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CES Keynote Blowout! - News Roundup 6th January 2011

Jonathan Lester
3D, Avatar Kinect, Beyond Good & Evil HD, CES, Fable Coin Golf, Game Room, Intel, Kinect, Microsoft, News, Portal 2, PS Phone, PSN, Sandy Bridge, Torchlight, Windows Phone 7
Portal 2

CES Blowout: Microsoft Vs Sony

ces logo

Microsoft and Sony have given their keynote speeches at this years Consumer Electronics Show... and there are a few little announcements hidden behind the usual posturing and posing. For your delectation, here's the whole shebang in digestible bitesize form.


  • Rumour Controlled: Avatar Kinect is real. The rumours (reported yesterday) have been confirmed. Microsoft will be rolling out Avatar Kinect this Spring, allowing our virtual caricatures to mingle and chat in themed environments with gesture support and the ability to record our own podcasts!
  • Torchlight and Beyond Good & Evil HD confirmed for XBLA. The downloadable port of Runic Games' loot grinder has been confirmed as a full Xbox 360 exclusive- and the reskinned classic Beyond Good and Evil will remain exclusive to Microsoft's console for an as-yet undisclosed period of time. They'll form part of the XBLA House Party promotion that kicks off February 16th. We'll have full reviews next month!
  • Game Room & Fable Coin Golf Headed To WP7. Game Room's decaying bloated carcass is a mockery of its incredible potential- but the news that arcade games (and achievements) can be shared across the  PC, Xbox and Windows Phone 7 should help to rejuvenate the service. Oh, and a Fable-themed coin golf game will also let you... well... play golf. For coins.
  • Kinect has sold 8 million units in 60 days. That's actually very impressive for a risky new peripheral. Hopefully this user base will warrant the creation of more innovative games as well as better integration into Xbox 360 dashboard operation. 2011 promises to be a great year for Kinect, and we're looking forward to seeing what the next few months have in store.


  • New Prototype 3D Headset Revealed. Basically it's a virtual boy for the new generation. Executive deputy president Hiroshi Yoshioka introduced the new tech, which is a closed visor with integrated headphones. Seperate displays for each eye should cut down on headache-inducing interference, though since it's a prototype, no details on performance or pricing have been announced. We'll keep you posted.
  • Playstation Phone tacitly confirmed. Again. Oh, you coy little tease. We already know that the Zeus Z1 smartphone with Playstation emulation functionality is a very real proposition, but SCE CEO Kaz Hirai has dropped a few more hints that they'll be "integrating into mobile the assets [they've] collected in the Playstation family." Yes, we know that the PS Phone is happening. Hurry up and showcase the damn thing already before we get bored!
  • PSN Subscribers reach 60 million. Which is almost enough for a small game of MAG. All joking aside, this is an impressive achievement made possible by their innovative freemium sales model. To put this in perspective, Microsoft has hit 30 million users. Take from this what you will.

Did we miss anything important? Excited about this year's CES- or was it a bit of a damp squib? Drop us a line in the comments!

Intel Reveal "Game-Changing" Sandy Bridge Processor

sandy bridge ces reveal

This is probably the biggest news from CES 2011. Intel have revealed their new Sandy Bridge processor, which is the first 32 nanometer-based chip on the market. Apparently it will offer "a console-like experience on the PC," which means less messing around with graphics options and drivers before being able to play the games themselves. Sandy Bridge will apparently also provide lower manufacturing costs along with improved performance and cooling rates, which will hopefully guarantee a competitive launch price.

Valve's Gabe Newell stepped up to the plate and praised the new chip, stating that "it’s a real game changer." Portal 2 will apparently be optimised to run on the Sandy Bridge processor when it releases later this year.

From GT5's Traffic Congestion To Billy Bob's Bad Films - News Roundup 25th November 2010

Jonathan Lester
Billy Bob Thornton, Game movies, Gran Turismo 5, GT5, Mark Wahlberg, Nathan Drake, News, PS Phone, PS3, PSP Phone, Uncharted
Gran Turismo 5

GT5 Crippled By "Extreme Online Traffic Congestion"

gt5 crashie

Does Gran Turismo 5 seem a little slow to you? Blame everyone else. GT5 servers are currently groaning under the weight of players attempting to access the online functionality- including both logs and online multiplayer. Bizarrely, this is causing performance drops even in singleplayer. The official Sony line indicates that, in many cases, menus are taking several minutes to navigate and the startup procedure frequently hangs or stalls. It's puzzling (and slightly disappointing) that the singleplayer is being affected by an online issue.

Sony are naturally feverishly working on a solution- and have temporarily denied access to logs and certain aspects of player profiles. They've suggested simply disconnecting from the internet for the time being... which sounds fair enough to me. [Thanks, Kotaku]

UPDATE: Yamauchi has announced that a large patch should be arriving this Saturday. [Eurogamer]

Rumour: PSP Phone Reveal Set For December 9th

ps phone

It's rumour control time again, folks. Multiple sources (including French site Nowereelse.fr and MobileCrunch claim to have been invited to the major reveal of the (not-so-secret) Playstation/PSP Phone- dated for December 9th.

According to MobileCrunch, the phone features a "mind-blowing" retina display and will be aiming for a February 2011 release.

Earlier this week, we reported that Sony Ericsson boss Bert Nordberg has been fanning the flames- stating that there "must be a fire" behind all of this smoke. We reckon these latest reports may well be on the money.

Billy Bob Thornton Blames Gamers For Bad Films...

billy bob thornton

Controversial actor (and former Mr Angelina Jolie) Billy Bob Thornton has blamed us gamers for lowering film standards. Apparently all we want to see is stuff blow up and people getting shot, which allows directors and writers to get away with much lazier scripts and storylines.

We're living in a time when we're making - in my humble opinion - the worst movies in history.

They're geared toward the videogame-playing generation. And these videogames, which I'm on my son about constantly, these games are people killing for fun, and I think traditionally in movies, there's always been some kind of lesson in the violent movies. -Thornton to The Telegraph

I'm sure that you'll be able to draw your own conclusions from this allegation. Let us know what they are!

...And Wahlberg Confirmed As Nathan Drake


Despite Nathan Fillion's recent campaign to portray Uncharted's protagonist Nathan Drake in the upcoming feature film adaptation, it seems that David O Russell has selected a game-to-film veteran. Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, The Departed) is no stranger to videogame adaptations- having previously played Max Payne in the not entirely convincing remake- and has hinted that Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro have also been contacted about starring in the movie as family members (father and uncle respectively). [MTV]

I'm still not entirely convinced that we need a movie adaptation of an existing cinematic experience; which boasts a linear narrative that required well over 8 hours to tell properly. In fact, I can't get my head around why this film could possibly be a good idea. Still, if you're looking forward to it or want to weigh in on David O Russell's choice of leading man, drop us a line in the comments!