Don’t forget Wii … like that would happen

Feel the power of the official Wii press release. Hopefully, this’ll answer some of the questions you may have. Note the “experience” videos on the Web site. Also check out the very clothing-store like photos with people playing the system. I have yet to see any Wii players get into it THIS MUCH in person, but hey, who knows?

Anyway, the press release I got is on the jump.

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PS3 = Red October

They’re both big, and they both run silent. At least that’s what I gathered from a Joystiq posting comparing how the PS3 runs compared to the noise-creating 360, which actually started to frighten my wife and I when I first fired it up. “Wait, what the hell is it doing … is that how it SOUNDS?” Yep.

The small posting explained how most of the heat generated in the PS3 leaves the machine via the large side vents, so it probably isn’t going to overheat, as poorly aired-out 360s have a tendency to do. Good to know. But it’s still the size of a small tombstone, so I have no idea where it would go in my home. Plus, I don’t want it to start waking up my toys or hurling eggs at the wall.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane …

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… it’s on Xbox Live. The demo for EA’s “Superman Returns” is now available for 360 owners, which means fans can now get a feel for how the Man of Steel is going to handle his next-gen business.

It sounds like a decent-sized demo, with five missions spread out over two chapters. Players are supposed to get a well-rounded sample of all the stuff Superman has to do. Unlike previous hero titles, Superman doesn’t have a life meter — Metropolis does. That means if you keep screwing up in your defense of the city, the meter drops, and Superman “fails” rather than dies. (seriously, what’s gonna hurt him other than Kryptonite? Bullets?)

The demo ends with a battle against Metallo and lots of robots. It’s Superman — he HAS to bash robots.

Want ‘Halo 3′ multiplayer? Do you?

Microsoft announced that next spring, it’s going to put on an open beta test for “Halo 3″ multiplayer in spring of 2007, exclusively on the Xbox 360.

According to the story from GameSpot, Microsoft is planning to air an ad on Dec. 4 during “Monday Night Football” (what, no Super Bowl commercial? boo!).

Meanwhile, “Halo 2,” the first-person crack of choice for current-gen Xbox owners, is getting some new multiplayer maps in the spring, but you’ll only be able to get them if you have a 360.

Less than 48 hours away …

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As expected, there are a lot of people stacked outside of the Best Buys, Circuit Cities and Targets waiting to get their hands on a PS3 or a Wii. Also as expected, a lot of people are going to be putting their newly purchased next-gen systems on eBay — and they’re going for about $1,500 to $2,000.

I also got a next-gen system this week — my freshly repaired 360 came back to me in the mail, so this means more “Gears of War” in the peace of my own home, and probably moving onto “Tony Hawk’s Project 8.” I’m hoping the Arena lounge picks up a PS3, or Wii, or both. No big rush, though. Since all I’d get to look at would be launch titles I’ve already seen, I can wait a little. Maybe.

I talked to some of the people lined up outside of Circuit City in Rancho Cucamonga. There’s no midnight thing going on at that store, but they’re opening up early to accommodate the masses. The most popular answer I got in terms of games for the PS3 was “Madden.” Other than that, most of them wanted to put it up for sale online. One lady wanted to buy a PS3, sell it, and then donate half the money to a charity to help children in Romania. Massive damage to poverty! Riiidge Racer!!

(By the way, Bulletin photographer Walter Richard Weis ftw on the photo!)

‘Gears of War’ — first impressions

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Within gamer circles, “Gears of War” was approaching the kind of supernatural hype hoops fans had for LeBron James before he broke into the NBA. Like Bron, fans never really questioned whether “Gears” was going to be good — it was just a matter of how good. Like King James, we had been hearing about the supposed greatness of “Gears” for a while — in this case, about a year.

So, how good is it? After a full day and night of playing it at the Arena Lounge, I can sum up my first-day feeling in five words …

Wow. This game’s for real.

Rarely — and I mean “struck-by-lightning rarely” — does a game live up to massive amounts of pre-release hype. A good point was brought up on the Wednesday AGI about that. The hype for “Gears” didn’t come from the designers, really. We didn’t get any two-page magazine ads telling us how much a game was going to “kick our ass,” nor did were we bombarded with self-promoting soundbites. At least I didn’t witness anything like that — I just got the vibe that Epic was making something they were proud of, and that we as gamers would really enjoy. And enjoying it I am.

All right, onto the game. Warning … I mention a few creatures and weapons, so if those count as spoilers, then perhaps you should stop now, or at least tread VERY carefully.

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Movies, TV shows coming to Xbox Live

Microsoft is celebrating Year 1 of the 360′s existence by allowing gamers and other 360 users to download high-def movies and TV shows. Aw yeah.

Starting Nov. 22, stuff from CBS, MTV, Paramount Pictures, Turner Broadcasting, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be available for purchase. Episodes of shows like “Numb3rs” and “CSI” will be there, as well as a group of 50 Ultimate Fighting bouts. I want to check those out — and it has nothing to do with the fact that I play video games.

Here’s a list of more items that’ll be downloadable on Live, so say they:

-Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force from The Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
-CSI, Survivor, and remastered episodes of classic Star Trek from CBS.
-Emmy and Peabody award-winning comedy South Park and Chappelle’s Show from COMEDY CENTRAL.
-The Real World and Pimp My Ride from MTV.
-Avatar: The Last Airbender and SpongeBob SquarePants from Nickelodeon.
-Skyland and The Nicktoons Network Animation Festival from Nicktoons Network.
-Mission: Impossible III, Nacho Libre, and Jackass: The Movie from Paramount Pictures.
-Carpocalypse and Raising the Roofs from Spike TV.
-Race Rewind provided by NASCAR.COM.
-Select episodes of the original season of The Ultimate Fighter reality series and UFC: All Access from the UFC.
-Breaking Bonaduce and Hogan Knows Best from VH1.
-The Matrix, Superman Returns, and Batman Forever from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

It’s times like this where I really want my 360 to get back from the shop. Soon. Now.

Death Adder, we meet again

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SEGA announced the shipping of “Sega Genesis Collection” for the PS2, which’ll transport some of the slightly more aged gamers back to the SNES-Genesis battles of the ’90s. There are 30 titles in the collection, including:

- Altered Beast
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Shinobi III
- Phantasy Star (but which one?)
- Golden Axe

The release mentioned how the games were “reproduced with the utmost detail and accuracy to the originals.” I wonder if that means I can find the glitchy “sweet spot” in Golden Axe where I could slash barbarians with my sword forever — and they’d NEVER die. I even remember the sound of the 5-hit combos, which always were: slash, SLASH (second slash brings ‘em to their knees), two knocks on the dome, then a thudding kick to the chest. Then enemies would scream in a muffled “aaah” as they did the “death fade” into obilvion. I miss the death fade sometimes. It was clean and efficient — I wish my leftovers did that. Though the screams would be a little creepy.

Take-Two taking ‘Fantastic Four’ follow-up

Yep. There’s a sequel coming out.

Take-Two announced today that it’s publishing “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” which will be based on the comic and of course, the movie coming out in June. Visual Concepts and Seven Studios have been tagged with the ever-formidible task of making a superhero game that isn’t going to be pilloried by gamers — but probably loved by little kids, for the simple fact that stuff looks pretty and things blow up. The game is being made for next- and current-gen consoles, as well as handheld systems.

Game companies = E3′s gatekeepers

Oh my. The Entertainment Software Association told GameSpot that while the ESA itself handled E3 attendance in the past, this time it the ESA’s members that will be making the call as to who gets to go to gaming’s biggest ball come July ’07.

The story asks how one gets on “the list,” and ESA major domo Doug Lowenstein said, “I’d go to ESA members and make your case.” The ESA list includes the Big Three and practically every major game company there is.

I’m guessing “I’m with the band” isn’t going to cut it. The amount of sucking up by bloggers and small fansites will reach hurricane force.