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Archive for January, 2011

Sony’s New Portable Codenamed “NGP”

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

new sony portable ngp

Though it’s not scheduled to see retail until late this year (2011), Sony has announced some details of their upcoming portable, codenamed “NGP.” Right now it’s all words in an email, even if they are impressive, which makes it difficult (for me personally) to get too excited. However, I’ll hold onto hope that Sony has something more to show at E3 Expo in June (and they probably will). Read more of the specifics below, but if you want a very quick summary here it is: front and back cameras, big OLED multi-touchscreen, Six Axis and GPS built-in, dual analog sticks, and electronic compass.

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.


“Duke Nukem Forever” Launch Date Set

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I’m still firmly in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” camp on this particular bit of News.

2K Games and Gearbox have announced a launch date for “Duke Nukem Forever” (which was originally announced back in April 1997!): May 3, 2011 in North America and May 6, 2011 internationally. The game will be hitting PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360; and is rated “M” for Mature by the ESRB.

“When I said goodbye to 3D Realms and the original Duke Nukem 3D team in 1997 and soon after founded Gearbox Software, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that a day like today would come,” said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. “Today I am proud, humbled and even astounded to announce that the day is coming at last for all gamers to be a part of video game history: Duke Nukem Forever will launch worldwide this May!”

Nintendo Releases 3DS Information Flood

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Combing through Nintendo’s recent press release regarding the 3DS for pertinent information is tough. I just want to copy and paste the whole thing right here because the information is pretty dense.

Some of the information we already knew (or at the very least, suspected) like the glasses free 3D (with slider) for the upper screen, the telescoping stylus, the 3D camera, a Circle Pad to complement the regular buttons of the DS, built-in motion sensor, a 2GB SD memory card with every unit (expandable to the whims of the gamer), a North American launch date of March 27, 2011 for $249.99US.

Then there are features like StreetPass where 3Ds units pass off information like high scores and  game maps to each other as they pass close by and ShotPass, which should make it easier to connect to wifi hotspots. (more…)

Sackboy Returns, “LittleBigPlanet 2″ Arrives

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Boasting a host of improvements and a feature list as long as my arm, LittleBigPlanet 2 is now available at retail for $59.99 MSRP (and rated “E” for Everyone).

Besides features like the Music Sequencer, a grapple hook for Sackboy, 40 story levels, a new graphics engine, and more in-depth tools for level (and even genre) creation, LittleBigPlanet 2 promises that it’ll be easier to find quality levels. That last feature will likely have the greatest impact, at least for me. 3 million+ levels created by users in the original LittleBigPlanet and I played a few dozen, only one or two that were fun to play through. With some new filtering and rating options, hopefully the better ones find a spotlight.

Our review of the original LittleBigPlanet.

“Portal 2″ Brings Steam to PS3

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I’ve read the press release a half dozen times and I’m still having problems processing the information that Valve released last night about Portal 2 on Playstation 3, particularly in light of past comments that Valve’s Gabe Newell has made about the platform.

Marking the debut of Steam functioning on any next generation console, the features shipping in the PS3 version of Portal 2 include cross platform play (PC/Mac vs. PS3) for multiplayer games, persistent cloud-based storage of PS3 saved games, and cross platform chat (PC/Mac and PS3).

Okay, cross platform play and chat is cool, as is cloud-based storage of PS3 saved games. What confuses me is that “multiplayer games” doesn’t seem to be limited to Portal 2. Or maybe it is. I’ve emailed Valve’s Doug Lombardi for clarification on that point. And there have been cross platform play like this before (like Shadownrun), but it never really caught on, as far as I can tell.

The release goes on to state that “those who purchase Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 may unlock a Steam Play (PC & Mac) copy of Portal 2 at no additional cost by linking their PSN and Steam accounts.”  I’ll be honest and say that I wish more companies would take this route.  If I can’t play Portal 2 on my PS2 because the TV is being hogged, the option to jump to my PC and take off right where I left off is extremely attractive to me.

That last part of the release brings to mind another question: Will updates and add-ons be free, like they are on Valve’s first-party games on PC/Mac?

“We made a promise to gamers at E3 that Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 would be the best console version of the product,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. “Working together with Sony we have identified a set of features we believe are very compelling to gamers. We hope to expand upon the foundation being laid in Portal 2 with more Steam features and functionality in DLC and future content releases.”

I’m not sure what to make of Gabe’s statement. Free content updates and add-ons is where my mind instantly leaps, but on a console free content is nearly unthinkable. Either way, thumbs up to Valve and Sony for at least testing the waters with this move.

Our review of the original Portal.