Shippin' Out May 19-23: Wii Fit, Age of Conan, Haze
Headliners join Penny Arcade Adventures on XBLA, SingStar on PS3, and Lost Planet redux on 360, PC.
Retailers and Nintendo may be at odds on when Wii Fit will actually land on store shelves, but one thing is certain: The $90 fitness simulator will be a hot commodity this week. Already a best-seller in Japan, the game offers more than 40 exercises that span muscle strengthening, aerobics, balance, and yoga. Though reviewers have questioned its actual health impact (GameSpot will be conducting its own informal study in the coming weeks, to be posted on the Wii Fit blog), Nintendo has touted the fact that the game tracks users' body mass index and other health indicators to provide a reliable target fitness age.
For the middle of May, the week has a number of other tidbits that may pique the interest of the gaming class. Funcom will release its long-awaited Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures for the PC. (An Xbox 360 version is slated to arrive later this year.) Funcom's oft-delayed M-for-Mature-rated massively multiplayer online role-playing game is set in Robert E. Howard's brutal universe, in which players can take on one of 12 roles in Conan's kingdom. According to Funcom, the game's collector's edition has completely sold out and will not be reissued.
Speaking of oft-delayed games, Ubisoft and Free Radical's Haze will descend on retailers this week. Originally slated to arrive for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in early 2007, the first-person shooter underwent a series of delays and platform changes, eventually settling on a May 20 release exclusively on the PlayStation 3. The M-rated game offers players a dystopian future world ruled by all-powerful megacorporations.
Also exclusively on the PlayStation 3 this week is the Sony Europe-developed SingStar. The first edition of SCEE's karaoke franchise to arrive on the publisher's current-generation console, SingStar offers a variety of licensed tracks and music videos for at-home sing-alongs, and Sony promises that more music will be available for download through the PlayStation Network and SingStore.
On the Xbox 360 and PC, Capcom will be revisiting its bug-swatting third-person shooter from early 2007 with Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Colonies Edition. A redux of the original, Colonies Edition offers new single and multiplayer modes, and the game's online component has received a robust suite of new weapons, maps, and playable characters.
On the downloadable front, Hothead Games' Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One lands on Xbox Live Arcade this Wednesday for 1,600 Microsoft points. The adventure game series based on Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins' popular gaming-industry webcomic will also be available for PC, Linux, and Mac through the budding entrepreneurs' online storefront, Greenhouse Interactive.
With Nintendo's WiiWare channel making its first rotation in the US last week, the publisher returns with a pair of new games: Hudson's vertical-scrolling shoot-'em-up Star Soldier R (800 Wii points, $8) and Konami's puzzle-action game Critter Round-Up (1,000 Wii points, $10). The stalwart Virtual Console also receives one addition from days gone by, Namco's Sky Kid (500 Wii points, $5), originally released on the NES in 1985.
This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).
MAY 22, 2008
Sony had not revealed its weekly update as of press time.
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