Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
With early reviews for Haze looking good (Famitsu 34/40 and Italian PSM 9/10), it came as a bit of a shock when IGN bestowed a dreaded 4.5/10 on the game in their review this morning. In curiosity, PSU.com contacted Rob Yescombe of Free Radical to hear what he had to say.
"My thoughts are "Owch". No, wait - MEGAowch," wrote Yescombe. "Haze has had mixed reviews, but even GoldenEye got a 4/10 when it first came out. With a 9/10 in the Italian PSM, and an extremely positive review in Famitsu, we're looking forward to people playing Haze and making a judgment for themselves".
According to IGN, Haze suffered from "a bland story with weak characters... [and] tons of visual issues, from texture tears and non-descript environments to pop-in and odd animation problems."
This comes as a surprise to us because back in March, PSU was given hands on with a near final build of the game and we thought the title looked fairly good. The graphics in particular looked crisp and the framerate was smooth.
With Haze releasing today in the US, and Friday in Europe, we'll see how well gamers will jump on board with the new PS3 exclusive.
Sony Computer Entertainment has told GamesIndustry.biz that it will take action against a retailer selling air guns using branding from hit PS3 game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
At least one internet retailer is advertising the 'PS3 Uncharted Drake's Fortune Full Metal M92 Airsoft Gun', on sale for USD 169.88, using artwork from the game developed by Naughty Dog.
When contacted, Sony said that the product is not in any way officially endorsed and the company will take the appropriate action against retailers advertising such products.
"The Drake's Gun is not licensed or in any way sanctioned by SCE and one we certainly do not condone.
"We are investigating the source of this product and will proceed with the most appropriate action," said Sony.
A Killzone 2 fact sheet has been released. The release details the story line and the features list talks mainly about the graphics. Experience a beautifully lit world brought to life by deferred rendering technology. Multiple shadows casting light sources bring out the highly detailed environments and character animations.
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Platform: PLAYSTATION®3 system
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Rating: “RP” for “Rating Pending”
Developed by Guerilla Games, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Killzone™ 2 is the highly anticipated first-person shooter created exclusively for the PLAYSTATION®3 system. Following events and action from the original Killzone for PlayStation®2, Killzone 2 brings players into a highly detailed, ultra-realistic “theater of war” that truly leverages the processing power of the PS3.
Throughout the campaign, players will encounter lifelike and adaptable artificial intelligence (A.I.) from enemies as well as fellow soldiers, destructible environments, and stunningly detailed scenery. Additionally, players will be tasked with utilizing a host of new weapons and vehicles in the war to stop the Helghast. Featuring an extensive single-player campaign and thrilling multi-player mode, Killzone 2 delivers a host of new gameplay elements and an intense storyline that will once again drive gamers to join the ranks of the ISA and fight the Helghast…this time on the enemy’s home planet.
Two years after the Helghast assault on Vekta, the ISA is taking the fight to the enemy’s home world of Helghan. The ISA goal is direct: capture the Helghast leader, Emperor Visari, and bring the Helghast war machine to a halt. Assuming the role of Sev, a battle-hardened veteran and a member of the special forces unit known as the Legion, players will lead a group of highly trained soldiers on a mission to take out the Helghast threat. For Sev and his squad, the invasion of Helghan is just the beginning. Tasked with securing Pyrrhus, the Capital City, the team quickly discovers that the Helghast are a formidable enemy on their home planet. Not only have they adjusted to the planet’s hostile conditions, they have also harnessed a source of power they can now use against the ISA. Sev discovers his squad isn’t just fighting enemy forces – their fiercest opponent may be the planet itself.
• Experience realistic, highly atmospheric environments that respond dynamically to the violent conditions on the planet Helghan.
• Witness the devastating effects of Helghan’s climate as it forces you and your enemies to adapt to new tactics.
• Control an arsenal of new and unique weapons and vehicles, in addition to trusty Killzone classics like the M82-G and the StA-52 LA.
• Face off against fearsome enemies who have learned to wield the hostility of Helghan itself against their opponents.
• Between Killzone 2’s unique visual style, the power of PS3, the use of EDGE tools, and the proprietary technology developed by Guerrilla, the game promises to impress players with its benchmark visuals, smooth character animation, detailed, effect-laden environments, and realtime cutscenes.
• Experience a beautifully lit world brought to life by deferred rendering technology. Multiple shadows casting light sources bring out the highly detailed environments and character animations.
• With true next-gen audio the player is further immersed in the world, supporting 7.1 surround and location-specific audio with wave tracing. Players will not only notice the difference between indoor and outdoor but also experience sound and music that are dynamic and contextual.
• Studio grade special effects will provide unprecedented visual fidelity. With full screen anti-aliasing, motion blur, internal lens reflections, and depth-based color grading, players will experience a picture that is sharp, smooth, and full of detail.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Sony Corporation has reported its financial results for the year ending March 31, 2008, with revenues and profits up on the previous year.
In total, across the group, the company took JPY 8.87 trillion (USD 84.4 billion), a rise of 6.9 per cent on the previous year, with net income hitting JPY 369.4 billion (USD 3.51 billion) - almost tripling the previous year's total of JPY 126.3 (USD 1.20 billion).
Sales of buildings, as well as funds received from the flotation of its financial business last year, contributed to the strong showing, although its consumer products also performed well.
The majority of the good news came from its electronics division, with record sales and operating income on the back of Bravia TV and Cyber-Chot camera sales, but the videogames unit also posted a far more promising set of figures than last year.
Sales in that department increased 26.3 per cent year-on-year to JPY 1.28 trillion (USD 12.2 billion), resulting in a narrowing of the loss from JPY 232.3 billion (USD 2.21 billion) to JPY 124.5 billion (USD 1.18 billion).
The company cited the principal reasons for the reduction of those losses as a lower cost of production for the PlayStation 3 console combined with a strong performance - particularly in Japan - of the PlayStation Portable.
Sales performance in the next twelve months is expected to improve slightly, with revenues rising by 1 per cent to JPY 9 trillion (USD 85.6 billion), although the company forecasts a fall in profits, by 22 per cent to JPY 290 billion (USD 2.76 billion) mainly due to the expected appreciation of the Yen against the Dollar.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Folding@Home computing power reaches 2080 Terraflop mark (2 petaflops).
As of November 2007, the IBM Blue Gene/L at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the fastest operational supercomputer, with a sustained processing rate of 478.2 TFLOPS.
The Folding@Home network is over 4x more powerful than the second most powerful supercomputer.
The PS3 is providing 81% of the computing power. In comparison, Windows PCs are providing 9%. This is especially amazing since there is almost 4 times less PS3 than computers contributing.
Therefore the average computing power of a PS3 is approximately 32 times more than the average PC. This is due to recent updates to the Folding@Home application which make it more efficient.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
That's a lot. Maybe.
Japan is recovering from its Golden Week period of holidays, making news slow from the island nation, but we did stumble upon one little bit that ought to help those who take part in office pools over system sales. The web version of Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reports today that Sony plans on shipping between 80,000 and 100,000 units of the recently announced MGS4 PS3 bundle. Sony refers to this as a limited edition bundle, so we presume they intend to sell out of it quickly.
First announced last week, this bundle combines a 40 gigabyte PS3 in your choice of Clear Black, Ceramic White, or Satin Silver colors, with an extra Dual Shock 3 controller and a copy of the standard version of MGS4, all for 49,800 yen. This amounts to a 4,000 yen savings over buying the items separately.
Konami has its own bundle on the way, which combines a new metallic color version of the PS3 with a copy of the MGS4 limited edition for 51,800 yen. Shipping quantities have not been revealed for this set.
Today, Ubisoft confirmed that a playable demo for Haze will be coming to the US PlayStation Store tomorrow. The demo was released yesterday on the European PlayStation Network, following the Playstation Day event. The demo features a sample of the single-player campaign, online 2-4 player co-op (drop-in/drop-out play), and 2-player split-screen play.
“The DualShock 3 launch is imminent,” he told us in answer to a remark we made on the fact a Sixaxis is included in the newly-announced European MGS4 bundle.
The Euro boss gave no other hint as to when we’re specifically going to see the controller over here, or whether or not we’ve going to see it release before Metal Gear’s launch on June 12.
DualShock 3 has already launched in both America and Japan.
Rockstar and Sony plans to patch the PS3 version of Grand Theft Auto IV today to improve the multiplayer experience.
Speaking to Eurogamer, a Sony source explained that the patch would help by "reducing the loads on the servers at GameSpy and hopefully the completely random hangs that some users have seen".
PS3 owners who bought GTA IV last week have had to endure problems connecting to the multiplayer service almost from day one.
What's more, some reported random crashes , for which Rockstar suggested that erasing game data and reinstalling as a possible solution.
This week, UK chart monitor Chart-Track reported that 926,000 copies of GTA IV were sold during its first week on sale here - with 413,000 of going to PS3 owners.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
SCEE announced today that PlayTV will launch in Europe this September for 99 Euros which converts to about GBP 80/USD 154.
PlayTv will allow users to watch, pause and record live TV from a huge range of free channels, PlayTV lets you record a programme whilst watching another, record an entire series at the touch of a button or watch programmes on the go via Remote Play on PSP.
The PlayStation Store has received its special Tuesday PlayStation Day update.
The content is as we expected:
The PlayStation Day trailers available include Motorstorm is back, Siren Blood Curse Trailer, Secret Agent Clank Trailer and finally a PlayStation Network PS Day Showcase.
High Velocity Bowling is finally available for £4.99; you can also splash out for an extra character Mick for £0.69, still nice if he was thrown in.
Blast Factor Advanced Research add-on back is on for £1.99 for anyone who is still playing this launch title.
Street Skater is our classic title for the usual £3.49
Two demos are available, the very good Condemned 2 demo is worth checking out and of course Haze is a must, the latter weighing in at about 1.5GB
Finally there is an additional trailer, Buzz Quiz TV
All that should keep you entertained till the next update on Thursday.
Sony has revealed that its PSP video on demand service Go!View will be in the UK on 30th June. It will be out for selected countries in mainland Europe next month.
This is the first “official” PSP service of its type in Europe, according to SCEE boss David Reeves, and is a joint venture with broadcaster Sky.
It will be available on a pay-per-view or subscription basis, and lets you download films or telly shows such as drama or sport in five easy steps: log on, choose what you want, use your PC to download it, transfer it to PSP, and then, er, something; presumably watch it.
Sony is also keen to expand this model to the PS3:
“It’s also no secret that we’d like to launch a similar service on PS3... So watch this space.
Title shifts almost a million units in first week; takes over £39 million at retail
Rockstar’s GTA IV has smashed all UK first-week sales records, according to official data obtained by MCV from industry monitor ChartTrack.
The game sold 926,000 units in the five-day period between its release (Tuesday, April 29th) and Saturday, May 3rd.
The title took a total of £39.9 million at UK retail – made up of Xbox 360 & PS3 software sales combined.
Today at the SCEE press conference Kaz Hirai made a statement on the PS3’s online community called Home. He apologized on the delay of Home but gave no time frame for it’s opening, if anything he said it won’t open until he’s happy with it.
Sony is teaming up with Nissan to offer what’s being billed as the “ultimate competitive driving test”.
The Nissan GT Academy prize is for two people to get a real-life racing tutorial over the course of four months. They’ll then get to compete in Dubai’s 24-hour race in January next year.
The competition will kick off on May 23rd on PSN. Speaking at the PlayStation Day conference SCEE boss David Reeves told the audience, “Every round of the GT Academy will be filmed and made available on the PlayStation Network”.
Media Molecule’s effort will “revolutionise” the way people interact with games, according to Hirai. As you probably know already, LBP is PS3 exclusive that will let you create your own game levels and share them online.
As well as today's PS Day-related update, Sony has told CVG that the usual weekly update on Thursday will still happen, with more new content, although that list is yet to be confirmed.
Here's a full list of the content going live today.
Content published on PSN (for PS3) May 6, 2008
- Game Demo: Condemned 2
- Game Demo: Haze
- Full Game: Street Skater
- Full Game: Blast Factor Advanced
- Full Game: High Velocity Bowling
- Expansion Pack: Blast Factor Advanced Research
- Expansion Pack: High Velocity Bowling Character - Mike
- Game Trailer: Buzz! Quiz TV
- PlayStation Day Trailer: Secret Agent Clank
- PlayStation Day Trailer: Siren Blood Curse
- PlayStation Day Trailer: MotorStorm is back
Content published on PS Store (for PC) May 9, 2008
- Full Game: Street Skater
- PlayStation Day Trailer: Siren Blood Curse
Saturday, May 03, 2008
SCEE might just find themselves back in European PS3 owners' good books after next week. PlayStation Day, a press-only event in London, takes place on the 6th of May. The press conference at the event will be hosted by Kaz Hirai and David Reeves (President of SCEE) and will no doubt include some interesting announcements. We'll be there to give you up to the minute news as it happens.
To celebrate PlayStation Day, the European PSN Store will be updated twice next week. Once on Tuesday and once on Thursday. Those of you who have become disheartened with the European PSN updates might want to take special note to this line-up. In total you can expect to see four demos, three full games and five add-on packs spread across the two updates. Plus a nice collection of videos, including the PlayStation Day press conference itself, hosted by Kaz Hirai.
Check out the full list of content for Tuesday's update below. Thursday's list can be seen after the break.
- Condemned 2 demo
- Haze demo
- Blast Factor Advanced full game
- High Velocity Bowling full game
- Street Skater PS1 game
- Blast Factor Advanced Research
- High Velocity Bowling Character - Mike
- Buzz! Quiz TV
- Secret Agent Clank
- Siren Blood Curse
Thursday's PSN update will look a little something like this:
- Bourne Conspiracy demo
- Race Driver: GRID demo
- Army of Two
- Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - Def Leppard Track Pack
- Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - Muse Track Pack
- Echochrome Apple trailer
- Play Compilation
- Press Conference