Editor: August 2006 Archives

Atlus USA announced that it has secured the rights to publish Etrian Odyssey for the DS in North America. The game was previously released in Japan as Sekaiju no Meikyuu and is a role-playing game in which players can draw their own maps on the touch screen. The game will be released to North America in early 2007.
Take-Two Interactive Software, parent of labels such as 2K Games and 2K Sports, released "selected preliminary financial information" today concerning the fiscal third quarter ended July 31. The company confirmed that it is still investigating its own practices involving stock options, and does not plan on releasing final financials until the investigation is complete and audited.

Contact Site is Live

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Atlus USA has launched the English language site for its upcoming game Contact. The game is an action/role-playing game for the DS that should reach stores in North America in October.
Atari has signed on to publish CD Projekt's game The Witcher in Europe and Asia. The Witcher is a role-playing game for the PC, and should reach those territories in early 2007.
Vivendi Games confirmed that TimeShift, a first-person shooter it acquired earlier this year, has been delayed. This game of retro-futuristic action in which players can control the flow of time will now be released in 2007.
Crave has shipped its game World Championship Poker Featuring Howard Lederer: All In to stores in North America. This poker game features poker champions Howard Lederer, Annie Duke and Robert Williamson III. The game will be released for the Xbox 360 in October.

Oblivion Gets Spell Tomes

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Bethesda Softworks has released the latest plug-in for its game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion today. Spell Tomes adds books with remarkable spells to the games' random treasure. The plug-in can be purchased through XboxLive! Arcade or from the game's official PC site.
NCsoft confirmed some of the details concerning its next major content update for the massively multiplayer online game, City of Heroes. The next major update, called To Protect and Serve will include new missions and features.
Codemasters will publish Fall of Liberty for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for the holiday 2007 season. Fall of Liberty is in development at Spark Unlimited, the studio behind Call of Duty: Finest Hour. The game explores an alternate WWII in which Nazi forces successfully invaded North America. The game has players joining the resistance and battling the Nazi occupation.

D&D Online Reaches Japan

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Turbine, in conjunction with Sakura Internet Inc., has launched its massively multiplayer online game Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach in Japan. The Japanese version has been localized to include content such as weapons and armor with an Asian flavor.

Tiniest Computers Ever!

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Physicists have applied for a patent concerning a single-molecule transistor – a device with the potential to dramatically miniaturize electronics. They call the device QuIET for the Quantum Interference Effect Transistor. Current transistors are as small as 65 nanometers while the single-molecule transistor would be approximately a single nanometer.
Xing Mobile has launched its latest game for MIDP-2 mobile handsets, called Tropical Punch. The casual game has players matching shapes and colors to ensure that the game's characters get a constant supply of cocktails.
Astaro Corporation announced that it will work with Nintendo to provide filters to remove "inappropriate web content" for those who use the DS Browser. Astaro is an online security company, and will create the Astaro Parental Control that will allow parents to password protect classes of content that might otherwise be found through the DS browser.
Bigfoot Networks has shipped its Killer Network Interface Card for the PC. The card is designed specifically to improve networked gaming by using the card to bypass the operating system's network stack. The card costs just under $280.
For those of you curious about the Penny Arcade Expo that occurred last weekend, the event's organizers are pleased to let everyone know that 19,323 people turned out for the Seattle event.
Thomson Course Technology has released three new books for game design and programming:
Microsoft wanted to emphasize the success of Xbox Live! and so released some information concerning Xbox Live! use. Since its launch, Xbox Live! Marketplace has hosted more than 50 million downloads, and players have spent over two billion hours on Xbox Live! since it launched in November of 2002. More importantly, Microsoft has sold over two billion Microsoft Points so far. Depending on the pricing scheme, that's as much as $25 million.
Electronic Arts announced a series of initiatives that will incorporate more in-game advertising into its PC and console games.
THQ disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that on August 25, a shareholder filed suit against THQ's Board of Directors alleging improprieties in THQ's issuance of stock options. THQ is investigating the complaint.
Eidos confirmed that the release of its upcoming game Battlestations: Midway for the PC and XBox 360 has been postponed until 2007. The game is WWII-themed action game in which players start off at Pearl Harbor and then follow a series of Pacific Battles in different vehicles.
iEntertainment plans on launching the demo for its upcoming game Flyboys on September 7 – the catch is that players need to register in advance at the official site. The game is based on the film of the same name, and the full version of the game should reach stores on September 22.
As previously mentioned, Microsoft is making the beta version of its XNA Game Studio Express downloadable for free, starting today. The download can be found here. The beta release is designed for the development of Windows games only.
Ubisoft confirmed that it will release Brothers In Arms: D-Day later this year for the PSP. The game is being developed by Ubisoft Shanghai with input from Gearbox Software and brings the Brothers in Arms franchise of WWII games to the PSP.
Performance Designed Products, the parent company of Pelican, is working with Konami to offer a small gaming device it calls the "Tablet." This device will contain 25 playable classic games and a two-inch screen. The unit will be available in stores next month.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is still planning on releasing its superhero-themed brawler, Justice League Heroes, later this year for the Xbox, DS, PSP and PlayStation 2. The news is that Aquaman will be one of the unlockable characters in addition to the basic DC heroes previously announced. So if you only like superheroes that can speak telepathically with fish, you now have a reason to care.

Shot-Online is Gold for PC

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SyNET Entertainment announced that Shot-Online is gold, in duplication and should reach stores in North America on September 12. The game is a massively multiplayer online golf game.
Today, Konami's classic coin-op arcade game Time Pilot has launched on Xbox Live! Arcade. The game includes a split-screen multiplayer mode and a variety of new achievements.
Electronic Arts announced today that it will release a version of Fight Night Round 3 for the PlayStation 3 later this year that will include new game modes. This boxing game shipped early this year for the Xbox, XBox 360, PlayStation 2 and PSP.
Reaxion announced that it has released a new version of its mobile development middleware, Gamarama 2.0. The middleware is designed to add community functionality to mobile games.
Sierra, a label of Vivendi Games, has shipped its game 50 Cent: Bulletproof – G Unit Edition for the PSP. This PSP version of the game previously released as 50 Cent: Bulletproof for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game features rapper 50 Cent shooting folks on the streets of New York City.
Majesco Entertainment has named Jesse Sutton as the Interim Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Morris Sutton, who previously served in this role will no longer serve on the board, although he will be named "Chairman Emeritus." Jesse Sutton has been Majesco's president for a decade and will continue to manage the company's operations.
NCsoft has launched the second major content update for its massively multiplayer online game Auto Assault.

Rule of Rose Site Launches

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Atlus USA has launched the official site for its upcoming horror game Rule of Rose. The game tells the story of a girl in the 1930s who stumbles into a mansion ruled by cruel children.
Xing Mobile has launched Fishing Bart for MIDP-2 mobile phones. The game is a simple casual game in which players attempt to grab fish while avoiding a shark that keeps chomping through Bart's line.
Activision wants to be sure everyone knows that Chance Thomas, Cris Velasco and Mark Griskey have written the score for the upcoming game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Alvin and the Chipmunks were not involved in any way. Of course, the superhero brawler will be available later this year for the Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3.
Codemasters has shipped its game Dance Factory for the PlayStation 2 to stores. Dance Factory is a dancing game designed to be used with both a dance mat and (optionally) the EyeToy camera. It also allows people to use any CD, and by recognizing the beat of the music, Dance Factory will create a step pattern to go with players' favorite tunes.
Parks Associates has released certain details concerning research in an effort to entice companies into purchasing their work. First, Parks divides gamers into four segments: power gamers; social gamers who game to interact with friends; leisure gamers; dormant gamers love to game but don't allocate time to do so; incidental gamers play out of boredom or a lack of other activities; and occasional gamers.
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Skip Ltd.


Platform: GameCube
Reviewed on GameCube

Chibi-Robo himself was purchased as a birthday gift for a young girl with a frog fetish, by her gadget-crazy dad. With the help of Chibi-Robo's flying advisor, Telly Vision, Chibi-Robo strives to please his family, including the mother and dog, by fulfilling their desires, placing trash in its proper receptacle and polishing every surface to a superb sheen.

Chibi-Robo Review

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He's cute! He cleans and scrubs! Most of all, he wants to make you happy! To learn more about this robotic helper, read our review of Chibi-Robo: Plug Into Adventure!.
Merscom, a publisher of casual PC and console games has engaged Exent Technologies to provide in-game advertising to six of Merscom's games. The games covered by the deal are Buku Kakuro, Buku Sudoku, Bode Miller Alpine Skiing, eXtinction, Space Interceptor and Terrorist Takedown.
Codemasters announced that it plans to bring a version of its game Cannon Fodder to the PSP in early 2007. Cannon Fodder is a comic game of televised tiny warfare.
Electronic Arts announced that it is currently developing Burnout 5 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and plans to release the game next year. This latest installment in the Burnout series will feature an extensive map of Paradise City, in which players can smash cars in any intersection and hurtle through any traffic.
Peripheral manufacturer Saitek announced that it will launch its Aviator joystick in the fourth quarter of this year, in time for the holidays. The Aviator is a dual-throttle joystick designed for detailed flight simulations and inspired by WWII aircraft flight sticks. The Aviator should cost just under $40.
Aspyr Media confirmed that it will release a Macintosh version of Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords (recently released for the PC) in November. Warlords is an expansion for Civilization IV that adds Warlords (surprise!) as a type of "great person" and adds new game scenarios.
THQ has shipped its game Saints Row for the Xbox 360 to stores. The game features a world open to exploration by players... who begin as part of a local gang attempting to conquer the city of Stilwater.
Red Mile Entertainment has postponed the release of its upcoming game El Matador for the PC slightly. The game will now be released on September 29 rather than mid-month.
Electronic Arts has released The Sims 2: Glamour Life Stuff as both a physical and downloadable expansion for The Sims 2. The expansion includes new items, furniture and outfits for just under $20.
Nintendo has shipped its game for the DS, Star Fox Command. This game brings the Star Fox franchise of action/shooters to the DS, complete with touch-screen functionality.
Ignition Entertainment has postponed the release for its game Mercury Meltdown for a few days. The PSP game will now be released on October 3.

Webzen Adds Four Staff

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Webzen has added four folks to its team: Michael Morrison (a former IT manager at VU Games) will be Webzen's new Senior Director of Information Technology. Tim Hesse (formerly a producer at Activision) will work as a producer on Webzen's multiplayer shooter Huxley. Tim Holman (formerly a producer at Bad Kitty Studio) will manage localization for Soul of the Ultimate Nation. Lastly, Serene Chan (formerly a Senior Product Manager at Midway) will work as Webzen's North American Senior Brand Manager.
Philips Electronics revealed that it is developing the Entertaible, and intends to begin limited public testing of the device later this year. Unlike so many of the non-console gaming devices being introduced that are simply tiny devices to run early coin-op games, the Entertaible is designed to bridge the gap between hobby and electronic gamers.
NCsoft is launching new boxes this holiday season for two of its massively multiplayer online games. City of Heroes and City of Villains will be released together as the City of Heroes: Good Versus Evil Edition. For Lineage II, there will be a new box called Lineage II: The Epic Collection that will include an exclusive in-game item.
Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment announced that it has licensed the Unreal Engine 3 for use in the creation of its upcoming massively multiplayer online game Stargate Worlds. The game is based on the Stargate television series and should launch in late 2007.
SouthPeak Interactive will now publish two games coming from Orbital Media. It will publish Juka & the Monophonic Menace for the GBA and Scurge: Hive for the GBA and DS. Both of those games will be released on October 24. SouthPeak Interactive also confirmed that Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer for the PlayStation 2 has been delayed from August 29 to October 3.
Koei announced that its game Samurai Warriors 2 for the PlayStation 2 is gold, in duplication and should ship to stores in North America on September 19. In the game, players battle legions of enemies as one of 26 legendary samurai and ninja.
Activision announced that it plans to release Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball Max'd later this year on the PlayStation 2. Activision notes that this game will be similar to previous versions of Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball, but with performance optimized for the PlayStation 2.
Aspyr Media has shipped the Mac version of The Sims 2: Open for Business (an expansion for The Sims 2). This expansion allows Mac-dwelling Sims to open their own store or restaurant.
Xing Mobile has released its latest game for MIDP-2 phones, Bubu Kong's Bath Time. In the game, players try to keep a kiddie pool appropriately filled with water while "naughty monkeys" throw impeding bananas.

South Korean Gaming Update

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And now for a brief update on the state of gaming in South Korea: According to the country's Ministry of Information and Communication, the national Internet Development Agency of Korea and the Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency:
Eidos has signed a publishing deal with Spike Co. Ltd. in Japan that will allow Spike to publish certain Eidos games in Japan. The included games are Commandos Strike Force, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend and Urban Chaos: Riot Response.
In a filing with the SEC today, THQ disclosed that Brian Farrell (the company's Chairman, President and CEO) entered into a trading plan with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in which Mr. Farrell will sell a total of 557,508 shares of THQ common stock that he receives as the result of his exercise of stock options.
Hothead Games announced that it has been formed as developer based in Vancouver, Canada. It then went on to let everyone know that it is working to create video games based on the Penny Arcade online comic. No clarification was given concerning platforms nor how the game will achieve continuity beyond that of a WarioWare-style game.
Microsoft will sell a version of its Xbox Live! Arcade games for those Xbox 360 owners who prefer their play offline.

Ruff Trigger Ships in Europe

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Zoo Digital Publishing has shipped its game Ruff Trigger: The Vanocore Conspiracy for the PlayStation 2 to stores in Europe. The shooter has players exploring three planets and shooting nearly everything they see through Ruff's eyes... or using his werewolf powers.
Publisher Conspiracy Entertainment Europe is working with Broadsword Interactive to release two Baja racing games for the PlayStation 2. The games will be Baja Mania and Baja Destruction. Both games should be released late this year.
Digital Illusions confirmed that the Swedish Companies Registration Office has finally granted the holding company owned by Electronic Arts permission to complete the acquisition of Digital Illusions CE, the developer of the Battlefield series of games. The acquisition has taken a long time to execute, but is finally nearing completion.
Microsoft wants to ensure that everyone knows the Xbox 360 is the only next-generation platform that will get the current crop of soccer games including FIFA '07 and Pro Evolution Soccer 6. That doesn't mean that the Xbox 360 is the only available platform. It just means PlayStation fans will have to play on the PS2, not the PS3.
Board game fans will be excited to learn that Microsoft is set to introduce three German board games to Xbox Live! Arcade. The games are Settlers of Catan, Carcassone and Alhambra.
Nintendo confirmed that the Coral Pink and Onyx versions of the DS Lite will join the existing color (Polar White) in stores on September 13.
German publisher dtp entertainment has released more details concerning its previously announced adventure game being designed by Jane Jensen (famous for her work on the Gabriel Knight games). The game is called Grey Matter and features a student named Samantha Everett who goes to work with a neurobiologist on a series of experiments. Of course, his estate is known as "Dread Hill House," suggesting that all is not going to go pleasantly. The game should be released for the PC at the end of 2007.
Electronic Arts announced more of its cover athletes. Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals will appear on the cover of NFL Street 3. Also, several international athletes will join Tracy McGrady (Houston Rockets) on the cover of NBA Live '07. Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) will join McGrady on the cover in Germany, Pau Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies) will join McGrady on the cover in Spain while Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs) and Boris Diaw (Phoenix Suns) will share the cover in France.
Electronic Arts announced that it is planning a complete makeover of its Ultima Online world.
NCsoft confirmed that the next game in the Guild Wars franchise, Guild Wars: Nightfall will reach stores on October 27. The third game in the series will have players battling to prevent the release of an outcast god.
Atari has released a new demo for its game Test Drive Unlimited for the Xbox 360 over Xbox Live! Arcade. This demo includes more cars than the previous demo of this racing game. The game itself will be released on September 5.
2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, announced that the actors who voice the characters in the animated show Family Guy will all be providing their voices to the upcoming Family Guy video game that will be released later this year for the current generation of consoles.
Eidos has launched a demo for its upcoming game Just Cause. The game features open-ended play on an enormous island and should reach stores for the PC, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 on September 27. The demo is available here.
Vivendi Games Mobile has released Delta Force: Black Hawk Down – Team Sabre for mobile phones. This action game is based on the previous games and film of the same name.
Last week, Sword of the Stars was released as a download. Now, the physical game box has reached stores. The game is a 4x-style strategy title with multiplayer capability.
Konami announced that it plans to release Pocket Racers for the PSP this fall. The game is a racing game in which the racers were transformed into tiny cars by a dark sorcerer.
Microsoft announced that it will launch the Xbox 360 in Eastern Europe (including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) on November 3.

Lost in Blue 2 Coming to DS

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Konami announced that it is working on Lost in Blue 2 for the DS. The game is a sequel to the original Lost in Blue that combined elements of a role-playing game with a survival simulation.
Dominions 3: The Awakening is gold, in duplication and should begin shipping on October 2. This is the sequel to Dominions II and another turn-based strategy game in which players battle for control over the worship and territory of a fantasy world.
LucasArts announced another partnership today – LucasArts has signed an agreement with Free Radical Design, a developer known for its first-person shooters, to create games for the next generation of consoles.
Microsoft announced several new PC peripherals that it will release later this year:
To promote its upcoming PlayStation 2 game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol, Konami has passed on a few statements from the game's roster, including the following quotation from Simon Cowell of American Idol fame:
NCsoft confirmed that the next major content update for Lineage II, Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood, will go live on the North American Lineage II servers on September 6. Chronicle 5 not only includes additional content for long-time players, but adds features to ease the introduction of new players to the game. The update also increases the level cap to 80.
Enlight, a publisher and developer of games such as Marine Park Empire and
InfoSpace, a mobile publisher, has signed a deal with Eidos to create and distribute a game called Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Puzzle Paradox for mobile phones. InfoSpace will also distribute several of Eidos' mobile titles in the US and Europe, including Hitman: New York, Hitman: Las Vegas, Thief: Deadly Shadows and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legends.
GameTable Online, a site that allows players to enjoy online versions of classic hobby games, has added Battle of the Bands to its portfolio of online titles. Battle of the Bands is an entertaining "garage band"-themed card game. Play is free for Battle of the Bands until the Labor Day weekend.
Electronic Arts announced that it is acquiring Phenomic Game Development, the German developer behind The Settlers and SpellForce. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the studio will now be called EA Phenomic and will focus on creating real-time strategy games.
The first episode of the indie adventure game, The Exchange Student is now available for download. A trial version can now be downloaded at the official site that can be upgraded to the full version.
GraceWorks Interactive, a Christian game developer, has launched a Spanish-language version of its game The Interactive Parables that mixes basic platforming with Christian teachings. The company also plans on localizing the game for a Russian audience by 2007. The company did not indicate any plans to translate the game into Hebrew or Arabic.
BioWare/Pandemic Studios has brought on Jillian Goldberg as Vice President of Marketing. Goldberg was previously at Electronic Arts.
Eve Online has brought its Dragon Code Branch patch live on the Eve Online servers. In addition to a slew of basic fixes, this patch should fix the startup issues that occurred after the last update and marks the return of several courier missions.
Codemasters announced that it will publish Hospital Tycoon for the PC in the spring of 2007. The game is in development at Deep Red Games and allows players to run a simulated hospital.
Electronic Arts has launched the latest version of its Madden NFL football series, Madden NFL '07.

Barrow Hill Ships to Stores

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Got Game's Adventure Game for the PC, Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle, has shipped to stores. The game has players exploring the mysteries of a Cornwall ancient burial ground.
Midway Games has named Bill Romanowski as a cover athlete for Blitz: The League for the Xbox 360 and Blitz: The League – Overtime for the PSP. He joins Lawrence Taylor on the cover of the games. Versions of the game are already available for the Xbox and PlayStation 2, and should launch for the Xbox 360 and PSP in November.
Publisher Techland announced that it will release a multiplayer demo of its game Call of Juarez next week. The game is set in the Wild West, so the multiplayer demo will include Gunslinger and Rifleman classes as well as two available game modes.
Double Fusion, an in-game advertising firm, has added four new executives to its team.
Following in the footsteps of Nyko's line of Air Flo controllers, Logitech has released a ChillStream controller for the PC.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has reduced the price of the PlayStation 2 hardware in Europe to €129.99 and will release a limited-edition pink version of the PlayStation 2.

Mad Catz CFO Resigns

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Mad Catz, manufacturer of gaming peripherals, announced that Cyril Talbot III (the company's chief financial officer) has resigned and will leave the company on September 1. Mad Catz is currently seeking a replacement.
Sony Computer Entertainment America announced that Kobe Bryant is the cover athlete for NBA '07.
AGEIA, the company behind physics-accelerator cards for PCs announced that four more companies have signed on to support AGEIA's physics technology. Nival Interactive (Heroes of Might and Magic V) has signed up to use AGEIA's technology in upcoming games and expansion packs.

The Mark Announced for PC

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JoWooD announced that it is working on a first-person shooter for the PC called The Mark that should be released later this year. The game follows a mercenary and a US Marine as they battle terrorists with a nuclear weapon.

ArchLord Public Beta is Live

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Codemasters announced that the public beta for its upcoming massively multiplayer online game ArchLord has begun.
Sunflowers announced that the UK version of its real-time strategy game for the PC ParaWorld is gold and should be in UK stores on September 15.
Microsoft confirmed that it will begin shipping the Xbox 360 to stores in South Africa at midnight on September 29. The system will launch for 3,699 South African Rand.
Activision confirmed that it still plans on releasing four more titles for the PSP later this year. The games are:
Nintendo released its game Tenchu: Dark Secret for the DS today. This latest game in the series of Tenchu ninja-themed titles allows players to connect wirelessly.
Electronic Arts announced that it is developing Battlefield: Bad Company for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game continues the Battlefield franchise of multiplayer combat, but adding a single-player campaign in which players battle for pay and revenge.
While it's not strictly gaming-related, SanDisk (the company known for its memory cards) has clearly decided to take Apple's iPod line head-on. SanDisk has launched the Sansa e280 MP3 player. Interestingly, it's an 8 GB MP3 player that can be expanded to 10 GB, and it's retailing for the same price as Apple's 4 GB iPod nano.
Philips announced that THQ will incorporate its amBX technology in the development of its upcoming PC game Broken Sword: The Angel of Death. The amBX technology extends the idea of surround sound to other devices such as LED lights, fans and heaters to allow gamers to experience more than just the ambient sound of a title.
Nintendo announced the pre-order bonus for its upcoming Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. Anyone who pre-orders Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team for the DS or Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team for the GBA will receive a "Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescuer's Guide."

EA Licenses Unreal Engine

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Electronic Arts announced that it has licensed the Unreal Engine 3 from Epic Games for use in several upcoming titles.
The latest winner of the "Silly Promotional Effort" contest is the "Maddenoliday." Microsoft and Electronic arts have launched the Maddenoliday , to take place in Madden, Mississippi to promote the launch of Madden NFL '07 on the Xbox 360.
Xing mobile has launched a simple, Bejewelled-style game called Jewel Collection for MIDP-2 handsets.
SteelSeries, a manufacturer of gaming peripherals, has launched its SteelSound 5H v2 headset. The headset is designed for gaming and includes not only positional sound capabilities but a unidirectional microphone. The headphones are available for just under $120.

Developments in F.E.A.R.

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Sierra, a label of Vivendi Games, is exploring the potential of its game F.E.A.R., previously released for the PC. F.E.A.R. Combat is now available as a free download for the PC.
Namco Bandai announced that it plans to release its game Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop 2 late this year or early next year.
Eidos has launched the official site for its upcoming game Reservoir Dogs based on the film of the same name.
Ubisoft announced that it plans to bring its game Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII to the PlayStation 3. The game is one of WWII aerial combat and should be available for the launch of the PlayStation 3. The game was already released for the PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox earlier this year.
Paradox Interactive has launched Victoria – Revolutions, its expansion to the strategy game Victoria – An Empire Under the Sun. The expansion is only available as a download from Paradox's site.

Jeff Gamon Joins Relentless

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Relentless Software has hired Jeff Gamon as Executive Producer for its PlayStation 2 quiz games. Gamon previously served as a producer at Electronic Arts, working on the Harry Potter and Battlefield 2 franchises.
GameStop reported its financial results for the second fiscal quarter ended July 29.
Flagship Studios, the developer behind the upcoming game Hellgate: London, and HanbitSoft have entered into a joint venture called Ping0. Ping0 will take care of hosting, online services and digital distribution of Hellgate: London. Ping0 also plans to offer its service to other online games.
Turbine has launched the third module (major content update) for its massively multiplayer online game Dungeons & Dragons Online.
Deep Labyrinth, Atlus U.S.A.'s role-playing game for the DS, is now in stores in North America.
Paradox Interactive has launched its game of expansion and exploration in space, Sword of the Stars, for the PC. The game is currently available through Paradox's online site and should arrive in stores next week.

F.E.A.R Update Released

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Sierra, a division of Vivendi Games, has released the version 1.07 update for its first-person shooter F.E.A.R. The update can be acquired here and will make the game compatible with the upcoming release of F.E.A.R. Combat.
Namco Bandai announced that it has shipped Payout Poker and Casino for the PSP to stores. The game offers several casino games including varieties of Poker, Blackjack and Craps.
Phantom Entertainment appears to have finally given up the ghost...or in this case, the phantom. While the company still exists, it no longer appears to be planning on releasing the phantom PC-as-console. The company has relaunched its official site. Phantom Entertainment still plans on offering an online game delivery system and will sell the lap keyboard that was the only popular aspect of the phantom console when it was in development. The lap keyboard has now been delayed until November.
Publisher Playlogic Entertainment announced certain financial results for the first half of 2006.

Caesar IV Demo Released

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Sierra, a division of Vivendi Games, has released a demo for its game Caesar IV. The demo of this city building game for the PC can be found here. The game should be in stores next month.
German publisher dtp entertainment AG announced that it plans to publish a first-person shooter called Red Ocean for the PC in February of 2007. The game will be published under the Anaconda label and has players taking on the role of a treasure hunter who stumbles on an underwater Russian research station that's been taken over by terrorists.
JoWooD productions announced that it is working on a skiing game called Freak Out! for the PC, PlayStation 2 and PSP. The game is an extreme skiing game, complete with improbable tracks and slopes. It should be released late this year.
THQ's real-time strategy game for the PC, Company of Heroes, is gold, in duplication and should be in stores on September 14. This WWII-themed game sports deformable terrain and destructible structures as it follows the soldiers of Able Company.
Next Wednesday (August 23), Microsoft will launch a Texas Hold 'em game over Xbox Live! Arcade. Until 8AM GMT, the game will be completely free. After that, it will cost 800 Microsoft points.
Electronic Arts' Mythic division (known as EA Mythic after the recent acquisition) announced that it will ship the seventh expansion to the massively multiplayer online game Dark Age of Camelot later this year. The expansion is called Labyrinth of the Minotaur and will add Minotaurs as a playable race and a new class called the Mauler.
Xing Mobile has released its mobile poker game with the ultra-creative title, Xing Poker. The poker game is available for MIDP-2 phones.
CCP, the firm behind the massively multiplayer online game Eve Online, is launching a German version of Eve Online next weekend. The German version is the first localized version of Eve Online CCP has offered, but CCP expects to offer the game in other languages in the near future.
German publisher dtp entertainment announced that it will publish (under its Anaconda label) an adventure game for the PC called Gray Matter. The game is a project headed up by Jane Jensen, the woman behind the Gabriel Knight classic adventure games. This is Jensens's first adventure game since 1999.
I-play has launched the mobile game GoodFellas based on the Warner Bros. film of the same name. The game allows players to rise in the ranks of gangsters through a mix of tycoon-style play and poker.
Square Enix has shipped its game Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 2 to stores in North America.
CDV Software Entertainment announced that it plans to release Rider's World: I Want to Ride for the PC next month. The game is intended for young girls who want to raise and care for a simulated horse.
Glu Mobile plans on developing and publishing a Chess game in conjunction with Garry Kasparov. The game will be called Kasparov Chess and should be available for mobile phones in early 2007.

WPP Invests in WildTangent

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WildTangent, a publisher of online games, has received an unspecified investment from WPP, a group that owns several public relations and advertising firms among other investments. This investment opens up another marketing venue for WPP and its member firms.
Microsoft has shipped its game Ninety-Nine Nights for the Xbox 360 to stores in North America. The game is one of massive action battles, and was already released in Japan and Korea.
2K Sports, the sports label for Take-Two interactive, confirmed that Shaquille O'Neal will return as the cover athlete for its basketball franchise. NBA 2K7 will be released for the Xbox 360, Xbox and PlayStation 2 next month.
Aspyr Media announced that the Macintosh version of The Sims 2: Open for Business is now gold, in duplication and should be in stores next week. The game was released for the PC early this year and allows Sims to create and run businesses.
In-game advertising firm Double Fusion has hired Julie Shumaker as its Vice President of Worldwide Sales. Shumaker served as National Director of Sales for Electronic Arts, reportedly closing "seven-figure product placement deals with McDonald’s and Intel in Electronic Art’s The Sims franchise."

DarkStar One ships for PC

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CDV Software Entertainment has shipped its game DarkStar One for the PC to stores in North America. The game is an action/adventure game set in space, with freeform exploration elements.
Bethesda Softworks announced that it has secured the voice talents of many famous Star Trek captains for its upcoming game Star Trek: Legacy. Legacy is a strategy and action hybrid featuring starship combat due for a fall release on the PC and Xbox 360.

The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) has announced an impressive prize for its Omegathon III, the competition in which gamers must dominate all the competition through a series of different (surprise) video game matches. This year the prize is a 2006 Scion xB with an internal monitor and Xbox 360. The event occurs at the end of the month in Seattle, Washington.
Publisher Metro 3D confirmed that Earache Extreme Metal Racing should reach stores on September 22. The musical racing game should be released for the PC and PlayStation 2, with a possible PSP version to follow later.
Aspyr Media has signed on to publish Sunflowers' games 1701 A.D. and ParaWorld in North America. 1701 A.D. is an empire-building game that explores themes of colonization while ParaWorld is a real-time strategy game...with dinosaurs. Both games should be published for the PC later this year.
NCsoft's Lineage II is preparing to launch the fifth major content update for the massively multiplayer online game. For those immersed in the world of Lineage II, Chronicle 5 goes live today on the test server.
Mobile publisher Gameloft has signed an agreement with Touchstone Television to make mobile games based on Lost and Desperate Housewives. Gameloft expects to complete these games by early 2007.
Microsoft announced that it is opening the gateway of user created content for the Xbox 360. Building off Microsoft's XNA development platform, Microsoft will release XNA Game Studio Express later this year.
Atlus has acquired the right to publish Bomberman Land Touch! for the DS in North America. The game brings Bomberman once again to Bomber Island, this time on the DS. The game should be released in North America in early November.
Codemasters is running a competition for its upcoming massively multiplayer game ArchLord, asking participants to name the ArchLord servers. The prize is a custom case from MMOART.com. More details can be found on the contest page.
Topware Interactive confirmed that its upcoming role-playing game for the PC, Two Worlds has been delayed until the last quarter of this year.
Publisher Her Interactive has teamed up with Big Fish Games to allow Big Fish Games to distribute its game Nancy Drew: Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon as a digital download.
Electronic Arts announced the cover athletes that it will use to promote the next installment of its FIFA soccer game, FIFA '07.
Xing Mobile has released a simple Tapper-style game for MIDP-2 mobile phones called Bart's Beer Bar.
Publisher: CDV Software Entertainment
Developer: Digital Reality


Platform: PC

The globe-spanning war of War Front: Turning Point is not quite the World War II we read of in the histories of today. Certainly, Hitler rose to power in a Germany still nursing the scars of World War I. True, the Nazi power began its blitzkrieg Westward, sending Europe into a massive conflict. But in the early days of the war, Hitler was assassinated and cooler heads prevailed. Sensing opportunity in the German turmoil, Stalin invaded Eastern Europe, seeking to seize territory from the distracted German forces.

As Europe's Western front found a tentative peace, the combined forces of the United States and the United Kingdom found themselves fighting alongside the Germans to combat the mounting Russian threat. Now, with the Russian army poised to roll through Europe, the war has indeed reached its...turning point.

Projected Release: September 29, 2006

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the organization behind the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is exploring the possibility of a late-spring gaming show in Los Angeles following the recent announcement that the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) would be something quite different in 2007.
Judge Matthew F. Kennelly (US District Judge of the Northern District of Illinois) ruled that the State of Illinois must pay the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) $510,528.64 "for its unconstitutional effort to enact a law banning the sale of violent video games."
Got Game Entertainment's PC game Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle is gold, in duplication and should reach store shelves on September 1.
CDV Entertainment is hosting a developer chat in the community forums for its game War Front: Turning Point on August 17 at 11 AM Pacific Time. For more information or to prepare for the chat, check out our War Front: Turning Point preview.
Eidos has partnered with Ford Motor Company and Empire Interactive to publish Ford Bold Moves Street Racing for the Xbox, PC and PlayStation 2. The game should be released later this year and will continue the franchise of Ford racing games by allowing players to race high-performance Ford vehicles.
Your World Games is partnering with Sony BMG Music Entertainment to distribute its mobile game The Shroud. The game is a multiplayer role-playing experience that supports GPS challenges for GPS-enabled phones.
Sega announced that it will release the Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PSP this fall. The collection will include 30 classic Genesis titles including Shinobi III, Golden Axe and Phantasy Star.
Nintendo wants to be sure everyone knows how well its software Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day is selling.
Sony Online Entertainment announced that it has acquired key assets of Worlds Apart Productions. Worlds Apart has created online games that emulate collectible card games, including the online version of The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game, Star Chamber, and the Auto Assault Trading Card Game.
Mad Catz, the manufacturer of gaming peripherals and accessories, announced the results of its financial first quarter ended June 30.
Thumbplay, a provider of mobile entertainment including games, has now made its products available to Verizon customers. That's it. Verizon customers now have access to Thumbplay's content. Full stop.
Big Fish Games has launched the casual platforming game, The Three Musketeers. The game is a cartoonish take on the Dumas novel that has Porthos saving his kidnapped compatriots.
2K Sports, the sports label of Take-Two Interactive, announced that the hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest, has reunited to headline the 2nd Annual 2K Sports Bounce Tour. The Tour is a musical tour spanning September and some of October to promote 2K Sports.
Developer Digital Illusions provided an interim financial report for the first half of 2006. Digital Illusions, the developer behind the Battlefield series of multiplayer first-person shooters, long ago entered into a tentative agreement to be acquired by Electronic Arts. There has been some contention surrounding the acquisition, but Digital Illusions confirmed that on May 24, shareholders approved the merger plan and the merger should be completed in September. During the first half of the year, Digital Illusions reported a net loss of 5.7 million Swedish Krona (approximately $786 thousand).
Destineer Studios announced that it will open a new studio in Raleigh, North Carolina. The new studio will open on August 28, and Destineer hopes to grow the location to as many as 100 staff members.
Atari announced that it will publish the game Bullet Witch from AQ Interactive for the Xbox 360. This represents the first game in a publishing agreement between Atari and Japanese AQ Interactive that covers an unspecified number of titles. The game itself is being created by the Japanese developer Cavia and sets gamers the task of saving the world from demons with "magical skills and a swift trigger finger."
Microsoft previously announced a plan to release classic games over Xbox Live! Arcade for several Wednesdays over the summer. The final Wednesday has arrived, and so has Pac-Man. The yellow, chomping dude is now available for purchase to Xbox 360 owners.
Atari has formed a partnership with Pat Sajak games to release an offline version of Pat Sajak's Lucky Letters for the PC. The simple word game is already available online and should be available in stores by the holiday season.
GMX Media announced that its first-person shooter Specnaz: Project Wolf is gold, in duplication, and should be distributed in Europe shortly. The game is an FPS for the PC that puts players inside the Russian Special Forces.
Atlus USA has shipped its game Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation to stores in North America. The game is a strategic role-playing game featuring mechanized combat and is available for the Game Boy Advance.
Sony Online Entertainment announced that it is developing a game for the PSP called Cash Money Chaos.
Infogrames, the parent company of Atari, announced certain financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended June 30.
Sierra Entertainment, a division of Vivendi Games, announced that it will make the multiplayer portion of its game F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) available as a free download on August 17. The download will be called F.E.A.R. Combat and will include all of the multiplayer game modes and official maps from the retail PC game.
Namco Bandai confirmed that its game Mobile Suit Gundam will, in fact, be released for the PlayStation 3 this year. The game is one of giant robot combat set during the franchise's "One Year War."
DreamCatcher Games has signed on to publish the role-playing game Neverend developed by Mayhem Studios. The game is an action/RPG and should be released later this month.
The organizers of Gen Con, a convention that has traditionally catered to hobby games and (pencil & paper) role-playing games, responded to the recent announcement that the Electronic Entertainment Expo will refocus and reduce its scope. As a result, Gen Con plans to expand both its flagship convention and its Los Angeles event to give video game publishers more space to hawk their wares.
LucasArts is working with developer Day 1 Studios (responsible for MechAssault) on a new franchise for the next generation of consoles. Details of the project have not been announced.
Simutronics, a middleware provider, announced that BioWare's Austin studio is the first company to license its middleware for the production of massively multiplayer online games called the HeroEngine. The HeroEngine will be used for BioWare's upcoming (unannounced) MMOG.

Aly & AJ Learn Simlish

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Electronic Arts announced that it has acquired the right to use Chemicals React by "gold-record-selling teen music sensations Aly & AJ" as the signature song for its expansion for The Sims 2, The Sims 2: Pets. The song has been translated into Simlish for inclusion in the game.
Yuke's Company of America has shipped its drift racing game for the PlayStation 2, D1 Grand Prix to stores in North America. The game focuses on drift racing with thirty licensed cars.
Saitek is now shipping its Pro Flight Rudder Pedals for the PC to retail stores.
Matrix Games has released the Palm OS and Pocket PC versions of its turn-based strategy game Blitzkrieg War in Europe 1939-1945. The game is available as a digital download
THQ issued an official statement noting that it is cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation of its stock option grant practices. THQ also noted that prior to the inquiry, it had already begun a "voluntary internal review of its historical stock option grant practices."
Razer, a manufacturer of gaming peripherals, has launched its Barracuda HP-1 gaming headphones.
Ubisoft confirmed that it completed its acquisition of the Driver franchise of games as well is the assets and most of the staff from Reflections Interactive Limited.
In-game advertising firm IGA Worldwide has appointed Tim Walsh as the Vice President of Media Acquisition. Walsh recently served as the President of THQ Wireless and will now be responsible for growing the portfolio of games in which IGA can place ads.
Ubisoft announced that it plans to expand its Petz line of titles.
Bethesda Softworks announced that Star Trek writer Dorothy Fontana is writing the script for the developer's upcoming games Star Trek: Legacy and Star Trek: Tactical Assault in collaboration with Derek Chester.
Representative Cliff Stearns (R–FL) introduced the "Truth in Video Game Rating Act" on July 26.
Sony added five new titles to its PlayStation 2 "Greatest Hits" collection (bringing the price of these popular titles down to just under $20). The following games are the new members of the collection:
Electronic Arts announced that it is working on Medal of Honor: Heroes for the PSP, to be released this holiday season. The game will include a single-player campaign new to the Medal of Honor franchise as well as multiplayer combat.
Codemasters plans to implement a three-tier subscription system for its upcoming massively multiplayer online game, ArchLord.
2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, has shipped Dungeon Siege II: Broken World to stores. Dungeon Siege II: Broken World is an expansion for Dungeon Siege II that continues the single-player campaign of the original game, adding new characters and items to the mix.
Anascape, a Limited Partnership in Tyler Texas, filed suit at the beginning of this week against both Microsoft and Nintendo alleging that the two console manufacturers violated twelve of Anascape's patents relating to the manufacture of controllers. Not surprisingly, Anascape seeks substantial (but unspecified) damages.
Electronic Arts confirmed that the next installment of its soccer game FIFA '07 will ship to stores on October 3.
Midway verified that it plans on releasing its game Rampage: Total Destruction for the Wii console. The Wii version of the game will introduce ten additional characters to the game beyond those available in the PlayStation 2 and GameCube versions.
NCsoft revealed certain financial details concerning its fiscal second quarter.
Activision announced the results of its fiscal first quarter.
Midway announced its financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended June 30.
To demonstrate the impact that the AGEIA physics processor can have on games, Artificial Studios developed a demo called CellFactor: Revolution.
Ubisoft announced that it plans to have seven games available for the launch of Nintendo's Wii platform.
ArenaNet, a subsidiary of NCsoft, has introduced an in-game store into its online game Guild Wars. Now players can purchase new Guild Wars content (such as other Guild Wars games) without ever leaving the game.
Paradox Interactive confirmed that Victoria – Revolutions, the expansion for its PC strategy game Victoria – An Empire Under the Sun, will be released on August 17. The expansion will be available for just under $10/€10.
Crave has shipped its game LarryBoy and the Bad Apple to stores in North America.
Eidos, part of the SCi Entertainment Group, announced that it will release a version of the classic game Pandemonium for Brew-capable mobile phones this fall. The platformer was previously released for the PlayStation, Saturn and PC.
Publisher: Torquemada Games
Developer: Torquemada Games


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Official Site: striptease-poker.com

With the name Video Strip Poker Supreme, it doesn't take much imagination to figure out what this game is all about. It's strictly for adults, and features women doing exactly what the title suggests. The women in the game's videos are happy to strip down and bet to lose, but there's no need to remove your own clothes in this one-sided strip poker match.

Epic Games and Microsoft Game Studios confirmed that Gears of War will be released for the Xbox 360 on November 12. The action game has players battling insectoid alien invaders and will retail for just under $60.
Midway confirmed that its upcoming game John Woo's Stranglehold has been delayed until the first quarter of 2007. The action game is currently in development for next-generation consoles and the PC.
Blizzard, a division of Vivendi Games, announced that it is refocusing its development strategy. Members of the console game development team are being redeployed to work on other projects.
SanDisk, the company that primarily manufactures data storage products, named Atsuyoshi Koike as the president of the company's Japanese subsidiary. Koike will focus on technology and fabrication processes in Japan.
Capcom has launched its mobile game Super Puzzle Fighter 2: Network Battle for certain mobile phones. The competitive puzzle game is a new version of the console and coin-op classic game that allows two players to compete over a cellular network.
BFG Technologies has launched its new BFG GeForce 7300 GT OC 256 MB PCIe graphics card. BFG's card is overclocked at the factory to 375 MHz (compared to the standard 350 MHz) speed.
Fire International, a manufacturer of game peripherals, is working on the Xploder HDTV Player for the PlayStation 2. The device will convert the video signal from the PlayStation 2 to an HD signal compatible with most HDTV sets.
Namco Bandai Games announced that it is working on Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles based on the animated Naruto series for the PlayStation 2.
The Khronos Group, an industry group that defines open standards for media and games that allow for cross-platform development announced several new members. Acrodea, Apple, DAZ3D, Dell, Google, Codeplay and S3 Graphics have all joined the Khronos Group.
PR Firm Frazer Nash Communications is excited to let everyone know that it has been hired by German publisher DTP Entertainment to support DTP's efforts to expand internationally with additional PR.
Midway plans on releasing four premium editions of its upcoming game Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for the PlayStation 2 when the game launches on October 9.
2K Sports, the sports publishing label of Take-Two Interactive, is working with music publisher Sub Pop Records on its NHL 2K7 game. Sub Pop Records will provide the music for 2K Sports' hockey game.
EA Sports has once again launched a new season of its Fantasy Football program. The program is a traditional, web-based fantasy football game that charges both leagues and teams for participation.
Today, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting was added to Xbox Live! Arcade. This latest addition is a classic fighting game that has been ported to the Xbox 360 platform.
Sega has shipped Total War: Eras for the PC to stores in North America.
Electronic Arts reported the financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended June 30.

Magnetica Review

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Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Mitchell Corporation


Platform: DS
Reviewed on DS

Fling magnetic marbles to protect a reactor at the end of a long path from endless encroaching multi-colored marbles. Should the stream of marbles reach the reactor at the end of a fixed path, this puzzle game is over.

Sega has shipped its game Super Monkey Ball Adventure for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube to stores in North America.
ArenaNet, part of NCsoft, will shortly launch the pre-order package for Guild Wars: Nightfall. Those who pre-order the game will get an extra character slot and exclusive items. For those who are unaware, Guild Wars: Nightfall is the latest stand-alone game in the Guild Wars franchise.

FlatOut 2 Ships for PC

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Publisher Empire Interactive has shipped its racing game for the PC, FlatOut 2, to stores in North America.
Codemasters has launched the pre-order package for its upcoming massively multiplayer online game, ArchLord. Those who pre-order the game will get one of four in-game items, a soundtrack CD and other trinkets.
2K Sports, the sports label of Take-Two Interactive, has named J. J. Redick as the cover athlete for College Hoops 2K7. Redick played for the Duke University Blue Devils and starts playing for the Orlando Magic this fall. College Hoops 2K7 will be released this fall for the Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2.
Softimage, a middleware provider and part of Avid Technology, has launched v1.5 of its Softimage|Face Robot software for creating facial animations. This latest version of the software improves the ability of Face Robot to export animations for game development.

Barnyard Ships to Stores

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THQ has shipped its game Barnyard to stores.
Got Game Entertainment has shipped its game Atlantis Quest to stores in North America. Atlantis Quest has players solving casual-style puzzle games to reach the lost city of Atlantis over the course of 76 levels.
Sword of the Stars, the strategy game for the PC from Lighthouse Interactive and Destineer Publishing, is gold, in duplication and should reach stores on August 22. The game is a 4X strategy game that combines turn-based action and real-time combat.
THQ has launched the demo of its game Saints Row for the Xbox 360. The game will be available for the Xbox 360 on August 29 and has players battling, block-by-block, for control over the city of Stilwater. The demo is available for free on Xbox Live! Marketplace.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Editor in August 2006.

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