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Cryostasis, Other 1C Games Coming to U.S.

Publisher Aspyr has reached an agreement with European publisher 1C Company to bring five 1C-branded PC games--Cryostasis, Death Track: Resurrection, Men of War, NecroVisioN and 4x4 Hummer--to North America later this spring.

Developed by Action Forms, Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason is a survival-horror first-person shooter set in the Arctic Circle in which players explore a frozen ship to find out what damned it and its crew to an icy graveyard. Upon discovering a dead crew member, players can relive their final few moments in order to solve puzzles. Read more »

"NO Why isn't Aspyr publishing Death to Spies: Moment of Truth? NOOOOOOOOOO~"
- Xulu    See all 18 comments

SAT Prep Game Headed to PC, DS

Related Topics – PC, Nintendo DS, Aspyr

Publisher Aspyr has announced a multi-year agreement to bring the offerings of test preparation firm Kaplan into the interactive realm, beginning with an SAT preparation game for PC, Nintendo DS and Mac.

Due out later this year, the untitled effort is claimed to be an "engaging, visually dynamic and unconventional title." It is apparently "rooted solidly" in Kaplan's line of preparation materials for the standardized SAT test recommended by most US high schools and colleges. Read more »

"Heh, this brings back memories of going through all four disks of "Mastering the S.A.T." on my ..."
- MR 9000    See all 3 comments

Supreme Commander X360 Delayed to Summer

Related Topics – Supreme Commander, xbox 360, Delay, Aspyr

The Xbox 360 version of the Gas Powered Games' RTS Supreme Commander (PC, X360) has been delayed to the early summer, publisher Aspyr announced today.

The delay was announced by Aspyr marketing manager Eric Duncan, who could not announce a firm date for the port's release but said that Supreme Commander will be "on store shelves later this spring or early summer."

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"Or it could be the reasoning behind the switch to consoles, not just them suddenly disliking PC ..."
- deadhorse    See all 12 comments

Supreme Commander Xbox 360 Media Released

Publisher Aspyr Media has released the first set of screenshots from Hellbent Games' Xbox 360 port of Gas Powered Games' PC RTS Supreme Commander, set to release in Q1 2008.

Speaking to Shacknews, Aspyr stated that the Xbox 360 game will not incorporate the additions and changes from the recently-released PC expansion, Forged Alliance, with one small exception--three of the game's new nine units are drawn from Forged Alliance, with the other six exclusive to the console. There will also be three new multiplayer modes, with existing maps modified to support those modes in addition to the standard assortment.

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"well where is it? all i can find is simexchange data. and npd only does canada, aus, nz, us btw, ..."
- Shai-Tan    See all 19 comments

Guitar Hero 3 PC Patch Released

Related Topics – Guitar Hero, Games: PC, Aspyr

Aspyr Media sends along a Guitar Hero 3 patch, updating the PC release to v1.1. The patch adds a co-op Quickplay game mode, improves whammy bar sound effects and fixes several bugs.

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Supreme Commander Confirmed for Xbox 360 in 2008

Related Topics – xbox 360, Rockstar, Games: Console, Aspyr

Officially confirming statements made to us by Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games, publisher Aspyr Media has announced that PC real-time strategy title Supreme Commander is in the works for Xbox 360. Vancouver-based Hellbent Games, founded in 2006 by former Rockstar Vancouver/Barking Dog Studios designer Christopher Mair, will be handling the port. Due in early 2008, the Xbox 360 port of the game will feature newly-created units, maps, multiplayer modes, and interface and HUD elements. Xbox Live-based online multiplayer will of course be supported. "We believe that we¹ve raised the bar for RTS gaming on the PC and now, co-developing with Hellbent Games, we know that we can do the same on consoles," said Taylor in today's announcement. Last month, Taylor characterized Xbox 360 as "the platform of choice for moving stuff from the PC." He acknowledged the strategy genre's control interface obstacles on consoles, but stated, "we're getting closer and closer to that touchdown." Aspyr will be publishing Supreme Commander on Xbox 360; it will be the company's first game for Microsoft's current-gen console. PC version publisher THQ does not appear to be directly involved.

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"I am 2/3 convinced you're right walker270 :( - I'm hoping I'm wrong though and look forward to ..."
- abrasion    See all 48 comments

Wireless 360 Guitar Hero III Controller Compatible with PC Version

Related Topics – Guitar Hero, Aspyr

Though not officially supported by Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, X360) PC developer Aspyr Media, the wireless Gibson Les Paul guitar controller designed for use with the Xbox 360 will work on the upcoming PC version of the game as well. Shacknews tested the Les Paul's functionality on a Vista PC using a final build of the game along with the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows, which allows the use of Xbox 360 wireless gamepads on Windows-running rigs. Though the PC we installed the game on didn't meet Aspyr's daunting minimum system requirements and only ran the game with considerable framerate issues, the wireless guitar was fully usable in the game, whammy bar and all. Unfortunately for would-be wireless users, the game will only be available in bundle form for $79.99 when it retails November 12, coming packed with the wired Gibson Xplorer guitar from the Xbox 360 version of Harmonix's Guitar Hero II (PS2, X360). An Aspyr rep told Shacknews that the Xplorer model is the only guitar controller officially supported by the developer.

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"why can't they just build a small operating system then to play games on for the PC, not ..."
- sherwinpg    See all 19 comments

Turok to Maim Dinosaurs, Slit Throats on PC

Related Topics – Aspyr, Propaganda Games

Propaganda Games' reimagining of the Turok franchise will hit the PC next spring courtesy of Aspyr Studios, according to a statement today by Turok license owner Touchstone. The series, which was made popular by the now-defunct Acclaim, is now being given new life with Propaganda's take. Players will be back in the jungles, executing stealth knife kills and bulls-eyeing dinos with Turok's trusty bow and arrow. "It's definitely on the radar as far as something that we're looking at," said Propaganda co-founder Josh Holmes to Shacknews in an interview earlier this week. "The engine that this runs on is a highly modified version of the Unreal 3 Engine, and the Unreal 3 Engine supports Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, so it seems like an obvious platform that would make sense for the game." Turok hits stores February 5 on PS3 and Xbox 360, with the Aspyr port making sense later that spring.

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"Well think about it. would you rather stare at a blank screen and start a game engine from ..."
- chilln    See all 14 comments

Guitar Hero III Controllers Give Gamers Grief, Standalone Guitars Possibly Coming Soon

Related Topics – Guitar Hero, Aspyr

Following the release of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, X360) Sunday, many would-be rockers have cited problems with the new Les Paul guitar models across all platforms. As seen in the official Guitar Hero forum's thread for problems with the new guitars, many of the complaints stem from nonfunctional buttons or strum bars. Some posters believe the issues come from a faulty neck-to-body connection, as the new guitars feature removable necks that may not join to the body as tightly as necessary for the metal contacts on either piece to sustain a connection. Some owners of the Vicarious Visions-developed Wii version have cited sound issues with the game as well. Despite these problems, listings on the Toys "R" Us website indicate the standalone Les Paul wireless guitars may be available to purchase separately starting November 8, as they were not available to buy outside the bundle at the game's launch. Shacknews contacted RedOctane for comment on both issues, but has not yet received a response. It should be noted that the upcoming PC version of Guitar Hero III by Aspyr Media comes bundled with a wired Gibson Xplorer, which will presumably sidestep the problems attributed to the new wireless models when the game retails November 12.

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"I've had a problem activating star power on my wii-guitar. I've tilted the guitar completely ..."
- jlavrenz    See all 21 comments

Target Reveals Guitar Hero III Dueling Axe Pack

Related Topics – Guitar Hero, Aspyr

Ranging from $89.99 to $99.99, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock's retail packages will be an expensive proposition when the game debuts October 28. For guitar-less gamers willing to make some compromises, RedOctane has teamed up with Target to offer a value pack of sorts, bundling two exclusive guitars with the PlayStation 2 version of the title in one package for $109.99. The Target-only bundle includes two wired Gibson SG guitar controllers sporting Target's white and red colors in lieu of the standard package's improved controller modeled after a Kramer Striker. Other than the color scheme, it's the same guitar bundled with the PS2's Guitar Hero II, but it of course lacks the wireless capabilities of the Striker as well as the enhanced buttons and accelerometer of the new model. The standard PS2 Guitar Hero III package with one wireless controller will retail for $89.99 and lacks downloadable content or online play. The Wii version of the game including the Wii-mote cradling Les Paul guitar will sell for the same price, but adds in a fairly robust online mode. Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Les Paul wireless bundles will sell for a full Benjamin at $99.99. And for PC-only people or those looking for the cheapest way possible to play, November 12 is the estimated Guitar Hero III ship date for Aspyr's computer-eating port, coming with an Xplorer wired guitar for $79.99.

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"Ugh, is this an exclusive thing, and that's why they haven't had a two-guitar pack up on Red ..."
- Deathlove    See all 4 comments

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock PC Hands-On

Related Topics – Guitar Hero, Aspyr

After checking out Aspyr Media's version of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock on a Windows PC, I've now played every version of the title except the PlayStation 2 iteration. Unsurprisingly, the PC version of the game is still Guitar Hero and still a lot of fun, and certainly a viable option for homes without a standalone gaming console. But unless your giganto cinema-sized monitor is large enough to make your TV jealous, you're better off sticking to the Xbox 360 version if possible. The $80 PC bundle is cheaper than any other version of the game, but it includes the Xplorer guitar bundled with the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II, rather than the updated axe modeled after a Gibson Les Paul that comes with the console versions of Guitar Hero III. This certainly isn't a deal-breaker, but the updated guitar feels markedly better than the Xplorer.

Though you'd think downloadable content would be easiest to implement on the PC, Aspyr told me they were still working out a delivery method for new songs, so it may be a while before this content is available. Regarding online multiplayer capabilities, the PC version will have everything the Xbox 360 version has--online co-op, online battles--with an interface powered by Activision-owned middleware provider Demonware. As you'd expect, playing Guitar Hero III on the PC with the Xplorer guitar feels the same as it always did. It's still fun. One of the draws of the PC version is the promise of portable play via notebook PC, making use of the alternate keyboard controls to avoid transporting the unwieldy plastic six-string. Though there are two default setups for keyboard control, and both work well--one using a keyboard-mouse combination and one using keys exclusively--neither effectively captures the essence of Guitar Hero's real-life guitar-emulating enjoyability. Assuming you have access to a mouse when you're on the road, the mouse-and-keyboard control combo feels much better than the keyboard alone, mainly because you're performing separate actions with each hand. Using keys to press frets and other keys to strum feels like, well, pressing keys on a keyboard while holding down other keys on a keyboard. Having one hand on the keys and the other on the mouse makes the disparate actions of strumming and fret-pressing at least tangible, if not mechanically accurate.
The default setup uses the V, C, X, Z and left shift keys as the green, red, yellow, blue, and orange frets, respectively. You'll notice the keys are apparently in reverse order from the default guitar frets, and this is intentional. The game conveniently enables lefty flip by default when using the keyboard, reversing the order of frets on-screen to correspond with the order of the keys your fingers are resting on. The mouse's left and right buttons correspond to up and downstrokes on the guitar, with the middle mouse button serving as star power, and horizontal jiggling of the mouse initiating whammy bar action. Having the strumming actions assigned to the two fast-clicking buttons of a mouse actually affords more control than even the plastic guitar in this regard. I haven't mastered both upstrokes and downstrokes on the guitar controller, but I was able to do both with ease using the mouse. Moving the mouse back and forth horizontally for the whammy bar also felt fairly natural, and was again actually more convenient than using the real whammy bar of the plastic peripheral. Despite the enhanced strumming control of the mouse, using the keyboard to press frets felt unnatural, and medium songs that I've played before with ease using the guitar peripheral were a challenge to get through. Pressing multiple keys at once for chords was most problematic due to the small size of the keys on a typical keyboard. Depending on your keyboard-related dexterity, you could certainly get used to playing the game this way, but there's not really an incentive to do so--it's just more fun to emulate real guitar playing with the plastic instrument.
Since the game includes a guitar, the keyboard controls are more of a bonus than anything else, and Aspyr certainly implemented them as well as they could have done. The keyboard settings are actually customizable, so nimble-fingered fretmasters can theoretically group the strumming and fret-pressing keys close enough on the keyboard to play with one hand--though I tried it using the default frets and the space bar to strum and failed pretty miserably. If you've only got a PC or Mac, buying Aspyr's version of Guitar Hero III is an easy choice, especially at its lower price point. But even taking this affordability into consideration, it doesn't make sense to buy this version over the full-featured Xbox 360 one unless you've got a huge monitor and don't care about the uncertainty with downloadable content. For the megamonitor-endowed with a different console, the better matchmaking courtesy of Demonware make the PC version a better choice than the PlayStation 3 iteration with its barebones online play, and downloadable content is certainly more likely for the PC than the content-less Wii version. Though the choice of versions is yours, you will have no choice when it comes to rocking. Choosing to not rock is not acceptable. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock comes to PC on November 12, shortly after the console versions on October 28. Though Mac support won't be included at first, the retail edition will be both PC and Mac compatible at a future date, hopefully later this year.

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"i was just giving this as a gift and when i went to install, it said it wouldnt work with my ..."
- Lynsi    See all 18 comments

Guitar Hero 3 Gains Aerosmith, Bloc Party, Sonic Youth, The Killers, White Zombie, Many More

Sixteen more Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock of the tracks were revealed by publisher Activision today, adding songs from bands such as Aerosmith, Bloc Party, Disturbed, Sonic Youth, The Killers, Dead Kennedys, and White Zombie. Today's announcement brings the total number of known tracks to nearly 60. Other standout songs in the game include Metallica's "One", Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle", Smashing Pumpkins' "Cherub Rock", and exclusive re-recordings of Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K." and Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" performed by the original bands. New Master Tracks: - Same Old Song and Dance (by Aerosmith) - Helicopter (by Bloc Party) - Stricken (by Disturbed) - Monsters (by Matchbook Romance) - Before I Forget (by Slipknot) - Kool Thing (by Sonic Youth) - When You Were Young (by The Killers) New Covers: - Devil Went Down to Georgia (as made famous by Charlie Daniels Band) - Sunshine of Your Love (as made famous by Cream) - Holiday in Cambodia (as made famous by Dead Kennedys) - Cliffs of Dover (as made famous by Eric Johnson) - Black Magic Woman (as made famous by Santana) - Story of My Life (as made famous by Social Distortion) - Pride and Joy (as made famous by Stevie Ray Vaughn) - The Seeker (as made famous by The Who) - Black Sunshine (as made famous by White Zombie) The inclusion of Sonic Youth's "Kool Thing" matches up with earlier reports, which claimed that Interscope would be releasing a Guitar Hero III soundtrack in late October. The CD is also said to contain a voucher that allows Xbox 360 owners to obtain exclusive tracks from AFI, Flyleaf, and Marilyn Manson. Guitar Hero III arrives on PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii on October 28. Neversoft is handling the PS3 and X360 versions, with Budcat on the PS2 build and Vicarious Visions on the Wii iteration. PC and Mac editions of the game, ported by Aspyr Media and based on the Xbox 360 version, are also in development and will hit this year, though an exact release date has yet to be pinned down.

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"This is the best track list yet, Stricken by disturbed is going to be awesome, cant wait!!!"
- The Manatee    See all 19 comments

Guitar Hero III PC Interview

Related Topics – Guitar Hero, Interview, Aspyr

Last week, Aspyr Media announced it would be bringing Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock< to the PC and Mac. At the time, further details were lacking, but Shacknews has since learned that the game will be available in bundle form only, packaged with the white Gibson Xplorer-shaped USB guitar that came with the Xbox 360 edition of Harmonix's Guitar Hero II. In addition to the guitar, the game also offers a keyboard control scheme that, since your fingers are facing down instead of up, reverses the key mapping as to be more intuitive. As with every other aspect of the game's control, this can be customized. For more on the PC and Mac editions, I spoke with Aspyr Media producer Jay Gordon. Shack: Are the PC and Mac versions of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock based on any particular console edition? Jay Gordon: We have ported the Xbox 360 code from our friends at NeverSoft. Shack: Are you working closely with the Xbox 360 team at Neversoft? Jay Gordon: The producer and engineers at Neversoft have been incredibly helpful, particularly in light of their own tasks finishing the console SKUs. We have a wealth of experience at Aspyr porting games but it's been crucial to confer with Neversoft throughout development to make sure that this is the best port possible. Shack: Will the game support the existing Xbox 360 USB Guitar Hero controller? Will it somehow support the wireless guitars coming for each platform? Will it come bundled with a wired or wireless guitar of its own? Jay Gordon: Guitar Hero III will support any USB Guitar Hero guitar controller, including the Xbox 360 model. As of right now there is no official support for the new wireless controllers. And yes, our title will come bundled with its own USB guitar controller. Shack: What kind of control options are provided beyond the guitar? A plastic guitar isn't really feasible for, as the press release puts it, playing with a laptop "on the go." Jay Gordon: There will be quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to playing Guitar Hero III "on the go." Right out of the box, in addition to the guitar, we'll have default keyboard/mouse controls whereby the game will use the keyboard (CAPS LOCK, A, S, D, F) as fret buttons, left mouse button to strum down, right mouse button to strum up and the third button to activate star power. Shaking the mouse side-to-side will serve as your whammy bar. If a player doesn't like the default scheme, we've added the option to map out the in-game keys to personal preference. Shack: Will the PC and Mac versions support downloadable content? Jay Gordon: We are having some big discussions behind the scenes about how we're going to deliver downloadable content. We hope to have an exciting announcement out there in the near future. Shack: Any chance of a custom track creator or tool in the game? Jay Gordon: We're so busy right now trying to make this the best possible Guitar Hero III port for PC and Mac, and get it out before the holidays, that we don't have time to focus on anything else. Shack: Any exclusive features or content in the PC and Mac edition? Jay Gordon: Gamers will find the same great content and tracklist in the PC and Mac versions as they'll find in the console versions. Other than the keyboard/mouse options listed above, one unique feature will be the ability to compete online across both the PC and Mac platforms. Shack: Are you aiming at a simultaneous release with the console versions? Jay Gordon: We're definitely aiming for a simultaneous release, and we'll be able to talk more accurately about our ship date soon. We're certain you'll see Guitar Hero III for PC and Mac before the holidays. Shack: What are your expectations for the required system specs? Will it be a technically demanding title necessitating the latest in gaming hardware, or will anyone with a decent 3D card or chip be able to play? Jay Gordon: The Guitar Hero franchise has a much broader appeal than most games, so we're working very hard to make sure the widest possible audience will have access to the title on PC and Mac. We're currently working out our system requirements and should have more for you in the coming weeks. Shack: How did Aspyr come about handling Guitar Hero III for PC and Mac? Jay Gordon: Aspyr has a long relationship with Activision porting many of their titles to PC and Mac. The two companies are always communicating to assess the best opportunities and Guitar Hero III came about during the natural course of those discussions. We honestly couldn't be more excited, and it's a great move that will benefit both companies and of course PC and Mac gamers. Shack: How long have you been working on the port? Jay Gordon: We began porting in late May, so it's quite remarkable that we're in a position to launch before the holidays--our engineers Rock! It's a testament to the collaboration between Activision, RedOctane, Neversoft and Aspyr that we could pull it off. Shack: Are you concerned that the PC and Mac editions won't provide the same social experience of gathering around the television as the console editions? Jay Gordon: Well, more and more PCs are making it into the living room every day, and those machines are often hooked up to big, fancy TVs--so those people who have integrated their entertainment systems will get the same experience. But yes, Guitar Hero has a magnetism drawing people together in front of the TV and kicks a party into another gear. I don't think it's realistic that we can completely recreate that experience with a PC and Mac version, but I think we can create different kinds of social experiences around this powerful franchise. For example, a young child may not be able to grip a guitar controller. But young kids are so used to keyboards and computers these days, they could play the game on their keyboard and jam on some co-op while an older sibling or parent uses the guitar controller. The game is also more "dorm friendly"--not every college kid has a game console, but they all have a PC or Mac. And now that Guitar Hero III is more portable, there will be gamers showing it off to their family over the holidays or even taking it on the road to pass time on long plane rides or in a hotel. There is tremendous flexibility with this game and we believe that Guitar Hero III for PC and Mac is only going to make the franchise bigger by enabling even more gamers than ever before. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock arrives on PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Mac this fall. The PS3 and X360 versions are handled by Neversoft, with Budcat on the PS2 iteration, Vicarious Visions on the Wii edition, and Aspyr Media bringing it to PC and Mac.

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"I play at the bars. People buy me drinks so I'll stop whipping their ass."
- fleabug    See all 15 comments

Guitar Hero 3 Q&A

Related Topics – Guitar Hero, Aspyr

GameSpy has a Guitat Hero 3 Q&A up, asking the folks at Aspyr about their plans to bring the game to PC and Mac. Questions are about controllers, keyboard and mouse support, custom track support and the difficulty of porting.

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Yes, Really: Guitar Hero 3 Jams PC, Mac This Fall

Related Topics – Guitar Hero, Games: PC, Aspyr

Aspyr Media has announced that it will be bringing Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock to PC and Mac this fall. Yes, you read that correctly. Developed and published by Aspyr, both editions are said to "match their console counterparts with explosive new content and features," right down to the tracklist and online multiplayer. "Working with such a wildly successful franchise and helping to strengthen an already powerful brand has us feeling like rock stars ourselves, only without the fame, money or musical talent," jested Aspyr executive VP said Ted Staloch. "Aspyr's expertise in developing and publishing for these platforms means that we will deliver a game that wails just as hard as it does on consoles but feels natural on this audience's chosen platform." "Providing the option for our fans to play Guitar Hero at their desk or on a laptop on the go is incredibly exciting, and we're thrilled to now offer the ability to rock out literally anywhere and everywhere," elaborated RedOctane publishing head Dusty Welch. "PC and Mac gamers can now shred as hard as their console counterparts do, and it's a great opportunity to help promote musicianship and expand the growing number of Guitar Hero fans worldwide." Shacknews has inquired to Aspyr on a number of subjects, including support for the Xbox 360's USB-connected Guitar Hero controller, the upcoming wireless guitars, downloadable song packs, and the possibility of a custom track creator.

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"Exactly what I'm thinking as well. You need space to perform. Attempting to rock out in front of ..."
- Daggoth    See all 23 comments

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