Tag Archives: January 2007

Wii Beating, Xbox 360, PS3 On Interest

next-gen sales
Compete.com has a great analysis of shoppers’ interest in the next-gen consoles, and if it’s any indication, Nintendo’s Wii is going to be the console to beat.

According to their chart of weekly in-market video console demand in the U.S. market, the Xbox 360 won the holiday race, outselling the PS3 and Wii combined. The question, of course, is how much these numbers might have changed if the PS3 and Wii had been in large enough supply to meet the demand.

While the number of sales that could have been is pretty much a moot issue at this point, what is interesting to note in Compete’s research is the strength of the Wii in capturing attention. The site has reported the Wii is currently attracting more interest in online shoppers while the PS3 and the Xbox 360 are virtually tied for second place.

The jury is still out on who wins the next-gen race, but from my perspective, all three consoles have their own unique draws.

Nods to Ars Technica.

Related:
Sony Exec Conservative On PS3 Projections
Wii News Ready For Action
Xbox 360 Hits 9 Million Mark
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Sony Exec Conservative On PS3 Projections

PS3A while back I wrote a Top 5 list of things I’d love to hear a Sony executive say in relation to its PlayStation 3 console. Desiring a way to see this giant of the gaming industry pull itself out of the hole it’s dug with the PS3, it was my thought a retooling of it public relations strategy might be in order.

I never published the list, but it does sound like at least one Sony exec is weighing statements carefully before making them. Rather than boast a huge impending victory in Australia, Sony’s Michael Ephraim, the regional director, is making cautious remarks.

“It will be a huge launch,” Ephraim is quoted as saying, but “the launch is one of a number of highlights on the long trek that we will take the PlayStation 3 on over probably the next 10 years.”

Ephraim went on to talk about the console’s overall entertainment value and seems pretty darn excited about the Blu-ray. He even admits the console is more likely to appeal initially to hard-core gamers with the home entertainment fans coming online later.

If Sony would only let Ephraim do all of its talking!

Since that’s not likely to be the case, here’s my Top 5 list of things I’d love to hear Sony execs say in relation to the PS3, rather than the ridiculous boasts they’ve made in the past (“The next generation starts we say it does.” Pish, I guess it hasn’t started yet! I sincerely think a little honesty rather than ego would go a long way toward fixing some of what ails Sony as of late.)

5) “Backwards compatibility. OK, we know we promised it, but it’s a little more time-consuming than we thought. We’re sorry we underestimated this. Yes, we know 200 titles was a lot to miss at launch. We’re working on it as quickly as we can.”

4) “Blu-ray is great. It looks awesome. We know you’ll love having it on your PS3 for a cheaper price than a free-standing player – as soon as we can figure out how to make the diode quickly and efficiently.”

3) “Speaking of the Blu-ray diode, yes we know we should have figured out how to manufacture it quickly and efficiently before we launched.”

2) “Oh yeah, in regard to the launch. We are sorry we promised the moon and the stars and delivered only North America and Japan. Perhaps we were a bit hasty in our statements.”

And the No. 1 thing I’d love to hear a Sony exec say:

“We promise to now allow a Sony exec, under penalty of flogging with a wet noodle, to even breath another word about a PlayStation 4 until we deliver on all our promises for the PlayStation 3. We understand the mere mention of making the not-quite-fully-launched PS3 obsolete is like a slap in the face to all of those in Europe an elsewhere who were ready to buy in November, but didn’t get the chance.”

Related:
Can Ken Save The PS3?
PS3 Manufacturing Problems Fixed?
PS3 Launch Spun Positive By Sony
PS4 Coming, Sony Exec Says
Sony Talking Smack About PS3
PS3 Patches To Fix Broken Games
Sony Gives U.S. PS3 Fans The Shaft
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Can Ken Save The PS3?

Playstation 3With third-party developers beginning to shy away from PlayStation 3 exclusive titles, Sony’s done the best thing it probably can to ensure its “super computer’s” powers are fully tapped by upcoming game releases.

The company has appointed Ken Kutaragi as the part-time executive director of a new venture with Namco Bandai. Dubbed Cellius, the project is meant to create PS3 titles that will take full advantage of the console’s powers and give it an edge in the waging war with Nintendo and Microsoft.

The move comes only a few short weeks after Sony named him chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment.

With Kutaragi being considered the father of the PlayStation, the move could very well assure that must-have game titles begin to hit store shelves in the very near future.

As the popularity of the PS3 flounders, this move is very much needed to make the console stand out against its competition. While the high price of the PS3 certainly isn’t helping it, the fact there aren’t a whole lot of impressive games out for it yet is a real killer in the face of Microsoft exclusive titles like Halo and Lost Planet and Wii’s quirky party games.

As a PS3 owner, who happens to think Sony really screwed up with its handling of this console’s release, it is my sincere hope something turns around soon to really make this console shine.

Related:
PS3 European Date, Titles Confirmed
PS3 European Failure Possible
PS3 Price Cut Not Coming
PS3 Manufacturing Problems Fixed?
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PS3 European Launch Date Hit

Playstation 3As Sony revels in finally hitting the 1 million unit shipped mark in Japan, two weeks later than it planned, there is some indication as to when the official European launch will take place for the PlayStation 3 console.

In a piece on Games Industry, a date of March 23 is pointed to based on retail sources. Whether the date’s accurate or not remains to be seen, but Games Industry tends to be on the mark or darn close to it.

The question now arises as to whether Sony will really be ready to unleash the PS3 on Europe and Australia in just over two months. With only two million units out between North America and Japan, can the company come up with enough consoles to make the launch look respectable? Or, has it alienated Europe so badly that only a modest number of consoles will be necessary?

For Sony’s sake, I hope the launch goes well. The fact PS3s can be found on store shelves in America, sometimes two at a time, isn’t looking good for the console’s popularity and industry analysts are giving the projected sales a serious beating. On the upside, the software sales have hit the 5 million mark and game titles should be getting better soon.

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PS3 Sales Expected To Fall Short
PS3 To Lose Over A Billion In The First Year?
PS3, Sony’s Strategy Is Flawed
PS3 European Failure Possible
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PS3 Price Cut Not Coming

Playstation 3
Anyone hoping to get a bargain on the PlayStation 3 will have to wait until next year at the earliest to do so.

Sony’s Jack Tretton has been quoted as saying the price cut will not take place until the summer of 2008 at the very earliest. The price cuts, Tretton said, would not be as deep as gamers enjoyed with the PS2 either.

The reason for this is the fact the console is so difficult and pricey to create. The PS3, Tretton said, is “far more difficult to cost reduce.”

None of this is surprising, but as Sony reels to get its PS3s off the shelves, a little price cut might actually help. However, when titles become more readily available for the PS3, interest will likely pick up. The fact is right now there’s not a lot out there to play on the console, but with time that will improve.

Based on its graphics abilities, the PS3 could be hard to beat once the game library catches up with the release.

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Sony Slips Up On European PS3 Release
PS3 Located
PS3 Manufacturing Problems Fixed?
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Vanguard Bugs Sony’s Servers

Vanguard
The much-heralded release of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes finally arrived. And, as players rushed to sign up for accounts, it appears as if Sony’s servers just couldn’t handle the flood.

Access to the “my account” option on multiple titles in the Sony Online Entertainment network has been buggy for a while now. If the page comes up at all, an error message is quickly displayed stating Sony is having “technical difficulties.”

What’s really frustrating here is the fact registration for Vanguard seems to work correctly, even in the Station Access function. You can log in, set up your account, but word isn’t going instantly to the Vanguard servers. This means those who are logging in are being told their account does not have a Vanguard subscription even though they just finalized it. It’s taking up to an hour for the message to go through and play to be available. (At least from my experience with two separate accounts.)

While I intended to give a first-impression report on Vanguard this evening, instead I find myself saying, “I told you so.” As a long-time EverQuest and EverQuest II player, I really should have been prepared for Sony’s inability to handle the flood. The old joke in EQI was not to bother trying to play an expansion for at least a week because SOE wouldn’t be able to make it work correctly until at least then.

I should know better than expect Sony to have things working exactly like they should, but I keep hoping for the best.

A report on Vanguard will be coming, soon, I hope!

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Vanguard Gears Up For Launch
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Vanguard Has A Release Date

Vanguard
Sony’s PlayStation 3 might be floundering, but there’s all kinds of excitement buzzing around another of its upcoming releases.

Vanguard: Saga Of Heroes is chugging along in beta testing and finally has a shipping date. The game will arrive in stores Jan. 30.

As a reformed EverQuest and EverQuest II player now making a home in City of Villains, I have to admit this news has me more than a bit excited. Vanguard’s trailers have been incredible, the designers’ notes encouraging and reports out of my friends who are checking out beta have been more than positive.

Vanguard was created by the folks who designed the original EverQuest prior to Sony mucking it up. They have some logical ideas for the game, including striking a balance between spoon feeding players and making things too easy. They also have implemented some nifty features, such as player-made housing and boats.

My only fear about forking over the cash for Vanguard is once again dealing with Sony’s less-than-acceptable customer service department. Playing City of Villains has spoiled me. Would you believe customer support for COV actually responds to requests and inquiries quickly?

For those interested in learning more about Vanguard, Sony’s site is the place to go.

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Vanguard Has 7-Year Plan
Vanguard Gears Up For Launch
Vanguard’s Eye Candy Is Incredible
NCSoft, City Of Villains Rocks
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Game Proves Useful For Teaching Language

chinese MMOAny good MMO gamer knows they are great for a whole lot of useful life lessons. From imparting wisdom about how communities operate to teaching money management and beyond, some of these titles have great life applications, as well. Of course, you can also learn not to take on a level 50 dragon when you’re just starting out, but that’s another story.

Michigan State University’s Confucius Institute might take the cake when it comes to useful MMO lessons with its planned title that will teach Mandarin Chinese. The game, Zon – The New Chengo Chinese, will let players advance from small towns to larger cities and metro areas as they learn about China, its language and culture.

According to Joystiq, “A design framework for the game claims it will have ‘1000 learning activities’ comprising the equivalent of a ‘3000-hour Chinese language and culture learning contents.”

This sounds a little off the wall, but it could turn out to be a stroke of brilliance. The best way to learn about a culture and language is to be immersed in it. Since going to China isn’t likely a possibility for a lot of university students, the MMO could be the next best thing.

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Vanguard Action Starts In 2 Days

VanguardSony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games have announced the date the servers will go live for buyers of advanced copies of their latest entry in the MMORPG world – Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Anyone who has purchased advanced copies will find the servers live at 10 a.m. on Jan. 26, just two days away.

The game’s open beta has officially closed and reports from gamer friends of mine who have played have varied from “interesting” to “clunky.” The friend with complaints is holding out hope the clunky feel was simply due to the beta status and not having all the bugs worked out.

Vanguard officially opens Jan. 30 for those who haven’t bought advanced copies. The MMORPG was created by the designers of the original EverQuest and sounds like it will be worth a spin.

The game will cost $14.99 a month to play, but there are discounts for Sony access accounts and multi-month purchases.

Related:
Vanguard Beta Closing
Vanguard Has A Release Date
Vanguard’s Eye Candy Is Incredible
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MTV Launches Virtual Hills

MTVMTV fans who can’t get enough of the show The Hills have their very own virtual world to call their own thanks to the launch of Virtual Hills. The new online offering uses the There.com platform, which was used to create Virtual Laguna Beach last year.

The platform creates a 3D world based on the two shows. It’s being reported that this latest title comes with a big twist. It seems players can teleport between the two MTV worlds.

A cross between an MMO and a giant, social virtual world, the two titles allow fans of the shows to “live” them.

Sounds pretty inventive on MTV’s part. Both titles, by the way, include appearances by cast members to help users enjoy their experience in the worlds.

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Oblivion Expansion Coming

Oblivion
Get ready for Oblivion addiction round two. That’s right, 2K and Bethesda Softworks are getting ready to release The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles, the official expansion for Oblivion.

The PC-based expansion will release this spring with an Xbox 360 version coming later over Xbox Live. The title will give addicts more than 30 hours of new game play experiences while letting them explore a new plane of Oblivion – the realm of Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. Since it’s an expansion, gamers will be able to play with their existing game and character or create a new toon to explore new content.

“Oblivion’s engaging and unique role-playing experience made it both a critical and consumer success,” said Christoph Hartmann, President of 2K, in the official release. “We are excited to build upon its solid foundation of gameplay and appeal to give fans the expansion they’ve been craving.”

Hartmann’s absolutely right, gamers are chomping at the bit for this expansion. More than 2.7 million copies of the game have sold to date.

I haven’t even had a chance to let the Oblivion addiction take hold, but I’m even excited. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for hard and fast dates for both the PC and 360 releases.

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Sony Slips Up On European PS3 Release

PS3Sony CEO Howard Stringer may have just been confused when he announced during an interview the European launch of the PlayStation 3 wouldn’t come until April. He has been quoted as saying, “the European launch in April … is very important to us.”

A Sony spokesperson has since been quoted as saying, “[President of SCEE] David Reeves has confirmed again today that we are still on course for a March release.”

Only time will tell whether it’s Stringer or the spokesperson who is right, but the fact of the matter is a further delay could put a serious beating on the console’s popularity in Europe. Already, it’s hard to believe the European launch “is very important” to Sony considering the several-month delay the continent has faced versus the November North American launch. Add to that the fact Irish gamers will have to pay even more, and it almost seems like Europe is an afterthought.

The console will sell for about $815 in Ireland for the 60GB model. The pricing is blamed on the country’s VAT rate.

While a real launch date is expected to come next week, Sony needs to take care to ensure Europe is handled with kid gloves. Gamers here are already upset and further delays or insults could be a big problem for sales.

In the meantime, the PS3’s popularity in North America is questionable as consoles are being reported as available on store shelves all over the place. One report had many stores with a few consoles and one with 60 plus. It doesn’t sound like a console shortage to me – more like an interest shortage.

Related:
PS3 European Launch Date Hit
PS3 European Failure Possible
PS3, Sony’s Strategy Is Flawed
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Madden Cheat Sites Listed

Madden
In honor of the impending gridiron action between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts, we’ve put together a collection of sites where fans of Madden NFL 07 can find some of the best tricks, tips and cheats out for the game.

  • GameSpot has a great list of cheats for the Xbox 360 and other platforms.
  • MyCheats.com has a big list of cheats for all platforms. The site is more than worth a look-see.
  • Madden Tips is an entire site dedicated to Madden tricks, cheats and more.
  • Chapter Cheats offers some advice for PlayStation 2 fans who want to tackle this game.
  • Pro-G has some great advice for 360 Madden fans.
  • PlayStation 3 owners can find card codes and other tips on MoFunZone.

As the Madden franchise remains smokin’ hot, the list of sites offering cheats, tips and tricks is pretty extensive. This is just a sampling of the locations available on the Internet. We hope you enjoy creating your own bone-crunching action in this week leading up to the big game!

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Star Trek Online Web Site Running

Star TrekPerpetual Entertainment’s Star Trek MMO finally has a web site live, but don’t expect to find a lot of information on it just yet.

The best fans will be able to find on the site are news entries that are dated several months ago. However, there is a sign up for news and bulletins for those who are anxious to see this MMO based on the popular 40-year-old series take flight.

The game is being developed by Perpetual with a team of folks who trace their roots to such gaming companies as Electronic Arts, Blizzard, LucasArts and Rockstar.

According to the site, the title promises to “catapult players into a massively multiplayer experience unlike all others. Familiar friends, terrifying new enemies, exotic locales and dangerous missions will come to life as players rise through the ranks of Starfleet and come together to protect the ideals – and the very existence – of the Federation.”

It certainly sounds interesting. It will be worth a look to see what these folks come up with considering they have four decades of background material to guide their way. The game has been on the drawing board for a while, too, perhaps the site going up signals some major movement in development?

Nods to MMORGP.QJ

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Star Trek Online Game Planned
More info on Star Trek Online MMOG
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PS3 Sales Expected To Fall Short

Playstation 3
As Nintendo continues to make a big splash with its Wii and Microsoft enjoys surpassing the 9-million sold mark with its Xbox 360, news about Sony’s PlayStation 3 has been pretty scarce as of late.

Nomura Securities analyst Eiichi Katayama’s sales prediction report might give some insight into this. The PS3, it appears, just isn’t as popular as its predecessor the PS2, nor as sought after as its competition.

According to a report in Red Herring, Katayama is predicting Sony will not ship nearly as many units as expected and will face bigger than expected operating losses. Nomura Securities has raised the loss estimate to $1.03 billion for the fiscal third quarter of 2008 up from $332 million.

While Sony claims to have fulfilled its promise to have 1 million consoles shipped to North America by the end of 2006, the report points out this was only accomplished by shuffling shipments away from Japan where sales have only now just hit the 470,000 unit point.

None of this bodes well for Sony in regard to stock sales or profits. On the upside, the console’s lack of popularity has made finding it on store shelves a little bit easier. We ran into two in the same store last week, but have yet to see a Wii.

As Sony struggles to make a place for its PS3, it’s my personal guess the console will show a good rebound when better titles make it to the market. Right now, the picking is scarce and I’m fairly certain that’s not enticing gamers to fork over cash to only have one or two games to play.

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PS3 Located
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PS3 European Date, Titles Confirmed

Ken Kutaragi/PS3Sony Computer Entertainment Europe disappointed when it announced the PlayStation 3 release would be delayed until March, but they’ve made certain not to fall short of the mark twice.

An official release date for the PS3 has been set for March 23 for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia with pricing set at EURO 599 (GBP 425, AUD 999.95, NZ 1199.95).

Only the 60GM model will be available upon release with the 20GB model to follow if the demand is present. Sony’s also promising about a million units during the launch period.

The launch line up is as follows. The games include both discs and network titles that will be out during the launch:

  • Resistance: Fall of Man
  • MotorStorm
  • Genji: Days of the Blade
  • FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION
  • Ridge Racer 7
  • Tekken: Dark Resurrection
  • Lemmings
  • Go! Sudoku
  • Go! Puzzle
  • Blast Factor
  • flow
  • Super Rub’a'Dub
  • Call of Duty 3
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
  • Activision UK Ltd
  • Tony Hawks Project 8
  • Gundam – Target in Sight
  • Full Auto 2: Battle Lines
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Virtua Fighter 5
  • Virtua Tennis 3
  • World Snooker Championship 2007
  • NBA 2K7
  • NHL 2K7
  • Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWll
  • Enchanted Arms
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent
  • The Elder Scrolls lV: Oblivion
  • Def Jam: Icon
  • Fight Night Round 3
  • NBA Street 4 Homecourt 2007
  • Need for Speed Carbon
  • The Godfather: The Don’s Edition
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007
  • Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
  • F.E.A.R.
  • Gripshift

Read the full press release here.

Related:
Sony Slips Up On European PS3 Release
PS3 European Failure Possible
PS3 European Launch Delayed
PS3 Located
PS3 Manufacturing Problems Fixed?
PS3 Price Cut Not Coming
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RACE Revs Up For Free On Steam

Race
Steam is offering racing fans a chance to get in on the action for free this weekend. Starting Thursday, the Official WTCC Game can be played no charge during a promotion that ends Sunday afternoon.

The game’s available for pre-load on Steam right now and is touted as being the first title to deliver the intense action of the WTCC championship to PC gamers.

“RACE embodies the SimBin mantra of ‘easy to learn; hard to master,’” said Henrik Roos, SimBin CEO in a media release. “Novices can get into the game and be racing immediately. And, with several game modes, the game remains challenging for expert drivers as well. RACE has been very well received by the media and we are excited to offer this extended test drive through Steam’s upcoming free weekend.”

The title costs $29.95 to purchase, but will be discounted 10 percent following the free race weekend. The game features more than 60 cars and 10 tracks that cover four continents. Multiplayer games enable up to 24 on the track, but single-player action is available, too.

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Nintendo Exec Headlines Game Conference

NintendoNintendo has taken the world by storm with the launch of Wii. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that industry experts want to hear what the folks behind the console and some of the company’s more popular games have to say.

They want to hear so badly, in fact, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the senior managing director of Nintendo and the company’s GM for entertainment analysis and development, has been invited to give the keynote address at this year’s Game Developers Conference this March in San Francisco.

Miyamoto will address an audience March 8 and give speech entitled “A Creative Vision.” How many secrets Miyamoto will let out of the bag is anyone’s guess, but it’s likely when this man speaks, developers will listen – at least smart developers.
Among other things, Miyamoto is credited with helping create Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong and Nintendogs.

“Miyamoto will reveal how a singular creative vision drives his work, not only in terms of his world-renown software, but also in generating key technologies, including the current global phenomena, Nintendo DS and Wii. And he will challenge the audience to apply his approach in their own distinctive styles.”

If developers act, gamers will benefit.

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Miyamoto: PS3 and X360 “Just shiny computer graphics”
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Wii 1st Quarter Lineup Announced

Nintendo WiiNintendo has officially announced its release lineup for the first quarter of 2007, and it looks like fans have a fair amount of action coming their way.

The titles for retail release aren’t as numerous as I’d like to see, but they’re not bad all in all. On the upside, Mario Kart 64 will be available on the Wii channel and the Associated Press will start delivering the news on the News Channel.

Here’s how things are shaping up for the first quarter releases:

  • Wii Play with Wii Remote, Feb. 14
  • Disney’s Meet the Robinsons, March 27
  • Bust-A-Move Bash, March
  • Prince of Persia Rival Swords, March
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, March
  • Bionicle Heroes, March
  • Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII, March
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, TBA
  • SSX Blur, TBA
  • The Godfather Blackhand Edition, TBA
  • Medal of Honor Vanguard, TBA
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings, TBA

Nods to Gaming Bits.

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Wii Could Bring Star Wars Action To Life
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Burning Crusade Breaks Records

World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment has reportedly broken the day-one sales record to earn the title of the fastest-selling PC game in North America and Europe with nearly 2.4 million copies of Burning Crusade sold in the first 24 hours.

The expansion to the popular World of Warcraft was delayed, but that didn’t seem to slow down the desire to buy on the part of the game’s many fans. As the first-ever expansion for WoW, the title put some serious add ons into the game.

With more than 8 million subscribers worldwide, WoW retains the title of being the biggest MMORPG in history and it’s honestly not showing signs of slowing down.

“The Burning Crusade has already exceeded even our most ambitious expectations,” Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment has been quoted as saying. “We’re pleased that so many players are eager to see all of the new content that the expansion has to offer, and we look forward to seeing everyone online as additional players continue to upgrade in the days ahead.”

Related:
WoW Breaks 8-Million Mark
WoW Beats Jesus, George Bush On Searches
Burning Crusade Launch Parties Planned
‘South Park’ WoW Parody Is Scary Accurate
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Oblivion Mods Have Their Own Wiki

Oblivion
As the full gravity of the Oblivion addiction begins to take hold in my house, I have found myself checking out all the usual spots for different mods and upgrades for the game.

The truth be told, I have yet to log more than 20 minutes into the Xbox 360 version my husband bought me for Christmas. He decided to check it out, and now, more than 40 hours of game play later, I find myself an Oblivion widow.

The game’s so thoroughly addictive, I find him in his chair, controller in hand, every time I walk through the door. He’s even balking at the idea of going to his regularly scheduled Halo night. (This game’s got to be good.)

While under most circumstances, I’d complain a little, I find myself with little reason to do so. As he’s explored the world of Oblivion, I’ve been free to play City of Villains and catch up with “Battlestar Galactica” episodes.

Still, an offer is on the table to buy a PC version for my own enjoyment, so I’ve been scouring mod sites to see if any are worth the download. In doing so, I came a cross the Oblivion Mod Wiki. The site has been around for a while, but it is worth a mention. With links to literally hundreds of mods for the game, this site has done a very good job in collecting and categorizing them all.

It looks like as the Oblivion addiction continues to take new victims, the need for such a site will continue and so, too, will the number of mods listed.

Related:
Oblivion Addiction Is Widespread
Oblivion Tops 1.7 Million Units Shipped
Oblivion Tweaper Tweaks Tweaked
Oblivion Nude Mod Already Available

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Motion Sensing Xbox 360 Mod



The Hole – video powered by Metacafe

It looks like Nintendo’s Wii might not have much on the Xbox 360 anymore thanks to game modder Adam Thole.

Thole has created a totally workable, motion-sensing 360 controller. He did this with a 2-axis accelerometer and a whole lot of enguineity. Thole gives out a lot of details on his own site to help those who want to mimic the hack.

The popularity of Nitnendo’s motion sensing remote and its overall affordability have made the console the one to beat at the moment. Despite some glitches with the Wii strap, the game console is still very hard to find on store shelves two months after its official launch.

Perhaps this mod will give the 360 an edge.

Nods to Engadget.

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World Of Warcraft Mod Site List
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Wii News Ready For Action

Nintendo WiiProving that there’s more to gamers than just itchy X-button fingers, Nintendo will roll out its new Wii News Channel tomorrow. The ambitious addition will be available to any Wii user with a broadband Internet connection and the Opera Web browser.

News will be delivered in multiple languages and will come free of charge to users. The formatting sounds like it’s going to be pretty interesting, as well.

Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo’s U.S. VP for marketing, has been quoted as saying the news will be displayed via an interactive map that users can navigate with the nifty remote.

“The beauty of it is it zooms in and out of areas of the world,” she said.

“So if you really want to focus on regional news or national news versus international, you just blow up the map of the US,” she added.

News will come via the Associated Press, so it’s likely the Wii channel will be well updated on events. The languages of choice will be English, Spanish, French, Dutch, German and Swiss-German.

Japanese news will come from Goo.

While this particular move isn’t one that’s likely to interest young gamers, it does provide a unique way to make the console more useful in the overall entertainment lineup in a home.

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Xbox 360 Getting IPTV?

Xbox LiveThe rumor mill surrounding the Xbox 360 is churning full time this week it seems.

First there were reports about a possible new version of the 360 getting ready to come out that will offer greater storage capacity and full HDMI capability. Now, it appears as if Microsoft is more than just toying with the idea of making the Xbox 360 a full IPTV receiver.

If this is the case, the new Internet Protocol Television set up could dovetail nicely with the download service now available on Xbox Live. IPTV would enable live and on-demand video to be streamed through the Xbox 360 directly onto television sets using an Internet connection.

IPTV at this point is nothing more than a rumor, but it’s one to watch. How exactly it would work is murky, but the fact is it is a logical step in the race to make next-gen mean more than fancy video games.

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Lost Planet Xbox 360 Tips Out

Lost Planet
Capcom’s released its Lost Planet: Extreme Condition title for the Xbox 360 along with some inside secrets on how to get the best out of game play.

The first-person shooter has gamers taking on the role of Wayne Holden as he tries to recover his past. While he searches for the truth, he must find allies to help save humanity from the Akrid, an evil alien race.

Set in a frozen wasteland, Lost Planet looks absolutely awesome in its trailers and screen shots. The title retails for $59.99, but also has a special collector’s edition out for $10 more.

Game tips are being offered by Capcom on the game’s official community blogging site. The first installment zeroes in on multiplayer action and strongly recommends surround sound for the ultimate gaming experience. The tips are pretty limited at this point, but it looks like they’ll be expanded on a regular basis.

From the look of the screens and trailers, along with the fact it’s demos have been a hot download on Xbox Live, this particular title might just give Gears of War and Halo a run for its money.

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Porn Found In Madden NFL 2007

Madden NFL
One 14-year-old gamer got a little more than he bargained for when he began playing his shiny new copy of Madden NFL 2007 for the Xbox 360 this Christmas. Rather than heart-stopping, bone-crushing gridiron action, the teen got porn on parade.

According to a report in Digital Battle, Kolton Mahoney tried to play the game and got a little more than an eyeful.

The teen told his parents. After the shock wore off, they notified authorities.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has launched an investigation. It seems the game was purchased from a store and was still sealed at the time of its gifting.

How this one will turn out is up in the air, but you can bet a lot of “save the children” types will be “outraged,” “angry” and “up in arms” about the incident.

As for the Mahoneys, the just want a decent copy of the EA title. Good for them!

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Battlestar Galactica Parody Rocks YouTube


There’s just no shortage of creative uses for World of Warcraft characters as evidenced by the abundance of WoW-based parodies on YouTube and elsewhere.

There’s a new one out, however, that’s a little different than the others. This one takes one of television’s most popular shows and marries it to the World of Warcraft. The very well done piece replicates (to an extent) the opening sequence of the Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica. In doing so, this one proudly proclaims: “The Cylons were created by gnomes. They rebelled.”

It just gets funnier from there. Not necessarily as funny as the WoW “South Park” episode, but funny nonetheless, and very well synched, too.

The short flick is worth the watch for WoW and Battlestar fans alike.

Nods to QJ.net.

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Wii Is Hot, PS3 Is Not

Nintendo WiiIf the writers at the Springfield News-Leader are adept at predicting video game console buying trends, the PlayStation 3 is in trouble.

In making their New Year’s in and out list, the folks at Missouri’s News-Leader dubbed the Wii the in console and the PS3 the one on the outs.

“With its innovative motion-sensing controller, the latest console from The House That Mario Built is taking the gaming world by storm and could put Nintendo back on top of the gaming biz in 2007,” they wrote.

As for their take on the PS3, “Short on positive buzz, the long-dominant PlayStation brand could take a hit in 2007 thanks to the PS3’s shockingly high price tag ($599) and stiffer competition from the Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.”

Their statements are pretty harsh considering both consoles have only been on the block a bit more than a month, but still as it stands today, Wii is taking the world by storm and surprise.

Nods to S-Times.

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Final Fantasy XIII PS3 Ads Have Started

final fantasyAds for the highly anticipated Final Fantasy XIII for the PlayStation 3 have rolled out already in Japan. The timing, however, could be a little off to help Sony in its first leg of the next-gen battle.

The game isn’t expected to make its debut for at least another year, maybe two.

As Kotaku points out, it’s only fair considering the Halo 3 coverage Microsoft has enjoyed, but in light of the lack of good titles for the PS3 right now, it feels more like salt poured into an open wound for PS3 fans and Final Fantasy fans in particular.

Right now the console is reeling from an unexpected surge in interest in Nintendo’s Wii and the 360 is putting a pretty big trouncing on it with the release of Gears of War and the impending expansion of the Halo franchise.

Yes, gamers who follow the PS3 know the good titles are coming, but dangling a carrot that far in advance might hurt rather than help sales.

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Xbox 360 Makeover On The Way?

XboxA new Xbox 360 that features a HDMI port, a 65nm processor and possibly a 120GB drive is rumored to be in the works, according to a piece in Engadget.

Dubbed the “Zephyr,” the new 360 may or may not have the 120 gig drive built in.

Important to note on this one is that it is a rumor. Microsoft is not commenting one way or another.

However, the need for a larger hard drive is becoming more and more evident – especially with the movie and TV downloads now available on Xbox Live. The HDMI port, too, will help make the 360 more competitive with the PlayStation 3, which could be important in the coming months.

If this rumor pans out, it’s likely to be good news to 360 fans, especially with Halo 3 in the pipeline for later this year.

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