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Round-Up: Japanese 360 Date,  Ballerium  Re-Canceled,  Nintendogs  Details

Round-Up: Japanese 360 Date, Ballerium Re-Canceled, Nintendogs Details

June 14, 2005 | By Nich Maragos

June 14, 2005 | By Nich Maragos
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More: Console/PC

Today's round-up includes news on a possible Japanese Xbox 360 release date, sad news for MMORTS Ballerium, and U.S. bonus puppy details for Nintendo's Nintendogs, as well as the latest product and job information.

- The Xbox 360 has received a more concrete release date in Japan, according to comments made by Microsoft Japan's Yoshihiro Maruyama. Maruyama says that December is the target month for a Japanese launch, which would bring it out in time for the Christmas season there. The console still has no set release date in the U.S.: though representatives have said that the system is due for a "holiday" release, there are only unofficial reports tying the 360's American launch to a November date. Maruyama's comments on the 360's Japanese launch stemmed from his statement on the system's chances in Japan, where he said he thought it could do well: "We will release our console earlier [than the PlayStation 3], and we have significantly focused on game software and a design targeted towards Japan."

- Ballerium, the troubled MMO real-time strategy title from Israeli-headquartered Majorem Studios that got a new lease on life when Interplay picked it up in late 2004, has been cancelled again, according to Majorem's website. Interplay's equally troubled status as a subsidiary of the now-dead Titus Software meant that it could no longer fund Ballerium's development, which has ceased again for the time being. Majorem will continue to shop around both the technology that drives Ballerium as well as the nearly-completed MMORPG itself, should any buyers be interested.

- The American version of Nintendogs, the runaway Nintendo DS virtual pet hit in Japan, has now been officially announced for release on August 22. The U.S. release will feature three new dogs divided between the three releases of the game; six dogs will be featured in each version for a total of 18 available dogs. The new breeds are the Boxer, featured in Chihuahua and Friends; and the Golden Retriever and Siberian Husky, both featured in Miniature Dachsund and Friends. The displaced breed from the other title will now be found in Labrador Retriever and Friends, which also includes Pembroke Welsh Corgis and the Shiba Inu.

- Also updated today: product news including developer Vicious Cycle's launching of the Vicious Engine as middleware, as well as the latest jobs from companies including 1K Studios, Acitivision/Luxoflux, Activision/Z-Axis, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Electronic Arts LA, Electronic Arts Tiburon, Midway Games, NCSoft, Ready At Dawn Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, THQ, and Torpex Games.

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