PS3 Attitude

PlayStation 3 news, views, reviews and interviews from PS3 Attitude - a daily news site with bite! 100% philanthropic website - all revenues derived are donated to charity...

PS3 Attitude

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

PixelJunk Monsters Patch Will Be Trophy-tastic [UPDATE]

UPDATE: PlayStation.Blog has additional information for us all:
  • The patch will release October 23rd for Japan and October 30th for Europe and North America.
  • You can use any combination of difficulty settings to complete your game. Sweet!
  • XMB Custom soundtrack support.
  • Trophies will work differently. Instead of re-playing your entire game, specific trophy challenges must be met on maps with set rules.
  • Jeff Rubenstein interviews Dylan Cuthbert about the upcoming patch. Must see.

We have heard that a patch for Monsters was coming our way. Now with the patch (finally) getting closer to a Japanese release, some info has trickled down our way.

This fantastic patch will add Trophy support and YouTube recording (just like younger sibling Eden), easy and hard difficulty levels (wasn't the game already hard?), and re-balances the strength and range of some towers.

I have yet to pick up the expansion pack Encore, namely because my tribe gets slaughtered by cutesy monsters. Needless to say, the new easy mode is highly welcome (and in my case, sorely needed).

Although Eden has all my PixelJunk attention at the moment, Monsters has made a major blip on my radar. I can only hope that the red headed PixelJunk step child (a.k.a. Racers) gets some attention too.

Source [PS3 Fanboy, Game Watch]

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Star Wars MMO could be console bound - Warhammer too

Now that BioWare's worst kept secret is officially out of the bag, attention has turned to which platforms the new Star Wars MMO will be gracing. EA's Frank Gibeau has spoken to revealing that there is serious consideration being given for credit-farmers and space-raiders to get their Jedi Mind Trick fix on a non-PC platform, stating: "We're definitely looking at the opportunity to bring the MMO experience to console, without question."

With SOE's John Smedley recently coming out declaring Sony's plans to actively venture into the lucrative MMO market it would be no surprise if Star Wars: The Old Republic gets earmarked for padawan training on the PS3. What's also interesting to note however is that recent new fish to the MMO arena, Warhammer Online, is also quoted as being up for a possible console helping with the nebulous comment from Gibeau of "They're both under consideration" piquing further interest.

Considering EA are publishing both BioWare's and Mythic's MMOs this would make financial sense so it's exciting times for us console wranglers with a popular genre, traditionally unavailable due to the very nature of the game mechanics, now (highly likely) entering the console fray.

Image Source:

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An Unreal Tournament 3 expansion is in the makings

Mark Rein - Vice President of Epic Games- told Eurogamer that the team is working on an "epic" (see what I did there?!?) expansion for Unreal Tournament 3.

He also stated that Midway still remains the title's publisher -despite the rumours about financial issues-. More specifically he stated:

"In fact, we're working together on a major expansion to Unreal Tournament 3, that we expect will excite and grow our UT3 customer base which, incidentally, now numbers over a million units sold-through world-wide."

It may sound weird but the systems that the expansion will be available for were not announced. Our guess, all of them.

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Atari's line-up = Brilliant Stuff

Atari decided to let us know of their future releases, by making available the late 2008 - early 2009 Europe line-up. Many great games are included in that list.

We already know that the PS3 exclusive Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm is going to visit us soon. The same goes for Alone in the Dark: Inferno. For those who haven't been keeping up with the AITD case, Inferno is an upgraded version of Eden Games' Alone in the Dark.

But, let's quit beating around the bush and see what the mates at Atari have prepared for us.

November 2008
-Alone in the Dark: Inferno

November 7th 2008
-Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm

February 2009
-Eternal Sonata

2009 TBC
-Heroes Over Europe
-Afro Samurai

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Tuesday, 21 October 2008

MGS4 PS3 for sale on eBay; beauty or beast?

How about this for a mod?

The talented guys at Morpheon Mods have taken an original 60Gb PS3 (you know, the good one with all the extra ports, PS2 compatibility and card slots) and made it look like a minor work of art.

Not only have they fully branded the MGS4 one-off, but they managed to get it signed by both Hideo Kojima and Yumi Kikuchi.

In addition, they've modified a case and packed it with all sorts of related, hard-to-get-hold-of goodies.

As you know, we love charity at PS3 Attitude and it's good to see that 15% of the proceeds from the eBay auction for this MGS4 PS3 are going to Penny Arcade.

I better go an put another couple of tickets on for the Lotto, just in case...

So what do you think? Is this mod a beauty or a beast?

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Eternal Sonata to ship with exclusive PS3 characters and quests

Stephanie Fernandez from Namco Bandai has released some information at the PlayStation Blog about exclusive PS3 Eternal Sonata content. Since the game was announced for the PlayStation 3 we have known that there will be new story content to expand on the characters' backgrounds and motives.

It has been confirmed that there are also two new exclusive playable characters who have their own very useful and unique abilities. The development team has included some new quests, new dungeons and three new Chopin musical scores. There will be alternative costumes hidden around the game world and new items some of which are only usable by the new characters.

The game will be shipped with a extra dungeon which will only become available after the story has been completed once.

The additions look as if they will add a lot more depth to the game and will expand on an already good story. The game ships in America tomorrow, with a European release date down for early 2009.

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Monday, 20 October 2008

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift Demo: Impressions

Title: MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Evolution Studios
Demo Release Date: October 16th (Non Qore)
Release Date of final game: October 28th (NA), November 7th (EU)
Size: 617 MB

Introduction: Following up on the flawed (but generally positively received) launch title "MotorStorm", Evolution Studios return to the racing genre with the inevitable sequel, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift. Once again, rather than discussing the virtues of the game itself, we focus on the demo; noting its specific qualities in an attempt to gauge whether or not it has served the collective purpose of not only driving interest in the final product, but being a self-contained unit to be enjoyed and deleted when finished.

Of course this demo is not necessarily something new, considering it was originally available for Qore subscribers back in September but us mere Outer Qore members however now get our chance to race around a tropical setting avoiding pit-falls and the hyper-competitive nature of our fellow racers.

Initial impressions: Of course you can't judge a demo without commenting on the quality of the final game its representing so let's just say that the MotorStorm 2 (easier that writing Pacific Rift all the time) gameplay presented is polished, fun and mighty purty. The graphics have received a noticeable upgrade with frame-rates and effects all appearing smoother and in greater detail respectively. Speaking of upgrades, this author also noticed some considerable tweaks to the bike handling with driving at lower speeds now no longer akin to almost getting trapped in a perpetual circle due to over sensitive controls. It's a small point but it's worth noting as it was a personal peeve from the first game.

From a gameplay perspective we get one track (Rain God Spires) which actually harks back to the original demo course with the twists, turns and dead-falls not a million miles away from how the Mesa track played. We get eight vehicles comprising of a bike, a monster truck, two buggys, two racing trucks and a couple of rally cars for good measure. Most importantly (for some), we get two-player split screen action; a mode long maligned as being painfully absent from the original game. Quite sizeable for a demo but, considering it's just one track, the balance is kept in check. It should be noted however that two laps is noticably short when it comes to actual race-time.

A final nod is given to the music selected for the demo as, once again, the developers have chosen some excellent pounding tracks to keep the adrenaline pulsing. With Pendulum's "Slam" featuring heavily in the first demo, I definitely noticed the heavy riffs of Ministry permeating this outing.

Who's Going To Like This: Fans of the first MotorStorm obviously but also those who enjoy fast-paced racing fun in a bite-sized format. In fact, fans of Burnout should also give it a whirl considering the crashes (to us at least) appear more cinematic in nature than before. Let us know if you agree with this assessment in the comments.

Interest Radar: The MotorStorm 2 demo excels where the Mercenaries 2 demo crashed and burned. There is just enough content here to pique your interest, it shows off the game's qualities without muddying the waters (pun intended) with superfluous game modes, vehicles or objectives and delivers with the "fun" element. Once again, size shouldn't be an issue, but it's nice to note that the moderate download shouldn't cause many people to wait for hours in order to check it out.

The MotorStorm: Pacific Rift demo is rated as a Category 4 storm, missing out on the ultimate classification of a Cat 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale purely because the actual time presented per race is quite short and the track doesn't show off much of the often reported destructive environment factor. Considering a Category 4 will still pick up your house and relocate it to a different country, this demo is highly recommended.

Remember: demo impressions are based on the demo and not on the game. Great games have been known to have lousy demos, with the opposite also holding true.

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Dead Space's No Known Survivors Campaign Ends

And so No Known Survivors, EA's interactive marketing promotion for Dead Space, comes to an end. Encompassing two separate stories, interjected with a poignant interlude allowing us to reflect on one tale of misery before embarking on the next, the weekly updates have been fun and informative.

The cycle is now complete with "13"'s final chapter - "Primary Objective". Check out our previous posts if you're still catching up on the online "investigation" but, for those in the know, tub leader Gavin, set the task of "cleaning up" all knowledge of Ishimura's location and objective in last week's reveal, can now be seen in this denouement dutifully performing his responsibilities with the final murder.

Nothing to interact with this week and no aptitude test so we're assuming those of you who have already aced the previous mind-games should know soon enough whether a free copy of Dead Space will be on its way to your location.

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Mega Man 9 DLC: If You Didn't Die Enough Edition

Hitting the PSN Store for download this Thursday will be more downloadable content for Mega Man 9. This time around will be 3 extra modes:

  • Hard Mode – Dubbed Hero Mode in Japan, this mode enables you to play the entire game on an increased difficulty level with alternate enemy distribution and spawning points. Hard Mode is not compatible with Rankings or Challenges Modes.
  • Expert Mode – Dubbed Super Hero Mode Japan, this mode represents the apex of Mega Man 9 difficulty settings and is not for the novice Mega Man 9 player. This mode triples the level of difficulty from the default Mega Man 9 game. Expert Mode is not compatible with Rankings or Challenges Modes.
  • Special Time Attack Stage – This DLC gives you an additional stage for Time Attack Mode, complete with an all new level and Robot Master Boss, “Fake Man.” Similar in difficulty to the Wily Stages, players will have a fun time tackling this time sensitive competitive stage. Special Time Attack Stage is not compatible with Challenge Mode
So for those of you who think the game was too easy to begin with, then this content is for you. Me, I'm happy with its current difficulty.

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Resistance 2 beta; 14 minutes of gameplay? Done...

You didn't get into the Resistance 2 beta program?


Thank goodness for a site called Geeked:Up:Side who managed to capture 14 minutes of multi-player fury for our viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

[Source: Geeked:Up:Side]

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NOVASTRIKE Coming to Europe this Thursday

Good news for our European readers, NOVASTRIKE is coming to the PSN on Thursday. Our source tells us that it will be priced at €7.99 and will come with in game XMB music. Having played the US demo I'm looking forward to passing away lots of time on this.

I'm sure the PS3 Attitude writers will be pleased to hear that NOVASTRIKE will be launched with trophies, giving us yet another game to compete on.

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Friday, 17 October 2008

Holy Sackboy! LBP delayed due to Qur'an - UPDATE 2

Whilst the rest of the interwebs melted on the rumour that LittleBigPlanet's release in PAL regions had been delayed, as usual we held back until the official word arrived from SCEE.

And here's that official word:

During the review process prior to the release of LittleBigPlanet, it has been brought to our attention that one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur'an. We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this may have caused.

We will confirm the new launch date shortly.
So there you have it.

Whilst this is clearly bad news for all us Sackboy-lovin' consumers (especially those who can't access the Beta any more), we're pretty sure the new release date will be 14th November - not too long to wait.

The only question that couldn't be answered was why this had to be recalled rather than 'locking out' that particular song via a mandatory patch.

UPDATE: Looks like the new release date will be 31st October, which is actually the originally planned UK release date in any case.

UPDATE 2: Sony announced today that LBP will arrive 'no later than the week beginning November 3rd in the UK and Europe', which means that the best case is still October 31st for the UK but worst case is November 7th. Either way, it's not too long to wait...

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More PS3 MMOs in development than currently announced

In an interview with Edge Online, Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley has revealed some interesting plans that fans of gold-farming and raiding might be interested in.

Asked about SOE's plans to make all future MMOs available on both PC and the PS3, John declared that "[Sony] believe very strongly that the future of our MMOs will be taking the titles in development--and we have more in development than we have announced, I will say that--and doing them across PC and PlayStation 3."

Apart from these unannounced games, the SOE president confirms that PS3/PC joint-play in upcoming spy game The Agency is "pretty unlikely" though your core character can be played on either system.

With the theory that the PS3 may be better suited for the MMO genre than its closest rivals (guaranteed hard-drive, official USB keyboard and Mouse support - though this can also be obtained on a 360) and a (questionably) more mature user-base (traditionally the MMO demographic) we would like to ask: Would you play a PS3 based MMO in your living room? Are you looking forward to the likes of The Agency and/or DC Universe Online? Let us know in the comments.

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Resistance 2 Beta Now Live

Trying to unravel the complex intricacies of how to gain access to the Resistance 2 beta is like trying to decipher unified string theory drunk, hanging upside down - and in Swahili.

In an effort to elucidate the ongoing confusion we're happy to report something clear and concise regarding beta accessibility.

As of yesterday, the public beta in North America has begun. Greg Phillips over at the official PS blog gives us the full details but the main points are:
  • Admittance will be granted in two waves. Qore and GameStop pre-orderers will get in first. If you're still waiting for your key, please note: "[...] they’re being sent out as we speak. But there are *a lot to send*, so they may take several hours to get out there. More details from Insomniac games coming soon, here on the [PlayStation] blog."

  • People who apply via (which goes live later) get the nod sometime in the middle of next week.

  • This is also the time when we Europeans will hit the servers.

  • The beta will include competitive maps from three locations in the game with Orick, Chicago, and the Bay Area all featuring. Yes, some of these maps support 60 players online (check the blog for which).

  • Co-Op is included in the beta with "the co-op portion [...] focused on Orick".
The blog entry also has some more information regarding the new myresistance site with information ranging from leader-boards to customisation so be sure to check it out.

Oh, and Resistance 2 is now officially Gold. It will be released on the 4th and 28th of November in North America and Europe respectively.

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Thursday, 16 October 2008

PS Store is down - Oct 16 - UPDATED WITH ETA

News is reaching us that people eager to get their MotorStorm 2 demo fix on have come up against a bit of a snag. It appears the PlayStation Store is throwing a 80023017 error for some (or all?) of us*. Error code aficionados might recall that this code translates as "Store down for maintenance".

*Update: Patrick Seybold over at the official PS blog has confirmed that they have "temporarily taken down some functions of PlayStation Network - specifically access to the PlayStation Store". The downtime is also noted as being "unscheduled."

When asked for an ETA or why this unplanned outage has occurred, Jeff Rubenstein has responded to one of the comments by saying: "We’ll keep you posted right here. The Store Update will likely follow as soon as things are back to normal."

Don't fret too much as "Online gameplay will remain uninterrupted".

Update: NavySeal74, who is a member of the PlayStation community with apparent contact to the PSN team, has updated over at the EU PlayStation site that the store will not be back up until "the early hours of the morning". That's roughly a worse case scenario of six hours from now. We're looking forward to the "post mortem" of why this has happened so soon after the scheduled 5 hours of downtime already this week. Once again, speculation is building regarding the source of this unscheduled hiccup from Home to SOCOM. Considering it's just the Store that seems to be affected however (along with Registration functionality which may disrupt access to your betas - if you're in any) we really can't tell. Check back tomorrow for further updates. We'll also put a call out to SCEE to see if we can get any "official comment".

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TGS; Sony keynote wrap-up - speech videos

As usual there were a number of sites 'live-blogging' the TGS keynote speech from Sony. We didn't get a chance to do that this year, but since TGS finished we've been surprised at the lack of video coverage available.

So what better than featuring the entire keynote in four bite-able chunks courtesy of our friends at GameVideos?

Enjoy the keynote and tell us what you think of Sony's efforts in the comments...

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European PS Store update for 16th October

The update has arrived, although a little later than the usual '11:30 on a Thursday' routine.

So what were we waiting for?

Two good demos, some Eye of Judgement goodness, a new golf course and the usual Rock Band/videos/themes mix.

For all your trophy whores, remember the Eye of Judgement set 3 includes some shiny new hardware for you to get your hands on. And yes, I still refuse to spell it without an 'e' - I'm British don't you know.

Demos (all free)

Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift


Eye of Judgement - Biolith Rebellion set 3 (£6.99/€9.99)
Eye of Judgement - Biolith Rebellion set 2 & 3 (£10.49/€14.99)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 - Firestone County Club (£4.99/€7.49)
Rock Band DLC (check below for track listing)

Videos (all free)

Far Cry 2 - "Bara Bara" trailer
Tom Clancy's Endwar - trailer
PAIN Amusement Park - trailer

Themes (all free)

Killzone 2

Rock Band track listing (£0.99/€1.49 each)

Don't go away Mad (Just go away) - Mötley Crüe
Dr.Feelgood - Mötley Crüe
Kickstart My Heart - Mötley Crüe
Rattlesnake Shake - Mötley Crüe
Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.) - Mötley Crüe
She Goes Down - Mötley Crüe
Slice of Your Pie - Mötley Crüe
Sticky Sweet - Mötley Crüe
Time for Change - Mötley Crüe
Without You - Mötley Crüe

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Get your hands on Shaun White early...

Are you in the UK?

Are you free between 23rd and 26th October?

Do you want to play Shaun White Snowboarding before it is released in November?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then head over to Battersea Power Station the bizarrely entitled 'Freesports On 4; Freeze - sponsored by LG' event where Ubisoft are allowing visitors to get their hands on the Flying Tomato's first foray into the snowy world of video games 'boarding.

From what we've seen, and in the absence of any next-gen SSX title, this game could be the answer to our black run prayers.

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Call of Duty : World at War footage revealed

Let's face it: there appears to be some people a tad bit worried about the quality of the next Call of Duty game considering the franchise's perpetual ping-pong between development studios Infinity Ward and Treyarch. Despite statistical fact to prove otherwise, these factions espouse a certain theory that COD games pretty much follow the "Star Trek Model" (even numbered sequel titles good, odd numbered - not so good).

With our very own Commander-in-Chief DolphGB recently checking in on Treyarch's other holiday-season big hitter (Quantum of Solace), we're confident that the studio are going to knock one out of the park for Mr. Bond but what about Call of Duty's return to the killing fields of World War II?

Well, the salient point about Call of Duty: World at War (aka COD5) is that it is built using COD4's engine so those aforementioned fears should be automatically allayed. Naysayers still might claim that the new campaign is purely a re-skin of COD4 but we ask: even if this is true (considering how awesome COD4 is) would this necessarily be a bad thing?

C&VG has posted up some video footage captured during the COD:WAW beta with one such glimpse displayed here.

It does have that distinctive COD4 feel to it; albeit with the flavour of the Pacific setting. Let us know what you think about COD's latest venture in the comments.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2008

High Velocity Bowling: Online, Trophies, and More

Amidst the usual PSN Store update tomorrow, High Velocity Bowling will be getting a new makeover. Those lonely nights bowling alone are a thing of the past. This update will bring head-to-head online play along with voice chat and leaderboards. If that's not enough, 12 trophies are being added as well; 7 bronze, 4 silver, and 1 gold to be exact.

Still not enough? Custom soundtracks, more trick shot challenges, new ball bags, alley selection, and even more add-on content are being included in this massive update. The best news of all is that it's free. That's right, you won't be having to add funds to your online wallet for this one. Be sure to check out the PlayStation.Blog for all the details.

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Bioshock Launch Trailer Unveiled

CVG have posted up the launch trailer for the PS3 version of Bioshock which hits stores next week. We won't go into the mythos of the game at this stage as you should know what's happening in the sub-aquatic land of Rapture by now. If not however, you'll be happy to know that accompanying the trailer is a handy voice-over by an extremely hammed up Irish narrator that explains the whole concept of plasmids and ADAM. Think of it as a mini primer for the game.

Don't worry too much about spoilers as most of the (beautiful) footage on display here can be found on the recently released (mammoth) PSN demo.

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How To: PS3 FW 2.50 Brings DivX VOD

Firmware 2.50 is now out for your shiny big black box. Once downloaded, you can then view rented or bought DivX files on your PS3. You have to register the device using the code found in the System Settings submenu. Simply open DivX player on a PC, go to Tools > Device Manager and it will walk you through the steps needed to activate the PS3 playback device.

Once done, you get a downloadable file. Pop that onto a flash drive and play it from the Video section of your XMB and Robert's your mother's brother.

Easy as that!

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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Will digital distribution kill 'exclusivity'?

Whilst our friends at TheSixthAxis and sites like CVG speculate on whether Kojima-san will announce MGS5 at TGS 2009 for 'multiple platforms', we're standing back from the rumours and are offering you a debate instead.

Konami have been quoted as saying that they are not confirming MGS5 for the Xbox 360, but they are (unsurprisingly) looking at how to maximise their revenue by seeing if they could offer the next MGS game up as a multi-platform title.

The constraint on the X360 release of even the current MGS title is, of course, their reliance on DVD as their storage standard. BluRay offers the kind of space you need for a title like MGS 4 and 5, whereas DVD simply doesn't cut it.

So why bring the game out on disc-based media at all? In fact why bring any game after, say, 2010 out on a disc? By then, super-high-speed broadband will be fully adopted and hard disks will be even cheaper.

The other day, I even saw a 'terabyte laptop' available for sale at less than £1,000.

With Sony having had the foresight to allow customer upgradeable HDD units (mine is currently running 250Gb, but it could easily be a 1Tb drive by 2010), broadband and cable getting faster all the time, and successful P2P distribution models already running, digital distribution seems like the way forward (much to the chagrin of retail outlets like GAME and HMV).

Which begs the ultimate question; who needs 'exclusives' when the current unique selling point of the PS3 - BluRay - becomes obsolete?

Of course, there is one thing we're not mentioning. What the unique selling points of the PS3 going forward might be.

By 2010 we would expect that developers will start to really get to grips with the hardware and push out titles that look, feel and play heaps better than any other console or platform.

If that happens maybe the 'platform exclusive' is here to stay. If not, we don't really see why publishers and developers would put all their eggs in one basket once you take the storage and distribution element out of the equation.

Agree? Disagree? Your thoughts in the comments please...

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Firmware 2.50 to support Flash (aahhh!) 9

Not content with the enhancements regarding trophies, headsets and screen-grabbing (amongst others) coming in the upcoming 2.50 firmware update? Well, if you're like us and like to jump on to PS3 Attitude in between frag-fests and burning laps to check news and views you may also be happy to hear that there is yet another small, but significant, tweak coming as part of the impending update.

Our friends over at ThreeSpeech have reported that, from firmware version 2.50 (coming tomorrow), Flash 9 content will be supported in the Internet Browser.

As a lot of game videos (and other media on the web but, seriously, who looks at that?) can be found having a Flash variant this means the PS3 browser takes another step forward in supporting more online content. Now, if only someone could tell me how to get rid of that persistent "Would you like to install the plugin?" message I'll never leave the sitting room again.

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PSN to be down tonight for five hours due to "maintenance"

Community Team Leader "Munster Bunster" (gotta love that name) over at the official PlayStation forums has announced that there will be essential maintenance performed on the PSN tonight at 8 p.m.* lasting for five (long) hours. As you obviously don't tune a car while it's moving, likewise, the PSN will be down during this time.

Speculation is rife regarding the reason behind the need for such a lengthy cessation of services. Might it be an upgrade to the servers for the upcoming onslaught that is LittleBigPlanet? Supporting requirements for firmware 2.50 and its new fancy headset settings? Or, dare we say it, laying some foundations for the mythical Home release?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

And yes, we're specifically not mentioning that this maintenance is on the same day as SOCOM's release for a lot of people. We're specifically not mentioning that.

*World Clock Manipulation being a speciality of mine this equates to a start time of 9 p.m. in Central Europe, 11 a.m. for you guys on the West Coast of the U.S., 2 p.m. for our East Coast buddies and even 12 p.m. in the awesomely sounding MOUNTAIN Standard Time.

Source: via Joystiq

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Monday, 13 October 2008

ThreeSpeech Wipeout competition extension

Our friends over at ThreeSpeech have been running an awesome Wipeout HD screenshot competition.

The response has been so big, they've extended the closing date and bolstered the prizes!

Go read the full story now and pick out your favourite from the droves of entries they've had.

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Dead Space's No Known Survivors update: Déjà-vu Edition

Well, we did say that the next episode was going to be released tomorrow.

Unlucky enough to have picked up the Ishimura's distress signal, murder and mayhem continues on board our favourite reconnaissance tub. The latest chapter now also adds some interesting back-story to the Dead Space mythos to the current mix of homicide and hijinks. Considering the "big reveal" might be considered a tad spoilerific we'll simply allude to the new information by coughing through words like "cover-up" and "intergalactic space conspiracy".

Be sure to check out the site yourself to unlock the secrets before the game hits on October 24th in Europe. Our US compadres of course can unravel the mystery right now.

Finally, for the welchers there's also a new fiendishly difficult aptitude exam to test your space-mettle. You can't expect them to just give the game away, can you?

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PS3 Firmware v2.50 Details

Details on what's to come in the next Firmware update for the PS3 have arrived via the Playstation.Blog. The only detail omitted was when this update would be available for download.

  • Support for the PS3 Official Bluetooth Headset: High Quality mode will be enabled and an on-screen indicator will show battery life, volume level, and use of HQ mode.

  • Playstation Trophies Interface Enhancements: Sharing and comparing trophies with friends becomes easier. Included is a symbol that represents your level as well as the percentage needed to reach the next one. The same is included when comparing trophies with friends.

  • Friend Status: See how long it has been since the last time they logged in.

  • Video: Adds Scene Search feature which lets you break up videos into 1, 2, or 5 minute scenes. You can also choose to have all videos in the section play in sequence.

  • Playstation Store: You can now redeem PSN Cards and promotional code directly in the store rather than having to go to Account Management. That section has also been redesigned as well.

  • Power Save Settings: Ability to set your PS3 and wireless controllers to turn off automatically after a set period of inactivity.

  • Background Downloading: You can now have your PS3 turn off automatically after a background download or installation has completed.

  • In-game Screenshots: Capture and share your favorite gameplay moments. Ability is supported on a game by game basis.

In addition, there are also to be some additional unnamed features and enhancements included. I must say, this is looking to be quite a meaty update. I'm most excited about the trophy enhancements, simply because I cannot get enough of them. How about you?

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Sunday, 12 October 2008

Dead Space's "13" continues with "Unanticipated"

I'm going to just pretend that with each chapter in Dead Space's interactive web-campaign appearing every Monday we're dutifully bringing them to your attention on time. Considering we missed the first story arc completely and episode three is out tomorrow (or today, if you like to stay away from PS3 news on the weekends) this charade is thinly veiled of course but I'm hoping you'll forgive things like us here at PS3 Attitude taking a much needed vacation and play along.

Virgins of the macabre and malevolent occurrences inflicting the Ishimura should check out our first article and especially last week's inaugural episode to new story "13".

As previously predicted, Dennis has bought the space-farm; his wounds now seen in greater detail. We now also have an audio log of the tub-dwellers checking the distress beacon revealing something we missed completely from the first chapter: they're not on board the Ishimura at all. From listening to the file however, it would appear that the catastrophic effects are not isolated to just the planet-cracking ship orbiting Aegis 7.

Be sure to re-check Sally's video to witness its transformation into an R-rated Tarantino-esque twist of the original's innocent rendition.

There is also the usual new set of questions as part of the aptitude test where you could win a copy of the game for the console (or PC) of your choice. The first question: "Gavin victim number one" should be easy enough. He's sitting in the chair sporting a range of stab wounds and gets a mention above.

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Friday, 10 October 2008

TGS 08: New Prince of Persia Trailer

Ubisoft has provided us with a new trailer for the upcoming Prince of Persia due out in December. Watch in slow motion as the Prince and his new lady friend jump, slide, and fight baddies. Every time something new comes along I am amazed as how visually beautiful it is. And here's the answer before you ask. The song is Breathe Me by Sia. Admit it, you wanted to know...

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Thursday, 9 October 2008

North American PS Store Update For October 9th

Linger in Shadows debuts, FIFA 09 skimps on leagues and asks cash money for them later, Rock Band offers some sweet tracks and the ridiculously named Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars (SARPBC?) gets released and demoed.

But wow, premium themes, we really needed those more than an application that starts with "H" and rhymes with "gnome"...which shall remain nameless. Are you guys seriously going to buy any of them?

Qore Episode 5 ($2.99 for episode / $24.99 for Annual Subscription)
Episode 5 celebrates Halloween with a scary game roundup. It also includes exclusive access to SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles demo, some spooky/creepy artwork and new shooting galleries.

Linger in Shadows ($2.99)
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords ($14.99)
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars ($14.99)
Hot Shots Golf Fall Fashion Line ($2.99)
Dead Space Obsidian Suit (Free)
Dead Space Scorpion Suit ($2.49)

All Leagues Pack ($19.99)
Barclays Premier League English Pack ($6.99)
Bundesliga German Pack ($6.99)
Liga BBVA Spanish Pack ($6.99)
Ligue 1 French Pack ($6.99)
Primera Division De Mexico Pack ($6.99)
Serie A Italian Pack ($6.99)

Mega Man 9 Endless Attack Mode ($2.99)
Mega Man 9 Protoman Mode ($1.99)

Rock Band
The Offspring Track Pack 01 ($5.49; includes tracks below, also offered individually)
Gone Away - The Offspring ($1.99)
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) - The Offspring ($1.99)
Self Esteem - The Offspring ($1.99)
Various Tracks
All Right Now - Free ($1.99)
Bad to the Bone - George Thorogood ($1.99)
Cream and Bastards Ride - Harvey Danger ($1.99)
Nearly Lost You - Screaming Trees ($1.99)
Push It - Static-X ($1.99)
Stop! - Against Me ($1.99)

Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution Single Player Map Pack: Brave New Worlds (Free)
Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution Scenario Pack: The Victory Pack ($1.25)
Super Stardust HD Game Bundle with Solo & Team modes ($14.99)
Super Stardust HD Add-on Bundle (Solo & Team) ($7.99)

Demos (Free)
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars

Game Videos (Free)
LittleBigPlanet Life in LBP Ep. 2 (Play)
LittleBigPlanet Playtime
MotorStorm Pacific Rift Crashes & Carnage Trailer
NBA 09 Trailers (x4)
SOCOM: Confrontation - Desert Glory Flythrough
Bioshock Official Trailer
Legendary: The Box Behind the Scenes 3 & 4 (x2)
Mercenaries 2 World In Flames Payback Trailer
Soul Calibur IV Character Gameplay Combos Trailer
Tom Clancy’s End War Command Points Video Briefing
Tom Clancy’s End War Mass Destruction Trailer

Paid Themes

Kicks Theme ($0.99)
Bioshock Exclusive Theme ($0.99)

Disruptive Media Publishers Paid Themes (x20)
Auburn University ($1.99)
Florida State University ($1.99)
University of Georgia ($1.99)
University of Miami ($1.99)
University of Michigan ($1.99)
University of North Carolina ($1.99)
University of Tennessee ($1.99)
University of Texas ($1.99)
Beach Sampler ($1.99)
Summer Down Under ($1.99)
Digital Techno ($1.49)
High Voltage ($1.49)
Horror Eyes ($1.49)
Refracted Revolt ($1.49)
Bad Girls ($1.49)
Halloween Vixens ($1.49)
Golden Retriever ($1.49)
Man’s Best Friend ($1.49)
Nordic Majesty ($1.49)
Seaside Sunsets ($1.49)

Smobile Paid Themes
Elven-X ($0.99)
Iron Guard ($0.99)

Themes & Wallpapers (Free)

WipEout HD All Teams #2 Theme
Fallout 3 Brotherhood of Steel Theme
Fallout PIP-BOY 3000 Theme
Linger In Shadows Wallpapers (x2)
ATV Pure Wallpapers (x4)
Valkyria Chronicles Wallpapers (x2)

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Initial Thoughts On "Linger In Shadows"

I got home today and - with nothing else catching my fancy - splurged on Linger In Shadows. Here comes the science bit about this £1.99 PSN download: This is NOT a game. In the menu itself there is a section about the demoscene and the fact that this is considered to be interactive art designed to make you want to just look around and interact as things unfold around you.

Interactive art, it has to be said, has never looked so good! There is great brushed look to the whole thing with everything being 'drawn' around the field of view as you progress through the piece.

First I would recommend using the first option in the menu screen called "watch". This lets you simply watch the story unfold. Once done I recommend only then moving onto the "Linger" section, as this is some seriously screwy stuff.

Using the motion controls and face buttons you control various aspects of the scenes in sequence such as switching on a creature's 'eyes'.

This is not technically a game though I must say I found the experience to be cathartic in the same vein as Flow; you simply enjoy the experience and let it wash over you after some serious Call Of Duty fraggage.

Overall I really like the concept and execution of this piece. However be warned - this is not going to replace your latest LBP fixation. It will simply be a pretty diversion for an hour or so at a time.

The best thing about this groundbreaking purchase? A steal at £1.99 combined with trophy support for those silverware junkies out there.

If you have a spare £1.99 in your online wallet, I highly recommend showing Linger In Shadows some love. If you go in with an open mind you are unlikely to be disappointed.

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New Premium Themes

By word of the Playstation Blog, new 'premium' themes are due out on the PSN Store today. What makes these different from the current ones you ask? Well, these new themes will have special backgrounds, XMB Icons, and some will even include sounds. There will also be a preview option in case you want to try before you buy. So what do you think? Do they sound premium enough to warrant a purchase?

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Prince of Persia: New Screenshots

Ubisoft have released some fantastic looking screenshots for Prince of Persia, take a look and see what's in store for us in December.

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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Qore: Valkyria Chronicles Demo This Week

Our friends over at the Playstation Blog have announced that the latest version of Qore will be released on the American PSN this Thursday.

It sounds like they have a great issue prepared for us, including new info on:

Fallout 3
Resident Evil 5
Dead Space
Shaun White Snowboarding

There will also be a round up of the newest Blu-Ray releases.

Probably my favourite part of the episode is that there will be an exclusive Valkyria Chronicles demo. The demo will have three parts to it, if you complete them all you'll receive a bonus video of the game.

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TGS; Tecmo announce Quantum Theory

According to the latest issue of Famitsu, Tecmo is currently developing a third-person shooter called Quantum Theory.

Until now, all we know about the game is that the main hero's name is Sid (aka "Dark Hero" and "Black Destroyer"), while the female hero hears to the name of Filerna (aka "White Rebel").

We shall know more about Quantum Theory over the next few days, hopefully during Tokyo Game Show 2008 (9-12th October).


The TGS trailer is out, so let's have a look at it.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Eternal Sonata is -finally- coming to Europe

Xbox's ex-exclusive (and currently multi-platform) title Eternal Sonata is going to visit Europe (at last...). Atari announced that the PS3 version of the game is scheduled to hit the stores in 2009. Don't worry though; it will still be snowing and raining outside. You guessed it! The month I'm talking about is February.

We shall not forget that the 360 version of the game scored quite high, with many sites (and mags) praising it.

The PS3 version is coming locked and loaded, with -all new- never seen before features!

First of all, the game is going to last even longer with exclusive quests, battles, events and endings.

Secondly, new playable characters will be available -Crescendo and Serenade-. Furthermore, new costumes will make their appearance, allowing the player to 'dress' the game's characters.

Last but not least, it seems that Namco Bandai has decided to 'please' our ears. You see, exclusive new music themes are going to be heard in Eternal Sonata. This makes us even more excited, since Frederic Chopin's longitudinal classic tunes were absolutely amazing.

For all our US readers; Eternal Sonata is visiting US October 21st of 2008.

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Quantum of Solace media blowout, interview and multi-player impressions

Quantum of Solace is Activision's first Bond title, and we were invited to an event in London where we had the chance to try out the game for ourselves, interview one of the team from Treyarch and grab a stash of never-before-seen images for your viewing pleasure.

The PR event was held in Kingsly Street, a stone's throw from SCEE's offices and - ironically I thought - three doors down from Lasenby House! Did they plan that? Who knows...

We got a chance to speak with the very accommodating Adam Gascoine, Co-Design Director for Treyarch.

[PS3A] Adam, thanks for sparing us some time. This is Activision's first Bond game, and it's one of those franchises that has hardcore fans who want everything to be 'just so'. How did that pressure affect the development?

[AG] Actually, it's been a hindrance and a benefit. The real benefit is that since people can give such great feedback on forums these days, we can gain information you would usually have to spend a huge amount of time an money garnering.

First and foremost, we wanted to make sure this really felt like you were playing Bond. Bond is a marksman. If you want to shoot someone in the chest, that shot really ought to smack them dead in the chest. If you want to shoot their arm, you ought to be able to do that with deadly accuracy.

To get the mix right we made sure that each member of the team was a Bond fan first and a game developer second. It really helped us ensure that the game was built with the right feel and attention to detail. We also made sure that the team had people that really know how to 'hold' a camera, so that we're not just creating an FPS but something that has cinematic presence too.

Whenever we think of Bond games everyone always mentions Goldeneye, of course. The thing is, if you look at Goldeneye now it doesn't look that special, so we quizzed fans to find out what it was about Goldeneye 'back then' so we could learn why it was so good for it's time. We think that shows in the final product.

[PS3A] The game is built with the CoD4 engine, as is your other title Call of Duty: World at War. Do you think the iW engine is going to be as big as Unreal over time, with dozens of titles in development all at once?

[AG] I'm not sure it'll go as far as Unreal. With that engine, all they do is develop the engine all the time, whereas we're using iW's engine whilst developing the games.

However, although we're using the CoD4 engine it's pretty much a modified and tweaked version in any case. We've pulled in all the best bits from iW's engine but then played around with it to ensure it feels right in this context.

For example, we have the third-person view and cinematic moments to help tell the story. The biggest difference is probably the AI system. In Cod4, the enemies were programmed to pop-up in certain places, but we've spent a lot of time adding in enemy AI so that they don't always do exactly the same thing every time.

Sure, we've got enemies that appear in the same places when you play the levels through, but the AI means that they may decide to attack you in a different way when you've chosen the same cover spots, keeping the game fresh each time through.

We're also pushing things much further. Some of our scenes have over a million polygons going on all at once, which is way more than was used in CoD4.

[PS3A] The camera is interesting to us. Did you put a third-person view in specifically to remind people they were actually Bond himself? Is it there to ensure people realise they are playing the part rather than just another FPS?

[AG] Absolutely. Whilst it wouldn't be a bad thing to have 'Call of Duty 4 with different maps' in some ways, we really wanted to make sure you got a different experience with Quantum of Solace. I've become a big fan of the SOCOM series of late. I didn't really like tactical shooters before that, but it has opened up new doors for me personally and we wanted to give the game a new look and feel rather than just being yet another FPS.

You're not just any old hero in Quantum of Solace, you're a very specific hero and we needed to make sure the player was reminded of that regularly to make the experience more immersing.

[PS3A] Bond is all about the 3 G's - Guns, Gadgets and Girls. If we add in Games as a fourth, what priority would you put those in?

First and foremost we're a games developer, so I'd have to make Games my number one!

Guns comes second. We've put some really fun weapons in Quantum of Solace.

Then Girls. Actually, I think we've done a great job with the models we've created for the girls in the game. I think they look pretty damn hot, and we're featuring the real likenesses of key actresses like Olga Kurylenko.

Finally, Gadgets has to come fourth. When the makers of the Bond movies talked with us about the new Bond, they explained that Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace didn't really feature the gadgets any longer. Bond is a more visceral, athletic character, relying on his expertise and experience rather than watches with lasers, and we wanted to ensure we followed their lead on that. Of course, he's a technical wizard, but you won't find the gadgets of old appearing in the new movies or games. We really do believe in the licence and it's important to match the movies, so if they decide to bring them back in the future, we'll follow that direction.

[PS3A] So did you get to stick ping-pong balls on Olga yourself?

[AG] Unfortunately not, but we did have her in a stocking cap and stuck dots all over her head to capture here face and expressions!

[PS3A] Talking of Casino Royale, and after having seen the 'construction site' level in our playthrough, I'm guessing that movie makes an appearance in this game and it might involve some parkour?

[AG] Definitely. Quantum of Solace is the first ever Bond sequel and is designed to start off where the last film finished. We come back to that scene in Casino Royale as a flashback at a pertinent moment in the game to explain why Bond is the person he is, and it does involve free running as you suggested.

We had to be careful with that because you have Mirror's Edge coming out, so our free running is paced differently. The game is an FPS at heart, so we bring the parkour in as a 'pacer' to mix up the action and provide narrative, much like the AC-130 gunship provides that break in Call of Duty 4.

A standard movie licence would have probably brought in a driving game at that point, but we found that we couldn't do it really well or that it was fun, so we went a different route and made sure the quality of the game stays high. Not just another shoddy movie licence, basically.

[PS3A] So there's no vehicles at all in Quantum of Solace?

[AG] No. They were in the original design but when we prototyped them, we found that they just didn't add anything to the gameplay. We had gadgets in the original design too, but they didn't make the cut because we wanted to stay true to the licence.

Removing vehicles is a risky one for a Bond game, just because most people expect to drive an Aston Martin at some point throughout the campaign. We hope that gamers will appreciate this would have been less fluid and would have felt 'tacked on' instead of the experience we've been able to create without them.

[PS3A] So what is your favourite Bond movie?

[AG] Honestly, it is now Quantum of Solace because I've seen it, but until that it was the last one. Casino Royale was brilliant, and I've seen it loads of times now. Daniel Craig is definitely my favourite Bond now. I don't know whether it's just that I'm a 'new is good' type of guy, but I really feel he has taken the character much further than anyone before, even Sean Connery.

[PS3A] Did you have to push all those extra polygons just to model his pout?

[AG] Actually, yeah we did, but not in the way you're thinking! This character went through some unbelievable changes during development, and the movie studio were great in giving us really honest feedback on how to make him look better. It was actually hard for us to hear some of the things they said about the early models, but it was good to get such direct and incisive feedback on how Bond should look.

Our thanks to Adam for a great interview.

Quantum of Solace does play and feel like Call of Duty 4 when you're in a multi-player match, and this is no bad thing considering it was everyone's Game of the Year. The cover system works well and allows you to use tactics not offered in CoD4, and some of the game modes are really good fun.

We particularly liked The Golden Gun, where you fight to gain control of said weapon. The Golden Gun in question is a super-lethal handgun that obliterates anything close to it's hit point, and it makes for a great game mode that keeps you on your toes at all times.

Other MP game modes we tried out include Bond vs. Bond team deathmatches and Territory, which plays like Headquarters in CoD4.

The action is slick and smooth, the weapons are great and varied and the addition of the third-person cover mode ups the ante over CoD4. We'll have even more on Quantum of Solace soon, but in the meantime we think Activision and Treyarch are on to a real winner, especially for those people that have had enough of rotating through Prestige Mode for the fifth/tenth/twentieth time.

Check out the gallery below for never-before-seen screenshots and concept art.

You can pre-order Quantum of Solace now, and remember that revenue from any game sales through PS3 Attitude goes directly to charity... thanks.

Quantum of Solace

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Monday, 6 October 2008

PlayTV: A Review

Yesterday I had the fortune of having some spare cash to throw at a frivolous purchase and decided that PlayTV would be a good option. I have not read any reviews about this peripheral so I am going in somewhat blind.

Don't get me wrong, I know what it does and what it is all about but I have no idea of the details. So here I'm going to give a frank opinion about this add-on.

First things first: the size. At a diminutive 18x14x7 cm this is an itsy bitsy teeny weeny... black box. Yes it is has to be said that this is far from the stylishly presented slick box of tricks that PlayTV connects to through the standard USB cable. At the same time it is small enough to hide behind the TV or even stash down the back of the TV stand.

There are 2 simple connections, one for the aerial and one for the aforementioned USB connection. Happily these are both on the same side so there are no problems with it having to be in a particular orientation.

One of my major concerns was that of the ongoing cable war behind my TV. Thankfully this is not proving to be a problem because of the dimensions.

So plug in the cables, pop in the disc and away you go. The intro plays for you whilst the installation takes place and once done you restart the system to be greeted with a new icon on your XMB. This is the TV icon and contains PlayTV's access button.

Click on it and after a short channel scan you are greeted with the main menu of PlayTV. This contains various sections including Settings, Live TV, Library etc. Hit the Live TV icon and it transitions smoothly to the first channel.

Changing channel is also nicely done with a fade to black when you press the L1/R1 buttons. The buttons are well mapped to the Sixaxis, though I think that an investment in the official remote might be in the near future. Thankfully, there is a facia that can be attached to the remote which looks surprisingly un-tacky.

The record feature is great, with the EPG continuing on the slick looks found on the main menu. Recording is easily done with a click of the X button. It is possible to search the coming week for keywords from the Search sub menu - a feature that actually work quite well. I searched for 'horror' and was delighted to find a good ten or so programs that fitted the search criteria with none standing out of place.

Recording can be done whether the PS3 is on or in standby and will warn you if you try to switch the console off whilst PlayTV is recording, instead letting you know that it will switch itself off once the recording is done and dusted.

The picture quality is as good as any freeview box I have seen, though it falls somewhat short of cable and sky. The picture is automatically in the native aspect ratio but can be overridden within the options menu.

Sound quality is good with the exception of the volume. In my few days with the unit I have found that the TV simply isn't loud enough. I know, I know; "turn it up, then" I hear you shout. But this is far from ideal when you fire up COD4 afterwards only to have the TV screaming at you. This may simply be unique to me though I doubt it.

Overall I have to say that I am impressed with the package. The minor flaws I have come across are niggling but can be fixed with a firmware update. Considering I can now save a sizeable chunk of money on my outgoings by cancelling a TV package I have to say that I am impressed.

Perhaps that is the most important point. I will choose this add-on to the PS3 over my current subscription. Despite the downfalls it is more important to me to have one box under my TV as opposed to two or three. Especially when that box is the multifunctional black beauty that is Playstation 3.

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Proto Man Joins Mega Man 9 This Week

I woke up this morning with news from Capcom that Proto Man will be joining the Blue Bomber this week in the form of Downloadable Content. The red, shield wielding robot has quite a few tricks up his sleeve as well. With the ability charge his shot, slide, and even deflect bullets with his shield, Proto Man is looking like a pretty sweet option. He does, however, have his disadvantages. If hit, he takes double the damage and has double bounce back. Come on, you didn't think Capcom would make it that easy, would you?

Also included in the DC is a new mode, Endless Attack. In it, you must use all your skills to stay alive as long as possible in a single stage. Records can be seen in the Rankings page. The content is scheduled to hit the PSN this Thursday, October 9th so keep your eye out for it. It is also to appear on the Wii today and XBLA on the 7th. Looks like it's going to be good week for Mega Man fans. 

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Friday, 3 October 2008

Economy Meltdown Special: PS3 Attitude Predicts The Next Platinum Range

At a time when the term "bail-out" is more likely to refer to a struggling bank, spiralling into fiscal oblivion than a stricken army chopper - PS3 Attitude presents its predictions of the next titles to grace the Platinum range for those people now watching those purse strings a little bit closer.

Let's start off with a reminder of what has already made the initial budget roll call back in August of this year.
  • Assassin's Creed
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition
  • FIFA 08
  • Folklore
  • Formula One Championship Edition
  • Genji: Days of the Blade
  • Heavenly Sword
  • Lair
  • MotorStorm
  • Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction
  • Resistance: Fall of Man
  • Ridge Racer 7
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
  • Virtua Tennis 3
  • WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008
It's interesting to note that Burnout Paradise originally was part of the above list (and can be seen in some promotional material) but ultimately never surfaced - unless you live in India. Before you ask, we have no idea what happened either. With the recent PSN release of the game now priced at the Platinum level however we're going to omit this one from the following predict-o-list. The reason being - if it doesn't make the next batch; it's already at the Platinum price point so (apart from the lack of physical media which I know some people crave) it's pretty much Platinum de facto. Or quasi-platinum. Which is like electrum - or something to that effect.

Before we get into the list: here comes the science bit*. A game is eligible for Platinum status if it has been out more than a year and has sold more than 400,000 units, specifically in the PAL region. US readers looking for a prediction of the next batch of Greatest Hits titles can wait for Danny_D to provide his insight. On with the wild speculation!

Kane & Lynch : Dead Men

A game more famous for its score (and the backlash the industry experienced because of it) it sold well despite the aforementioned bad press and genuine gameplay detractions. At three quarters of a million units shifted and a release date of nearly 12 months ago, this title is our sure-fire bet to make the next Platinum series.

Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare

It's sold buckets (3.6 million), similar to Kane & Lynch is just under a year old and, let's face it, is one of the best loved games on the PS3 at the moment despite its relative age. Considering three PS2 Call of Dutys have made Platinum status in the past we're quietly confident our beloved COD is next up for promotion. We just hope it's the Game of the Year edition with the extra maps. It's also mildly interesting to note that COD3 also qualifies for the bump as it has sold over a half a million copies. Might we suggest a Platinum bundle with the two games together? Sure, it's unlikely, but if you don't ask ...

Need for Speed ProStreet

The racer has enjoyed impressive sales and in the interest of "balance" to the next batch, while PES safely covers the sports category, NFS: ProStreet comfortably clicks the speed freak box. Also coming up to a year in longevity we're also seeing another pattern emerge. Might the next Platinum bundle of titles appear at the end of November?

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008

When it comes to soccer there are those who support FIFA and there are those that follow PES. Either way, with FIFA already making the starting eleven (ok, it's fifteen - bear with me) it makes sense for Konami's footie game to drop in price and charm more with its mazy skills. It has the sales (1.74 million) and it's old enough (in fact, it's a year old this month) but with the perennial nature of these titles it might not be worth the effort of adorning it with Platinum status at this late stage. We think this one needs more time in the reserves before we're willing to risk it on the main stage but it makes the list nonetheless.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 : Vegas

Sure, the sequel might have sold more but it's only been out six months. Somewhat of a stab in the dark, we like this game's chances purely because it's a shooter but brings a different flavour to the genre than COD. And Mr. Clancy is no stranger to his games going Plat - though the others did always feature a certain Sam Fisher. With name recognition and favourable scores we think a trip to the strip is a dark horse.

That's our list. All figures are taken from so if you have any issue with them - take your gripes over there. Do let us know what you think of the above predictions. All worthy contenders to the range? Or would they pale in comparison to the first batch? Do you think there is a chance another game might get the call before any of the above? (The Simpson's Game for example would be our outside bet).

Let us know in the comments.

*Just like regular science, nothing is really certain. Lair for example still hasn't sold 400,000 copies but has already been classified Platinum. After the mediocre sales figures (and the subsequent patch which improved some of the control woes) we're thinking it was given a pass.

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Earth, Wind and Fire in Motorstorm: Pacific Rift

Before you get too worried, we're not suggesting that the popular 70's beat combo are making an appearance in the game.

It has been revealed today that Motorstorm: Pacific Rift will feature four zones; Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Each zone has four tracks, and every track sports the multi-route feature that made the original Motorstorm such a great racer.

Earth Zone is all about the jungle, with peril at every corner (some of it covered in vegetation). Air Zone is where you'll catch the biggest air and, no doubt, fall of a cliff edge or two. Fire Zone takes you through four lava-infused tracks and Water Zone is all about the canyons, waterfalls and coastlines of the island paradise.

Want to see what the tracks look like? You're in luck. Head over to the European Official PlayStation Forum for plan views of every track and much, much more.

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GT5: Prologue update arrives; new cars, features

Following yesterday's reveal at the Paris Motor Show of the GTbyCitroen car, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue has received an update today that let's you drive the new vehicle.

But that's not all.

You also get a spangly new Ferrari California and the Lotus Evora. The three new cars will set you back 1m, 300,000 and 100,000 credits respectively.

The update also tweaks some of the penalties imposed in Time Trial events, improves Race Events with changes to the difficulty levels and better responsiveness from your SixAxis or DualShock 3.

As per usual with a GT5: Prologue update, pretty much everything is reset when you install it, so don't be at all surprise if your tune settings and records are all gone after the installation. If you have replay data you recorded after the second update (August 1st 2008) the good news is that should stay intact.

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Thursday, 2 October 2008

American PS Store Update For October 1st

We got the BioShock demo, the awesomely awesome RHCP album "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" Rock Band album and as a special treat, a Jerry Maguire Blu-ray trailer (you had me at BioShock).

A little late than usual, but the content seems worth the wait, don't you think?


Qore Episode 05 debuts next week on Thursday, 10/9 celebrating Halloween with a scary game roundup featuring Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5, and Dead Space. Plus monster snowboard and skate master, Shaun White takes us on a tour of his new game. Episode 05 also features exclusive access to SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles demo and some other creepy surprises.

Add-on Game Content

NBA Live 09 Oklahoma City Pack (free)
NBA Live 365 ($19.99)
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 09 Firestone Country Club ($7.49)
Soulcalibur IV Weapon Set (Bonus Weapons) ($3.99)
Soulcalibur IV Weapon Set (Main Weapons) ($3.99)

Rock Band

“Mellowship Slinky in B Major” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“My Lovely Song”- Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“Naked in the Rain” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“The Power of Equality” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“Sir Psycho Sexy” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“Suck My Kiss” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“The Greeting Song” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“The Righteous & The Wicked” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“They’re Red Hot” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“Under the Bridge” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“Apache Rose Peacock” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“Blood Sugar Sex Magik” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“Breaking the Girl” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“Funky Monks” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“I Could Have Lied” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)
“If You Have to Ask” - Red Hot Chili Peppers ($1.99)

“Blood Sugar Sex Magik” Album ($19.99) - all tracks listed above...

Game Demos (free)

Brothers In Arms Hell’s Highway Demo
Beijing 2008 Demo
BioShock Demo
Eternal Sonata Demo
NBA 2K9 Demo

Game Music

PixelJunk Eden Soundtrack ($2.99)

Game Videos (free)

Bluetooth Headset Video
SOCOM Frostfire Fly-through
SOCOM Fallen Fly-through
SOCOM Control Trailer
LittleBigPlanet Life in LittleBigPlanet- Ep 1
LittleBigPlanet Adventures of SackBoy
MotorStorm Pacific Rift Trailer
Tom Clancy’s End War: Command Points Video Briefing
Tom Clancy’s End War: Combat Chain Video Briefing
Tomb Raider: Underworld - Beneath the Surface: The Story
Tomb Raider: Underworld - Beneath the Surface: The Vision
Facebreaker Audition Video #4
AST Dew Tour videos (x8)
Check out these videos exclusively on the PSN!

Movie and Blu-ray Trailers (free)

Jerry Maguire Blu-ray trailer

PS3 Themes (free)

Iron Man Movie Theme

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Citroen; GT5 car becomes a reality

At the Paris Motor Show today, Citroen announced it would be the first car manufacturer to build a car originally designed for a game. The game in question is, of course, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue.

The ridiculously good looking GTbyCitroen is the result of a collaboration between the French car manufacturer and Polyphony digital.

Despite the fact that this car remains a 'concept' piece at the moment, visitors to the Paris Motor Show can drive the virtual version powered by the PS3 and GT5: Prologue.

There are no details as to when this car will be produced, how much it will cost or any of the important performance details, but it already looks like it's going 200 Mph just standing still!

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Help Paul Holden of MM

Since we're talking at length about Media Molecule's amazing LittleBigPlanet today, it would be remiss of us not to mention Paul Holden.

Paul works for MM and has been in training to do The Great North Run this Sunday.

With PS3 Attitude being a 100% philanthropic venture, where every penny we make through the site goes to charity, we love it when people do extraordinary things for the causes close to their heart.

If you'd like to support Paul and help him raise money for his worthy cause, visit his JustGiving page for details.

Incidentally, you can help us by pre-ordering your copy of LBP through the site - any revenue we make from your purchase goes directly to charity.

[via MM Blog]

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LittleBigPlanet roundtable reveals love & worries; PS3 Attitude Podcast

Our first ever (and possibly our last) podcast is here, and it's a doozy.

Featuring two of the PS3 Attitude team (myself and Phreaky), Michael from our friends at TheSixthAxis and Byron Atkinson-Jones of Introversion (who had the pleasure of working alongside Alex Evans at Lionhead), we talk about LittleBigPlanet in depth.

Along the way we reveal why LittleBigPlanet could be troublesome, what we like about it, what worries us and whether or not LBP will really shift PS3s (hint: even our 'devil's advocate' said he'd buy a PS3 because of it!).

Check out the podcast in our RSS feed or the MP3 file for 25 minutes of LBP discussion - a perfect distraction for your daily commute to work.

Phreaky and I would like to thank Michael at TheSixthAxis and Byron at Introversion for an interesting and informative chat. You can check out Introversion's latest creation - Multiwinia - and try to win a copy of the game for yourself over at his website.

PS3 Attitude Podcast - LittleBigPlanet Round Table [MP3 file; approx 24Mb]

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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Sackboy to become PlayStation Mascot

When it comes to mascots and the whole marketing minefield of "brand identification" it's fair to say that the PlayStation doesn't really have a particularly strong mascot that people instantly identify with. Crash was a valiant attempt (Spyro was not) and you could argue that Snake (especially aged Snake) is an iconic character that people associate with the PlayStation brand but with the whole neck-snapping thing (and only MGS4 being exclusive) you can understand why Sony aren't pushing in that direction.

Sackboy on the other hand embodies the new PlayStation marketing mantra of play, share and create. LittleBigPlanet has spawned a recognisable and unique character that we've all been (at least unofficially) championing as the new PS3 mascot and, if you check out the recent post from our friends over at ThreeSpeech, it appears that Sackboy will soon be donning this mantle in a more official capacity.

Sony's Jonathan Fargher says, “It’s fair to say that Nintendo has got Super Mario and Sega had Sonic. It’s about time Sony got their own iconic mascot - Sackboy will be that character”.

Will you be welcoming Sackboy as Sony's new icon or do you have a better suggestion? Let us know in the comments.

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GTAIV To Receive The Trophy Treatment

Looking for a reason to pick up playing GTAIV again? Well, how about trophies? Our good friends over at TheSixthAxis have provided a list of all the trophies that will be up for grabs. Some of them include Assassin's Greed, Dial B For Bomb, and One Man Army in which you must survive for 5 minutes with a 6 star Wanted level. All in all, there are 51 trophies; 42 bronze, 5 silver, 3 gold, and that single lustrous platinum trophy. Hit up the site for the full list and description of all the trophies.

Sadly, no details have been given as to when the update will be available so all we can do is wait. So which trophies are you looking forward too? I'm itching for a nice cup of Warm Coffee.

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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

11 never-before-announced PS3 games at TGS

According to Famitsu, Sony are due to announce 11 new games at TGS this year.

Of these titles, 9 are from SCE themselves with the other two coming from Konami and IREM.

In addition, Famitsu say that 3 previously unknown PSP titles will also feature in the run of announcements.

Sites across the 'net are already speculating as to what the never-before-mentioned titles may be, and many are expecting 'that secret project' - previously alluded to by a BBC reporter - to be one of the revealed projects.

So what does everyone think will be included? Bearing in mind this is TGS, and so SCEJ projects will feature highly, it doesn't mean that everything announced will ever make it to Europe or the US. Afrika, anyone?

Use the comments to speculate away...

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Coisas boas vêm a pessoas que esperam...

"Wait - what do you mean the countdown timer has changed?"

"Look up there - at the top. They've added nearly 23 days!"

"No! I feel cheated!"

"Don't worry. I'm sure they have good things in Store for us. Be patient, little one..."

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Dead Space web-site updated with new tale of despair

It's a new week so it can only mean one thing. Ok, so it could mean a lot of things but when it comes to scaring the bejeezers out of people who are interested in EA's Dead Space we can only be referring to the No Known Survivors weekly update. For those who diligently checked yesterday (as instructed) you may have noticed an initial "Coming Soon" notice which was then replaced with an even less helpful black hole. Well, it's back up today and we've got some new content to consume.

As discussed previously, we are now entering the unnerving setting of the second episodic story of dismay and (if going by the first story is any indication) dismemberment on board the troubled mining ship Ishimura.

Story "13" starts today (though it might have been up late yesterday for you PST guys, let me know) and can be found by clicking on the fifth sector from the hub's navi-bar. Or, you know, you could always choose the mutated hand with the talon sticking out of its palm. Whatever takes your fancy.

The new chapter, subtitled "Tub Dwellers", presents new living quarters that mimics the previous habitat in at least one stylish interior design theme - it's also got a dead body in it. The recently departed is most likely "Dennis", one of the Ishimuru techs we meet in the accompanying video (found on the floor), and we're guessing the next three instalments will explain the events up to his untimely demise. Why not Stefan? Well, our supreme deduction skills couldn't help notice the occasional shout of "You killed Dennis!" when searching the environment - but we could be wrong.

Regarding the necessary sleuthing required, the majority of the content appears to be focused on a personal transmission sent from senior tech "Gavin" to his daughter Sally back on earth. Obviously exerting his authority on fellow shipmates (Dead) Dennis and Stefan, Gavin has managed to press gang them into also contributing to the message. The video ends with the distress beacon going off leaving you to investigate the aftermath.

A new episode also means a new aptitude test. Here are this week's questions:
  • Sally Song
  • Percentage Colony Staff with Sight Problems
  • Soft Drink Brand of Choice
  • Olympia Planitia Accommodation Costs
  • Randall Retirement Destination
  • Dr. Tom Sciarellos's Death Site
  • Gavin's Wife
  • Decipher Bulletin Board Encoded Message
Without spending more than five minutes in the abandoned(?) tub I can answer five straight off the bat. Remember, answer them all correctly and you're in line to win a copy of the game on the platform of your choice.

And don't forget: you need to be over 18 to check this out but, you knew we were going to say that.

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Valkyria Chronicles Demo On The Way

I'm really excited today because Sega Europe have announced the release of a Valkyria Chronicles demo to the PSN on of 9th October. The demo will feature two playable levels and will give us just enough time to get drawn into the RPG goodness before the release of the main game on of 14th November.

For more information on the game check out

Here's a video of the gameplay to keep you occupied until the demo hits the PSN

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Monday, 29 September 2008

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames Demo : Impressions

Title: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Publisher: EA
Developer: Pandemic Studios
Demo Release Date: September 25th 2008 (EU)
Release Date of final game: August 31st 2008 (EU)
Size: 1.37 GB

Introduction: Pandemic's follow-up to the "destroy everything" PS2 sleeper hit finds three mercenaries now gallivanting around Venezuela, up to no good and looking to get paid. The demo arrives nearly a full month after the game's release and presents the player with the chance to shoot, drive and annihilate their way around a level with the (almost secondary to the whole obliteration theme) objective of planting a listening post on top of a car-park. Or something to that effect - though we accomplished the mission at hand we were too busy blowing things up and, as you'll see below, being somewhat underwhelmed in the process.

Initial impressions: Ah, the infamous "post-release of actual game" demo. Also known as maintaining the current swell of interest in a well performing game or flogging a dead horse - depending on your sales figures. In Mercenaries 2's case it's obviously the former with the game topping the charts in most European countries. However, if you've been waiting for this demo to sway your hand in terms of whether or not it warrants a purchase, we feel it may have the opposite of its desired effect and that proverbial ransom money will be staying safely in your pocket.

First up is the demo's size. At just shy of 1.4GB - it's a monster, and though it really shouldn't matter how big a demo is in terms of 1s and 0s, it does beg the question of what exactly you have just dropped on your unwary hard-drive. Looking at the mediocre graphics, the postage-stamp size sandbox available to play in and the conspicuous fifteen minute timer on the top right of your screen you'd be forgiven to think you've just downloaded the entire game; albeit constrained by a countdown we reckon you'll never see expire.

Though there are some kicks to be had waging destruction on everything in sight, the demo doesn't really promote the game well in any of its main selling points. The destruction, though fun, is samey and the environment isn't half as combustable as it should be. The AI borders on ridiculous with the ability to walk up to adversaries, shoot them in the face and barely register a response. The level itself is barely populated by any enemies in the first place. You'll need to hunt them down where you'll find them docile, incompetent and eager to expire. They'll also rarely follow you anywhere (even if you destroy their compound, their vehicles and even their mates) so you've pretty much free reign to saunter around the place exploding things at your pleasure. You may have to dodge the odd tank shell but it's not exactly challenging in terms of gameplay.

The main gripe however is the overall presentation of the demo with the presence of the aforementioned timer. Such a mechanism can only promote one thing: a feeling of rushing around trying to see as much as you can before time runs out and this is exactly what you get. You can start again of course (and go kamikaze) but it rarely satisfies.

Who's Going To Like This - If you enjoyed the first game you'll probably enjoy the (moderate) upgrade in graphics and anarchical mayhem in this demo. Or if you like Swedish guys with tattoos, woah baby, this is a must.

Interest Radar: With a meta-review score of the final product in the mid-70s it's quite apparent that Mercenaries 2 is an accomplished, if not flawed, game but if you're currently on the fence this demo will do little to sway you to the purchasing side. With its immense size and limited playability we'd recommend skipping this one and just pick up the actual game if wanton destruction and mission-based objectives are your bag.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flame demo gets five briefcases stuffed with cash out of ten. You'll get paid but it won't compensate you for the fact that you had to sport a blonde mohawk to do so.

Remember: demo impressions are based on the demo and not on the game. Great games have been known to have lousy demos, with the opposite also holding true.

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Sunday, 28 September 2008

Megaman 9 Trial Version; Impressions

12 years have passed since 1996’s Megaman 8. After a ton of spinoffs that went a different way (introducing new features and gameplay), Capcom took a moment to listen to what fans had to say. The result was Megaman 9.

Megaman 9 has everything that made the franchise popular. It follows the series' roots, continuing the storyline, adopting classic gameplay and going back to the 8-bit era, when the only buttons you had to use were A,B, and the D-pad (except this time you’ll be using x, ■ (Square) and the D-pad).

3 days ago Megaman 9 Trial Version went live at the PS Store, enabling players to have a taste of the game before deciding whether to purchase it or not. Amongst the thousands that downloaded it was PS3 Attitude. We turned this trial version upside-down in order to be able to share our impressions with you.

So, let’s start with the basics. As I mentioned before, Megaman 9 continues where Megaman 8 left off. We’re at the year 20XX (whatever that means) and Megaman has saved the world from Dr. Wily’s evil plans. In other words, everything seems to be going alright in the Megaman universe.

Suddenly, robots around the world start attacking the citizens. Dr. Wily makes an appearance in TV, stating that all that’s happening isn’t his doing. Instead, he says that the attacking robots are Dr. Light’s creations, implying that he’s the evil one. He goes even further by showing a video that features a conversation between Dr. Wily and Dr. Light; in their conversation, Dr. Wily denies to become an accomplice in Dr. Light’s evil plans for world domination (yeah, right…).

The video is of course a fake, but people seem to believe Dr. Wily’s sayings. That’s why he encourages them to deposit their money in a Swiss Bank account; that’s the only way to stop the evil robots, he says. Finally, Megaman decides to take action. While Megaman is ready to leave the laboratory, Dr. Light tells him to take care, since he hasn’t done this in awhile (ah, nostalgia…).

The Trial Version allows the player to play only one of the 9 stages; Concrete Man. Now, before going into any details, I have to admit something. This stage took me about 15 retries to beat it! It’s freaking difficult (for the “noobs”, that is), but the experienced Megaman players will find everything familiar. Since I never really was an 'avid' fan of the series (maybe because the young of my age), it took me some 'trial and error' before beating it.

As far as the stage is concerned, the first thing you are going to notice is the vast amount of enemies (three ball-throwing robotic elephants in a row? Come on!). Anyways, after dozens of rock-carrying birds, creepy spiders, 'kabuto' like creatures -which by the way do some major damage-, cannons and trees with eyes (!), you’ll get to meet Concrete Man. Megaman walks through a 'Metroidish' corridor/hallway and finally meets his opponent. Better get ready for a fierce battle (or not?).

As you are ready to kick his 'butt', the stage ends leaving you 'hungry for blood' (God damn you Trial Version!). It seems that Capcom doesn’t let you defeat Concrete Man for a reason. This 'hunger' for more Megaman action that the demo creates is an excellent way to boost sales. Every self-respected Megaman fan will rush to buy the Full Version of the game. The demo just gives players the incentive to continue with the purchase.

With 50 challenges, Online Rankings (get ready for hundreds of 'speedruns') and the explicit nostalgia/retro feeling that the game emits, Megaman 9 is considered a must-buy, especially with that price (9.99€ for the European PS Store and 9.99$ for the American PS Store)!

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LittleBigTetris - Creative Games Revealed

Does LittleBigPlanet seem lame to you? Well check this video out and think about it again. This simple yet very cool game was created by MediaMolecule to hype us up. Nice way to advertise their game eh?

If you look at the mechanism and method the game is built, one can truly understand how creative one can be with the tools. It's great to know that there will be a bunch of retro remakes with nice physics.

I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait for the release.

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Friday, 26 September 2008

SCEA hints at new LBP Public Beta Key Locations

We're assuming that, just like the vast majority of the rest of us, you didn't get a LittleBigPlanet public beta key. If you did, we hate you and you can stop reading the following. Still here? Great. With the public beta scheduled to end on October 11th there have been a lot of rumours flying around about a second bout of keys showering down on eager would-be level creators. Well, Mark Valledor, Marketing Manager over at SCEA, has posted on the PS blog some vague (note: not vague) clues about where these keys might be found.

The following sites are quoted as being hotzones for new beta key sightings.
No mention of when keys will magically appear on the above sites so you'll have to just perpetually F5 the lot of them in the vain hope of eventually being greeted with instructions of how to get an early look at Sackboy and friends. And then pray to all that is holy that the servers don't implode.

UPDATE: ThreeSpeech have now posted a new trailer entitled "Play Time" for your perusal.

*We don't have any keys but feel free to F5 the hell out of us anyway. And click on some of our sponsors' links. And buy some merchandise while you're at it. It's all for a good cause.

Source: PS Blog

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Kratos Sackboy available in UK's PlayStation Official Magazine

You may have heard the rumour, but we're here to confirm the truth.

Your Kratos Sackboy redemption code is waiting for you in the latest edition of PlayStation Official Magazine UK, which also includes an in-depth review of the game on everyones lips.

Subscribers of the magazine received their copies this morning (like me!).

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Thursday, 25 September 2008

American PS Store Update For September 25th

WipeOut! WipeOut! WipeOut! WipeOut! WipeOut! WipeOut!
Burnout! Burnout! Burnout! Burnout! Burnout! Burnout! Burnout!
Mega Man! Mega Man! Mega Man! Mega Man! Mega Man! Mega Man!

What is a GEON?

Downloadable Games
WipEout HD ($19.99)
Burnout Paradise PSN ($29.99)
GEON Emotions ($9.99)
Mega Man 9 (free demo, $9.99 to buy)

Add-on Game Content
BUZZ! QuizTV Question Pack, National Geographic: Safari ($7.99)
BUZZ! QuizTV Question Pack, Videogames ($5.99)
BUZZ! QuizTV Question Pack, Sci-Fi ($5.99)
Soul Calibur IV Customization Equipment 2 ($1.99)

Rock Band
“Limelight (Original Version)” – Rush ($1.99)
“Tom Sawyer (Original Version)” – Rush ($1.99)
“Red Barchetta” – Rush ($1.99)
“The Camera Eye” – Rush ($1.99)
“Vital Signs” – Rush ($1.99)
“Witch Hunt” – Rush ($1.99)
“YYZ” – Rush ($1.99)
“Moving Pictures (Album)” – Rush ($10.99) This pack includes “Tom Sawyer (Original Version),” “Red Barchetta,” “YYZ,” “Limelight (Original Version),” “The Camera Eye,” “Witch Hunt,” and “Vital Signs” by Rush.

“Bandage” – Hot Hot Heat ($1.99)
“Love Spreads” – Stone Roses ($1.99)
“She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult ($1.99)
“Shoot the Runner – Kasabian ($1.99)
“Sorrow” – Bad Religion ($1.99)
“You’re No Rock n’ Roll Fun” – Sleater Kinney ($1.99)

Game Demos (free)
NBA 09 The Inside Demo
NBA Live 09 Demo
Mega Man 9 Trial

Game Videos (free)
PAIN Amusement Park-New Characters Video
Resistance 2 Shattered History Trailer
Brothers in Arms: Hell’ Highway Eyes Only Network Trailer
Burnout Paradise Bikes Network Trailer
Dead Space Animated Comic Issue #5 Network Trailer
Dead Space Animated Comic Issue #5
Tomb Raider: Underworld Gameplay Network Trailer

Movie and Blu-ray Trailers (free)
88 Minutes Blu-ray Trailer
Made of Honor Blu-ray Trailer

PS3 Wallpaper (free)
Soul Calibur IV #5 Tira Witch
Soul Calibur IV #6 Voldo Jack-O-Lantern

PS3 Themes (free)
Buzz! Quiz TV
Wipeout HD Theme - All Teams #1

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Sony VP discusses PS3 "Advantage"

SCEA’s Vice President of Product Marketing Scott Steinberg has posted on Edge Online a rallying report stating why he believes the PS3 is the console that best embodies "consumer choice" and the "future of gaming".

Highlighting the PS3's future-proofing technology and ten year plan, Scott rattles off a veritable shopping list of reasons why Sony's position in the industry is not only strong right now but will only get stronger and soon leave the competition behind. Keywords like "blu-ray" and "first party exclusives" are offered as keystones in the Sony battle plan but he also discusses the PSN's less restrictive download constraints.

Regarding the burgeoning digital downloading model itself (which Microsoft have publically come out as a staunch proponent of) Steinberg believes Sony offers the best of both worlds. He claims: "PlayStation offers both downloadable content and Blu-ray, built in. That’s a choice consumers want. We’ve got you covered if you’re a downloader, and we’ve got you covered if you want to have that collectible."

Touching on the games front (where we believe the battle will be won or lost) the Marketing President exalts Sony's position on diversity as, not only are "the biggest blockbusters [only] found on the PS3", the garage scene is supported and thriving in what he likens to "the 16-bit days".

We're preaching to the converted of course but it's interesting the note the overall tone of the piece. It's been a while since we've seen Sony coming out with such bullish comments. "The brilliance of PS3 is that it’s not a dead, dumb terminal like other machines" may not be an overt attack on Sony's rivals but when it's immediately followed with "if you’re a competitor I’ve got bad news for you" you can't help but feel that Sony, finally finding traction in this generation, are brimming with confidence with a future outlook that can only be seen as positive.

"In the next few years, you’re going to start to see us separate from the herd. Some of the other platforms are going to look very dated because their life spans are so much shorter than ours." Strong words; only time will tell how prophetic they might be.

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Dead Space Web-site Officially Creeps Us Out

Have you been following the weekly updates up on Eh, yeah - neither have we. We reported some time ago about the Dead Space promotional site's emergence but since then we have been more focused on things like bans rather than the spooky events on board the Ishimura. Better late than never of course and we are now masochistically enjoying playing catch-up.

For you fellow late-comers out there: the evolving stories are presented over nine weeks with two separate tales of woe and dismemberment spanning four episodes each. The attentive of you will immediately note that this insinuates a missing episode. Correct, patrons of the Dead Space Grind-house double-bill will also be treated to an "intermission". Considering the freakiness of these stories we'd like to recommend this period become known as the "time to change your pants interlude".

The first misery-fest has now ended; a story of unreciprocated love onboard the Ishimura entitled "Misplaced Affection." We are hence now in the aforementioned moratorium with the next chilling tale ("13") to start on Monday the 29th of September.

As the stories are apparently linked, we'd recommend visiting the site and checking out the five available episodes in preparation for Monday's new instalment. Note: the site is somewhat experimental with each chapter taking the form of different content therefore you may uncover video, interactive media, dossiers and sound files to help you unravel the lamentable stories.

For those more interested in free swag there is also the ability to partake in some sci-fi sleuthing with the Ishimura Aptitude Test. With the answers to each of the chapters' brainteasers found scattered (literally) around each of the episodes, intrepid fact-finders can decipher the ongoing mystery and put themselves in the running for one of a hundred free copies of the game. You'll need to register (and be over 18) and considering the splash screen is a mélange of mutated body parts (and the prodigious amount of crying in the first story); we'd suggest also skipping breakfast.

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PS3's Bioshock gets custom Little Sister animations and a Ferris Wheel?

Grant Chang, animator over at 2K Boston and diligent worker on the Add-On Content Challenge Rooms section, has posted on the PS blog about his work on the soon to be released PS3 version of the popular sub-aquatic FPS Bioshock.

Apart from revealing that the Little Sisters will display an extended repertoire of animations, Chang also mentions the inclusion of a Ferris Wheel in one of the new rooms. Chang says, "The finished asset was actually physically in the original release of the game, but never used. It was a shame, because it’s a really well crafted piece."

From the screenshot above it surely does look like an interesting artefact which we look forward to playing with. Bioshock surfaces on the PS3 on October 21st in North America and on the 24th in other territories.

Source: PS Blog

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TheSixthAxis spend four hours with Sackboy

Our good friends over at TheSixthAxis have written up their first four hours playing LittleBigPlanet, and all we can say (apart from being green with envy) is that the title seems to live up to everyone's expectations.

Head on over to read more about their four hours with Sackboy - you won't be sorry you did...

"Make no mistake, Microsoft and Nintendo must be kicking themselves: if LBP isn't a system seller then the games industry's dead to us and we're starting a website about kittens that can't spell instead. From the very beginning, when you first boot the game from the XMB, LittleBigPlanet's insane production values and complete easy of use scream out. The game's extended later development has paid off, and whoever thought about hiring Fry for the voiceovers deserves a pay-rise..."

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Qore UK is on the way

SCEE and Future Publishing have announced an agreement today to bring a digital magazine to the UK, in exactly the same way SCEA and Future combine in the US to bring Qore to the North American masses.

Whether the UK version of Qore will share the same name is unclear. What we do know is that the new digital mag will include the same mix of HD video, previews and 'exclusive content' (i.e. wallpapers, demos,Beta invites) that Qore already delivers to our US readers.

The new venture will launch in early 2009.

"We are very excited to further strengthen our relationship with Sony, working together on this ground-breaking product. As the publisher of Official magazines and digital content for Sony PlayStation in the US and UK, we are creating powerful integrated media solutions for readers and advertisers across different platforms, in print and online. This product will provide a unique way for advertisers to connect directly with gamers through their consoles using the very latest high definition content." - Robert Price, UK Chief Executive at Future
So, the sweepstake is open as to what to call the UK mag. Since the US does seem to be SCE's 'Qore' market and us Europeans tend to get everything late, maybe ours will be called 'Qlose but no cigar', 'Qeep on waiting' or 'proQrastinate'.

What do you think it should be called?

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Pure Motorstorm Fuel: Off-Road Racing Comes in Threes

In the early PS3 days Motorstorm languished in an unchallenged pole position on the console. With some of the most dazzling graphics to be found anywhere in the current generation of consoles, it earned a deserved following of fans.

Never before had brutal off-road racing been so well executed through the combination of a great physics engine and extremely impressive AI programming.

Baja and Colin McRae: DiRT followed later to a race hungry audience. DiRT was brilliantly designed to build on what had come before in the series, and impressed gamers and critics alike with a mighty Metacritic score of 83. It lacked the open-world feel of Motorstorm, opting instead for a larger number of tracks and a more realistic approach.

It was only a matter of time before the gaming public had confirmation of Evolution Studios’ upcoming sequel, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. This time things are different though. Whilst the success of Motorstorm was still shining, a couple of developers were squirreling away on new IPs, namely Pure (from Black Rock Studios) and Fuel (from Asobo Studios).

Pure is now available on the high street and has been doing well with a Metacritic score of 83 – beating the lofty heights set by the original Motorstorm by just one point. With some beautiful graphics, clever trick systems and a huge variety of customization options, Pure has clearly been very carefully designed.

Previously, I was rather short with my hands-on with Pure. Having played some more of the game I feel that it is only fair to address this now. Pure is an exceptionally playable game. All the pieces which constitute a “good” racing game are there in spades. It simply comes down to personal taste as to which a player prefers between Pure and Motorstorm.

I maintain that the latter is my first option, but hasten to add that this is only because it released first.

What about Fuel? Four years in the making and not due for a release until 2009, does this extraordinary racer have the drive to throttle the competition?

The game certainly can’t be criticized for a lack of ambition; containing a predicted 5,000 square miles of continuous terrain this is surely the (physically) largest game that has been attempted. With a proprietary engine doing some serious number crunching behind a veil of dazzling graphics the gaming populous is sure to fall over its collective self to get hold of this when it is released next year.

The big question is, will it beat the Evolution powerhouse that has been building up the hype train in recent months?

Set on a Pacific island crammed full of new dangers such as lava and water hazards, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is the very epitome of brutal off-road racing. With new vehicles, split-screen multiplayer options and a bigger and better overall package than its predecessor, can MSPR pull ahead of the competition in the coming year?

Only time will tell, and we’ll probably have to measure the difference in hundredths of a second.

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Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Punisher: No Mercy Exclusively Coming to the PSN

The PS blog has announced an upcoming exclusive for the PSN in the form of "Punisher: No Mercy". The first FPS game to tackle the Marvel multiverse the game will see Frank Castle in a new adventure of vengeance, skull-symbolism and, no doubt, ultra-violence.

The Punisher has had a troubled past, and we're not just referring to that whole "family getting wiped out" business. A previous PS2 version of the game was criticised by some as taking its violent element a step too far with graphic torture scenes yet still managed to shift buckets of units for a character recognised by Marvel as probably their most "anti-hero" in nature.

The new game will utilise the Unreal 3 engine and is being developed by Hungary based Zen Studios. Game producer Zsolt Kigyossy has promised to answer questions directly on the blog about the future title and we'll also see if we can "extract" some screenshots out of the guys from Budapest. We won't be putting heads through windows of course; we'll be relying on our natural charm and, if that doesn't pan out, pleading usually seems to work.

Source: PS Blog

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Hydrophobia exclusive artwork revealed - Blade Interactive Interview Part II

Welcome back to the second part of PS3 Attitude's interview with Blade Interactive. In the first part we talked with Rob Hewson and Pete Jones about the setting and story of Hydrophobia. In part two we discuss game mechanics, what it's like developing on the PS3 and the future of Blade Interactive's new development tools/toys: InfiniteWorlds and the much extolled HydroEngine. Finally, we share some exclusive artwork of never before seen characters from the Hydrophobia universe - with a couple of new screenshots from the latest build of the game thrown in for good measure.

[PS3 Attiude]: One would expect that the use of a breathing apparatus would add an extra dimension to the game when certain areas become flooded. Will players have the ability to revisit previous locations that are now submerged to explore and interact with in a different way?

Rob Hewson: Yes, and sometimes the change is much more immediate. You can fight through an area one time and there might be a foot of water flowing around and effecting the environment, another person might play through the same area and blow out walls or windows causing a great deal of water to flow into the scene, meaning perhaps the gameplay switches to floating cover. Another player might shoot fuel barrels which let even more water into the scene but also spawn floating fuel fires which are carried around with the flow and find they need to resort to underwater action.

[PS3A]: An aquaphobic in a drowned world has got to be the epitome of bad luck. How does Kate’s hydrophobia manifest in the game? Does it affect her actions and do we, as players, need to manage her fears in order to progress in the game? Or does she just suck it up and get on with things with the phobia acting more as a plot device rather than a game mechanic?

[RH]: A movie is primarily told in images, with Hydrophobia we wanted the story to be told primarily through interactions. The phobia system begins as a game mechanic where, for example, Kate's survivors instinct kicks in when she is in extreme danger of drowning and highlights possibilities for escape. That mechanic is portrayed with a particular aesthetic and in the particular context of Kate's dark side to reveal a deeper narrative thread.

As that thread is explored and pushes Kate's character arc forward it feeds back into the development of Kate's abilities and releases a greater power. So yes it is a plot device, and yes it is a game mechanic. The two are intertwined and evolve symbiotically.

[PS3A]: Kate joins a long list of strong female gaming protagonists. With her titular phobia and reluctant hero persona however she does appear to be somewhat more subtle and grounded than some of her fellow fairer sex counterparts. Was there a particular reason why you chose a woman for the lead character?

[RH]: But do we really have a long list of strong female characters, or do we just have a list of unlikely action heroes with impossible figures? We approached our main character in the same way we did for the setting as a whole. We didn't want another space marine, soldier or back-flipping wonder woman; we've got plenty of those already.

We wanted to create a character who is multi-dimensional, reluctant, flawed... somebody you could truly empathise with. Kate grew into the character she is over the course of countless hours of conversations and debates. As you know she has evolved visually several times, that’s a cosmetic reflection of the way we allowed her to grow around the game, to the point where we can't imagine Hydrophobia starring anybody other than Kate ... she has become almost real to us and we hope she will be for player as well.

[PJ]: And then there’s the dreads. We wanted Kate to have a unique look. When, as she will do, she graces the cover of the specialist press we want her to be immediately recognisable.

There is one interesting footnote to this. We have made Kate’s sexual preferences somewhat ambiguous and although we never intended this directly, some lesbian gaming sites have been speculating as to whether Kate is in fact a “baby dyke” – their words not mine you understand.

[PS3A]: As PS3 Attitude is obviously focused on delivering news specific about the PS3, can you comment on any PS3-centric aspects of the game’s development? With the game also coming out on the 360 how has developing on the two different architectures impacted development? How would you describe your experience with the PS3 so far?

[RH]: PS3 is a different beast, the key is not to think you can just do things the same old way and expect to get the performance you need. From a designer's point of view we don't notice any difference, InfiniteWorlds is platform agnostic, so we can all be editing the same level simultaneously while play testing it on completely different platforms.

The tech team has had to develop specific solutions to take maximum advantage of the PS3s abilities, but that all goes on behind the scenes. At the end of the day I can have a PS3 on my desk playing the same game as the guy opposite me who has a 360. I make a change, he immediately sees it update on his screen, that's why we love InfiniteWorlds.

[PS3A]: From watching the tech demo the HydroEngine is obviously an impressive and powerful piece of software. With studios like EA announcing plans to licence the engines behind their games (i.e. Dead Space) is this a direction Blade Interactive would be interested in? Are there any plans to licence HydroEngine as a middleware component or will it stay strictly in-house?

[PJ]: We're keeping our options open. Clearly we'd like to get Hydrophobia out there first, but after that making the technology available to others would be a benefit to the whole industry, so it's definitely an option.

[PS3A]: Can you comment any more on your new InfiniteWorlds development suite? Will all future games developed by Blade Interactive utilise this new tool and will it also be kept in-house?

[RH]: InfiniteWorlds is phenomenal. Real-time, in-game, on platform editing where multiple users can be working in the same area at the same time. Now we've got InfiniteWorlds we'll never go back. In the early days we looked at other engines and editors, and they fell far short of our aspirations for Hydrophobia, so we built our own and approached it from a completely new angle.

The great thing about using our own tools is that we get to design them around our needs, it puts us in control and allows us to push things which we couldn't otherwise do if we were licesning someone else's technology.

[PJ]: The importance of IW cannot be understated. It has changed the way we make games, moving the creation of the game environment from the artists to the designers (where it should be!) and boosting productivity by an order of magnitude in the process.

IW has one further trick up its sleeve. It creates a game that looks better than anything that’s out there, but gives it an impossibly small memory footprint allowing for the very real possibility of digital distribution – watch this space.

And yes, in the future we also see IW licensed out as middleware.

[PS3A]: Time for the obligatory questions we ask all studios. Will there by any DLC for Hydrophobia? What about Home and trophy support?

[PJ]: Hydrophobia will be released episodically, trophy support – absolutely.

Released episodically, Boston as the setting for Hydrophobia 2 and new character reveals. We don't know what we've done to deserve all these exclusives but we promise to keep doing ... whatever it is we're doing.

Check out the below for an exclusive look at concept art of some of the game's characters: the regal Benedict (one of the Five Founding Fathers?), the androgynous Charlotte, the "Oldman", an irascible Kurt Cisco and, of course, our heroine, Kate Wilson. And is that her left hand glowing? A portent to the nascent powers Rob hints at above perhaps?

We'd like to thank Pete and Rob for taking the time to talk with us about Hydrophobia. Planned for a release in the Spring of next year, we've pencilled in another chat closer to the release date so expect an update some time in March/April 2009.

By the way, Rob also revealed what the population of the Queen of the World is. First person to guess correctly in the comments section (it's a nice round number) wins a prize*.

*Note: prize may be the standard PS3 Attitude virtual cake award.

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Monday, 22 September 2008

PS3 Slim one step closer to reality

We have a sneaky feeling that you love your PS3. It gives so much yet asks for so little in return. After all, all it really desires is some real estate beneath your mammoth HD plasma screen and the giddy tingle of electricity, piped directly into its power source.

The greedy of you out there are probably shaking your heads at this trade-off and thinking: "No, look at the size of the thing! It should take up LESS space, not consume the power of FIVE refrigerators and while you're at it - it should be even CHEAPER!"

Well, obviously Sony agrees with you on this as if it can make a PS3 more power efficient (and smaller) it will save on their build costs thus driving down what you will pay for it on the high-street.

Rejoice! Japan's 日刊工業新聞 (Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun - Daily Business and Technology Newspaper) reports that Sony and Toshiba will go into full scale production of the 45nm cell CPU next year resulting in a cheaper chip that also consumes 40% less power (That's three fridges versus five if you're still counting).

Though Sony have reiterated time and time again that there will be no further PS3 price cuts this year, it's a safe bet that, as soon as their internal costs are driven down by cheaper hardware, they will pass these savings on to a consumer base who are still yet to embrace the PS3 as they have done its predecessor, the PS2. It would also be a good time to redesign the aesthetic of the PS3's monolithic "brick" appearance as we all know people love getting things slimmer and smaller. Our guess is that you should expect to see a PS3 Slim model some time around Fall 2009.

Source: via Engadget.

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Bombardment of LBP related news

Fans of Sackboy unite! In the last few hours we've been bombarded with news concerning Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet. Shall I kick off with the good news or the bad news?

Let's start with the bad news (for originality).

According to a producer of LBP one major feature of the game will not be included on the game disc. More specifically, he stated:

"The ability to create with your friends online will be available with the first important update for the game, after its release. Available from the beginning, however, will be the offline create feature with up to 4 people 'working' together on one PlayStation 3. A specific date for the release of the update doesn't exist. It is, however, on the top of our list".
Wait a minute; this is not really 'bad' news. It will take us a month or two to get to know all the features of the game anyway. The update will be available (hopefully) by the time we've honed our creative skills.

And now the good news! First of all, the development of LBP is now completed and the title has 'gone gold'. It will hit the stores in October; 21st for America, 22nd for Europe and 24th for the UK.

Sony also included in their statement that a PS3 bundle is on the way.

The European PS3 bundle (80GB) is scheduled for October 29th.

Furthermore, additional content will be available through PlayStation Network on the day of release, but for a limited amount of time. This extra free content will comprise of an astronaut suit and a rare t-shirt ("I was there Week One") for Sackboy.

So, pre-order LittleBigPlanet already!*

*Remember, ordering games through our site generates additional revenue for our charities. If you were due to pre-order LBP anyway, please do it through PS3 Attitude to help the cause...

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Hydrophobia sequel revealed - Blade Interview Part 1

When our friends over at ThreeSpeech posted their three part exposé on next year's survival-on-a-ship adventure Hydrophobia we here at PS3 Attitude were eager to see if the game's creators were prepared to divulge any more details.

Luckily for us all, Rob Hewson and Pete Jones, game designer and Managing Director respectively at Blade Interactive, were more than happy to take the time and talk with us. During the two part interview we cover such diverse topics as advances in real-time fluid dynamics, suicidal adversaries and the current position of strong female characters in gaming.

They even exclusively reveal the location of the sequel!

For those of you who haven't checked the ThreeSpeech interview (which we heartily recommend), here's the short version: It's the mid 21st century and things are not looking too good for mother earth. The oceans have risen and the remaining dry land, overcome by the Great Population Flood, can not support mankind which results in global chaos.

Salvation for the wealthy comes in the form of the Queen of the World (which we've already revealed), a massive floating sea-city where things are also about to take a turn for the worse when the ship experiences a terrorist attack perpetrated by the Malthusians. Named after English economist Thomas Robert Malthus (who predicted the whole population meltdown crisis 350 years prior to these cataclysmic events) the marauding eco-militants espouse a different methodology: "Save the world, kill yourself."

Thrown into the watery mix is Kate Wilson, one of the Queen's security officers who must now not only escape from the sinking vessel but uncover the secrets of the microcosmic pseudo-society all the while battling again her own fear of water.

On to the interview:

PS3 Attitude: During the Three Speech interview you candidly discuss how the tech came first which, in turn, drove the narrative. The story deals with some heavy issues such as climate change, terrorism and the fate of humanity; all quite deep and cinematic in tone. Was the decision to involve respected scriptwriters and directors to create a formidable story that is worthy of the advances in technology something that was key to the project?

The advances alone in water physics would pique most people’s interest in the game but Blade Interactive seems to be really pushing the boat out here (pun unintended) in terms of narrative quality.

Pete Jones: Yes, absolutely. We don't believe in doing things by halves, we set out to make a truly great game, not a glorified tech demo.

We are very serious about the message being portrayed. Overpopulation & scarcity of resources is going to be the hot issue of the 21st century – we’re already seeing this happen.

We also wanted to make our terrorists real; to stand for something, not just to be game cannon fodder. It’s about treating gamers as intelligent, well informed people. If they check online they will see that Malthus was indeed real and that these people are fighting what they believe to be a very real war. That is a mean feat to pull off without upsetting any political, ethnic or religious groupings out there. I suppose it boils down to creating a world that feels real, not just a story.

Rob Hewson: The HydroEngine technology is truly astounding, and allows for an incredibly unique and dynamic gameplay experience, and we wanted this feeling of uniqueness to echo through the entire experience.

Hydrophobia has its own heart and soul, when you pick up the game we want you to get the feeling of discovering a brand new universe, not fighting yet another improbable alien invasion, or facing off against the Nazis yet again... we want you to think wow, this is a world I'd never imagined before, and we want you to feel that it's relevant to the world we live in today.

[PS3A]: The game takes place in the mid 21st century where, over a few short decades, our world has seen a dramatic rise in water levels. Considering the futuristic setting, can we expect to see associative advances in in-game technology? We know Kate can manipulate controls on the ship with her MAVI engineering tool but will weapon and other gadgetry progressions over the fifty years or so also feature - or has the decline of civilisation stymied such advancements?

[RH]: As you say, the world has been engulfed by the Great Population Flood, and inevitably that has a negative effect on technological advancement in general. Of course things have developed, the Five Founding Fathers of the Queen of the World are all examples of big corporations who have prospered while the rest of the world drowns, so there is development but it is unbalanced.

We discussed this very early on. We all felt that the future shouldn’t be a brave new world of gleaming technology where even your toaster is intelligent, that’s actually the easy thing to do, but it doesn’t feel real.

It comes back to this issue of relevance and tangibility again, we want you to buy into this world and invest your belief in it. So we focused on what the up and coming technologies were and how they were predicted to develop over the next few decades. We then factored in the effects of the Great Population Flood, global warming, civilisation collapsing under its own weight. The result is a world that has many different layers and nuances, and feels like a credible future projection of the world we live in today.

[PS3A]: The cover system is quite dynamic due to the very nature of how the objects providing this cover are moving on a body of water. How difficult was this to implement and what other cover systems have you studied? Should we expect a Gears of War and Uncharted type of delivery or is this something on a whole new level?

[RH] : We've certainly studied the standard bearers out there, to see where they worked, and where they didn't. We've developed beyond the boundaries that exist in these games and really pushed for a seamless and immediate feel. We're lucky enough to have some incredibly talented individuals who meticulously pour over every detail, and some exceptional technology to develop with.

Floating cover gives you a platform to shoot from in the water, but you can also duck your head beneath the surface to hide from Malthusians as you float down stream... of course Kate can't hold her breath forever.

As you suggest the floating cover system was a different beast altogether. We are using an excellent procedural animation system and that really helps the situation because there are so many different kinds of floating cover, and Kate has to be incredibly agile in the water around floating cover. With the water being completely dynamic, a traditional animation system would not have given us the scope and flexibility to achieve what we have done.

[PS3A]: The Queen of the World is pretty massive in scale and suggests Kate will have more than enough to do on the super-ship during the course of the game. Will we however get to see any of the other bastions of humanity? Do we get to witness the full extent of the global catastrophe?

[RH] : The Queen of the World is not only vast, it's also extremely varied socially and culturally. The workers who prop up the infrastructure live on the lower decks in rather poor conditions, and the wealthy individuals live in luxury penthouses in the buildings which tower above the deck.

So you've got this beautiful social hierarchy which you can literally see evolve from bottom to top in the ships structure, with the foundations of the Five Founding Fathers piercing through every layer and stretching into the sky above.

When you are down in the neon-lit slums christened Proleville by the inhabitants, you begin to realise that the propaganda presenting the Queen of the World as a triumphant reserve for the super-wealthy isn't the full story.

The influence of the global population flood is evident at every level, from the elitism of the rich and influential at the top, to the tolerance of terrible conditions that the poor endure in favour of living in the utter chaos of the outside world, to the blind eye turned to the gang culture in Proleville.

The Queen is deeply controversial; a reactionary consequence of the worldwide chaos, and ultimately it’s this sense of extremity of reaction that provides the richest perspective on the tragedy the world has endured.

[PJ] : As for the rest of the world out there, the player doesn’t see it directly in this game; the QOTW is the player's universe - the ship is around 2km long and about a kilometre wide.

Actually the sequel to the game is set in a drowned Boston – that’s an exclusive by the way - (New York has had more of its fair share of fictional and real disasters over time) so we do have plans for an expansion of the Hydrophobia world.

[PS3A]: Considering the ethos of the Neo-Malthusians is “Save the world, kill yourself” how does this ethical code manifest in the A.I. of the enemies Kate encounters? Can such a nihilistic attitude be seen in their attack strategies? i.e.: Are the Neo-Malthusians precarious and somewhat indifferent to the own safety?

[RH]: Great question. We absolutely wanted to imprint the Malthusians beliefs in their behaviour, particularly because they are so extreme. They want to ensure they wipe out as many people as possible, this is there general attitude, but they are logical about it too – the longer they stay alive the more people they can kill. However if they are on the back foot, say the rest of their squad has been wiped out, they may resort to a form of kamikaze to finish the job honourably.

In a different situation, say a squad of Malthusians is out numbered and falling back, the squad leader may issue an honour call for a kind of mass kamikaze. The higher ranking members of the Malthusian hierarchy are viewed differently however, these are the scholars of the new order in the world the Malthusians want to create, so they will be protected at all costs.

[PJ] : The main thing is that the Malthusians place absolutely no value on human life – even their own. Some of the leaders however may not respect the value of other people’s lives but do recognise their own through this delusion of grandeur they have built up.

So there you have it. Bostonians, prepare to have your wetsuits ready.

Check back tomorrow when the interview concludes with talk of underwater breathing, how Kate's phobia manifests as gameplay and the future of the tech behind the game. We'll also reveal some exclusive artwork of four other characters from the universe of Hydrophobia.

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GAME get Limited Edition Fallout 3

If you're looking forward to Fallout 3 (like we are) then you are going to have to make a few extra choices in addition to your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. characteristics.

GAME have now added a third purchasing option to their listings with an exclusive Limited Edition version of the title.

Sporting a figurine and packaged in a cardboard sleeve, the Limited Edition version is in addition to the standard and Collector's Edition versions available elsewhere. The Collector's Edition is the 'big one', weighing in with a 'Making Of' DVD, an art booklet, a figurine and a tin 'lunch box' container.

GAME currently list this new edition at a shade under £45, and GAME Reward Card holders will get the equivalent of an extra £2.25 off that price to spend on future purchases - not bad.

You can pre-order the Limited Edition now, or grab the Standard/Collector's Edition if that one doesn't take your fancy.*

Fallout 3 is due for release on 31st October.

*Remember, every penny we make from sales through the site goes to charity. If you're going to order Fallout 3 at all, please get it through us to help make a difference...

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Wishlist; Braid and Flipside for the PSN

Time after time we see interesting and innovative games appearing on other platforms that we would love to see on the PlayStation Network.

With that in mind, we got some time with Jonathan Blow and Thomas Pilgaard to talk about their respective creations; Braid and Flipside.

Along the way we find out what inspired them and the chances that two of our favourite non-PS3 titles might eventually make it on to the black monolith, and how Braid may even get a PSP outing.

Let's begin with Jonathan Blow and Braid.

[PS3A] Thanks for sparing us some of your time Jonathan. Tell us more about the original concept for Braid...

[JB] I wanted to make a game that was about visiting different worlds, where time would behave differently in each world. When creating the ways that time behaves, I wanted to explore some of the paradoxical things about relativity and quantum mechanics and the ways in which those branches of physics seem to contradict our daily, human-scale existences.

In presentation, I wanted the game to tell story the way a book tells story rather than a film (which is what games usually pattern themselves after). Italo Calvino's book "Invisible Cities" was the primary influence.

[PS3A] We've seen a few 'time shifting' games in the past. Why do you think Braid has caught people's imagination where others in the genre failed to ignite an interest?

[JB] Braid is designed differently from those games. Time manipulation is in the absolute core of Braid's gameplay, whereas in other games it has been a tacked-on feature. The rest of Braid's design had to conform to the time manipulation in order to make the most harmonious construction.

For example, there are no "lives" in Braid; you can never really die. What is the point in that if you could just rewind whenever you want to anyway? So now if you can never die, it doesn't make sense for the game to be about life-threatening action situations, because all the tension would be gone from those. You know you can't die and you know you could just flail your way through even the hardest challenge, so the game had to become something else. That's why it's a puzzle game.

[PS3A] Have you considered bringing Braid to the PS3 and PlayStation Network? Is there anything stopping you from approaching SCE about this?

[JB] Yes, I have considered it. There is a time-limited exclusivity clause in place that prevents me from going to Sony now, but in the future I could if they are interested. I could do the PSP now, but I am not sure how technically feasible that is and most publishers don't seem very interested in that, anyway; I guess they think it won't sell.

[PS3A] What forthcoming games excite you right now?

[JB] I'm interested to see how Flower turns out. Also, whatever Jonathan Mak is working on, whatever Rod Humble is making next, and whatever non-sketch game Jason Rohrer is making next.

[PS3A] Where do you get the inspiration for your games, and what's next for you?

[JB] The inspiration just comes from somewhere. The idea for Braid had some initial seeds that had been hanging around for a while, but when I sat down to work on the game, it just all popped up at once. The same thing happened last month, when I started seriously thinking about my next project. I'm not saying much about that project right now because I might change my mind. In some ways it is related to the ideas in Braid, but in other ways it has absolutely nothing to do with Braid at all.

Another game that has raised our interest is Flipside. Developed by 13 Danish students from universities and art schools, this title captured the imagination when it was released. Thomas Pilgaard told us more about this unique game.

[PS3A] Thomas, please tell us more about the original concept for Flipside.

[TP] The main character of Flipside suffers from split personality disorder and rapid mood swings which is manifested in the way the player can flip between playing on either side of a flat level in a three-dimensional game world.

The two-dimensional game world in three-dimensional space paved the way for the card-board aesthetics that was considered in all aspects of art, sound and animation. The player plays out an imagined escape from an asylum. Depending on which point of view the player decides to take it will be either very lush or gloomy to reflect the main characters extremely volatile state of mind. The possible actions of the player are reflected by this, which means that he can do no harm to his surroundings on the lush side but move around rapidly whereas the gloomy side enable him to deal damage while movement is somewhat obstructed.

[PS3A] I understand you created it using the Half-life engine, but it couldn't look any more different to that game if you tried. Why did you choose that route? And what benefits did the engine deliver for you?

[TP] Using the Source engine was a requirement from the Danish National Academy for Digital, Interactive Entertainment. This is a collaboration between universities and art schools in Denmark that makes student game productions such as this one possible.

We definitely set out to challenge preconceptions about what a Source engine modification should be. Rather than accepting that we had to do a FPS-style game we wanted to explore the possibilities more freely. This presented some challenges and occasional show-stoppers that directed our work towards the result that is seen today.

Even though the Source engine is well-documented in comparison to many other alternatives out there it can be very difficult to work with once you dive into the more esoteric aspects of the engine. However I am sure other engines work similarly; I expect it would be difficult to do a FPS in a RTS engine for instance.

[PS3A] Have you considered bringing Flipside to the PS3 and PlayStation Network? Is there anything stopping you from approaching SCE about this?

[TP] When we first considered whether or not to continue work on Flipside we also discussed advantages and disadvantages of many different platforms and distribution models out there. There are definitely a lot of interesting ways of bringing games with smaller budgets to their audiences today than just a few years ago.

Flipside in its current form does have many things going for it. However there are also quite a few risky aspects. For instance, however enjoyable the prototype level in its current form, it does not prove its potential to entertain players beyond the first 10-15 minutes of play. The main reason for this was the one month of intensive development that went into Flipside with the goal of creating 3-5 minutes of gameplay represented through a vertical slice of an intended game experience.

Taking the potential and difficulties of making Flipside into a full-fledged game into consideration the PSN is an intriguing possibility, but something that is unlikely to happen unless current circumstances are significantly changed.

[PS3A] What forthcoming games excite you right now?

[TP]There is a lot of great stuff in the works with a lot of developers, but to keep some restrain on myself I'll just stick with one game on each of my favourite platforms: Spore on the PC, LEGO Batman on the Wii, LittleBigPlanet on the PS3 and finally Fable II on the X360. LittleBigPlanet is particularly interesting as we actually toyed with some ideas for a physics-based gameplay in Flipside.

[PS3A] Where do you get the inspiration for games like Flipside?

[TP] The inception of the game concept happened as a collaboration between the game director and myself. However the realisation of our dreamy vision required the creativity and professional competencies of the rest of the team of students we were a part of. The expression and reinterpretation of the initial game idea through art, sound, animation and code was necessary for it to form the whole of the experience that is Flipside.

As we began conceptualising what would become Flipside I was very attentive of the inspirations of the game director on the project. From the beginning he was intrigued by Danish artist Hannibal Hildorf, a musician/entertainer who is extremely happy and positive as well as the aesthetics of two-dimensional cardboard pieces and the ways in which their arrangement/size can be used to simulate depth.

Through a joint creative process we bridged the concepts by introducing a dark contrast to the seemingly eternal happiness of Hannibal Hildorf and fusing them in the mental instability of the main character. This came together with the idea of using flat objects in the game world as either side could be used to express one of the two mindsets we were working with.

Keeping in mind the technical limitations and possibilities of the game engine we were required to use we came up with the idea that the player should have freedom to experience the game world freely from both extreme moods and with the differing abilities that could be derived from them. This put the flip in Flipside and led us to the solution of turning the camera 180 degrees around the player character when switching sides.

We'd like to thanks both Jonathan and Thomas for giving us their valuable time. Maybe one day we'll see their brilliant creations on our favourite platform...

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Saturday, 20 September 2008

Prince will be vistiting us in December

Remember some Ubisoft's statements saying that Prince of Persia will get released before the end of the year? Well, we're in for a treat! Prince's (and Elika's) latest adventure is going to be available December 2nd for America and December 4th for Europe.

It may sound strange, but the UK release has been postponed for one day and it will eventually hit the shelves December 5th.

With so many games coming out this Fall/Winter, it will be extremely difficult to choose what to buy. Without a doubt, Prince of Persia is one of my future purchases.

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Choose a platform for Timesplitters 4

It seems that the guys at Free Radical are a little indecisive about Timesplitters 4. In their official site, they are asking us to decide in which console we want to see the fourth instalment of Timesplitters.

By now, PS3 leads the race with a 35%. Wii is next with 33% and the X "thing" holds 25% of the pie.

So don't waste any more time; start voting (do I need to mention that you'll vote for PS3?)!

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Friday, 19 September 2008

Home gets extended closed beta

When you tore that wrapper apart, frantically hoping to see a gleaming golden ticket staring back at you, were you one of the many thousands dejected and disappointed with the realisation that you were not chosen for the closed Home beta?

Never fear for Director of Home Jack Buser has revealed on the PS blog that a new batch of sparkling invitations are currently winging their way to some lucky mailboxes as we speak. Unfortunately it appears that the new recipients will only be from the previously unselected who applied back in August so this is only good news for those of you who are flapping about in the water and not those who missed the boat entirely.

Or is it? PS3Fanboy have posted up a screenshot (which we won't link to but if you don't know PS3Fanboy and can't find it yourself we'd be in complete shock) from the beta message board regarding a freezing bug currently experienced by some in the beta. What's interesting to note is that a PS3 firmware update planned for "October" will apparently remedy the issue. The magic number of 2.50 is quoted which is such a round figure that we're going to take a gamble and say Home 1.00 will surface on the same day. And with the recent LittleBigPlanet global official release dates appearing today also we're going to narrow it down even further and predict that Home will be released on the 21st of October to coincide with the North American release of the game.

Considering the many false dawns Home has experienced in its long gestation period I have a feeling I might live to regret this act of prophecy but what the hell, it's Friday night. It's ok to go crazy once in while!

Update: Jack has responded to some of the commenters on the blog who reckon they've been dissed a second time to state that "today’s [email invitations] won’t be the only wave" suggesting at least another call for more testers before the public beta which is still scheduled for "Autumn".

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LittleBigPlanet gets Officially Official Release Dates

Simon Media Molecule says:
October 21st for North and Latin America.
22nd October for Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
24th October for the UK and Ireland.

During the first week of the game's release, a limited edition spacesuit costume for SackBoy will be available for download for free on the PS Store. Maybe someone is an Elton John fan at Media Molecule. Also available during week one only, a rare and rather self-explanatory "I was there Week One" T-shirt (pictured) will be yours for the taking.

More information on the finalized features and the ongoing effort to provide new online features can be found at LittleBigPlanet's news site.

So LittleBigPlanet or Dead Space? Let us know in the comments. Choose wisely, or both.

Sources [ | ThreeSpeech]

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Crytek: "PS4 will be here in 2012"

Singapore, Games Convention Asia and Crytek's Cevat Yerli has made his opinion known regarding when we should expect to see Sony's next combatant in the console wars.

Edge Online reports that delivering his keynote speech, Yerli focused on what his company knows best, graphics, and posited how the graphical domain will evolve over the next five years and what his company plans to do to stay one step ahead of it. Claiming that the progression of consoles now hold to key to these graphical advancements, Yerli admits that one of the essential variables in this plan is knowing when the next line of hardware will be available. Admitting that he's asked Sony (who expectantly responded with stony silence) Crytek have postulated that the year we should be marking in our calendars is 2011 or, more likely, 2012.

It's intriguing to note that during this current era of seventh generation game consoles as developers start to fully unlock the secrets of the current hardware, a company of Crytek's pedigree appear to be backing Sony for the future. Yerli comments: "Frankly we are linking ourselves to the PS4" when discussing how advances in rendering and multi-core programming will see "a new style that will rival CGI."

Of course, if you look at the historical pattern of Sony hardware releases you'd be forgiven to believe that the PS4 might be here in 2010. Taking into account the PS3's infamous ten year plan however you may have already revised your expectations and reckon 2016 is a more likely candidate for the next hardware iteration. Of course, we all know that Sony will not be resting on their laurels and having a ten year plan does not discount the possibility of launching a successor to the PS3 before the end of the current console's life span. After all, you only have to judge recent PS2 sales figures to identify that there will always be an overlap of hardware with early adopters moving on to the next big thing while other regions start to gravitate to older consoles (with bigger libraries) as prices come down accordingly.

What's certain is that there will be a follow-up to the PS3. We can all proffer our learned guesses but after such a leap in scope between the PS2 and PS3 the bigger question must not be when but what? What could the PS4 possibly offer that the current PS3 could not? Will the gap in functionality between the PS3 and PS4 be more akin to the step-up between the PS1 and PS2, an evolution mostly in the area of graphical power? We shall see.

Source: Edge Online

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Rock Band 2 Introduces Real World Instruments

Announced today from Harmonix and MTV Games, Rock Band 2 will be getting an array of musical instruments straight from the music industry's top of the line manufacturers. From guitars and basses, to the drums and mics, players (or should I say rock stars) will be able to jam to their favorite songs with a wide variety of options. Greg LoPiccolo, Vice President of Product Development at Harmonix Music Systems had this to say on the subject:

"We believe that working closely with our musical instrument partners is crucial to our mission to deliver the most authemtic music experience possible. Whether it's picking out your P Bass, finding the right finish & hardware for your drums, or choosing the best microphone for your singer's style, having real world instruments included within the world of Rock Band 2 is essential."

Here is the list of what's to come...

Guitars, Basses and Amplifiers:
  • Fender™ (Including Charvel™, Gretsch™, Jackson™, Squier™, SWR™)
  • DW
  • Gretsch Drums™
  • Ludwig/Conn-Selmer
  • Pearl
  • SJC Custom Drum
  • Zildjian Cymbals
  • Selnnheiser
  • Shure
Accessories / Additional Instruments:
  • Ernie Ball
  • Electro-Harmonix
  • EMG Pickups
  • Fender™
  • Ludwig Drumsticks
  • Pro-Mark
  • Roland/BOSS
  • Vater Drumsticks
  • Vic Firth
  • ZVEX
So it looks like there will be plenty of options for every rocker out there. Rock Band 2 makes its way onto your PS3 on October 18th.

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Thursday, 18 September 2008

American PS Store Update For September 18th

Good demos (oh no you didn't), great Rock Band content (brutal), a butt load of AST Dew Tour videos (why?) and a special price break for you COD4 nuts. Here are today's PSN goodness:

Price Promotion
Call of Duty 4 Map Pack 1-week price promotion @ $4.99 (from 9/18/ - 9/25)

Rock Band
“The Conjuring” - Megadeth ($1.99)
“Wake Up Dead” - Megadeth ($1.99)
“Bad Omen” - Megadeth ($1.99)
“Devil’s Island” - Megadeth ($1.99)
“Good Mourning/Black Friday” - Megadeth ($1.99)
“I Ain’t Superstitious” - Megadeth ($1.99)
“My Last Words” - Megadeth ($1.99)

Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? Album ($10.99) - this album includes “Wake Up Dead, “The Conjuring,” “Devil’s Island,” “Good Mourning/Black Friday”, “Bad Omen,” “I Ain’t Superstitious,” and “My Last Words” - Megadeth.

“Hands Down” - Dashboard Confessional ($0.99)
“One of THOSE Nights”— The Cab ($0.99)
“She’s a Handsome Woman”— Panic at the Disco ($0.99)
“Natural Disaster”— Plain White T’s ($0.99)

Rock Band Live 2008 Tour Pack 1 ($3.99) - includes “Natural Disaster” - Plain White T’s, “She’s a Handsome Woman”- Panic at the Disco, “One of THOSE Nights” - The Cab, and “Hands Down” - Dashboard Confessional.

Game Demos (free)
Fracture Demo
Mercenaries 2 Demo

Game Videos (free)
NBA 09 The Inside: Life (x4)
Valkyria Chronicles GC Trailer
EA Sports Hockey League Video
AST Dew Tour - Portland FMX Jam Session
AST Dew Tour - Portland Skate Thrills
AST Dew Tour - Portland BMX Highlights
AST Dew Tour - Rob Darden Profile
AST Dew Tour - P Rod Profile
AST Dew Tour - Skate Park Stars
AST Dew Tour - Behind the Scenes with Andy M.
AST Dew Tour - PlayStation Pro Moments Portland
Play the Pros: Baltimore

Source [PlayStation.Blog]

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European PS Store update for 18th September

Rock Bandits rejoice, both PAX and Locksley track packs are up along with the song export key. It would be nice to have a place to use that key though...
A nice demo trifecta blesses our brothers from across the pond to round up this latest Euro PSN update:

Soulcalibur IV, FREE
Fracture Demo, FREE

Pain: Amusement Park Clown Toss Trailer, FREE
Pain: Amusement Park Hot and Cold Trailer, FREE
The Last Guy Launch Trailer, FREE
Play TV Trailer, FREE
Resistance 2 Twisted History Movie, FREE
Pure Exhilaration trailer, FREE

Pain- Go Kart, FREE
Pain- Kenneth, FREE
Pain- Kids, FREE

infamous theme, FREE
Pain-Amusement Park, FREE
Pain- Kenneth, FREE
Pain-Yeony, FREE
Pain-Tati, FREE

Packs - Rock Band
All Over Again, £0.99/€1.49
Don’t Make me Wait, £0.99/€1.49
She Does, £0.99/€1.49
Livin? At The Corner Of Dude And Rock Band - ‘Catastrophe’, £0.59/€0.79
Shhh?, £0.59/€0.79
Skullcrusher Mountain, £0.59/€0.79
Locksley Pack 1, £2.49/€3.99
The Pax 2008 Collection, £1.69/€2.29
Rock Band Song Export Key, £2.49/€3.49

Source [ThreeSpeech]

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Our favorite boy in a sack shows us his jumping jack abilities in this latest trailer for LittleBigPlanet. Pay close attention to the soundtrack, it is very "Patapon-esque" in my opinion. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it actually makes the trailer/game feel more awesome, a feat that few thought possible.

Again, free cake to the first comment that accurately identifies the name of the song featured in the trailer. You may cheat by looking at this list.

Source []

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Mirror's Edge Gets Release Date

EA have announced a street date for DICE's highly anticipated FPR (First Person Runner?) Mirror's Edge. Expect to see parkour loving Faith adorning the box art at your favourite retailer on November 11th. For the cautious of you out there, a demo will also appear on the PSN before the release date helping to whet people's death-defying appetite. Or the morbidly obsessed who want to see if the motion sickness affects are true.

Senior Producer at Dice, Owen O'Brien, describes the aspirations behind Mirror's Edge: "“We wanted to create an entirely new experience, with a different type of heroine and a world that not only looks fresh and new but has unique gameplay.” Remember: the PS3 version will feature exclusive six-axis motion control elements.

Mirror's Edge was recently named best 360 game at Leipzig and also ran off with the Game Critics award for Best Original Game at the (somewhat underwhelming) E3. The 360 will receive the game on the same date though it's (marginally) interesting to note that the PC version won't be released until the nebulous "winter" season. Sounds a lot like 2009 to us.

Source: Edge Online | Press Release.

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Life with PlayStation now ACTUALLY released

Well, with the cat truly out of the bag already this week we knew it was only going to be a matter of time before Sony's (high definition cancer curing) answer to the Wii's news and weather channels would emerge.

We postulated it would take two weeks before its release into the wild but it looks like Sony has pulled a fast one and Life With PlayStation™ is available right now. Not bad for a service that was scheduled to hit in July, then late August before the pencil-pushers delayed it until now.

For those frantically refreshing the System Update icon you'll actually find it under the Network category surreptitiously masquerading as the Folding@Home icon. Click here and after two files are downloaded, voilá!, Folding@Home - like an unloved caterpillar, metamorphoses into the beautiful global news and weather service. With headlines and atmospheric condition information streaming directly into your eyeballs cancer will still be hammered into submission in the background so we can finally confirm that the two services are now inextricably linked. How this change impacts the Remote Play aspect of the Folding service is unknown at the moment so let us know in the comments.

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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Life with PlayStation accidentally released

Whilst testing Life with PlayStation earlier today, Sony inadvertently allowed some PS3 owners to upgrade their Folding@Home client to the new weather and news application.

The mistake was short-lived and Sony pulled the package as quickly as they'd released it. Of course, that didn't stop one enterprising user capturing a video and releasing it to the world at large.

Of course, if Sony were 'testing' that usually means 'certification', and certification normally means the release date is less than 14 days away, so we don't think it will be too long before you'll be able to legitimately download an application that Sony hopes will deliver a new way to wake up in the morning.

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FW 2.43 available in Japan; does nothing, apparently

Sony have launched yet another firmware update. There are however two reasons why version 2.43 is different to other recent upgrades:

1. It's region specific; designed for Japanese PS3s only
2. It seems to do absolutely nothing

Of course we know that point 2 isn't really true. There will be some bizarre issue that only affects Japanese hardware which is fixed with this release. Outside of the Land of the Rising Sun, there's no reason to install this if you happen to find it on the 'net.

The good news is that if you do bring your US or PAL hardware up to speed it won't harm it in any way. Or improve it. So if I were you I wouldn't bother at all.

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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Bikes to invade Paradise City, this Thursday

The time for Criterion's "step" on two wheels is just hours away. The latest -free- update is about to fully transform the fundamentals of Burnout Paradise.

Besides the four new -promising- bikes, 38 new "time challenges" plus 70(!) new Freeburn Challenges will be included in the update. Furthermore, we shall not forget about the new clock system, which will give the opportunity to the player to choose between day and night.

Last but not least, I believe that the guys at Criterion deserve some congratulations about their devotion to the game and more importantly for the no-charge policy they are following.

The update is visiting us this Thursday, so make sure to get your engines ready and put on a helmet for Christ's sake...

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Você esperará...

"Is that a countdown I see at PS3 Attitude? I wonder what it means..."

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Wipeout HD video; another PSN blockbuster

Wipeout HD is nearly here.

Next Thursday, 25th September, the PlayStation Network is set to melt down as thousands of you grab your slice of Wipeout history.

Sporting 60 fps/1080p visuals, trophy support, 8-player online racing, 5.1 surround sound and SIXAXIS control modes this incarnation of everyone's favourite futuristic racer is looking slick. Hell - it even has a split-screen mode that stays true to the frame rate and quality of the single-player experience.

But don't take my word for it. Take a look at the video below for a sneak preview of just how good Wipeout will be on your PS3.

Wipeout HD launches pretty much everywhere a week on Thursday for $19.99/£11.99.

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Monday, 15 September 2008

LittleBigPlanet creators to deliver GameCity 3 "Vision Statement"

Did we mention that we're going to be at GameCity covering the event live? Oh yeah, we did. How about the news that Media Molecule will be delivering the GameCity 3 Vision Statment? Hmm, well, by saying that I believe we just told you. (Ok, enough with the paradoxical self-referencing questions).

Darlings of the industry and (no pressure now) likely cornerstone for Sony's success this holiday season, the Sackboy wranglers are set to follow in the imitable footsteps of Lorne Lanning (creator of the Oddworld series) and Keita Takahashi* (of Katamari fame) and deliver the equivalent of GameCity's keynote speech.

Media Molecule’s Alex Evens comments: ""For us, GameCity is a rare opportunity to really interact and meet with the people who play - and in LBP's case, help to create our games." MM's appearance at GC3 is, in itself, quite fitting in terms of "completing the circle". Did you know Media Molecule had their first public appearance at GameCity 1? I just did it again, didn't I?

*Trivia: When Keita-san was in Nottingham to deliver his speech he also announced that he was going to design a playground for the area (!).

Source: | Edge Online

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Hydrophobia's Queen of the World Revealed

Last week our friends over at Three Speech ran a comprehensive three part piece with Blade Interactive where Game Designer Rob Hewson and Managing Director Pete Jones spoke openly about their upcoming global-warming inspired "survival-on-a-sinking-ship" actioner, Hydrophobia.

Eager to find out more, we contacted Blade Interactive with a salvo of investigatory questions from how protagonist Kate Wilson's aquaphobia will manifest in terms of gameplay to just how suicidal Kate's adversaries will be. Considering their ethos of “Save the world, kill yourself" we're guessing self-preservation is not high on their list.

Check back later this week for answers to the above queries (and more) in the official interview but to tide you over (no pun intended), Rob was magnanimous enough to answer one of our inquiries straight off the bat: So, just what does the Queen of the World, the game's setting and a ship that is 1.5km in length and half a kilometre wide, look like?

Well, behold ...

Click for Titantic proportions.

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Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sony President talks new IPs, knowledge sharing and PS3 waggle?

Sony's recently appointed President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, has revealed some interesting nuggets in an interview over at IGN.

While his predecessor (Phil Harrison) was known to be somewhat of a Sony evangelist; an animated and passionate speaker often seen preaching about the PS3's virtues to all who would listen, Shuhei-san is known to be more softly spoken yet, at the same time, surprisingly honest in his opinions of how Sony are performing. Another difference the new President displays relates to where his focus lies as Shuhei-san appears to be more concerned with his background responsibilities; guiding the inner workings of the Sony machine as it expands its studio and IP acquisitions, rather than being a public figurehead.

During the interview by IGN, the enigmatic Sony veteran comments about where we are now, two years through the PS3's much-heralded ten year cycle. According to the recently appointed exec we've only "scratched the surface" but such depths will only be reached if the vanguards of creativity are willing to trade knowledge. Shuhei-san reiterates that all Sony studios must now embrace a sharing mentality if they are to overcome the complexities and challenges of developing in the current environment of spiralling budgets and untapped processor potential. He claims that "[Developing for] the PS3 is such a large undertaking it just doesn't make sense for each team to make every nut and bolt. We have really made a conscious effort to encourage sharing and we have underlying technology that we share with all these studios." This culture of mutually beneficial knowledge transferral has already been hinted at by studios such as Naughty Dog (Uncharted, the Jak & Daxter series) and SCE Santa Monica (God of War series) with their "working lunches" so it's good to hear that this helpful ethos of participation is being promoted as a Sony trait.

In terms of new IPs, Shuhei-san confirms that 2009 will be the year of fresh and exciting franchises. With Heavy Rain and MAG already revealed (albeit marginally) he admits that there are other upcoming titles "that we're not allowed to talk about." We can only assume this cryptic dossier includes the now almost legendary secret PS3 exclusive game shown to BBC columnist Darren Waters. However, Shuhei-san is tightlipped regarding the possibility that one such new IP likely to make its much-anticipated appearance in 2009 is Team ICO's next release and first venture on the PS3. Describing them as his "Olympic Team" (considering it takes four years for them to create a game) Shuhei-san states that he simply can not promise Team ICO's next potential masterpiece will make its debut next year. He explains that ICO producer Ueda-san is such a perfectionist that there are no guarantees it will be ready. Ironically, Shuhei-san helped form Team ICO with Ueda-san before the former moved to the U.S. to work for SCEA as part of his previous position. It's therefore anyone's guess what the executive has seen behind closed ICO doors - everything and its dog no doubt.

Finally, the interview sees Shuhei-san giving credit where credit is due; noting Nintendo's success at enticing non-gamers into the fold and commenting how this will affect Sony going forward. His expectation is that the gaming demographic in general will blossom with a section of these casual gamers converting into the more "hardcore" archetype and ultimately gravitating towards (hopefully) the PS3. At the same time Sony must appeal to this new market themselves and Shuhei admits that a key to this transformation is "interaction". Though not the first time this particular rumour has been flouted, it's interesting to see Shuhei-san repeating that a dedicated motion controller for the PS3 (ala the wiimote) is still a "possibility."


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Friday, 12 September 2008

European PS Store update for 12 September (A Day Late Edition)

Better late than never as they say, the European PS Store was updated today as promised. What is up with RockBand's "developing artist" track packs? Anyone?


1942 Joint Strike, £6.99
Siren Blood Curse™, £19.99

1 Track, £0.99
3 Track Bundle, £2.49
1 Track sale/developing artist, £0.59
3 Track pack sale/developing artist, £1.69
6 Track Bundle, £4.99
9 Track Bundle, £7.49
12 Track Bundle, £9.99

ElefunkTrial, Free
Play TV Demo, Free
1942: Joint Strike, Free
FIFA 09 Demo, Free

Pain: Amusement Park, £3.49
Pain-Kenneth Character, £0.69
Pain -Yeony Character, £0.69
Pain Tati Character, £0.69


The Last Guy Wallpaper x6, Free

PixelJunk Eden Red Theme, Free
PixelJunk Eden Black Theme, Free

In Game
Elefunk Full Game Upgrade, £4.99

Source [ThreeSpeech]

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Bikes, They're a' Coming September 18th

Them bikes sure do look purrty. But Criterion Games' latest free pack will bring a little bit more than bikes as we reported a few weeks back:
  • Pick from 2 motorcycles featuring male or female characters and start on a whole new progression to earn your Bike License. (Author's note: don't worry, more bikes are a' coming)
  • 38 new against-the-clock race events – Burning Ride and Midnight Ride.
  • A brand new in-game 24 hr day / night cycle that impacts traffic density and available events. (It’s fully customisable – you can make it day/night/change the clock speed – it’s up to you.) (Author's note: we told you!)
  • Dynamic weather brings an all-new look to Paradise City.
  • And if that’s not enough, we’ve got 70 more Freeburn Challenges too.
I cannot sing enough praises for Criterion Games and what they are doing with Burnout Paradise. So I won't even try. You can head to for all the details or iTunes (eww) to grab the latest Crash TV, Criterion Games' video podcast for more information on them shiny 2 wheeled automobiles.

Source []

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U.S. MyBuzz is Online, Giving Away Prizes

No longer will our European PlayStation 3 brethren will be able to taunt us with their "buzz". No, I'm not talking about pints of lager being consumed while playing our black behemoth (remember kids, don't drink and drive Burnout). North America has been deemed "buzz-worthy" by the powers that be: MyBuzz is open for business for the US.

Gearing up for the American release date of September 23rd, is ready to be filled up with apple pie and NRA quizzes. But all kidding aside, there is an extraordinary incentive for us them to do so. There will be great prizes for wasting your precious time making quizzes online, take it away Associate Producer Jenny Barbour:
We’re asking you to start building your library of quizzes immediately and on game launch day (September 23), we’ll award a PS3 and BUZZ! Quiz TV game bundle to the “All Time Top Author.”
But that is not all:
A week after launch on September 30, we’ll be awarding another prize to the individual with the “Top Quiz.” He/she will receive a new PSP 3000 with BUZZ! Master Quiz (all the fun of the BUZZ! trivia franchise on-the-go!).

Pretty neat eh? I can't wait for Canadians to get in on the MyBuzz fun as well, I want to test my knowledge of hockey, Mike Meyers, Georges St. Pierre and Celine Dion.

Source []

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Thursday, 11 September 2008

American PS Store Update For September 11th

What's here besides the PAIN-tastic PAIN Amusement Park? You Qore-heads have access to the MotorStorm: Pacific Rift demo to calm you until October 28, Metal-heads (yo!) can enjoy Metallica's Death Magnetic album in GH III form tomorrow (boo) but can enjoy the GH: Aerosmith demo today, and futbol-heads can try out the new FIFA demo.

Qore Digital Magazine
Just a quick note to let you know that the MotorStorm: Pacific Rift demo is now available to all Qore annual subscribers and those customers that have purchased Episode 04.

How to get the MotorStorm: Pacific Rift demo:
-Go into Qore Episode 04 under the game drop on the XMB
-Go to the Download Center
-Go to the “MotorStorm: Pacific Rift - Demo” box
-Hit the “X” button and let the downloading begin!

Downloadable Games
JEOPARDY! ($14.99)

Add-on Game Content
PAIN Amusement Park ($5.99)
PAIN: Yeony Character ($0.99)
PAIN: Tati Character ($0.99)
PAIN: Kenneth Character ($0.99)

Rock Band
“Two Weeks” - All That Remains ($0.99)
“This Calling” - All That Remains ($0.99)
“Charlene (I’m Right Behind You)” - Stephen and the Colberts (Free)
All That Remains Pack 1($2.99) - includes “This Calling,” “Two Weeks,” and “Chiron”

Arriving Friday 9/12/08
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Metallica “Death Magnetic” Album ($17.99)
“That Was Just Your Life”
“The End Of The Line”
“Broken, Beat & Scarred”
“The Day That Never Comes”
“All Nightmare Long”
“The Unforgiven III”
“The Judas Kiss”
“Suicide & Redemption J.H.”
“Suicide & Redemption K.H.”
“My Apocalypse”

Game Demos (free)
FIFA 09 Demo
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Demo

Game Videos (free)
Golden Axe: Beast Rider Trailer 2
FIFA 09 Trailer
NHL 09 Teaser Trailer
NHL 09 Defensive Sizzle Trailer
Blitz: The League II - Trailer 2
Saints Row 2 – Uncle Gary Sticky Bombs Trailer
Saints Row 2 – Uncle Gary Throwing People Trailer
NFS Undercover Launch Trailer
BiA: Hell’s Highway Brutality of War Gameplay Video
Legendary Behind the Scenes Episode 2

PS3 Wallpaper (free)
PAIN Amusement Park Wallpaper (x3)

PS3 Themes (free)
Mirror’s Edge #1 Theme
NFS Undercover Theme
PAIN Amusement Park Theme
PAIN: Kenneth Character Theme
PAIN: Tati Character Theme
PAIN: Yeony Character Theme

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MotorStorm Pacific Rift Gets Release Date, Umbrella in its Drink

Is your motor stormless at the moment? Get your umbrellas ready, MotorStorm Pacific Rift is raining down upon you October 28th.

This sequel gets bonus points for not adding a number to the original title (I'm looking at you Resistance and Killzone), doubling the number of tracks from 8 to 16, adding a new gameplay element (water/lava affects your boost temperature), adding the split-screen mode missing from the original, real time deformation of tracks and those twins. That last one may be wishful thinking though...

You may start your excitement...whenever you want, I don't care. I just started playing the original under this rock I've been living under.

Source [PlayStation.Blog]

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COD4 Variety Pack Half Price / Double XP - next weekend

Already reached level 55 on Call of Duty 4? Perhaps you've taken the prestigious route and now tire of sniping noobs across the Bog. What you need is some new maps soldier and what's better than four new areas to master than getting them at a cut-rate half price?

Those lunatics over at Infinity Ward have announced that next weekend (September 20th) will see the record breaking Variety Map Pack slash to half its original price (€4.99/£3.99/$4.99 - prices to be confirmed). For those wondering about where you'll be headed, the pack contains the stages "Killhouse", "Creek", "Chinatown", and "Broadcast".

To celebrate the price reduction IW have also announced (yet another) double XP weekend letting people earn double points while checking out the new maps. The 360 version sees its price cut this weekend allowing the developers to engage in some Player-Ownage on both consoles over the two weekends. The developers will be online (unceremoniously killing everything in sight no doubt) at roughly 4 p.m. PDT which is around midnight in Europe.


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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Resistance 2 Public Beta Application

For those of you PS3 owners who want to get into the Resistance 2 beta yet didn't purchase the 3rd episode of Qore then you are in luck. You can now register for a chance to participate in the public beta here.

All you have to do is fill out a short form and answer a few gaming related questions. If selected, you will have access to some sweet multiplayer action. Remember, in order to qualify you must have an active PSN Account, internet access, and be 18 years or older. Let's all cross our fingers and hope for the best. 

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PS3 coming to Malaysia this month

As a proud (and often disgruntled) European I know all about jumping on the Neglected Gamer Soapbox™ and delivering diatribes about such hot topics as frustrating delays or exorbitant price plans. Then you remember just how lucky you are to be even able to buy a PS3, considering there are less fortunate regions out there still waiting to see the arrival of Sony's magic black box.
Until now, Malaysia has been a member of this unfortunate bevy but it appears that in ten day's time our friends in the East will soon be gleefully rubbing their name from this ignoble 'list of the forgotten'.

Reported on the online edition of Malaysia's English-language newspaper, The Star, Sony Malaysia have announced that the 80GB version of the PS3 will be released on the 20th of September at an event planned for the 1Utama shopping centre in Petaling Jaya.

Pricing details are not known at this point but it has been confirmed that Soul Calibur IV will be the bundled game on offer with the first hundred customers also receiving Sony cash vouchers worth up to RM1,000.

Welcome to the party Malaysia!

[Source: via Edge Online]

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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Media Molecule inadvertently reveals LBP Tracklist

Ok, so a few sites have reported that you can see the LittleBigPlanet manual here. But no one seems to have noticed that the last couple of pages in the manual give the credits for the music used in the game.

Is this a full track listing, or just a space filler for now?

Who knows, but the work of Daniel Pemberton is exactly the kind of thing I would expect to see on a playlist for the game, based on what has been played alongside trailers so far.

Here's the full run-down taken from the manual:

DJ Krush - 'Song 2'
Cafe Tacvba - 'Volver A Comenzar'
Kinky - 'Cornman'
Battles - 'Atlas'
The Go! Team - 'Get It Together'
Jim Noir - 'My Patch'
Alexander Nevsky Op.78 - 'Battle On The Ice'
James Pants - 'Rhythm Trax 7'
Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra - 'Tapha Niang'
Noveltones - 'Let Bank Two'
Ananda Shankar - 'Dancing Drums'

Original Music Composed by Mat Clark at Sonica Music, London:

'Gardens imusic'
'Wedding imusic'
'Canyons imusic'
'Savannah imusic'
'Metropolis imusic'
'Islands imusic'
'Temples imusic'
'Wilderness imusic'

Daniel Pemberton:

'The Orb Of Dreamers'
'Leaders Of Men'
'The Appliance of Science'
'Girly Goody Two Shoes'
'Rock The Jungle'
'Tricky Business'
'Cries In The Wind'
'Rainbow Warrior'
'My Advice - parts 1, 2 and 3'

So what do we think? Is that a good track list? Is it enough variety? Considering that the last we heard, we wouldn't be able to import songs into the game, I was hoping for more, but if the layering that was mentioned is done well, it could add some life to each track.

You can hear most of the non-original tracks on your nearest favourite video site.

[Source: SCEA Official Site]

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