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AUGUST 2007 NEWS

August 31, 2007

    PS3 News
    Well we broke the news some time ago but it has now been confirmed by Sony that Heavenly Sword will have a RRP of $109.95 in Australia - $AU10 more then all other titles.

    If you've been awaiting the multi-player only Warhawk then wait no longer as Sony Australia has put the title on the Playstation Store for the great price of $AU49.95. The retail version will be available on September 20 and include a Jabra 135 Bluetooth Headset and bonus videos for $AU99.95. There has been some commentary about the DRM placed on the downloadable version in that it can only be downloaded to one account user on a PS3 and used by them, and can only switch from one PS3 to another once in a 24 hour period. If that's going to be a problem we suggest you hold back for the retail version. All others, go ahead. It's a blast.

August 30, 2007

    PS3 News
    There has been some speculation that Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will be a free download on Playstation Store late this year - we are still to confirm that. What we can confirm though is that the game will include around 40 cars, 5 tracks including the Eiger Nordwand, the London City Track and Suzuka (which can also be raced in reverse), 16-player online racing and 1080p visuals at 60fps in-game, and 30fps for the replay. What's more the game will also be available on Blu-Ray disc (which is why we believe there will be a small fee even for the downloadable game).

    PS3 Preview
    Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock sees the return of what we believe is the best new franchise in the last couple of years. This latest game is heading to the PS2, but is also heading to the PS3 for the first time with new graphics, new game modes and a monster tracklist. Oh, did we mention it will also ship with a new wireless guitar controller?

August 28, 2007

    PS3 News
    Just a quick note to let you know I've updated my PS3 Preview & Release Schedule Page. There have been some date changes, and the end of September and October is looking extremely busy.

    Epic's Mark Rein has told Eurogamer that while there will likely be a PC demo it's unlikely there will be a PS3 demo for Unreal Tournament III prior to the games release this November.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Babel is certainly a unique movie - one for the thinking man of sorts. Paramount have just released the movie on Blu-Ray (it is their second last one before going HD-DVD exclusive) and we've taken a look. Can this Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett movie impress us? Read our review to find out.

    PS3 Preview
    Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is a game certain to be a wonderful release on PS3 - and even if you have both the PS2 games you will certainl want to check this out. Both the original games are included however the visuals have been vastly improved and configured for widescreen HDTV's, new features including levels and characters added and online gameplay also thrown in for good measure. We suggest you check out this preview.

August 27, 2007

    PS3 News
    Sony has confirmed that the downloadable version of Warhawk will not be released on August 28 as originally announced, but has been pushed back to August 30 in Europe (and we expect Australia) to coincide with the next Playstation Store update. The retail version is due out in late September. According to reports the Blu-Ray version will still require an install onto the Hard Drive of around 789Mb in size.

    PS3 News
    Those of you having Manhunt 2 depressions need not fear. Rockstar has re-submitted the game to the ESRB in America and it has now been awarded a Mature rating meaning it will now be available in stores from October 31. At this stage there is no news on what was modified or cut from the game to reduce the rating from Adults Only. No word yet on the game being re-submitted to European or Australian censors.

    PS3 Review
    Transformers: The Game is, unsurprisingly, the video game tie-in for the hit Paramount movie. The movie was an entertaining ride from start to end. It's a shame this game isn't anywhere near as good. In fact, it's pretty rubbish actually. Our warning (ermm, review)...

August 25, 2007

    Blu-Ray Review
    Legends of the Fall is yet another Sony Blu-Ray release (due out this November in Australia). It's an epic movie starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Julia Ormond. But does this transfer match the movies quality? You may want to read our review...

August 24, 2007

    PS3 News
    Well IGN AU have an interesting article up regarding FIFA 08 including 5-on-5 gameplay - or 10 people online. Unfortunately it seems we won't be getting this in Australia as it requires a server to run - something which EA aren't willing to spend money on here in Australia. This feature will only be possible in Europe and America - question is, how are EA going to stop gamers around the world logging onto EU/US servers to download the update and run it?

August 23, 2007

    What a couple of days it has been at the Leipzig Show. Sony, and other developers, have announced several big items which are sure to get you excited...

    Leipzig Show PS3 News
    Firstly Sony has re-confirmed that Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will be available this coming holiday and will include 50 Cars, 5 Tracks (which will also be reversible), 16 player online racing, and 1080p visuals. As yet an exact date and price has not been announce, but it will be released through the Playstation Store.

    Sony has announced PlayTV. What is it? Well it essentially turns your PS3 into a PVR, which allows you to record TV shows on to the PS3's Hard Drive. The system (details of which were leaked from a rep for Sony New Zealand last month) will first be available in UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain in early 2008 with other PAL territories to follow. As yet there has not been a price announced - but I will certainly hold off on my PVR purchase now! The system will even allow you to stream recorded content to your PSP! Oh, it looks like Americans may be out of luck as the system won't be compatible with your TV systems!?

    Sony has confirmed that Heavenly Sword will be released in the UK on September 14th, the rest of Europe on September 19th, and in Australia on September 20th.

    Activision has confirmed that the stupendous looking Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare will be released in America and Europe on November 5th. Australia will see the title hit shelves on Monday November 7th.

    Electronic Arts have announced at the show that FIFA 08 will include support for 10 players online and not only that but unlike Madden NFL 08 this game will run at 60fps. This is certainly an improvement over previous years efforts. The interesting thing though is that this will be enabled a couple of months after the title hits shelves through a free downloadble update - what gives? Why not include it up front?

    Sony has announced Buzz! Quiz TV will be coming to the PS3. The title will allow you to select from genres of questions. The game will be integrated to the Playstation Network which will allow online play, and downloadable content including new question packs. A new community called MyBuzz will be introduced allowing players to upload their own questions. As yet Sony have not confirmed if the game will use the current USB buzzers, or be receiving upgraded wireless Buzzers for the PS3. Release date is still TBC.

    Digital Extremes has confirmed that a demo for Dark Sector will be released on the Playstation Network around October/November. The game is due out in early 2008. Sony has released some sales figures for downloadable titles on the Playstation Store. Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection leads the pack with 103,000 units sold in Europe, Fl0w was second with 47,000 units sold, Super Rub a Dub is third with 34,000 copies sold while the recently released Calling all Cars is fourth with 31,000 sales.

    PS3 Preview
    Viking: Battle for Asgard was a surprise announcement from Sega and developers The Creative Assembly at the Leipzig show this week. Take massive battlegrounds, hundreds of combatants and Vikings and you have one glorious looking hack and slash title due out in early 2008. Here's the details.

    Leipzig Show PSP News
    Sony has introduced a new PSP brand called PSP Go!. This brand will introduce a suite of new options including downloadable video content, instant messaging and even a GPS system. Items under the PSP Go! brand will be released in early 2008.

    Sony has confirmed the PSP Lite will go on sale in Europe on September 5th. Additionally two new colours have been shown - one a Spider-man styled Black and Red unit, and a Simpsons Yellow. Both of those colours are due out towards the end of 2007.

    Leipzig Show PS2 News
    Electronic Arts has shocked the Leipzig attendees by announcing that Rock Band - a game announced for PS3 and XBox 360 will also be hitting the PS2. The game will be released in Europe and Australia in Q'1 2008.

August 22, 2007

    PS2/PSP News
    Funtastic has sent out a press release today to confirm that they will be distributing Jackass: The Game in Australia on PS2 and PSP. Both versions are due out on October 25th. You can check out our PSP Preview and PS2 Preview on the site already! Both versions will retail for the kick-ass price of only $AU49.95.

    PS3 News
    2K Games has sent out a press release confirming that Mafia 2 is in development for next-gen consoles (which we assume will include PS3). The mob based action game is being developed by Illusion Softworks who created the original title.

    It has been rumoured for a while, and today Electronic Arts has confirmed that Rock Band has been delayed until Q'1 2008 in Europe (and presumably Australia). The good news though is that the game will be localised with tracks for each territory. As yet European/Australian tracks have not been announced.

    Blu-Ray News
    We're going to have a lot more to say about the Microsoft/Paramount/Dreamworks deal in the coming days so stay tuned, but as expected the Blu-Ray camp have hit back with all guns blazing - by way of some major announcements from Fox and MGM! Today the companies have confirmed that the following movies will be released on Blu-Ray in America by the end of the year - with many also due out in Australia and the rest of the world. Titles include: The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, Die Hard 1-4 (yes, 4 being the new kick-ass movie in cinemas now!), Robocop, I Robot, Red Dawn, Cast Away and Master and Commander to name just a few.

    Buena Vista in America has confirmed that Ratatouille will also be released on DVD and Blu-Ray this year, but not HD-DVD.

    We love Michael Bay - his movies are kick-ass and certainly a showcase for HD movies - he reportedly loves Blu-Ray so when Paramount announced Transformers would be HD-DVD exclusive following the deal with Microsoft he posted the following on his web site forums "I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For them to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks! They were progressive by having two formats. No Transformers 2 for me! Bay". WOW! if that's not a big FUCK YOU to Paramount I don't know what is. This deal plain sucks folks, and it's not just the consumers that are pissed off it seems.

    According to reports the detail for exclusivity is for 18 months which means no Paramount titles this year, or next. That's a long time but according to The Digital Bits (the best site for all the news coverage in deatil) there are some clauses that may allow some titles to be released on Blu-Ray. Other news on that site indicates that titles like Blades of Glory were to include interactive features not possible on HD-DVD due to space restrictions - which makes the claim that improved interactivity on HD-DVD was one of the reasons seem untrue.

August 21, 2007

    Blu-Ray News
    Well Microsoft certainly like to screw people over. Paramount Home Entertainment issued a press release today stating that Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation will be exclusive to HD-DVD, with all Blu-Ray releases now scrapped. How does this link to Microsoft you ask? Well apparently the company has paid Paramount a massive amount of money ($US150 million, plus incentives) to drop support for the Blu-Ray format. Officially it's due to HD-DVD being the cheaper format, and also the improved interactivity features. This is a pretty massive blow for Sony, and the Blu-Ray format but there is one exception. Steven Spielberg films have been excluded from this deal - meaning that Indiana Jones could still head to Blu-Ray. Given that the only exclusive movie studio for HD-DVD was Universal, and the format war was certainly heading in Blu-Ray's favour this is a major shift in focus.

August 20, 2007

    PS3 Review
    Ninja Gaiden Sigma is a remake of a remake of a classic XBox title. This update on the Playstation 3 includes flashy new visuals, some gameplay changes and more spit and polish. This is a fantastic action title and well worth a look...

August 18, 2007

    PS3 News
    The highly anticipated Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction has been given a release date of October 23rd in America. Given that there's no online gameplay hopefully the port to Europe and Australia will be a speedy one too.

    Well the Australian Playstation Store doesn't seem to have been updated this weekend, but if you're connected to the American one you're in luck - there's demos of NCAA Football 08 (which won't be coming to Australia) and more impressively Colin McRae Rally Dirt.

    PSP Preview
    Wipeout Pulse is the second in Sony's Hovercraft with weapons based racing titles. The graphics look sharp, the gameplay should be intense and Sony are packing a tonne onto the UMD disc. We've taken a look at what to expect and our interest in this latest game from Studio Liverpool has only increased even further.

August 16, 2007

    PS3 News
    Looks like it's going to be a pretty lean outing on the Playstation Store tomorrow. According to ThreeSpeech European (and therefor Australian) gamers will see a demo of Armored Core 4 and also another 'Making of' and 'Introduction Story' for Heavenly Sword. Hopefully we (Aussies) will also see some new music video clips from Sony BMG.

August 15, 2007

    PS3 News
    Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz Epic's Mark Rein has mentioned that the Blu-Ray format gives developers more 'legroom' and that the 360 version on DVD may have less maps due to the limited space. See... Blu-Ray is something to be excited, and happy, about folks!

    Some jitters earlier today with word spreading like wildfire that Metallica were set to sue Harmonix (Rock Band) and Red Octane/Activision (Guitar Hero III) for using their songs in video games, thus hurting potential sales (you will probably recall Metallica were one of the biggest artists to speak out against file sharing such as Kazaa). Speculation started to grow that Metallica's trakcs would be dropped from the titles. Fortunately these rumours are false. There is no lawsuit, and no problems. The songs will be on the two titles.

    Looking forward to Madden NFL 08? Well something to consider is that while the XBox 360 game runs at 60fps, the PS3 version only runs at 30fps. EA has stated that "In the case of the next-generation consoles, many publishers have been developing titles for the Xbox 360 for over three and a half years while everyone who publishes now for the PlayStation 3 with the exception of Sony has been developing for the PlayStation 3 for only a little over one full year. The differences in the overall knowledge of the hardware is vastly different for both consoles and, as is the case with newer technology, it is very difficult to get it right the first time." Ermm EA, do you realise this is your second Madden title on the PS3?!

    While not confirmed rumours are starting to grow that EA's Rock Band will not be released in Europe or Australia this year. The game, which includes two guitars, drums and a microphone will take considerable time to manufacture. Besides, it will give you more time to save for the rumoured $AU300-400 price point!!

    PS3 Preview
    Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is yet another impressive FPS heading to the PS3. The developers, Spark Unlimited, have a solid track record of First Person Shooters. It's the story behind this game that really generates interest though... What would happen if the Nazi's invaded America? You now have a chance to find out!

August 14, 2007

    PS3 News
    Sony has confirmed that users of the upcoming Home service that abuse the system could have their systems banned indefinitely. We have to admit this is a good move by Sony - there's nothing worse then people abusing the system for the millions that use it properly. Sony won't be strict at enforcing rules, but abuse (and we assume the uploading of porn, or commercial movies etc) will be frowned upon. There will, however, be areas for gamers aged 18 and over - so it won't be totally dumbed down. Home is expected to be released through the Playstation Store around October-December.

    PSP Review
    PaRappa the Rapper has become a bit of gaming legend with legions of fans the world over. Does this PSP latest title deserve the name? Have Sony enhanced the game? Is it really worth $AU49.95 of your hard earned cash? Here's our full verdict.

August 13, 2007

    PS3 News
    Sony Europe has confirmed that they will be refuning funds to those who purchased Spyro 2 and MediEvil through the Playstation Store to play on the PS3. As many of you would be aware the games have encountered some technical issues which, while initially hoping to resolve, are obviously bigger then expected.

    According to Famitsu Gran Turismo 5 will be released in Japan next July. While hearing the date is good news - and there is no mention of America or Europe as yet - we're not going to hold our breath waiting for the game. Fortunately GT5: Prologue will be released in late 2007.

    Confirmation that The Chronicles Of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena has been delayed from Q'4 2007 until an unspecified 2008 date. The title is highly anticipated as it will offer improved visuals, enhanced gameplay and online modes not found in the original XBox title.

    PS3 Preview
    Turok. It has been a while since we've seen a Turok game, and a lot longer since we've had a good one. This new title is in the hands of a new publisher and developer and will appear on next-gen systems. There's six months until release but it's looking impressive already.

    Blu-Ray News
    Those of you looking for another 'stellar' Blu-Ray movie may want to be aware that 300 is now available in stores - that is, if you can find it. I checked 3 Blu-Ray stockists today in my local area and they had all sold out. The disc has also become one of the fastest sellers on the High Definition format.

August 11, 2007

    PS3 News
    Activision have shot through their latest release schedules which showed a bit of a surprise Spider-man 3: Collectors Edition will actually be released in our territory on September 19. The game will retail for $119.95.

    Activision also have Soldier of Fortune: Payback listed for release in Australia during Q'4 2007 - as yet a price has not been announced. This is an interesting inclusion and may point to the title being a surprise announcement at Leipzig.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Ghost Rider is another Marvel comic book adaption to the silver screen. While the movie may not have received the best reviews from the critics, this is certainly an awesome transfer to Blu-Ray from Sony Pictures. In fact, we would go so far as to say that this is one of the best Blu-Ray discs we've seen to date and fans of the movie won't be disappointed.

August 8, 2007

    PS3 News
    Thanks to industry sources we have some very reliable information regarding upcoming Sony titles which may impress, and surprise. Sony haven't publically announced much of this yet, so we're expecting a bit of a butt kicking - perhaps. So what's the big deal? Well first of all the RRP of Heavenly Sword is apparently $AU109.95 - $10 more then all other Sony titles which have a $99.95 recommended retail price. Why the change? We don't know.

    Also listed for September 20 (and this is the good news) is Warhawk which will sell for $AU99.95 and include a Blutooth headset while SingStar will also sell for $99.95 with 2 mics, or $AU49.95 if you already have the mics (they're the same as the PS2 mics - as you should be aware, wireless mics have been delayed).

    Next up we have The Eye of Judgement will be released on October 25 for $AU159.95! Yes, that high price took us by surprise too, but then you do get the game, playing cards, the Playstation Eye Camera, game board and special camera stand. The camera will also be available as a seperate item for $AU59.95.

    Lair is now listed for release on October 25, a little later then expected but probably due to the slight delay in America to fix some bugs.

    PS2 News
    Love Singstar? Well expect two more packs in Australia by the end of the year. First up is SingStar Rock Ballads which is due out on September 27, while on October 25 you can expect to see SingStar R n B hit the shelves - as yet no songs have been announced.

    Buzz fans will be happy to hear that Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz is coming out here in October while November will see the release of Buzz Junior Monster Rumble.

    PSP News
    Pursuit Force : Extreme Justice will be released on October 18th (as will the PS2 version), Syphon Filter : Logans Shadow will be released a week later on October 25 while November will see the release of Wipeout Pulse and ATV Offroad Fury Pro.

August 7, 2007

    PS3 News
    Good news today with Sony confirming that the PS3 Starter Pack deal in Australia will run until at least September 30 - and not just August 31 as mentioned yesterday. That gives you all a little more time to save for this super deal. The question regarding what will replace the pack after this date still hasn't been answered. We could go back to just the 60GB system for $AU999.95, or the pack could be discounted, we may get the 80GB version, or may get a price cut. Nothing has been mentioned or confirmed by Sony as yet - and we don't expect to hear anything until late September when the current deal expires.

    PS2 Review
    Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80's is a title which is certain to generate a lot of interest - primarily due to the two fabulous previous titles. While Guitar Hero III is due out later this year this could be seen as more of an expansion pack. Have Harmonix given us a track list worthy of the franchise? Here's our verdict.

August 6, 2007

    PS3 News
    According to this article on Eurogamer the current PS3 Starter Pack deal in Australia (which includes the system, two controllers, Motorstorm and Resistance: Fall of Man for $AU999) will only be available for four weeks until August 31! Apparently this will not be the case in Europe where the pack will continue on sale. So what's going on? Are we getting a new system (80GB?), or hopefully a price drop to bring us in line with America (or, at the very least a lot closer).

    Warhawk is certain to be another feather in the PS3's cap this year but until now the Blu-Ray/downloadable title didn't have a date or price. It does now with the official blog in America confirming the title has gone gold will come out on August 28th. The downloadable version will cost $US39.99, while the retail Blu-Ray version (which includes expanded video content, traditional package and manual, and a Jabra Bluetooth headset) will sell for $US59.99. As yet European pricing hasn't been announced, but Sony Australia currently list the title for release on September 20th.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Hellboy: The Director's Cut is a fantastic Blu-Ray title, no doubt about it. The transfer, both in terms of visuals and sound, is simply stunning while the feature movie is a solid comic book adaptation. Throw in a documentary about the making of the movie while stretches for almost 2 1/2 hours and you have one of the best Blu-Ray discs which is available in Australian stores right now.

    PS3 Preview
    Heavenly Sword was a title we previewed some time ago - in 2005 in fact - but with so much more information available now, and having spent some hands-on time with the game it was time to totally rewrite the preview. So here's what we came up with...

August 3, 2007

    PS3 News
    Without a doubt the biggest game of 2007, will actually no longer be released in 2007. Take Two has today confirmed that Grand Theft Auto IV will not be released on October 17 as intended, but has been pushed back until at least February 2008 to give the developers more time to finish off the game. This delay affects both the PS3 and XBox 360 version of the game. Apparently developing on two completely new platforms is to blame - but we can't say we're too upset. We would much rather wait and get the best game possible then a half-finished rush job. As yet an exact date has not been announced.

    The Playstation Store has been updated today and the only item of real significance is the demo for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2. There's a couple of trailers - including a pretty nice one for Lair - and a couple of new music video clips from Sony BMG.

August 2, 2007

    PS3 News
    Those of you considering importing a copy of Stranglehold may want to think about that for a minute. Midway has confirmed that the game will include region coding. This would be the first PS3 title to include such security measures. Now we don't actually believe that the game is the cause, but rather that the disc includes a high-definition version of the John Woo movie Hard Boiled. This movie will not be on the Australian version sadly.

    Sony Computer Entertainment America has delayed the release of Lair on the PS3 from August 14 to September 4 due to some very last minute bugs that cropped up. Unfortunately this short delay won't help the poor score the game received in EGM - 5.5/10 - Ouch! Fortunately other scores have been much higher - look for our review closer to release.

    PSP Review
    SingStar 90's is a compilation we were most excited to get our hands on given that we grew up through our teenage years. If you are, or were, a fan of Sony's karaoke series then this compilation is one of the best yet, and certainly a must have.

August 1, 2007

    PS3 News
    Now this link from our sheep loving neighbours is pretty exciting. According to Warwick Light, Sony Computer Entertainment's head of Marketing in New Zealand, PS3 owners can look forward to a very big addition to the system in Q'1 2008. That addition is a digital TV tuner which could effectively turn the system into a digital TV recorder. This was rumoured long before the system hit the shelves but hasn't been mentioned recently by Sony. Some rumours are pointing to this being announced at the Leipzig show later this month. It's exciting news if true that's for sure.

    Blu-Ray Movie Review
    Stomp The Yard is a very American movie, about a very American tradition. Can this movie about 'stepping' make an impact outside that territory, but more importantly how does this Blu-Ray disc fare? We give you all the details in our latest Blu-Ray movie review.

    PSP Review
    300: March to Glory is out now, but before you buy it we highly recommend you read our review. The movie 300 was a fantastic event. Based on the Frank Miller graphic comic books we now have a video game based on the same stories. Unfortunately this game isn't anywhere near as good as the movie, or the books.


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