Sony don't want anymore losses or at least want to dodge them when they can. The PlayStation 3 was a very heavy investment for Sony and it only started paying off a little while back, the latest hacks on their PSN network aren't helping and are building them up for a heavy hit in the near future. Their next-generation portable (NGP) is set to change this and will be less investment heavy and [hope to be] more profitable.
Sony could use chip foundries to eliminate the cost of building their own semiconductor factory, also buying readily available parts or using contract manufacturers to reduce their upfront investment costs. Since they showed the NGP off earlier this year, Sony have been very quiet regarding the device. No launch date or price has been set and the investment is a key point in determining it's price when it launches.
If you haven't got Battlefield 3 on your wish list, haven't been up with the 12 minute gameplay footage or have to remove the rock you've been living under from your back, then you should know Battlefield 3 is going to redefine FPS gaming as we know it in the next 6 months. DICE have pushed their new graphics engine, Frostbite 2 into this game and the results are simply awe-inspiring.
EA's PWNED gets exclusive access to DICE (jealous!) and get to look under the hood at Battlefield 3. The video above shows off some never-before-seen footage and there's multiple interviews from Lead Designers down to the original map designers from Battlefield 2. I don't want to spoil too much, but the video is well worth it if you're interested in Battlefield 3, for those of you who aren't, feel free to google Justin Bieber.
Though Japan had initially bristled at having the troubled and user-compromising PlayStation Network go live again in Japan, Sony announced today that the PSN is back in its homeland, as well as the rest of Asia.
(graphic courtesy of Engadget- it was just too pretty / topical to not use)
After having lost an estimated $171 million in revenue from what will surely be known as the PSNightmare of 2011, this is at least somewhat good news. Tomorrow, the service will be up and running again in most of Asia, even Reluctant Japan- but users in South Korea and Hong Kong will have to hold their horses until the end of the month before they can expect the online service to return.
Either way, I'm sure sighs of relief are being heard all around Sony's offices as, hopefully, we come to the close of this ordeal. Press release after the break.
Australia's Federal Attorney-General and Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor has released his draft of proposed guidelines for R18+ games in Australia. The guidelines detail what is and what is not, in Brendan's belief, acceptable for the R18+ rating.
The Gillard Government wants to provide better guidance for parents and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that and will also bring Australia into line with comparable nations. This issue has been on the table for many years, without the necessary progress to make a change. We've recently seen several states publicly express their support for an adult only rating for games and I'm keen to reach a unanimous decision at the July meeting.
The proposed guidelines for the MA15+ and R18+ ratings are available here.
Following up on the reboot of the PlayStation Network, Sony is covering all of its
asses bases. PSN and Qrocity users, pending they had an account before April 20, 2011 (like anybody was lining up to sign up to either after that date) can enroll in AllClear ID PLUS Identity Theft protection program. See the blog post below for more info, but hey, not a bad start on the road to reparations.
Starting today, PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders in the United States can begin the enrollment process for the identity theft protection program by visiting http://us.playstation.com/news/consumeralerts/identity-theft-protection/. We are also notifying customers of the enrollment landing page via email, which you will receive in your inbox this week.
Not hugely exciting because we have no information whatsoever beyond what the headline reads, but good to know that Sony's got its eye on the prize. I'm hoping they'll have some sort of touchscreen-format-meets-kinect-like-interface.... so basically, Minority Report in a game console.
Executive vice president and chief financial officer Masaru Kato reportedly explained to shareholders today:
In the game segment, we have the NGP to launch later this year. So we have development expenses to be incurred for this product.For the home console, the PS3 still has a product life, but this is a platform business, so for the future platform - when we will introduce the product I cannot discuss - but development work is underway, so the costs are incurred there.
Since Nintendo has already confirmed that they'll be announcing "Project Cafe" at E3, I wouldn't be surprised if Sony throws us some more info at E3.
NVIDIA have today announced a special sweepstakes to align with the official launch of Duke Nukem Forever. One lucky game will have the chance to win an all-expenses VIP trip for two to the official Gearbox Duke Nukem Forever launch event which will be held in Dallas, Texas on June 11.
The Gearbox Community Day/Duke Nukem Launch Event will be held in Dallas Texas at the Palladium Ballroom on Saturday, June 11, 2011. There are various cool things happening on the day, such as the winner of this competition able to play Duke Nukem Forever alongside the Gearbox Crew, mingle with the Gearbox and NVIDIA development teams, party at an exclusive NVIDIA reception before the launch event (held on Friday, June 10), hear from the people behind some of Gearbox's biggest games such as DNF, Borderlands, Aliens: Colonial Marins, Brothers in Arms, etc, Get exclusive sneak-peaks at new, never-before-seen Gearbox materials and the last bit (which sounds the most fun), join the "partying and mayhem".
In order to win this amazing prize, you must be a US or Canadian resident, over 21 and visit http://www.geforce.com/Community/Rewards
Remember yesterday when we posted that awesome YouTube video of that dude Police Academy'ing an old school Street Fighter SNES match? Well musician JJ (Double J) has put together a pretty catch rap song about being Sagat with Vega in Street Fighter IV.
He even works in the button combinations into the song: "Charge Back Forward Punch / Hit him with the claw". The video is complete with Double J's gameplay, and to tell the truth - dude rocks with Vega. I'm not entirely sure what he has against Sagat, but he's sure happy about beating him all the time.
The only words I can muster to describe this involve the use of the word "awesome" many times. It's like the Police Academy movies, except with film editing and...Street Fighter.
This dude is good. Check out some of the other game sounds he's done at his YouTube channel.
No, really. After 15 years of "development", we're finally going to get to see the title that everybody- well, by now, probably at least some people are waiting for. Gearbox Software and 2K reportedly confirmed that the development of the game was at long last completed. The game is set to ship internationally on June 10th, domestically on June 14 for PC, XBox 360 and PS3. Players that buy the Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition and/or pre-order the game itself will we treated to a special demo on June 3rd.
Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K Games, told IGN:
Duke Nukem Forever is the game that was once thought to be unshippable, and yet here we are, on the precipice of history. Today marks an amazing day in the annals of gaming lore, the day where the legend of Duke Nukem Forever is finally complete and it takes that final step towards becoming a reality.
"Precipice of history?" "Annals of gaming lore?" Maybe I'm the only naysayer in this, but can this game possibly be that good? Let's be serious, back in the day DN was just a Doom clone with more profanity and half-naked pixellated dancing girls. Yeah, I'm sure I'll get a bunch of hate mail for this, but again, c'mon. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it will be an extremely entertaining FPS- or at least, it better be with 15 years of hype behind it. Check out IGN for lots and lots of images and promo shots.
Really, Activision? This is all you could do with a reported $200 million? No in-game footage, no next-gen graphics engine. Shown off on an Xbox 360. Looks like someone is after sales numbers and to not push the genre like EA/DICE with Battlefield 3. Below is the trailer for the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
It looks okay, but it seems like yet another outing in the COD universe and nothing to make me want the game on release like BF3 does. I'm sure the game will sell a bazillion copies, Activision will most likely lavish game reviewers with first-class flights and five-star hotels and expect great reviews, but I'm just not impressed by this trailer one bit!
You've stopped doing cartwheels, right? Yeah, good. So, for students that purchase a Windows 7 PC valued at over $699 they'll receive a free Xbox 360 4GB console - awesome! The offer is only valid at participating retailers in the US from 5/23 until 9/3 or while supplies last. HP, Dell, Samsung are in on the deal and you'll also require an .edu email address, if you don't have an .edu email address (or prefer to purchase in-store) you can walk into a participating store and test out the PCs before hand and supply a Student ID.
Pretty awesome deal if you ask me, just need to get myself a plane ticket, a Student ID and purchase a $699 PC so I can get that free Xbox 360.
Developers have complained for the longest time that piracy is the number one killer in sale numbers but it is now looking like the used-game sales could be an even bigger problem. Fable III designer Mike West says that the sale of second-hand Xbox 360 games costs the developer more than piracy on PC.
He elaborates by saying:
Piracy these days on PC is probably less problematic than second-hand sales on the Xbox, I've been working on PC games for many years and piracy is always a problem. There are a lot of honest people out there as well, and if they like your game they'll buy it. The pirates, whatever you do on whatever system, they will crack it. It might take no time... I think the longest it's taken to happen is two days. Someone will crack it somewhere and there's not much you can do about it.
Microsoft and Epic Games are proud to announce that the un-released Gears of War 3 has surpassed one million worldwide pre-orders which makes it the fastest pre-ordered Xbox-exclusive title to reach this milestone in the history of the platform! Impressive stuff!
The Gears of War 3 beta has been thrashed by users around the world with 1.29 million players playing more than 11 million multiplayer matches. There's some interesting facts on the beta also:
Deal of the Day: Xbox 360 4GB Console w/ Extra Wireless Controller, $50 eGift Card, and 3-Month Xbox LIVE! - $199
Our Deal of the Day today is the Wal-Mart - Xbox 360 4GB Console w/ Extra Wireless Controller, $50 eGift Card, and 3-Month Xbox LIVE! - $199.
Offer: Walmart has a pretty awesome bundle here. Get the following bundle for just $199:
- Xbox 360 4GB Slim Console
- Extra Black Xbox Wireless Controller
- Xbox LIVE! 3-Month Gold
- $50 Walmart eGift Card
This is a tremendous bargain at just $199! Pick it up in-store to save on shipping.
Rovio's famously awesome Angry Birds has reached a very amazing milestone. Downloads have topped 200 million, Apple's iPad and iPhone have contributed to this success by a large portion but the franchise has grown up a little bit. Angry Birds has seem phenomenal success even on Google's Chrome Web Store with 5 million downloads.
Keep in mind that Rovio had more than fifty games before they struck gamers across the globe with the amazing Angry Birds. Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka has shown off Angry Birds hoodies (omg!) and has said that he sees Angry Birds as a huge entertainment platform which isn't just limited to merchandise and movies but he will be experimenting with location-based services and other schemes to blend the game's footprint into the real world. Interesting, huh?
Brink PC issues, affects virtually all NVIDIA GeForce 400 and 500-series owners - makes the game unplayable
Brink made its debut to the world over a week ago now and with the PSN being down at the time - fail number one occurred, Xbox 360 reviews were a bit hard on the game, fail number two occurred. The PC version seemed to be OK, apart from serious frame rate issues (for me at least), FOV issues (console port) but other than that it seemed to be stable. Well, that's what I thought. 5 or so minutes into the game and it's absolutely abysmal FOV (it really is bad) and I get a CTD.
YAY. It was thrilling. Yet another release of a game from a developer where they promise the PC won't get shunted to the side in favor of console releases. I tried tweaking the config, re-downloading my Steam files, downloading the new NVIDIA beta drivers I posted up yesterday but nothing worked. Tried it again last night after I installed the Beta drivers and CTD. This was really pissing me off. I wake up this morning to find "Frustrated Gamer" has e-mailed me with a forwarded e-mail he sent to Kotaku asking them about this issue.
While it seems that everyone is pretty psyched that the PlayStation Network will be back up and running after weeks of being down, Japan is surprisingly not down with that. Japan's government is halting the restoration of the network in their country until Sony can prove that they've taken appropriate measures to avoid a similar incident in the future.
Kazushige Nobutani, Director of Media and Content Industry in Japan's Ministry of Economy reportedly told Dow Jones Newswires:
We met with Sony on May 6 and 13, and basically we want two things from them. The first is preventative measures. As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference.
The second evidently regarded ensuring consumer confidence in the wake of having their credit card information and other personal data compromised in the security breach. As we've seen already today, Sony is answering various usage questions and even giving games away to ensure that users return to the previously-troubled PlayStation Network as they gear up to reboot the entire thing.
PlayStation outlined its "Welcome Back" policy to users in Europe and Australia, offering all sorts of free stuff. Nick Caplin, Head of Communications SCEE wrote today in the PlayStation Blog that users will net up to four games for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable for their troubles earlier this month.
Details are below in the full post, but some of the games for PS3 include LittleBigPlanet and WipeoutHD/Fury, and Killzone Liberation for PSP. Doesn't really make up for all that crazy stuff, but hey, it's something.
Now that certain PSN services have been restored and you're once again enjoying online gaming, it seems a good time to confirm what is being offered as part of the Welcome Back programme.
Once we restore PlayStation Store, which will be just a little while longer, you will have the opportunity to claim your Welcome Back gifts. Please note that the Welcome Back programme is only available for those countries with access to PlayStation Store*.
All existing PlayStation Network members will be able to access the following from PlayStation Store*:
Two PS3 games from the following list:
Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
Sony has had a rough time these past weeks. Finally, we've heard some answers, some explanations, and they're busily picking up the pieces from the attack that left their network(s) down for a very long time. As you probably know now, the PlayStation Network is up and running, but there are still some unanswered questions for a lot of users. Social Media Manager for PlayStation, Jeff Rubinstein, posted some of those undoubteldy very-frequently-asked-questions.
Q: So what exactly is working right now?
A: Sign-in for PlayStation Network and Qriocity (including the resetting of passwords), online gameplay for PS3 and PSP, playback of rental video content on PS3 (if within rental period), Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity on PS3 (for current subscribers), access to services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and MLB.tv, "Friends" category on PS3 (including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc), in-game leaderboards, and PlayStation Home.
Q: I'm having trouble changing my password/I forgot which email I used on my account/I used a fake email to set up my account.
A: Click here for a set of tips on resetting your password. If you've gone through the process and are waiting for an email from us, please note that the very large number of requests has caused certain ISPs to slow the rate at which recipients get emails from us. Please be patient as the systems work through the backlog.
Warner Bros.' game development studio Monolith Games is reportedly working on a multiplayer first-person-shooter based on the Batman universe- and it's a downloadable game! The game, entitled "Gotham Impostors" allows the player to become ordinary people that pretend to be Batman and/or popular villains. Moviegoers will recall a similar plot device in the film, "The Dark Knight", when Batman enthusiasts took the law into their own hands, dressing as Batman and wielding firearms and kevlar.
Gotham City Impostors will evidently be highly customizable, letting players mess around with their character's body, weapons, and skill sets. Already known about the game is a mode entitled "Psych Warfare", where users defend an energy source empowering a "brainwashing machine", and the opposing team tries to destroy it in classic capture-the-flag meets bomb-the-opponent. The game will be available for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and of course PC.
Interesting game design, but it makes sense. Batman readers and enthusiasts would know how much Batman would (ironically) disapprove of armed vigilanteism- I'm curious to see how Bats is going to figure into this game.