The Sims 3

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Sims 3 expansion Showtime announced

Sims 3 expansion Showtime announced

Be famous, build venues and socialise.

EA has announced a new Sims 3 expansion pack called Showtime for PC and Mac.

It's all about your Sim becoming famous, either as a singer, an acrobat, a magician or a DJ.

Showtime brings new traits and Lifetime Wishes, as well as a new area called Starlight Shores.

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Sims 3 Hidden Springs DLC announced

Sims 3 Hidden Springs DLC announced

New world coming 25th August.

EA's mega-successful Sims 3 gets another big update on 25th August with the launch of new world Hidden Springs.

It's the third additional neighbourhood offered exclusively as a download from the online Sims 3 store. These are separate to the game's boxed content pack add-ons.

EA has yet to announce how much it will charge for Hidden Springs. Initial neighbourhood add-on Riverview was gifted to players free but pirate-themed follow-up Barnacle Bay cost 2000 Sim Points (1000 Sim points is $10, so about 12.20).

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The Sims 3

The Sims 3

Little console people.

The Sims 3 invites you to "Play with Life", inferring an impulse towards creativity and imagination, but I've never met any Sims player who isn't immediately compelled to create themselves and nobody really knows why. It's the first thing I did when I played the Sims for the first time in 2000, sitting in front of the family computer.

It really used to freak out my Dad when he walked past. "What are you doing?" he'd ask, horrified, taking in the frighteningly perfect miniatures of our family pottering about on the monitor I honestly couldn't tell him.

10 years later, I'm still doing it. There sits Sim-me, up at 3am playing videogames whilst the rest of the household is asleep and there are dishes to do, whilst I sit in my flat playing The Sims 3 on low volume at 3am and ignoring the mounting stack of plates. But when my Sim wandered over to the stereo in the middle of a Sunday afternoon and turned on a 22-20s song ten minutes after that exact same track popped up on my iTunes playlist in real life, it all got a bit weird and I had to turn it off.

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Fable III atop of the UK chart

New: Star Wars! WWE! Sims 3! Rock Band!

Update: UKIE has released sales figures for the top 10 games. These show that leader Fable III sold 128,895 copies since launch on Friday - 6000 more than Fable II managed.

The Sims 3 gets late night expansion

The Sims 3 gets late night expansion

Hot-tubs, but no time machines.

The PC and Mac versions of The Sims are getting a special Late Night expansion, EA has announced at its Redwood showcase.

The pack lets players hit the town after sundown, mix with celebrities at parties, go boozing in bars, splash around in hot-tubs and even tour with their bands.

Enjoy yourself too much, though, and your night might end early - bouncers will refuse entry to anyone who doesn't keep their attitude in check. Of course, they could also become a vampire, keeping track of their vampiric family history and passing on their affliction to other players. Vampires don't get turned away from clubs, do they. We've all seen Blade.

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EA details The Sims 3 console

EA details The Sims 3 console

On DS, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.

EA has revealed that The Sims 3 will head to DS, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 this autumn.

Platforms were previously unconfirmed, although an autumn date has been mentioned on more than one occasion.

The Sims hasn't appeared like this on DS before. This adaptation recreates the core Sims experience and allows houses and Sims and "virtually everything" to be customised by swishing the stylus.

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The Sims 3: World Adventures

The Sims 3: World Adventures

Your chance to take a shower inside The Great Pyramid.

It's worth it for the tents alone. My little one-man pyramid of canvas was bought so as not to waste precious hours returning to the hotel whilst out on a long expedition, but it was upon realising it was in my Sim's inventory on my return to homely Riverview that I realised its true worth.

Why, I can sleep anywhere! Outside the bookshop! In the park! In my ex-girlfriend's garden! In the graveyard. Pfft. I don't need a house now I've got a tent. There are toilets at work, computers in the library, and I can always pull off a guerrilla shower whilst visiting a mate's house. Truly, this is the life.

Briefly, I entertained the idea in reality. It was only the image of writing this very review in a tent, at night, in the rain, with a screaming cat at my side that stopped me from embarking on an extraordinarily reckless evening. This only served to hammer home the great appeal of the Sims - it offers fulfilment of our most mundane wishes, with none of the repercussions. Security, freedom, comfort, friends who don't mind if you turn up at their door and demand to use their shower at 4am...

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EA unveils first Sims 3 expansion

EA unveils first Sims 3 expansion

World Adventures here in November.

EA has unveiled a World Adventures expansion pack for the PC and Mac versions of The Sims 3, which ships to retailers the week starting 16th November. That, presumably, puts the European release as Friday 20th November.

World Adventures lets Sims travel around the globe to famous places, learning skills, searching for treasure and picking up new styles along the way. Your Sim might like to master martial arts in China, for example, or stare at landmarks in France. And everything you do can be recorded in a photo album or on film and shared with friends.

EA plans exclusive downloadable content for World Adventures in the future, and will offer buyers 1000 Sim Points to spend in The Sims 3 Store.

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UK charts: The Sims 3 rides high

Red Faction close, Star Ocean not.

The Sims 3 enters the UK all-formats Chart at number one this week, claiming the fourth biggest opening weekend for a PC game here - behind the two World of Warcraft expansions and Championship Manager 4.

The Sims 3

The Sims 3

Lifestyles of the wretched and infragrant.

No, no - I can't go out tonight. I have to finish writing this article. Even though I'm too tired and bored, and keep getting distracted by playing videogames. Yes, I know it's sad. I won't be doing this kind of thing forever though - honestly, I'm working on that novel. It's just taking so long, and there always seems to be something better to do with my time.

I can't think of any game I've ever played that's made me feel worse about myself than The Sims 3. Its inevitable but expert extension of goals, activities, employment and personality traits over the first two games means sims are no longer vague simulacrums of people you know - they now behave like people you know too. I made me, as every good little egomaniac does in a Sims game - and he ended up behaving like me, living the life I lead. The game's jumped from the abstract wish-fulfilment dollhouse of the past into a strange, sprawling thing of character-simulation/assassination, the out-and-out fantastical (sim-me eventually escalated from jaded hack to best-selling author, before expiring and then haunting his old house), and community-created content.

For all the changes, it's definitely The Sims. You'd never mistake it for anything else - the way the characters move, talk, wet themselves, their crazed pinging between joy and despair... You'll spend your time trying to increase their skills, their income and their relationships - tiny numbers slowly growing. This is no break with tradition, and yet some of the tiniest changes prove the most profound. Crucially, adjustment of the various happiness factors means your sims aren't trapped in quite so rapid a plunge towards misery and discomfort. They now have the time to make much more of the day than working, eating, sleeping and ablution. And even if cooking pancakes does still mysteriously take an hour, at least you can grab a taxi to work and turn up late.

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The Sims 3

Modern life isn't rubbish.

I'm not sure what my highlight so far has been. It may have been having a guy die while making out with me, before immediately proceeding to call up his sister, have a little mourn, flirt, make out, ask out and then dump her, whilst standing over the grave of the brother. Or it may have been discovering the patriarch of the town has a daughter, who I end up going out with, only to dump brutally, before hearing the patriarch has died, chatting up the widow in the gym (I ask her if she's single - surprise, she is!), and flirting with her enough to go steady. All in front of a crowd, including the upset daughter. Before dumping the widow. Only to later, in my dotage, get back together with the daughter and move into their epic townhouse.

The Sims 3 will not use DRM

CD key only, says Rod Humble.

Sims series executive producer Rod Humble has said that The Sims 3 will not use DRM (digital rights management).

The Sims 3

Acting on Simpulse.

It's a moment of strange and joyous freedom. I've created my two Sims, the lovely married couple of John Walker (lazy, slobbish, neurotic - and in the game!) and She-Hulk (athletic, flirtatious and a kleptomaniac - guaranteeing me outrage from Shulkie fans for my out-of-character characterisation). They're in their house. All is well. It's The Sims.

EA

EA "evaluating" Sims 3 release date

20th Feb launch looking unlikely.

Electronic Arts has said it is "evaluating the launch window" for The Sims 3 after European retailers were told to expect a delay last week.

The publisher had previously announced that the game would be released on 20th February.

However, last week several retailers in Eastern Europe relisted the game as "first half 2009". UK retailers - including online giants Amazon and Play - still carry the 20th February target, but EA issued the following statement:

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EA to take over Trafalgar Square again

Play games, look at Gemma Atkinson.

EA will be hosting an enormous public event inside the largest temporary structure ever erected in London's Trafalgar Square on 31st October and 1st November.

The Sims to go online again?

EA admits multiplayer is an option.

In an interview with the Times Online, Nancy Smith, head of EA's Sims Division, has admitted that the monster PC franchise could become a multiplayer game... again.

EA officially unveils The Sims 3

EA officially unveils The Sims 3

"Unleash your imagination" in 2009.

EA has officially lifted the lid on The Sims 3, announcing it'll be released sometime next year.

The star attractions will include a seamless neighbourhood to wander around plus full character and object customisation.

You will also be able to assign your Sims five traits from the Realistic Personality System. I might be handsome, witty, charming, committed and caring, for example.

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FeatureThe Sims 3

Go outside and play.

On a warm spring afternoon in EA's sprawling San Francisco Bay campus, the Sims is described as many things. It's a commercial phenomenon; it's the PC's most successful game; it's second only to Mario as the world's top-selling game series. It's a business unit; it's a business model. It's a creative tool; it's a canvas for the player's imagination. It's a private form of self-expression. It's a community. As you may remember, The Sims is also a game - one of the most popular, successful and, yes, innovative games in history.

FeatureThe History of The Sims

Tiny happy people.

The Sims is 10 years old this week! To celebrate, we're dusting off our long look back at the series from the start of 2008, prior to the release of The Sims 3. For the full picture, make sure to check out our more recent reviews of The Sims 3 and The Sims 3: World Adventures. What's "happy birthday" in simlish?

First batch of Sims 3 details revealed

First batch of Sims 3 details revealed

Expect buffs and an inventory system.

The first proper details have emerged of The Sims 3, which EA says is designed to appeal to hardcore gamers as well as casual players.

As reported in the latest edition of PC Gamer magazine, key additions include buff and inventory systems. The former temporarily gives your Sim positive or negative attributes based on how your they're feeling. This allows EA to move away from the six things that previously dictated the mood of a Sim.

You could be on top of the moon after eloping with your rather attractive wife, for instance, which will consequently make you work more productively and befriend more people.

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New Sims 3 details emerge

New Sims 3 details emerge

Bigger sandbox, no piss meter.

According to 1UP, the first details of The Sims 3 have been revealed in the US version of Games for Windows magazine.

Apparently you can expect a much bigger sandbox to play around in, one that's continually evolving. You'll be able to explore the local park and the rest of the town seamlessly and take part in activities outside your home - without having to buy any expansion packs.

It's goodbye to the bladder and sleep meters. Instead there's a new mood system designed to give you more freedom to explore without worrying about going to the toilet and so on. The character creation system has undergone a complete overhaul, although what this means exactly has yet to be revealed.

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EA to unveil Sims 3 this month

Placeholder website pops up.

Electronic Arts looks set to unveil the third instalment (not counting the 487,000 expansion packs) in the The Sims series later this month.