Late Night Consoling

By Chris Remo, Dec 05, 2006 8:15pm PST
  • Three Kingdoms to be romanced again

    [ps2]

    Publisher Koei today announced that its long running historical turn-based strategy series Romance of the Three Kingdoms will be releasing its eleventh major installment early next year for PlayStation 2, having been released for PC in Japan earlier this year. Set at the end of China's Han Dynasty, Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI contains a full ten-mission campaign and ten preset scenarios as well as a tutorial, a "Create-an-officer" mode, and a multiplayer mode supporting up to eight players. There is also an option to select either English or Chinese voiceover recordings. Koei sent along some screenshots of the game.

    Koei plans to ship Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI for PlayStation 2 in North America on February 6, 2007.

  • Fate of Bob Ross game in question (no more happy virtual trees?)

    [wii] [ds]

    Earlier this year, Bob Ross Inc., the company that holds the rights to the name and images of the late fro-wearing televised painting instructor Bob Ross, announced that it had licensed developer AGFRAG Entertainment Group to create a Bob Ross video game for Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC. This week, it seems, development of the game halted. Yesterday, Play Nintendo reported on a message from the game's Yahoo Group stating, "AGFRAG is no longer involved int he [sic] development of ANY Bob Ross Game. Please contact Bob Ross Inc. for further information." That news has been confirmed by a message that has replaced AGFRAG's official site as of today. "I'm sorry that we have disappointed so many people on a certain project. Please realize we did what we felt was best, with the cards that were dealt to us and the situation we were in," reads the message from AGFRAG head Joseph Hatcher. The company is currently working on a different, unidentified, game.

    According to Hatcher, plans for a Bob Ross game have not been shelved, but AGFRAG is no longer connected to the project. Bob Ross Inc. may be pursuing other development avenues for the game, though it has not made any official announcments on the matter.

  • Iwata forsees potential to beat earnings estimates

    [wii] [ds]

    With its emphasis on its new control scheme and certain key pieces of nontraditional software, many analysts have predicted that Nintendo's Wii, currently in the midst of a continuing worldwide rollout having already launched in North America and Japan, would face its toughest competition not from Sony and Microsoft's home consoles but from its own Nintendo DS, which relies on a similar divergent strategy. This effect has been predicted to have a cannibalizing effect on DS as well. Speaking to Reuters today, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata cast aside such worries. "If you take a look at DS sales in the United States in the Thanksgiving week or DS sales in Japan in the week of the Wii launch, there has been little impact," said Iwata. The executive went on to say that Nintendo itself had factored these concerns into its own financial estimates, but after recent Wii and DS sales figures now sees the possibility of surpassing those expectations. "Confidence could be too strong a word, but there is an emerging possibility (to beat those forecasts)," he said.

    Recently, Nintendo raised its sales expectations for DS from 17 million to 20 million within its current fiscal year. Iwata stated that while the machine's staggering success in Japan has likely reached its peak, the portable has continued room for growth in Europe and North America where it has only recently begun to hit its momentum.

    During Wii's launch in Japan this past weekend, the console was reported to have sold out shipments of about 372,000, indicating that Nintendo came close but did not quite manage to supply its planned 400,000 units. Wii Sports, which is not bundled with the system in Japan as it is in North America and which has been the focus of Nintendo's Japanese marketing campaign for Wii, was the highest selling title at launch, selling over 176,000 units. It was followed by the game collection Wii Play, which comes bundled with a Wii Remote and will be released in North America on January 15, 2007. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, North America's top selling Wii game, came in third.

  • Gears of War causes Live traffic spike

    [xbox360]

    Network equipment provider Sandvine Incorporated has released an internally-generated report stating that the recent release of Epic's Gears of War along with five other new Xbox 360 games has resulted in an 80% increase in broadband Xbox Live users for the week following the games' release on November 7, 2006. Today's report is similar to one Sandvine released in late 2004 following the release of Bungie's Halo 2 (Xbox), which saw Xbox Live traffic increase by 300%. Gears of War was recently revealed to have been the most-played Xbox Live game during the week of November 13, unseating the long standing champ Halo 2.

  • Ubi launches online-code based Rayman leaderboard

    [ps2] [wii]

    Ubisoft sends along word that it has launched a set of web-based leaderboards for the Wii, PS2, and PC versions of Ubisoft Montpellier's humorous mini-game-laden fourth installment in the Rayman series, Rayman Raving Rabbids. Similarly to Beyond Good & Evil (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PC), also from designer Michel Ancel, Raving Rabbids makes use of uniquely generated Internet Codes to allow users to identify progress made in-game. These codes, given after playing a game in Score Attack mode, can be submitted to the game's official site with an Ubi.com account, and will result in the user's mini-game-specific and overall score average being posted to the leaderboards.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2/PS3

Screenshots: Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI (PS2, also PC).

Xbox/X360

Movies: Halo 3 (X360) television CG ad.

GCN/Wii

IGN checks out Tecmo's Super Swing Golf (Wii). 1UP previews Namco's Taiko Festival Master (Wii).

Portable

GameSpy takes a look at Level 5's Jeanne d'Arc (PSP). 1UP checks out Square Enix's Final Fantasy VI Advance (GBA).

Screenshots: Theme Park DS (working title) (NDS).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Kung Fu Master for the Atari 2600. "Saved for a couple of months to afford it. Wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but still played it over and over." (submitted by zoolanderinsydney)

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