Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Activision decides it's not making enough money off Call of Duty fans

In what I can only describe as a "stupid move", Activision has released details of the new Call of Duty: Elite system. Unhappy with only being able to squeeze ~$90 ($60 retail game disk, plus ~$30 in DLC maps) from it's audience per year, they've decided to roll out a premium social networking type service for Call of Duty.

Activision Blizzard Inc. plans to launch an online service called Call of Duty Elite this fall that will work with the next major edition of the game, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," and future installments of the hyper-realistic combat-simulation game. In a move industry executives describe as a first, Activision plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for the service, which will provide extra content that isn't offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs that give players new "Call of Duty" levels to play.

Portions of the service will be free, including features inspired by Facebook Inc. that will let "Call of Duty" players meet for online gun battles with others who share various affiliations and interests.

Activision has not announced any sort of pricing for this service, but i'd expect at least $8-10 a month.

Various people within Activision have taken to twitter to defend this move, as well as to confirm there will be a free tier of service (how limited it will end up is anyone's guess).

At this rate I'm expecting COD to go the way of Guitar Hero shortly.

PlayStation Store to return "this week"

Well, so much for full PSN restoration by May 31st. Sony's PlayStation blog has shared the latest press release:

Tokyo, May 31, 2011 – Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced today that Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) will fully restore all PlayStation®Network services in the Americas, Europe/PAL territories and Asia, excluding Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea by the end of this week.

I really do hope this will be the last delay.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

RUMOR TIME: Sony's NGP to be called "PS Vita"?

Well the rumors are flying regarding the NGP's official retail name. Seems some crafty people have been digging around some domain registrars and have uncovered the domain name www.psvita.com, not to mention some pictures of the hardware with this new name - PS Vita.

This could be a Photoshop job, or it may not - we'll undoubtedly know more in a little over a week.

PS Vita... I'm not feeling the name honestly. If given the choice, I'd have advised Sony to stick with NGP over PS Vita. For those curious - Vita is latin for life, as well as another name for the second letter in the Greek alphabet (Beta). Either one of these definitions make sense as I'm assuming Sony does want this portable to be a key part of your mobile life - as well as the fact it's the 2nd portable they've come up with.

At the end of the day, again, if this beast of a handheld has a retail price below $399 I will be shocked.

(Please take this post as rumor and speculation - more official information will undoubtedly come to light at E3)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

VIDEO: Gears of War 3 (gameplay trailer!)

Nice use of War Pigs, eh? Gears of War 3 comes out in September, which I am pretty thankful for (as I review my backlog of games...).

Friday, May 27, 2011

VIDEO: "Link to the Future"

Here's a really rad little fan made film, mixing Zelda with Back to the Future...

...and remember - the CDi games don't count!

Happy Friday!

COOL: Mario Zombies!

Here's a fun picture to kick off the long weekend:


Thursday, May 26, 2011

VIDEO: Shinobi 3DS trailer!

Well, it's official, Shinobi is headed to the 3DS! Let's have a look:

While parts of this trailer look really good - the bulk of it doesn't really jump out and grab me. I'm going to hold off and read some reviews before i decide on this one.

Radiant Silvergun XBLA to include arcade and Saturn modes

Check this out!

Players can select to play the game in Arcade and Saturn modes, representing the two platforms the original first appeared on. All the gameplay systems are in tact, of course, as is the background music from Hitoshi Sakimoto.

New features for the XLA version include:

Two player cooperative play via Xbox Live.
Online score rankings.
Upload and download player data. This will let you watch high quality play from around the world.
Greatly improved visuals. You can also play using the original graphics, though.
As a hidden bonus, an Ikaruga shooting style mode.

Wicked! Radiant Silvergun is one of the more rare Sega Saturn titles, and is highly sought after by collectors. It's one of the more hard core shoot-em-up titles I've ever played (same goes for the semi-sequel, Ikaruga) - so be ready for a challenge.

VIDEO: Zelda OoT 3D "New Features" trailer

Here's a new trailer for Zelda OoT 3D showing off the new features:

Yeah, this doesn't make the wait any easier for me either.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

VIDEO: The Legend of Zelda OoT 3D - 5/25/11 trailer

Like pretty much everyone else - this is my currently most anticipated upcoming 3DS title. New video is always welcome!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

VIDEO: inFAMOUS 2 "The Beast is Coming"


inFAMOUS was a blast to play; I really enjoyed how original Cole was, and appreciated the fact that it wasn't tied to any existing super hero story. The free roaming aspect was killer, but the game's missions did get a little repetitive towards the end. In any case, this looks sick and I'm really looking forward to see what Sucker Punch has done.

(PS- if you don't own it already, inFAMOUS is one of the free titles Sony will be offering PSN users once the store is back online. The game gets a solid \m/ \m/ out of \m/ \m/ from me and would be a wise choice as a free game)

PlayStation store not returning today

Direct from Sony just now:

For those asking about the PlayStation Store, we’re still targeting restoration of all services by the end of this month. Contrary to reports, the Store will not be publishing today.


IT'S OFFICAL: Persona 2 coming to PSP this fall

As per Atlus' official web site, the only Persona game yet to have a North American release will hit US shores this fall on the PSP.

While I've never played a Persona title myself, I'm sure this is exciting news for many.


So I've gotten around to giving L.A. Noire a spin on the PS3 - and I can happily tell you that this simply isn't Grand Theft Auto Noire. This is a whole new beast. Sure, the vehicles and characters are controlled pretty much exactly like GTA, but that's really where the similarities end.

In L.A. Noire, you play as a cop named Cole Phelps. You start off as an average LAPD officer, but as you solve crimes and catch criminals, your rank increases, and you're able to move on to bigger more complex crimes (like homicide and arson).

One thing that must be mentioned - this game has some of the most amazing animation I have ever seen. It even impressed my wife, who said "The eyes don't look dead like they do in other video games" (which i agree with 100%). I'm barely into the game, but I can feel myself already being hooked by the story. This is a bit of a double edged sword because my wife is pretty hooked on watching the game unfold, thus I need to make sure she's around before I play.

Everyone really should at least give this title a try. This is some really cutting edge stuff, and it's only going to get better from here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

HYPERVENTILATING: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gameplay trailer

Holy. Shit.

Someone pinch me. This looks freaking UNREAL. Also, this pretty much backs up what Kotaku had said earlier today:

Will that put an end to cracks about the developer using Quake III Arena-era tech?

While those digs against Infinity Ward may have been unfair and inaccurate—its in-house IW Engine has been regularly updated and refined over the years—the next Call of Duty game appears to leave its id Tech 3 legacy behind.

"We haven't gone into detail on the engine yet but we've moved beyond the [Modern Warfare 2] engine and added a lot of cool stuff for [Modern Warfare 3]," writes Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling

Bring it ON! I'll be shocked if MW3 doesn't outsell Black Ops.

New Carmageddon title at E3?!

Oh please let this be true! VG247 is saying there will be more information on June 1st:

A source familiar with the matter said that Square Enix has nothing to do with the next in the Carmageddon series.

All rights to the action IP have been negotiated away from Square, owner of original publisher Eidos. The Carmegeddon website is not owned by Square Enix, contrary to reports over the weekend.

The game will be announced before E3, but won’t be on show in LA. The site counter points to June 1, so you can probably work out when you’re going to get a first look at it without overly taxing your teeny brain.

While the new game’s developer is not confirmed, original studio Stainless is now concerned with producing downloadable titles based on existing IP, such as Magic: The Gathering and Risk.

Bring it on!!!!!

(Thanks Greg for the tip!)

Xbox 360 to join the 3D club

According to Eurogamer - Microsoft will announce Stereoscopic 3D support for the 360, possibly at E3. Here's the scoop:

Full stereoscopic 3D is set to hit the Xbox 360, Eurogamer can reveal.

This stereo 3D support works exactly like the PlayStation 3's 3D effect. In other words, full-on HDMI 1.4 stereoscopic 3D in the 1280x1470 twin 720p framebuffer configuration.

This would mean a 720p image per eye.

When asked for information on this planned improvement, a source familiar with Xbox 360 development hinted at an E3 announcement.

I'm hardly surprised at this news, mostly because this has been one feature the PS3 has had over the 360 for a while now. I wonder what titles will support this functionality?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

VIDEO: Final Fantasy: Type-0

Square-Enix gave fans a surprise look at the upcoming PSP title Final Fantasy: Type-0.
Let's have a look:

There's a whole lot of walking around until about 7 minutes in... but once it kicks in, it kind of reminds me of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7. Looks like it'll be out (in Japan) this summer, and may ship on two UMD disks.

Sony announces PlayStation Portable Remaster Series

In a rather odd move, Sony has announced the PlayStation Portable Remaster Series:

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.

This series will kick off with a revamped Monster Hunter Portable 3rd in Japan. Here is the first video of it in action:

I find this move rather odd, unless of course this all ties into the NGP (which I am sure will have a heavy presence within Sony's E3 keynote and booth). Personally, I feel revamping PSP titles in this way is a waste of time and money. Developers should be looking forward, not back.
Then again, Monster Hunter sells like crazy in Japan, and there's yet to be a true PS3 version so I'm sure there will be plenty of fans who will happily pick this up. At least you will be able to move your save game between the PSP and PS3, as well as play multiplayer ad hoc games.

Friday, May 20, 2011

SLOW NEWS DAY: SEGA Rally Online video!

The classic arcade racer returns as a downloadable title on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3, and hot damn does it look look nice. The original game was a blast in arcades and on the Saturn, and adding proper online multiplayer sounds like a winning combination. Priced right this might sell like hotcakes.

STARHAWK: No Move support, Beta confirmed

From VG247:

“There will be a BETA but we just can’t talk any specifics right now — stay tuned to the blog for more info,” he said.

Jobe also confirmed that there won’t be any Move support at all for the game.

“Starhawk does not support the PS Move,” he said.

I am so excited for Starhawk, it's not even funny. With any luck we'll get some more info from E3 in regards to beta details.

Rockstar: L.A. Noire not causing crashes

Rockstar Games has issued a statement regarding the recent news that L.A. Noire was causing heat issues and lock ups on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3:

With the launch of L.A. Noire a very small number of Xbox 360 console owners have reported issues with the game freezing or locking up while playing. We posted some troubleshooting tips on our support site for these very few people, a common practice for any game publisher. Unfortunately this was erroneously picked up by some news outlets as a 'story,' reporting that L.A. Noire was causing issues to Xbox 360 consoles - which is categorically untrue.

L.A. Noire has not caused these issues to the Xbox 360 console or the PS3 console as previously addressed by us and Sony. We are always committed to solving any problems people may have with our games and if you are experiencing any problems, please contact technical support below, including Xbox 360 or PS3 support for console issues that may be occurring:

Is this another case of internet forums becoming an echo chamber, thus amplifying a very small number of user's issues?

It seems like any time a hot new title comes out for either platform, there's always someone who's system happens to die or lock up while playing it, and the game always gets blamed. As a professional QA Engineer by day, it really angers me with how quickly the average gamer will blame a software title without actually looking into any other factor.

VIDEO: Gears of War 3 teaser!

Hot off the presses - here's a short teaser for the Gears of War 3 trailer to be released on the 28th:

Not much to really say about this as it's so short, but I am excited for Gears 3 (who isn't?!)

VIDEO: MERD - a LittleBigPlanet 2 FPS

Uh... whoa!

Yes, you read the title correctly - this is a user-created level for LittleBigPlanet 2. Blown away doesn't even begin to describe my feelings about this. I really had no idea that something like this was even possible within LBP2.

PROJECT CAFE RUMORS: Controler to include front-facing camera?

Well this is an interesting tidbit - there's a rumor going around that Project Cafe's controller will feature a DSi/3DS style front facing camera for in-game images.

An insider said the Wii 2 pad features a front-facing camera that can be used for in-game images. The person also corroborated a number of well-referenced rumors, such as the controller features a six-inch touch-screen, “possibly with a stylus”, as well as a standard button layout.

One more time... E3 can't get here fast enough!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

PlayStation Store to return May 24th?

Gamasutra apparently got a hold of an internal memo from Sony to it's publishers/developers claiming the PlayStation Store would be back online May 24th:

Barring any additional problems, Sony plans to bring the PlayStation Store back online next Tuesday, May 24, according to a memo sent to Sony's game developer and publishing partners.

The company has sent a tentative publishing schedule to partners detailing when their games, expansions and other releases will become available to players. In the memo, obtained by Gamasutra, Sony unveils plans to do two content pushes per week for the next two weeks to catch up with the backlog of content.

They go on with some details:

The first push, set to coincide with the PlayStation Store's reopening, will distribute content that was originally scheduled to publish on April 26. Three days later on the 27th, another round of games will go live, which were originally scheduled for May 3.

The following week, pushes will take place on May 31 and June 3, using content that originally had been planned to be spread over three weeks. At that point, the company will be back on schedule and, presumably, return to a single content push per week.

So we've got a flood of content to look forward to in the coming weeks - so long as nothing unexpected happens (*crosses fingers*).

Xbox 360 Spring Update rolling out now

As Per Major Nelson:

I am happy to announce that, as a part of a new Xbox 360 System Update, we’re expanding our integration with PayPal to allow U.S. and international Xbox LIVE users to make purchases on their Xbox 360 consoles with their PayPal accounts.* Once you’ve linked your PayPal account to your Xbox LIVE account on Xbox.com, you’ll be off and running to use it as a billing option, allowing you to buy content such as Microsoft Points, Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions and Games on Demand titles.

We are rolling out the Xbox 360 System Update gradually to all Xbox LIVE users starting today and throughout the next couple weeks to ensure a high quality deployment. Just like any other update to our service, you will know you’ve received it when you turn on your Xbox 360 console, connect to Xbox LIVE and receive a notification to download the update. It’s important to note that it may take a few days to make its way around the globe. Thanks for your patience if you don’t get it right away!

This particular update will also bring an auto-standby feature that places your console on standby if it’s idle for more than one hour, helping to reduce power consumption. This feature will be automatically enabled after you download the update. You can change this setting in the System Settings on your console.

Mega Man/Terminator T-Shirt

From GoNintendo:

I love it! Mega Man crossed with Terminator... You know you want one!

VIDEO: Japanese Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D ads!

This morning we've got some Japanese video from the upcoming 3DS RE title - Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D - let's take a look:

This is looking REALLY rad, and appears to really use the 3DS' power. Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3DS update coming to North America June 6th

Hot off the press from Nintendo:

A new system update for the hand-held Nintendo 3DS™ system will be available in North America the evening of June 6 Pacific time. By downloading the free update via a wireless broadband Internet connection, Nintendo 3DS users can enjoy new features and enhancements, including an Internet browser and access to the Nintendo eShop, where users can browse and purchase downloadable content.

So, just before the start of E3, and only slightly past the whole "late-may" time frame. Can't wait for the eShop!

VIDEO: Ridge Racer Unbounded

Wow, uhm, I guess Namco has been playing a lot of Burnout? I'd like to see some proper game play footage before actually judging this title... but yeah, I'm catching a Burnout vibe from this one.

Sony clarifies PSN password situation

Here's the latest from Sony's PlayStation blog:

We temporarily took down the PSN and Qriocity password reset page. Contrary to some reports, there was no hack involved. In the process of resetting of passwords there was a URL exploit that we have subsequently fixed.

Consumers who haven’t reset their passwords for PSN are still encouraged to do so directly on their PS3. Otherwise, they can continue to do so via the website as soon as we bring that site back up.

Hopefully this is sorted out quickly...

Monster Hunter coming to iPhone in Japan!

If prior Monster Hunter sales in Japan are any indication, this will sell like hot cakes!

Here's the scoop over at Capcom Unity:

Famitsu recently revealed Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting for iPhone users in Japan. It brings in a new play style, utilizing the touch screen controls. You'll use two fingers with varing motions to control your hunter in one on one battles with some of the icon monsters of the series, like good ol' Kut-ku. The game is slated to release this June in Japan

and here is some video!

Ugh. Sony's PSN password reset web site hacked


Sony's PlayStation Network password reset system-the one just put in place after the PSN hack-has been compromised, allowing hackers to change a PSN password if they know your email and date of birth. Exactly the sort of information that was released in the original hack


MS to replace old 360s that have trouble with upcoming system update

The upcoming spring update for the Xbox 360 adds support for higher capacity disk, however it seems some older 360 units aren't keen on the update. Here's what GamePro has to say:

Some beta testers of the upcoming Spring Dashboard Update for the 360 have reported that their system is incompatible with the new firmware and stops reading discs. Microsoft is apparently able to detect this issue via Xbox Live and is compensating affected customers by sending them a brand new Xbox 360 S and a year's free Xbox Live subscription.

The reason the problems may be occurring is that the impending update reflashes the system's DVD drive to be compatible with the new higher-capacity XGD3 disc format, set to start being used soon. It appears that some older DVD drives are incompatible with the new firmware and are causing problems to varying degrees. Apparently only a "minority" of console will be affected by this issue, however.

Nice of MS to get right in front of this issue before it becomes a problem. My guess is this affects the oldest 360s out there (I'm hoping my Jasper 360 is fine - I love that little white box)

Guardian Heroes HD Trailer!

Here's an official trailer for the Guardian Heroes HD remake coming this summer:

Maybe this is just an Xbox-themed ad, but I do find it odd there is no mention of PS3/PSN. No matter, this will be a must-have once it comes out.

Current Gaming 5/18/2011

Dragon Quest IX has a firm grip on me. I am kicking myself for not picking this title up when it first came out, as it's REALLY hitting the spot. This is a VERY traditional JRPG through and through.

Oh I did uncover a neat innovation in DQIX after all! It seems to have a local multiplayer mode, where you and up to 3 friends can go off and quest. I've not been able to try out this functionality, but with any luck I'll run into someone with DQIX.

On the other side of things, my favorite "CarPG", Gran Turismo 5 still brings the fun. I am currently slowly chipping away at the normal A-Spec races, which hasn't been too bad now that I've got a really mean grinding setup (A 663hp SKyline and the Expert Turbo race circuit leads to fast and easy money). 2 more races in the Amateur Supercar Nostalgia circuit and I'll have gotten Gold medals in every Amateur race (which will of course lead to a that sweet sweet chime of a PS3 Trophy).

Speaking of Trophies, I managed to unlock a bunch of hidden ones - There are 2 weird photography Trophies that are dead simple to get, but I don't know how anyone would have figured them out on their own. Who opts to photograph the people in the background when you're taking car photos?!

Anyway, I am so glad not to be writing about the PSN being down. There is some maintenance happening as I type this, but it's only for the website - PS3 consoles are not affected.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sony Details "Customer Appreciation Program"

Sony has just updated it's official blog with details of the Welcome Back/Customer Appreciation Program.

As expected, PS3 users will have their choice of 2 games (from a list of 5) and PSP users will have a choice of 2 (from a list of 4). Sony is being extraordinarily generous with this offering - there is no doubt about that when you see this list of games.

All PlayStation Network customers can select two PS3 games from the following list. The games will be available for 30 days shortly after PlayStation Store is restored and can be kept forever.

- Dead Nation
- LittleBigPlanet
- Super Stardust HD
- Wipeout HD + Fury

For PSP owners, you will be eligible to download two PSP games from the following list. The games will be available for 30 days shortly after PlayStation Store is restored and can be kept forever.

- LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
- ModNation Racers
- Pursuit Force
- Killzone Liberation

Personally, I plan to snag Dead Nation and LittleBigPlanet (I already own every other title on the list #firstworldproblems) on the PS3.

Sony goes on with more:

- A selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
- 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
- Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
- Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
- Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
- To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.

Wow. Yes, the PSN outage sucked, but I humbly tip my hat to you Sony.

"I Love You Nintendo" Nerdcore rap video!

Our good pals over at Obvious Winner shared this with us:

Life-sized Angry Birds in Spain!

Odds are, if you have a smart phone, you've probably experienced Angry Birds one way or another. The game is basically digital crack.

Well a few days ago in Spain, Rovio and Deutsche Telekom set up a giant Angry Birds level out in public in an effort to promote the game. Let's take a look:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Current Gaming

So I seem to be back in an RPG phase. I picked up a cheap, used copy of Dragon Quest IX for the DS (playing it on my 3DS of course) yesterday and it is really scratching this itch I've had for a classic JRPG. Currently, I've got about 4.5hrs sunk into it and I can tell you that if you're looking for an innovative JRPG, this is not for you.

DQ9 is a classic turn based RPG, you can choose to attack with weapons, use items or cast spells. Seriously, there isn't anything here that any RPG vet hasn't seen before. This is not a bad thing - it's catering to a specific part of the market, and doing so very well.

DQ9 really shines graphically. It's a fully 3D game that really appears to have pushed the DS' hardware to it's limit. The animation is smooth and fluid, but you will notice it's age after playing some of the current 3DS titles. I do hope a new Dragon Quest title comes to the 3DS - the new hardware could make for a spectacular title.

I've also resumed playing the latest in one of my favorite RPG series - Gran Turismo 5. With the help of a friend, I've managed to get each license test cleared. This has leveled me up, opening up better paying races - which of course has lead to more and better cars. Good times.

'til next time!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

PSN Outage: 4/20/2011 - 5/14/2011

PSN Restoration has begun! Click HERE to keep track of it's progress.

Thank you for your patience and encouragement over the last few weeks. As covered in the post from earlier today, you can now update the firmware on your PS3 and change your password. Kazuo Hirai just announced that we have begun the phased restoration by region of some of the services, starting with online multiplayer functionality.

Whew. Thank goodness this is over.

PSN Outage: PS3 Firmware 3.61 available now

According to IGN - PS3 Firmware 3.61 is live.

After nearly four weeks of silence from the PlayStation Network, the service is showing signs of life today. Start your PlayStation 3, and you'll be prompted to download Firmware 3.61. Aside from being the first mandatory download since the PSN was compromised, this update will force users to change their passwords when the PSN works again.

UPDATE: From the US PlayStation Blog:

We have been working on a new PS3 system software update that requires all PSN users to change their password once PlayStation Network is restored. The update (v3.61) is mandatory and is available now.

If using a PS3, your password can only be changed on your own PS3 (or a PS3 on which your PSN account was activated), as an added layer of security. If you have never downloaded any content using your account on the system, an email will be sent to the registered sign-in ID (email address) associated with your account when you first attempt to sign-in to PSN. This e-mail will contain a link that will enable you to change your password. In this email, click on the link and follow the instructions to change your password. Once you have changed your password you can sign-in to your account using your new password.

We strongly recommend that all PSN account holders with PS3s update their systems to prepare for when PlayStation Network is back online. The release of this update is a critical step as we work to make PlayStation Network significantly more secure. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

VIDEO: Modern Warfare 3 official teaser videos!

Due to Kotaku letting the cat out of the bag, Activision has decided to give us an OFFICIAL look at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. But - that's not the best part! They've let *4* off the chain for maximum shock & awe.

Let's have a look.





I'm guessing we'll get gameplay footage at E3, but really - like that matters. I predict this will outsell Black Ops, easily.

VIDEO: More Starhawk details!

Oh LightBox Interactive... I can't wait to get my hands on Starhawk. suc

This morning we've got a new video for Starhawk - a developer overviews with LOADS of details.

Wow, the Build & Battle system sounds REALLY cool. I also noticed how it was carefully worded that Starhawk is the "spiritual successor" to Warhawk, and to me, this game isn't exactly looking like Warhawk 2 at this point. So much has been changed and modified in terms of overall gameplay (at least based on the videos thus far), that calling it Warhawk just might not get the right idea across.

However, the same time, the core shooting, driving and flying game mechanics appear to be in place (with the addition of the of the transforming warhawk [mech mode, woooot!]), so I imagine it will play and FEEL like Warhawk.

I've said this several times now, but DAY 1 PURCHASE.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Catching up - Kotaku has the scoop on Modern Warfare 3!

Ok, so we're still coming up to speed since the blogger downtime overnight, but the wonderful people over at Kotaku have the scoop on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Here's what they've got to say:

Multiple sources have shared details of the game's story, art, sounds and game modes with Kotaku, noting that the game will reshape the landscape of the Call of Duty franchise, bringing an impressive number of eclectic settings, deep multiplayer gaming and a story that ties up nearly all loose ends from previous titles, including the final moments of key figures in the series' history.

The game opens moments after the cliffhanger ending of Modern Warfare 2 with the U.S. struggling to stave off a surprise Russian attack. The single-player campaign will ping-pong players around the world as they take on the multiple throwaway roles as a Russian Federal Protective Services agent, SAS Operative, tank gunner, and AC-130 gunner as well as key characters from previous installments and new recurring characters. The game will feature about 15 missions, kicking off with the invasion of Manhattan by a Russian force and wrapping up with a final encounter in Dubai.

The single-player campaign, which appears to wrap up most of the unanswered questions and character fates of the first two Modern Warfare titles, also introduces new characters who appear to be destined for future Modern Warfare games, especially two Delta Force operatives codenamed "Frost" and "Sandman"

It's worth noting that Kotaku has not actually had any hands-on time with the game as of yet, but I expect a flood of information and a trailer to come out around E3.

I hope that at the end of the day, the drama between Infinity Ward and Activision hasn't affected the quality of the game - Especially a Modern Warfare game. Regardless, this will sell like hotcakes and we all know it.

Starhawk video!!!!!!

*ahem* Now that Blogger is back online i can write about this at last...

Anyway! Starhawk, the sequel to 2007's Warhawk has been officially unveiled with a video! As I've said previously, this is a Day 1 purchase. Warhawk provided many hours of solid online play and I have no doubt Starhawk will do the same. Anyway, less talking, more PEW PEW!

Day 1 purchase!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Total War devlopers creating game based on Alien (1979)!

Well isn't this exciting? Looks like there's another Alien/Aliens based game to look forward to!

Eurogamer is reporting that Creative Assembly is working on a "core console game" based on the original Alien movie:

Total War developer Creative Assembly is making a game based on the Alien franchise.

At a press event at Creative Assembly's Horsham, West Sussex base this morning the developer revealed it is hiring for the project, which it said was for a "console core game".

Launch platforms are yet to be announced.

This title will not make it to this year's E3 however.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

L.A. Noire launch trailer

I've really been on the fence with this game for some time, but I think it's starting to win me over. Each trailer really has gotten me progressively more interested and hyped.

I just hope this isn't a reskin & update to Grand Theft Auto.

Soul Calibur V - here's a direct feed trailer

Much better!

Wicked! Dragon Quest Collection for Wii announced!

Just saw this over at VG247 - Square Enix has announced the Dragon Quest Collection to celebrate the series' 25th Anniversary!

The collection for Wii includes five games: Famicon’s Dragon Quest I-III, and Dragon Quest 1&2 and Dragon Quest 3 from Super Famicom. The games are just the original versions running on Wii, and can be played with the Wiimote, Classic, Pro and Game Cube controllers. There will also be collectors items in the package.

Wow, this sounds rather epic!

E3 Wishlist/Predictions

With E3 just under a month away, I figured it might be fun to make up a sort of wishlist of things I'd like to see there. I have no actual insider knowledge, so please treat this like the fanboy speculation that it is.

First up, let's talk about Sony (we are going to ignore the current issues with PSN for this write-up):

I imagine the NGP will take center stage at Sony's keynote. I'd really like to hear a solid release date and retail price for this next-gen handheld (not to mention expected retail price of the software). In terms of games, I'd like to see the progress with the Uncharted and Resistance NGP builds. Also, it might be a perfect time to tease a God of War title for the both the NGP (this would undoubtedly create a ton of hype) and PS3 (c'mon, you don't REALLY think God of War 3 was the end, do you?! This AAA franchise isn't going anywhere).

Oh and Warhawk 2/Starhawk/whatever you want to call it - This will be a Day 1 purchase for me and some of my gamer pals. Make this happen Sony! You have no idea how much I miss playing Warhawk on the ps3....

Isn't it about time we start hearing about Grand Theft Auto 5?

I'm also really hoping that this will be the year Sony really starts to flood the US with classic PS1 games via PSN - Japan seems to get all the love.

Onto Microsoft!

I'm really starting to think MS may end up at the least - teasing a next generation Xbox. Maybe in the form of pre-recorded/rendered video - all in an effort to take a little wind out of Nintendo's sails.

Kinect may take up quite a bit of MS' Keynote (with any luck this year, Kinect will *ahem* connect with hard core gamers. Yeah, sorry about that), but I doubt it'll dominate the event like last year.

I'd really love to see a new Left 4 Dead title. I also will not be shocked if a little game called Modern Warfare 3 gets initially teased by MS due to the existing DLC agreement between MS and Activision. I wonder if we'll get any hints about the OTHER Call of Duty games Activision has in the works.

I'll be shocked if there isn't something Halo related at E3. Be it the rumored remake of Halo: CE or a proper Halo 4... E3 would be the time to let that cat out of the bag.

Oh and can we please get 5.1 audio support for the Netflix app on the 360? Please?

Anyway, On to Nintendo!

This is kind of the whole reason I started writing this piece, but as we all know by now, Nintendo is unveiling their next-generation system "Project Cafe" at E3.

From what I've gathered, this system is set to launch in 2012 and will be playable on the floor of E3.

The #1 item on my Nintendo wish list? Strong 3rd party support for Project Cafe. I want to see Epic on board with it's Unreal Engine - this will be huge and would serve to attract even more 3rd parties.

I want to see strong support for a more classic style of controls (Not that I'm wanting Nintendo to ditch the Wii style motion control, I just don't want developers to be discouraged from using a classic control scheme).

I want to see Project Cafe using a system for online game play that is at least on par with the 3DS. 3DS/Project Cafe interoperability is a must.

I'd also really love to see Project Cafe come with an on-board Ethernet port in addition to the assumed WiFi.

In terms of software - I'd like to see the usual gang at least teased - Mario, Zelda, Metroid. Smash Brothers and Mario Kart would also be really really cool.
I'm also crossing my fingers that a 3DS Advance Wars is in the works... PLEASE let this be so. More details regarding Super Mario 3DS would also be wonderful.

So there you have it, my E3 Wishlist. I'm sure I'll think of about one hundred other things just as soon as i publish this...

(One more time - this post is 100% pure fanboy speculation. I have no inside sources and do not wish to lead anyone on into thinking I do.)

VIDEO: Soul Calibur V teaser

Here's the first look at Soul Calibur V in glorious shaky-cam! Can't wait for a proper look (at E3 i'm sure)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PSN Outage - Update from SCEA "...at least a few more days"

Here's the latest direct from the source:

I know you all want to know exactly when the services will be restored. At this time, I can’t give you an exact date, as it will likely be at least a few more days. We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work through this process.

"...at least a few more days"?

Ok, I am officially confused as hell. Bloomberg first reports all services will be restored by May 31st, then Sony jumps out to calm everyone down by re-assuring us that online multi-player is the top priority and will likely come back first, and now this 3 sentence update... What in the hell is actually going on here?

At this point, Sony is painted into a corner. The community is demanding more frequent updates, but at the end of the day the only update the community REALLY wants to hear is "PSN services have been restored" - All other updates just stir up the pot even more. It's a no-win situation, but I can't really bring myself to feel bad for Sony after all this.

I don't want Sony nor the PS3 to fail (really, I don't!), but something has got to give. I don't know if anyone care actually predict the long-term damage this downtime will result in, but I can say for sure that it will not be pretty. You're under a pretty hard deadline here Sony (imo that deadline is really E3) - If PSN isn't online and 100% functional by E3, all the free PSN content in the world won't be able to change how gamers will perceive your service as weak and lesser than the competition.

HURRY UP AND TAKE MY MONEY: Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike HD

From the "no-i-cant-get-enough-street-fighter" dept - Seems Capcom is cooking up an HD remake of Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike!

Apparently they are giving it the Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix treatment, and it sounds like they are going ALL OUT:

According to VP Christian Svensson, the game is “the highest budget digital title we’ve done” at Capcom USA. That means it’s already overtaken the generous budget allocated to Super Street Fighter II HD Remix, and that money paid for a set of completely redrawn graphics.

Svensson has promised that we will be “deluged with information” in a month or so

I've said it before, and I know i'll say it again - This year's E3 cannot come fast enought!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Uh oh.

What the ...

Some members of retailer GameStop's Power-Up Rewards Program received an e-mail today outlining a new deal that will net purchasers $100 off a brand-new PlayStation 3. As a "members-only exclusive," the e-mail states that 160 and 320 GB PS3s can be purchased using a special coupon members have access to, cutting $100 off the purchase price.


Diablo 3 beta this summer!

How is it that Blizzard manages to build up unreal amounts of hype for it's games so consistently? Seriously, they have this down cold (they even managed to get me to buy StarCraft 2!). Well, here we are - the next step for the Diablo 3 hype train - A summer beta has been announced!

"The game is looking great," Morhaime said during the conference call, "and we're currently aiming at a third quarter launch for external beta testing." A third quarter target would have beta testing for Diablo III launching sometime between July and September of 2011.

However... there is still no sign of a release date...

What Morhaime didn't offer was any sign of an official release date. "I want to be clear that we do not have an official release date or window yet," he said, explaining that Blizzard would not compromise quality to hit a release window. A slide accompanying the conference call did mention the company was "driving hard" to get the game released this year.

"Good things come to those who wait" seems appropriate here. I hope you all remembered to opt-in for the Blizzard beta program...

PSN Outage - SCEE clarifies May 31st restore date

Sony's European PlayStation Community just updated it's FAQ regarding the information that came from Bloomberg earlier:

Regarding the aim of the full restoration of PSN services by the 31st May :

Restoration of Online Gamplay is the FIRST phase of the plan to restore the PSN.

So with any luck, at least we should be able to play online before the 31st if this is true.

I'm sorry, but I'm a little annoyed that I had to originally hear about this from Bloomberg and NOT Sony directly...

Will a 3rd generation Xbox be teased at E3 2011?

Recently there has been a rumor spreading around that EA has next-generation Xbox development kits in-house.

EA, of course, denies this rumor (probably due to an NDA or twelve)...


In March, new data revealed Microsoft was at the early stages in building the successor to the Xbox 360.

The platform owner had advertised new job vacancies such as Graphics Hardware Architect and Performance Engineer for the Xbox Console Architecture Group.

Microsoft’s new hires will be “responsible for defining and delivering next generation console architectures from conception through implementation,” the company said.

The language of the job vacancies suggested a reveal for the console is years away, but Develop’s source says a shock reveal could be weeks away.

“Why let Nintendo steal the thunder in June [At E3]? It doesn’t want to lose momentum. That’s why I think Microsoft is rushing to make an announcement at E3.”

Microsoft was in fact first out of the gate this generation, so I can understand how they may have a leg up on the next. Also worth noting is how the Xbox 360 is made up of 100% Microsoft owned IP (unlike the original Xbox) - This will be the 2nd time MS has created it's own game console from scratch and I'd be willing to bet they've learned from the mistakes of the early 360 launch.

If this rumor is true, and if MS is planning to tease a next-gen Xbox, i do wish that this new system will be fully backwards compatible with my existing 360 library. I have a feeling this might be far easier to pull off for MS compared to running original Xbox titles on the 360. I also expect some sort of simple method for moving my gamertag to this new platform - but that's a no-brainer at this point (full disclosure time: I didn't have an original Xbox for very long and never set up an original XBL account. From what I understand however, moving the original XBL account to the 360 was pretty painless).

So the big question I'm left with... How will MS make the next-gen Xbox better than the 360?

I can't wait to find out!

Current Gaming

Hey gang! So a friend recently clued me into the fact that one of my favorite quiz show games is back on modern consoles - You Don't Know Jack!

This used to be one of my favorite games to play on the old family computer - it was rude and over the top, but JUST enough where it didn't make the parents angry. Right off the bat I must tell you, not much has changed in terms of game play mechanics. You still answer multi-choice questions with anywhere form 1 to 4 people, and you still have things like the Jack Attack and the Screw. The difference now is it's very easy to play with friends online, and the questions are very current and topical.

I was also very pleased to find this title retailing for about $29.99 (thanks to a left over $10 gift card, i scored it for 19.99!). Any higher and the bang for the buck ratio might be a bit lopsided. Currently on the XBL store, there are 2 DLC question packs at 400points each. I went ahead and grabbed the first one (left over points from picking up the latest COD map pack - more on that in a minute), so I am pretty well stocked for questions.

When I got the game home, my wife and I tore right in and ended up losing track of about 2 hours. It's the sort of game that demands more than one player and will suck you into the "oh just one more round..." cycle with a smile on your face. This is a must-have for old school YDKJ fans, but I also feel it's a title worth your time and money if you enjoy quiz show type games (If you loved 1 vs 100 on XBL, check this out!)

In other news, the next COD: Black Ops map pack has been released. This time we get 5 black ops maps and one zombie map for our 1200points/$15.

I gotta be honest, I think I'm hitting the burnout phase with this game. It might be time to give it a rest on the shelf after i hit level 50.

We shall see!

'till next time...

PSN Outage - Bloomberg - "...plan to restart the services fully by May 31"

OWCH! May 31st?! 41 days of downtime?

Here's the blurg from Bloomberg:

The company is in the process of adopting an improved security system and its plan to restart the services fully by May 31 is unchanged, he said. Sony shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services April 20 because of possible data theft by hackers.

The maker of PS consoles had planned to restart partial operations within a week after boosting the level of security system, the company said May 1.

Wow. I'm really at a loss here - 41 days of downtime? Even with the Welcome Back program, how on Earth will Sony recover from this? E3 starts on June 7th... is Sony honestly going to head into the belly of the beast with only a week of PSN uptime?!

Friday, May 6, 2011

UPDATED: PSN Outage - SCEE/SCEA Update - "We were unaware of the extent of the attack"

Yikes. This is from the European PlayStation Blog, but it doesn't sound too good...

When we held the press conference in Japan last week, based on what we knew, we expected to have the services online within a week. We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system. We know many of you are wanting to play games online, chat with your friends and enjoy all of the services PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer, and trust me when I say we’re doing everything we can to make it happen. We will update you with more information as soon as we have it. We apologize for the delay and inconvenience of this network outage.

Err... The way i'm reading that? "Sorry, but we're not ready yet. Maybe next week."

UPDATE: SCEA has posted the exact same message.

PSN Outage - SCEE shares more details on "Welcome Back" program

Over at Sony's Euro PlayStation blog it's been announced that European PSN users will be offered 2 games (out of a selection of 5):

We will be offering PSN users the opportunity to select two PS3 games from a list of five, as well as offering PSP users the opportunity to choose two games from a list of four. We will let you know exactly what games are available very soon.

It's still not clear if these will be PSN style games, or full PS3 games.

Please also keep in mind that this is the European "Welcome Back" program - North American details have yet to be released, but it may not be too wild of an assumption to expect something similar.

PSN outage - the latest

Wow, last night posted 3 updates to the official PlayStation blog.

First up - Sony claims they have begun the "final stages" of testing of the new PSN network:

Today our global network and security teams at Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment began the final stages of internal testing of the new system, an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.

As previously mentioned, we’ve been working around the clock to rebuild the network and enhance protections of your personal data. It’s our top priority to ensure your data is safe when you begin using the services again.

We understand that many of you are eager to again enjoy the PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment services that you love, so we wanted you to be aware of this milestone and our progress. We will provide additional updates as soon as we can.

Next, Sony announced they will be offering free identity theft protection through a company called Debix, Inc:

Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment International have made arrangements with Debix, Inc., one of the industry’s most reputable identity protection firms, to offer AllClear ID Plus at no cost to PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders for 12 months from the time an account holder registers for the program.

As per the announcement, the package that will be offered to PSN members will include a $1 million dollar identity theft insurance PER USER. Wow. I'm honestly very blown away with this development. Sony seems to be going out of their way to try to make good with it's PSN users. I've never heard of Debix, Inc before, but i welcome the free year of protection with open arms.

And lastly - A letter from Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony USA. Here are some key bits of what he had to say:

I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you.

Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyber-attack we’ve all experienced and on fixing it. We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less.

In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun. I wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are committed to serving you to the very best of our ability, protecting your information better than ever, and getting you back to what you signed up for – all the games and great entertainment experiences that you expect from Sony.

I appreciate Mr. Stringer's recognition of the frustration that every PS3 gamer must be feeling right now. I'm sure like the rest of us, he'd really like to get this all behind us, and I think this letter demonstrates that.

However, still, Sony has not provided a firm date for the return of the PlayStation Network. It's Friday, and we were assured PSN would be up at some point this week. Let's just hope that doesn't mean Sunday...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rage to include mod tools "out of the box"

You don't see THIS every day!

Speaking to PC Gamer at a recent press event, Id Creative Director Tim Willits revealed that the PC version of Rage will support modding and level design right out of the box

id has always held a special place in my gaming heart - Wolf3d and Doom were pretty mind blowing (I *know* you all feel the same) - and i think this is a REALLY rad move.

Wouldn't it be nice if more game studios were like this?!

Anyway - to access the modding tools:

All you need to do, says Tim, is “Pull down the console, type ‘id studio’, then press enter. Then, bam, there’s all the tools we use.”

I wonder if this will support any sort of plug-ins or any sort of community sourced additions - this could be REALLY wicked!

RAGE - Gameplay trailer!

id Software just unleashed 5 minutes of game play footage from it's upcoming title RAGE!

This game just keeps looking better - I can't wait!!

Guardian Heroes HD!!!

This is news that should get every old-school gaming geek worked up - Seems Sega is planing a HD remake of Guardian Heroes as a downloadable title on the PSN and XBL stores.

"Ever since we began to make Sega's classic Dreamcast and Mega Drive [Genesis] titles available for modern systems, the fan response has been overwhelming," said Haruki Satomi, VP of Digital Business at Sega. "The demand for their favorite games has been pouting in. Players have been clamoring for [Guardian Heroes, a] treasured favorite from the Saturn days, and we cannot wait to show them what we have got for them."

3 words come to mind... BRING IT ON!

With any luck this will lead to more Saturn titles coming to modern platforms. What a way to expose the masses to the *BEST* 2D powerhouse that ever lived?!

PSN Outage - Sony subpoenaed by New York State over attack

Bloomberg is reporting that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed Sony's PlayStation and SOE divisions regarding the recent theft of customer data.

Schneiderman is seeking information on what Sony told customers about the security of their networks, as part of a consumer protection inquiry, said the person familiar with the matter, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

When all is said and done, I really feel this entire fiasco will end up costing Sony dearly - both in terms of money as well as customer trust. E3 is right around the corner, and I am confident Sony is planning to really show off the NGP - but I have to wonder how receptive the gaming world as a whole will be to it at this point. I'm also starting to fear that Sony may attempt to rush out the PS4 (or whatever they end up calling it) in an attempt to counter Nintendo's Project Cafe. This would be a fairly unwise move - a rushed console helps no one (early Xbox 360 units anyone?).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Uh oh... Star Wars: The Old Republic could slide into 2012...

Owch. First Mass Effect 3... and now this?!

The company did note today during an investor call that there's an "outside possibility" the PC game won't hit this year, with Star Wars: The Old Republic possibly hitting as late as January 2012. Or maybe even later, as EA offered a "guidance range" that stretched to the end of EA's fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2012.

I know more than a few people who will be rather upset with this news. But, Hey! Look on the bright side! More funds in your wallet to enjoy the other upcoming AAA titles this year! Not to mention, us Star Wars geeks will have the movies on BluRay this fall to help tide us over, right?!

Some Lulz

Our good pals over at Obvious Winner slid this my way...

Damn! Mass Effect 3 delayed until 2012

The headline kind of says it all... ugh!

"Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012. The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone's expectations."

It sucks, but it sounds like it's for the best - no one likes a half baked game now, do they?!

PSN Outage - Sony Responds to the US House of Reps

Over at the official PlayStation Blog they've just posted an update regarding the written answers Sony provided to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce (try to say THAT 5 times fast...):

In summary, we told the subcommittee that in dealing with this cyber attack we followed four key principles:

1. Act with care and caution.
2. Provide relevant information to the public when it has been verified.
3. Take responsibility for our obligations to our customers.
4. Work with law enforcement authorities.

Sony goes on to say:

We are working around the clock to have some PlayStation Network services restored and we’ll be providing specific details shortly. We hope this update is helpful to you, and we will continue to keep you posted as we work to restore our network and provide you with both the entertainment and the security you deserve.

So I guess we need to continue to sit tight and wait longer for PSN to come back...

PSN Outage - Day 14

We've reached the 2 week mark since Sony shut down PSN. Over the weekend SCEJ said PSN service would be at least partially restored "this week"/"soon", and prior to that - last week it was said PSN would be restored "in about a week".

Well, here we are.

Where is PSN? I've got my fingers crossed that an announcement is made today that either service has been restored, or to provide us with an exact date to expect PSN services.

I'm sure there are many people itching to get some online for some COD or SOCOM 4...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Project Cafe details

Kotaku just posted an update on Nintendo's Project Cafe system.

Here are the important bits:

The console, codenamed Project Café, will include 8 gigabytes of on-board flash-based memory, presumably for game storage.

Nintendo's disc format for the new console will hold 25GB of data

This certainly should help to make the new system very attractive to 3rd party developers. I am somewhat troubled by only having 8gigs of storage within the system, but I imagine this is an attempt to keep costs reasonable.

Thankfully however,

The system will also support saving to SD cards.

...I'd guess Nintendo will make the SD card useable much like it eventually became on the Wii, so that should make it fairly simple (and cheap) to get past the initial 8gig storage limit.

I also find it interesting that Kotaku doesn't actually say what the new Nintendo disk format is based off - this leads me to think Nintendo is again forging it's own path to limit piracy. If I were in Nintendo's shoes, I'd be looking to licensed Toshiba's HD-DVD format (good luck finding HD-DVD burners and blanks today!). I bet Toshiba would set that deal up for a song.

Anyway - again - E3 cannot get here fast enough!

Duke Nuke'em Forever PC Requirements revealed

This just in - is your PC up to snuff? (or will you be playing on a console?)

Minimum Specifications

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.0 Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 @ 2.0 Ghz
]Memory: 1 Gb
Hard Drive: 10 Gb free
Video Memory: 256 MB
Video Card: nVidia GeForce 7600 / ATI Radeon HD 2600
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Recommended Specifications

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 @ 2.6 Ghz
Memory: 2 Gb
Hard Drive: 10 Gb free
Video Memory: 512 MB
]Video Card: nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS / ATI Radeon HD 3850
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Sounds like it won't break the bank to run this game (thank goodness!). Personally, I think I'll opt for the 360 build for multiplayer.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation - OUT TODAY!

Just a heads up everyone - today the new COD:BO map pack is out for the Xbox 360!

What are you still doing here still reading? GO! GO! There's a whole new zombie level with George Romero in it to play!

(the end of the work day cannot come fast enough!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sony Online Entertainment attacked as well!

...And it continues to rain shit on Sony.

We have had to take the SOE service down temporarily. In the course of our investigation into the intrusion into our systems we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern for us to take the service down effective immediately. We will provide an update later today (Monday).

Now to clarify - SOE is known for titles such as EverQuest, FreeRealms, DC Universe Online, not the PlayStation brand.

Sony has told Kotaku:

... that this was not a separate attack, and that service going down was "related to the ongoing investigation of the external intrusion that occurred in April."

(ie- It's the same attack as the one that caused the ongoing PSN outage)

Only around 12,700 credit cards were at risk this time...

Assassin's Creed Revelations teaser!

Here's a quick teaser for the next Assassin's Creed game:

err... ok? I'm guessing there's a bunch of hidden stuff in there for the fans. If anyone can clarify anything, please feel free to pass it along!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

PSN Outage - The press conference

Overnight Sony held a press conference (here's the direct link to Sony) outlining the PSN outage and the plan to bring everything back online.

Hirai outlined details of Sony's recovery plan today at a news conference in Japan. Regarding the "Welcome Back" program, alluded to in "make-good" promises extended by Sony Computer Entertainment earlier this week, all PlayStation Network subscribers will get a month of PlayStation Plus premium service free; existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will get their terms extended a month, free. "Selected PlayStation entertainment content" will also be offered for free, on a region-by-region basis, as a welcome-back inducement. The content type was not specified, only that "it will be announced in each region soon."

Sony also did confirm there will be a new firmware update for the PS3, but surprisingly, not the PSP when PSN returns. Previously it had been speculated that this firmware update will force users to update their PSN password and other account information. Friends lists and trophies have been said to be fine, and will make the transition (I imagine there would be riots otherwise, but likely this data is kept on the PS3's hard disk and will simply sync to the "new" PSN).

Sony has not given an exact time frame for PSN's return, but they have said:

...SCE and SNEI plan to start a phased rollout by region of the services shortly.

...so it kind could happen any time now. Just depends on Sony's definition of "soon".