Ubisoft's massive '05-'06 lineup sports next-gen games

King Kong, Ghost Recon 3, Splinter Cell 4 all coming to next crop of consoles, possibly as early as October; Might and Magic returns, PoP goes PSP, and Rainbow Six 3: Lockdown is pushed back.

Today, Ubisoft became the latest publisher to announce games for the next generation of consoles. As part of its massive lineup for its 2005-2006 fiscal year, which begins on April 1, the France-based publisher announced it would release "four [titles] for the new next-generation console from Microsoft."

While the body of the announcement only singled out Killing Day (working title), an "FPS specifically designed for next-generation consoles" due in Ubisoft's fourth financial quarter (January-March 2006), a lengthy release schedule underneath it listed three other next-generation titles: Ghost Recon 3, Splinter Cell 4, and the game adaptation of The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong. None of the four games were specifically linked to any one console.

Interestingly, Ubisoft's schedule lists two of its next-gen games as coming by the end of the year. The next-generation versions of Ghost Recon 3 (also being released for the PC, Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2), and King Kong (also being released for the DS, PS2, Xbox, GameCube and now the PSP), are both listed as coming during Ubisoft's third fiscal quarter, which runs from October to December 2005. Given the likelihood the PlayStation 3 won't be ready until 2006, the timing of these two titles adds further weight to the growing opinion that the next Xbox will go on sale in time for the holidays. Ubisoft confirmed to GameSpot that both games are slated to ship by the end of the year.

Splinter Cell 4 is set to arrive the following quarter alongside its PS2, Xbox, and GameCube counterparts. Killing Day (working title) will arrive in stores during the same time frame, but will not be released for any current-generation consoles. The quarter will see the Splinter Cell series debut on the PSP and Heroes of Might and Magic 5 released for the PC along with a "Product with [the] Might and Magic brand." The two games will be the first Might and Magic titles released since Ubisoft bought the rights to the venerable role-playing franchise from a bankrupt 3DO in 2003.

The first quarter of Ubisoft's next fiscal year (April-June 2005) will see Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown (PC, PS2, Xbox) ship out, which was originally slated to ship this month. Ubisoft justified the delay by saying it would "boost the beginning of fiscal year 2005-2006 with estimated sales of 1.5 to 2 million units." Lockdown will be joined by the Game Boy Advance and DS versions of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which LucasArts licensed to the French publisher, Lumines for the PSP, Bomberman Hardball for the PS2, and Bomberman DS for the, er, DS.

Far Cry Instincts, the long-delayed console version of Far Cry, will storm store shelves during Ubisoft's second fiscal quarter (July-September 2005) along with an expansion for the PC shooter. Curiously, though, the game is listed as coming to only a singular "current console," sparking speculation that either the Xbox or (more likely) the PlayStation 2 version has been scrapped. The same three months will mark the arrival of 187 Ride or Die (PC, PS2, Xbox, GameCube), the street racing and action game formerly known as Notorious. Also set for debarkation are two military games: America's Army: Rise of a Soldier, the console version of the US Army's PC shooter/recruiting tool, and a just-announced air-combat game, World War II Squadron (Xbox). Last but not least, the end of summer will see the last chapter in the Myst series, Myst V: End of Ages.

The next quarter--Ubisoft's third, everybody else's fourth--is when the game company will pull out the big guns. The schedule revealed a DS version of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within will go on simultaneous sale as a third Prince of Persia game for the PC, PS2, GBA, and Xbox. Another surprise was the revelation that a "new chapter" in the Brothers in Arms series is in the works for the PC, PS2, and Xbox. The holidays will also see the aforementioned Ghost Recon 3 and King Kong go on sale, as well as the debut of the first game in Ubisoft's new sports lineup, an And 1-branded basketball game for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

Ubisoft's complete FY 2005-2006 schedule is listed below:

Q1 (April-June 2005)
Lumines - PSP
Bomberman DS - Nintendo DS
Bomberman Hardball - PlayStation 2
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - Nintendo DS
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - Game Boy Advance
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown - PlayStation 2
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown - Xbox
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown - GameCube
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown - PC

Q2 (July-September 2005)
Lunar Genesis - Nintendo DS
America's Army: Rise of a Soldier - Xbox
America's Army: Rise of a Soldier - PlayStation 2
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 mission pack - Xbox
Far Cry Instincts - current console
World War II Squadron (working title) - Xbox
The Settlers: Heritage of Kings add-on - PC
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within - PSP
187 Ride or Die - Xbox
187 Ride or Die - PlayStation 2
187 Ride or Die - PC
187 Ride or Die - GameCube
Myst V: End of Ages - PC/Mac

Q3 (October-December 2005)
Alexandra Ledermann 6 - PC
And 1 - PlayStation 2
And 1 - Xbox
New chapter of Brothers In Arms - PC
New chapter of Brothers In Arms - PlayStation 2
New chapter of Brothers In Arms - Xbox
Far Cry add-on - PC
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 3 - GameCube
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 3 - PC
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 3 - PlayStation 2
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 3 - Xbox
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 3 - next-generation consoles
Peter Jackson's King Kong - Game Boy Advance
Peter Jackson's King Kong - PC
Peter Jackson's King Kong - PlayStation 2
Peter Jackson's King Kong - PSP
Peter Jackson's King Kong - Xbox
Peter Jackson's King Kong - Nintendo DS
Peter Jackson's King Kong - GameCube
Peter Jackson's King Kong - next-generation consoles
Prince of Persia 3 - Game Boy advance
Prince of Persia 3 - GameCube
Prince of Persia 3 - PC
Prince of Persia 3 - PlayStation 2
Prince of Persia 3 - Xbox
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within - Nintendo DS
The Settlers mission pack - PC

Q4 (January-March 2006)
Silent Hunter 4 - PC
Heroes of Might and Magic 5 - PC
Splinter Cell 4 - PC
Splinter Cell 4 - PlayStation 2
Splinter Cell 4 - Xbox
Splinter Cell 4 - GameCube
Splinter Cell 4 - next-generation consoles
Splinter Cell - PSP
Killing Day (working title) - next-generation consoles
Product with Might and Magic brand - PC
Title to be confirmed - Xbox
Title to be confirmed - PlayStation 2

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