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Round Up: XBLA Prices, God of War Trilogy, ATI & HD DVD

Today's round-up includes news of the pricing for the recently announced Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays program, hints of a possible God of War 3, and of the inclusio...
Today's round-up includes news of the pricing for the recently announced Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays program, hints of a possible God of War 3, and of the inclusion of ATI technology in the upcoming Xbox 360 HD-DVD player, as well as the latest GameSetWatch posts, product news, project news, Serious Games Source news, and Gamasutra job postings. - According to online weblog Joystiq, Microsoft has announced the prices for each of its upcoming five confirmed titles to be released over Xbox Live Arcade as part of its recently announced Xbox Love Arcade Wednesdays program. The first, Frogger, which was released today, will cost players 400 Microsoft Points ($5). The July 19 release of Cloning Clyde will cost double that price, as will the anticipated August 2 release of Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting. Galaga and Pac-Man, releasing on July 26 and August 9 respectively, will each cost 400 Microsoft Points. - Sony Computer Entertainment's David Jaffe, whose current project is the highly anticipated God of War 2 for the PlayStation 2, noted on his blog that the game is “shaping up very, very nicely" He added: "I played a bunch of levels last week and it's really, really fun. The art and music is much better than the first game and there is some damn fine level design going on in the new game." The developer also noted that the game is “the second act of a bigger story,” and that God of War is being developed as a trilogy of games. He commented: "...after last week, I can say I am very confident of our chances to be able to complete the God of War trilogy." God of War 2 is currently scheduled to be released for the PS2 in February 2007. - ATI Technologies has announced that Microsoft has agreed to use ATI’s H.264 decoder for the upcoming HD-DVD player for the Xbox 360. HD-DVDs encoded using one of three approved codecs deliver up to six times the resolution of traditional DVDs on a single disc. Built on ATI’s Avivo technology, the decoder used for the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player makes use of the console’s graphics processing unit (GPU) to accelerate video processing. The unified shader design of the GPU enables high-end processing techniques such as comb filtering and automatic gain control to ensure that video artifacts such as blockiness or color bands don’t disrupt playback. Microsoft is one of the staunchest supporters of the HD-DVD format, the major competing format to Blu-ray, which will be used within console competitor Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 this fall. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister weblog GameSetWatch include news that Rugby League 2 for the Xbox will feature the traditional Māori Haka known as Ka Mate, an interview with WayForward's Matt Bozon, and a look at crazy game controllers. - Also updated today: Serious Games Source news on an experiment to help paralysis victims, plus Gamasutra product news on Talkman Euro using voice recognition from Nuance Communications and the release of the Havok 4.0 Development Suite, project news on the Massive Multiplayer Quiz Game, as well as the latest Gamasutra job postings, featuring openings from Cryptic Studios, LucasArts, Monolith Productions, Nfusion Interactive, Splash Damage, and Superscape.

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