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Nintendo shortage Wii-lly hurts company

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354w ago - Stacks of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. When I asked where the Wiis were, a saleswoman gave a small snort and shook her head. The store was out.

It's a common scenario across the country, and in other parts of the world. A year after its release, the console that many expected would be in third place has become a hit of such proportions that people still line up overnight to buy one. I've had a Wii since its launch, and spent a good chunk of the weekend playing "Super Mario Galaxy." This console definitely holds up over time. [readmore]

Wii mania is in full swing right now, with the system selling for $400 or $500 on eBay. And while it's great to be making the must-have gift this year, Nintendo execs are rightfully bemoaning the missed opportunities the shortage is creating.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime recently said the high demand is keeping the company from its goal of selling the Wii to non-traditional gamers, such as women and 40- and 50-year olds who aren't video game fans.

"They aren't going to sleep outside of a store overnight or visit a retailer five or six times," he said. "It is literally a missed opportunity."

Fils-Aime was more critical in another interview: "A shortage benefits no one," he said. "We're disappointed. This was...
 

Eidos cagey on new Lara title

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354w ago - Eidos has kept quiet over suggestions that new Lara outing will be called Tomb Raider: Underworld.

Suggestions it would don the title erupted after the publisher filed a US trademark for the name, spotted by the keen eyes of specialist site Trademork.

The filing will apparently cover both retail and digital distribution of the game, hinting that we could see it offered on Live in a similar way to Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Or it could mean we will simply be offered it on Steam like the rest of Eidos' catalogue.

Additional details are scant, other than rumblings it will be centred around the last five days of the Mayan Calendar, where portals between our world and the Underworld open and let nasty things have their way.

Eidos unveiled plans to expand on its Tomb Raider series earlier this year in a financial statement, alongside with promises it would extend Hitman, Just Cause and Championship Manager franchises.

Meanwhile those of you hungry for a bit of Lara should pop over to our Tomb Raider: Anniversary review to find out why it scored nearly top marks.
 

Lyon GDC: Dyack discusses the 'one console future inevitability'

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354w ago - Attendees to the first day of Lyon GDC found themselves in the midst of an economic theory debate sparked by Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack earlier today, with the outspoken studio boss repeating his prediction of a one console future for the games industry.

Making reference to theories regarding commodification and the history of technology, Dyack said that in time "economic trends will overpower [first party publishers] whether they want it to or not and it will be inevitable" leading to an industry making games for one single console, rather than two or three Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo made devices.

Pointing to the printing press, automobiles, cameras and cell phones, he said that there is historical precedent for technology to eventually standardise itself: "This is something that has occurred over hundreds of years across the history of technology," he said.

While Dyack was quick to say that he wasn't prepared to predict the specifics of such an 'inevitability', purely the end result, he was happy to point to the various conflicting market forces prevalent in model console game development which would bring it about, claiming that "the current business climate will accelerate the move towards this.

"Today's market is not open, it's monopolistic," he added, pointing...
 

Xbox LIVE Arcade Titles Available Tomorrow at Discounted Prices

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354w ago - Microsoft has sent word that top-selling arcade titles will be reduced in prize tomorrow. Microsoft also provided a list of all the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade titles coming out before the end of the year.

This week's Xbox LIVE Arcade Wednesday is coming a day early with the Tuesday, Dec. 4 launch of the Arcade Hits program, offering some of the best-selling Xbox LIVE Arcade games at permanently reduced prices. Timed with the Xbox LIVE Fall Update, Arcade Hits can be found within the Xbox LIVE Arcade section of the new Game Store, making it easier than ever to build a library of great downloadable games. The first games to become Arcade Hits:

"Bankshot Billiards 2" (PixelStorm). "Bankshot Billiards 2" improves on the original with nine game styles: classic 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Cutthroat, Euro 8-Ball, 14.1 Continuous, 3-Ball, Trick Shots, Time Trial and Golf. The game will be available for 800 Microsoft Points.

"Lumines LIVE!" (Q Entertainment Inc.). "Lumines LIVE!" is a deep and entertaining game experience, enhanced with vibrant music and newly designed skins that players can custom-select in Skin Edit mode. The game will be available for 800 Microsoft Points.

"Marble Blast Ultra" (Garage Games). In "Marble Blast Ultra," players compete against each other by...
 

CoD5, Guitar Hero 4 "in pipeline"

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354w ago - Activision Blizzard merger fact sheet reveals new games in development.

Activision has officially revealed that Call of Duty 5, Guitar Hero 4 and a new Tony Hawk's game are in "the pipeline".

Tucked away in a fact sheet explaining the mega-merger between Activision and Vivendi is the little nugget revealing that sequels to three of 2007's biggest games are in the works.

We all assumed that the sequels were inevitable, but this is the first time we have seen official confirmation from the game's publisher, Activision. Call of Duty 4 is currently riding high in the charts and enjoying stellar review scores. Guitar Hero 3 is selling amazingly internationally, and DLC is already in place to keep gamers interested. It's an important time for the Tony Hawk series too, with renewed pressure from excellent alternative Skate. Sequels to all three are likely to be key titles for the newly formed company.

As well as that, the fact sheet details already semi-confirmed news that it is developing "new DreamWorks titles, new Marvel titles and entry into racing with Bizarre", the development studio responsible for the Project Gotham Racing series.

Speculating, the new DreamWorks titles will probably be games based on upcoming and existing DreamWorks films, such as Kung-Fu Panda and...
 
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