Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unreal Tournament III Lego Mod for EU: Fully Destructible Environments

Those of you in Europe may want to check out this new map for Epic's Unreal Tournament III. This is called the LEGO Map with fully destructible environments. You can watch it in action in the video above or download it at the link below. Really, give it a watch!

[Unreal Tournament 3 Mods for EU PS3] [Download US] [Download EU]

PLAYSTATION 3 Needs Their Own Epic Exclusive

Well, the Game Developers Conference for 2008 has been going on this week, and Microsoft announced Gears of War 2 with Cliffy B. running out on the end with the chainsaw gun screaming November 2008.

Now, your obviously on onAXIS because your a PLAYSTATION 3 fan, but you got to admit, Gears of War was one hell of game that I'm sure any of us would greatly welcome to our consoles. We have Resistance 2 to go up against Gears of War 2, but even though Insomniac is going to develop one hell of a game that may be better than Gears 2, it's hype is not in tact with that of Gears 2. Meaning Gears 2 will most likely move more consoles than Resistance 2.

We know from the success of Unreal Tournament III that Epic Games and Sony have a tight relationship. Sony should use that relationship to their advantage by getting their own 3rd person action title out of Epic exclusively for the PLAYSTATION 3. I'm sure Mark Rein would love to work on a project such as that.

Those are just my two cents on my own argument. Yeah, I know... weird.

GDC 2008: Bionic Commando Park Screenshots

Capcom released a few new screenshots of the Park level in the upcoming Bionic Commando next-generation title at this years Game Developers Conference. The graphics of this game really impress me, I must say it looks really amazing. Enjoy the shots!

GDC 2008: More Warhawk DLC on the Way

Warhawk is one of the best multiplayer games on the PLAYSTATION 3 right now in my opinion (and I'm sure thousands of others). Dylan Jobe, the game director, told us today the game will continue to be supported through a number of downloadable expansions and those aren't the last we will see of the franchise.

Operation Broken Mirror is one of these new downloadable expansions confirmed for a future release. It will contain a new vehicle (an APC that acts as a portable spawn point and equipment producer) and of couse, a new map.

They are also working on new game modes, but these will be released for free via game updates and patches.

Jobe plans to go beyond the content we've heard of. "As long as the community exists and as long as there is an appetite for playing the game and new content, that's good for us and we want to try to do split deliveries -- you can always get free stuff and you always have to option to buy certain content," said Jobe. They will support the game as long as players are willing to play the game.

Regarding single-player, which was dropped from the game, Jobe stated that they were against it, and if we see it, it will be part of a new product. They are interested in taking Warhawk beyond the current PLAYSTATION 3 title, saying that "if there is an opportunity that presents itself for us to further the franchise then we'll definitely take advantage of it."

Who knows, what if Warhawk 2 is already in the works?

[GDC 08: More Warhawk DLC Incoming; Single-Player Later?]

GDC 2008: X-Play Hands-On With The Agency

The recent episode of G4TV's X-Play featured a hands-on with The Agency at the Game Developers Conference 2008. The new preview discusses some of the features of the game such as Player vs. Player and more. Enjoy!

Phil Harrison: You Can't Get Wii's Whole Audience

During the "Lunc with the Luminaries" session at GDC 2008, Phil Harrison, Son's president of worldwide studios, told EA Blueprint's Neil Young that making Wii games may not be as viable as third-party publishers think.

Phil Harrison stated "Your addressable market is only 40% of the installed base."

You can't get them all.

[Sony's Harrison: You Can't Get Wii's Whole Audience]

GDC 2008: Valve Confirms No Left 4 Dead for PLAYSTATION 3, Rather Develop for Wii

Valve's Doug Lombardi today confirmed that the highly anticipated zombie shooter, Left 4 Dead, will not be arriving on the PLAYSTATION 3. They said that the game will only be arriving on the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.

“We were really crappy at bringing games to consoles,” he said. He said that it took time for the company to get into the console generation. They now develop games simultaneously for the Xbox 360 and PC, but have limited interest in developing games for the PLAYSTATION 3.

“EA wanted to do Orange Box on PS3 and they handled it,” said Lombardi. “Left 4 Dead isn’t coming out on PS3 because we’ve not had that call. If the phone rang we would have the conversation, certainly, but it hasn’t happened.”

Lombardi also revealed that, “If Valve were to develop in-house for another format, it would be the Wii. It’s growing, there’s already a huge user-base, and it’s fun. Source is really scaleable. We can do that.”

I guess Sony Computer Entertainment would take that as a big insult. I don't know why Valve hates the PLAYSTATION 3 so much. They are a great company and they should release their titles on all consoles.

[GDC: Valve confirms Left 4 Dead left off PS3, moots Source for Wii]

GDC 2008: Home Tools Conference Information

Well, Sony Computer Entertainment aren't hosting a keynote this year at the Game Developers Conference, but they did have a conference for developers on the tools for Home.

One of the tools is the ability for developers to create their own clothing, furniture, and even avatar heads (such as a head that displays Ratchet from Ratchet & Clank or Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal). The custom avatar heads will not be customizable by the user however for obvious reasons.

There are features that include scene tools for making private and public spaces and how to create menu systems for Home users to go from Home into online multiplayer games.

Game developers will also be able to create interactive items for Home. They showed off a "Bubble Machine" where 20-30 Home users danced around the machine. Developers can also create items like a virtual camera, TV remotes, and footballs, either to be sold or gave away with the game. The items can be interacted with as well, meaning it can have animations, collision, and audio.

Yeah, as we suspected, no in-game XMB was announced at this conference since it's merely a Home conference. Hey, there is always tomorrow (no seriously, there always is, there is still one more day left).

[GDC: PlayStation Home Tools and Details]

Update 5:10 PM PlayStation Universe have posted a video showing how users will use the in-game PSP to launch multiplayer games. Enjoy!

LAIR: Patch Coming With Analog Controls?

DugBuzz, a blogger on IGN, reported today that a patch for LAIR will be released in the first quarter 2008. He said that it now plays so well that IGN should change their review score:

MEGATON!!! Lair patch coming in Q1 which adds choice of analog control.

I played it and Holy shit; Greg needs to give them a new score. It was kind of clear that Factor 5 put in the extra effort a little begrudgingly, but the results were amazing. This might push me over the edge into the “must buy PS3” territory.

I also mentioned Greg Miller’s name, and the Factor 5 guys burned a hole through my skull with their looks of hatred. I think they’ll be alright once the patch is out for a while though.

I doubt it could be so amazing after a patch, but we will see when or if it comes.

[Lair Controls Patch Experienced at GDC]

GDC 2008: Far Cry 2 Gameplay Videos

Crytek Studios is bringing in some heat at this years Game Developers Conference. Here is some new gameplay of Far Cry 2 that they had on display during the show. Enjoy!

US PLAYSTATION Store Update: February 21, 2008

Well, here it is, the PLAYSTATION Store update for February 21, 2008, the week of the Game Developers Conference 2008. Do we get any special content? Lets take a look.
PSone Games
  • Jet Moto 3 ($5.99)
  • PixelJunk Monsters demo (free)
PSP Demos
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus demo (free)
  • PAIN Character Add-On: Hung Lo ($0.99)
  • PAIN Single-Player Fun With Explosives Add-On (free)
  • Rock Band Song Add-Ons
    • Sex Type Thing by Stone Temple Pilots ($1.99)
    • El Scorcho by Weezer ($1.99)
    • Why Do You Love Me by Garbage ($1.99)
Game Videos
  • MLB 08 The Show Replay Vault Tutorial (free)
  • MLB 08 The Show Pitcher Batter Analysis Tutorial (free)
  • MLB 08 The Show Stolen Base Video (free)
  • Conflict: Denied Ops Dev. Diary 4 (free)
  • Bionic Commando: Rearmed Trailer (free)
Theatrical Trailers
  • Kung Fu Panda trailer (free)
Blu-Ray Disc Trailers
  • We Own the Night trailer (free)
  • LAIR: Asylian Theme (free)
  • PAIN: Hung Lo Theme (free)
Not even any GDC 2008 trailers. That is a disappointment Sony, you need to bring it home, meaning my home. Yeah, and about the image, I'm away this week and don't have my template for the regular updates, so bear with me and cope with this till I get back. Thanks!

PLAYSTATION Store Worldwide

Home Beta Getting Huge Update Next Week

The PlayStation Home beta is going to be receiving a huge update next week. The update is update 0.8.3 bringing us even closer to the first release of version 1.0. The official message board for the Home beta recently listed the next update.

This update is going to include many new features such as improved UI and graphics, a new "Home Items" system, and video streaming. Don't worry Beta testers, there is much more then that. There will also be a marketplace in the main square which will have a bunch of clothes, furniture and other undisclosed content. The full feature list below.

New user interface

The UI has undergone a major change (our graphical artist calls the new interface "Home CS" [Home Chip System]) and it's not just there to look good; we also believe it improves the logical flow of your interactions.

Other UI changes include a new vector based font system that improves text clarity and improvements to a range of different icons (for example the loading icon under your character's feet now gives a sense of something happening).

Another nice addition is that people on your friends list in the virtual PSP are sorted by three different states: "Offline", "Online" and "Online in Home" - these are colour coded too.

The Virtual PSP has undergone considerable changes. We have changed the structure of the menus to try and make it easier and more logical to navigate. There are also new icons for all of the options and new backgrounds available to customise the look. In the past an option that was unavailable to you was simply invisible; but now the option will remain visible but be greyed out instead.

Finally when people on your friends list send text chat their name will appear in green in the chat log.

Major graphics engine changes

We now use an HDR approach to lighting and bloom so the glowing halos around bright objects have been toned down and things should look sharper overall. We've also improved the water shader so all of the water should look noticeably better. The new engine also provides more stable frame rates in very crowded areas.

Support for 1080p is also back.

The wardrobe

Character customisation has been unified under a new wardrobe system where both clothing and physical characteristics can be modified from the same place. Some of the key changes in this area include:

- The wardrobe is accessible from any location, not just your Home Space.
- A selection of pre-set characters is available with more coming.
- Jewellery is now available for both sexes.
- Improved the look of skin on all characters.
- Your avatar is well lit and has a mirror behind to make customisation much easier.
- The standard list of clothing has been reduced to our intended starting pack.
- More clothing is available from the new Marketplace (see below!).
- Save & Load! You can now save your character in 9 different setups.
- Extra clothing will be added soon to test our update system.

The Marketplace

The mystery building in Home Square can now be revealed and it's not a Flamingo Factory as US tester NO FEAR!! recently guessed.

In the Marketplace you'll find stores with all sorts of things for you to add to your character and Home Space such as clothing, furniture and even... well, why not explore it yourself.

Home Space

Not only have we improved the view from your balcony but we have also added a whole new Home Space for you to test - it is available from the Marketplace. Welcome to your very own summer house.

Another change is that our intended starting pack of furniture is now available for your Home Space. This is quite different from what you had available before. More furniture is available from the Marketplace and extra furniture will added in the coming weeks to test our update system.

Both the lamps available as furniture for your Home Spaces now have working light switches. These dynamically light your space and guests in your space can also turn your lights on and off.

Finally we've moved the entry point to your Home Space in Home Square back inside the building in front of the lifts so you have access to the seating areas either side.

Game Launching

Many of the problems that stopped Game Launching from working properly have been fixed; however there are still some temporary issues that you need to know about before you try it:

- Groups formed in PLAYSTATION® Home for Game Launching are not currently preserved into the game. This means that you can all get together and form a group but when you launch the game you will not arrive in a session together. It will not stay like this - we are working with game developers to integrate full support for Game Launching into a range of games. However as stated before, we really wanted to get an early version of Game Launching out so that you could test the menu functionality and see how it works for you within PLAYSTATION® Home.

- Game Launching currently only supports grouping up if you have identical versions of the same game. For example the EU and US versions of Motorstorm may not work together at the moment and there may be problems between the installed and disc version of Warhawk. Again it will not stay like this and eventually all versions of the same game will work together properly.

New streaming video system

Previously to watch a video you would have to download the whole thing before it would start to play. We've now changed to a streaming video system which allows you to start watching almost straight away. Additionally the Home Theatre has some new streaming video channels in it courtesy of Crackle. Once inside an auditorium here you can get more information on what you are watching and control playback by pressing the SQUARE button.

Regional support

Whilst the legalities, policies and practicalities of regional travel are addressed we have temporarily disabled the ability to switch between the European, US and Japanese regions via your virtual PSP.

Support for more languages has been added bringing our complete list up to: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, traditional Chinese and Korean.

Home items

We needed a way to test our new Home items system and therefore we are proud to present our first one... (Drum roll)... the bubble machine! You can find it in your virtual PSP under Personal> My Inventory. Place it down anywhere you like and blow some bubbles.

Sound system update

A lot of new sound effects have been added throughout PLAYSTATION® Home and we have also made some changes to voice communication so that it should be more stable with large groups of people.

Bug fixes

- Fixed the problem where you could appear in a location and some other characters there would be invisible.
- Fixed the floating pool balls.
- Fixed the levitating avatars.
- Fixed the issue that led to C967 errors.
- Fixed the inconsistencies between the view inside and outside different locations.
- Fixed the positioning of the PSP in your character's hands.
Yeah, we were too lazy to type it all out ourselves, we admit it. Anyway, take a look through the list as we get even cloes to the release of PlayStation Home!

[Home Beta gets a significant update next week]

Grand Theft Auto IV Site Update: Screenshots, Videos, & More

A new site update occurred today for the official Grand Theft Auto IV website. The new update included a ton of new screens along with some new videos and such. The new screens, as well as the embeddable videos, are posted below. There are also some new wallpapers here. Enjoy!

Toy Home 2nd Gear Releases on JP PLAYSTATION Store

The Japanese PLAYSTATION Store just received Toy Home 2nd Gear. This is an expansion to the original Toy Home and includes new cars, new levels, and new modes for only 500 yen ($4.50 USD).

There is no word on a US or EU release. Once we find out, we will be sure to update you.

[Get more tilt action with Toy Home 2nd Gear]

Bionic Commando: Rearmed: Challenge Rooms Revealed

Capcom revealed the new mode today fortheir upcoming Bionic Commando: Rearmed for the PLAYSTATION Network. This new mode is Challenge Rooms, which is basically swinging without touching the red.

Capcom writes "These Challenge Rooms - simulated obstacle courses, or "swing puzzles" as developers Grin have dubbed them - uses that mechanic to break even the hardest of hardcore Bionic Commando veterans, rewarding swinging skill and your ability to think."

[Bionic Commando Rearmed's New Mode Revealed: Challenge Rooms]

GDC 2008: PlayStation Eye Tank Demo Looks Fantastic

Over at the Game Developers Conference 2008, Sony showed off their Tank War demo for the PlayStation Eye. The game is really looking great.

You basically draw your tank, whether its an actual tank, fish, or even a dancing monkey, and the mark your shooter, and you fight. It's one badass game. The video is at the link, so give it a watch.

[PlayStation Eye Tank War Demo Is "Next Gen" Tech]

EA & Starbreeze Teaming Up to Reinvent Classic EA Franchise

Electronic Arts announced today that it is teaming up with Starbreeze Studios to revive a classic EA franchise. Could EA be bringing back a game such as Road Rash, System Shock, or the Strike series? I guess we will find out sooner or later.


EA Partners to Publish Upcoming Title for PLAYSTATION 3, Xbox 360 and PC

Chertsey, UK February 21, 2008 – EA Partners today announced that it has teamed up with Starbreeze Studios, the award-winning developers of The Darkness and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay to reinvent one of EA’s most acclaimed classic franchises. The title, with the internal code name Project RedLime, is being developed for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360™ system from Microsoft and PC.

GDC 2008: Sony Unveils the PhyreEngine

During the PLAYSTATION Network session yesterday, Sony Computer Entertainment unveiled the "free to use graphics engine" known as the PhyreEngine. The engine will allow developers to more easily develop games for the PLAYSTATION 3 by using PC environments they are more familiar with. Sony promises "ongoing development and support" for their new engine.

The engine has already been used, even in some multiplatform titles. They revealed three titles that uses the engine: flOw, Gripshift, and DiRT. That means they've actually helped the development of Xbox 360 and PC games as well.

Sony is putting up a good case here. Use their PhyreEngine to make games on the PLAYSTATION 3 first, guranteeing high quality games that will match their Xbox 360 counterparts, or even exceed them. Start games on the PLAYSTATION 3 and they will be better for both PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360 owners, thats the message.

When we get more on this new PhyreEngine, we will be sure to update you.

[GDC08: PhyreEngine, Sony's new (free!) cross-platform engine]

PAIN Expansions Coming to PLAYSTATION Network Today

According to PS3Fanboy, we should be seeing some new content for Sony's PAIN today. It's a relief too since the game launched with only one level. Perhaps we will see another. We will update you with what we are seeing during today's PLAYSTATION Store update.

[PAIN expansions coming today]

Update 10:45 AM: Travis Williams has updated the official PAIN blog. They will be releasing the single player Fun with Explosives mode along with a free Hung Lo. He also explains multiplayer is on the way along with new game mode, gameplay environments, and best of all: pimp slapping.

[I'm Baaaaaaack]

GDC 2008: Bionic Commando Gameplay Blowout

Capcom has released a ton of new gameplay videos of their upcoming Bionic Commando at the Game Developers Conference 2008, fortunately, they are always going to be put online. So now, we got you linked, enjoy the videos because they are really looking good.

PixelJunk Monsters Demo Arriving Today

If you are still deciding whether to download PixelJunk Monsters, maybe the demo will help change your mind. The President of Q Games let it slip at GDC 2008 that a demo will be hitting the store today. I highly recommend giving it a download.

[PixelJunk Monsters Demo Arrives Tomorrow]

Bionic Commando to Feature Reward 'Trophies' on PLAYSTATION 3

Ben Judd, the Producer of Capcom's upcoming Bionic Commando, has revealed today that the PLAYSTATION 3 version of Bionic Commando will feature it's own reward system named 'Trophies'.

Judd explained that other than the main objectives, players will face a variety of mini-challenges, such as defeating a large enemy group.

Great to see we are getting these 'Trophies', but are they the same 'Trophies' or 'Accomplishments' as Home?

[PS3 Bionic Commando to feature reward 'trophies']

EU PLAYSTATION Store Update: February 21, 2008

Well, the European PLAYSTATION Store update is really a disappointment this week. I mean seriously, the lack of content is really bad, unless you consider Snakeball something. Anyway, here is the full list.

- Snakeball (£4.99)

- Lost Planet: Extreme Condition demo (free)

Game Videos
- Assassins Creed Developer Diary (free)
- Conflict: Denied Ops Launch Trailer (free)

- Devil May Cry 4 Wallpaper(s) (free)

- Sports Theme (free)
Well, thats the update. Big thanks to WWW for writing it all out for us. Enjoy the new store items, if you can.