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Newsbriefs: Wii Q1 Titles, PS3 Firmware Update, Granado Espada

[UPDATED: 3:51pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of the Wii's first quarter lineup, the release of a firmware update for the PlayStation 3, and popular Asian MMORPG Granado Espada being brought to North America and Eur
[UPDATED: 3:51pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of the Wii's first quarter lineup, the release of a firmware update for the PlayStation 3, and popular Asian MMORPG Granado Espada being brought to North America and Europe. - Casual game firm WildTangent today announced that it has entered into an agreement with PC manufacturer and retailer Gateway, which will see all Gateway and eMachines desktops and notebooks sold packaged with a custom Gateway branded version of the WildTangent Game Console. In addition, as part of the arrangement, WildTangent will also operate the Gateway and eMachines game sites. According to WildTangent officials, the WildTangent Game Console is now factory installed on over 85 percent of all consumer PCs sold in North America. "Video gaming is a growing segment of the PC's many digital entertainment applications," commented Gary Elsasser, vice president of products for Gateway, Inc. "We are excited to offer consumers a fast, easy way to enjoy hundreds of the newest video games through our alliance with WildTangent." - Nintendo has released information on North America's Wii lineup for the first quarter of 2007. Only two titles have firm dates thus far, with one being the sole first party release from the publisher for its console: first party minigame collection Wii Play, which comes bundled with a new Wii remote, will be released on February 14th, and Disney's Meet the Robinsons will be released on March 27th. March will also see the release of Bust-A-Move Bash, Prince of Persia Rival Swords, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bionicle Heroes and Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII. Also slated for unspecified first quarter release are Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, SSX Blur, The Godfather Blackhand Edition, Medal of Honor Vanguard, and Sonic and the Secret Rings. - Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has announced that it plans to release a version 1.5 update to the PlayStation 3 on January 24. New additions added with this update include new payment options for use when purchasing items online through the PlayStation Store, as well as Korean language support for keyboard input, and unspecified additions to the backwards compatibility list for existing PlayStation and PlayStation 2 titles. Version 1.5 introduces support for Sony's Edy electronic money, which can be stored on a variety of devices already and has enjoyed a great deal of popularity in Japan. The e-money will require the use of an external Edy-ready USB IC reader/writer, allowing owners of both the reader and the PlayStation 3 to purchase games and available content using Edy funds stored on their credit cards or even cell phones. No announcement has been made for a similar e-money update for other regions outside of Japan. - Representatives from North American publisher Majesco have announced that Mark Stewart has joined the company's Board of Directors. Prior to this appointment, Stewart served as Chief Executive Officer of Kodak Polychrome Graphics, and has also served as Chief Financial Officer for Qualex Inc., Liggett Group, Inc., and Paramount Communications. The addition of Stewart to Majesco's Board increases the number of directors to five, consisting of four independent directors and Jesse Sutton, the company's interim CEO. "Mark brings more than 30 years of leadership, operational and financial experience to our board," commented Sutton. "I am very pleased that he is joining us and believe his insight and extensive background will help guide Majesco's growth in the coming years." - Officials from online game publisher (War Rock) have announced that the company is bringing the popular Asian MMORPG Granado Espada to North America and Europe this summer. Licensed to K2 Network by Hanbitsoft, the game, which is bring retitled as Sword of the New World in the U.S., is developed by imcGAMES, which is headed by CEO Hakkyu Kim, the creator of Ragnarok Online. A fantasy MMORPG whose story is modeled after Europe’s exploration of the New World, this title allows players to create and simultaneously control a family of characters utilizing the title's unique Multiple Character Control (MCC) system. “Sword of the New World is truly an MMORPG player’s dream come true,” said Grantley Day, vice president of product development at K2 Network. “It is alive with beautiful artistry, baroque-inspired architecture and enchanting music, and, of course, the multi-character control system.” - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a humorous Game Developer magazine mock up cover, 2K Games' Sid Meier inspired Flugtag aircraft, and an overview of games based on The Goonies. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source include a serious game used by the U.S. Army to learn the Iraqi language. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include a review of books focused on 3D Studio Max. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Budcat Creations, Crystal Dynamics, Datascope Recruitment, Edge of Reality, Eurocom Developments Limited, Heavy Iron Studios, Paradigm Entertainment, Virtual Heroes, Virtual Toys, and Volition.

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