Gamasutra's regular round-up of worldwide video game releases, "Release This!", takes a look at every game title we know to be shipping to stores this week, in an exclusively compiled list.
This week's charts show a dramatic slowing of new releases in the United States and Europe, though a few notable titles like Elebits and Metal Slug Anthology will debut just in time to meet the upcoming rush of holiday shoppers.
Japan, on the other hand, will have no shortage of new releases in the coming week, with big names like Fushigi no Dungeon: Fuurai no Shiren DS, Ryuusei no RockMan, and Pokémon Battle Revolution soon to take the nation by storm.
The following list covers all of the game software we know to be available -- across all platforms and regions -- for the week ending December 16, 2006.
Games Released in the United States:
Nintendo Wii: - Chicken Little: Ace in Action - Elebits - Far Cry: Vengeance - Metal Slug Anthology - Super Swing Golf - World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions
Xbox 360: - Rapala Tournament Fishing! - Star Trek: Legacy
PlayStation 3: - Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
PlayStation 2: - College Hoops 2K7
GameCube: - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Zatch Bell! Mamodo Fury
Nintendo DS: - Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy - Lionel Trains: On Track - Star Wars: Lethal Alliance
PlayStation Portable: - Blitz: Overtime - Shrek Smash n' Crash Racing
PC: - Alexey's Dwice - Football Mogul 2007 - Rayman Raving Rabbids - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas - World War II Online: Battleground Europe
With few other notable titles debuting across other platforms, the Wii is the console to watch in the United States this week. In the next several days, the Wii will receive a number of highly anticipated releases, including Konami's Elebits and SNK Playmore's Metal Slug Anthology, which was originally announced as a Wii launch title but was delayed multiple times since.
Meanwhile, the GameCube will enjoy what appears to be its final two releases: the anime-licensed Zatch Bell! Mamodo Fury, and the awaited port of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Elsewhere, few other major titles can be found this week, though new U.S. releases should pick up again soon after the end of the holiday season.
Games Released in Europe:
Nintendo Wii: - Gottlieb Pinball Classics - Marvel: Ultimate Alliance - SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
Nintendo DS: - Catz - Dogz - Hamsterz - Nintendo MP3 Player - Star Wars: Lethal Alliance
GameCube: - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
PlayStation Portable: - The Sims 2: Pets - WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007
PC: - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas
Like the United States, Europe suffers a steep drop in new releases this week thanks to the upcoming holiday. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will likely be of interest to many GameCube owners, but otherwise, this week's European lineup across all platforms consists largely of licensed titles and cross-platform ports.
Again, this downturn should prove to be only temporary, however, as January should once again bring weekly releases in the amount gamers have come to expect.
Games Released in Japan:
Nintendo Wii: - Bleach Wii: Hakujin Kirameku Rondo - Pokémon Battle Revolution - Rabbids Party
Xbox 360: - Chikyuu Boueigun 3 - Oneechanbara vorteX - Phantasy Star Universe - Winning Eleven X
PlayStation 3: - MotorStorm
PlayStation 2: - beatmania IIDX 12 Happy Sky - Daisenryaku VII Exceed - Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 13 Chou Ketteiban - Nobunaga no Yabou Online: Haten no Shou - TOCA Race Driver 2: Ultimate Racing Simulator - Wild Arms: The Vth Vanguard
PlayStation Portable: - Daisenryaku Portable 2 - Kanji Trainer Portable - Maplus: Portable Navi - P-Kara - TOCA Race Driver 2: Ultimate Racing Simulator - Winning Eleven 10: Ubiquitous Evolution
Nintendo DS: - Chocobo to Mahou no Ehon - Fushigi no Dungeon: Fuurai no Shiren DS - Gintama: Gintoki vs Hijikata!? Kabukichou Gintama Dai Soudatsusen!! - Kabushiki Baibai Trainer Kabutore! - Keiba Navi: Umanosuke - Naruto: Shinobi Retsuden - Oshare Princess DS: Oshare ni Koishite! - Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary - Puzzle Series Vol. 8: Nankuro - Quiz! Nihongo-Ou - Ryuusei no RockMan: Dragon - Ryuusei no RockMan: Leo - Ryuusei no RockMan: Pegasus - The Sims 2: Pet Wan Nyan Life - SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters DS - Touch de Tanoshimu Hyakunin Isshu: DS Shigureden
PC: - Sakura Taisen V Desktop Theater
While other regions see a slowdown in video game releases, Japan has numerous titles to look forward to in the coming week. Among these are several games that have attracted big preorder numbers in the weeks leading up to their release. Fushigi no Dungeon: Fuurai no Shiren DS currently leads preorder sales across all platforms in Japan, and titles like Pokémon Battle Revolution and Wild Arms: The Vth Vanguard have attracted a significant amount of prerelease attention as well.
The Xbox 360 also continues to gain headway in Japan, with momentum earned by last week's release of the popular Blue Dragon almost certain to result in an increase in sales for this week's releases. All of the week's upcoming Xbox 360 offerings are currently pulling in decent preorder numbers, and should prove to be popular among Japan's recent influx of new Xbox 360 owners.