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God Save the Wii
Our friends on the other side of the pond got their Wii news today, but it was a bit of good and bad. While Sony will make Brit gamers wait until 2007 for their PS3s, the Wii will hit UK shores on December 8 for £180. That's still more than the US price if you work out the exchange rate and it's just £20 less than an Xbox 360 Core pack. Even the UK Virtual Console games will be the equivalent of a few bucks more expensive than in the US and Japan. And while the release date isn't that far after the December 2 Japanese launch, England is the last of the "big three" territories to see Wii on shelves. So once again, the UK gets has to wait for the privilege to pay more for its games. Isn't it time for this economic injustice to end? Three words of advice from some folks who have been there, guys: Boston Wii Party.

Region-free Wii
Chris Kohler, our cartoon-teddy-bear-come-to-life pal over at Wired, has some good news for Wii owners the world over: Seems that the Wii will be region-free, just like the DS before it. In other words, if you want to play a Japanese game that's too esoteric or too weird to get a US release, you won't need to buy some alien computer chip from a guy named 2manyimports4u on eBay, then lure an electrical engineer to your house to install the thing in exchange for a case of Dr. Pepper and a black t-shirt printed with a joke that all your friends who understand Linux swear is hilarious  - all you'll need to do is buy the damned game and play it. Check out the Q&A about some of Wii's other intangible keys to world domination at Chris' GameLife  blog.

Inaction figure
What will you do with all that money you're saving by not buying a PS3 this year? Why, blow it on a $100 statue of Samus Aran decked out in her famous Varia Suit, of course "Cast in high quality poly-stone, the statue is hand finished and hand painted with metallic paints to give an authentic representation of the suits." In other words, it'll look just like real life! They're only making 2500 of 'em, so don't let the "Q4 2006" release date stop you from clicking "Add to Cart." And if a C-note seems a bit steep, keep in mind that the flimsy plastic version that came out two years ago can run as much as double that.

Hidden World (of Warcraft)
We thought the interactive map  of the Burning Crusade realm of Outland that Blizzard posted yesterday was fairly cool. Actually, we found it a little anti-climactic, which is why we beefed it up with some screens to show you what you'll see where when you finally get to explore the place yourself. But it turns out there was more there than we knew - there's an Easter egg that we never found because we didn't sit there all day and obsessively click the map in obsessive-compulsive patterns. Try clicking the map territories in this order: Shadowmoon Valley, Blade's Edge Mountains, Nagrand, Netherstorm, Zangarmarsh, Hellfire Peninsula, Terokkar Forest. Then sit back and watch the show. We think this is a first - a cheat code for marketing hype.

New screens
Bully  (PS2)
Devil May Cry 4  (PS3)
Resistance: Fall of Man  (PS3)
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz  (Wii)
Sonic and the Secret Rings  (Wii)
GT Pro Series  (Wii)
Mario Hoops 3-on-3  (DS)
Harvest Moon DS  (DS)
Caesar IV  (PC)
NBA Live 07 (PS2Xbox )
NBA Live 07  (PSP)

New video
Bully  (PS2)
Red Steel  (Wii)
Rayman Raving Rabbids  (Damn near everything)

September 15, 2006

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