Newsbriefs: Wii 4M, Miyamoto/Wright, Microsoft/THQ, Madden @ MSN

[UPDATED 4.45pm PST]: Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Nintendo's 4 million Wii shipment reaffirmed, Will Wright eulogizing Shigeru Miyamoto, Christians protesting Left Behind, new GameTap appointments, and a THQ deal wit
Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Nintendo's 4 million Wii shipment reaffirmed, Will Wright eulogizing Shigeru Miyamoto, Christians protesting Left Behind, new GameTap appointments, a THQ deal with Microsoft for budget re-releases, as well as MSN Shopping's predilection for Madden and the Wii. - According to a Reuters report, Nintendo's president Reggie Fils-Aime has re-affirmed the Nintendo Wii's worldwide goal of 4 million Wiis shipped by the end of the year, commenting at a New York business conference: "All systems are go for reaching the 4-million target we have in our financials by December 31. We will sell everything we make so now it's simply a manufacturing thing." However, he also added: "Exceeding (sales targets) is going to be challenging based on manufacturing capacity", perhaps indicating that the goal is at the upper end of the company's manufacturing capabilities. - Time Magazine's Asian edition has posted a profile of Shigeru Miyamoto as part of its '60 Years Of Asian Heroes' feature, unique because it's written by The Sims creator Will Wright. Wright comments of Miyamoto: "As the industry grows and matures, it is challenging to remain innovative while attracting new players to the fold... Miyamoto remains the industry's pied piper, drawing yet another generation into his world for a little fun." - A group of Christian organizations have joined together to protest the recently released Left Behind: Eternal Forces Christian video game, commenting: "The Christian Alliance for Progress deplores the release of the video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces in which the game's object is to convert or kill any who stand in opposition to the ideology that the game and its companion book series seek to promote." The PC RTS has thus far received a disappointing 50% average rating on GameRankings. - 'All you can eat' PC digital download service GameTap has added Adam Naide, director of relationship marketing (formerly director of broadband strategic pricing at Bellsouth), and Cameron Payne, director of product management (formerly global group product manager of First Party Games for Microsoft, where he was responsible for managing titles including Halo, Fable and Flight Simulator.) - THQ has announced that the company's ValuSoft division has signed an agreement with Microsoft Game Studios to be the exclusive U.S. distribution partner for a number of budget re-releases of PC games including Zoo Tycoon 1, Flight Simulator 2002, Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna, Age of Mythology, Rise of Nations, Age of Empires Collector's Edition, and others. The agreement extends into 2009. - The Microsoft-owned MSN Shopping website revealed that it recorded 21 percent more visits compared with the same period in 2005 over the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday period, and of its more popular items, the most searched for video game was Madden NFL 07. Amusingly, shoppers’ top five most popular searches were for “Burt’s Bees,” “heart jewelry,” “Swarovski,”, “hoodies", and "Nintendo Wii", with "Xbox 360" sadly nowhere in sight. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at images taken from the travelling Game On video game exhibition, a look back at classic dungeon crawling RPG Dungeon Master, and a continuing look at both great and terrible video game ads. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source include IBM's efforts to get students interested in math and science through video games, and the release of a physics accurate and visually realistic Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) simulator. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include the announcment of the inaugural Game Design Expo, and an excerpt from Killer Game Programming in Java concerning detail flocking. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Amaze Entertainment, Blue Fang Games,, Radical Entertainment, Relic Entertainment, Spark Unlimited, and THQ.

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