Wee Hours Consoling

  • Mario & Sonic match up, but not to Smash (yet)

    [wii] [ds]

    For the first time in the nearly 16 years the two video game icons have battling it out on the sales charts and in the hearts and minds of crazed gamers, Mario and Sonic will match up within one game. Nintendo and Sega today jointly announced that their mascots will appear in the upcoming sports game collection Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, to be developed by Sega and overseen by Nintendo design head Shigeru Miyamoto. It will be licensed by the International Olympic Committee and will bear the branding of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

    In the works for Wii and Nintendo DS, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is set to feature numerous Olympic sports including the 100m dash, table tennis, and swimming, set in locations drawn from the upcoming Beijing-hosted event. Other Nintendo and Sega characters confirmed to be playable in the game are Luigi, Yoshi, Tails, and Knuckles. The only media currently available is this piece of artwork.

    "Mario and Sonic have been respectful rivals since the early days of video games," said Miyamoto. "In fact, for a long time they have been discussing the possibility of one day competing against each other. Now that they have been given the perfect opportunity to meet at the Olympic Games, we may finally learn who is actually faster, Mario or Sonic?"

    Some have taken today's news as further evidence that Sonic is likely to appear in Nintendo's upcoming Wii fighter extravaganza, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Konami character Solid Snake was one of the first announced fighters to join the previously Nintendo-exclusive roster for Brawl, and when previously asked about Sonic's potential inclusion, Miyamoto has indicated his own personal interest. Sega and Nintendo have grown increasingly close in recent years, with several Sega multiplatform franchises selling particularly well on Nintendo systems, and Sega executives having commented that Nintendo hardware is the most fitting place for Sega's brands since the company's exit from the hardware market.

    Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is set to ship for Wii and Nintendo DS this holiday season. It will be released by Sega in North America and Europe, and by Nintendo in Japan.

  • EA still the lord of the Lord of the Rings

    [ps2] [ps3] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [wii] [ds] [psp] [gba]

    Having held on to the video game rights to Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings adaptation for the past six years, Electronic Arts announced that it has renewed its license with New Line Cinema. The Lord of the Rings movie games will stay the domain of EA through 2008. EA also holds a license from the Saul Zaentz Company via Tolkien Enterprises to develop games based on J.R.R. Tolkien's literary trilogy. Those rights had previously been held by Vivendi Universal until EA acquired them in 2005.

    "We have a long history of making great games with EA and are thrilled to extend our longstanding relationship," said David Imhoff of New Line Cinema. "We look forward to working closely with EA to create even more compelling Lord of the Rings adventures in the future."

    Along with the renewal announcement, Electronic Arts revealed that it has an "all-new" game based on The Lord of the Rings in development that it plans to ship in 2008. No details were given.

    Earlier this year, we reported that EA's ambitious The Lord of the Rings, The White Council had been quietly dissolved, with producer Steve Gray no longer at EA. EA eventually stated that the game was put on indefinite hold, and has yet to release any further information.

  • Wii Remote charge station available

    [wii]

    Peripheral manufacturer Nyko today released its long awaited Wii Charge Station, allowing two Wii Remotes to be charged via a wall AC outlet using the two included NiMH battery packs. For good measure, the Charge Station also includes two rubberized battery cover grips. It runs $29.99.

    Along with the Charge Station, Nyko also released a battery-powered Wireless Sensor Bar for $19.99, an eight foot Wii component cable for $19.99, and a set of two rubberized battery cover grips for $5.99.

  • Bullet Witch content shoots to XBLM

    [xbox360]

    Following the release of Cavia's Bullet Witch for Xbox 360 last month, publisher Atari this week released additional downloadable content for the game via the Xbox Live Marketplace. Currently available are a new mission entitled Dynamite Beauty, a version of the Clad in Streaming Black mission with "Great Spells" unlocked, and a version of the same level with a higher difficulty setting, each for 20 Microsoft Points ($0.25). A White Witch costume for protagonist Alicia is also available for free.

    Artwork pertaining to the costume pack is available here.

  • PS3 owners to experience F.E.A.R. soon this joke is still funny

    [ps3]

    Publisher Sierra Entertainment sent word today that Day 1 Studios' PlayStation 3 version of Monolith Productions' F.E.A.R., which has previously come to PC and Xbox 360, will ship to North American retail shelves on April 24, 2007. It will feature a newly developed level and weapon not included in prior versions.

Misc. Media/Previews

Xbox/X360

Artwork: Bullet Witch (X360) downloadable content artwork.

Multi

Artwork: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii, NDS) announcement artwork.

Movies: DiRT: Colin McRae (PS3, X360, PC) off-road trailer.

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Gitaroo-Man for the PlayStation 2. "While very short, this is just one game that you can go back to again and again. Fantastic music!" (submitted by FatBaby)