Archive for June, 2008

Sony’s FAQ About Firmware 2.40

Source: ps3blog.net

Sony have put an FAQ up on their official blog answering questions that were raised by the two firmware videos. Here’s a taster of some of the questions:

Q: Will voice-messaging/private chat be featured in 2.40 as well? If not, can we expect to see this feature added in the future?

A: We are evaluating the opportunity to offer voice chat, but for this update, we wanted to focus on text messaging as the key priority for communications that our users have asked for.

Q: Can you use the web browser in game?

A: No, you must exit the game before browsing the internet.

Q: Will In-Game XMB come up during playback of PS2 games, Blu-Ray discs, and DVDs?

A:The XMB is an exclusive feature for PS3 game titles. Accessing the XMB during gameplay was the top request from our users, which we focused on for this update. However, we continually engage PS3 owners for feedback and will evaluate the opportunity to offer XMB access during movie playback in the future.

Q: Can we go to the display settings and change anything there in-game (resolution, input, etc)?

A: No, you must exit the game before changing these settings.

Q: Will it be possible to change in-game the sound output?

A: Yes, sound output changes are supported.

Firmware 2.40 FAQ

Cheers Sporty for bringing it to my attention via the Shoutbox! )

Published on June 30th, 2008 under ,

New video game releases week 27, 2008

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Aerosmith Bundle for WiiHere’s a list of this weeks U.S. game releases. The most popular games are Guitar Hero: Aerosmith on Wii, Xbox 360, PS2 & PS3, and Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 on DS. On the downloadable games front we’ve got today’s Wii Shop titles Magnetica Twist and Fatal Fury 2, as well as Soulcalibur coming to Xbox Live Arcade (updates Wednesday). No word yet on any PlayStation Store games (updates Thursday).

Monday:
Under the Knife 2 for DS1 vs. 100 (DS)
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (Wii, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (DS)
The Immortals of Terra (PC)

Tuesday:
AMF Bowling Pinbusters! (DS)
Ducati Moto (DS)
Purr Pals (Wii)
Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 (DS)

Wednesday:
Dungeon Runners (PC)
Fading Shadows (PSP)

PS3 Games to Require Trophies, Eventually

Source: ps3blog.net

IGN gives a pretty thorough summary of everything that’s in the new 2.40 firmware update. There’s nothing substantially new there that we haven’t seen in the press release or videos, except for this:

For third-parties, Sony promises that many developers are working to add Trophies into their games for this fall and onward. For the near future, Sony will not require that developers feature Trophy support in their games as some titles may be too far along to easily add them. However, at an undisclosed point in the future, all PlayStation 3 releases will indeed be required to make use of Trophies. We’re hoping that’s sooner than later.

Now that’s news that I like to hear. Frankly, I think that Sony’s approach of letting developers do what they want is only good to a point. There are some games that just have to have certain features, and as far as trophies go, I think that all games should support them. So kudos to Sony for getting this right too. (Frankly, I think that all racing games should support custom soundtracks.)

As a side note, I was surprised by how impressed the IGN folks were with the leveling up system Sony’s implemented. It never occurred to me that having levels might be better than just a total points system. As a big action RPG fan (I cried when I heard Diablo 3’s not coming to consoles), I should have seen the merit right away. Tsk tsk on me.

Firmware 2.40 Impressions

Published on June 30th, 2008 under

Nintendo Power: Nester returns!

Source: infendo.com

Way back in the 1990s, when times were simpler and we didn’t have the Internets, there was a special day that happened once a month that made those long hours in elementary and middle school worth while. It was Nintendo Power day; that day when the mailbox would belch forth a mint copy of Nintendo’s gaming publication. I’d read through it in an hour or so, memorize the cheats, and then take the player’s poll (which I would never win).

I’d also read the Howard and Nester comic, starring Nintendo Fun Club President Howard Phillips and Nestor, a red-headed obnoxious gamer who was always getting in trouble or participating in comic-world representations of NES games. Howard played the straight man, and was always good for a tip or hidden 1-up location (Ninja Gaiden, for example). Eventually, the comic was streamlined to just “Nester” (spelled out in broad paint strokes), and finally discontinued in issue 55.

I don’t subscribe to NP anymore, and the last issue I read was the one my parents got me with a Nintendo DS-themed birthday gift pile in 2005, so I was surprised to learn that this month’s super issue (Mega Man 9 exclusive, new Castlevania fighter), also featured a new Nester comic. Nester is as much a part of Nintendo history as anything—he even made it into a few NES- and N64-era titles—so it’s cool to see a modern day hat tip. He’s older now, married and has a kid and loves Mario Kart Wii, which tells me he’s as much a Nintendo marketing tool as he ever was. I really expected nothing less.

Published on June 30th, 2008 under ,

On the Wii Shop today: Magnetica Twist and Fatal Fury 2 (with videos)

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Get a Wii Points Card at AmazonToday Nintendo adds new/classic games to the popular Wii Shop Channel. The games go live at 9AM Pacific time. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at stores like Amazon (see Card above).

We’ve included videos of each of today’s games for nostalgia’s sake or so you can see if a new game might be to your liking.

This week’s new WiiWare game is:

Magnetica Twist WiiWare screenshotMagnetica Twist (Nintendo, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone-Comic Mischief, 1,000 Wii Points = $10): The classic puzzle game Magnetica is now available on WiiWare , putting its own unique “twist” on the puzzle-game experience. You’re surrounded by marbles, marching slowly but surely down a track. Use a launcher (piloted by a Mii of your choice) to shoot marbles with matching colors and wipe them out before they reach the end of the track. Control couldn’t be simpler, as all you need to do is twist the Wii Remote controller to aim and press the A button to shoot. And the game play remains as addictive and deep as you’ve come to expect in Nintendo’s puzzle games, with five varied play modes, advanced mechanics such as the ability to lob marbles, and a never-ending supply of combos. This definitely isn’t your typical game of marbles.

This week’s new Virtual Console game is:

Fatal Fury 2 Fatal Fury 2 also appeared on SNES(NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated T for Teen-Animated Blood, Violence, 900 Wii Points = $9): Released in 1992 by SNK, Fatal Fury 2 is the second installment in the renowned fighting-game series. In addition to Terry, Andy and Joe, who appeared in the original game, another five distinctive fighters gather from around the world to compete for the championship title. Also newly added are stage-specific hazards and the ability to perform desperation attacks when a character’s strength is low. These particularly deadly techniques create the chance for a come-from-behind victory achieved with a single strike. Moreover, the innovative two-line battle, which proved popular in the previous version, also has been radically enhanced. Pressing the weak-attack and strong-attack buttons simultaneously enables players to move their fighters to another line themselves, or to launch an attack that pushes opponents back to another line. This game mechanic, unique to this title in the series, allows the player to take advantage of the depth of the screen and create even more exciting bouts. Can you prove yourself the king of fighters again?

Monkey Island 5, will it ever happen after all the LucasArts firings?

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Monkey Island 5 logo
At E3 in May 2002, LucasArts public relations manager Tom Sarris stated that “they are definitely going to make Monkey Island 5 since it is their most popular franchise. However, we shouldn’t expect it in the near future.” At the same show ex-LEC president Simon Jeffrey had this to say about a possible Monkey Island 5: “At some point in the future, there will undoubtedly be more Monkey Island games. No doubt about that.”

Later that year PC Gamer magazine asked Tom Sarris again if there are any other popular franchises that LucasArts will re-visit? To which he answered: “There’ll definitely be another Monkey Island game. You’ve seen four incredibly well-done versions of Monkey Island, and there’s an immense amount of stories that remain to be told within that series.” This lead to claims by the magazine that “The Spy’s LucasArts informers let the monkey out of the bag: there is, apparently, a fifth Monkey Island game in production. The adventure genre continues to cheat death,” cites Scummbar. Another Monkey Island fansite mentions an issue of CVG magazine, where Mr. Sarris explained the sequel possibilities in more detail. To quote him: “I’d say that they’re extremely viable properties for us to tap into in the future, in the same way that we’re doing with Sam & Max. There’s no reason why we can’t adapt those to another generation of games players. I think there are stories that still remain to be told within Monkey Island and Grim Fandango.”

Escape from Monkey IslandIn 2006, LucasArts director Jim Ward jokingly added that he will make the fifth game in 2015, according to an archived Wikipedia quote. That’s the last time anyone at LucasArts ever publicly spoke about the game.

But what will happen to the series now that LucasArts fired 100 out of its 350 employees in early June 2008? It’s said it was the team that just finished Lego Indiana Jones. Later in June the company fired more of its internal developers who were work on finishing up Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. What’s even worse about this is that these key developers include several long-time members who worked on classic LucasArts titles like Star Wars: X-Wing (1993), Full Throttle (1995), and Grim Fandango (1998) according to a Joystiq source.

Unless an external studio is hired to work on Monkey Island 5, it looks like the game will not be created.

Published on June 30th, 2008 under , , , , , , , ,

PS3 Firmware 2.40 – July 2nd

Source: ps3blog.net

The Sony Europe Press Release:

trophies.jpg

Get more from online gaming on PLAYSTATION®3 with the free 2.40 firmware enhancement

PS3™ to give online gamers the features they’ve been requesting:
XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) access in-game and trophies available in this free, automatic system upgrade

June 30, 2008: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe today announced new online gaming functionality for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™), which will become available on July 2, 2008 with the 2.40 enhancement, an automatic firmware upgrade that delivers several of the features most requested by gamers. Combined with PLAYSTATION®Network’s unique service of free* online gaming, the enhancement makes PS3 an even more attractive platform of choice for the online gamer.

Firstly, the 2.40 enhancement allows XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) access in-game. This means that you can access the PS3 menu at any time while playing most games, simply by tapping the PlayStation button on your controller. With 2.40, you can check if any of your friends are online (thanks to their own user profile), read and send messages, change some settings for games, all without having to quit the game you are playing. While you can’t pause an online multiplayer game involving other people, you can rejoin play at any time when you’ve finished browsing. Along with these enhanced communications features, the Friends list capacity will double to 100 Friends.

2.40 also delivers trophies to recognise players’ achievements in the online arena. Other competitive activities recognise winners with trophies – so why not gaming on PS3? Many online games will have gold, silver and bronze trophies – with platinum available for those who snag all three – all displayed on the XMB for everyone to see.

Super Stardust™ HD, a PLAYSTATION Network-exclusive released last year, will be the first game to leverage the Trophies system and will offer a variety of trophies**. The following first-party games are also slated to offer Trophy support:

· BUZZ!™ Quiz TV
· LittleBigPlanet™
· MotorStorm™ Pacific Rift
· NBA 09 – PS3
· PAIN**
· PixelJunk™ Eden
· Resistance 2™
· SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
· Warhawk™**

The 2.40 enhancement is just one more reason to join PSN, the online network for PS3 users that lets you game online for free*. All you need to do to join is connect your PS3 to broadband and register, or go to the connection guide at www.eu.playstation.com to find out more.

Once in, you’ll find online matches and leagues for all of your favourite games – whether that’s MotorStorm™, Resistance™, Warhawk™ or Gran Turismo™5 Prologue – absolutely free (although users are responsible for paying their broadband fees) and at any time of the day or night. You’ll also find PLAYSTATION®Store, where you can download entire games as well as extra levels, content for your existing games plus internet browsing, video chat thanks to PLAYSTATION®Eye and much, much more.

There’s never been a better time to join PSN. Sign up now to make the most of the 2.40 firmware enhancement – see www.(website).com to find out more.

* No subscription required, broadband fees apply

** Requires a game update to be downloaded and installed

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe – Virtual Press Office

Published on June 30th, 2008 under

Wii Shop Channel Monday – Magnetica Twist and Fatal Fury 2

Source: infendo.com

Magnetica Twist Wii

Only two new games released on the Wii Shop Channel this week, along with some new add-on content for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A King.  Hop on in for the full update after the break.

Magnetica Twist – WiiWare – 1,000 Wii Points
The classic puzzle game Magnetica is now available on WiiWare , putting its own unique “twist” on the puzzle-game experience. You’re surrounded by marbles, marching slowly but surely down a track. Use a launcher (piloted by a Mii of your choice) to shoot marbles with matching colors and wipe them out before they reach the end of the track. Control couldn’t be simpler, as all you need to do is twist the Wii Remote controller to aim and press the A button to shoot. And the game play remains as addictive and deep as you’ve come to expect in Nintendo’s puzzle games, with five varied play modes, advanced mechanics such as the ability to lob marbles, and a never-ending supply of combos. This definitely isn’t your typical game of marbles.  [Published by Nintendo]

Fatal Fury 2 – NEOGEO – 1992 – 900 Wii Points
Fatal Fury 2 is the second installment in the renowned fighting-game series. In addition to Terry, Andy and Joe, who appeared in the original game, another five distinctive fighters gather from around the world to compete for the championship title. Also newly added are stage-specific hazards and the ability to perform desperation attacks when a character’s strength is low. These particularly deadly techniques create the chance for a come-from-behind victory achieved with a single strike. Moreover, the innovative two-line battle, which proved popular in the previous version, also has been radically enhanced. Pressing the weak-attack and strong-attack buttons simultaneously enables players to move their fighters to another line themselves, or to launch an attack that pushes opponents back to another line. This game mechanic, unique to this title in the series, allows the player to take advantage of the depth of the screen and create even more exciting bouts. Can you prove yourself the king of fighters again?  [Originally published by SNK]

Published on June 30th, 2008 under , ,

Classic Commercials – Doctor Mario

Source: infendo.com

Witch Doctor Mario!? Ooooh Eeeeeeh Oh ah-AHHHHHHHHHH!

Published on June 30th, 2008 under , , ,

Dual Shock 3 Finally Arrives in Europe this Week

Source: ps3blog.net

President of SCEE David Reeves says so:

“We are delighted to confirm that DualShock 3 will be released in SCEE territories in early July. We hope this will add to the intense gaming experience for our fans, as we continue to evolve PS3, its software and its peripherals,”

It will go on sale July 4th priced at £39.99. Better late than never I suppose. -|

Sony have really missed a trick with this. They should’ve bundled the DS3 with the MGS4 PS3 hardware bundle and had the new pad on sale prior to the release of MGS4.

I’ll be getting one at some point but I’m not paying £39.99 for it.

Dual Shock 3 Finally Arrives in Europe

Published on June 30th, 2008 under

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