The PS Vita version of LittleBigPlanet is probably going to be the best in the series.
I don't say this lightly. Media Molecule's breakthrough hit was one of the best games on the PS3, and we frequently state that its sequel is one of the only games you'll ever need. The franchise defines and refines the concept of Play Create Share and has attracted an ever-growing community of amateur architects and content designers. But even the MM reps agreed that this latest version is probably going to be more worthwhile than its console brethren.
We need to talk about scope backwards compatibility right off the bat. LittleBigPlanet Vita contains all of the level design tools featured in LittleBigPlanet 2, meaning that it's compatible with stages, costumes and objects designed in the first two games (without PS Move controls, obviously). The reps assured me that there will be a huge amount of community-made content available at launch (2,000,000 stages?!), [UPDATE: This simply wasn't true. Sorry for the misinformation, but this is what was reported to us.] and the Vita's impressive graphical capabilities will allow veteran LBP designers can get straight back into the swing of creating advanced and interesting levels.Click here for our hands-on preview and impressions >>
Standing in the labyrinthine line, standing in amongst fellow sweaty journalists, hopping from one foot to the other to avoid conference cramp, I allowed myself a brief glance across to the massive stage where Kaz Hirai had last bid us a farewell thank you and goodnight, to see Jane's Addiction rocking out the Los Angeles Memorial Center. I almost sighed.
But then half an hour later I had the freshly named PS Vita in my hands, and all was right with the world. This after all was what we were really all here to see...
...and what we saw, brief though it was, excited me.Click here to see Matt's hands-on breakdown of the PS Vita...
Well it's nasty o' clock here in the UK, but before we call it a night. Here are a mighty bunch of links to all our news coverage of the Sony Press Conference that's just finished.
Sony have got lots to show at E3 this year. From the NGP to Uncharted 3, they've covered their bases well with hardware and software on offer. But have they spread themselves too thin, and has the furore in recent weeks tempered their momentum? Can they still pull off an outstanding presentation to show they're on top of their game?Click here to read more...
Last week, we revealed that Sony might be changing their Next Generation Portable's title from the acronymized, NGP, to the more ostentatious, PS Vita. Further light has been shed on the matter now, with Sony filing for trademarks relating to PS Vita and Playstation Vita. It all seems set for a big reveal at their E3 conference later tonight in Los Angeles.
And you can count on us to bring you the latest on the NGP or PS Vita or whatever Sony decide to call it! As we speak, Matt and Jon are slap-bang in the middle of Los Angeles' humid sprawl, awaiting E3's rousing from its annual slumber. But what do you think, Dealspwners? Is PS Vita a worthy title or not? [Eurogamer]
As far as product names go, Next Generation Portable isn't exactly original. We all speculated whether NGP was simply a codename, similar to how Microsoft unveiled Kinect first as Project Natal. And if reports uncovered over the weekend are to be believed, Sony is set to rename their newfangled portable at their E3 conference next month in Los Angeles.Come on in to find out the NGP's new name!
E3 2011 is just around the corner, and we'll be bringing you plenty of news coverage and juicy games previews from the expo next month, but before everything kicks off we thought we'd share our personal picks for the proceedings and let you know what we're excited about. If there's something in particular you're psyched for, let us know in the comments box below, and we'll try to make sure we cover it while we're out there.
It's time Sony slapped a name on this little fella if they expect it to be on anyone's Christmas list instead of a 3DS. I'm surprised they've left it this long to be honest. In fairness if it wasn't for the recent PSN crisis, the NGP might have had some more details revealed by now.
The successor to the PSP is going to be packed with features, but the one I'm still most excited about is the second analogue stick which will remove any limits for the top names in gaming. Action games will get better camera and aiming controls and the FPS genre will be immediately dominant. We've already seen two huge names running on the machine, in Uncharted and Killzone. Graphically, the NGP is going to smash the competition, as it's much closer to the PS3 and 360 in terms of raw power compared to Ninty's gameless 3DS and more importantly, the iPad.Click here to see what Josh and Felix are looking forward to...
Despite Kaz Hirai's comments to the contrary earlier this year, when he suggested that a next-gen console wasn't even something Sony were 'even debating' at that point in time, Sony’s VP and CFO Masaru Kato let slip that the development process for a future console is well underway during an investors call yesterday morning.Click here to read more...
The portable gaming landscaping is changing massively right now, and Remedy's executive VP, Aki Järvilehto, has suggested to IndustryGamers that he feels Nintendo and Sony need to reinvent their notions of what portable gaming should be if they want to compete against the burgeoning markets offered by iOS and Android. Remedy, responsible for the moody Alan Wake, more recently revamped Death Rally for iOS, enjoying some success with their first foray into the mobile market.Click here to read more...
Uncharted is making its way to Sony's Next Generation Portable, the NGP, and fans have been wondering whether it would be a Nathan Drake-centric adventure or an all new spin-off. Well, Nolan North fans, rest easy; as Uncharted NGP is set between the first two games, and might possible fill in some baffling gaps and even "interact" with the upcoming third installment.
That's according to Naughty Dog, who revealed the news in an interview with gameblog.fr, courteously translated by Eurogamer's European arm. They explain Uncharted on the NGP features a "different vibe" to the past two games, tailored for gaming on the go. Exploration is being emphasized above gunplay, with Naughty Dog passing the reins over to Sony Bend, who've already handled translating another studio's major project to a portable device with Resistance: Retribution on the PSP. We'll have more for you on Uncharted NGP very soon. [Eurogamer]
Earlier this week, we brought you news that Sony's next portable outing, the NGP, might find its release hampered or even delayed by the recent natural disaster that struck Japan only two weeks ago. Jack Tretton, head of SCEA, told Bloomberg the destruction of several manufacturing plants due to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami damage might restrict the NGP to a one-market release.
However, a spokesperson for Sony has come out to refute these remarks, claiming "so far we see no impact from the quake on our launch plan", and also labeled the Bloomberg article as "wrong". It's unclear at this time whether Sony is simply putting a better spin on a poor turn of events that may eventually result in an NGP delay, or whether the supposed manufacturing problems are an actual issue. We'll bring you more on this as it develops. [Eurogamer]
Most projections predicted Sony's NGP, the anticipated successor to the PSP, for a holiday 2011 launch window. Unfortunately the tragic earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last month has caused major damage to Sony's manufacturing infrastructure - and it appears that they'll be gearing up for a staggered single region launch before the end of the year. Full details below.Click here for the full story >>
Insomniac, creators of such PlayStation luminaries as the Ratchet and Clank and the Resistance series, announced yesterday at a community event in LA that they will not be developing games for Sony's new handheld in-house, preferring to focus instead on the HD home consoles.
No-one can accuse Sony of failing to court serious triple-A third party support for their anticipated NGP handheld, and Epic Games have bodily jumped onto the bandwagon ever since the device was announced. According to Epic boss Mark Rein, the NGP will offer "ridiculously compelling" games experiences... not because of the silly motion control stuff and rear trackpad, but simply due to its all-important second thumbstick. Oh, and its unprecedented processing power.Click here to get Epic Games' take on the NGP...
Fresh intel from GDC has shed more light on the NGP's enigmatic card-based storage format. We now know know the capacity of these "Game Cards," as well as some interesting tidbits about its dual removable memory. It seems that Sony have learned more than a few lessons from its experimental (and utterly dire) PSP Go.More details after the break...
Sony's NGP handheld may still be many months from release, but developers are queueing up to support the device even at this early stage. Skyhook Wireless is the latest to jump onto the bandwagon with their innovative GPS location technology that will provide the main geographical location software on the platform. Nintendo, however, have been quick to criticise Sony over this 3G functionality; suggesting that the fees will ultimately hold the NGP back.Click here to read more...
Goodness me, the NGP keeps getting more impressive every time we lay eyes on it. A recent SCE press release has shown off some of the engines and middleware that will be compatible with the new device, and whilst the Unreal Engine and Havok physics suite have been re-confirmed for the NGP, the surprise headline act comes courtesy of Crytek's powerful proprietary CryEngine.
You can read up on the new list here, but there's no doubt that Sony have realised the need for a strong third party lineup in order for a handheld to succeed. We can't wait to see what- and if- Crytek aims to develop for the platform. [Pushsquare]
Nihilistic Software have released a new developer diary explaining how Playstation Move Heroes has been specifically designed to show off the hardware to advantage. In the accompanying blog post, lead designer Mark Cooke explains that the experience will allow fans to control their favourite new characters in innovative new ways.
We’ve blended some of the familiar weapons, abilities, and character movements from the original games with a fresh new set of motion-controlled mechanics that you’ll only be able to find on the PlayStation Move. For example, one of our favorites in the buzzsaw disc, a new weapon that the heroes fling into space to collect crystals, powers-up and more.
Playstation Plus members will be able to download a demo on March 1st, which will hopefully let us assess whether it's a cynical motion control cash-in or a great game that just happens to use Playstation Move. We'll keep you updated. [US Playstation Blog]
This is one of those quintessential we couldn't make this up moments. Bethesda's Peter Hines has officially promised a mysterious prize to the parents of any child born on 11th November 2011... as long as they name their newborn Dovahkiin. This apparently stands for Dragonborn in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's dragon language- and as a publicity stunt, this takes some beating.
However, Bethesda have also offered the following legal disclaimer to any parent willing to doom their offspring to years of teasing and bullying for the vague promise of a reward:
Disclaimer: Any reward for completing this quest will not ultimately justify the potential teasing your child could — and probably will — endure over its lifespan. Bethesda Softworks is not responsible for your parenting. You may gain experience points for completing this quest, but you will not care at 3am on a work night. Completion of this quest may also result in decreased desire to play video games and/or function as a human being. Consult with your friends before embarking on this quest; while it may not start in prison, it probably ends there.
Please let us know if anyone plans to go through with this. So we can inform the authorities. [Bethesda Blog]
EA and Crytek have released a new trailer that reveals some of the backstory behind the soon-to-be-released Crysis 2, as well as showing off the nanosuit to advantage with some more juicy gameplay footage.
Just watch it. We take no responsibility for involuntarily-leaked bodily fluids during the presentation.
Now the NGP is out in the open, Sony has sworn that they won't repeat a few major mistakes that dogged the launch of the PS3. Whilst their home console is undoubtedly now a huge success after a slightly shaky start, things could have gone a lot smoother.
Firstly, SCE President Shuhei Yoshida confirms that several features were left out of the NGP in order to ensure as attractive a launch price as possible. Sony's 2006 E3 conference left many gamers agape at the staggering launch price of the PS3- which was far too high even considering its powerful specs.
There were elements that we found pretty cool, but had to set aside to remain on target.
It's a big lesson we learnt from the PS3. There's no point putting everything you want into a device and doing the math later. We always had the price and consumer in mind. We had to sell something that people could buy. - Shuhei Yoshida to EDGE Magazine
Price is one thing, but the PS3's major early weakness was Sony's future-proofing policy. Sony freely admitted that the PS3 was designed to be difficult to develop for so that graphics would steadily improve throughout its lifespan- which is a neat idea in theory that shafted studios in reality. Luckily Yoshida has announced that the NGP will deliver an accessible development platform.
We had to make the development environment for NGP as 'easy' as possible. Today, many teams are familiar with the PS3 and are used to including a variety of effects in their titles.
Based on this expertise – and also the working habits they developed working on PS3 – we had to make development on the NGP as natural as possible – an extension of the PS3, if you will.
The NGP promises to be an "extention of the PS3" in any number of ways, and we'll keep you posted about any whiff of launch price or new info that we dig up. [via EG]
Hype is so rampant within our industry that even videogame announcements get their own announcements these days.
First up is the Assassin's Creed series. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has confirmed that the next AC title will be a full boxed retail release as opposed to a downloadable offering; whilst stating that we'll have to wait until May for a full reveal. The project itself should be out before the end of the year.
We won't give you full details but what we can say is that we will have an Assassin's Creed also this year. But we are going to give you more details about the game in May.
May it is, then. To bide the time, why not get involved with our debate about what time periods may feature in Desmond's next outing? [EG]
Now onto THQ, whose loquacious boss confirms that Relic Entertainment are hard at work on their next RTS project. Danny Bilson tells us that the studio behind the Homeworld and Dawn Of War franchises will make a full announcement in... wait for it... August.
At least this gives us plenty of time to theorise about what their next title actually is. Naturally the smart money is on Dawn Of War III... but we'd give our eye teeth for another Homeworld sequel. We'll keep you updated down the line.
The internet nearly exploded when deal hunters came across a Tesco 20% off sale that seemed to include the Nintendo 3DS. This worked out as £157 per unit, resulting in a truly incredible saving and countless hurried preorders. However, it appears that this deal was simply too good to be true. Tesco have confirmed that this offer does not include the 3DS (scroll down to the bottom)- and their terms and conditions allow them to change the price of preorders before they're dispatched.
If, by mistake, we have under priced an item, we will not be liable to supply that item to you at the stated price, provided that we notify you before we despatch [sic] the item to you. - Tesco T&Cs
Damn. We'll keep an eye out for other 3DS deals.
Activision's recent financial projections suggested that Diablo III won't be making an appearance until 2012- but at yesterday's AIAS Award ceremony, Blizzard vice president Rob Pardo has stated that they've got their fingers crossed for a 2011 release date for their long-awaited RPG.
We really, really hope [it is out in 2011]. That’s our goal. Our goal is to get there. But you know, at the end of the day, we are going to get it right. That’s more important.
We’re going to promise, we’re going to get it out there when it’s awesome. And, we’re crossing our fingers, maybe it will be this year.
Reading between the lines, it will come when it's done. However, my time spent with the preview build suggests that it must be nearing completion soon; with only some minor polish required to make sure that it's visually on the curve. We'll keep you posted. [Kotaku]
It's rumour time again, folks- but this is a startling story to be sure. According to an unnamed Activision executive who reportedly spoke with MCV, Activision may be looking to buy Take-Two Interactive in its entirety. This move, if completed, would help to bolster their ailing stable of developers in the wake of their massive franchise cull earlier this week.
There are very strong rumours amongst people at a very senior level within the global business.
But there’re not much more than that at the moment – they are just rumours. And, of course, given Activision’s news this week, everyone is now looking to see what their next move is. But you can definitely put two and two together and make four-ish.
At this stage, we need to take these rumours with some seriously hefty handfuls of salt. EA were unsuccessful at acquiring Take-Two back in 2008 despite offering more than the company was worth, so I wouldn't hold your breath. [MCV]
In my reactions to the unveiling of the NGP handheld, I was more than a little worried about the short-term future of the Playstation Portable. After all, the UMD is on the way out and most studios will want to focus on developing for the new hardware. However, Sony Computer Entertainment boss Shuhei Yoshida has spoken out to quell our concerns; stating that there'll be room on the market for both consoles.
[The NGP] can't replace a platform that has already been on sale for seven years now. In terms of pricing, we can't sell the NGP for the same price as a PSP. The PSP has become very affordable and popular, especially with younger generations.
I think the NGP needs time to mature and get adopted by users. So, for the time being, both platforms will coexist. - Shuhei Yoshida to EDGE Magazine
Here's hoping that Sony can provide a solid enough PSP lineup to ensure that both platforms are equally viable. [EDGE]
The Penny Arcade Expo is one of the biggest (and most surprisingly awesome) events on the gaming calendar- and a new survey suggests that the team may be considering bringing it to the UK!
You can eyeball the survey here... and get involved if you so choose. Personally I think there's room for another big UK event, especially if it were based in the North or the Midlands (after Eurogamer cancelled their events up there).
Could we do with another UK Expo? Have your say in the comments!
After months of (correct) rumours and speculation, 2K and Digital Extremes have announced that The Darkness II is indeed in development and is dated for an Autumn 2011 release window. The original game was one of the most interesting and sadly underrated shooters of this generation, and we're delighted to see that it's making a long-overdue return.
2K President Christoph Hartmann has the following spiely speil for your cynical delectation:
The Darkness II is a well of dark and imaginative violence, and it’s a stylized and beautiful nightmare.
The game takes a unique stance on fighting in the dark versus light. Combined with the arsenal of weapons at Jackie’s disposal and the gruesome attacks of the supernatural Demon Arms and Darkness powers, we’re proud to announce another title that delivers on our core values of creating games for gamers.
As well as stylish noir ultraviolence, The Darkness II will deliver Quad-Wielding FPS mechanics that allow two weapons to be simultaneously fired along with slashing and throwing objects from Jackie's horrific demon appendages. Consider this one to watch- and we'll bring you the latest as we hear it.
Uncharted is one of the most impressive NGP launch titles on the radar thus far, but award-winning developers Naughty Dog have confirmed that they won't be in charge of the transition to Sony's impressive handheld. Rather, they'll be concentrating on making Uncharted 3 as polished as possible.
We’re a one game studio so [splitting development] would be very challenging for us.
I know a long time ago we had looked at trying to do that as well, but it’s really about what makes sense for the universe and for the franchise as well. - Naughty Dog community boss Arne Meyer to EGTV
Meyer continued to state that Naughty Dog are more than happy to pass the reins over to Sony Bend, who have been tasked with adapting the franchise to the exciting new device. As a veteran PSP outfit, they're more than up to the challenge.
Sony Bend’s a great studio, we have a great relationship with them, so it’s really exciting to see a new platform and see what they can do with it given all of the new control options they’ve got as well.
We've got the best part of a year to wait- so trust us to keep an eye on things. [EGTV]
We've been keeping you up to date with the latest Japanese news on the hotly-anticipated Nintendo 3DS, and Ninty has finally confirmed the UK launch lineup that we can expect when their handheld hits our green and pleasant land on March 25th. No big surprises here, but for the sake of completeness, here's the full rundown.
Personally, we're mainly excited about SSFIV... but with no big first party franchises on the list, many gamers may well opt to wait for a couple of months.
With the March street date looming ever closer, it's time to ask the big question: will you be buying a 3DS? Or will you be holding out for the NGP or more first party Nintendo titles? Have your say in the comments!
For the record, you can see my answer to the question here.
Leaked details from Game Informer's latest cover story has outed a few more choice tidbits about EA's recently-unveiled Battlefield 3. Apparently the shooter will feature an all-new singleplayer campaign that's unrelated to the Bad Company storyline and canon, along with cooperative modes and four multiplayer classes. The big news is that the console versions will 'only' support 24 player multiplayer action as opposed to 64 on the PC, which is said to be the Battlefield 3's "lead platform." More at GAF.