Summary: Wii, PS3, Zelda, Resistance, Total War, Warhammer, Final Fantasy, Red Steel, Call of Duty. Consoles, franchises, and sequels are being launched this coming week. JCal gives us a glimpse of the momentous event ahead.
So what does that mean for you? Will you be able to get a PS3 or a Wii on their launch day and if so what will you be able to do with them? And if you can’t get either of these new consoles are there any games coming out this week for other platforms? That is what this feature is all about.
Sony Playstation 3
We’ve already gone over most of the aspects of the PS3 in previous feature articles so we will just do a hypersonic skim of its main features before getting into the nitty-gritty. The PS3 is, of course, Sony’s latest hardware release in the console market that it has pretty much dominated for 10 years now. The PS3 will come in two versions; a $499 model with a 20GB hard drive and a $599 model with a 60 GB hard drive and two extras that are not in the $499 version; a memory card slot section that supports Memory Stick, SD and Compact Flash cards and integrated WiFi. Both versions support 1080p resolutions on your HDTV (if the TV supports it) with HDMI connections and a Blu-Ray disk drive that plays the new Blu-Ray movies along with PS3 games, PS2 games, PS1 games, DVDs and CDs. The tech specs include the powerful Cell multi-processor along with a graphics chip provided by NVIDIA, 256 MB of RAM, four USB ports, an Ethernet connection and the SIXAXIS PS3 controller which is not only wireless but has movement sensor support.
So let’s say you manage to get a PS3 console on Friday. Are there any PS3 games that you can play on it? (the console is also supposed to play PS1 and PS2 games although there will likely be a few exceptions) There will certainly be a lot more available on launch day than there was in Japan which had a whopping five titles for sale. Sony put out a list of 21 games that will be released from now until the end of the year for the console. Unfortunately that list is already inaccrate as two of the games mentioned (F.E.A.R. and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) have been pushed back until early 2007. Several of the other games won’t be available on November 17 and have been pushed back until sometime before the end of the year. The games we are listing today are confirmed as PS3 “Day One” launch games:
Resistance: Fall Of Man
Perhaps the most highly anticipated original game in the PS3 launch library, this first person shooter from developer Insomniac takes place in an alternate 1951 where history as we know it never happened and the US and British armies have to fight off some kind of demon-alien-monster invasion. In addition to great graphics, some innovative weapons and co-op play, Resistance: Fall of Man will have multiplayer support of up to 40 players, a new record for a console shooter.
Genji: Days of the Blade
This Japanese style sword action game promises to keep the “hack and slash” gamer fans happy with four playable characters and hundreds of enemies on screen
Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
Sony Online Entertainment, the folks behind the Everquest MMORPG series, bring forth this PS3 fantasy action-RPG that is based on the fictional universe in their PSP games. As with Resistance, the game will feature online and co-op modes along with the action-RPG elements and some impressive in-game physics.
Ridge Racer 7
Namco’s last game in their sport car racing series came out for the Xbox 360 last year but this year the franchise jumps ship to the PS3. You can do all those cool drifting moves that the kids are all talking about alone with 40 cars, 20 tracks and online support for up to 14 players.
Sony’s homegrown PS3 basketball game has one thing that no other PS3 launch title has. It will have full support for the console’s 1080p resolution.
Mobile Suit Gundum: Crossfire
Namco’s other PS3 entry is the latest game in its mech action game series. This squad based action game will have over 30 mobile suits that you can customize to your hearts content.
In addition to the PS3 exclusives, games that have been previously released on other platforms will also be released for the console for launch day. These include
Madden 07, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, and Need For Speed Carbon from Electronic Arts.
NBA 2K7 and NHL 2K7 from 2K Sports.
Call of Duty 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Tony Hawk’s Project 8 from Activision.
As we said before there will be other PS3 games released before the end of the year and we will post them up in our weekly New Games This Week feature every Sunday.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Originally planned as a GameCube title, the folks at Nintendo wisely decided to delay the game and release it as a launch title for the Wii first (the Gamecube version is still due out in December). The latest Link adventure will include a lot of Wiimote features including ways to use it as a bow and arrow.
Developer Monster Games created this title for Nintendo’s first party launch that their version of an off-road racing game that uses the Wiimote to steer exclusively. Add in a two player mode and this could be a unique combo or racing and party game.
UbiSoft created this first person shooter exclusively for the Wii as you take on the Japanese Yakuza with not just gun play but also sword play using the Wiimote to control it. While it doesn’t have online play it does have four player offline multiplayer action.
Rayman Raving Rabbids
It’s another UbiSoft title that’s semi-exclusive to the Wiii (other platforms get this game later), and this time it’s a party game featuring the company’s classic platform action game character in a series of over 70 mini-games designed around the Wiimote.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Sega’s classic party game character makes an exclusive Wii appearance, using both the Wiimote and the nunchuk attachment to naviate tons of puzzle maps and lots of mini-games.
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
Developed exclusively for the Wii by Toys for Bob and Activision, this departure from the pro skateboarding series uses the Wiimote to navigate your skaters down a series of downhill tracks.
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Altus Software brings this new Wii version of their Nintendo DS game for launch day. You can use the Wiimote to perform the game’s version of medical surgery .
Monster Pro 4x4 World Circuit and GT Pro Series
It’s two more Wii exclusive racing games from UbiSoft, but little info on them has been revealed.
In addition, quite a number of third party games will be released for the Wii on launch day that have been released previously on other platforms:
Madden 07 and Need For Speed Carbon from Electronic Arts.
Call of Duty 3 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance from Activision.
Happy Feet, Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, The Ant Bully and Rampage: Total Destruction from Midway.
SpongeBob Squarepants: Creature From The Krusty Krab , Cars, and Avatar: The Last Airbender from THQ.
Dragon Ball Z: Bodokai Tenkaichi 2 from Atari.
As you can see from the list, the Nintendo Wii launch line-up is much more extensive than the PS3 for launch day but it also skews heavily toward the younger generation for its game content for the most part. There’s also a lot of questions as to how the Wii remote will work with these games. We will soon know a lot more.
Medieval 2: Total War
The PC RTS game series heads back to the Middle Ages for the latest game from developer The Creative Assembly and publisher Activision.
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos
Developer Black Hole Games and publisher Namco bring the Games Workshop table top war game to the PC RTS genre.
Final Fantasy III
It’s the only Final Fantasy game that’s never been ported for the US market and now Square Enix finally brings it over for owners of the DS.
This movie based action game from Vivendi Games is due for release for the PC, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, DS, GBA and PSP.
Smackdown Vs Raw 2007
THQ’s wrestling game heads for the PS2 and Xbox 360 this week.
NFL Street Vol. 3
Electronic Arts releases the latest game in its pro football game series with an arcade twist for the PS2 and PSP.
The PS2-Xbox game from Frontier Developments and LucasArts brings the amusement park sim genre to consoles.
Everquest II: Echoes Of Faydwer
Sony Online brings this latest expansion pack over for its two year old PC fantasy MMORPG.
Developer Piranha Bytes and publisher Aspyr bring this open world fantasy RPG to US shores for the PC.
Heroes of Might and Magic V: Hammers of Fate
This expansion pack to the Nival-UbiSoft turn based strategy game ships to stores this week for the PC.
Heroes of Annihilated Empires
Developer GSC Game World and publisher CDV bring this long awaited fantasy RTS game to the US.
So will this prove to be the biggest video-PC game week ever? Maybe. One thing is for sure, however. The launches of the PS3 and the Wii will certainly get a lot more attention than even the PS2 and GameCube received. It’s going to be an interesting week.
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