PS3 Attitude

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PS3 Attitude

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Nothing from NCSoft on the PS3 for at least a year

Whilst the E3 announcement that NCSoft would be developing games exclusively for the PS3 was exciting and welcome, the reality is that we're not going to see anything come from that new partnership for at least a year.

Speaking to Robert Summa of EG/GGL, Robert Garriott of NCSoft tells us that the PS3 will be getting a mixture of existing titles and some new IP but that nothing will happen for the next twelve months.

My guess is that since Lineage, Lineage II, Guild Wars and City of Heroes are the only titles NCSoft have that cover Europe, US and the Asia Pacific regions, they would be the most likely 'existing title' candidates.

Check out the full interview...


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PS3 firmware upgrade confirmed for next week

It's that time again!

Patrick Seybold, Sony's Senior PR Manager, has said that a new firmware release will hit the PS3 next week.

Although the list of updates has not been confirmed, most people expect all or some of these to be included:

Users
  • You can now password-protect user accounts.

Settings

  • [Dynamic Normalizer] has been added as an option under [Sound Settings].
  • [Energy Saver] has been added as an option.
  • [Equalizer] has been added as a feature under [Music Settings].
  • [Full] has been added as an option for [DVD Wide Display] under [BD / DVD Settings].
  • [Photo Settings] has been added as an option.
  • [PS / PS2 Settings] has been added as an option.
  • [RSS Channel Settings] has been added as an option.
  • [Sample Rate] has been added to [Audio CD Import] under [Music Settings].
  • [Screen Saver] has been expanded under [Display Settings].
  • The method of selecting an output resolution has been changed in [Video Output Settings] under [Display Settings].
  • [Theme Settings] has been added as an option.
  • [Zero Unused Disk Space] has been added as an option under [System Settings] > [Format Utility].
In addition, some people are reporting that the new firmware will include an option for Customised Soundtracks and others are reporting new features such as multiple chat windows, the XMB being available during gameplay, new slideshow visualisations and a decent CD Information update system that sends new CD details to the database.

Whatever happens, we'll get to see what is true and what is fake in the update on around 23rd July.

UPDATE: Patrick Seybold has said the Customised Soundtracks feature is fake. See his reply (reply number 69; ahem!) on the official Playstation blog.

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Friday, 20 July 2007

Sony's David Reeves says 'get ready for war'...

Maybe it's just not 'fanboy' enough for some, but I'm still of the opinion that no one company 'won' at E3. All three main players came with new and exciting developments that mean us gamers are going to be very happy this year.

Now SCEE's David Reeves is popping up in interviews all over the place, MCV and ThreeSpeech to name just two. And his message.

Get ready for war. The real battle starts now.

"There will be absolute fireworks at peak, that I can promise you. We will be doing things no-one has seen yet for both PS3 and PSP."

At the Leipzig show next month (which we'll be covering, naturally) Reeves expects to announce a whole cavalcade of incredible features for the PSP and PS3.

So, let the rumour-mill commence. I'll start you off with my list of ideas, and explain them - it'll be fun to see what really happens:

  1. Europe will get a video on demand service for the PS3 and PSP - we already know there's a new service on the way, so this wouldn't be a big leap of faith.
  2. The PS3 will gain Freeview in the UK. This is one of the main rumours and there ain't smoke without fire. Freeview, for those that don't know, is the UK's digital terrestrial television service. It would turn the PS3 into a PVR with access to over 30 channels for free.
  3. A 120Gb PS3 model for Europe instead of the 80Gb model they launched in the US. This is a popular rumour right now. Personally, I couldn't give a fig - I can already upgrade my PS3 to 160Gb for £65 or so without invalidating the warranty.
  4. Sony will announce at least six new exclusives. In an interview with ThreeSpeech David explains that at their regular quarterly worldwide meetings they usually see just a few great titles. But right now he can "hand on heart, say that there are six or seven such games, coming in the next 18 months, which are absolutely spectacular." I'm guessing that two titles from each of the last three quarterly meetings will have made it through to the launch list by now.
  5. The PSP will get access to the Playstation Store/PS3 Friends/PS3 Chat. When they added PSP Remote Play via the Internet, where you log in using your PS3 email address and password, it was a clear indication that some of the PSN features could be accessed directly on the PSP without having to connect to your PS3 at home.
  6. The PSP and/or PS3 will get a Skype client. We know that the PSP firmware has had a 'notion' of Skype compatibility for a while, so this wouldn't be a great leap.
  7. Sony will launch a 'LinkedIn' or 'Facebook' style system that allows you to connect to new PS3 Friends by using the 'six degrees of separation' rule. Basically, you'll be able to meet new friends by getting introductions through your existing friends. This will expand your network and ensure that the profitable "you MUST get Super Stardust" messages are pushed across the network as fast as possible.
  8. SCEE will announce the SixShock controller. Or RumbleAxis. Or whatever you want to call it. Personally I've not missed rumble at all, so I'm not sure I care as much as everyone else on the 'net seems to about this.
  9. Sony will launch a PC client to access and chat with your Friends. Since the PS3 chat client appears to use Jabber as its basis this wouldn't be a big development issue. In fact I've been trying to figure out how to do this myself anyway using Jabber, but haven't been able to yet.
  10. My last prediction - Sony will allow you to live videoblog using a PSP with a GoCam! direct to your PS3 hard drive and consequently to your Playstation Home space. No basis for this prediction - I just think it would be cool!
So, there you have it. 10 predictions. Let's see how many come true but, more importantly, let's see how many more you can think up (add yours to the comments, and remember to show your 'working out')...

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Whilst we're thinking about Super Stardust HD...

If you're one of those people who is wondering how on earth some players are managing to score 700, 800 or 900 million on the PS3 phenom that is Super Stardust HD, you'll love this interview at PS3 Fanboy.

'Zafro' can be found in the top five of the high score list and although he starts off a bit slow, he soon gives up lots of valuable information on how you too can reach the dizzy heights of Super Stardom.

Apparently the answer is to build up at least 70 bombs!! Seriously, it's more complicated than that. You may need some actual talent to play this game after all (something I'm sadly lacking at the moment!).

Read the full Super Smashing interview now...

[via PS3Fanboy]

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Everyday Shooter - not something you see every day

Of all the games coming to the Playstation Network, Everyday Shooter has to be one of the more 'trippy' titles.

Imagine taking Super Stardust HD's control system but cutting it down to just one weapon. Take away the bombs. Take away the boost. And now add psychedelic cel-shaded graphics. Lots of them.

Have a look at the 'boss' video then hop on over to IGN for five other examples of what it might look like inside Pete Doherty's head.

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Thursday, 19 July 2007

PS3 outsells Xbox 360 in the US

So, after all the hubbub (is that how you spell that?) over Peter Moore's disparaging comments about the PS3 in Japan, and our expose of the truth, it turns out the the PS3 is actually outselling the Xbox 360 in the US.

The figures from last week's sales show the PS3 selling 41,005 units and the X360 selling 35,084 units.

Nintendo still rule the roost of course with 76,394 Wiis sold. If you add together all Sony platforms (PSP, PS2 and PS3) then you get 135,301 units across the US. MS on the other hand total 35,095 units.

Yes - 11 people bought the original Xbox in the US last week. Nice.

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Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue website goes live


Hop over to the GT5 Prologue website and check out the glorious pictures and incredible videos.

This is one title that can't come quick enough as far as I'm concerned...

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Rock Band drum kit looks sweet


Check out this picture of the Rock Band drum kit.

Harmonix have said that if you can master the drums in Rock Band on expert mode, you should be able to go play real drums in real life. That makes the PS3 more like a University of Life, with Rock Band as your professor. Wow!

We know from the video Viacom keep pulling from YouTube that you can use proper drum sticks on this thing so it's likely to be built to last. Can't wait to get my rhythm on this Christmas...

[via G4]

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Alas, no MGS4 demo video


Looks like security was tighter than a gnat's arse at the PlayStation Premier event.

So here's a picture you can look at from Sabra magazine's coverage of MGS3 Subsistence instead.

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Tuesday, 17 July 2007

News from the PlayStation Premier event in Tokyo

As we heard from Kojima-san at last week's E3 keynote, he is showing a real demo of MGS4 in Tokyo today.

While we wait for any video footage we can get our hands on let's wrap up the rest of the news from today's PlayStation Premier press event.

First up, we found out after the demo that a new Metal Gear Solid title is coming our way! Kojima-san announced they are producing a PS3 version of the online game that was included in MGS3 Subsistence. It looks like they will show this at the MGS 20th Anniversary Party next week in Tokyo.

Tekken 6 is announced as a full online title. We know that we are going to get an updated Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection title on the PS Store soon that will provide online battles, so this isn't a great shock.

News from the floor is that Final Fantasy XIII is only 13% complete at this time! But that's ok, since Final Fantasy Versus XIII is supposedly less than 2% complete, so in comparison they're storming ahead.

Grand Turismo 5 Prologue, as announced at E3, is supposed to be arriving in October.

White Knight Story will be playable at this year's Tokyo Game Show which is being held in September.

And my favourite news of the day - LocoRoco for the PS3 is on the way. Slated for release via the PS Store in the near future (it is 95% complete) the tentatively titled "Buu Buu Cocoreccho! by LocoRoco" will feature over 200 LocoRoco characters and full use of the SixAxis as its control mechanism.

Check back soon for the MGS4 demo video assuming I can get my grubby mitts on it!

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In Japan, Peter Moore is a kettle; calls the PS3 a black pot


Xbox boss Peter Moore came out with even more figures today. Remember, MS are good at figures. They spent a good ten minutes or more dazzling the press with numbers during their keynote and generally like to tow the MS line of quoting statistics everywhere they can.

Not that there's anything wrong with that approach except when you make statements like he did today.

I built a business plan for Japan but I don't think my expectations in Japan were anything close to what Sony's expectations are. They are failing. They're missing their plan by much more than I'm missing my plan.
Well, if your plan was to only sell 400,000 units in Japan across 20 months Mr. Moore, I'd suggest you're not exactly telling the truth. I remember clearly that your Japanese Xbox 360 business manager Yoshihiro Maruyama said in December 2005 that you'd sell 1 million units in Japan by the end of 2006. It's Summer 2007 and you're still not half-way there.

And whilst it is true that Sony may not have grabbed the Japanese market yet in the way they would have liked, they've sold 1,000,000 units over there in just 7 months.

According to 'Video Game Chartz' the Wii has managed close to 3,000,000 units in Japan across about 7 months, which is very different to the '6:1' figures Peter claims in his interview with GameDaily.

For a man who is only 40% of target with an extra six months of sales added on to the original deadline, it's quite bullish to be calling anyone else a failure.

A case of the pot calling the kettle black Mr. Moore?

[Update] And as was widely rumoured during the day, Moore has now officially resigned and taken up his new post at EA Sports.

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Monday, 16 July 2007

Heavenly Sword demo is ready to roll


Ninja Mikey of the Ninja Theory team announced on the official forum that "the dev team has finished work on the demo.. that's it... it's in the bag... so now it's a case of Sony deciding when they feel is the best time to release it to PlayStation Network."

Great news!

As far as the game is concerned, he also reveals "The Ninja team is now in the closing stage of development. We are quite literally fixing bugs and then it's done. In fact today is Saturday and a large proportion of the team are all in the office fixing those bugs".

Not long now people - the Heavenly Sword demo is nearly upon us!

[Update] - Looks like it will be available on the 26th July in Europe... nice.

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UK tabloid links PlayStation to killing - a gamer / parent's opinion


In the News of the World newspaper yesterday they ran a story about a teenager who committed murder, and the tabloid newspaper chose to point the finger squarely at the PS2 and Manhunt.

As a parent and a gamer I thought I'd take a moment to give my opinion on this and other similar stories from the US.

Although the emphasis in the story is obviously to blame the game and the console, I can't agree with their prognosis. As a parent I truly sympathise with all the people affected by this tragedy but you cannot blame the game. Why?

In the story itself it is made clear where the problem lies:

Every night [he] would retreat into his darkened bedroom at home in Rainham, Essex, and enter a grisly virtual world that revelled in sadism, ritual blood-letting and death. Just like millions of other youngsters.

One of baby-face Harling’s favourite games was the notorious Manhunt, where players SLASH and SLICE their victims with meat CLEAVERS, cheese WIRE and chainsaws.


Harling’s mother Lorraine is quoted as saying:

I knew he was playing the video games but we didn’t really know what went on in them; how brutal and graphic they were. For a long time I didn’t even realise games had age limits on them.
In the UK we not only have clear indications on games that they are rated 18 (just like movies which everyone knows are rated) but retailers like Game are great at saying 'no' to youngsters who try to buy a title beyond their age.

If you are a parent and you are buying an 18-rated title for someone who is too young you are not doing your job as a parent. Do not bow to 'peer pressure'. If all parents did the right thing, your child wouldn't be able to play that game or see that movie at a friend's house either.

If you are a parent and you let your children sit in front of their console, PC or TV for hours and you don't know what they are doing or what they are watching or who they are chatting with, you are not doing your job as a parent.

It transpires that no matter how 'baby-faced' this boy was, it was revealed in the murder trial that "Harling was ‘obsessed’ with pornography and serial killers".

A game, or a book/TV show/film/painting or any other media cannot, in my opinion, create a killer. It can help someone who doesn't know right from wrong or that has a deeper problem have an outlet but it can't turn a rational person into a killer.

Otherwise I would be a killer. And so would millions of other gamers. We'd all be running around killing and maiming each other. For that fact, millions of movie-goers and book-readers would be killers too.

But I was brought up better than that by my parents. I'd suggest that is where the problem lies and we all need to be more vigilant and knowledgeable about what are kids are doing when they are holed up in their rooms.

What is needed is not a finger-pointing exercise but an educational programme for parents so that they know how to deal with these issues and teach their kids the basics of what is good and what is bad in this world.

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