Viva Piñata™” Xbox 360 Video Game Breaks onto the Scene with Special Edition Game for Hours of Family Fun.
When the highly-anticipated “Viva Piñata” video game for the Xbox 360™ hits store shelves this November, kids and adults can break into the two-disc Special Edition
“Viva Piñata”™ Xbox 360 game with added bonuses for the whole family to enjoy. The Special Edition game, available for a limited time, will include playable demos of the season’s hottest family-friendly titles and an episode from the “Viva Piñata” animated series.
“Viva Piñata,” the high-energy, mass-appeal entertainment property created by Rare and brought to life by Microsoft and 4Kids Entertainment, reveals a vibrant world of living piñata animals designed to capture and inspire the imagination of people of all ages. Kids were recently introduced to the cast of characters from the “Viva Piñata” animated series now on air and available for download via Xbox Live Marketplace in the US and Canada and soon around the world. They can look forward to even more piñata fun when the Xbox 360 game hits store shelves this holiday season.
In addition to the “Viva Piñata” game, which will allow players to create their own environment where they can attract and host more than 60 species of wild piñatas and customize piñata-filled adventures in their unique-ever-growing world, the Special Edition “Viva Piñata” game, priced at $49.99 USD.
Viva Piñata will include:
- A playable demo of LucasArts’ “LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy,” which combines the fun and endless customization of LEGO play and with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek take on the epic story, characters and action from the classic Star Wars: Episodes IV, V and VI films
- A playable demo of the arcade classic “Frogger” that is enhanced and reinvigorated for the Xbox 360. The game features new artwork that matches and compliments the original style
- A playable demo of “Cloning Clyde” for gamers to explore a visually compelling world filled with hilarious action and crazy adventure as they struggle to escape the clutches of the evil company Dupliclone, Inc.
- A “Time Pilot” playable demo for gamers to fly a futuristic fighter jet with the capability to travel through time to destroy wave after wave of enemies.
- A return to AstroLab for a playable demo of “Marble Blast,” where players guide their marbles through a rich cartoon landscape of moving platforms and perilous obstacles
Also included in the Special Edition “Viva Piñata” game will be a sneak peek at the wacky, zany, anything-can-happen animated TV series, produced by 4Kids Entertainment & Bardel Entertainment. With this full-length episode of the colorful animated series, Kids can experience Piñata Island for themselves, where multitudes of happy, colorful piñatas live the sweet life.
"Blue Dragon” Leads Holiday Lineup of Games; “Pac-Man” World Championship, Xbox 360 HD DVD Player in Japan and 1080p Support for Xbox 360 unveiled.
TOKYO — Sept. 20, 2006 — Today at the Tokyo Game Show 2006, Microsoft Corp. delivered information on new and improved entertainment experiences for Japanese gamers, including details of the Xbox 360™ library of nearly 110 high-definition games available this holiday season in Japan, which will include the highly anticipated “Blue Dragon” from Microsoft Game Studios. Microsoft also paid tribute to NAMCO BANDAI Games and “Pac-Man,” announcing that the first “Pac-Man” World Championship will be held in early 2007 using Xbox 360 and Xbox Live® Arcade. Microsoft also revealed details of other entertainment offerings enabled through Xbox 360, with availability date and pricing provided for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player in Japan, as well as news of an update that will allow the Xbox 360 console to output full 1080p games and video.
At the best-attended gaming convention in the world, Microsoft showcased games that will boost the Xbox 360 software library in Japan to nearly 110 titles by holiday season 2006 as well as more titles coming well into 2007. The Xbox 360 games showcased include “Blue Dragon” (Microsoft Game Studios), “Lost Planet: Extreme Condition” (Capcom), “Dead or Alive: Xtreme 2” (Tecmo Inc.) and the newly announced “Trusty Bell” (NAMCO BANDAI Games), and a host of anticipated Xbox Live Arcade titles. For 2007, Microsoft also announced a pipeline of great games that include the epic role-playing game (RPG) “Infinite Undiscovery” (Microsoft Game Studios).
“The key to winning the hearts and minds of the Japanese market is great games, and this great lineup demonstrates that Xbox 360 has those games in spades,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “Our lineup of role-playing games from the acknowledged masters of the genre is proof positive that there has never been a better time for Japanese gamers to jump in and pick up an Xbox 360 system.”
Many game titles, including the much-anticipated epic RPG “Blue Dragon,” will be playable for the first time in the Microsoft® booth at the Tokyo Game Show. Other playable titles include “Lost Odyssey™” (Microsoft Game Studios) and “Viva Piñata™” (Microsoft Game Studios).
Xbox Live Arcade and the “Pac-Man” World Championship
The creator of “Pac-Man,” Toru Iwatani, announced onstage with Moore that Microsoft and NAMCO BANDAI will host the first “Pac-Man” World Championship in early 2007. The top 10 players in the world for “Pac-Man” on Xbox Live Arcade will compete for the title in New York City. More details, including how to qualify for the championship, will be made available in the coming months.
Continuing its tremendous momentum, Xbox Live Arcade has also announced in Tokyo a host of exciting new games, including some that will be exclusive to the Japanese market. Gamers will have the opportunity to try a host of new games on the show floor, including the classic side-scroller “Contra” (Konami Corp.), the space-shooter “Gyruss” (Konami), the enemy-popping classic “Dig Dug” (NAMCO BANDAI Games), arcade favorite “Track & Field” (Konami), “New Rally-X” (NAMCO BANDAI Games) “Rush’n Attack” (Konami), a favorite 1980s side-scroller, and the inimitable “Ms. Pac-Man” (NAMCO BANDAI). In addition, the Japan-exclusive Xbox Live Arcade game “Yie Ar Kung Fu” (Konami), one of the very first fighting games, was announced for release in 2007.
Xbox 360 HD DVD Player and 1080p Support
Microsoft announced pricing and availability details for the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player in Japan. The accessory will launch on Nov. 17, 2006, priced at ¥19,800 (estimated retail price), and will come with an Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote.
“Xbox 360 and the HD DVD Player together deliver the most powerful and affordable games and movie system for Japanese consumers,” Moore said. “The freedom to choose their entertainment experiences is extremely important for consumers as they enter the next generation.”
In addition, Microsoft announced that its fall software update, scheduled for release later this year, will allow all Xbox 360 consoles around the world to output game and movie content in 1080p resolution.
Demonstrating its pledge to democratize game development for tomorrow’s game developers, Microsoft announced that four Japanese universities will use its XNA™ Game Studio Express software in educational material and research within their course offerings. The XNA software allows hobbyists, students and independent game developers to create games for Windows® and, for the first time, Xbox 360 with the goal that user-generated games made with XNA will arrive on Xbox Live Marketplace. Tokyo University, Tokyo Polytechnic University, Ritsumeikan University and Osaka Electro-Communication University join the dozens of universities worldwide that have pledged support for Microsoft’s XNA vision and are recognizing the potential of XNA Game Studio Express as an educational tool. As a result, these four schools will integrate XNA software into their game development curricula, labs and games-related research.
“As I turn my attention and passion toward teaching the next generation of game developers, I am thrilled with XNA Game Studio Express and related products,” said Toru Iwatani, a lecturer at Tokyo Polytechnic University and original creator of “Pac-Man.” “I believe that these products are attractive and effective because they create a development environment that matches the skill level and area of expertise, widening the entry of future developers into game development.”
XNA Game Studio Express beta was made available to users worldwide on Aug. 30, 2006. The final version of XNA Game Studio Express will be made available this holiday season.
We've made a little discovery here that may prove useful to 360 users without an expensive harddrive for their console.
Xbox Live Arcade Titles will execute when placed onto CDR/DVDR disks.
XBLA on HDD reside in this format on Partition3 of HardDrive. /Content/0000000000000000/*TitleID*/000D0000/*XBLA Game*
Burning this directory structure to any writable disk and placed in a console will populate the XBLA Menu with the titles on the disk. Of course, they will still run in TRIAL mode unless said console has purchased this content. However, we felt this was still useful for people with Memory Units that can only hold one title at a time or even people without any storage options at all.
Demos, Videos, Profiles, and Saves were also tested in this fashion but were not recognized by the system unfortunately. USB Drives and Memory Sticks also tested and not working for either XBLA or the latter.
Jeff Tunnell (GarageGames' co-founder) wrote on his blog, "Creating an XBLA game is taking most studios 6-12 months. Costs are currently ranging from $100,000 to $300,000. ... This will inflate rapidly. [Emphasis Tunnell's]"
While Arcade games are a relatively inexpensive investment, Tunnell implied further that costs will rise, and only serious players need apply. "The industry standard arms race will quickly make the top end $300,000 budget a cheap product. Right now, I wouldn't consider attempting to make an XBLA game with a $100,000 budget. Development kits and Certification (QA testing) would eat up half of that, not leaving much for the actual game development."
Still, compared to a next generation game that costs $10 to $20 million to develop, $300,000 maximum is relative beans.
Tunnell also detailed Microsoft's estimated distribution fees that it charges for making a game available through Xbox Live Arcade. "The publicly available information on this is that the distribution fees for bringing a game to XBLA is 35-70 percent depending upon participation by MS.
First Look: Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel
You can look and touch, but you're not quite ready to drive.
September 14, 2006 - It has been a while since console gamers have been able to enjoy their racing games the way real fans of the genre should -- with a first-party racing wheel peripheral. Microsoft is bringing them a Wireless Racing Wheel for the Xbox 360 on November 1 packaged complete with a force-feedback version of Project Gotham Racing 3 for the retail price of $149.99.
IGN got our first hands-on with the wheel today. Unfortunately, we felt a bit like kids at the arcade who are out of quarters but sitting in a game and steering anyway, because they couldn't let us demo the wheel with a game or hooked up to the X360.
We're pretty damn picky when it comes to racing wheels. A really great gaming racing wheel should give you a much deeper level of immersion; it should feel and respond like the real thing. It is a harder goal for the designer of a racing wheel, because with other peripherals like a joystick or even a lightgun, your average gamer probably hasn't actually flown a F-18 or fired an AK-47 so any disparity between reality and simulation isn't as great a divide. Most people have driven a car, though. Luckily, so did the team behind Microsoft's Wireless Racing Wheel.
You have the option to rest the wheel in your lap or attach it to a table. The wheel itself is weighty enough not to feel flimsy, but not so heavy that it was uncomfortable in our laps. It is balanced enough, and wide enough that it didn't want to tip. Naturally, the wheel feels a lot more stable attached to the table. It cranks on to fit the table quickly and easily. The wheel has 270 degrees of motion and feels comfortable and solid. Considering that the Forza Motorsport 2 team has helped with the design we're looking forward to taking it for a spin with a real game (once Microsoft lets us have a few quarters).
ny racing wheel superfan has probably killed a few flimsy pedals during heated races. During especially suspenseful moments it is natural to tend to STOMP a lot. We kicked these pedals pretty firmly and they didn't complain. Pedal systems have long struggled with a design that won't slide around on whatever surface you happen to be using. Microsoft has solved this problem with a new design which has a cutaway frame at along the base of the pedals that comfortably accommodates a player's heel where you naturally would rest your feet. It helps to keep the pedals from doing much sliding around. The pedals also have tiny foam feet to protect hard floors from any damage.
Those wondering if EA's behemoth could remove Halo 2 as the all time top game, you can quit worrying now as Halo 2 is still the most played game on Xbox Live. Texas Hold'em is not only the top XBLA game, but as you can see it also placed on the top 10 Overall Xbox 360 titles.