According to the guys at 1Up some info is starting to come out on the new PSP-4000. Of course Sony “does not comment on rumors or speculations” but that’s regular procedure so let’s get to it.
A major overhaul of the Sony portable system has been rumored for quite a while and with the recent release of the DSi it would make sense for them to counter the momentum. To that end they have stated that they will unveil the new PSP at E3.
First the name. Several came out such as the PSP Slide, PSP Flip and PSP Go! but it would seem the latter is more probable. Sony has recently announced a series of add-ons including the Go!Cam and the Go!View, so it’s fairly safe to assume that the new portable will be the PSP Go!
The PSP Go! is rumored to have several new features (or lack thereof) and a pretty intense remodeling.
The biggest (and worst for me) is the loss of UMD-Drive. It seems the new PSP will be entirely download based with internal flash memory. Sony will have 100 original PSP titles available at launch. Let’s hope people who already own the UMD version won’t have to pay twice for games at least.
Personally I like to buy my games and have them displayed nicely on a shelf so I really don’t like this trend. Does it mean there will be no more UMDs in stores??
Aside from this the console seems to have the screen slide to reveal the controls (kind of like the Sidekick). Speaking of controls it will feature the classic digital controls and face buttons as well as one analog ‘stick’. a lot of people are complaining for the lack of a second analog controller on the console but hopefully Sony will add it before launch.
The portable console is set to release in September in Japan and sometime between September and November in the U.S.. It will come in two versions, one with 8GB of flash memory and the other with 16GB.
See you at E3 for more info.
Note: This image is a mock-up
This is a very interesting letter and I urge you to read it because it is enlightening.
Microids is French developer famous for their high quality Point & Click adventure games. They created Amerzone and the Syberia series among others. Some of those games never made it to the United States for several reasons (some of which are explained in this letter) and now the development of Syberia 3 hangs in the proverbial balance.
The letter shows some of Sony’s practices regarding royalties and censorship. It is a little frightening.
So without further ado here if the official letter as posted on their website:
A letter to players and professionals of the video game industry
Paris, April 17, 2009 – Following the countless messages and questions from fans which followed our announcement on April 1st regarding the launch of Syberia 3, Emmanuel Olivier, President of Microïds, gives more details on that announcement.
“Syberia 3 is not an April Fool’s joke. The game is highly expected by the community of fans of adventure games and fans of Kate Walker and it will be launched, it is one of our most strategic projects at Microïds and we have been anticipating it for a long time.
It will be released on PC for sure, however, on PS3, this could actually turn into an April Fool’s joke because SONY is the only decision-maker on this point, as strange as it may seem to some people.
Benoît Sokal, the author of Syberia and Syberia 2, has mentioned several times in the press that he would only participate in a sequel to his masterpiece if he had enough financial means to design and develop an exceptional title. Today Microïds is ready to invest in this ambitious production. But everyone knows that to amortize the development costs of a major video game with that level of quality, it is essential to develop it for multiple platforms, PC and consoles.
However Sony Computer Entertainment has already censured Microïds in 2003 by denying that Syberia was released on PS2 in the United States though it had previously been released in Europe on that console. The same refusal happened for a dozen other Microïds titles for the U.S.
Beyond this censorship of the authors and their producers who believe in their creations and who take the financial risks when building up productions for the console without knowing whether they will be approved or denied by SONY in the last minute, the exorbitant royalties demanded by SONY to manufacture the games on its consoles seriously hamper the financing ability of independent producers. Microïds has paid more than 15 million Euros of royalties to SONY for its entire catalog, which represents 55% of the Microïds turnover for this platform. April Fools? Well no! It is unfortunately the “rule of the game” imposed by SONY.
The revenue shortfalls due to the PS2 games we were not able to sell in the United States, a highly significant territory, coupled with the excessive royalties paid to SONY for the European territories, have so far prevented Microïds from having the ability to reinvest in an ambitious sequel to the Syberia series.
So today we launch an SOS to all fans of the Syberia series: let us rally to support the independent creation and convince Sony to change its rules. Send all your messages of support to: supporToSyberia3PS3@microids.com
SYBERIA 3 on PS3, an April Fool’s? It’s up to SONY!”
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.
id Software to Quit Activision for Electronic Arts
Right before E3 id Software (John Carmack and the guys who brought you Doom and Duke Nukem) announced that they would partner with EA to publish their upcoming title called RAGE ending their long time partnership with ActiVision. The deal however is only good, so far, for RAGE so we have yet to see what will happens once the game is released…..when it’s done.
Valkyria Chronicles coming on the PSP… Oops no Wait! I Meant the PS3
On the other front it seems Sony can’t do anything right this year. After a very solid presentation at E3 we might have thought they were back on track. Well apparently not. During their conference Sony unveiled Valkyria Chronicles as one of the major upcoming titles for their PSP. According to Kotaku, the problem is that is was never planned for the PSP but actually a PS3 title, they just messed up with the video. Sega quickly denied any rumor that the game was coming on the portable console. Ouch.
If there is one thing that Sony is good at it is producing trendy tech designs. From the very first minutes with the buttons symbols shining all over the room to the Little Big Planet genius presentation it was in my opinion the most professional presentation delivery of the 3.
Here is what they announced:
- New PS2 bundle with Lego Batman including DC New Frontier DVD announced for $149, sadly no Batman logo. New PS3 80GB Core Pack announced for $399.
- New PSP Entertainment Pack including the Silver PSP, Ratchet & Clank – Size Matters, National Treasure 2 UMD, 1 GB Memory Stick and a voucher for Endochrome. All this for $199.
- Several news for the PlayStation Network (PSN). Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty announced for $14.99 (the game should be about 3-4 hours long) coming out this summer. Several other titles include Siren, Eden, Fat Princess and more. Gran Turismo TV (not to be confused with the other GTTV), showcasing auto news, reviews, shows and more in SD and HD through the PSN starting August 1st. The Ratchet game looks really nice especially for this price and the GTTV looks very interesting if you’re into cars…otherwise…
- A bunch of improvements for Home as well. Home will start featuring many more TV Shows in SD and HD starting at $1.99. Likewise with movies starting at $2.99 to $5.99. All these will be transferable to your PSP through either the PS3 or your PC. Content will also feature progressive download so you can watch as soon as you start the download (similar to online videos).
- As far as games go it was a bit underwhelming. Some very nice footage from Resistance 2 (it’s all in the scale!), and a new game announced for the PSP Resistance – Retribution. For the PS3 God of War III was confirmed which isn’t a big surprise, Infamous was also confirmed for spring 2009. For PSP they confirms Valkyria Chronicles, Patapon 2, LocoRoco 2 and more. SOE unveiled DC Universe Online with Jim Lee as a speakers and even though the speech was nice, the footage wasn’t very impressive (and I have to say I’m doubtful as to how this game will work out in principle).
- The big game announcement that could become great was MAG (Massive Action Game) which seems to take the idea of Battlefield and Socom and expand on it, with 256 players at once, squads of 8 players and a system of RPG-like character growth. The game looks really interesting and the trailer was nice, now we’ll need to try it out to make sure.
Overall I thought that for the delivery the Sony conference was the best. The BIG highlight of the conference was the Little Big Planet presentation which quite honestly made everything else look stale. Sadly as far as games go, aside from a few good things like God of War III, Ratchet & Clank on PSN and the promising MAG, there wasn’t much to look forward to.
But on the hardware side this might finally be the time when i go to the store to get a PS3.
You can watch the full coverage of the conference here.