Although the Sims franchise remains the cornerstone of EA's casual-gaming push, the publisher has been keen on exploiting the Hasbro license that it acquired in the latter part of 2007. Last year, the publisher announced that a number of Hasbro's board games would see digital installments, including Pogo and Facebook editions of Scrabble as well as the six-game Hasbro Family Game Night compilation pack for the Wii and PlayStation 2.
Today, EA revealed plans to expand the reach of those two products further, announcing Scrabble for the Nintendo DS and PSP and a Hasbro Family Game Night channel for Xbox Live Arcade. Scrabble for handhelds is expected to arrive in March 2009 at a $29.99 price point, whereas the Family Game Night channel for XBLA will follow sometime this spring.
More than just digitizing a board and tiles, EA is promising three distinct modes and a number of difficulty settings and training exercises in the DS and PSP editions of Scrabble. Words can be built in both Classic and Speed Play modes, as well as Scrabble Slam, in which players attempt to clear their tiles using only four-letter words. The handheld games also includes a handful of minigames, such as Scrabble Word Finder, as well as Wi-Fi multiplayer connectivity.
Hasbro Family Game Night for XBLA will operate as a hub containing a growing lineup of individual games. Beginning this spring, EA plans to roll out a variety of Hasbro games on XBLA, such as Scrabble, Connect Four, Boggle, Yahtzee, BattleShip, Sorry, and Sorry Sliders, all of which will include both standard board-game rules as well as alternative modes and features. The publisher did not reveal pricing information.
Each of the games will integrate with the New Xbox Experience's community gaming channel, with EA promising such features as the ability to launch games straight from the community hub. The publisher plans to add additional games to the Hasbro Family Game Night channel as the year progresses.