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15th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences have announced the finalists for the 15th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (IAAs). These finalists represent the highest form of recognition for the interactive entertainment industry and were chosen by a select panel of experts. You'll be able to find out who won each category during the 2012 DICE Summit on Thursday, February 9.

Game of the Year

Batman: Arkham City
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Rocksteady Studios

Portal 2
Publisher: Valve Corporation
Developer: Valve Corporation

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Naughty Dog

After the break you can find the full list of finalists.

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Modern Warfare 3 Cover Art Revealed?

Surprise! Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was the best-selling game of 2011 according to the NPD Analysis. What is interesting however is the fact that Just Dance 3 claimed the number two spot, followed by a bunch of pretty hardcore titles. Sometimes people just need to dance. I get it.

I know all you want is to see the top ten list from 2011 and since I'm nice I'll show it to you. Here's the annual 2011 top 10 games from the NPD Group. Remember that these numbers represent physical retail only  across all platforms, including PC.

1.) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC) Activision Blizzard
2.) Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3) Ubisoft
3.) Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC) Bethesda Softworks
4.) Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC) Electronic Arts
5.) Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2) Electronic Arts
6.) Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PC) Activision Blizzard
7.) Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3, PC) Warner Bros. Interactive
8.) Gears of War 3 (360) Microsoft
9.) Just Dance 2 (Wii)  Ubisoft
10.) Assassin's Creed: Revelations (360, PS3, PC) Ubisoft

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Microsoft's Xbox 360 Becomes The Best-Selling Console Of 2011

Microsoft's Xbox 360 came out on top of the console war last year to become the best-selling platform of 2011. The console itself has been the best-selling console for 12 straight months in a row. According to the NPD Analysis group, the Xbox 360 captured 49% of consumer retail spending, accounting for $6.7 billion ($2.1 billion on consoles and $4.6 billion on games and accessories) in sales in the U.S. Microsoft's success comes down to more than 66 million Xbox 360 consoles sold and more than 18 million Kinect sensors sold, not to mention the fact that Xbox Live now has almost 40 million members.

What's really surprising about the NPD Analysis isn't that the Xbox came out on top, but that the Wii and PS3 were apparently "neck and neck" in second place for the year. Sony's PlayStation 3 did increase its unit sales year over year, but all of the other platforms declined in unit sales versus 2010.

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LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Is Coming This Summer

We all knew that this would be official before long. Too much seemingly hard evidence has surfaced pointing to a second LEGO Batman game for it not to be a Thing. And Warner Interactive has now confirmed it. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is coming to a gaming platform near you this summer, a press release reveals. That means: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Windows PC, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. No WonderSwan though. Sorry all.

The DC Super Heroes subtitle means that you're seeing more than just familiar faces from TT Games' previous Batman release. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Lex Luthor are all confirmed. Who else would you like to see? I'm casting my vote now for the Wonder Twins.

Batman: Arkham City

All the awards shows and fan polls in the world can tell you one thing, but video game rental service GameFly offers what is perhaps one of the best barometers for what actual people were actually playing over the course of a given year. Today the company releases its top 10 GameQ lists for 2011, with the rankings based on how frequently each title appeared in users' "I want to rent this next" lineup.

The top-requested game across all platforms is WB Games' Batman: Arkham City, followed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Dead Island in the two and three spots, respectively. Skyrim, G4's own Game of the Year, is ranked seventh, likely because anyone who wanted it recognized the timesink involved and just bought the thing. Arkham is also the top game on the Xbox 360 list, but it's number two on the PlayStation 3 list, behind Uncharted 3 (of course).

Hit the jump for the full platform-by-platform breakdown, also including GameQ rankings for the Wii, 3DS and DS platforms.

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We've seen plenty of people using Microsoft's Kinect to accomplish impressive feats, and today's offering is no different. Youtube user Taylorveltrop has managed to program his Kinect, in conjunction with a Wii remote, to control and navigate a NAO robot. While I think this is really the first progress we've made toward controlling Gundams, this genius used it to brush his cat. Also commendable.



What do you think about controlling robots via the Kinect sensor? What types of things would you make the robot do?




We did it! We survived the onslaught of games 2011 threw at us just in time to take on the bounty of titles 2012 has in store. The Feedback panel has been aching to dish about their most anticipated games of the new year.

This week on Feedback, we welcomed Insomniac's senior writer, TJ Fixman. He's the writer behind Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and Insomniac's next title Overstrike. Representing Team G4 we have Blair Herter, Morgan Webb, and Nikole Zivalich (she's my favorite, but I might be biased).

Feedback: Looking Ahead To 2012 »


The AUDIO MP3 of this episode of FEEDBACK is available here: Right-click and Save.

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Epic Mickey Screenshots, Details Revealed

A Disney newsletter revealed Disney Epic Mickey 2 is on its way. The newsletter was quickly edited to remove any info about Mickey's next adventure. Stich Kingdom caught a glimpse of the newsletter before these changes occurred, revealing that  Epic Mickey 2 is set for a Christmas 2012 launch for all the major consoles: Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360. It even detailed their plans to include split screen co-op in Epic Mickey 2. Player one would to the role of Mickey, while player 2 would be Oswald the rabbit.

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Rock Band 3 Release Date, Pre-order Deals Announced

I am contractually obligated to mention progressive rock trio Rush whenever there is any connection between it and video games. Seriously, my job is on the line here, people. So please know this: Next week, Rush's 20-minute opus 2112 will be available for download via the Rock Band Music Store.

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On this episode of Feedback the team dissected 2011. Blair " The Boss" Herter, Donell "Donny Diablo" Tucker, Stephen "Money Money Money" Johnson and Rob "Indie I Love You" Manuell talk about all of the highs and lows in gaming. I don't think I can warn you enough, this episode might have too much manly man content. 

Feedback Shigeru Miyamoto's Retirement And 2011: A Year In Review »


 

The AUDIO MP3 of this episode of FEEDBACK is available here: Right-click and Save.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Non-Game Gifts for Gamers

It's nearing the end of 2011, a deeply craptastic 12 months. It was a bad year for the world economy. And for movies.  And for almost everything else on earth, but while Western civilization may be crumbling around us, know hope: 2011 was definitely a great year for one thing: Video games! And the peak part of this peak year was the 2011 holiday season.

It’s not often that gamers have nothing to complain about, and this holiday season is no exception. However, this time around, the complaints aren’t about bad games or exploitative publishing firms. Instead gamers are complaining that there are just too damn many good games out there. Or that there aren’t enough hours in the day to play them. Or that they have to work during prime Skyrim hours. Either way, I’m nearly positive that this year’s holiday season will go down as one of the greatest few months in video game history.

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Nintendo Direct Stream Reveals New Release Dates, Game Details

Last night (in North America time), Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata got up in front of a camera to host the latest Nintendo Direct. The stream video conference format, last used to announce the recently released 3DS firmware update, was used again as an announcement platform for some big(-ish) Nintendo happenings, namely some key 3DS release dates and game details. Note that all announced dates should at this point be considered "Japan-only."

First, dates. The 3DS Fire Emblem game, bearing the subtitle Kakusei (translated: "Awakening"), will be coming on April 19, Andriasang reports. Kid Icarus: Uprising will be arriving a few weeks before that, on March 22. Iwata also confirmed that the Icarus game will support three-on-three multiplayer, and is compatible with both ad-hoc (local wireless) and Internet play.

Also coming up in the first half of 2012 are: Mario & Sonic London Olympics (March 1), Level-5's "Girls RPG" (March 8) and Dynasty Warriors VS (March 15). Iwata also confirmed that the DW game will include Nintendo-themed character costumes.

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The wait for X-Play's Mega Trailer is over. Nearly 100 video games from 2011 have been scientifically dissected and placed into this one, four minute masterpiece. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll want to replay all of the great games from 2011 all over again. 

X-Play's The Year in Games 2011 Mega-Trailer »


I'm going to throw the gauntlet, can you name all of the games in this trailer?


E3 2010: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword  Screenshots

A game breaking bug has been plaguing Zelda fans who are playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Nintendo was quick to acknowledge the problem but a fix was not issued. Nintendo has issued "patches" for Wii games in the past but it's certainly not something they do often.

Today, Nintendo Japan has announced how they plan on fixing this problem. They are going to release an entire Wii Channel to repair the damage this bug has done to people's saves. The "Zelda Data Restoration Channel" (rolls off your tongue, doesn't it?) will be available via the Wii Shopping channel. A release date has not been announced.

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The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

It recently came out that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword contains a game-breaking glitch that can prevent further progress in the story if a sequence of events unfolds in a very specific way. Nintendo isn't known for its post-release support on the Wii -- in fairness, Wii games have a tendency to be relatively bug free -- but there have been patches released on the console in the past to correct problems.

The company's Japanese website has been updated to confirm the existence of the Zelda glitch, with the promise of a fix to come soon (via Andriasang). Those who have had their saved game affected by the glitch will have two options: a downloadable fix beamed straight to your console or, for those without an Internet connection, a mailed in SD card or console which Nintendo will apply the fix to and then send back. There's no word yet on how the fix will be implemented outside of Japan, but we've checked in with Nintendo of America for clarification.

Source: Nintendo

Tags: Videogames, Wii
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