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.
It's a huge week for new releases in both the U.S. and Europe. Americans are days away from seeing The Darkness on the Xbox 360 and PS3, while both regions will receive licensed titles based upon the Harry Potter and Transformers franchises. Europe alone will enjoy what could be the week's biggest-selling release, however: the Brain Age sequel More Brain Training from Dr Kawashima.
The following list covers all of the game software we know to be available -- across all platforms and regions -- for the week ending June 30th, 2007.
Games Released in the United States:
Nintendo Wii: - The Bigs (#10 on GamerMetrics, 3.34%) - Chicken Shoot - Driver: Parallel Lines - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#9 on GamerMetrics, 5.29%) - Pokemon Battle Revolution (#5 on GamerMetrics, 7.05%) - Ratatouille - Transformers: The Game
Xbox 360: - The Bigs - The Darkness (#1 on GamerMetrics Most Anticipated New Releases, 11.20% Mindshare) - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Hour of Victory - Overlord (#4 on GamerMetrics, 7.24%) - Ratatouille - Transformers: The Game (#7 on GamerMetrics, 5.49%)
PlayStation 3: - The Bigs - The Darkness (#2 on GamerMetrics, 8.10%) - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (#3 on GamerMetrics, 7.75%) - Transformers: The Game (#6 on GamerMetrics, 6.46%)
PlayStation 2: - The Adventures of Darwin - The Bigs - GrimGrimoire - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Ratatouille - Transformers: The Game
Xbox: - Ratatouille
GameCube: - Ratatouille
Nintendo DS: - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Hoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth Remix - Nervous Brickdown - Ratatouille - Touchmaster DS - Vegas Casino High 5!
PlayStation Portable: - The Bigs - Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition (#8 on GamerMetrics, 5.30%) - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Hot Wheels Ultimate Racing - Ratatouille - Steel Horizon - Super Collapse 3 - Traxxpad
Game Boy Advance: - Horsez - Ratatouille
PC: - Driver: Parallel Lines - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Lost Planet: Extreme Condition - Overlord - Ratatouille - Ride! Carnival Tycoon - Seven Kingdoms: Conquest
The United States is set to see one of its biggest release weeks in recent memory, with a total of 50 titles scheduled to debut in the coming days. IGN's GamerMetrics cites the Xbox 360 version of The Darkness as being the single most anticipated title of the lot, with the game predicted to sell as many as 300,000 copies by the end of July, providing that reviews are favorable.
The week is otherwise marked by an abundance of cross-platform ports of games based on licensed properties. It's interesting to note which console's ports are the most anticipated for each licensed release; IGN reports that the Nintendo Wii will host the most awaited versions of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and The Bigs, while the PlayStation 3 is home to the most popular port of Transformers: The Game.
Sony's consoles will also see many more of the week's most popular picks. The PlayStation 3 version of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas in particular is generating a surprisingly high amount of awareness and purchase intent, considering that the initial Xbox 360 version has been available since November of last year. The PlayStation 3 will additionally receive a port of The Darkness (though the Xbox 360 version edges it out slightly in popularity), while PSP owners will soon enjoy the awaited U.S. version of the RPG remake Final Fantasy: Anniversary Edition.
Games Released in Europe:
Nintendo Wii: - Driver: Parallel Lines - G1 Jockey Wii - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
Xbox 360: - Call of Juarez - The Darkness - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Hour of Victory - Overlord - Project Sylpheed - Tenchu Z - Vampire Rain
PlayStation 3: - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas
PlayStation 2: - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Shrek the Third
Game Boy Advance: - Final Fantasy VI Advance
Nintendo DS: - Dino Master - F24: Stealth Fighter - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - MechAssault: Phantom War - More Brain Training from Dr Kawashima: How Old Is Your Brain? - Nacho Libre - Puzzle League DS - Super Black Bass Fishing
PlayStation Portable: - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Hot Brain - SBK'07 - Superbike World Championship - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas
PC: - Driver: Parallel Lines - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Lost Planet: Extreme Condition - Overlord - The Sims 2 Deluxe
Europe's list this week contains the usual mix of late-release localizations and original content, though this particular batch of region-exclusive releases proves to be especially strong. Of the 34 releases set to see European shores this week, the Brain Age sequel More Brain Training from Dr Kawashima: How Old Is Your Brain? is the most likely to top sales charts in future months, as the original release still leads Nintendo DS software sales at Amazon.co.uk on a near-weekly basis.
The UK will additionally receive an exclusive localization of G1 Jockey Wii, and European gamers will enjoy Project Sylpheed and Vampire Rain several weeks before their scheduled U.S. releases.
Games Released in Japan:
Nintendo Wii: - Donkey Kong Taru Jet Race
PlayStation 3: - Marvel Ultimate Alliance - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas
Nintendo DS: - Chuukana Janshi Tenhoo Painyan Remix - Gamics Series Vol. 1: Yokoyama Mitsuteru - San Goku Shi - Vol. 6 - Koumei no Yuigon - Katekyoo Hitman Reborn! DS Frame Rumble Gaikyoushuu - Kawa no Nushi Tsuri: Komorebi no Tani, Seseragi no Uta - Kiku! Kaku! Kotoba o Fuyasu! Hajimete no Eigo Training - KuriKuri DS: Otasuke Island - Maru Kaite DonDon Oboeru: Kyoui no Tsugawa Shiki Kanji Kioku Jutsu - Otona no Joryoku Kentei - Simple DS Series Vol. 16: The Sagasou: Fushigi na Konchuu no Mori - Simple DS Series Vol. 17: The Nezumi no Action Game: Mouse-Town Roddy to Rita no Daibouken - Ukkari o Nakusou! Bunshou Yomi Training (YomiTore) - Uranai Demo Shitemi Youka DS
PlayStation 2: - Baroque - Busou Renkin: Yokosu Papillon Park e - Juujimoto Ripputai Sypher: Game of Survival - Majokko A La Mode II - Que: Ancient Leaf no Yousei - Shinseiki Evangelion: Battle Orchestra - Super Robot Taisen Original Generations - Tales of Fandom Vol. 2 (Luke Version) - Tales of Fandom Vol. 2 (Tia Version) - Urban Chaos
PlayStation Portable: - Chuukana Janshi Tenhoo Painyan Remix - E'tude Prologue: Yureugoku Kokoro no Katachi Portable - Me de Unou wo Kitaeru: Sokudoku Jutsu Portable - Ratchet & Clank 5: Gekitotsu! Dodeka Ginga no MiriMiri Gundan - Secret of Evangelion Portable - Talkman Shiki Shabe Lingual Eikaiwa for Kids!
Brain trainers and anime licenses appear to make up the bulk of this week's Japanese releases, though several unique titles stand out. Among this week's offerings, both versions of Tales of Fandom Vol. 2 currently lead in preorder sales at Amazon.co.jp, though Baroque and Kiku! Kaku! Kotoba o Fuyasu! Hajimete no Eigo Training are also pulling in ample presales in the days prior to their release.
Casual importers may find little of interest in this week's list outside of the obvious Evangelion and Super Robot Taisen releases, however. Otherwise, Donkey Kong Taru Jet Race may be worth a look for Nintendo fans and for those looking for a unique take on the racing genre -- the U.S. equivalent, DK Bongo Blast, has yet to receive an official release date, and it could be several months before the title appears in translated form.
[About IGN GamerMetrics: IGN GamerMetrics is an interactive tool designed to report the real-time behavior and interests of visitors to IGN Entertainment's network of gaming enthusiast web sites. Using data collected from IGN's readers, GamerMetrics shows the levels of consumer awareness, engagement, and purchase intent in every video game title released in the U.S. market.]