MAY 2006 NEWS
May 30, 2006
Sony Australia has today confirmed that as from Thursday 1st June, the Playstation 2 will price will drop to a RRP of only $AU199, a price drop of $30. Shop around and you may pick it up a bit cheaper as well.
Singstar is coming to PS3 ladies and gentlemen. It's fair to say that the SingStar series has been a shining light for Sony on the PS2, and it's not going to take long to hit the PS3 - in fact it may be a launch title. With the ability to import PS2 songs, or download new ones this is certain to give your vocal chords another working over. Here's a preview.
May 29, 2006
Sensible Soccer 2006 sees the classic soccer series back for the first time in six years. The graphics are now cel-shaded while the gameplay is going back to the series' roots. This promises to be one of the most enjoyable 'pick up and play' soccer titles in years. Here's a preview with the latest screens.
May 28, 2006
Nintendo Wii Launch News
Well we have it, a WORLD FIRST. The date for the Nintendo Wii. According to retail sources the Nintendo Wii will be launching in Australia on Thursday November 30th, 2006. The system does not have a RRP as yet, however Nintendo recently confirmed the system would sell for no more then 25,000 yen in Japan, or $US250 in America which would place it at around $AU299-399 here depending how much 'extra' profit Nintendo Australia wants to make. As you know the Playstation 3 will be out 13 days before Nintendo's system on November 17th. With America and Japan likely to get the Nintendo Wii at least a week or two before us (as is almost always the case), could we see Nintendo's system launch in Japan and/or America on the same day as the PS3?! Let the battle begin!
Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King may have one of the longest names of a PS2 video game, but that's rather apt as the game is also one of the longest to complete on the system - you can easily spend 100+ hours on this one. Does it get boring? Hell no, this is one of the greatest RPG's of all time. Here's out full and exclusive review.
May 27, 2006
According to and interview with MVC SCEE president and CEO David Reeves has confirmed that the first run of Playstation 3's to come off the production line will be PAL systems for Europe (and Australia). While reason was given we would speculate it's so that Sony can produce PAL units before shifting to NTSC systems for America and Japan and then continue that production without disruption for a lengthy period of time. David Reeces conceded that stock will likely be small in some territories, but they are hoping to 'seed' such territories with some units.
We've taken a bit of time today to update our preview for Virtua Tennis 3 on the Playstation 3 due to Sega releasing some new screenshots, and information since the E3 show.
Midway has announced that they are publishing the classic adventure game Myst on the PSP. The game is already out in Japan, and has sold over 6 million copies on other formats since its release in 1993. No date for the PSP game has been set as yet.
Sony Europe has apparently confirmed the existence of Singstar Anthems which will be released in early August. Unfortunately we haven't been able to track the original announcement however many sites have confirmed the following track listing (Which strangely only confirms 20 tracks rather then the 30-odd on other discs). The tracks are:
- Queen - Radio Ga Ga
- Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
- Take That featuring Lulu - Relight My Fire
- Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time
- Steps - Deeper Shade of Blue
- Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
- Candi Staton - Young Hearts Run Free
- Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
- Bananarama - I Heard A Rumour
- Pussycat Dolls - Donít Cha
- Leann Rimes - Canít Fight the Moonlight
- Donner Summer - I Feel Love
- Bucks Fizz - Making Your Mind Up
- The Weather Girls - Itís Raining Men
- Ultra Nate - Free
- Scissor Sisters - Laura
- Kim Wilde - Kids in America
- Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody
- Girl Aloud - Biology
- Charlotte Church - Crazy Chick
May 24, 2006
Atari Australia has confirmed that Hitman: Blood Money has been delayed by a week until June 1st. No reason was given, but it is likely to be due to shipping. This is shaping up as one of the best games on the PS2 this year, and could easily be the best in the series (not saying the others were too shabby either!).
Hooray! We now have confirmation of the first two launch titles for the PS3 in Australia on November 17. Still six months from release those games are NBA 2K7 and NHL 2K7 from 2K Sports, and to be distributed in Australia by Take Two Interactive Software. Strangely the titles still don't appear for PS3 on the 2K Sports web site, but their release is certain.
Square-Enix has denied a story in the June issue of EGM which states that Final Fantasy VII is in development for the Playstation 3. Square-Enix would only confirm that Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII are in development for the system.
Some good news on the PS3, and High Definition movie front, and those considering buying the PS3. According to German site Spiegel Online a deal has been struck which will see Image Constraint Token not being used in Blu Ray (and HD-DVD) discs until at least 2010. What is this you ask? Well HD movies are encoded at 1920 x 1080 however if the ICT is enabled anyone using component outputs as on the cheaper (read: crippled) PS3 would have the resolution slashed to only 960 x 540 to stop HD piracy. This deal means that even through component you will now get the full resolution - for the next four years at least. If you're really worried then you should look at getting the high-end (read: non-crippled) PS3 which has HDMI, the new high definition cable and connection.
Mortal Kombat Unchained is the latest in Midway's brutal fighting series. The Mortal Kombat franchise is one of the most loved, and despised, fighting series' of all time but now PSP owners can now perform their favourite fatalities on the road. Here's a preview of this late 2006 release through Red Ant.
Ubisoft has announced that they are developing a game based on the hit TV show Lost for release on multiple consoles and handhelds in 2007. Given that we're still to actually see more then one or two enemies in the TV show it should make for an interesting game... but one we're certainly keen to see.
Capcom have released their financial statements for the FY ending March 31, 2006, and they should be pretty happy. The company has recorded a 91.6% increase in profits over the previous year from 3,622 billion yen to 6,941 billion yen. While the overall results were good profits were down 87.9% in America and 89.6% in Europe. As a result the company is closing its Capcom Eurosoft division which handles distribution of software in Europe. Resident Evil 4 and Monster Hunter 2 were cited as positive for results while Onimusha Dawn of Dreams, Without Warning and Beatdown Fists of Vengeance disappointed - although the latter two titles were pretty shit so we can understand those failing to meet expectations.
In stark contrast Konami has announce a sharp 91% drop in profits for the last financial year. The company remains upbeat about the current financial year due to several high profile projects currently in development for next- generation systems.
May 22, 2006
Unreal Tournament 2007 is a game that should have your interest in PS3 increased immediately. The XBox 360 may be getting Gears of War from Epic Games, but this game is the one we really want to see. Massively online FPS action on the PS3. Damn hot!
Hellboy is coming to Playstation 3. The recent movie was a success and a sequel is now in the works. While it's unclear if this game will take any assets from the movies Konami will be hoping the fans remain interested. It's very early in development but Australia's Krome Studios are hard at work on this potential smash hit.
May 21, 2006
Haze was a game that didn't get a lot of coverage from E3, but that was due to the game being behind closed doors. If you were disappointed that Crysis wasn't announced for PS3 then you should check out this game from Free Radical Design (the company behind TimeSplitters). This is a stunner, and is sure to be a great FPS.
Destroy All Humans! 2 is, as 99% of you can probably guess, the sequel to last years hit title from THQ and Pandemic Studios. This sequel promises more of the same, but with new weapons, and powers, as well as a 2-player co-op mode. There's not too many details, but we do have some of the first screens!
Release Schedule Pages
Well with E3 over we've had had time to update the PSP UMD Movie release schedule. The bad news is that most companies don't have anything on their plate. The good news is that Sony Pictures have a tonne of titles including highlights such as The Da Vinci Code, Aliens, Click, Rent, Ultraviolet, RV, and... ohh.. nine James Bond movies! Check out the list below.
Square-Enix has confirmed that Kingdom Hearts II, which has sold millions of copies in Japan and America since release, will be hitting European shelves in Q'3 2006 - a date which is a little earlier then many predicted, and one which also leaves the door open slightly for a late 2006 release for Final Fantasy XII as well. While Ubisoft will be distributing Kingdom Hearts II in Australia we expect the game to be released at the same time as Europe. Expect confirmation soon.
SCi, owners of Eidos, have announced that they have sold 2.6 million copies of Tomb Raider Legend on all platforms. The game is a welcome return to form for the series. A PSP version is due out late this month.
One of the biggest disappointments of the E3 show was the removal of the rumble technology in the Playstation 3's new controller. At the time Sony stated it was impossible to use with the tilt mechanism, a claim which many didn't think was entirely true. We had our doubts as well, not all games use the tilt mechanism, so why not include rumble, or 'haptic' technology, for those games only? The real reason for it's removal is more likely to do with the lawsuit for Sony's infringement of the rumble patent held by Immersion, a case which Sony lost and now owes $US90 million to Immersion, pending appeal. Now, the President of Immersion has commented on the issue by stating the rumble technology can work with the tilt mechanism, and that there is no technical reason not to include the technology. The payoff however is that for it to be included Immersion want Sony to drop their appeal against the $90 million compensation. Our take: For the love of god Sony, pay the penalty - it's not a massive amount of money compared to the damage this is doing the PS3, and put the rumble feature back in the controller.
May 20, 2006
According to Sony Europe's CEO David Reeves three key titles will not make the Playstation 3 launch on November 17th. The titles include Formula One, MotorStorm (not really a surprise given its no show at E3) and most disappointingly Heavenly Sword which was one of he shows highlights. It's not all bad though that David Reeves confirming that Singstar will hit 'certainly before Christmas' while an Eye Toy game will be out by 'March 2007'. Sony are aiming for 15 titles for the systems launch with Resistance: Fall of Man the only title 'confirmed' to date.
Capcom has confirmed that Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is coming to Europe, and presumably Australia, in September this year. The special edition has a new playable character, Dante's dark brother Vergil, a new jester enemy, a turbo mode which speeds the game up by 20% and a movie mode to watch all the clips in sequence among others. This is bound to be one of the big releases late this year. The original game (reviewed here) was already brilliant but this looks like improving it even further!
May 19, 2006
Sony Europe has confirmed that the 60GB Playstation 3 will sell in the UK for £425 (approx $AU1048). This is a bit more then the 599 Euros which translates to about £408. There is also some debate at the moment as to whether the territory will received the cut down 20GB version with some retailers only confirming the 60GB version.
Rogue Trooper is a third person shooter developed by UK coders Rebellion. Admittedly there are quite a few third person shooters on the market today, but Rogue Trooper is one of the better ones. Rebellion has developed a very solid title, and we're glad to bring you our exclusive review in full.
May 18, 2006
According to SCEA boss Kaz Hirai he expects the Playstation 3 to have around 15 titles available for the systems launch this November. He did not mention which games would be launch titles.
Genji 2 was one of the many games shown at the E3 show this year. While the original Genji was a very enjoyable, it was quite short. This Playstation 3 sequel promises more of everything and should be out late this year when the console launches. A preview.
Warhawk was certainly one of the highlights of this years E3 show. Not only does the title look fantastic but this was also the one game that had the new tilt controls operating properly. If you're thinking of getting a PS3 then this is one title which is worth checking out.
May 17, 2006
According to Gameindustry.biz Activision has reportedly paid up to $US70 million dollars for their 7 year exclusive license to create James Bond games. Electronic Arts, for their part, are claiming the franchise didn't really fit into their future plans going forward. I guess they aren't going to be developing any more bog-standard action titles with little imagination, short lifespans and generic action. I'll believe that when I see it though! Activision has not yet announced any James Bond games.
The Darkness is the latest game from the developers of Chronicles of Riddick. The game is one of the best looking on PS3 and promises to be a monster title when it's released in 2007. Our preview tells you all about this very juicy game.
Full Auto 2: Battlelines was another major surprise from Sega. While the original game was released only months ago on the XBox 360 the company publishing this sequel exclusively for the Playstation 3. Why the change? Who knows, but it should be a game which rev heads will love when it releases this year with the system (or slightly after).
May 16, 2006
According to an interview on Eurogamer Q Entertainment's Tetsuya Mizuguchi has stated that he is interested in developing a sequel to Rez - one of the most cherished PS2 games of all time. He also mentioned he would consider a new Space Channel 5 game.
Tecmo has confirmed they will be porting the PSP title Tokobots to the Playstation 2. The game, which will include 10 new levels and 30 new enemies, will be called Tokobot Plus: Mysteries of the Karakuri, and should be released in late 2006.
Daxter. The sidekick to Jak now has a game of his own. Developed by Ready at Dawn this PSP title this is a game which PSP owners were hotly anticipating the world over. Technically stunning this is a game well worth a purchase. Here's our full review.
Virtua Fighter 5 is one of eight PS3 titles that Sega announced at this years E3 show. We did up this preview during the E3 show, but Sega has since released new screens. We've updated the preview with these screens and details. Enjoy.
May 15, 2006
PSP Movie News
Can you believe this? The PSP hasn't even been out in Australia for 9 months, and yet there is now 155 UMD movies or concerts available on the system in this territory. It's very impressive really with almost 19 titles released on average per month. While I have been a bit slack with updates in the last couple of months I have just updated the PSP UMD Movie List & Review Page with every single release to date. Check it out.
As many of you know the PSP UMD movie format has been struggling but there are still titles coming out. With that in mind we have updated our PSP UMD Movie Release Schedule Page Highlights of the coming months include Aliens, Final Fantasy (both movies), Predator, Jarhead, Lord of War, Spiderman and The Replacement Killers to name a few.
According to Eurogamer Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway which was announced last month for a late 2006 release has been delayed until Q'1 2007.
Tomb Raider Legend is a game which Eidos has placed much promise in. After scrapping Core Design (the original creators of Lara) and putting Crystal Dynamics onto development they will be very pleased with the result. This is a Tomb Raider game deserving of the name. Crystal Dynamics have worked wonders for the series and it's a game everyone should check out. Here's our full review.
May 14, 2006
Wow! What an E3 show it was. The Playstation 3 was finally unveiled with information about the release dates and pricing available at long last (including Australia!). It's a bit more expensive then we thought, and some features haven't made the final version, however there were some surprises including the tilt mechanism on the controller. Over the last week we put up 20 previews of PS3 games, 11 PSP previews and 7 PS2 previews, with the latter system understandably loosing it's sheen next to next-generation consoles. If you missed it, check out this link for all the details. Normal programming will resume tomorrow.
May 7-14, 2006
E3 SHOW 2006 shouldn't need an introduction. For the next week this is the only link you need to check for the next week. Every news story, all the previews, all the happenings at E3 2006. PS3? You bet. PS2 and PSP? Of course... Prepare to be astonished.
May 6, 2006
Atari has announced that Test Drive Unlimited won't be limited to the XBox 360, but that a PS2 and PSP version are in the works. The Sony versions are currently in development at Melbourne House, the very accomplished developers based in Australia. Expect to hear more from E3 before it's Q'3 2006 release.
Interstellar Marines is an all new IP for the PS3 from a new developer in Denmark. While this FPS from Zero Point Software doesn't have a publisher yet, we certainly think it's highly likely it will get one at E3 next week. This next-gen title is pretty damn hot. Here's a look.
Frontlines: Fuel of War is still well over a year away from release however this game from THQ still sounds very promising with a very solid development team in place, including members that worked on the Battlefield series. Here's a very early look at this online action title with the first image released.
May 5, 2006
Sega has today announced a new Playstation 3 title (damn this company is doing some good stuff!) called The Club. The game is currently in development at Bizarre Creations, the company who develop Project Gotham Racing on a certain competing console. The Club is a loosely organized and highly illegal underground entity. For most people, The Club exists only as an urban legend - a game where criminals are paid huge amounts to carry out gunfights and where online spectators view, gamble and cheer them on in a deadly game of skill. The game will be shown behind closed doors at E3.
Pandemic has confirmed that Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is heading to next generation consoles. The original game was the best selling new IP last year, so the sequel should generate a lot of interest. Details will be revealed (including platforms) at E3.
Codemasters has confirmed that Colin McRae Rally '07 is currently in development exclusively for next generation systems. Unfortunately they haven't named which systems as yet, but the PS3 is a pretty safe bet. Expect more details next week from E3.
May 4, 2006
Yakuza, in case you are unaware, are like the Japanese mafia. Sega have been developing this title for quite some time now, and it certainly looks like pushing the PS2 to its limits both in terms of graphics and scope. Here we have a look at the game with some superb screenshots.
SOCOMBLOG has also confirmed that a new PSP game title is in the works called SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2. The PSP sequel includes 14 non-linear missions, over 40 weapons and 16-players via the PSP's Wi-Fi Ad Hoc mode. The game also includes 3 new multiplayer game modes including Tug-of-War Control Points, Capture the Flag and Target. As with the PS2 game no release dates have been confirmed yet.
SOCOMBLOG has confirmed a new PS2 game in the series. Titled SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault the game offers all new 4-player cooperative gameplay and classic 32-player competitive gameplay. The game will also include new non-lethal weapons such as tear gas and pepper spray projectiles, as well as items such as flak vests. There is no word yet on a release date however America will likely see the game this Christmas with PAL territories having to wait until 2007.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that Medal of Honor: Airborne will not be release before Christmas, but instead will hit shelves in Q'1 2007. The game was expected to be one of the big launch window titles for the PS3.
While on the delay boat Electronic Arts have also confirmed that Superman Returns won't be out in time for the big screen launch in a couple of months. Instead the game will be pushed back until Q'4 2006 release so the game can coincide with the DVD launch. Put simply, the game needed more time to meet expectations.
Square-Enix has confirmed that Kingdom Hearts II has sold over 1 million copies in America. This brings the total game sales in the series to 8.5 million units. Sadly there is still not confirmation for a PAL release of the game.
In a major shock MGM Interactive and EON Productions Ltd. have awarded Activision the rights to develop and publish interactive entertainment games based on the James Bond license through 2014. Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will obtain the worldwide rights to create video games for all current and next-generation consoles, PC and hand-held platforms. The license will grant Activision the right to develop and publish games based on all of the James Bond movies, as well as non-movie based games. Where this leaves Electronic Arts' rumoured Casino Royale remains unclear as the announcement is never confirmed as 'exclusive' to Activision, however it may add weight to the speculation that development on the next generation version was stopped some time ago - and with this announcement possible current generation versions may also be scrapped.
Ubisoft have announced a new Rayman game which is being directed by Michel Ancel, creator of the series. Called Rayman Raving Rabbids the game will be released in late 2006.
Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom was one of the first PS3 titles announced, and now with new images and info this is one game which action RPG which many gamers (especially those that have played the PSP game) will be looking forward to.
May 3, 2006
Ubisoft has today announced Assassins Creed for the Playstation 3. The game is currently in development at Ubisoft's Montreal studio and is the same as the Project Assassins confirmed some time ago. The first game in the Assassinís Creed franchise is set in 1191 AD, when the Third Crusade was tearing the Holy Land apart. Shrouded in secrecy and feared for their ruthlessness, the Assassins intend to stop the hostilities by suppressing both sides of the conflict. Players, assuming the role of the main character Altair, will have the power to throw their immediate environment into chaos and to shape events during this pivotal moment in history. The game is expected to be released in 2007.
Electronic Arts has confirmed they have a new Playstation 3 game, and indeed a new franchise, currently in development for the Playstation 3. Army of Two will throw gamers into hot spots ripped from current day headlines where they will utilise unique TWO man strategies and tactics while seamlessly transitioning between playing with intelligent Partner AI (PAI) and a live player. When one man is not enough, it will take an army of two to fight through war, political turmoil and a conspiracy so vast it threatens the entire world. The game is due out in 2007.
Release Schedule Pages
With so many announcements of late there has been a lot of games added to the release schedule pages. I've updated the following pages:
Sonic Rivals is coming out this year. In fact, in yet another pre-E3 announcement Sega has confirmed this PSP exclusive game will be released in Q'3 2006. With 3D graphics, and 2D gameplay this could be a winner. Sonic is back!
Power Stone Collection is a game which some of you may be familiar with. If you owned a Dreamcast a few years ago then chances are you heard of Power Stone. It was one of the best 3D brawlers of it's era and now it's back as a PSP exclusive...
May 2, 2006
Sega of America has today confirmed that the sequel to their hit XBox 360 game, Full Auto will be coming to the Playstation 3, as an exclusive. Full Auto 2: Battlelines puts high-speed vehicles outfitted with weapons and armor into fully realized and fully destructible urban street environments. Fierce combat-racing will ensue as you strategically use destruction to win races as well as leave massive devastation in your wake. As yet there is no release date.
Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway has finally be unveiled by Ubisoft this week. While Playstation 3 games are being announced almost daily now, this is one of the most impressive. Ubisoft aren't being left behind with the Unreal Engine 3 ensuring this is one of the best looking PS3 titles.
Field Commander is a game all PSP owners should have a look at. Without a doubt SOE's Field Commander is one of the most visually impressive games on PSP. This turn based strategy game looks like a winner. A preview.
May 1, 2006
Sony Australia has today announced that from Thursday 4th May Australian gamers will be able to buy a 'Ceramic White PSP'. Launching in the Value Pack for $399.95 the system comes with special white accessories, including Headphones with Remote Control, Wrist Strap, Pouch and a 32MB Memory Stick Duo. For a limited time people buying the system can still receive a free game (from a select list) with the system.
Sony's Phil Harrison has confirmed that Insomniac's stunning PS3 title Resistance: Fall of Man will be playable at the E3 show in a bit over a weeks time. The game is one of the hottest on the system and a possible early killer app.
Final Fight: Streetwise is out now on the PS2. The original Final Fight is one of Capcom's greatest arcade games of all time and this new title brings the series to 3D, but Capcom's brawlers of late have been poor. Is this any different? Here's our review.
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