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MAY 2008 NEWS

May 31, 2008

    PS3 News
    Keep your eyes peeled on June 10th folks. No, Santa isn't coming early, but for PS3 owners it *may* be even better. Rumours are pointing to Firmware 2.40 being released on this date - 2 short days before a certain Konami title - and, if those rumours are to be believed, in-game XMB access will finally be available.

May 28, 2008

    PS3 News
    This was a bit of a surprise. As many of you would be aware Activision have been distributing Capcom's titles in Australia for some time now - we put it at well over a year - but Red Ant have today confirmed that they will be distributing Street Fighter IV here following confirmation of release on the PS3, XBox 360 and PC. Not only that but the company will be distributing other, unconfirmed, titles in future!

    Been looking forward to Afrika from Sony Japan. Well you're not alone as this African safari game has received much press coverage since being announced a couple of years ago, most notably due to the lack of information. Sadly according to this article on C&VG confirms that the game will not be released in Europe. SCEE has not given a reason for the games non-release. There's no word from America at this stage if a release will happen there.

    Ubisoft has confirmed that Shaun White Snowboarding will be released on the Playstation 3 at the end of this year.

May 27, 2008

    PS3 News
    Red Ant has confirmed that, yet again, Ferrari Challenge has been delayed. Originally penciled in for release late last year the game has suffered almost monthly delays with a new date (for now) set at August 28, 2008.

    Rumours are circulating that Street Fighter 4 will be released this year on consoles and PC. Capcom have not commented or confirmed the rumour as yet.

    PS3 Review
    Turning Point: Fall of Liberty was developed by Spark Unlimited and given their track record we had high hopes for Turning Point being a great First Person Shooter on the Playstation 3. Sadly this isn't a showcase for Sony's system, or the developer. In fact, it's actually a pretty crap game. Here's our review, or should that be warning?

May 26, 2008

    Blu-Ray News
    In a chat with Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro about the upcoming movies based on The Hobbit (a wonderful transcript of which you can read here) Peter Jackson has stated that work has commenced on Lord of the Rings on Blu-Ray. The discs won't, though, be released this year.

    PS3 Review
    Iron Man has been a phenomenal success in the cinemas and Sega have released a video game to tie into that movie. Developed by Secret Level this is a game that is sure to shift in large numbers, but is it actually worth your time? We suggest you read our review if you were thinking of buying the game.

May 25, 2008

    PS3 News
    2K Games has finally, after months and months of speculation, confirmed that Bioshock is coming to the Playstation 3. The game, which should hit late this year, is - according to the issue of EGM where the news broke - supposedly better on the PS3. Rumours point to improved visuals, Home integration, and more gameplay but this is still to be confirmed. Expect more news in the coming weeks.

    Looking for a new song to play in Guitar Hero III. Well next month (that being June 5th to be precise!), Sony will be offering "The End Begins (to Rock)" from God of War II to jam to in the game. Best of all the downloadable track will be free!

    According to Games Radar (the article has now been pulled) Resident Evil 5 will be released before April next year. In what is probably the most exciting news though the game will include an online co-op mode.

    The Playstation Store was updated last Friday, as it is every Friday really, and there are some decent things for European and Australian gamers to check out. Demos for Iron Man and The Bourne Conspiracy are available, High Stakes Poker has been given an update to enable video chat during online play, and there have been a slew of Playstation Day trailers, Korn's song for Haze, wallpapers and themes.

May 23, 2008

    PS3 Review
    Grand Theft Auto IV is almost certain to be the biggest game of 2008. It has been available in stores since April 29th. We've taken our time to play through the game and we're now going to hand over our verdict. Can this title live up to the hype?

May 21, 2008

    PSP Preview
    Buzz! Master Quiz sees the continued expansion of Sony's trivia series. This time the game is headed to Sony's handheld system, but this is no lazy port. Indeed it has a host of multi-player modes, 5,000 questions and around 1,000 photos and video clips to enjoy. Here's a preview of this great looking July release.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Erin Brockovich is one of Julia Roberts' finest roles, and this movie has one of the best true legal stories put to celluloid. It's now available on Blu-Ray thanks to Sony Pictures and the transfer is pretty impressive. Here's our full review of this great movie.

May 20, 2008

    PS3 News
    According to an interview with Michael Ephraim by those great folks at PALGN (Hi Luke!) the Playstation 3 has outsold the XBox 360 by an impressive 45% in Australia in Q'1 2008. This doesn't even take into account the 30,000 units shipped out with people buying Bravia TV's which, if taken into account brings the sales ratio to around 2:1.

    Metal Gear Solid 4 associate producer Ryan Payton has stated that this game will not be the last in the series. In an interview with MTV Ryan commented that this game will, though, offer closure with Solid Snake.

    You know, we don't generally like to comment on review scores from other sites, but sometimes you really scratch your head. Over the last couple of days reviews have started popping up for Ubisoft's Haze. It started pretty well with Famitsu giving the game 34/40 and the Italian PSM giving it 9/10. Gamereactor gave it 6/10 before the review was pulled due to breaking an embargo. Today IGN put their verdict up and they gave the game a dismal 4.5/10. Do we think it's that bad? Not from what we've seen, but you can expect our verdict soon.

    Release Schedules
    I've spent a bit of time over the last day or two updating some release dates so it may be worth your while checking out our Blu-Ray Release Schedule Page (which has dates for Juno, Cloverfield, Batman Begins) and PS3 Previews & Release Schedule Page (which sees the addition of Baja, Lego Batman and The Wheelman among others). Plenty of changes and additions.

May 19, 2008

    PS3 News
    Well the second week of Grand Theft Auto IV are in and, yet again, the XBox 360 is on top, but given the installed base that's not surprising. The XBox 360 version sold 1,069,106 copies while the PS3 still managed an impressive 679,395 sales bring the totals to 4,366,712 and 3,277,176 units respectively.

    Well I guess the benefit is a smooth frame rate, but creative lead Derek Littlewood from Free Radical Design has confirmed that Haze on the Playstation 3 actually runs at 1024 x 576p resolution, and not 720p nor 1080p. Just for comparisons sake though we must put out that even Call of Duty 4 only runs in 1024 x 600p.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Hitman - Unrated is, as one may have gathered from the title, the uncut version of the recent movie which is based on the multi-million selling game franchise. Did you get all that? Needless to say we actually enjoyed this movie a lot more then we expected and fans of the games will probably enjoy this superb Blu-Ray release from Fox. Here's our full review.

May 18, 2008

    PS3 News
    Haze is certainly going to be a big title on the Playstation 3 and the developers Free Radical have confirmed, like so many other recent PS3 games, that the title will require an install. Fortunately it isn't the whole disc, but it is 4GB or so!

    Movie News
    According to EzyDVD Batman Begins Limited Edition Gift Set will be released on Blu-Ray in Australia on July 23rd. No doubt timed to tie-in to the sequel, The Dark Knight, we are still awaiting official confirmation from Warner Brothers however according to EzyDVD the release will include Batman Begins on Blu-Ray, a 32 page Dark Knight Concept Book including script pages, storyboards and unit photography, and a 16-page DC comic book adaptation of the prologue from The Dark Knight. The set is priced at $AU49.83.

    PS3 Preview
    Buzz! Quiz TV is a title which promises to bringing social gaming on the Playstation 3 to the masses. But you won't be limited to the questions on the disc, or playing in your lounge room, as the series is going online for shared questions and gameplay. Here's a preview of this hot July release.

May 16, 2008

    PS3 News
    As some of you may have noticed there was a new Firmware released for the Playstation 3 - 2.35. The update is apparently to improved the stability of some PS3 games, but Sony have confirmed not Grand Theft Auto IV. It also appears that the update may be preparing some links to Youtube (probably to upload videos), although there is nothing to actually see as yet.

May 14, 2008

    PS3 News
    Sony have released their latest sales figures, and the news is generally very good indeed. During 2007 the company sold 9.24 million Playstation 3's bringing the system to lifetime sales of 12.85 million with 10 million sales expected during 2008.

    Konami has revealed that Metal Gear Solid 4 has gone gold and will be on sale around the world on June 12th. Well, it seems around the world everywhere except for Australia as Atari are yet to lock in that date with some retailers listing the title for June 15th. Still no more lengthy delays now it seems.

    It seems Hideo Kojima has a good sense of humour. Remember those April Fools pranks that showed Altair from Assassin's Creed running around in Metal Gear Solid 4? Well it is now actually true. The costume can be unlocked in the game (we don't know how yet) for Solid Snake to run around in a medieval uniform. Ultra cool.

    PS3 Preview
    Soul Calibur IV is certain to be one of the biggest fighting games released in years. Indeed Soul Calibur 4 is shaping up very nicely with a great roster of characters, impressive visuals and, for the first time in the series, online gameplay. We tell you just what to expect from this stunning title.

May 13, 2008

    PS3 News
    Something that really got PS3 owners up in arms last year was the news that Madden NFL 08 would only run at 30fps on Sony's system while the XBox 360 version ran at 60fps. The good news is that Madden NFL 09 will include 60fps on both system. The game doesn't have a release date for Australia as yet.

    PlayStation Home Creative Director Ron Festejo has confirmed that the Home Open Beta will commence in November this year. Arriving almost a year late this is a step in the right direction for the social networking service, but does that mean the proper release is going to be pushed back into 2009? Seems likely. The developers will be expanding the closed beta (from the current 8-10,000 beta testers) during July.

    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is one of the most anticipated titles this year, and LucasArts has now confirmed that there will be a demo of the game. No timeframe or details for the demo have been announced yet.

    PS3 Preview
    Guitar Hero: Aerosmith isn't just for Aerosmith fans, let's make that clear. The Guitar Hero franchise has millions of fans the world over. This fifth release (second on PS3) looks set to be a cracker with a focus on one of the worlds biggest bands!

May 12, 2008

    PS3 Review
    Everybody's Golf World Tour is the latest game in what has become one of the most entertaining golf game franchises on the PS2 and PSP. Now the series has hit next-gen with a Playstation 3 version. This is a great title with brilliant multi-player. Check out our full review now.

May 11, 2008

    PS3 News
    With the release on April 29 sales of Grand Theft Auto IV have been impressive. Take Two has confirmed sales of 6 million units after one week, but CG Charts has confirmed that sales of the PS3 version (over the first four days) reached 2,613,973 units. The XBox 360 managed to shift 3,288,125 (giving the PS3 44.3% of the total sales, which is a few percent higher then their console penetration compared to the XBox 360).

    I've done up a bit of an update for the PS3 Preview & Release Schedule Page with quite a few date changes and additions. Check it out.

    Blu-Ray Review
    The Golden Compass may not have set box office records, particularly in America where the movie failed pretty badly. But America isn't the world and the movie did manage to take $300 million around the rest of the world. New Line have released the movie as a 2-disc set on Blu-Ray and we've done up our review.

May 9, 2008

    PS3 News
    Codemasters has confirmed that they have secured the rights to develop Formula One based games. Sony had previously held the license for many years. To us, this is the best possible outcome as Codemasters are quickly becoming the strongest racing developer out there with the brilliant Colin McRae DIRT and Race Driver GRID in the lineup (the latter whose demo hit the Playstation Store yesterday and is well worth the download). The first game is expected in 2009.

    Remember how Activision bought Bizarre Creations some time ago, the developers of a certain PGR on XBox. Well as we all know the developers are working on a multi-platform racing game. Activision's publishing CEO Mike Griffith has confirmed that we won't see that racing game until fiscal 2010, which starts on April 1, 2010 and ends on March 31, 2011. Seems like we won't be seeing this for a long time folks.

    Activision has confirmed that their upcoming game James Bond: The Quantum of Solace, which is being developed at Treyarch, uses the same engine as Call of Duty 4. The game is expected late this year having been in development for some time already.

    Sadly, and despite talk some time ago that it would happen, it appears that there will not be an open beta for LittleBigPlanet. Consumers who want to play with sack boy and sack girl will have to wait until the games release in October.

    PS2 News
    Activision has confirmed that Call of Duty 5 is in development and will take place in a 'new theatre of war' but the most exciting news for some is that unlike the previous title this will also be hitting the Playstation 2. Sadly no other details (release date) were announced.

    Movie News
    According to this article on Variety Gore Verbinski has been hired to direct a movie based on Bioshock for Universal. This is a pretty exciting prospect as Gore Verbinski was the director of a little-know series called Pirates of the Caribbean!

May 8, 2008

    PS3 News
    Well fire up your PS3 tonight and if it's online you will notice that Patch 1.01 has been released for Grand Theft Auto IV. Weighing in at 18MB the patch will apparently fix the freezing issues when the game loads. Let us know if this fixes the problem for you.

    Now we don't know if the game will actually come to PS3 (although job postings suggest it will), but it's exciting anyway. id Software has confirmed that Doom 4 is entering production with the company looking to ramp up the number of employees.

    Pandemic has confirmed that they are currently working on Lord of the Rings: Conquest for the PS3 (and 360/PC). Little is known of the game although it will play in a similar fashion to their Battlefield titles - actually you can probably get a good idea of what it will be like from that... Droolworthy.

    PS2 Preview
    SingStar Party Hits is sure to boost the 12 million units sold so far in this series. Indeed the SingStar releases aren't slowing down and this compilation includes plenty of Australian artists as well as international stars. Here's a rather last minute preview with the game due at the end of the month.

May 7, 2008

    PS3 News
    Sony has confirmed that their PS3 PVR attachment, PlayTV, will be released in the UK in September this year for the price of 99 Euros. A couple of weeks ago Sony Australia confirmed a release late this year with a price point under $AU200.

    Sony Europe has confirmed that the Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle will be coming to Europe and will sell for 439 Euros. Sadly though it appears that the European bundle (and we assume Australia as well) will only include a Black 40GB PS3, whereas the Japanese and US version will include a steel grey coloured unit.

    Sony has confirmed that Killzone 2 has been delayed from late 2008 until February 2009. The game was shown at the Playstation Day Conference and from all reports looked quite impressive.

    LittleBigPlanet promises to be one of the biggest titles this year - if only due to the focus being on the game allowing you to create, share and then play levels from around the globe. Sony Europe has confirmed that the title will be released this October.

    Rockstar has confirmed that they will be releasing a patch for Grand Theft Auto IV in the next day or so which should eliminate the lockups and loading issues. As yet details (size, exact time) of the patch haven't been disclosed.

    Sticking with Grand Theft Auto IV Rockstar has confirmed that sales of the game have surpassed 6 million units in the first week around the globe. In the UK the game sold 926,000 copies in its first week with 413,000 units sold on the PS3, and 514,000 units on XBox 360.

May 6, 2008

    PS3 News
    Wondering what is happening with the Batman video game which hasn't been announced by Electronic Arts, but is in development at Pandemic? Well according to a source of mine development isn't progressing too well at all and the game has now (unofficially, as it hasn't actually been announced) been delayed until 2009. Electronic Arts aren't too pleased with the situation apparently but given the current state of the game there was no way it could be released to coincide with the upcoming movie, or even the DVD release late this year!

    The Playstation Store is set to have two updates this week. The first will be on May 6th and include demos of Haze and Condemned 2 while an update on the 8th will see a demo of Race Driver: GRID and The Bourne Conspiracy. There will also be a tonne of videos and other content put in the store too.

    Sierra has confirmed that their upcoming action game Prototype has been delayed until next year. The official statement reads "Sierra Entertainment and Radical Entertainment have made the decision to shift Prototype to launch in 2009". The action title has also made the news of late for a couple of reasons. Firstly it was recently confirmed that multi-player was being pushed aside to concentrate on the main game while it has also been confirmed that the Australian version will actually be censored prior to release here.

    Red Ant has confirmed that Monster Madness: Grave Danger, the upgraded version of the XBox 360 title, will be released on the Playstation 3 on May 29th.

    PS3 Preview
    Ghostbusters The Video Game should be a hit, no doubt about it. This game not only looks great but sees the return of the entire Ghostbusters cast from the movies! Who you gonna call? Hopefully your retailer after reading this updated (more like rewritten with new screenshots) preview.

May 5, 2008

    PS3 News
    Atari have confirmed that they will release Bandai Namco's PS3 exclusive title Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm this November. The game, which is based on the hugely popular TV series, will include 100 missions to partake in.

    Site News
    Well some (I guess) good news with a new search engine being added to Futuregamez.net. The old search was crusty and slow as hell, but the new Google Search uses AJAX, and is damn fast to get the results. The only problem is that the articles actually open in a new window without frames. We are working on a new site (well, have been playing with ideas for about a year now!) which will overcome this but this trade off seems to be worth it for the benefits. Let me know what you think about the new search engine which you can access on the Main Page or Site Search Page.

    PS3 Preview
    Street Fighter IV may not even be coming out on the PS3 - it hasn't been confirmed yet, but we'd be surprised if it doesn't. Capcom's Street Fighter series has had dozens of releases over the years, and has millions of fans the world over. This is the fourth major release in the series, and we've taken an early look.

May 4, 2008

    PS3 News
    For the love of god. Grand Theft Auto IV may be a masterpiece, but questions have to be asked just how much testing was done on the game prior to release (perhaps there is a benefit to sending out review code prior to launch!). After playing the game for 7 hours on Thursday and Friday it suddenly decided to continually lock up upon loading (as we briefly mentioned yesterday). Deleting an old save file didn't work, nor did deleting 3.3GB of installed game data and re-installing. In fact the one solution which we, and most other people, have discovered is to make sure your PS3 is offline when you play the game. But, ermm, what about multi-player? Well forget about it for now as soon as you try to connect the game freezes. We believe that the issue is caused by the game trying to access some stats servers, which are no doubt swamped this weekend. This wasn't an issue until late Saturday for us. Hopefully Rockstar are looking into the problems rather then sitting in the Bahamas all cashed up, but given their lack of responses to customer complaints we just don't know.

    We do have one very amusing thing we noted about this mess. If you head on over to the games official site here and you will notice a caption at the top... Welcome to Liberty City A great social experiment gone terribly wrong. Indeed...

    So while on the topic we thought we'd bring this video to your attention. In it you'll find one of the most crazy, stupid rants about violence in video games. I would love to know where the chainsaw is in Grand Theft Auto IV - I haven't found it yet. Oh, and the final comment that kids can now do for $60 what the military spent millions on? Well, who has wasted their money!? Enjoy...

May 3, 2008

    PS3 News
    So we have the biggest game of the year in Grand Theft Auto IV, and while brilliant, it's also pretty fucked up. Thousands of gamers around the globe - us included - have been reporting that the game freezes and won't allow you to load the save files (Which is pretty fucking annoying when the game auto loads at startup!) But fear not as there apparently a solution. Actually Rockstar are offering a shit load of solutions in the remote hope that one of them will fix your problem. We have another solution - play Call of Duty 4 instead! Anyway here goes to official fix (sort of)...

      1. Delete the game's install data. This is done via the PS3 options. Scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Game' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Game Data Utility' Enter this and locate the GTA IV option. Highlight this and press triangle once, from the menu select Delete. This will delete the game's install information.

      2. Delete the game's save files. To delete any save files you will need to do the following. Scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Game' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Save Data Utility' Enter this and locate the GTA IV option. Highlight this and press triangle once, and from the context menu select Delete.

      3. Disable your Internet connectivity for the PS3. To do this scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Settings' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Network Settings'. Now scroll down to the Internet connection option and press x, now select the disable option. Once this has been done unplug the Ethernet cable if you are connecting to the Internet if using this.

      4. Disable the console's information board. To do this scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Network' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Information Board', highlight this and press triangle. From the menu select 'Do not display' Press X to confirm this.

      5. Disable Media Server functionality. Scroll to Settings, now scroll up / down to 'Network Settings' select Media Server connection. Once this has been done press triangle and change the option Disabled.

      6. Delete all of the system's Internet cache. To do this scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Network' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Internet Browser', highlight this and press X. Once you browser opens press the triangle button once, from the new menu highlight the 'Tools' option and press X. Scroll down the menu until you reach 'Delete Cookies' and press X. Confirm the files deletion. Repeat this for 'Delete Cache'.

      7. Turn off the PS3 screen saver. Use the cross media bar to scroll to 'Settings', select 'Display Settings'. Now highlight 'Screensaver' and set this to 'Do not use'.

      8. Once this has been done, manually restart you PS3 by holding down the power button for 5 seconds it will beep once and then shut down. Release the power button and re-press it and hold for about 5 seconds. The system will then boot and reset all display settings. You will be prompted to reset your display settings to how you require them.

      9. Once restarted please try the game again, you will be prompted to reinstall. Once the game has started please turn off the following features:
      1. The game's auto-save. Press Start, Game, and locate the Auto-save option. Turn this off.
      2. Turn off the game's flicker filter. Press Start, Display and locate the Flicker Filter option. Turn this off.
      3. Turn off the controller vibration feature. Press Start, Controls and locate the vibration option. Turn this off.

    Sony Computer Entertainment Australia has confirmed that the Playstation 3 has sold 238,000 units since its launch in March 2007. Over the first 12 months the PS2 sold 146,000 units. Clearly Sony's next-gen system is proving to be a winner at retail.

May 1, 2008

    PS3 News
    Sony Australia has announced some details for PlayTV, which is the first official details from anywhere around the globe for some time. In short the big news is that the PVR device (more on that soon) will be released in Q'4 2008 and will apparently sell for under $AU200 ($AU199.95 anyone?). So what is a PVR? Well it is essentially a digital video recorder so you can record Free To Air TV stations to your PS3's Hard Drive. The real surprise is that Sony won't have it in stores in time for the Olympics... Sigh...

    Leslie Benzies, producer of Grand Theft Auto IV, has commented that the game has cost around $US100 million to develop! This is an astounding figure and makes it the most expensive video game ever made behind Sega's Shenmue which is rumoured to have cost $US70 million. While that game only sold 1.2 million copies, Rockstar's title is expected to sell many times that on day one alone.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Predator is one of my favourite movies of all time and seeing a release this early on Blu-Ray was like the gods descending from heaven. Have the gods (through Fox) delivered the goods? Sadly it's certainly not as much as we had hoped for, but die-hard fans will still want to consider this upgrade over DVD.


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