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From Capcom's E3 Lineup to Newell's Denial - News Roundup 7th June 2010

Jonathan Lester
BT, Games news, Half Life 2 Episode 3, Kojima, OnLive, PSN, Sonic Adventures, Square Enix, Why Newell?!! WHY?!!, XBLA

Kojima and Square Plan Another Collaboration


Square Enix and Hideo Kojima are sitting in a tree. C-O-L-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-I-N-G. After agreeing to produce and distribute MGS Peace Walker figurines, Square appear to be brokering another deal with the legendary (if eccentric) developer.

Square Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto Tweeted the following missive- as well as releasing the incriminating photograph seen above. Whilst my (and Google's) Japanese translation skills are a little rusty, andriasang reliably informs us that the tweet reads thusly:

"A new promotion with Hideo Kojima is set. Details will be shared at a later date."

The fact that Hashimoto refers to the new partnership as a "promotion" suggests that it won't be anything too major (maybe some more product placement or merchandising)...but you'd better believe that we'll be keeping an eye on this one. The continuing cooperation between the two could well lead to something seriously exciting down the line. [andriasang]

ESRB Rate Sonic Adventures for XBLA & PSN


A couple of months ago, we intercepted some choice rumours about classic SEGA Dreamcast games finding their way to the downloadable marketplace- and one has finally made an ESRB appearance. The classic cross-genre Sonic Adventures (and its special edition DX version) has been rated for PSN and XBLA as well as an "extend package" seen on Xbox Live Marketplace. Sonic Adventures provided a different gaming experience for each of Sonic's companions, ranging from to standard speed-based platforming to freeroaming 'climb anything' Knuckles levels that were years ahead of their time.

Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio have also been tipped to make a next-gen debut, but there's still very little news on that front. It's likely that SEGA are gearing up for an E3 reveal, though the cat's pretty much out of the bag at this stage. Frankly, I'd love to get stuck back into these classic games with a comfortable controller- since the horrifyingly jagged and heavy DC controllers made for some serious carpal tunnel syndrome back in the day. [Joystiq]

News Update: Capcom Reveal E3 Lineup


Capcom has just revealed their E3 lineup to us. No real suprises here, but there's a good selection of triple-A titles that we can't wait to see in action.

  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
  • Ōkamiden
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
  • Sengoku BASARA: Samurai Heroes
  • Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
  • Dead Rising 2
  • Dead Rising 2: CASE ZERO
  • MotoGP 09/10

MvC3, Dead Rising and Ōkamiden are currently getting me very hot under the collar, though Ghost Trick's blend of whodunnit crime stories and supernatural possession will potentially be a lot of fun. We'll be sure to keep a close watch on the festivities.

Rumour Controlled: Valve's Surprise is NOT Episode 3


Valve's "surprise" E3 announcement sent the internet into uncontrolled excitement over the possibility of Half Life 2 Episode 3's long-overdue unveiling... but Gabe Newell has spoken out to firmly squash this rumour once and for all. Replying to a user on the Halflife2.net fansite, Newell plainly stated that "is not Episode 3" and went on to confirm that the 'Freeman June 14th' meme was completely fake (though we all saw through that one).

Consider this rumour controlled, terminated and crushed into a fine paste. Much like my hopes and dreams. [Halflife2.net via VG247]

BT Plans to Launch OnLive "Late 2011"


OnLive is set to launch in the States this week, but it'll be over a year before it arrives on British shores. BT has announced that they plan to roll out the cloud-based gaming service in "late 2011", but further details will be forthcoming over the coming few months.

BT secured the exclusive rights to the revolutionary new service earlier this year- and it's likely that they're waiting to see how well it sells stateside in order to fine-tune the networking and marketing strategy. In case you didn't know, the service will allow you to play cutting-edge games remotely, using OnLive's powerful computers to do the grunt work and transmitting it your computer via streaming video (thus allowing graphically demanding titles to be played on mediocre rigs with a fast internet connection). We've yet to see whether the service is truly lag free, but we'll be interested to see

From The US Airforce's Beef With Sony To BT's Deal With OnLive - News Roundup 13th May 2010

Matt Gardner
BT, Firmware 3.21, Google, Linux, News, OnLive, Sony, Yakuza

PS3 Firmware Update Frustrating For Airforce

ps3 cluster

Sony should have seen this one coming really. After all, back in 2006 the PS3 managed to excite a good number of people who weren't gamers thanks to the much lauded ability to harness the power of multiple PS3s to essentially create mini supercomputer clusters with the help of the IBM Cell processor.

Ars Technica reports, however, that the recent firmware update to remove the OtherOS option which allowed the running of Linux as an operating system to enable such operations, which has received no small amount of backlash not to mention several class-action lawsuits, has also rubbed several larger groups the wrong way too...including the US Airforce.

As one representative noted:

'We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand. [However] this will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail. The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that used to have it.'

It's not an immediate concern, as the Airforce's clusters aren't linked up to the PSN, negating the need for the firmware update...yet. But we're betting that we haven't heard the last of this, after all, removing functionality that people have paid for is a bad thing. [1UP]

Yakuza PSP Named, Dated & Trailered

Yesterday came reports that the Yakuza series' jump to the PSP has been officially named and dated by director Toshihiro Nagoshi. Originally hiding under the moniker Project K, the PSP game has now been named Kurohyu: Ryu ga Gotoku Shinshou, which roughly translates to Black Leopard: A New Yakuza Chapter and is out in Japan on September 22nd. Check out the massive story-based debut trailer above. It's got us excited, why not tell us what you think in the comments box. [VG247]

Google To Retry Entry Into The Games Industry?


Google and games have  neverreally gone hand in hand. Their attempts to create a virtual world service - the ill-fated Lively - was dead in under six months. But news comes to us now, courtesy of Develop, that the company is now looking for a 'project management leader, games' which might suggest a renewed focus.

Have a read of the job role description below:

The Product Management Leader, Games will be a flexible, results-oriented, and experienced senior leader who will be responsible for developing Google's games commerce product strategy and partnering to build and manage the business with a cross-functional team. You will have visionary product insight, combined with experience in the online content business, significant technical expertise and extensive leadership and business skills. The Product Management Leader, Games combines a great instinct for developing compelling products with a strong focus on users and technical aptitude to work with a world class engineering team and the business sense to drive product goals and strategies.

Sound like generic jargon? yeah, that's what we thought. But lower down, under 'Requirements', it reads that the applicant should have 'experience building an online gaming business both on the web and on mobile devices. Deep understanding of the game business and how to create hits.' To us that suggests a future foray into the world of casual online gaming dominated at present by Zynga and Playfish, whether or not it'll be successful only time can tell. Watch this space for more. [1UP]

BT Gains Exclusive UK Bundle Rights To OnLive


Much as the title might suggest a load of broadband enthusiasts having an enormous pile-up, what this actually means is that BT have entered into a commercial arrangement with cloud-based games distributor OnLive that will see the telecoms company nab a 2.6% stake in OnLive and also exclusive rights to bundle the service with its broadband packages in the UK. Gavin Patterson, BT Retail's CEO had this to say on the matter:

'Entertainment is going to be at the heart of what we offer customers in the future [...] The partnership with OnLive complements our existing BT Vision service. It's great for our customers - they'll have access to a huge catalogue of games, available instantly on their TV or PC without expensive hardware. [...] And it's great for BT - it will enhance our premium broadband position and we'll be entering into a market that's worth more than £2 billion.'

As OnLive prepares to launch this summer, receiving a due date at this year's GDC of June 17th, no doubt the buzz will start snowballing and it's not just BT who's excited about this. Patterson's counterpart at OnLive, Steve Perlman, views 'BT as the ideal UK partner. As gamers are moving increasingly to online game distribution, OnLive delivers video games as a pure form of online media, playable instantly on almost any video-capable device attached to the internet. The implications are nothing short of transformative to video games and in time, all interactive media. OnLive is delighted to be pioneering this revolutionary technology in the UK together with BT.'
Fighting talk indeed, but how excited are you guys by services such as OnLive and Gaikai? The broad theory is certainly attractive, but are we ready for it? Drop us a line or two with your thoughts below. [GamesIndustry.biz]