Gamers spoiled for choice this Christmas

by Andrew Donaldson

Around a dozen new titles are flooding the market on Friday, as the video game industry prepares itself for the Christmas shopping period.

With the big day only around five weeks away, many of the industry’s biggest hitters see this week as the perfect opportunity to release their flagship games.

Top of the pile is New Super Mario Bros Wii.

Nintendo’s first 2-D Mario game on a home console since 1992 is a safe bet to top the sales charts come Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, for the sport fans out there, the Wii versions of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 and Formula 1 2009 are also available from today.

But if Nintendo isn’t your thing, or you’re looking for something with a little more action, don’t worry.

Xbox 360 owners can at last get their hands on Valve’s long awaited first-person-shooter, Left 4 Dead 2 – exclusive to Microsoft’s system.

Another much anticipated sequel, Assassin’s Creed 2 from Ubisoft Montreal, is also available to pick up from today, on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Also among today’s pile of releases on PS3 and 360 are Lego Indiana Jones 2, Dragon Age: Origins and Konami’s video game adaptation of the Saw movie franchise.

For those who prefer to do their gaming on the move however, today sees the unveiling of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky for Nintendo DS.

What will be in his stocking come the 25th?

But which game will prevail as the Christmas number one?

A spokesperson for the high-street retailer, Game, said: “So far we’re selling more copies of Assassin’s Creed 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 than the new Mario game.

“We had a lot of pre-orders for Left 4 Dead 2 and expect it to sell a lot over the next couple of weeks.

“Although we’ve sold a decent number for Lego Indiana Jones, we currently sell it as part of a console bundle, so it’s hard to tell if people are only buying it because it’s part of an offer.”

Don’t believe everything you read!

By Andrew Donaldson

When Canadian Transport Minister Mike Baird sent a text message this week declaring “Thatcher is dead”, it didn’t take long for the news to spread like wildfire throughout Canadian politics.

Even the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, was led to believe that Baroness Thatcher, Britain’s first female Prime Minister, had died aged 84. [Read more...]

City council WOWs customers

by Andrew Donaldson and Michael Behr

The City of Edinburgh Council has been nominated for a national customer service award.

The Council is on the shortlist in the WOW Awards category of Best Local Authority.

The capital city council faces competition from Stoke, Haringey, Warwickshire and neighbouring West Lothian Council.

The WOW  Awards are solely based on on customer nominations and began in 1997 in an attempt to promote better customer service throughout Britain.

The results will be announced on November 4th at a ceremony at the Grand Cannaught Rooms in London.

Reaction to the council’s nomination was mixed on the streets of Edinburgh.

One member of the public who spoke to Edinburgh Napier News said: “I’ve had a few enquiries and every time the council answered them quite dilligently and accurately and dealt with them in good time.

“In that respect I haven’t got any problems with their service.”

But another Edinburgh resident felt that recent Council actions didn’t warrant the award, saying: “The trams have been going too long.

“They ‘ve taken money away that is definitely needed for other things.

“Schools are having to pay back part of the budget to the council. It’s a disgrace.”

The City of Edinburgh Council declined to comment.

You can listen to the complete audio below.

Listen Here:

Listen Here:

Edinburgh postmen split over strike

by Andrew Donaldson and Suhayl Afzal

Edinburgh postmen are today divided in their support of the nationwide strike as it reaches its midway point.

The strike is causing major disruption across the city, with fears of further strike action next week.

Almost 80,000 delivery and collection workers have walked out after yesterday’s action by mail-centre staff. [Read more...]

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