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Topic: Playstation2/Sony

The new items published under this topic are as follows.
 Jun 11, 2013 - 07:55 AM - by Michael
Something from Sony
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Playstation2/Sony You know, Sony made some mistakes in the past. But on this one thing they've got it right:


 Jan 04, 2013 - 07:31 AM - by Michael
Not news, but Sony are jerks.
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Playstation2/Sony There's no other way to put it - they want to completely tie down the game disc so it'll never play on any other console. No secondhand sales, no gifting it to a relative or friend once you finish it, nothing.

 Sep 18, 2012 - 02:20 PM - by Michael
Quickie: The Amazing Spider-Man
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Playstation2/Sony Third quickie... I know what you're thinking. Not another movie-franchise game, right? Well, of course Activision had to put out something for the Spidey franchise, they are the home for all games Marvel these days. And in keeping with game trends, they instructed the programmers to make a game that felt, gameplay-wise, a lot more like the recent Batman games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City than a Spider-man game.

Unfortunately, that's not a good way to start off. There are a lot of things to be said for this game; lots of collectables, lots of mobility, and a decent chance to explore Manhattan. Unfortunately, web-slinging doesn't feel quite right, and it's quite possible that every game since Spider-Man 2 has been a step back in this regard. Activision also chose to make this one a sequel to the movie, rather than a "play the movie" game, so there's that to contend with; they've left out most of Spidey's A-list villains and focused more on the cheesy, lesser known ones for this storyline - I mean why have Kraven the Hunter, Lizard, or Doc Ock when you can go toe to toe with the Rhino or the Iguana? (Yes, that's right, that lame Lizard ripoff villain is actually in this game for some reason I can't fathom.)

So... to combat. Punch, block, dodge/jump, and special buttons. Special button lobs web fluid or goes into special combo moves, pretty standard stuff; build up enough punch combo, and Spidey can go into a sort of freeform mode to unleash some crazier attacks and combos. It works really well for Batman; it's just never been the Spidey style. Spidey was never a brawler or a boxer, he's much more suited to dancing around all over the place, hitting an enemy from all sides at once, waiting for that perfect moment to strike from a distance.

Graphically? I'm not entirely sure they didn't do this one on the cheap. The models are a bit less defined than I'd expect, textures not entirely high-res. Maybe I'm jaded, or maybe they decided to lean off on the production cost a bit.

Are there cool things and fun things in this game? Heck yes. Web-slinging's still fun, even if not as fun as older titles in the series. Slinging around as Stan (The Man) Lee? A joy.

Unfortunately, the side mission stuff gets a bit old after a while, but every game with repetitive "random" content gets that way. Stopping robberies, returning escaped patients to the police... eh. Every time it's the same voiceover lines and animations, so it will get old eventually.

Worth picking up? I'm ambivalent. Give it a try first, rent it and see if you like it - or if your kid does.

 Sep 18, 2012 - 01:58 PM - by Michael
Quickie: Fall of Cybertron
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Playstation2/Sony Time for Quickie 2 this month! Right down to it: we're into Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.

This is one of those "every other year" titles where Activision busts out the Transformers license, and throws them into a basically Call-Of-Duty style online game with a teaser of a campaign mode thrown in. Back when I saw the last one, War For Cybertron, I was not quite impressed with the gameplay; most of the Transformers didn't really move, or feel, like they should.

This time it's a bit closer, but it's still not quite there. There's bare-bones motion and transformation, some special moves, but most of the campaign gameplay devolves into somehow surviving waves of enemies over and over again, trying to reach the next save point or plot device. There's even a mode devoted to learning how to do it, called "survival mode."

The special moves - especially Optimus, being able to take control of Metroplex for a while - are darned cool. But the gameplay doesn't really focus on them, and I'm not sure why. It also makes players spend a lot of time in robot form, leaving the vehicle forms very secondary.

For those wanting to play with friends, sadly, the cooperative campaign mode is also gone. I'm not sure why this is, because that was one of the better aspects of War for Cybertron. Maybe someone on the programming team didn't like it, or maybe they just couldn't get it through bug testing to meet deadline... either way, it's a definite loss to the franchise.

It's a shame, because the storyline - especially the Decepticons, always at each other's throats and working at their own cross purposes - is what most players are really after for this one. What happened on Cybertron before the Autobots jumped into the Ark and abandoned the planet? How did the battles go? Who participated? It's like someone made a really cool game for the kids of the mid-1980s... and wholly forgot they are now in their '30s and need more solid gameplay.

Grab it if you were a fan of War For Cybertron, rent it for the weekend storyline play otherwise.

 Sep 18, 2012 - 01:42 PM - by Michael
Quickie: Prototype 2
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Playstation2/Sony Quickie Reviews for September, Ho!

First up on my agenda: Prototype 2. Way back when, I reviewed the original - the big thing with this series (it's a series now, right?) being that it was Activision taking the engine they'd built for the Spider-Man games and making their own property with it. At the time, I considered it kind of a hedge, so they'd have something to keep making if Marvel went another direction.

All that still holds, but moreover, Prototype 2 both improves upon the original and leaves a lot to be desired. Though the story's essentially about a father doing everything he can to rescue his daughter, there are too many throwaway characters brought into the game; too many "well that would be interesting, oops he got eaten" moments. Betrayals aren't really all that shocking when they're expected; the loss of characters not much of a loss when characters aren't sympathetic. The biggest issue I had was that over and over again, the whole "who's the bad guy" question kept changing. Sure, James Heller was always out to kill someone - but sometimes it's a faceless corporation, sometimes it's a Blackwatch commander, sometimes it's a bunch of scientists, sometimes it's Alex Mercer, the first game's protagonist. And really, what they did with Mercer is itself kind of a letdown.

In terms of gameplay, I'll say they got it 90% right. Gone is the "web of intrigue" system, hunting down people for story points... which was fun enough, but got boring after a while, especially since it basically required a Game+ playthrough to finish. On the other hand, with it gone, a Game+ playthrough really doesn't have much to offer.

Combat and controls? Tightened, improved, and there's definitely a lot more player advancement and a lot less grinding. Tying skills and powers advancement to short sidequests was a brilliant move, because it means most players can enjoy the game with defined objectives throughout rather than having to rely on running around killing small enemies for tiny shreds of XP in order to be powerful enough to continue in the story. So good on Activision from that side.

Worth picking up? Well, if you're a completionist, or you can find it on something of a discount, sure. For many players, it's probably one to be rented.

 Aug 07, 2012 - 06:50 AM - by Michael
PCSX2 hits 1.0
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Playstation2/Sony In the old world of emulation, a moment of shine - PCSX2, a Playstation2 emulator with some pretty impressive features, has hit version 1.0.

It can offer up graphics beyond what the original hardware was capable of, achieving resolutions up to 4096 x 4096 with anti-aliasing and texture filtering. You can save games, record video as you play, use a range of controllers, and even adjust game speed if you so wish.

Of course, youíll need a fast machine to run PS2 games at a decent speed, but the spec is still reasonable. Itís recommended you have at least a Core 2 Duo running at 3.2GHz, or a Core i5 at 2.66GHz+. As for graphics cards, a GeForce 9600GT or Radeon 4750 is desirable.
Ok, so it needs some beefy hardware. You don't have to push those graphical niceties to the max, though.

 Jul 26, 2011 - 11:31 AM - by Michael
Quickie: Transformers Dark of the Moon
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Playstation2/Sony So I've finally had the chance to sit down and try out Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Let me tell you, wrapping my head round this one isn't easy.

For starters, the movie was... better than either of the first two had given it hope to be. But at the end of the day, it was yet another Michael Bay flick, and that meant way too much focus on humans and way too little focus on the real characters of the story: the Autobots and Decepticons. And it is also still way, way too difficult to tell the damn Decepticons apart from each other.

When you can't tell your primary antagonists apart, and are constantly confused as to whether that's Shockwave, or Starscream, or Megatron... bad.

As for the game, the control system's definitely a step up from previous ones. Robot form, Vehicle, and the "third form" of a "stealth mode" (basically, vehicle with sideslip capabilities and bristling with weapons). It's not a bad thing, and definitely not harmful to the game's interests, but... this one just can't hold up to what it needs to do.

Most of the time, you're stuck with blasting guns at range. Want a melee attack? That'll burn your character's "special attack" and needs a recharge meter before it's available again, or if you're Mirage, then you'll just cloak out and have no melee options at all, except for the section where that's all they will give him. The rest of the time, you can run up to enemy Decepticons and blast them with one of two selectable weapons, but god forbid you just want to punch them. In full vehicle mode, no combat abilities at all. In hybrid "stealth mode", you've got your most powerful punch... which pretty much made me wonder after a while why anyone would even use the robot mode, given that "stealth mode" was just as maneuverable and packed a bigger punch and better armor.

In terms of level design, you're basically looking at a corridor simulator, with the occasional set of roof jumps to navigate. Jump into vehicle mode, run down the "street", pause to shift into stealth mode to blast faceless enemy mooks, run down the "street" to the next waypoint... let's face it, these levels are just downright BORING.

To make things worse, Dark of the Moon offers up the same problem War for Cybertron had, shifting the movie-prologue storyline back and forth between Autobots and Decepticons. As Autobots, you spend a lot of time blasting faceless Decepticon mooks. As Decepticons, you spend a lot of time blasting faceless Autobot mooks. The same goes for the online campaign, which is basically a re-tread of the Call-Of-Duty-With-Robots nonsense that was The War For Cybertron: barely good for a few hours before most players will probably give up on it.

With Dark of the Moon, Activision had a real chance here. They had an actual story that could have spanned a number of different eras of Transformers lore. They had a movie storyline that could have been really turned into something unique. Instead, what they shipped out for unwary consumers was yet another entry in the same barely-action game genre that's been eating away at the Transformers license for years.

The verdict: leave this one on the shelves, unless it's going into your never-been-opened-but-100%-complete Transformers merchandise collection right next to the Unicron halloween mask.


 Jun 14, 2011 - 11:23 AM - by Michael
Racer educated on games
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Playstation2/Sony Here's a crazy one: a guy who learned racing on video games, takes 2nd in class at Le Mans.

Those long hours of practice paid off, as Lucas won the competition ? and the opportunity to take part in a real-world race, the Dubai 24 Hours. His run of good luck (and impressive skillz) continued ? Nissan bigwigs noticed the gamer and decided to offer him another racing opportunity ? not only a place on the grid for the the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, but also a start at this year?s Le Mans 24 Hours.
Congratulations. Maybe this'll get more people thinking about games as a serious way to train skills.

 May 25, 2011 - 11:31 AM - by Michael
Sony again
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Playstation2/Sony It just keeps coming.

Sony Ericsson Canada has had their servers breached.

So has Sony Entertainment Japan.

This seems to be systemic among almost all Sony branches. What's coming up next?

 May 23, 2011 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
Sony: Hack costs $170M
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Playstation2/Sony Sony says the hacking of their various servers will cost them $170 Million on this year's balance sheet.

Probably that doesn't cover the restitution to PS3 owners and the loss of goodwill by the customer base.

Sony said it made the announcement because it expects to record a net loss of ?260 billion for the financial year just ended due to charges associated with U.S. GAAP (generally accepted accounting practices) rules.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami occurred just three weeks before the end of the financial year and didn't have a large impact on the company's global financial performance for the year, but it did push Sony's Japanese operations into a loss.

Those Japanese operations had lost money the previous two years but Sony, anticipating a profit in the year just ended, had recorded tax credits it intended to carry forward. However, GAAP rules say tax credits cannot be recorded for three years in a row, so Sony is recording a non-cash charge for the credits it had taken.

 May 11, 2011 - 07:15 AM - by Michael
Sony, Sony, Sony
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Playstation2/Sony Where to start.

Looks like the gaming news for the last week has basically been "Sony, Sony, Sony, Sony" - a nonstop drone. PSN's down another day. PSN's down yet another day. SOE online games has been compromised too.

Yep, they are still down.

Due to a total rebuild of Sony's infrastructure regarding security, they may not be up until the end of May.

Capcom says they've been screwed by PSN being down. To say nothing of gamers who bought the PSN version of Bionic Commando 2, which uses "phone home" DRM and now is a single-player game that won't work because PSN is down.

Other developers are actively thinking of simply leaving Sony entirely unless Sony compensates them for lost income due to PSN's downtime.

Where to start really?
To the collective group known as 'Anonymous' - well, whether intended or not, you were 'involved' in the PSN going down. That's going to generate a lot of animosity towards you. Deal with it.

To the hacker(s) who actually broke in and stole identity information: I hope you get caught in some nation that hangs people like you from your thumbs till you die.

To the idiots at Sony who failed to properly secure their systems... I think it's all been said, really. F*** you.

No more Sony from me. The story, such as it is, is now basically a waiting game, everyone twiddling their thumbs till PSN actually comes back online, and an object lesson on why phone-home DRM is a really shitty idea that consumers ought to reject.

 May 04, 2011 - 02:31 PM - by Michael
Sony Blames Anonymous
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Playstation2/Sony In a cheap stunt, Sony's leadership are trying to blame Anonymous for the PSN/SOE hackings of the past two weeks.

Yeah, I don't believe them either.

Sony said that its video game network was breached at the same time it was defending itself against a major denial of service attack by the group calling itself Anonymous.
Sony said on Wednesday that Anonymous targeted it several weeks ago using a denial of service attack in protest of Sony defending itself against a hacker in federal court in San Francisco.

The attack that stole the personal data of millions of Sony customers was launched separately, while the company was distracted protecting itself against the denial of service campaign, Sony said.
Word to the wise, Sony. If your network was secure, if you had properly locked up data and encrypted it, it wouldn't matter what else had been going on.

We are not anonymous. We are the consumers whose data you idiots exposed for theft. But all the same, we are legion.

 Apr 27, 2011 - 07:04 AM - by Michael
Sony in deep Bleep
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's finally admitting why the PSN was down (and still is): a hacker got in and took all the personal information of the users.

What did they get?

Here is the data that Sony is sure has been compromised if you have a PlayStation Network Account:

Your name
Your address (city, state, and zip)
E-mail address
PSN password and login name

"It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained," Sony announced. While the company claims that there is "no evidence" that credit card information has been compromised, it won't rule out the possibility.

Their advice is to be safe, rather than sorry. "If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained."
"I sensed a sudden disturbance in the force..." may be an appropriate quip here.

 Mar 28, 2011 - 04:31 PM - by Michael
Geohotz v Sony, again.
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Playstation2/Sony In Sony vs Geohotz, legal argumentation abounds.

Sony claims that Geohotz has (or had at some point in the past) a PSN account - but the defendant's lawyers say that the serial number doesn't match.

Groklaw's got the latest filing, along with some interesting analysis:

Besides, SCEA doesn't make Playstation 3, the Reply points out, "the Playstation Computer and its firmware is made by Sony Japan", so Hotz wasn't directing his actions at SCEA. After all the discovery SCEA forced Hotz through, it still can't prove a link to California that would justify suing him there. There's no evidence that blickmaniac is Hotz. The serial number that SCEA claimed was blickmaniac's doesn't match the serial number that Hotz provided the court. As for blickmanic, Hotz's lawyers have found a blog posting on the Internet from someone saying *she's* blickmanic, not Hotz. There's no evidence Hotz ever accepted the Playstation Network terms of service or opened an account. Personal jurisdiction over Hotz in California would be "unreasonable". And Hotz's motion should be granted because SCEA "has abused the jurisdictional discovery process".

The Playstation Network Terms of Use, Hotz's lawyers point out, relate only to software, not hardware, and to software obtained via the Playstation Network, and "Hotz has affirmed that he did not obtain any software he is alleged to have circumvented through the PSN", and that, they tell the court, is fatal to SCEA's attempt to get jurisdiction over him via that route. All the over-the-top allegations, in short, that some journalists published last week after reading SCEA's filing are now answered ably, about blickmaniac, the Playstation Network, the California downloads, the serial number, SCEA's jurisdictional arguments, everything.
Needless to say, communities - from hackers to Slashdot to gamers - are watching quite intensely.

 Feb 17, 2011 - 07:42 AM - by Michael
Sony goes after PS3 modders
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Playstation2/Sony Well, we all saw this coming - Sony is going after the hackers who have been involved in the PS3 modding scene.

They've released an official statement on the matter:

Notice: Unauthorized circumvention devices for the PlayStation 3 system have been recently released by hackers. These devices permit the use of unauthorized or pirated software. Use of such devices or software violates the terms of the ?System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System? and the ?Terms of Services and User Agreement? for the PlayStation Network/Qriocity and its Community Code of Conduct provisions. Violation of the System Software Licence Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently.

To avoid this, consumers must immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems.
Expect the wars to continue, especially with development of PS3 flavors of Linux finally back off the ground.

 Feb 01, 2011 - 08:53 AM - by Michael
Sony Rootkits the PS3
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Playstation2/Sony Sony have apparently done something many would call "dirty": they've inserted a rootkit into version 3.56 of the Playstation3's firmware.

According to developer Mathieulh, the official PS3 firmware v3.56 is said to contain a rootkit which allow Sony to perform remote code execution upon connection to the PlayStation network. What this means is that Sony can scan for specific files on your PS3 console?such as custom firmwares and hombrew applications?and send a report back to the company. Whether this is legal or not is yet to be determined but be careful what you put on your PS3.
Expect a large amount of controversy following this one. Especially if Sony starts trying to push firmware updates through it.

 Jan 08, 2011 - 01:20 PM - by Michael
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
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Playstation2/Sony Alright, decent-looking game. Combat mechanics are solid if not breakthrough.

WHY, oh WHY, does every boss have to fall into the same old, boring "press X to not die" quicktime-event nonsense?

That, right there, pulls this from a 4 1/2-star game down to 3 1/2. Really.

 Nov 15, 2010 - 09:00 AM - by Michael
Force Unleashed II - Quick Review
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Playstation2/Sony Okay, I'm going to call it as I see it: BORING.

You're looking at a maximum of 8 hours of "gameplay" here. The rest is just cutscenes. And that eight hours of "gameplay" includes four hours of "press X to not die" cutscene crap.

Worst of all is the "story." Are there any rogue Jedi to hunt? Of course not. Any nasty, evil sith to face? Just a crappy, half-assed battle against Vader. For those who were disappointed with the "story is the cliffs notes, read the novel" pace of the first Force Unleashed, fair warning - this one's got even less story to work with.

Do yourself a favor. If you absolutely must play this one, get it on a gamefly or rental-store weekend, finish it off, and be done with it. Or better yet, get a better game to use your time on.

 Oct 20, 2010 - 07:35 AM - by Michael
Sony sues customers?
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Playstation2/Sony Sony is apparently going for broke in the PS3 hacking question: word overseas is they aren't just suing places that sell devices like PSBreak, but actually suing the customers - or at least sending "cease and desist" letters to them.

 Sep 25, 2010 - 04:47 PM - by Michael
Sony disables USB devices over PS3 jailbreak
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's new 3.50 firmware update is something to avoid, even if you're not using a PSJailbreak or PSGroove device. Why is that? Well, it turns out that in order to try to kill PSJailbreak/PSGroove's hack, Sony has gone the Microsoft route and in this firmware disabled every USB device that isn't specifically Sony-licensed. Memory cards, controllers, you name it. Over on Sony's forums, users are trying to track down all the makes and models that need authorization.

If you're using something third-party, especially a PS2-to-PS3 adapter (useful for Dance Dance Revolution fans with high-end pads) or an X-Arcade joystick, steer clear until they resolve this.

 Sep 17, 2010 - 07:05 PM - by Michael
Singularity review is up
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Playstation2/Sony Singularity review is up - look over on the reviews area.

Sadly, this one's going to go down as a bargain-bin purchase or rent-only; neither the single-player nor multiplayer is enough to hold for long, and the 10-hour solo campaign has some interesting moments but does not beg to be replayed at all.

 Apr 29, 2010 - 08:12 AM - by Michael
Sony Lawsuits Begin
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Playstation2/Sony The first prospective class-action lawsuit against Sony has been filed over their removal of the "Other OS" functionality:

The suit claims that the disablement breaches the sales contract between Sony and its customers and constitutes "an unfair and deceptive business practices perpetrated on millions of unsuspecting customers".

The company has apologised for the removal of the Other OS function but says that the action was essential to prevent piracy.
"Piracy." Sure. Whatever. I wouldn't mind seeing this one succeed.

 Apr 23, 2010 - 07:57 AM - by Michael
Sony's DRM-bomb on PS3. Round two. FIGHT!
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Playstation2/Sony On the heels of Sony's new "we'll update you when we damn well feel like it without notice" EULA for the PS3, we have DRM-laden PS3 software coming out the door.

If you're not "connected" to the PSN, it won't load.

Final Fight: Double Impact may be a collection of retro games, but some owners of the PS3 version have discovered that it is, at heart, a little too modern. The game will not run unless the user is signed into an online PSN account. If you try to load up Double Impact while not signed in, you'll just get a curt "Sign into PlayStation Network. (80029516)" message on the screen. (The Xbox 360 version launches without issue, even when not signed into Xbox Live.)
How long till user backlash hits?

 Apr 07, 2010 - 08:55 AM - by Michael
Sony Brick-a-thon
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's controversial "remove Other OS feature" update is apparently bricking PS3's entirely.

Yes, it removes the supposed "security hole"... as well as the PS3's ability to play games. For now, users are advised not to run the update.

 Mar 29, 2010 - 07:18 AM - by Michael
Sony nukes "Other OS"
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Playstation2/Sony Sony has taken the "Other OS" feature of the PS3 and, as of April 1st (no joke!) will be removing it from any updated PS3 as of April 1, 2010.

Sony's words:

This feature enabled users to install an operating system, but due to security concerns, Sony Computer Entertainment will remove the functionality through the 3.21 system software update.

In addition, disabling the ?Other OS? feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system.
This is highly unlikely to stop PS3's linux users; either they will refuse to update, or the tools that give far more access than the "Other OS" support did will evolve into some major tools that Sony really does fear.

 Jan 25, 2010 - 07:23 AM - by Michael
PS3 Hacked?
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Playstation2/Sony The Playstation3 may have been opened wide for iPhone-type "unlocking":

I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I've also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip.
Potential upside? Perhaps a real, fully functioning Linux kernel that can run even on the newest PS3's that lack even the PS3's older, crippled "other OS" option.

Potential downside? Less-legal applications.

 Dec 10, 2009 - 03:32 PM - by Michael
Van Halen Shots
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Playstation2/Sony Activision have kicked us a couple shots from the upcoming Guitar Hero: Van Halan. Enjoy!

 Nov 30, 2009 - 08:37 AM - by Michael
Tons of GH Tracks
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Playstation2/Sony Activision's kicking out a ton of track-packs for Guitar Hero (also compatible with Band Hero):
SANTA MONICA, CA ? November 30, 2009 ? There is no better way to close out the year than with Guitar Hero? and one of the hottest line-ups of downloadable content this December. Tracks, never-before available in a Guitar Hero game, from Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, The Fall of Troy, OneRepublic and indie artists Nada Surf, Pavement and Spoon are just some of what fans can look forward to this holiday season. Compatible with both Guitar Hero? 5 and Band Hero?, the Guitar Hero music library continues to expand and evolve as fans rock their way through the holidays and into 2010.

The longtime Guitar Hero devout may be familiar with metal band The Fall of Troy from their Guitar Hero? III: Legends of Rock bonus track ?F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.? The band returns to the Guitar Hero stage once again with The Fall Of Troy Track Pack, available for download on December 3, featuring the newly released ?Panic Attack,? ?A Classic Case of Transference? and ?Single,? all off of the band?s October album In The Unlikely Event.

American pop rock band OneRepublic, who first debuted as downloadable content for Guitar Hero? World Tour, are back on December 12 with a three song track pack to celebrate the November release of their newest studio album Waking Up. The Track Pack features two songs off Waking Up, ?All The Right Moves? and ?Everybody Loves Me?, as well as ?Mercy,? a track off their first studio album Dreaming Out Loud.

Guitar Hero fans should get ready to experience indie rock at some of its best this December. Injecting even more flavor into ever expanding Guitar Hero music library is a three song track pack featuring Nada Surf, Pavement and Spoon. Players can jam to Nada Surf?s "Hi-Speed Soul," experience the lo-fi rock music of Pavement with "Cut Your Hair" or rock out to ?Sister Jack? by Spoon on December 17.

What better way to welcome in the holidays then by playing along to Steve Ouimette?s version of the classic "Hark The Herald Angels Sing," which will be available as a free download on the Xbox 360? video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation?3 computer entertainment system for Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero on December 22.

Bring in the New Year right with the Celebrity New Years Rock Track Pack. Starting on December 22, players can live it up and rock out with a three song track pack featuring all the Band Hero in-game artists. Players can sing along to Taylor Swift?s ?Our Song,? the third single off her self-titled debut album, Taylor Swift, jam to "Harder to Breathe," the first single off Maroon 5?s debut album Songs About Jane, or rock to ?New? by No Doubt as they bring in the New Year, Guitar Hero style.

The Fall of Troy, OneRepublic, Indie Rock and Celebrity New Years Rock Track Packs will be available on Xbox LIVE? Marketplace for the Xbox 360? video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 440 Microsoft Points, on the PlayStation?Store for the PlayStation?3 computer entertainment system for $5.49 and for Wii? for 550 Wii Points?. In addition, all songs in The Fall of Troy, OneRepublic, Indie Rock and Celebrity New Years Rock Track Packs will be released as downloadable singles for Xbox 360 for 160 Microsoft Points, PlayStation 3 system for $1.99 and Wii for 200 Wii Points each. The Christmas Rock Pack will be available for free download for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system.


 Nov 02, 2009 - 02:19 PM - by Michael
DJ Hero
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Playstation2/Sony Gameplay of DJ Hero has been tried.

Initial impressions follow:
#1 - this is NOT a "party" game. People will not stand around 4 at a time, or even 2 at a time (should someone fork over more than $200 to get multiple controllers) to play this.

#2 - The difficulty scale, moreover the ability to pick up the game's skills (especially scratching on the inner button) is pretty steep. Another thing that makes it not a "party" game. Guitar Hero can be set to easy/medium and almost anyone can pick it up in 1 or 2 tries without needing the tutorial to understand the symbols going by.

#3 - My god, some of the mixes in this game suck. Especially the one featuring "Mr. Big Stuff", as done by a cover group of 3 atonal Yoko Ono impersonators.

Admittedly, this is a niche game that I'm probably not in the target audience for. As a music lover, I'm pretty much definitively OUT of the targe audience. That being said, I get the feeling the actual target audience for the game is pretty small.

 Oct 28, 2009 - 08:00 AM - by Michael
Tekken 6 Released
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Playstation2/Sony Want fighting games? Tekken 6 is now out.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., (Oct. 27, 2009) ? Fighting game fans wait no longer as NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., announced today that TEKKEN? 6 is now available at retailers nationwide for the Xbox 360? video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation?3 computer entertainment system. The latest installment of the top-selling video game series is packed with edge-of-your-seat action, new online and offline gameplay modes, robust character roster, and stunning visuals. A limited TEKKEN 6 premium fight stick bundle is also available to provide players with even more pulse-pounding experiences with every bone- jarring punch.

TEKKEN 6 sees the return of many familiar faces and new characters to create the largest line-up in franchise history. Recreate the arcade experience at home by battling friends or AI-controlled opponents while amassing a wealth of items for customizing and strengthening characters in different modes including Versus, Time Attack, and Survival. Featuring dynamic and destructible environments, players will be able to test their virtual might by punching their enemies through concrete walls or kicking them through floors to open a whole new battleground. New to the series, the Scenario Campaign mode will allow players to progress through the story and mow down hordes of enemies while still enjoying fighting game action.

With full support via the PlayStation?Network and Xbox Live? online entertainment network, TEKKEN 6 includes a multitude of online features. Players can vie for global domination or just improve their fighting skills by battling opponents worldwide in online versus mode. Create and upload customized ghost characters, which replicate a player?s fight style, so any competitor from around the world can download them for one-on-one battles. Also an online co-op update for the game?s Scenario Campaign will be available this winter as a free post-launch downloadable content. In this mode, two players can jump into intense campaigns against AI controlled enemies and experience the dramatic large-scale action with friends around the world.

?TEKKEN 6 is the pinnacle of the long running King of Iron Fist Tournament and without question, delivers the best of the entire Tekken series?, said Todd Thorson, director of marketing and public relations at NAMCO BANDAI Games America, Inc. ?TEKKEN 6 is the culmination of Namco Bandai Games unwavering commitment to excellence which has resulted into the ultimate fighting experience with amazing detailed graphics and robust online gameplay.?

TEKKEN 6 is rated ?T? for Teen by the ESRB and carries a MSRP of $59.99. A premium wireless fight stick bundle will be available for $149.99, while supplies last. For more information on TEKKEN 6, please visit: or


 Sep 02, 2009 - 04:54 PM - by Michael
Sony Flips Linux The Bird
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's gone ahead and removed the Linux option from the next iteration of the PS3; Glyn Moody of Computerworld UK is unamused.

The one glimmer of hope for the company was the PS3. Now, that might seem relevant to business users, but Sony's decision to allow other operating systems ? like GNU/Linux ? to be installed on the PS3 turned what seems a rather specialised piece of kit into something rather splendid: a really low-cost supercomputer. Indeed, if you needed really high-end computing, the PS3+GNU/Linux combination was probably the cheapest way to achieve this.
And there it goes. One nifty feature of the PS3 - not like it has many games to recommend it, sadly - bites the dust.

 Aug 18, 2009 - 10:35 PM - by Michael
PS3 goes Slim, gets price cut
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Playstation2/Sony Kotaku has it - the PS3's officially got a Slim edition as well as a pretty big price cut.

Sony's getting desperate.

Hirai noted that it will be have the same features and function of the current PS3, with a 120 gb drive. It will be 33 percent smaller, 36 percent lighter.

The unit will cost $299 in the U.S., 299 euros, 29980 yen.
Note to Sony... try to make some good games for it and maybe it'll sell better.

 May 30, 2009 - 09:34 AM - by Michael
Matrix Offline
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Playstation2/Sony Sony is closing down the MMORPG The Matrix Online.

Don't worry if you didn't even remember it existed. Almost nobody ever played it.

 Apr 30, 2009 - 11:25 AM - by Michael
Dragon's Lair, Again
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Playstation2/Sony Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp is on its way for Blu-Ray. Digital Leisure's put forward some info:
GORMLEY, Ontario, Canada ? April 30, 2009 ? Sharpen your sword and get ready to guide Dirk the Daring as he races through time to save the beautiful Princess Daphne from the clutches of the Evil Wizard Mordroc in Dragon?s Lair II: Time Warp. This long awaited sequel to the award-winning game Dragon?s Lair has been completely restored and enhanced with an all-new 5.1 surround sound mix and is now available on Blu-ray from Digital Leisure.

From legendary animator Don Bluth (?An American Tail?, ?The Land Before Time?) Dragon?s Lair II: Time Warp allows you to play the heroic Dirk the Daring, who must stop the Evil Wizard Mordroc as he has kidnapped Princess Daphne and taken her through time! But you must hurry, for once the Casket of Doom has opened, Mordroc will place the Death Ring upon Daphne?s finger in marriage and she will be lost forever? in the Time Warp!

Dragon?s Lair II: Time Warp was authored in the Blu-ray Java environment (BD-J) and features completely remastered animation, and an all-new surround sound mix, creating a fully arcade-authentic experience.

?The visuals and story of this game really bring me back.? says creator Don Bluth. ?I haven?t seen this game look this good since it was on film, before we put it to laser disc at just TV resolution, two decades ago. It looks and sounds better than ever. You gotta just love Blu-ray and what you can do with sound today. People are in for a real treat with this release!?

This Blu-ray release includes the following special features:

- Interviews with game creators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman
- Picture in Picture video commentary from the creators
- Viewing Mode Options: Widescreen (16:9) or Anamorphic (4:3) video playback
- Watch Mode ? Watch Don Bluth?s stunning animation without playing
- Extras ? An animatic of the lost ?Pirate Ship? scene, progression reel and more!
- Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Italian and German

All of the special features on the disc were shot natively in 1080p including all-new interviews with creators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, and for the first time a full length visual commentary of the game.

Dragon?s Lair II: Time Warp Blu-ray will be available June 2nd at many software and movie retailers as well as online at Both Dragon?s Lair and Space Ace are currently available on Blu-ray.


 Apr 28, 2009 - 09:49 AM - by Michael
MVC2 Returns
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Playstation2/Sony Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is going to get a retread with high-def resolution support, coming out on the PS3 and Xbox360's download services sometime soon.

Apparently, they're using the Dreamcast port as a code base, not surprising since the 360's had a number of Dreamcast port retreads (see: Soul Calibur).

It features an optional visual filter that smooths out the game's graphics and new online modes, including Ranked Matches and the Quarter matches found in Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, which allows up to four people to watch and chat while two others fight. It also features widescreen support with the gameplay in a 4:3 field, but the viewing area expanded.

The best part? No unlockables in the game. All 56 characters are accessible from the get go.
Hooray for that last one. Unlocking that number of characters was a real pain.

Now if only Marvel would figure out that their best shot for a new game franchise is Marvel Vs Capcom 3...

 Mar 01, 2009 - 03:15 PM - by Michael
PS3 a "pain in the ass."
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Playstation2/Sony Game developers have it right - the PS3 is a "pain in the ass" to program for. And why? Because Sony wants it to be.

In one of the most shocking and bizarre comments ever made by a company chief, Hirai, the brains behind the entire PlayStation empire, explained to the Official PlayStation Magazine in its February issue that Sony didn't want to make it easy on developers.

"We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?" explained Hirai.
And this is why the PS3 is so far behind in the market this time... Hey Kaz, here's an idea. If everyone can do everything with the hardware, great, then we can get the developers working on better game mechanics and making the games more fun instead of wasting 99% of their time just trying to get the darn thing to work.

 Jul 02, 2008 - 07:25 PM - by Michael
Sony goofs
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's latest firmware update for the PS3 is apparently fraught with peril.

I am shocked. And amazed. (</sarcasm>)

Update even as story broke: they've pulled the update now. No word on recourse for people already affected.

There doesn't seem to be any real pattern as to which systems are affected. 60GB, 40GB, 20GB, and 80GB systems alike have all been afflicted with the issue. We've contacted Sony for word on the issue, but in the meantime several of the more tech savvy forum posters have determined how to fix the issue, if you're willing to yank out your console's hard disk drive.

Users found that removing and reformatting their PS3 hard drive and then reinserting it into the console would get the system to boot completely, after which it asks to reformat the disk again and everything runs normally. Of course they lose all of their saved games and have to redo all of their downloads, but I suppose that is better than sending in the system for a $150.00 repair.
Back up your data if you're going to risk it, folks.

 Apr 08, 2008 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Sony trying to massively push Blu-Ray
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Playstation2/Sony Having now "won" the next-gen format war through bribes and intimidation, the logical next step: Sony wants to try to eliminate the DVD.

First goal: make Blu-ray "50% of the market" by year's end.

If Ryoji means that Blu-Ray will account for 50% of the movies sold, then this plan seems delusional, unless prices for players and movies plummet -- which seems even less likely now that there's no competition. For example, the bestselling Blu-Ray movie at is 300, which sells for $30. The DVD version sells for $14.
Hey, nobody ever accused Sony of being sane.

 Feb 25, 2008 - 10:40 PM - by Michael
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Playstation2/Sony As regards the PSP: my analysis stands.

An out-of-the-box PSP? Junk. And that includes the newer model, even with the Skype support.

Once you put in custom firmware? Great. The ability to crunch down games to memory stick (and avoid the massive power drain of the drive); wonderful. The ability to put more media files on, in newer types? Superb.

Now if someone'd figure out a way to get the web browser to behave (like using the memory card for swap space), I'd be 100% happy.

 Feb 18, 2008 - 09:25 AM - by Michael
Format Wars Over
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Playstation2/Sony Look for Sony to start pushing the PS3 for all it's worth - the format war is over.

While it'll be nice to see that done with, Blu-Ray still has to beat DVD; with smaller screens and many legacy TVs, Blu-Ray just doesn't look any better than standard DVD. In fact, it doesn't tend to look a lot better until you get to 1080p, 60+ inch TV sets.

Sony will, of course, milk this for all it's worth. The licensing fees will be nuts.

 Oct 31, 2007 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Tony Hawk's Zombie Show
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Playstation2/Sony Having recently started in reviewing the newest Tony Hawk game (that'd be "Proving Ground"), I have to say this: they did a great job of making a game that completely falls into the uncanny valley.

The screenshots don't do a good job of showing it, but if you play the game / watch the cinematics, it's there - everything is "close" but not right, the eyes don't look right (or focus on what they're supposedly looking at), the heads don't move correctly... my first view of "Tony Hawk" in the game could be uncharitably compared to a Resident Evil zombie.

I mean... at least the zombie is supposed to look like it's the walking dead.

 Oct 08, 2007 - 01:55 PM - by Michael
Sony dumps back-compat
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Playstation2/Sony Sony has once again raised their middle finger to the gaming public and their customers, deciding to cut backwards compatibility completely from PS3's going forward.

If you didn't buy an early model, you're SOL.

"As we come to our first Christmas with the PlayStation 3 there's going to be about 65 games in the marketplace, so we feel now that there's sufficient choice in the marketplace and that we're still better off using that money that we'd put into backwards compatibility in either investing in new games or using that money to help support bringing the price down so that people can get into the franchise,"
Here's a better idea, Sony - quit being paranoid delusionals, stop wasting money on constant "updates" to break the PSP and PS3, make some decent games and make it so people don't feel they're buying a crippled box.

 Oct 03, 2007 - 09:03 AM - by Michael
Sony: *bleep* the consumer
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Playstation2/Sony Sony BMG have officially started to try to eliminate your right to space-shift music you purchased.

They say that moving music - say, from your CD to your PC or iPod or SONY PSP - is "stealing."

Gabriel asked if it was wrong for consumers to make copies of music which they have purchased, even just one copy. Pariser replied, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'," she said.
Sony sells a whole lot of devices - including the PS3 and PSP - that offer these capabilities. I guess they really are clueless.

 Sep 10, 2007 - 01:30 PM - by Michael
PS3 Back-compat gets worse
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's got a tool for new PS3 users - a "less noticed" bit on the new 80GB models is that they lack the hardware backwards compatibility setup of the original, going entirely software instead.

Joystiq finds a number of issues with well-known titles, including God of War.

Unsurprisingly, Curmudgeon finds that PS1 play is a lot better than PS2 play on the new model.

 May 29, 2007 - 12:06 PM - by Michael
An Open Letter to Treyarch
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Playstation2/Sony Dear Treyarch Guys,

I just want to state for the record: despite fair warning, I bought and played (rather, attempted to play) Spider-Man 3 for the PS3.

I have to say: Treyarch, you guys suck. You suck in ways I did not think possible.

See, Spider-Man 2 was an amazing game. Treyarch's coding and the open world was astounding. The combat system was breathtaking, the levels were well-done, and swinging around the world was a joyous experience just for fun, even if you didn't do a single mission, just for exploration and scenery's sake. And this was done on the modest hardware of the Xbox or PS2.

What did Treyarch give us for Spider-Man 3? Pure, unadulterated, grade-A manure. The combat system? Now it's essentially random. Push some buttons, watch Spidey flail around, bouncing around the screen with no control. Push the grab button, and watch him climb a wall instead... because redundant buttons that will be used in the same game situations are just bad game design.

Every now and then there's a button-push test: push the button flashing on the screen, quick. Same pattern every time, and no penalty for losing.

The camera sucks - it's like they took the lessons learned from the last camera, and tossed them out the window. This camera likes to be behind Spidey at all times, and if it's not EXACTLY behind him, it jumps around like mad trying to get there. Crawling on a ceiling? Good luck seeing downwards.

The new Spidey-Sense? Someone find the guy from X2:Wolverine's Revenge who slipped into Treyarch's design team and fire him. Quick. It was the worst idea you've come up with in a long time, and all it does is slow down the game.

And then there's the graphics. The PS3's supposed to be the most "advanced" console hardware to date. How is it, that with all this to work with, Treyarch gave us a game that is visually almost the same as Spidey 2 - blocky character models, reused textures, washed-out textures, water that doesn't splash or ripple when Spidey is swimming? And how is it that even with the tiny lessening of what little visual quality there is when switching to the Xbox360, the Xbox360 can maintain a decent framerate while Spidey 3 for the PS3 skips and stutters?

Treyarch - you guys officially managed to screw up. All you would have had to do was port the engine from Spidey 2 and throw in some new missions, and people probably would have been happy. Instead, you handed out a game that is a pale, pale, worthless shadow of its predecessor.

 May 23, 2007 - 11:30 AM - by Michael
PS3 to get upgrade in US?
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Playstation2/Sony Rumor has it that Sony may be switching to an 80 GB hard drive for the PS3:

Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console will come with a beefed up 80-gigabyte hard-disk drive in
South Korea, and that model is being considered for the U.S. and other markets, a company official said Wednesday.

The PlayStation 3, which competes against Nintendo Co.'s Wii and Microsoft Corp.'s
Xbox 360, now comes with a 60-gigabyte hard drive. A 20-gigabyte version, which has been discontinued in the United States, still sells in Japan and some other regions.

It might help, but I still would have preferred to just buy the 20-GB version and slap my own upgrade hard drive into it. You can get a 300-GB SATA drive for around $75 these days.

 May 08, 2007 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
PS3 production cost
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Playstation2/Sony Digitimes says the PS3 may see a drop in production cost; given the still-high cost to make them, don't expect a price drop any time soon. The savings are coming because the blu-ray laser shortage is ending.

 May 07, 2007 - 10:08 AM - by Michael
FFXII: The Retry
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Playstation2/Sony A couple weeks back, I got a PS3. Since it doesn't have a port for the older memory cards, I decided to simply start over on Final Fantasy XII: I'd already managed to pretty much screw up my game anyways, since I'd not paid attention to what I was doing and managed to get 5-6 plot points in while still under 20th level.

The replay's been going much better; I'm 68th level and well above the storyline monsters. However, there are still the "optional" bosses, and in traditional Final Fantasy style, to call them "cheesy" is putting it mildly; the restrictions the game slaps on some of them, or the one-shot-kill attacks they are given (along with a health bar five miles long), remind me of trying to kill Emerald Weapon with a 10-minute timer.

I haven't decided which I should do now; push on in the storyline, or go power-level somewhere to try to get those "optional" bosses finished. I think I'm only halfway through on the story, so I've got a way to go if I choose the first route.

 Apr 23, 2007 - 04:02 PM - by Michael
Square abandons Sony
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Playstation2/Sony Well, not entirely - but it looks like Final Fantasy 13 will not be exclusive to the PS3.

Another blow to Sony's potential for the PS3; every loss of an exclusive franchise weakens the console further.

 Apr 19, 2007 - 04:30 PM - by Michael
Sony hanging themselves
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Playstation2/Sony Metaphorically speaking, of course - they've ruled out a price cut on the PS3, and in so doing, just about killed any chance of it gaining anywhere close to decent market share.

At this point, they've shot themselves in both feet and they're working on aiming at their knees.

 Apr 16, 2007 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Sony's "not so compatible" DVDs
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Playstation2/Sony It appears Sony's done it again - some of their newer DVD products are not actually compatible with the DVD format and are not working correctly in even Sony DVD players:

Sony Tech: We know about this problem. Its our new copy protection that?s making these discs unplayable in some players including our own, we do not intend to change the copy protection. The only correction to this problem is a firmware update to your player. The electronics division know about this and should have given you this information.

Me: OK send me the firmware update.

Sony Tech: We do not have one as yet.

 Mar 13, 2007 - 04:19 PM - by Michael
Nobody wants the PS3?
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's got some troubles, and two outlets offer up opinions: CNet's Crave blog examines lack of consumer love for the PS3, while Gamespot offers some advice on how Sony could get the customer goodwill back.

Here's a hint: your customers aren't the enemy, Sony. Open things up, rather than being closed-off like you've been with the PSP, and customers will come back. Think how many PSPs you would have sold if people were able to load what they wanted from day one, rather than being scared to death that your "firmware updates" would break their games?

 Mar 13, 2007 - 03:17 PM - by Michael
PSP2 coming?
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Playstation2/Sony Kotaku - despite the myriad Sony denials - thinks that a new PSP version is coming soon.

That way, Sony could burn what little goodwill still remains for current PSP owners, apparently.

 Mar 09, 2007 - 09:00 AM - by Michael
FFXII Postmortem
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Playstation2/Sony Another GDC bit, this one covering why it took so long for Final Fantasy XII to come out and what they were doing all that time:

As a result, Final Fantasy games require a lengthy development process, and this presents the very real threat of being obsolete by the time it ships. To combat this the team allocates its resources with a heavy emphasis on art. From the chart being shown, the breakdown appeared to be roughly 70% devoted to art, 20% to game design, and only around 10% to engineering. The thinking follows that while the technology may change, by creating the very highest caliber art possible, it enables them to move forward with any advances on the fly.

 Mar 01, 2007 - 05:20 PM - by Michael
Kotaku blackballed by Sony
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Playstation2/Sony Kotaku have seen Sony make good on threats to blackball them for running a story about the future of the PS3.

So, it is for this reason, that we will be canceling all further interviews for Kotaku staff at GDC and will be dis-inviting you to our media event next Tuesday. Until we can find a way to work better together, information provided to your site will only be that found in the public forum.

Again, I take absolutely no joy in sending you this note, but given the situation you have put me into, I have no choice.
There goes another 2 months before I even think of picking up a PS3. At a garage sale.

[UPDATE:] after lots of internet furor, they kissed and made up. Not that Sony had much of a choice... apparently they're finally learning not to burn customer goodwill every chance they get.

 Feb 23, 2007 - 09:17 AM - by Michael
Sony shows middle finger to Europe
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's announced that the European, and later US, revisions of the PS3 will be less backwards compatible than previously advertised.

"The backwards compatibility is not going to be as good as the U.S. and Japan models," a Sony spokesman said.

Kwiatowski said gamers with a PS2 would have to hold onto their device to play their current collection.
Why not just hire someone to stand outside the store and kick people in the crotch? Or push them down to the ground?

Seriously, Sony. This is why your popularity is plummeting.

 Feb 02, 2007 - 12:34 PM - by Michael
USA finally gets Rondo of Blood
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Playstation2/Sony Castlevania's coming to the PSP - in a 3-pack deal featuring a remake and two older titles.

That's right - Rondo of Blood in remade 3D and classic 2D, and Symphony of the Night added to the mix.

I can't wait.

 Feb 01, 2007 - 11:51 AM - by Michael
PS3 price to drop?
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Playstation2/Sony Apparently, even Sony can eventually be hit over the head with a cluebat enough times for it to stick; they're considering dropping the PS3's price tag.

Analysts and game fans are watching to see when PS3 prices may drop again, which would depend on its proliferation in the market and cuts in production costs. Sometimes a price cut is timed with the introduction of blockbuster game software, expected to boost machine sales.

Sony has a lot riding on PS3's success, but consumers seem to be snatching up its rival Wii, which costs about half as much as the cheaper, $500 version of the PS3 and comes with a wand that players swing around like a bat, fishing pole or conductor baton, depending on the game.
Hey Sony - notice something?

Yeah. The PS3 is gorgeous, but your games are crap. Meanwhile, the Gamecube's graphics aren't as pretty, but the games are fun.

 Jan 25, 2007 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Sony vs Westinghouse
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's getting rough, and so's Westinghouse - each are blaming each other for the PS3 and Westinghouse TV's not getting along, even when the real reason is rather obvious: hdmi/hdcp is just a broken protocol.

Popular Mechanics discovered the problem when we first tested the PS3 and noticed that occasionally the image on the screen of our Westinghouse 1080p test set would blink intermittently and play no sound. After a lengthy investigation last week, we learned that the problem occurred because, for reasons now unknown, the devices were unable to exchange their HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) key, an encryption code which prevents unauthorized recording of an HDTV signal.
Another reason not to buy a PS3, it seems.

 Jan 08, 2007 - 01:36 PM - by Michael
PSP and the Golden Firmware?
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Playstation2/Sony Amid the release of internet guru Dark Alex's latest update, I thought I'd offer a thought.

When I bought the PSP, it was for its potential. Time and time again, I've seen Sony wasting that potential. The PSP has an absolutely beautiful screen, a good control layout, and a decently fast processor. The memory stick is Sony, sure, but with the ability to stick a 4 GB card into it, I've seen no problems. If they could expand that to 8 GB or even 16, it'd be even better, but that will probably work out just fine as memory sizes increase in general.

But what does Sony do with it? They cripple it. They want to lock down everything on it, so that all it exists for is to play music files and act as a rearview mirror for already pathetic PS3 titles.

I'm running 3.03 OE-A firmware. And you know what, Sony? I'm happier with this device than I've ever been. You could have made a mint with this device if you opened it up, let people do what they wanted. They would have flown off the shelves, instead of trickling like they do today. The utility to convert PSX titles to run on it? You could have coded that. You could have released it. You could have opened up your online store so that people could buy the titles directly, instead of trying to force people to buy a $600 hunk of junk in order to get the "privelege" of buying 8 year old titles for their mobile unit.

You lose, Sony. Now wake up and start paying attention to what your customers want, rather than trying to tell us what you think we want.

 Jan 04, 2007 - 10:53 AM - by Michael
PSP = actually useful
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Playstation2/Sony 1.75 years ago, I bought a PSP.

At the time, I was sorely disappointed. The games released for the system were, well, crap. The battery life? Not what I had expected. UMD movies were a joke.

For 1.5 years approximately, I spent my time actively avoiding getting the firmware updated, because the one thing it was good for - homebrew - Sony kept trying to kill.

However, in the past few months, that's changed. The one game I own for the purpose of playing on UMD I can actually use. Homebrew still works.

And as of the past few days, the true promise of the console - which is as a Portable Playstation - is realized. I can actually take my old library of Playstation titles, games I already bought, and convert them to run on the PSP.

The sad part? That Sony would still want to stop people from using product they have already bought (both the PSP and the games) together.

Boo to Sony. I give you no credit for the fun I'm now having with my PSP. With games I bought years ago.

 Dec 13, 2006 - 04:19 PM - by Michael
Sony Busted
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's put forth about as asinine an 'apology' as I can think of:

Busted. Nailed. Snagged. As many of you have figured out (maybe our speech was a little too funky fresh???), Peter isn't a real hip-hop maven and this site was actually developed by Sony. Guess we were trying to be just a little too clever. From this point forward, we will just stick to making cool products, and use this site to give you nothing but the facts on the PSP.

Sony Computer Entertainment America
What's sad is: they actually thought the previous junk would work, and trick people into buying a product they keep trying to knowingly break.

[UPDATE]: looks like the site's gone entirely dark. Sony must have figured out that this was such an embarassment they didn't want it hanging around.

 Dec 13, 2006 - 09:51 AM - by Michael
FTC unhappy with Sony
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Playstation2/Sony More fallout from Sony's fake "viral marketing" ad campaigns: the FTC's stepping in and demanding disclosure.

Also, it appears has vanished into the ether.

The FTC said it would investigate cases where there is a relationship between the endorser of a product and the seller that is not disclosed and could affect the endorsement. The FTC staff said it would go after violators on a case-by-case basis. Consequences could include a cease-and-desist order, fines and civil penalties ranging from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. Engle said the agency had not brought any cases against word-of-mouth marketers.

The Guardian Blog also has some info on the story.

Bad Sony, No Cookie!

Oh yeah: Penny Arcade nailed this one.

[UPDATE:] looks like the mindless marketroids from Sony have pulled the video: click the link to it and you get a "video removed by user" tag. On the other hand, the video re-mixed with "Yakety Sax" (the Benny Hill theme music) is pretty funny.

 Dec 12, 2006 - 11:28 AM - by Michael
More fake Sony hype
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's at it again - this time, caught faking "grassroots" support for the PSP:

The lies don?t end there, fake comments have been posted at Kotaku only linking to the Youtube video to increase its pageviews: ?Good call on DJ max. Regarding music: if changes were to be made for westerners, this guy should be considered: - LOLZ?
They should stick to graffiti and other petty misdemeanors...

 Nov 17, 2006 - 09:17 AM - by Michael
Artificial Hype
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Playstation2/Sony Just on a lark, I called a few businesses yesterday, and honestly considered the thought of getting up around 3 or 4 in the morning and heading to the neighborhood Target store to get in line for a PS3.

Passing by at 8:30 PM, seeing 5 tents and a lawn chair set up and knowing they were only getting 6 units, I went home and slept instead.

However, it got me thinking: at what point does a business's decision to hold back stock, or engineered incompetence in not being able to produce the item, in hopes of creating the narrative of the "console that won't stay on the shelves" over Christmas, become harmful to them?

I'm speaking, right now, of Sony. And at the moment, Sony's past goodwill in the gaming industry has been burned up quite a bit. A few years ago, the Sony fanboys were everywhere; there were launch parties for the PSP, arguments about how the PS2 somehow could still compete with the Xbox360 and Gamecube graphically (it can't, especially on larger-screen displays), and general positive attitudes towards Sony.

Since then? Sony has burned tons of goodwill. The PSP has been a nightmare; at least 50% of all PSP owners deliberately avoided buying games (and getting forced firmware upgrades) for fear of not being able to run home-brewed software on their PSP. Say what you will for Sony's claims that their firmware updates contain "security patches", when hundreds of thousands (or more) of your install base are actively avoiding your "patches" because they consider it to be breaking the console they purchased, you've got a problem.

UMD movies turned out to be a bust as people rightly worked out the cost, realized they couldn't be played on a normal TV as well, and left them sitting on the shelf; two years after Sony created the UMD standard, even Sony's wholly-owned subsidiaries aren't bothering to put new movies on the format.

Meanwhile, we have the PS3. In perspective: the PS2's launch in the US had 900,000 consoles available. People stood in line, but for the most part, they got their console. For this launch, Sony's mailed out 250,000 or less of the PS3. Stores that in the PS2 days got 60+ units, and even on the supposedly "scarce" Xbox360 launch got 25-30, are getting 6 or 8 of the PS3. Gamers who can't buy one are going to feel grumpy towards Sony. The third-party game makers have to be feeling the gut punch too; while they've been making games for the PS3 based on Sony's rosy predictions on how many units will sell, and probably out of worry Sony might do something to impact their PS2 options as well, people who don't own a console have a tendency not to buy games for that console, which means that the PS3's launch titles simply won't be big sellers this holiday season. If it weren't for the fact that most PS3 third-party titles also have an Xbox360, Wii, or even PS2 port as well, I'm willing to bet that the publishers would be very anxious.

The narrative Sony wants to see, of course, is that "everybody wants" the PS3; they are willing to stand in lines for it, willing to fight for it, and when the second, third, fourth rounds of shipping come in that it's still flying off the shelves as "the holiday's must-have toy." Unfortunately, the flip side of this is that everyone who can't get one will either wait (hurting the retailers' sales) or more likely, buy something else (and that's likely to be a competitor's product) instead.

Have I mentioned the Wii, coming out this same weekend, that Nintendo's shipping over a million units just on launch, and that it costs just $250, leaving a substantial monetary amount for players to spend on the games to go with it?

Scott Ransoomair parodied this quite well, and the Penny Arcade folks are happy to chime in as well. After looking at everything, and especially as a service to you guys who read this site and will be looking for reviews on the games, I'll probably bite the bullet and buy a PS3 soon.

But it won't be today. And even if it were, for every customer like me who says "I can wait", Sony's image problem gets bigger, and their competitors get more of a head-start into the market.

 Nov 15, 2006 - 10:43 AM - by Michael
PS Magazine to close
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Playstation2/Sony Ziff Davis is going to close out Official Playstation Magazine citing dropping circulation numbers. GameSetWatch has the listing on industrywide circulation numbers these days.

Note that GameInformer has close to 2 million, but then remember: they hand out a subscription when you get one of Gamestop's discount cards, so all that really shows is how many people would like the 10% discount on used games / 10% bump on trade in value that the cards are worth.

 Nov 14, 2006 - 12:36 PM - by Michael
Uzumaki Chronicles Ships
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Playstation2/Sony Press release and some screens, generously sent to us by Namco Bandai, to let us know that Uzumaki Chronicles - the latest Naruto game - has shipped out:
SANTA CLARA, Calif., (November 14, 2006) ? Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. announced today that ?NARUTO(TM): Uzumaki Chronicles(TM)? is now available in retail stores throughout North America. Based on the hit animated TV series NARUTO from VIZ Media, ?NARUTO: Uzumaki Chronicles? is available exclusively for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system. Locked deep inside Naruto, a rambunctious orphan, is the powerful Nine-Tailed Fox Spirit. By harnessing the power of this demon through rigorous training and intense challenges, Naruto aspires to become Hokage, the most powerful ninja of all.

?Numerous customization options provide players the opportunity to harness the power of the Nine-Tailed Fox Spirit in a way never before seen in a Naruto video game," said Naruo Uchida, Vice President of Localization at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. ?Fans have been clamoring for even more intense Naruto action, and the original storyline of ?NARUTO: Uzumaki Chronicles? delivers a unique playing experience within the familiar world of Naruto.?

Exploring intricately detailed 3D environments, Naruto must embark on a journey to save the Hidden Leaf Village, from an impending threat. By utilizing a unique partner system with familiar characters such as Sasuke, Choji and Kakashi, players must work as a team with the other Leaf Ninja to complete story-driven missions. By collecting special chips and plates that affect speed, strength and stamina, players can customize Naruto?s fighting abilities in virtually limitless ways -- each one unlocking new skills and abilities. Players can fight through hordes of enemies up-close with lethal ninjutsu, or rely on long-range weapons, such as exploding cards, to complete missions and unravel the enemies? secret plots. Mini-games, countless fighting abilities for Naruto and various unlockable abilities will leave aspiring ninja thirsting for more.

First introduced into the Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine in Japan in 1999, NARUTO -- by revered creator Masashi Kishimoto -- quickly became Japan?s most popular ninja manga. In 2000, NARUTO was expanded into a series of graphic novels with more than 66 million copies sold in Japan. NARUTO consistently ranks as one of the most popular titles serialized in VIZ Media?s SHONEN JUMP monthly manga anthology and one of the top graphic novel titles (also published by VIZ Media) in the United States. VIZ Media was named the Master Licensor in February 2005, obtaining the television, home video and merchandising rights to NARUTO for North America and Latin America.

And the screenshots, which look fantastic:

 Nov 08, 2006 - 05:06 PM - by Michael
FFXII the best PS2 could ever look?
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Playstation2/Sony Kikizo have some insight into how the Final Fantasy XII programmers made the game look like it does, and say this is the limit of the PS2's capabilities.

Want more, you need more hardware.

The first thing you notice upon looking at the game is how good it looks. The team has had a long time to fiddle with the graphics, so much so that there was not much more the developers could have squeezed out of Sony's box.

"The graphics were created using the power of the PlayStation 2 fully," Akihiko Yoshida, character designer for Final Fantasy XII, told us. "We believe that this is probably the limit of how beautiful the graphics can get on the PlayStation 2 console."

 Nov 06, 2006 - 11:12 AM - by Michael
A little PS3 here or there?
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Playstation2/Sony Gamasutra's got a talk with Sony's new PR guy; pity what he says can't stop the PS3 from sucking.

GS: Was there any reluctance on the Sony side given that you?d worked on both the 3DO and the Dreamcast?

DK: (laughs) You know what, I?d like to think we did excellent, excellent PR for those guys. We got a lot of coverage. With the Dreamcast, we got excellent coverage for it. But at the end of the day, those systems didn?t fail because of bad PR, they failed because they didn?t get the third party publisher support, or the retailer support. I mean you can ask anybody and they?ll tell you that the Dreamcast was a superior system.

 Nov 03, 2006 - 09:14 AM - by Michael
Blu-Ray having serious problems
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Playstation2/Sony More pain for Sony: Blu-Ray is struggling on takeoff.

In addition to the no-show, they already cut the PS3 shipments in half due to lack of drives.

 Nov 01, 2006 - 02:42 PM - by Michael
PS3 = "Power Hungry"?
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Playstation2/Sony The Playstation 3 might be the most power hungry gaming console ever; reports of overheating don't help either, even though Sony denies they happened.

but early reports suggest that the PlayStation 3 scoffs 380 watts, more than eight times as much power as the PlayStation 2 (45 watts), and more than twice as much power as the Xbox 360 (160 watts). So, while an Intel Core 2 Duo PC with high-end graphics card chews politely on a 160 watt entr?e, the PlayStation 3 gorges itself, splashing electricity about like a toddler with a bucket of fizzy drink.
But will it double as a hairdryer?

 Oct 31, 2006 - 11:51 AM - by Michael
Japan loses 20,000 PS3's?
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Playstation2/Sony IGN UK says that Japan might only get 80,000 PS3's rather than the originally promised 100,000 on launch day.


What's worse than 100,000 units at launch? How about 80,000? The Nikkei Keizai Shimbun morning edition reports today that due to component shortages, Sony will have only 80,000 units ready for the PS3's 11/11 Japanese launch. This cuts back by a fifth the initial launch target of 100,000.

The lack of digits in that number is even more staggering when you consider that the PS2 sold out of nearly a million units when it launched back in March of 2000.
They say they're thinking of lining up a week before launch to buy one. I've got the opposite plan: don't bother buying one at all, until either they lower the price or get them out in decent numbers.

 Oct 31, 2006 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
Sony investigated...
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Playstation2/Sony More bad news for Sony: the eyes of the Justice Department are on them in the RAM pricing scandals of a couple years back:

Earlier this month, U.S.-based chipmaker Cypress Semiconductor Corp. said its SRAM operations were also under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

A separate DOJ investigation into price-fixing among DRAM companies has so far resulted in more than a dozen charges against individuals and more than $731 million in fines against Samsung Electronics Co., Elpida Memory Inc., Infineon Technologies AG and Hynix Semiconductor Inc.

 Oct 31, 2006 - 09:26 AM - by Michael
Games I won't play
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Playstation2/Sony I'm not buying Final Fantasy XII today.

Yes, that's right. Not bothering with this one. I know its Gamerankings score. I know the various blogs and magazines are paid a pretty penny by Square/Enix to give them glowing reviews, and I know the fanbois would give 90% to a remake of Who Framed Roger Rabbit if Square/Enix was involved.

For me? Not interested. Gambit system bores me, not interested in much else of the game... feels like a Final Fantasy VIII problem all over again.

Come to think of it, the fanbois gave that 90% too even though it was crap.

 Oct 26, 2006 - 01:10 PM - by Michael
Sony: "no regrets" for losing rumble
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Playstation2/Sony Eurogamer has Sony defending the loss of rumble in their PS3 controller:

"Not at all," he told Eurogamer's Rob Fahey recently, although to be fair he was talking about whether Sony has had any second thoughts about ditching rumble. "I think that the next generation interfaces that can be created built on SIXAXIS motion sensitivity give tremendous gameplay benefits that far outweigh a reactive vibration function.

 Oct 24, 2006 - 10:47 AM - by Michael
Lik-Sang killed by Sony
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's earned the title "Evil Empire" today; their heavy-handed court tactics have driven renowned importer Lik-Sang out of business.

Furthermore, Sony have failed to disclose to the London High Court that not only the world wide gaming community in more than 100 countries relied on Lik-Sang for their gaming needs, but also Sony Europe's very own top directors repeatedly got their Sony PSP hard or software imports in nicely packed Lik-Sang parcels with free Lik-Sang Mugs or Lik-Sang Badge Holders, starting just two days after Japan's official release, as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action). The list of PSP related Sony Europe orders reads like the who's who of the videogames industry, and includes Ray Maguire (Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Alan Duncan (UK Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Chris Sorrell (Creative Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Rob Parkin (Development Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited), just to name a few.
If anyone wants to start a Sony boycott over this, feel free...

 Oct 17, 2006 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
25 GB not enough?
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Playstation2/Sony Looks like Sony's launch titles are already filling up an entire Blu-Ray disc.

Sad, really.

 Oct 12, 2006 - 09:12 AM - by Michael
Little glowing snails?
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Playstation2/Sony Looks like the US might get together with Spain after snails are showing exposure to radiation from some lost nuclear weapons.

The hydrogen bombs fell near the fishing village of Palomares in 1966 after a mid-air collision between a bomber and a refuelling craft, in which seven of 11 crewmen died.


Spanish authorities say the appearance of higher than normal levels of radiation in snails and other creatures shows there may be dangerous levels of plutonium and uranium below ground, and a further clean up could be necessary.
The snails will be shipped to Bikini Bottom to live with Spongebob, naturally.

 Sep 25, 2006 - 01:35 PM - by Michael
PS3 to sink Sony even if successful?
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Playstation2/Sony Electric Sistahood think that even if the PS3 wins, Sony could lose taking a bath on the console sales.

Sony is looking at a potential for demise it has never faced before. With the failure of its TV and music electronics businesses and its up-and-down movie business, it has relied more and more on the video game business to keep profits up.

But now even its video game business can't save the company. In fact, it's the video game business that could put the whole company right down the toilet.

Here's a story of a company in trouble. Sure, you think you could help it by buying a new PS3 at the end of the year. But purchasing a PS3 this year could be the very thing that pushes Sony over the edge.

 Sep 18, 2006 - 03:18 PM - by Michael
Sony and Folding@Home
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's pulled an interesting trick for the PS3 - they've come up with a Folding@Home client.

Supposedly, it'll take your PS3's "unused" time and run the client, just like the screensaver PC versions do.

"It has so much horsepower and, of course, when you're playing a game all that horsepower will be used for the game. But there are a lot of times during the day when somebody's not playing the game," said Sony's Richard Marks. "It seemed like a good idea to be able to use that horsepower for something else that is, in this case, good for mankind."

Sony worked with Stanford University's Folding@home project to harness the PS3's technology to help study how proteins are formed in the human body and how they sometimes form incorrectly.
Of course, you're still paying for the power to run it, instead of turning it off like you'd expect to do with a console.

 Sep 06, 2006 - 12:47 PM - by Michael
PS3 Europe Delay
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Playstation2/Sony Sony hits another snag - according to Hexus, gamers in Europe will most definitely not see the PS3 until sometime in 2007.

The reason? Sony can't get the Blu-Ray diodes manufactured quickly enough.

Their editor also takes a shot:

When I first saw this official announcement, I wasn?t in the least bit surprised.

We?ve known for some time that the PS3 launch was going to be problematic given the information being fed to us by industry sources.

But even without that information, it doesn?t take a genius to see that there?s trouble in the Sony camp.
Getting worse by the day. We know Sony's going to bull along, but unless they come up with something amazing, this could be the end of their long dominance in the gaming arena. Hexus wonder whether Sony fanboys will start heading to the 360 or Wii over this: I think they already are.

 Sep 05, 2006 - 12:37 PM - by Michael
Another PS3 Cutback
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Playstation2/Sony Another cutback for the Sony PS3 - it turns out $600 doesn't even get you an HDMI cable, just the port itself.

SCE UK declined to comment on whether the 60GB PS3 will also ship without a HDMI cable here. However, sources close to Sony speculate that Europe will follow the US example by not including a cable in the box, due to the fact that the majority of buyers won't yet own a HDMI-ready TV - and those that do will already have a HDMI lead anyway.
TV check... HDMI port in place. HDMI Cable? Not found.

It's looking more around $800 for a PS3 once I add in controllers, HDMI cable, memory card adapter for PS/PS2 games... argh.

Sony needs a swift kick in the rear, or they're going to find themselves abandoned.

 Aug 30, 2006 - 05:00 PM - by Michael
The upcoming downfall of Sony?
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Playstation2/Sony Wired looks at how the PS3 keeps stumbling, and how it could affect Sony:

Delays are nothing new in tech, but Sony seemed intent on making the worst of it. The crowd was kept waiting nearly an hour. Then Kaz Hirai, who heads PlayStation in North America, took the stage to declare, "The next generation doesn't start until we say it does!" He meant it as a dig at Microsoft, but to gamers who'd been salivating for a year, his words were like a bitch slap. The demos that followed were no more impressive than those the year before. Finally, PlayStation chief Ken Kutaragi came forward to make the one announcement everyone wanted to hear: the price. $600 for the high-end model? The room gasped, then fell silent. Almost immediately, the blogosphere lit up with denunciations: Sony has turned its back on gamers. The PS3 will be a failure. Kutaragi and Hirai are idiots.
Yeah, that's about right. They are idiots.

They've even managed to convince hardcore gamers that the PS3 won't be worth the price.

 Aug 29, 2006 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Will you buy PS3 at launch?
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Playstation2/Sony Sony just got kicked in the balls: Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tycho are not going to buy at launch.

And even worse: the performance of the machine is once again being downgraded.

We can't tell you why the GPU lost nearly 10% of it's clock, it could be an NVidia screwup, or it could be Sony/Cell. Either way, it just became much less of an overwhelming value, but you get a DRM infected drive for 'free' either way.
I'm leaning toward the Gabe/Tycho approach myself - unless the PS3 has some amazingly mind-blowing great game, they need to lose about $300 off the premium unit's price tag before I want to open my wallet.

 Aug 22, 2006 - 09:00 AM - by Michael
PS3 GUI's been seen before
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Playstation2/Sony Ouch for Sony - looks like for the PS3 GUI they've just reused the PSP GUI.

No surprises, since they're trying to use their failed gizmo as an "extra" to sell PS3's.

 Aug 16, 2006 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PSP - no price drop
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Playstation2/Sony 1up has the news - Sony denies any PSP price drops in the works meaning that the PSP will, over a year after it debuted, cost more than the brand-new Nintendo Wii and have a much sadder set of games.

So much for the PSP. I'm glad I downgraded mine back to firmware 1.5 and left it there.

 Aug 09, 2006 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
"Defining" the PSP
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Playstation2/Sony Rocky Mountain News looks at Sony trying to "define" the PSP and they're still blatantly missing the point.

Koller says Sony is in the process of trying to determine how best to deliver digital content, like music and movies, directly to the PSP. But Sony ? which also operates movie studios and music labels ? has always been hyper-diligent about protecting content from piracy, and that issue remains the chief hang-up.

?A big issue for us has been the (Digital Rights Management) and how we can secure that content to the Memory Stick,? Koller said. ?The studios and the labels don?t want their content floating around.?
Words of wisdom to Sony:

-Customers HATE DRM.
-Customers want to use their device for what they want to use it for.
-When customers don't want to buy games for fear it'll force an "upgrade" that breaks something else on their PSP, you lose.

 Aug 07, 2006 - 05:06 PM - by Michael
PS3 and old saves: get out your wallet
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Playstation2/Sony Sony hits you again - in order to use the backwards compatibility to the fullest and keep your old save games working, you'll have to shell out for an adapter.

The FAQ offers no further details on the peripheral, but given that console manufacturers make most of their dosh out of game and peripheral sales, you can probably expect to fork over something above and beyond a tenner.

 Jul 19, 2006 - 09:03 AM - by Michael
PS3 finally in production?
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Playstation2/Sony Word from Forbes that the PS3 may finally be in production mode.

Still having sticker shock on the price, though.

 Jul 14, 2006 - 12:48 PM - by Michael
Cell processor details
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Playstation2/Sony Gamasutra hits us with some real data on what the Cell is like and more importantly, what it's like to program for.

And some scary but important news: IBM's "Octopiler", which will translate C-based programming to Cell code, isn't done yet. That might explain why the PS3 keeps getting pushed back...

 Jul 12, 2006 - 09:55 PM - by Michael
Sony to lock your game to your console?
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's come up with a patent to lock your games down to a single console.

Imagine: you can't take it to a friend's house. You can't loan it to them. You can't even use your game in a new console if yours breaks.

Documents filed in April 2000 with the U.S. Patent Office describe a method of copy protection by which the game system would verify a disc as legitimate, register the disc to that particular game console, then wipe out verification data so the disc would be rendered unreadable in other PlayStations.

"Since only titles for which legitimate software has actually been purchased and which have been initially registered in the machine table can be used, resale (so-called used software purchase) after purchase by an end user becomes practically impossible," according to the patent documents.
Imagine the new slogan of gamers: "Friends don't let friends buy Sony."

 Jul 10, 2006 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
What you can get for the price of PS3
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Playstation2/Sony Brittlefish look at relative costs of buying the PS3 or lots of other stuff.

The following is a list of some other things (mostly gaming-related) that you could spend your hard-earned $600 (plus or minus $50) on instead of the top-of-the-line PS3 (there is a crippled $500 model ? wow, that?s cheap). Sure, the PS3 will be a great machine when it comes out (it had better be), and it?s ?future- proof? (whatever that means), but will owning it be better than owning any of the ?bundles? we put together below?
Once again, when thinking of getting the PS3, my wallet is cringing.

 Jul 07, 2006 - 09:27 AM - by Michael
New PSP ads racist?
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Playstation2/Sony I've been trying to stay off this, but since Guardian Blogs looked at, here's a bit on the PSP ads controversy.

It's questionable, however, whether the world is ready to explore themes of race and domination in the context of a videogame console ad. Although not as wilfully controversial as Benetton's infamous 'United Colours' campaign, many viewers will be unwilling or unable to decode the imagery until it becomes about two different colours of plastic.
Personally, I don't think the ads are racist. Stupid, perhaps. Needlessly and/or desperately trying to somehow make the PSP into a "sexy" device and play that up, absolutely.

Showing how completely clueless Sony are? Almost certainly.

But racist? Sorry. I don't buy that one.

 Jul 05, 2006 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PSP firmware reversion again possible
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Playstation2/Sony If you've got a Sony PSP, which was not originally shipped as version 2.5 or later firmware (and isn't their new board design, the TA-082) then you've got a good chance at being able to revert back to version 1.5 firmware thanks to a hack released over the weekend.

Someone's also created a utility to help the process go a bit smoother.

Now, there's always the possibility of "bricking" your PSP with this, so be ready to face that risk if you try it.

 May 20, 2006 - 03:57 PM - by Michael
UMD a dying format
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Playstation2/Sony More bad news for Sony, courtesy of Kotaku: the UMD movie format is completely dying at retail.

Furthermore, in a demonstration of gamers' own schizophrenia, "one-third of PSP owners who don't own non-videogame UMD content say that they are likely to purchase a UMD in the "near future", but on the other hand don't really care about the format that the content is delivered on." So they're likely to buy UMD content in the future... as long as it's not actually released on UMD? Huh?
I can tell you what my PSP did and does. Prior to the forced firmware "update" from Sony, it played NES games and what anime (25 minute episodes) or music I put on it. Now, it plays anime and music. And not a single damn one of them is on UMD. I can buy the DVD's for cheaper and if I'm sitting down for 2 hours somewhere, I'm doing something better than watching a movie on my PSP.

 May 18, 2006 - 11:25 AM - by Michael
Immersion v. Sony: "We've won"
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Playstation2/Sony Immersion's Prez gave Gamasutra an interview regarding their lawsuit against Sony for using force feedback (Immersion's got a patent) and the PS3's dropping of the tech:

?If what they?re saying is in fact the reason why [the controller will not have vibration], I?ve offered them numerous solutions to the problem,? Viegas said in an interview Tuesday. ?I don?t believe it?s a very difficult problem to solve, and Immersion has experts that would be happy to solve that problem for them.?

The solutions offered by Immersion, however, would hinge upon Sony?s acceptance of the current litigation, and no word has been given as to Sony?s plans on the matter. Viegas says that Immersion ?would have no qualms helping Sony with their problem, if indeed it is a problem,? but the company would have to cease its appeal against the current injunction.

 May 17, 2006 - 01:47 PM - by Michael
$500 PS3 only "mostly" upgradeable
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Playstation2/Sony Gamesindustry has the word - you can add memory card adapters and wi-fi, but not HDMI.

"Both configurations will support bluetooth PS3 controllers. The only non-upgradeable feature of the 20GB configuration will be the HDMI output."

This confirms comments made by Sony's Phil Harrison in a recent interview with, where he stated: "You can upgrade to whatever size of drive you like. You can put in any drive that you like - it is a computer, after all."

 May 15, 2006 - 05:21 PM - by Michael
Sony's self-destruct?
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Playstation2/Sony According to CoolTechZone, Sony are heading for a Sega-style self-destruct.

PS3 is doomed, thanks to Sony?s ignorant attitude. None of us had the chance to seriously evaluate PS3 and the experience it has to offer. It?s impossible without a series of titles and an official product at hand, but from where we stand, Sony?s damaging attitude is all it takes to diminish the value of PS3. Kutaragi may be right in defending PS3; after all, he can?t criticize his own product, but instead of exciting users with valuable features and winning them over so they can start "saving," Kutaragi makes bearish statements in response to Nintendo?s announcement and Microsoft?s take on Sony.
It's an interesting analysis of the state of Sony's ego, surely.

 May 09, 2006 - 09:48 AM - by Michael
PS3 to "launch", cost arm and leg
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Playstation2/Sony Word on the PS3 "launch" is out and the word isn't good.

Bad:$499 for the small model, $599 for the large.
Worse:The $499 version is crippled and lacks features too, not just hard drive size.

The Guardian reacts much as I have: like a punch to the face.

Elsewhere the conference did at least give us some hard facts. The launch date - 17th November in Europe and US - and price - 499 and 599 euros, probably subtract 100 off each for the eventual price in pounds. Two prices you say? Yes, like the 360, the PS3 comes in two flavours, one with a 20 GB hard drive and the other with a 60 GB. And like the 360 this is only likely to confuse the consumer and annoy developers who have to aim for the lower spec.

 Apr 20, 2006 - 10:30 AM - by Michael
PS2 Price Drop
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's dropped the price of a PS2 down to $129 in preparation for the PS3's eventual (next year most likely) launch.

If you need one (who doesn't have one?) now's as good a time as any.

 Mar 31, 2006 - 09:41 AM - by Michael
Wal-mart unhappy with UMD
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Playstation2/Sony Painful news for Sony - Wal-Mart is very unhappy with sales of UMD movies.

When I considered that they cost more than a DVD, that I can use freely available software to pare down a DVD onto my memory stick, and that the DVD will play on my TV, that explained really quick why I don't keep many UMD discs around. Especially since anime on the UMD is dubbed, not subtitled.

 Mar 27, 2006 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
PSOne out of production
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Playstation2/Sony You can still buy them and the secondary market won't die anytime quick (though most old Playstation titles are now bargain-bin fare at Gamestop and similar stores), but Sony's officially not making any more PSOne's.

And of course, you can probably buy them all again for your PSP:

Even if original PlayStation systems and games are becoming slim pickings in the US, gamers likely won't be going without for long. As part of its PlayStation Business Briefing 2006, Sony last week announced that it is working on an emulator that would allow gamers to play PS titles on the PSP. Details haven't been released yet, but Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi said the games would be digitally distributed.

 Mar 23, 2006 - 09:09 AM - by Michael
PS3 to be region-free (sort of)
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Playstation2/Sony For the games, but not the movies, Sony will finally do away with region coding as of the PS3.

Most likely, it's an attempt to make modchips seem less legal by removing the "but it's necessary to play imported titles" defense.

The system is, amongst other things, hoped to help combat piracy - many import fans "chip" their consoles with region-free mod chips to play import games, and while that desire has some legitimacy, it also opens the doors for pirates to release illegal copies of games. (Funnily enough, it's most often easier to run illegal games on a console than it is to run legit games from other countries due to the way most mod chips work, leading to a slippery slope for importers hoping to stay legit but finding the road difficult to maneuver.)

 Mar 20, 2006 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
Katamari Team Disbanded
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Playstation2/Sony Gamasutra reports that No more katamari damacy games are coming, at least not from the team that made them.

The designer's moving on - and even has complaints about having to make We (Heart) Katamari in the first place.

This may not be a surprise for most, as series director and creator Keita Takahashi has publicly stated that the idea of building a franchise off of the original game was never his intention, and that his involvement in the game's sequel was forced on him by publisher Namco's willingness to green-light a sequel with or without his involvement.

"I didn't want players to be disappointed so I decided to take part," Takahashi told the BBC last November. "There are fun things in the game, though I am not happy with all of it."

 Mar 16, 2006 - 09:00 AM - by Michael
Reacting to the PS3 delay
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Playstation2/Sony My best guess is 99% of the industry saw this coming a mile away, but hey - Gamedaily takes some reactions from professionals.

Yeah. They saw it coming a mile away too.

Merrill Lynch analyst Hitoshi Kuriyama cautioned, however, that we shouldn't take the global launch for granted as there are still many hurdles. "[Sony] still has a number of obstacles to surmount before it can achieve a simultaneous global launch of PS3 in November. We will need to keep close tabs on whether any further delays emerge because postponing the launch will worsen the company's competitive position," he said in a research note.

Now, the $500 price tag, THAT might be a bigger issue.

 Mar 15, 2006 - 10:43 AM - by Michael
PS3 delay official
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Playstation2/Sony Whether for the reasons they claim, or buying time to get component cost down, or anything else, the PS3 is officially delayed to November in Japan.

Meaning the US and Europe might not see it until well into 2007. Hopefully they'll take some time to redesign the banana-controller, too.

Today, Sony officially conceded defeat to the recent flurry of rumors and speculation, with Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun reporting the machine has been pushed back until November.

There aren't many details out right now, but Sony says issues over the finalization of copy protection technology related to their Blu-ray disc drive is the cause of the delay.

When asked for a comment, a Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesperson only went on record saying that SCEI has not issued any official statement itself yet.

 Mar 14, 2006 - 02:18 PM - by Michael
Sony loses latest round in rumble lawsuit
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's bad luck in courts continues - one of their main defenses in a patent dispute over their controller rumble feature has been thrown out.

In the last ruling against Sony, made in early 2005, Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court levied an $82 million award to Immersion Corp., or 1.37% of Sony's sales of PlayStations and PlayStation-related paraphernalia. The $82 million is less than the $299 million originally sought by Immersion Corp., but the court ruled that Sony's infringement of the vibration patents was not willful and therefore not deserving of the full penalties.

However, in this latest ruling appealing that $82 million award, according to a Wall Street Journal report, Sony's defence was the alleged nondisclosure of some of the inventions of key employee Craig Thorner. who has been a consultant both for Immersion and subsequently for Sony. But, according to the report, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken was unhappy with Thorner's testimony supporting Sony, given that he had also been paid by Sony, and so dismissed this line of defence.

 Mar 14, 2006 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
Sony brilliant, or insane?
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Playstation2/Sony 1up looks at the PS3 marketing strategy: brilliant, or insane?

My money's on brilliantly insane. Or insanely brilliant.

Skeptics are quick to suggest that it's borne of desperation. The PS3, they suggest, is hardly any more powerful than the Xbox 360, Kojima Productions' geriatric mullet-head notwithstanding. Maybe, they insinuate, Sony is having trouble finalizing the hardware, streamlining the manufacturing process, ensuring acceptable quality assurance results. Maybe the PS3 is doomed, they cackle.

Maybe. But far more likely is the possibility that Sony is simply incredibly confident in the PS3's infallibility. The PlayStation was a surprise success, and the PlayStation 2 steamrolled three impressive competitors. The home console industry practically belongs to Sony, and the company seems happy to let the power of the PlayStation brand name do its own marketing work. Why drop cash on a high-dollar ad blitz when eager fans are willing to build hype for PS3 with word of mouth, anticipation and rumors? Talk is cheap, but fanaticism is free.

 Mar 09, 2006 - 09:59 AM - by Michael
Tech of Colossus
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Playstation2/Sony DyingDuck's got a look at the technology that went into Shadow of the Colossus, which was a stellar title cursed graphically by its release on the PS2, instead of hardware that could have better handled it.

Still, an interesting look, there are some amazing insights into the programming. It's stunning to think how much they did with how little the PS2 had left to offer them.

Originally, 3D graphics performed on a computer, is something designed to make an image which is close to the actual world. There is a huge variation in brightness in the actual world, from intense brightness down to gloomy darkness, but the human eye and the camera cope by adjusting the exposure, shutter speed of the camera, and the opening of the pupil, etc. Regarding 3D graphics, we process the light intensity of the actual world using a similar large range with high accuracy (HDR rendering), and the simulation of the camera and the eye will happen at a later stage (tone mapping).

It is difficult to perform true HDR rendering for PC GPUs before the DirectX 8 generation which most current consoles use, as these render only to 16 million-color framebuffers containing 8-bit RGB channels. (Technically it is not impossible but it would be too slow to be of any practical use). Because of this, the pseudo-HDR rendering has become popular in game graphics.

With Xbox 360 and PS3, it is possible for each RGB channel to be 16-bit floating point (FP16) , as the hardware was designed from scratch to be able to cope with HDR rendering. But there is no such potential for that on PS2. When you think of the graphics of Shadow Of The Colossus, pseudo-HDR rendering springs to mind.

 Mar 07, 2006 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Shadow Hearts 3 ships
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Playstation2/Sony XSeed have let us know Shadow Hearts: From the New World is shipping out:

Torrance, Calif., (March 7, 2006) --- New video game publisher XSEED Games announced today

that SHADOW HEARTS?: FROM THE NEW WORLD has shipped to retailers across North America. Exclusively for the PlayStation?2 computer entertainment system, this third and latest installment in the critically acclaimed role-playing game series takes place in the United States during the Great Depression. Featuring a gripping and inspirational storyline spanning across North and South America, players can expect to run into a unique set of characters at famous, real-world locations including Chicago, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, New York and Rio de Janeiro. The addictive Judgment Ring System has been improved, adding even more excitement and strategy to the overall gameplay.

The Story

The story begins as Johnny Garland, a young, 16-year old detective who lost his father, sister and his memory in an accident, accepts an investigation to track down a criminal suspect who escaped from custody. As he closes in on the suspect, Johnny witnesses a supernatural occurrence - a huge monster appears from a green light known as the "window" and swallows up the criminal. Apparently, a series of horrific incidents similar to this have been plaguing the cities across the nation. Johnny's female counterpart is 21-year-old bounty hunter Shania, a Native American who is searching for these mysterious windows and determined to fight them using her spiritual powers. Together, they travel around the states and are joined by other characters.

Key Features

a.. Series trademark Judgment Ring battle system makes a return with improvements - "Stock System" allowing players the option of executing a "Combo" command with a second character or "Double" command enabling a character to perform two different actions in one turn.
b.. A completely new story and set of new characters will make the title easily accessible to newcomers of the series with its unique style and sense of humor.
c.. A cast of well-drawn, entertaining characters with distinct personalities and reappearances by a few of the series' favorites.
d.. Experience a higher level of realism with easy to navigate, visually-stunning backgrounds, special lighting and illumination effects.
e.. Huge production values with dramatic events unfolding through high-quality graphics, CG cut- scenes, impressive sound effects and voice-overs.
f.. Tons of side-quests and exciting mini-games to explore totaling up to 60 hours of gameplay

 Feb 27, 2006 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
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Playstation2/Sony No, it's not the next James Bond movie - Arstechnica looks at the Octopiler, a compiler that IBM is hoping will make the Cell easy to program for.

And they claim it's one of the reasons PS3 might get pushed back. In order to get games going, programmers need this compiler.

Octopiler is intended to become just such a compiler?one that can take in a sequential program that's written to a unified memory model, and output binaries that make efficient use of the massive, heterogeneous system-on-a-chip that is the Cell Broadband Engine. I say "intended to become," because judging from the paper the guys at IBM are still in the early stages of taming this many-headed beast. This is by no means meant to disparage all the IBM researchers who have done yeoman's work in their practically single-handed attempts to move the entire field of computer science forward by a quantum leap. No, the Octopiler paper is full of innovative ideas to be fleshed out at a further date, results that are "promising," avenues to be explored, and overarching approaches that seem likely to bear fruit eventually. But meanwhile, the PS3 is still due out in 2006.

 Jan 20, 2006 - 02:16 PM - by Michael
Shadow Hearts Screens
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Playstation2/Sony Back in 2004, I thoroughly enjoyed Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

In March, Xseed (the new guys on the series) will be kicking out Shadow Hearts: From the New World in America. They've granted us some screens, so enjoy!

The word of the series is that it's a completely new storyline, with only passing references to the old - but since the game's unique engine and humor appear to be intact, it should be plenty of fun.

 Jan 17, 2006 - 02:03 PM - by Michael
More confirmation: PS3 next november
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Playstation2/Sony Good for my wallet, but potentially bad for Sony - looks like they might not be beaten to market just by Microsoft, but also by Nintendo if the steady stream of analysts saying "November" are right.

Although Sony talked about a spring launch for PS3 last year, it has never offered regional specifics. A 'delay' until November will be good news for Microsoft, which has bet its strategy for the next generation on selling as many Xbox 360s as possible prior to PS3's arrival. But Microsoft will be even happier if Sony struggles with shortages later this year while it will have ironed out all its manufacturing problems.

 Dec 22, 2005 - 12:39 PM - by Michael
Virus Warning - Sony Virus Again
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Playstation2/Sony I know I said I was heading out, but this is too important not to post - it turns out, if you have any Sony CD's you recently purchased, the Sony DRM rootkit installed itself even if you declined the EULA.

Attorney General Greg Abbott filed the original lawsuit in November, accusing the company of violating state anti-spyware laws by embedding software in its CDs and media player to monitor users' habits.

The new charges brought by Abbott contend that MediaMax software used by Sony BMG to thwart illegal copying of music on CDs violated state laws because it was downloaded even if users rejected a license agreement.

"We keep discovering additional methods Sony used to deceive Texas consumers who thought they were simply buying music," Abbott said in a statement.

 Nov 14, 2005 - 05:43 PM - by Michael
Sony's downfall?
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Playstation2/Sony reach into the future and predict MS and Nintendo will take down Sony.

Also on the timeline are elements that have already happened. Not all of them happened at the same time, but are listed together because they influence one another. For example, the release of the iPod Video is listed together with the release of the Xbox 360, which is not technically accurate - the iPod reached the market before the 360. They're listed together because both products impact Sony.

 Nov 08, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
Soul Calibur III: first reactions
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Playstation2/Sony Picked up Soul Calibur III and have been playing it for a while now.

A few reactions:
#1 - in terms of gameplay, this is the best SoulEdge-based game I've seen since the original on Playstation. The versus modes are nice, but there's actually plenty to do in single player fashion - not that Soul Calibur II's single player mode wasn't good, but this one takes it to an amazingly high level, giving tremendous amounts of storyline modes as well as an RTS-style game to play.

#2 - Graphically, the fact that they made it a PS2 exclusive allowed them to fine-tune the graphics engine for the PS2, which is a good thing. Since my big TV is still not yet repaired, I haven't had the chance to try it out in widescreen/progressive scan yet, so I can't tell how well that will hold up.

I still wish it'd been on the Xbox, because we might have seen 720p widescreen then.

#3 - I love my X-Arcade sticks.

#4 - As great as the game is, I'm getting slightly frustrated at the sheer amount of time it's taking to unlock things - mostly because I'd like to get my hands on all the weapons so I can have a tournament with some friends.

 Oct 27, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
PS3: The Saga Continues
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Playstation2/Sony More good/bad news for Sony fans today - First off, there are major questions on how backwards compatible the PS3 will be.

However, it was Sakamoto's comments regarding the PS3 that made the most headlines. When responding to questions about whether or not the SCPH-75000's backwards-compatibility issues heralded similar problems with Sony's next-gen console, she demurred. "It?s hard to say the PlayStation 3 will be 100 percent backwards compatible but as we said earlier this year we aim to make it so as much as possible," Sakamoto said, according to IDG. Attempts to elicit clarifying comments from Sony Computer Entertainment America reps had been unsuccessful as of press time.
To add to the question, we're still not sure how much it will cost, though the signs are indicating somewhere between $350 and $400 stateside.

 Oct 25, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
PS2 slimline has a few issues
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Playstation2/Sony Looks like the new PS2 Slimline has issues with a few games due to "updated" firmware.

The largest concerns for American buyers, if the SCPH-75000 ever debuts in North America, will be issues with the recent Tekken 5, in which the save screen can freeze the game after loading Tekken 3 in Arcade History, and Hitman Contracts, which suffers from longer-than-usual save times. Other affected games on PS2, in relative order of impact, are Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, F1 2001, F1 2002, Racing Battle C1 Grand Prix, and The Stylish Mahjong.

The list of affected PSone games, however, is quite a bit longer, though still includes a relatively small number of games to be concerned about. Chief among these is the Dual Shock or 5th Anniversary Package version of Resident Evil 2, where the sound playback during movies is incorrect, and Chrono Cross, which also has problems during its ending movie. Also on the list of 39 games is Test Drive 4, Krazy Ivan, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX, and Worms.

 Oct 10, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
PSP coding competition
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Playstation2/Sony Absent good games for the platform, PSP News and Lik-Sang are trying to drum up support for the PSP by announcing a homebrew coding competition.

Of course, anything produced will have to be run using tricks to get around Sony's "protection" schemes.

The contest also features a number of cool prizes for the winners.

The contest will run from October 8th 00:01am 2005 to November 7th, 2005.

The contest will end at 11.59pm gmt , (the end of November 7th , 2005).

Software can be for any version PSP.

 Oct 06, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
PS2 modchips legal for Aussies
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Playstation2/Sony Good news from Groklaw: In Australia, at least, PS2 modchips are legal.

The Federal Court at first instance found that the chips in Sony Playstations which prevent you from playing legally purchased US-sourced games were not technological protection measures because they did not inhibit the infringement of copyright. The decision was reversed on appeal by the Full Court, arguing that the chips had a general deterrent function in respect of unauthorised copying. The High Court has considered the case and has unanimously concluded that the chips are not technological protection measures - reversing the decision of the Full Court affirming the decision of the court at first instance.

 Sep 28, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
PSP downgrader released
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Playstation2/Sony It's true.

You can take your PSP and downgrade the firmware after all.

An interesting idea, if you've gotten caught by a game that ran a forced upgrade but still want to play your homebrews (of course, reloading the game will forced upgrade you again).

 Sep 27, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PSP buffer overflow found
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Playstation2/Sony Reports are in that the PSP v2.0 firmware has at least one buffer overflow exploit in it, which could be used as a starting point to get arbitrary code to run. The releasing groups also try to distinguish between piracy and homebrew code:

PSP Users:
We didn't do this so you could steal from Sony and game companies.
We believe in OSS. There are plenty of amazing programs that have
been written for the PSP. Use this as a gift and not as an excuse
to steal.

If you wanted to find us i know you could. This release wasn't
intended as a way to run pirated software on the PSP. We believe
that everyone should be able to compile their own code and run it.
Nothing is kept secret forever and I'm sure you know this.
In the end, if it wasn't us. It would be some one else.
Fighting it would be like skating up a hill. You did create the
PSP and did an amazing job.

 Sep 20, 2005 - 10:30 AM - by Michael
PSP Stuck Pixel Fixer?
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Playstation2/Sony Might work, might not.

A video that may (perhaps) fix stuck pixels on your PSP. Not stuck-dead (black) ones, but stuck red, green, or blue.

Most people have been complaining to Sony about their stuck and dead pixels. Well I have done my research and I heard about a guy over at that had a LCD TV that had some stuck pixels and when he went to Best-Buy they gave him a dvd that flashed Red, Green and Blue over and over again. This supposedly "un-sticks" the stuck pixels, by calling them to do rapid changes (To my understanding).

 Sep 13, 2005 - 05:17 PM - by Michael
Slim PS2 recall
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Playstation2/Sony Got a slim-factor PS2? You might want to check your system to see if your power supply is under recall.

In America, there have been two reports of minor burns, one minor shock and four reports of property damage from users of the games console after power adaptors overheated.

The adaptors were made between August and December last year for the slimline PlayStation 2. About 2.3 million of the affected machines were sold in Europe, with the remaining 1.2 million sold in Asia, Australia and North America.

 Sep 13, 2005 - 10:54 AM - by Michael
Crappy movie and partial game: $40
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Playstation2/Sony If this is what Sony thinks will get people to buy more UMD movies or PSP games, they're sadly mistaken: 3 levels of Wipeout and the movie "Stealth", for $40.

On November 15, Sony will release the military sci-fi film Stealth, which slipped under most summer moviegoers' radar, on UMD. The portable version of the $130-million-budget, $31-million-grossing film will come with the first three levels of the best-selling PSP racing game Wipeout Pure. It will also feature a "Stealth" track not found in the regular version of the game, which will let players race as the advanced fighter jet from Stealth. However, it will still sport the same three modes (single race, zone, and time trial) and speed levels (vector/beginner, venom/intermediate, and flash/expert) as the full game.
Note to Sony: it didn't slip under our radar. It was just pure crap.

Adding insult to injury, this disc ALSO forces your PSP to upgrade to the 2.0 firmware, instantly ruining any emulation software you may enjoy running. No thanks, I'm not paying Sony $40 for a crappy movie which is going to break my PSP.

 Sep 12, 2005 - 05:12 PM - by Michael
One Piece ships
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Playstation2/Sony We've gotten word that One Piece: Grand Battle has shipped out. Hopefully it's better than InuYasha.

CYPRESS, CA ? September 12, 2005 ? Bandai Games Inc. today announced that "One Piece: Grand Battle?? for Nintendo GameCube(TM) and PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system has shipped to retail outlets. Capture the title of Pirate King as you outfight and outsmart all opponents in this wacky arena battle game based on the tremendously popular graphic novels published by Viz Media. With a slew of playable characters and allies to call in for aid, players can use all methods of fighting in fully interactive environments that have been meticulously recreated from the popular TV series on 4Kids Entertainment?s 4Kids TV and Cartoon Network.

?As the first official US debut title of the series, we give fans all of the excitement and adventure found in the ?One Piece? world,? said Sammy Matsushima, Co-Producer of Bandai Games Inc. ?Fans will be captivated by the comical personalities, original fighting styles, and voices of their favorite characters taken straight from the anime. We have perfectly entwined the outrageous combat with the ?One Piece? pirate life to create a true ?Grand Battle.??

About ?One Piece: Grand Battle?
Hardy marines and vicious rival pirates are out to stop the rubber limbed Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew in ?One Piece: Grand Battle.? Stretch, slice, blast and even toss items to defeat the toughest that East Blue Sea has to offer. Contend with enemies in 3D battlegrounds that include interactive in-game obstructions such as destructible pillars, uneven terrain, and even charging cows. Featuring 16 original characters each with 20 fighting moves and special attacks, players can fight their way through the Grand Battle mode to uncover power-ups, collectible items and unlock secret characters. When dueling with a friend in head-to-head battles, players can utilize the game?s 32 supporting characters to unleash devastating combo attacks for unrivaled arena combat.

Features for ?One Piece: Grand Battle? include:

? 16 playable pirates with 32 additional support characters from the TV show
? Six game play modes including Grand Battle and two-player Versus Mode.
? Interactive 3D environments: pick up objects and use them to attack your opponents
? Seven environments in which to battle your opponents, all including different environment specific obstructions.
? More than 20 regular moves, as well as special attacks and ultimate attacks
? Unlockable hidden features such as additional characters, items, costumes and mini-games.
? Collectible special items to boost your powers or increase your skills.


 Sep 12, 2005 - 01:30 PM - by Michael
A look back in history: PS1
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Playstation2/Sony looks back and declares their twelve favorite titles from the original Playstation: notables missing from my list are Megaman X4, Einhander, and Soul Reaver, though to their credit they did mention Blood Omen and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Given the PlayStation's powerful 3D capabilities, tastemakers were happy to declare 2D gaming dead. Fortunately, they forgot to tell Konami, who obliviously went on to create the sublime Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which merged the series' gothic stylings with the non-linear gameplay of the Metroid games. It also featured beautiful graphics, which adeptly mixed hand-drawn art with clever polygonal trickery. Widely hailed as one of the greatest games ever, SotN was an open declaration that the PS1 was meant for hardcore gamers, too.

 Sep 06, 2005 - 05:00 PM - by Michael
PS3 unit price headed for pain?
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Playstation2/Sony Painful news for Sony fans - looks like the cost of that Blu-Ray drive will be around $100 per unit:

It turns out that at the release of the console in the first half of 2006, Sony will have to pay more than $100 per drive it builds in Playstation 3. This is a lot of money, because even in retail you can buy a DVD +RW drive for less than $50 now. This means that Microsoft can get it much cheaper than $50, maybe even half that price, due to the enormous quantity it needs to buy for millions of XboX 360 consoles.

 Sep 01, 2005 - 11:54 AM - by Michael
InuYasha Ships
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Playstation2/Sony Bandai lets us know that Inuyasha has shipped for the PS2:

CYPRESS, CA ? September 1 2005 ? Bandai Games Inc. today announced that ?Inuyasha: Feudal Combat? for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is now available in retail stores. Based on the top-rated TV series from VIZ Media on Cartoon Network?s Adult Swim, ?Inuyasha: Feudal Combat? allows gamers to play as their favorite characters as they face their foes in colorful arenas adapted directly from the popular show.

?The cell-shaded characters have been painstakingly rendered for the PlayStation 2? said Rika Maruya, Co-Producer at Bandai Games. ?With a great cast of players like the half-demon Inuyasha and the demon-slayer Sango, we made a special effort to create characters that move and fight as fluidly as in the stories from the long-running anime series.?

About ?Inuyasha: Feudal Combat?
?Inuyasha: Feudal Combat? allows fans of the television show and fighting games alike to partner two characters from the series to duke it out in ancient Japan. Featuring 12 playable fighters from the dog demon Inuyasha to the evil shape-shifter Naraku, ?Inuyasha: Feudal Combat? promises an original battle system in a sweeping fairy tale setting where demons and magic roam freely in feudal Japan.

Features for ?Inuyasha: Feudal Combat? include:

? 12 playable characters from the TV series
? Interactive environments that can give players an advantage in battle
? Original battle system that includes partner characters
? Three different gameplay modes, including mission, story, and two-player versus
? Chance to develop character?s skills and compatibility with partners to improve attacks

 Aug 29, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
Katamari gone gold
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Playstation2/Sony Namco sends us news that We Love Katamari has gone gold:

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (August 29, 2005) ? Leading video games developer and publisher Namco Hometek Inc. announced today that "We Love Katamari" has gone gold, which is scheduled to launch on September 20th exclusively for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system. Last year?s release of "Katamari Damacy(TM)" attracted fans from all over the cosmos, and these same fans will drive the brilliant storyline of the sequel, "We Love Katamari."

In "We Love Katamari," players once again meet the unforgettable King of All Cosmos, whose head may have grown even larger due to all of the fan adoration he has received in the last year. He seeks to reward his fans? allegiance by fulfilling their requests for creating new and bigger katamari?s. To do this, he has recruited his determined little Prince, plus a host of the Prince?s wee cousins, to roll up everything in their path ? from koi fish and angels to gargantuan mountains and even international landmarks like the Eiffel Tower.

"We Love Katamari" offers an all-new two-player cooperative play mode, in which each player controls part of the katamari. Communication between the players is key to devise strategies and achieve their rolling objectives. An expanded battle mode has also returned that includes three size scopes for more challenging head-to-head play.

?'Katamari Damacy' was embraced with an overwhelming reception last year, winning numerous awards for its innovative style and concept,? said Yoshi Niki, Business Unit Director at Namco Hometek Inc. ?We hope 'We Love Katamari' will be equally well received by gamers and applauded for its new level of originality and addictive gameplay.?

 Aug 24, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
PSP 2.0 Firmware Available
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Playstation2/Sony The PSP's v2.0 firmware is now available, although I won't be upgrading anytime soon.

Between a few handy encoders and KXploit to run homebrew apps, I do well as is. You might find it worth your while, IF you don't run any emulators.

The version 2.0 software brings a mobile web browser, new audio and video format support, photo sharing, custom wallpapers and more. Check out the complete release notes after the jump.

 Aug 22, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
Sony Beware the Ides of March
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Playstation2/Sony Pocket-Lint UK say that the PS3 will launch on March 15, 2006.

The announcement comes with the usual caveat that prices and the date of launch may change, however that hasn?t stopped the retailer jumping the gun ahead of any official announcement from Sony Computer Entertain Europe (SCEE).

The shopping site is even offering its hardened gaming customers the chance to buy both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 for ?699.98 when they both become available.

 Aug 16, 2005 - 09:34 AM - by Michael
PSP Euro to ship with V2.0 firmware
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Playstation2/Sony And their sales go through the toilet...

From a user comment:

The games industry is forgetting it's past something that can be preserved and enjoyed on PSP, sure it might not be legal but neither are a lot of simple things we do in life. Every industry has it's rogue elements that prefer to eat other fruit than the norm bunch.

Many of these old games aren't even worth releasing on again because everyone wants the new whiz bang polygon pushing games so why nip in the bud somethin that can help your system sell? If PSP doesn't recover from the DS lead such a MAME bonus would surely help its cause. Sony grabs shotgun aims at foot pulls trigger and enjoys the pain. LOL.

 Aug 15, 2005 - 02:06 PM - by Michael
The poor, poor PSP
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Playstation2/Sony 1up looks at the PSP and what ails it.

Personally: I don't own a single game for the PSP. I had a few, but I traded them all back in; only one was worth it and after I beat it, that was that.

My PSP now functions as a portable NES/Gameboy, and occasionally hauls anime for me to watch when I'm on the road.

Sad, isn't it?

The PSP has traveled the spectrum of being hailed as the greatest piece of hardware since the introduction of the original PlayStation to being treated like a Goodwill store where developers drop off bare-bones ports and shoddy, old games. Since the release of the PSP on March 24, 2005, to the time of this writing, there have been approximately 30 games released, 17 of which were released during the launch window. Around 10 or so of the games available could be considered ports of PlayStation 2 games, which is about one-third of the entire PSP library. And if you work out the math with the number of games released since the launch period, it comes out to less than one PSP game release per week?.76 games to be exact.

 Aug 15, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
x86 on PSP
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Playstation2/Sony It runs slowly, but it definitely runs.

Win95 and Linux, that is. Then again, without a major amount of space in the memory card, this is more academic than anything else. Don't expect to be running DOS-based games or anything, since the keyboard controls aren't there to use.

Earlier we reported on the Bochs x86 emulator being ported to the PSP by Matan. This is indeed true and has opened the door for a wide range of options that the PSP can now do, not limited to but including the running of: FreeDOS, Linux, DLX Linux, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PicoBSD, Pragma Linux, Debian 3.0r0 and 2.2r5, and any other disk images with pre-installed systems on them

 Aug 08, 2005 - 11:30 AM - by Michael
Sony drags Lik-Sang to court
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Playstation2/Sony Bad news for those who want to import PSP's or other gear from Hong Kong: Sony is suing Lik-Sang.

Sony further claims copyright infringement and damages by mirroring the freely available PSP manual on the news section of during early June. Sony UK warned at June 14 to take legal actions, should the manual and any hypertext links to Sony's web site not be removed. complied with Sony's request to remove the manual immediately.

This lawsuit comes as a total surprise to, given that the laws of Hong Kong are clear when it comes to parallel trade. Hong Kong's legislation is based on the fact that allowing parallel and free trade will restore natural competition and benefit consumers with lower prices. Hong Kong, one of the pioneering countries respecting worldwide exhaustion of trademark rights, allows free trade once an item entered the market for sale.

 Aug 08, 2005 - 10:30 AM - by Michael
Joystiq: is Sony too cocky?
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Playstation2/Sony Joystiq asks the question: is Sony being too cocky? Are they assuming victory instead of working hard for it?

In an editorial entitled ?Is Sony Pulling a Nintendo,? author Vandemar discusses the possibility that the third PlayStation might end up like the Nintendo 64, as Sony seems to banking too much on the idea of product loyalty.
Countdown to fanboy attacks in 3...2...1...

 Aug 05, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
Delaying the PS3?
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Playstation2/Sony Ars Technica posits a very interesting scenario: that Sony may delay the PS3 in order to generate a better package of launch titles with which to trounce MS and the Xbox360.

This brings us to why would Sony want to wait? There are three reasons. First of all, Sony is in the same boat as Microsoft as regards the difficulty of developing games for these next-gen consoles. More time should translate into higher quality games, and if Sony can afford to wait, then they should. Second, at $99, the PS2 itself could be sold for profit. Consoles are usually sold at a loss, and that money is made back (and then some, hopefully) by game sales. So, Sony could sit back and collect profits while building up a cache of PS3s for a later launch. This brings us to the third reason. Sony was embarrassed last year when they couldn't meet demand for the PS2. If Sony debuts the PS3 next year only to see more supply and demand problems, they'll lose customers to Microsoft.
The real hope on Sony's end is that the Xbox360 will wind up like the Dreamcast. The problem for Sony is that third-party developers aren't nearly as scared about supporting the Xbox: they know Microsoft's got the support there, and most of the big names are already on board.

 Aug 03, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
IGN: PS3 backwards compatibility "not quite"?
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Playstation2/Sony IGN references Kotaku with some disturbing PS3 rumors:

The magazine apparently states that PlayStation 3 will not support any PSOne or PS2 peripherals, nor will it use any memory cards. If true, this means that if you'd like to play your PSOne and PS2 games on PS3 via that system's new backward compatibility functionality, you're going to have to start from scratch.
Ouch. No. BAD Sony, if this is true.

 Jul 28, 2005 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
God of War gets Movie
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Playstation2/Sony Looks like God of War will be picked up and made into a movie.

In the game, players can unleash the power of the Gods and embark on a merciless quest as Kratos, an ex-Spartan warrior driven to destroy Ares, the God of War. Armed with lethal double chainblades, Kratos must carve through mythology?s darkest creatures? including Medusa, Cyclops, the Hydra and more, while solving intricate puzzles in breathtaking environments. Driven by pure revenge, nothing can stop Kratos from achieving absolution.

 Jul 27, 2005 - 02:30 PM - by Michael
Sony lines up for bad quarter
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's in a bit of a rut - and their earnings are too:

Analysts polled by Bloomberg see the consumer electronics giant "probably" reporting a 19.4 billion yen ($174 million) loss for the April-June quarter, its second fiscal quarter. Reportedly, the shortfall was driven by higher-than-expected development costs associated with the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and paltry sales of the company's Wega TVs.
Just as a thought, if they had better games for the PSP and weren't spending all their time trying to stop people from running their own software, this might not be as big an issue.

 Jul 26, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Soul Calibur 3 Special
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Playstation2/Sony has one heck of a special article up regarding Soul Calibur 3, its looks, and the ton of new gameplay modes being added in.

Nice work, guys!

"I feel that fighting games have a set way of being played," Yotoriyama says, acknowledging that, with the series, him and his team have hit upon some sort of magic formula that shouldn't be mucked with. "Soul Calibur has a deep game system that pleases hardcore fighting fans -- but it also has a pick-up-and-play quality that anyone can enjoy." He explains that his biggest challenge now, three games into an established franchise, is to keep his growing fanbase happy while devising innovative ways within the genre to attract that unlikely gaming contingent to experience Soul Calibur's certain brand of magic.

 Jul 26, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
Payola Confirmed
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Playstation2/Sony Turns out Sony's in the hot seat - many of their recent "hits" on the radio were actually bought and paid for. Yahoo's got more as well.

See above: The internal memos from Sony Music, revealed today in the New York state attorney general's investigation of payola at the company, will be mind blowing to those who are not so jaded to think records are played on the radio because they're good. We've all known for a long time that contemporary pop music stinks. We hear "hits" on the radio and wonder, "How can this be?"

Now we know. And memos from both Sony's Columbia and Epic Records senior vice presidents of promotions circa 2002-2003 ? whose names are redacted in the reports but are well known in the industry ? spell out who to pay and what to pay them in order to get the company's records on the air.

From Epic, home of J-Lo, a memo from Nov. 12, 2002, a "rate" card that shows radio stations in the Top 23 markets will receive $1000, Markets 23-100 get $800, lower markets $500. "If a record receives less than 75 spins at any given radio station, we will not pay the full rate," the memo to DJs states. "We look forward to breaking many records together in the future."
If you thought radio sucked recently... you're right, and that's why.

 Jul 11, 2005 - 02:41 PM - by Michael
PS3: The downgrades begin
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Playstation2/Sony How much of the PS3 hype will be left by launch?

One item is already gone. The PS3 will NOT function as a router for your home network.

Speaking with Japanese publication Nikkei Electronics, Kutaragi said that the original specification for the PS3 would have allowed the system's three Gigabit Ethernet ports to be used as a home router.

However, this functionality has now been dropped since it would have made the console cost too much to manufacture, he admitted - and Sony now expects that users will continue to use their existing router hardware, which is becoming more commonplace in households with broadband internet connections.
Place your bets - what functionality will be next to go?

 Jul 01, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
PS3 to run major losses
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Playstation2/Sony "Loss Leader" is putting it mildly - carries the Merril Lynch prediction that the PS3 hardware will sell at an incredible loss so that Sony can try to get market share out of it.


 Jun 29, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Xenosaga Lives... but why?
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Playstation2/Sony It looks like Xenosaga is at least going to have a third game.

Not that most of us care. Push-button movies don't really appeal to us.

 Jun 28, 2005 - 12:30 PM - by Michael
Sony forcing PSP firmware upgrades
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Playstation2/Sony Thankfully it's only forcing to the 1.5 firmware, which is already cracked - but Joystiq has confirmation of Sony forcing firmware upgrades to play newer games.

But what if the update hadn?t already been cracked? And what if the game had been Grand Theft Auto? Would you be willing to pass up a potentially great PSP game for the sake of SNES emulation? Me, I?d take Kirby Superstar any day of the week.
I tend to agree. I like the PSP being able to run whatever I put on it.

 Jun 23, 2005 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
Sony says they're "ready" for MS
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Playstation2/Sony Sony is again openly calling out Microsoft.

"We're ready," said David Reeves, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, at the International Games Summit, taking place in London.


Reeves took a shot at Microsoft's ambitious early targets too, saying: "First mover advantage is there if you have momentum, but not really if you're standing still."
From what I've seen of the Xbox360, "standing still" is not a good way to describe it.

 Jun 22, 2005 - 11:28 PM - by Michael
PSP Homebrews for 1.5 - No Swaps.
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Playstation2/Sony And it really really works.

Just watch out for the popup windows on the site's download page.

Finally. I was leery of the Swaploit because of risk of damaging the memcard (they ain't cheap) but this thing's taken away any need for that.

 Jun 22, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
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Playstation2/Sony In a limited format, yes - Engadget has the word that GBA emulation has been achieved on the PSP.

It won't play roms bigger than 16 Mb, and it probably isn't full speed yet. But they do have a nice screenshot.

 Jun 21, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
PSP orders slow down
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Playstation2/Sony Not good news for Sony - the PSP isn't selling as well as expected.

The successful launches of PSP in Japan and the United States would indicate the launches have gone according to plan, but that's not necessarily the case. While meeting with suppliers, Sony reportedly plans to manufacture only 12 million units, reports Next Generation from Japan's Nikkei BP.
Since they've been hell-bent on not letting users run their own software and have an entirely lackluster game line, it's not really surprising. That and the cost... oh, the cost...

 Jun 16, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
Yahoo picks up on PSP Swap Trick
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Playstation2/Sony Yahoo's caught on - you can, theoretically, run homebrew apps on a 1.5 PSP.

But they buy into Sony's FUD far too much.

The exploit may not be practical or safe (an accompanying warning says it could cause damage if done improperly), but it represents a challenge to Sony's policy of tight control and opens the possibility that PSP games could be pirated.
The risk to the memory cards is real - the risk of pirated games wandering around, given the cost of memory cards that have even half the space of a UMD game, is not.

 Jun 14, 2005 - 08:15 AM - by Michael
PSP 1.5 Firmware Broken
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Playstation2/Sony Gamers rejoice.

The PSP firmware 1.5 has been broken, and homebrew emulators and games are on their way.

 Jun 13, 2005 - 12:30 PM - by Michael
PSP gets Mame
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Playstation2/Sony Slashdot carries word that Mame has hit the PSP.

Still only for firmware version 1.0, though. Come on, somebody... crack the 1.5 so the Americans can join in the fun!

 Jun 13, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PS3 Details Revealed
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Playstation2/Sony The Inquirer has word on the PS3's graphics chip specs: 550 MHz clock, 90nm fab, over 300 million transistors.

Meanwhile, IBM's been giving away details on the Cell chip:

Releasing the source code encourages other companies to develop applications using the chip, which is 10 times more powerful than PC processors. Companies will be able to develop products without having to sign confidentiality agreements, said IBM fellow Jim Kahle. 'It's going to be a great way to jump-start chip sales,' said Mr Kahle, who holds the highest technical rank at IBM. 'The larger the development community, the more thriving it will be.'

 Jun 13, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PS3 Details Revealed
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Playstation2/Sony The Inquirer has word on the PS3's graphics chip specs: 550 MHz clock, 90nm fab, over 300 million transistors.

Meanwhile, IBM's been giving away details on the Cell chip:

Releasing the source code encourages other companies to develop applications using the chip, which is 10 times more powerful than PC processors. Companies will be able to develop products without having to sign confidentiality agreements, said IBM fellow Jim Kahle. 'It's going to be a great way to jump-start chip sales,' said Mr Kahle, who holds the highest technical rank at IBM. 'The larger the development community, the more thriving it will be.'

 Jun 10, 2005 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
Kutaragi Brags Again
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Playstation2/Sony Over on Eurogamer, they've got some interesting comments by Ken Kutaragi. He's supremely confident in the PS3, you see. So much so that he slams his opponents at every opportunity.

"This time, Microsoft has stated clearly that it is going after PlayStation. However, they're going not after the PlayStation 3, but the PlayStation 2. They were looking at 2, and that's why [Xbox 360] became like that," he reckons.

Kutaragi compared the current next-gen battle with the one that was fought by the PS1 and 3DO, saying there are clear parallels in terms of how the console specs have been interpreted.

"People probably won't be able to understand the difference between PS3 and Xbox 360 if the spec charts are just lined up," apparently.

"However, at E3, a suitable number of people said that they were glad they came and saw rather than just looking at the specs. When the PS3 is actually released, this will spread and people will come to understand."
I understand the difference between a tech demo and actual gameplay, Ken. You haven't shown us any actual gameplay yet.

 Jun 10, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PS3 HDD will run Linux?
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Playstation2/Sony If true great, but it could hurt as well; Sony is setting up once again for the Playstation as a mini-computer running Linux.

In an interview with Impress PC Watch, Kutaragi disclosed that he plans to install the Linux operating system on the PS3's hard disc drive (HDD) so it will be recognized as a computer, rather than a mere console.

But while Linux would require a hard drive to run on, Kutaragi told Impress PC Watch, "We're not going to equip [the PS3 with] a HDD by default, because no matter how much [capacity] we put in it, it won't be enough." It was unclear whether he was referring to the previously known fact that the PS3 would not have an internal hard drive or whether he was indicating that the device would not come with the external 2.5-inch detachable HDD outlined in the specs revealed at E3.
You know, I'm beginning to hate Sony's "it's a cool machine after you buy all the accessories and spend tons more money than the list price" mode of creating consoles lately.

 Jun 09, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
The PSP is for Porn?
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Playstation2/Sony Here's a dubious decision by Sony - they're officially licensing porn discs for the PSP in Japan.

Though the pursuit of the adult video market might seem odd, it's often the path to success for a new media format. Porn has traditionally been a big draw for early adopters and mass-market acceptance. A November 1996 essay in an Indiana University School of Law publication found this to be true -- and in the process illustrated how Sony was once on the losing end of the porn-tech curve.

When home video recorders were the next big thing, the VHS format won out over Sony's higher-quality Betamax. Why? Because the adult film industry embraced VHS. Some say Sony refused to license the technology to pornographers, but the more likely explanation is that the one-hour recording time of the Betamax tapes wasn't long enough for feature films of any nature.

The DVD format benefited from porn, too -- this time because of the ability to skip scenes, jumping past all the (assuredly Shakespearian) dialogue and going directly to the good parts. And because the success of Sony's PlayStation 2 is greatly attributed to the fact that it was by far the cheapest DVD player in Japan when it launched in 2000, that means the PS2 also has the massive Japanese adult video market to thank, at least in part, for its dominance.

 Jun 08, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PSP piracy tools get big
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Playstation2/Sony Looks like Sony is going to get furious - PSP hackers have found ways to get the PSP to "dump" data directly to its memory stick, and rumors of an ISO player (only workable on 1.0 firmware right now) are flying fast.

While the potentially damaging issue of PSP file sharing will no doubt come as a blow to Sony, the company can at least take comfort in the knowledge that copied PSP games won't turn up at boot fairs as a result - currently there is no way for pirates to burn their own UMD discs.
Yeah - if pirates REALLY want to pay for 1GB or 2GB memory sticks at $200+ a pop, I'm sure Sony won't mind all that much.

 Jun 07, 2005 - 07:00 PM - by Michael
Wired on PSP and Emulation
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Playstation2/Sony Wired has picked up on the PSP's status as an emulation platform of choice as of late.

Now if only someone would crack the trick of running homebrews on 1.50 firmware... I want to run some older titles.

Some of the programs, like a Super Nintendo Entertainment System emulator, are in early stages of development and run games very slowly if at all. But some, like an emulator that runs games from NEC's TurboGrafx-16 hardware, are nearly flawless, featuring full sound, full speed and the option to stretch the game's graphics to fill the PSP's wide-screen display.

 Jun 07, 2005 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
Sony and the Import Wars
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Playstation2/Sony In the UK, Sony is trying hard to make sure nobody's importing PSPs early.

ElectricBirdLand's managing director, Dan Morelle, suggests that Sony's legal action is flawed, as the company has failed to register relevant PSP trademarks, an issue he believes could potentially lead to a further delay of the European launch of the device, which is currently scheduled for 1 September.

"The threat of legal action is not because Sony is concerned about the impact that small importers like us will have on its brand or sales," Morelle claims, "it's simply because of their inability to implement something so vital [as a European trademark] to the success of its new product."
I really don't see why Sony does this kind of thing - it just pisses off potential buyers who want to play the games and mess with the console, after all.

 Jun 07, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
Capcom PSP titles
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Playstation2/Sony Capcom's pushing two PSP titles shortly - Megaman Legends and Breath of Fire III.

Anyone else wish they'd do something unique or spend more time making their newer titles cleaner? Capcom Fighting Evolution was a real letdown. They need to get the licensing back and give us Marvel vs Capcom 3.

It's unclear whether the two games will be direct ports of their original PlayStation releases in 1997 or feature some new addition or arrangements. Additionally, there have been no reports on whether the games will be released in the United States.
They'd better be cleaned up - the PSP's got a lot more power than the old PSX did.

 May 31, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
PS3 Titles Confirmed
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Playstation2/Sony IGN's PS3 division has compiled a handy list of confirmed games for the PS3.

Hopefully, some of them will turn out to be playable.

The Darkness looks good:

Gameplay is said to be completely non-linear with camera perspectives in both the third and first-person views. Moreover, The Darkness continues the trend of several of the PS3's upcoming titles in that it will boast completely destructible environments -- including stages that take place in New York City's slums, harbors, subway tunnels, and rooftops. And as expected, the enemies found within these levels are all inspired by Marc Silvestri's own dastardly creations from the comic book.

 May 26, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
PS3 "Not a game machine"?
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Playstation2/Sony Funny - I'm pretty sure that most gamers are looking at the PS3 as a game machine.

But Ken Kutaragi doesn't think so. This isn't unlike the disconnects on what the Xbox360 is, but it's unusual to hear it from Sony.

"Users will be able to store their content in an online storage server called the 'Cell Storage.' And the Cell processor, when it's not being used, can refine the content's quality. We call it the 'aging' process. For example, users can 'age' their Standard Definition (SD) video and up-convert it to High Definition (HD) video. We have many plans [for the PS3], but this 'Cell Storage' service is something that we definitely intend to launch. By using the Cell's security feature, users will be able to rip DVDs that include copyright protection and lay it in the storage area to refine its video quality."
Online storage... *shudder*. I'm not sure I trust Sony to watch over my data. Nevermind the possible bandwidth and latency issues.

 May 20, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
THAW first impressions
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Playstation2/Sony GamesRadar's got first impressions of Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, and it looks decently sweet.

Other additions that we must admit to being a tad excited about are the abilities to wallop people in the face with your board as well as being able to eschew your deck altogether for a BMX, echoing early Tony Hawk offshoot Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX.

And, as well as the extensive Story mode, there's also a Classic mode that mirrors the gameplay style of the original Pro Skater games and features updated versions of levels from previous Tony Hawk titles.
Looks like the series is going strong.

 May 20, 2005 - 09:00 AM - by Michael
PS3 Sticker Shock
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Playstation2/Sony Sticker Shock.


That's how much (in Japan at least) the PS3 will cost.


 May 18, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
Dante on PS3
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Playstation2/Sony Gamesradar already have some pics of What Dante may look like in Devil May Cry 4.

The PS3 won't be out until next year, but they're trying to push it for all it's worth.

 May 10, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
Soul Calibur III "announced"
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Playstation2/Sony While it's not technically a product announcement (we all heard this game was coming back when Namco took Sony's blood money to tie it to the PS2), has word and screenshots on Soul Calibur III.

Soul Calibur III puts an increased focus on the storyline, sending the classic lineup through the Tales of Souls mode, which reveals each character's motives for fighting. This also includes the new fighters Tira (green hottie with a deadly hula hoop), Zasalamel (who looks like another cheapo Astaroth type with a long-range scythe), and the kimono/clog-wearing, parasol-wielding Setsuka. Over 25 characters will be available in the final game.

 Apr 07, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
Soul Calibur 3 not to be exclusive after all?
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Playstation2/Sony This is going to be both good and bad news.

The good news: Soul Calibur 3's not going to be exclusive to the PS2.

The bad news: It's not coming to the Gamecube or Xbox, but rather to Nintendo's "Revolution and the Xbox 2.


 Mar 24, 2005 - 09:40 AM - by Michael
Soul Calibur 3 a PS2 exclusive?
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Playstation2/Sony I REALLY hope this isn't true, but has rumors that Soul Calibur 3 will be exclusive to the PS2.

Why they'd tie their game to that clunky, aging hardware I really don't get, especially since the Gamecube version sold better, and both the Gamecube and Xbox versions were FAR prettier.


Namco's just sent out a press release:

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (March 24, 2005) ? Leading video games publisher and developer Namco Hometek Inc. announced today "SOULCALIBUR(R) III," the latest installment in its celebrated weapons-based fighting franchise, is scheduled for release exclusively on the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system in 2005. Featuring three all-new characters, a groundbreaking character customization system and original gameplay modes, "SOULCALIBUR III" continues the storyline of legendary fighters in pursuit of the all-powerful Soul Edge.

?'SOULCALIBUR III' expands upon the landmark achievements of the franchise, and is undoubtedly one of the must-have games for PlayStation 2 owners in 2005,? said Yoshi Niki, Business Unit Director with Namco Hometek Inc. ?With a robust character creation system, jaw-dropping graphics and a large selection of fighters, 'SOULCALIBUR III' gives players the ultimate opportunity to immerse themselves in one of the most beloved series in gaming.?

"SOULCALIBUR III" offers players unprecedented variety in gameplay modes and fighting styles. Gamers can guide the fate of their favorite character in the narrative Tales of Souls Mode, play head-to-head with a friend in Vs. Mode, create their own custom fighters in Character Creation Mode, battle as their custom fighter in a real-time simulation in Chronicles of the Sword Mode, engage in unique and original battles in Soul Arena Mode and even recount the history of the franchise in Museum Mode. Also, the addition of three new characters to the existing family of classic warriors gives "SOULCALIBUR III" a collection of more than 25 playable characters, each with their own unique fighting style. New characters Zasalamel, Tira and Setsuka will engage in combat within all-new stages, further enhancing the game?s unmatched epic scope and trademark weapons-based fighting engine.

 Mar 15, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
Sony still persecuting modders
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's planning to keep attacking modchip makers in Australia, as their court date comes near in one case.

The High Court is expected to rule this month on mod chip maker Eddy Stevens' appeal against a July 2003 Federal Court verdict that his products violate Australia's copyright laws. That ruling was, in turn, the result of Sony's appeal against a lower court judgement that selling mod chips was not necessarily an infringement of copyright.

Sony lost that case because it had failed to show that the PS2 security system was a "technological protection measure" as defined by the 2000 Digital Agenda Amendments to Australia's Copyright Act. It was also argued that Sony's restrictions on the use of PS2 games bought overseas amounted to an artificial trade barrier.
It's always a laugher, that way. Sony could have designed their "protection" to allow import games, but they didn't, so they fail the test. Pure and simple.

 Mar 08, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
Next-gen consoles to be in short supply?
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Playstation2/Sony The Hollywood Reporter says that console makers are poised for yet another release-time "shortage" when the PS3, Xbox Next, and Nintendo Revolution roll out the door.

The definition of "insanity," it's said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. In 1995, when the video game industry transitioned to the Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2), there weren't enough of the consoles to meet demand, consumers and retailers howled, and software sales plummeted. With the industry once again poised to shift to the next generation of consoles -- Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3), Microsoft's Xbox 2 and Nintendo's GameCube 2 -- it surely doesn't want to go through all that insanity again.
Of course, what they miss is that companies like Sony deliberately ship too few consoles, to guarantee that stores will be "sold out" and generate hype.

 Feb 23, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PSP Flawed - Buttons
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Playstation2/Sony Sony's got egg on their face today; as it turns out, the PSP's construction is prone to creating stuck buttons thanks to a manufacturing flaw, and Sony's got some repair work to do.

The defect occurs in part of the initial shipment of PSP units and is caused by excess plastic not being completely removed during the molding and manufacturing process of the outer cabinet. As a result, when a button is pressed, it can become caught on the excess plastic and not return fully to its default position.
Supposedly they've fixed the problem. But it still doesn't make me want to buy one.

 Feb 18, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
Square/Enix delays and updates
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Playstation2/Sony The bad news: Square/Enix have delayed the release of Final Fantasy 12 indefinitely.

The good news: starting April, they'll be supposedly releasing a game a month, updating older licenses like Dragon Quest.

However, Wada said that starting April 1, Square Enix will release a new game every month. April 1 marks the two-year anniversary of the merger between Square Co., Ltd. and Enix Corporation. Wada said the monthly schedule will let Square Enix continue updating its franchises, which include Dragon Quest and Star Ocean. He added that Final Fantasy XII's release date will be chosen to ensure its sales won't compete with those of Square Enix's other top sellers.

 Feb 10, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
ICO 2 screens
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Playstation2/Sony Some of you may remember ICO, a fan-favorite game that wound up being one heck of a sleeper hit.'s got screens of the sequel, and it's looking sweet.

The basic premise sees the expansive and cavernous (oh, the clich?!) castle of ICO replaced by a semi free-roaming landscape populated by what can only be described as large, hairy and somewhat angry giants. The saddled protagonist, presumably Wanda, must find these Colossi, climb them and de-activate them from the inside.
Sounds pretty good so far.

 Feb 09, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
Sony's financial problems
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Playstation2/Sony Bloomberg covers Sony's falling financial situation and the fact that they're banking on the PSP being a success:
The PlayStation Portable has to go right for Sony to stanch profit declines in its electronics, music and games divisions, which account for 80 percent of sales. Those three divisions are cooperating to produce the PSP, as the console is called. It will be introduced in the U.S. next month. ``They need the PSP to be a success,'' says Yuuki Sakurai, who helps manage $4.7 billion at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance in Tokyo, including Sony shares. ``A hit would show that Sony is able to coordinate the different businesses to make a product the public can be excited about.'' Sony's group sales have grown just 2 percent on average in the past five years, while profit margins have averaged 2.4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
They also catch Sony with their pants down admitting that they deliberately tried to create an artificial shortage: the last time they did this, it was to hype the PS2.
Limited production was a business decision, Kutaragi said at a New Year's reception in Tokyo. The company also wanted to avoid building up inventories. ``We needed to balance the investment with the risks,'' he said. Sony probably spent $100 million to $300 million to develop the PSP, says John Yang, an analyst at Standard & Poor's in Tokyo. ``Sony wasn't completely prepared for the PSP,'' says Kazuya Yamamoto, an analyst at UFJ Tsubasa Securities Co. in Tokyo. ``They are limited by the number of highly specialized chips they can make. It's not as if they can suddenly make it in large volumes.'' Shortages won't stymie demand, says Paul-Jon McNealy, an analyst at the American Technology Research Institute in San Francisco. ``If anything, it creates hype, and hype rarely hurts demand,'' he says.

 Feb 08, 2005 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
PS2 Can't Run RE4?
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Playstation2/Sony Word on Gamesarefun is that Capcom is having one hell of a time porting Resident Evil 4 over to the PS2.

The reason? The PS2's just got antique hardware.

Poor little box, not enough memory to get the job done... *sniff* Well in truth, I've wondered about this for years. Just about every game I've reviewed multi-console, the PS2's graphics have been suffering. Spider-Man 2 this past summer was a perfect example.

 Feb 03, 2005 - 11:30 AM - by Michael
Narc Movie on IGN
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Playstation2/Sony IGN have kicked out a gameplay movie of what some of the effects of drugs in the upcoming NARC re-imagining will look like.

"Like, whoa, man...."

 Feb 01, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
RE4 to be Uncensored in Europe
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Playstation2/Sony After previous versions (and other game titles) were censored in Europe, Capcom is vowing that Resident Evil 4 will remain uncensored.

Nintendo are distributing this new title - the biggest third-party release on the Cube for quite some time - and fans feared that the decapitation element might be axed like a similar feature was from Ninja Gaiden prior to Euro debut. Capcom say not however, and the gore will remain. Quite why the decision was taken to remove it from the Japanese release remains a mystery, but we suspect it could have been the result of the brutal beheadings undertaken upon hostages in Iraq over the recent year or so. More on this soon.

 Jan 27, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
PSP Region Free?
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Playstation2/Sony Sony, whose reputation among those who import games from out-of-region is nearly Gestapo, are claiming the PSP will be region-free.

I'll believe it when I see it.

 Jan 25, 2005 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
A new PS2 Castlevania?
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Playstation2/Sony Gamerfeed has word that a new PS2 Castlevania is in the works - this time not starring a Belmont in the primary role.

In Play's interview with Koji "IGA" Igarashi, he reveals that Castlevania: Curse of Darkness's gameplay is going to focus on "Innocent Devils" which sound similar to familiars in Symphony of the Night, and monster souls in Aria of Sorrow. They will apparently aid Hector and become more powerful when you defeat monsters. The game will apparently have more of an action/RPG bent, but there will still be adventure elements, with "Innocent Devils" playing a key part in clearing obstacles. He also revealed that the Belmont family is still involved in the game, even though the title character is not a Belmont. IGA went on to say that he's not done with 2D Castlevania games, but that he wants to make a better 3D action game first.
Sounds like fun...

 Jan 24, 2005 - 12:30 PM - by Michael
Japan get Shadow Hearts II Director's Cut
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Playstation2/Sony Japan will be getting a directors' cut version of Shadow Hearts II.

Publisher Aruze has announced plans to release Shadow Hearts II: Director's Cut to the Japanese market. The re-release will include new dungeons, events, monsters and items as well as gameplay modifications in accordance with consumer feedback. Special video clips will also be included as a bonus.
I want it too... hopefully this thing will reach American shores, though the record on that score isn't terribly good so far.

 Jan 24, 2005 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
New Gundam Game Coming
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Playstation2/Sony Bandai has announced that there's a new Gundam game coming for PS2: Gundam vs Zeta Gundam.

Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam takes place seven years after the One Year War. Although victorious, the Earth Federation succumbs to corruption, and the Titans' police force assumes absolute power. To overthrow the Titans, the heroes and enemies from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series must band together.

There will be 31 new mobile suits to operate, and each can transform into its mobile armor form. Gamers will be able to play on the side of good or evil as a member of the rebel A.E.U.G. or oppressive Titans.
Doesn't look like a fighting game as such... it should be interesting to see.

 Jan 20, 2005 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
Sony fixing mistakes?
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Playstation2/Sony Business Times Asia has word that the "Father of the Playstation", Ken Kutaragi, is hopeful that Sony is fixing its problems..

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc President Ken Kutaragi said he and other Sony employees have been frustrated for years with management's reluctance to introduce products like Apple Computer Inc's iPod, mainly because the Tokyo company had music and movie units that were worried about content rights.

Now, Sony's divisions are finally beginning to work together and share a common agenda, Mr Kutaragi said at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo.

'It's just starting,' he told reporters. 'We are growing up.'

High-ranking Sony officials have rarely publicly said their proprietary views were a mistake. Mr Kutaragi, who has long been viewed as a candidate to lead Sony, was unusually direct in acknowledging Sony had made an error and blaming proprietary concerns from its entertainment division.
Actually, Sony is the perfect example of a company that's gotten too big for its own good - its walkman division makes MP3 players, and its music division promptly attacking users who wanted to convert their CD's to MP3 in order to listen to them, for instance.

I don't see it. The specs on the PS3 look strange, and I have the feeling programming for it will be as annoying as programming for the PS2, which developers have complained about for years.

 Jan 20, 2005 - 01:30 PM - by Michael
Full Metal Alchemist ships
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Playstation2/Sony Gamespot has word that Full Metal Alchemist for the PS2 has shipped.

The game is a spinoff from the popular (and kick-ass!) anime series.

They've also got a full review, though they gave the game a paltry 6.2 rating.

 Jan 13, 2005 - 11:30 AM - by Michael
Saving Lara
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Playstation2/Sony IGN's PS2 department offers up some helpful criticism for Eidos to reinvent Lara Croft in time for her next title.

Two staffers go at it on storyline, gameplay control, puzzles... pretty much everything.

There really is nothing inherently wrong with a puzzle room and the Prince of Persia games have proved that that still works today, but the puzzles here need to be less straightforward. Some of the early puzzles will be linear, but they can progress to become puzzles that bend the rules further and further until the players can figure out ways on their own without a pile of hints. There should also be multiple ways of getting things done that are all equally interesting. This makes the puzzles feel more realistic and rewards gamers for constantly trying something new instead of just using The Solution to The Puzzle.

 Jan 06, 2005 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
Sony pushing hard in PSP vs DS confrontation
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Playstation2/Sony Sony just keeps trying and trying to make the PSP look like an actual contender in the "wars" for the handheld market...

The PSP faces a firmly entrenched rival in Nintendo Co. Nintendo currently controls about 98 percent of the handheld video game market thanks to its successful line of Game Boy portables, NPD Group analyst Richard Ow said.

Its newest product, the $150 Nintendo DS, features dual color screens, one of them touch-sensitive, as well as built-in wireless.

The DS was among the must-have Christmas gadgets, with 1.5 million sold worldwide since its release in late November. Nintendo said the DS represents an entirely new product line and isn't a replacement for the aging Game Boy Advance SP.
Already got a DS, not going to touch the PSP with a 10 foot pole...

 Dec 10, 2004 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
PSP Attacked by Iwata
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Playstation2/Sony Couldn't decide whether this news was Nintendo or Sony news... decided on the latter.

Nintendo's President, Satoru Iwata, has issued a major slam upon the new Nintendo DS's rival console, the PSP.

After slamming the PlayStation firm for its ?lack of understanding of what modern consumers, using a handheld system require from its software,? and its ??naive belief that home system software comprises the same elements as portable system software,? Iwata took one of the boldest shots at SCEI anyone has taken for some time.

?PSP has been created with the assumption that the golden success formula is still working. We don't believe that," Iwata said to assembled foreign press. "We're making every effort so that people will say we were right. We're focusing on our market, ages 5 to 95 whereas Sony has decided to target a very specific demographic.?

The SPOnG article, meanwhile, is penned by a real Sony partisan who attacks Nintendo in commentary.

 Dec 10, 2004 - 08:15 AM - by Michael
Megaman X8 Ships Out
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Playstation2/Sony Darn, another title to buy... Megaman X8 has shipped out.

Though I was disappointed in 7... the improvements sound good.

Mega Man X8 features:

Three playable characters with varying strengths and special abilities; Mega Man X - Equipped with his trusty charge shot; Zero - A master of short range attacks with the ability to double jump; Axl - Armed with a spread shot weapon and hovering skills

Enhanced tagteam action - switch between two characters at any time to effectively defeat enemies; Rescue change - standby character can provide backup support when the main character is caught in enemy clutches; Double attack - attack enemies to fill up a special gauge and unleash a powerful two-player simultaneous attack; Recovery gauge - health gauges for standby characters refill according to how well the main character performs in battle; Combo counter - recovery items are only available when dropped by enemies, defeating multiple enemies in a row will increase the combo counter and the rate at which enemies drop these special items

Three Navigator types - Pick a Navigator at the beginning of a stage; each offers a stage strategy, an enemy strategy or story supplements

Collect "metal" from defeated enemies - Use as building blocks for valuable power-up chips

Ability to use weapons obtained from defeated bosses (As if there was any doubt - Ed.)

Multiple story endings and hidden items

 Dec 01, 2004 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
Megaman X8 Villians Revealed
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Playstation2/Sony For those brave few who will pick up a Megaman X title after the horrid X7 (yeah, I'll be one of them, but probably not until after the holidays) IGN's released the list of new villians to the series.

 Nov 29, 2004 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
Sony engineering PSP "Shortage"?
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Playstation2/Sony In a move that harkens back to the PS2's deliberately-caused "shortages" and "sold out" status, Sony may be deliberately holding back PSP stock according to Kikizo Games.

The PSP officially goes on sale in Japan on 12 December, and several retailers have said that they will not be taking pre-orders at all for the much-in-demand portable. Other stores that had earlier taken pre-orders have reported that they won't be taking any more pre-orders either.

Sony is indirectly causing this anguish to the Japanese by its reluctance to nail down specifics for the upcoming PSP launch. At issue is the precise number of PSPs stores can expect to receive, and this is making retailers hesitant to promise more than they can deliver.

Sony recently said that it will have around 200,000 PSPs ready to go on launch day and that it would ramp up production to hit half a million units by the end of the year.
Launching with that limited a number is a bit silly, especially given what they have to know about their preorder demand. Thus my suspicions that they're deliberately keeping the supply low...

 Nov 18, 2004 - 02:00 PM - by Michael
KOF '94 Upgraded
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Playstation2/Sony King of Fighters '94, which is being remade for the PS2, is also getting one hell of an upgrade.

IGN's got the story and is pointing to a set of japanese screenshots to prove how glorious the new visuals will be.

The game's also getting gameplay upgrades, thankfully:

SNK is also adding some gameplay to the title. The arcade original forced players to select pre-set teams of characters. The PS2 version lets players edit a team character-per-character. A couple of new characters will also be included in the game.

As commemoration of the series' 10th anniversary (the original KOF '94 was the first entry in the yearly KOF series), SNK will be releasing some special promotional items with the title. Each copy of the game will include an 84-page special booklet featuring character information as well as a couple of booklets focusing on the game's storyline. The standard version of the game will include as part of its first run a CD-ROM titled "Encyclopedia of KOF"; this CD-ROM includes a catalogue of KOF games, art galleries and mini games.

 Nov 18, 2004 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
Capcom Fighting Evolution Ships
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Playstation2/Sony Capcom Fighting Evolution - a fighting game mishmosh of Street Fighter II, Darkstalkers, Street Fighter III, Red Earth and Street Fighter Alpha - has shipped out.

 Nov 17, 2004 - 08:00 AM - by Michael
Metal Gear Sequel?
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Playstation2/Sony It appears that Konami may already be working on Metal Gear Solid 4, despite word to the contrary from the series' creator.

As reported by GameSpot, Konami president Motoyuki Yoshioka told the press at a recent shareholder meeting in Japan that not only is the next game being considered, there are plans to extend the series even further.

"We already have ideas in our mind on what the fourth release will be like," Yoshioka said. "We believe that we can continue to develop [more] titles in the series. We hope that you will support us [in this decision]."
It makes sense - Konami wouldn't want to let a hot property like that drop. And just like Pixar getting screwed by Disney over Toy Story, I'm betting Konami's got the rights to make MGS games with or without the creator's approval.

 Nov 08, 2004 - 06:36 PM - by Michael
Shellshock: Nam '67 mini-review
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Playstation2/Sony Shellshock 'Nam 67 is part of the new breed of FPS titles; while many of our greatest titles (Wolfenstein, Call of Duty) are set in World War II, memories are aging, and the Vietnam and Korean conflicts are fresher in memory.

Enter the Vietnam titles. They're coming, and will probably be here for some time to come. We've also seen Kuma:War and other "recent" war titles, but the FPS genre is likely to still focus either on futuristic landscapes or past conflicts where the history is either set in stone, or can be altered to suit the designer's tastes.

Functionally, the designers set out to emulate a Vietnam base camp, and 11 somewhat forgettable missions. This easily earned them an M (Mature) rating on the game; blood, gore, more gore in the levels, while between missions scantily clad pin-ups, drugs, and sex (referred to as "boom-boom") are all purchasable.

The hit detection system, for what it is, is quite good - enemies hit in certain areas drop to protect their wound, enemies hit in the leg or foot lose their balance... and after a short time, return to attack. Note to self: make sure they're dead. Again, very accurate to Vietnam, but likely to give small children bad ideas or nightmares. The controversy that surrounded Vietnam is there in full bloody detail, including a soundtrack made up of, ironically, mostly Vietnam protest songs.

If the missions matched the mood, this game would be great. Unfortunately, there are only 11 missions, and they're rather bland. Plus, there's no training mission (even accessible as a separate menu selection) so, functionally, players are dropped into the first mission and mortar attack with no training. Accurate, if messy, and not very good gameplay. The game is also somewhat dodgy about ammunition storage, picking up ammo only for the currently equipped weapon rather than holding even 1-2 clips of other types just in case.

All in all, I can only give Shellshock: Nam '67 three stars. It's an interesting title, but not tremendously fun to play.

 Nov 03, 2004 - 01:00 PM - by Michael
GG Isuka Ships Out
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Playstation2/Sony Sammy Studios informs us that Guilty Gear Isuka has shipped:

November 02, 2004 - Sammy Studios, Inc., a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content, announced that Guilty Gear Isuka(tm) has now shipped to retail outlets across North America. Developed by Arc System Works exclusively for the PlayStation(r)2 computer entertainment system, Guilty Gear Isuka is the sequel in the critically acclaimed Guilty Gear fighting game franchise. The title promises to be the most exciting game yet in the series, retaining the trademarks that made it great while ushering in revolutionary new features such as four-player simultaneous play, new characters, a two-player side-scrolling action game and the ability to program your own fighter. Guilty Gear Isuka is rated T for Teen by the ESRB at an MSRP of $49.95.

"With 'Guilty Gear Isuka' shipping today, fans can rest assured that the wait for the first Guilty Gear sequel in nearly two years is almost over," said Tim Pivnicny, senior VP of Sales & Marketing, Sammy Studios, Inc. "Those familiar with the series will recognize that 'Isuka' retains the virtues that put the franchise on the map, even as Arc System Works pushes the 2D fighter envelope by introducing revolutionary new features and creating entirely new play modes. We invite Guilty Gear fans and those new to the series to visit, the official game website for North America to chat with others, get downloads and see more on the game."

Guilty Gear Isuka is the sequel to Guilty Gear X2, introducing exciting new features and play modes, and bringing all-new characters, fight arenas and a new musical score to what many video game critics consider the premier 2D fighting game franchise. For the first time ever in a Guilty Gear game players can battle with four people simultaneously, allowing for 2-on-2, 3-on-1 and 4-player free-for-all matches. Guilty Gear Isuka also brings unprecedented character customization to the series with the first-ever programmable fighter in Factory Mode, where players can take the newly introduced character Robo Ky II and equip him with trademark moves and combos drawn from other fighters. The sequel even introduces an entirely new style of game play in Boost Mode, a new action game delivering an arcade-style 2-player 'beat 'em up' based in the Guilty Gear universe. Boost Mode allows players to choose from the full roster of fighters in the game, each fully equipped with their arsenal of moves and combos. Additional enhancements in the sequel include three brand new characters, a character color palette edit mode, an all-new slate of background environments and new music from the series' trademark rock and metal soundtrack. For more information please visit the dedicated Guilty Gear Isuka web site at
Our review of the game's been up for a while already; check it out in our reviews section or click the link on our topbar.

 Nov 01, 2004 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
PS2 gets Resident Evil 4 after all
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Playstation2/Sony PS2 fans of the Resident Evil series can be happy; According to Gamespy Resident Evil 4, which was almost a Gamecube-exclusive title, is going to come to the PS2 after all.

No word yet on whether there's an Xbox rendition planned as well. If they did a 720p-enabled Xbox version, it'd be the best thing they could do.


 Oct 20, 2004 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
PSX and PS2: no upgrade path
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Playstation2/Sony Sony has announced that current PS2 owners won't be able to get any sort of a kit or firmware upgrade to turn their hard drive-equipped PS2 into a PSX, the new PS2/multimedia unit hybrid.

Apparently they're too different on the inside...

The new models (the 250GB DESR-7500 and 160GB DESR-5500) will include new features like DVD+R recording, and an application that records any TV programmes in line with keywords supplied by the end user, and aims to improve TV recording and media playback in general.

Sony says the new features won't be made available to early adopters of the PSX because "inside, it'll be a different product." Speaking to ITmedia, a Sony rep admitted: "We don't have any plans to release a [firmware] upgrade for the older models."

PSX has recently enjoyed a sales boost in Japan following a price cut, having previously failed to capture the imaginations of consumers. The unit, which has been on sale for around a year, plays PS2 games, DVDs and records television amongst its many multimedia functions.
Failing the upgrade route, they'd better have a trade-in option, or many US users are going to scoff at paying extra for the new unit.

 Oct 14, 2004 - 03:30 PM - by Michael
GITS trailer released
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Playstation2/Sony The trailer for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has been released by Bandai as part of a press release on Ghost in the Shell products coming soon:

Bandai is proud to present a new trailer from its upcoming action game for the PlayStation 2, "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex." Based on the groundbreaking anime series by Masamune Shirow, the title features adrenaline drenched action gameplay, more than 20 minutes of meticulously crafted CGI cut-scenes and three different playable characters. Slated for release on November 8, 2004, "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" is rated "M" for Mature by the ESRB, with a suggested retail price of $49.99.

"Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" immerses players in the Tohoku Autonomous Region, a metropolis lost between technology and humanity that has succumbed to a recent wave of cyber-crime. As Major Motoko Kusanagi, Section 9 officer Batou or Think Tank Tachikoma, players fight through T.A.R's most crime infested areas, delivering their own brand of justice through gravity defying martial arts and a devastating arsenal of firearms and explosives. As they progress through the game, players can hack into cybernetic enemies and nearby machinery to solve puzzles, while gaining insight into the game's detailed storyline. "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" also features rousing multiplayer gameplay that allows up to four gamers to engage in cyber-combat across a number of play modes and arenas.

To download the latest trailer, please visit:

More information about the game is available on the official website:

Other "Ghost in the Shell" products coming out this year include:

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex TV Series
Premiering on the Cartoon Network November 6th 2004.
Volumes 1 and 2 of the DVD available now from Bandai Entertainment.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
The first anime movie ever selected to compete for Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2004. Limited theatrical release in Fall 2004, distributed in the US by Dreamworks.
Looking pretty good so far; I'm probably going to start catching the GITS series when it runs on Cartoon Network.

The trailer's sweet, too.

 Oct 13, 2004 - 06:00 PM - by Michael
Short Reactions: Guilty Gear, Shadow Hearts
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Playstation2/Sony Two Playstation2 titles I've had my hands on recently:

Shadow Hearts: Covenant. This is a game you will either love, or hate. On the one hand, it's got classic modes and style of gameplay, a great storyline, an incredibly long and in-depth storyline, numerous areas to go to, twists and turns and new threats all the time. On the other hand... see the previous. This game is completely irreverent towards its genre and rarely takes itself seriously, which is a good thing.

The downside is for all those gamers who think turn-based gameplay is "old"... this game's got GREAT turn-based gameplay.

Then there's Guilty Gear Isuka. This is a wierd, but fun, addition to the Guilty Gear universe. The main change is the addition of a button to alter facing, because as many as four players can be onscreen at once, and a two-tiered fighting plane (two planes of fighting next to each other) that hasn't been seen in a fighting game since the SNES days. It's interesting, and offers some unique strategy options. More after the weekend.

 Oct 08, 2004 - 03:45 PM - by Michael
Shadow Hearts: Covenant
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Playstation2/Sony I think I'm about halfway through this wierd game from Midway.

So far, every time I think it might get serious... it fails. Roger Bacon was my only hope, and he's like a cross between Yoda and Happosai.

I freakin' LOVE this game.

 Sep 08, 2004 - 10:17 AM - by Michael
Shadow Hearts Gold
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Playstation2/Sony Midway sends word that Shadow Hearts: Covenant has gone gold.

Midway Readies to Ship Its Epic RPG on September 27th

Chicago-based Midway Amusement Games, LLC, announced today that their epic, fantasy role-playing game has gone gold. Scheduled to ship on September 27th for the PlayStation?2 computer entertainment system, Shadow Hearts: Covenant is the sequel to the critically acclaimed original that debuted in 2001.

The epic adventure that fills 2 DVDs with over 40 hours of intense gameplay brings back its innovative combat system, The Judgment Ring, allowing players to wield the power necessary to fulfill their destiny. Players must combine split second timing and skillful combat strategy to master the Judgment Ring's powerful and stackable attacks. The improved Judgment Ring allows players to choose which characters to bring to battle and features new team-based combo attacks and defensive formations. Also featured in Covenant is an inventive magic system where players must build skill sets, strategize gameplay moves, earn and cast spells with a team of complex characters, based on distinct personalities, attributes and magical abilities.


 Aug 24, 2004 - 09:10 AM - by Michael
Prince of Persia 2 Title
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Playstation2/Sony's game listings have revealed the secret - Prince of Persia 2's title is Warrior Within.

Not that that'll stop me from playing the game. If anything, it may help. I just hope they manage to return the "rewind" feature somehow, as it was one of the most innovative game devices I've seen in a good while.

 Aug 02, 2004 - 12:08 PM - by Michael
Shadow Hearts Pre-Order Deal Announced
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Playstation2/Sony Midway sends word to us that they're offering a special deal on pre-orders for Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

CHICAGO ? August 3, 2004 ? Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY), a leading interactive entertainment publisher and developer, today announced its official pre-order campaign for Shadow Hearts: Covenant, the sequel to the critically acclaimed role-playing game in 2001. Consumers can now pre-order Covenant and receive a copy of the original Shadow Hearts for free. Scheduled to ship on September 27, 2004 exclusively for PlayStation?2 computer entertainment system, Shadow Hearts: Covenant is a deep, engaging RPG set in a fantastical world filled with ancient magic, mystical lore, unspeakable curses and a diabolical plot.

Amidst the chaos of World War I over a year after the original Shadow Hearts ended, Yuri and Karin embark on an epic journey testing their power and magic skills to combat terrifying creatures and conquer the evil that Rasputin plans to unleash upon the word.

The epic adventure that fills 2 DVDs with over 40 hours of intense gameplay brings back its innovative combat system, The Judgment Ring, allowing players to wield the power necessary to fulfill their destiny. Players must combine split second timing and skillful combat strategy to master the Judgment Ring's powerful and stackable attacks. The improved Judgment Ring allows players to choose which characters to bring to battle and features new team-based combo attacks and defensive formations. Also featured in Covenant is an inventive magic system where players must build skill sets, strategize gameplay moves, earn and cast spells with a team of complex characters, based on distinct personalities, attributes and magical abilities.

Bonus item (approximate retail value $19.95) will ship with purchased product. Order while supplies last. For more information on Shadow Hearts: Covenant visit


 Jul 23, 2004 - 07:20 AM - by Michael
Star Ocean Impressions on RPGFan
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Playstation2/Sony RPGFan has their first impressions, as well as a gallery, posted up regarding next month's release of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Square Enix also has an unlinkable press release on the matter, with an interesting tidbit; what American audiences get will be the full "director's cut" version of the game.
The North American release of STAR OCEAN is packed with extras as it contains all of the features of the Japanese ?Director?s Cut? version. The development time was extended to implement what is considered to be the developers? true vision for the stateside release. Multiple added features allowed by the additional capacity include extended high-resolution cinematic sequences, two new areas with varied gameplay such as elemental based puzzles, new playable characters that expand the story and several VS. modes in which players can also choose from a variety of looks for the characters.

 Jul 12, 2004 - 02:46 PM - by Michael
PSP to die from lack of launch titles?
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Playstation2/Sony Looks like Sony's got some issues getting development kits out so that games will be available for the PSP on launch.

That could be painful - though truthfully standardizing on small-sized discs has already hurt their bottom line somewhat. Having to buy movies just to play in it, that will ONLY play in it, doesn't sound that great to me.

 Jun 29, 2004 - 08:06 PM - by Michael
Resident Evil: Apocalypse pics
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Playstation2/Sony Dark Horizons has a set of pictures of the upcoming movie, Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

I didn't think it was possible, but they've managed to make Milla Jovovich look even hotter than they did the last time. "Wow."

 Jun 22, 2004 - 04:49 PM - by Michael
Console Sticker Shock!
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Playstation2/Sony Don't look now, but the price tag for the PS3 could easily be $500.

And gamers will collectively gasp.

Personally, I expected this day would come... and I know that it sucks. Why? Because a price tag that steep will harm the growth of the new consoles. The Xbox 2 is looking to be similarly priced, and Nintendo's "Revolution" they claim will coexist with the Gamecube is looking more and more like the mistakes made with the Sega Saturn "coexisting" with Genesis/32X/SegaCD all over again.

Painful. Also Weekly Musings fodder... when I have more concrete information.

 Jun 16, 2004 - 05:35 PM - by Michael
Backyard Wrestling Trailer 2 goes live
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Playstation2/Sony Eidos has launched the official game site for Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes The Neighborhood.

To commemorate, they've also kicked up the first game trailer on the Eidos site, and are running a giveaway of an Ipod if you register for their mailing list on game news/updates.

Go for it, why not - while the first game wasn't that fun, it seems the second may rectify many of the shortcomings. I'll be perusing the site later and seeing if I can get an interview on the matter; in the meantime, check it out for yourselves!

 Jun 16, 2004 - 04:16 PM - by Michael
Sony's new PSX shipping July 1st
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Playstation2/Sony Apparently, over in Japan, the new PSX model - Playstation2/DVR hybrids - will be shipping to retail as of July 1st.

Apparently, they've changed the GUI, added a satellite TV tuner, improved the broadcast TV tuner, and... not much else. Oh, but they're offering them (limited edition) in silver instead of white.

Europe sees them by the end of the year, America... who the heck knows?

Personally, I can't quite see the point - if you want a DVR, why not get a standalone DVR? I know the Japanese are space-conscious, which could explain some of it, but for those of us who aren't, a modular setup is usually far superior. That way, if the PS2 busts, we don't have to worry about being DVR-less at the same time.

 Jun 14, 2004 - 06:28 PM - by Michael
Shadow Hearts 2 Screens
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Playstation2/Sony Midway Games has sent out screenshots from the upcoming Midway title Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Looking pretty good so far!<table cellpadding=5>

 Jun 10, 2004 - 05:00 PM - by Michael
Atari Prez Bruno Bonnell on the PSP: OUCH.
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Playstation2/Sony Bruno Bonnell's comments on the PSP over at CNN/Money make a very good point.
"We saw pictures and a nice prototype at E3, but I want to see more," Bonnell said at a Piper Jaffrey consumer conference Wednesday. "Yeah, it's cool. It's nice, like a nice car. But we have no idea if the PSP's pricing is going to be $250, $350 or $500. "What about the breakable aspects of it? If it breaks, can you bring it back and get another one for free? What about the movie strategy? The wireless strategy? The MP3 downloading? We don't know. What about the connectivity issues? We don't know. What about the video output? We don't know."
Personally, I'd add in my own worries - the PSP is a nightmare of feature creep. Being a mp3 player would be nice, but they haven't said how it'll get the files onboard (and it's not exactly likely to be easy, given the concerns they'd then have about game piracy going the other way or people modding the heck out of it to load Linux or somesuch). Being a movie player is nice, BUT instead of using CD/DVD media, it uses mini-media, so any movie you'd like to watch on it you have to buy AGAIN to use in another location (or buy again to play on the PSP even if you already own the DVD version). I just don't see it catching on... and I hate to say that, too.

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