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Archive for June 2009

PS3’s could *ALL* finally be getting full backwards compatability

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Written by bitsnark

June 30, 2009 at 10:03 am

Serious Sam Remake Announced for Summer XBLA Release

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Serious Sam, that icon of wanton carnage and FPS excess will be getting another bite at the apple with the re-release of Serious Sam on Xbox Live Arcade.

Entitled with the less-than-surprsing moniker of Serious Sam HD, the title will be developed by the original developers Croteam. The title will be a reimagining of the first title, with all the usual OTT enemy spawns and weaponary that Serious Sam is famous for, as well as HD-tastic graphics and four-player co-op.

Serious Sam HD is due to hit sometime this Summer for 1200 Microsoft points.

Written by bitsnark

June 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Activision Blizzard Threaten To Stop Supporting PS3 and PSP

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In a recently published interview with The Times newspaper, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick has boldly threatened to drop support for both the PlayStation 3 and the PSP as early as 2010. His rationalie? He points out to the fact that his company will be forced to do so as the Xbox 360 and Wii are selling better than the PlayStation 3, giving better returns on investment.

“I’m getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don’t make it easy for me to support the platform. It’s expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation,” So says Mr. Kotick.

Continuing to push the price drop issue, Mr. Kotick goes on with:

“They have to cut the price, because if they don’t, the attach rates [the number of games each console owner buys] are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony.”

In regards to when such a threat may be followed through with, Kotick said: “When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console — and the PSP [portable] too.”

Both IGN and Spong recieved the following comments from Sony:

“We respect our third parties opinions and their right to express those opinions but we will not be commenting on this story.”

“PlayStation has tremendous momentum coming out of E3, and we are seeing positive growth with more than 350 titles slated to hit across all our platforms, including many anticipated games from our publishing partners. We enjoy healthy business relationships with and greatly value our publishing partners and are working closely with them to deliver the best entertainment experience.”

Whilst I don’t see this becoming a tangible reality in the shorter term as this appears to be a warning shot more than anything else, Sony really need to take a pro-active stance on the price issue and regain the confidence of key third-party players.

What do you think?

Written by bitsnark

June 22, 2009 at 11:32 am

E3 2009: Nintendo Conference – Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story Announced For DS This Autumn

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Nintendo fans got another welcome Mario-based surprise at Nintendo’s Conference when it was confirmed that the next Mario & Luigi DS RPG entitled Bowser’s Inside Story, was not only announced but also confirmed for release later on this year.
In the same vein as its predecessors, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story allows players to control characters as a group, utilising their individual actions depending on the situation with each separate action being mapped to a face button. Just like the previous titles in the series, combat remains a mixture of turn based and timing based gameplay with the player rewarded with extra damage by pressing certain buttons at the time of impact of a specific attack.

Where this title differs from those that have come before it is that you actually play as the big-bad princess stealing lizard himself. Yep, you play as Bowser. The game begins with Bowser stomping into the Princess’s castle and swallowing our two favourite plumbers in a single gulp. Not content with being swallowed, our heroes also find themselves miniaturised whilst inside of Bowser, and it’s in this microscopic form that the mayhem really begins.

Whilst rummaging around the innards of the big bad lizard, Mario and Luigi can solve puzzles which affect the way in which Bowser acts on the outside. With one example being that when a particular puzzle was solved, Bowser grew to huge proportions prompting a touch screen style battle with other similarly gigantic enemies.

Due later on this year and boasting a lot of the self-referential trademark Nintendo humour that fans of the series have come to know and love, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, will be a fine addition to the DS’ near unassailable library of quality RPG titles.

Written by bitsnark

June 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm

E3 2009: Nintendo Conference – WarioWare DIY Announced For DS

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Building on the WarioWare idea of quick mini games which are easy to pick up and put down, yet are fun to play, comes WarioWare DIY a title for DS which allows players to create their own themed mini games and share them with others using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

WarioWare DIY allows players to quite literally start from scratch, designing characters, environments, actions — and even the purpose of the mini game itself.

WarioWare DIY is due for release in Late 2009.

Written by bitsnark

June 16, 2009 at 11:02 am

E3 2009: Nintendo Conference – Wii Vitality Sensor

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A key product announcement for Nintendo at their conference was for the previously undisclosed Wii Vitality Sensor. Announced by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, the sensor functions by players inserting their index finger into the small plastic clamp that plugs into the underside of the Wii Remote.

The actual sensor works by detecting the pulse of the player, using the information to chart how nervous, relaxed or focus that they are. According to the Nintendo Head Honcho, it was his hope that the sensor be utilised to ‘bring a greater sense of relaxation to people in our stressful society’.

No titles or tech demonstrations were shown of the accessory which is due out sometime in 2010.

Written by bitsnark

June 16, 2009 at 10:49 am

E3 2009: Nintendo Conference – Metroid: Other M Developed By Team Ninja Announced For Wii

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If there was one Nintendo game announcement that we wouldn’t have ever have predicted it would be this, Metroid: Other M; A Team-Ninja developed Metroid title. Hold that thought for a second… A Team Ninja developed Metroid title…

Breathing a breath of fresh air into a franchise recently emboldened and invigorated by its recent 3D outings, Metroid: Other M is poised as a ‘darker’ Metroid title which going by the jaw-dropping video trailer, combines the 3D blasting of the Prime titles, with the 2D frenetic action that formed the cornerstone for the series for so many years.

No doubt like the Ninja Gaiden titles, Metroid: Other M will be a more mature affair, high on action, Samus sex-appeal and of course, the kind of brain punishing hardcore experience for which Team Ninja are famed for.

Currently slated for release in 2010, Metroid: Other M shows a welcome reinvigoration for a franchise looking for a new a direction and with Team Ninja at the helm, I fully expect on Metroid: Other M, to fully deliver on its initial promise.

Written by bitsnark

June 16, 2009 at 10:44 am

E3 2009: Nintendo Conference – Super Mario Galaxy 2 Announced

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The biggest announcement in the entirety of Nintendo’s conference, and certainly one that concerns actual gamers the most, was most welcome announcement of Super Mario Galaxy 2, due for release in 2010.

Compared to the sublime Super Mario Galaxy that was released back in 2007, Super Mario Galaxy 2 appears to give us more of that same platforming goodness that only Nintendo knows how to do. This time however, things are little different as Mario has brought his egg spitting friend Yoshi along for the ride. In Mario Galaxy 2, Yoshi will be fully playable and players can leverage his unique abilities (such as self-inflation) to reach previously inaccessible areas.

During the presentation footage the planetoid exploration gameplay appears to be retained with Mario a huge snowball around the planetoid, all the while jumping on enemies and collecting coins. Additionally, Mario was also seen taking to the skies in his bee suit as well as taking on a number of gargantuan bosses in some truly spectacular encounters.

Graphically beautiful and boasting the same perfect platforming mechanics which has defined both Super Mario Galaxy and Mario 64 before it, Super Mario Galaxy 2 should be the saving grace for Wii owners sick of fitness titles, My Little (insert casual pre-teen girl interest here) games and other such related shovel ware dogging their format.

Written by bitsnark

June 16, 2009 at 10:23 am

E3 2009: Sony Conference – PSP Development Kit Cost Cut By 80%

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In order to bring more and more third party developer support into the PSP fold, Sony have announced that the price of the PSP development kit has been reduced by a staggering 80%, greatly broadening the number of developers that could sign up to develop titles for the system.

A very smart move by Sony here, with a view to widening the software portfolio for the platform it should greatly help in stimulating its growth and diversity in the middle to long term.

Written by bitsnark

June 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm

E3 2009: Fat Princess Announced For PSP

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It seems that there is lots of cake to go around as Sony announced at their briefing that highly anticipated PSN title Fat Princess, would also be making its way to the PSP platform.

Due in 2009, Fat Princess will boast the exact seem feature set that the PSN release has, the main point of confusion presently however, is the format that the title will arrive in; will it be a PSN download or will it be a retail release?

More on this soon.

Written by bitsnark

June 12, 2009 at 4:07 pm

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