Shippin' Out 11/6-11/10: Gears of War, first PS3 titles

A season's worth of gaming arrives in a single week as the 360 gets its long-awaited shooter, Activision sends out first games for Sony's next-gen system, and a slew of big releases hit across all systems.

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Next week's Shippin' Out will be awash with launch titles for the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, but gamers who aren't willing to shell out for the new systems (or aren't able to find them on store shelves) should have plenty to keep them busy. This week sees a slew of hot titles across all current platforms, spearheaded by Microsoft's last-minute push to make people forget all about the Xbox 360's rivals.

Epic Games' Gears of War was unveiled more than two years ago, and it's been one of the most anticipated games for the Xbox 360 since day one. It's also just one of a number of notable products for the platform shipping this week. The Rare-developed Viva Pinata is expected in stores by the weekend; Konami's Xbox Live Arcade version of the arcade shooter Contra arrives on the system's Marketplace Wednesday. And then there's a handful of new first-party peripherals for the system, including the Live Wireless Headset, the Wireless Racing Wheel, and the HD-DVD expansion drive.

That's a strong week of releases by most measures, but there's plenty of competition out there, including some expected early releases for the PS3. Activision is apparently shipping Tony Hawk's Project 8 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance for the PS3, so gamers who are especially confident in their ability to get a system on launch day can start to build their collection of games a little early. The publisher further bolsters its odds of racking up burly sales figures with the release of Call of Duty 3 for the Xbox 360, Xbox, and PlayStation 2.

Even with all the attention on the third iteration of the PlayStation home console brand, the king of current-gen gaming still has some legs. This week, the PS2 welcomes Activision and RedOctane's Guitar Hero II, The Sopranos, a new SOCOM game, and the retro Sega Genesis Collection. The PC likewise gets a few titles of import this week, including the controversial real-time strategy game Left Behind: Eternal Forces, the Steam-downloadable RoboBlitz (also headed for Xbox 360 this year), and the latest Splinter Cell game, Double Agent.

In the realm of portable systems, the Nintendo DS sees the release of the first-party rhythm game Elite Beat Agents, a heavily reworked version of last year's Japanese cult hit Osu! Takake! Ouendan! Buena Vista Games offers up a pair of Q Entertainment games for the PlayStation Portable with Every Extend Extra and Lumines II, and Square Enix launches Final Fantasy V on the Game Boy Advance.

The week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).

NOVEMBER 6, 2006
Elite Beat Agents (DS)
BattleZone (PSP)
Lumines II (PSP)
Every Extend Extra (PSP)
Reel Fishing: Life & Nature (PSP)
Microsoft Xbox 360 Live Wireless Headset
Final Fantasy V Advance (GBA)
Hot Wheels: Stunt Track Challenge/World Race (GBA)
Unreal Anthology (PC)
RoboBlitz (PC)
1701 A.D. (PC)
Deal or No Deal (PC)
The Fifth Disciple (PC)
Great Invasions (PC)
Model Train 3D (PC)
Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects (PC)

NOVEMBER 7, 2006
Tony Hawk's Project 8 (PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, PSP, Xbox)
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (PS3)
Gears of War (Xbox 360)
Call of Duty 3 (Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox)
Blitz: The League (Xbox 360)
History Channel: Civil War (Xbox 360)
World Championship Poker: Featuring Howard Lederer - All In (Xbox 360)
Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (PS2)
Guitar Hero II (PS2)
Hard Rock Casino (PS2, PSP)
Sega Genesis Collection (PS2)
The Sopranos: Road to Respect (PS2)
SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault (PS2)
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 (PSP)
Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DS)
Bomberman Land Touch! (DS)
Digimon World DS (DS)
My Frogger Toy Trials (DS)
Tom and Jerry Tales (DS, GBA)
Uno/Skip-Bo/Uno Freefall (DS)
Winx Club: The Quest for the Codex (DS, GBA)
Polarium Advance (GBA)
The Sims 2: Pets (GBA)
Final Fantasy XI: The Vana'diel Collection 2007 (PC)
Left Behind: Eternal Forces (PC)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent (PC)

NOVEMBER 8, 2006
Contra (Xbox 360)
Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive
Patriots: A Nation Under Fire (PC)

NOVEMBER 9, 2006
Viva Pinata (Xbox 360)
Disney's Chicken Little: Ace in Action (PS2, DS)

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