Gears of War GONE GOLD[xbox360]
Microsoft today announced that Epic's anticipated third person shooter Gears of War (X360) has gone gold and is ready for production. To celebrate the game's launch on November 12, 2006, Microsoft will be holding a variety of online events via Xbox Live. Starting at 12:01am on November 12, there will be a 24-hours leaderboard tournament; the player on top at the end of the contest will receive a unique Gears of War guitar and a guaranteed spot in an official Gears of War worldwide tournament to be held next year.
During that same 24-hour period, several other offers and opportunities will be running: hourly sweepstakes including prizes such as a Samsung surround sound system; a freely downloadable gamer pic and theme; online gaming featuring the members of Megadeth as well as Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski; a launch video from CliffyB; and an MTV feature on the game.
A new Gears of War trailer is currently available via Xbox Live.
EA Goes to Chicago[ps2] [ps3] [xbox] [xbox360] [psp]
Electronic Arts today proclaimed the existence of its Chicago-based development studio. While the publisher has maintained development operations in Chicago for over two years, partially as a result of the acquisition of Chicago-based developer NuFX, the group moved into its current downtown location this past July. Today's announcement comes alongside the studio's officially inauguration, held on site.
"We want to be a premier next-gen developer," said studio general manager Kudo Tsunoda speaking to Shacknews, which for some reason was present at today's event. "With the next-gen consoles coming out and the spirit of innovation that's here at EA Chicago, we're really focused on developing a new way of playing games. ... In the long term, plans of the studio as we move forward are to start developing more intellectual property for EA."
EA Chicago has already released the multiplatform boxing game Fight Night Round 3, and is currently working on the recently revealed fighter Def Jam: Icon. Def Jam: Icon is expected to ship in March 2007.
Ubisoft goes to Mexico[ps2] [ps3] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [nintendo] [ds] [psp] [gba]
Ubisoft today announced that it has opened a new office in Mexico City. The new location is solely a business office and will not be handling development. "Opening an office in Mexico is a strategic decision for Ubisoft," said Ubisoft Canada and Latin America general manager Olivier Ernst. "The Mexican market shows more stability than before and we believe it provides an amazing opportunity for growth in video games."
Later this week, Ubisoft will maintain a presence at Mexico City's Electronic Games Show, where it will demonstrate titles such as Red Steel (Wii), Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii version shown), Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent (Wii version shown), Open Season (PS2 version shown), and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (Xbox 360 version shown).
Wii accessories hitting retail early[nintendo]
According to online reports sourcing back to a photograph posted on Flickr, some retailers have already put up Wii accessory displays and are presumably selling the showcased goods. The photograph in question was taken at a Target store in Lafayette, Louisiana. It shows a number of largely cosmetic and storage accessories rather than actual gaming accessories such as controllers, which are sure to fetch mind-boggling prices on eBay if they turn up at retail prior to the machine's launch on November 19.
Viva Pinata non-demo goes Live[xbox360]
Microsoft has released via Xbox Live Marketplace an "interactive video" about Rare's colorful Viva Pinata. Despite what one might infer from the name, the 755MB file pays only lip service to interactivity, allowing the user to choose which pinata character will read the narration that accompanies gameplay clips showcasing various aspects of the game.
Rare's Viva Pinata is slated to ship November 9, 2006.
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Tomba! for the PlayStation. "The Playstation gets no love for its platformers. Tomba was a charming and fun game, with lots of stuff to do and explore." (submitted by Orange Pylon)