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Previews & Release Schedule

NOVEMBER 2004 NEWS

November 30, 2004

    Games
    Square-Enix has released Dragon Quest VIII in Japan, and the game has shipped in massive quantities. In the first 3 days the company shipped a whopping 3 million units. No word yet on a PAL release sadly.

    According to The-Magicbox Capcom have announced the following sales figures for financial year 2002. In Japan the company sold 230,000 units of Biohazard Outbreak File 2 and 390,000 units of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Onimusha 3 has sold 290,000 units in America, and 300,000 units in Europe. Resident Evil Outbreak has sold 530,000 units in America and only 290,000 units in Europe (where the removal of online gameplay probably didn't help.

    Quantic Dream has announced their joint co-production and publishing agreement with Vivendi with Fahrenheit has been canned. The game was expected to be released on Q'1 2005 and a new publisher is expected to be announced soon. No details have been given for the termination of the contract.

    Playstation 3
    Sony has confirmed that they will be releasing details about the "CELL" chip at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), which runs from February 6 to 10, 2005, in San Francisco. This is the chip to be used in the Playstation 3, as well as other home devices such as a HDTV from Toshiba. Expect the Playstation 3 to be announced at the E3 show in America next May.

November 26, 2004

    Games
    FUCK IT, FUCK IT, FUCK IT. The OFLC is at it again. This time they have Refused Classification to The Punisher. The game is apparently ultra-voilent. So much for free speech and the ability to make your own decisions... No word yet from THQ on the matter.

    An interesting bit of news from the PC gaming front, which may affect the PS2 front. Apparently in the World of Warcraft user manual it lists Starcraft Ghost as "Coming Soon to Next Generation Consoles." Does this mean the game has been pushed to XBox 2 and Playstation 3?

    South Korea's Media Rating Board has rejected an application to release Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2. The game will not be relased there due to the game containing missions with commando raids into North Korea.

    Review
    Lord of the Rings: The Third Age isn't another action title as with the previous two Lord of the Rings title from EA Games. Instead the company has merged all three movies together to for a monster RPG. By using assets from the movies, and Sir Ian McKellen's voiceover the authenticity is all there - the only question remains - is this game any good? Read our exclusive review to find out.

November 23, 2004

    Games
    Crikey, talk about a stuff up. Sony America have today admitted that a Viewtiful Joe 2 demo on the platform holder's latest PlayStation Underground Holiday 2004 demo disc actually erases all the save data on any memory cards in your Playstation 2. This only affects American gamers, but better to let our American readers know now.

    Square-Enix has confirmed that the release of Final Fantasy XII will occur in Japan after March 31st, 2005. It was previously expected to be released prior to this date. No specific date has been given.

    Review
    FlatOut is one of the most exciting based racing games in years. With over 45 differnet tracks which are destructable the races often resemble destruction derbies rather then normal races. Bugbear Entertainment have crafted a magnificent first game on Playstation 2. You must check out this review.

November 20, 2004

    Games
    Confirmation today that Gran Turismo 4 has also been delayed in America until 2005.

    Review
    SingStar Party is actually second game in the SingStar series which adds new multi-player game modes and thirty new songs. We'll be reviewing the first game at a later date (having only just got that disc) but the question remains, is this karaoke entertaining? Answer: YES. Read the review for all the details (no horrific singing included).

November 19, 2004

    Games
    In a major shock Sony Japan has confirmed that Gran Turismo 4 has been delayed in that territory from December 3rd to December 28th, missing the Christmas rush. Apparently the game needs some last minute fine tuning. No word yet regarding the American date, however the European version is already confirmed for a 2005 date.

    According to Japanese Famitsu Weekly magazine Tekken 5 will be coming out on PS2 in Spring 2005 (Australian Autumn). More interestingly, however, is the rumours circulating that the game will not be released XBox or Gamecube! Interesting.

    Competition
    OK so the Forum Competition is on hold for now. Sorry guys, you won't be able to win a game. But hey, what's this. I have five, yes five, copies of Capcom's Under the Skin to give away to five lucky readers. All you have to do to enter is go to the Competitions page and follow the instructions. The Competition will close on December 12th at Midnight so you should get your prizes just before Christmas.

    Review
    Tony Hawk's Underground 2 hasn't received nearly as much hype as previous Tony Hawk titles on PS2. Perhaps his name is becoming less respected since his retirement several years ago. Unfortunately Brodie has discovered that the game series is also losing much of its lustre. Here's the full review.

November 17, 2004

    Games
    Well it looks like we have a date for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in Australia, and presumably other PAL territories. According to the Atari Australia web site the game will be hitting our shelves on April 30th. Given that this is actually a Saturday it is more likely that the date actually refers to an undisclosed April date. The game will be released in America and Japan in December.

    In other news from Atari it appears that Konami's Karaoke Stage has been pushed back to sometime in 2005.

November 14, 2004

    Games
    God only know where this one has turned up from but I've had a couple of e-mails this last week saying that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was banned and would be pulled of shelves this past Friday 12th November. This is not the case!. The game is not banned, and more likely then not this is just a bunch of XBox, Halo 2-loving, fanboys.

    Review
    MTV Music Generator 3 has been out for some time now, but given the complexity of the program, yes program - not game, it has take Brodie a while to get to grips with the title. What did he discover? Well, if you're into music creation then this is probably the program for you. If you're after a game then steer clear of this one. Check out the review now.

November 12, 2004

    Games
    Konami have confirmed that they are already planning Metal Gear Solid 4. The game was confirmed in the companies recent financial statements. What wasn't disclosed was a system, release date, development team or, well, anything. THis is great news considering the third game was announced as the "Final Game in the trilogy.

    Review
    Forgotten Realms Demon Stone isn't a game which many people would have considered purchasing. The Forgotton Realms world is pretty much restricted to fans, and there probably aren't too many of them - especially compared to, say, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. But this game from Stormfront Studios - the developers of Electronic Art's LOTR: The Two Towers - is well worth a look.

November 10, 2004

    Review
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas isn't just a game, it's a cultural event equalled by the release of a new Star Wars movie, or the latest Eminem album. If you thought that Vice City was big then think again. This game is much bigger. No longer a single city, this is an entire state. If you have already bought this game, as 3 million people have, then you know how good it is. If you need more convincing then read our massive review.

    Games
    Polyphony Digital have confirmed they are working on Gran Turismo 5 for release on Playstation 3. The game will include car damage for the very first time. (Start cheering folks!) The game will also make use of the Eye Toy camera so you can take photo's of cars to import into the game... (Can that be right!!?? - Dave)

    Capcom has confirmed that Viewtiful Joe 2 will be released in America on November 18, almost a week ahead of schedule. The PAL version should be released next year through THQ.

November 7, 2004

    Forum Competition
    Sorry guys, I went to post the question into the Forums last night only to discover it was down. We're working on the solution now, so the comp will have to wait an extra couple of days...

    Review
    Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is actually the third game in Enix's highly respected RPG series. Developers tri-Ace have put much effort into this game and it shows. If you're an RPG fan then this game is a must-have. UbiSoft have ported the updated "Director's Cut" from Japan, with the only disappointment being the voice acting - and packaging. Check out the review of this impressive title.

November 6, 2004

    Games Sales

      Setting Game Records
      PlayStation 2 sets benchmark for highest games sales of 2004

      Sydney, Friday 5 November 2004 - Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCE Aust.) today announced the biggest weekend of games sales for 2004. The combination of the much anticipated GTA: San Andreas and the surprise release of the new look PlayStation®2 combined to break a number of retail sales records.

      Last weekend (Friday 29 October - Sunday 31 October) Australian consumers set a new purchasing record by snapping up more than 58,000 copies of the exclusive PlayStation 2 game Grand Theft Auto (GTA): San Andreas. This represented the biggest ever game release for a next generation console and more than doubled the previous record held by another PlayStation 2 exclusive title, the games prequel GTA: Vice City.

      "The sales figures achieved over the weekend, show again the undisputed dominance of the PlayStation format. I can not see another game for the rest of 2004, and in to 2005, that will eclipse this incredible result," stated Michael Ephraim, Managing Director SCE Aust. / New Zealand.

      These results were mirrored in many markets, in the UK GTA: San Andreas comprehensively broke the record for game sales in the first weekend, selling an estimated 677,000 units according to UK research firm Chart-Track. Extrapolated to include Europe this accounts for 1.5 million units. Add to this sales in the US market in excess of 1.5 million units and it's easy to see just how successful this franchise is, selling 3 million units on the weekend of launch.

      In addition to software, the PlayStation 2 console was selling at a frenetic pace with more than 10,000 units sold at the weekend. As a comparison, this was more than three times the sales of the nearest competitor. In total gross revenue, the sales of two PlayStation products alone (GTA: San Andreas and the PlayStation 2 console) accounted for over $8 million in retail sales in only three days.

      In addition to games launched by third party publishers, last week SCE Aust. published the new rally driving game, WRC 4. Next week the company will release EyeToy: Play 2 (sequel to EyeToy: Play - the highest selling next generation software title of 2002) and then in the following weeks of November will see the launch of The Getaway: Black Monday, Killzone, SingStar Party, Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal, and then the final launch for 2004 will be Jak 3 in early December.

      "Our consistently strong performances and market dominance is testament to our excellent software that includes the most innovative game titles available. This, coupled with excellent hardware is what has made PlayStation the choice for generations of entertainment seekers," concluded Mr Ephraim.

    UbiSoft has confirmed that Playboy: The Mansion will not be release here on PS2 until February 2005. As mentioned the other day the game has already passed the OFLC with a MA15+ rating.

    A reminder to all to check the Preview & Release Schedule Page which is updated on a regular basis and lets you know when games are coming out, and which ones have recently been released.

November 5, 2004

    Competition
    Kepp your eyes on this site. Sometime in the next 24-48 hours I will be giving away another game. I will be posting a question in the Forums. Yes it will take a little work to get the answer but the first correct one will win a game. Keep your eyes on the forums folks!

November 4, 2004

    Games
    Bloody Hell.... Eurogamer have spilled the beans on the sales figures for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and it's absolutely astounding. According to Chart-Trek the game has sold an estimated 677,000 units in the UK on the first weekend. Accross Europe this increases to an estimated 1.5 million units, and a simiar figure in America. The UK figure of 677,000 surpasses the previous opening record of 250,000 units for (drumroll) Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Eurogamer also states that this sales figure already places it in the Top 10 selling PS2 games of all time. Expect the review of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the weekend (hopefully).

    Preview
    WWE Smackdown Vs Raw is certainly one of the most anticipted titles this Christmas. If you like wrestling games then you probably already have this game pre-ordered. I'd hope so as this is certain to become the biggest games yet and is bound to fly off the shelves. This preview has the latest screens and info.

November 3, 2004

    Games
    Here's a shock announcement. Capcom have confirmed that the highly anticipated Gamecube exclusive title Resident Evil 4 is, well, no longer a Gamecube exclusive as the game will also be heading the PS2. This game looks like the total re-invention of the series. Expect more coverage soon but don't expect it soon with a release rumoured for late 2005.

    The OFLC has confirmed that Playboy: The Mansion has been given a MA15+ (STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT, NUDITY, ADULT THEMES) here in Australia. The game will be released in the coming weeks.

    According to reports online Sega will not be releasing Altered Beast in America, however the game may still come out in Europe (hopefully). The game has been confirmed for release in Japan on January 21st, and will be called Juu-Ou-Ki: Project Altered Beast.


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