October 20, 2008

BioShock PS3’s ‘Challenge Rooms’ Coming in November

Posted in General at 5:27 pm by playstation3

Check out our sister website PlayStation4.net!

The biggest addition to the PlayStation 3 version of BioShock are the “Challenge Rooms,” a feature that publisher 2K Games has revealed will be released as downloadable content on November 20.

For those still in the dark, the “Challenge Rooms” are essentially BioShock-themed puzzle areas complete with timer and tasks that force you to use the skills you may or may not have learned through the course of the single-player game.

The updated version of BioShock hits shelves on October 21.

LittleBigPlanet’s little expressions cause big problems

Posted in General at 5:26 pm by playstation3

Check out our sister website PlayStation4.net!

Sony has suffered a blow to its plans for a strong PlayStation 3 showing this holiday season with a delay to one of its marquee games.

LittleBigPlanet has been released to reviewers, but retail copies are now being held back while a part of the soundtrack considered of possible offence to Muslims is changed.

In a statement, Sony said it had been brought to its attention that one of the background music tracks contained two expressions that could be found in the Qur�an.

It said it was rectifying the situation and apologised for any offence it might have caused.

LittleBigPlanet, an innovative game where players can create and share their own levels, is a key title. Sony has emphasised that its games line-up will be the biggest lure for console buyers this season, rather than any price-cut strategy.

September US sales figures, released on Thursday by the NPD research firm, showed the PS3 trailed badly in third in September, with 232,000 PS3s sold. Microsoft�s Xbox 360, which benefited from a price cut on September 5, sold 347,000 units, while the Nintendo Wii sold 687,000.

LittleBigPlanet will be released a week late on October 27 in North America, but gamer sites are reporting a November 14 date for the rest of the world, meaning a two or three week delay there.

In the meantime, Nintendo will release a key title for the holidays on Monday in Wii Music. It represents the third leg of its strategy to produce categories of all-ages activity games. following Wii Sports and Wii Fit. Using the existing motion-sensing controllers, Wii Music allows gamers to play along to more than 50 songs, choosing from more than 60 instruments.

Wii Fit, which uses the balance board accessory, sold more than 500,000 units in the US in September, helping to boost console sales as well. Nintendo hopes Wii Music will have the same effect over the next two months.

The Wii has been a decisive winner so far in the next-generation console race and its success has only been impeded by the console selling out at peak buying times,

Denise Kaigler, Nintendo�s head of corporate affairs in the US, told me this week Nintendo boosted monthly production by a third to 2.4m units worldwide in April and aimed to have increased numbers available at retail this holiday season.

�We know more consumers will be able to find them, and we�ve no desire to have shortages, but we won�t know till January just how successful we�ve been,� she said.

TNA Impact Early Sale Estimates

Posted in General at 5:26 pm by playstation3

Check out our sister website PlayStation4.net!

Early sale estimates from TNA Impact are 100,000 in North America and 200,000 worldwide. Expectations were set higher for TNA’s cornerstone game.

Alone in the Dark renamed for PS3

Posted in General at 5:25 pm by playstation3

Check out our sister website PlayStation4.net!

We weren’t too impressed with the PC and Xbox 360 versions of Alone in the Dark, despite some clever innovations and ideas.

Atari and Eden Games have taken criticism of the game on board and the PlayStation 3 is looking like a more interesting experience.

So much so Atari has decided to call the game Alone in the Dark: Inferno.

Here are the features, explained by Atari, that have been changed for the Sony version of the game.

Full 360 degree camera control: enhanced camera controls allows complete freedom of the camera and better handling of third person movement for even more immersive gameplay enabling players to view the fire and mass destruction they are causing in all of its glory.

Fine-tuned controls: quicker and smoother reactivity of the hero’s movements in third person view increases the pace of the game and makes for faster, reflexive gameplay during tense fighting scenarios;

Inventory system more accessible: more logical jacket inventory system with the ability to scroll rapidly through the inventory with the D-pad or analog stick to combine objects. In addition, gameplay is paused when accessing the inventory system to allow maximum creativity in combining items to create unique flammable weapons;

More tips: additional on-screen tips will help players quickly adapt to controls and easily understand how to overcome tricky situations;

Spectral Vision tuning: a tutorial earlier in the storyline explains the need to burn roots in order to gain spectral vision (a power that grants you the ability to see the unseen) and difficulty tuning means less spectral vision is required to reach the end of the game;

Improved car dynamics and handling: driving has been tuned with increased suspension and reduced drifting giving overall better handling to make driving a fun walk in the park every time;

59th Street level tuning: one of the game’s most exciting sequences just got better. 59th Street has been tweaked for a more satisfying race against the fissure with difficulty tuning, an added checkpoint at Columbus Circle and clear voice directions given by Sarah;

Brand new thrilling action sequence: an exclusive new sequence has been added in Episode 6 for even more excitement and variety of gameplay in the episode.

PS3 Owners Going Home On 10/24?

Posted in General at 5:25 pm by playstation3

Check out our sister website PlayStation4.net!

As of yet, Sony hasn’t released an official launch date for PlayStation Home; all we know is that it should arrive some time “this fall.” Earlier rumors that the open beta would come right along with the new closed Home beta update – 1.00 – proved false. But perhaps now we have a little clue…

Variety’s Ben Fritz got a chance to sample Home with SCEA director Jack Buser, and evidently, he came away mostly impressed with the experience. However, as we know many of our readers are beta testers, we won’t get into specifics (if you like, you can read the entire article over at the Cut-Scene blog). But here’s the interesting bit: when they wandered around Home, the code number to get into “personal space” apartments was “1024.” …we assume we don’t have to spell this out for our intelligent readership, but we’ll explain for the less savvy. We know the open Home beta is set for “fall,” and “1024” can be 10/24, which is October 24. This coincides with some inside rumors we’ve heard in the past few months that say Home will launch some time in October, so it’s certainly feasible. We’re going to contact the SCEA Home team to see if we can get a clarification on this issue, and we don’t want the standard, “we don’t comment on rumor and speculation” reply. It’s only a few weeks off; you guys can tell us whether or not the guess is accurate. C’mon, just a simple yes or no… Anyway, we’ll try.

Along with the big-time exclusives like LittleBigPlanet and Resistance 2, PlayStation Home ought to be a major selling point for the PS3 this holiday season. And given the importance of online functionality for consoles in this generation, the sooner we go Home, the better.

Sony Announces 80 GB PS3 for Japan

Posted in General at 5:24 pm by playstation3

Check out our sister website PlayStation4.net!

Japan is the home turf for Sony’s PlayStation gaming line, so the company has a tendency to introduce new models and hardware in the Japanese market before migrating them overseas to North America and Europe.

But this time, the situation is a little reversed: Sony has announced it will begin offering a new PlayStation 3 model in Japan at the end of October. The unit will feature a 80 GB hard disk drive�and a �39,980 price tag. That puts the new unit at the same price as the currently 40 GB PlayStation 3.

Sony has been offering 80 GB versions of the PlayStation 3 in Europe and North America.

The 80 GB version of the PS3 currently marks the top storage capacity available in the gaming console. Sony launched the PlayStation 3 in late 2006 with two capacities: 20 GB and 60 GB. The company quickly phased out the 20 GB model, claiming the bulk of its sales were for the 60 GB unit. Then, as gamers initially shunned the pricey in favor of the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360, Sony reduced prices and eventually brought out a 40 GB edition of the PS3. Sony then launched the 80 GB version of the PS3 in North America in mid-2007, at an initial price of $599, phasing out the 60 GB model.

Sony says it hopes to sell 10 million PlayStation 3 consoles during its current fiscal year, which ends in March 2009.