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If $60 per recycled game wasn't enough, Activision Blizzard are launching an online service dubbed Call of Duty Elite that will work with the next outing in the COD universe, Modern Warfare 3 as well as future installments of the game. The monthly subscription fee will let users gain access to extra content that won't be available on discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give new levels to play.
Activision hasn't announced the cost of the Elite service, but it's expected to be at the $8 per month level, which isn't too bad and would sit side by side with the pricing of a Netflix account for example. Another feature of the Elite monthly cost will be tools available to the player in the form of analyzing performance within the game, such as stats on which weapons have been the most successful in killing enemies.
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.