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NewsBit: Week of October 15

Mac gaming receives a boost from GOG.com, Japanese Vita sales lag, The Old Republic details free-to-play, and more.

Click through for the biggest gaming news stories for the week of October 15:

GOG.com Brings Classic PC games to Mac

Good Old Games, a subsidiary of Polish developer/publisher CD Projekt Red which offers DRM-free digital downloads of classic PC games, is now selling titles for Mac.

According to a press release issued by the company, more than 50 games are now available for Mac via GOG.com, 28 of which are exclusive to the site. Mac titles available for download include Syndicate and the Ultima and Wing Commander series.

Per the press release, GOG.com Managing Director Guillaume Rambourg said the addition of Mac titles responds to demand from a growing base of Mac gamers.

"The Mac audience is growing and so is the demand for games for Mac OS," he said. "We have been selling the best games in history for PC for 4 years now, so we knew that one day we would have to address the [Mac gamers'] expectations."

Indeed, Mac gaming is becoming more prevalent, in part with help from Steam being ported to the platform in 2010.

Japanese Vita Sales Hit Record Low

The PlayStation Vita this week hit record low Japanese hardware sales, continuing a trend of declining financial success since its December 2011 Japanese release.

According to Media Create, a website which publishes Japanese video game sales figures, the Vita pushed only 6,134 units this week. Its predecessor, the PSP, sold more than twice as many at 15,107. Also per Media Create, the Vita sold 324,859 units at launch.

U.K. Sony executive Fergal Gara said to U.K. magazine MCV to expect successful Vita sales around Christmas, and to judge a console's success prior to the holiday season is "preposterous."

"We have got the cash to invest in terms of marketing and retail to really ignite it this Christmas," Gara said. "To start judging a console before it has had its first Christmas is preposterous, really. And we are giving it everything we have got."

BioWare Details Free-to-Play Model for Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic will offer a free-to-play option later this fall, and BioWare has updated the game's website with a laundry list of content the new option allows (and doesn't allow) access to.

Announced in July, free-to-play allows players to reach the level 50 cap but limits character creation options, inventory space, and access to certain in-game activities, to name a few. Additional access to limited features may be unlocked a la carte with "Cartel Coins," an in-game currency purchased with real money.

A subscription option awarding unlimited access to all content will continue to be available after free-to-play launches.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is said to be the most expensive video game ever developed, with estimates  from between $150 and $200 million. Positive critical reviews and a large initial subscriber base gave it a strong launch. As reported by CVG in July, however, a representative from publisher Electronic Arts confirmed declining subscriptions, and free-to-play is likely an attempt to reverse the decline.

4A Games Drops Multiplayer from Metro: Last Light

A multiplayer mode announced for Metro: Last Light is no longer being pursued, developer 4A Games has revealed via the game's official blog.

According to the blog, a small team had been designing multiplayer concepts throughout the game's development, but the mode never entered full production. Although not ruling out multiplayer as a post-launch feature, the developer says it is no longer thinking about anything beyond the single-player campaign and concedes the announcement was probably pre-mature.

"We are gamers at the studio and really wanted to bring the world of Metro to life in a multiplayer environment," the post says. "In hindsight, it was probably a mistake to announce it when we did," it continues.

Metro: Last Light, the follow-up to 2010's Metro 2033 is targeted for an "early 2013" release.

Nintendo Cuts Wii MSRP by $30, Adds Wii Sports Resort

With less than one month until Nintendo launches the Wii U, the company has announced a $30 MSRP price drop for the original Wii.

The new Wii bundle includes a black console and both Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort packaged together on a single disc for $129.99, according to a press release issued by the company.

Gamers considering a purchase at the new price may wish to note Nintendo dropped backward compatibility for GameCube games from the console in late 2011.

According to sales data released by Nintendo in June, the company has shipped 96.56 million Wii consoles to date. The Wii's successor, the Wii U, is scheduled to launch November 18 with two different SKUs, one for $299.99 and one for $349.99.

Press Release


DIGITAL DISTRIBUTOR GOG.COM NOW SELLS GAMES FOR MAC.

The Best Games in History. Now on your Mac.

GOG.com, the digital distributor of the best games from all of history announced today, in its trademark quirky fashion, that it is moving to a new operating system. Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc6zIAq2J7A

GOG.com is bringing a part of its massive catalog of all-time classics to Mac, starting with an impressive 50+ titles for Mac gamers to play and enjoy. GOG.com has worked for more than a year on getting these games ready for release--more than half of which are available on Mac OS for the very first time today, including greats like Syndicate, the Ultima series, or the Wing Commander games. GOG.com has been in business selling classic PC games for download for years, although they recently added newer games to their mix, and the line-up of games reflects the best games that history has to offer from 1982 to 2012, bringing classics like Simcity 2000, Crusader: No Remorse, Little Big Adventure, Theme Hospital alongside new releases such as Anomaly Warzone Earth, Tiny & Big: Grandpa's Leftovers, Botanicula, and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

Speaking of monster-hunter Geralt and The Witcher 2, the Enhanced Edition of this award-winning mature fantasy RPG was released on Mac today and is available on GOG.com with a 25% discount (that's only $29.99) for the next 48 hours. The Witcher: 2 Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition is not the only Mac game available with a discount on GOG.com today. The Witcher Enhanced Edition, Crusader: No Remorse, Theme Hospital, Little Big Adventure, Postal Classic and Uncut, and Simcity 2000 are all available for 50% off--that's as little as $2.99 for the best games in history until Thursday, October 25.

As Guillaume Rambourg, Managing Director of GOG.com said "We all use Macs here at GOG--designers, developers, marketing, management, IT. So bringing our games to Mac was a natural step for us--so we can play more ;). The Mac audience is growing and so is the demand for games for Mac OS. We have been selling the best games in history for PC for 4 years now, so we knew that one day we would have to address the [Mac gamers'] expectations. That day is today, and I am extremely proud with the result--we're offering the same great service, simple user experience, more than 50 all-time classics, and 8 games for free--so you can test GOG.com without any costs or commitment, just by signing up!" The 8 free games for Mac gamers include retro-cool point-and-click adventure game Beneath a Steel Sky, action-packed top-down shooter Tyrian 2000, legendary RPG Ultima IV, and multiplayer FPS Warsow, among others.

GOG.com, as part of the move to their new platform, has also committed to releasing at least one Mac game a week--if not more!--in the future. Any Mac gamers who are looking to play more of the best that gaming history has to offer should sign up at GOG.com now to make sure that they don't miss any of the exciting news.

About GOG.com
GOG.com is the ultimate destination for downloadable DRM-free games. The site offers gamers some of the greatest PC games of all time for a low price and free from copy protection. GOG.com is much more than just another digital distribution site, featuring an extensive community component that allows players to rate, review and discuss their favorite PC games, as well as insightful articles from respected game journalists. Visit www.gog.com and start your exploration of the best that gaming has to offer.

NINTENDO DROPS PRICE OF WII TO $129.99, INCLUDES BOTH WII SPORTS AND WII SPORTS RESORT

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nintendo is dropping the Wii console to a suggested retail price of $129.99 U.S. in advance of the busy holiday shopping season. The new configuration is beginning to arrive in stores now, and will be broadly available in the U.S. by Oct. 28. This high-value configuration includes a black Wii console and both Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort on a single game disc, as well as a Wii Remote Plus and a Nunchuk controller – both black to match the console. This configuration replaces the current black Wii that comes with New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

“Nearly six years after it launched, people are still attracted to the pure, inclusive fun of the Wii console,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “A new suggested retail price and the inclusion of two great games make it an easy choice for families looking for a great value this holiday season.”

Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort represent two iconic games that helped pioneer the industry move toward motion-controlled video games. The games include a wide variety of sports that use the controllers in unique ways. Players can try their hand at sports like bowling, tennis, baseball, archery, table tennis and basketball, all while simulating real-life motions using the Wii Remote Plus controller. For the first time, both games are included on a single game disc.

Remember that Wii features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wii.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™ home console, Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.9 billion video games and more than 630 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.


 

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Press Release

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTOR GOG.COM NOW SELLS GAMES FOR MAC.

The Best Games in History. Now on your Mac.

GOG.com, the digital distributor of the best games from all of history announced ...

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