Late Night Consoling

By Chris Remo, Apr 26, 2007 8:30pm PDT
  • Super Stardust HD, Snakeball announced for PSN

    [ps3]

    Sony-sponsored blog Three Speech has announced that the PS3's PlayStation Network will be host to two new games this summer, Super Stardust HD and Snakeball.

    Super Stardust HD is Finnish developer Housemarque's followup to its 1993 and 1995 Amiga shoot-em-ups Stardust and Super Stardust. The game is similar to Asteroids in concept, with the player breaking down asteroids and destroying enemies with a spaceship on a fixed background. It adds numerous weapon power-ups as well as planets that players must defend from the attacks. Several screenshots were released.

    Snakeball, whose developer was not given, seems to be a heavily modified version of the frequently imitated game Snake (though Three Speech refers to it as "simply the funkiest online sport ever created"). Standard single-player mode appears to be the most similar to classic Snake, with players directing a robotic snake thing to consume colored balls and grow as long as possible. Challenge Mode pits players up against a succession of fortified arenas. Finally, the game supports eight-player online gaming in which competitors attempt to take out their opponents by growing larger, incapacitating them with balls, or hitting them with a variety of weapons. Sony released three screenshots.

    Sony Computer Entertainment Europe will release Super Stardust HD to the PlayStation Store in June, with Snakeball to follow in July. No North American release plans were given.

  • All-Pro Football 2K8 roster revealed

    [ps3] [xbox360]

    Following January's announcement of Visual Concepts' All-Pro Football 2K8, publisher 2K Sports has launched an official site which includes a long roster of 240 legendary NFL players to be featured in the game. Specifically highlighted on the page are Troy Aikman, Dick Butkus, John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Johnny Unitas.

    In addition to the roster of pro players, All-Pro Football will feature a player creation system. Players will be able to create custom teams and choose from an unspecified list of stadiums. The game's soundtrack will feature both original music and remixes of licensed tunes; the official site is accompanied by Z-Trip's remix of Rush's classic Tom Sawyer.

    "It's great to be back not only 'playing' the game I've loved my entire life, but now I get to compete with and against the best players of all time," said recently retired multiple record holder Jerry Rice. "2K Sports has a proud legacy of making the best football games and this one is no exception. I'm proud to be part of the All-Pro Football 2K8 team."

    2K Sports plans to ship All-Pro Football 2K8 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this summer.

  • Microsoft financials rise, Xbox revenues sink

    [xbox] [xbox360]

    Microsoft today posted third quarter fiscal results, with the company showing strong increases in revenues and operating profits while the game-producing Entertainment and Devices division saw continued losses and lowered sales figures. Thanks in part to the release of Windows Vista, which launched at the beginning of this fiscal quarter, Microsoft posted revenues of $14.4 billion, up 32% year over year, and profits of $4.93 billion, up 65% year over year.

    Entertainment and Devices--which incorporates the Xbox unit and Microsoft Game Studios, Games for Windows, and Zune--saw revenues drop to $929 million, a 21% decrease year over year, with a loss of $315 million, down 22% year over year. Microsoft cited lower Xbox 360 shipments as the primary reason for the shortfall, with unit shipments down 71% to .5 million from 1.7 million in the same period last year; notably, that period last year was the first time the console was meaningfully available for purchase, following a supply-constrained launch. In recent months, Microsoft has seen accusations of stuffing retail channels with Xbox 360 units in 2006, which would contribute to the lower than expected unit shipments in early 2006. Quarterly software sales for console and PC were $393 million, down 44% year over year.

  • Nintendo posts unsurprisingly strong numbers

    [gamecube] [wii] [ds] [gba]

    Nintendo today released its sales performance for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, posting corporate record highs in both revenues and operating profits. The company saw revenues of 966.5 billion yen (US$8.15 billion), up 90% year over year, and operating profits of 226 billion yen (US$1.91 billion), up 150% year over year.

    The primary factor in the record figures has been Nintendo DS, which continues to see increasingly strong performance worldwide. To date, the system has sold over 40 million units worldwide, putting the unit far past the lifetime performance of the Nintendo 64 and GameCube, and approaching the Super Nintendo's approximate lifetime sales of 49 million. Over half of the DS' total sales were made in the last fiscal year. Nintendo hopes to sell 22 million DS units in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, on par with the performance of the previous period.

    In its approximately five months on sale, Wii has sold 5.84 million units alongside 29 million games, giving the machine a software attach rate of 4.97. The company hopes to see 14 million Wii unit sales in the current fiscal year, approximately on par with its proportional performance so far. To achieve that goal, Nintendo also pledged to further increase the production capacity of the Wii, which continues to see demand outstripping supply at retail.

  • Alien Hominid PDA pack available via XBLM

    [xbox360]

    The Behemoth released new content for its Xbox Live Arcade game Alien Hominid HD this week, making available to North American gamers 100 PDA mini-game levels previously released only with the European version of the original retail Alien Hominid game. The PDA Euro Pack is currently available for 150 Microsoft Points ($1.87).

  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Virtua Tennis demos hit PSN

    [ps3]

    Two new demos were today added to PlayStation 3's PlayStation Store. Gamers now have access to playable samples of Team NINJA's upcoming Ninja Gaiden Sigma, its PS3 update of the studio's Xbox titles Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden Black, as well as of Sega-AM2's tennis sim Virtua Tennis 3. Both demos are currently freely downloadable.

  • Marvel: UA Heroes & Villians finally arrive on XBLM

    [xbox360]

    Activision sent word that the long awaited Hero Pack and Villain Pack for the Xbox 360 version of Raven Software's Marvel: Ultimate Alliance are finally available via the Xbox Live Marketplace. Each pack is available separately for 500 Microsoft Points ($6.25), while a combined pack is available for 800 Microsoft Points ($10).

Misc. Media/Previews

GCN/Wii

Screenshots: Space Station Tycoon (Wii).

Movies: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (Wii, also PS2, Xbox) Meat character video.

Multi

Movies: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PS3, X360, PC, also PS2, Wii, NDS, PSP, GBA). Stranglehold (PS3, X360, PC) trailers: Massive Destruction, Cinematic Gun Battles, The Authentic John Woo Experience.

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Heart of the Alien for the SegaCD. "This is the little-known direct sequel to Another World (Out of this World), and it's just as good. If you have the system, I highly recommend it." (submitted by Orange Pylon)

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