Happy birthday old friend!!
It feels like yesterday and yet it was so long ago.
To all of you who rushed in and bought a bunch of HD-DVDs only to find out that you had to by a Blu Ray player in the end anyway, Warner Bros. is launching an exchange program that you might be interested in.
You just send in your old HD-DVDs (actually just the cover so you keep the HD-DVD and box) and pay about $5 plus shipping for each. Then within 4-5 weeks you receive a brand new Blu-Ray version of your movie.
Pretty cool if you ask me. Plus you could binge on cheap bargain bin HD-DVDs and exchange them too
The selection isn’t huge but still the initiative is pretty cool.
Nintendo announced today that their precision add-on to the Wiimote will be released on June 8, more than a month ahead of Wii Sports Resort which is due July 26.
The peripheral will not be useless for more than a month though since EA’s Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 are coming out a week later on June 15 and 16.
The Wii Motion Plus will be available for $19.99 on its own but also as part of the Wii Sports Resort bundle which will be priced at $49.99.
Hopefully we won’t get another embarrassing presentation by Regis & Co. at E3…
I have no interest in the DSi, I already have a DS Lite and while I would like bigger screens the lack of GBA port just kills it for me.
But I’m a sucker for cool stuff and this is cool I have to say. The design isn’t overcrowded. clean and stylish. It will be released for now in Japan on May 28 along with Gyakuten Kenji.
Yesterday the New Xbox Experience launched on Xbox Live introducing a new interface, avatars, Netflix and full game install on the HDD. As can be expected from any big launch it wasn’t flawless but overall it went smoothly.
The surprising news came from Halo developer Bungie who said that installing Halo 3 on the 360 HDD would in effect slow the game down more. While this may seem odd they said that Halo 3 was made to access the DVD and it would be very complicated to change this process. It seems then that games made before NXE might be better off being played normally. As for games developed from now on we will have to wait and see.
While the full install feature is a nice option and I can understand that some past games aren’t optimized for it, it would be a bit frustrating to waste 7GB of space to have a slower game.
It would be really nice if Microsoft could release a list of the games that would not benefit from the install… Though they probably never will.
EDIT: Here is a website which gives info on the time saved when installing games to your HDD.
360 North America Price Drops
After the very recent Japanese price drops Microsoft carries on and does the same in the New Wold. As soon as September 5 the Arcade version will be $199 while the new 60G Pro version will be $299 and the Elite $399.
As was true in Japan this officially makes the 360 $49 cheaper than the Wii.
E3 Is Back?
It is rumored that the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) is considering going back to the old (real?) E3 with tens of thousands of attendees and all the crazy mayhem that made it popular int he first place.
Now how much truth is there to this? Well, as Gamespot adequately put it: “That they’re considering it? Not bogus. That they’ll do it? Nothing is confirmed…yet. “
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Screens Galore
Koch Media released a bunch of screens for the various versions (PC, PS3 and 360) of the game. The screens show two new classes for the PC called the Inquisitor and the Guardian. While the PC version is coming out at the end of the month, the console version will not be released until November.
PC – Inquisitor
PC – Guardian
Command & Conquer: Red Alert Free!
All you RTS players need to go this site and download the game. With Red Alert 3 coming out in October Electronic Arts has decided to make the first episode, released in 1996 (12 years ago!!!!), available for free.
Also anyone who preorders Red Alert 3 will get Red Alert 2 for free also.
Wow EA is turning into Santa Claus!
2 New PS3 Bundles for Europe
Sony will release two new PS3 bundles on October 29:
- LittleBigPlanet, 80G console and a Dualshock 3 pad for €399
- Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, 80G console and 2 Dualshock 3 pads for €449
360 Cheaper than Wii in Japan
Microsoft is going all out to help push its console into Japanese homes. The recent release of Tales of Vesperia helped but this can’t hurt either. The Redmond firm announced yesterday in Tokyo that it will cut the price of all its consoles fairly significantly starting September 11.
The biggest psychological drop comes for the Arcade version which drops to ¥19,800 ($183) which is ¥5,200 ($48) cheaper than the Wii.
Meanwhile the Elite will drop from ¥47,800 ($440) to ¥39,800 ($368) and the Pro model will go on sale for ¥29,800 ($275) which is ¥5,000 ($46) cheaper than its 20G predecessor.
Phew! Good deals all around.
Tenchu 4 Trailer and screens
I loved Tenchu for its ambiance and great soundtrack but the sequels were just OK. My main complaint being the lack of Japanese voices with English subtitles.
Anyway Tenchu 4 is coming out in Japan on the Wii on October 23 and today we get some yummy screens and a pretty nice trailer.
Please give me Japanese voices with subs!
Guitar Hero Strikes Back
Last week Harmonix announced a bunch of albums for their Rock Band 2 and today Activision announced they signed a deal with many…MANY instrument manufacturers. here’s the list: Ampeg, Audio-Technica, EMG Pickups, Ernie Ball, Evans Drumheads, Guitar Center, Krank Amplification, Mackie, Marshall, Orange County Drum & Percussion, Pork Pie Percussion, Regal Tip, Sabian cymbals, Vox and Zildjian drumsticks. Wow!
They also announced today that World Tour will feature exclusively the new Smashing Pumpkins single named G.L.O.W. along with 1979 and The Everlasting Gaze in a pack. Today will be featured on the main Guitar Hero: World Tour disc.
Since the Game Convention started in Leipzig today there’s a lot of stuff to cover so I’m going to summarize the most noteworthy announcements and link the best trailers only in HD.
Basically this is your one-stop Leipzig newsdesk.
- New PSP 3000 will come out on October 15 and feature a better screen and built-in mic for $199
- PS3 160G Hard Drive on October for $499, the 80G one will replace the current 40G
- New 160G PS3 Uncharted Bundle featuring game, dualshock 3 and PAIN voucher for $499
- EA is going to tackle Tennis games on Wii in 2009 taking advantage of the Wii Motion Plus
- Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts will be released November 14 for $40
- Fallout 3 will come out October 28 in North America and October 31 in Europe
- Suikoden Tierkreis is a DS title
- Chrono Trigger on the DS will come out November 25
- The Sims 3 worldwide release February 20, 2009
Noteworthy Trailers and Footage:
- Shattered Horizons Trailer – Very Nice! great trailer
- Resident Evil 5 GC 2008 Trailer – Sweet! even better than before
- Shadow Harvest Trailer – Awful, Unappealing… Plain Bad
- FIFA Soccer 09 Debut Trailer – Very Nice, if you like soccer
- Bionic Commando GC 2008 Trailer – Promising. wait and see
- Dawn of War II GC 2008 Trailer – Freaking Amazing!! And I don’t even like RTS games
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 Debut Teaser – Crap Music, OK Teaser. FIFA Vs. PES Round 1!
- Anno 1404 Debut Trailer – Really Nice. great game on the way
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Trailer – Sweet! E3 trailer in high quality
- Captain Blood GC 2008 Trailer – Looks Fun, could be a nice game
- Necro Vision GC 2008 Trailer – Gory, Gory and WTF?!
- Jumpgate Evolution GC 2008 Trailer – Very Nice! just my type of genre
- Red Alert 3 GC 2008 Trailer – Pure Epic! George Takei FTW!
- Prince of Persia Lengthy Footage – Voice Work OK. Still looks gorgeous and amazing
- Mad World GC 2008 Trailer – Very Original. The more I see the more intrigued i get
- Heavy Rain GC 2008 Trailer – Finally!! cam but very steady, can’t wait!
RetroBeats Session 11 Out!
This week I’m taking a look at some of the best original Disney games from the 16bits era, including Castle and World of Illusion, Quackshot, Mickey Mania and Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow
EA Is Expanding to Movies and TV
Considering the average quality of game adaptations to the screen this news can be scary but either way Electronic Arts has signed an agreement with the United Talent Agency to adapt some of its licenses to both the big and small screen. The First on the list appear to be The Sims, Mirror’s Edge and Army of Two.
Now’s a good time for a prayer.
Fallout 3 Will Be Released in Australia But Censored
After they said they would simply ban the game for it’s violence and language in the land down under, Bethesda went back to modify the game so that it could be released. Hence in its Australian version Fallout 3 will have some edited an deleted scenes and dialogues as well as the removal of all mentions of drugs.
Welcome to the 21st Century where democracies still act like the 3rd Reich in its hey-days. Long live the First Amendment.
Rock Band 2 Delayed?
It seems that while the game itself is still planned for the September 14 launch on the Xbox 360, the instruments will not be coming out until mid-October which coincides pretty well with the release of the game on PS3, PS2 and Wii. Doesn’t seem like a great exclusivity deal anymore.
Lian-Li Case for Xbox 360
Those of you who are into building their own computers are most likely familiar with Lian-Li, a very high quality case maker for PC. Well it seems they are releasing a special case for the Microsoft console. We all know the 360 is pretty noisy and gets fairly hot, so while this is a good idea I can’t help but feel that this is one of their weaker design and it simply looks too much like a PC tower.
Layoffs, Layoffs and More Layoffs
Since the Activision ‘streamlining’ a few weeks ago it seems that companies are firing people and canceling projects left and right. There was Midway a few days ago, NCSoft yesterday and now it’s Radical and High Noon, which are both owned by Activision Blizzard.
I know the economy isn’t at its best but this really doesn’t bode well for independent studios and original games.
Overlord Is Taking Over
Last year Overlord, a game I haven’t played but seems like a cross between Dungeon Keeper and Pikmin, was a surprise hit and Codemasters posted their best revenues ever. So it’s not too much of a leap to expect a sequel…BUT WAIT! They are actually planning to release 3 different games!
The PC, 360 and PS3 will be graced with a sequel: Overlord II while the Wii will have a prequel: Overlord: Dark Legend and the DS, a spin-off: Overlord Minions.
Pretty impressive and most certainly good news for fans of the original.
Viva Piñata 2 4-Way Online Coop?
Rare released some of the Achievements for the game and among these was “Full House” which requires you to play online with 4 people in cooperation for at least an hour. How this coop mode will work however remains to be seen.
AMD Teams With Blizzard
The chipset manufacturer announced today that Blizzard Entertainment has allowed them to bundle their games with all ATI video cards. AMD is also the exclusive graphic sponsor to the upcoming BlizzCon 2008 which will take place on October 10-11 in Anaheim, CA.
Parents Would Prefer Their Kids Drunk Than Playing Video Games…
*Sigh*… So a survey conducted by What They Play, a parental advisory website, shows that parents would basically rather have their kids smashed on beer than playing GTA IV.
The survey asked 1,600 persons what they were most afraid their kids would indulge in while at a sleepover. here are the replies:
- 49% Smoking Marijuana
- 19% Playing GTA
- 16% Watching Porn
- 14% Drinking Beer
Furthermore in a previous survey conducted in April they asked 1,266 participants what offended them most in video games, here are the replies:
- 37% A man and a woman having sex
- 27% Two men kissing
- 25% A graphically severed head
- 9% Multiple uses of the F-Word
First of all I’ll skip the sheer open-mindedness of these people who would rather watch people butcher each other instead of having two gays kissing and I know the source implies that these people have no, or very little, clue about what video games are but are people really that stupid??
As far as I can remember I became sexually aware around 12 and have played video games since I was 6 (granted, the realism isn’t on the same level) and I’m certainly not a model of virtue but I’m still able to remember that a game is…a game! shocker!
It’s funny how every new ‘medium’ that arises bring with it a slew of ignorants who would rather ban than try to understand. First it was Christianity, then it was Protestants, then it was the age of reason, then came raunchy books, then came movies which talked about important subjects such as abortion (OH NO!) and then came Rock and Roll, and now we have video games.
To think that these people will vote in November scares me to death.
Batman: Arkham Asylum Announced
OK back to reality, Game Informer said that Eidos and Rocksteady are currently working on a new game featuring the Dark Knight. It seems the game may be an FPS set at least partly in the infamous asylum and will feature the Joker and several other villains.
Batman games havne’t had a great reputation since the 8bits and 16bits era (exception made of the LEGO game) but Paul Dini (one of the main honchos behind the great Batman: The Animated Series) is cowriting on the game so this may be one to watch.