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Video Game News from April 2004





Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

EA
EA and Def Jam are coming together again to bring gamers "Def Jam VENDETTATM II" (working title), a sequel to last year's hip-hop-fueled fighting video game.
Read EA's Press Release
Continue reading "EA Announces Def Jam Vendetta II"
Posted by Lunabean on April 1, 2004 2:40 PM |

Filed Under: PC

World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce that Two-headed Ogres are now a playable race in "World of Warcraft", their upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The "World of Warcraft" Beta Site says of their new addition, "By selecting the Two-headed Ogre race, you are selflessly choosing to share your existence in World of Warcraft with another player. That is, you are staking claim to one half of the Ogre whole".
More about Ogres
Posted by Lunabean on April 1, 2004 2:49 PM |


Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo
Japan's Nintendo Co Ltd has today lowered their projected profit forecasts for the fiscal year ending yesterday by thirty-nine per cent. In January Nintendo predicted profits for the fiscal year to reach 54 billion yen (US$520 million). Today, they are adjusting that prediction to 33 billion yen (US$317 million). Nintendo blames the loss on the yen's current surge against the US dollar. Continue reading "Nintendo Slashes Profit Forecast"
Posted by Lunabean on April 1, 2004 4:44 PM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

Amazon
We couldn't be more pleased on this day of fools to let you all know that Amazon.com is now selling our James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Strategy Guide as part of their E-Book offerings. Since we now know the process, we look forward to making available many of our ad-free and printer-friendly guides on Amazon. Yipee!
Posted by Lunabean on April 1, 2004 4:49 PM |

Filed Under:

Gamers
Researchers at Michigan State University have found that playing video games successfully competes with watching television among young people of all ages. The study also found that boys spend twice as much time playing video games as girls, but there's an expectation for that gap to close as more games are being designed with girls' preferences in mind. Continue reading "Children Spend More Time Playing Video Games"
Posted by Lunabean on April 2, 2004 4:56 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2

Splinter Cell
A few weeks before the highly anticipated launch of "Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow", Ubisoft announced that the PS2 and Gamecube versions of the game would be delayed for an undisclosed amount of time to make sure they were up to par with the Xbox and PC releases. At that time, it was suggested that the release dates for the PS2 and Gamecube versions would be set for sometime this summer. However, Ubisoft recently revamped the design of their website, and with that came some updating of information, including an April 2004 release date for the Gamecube version of "Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow". Sadly, the PS2 date remains in the air.
Posted by Lunabean on April 2, 2004 5:15 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | Nintendo DS

Nintendo
Nintendo issued a Press Release yesterday disclosing information revealed at a NYC analyst briefing regarding new products on tap for 2004. Among those products are the Nintendo DS (name soon to be changed), a GBA Wireless Adapter and an exciting list of upcoming games. CNNMoney's Chris Morris has today published his own article which includes interesting insight on these new products.

Read the Press Release

Continue reading "Updates and Changes in Nintendo's Future"
Posted by Lunabean on April 2, 2004 5:20 PM |

Filed Under:

Gamers
According to a recent study video games have displaced print media in males 12-34. 12-17 year olds spend 15% and 18-34 year olds spend 6% of their time with media playing video games, which is more than either group spends with newspapers or magazines. Of course there is still TV, Radio, and the Internet, but number 4 ain't bad. Pretty soon none of us will be able to read...and who needs to anyway?
Posted by Lunabean on April 3, 2004 5:27 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony PSP
According to Gamesindustry.biz Sony's upcoming PSP and PS3 will have 802.11 wireless connectivity built in. The idea with the PSP is that a user will have access to files, communications, and online gameplay from wireless hotspots such as Starbucks and McDonalds. Also, while at home, the PSP will act as a central interface for the PS3 which may contain music, movie, and game media. Will it be the ultimate remote control or something more?
Posted by Lunabean on April 3, 2004 5:33 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Green Xbox
Finally, the US gets a cool Xbox! A translucent green Xbox which comes bundled with a translucent green controller and Halo will go on sale on April 16th for $169.99. Too bad we just bought a new Xbox about a month ago. Geez. Now, if we can get the pure white Xbox over to the States then we'd be talking.
Posted by Lunabean on April 3, 2004 5:39 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Xbox Logo
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest contract maker of semiconductors, has reached an agreement with Microsoft to manufacture chips for future Xbox products. TSMC also works closely with ATI, who will be making the graphics chips for future Xbox products. Hey, I don't care who makes the chips as long as they work.

Source

Posted by Lunabean on April 6, 2004 5:43 PM |

Filed Under:

Gamers
In yet another example of a city or state body who think that it is the first to discover that video games are violent, "Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) has introduced legislation that would fine merchants up to $1,500 for selling a game with violent content to anyone younger than 18." Good. Super. Great. There's a reason for the MA rating. Stores shouldn't be selling this stuff to kids anyway. Continue reading "NYC May Restrict Video Game Sales"
Posted by Lunabean on April 6, 2004 5:46 PM |


Filed Under:

Last weekend, Stanford University held its fifth annual Future of Entertainment Conference. Titled, "2010 Game Odyssey - Visions of Electronic Gaming," the panel consisted of representatives from EA, Microsoft, Nvidia, and the ESA. Jeff Brown of EA brought up the point, ?I think one of the biggest issues is that we?ve lost the storytelling," which was rebutted by Peter Moore of Microsoft, "In 10 years from now we?ll [the gamer] be telling our own stories."
Source
Posted by Lunabean on April 6, 2004 5:50 PM |

Filed Under: PC

MYST
Ubisoft yesterday revealed the critically acclaimed and best-selling Myst franchise will launch its newest adventure, "Myst IV Revelation", this fall. Peter Gabriel, world-renowned recording artist, worked in collaboration with award-winning composer Jack Wall to create the game's immersive and ambient soundtrack. Within the visually awe-inspiring world of Myst, a gripping family drama will slowly unfold. A little girl disappears, her two brothers are suspected, and it is clear that their story is far from over. We can't wait!

Read the Ubisoft Press Release

Continue reading "Ubisoft Announces MYST IV Revelation"

Posted by Lunabean on April 6, 2004 5:59 PM |

Filed Under: PS2 | Xbox

Alias
Recruiting gamers to step into the dangerous world of international espionage and adventure, Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. and Buena Vista Interactive, today announced that they have shipped Alias for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft.

Read the full Press Release

Continue reading "Alias Ships"

Posted by Lunabean on April 7, 2004 6:05 PM |

Filed Under:

Doctors Playing Games
The Associated Press is reporting that surgeons who play video games at least three hours a week "made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play video games".

Continue reading "Let Us All Perform Surgery!"

Posted by Lunabean on April 7, 2004 6:10 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Metroid
Reuters has today confirmed that John Woo has optioned the movie rights to Nintendo's "Metroid" series. Details of the film are scarce, but Reuters does report that "The movie will center on the origins of the game's female protagonist, sexy bounty hunter Samus Aran, and relate her adventures battling the insidious life-sucking Metroids and their controlling force, Mother Brain."

Continue reading "John Woo Exploring "Metroid" Film"

Posted by Lunabean on April 7, 2004 6:16 PM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

Jer and I will be leaving Oregon (where it's expected to be sunny and 80 on Easter), to celebrate the holiday with his family in Binghamton, NY (where it's expected to be rainy and 40 on Easter). Oy vey! We will still be on the boards and we will post any big video gaming news, but, chances are, we won't be regularly updating the front page again until Tuesday. And, who knows, maybe then we'll be able to slap the new redesign onto certain parts of the site. WOOHOO! Happy Easter and Passover all!!!
Posted by Lunabean on April 7, 2004 6:21 PM |

Filed Under: Xbox

XBox Logo
Engadget.com has received a tantilizing bit of gossip in response to a post they made concerning the supposed lack of a hard drive on the Xbox 2. It involves a chance meeting with J. Allard, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, at a bar in Whistler, BC, and his loose lips revealing a portable hard drive with music storage capabilities for the Xbox 2.

Continue reading "Xbox 2 - The iPod Killer?"

Posted by Lunabean on April 13, 2004 6:30 PM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: PC | PS2 | Xbox | Xbox

Despite the fact that we are still five months away from the four-disc release of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD, and despite the fact that until last week we had no clue what the set's special features would be, the Star Wars Trilogy DVD box set is already the best-selling DVD of all time.

Continue reading "Battlefront demo on Star Wars Trilogy DVD"

Posted by Lunabean on April 13, 2004 6:38 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Nintendo
Thanks to GamesIndustry.biz for revealing an article out of Japan's Kyoto Shimbun (a newspaper based in Nintendo's home town), which states, via Nintendo's PR office, that a new peripheral for the Nintendo Gamecube will be revealed at E3 in May. The PR office suggests the new peripheral will serve as competition for Sony's EyeToy.

Continue reading "A New Gamecube Peripheral to be Unveiled at E3"

Posted by Lunabean on April 13, 2004 7:00 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PC | PS2 | Xbox

The WWII theme is one of the fastest growing segments of the military shooter market and we believe that Brothers in Arms is the ideal title to expand Ubisoft's new catalog of war games," said Yves Guillemot, CEO and President of Ubisoft. "We were blown away by the immersive and realistic combat we experienced when playing this game and anybody who knows the reputation of Gearbox Software will understand the magnitude of this deal.

Read the Press Release
Continue reading "Ubisoft Announces Brothers in Arms"
Posted by Lunabean on April 14, 2004 4:09 PM |

Filed Under:

You all know how much I loved to make fun of the Nokia N-Gage. Now, they have announced the follow up to their craptacular original. The N-Gage QD is about 20% smaller than the original and addresses the two main complaints: awkward phone ergonomics and taking out the battery to change games. It will debut in America in late June for a price of $199.

Continue reading "N-Gage QD (Quick Disaster?)"
Posted by Lunabean on April 14, 2004 4:13 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube

According to IGN, Silicon Knights, maker of Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, and Nintendo have ended their exclusivity deal. Silicon Knights is now free to make games for the PS2 and Xbox. The relationship seems to not have worked out due to Nintendo's recent downplay of technology and story elements in their games while Silicon Knights finds those essential.
Posted by Lunabean on April 14, 2004 4:18 PM |

Filed Under: PC

Thanks to 1up.com for reporting that Ubisoft has entered into an agreement to produce any future America's Army games for US Army. America's Army is a tactical first person shooter recruiting device that the Army offers for free download. The follow-up, Special Forces, will debut at E3. You know your Army is doing something wrong when it is showing video games at E3. Oy vey! Interesting times, indeed.
Posted by Lunabean on April 15, 2004 4:31 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube

On a day when the GCN has lost Factor 5, it's good to hear news about Metroid Prime 2, specifically that a 4 way split screen multiplayer has been confirmed. It appears that each version of Samus will be a different color and that each player will have only one energy tank. For more information head to 1up.com.
Posted by Lunabean on April 15, 2004 4:34 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Thanks to Gamespot for reporting that EA has announced its popular Battlefield series will make its debut on a console, the PS2. Due out later this year, Battlefield: Modern Combat will be playable by up to 24 people online. Each player can choose to play as one of three superpowers: the US, China, or the Middle East Coalition. This may be a little too real for me!
Posted by Lunabean on April 15, 2004 4:38 PM |

Filed Under: GameCube

According to many sources, including Gamesindustry.biz, Factor 5 Games, makers of the Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike games will cease making any new titles for the GameCube. Some speculate that Factor 5 is making a launch game for the N5, however most agree that Factor 5 simply needs to expand to the Xbox and PS2. The GCN just doesn't sell enough games.
Posted by Lunabean on April 15, 2004 4:42 PM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under:

Thanks to Matthew Sakey of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) for his thought provoking article entitled "Culture Clash". In the article, Sakey seriously examines the irony behind many religious groups' condemnation of violence in video games while telling people to see "The Passion of the Christ" (often telling people to go twice), a movie which is more violent than any video game on the market.

Continue reading "Religious Violence vs. Video Game Violence"
Posted by Lunabean on April 16, 2004 10:30 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

ODST
While Xbox gamers are already overflowing with anticipation for "Halo 2", Bungie is tempting them even more by releasing a new render showing, for the first time, the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. ODSTs are the United Nations Space Command's (UNSC) second-most-elite soldiers (Obviously, it is only the Master Chief and his fellow SPARTAN troopers who rank above them). The ODST are also known as "Helljumpers", as they are the paratroopers of the future.

Continue reading "New Halo 2 Soldier Revealed"
Posted by Lunabean on April 16, 2004 10:34 AM | | Comments (2)

Filed Under: Xbox

Xbox Logo
While we are still awaiting an official announcement to come from Xbox.com (it's expected to come at Noon PT today), it seems Xbox Live will soon be experiencing some downtime for the "Tsunami" update. The downtime is expected to last for 24 hours, beginning 6:01 am (PT) on Wednesday, April 21st, 2004. During this time, some, but not all, of Tsunami's features will be implemented. However, most will go unnoticed by gamers until developers put the new features into titles.

Continue reading "Xbox Live Downtime Coming"
Posted by Lunabean on April 16, 2004 10:39 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

The Great Lunabean redesign of 2004 is underway! As you can see, the home page and most of the index pages are carrying the new design. We're going to take aim at the individual game pages this weekend (and beyond, I'm sure). So, please, be patient with us...

Posted by Lunabean on April 16, 2004 10:46 AM |

Filed Under:

Anyone up for a late night Pokemon event? Lunabeanies kamikaze (Andy), and PT are playing all night long, and they have a webcam to prove it. Oy vey.

Posted by Lunabean on April 17, 2004 12:06 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

According to Gamesindustry.biz and various other internet rumor mills, Microsoft may acquire BioWare, maker of the hugely popular and wickedly awesome Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The Canadian RPG developer is also responsible for Neverwinter Nights and Buldur's Gate. If successful, BioWare would join the ranks of Bungie and Rare, two earlier Microsoft acquisitions. Look for an announcement at E3.

Posted by Jeremy on April 19, 2004 10:32 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

In the "Who Cares?" category, Nintendo has announced the Tribal GBA:SP for Europe. The Tribal GBA:SP has black tatoo-esque markings on the outside cover and on the inside as well. Hmm? What was Nintendo thinking? If somebody actually wanted a GBA that looked like that they could've done it with a black magic marker. Seriously, they should have provided "Tribal" press-on kits if that's the route that they wanted to take. Or, perhaps they could have simply included a four pack of Sharpies. For more information, visit Gamespot.

Posted by Jeremy on April 19, 2004 11:02 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: GameCube

GBA SP
Nintendo Press Release:
NEW GAME BOY ADVANCE VIDEO PUTS POPULAR ANIMATION IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND
Pokemon Television Episodes Join the Lineup
REDMOND, Wash.--April 20, 2004--Entertainment consumers have long dreamed of carrying their favorite video material with them on small portable devices. DVD players made that possible -- but at a cost of hundreds of dollars. On June 21, Nintendo offers the same capability to owners of the portable Game Boy? Advance at a much lower price. No additional hardware purchase is required to view the Pokemon? episodes that debut on Game Boy Advance Video.

Continue reading "GBA Video and Pokemon"
Posted by Jeremy on April 20, 2004 10:08 AM |

Filed Under: PC | Xbox

Manhunt
Although you won't find a walkthrough for this crappy game on our site we feel that it is important to let you know that Manhunt has shipped for the Xbox and PC. This is the game that made us realize that the only thing Rockstar Games does well is its Grand Theft Auto series. Max Payne, teh sux0rz. State of Emergency, teh lam0rz. Manhunt, teh crap0rz. Anyway, definitely rent this one if you're interested in it. Don't waste your money.
Read the Press Release

Continue reading "Manhunt Ships for Xbox and PC"
Posted by Jeremy on April 20, 2004 10:21 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

EyeToy
Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today the release of "EyeToy: Groove", the follow up to Sony's very successful "EyeToy: Play". With "EyeToy: Groove" gamers can dance in time with one of 28 songs without the use of a controller or a gamepad. Artists include Elvis, Madonna, Jessica Simpson, Village People, and Fatboy Slim.
Read the Press Release

Continue reading "Look Out DDR, Here Comes the EyeToy: Groove"
Posted by Allison on April 20, 2004 10:44 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Thanks to 1up.com for reporting on some interesting character details in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 2. Auron, a Final Fantasy X character will make an appearance and it is also semi-confirmed that Hercules and Beast, of Beauty and the, will be back. The original KH took me by surprise as I thought I'd never like it. I did. I can't wait for the next one.

Posted by Jeremy on April 21, 2004 10:20 AM | | Comments (2)

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Reuters is reporting the fall of US video game hardware and software sales by 1% in the first quarter of 2004, as compared to the first quarter of 2003. While 1% doesn't sound like much, in the behemoth that is the video gaming industry, 1% equates to $100 million dollars (sales falling from $1.9 billion to $1.8 billion).

Continue reading "US Video Game Sales Dip Slightly"
Posted by Allison on April 21, 2004 10:30 AM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: General Gaming

EA has announced that they are bringing another version of their popular Sims franchise to the Xbox, PS2, GameCube and GBA under the name, The Urbz. The Urbz is a heavily urban version of The Sims where your goal is to build the street cred of your Sims, even outfitting them in various Bling. Sony's EyeToy will be compatible with the game allowing you to put yourself into the game. The game is expected for the Holiday '04 season.

Continue reading "The Urbz (The Sims) on Consoles?"
Posted by Jeremy on April 21, 2004 10:34 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

Viewtiful Joe, Capcom's suprising side-scroller that debuted in the fall of last year is getting a sequel. According to Gamespot.com, Viewtiful Joe 2 will allow you to play as Joe's girlfriend, Silvia. In addition, Capcom promises lots of new surprises. The original was a wonderful (and very difficult) game unlike anything currently out there. The follow up should do well with an installed base and lots of good word of mouth.

Posted by Jeremy on April 21, 2004 10:49 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

According to GamesIndustry.biz Tecmo has agreed to alter or remove certain violent actions in "Ninja Gaiden" for its European release on May 14th. The "gory decapitation" scenes have been removed, yet the the shuriken weapons, which were recently removed from European copies of "Tenchu: Return from Darkness" for the Xbox, were left in for the 16 rating by pan-European ratings body PEGI. GI's sister site Eurogamer.net calls the actual impact of the change to the game "minor".
Posted by Allison on April 21, 2004 10:50 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube

REDMOND, Wash.--April 21, 2004--Nintendo continues the evolution of the "Who Are You?" campaign with new advertising created by Leo Burnett USA for Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance, two of the hottest systems in the video game industry. View the Commercials.

Continue reading "Nintendo Launches New Ads"
Posted by Jeremy on April 21, 2004 1:31 PM | | Comments (1)

Filed Under: General Gaming

Allison and I are lucky enough to have our very own home city, Portland, OR, host the 2004 Christian Game Developers Conference (cgdc.org), July 30 and 31. Rest assured, we'll attend at least one day of the conference and report back on the state of Christian gaming. I'm sure that we'll be shocked and apalled by many of the games in development and I'll try to hold back Allison as she argues about why "The Passion of the Christ" really WOULDN'T make a good video game. I can see it now, "Press the "x" button to make Jesus suffer."

Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2004 10:27 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Capcom recently reorganized much of its talent into an independent studio, Clover Studio. According to Gamesindustry.biz, the new studio is working on porting "Viewtiful Joe" to the PS2 as well as working on "Viewtiful Joe 2" for the GCN and PS2. In addtion, the new studio would seem to have some creative freedom to explore such games as "Okami," based on a Japanese myth of bringing light to the world. The game will have Japanese-ink drawing cel-shading. The new studio also claims big names such as "Resident Evil" creator Shinji Mikami and "Devil May Cry" director Hideki Kamiya. Clover Studio Website

Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2004 10:46 AM |

Filed Under:

Reuters is reporting LB's favorite video game publisher, Ubi Soft, is looking to hire 200 more employees at their Montreal studios in order to "speed up development of new titles". The launch of this hiring campaign comes on the heels of Ubi acquiring the license to make a console version of the US Army's "America's Army" PC title.

Posted by Allison on April 22, 2004 10:54 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

"Hitman: Contracts," the follow up to the great, if sometimes frustrating, "Hitman 2: Silent Assassin" is now available in the US for the PS2, Xbox, and PC. The game will debut in the UK on April 30th. You play as Agent 47, a highly skilled assassin, traveling to such locales as Paris, Hong Kong, Siberia, and England. Hmm? Sounds like every other video game out there. Seriously, though, I'm excited to play this one. "Hitman: Contracts" Website

Posted by Jeremy on April 22, 2004 11:00 AM | | Comments (2)

Filed Under:

Thanks to GameSpot for their article regarding Infinium Labs' announcement of a revised stock purchase agreement, now with commitments of $44 million, replacing the $15 million financing commitments announced in January. It seems Lunabeanie Timothy Roberts has found a few more suckers in HaDavar HaNachon LLC, the company that has joined SBI-USA and Infinium Investment Partners with the increased commitments to back Infinium's upcoming Phantom Gaming Service.

Continue reading "Infinium Labs Announces Revised Stock Purchase"
Posted by Allison on April 22, 2004 11:31 AM |

Filed Under: PC

Thanks to 1up.com for reporting on a new expansion for the PC MMORPG "Star Wars Galaxies" entitled, "Jump to Lightspeed." The expansion will allow for interstellar travel and dogfighting in up to 15 different ships, most importantly X-Wings and TIE fighters. There will also be large transport ships where a number of players can travel together. Take the peaceful route and you should be OK, take the more dangerous route and you may have to deal with various factions and/or AI controlled ships. The expansion is due out in Fall of '04.

Posted by Jeremy on April 23, 2004 10:34 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

According to Gamespot.com EA has plans to release a free roaming "Need for Speed Underground 2." The new game, scheduled for release in Fall of '04 will be based in a cityscape with 5 distinct neighborhoods. The player will drive around the city trying to find racing challenges and info on parts for their cars. With 30 licensed vehicles and a plethora of add ons there are over 70 billion car combinations. Sounds like fun to me.

Posted by Jeremy on April 23, 2004 10:49 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Microsoft today revealed its third quarter earnings. Among the vast expanse of earnings and expenses is a paragraph about the Xbox. Revenue for the 3rd quarter is up 35% over the previous year and sales of the console itself are up 30%. Another interesting tidbit is that the average Xbox gamer has 6.8 games per console.

Continue reading "Xbox Revenue Up 35%"
Posted by Jeremy on April 23, 2004 11:05 AM |

Filed Under:

EMI Group has filed a federal lawsuit against the world's largest video game publisher, Electronic Arts, over claims of copyright infringement in a number of EA's most recent sports titles, including "MVP Baseball 2004", "Madden NFL 2004," and "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004".

Continue reading "EMI Sues EA Over Video Game Music"
Posted by Allison on April 23, 2004 11:31 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

After a 24-hour downtime on Wednesday, Xbox Live is back on line, with a few new features available, and many more ready to go. Most notable are the new voice messaging capabilities. Gamers can now leave 15-second voice messages for other members via the Xbox Live Dashboard. Late next month, the voice feature will integrate MSN Messenger. Once compatible games are released, gamers will be able to leave and access such messages from within the games. For more details on the Xbox Live upgrade, please go here.
Posted by Allison on April 23, 2004 11:38 AM |

Filed Under:

Well here's a nice usage of BitTorrent for the video gamer. HQScansorg.org is providing high-quality scans of old school video game manuals in .PDF form. There are seperate downloads for NES, SNES and Atari 2600 manuals. Check it out, as it makes for a good weekend distraction.

Not sure what BitTorrent is? Check out this FAQ.

Posted by Allison on April 24, 2004 3:34 PM |

Filed Under: PS2

Sony has officially launched its E3 website. The site focuses on news, games, and hardware relating to the upcoming E3. Also, thanks to EvilAvatar.com for pointing out that you can view some of the hidden games by messing around with the ending number in the URL of the game pages. Highlights include: Dark Cloud 3, Final Fantasy XII and Rise of the Kisai.

Posted by Jeremy on April 26, 2004 8:11 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

According to Gamesindustry.biz, Sony has bid $5 billion to takeover film studio, MGM. Sony, who bought Columbia TriStar a few years ago, would add a film library of 4,000 films and over 10,000 tv series episodes. Key franchises for the video game-centric include James Bond, Rocky, Robocop, and Stargate SG-1. There are also PSP implications as Sony is trying to get the UMD movie playing standard to be accepted. Owning MGM would help that out.

Posted by Jeremy on April 26, 2004 8:27 AM |

Filed Under:

N-Gage"
1Up.com has a great hands-on review for those of you interested in the N-Gage QD. To the disappointment of Jeremy, who has taken an oddly morbid pleasure in making fun of the original product, it seems Nokia has gotten their act together with this gaming/cell-phone device. The bottom line: The N-Gage QD still isn't going to replace your GameBoy, but if you are looking for a new cell phone and you love games, this product should be high on your list.
Posted by Allison on April 26, 2004 10:01 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

Thanks to Lunabean Moderator Trancemaster for pointing out a supposed leaked Xbox 2 diagram. A link to the article and the schematic itself can be found here. However, since this raised such an uproar in the Xbox cyber news world, it was quickly paid attention to and debunked.

Continue reading "Xbox 2 Schematic Leaked then Debunked"
Posted by Jeremy on April 27, 2004 10:07 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

EA
Electronic Arts has today announced "The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age", a roleplaying game in development for the XBox, PS2, GCN and GBA. Currently scheduled for release this fall, EA describes the new game as an epic quest, "in which players will take on the roles of new characters choosing their own path through Middle-earth while interacting with the heroes and villains of the trilogy".
Read EA's Press Release

Continue reading "EA Developing Lord of the Rings RPG"
Posted by Allison on April 27, 2004 10:21 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

According to Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft had plans up until last November to launch the Xbox 2 by Christmas 2004. That schedule has since slipped but Microsoft is potentially planning for a mid 2005 release. The big goal here, obviously, is to beat the PS3 to market. Seeing as most experts are intimating a PS3 launch in 2006, that shouldn't be a problem.

Continue reading "Xbox 2 in mid-2005?"
Posted by Jeremy on April 27, 2004 10:34 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Capcom Entertainment has today shipped the concluding chapter in the extremely popular Onimusha series, "Onimusha 3 Demon Seige". This newest installment boasts better graphics, larger environments, a new "duel hero" fighting system, enhanced gameplay and "motion picture quality cinematics that the series is known to deliver". Personally, I'm most intrigued by the two time periods in which this games takes place: 1582 and 2004. The Onimusha series is exclusive to the PS2.
Read Capcom's Press Release

Continue reading "Onimusha 3 Demon Siege Ships"
Posted by Allison on April 27, 2004 10:42 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

According to a Reuters article, Sony's game division saw profits drop 40% in 2003/04. The major reason being dropping sales of its PS2 console and development costs for the PSP handheld and the PS3. Meanwhile, sales of the Xbox and GCN climbed, mainly due to their price cuts. It would seem time to make a similar price cut on the PS2.

Continue reading "Sony Game Divsion Profits Drop 40%"
Posted by Jeremy on April 27, 2004 10:52 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

FFXI
The latest edition of Japan's Famitsu magazine has confirmed the second expansion for "Final Fantasy XI", "Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia". "Promethia" is completely independant from the first expansion, "Rise of the Zilart", and can be played without having installed the "Zilart" upgrade. Even story connections between the two expansions are few and far between.

Continue reading "New Final Fantasy XI Expansion Announced"
Posted by Allison on April 28, 2004 9:18 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2 | Xbox

Shrek 2
Activision has today announced the shipment of "Shrek 2" for the Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube. Gamers can control a team of four characters (Shrek, Donkey, Princess Fiona, Puss-in-Boots, plus original characters created for the game) through eleven levels, including film locales and locations exclusive to the game.
Sadly, the screenshots for the game aren't comparable to graphics of the film. Read the Press Release

Continue reading "Shrek 2 Ships"
Posted by Allison on April 28, 2004 9:43 AM |

Filed Under: Lunabean

We are currently working on a Hitman: Contracts Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. We are almost finished with the game and intend to have the beginnings of a guide up by this weekend. Check back soon to see the progress. In the meantime, if you're stuck, please post on the appropriate help board on our Forums.

Posted by Jeremy on April 28, 2004 10:10 AM |

Filed Under:

According to a report released by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) entitled "Quality of Life in the Game Industry: Challenges and Best Practices", the lifestyles of video game developers who were surveyed leave much to be desired. Because of the high stress work atmosphere (often leading to a high stress home atmosphere), many developers see their time in game development as relatively short term, leading many to leave the industry before their best work is done.
Read the Press Release

Continue reading "Video Game Professionals Can Have Better Quality of Life"
Posted by Allison on April 29, 2004 9:48 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

Thanks to Gamesindustry.biz for reporting that Viacom chairman, Sumner Redstone, will soon own 60% of Midway games, thus officially taking it over. Redstone promises to infuse Midway with fresh talent and cash. Midway, publisher of such games as "The Suffering" and "Mortal Kombat" has been in financial dire straits of late and could really use some help. With a name like Sumner Redstone, it has to be good. Oh, except that Viacom is evil.

Posted by Jeremy on April 29, 2004 10:00 AM |

Filed Under: PS2

Calling all Optimus Prime fans! Atari has today announced their upcoming Playstation 2 "Transformers" game has "gone gold", and will arrive on store shelves worldwide on May 11th. In the game players will be able to play as Hot Shot, Red Alert, and, the big cahoona, Optimus Prime, as they defend the world from the evils of the Decepticons. Mwahahahahahaha! For an interesting Q and A session about how the cartoon so many of us grew up with has turned into a solid first-person shooter, please check out the interview with Mark Coombes via the Gamezone Online here.
Read the Press Release

Continue reading "Transformers Goes Gold"
Posted by Allison on April 29, 2004 10:12 AM |

Filed Under: Xbox

In an article in the NY Times (free reg. req.), Michel Marriot discusses the ever-growing list of exclusive games for the Xbox. Such games include "Doom 3," "Unreal Championship 2," and of course, "Halo." This bucks the trend of Sony having dominance in the exclusive games category, especially since the "GTA" series has been ported leaving Sony with the "Final Fantasy" series as their premier exclusive series. Why do developers want to design games for the Xbox only? The Xbox is the most advanced console of the 3 next gens and developers want to push the boundaries of design. Simply put, games don't look as good or behave as well on a PS2, and I can attest to that.

Posted by Jeremy on April 29, 2004 10:26 AM |

Filed Under: GameCube | PS2

EA Logo
Top video game publisher EA yesterday announced the financial results for the fiscal year and quarter ended March 31, 2004. Net revenue for the fiscal year was up 19 per cent, at $2.957 billion, and net income was up 82% over the previous year at $577 million. EA had twenty-seven platinum titles (those titles selling over 1 million copies) in fiscal 2004, and six franchises selling over 5 million copies ("The Sims", "Need for Speed", "Medal of Honor", "FIFA Soccer", "The Lord of the Rings" and "Madden NFL Football").

Continue reading "EA's Fiscal Results are Up"
Posted by Allison on April 30, 2004 10:47 AM |

Filed Under: General Gaming

In an interesting article pointed out by Slashdot, Kevin Parker writes about the politics of video games. Or, pehaps more accurately, the politics we assign to video games. Parker goes through many examples of games with elaborate politico-story lines but misses out on "Deus Ex: Invisible War" as a prime example. Also, Parker misses the most obvious political game: The US Army's "America's Army". Not only are certain politics implicit in this game but this is the only game to breach in-game politics and bring it into the real world.

Posted by Jeremy on April 30, 2004 11:23 AM | | Comments (2)

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While most look to E3 for major gaming announcements from many companies, Sega, apparently, has news that will wow gamers worldwide. Yesterday afternoon Sega of America sent invites to press outlets to their "Explosive Announcement" on the morning of the first day of the Expo, May 12. It will be there where the "BIG news you'd NEVER guess" will be revealed. I'm just going to throw the Dreamcast 2 on the table for fun. Feel free to make fun of me with your comments.
We will keep you up on this news as it comes.

Posted by Allison on April 30, 2004 11:27 AM |


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