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Archive for April, 2007

Burnout Paradise Announced

Monday, April 30th, 2007

A new Burnout is on the way for the PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.  Press release:

Guildford, UK – April 30, 2007 – Electronic Arts Inc., (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced the title for the revolutionary new Burnout™ videogame currently in development for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360™ videogame system. Players will be able to take their dangerous driving experience to a whole new level when Burnout™ Paradise is unleashed this winter.

Burnout Paradise proves that crashing is awesome! Next generation technology has enabled an unprecedented level of crash deformation allowing you to experience the most explosive pile-ups in the series’ history. Now the development team can realise their original vision for the Burnout franchise: an open world environment where you can do anything, anywhere, anytime!

“We have been working towards Burnout Paradise for quite some time. Next generation consoles have opened up a raft of new gameplay opportunities and the Criterion team has leapt at the chance to innovate and raise the bar to an all-new high,” said Pete Hawley, Executive Producer, Burnout Paradise. “There are going to be some big surprises and a lot of new features but the core of the game is still pure Burnout. Instant accessibility will be reinforced by innovative on-line capabilities which will see Burnout Paradise smash racing conventions.’’

Feel the adrenaline course through your veins as you take to the road for the first time in Paradise City, where the action is all around you. Explore the city, discover events, and look for the best opportunities to crash, jump and pull signature takedowns. In Burnout Paradise you’re given the keys to the city, but it’s up to you to earn the keys to the meanest and most dangerous cars on the street, and earn your Burnout licence.

Burnout Paradise will ship under the EA™ brand and is developed by EA’s Criterion Studio in Guildford, UK.

PaRappa the Rapper Headed to the PSP

Monday, April 30th, 2007

After several years on hiatus, and fans muttering to themselves, “You gotta believe” as they hoped for a sequel, Sony is finally granting them their wish with a new, portable PaRappa on the PSP. Here’s the press release:

FOSTER CITY, Calif., April 30 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) announced today the North American release of PaRappa The Rapper(TM), an iconic character-based music and hip-hop game, available in July 2007 for PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable). Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, in association with legendary multimedia musician Masaya Matsuura and famed New York artist Rodney Greenblat, the PaRappa The Rapper franchise debuted 10 years ago on the original PlayStation(R) and is widely credited with establishing the music and rhythm game genre that continues to thrive today. PaRappa The Rapper for the PSP system mobilizes PaRappa’s hip-hop adventures and builds on the success of this iconic franchise.

Featuring all the characters, levels and songs from the original, PaRappa The Rapper increases the franchise’s social appeal by offering a host of new PSP exclusive features, including the ability for up to four PSP systems to go head-to-head in ad-hoc battles; wirelessly share a demo level through Game Share; and use the PSP Infrastructure Mode to download eight additional playable remixes for players to rap along to.

“Bringing PaRappa The Rapper to PSP allows true PlayStation fans to re-connect with this timeless classic,” said John Koller, Senior Marketing Manager, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “This also introduces the beloved PaRappa and his cast of colorful friends to a new generation of fans and potential hip-hop stars on the move.”

PaRappa The Rapper for the PSP system stays true to its stylish flattened animation technique and gameplay, combining fun and vibrant characters with hip music and a humorous storyline. Masaya Matsuura’s infectious music and lyrics accompany PaRappa as he attempts to rap his way into the heart of his dreamy love interest, Sunny Funny, through various musical adventures. Using a rhythm, timing and coordination-based gameplay mechanic, players will bob their heads along with PaRappa and a cast of vibrant characters as they master its addictive gameplay. Players will first have to harmoniously press a designated controller button to help PaRappa mimic the actions and lyrics of the Masters. As the player’s skill level progresses, they will be able to break free into a one-of-a-kind freestyle session, giving them the freedom to create a new experience with each play.

Kutaragi Stepping Down from SCE

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Sony has sent word today that Ken Kutaragi, creator of the PlayStation, will be stepping down from his executive roles with the company later this year, taking on the position of Honorary Chairman instead.  While the general vibe of the press release is that he just wants to move on, one has to wonder how much sluggish sales of the PS3 and PSP could be impacting the whole thing.

PlayStation 3 Doubling Folding@Home Power

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

According to the folks at Eurogamer, since the PS3 has supported the Folding@Home project, it has more than doubled the amount of data processed by it:

“The PS3 turnout has been amazing, greatly exceeding our expectations and allowing us to push our work dramatically forward,” said Vijay Pande, associate professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home program lead.

“Thanks to PS3, we have performed simulations in the first few weeks that would normally take us more than a year to calculate. We are now gearing up for new simulations that will continue our current studies of Alzheimer’s and other diseases.”

God of War: Chains of Olympus Trailer Up

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Those who are interested in Sony’s upcoming handheld God of War game, Chains of Olympus, for the PSP may want to mosey on down to the game’s official web site, as their is a new trailer up there for the game.  There is also a chance to win a demo disc of the game from the site.

Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter’s Battle Announced

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

New Dynasty Warriors game ahoy!  Here’s the press release:

It’s time to team up with the legendary Dynasty Warriors and save Ancient China. Rival kingdoms and hordes of rebel soldiers are on the attack. In the Tactical Action game, DYNASTY WARRIORS DS: FIGHTER’S BATTLE, players must reunite a divided nation, but this is a challenge they will not face alone. History’s mightiest warriors are ready to join the battle. Plus, with the awesome of the Musou attack players will have the power to stop entire gangs of enemies in one sweeping strike! You won’t want to miss the action for all the tea in China!

In the game, players will take the role of one of three new characters, each with its own special attribute: the Phoenix (key attribute: balance), the Dragon (key attribute: speed), and the Chimera (key attribute: power). Using a “Battle Deck” of cards, players will select up to seven of the original Dynasty Warriors to serve as officers who will defend their bases.

A new “Obstacle Roulette System” lets players unleash tactics or spells using cards from the players’ Battle Deck. These Obstacle attacks can disrupt an opponent’s progress and are crucial to victory, especially in the game’s wireless Vs. mode!

DYNASTY WARRIORS DS: FIGHTER’S BATTLE will be available exclusively for the Nintendo DS. Wireless Vs. mode play is for up to 3 players. This game rated “E10+” (Everyone 10+ – Violence) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

Final Fantasy XIII to Last 10 Years?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

In a recent interview for Nintendo Dream (that IGN was gracious enough to translate), Square-Enix big kahuna, Shinji Hashimoto, discusses a number of the company’s upcoming projects.  While much of the interview focused on various games that are being made for Nintendo consoles, Hashimoto also touched upon Final Fantasy XIII for a moment, stating that Square-Enix plans to stretch the game out with side stories over the next 10 years or so.  It will be similar to what they are doing with Final Fantasy VII, except that it’s planned from the start, and not just an afterthought.

Although speaking with a Nintendo magazine, Hashimoto brought up Final Fantasy XIII as a comparison for Square Enix’s decision to expand upon the FFVII storyline through the Compilation project years after the game’s original release. “Different from something like VII, which we expanded upon afterwards, with Fabula Nova Crystallis FFXIII, we’ve thought about an expansive world setting from the start. Under the idea of wanting everyone to be sucked into the world for 10 years, we’re preparing a number of categories.” He likened this approach to films like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

PS3 Price Drops in the UK

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

According to MCV, PlayStation 3 consoles are seeing continued price drops in the UK, as retailers there are having difficulty moving inventory.  It’s to the point where stores are selling the system at a loss just to get them out the door.

“PS3 performed well pre-launch and the first week of release, but since then sales have dropped considerably,” said Gameseek boss Stephen Staley. “I am sure the deal will help matters. I personally believe the cuts are down to overstocking from launch. Credit goes to Sony for supplying for all of the demand, however this has left most retailers with alot of stock and with the consoles costing around £400 you can imagine, its not healthy for any business to have alot of PS3 consoles gathering dust in a warehouse.”

It’s an interesting conflict in stories when you consider that Sony Europe has been taling about how fast the PS3 is allegedly selling for over there.

Fire Emblem Could Go Online

Monday, April 16th, 2007

According to a recent article at the UK version of IGN, which is regurgitating something that they saw in Dengeki DS and Wii Style, Nintendo is suggesting that future versions of Fire Emblem could very well feature online play.

But the wait for online compatibility may not be too long. Yamagami closed off by stating, “This would be the first FE for the Wii, so we decided to focus on single player and held back on Wi-Fi. However, for the next title, if we have the chance, we’d like to use it.”

While Higuchi mentioned downloads in his comments, Yamigami’s mention of a focus on single player play suggests that Wi-Fi based battles are under consideration.

Online play is something that fans of the series have been anticipating for ages.  Hopefully this time it will become a reality.

A New Model PS3 May Be Coming

Monday, April 16th, 2007

After it was recently announced that Sony would be getting rid of their low-end PlayStation 3s in North America, it is looking increasingly likely that Sony may introduce a new PS3 with a larger (80GB) hard drive.  According to Sony, they are addressing consumer needs, as their sales figures indicate that people are more interested in the high-end console, so logic would dictate that the public would be receptive to an even more robust version of the PS3.

This all comes on the heels of recent news that Sony is performing far better than expected as of late, so perhaps the company sees these ultra high-end PS3s as beneficial to the overall picture.

Nintendo DS the Fastest Selling System Ever?

Monday, April 16th, 2007

The Nintendo DS has cracked the 40 million units sold mark after a little over two years on the market, making it the fastest selling video game system ever.  Not only has it sold incredibly fast, but few consoles have even sold over 40 million units globally in their entire lifetime.  The only systems to have this honor are the NES, SNES, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, and both the PlayStation and PlayStation 2.

GameTap Comes Through with Saturn Titles, Wing Commander

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

Yep, this news is a couple of days old, but it’s still worth mentioning that GameTap now has the original Wing Commander (PC) available on their download service.  If that weren’t enough old school for you, they also announced that “Bug!” is also available, which starts their inclusion of Sega Saturn titles.

Browse the Internet with your Wii

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Today Nintendo launched the Internet Channel for Wii, powered by Opera.  The important thing to remember is that it’s free right now, but it’ll set you back 500 Wiipoints if you get it after June 30, 2007.  So hop to it!

No More Low-End PS3s

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Sony announced today that they will be discontinuing production of their low-end PlayStation 3 consoles, as they claim that these units are being vastly outsold by their high-end counterparts at a ratio of 10 to 1.  At this point, this will only take affect in North America, though it would not come as a surprise if this spread to other regions if similar sales figures were to arise.

“Brothers in Arms” Coming to Wii, DS

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Ubisoft announced today that their WWII shooter franchise, Brothers in Arms, is on its way to Wii and DS.

Today Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, and Gearbox Software, one of the world’s leading independent video game developers, announced that the critically acclaimed and multimillion-unit selling Brothers In Arms franchise is in development for the Nintendo DS™ and Wii™ systems. Scheduled to ship this year, Brothers In Arms® Double Time (fall) and Brothers In Arms (summer) will, for the first time, immerse Nintendo® system owners into the intensity of World War II through the stories of Sergeants Baker and Hartsock and their squad of paratroopers during the Normandy invasion.”Brothers In Arms on the Wii and DS systems is really exciting for us,” said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. “I am a huge fan of both systems and thrilled about making games for the two platforms. In the entire space of first-person shooters on video game systems, Brothers In Arms really lends itself to both the Wii and DS interfaces. Imagine using the Wii Remote to give actual hand signals or aiming with the DS stylus from a covered position. That’s what you can look forward to with Brothers In Arms Double Time and Brothers in Arms DS.”

A WWII shooter on Wii?  Well, lets all hope that it turns out better than Medal of Honor: Vanguard for Wii.