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Wii WheelUbisoft’s steering wheel controller for the Wii, essentially a circular frame for the Wii remote, will be included free with two of its launch titles. However, gamers that would like to buy this big piece of molded plastic separately will have to pay $19.99 as reported by GameSpot. Given that there are no electronics in the wheel “add-on” it seems likely that an enterprising third-party could do something very similar for much cheaper.

Read More | GameSpot


Full Auto 3The October 5 RadioOPM podcast for the US Official Playstation Magazine features Mike Gallo, producer of Full Auto 2 for Sega of America. Gallo discusses developing for the Playstation 3, working with the development kits and some of the challenges of developing a launch title.

In addition, Gallo talks about the multiplayer functionality for the game; according to Gallo, Sony’s network should support a single user profile log-on, similar to the way that Xbox Live handles things, but that Sega will be utilizing Gamespy’s matchmaking and ranking technologies for their back-end. While it is interesting to see that at least some of the features found in Xbox Live will make their way to Sony’s Playstation network, the utilization of a third-party back end for Sega’s title may indicate that Sony’s online service, while offering more flexibility on the back end, may not be as integrated a service for the end user as Microsoft’s offering. Hopefully, Sony’s last pre-launch event on October 19th will give gamers more of an idea of what they can expect online. Gallo’s Full Auto comments can be found roughly 22 minutes into the podcast, but there are other interesting discussions, including impressions of Sony’s Playstation 3 console.

Read More | RadioOPM via Rewired Mind

Xbox 360 Ring of LightFry’s has possibly the best deal yet on an Xbox 360 system, for all of you out there mulling over your next-gen console choices. For $370 (shipping included!), you can get the Xbox 360 Platinum console with 3 free games. But these aren’t just any 3 games - the games you’ll find packed-in with your system are three of the best and most well-reviewed 360 titles out there: Dead Rising, Saint’s Row, and Test Drive: Unlimited.

This deal can only be found online at Fry’s Outpost and doesn’t appear to be available in their brick-n-mortar stores yet, so be prepared for this one to go fast. We’re betting that this is part of a broader strategy by Microsoft to find a competitive new price point / package for their year-old console, so we may be seeing this deal or something like it again in the future. Still, if you’ve been thinking about getting a 360, don’t take the chance of missing out on this one!

Special thanks to SlickDeals.net for finding this one!

Read More | Outpost.com via SlickDeals.net

Project Gotham Racing 3 Microsoft announced today that starting on September 23, they will be offering an Xbox 360 bundle in the UK, including an Xbox 360 Premium system, an extra wireless controller, and a copy of Project Gotham Racing 3 for £299.99 ($565 US). This new bundle sells for £30 more than a standard Premium system, and may help to entice more gamers to choose the Xbox 360 platform this Holiday season. So, in the past few days, Microsoft has announced bundles in both Japan and the UK to try and rack up sales, but so far US gamers have been left in the cold.

Read More | Eurogamer

Gran Turismo HD

Word from Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of the Gran Turismo series, indicates that gamers may end up shelling out a lot of money if they want to have a complete set of cars and tracks in the upcoming Gran Turismo: HD. According to translations posted on the Beyond3D forums, Yamauchi spoke to Famitsu about the implementation of micro-transactions in the new game. There will apparently be two versions of the game: Gran Turismo HD: Premium, which will include 2 courses and 30 cars. Another version, Gran Turismo HD: Classic will start with no cars; cars can be purchased for 50 – 100 Yen, and each course will cost 200 – 500 Yen. The game will include 750 cars and 50 tracks, meaning that a gamer looking at getting all the available content would be spending hundreds of dollars. Should this information turn out to be correct, it would appear that Sony has definitely taken the microtransaction economic model to heart.

Read More | Beyond3D Forums

Gran Turismo HD

One of the demonstrations that Sony made at E3 was a super-high resolution version of Gran Turismo, tentatively called Gran Turismo HD. The technical demo utilized the assets from Gran Turismo 4 ran at 1080p resolutions at 60 frames per second. Now, Japanese site Game Watch has made a set of full resolution screen captures from the technical demonstration available for download. At their site, users can grab a ZIP file with 10 high-resolution images. The sharpness of the images is amazing, and the screen grabs show some effects like depth-of-field. The environments are a little sparse, since they are based around the Playstation 2 version of the game, but still give gamers hope for what a full version of Gran Turismo could be for the Playstation 3.

Read More | Game Watch Japan

Black Wii

Earlier this morning IGN Wii posted a ton of photos from a super-secret THQ event showing off their Wii games (including Cars, SpongeBob Squarepants, Avatar, and Barnyard. And up until about 9:30 this morning, there were a ton of photos showing off some new Wii secrets including the Wii Dev Kit, and a black Wii controller. However, it appears that all of the interesting photos from the event have been taken down from IGN now! If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you can still see a few people playing with the black Wiimote, but clicking on the links will just take you to boring photos of the refreshments offered.

Joystiq is still hosting a bunch of the photos, but if Nintendo is behind the IGN photo disappearances, you can bet they won’t last long there either. Perhaps the existence of the black Wii was one of the secrets Nintendo planned to divulge next month?

Read More | IGN Wii via Joystiq

DescriptionLet’s just get straight to the point: Ubisoft today announced that they have been developing seven Wii games which will be available at launch for the console. The titles are: 

  • Red Steel (previously announced)
  • Rayman: Raving Rabbids (previously announced)
  • Far Cry
  • Blazing Angels
  • Open Season
  • Monster 4x4: World Circuit
  • GT Pro Series

A huge surprise (outside of the fact that Ubisoft somehow found a way to keep 5 launch titles for the Wii secret until now) is the addition of Far Cry, a FPS which garnered a lot of praise for its stunning graphics and would seem to run counter to Nintendo’s philosophy of de-emphasising graphical power. It should be a real test of what exactly the Wii can do, given that Far Cry is fairly taxing for even high-end PCs and the Xbox.

In one last piece of news, Ubisoft also announced that they will be releasing “an accessory in GT Pro Series that will make this game a must have”. Hmmm…. Wii steering wheel anyone?

Read More | IGN.com

Xbox 360 logo Microsoft’s Richard Teversham, the Xbox Europe head of marketing, was recently interviewed by British gaming site MCV. In that interview, he teases about “a number of surprises” that will hit in Q4 2006, to counter the launch of Sony’s Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii.

“I don’t want to reveal any plans at the moment because we want to keep a number of surprises up our sleeve. We will ensure we are good value and we’ll do that through having a variety of pricing on games, a variety of pricing on console offers.”

Microsoft has repeatedly denied that the 360 will see a price drop at the end of this year, although they haven’t explicitly denied the existence of a rumored PGR 3 Xbox 360 bundle (as reported here). And it would seem that Teversham’s careful wording on having a variety of “console offers” might give some further weight to this theory. What other surprises might Microsoft have up their sleeves? Well, with Zune expected to launch in Q4 2006, I expect that Microsoft will also be thrilling us with the interactions possible between their media player and the 360.

This all, of course, is great news for consumers who may once again see the days of pack-in games coming standard with consoles. If Nintendo decides to launch the Wii with something like Wii Sports as a pack-in (as has been speculated in a number of venues), and if MS decides to compete using a similar offering, it’ll only be a matter of time before the more expensive PS3 has to pony up.

Read More | MCV UK

Ape Escape BoxWe earlier speculated that Sony would be releasing a list of “Greatest Hits” bargain-priced titles for the PSP. Well, it turns out the rumors were true—Sony has just released a list of titles that will now be available for $20, though it’s somewhat underwhelming (no Lumines!). The list includes lots of PSP games with colons in their title (i.e. remakes / ports)

  • Ape Escape: On the Loose
  • Offroad Fury: Blazin’ Trails
  • Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee
  • Twisted Metal: Head On
  • Wipeout Pure.

More titles will join the Greatest Hits library later in the year, including Lumines, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, Star Wars Battlefront(TM) II, Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 Remix, and Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade.

Read More | Yahoo.com