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Evening Reading

Related Topics – Release Date, Wack News

All these wacky TF2 changes sure sound interesting. I'm by far most interested in the

new VIP style gold rush thingie. Should be fun stuff.

"I figured it out. Changed a setting and now it's all good. The contact manager is a little ..."
- Vantage    See all 2446 comments


Rockstar Clarifies Grand Theft Auto 4 DLC Plans, United Kingdom Release Date Rumored

The Xbox 360 will not be receiving more than the two formerly announced exclusive pieces of downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV, developer Rockstar has clarified to Next Generation.

In a conference call yesterday, publisher Take-Two revealed that it has plans to release new GTA4 DLC on Xbox 360 during its 2009 fiscal year. The two known content packs were previously expected to be released exclusively on the Xbox 360 within the company's 2008 fiscal year, so this declaration lead many to believe that additional content was on the way. Read more »

"I wonder how many people are going to read FY09 and go 'omg no content until 2009 delay delay!' ..."
- xsoulbrothax    Add a comment


LittleBigPlanet Release Date Coming Soon, Possibly Fall 2008

Related Topics – Release Date, Sony, Games: Console

Originally slated for an early 2008 release, Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet (PS3) was recently given an estimated October or September release window on the semi-official ThreeSpeech blog. Sony has responded to Shacknews' inquiry on the game's retail date, giving an ambiguous response that makes the delayed release window seem likely, with the official date coming soon.

"We have not provided a release date for LBP yet," a Sony rep told Shacknews. "We will be doing so soon." Read more »

"I saw a video where they had rockets pulling guys around, rocks move, blocks can fall down. The ..."
- Sturm08    See all 25 comments


Nintendo's Kaplan Explains Super Smash Bros. Delay, Considers Unconventional Release Dates

As a busy release schedule causes more and more games to slip into next year, outgoing Nintendo VP of marketing Perrin Kaplan says that Nintendo is now more open to releasing its titles in the traditionally slower months of the year. "I think we're actually starting to look at the annual calendar differently," said Kaplan in an interview with MTV Games. "The first two quarters of the year tend to be more quiet. But now we've seen some evidence of sales in that period. Other than the holiday quarter, I think the traditional way of viewing it is not necessarily a slam dunk. I think a really good product can be a slam dunk any time of the year." The anticipated Wii title Super Smash Bros. Brawl was recently delayed to a new release date of February 10, 2008. Kaplan stopped short of saying the game was delayed for scheduling purposes, instead noting the reason was to "tinker and further refine the product." "People get unhappy about it because they really want the product now," she added. "I think people will be very thrilled with the end result. And I guess we realize people see it as a delay, but we see it is a little bit of a perfection program to make sure the game is absolutely as perfect as Japan knows it can be and it will."

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"yea, my grammar looks like crap - home from work, brain is fried... nuke bitte."
- dedgecko    See all 9 comments


Gears of War PC Release Date Set; Details and Exclusive Screenshots

Related Topics – , Gears of War, screenshots, Release Date

Have you been holding out to play Epic's latest Xbox 360 "exclusive" on the PC? Get out your calendar: Gears of War for Windows makes its way to stores on November 6th. The game will feature five new singleplayer chapters, a new "King of the Hill" multiplayer game mode, three new multiplayer maps, a game editor, and the first and last showdown with the infamous Brumak boss. Also included will be all of the Xbox 360 downloadable content released thus far, for a total of 19 multiplayer maps. For more information and impressions, check out our full preview. To celebrate the announcement, we have a variety of media to peruse, including shots of the new multiplayer maps, a look at the game editor, some pictures of the Brumak monster, a whole bunch of glamorous poses, and a pair of exclusives. "The timing is right for this... we didn't want [to wait] 3-4 years," said Epic producer Rod Fergusson at a recent press event. Flanked by Gears of War director Cliff Bleszinski and Gears PC lead level designer Jim Brown, Fergusson explained that bringing the game to the PC was a natural move--especially considering it had actually been running on the PC during the project's early showings at E3. Bleszinski echoed that sentiment, adding that the port had been under development since just after the original Xbox 360 version shipped. "You can tell it's not trying to be a PC game," said Bleszinski of the end result, referencing titles such as Halo 2 and Shadowrun as lazy examples of PC ports. Gears of War for Windows will support Windows Vista and XP, keyboards and Xbox controllers, and all manner of PCs, having been reworked to scale for low-end computers. "Gears PC is almost on a different engine," said Fergusson, explaining that the changes required to make the game scalable for varied specs required a lot of work on the Unreal Engine 3. Of course, many users will want to crank the game's DirectX 10-supported visuals to their full resolution, which the designers encouraged. "Once you fire it up on the PC...it's almost like an entirely new game," remarked Bleszinski. As an added bonus for Gears veterans, the Windows version's singleplayer campaign-- which Bleszinski compared to a director's cut DVD--can be started from Act 5, allowing those who have already played the original to dig right into the five new chapters. With this extra content heading only to the PC, the question arises: will it ever be coming to Xbox 360 owners? The answer, it turns out, is complicated. So much has changed to the engine for Gears PC that it would need to be entirely reworked again in order to port it back to the Xbox 360. "Putting that content back on the Xbox 360 would be a huge hurdle," said Fergusson. Bleszinski provided a second, simple reason for the content exclusivity: "Quite frankly, we want there to be other reasons to buy the PC version."

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"Please show me real links of the EPIC team bad mouthing PCs with the exact words, "no PC can run ..."
- mikey3k    See all 39 comments


Uncharted Release Date Discovered

Related Topics – Release Date, Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog's adventuring action title Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3) will retail November 20 in the U.S., SCEA line producer Sam Thompson told Shacknews. The Indiana Jonesian title will be the first PlayStation 3 project for the developers, known previously for the Jak and Daxter franchise. "We are looking forward to rounding out a great fall and holiday lineup on the PS3 with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune on November 20th," Thompson said. The team was about 80% done when I saw the game at PAX, and showed a demo with fairly significant improvement in the combat portions over the E3 build. Thompson hinted to Shacknews in the PAX interview that, knowing Naughty Dog's history of making multiple iterations of games, Uncharted could likely be the first in an ongoing franchise.

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"I'm not sure how well known this is but at PAX on the first day all the demo stations were using ..."
- cpnkegel    See all 9 comments


BioShock Release Date Slips (Updated)

According to an update on 2K Games' Cult of Rapture site, courtesy of community manager Elizabeth Tobey, the release date for Irrational Games' BioShock (X360, PC) has slipped to Tuesday, August 21. Previously, the game was announced as hitting retail shelves some time in June. Update: 2K Games has contacted Shacknews with word that the European street date for BioShock is currently August 24.

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"Agreed. At some point some games are just bad. No matter how much time or money you throw at it."
- Sturm08    See all 51 comments


Age of Conan Delayed, Release Date Set

Related Topics – Release Date, Delay, MMO

It looks like Funcom's MMO Age of Conan will have to age a bit more in development before hitting retail shelves. Funcom just sent word that the game has been pushed out of its previously expected Q2 2007 release period, but the game now has a solid release date: October 30, 2007. On the delay, Funcom CEO Arne Aas said, "Age of Conan today looks and plays fantastically, as countless press previews and industry feedback attest to. Even so, we believe that by spending even more time and effort into polishing and enhancing the game we will ensure that the game reaches its full potential in terms of quality and subscriber base. We are confident that our fan base will appreciate this commitment to quality. The prolonged development time reflects our ambition to meet and exceed the expectations of our fans for this game." Age of Conan is currently in closed beta, with an open beta forthcoming. Today's press release notes that those who are members of the Age of Conan online community, or become so soon, will have "a unique chance to influence and impact the Age of Conan game as it approaches its last stages of development."

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"I'm actually surprised it's so far along. I was under the impression that it wouldn't be ..."
- pillzer    See all 18 comments


On UT2007's Release Date

This Gamasutra story reports on the Tim Sweeney's talk at the CEDEC Premium event (part of the Tokyo Game Show), which covered a variety of topics including multicore programming, the Cell CPU, and UT2007 mod content appearing on the PS3 thanks to Sony's open online network. The end of the story quotes Epic's Jay Wilbur as saying UT2007 is still quite a ways away "We are planning on shipping [in] Q2 or early Q3, 2007."

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"people will always already be "ingrained" in other games already. in that respect, it doesnt ..."
- phatpak    See all 33 comments


Late Night Consoling

Whoops, Microsoft. Whoops, Nintendo. Two blunders today.

  • Konami to Microsoft: "Excuse Us?"

    [ps3] [xbox360] [nintendo]
    This week, Microsoft made headlines when it declared that it had secured a year of next generation exclusivity for major upcoming soccer titles FIFA 07 from Electronic Arts and Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 6 from Konami. "I'm really pleased to be able to announce today that Pro Evolution Soccer 6 will be an Xbox 360 next-generation exclusive for the next twelve month," said Xbox Europe head Chris Lewis during its Games Convention press conference. "I'm also really happy to be able to announce that FIFA 07 will also be a next-gen exclusive on Xbox 360 for the next twelve months. So, whether you prefer FIFA 07 or Pro Evolution Soccer 6, as a football fan you need look no further than Xbox 360 because you won't be able to get them on any other next generation platform. Xbox 360 owns football." Microsoft later issued a press release confirming the news. However, speaking to 1UP today, Konami's Winning Eleven creator and producer Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka stated that Konami has no such agreement with Microsoft, and that apparently Microsoft's announcement has "caused some issues" with Konami, which has for many years enjoyed a strong relationship with Sony. "The presentation was misleading," he said, referring to Microsoft's press conference. "We never said exclusive for one year on the next-gen platforms. We said this year. We were agreed that it was this year." Apparently, the reason Konami will not be launching the PS3 version of Pro Evolution Soccer 6 alongside its Xbox 360 version is simply that the game is not far enough along. Though it will definitely not ship in calendar year 2006, it may be released next spring. 1UP goes on to claim that, according to unspecified sources, EA's FIFA 07 may also not be next-gen exclusive to Xbox 360 for Microsoft's promised twelve months.
  • No Third Parties Online on Wii in 2006?

    [nintendo]
    Buried at the end of a hands on preview of Toys for Bob's Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (Wii) (which we also previewed), IGN has a rather discouraging rumor regarding third party support for Nintendo's upcoming online service for Wii. "IGN has separately learned from multiple development sources that Nintendo will not release Wii Wi-Fi Connection libraries until early 2007," reads the preview, "which means that no third party launch title will have an online mode." This runs contrary to previous indications that Ubisoft's Red Steel would have an online multiplayer mode, but to date it is true that no third party publisher has explicitly detailed online plans for Wii launch games. If this rumor is true, it may be that Nintendo's online multiplayer solution for Wii is not yet developed enough for widespread distribution to third parties, which may bode ill for the initial state of the service. Nintendo had not responded to Shacknews' inquiries as of press time.
  • Xbox Live Arcade Comes to Retail, Officially

    [xbox360]
    Back in June, word leaked out of a retail collection of Xbox Live Arcade games for Xbox 360, dubbed Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged Volume 1. Today, Microsoft has officially announced that collection. It will consist of six currently available Xbox Live Arcade games: - Bizarre Creations' Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved - Reflexive Entertainment's Wik: Fable of Souls - NinjaBee's Outpost Kaloki X - PopCap's Bejeweled 2 Deluxe - Silver Creek's Hardwood Backgammon - TikGame's Texas Hold 'em It will also come with a free one-month trial to Xbox Live Gold, as well as demos of Carbonated Games' UNO, GarageGames' Marble Blast Ultra, and Sprout Games' Feeding Frenzy. The package will be available worldwide on September 5, 2006, with retail price in the US of $39.99.
  • You'll Get Caught Up in the Crossfire

    [ps3]
    Namco Bandai today announced the official subtitle for its upcoming PlayStation 3 game based on the Gundam mecha franchise, which the company revealed earlier this month. Now known as Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, the game is in development by Bandai Entertainment Company. - Screenshots. BEC's Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire is set to ship for PlayStation 3 later this year.
  • Say Hello to My Little Release Date

    [ps2] [xbox]
    Vivendi today announced a the official release date for Radical Entertainment's Scarface: The World is Yours. The game will ship for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC on October 8, 2006. PS2 owners will have the choice of standard packaging or a special Collector's Edition of the game, which includes a DVD with a "Making of the Game" documentary, interviews, a map of the game world, concept art, and a walkthrough with commentary, packaged in a metal case. The standard PS2 and Xbox versions of the game will retail for $49.99, PC for $39.99, and Collector's Edition for $59.99. - Interview, screenshots.
  • LEGO Star Wars II, Criterion Get Webbed

    [ps2] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [ds] [psp] [gba]
    LucasArts has announced that the official website for Traveller's Tales LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC) has gone live, featuring character and enemy profiles, wallpapers, screensavers, and other game-related content. Electronic Arts today announced the official website for developer Criterion Games, the studio behind Black (PS2, Xbox) and the Burnout franchise. The site includes interviews with development personnel as well as a Mailbag feature allowing gamers to ask questions of Criterion staff members.
  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    Leipzig Games Convention coverage continues from sites such as GameSpot, IGN, 1UP, Pro-G, and HEXUS.

Misc. Media/Previews

Xbox/X360
Screenshots: Space Giraffe (working title) (X360). F.E.A.R. (X360, also PS3, PC). Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent (X360, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PS3, PC). Movies: Test Drive Unlimited (X360, also PS2, PSP, PC).
GCN/Wii
Screenshots: Red Steel (Wii).
Portable
Screenshots: Bomberman Land Touch! (NDS). Earthworm Jim (PSP). Movies: NBA Live 2007 (PSP, also PS2, Xbox, PS3, X360, PC).
Multi
Screenshots: Samurai Warriors 2 (PS2, X360). Turok (working title) (PS3, X360). Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3, X360). Rayman Raving Rabbids (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PS3, X360, Wii, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Willow for the NES. "Based on the movie by Lucasarts, this action RPG is surprisingly good. Its VERY difficult and has some of the best music on the NES." (submitted by avatar_58)

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"So Fred Garvin, looks like I was right. Sony WILL hand MS it's ass in the long run, we both know ..."
- 5150Joker    See all 49 comments


Late Night Consoling

Well, Shackers, I've been working here for a year now. My first console news column went up on July 25, 2005. The time since then has gone pretty quickly! It's nice to be able to write for a site whose readers frequently post responses that are actually interesting, not to mention comprehensible. There is not exactly an overabundance of gaming news sites about which one could make that claim. So, thanks!

  • Wii Releasing on October 1?

    [nintendo]
    With Nintendo keeping quiet lately about its upcoming Wii console, one rumor topic that has been consistenly popping up is that of the machine's still unannounced release date. Earlier this month, various industry sources pegged October as the most likely month for the system's release. Today, Nintendo announced release dates for its fall first party DS lineup (see news item below), and along with the schedule came an intriguing hint:
    The fourth quarter of 2006 will herald a new era for Nintendo with the launch of its remarkable new Wii(TM) home video game system. But that's not what this news item is about! How could that be, you ask? Perhaps the secret to the launch information for Wii is somehow encoded in the text of this news item. You might want to pore over it for a few hours before staying up all night to debate phraseology and comma placement with your friends online. Or maybe it's all just a scam to get you to read the other games we have launching this fall. One of the two.
    It's impossible to know for sure whether there's any substance to the clue or not--and Nintendo certainly isn't saying anything further on the matter--but, assuming Nintendo does intend for us to read between the line, various internet detectives have inferred a couple potential dates. Nintendo has stated that Wii will be released in the fourth quarter of 2006, and company president Satoru Iwata promised that its North American release date will come before Thanksgiving, which means the machine will ship between October 1 and November 22. Nintendo may plan to set aside Wii's release week and briefly avoid diverting marketing to DS titles, and the only weeks falling within the Wii launch timeframe that are not also mentioned on the given release schedule are the weeks of October 1 and November 20. November 20, in addition to cutting it quite close to Thanksgiving, also happens to come days after the release of Sony's PlayStation 3; most industry sources seem convinced that Nintendo will want to pre-empt its competitor. That leaves the week of October 1, and if Nintendo follows its own tradition and releases the hardware on a Sunday--which it has done in North America for Nintendo 64, GameCube, Game Boy Advance SP, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Micro, and DS Lite--that would suggest the date is October 1 itself. Of course, this is all just rumor and speculation.
  • Rampage Climbs to Wii and DS?

    [nintendo] [ds]
    Recently, sharp eyed gamers noticed new game listings added to retailer CD Universe and rental site GameFly. The game in question is Midway's Rampage: Total Destruction, listed as coming to Wii and Nintendo DS. Midway also released the game earlier this year for PlayStation 2 and GameCube. An followup to the classic city-destroying sidescrolling arcade hit, Total Destruction enjoyed a less than stellar critical reaction upon its release, but Midway must see something in the title. To solidify the rumors, GameSpot has apparently received word from a source close to the publisher that the Wii and DS games will be announced soon. "It won't be long now," claimed the source. Midway has already announced plans to support Wii with versions of its football franchise Blitz: The League, as well as movie license games Happy Feet and The Ant Bully.
  • SingStar Heads Over to North America

    [ps2]
    Sony Computer Entertainment America today released a fact sheet indicating that SCE London's popular SingStar karaoke franchise for PlayStation 2 will finally be making the trek over to North American shores. Entitled simply SingStar, the game is set to arrive this fall. It supports up to 8 players, and comes bundled with two karaoke microphones and 30 songs. The game also has support for the PS2's EyeToy camera, allowing players to insert their own images into music videos.
  • Square Enix Announces Summer Release Dates

    [ps2] [ds] [psp]
    Square Enix today announced the North American details of its summer lineup, consisting of three upcoming games for PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS, and one that has already been released for PSP. Systems and developers are listed in parenthesis. - July 18: Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP, tri-Ace) - Aug. 15: Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2, Square Enix) - Sep. 19: Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (NDS, TOSE/Square Enix) - Sep. 26: Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (PS2, tri-Ace) Dirge of Cerberus and Valkyrie Profile 2 have both been bumped up a week from their previously known dates.
  • Nintendo Announces DS Release Dates (and More)

    [nintendo]
    Nintendo today announced the North American release schedule for its first party fall lineup for Nintendo DS. Developers are listed in parenthesis. - Oct. 9: Clubhouse Games (Nintendo) - Oct. 16: Nintendogs Dalmatian (Nintendo) - Oct. 23: Magical Starsign (Brownie Brown) - Oct. 30: Pokemon Ranger (HAL Laboratories) - Oct. 30: Children of Mana (Square Enix) - Nov. 6: Elite Beat Agents (iNiS) - Nov. 13: Yoshi's Island 2 (Artoon) - Dec. 4: Custom Robo Arena (Noise) - Dec. 4: Kirby Squeak Squad (HAL Laboratories) Though the announcement only specifically covered DS releases, Nintendo revealed that Tose and Square Enix's Final Fantasy V Advance will be released on November 6. The company also reaffirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will be available for GameCube this fall and for Wii upon the system's launch ("That will all happen on... Oh look, we're out of space," reads the press release).
  • PSP Greatest Hits Launch Today

    [psp]
    As noted last week, today Sony Computer Entertainment America launched its Greatest Hits program for PSP, which sees five titles repriced to an affordable $19.99. These are SCEA's Ape Escape: On the Loose, Climax's ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails, Clap Hanz' Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee, Incognito's Twisted Metal: Head On, and SCE Studios Liverpool's Wipeout Pure
  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    On FileShack, we've got the Gears of War (X360) Fan Site Kit sent over from Epic. GameSpot has a Q&A on SCE London's SingStar (PS2), today announced for North America.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2
IGN checks out SCE Studios Japan's Ape Escape: Million Monkeys (PS2) and the PS2 version of Yuke's' Wrestle Kingdom (PS2, also X360).
XBOX/X360
GameSpot checks out Capcom's Dead Rising (X360). Game Informer checks out the 360 version of 2K Sports' NHK 2K7 X360, also PS2, Xbox, PS3).
PORTABLE
We previewed a few DS games. GameSpy previews Neversoft and Rebellion's GUN Showdown (PSP).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Caveman Games for the NES. "Because after all.. the world needed a shoddy Track & Field clone with cavemen and dinosaurs. Data East does it again." (submitted by volitionism)

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"I remember your first LNC. I remember thinking; damn that guy uses a lot of words. After a few ..."
- trevis    See all 89 comments


Wee Hours Consoling

Sorry for the late and truncated column this time. I was out of town the whole day for Shack stuff, but here's your console news fix.

  • Portable Xbox in the Works (Again)?

    [xbox] [xbox360]
    Rumors that Microsoft is developing a portable Xbox-branded gaming device have been doggedly persistent since late last year. It is rare for more than a couple months to go by without more speculation on the matter surfacing. Recently, evidence of such a project headed up by oddly absent Xbox maestro J Allard came from noted Xbox-exposing journalist Dean Takahashi. In his recent book The Xbox 360 Uncloaked, Takahashi stated that development on the project had ceased. So, despite the authoritative sounding title of this latest speculation, "Microsoft to Enter Portable Gaming Market in Late 2007/Early 2008" from consultants at The Diffusion Group, it is most definitely no more than speculation. TDG's report presents only projections based on current market trends rather than any actual evidence of Microsoft planning an entrance into the portable gaming hardware arena. "With global PGC revenues expected to reach $3 billion annually by 2008, and with only Sony and Nintendo active in the PGC space, Microsoft has before it an incredible opportunity," reads the report, noting that Microsoft's current presence in the home console market would be sufficient for the company to make significant inroads into portable gaming. Despite the shelving of one particular hardware project, and the lack of hard evidence for TDG's analysis, it does indeed seem quite likely that Microsoft will eventually make a concerted effort to launch a handheld gaming device. With the amount of money the company has already invested into home console gaming, it seems like the next logical step. Of course, Microsoft will have plenty on its plate with Xbox 360 once its two main competitors launch consoles later this year, so any other portable projects are likely on the back burner for now.
  • DS Lite Street Date Broken?

    [ds]
    Reports across the internets, seemingly originating from Cheap Ass Gamer, indicate that gamers have been able to purchase DS Lite units in North America well in advance of the planned June 11th release date. So far, the consoles have been scored from various branches of Target and Wal-Mart. If the date breaking extends to many Target and Wal-Mart locations, it is likely to spread to other retail chains.
  • Nintendo Announces Release Dates

    [gamecube] [nintendo] [ds] [gba]
    Nintendo today announced its North American first party publishing lineup across its three current systems for the period of June to October 2006. Not surprisingly, Nintendo DS has the lion's share of the releases, with dates announced for titles such as Star Fox Command (Aug. 28), Square Enix's Children of Mana (Oct. 30), Big Brain Academy (June 5), Magnetica (June 5), and several others. GameCube has only two titles in the pipeline from Nintendo in the next several months, including Monolith's RPG prequel Baten Kaitos Origins (Sep. 25). What is likely to be the most anticipated game on the whole list, the quietly announced Super Paper Mario, will be arriving October 9. Game Boy Advance has but one title from Nintendo this fall, and--you didn't see this coming--it's a Pokemon game. Entitled Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team, it hits Sep. 18. Nintendo of America also took the opportunity to announce that its Touch Generations brand will be used in the West. Long a part of the Nintendo DS' image in Japan, Touch Generations refers to casual DS games that are appropriate for those with little to no previous video game experience. Upcoming titles to use the branding include Big Brain Academy, Magnetica, and Sudoku Gridmaster.
  • Xbox 360 Acquires Vision

    [xbox360]
    In the last podcast by Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, Xbox group marketing manager Aaron Greenberg spoke on the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update, and also revealed the release date for the long promised Xbox 360 camera. Dubbed Xbox Live Vision, the camera will be available September 19, 2006. Compatibility with the camera is being included in the upcoming dasboard update, which will be available long before the camera itself. Xbox Live Vision will allow gamers to integrate their faces into multiplayer gaming for various games, as well as providing various other features as developers decide to support the peripheral.
  • Marathon on Xbox Live Arcade?

    [xbox360]
    Various sites have been reporting that Bungie's classic first person shooter series Marathon may be coming to Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade. Sadly, when the news is actually traced back to its origin in the latest Bungie Weekly Update, it seems that is not the case after all. A reader asked if it is "at all possible" for Marathon to come to Live Arcade, to which Bungie's Frank O'Connor replied, "Of course it's possible, it's just not on any current agenda. If it's any consolation, many, many people think it's a good idea." We may see such a project some day (fingers crossed), but it isn't in the works right now. (Please do this, Microsoft.)

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

HyperZone for the Super Nintendo. "A fun arcade-style racer from HAL Labs. One of the first games I owned on the SNES and I still go back and play it every so often." (submitted by inarius)

Read more »

"ahah it'll probably be like a psp with a touch screen if they make one.... better gfx of corse tho"
- godm0de    See all 58 comments


Black & White 2 Release Dates

Related Topics – Black & White 2, Release Date

A news update on the official Black & White 2 reveals the release dates for this strategy game sequel, as "We are almost finished." Look for the game to be stores September 30th in the US, October 7th in Europe.

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"it looks interesting, but yet its published by EA I think I'll wait till its in the walmart ..."
- deep gray    See all 6 comments


Late Night Consoling

Related Topics – Sega, Namco, NPD, Release Date, Sony, Games: Console

As this is published, I am at my other job. Through the magic of technology and time-delayed posting, you Shackers of the future are reading this issue of LNC--written by the me of the past! What implications does this sort of temporal tinkering have on your news? Do I even know whether Shack will continue to exist for the hours I will be gone? The answers to these questions and more to be addressed later. In the future!

  • Industry Sales Up As Portable Consoles Thrive

    [ds] [psp]
    Tracking firm NPD indicates that overall game industry sales are up 21% compared to first-half results last year. While sales of the three major consoles are down 6% from last year and PC game retail sales are down 10.5%, sales of console games are up 6%. Gran Turismo 4 and Pokemon Emerald are the current bestsellers, with games like Twilight Princess, Kingdom Hearts II, and Madden 06 looking to drive sales towards the end of the year. Most notably adding to the overall gain is the increase in portable hardware sales of 181% due to the introduction of new devices like the DS and the PSP, as well as continued success of the GBA. In a related report, insiders suggest use of the percent sign on gaming site Shacknews has risen uncontrollably in the last 24 hours.
  • Nintendo's Profits Drop

    [nintendo]
    Nintendo announced that their fiscal first-quarter profits dropped 78.5% to $33M from last year's first-quarter profits of $155M, with total revenue dropping only 14% to $628.5M. A third-party analyst from Japanese firm Nomura Securities was unconcerned, citing the industry's unpredictable nature and Nintendo's forthcoming games lineup--consisting most notably of The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess. Nintendo itself put its year-long profit forecast at 3.1% over last year's. Gamasutra points out that while Nintendo is suffering from reduced profits, neither Sony nor Microsoft's Xbox division are currently making any profit.
  • Gaming Award Show Continues to Appall Gamers

    [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]
    The latest major gaming awards show, G4's third annual G-Phoria, was taped yesterday (though it won't be aired until August 9th) and according to reports it merely provides more of the same celebrity-infested party-hype-mania attitude that has plagued every widely televised gaming awards show in recent years. There were games on display, though GameSpot's coverage suggests that the overall focus was on Hollywood much more than on developers.The awards themselves were fairly typical for this sort of thing; Halo 2 led the pack with seven wins (including a mind-blowingly inappropriate Best Vocal Performance for David Cross as a marine) followed by God of War with four. San Andreas was surprisingly under-represented, considering its vaunted status in pop culture, picking up only one award for Best Licensed Soundtrack. Hot Coffee-induced apprehension, perhaps?
  • Sega Displays Running 360 Beta Kits

    [xbox]
    Sega took the opportunity to display games at G-Phoria to showcase two of their upcoming Xbox 360 games: Full Auto and Condemned: Criminal Origins. Notably, the games were running on the recently-delivered Xbox 360 Beta kits rather than Alpha systems, whose screenshots had previously produced lackluster reactions from gamers. 1UP describes the games as looking visually similar to the versions on display at E3, but with some additional framerate problems. As one would reasonably expect considering the Beta kits are different hardware, the developers will have to optimize the games to take advantage of the system's additional power.
  • Namco Is Telling Many Tales

    [ps2]
    Following last year's Tales of Symphonia (GCN) and the upcoming Tales of Legendia (PS2), not to mention a considerable list of recent Tales titles released only in Japan so far, Namco is developing yet another installment in the well-populated Tales series of RPGs. This one will be entitled Tales of the Abyss; no other details are currently available, though the game will apparently be officially revealed soon.
  • Possible Game Boy Micro Release Date

    [gba]
    Multiple sources have pegged the newest edition of Nintendo's Game Boy Advance for a Japanese release of September 13. The Game Boy Micro is intended to appeal to style-savvy consumers who do not wish to accentuate their dorkiness while playing portable video games in public. It is assumedly also marketed towards consumers who are compelled to purchase very very small electronic devices.
  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    Design Interact talks with Microsoft interface design manager Russ Glaser about the process of designing the Xbox 360's visual interface.

Misc. Media/Previews

Courtesy of G-Phoria, GameSpot brings us about a billion previews.
PS2
GameSpot takes a look at Guitar Hero and the gorgeous Shadow of the Colossus, as well as Ratchet: Deadlocked.
Xbox
GameSpot and 1UP bring us impressions of Full Auto (X360). GameSpot also has Condemned: Criminal Origins (X360) and Need For Speed Most Wanted (X360, everything else).
GameCube
GameSpot previews Fire Emblem: Paty of Radiance (GCN) and Mario Superstar Baseball (GCN) (let's hope for the kind of polish Nintendo gave us with Mario Power Tennis).
Portable
GameSpot takes a look at Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS) and Mario Kart DS (DS). Both GameSpot and 1UP examine Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS).
Multi
GameSpot previews another Castlevania game, Curse of Darkness (PS2, Xbox), as well as Burnout Revenge (PS2, Xbox).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the NES. "This game was so different for consoles at the time, it was amazing! I remember playing this game over and over again, just driving around with Benny. It was such a hard game to beat though, I loved it!" (submitted by freakynipples69).

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"Full Auto definitely doesn't fit the bill as a nextgen title by graphics or even gameplay, but ..."
- Holesinswiss    See all 129 comments


Late Night Consoling

Both the Nintendo DS and PSP offer some great opportunities for importing games thanks to their lack of region coding on games. For instance, a title I've been very interested in but is not officially coming stateside is Electroplankton. Luckily for me, the game is extremely import-friendly with basically no Japanese text, allowing me to enjoy the entirety of the game. But importing games can be costly.. I've seen this game priced over $70 when you include shipping. However, while doing a Froogle search, I discovered GameBrink.com, an price search engine for import games. It found the lowest price: $49 shipped at Lik-Sang; score! But always be cautious.. you never know when one of those weird online retailers will become the next Buy-Rite.

  • New Lord of the Rings Game in the Works?

    Games retailer GameStop recently added a listing their online store for a game called Lord of the Rings: Tactics. No description was provided, but this obviously set off the rumor radar. It has since been removed, but sources have been confirming that such a game is in development. With only the title providing any clues, the only assumptions can be made is that it'll be based on LotR (shocking!) and most likely be a strategy game.
  • Xbox 360 & PS3 Poor on Processing Power?

    [ps2] [xbox]
    A couple days ago, AnandTech did a very thorough investigation of the Xbox 360 and PS3. They followed up their report by talking (anonymously) to game developers and getting their opinions on the new consoles. The verdict? The processors are rather sub-par whereas the GPUs are quality stuff. The most damaging is that these consoles will not spur on a physics revolution, leaving it in and a stagnant state and allowing the PC market to pioneer this area of gaming.
  • $10,000 Halo 2 Tourney

    [xbox]
    GameRiot and the Cyberathlete Professional League are hosting a $10,000 Halo 2 tournament in Dallas, TX. Taking place July 6-9, sixteen teams of four players will compete in a double-elimination format with first prize walking away with three grand. Learn more at the official site.
  • Advent Children UMD Release Date Revealed

    [psp]
    When Square Enix made the announcement of a firm release date for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, their cinematic follow-up to the PSone smash hit, they only revealed the release date for the DVD version. Well, according to the Magic Box, Squeenix finally gave us a date on the UMD version: September 14, same day as the DVD. But uhh.. do yourself a favor and get the DVD version.
  • Ubisoft Concerned About Your Testicles

    French publishing powerhouse Ubisoft has announced its sponsorship of Check-em, a new charity initiative that urges men to regularly check themselves for testicular cancer. As part of the partnership, trailers for Ubisoft titles will be placed on the DVD being sent around that instructs men on how to properly check themselves. Thank you, Ubisoft, for being so concerned about my balls.
  • First Non-Gaming Use of Cell Processor Revealed

    [ps2]
    IBM announced today it has partnered with Mercury Computer Systems "to build new breakthrough computer systems for data-intensive applications." Inside these computers will be the Cell processor, the same one powering the PlayStation 3. These super-computers are being used for military purposes, for both defense and aerospace applications such as "real-time radar, sonar, and signals intelligence data."

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2
GameSpy has a nice preview of Genji up tonight. IGN has shots of Shining Force Neo.
Xbox
GameSpot has video of Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike. TeamXbox has videos from the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack.
GameCube
WorthPlaying talks a little bit about The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Multi
GamerFeed takes a look at Final Fight: Streetwise (PS2, Xbox) and SSX On Tour (PS2, Xbox, GCN). TeamXbox has shots of Conflict: Global Terror (PS2, Xbox). GameSpot has new media for Darkwatch (PS2, Xbox) and Road to Sunday (PS2, Xbox) and impressions of Big Mutha Truckers 2 (PS2, Xbox). They also have a handful of new shots of Madden NFL 06 (PS2, Xbox, GCN). IGN has video of Rainbow Six: Lockdown (PS2, Xbox, GCN).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Fighting Vipers 2 for the Dreamcast. "Man if Fighting Vipers didn't get any love, FV2 got even less. It may have some weird character designs, but the fighting is intense. An under appreciated series." (submitted by ebrake).

Read more »

"Keep laughing while you play Super Duper Mario Bro's 12. :p Nintendo is like Capcom, they make ..."
- PlanetPerfecto    See all 84 comments




Top Games

  1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  2. Resistance 3
  3. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
  4. MX vs. ATV Supercross
  5. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
  6. Hearts of Iron IV
  7. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Batman: Arkham Knight
  10. DayZ

Most Anticipated

  1. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  2. MX vs. ATV Supercross
  3. Space Pirates and Zombies 2
  4. Hearts of Iron IV
  5. Batman: Arkham Knight
  6. DayZ
  7. Survarium
  8. Kerbal Space Program
  9. R.B.I. Baseball 14
  10. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Top Rentals

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Beyond: Two Souls
  3. Batman: Arkham Origins
  4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  5. Call of Duty: Ghosts
  6. Battlefield 4
  7. NBA 2K14
  8. Diablo III
  9. Madden NFL 25
  10. The Last of Us