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Gaming News Round-Up: November 22nd, 2004

Today's wrap-up includes Christmas cheer for game makers, a first expansion of many for The Sims 2, an unfortunate issue with a Sony demo disc, and a delay for the...
Today's wrap-up includes Christmas cheer for game makers, a first expansion of many for The Sims 2, an unfortunate issue with a Sony demo disc, and a delay for the next Final Fantasy title. - The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced results of a KRC Research survey on the buying habits of video game consumers this holiday season in the U.S. Conducted via phone during October, and using a national sample of 1,019 American adults, the survey found that 37% of those polled plan to either give and or receive a computer or videogame this holiday season. The survey also indicates that 31% of the polled plan to give a computer or videogame as a gift, and 8% expect to receive one as a gift. Breaking this down further, 47% of adults with children plan to give a game as a gift, with women almost as likely to give as men (29% versus 34%). The survey also highlighted the fact that 24% of those without children plan on giving games, an increase of 8% over 2002 figures, and neatly showing the expansion of the gaming market beyond just those with children. - Building on the success of The Sims 2, Electronic Arts and Maxis Studios have announced the upcoming release of an expansion pack for its popular PC people simulator, named The Sims 2 University. As the name suggests, The Sims 2 University has players taking their Sims through college, allowing a choice of 11 majors while securing a degree that can lead to four new career paths. The Sims 2 University will include pranks, parties and social interaction, requires The Sims 2 to play, and will ship during March 2005. EA recently announced that The Sims 2 "had the strongest PC launch in EA's history", building on the tremendous success of The Sims, which is believed to have sold around 30 million copies in its various different PC and console formats. - Addressing complaints around the web this past week, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has confirmed that its Holiday 2004 Demo Disc for the PlayStation 2, received by many PlayStation Underground subscribers, has the ability to erase a player's entire memory card. A note from Sony and Capcom received by a number of consumers explains: "If you have received a copy of the Holiday 2004 Demo Disc including the playable Viewtiful Joe 2 - please take note. It has just been brought to our attention that there is a glitch in this demo which will erase all of your saved files from your Memory Card(s). If you have not yet played the Viewtiful Joe 2 demo, please remove your Memory Card(s) from your PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system before you load the Holiday 2004 Demo Disc. Sony Computer Entertainment America would like to express our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you." - Speaking with the Asahi Shinbun and reported on Impress Gamewatch, Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy XII has seen another delay in Japan. Following the company's posting of net profits of 3.13 billion yen ($30 million) for the six months ended September 30th, 2004, the company revealed that the game has fallen back from its former Winter - Spring timeframe to sometime after the end of Square's fiscal year, which ends on March 31st, 2005. Going back to the series' offline roots, Final Fantasy XII is being produced and directed by Yasumi Matsuno, creator of Final Fantasy Tactics (PSOne), and follows newcomer Vaan as he battles an evil empire.

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