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Newsbriefs:  Gears of War  DLC, New Virtual Console Content, GamerMetrics Scores

Newsbriefs: Gears of War DLC, New Virtual Console Content, GamerMetrics Scores

January 8, 2007 | By Staff

January 8, 2007 | By Staff
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[UPDATED: 3:55pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of new downloadable multiplayer maps for Microsoft's massively popular Gears of War, new Virtual Console content for Nintendo's Wii, including Konami's side-scrolling classic shooter Gradius, and a million shipped for Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.

- Based on the light release schedule in the U.S. this week, IGN's GamerMetrics first most anticipated titles list for the new year has been shortened from a top ten to a top five. The overwhelming chart-topper this week is Capcom's highly anticipated Xbox 360 shooter Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, with a 98.48% mindshare score, which, IGN posits, will drive it to similar launch success as Dead Rising and Saint's Row enjoyed before it. Following Lost Planet is Atari's licensed title, Arthur and the Invisibles available this week on the PS2, DS, and GBA, with a collective 1.37% mindshare. Finally, Lucinda Green's Equestrian Challenge, Heart of Empire: Rome and Backyard Basketball 2007, all PC titles, round out the top five, each with a fraction of a percent mindshare.

- Midway Games has announced that its final current-gen volume in the Mortal Kombat series, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, has shipped more than one million units worldwide. Released in mid-October for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Armageddon is slated for a Wii release in April 2007, and, Midway notes, can also be played on the Xbox 360 through a recent backward compatibility patch. The company also has said that its franchise action/adventure game, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has also shipped a million copies worldwide. Midway president and CEO David Zucker said, "For the last Mortal Kombat on current generation consoles our Chicago studio continues to deliver on amazing gameplay and intense fighting action that fans have come to expect and love from this long-standing franchise. We're extremely pleased to see that Armageddon has received an enormous amount of praise from both the media and consumers alike."

- Microsoft has announced that it will release new downloadable content for its hugely popular Gears of War for the Xbox 360 on Wednesday, January 10. According to Microsoft, the new content, which is sponsored by the Discovery Channel, will be free, as well as rated M for Mature. The new content will include two new multiplayer maps including one where players fight around a downed King Raven helicopter.

In addition, Microsoft also confirmed that the Discovery Channel plans to give away two million Microsoft Points for use on Xbox Live Marketplace in an effort to promote its upcoming "Future Weapons" television series, details of which can be found on the promotion's official site.

- Nintendo has released three "new" games for download over the Wii's Virtual Console. Purchasable from the Wii's online Wii Shop Channel, the games released today include Konami's NES side-scrolling classic shooter Gradius for 500 Wii Points ($5), overhead shooter Soldier Blade, and action RPG Dungeon Explorer, both for the TurboGrafx 16, and both for 600 Wii Points ($6) each. These games join previously released console classics such as Super Castlevania IV, Columns, and Mario 64, among others.

- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look back at Falcom's classic action RPG Sorcerian, an overview of Namco's rather obscure arcade puzzle game Aqua Rush, and a look at the best of student IGF submissions that were not selected to be finalists.

- The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include a new Ask the Experts feature that covers game ideas pitched by children, and a call for papers for the upcoming Digital Games Research Association International Conference (DiGRA 2007) in Tokyo.

- Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Activision Value Publishing, CREAT Studios, Day 1 Studios, Left Behind Games, Pandemic Studios Australia, Rainbow Studios, Shift Control Media, Social Sauce, Sucker Punch Productions, Terminal Reality, Trinity College Dublin, and Unitled Rubin/Gavin Project.


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