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“We’re excited to announce that in the recent months we have decided to reup on our contract with Activision publishing. The recently renegotiated deal may not seem like much of an impact from the outside perspective, but it has laid the ground work and kick started our future project, as well as the possibility of a unique new IP by Infinity Ward, that we’ll have complete control over. We’re excited to be working on our next project, but it’s going to be quite a while before I can share any details on exactly what that project is.” – Infinity Ward website/blog

As is the case in most of these situations, we really have no idea about any possible details about a new Infinity Ward game. Also, this means that the new title could be heading to a Nintendo platform.

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A brief post on TecnoSoft’s webpage shows that a new Thunder Force title is coming. No information other than the image posted above is shown, so any details like a timeframe for additional information, general gameplay facts, and system the new game will be releasing for are all conspiciously absent. TechnoSoft has released games in the series for the SNES and PlayStation, so the Wii and PS3 are most likely the best possible candidates for the release of the new Thunder Force game. However, that’s not to say that it’s impossible the title will not release for the 360, and it could very well go multiplatform.

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E3 is renowned for surprises and this year looks like the trend will continue. XSeed Games, the company that has worked on titles such as Victorious Boxers: Revolutions and the up and coming Little King’s Story, will have two surprising elements in their E3 lineup, according to Siliconera. The website notes, “They have two things in their E3 lineup you won’t be able to guess, one announcement that floored me…” This bit of information obviously does not mean that the surprises are Nintendo related, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that XSeed Games will show support for the big N.

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-18 years old (or older), with valid ID
-interested in action, puzzle, and strategy games.
-in the SF Bay Area and free July 10th, from 1-5pm.
-able to travel to the aforementioned fabulous Capcom HQ on your own.

This may very well be unrelated to a Nintendo title, but we don’t really know for sure. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m hoping for Okami 2! Alright, that’s a pretty intangible desire, isn’t it?

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Update: Looks like this is nothing more than an old ESRB rating. If you do a search on the ESRB website for the “Online” platform, you can tell that “Zelda Universe” was rated around 2001, at about the same time Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons were released. You may also remember the Zelda Universe interaction that once appeared on the official Zelda website. Back in the day, it seems that the ESRB sometimes rated some content with online website user interaction – as was the case for one ESRB pogo.com rating.

I’m sure everyone that is a true Zelda fan has considered the prospect of a Zelda online title at least once. The idea may be much more than a simple prospect in the future, however. There is a rating on the ESRB website that is for the “Online” platform and is titled Zelda Universe, published by Nintendo. Could this be Nintendo Power’s surprise in their next issue?

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In the preview page for Nintendo Power, there is a sword and a text blurb to once again entice the Nintendo Power reader base. The writing states, “We’ll kick off the next 20 years of Nintendo Power with more big reveals including a top-secret cover story fit for a king. It’s got a lot of heart. Just kidding. It’s Mother 3. Just kidding. Please look forward to it.” E3 is just around the corner, so could this be a game related to an upcoming Nintendo announcement? Or, is the magazine set to reveal that a game will be coming stateside?

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REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Determined to help lift the spirits of seriously ill children and their families, Nintendo of America Inc. and Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation have committed to placing hundreds of popular Fun Centers, now featuring Wii™ game systems, in hospitals across the United States and Canada this year. Nintendo of America is manufacturing 1,250 new Fun Centers in their first run, and Starlight expects to have about 500 of them placed in hospitals by the end of the year. In a continuation of the organizations’ 16-year partnership, the portable Fun Centers with the new Wii technology will be enjoyed by thousands of hospitalized kids.

The new Fun Centers feature a Sharp AQUOS™ flat-screen television, a DVD player, a Wii system and a selection of family-friendly Wii games like Super Mario Galaxy™, Wii Sports™ and Mario Party® 8. The Fun Centers were created specifically to offer children an entertaining respite during difficult hospital stays.

To help mark the introduction of the new Fun Centers, two units, donated by Nintendo, will be presented to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles at a special Super Mario Galaxy-themed launch event on June 25. Child star Allen Alvarado, of Discovery Kids’ Flight 29 Down, and video game icon Mario™ will be in attendance. Allen has had personal experience with Fun Centers, which kept him company and aided in his recovery when he was hospitalized for several weeks at Childrens Hospital after an automobile accident last fall.

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Instead of saving their information for the press at E3, most companies have gone a different root and have decided over the past few years to hold private events to show off their newest products. Sega has joined in on the fun and has three different (private) events scheduled for this July:

– Tokyo: July 3rd, 4th
– Osaka: July 8th
– Fukuoka: July 10th

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I’m sure most of you guys know how things go…Someone claims to have surreptitiously taken a snapshot of concept art, video footage, or screenshots. This time around, some guy claims that he was able to snag a quick cellphone shot of Mega Man 9. Sounds crazy, right? The same person also provided some details:

– You can play as Blues.
– The graphics are in the 8-bit sprite style, but not the classic Famicom/NES one.
– It doesn’t have anything to do with the X series.
– Tango is in it, and works just like the Rockman World Game Boy version.
– The game doesn’t support full wide screen YET, but it will.
– It does support 480p.

It seems very surprising that someone would be able to report on the game, but I can’t help but want this all to be true. E3 is just around the corner, however, so I’m positive we’ll hear something about the game then.

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“Unless there are specific concerns regarding premature disclosure of a title, we expect this field to be left blank. …While we recognize some publishers have concerns regarding earlier-than-desired ‘announcements’ of product on our website, the ESRB system will not work for consumers if publishers arbitrarily select dates bearing no reasonable relationship to consumer interest in the product.” – ESRB

This is really a shame, as we were able to discover hidden titles through the ESRB. I do understand where companies are coming from though, since the additions of game listings to the ESRB website allow fans to get early insight into games that they probably aren’t ready to reveal. Hey, at least that means that there will be more, unannounced surprises in the future.

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