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Weekly Release Date Roundup

Mario Kart Wii, Banjo Kazooie 3.

Let's keep this one brief. We've all got better things to do. I, for one, will be trotting around Lost Odyssey later, even if I keep calling it Lost Planet and referring to the other Sakaguchi game as Blue Planet. Anyway, our Lost Odyssey review is up now, and it scored well and so I am more excited.

Straight in at the deep end, then: Mass Effect is getting new Bring Down the Sky content on 10th March. Should last about 90 minutes but you will need to be on the open exploration part of a saved game to access it; if you are too close to the end you will be shut off and either have to go back or start again. EA has also unveiled a PC version for release in May, which is thoroughly unsurprising given all previous BioWare console games have been ported at some stage. This is a relatively quick turn around, though, and it has some new control customisation options.

After that, Pro Evolution Soccer will be out on Wii on 28th March. This has divided us a little; half see it as a well-thought-out port offering new modes, while others see it as a bit of a cash-in. Time will tell, I suppose. It also happens to be the same day some were claiming Gran Turismo 5 Prologue would be out, although Sony told us it was "late March" for now. Which is what 28th March is, but don't be surprised if it slides a week or so.

Late March or April are two months those with a Wii might like to live somewhere other than Europe. Not because it rains and is generally expensive, but because insiders at Nintendo told us Mario Kart is almost certainly going to be out in Japan on 10th April. And then Capcom said Okami Wii was finished and March was a possible target for the USA (but far from set in stone). Still, we can rest safe in the knowledge there should only be "a little lag" between American and European wolf god painting adventures that Kristan likes.

Later on in the year you can get your family-friendly fingers on Boom Blox, the EA game Steven Spielberg has helped build - for his children. It's got mini-games and all that, but might be worth a look if you, too, have made babies.

We'd rather make computer babies though, because those in Multiwinia are ever so cute and this summer you will be able to make them attack your friend. In-game, obviously. More on that nearer the time, says Introversion.

Further down in the release date movers and shakers is Jumpgate: Evolution, that space MMO Codemasters Online Gaming signed from Auto Assault developer NetDevil quite recently. Optimism is evidently running high, and "second half 2008" is the goal. It's also quite unlike EVE Online, as NetDevil tried to explain.

However, one persistent world that will never materialise, sadly, is Marvel Universe Online. Microsoft Game Studios boss Shane Kim confirmed that development had been halted, and in a few more words said it was because he couldn't see it making enough money. Still, he counteracted bad news with good and said Banjo Kazooie 3 would be out "this holiday". Then he counteracted that by avoiding talking about Alan Wake as a 2008 title, leading us all to scratch our heads and wonder what on earth is going on?

Another project like that is Duke Nukem Forever, which caused lots of confusion when bigwig Scott Miller seemed to confirm it for this year on consoles as well as PC. Then, moments later, bigger-wig George Broussard said no platforms had been confirmed and the source reporting all this changed 2008 to an "internal target".

Still, Broussard left word that Duke Nukem 3D was heading to Live Arcade this year unchallenged.

Then some British band came out and boasted about being in Guitar Hero IV and said the game would be out this year. Activision said nothing. However, a sequel to its best-selling series sometime in 2008 is hardly shocking stuff. Less shocking than me working without any trousers or underpants on, certainly.

(Update: And, just after Bertie went home, EA confirmed the Spore release date - something he would presumably have acknowledged by talking about crackers.)

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Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.