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CES 2009: Microsoft Vs. Sony Video Game Statistics At a Glance

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310w ago - I won't be able to transcribe my interview with Microsoft entertainment president Robbie Bach (who oversees videogames, amongst other things) until tonight, most likely.

But between my talk to him, Microsoft's keynote last night, and Sony's keynote today (which included a section with PlayStation topper Kaz Hirai talking videogames), I got a few interesting statistics worth comparing:

- Number of worldwide members of Microsoft's online videogame service Xbox Live: 17 million. Number of registered accounts on Sony's competing Playstation Network: 17 million.

(Even though there are substantially fewers PS3s on the market than Xbox 360s, Sony does have the advantage of people going onto PSN from the PSP. In addition, PSN is free to play online, but Xbox Live costs money, though anyone can "join" just to browse downloadable content)

- In the last three months of 2008, Microsoft added 3 million Xbox Live members. In December, Sony added 2.1 million Playstation Network members.

- PlayStation Network users have downloaded more than 330 million pieces of content. Microsoft's content downloads went up 70% since it launched the new version of Xbox Live in November (not comparable, I know)

- Over 25 million "Halo" games have been sold and the average...
 

Gamers Spent $1 Million on Virtual Goods in PlayStation Home

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310w ago - According to Gamezine (linked above), gamers have already spent $1 million through purchasing the virtual goods available in Sony's PlayStation Home.

To quote: That's right, Sony's service hasn't been out for long, but it's already made Sony $1 million from the priced goods available.

T-Shirts, furniture and plants have all been enough to cause PlayStation 3 gamers to open their wallets. Intriguing that the "nickle and diming" tactic has already worked.

According to Kaz Hirai at Sony's CES conference, 3.4 million people have downloaded the PlayStation Home Open Beta. Plenty of people to spend some pennies indeed.

What have you done folks? Spending money in Home!? It's meant to be free! Stop encouraging them! I don't think this was what was meant when Bethesda said it could be the industry's defining moment. :P
 

Confirmed: Ghostbusters Game Launch Date is on June 19, 2009

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310w ago - Update: It now appears the game will hit stores on June 19, according to a separate press release from the game's publisher, Atari.

Sony has confirmed via a press release this week that the upcoming videogame adaptation of Ghostbusters will be released simultaneously alongside the Blu-ray version of the original film on June 16, 2009.

Spotted by eagle eyed bloggers at Joystiq.com, the press release reads: "The simultaneous [June 16] launch of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the highly anticipated videogame from Atari, celebrates the film's 25th anniversary."

Featuring a script penned by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Rami, Ghostbusters: The Video Game kicks of two years after the events of Ghostbusters II with players filling the shoes of a new recruit hired to test drive one of Egon's latest gizmos.

Naturally - or perhaps we should say, supernaturally - the team soon find themselves combating an array of iconic spooks and ghastly ghouls including Slimer, the Library Ghost and Stay Puft Marshmellow Man.

In order to maintain continuity with the films, all four original actors will be reprising their roles in the game, including Bill Murray (Peter Venkman) and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore).
 

Ubisoft Announces Hit TV Series Grey's Anatomy Video Game

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310w ago - Ubisoft is thrilled to be collaborating with ABC Studios to turn this phenomenal television series into an interactive experience," said Christian Salomon, vice president of worldwide licensing at Ubisoft.

PRESS RELEASE: UBISOFT® SURGICALLY ENHANCES VIDEO GAME PORTFOLIO, ADDING HIT TV SERIES "GREY'S ANATOMY"

LONDON, UK - January 7, 2009 - Today Ubisoft announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with ABC Studios to develop a video game based on the acclaimed television drama series "Grey's Anatomy." Designed for the Wii™, the Nintendo DS™ and PC Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game is scheduled for release early 2009.

In Grey's Anatomy: The Video Game, fans will have a chance to take on the roles of all of their favorite doctors in an all-new original storyline. As each doctor, players will make important personal and professional decisions, explore the direct relationships with each other, and perform the delicate surgeries the series is known for, all through fun and engaging game play.
 

Unanounced Air Combat Game 'Stormbirds' Cancelled by THQ

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311w ago - An unannounced air combat game titled "Stormbirds," in development by Juice Games, was recently cancelled by THQ, according to former Juice artist Greg Calvert.

Stormbirds was set for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC before THQ apparently got cold feet. As a result, the team of over 30 developers was laid off by Juiced owner THQ.

"The game was in the same genre as Ace Combat and HAWX," wrote Calvert in a recent blog post. "THQ deemed the project too high risk, [and] as a result the entire team were made redundant on the 1st of December 2008."

Juice Games was acquired by THQ in 2006. The developer is best known for the "Juiced" series of racing titles.

Rather than see the fruits of their labors go to waste, some renders (below) from the Stormbirds project have been released by both Calvert and Steven Kerswell of CG studio RealtimeUK, along with an intro cinematic which is available from the link at the top of the article.
 
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