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FEBRUARY 2008 NEWS

February 28, 2008

    PS3 News
    Sony Australia sent out their latest release schedule today, and two of the games many of you have been waiting for have been delayed by 2 weeks. Downloadable title Pain has been pushed back from March 6th to March 20th, while High Velocity Bowling has been pushed from March 13th, to March 27th. Each comes with a TBC beside the date as well. Sigh...

    Yakuza 3 is one of the big titles coming out for the Playstation 3 and as an exclusive this is a game that could shift systems. The Sega title is days from release in Japan and the first review is in from Famitsu Weekly. The game managed to score a whopping 37/40. Let's hope a release outside Japan is announced sooner rather then later.

    With a bit of time to spare tonight I thought I'd update the PS3 Preview and Release Schedule. I've added in plenty of new dates, and shuffled around a couple of dozen titles as well. Check it out.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Sunshine probably isn't a movie too many readers of this site have heard of, but it's worth checking out. This sci-fi space based drama looks and sounds great on Blu-Ray. Here's our review of this latest release disc from Fox.

February 27, 2008

    PS3 News
    While there is no announcement for Europe or Australia at the time of writing this Sony America has confirmed that the Dual Shock 3 will be released in that territory on April 15th - two days before Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will hit the shelves. Sony Australia, as of today, still have that game listed for release in March so we could see the Dual Shock 3 a bit earlier. Then again you could import the controller from Japan already...

    Sources in America have confirmed that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will be released in America on June 12. That date fits in with our news from a couple of weeks ago that the title is scheduled for release in Australia in August - assuming we suffer a slight delay.

    Ubisoft has confirmed that their oft-delayed action title Haze will now see a release in Australia in May 2008. This is one to keep an eye on.

    Blu-Ray News
    Sony has confirmed that the Playstation 3 will be upgraded to Blu-Ray Profile 2.0 (which enables web connectivity for titles) around (American) Summer 2008.

    PS3 Review
    Turok is a game which many people have been waiting for on the PS3. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was a hit game on the N64, now the series is back with a new developer, new publisher, and reinvention. Here's our review of this game, a game which FPS fans should consider.

February 25, 2008

    Industry News
    In what can only be seen as a massive blow to Sony and the Playstation brand long time President of SCE Worldwide Studios Phil Harrison has decided to resign from his position at the end of this week. Phil has been instrumental in gaining support for the various Playstation systems, and bringing development together. Whatever Phil decides to do in future we wish him well... Here's the press release.

      SCE WORLDWIDE STUDIOS PRESIDENT PHIL HARRISON RESIGNS
      SCE Group CEO Kazuo Hirai Assumes Responsibilities

      Tokyo, February 25, 2008 – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today announced that Phil Harrison, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS), will resign from Sony Computer Entertainment Group as of February 29, 2008. Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO of SCEI, will immediately assume responsibilities as president of SCE WWS, in addition to his current duties.

      Prior to the launch of the original PlayStation, Phil Harrison joined Sony Electronic Publishing, Ltd. in 1992, which later evolved into Sony computer Entertainment Europe, and since then, he has made a tremendous contribution to the company playing a strategic role in the launch of four PlayStation platforms, as well as building strong relationships with game developers and publishers throughout the world. Since his appointment to the position of president, SCE WWS, Harrison applied his considerable skill, knowledge and expertise to lead SCE Group’s first party game development as well as aggressively pursuing the development of new online entertainment experiences.

      As one of the founding members of SCE, Phil played a key role in the development and growth of the PlayStation business and our industry," said Kazuo Hirai. "It is sad to see him departing from SCE, but I wish to express my gratitude for his many invaluable contributions and also wish Phil the very best of luck in his future endeavors."

      "The past 15 years at Sony Computer Entertainment has been the defining journey of my life so far," said Phil Harrison. "I am grateful to all the PlayStation family for their incredible support, guidance and friendship. It has been a privilege to serve as part of the team and be inspired by them on a daily basis. I am so proud of everything PlayStation has achieved and will continue to support its future in every way I can."

February 24, 2008

    PS3 News
    Well yet again Ubisoft has released a new video for Rainbow Six Vegas 2 which looks at the new weapons. This is another trailer well worth checking out. The game is due in late March.

    Industry News
    Electronic Arts, thinking they own pretty much the entire entertainment industry seem a little upset today. You see, Take Two, have turned down their offer of $US2 billion to buy out the company. In a remarkable turn this news was announced in an open letter from Electronic Arts to, well, the world proclaiming that Take Two may never see another offer like this again. And their offer was 64% higher then the current value of the company and so on.

    Blu-Ray News
    In what should be no surprise at all Microsoft have confirmed they are dropping their HD-DVD drive for the XBox 360. They also muttered something about system relying on games, and not movies. I guess that's why the Playstation 3 has overtaken the XBox 360 in sales for January... better games eh!

February 23, 2008

    PS3 News
    According to an e-mail being sent out from UK retailer GAME Gran Turismo 5 will not be released in Europe, and we assume Australia, until 2009. The game is still scheduled for release in late 2008 in America and Japan, and there has been no word from Sony on the reported delay.

February 21, 2008

    PS3 News
    Rumours are growing that the American - and we assume European - version of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will include content not found in the Japanese release. As many of you would be aware the Japanese version was release in early December, with the online gameplay patch hitting at Christmas. While that is certain to be included, the rumours are pointing to extra cars and possibly tracks. No confirmation from Sony yet, but it won't be too far away with the release only weeks away.

    2K Games has confirmed that Civilization Revolution will be released in America on June 3rd and in Europe on June 6th. We expect the Australian date to be quite close to those dates.

    Blu-Ray News
    As expected Paramount Pictures has today announced that they will again start releasing movies on the Blu-Ray format. Universal Studios, who have never released on the format following staunch support for HD-DVD, have also confirmed that they will start to release movies on Blu-Ray. Neither company has announced titles or dates as yet, but we expect that to occur rather rapidly. As yet Dreamworks, who were with Paramount when they changed sides, have not announced their intentions, but they don't really have a choice now do they?!

    Blu-Ray Review
    Independence Day was an event movie. A little over a decade ago this became one of the biggest movies of all time with a worldwide gross that still puts it in the Top 20 movies of all time. Fox are about to release the movie on Blu-Ray and after giving it a good run through a couple of times we can confirm that it looks and sounds stunning. Here's a review.

    Movie News
    Last night was pretty insane. Around 6pm my wife checked her e-mails and noticed she'd won tickets to the premiere of a movie called Talk To Me starring Don Cheadle - starting in 60 minutes. We didn't have a clue what it was about before we went, but discovered a great little movie about one of the most popular radio DJ's in Washington DC who went from a life of crime to become the talk of the town. It's a great movie and we recommend you check it out if you have a couple of hours to kill.

February 19, 2008

    PS3 Review
    Devil May Cry 4 is one of the biggest titles on the PS3 to date. Dante is back. Oh wait, no, this time we have Nero as the lead in this title. One thing is certain though, this game is just as action packed as the previous titles. Here's our full review of Capcom's latest action title.

    Blu-Ray News
    THE WAR IS OVER! Toshiba has today thrown in the towel in the Hi-Def format war and confirmed that they will cease all production, promotion and sales of the HD-DVD format by the end of March. Support for those unlucky enough to purchase units will continue for some time. We've been telling you for some time that Blu-Ray was the only option, and the PS3 is still the player of choice with compatibility with Profile 2.0 later this year.

    In the coming days we expect Paramount, Universal and Dreamworks to confirm that they will yet again start releasing titles on Blu-Ray and while Dreamworks and Universal may take some time to release titles on the system it is believed that Paramount won't take too long. Before their defection to HD-DVD they had several titles in manufacturing to release to market, with Transformers rumoured to already be appearing on some retailer lists in America. Anyway here's Toshiba's official announcement.

      Toshiba Announces Discontinuation of HD DVD Businesses
      Company Remains Focused on Championing Consumer Access to High Definition Content

      TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

      HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress.

      "We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop,” said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. "While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality."

      Toshiba will continue to lead innovation, in a wide range of technologies that will drive mass market access to high definition content. These include high capacity NAND flash memory, small form factor hard disk drives, next generation CPUs, visual processing, and wireless and encryption technologies. The company expects to make forthcoming announcements around strategic progress in these convergence technologies.

      Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, aiming for cessation of these businesses by the end of March 2008. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same timeframe, yet will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements. The company will continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives within the overall PC business relative to future market demand.

      This decision will not impact on Toshiba’s commitment to standard DVD, and the company will continue to market conventional DVD players and recorders. Toshiba intends to continue to contribute to the development of the DVD industry, as a member of the DVD Forum, an international organization with some 200 member companies, committed to the discussion and defining of optimum optical disc formats for the consumer and the related industries.

      Toshiba also intends to maintain collaborative relations with the companies who joined with Toshiba in working to build up the HD DVD market, including Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and DreamWorks Animation and major Japanese and European content providers on the entertainment side, as well as leaders in the IT industry, including Microsoft, Intel, and HP. Toshiba will study possible collaboration with these companies for future business opportunities, utilizing the many assets generated through the development of HD DVD.

February 18, 2008

    PS3 News
    Activision have today confirmed that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith will be released this June. The game puts players in the shoes of Perry (guitar), Whitford (guitar) and Hamilton (bass), as they rock out alongside frontman Tyler and drummer Kramer. "Having a game built around Aerosmith has been a huge honour and really a great experience for us," says Joe Perry. "We’ve put a lot of ideas into the game so that fans can have fun interacting with our music, getting inside our body of work and learning about the band’s history." Steven Tyler says, "Any band that can go from ‘Don’t Want to Miss A Thing’ (Aerosmith’s #1 smash hit) to the ass-kicking ‘Sweet Emotion’ to the cheekiness of ‘Love in an Elevator,’ to the classic ballad ‘Dream On’ shows why Activision chose us to headline this game based on the diversity of the Aerosmith catalogue. Not only is songwriting a bitch, but then it goes and has puppies." Perry adds, "On a larger scale, it’s cool for us to be pioneers helping to rebuild the music industry through a format like video games. It’s great for rock since the record companies are struggling to make sense of how things are changing. Fans want to get and experience music in new formats--and there are going to be some of them who will play the game, then pick up the guitar for real and start bands. It’s what’s happening now, and it’s only going to build more momentum in the future. It’s a massive change for the music business."

    Blu-Ray Review
    28 Weeks Later is the sequel to one of the best zombie movies in years, and this sequel is pretty much on par. If you haven't seen the original game then that doesn't matter as this movie includes all-new characters, and recaps the original. If you liked this movie, or the genre, you should check out this Blu-Ray release.

February 17, 2008

    PS3 News
    Been waiting for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for some time now? Well it could very well be getting a lot worse for you quite soon. We still haven't got official confrimation from Atari (the Australian distributer) however Gameswarehouse has shifted the release date of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots from April 1 (where it has been for several months) to August 2008. Could it be that we are about to see the game officially delayed yet again? Will this only be for Europe? Or are Konami trying to get away from Grand Theft Auto IV's release date. As of last week Atari Australia still had the title officially listed for Q'2 2008. Hopefully we will hear back from them tomorrow.

    Blu-Ray News
    Well the High-Def format war, as of today, pretty much over. Following the news that Best Buy would push Blu-Ray over HD-DVD, and NetFlix dropping HD-DVD comes the news that Wal-Mart will only sell Blu-Ray from early Summer (in America). In the most startling news though a rep from Toshiba (who make HD-DVD drives, and are the biggest backer of the format) has told Reuters that the company is taking steps to exit the format. While they will continue to support the format for some time, they are backing away and are expect to jump on the Blu-Ray bandwagon in future. It is believed Toshiba may make an official announcement as early as this week. You can read more on the original article here.

February 14, 2008

    PS3 News
    All-For-All Interactive have sent out a note that Dark Sector has been Refused Classification by the tossers at the OFLC (actually, they didn't say tossers, we made that bit up!). The game will no longer be on sale this March, and publishers D3 have not announced what they plan to do with the title (they can appeal the decision, edit some of the content or basically scrap the title altogether here). Expect more news, and clarification as to why it was banned, soon.

    PS3 Review
    Half-Life 2: The Orange Box was released in December, but being such a massive title it took some time to play through everything. Imagine a release with 5 of the latest games in one package. In our first multi-page review we tell you what to expect. In short; one of the greatest releases ever!

February 13, 2008

    PS3 News
    Sony send through their release schedule today and while there wasn't too much to get excited about with regards to retail copies of games, they did, for the first time, list games coming out on the Playstation Network. The titles listed were as follows:

    • Riff: Everyday Shooter - 14th February
    • PAIN - 06th March TBC
    • High Velocity Bowling - 13th March TBC
    • Blast Factor Advanced - 13th March TBC
    • Dark Mist - 13th March TBC

    PS3 Preview
    Grand Theft Auto IV should be the biggest game of all time both critically and commercially, no doubt about it. The six month delay from October 2007 to April 2008 has given the development team at Rockstar North even more time to polish the title in almost every area. As a result this game has become even better then we could have ever imagined. Here's a preview.

February 12, 2008

    PS3 News
    Great news for Playstation 3 owners in Europe (and we assume Australia) with confirmation that Everyday Shooter will finally be released on the Playstation Store this Friday. The game will sell in the UK for £4.99 which means a price around, or just over, $AU10 is likely for Australia.

    Australian game distributers Funtastic have confirmed that The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian will be released on PS3 (as well as PS2) on June 5, 2008.

    Blu-Ray News
    The largest electronics retailer in America, Best Buy, has confirmed that they will focus their stores towards selling Blu-Ray as the next-generation movie format of choice. The company will continue to sell HD-DVD, however they will promote Blu-Ray with the best positions, the best marketing, and recommend it to consumers. Only yesterday NetFlix confirmed they will no longer support HD-DVD and will not replenish stock when HD-DVD titles end their life (we assume that means when renters damage the discs etc!). That's two more nails in the HD-DVD coffin.

    PS3 Preview
    Dark Sector was announced almost four years ago now and it has been a long time coming that's for sure. With only weeks until release it was time for a look at this impressive next-gen action title which could be one of the better releases in early 2008.

    PS3 Video
    So here we go again. Ubisoft have posted their second developers diary for Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and it's well worth a look. See video below...

February 11, 2008

    Blu-Ray Review
    The Fifth Element is one of the greatest action movies of all time, and it's available not on Blu-Ray. We checked out this release from Sony Pictures and bring you our review. Note: Australia has received the remastered, and not the original poor quality, version which was released in America. Hooray!

February 9, 2008

    PS3 News
    So have you got your copy of Devil May Cry 4? as yet? Well you're not alone. In Japan the game has sold 208,837 units on the PS3 in its first week of release. In comparison the XBox 360 version only managed to shift 42,917 units. Capcom expect to ship 1.9 million units worldwide by March 31st.

    Good news for PS3 owners with Ubisoft Montreal confirming that Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is not a port of the XBox 360 game, unlike the original and so many other titles on the system. While there will be some differences in lighting (no word on which will have more/less) this will ensure the game runs optimally on Sony's system. The game is due out in March.

    PSP News
    Sony have announced that over 2 million copies of their game Daxter have been sold on the PSP. This is one of the standout titles on the system and we certainly recommend that everyone picks it up.

    PS2 News
    Here's a rumour which is a little out of left field. Apparently the latest issue of EGM (which we don't have here to verify) lists the rumour that the PSP exclusive God of War: Chains of Olympus will also be heading to the PS2 in 2008. It makes sense due to the large installed user base, and with the PS3 God of War 3 rumoured to be a late 2009 release now. Expect news either way soon.

February 7, 2008

    PSP News
    The OFLC had an interesting addition today with Sony's God of War: Chains of Olympus being slapped with an MA15+ rating. The game is the first in the series to hit the PSP, with the release date still to be confirmed by Sony Australia. At least it has now moved one step closer.

    PS3 News
    According to Gameswarehouse Sony's upcoming Gran Turismo 5: Prologue will be released in Australia on April 17. I guess Sony were only 4 months out with thier "pre-Christmas" promise last year - if this date turns out to be true!

    The Dallas Business Journal put up an article in the past couple of days stating that Duke Nukem Forever would be released in 2008, and on the Playstation 3 as well! After the article was published however 3D Realms' George Broussard stated that "The release date is still 'when it's done', and will be until the appropriate moment. Platforms have not been finalized or announced."

    Ubisoft have kept their videogame version of Lost under wraps but with only 4 weeks until release details and video is finally coming out, and it could be a great game for fans. You can check out the newest trailer below, we think you'll like it:

February 6, 2008

    PSP News
    Sony has confirmed that Buzz! will be released on the PSP in Autumn this year. The game will include over 5,000 questions covering a wide range of topics and, as you can probably guess, include multi-payer support through the systems wireless connectivity.

    Blu-Ray News
    Well we have some release dates for upcoming Blu-Ray releases and while not confirmed by movie studios just yet believe they are accurate, although as always they may be subject to slight delays. First of all Resident Evil: Extinction and Welcome to the Jungle have been shifted from mid-February to March 5, Commando and Predator have been penciled in for April 2, and Hitman is now scheduled for May 28th. You can find the current released dates on the Blu-Ray Release Schedule Page.

    PS3 Review
    Dynasty Warriors: Gundam is a game that has been eagerly anticipated for some time and after playing the demo we were pretty keen to check this out. So what do you get when you put one of the most popular anime shows and Koei's biggest action titles together. We tell you if its any good...

February 5, 2008

    PS3 News
    So do you love Call of Duty 4? Well you're not alone and while we are still eagerly awaiting the patch to fix some of the issues - such as the host dropping out and the entire game ending - Activision has today confirmed that a new map pack will be made available. As yet there are no details about the maps, game modes or price, but it will hopefull be released sooner rather then later.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Hairspray was quite a surprise hit upon release at the cinemas and this Blu-Ray transfer is quite special indeed. Not only does the movie look and sound great but has a tonne of fantastic extras. If you love, or even just liked this movie this is an essential purchase.

February 4, 2008

    Industry News
    LucasArts president Jim Ward, who has been in the position since 2004, has decided to step down from his position at LucasArts and will finish up in two weeks. During his tenure he has seen the launch and expansion of franchises such as Star Wars Battlefront and Lego Star Wars with Indiana Jones and Star Wars: Force Unleashed due out soon too. Jim has left the position due to personal reasons and we wish him all the best for future ventures.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Edward Scissorhands is one of Tim Burton's greatest movies and has already arrived on Blu-Ray. Should fans of the movie upgrade to this 1080p High-Def version? We certainly think so... Here's our full review of this latest Blu-Ray release.

February 2, 2008

    PSP Review
    Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights is one of the latest racing games to hit the PSP and we have just got our hands on the title for review. It's a fairly impressive title with plenty of options and some solid gameplay. Here we present you with our fill review. Check it out.


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