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JANUARY 2011 NEWS

January 31, 2011

    PS3 News
    According to reports Crytek are currently discussing options to develop TimeSplitters 4 according to Cevat Yerli. Apparently the developement team will decide their next move after the release of Crysis 2.

    According to rumours doing the rounds, and these are rumours with no confirmation from Sony as yet, Firmware 3.60 has support for "Cloud Saving" for Playstation Plus members. This would allow you to upload save games to the internet for safe keeping. Nice... if true but the potential to transfer save games from PS3 to NGP is very tempting. Apparently developers have an option to opt-out with each game if they wish. Expect to hear more someday, hopefully.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Shrek Forever After will apparently be the last movie in the franchise the question has to be asked... Is the franchise running out of legs? We've watched, and reviewed this Blu-Ray disc and tell you if it's worth your while.

January 27, 2011

    Click To Enlarge Image
    The NGP from a front/low viewpoint.
    PSP2 OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED
    News doesn't really get any bigger then this (well, until Sony announce the PS4 in a few years), but Sony has today lifted the lid on the heavily rumoured PSP2 which has been dubbed NGP (Next Generation Portable). To say that the console is impresive is an understatement and our interest has gone from mild at best to damn near fever pitch!

    If anything the games shown, announced or teased (but we must stress may never be fully developed) included Uncharted, Killzone, Monster Hunter Portable 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, Wipeout, Resistance, LittleBigPlanet, Hot Shots Golf and (this final one is confirmed) a Call of Duty game.

    Some of the unknowns about NGP include the amount of internal storage space, the release date for each territory other then 2011, and the price with Andrew House stating the device will be "affortable".

      SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES ITS NEXT GENERATION PORTABLE ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
      Ultimate Portable Entertainment System Makes Its Debut This Year,
      Further Expanding the PlayStation® Business in the Portable Gaming Market

      Tokyo, January 27, 2011 – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced its next generation portable entertainment system (codename: NGP), which delivers the ultimate portable entertainment experience. NGP will make its debut at the end of the year 2011.

      NGP is designed to offer unparalleled interactive entertainment that is only possible on PlayStation®. This new system offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context, made possible by leveraging SCE’s experience from both PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®3 (PS3®) entertainment systems.

      Click To Enlarge Image
      The NGP with Screen turned on.
      Deep and immersive gaming is at the core of PlayStation’s DNA, and NGP is the latest embodiment of this vision. By having both Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity, together with various applications, NGP will enable infinite possibilities for users to “encounter,” “connect,” “discover,” “share” and “play” with friends wherever they are. Within the device are a range of features that provide a genuinely cutting-edge, next generation ultimate portable entertainment experience.

      * Stunning OLED and Revolutionary User Interface
      NGP incorporates a beautiful multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED) as the front display. A high-performance CPU / GPU combined with OLED enables rich, visually striking graphics never seen before on a portable entertainment system, for both games and other digital entertainment content. The new system also incorporates a unique multi-touch pad on the rear, and together with the front touch display, NGP offers new game play allowing users to interact directly with games in three dimension-like motion, through “touch, grab, trace, push and pull” moves of the fingers.

      * Super Oval Design and Dual Analog Sticks
      While succeeding the basic design philosophy of PSP, NGP adopts the Super Oval Design form factor, created to fit comfortably in users’ hands. For the first time, a portable entertainment system will feature two analog sticks, which enable a wider range of game genres to be brought into the portable experience.

      * LiveArea™
      Every game title for NGP will be provided with a space called “LiveArea™” where users can share the fun and excitement with other players. Users will have access to the latest information of games provided from SCE and 3rd party developers and publishers through PlayStation®Network. Additionally, NGP users will be able to view an “Activity” log that is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which in turn can trigger active real-time communication among users.

      * Near
      SCE will also provide location-based services on NGP as part of the basic features utilizing PlayStation Network. The new application called “Near,” developed specifically for this service and the network, will be pre-installed in the system to let users find out what their friends in the vicinity are playing now or what they were playing recently. Users can meet their friends and new players virtually, regardless of what games they are playing, simply by sharing their game information across different dimensions of time and distance.

      Click To Enlarge Image
      The back of the Sony NGP.
      * New Game Medium
      NGP adopts a new game medium, a small flash memory based card, dedicated for NGP software titles. Taking advantage of the flash memory feature, this innovative card can store the full software titles plus add-on game content or the game save data directly on to the card. By adopting flash memory based card, SCE will be able to provide game cards with higher capacity in the future, allowing developers to store more game data to deliver rich and immersive games.

      NGP will also come equipped with two cameras on its front and rear, as well as three motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass, all of which are designed to enable users to enjoy the world of entertainment that is linked with real life experiences.

      PlayStation®Suite (PS Suite), announced today, will also closely coordinate with NGP. The newly developed and released game content for Android™ based portable devices can also be enjoyed on NGP. As a result, users will have access to not only the most leading-edge content, but also some of the more casual experiences that typify the mobile market place.

      SCE will vigorously promote NGP towards the launch as the next generation portable entertainment platform and deploy various measures to further expand the portable gaming market.

    PS3 Preview
    Dragon Age 2 is going to be one of the biggest sellers of 2011, and there's little doubt about it. This is a sequel to one of the biggest RPG's in recent years and the developers BioWare are promising improvements in nearly every area. Check out our preview now...

January 26, 2011

    PS3 News
    Well Mass Effect 2 is due out on the PS3 tomorrow but a little heads up that some people with the game in America are experiencing some game save corruption. Nothing official as yet but we would suggest, if it's possible, to have multiple save files. Electronic Arts are seeking details from gamers on their forums about their corruption if it happens.

    Platinum Games, the developers of Bayonetta and Vanquish have announced their next game will be an online multiplayer game for "a large number of players". The game, called Max Anarachy, is due out in 2011 and will be published by Sega.

    Industry News
    Capcom have hinted they have two "large scale" games which have not yet been announced due for release in 2011. Apparently the games will be announced this (Japanese) Summer (so Winter for us Aussies) We're going to speculate a little here and suggest they could be PSP2 launch titles - but who knows, a new Resident Evil for the PS3 perhaps?

    PS3 Preview
    Yakuza 4 is one game we are very excited to get our hands on. A continuation of the franchise this game is set in the same location, albeit with plenty of new areas to explore, and looks every bit as impressive as the previous game. We've taken a look at the game and tell you what to expect.

January 24, 2011

    PS3 News
    Still playing the rather brilliant COD: Black Ops? Well pop the disc into your PS3 today and you'll be asked to upgrade to version 1.06. Does this fix the network issues some are experiencing? Well possibly, but Activision hasn't detailed the changes...

    Looking forward to Portal 2? Well a lot of people are but when Gabe Newell from Valve said the PS3 would get the best version we wondered how? Well it has now been confirmed the PS3 version of the game will be playable with PC gamers. Not only that but the PS3 version of the game will include a code to download the PC version of the game as well! Impressive...

    Blu-Ray Review
    Easy A was released in cinemas a few months ago and didn't quite have the impact many expected. Still, this teen movie starring Emma Stone (she from Zombieland) really is a gem with plenty of humour but also some great acting. Be sure to check this out.

January 22, 2011

    PS3 News
    It was vapourware for around a decade but now 2K Games has confirmed that Duke Nukem Forever will be hitting Australian and New Zealand retail shelves on May 6th, 2011 - a couple of days after the American release. It will be interesting to see if Gearbox have created a hit from the long gestating title.

January 20, 2011

    PS3 News
    Ubisoft Australia have confirmed that the just announced Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be released here next Summer. That puts its release somewhere between December 2011 to February 2012. Mark your calendars...

    It's one of our most anticipated titles of 2011 adn Sega have just confirmed that Yakuza 4 will be hitting the PS3 on March 24, 2011. We loved the previous game Yakuza 3 and suggest you check this one out upon release too. Expect a preview very soon...

    Blu-Ray Review
    Gun probably isn't a movie many of you would have heard of - primarily as it never hit cinemas here in Australia (and, in fact, not really anywhere around the globe). Written by and starring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson this action movie has it's moments but in general falls a little flat. Still this Blu-Ray has a superb transfer.

January 18, 2011

    PS3 News
    Square-Enix has confirmed that Final Fantasy XIII-2 is currently in development and will be released in Japan this year - YES - in 2011! Unfortunately there is no confirmation that the game will be released this year in other territories, and we suspect it will be a 2012 release. Other details are scarce other then the game is also hitting XBox 360, and Motomu Toriyama is back directing this sequel after working on the previous game.

    Square-Enix, through director Tetsuya Nomura, has confirmed that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is still a PS3 exclusive. Unfortunately there still isn't a release date for the game which was first announced in 2006!

    Electronic Arts has confirmed that due to the Queensland floods and the resulting shipping delays the release of Mass Effect 2 on PS3 has been pushed back a week until January 27. That sucks, but there really is much more to life then games and living on the Gold Coast, about 60km away from the floods - with reviewer Michael only a kilometer or two away - our hearts go out to all those affected.

January 17, 2011

    PS3 Review
    The Sly Collection sees Sony throwing all three of PS2 games from this under appreciated franchise together, giving them HD visual makeovers, some Playstation Move mini-games and 3D support in the third game which adds up to a great release. Michael has played through the games and quite enjoyed the experience.

January 15, 2011

    Industry News
    As we all know ex-Infinity Ward honchos Jason West and Vince Zampella have formed a new company called Respawn and their games will be publised by Electronic Arts. It could have been THQ however with Danny Bilson from that company saying they lost out in signing the new studio as there was a dispute about who would own the IP. Essentially THQ wanted it, but so did Respawn - something which Electronic Arts seem to have agreed to.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Piranha 3D is a movie which we had some interest in despite not being a big fan of the horror genre, although this is a little more "popcorn". Admittedly we're only reviewing this 3D disc in it's 2D form (until we get a new TV soon) but even in 2D we found this one of the best popcorn flicks in quite a while.

January 14, 2011

    PS3 News
    Sony America has confirmed that PlayStation Move Heroes will be released in that territory on March 22nd. While we don't have confirmation of an Australian/European date as yet we expect it to be very close. The game not only brings together characters from many of Sony's biggest franchises but supports the Playstation Move controller.

    Sega has confirmed that their Thor game will be released a week earlier then expected on April 29 in Europe. The game is, obviously, being released this year due to the upcoming movie based on the same character.

January 12, 2011

    PS3 News
    Well Sony haven't quite been as quiet about the PS3 hacking as they initially reported. Over the last day or so the company has slapped George Hots (GeoHot), Hector Martin Cantero & Sven Peter (fail0verflow), and "does" 1 through 100 with lawsuits for circumventing the security measures. The following details are alleged by SCEA:
    "SCEA has alleged that Defendants have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) 17 U.S.C. §1201, et seq.; the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, et seq.; and has alleged contributory copyright infringement arising out of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §501, et seq.; as well as related state and common law claims for violation of the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, Cal. Penal Code § 502, et. seq., breach of contract, tortious interference with contractual relations, trespass and common law misappropriation."

    PS3 Preview
    No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise probably isn't near the top of your shopping list, but if you own a Playstation Move, or like action games you should check it out. The original game was released on the Nintendo Wii a couple of years ago and rated very well, however this PS3 version will see plenty of upgrades.

January 11, 2011

    Blu-Ray Review
    The Blair Witch Project was a surprise hit a decade ago and this extremely low-budget movie is now one of the most profitable in history. The movie really divides audiences and it's not really one which we enjoy much at all. Still it has it's fans and we've reviewed the Blu-Ray disc.

January 10, 2011

    PS3 News
    Namco Bandai have confirmed they will be distributing the Tomb Raider Trilogy pack exclusively on the PS3 for $AU49.95 on March 24, 2011. The bundle includes Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider Anniversary, both of which have been given a boost to HD visuals, as well as Tomb Raider Underworld. The pack will also include a PS3 theme pack, the official Lara Croft female Home avatar outfit, the Viking Thrall male Home avatar outfit and a collection of “making of” trailers in HD for the entire series

    Details have finally emerged about Konami's next horror title in the Silent Hill franchise. In development at Vatra Games the game will be called Silent Hill: Downpour. Indeed the game will include plenty of wet areas, weapons that degrade over time, some QTE's, and a demo closer to the games release in late 2011.

    PS3 Preview
    Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is probably the most anticpated fighting game to be released in the last couple of years. Indeed the game certainly looks impressive and given Capcom's proven track record in the genre we expect it to play just as well too. Check out our preview in the lead-up to the February release.

January 9, 2011

    PS3 Security News
    Well the big news over the New Year's period is certainly that various hackers known as Fail0verflow have got past the PS3's security measures essentially granting full access to the system to hackers, modders, pirates and anyone else with a little know-how. Essentially by Sony encrypting the PS3 with a single encryption key the hackers were able to essentially work out the key as every program released is encrypted with the same constant key.

    So what does this mean? Well essentially with this key programmers could modify the PS3 Firmware and then repackage it and run it on a console without the system ever being aware it's not an official Sony product. The same goes with any program, game, or item encoded for use on the PS3. Essentially piracy could now be rampant, and as easy as popping in a copied disc! That's a terrible outcome for all game makers. On another note homebrew programs can now be developed and deployed without issue - to be honest that's something that we're not totally opposed to anyway.

    So what is Sony's reaction? Well pretty muted so far. No doubt they are looking into the issue, and looking for every single possible solution to them. Unfortunately as this encryption key is hard coded into the system there aren't a lot of options at this stage. You can't recall all the hardware. Even creating a whitelist with every bit of software won't work as the hackers could modify that, and with the key available, the PS3's would never know which is the real, or which is the hacked whitelist. The ball is now in Sony's court and you can bet developers and publishers aren't happy, but having said that when almost every previous console in history has been hacked in weeks perhaps 12 months maximum for Sony to get 4 years is quite the achievement. Could it push them to introduce PS4 earlier... Perhaps...

January 8, 2011

    Special Article
    2010 Futuregamez.net Awards Part 3 is the third and final part of the Futuregamez.net Awards and in this segment we pick the best graphics and sound on PSP and PS3 as well as our Game of the Year! Will this be your choice too?

January 6, 2011

    Special Article
    2010 Futuregamez.net Awards Part 2 is the second part of our awards and this time focuses on the best games in each genre (Shooter, Puzzle, Sport, Racing etc) as well as best game engine, artistic style and game that people forgot to buy. Check out all the winners...

January 4, 2011

    Special Article
    2010 Futuregamez.net Awards Part 1 is the first part of the Futuregamez Awards we look at the biggest surprises and disappointments, the best developer, publisher and distributer, the best Blu-Rays visually, sonically and overall, and finally best multiplayer games. Check it out now...

January 3, 2011

    Site News
    We are still alive here at Futuregamez.net but with relatives staying from all over the country, and some pretty hectic work on the Game of the Year Awards we've been off radar. There isn't much news this holiday period so you're no missing much, but expect Part 1 to be online either Tuesday or Wednesday.


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