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JUNE 2009 NEWS

June 30, 2009

    Industry News
    Well it doesn't really affect the PS3, or its games, but the Chinese government has just outlawed gold farming. This practice sees other gamers (in China) selling items for real money. For instance, if you need an item in World of Warcraft but don't want to spend hours on a quest to get it - outsource it. It is believed that 85% of the worlds "farmers" are based in China with estimates on the worldwide industry value being placed at $US150 - $US1 billion dollars. Why don't we know for sure? Well many games outlaw the practice, so it's not easy to track.

    Blu-Ray Review
    He's Just Not That Into You has a magnificent cast and this romantic comedy takes a unique look at the ups and downs of falling in love by following several people in their daily lives. It's not the best movie ever, but fans of the genre - that being the romantic comedy - should enjoy this release.

June 29, 2009

    PS3 News
    Something we should have mentioned a couple of days ago is that one of the best games on the Playstation Network, Super Stardust HD has been dropped in price for this week from $12.95 to only $3.45 (or €1.99 / £1.59) which makes this a MUST HAVE game. The updated Asteroids clone has some of the best visuals, and most entertaining gameplay, we've seen on the PS3 today. We also dare you to beat our score of 83 million points!

    PS3 Preview
    Operation Flaspoint Dragon Rising is the second official game in this franchise, but has a different developer to the 2001 original. Indeed Codemasters have their largest ever team working on this game and it looks pretty damn impressive. Here's our preview with all the details and some gorgeous screenshots.

June 28, 2009

    PS3 News
    One of our good friends here at Futuregamez.net is Mario Wynands Managing Director and co-founder of New Zealand developer Sidhe. Australian gamers will most likely know the company as the developer of the NRL titles. Anyway they have a new game coming out called Shatter for the Playstation Network and Mario recently did an interview through the Playstation Eye with the Playstation Blog. Check it out:

    Well it has been rumoured for some time now but we finally have confirmation that Sega's Alien RPG is no longer in development at Obsidian Entertainment. The Administrator on Obsidian's forums posted the following message:
    "Hi guys, The Guildmaster here. Rumors have circled around a bit regarding the fate of the Aliens role playing game that Obsidian and SEGA had been working on. Unfortunately, it is true that we are no longer working on the game, and we wanted to finally announce that officially to everyone who has been following its development. We’re going to keep this forum up for another week for archival purposes and to allow you guys to finish up any open threads, and then we will shut it down since it is no longer a product that is in development."
    I guess it could mean development has shifted somewhere else, but that seems unlikley given Obsidian's proven track record.

    Sony's inFamous is a brilliant game in our books and Sony has just confirmed they will be putting a space in Playstation Home dedicated to the game. No word on a date other then "very soon".

    Industry News
    We are all well aware of the financial troubles Midway are having, but it now seems that they have a buyer. According to the L.A. Times (article here) Warner Brothers were the sole bidder for the remains with a bid of $US33 million. Midway owns franchises such as Mortal Kombat, Spy Hunter, and Wheelman. The deal also includes Midway's studios in Chicago and Seattle. One of the sticking points though remains Wheelman with Vin Diesel's Tigon Studios claiming they are still owed $US200,000 from the release of the video game and Threshold Entertainment claiming the rights to Mortal Kombat film and TV. It is also unclear what will happen to the studios in San Diego and Newcastle in the U.K. At least, finally, we may see a release for This is Vegas - a GTA styled game which Midway have apparently pumped up to $US40 million into to date.

June 26, 2009

    R.I.P. Michael Jackson
    Well I guess you've heard the tragic news by now. Legendary entertainer Michael Jackson has passed away at 2.26pm Thursday June 25 in Los Angeles. The King of Pop has been rumoured to have been plagued with health issues in recent years, however he was only two weeks away from launching his first concert tour in a decade and things were looking quite positive for a strong comeback. Sadly that will never occur now. Having grown up listening to, and loving Michael Jackson and his music, this was a tragic turn of events. My heart goes out to the Jackson family including his three young children, parent, siblings, and close friends. The music, and the memories, will live on forever...

    PS3 News
    Well there's no release date on Sega Australia's release schedules as yet but Bayonetta has been awarded an MA15+ rating at the Classification Board with the warning Strong Violence.

June 25, 2009

    Government Internet Filter News
    Well today saw a shocking turn of events in the implementation of the Mandatory Internet Filter in Australia. According to this article on the Sydney Morning Herald Website the Internet Filter will soon be expanding to block retailers and websites that sell games tagged as "Refused Classification" in Australia. While I am satisfied that blocking the potential to import such titles is fair enough, there is some concern that then entire websites could be blocked (think Play-Asia), or that games such as Second Life of World of Warcraft could be blocked as content is not rated in Australia.

    Anyway following some thought I shot an e-mail over to Senator Conroy to ask a few key questions about this contentious issue. Do I expect a response? To be honest I don't know. If I do get a response I will certainly post it on Futuregamez.net. What can you do in the meantime? Talk to your parents, friends, or anyone who will listen to make them aware of what may happen in future should the mandatory filters be approved by parliament. Stay tuned...

      Dear Senator Conroy,

      I am writing to you as a concerned citizen, as a video gamer, and also as a representative of my readers.

      I was somewhat dismayed to read an article today on the Sydney Morning Herald website (http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/web-filters-to-censor-video-games-20090625-cxrx.html) regarding the expansion of internet filtering to cover the sale of video games via either a physical or digital distribution. Now I do understand that we do not have an R18+ rating for video games in Australia (that’s another issue for another day) and that as a result several titles that may have received R18+ ratings in Australia are given Refused Classification ratings thereby banning them from sale here.

      My questions are as follows

      1) In the SMH article it states that both bricks and mortar and digital stores may be blocked under the internet filtering scheme if they sell content given a Refused Classification rating in Australia. My question is; would this relate to those games banned, or the entire retail site? I find it inconceivable that entire sites such as Play-Asia or Amazon, which sell thousands of legitimate items and games, may be blocked for the sake of a few games banned in Australia.

      2) How will the government handle online virtual worlds such as Second Life or World of Warcraft? There are hundreds of thousands of players around Australia on these titles (and many more on countless similar ones). Is it conceivable that these games, which aren’t rated in Australia as they are downloaded and played online, be blocked if inappropriate content is discovered?

      3) Many more games now include an option to build user-generated content. Games such as LittleBigPlanet on the PS3 have hundreds of thousands of items and levels uploaded by users. This game is admittedly very closely watched by Sony, however what will happen to titles with less moderation and “objectionable” (to the government at least) user generated content. Could these titles be banned in Australia, and thereby have either retailers selling the game, or the servers hosting the games, added to the Internet Filtering as well?

      Thank you for your time. I look forward to a response.

      Regards,
      David Warner
      {Postal Address}
      Futuregamez.net - Australia's Premiere Playstation Fan Site
      http://www.futuregamez.net

    Industry News
    In somewhat surprising news Bethesda Software's parent company ZeniMax has purchased id Software. The good news for gamers is that id Software will remain unchanged and John Carmack remains in his current position. id Software are currently developing Rage for multiple platforms. One of the reasons for change, John Carmack was sick of dealing with publishers and dealing with marketing issues.

    PS3 News
    As we mentioned yesterday there is a new Firmware available for the PS3. You won't be prompted for it though as it isn't mandatory. This is not an error, but Sony have decided the update is so minor there is no need to force users to download it. We have to congratulate Sony on this. Not everyone needs to download 140MB-odd just for some very minor updates, but we appreciate some people enjoy every update, no matter how minor. Let's hope Sony continue to offer non-essential minor updates in future, while keeping the essential updates to things that really are critical.

    Square-Enix's CEO Yoichi Wada has mentioned that The Last Remnant may not be released on PS3 at all and the reason appears in Square-Enix's shareholder meeting. According to Wada Square-Enix has to keep profitability and other versions of the game did not sell too well making it unlikely it would sell well on a new platform.

June 24, 2009

    PS3 News
    Well you may not be prompted, but if you do a manual PS3 System Update you will notice that PS3 Firmware 2.80 is now available. Apparently the update improves the speed of Trophy and XMB access, but officially "The playback quality of some PLAYSTATION 3 format software has been improved." Download if you will...

June 23, 2009

    PS3 News
    Bandai Namco has confirmed that Tekken 6 will be released on the PS3 in America on October 27, 2009. European, Japanese and Australian gamers won't see it on the same day, but will see it released in "close proximity".

    PSP News
    Good news for PSP owners with the list of massive titles coming to the system this year continuing. Rockstar has announced that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars will be coming to PSP later this year. The PSP version is a port of the Nintendo DS game, but will include upscaled widescreen graphics, better lighting and animation and all-new story missions.

    Blu-Ray News
    As you are aware pretty much every major film distributer in Australia is now releasing Blu-Ray discs. The one exception to that is Madman who handle most of the Japanese anime and other international films. Well we are very pleased to confirm that they launch their Blu-Ray range starting with Transformers: The Movie (1986) tomorrow - which is funnily enough the same day as Transformers 2 hits cinemas! August will see the release of Stephen Fry in America, September will see Afro Samurai and Afro Samurai Resurrection while October will see Sword of the Stranger (Sutorejia: Mukô hadan). Expect plenty more in November and December. Happy times.

    PS3 Review
    Red Faction Guerrilla sees the return of one of THQ's better, but forgotten, franchises. Volition are back on development duties and the Geo-Mod 2.0 technology - which allows total destruction of buildings - is simply brilliant. Throw in some great online and offline multi-player and you have a brilliant title. Here's our review...

June 21, 2009

    PS3 News
    Well it seems we may be waiting a bit longer for the PS3's video recording service, PlayTV. In a recent interview (available here) Sony Computer Entertainment Australia's Michael Ephraim has stated the following: "The product development division has made incredible progress and once we can record in HD, we will launch it. We'll make some announcements fairly soon. I'm confident now that we will see it before Christmas." Nice to see it coming but why not release the SD version and then provide the HD encoding via a software or firmware update at a later time?

    In that same interview Michael Ephraim has also stated that that the downloadable video service will not be available in Australia until 2010. Sigh... At least we have the awesome, and free, Vidzone.

    So speaking of Vidzone the developers have confirmed that the average video is around 30Mb in size, and that while there is no option to save the videos, the most recent 20-25 are cached on the Hard Drive so you don't need to re-download them every time. Now that's very cool if you set up a playlist of your favourite songs and are happy with a small selection.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Zack and Miri Make A Porno is probably a movie which will either turn you on, or turn you off (no pun intended!) simply by the title. Seth Rogan has become a big name in recent years and he headlines this raunchy comedy with Elizabeth Banks. Directed by Kevin Smith this is quite entertaining.

June 19, 2009

    PS3 News
    Those of you looking to play Fat Princess this weekend will be disappointed to hear that the game will not make the expected June 18 PSN launch, with the developers now saying the game is due in "Summer". That's American Summer thankfully, so hopefully in July.

    If you happened to live in America, or have an American PSN logon you will be pleased to know that a demo of EA's NCAA Football 10 is now available online.

    Infinity Ward has confirmed that recent rumour and speculation is not correct. There will not be a fee to play Modern Warfare 2 online, nor well there be a fee for premium online gameplay. Everything will be "equal and free" according to Robert Bowling.

June 18, 2009

    PS3 News
    Despite Midway's troubles Ed Boon is progressing with a new Mortal Kombat title. The good news for fans is that the developers realise fans want to see blood, and that's what they'll get. Ed Boon recently posted on Twitter "Motion capturing special moves & fatalities today... they are kind of sick!!"

    Ubisoft has re-iterated that they have no plans to port Splinter Cell: Conviction to the Playstation 3. The oft-delayed game is due to hit XBox 360 in October 2009.

    Capcom has confirmed that Moto GP 09/10 will be released on the Playstation 3 in March 2010. Capcom

    Blu-Ray Review
    Sin City is one of the best comic book movie adaptations of all time, and fans will be pleased to hear that it is now available as a 2-disc Blu-Ray set thanks to Walt Disney Studios. It looks and sounds superb, and there are plenty of extras as well.

June 17, 2009

    PS3 News
    Namco Bandai has confirmed that Splatterhouse is still in development but won't be released until 2010. The game was recently taken away from developers BattleRocket so Namco Bandai could work on the title in-house due to "performance issues".

    PS3 Preview
    Final Fantasy XIV was the surprise announcement at E3 this year, and this MMORPG looks set to be a benchmark title when it hits shelves in 2010 - yes that is next year, and the same year in which we should see Final Fantasy XIII as well! Here's a preview.

June 16, 2009

    PS3 Preview
    Assassin's Creed II is due out this November. The original game was one of the biggest new IP's for many years. This sequel offers improved visuals, more missions, and more great gameplay. This is sure to be a winner this November and we've tell you what to expect.

June 15, 2009

    PS3 News
    Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase has confirmed that Final Fantasy XIII only entered development for XBox 360 in May 2009 - that's two months ago. Why is this important to the Sony crowd? Well Square-Enix announced some time ago that the game would release on PS3 and XBox 360 in Europe and America simultaneously which means, if there are any hiccups in development, could see a delay on Sony's console too.

    At the recent E3 Show Konami's Hideo Kojima said that he was taking a pretty hands-off role for Metal Gear Solid Rising for the XBox 360 and PS3, but the mastermind has told Dengeki in Japan that while he is the Producer he will be taking a much more active role in development then a normal producer would.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 1 is without a doubt one of the biggest Blu-Ray releases to date - both physically and in terms of progressing the format. After getting through this monster set all I can say is; Wow! What a tonne of work it was to get through these 7 discs, and 29 episodes of Star Trek. In short, this is a spectacular release for fans and the format in general.

June 13, 2009

    PS3 News
    Assassin's Creed II is going to be one of the big games this year and while the E3 Show revealed a release date of November 17, Europeans will be waiting a bit longer, but only 3 days with the game due out on November 20.

    PSP Preview
    Motorstorm: Arctic Edge is the latest game in the hit PS3 franchise, except this time it's not coming to PS3. This game is actually coming to PSP and PS2 and we've taken a look at the PSP version. In short it look just as great as the PS3 titles and could spark extra PSP sales later this year.

June 11, 2009

    PS3 News
    Apparently there is a small fault with the retail release of Prototype - but don't panic too much. A small number of people may have issues installing the game and if you are one of these people (most cases seem to be in America) then you need to change the amount of data stored on your Hard Drive. Even if you have enough space, it may still not work so you will need to add or remove around 700MB of data (videos, demos etc). Strange yes, and Activision are apparently working on a patch.

    THQ has confirmed they are working on a patch to stop people from 'cheating' by disconnecting from online matches. The game is a cracker and you can see our review here.

    PSP News
    PSP Firmware 5.51 has gone live. The update doesn't do a whole lot actually, just fixes the stability of some software (We're wondering if it has something to do with Vidzone too). Anyway patch away...

    PSP Review
    Patapon 2. One of the most unique games on the PSP has received a sequel (that's this game in case you were wondering) which is available in stores now (unless you're in America where the game is download only). Chris has reviewed the game and absolutely loved this very strange title.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Gran Torino has been a monster critical and commercial hit. Clint Eastwood is back in front, and behind, the camera in this moving movie about racial divides. A brilliant movie no doubt, but what about the transfer to Blu-Ray? Read on...

June 10, 2009

    Blu-Ray Review
    Transporter 3 sees Jason Statham return for a third Transporter movie. If you liked the previous movies then you should also like this one which features more cars, more action and a love interest. Technically brilliant this Blu-Ray is one to check out.

June 9, 2009

    PS3 News
    We may have missed this in our E3 2009 Coverage, but that secret Capcom title to be announced was Lost Planet 2. Now, after the show is over, Capcom has confirmed that the game will release in the Japanese Winter making a very late or early 2010 release likely for Europe.

    Geabox has told Shacknews that Borderlands is aiming for an October release. Nothing confirmed as yet from the distributers though.

    PSP News
    Sony's Playstation Network boss Eric Lempel has stated to Joystiq that "you're not going to see Trophies on the PSP". Apparently there are too many security flaws with the system which could allow trophy cheats to take advantage. Still, there is a video circulating on the web showing a trophy, or something extremely similar in SOCOM: Fire Team Bravo 3. Time will tell.

    PS3 Review
    UFC 2009 Undisputed has been a massive game for THQ with the title reaching the top of the charts. While the UFC may not have the biggest TV audience, the mixed martial arts is the perfect inspiration for a new fighting game from THQ and WWE developer Yukes.

June 8, 2009

    PS3 News
    An interesting little comment from Electronic Arts' Patrick Soderlund recently. To quote: "I do think that we'll see developers inside the organisation getting to understand the PS3 better and I think that we're getting more power out of PS3 right now... I think that we've maxed out the 360 but we haven't maxed out the PS3". 'nuff said.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Bride Wars was always going to be a movie I would likely struggle with, but I am a fan of the two lead actresses - Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson. Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson star in this movie about two friends who do battle over a wedding venue. I guess you'll know by now if you'll enjoy this!

June 6, 2009

    PS3 News
    If you are in the current multiplayer beta for Uncharted 2 then you may want to know that Naughty Dog have confirmed they will release patches to fix issues including known ones with matchmaking, rank resets, and increasing limits in Deathmatches among others. No details on patch dates yet.

June 5, 2009

    PS3 News
    Final Fantasy VII is on the Playstation 3! You read that right, but don't get two excited for two reasons. Firstly it isn't a remake but rather a copy of the PSOne game on the Playstation Store as a download. The second thing; the price. Sony are ripping us off with a price tag of $15.95 (or £7.99) which is double the price of normal PSOne games, and more then most PS3 developed downloadable titles. Hell, this is dearer then what you can pick the original game up for at second hand stores if you shop around! Admittedly this is a multi-disc game and therefore a larger download then normal (Sony obviously have a larger cost there), but still it seems excessive to us.

    It may also be worth visiting the store for other reasons though. With the E3 Show this week there are a tonne of videos to download and enjoy and we suggest you do check some of them out. There are some other items including demos of Fight Night Round 4 which looks great, and the full game of Trash Panic.

    Killzone 2 has received a new patch, version 1.27 to be precise. This patch updates quite a few tweaks and changes including the ability to find friends, improve controls with a new 'High Precision mode' which makes the analogue sticks more responsive, and tweaks to the badge abilities as well as network code and other bug fixes.

June 3, 2009

    Special Event
    Just wanted to let everyone know that Sony have held their Press Conference and it was quite impressive. Final Fantasy 14 was shown and no, that's not a typo! We even got a release date for that one too. Sony had the PSP Go on display as well as Gran Turismo PSP. A motion sensing controller was shown. For all the details head on over to the 2009 E3 Show Page for all the details...

June 1, 2009

    Special Event
    2009 E3 Show is upon us. For the next week or so all the main news headlines will be found on this page. We can expect some massive announcements too, with the recently leaked PSP GO being one of the highlights obviously. While again scaled down the 2009 show has all the main game companies present. Some companies have reduced the numbers going due to fears of Swine Flu which is doing the rounds. Still we expect some massive announcements this year, particularly from Sony. PSP2? PS3 Slimline? Price Reductions? Hit the link to follow the stories as they occur.


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