Retail Radar: Spore DS, Half-Life 2 for PS3 and Xbox 360, Wii Pilotwings, and Duck Hunt?

[UPDATE]: Still more games surface on gaming retailer's database of upcoming releases, including Xbox 360 versions of Burnout 5, Project Offset.

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Retailers have a long tradition of jumping the gun on publishers' product announcements, putting up listings and soliciting preorders for games that haven't yet been confirmed to exist. While these listings are sometimes wrong about a game's release date, publisher, price, or even its name, they are frequently an accurate indicator of what might be coming just over the horizon.

While the retail site of EBgames isn't promoting its selection of Wii games up for preorder, the list is there nonetheless for Web browsers willing to do a little poking around. What's more, the site has some interesting new listings for long-dormant Nintendo franchises: Duck Hunt and Pilotwings. No gameplay details are given about either game, other than the listing of their genres ("shooters" in Duck Hunt's case, and "simulation" for Pilotwings). However, the site lists Nintendo as the publisher and developer for both games, and suggests that Pilotwings will ship this December, with Duck Hunt following in March of 2007.

Another unannounced Wii game on the list is Nintendo's Ping Pong. While tennis will be appearing on the Wii Sports compilation of games presumably near the console's launch, its table-borne counterpart is set to receive a stand-alone game in June of 2007, according to EBgames. And while the Wii itself is almost certain to be less expensive than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 when it is released, it appears the games won't be. Nearly every Wii game on the EBgames site is listed at $59.99.

Big-name game listings weren't confined to the Wii, however. EBgames also has a listing up for a Nintendo DS version of Electronic Arts' highly anticipated Spore. That meshes nicely with EA job listings posted earlier this year looking for designers for a handheld version of Spore. Curiously enough, the DS version is currently set for a March 2007 release, while the PC edition has been pushed back yet again, this time to June 2007.

On the PS3 front, the retailer has a listing for Valve Software's Half-Life 2 to be published on the system by EA. Other EA titles to slip onto the site include Burnout 5, which appears to be headed for the PS3 and PSP, NHL 07 for the PSP, and NBA Street Vol. 4.

The site also has PS3 product pages up for the PC and Xbox 360 fantasy adventure Theseis, as well as Interstellar Marines (apparently a shooter from Zero Point Software, also headed for the PC), a conversion of the PC fantasy first-person shooter Project Offset, Urban Mysteries (an action adventure strategy game from ZeitGuyz that's also listed for Xbox 360), and NCAA Football 07 (which is more likely NCAA Football 08, given it's expected to ship almost a full year after this July's current-gen and Xbox 360 editions of NCAA Football 07). Finally, LucasArts may have decided on a final title for Star Wars 2007, as EBgames is taking preorders for Star Wars: Force Unleashed.

There is also a page for an Xbox 360 game from Microsoft Game Studios called Arcade Unplugged, which would retail for $39.99. There's no product description given for the game, but it seems well within the realm of possibility that Microsoft might bundle some of the most popular games from its Live Arcade service and sell them at retail for Xbox 360 consumers who don't have high-speed Internet access.

Not all such leaks are easily accessible. A GameStop employee tipped GameSpot off to a number of recently added listings that have showed up in the company's internal database of upcoming games. First off, the retailer now expects The Sims 2 Pets to be released on the PSP later this year, but there were no new details on the game.

It also appears that the trend of collector's editions in games is not dying off anytime soon. Gears of War, Madden 07 for the PS2 and Xbox 360, the unannounced Xbox 360 version of Need for Speed Carbon, and the Xbox 360 version of Prey all have collector's edition listings that run $10 over the typical new game price for their respective systems.

Details were scarce on all of the special packages except the Madden 07 Hall of Fame editions. Those will supposedly come with commemorative exterior packaging and a bonus DVD with content including a John Madden career retrospective, the first season of the reality series Madden Nation, a documentary about the music in the game, custom videos with Tiburon staff giving gameplay hints, and more.

[UPDATE]: Since this article's original publication, EBgames has updated its site with more listings, including Burnout 5 for the Xbox 360, Half-Life 2 for the Xbox 360, NHL 2007 for Xbox 360, Project Offset for the Xbox 360, NBA Street Vol. 4 for the Xbox 360, and Need for Speed Carbon for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PSP. Once again, retailer listings should not be taken as final confirmation of a game's existence, nor should the absence of a listing be considered as proof that a game isn't coming to a given platform.

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