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Gaming Roundup: Video Games Are All-American; Xbox Prices Cut In Europe; Rock Band 2

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Nearly every teenager in America plays video games, according to a new survey just released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Teens play the field so to speak, with console systems taking the top prize, but computers, portable gaming devices and cellphones are used heavily as well, the study found. As much as 99 percent of all boys and 94 percent of all girls surveyed play video games. And teens that write or contribute to game-related websites are more likely to be engaged civically and politically. (Summary). (Full Report).

Some highlights from the report::
— 86 percent of teens play games on a console, 73 percent play on PC, 60 percent use a portable gaming device and 48 percent play games on a cellphone or PDA.
— Favorite games include: Guitar Hero, Halo 3, Madden NFL, Solitaire and Dance Dance Revolution

Xbox Prices slashed in Europe: Following similar price cuts in Japan and North America, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has dropped the price of the 60 GB HDD-equipped Xbox 360 to $304 in the United Kingdom and $338 in other parts of Europe, BetaNews reports. The price cuts began in Japan two weeks and rolled into North America the following day. A low-end bundle of the console system will cost $232 in the United Kingdom and $253 throughout the rest of Europe.

Rock Band 2 released on Xbox 360: EA released Rock Band 2 for Xbox 360 today, at least a few weeks before the game will be made available on other gaming consoles. The game is selling for $60 alone, which will be compatible with previous Rock Band instruments while additional controllers will bring the price up considerably. Rock Band 2 features an online world tour, daily battle-of-the-band tournaments, auto-calibration to eliminate TV lag, wireless drums, velocity sensitive drum pads, support for up to three cymbals, improved voice detection and drum training. Artists featured in the sequel include AC/DC, Guns