The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news over the past week. This weekly article, in conjunction with the Rumor Round-Up, will keep you plugged in and in-tune.
Microsoft announced that sales of the Xbox 360 in the UK more than doubled (a 214% increase) over the last two weeks. The increased sales can be directly attributed to the recent price reductions and massive marketing campaign.
GameStop announced that they are in the process of purchasing French retail gaming outfit Micromania for $700 million. GameStop will acquire the entirety of the 332 stores spread throughout France, assuming the purchase is approved by the EU. This acquisition will give GameStop a European presence of 1,077 stores in total, located throughout France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time was announced this week in Jump Magazine. The new Crystal Chronicles title will be released simultaneously for both the Wii and DS on January 29, 2009 in Japan. It will be loaded with multiplayer options, including cross-platform play due to the development of the Pollux Engine. That means players will be able to play together with both their consoles simultaneously via Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as around the world with full online capability.
Epic has announced that the Flashback Map Pack will be available as a free download starting November 7. The DLC is a compilation of five enhanced classic maps from the original Gears including Mansion, Subway, Canals, Gridlock, and Tyro Station.
At the Nintendo Media Event in San Francisco on Thursday, Nintendo made four important announcements. First, the rumored DS hardware update was officially announced. The DSi will release in Japan this October and then several months later in North America. The new hardware upgrade includes larger screens (3.25” rather than 3.0”), built-in browser capability, SD card slot, camera, and music playback. Also, a new interface (reminiscent of Apple’s iPod Touch/iPhone) and application store will be compatible with the DSi. The DSi will retail for 18,900 yen ($180). Click HERE for a video and more details.
Second, the classic boxing beat-’em-up Punch-Out! is indeed coming to the Wii. Dates, pricing, and details, in general, are unknown. However, a great trailer was released that does a good job of communicating the art-style of the upcoming title. Also, it looks as though classic characters including Little Mac, Von Kaiser, King Hippo, and Glass Joe will find their way into the game. Click HERE for a video and more details.
Third, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is coming to the Nintendo DS. According to Cammie Dunaway, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Nintendo, “For the first time, we’re going to have [Fire Emblem] in North America for the DS. It’s also the first-ever in the series to offer multiplayer online play.” Fire Emblem will be released in the first half of 2009.
Finally, Club Nintendo will soon be coming to North America. The club is a way for fans of Nintendo to accrue points for registering their software and hardware. Points can then be redeemed for free, exclusive merchandise. Additionally, club members will be awarded with timely info for everything Nintendo as well as rankings.
Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!