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NOVEMBER 2007 NEWS

November 28, 2007

    PS3 News
    Sony has confirmed that Home Beta has been upgraded to version 0.7.7 which, given by the list of improvements adds in quite a few more features, but these are still pretty major features meaning the community service is probably still some way off going to a wider beta, and then to the public. According to ThreeSpeech the imrovements include:

    • Thereís a new building in the world, although itís currently one that canít be entered
    • You are finally able to enter your Home Spaceís patio
    • You can now use your own pictures in your Home Space
    • A game launching option has been added, though it is not functioning completely at the present time
    • The cinemaís movie theatres have transferred from the second floor to the first floor
    • America, Japan, and Europe each have their own server now

November 27, 2007

    PS3 News
    Vivendi have just announced the game will be released in Australia on the PS3 on December 6th, and we've now redone the preview with the latest screens and info. Check out our updated preview of TimeShift now. Enjoy.

    Eidos has confirmed they have commenced development on Deus Ex 3 at their new Montreal studio. As yet the game does not have target platforms (we suspect PS3 will be included), nor a release date, but fans of the series will be pleased to hear more is on the way.

November 26, 2007

    PS3 News
    Remember last week how we mentioned the PS3 outsold other consoles in Japan, well it wasn't a fad as the console has topped the charts again. It scraped past the Wii by a healthy 8.1%, and smashed the XBox 350 by about 600%!

    • PlayStation 3 - 39,178
    • Wii - 36,230
    • PlayStation 2 - 8,855
    • Xbox 360 - 6,525

    Ubisoft have confirmed they are working on a patch to fix the freezing issues in Assassin's Creed. As yet it is not know if it will be a seperate patch, or built into a Firmware update. We must say we've been playing the game for a couple of hours now, and it hasn't locked up for us - apparently if you disable the Information Bar at the XMB it can reduce the issues.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind is one of the greatest movies of all time, and now Spielberg's classic is available on Blu-Ray. Three versions of the movie and a host of extras are included on this disc which makes it one of the most impressive on the format to date.

November 25, 2007

    Blu-Ray Review
    Black Book isn't the easiest movie to watch. There are scenes of depravity, violence, nudity and rather confronting sexualality - but thats what you expect when Paul Verhoeven is the director. Having said that this is easily one of the best movies I've seen during 2007 and this Blu-Ray disc gives the movie a superb presentation. Here's our review.

November 24, 2007

    PS3 News
    Remember a couple of days ago how we said Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 was coming to the Playstation 3? Well it may not be the case as Ubisoft has just put up the page for the game and only lists it for PC and XBox 360. Could the PS3 be missing out - it seems likely if only for the initial release... Check out the site here.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Fantastic Four has been available on Blu-Ray for over a year now but we thought we'd give the disc a spin (and review) before we check out the sequel in the coming days. Technically the transfer is pretty spectacular. If you like action movies then Fantastic Four may just be for you.

November 22, 2007

    PS3 News
    Some great news for American PS3 owners today with Epic's Mark Rein confirming that Unreal Tournament III confirmed to have gone gold and is now with Sony for manufacturing. The game is now set for relesae on December 11. Now I did mention Americans as European and Australian gamers will still be waiting until early 2008 due to localisation. The game should be with us in January or February.

    Activision have today confirmed (as has the OFLC web site) that Soldier of Fortune: Payback has been resubmitted in revised form and awarded a MA15+ rating meaning it can be sold in stores. In order to achieve this rating, according to IGN, the game has had the dismemberment removed and the blood toned down. The game will be released in early 2008.

    Just a quick mention to you all that I have updated the PS3 Preview and Release Schedule Page. As the name suggest you can see all the Australian released dates here, as well as links to all the previews we've done up.

    PS3 Review
    Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction is one of the highlights of the PS3 to date, no doubt about it. Brilliant graphics and audio are not let down by the gameplay which is simply brilliant. If you wanted a great platform title this Christmas then look no further.

November 21, 2007

    PS3 News
    Ubisoft has confirmed that Haze will not be released this year, but has been pushed back into Q'1 2008. Apparently the game simply needs a little more time for polishing off.

    It could be a busy March 2008 for Ubisoft with the company today announcing that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is set to be released on unspecified platforms during that month.

    A final bit of news from Ubisoft with confirmation that the company has sold over 1 million units of Assassin's Creed since shipping around the world in the last week or so, and hit Australian shelves today.

    PS3 Review
    Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights is the second game in THQ's racing series. This next-generation version looks and sounds pretty good however the car handling is little on the loose side. If you were looking for a new street racing game then this may just fit the bill. Here's our full review.

November 20, 2007

    PS3 News
    Those of you connecting your PS3 online today would have noticed a new Firmware was released - 2.01. This firmware makes a few small improvements which are listed as the following...

    • Stability during playing some PLAYSTATION 3 format software has been improved.
    • Stability of System Software including Internet Browser and Information Board has been improved.
    • Stability of the upscaler for PlayStation 2 format software has been improved. (Playability of PlayStation 2 depends on model)
    • [Remote Start] feature is changed to avoid unintended power on.

    Koei has confirmed that Dynasty Warriors 6 will be released on the PS3 in Europe on March 7, 2008. We expect Australia to also see the game around the same time.

    PS2 News
    According to a report in Famitsu Sega are apparently preparing NiGHTS into Dreams for release on the PS2 in February 2008. The game will include improved 3D visuals, and Widescreen support. Our only question, wouldn't the motion sensing Sixaxis on PS3 be better suited? One can dream...

    PS3 Review
    Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga sees the two previous games brought into a single package with new features, online gameplay and improved visuals and audio thanks to the PS3's power. If you have never played the Lego Star Wars titles then you are in for a treat. Here's our review.

November 19, 2007

    PS3 News
    While Playstation 3 developers seem to be shifting loyalties to other systems due to development costs (with one such title being a new Monster Hunter from Capcom) Sony aren't taking that easily and have upgraded their Playstation 3 development kit with new tools to help development. The kit can now be purchased for about EUR 7500 here (GBP 5,357), JPY 950,000 in Japan and USD 10,250 in North America - a cut of around 50%.

    Have you been playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare? Been having problems online? Well the good news is that Infinity Ward are working on one pack to solve connection issues, and another to fix many other issues with the game.

      Now for the Optimized Multiplayer updates, we've taken a lot of your community feedback and have been working on a patch for the PS3 version which we plan to release once complete, no ETA on when it will come out as it has to go through certification with Sony, however the update will address and add the following:
      • Identify party by Background Color (in Lobby)
      • Optimized Server selection for first match for better connections
      • Improved network performance for 18 player games
      • Optimized 'Chase Cam' when Spectating
      • Fixed Playlist error when attempting to join from other games
      • Handle Corrupt Create A Class data instead of kicking player
      • Added Kill cam to Airstrike bombs and Claymores
      • Added the ability to Mute Players on PS3
      • Added Recently Met Players on PS3
      • Tweaked the following Oldschool Mode Settings based on feedback:
        - Added Unlimited Sprint
        - Increased Magazine Size
        - Added Ragdoll Cam
      • and finally, something we're working on getting into it by the time it hits you:
      • Addition of Host Migration so if Host Leaves auto-chooses next best host

    PS2 Review
    Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria is the latest RPG from the kings of the genre, Square-Enix. This proves to be yet another stunning game and is well worth a look, if not a purchase. Here's our full review of this monster game.

November 17, 2007

    PS3 News
    OK, So it's only for a week, but it is a pretty big deal. The Playstation 3 has, for the first time in a long time, outsold the Nintendo Wii in Japan. Early in the systems life the sales were about 6 to 1 against the PS3, but in recent months it has been closer to 2 to 1. Last week, and sales were certainly aided by the release of Dynasty Warriors 6, the system blew away the competition. Oh, and the PS2 is still easily outselling the XBox 360 in the territory. Sales were as follows...

    • PlayStation 3 - 55,924
    • Wii - 34,546
    • PlayStation 2 - 9,043
    • Xbox 360 - 5,817

    Epic Games has confirmed that Unreal Tournament III will allow PS3 owners to install part of the game to the Hard Drive to reduce loading. The game will install 3.5GB to the Hard Drive according to Mark Rein. As yet there is still no release date for the title, but after Christmas seems more and more likely every day now.

November 16, 2007

    PS3 News
    Well some of you may be surprised to learn, but the Playstation 3 is now one year old! That's right folks, while the games have been thin on the ground early on the system is firing on all cylinders now with some smash-hit titles. Concerned about sales? Well Sony Australia has confirmed that 100,000 systems have been sold in Australia - which means that it is actually selling quicker then the Playstation 2!! I'm not sure how many other territories could say that about the system - but Aussies certainly love their PS3's - even at stupidly inflated prices!

    Get you vocal chords warmed up ladies and gentlemen as Sony Australia have finally confirmed that SingStar will be released here on December 6th.

    Sony has confirmed that the Playstation 3 will receive Firmware 2.01 in the coming days which will improve stability for the system. Given the number it seems it will only be a very minor fix for some issues that may have arisen since 2.00 was released last week.

November 14, 2007

    PS3 News
    Big news today from the DivX camp with confirmation that the video encoding software will soon be available on the Playstation 3 so you can watch all those lovely DivX encoded movies. Not only that but the company is working with Sony to build the format into the Playstation 3 development kit so developers can use it in games. Our only question about that has to be, with the Blu-Ray format and massive storage space why would a developer need such compression? You can read the full press release here. As yet a release date for the downloadable addition has not been announced.

    PS3 Review
    Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is the highly anticipated next-gen appearance for the series. The Playstation 3 needs some big titles, and few come bigger then this game from Activision. Even though there is a new developer in Neversoft this is the same game, with plenty of enhancements including online gameplay. Here's our full review.

November 13, 2007

    PS3 News
    Those of you eagerly awaiting Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed will have to wait a little longer as the company has confirmed the game has been delayed. It's not too bad as it's only a 5 day delay to ensure enough stock arrives in the country. Expect the game to hit shelves on November 21st.

    A couple of days ago we mentioned that Lair was being delayed in Europe. The good news is that the game has been released to stores in Australia today, but Europeans are waiting as the age ratings weren't printed on the disc.

    Ubisoft in Europe has apparently confirmed that Haze has been delayed from its expected November release to December 14th. We expect confirmation that Australia will also see this delay soon.

    PS3 Review
    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is, without a doubt, one of the best games we have ever played. Fantastic visuals, audio, gameplay and online modes make this a must have game on the PS3. We bring you our full review, if you needed any more convincing.

November 12, 2007

    PS3 News
    Well it's not unexpected at all but SCEA has confirmed that Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will not be released this year. The game has instead been pushed back to Q'1 2008 - and this is when we expect the European and Australian version to be released as well.

    Japan has a shocker. Literally. WTF am I getting at? Well yesterday saw the release of the Dual Shock 3 controller for the Playstation 3. This new controller sees the return of the rumble technology but also retains the SIXAXIS' tilt sensing abilities. Our controller is already in transit from Hong Kong and we'll bring you our impressions very soon.

    PSP Review
    Jackass: The Game is based on the idiotic American TV show, but is a game with a large following. The game has been developed by Sidhe in New Zealand this game is actually quite entertaining. It's perfect for short stints of play on the PSP as well. A review.

November 10, 2007

    PS2 Review
    Spider-man Friend or Foe is the latest game in Activisions lengthy lineup of Spider-man titles. This game has a comic book look to it, and a strong 2-player game, but is it worth your attention? Certainly the idea of teaming up with villans from all three movies is an interesting concept. Here's our full review.

November 9, 2007

    PS3 News
    My goodness, could a SingStar release really be around the corner? Sony Europe has just confirmed that the game will be out on December 8th. Perhaps the December 13th date listed for Australia will actually hold this time! Fingers crossed.

    One word of warning for those with US Playstation Store accounts as apparently - and of course we haven't tested this ;) - the demo for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune doesn't work on non-US consoles. Apparently (yet again because we haven't tested it) the game blanks the screen and sits there doing nothing. Save your 1.17GB of download folks. You know Sony, it would be real nice if you could put a little pop-up saying the game has been region locked. You've made it clear in the past that the games on Blu-Ray won't be region coded - give us the courtesy of knowing if the same is true of online demos too!

    According to European retailers Lair has been delayed in Europe until November 23rd. The game was due out today. Sony Europe have cited production issues (*cough* shit reviews in America *cough*) for the delays. Australia still has the game scheduled for November 15th - so maybe Sony are telling the truth. Oh well, it's still a shit game apparently.

    Industry News
    Warner Brothers Home Entertainment has today announced they have purchased Traveller's Tales. Warner Brothers Home Entertainment have confirmed they will also publish Lego Batman next year which TT Games are currently working on.

November 8, 2007

    PS3 News
    Well some great news today with Sony releasing Playstation 3 Firmware 2.0 to be downloaded. This is the big one we've all been waiting for, but in the end - for us - it's a fizzer. In short there is still not access to the XMB while playing games, there is no decoding for DTS-HD MA to PCM for output over HDMI cable, and there is no passing of bitstream for DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD to a receiver either. They were the three things we really desperately wanted to see. Having said that there is some good news, so rather then summarise here's the press release from Sony.

      Latest PLAYSTATION 3 System Software Update Allows PSP to Turn PS3 On and Off from Internet Connection for Enhanced Remote Play
      Ability to customise XMB and add personalised playlists for both music and photos also enabled

      London, 8 November 2007 Ė Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announced today the availability of the latest version of the PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) system software. Version 2.00 features the ability to turn a PS3 system on and off remotely, using a PSP (PlayStation Portable) system via the Remote Play function, allowing for a truly mobile partnership between the two systems.

      Building on the success and potential of the Remote Play functionality, Version 2.00 will cement the partnership between PS3 and PSP and create a truly global experience. With the ability to turn your PS3 on and off from Wi-fi connection, there is now the opportunity to listen to the music, look at the photos and watch the videos saved on the PS3 Hard Disk Drive, anywhere in the world.

      To further enhance the PS3 offering, Version 2.00 allows for the creation of personalised playlists in both the music and photo sections. This simple to use function gives users an opportunity to create unlimited music playlists for all occasions, as well as sharing favourite photos in glorious high definition.

      Continuing with the idea of a personalised PS3, Version 2.00 allows for customisation of the XMB (XrossMediaBar) menu screen. Change the colour and brightness with the greatest of ease or have something completely different by setting a custom theme. With the potential for new backgrounds to become available on PLAYSTATION Network in the future, Version 2.00 truly opens up a whole raft of options.

      A host of other enhancements includes the addition of an Information Board on XMB to keep people up to date on the latest PlayStation news, the inclusion of a new PLAYSTATION Network category and logo for easier navigation and Trend Micro Web Security, a free, state of the art internet security system, designed to give parents peace of mind.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Cruel Intentions is a movie that certainly covers subject matter not suitable for youngsters, but it remains a gripping, if somewhat twisted, tale for older movie watchers. We've taken the Blu-Ray disc for a spin and give our verdict.

November 7, 2007

    Industry News
    So what is it with the God of War franchise that has the directors leaving. David Jaffe left after the first game was complete on the PS2 to form Eat Sleep Play, while Sony has now confirmed that Cory Barlog, who directed God of War 2, will also be leaving the Santa Monica studio. Fortunately this is not expected to cause major disruption to the upcoming PSP game, nor the PS3 title.

    PS2 Review
    MotoGP 07 is a title many people were eagerly awaiting. With the MotoGP rights moving from Namco to Capcom many were hoping for big things from this title. We got big alright, one big stinking turd of a game. We have a look and give you our full thoughts.

November 6, 2007

    Bargain News
    Well you may want to head down to your local BIG W on Saturday as the company will be selling Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for only $98 on all systems. That's a saving of $50. Needless to say we recommend you get there as the store opens to have a chance!

    PS2 News
    Sony Europe has confirmed that a redesigned Playstation 2 will be released in the New Year. The new version has the power supply built into the unit but remains the same size as the current slimline system. The redesigned unit will retail for 16,000 yen in Japan and is due for release on November 22 in three colours - Charcoal Black, Ceramic White and Satin Silver. There had been speculation that the new unit will also be released with a lower pricepoint which is still possible early next year when the rest of the world will see the system.

    PS3 Preview
    Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a game that should need no introduction and indeed we have previewed it in the past. We've added some more details to the preview, as well as some more screenshots. We highly recommend you check this game out, and start saving for its release in Q'2 2008.

November 5, 2007

    Personal/Site News
    Sorry about the lack of updates over the last couple of days but I've been struck down with something pretty evil in my ankle that means I can't walk, move or even stand up on it. Still waiting for confirmation but it could be an infection, damaged ligaments or - most likely - gout! Now I've you've never had gout before trust me it's not something you want to get. Basically Uric Acid buildup in the body forms crystals in your joints which creates excruciating pain - and I mean scream in pain should you even move your foot slightly, or put a blanket on it and so on. Anyway I have managed to hobble back to the PC a few minutes ago, but it may be a day or two before updates resume to normal.

November 1, 2007

    PS3 News
    We don't have any solid confirmation as yet but reports on the Internet are growing that Electronic Arts has paid Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton £5 million for the rights to use him in upcoming games. As many of you would be aware Sony have had the exclusive rights to the Formula One series for several years, however this news seems to indicate that Electronic Arts either have, or are attempting to secure the rights to themselves.

    According to this article on Next-Gen Atari are seemingly in a position to lose their very lucritive DragonBall Z license with the IP owners FUNimation "delivered a notice purporting to terminate the license agreements based on alleged breaches of the license agreements." Should Atari lose this license this will put them in even greater financial strain as the company continues to stay afloat.

    PSP Review
    Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 isn't just hitting next-gen systems, but also the PSP. We played, and loved, the PS3 version of this game and we've now put the PSP title through its paces too. Is it as good? Well sadly it's not even close really. A review...


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