Depending on how much weight you want to put on Kotaku's "several sources," Sony's PSP2 console is shaping up to be a killer handheld.
Sources confirmed a previous rumor that there will be a touch panel on the back of the hardware, sort of like a giant trackpad. The PSP2 will also come with dual analog sticks, a feature that's missing on current iterations of the PSP.
Sony also decided to go with a larger screen (again, according to Kotaku's sources), which will be sharper than what's on current PSPs. Sony is said to be referring to the screen as "HD" behind closed doors.
Finally, the sources say the PSP2 will ship this Fall beating the holiday sales rush.
Fan created mockup of the PSP2, not an actual prototype.
For those of you who care, Sony has officially announced price cuts for its PSP Go handheld console, rumors of which have been floating around the Web for weeks.
In Japan, the PSP Go is dropping from around $332 to $208, while in the U.S. you can soon expect to pay $199 instead of $249. Or you can do so right now with a little bit of Google-Fu. While Sony still lists the MSRP as $249 on its Website, some vendors -- like Amazon and Target -- already have the new pricing in effect.
Anyone tempted to pick one up at this price, or are you holding out for Nintendo's 3DS console?
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. game on the original NES, Nintendo is offering limited edition runs of its Wii and DSi XL consoles dressed in red, as well as a new Wii Remote Plus with Wii MotionPlus built-in.
"Whether shoppers want to add a cool new look to their gaming setup or expand their supply of controllers with an exciting game, Nintendo offers a great value for the holidays," said Marc Franklin, Nintendo of America’s director of Public Relations. "For anyone who is still on the fence about whether to join the world of video games, we’re offering many fun, easy, economical ways to get involved."
The red Wii bundle ($200) includes New Super Bros. Wii, a red Wii Remote Plus controller, Wii Sports, and a red Nunchuck. The red DSi XL bundle ($180) comes with Mario Kart DS, as well as some pre-loaded software, including Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Math, and Photo Clock. And finally, Nintendo is offering a FlingSmash bundle ($50), which includes the FlingSmash game and the new Wii Remote Plus controller.
Nintendo's new products are slated to launch on November 7, 2010.
Provided you live in the United States or Canada, Netflix is now available as a download from the Wii Shop channel. The Nintendo Wii is the last of the three major consoles to offer disc-less Netflix streaming, while the Xbox 360 had it all along.
"At this time of year, consumers have a near-insatiable demand for family entertainment," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "And this simplified Netflix access will help bring families together more quickly, more easily and in more ways than ever before. More than 3 million Wii systems have already connected to Netflix, demonstrating how easy the service is to set up and use."
The new Will channel doesn't cost anything, though you will need a Netflix plan starting at $8.99/month. Netflix has been available on the Wii since April 12, 2010, but prior to today streaming Netflix content required the use of a disc. This is a nice upgrade, albeit limited by the Wii's max 480P output.
We're holding out for Nintendo's 3DS console to see if it can live up to the hype, but in the meantime, it looks like Sony will try to convince handheld gamers not to wait by slashing the price of its PSP Go system.
A leaked memo shows that the PSP Go will receive a $50 price drop in the North American market this Friday, though Sony has yet to confirm the report. Oddly enough, Sony didn't offer up the usual "no comment" associated with speculation and rumors when Joystiq.com reach out for confirmation.
Should the price cut happen, that puts the PSP Go at $200. Would you consider buying one at that price point?
If your gaming outlet of choice is the PC, then you should take this next story as just one more example of why you should be thankful you choose to kill your spare time on an open platform. According to user reports Sony’s new 3.50 mandatory PS3 firmware update is killing off support for third party USB devices, a move that will no doubt simply convince more users to jailbreak their consoles. The update adds support for 3D Blu-Ray, a report abuse option for PSN, along with the ability to link certain game features to Facebook.
The disabling of USB devices wasn’t mentioned specifically in the patch notes, but Sony did warn users on their website "SCEA does not support continued functionality of counterfeit or unlicensed controllers in system software updates and these devices may cease to function in the future because of system software updates." The PS3 was always the geek’s choice for console gaming since it allowed users to upgrade their own hard drives, and even install Linux. Sony however has slowly been taking back control as the platform matures, and seems to be doing so unapologetically.
So if you download the official Sony update you can watch 3D Blu-Rays, and spam your friends on Facebook. On the other hand if you jailbreak your console you gain access to SNES and Dreamcast emulators. What would you choose? I think I’ll need to find a TI-84 to help me tally up the votes.
We're just going to throw something out there. Kudo Tsunoda, creator of Microsoft's motion controlled Kinect, is whacked out his mind. That's really the only conclusion we can come up with when someone makes outrageous claims, like essentially declaring that the first person shooter genre on the PC is dead.
Yet that's exactly what he did in a recent interview with Game Informer. Here's Tsunoda's take on the evolution of first person shooters.
"If you think about the way that first shooters evolved, they started on the PC," Tsunoda explains. "People for the longest time tried to port shooters from the PC onto the console. And people said the same things that they are saying now about Kinect -- 'It's never going to responsive enough to do this,' or 'You're never going to get a fun first person shooter on the console, it's only made for a keyboard and mouse and that is the way it is supposed to be played.' And as long as everyone was just porting the existing shooters over to the console, they weren't as fun as the PC ones. Of course, they were built for the PC.
"Halo did an awesome job of building a first-person shooter exclusively for the console, and now hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore. It's all about the console."
We bolded the quirky comment not only for emphasis, but to make sure we really read what we thought we just read. We get it, Halo enjoys a rabid following, and despite being gimped with a controller, first person shooters are a viable genre on the console. But to declare that hardly anyone on the PC is playing them anymore is just dumb.
Sony still isn't ready to talk about its rumored second generation PlayStation Portable console, but that didn't stop one of the developers of Mortal Kombat from flapping his gums. In response to a question about porting a version of the upcoming Mortal Kombat refresh on the current PSP or 3DS, Executive Producer of Netherrealm Studios Shaun Himmerick said:
"We're not launching day one on all consoles like that. We are looking at them; we have a PSP 2 in the house and we're looking at the engine, like what it can support. Always a big thing for us is the performance. We're running at 60FPS, what can we do and do we have to build all the art assets over. We're definitely looking at them. PSP 2 looks like it's a pretty powerful machine. We don't have a 3DS system in-house yet, but we're looking to get one, and we'll certainly look at what its power is."
Sony, of course, held onto its usual "We can't comment on rumors or speculation" line, but given that this is a game developer talking about the next-gen console and not some unknown anonymous source, we're willing to give it a bit more weight. Most of the rumors up to this point have the PSP 2 shipping sometime in 2011, with Sony expected to unveil the device at CES.
One of manyy varied renderings of what the PSP 2 might (but probably won't) look like.
If you weren't one of the first to snatch up a copy of Halo: Reach for the Xbox 360 earlier this week, there were plenty of others who filled in the gap. According to Microsoft, the latest title in the still uber popular Halo series pulled in $200 million in global sales on launch day.
"We feel really good about where the 'Halo: Reach' numbers are," said Phil Spencer, vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. "What 'Halo: Reach' numbers tell me is gamers are there. They are willing to buy the great experiences when they come out. In fact, that we are exceeding 'Halo 3' numbers out of the gate tells me that the industry is in a healthy state."
Fetching $200 million on day 1 day made Reach the biggest launch of any game or movie so far this year, Spencer claims. All told, the entire Halo franchise has sold more than 34 million copies during its ten-year tenure, pulling in almost $2 billion in sales.
Sony this week announced a new firmware release for the PlayStation 3 that will expand the console's 3D capabilities.
"We've announced that the PS3 system will be able to play back 3D content on Blu-ray 3D discs with the system software update (v3.50), slated for release on September 21," Sony wrote in a blog post. "We know that many consumers have purchased 3D TVs already and more of you will be purchasing them as the holidays approach -- so we're excited to offer this firmware update that makes all 38 million PS3s worldwide compatible with Blu-ray 3D discs."
PS3 owners have been able to play stereoscopic 3D games with the 3.30 firmware update released in April, but 3D movies wasn't yet part of the package. That changes next week, however there's a small caveat. Unlike dedicated 3D Blu-ray players, some parts of the menu and other minor portions of some DVDs will remain in 2D, Sony said.
Sony also recently updated its list of supported 3D games for the PS3 during, including Final Fantasy XIV (due out in March), Everybody's Golf 5, Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories, and Metal Gear Solid: Rising.