Bring Vault Boy home for the holidays!

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Today we will be releasing our final Bethesda Softworks Newsletter for the year of 2007. It’s been an exciting 2007 for us — releasing Shivering Isles, Oblivion GOTY, and Star Trek: Conquest, as well as finally unveiling Fallout 3.

To celebrate the holidays, the newsletter will give access to a couple of Vault Boy-themed wallpapers for your desktop. The first is the image you see above. Be sure to check out the latest newsletter to see the other one, which is currently on my desktop. Hope you enjoy them!

To sign up for the Bethesda Softworks Newsletter, click here.

Around the Web (and Print)

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A variety of things going on that I thought I would mention.

Matt did an interview with the folks at Games Radar for an article they were doing on “Are Developers Even Listening?” Matt’s responses are included along with folks from Lionhead, Rare, Epic, and Bungie. Head over to read the full article.

Primotech did their Game of the Year awards and voted Shivering Isles the Best Expansion. From the article:

Bethesda’s last expansion pack does more than throw open the door to a land suffering from a split personality. It adds nearly twenty to thirty hours of new quests, complete with plenty of gear to acquire and the opportunity to find out just how insane a Mad God can really be.

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Eurogamer announces contest to win PS3, Oblivion GOTY

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If you live across the pond from us, you know that Oblivion GOTY is arriving soon in Europe for the PS3 (if you don’t have it already). Just to refresh your memory, Oblivion Game of the Year features Oblivion, Knights of the Nine, and the Shivering Isles expansion — all on one Blu Ray disc.

To celebrate the occasion, Eurogamer has teamed up with Ubisoft (our publishing partner in Europe) for a contest to win a 40 GB PS3 and a copy of the game. Looks like they’ll also be giving four additional copies of GOTY for the runners-up as well. To enter, register on their site and then answer the following question:

“If all the people in the world camped out in your back garden would you write and tell the king or grab a tent and join them?”

Good luck!

Around the Web

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Yesterday GamePro put up a feature called “The 48 Best Games of 2008,” which lists the games they’re most anticipating for next year. On the list, Fallout 3 came in as the #3 most anticipated title with Metal Gear Solid 4 and GTA IV being #’s 2 and 1, respectively. To see what they had to say about Fallout 3, jump here.

1Up announced their nominees for their 2007 awards and Shivering Isles was included on the list for Best RPG along with, uh, everything else even remotely RPG-like. Bring a snack before you start to read the list for Game of the Year. You’ll probably need some kind of intermission. I’d put Carcassone ahead of more than half of the 30 games on that list and not think twice about it, but that’s just me. Head over and cast your vote today for your favorites.

Also worthy of mention is the fact that the folks over at ShackNews have started up a blog of their own. Their news site is somewhat blog-like, but I guess this will be a place where they can inject more of their own opinions and commentary than they might normally. Plus, they can curse on the blog, and never underestimate how liberating that can be. I’m green with envy. Anyway, I’ve been reading ShackNews for as long as I can remember, so felt like it was worth pointing it out.

Update: I noticed over on Kotaku that X-Play has Shivering Isles nominated for “Best DLC”

Shivering Isles now available on Playstation Network

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We’re happy to announce that The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles is available as downloadable content on Playstation Network for $30. This is the English version for North America.

Please note Shivering Isles requires the Oblivion PS3 disc to play. In fact, you can even use the Oblivion Game of the Year PS3 disc too – though, if you own Oblivion Game of the Year (GOTY), you already have Shivering Isles, so don’t purchase Shivering Isles off PSN if you have GOTY. The version of Shivering Isles on PSN is exactly the same as the version in GOTY. I promise.

Getting Shivering Isles to work as downloadable content on the PS3 via PSN (and as a standalone disc!) was a challenging task. Thanks to our technical director, Guy Carver, who did the bulk of the implementation himself. Also thanks for Chris Krietz, our QA Lead, and his group of terrific testers – those guys have been playing the same game in all its iterations for close to two years now.

‘Tis the Season for Lists…

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So lists are starting to pop up here and there in the form of Buying Guides and Wish Lists and whatnot. Noticed a few relevant things here and there I thought I’d point out.

Shivering Isles made the list at 1UP for their Xbox 360 Holiday Gift list.

Meanwhile, Oblivion PS3 made Gamespot’s Top Picks list (and at $30 bucks it’s probably the best deal on that list) while Shivering Isles 360 made their Top Picks for the Dungeon Master.

And, last but certainly not least, I noticed that Fallout came in at #33 on IGN’s list of the Top 100 Games of All Time. Here’s a snippit from the write-up:

What makes Fallout so great, though, is the character system known as SPECIAL. The acronym stands for: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck — but the system also encompasses skills such as lock-picking, weapon proficiencies, or bartering, and “perks” selectable at certain levels further boost your stats. Its resulting character balance is, even by today’s standards, remarkable.

You can read the rest of the entry here. These lists are always fun for starting arguments if nothing else, and I do have to take this opportunity to say that it’s a travesty to have X-Com only at #21.

Now Shipping: Shivering Isles on PS3 (and coming to PSN)

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For those playing Oblivion PS3 that have been waiting for a chance to buy the Shivering Isles expansion (by itself, not as part of GotY), it will be shipping throughout North America beginning today. You can hit the jump below for the full release.

Of note in that release is a this part at the end: “Shivering Isles for PLAYSTATION®3 system will also be available for download on the PLAYSTATION®Network (North American, English only) beginning November 29th.”

So, there’s your confirmation that we finally sorted out how to make it available as a download on PSN and it will be out next Thursday for N. America. We will let you know about availability of Shivering Isles in Europe/Australia/Everywhere else in any format just as soon as we can. It’s just not something I can confirm for you at this time.

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Retail Disc for Shivering Isles is OFFICIAL

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Two weeks ago, Pete discussed that that we’ve been working hard to bring Shivering Isles to the PS3 either by way of PSN or a standalone disc. Well today we’ve got some good news. To make the game accessible to everyone, we’ve officially announced that we’re releasing the game as a standalone disc. Just as with the Xbox 360 version, you’ll still be required to already have a full version of Oblivion to play Shivering Isles.

Shivering Isles is scheduled to ship in North America on November 20th for $29.99. To read the press release, click here.

Now Shipping: Oblivion GotY PS3 and Shivering Isles 360 retail disc

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Throughout North America both of these games will start showing up on store shelves as early as today. The Oblivion GotY Edition for PS3 includes the original game, plus the Shivering Isles expansion, plus Knights of the Nine (which was included in the original version of Oblivion PS3 as well).

The Shivering Isles disc for Xbox 360 comes with the Shivering Isles expansion plus Knights of the Nine for $29.99, so given that Shivering Isles is $30 on Xbox Live and Knights is $10, you get them both for less on the disc. I know folks have said they’d like all the other DLC on one disc, be it the Shivering Isles disc or the GotY disc, but in this case we wanted to provide the two most popular and requested items on a disc and do it for a reasonable price.

We didn’t want folks having to pay for all this extra stuff when all they really wanted was to play the big expansion, and we didn’t just want to give everything else away for nothing, so we felt like this was the best option for people who don’t have Live or didn’t want to download it. Reminder, you do need a hard drive to play Shivering Isles and Knights…a mem card won’t cut it.

For everyone in Europe, I’ve been told the news will be out tomorrow morning about Oblivion GotY PS3 and when it’s coming, and it looks like early next week for an announcement on the Shivering Isles 360 disc coming out over there as well. No update yet regarding my post last week about Shivering Isles coming as a standalone for PS3 in some from (disc, PSN, whatever). Progress is still be made, we still hope to have good news very soon.

Creating Screenshots

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Within our forums and elsewhere, I’ve seen where fans have posted some pretty amazing screenshots from Oblivion, including some of their modwork. I’ve found some pretty amazing ones (like the one above from FileFront’s forums).

If you haven’t learned how to create screen grabs, it’s actually pretty easy, but I still see it asked an awful lot. Below are some directions on how to capture your favorite moments from the game, which you can also find here.

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