martes, 24 de mayo de 2011

Capcom Expecting a Big Year From the PS3‎

Fiscal 2012 is going to be a big year for the PlayStation 3, according to Japanese game publisher Capcom, projecting that roughly 44 percent of its games sold will be for that system.

According to information released to its investors, the company projects that its 16 PlayStation 3 titles planned for release in the year ending March 31, 2012 will sell around 8 million units combined, significantly more than any other platform. By contrast, it is projecting that its 14 Xbox 360 titles will sell 4.7 million units, around 26 percent of all of its sales.

During the prior fiscal year, the PlayStation 3 and the PSP had the same amount of games released and sold -- 11 and 6.2 million, respectively -- each representing 30 percent of the company's sales. However, Capcom is projecting a steep decline in PSP sales in fiscal 2012: though it will release the same number of games as last year, it is only projecting 2.2 million copies will be sold.

The company's confirmed PlayStation 3 output for the fiscal year includes Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, new HD remakes of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica X, a high definition port of its popular PSP game Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, and the original game Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, the latter of which the company recently said would be its best seller for the year.

Games with unannounced ship dates that may also come out during the year include fighting game crossover Street Fighter X Tekken, new IPs Dragon's Dogma and Asura's Wrath, spin-off Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, the revival of its Devil May Cry series, board game translation Talisman, and a new online version of Street Fighter III: Third Strike.

The company's game output across all platforms is up slightly this year -- 55 from last year's 53 -- though it is expecting to sell slightly fewer, at 18 million compared to last year's 20.5 million.

Capcom's projections do not include games for systems that may be released during the fiscal year, including Sony's NGP and Nintendo's home Wii successor.

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lunes, 23 de mayo de 2011

2 free multiplayer maps for Dead Space 2

A is adding two new multiplayer maps for free to Dead Space 2 in a couple weeks. The "Outbreak Map Pack," which includes The Academy and The Concourse, will send players back to survive multiplayer evisceration in The Sprawl on May 31 and June 3 for Xbox 360 and PS3, respectively.

The sci-fi horror sequel has done well for EA, shipping over 2 million units and the DS2:Severed DLC mentioned as a digital sales highlight for the publisher. EA makes no mention of the Outbreak Map Pack for the PC version of the game.

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domingo, 22 de mayo de 2011

Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception Behind The Scenes

The Uncharted series has been praised for having some of the best graphics and animation in the industry, and that's thanks to some pretty smart motion capture tech, some of which you can glimpse in the video below.

UNCHARTED 3 Creative Director Amy Hennig explained to the PlayStation blog some of the improvements that have been made at Naughty Dog's studio since the first game, and how that will translate into a better performance in the studio's third Uncharted quest.

Check out the video below and swing through the source link for the full feature.

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PSP Games Coming to PS3 With HD Visuals, Extra Content

Sony today unveiled a new initiative whereby select PlayStation Portable titles will be ported to the PlayStation 3, with improvements made along the way to (hopefully) make the whole thing worthwhile.

It's called the PlayStation Portable Remaster Series, and sees certain PSP games re-released on the PS3 with enhancements like exclusive new content, HD graphics, control pad support, 3D visuals and more.
There's even multiplayer compatibility, with the PS3 versions of the game able to be played over Sony's Ad Hoc multiplayer service for the PSP.

Most interesting, and promising for existing PSP gamers, is that save games for these titles will work on both systems, so you can take the same campaign from PSP to PS3 and back again.

The first game announced for this line is smash hit (in Japan) Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, which will be re-released on the PS3 this Summer (in Japan). Sony says more game announcements from more publishers will be coming down the pipeline. There was no specific mention of a timeframe for an international release for the service, but hopefully that will come at E3 next month.

It would be a crazy, crazy world if Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and the PSP God of War games were not among the first titles revealed for the service.

sábado, 21 de mayo de 2011

PS3 Review – L.A. Noire

Much has been made about the distinction between L.A. Noire‘s developers, Team Bondi, and its publishers, Rockstar Games. Take a look at the mini-map in the corner, the way cars control and how people on the street react, or how gunplay and cover mechanics work in-game. You’ll see a Rockstar Game through and through. Despite its mechanical similarities, you should be warned: this is no Grand Theft Auto. Team Bondi’s crime caper is an entirely new beast, different from anything you may have played before.

L.A. Noire centers around Cole Phelps, a war hero from the pacific theater of World War II with the gumption to step out of his patrol uniform and into the thick of 1947 Los Angeles crime. From the outset, Phelps has a course charted for him through from the traffic desk through to the vice desk. Along the way you’ll be searching for clues, interrogating suspects and witnesses, chasing down perps, and engaging in the occasional gun fight.

Those elements shift around each other at times but Team Bondi have paced each case so that action sequences feel like breaths of fresh air and interrogations feel like boss fights. I previewed Deus Ex: Human Revolution in March for another site and a key element that Eidos Montreal was trying to sell us on was the nature of a conversational boss. In that game, gunplay finally culminated into a hostage situation where what I said determined whether an individual lived or died. L.A. Noire has beaten Human Revolution to the verbal punch. While I didn’t have to talk down mad men on the brink of a murder, I did have to confront them after the deed was committed.

Of course, all of this is possible thanks to the MotionScan technology pioneered here. Recreating an actor’s performance down to every wrinkle or blink makes the interrogation gameplay possible. If your suspect shifts his eyes or swallows nervously, you’ll be able determine if what they’re saying is a load of shit. Of course, if their gaze is locked hard on you they might be telling the truth. You can only claim that a person is lying if you have evidence that contradicts their statement.

This boils down to the gut check. You’ve been lied to in real life. What feeling do you get from an individual with something to hide? How do you judge who’s playing stupid or just plain dumb? L.A. Noire is at its most challenging during this dialogue sequences. Knowing who killed the dame down by the rail yard can come from hard evidence collection or breaking the suspect in interrogation.

Let’s back up a second though, I’m getting ahead of myself. You will too. At the beginning of each case, a short tease is shown to get the mystery rolling. You’ve seen what happens in the beginning of Law & Order episodes right? Before the funky music, of course. After that, you’ll be given the reporting details and a location to inspect. More often than not you’ll uncover clues that will lead you to two or more people or suspects to question. Any normal person will start to formulate an idea of whodunit from the outset, but the interim dialogue between Phelps and his partners during transit help to turn ideas over and over in the player’s mind.

Heading to a suspect’s house might lead to more evidence searching and more interrogating. You’ll narrow down the list of suspects as you go along. L.A. Noire‘s bread and butter is the gathering of evidence and the interrogation, but bread and butter can get boring. That’s why every once in a while you’ll be given a chase sequence, whether on foot or by automobile. There’ll be the occasional shootout as well but the real combat is one of words.

Like I said, this is not Grand Theft Auto. In fact, I’m reluctant to even call it an open-world game. Sure, the expansive city of Angels is there for you to drive through. Maybe you’ll stumble across a street crime every once in a while. There are hidden items to collect too, but you’re given every opportunity to bypass all of that. Your partner can drive to every destination and choosing your next waypoint is often less than two button presses away.

If you’re not one for GTA’s parodic humor, you’ll be happy to know that L.A. Noire takes itself extremely serious. There’s nudity, but it’s the naked bodies of women stabbed, strangled, and pale after blood loss. There’s foul language, but it’s never excessive, unnecessary, or used as a punch-line. Team Bondi did their research with many cases having actually taken place in 1940s Los Angeles.

So what does all of this mean? L.A. Noire combines the best of action games, the best of adventure games, the best of cinema, and the best facial animation in video games to create an experience unlike any other. I’m gushing, it’s true. After 7 years of development, a generation of brand new graphics technology, and the passion for developing new experiences that comes with association to Rockstar Games, Team Bondi deserve the long vacation they’re probably on. There’s little else left to say other than: PLAY THIS GAME.

viernes, 20 de mayo de 2011

For most of 2010, Sony led the way in Australia for integrated IPTV in its television sets. But IPTV is only a small fraction of the potential for integrated entertainment on a flat panel television. Gaming is destined to be the next big boom for television screens, and it’s time for Sony to leverage its assets by sticking a Playstation 3 console into a premium Bravia TV.

Sony understand the appeal of combining the Playstation 3 with Bravia televisions. For the past few years, it has regularly run bonus promotions offering a free PS3 with the purchase of a Sony television, all of which have been hugely successful. But there hasn’t been the slightest peep of Sony taking the next step and integrating the console into the television itself, even with Sir Howard Stringer making it his personal mission to see the different business arms of Sony better working with each other.

The most surprising aspect is that it shouldn’t be too difficult to do. We’ve already seen plenty of televisions on the market with integrated slot-loading Blu-ray players. As you can see from any PS3 teardown, the other main components of the console that would need to be integrated are the hard drive and the (admittedly large) circuit board that powers the console. But by making the PS3 the default operating system of the TV, you could potentially free some space by removing the default television circuitry.

Admittedly, there would be some engineering hurdles to overcome. The PS3 pulls a lot of power, and making the Playstation Bravia energy efficient could prove problematic. A good cooling strategy would also be essential, with the combined PS3 and Bravia destined to create a lot of heat.

But the advantages far outweigh both of those challenges. Consider the benefits of having an integrated Blu-ray player and games console. Consider the benefits of integrating Play TV into the television itself, creating a real DVR inside a television (unlike the USB version found on TVs today).

But most importantly would be the sense of innovation around such a creation. It’s not like Sony would be completely killing off the dedicated console, but instead combining it into a premium unit, the perfect solution for the space conscious gamer who loves their high definition entertainment. It would be an advantage no other manufacturer would be able to top without forming a specific alliance with Microsoft or Nintendo, neither of which is overly likely to happen.

While the other major TV brands have all pushed out the idea of apps on televisions this year, Sony is still comfortable with sticking with IPTV (although the partnership with Google TV would address that should Google TV ever launch in Australia). But this idea could help the Japanese manufacturer break away from its competitor by leveraging its own strengths.

Make it happen Sony.

jueves, 19 de mayo de 2011

Sony Denies Rumors of New PSN Hack, Services Restored

New reports which indicate that the Sony PlayStation Network has experienced a fresh hack attack are not accurate according to the gaming company. A report was issued by today which stated that despite weeks of working on the problems which led to the Sony outage, there are new vulnerabilities which had been discovered on the PSN, putting sensitive user account information at risk.

Several news outlets picked up on the report, and when coupled with the fact that the PSN Password Reset page was down for a number of hours, all fingers pointed at Sony as having undergone another attack by hackers, which is precisely what these news outlets reported to their public. The news reports all said that the PlayStation Network has once again been compromised, which more than likely resulted in sighs of exasperation from PSN users.

The password reset page had been added to prompt users to resent their passwords now that services had been restored. Nyleveia reported that their decision to share the exploit was based on a new discovery and was designed to be a warning and nothing more. They had not intended their report to trigger rumors of a new PSN attack.

Reports that Sony has suffered yet another hack are greatly exaggerated, the gaming company said today. While Sony admitted to blocking PSN login access to certain users, and taking down the PSN password reset page for several hours, they denied any new hacks had occurred. They later issued a statement on their company blog alerting users that the systems had been restored and that the reports of a new hack were inaccurate.

Sony has truly worked hard to restore service and to compensate users for the outage which lasted several weeks. Sony offered a ‘Welcome Back Package’ to users with free games, free premium services, and more. Your level of compensation is dependent on which Sony PSN services you are subscribed to which thereby determines the level of damage.

Sony customers had mixed reactions, with some uses being furious with the actual hackers, and others furious with Sony for being vulnerable to the attacks in the first place. Its too early to tell how many players may have jumped ship, but we cant deny that Sony is working hard to restore confidence and make amends.