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.

miércoles, 18 de mayo de 2011

PS3 Firmware 3.61 is overheating old units - Rockstar

Rockstar has blamed latest PS3 firmware update, version 3.61, for causing older 'fat' models of PS3 to overheat or involuntarily shut down.

"We have received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing L.A. Noire or beeping three times before shutting down/turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models," said Rockstar in response to complaints (via MCV).

"Primary reports seem to be that updating to firmware 3.61 will cause PlayStations to overheat. There have been various reports of this on a few different games now, all reporting their PS3s turning off or 'Red Lighting' after having installed 3.61," it adds.

"This can range from games randomly freezing to PS3s turning off anywhere between 30 mins use to 2 hours. We have confirmed locally that multiple games (Rockstar and non-Rockstar) overheat or freeze only when 3.61 is installed."

Oh dear. It just doesn't get any better for poor old Sony, does it?

Rockstar recommends users contact Sony with issues, while it offers assurance that it too will look into the issue. "We are continuing to test L.A. Noire on all firmware versions and hardware models to isolate the issues and see what can be done. As always, we will update this article as soon as we have updates," is said.

Have you had any issues since the firmware update?

martes, 17 de mayo de 2011

Duke Nukem Forever ad trailer features more gameplay clips

2K and Gearbox debuted Duke Nukem Forever's lengthiest trailer this past week on TV during the finale of Archer, and go figure, there's actually quite a bit of gameplay crammed in. Well, sort of. No continuous gameplay sequences or anything, just clips of monsters getting owned in a variety ways by yours truly. And girls. Because this is Duke Nukem Forever.

The trailer also shows us that Duke isn't a total douche. When some weird-looking child comes up to him and asks for an autograph, Duke actually signs in. Holy crap, right?

For a minute there, we were slightly worried that he'd just take the book and slap the boy in the face with it. Then again, video games tend to avoid violence against children, and Duke respects that.

Duke Nukem Forever will be out for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 on June 14 in North America and June 10 internationally.

lunes, 16 de mayo de 2011

Sony ‘Welcomes Back’ PSN customers with free games

After all that’s happened recently with the Playstation Network outage, Sony had restored some services, and now they’re doing something else for customers. Today Sony announced details about its “Welcome Back” appreciation program for customers in North American and Europe.

As a big thank you from Sony, all existing registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity users in the US, Canada, AE, AU, GB, IE and NZ will have access to two free PS3 games and two PSP games after the PSN is restored. They can be kept forever and you will have 30 days to get them.

The PS3 games for North America include Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout HD + Fury, while the PSP games include LittleBigPlanet (PSP), ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, and Killzone Liberation.

The games for Europe will be the same except for instead of Super Stardust HD, gamers will have the choice of Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty.

The games for Mexico seem to be the same as for North America, while the rest of the Latin America is still unknown

Thanks for the welcome Sony! Time to catch up on some gaming!

SOE’s “Welcome Back” Package Detailed, Includes Lots of Freebies

Sony`s restoration of their PlayStation Network, Qriocity and other online services are now in full swing, with the network coming back online in chunks around the globe. Sony Online Entertainment, the group behind many MMOs including DC Universe Online and Free Realms, had stated earlier they were creating a “make good” plan for subscribers to make up for all this lost play time. The plan has now been detailed, and is available after the jump.

Recently spotted on the security update page on SOE’s official site, the entire plan consists of these goodies:

  • DC Universe™ Online: Batman™ and Two-Face™ Inspired Masks and 30 Marks of Distinction
  • Free Realms®: Free daily items (7 to collect)
  • Clone Wars Adventures™: Count Dooku v2 Outfit
  • EverQuest®: A series of events, including Double XP, Double Rare Mob Spawns and Double Faction Gains
  • EverQuest II and EverQuest II Extended: A series of events, including Double XP, Double Guild XP, Loot Bonanza, and City Festivals
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes®: A series of Double XP events
  • Star Wars Galaxies™: Bounty Hunter Statue, a miniature model of Boba Fett’s ship, the Slave I™
  • Magic: The Gathering – Tactics™: Four of each of these spells: “Ivory Mask”, “Duress” and “Angelheart Vial”, plus 500 Station Cash
  • PoxNora®: Limited edition Carrionling, Welcome Back 5K Gold Award Tournaments and two Draft Tournaments, plus 500 Station Cash

While most of that concerns PC players, the benefits for DC Universe Online and Free Realms are going to be extended to PlayStation 3 gamers as well. In addition, lifetime members will receive 20,000 coins for Free Realms, and 10 Marks of Distinction for DC Universe Online. Perhaps the biggest freebie is one that is not listed above – “all impacted players will receive 30 days of game time added to the end of the current billing cycle in addition to one day for each day the system is down.” SOE customers will also have the same identity theft protection enrollment offered to them as was detailed on the PS.Blog. No word on when the system will be up, exactly, but considering SOE’s network has been down since May 2nd, that is 43 days of free online play accumulated so far.

Normal PlayStation users will also be treated to a “Welcome Back” package filled with free games and a PS+ subscription once the PlayStation Store is back

sábado, 14 de mayo de 2011

Sony Begins Phased Restoration of PlayStation Network

Sony Corp. began a limited and phased restoration of its PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment videogame services Saturday, bringing the company a step closer to normalcy following an attack on its systems that compromised personal information for more than 100 million user accounts last month.

The Japanese electronics giant said that following the release of a mandatory software upgrade for all PlayStation 3 videogame console units, it would begin bringing its PlayStation Network back online in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East. The network will be limited at first, the company said, restoring Internet-based game play, movie rentals, music services and online video streaming through companies like Netflix Inc.
Sony said some customers will be able to regain access on Saturday. Full service should be restored by the end of the month, the company added.
"We know even the most loyal customers have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products and services again," Kazuo Hirai, head of Sony's game division, said in a statement. "We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment."
The intrusion, which occurred last month, led to the theft of names, addresses, passwords and possibly credit card numbers from its PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment gaming services. Sony shut down both services as it investigated the attack, which the company said was highly sophisticated.
The events led to multiple inquiries from Congress and several lawsuits against the game maker, which has been producing videogame consoles for nearly two decades. Sony's brand image also took a hit, according to surveys by YouGov's BrandIndex, dropping significantly following the shutdown and subsequent revelations of the data breach.
Sony has said it will provide its customers with free identity-theft services for a year, including a $1 million insurance policy.
As part of the phased restoration, Sony said all PlayStation 3 customers will need to download a security patch before regaining access to the online gaming services. As a precaution, Sony said customers will be required to change their passwords when they first log back into the systems.
Sony will also be offering "welcome back" packages, including access to otherwise limited content and other freebies in attempts to appease frustrated users

viernes, 13 de mayo de 2011

Modern Warfare 3 teaser continues the war in Am3rica

In addition to the tons of juicy details we got earlier today on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3‘s singleplayer and multiplayer modes, the teaser trailer above has also been released for the game. It shows a large digital layout of New York city in the vintage Modern Warfare green while Stalker 1-0 and Stalker 1-1 relay communications about the Brooklyn Bridge. At the end, you can hear Vladimir Makarov say something which I seriously hope gets translated soon.

It’s pretty ironic that another big game this year made a huge deal about taking the fight to New York (Crysis 2, anyone?). It’ll be interesting to see who pulled off the better rendition or just the better game, but I think the whole “the war comes home” theme FPS games have been taking ever since Turning Point: Fall of Liberty needs to be laid to rest. At least most devs moved away from the whole apocalyptic thing (Rage notwithstanding).

Protracted PlayStation Network outage causes gamers to cash in PS3s, games

More than three weeks into the outage of Sony’s PlayStation Network, some PlayStation 3 owners have had enough and are beginning to trade in their consoles. The outage appears to be having an effect on the resale value of games, as well.

Edge Magazine reports that gamers in the UK are now trading in their PS3s, with an even split opting for Microsoft Xbox 360s or cash.

As reported by IndustryGamers, the Video Game Price Charts blog indicates that PlayStation 3 game resale prices are dropping, as well.

Sony, for its part, is still waffling on when, exactly, the PlayStation Network will come back online. The latest missive on Sony’s PlayStation Blog, posted May 10th, says “likely a few more days.”

So far, the gamers trading in systems and games are the ones most likely to be affected by the outage, namely players who favor first-person shooters and others feature a strong online multiplayer component.

In other words, exactly the sort of games that are now unplayable because the PlayStation Network is offline.

While some gamers are fleeing the PS3, a new study from industry tracking firm NPD (reported here by Bloomberg) indicates that new PlayStation 3 sales are actually doing quite well. NPD didn’t release actual unit sales numbers, but said that Sony’s PS3 sales were up 13 percent year over year for April, the month the PSN outage started.

It’s worth noting, though, that Sony’s woes only came to the fore fairly late in the month. Whether the company can sustain that growth is a different question, and only time will tell.

In the interim, the vast majority of PS3 and PSP users, along with subscribers to Sony’s online role playing games, which have been similarly afflicted, sit and wait for Sony to restore the service.

And wait.

And wait.

martes, 10 de mayo de 2011

The rumors surrounding Infinity Ward’s next project have slowly been piling up, and finally its starting to look like the big reveal is going to be coming soon.

Yesterday it was reported that big Call of Duty reveal was incoming and speculation immediately centered around either Modern Warfare 3 or Call of Duty Online being the focus.

While its yet to be confirmed whether or not this is the same big reveal that was discussed yesterday, it seems that a picture from the pages of PlayStation Official Magazine UK has finally dropped a definitive hint at what everyone has been waiting to hear. Unless this is the cruelest redirect ever made in a magazine, the next issue of OPMUK will definitely be dropping details about Modern Warfare 3.
While a little grainy, the image shows rather definitively a ’3′ in the font and color that would be used for the logo of Modern Warfare 3.

If this is indeed genuine, it would finally substantiate rumors that voice actor Craig Fairbass was working on Modern Warfare 3 during a recent visit to Activision’s L.A. Studios. Some of the first rumors to appear about the next numbered game in the series were that it was going to be a Ghost-centric game and possibly a prequel to Modern Warfare 2.

Modern Warfare 3 is allegedly being developed by 3 studios, which include Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games putting together the single player campaign, and Raven Software busy working on the multiplayer modes. With so much developer might behind the project, it should be a title that will impress fans of the series – along with (most) everyone else.

With DICE’s Battlefield 3 looking gorgeous and being billed as a game that could out-do the Call of Duty games in nearly every single way, it will be nice to see what exactly Activision has been keeping under wraps. Modern Warfare 3 has been one of the most highly anticipated sequels after Modern Warfare 2 took home record sales numbers, not to mention ended with a cliffhanger – and without resolution.

Are you as excited as we are to finally be getting word about Activision’s answer to DICE’s Battlefield 3? What would you like to see in Modern Warfare 3?

If Activision’s past release schedule is any indication, then Modern Warfare 3 will be seeing available in early November of this year for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

PS3 PSN restart date uncertain, says Sony

Sony Corp. this week said it is uncertain when full service will be restored to the Playstation Network and Qrocity divisions of the Playstation 3 and the PSP following an external intrusion that compromised consumer data.
The company told Bloomberg this week that it is adopting an improved security system and plans to restart PSN and Qriocity services by May 31.

Sony May 6 said it has begun to restore the Playstation Network division through internal testing.

The company previously stated the network would be restored in phases by the first week of May.

The restoration will include online gaming across the PS3 and PSP, access to Music Unlimited at Qriocity, Access to Account Management and Password Reset, Access to download movie rentals, Playstation Home, Friends List and Chat functionality.

User game information, including Trophies, Download History, Friends List, Settings, PS+ cloud will all be intact when the service is restored.

Sony Corp. CEO and President Howard Stringer this month apologized to users of the Playstation Network as the company works to restore service following an external security breach and intrusion.

Stringer told customers that the company is dedicating resources to investigating the cyber attack and to restore the service as soon as possible.

Sony in May said it will offer $1 million in identity theft insurance per user of the Playstation Network division post an outage caused by an external intrusion.

The company said it will offer AllClear ID Plus at no cost to PSN and Qriocity users for 12 months from the beginning of registration.