Friday, January 28, 2011

New PSN Titles Announced

Sony today announced a couple of upcoming games for it's Playstation Network download service that will be published in house by SOE. Plants vs Zombies headlines, which should make a few of you happy.

Full description after the break-

Marvel vs Capcom 3 Roster Grows yet Again

Chinese ghost Hsien-Ko and a mutant hunting Sentinel are the latest additions to MvC3's bloated roster. Capcom's really piling on the fighters, even the alt costumes for each character have a ton of work put into them- great job guys.

Screens of these two in action after the break-

Nintendo has no plans for a 3DS 'lite'

Straight from the mouth of Nintendo President Saturo Iwata himself-
The first thing (Nobuo) Nagai-san10, who's in charge at the Uji plant, said to me when he looked over the designs for Nintendo 3DS before mass production began was "This time it's fully packed right from the start."
Of course it's doubtful that Nintendo would actually say anything about a system redesign coming down the line before the original unit even launches but... maybe a little piece of mind if you're on the fence?

Iwata Asks is right here, if you'd like to read the entire interview.

L.A.Noire Website is Active

Rockstar Games' upcoming '40s crime trhriller for the Xbox and PS3 now has an official website up and running. The site will feature background on the characters and settings of the soon to release title.

First up:
Featuring the first of many character dossiers we’ll be revealing:  Coroner Carruthers.  A very valuable asset and key contact of Detective Cole Phelps’ at the Los Angeles County Morgue – providing often crucial information for solving a case.  As well as  Homicide - the first of five feature pages on the different crime desks Cole Phelps will work throughout his LAPD career in the game - along with high res screens, including ones too grisly for the Rockstar Newswire.
Read more here.

New Silent Hill Downpour Screens

Looks dark and gloomy... yup, it's Silent Hill alright-

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Microsoft Sees Record Profits from Kinect-Effect

Industry site is reporting today that Microsoft has just had... their best quarter ever!

The Xbox company made a staggering $20 billion (with a 'B') during the fourth quarter of 2010. One of the biggest reasons was their entertainment division which rocketed up 55% to a big $3.6 billion in profits. Kinect was in and of itself a massive hit- selling a way more than expected 8 million units.

You can read the full report here.

Secret of Mana Musings

Secret of Mana is a classic game in every sense of the word. Originally debuting on the Super Nintendo, this action/RPG hybrid was one of the first of it's kind to appear on the gaming landscape. It had great everything- story, gameplay, graphics -you name it SoM had it to spare.

Now Square/Enix has brought this much loved title to the iPhone for a new generation of players to fawn all over- but will they? And how does the touchscreen work with the action oriented SoM?

PSP NGP Slideshow

Here's a nice little slideshow of NGP imagry put together by

Xbox 360 | PlayStation 3 | Nintendo Wii | PC Games                                

NGP Preorders and Sign-Ups

Gamestop has actual pre-orders available for a tentative price of $999.99 How far that will be from the final price tag we don't know. But probably pretty far... probably.

Amazon has an email mailing list for info when it becomes available which seems a tad more realistic at this point.

Bethesda Announces Blockbuster 2011 Lineup

Just to remind everybody, Bethesda has announced that they have a really great line of games coming this year. The release is after the break but Rage and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are probably all you need to know to be excited-

PSP2 is the NGP

Next Generation Portable. That's the name of the follow up to Sony's first foray into the portable gaming space- the PSP. Presumably, this is only a temporary name as the NGP doesn't really make all the much sense as a part of the Playstation line.

The touch panel
Twin sticks? Can you spell F-P-S?

So what's under the hood of the new guy on the block? Lets take a look-

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Star Wars The Old Republic Gets a Release Date

Maybe more like a release time frame- their sources have told industry site MCV that the massively multiplayer game will hit in September. Originally, the long awaited title (it's been in development for over two years) was to reach stores this Spring but it was shoved back yet again and now September has been (somewhat) confirmed for the final date.

Interesting bit from the MCV report: The game has more content than both Mass Effect's, Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, and Knights of the Old Republic put together. That's a lot of stuff to do.

King's Quest Fans Rejoice- KQ3 is Done

AGD Interactive has been quietly remaking some of the most beloved adventure games of all time with the King's Quest series. Parts 1 & 2 have been available for a while (as well as Quest for Glory) and now the third title in the trilogy, King's Quest 3 Redux, is complete.

All of the titles are comprehensive remakes- with some improvements -and all are free to download. It's a lot of classic PC gaming for zero dollars and who doesn't like that? The developer, ADGI, released all of the games for no cost because they were basically a group of fans who just wanted to update some classics- were is important here because that's about to change. The King's Quest remakes will remain free but the developer is going pro and heading into the commercial landscape.

Description of what to expect from the first two Quests is post jump, the third game in the series will be out at the end of February. We'll have a look at that one as soon as we get more-

No Thor on PSP

Well this is telling- SEGA has cancelled it's videogame adaptation of the upcoming Thor movie for the PSP. All other editions- Xbox, PS3, etc... will be released as expected, but in the portable realm SEGA is going to shift all of it's launch day focus onto the 3DS. As the year goes on, there may be little to no support for the all but dead PSP.

The PSP2 is widely expected to be officially announced by Sony tomorrow.

Back to the Future Gets a Box

Back... to the shelf! Telltale games has told MCV that they'll be producing "end of season" type releases for their Back to the Future and upcoming Jurassic Park adventure games. Much like their Sam & Max games, a retail disc will be released after the current 'season' ends that contains all the digital episodes- just printed on a little shiny disc and nestled into a colorful cardboard box.

You'll have to wait a while though, BttF is only one episode in so far and JP hasn't even started yet. But there will be something to tide you over- Tales of Monkey Island hits this March.

Mad Catz to Make Gears of War 3 Stuff

Honestly, you saw this one coming right? Gears of War 3 is not only one of the biggest Xbox releases of the year- it's one of the biggest releases of the year period- of course somebody would get a contract to pump out some accessories themed for it!

That somebody is mega-peripheral maker Mad Catz. The company has been on a roll with a number of terrific pads and fight sticks in recent years and now we're gonna get some more! Well, that might be a bit of conjecture there, there hasn't actually been any official announcements yet other than "Under the terms of the agreement, Mad Catz has secured global rights to produce and market a range of officially branded specialty controllers, headphones and peripherals for the Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system."

Full release next-

So What's in the Crysis 2 Demo?

The highly anticipated FPS sequel- Crysis 2 is up right now on the Xbox 360's LIVE service. It's an exclusive to the console and we've got a look at what's included when your download is complete.

One map will be included, 'Skyline', as well as a pair of game modes- Team Instant Action and Crash Site. Instant Action is basically team deathmatch and Crash Site is a king of the hill type mode. Full release after the jump-

Xbox LIVE Update -- 'Crysis 2' edition

It's a good week for Xbox owners as the console not only gets the Bulletstorm demo but also lands an exclusive on Crysis 2. Both demo's are live right now.

But that's not all! There's also Breach  for Arcade and a load of 2k and Rockstar stuff on sale-

PSN Update: '11 for 11' edition

If you're looking for new content, you might be just a tad disappointed- all there really is this week is Dead Space Extraction and the Bulletstorm demo. But to cheer your hardened heart, there are a good chunk of sales going on with Sony's '11 for 11' deal. Surely that must count for something... right?

Monday, January 24, 2011

PSP2 Details Leak Out Just Before Official Announcement

So this Thursday (1/27) at 1:00 am local time (eastern) Sony will be holding a press confirence to discuss the PSP2. All will be revealed! But before we even get there, some stuff is already coming out about the new portable. Is any of this true though? We'll find out soon enough but in the meantime...

Silent Hill Returns This Fall with Downpour

The next game in the long running horror franchise will be subtitled 'Downpour' and will be out just in time for the Halloween.

Downpour has the standard SH setup in that your character is trapped in the foggy town of Silent Hill, presumably there will also be lots of monsters out to kill you... and stuff. The difference this time is that the main character, Murphy Pendelton, didn't just run out of gas or something- he's a convict on a crashed prison bus. Now that could make for some interesting story points.

One more very cool thing about this new SH- all the music will be done by Daniel Licht. He does the soundtrack for Showtime's Dexter series. Killtastic!

L.A. Noire Gets a Release Date

Rockstar Games upcoming crime thriller will be coming to Xbox 360's and PS3's everywhere on May 17th. Full release after the break-

Nintendo Download -- 'Roller Derby Mania' Edition

Has there ever been a game based on the 'sport' of roller derby? This week's Nintendo Download may just have brought the first digital version of this proud sport home to enthusiasts (?) everywhere with Jam City Rollergirls.

On top of that greatness we also get Airport Mania for the DSi-which sounds like a complete clone of the popular mobile game, Flight Control -and a couple of Capcom classics (well, one's a classic anyway) join the Virtual Console.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Nintendo Expects the 3DS to Sell Well

Shocking huh?

Nintendo says they're looking for sales in the 4.5 to 5 million unit range for year one of the new 3D portable. That should be extremely doable considering they've got three quarters of 2011 left, post launch, in which to hit that goal.

The European theater alone will see 900,000 3DS' hit the retail shelves in the first three weeks of release. If it's adoption rate is going to be anything like the success that the original DS has enjoyed, that may not be enough.

'Batman: The Dark Knight Rises' Villains Chosen- Bane and Catwoman

Catwoman seems like an obvious choice to be in the next Batman movie from director Christopher Nolan. Rachel Dawes is out of the picture now and a female lead would pretty much have to have been either Catwoman or (Ra's Al Ghul's Daughter) Talia. The sometimes thief, sometimes hero, Selina Kyle will be played by Anne Hathaway.

Bane on the other hand, that's one that we didn't see coming. The chemically-enhanced criminal mastermind that broke Batman's back in the comics is a somewhat lesser known rogue that mainly was left behind in the '90s. His realistic super-strength (it's powered by a drug called Venom) and cold, calculating style will fit in nicely with the flavor of the gritty Nolan-verse. He'll be played by Tom Hardy.

Just one note: Please don't mess up the mask. Bane's mask is awesome as it is.

Thank you.

Modern Warfare 3 Says There's no 'I' in Team

MCV is reporting that the third outing for Activision's cash cow hit Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be developed by three separate studios.

Modern Warfare originators Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Raven Software- once thought to all be working on unique CoD titles are actually all working together on MW3. A situation that seems... odd... at best.

Dollars to doughnuts it gets 'announced' at e3 and launches in time for Christmas. Lordy they can pump these things out-

Dead or Alive Dimensions 3DS Screens Kick High

DoA Dimensions is the first portable rendition of the long running fighting series.We don't really have a ton of info on it but from the screenshots, it looks like a pretty faithful translation- fans should be happy.

Screens after the break... please note that we didn't make any jokes about 3D jiggling or boobs popping out of the screen either-

Kid Icarus Screens

Pit (um... Kid Icarus) will soon be gracing players everywhere with his first solo game since... has he really only been in one game? Weird... anyway, here are some new screens to ogle.

Mario Kart 3D Pics

No shots of what the touchscreen portion of the game looks like but you could probably bet on it being very similar to the DS version.

There are a few more screens of that little plumber guy after the break. Any reason this isn't a launch game?

Duke Nukem Forever Dated

Can it be?!? Not a dream, not a hoax, not an imaginary story- in what is surely a sign of the impending apocalypse, Duke Nukem Forever arrives on May 3rd 2011 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
“The moment fans all over the world have been waiting for is almost here,” declared Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “May 3, 2011 marks Duke’s return as he unleashes his brash and brutally honest wit on the world. His return is going to be epic and one that will make video gaming history!”

Full release after the jump-

Thursday, January 20, 2011

3DS Pre-Orders Now Available Everywhere

Best Buy



Wal Mart

Well, maybe not everywhere everywhere, but you get the picture.

Disney Shifts it's Focus

Recently shuttering Tron developer Propaganda Games, entertainment giant Disney's gaming division is going to be shifting it's priorities a bit. Namely, moving from console games to more 'casual' titles.

Tron Evolution wasn't all that bad of a game and the Wii exclusive, Epic Mickey, was fairly well received by many so this news is a little bit of a bummer for Disney fans. Not that the shift in focus completely eliminates the possibility of future 'core' games, it's just that the likelihood of seeing any more for a while isn't all that great.

Killzone 3 Includes SOCOM 4 Demo Invite

Lets be honest, if you own a PS3, then you're probably pretty pumped up for Killzone 3. The upcoming FPS (February 22nd) not only looks fantastic but is the flagship for shooters on the console and one of Sony's biggest guns.

You more than likely don't need access to the beta of third-person (and Move enabled) action title SOCOM 4 to sweeten the pot- but you're going to get it anyway. Pick up K3? Get the S4 demo. Simple.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's Just Not a Console Launch Without Ridge Racer

The long time Namco published racer launches in 3D on the Nintendo 3DS

3DS Available March 27th for $249.99

Nintendo's early morning US and European press conferences delivered the info everybody wanted about their three-dimensional handheld. It's pretty much as speculated on the date (at least the date range) and price, so nobody should be too surprised about anything there. But there were some little bits & bytes dropped that further flesh out the console's functionality. More about all of that after the break-

Oh by the way- is taking pre-orders.

PSN Update -- 'Mega Man is a PSOne Classic?' edition

Apparently, in Japan, Mega Man is a PSOne game- it joined the lineup of PSOne imports this week. Also on tap- that update to the Neo Geo storefront we posted up earlier, and Mass Effect 2 as a downloadable.

ME2 has all the dlc you could want this week too-

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Conduit 2 Weapon Shots

SEGA has unloaded a few shots of the new weaponry that we can expect to be wielding in the sequel to the Wii FPS, The Conduit- aptly titled Conduit 2

More post jump-

8 Neo Geo Titles Added to PSN Storefront

King of Fighters '94 and Samurai Showdown headline some of the NG's best- all available for play on your PSP and priced at $6.99 each. Full listing after the jump-

Taskmaster & Akuma Join Marvel vs Capcom 3 Roster

The game may be coming next month for the Xbox 360 and PS3 but publisher Capcom is still announcing fighters. This time it's a couple of malcontents: Street Fighter mainstay Akuma and Avengers villain Taskmaster.

Tons more screens after the jump-

Gears of War Triple Pack Detailed... a Little

It's been pretty common knowledge that there was a Gears of War compilation of some kind coming this year, and here it is.

We don't have anything on the new 'Triple Pack' except what's listed on the cover. The pack includes:
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • All Fronts Pack (maps)
No word yet on what we can expect it or if there are any Gears 3 goodies in the box, but we'll let you know as soon as we do.

Monday, January 17, 2011

3DS Games Region Locked?

Well here's something that would come as a shock to anyone who's into portable games- Nintendo's upcoming 3DS might be region locked. This basically means that a game sold at retail in the US wouldn't be able to run on a Japanese version of the hardware.

It's a practice that used to be commonplace but has now become obsolete, for all intents and purposes. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen but we'll update all of you who are thinking about importing a Japanese unit (since it launches a bit ahead of the American one) if we get anything further.

Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave from Apple

There's not much of a reason as to why but Jobs had pancreatic cancer a few years back and needed time off for treatments which forced the disease into remission. Lets all hope that it isn't as serious this time.

Get well soon Steve.

Xbox 360 No Longer Just a Gaming Machine

Something has evolved... according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer anyway.

Apparently Steve felt the need for hyperbole when he gave an interview to USA Today's Maria Bartiromo in her One on One feature.They actually touch on quite a few things in the short piece but they start off with the 'not a games machine' thing. It might be shocking to some reading this but the Xbox 360 is really more of a place to socialize and watch TV.

Hulu is coming! Yay?

Read the whole interview here- it's a good bite-sized look at what Microsoft is focusing on and on what they're hanging their hats.

Nintendo Download -- 'Time Twister' edition

Some cool stuff up this week including Animal Boxing for the DSi which sounds kind of interesting- and a Wiiware game about as time traveler trying to invent the perfect toasted sandwich maker.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Homefront DLC to be Xbox LIVE Timed Exclusive

According to Xbox's Major Nelson- THQ's upcoming action/shooter, Homefront, will have a timed exclusivity agreement for all of it's downloadable content (which will be map packs) to appear on the Xbox 360 before any other console. At least one of piece of content, a map called Suberbs, will be a 360 exclusive permanently.

As the war for DLC and digital content in general becomes hotter, we're seeing agreements like this one become more and more commonplace. A release date for the DLC  is yet to be detailed but Homefront itself will be out on retail shelves March 8th for both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.

Xbox LIVE Update -- 'Zombie Sale' Edition

Tons of sale items this week on LIVE, plus the usual assortment of demo's and arcade titles. Actually just one of each... so make that "plus the usual assortment of demo and arcade title"

Xbox Rundown From CES

Along with all of the new stuff Steve Ballmer and crew unveiled at this past CES, there were a few announcements of games across the various 'platforms' Microsoft supports on a (semi)regular basis.

Standouts were Torchlight, Contra Hard Corps Uprising,  and Beyond Good and Evil for LIVE Arcade- Age of Empires Online for the PC - and finally Pocket God and Game Room for Win Phone 7.

Check past the break for a list of what's to come in 2011-

SEGA Dreamcast Collection Comes to the Xbox 360 and PC

People love the Dreamcast, there's perhaps no other classic console that evokes the emotional response from long time gamers that SEGA's gone-too-soon baby does.

In the last year the Sonic company has been capitalizing on that nostalgia by releasing former DC hits across online platforms- and now they're going retail. The SEGA Dreamcast Collection will drop onto store shelves next month (wow that was short notice) for the Xbox 360 and PC and will include:
  • Sonic Adventure (!)
  • Space Channel 5 Part 2
  • Crazy Taxi
  • SEGA Bass Fishing
Not a bad little collection there- could have been a bit beefier but beggars can't be choosers.

Bulletstorm Demo Leashes Xbox LIVE on January 25th

LIVE gets a one day exclusive over the PSN on the upcoming demo for the highly anticipated FPS from Gears of War publisher Epic.

The fast paced shooter will hit retail about a month later and will include a code with the Xbox exclusive Epic Edition that's good for entry into the Gears 3 demo, which will be out (also exclusively) for the Xbox 360 later this year.

Xbox 360 | PlayStation 3 | Nintendo Wii | PC Games                                

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gamestop Wants LIVE and PSN Connectivity

Basically, Gamestop wants to link your store account directly to your LIVE or PSN ID's to automatically load up points and content that you might buy from them.

It's a plan that, on the surface, makes little sense at best. But look a little deeper and you might be able to make a decent case here.

More PSP2 Rumor Leaks Out

Sony is apparently letting a few more tid-bits about it's upcoming PSP sequel out of the box. According to news site MCVUK, Sony is telling it's licensees that the portable will be a real powerhouse- supposedly as powerful as the Playstation 3.

And there's more-

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Microsoft Says Not to Look for a Portable- Win Phone 7 is it

Microsoft has told Kotaku that the Windows Phone 7 is their portable console.

The director of mobile and PC gaming at Microsoft, Kevin Unangst, says that there will be no portable gaming device. At least nothing dedicated- Win Phone 7 is it.

It's a direction that's certainly working for Apple with the iPhone. But consider that even Sony, with their PS Phone that will certainly be officially unveiled soon- is still going to follow up the PSP with a PSP2. People do want mobile consoles, but the bottom line is that Microsoft just seems to have little to no interest in entering the portable market.

It should be said that, though Sony is still trying, the Nintendo stranglehold really doesn't make the arena all that appealing. Still, a portable Halo is very, very, tempting and if the Xbox company were to produce a portable console that carried over a real, dual-stick, FPS experience- they might just have a contender. Seems like they're just not interested though...

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is Popular

Astounding though it may be, the latest expansion to the online juggernaut that is WoW is a pretty big hit with the game playing public. Just how many folks have lost most of their free time to the game since release? How's 4.7 million.

4.7 million sales in one month- wow.

Gemini Rue Continues Adventure Game Renaissance

And looks great doing it-

Gemini Rue might not be a name that you're all the familiar with, for that matter you might not know it's creator- Joshua Nuernberger either. But that's about to change as publisher Wadjet Eye Games prepares the indy title for release on February 24th.

GR was actually a finalist at the Independent Games Festival and is now set for mass download on the PC. The old school adventure game is can be reserved right now on for $14.99 There's also a disc based version (which comes with free global shipping) for $24.99- the physical copy is only available during the preorder period though. So if you like discs, you might want to order now.

Full details and screens after the jump-

New Bungie Titles Named?

It's being reported today that former Halo developer, Bungie, has trademarked a bunch of possible titles for future releases in conjunction with it's new publisher- Activision. Among the new marks: Dead Orbit, Seven Seraphs, and Osiris.

Is an Egyptian-themed title in the works?

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together Detailed

The next game in the classic Tactics Ogre strategy series, Let Us Cling Together, is coming to PSP's everywhere very soon now- February 25th to be exact -and publisher Square/Enix wants to get fans further hyped by releasing a detailed look at it's feature set.

It lies after the jump if you be brave enough to... read it-

Edit: whoops, the 25th is the Euro release- all of us here in the States can Cling Together starting on the 15th.

Modern Combat: Domination Coming Soon on PSN

One of the very best FPS's available on the iDevice product line is the Modern Combat series of military shooters by mobile giant Gameloft. Reminiscent of Activision's Modern Warfare, MC just gets portable first person action 'right'.

And now, for the first time, the games are coming to home consoles. Available on January 19th, Modern Combat: Domination will bring a multiplayer only version of it's action to the Playstation Network. MC:D will make use of the PS Move as well and is the first PSN FPS to do so.

Look for 16 player firefights, 5 different maps with 6 gametypes, an arsenal of 13 available weapons, and a 72 level rank system that will unlock additional gear as you progress.

Modern Combat: Domination will cost you $8 when it land on the PSN next week.

New Ghostbusters Screens

Some brand new Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime screens popped up today for the PSN. The isometric sequel will be available for download on the PSN and Xbox LIVE this Spring. More screens after the break-

Contra Remake Kicks off Xbox LIVE Winter House Party

Hard Corps: Uprising is the official name but Konami's downloadable action game is 100% Contra at heart. And now, Microsoft has selected the title to headline it's House Party winter promotion starting February 16th.

Uprising will carry a price tag of 1200mspts, new screens after the jump-

Verizon Gets the iPhone 4

So AT&T's exclusivity contract has run out and the announcement that everyone and their mother knew would be coming finally came along yesterday- telecommunication giant Verizon finally will be carrying the Apple iPhone- starting with a slightly redesigned iPhone 4.

Most notably- the 'new' 4 will feature a modified antenna design for enhanced reception when held in the 'death grip' that the AT&T version suffered from, and will have MiFi functionality that will allow the device to function as a hotspot for up to five additional devices.

A new carrier, especially one as big as Verizon, is really a kick in the pants (and the sales figures) for the Apple phone and can only boost their place in the market.

You can get your Verizon iPhone 4 starting February 10th.

PSN Update -- 'Puny' Edition

This week's PSN update is, how shall we put it? Underdeveloped.

There are quite a few things on sale, so if you count that as content... oh- there's Prinny 2 for the PSP... aaaaaand... nope, that's about it.

PSP2 Official- Announcement January 27th

News site MCVUK is reporting that it has confirmed through it's sources that the long awaited successor to Sony's PSP- the PSP2 -will soon be announced. To be specific, there will be a press conference on the 27th of this month in Tokyo to make that very anticipated announcement.

There's been an awful lot of speculation on this little portable- will it have physical media... a touch screen... dual analog sticks... it's a lot of speculation that will come to an end in a little over two weeks. If anything comes along before that- we'll have it right here.

Two pieces of new hardware in one year? Feels like the old days again- before consoles had ten year cycles doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

3DS News From Nintendo World Show

Lots of new info came out of Nintendo's Nintendo World Show this past weekend as far as the 3DS is concerned. One of the biggest eye openers was that the battery life would suffer significantly when 3D mode is switched on.

Effective play time reduces from 5-8 hours, down to 3-5 hours. That's a pretty big hit, and although the graphics on the console look phenomenal without 3D- it's pretty much the hook of the system. It is a knock to have the main draw be such a power hog.

Launch lineup after the jump-

MLB 2K11 Re-Up's it's Million Dollar Challenge

Last year Major League Baseball 2K10 gave away a million bucks to the first player to pitch a perfect game in the title- that must have felt pretty good huh?
"It was an incredible feeling when 2K Sports showed up at my doorstep," said Wade McGilberry, who won the contest using the Atlanta Braves against the New York Mets. "I never thought I'd actually get paid for playing Major League Baseball 2K10, or any video game. It really can happen to you - winning one million dollars changed my life forever."
The promotion was so successful that 2K is doing it all over again this year with the upcoming MLB 2K11. Full Details after the break-

LEGO Ninjago: The Videogame Announced for DS

LEGO Ninjago has to be the first LEGO game to feature a license that strictly belongs to the building block company since LEGO Rock Band- come to think of it, Rock Band already was a property so... LEGO Universe? Ehh.

Anyway... Ninjago, as you could probably tell from the name, features an Asian theme. Ninja's in particular. The sets themselves just released to stores and are really pretty cool- they have a lot of action gimmicks that you usually don't find in LEGO toys.

As a companion to said toys, developers Warner Brothers Games has just announced that LEGO's newest will become a game for the Nintendo DS very shortly (no release date yet though). The latest game to feature a LEGO theme is to be developed once again by series mainstays Traveler's Tales and will feature both 'good' and 'evil' campaigns that look to be somewhat reminiscent of the LEGO Battles game that appeared on the DS last year.

Good or evil campaigns are definitely something new in a LEGO game, a very cool addition- especially since the bad guys in Ninjago are mainly skeleton warriors.

Full release and some screens after the jump-

Edit: The game is being 'produced' by TT. Hellbent is handling development.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Playstation Phone Outed Playing PSOne ROM's

Website has a video showing the Sony Xperia- essentially a PSPhone -in action. In the vid, the as of yet officially unannounced handset is shown running BioHazard 2 and Rage Racer.

So while it looks as though it definitely will play PSOne ROM's (purchased through the PSN?), whether it will have it's own unique gaming library has yet to be seen. Since the phone runs the Android operating system, it's also possible that it'll simply use the 'droid App Marketplace for games in addition to some kind of Sony storefront.

In any event, as stated above, it hasn't even been officially shown yet- so there's more than likely some things to be worked out on the functionality end before that happens (maybe at e3?)

New inFamous 2 Details Emerge

in Famous 2 isn't all that far off at this point and Sony has graced us with a few new details for it's upcoming superhero exclusive. We already know it's a new city that Cole will be exploring, but what else will be new to the series?

* True Superhero Experience – Wielding god-like superpowers , discover what it means to be a true superhero with powerful cinematic sequences, stylized graphic cutscenes and epic boss battles which help bring Cole’s story to life.
Advanced Super Powers – Featuring a complete overhaul of the power system from inFAMOUS, experience what it’s like to be a full-blown superhero with enhanced electrical attacks, an improved melee fighting system and a host of new superpowers.
  •  Evolved Morality System- Cole once again has the choice to be mankind’s greatest hero or greatest villain, but this time around karmic choices directly affect the outcome of the story, for better or for worse.
All-New Open Dynamic World – Explore a virtually dense and more vibrant open world, set in the southern city of New Marais, with an increased level of interactivity, featuring over 100 simultaneous characters on screen, new gangs, destructible buildings and collapsible environments.
Enhanced Urban Exploration – Utilizing a highly-polished mo-cap and animation system to make climbing and exploring flow more fluidly, freely navigate the city and traverse nearly any surface with new fluid and dynamic parkour moves.

More powers and a better morality system sound pretty good but one thing that's still bothersome in these types of games is that you can choose to be bad at all- it is a superhero game isn't it?

Nintendo Download -- 'Underpants' Edition

The Virtual Console get not one but two titles this week courtesy of Capcom, a bit of an anomaly for a service that's been pretty much forgotten by all accounts over the last few years.

And those games are: EXED Eyes, a shooter that you probably don't remember from the NES- and the lance tossin', underwear showin', frustration inducin', Ghosts and Goblins... also of NES fame.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dragon Age 2 Pre-Order Bonuses Detailed

You might want to pre-order developer Bioware's Dragon Age 2 now if you're intending to pick up the game when it launches this March. Why? Because if you do, you'll get a 'free' upgrade to the Signature Edition.

And what do you get in said Signature Edition?
“The Exiled Prince” DLC pack, the game’s digital soundtrack and an exclusive in-game digital armory featuring a variety of in-game weapons.
Not that you'd want to miss out on free content, but if you just pick up the game on launch day you can still get the added stuff in the form of  DLC, it'll just cost you 560mspts.

Full description of the new content after the break-

Be Careful What You 'Jack

Upcoming third-person shooter Mindjack's underlying message? Be careful what you 'jack.


Xbox 360 | PlayStation 3 | Nintendo Wii | PC Games                                

Phoenix & Haggar Join Marvel vs Capcom 3

A godlike psychic versus an ex-wrestler? Sounds like a fair fight.

The roster of MvC3: Fate of Two Worlds expanded again today with the addition of two fan favorite characters- Jean Grey a/k/a Phoenix of the X-Men, and Mike Haggar of Final Fight fame.

Tons of screens after the break-

PS Move Did Pretty Well This Holiday Too

The Xbox Kinect might have taken the sales crown this Christmas season, but Sony's Playstation Move did it's fair share of damage to wallets as well.

Industry analyst Jesse Divnich told website Eurogamer that even though Kinect was a huge hit, that doesn't mean that Move performed poorly. He estimates about 4+ million units sold for the Move at Holiday time- which, while not as great as Kinect, is certainly no slouch.

Mad Catz Debuts New Wii Controller Line

Standard Size
Mad Catz has been busy debuting a bunch of new product at this years CES and now they've given us look at some brand new Wii-motes and Nunchucks.

Among the new offerings are four new remotes and a pair of 'chucks.

The line of remotes, dubbed 'Reactor' comes in four flavors: with MotionPlus built-in (Reactor Plus), without MP (Reactor), and micro- which comes with and without the extra motion-sensing tech as well. The micro units are the same as the standard size in every way but have a 15% smaller footprint.

As far as the Reflex Nunchucks go, they're made to match the Reactor (although they'll work with the standard Wii-mote as well), and they also come in both regular size and micro.

The full-size stuff will be available next month, with the cute little micro versions following in March. Full pricing and the complete release after the break-

Just How Many Playstation Devices are in the Works?

Sony Computer Entertainment President Kaz Hirai was pretty vague at the CES presentation this past week but he hinted at a few things. Specifically, that Sony was looking to bring the PSN to other devices in the future.

This could just be yet another coy remark about the Playstation Phone that's a fairly sure thing at this point, we're really just waiting for an official announcement and release date. Or, was he talking about something else?

There will be a PSP2, we know that already. Phone, PSP2... what else? A PC gaming brand? A tablet?

Any real announcements will likely be held for E3 as CES just isn't that important any more- especially to the games industry.

Can't wait for that keynote-

Mac App Store Blasts to 1 Million Downloads in Just 24 Hours

It's only in it's first 24 hours in existence, but the Macintosh version of the App Store has already racked up 1 million downloads.

The store debuted yesterday with about a thousand free and paid Apps (including a bunch of games) available right from the get go and is apparently a big hit. CEO Steve Jobs said he was "amazed at the incredible response the Mac App Store is getting". Really?

Is it shocking to anyone that the Mac Apps are a hit?

Nintendo Has a Secret History With 3D

The 3DS will hopefully be Nintendo's first successful games machine to enter the glasses-less third dimension- but it's far from the first.

In an interview with the feature, Iwata Asks, company president Saturo Iwata lists all their previous endeavors on the subject. Some of them will definitely surprise you-

Did you know that the GameBoy Advance SP (you know... the clamshell one) originally had a 3D screen? Iwata says that the portable had such a low resolution that the effect wasn't worth the extra cost.

Likewise, the Gamecube had an optional attachable screen that could display 3D imagery. The problem there was that, while the resolution was fine, the tech was so expensive that the peripheral would have cost more at retail than the actual console.

And then of course, there's the Virtual Boy. Do we really have to get into the problems with that one? Poor bastard...

Dawn of War II Retribution Gets Special Edition

A few new announcements came out of publisher THQ today about it's upcoming action/RTS expansion-
Leading the charge, the Dawn of War® II - Retribution™ Collector’s Edition will give the most dedicated Warhammer® 40,000® fan access to all of the available bonus wargear for each of the six playable races in the game as well as an exclusive poster, six race art cards and a high-quality collector’s box.
Also announced were six 'race packs-
 Fans of a specific race can pledge their allegiance by pre-ordering one of the six available specific race packs for the same suggested retail price as the regular version of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution, £29.99. These race packs are only available for electronic distribution and ONLY available for pre-order. Each race pack includes four unique ability and Wargear items that can be used to enhance the single player campaign. The Ork Race Pack is exclusive through STEAM and the Tyranid Race Pack exclusive through the E-Shop. The Space Marine, Chaos Space Marine, Eldar and newly announced Imperial Guard race packs are available for pre-order through the E-Shop, STEAM and other electronic distribution partners. Post launch, gamers will have the option of purchasing the specific race packs digital content through STEAM for a nominal fee.
And finally, like you didn't see this coming-
Newcomers to the Dawn of War II Universe also have the option of pre-ordering the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Complete Collection which includes Dawn of War II, Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising and Dawn of War II - Retribution for the special suggested price of £49.99.
As you can see, all prices are in '£'- as soon as we get the '$', we'll add it in.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Snakebyte Expands it's Playstation Offerings With Programmable Remote

One of our favorite add-on's from last year has to have been the Wii Balance Board with built in Digital Scale from snakebyte. It was the first third party balance board that we've seen and was a really innovative product that actually had a purpose when not playing games!

Much like the board, snakebyte's newest- a Bluetooth remote for the Playstation 3 -has some extras built in as well.

Notice that big screen at the top? Time and room temp.

The remote also features IR compatibility, not just Bluetooth. So you'll be able to remotely control up to 6 other IR devices in addition to your PS3.

More description and the full release after the break-

Sony: PSN Has 60 Million Members

Sony has announced that it's Playstation Network has grown to some 60 million accounts strong, doubling up on Microsoft's LIVE numbers of 30 million.

It's an impressive number that the company should be proud of- the PSN has had it's fair share of problems since it debuted and credit should be given to the gaming giant for getting a firm grasp on the issues it had and ironing out the wrinkles.

Not to throw any chilly H2O on the release, but it has to be mentioned here that it's pretty common for a single user to have several accounts on the PSN since signing up is free and there's no additional cost to play online multiplayer. In particular- opening up foreign accounts when territory-exclusive demo's are released is almost standard at this point. It's a practice that's a little less attractive on Xbox LIVE since, while joining at the Silver level is free, being a Gold member (which gets you access to online multi) is fifty bones a year.

60 million is still a great stat that Sony can toss around- it's just that we're probably not talking 60 million unique users. Which is to say that it's probably not quite as great as they would very much like you to believe.

Mad Catz Announces 3DS Accessory Lineup

Peripheral maker Mad Catz has announced it's starting lineup of accessories for the soon to be released Nintendo 3DS handheld. As you might expect, there are pouches, screen protectors, and styli a-plenty.

Pricing seems pretty good and MC has been on a roll the last few years with some really nice products. There's no release date yet (bet on March) for any of this stuff but we'll have that and some shots as soon as something new is available.

Full product list and descriptions after the jump-

THQ's Homefront to Cripple Used Copy Buyers

Want to wait a bit and pick up publisher THQ's promising Red Dawn-esque shooter Homefront off of the used rack? Hope you don't like multiplayer then!

The game will use a version of an 'online pass' that will handicap used buyers during online matches and only allow them to level up their characters to level 5. Folks who buy the game new will be able to get all the way up to level 75.

Homefront will accomplish this feat by coming packed with a single use code that will unlock the full online experience. If you pick up the game used you can still get in on all the leveling up action, you just need to shell out an additional $10 for a new code.

This annoying trend started with last year's UFC 2010 by EA. Punishing gamers for buying your game used when they may not have bought it all at full price?

Just not all that cool guys.

Mac App Store is Live

The long wait for the Macintosh version of the iOS' App Store is now officially over.

Encoded into the newest OSX update, the App Store looks very similar to the portable version and is starting off with over a thousand Apps, both free and paid, for your downloading enjoyment- One thing, in particular, worth noting? Full retail priced games.

The iOS version of the App Store has done very well for Apple with roughly 1.4 billion in total sales since is debuted so expectations are high indeed.

Avatar Kinect & Kinect Enhansed Movie Viewing Announced at CES

Microsoft's Kinect is gangbusters at retail and now it's getting a little bit of new functionality-

Kinect Transforms Entertainment in the Living Room
Kinect is a prime example of how natural user interface (NUI) is transforming gaming by making it more social and approachable than anyone ever thought was possible, but it’s just the beginning, Dennis said. Several CES announcements showed how Microsoft will take Kinect’s controller-free experience beyond gaming and into entertainment throughout the year. This spring, for example, Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers will be able to use Kinect to control Netflix on Xbox LIVE. Viewers will be able to pause, rewind, and fast-forward streaming movies with only their voice or gestures.
The company also announced that Hulu Plus will be coming to Xbox LIVE as a Kinect-enabled experience this spring. As with Netflix, subscribers will be able to use controller-free motion and voice capabilities to instantly watch full-screen popular TV shows anytime in HD.
Also at CES, the Xbox team introduced a new social experience called Avatar Kinect that will use Kinect’s camera and sensor to bring a player’s avatar to life. It leverages Kinect’s facial recognition technology to let a person control their avatar’s movements and expressions; when they smile, frown, nod and speak, the avatar will do the same, Dennis said.
With Avatar Kinect, a player can invite up to seven friends to join them in one of 15 imaginative virtual environments. One of those worlds is a performance stage, where friends can record their performance and share with friends.
Ooooh, voice control for Netflix and Hulu is a great idea.

Not really sold on the Avatar Kinect feature set though. We've already seen with Sony's Playstation Home (although it's a little bit of a different animal), that kind of thing isn't really all it's cracked up to be- at least not yet.

It sounds good, but 'on paper' doesn't always translate all that great to actual usability.

Kinect Sells 8 Million Units Since Launch

So Kinect is doing pretty well.

Microsoft was shooting for sales of 5 million units by the end of 2010 which was in and of itself a lofty goal. Now here in the first week of 2011, Kinect has shimmied those expectations away with a total of 8 million sold during the sixty day window that Microsoft figures to be the Holiday sales period.

Xbox 360 consoles saw an upswing as well, with 50 million moved during that same period. That last figure securing the crown for the Xbox as the number one gaming console in the US over the past six months.
The wild ride to close out 2010 capped the “biggest year ever” for Xbox, said David Dennis, group public relations manager for Xbox. Over the holiday season, console sales for the Xbox 360 hit 50 million. It also was the No. 1-selling console in North America over the past six months. Meanwhile, the Xbox LIVE community continued to grow strongly overall in 2010, adding a new member every two seconds. Xbox LIVE now has more than 30 million active members.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Little Big Planet 2 Demo Available Now

Everybody's favorite Sackboy has once again graced the PS3 with his (it's?) presence as the demo for the sequel to the make-your-own-game... game... Little Big Planet, is out now on the PSN.

Go grab it. It's free, how bad could it be?

Turbografx-16 Comes to the PSN

The odd (but very welcome) Turbo-16 resurgence continues from the iPhone onto the Playstation Network. The initial offering of games will be available some time this month and includes:
  1. Alien Crush
  2. Bomberman '94
  3. Bonk's Adventure
  4. Dungeon Explorer
  5. Neutopia
  6. New Adventure Island
  7. Soldier Blade
  8. Super Star Soldier
  9. Victory Run
  10. World Sports Competition
 Pricing and a solid launch date are still forthcoming but we do know that the games will be playable on the PS3 and the PSP, which is a nice little bonus. Reminds me of the Turbografx/Turbo Express.

Ahhhh memories...

New Call of Duty Games in Development

Just how many is anyone's guess at this point but Activision isn't exactly shy about milking a franchise.

Here's the scuttle right now as far as developers go: 
  • Infinity Ward, despite all of their issues with management, is reportedly still working on something CoD related (gotta be a new Modern Warfare, right?)
  • Treyarch, developers of the massive hit Black Ops, are working on a follow-up
  • Raven Software is now rumored to be working on either some kind of DLC for Black Ops, or something entirely new- but still under the CoD banner.
And there's more as well- innuendo is floating around the ether that there's a Call of Duty MMO in the works too. However you slice all that- it's one heaping helping of CoD. Too much?

It could be. Remember that when WWII was all the rage, there just wasn't enough of a market to support all of the 'me toos' that  came along trying to steal genre kings Medal of Honor and Call of Duty's thunder. Eventually, even MoH fell to the wayside.

Now that it seems like the modern era is the bees knees as far as FPS's go, there are getting to be an aweful lot of 'me toos' again. watering down the Call name might not be the greatest idea.

He-Man Games Coming in 2011

Thanks to an exclusive partnership between THQ and Mattel, you can look forward to seeing a lot more titles for home consoles based upon the toy giant's properties.

He-Man will be joined by Polly Pocket, Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots among others. The only official announcement as of right now is Pictionary, but THQ is looking to bring get started right away and have several games ready for Christmas of this year. Pictionary will be a Wii exclusive at this point and will include support for the company's uDraw tablet peripheral.

Here's to hoping that they give Masters of the Universe a little priority. It's a classic franchise that deserves a decent game.

Sonic the Hedgehog Turns 20

SEGA's standard bearer and long time mascot is turning 20 years old this year- and to celebrate this most auspicious of occasions, the blue blur will be having all manner of events!

What that means is really anyone's guess but SEGA is planning a year's worth of party for ol' Sonic and that's something that's sure to include a couple of games. Best guesses would be some more helpings of Sonic 4 and some kind of compilation set. (*personal note to SEGA- could we get Sonic CD in there somewhere? Thanks)

Release after the break-

L.A. Noire Motionscan Tech is a Beauty to Behold

L.A. Noire is a beautiful game, that's plain to see from the promo shots. But Rockstar Games' upcoming action/adventure for the Xbox and PS3 is more than that- it's got brains too.

Rockstar just released some new shots showcasing the uncanny Motionscan technology that it's employing to make the gritty detective story all that much more believable.

Getting on-screen and in-action characters to look 'right' has long been a Holy Grail of game design, so far L.A. Noire looks like it's up to the task. More screens and some notes about Motionscan after the break.

Scarlett and the Spark of LIfe Updated and on Sale

Scarlett and the Spark of Life (which we mused on here) has just been updated with a commentary mode- and to mark the occasion publisher Launching Pad has discounted the excellent little graphic adventure to just .99

Check it out now on the App store for the iPad and iPhone here.