PS3 Attitude

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PS3 Attitude

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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Friday, 22 February 2008

GDC 08; CryEngine 2 show-floor videos

As we mentioned in our preview of GDC 08, CryEngine 2 was due to make an appearance on the PS3 at some point before the final bell.

Courtesy of GameTrailers we have two videos that show just how all-encompassing this FPS game engine is.

The first gives you some insight into the different features they have packed into the engine, including destructable environments and vegetation as well as depth-of-field and time of day lighting effects.

The second video is an homage to the famous Sony Bravia Balls advert. Except for some bizarre reason they seem to have chosen to replace the bouncy ball with what look like brightly coloured condoms!

Enjoy the show...





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Thursday, 21 February 2008

GDC 08; Call of Duty 4 'feature patch' on the way

Speaking at GDC to the chaps at PSU, Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling was gracious enough to explain the forthcoming features that will be downloaded to PS3s all over the world soon.

This CoD4 'feature patch' does bring a number of much-needed additions to our favourite online experience:
  • Optimised servers
  • New 'kill cams' (grenades, RPGs, airstrikes, claymores and more)
  • Quick Mute (mute annoying players - an absolute must have)
  • Show 'Recently Met Players' in the PlayStation Network (finally!)
  • Removal of 'delayed shots' for Sniper Rifles and Acog attachments, improving their usefulness
"(With the new 'kill cams') you can watch from when the grenade leaves the
enemies hand all the way to the explosion that kills you," said Bowling.
The patch is supposed to fix the 'downloading game settings' bug that could leave you with a four-hour wait to play online, and will generally make the whole game joining operation much smoother.

What with this and the planned DLC that will include new maps, I can see we'll be playing CoD4 just as much as we already do over 2008!

Which reminds me - if you want to show some PS3 Attitude love, add the clan tag [PS3A] to your profile in CoD4. If we end up playing in the same room we'll be on the same team. Not that this is a guarantee of success mind you!

[via PSU]

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GDC 08; Top PSN download list shows EU/US taste divide

Our friends over at PS3 Fanboy were privy to a presentation by Sony yesterday about the top 10 PSN purchases and demos in both the US and Europe.

The results are interesting, not only because somehow Mortal Kombat II made it on to both the EU and US list!

In the US flOw is the number 1 best seller, whilst in Europe the plaudits go to Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection.

Of course, much of the 'taste difference' between the Atlantically-challenged continents will be down to the simple fact that some of the top US titles still haven't made there way over here yet, or haven't been out long enough to figure on the list (like Riff: Everyday Shooter for example). PAIN and High Velocity Bowling are two of the usual suspects in this case.

Head on over to PS3 Fanboy for the full story. But then come back here, because you know we'll miss you.

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GDC 08; Havok Cloth and Destruction - first tech demo


Havok's incredible physics engine plays its part in such a large number of PS3 games, it would be remiss of us not to mention what's they're up to at GDC.

Yesterday Havok announced two new tools for their development suite; Cloth and Destruction. At PS3 Atittude, we were lucky enough to get our hands on the first tech demo for Cloth.

'Destruction' allows you to 'destroy things with ease using next-generation technology' and includes elements such as the 'fracture generator' and 'deformation controller' to create effects like those seen in the film-strip below.



'Cloth' on the other hand allows game designers to reduce the amount of time they spend working on realistic fabric simulations. Take a look at the tech demo below, or download a high-quality MP4 version for your PSP [5.3Mb - right-click and choose Save Link As or Save Target As].

Along with the ragdoll physics Havok already provides to so many games, it is good to see that they are pushing forward with other technologies to make development faster and easier. I wonder what will happen when you combine both tools and try to blow up someone's three-piece suit?





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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

GDC 08; Logitech launch GT5 Prologue wheel


At the Game Developers Conference today, Logitech announced and unveiled 'the official wheel of Gran Turismo' for the PS3.

Looking much like any other Logitech wheel (and that's a good thing) this new controller is due to arrive in May this year. It will be available in Europe and the US for $149 (£75).


“The Gran Turismo series has always been designed for racing enthusiasts. The Driving Force GT racing wheel was designed to perfection by our team, specifically for the next generation of Gran Turismo.” - Kazunori Yamauchi,
President of Polyphony Digital.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

GDC 08; PixelJunk Eden - the first trailer


They might not have hit the big time with PixelJunk Racers, but Q-Games showed us they have more to them when Monsters came along.

Now they're adding to their list of titles with the forthcoming PixelJunk Eden.

Announced at GDC 08 this really does remind me a lot of the inertia and gravity experienced when playing Thrust many moons ago.

Originally for the Acorn Electron and BBC Micro, I first played Thrust when it was ported to the C64. When you had the pod attached to your spacecraft, the inertia and gravity meant you could be spiralling out of control.

This seems to take from that oldest of game genres and add something new, borrowing from games like Rez and LocoRoco for it's style cues.

If the guys at Q-Games keep producing potential gems like this, we'll all be happy to forget 'Racers'...

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Monday, 18 February 2008

GDC 2008; what are we looking forward to?

It's GDC 2008 this week in San Francisco.

So what can we expect to hear about on the PS3 front?

Square Enix should announce their MMORPG for the PS3 this week, although this is a 'possibility' rather than a 'definite'.

CryEngine 2 is expected to be announced and shown on the PS3. That doesn't mean that Crysis itself will appear on our beloved platform, but at least we know the technology behind it is available.

There is a very good chance that we'll get some kind of announcement or early showing of God of War III at GDC this year.

I think we can all expect more LittleBigPlanet action from Sony, but I am going out on a limb and expect them to announce the PlayStation Home launch date as well.

We should also hear more about in-game XMB at GDC this year. When Home launches, I'm not sure how useful it will be, but I think we can expect an announcement.

Every major developer is at the show so there will be a whole raft of announcements as the week progresses. One thing is certain - PS3 Attitude will be reporting the big developments as and when they happen.

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