Late Night Consoling

  • PlayStation 3 launches in Europe

    [ps3]

    PlayStation 3 has now officially launched in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, approximately three months later than the system's release in North America and Japan. Reports of the various launches from sources across the internet paint a variety of pictures as to the level of demand for the system, though on the whole the concensus seems to be that crowds were not overwhelming.

    In a surprise move at its official UK launch at the Virgin main location in London, Sony announced just before midnight that it would be giving all of those standing in line a 46-inch Bravia high definition TV--as well as a taxi ride home. The company ended up giving away some GBP 250,000 ($490,450) worth of televisions to approximately 120 new PS3 owners.

    Sony has also launched its official backwards compatibility website, which lists the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games playable on European and Australasian PS3s using the system's software-only emulation.

    The following games launched alongside the system this week:
    - Ubisoft Romania's Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII
    - Treyarch's Call of Duty 3
    - EA Chicago's Def Jam: Icon
    - EA Chicago's Fight Night Round 3
    - Studio Liverpool's Formula One Championship Edition
    - Pseudo Interactive's Full Auto 2: Battlelines
    - Game Republic's Genji: Days of the Blade
    - EA Redwood Shores' The Godfather The Don's Edition
    - BEC's Gundam: Target in Sight (aka Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire)
    - Raven Software's Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
    - Evolution Studios' MotorStorm
    - Visual Concepts and Kush Games' NBA 2K7
    - EA Canada's NBA Street Homecourt
    - EA Black Box's Need for Speed Carbon
    - Visual Concepts and Kush Games' NHL 2K7
    - Insomniac Games' Resistance Fall of Man
    - Namco's Ridge Racer 7
    - Sonic Team's Sonic the Hedgehog
    - EA Redwood Shores' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
    - Neversoft's Tony Hawk's Project 8
    - Sony Online Entertainment's Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
    - Sega-AM2's Virtua Fighter 5
    - Sega-AM2's Virtua Tennis 3
    - Blade Interactive's World Snooker Championship 2007

    PlayStation Network games available through the PlayStation Store are as follows:
    - Bluepoint Games' Blast Factor
    - SCEE's Super Rub-a-Dub
    - Namco's Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection

  • EA Montreal Boogies onto Wii

    [wii]

    Electronic Arts today unveiled Boogie, a new rhythm game developed for Wii by EA Montreal. The game combines singing, dancing, and music video creation with an off-beat visual style and 40-50 licensed tracks including KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)." The announcement of the game, which is expected to include some kind of karaoke feature, lends support to rumors earlier this month of a Wii microphone peripheral in the works.

    EA Montreal is not new to the Wii platform; the studio recently released the Wii-exclusive SSX Blur.

    "We're creating something new and different for gamers of all ages to enjoy; the complete party package where gamers can dance as well as sing," said EA Montreal GM Alain Tascan. "Nintendo's Wii is an amazing console that really gives us a platform to be creative and to re-think traditional game development."

    Check out Shack's first look at Boogie for more, as well as these screenshots released today.

    Electronic Arts plans to ship EA Montreal's Boogie for Wii worldwide sometime in 2007.

  • Beautiful Katamari en route to 360, Wii?

    [ps3] [xbox360] [wii]

    Recently, rumors surfaced indicating that a new game in Namco's Katamari Damacy franchise is in the works for Xbox 360. Now, product pages found on the website of game rental service GameFly suggest that the game, entitled Beautiful Katamari, may also be heading to Wii and PlayStation 3, as well as the expected Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game are listed as releasing on October 30, 2007, while the Wii version's date is November 30, 2007.

    As noted in our prior story, retail outlet sites tend to be accurate in terms of identifying the existence of games, but are frequently incorrect when it comes to release dates for officially unannounced products. Expect a multiplatform Beautiful Katamari sometime this fall or holiday season. (Thanks GameSpot.)

  • Project Silpheed to reach North American shores?

    [xbox360]

    Last April, Microsoft announced that Square Enix would be publishing a new Seta-developed Xbox 360 title in Game Arts' Silpheed space shooter franchise. First unveiled as Project Sylph, then changed to Project Sylpheed and now Project Silpheed, the game has only been officially confirmed for release in Japan.

    Now, the game has shown up on a GameStop product page as being published by Microsoft Game Studios, suggesting that Square Enix declined to bring the title over to North America but Microsoft felt it would be worthwhile. GameStop gives the game a release date of July 10, 2007. Microsoft has not commented on the listing. Previously released screenshots are available here.

  • MotorStorm gets its own buddy list

    [ps3]

    Sony sent over word today that Evolution Studios' racer MotorStorm will be updated tomorrow to include a new buddy list feature. The list will allow MotorStorm players to check the current online status of those on their PlayStation 3 friends list and create games limited only to friends.

    The buddy list patch will be available on Friday, March 23, in all PS3 regions.

  • Wii Opera browser pushed back to April

    [wii]

    Opera Software's Internet Channel web browser for Wii, currently available in free trial form, was originally scheduled to fully launch this month, but Nintendo today announced that the software will not be complete until April. Nintendo stated that the delay is because Opera and Nintendo developers are incorporating additional features based on consumer feedback. Tweaks will include being able to hide the large toolbar, a new zoomed font, keyboard buttons corresponding to common URL letter collections, and improved loading, zooming, and scrolling.

    Upon release, the full version of the Opera browser will be free through June. From July on, it will be available for 500 Wii Points ($5); users who have already downloaded the browser at that time will not be required to purchase it.

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    Brian Ashcraft over at Kotaku chats with Jeremy Roush about the unconventional usage of Team Ico's Shadow of the Colossus (PS2) in Mike Binder's upcoming film Reign Over Me.

Misc. Media/Previews

GCN/Wii

Screenshots: Boogie (Wii). Brunswick Pro Bowling (Wii). Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (Wii, also PS2, Xbox).

Multi

Screenshots: TMNT (PS2, X360, GCN, Wii, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC).

Artwork: TMNT (PS2, X360, GCN, Wii, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC) character renders.

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath for the Xbox. "A truly beautiful and different FPS. The weapons, story, atmosphere, enemies are all well thought-out and fun. Probably my favorite Xbox game." (submitted by dmiller)