SEPTEMBER 2006 NEWS
September 30, 2006
Super Monkey Ball Adventure is the sequel to the hit game from Sega last year. If you liked the original Super Monkey Ball DX then you've probably been waiting for this release. It's quite a different game though, so you might want to check out our review which Michael has done up for us.
September 29, 2006
Well the Playstation 3 may be delayed until March 2007 here in Australia, but those that were looking forward to the Blu-Ray capabilities may be satisfied to know that Panasonic will meet your every needs with their DMP-BD10 coming out this December. That's the good news. The bad news is that the bugger is going to cost you $AU2,749 - more then three times the cheap PS3. In comparison the unit will sell in America for $US1,299 (or about $AU1,730). It kind of makes the PS3 look cheap again. You can read Panasonic's details on the player here.
September 28, 2006
Urban Reign has been available since the start of the year, but Michael was still keen to have a look. Can Namco create a third fighting franchise? It's not far off. This game, from the developers of Tekken and Soul Calibur isn't perfect, but there's certainly a bit of fun to be had here. Here's our full review.
It's been rumoured for months, it's even appeared on various retailer sites before being promtly removed, then re-added, then removed. Now this article on 1Up The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is coming to the Playstation 3. Apparently the game will include a new faction called Knights of the Nine and will be available from the beginning of the game. No word yet on a release date or price, although it is expected to be a launch title.
Not to be outdone the same article on 1Up has confirmed that Elder Scrolls Travels: Oblivion will be coming to the PSP. While basically playing the same as the PC and PS3 games it includes an entirely new setting. Expect more details soon.
September 27, 2006
Well good news for PS3 owners. The rumours yesterday that Resident Evil 5 could be a XBox 360 exclusive have been shot to pieces with a Capcom representitive telling C&VG that the PS3 version is definitely still in the works. Phew.
September 26, 2006
Rockstar has announced that they have secured the rights to Team Bondi's L.A. Noir. This game has been in development for well over two years now for the Playstation 3 (indeed the founder of the Sydney based developer, Brendan McNamara, created the original Getaway title on PS2). The interesting thing about this announcement is that the title, which is still shrouded in secrecy until the full trailer is released on October 6th, may now head to other platforms as well as, or instead of, PS3.
Well take this one with a grain of salt but according to rumours and reports Resident Evil 5 may now be an XBox 360 exclusive. No one is saying so as yet, but apparently when Japan XBox boss Takashi Sensui refused to deny the rumours at the Tokyo Game Show. The game was a no-show at TGS. If this turns out to be true (Which would be extremely small) then this would be a staggering blow for Sony and the Playstation 3. Expect to (possibly) hear more at the X06 event at Barcelona next week (that's an XBox show).
Epic Games (those chaps behind a certain Unreal Tournament series, and Unreal Engine 3) have opened up a development studio in Shanghai - with several ex-Ubisoft staff. The new studios will mainly be making assets for upcoming titles in the short term.
September 25, 2006
Ridge Racer. Riiiidge Racer... The name has had a bit of a comical effect since the PS3 presentation at E3, but this sequel is no laughing matter. Namco Bandai are going to make sure this game keeps the series at the top of the pile.
According to a report from Europe the Playstation 3 verison of Virtua Tennis 3 will not have online gameplay due to Sony not having the online network details sorted out as yet. This follows hot on the heels of Activision confirming no online gameplay for their launch title Tony Hawks Project 8. We're not to sure of the reliability of the source of the Virtua Tennis 3 news however, the main difference being that Sega's title still has an additional 4 months development time with the game not due out until March 2007. That's plenty of time to get online gameplay included - if Sony do have their tools sorted out.
Well some news for Nintendo fans, and probably not good news for Sony. Nintendo has confirmed they will have one million Wii units available for their North American launch on November 19th, two days after the Sony PS3. Sony will (hopefully) have 400,000 units for their North American launch.
If you were looking forward to the Metal Slug Anthology on PSP then there's another reason to get the cash ready. Ignition Entertainment has confirmed that they will be adding another game to the mix - Metal Slug 6. The pack will now include Metal Slugs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and X. The compilation is due out in October/November.
September 24, 2006
Sony's Kaz Hirai has confirmed that the PS3 price drop is only for Japan, with European and American audiences still paying a massive amount more for our system (Hell, Australian's will be paying 46% more for the crippled, ermm, 20GB version!). Apparently Americans and Europeans are happy with the price...
Well it was a case of Lost in Translation. Apparently Ken Kutaragi's comments that Megadrive/Genesis games would be available through emulation were misinterpreted. Apparently such emulation is "possible" but still not confirmed. Sigh.. Strike the one most impressive aspect of the very dull TGS presentation as a mistake, leaving almost nothing to be impressed by.
According to numerous reports Japanese media (stemming from reporter Munechika Nishida) the price of PS3 games will be between 8,800 ($AU100.32) and 9,800 ($AU 111.72) yen. This compares to the majority of PS2 games which launch at 6,800 yen (or thereabouts). No PS3 titles were specified.
September 23, 2006
Sony Japan has confirmed the Playstation will launch with at least six titles on November 11. Those titles are as follows:
Resistance: Fall of Man
Ridge Racer 7
Genji: Days of the Blade
Sega Golf Club
Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight
Mah-Jong Fight Club Online
The Tokyo Game Show booklet is doing the rounds and lists how far along many of the PS3 titles are to completion. Right now one game is complete and ready to go. That's Namco's Ridge Racer 7. Others are coming along quite well, while others are still quite a way off. Here's those listed:
Virtua Fighter 5: 70%
Sega Golf Club: 70%
Sonic the Hedgehog 3: 75%
Armored Core 4: 80%
Coded Arms Assault: 50%
Ridge Racer 7: 100%
Gundam Target in Sight: 80%
Gran Turismo HD: 50%
Unknown Realm: 30%
The Eye of Judgment: 70%
Minna no Golf 5: 30%
Heavenly Sword: 65%
September 22, 2006
Sony TGS Keynote Speech News
Sony has today held their Tokyo Game Show Press conference, and we were expecting some big things. Did they disappoint? Well, yar they did - at least during Ken Kutaragi's presentation which only showed off trailers for five games - none of them new either...
Still, Ken Kutaragi's keynote speech held several interesting details. First of all those lucky enough to attend the TGS will be pleased to hear there are around 200 PS3's on the show floor to play test. Ridge Racer 7 was shown in video form and confirmed as a launch title. Other videos shown in the opening trailer reel include Virtua Fighter 5, Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight and Final Fantasy XIII.
Next up was a few minutes on global networking - and a Global Mapping system which allows anyone to upload images of their area for inclusion on a massive database. This will provide an accurate model of the real world. By doing this developers would no longer have to go to locations for imagery. An example of Gran Turismo was given in that developers would not have to travel to the Grand Canyon to receive imagery, but rather others could upload imagery to be used in development. Likewise car manufacturers can send through CAD diagrams of their cars to be included.
Sony did reconfirm that the PS3 would be able to play older games through emulation including PSOne and PS2, but also MegaDrive (Genesis) and PC Engine games. The titles and prices are still to be confirmed - but it's good news. Videos will also be available over the network. The Folding@Home project has been re-confirmed for the PS3 - this will allow gamers to also assist in medical research. To close a video of Afrika was shown - different to E3 - but still giving nothing away about the game.
The big revelation was that the 20GB (aka crippled) PS3 will have the HDMI 1.3 input put back into it. There was much outcry over its removal at E3, but Sony have obviously had a rethink about the issue (and what will happen if movie studios cripple the image quality without HDMI). Bigger news yet though, for Japanese fans, is that the 20GB PS3 has had the price cut from 62,790 yen ($AU715) to 49,980 yen ($AU569). Apparently the American price will not be changing - and at this stage nor will the European system. Yes, Australians will still be paying $829 (or 46% more then the Japanese) for the 20GB system!
Overall it was an average presentation and well below expectations - where were the new games? Why weren't online game modes discussed? Where was the online pricing? Why no confirmation or denial of recent Gran Tursimo HD rumours?
Sony has confirmed that Warhawk will not be released until Summer 2007 (which for Australian readers means Winter 2007).
September 21, 2006
Sony Japan have confirmed that Gran Turismo HD will be released in Japan this December. This will be the first game to include 1080p support. No word yet on release dates outside Japan, nor pricing.
Tecmo has confirmed they are developing Ninja Gaiden Sigma for the Playstation 3. The game is apparently an enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden which appeared on the XBox. New features include new characters, levels, weapons and combat. The game is currently around 25% complete.
Level 5 has announced they are working on a Playstation 3 RPG called White Knight Story. Level 5, as you may remember were most recently responsible for Dragon Quest VIII for Square-Enix.
Yakuza is a kick-ass game from start to end. Imagine a game like Grand Theft Auto but set in Japan's criminal underground, with a lot more swearing then Take Two's title, and reliance on your fists rather then weapons. This is Sega returning to their best.
September 20, 2006
Tekken: Dark Resurrection is a bit title for Sony's PSP system - it will give gamers more Triple-A titles in future. But could Namco really do the impossible? Could the port their biggest fighting franchise to the PSP? We give you the full lowdown on their effort. In short: It's brilliant!
Well this one could shake things up a bit. One of the UK's biggest retailers, GAME, has apparently bought The Game Wizards franchise for $3.8 million dollars. The Australian retailer has 14 company owned stores and 8 franchised stores around the country. While only small this will almost certainly be a toe in the water for possible bigger things, and will be a welcome competitor to Electronics Boutique who seem to be dominating the games retail in Australia.
While the Nintendo Wii launch detailes were revealed last week one feature which was reported incorrectly was about region locking. Contrary to earlier reports Wii titles will be region coded. Playstation 3 games will not be region coded.
Australian Game TV News
Did you catch Good Game on ABC2 last night? It wasn't a bad start to Australia's only TV show based on video games. There were some parts that really aimed at a very young audience (the cheat dog? What's inside a PC?) and the Newsreader was just gay, but there were some other bits such as the Saint's Row review, and World of Warcraft interview that were a bit more interesting. My verdict 6.5/10, with plenty of potential. If you missed it Good Game will be replayed on Wednesday at 10.30pm and on Friday night at 1.00am.
September 19, 2006
Australian Game TV News
For those of you with digital TV in Australia you might want to check out ABC2 at 8.30pm tonight as a new game show called Good Game will air for the first time. In the first episode they interview the developers of Saint's Row and look at World of Warcraft among other things. Might be worth checking out. If you read this a bit late Good Game will be replayed on Wednesday at 10.30pm and on Friday night at 1.00am.
Electronic Arts, those who like to take over the world, are apparently set to take on one of the biggest franchises in the world (that being Activision's Tony Hawk) with their own skateboarding title. The game is apparently due out on the PS3 in 2007 and will include 14 pro skaters. The game is currently being developed by EA Canada under the title Skate - although we suspect that the final name is still being decided upon. This will be EA's first skateboarding title since Skate or Die was released in 1987.
Gangs of London is a funnt game. It's essentially The Getaway for handhelds, reworked with gangs. In fact I don't know why Sony didn't call this game The Getaway: Gang Wars or something, it's almost identical in terms of graphics and gameplay - actually it's not quite as good as the PS2 titles. A review.
September 18, 2006
According to ps3party.nl Sega's Virtua Tennis 3 will be released in Europe in March - obviously as a launch title - but will also run at 1080p. We're still awaiting confirmation from Sega, but if true that's great news - if only to prove Microsoft wrong about their 'no 1080p games' trash talk. The XBox 360 version will apparently only include 720p support!
Nintendo Australia has confirmed that their next generation system will launch here on December 7th, a day before the European launch of December 8th. The Australian system will retail for $AU399. Let the console wars continue...
Mercury Meltdown is coming to PSP (and a bit later to the PS2 in a remixed game. Mercury was a surprise hit title on the PSP at launch, and now Ignition are back with a sequel, but without Archer Maclean. Still, this looks like bringing even more to the series.
September 17, 2006
Sony Australia has sent through word that the disc only version of SingStar Legends will not be $AU59.95 as we reported in the preview a couple of days ago but will indeed retail for $AU49.95 - as is the case with other disc only releases. Apparently it was simply a typo.
Drakengard 2 has been out for a while now, but we've only just picked up a copy for review. From the developers of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest this is a game which qutie a few people have been desperate to hear our impressions of. Michael takes up review duties and gives us his thoughts..
September 15, 2006
IGN UK is reporting that Activision's Tony Hawks Project 8 will not have any online modes for PS3. Apparently this is due to Neversoft only receiving final development kits a couple of weeks ago, as well as a lack of online libraries from Sony.
SingStar Legends is coming out here this November. For many it will be a case of here we go again, another SingStar pack from Sony. Fortunately Sony has listened to complaints from the previous pack and increased the tracklist back to 30 songs - and it's possibly the best compilation in the series to date!
September 14, 2006
Activision has confirmed that their PS3 titles will cost $US60 in, obviously, America. This is in line with current XBox 360 game pricing and means that we shouldn't be paying any more then $119 here in Australia for PS3 titles, when they appear next March.
It's always good to keep an eye on the competition, and Nintendo are currently in the middle of holding a series of media events around the world. These are being used to detail the launch plans of their Nintendo Wii. Japan will see the system on December 2nd for 25,000 yen while Americans will apparently (this is leaked news, not yet official) see the system hit the shelves on November 19 for $250. Europe and Australia should be announced tomorrow as well as confirmation of the American date. It's rather interesting that the American launch will be before the Japanese one, but also that the American launch will be two days after the PS3 - perhaps in order to lure disappointed PS3 purchases who miss out on a system.
Killzone Liberation is one of those games that you'll really want to show off to your mates. Not only will it continue the story of the PS2 game but looks absolutely stunning with some wonderful top-down/isometric styled gameplay. We have the latest info and screens for you to enjoy.
September 13, 2006
Just a quick heads up to let you know that it looks like Ace Combat Zero: The Belkin War has slipped out to stores about 10 days early. Keep an eye out for it.
Another game which seems to have been released a bit earlier then expected is Tekken: Dark Resurrection on the PSP. The game was due out on the 21st but some retailers seem to have it already. Expect a (very positive) review in the coming days.
Wild Arms 4 is a game which RPG starved gamers will certainly be happy to see released in Australia. The series has sold an impressive 2.5 million units to date but this new title has some significant changes, including a new battle system. In this preview we give you the latest screens and information.
September 12, 2006
Well Ubisoft denied the news several weeks ago when we broke it in a worldwide exclusive, but it appears that there is indeed a new Prince of Persia game coming out this year on PSP. The game is called Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (a slight change from Prince of Persia: Rival Blades as we mentioned. The game is due out in 2006 in Europe and early 2007 in America and is currently in development with Pipeworks Software.
Square-Enix has announced that Kingdom Hearts 2 will be borderless in PAL territories. The game has also been sped up to run at the same pace as the NTSC game. Expect a release in late September. Woo hoo!
September 11, 2006
From Software has confirmed that Enchanted Arms will be coming to the Playstation 3 - with the Japanese version (called Enchant Arm) due out this year apparently. We expect to hear more from the Tokyo Game Show however this is great news for Sony's PS3 which has been under siege since the delay and production cut announcement last week.
Steambot Chronicles is another of several RPG's coming out towards the end of 2006. With Final Fantasy XII not coming out until 2007 this is another possible alternative for fans of the genre. Here's a preview of this solid looking game from Irem.
Just a quick note that Sony Australia has officially confirmed the tracklisting for SingStar Anthems, and it's the same as the list which we brought you on August 28th. It looks, on paper at least, like the best compilation to date. On a slightly negative not Sony have increased the price of the disc only version to $AU59.95 - $AU10 more then previous packs. The pack with two microphones remains at $AU99.95 as per previous games. Expect a November 2nd release.
Release Schedule Pages
We've taken a few moments today to update the PS2 Release Schedule and Preview Page. In the leadup to Christmas there's some frantic release date changes, and a tonne of new additions (again!) so make sure you check it out.
September 10, 2006
According to C&VG Traveller's Tales are already hard at work on a new Lego title - but it's not Star Wars. This time they are turning their sights onto the caped crusader with a game based on, you guessed it, Batman. As yet Lego Batman (or whatever it's called doesn't have a date, and details are scarce, but it's exciting news.
Rockstar has confirmed that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories has been delayed in the UK from October 20 to November 3rd. We could expect the delay to also affect Australia.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is, without a doubt, one of the greatest upcoming games of 2007, and don't Sony know it. If there is one game that could shift millions of PS3 systems for Sony then it's Hideo Kojima's MGS4. This 2007 release looks stunning, and has a storyline to match.
September 9, 2006
Eye Toy Kinetic Combat is Sony's second fitness title on the PS2. The original was a revolutionary product for a game console which used the Eye Toy as a fitness device. Sony are about to release a greatly enhanced sequel with more workouts, and more intensity. Here's an early look at this second round of Sony's fitness software with screens and info.
September 7, 2006
PS3 Delay Thoughts. The amount of anger aimed at Sony since they announced a four month delay to the PS3 in Europe and Australia has been astounding. We look at the reasons, what it means for gamers (including Japan and America) and some of the possible positives - yes, positives - to the delay.
September 6, 2006
Playstation 3 Officially Delayed
According to this article Sony Computer Entertainment's Ken Kutaragi has confirmed that the number of Playstation 3 units that will be available at the Japanese and American launches will also be dramatically reduced due to production issues that have seen the European system delayed by four months and won't see production commence until late September. Ken Kutaragi stated that Japan will receive about 100,000 units for their November 11th launch, while American will receive approximately 400,000 units. The company is still hoping to produce 6 million units in total until the end of March 2007, however Sony have reduced the end of December target to 2 million units, from 4 million. Kutaragi also stated that the European launch will likely be in early March - but the date is still to be determined.
It was what we all feared. With Playstation 3 production still to begin something had to give - and that something was Europe. Sony Europe has announced that the Playstation 3 will not launch in the territory on November 17th as expected - but has been pushed back until March 2007. The company has cited a shortage of blue laser diodes for the Blu-Ray drive as one of the problems, as well as the need to localise for the many languages in Europe. The system will still launch in Japan and America as planned. You can read Sony's official announcement here.
Update:Sony Australia has confirmed the story isn't a misprint or mistake.
September 5, 2006
We've know that IR Gurus were working on a PS3 title for some time now, and that it wasn't going to be based on the AFL (Australian Football League), but the game is in fact Heroes over Europe (working title), a sequel to thier flight sim Heroes of the Pacific which was released to positive reviews some time ago. According to this article on The Age the game will be published by Red Mile Entertainment in 2008. The game will also appear on PSP.
According to reports From Software has announced that Armored Core 4 will be an exclusive on PS3, with the XBox 360 version apparently being scrapped.
Medal of Honor Heroes is due out later this year. Electronic Arts' Medal of Honor series has had plenty of highs and lows over the years. This is the first in the series to hit the PSP and has plenty of potential. First screens and details inside...
September 4, 2006
EA Replay is a compilation package from, wait for it, Electronic Arts. Featuring 14 titles from the 16-bit era this package may seem a bit short on the numbers side, but it certainly has a couple of big games including Wing Commander, Road Rash (all three, no less), Syndicate, Desert Strike and Jungle Strike to name a few. It's due out pretty soon but we've whipped up a preview with the first batch of screens.
Sony America has confirmed that the high-end PS3 unit will not ship with a HDMI cable included. HDMI (or High Definition Multimedia Interface) allows the system to transmit uncompressed audio and video signals and is the best possible method of outputting either games of high-def (Blu Ray) movies from the PS3. I guess this means we'll all be spending an extra $AU70-100 for a cable upon release. Well done Sony on promoting the best possible image (not!).
Take this one with a grain of salt, or perhaps two grains but someone apparently in the know has posted a lengthy thread about the Playstation 3, where development is currently at and gives some impressions of the games. It could be complete BS, but most seems pretty authentic - and if true very exciting. Check out the link here.
Today is a sad day, one of the saddest in recent memory if you're an Australian - and indeed one of millions of fans the world over. Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin was tragically killed in Queensland today. It wasn't one of his beloved crocodiles, but rather a Stingray which he was swimming with near Port Douglas and Cairns in North Queensland which stung him in the chest while filming a new documentary. Steve was a classic Aussie. No holds barred and relentless in his persuit of conservation and saving animals. I've had the pleaseure of vising Australia Zoo (which appears to be overloaded at the moment) on several occasions, and was due to go back in only 11 days time to celebrate a birthday - one which we hope to still make to honor his memory. Thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and two children - as well as all families and friends. Steve Irwin. Australian. Legend. R.I.P.
September 3, 2006
The OFLC has awarded Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas an MA15+ rating during its rating process this week. The game was given the label of "Strong violence, Coarse language". The game is expected to be a launch title in Australia (and other territories) this November but was one of the games certain to come under some scrutiny due to the content. The first PS3 games rated were Take Two's NBA 2K7 and NHL 2K7, EA's Madden NFL 07 and Sega's World Championship Snooker 2007 which were rated G or PG in August.
For one reason or another Rockstar has renamed their upcoming Bully to Canis Canem Edit which means Dog Eat Dog or something like that in Latin. Why the change? Why only 2 months before release? Who the hell knows. Apparently the name change is only for Europe - no word yet if that means Australia as well.
World Championship Poker 2 is coming to a PS2 early next year. Poker is a fantastic game when you've got a group of friends around but surprisingly it also makes great viewing on TV, and a great video game. Here's a peek at yet another game based on one of the most loved, and played, card games.
September 1, 2006
Suikoden V is Konami's latest effort in their long running RPG series. If it's RPG's you want then it's RPG's we've got coming out on the PS2 late this year, but Konami's Suikoden V looks like one of the stand outs with a release in only a few weeks. Here's a preview with the details and some of the first screens.
Codemasters have officially announced that the PS3 Spark Unlimited project confirmed last week is a title called Fall of Liberty. The game is set in a world where the Nazi's have taken over the world - and indeed the one image released shows the Nazi's marching in front of the White House. The First Person Shooter sees you playing a resistance fighter on American soil trying to disrupt the occupying army. The game will be released in Q'4 2007.
Ubisoft have confirmed they are developing Brothers in Arms: D-Day for release in late 2006 on the PSP. The game follows the fortunes of Sergeant Baker and Sergeant Hartsock and will, as the title suggests, focus on D-Day. Ubisoft are including 12 co-op maps as well as four different multi-player game modes. Brothers in Arms: D-Day is currently in development at Ubisoft Shanghai for release late this year.
Codemasters have announced they are bringing Cannon Fodder to the PSP in Q'2 2007. The game is a welcome (for us at least!) return for a much loved 16-bit era game. Played from a top-down isometric viewpoint the original game was one of the classic action titles. The PSP version will include 4-player multi-player and all new features such as air strikes, radar sweeps, live coverage from the warzone and new firepower such as sniper rifles and flamethrowers.
Another title announced for the PSP is V8 Supercars 3 Challenge from Codemasters. Confirmed as a PAL territory exclusive the title is being developed from the ground up for the system and will include 12-player wireless gameplay and 4-player game sharing. The game is due out in late 2006.
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