Today’s news roundup sees a Modern Warfare 2 pirate be brought to justice, a Beatle's sons aim to use Rock Band to teach people music, and Nintendo of America President announce the new Zelda may not see a 2010 release.
With Modern Warfare 2 already leaked onto the internet, Microsoft is trying their damndest to stop piracy on the Xbox 360 at all costs. The game became widely available on the internet when 18-year-old American Christian Del Amo got his piracy loving hands on an early copy of Modern Warfare 2, who then proceeded to make illegal copies of the game available on various torrent sites. The whole affair kicked off when a “box boy at a major retail chain” swiped a crate from a major retail chain containing Modern Warfare 2 bundles. The box boy then sold these copies online, letting hacker Del Amo grab an early copy.
He soon cracked the protection around the game, making illegal copies available to all. Unfortunately for him, IPCybercrime, a private investigation firm, was on his case, and thanks to tracks left through social networking sites like Facebook, the firm traced the teen to his modding business in Miami, where he was soon arrested. “If these guys get their stuff out, then they can do some major damage to sales and spoil it for everybody. We plug leaks every day, but this was one of the biggest ones of the year,” said Rob Holmes, owner of IPCybercrime. He then warns other hackers “If you try to do piracy on a large scale, you will get caught. When you use the Internet, you always leave tracks somewhere.” For the law-abiding Modern warfare 2 will be available this Tuesday. [VentureBeat]
Dhani Harrison (son of Beatle George Harrison) previously joined forces with Harmonix to help create The Beatles Rock Band. Now it appears he wants to take the formula further, and create a game that will actually teach players to play music. According to Harrison “I'm working on Rock Band 3' and making the controllers more real so people can actually learn how to play music while playing the game.”
He claims it’s going to happen in as little as a couple of years, and he hopes it can teach people how to play music, rather than merely “pantomime in rhythm.” No word on Harmonix’s take on this, but we’ll hopefully know more when Rock band 3 is officially announced. [ChicagoTribune]
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has recently stated they haven’t committed to a new Zelda in 2010. It appears they’ll be taking the ‘release when ready’ approach, clarifying the game is only “tracking” for 2010. On a positive note however, he did confirm Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M are committed to 2010, so at least some decent games will be released on the Wii next year.
Following this, Reggie made some very bold statements, predicting New Super Mario Bros. Wii will outsell Modern Warfare 2 (only the Xbox 360 edition) by January. “Absolutely. I say that unequivocally,” said Reggie. “Let's take it all the way through the January NPD data -- yes. I'll put that stake in the ground.” Very bold indeed. [GameTrailers]
In today’s news roundup we have a look at the fall in game sales across the globe, an expected release date for the eagerly anticipated Star Trek Online, and to top it off EA’s Spore Islands on Facebook.
It’s been a hard year for us all, what with the financial climate taking a turn for the worse, and we’ve been keeping a weary eye on the pennies. Not surprisingly this has also affected the gaming industry.
According to Enterbrain and GfK Chart-Track, there has been a 6% drop in games sales across the three largest markets (Japan, UK and USA) compared to the previous year at the same time.
Japan however has managed to beat the crunch with game sales up at 15%, compared to the 9% drop in the US and 19% drop in the UK. [Kotaku]
On a lighter note there is some good news for you Star Trek fans out there. The release date for Star Trek Online has been announced for February 2nd 2010, the official release in North America being 5th February 2010.
Players get the chance to play as the Federation or the Klingons. You can command your own starship, battle players and build up a crew from scratch. It’s a game to keep an eye on even if you’re not a fan of Star Trek. [1up]
Finally, EA has announced Spore: Islands for the Facebook application. For those of you not familiar with the game, you basically have to create a species, evolve them, raise them on an island and eventually take over other colonies with your mighty army. It’s a tidy little game and good to pass the time, but if you’re used to ignoring requests, then be prepared to ignore a lot more as Spore: Islands comes to Facebook. [Joystiq]
Today’s news roundup sees Warren Spector reveal his intentions for the future of Deus Ex, Marvel reveal both a Thor and Captain America Videogame in their plans, and Oriconlife readers poll Final Fantasy X as the biggest tear jerking game ever made.
Warren Spector, most renowned for his work on the cyberpunk action RPG Deus Ex, currently has his hands full with Epic Mickey on the Wii. Although he hasn’t forgot about the aforementioned series, even attempting (unsuccessfully) to reacquire the rights to Deus Ex back from Eidos. Following this, Spector approached Disney outlining two projects, one of them he refers to as the “spiritual successor” to Deus Ex.
He reveals “There were and still are 'Deus Ex' stories I would like to tell. That story is not done for me, I sort of filed the serial numbers off. 'Deus Ex' was very much a game of the millennium.” Disney now own the rights to both Spector’s projects, and depending on the success of Epic Mickey, may even fund and develop his plans. In fact, considering the wealth of Disney, it may not be outside the realms of possibility to see Spector working on a brand new Deus Ex game altogether. [Variety]
With both a Thor and Captain America movie in the works, of course there’s going to the inevitable game cash-in. I mean, it’s obvious. Marvel’s recent quarterly financial report confirmed suspicious, revealing both games will arrive in 2011. These games will accompany their respective movie, with Thor aiming for a May release, while The First Avenger: Captain America is seeing a slightly later July release.
Not much else is known about the projects, aside from the fact Sega will be handling the publishing and developing duties for both titles, benefitting from experience gained during their work on the (awful) Incredible Hulk and Iron Man tie-ins. [GameSpot]
Games can be emotional. Some even have the power to reduce grown men to tears. But what games has induced the most sniffles in gaming history? Japan’s Oriconlife decided to find out for themselves, polling a total of 500 men to get their answer, ranging from teens all the way up to 40 and above.
According to the results, Final Fantasy X is the most effective tear jerker out there, followed by Dragon Quest V, Final Fantasy VII, Clannad, and lastly Mother 2. Something tells me that if these tests were carried out elsewhere we’d see a much different response. [Kotaku]
Zombies are great. You can punch them, kick them, shoot them and they’ll still come for you. That’s when you decide to get out the explosives and do a proper job. Left 4 Dead offers all of these and more – with heavy cooperative game play and plenty of gun slinging action you can’t pass up.
TheHut are currently offering the cheapest price for Left 4 Dead at £17.73. The next best price stands at £19.94 from Amazon, which means you save a few pounds.
Imagine if you will, being stuck on a roof. You’re with three other survivors you know little about, and all around you, as far as the eye can see, there are zombies. A military plane flies overhead towards the city’s airport and you know that it’s your only chance of survival. Now the only problem is you have to somehow get there and fight your way through a zombie infested city.
You get to play as any one of the four survivors in Left 4 Dead. They only differ in appearance so you won’t be missing out on skills or abilities. The general idea is to find the safest and quickest route through the city and into a safe house without dying. You have to wind your way through buildings, apartments and houses where zombies hide in every corner. You have to help comrades in need, whether they’re injured, pinned down by a zombie or hanging off the edge of a building. There are four main scenarios that play out like mini movies and at the end, credits roll giving the stats of each player.
Unlike most zombie games where you’re trying to find a cure or wipe out all the zombies, in Left 4 Dead you’re literally just trying to survive. This makes for a better more intense game-playing experience. There are times when all you hear is the crackle of gunfire and the screams of your comrades as they call for help. The zombies run (like in 28 days later) and attack in hordes, so you’re always guaranteed a huge gun fight. A feature I love in Left 4 Dead is setting off car alarms, which basically alerts the zombies to your location. They then attack from all directions and in such huge numbers, all you can do is hold down the trigger and hope for the best.
Multiplayer is a big thing in Left 4 Dead. I strongly advise you to play it with friends or strangers online for the best experience, because it will seriously make things easier and a lot more fun. You can play with them on the main scenarios or in death match styled games, where half the players are the zombies and the other are the humans.
Left 4 Dead: Game of the year edition offers more maps and more modes unseen in the original version. It is a superb game (one of my favourites) with many hours of game play and re-playability. There’s plenty to do online and what with the imminent release of the sequel, surely you’ll want to get some practice in.
Thanks to adams2318 from HotUKdeals!
In today’s news roundup Shigeru Miyamoto shares news of MotionPlus heading to the next Zelda, after going on to hint at Nintendo’s upcoming cat-based project. Meanwhile, Modern Warfare 2 breaks pre-order records, looking on track to becoming this year's biggest game.
A recent Q&A session in Tokyo with Shigeru Miyammoto revealed a few more interesting details regarding Link’s next adventure on the Wii. Shigsy plans to integrate MotionPlus into the next Zelda “to make you feel much more like you're actually fighting while holding a sword in your hand,” said Miyamoto. The aim appears to be to achieve the sensation of actually holding and fighting with a sword, rather than wiggling a Wii remote up and down to simply slash your sword.
The MotionPlus will also allow for an overhaul in the targeting system says Miyamoto. “In the previous game, you aimed at things by pointing at the screen, but this time we'll use MotionPlus to create a much more convenient targeting system and a more pleasurable playing experience.” No word on whether the next Zelda will require MotionPlus to play the game, but with these revelations it certainly seems that way. [Wired]
Following Shigeru Miyamoto’s announcement of MotionPlus featuring in the next Zelda (look above dummy), the Shigster went on to potentially reveal Nintendo’s next big project. At a Q&A session, Miyamoto was asked what his future plans are. He replied by stating he is currently working on developing DS games that can be played in the home, as well as outside as more of a social activity (possibly a ‘spectator game’ Nintendo hinted at for the big-screen DSi XL).
Following this, he left the stage after announcing “I've recently been caring for cats. That is all.” As if this wasn’t a big enough hint, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata took to the stage to confirm the he did indeed “just gave a big hint.” Miyamoto has a habit of turning whatever his current hobby is into some sort of game, and following the success of Nintendogs it appears entirely likely we’ll see a cat-based Nintendo game in the near future. That or else Miyamoto has clearly lost his mind. [Andriasang]
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 looks on track to become the biggest game of the decade, with GameStop USA reporting the game has already broke pre-order records. “As of today, the number of pre-order reservations we've taken for the game is the highest for any title we've ever sold in our 6,200 store network," said GameStop executive Tony Bartel.
The game has been receiving a lot of negative headlines recently, what with the increased price tag, and no dedicated servers, but this doesn’t look likely to stop Modern Warfare 2 from becoming this year’s biggest game. Activision is sure to be looking for a hit after disappointing sales for both their Guitar Hero and DJ Hero franchises, and it doesn’t look like Modern Warfare 2 will disappoint. [USAToday]
If you like fun, good natured games where it involves you saving the world from a psychopathic samurai warlord, then bring on the Ninjas! From the makers of Hitman comes Mini Ninjas.
Zavvi are currently offering the cheapest price for Mini Ninjas at £17.95. The next best price stands at £21.99 from The Game Collection, which means you save a few quid.
Mini Ninjas follows Hiro, as he tries to find his missing friends and defeat an evil Warlord hell-bent on taking over the world. It follows your stereotypical Japanese styled game where, one must grow stronger and wiser in order to defeat your enemy.
Mini Ninjas doesn’t take itself seriously, which I think improves the overall quality of the game. It’s for kids and adults alike, which is a huge step away from IO Interactive’s Hitman franchise. This can be seen in the cartoon-like graphics, fun sense of humor and lack of gore. The graphics are good, and the scenery really takes you into Japan.
As you progress further in the game you unlock new abilities and spells to use. One that I found fun to play with was the ability to transform Hiro into different types of animals. This allowed me to sneak past guards and stealthily attack them from behind, which brings me onto my next point. The combat is weak. The attacks are pretty basic and there’s not a lot of variety when fighting in close combat. When you find your missing friends you have the option to switch between characters, each specialising in different fighting styles, but on the whole the combat is fairly disappointing.
Mini Ninjas is entertaining and enjoyable which offers the player a good gaming experience. If you can put aside the weak combat and focus on the entertaining cut scenes, humor and visuals, then you’ll certainly enjoy Mini Ninjas.
Thanks to andywedge on HUKD!
Today's news roundup sees the unfortunate cancellation of several Rare games to make way for Microsoft's upcoming Project Natal, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announce their plans to market the DSi XL as a spectator system, and the Wii's latest bizarre exclusive Baby and Me.
With Project Natal on the way, Microsoft are in the process of devoting as much manpower and time to the project as possible. This comes at a cost however, with reports stating the development of upcoming sequel to Rare’s Kameo: Elements of Power has been cancelled, in order to free up resources. According to sources Rare were also working on many other additions to their franchises, all suffering the same fate as Kameo 2.
Although no names were specified, these games may have been a new Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie, or even Killer Instinct. Rare’s dedication to Project Natal may be predominantly to blame, but considering the poor sales and mediocre reception of the original Kameo, it’s not too hard to understand their decision. [CVG]
Rather than follow the usual handheld pattern of smaller is better, Nintendo’s DSi XL would rather embrace the bigger is better stance. The handheld already boasts a screen ¾ of an inch larger than the original DSi, and according to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, the viewing angle of the DSi XL has been altered to allow for better viewing as a spectator. “Nintendo DSi LL features not only bigger monitor screens,” said Iwata, “but an improved view angle on the screens to make it the first portable system that can be enjoyed with people surrounding the gamer.”
This method will apparently allow those surrounding the gamer to join in on the game, one way or another. Iwata cites Tomodachi Collection as a current example of a game that can benefit from multiple spectators. “Because communications and interactions with other family members and your friends are one of the key elements of the game, the fun aspect is intensified when other people can watch how you play in comparison with when you are playing by yourself.” said Iwata. So for any of you who like to play your handheld with a crowd behind you, the DSi XL is the machine for you. [Joystiq]
For those of you who have never enjoyed the exciting combination of babies and gaming now’s your chance. Nintendo have reported their latest Wii exclusive Baby and Me will give you the opportunity to place your Wii remote inside a baby, allowing you to enjoy all the sounds a baby makes, such as giggling, gurgling, burping and my personal favourite crying.
The sound is transmitted through the Wii Remote speaker, and can be taken care of by using the Wii Balance Board to “rock baby to sleep, burp baby, [and] teach baby to walk.” 10 “Baby Mode” games will be available, including “feed baby” and “send baby to sleep.” Keep your eyes peeled then baby fans for Baby and Me in the next month or so. [Aussie-Nintendo]
Now in its tenth instalment Pro Evolution soccer remains one of the best known football games of our time, but has it still got the magic? The Hut is offering Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 for only £15.73, which is a few quid cheaper than the next available online price.
Any fan of football games knows this title. Its nine predecessors have kept fans busy and craving the next instalment. Unfortunately not all the Pro Evos have stood up to the mark, what with miniscule changes made from one title to the next. You would barely notice anything different and assume it was the same game.
But Pro Evo 10 has finally broken free and actually made some noticeable changes! The most obvious is perhaps the physics engine. The players move realistically; they fall, tackle, dribble and shoot altogether more believably. The players aren’t your unimaginable super stars who can take the ball from one end to the other. You have to pass, and strategically play the ball forward. The graphics have been vastly improved and you can quite happily say they look like their counterparts.
The modes are pretty much the same but are slightly improved. Master League mode returns allowing players to create and manage their teams for longer. There are also more cups to play for and an online mode where updates and patches can be downloaded. And of course if you just want to play a mate - then go ahead!
For £15.73 you can't go wrong, and even those unfamiliar with Pro Evo, are sure to have a blast either way.
EDITORIAL UPDATE - this post was originally for a Zavvi deal for £15.95, with the next best price being £17.85 @ Shopto. However, our price comparison tool has shown that is is actually a bit cheaper at The Hut. We wouldn't normally post with such a small price difference, but we've got to include the new information for you. - Emma
Today’s news roundup sees a Ubisoft CEO suggest Splinter Cell will forever remain on the Xbox 360, Sony reveal the extravagant God of War 3 Collector’s Edition, and Microsoft begin banning hundreds of members of Xbox Live for playing pirated games.
Splinter Cell is typically seen as more of an Xbox game than anything else, even though the franchise appeared on the PS2 and GameCube. This generation however, it looks like Ubisoft are keen to keep the series on the Xbox 360, most likely in exchange for a big fat pile of money. When Ubisoft Toronto and Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat was questioned on the likelihood of Splinter Cell appearing on the PS3 or elsewhere, he replied “Until further notice [the franchise is staying on Xbox 360]. However, I'm only the one making the games, you should talk to the people in Paris [for a final answer].”
Microsoft is notorious for their timed exclusives, releasing a game before anyone else to forever associate the game with the 360. This will most likely be the case with Splinter Cell: Conviction, eventually seeing release on the PS3 and PC. [GamingUnion]
Collector’s editions seem to get bigger and badder with every new release that appears on the shelves. Halo 3 kicked the whole thing off with their ‘Legendary’ edition of Halo 3. Since then a number of ludicrous collector’s edition has been announced, including night-vision goggles for the prestige edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Sony has now joined in on the fun, announcing the “Ultimate Edition” for God of War 3, due for release next year.
The release offers all the usual stuff you can expect with any collector’s edition, including: a limited edition art book, exclusive downloadable content vouchers, a “Dominus” skin for Kratos, a documentary on the making-of, and the original soundtracks for the entire God of War trilogy. The whole lot comes packaged in a gigantic 8.3” wide x 10.5” long x 5.9” tall replica of Pandora’s Box, taken from the first God of War. No price has been confirmed, but expect to pay upwards of £70 for the pack. [1UP]
Microsoft has recently begun a mass banning on Xbox Live of anyone owning a modded console and playing pirate copies of games. According to a Microsoft spokesperson "We have taken action against a small percentage of consoles that have been modified to play pirated game discs. In line with our commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the more than 20 million members of our Xbox LIVE community, we are suspending these modded consoles from Xbox LIVE."
Today's news roundup see the Nintendo DSi XL announced for Europe, a rough idea of when the Final Fantasy XIII release date outside of Japan will be announced, the possibility of Epic Mickey spanning a triliogy, and Insomniac make the tough decesion to forsake 60fps in exchange for better graphics.
Following Nintendo's official reveal of the DSi LL yesterday on their Japanese website, Nintendo of Europe has confirmed the new DSi will arrive "in the first quarter of 2010," under the name DSi XL. No price has been announced, but expect it to be slightly more expensive than the current DSi. [1UP]
Final Fantasy XIII may be out this December in Japan, but we like the rest of the world have to wait until “spring 2010.” A more concrete release date may be on the way however, as Square Enix has reportedly been casting for an upcoming Final Fantasy XIII advertisement in North America. Liz Paulson casting agency claim they want to someone to read a script for an “exclusive, never before seen look at Final Fantasy XIII.”
A reveal of the North American release date will then mark the end of the advertisement. Considering the advertisement still needs to be filmed, the official release date won’t be announced anytime soon, although it may just slip out before the advertisement reveals all. A European release will likely be within days of the North American release so keep those ears peeled. Does that make sense? [Siliconera]
Epic Mickey may be a year away, but this hasn’t stopped Warren Spector from declaring his desire for a second or even third game. “I don't do anything that isn't extensible,” said Spector. "And I will certainly feel like that I have not done my job if we can't make other games in this world with these characters. In my head, I've got two more planned.” Although he points we may never see them, as such things largely depend on the success of the original.
On the subject of future instalments, Spector shared his experiences with the projects he was involved in when Junction Point was acquired by Disney Interactive Studios, announcing they were “Dropped yes, no longer my concern, no; as part of the acquisition, Disney now owns the rights to the fantasy game that I was pitching -- which I would love to do someday.” It looks like Junction Point still have a lot to offer over the next few years, let’s just hope they’re not too “Disney-fied.” [1UP]
According to Insomniac, framerate is one of their “long-standing sacred cows.” Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time runs at 60 frames per second, and looks great doing so. Unfortunately it may be the last Insomniac game to boast such a high framerate, as the developer has been forced to choose between higher quality graphics or framerate. The team claim they’re committed to bringing us the “best looking games out there,” and after extensive research have had to settle for better graphics.
Apparently their findings indicate framerate does not significantly influence review scores, or game sales, while better graphics often lead to a better reception, with gamers believing better looking games equals “more fun.” Although framerate has taken a back seat for now, the future may provide the opportunity for high quality graphics and a high frame rate to run successfully beside each other. [InsomniacGames]
Today’s news roundup sees the possibility of a new Wii offering Blu-ray and 1080P support in 2010, Nintendo confirm a new DSi model to be released in Japan this November, and rumours of Hugh ‘Wolverine’ Jackman to take the role of Nathan Drake in the upcoming Uncharted movie.
Thanks to a Nintendo of France marketing employee, it appears specs have been released regarding the ‘Wii 2’. This new breed of Wii is reportedly set for release in the third quarter of next year, complete with a Blu-ray drive and 1080P support, bringing the Wii firmly into this generation.
An option to trade in the original Wii will also be available apparently, making the new model a bit more affordable. Nintendo have no plans to reveal this anytime soon, but with a year to go until release we’ll likely be drip-fed morsels every now and then to keep us happy. [MaxConsole]
Following rumours of a new DSi model hitting Japan later this year, Nintendo have just gone and confirmed the whole thing on their official Japanese site. The new model is to be named the DSi LL, and is currently headed for a November 21st release in Japan. The LL will cost approximately 2,000 yen more than the current DSi, but boasts a larger 4.2 inch screen, as well as a greatly increased battery life.
The DSi LL will also include a full-size pen in the mix, and will be offered in three different colours: Natural White, Dark Brown, and Wine Red. A slightly bigger screen may not be enough to warrant a new purchase, so don’t go throwing your DS in the fire just yet. No European release details have been released yet, but you’ll know as soon as we know. [1UP]
With an Uncharted movie adaption in the works, everybody is playing the guessing game for who will take the lead role. The obvious choice would be Nolan North, the man who acted as and voiced Nathan Drake in the previous Uncharted games. But as North explained in a recent interview, he may not be cut out to take on a blockbuster Hollywood role just yet. “I would love to do the movie, obviously I’d love to do it as Nathan Drake [...] but I’ve done film and television and I understand the reality of the business,” said North.
When questioned on who he would like to take on the role, North named Hugh Jackman as his top choice. “Jackman is who I’d like to see. I think the producers would like to see Jackman too, because he has that tough guy exterior, but [...] there’s also a lot going on behind his eyes,” said North. “A lot of emotion and sensitivity on that brusque exterior and he has great comic timing.” The apparent sexiest man of 2009 has yet to comment, but if he’s on board, it looks like every else is too. [PushSquare]
Today’s news roundup sees Nintendo main man Shigeru Miyamoto reveal his admiration for the Star Fox series, Castlevania’s Koji Igarashi return to the series in a producing role, and Sony announce a God of War 3 demo to be included with District 9’s Blu-ray release.
Fox McCloud of Star Fox fame may have being lying low for the past few years (save for his Super Smash Bros. appearance), but this hasn’t stopped Nintendo God Shigeru Miyamoto from declaring his love for the space exploring fox, and his adventures in the Star Fox series. “I'm a big fan of the Star Fox games,” said Shigsy. “Every time we make a Star Fox game I'm hoping people will enjoy it as much as I do. Of course the goal every time is to try and make it more and more fun but, at least in Japan, the people that purchase the Star Fox games has decreased over the years.”
He hopes people will eventually see the appeal of these games in the future. The most recent Star Fox title Star Fox Command appeared on the Nintendo DS back in 2006, receiving a rather mediocre reception. Dylan Cuthbert of Q-games, who has previously worked on both the SNES classic and the Nintendo DS game, claims there are no plans for a new Star Fox game anytime soon. Although Miyamoto’s comments still keep the hope alive of a Wii appearance for the Fox and pals hopefully in the near future. [MTVGames]
Fans of Castlevania have been a little concerned recently about where long-time producer Koji Igarashi currently is, and why he isn’t involved in the upcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow game. Igarashi has spent the last decade of his life working closely with the Castlevania series, and is responsible for the more Metroid-oriented action style the series adopted.
With Castlevania: Lords of Shadow being handled by a European development studio and overseen by Hideo Kojima and his team, the absence of Igarashi has been a worry for many long-time fans. Although they may be relieved to know Igarashi is still investing his time and love into Castlevania, with the man appearing as a producer on new WiiWare title Castlevania the Adventure ReBirth. The role may not be as prominent as in previous games, but it’s good to know he hasn’t abandoned the series altogether. [1UP]
Sony has recently revealed their intention to merge their success in the movie market with that of their games. According to Sony the Blu-ray release of District 9 will also come complete with a playable demo of God of War 3. Customers are also offered an incentive to complete the demo, as upon doing so an exclusive making-of video about the game will be unlocked.
“We are thrilled to give consumers not only an incredible high definition presentation of District 9 and the wealth of bonus material about the movie, but also a taste of what is destined to be the biggest video game of 2010," said Lexine Wong, Sony's executive vice president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. This will likely be the same demo that will also see release with the God of War Collection, having the obvious benefit of being out a lot earlier. [1UP]
Today’s news roundup sees rumours of yet another DSi model hitting Japan, an Excitebike sequel make its way onto WiiWare, and complaints of online play in Borderlands resulting in erasure of character development.
Nintendo appear to be aiming for at least one new DS model a year to sell to the unsuspecting public, because according to the Japanese Nikkei news service, Nintendo are planning to introduce a new DSi model to Japan, this time with a slightly bigger screen. Are you as excited as I am? The new model boasts a 4-inch screen (as opposed to the original DSi’s 3.25-inch screen) and will be offered for the same price as the current DSi.
Nikkei point out the larger screen may be an attempt to market the DSi to the older demographic, who may not enjoy the same quality of eyesight they had in their youth. Aside from the larger screen, everything else will remain unchanged. No release date has been confirmed, and whether this model will appear elsewhere is still under discussion. Assuming an official announcement will soon follow, we’ll let you know more as soon as we find out. [Kotaku]
Nintendo’s Wii channel revealed some pleasant news for Nintendo fans today, unveiling a new sequel to old classic Excitebike. The announcement states Excitebike: World Rally is intended for a rather surprising November 9th release date on WiiWare.
A short video shows off the games 2.5D look, also revealing a track editor, optional motion controls, and online multiplayer support. More details are sure to follow, but with a November 9th release date it’s not like you’ll have to wait too long. [NintendoEverything]
Borderlands is the latest release to be surrounded by unfortunate online issues, despite an otherwise positive reception. A few players on all three formats have reported bugs whenever playing multiplayer resulting in the wiping of their characters’ progress. Complaints on the official Gearbox forums highlight issues such as skill points and weapon proficiencies being reset to zero upon players joining or leaving a match, with no apparent way of recovering the lost data.
Kissing these hard-earned skill points and advanced abilities goodbye does not bode well with these players, although Gearbox is currently working on a solution, frequently responding with a statement reading: “Your report has been heard and we're working on it. Unfortunately there isn't a fix just yet, but when one is available we hope to be able to repair as much of your character data as possible.” A patch will likely be issued as soon as its available, but until then be aware of the consequences of online play. [1UP]
Today’s news roundup sees Microsoft claim Blu-ray will definitely not be coming to the Xbox 360, a new Elder Scrolls game rumoured thanks to the blurb describing a new Elder Scrolls novel, and Insomniac show disappointment as they claim fans saw the sequel as a failure.
Following rumours and everything but confirmation from Microsoft, it now appears Blu-ray is not intended for the Xbox 360. Company CEO Steve Ballmer recently stated Blu-ray drives will be coming to the 360 as add-on accessories, igniting mass speculation. Microsoft’s Larry Hryb was quickly on the case to correct Ballmer’s ‘error’. “Steve was referring to Blu-ray accessories for the PC,” he explained. “As we have said in the past, we have no plans to introduce a Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360.”
A rather odd statement considering Ballmer’s claims were made in response to a question regarding the 360. Maybe he was just confused. Or joking. I don’t know. Whatever the case it appears Microsoft are developing a Blu-ray accessory in some form, apparantly for the PC. [MajorNelson]
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was a tremendous success for Bethesda, achieving both commercial and critical acclaim. The prospect of a new game in the series is surely a welcome idea to Bethesda, and according to the Waterstone’s retail site listing for Greg Keyes' The Infernal City: An Elder Scrolls Novel, the next game is in the works and set 200 years after the previous one.
The story is described as taking place “forty-five years after the Oblivion Crisis, which is the story of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion game and the expansion pack Shivering Isles. It partly bridges the gap for the next game, which is set 200 years after the Oblivion crisis.” The description has since been removed from the site, and of course cannot be treated as official confirmation. But if it is to be believed it looks like the next Elder Scrolls is at least being considered. [Kotaku]
Overall Resistance 2 was a success. It managed to surpass reviews of the original Resistance, and sold pretty well. But according to Insomniac games this still isn’t good enough. Senior community manager James Stevenson claims feedback from hardcore fans deemed the game as a failure, and this reaction greatly troubled Insomniac.
“The overall opinion of it is that it was a failure by fans, that Resistance 2 was a failure, because maybe the expectations were so high for it.” He described the negative fan feedback felt “like your dog turned on you.” Hopefully by the time the next Resistance rolls around, Insomniac will have a product pleasing hardcore fans as well as the rest of the gaming community. [Videogamer]
Today’s news roundup sees THQ announce Metro 2033, a post-apocalyptic FPS set in Russia, Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama announce no install will be necessary for the new FF, claiming the game still flows very smoothly, and Infinity Ward reveal the minimum system requirements needed to enjoy Modern Warfare 2 on the PC.
Fallout 3 and Borderlands are both great examples of what can be done with the post-apocalyptic style landscape, potentially setting a new trend with Metro 2033 just being announced by THQ. Metro 2033 is based on the original novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, focusing on a community living in the Moscow subway over twenty years after a nuclear holocaust destroyed the world.
The game will be a first-person shooter developed by the Ukrainian studio 4A games, centring on you as you try to fight your way through hordes of mutants and other unlikeable creatures. With the sequel Metro 2034 already released, and talks with Hollywood currently going underway, you’ll likely hear a lot more about Metro 2033 before its release and the Xbox 360 and PC. [1UP]
Anyone with a PS3 may be used to mandatory installs when gaming on the machine, a useful way of cutting down load times and allowing a smoother experience. But according to Square Enix, Final Fantasy XIII on the PS3 won’t include a hard disc installation. Game director Motomu Toriyama still boasts low load times, claiming the only time players will have to wait for a load screen is when moving between a town and a field, noting how smoothly the game flows.
The Xbox 360 allows optional installations for all games, suggesting Final Fantasy XIII will come with that option. Although the multiple disc on the 360 may mean multiple installations. Hopefully Square Enix can share more as the Japanese release date fast approaches. [IGN]
Many gamers have claimed to be boycotting Modern Warfare 2 when it arrives next month, but many may still be interested in the minimum system requirements needed to play the game on the PC. For those of you unfazed by the fact there will be no dedicated servers, or the hefty price tag, then take a gander at what you’ll at least need to play the game on the PC:
With only a few weeks until the November 10th release, there’s still some time to get upgrading if you’re not up to date. [1UP]
Today’s news roundup sees Microsoft potentially snatch away a Sony advantage by announcing the possibility of Blu-ray on the 360, Peter Molyneux confirm what we already know by announcing Natal support for Fable 3, and a new patent for a single-hand controller arise from Sony.
Blu-ray is one of Sony’s strongest weapons in the console war, so it will likely come as a blow to hear Microsoft are announcing Blu-ray is heading to the Xbox 360. Kind of. A Blu-ray add-on drive will eventually be made available for the 360, allowing Blu-ray movies to be played on the machine, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The Blu-ray add-on was confirmed when Ballmer was questioned if the 360 will ever see Blu-ray, his response revealed “Well I don't know if we need to put Blu-ray in there - you'll be able to get Blu-ray drives as accessories.”
Since Microsoft lost out with HD-DVD in the format war, they have frequently denied any plans to embrace Blu-ray, with Director of product Aaron Greenberg most recently pointing out he believes the future to be digital, and they’re not going to “force people to pay for things they don't want.” Of course it may be possible this news isn’t actual confirmation, but instead Microsoft simply pointing out if the 360 was to receive Blu-ray, it would have to be external. Hopefully they can share a little more soon. [Gizmodo]
Following much speculation and hinting Peter Molyneux has finally confirmed Fable 3 will include Natal support, while speaking at a lecture for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
Molyneux didn’t give away any details on how Natal will be implemented into the Fable series, but considering his reputation as a spiel-speaking blabbermouth, it’s not long until we find out. With Fable 3 accompanying Natal with a Christmas release next year, Fable may be the best way to get to grips with the Natal, and prove it truly works. [VG247]
According to a recently filed patent, it looks like Sony has plans to introduce a new controller into the market. The controller is designed as a stick to be held in one hand, with four buttons sitting on the top. No information is given on what the controller is actually for.
Speculation looks at the possibility of a “nunchuck” controller to accompany the “wand” motion controller from Sony, but the four buttons on top questions this idea. Another possible idea suggested is that it’s a new quiz controller, likely directed at an upcoming Buzz! Game. Of course the idea may never become reality, like many patents. [Siliconera]
Today’s news roundup sees Bayonetta being awarded a perfect score on the Xbox 360 by Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Microsoft take their own stab at a rewards program on XBLA, and Lego Rock Band include deceased rock hero Freddie Mercury, in Lego-form of course.
Famitsu’s review of Bayonetta was extremely favourable. In fact you actually couldn’t get more favourable with Bayonetta receiving a perfect 40 out of 40 on the Xbox 360, and a slightly lower 38 on the PS3. Apparently frame-rate issues are to blame for the poorer review on Sony’s machine.
Previews of the game have already been noted as having a slightly murkier appearance on the PS3, with a demo released earlier this month especially highlighting this. Sega may have been focusing more on the 360 version, leaving Bayonetta a little underwhelming on the PlayStation 3. Hopefully Sega can correct these issues before the games January release in Japan. [1UP]
Xbox Live subscribers may be in with the chance of winning a few prizes, thanks to a Microsoft rewards program. An e-mail has apparently been sent out to random subscribers, offering them the chance to join an “exclusive pilot rewards program.” If users register before October 21st (today!) they may be in with a shot of winning some really “cool stuff.” After the 21st though, “the doors close and someone else gets the cool stuff.”
The e-mail is likely to come in waves, so another batch will soon follow in the near future. The e-mail doesn’t reveal how to win an award, or what an award will be, but the general consensus sees discounts or free Microsoft points as the most likely. This program sounds vaguely familiar to Sony’s PS Thanks program, itself sounding like Sony’s version of Club Nintendo. [Kotaku]
Lego Rock Band sees release next month, bringing along with it mini Lego figures of Brian May, John Deacon, Roger Taylor, and even Freddie Mercury completing the classic Queen line-up. The figures will be playable during performances of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.”
An impressive list of Legoized rock stars has made it into the game, including Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and Blur along with Queen. Following the extreme backlash Guitar Hero 5 received for including deceased grunge-hero Kurt Cobain, it will be interesting to see if Lego Rock Band will receive similar attention for including Mercury. Then again Freddie doesn’t have Courtney Love on his side. [1UP]
Today’s news roundup sees EA Sports President Peter Moore slap disc-based gaming in the face while giving digital distribution a big hug, Rumours of Killzone 3, Resistance 3 and a World at War sequel hitting in 2010, and gaming analyst Michael Pachter predict a price increase for Xbox Live Gold subscribers.
The PSP Go's stab at digital distribution may have proved unpopular, but EA Sports president Peter Moore believes it’s a direction gaming will eventually have to take. Without referencing Sony’s machine directly he revealed he’s not too keen of buying discs from retailers in the future. “Look at the platform we're on, it's a burning platform,” said Moore at the PLAY Digital Media Conference. “As a concept, do you stay on the platform and face certain death, or do you jump into the water and face probable death? Most of you would choose probable death, so you start moving towards a hybrid model of digital distribution.”
Moore isn’t stating this is an approach EA will be adopting soon, but he did argue in a decade or so developers will have to realize change is afoot. “As digital distribution becomes more and more, we'll continue as an industry to work with retail and to ship discs, but more and more of the content will be in the 'cloud,” added Moore, stating more and more content will be available daily thanks to downloads, while less will take the form of physical media. [IGN]
December 2009’s issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine, details what’s headed to the PS3 next year in an article titled “The Secret games of 2010.” Among these games is Killzone 3, despite Killzone 2 only seeing release this year. According to the magazine “Insider slips reveal three big names you can already pencil for the next year. Killzone 3 is reportedly deep in development,” while an Insomniac podcast hints at a project that can only be Resistance 3, and a Treyarch employee hints at a Call of Duty: World at War sequel. While it would be nice if all these games managed a 2010 release, it feels a little too good to be true. So don't be getting those hopes up too high. [E4G]
According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, Microsoft looks set to increase the price of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, while moving gamers away from PCs and onto the 360. “It's a profit deal," Pachter said in response to a question highlighting the death of ports from Xbox 360 to PC. "Microsoft wants you to never play a game again on your PC and play everything on your 360," suggesting "You give a PC gamer an incentive to buy a 360 if you put something that he really wants only on the 360."
It may seem a strange move for Microsoft to encourage gamers to move away from their own platform, but according to Patcher a PC gamer can’t connect to Xbox Live, while Microsoft want every gamer who has a 360 to have a Gold membership. Their aim is to have all customers who own a 360 to buy all their games on the Xbox, use the multiplayer, subscribe to Xbox Live, and pay “50 bucks a year so that in a couple years, it's 100 bucks a year. And that's going up -- we all know that.” Considering both Sony and Nintendo charge nothing for playing online, it may seem a rather rash move to increase the price. But with the slew of exclusive features headed to Xbox Live, such a Netflix streaming, they may be able to somehow justify the price. [1UP]
Today’s news roundup sees Mass Effect 2 confirmed for a January release date, the PSP Go failing to attract support from third parties, and a U.S postal worker manage to swipe $86,000 worth of games.
Mass Effect 2 is sure to be one of next years biggest hits, now with an official release date of January 26th in North America and January 29th in Europe. The game will be simultaneously released on the PC and Xbox 360, unlike the previous Mass Effect forcing PC gamers to wait several months before getting their hands on the game. “Our fans are in for a genuine thrill in the New Year with Mass Effect 2 -- the second installment in the trilogy will be of amazingly high quality," said BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka.
"BioWare's fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting this epic sequel, and we couldn't be more excited to reward them for pre-ordering by delivering some awesome bonus content.” Along with this news two additional pre-order bonus were revealed. The GameStop exclusive bonus offers players the Terminus Armour, and M-490 Blackstorm (a big heavy weapon thing). Pre-ordering elsewhere will net you the slightly inferior Inferno Armour. Expect more Mass Effect 2 news as the release date approaches. [1UP]
The PSP Go may have been out for a few weeks now, but still many new PSP games haven’t made it to the machine. The launch offered gamers many previously released PSP games on the PSN, but reports indicate at least five UMD titles have seen release since the PSP Go came out, but still aren’t available on the machine. Sony has since been demanded for an explanation, claiming that some third parties simply didn’t choose to make their games available for the PSP Go.
“It's up to individual third parties to decide if and when to publish their UMD releases on PSN," said PSN director Eric Lempel. "Most, if not all, are on board, as this is a revenue opportunity for them.” The decision to not make a simultaneous UMD/PSN release compulsory may be a vital one, as along with the PSP Go costing more money, it now seems all PSP games won’t be available to those who own one. [Joystiq]
Criminals do the dumbest things. Reginald Johnson, a former United States postal worker, has confessed to stealing in excess of 2,200 Gamefly packages from customers around Philadelphia. The game thief was caught red-handed during a covert surveillance operation monitoring the mail processing centre where he previously was employed as a truck unloader.
The feds estimate a whopping $86,000 worth of videogames was stole by the 34-year-old between April and September of 2008, a portion of which were handed into the local GameStop, netting him a small fortune in store credit. When Johnson was approached by the agents for arrest, he fled in his SUV, crashing only seconds later where he was captured on foot. All those years of postal training clearly didn’t pay off then. At the time of arrest Johnson had a total of 160 GameFly packages in his possession. He is currently awaiting trial and likely to receive between 12 and 18 months in the slammer for his crimes. [Philly]
Today’s news roundup sees Miyamoto hint at high-definition coming to Nintendo, Rumours of Mass Effect 2 coming to the PS3, and Microsoft claim Sony’s stronger September sales are no reason to worry.
Recent comments from Shigeru Miyamoto seem to suggest Nintendo are finally ready to embrace HD. “I don't think there's anything wrong with pretty graphics, and if I'm a consumer that has an HDTV, I'd want to be able to play my games with nice graphics too,” said Miyamoto. “And I think as we've seen the penetration rates for HDTV increase, we're going to see video games and Nintendo's games move along in step with the progression of technology.”
Nintendo’s philosophy has always been to focus on gameplay first, but with these comments it looks like Nintendo are finally ready to give in to peoples demands for high-definition. Although Miyamoto still claims “we're still going to focus on the gameplay, but we'll take advantage of the technology as it comes out.” [IndustryGamers]
During a presentation of Mass Effect 2 at this year’s Poznan Game Arena in Poland, Jay Vatamanyuk of BioWare let slip the possibility of Mass Effect 2 on the PlayStation 3. The presentation highlighted three platforms the game is intended for; the Xbox 360, the PC, and “probably PS3” according to Vatamanyuk.
Upon realizing the impact of what he said, Vatamanyuk declined to comment, claiming they “do not comment on rumours or speculation,” even if they were the ones that started it. For now, this will have to remain in the rumour pile, but it will at least give Sony fans some hope they’ll see Mass Effect on their machine. [Polygamia]
With the September NPD numbers due shortly, it’s pretty much guaranteed Sony will coming out top. Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg even agrees, although he claims it’s a small victory for Sony. “I can tell you that when NPD releases September sales later today, we fully expect PlayStation 3 will come in as the console with the most units sold for the month," he said.
"This is frankly not a real surprise to us ... as it is typical to see a short term bump following the introduction of new hardware and pricing into the marketplace. What I can tell you is we remain confident that Xbox 360 will not only outsell PS3 for the full calendar year, but for this entire generation." He compares the console race to a game of baseball, claiming winning just one inning won’t win you the game. For those of us who don’t live in baseball world it sounds like he’s not too worried. [GameInformer]