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AU Shippin’ Out December 10-14: Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
What games hit Australian shores this week? Marvel fans may be interested in the release of Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth on the Wii U. Check AU Shippin’ Out for the full list of games which were released this week.
The OzSpot: Game of the Year Edition
It's nearly Christmas, and we celebrated with our final OzSpot podcast episode for the year! Join the GameSpot AU team--Dan, Laura, Ed, Zorine and Jess--as we looked back at the year that was 2012, and recounted some of our favourite gaming moments.
12 Plays of Christmas
With such an exciting line-up of games this year it would have been easy for some titles which may not have been on your radar. To help out, the GameSpot AU team round up their hidden gems of 2012, and share their thoughts on why they may have been missed! Best of all, you could win yourself one of twelve Turtle Beach Ear Force Z6A headsets worth $140!
For a brief explanation of what 12 Plays of Christmas is about, check out this video.
Sony Entertainment Network now available via PC
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has officially announced a new online store that allows PC users to purchase PSN content for their PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita. The store rolled out for over 15 European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Check out the full article for more details.
Australian competitive fighting game organisation OzHadou has announced the return of the longest-running fighting game tournament in Australia. Named the OzHadou Nationals (OHN), the event will mark the 11th annual run of the tournament since it was first hosted by OzHadou in 2001, and will take place in February 2013 in Sydney.
The OzHadou Nationals will run over three days from February 22 to Sunday, February 24 at 99 on York in Sydney's CBD. Further details can be found on the OzHadou website.
Tournaments for the following games will be run at OHN:
In addition to this, setups will be available for casual play and side tournaments.
OzHadou is an Australian organisation that was founded in 2001 and has been dedicated to the Australian fighting game community. The OzHadou Nationals are run annually, and previous tournaments have seen players travel from all over Australia to participate in the Sydney-based event.
Aussie fans of Assassin's Creed III now have a chance to pick up a customised special edition, and for a good cause. Ubisoft have put together a special edition of Assassin’s Creed III to auction off and raise money for the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation.
The special edition comes in a custom-made trunk and includes a copy of Assassin's Creed Freedom Edition (see below for contents), Assassin’s Creed Liberation, an Assassin’s Creed backpack, tomahawk USB, steel postcard, steel book, notebook, belt buckle, wristband, lead figurines, iron-on patch, two key chains, and additional bonus digital content.
Contents of the Assassin’s Creed III Freedom Edition include:
- 24cm figurine of Connor
- Steelbook case
- One exclusive Lithograph
- Bonus Single Player Mission: Lost Mayan Ruins
- Bonus Single Player Mission: Ghost of War
- Bonus Multiplayer Package: The Sharpshooter.
Ten custom special editions have been made worldwide, and Ubisoft Australia is auctioning off eight in a series of eBay auctions running from November 30 to December 17. Those interested in bidding can search for "Charity Auction Assassin's Creed III Freedom Edition" on eBay. The first auction is available here. All proceeds go to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales.
Open-world action game Far Cry 3 launches this week, and Ubisoft is celebrating by offering gamers a free day of laser skirmish. The event will run from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on November 28, a day before the game launches.
Gamers who want to take part should head down to M9 Laser Skirmish in Darling Harbour (level 3, Harbourside Shopping Centre). Entry is free, although participants are encouraged to turn up early to accommodate the limited number of people allowed into each game.
The game will see players take on the role of protagonist Jason Brody, a man stranded on a strange tropical island similar to the setting of the first Far Cry. The game is a first-person shooter, but also features elements of the RPG genre, such as gaining experience points, a skill tree, and a crafting system.
Far Cry 3 will be released on November 29 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
AU Shippin' Out 20-22
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale kicked its way onto Aussie shelves this week alongside Hitman: Absolution. Check out AU Shippin’ Out for everything else that went on sale.
The OzSpot: The Lucky Dip Cat Edition
On the latest episode of the AU podcast, we talked about Wii U hacks, Black Ops II international sales, whether reviews need scores, and which video game character we'd most like to have dinner with.
Wii U Aussie midnight launch details
The Wii U may already be out in North America, but Australians will have to wait until the early hours of November 30 to be able to buy their own. Read our full list of retailers opening their doors at midnight.
Nintendo 3DS XL limited white edition to arrive in Australia for Christmas
A limited-edition white 3DS XL will be available for purchase this holiday season. Find out what's included in the package.
Wonderbook: Book of Spells touring Australia
Curious about Sony’s new augmented-reality title, Wonderbook: Book of Spells? Sony Australia is taking the game on tour across Australia. Read up to find out the locations and dates so that you can get hands on.
Gamers who are curious about Sony’s augmented-reality (AR) game Wonderbook: Book of Spells will have a chance to experience the puzzle game for themselves. Sony Entertainment Australia has announced that the PlayStation 3-exclusive game will be touring Australia, appearing in a variety of locations.
The game is played with a book, which needs to be used in conjunction with the PlayStation Move and PlayStation Eye peripherals to cast magic.
Wonderbook: Book of Spells marks a collaboration between Sony and Harry Potter author JK Rowling. Book of Spells is the first game to use Wonderbook, and works by tapping into the Harry Potter universe.
In the game, players will learn how to cast a range of spells, including Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa, and Expelliarmus, with the PlayStation Move controller taking the place of a wand. The game was well received in GameSpot's review.
See below for a full list of locations and dates where you can experience Wonderbook: Book of Spells.
November 15 – 18
November 22 – 25
November 29 – December 2
December 6 – 9
December 13 – 16
November 15 – 18
Westfield Garden City
November 22 – 25
Westfield Fountain Gate
November 29 – December 2
December 6 – 9
Westfield Plenty Valley
December 13 – 16
December 20 – 24
December 20 – 24
Nintendo’s super-sized handheld console, the 3DS XL, will be getting a white colour release for the upcoming Christmas season. The console comes with a recommended retail price of A$270 and will be sold at a variety of game retailers from December 6 for a limited time.
Gamers will be able to choose between consoles that are pre-installed with either platformer Super Mario 3D Land or arcade racer title Mario Kart 7. Nintendo Australia expects the console to sell throughout the Christmas season.
The 3DS XL was originally released August 23 in Australia in blue-black, red-black, and silver-black colour combinations. The body of the XL is 46 percent larger than the original 3DS, and sports an increased battery life. For a comparison between the 3DS and 3DS XL, check out GameSpot's impressions video.
This week saw the release of Treyarch’s FPS title, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Other titles which came out this week include Wonderbook: Book of Spells and The Sims 3 Seasons. Read Shippin’ Out for the full list.
The GameSpot AU team hit up the community for a live stream of Call of Duty: Black Ops II during its launch at midnight, Australia time. See what went down in the late hours as the team was driven to the brink of sleepy Black Ops 2 madness!
In this week’s episode of the OzSpot we discussed why a number of SEALs are under investigation after consulting on Medal of Honor, next year’s Assassin's Creed movie and more! Listen in!
Australian Interactive Games Fund has been announced by the federal government. Funds will support Australian game-development studios and gamemakers over the next three years.
EB Games recalls Spartan-branded batteries due to a high possibility of catching on fire.
Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean spoke to GameSpot regarding the decision to roll out A$20 million in funds to the local game-development sector over the next three years. What will this mean for local developers?
Epic Games' cover-based shooter Gears of War: Judgment may not be out until March 19 next year, but fans can place their preorders at Australian retailers from today.
Preordering grants Aussie customers exclusive access to the in-game weapon the Classic Hammerburst, which is described as an assault rifle that is "highly accurate, with a six-round burst."
In addition to the Classic Hammerburst, fans who preorder through EB Games and JB Hi-Fi stores will receive a "Young Marcus" and "Young Dom" character skin, respectively. Microsoft confirmed that more details on retailer-exclusive bonuses will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Set before the events of the Gears of War trilogy, Gears of War: Judgement is a prequel that takes players back in the timeline to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day. Developed by Epic Games in conjunction with Bulletstorm studio, People Can Fly, the project focuses on series soldier Damon Baird and will not feature Kinect functionality.
For more on Gears of War: Judgment, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
Australian gaming magazine Atomic will be publishing its final standalone issue this month.
The news comes with the announcement that the magazine will be merging with PC & Tech Authority, which will be expanding its print length by sixteen pages to accommodate more extensive game-focused content.
The announcement was made by editor David Hollingworth in a forum post earlier today.
Atomic's online content will still be retained with the PC & Tech Authority website, and the existing forums will remain intact. The magazine's final release will be issue 143.
Atomic has been in circulation since 2001. The magazine was issued on a monthly basis and marketed towards technology enthusiasts, covering computing hardware through analysis of new technologies.
Both Atomic and PC & Tech Authority are published by Haymarket Media.
Grand Theft Auto V is officially available for preorder in Australia as of today, publisher Rockstar Games has announced. Preorders can be made at Australian retailers for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms. At the time of writing, there has been no mention of a special edition or retailer-exclusive content.
Alongside the announcement, Rockstar has made available some additional artwork from the game on their website.
The upcoming open world action-adventure title has yet to be announced for the PC. A second trailer for the game will be released November 15, delayed as a result of a power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Grand Theft Auto V is due out worldwide in early 2013. The game's setting is inspired by modern-day Los Angeles and Southern California, and will be the first major title in the Grand Theft Auto series since Grand Theft Auto IV, which was originally released in 2008.
PlayStation Australia is giving fans a chance to claim the title of Ultimate All-Star in a fight that will take place in the PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale universe.
To partake in the fray participants must hit "Like" on the PlayStation Australia Facebook page and engage in battle with iconic PlayStation characters; picking their favourites and facing up to 19 rivals every day. Players can earn points by using different moves and recruiting friends into the brawl.
Trash talk isn't out of line either, with participants being granted bonuses for dropping "killer comments" during battles.
Each day of the competition, players will have the opportunity to win PlayStation 3 and Vita All-Star prize packs. Battling with multiple characters also increases your chances of winning. Additionally, all participants go into the draw to win the major prize--a PlayStation experience day.
The participant with the top score at the conclusion of the event on November 23 will claim the title of PlayStation Australia's Ultimate All-Star.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will feature a number of single and multiplayer game modes, as well as cross-platform online play. The game is due for release on November 22 for the PS3 and Vita. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
Australian gamers will have a chance to get some hands on time with the Wii U ahead of its launch, with Nintendo setting up Wii U experience stores around the country. The tour will kick off from November 5 in all major capital cities.
Games available for preview include exclusive new titles Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. In addition to these, participants will also have a chance to preview the latest 3DS games, including the latest from the Pokémon and Mario franchises.
The Wii U console will officially launch in Australia before the Christmas season, on November 30. An 8GB basic model in white will be available for A$349.95, while the 32GB premium model in black will cost A$429.95.
In regards to launch titles for the new console, Nintendo Australia referred to the lineup as "the strongest lineup of launch software in Nintendo history." Third-party launch titles for the Wii U include FIFA 13, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, ZombiU, and Rayman Legends.
See below for a full list of locations the Wii U experience stores will be appearing at.
Sydney Wii U Experience Store
Sydney Plaza--George Street Entrance
5th November - 9th December
Melbourne Wii U Experience Store
352 Princess Highway, Fountain Gate
5th November - 9th December
Perth Wii U Experience Pop Up
Perth Cultural Centre, St James Amphitheatre
5th November - 11th November
Gold Coast Wii U Experience Pop Up
Pacific Fair, Site 23 Courtyard
12th November - 17th November
Brisbane Wii U Experience Pop Up
King Georges Square, Area 2
18th November - 23rd November
Adelaide Wii U Experience Pop Up
Rundle Mall, Gawler Canopy
24th November - 29th November
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it would be bringing the Xbox entertainment experience to tablets, PCs, and phones. Titled SmartGlass, the new update will be launched this Friday, October 26, on Windows 8 and Windows RT.
SmartGlass will live on mobile devices as an app, allowing users to access their 360 content from several mobile devices.
The technology will also include a feature that Microsoft is dubbing "multi-screen entertainment," allowing gamers to enhance their gaming experience by integrating their mobile devices as they play games on the Xbox 360.
SmartGlass will be free for download on Windows 8 and RT PCs, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android devices. The following games and partners have confirmed Xbox SmartGlass integration:
Dance Central 3
Home Run Stars
Kinect Sesame Street TV
The line-up of Australian players travelling to Texas for the competition include Daniel “Deth” Haynes, David “Rossi” Rossi, Andrew “mOOnGLaDe” Pender and Yojun “YoonYJ” Yun.
The group will be accompanied by team manager Derek “Dox” Reball as it competes in the open bracket at MLG. The following week will also see mOOnGLaDe flying out to Shanghai to compete on the international stage at the StarCraft II World Championship Series hosted by Blizzard Entertainment, which he qualified for earlier this year.
MLG has scheduled the Fall Championship to run on November 2-4, and will include tournaments for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Halo 4, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and Mortal Kombat. The event will be run at the Dallas Convention Centre in Dallas, Texas, for its duration.
For more competitive gaming news, be sure to check out the coverage on GameSpot's eSports hub.
EB Expo 2012 will be showcasing all the latest upcoming and new-release games. We've put together a handy guide of highlights to help with your show planning!
Check out all of these playable demos at on the show floor!
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group Australia
Injustice: Gods Among Us
You can see the full list of games available for hands-on previews here.
Home Grown Gaming
Have you always wondered what eSports is about? Be sure to wander by the competitive gaming area in the Home Grown Gaming section, where several gaming tournaments featuring the top Australian teams will be taking place over the weekend.
Australia's best-known and emerging developers will also be showcasing their latest games in the Home Grown Gaming area, so it will be your chance to meet some of the developers behind the games.
Technology experts will also want to scope out the Home Grown Tech Zone, featuring gear and gadgets that have not yet arrived in Australia!
Love animation? The Madman Theatre will be playing various films throughout the three days, including the national premiere of the anime feature film Mass Effect: Paragon Lost.
The fourth annual Battle Arena Melbourne (BAM) fighting game tournament is scheduled to take place this weekend. Run by Melbourne events group CouchWarriors, BAM will feature a variety of fighting game tournaments and a prize pool valued at over $5,000.
In addition to competitive play, the event will also be celebrating the launch of Dead or Alive 5 with the nation's first Dead or Alive 5 tournament. Dedicated spaces will be available for casual and practice play. Players are encouraged to pre-register to take part. The event will also be streamed live via the CouchWarriors Twitch channel.
The pre-party kicks off on Friday evening at the Crown Casino, with the tournament set to run from Saturday, September 29. Further details can be found at the CouchWarriors website.
Galactic Circus, Crown Casino
8 Whiteman Street, Southbank 3006
CQ, Event Room 2, 123 Queen Street, Melbourne
September 28, 6:00pm
September 29-30, registration starts 8:00am
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
Ultimate Marvel Versus Capcom 3
Virtua Fighter V: Final Showdown
Dead or Alive 5
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
King of Fighters XIII
Soul Calibur V
Street Fighter III: Third Strike
Super Smash Bros Brawl and Melee
The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) was only recently announced as coming Down Under for the very first time, but now comes confirmation of which city will be hosting the event: Melbourne will be the host city, according to a report from Kotaku Australia.
Sales documents obtained by Kotaku show that PAX Australia will be held in Melbourne next year, July 19-21. The location is listed as the Melbourne Showgrounds.
Penny Arcade founders Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins first announced that PAX was coming to Australia during PAX Prime in September. The Australian version of the convention will mark the first time the expo has been hosted internationally.
Nintendo Australia today announced that the Wii U will be playable at this year’s EB Games Expo, giving fans an opportunity to get a hands-on preview of the new console ahead of its release these holidays.
“EB Games Expo will be the first time gamers in Australia get to go hands on with Wii U” said Steve Wilson, managing director for EB Games Australia and New Zealand.
Earlier this month, Nintendo announced that the Wii U console will launch in Australia and New Zealand on November 30. An 8GB basic model in white will be available for A$349.95, while the 32GB premium model in black will cost A$429.95.
EB Games Expo 2012 is an event dedicated to gaming and geek culture, and will be open to the general public who purchase tickets. The event officially opens on October 5, and runs until October 7. For a full list of Wii U titles available for play during the EB Games Expo, please see the list below.
New Super Mario Bros U
Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition
Assassin's Creed III
Just Dance 4
Game Party Champions
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
The Halo: Reach competitive gaming event Navy Big Game will be taking place on the big screen at this year's EB Expo in Sydney next month. The event will feature a competitive team from the United States known as the Navy Team of Stars, which will face off against a team of four qualified competition winners from ebexpo.com.au and Xbox Live on Halo: Reach.
The event will be run by the Royal Australian Navy in conjunction with The Spaceship, a marketing and events agency. Players from the Navy Team of Stars include US pro gamers Dave "Walshy" Walsh and Michael "StrongSide" Cavanaugh.
Navy Big Game is an invitational tournament that pits Aussie gamers against international gaming personalities. Interested participants can partake in the event at this year's EB Expo by entering via the website or Xbox Live. Entries close September 30.
EB Games Expo 2012 is dedicated to gaming and geek culture, and will be open to the general public who purchase tickets. The event officially opens on October 5 and runs until October 7, giving Aussies a chance to check out some of the big-name games that will be shipping later this year.