UPDATE: GamerScore Scores Screens Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

GamerScore, the official blog of the Xbox marketing team, has updated their Flickr was a huge number of beautiful new Wing Commander Arena screenshots. Thumb through these - they're incredible! Check out the paint scheme of the enemy Paktahn that's visible when it gets close... less than 36 hours now!

They've also posted high resolution versions of six images released through the EA Arcade site several weeks ago:

... but wait, there's more! They've also posted full resolution versions of all seven images which today premiered at Microsoft's official site. We've updated the earlier news story with these versions, so be sure to scroll down to see them!

UPDATE: Official MS Arena Site Launched Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Microsoft has launched their official Wing Commander Arena website. It contains a summary of the game and a collection of screenshots showing off a variety of different modes... including seven images we haven't seen before! Check out that cool red Arrow Guardian! The official site is available here. They have also opened an Xbox.com forum for Arena, available here.

Update: GamerScore has released high definition versions of all seven of these screenshots. We've replaced the previous versions.

UPDATE: Arena Screenshots Released Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Events multiply - Electronic Arts has released a stunning new batch of Wing Commander Arena screenshots through their press site. Included are some amazing shots of fighters in their hangars and a great view of the Halsey-class Naval Station at the game's menu:

They've also released full resolution versions of the eleven screenshots released over the weekend. Check out all the tiny details you might have missed:

UPDATED: Press Release Redux Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Not to be outdone, Microsoft has issued their own press release about Wing Commander Arena! They also confirm that a second game XBLA will be released on Wednesday - a port of Super Contra at the 400 MSPoint price level. Hopefully this means that we will see an Arena page at Xbox.com very soon. The new release is more specific about the exact time of Arena's launch:

Take Flight with Wing Commander Arena on Xbox LIVE Arcade this Wednesday!

Electronic Arts brings “Wing Commander Arena” to Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360 this Wednesday, July 25 at 9:00 a.m. GMT (2:00 a.m. PDT).

Flash forward to the year 2071: in “Wing Commander Arena,” players form an elite flying squadron to combat the enemy armada of the Kilrathi Empire. Featuring four modes of gameplay, nine maps and the first 16 player multiplayer combat on Xbox LIVE Arcade, “Wing Commander Arena” is the perfect mix of arcade fun and modern multiplayer chaos.

“Wing Commander Arena” on Xbox LIVE Arcade is a completely new iteration in the “Wing Commander” franchise. “Wing Commander Arena” will become available worldwide (with the exception of Japan and Korea) for 800 Microsoft Points and is rated E for Everyone.

Game Features

  • The first Xbox LIVE Arcade title featuring multiplayer gameplay for up to 16 players over Xbox LIVE.
  • Four gameplay modes: Single Player, Multiplayer Team, Free for All, and Duel
  • Players can choose from 18 different ships that can be customized with cloaking devices, mines, energy weapons, missiles and more!
  • Skill-based matchmaking for ranked games.
  • Earn up to 12 Achievements and 200 Gamerscore.

BREAKING NEWS: Arena Press Release Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Electronic Arts has confirmed the July 25th date for Wing Commander Arena with a formal press release. As you can see by our counter, the release is now less than 48 hours away! Here's the official word:
EA Launches Into Space Combat With Release of Wing Commander Arena on Xbox LIVE Arcade

Beloved Game Franchise Now Available in Robust 16-Player Online Arcade Game

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced the worldwide1 availability of a new take on its classic Wing Commander™ franchise with Wing Commander Arena for the Xbox LIVE® Arcade2 this Wednesday, July 25. Up to 16 space pilots can take to the stars and blast opposing ships in a number of ways -- single player, multi-team, multiplayer duel and multiplayer free for all.

Wing Commander Arena takes the classic space combat game in a much more action-oriented direction, where dueling teams can pilot up to eight ships, each with their own unique assets. With 16 player play, Wing Commander Arena offers the largest multi-player melee experience to date. Players can propel their ships through space, fire torpedoes and unleash deadly particle cannons as they try to climb the leader board.

“We’ve updated the Wing Commander series and brought it to a new platform, making it an action-packed, pure arcade style game,” said Sean Penney, EA Wing Commander Arena producer. “We’re redefining the Arcade multi-player experience – the adrenaline rush you get in a 16-player fight is an unmatched experience and gives those who remember the Wing Commander franchise a new way to experience it.”

The game offers everything a space combat rookie or a veteran Wing Commander pilot would expect: four types of gameplay, eight maps including team maps, free for all maps and dueling maps, 18 different ships within nine environments and two races with light fighters, medium fighters and bombers. Online players compete for frag count, high score and dueling stats.

Wing Commander Arena is produced and published by EA and cooperatively developed with Gaia Industries. This is the second EA title for Xbox LIVE Arcade with EA’s first title Boom Boom Rocket™ currently available. For more information about EA’s Xbox LIVE Arcade titles visit www.EA.com/Arcade. The Wing Commander Arena game manual can be found at http://images.ea.com/ea/arcade/draft2cRGB.pdf.

1 All Xbox LIVE Arcade markets except Japan.

2 Players must have an Xbox LIVE marketplace account to play Wing Commander Arena.

Video Killed The Interactive Movie Star Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Speaking of cool YouTubes, here's one worth archiving - a 1994 interview with Mark Hamill, done by the French Club Dorothée. He talks briefly about working on Wing Commander III and his (lack of) involvement in the new Star Wars films. A translator speaks over Hamill in French, so here's an English transcript:

It's a job that didn't exist even five years ago. The main difference is the fact that the story can branch in different directions, different things can happen, so unlike a conventional script that has one storyline. This one was great fun and I actually looked forward to going to work because it was new, because it was something I hadn't done before.

I'm amazed at the shelf life of this project. It goes on and on and there's new toys and a new generation of kids who watch it on tape. I'm not actually involved in the next one, they go back to the previous generation. I will be in the audience now for the new Star Wars.

Since YouTube can be remarkably unreliable for preservation purposes, we've archived a copy online here (2.1 MB, FLV).

Star*Soldier Gets Real Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Here's something cool: Electronic Arts was kind enough to give us fifty actual printed copies of Star*Soldier, the Wing Commander Arena manual to pass along to the community! As you can see in the pictures below, they're beautiful - the same size as the classic Wing Commander manuals but printed in full color on nice glossy paper. We're busy figuring out a fair way to distribute them to deserving fans... in the meantime, you can download the PDF version here (7.7 MB PDF).


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