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JULY 2006 NEWS

July 31, 2006

    Industry News
    Well it looks like one of gamings greatest events, the E3 show (or Electronic Entertainment Expo) is in trouble with the 2007 event apparently canceled. According to reports the ESA is considering its options with most major publishers and distributers apparently pulling out of the event citing high costs. Some companies reportedly spend in around $10 million per show to promote their upcoming games - a cost which many companies are starting to reconsider. Rumours at the moment are that the show could be canned altogether, reduced in size with smaller more focused events, or moved to another city - with Las Vegas being promoted by many people. The ESA is expected to comment soon.

    PS2 Reviews
    Shinobido: Way of the Ninja is a Japanese game actually getting a release in Europe before America. If you like stealth ninja styled games then you may want to check out this game from Acquire and Sony - or at least the review. Is it worth your time? We give you our full verdict.

    PS3 News
    According to this article on The Inquirer IBM has remidied many of the low yields for the Cell Processor with and IBM executive telling employees that production is "on or above" targets. This is good news for PS3 owners worried that Sony won't hit their launch target of 2 million units. Unfortunately the report is only from unnamed sources - but that seems to be all we're getting from anyone at the moment anyway.

July 30, 2006

    PS3 Previews
    Fatal Inertia isn't confirmed for release in Australia as yet - but you can bet it will be coming out soon. As one of the first PS3 titles revealed this racing game from Koei's new Canadian studio is shaping up quite well. We have the latest screens and info on this possible PS3 launch title.

    PSP Previews
    Capcom Puzzle World is yet another compilation of games from Capcom, with this package including some of the best puzzle games of all time. With reworked graphics, and many titles this is certainly worth a look. Here's a preview with all the info as well as some screens from one of the titles, Puzzle Fighter II.

July 29, 2006

    PS2 News
    Ubisoft has confirmed that Splinter Cell Double Agent has been delayed by a couple of weeks from a September to October release.

    Well we were right the other day. EA has confirmed that The Sims 2 Pets will be released on Playstation 2 later this year. While the PC version will be an add-on Electronic Arts feels that console gamers will also want to play the game - at least if you own a PS2 or Gamecube as XBox owners miss out. A PSP version will also be released at a later date.

    PSP News
    According to reports developers Ready at Dawn, who gave us the stunning Daxter, are working on a new PSP title. The game, which remains under wraps, is based on a licensed property. Interestingly it was a license the company chased, rather then was asked to make. In other news the company has started to license out their game engine which they've dubbed "Ready at Dawn Engine" and therefor become a middleware provider for the PSP.

    Bandai Namco has announced that Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception will be released in Japan on October 26th. The game, according to Gameswarehouse - but not yet Sony, is also due for release in Australia in October.

    Industry News
    Those of you looking forward to Resident Evil Extinction will be please to hear that the movie has a release date of September 7th in America. The movie sees the return of Milla Jovovich as Alice, Oded Fehr as Carlos, and Mike Epps as L.J. No word yet on an Australian release date - but September holidays are a good bet.

July 27, 2006

    PS3 News
    Well they appeared a while ago, then disappeared, but now Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is back up for pre-order on both EBGames and Gamestop. The game has been rumoured to be in development for the PS3 for some time now, and importantly the title is listed for release on November 17th - launch day. Bethesda is still refusing to confirm the title is in development.

    Well Activision have come up with the goods and confirmed today that their three PS3 titles due this year are, at this stage at least, expected to be launch titles. The games include Tony Hawk's Project 8, Call of Duty 3 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.

    In an interview with Gamespot SingStar's senior producer Paulina Bozek has confirmed that the new microphones for the Playstation 3 will use bluetooth - no more wires! Interestingly, she also states that 'after launch, we’ll be introducing new Bluetooth wireless microphones.' So while we may have SingStar on the PS3 we may have to wait a bit before we can purchase the new, and improved mics.

    Sony Australia have announced that they have officially launched their Playstation 3 web site. It's lacking a bit of content but that will grow in the coming months. You can check it out, and sign up for updates here.

    PS2 News
    Also detailed in the interview with Gamespot Paulina Bozek has confirmed that SingStar Anthems was a special product for Europe and despite the smaller tracklisting of 20 songs future releases will revert back to 30 tracks. Hooray!

    PSP News
    We placed a call to Sony Australia this afternoon to enquire about those new titles such as Smash Court, The Retriever and Planet being release on the PSP in the coming weeks. According to Sony Australia this is not the case - the mystery continues.

    Well another PSP game seems to have been announced early by retailers (and this one is certainly not confirmed by Sony either) however Sony are apparently preparing Lemmings 2 for release on the PSP in Q'1 2007. Sony aren't confirming the news as yet however given solid sales of the first game (reviewed here) it was almost a certainty.

July 26, 2006

    PS2 Reviews
    AFL Premiership 2006 is a game thousands of Australians would have been eagerly anticipating. Sony has just released the game to stores and with the title now a PS2 exclusive IR Gurus could concentrate on a single system. This should allow them to make this the best game in the series. Have they succeeded? Well read our review to find out. (Hint: yes)

    PSP News
    According to sources Sony will be releasing Smash Court on PSP on August 15th. While there are no details on the game we believe it may be related to Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2 on the Playstation 2 - a sequel, a remix or a port we just don't know as yet. If true this will be a most welcome game on the PSP.

    That's not all though. Sony are also apparently going to release a game called The Retriever on August 15th (of which we know nothing at all about!) and on September 15th a title called Planet which is a travel guide.

    PS3 News
    So I was tired yesterday when I put up the news about Epic making a big announcement next week. As some readers pointed out given that the post was in the Gears of War forums it almost certainly has something to do with that game, and not Unreal Tournament 2007 for PS3 as we speculated. Oh well.

    You know that little FPS called Resistance Fall of Man? Well it has now been confirmed that the game will include a massive 40 players in online matches. That's right, forty. For a first generation title is super impressive especially given most current games still only accomodate 16 or 32 players if you're lucky.

July 25, 2006

    PS3 News
    Epic's Mark Rein has confirmed that there will be a big announcement made next week. While no hints have been given he has mentioned that 'the announcement that is going to be made isn't what you think it is.' with many people expecting the XBox 360's Gears of War release date to be announced soon. So what else could it be. Well, Epic are developing Unreal Tournament 2007 for PC and PS3 - perhaps it will be something to do with that. You can read the thread here. Stay tuned.

    PS2 Reviews
    Commandos Strike Force is quite a shift for the series. No longer does the game use an isometric viewpoint, but rather a first person perspective. While this game has been out for a while Michael was keen to check the game out and he's given us his full verdict on the title. In short both Commandos and FPS fans should check this review, and possibly game, out.

July 24, 2006

    PS3 News
    THQ has confirmed to Eurogamer.net that there will be no WWE Smackdown Vs Raw release on the PS3 this year, and won't appear until next years holiday season. The company wanted to ensure the game would be of the highest possible quality - something which wasn't possible with such a short development time. The game will still be released on PS2 and PSP this Christmas.

    Sony has licensed Avistar Communication's video conference technology, which could be used for video conferencing on the Playstation 3. Naturally Sony haven't announced any details as yet, however we expect something to be released with the Eye Toy possibly late this year. Does anyone remember the PS2 game (which was mysteriously canned) called Eye Toy: Chat? Perhaps that is about to resurface on the PS3...

    PSP News
    Sony Japan has confirmed that Level 5, the developer behind Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King, is working on a new PSP simulation RPG called Jeanne d'Arc (or Joan of Arc). The game is around 70% complete and due out in late 2006 (Japanese Winter).

    PS2 Reviews
    Sonic Riders isn't a game we were too keen on reviewing to be honest, however when we signed up new reviewer Michael Hutchesson he lept at the chance to take one of his favourite videogame characters for a spin. Is this 4-player split screen racing game worth your time and effort? Possible so.

    PSP Previews
    Marvel Ultimate Alliance is not only heading to the Playstation 2 and 3 but also the PSP. We've had a look at the PS3 version, but this PSP game looks just as exciting, and also visually impressive. Here's a preview with details and first screens.

July 23, 2006

    Rumour Mill
    Remember that little bird that used to drop in from time to time with some juicy gossip. Well he came back today while my cat was having a nap and mentioned that there very well may be a new Sims game in development for the Playstation 2. If the word is true then we may be seeing The Sims 2 Pets around Christmas this year. Interestingly Electronic Arts haven't mentioned the game at all at any trade events of late.

    PSP Previews
    Online Chess Kingdoms probably isn't a game that is going to entice non-chess lovers, but if you are a fan of the classic board game then this Konami title is one which you may wish to check out. With different themes, or traditional chess pieces, this is a game to keep all fans happy. Here's a preview.

July 22, 2006

    Release Schedule Pages
    Well we've done a pretty major update to our PS2 Game Release Schedule Page with a tonne of additions (around 20 games) and plenty of release date changes. If you want to know when a game is coming out there's only one place to check...

    PS2 News
    SingStar fans mark your calendars. Not content with releasing SingStar Anthems next week it looks like Sony are set to release two new packs on October 15th. According to our sponsors GamesWarehouse SingStar 70's and SingStar Christmas will both be released on this date. As yet there's no confirmation from Sony, but we expect it in the coming weeks. You can pre-order both games from Gameswarehouse by clicking here.

    Several other games have appeared at GamesWarehouse (and not yet confirmed by Sony). In the coming months we can expect to see Buzz Sports Quiz and Eye Toy: Kinetic Combat on September 15th, as well as the hugely anticipated RPG Rogue Galaxy. September 21st will see the release of Ace Combat Zero: The Belkin War. Buzz Monkey Nutz (don't ask - we don't know what it is!) is due on October 15th, as well as Eye Toy: Play Sports and Lemmings which we also believe uses the Eye Toy. Finally October 15th will also see the release of XenoSaga III. Who ever said that Sony were only going to concentrate on the Playstation 3 late this year? You can check out Gameswarehouse's PS2 list here.

July 21, 2006

    PS3 News
    Sony UK's David Wilson has told Gameindustry.biz that the UK is likely to get both versions of the PS3 - although he would not confirm if both would appear at launch. Apparently Sony is still talking to retailers about the best way to release the two systems. Wilson also confirmed that Sony has been discussing a pre-order system which would see gamers need to deposit £150 to secure a system. The reason; primarily to stop people buying dozens of systems to then sell for a profit on EBay - something which plagued the XBox 360 launch last year. As yet Sony has not confirmed how pre-orders will be handled but confirmed that more details would be announced in the next two to three weeks.

July 20, 2006

    PS3 News
    According to Chinese paper The Commercial Times Asustek Computer has begun manufacturing the Playstation 3 for Sony at the beginning of this month. At the moment 200,000 units are being manufactured per month, with that number set to rise closer to release. If these reports are true, and Sony aren't confirming the news, that means that PAL systems destined for Europe and Australia (Which Sony confirmed would be the first manufactured) may already be sitting in warehouses awaiting distribution!

    PS3 Previews
    MotorStorm is one of the best looking Playstation 3 titles to date - and will be an exclusive on the system. We've done up a preview with some details, and five senstational screenshots for you to enjoy. This racer is going to be hot when released in early 2007.

July 19, 2006

    PSP Reviews
    Monster Hunter Freedom is Capcom's handheld version of the companies hit PS2 series. Indeed Monster Hunter was a surprise hit for Capcom on the PS2, and now the comapny is bringing the series to the PSP. Does this game work on Sony's handheld? Here's our full verdict.

    PS3 Previews
    Need for Speed Carbon is the latest in Electronic Arts' racing series looks simply gorgeous. This next-gen title is due out around the PS3's launch and we expect it to be a monster hit. Here's a look with some of the first details and screenshots.

    PS3 News
    Codemasters have unveiled some information about thier upcoming rally game for Playstation 3. The game will be titled Colin McRae Rally: DIRT in Europe and DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road in the United States. The game will include official 2WD, 4WD, Classic and RWD rally cars as well as a variety of tracks from jungles to deserts. We can also expect online gameplay to make it into the game. Expect a release in 2007.

    Square-Enix has denied reports that Final Fantasy XI - II is in development for the Playstation 3. New surfaced from Japan that the game was in development - time will tell.

    PSP News
    Well it was hinted at a week or so ago but now the tracklisting for Lumines II has been released, and it's pretty impressive with some big acts being included. The game is due out in America by November, but there has not been a PAL release announced as yet. Tracks announced include (ones with an asterix mean the video clip is in the game):

      Beck - Black Tambourine *
      Black Eyed Peas - Pump It *
      Chemical Brothers - Star Guitar *
      Fatboy Slim - Gangster Trippin' *
      The Go! Team - Bottle Rocket *
      Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl *
      Hoobastank - Born to Lead *
      Junior Senior - Take My Time *
      Junkie XL - Breezer
      Ken Ishii - TBA
      Missy Elliot - Lose Control *
      Mondo Grosso - various, exclusive to game
      New Order - TBD *
      Stigmato Inc - Reality Check
      TECHRIDERS - TBA

July 18, 2006

    Industry News
    We can't quite verify if this is real or not, but it certainly sounds like it. Someone has asked Electronic Arts about if they've released any good, or crap games of late, and the response is not what one would expect. Well worth a listen so click here to check it out. Classic.

    PSP Reviews
    MegaMan Powered Up is out now on the Playstation Portable. Capcom's MegaMan is one of video games classic characters and now Capcom are bringing their hero to the PSP with updated graphics, but classic gameplay. This game has plenty of potential - but is it good? Ben gives us his verdict.

    PS3 Previews
    Rainbow Six: Vegas was possibly the game of E3, and with a decent amount of gameplay shown it wasn't just a quick peek either. Ubisoft have put a lot of effort into this title, and it truly is next-generation. We have some details, and some of the hottest screens.

July 17, 2006

    PS3 News
    Electronic Arts has confirmed that NASCAR '07 won't appear on the Playstation 3 (nor any other next-gen systems). Racing fans (in America at least) will have to wait until the first game in the series appears in 2007.

    PS2 Previews
    SingStar Anthems is Sony's latest release in their karaoke series. This preview gives you all 20 song titles, as well as some very juicy screens - although if you've played one game you should know what to expect. Still, here's a look at the disc.

July 16, 2006

    PSP Previews
    Gradius Collection is coming to Australia - and I know that will make many gamers happy. Konami's Gradius is one of the classic side scrolling shooters and now the company is compiling five of the best into one game on PSP. Here's a preview.

July 15, 2006

    PS3 News
    Activision, through a recent job advertisment looking for a game developer, has confirmed that Call of Duty 3 developers Treyarch will be working on thier upcoming James Bond game. Activision are rumoured to have paid around $US70 million for the James Bond license, thereby taking it away from Electronic Arts. No word on when we may see the new James Bond game, or what movie it may be based upon.

    PS3 Previews
    Tiger Woods PGA Tour '07 is coming to the Playstation 3. Unveiled by Electronic Arts over the last couple of days this latest golf title makes next generation actually look next generation. It's not all about the graphics though... Here's a preview with some of the first (amazing) screens.

July 14, 2006

    PS3 News
    Electronic Arts and Valve have announced that Half-Life 2 will be coming to the Playstation 3. The game, which is due out at the same time that Valve releases Episode Two (ie either very late 2006 or early 2007), will include not only Half-Life 2 but also Episode One and Episode Two as well as the oft-delayed Team Fortress 2. Valve's Gabe Newell also mentioned that the inclusion of Counter-Strike: Source is possible, although still not confirmed.

    Another announcement at E3's Studio Showcase was that of The Lord of the Rings: The White Council an all new PRG from EA's Redwood Shores Studio. The next-generation game the game gives you the option to explore Middle Earth as either a man, elf, dwarf, or hobbit. The game is due out on PS3 in late 2007.

    PS3 Previews
    Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom is certainly shaping up well and we have several of the latest screenshots just to show how much progress is being made. This just keeps jumping up in our most wanted list so here's our latest preview for you to enjoy.

July 13, 2006

    PS2 News
    David Gaffe is a name well known to many PS2 owners. If you're not aware he's the creative genius behind God of War on PS2. While the sequel, God of War II is due out next year David has mentioned that he now feels the series could be turned into a trilogy. Who knows, by the time the third game happens it may be on PS3 - here's hoping.

    PSP News
    According to Tetsuya Mizuguchi Lumines II will include several well known musical artists on the soundtrack, and he has taken inspiration from the music Stomp for the game.

    PSP Reviews
    World Tour Soccer 2 is out now on the PSP - just as the World Cup wraps up for the next four years. If you bought a PSP at launch last year then you probably had a look at Sony's entertaining soccer title. The company has just released a much improved sequel. Here's our full review.

July 12, 2006

    PS3 Previews
    Marvel Ultimate Alliance looks like being an essential purchase for comic book fans planning on getting a Playstation 3 this year. This game not only looks stunning but promises to deliver the goods when it comes to gameplay and storyline. In this preview we give you all the news, as well as 7 of the hottest screenshots.

    PSP Reviews
    Tenchu: Time of the Assassins is the first title in the Tenchu universe to arrive on the Playstation Portable. The recent PS2 titles have been fairly enjoyable and with the same developer in K2 on board we were hoping for plenty of fun here to. We got plenty of something, but it wasn't fun. Here's our review.

July 11, 2006

    PS3 News
    Well it seems like someone has leaked an internal Sony Q&A about the Playstation 3. Most of the information is known, however there are some interesting points. Click here to have a read - it's well worth it!

    While Pandemic confirmed that Mercenaries 2: World in Flames will be coming to PS3, and seemingly only for Sony's system, the company has now gone on record stating that an XBox 360 version is possible.

    PSP News
    Those of you disappointed that 50 Cent: Bulletproof was Refused Classification in Australia in it initial version on PS2 will be pleased to hear that 50 Cent Bulletproof G-Unit Edition has been given an MA15+ rating at the OFLC and will be on sale here in Australia in the coming months. The PSP game is quite different to the PS2 game, so we were hoping it would make it past the OFLC.

    Personal
    Well it seems like I'm not a god after all - and the flu can affect me in a big way. So much so that I was bed-ridden from Friday to Monday, and haven't been able to eat more then a mouthful before feeling sick. The good news is that I'm over the worst of it, and I had plenty of time to hit some PSP games to get reviews to you in the coming days. Expect the updates to resume as normal in a couple of hours.

July 6, 2006

    PSP Reviews
    Tomb Raider Legend was a stunning return to form for Lara Croft on consoles and PC's a couple of months ago and now Crystal Dynamics have finished their port to the PSP. The game is the same - same levels, same unlockables and so on, but is it as good technically, and just how well has the PSP coped with the port of this title? A review.

July 4, 2006

    PSP News
    Sony Australia have updated their PSP schedule with several new titles now appearing. On July 13 Sony will release Syphon Filter Dark Mirror while Formula One 06 and Talkman will both be released on July 27 (F1 - TBC). September 7 will see the release of Tekken: Dark Resurrection (TBC) and finally B-Boy will be released on September 21 (TBC).

    PS3 News
    Sega of America has confirmed that both Sonic the Hedgehog and Full Auto 2: Battlelines will both be launch title in America. No word yet on Europe or Australia however we expect them to also be launch titles, or very close, as well.

    PS3 Previews
    Assassin's Creed is a game which shows off the PS3 in all its glory. From the creators of Prince of Persia (that being Ubisoft Montreal) comes this stunning PS3 title. Many placed this as the game of the show at E3, and it's hard to disagree. Check this preview out now!

July 3, 2006

    PS2 News
    UbiSoft has announced that they will be distributing Square-Enix's Kingdom Hearts II this Spring. Although Ubisoft haven't confirmed a date our sponsor GamesWarehouse have the title listed for release on September 28th.

    PS2 Previews
    AFL Premiership 2006 is coming out in a month or so and is the first game under Sony's new agreement with the AFL. We've had an early look a couple of weeks ago but now Futuregamez.net has been hands on with Sony's AFL exclusive and give you some early impressions. We've also packed in ten new screenshots for you to check out.

July 2, 2006

    PSP News
    According to retail sources, and Take Two Australia Sid Meier's Pirates is currently in development for Sony's handheld, and may be released late this year. The original PC game received rave reviews upon release in late 2004. Hopefully we'll get details of the game coming to PSP in the coming weeks.

    PS3 News
    In the last week or so recruitment agencies have been looking to hire new staff for a couple of next-generation (Read: PS3) games for Sony. Interestingly the listing have dropped the ball on the titles - one being a new game in the Wipeout franchise, with another being a Football title - which in all liklihood means This is Football. While neither is a major surprise it's nice to know they're in the works.

    PSP Previews
    Star Wars Lego II: The Original Trilogy promises to give gamers what they really want - the fantastic gameplay based on the original trilogy. The first game was fantastic, but this sequel looks like setting new benchmarks. We give you the details, and first four screenshots from the impressive PSP version.

July 1, 2006

    PS3 News
    Sega AM2' president Hiroshi Kataoka has spoken about Virtua Fighter 5 on the Playstation 3. One of the reasons for the game being a PS3 exclusive is that gamers would be familiar with the series from the series being established on PS2 as well as the fact that AM2 are familiar with the nVidia graphics chipset making development easy. The game was advanced enough to show on the PS3 at E3, however scheduling prevented this occurring. At the moment the developers are adding additional content, and with the game developed in the arcade for both 4:3 and 16:9 monitors this won't be an issue at home. Virtua Fighter 5 is due for release in early 2007.


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