[UPDATED: 3:53pm PST]
Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of upcoming Wii and PS3 re-stocks at Toys "R" Us, the single and multiplayer demos for Lost Planet
being downloaded over one million times, and continued concerns over in game ads in Battlefield 2142
- With less than a week before Christmas, major retailer Toys "R" Us, Inc. has released a statement assuring the public that its retail shops will continue to be stocked with both recently released next-gen consoles, both still scarcely available across the states. According to the company, Toys "R" Us will be re-supplied with 6,000+ units PlayStation 3's, and an unspecified "thousands" of Nintendo Wii's are expected to be stocked during the lead up to the holidays. No further information on specific dates or regions was specified.
- Montreal based publisher Meridian4 has announced a new partnership with Czech developers Cinemax to distribute two of Cinemax's latest casual titles, including logic puzzle title Bugs Escape 3D
, and the IGF 2007 entered action title Gumboy – Crazy Adventures
(see our interview
with Cinemax's Lukáš Macura). “We were very excited to continue our relationship with Cinemax. We had great success with Daemonica
and know that this will continue with these two casual titles.” said Andrew Sher, CEO at Meridian4, “Both Bugs
should appeal to a large cross section of gamers from all ages.”
- Publisher Ubisoft has announced the latest in its popular multiplatform Prince of Persia
series, with the Wii release of Prince of Persia Rival Swords
due in March 2007. Rival Swords
is a console-exclusive version based on the earlier The Two Thrones
iteration of the series, which will, as expected, be reconfigured to utilize the Wii's specific control methods. Just what Wii remote and nunchuck controls will be added is yet unclear, with the only explanation coming in the form of concept art overlayed with the console's controllers in motion.
- Major publisher and developer Capcom has announced that its single and multiplayer demos for the upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
have been downloaded over one million times over Xbox Live. In addition, Capcom officials also note that the multiplayer demo, which was released over the Thanksgiving holiday and includes support for up to 16 players online, has been played over Xbox Live for nearly 300,000 hours by players globally. The full version of the game is scheduled to ship in North America on January 12, and will ship in both standard and collector's edition formats.
- A new report
from San Diego's 10news has news of possible legislation following privacy-related concerns over Electronic Arts' Battlefield 2142
disclaimer regarding its in-game ad system, which is powered by IGA Worldwide and includes certain anonymous tracking information. As has been the case since the game's release, the report echoes the concerns
iterated by other online reports, calling the ad system 'spyware', though IGA Worldwide CEO Justin Townsend has commented that the system "does not capture any personally identifiable information" in an earlier interview
with Gamasutra. However, the 10news report does cite other security concerns regarding this software, noting specifically that uninstalling a “critical Microsoft security update” may be required in order to allow Battlefield 2142
to function. In response to a member of nonprofit group Privacy Rights Clearinghouse calling for legislation on the issue, California state assemblymember Lori Saldana is quoted in the report as considering lending her support to introduce such a bill, adding, “A parental notice telling them private information might be at risk is important to have."
- Professional video game league Major League Gaming (MLG) announced that it has signed a $1 million dollar team contract with team Carbon, the new National Champion four man Halo 2
team, as well as $250,000 deals with three members of team Str8 Rippin. With these contracts, MLG now includes three teams each signed to million dollar contracts. Earlier this year
, the organization signed the prominent U.S. four-man Halo 2
team Final Boss to a $1 million contract and Str8 Rippin's captain Tsquared to a $250,000 deal. "From day one, MLG has been committed to finding the best players in the world and helping them grow and develop careers as professional gamers," said Sundance DiGiovanni, co-founder and CMO of Major League Gaming. "These contracts are an important step in advancing the careers of these particular gamers, but they also help establish pro gaming and open doors for more players who aspire to this level of success in gaming."
- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch
include a look at collection of puzzle games
called Heaven and Earth
, an interesting interview
with Japanese chiptune superstars YMCK, and a collection of links
covering such topics as the DS getting Nodame Cantabile
in Japan, a new book covering the UMD format, and a look at Dune
for the Sega Genesis.
- The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source
include news of Knowledge Oasis Muscat's interest
in the serious games market.
- Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings
, including openings from Cartoon Network, Centerscore, Cryptic Studios, Crystal Dynamics, Demiurge Studios, Gas Powered Games, General Dynamics Robotic Systems, Knife Edge Software, KulaByte, New Play Media, Nfusion, Nikitova Games, Pandemic, Planet Moon Studios, Rainbow Studios, Recoil Games, Snowblind Studios, Social Sauce, Sucker Punch Productions, TEKsystems, TimeGate Studios, Turner Broadcasting System, Ubisoft, Unitled Rubin/Gavin Project, Vcom3D, and Viewpoint Corporation.