Xbox and Cube Christmas titles slip to 2004

Last week, a Nintendo official release schedule for the USA confirmed that Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle has indeed slipped back into early 2004, threatening a repeat of last years fiasco where the Cube had a dismal Christmas in Europe due to a lack of hit software.

Meanwhile one of the Xbox’ biggest hitters for the festive season is also gone, with Big Blue Box’ Fable slipping to Spring 2004 according to comments made by Robbie Bach at an investors conference in Redmond last week.

Fable has been developed as part of the Lionhead satellites programme, and both the innovative nature of the game and the involvement of Peter Molyneux have made the graphically stunning RPG into one of the most anticipated titles on Xbox.

Other key games for Microsoft’s console have also slipped past Christmas, with the delay of Halo 2 to 2004 being announced some weeks ago. Sources within the developer have also indicated that Climax’ anime-themed RPG Sudeki may also miss the festive season, although it remains officially pencilled in as a late 2003 title.

So what’s left on the schedules for Christmas, then? In terms of the GameCube, the USA gets Mario Kart: Double Dash on November 17th, and we can only hope that Nintendo has the common sense to bring the game to Europe in time for Christmas, or else F-Zero GX this autumn may be the last major first-party game to appear on the Cube this year. The USA also gets snowboarding title 1080 Avalanche on December 1st, but many critics seemed distinctly under whelmed by the game at E3.

In third-party terms, Nintendo claims that Viewtiful Joe, P.N.03, Rogue Squadron III, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes will all be out in the USA by the end of the year. Whether those dates hold, and how many of the above make it to Europe in time for Christmas, remains to be seen – but it’s an odd twist of fate to see Nintendo relying so heavily on third party content to rescue the Cube this winter.

In terms of the Xbox, Microsoft’s big hope is Project Gotham Racing 2, which remains firmly on track for a pre-Christmas launch and comes fully equipped with Xbox Live support. Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden should also arrive in time to be played while the turkey is cooking, and in terms of cross-platform titles, Microsoft will be hoping to win some consumers with the charms of Unreal II: The Awakening, Deus Ex: Invisible War and Starcraft: Ghost.

It’s hard to tell who’s the early leader out of the two “second place” consoles, but in the absence of the major blockbusters which have slipped, it looks like Christmas might not be as merry as it should be for both Microsoft and Nintendo.



Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.

Who needs a Switch? These 25 games prove there's fun to be found on 3DS

The 3DS is home to a large library, including some of the greatest games Nintendo has ever published. We've compiled this list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS games currently available.

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.
Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update channels Halo with a scoped revolver

The latest update for Fortnite, update 7.20, is now available, and it brings a new Scoped Revolver weapon to the game alongside the returning Glider item and a limited-time Snipers-only mode.

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ will make Blackout mode free to play this week

Treyarch and Activision are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode as a free trial download for a limited time. The mode will be available from January 17 through January 24.