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Round Up: Top U.S. PC Games, Halo 3, DS Lite In Japan

Today's round-up includes news of the NPD Group's list of top-selling U.S. PC software, Halo 3's campaign being tested by Bungie, and Nintendo's DS Lite handheld s...
Today's round-up includes news of the NPD Group's list of top-selling U.S. PC software, Halo 3's campaign being tested by Bungie, and Nintendo's DS Lite handheld still being a rare commodity in Japan, as well as the latest GameSetWatch posts, product news, Serious Games Source news, and Gamasutra job postings. - The NPD Group has released the 10 best-selling PC games for the week of June 18. Blizzard's popular MMO World of Warcraft took the top spot, followed by THQ's Cars Radiator Springs Adventures and Valve's Half-Life 2: Episode 1. Three titles from Electronic Arts' popular The Sims franchise ranked in the next three spots with The Sims 2, The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff Expansion Pack, and The Sims 2 Open For Business Expansion Pack. Bethesda's RPG The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was the seventh most purchased PC title for the week, followed by NCsoft's Guild Wars Factions and Ubisoft's Heroes Of Might & Magic V. Microsoft's Age Of Empires III rounded out the list in tenth. - Following recent news from developer Bungie that multiplayer testing for Halo 3 was taking place, the company has now confirmed that it is also turning attention to the upcoming game's single player campaign. “Multiplayer, single player, you name it, folks are playing it,” wrote Bungie's Frankie O'Conner. “The lab formerly known as the multiplayer lab is now also the single player lab, where folks may go in at just about any time and start playing through a selection of single player Campaign missions.” In addition, O'Conner noted that the current focus on gameplay, as well as AI and encounters, and not graphics. “The graphics,” added O'Conner, “range from completely untextured placeholder surfaces, too brilliantly lit and detailed objects.” - Popular consumer website GameSpot has translated a report from Japanese website ITmedia which indicated that the Nintendo DS Lite handheld is still difficult to obtain in Japan. The report, which included an informal poll of consumers interested in the DS Lite to find out if they had bought the handheld, which went on sale on March 2, yet. Of those surveyed, only 44 percent noted that they had been able to buy the DS Lite. The report also noted that 39 percent indicated that they had not yet been able to find one to buy, while 16 percent said that they had given up. In early June, Nintendo noted that it had stepped up production of the handheld from 1.6 million units per month to between 2 and 2.2 million units per month. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister weblog GameSetWatch include a look at "boredom and grinding repetition" in games by the latest issue of The Escapist Magazine, an interview with OCReMix's DJ Pretzel, and the top ten signs that a casual game is not good. - Also updated today: Serious Games Source news on an edutainment alliance between CompassLearning and Learning Through Sports, as well as a new feature on social change games from the 2006 Games For Change Annual Conference, plus Gamasutra product news on the release of DX Studio 1.28 and natFX Version 4, as well as the latest Gamasutra job postings, featuring openings from Barking Lizards Technologies, Emergent Game Technologies, LucasArts, Midway Games, Oasys Mobile, THQ Studio Australia, Factor 5, LucasArts, The Moving Picture Company, and Volition.

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