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New Chromehounds Screens
game: Chromehounds
news | 01/27/06 | Shawn Rider
Sega is unloading on the Xbox 360 with both Full Auto and Chromehounds coming out in the coming weeks. Chromehounds is based on an alternate Cold War history that places you in charge of a big, destructive robot fighting for one of three factions. Developed by Armored Core veterans, From Software, Chromehounds has the pedigree to be a very good game. The screens look gorgeous, and we are excited to get our hands on a playable version of this one. Get the details here.
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Full Auto Demo Available Now on Xbox Live
game: Full Auto
news | 01/27/06 | Shawn Rider
Sega sends word that Full Auto has officially gone gold. This announcement coincides with the release of a bunch of new screens, which we\'re featuring here, and an Xbox Live demo, which we\'ve downloaded and raged through. The verdict is still out on this one-- the demo is a bit skimpy, and we haven\'t gotten a lot of time with it yet. In the meantime, check out these new screens and get the details on this chaotic action racer in our recent preview. All of which lies behind this link.
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Bethesda Brings Star Trek to the Xbox 360, DS, and PSP
news | 01/26/06 | Aaron Stanton
Though we haven\'t seen much of the Star Trek franchise in the game industry since the release of Elite Force II a little while back, that doesn\'t mean that the series isn\'t still destined for further greatness. Bethesda Softworks, makers of Elder Scrolls and one of the most talented developers in the industry today, has purchased the right to make games based on the Star Trek franchise. They\'ve announced two games, including one title for the Xbox 360, and another for both the Nintendo DS and the PSP. Though they haven\'t announced anything, they\'ve also purchased the rights to create games for the PC based on the Star Trek IP.
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The Right Moves: West Virginia Officially Adopts DDR Into Physical Education Curriculum
game: Dance Dance Revolution
editorial | 01/26/06 | Shawn Rider
The state of West Virginia has partnered with game publisher Konami to bring Dance Dance Revolution into hundreds of school physical education programs. The deal will roll out over 700 Dance Dance Revolution arcade machines, beginning with the state\'s 103 middle/junior high schools. The officials are doing the right thing, but they\'re citing the wrong reasons. DDR is not a way to combat the sedentary lifestyle of the youth, it\'s a way to create a modernized physical education curriculum that does what it should: engages students in realistic physical activity. Shawn steps up to the soapbox in this editorial.
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SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006 Review
game: SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006
review | 01/24/06 | Matt James
SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006 on the PSP is almost identical to its PS2 counterpart: The graphics are quite nice, the control remains enjoyable, and the full depth of play is retained. Including loads of wrestlers, some great WiFi multiplayer, and a management mode that adds a whole new layer to the wrestling game, SmackDown Vs. RAW 2006 is a must-play for portable-gaming wrestling fans. Get the full review from Matt James right here.
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Slamdance Film Festival Guerilla Gamemaker Competition Finalists Round-Up
news | 01/22/06 | Sean Hilliard
The Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition naturally turned a lot of heads at Games First! GF! editors are excited about anything involving the words \"indy\" and \"gaming,\" and the Guerilla Gamemaker Competition doesn\'t disappoint. Check out Sean\'s in-depth coverage and see the future of indy gaming now. And follow the links in the article to sites where you can download and play most of these games for free!
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Xbox Games Grew 77% Over System Life-Cycle, Suggests 360 DVDs Are (Mostly) Big Enough for Next-Generation
game: Xbox 360
feature | 01/19/06 | Aaron Stanton
Microsoft has received criticism for sticking to the DVD9 format for the Xbox 360. Concerned gamers point out that the 8.5 gigabytes of storage may not be enough to hold next-generation games. Sony\'s PS3 will use blu-ray, a format capable of storing several times the information of DVD9. But how big are Xbox 360 games? And how much will they grow, really? We take a look at the size of original Xbox titles to see how much they grew between 2001 and 2005, and compare them to the size of the Xbox 360 launch titles to make an educated guess about the DVD9\'s future needs. The conclusion? Well, you\'ll have to read to find out, but it generally makes Microsoft look like they know what they\'re doing. Don\'t enter a forum debate about blu-ray without reading this article.
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Meridian4 Announces Shadowgrounds
game: Shadowgrounds
news | 01/19/06 | Shawn Rider
Meridian4 has been having a good new year. They\'ve been picking up games left and right, and the titles just keep looking better and better. These are the kinds of games that I\'d love to see downloadable via Xbox Live, and that you can download and have a great time with on your laptop. That\'s not to say that they\'re low-fi, but they\'re not exactly cutting edge, either. Which can be fun. Their latest announcement is about Shadowgrounds, a sci-fi action title that offers a fresh take on old-school 3rd person shooters. It looks like Ikari Warriors meets Aliens.
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Videogame Industry Tops $10.5 Billion
news | 01/16/06 | Shawn Rider
As reported by GameDaily Biz, NPD Funworld calculates the videogame industry\'s take last year at around $10.5 billion. It looks like games have reached a major milestone, and that is thanks to some (possibly) surprising trends in 2005: portable gaming and female gamers. Sure, the Xbox 360 launch was a major boost to the industry in Q4, but the success of the industry in a highly transitional year (new console launches are never great for software sales) is attributed to handheld gaming and female gamers. Get more on this story right here.
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PSP finally outsells the DS in Japan
news | 01/15/06 | George Holomshek
It took a while, but Sony\'s PSP was finally able to top the Nintendo DS in sales last week (January 2-8) in Japan. As reported by Joystiq, this is the first time since April of 2005 that the PSP has outsold the DS. Sony managed to move 132,757 PSPs off shelves and the DS jumped into shopping karts 91,379 times. George has the details in this News blurb.
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Everything We Know About the I.C.E. 360 Modchip
game: ICE Modchip
feature | 01/13/06 | Aaron Stanton
Has the Xbox 360 been successfully modified? This is the question that\'s been on the modding community\'s mind since InfinityMods.com claimed to have a functioning modchip in-hand. Is it true? In this article, we look at the time-line of everything we know about the I.C.E. modchip, and include an interview with Team I.C.E.

What does I.C.E. stand for? When is the expected ship date for the chip (early Feb., by the way). If you have doubts about the I.C.E. modchip, then this article certainly won\'t put them to rest, but we help keep you informed.
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Sex in Video Games Conference This Summer
news | 01/12/06 | Shawn Rider
The Sex in Video Games Conference will be held in San Francisco June 8-9 at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, San Francisco, CA. The conference theme is \"Exploring the Business of Digital Erotic Entertainment,\" which sounds totally not sexy to us. But the conference gains clout thanks to the involvement of Brenda Brathwaite, Game Designer and Founder and Chair of the International Game Developers Association\'s Sexuality SIG. If you\'ve got a vested (read: business) interest in the future of adult erotic interactive entertainment, then this is the place to go. It should be more scandalous than E3.
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Armored Core: Formula Front Review
game: Armored Core: Formula Front - Extreme Battle
review | 01/10/06 | Matt James
Armored Core is a tricky series: Gamers typically love it or hate it. Stat-hounds and customization freaks really dig the hardcore gearhead approach to battle bots, while the rest of us stick to more action-oriented titles for our big mech enjoyment. Nonetheless, the first Armored Core game is out for the PSP. Armored Core: Formula Front-- Extreme Battle is a fan-targeted title, geared towards current fans of the Armored Core series and fairly inaccessible for newcomers. Matt James has the rundown.
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GamesFirst! Weekly Wrap-Up Number 15
podcast | 01/07/06 | Val Townsend
This week in the Wrap-Up, Val checks out the biggest gaming news of the last couple weeks, catching us up on any news we missed while we were stuffing our gullets on stuffing and gullets. She also checks out reviews of PoPoLoCrois for PSP, Kosumi for PC, and Call of Duty 2 for Xbox 360 and PC. After all that, she serves up a tasty preview of Chromehounds, coming soon to Xbox 360 from the makers of the legendary Armored Core series. Get the latest podcasty goodness from your pals at GF!
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Xbox 360 Modchip Website Launches, Updates Sale Date to January 31st, 2006
game: I.C.E. Xbox 360 Modchip
news | 01/07/06 | Aaron Stanton
The website for the Xbox 360 modchip known as LiThIuM I.C.E. went live in the early hours of January 7th, 2006. While there\'s nothing there yet to cast much additional light on the chip or its creators, one comment on the site does include a date: January 31st, 2006. Is this the release date, or an extension of the two-week pre-order date mentioned on InfinityMods.com? It\'s hard to say. The site also includes information on the chip\'s development time-line, and reseller policies. We\'re all holding our breaths waiting for the site to finish launching, and we\'ll keep you posted.
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