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PlayStation3 media tour November 14, 2006

Posted by rockysays in hmm...interesting, niceness, inspiration, videogames.
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So the PS3 has finally launched in Japan, and the US launch is fast approaching (us poor unfortunates in Europe still have a few months to wait), and one aspect of Sony’s new piece of living room furniture that has been receiving lots of praise is its media playback/management facilities. Utilising an interface that is essentially a high-res version of the PSP menu system, the PS3 can handle a variety of media on a variety of formats. Music, photos and videos can be read from memory cards and USB flash memory to name just a couple of sources, as well as from the consoles hard drive, although there doesn’t seem to be any provision for streaming media from a PC the way that the Xbox360 can. But where the PS3 currently holds the advantage over the 360 – at least in video playback stakes – is in the fact that it can handle a variety of video formats, not just poxy WMV files like the 360 does. And the “photo album” facility looks absolutely gorgeous, although I’m not sure how useable it is; once that initial “Wow” factor has subsided, I suspect that many PS3 owners will opt for a simple slide show when viewing their digital pics.

On balance, the media playback capabilities of the PS3 and its crossbar interface seem to me a little bit, well, sexier than the 360’s offerings. But that alone wouldn’t be enough to make me want one, especially since I recently bought a 360 – and I could still buy a Wii once it’s available and have two cutting edge consoles for the price of Sony’s one.

Gears Of War November 8, 2006

Posted by rockysays in videogames.
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Well, the long awaited Xbox 360 title Gears Of War is nearly upon us, and judging from the reviews appearing online, the general consensus seems to be that it’s f’king brilliant. I’ve got to say I’m pretty excited about it, as it’ll be my first foray into next-gen gaming; I’m planning on picking up a 360 next week in preparation for what has been described by many as Game of the Year. There’s a video review over at gametrailers.com. I’d heartily recommend checking it out, if only to see the in-game footage – this game looks absolutely stunning

Assassin’s Creed on Xbox 360 September 28, 2006

Posted by rockysays in general, news, videogames.
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Amazing in-game footage from the X06 press event in Barcelona.

Incidentally, Virgin Megastores across the UK had an offer on this morning for a 360 Core System for ┬ú99, although they were in very limited numbers (something like five per store) and were being sold on a first come first served basis. I considered turning up outside our local store at 6am to try and get to the front of the queue, but having read blog posts on the chaos that ensued at stores in London and Leeds (one blogger commented that people were like animals, grabbing anything and everything they could lay their hands on), I’m glad I stayed in bed. I still want one though. Maybe there will be a price drop on the Premium system when the PS3 is finally launched here next year – fingers crossed

Surprise surprise – PlayStation3 delayed in Europe September 6, 2006

Posted by rockysays in general, news, videogames.
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Well spank me silly with a wiry brush – just days after the launch of the official European PS3 website, Sony have announced that us poor unfortunates in Europe won’t be getting our grubby hands on their new wonder box until March next year. According to Sony, the delay is due to problems with “the mass production schedule of the blue laser diode within the Sony Group, thus affecting the timely procurement of key components to be utilised in PlayStation 3”. The North American and Japanese launches are still due to go ahead this November though. My guess it that Sony want to make sure they’ve got enough consoles for the States and Japan, and the most obvious way to do that is to continue their long held tradition of shafting European gamers. Why don’t Sony just hand over the European games market to Microsoft now, and save embarassment later?!

A YouTube for videogames August 14, 2006

Posted by rockysays in general, hmm...interesting, news, videogames.
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Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?! OK, so it was essentially marketing prose from Microsoft’s Peter Moore, but it’s a great idea.

Microsoft have announced a free software suite called XNA Game Studio Express that will enable anyone running Windows XP to create their own games for PC and XBox 360 (although if you want to create games for the 360 you’ll have to pay an annual $99 “Creators’ Club” subscription fee). Given the amount of manpower and time it takes to develop a console game these days, it’ll certainly be interesting to see what can be accomplished by small indie studios, or even bedroom coders. And considering the grumblings coming from developers about just how difficult it is to code for the PS3, this is a really canny move from Microsoft. The beta version of XNA Game Studio Express is due to be launched on August 30th. You can read more here

Lego Star Wars 2 August 10, 2006

Posted by rockysays in Flash, general, movies, videogames, web design.
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The Original Trilogy
The website for the new Lego Star Wars videogame has just gone live, and has some nice little touches. By visiting different parts of the site, you can earn studs, which will then buy you stuff like screensavers and wallpapers (whoopee). You can also download a PC demo of the game. Personally, I’m hoping they’ll release a downloadable PSP demo, but I’m not holding my breath

Balls to PSP July 21, 2006

Posted by rockysays in general, hmm...interesting, news, niceness, inspiration, Television, videogames.
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Sony Bravia 'balls' advert
…well, Son of Balls actually. Following on from the memorable ‘Balls’ ad campaign for Sony’s Bravia TV range, as part of the next Bravia campaign (centring on a new TV ad by director Jonathan Glazer) Sony will offer free, exclusive PSP content available from the ‘net as well as PlayStation┬«Spot and Wifi distribution points

Great website for a great game June 22, 2006

Posted by rockysays in Flash, general, niceness, inspiration, videogames.
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The website for PSP game LocoRoco (due out tomorrow in the UK) recreates the actual control system from the game to navigate around the site. And it works really well; although I have to admit that once the novelty had worn off I ended up using the quick nav to browse the different parts of the site

Dead In Iraq May 26, 2006

Posted by rockysays in general, hmm...interesting, videogames.
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Joseph DeLappe, an associate professor at the University of Nevada Reno, has started using the US Army's online propaganda and recruitment tool, the "America's Army" game, as a protest platform. He logs in with other gamers, but rather than joining in with the killing, simply posts the names of soldiers who have died for real in the Iraq war. It's obviously provoking some interesting reactions from other gamers, one of whom responded by posting, "u aren't encouraging me to join the services". Duh

Sony E3 Press Conference May 9, 2006

Posted by rockysays in general, news, videogames.
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Sony have finally spilled a sizeable amount of beans about their plans for PS3, and I can't help thinking they've just handed the advantage to Microsoft.

The fact that they've made a big deal of announcing the final design for the "new" PS3 controller seems a bit of a joke now that they've revealed it's the same old DualShock we've been clutching since the PS1 was cutting edge. OK, so there are some refinements, but the extra functionality (motion sensing technology, wireless controller) have come courtesy of their competitors – The wireless XBox 360 controller is already a reality, and Nintendo announced their innovative motion sensing controller way back when Sony were still claiming the PS3 would be released Spring 2006.

Perhaps more importantly, launch dates and prices have also been revealed. 2 models will be available from November 17th (or November 11th if you live in Japan), and both will feature a hard drive as standard. If you thought the XBox360 was pricey, you might not want to hear this; a PS3 with 20GB hard drive will set you back £340/$499, and a 60GB version will be £410/$599.