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Rumors Suggest Oblivion Delayed, Not a Launch Day Title
game: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
news | 10/13/05 | Aaron Stanton
Rumors on the Internet have 2K Games announcing that Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will miss the Xbox 360 launch day by two weeks, giving the much anticipated title a new release date of December 5th, 2005. How reliable this information is remains to be seen; while a number of high profile game sites have reported Oblivion\'s delay, IGN Insider is now reporting that Bethesda denies any such thing. Questions about Oblivion\'s role in the Xbox 360 launch have been floating about the Internet since it failed to make Microsoft\'s previous list of confirmed same-day launch titles. Speculation that it could be released during the system\'s launch window instead, within a month or so of the actual system, is still very much valid.
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A Close Look at Turner's GameTap Service
feature | 10/13/05 | Sean Hilliard
No M-rated games. No AIM/ICQ style of gamer-to-gamer communication at launch. Space Ghost interviews big-name game developers.

That\'s the bad news about Turner Broadcasting Co.\'s GameTap service, which offers a library of games and game-related media content for download to subscribers. The good news is, GameTap also feature emulators, including a Dreamcast emulator. So if you can get past the sketchy bits (and you have a fast broadband connection), then you might want to check out GameTap when it launches on Oct. 17. GamesFirst! sat down with GameTap\'s Vice President of Content Rick Sanchez to get the scoop on GameTap\'s launch.
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Call of Duty 2 Preview
game: Call of Duty 2
preview | 10/13/05 | Blaine Krumpe
Call of Duty 2 puts gamers back in the role of American, British, and Russian soldiers fighting for the Allies in World War II. Known for its gritty depiction of the battlefield, Call of Duty 2 amps up the realism and immersive qualities. Everything from the AI of enemies and allies to the stellar graphics and enhanced environments have been improved upon, making Call of Duty 2 one of the most hectic battlefield simulations out there. Check out Blaine\'s preview here.
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Heavy.com Launches Fall Season of Programming
news | 10/12/05 | Shawn Rider
Heavy.com has expanded its machinima offerings and broken new ground in the IPTV arena with the announcement of the first-ever full season of broadband-distributed programming. The network has announced several new shows, including \"Honey, I Killed the Geezer\" (created using Atari\'s Indigo Prophecy), \"Tourettes Cowboy\" (created using Activision\'s GUN), and \"Dr. Philprah, Colossus Whisperer\" (created using Sony\'s Shadow of the Colossus). There are several more series slated to premiere this month, and each will see multiple episodes released this Fall.
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IEMA Statement on California's New Anti-Violent Videogame Law
news | 10/12/05 | Shawn Rider
The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association has released an official statement against a new California law signed into law yesterday by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who claims the law will \"require that violent video games be clearly labeled and not be sold to children under 18 years old.\" That\'s not a bad thing; in fact, games are already clearly labelled and rated for both age and content. And therein lies the problem: California\'s law does not recognize the ratings of the ESRB, and instead imposes a vague set of guidelines which retailers will be legally bound to. Needless to say, this puts retailers in a precarious position: In some way, every title must be separately re-rated in California, but the specifics of how that would work are not there. Click here to read more about the law and retailers\' statement against it.
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Gamestop Completes EB Games Buyout
news | 10/11/05 | Shawn Rider
Gamestop completed its buyout of EB Games this week, making it the single largest game retailer in the country, as reported by Game Daily Biz. The merger creates a company with 4200 retail outlets worldwide, and expected annual revenues of $5 billion. Analysts expect the merger to lead to an increase in the used game market, which has recently been attacked by game publisher organizations as being detrimental to their business. The merger may well mean lower trade-in prices for gamers, too, which might in turn lead to an increase in traffic for online game trading sites as gamers flock to more worthwhile deals. And the news can only be seen as an indication that pre-release reservations and package bundles will enjoy unbridled growth. That could be problematic for gamers expecting to preorder an already very pricey PlayStation 3.
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Nintendo Profits Suffer, Says GameCube Nearing End
news | 10/09/05 | Aaron Stanton
BBC News is reporting that sales of the GameCube have dropped substantially in the US, and while the DS and GB Micro have sold well, development costs for the Nintendo Revolution have taken a serious toll on Nintendo\'s operating profits. Pre-tax income for the company has fallen nearly 41% since June, according to BBC. This still makes them more financially stable than Sony, which has posted substantial losses over recent years. Though they\'re making less money now, they are still operating at a substantial profit. Microsoft loses money on its Xbox division, but props up the operation with profits from other business ventures.
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The Mario Opera
news | 10/09/05 | Aaron Stanton
We here at GamesFirst are always fans of game enthusiasts showing their love in new and creative ways. You see fan art and fan fiction, but have you ever imagined there would be fan opera? Jonathan Mann has created a Mario Opera, and quite frankly the musical performances aren\'t bad; in fact, they\'re indicative of some serious musical talent implemented in a sometimes - but not always - cheesy way. Whether or not Mario is the place to show off that talent might be in question, though. Our advice is to not bother with the preview, but instead take a moment to listen to the songs themselves. Our personal favorite? The Lizard Wizard.
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Excellent Discussion of WoW Plague on NPR
game: World of Warcraft
news | 10/08/05 | Shawn Rider
NPR\'s All Things Considered has an excellent piece covering the recent Corrupted Blood plague in World of Warcraft. They consult everyone from computer mediated social interactions expert Sherry Turkle to other scientists and epidemiologists. The piece also features players discussing their experiences and covers some examples of in-game philanthropy as players donated resurrections and cures to other players who had died in the plague. It\'s a quick audio file, and definitely worth the download. Get it here.
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IF Comp 2005 Open for Voting
news | 10/08/05 | Shawn Rider
Entries for the 11th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition are in, and the competition is now open for voting. The Interactive Fiction Competition has been a major factor in the recent renaissance of the \"text adventure,\" aka Interactive Fiction. Plenty of new writers are using open source tools to make some amazing stories, the likes of which were never found in the Infocom catalog. And if you get that joke, you\'re exactly the kind of person who should check this out. Read on for more about how you can participate.
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PSP's Red Death: Virus Masquerading as Firmware Downgrade
game: PSP
news | 10/07/05 | Aaron Stanton
A fair warning to all you potential PSP hackers in the world; there\'s a virus for your PSP that\'s masquerading as a firmware downgrade. With the release of an actual firmware downgrader, it\'s easy to see why people might be tempted to download this little virus and install it in an attempt to run their PSPs back to a more flexible state. However, the virus - called PSPbrick - ends your PSP. By deleting key files, the Trojan destroys your PSP for all practical purposes. Since you can\'t undo the damage without a functioning PSP to hack, PSP owners are basically out of a system. Of course, since hacking your PSP voids the warranty, Sony has announced that they\'re washing their hands of the problem. Such is the risk of system hacking. For those of you without a hacked PSP, you needn\'t worry. The virus isn\'t capable of transferring between systems without the user actively installing it.
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ESA Foundation Online Video Game Charity Auction Starts Today
news | 10/07/05 | Shawn Rider
The sixth annual computer and video game charity auction opens today and runs through October 14, 2005 on eBay. The auction is sponsored by the ESA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Entertainment Software Association. The auction is held in conjunction with the ESA Foundation\'s \"Nite to Unite for Kids,\" which has so far raised nearly $7 million to benefit a variety of children\'s charities. There are a bunch of cool items available, so if you\'re in the mood for that warm and glowing feeling you get from helping some sad kid, read on for links and more info.
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Ubisoft Delays Ghost Recon
game: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
news | 10/07/05 | Shawn Rider
After making a stellar appearance at X05, Ubisoft\'s Tom Clancy\'s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will be sliding back its Xbox 360 release date into the new year. Ubisoft announced today that the new Ghost Recon will release in February 2006. The delay of release date might be a bummer for fans, but Ubisoft claims the delay will not impact their revenue forecasts for the fiscal year. They know they\'ll sell a boatload of these. Ubi dropped a couple new screens on us to keep us satisfied. Check them out here.
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The Chronicles of Narnia Preview
game: Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
preview | 10/06/05 | Aaron Stanton
Sometimes it takes a movie to turn a good idea into a game. The fantasy setting of The Chronicles of Narnia is an ideal world for the basis of a video game, containing monsters, heroes, and mystical creatures. Even separated from its religious basis, the story behind the classic children\'s tales offers everything a game designer could hope for to create a rich, living environment. In November, developer Traveler\'s Tales will be releasing a video game based on the upcoming movie adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and GamesFirst! has had an opportunity to play through a preview build of the title. What we found is a game worth looking forward to. Check out our preview.
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New Oblivion Screens
game: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
news | 10/06/05 | Shawn Rider
It\'s well-known that much of the GF! Staff is stoked to get their hands on Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The sequel to Morrowind will be absolutely incredible, and we know that for a fact. Bethesda dropped some new screens at the European X05 event, and they just make us all the more excited. With rumors that Oblivion may be slipping in its release date, all we can do is gaze longingly at these screens and go back and read our previous coverage.
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