Puzzle Quest this Wednesday on XBLA

According to a press release IGN received from D3 Publisher, Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords will release on Xbox Live Arcade Oct. 10. Although no specifics were given on price, the game is expected to cost 1200 MS points ($15) based on previous leaked info.

Although the 1200 MS price point may be a little steep compared to what we’re used to paying for an XBLA game, considering the game normally costs between $20 – $30 on various other platforms (DS, PSP, PC), it doesn’t seem unreasonable — and the HD is a nice perk. If you haven’t played the acclaimed puzzle/RPG hybrid, or are looking forward to playing again on a bigger screen, it appears the wait is almost over.

[Via Evil Avatar]

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PS2 Sales Surpass Successor

Japanese shoppers opt for older console over hard-to-find PlayStation 3.

TOKYO–Sales of the almost 7-year-old PlayStation 2 beat those of the brand-new PlayStation 3 in Japan in late January for the first time, according to sales figures published today.

For the week of January 22 to January 28, sales of the PlayStation 2 totaled 20,995 units while those of the PlayStation 3 were 19,996, said Media Create. The research company receives data from around 3000 stores across Japan and uses that to estimate nationwide sales.

Sony Adjusts

The figures amount to more bad news for Sony Computer Entertainment, which missed its initial shipment target for the console. The company had hoped to ship 2 million PlayStation 3 consoles worldwide between the Japan launch on November 11 and the end of 2006 but it didn’t accomplish that until mid-January. It’s sticking by its next shipment target of 6 million consoles by the end of March.

Sales of the PlayStation 2 have been so good that Sony this week raised its full year shipment target for that console to 13 million units from 11 million units. A combination of the low price–it costs $133 versus either $414 or $497 for the PlayStation 3–and a strong catalog of software titles is continuing to attract customers to the console.

Other Sales

Nintendo’s competing Wii console, which launched shortly after the PlayStation 3, sold 83,754 units in the week. The surprise winner among the new-generation consoles was Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which managed to achieve a sales increase of just over 300 units to 7365 units in the week when overall sales of the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 fell by just over 3000 units to 111,115 units, according to the figures.

The biggest selling hardware of the week was Nintendo’s DS Lite, which sold 194,526 units against 35,700 units for the rival PlayStation Portable.

In the software ranking “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” which launched in Japan on January 25, topped the chart with estimated sales of 227,261 units. That’s more than double the second ranked “Dragon Quest Monsters Joker” for the Nintendo DS.

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PSP2 "Cobalt" to feature dual analog, UMD, 8GB of flash? Don’t count on it.

We’re pretty sure PSP2 rumors won’t die out until the last PSP fanboy utters his final gasp, “UMD rulez!” on his death bead, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun poking fun at them in the in-between time. From the outset, we’re kind of liking the look here, and there seems to be plenty of room for that dual analog setup everyone’s been clamoring for. Plus the metal and ruggedized rubber build seems likable enough. Unfortunately, the inclusion of UMD, Memory Stick and 8GB of flash seems pretty far fetched — either Sony loses the UMD and goes for all-downloadable games, or it sticks with its tried and true method of milking consumers on Memory Stick purchases, it’s hard to imagine an all-in approach. Other dubious specs include a “200% Brighter Screen,” and the more likely a/b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 and visual battery display. We’re not banking on this one, and Sony’s been pretty down on the topic in general, but hopefully these guys do actually pull something out before too terribly long.

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Shippin’ Out: December 11-15: Zelda GC, lots of Wii

The GameCube receives perhaps its last notable title as Nintendo’s new system ramps up with new releases.
In March of 2004, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker director Eiji Aonuma referenced a “Wind Waker 2” in a presentation at the Game Developers Conference. That project eventually became The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and helped launch Nintendo’s Wii last month. The original GameCube version sees release this week and appears ready to go down as the last notable title for Nintendo’s aging system.

As Nintendo’s previous system goes the way of the dodo, the Wii is entrenching itself at retailers around the country with a slew of new releases. In addition to a quartet of Virtual Console games–Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Gunstar Heroes, Ice Hockey, and Alien Crush– the Wii sees a handful of titles for all age levels refreshing store shelves.

Konami’s first-person hide-and-seek game Elebits offers a bit of E for Everyone-rated entertainment, while the E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older crowd can kick back with new games like Super Swing Golf and Chicken Little: Ace in Action. The cartoonish military shooter Metal Slug Anthology and World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions have been given T for Teen ratings, while older gamers might enjoy the first-person shooter Far Cry Vengeance, rated M for Mature.

Things are mostly quiet on the Sony front. The PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 get one title each in the form of College Hoops 2K7 and Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, respectively. The PlayStation Portable is slightly busier, playing host to Blitz: Overtime and Shrek Smash and Crash. The Xbox 360 new-release section is similarly quiet this week, with only Rapala Trophies, Star Trek: Legacy, and the Xbox Live Arcade game Assault Heroes to call its own.

This week’s new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information–actual dates may vary).

DECEMBER 11, 2006
College Hoops 2K7 (PS2)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (PC)
Alien Crush (Wii)
Gunstar Heroes (Wii)
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (Wii)
Ice Hockey (Wii)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC)

DECEMBER 12, 2006
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII (PS3)
Blitz: Overtime (PSP)
Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action (Wii)
DMZ: North Korea (PC)
Elebits (Wii)
Far Cry Vengeance (Wii)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (PC)
Star Wars: Lethal Alliance (DS)
Shrek Smash and Crash (PSP)
Super Swing Golf (Wii)
World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions (Wii)
Lionel Trains On Track (DS)

DECEMBER 13, 2006
Assault Heroes (Xbox 360)

DECEMBER 14, 2006
Metal Slug Anthology (Wii)
Rapala Trophies (Xbox 360)
Star Trek: Legacy (Xbox 360)

DECEMBER 15, 2006
Alexey’s Dwice (PC)
Football Mogul 2007 (PC)

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Get your skins on: Wii, PS3, Zune, Xbox 360, PSP

Cookie cutter gadget? Passe. It’s all about skins, even the kind that may or may not ruin the shiny new finish on your valued consumer electronics. Submitted for your approval: tons of skins for your rare and lustworthy devices. Ok, so the 360 isn’t much of a skin, but we find the literal use of the term rather amusing, and when was the last time you saw a fake-fur faceplate?

P.S. -Big ups on the Xbox 360 and Eames-inspired PS3 and Wii skins above.

[Via Joystiq, thanks Craig]

Read – PS3 skins
Read – Wii skins
Read – Zune skins
Read – PSP, Xbox, etc. “skins”

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