Expanding its reach as a games publisher, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced that it is setting up office in Europe, catering to the region. Its operation includes direct distribution, sales and marketing of its internally-developed titles, through the US-based production arm WB Games, as well as third-party games.
The company is currently setting up offices in London and is recruiting sales and marketing executives for it, as well as in a number of other territories in the region including Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
WBIE will release its first titles later this Fall – Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal on PS2, Wii and Xbox 360; and Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck on the DS.
A dedicated game site for BlackSite: Area 51 has gone live, offering up game details, screenshots and other media from the upcoming alien-shooter. It is set for release this October on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360; demos for PC and Xbox 360 will be announced soon.
EA and 10tacle have announced that they have signed a distribution agreement to release Boulder Dash Rocks! Across Europe this Holiday season. This remake of the cult classic is being developed for the PSP and DS.
Jörg Rohrer, Business Development Director at Electronic Arts Germany on the new edition of the famous diamond hunt, “We are incredibly pleased with the new approach the 10TACLE STUDIOS has taken on the classic Boulder Dash® brand. The game has been immensely popular throughout the years and offers an enormous amount of variety for a fun, casual digital gaming experience.”
This puzzle game made its original debut in the early 80s, having players collect diamonds while avoiding traps and beating opponents to reach them. The remake features a new multiplayer mode and three additional play modes, as well as two new game modes designed for the two different platforms.
According to this site, Microsoft has announced at IFA in Germany that they have cut the price of the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive by €20 to €180. It is not currently confirmed.
Europeans looking forward to getting their fix of Halo 3 can look forward to accessories inspired by the game. Microsoft will release limited edition Xbox 360 Halo 3-themed wireless controllers in the region starting September 26.
The controllers have been designed by Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn, which features both the Covenant Brute and Master Chief themes. Both are fade and scratch-resistance and come with a figurine of Master Chief designed by McFarlane himself. It will retail for £34.99. The other accessory is a Spartan green and gold wireless headset that will go for the same price.
Fingers twitching to chat? The Xbox 360 Messenger kit will also be available in the region starting September 7. This add-on for the controller enables users to text message quickly and efficiently with friends and family. It will retail for £24.99.
Nintendo has announced that over one million units of the Wii have been sold in the UK, making it the fastest selling home console in the region. It crossed the milestone in just 38 weeks, some 11 weeks faster than the PS2 which took 50 weeks, as well as the Xbox 360 which took 60 weeks to reach the major milestone.
David Yarnton, General Manager of Nintendo UK commented, “The non-stop demand for Wii even in the traditionally slow sales periods for video games in the UK is clearly behind this record breaking achievement. The performance of both systems appears to indicate that unprecedented interactive entertainment experiences, provided by a combination of the revolutionary nature of DS and Wii with the increasing number of unique software titles for the system from Nintendo and third parties, are being enjoyed by both avid and new gamers of all ages.”
The Wii is sold in the country for £179 and is part of the company’s Touch Generations campaign.
Atari has announced Lucky Luke: Go West! For PC, Wii and Nintendo DS. An upcoming animated movie tie-in of the same name, the game features the film’s titular character set loose in the Wild West. The film itself is set for release this December in France and other European territories, following the game’s release in Autumn.
Inspired by the cucumber-cool cowboy’s adventures in the comic book ‘The Caravan’, Lucky Luke: Go West! lets players jump into his spurred boots for a thrill-a-minute journey escorting the notorious Dalton brothers to New York to stand trial. Of course, the Daltons do what they do best – they escape, rob banks, wreak havoc and blow stuff up. Throw in the tenacious Lucky Luke, his faithful steed Jolly Jumper, tribes of deadly Indians, cops by the cart-load, and a vast wagon train where the Daltons mislay their ill-gotten gains and the result is a wild world of hilarious new western adventures.
Play as a selection of different characters from the famous stories, including the Daltons and of course Luke himself, through the fun and colourful environments from the parched western desert to the mean streets of the Big Apple. A host of frenetic mini-games will test much more than the speed of the player’s draw with chaotic shooting, drawing, steering, dancing and music games. Take on the story mode solo or invite up to 3 friends to join in for party mode mayhem and see who really does have the fastest draw in the west.
Shooting faster than his shadow, Lucky Luke fights crime and injustice across the wild plains of the old west. Lucky Luke is one of the most popular and best-selling comic-book series in Europe with more than 250 million comic books sold in 20 countries. A total of 80 comic books, four feature length animated cartoons, two live action films, three cartoon series and five video games have been released to date, and the award-winning ‘The New Adventures of Lucky Luke’ animated TV series is currently broadcast in more than 20 countries worldwide from France to Indonesia.
The game is in development at Tate Interactive (PC, Wii) and Neko (DS). It is only currently scheduled for Europe; no plans for other territories were announced.
More new games are making their way to Wii’s Virtual Console service. This week’s Euro offering includes Wrecking Crew (NES), Lunar Pool (NES) and Neutopia (Turbografx). Scoop:
Originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987, Wrecking Crew sees Mario take on the unique role of demolition engineer. Players must identify the most effective route through the many enemy infested levels before demolishing all the structures. With a level editor allowing players to save and play their own creations as well as support for two players, Wrecking Crew™ is a blast for 500 Wii Points.
If you’re looking for something more traditional, why not have a go at Lunar Pool originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991? Lunar Pool reinvents the classic game of pool by giving it a quirky and futuristic flair. Simply hit the cue ball with your cue and get as many of the other balls into the pockets as possible. With interchangeable features including different ball arrangements, multi-player and a varying degree of friction on the table, this game is sure to bring out the competitive side in anyone. Lunar Pool is available on Virtual Console this week for 500 Wii Points.
Rounding off this week’s Virtual Console offering is 1990 Turbografx classic Neutopia. This classic action RPG follows a young boy who sets off on an epic adventure to free a captive princess and recover medallions stolen by an evil Demon. Players must travel across land, sea and sky, solving puzzles and navigating through labyrinths as they hunt for hidden treasure and powerful equipment to aid them in their quest. Neutopia is available now for 600 Wii points.
In its final announcement, SCEE announced the PlayTV, a combined TV tuner and personal video recorder (PVR) for the PS3. It will be available in UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain early in 2008, with other territories to follow course.
Designed to reinforce PS3’s rightful place in the Living Room at the heart of the home entertainment needs, the twin channel TV tuner peripheral and PVR software turns PS3 into a state of the art TV recorder, allowing users to watch, pause and record live TV. PlayTV will also record individual programmes or whole series1 to the PS3 hard drive for viewing later on the family TV, or for transferring to the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) for remote viewing outside of the home.
Operating on the widely available Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial (DVB-T) format, PlayTV uses an incredibly quick and easy to use 7-day Electronic Programme Guide EPG2. that provides the navigation for programming the PVR features of PlayTV.
In line with PlayStation’s focus on advanced technology made easy, PlayTV provides a host of added value features seldom seen on anything but the highest cost standalone PVRs:
- PlayTV’s two TV tuners are High Definition ready and are able to view, record and play back High Definition signals in full HD1080P to fully complement PS3’s already impressive High Definition credentials.
- Unlike the electronic programme guides found on conventional satellite and cable services, PlayTV’s EPG is lightning fast, and simple to use with either PS3’s SIXAXIS™ wireless controller or the BD remote control to really enhance viewing pleasure.
- Intuitive controls, single button help features, tutorial videos and simple navigation make PlayTV a positive joy to use compared with the complexity of some standalone PVR models
- Seamless connectivity with PSP allows you to set recordings, watch Live TV and recorded TV programmes remotely on PSP via a Wi-Fi connection (using Remote Play feature). Alternatively, quickly transcode recorded TV shows for high quality viewing to PSP by USB cable for remote viewing away from the home.
- Optional on-screen graphical display provides a wealth of information about the status of PlayTV and provides quick access to programme information, stored TV programmes and the controls to pause or record live TV. PlayTV will also set the correct interface for either Standard Definition or High Definition displays, maximising the viewing experience.
- PlayTV will evolve with time, with great added value functionality being updated via PLAYSTATION®Network; a feature that sets it above all other set top boxes. PlayTV will never be out of date.
No pricing details were announced.
SCEE also announced that the PSP Slim and Lite will be available across all SCEE territories from September 5 onwards for €169.
Exclusive to the region for a limited time will be two limited edition PSP bundles. First up is the Spiderman bundle which includes a PSP in Spiderman Red and Black and a copy of the Spider-Man 2 game and a Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray disc. The other bundle will come in a “fetching” shade of Simpsons Yellow, which will come bundled with The Simpsons game. Both bundles will be available for €199.99.