NOVEMBER 2006 NEWS
November 29, 2006
Want an Australian release date for Playstation 3? Would you be happy if I said Wednesday March 1st 2007? Well, unfortunately I can't say that for certain, but what I can tell you is that retailer Topshop now has several PS3 titles listed - withrelease dates. According to this page Ubisoft will be releasing Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas and Blazing Angels Squadrons Of WW2 on February 28th 2007, while Electronic Arts will be releasing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, Fight Night Round 3 and Need for Speed Carbon on March 1st. Here's hoping these are pointing to a very early March launch for the system.
Japanese gamers keen to get their hands on Motorstorm will be saddened to hear the game has been delayed - but only by a week from December 7th to December 14th. Europe and America will see the game in March 2007 - with the addition of online gameplay, something omitted from the Japanese release.
MotoGP is a game which PS2 gamers will likely be quite familiar with. Now the two wheeled racing series is headed to Sony's handheld. Michael has taken this game for a spin and gives us his impressions. Racing fans read on...
November 28, 2006
According to Eurogamer Ubisoft UK has now listed the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game as a "launch" title on the PS3 next year. The game will be out around the same time as the upcoming CG movie. The game will also be hitting the PS2 and PSP.
It's not all stationary on the local Playstation 3 front. Sony has just put Ridge Racer 7 through the OFLC with the game receiving an unsurprising G rating.
Think that games still aren't big business? Well according to director Arjan Brussee there are over 120 people working on Killzone with a budget expected to top over 16 million Euros ($AU27 million). The game will also apparently make use of downloadable content such as new levels. As yet there isn't a release date - but we'll put money on Sony's big Christmas 2007 title.
One of the key features of the PS3 is the ability to pay for and download games onto your PS3's Hard Drive. Microsoft also have a similar feature for the XBox 360 but while Gates & Co limit the game size to 50Mb, Sony's John Hight has confirmed they Sony will be capping PS3 downloadable games at 500Mb! Thank god for broadband.
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII isn't an update, or sequel to the classic RPG on PSOne. Well, it is a sequel of sorts, but isn't a RPG. This is a First or Third person action title (it's your choice) in the universe. Square-Enix haven't sent new benchmarks in terms of gameplay but fans of the Final Fantasy VII universe may want to check this out - the review, and the game.
November 27, 2006
Gun Showdown has taken quite a while in being ported from the PS2 to the PSP - with the port being handled by UK codeship Rebellion Studios. The original was a very entertaining, if somewhat brief game. Does this one improve the game? Well here's our full review in which we let you know how this handheld version fares.
November 26, 2006
Guitar Hero II is pure brilliance and one of the finest games we've seen in the current generation. Even those without a musical note in their body (and that probably sums me up) will love this title. It's one for young and old and is an essential purchase this Christmas. Still not convinced? Read our full review. Now, let me get back to some Sweet Child O' Mine...
November 25, 2006
Now we'll be honest that we can't verify this report, but apparently Harvey Norman in Aspley has a Playstation 3 current set up in the store. If you live in Brisbane you may want to check it out to see what we're missing. I may try to get there in a week or so but until there feel free to e-mail us if you manage to see it there.
Well the second weeks sales figures are in and Sony has managed to sell an additional 42,099 Playstation 3's in Japan over the last week bringing total sales to 123,738 units. To put that in comparison the XBox 360 has sold a paltry 99,443 units in the entire year!
SNK Playmore's director Soichiro Hosoya has confirmed that Neo Geo games will be made available through the Playstation Store to be downloaded to the Playstation 3.
505 Games has canned the release of Rule of Rose in the UK following a massive swell calls to ban the game. The game has been described as extremely violent with extreme cruelty. Strangely the game was deemed suitable by the PEGI and the Interactive Software and Video Standards Council. The game, which 505 was still defending last week was due for release this week. Ultimately though this 'removal' will only help fuel sales in other territories. I mean hell, how many of you were really interested in it until now? The game will almost certainly be canned for Australia - with Red Ant already removing it off their schedules.
November 24, 2006
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is the latest in Midway's long running beat 'em up and probably one of the last, if not the last, in the current generation. This game has a massive roster of fighters and plenty of game modes, including a couple of new ones. Michael has given this disc a run and gives us his verdict.
November 23, 2006
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 is probably the last major release on Sony's current generation for Konami's soccer title before the focus shifts to the Playstation 3. This isn't just a quick grab for cash but offers plenty of new and upgraded features. For soccer fans this is an essential purchase and another improvement for Konami's series.
November 22, 2006
Sony has just announced their first batch of downloadable PSOne games is available through the Playstation store in Japan. There are a couple of catches. Firstly to run the games on the PSP you will need to download the games through a PS3, and also upgrade your firmware to version 3.00. Secondly the PS3 itself will not be able to emulate the games until sometime in the new year. Each title costs 525 yen (approx $AU5.80) which is fantastic value. The first batch of titles includes:
Resident Evil Director's Cut (Capcom)
Konami Antiques MSX Collection Vol.1 (Konami)
Konami Antiques MSX Collection Vol.2 (Konami)
Bishi Bashi Special (Konami)
Arc the Lad (SCEJ)
Jumping Flash! (SCEJ)
Hot Shots Golf 2 (SCEJ)
Silent Bomber (Bandai Namco Games)
Tekken 2 (Bandai Namco Games)
According to the Japanese XBox Site Koei's Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War and Fatal Inertia will no longer be PS3 exclusives, but will now also hit the XBox 360 in 2007.
Ridge Racer 2 was a bit of a surprise title from Sony and Namco Bandai this Christmas primarily due to the fact the title isn't getting a release in America (as yet). Is this game simply a cash in or something all PSP owners should sink their teeth into. We give you our full verdict.
November 21, 2006
Want to see Grand Theft Auto IV as a PS3 exclusive for 12 months? How about Ubisoft's stunning Assassin's Creed? Well according to reports it could have been the case if Ken Kutaragi had been a little more swift in confirming business terms for independent publishers on the PS3. His delays gave the title hungry Microsoft the opportunity to swoop in and grab the titles as well. You can check out the original article here on Newsweek. One of the key paragraphs states:
"Take-Two and Rockstar Games were interested in continuing their longtime relationship with Sony, in which they premiered their Grand Theft Auto games on PlayStation platforms exclusively for 6-12 months before bringing them to other systems. Also, Ubisoft was interested in making Assassin's Creed, due in stores next spring, exclusive to the PS3. But neither company's top executives--all extremely important figures in the games industry--could get an answer from Kutaragi. PlayStation's Japanese headquarters was effectively radio silent, and without Kutaragi's signoff, the normally independent American and European branches had no authority to reach agreements on the exclusives they believed could be valuable to the PS3 cause."
Ubisoft America has confirmed that Rainbow Six: Vegas on the Playstation 3 has been delayed until January 30 - the same day the PSP version is due. It is believe the delay is due to getting the online components up and running. The game was due out in November.
Ubisoft has confirmed that one of the highlights of E3 2005, Killing Day, has been canned. The next-generation FPS was one of the first games to show off the potential of next-generation systems with wonderful particle effects, but sadly won't see the light of day.
SingStar Legends is yet another in Sony's long running karaoke franchise, but this almost certainly has the best track listing to date. With no new game modes - and we weren't expecting any - is this game worth your time and effort? Of course it is! Here's our full and exclusive review.
November 20, 2006
There has been a bit of talk since the PS3 launches that the system has trouble playing back as many as 200 PSOne and PS2 titles. Sony has put up a web site so you can check which games are compatible, and which have issues. What you will notice is that many games that have trouble 'out of the box' work when the PS3 is upgraded to version 1.10. Click here.
If there's one thing we like almost as much as video games it's movies. I have a pretty large DVD collection, as well as a very extensive knowledge of all things movies. In recent years I have been enthralled by Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and was dearly hoping he could make The Hobbit as he too was hoping to do. That though has been dashed today with Peter Jackson receiving a call from New Line saying his services wouldn't be required. It all comes down to a lawsuit between Wingnut (Peter Jackson's company) and New Line in which an audit was required. You can read the news here on Theonering.net website.
Killzone: Liberation is certainly one of Sony's biggest releases on the PSP this Christmas - and rightfully so to. The series now takes a top-down perspective rather then the first person shooter style of the PS2 original, but is all the better for it with wonderful graphics and sound, and gameplay also impressive. Here's our review of this hot title.
B-Boy is out now. We've already reviewed it you shout? Well yes we did, but that was the PSP version. Now we're taking a look at the PS2 version of this break dancing title. Can Sony's bigger console make a better effort of the game? Read our review to find out.
November 19, 2006
Well another day and another monumental occasion for gamers with the Nintendo Wii being launched in America - before Japan, Europe and Australia. Will a system with Standard Definition graphics but full motion sensing controls make a dent in the market? At the very least it should do well this Christmas, with many many more units available then the just released Playstation 3.
Football Manager Handheld isn't really a game that too many people in Australia will rush out to buy - and that's probably not a bad thing. Michael has given this game a good play but didn't really find much to get excited about. Still, football fanatics should check out this review.
November 17, 2006
Today is a sad day for European and Australian gamers - but quite a happy one for Americans. As we all know today was expected to be the 'worldwide' launch fo the Playstation 3, but with Europe and Australia delayed until March it's left up to Americans to enjoy the next-generation of gaming. Rumours though are that shipment numbers have been slashed from Sony's initial 400,000 estimate to as low as 150,000 units (according to Gamasutra)! That's a lot of people that pre-ordered that will miss out.
Think that the PS3 is a bit pricey? Well how about considering that for every system sold Sony lose up to $US306.85 for the 60GB model and $241.35 for the 20GB model. ISuppli has broken down the system into each component to give us this cost analysis. Surprisingly they also mention that Microsoft make $US75.70 for every XBox 360 sold! Check out this very interesting article here.
Well talk about supporting the Playstation 3. Take Two have confirmed they have 20 titles currently in development for the system, including 7 titles at their Rockstar studios. Naturally Grand Theft Auto IV is one such title - due out in October.
Some rather interesting and disappointing news today with many people reporting that the PS3's won't actually upscale an image from 720p to 1080i if you have such a TV. Apparently your only option is to have the image downscaled to 480p. The image will work on a 1080p TV. It is unknown if Sony will issue a patch or fix at this stage.
November 15, 2006
As we know the American version of the PS3 will launch this Friday, and one of the bonuses for the first 500,000 purchasers is the inclusion of the movie Talladega Nights - The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby on Blu-Ray. We would hope this offer extends to PAL territories when the system launches in March - but we've just learnt that the movie is hitting retailers on January 17. I guess that means we may get a different movie (if we get one at all) given that some PS3 purchasers would have bought it at retail months earlier. Stay tuned.
Well here's something concerning. According to German site Cynamite.de two of Activision's next-generation titles aren't even pushing 720p (1440 x 720) resolution. Apparently Call of Duty 3 is only running at 1040 x 624 while Tony Hawk's Project 8 is only running at 1040 x 584. These are XBox 360 figures, but given that that technology has been around a lot longer then the PS3 there is concern that the PS3 games will also be low resolution as well - although there is no mention of this and we hope the PS3's power means higher resolution. You can check out the full article here (if you can read German!).
Sega America has confirmed that Full Auto 2: Battlelines won't be available for the PS3 launch, but will be delayed by several weeks. Some online retailers such as EB Games have the title listed for December 12.
Scarface is without a doubt one of the greatest movies of all time. Even today the movie is violent, profanity laiden and yet utterly engrossing. This game is pretty much the same: violent, profanity laiden and yet utterly engrossing. This game tells the story of Tony Montana had the movie ended in a slightly different way.
November 14, 2006
So how big was the Japanese PS3 launch? Prior to Saturday Sony were stating 100,000 units, while media was reporting 80,000 units. The truth lies somewhere in between with 88,400 units sold (33,800 being the 20GB model and 54,600 the 60GB model). The biggest selling game was Ridge Racer 7 with 30,300 units, with Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight a close second with 30,000 sales. Insomniac's Resistance: Fall of Man shifted 15,700 units with the two other launch titles below that figure (they weren't disclosed).
Some not so good news for American's with PS3's pre-ordered at Gamestop. Apparently the company is now ringing some customers that pre-ordered to inform them they won't be seeing the system on launch day due to a lack of supplies. Fortunately the company has also told employees with pre-orders that they won't be getting their systems until the second shipment. In compensation those that have to wait will receive a game or DVD to the value of $19.99.
Star Trek Tactical Assault isn't the greatest looking game ever, but for Star Trek fans it looks like a must have title. Bethesda Softworks are putting the finishing touches in what could be the best Star Trek title in years. Here's a preview.
November 13, 2006
Activision has today confirmed that they have secured the rights to distribute Capcom's titles in Australia starting in 2007 with the XBox 360 title Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. The press release indicates that the deal will remain through 2007. The deal will of course include Capcom's highly anticipated PS2 titles God Hand and Okami early next year as well.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released on PC and XBox 360 in March this year to rave reviews, and monster sales. Indeed it is now regarded as one of the greatest RPG's of all time and now it's coming to the PS3 with an all new quest to complete. With a launch now for early 2007 in America, this should be a launch title here in Australia.
November 12, 2006
Sonic the Hedgehog was expected to be a launch title - at least we were hopeful. While European and Australian gamers wait for the PS3 (and I guess the game will be a launch title there now), Americans will also have to wait a bit longer for Sonic as Sega confirmed it won't be a launch title any more but released during 'holiday' season. We take a look at this very exciting game.
Release Schedule Pages
We've taken a few moments to update the PS2 Release Schedule and Preview Page. There's quite a few last minute changes (around 20 in total) in the leadup to Christmas, fortunately there have only been a couple of games pushed into 2007 (including Rule of Rose and ATOM Alpha Teens on Machine).
So you've lined up for your PS3 in Japan, you've entered the lottery to get a system, your number is called out and you hand over your hard earned money. What do you do next? Play some games? Upgrade the Firmware? Lock it in the vault? No. You rip it apart, void your warranty and show the world what is inside. Big respect to Impress Watch. There are two articles this first looks at the main system while this second looks at the components and controller in more detail. Very impressive pics, and confirmation that the PS3 does include the Emotion Engine/Graphics Synthesizer from the PS2. (Note: The site has been translated from Japanese, hence the poor grammar.)
Being a web site we try not to promote others, but 1UP has a very cool comparison between the PS2 and PS3 launches. You can check out the article right here.
November 11, 2006
Today is a rather special day - especially if you're Japanese - or at least one of 80,000 lucky Japanese. Yes the Playstation 3 has launched. Americans now only have six days to wait. Stay tuned for tonnes of news from Japan.
There's plenty of news coming out today, but one of the best is confirmation that the PS3 hard drive can be upgraded quite simply with another off the shelf drive. If you check out this link (which is in Japanese but has a series of pictures) you'll see that it has been accomplished.
One of the things gamers do have to do upon booting their system is connect to the internet and download the software update to upgrade from v1.0 to v1.1. This download is 98.21MB. What does this update do? Well some of the features include being able to connect to the Playstation Network, change the CD output frequency, download music and animated pictures from the internet to store to Hard Drive, an online manual, fixed calculation of Hard Drive space error as well as a host of other things.
Can't wait to get your hands on a PS3? Want to know every little detail of what it can do? Well Sony have put their user manual (in English) up online. You can check it out here.
One of the new features discovered by those lucky enough to get a system is that it effectively multi-tasks. By that we mean you can play some music through the XMB, and then hit the home button, and switch to surfing the net while the music keeps playing.
As we reported the other day Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has been officially delayed on the Playstation 3. Announced as a "surprise launch title" the game will not be released in America until early 2007. We can only hope that it will make it out for the PAL launch in March.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that Half-Life 2 will be delayed from Q'1 2007 to (American) Summer 2007 on the PS3.
With all the hype regarding the PS3 launch of late PSP and PS2 owners may be a bit left out. Well there's some good news for PSP owners with Sega announcing that they will be releasing Full Auto 2: Battlelines on the handheld. The game is set for release on PS3 as well.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has announced they have now sold over 40 million PS2 systems, thats 7 million units more then the PSOne after the same amount of time. Impressive.
November 9, 2006
Sony Japan has today cleared up one of the last remaining questions about the Playstation 3 (actually there quite a few, but this is a big one) regarding the pricing of downloadable titles. One of the first games, Blast Factor will cost 840 yen for gamers to download, or about $AU10. Sony will have a free demo for gamers to test the title before purchase. The game will take up 95MB of HDD space - almost double that of the size limit imposed on XBox 360 downloadable games.
Sega has confirmed that Sonic the Hedgehog will not be a launch title in America, but will instead be a Holiday release making a December launch likely. The developers apparently need more time to prepare their downloadable content.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that NBA Live 07, despite being shown earlier this year will not be released on the PS3 at all. Instead the company is focusing on NBA Street Homecourt due early next year, and then NBA Live 08. Given the extremely poor reviews of NBA Live 07 on other systems it's probably a good thing - plus we have Sony's NBA 07 and 2K Sports' NBA 2K7 both due out this year anyway.
In news that will dissappoint no one, well possibly one or two people, Konami has confirmed that Mahjong Fight Club won't hit Japanese shelves on 11/11 for launch but has been delayed until 16/11. Sigh.
Nothing like leaving it to the last minute, but 2K sports has confirmed that both NBA 2K7 (with 1080p video support) and NHL 2K7 will be PS3 launch titles in America on 17/11. As Futuregamez.net readers will know we've had them listed as launch titles in Australia for months now - and they still will be, only that we'll be waiting until March now.
Samurai Warriors 2 is another title in Koei's long running line of historically based action titles. Michael has taken a look at this game, but is it really worth your time and effort and more importantly can Koei bring something new to the table?
November 8, 2006
Well 2K Games has come forward and confirmed they have the rights to develop Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer for release in June 2007. The game is in development at Visual Concepts and Seven Studios for unnamed consoles.
Buzz! The Sports Quiz is the third in Sony's quiz franchise, and will hit stores next week. This is a game which millions of sports fans will be looking forward to, but have Sony managed to improve on a solid start to the series? Here's our review.
November 7, 2006
Sega has announced that they have inked a deal to develop a game based on Marvel's upcoming Iron Man movie and the comic books. Activision did have the rights to the property until 2009, but recently gave the license up. The Iron Man game will likely hit all major platforms - our bet is to coincide with the movie. The deal also includes development rights to a second unannounced Marvel property for next-generation systems.
Marvel, in a recent conference call to investors, has confirmed that a game based on the Fantastic Four 2 movie is in development. Unlike the original game (which is reviewed here) the sequel won't be developed by Activision, but Marvel has a "new relationship" in place. Rumours point to this game being the second game from Sega, or Take Two taking up development on this one.
THQ has confirmed that they have secured the rights to develop a game based on Disney Pixar's next movie Ratatouille. The game, much like THQ's recently released Cars, should hit every system on this planet.
Eidos has confirmed that Championship Manager 2007 will hit the PSP and PS2 in Q'1 2007 in Europe (with Australia likely to see the game at the same time).
Just Cause is a title Eidos will be hoping can do some big business for them. There have been plenty of GTA inspired clones over the years, but few have as much anticipation as this title from Avalance Studios which was delayed by around a year to ensure it met expectations. Michael gives us his full impressions of this game.
November 6, 2006
If online retailers are to be believed then the "surprise PS3 launch title" Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion won't be hitting the PS3 for launch as expected. EBGame now has the game set for December 4th, while Wal-Mar have pushed the game to January 27, 2007. At least it will be a launch title in PAL territories - hopefully!
Devil May Cry 3 Dante's Awakening Special Edition has one of the longest names of a video game release in recent memory, but don't let that put you off. Devil May Cry 3 was a fantastic title. Rather then just release it at Platinum pricing Capcom have added a host of new features. We tell you what's new in this version of the classic action title.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow is a title which quite a few people have been interested in. Although the movie has come and gone from the cinemas, and the DVD is out soon, Michael has taken a look at this Jack Sparrow focused title. Is it as good as the movies? Here's our full verdict.
November 5, 2006
Canis Canem Edit (aka Bully) should need no introduction. The most controversial game of 2006 is out now, and to be honest it's a lot of fuss over nothing. This isn't an uber violent game, but rather a suprisingly tame, but utterly fantastic title. To put is bluntly this is another must-have from Rockstar.
November 4, 2006
Some fantastic news for prospective PS3 owners today with confirmation from Insomniac that Resistance: Fall of Man is complete. Perhaps even more exciting for many gamers is the news that the company has turned its attention and full development capacity to a new Ratchet and Clank title for the PS3!
Sega has confirmed that the PS3's Sixaxis controllers tilt functionality will be used in Virtua Tennis 3. Not only will you be able to move around the court, but also hit the ball with your movements.
Namco has confirmed that it will be possible to install up to 5GB of game data on the PS3's Hard Drive in order to reduce load times in the game. Several other titles including Genji: Days of the Blade will include similar functionality.
Electronic Arts held a Financial brief yesterday and have revealed that Army of Two has been delayed beyond their Financial Year 2007 (so after March 31, 2007). The (possibly PS3 bound) PC exclusive Crysis has also been delayed until EA's next financil year.
Chief financial officer Warren Jenson has also hinted at some other new titles, although platforms has not been disclosed. As well as the inevitible stream of new Sims titles he mentioned that the Lord of the Rings franchise will continue, SimCity is coming back for more and most excitingly a sequel to Black will hit next-gen systems. Firing Squad has also mentioned that Road Rash will be making a return and a new Simpsons title will be released to coincide with the new series in America.
November 2, 2006
Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny may have one of the strangest names for a game in recent times however, if you like your traditional RPG's then this game from Koei and Gust may be worth checking out. Michael has taken some time (about 30 hours) to play and review this title.
November 1, 2006
Two bits of game related movie news have surfaced in recent days. Firstly Halo has officially been put on hold by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Microsoft following Fox and Universal pulling funding for the picture when budgets topped $US200 million. Other studios have also got cold feet due to the costs. The good news though (well perhaps not given the first movie) is that Capcom have confirmed a new Street Fighter movie is in the works. Newcomer Justin Marks will direct with the story revolving around Chun-Li. The movie will apparently hit cinemas (or direct to DVD we guess) in 2008. Oh, don't expect to see Kylie Minogue and Jean-Claude Van Damme in the movie - then again Jean-Claude is probably looking for work these days so who knows.
Playstation 3 news seems to be a daily occurance these days, and today we have some info on the power usage. Consider it this way. The Playstation 2 consumed about 45 Watts of power, your average light globe is approximately 60 Watts, the XBox 360 consumes 160 Watts but according to Sony Japan's "Global Warming Initiative" department the PS3 will consume up to 380 Watts of Power! By our calculations if you use your PS3 for 4 hours per day, every day of the year and it is running at 100% load, you will have an additional power bill of $AU77 every year through Energex in Queensland (at a rate of 13.9 cents per kwh)!
PowerStone Collection is a title which will make a number of hardcore gamers sit up and take notice. If you owned a Dreamcast then chances are you would have heard of, if not played, PowerStone. Now you get both games in one pack on the PSP. We tell you how well it has been ported.
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