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Gaming News Round-Up: September 29th, 2004

Today's round-up has a Psycho-Sony opportunity, some GPS fish huntin', Future Network's snuggle-up to Sony Online, and a whole mess of delivery options for the cur...
Today's round-up has a Psycho-Sony opportunity, some GPS fish huntin', Future Network's snuggle-up to Sony Online, and a whole mess of delivery options for the currently undeliverable Half-Life 2. - San Francisco-based Double Fine Productions has confirmed that it is developing a PlayStation 2 SKU of unconventional action/adventure title Psychonauts, following the game's recent acquisition by publisher Majesco. Psychonauts, which has also recently announced a PC SKU, has been able to branch out onto different platforms due to severing of ties with original publisher Microsoft earlier this year, following what appears to have been creative differences. Double Fine, headed up by ex-LucasArts alumnus Tim Schafer, is now expected to release the game some time in 2005. - Blister Entertainment has announced what it claims is "North America’s first GPS-based cell phone game", Swordfish. The title, currently available on Bell Mobility’s phone network across Canada, allows players to scan for and locate virtual schools of swordfish in actual real-world locations, and then visit them, "use their cell phone like a fishing rod", and attempt to catch the biggest fish in order to make the national high score leaderboard. Such GPS-based gaming concepts are more popular in territories such as Japan, where cellphones are significantly more advanced, but mobile game developers and publishers are hoping that the allegedly booming U.S. mobile market will increase the hardware base and allow more games such as this to become popular. - Sony Online Entertainment and magazine publisher Future Network USA have announced a partnership to create Sony Online Entertainment Worlds, a limited collector's edition magazine, which "will offer comprehensive coverage of all of Sony Online Entertainment's games" such as EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, and PlanetSide. Future Network are particularly known in the U.S. for publishing Official Xbox Magazine (strangely not mentioned prominently in the official Sony press release), but also publish PC Gamer and PSM, as well as this currently one-off, October-published paper magazine, which promises "interviews with key members of the game teams, community-related pieces on top guilds, fansites and players." - Valve has announced a veritable multitude of different retail box and online packages for the release of its PC FPS Half-Life 2. The company's Gabe Newell outlined the pending Vivendi Universal retail box packages, which include: Standard - 6 CD retail edition, featuring Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source. Collector - 1 DVD edition featuring Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source, a Half-Life 2 T-shirt and a Prima book sampler. Newell also explained the complex mass of Steam online delivery packages, as follows: Bronze - HL2* and CS:Source. Silver - HL2*, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source*, Day of Defeat: Source*, Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam. Gold - HL2*, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source*, Day of Defeat: Source*, Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam, Complete Strategy Guide from Prima Games, 3 different Half-Life 2 posters, Half-Life 2 hat, Half-Life 2 postcard, Half-Life 2 stickers, Half-Life 2 Soundtrack CD, Chance to win a trip to Valve! (1 trip offered for every 5000 Gold packages purchased). *To be made available upon product's release. Of course, the one issue with these impressive packages is when the 'product's release' will actually occur for Half-Life 2, since Vivendi Universal and Valve seem to be locked in a legal battle which may delay the game's release yet again.

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