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Xplorer Xbox 360 Guitar Hero ControllerA few sites out there were reporting yesterday about supposed problems with the whammy bar on the Xbox 360 Guitar Hero “Xplorer” controller. Today, a rep from RedOctane responded to these rumors, stating that they were categorically untrue and had not heard of any systematic problems with the controller… they offered the following up for users who are having problems with the guitar.

“We’re currently in the process of having our internal QA and production teams look into this possible issue, and are working to quickly isolate this if there is one,” he stated. “In the meantime, we suggest our fans try to replug in their guitars without holding down any buttons or the whammy bar, and that may help immediately resolve the issue.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if this “fixed” a lot of the problems folks have been seeing - I’m sure there are more than a few gamers out there that may have accidentally mis-zeroed the controls. Now just remember to put the disc in shiny-side down too, OK?

Read More | Next Generation.biz

Gallery: RedOctane Denies Faulty 360 Guitar Rumors, Gives Suggestions


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Guitar Hero Kid As we had guessed a few times before, MTV, Harmonix and EA are working together to suck the Guitar Hero well dry. The news today is that these three companies will be working together to produce Rock Band, a GH-like game that will include new peripherals that will let you drum, sing, and of course strum your way to rockstar fame. Looks like it’s time to make some more room in your home for gaming peripherals - given that the Guitar Hero guitar is nearly real-guitar sized, we can only imagine how big the Rock Band drum set is going to be… or perhaps they’ll build some nifty motion-sensing drumsticks?

With online play, killer peripherals, and a pretty hot looking list of record labels signing on, this game could be huge… both in the metaphorical AND physical sense. Hopefully the controller(s) won’t make the game as expensive as a new console, though. Rock Band is currently announced for the PS3 and Xbox 360 although developers have hinted that a Wii version is also in the works.

Click the jump for the full press release…

Click to continue reading Rock Band - Make Room for the Peripherals

Read More | USA Today

Gallery: Rock Band - Make Room for the Peripherals


Boogie

Electronic Arts had previously announced both that it would be focusing more of its development efforts on original IP as well as moving resources to Nintendo’s Wii. Today, EA revealed an original IP game for the Wii called Boogie, a party-style game that will combing dancing and karaoke-style gameplay, which would seem to lend credence to a Wii microphone peripheral in the future. The game is being developed by EA Montreal, developers of SSX Blur. The game’s character design definitely looks interesting, and hopefully third-party developers continue to bring original creations to Nintendo’s console.

Read More | Gamasutra

Gallery: EA Announces Wii-Exclusive Boogie


HarmonixEA announced at the GDC that they would be publishing a new title from the MTV/Harmonix partnership. While Harmonix has been booted off of the Guitar Hero franchise with Activision’s acquisition of Red Octane, the next title from one of the big names in the music game genre is drawing a lot of attention. Unfortunately, aside from the detail that EA is publishing this next mystery game and that the parties involved believe that this is their most ambitious title to date. It may be hard to follow up the fantastic success of the the Guitar Hero games, but Harmonix may be the developer to do this.

Read More | Mercury News

Gallery: EA Partners With MTV, Harmonix


the iPhoneThe iPhone looks to be one of the first great, albeit pricy, “convergence” gadgets out there. Running a version of MacOS X that will allow you to surf the web, play 4GB worth of MP3s, watch videos (in near-widescreen format), and make phonecalls, the iPhone holds a lot of promise. Still, nothing’s been mentioned yet about the real reason folks will be picking up this $499/$599 monster - it’s a new way to play Snood, Solitaire, and Bejeweled on the go!

Apple may not have announced anything yet, but Gamesindustry.biz is reporting that Electronic Arts is in talks with Apple to produce games for the new gadget. EA has already produced games for the ubiquitous Apple iPod, including translations of Mahjong, Mini-Golf, Tetris, and Sudoku built for its click-wheel interface. Given that the iPhone will have a multi-touch interface, a faster processor, and a nice widescreen display, it seems that EA could be able to produce some really advanced content for this piece of hardware. Perhaps a Madden clone where you can draw-out your playbook on the screen? Or a first-person shooter where you aim and shoot with touch-controls? We’ll have to wait and see how ambitious EA gets, but it’s looking like there’s a lot of promise in this platform.

Read More | GamesIndustry.biz

Gallery: What Will iPhone Gaming Be Like?


Spore ScreenshotIt might not be the most gamer-oriented interview of all time, but at 8 full pages, this interview with Will Wright, the designer of Sim City and the upcoming Spore, covers a lot of territory and contains some interesting discussion of gamer interactions, the social nature of games, game theory, and the risks of the game industry. He also gives his opinion on a lot of current trends, like the Wii’s control scheme (he likes it), and Second life (interesting, but he doesn’t have enough time for it).

This is a great read for anyone in the game industry or anyone who’s just interested in the sociology of games.

Read More | Popular Science

Gallery: Popular Science Profiles Will Wright and Spore


Street HomecourtAfter Sega bragged about bringing true 1080P to the Xbox 360 for the first time, EA stepped up today to say that they would actually be the first to have a 1080P native title. Representatives from EA talked to Gamasutra, and they noted that the upcoming February release of NBA Street Homecourt would support the full 1080P resolution on the Xbox 360 at 30 frames per second and would beat Virtua Tennis 3 to market by a month. Perhaps during the two weeks before Street is released, someone else will step up and steal the 1080P crown yet again.

Read More | Gamasutra

Gallery: EA Wants Xbox 360 1080P Bragging Rights


HL2 Orange Box PS3EA and Valve Software officially announced the Half-Life 2: Episode Two packages that will be available at retail for the PC, Xbox 360, and the Playstation 3. Gamespot reports that two retail SKUs will be available, the Orange Box, which will include Half-Life 2, Episodes 1 & 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. This box will be available on the PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. The Black Box, only available for the PC will include Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. Pricing was not discussed for either set. Slipped into the announcement was a change in the release date; the game is no longer set for a summer release and is now targeted for the fall or winter quarter. One of the supposed advantages of the episodic release format was a shorter development cycle between releases; now it appears that Episode 2 will hit retail around 18 months after the release of Episode 1. We know Valve likes to release things when they are ready, but the continued delays are getting to be tiresome.

Read More | Gamespot

Gallery: Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed Again


SporeEA confirmed their continuing commitment to both of Nintendo’s gaming platforms today. Next Generation reports that during EA’s conference call to investors, the company asserted that they are actively directing resources to publishing games on the Wii and the DS, including one of 2007’s most anticipated titles, Wil Wright’s Spore. The company did not suggest a release window for the game. Some of Maxis’ other “god-game” franchises were mentioned, including My Sims and SimCity. Assuming that Spore can live up to the hype, a version of the game on the DS would be yet another way for the handheld to expand its audience.

Read More | Next Generation

Gallery: EA Confirms Spore For DS


Sim City DS ScreensIt can’t be long until Nintendo and EA announce that Sim City DS will also be hitting the states… this footage just looks too good, and Nintendo fanboys will be whining A LOT if this doesn’t get ported state-side. Plus Will Wright’s native language is English, so we should get a game with him speaking English… right?!?

The trailer found in the link is the latest advertisement for the Japanese version of the game, and shows of the variety of ways in which the touch-screen is used. This is looking to be a fabulous fit for the DS. The touch screen is of course used to design buildings and layout roads, but you’ll see in the trailer that you can also use the stylus to do things like fight off alien invaders and giant apes that attack from time to time. Hopefully we’ll hear some news from EA soon about a US release…

Read More | GameBrink.com

Gallery: Sim City DS Trailer - Currently for Japan Only?


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