Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Firmware 2.00 Is Released, Go Download

Firmware 2.00 is now out and available for download on the PLAYSTATION Network and is yet to be available on the site. When installing the new firmware, they restate the main features for 2.00:
Main Features Revised in System Software Version 2.00
  • You can now select a custom theme or set background color under [Settings] > [Theme Settings]. tems Such as the background, icons, and font used in t he XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) screen can now be customized.
  • A playlist feature has been added under [Music] and [Photo]. Also you can now group content under [Video] and [Game].
  • Notifications about PLAYSTATION® related topics are now displayed on the XMB™ screen. You can set whether to display the notifications under [Network] > [Information Board].
  • You can now turn on a PS3™ system from a PSP™ system when the systems are connected for remote play. This setting can be adjusted in [Remote Star] under [Settings] > [Remote Play Settings].
  • The [PLAYSTATION® Network] category has been added, and the [PLAYSTATION® Store] is now displayed under this category.
Little features added to the update that we've noticed include:
Little Features
  • System Notices, such as friends signing-in, have changed in design. They are blacker now, with better transparency.
  • The select hand on the browsers have changed.
  • In the text typing box, the words are now bigger.
  • Browser speed and PLAYSTATION Store speed have increased greatly.
  • Video chat is now different looking.
  • The PLAYSTATION Store now streams videos as well as downloads them.
  • You can adjust the brightness level of your background under Themes.
Well, go and get your 2.00 not really near-goodness.

Kane & Lynch: Havana Gameplay

Take cover in the shadows, and in the heat of Havana. Kane & Lynch: Dead Men is coming this month, prepare for robbery.

Motorstorm: Devil's Crossing Trailer

If your getting ready for tomorrow's Devil's Weekend content, then rev up with this Devil's Crossing trailer, giving you an idea of what new Motorstorm goodies your going to get. Enjoy.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue: 42 New Screenshots

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is the prequel to the full release of Gran Turismo 5 coming next year. WorthPlaying has received 42 new images for you to enjoy. View them at the link below.

[View: GT5P Screens]

Motorstorm: Devil's Weekend Coming

Get ready for a hell raising weekend, because Evolution's Motorstorm is going to be releasing new content once again, talk about keeping your racing experience fresh.

On November 8th, 2007, the server Update 3.0 patch will become available, as will new Devil’s Weekend downloadable content on the PLAYSTATION Store.

But what will be new in this 3.0 patch you ask? Evolution has added support for the DUALSHOCK 3 controller with adjustable sensitivity settings, and have added sensitivity settings for SIXAXIS Motion Sensor control. Also, finishing position from the last race now determines your starting grid position in the next race within the same online lobby. And the grid order is completely randomized for the first race in any online lobby.

The Devil's Weekend content consists of 4 new tickets containing 10 races, including five new vehicles with one being an unlockable.

They are also including a little late Halloween treat by including a vehicle with a Halloween skin available to everyone when you update to the new server patch.

Firmware 2.00 may not have gave us the satisfaction we wanted, but Evolution Studios sure knows how to treat us right.

[Via PS.Blog]

Infinity Ward Developer: "Developing for PS3 Was Easy"

According to Infinity Ward, the developer of the Call of Duty series, developing the game on the PLAYSTATION 3 was easy.

Over the days, we've seen many developers tell their stories about how developing for the PLAYSTATION 3 is a difficult task, and thats why it sees so many delays. This is because so many have prioritized their development over the Xbox 360 and ported it to the PLAYSTATION 3.

The Infinity Ward developer stated:

“There’s obviously some problem with all the delays we’re witnessing. I think it’s just down to allocation of resources. I think maybe people feel that they’re resource strapped and feel a little bit more comfortable working on the Xbox 360 as it’s been out a little longer [than the PS3].”

He continued:
“We haven’t had any problems [with PS3] and that’s probably because of our development philosophy. We develop content-agnostic so we don’t have a lead platform. We have a team working on each of the different versions and everyone else forms a team who makes the content platform agnostic.”
[Via PSU]

Kane & Lynch: Cop & Subway Gameplay

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men has been unloading the new gameplay videos, and they've been looking great as they come. Here are two more new ones, the Cop Chase and Subway gameplay. Enjoy.

Firmware 2.00: Video Presentation

Here is a good quality video demonstrating the new features of the PLAYSTATION 3 firmware 2.00 straight from Sony. Enjoy.

[Via PS.Blog]

Kaz Talks Monster Hunter 3, PS3 Backwards Compatibility

In a new interview with Sony Computer Entertainment's Kaz Hirai, he talks about losing Monster Hunter 3 and about PLAYSTATION 3 backwards compatibility.

He explains that the 40GB PLAYSTATION 3 model was not shown at TGS 2007 because it was more important to showcase their software lineup.

He explains that removing the PLAYSTATION 3's backwards compatibility for newer models wasn't hard because it was only one of many features for the PLAYSTATION 3. Playing actual games, downloading them, and such are more important in his mind. Removing the backwards compatibility made them able to lower the price.

On Monster Hunter 3, Hirai states that it's up to the game companies basically and he has no control over it.

On the PLAYSTATION Home delay, he stated it was "a possitive effect". He was not satisfied with what HOME is right now and they wanted to make sure it was to their hearts content.

Read the full interview at the link below.

[Read: Kaz Interview]

PAIN: Coming End of November

Sony Computer Entertainment has confirmed to gaming site, IGN, that PLAYSTATION Network title Pain will be available for download at the PLAYSTATION Store at the end of this month.

The hopeful date is November 29th, though as the company works to secure a worldwide release for the title, that date could slip back about a week.

[Via IGN]

Kane & Lynch: Fragile Alliance Trailer

Get your friends together to perform the ultimate heist, then see how many you can betray before the chopper shows up in Eidos Interactive's Kane & Lynch: Dead Men.

GameTrailers Compares Call of Duty 4 for PS3 and X360

Finally, the first real comparison between the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360 versions. Although, the hardness factor of finding a difference shows of Infinity Ward's excellent development skil.

Kung Fu Panda Trailer

A new game trailer based on the new Dreamworks Animation movie, you have to help this reluctant panda save the Valley of Peace! This is the Activision title, Kung Fu Panda.

Burnout Paradise: Hunter Manhattan Trailer

A new Burnout Paradise trailer for the Hunter Manhattan car featured in the game. Pretty nice and pink right? Wonder how it looks smashed up.

Firmware 2.00: The Thoughts of PS3 Owners

There has been quite some controversy over the recent detail release of tomorrow's 2.00 firmware update. If you've been keeping tabs on comments over at the official PlayStation.Blog post for the update, you'll notice a lot of unhappy faces.

This post is dedicated to the comment gathering showing what the PLAYSTATION 3 users really want. Lets start.


Commenter #42 writes:
"Well, that was certainly disappointing.

I like the idea of the PLAYSTATION Network XMB group, but thats not the way to do it.

Remove Friends, under PLAYSTATION Network, add in Friends under there. We need game invites as well.

Under Game, add categories, such as Demos, Games, and then the Blu-Ray Disc icon stays right above those.

Under Video, add categories, such as TV Shows, Movies, Trailers, and Game Videos.

Add in-game XMB so that we can use the game and cross game invites so we can actually have a good online experience.

You’ve had in-game XMB in the prototype so I don’t understand why it would be so hard to incorporate into the system.

Add support for video files such as WMV and AVI, nobody likes converting to MPEG4 all the time.

Add real profiles to the games, like how gamertags work on the 360. Add those entitlements that you were talking about a while back."

Those are all some really great features that would make the PLAYSTATION 3 a good choice for buyers and would attract them much to the console.

Commenter #100 writes:

"It’s not like I personally want 2.0, I just need my in game XMB. I could care less if that feature was in update 1.95 or whatever. But if they say that 2.0 would be different, just put whatever we all are asking which is access to the Cross Media Bar while playing games…that’s all"

It seems the basis of all these comments are about in-game XMB. Sony has been promising it for a while, and like #42 said, if it was in the prototype, why take this long for now?

Commenter #105 writes:

"No in-game XMB? Sony you lose… this one was really hard to screw up, you even have a GAP poll going yet you still manage to miss the easy one. All we need was in-game xmb or custom soundtracks and we got neither. No home, no xmb and no soundtracks…..2.0 BLOWS!"

Another in-game XMB post. I guess it will come sooner or later.

Commenter #108 writes:

"1. In-game access to PSN messaging

2. Ability to play my own music from the XMB while in-game

3. Larger buddy list and buddy-list features such as categorizing

These are the things we want the most sony in that exact order."

These were all featured in a G.A.P. poll yesterday. Thing is, they are asking to add one, if you include in-game XMB, you can do all of those.

Commenter #209 writes:

"I gladly pay $60cdn on XBL, because it’s a true online experience. It’s not any of this incomplete BS that is PSN. It’s voice chat across all games, it’s messaging or voice chat across any interface(games, HDD, DVD, or HD DVD movies, basically where ever you are), the music across any interface, the constant flow of downloads instantly when they’re available, not days(in some cases weeks) after. That’s expansions, demos, trailers, XBLA games, etc.

Some may say that they are small features and Sony is working towards them, but honestly, you’ve been saying that since November 06, and what’s the date today? November 2007. A year after Sony hasn’t grasped what the true online experience is, and if the keep going at this pace, Im afraid they never will. Sony, please charge if you have to, but Im tired of using this half @$$ed experience. I was one of the few that paid $660cdn + tax at launch for my console, so Id gladly pay for online if it meant a DECENT service."

Commenter #247 writes a lengthy post:

"All I want for Christmas is In-Game XMB!
In-Game XMB!

All I want for Christmas is In-Game XMB!
In-Game XMB!

Seriously the last serious firmware update was almost 2 months ago I think everyone would have waited another month or two if In-Game XMB was included in this so-called 2.00 firmware update. Maybe I am way off but I have to assume Sony knows the importance of this to the PS3 and gaming community. I certainly know the importance and feel everyone’s pain that it is not implemented yet, when it should have shipped in firmware 1.00 along with a Touch sense DualShock 3 but that’s another story all together.

Anyway I think Sony need to be more open with us, this blog started out ok with nice lines of communication and candid dialog but now it is just a bunch of PR.
Come on Sony be open with us let us know what’s going on we are gamers we can take it, be candid with us, obviously we are very candid with our comments and suggestions, return the favor.

For example the firmware 2.00 rumors for months have hyped everyone up to unreal expectations, a nice post or news release telling us what you’re up to what’s fake what’s real is a nice start. Also try to stop this denying thing, like the DualShock 3, when the info is leaked before it is supposed to be announced it doesn’t do anybody any good for you to deny everything, then you look like a liar and a company that doesn’t care what we say, and no one is excited or surprised by the announcements when you finally do make them. If it is leaked then come out and confirm or REALLY deny it with your PR babble if you must but whatever it is tell us the truth.

Back to firmware, we understand you can’t tell us everything that goes on during firmware update work but major things like a feature that is being worked on for a later firmware is nice perhaps a status report with tentative release date of upcoming firmware. We understand dates might not be exact but I am sure we all like a quality product even if takes a little longer than release date, that’s one reason we bought the PS3 over other devices. I would rather have a release date that’s really far out and end up with an earlier release than expected.

To know something is going on with features we want would be incredible. I just think there should be a better system for us to get some better feedback some acknowledgement that you hear us. With this firmware 2.00 post and no mention of In-Game XMB is irresponsible and not acceptable for the #1 most requested firmware feature update, and makes Sony look like they don’t even care about all the people that spent so much on the P$3. I think there should be some better system for submitting requests for firmware updates and a way to see which features have a lot of support which ones are absolutely impossible weather forever or just at this point in the PS3’s life and which features are being worked on based on popular support or Sony’s vision for the PS3, because let’s face it not every idea we have is good, and Sony has implemented some nice features including the features in firmware 2.00 that we haven’t thought of.

I guess what I am trying to say is Thank You for the support you give the community and PS3 as well as the great games from Sony Studios around the globe. Thank You for the FREE firmware updates although I am sure some of us would pay to get In-Game XMB. Just be more candid with the PlayStation community we can take it. One final note I love the new PSN Logo if all the icons on the XMB could be styled to match that would be one beautiful XMB but don’t make it so beautiful we can’t have In-Game XMB."

Well said. But then, we have people who will suck up to Sony no matter how bad the update really is.


Commenter #218 writes:
Okay, weird.

Commenter #132 writes:
"AWESOME UPDATE! I cant wait. I for one DO NOT want in-game XMB so please dont add it."
As you can see, they are fanboys in their prime. Personally though, I agree with all the rebels, bring whats posted on the good side, and bring a new PLAYSTATION Store with constant updates, thats not a web page, but a program built into the PLAYSTATION 3.

Assassin's Creed Receives 9.5 from Game Informer

Game Informer magazine has received and reviewed Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed, and rated it a 9.5 out of 10, so doubters, be gone. They open up with:
"Assassin’s Creed is the type of game that comes along only rarely – a title that innovates in so many areas it helps to set a new bar in various aspects of gameplay, storytelling, visuals, and controls. Simultaneously, it’s an imperfect game in which the small flaws that mar its sheen are all the more noticeable because so much of the rest of the game shines so brightly. Deep, engaging, and surprising from beginning to end, Assassin’s Creed’s merits will be debated for a long time. However, as a brave attempt at delivering something unique and audacious, it excels."
Excels it does. Read the full review at the link below.

[Read: Assassin's Creed Review]

Firmware 2.00 Sneak Peek Video

Firmware 2.00 is going to be available for download tomorrow. However, if you want to check out the features in video form, Games Radar has you covered with his new sneak peak. Enjoy.

Firmware 2.00: First Images

S0, we just posted about 2.00 a few minutes ago, and look here, images for your enjoyment. Above we have the new information board under network. When you click on it, this appears.

This is the Information Board. On the upper right-hand corner of the XMB, you'll see a scrolling list of headlines, hand-picked by Sony. Currently, these will all be related to video games and PlayStation. If a specific headline is particularly interesting, PS3 owners will be able to access the Information Board from Network and see the content in greater detail. Importing your own RSS feeds is something that's planned for a future firmware upgrade. This feature can be disabled in Settings.

Here we have the new theme settings. This features:
  • Themes - PSP owners recently got access to the ability to create custom themes for their system. PS3 owners will also get this feature. Not only will you be able to customize your wallpaper, you'll be able to change the icons and fonts used in the XMB. An official theme creator will be available for the PC, so users will be able to create their own and share with their friends. Additionally, new themes will be made available on and the PLAYSTATION Store. The best user-generated themes will also be featured on the official site.
  • XMB Color Selector - The background of the XMB is no longer out of your control. The color of the XMB waves background can be selected in Settings.
  • Music & Photo Playlists - You can now open and create your own playlists from within the XMB. For example, you can create a "Party Mix," which features your favorite songs from your PS3. Playlists cannot be imported from Memory Stick, and music and photo playlists cannot be combined. However, future firmware updates will improve this feature.
  • Additional Sorting Options - Currently, music can be sorted by Artist and Album on the PS3. Additionally, users will be able to sort by Year.
  • DualShock 3 support - You'll be able to turn on and off DualShock 3 support from the Settings menu on the XMB.
And finally, we have the new PLAYSTATION Network category, featuring the new logo registered a while back, also the logo in our banner.

Under this, you'll see the PLAYSTATION Store, and the Account Management.

PS3 Fanboy spoke with some SCEA representatives who told them in-game XMB is still in the works, so don't be disappointed just yet, it's coming.

Firmware 2.00 may not be the best update, and I'm certain that most of us are disappointed, but I guess it's better than nothing right? They could of added game invites and such, that would of been nice.

And here is another theme:

[Via PS3 Fanboy]

Kane & Lynch Developers Like Developing for PLAYSTATION 3

Kane & Lynch, those names are still so badass. Too bad my name isn't Lynch, so then I can kill without legal sanction, but we can dream right?

Speaking to Pro-G in an interview yesterday, Morten Heiberg, Hitman and Kane & Lynch: Dead Men developer IO Interactive, said that while the assets were very similar across the Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 and PC versions of the game, the team had experienced some challenges "getting up and running" on Sony's next-gen console.

He told Pro-G:

"It's a new platform for us. It's our first PLAYSTATION 3 game. It's a challenging platform to develop on, but it's also one that has a lot of potential that's just waiting to be unlocked as people get to know it better and as developers get more skilled at utilising the machine."
When asked about these challenges on the PLAYSTATAION 3, Heiberg said:
"Well obviously it's something that requires a bit of resources and special effort, which costs money", he said "But on the other hand it's something that I think most developers are rather keen on getting into because it's a new fresh system and it's an interesting architecture. Development wise it's fun. It brings back a lot of memories from college and university. In many ways it's a fun architecture to work on but definitely one that's also going to cost you some money because you need to write special purpose code for it."
Fun working on the PLAYSTATION 3, eh? Seems developers are getting fonder and fonder of the console as the days go by.

[Via Pro-G]

Firmware Version 2.00: Official

Here it is, the moment we've all been waiting for, Firmware 2.00. Does it live up to it's hype? Let's see what it includes.

Version 2.00 also allows for customization of the XMB menu screen, with the ability to change the colour and brightness or to set a completely different custom theme. Moreover, there’s the addition of an Information Board on XMB to keep users up to date on the latest PlayStation news, the inclusion of a new PlayStation Network category and logo for easier navigation and Trend Micro Web Security, a free2, state of the art internet security system.

All these features were reported in a rumor a while back, so it was right after all. The press release mentions no In-Game XMB, sadly. Maybe they will surprise us. Here is the press release:

Latest PLAYSTATION®3 System Software Update Allows PSPTM to Turn PS3TM On and Off from Internet Connection for Enhanced Remote Play

Ability to customise XMB™ and add personalised playlists for both music and photos also enabled

London, 8 November 2007 – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announced today the availability of the latest version of the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) system software. Version 2.00 features the ability to turn a PS3 system on and off remotely, using a PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system via the Remote Play1 function, allowing for a truly mobile partnership between the two systems.

Building on the success and potential of the Remote Play functionality, Version 2.00 will cement the partnership between PS3 and PSP and create a truly global experience. With the ability to turn your PS3 on and off from Wi-fi connection, there is now the opportunity to listen to the music, look at the photos and watch the videos saved on the PS3 Hard Disk Drive, anywhere in the world.

To further enhance the PS3 offering, Version 2.00 allows for the creation of personalised playlists in both the music and photo sections. This simple to use function gives users an opportunity to create unlimited music playlists for all occasions, as well as sharing favourite photos in glorious high definition.

Continuing with the idea of a personalised PS3, Version 2.00 allows for customisation of the XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) menu screen. Change the colour and brightness with the greatest of ease or have something completely different by setting a custom theme. With the potential for new backgrounds to become available on PLAYSTATION®Network in the future, Version 2.00 truly opens up a whole raft of options.

A host of other enhancements includes the addition of an Information Board on XMB to keep people up to date on the latest PlayStation® news, the inclusion of a new PLAYSTATION Network category and logo for easier navigation and Trend Micro Web Security, a free2, state of the art internet security system, designed to give parents peace of mind.

This firmware will be on the network tomorrow, November 8, 2007.

[Via Three Speech]

Rumor: 40% Of 40GB PLAYSTATION 3's Fail?

Gamer.TM reports that Sony appears to be having problems with failure rates on the new 40GB PlayStation 3 model, according to retail sources.

Speaking to Dutch site, Belgian games retailer Games Mania has said that while the new 40GB model is selling well, but some 40% of the new consoles sold so far have been returned due to hardware defects that result in the console being unable to read Blu-Ray and other discs.

No actual numbers have been given. We will keep you updated.

[Via Gamer.TM]

Demo Gameplay: TimeShift, NFS ProStreet, Pro Evolution, Juiced 2

Game1 has provided us with gameplay videos of the newest PLAYSTATION Network demos that you can download yourself from the PLAYSTATION Store and give a spin. Above we have TimeShift, below we have Need For Speed ProStreet, Pro Evolution Soccer 2008, and Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights. The videos are in that specific order. Enjoy.

The First 10 Minutes of Call of Duty 4

Thinking about getting Infinity Ward's & Activision's latest release in the gaming world, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare? Want to see the campaign mode for yourself? Well, here is the first ten minutes, meaning theres 4 hours and 50 minutes of the game you didn't see.

It's all about the online nowadays.