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In this segment, Iwata's developers explain the IPL, or initial program loader...the start screen...and the driving concept behind it, "Fun for the entire family". This eventually led the developers into their idea for "channels". When you start up the Wii, you will be presented with 12 panes, or channels, to choose from. Obviously, there is the channel that will play whatever game you have loaded, but there is also a weather, news, and shopping channel.
Someone with Flash skills (and a bit of extra time on their hands) has created an impressive simulator of the Wii's Mii creator. So, if you'd like to get some practice time in creating your very own Wii Mii (your in-game avatar) before you actually get your hands on the Wii, hop on over to this site and begin creating: Your Wii Mii.
eToyChest.com has today's bizarre scoop, with news that Microsoft and Burger King have joined forces to bring us all a pre-holiday treat. It seems that the big BK will be offering three Xbox and Xbox 360 titles for only US$3.99 with the purchase of any BK Value Meal. Each of these titles features the BK mascot, the creepy king who leaves most of us not knowing whether to uncomfortably laugh or cry.
Rockstar's controversial game, "Bully," has received a "T" for Teen rating. Prior to this rating, Bully was the "cause celebre" for gaming critics (thank you NIE). Of course, gaming critics didn't know what the game did or didn't contain but were simply reacting to Rockstar's reputation and the potentially incendiary subject of school bullying. Rockstar, always business savvy, rode the wave of press and then came out with a game rated the same as "Psychonauts" or "Okami".
On a separate note, when I told Ali this morning that "Bully is rated "T" for Teen" she said, "that's disgusting." My reaction to her response made her ask again what I said. I repeated myself and a groggy Ali laughed and said, "I thought you said Foley has been rated "T" for Teen". Ew.
Below you will find a piece from an Australian "news" program called "A Current Affair". It focuses on a 16 year old male and his addiction to "World of Warcraft". While I do understand game addiction can be a serious problem, the manner in which this story is presented is ridiculous. As Joystiq points out, it has all of the elements of a sensationalized news report: "demonizing language, foreboding music, a weeping, broken mother, and a teenager's den that looks like a crack house."
Personally, I was left annoyed by a mother who wouldn't take her son's computer away, then cried about it. I also became peeved by a society that labels things we like to do as "addictions" in an effort to remove all sense of personal responsibility from decisions we choose to make. Of course, it's a piece done by quite the low grade news program, so I probably shouldn't take it that seriously.
In more "World of Warcraft" news today, "South Park" is to kick off its 10th season tonight with an episode titled, "Make love, not Warcraft". Below is a preview. For the full effect, I suggest you watch the sensationalized news story mentioned today's first "WoW" story before hunkering down for tonight's episode. Too funny.
Rockstar has released its debut trailer for the recently announced title "L.A. Noire". While I admit it's beautiful (in both sight and sound) it really doesn't give us much beyond what we already know. But, that's usually the situation with a "debut trailer".
In case you don't know the story, "L.A. Noir", which is being developed by Team Bondi (a new studio founded by Brendan McNamara of "The Getaway" fame), is set in 1940s L.A. and requires gamers to solve an "open-ended" series of gruesome murders in a film noire environment.
Before you get too excited about the title, you should know it's a PS3 exclusive.
Financial firm, UBS, recently issued a report stating that in the third quarter (July - September) Nintendo built 2 million Wiis and they plan to build 7-9 million more in the fourth quarter. Previously, Nintendo had announced that they would have 1 million Wiis ready for the mid-November world-wide launch. This puts them far ahead of schedule, meaning that right now, they have 2 million ready to ship. By November, they may have 4 million ready to go. Wow!
Nintendo had announced that they would ship 6 million total by the end of their fiscal year, March
07. The various reports which say 7-9 million probably means by that date, not by the end of the year.
According to Eurogamer.net, SCE Worldwide Europe VP Jamie MacDonald believes that Europeans continued support of delayed consoles and games proves that they really don't mind getting these consoles and games months after those in the US and Japan.
"If we were sitting here in five years' time, I don't think we'd really think about or notice that PlayStation 3 was four or five months later in Europe," MacDonald says."European consumers have shown that historically they don't mind [the delays], because they end up buying as many PlayStations, if not more, than the US and Japan."
I've been trying to post a fun video every Friday for the past month or so. Usually the video has to do with video games, but today I'm pulling a video out of our Late Night Music Videos thread on the Lunaboards.
This was Car1gt's pick a couple of nights ago, and I've been waking up each morning singing it. So, with that being said, enjoy KT Tunstall covering the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back".
Wired Magazine's Clive Thompson has gotten his paws on Rockstar's upcoming title "Bully" for the PS2. The resulting review has managed to get me legitimately psyched for the prep school romper.
According to Thompson Rockstar has another hit on its hands, despite its lack of blood and violence. How could that be, you ask? Because many of the elements that made "GTA" "GTA" are present in "Bully". The game allows you to explore the environment freely, corruption remains a central theme, comments remain both disturbing and funny, and homage is appropriately paid. This time around it's paid to "1980s flicks that originally explored high-school as a metaphor for society -- like 'Heathers' or 'The Breakfast Club'." Ah, Mr. Thompson, you had me at "Heathers".
Every once in a while a beautiful and intriguing video game comes along. The one that pops into everybody's head is 'Shadow of the Colossus' and its older brother, 'Ico'. Add Limbo' to that list. Created by Danish game artist and designer Arnt Jensen, the game seems to be a cold and mechanical, black and white, 2D platformer consisting of some amazing scenery. Jensen has done work on 'Hitman Contracts' and 'Freedom Fighters'.
Obviously, he knows what he's doing. The game has yet to be picked up by any major studio, which leads me to surmise that this would be a perfect fit for download via Xbox Live or on the Nintendo Wii.
Last night, Gamestop/EB sent out an email saying that starting today at 10am, stores would begin to sell pre-orders of the Playstation 3. The email said that stores would most likely sell out in "minutes". This, of course, prompted Allison and me to go out on a PS3 hunt this morning.
We arrived at our local EB at 9:00am. There was no line. I thought, "this is great". I stood outside the door ready to wait an hour and be the first on the list. The door opened and an employee came out and said, "here for the PS3?" I answered, "yes," and he said, "you're the last one."
As most 'Final Fantasy' fans know by now, a pirated torrent of the US version of 'Final Fantasy XII' has made its way onto the internets. While we don't support the downloading of these illegal copies, we sure are fans of the resulting YouTube videos (if, in fact, this came from a pirated copy...which it may not have).
Anyway, here is the 7 minute introduction to 'Final Fantasy XII'. Get your drool cups out and prepare for the October 31st launch.
Sometimes a story slips through the cracks and is tragically missed by the Lunabean news team. This is one of those times.
On September 14th GameSpot reported that Valve and Majesco Entertainment had announced an agreement which would allow Valve to distribute a number of Majesco's PC games via Steam, Valve's digital download distribution system. At the time of the announcement, Majesco's 'Advent Rising', 'BloodRayne', and 'BloodRayne 2' were immediately ready to download. In addition to these big titles, Steam and Majesco promised that 'Psychonauts' would arrive early this month.
Famitsu.com is reporting that the Gamecube version of 'The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess' will not be found on store shelves in Japan. Instead, Japanese gamers who want to get their hands on the newest 'Zelda' title for the older Gamecube console will have to order the game from Nintendo's web site.
Nintendo has not responded to Gamespot's request for a comment regarding what this means, if anything, for the US launch of the game. As far as we know, the Wii version of 'Zelda: Twilight Princess' will be on store shelves on the November 19th Wii launch. The Gamecube version will come to town on December 10th.
Yesterday, thousands of gamers across the US snapped up the PS3 pre-orders being offered at Gamestop/EB. Soon thereafter, thousands of pre-orders were going up on eBay and Craigslist. Today, eBay has taken down those listings due to a policy that doesn't allow pre-orders of a product more than 30 days from the launch of said product. That means that on October 18, gamers can once again place their receipts up for sale.
Although eBay is currently cracking down, Craigslist still has a lot of listings. Take a look at the listings for Craigslist NYC. In addition to the $2,000 pre-orders being offered, there are many warnings of scams taking place. It seems opportunistic scammers are recreating pre-order receipts and selling them. One guy claims he is out $800.
The net is abuzz today with news that Gamestop stores (Gamestop, EB, Software Etc., Babbages) will begin taking Nintendo Wii pre-orders this Friday. This falls in line with our local Gamestop manager told us as we were pre-ordering our PS3 yesterday. He said, "expect short notice, and expect it to happen on Thursday or Friday".
While our PS3 pre-order experience was relatively painless, we're expecting to work much harder (and earlier) to secure a Wii. Despite the fact that many more will be available, it's pretty clear that the console is in greater demand. Also, people were blindsided by the short notice on the PS3 pre-order, which means they're on super high alert for the Wii pre-order. Oh, and it's Friday. Do people even go to work on Friday anymore?
We'll let you know what we know as soon as we know it.
On October 9th the PlayB3yond site for the US was launched. It featured little more than the clickable symbols (below), forcing many PS3 enthusiasts to put aside their day jobs and solve the PS3 puzzle before them. Three days later, one of Joystiq's readers solved it. Apparently, each symbol represents a letter, and, if you use the letters to spell out certain words, videos, wallpapers, soundtracks, and much more will be unlocked.
It's official. We just got the email. EB and Gamestops (EBX, Babbages) will begin to take pre-orders of the Nintendo Wii, tomorrow, Friday the 13th, when the stores open.
It's going to be an early morning for the Lunabean Team as we head out in opposite directions in hopes of securing a Wii. Each armed with a cell phone, coffee (tea in Ali's case), a folding chair, and a good book, we shall be invincible. We'll be calling around today to see if any stores will divulge their allotment. I also plan on bringing a camera with me to mark this momentous occasion.
It is our guess that although stores will have more Wiis to pre-sell than they did PS3s, there is going to be more demand and more people in-the-know. Add to this that it's a Friday and people have a day notice to take the day off and we may see some long lines and/or some camping out. We won't be pitching a tent (get your mind out of the gutter), but do plan on starting our day in the Wii hours of the morning.
Microsoft recently revealed Xbox Live Pipeline, a website which allows you to browse all of the offerings available on Xbox Live Marketplace from your PC. No longer will you be tied to your wireless controller and couch. No longer do you have to sit at work wondering what you'll download when you get home. No longer...actually, it's kind of lame.
Although this is a convenient way to browse XBLA, it lacks any functionality at all. You can't watch the game trailers. You can't watch the movie trailers. You can't purchase anything. It's basically just a static catalog with cool roll-over sounds. Plus, they stole CNN's Pipeline name.
As I reported earlier this week, Majesco Entertainment and Valve had come to an agreement allowing many of Majesco's finest games to be available on Steam, Valve's digital distribution system. At the time of my report, 'Psychonauts' (one of my all time favorite games) had yet to arrive. Today, I am pleased to report, 'Psychonauts' has landed, and is available for download for only US$19.95.
In celebration of this momentus event event, we are dropping the price of our downloadable 'Psychonauts' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. From here on out, you can download the Screenshot version of the walkthrough for only US$5.95, and the printer-friendly version for only US$4.95.
The alarm went off at 5:45am. Allison and I rolled out of bed, made some tea, and got dressed. She was to head to one EB while I was to head to another. On the way to my assigned EB, I got a call from Allison. There was nobody besides her at the EB. She was number one in line! Since we only need one Wii, we decided that I would go wait with her.
Upon arriving, at about 7:00am, Allison and I were the only two people at the store. About 20 minutes later, another guy showed up, and then a mom waiting in line for her college-aged son. At 8:55 the store manager arrived and said he had twelve units. At that point, there were about eight people in line. He asked that we notify anybody after the twelfth person in line that his store did not have any more.
'Assassin's Creed', the video game I'm most highly anticipating in 2007, now has a place to call home on the world wide web, as Ubisoft has finally launched the Assassin's Creed website (US).
While there's little new information on the new site, it certainly is pretty, and it serves as a place holder for info soon to come. If you haven't seen or heard about this upcoming title for the PS3 and Xbox 360, check out the website. If you missed the trailer's debut at E3, check it out below (or on the official site).
Nintendo today is touting a new NPD Group study which concludes that due to the handheld market, the video game industry grew 11% through September (year over year), despite being at the end of a console cycle.
Historically, the end of a console cycle (usually every five years) sees the worst sales in games as gamers hold off on buying until the new systems and games are out. NPD claims that without strong sales of the Nintendo DS and its games, sales would have been flat.
Nintendo, taking the ball and running with it, used this report to highlight their success in reaching out to the masses through its Touch Generations software like, 'Brain Age,' and their success in bringing the DS to market.
The Entertainment Software Association has today issued a press release announcing the changes that are in store for the 2007 E3Expo. First and foremost, we have a name: The E3 Media and Business Summit. Apparently, the goal is to make the event sound so boring, that the masses don't mind that they are no longer welcome.
Back in 2004 I wrote a story about the founding of Clover Studios, a sub-studio of Capcom, whose job it was to make creative and innovative games. Last week, Capcom shuttered Clover Studios due to financial reasons, namely, that Capcom isn't doing well, and Clover Studio's games haven't been selling well enough.
It's a shame, really. Clover was responsibile for 'Viewtiful Joe,' 'Okami,' and 'God Hand.' The latter two recently hit store shelves. 'Okami' has garnered wonderful reviews but just didn't have the sales numbers to keep the studio alive. 'God Hand' has received mixed reviews and is not selling well. 'Viewtiful Joe' was a cult hit, but never a huge success.
While North Korea's Kim Jong Il tests nuclear weapons and starves his people, South Korea has a laser-like focus on education and the highest penetration of broadband and PCs in the world. It's no wonder, then, that South Koreans are also crazy for PC video games.
While we have yet to see this PS3 ad on TV, it's certainly popping up left and right on the internets. The theme: "The wait is over". Hardly original, but nicely executed. Even with that being said, I can't seem to get over the fact that the wait isn't (or won't be) over for most people who want a PS3. There's going to be an initial shortage, and the $499 - $599 price tag will keep the console out of range for many gamers...like the kid in the commercial.
Anyhoozle, here it is, in all its glory:
Update: Jer just sent me this new Xbox 360 commercial. Here we have something that is both original and nicely executed. Because of this, I don't feel the need to pick out things that are wrong it. It just is, and it is good.
Eurogamer has a good article detailing how PS3 Online works. Some key points: there are no "points" like Microsoft and Nintendo. Instead, there are real prices for items in the Sony store. You place money in your virtual wallet and then withdraw from it for purchases.
There is no tiered system like Xbox Live Gold and Silver. Instead, all basic online services are free.
The only place you'll be asked to fork over a penny is when you purchase something in the PlayStation Store - all of the online services, from sign-up right through to voice and video chat, are free, as is normal multiplayer gaming.
I became extremely excited this morning when I saw Allison boot up the Xbox 360. Usually, this means there is some sort of new game demo or content. This was indeed the case as I saw her select 'Splinter Cell Double Agent' demo. Oh boy, oh boy.
After Allison realized that the 705 MB download was the online demo (as opposed to single player) she handed me the controller. I eagerly started the demo, inverted the vertical aim, and chose, "Quick Match".
A US Judge has decided that 'Bully' can indeed be sold in Florida, essentially shutting down infamous lawyer Jack Thompson's attempt to have the game banned. 'Bully' is Rockstar's latest release which has received a slew of criticism due to the fact that Rockstar is the creator of the 'Grand Theft Auto' series. Jack Thompson went as far as calling it a "Columbine Simulator".
Rockstar kept quiet during this misguided maelstrom and the game ended up receiving a "T" rating here in the States and a 15+ rating in the UK, where the game is called 'Canis Canem Edit'.
We're pleased to report our 'LEGO Star Wars 2' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide has been a complete hit. The walkthrough has received the most successful first month of publication we've seen at Lunabean, with more hits for the free version and more downloads of the PDF version than we've experienced in any other guide's first month. Thank you for your support!
You can always find our guides via our alphbetical listing (found on top of each page), but, if you plan on playing 'LEGO Star Wars' in the future and are hoping to find all Mini-Kit Canisters, Gold Bricks and Studs, then I suggest bookmarking one of the below links.
If you don't know about 'Bully', here is quick summary. The game centers around Bullworth Academy, a reform school where you play as Jimmy Hopkins, a "troublesome schoolboy" who "stands up to bullies, gets picked on by teachers, plays pranks on malicious kids, wins or loses the girl, and ultimately learns to navigate the obstacles of the fictitious reform school." (Rockstar press release)
If you weren't as motivated as Allison and me and missed out on the Gamestop/EB Wii preorder, then you may have a chance this Friday or Saturday.
I just got back from picking up my copy of 'Bully' ('Bully' walkthrough) at a Game Crazy. I asked the store manager if he knew when Wii pre-orders would begin. He said that the rumor is that Nintendo is today telling Game Crazy how many units Game Crazy will be getting. Then, over the next two days, Game Crazy will determine how many each store will get. Then, on Friday or Saturday, the pre-orders will begin.
I was tempted to hold off posting this to use it as my Friday video, but, since the video is a couple of months old now, why wait?
By the way, I applaud the inclusion of 'Perfect Dark's' Laptop Gun, although I would have liked to see 'Goldeneye's' Grenade Launcher. Sure, 'Goldeneye' didn't invent the weapon, but it was the best implemetation of it I've seen.
As an added bonus, as I was looking for my RE4 Chainsaw graphic, I came across this man's costume...which I find both frightening and hilarious.
Business Week Online yesterday published an article detailing the pitfalls and obstacles facing the Playstation 3. The piece cites reasons for the PS3's uphill battle such as stiff competition from Nintendo and Microsoft, a high price point ($600), manufacturing issues, and the inability for programmers to yet fully exploit or understand the PS3 architecture.
The piece has also made me angry (and you DON'T want to get ME angry!!!). Well, I'm not that angry, just really annoyed. The reason is that in the article the author suggests that the Playstation 2's success was due to the "fact" that the GameCube was for kids, the Xbox was for the, "PC-centric acne crowd that love their games violent and bloody," and that the PS2 was a system for the masses.
I'll openly admit it now: I've never played 'World of Warcraft'. It's not that I'm not attracted to the world of Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Gaming. It's the fact that I'm too attracted to it, and I have an extremely addictive personality. You would see the story of my 'WoW' addiction appear on 'Dateline NBC'. Granted, it wouldn't be nearly as popular as their "To Catch a Predator" series, but it would get high ratings. "Can you believe she forgot to feed her cats?" Ann Curry would ask, while shaking her head in disgust. Stone Phillips would provide the help number for people who fear, they, too, are addicted, and don't want to end up like me. "Please, get help now," he'd beg.
OK...so it might not go that far, but I can sympathize with this guy, who found the game at the wrong time in his life, and let it consume him. His writing isn't sensationalized, it's just a very realistic story of how easy it is to lose yourself in the 'World of Warcraft'.
I just got a call from my favorite friendly salesman over at GameCrazy. It seems my Xbox 360 version of 'Splinter Cell: Double Agent' has arrived and is ready to be picked up. Having just read IGN's 'Splinter Cell DA' review I couldn't be more excited.
My plan goes a little something like this: I'll play through the first few levels this evening to get my mind around it all. Then, early tomorrow morning, I'll wake up and begin writing our 'Splinter Cell: Double Agent' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Hopefully I'll get a lot done so most of you can enjoy the fruits of my labor this weekend.
Did you hear that Sam? I'm coming for you, buddy! Prepare yourself.
Oh, those of you who are wanting to play the Xbox, PS2 or Gamecube versions are going to have to wait until the game's release next week. Sorry.
While I'm not particularly crafty (not for a lack of trying), I love seeing things that crafty people do. Today I discovered this wonderful Nintendo DS case, plastic canvas needlepointed to look like an original NES controller.
What's more, the creator of this little project has posted detailed instructions on how to recreate her little work of art. I know what I'll be doing this weekend!
The other day, I reported on Wii pre-orders at Game Crazy. At that time, they said check back on Thursday because they may begin Friday. I just got off the phone with my local Game Crazy and they said that they may begin taking pre-orders today or tomorrow, but to call back at 2:00pm and they'd know for sure.
As soon as I hear anything, I'll update this story. Oh, and be sure to check in with your local Game Crazy as different stores are doing it differently.
If you're worried about filling the 20GB hard drive on your Xbox 360, you can now rest easy, as various sources are today reporting that Microsoft has announced a 100GB hard drive for the Xbox 360. All reports state no price has been assigned to the new storage device, but we should expect to see it hit the market in March 2007.
As a quick side note, this little news story is making its way through the internet tubes right now, but, as Joystiq is pointing out, it's missing from sources one would expect to see it...like Gamespot Korea (although I'm just going to have to trust them that it's missing, as I can't read Korean). Remember, back in the day, when you could blindly trust photos like this? Now we're left waiting for official confirmation from Microsoft before getting too excited.
Sony sure is having a rough spell. In fact, it's getting so ridiculous that I'm beginning to feel sorry for them. The latest sign of a sinking ship? Sony today slashed its profit forecast by 62% citing the laptop battery recall, slow sales of the PSP, the delay of the European launch of the PS3, and reducing the price of the PS3 in Japan.
As reported in this Reuters article, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities said, "The battery recall costs were within expectations, but the revision highlights the troubles of its game unit."
Sony has released a list of 'launch window' titles for the PS3 console, suggesting some of these titles will be available on the November 17th launch, while others will trickle out during the holiday season. At this point, we don't know what games fall into what category. We do know that the three first-party titles will be available for US$59.99, and we expect third-party titles to share the same price point (although some may creep out at US$49.99).
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) titles:
I don't pretend to understand anything other than the basics of Second Life, the hugely successful virtual world. Allison did give it a try a few months back, but it made our computer issue a warning beep, so she gave up on it.
Despite our setback, a million others have had no such problems and the resident population of Second Life hit 1 million on October 18. In addition to its growing population, it is also gaining popularity amongst companies.
I'm never a fan of reporting on the latest 'Tony Hawk' soundtrack, as it only serves to remind me that I am no longer a member of the hip and young crowd. Instead, I look at the list (below) and pick out bands like the Ramones, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure...because most of the new bands are foreign to me. So very sad.
Before providing the soundtrack details, some may be interested to know the 'Tony Hawk Project 8' demo is expected to be released on Xbox Live Marketplace today. So, keep checking in and you should see it pop up (although it's not there at the time of publication).
The month before the launch of a console (much less two!) is always fun. The main stream media begins to pay attention and proceeds to write candy-coated puff pieces quoting some "gaming analyst" who probably does work for the Today Show.
With that in mind, here is such a story by ABC News. The author, Jon Silverstein, goes through the merits of each of the three consoles and ends with a prediction by Tom Byron, editor in chief of Official PlayStation, that the PS3 will win the console war. I wonder why the editor in chief of Official PlayStation magazine would say that? Oh, journalism, where art thou?
I've been pretty rotten to the PS3 over the past few months. The price alone is enough to start a long rant. However, as more and more info is coming out about the sleek and sexy box and the hardware specs are beginning to sink in, I'm actually beginning to want one.
My new found acceptance of the PS3 can be partially attributed to articles such as this one at MacWorld. Granted, I'm a sucker for LED lights and shiny surfaces, but things like a touch-sensitive power and eject button really get me going. Also, the thought of playing a game at 60 FPS (frames per second) at 1080p (as good as HDTV currently gets) is something that I'm looking forward to when I actually own an HDTV.
Today, GayGamer has a post about the falllout of the video clip. He says he received a variety of responses from "right on" to "you sick bastard, why don't you go back to Oberlin in your Volvo and drink a latte while reading Jane magazine" (paraphrasing).
Due to the birth of my brand new nephew last Thursday, I lost some time writing our LB 'Splinter Cell: Double Agent' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. While I'm sure you'll forgive me for spending time with my sister and nephew, you should be pleased to know that the walkthrough is back on track and now moving quickly.
If all goes according to plan, I expect to have the first draft of our 100% Stealth guide complete by this weekend.
I'm going around collecting rubber bands, G&G cards, kicking gnomes, and generally getting into a variety of trouble. I'm very impressed by the level of detail in the game, from the changing seasons to the well rounded teachers to the social heirarchy of the cliques.
I'm updating the walkthrough daily so check back often. Also, I'll write a review of the game when I finish up the walkthrough.
Lik-Sang, known by most gamers as the site to surf when looking for games or consoles not available in their region, has today issued a statement saying the company has shut its virtual doors due to multiple legal actions brought against it by Sony.
On Friday the High Court of London ruled in favor of Sony, stating sales of the Sony PSP from the Hong Kong based Lik-Sang to European customers is unlawful. Sony argued that that Lik-Sang advertises Sony products "in a dishonest manner" and "unlawfully interferes with Sony's economical interests". They further argued that Lik-Sang was acting illegally by selling Sony items that are in Asia to people in the UK and Europe. Finally, Sony claimed copyright infringement for Lik-Sang's practice of uploading Sony console user manuals to its server for customers to download.
Those of you who have been trying to log onto our catalog of PDF walkthroughs and strategy guides (available at LunabeanGuides.com), may have had some difficulties over the past few weeks.
See, the server where LunabeanGuides.com was being hosted was becoming more and more unstable. First it was going down for ten minutes a day, then a half hour. Last week it was shutting down for a couple of hours at a time. We asked to be moved to a new server. We were told that would happen ASAP. Unfortunately, ASAP was not soon enough.
Microsoft has announced that the master copy of the highly anticipated 'Gears of War' is complete and it has been sent off for mass duplication. To celebrate the accomplishment, Microsoft has released a special sneak preview trailer available for download now on Xbox Live, and they have announced a whole bevy of special events leading up to the November 12th launch of the game. (Read about them in the below press release.
If you aren't familiar with the title, 'Gears of War' is being touted as Microsoft's next 'Halo', and is expected to gain some Xbox 360 attention (and sales) during the upcoming Wii vs. PS3 battle. In it you will fight for the survival of the human race against the Locust Horde, "a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet". Microsoft brags that the M-rated title blends the best of tactical gameplay with the best of survival horror titles.
If you missed your shot at pre-ordering a Wii or PS3 at your local Gamestop, EB, Babbages or Game Crazy, then get in line at your local Toys 'R' Us this Sunday for another opportunity.
Our pre-order experiences (WiiPS3) lead me to believe the majority of people fighting for a place in line will be hoping for a PS3. This is not because the PS3 is more highly anticipated than the Wii, but because PS3s will be few and far between this holiday season. Wiis, on the other hand, should be fairy easy to get a hold of.
Call your local Toys 'R' Us to see what their procedure for pre-orders is, and be sure to ask if they know how many of each console they are getting (you don't want to be standing in line if you're number six for the PS3 and they only have five). Expect to see twice as many Wiis available as PS3s, and have fun with it. Everyone is in line for the love of gaming, after all. Bring your DS and hope for the best!
While the revenue announcement from Ubisoft this week was full of good news for investors, gamers may be a little bummed by the news that two of Ubi's most highly anticipated titles, 'Assassin's Creed' and 'Brother's in Arms Hell's Highway' have been pushed back from first quarter 2007 dates to TBA 2007 dates. Ubisoft cited the reason for such delays was to make a stronger 07-08 fiscal year for the company, although we're certain the time will be used to add to the design of both of these games.
So I'm sitting there watching the World Series and what do I see? A Sony commercial starring a robot demon baby staring at the PS3. Okay...Sony's ad agency must be going for some shock value. Seriously, was this meant to get people to want a PS3? I know that Sony is going after the "hard core" gamer, but I just don't get the purpose of the ad.
If you are in the market for an Xbox 360 game, today is a good day to buy at BestBuy.com, as the company is offering 1600 Xbox Live Marketplace Points for $4.99 (a $19.99 value) with the purchase of ANY Xbox 360 game.
What's more, if you opt to make that game 'Gears of War', you can take part in an additional promotion, where you can purchase an Xbox Live Gold 12-month kit for only $39.99 (a $59.99 value).
These deals last through tomorrow, and they're only available online (which, in my opinion, is the only way you should buy from Best Buy, as they'll harass you for warranties the second you set foot in the store). So, get shopping!
While the quality of the video is pretty poor, it is fascinating to get a look at the psyche of Jack Thompson.
A quick history of what is going on in the video: Jack Thompson, a highly controversial lawyer who seems to believe video games are the source of all evil, lost his most recent attempt at crazy when a judge denied Thompson's motion to ban Take-Two's T-rated 'Bully'. This made Thompson angry and he circulated a letter comparing the judge to the UN and the game to Iran (just a sample, as there is so much more). This caused Take-Two's lawyers to ask that Thompson be held in contempt of court. Below, you have the hearing (fast forward through the first four minutes to get to it).
Today, I'm happy to report that LunabeanGuides.com is back up and running. I still have to check it for missing links or any oddities, but it is completely functional. Our LunaPass members can now surf our catalog of walkthroughs and the general public can once again buy our Peabody award winning guides (ok, so they didn't win a Peabody).
We apologize for any inconvenience. If you see any bugs, let me know: lbguides (at) gmail (dot) com.
With that being said, the 'Splinter Cell: DA' guide is moving along now, and I expect first draft, final version and screenshot version to be available sometime next week. For now, watch our growing walkthrough here:
We ventured out at about 8am yesterday to our local Toys 'R' Us (near Washington Square Mall, Portland, Ore.) to see the activity. Sure enough, there were about 50 people in line, many of whom appeared to have slept overnight.
Judging from various reports, it seems each Toys 'R' Us had about 6 to 8 PS3s and 15 to 20 Wiis. From what we saw, there were some disappointed people in that line when the doors opened.
See some pictures of our Toys 'R' Us after the fold...
GameTrailers.com has put together another one of its video top ten lists, and this one is spooky as all hell. Sure, you start off smiling like a fool, as they show you a point and click survival horror classic, but by the end they have you all goose bumpily and teary-eyed as memories of games played and put someplace deep in your subconscious begin to ooze out. A perfect Halloween eve treat!
GameBrink.com has posted an e-mail from the popular video game import site Play-Asia.com which states that pre-orders for the PS3 will not be filled due to "licensing and distribution limitations". This news comes one week after Lik-Sang, the largest video game import site, was forced to close its virtual doors due to Sony's many lawsuits regarding extraterritorial sales of its consoles.
Of course, gamers see this as another attempt by Sony to keep them in line. After all, why does Sony care where PS3s are purchased when the system is region free? And why do they care if a few European gamers get their hands on the console before its official release? Is this really causing damage to Sony? I'm thinking no. So what is it? The offering of many non-proprietory products? Messy accounting? Whatever it is, I don't think it's worth taking away importing sites that many gamers have come to know and love, particularly when you're trying to get these gamers to put down $500 - $600 for your product.
One of the hidden items scattered throughout the world of Rockstar Games' 'Bully' is blue rubber bands. I wondered why Rockstar chose rubber bands, as it seemed like an odd item to use. I did some research and discovered that about a year ago in the UK, blue anti-bullying wrist bands were all the rage.
According to the BBC, "The wristband campaign was launched by Radio 1 to coincide with the government's anti-bullying week in November." Due to some celebrity endorsements, it took off. I do enjoy the irony, as pointed out by the BBC, that the bright blue wrist bands make kids wearing them an easy target for bullies.
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