talent and artistic successes across many artistic mediums. In addition to his visual contribution to Myst, Mr. Martini貥 has garnered awards and critical acclaim for his work in feature films such as Star Wars Episodes II and III, The Fifth Element, and most recently I, Robot, as well as for his work in animated television and book cover illustration. He has received an Emmy Award nomination for his art animation and his success in book illustrations garnered him Spectrum Awards in 1997 and 2004. Additionally, Mr. Martini貥 won the 2001 Thea Award for his work on the Paramount theme park attraction, Super Saturator and in May, 2004, Infinitee Designs awarded Mr. Martini貥 the Artist o! f the Month award for Para.

All three new appointments will begin their assignments in Midway's internal product development organization this month.

Friday, November 12, 2004

New Crash 'N' Burn Info
Steve @ 6:04 PM EST
The Crash 'N' Burn website is unveiling tons of new content today! And by tons, we mean thousands of pounds of brand new metal and asphalt! The Crash 'N' Burn website has been updated with loads of uniquely designed racing vehicles from the Crash 'N' Burn Garage. Each one built to look the best and play the hardest! There are also some fantastic new raceways to scope out, lots of new screens, artwork, and media! Remember, this isn't your typical two-car street race, folks. We are talking 16 players online for both PS2 and Xbox! It's preparation time for global racing domination! Consider this your opportunity for a dry run before the Crash 'N' Burn championships next week! Below is the breakdown of what new goodies you can check out on the Crash 'N' Burn website located at http://www.crashnburngame.com

Crash 'N' Burn for PS2 and Xbox is shipping Tuesday, November 16th to stores across North America
for only $19.99!

Challenge Willis McGahee in Halo 2
Steve @ 5:23 PM EST
During his time in the NFL, Buffalo Bills' star running back Willis McGahee has encountered some of the toughest competitors the gridiron has to offer; but as every Halo fan knows, it takes more than a helmet and some shoulder pads to declare yourself a Master Chief. On Tuesday, November 16, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST, gamers will get a chance to challenge McGahee in Halo 2 on Xbox« Live™ in this "Game with Fame" event. Gamers looking to exchange fire with the Bills' leading rusher will need to keep an eye out for "WMcGahee21" on Xbox Live during this event. For more details, gamers should head to the official "Game with Fame" site ( http://www.xbox.com/en-US/news/events/gamewithfame.htm ).

Xbox Live's "Game with Fame" gives game fans the opportunity to play on Xbox Live against some of today's hottest stars. Past "Game with Fame" celebrity players include The Strokes, Hoobastank and Big Boi from OutKast. For further information on other Xbox Live events, be sure to visit the "Game with Fame" Web site at http://www.xbox.com/en-US/news/events/gamewithfame.htm

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Halo 2 Breaks Entertainment Retail History
Steve @ 9:11 PM EST
“Halo 2” broke entertainment retail records in its first 24 hours on store shelves. Microsoft Game Studios today announced that the highly-anticipated game sold through 2.4 million units in the U.S. and Canada, driving cash register receipts to the $125 million mark.

“EB Games had a record-breaking day as gamers across the country lined up for hours to be one of the first to get their hands on ‘Halo 2’ on November 9,” said Jeff Griffiths, president and CEO of EB Games. “The ‘Halo 2’ frenzy, anticipation and excitement felt throughout the country prove that ‘Halo 2’ has become more than a game -- it’s a pop cultural phenomenon.”

"Halo 2 has blown the roof off of any other sales day in the history of GameStop,” said Dan Dematteo, president and chief operating officer at GameStop. “In just one day, we sold more than half a million copies of Halo 2 -- more than any other game in history in its first day of release. Halo 2 has become more than a pop culture phenomena -- it's become a pop culture frenzy."

Not only has “Halo 2” exceeded video game sales records, but entertainment records as well. “Halo 2” has generated more money on day one than any of the biggest movies in box office history including “Spider-Man 2” (Sony), “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (WB) and “The Matrix Reloaded” (WB).* In addition, “Halo 2” surpassed this past weekend’s box office favorite, “The Incredibles,” which grossed $70.5 million (U.S.) in three days compared to the $125 million pulled through by “Halo 2” in one day.

"The first 24 hours of Halo 2 sales have taken our breath away," said Peter Moore, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Publishing, Xbox. "Across North America, 2.4 million copies of the game were sold through, representing $125 million in total cash register receipts for retailers. It's no longer just a huge game for us but has become a seminal milestone for the entire industry."

“Halo 2” will expand on everything that made the original game great, plus add a wealth of technological and gameplay advances. Significantly improved graphics, enhanced artificial intelligence (AI), an advanced real-time lighting engine and destructible interactive environments are just a small part of “Halo 2’s” evolution of design and technology. Every improvement in “Halo 2” is designed to take gameplay to a new level -- and in the end, to tell a more compelling story.

Utilizing Xbox Live to redefine online play, “Halo 2” delivers superior online multiplayer capabilities. Whether playing with a clan on a new multiplayer map, boarding a friend's Warthog, dogfighting in Banshees or checking player stats, “Halo 2” will bring the social experience to a higher level via Xbox Live. More information about “Halo 2” is available at http://www.halo2.com

The Urbz: Sims in the City In Stores Now
Steve @ 8:51 PM EST
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--Nov. 10, 2004--Electronic Arts today announced that The Urbz(TM): Sims in the City(TM) has shipped to retail outlets worldwide under the EA GAMES(TM) brand. Following the record-setting launch of The Sims(TM) 2, the development team at the celebrated Maxis studio today launched The Urbz(TM): Sims in the City(TM), the newest entry into the award-winning franchise for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(R) video game system from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy(R) Advance. The Nintendo DS(TM) version will ship on Tuesday, November 16, as a launch title for the new handheld system.

"The Urbz(TM): Sims in the City(TM) is all about three things: cool city style, building your reputation, and living the dream in a 24/7 city that never sleeps. It gives players the opportunity to create and control their sims in a completely unique way and in a very different environment," said Sinjin Bain, Executive Producer and Vice President. "We're thrilled with the new experience we're able to offer our millions of fans."

In the three console versions of the game, take your sims from the suburbs and place them in the heart of the big city. The Urbz: Sims in the City has a completely new urban look, attitude and feel that The Sims franchise has never before explored. It's all about reputation: which gets you access to the coolest people and hottest places; then use your new-found influence to style the city in your own image. Explore nine unique districts and renovate multiple apartments as you work to become the biggest player in the city.

Take a job working for The Black Eyed Peas in the Cozmo Street district while listening to nine exclusive tracks recorded specifically in Simlish by the record-breaking band -- a first in videogame history. The first 700,000 console copies of the game include a pre-paid download card redeemable for three exclusive Black Eyed Peas songs via Apple iTunes, as well as the band's top hit, "Let's Get it Started."

In the Game Boy(R) Advance version, players explore the city of Minniopolis, searching for a way to save the town from the vindictive Daddy Big Bucks. Players complete up to eight mini-games and mingle with over 30 characters, all the while maintaining their reputation.

EA has also partnered with Atomic Toys to produce a line of action figures from the Game Boy Advance version of the game. The toys will be available at specialty retailers nationwide in conjunction with product launch. Toys based on the console game will follow later in the year.

The Urbz: Sims in the City is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB on the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube and has an MSRP of $49.99. The Game Boy Advance version is rated "E" (Everyone) and has an MSRP of $29.99. The game will also ship on the Nintendo DS on November 16 as a launch title for the new handheld. For more information on The Urbz: Sims in the City, visit the official product Web site at http://www.theurbz.com

First to Fight Wishes the Marines a Happy Birthday
Steve @ 8:28 PM EST
Today marks the 229th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The Marines have always been at the forefront of utilizing new technology and skills to maintain their position as the most elite major military unit in the world. Through an unprecedented relationship with the Marine Corps, Global Star and Destineer are developing Close Combat: First to Fight for the Xbox, PC and Mac. In addition, a special version of the game is being designed for the Marines to use as a training tool. The consumer version of the game will contain 90% of the same content as the version that will be used by the USMC for training. Set for release this January, First to Fight is the closest gamers will get to experiencing what it is like to be a fire team leader in modern urban combat.

Marine History

- The Marine Corps was founded on November 10, 1775, when Congress passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" and commissioned a man named Samuel Nicholas to recruit these Marines. He recruited the first men to join the Marine Corps that very day in a beer hall in Philadelphia called "Tun Tavern." Tun Tavern became the base of operations for the Marine Corps for some time and still stands and serves its own beer today.

- Today, Marines are America's only forward-deployed expeditionary force. In just 96 hours, the Marine Corps can deploy Marine Expeditionary Units, complete with thousands of highly-trained men, jets, attack helicopters, tanks and other massively powerful military assets, virtually anywhere in the world. Marines are America's First to Fight.

- About a dozen of the Marines who helped make First to Fight are currently engaged in combat during this week's assault in Fallujah. On this day honoring the birth of the Marine Corps, and in anticipation of Veteran's Day on Thursday, we are particularly appreciative of the service these men are offering their nation at this very moment.

For more information about First to Fight visit: http://www.firsttofight.com

Vote for Splinter Cell Chaos Theory Co-Op Equipment
Steve @ 8:03 PM EST
Ubisoft wants to know what you think – exercise your voting power to
choose the spy gear for future co-op characters! Visit http://splintercell.ubi.com/us/coop_detect_login.php and choose your
favorite piece of gear in two categories; the winners will appear in the final retail version of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory.

Be one of the exclusive few to participate in the final development of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Tomorrow by voting for the equipment you want the spies to use in co-op play.

Don’t wait – the last day you can vote is November 22, 2004. The
selected models will be announced on November 24 on
http://www.splintercell.com

DON’T MISS THIS CHANCE!

Karaoke Revolution Ships for Xbox
Steve @ 7:30 PM EST
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - November 9, 2004 - Konami Digital Entertainment - America, a division of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., today announced that Karaoke Revolution(tm) for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft has shipped to retail stores. The first karaoke video game for the Xbox to include a vocal analyzer that measures the pitch and rhythm of a player's voice, Karaoke Revolution will feature 50 songs - more than any Karaoke Revolution title to date. Also included are 10 classic Motown hits from the original artists' recordings that are exclusive to the Xbox. Additionally, Karaoke crooners with Xbox Live(tm) will be able to add to the already extensive song library by downloading up to six song packs that are currently available at launch.

Each song pack, available for users to download at a cost of $4.99 each, includes at least five new songs and is categorized to allow gamers to pick and choose the style of music they want to download. The song packs include the following categories, with tunes listed below:


Classic Rock Modern Rock
Born to be Wild Here Without You
Every Breath You Take I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Rock and Roll All Night I Hate Everything About You
Sweet Home Alabama It's My Life
The Joker Perfect

Pop Top 40
Cry ...Baby One More Time
Miss You Genie in a Bottle
Papa Don't Preach I'm With You
The First Cut is the Deepest Irresistible
White Flag Toxic


Classics Mix
Drift Away Friend in Low Places
Let's Get It On I Will Survive
My Girl Lady Marmalade
Rich Girl I'll Make Love to You
(Sittin' On) The Dock of they Bay Virtual Insanity
Jessie's Girl

Karaoke Revolution for Xbox comes bundled with a specially designed Konami-branded microphone from Logitech«, and is also available as a standalone game that is compatible with the Xbox Live communicator headset and Xbox microphones. The game utilizes proprietary vocal analyzer technology to judge players on how well they hit and hold the notes in each song. Thanks to adjustable difficulty levels, gamers of all ages and levels of ability can sing along with Karaoke Revolution's diverse catalog of songs, including karaoke favorites, rock, pop, dance and R&B songs, as well as original Motown recordings.

Adding to the excitement of Karaoke Revolution will be dynamic in-game crowds that react in real-time to a player's performance, getting on their feet and cheering to a well-sung tune or booing at a cascade of sour notes. The ultimate party video game, Karaoke Revolution features a number of exciting single and multi-player modes that support up to eight other aspiring pop stars. Showtime Mode lets players climb from the clubs to the ultimate arena, while Arcade Mode and Karaoke Mode let you sing and compete alone or with friends. In addition, several customizable characters and multiple venues make it even more fun to step up to the mic!

Karaoke Revolution is developed by leading music video game creator Harmonix Music Systems (http://www.harmonixmusic.com). Karaoke Revolution for Xbox is rated "E" for Everyone by the ESRB and is available bundled with a microphone for the SRP of $59.99 or as a standalone for $39.99. For more information on the game, please visit: http://www.karaokerevolution.com

Backyard Wrestling 2 Officially Goes Gold
Steve @ 7:13 PM EST
Eidos announced that Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood has gone gold. Look for BYW 2 in stores on November 16th. For now check out the website: http://www.bywgame.com

Crash 'N' Burn Goes Gold
Steve @ 7:04 PM EST
Earlier this week, Eidos announced that Crash 'N' Burn has gone gold, and will be available November 16th. This title will retail at $19.99.

Lemony Snicket’s ASOUE Ships
Steve @ 6:52 PM EST
Santa Monica, CA – November 9, 2004 – It’s time to discover a world drenched in imagination, ruled by invention and strung together by a series of unfortunate events in the Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events™ video game from Activision, Inc. Based on the best-selling book series and the highly anticipated feature film launching in theaters on December 19 from Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, the game allows players to experience the lives of the three Baudelaire orphans through 16 adventure filled missions where they solve puzzles, build ingenious inventions and outsmart the evil Count Olaf and his troupe of creepy cohorts. Jim Carrey, Liam Aiken and Emily Browning reprise their film roles as Count Olaf, Klaus and Violet Baudelaire, while Tim Curry reprises his role as the narrator of the “Lemony Snicket” books on tape.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events for the PlayStation«2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft and the Nintendo GameCube™ is available for a suggested retail price of $49.99. Both the Game Boy« Advance and PC versions feature unique game play with their own adventures and carry a suggested retail price of $29.99 each. The game has been rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB.

“The Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events video game allows fans to experience first hand the enigmatic world, eccentric characters and darkly intriguing storylines from the popular book series and feature film like never before,” said Kathy Vrabeck, president Activision Publishing. “From the moment they are faced with their first perilous adventure, gamers will be engulfed in the captivating world of the Baudelaires.”

“We’re thrilled with the video game that Activision has created for the ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ movie,” said Stephen Youngwood, senior vice president, Nickelodeon Media Products. “Activision captured the essence of the movie, which is filled with adventure, suspense and drama and turned it into a game that all kids will enjoy.”

In the game, players switch between the three orphans – Violet the inventor, Klaus the brave intellect and Sunny, the biting baby – and master each one’s strengths to keep them one step ahead of Count Olaf, who will stop at nothing to get his greedy hands on their family fortune. Adventures take them through such film locations as the Count’s mysterious mansion, Uncle Monty’s reptile room and Aunt Josephine’s rickety house hanging over the dark waters of Lake Lachrymose, as well as many other environments exclusive to the game.

Additionally, gamers must help the orphans gather objects throughout their adventures in order to build inventions to help them solve tricky puzzles and fend off enemies. Inventions include the Brilliant Bopper to clear foes from the orphans’ path, the Stable Stilts to maneuver through toxic goop and the Baby Booster for jet-powered jumping.

Working in conjunction with Nickelodeon Consumer Products, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Studios, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events was developed by Amaze Entertainment.

BradyGames' Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events Official Strategy Guide is available at electronics, book, and software retailers nationwide, and online at http://www.bradygames.com

Monday, November 8, 2004

6th Ja Rule Album to Contain Xbox Live Card
Steve @ 10:00 PM EST
JA RULE LAUNCHES 6th ALBUM, R.U.L.E., ON NOVEMBER 9th, FIRST CD TO CONTAIN FREE 2 MONTH XBOX LIVE SUBSCRIPTION CARD

(Nov. 8, 2004 - New York, NY) The Inc. recording artist - and businessman, movie star, fashion designer, philanthropist, and political activist - Ja Rule, whose first five albums have sold over 10 million combined units in the U.S. alone, is back with R.U.L.E. (The Inc.), his hotly anticipated sixth album. R.U.L.E. is the first CD ever to contain a free 2-month subscription to the wildly popular Xbox(tm) Live; the world's only unified online console games service that quickly and easily connects friends across the globe. The free Xbox Live 2-month subscription card is limited to the first 750,000 copies of R.U.L.E.

The Xbox Live/R.U.L.E. partnership is being supported by a massive marketing and promotion campaign, including co-branded advertising on television, radio, print, and Internet outlets.

R.U.L.E., which arrives in stores November 9th, is off to a fast start with two hot tracks - "Wonderful" (featuring R. Kelly and Ashanti, produced by Jimi Kendrix and Irv Gotti) and "New York" (featuring Fat Joe and Jadakiss, produced by Cool and Dre). "Wonderful," which jumps from #18 to #9-bullet this week on the Billboard R&B/ Hip-Hop Radio Monitor, and from #20 to #14-bullet on the Rhythmic Top 40 Radio Monitor, is also up to more than 60 million listeners on the Hot 100 airplay side. In addition, "Wonderful" debuted at #1 this week on the U.K. national chart. Fans can log on to MTV.com Nov. 3-9th for a R.U.L.E. first listen care of "The Leak".

Halo 2 Midnight Madness
Steve @ 9:27 PM EST
REDMOND, Wash. - Long lines of clamoring fans? Check. Thousands of stores open at midnight? Check. Genetically enhanced super soldiers? Check. The entertainment industry is bracing for a big night tonight as thousands of fans around the globe finally get their hands on one of the most highly anticipated games of the year: "Halo« 2," available exclusively on Microsoft« Xbox«. Gamers, celebrities, adrenaline junkies and industry paparazzi worldwide will converge at hundreds of lively launch soirees and thousands of retail outlets when the game officially goes on sale just after midnight.

In New York, Toys "R" Us Times Square will be the epicenter of "Halo 2" activities in the United States. Legions of dedicated fans are expected to line the streets waiting for the chance to be among the first to own the coveted game. Across every time zone, more than 7,000 retailers are also planning "midnight madness" events. A complete list of retail outlets opening at 12:01 a.m. can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/halo2/storelocator.htm

Friday, November 5, 2004

Ghost Recon 2 to Ship 2 Weeks Early
Steve @ 4:59 PM EST
Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest videogame publishers, today
announced that gamers will be able to start enjoying Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft two weeks early! Originally slated to ship for retail on November 30, 2004, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 for Xbox will now head for store shelves on November 16, 2004. Developed by Red Storm Entertainment, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 for Xbox features a realistic storyline set in the hostile terrain of North Korea in 2011, a killer Lone Wolf single-player mode based on prototypical soldier-of-the-future combat equipment currently being developed by the US government, a brand new over-the-shoulder camera angle (in addition to the beloved first-person perspective), and incredible graphics and technology that will immerse gamers in the chaos of the war of tomorrow. Xbox Live fans will enjoy Xbox Live 3.0 features, 4-players split screen offline of through Xbox LIVE, 24 multiplayer maps, support for 16 players, 7 co-op modes and 10 adversarial modes.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 for the PlayStation«2 computer
entertainment system is still scheduled to ship on November 30, 2004.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space Goes Gold
Steve @ 3:11 PM EST
Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space, the sequel to one of the best-selling Xbox« action-platformers, has gone gold and is shipping to retail stores on November 16 for an estimated retail price of $39.99 (U.S.). Gamers will soon be guaranteed a trip through the fifth dimension as they maneuver their characters through a cosmic conflict between time-shifting cats and space-twisting pigs.

Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space is the world's first 5-D game, giving players control over both Time and Space. Developed by Japan-based Artoon, Co. Ltd., Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space throws players into the shoes of a heroic cat bravely taking control of time in order to face tough battles and puzzling challenges. Just like using a VCR remote control, players' customized cats have the power to slow down the action, pause, review, fast-forward, record and even combine the powers in challenging situations. As the story unfolds, players will also step into the role of the enemy pigs to gain control of the space continuum in a variety of stealth missions. Players will create their own customized pigs and feel like they have control over black holes and worm holes.

Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space features various multiplayer modes that will allow gamers to get their friends in on the action. Players can grab a friend and play through the story in two-player Cooperative Mode, compete in multiplayer Battle Mode with up to four players on one Xbox or make their ways through the single-player missions on their own. Those who choose to play through the storyline cooperatively will need to overcome tougher groups of enemies and unique two-player challenges with strategy and teamwork. Cooperative players will also be rewarded with unique map locations that are only accessible in two-player mode. In Battle Mode, gamers can choose to lead a squad of cats using time control powers or command a team of enemy pigs using space control powers. Whether they are playing through single player missions or any of the multiplayer modes, players can fully customize their cats and pigs by designing the character's face, body and clothing. Blinx 2 is rated "E" for Everyone. For more information, please visit http://www.xbox.com/en-us/blinx2/default.htm

Hitman: Blood Money Announced
Steve @ 3:09 PM EST
San Francisco, CA (November 4, 2004) -- Eidos« plc, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, announces the return of the world’s deadliest assassin in Hitman: Blood Money™. Developed by Io Interactive, Hitman Blood Money will be released worldwide in Spring 2005 on PlayStation«2 computer entertainment system, Xbox« video game system from Microsoft and PC.

When assassins from Agent 47’s contract agency, The ICA, are systematically eliminated in a series of hits, it seems a larger, more powerful agency has entered the fray. For Agent 47 it’s business as usual, until suddenly he loses contact with The ICA. Sensing that he may be the next target, he travels to America, where he prepares to make a killing.

Agent 47 is back and this time he’s paid in cold, hard cash. How the money is spent will affect his passage through the game and the weapons at his disposal, resulting in a unique gameplay experience for each player. Powered by a new version of Io’s stunning Glacier engine, Hitman: Blood Money will deliver the most brutal and realistic simulation of life as the world’s deadliest assassin.

Mike McGarvey, ceo of Eidos says:
“The Hitman series is one of Eidos’ biggest franchises and goes from strength to strength with every new instalment. Io-Interactive is one of the world’s most accomplished developers, and yet again has raised the stakes in terms of graphics and gameplay with Hitman: Blood Money.”

Janos Fl÷sser, managing director of Io-Interactive says:
“Considerable time and effort has been spent developing a new version of the Glacier engine that enables us to implement many new and exciting features. The quality of the graphics and A.I. surpasses even our own expectations and this combined with a gripping narrative and the introduction of some really inventive characters makes us confident that Blood Money will be the greatest Hitman title to date.”

Website: http://www.hitman.com

Ultra Bust-A-Move Ships
Steve @ 3:05 PM EST
EDISON, NJ, November 4, 2004 – Majesco, a provider of diversified offerings and content for digital entertainment platforms, today announced it has shipped Ultra Bust-A-Move for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft. The bubble-bursting video game features five new puzzle types, hundreds of puzzles, full Xbox™ Live support and a suggested retail price of $19.99.

“With addictive game play at its core, Ultra-Bust-A-Move is the latest installment of a classic franchise with an established worldwide audience,” said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing for Majesco. “By combining online play via Xbox Live with an attractive $19.99 price, we believe Ultra-Bust-A-Move is a great addition to any Xbox owner’s library.”

In Ultra Bust-A-Move, players launch randomly colored balls from the bottom of the field in an attempt to attach them to bubbles of the same color. Once three bubbles of the same color are touching, they pop, causing all connected bubbles to drop. Players keep going until all the bubbles are gone.

With 12 different characters, each with their own strategies, Ultra Bust-A-Move offers hundreds of demanding game boards with colorful, graffiti-art graphics and five new challenging puzzle types including:

  • See-Saw Puzzle – bubbles fired will teeter the game board; don’t tip it over;

  • Blind Puzzle – players fire bubbles into a colorless field of bubbles revealing random patterns;

  • Count Puzzle – score-based puzzle where only ‘dropped’ bubbles count towards player score.

    Additionally, Xbox Live features such as Friends List, Voice and Xbox Live Aware will be supported. Players can also compete to be the top player through Ultra Bust-A-Move’s Xbox Live Ranking system.

    Developed by Taito, Ultra Bust-A-Move is currently available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $19.99

    For additional information regarding Majesco’s entire lineup of games, please visit the website at http://www.majescogames.com

    Wednesday, November 3, 2004

    New Content for Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow
    Steve @ 7:17 PM EST
    Load your weapons and ready your grenades – four new maps for Tom
    Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3 Black Arrow are now available for download via
    Xbox Live. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3 Black Arrow debuted at #1 when
    it launched in early August, and has held that position despite heavy
    competition from some powerhouse releases – and now fans will have even more reason to spend time online hooking up with friends and saving the world.

    Ubisoft has already released one map, Village, free of charge; the new four-map package (Assault Pack #1) will cost only $5.00 – a pittance for four intense levels packed with fast-paced close-quarter action, and hours of replayability. The assault pack levels are Killhouse, Winter Lodge, Petroleum and Office2 – get them all today!

    ABOUT THE NEW MAPS

    FREE OF CHARGE

    • VILLAGE
    • Location: Levanto, Italia
    • Village is a small, intense map ideal for teams of five or less.
    Two open areas filled with cover are surrounded by small houses which can
    be used to change section. Plenty of strong spots to defend, but be
    sure to work in team since each spot has its counter...

    ASSAULT PACK #1

    • KILLHOUSE
    o Location: Hereford, England
    o This is a small MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) training
    facility, designed for quick, in-your-face SWAT action, tight choke
    points and great cross-map sniper action from window to window. Climbable
    boxes and underpasses to avoid conflicts add to the crazy yet tactical
    situation. If you’re a fan of rushing or tactical team work, this
    map’s got what you want.

    • WINTERLODGE
    o Location: Hudson Bay, Canada
    o Located in Canada (where there’s plenty of snow, of course), this
    map is based around a spooky old abandoned lodge surrounded by graveyard
    and forest. Indoor and out, this map provides great team-based action
    as well as some sweet sharpshooter matches. This a medium sized map
    designed for flow, cover and stalking action.

    • PETROLEUM
    o Location: Apha, Saudi Arabia
    o Based off an oil transport depot dug into the cliffs of a Saudi
    Mountain. With the long line of sight of the train tracks and the bubbling
    vat in the oil storage hanger, this map provides good sniping and close
    quarter battles for team warfare. With multiple routes and lots of
    cover, this medium-sized map provides great clan action as well as smaller
    match support, a must for any type of player.

    • OFFICE2
    O Location: Montreal, Canada
    O Office2 is a medium-sized map separated into three floors. The map is
    all indoors, and players can expect a lot of close combat. Make sure
    that you are always watching your blind spots.

    Xbox Live Backstage Pass Winners Announced
    Steve @ 6:45 PM EST
    Microsoft today announced the winners of the Xbox« Live™ Backstage Pass Sweepstakes featuring Halo« 2. On October 22, winners from around the world were drawn from more than one million members of Xbox Live, the premier destination for online console gamers. The lucky 20 Xbox Live members who won the sweepstakes will soon head to Bungie Studios in Redmond, Washington to play Halo 2 multiplayer before the most anticipated game of the year hits store shelves in North America on November 9, 2004.

    Winners will enjoy an exciting two days of gaming nirvana as they arrive in the Seattle area on November 3. After being whisked away from the airport in a deluxe Hummer H2 stretch limo, complete with an Xbox and TV, winners will be treated to a dinner and a good night's sleep at their hotel. On Thursday, November 4, winners will tour Bungie Studios, grill Bungie studio manager Pete Parsons over lunch and of course play Halo 2 before anyone else.

    For the complete list of winners and for more information about the Xbox Live Backstage Pass Sweepstakes featuring Halo« 2, please visit http://www.xbox.com/en-US/news/backstagepasssweepstakes.htm

    TRON 2.0: Killer App Lands on Xbox
    Steve @ 6:42 PM EST
    BURBANK, Calif. — (November 3, 2004) — Buena Vista Interactive, a publishing label of Buena Vista Games, Inc., announced today its much-anticipated first person shooter, TRON 2.0: Killer App, has shipped for the Xbox« videogame system from Microsoft to North American retail outlets. TRON 2.0: Killer App is also available at retail for the Game Boy« Advance.

    “We are pleased to bring the TRON franchise to the Xbox«, and the Xbox Live gaming community,“ said Bob Picunko, director of product marketing for Buena Vista Games. “With an intriguing storyline, innovative and deep multiplayer features, hit music and wide range of Xbox Live functionality, Killer App is the complete first-person shooter experience.”

    Developed by the renowned Climax game studio, TRON 2.0: Killer App brings players inside the digitized world of a war-ravaged computer system near collapse from an onslaught of corrupt programs controlled by an evil “user” named Thorne. Equipped with an arsenal of powerful digital weapons, players take to battle alongside security forces and legions of mutated programs to prevent corruption from terminating computer systems worldwide.

    The TRON 2.0: Killer App experience on Xbox« includes:



  • Battle through more than 60 single player levels and 10 new, huge multiplayer maps
  • Command an arsenal of 16 high-impact weapons including the powerful Tron disc, digital grenades and cyber sniper rifles
  • Battle up to 16 players over new multiplayer maps on Xbox Live and link play, and take on 6 modes of combat including death match mode, Light Cycle racing, and Data Capture
  • Split screen capability for up to four players
  • overRIDE mode allows players to instantly switch between first person and light cycle combat, allowing for more control and flexibility
  • Voice talent of supermodel and actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as Mercury and Bruce Boxleitner reprising his role as Alan Bradley
  • Multiplayer game soundtrack featuring Hollywood Records recording artist Breaking Benjamin including music from their latest album, We Are Not Alone
  • New Light Cycles designed by world-famous concept designer Syd Mead (TRON, Aliens, Blade Runner)
  • Xbox Live functionality specifically designed to deliver a state-of-the-art online multiplayer gaming experience

    TRON 2.0: Killer App for Xbox« is rated “T” for Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and carries a suggested retail price of $39.99. For more information, please visit http://www.tronkillerapp.com

    Tom Clancy Xbox Triple Pack Announced
    Steve @ 6:32 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – November 2, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the
    world’s largest videogame publishers, today announced plans to ship a
    Tom Clancy Xbox Triple Pack for Xbox« video game system from Microsoft in time for the Holiday season. The collection, entitled Tom Clancy’s Classic Trilogy, is a special three-DVD set and will include three platinum Xbox titles:

    • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon™: The military shooter that set the
    bar for realistic special forces action.

    • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell™: The award-winning stealth action
    masterpiece that broke graphical barriers and took the gaming world by
    storm.

    • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3™: Still the No. 1 title on Xbox™
    Live, this counter-terrorism game set the standard in multiplayer
    innovation.

    With sales of more than 4 million units in the United States alone, the Clancy games represent the No. 1 selling Xbox family in that
    console’s history. Now, for the first time, gamers can enjoy the three titles that started it all at a phenomenal value.

    “This is a brilliant idea whose time has come – it’s the perfect
    starter kit for new Xbox owners or anyone who has considered buying a
    Clancy game. And it makes a great gift,” said Tony Kee, vice
    president of marketing for Ubisoft. “We’re practically giving away three of the best games ever created for the Xbox, and with hours of offline and online replayability, this is a gift that keeps on giving.”

    Here’s what owners of Tom Clancy’s Classic Trilogy will enjoy:

    Ghost Recon:
    • 15 missions and dozens of weapons (30+ hours of gameplay).
    • 3 modes of multiplayer warfare over Xbox Live and offline.

    Splinter Cell:
    • 9 stealth action missions (20+ hours of gameplay).
    • 3 extra premium downloadable missions via Xbox Live.

    Rainbow Six 3:
    • 14 single-player missions (20+ hours of gameplay).
    • Endless online multiplayer replayability.
    • 7 premium multiplayer maps downloadable via Xbox Live.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2004

    Sonic Mega Collection Plus Released
    Steve @ 3:59 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2004) SEGA of America, Inc. today announced the release of Sonic Mega Collection Plus for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and Microsoft Xbox . At only $19.95 MSRP, Sonic Mega Collection Plus offers a great value for long time fanatics and newcomers to the series alike, featuring more than thirteen classic Sonic The Hedgehog games, four additional unlockable games and a Sonic museum filled with art, comics and more.

    Sonic Mega Collection Plus includes seven of the most-loved Sonic games of all time, including: Sonic The Hedgehog , Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles , Sonic 3D Blast , Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball , and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. New to the collection are six SEGA Game Gear Sonic games, as well as SEGA Genesis favorites Comix Zone and The Ooze.

    "Since his introduction in 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog has been one of gaming's biggest stars," said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president of entertainment marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "While he's evolved over the years, Sonic's 2D classics remain as fun to play today as they were over a decade ago."

    Loaded with hyperspeed ring-collecting fun, Sonic Mega Collection Plus features SEGA's mascot and all his friends in some of their greatest adventures ever. The game also includes a collection of Sonic The Hedgehog comics, with concept and cover art, and many more surprises.

    Lord of the Rings: The Third Age Ships
    Steve @ 3:56 PM EST
    Return to Middle-earth(TM) to forge a new adventure... Electronic Arts announced today that The Lord of the Rings(TM), The Third Age(TM) role-playing game has shipped and will be on store shelves in time for the holiday season. The epic quest, in which players will take on the roles of previously unplayable characters choosing their own path through Middle-earth while interacting with the heroes and villains of the movie trilogy, is available for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(R) videogame system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM), and Game Boy(R) Advance under the EA GAMES(TM) brand.

    Based on New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson's acclaimed film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings(TM) trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age videogame allows players to adventure through Middle-earth, building a party of heroes as they journey. Players battle on the side of the Fellowship, but can unlock additional encounters where they fight on the side of Sauron as they progress. In the game, players will interact with key characters of the Fellowship in a unique structure, taking on individual quests while intersecting the major events of the film trilogy that drive the story forward such as the epic battles at Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith. Parties will traverse through both familiar and seldom-glimpsed locations, using an innovative turn-based battle system as they fight, encountering the demonic Balrog in the Mines of Moria, or defending the fallen city of Osgiliath.

    The Lord the Rings, The Third Age, was developed by EA's Redwood Shores studio (Amaze Entertainment developed for the Game Boy Advance), the same studio that developed the hit The Lord of the Rings(TM), The Return of the King(TM) game. The game is rated "T" (Teen) with descriptor Violence by the ESRB and has MSRPs of $49.95 (PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube) and $29.95 (Game Boy Advance). For more information on EA's The Lord of the Rings games, visit the official franchise website at http://lordoftherings.eagames.com

    Play Halo 2 at the ESPN Zone
    Steve @ 3:54 PM EST
    New York, NY (November 2, 2004) – Major League Gaming (MLG), the official professional video game league for console game players, announced today it has partnered with ESPN Cold Pizza and Microsoft Game Studios to offer fans an exclusive opportunity to play Halo 2, the highly anticipated game for the Xbox« video game system from Microsoft, before its retail release on November 9. On November 4, 50 lucky winners will be invited to ESPN Zone in New York City’s Times Square, where they will have a chance to experience the multiplayer combat of Halo 2 with some of the best MLG professional players in the world.

    “We are delighted to join with ESPN Cold Pizza and Microsoft Game Studios and be first to offer Halo 2 to competitive gamers,” said Michael Sepso, chief executive officer of MLG. “We are thrilled Halo 2 will be part of the 2005 MLG Season and look forward to receiving a preview of that excitement live on Cold Pizza.”

    More than 7,000 people entered the promotion for a chance to play Halo 2 before it hits store shelves on November 9.

    For more information on Halo 2, please visit http://www.bungie.net

    Monday, November 1, 2004

    The Incredibles Ships
    Steve @ 8:36 PM EST
    THQ(R) Inc., Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Interactive today announced the release of "The Incredibles" videogame based on the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film, "The Incredibles." "The Incredibles" has shipped for the PlayStation(R)2 Sony computer entertainment system, the Xbox(R) videogame system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(R), Game Boy(R) Advance, and PC/Mac. "The Incredibles: When Danger Calls," an additional PC/Mac title targeting the younger demographic featuring an assortment of mini-games has also shipped. "The Incredibles" is now beginning to ship to retail outlets worldwide.

    "Matching the creative minds at Pixar Animation Studios and the game development talents at THQ's Heavy Iron Studios has produced one of this year's most exhilarating and action-filled video games," said "The Incredibles" film producer, John Walker. "Players will re-experience the excitement that the movie delivers as they assume the roles and super powers of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and their children, Violet and Dash."

    "After the outstanding success of the Finding Nemo videogames, I'm thrilled to see another example of great synergy on every level between Disney, Pixar and THQ," said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and General Manager, Buena Vista Games. "Like the film, 'The Incredibles' videogame is certain to be a huge hit this holiday season with consumers of all ages."

    "THQ's growing library of videogames based upon the Pixar films presented by Disney have topped sales charts worldwide, proving the amazing appeal that these properties have with fans of all ages," said Peter Dille, senior vice president, worldwide marketing, THQ. "We've created a campaign that targets the broad market of videogame players through TV, print, online, radio, in-theater advertising, and numerous promotional partnerships with both the theatrical release and the first party hardware publishers."

    Chessmaster Now Available
    Steve @ 7:50 PM EST
    SAN FRANCISCO – November 1, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s
    leading video game publishers, today announced that Chessmaster« is now available in North America for the Xbox video game system from
    Microsoft. Chessmaster is the first chess program available for Xbox where players will be able to improve their chess skills. Chess fans will be able to challenge other players and receive a player ranking via Xbox « Live™. Chessmaster is rated “E” for Everyone, with Mild Fantasy Violence, and is available at a suggested retail price of $19.99.

    From players who are new to the game of chess to tournament-level
    champions, Chessmaster will help everyone master history’s greatest game. Beginners will enjoy the easy-to-use interface for smooth navigation through basic opening moves and winning chess strategies. Players interested in improving their skills can receive extensive advice from International Master Josh Waitzkin at the new Chessmaster Academy. More advanced players will appreciate receiving instructions on the best attacking chess moves from Grandmaster Larry Christiansen. Chessmaster will give players the opportunity to challenge over 100 AI-controlled opponents and teach them to avoid costly mistakes with specific advice in Blunder Alert mode. As players encounter more challenging opponents, they can receive quick hints and have the option to join more than 60 predefined
    tournaments or customize a tournament of their own.

    Chessmaster provides features for all levels of play and makes the game of chess fun for the whole family. Younger players will enjoy the large variety of 3D chess sets, some of which include whimsical animations. Whether they’re practicing for a live tournament or learning to play chess for the first time, Chessmaster will provide great fun for everyone.

    MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf Limited Edition Announced
    Steve @ 7:34 PM EST
    Gamers looking to get the biggest bang for their buck this holiday season are going to get that and more, as Microsoft Game Studios today announced the MechAssault« 2: Lone Wolf Limited Edition. Supplies are limited, so gamers will need to hurry to retailers to order the limited edition, which includes two exclusive maps and a "making of " video feature showcasing interviews with Day 1 Studios and behind-the-scenes footage of the game's development. Both the standard and limited editions of MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf will be available in North America on December 28, 2004 for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.). In MechAssault 2, gamers can punish the enemy in BattleMechs, tanks, VTOLs or BattleArmor in an extensive single-player campaign, or they can take their game online in Conquest mode; battling opposing clans for control of a persistent online universe via Xbox« Live™.

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

    ESPN Titanium Bowl 2K5
    Steve @ 5:53 PM EST
    MADISON, Wis. - (October 29, 2004) Think you have what it takes? Get your game on in this unique online football tournament brought to you by Remington and ESPN VIDEOGAMES.

    Gamers from around the country will get a chance to win $10,000 and to appear live on ESPN2's popular morning television talk show, Cold Pizza, in the ESPN Videogames Titanium Bowl 2K5, presented by Remington Titanium Shavers.

    This online tournament will pit participants playing ESPN NFL 2K5 via Xbox Live(r)* or the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system. Tournament results can be tracked at http://titaniumbowl.espnvideogames.com Four Titanium Bowl 2K5 finalists and their guests will be jetted off to California where they will compete live for the grand prize of $10,000. The champion will then be flown to New York City to appear on ESPN2's Cold Pizza.

    Registration for the Titanium Bowl 2K5 starts November 1, 2004. The online qualifying rounds will take place November 11-24, 2004. The playoff rounds will be held online December 1-11, 2004 with the championship semi-finals and finals being held live December 18, 2004 at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim, California. Celebrities and professional athletes will be attending this live event and participating in a ProAm Tournament that same day. Tournament winners will appear, live, on ESPN2's Cold Pizza on December 20.

    "This event will be an exciting experience for all who participate and I am looking forward to crowning the first Titanium Bowl 2K5 champion," said Jim Doyle, Remington vice president of men's shaving and grooming products. "We look forward to supporting the growing popularity of online gaming competition."

    The Titanium Bowl features a grand prize of $10,000, the second place winner will receive $3,000, third and fourth place will each receive $1,500. To register or to find out more about the ESPN Videogames Titanium Bowl 2K5, presented by Remington Titanium Shavers, go to http://www.espnvideogames.com or link to through http://www.remington-products.com

    ESPN Videogames are produced by Visual Concepts - SEGA's sports studio.