Friday, March 14, 2008

Real Arcade Pro Stick 2: Special Edition! Arriving End of April

New microsoft Keyboard and Mouse

Wireless Laser Desktop 7000 (Mouse) and Digital Media Keyboard 3000.

Coming soon in April.........

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Dell busts out 20-inch UltraSharp 2009W LCD

Not feeling enough LCD love from Dell lately? How about this new UltraSharp 2009W? The new 20-inch 16:10 widescreen monitor does up a 1680 x 1050 resolution, with 36% more pixel content than Dell's 19-incher. The display also outperforms its budget friendly E207WFP predecessor with a 102% color gamut, 2000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 5ms response time, and four USB 2.0 ports. Only inputs available are DVI with HDCP and VGA, but perhaps all can be forgiven with that $289 pricetag. It's available now.

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Bleach 5 PSP Pre-Orders (FREE SHIPPING)

Yes! It's finally coming! Bleach 5 for PSP!

We're currently taking pre-orders for Bleach 5, playable characters that we know of so far include


Pre Orders Ship On/Around 5/15/08 on day of arrival

Bleach: Heat the Soul 5 - $49.99 (Free USPS Shipping)

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Devil May Cry 4 Official Trailer

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Microsoft predicts Blu-ray irrelevance in 12-18 months

Microsoft execs have been quick to point out that the Xbox will not be integrating Blu-ray into their console any time soon. Microsoft's European boss, Chris Lewis, is committed to bringing digital downloads to consumers, and believes that's where the future is. "Going forwards, digital downloads is really where it's at," Lewis told Xbox Live Video Marketplace currently supplies downloadable HD rentals of movies and television shows. Sony's PS3 does not currently feature a similar service.

"Before very long we will look back wistfully at shiny discs as something that was somewhat a historic phenomenon in a way that we kind of think about vinyl or VCRs today," Lewis stated. While the Microsoft-backed HD DVD format has "died" in the next generation format wars, Lewis believes that Blu-ray will follow the same fate. When will digital distribution take dominance? "I think that's going to be the case in the next 12-18 months."

Digital distribution would be great if the movie selection and video quality could match the offerings of a disc-based medium. Blu-ray discs offer 1080p video, uncompressed video and special features. Without the proper infrastructure and bandwidth to support such large files, we think digital distribution of HD video will take much longer to truly proliferate. Ultimately, only time will tell.

[Via Joystiq]

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Udon Drawn SFII Turbo HD Remix Looks Amazing [Capcom Digital Day 08]

As any of you who have read my previous posts, I'm not scared to embarrass myself in front of my gaming brethren. That being the case, I feel no shame in telling you I am terrible at Street Fighter. And I mean really bad. So when I saw that Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Could that be longer?) was being shown at Capcom's Digital Day I was reticent to try it out. Not only that, but the line for it was huge and I could tell that I would have had my ass handed to me in front of my peers in a matter of minutes. So to save myself from that mortification I decided just to stand back and watch.

I think at this point everyone knows how Street Fighter works, so I'll stick to talking about the HD graphics which were all redrawn by the folks at Udon (artists of the US Street Fighter comic). The new sprites looked amazing and almost even more impressive were the backgrounds. Perfect lines, no jaggies, sharp and colorful. They looked simply spectacular.

The particular stage I saw was the one with the people jumping up and down and cheering on the back of a boat. It not only looked great but a fellow journalist and I got a kick out of the fact that even though the art itself had sharpened up, the animations were still olde school rudimentary with each jumping background character only having three or four positions making up their animations. It was a nice nod to the original game while still improving its look. Very retro modern.

The graphics will support a widescreen mode, but there will also be a 4:3 mode for purists who can also revert characters to the original 2D sprites for the full "original" experience. Players will also be able to choose from the original game music or newly remixed versions.

As far as gameplay goes, online versus play will be available along with in-game voice chat, matchmaking, and worldwide rankings. A "Quarter Match" mode has been added which will allow two competitors and up to four spectators to use virtual quarters to buy into two player matches.

There will also be an optional "Rebalanced" mode which makes changes across the board to many characters. The changes were implemented in response to testing by the world's top ranked Street Fighter players. Most of the differences involve a lot of character fine tuning to some of your favorite (and not so favorite) fighters. Balrog, Cammy, Blanka, Ken, T. Hawk and Ryu will all be receiving "character balancing." There is much minutia in the changes that many of the more hardcore SF fans will certainly be interested in. So if this describes you, you will probably want to check out this series of articles by SF tournament player and the new game's design and gameplay overseer, David Sirlin.

All will be revealed when the game hits XBLA and PSN later this year. But for those of you that can't wait that long, the purchase of Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 will come with an entry into the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix beta test.

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DivX: New players mean over 25 hrs of DVD-quality video on a Blu-ray disc

DivX, recently announced that it has granted DivX Certification to six new Blu-ray DVD players from Panasonic, Philips, and Denon. DivX say that thanks to their superior compression and high visual quality, consumers can take advantage of Blu-ray technology to store and playback over 25 hours of DVD-quality video on a single Blu-ray disc.

Developers tired of Xbox Live Arcade

Developers have apparently revealed that Nintendo has been capitalizing on developers frustrations with Xbox Live Arcade to help drive the number of games produced for WiiWare. Nintendo have been promising developers better royalties, cheaper development and more flexible pricing. "Frankly, we're not looking at making games for Xbox Live Arcade because the service is full of crap." said one developer, who is not impressed with the service's number of retro remakes.

Tekken 6 Not Coming to American Arcades

2311402633_393f67351b_o.jpg Right now, the arcade version of Tekken 6 is in loads of places, like NOT AMERICA and NOT AMERICA. Apparently, it's going to stay that way! While the game is most certainly coming to American consoles, it seems that it will not be coming to American arcades. Nothing has been officially announced, but Tekken site SD Tekken points out various reasons why the game won't be coming to American arcades, including the fact that Namco USA no longer has an arcade division and that the US arcade scene is pretty much, well, dead. Still, the cabinets are being imported. So far, Tekken 6 is playable at an arcade in Houston. Americans willing to mingle with Canadians will be happy to find the game in arcades north of the border.

Mr. Driller Online Screens

Bandai Namco has released screens of upcoming Xbox LIVE Arcade title Mr. Driller Online. The game features single player and multiplayer drilling modes that include tag team multiplayer. The game has "Standard Driller" with stages divided into 100m sections by large blocks and "Quest Driller" with, well, quests. Nice to see Bandai Namco bring Mr. Driller online. Really nice.

Grand Theft Auto IV Has 15 Multiplayer Modes

Rockstar has finally spilled the beans on Grand Theft Auto IV's multiplayer offerings to PSM Spain. Featuring up to 16 players, 15 modes of play (including races, deathmatch and one co-op single player mission), and fully customizable characters, it looks like the game will push multiplayer pretty hard and use the same world map as the single player campaign. Hit the link for all the details.

Street Fighter IV: Chun Li vs. C. Viper

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God of War: Chains of Olympus Creators like PS3

Ready at Dawn, makers of the PSP-exclusive God of War: Chains of Olympus, is hard at work on new projects for the home consoles. Didier Malenfant notes that: "We've got the third version of the Ready at Dawn Engine running on both the PS3 and the 360 ... If you see what they did on PSP it's easy to imagine that it's going to be quite something.

Although Ready at Dawn has been earning rave reviews with Chains of Olympus, they admit that there was some frustration with SCEA in the development process. They had to "fight the powers that be at every step of the way with what we wanted to do with the franchise."

Regardless, Ready at Dawn seems to be favoring PS3 in this current generation of consoles. Didier predicts a victory for Sony: "PS3 will win this generation when all is said and done." However, what about the PS4 generation? "Microsoft made a dent this time around and can stand to finally get the upper hand if they stick it out and/or if Sony stays complacent like they did early on in this generation. That's where the real fight is going to be in my opinion."


Most of our items now are eligible for free shipping! Please don't forget to pick the free shipping option via USPS.  Sorry, this option is only currently available to our US customers only.

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A Good Lesson Well Learned

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?

Freeloader (US) & (Jap) Version On the Way

We're expecting these to arrive sometime late next week, our shipment was delayed and is finally on route. 

Freeloader for Nintendo Wii & Gamecube(US Version) - $24.99 + FREE SHIPPING

Freeloader for Nintendo Wii & Gamecube(Japanese Version) - $24.99 + FREE SHIPPING

Square Enix preps Valkyrie Profile for the DS

From the pages of Japan's Jump magazine comes news that Square Enix is giving tri-Ace's RPG franchise Valkyrie Profile a touchable makeover, with the series' latest sequel heading to the Nintendo DS. So says the translation sages at IGN, the game will carry the cumbersome title of Valkyrie Profile: Toga wo Seou Mono, and will introduce a new hero named Wilfred alongside unspecified series regulars.

The game marks the series' second official sequel, and the third title since 2006 following Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria for the PlayStation 2 and Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, a remake of the PlayStation original for the PSP. Unlike those games, however, Toga wo Seou Mono looks to adopt a three-fourths perspective on top of the 2D side scrolling profile view for which the series is known. That said, we're creatures of habit; we fear change -- but with tri-Ace again at the helm we're excited to see where the devs take the Norse mythology-based RPG franchise next.

BioWare: Mass Effect 2 likely a timed Xbox 360 exclusive

When EA snapped up BioWare, common wisdom was that the game's main attractions would be ported to any system that would have them. But it seems that (for now, at least) that doesn't hold true for space opera Mass Effect. As BioWare senior manager Matt Atwood told CVG, "I believe we'll be Xbox 360 exclusive for at least a short period of time. We're still working out the details on that, but we've had a great relationship with Microsoft and done very well."

There's plenty of wiggle room here, of course, because there's no telling how long a "short period" is. But it's not like we blame them. Heck, if we had a game company, we'd promise Microsoft a "short period" of exclusivity on everything. That way, when we inevitably had to delay the PS3 version to make it work, we'd make some free coin on the deal. Everybody wins! ... Well, we'd win.

Microtransactions coming soon to Nintendo Wii

And the infernal circle is complete. Microtransactions will finally be making their way to the Nintendo Wii, largely by way of the upcoming WiiWare service. The Wii was the last of the three major consoles to not support microtransactions, and now no consumer is safe from the incessant nickel-and-diming for minor content.

IGN reports that WiiWare developer Genki will be selling an add-on pack for its puzzle game LONPOS. The expansion will cost 500 Wii points, half of the launch title's entire cost. Meanwhile, Siliconera is reporting that another puzzle game, Kotoba no Puzzle Mojipittan Wii, will be selling additional puzzle stages for an as-yet unknown price.

As if that weren't enough to grind your gears, Madden creator Scott Orr spoke with Develop Magazine about his WiiWare title, Spogs Racing. According to Orr, the title will feature purchasable "racer packs," including cars parts and new tracks. Orr doesn't come right out and define these as microtransactions, however, instead masquerading the upgrades as "episodic downloadable content" (which it ain't). Looks like we're off to a great start already.

Read - WiiWare microtransactions priced [IGN]
Read - Go online with WiiWare and Mojipittan Wii [Siliconera]
Read - Madden creator on WiiWare episodic and user-driven content plans [Develop]

GTA IV drives slo-mo, learns days of the week

In a recent test drive of Grand Theft Auto IV, MTV's Multiplayer discovered a couple new features for this go-around in Liberty City. One very passive feature is GTA IV will have days of the week. So, instead of an endless cycle of night and day, there'll be an endless cycle of day and night split over seven infinitely repeating days. This will affect gameplay by only allowing Niko to access certain areas on specific days of the week. MTV says you don't have to worry about it turning into Animal Crossing though, the day/night cycle will be the same as other entries into the series -- meaning gamers won't need to mess with their system's internal clock.

The other reveal is the use of a slo-mo while driving. GTA veterans can already imagine the advantages and cool factor this could have while avoiding traffic or trying to hit a stunt point perfectly. A very nice feature, but one we'll have to see for ourselves to get a better feel for when and where it can be used. GTA IV is still expected to hijack the sales charts beginning April 29.

NPD: PS3 outsells Xbox 360 in February

As predicted by Microsoft, the PS3 has outsold Xbox 360 for the second straight month with 280,841 hardware units sold in February, 10% higher than Microsoft (according to NPD February 2008 sales data). Year-over-year this represents 120% sales growth. If Microsoft is to be believed, Sony will also come out on top in March as well.

"Consumers are recognizing the tremendous value of PS3 and we believe that Blu-ray becoming the high-def format of choice was the tipping point for many consumers. With monster titles like Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and Grand Theft Auto IV launching in April and Metal Gear Solid 4 in June, we're demonstrating this is the year for PS3," said Jack Tretton in a press release.

"Whether there is an Xbox 360 shortage or not, it is clear that the PS3 has gained considerable ground on its rival," said analyst Jesse Divnich. "Given these past two months and the momentum that the PS3 has gained, Microsoft must react quickly as the PS3's momentum will only get stronger until Microsoft reacts."

We're glad to see Sony's increasing success with the PS3. It might seem surprising, but it looks like Sony's black box is finally gaining the traction we always thought it deserved.


Mass Effect 2 Is Coming to PCs (Surprise!) [Pc Gaming]

With Xbox 360 title Mass Effect coming to PCs this May, logic tells that Mass Effect 2 is going to eventually hit PCs. That's common sense! But when? Matt Atwood from developer BioWare says:

We haven't announced plans for timing on Mass Effect 2, period, so at this point we're not really ready to talk about it, but because we've got a really great PC fan base we think it's really important to deliver the PC experience as quickly as possible. Look for more news on that soon.

Mass Effect Confirmed for PC []

Mr. Driller Online Screens [Xbox 360]

 Bandai Namco has released screens of upcoming Xbox LIVE Arcade title Mr. Driller Online. The game features single player and multiplayer drilling modes that include tag team multiplayer. The game has "Standard Driller" with stages divided into 100m sections by large blocks and "Quest Driller" with, well, quests. Nice to see Bandai Namco bring Mr. Driller online. Really nice.

Mr. Driller Online [Game Watch Impress]

Xbox 360 Remains Blu-ray-less [Rumor Smash]

While there was some speculation of the Xbox 360 supporting the Blu-ray HD format, Microsoft's Aaron Greenburg has put that idea to rest. He says that Microsoft is not currently in talks with Sony about integrating Blu-ray into the system. Nor are there any SKUs for Xbox 360s with Blu-ray in the works. So there you have it. From Greenburg's mouth to our ears, there's no Blu-ray in the future of the Xbox 360

Doraemon: Nobita to Midori no Kyojin Den

Doraemon: Nobita to Midori no Kyojin Den, the latest movie about Fujiko F. Fujio's manga robotic cat, opened at #1 at the Japanese box office (March 8–9) with US$5,033,049 on 344 screens (Box Office Mojo). Eiga Kurosagi (Kurosagi the Movie) also opened this past weekend, but at #4 with US$2,817,974 on 315 screens. This is the theatrical version of the live-action television drama adaptation of Takeshi Natsuhara and Kuromaru's manga. The story centers on a man named Kurosaki who becomes a "Kurosagi" (black egret), or someone who swindles other swindlers.

All three of the previous weekend's manga-related movies fell but remained on the chart. The ninth film adaptation of the Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga and television anime series took in US$1,073,276 on 293 screens in its second weekend. One Piece: Episode of Chopper + Fuyu ni Saku, Kiseki no Sakura was #6 according to Kogyo Tsushinsha, but #7 according to Box Office Mojo. L change the WorLd, the live-action Death Note spinoff starring Ken'ichi Matsuyama (NANA, Sexy Voice and Robo, Detroit Metal City), fell again from #2 to #7 in its fifth weekend, according to Kogyo Tsushinsha. Box Office Mojo lists it at #6 with US$1,096,085 on 317 screens to add to its US$26,119,424 total. Finally, #8's Chō Gekijōban Keroro Gunso 3: Keroro Tai Keroro - Tenkū Daikessen de Arimasu!, the third Keroro Gunso or Sgt. Frog movie, earned US$699,789 on 163 screens in its second weekend to add to its US$1,889,350 total.

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