PS3 Attitude

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PS3 Attitude

Friday, 29 February 2008

X-Blades; making swords look more heavenly

SouthPeak Games announced a new game on the horizon for 2008 today, coming to the PS3 as well as other platforms.

Featuring an anime-inspired heroine called Ayumi, who really could have been called 'Blondiko', this is a hack-and-slash game in the mould of God of War and that other PS3 title.... you know the one.

It's natural to draw comparisons between this and Heavenly Sword, but in reality we don't expect this game to have anything like the production qualities of that short-but-sweet experience.

And the cartoon nature of the game is also the other big differentiator. But that still won't stop people asking the developers at TopWare about the obvious comparisons. We'll reserve judgement until we've seen it in action.

“We are big fans of anime and that was really our inspiration for X-Blades. Our goal was to create stylistic characters and artwork and to mix that bombastic visual style with lightning fast action. The result is a killer title that gamers and animation fans won’t be able to put down.” - James Seaman, Managing Director at Topware Interactive


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Echochrome demo coming to Japan next week

Want to get an early taste of what Echochrome has to offer? You do?! Good.

Because next week the PS3 version of Echochrome will be made available, in demo form, on the Japanese PS Store. Not only that, but the PSP version will also be available via the PlayStation Store for PC and at the various PlayStation Spot locations across Japan.

So for those of you who have a Japanese PSN account, get ready for some mad Escher-like black & white puzzling - your first taste of Echochrome's brilliance is less than a week away.

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Thursday, 28 February 2008

European PS3 bundles on the way

Two new PS3 bundles are headed to Europe, which is nice but somehow doesn't remove the disappointment of hearing that the MGS4 bundle is not coming to Europe.

The GT5 Prologue pack will be launched in the UK and elsewhere on 29th March, which backs up the GT5 Prologue launch date we have on the PS3 Attitude Calendar. Saturday is an odd date to launch a hardware bundle, but we're inclined to go with it until we hear otherwise, given this is from an official Sony announcement.

The Movie pack will be launched in France and may come to Italy and Spain. It arrives on 19th March (a Wednesday) and there's no word of whether it will be made available in any other European countries as of yet. The pack includes 300, Spiderman 3 and Casino Royale on Blu-ray.

Both packs feature the 40Gb PS3.



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European PS Store updates for 28th February

It's officially the worst update on the European PS Store ever.

I'm not going to say any more about it right now. The list speaks for itself:

Videos (all free)

Haze - new Boss Speech trailer
Conflict: Denied Ops - Dev Diary #4

We're in a state of shock. Surely this can't be it. More to come on this story later...

[UPDATE]

OK - so we checked and checked and this is really it. Just two videos.

Conflict: Denied Ops is ok as games go, but it just doesn't cut it in a market flooded with FPS titles.

Haze - on the other hand - we care about. We've played it. It's awesome.

We'll save you the bother of actually downloading the trailer they posted on the PS Store today though - you can watch it below.

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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

GDC 08; the PS3 Attitude wrap-up

Last week saw one of the big events on the PlayStation 3 calendar hit San Francisco. The Game Developers Conference landed at the Moscone Center with the PS3 riding a wave of positivity after the much catalogued 'death of HD-DVD'.

So it was unusual that this year Sony would not be giving a keynote speech. Instead, they decided to let the developers do the talking. The idea from Sony's point of view was that the message of how good the PS3 is would be better coming from all the different external angles instead of from the horses mouth, and maybe that was a good idea.

What it did mean, however, is that it made it harder to track what was being announced and where from.

Before the event started we had our suspicions of what might be talked about at the show.

We expected Square-Enix to announce their forthcoming MMORPG for the PS3. They kinda did and didn't. The game itself remained unannounced, but they did talk a lot about the Crystal Tools engine (formerly known as the White Engine) and gave a snippet of Final Fantasy XIII to the baying crowd.

We said that CryEngine 2 would be available to see on the PS3 and it was. We posted some nice videos of what CryEngine 2 can achieve during the show. Once again, this does not mean Crysis is on the way for the PS3. We'll just have to wait and see what people actually produce using this advanced game engine.

There was a good chance of some kind of God of War III announcement, but in retrospect this is more the kind of thing Sony would want to announce themselves. With the lack of a keynote, it's clear that E3 in July is the best bet for this.

We also struck out on any Home, in-game XMB and LittleBigPlanet announcements for the same reason. Although the 'in-shirt XMB' was very popular!

In other announcements we were pleased to hear about:

In other news we didn't report during the week, we also got wind of:
  • The 'secret PS3 game' the BBC reporter saw could be a 'Fight Club' styled online-only brawler called Tears of Blood. It apparently looks 'more spectacular than any game I've ever seen' according to one source. It is not to be confused with the old Magna Carta: Tears of Blood RPG game for the PS2.
  • Two nice tech demos using the PS Eye were shown; one that tracks your face for 3D game positioning and another that allows you to draw a tank on a piece of paper which the PS Eye then scans and converts into a playable tank on-screen.
  • Prototype looks better than we thought possible (video to come soon).
  • Bionic Commando (the new 3D one) looks great too, but Bionic Commando: Rearmed is a brilliant re-imagining of the original 2D sprite-action game and can be played via Remote Play on the PSP.
So that's it for another year. The next main show we'll cover is the Play.com Live event at Wembley Stadium in London which opens this March.

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PS3 announcements-a-plenty, but it's not all good news

Wow. Yesterday was a day for announcements and release dates, wasn't it?!

We announced a rumour that MGS4 finally got a worldwide release date, which has since been confirmed. Hideo Kojima's latest (and last in the series) is being launched on 12th June.

From the same retail conference, we also got word of a US release date for an MGS4 PS3 bundle, the DualShock 3 (April) and the sweet-looking God of War PSP Entertainment Pack (March 4th).

We got word from Ubisoft that Haze is being released in May.

We heard from Sega that the game formerly known as 'Valkyria of the Battlefield: Gallian Chronicles' in Japan will be coming to Europe - exclusively on the PS3 - and will be called 'Valkyria Chronicles'. It will arrive this Autumn.

So what's the bad news?

Looks like the MGS4 bundle and the beautiful GoW PSP are staying US-bound only. SCEE have said there are no plans to bring either to Europe. This - in my opinion - is a mistake on many levels.

By continually launching hardware and software in different forms and guises in different territories, Sony continue the public perception that SCEE, SCEA and SCEJ just don't talk to each other or work as a single unit.

The DualShock 3 has been available in Japan for some time - why wasn't it available everywhere all at once?

Not to mention it was months before us Brits and the rest of Europe got to see the PS3 in the flesh.

And don't get me started on the huge amount of region-free games that have been released elsewhere on the PlayStation Store, but not in Europe.

If Sony want to ride the wave of momentum they have gained from the actual success of the PS3 since launch (reaching 1m units in the UK faster than the PS2, reaching 10m units worldwide faster than the X360 did, the death of HD-DVD) then they need to get rid of the negative things that counteract that success.

So come on Sony - bring the MGS4 packs and the GoW PSP to Europe and show us all that you are a global coordinated organisation, not a group of silo operations.

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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 coming on June 12th?

At Destination PlayStation - a retail-only conference - the news is that MGS4 will arrive on June 12th this year.

June 12th is a Thursday but MGS4 wouldn't be the only title launched on that day of the week this year. Rainbox Six Vegas 2 arrives on a Thursday, and GTA IV has the audacity to join retail shelves on a Tuesday!

Word is that there will beware bundles launched on the same day too, but we're not sure if that is worldwide or just in certain territories.

We're waiting on proper confirmation from Konami, but this sounds like the real deal to us.

The PS3 Attitude Calendar has been updated accordingly...

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Super Puzzle Fighter finally coming to Europe?

Over the weekend the US version of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (try saying that 10 times fast, when drunk) got an update.

Capcom released details of the update and, in their own words, here's what changed:

  • Voice Chat added!

  • Localized for English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish

  • A few oddball bugs got fixed as well, including one that personally annoyed me: Previously people did not get a loss if they lost connection (or *cough*pulled*cough*) in a ranked game. Now the, uh… “disconnected” will get a loss upon completion of their next ranked game.

I say 'in their own words' because we'd never spell 'localised' with a 'z'.

So does that mean we are finally going to see Super Puzzle Fighter II etc. etc. come to the European PS Store at last?!

We can't get any confirmation as yet, but we sure hope so.

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Insomniac explain more about their recruitment video

Our friends over at PS3 Fanboy scored an interview with Ryan Schneider of Insomniac (not to be confused with Rob Schneider of 'Saturday Night Live' fame). Ryan explains a little more about the 'wacky' music video they debuted at GDC 08 this year.

Hop on over to PS3 Fanboy for the full interview and a link to the original video (in case you hadn't seen it already).

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PlayTV gets better; no DRM and take-anywhere recordings

As if we're not already chomping at the bit for PlayTV in the UK, we then find out that the recordings it makes can be moved to the video section of the XMB.

These videos are in standard MPEG-2 format with no DRM or copy restrictions whatsoever, which means that you can plug in your favourite flavour of USB or memory card device and copy your recorded programmes for use on any device you like. You can re-encode them on a PC to support pretty much anything.

This is a progressive and welcome move by Sony. The company has been severely burnt in the past with DRM and copy-protection scandals, and in a world where everyone wants to get rid of DRM it's definitely the right move.

Sure, a minority of people will now use the PS3 as the go-between allowing them to put UK TV programmes up for download, but the majority of us will do exactly what this technology is intended for - record and watch the TV we like on any device at a time convenient to us.

Bravo, Sony.

Note: If you have a PSP, PlayTV supports your device with dual encoding and Remote Play features, so this MPEG-2 stuff is more for those of you who want to watch TV on your iPod, mobile phone or Video Walkman.

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Monday, 25 February 2008

Racedriver: GRID website launching on Wednesday


If you hop over to the official website for Racedriver: GRID you'll see a nicely rendered countdown that leads you to midnight this Wednesday (UK time).

Details of what will be on the full website aren't yet available, but from the movie that is on the current 'teaser' site you can see that the guys at Codemasters are looking to encompass a range of different driving styles from around the world.

That means some nice sterotypes are on the way, like street racing in muscle cars on the west coast of America, drifting in the streets of Tokyo and some well-mannered track racing in vehicles with roll cages in the UK.

The video shows some nice atmospheric work and some great car damage. There are a whole glut of racing games on the way for the PS3 this year - which one suits your driving style?

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[UPDATE] Phil Harrison quits Sony - returning to game industry soon

Phil Harrison is standing down as President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios. Kaz Hirai (President of SCEI) will assume control of SCEWW after Phil moves on, which is as soon as 29th February.

In the official press release, Phil says:


"The past 15 years at Sony Computer Entertainment has been the defining journey of my life so far. I am grateful to all the PlayStation family for their incredible support, guidance and friendship. It has been a privilege to serve as part of the team and be inspired by them on a daily basis."



SCEE are not commenting any further on the departure of Phil Harrison but we understand that he will not be away from the gaming industry for long and that he plans to return soon.

PS3 Attitude would like to extend their thanks to Phil for his hard work in helping push the PlayStation 3 forward to where it is today. We know he was always very good at all that big corporate stuff, but frankly we'll always just be in awe of his Motorstorm driving skills ("behind-the-car view is for wimps") and hope he comes back to the fray soon - just as long as he doesn't go work for Nintendo or MS!
[UPDATE] The only company 'on the move' at the moment is Atari courtesy of a new CEO who wants to revitalise the brand. We're going to stick our necks out and say that Phil is going to end up there in the near future.

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