Tuesday, May 31, 2011

PSN Store Back Up By the End of the Week

UPDATE - Scrap all that, Sony has just announced that today's maintenance has now been postponed, which could mean anything!

With maintenance due today, the PSN store is due back up by the end of this week according to the latest update on Sony's blog. That's a little later than the promised end of month, but its been so long now that a few more days won't make a difference.

Still wondering what Sony plans to do to manage the capacity of xx million users all crying out in delight at once and rushing to get their free downloads. The odds on the system going straight back down again under the load have to be pretty high, but we'll see!

In the rush up to E3, we already have a name for the NGP but apart from some chat about Uncharted, its all being rather quiet. How long can that last?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

PSP2/NGP to be called Vita?

File under you can never keep a secret online. Update - Seems real as Sony has registered a bunch of Vita domains. Calling it PSV myself! The original post has been pulled , but the cat is well and truly out of the bag.

Sony's next generation portable will be called Vita according to an advert that may or may not exist or be a fake. Who knows, but PSV sounds okay. Works numerically too, as it will be the fifth PlayStation product. Apart the poor angle that makes it look not much like paperwork, it looks reasonable, but hey with 5 minutes on Photoshop I can conclusively prove there is life on Mars.

Also seems like the cutting of the device's RAM doesn't seem to be true, so you can breathe easy on that front. Looks like the week ahead will be full of tittle tattle, take it all with a pinch of salt.

Friday, May 27, 2011

PSN Going Down for Work on 31 May, Will the Store Come Back After?

Sony has just posted advance warning of some PSN maintenance next week, at the end of the month. While not saying so, we assume the PSN store will be available once the service is restored. Quite how Sony plans to cope with millions of gamers all leap back on to download their freebies is open to question, but Sony has to have some sort of limit in place to stop the store crashing straight back to hell again.

It would be good of Sony to clarify how it plans to manage all this demand, is anyone listening?

Japanese PSP Gamers Welcome Back Games Choice

The Japanese line-up of welcome back games is pretty different to what the west has been offered with a choice of two from the following:

  • Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaikida or2 (What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2)
  • Minna no Sukkiri (The minigame collection)
  • Patapon 2
  • LittleBigPlanet Portable
  • LocoRoco Midnight Carnival

Have to say that without LBP, all of those lists would be pretty poor, but its still something to look forward to. Partial restoration of Asia's PSN services is beginning tomorrow.

Sony NGP Having its Memory Cut? Could Be No Big Deal...

Woke up to a barrage of rumours (all based on one badly translated report) that Sony's NGP handheld might have its internal system memory reduced from 512 to 256MB to save on cost. It might lose the internal user storage (16GB) to be replaced by extra MemorySticks (or something similar) like the PSP uses.

Assuming this is true, the forum commenters have now gone from whining that the NGP would cost too much, to moaning about the risk of it being underpowered. However, the PS3 runs reasonably happily on 256MB and while new generation iPhones and Androids have 512MB/1GB of memory, they are multi-purpose devices that need to cater for a range of uses, while the NGP is all about the games, and shouldn't suffer as much.

Losing the user storage means an added cost to us, but £18 for an 8GB stick isn't too bad in the big scheme of things, as long as Sony doesn't come up with another new format and try ramping up the prices, in which case everyone should get upset.

Do you think Sony would deliberately bork their machine's chances of success for the want of a couple of dollars of extra memory or do you think Sony knows what it needs to produce a winning machine? And remember all those original pics had SPECIFICATIONS SUBJECT TO CHANGE stamped on them, so we have no solid right to moan about it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What the World is Pre-Ordering on PSP

A quick look at Amazon Japan shows what the Japanese are saving up for on their PSPs:

Legend of Heroes
Steins Gate (Visual Novel)
Black Rock Shooter (with the cool figure bundle)
Cardboard Troopers (with the cut out models)
Monster Hunter G Village  (the cute version)

In the US its:

Pro Angler Move
Madden 12
BlazBlue Continuum Shift II

In the UK its:

Dragon Ball Z (as that's the only game on pre-order)

And you wonder why the Japanese enjoy their PSPs more, better bundles, yadda yadda yadda

More New Final Fantasy Type 0 Screens

After a print article in the week, the Famitsu website has been updated with some new and exclusive, and rather pretty, new pictures of Square Enix's next PSP Final Fantasy title. The Gilgamesh character seems to be getting a lot of coverage at the moment.

And there's also a look at the battles on the world map which look more Total War than Final Fantasy. Expect an orgy of screens and video as this game nears release.

Konami Planning Surprises for Pre-E3 Show

Hopefully those magic three letters NGP will be used rather often in Konami's big event before the main show. WE already know about Metal Gear Peace Walker meandering across to PS3 but how about other MG titles coming out in updated form on NGP?

Or, some whole new game - lets face it, Konami has been kicking the MG concept to death over the years.

Follow the events (and the great big countdown) here

White Knight Chronicles Origins Trailer

With a release date of June 10, Sony's White Knight Chronicles for PSP is almost here, and there's a new trailer (in Italian as the Uk version is inaccessible for some reason) to celebrate:

Will it do enough to differentiate from Monster Hunter or will it just fall by the wayside like so many other clones?

PSP Back on Top in Japanese Games Charts

After a slow couple of holiday weeks, Japan's charts saw a raft on new entries, topped by the mildly naughty Akiba's Trip and with 10 PSP games in the top 20!

1. Akiba's Trip 58,150 NEW! PSP
2. Dead or Alive Dimensions 23,078 NEW! PSP
3. Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional 19,290 (494,793) NDS
4. Gungnir 16,355 NEW! PSP
5. Patapon 3 11,458 (95,341) PSP
6. Portal 2  8,942 NEW! PS3
7. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011  8,032 (160,066) PSP
8. Wii Party : 5,043 (1,891,324) WII
9. Pokemon Black & White  4,767 (5,181,982) NDS
10. Steel Diver  4,583 (21,991) 3DS
11. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011  4,401 (151,465) PS3
12. 2nd Super Robot Wars Z Hakai Volume  4,100 (403,064) PSP
13. Monster Hunter Freedom 3 3,902 (4,474,713) PSP
14. Haruhi Suzumiya no Tsuisou 3,758 (18,711) PSP
15. Elminage Original: 3,625 NEW! PSP
16. Mario Kart Wii 3,563 (3,228,399) WII
17. Haruhi Suzumiya no Tsuisou 3,529 (22,360) PS3
18. Final Promise Story 3,518 (89,054) PSP
19. Portal 2 3,468 NEW! 360
20. nintendogs + cats 3,192 (221,708) 3DS

PSP Sales Dip, PlayStation Brand Rakes in the Cash

Sony stated that NGP is still on course for launch this year during its Japanese earnings briefing earlier today. I guess we'll find out where and when during E3.

Sony sold 8 million PSPs last year (down a couple of million, but still not bad for a gadget approaching end of life), helping the PlayStation division to a £270/$435 million profit but sales got only a slight increase at ¥1,572 billion (£11.7 billion/$19.2 billion).

It expects to sell another 6 million this year, helped by new bundles. Sony sold 46.6 million PSP games, which was up on last year's 44.4 million, the figures will be damaged by an estimated £106 million cost due to the PSN outage and subsequent restoration/restitution. There was no breakdown between PSP/PSPGo but, frankly, it won't make much difference

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sony Throwing Random Bundles Out There

Sony has unveiled a new PSP bundle, but we're not sure why. The so-called "Dads and Grads" limited edition seems to be the result of Sony scraping around the bottom of its bargain bin, throwing some bits together and chucking it on the stall.

Buyers will get Gran Turismo, MLB 11, a 2GB MemoryStick and a black PSP 3000, all for $159 (£99) which isn't a bad deal, if you ignore the stupid title (which thankfully doesn't seem to appear on the box). Some better creative thinking on the marketing side might see Sony sell a few more PSPs in the run up to NGP, we await the "Moms and Femdoms" edition with a sense of dread and curiosity!

Japan's Marvelous Planning Full NGP Slate

Marvelous, the team behind Harvest Moon, No More Heroes, Fate/Extra and a bunch of other stuff that I don't think the west gets is promising full support for the NGP. In its financial report, it reckons the new handheld console will be out by the end of the year.

Marvelous made/published 24 games for the PSP over the years, which is a pretty decent effort with Fate/Extra breaking the 100,000 sales barrier this year and Half Minute Hero 2 still to hit these shores. So, expect some great, quirky stuff, to come on your NGP in 2012.

Hit PC Game Minecraft Coming to Xperia Play

An Android version of the cult PC indie game Minecraft is on the way, and the Xperia Play will be getting it first as an exclusive title.

The Swedish-developed game lets players build anything in their own little world, which has led lots of users to recreating classic and popular game worlds, levels and survive in them against armies of monsters. Not sure what the Android version will feature but it is an awesome, and unique, game that should be a hit.

PSP Update Live, Yay! PSN Store Next Week, Boo!

So, the PSP's long awaited update is finally here. When installed it tells you to use your PS3 (why do Sony always assume PSP owners will have a PS3?) or PC to log in and change your password.

The bad news is that this is Sony is now saying the store won't be up until the end of the month AKA next Tuesday, blaming speculation for the stories about the store coming back today. Fairly sure Sony mentioned the 24th somewhere, but hey what's another week after this mayhem?

Once you enter your existing details on the site, you get the same message that PS3 users have suffered with, that an email will be sent to your account within 24 hours. We'll see how long that takes.

[UPDATE] - Yay, only took about ten minutes. You then go through the password reset system and can then update your card details (because you did cancel yours like a careful consumer didn't you?). Now, there is just the wait until the store comes back up... before it instantly crashes again under the demand.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sony Launches E3 NGP Site...

...pretty lights, but not much info - yet! Still get your camping chair or rug out and enjoy the view while clicking on the floaty buttons. Hopefully there will be live streaming of the event for the world to enjoy.

It all kicks off in a couple of weeks, ooh the excitement. Things have been livened up by the PS3 Remaster news but I'm sure Sony has a lot more in the bag.

Amazon Wireless Selling Xperia Play for $99

Amazon is offer the Xperia Play for pre-order at just $99 for new Verizon customers (which I think is around half the up-front price of some other deals) As I'm not in the US, I can't get past the front page, but it looks like the best place to sign up for the phone.

As we've covered, the Xperia Play is getting a firmware upgrade soon and some new games are starting to appear. Although Sony is dragging its arse over updating the PlayStation Suite features. Still hoping for something big from E3 like a PS2 games store, but we'll see.

Modern Warfare 3 Trailer - An NGP Candidate?

So, here's the swanky new video for Modern Warfare 3 with bigger cutscenes, weapons, explosions and everything else in some pretty new locations that largely get trashed.

But, the big question is will this game slip over to the NGP with an announcement at E3. While its all well and good us getting some Uprising, Uncharted and so on, Sony really needs to get the Tier One (pun intended) games on board.

Would you be more interested in getting an NGP if games like this and LA Noire were available for it?

Steins Gate Visual Novel Hitting PSP in June

Manga tale Steins Gate [wikipedia] is unlikely to get a western release but is worth a mention anyway. Where else will you find people using their microwave to send messages back in time? The visual novel was an XBox release in 2009 but hits the PSP in June (hey, what's a couple of years between friends?).

Sure, its not a proper game, but if you've any interest in Japanese media, its worth a go - its not like you can't play the game. Published by 5pb and Nitroplus it has a decent heritage and a sequel to Steins Gate in proper game form is due out too, but we're not sure on what format.

PSP Password Firmware Update Coming...

Yesterday, Sony has announced a new firmware update for PSPs that will hit "soon," allowing us to reset our passwords and hopefully access the store which is also supposed to come back up today:

Hi everyone. A new PSP system software update, v6.39, will be released soon. With this update, users who need to change their PlayStation Network password will be guided through the process. Also, system software stability during use of some features will be improved.

So, free up some MemoryStick space (and my, how they've grown) and get ready to join the rush in downloading your free games, at which point I reckon the store will crash again for a few more days under the weight of demand.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Yay! Found a new Xperia Play Game: Backbreaker 2: Vengeance

Having pleaded for some news on new Xperia Play games, we've found one. Meet Backbreaker 2 from Natural Motion (developers of the Euphoria engine), an American football game that isn't hamstrung by the license, making it a far more tasty affair. Its also a perfectly timed game for the American launch, although it might not tear players away from Madden 11, its at least something a little different for everyone else.

With an emphasis on crunching tackles and monster blocks, its a lively looking affair. The game is currently an Xperia Play exclusive and is based on an iPhone original title. Any Xperia Play owners can pick it up here, its a 28Mb download and costs $2.99 (around £1.84).

Any New Games Other Than Madden for the U.S. Xperia Play Launch?

That's my question, what's the answer? Surely Sony Ericsson isn't going to run with the same vapid line-up as seen in Europe and elsewhere? There has to be some new stuff, somewhere, but damned if I can spot it.

The only difference I can see in the bundle is Madden NFL 11 in place of Europe's FIFA Soccer, and The Sims 3 but is that it? Does anyone know any different? Any exclusives anywhere? What's going on? And since when is Crash Bandicoot an incentive to buy anything? Really thought SE would have upped the package.

Will PSP/PS3 Remasters be Followed by PSP/NGP Remasters?

It's not a massive leap of logic to conclude that what Sony is now doing with Monster Hunter Portable 3 Remaster for the PS3, and other games, it can also do for the NGP. Rather than just put the old PSP versions on the  NGP's PSN store, it can sell at a premium these upgraded versions and help publishers whose PSP games sold okay, but not stunningly drag some more life out of their titles.

Not only will this help fill out the release schedules and nudge gamers into upgrading, if you ignore the odious spectre of us paying for those games again, its an attractive proposition. While all the obvious candidates like Metal Gear, God of War and Final Fantasy will be at the top of most owner's lists, it would help bring back to NGP developers who had a shot at PSP and didn't get the greatest of rewards from it.

A final thought on this, could folk playing on a PSP play against those using the NGP version, allowing people to keep using their PSP's and keep their old games for friends and family to help enjoy some multiplayer fun and save the old console from the dust pile.

Monster Hunter Portable 3 Remastered for PS3 Details/Video

Was you and about yesterday, so could only do a brief update on the Monster Hunter PS3 story, but here's the latest news. For a start the PS3 version will get full camera control via the right-stick, making keeping an eye on the battle a whole lot easier.

There are some comparison screen shots on [Andriasang], it shows the increase in smoothness but the lack of detail is pretty clear (rather like the Xbox HD update of Soul Calibur I was playing recently, neat but not really pretty).

Finally, here's the video:

Basically, when this update hits the west, if it doesn't turn both Europe and America into monster slashing maniacs, there really is no justice and since the game can be carried on on your PSP, it can't do much harm for the portable platform.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

PSP's Greatest Games Coming to PS3

[UPDATE] - Sony has confirmed that Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker will be announced as the next game to get the update treatment at E3!

Sony is bringing the PSP's biggest games to the big screen with a touch of HD remastering and DualShock control. Starting with Monster Hunter Portable 3 (from Capcom) so this isn't just a Sony title effort, the games are PSP save-compatible and will help milk the PSP cash cow for a good while longer.

The full story with video is over here: http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2011/05/22/psp_remaster_series/

Expect the Metal Gear, Final Fantasy and other big series to make the transition. So, now the PSP/PS3 worlds are combined and you can expect a similar trick for NGP.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Final Fantasy Type-0 Information Overload

Japan has just had a massive Type-0 update with the first video being shown off by the developers, new pics and information on the last FF PSP-only title. Check out the video:

And then head over to some better qualified folk who've torn it down to explain all the ins and outs. Dissidia gamers in Japan are also getting some FFT-0 costumes to play in Dissidia 012. Have to say it looks pretty awesome in scale, detail and scope, the combat looks a bit weird, but can't wait to get some time on this game!

Sony at E3, What's Coming Up? Pre-Show Links

Here are a couple of links to decent preview pieces on Sony's presence at E3 this year, I'll pad this list out as the time of the show approaches, but its worth a quick browse to see what to expect:


Until the show its now about relying on the odd official leak or pre-show event to pick up any news, along with any accidental discoveries.

New NGP Video, Pretty, But No New Info

{UPDATE] - Sorry, this might not  be new, but I don't recall it. What is happening is some spammer is putting up a load of NGP/PSP videos on YouTube linking to dodgy offers - don't bother clicking the links, it won't be what was offered by the text.

Gamespot has sat an NGP console next to a PSPGo and then done bugger all with it! Still, its a good close-up look at the console and, in the run up to E3, we should expect a lot more footage and detail.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Xperia Play to get Android Update

Android version 2.3.3 isn't a huge update but it does add some fun new bits to the Xperia Play. Offering better Facebook integration, it lets users do their photo uploading and liking of music and links with a little more finesse.

There are also security updates and fixes, but it looks like gamers will have to wait until E3 to hear anything about new games or gaming services. The update will hit next week, probably the same time of the US launch.

I'm still betting my ass that Xperia Play 2 will be announced later this year and offer a PlayStation 2 games library, either in to buy or rental form, the power is there in the processors to handle it and the PSOne library seems to have run into a dead end. Which will come as a shame to those Americans who can only buy the phone Mk. 1 phone from next week.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

PSP's PSN Store Back on the 24th! (Hopefully)

Assuming everything goes well, and that the world doesn't end (which is supposed to happen on Saturday), Sony's PSN store could be back up and running Next Tuesday. That date is based on a memo to publishers from Sony. Read the whole report on Eurogamer, lets just hope the planet doesn't fall apart in the meantime.

I'd expect the store to collapse shortly after under the weight of demand from users. The Lazarus-like return will be followed by bi-weekly updates to shovel all the lingering content into place while everyone downloads their free games. Not sure I'd like to be selling a lightweight game in those weeks.

PSP Dominates in a Quiet Week of Japanese Sales

The PSP sold nearly 35,000 units last week in Japan, handily trouncing all the opposition, with many hitting their lowest ever sales. Does this mark the point when people start waiting for the next generation of consoles?

Similarly, while the PSP holds six of the top 10 games in Japan, there was little in the way of exciting chart movement and depressed sales, although PSP games were relegated to No's. 4 to 8 and No. 10.

    1 Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 – Professional (DS) – 20,722
    2 Suzumiya Haruhi no Tsuisou (PS3) – 18,831
    3 Steel Diver (3DS) – 17,408
    4 Suzumiya Haruhi no Tsuisou (PSP) – 14,953
    5 Patapon 3 (PSP) – 12,959
    6 Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (PSP) – 10,166
    7 Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume (PSP) – 9,222 (new)
    8 Final Promise Story (PSP) – 6,915
    9 Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (PlayStation 3) – 6,586
    10 Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Wars Z: Hakai-hen (PSP) – 6,290

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cohort Chess Coming to PSP (and PS3) on PSN

Cohort Studios will be pitching gamers into classic strategic battles soon with its Cohort Chess game. It teaches newcomers the rules, will challenge seasoned players and uses the classic looking chessboard and pieces rather than going all 3D and avant garde.

Miss Chess on your PlayStation, then this will fill that gap in your life, as soon as the PSN store comes back up that is. The company also has Me Monstar: Hear Me Roar in development, which is a cutesy monster games which seems to have a curry as a form of attack, which can't be bad!

More on these as and when they hit the store.

Good Lord! Sony's New Sign-Up Page Hacked Too

In a post on Eurogamer, there is evidence of how hackers can use your personal information (possibly lifted during the original hack or gained by simple social fishing exercises) to access your PSN account and use it for naughty purposes.

Its all a bit technical, and since I haven't had an email from Sony about reinstating my account, I'm as much in the dark as everyone else. All I've got is a little PSP that I download some games too from time to time, is it really too much to ask?

The result of this is that the PSN site is down again, and needs to be fixed before it can come back up. Presumably if you haven't changed your password yet, you're still stuffed.

UK PSP Top 10 - Pirates On Top

Another week of frenetic activity in the UK chart, with LEGO storming to the top and the Square posse jostling around in the top five. Enjoy it folks, because the movement will soon come to a bit of a halt, judging by the release list.

1 New                 LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean           Disney
2 Up         5 Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection Square Enix
3 Down 1 FIFA 11                                                 EA
4 Down 2 Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy                Square Enix
5 Down 3 Football Manager 2011                        Sega
6 Up         7 LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars     Activision
7 Up         9 Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Cosmic Destruction Namco Bandai
8 None RE WWE SmackDown vs RAW 2011           THQ
9 Down 4 Shim Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable Ghostlight
10 Down 8 Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together         Square Enix

Anyone Can Play the NGP Information CV Hunting Game...

Having just posted on the Harry Potter NGP unearthed in CV news, it seemed logical to have a quick go at this digital dumpster diving for ourselves. Not only is it fun for all the family but it rapidly gets you results.

A quick peruse on LinkedIn turns up Scottish company Tag Games who are hiring in a range of positions for phones and handheld games. The company has worked on the Doctor Who games and job adverts mention NGP, so its a good bet something will be coming from them soon. A recent tweet from the company goes a step further with the post:
We just got developer approval for one of the new hand held consoles. Next step get Dev Kits, then port moFlow.
So things are looking pretty good for these guys, have added them to the games/dev page. We'll keep having random prods in various places and see what else this digs up. Points for readers who find new info!

Lego Harry Potter 2 Coming to NGP

[UPDATE] - This news has been confirmed by Warner Bros. Of course, it doesn't mean that the NGP version will launch with the rest of them, but does give a strong indication that NGP will launch this year.

Blimey, its getting complicated finding out about new games, take this guy who fishes through developer's social sites, job postings and other places to find out what's happening. One tweet he posted says:

—today in unsurprising things: Lego Harry Potter 2 coming to NGP, PSP, 3DS, DS, & probably any other platform that exists.
The link leads to the CV of British Animator Daniel Judge who lists a PSP2 version of Harry Potter on his employment history as well as an unannounced title.

That makes sense in the scheme of things, but don't expect EA to confirm, or even deny, such news. Makes you wonder what else is out there too!

Sony Shooting E3 Trailers, NGP Touched by Lucky Models

A scroll through the tweets reveals that Californian-based model Ben Kline has just taken part in the video shoot for Sony's E3 promo trailers. Not only does this mean unrealistically attractive people get to fondle the gadget that we all want to play with, but it means that someone, somewhere has some footage of the shoot.

Chances of it leaking are minimal to nil, but its good to know Sony are on the case and that preparations for E3 are progressing. As for the rest of us not so attractive types, we'll just have to wait until later in the year, curse my repulsive hide!

Will see if we can drag out any info or pics from the event...

PSP Japan Round-Up: New Frontier Gate and FF Type-0 Info

I wonder if this is what it'll be like if the NGP succeeds? Big glossy websites for cool games that are updated regularly (take a hint Capcom). Overnight, the official site for Frontier Gate from Konami and Tri-Ace got a bit of an update with new music and screens.

Over at Square, they are really ramping up the hype for the next Final Fantasy game with new stories in the Japanese gaming press, and a new collection of screens [andriasang]. It does look like Square is giving its all to this PSP swansong.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sony Offering European Credit Theft Protection

Sony's European blog has updated with news and links on how Europeans without credit protection can sign up for a year's free service. Its really unlikely you'll need it, but never look a gift horse in the mouth etc.

This follows on from Sony free games offer yesterday, all we need is PSP access to the store and the games to download, which should kick in over the next week.

On the subject of stores, whatever happened to PlayStation Suite? Sony is supposed to be unveiling something at E3, but its definitely on the back burner at the moment. With Xperia Play prices falling, could be a good time to get in there.

New Zealand's Xperia Play Shipment Stolen! US Verizon Launch Nears

[UPDATE] The theft bit was all a hoax of some kind, but hopefully Verizon can manage its launch without such inane tactics. 

Title says it all really, but there we were all ready to cheer on our Antipodean friends, with offers and launch details, and now some ratty gang has gone and half-inched the lot. Engadget has the details but basically, if someone offers you a smartphone in a Kiwi pub, turn them down and turn them in.

Americans get some happier news with the Verizon launch date of 26 May fast approaching, with pre-orders being taken from Thursday. Hopefully Verizon has tighter security than Vodafone.

PSN Restoration - Justified Backlash or Whining?

Sony's offer of free games has generated the expected amount of mania online. A couple of posts are trying to sort out the issue. Eurogamer has posted Sony's defence against complaints while MCV puts it all down to whining journalists who get games for free.

Personally, I paid for my PSP games and am pretty happy that there are two more from the list I can get for free. Sure, they aren't what I (or anyone who filled in the poll) expected, but hey, its better than a poke in the eye.

Come to me, my pretty one!

As for the complaining, well it would have been impossible Sony to please everyone, and in the big scheme of things it could have been worse. Time to move on people, or it will be when PSP users can access the store...

Personally, I want to get back to writing about NGP, and playing quirky little minis, this whole thing has dragged on far too long now.

Xperia Play Now On Sale (SIM-Free)

After yesterday's news about contract price cuts, it seems that SIM-free Xperia Play phones are now getting the slash and burn treatment. An offer at Clove has the unit at £349+VAT which works out at £418 and is down as while stocks last. Get yours here, or has this gadget had its moment and is the world going to move on to the next big thing?

Sony has promised some news at E3 about an improved roster of games, but its starting to feel like the poor phone has been left hanging due to Sony's PSN problems and a lack of momentum as Sony Ericsson has other products to push.

Monday, May 16, 2011

PSN Welcome Back Games Free Download Lists Unveiled

Off out, so do this quickly.

Right, here we go, the news you've all been waiting for, PSP owners get to choose from the following four games as their free welcome back, sorry we screwed up, downloads:

  • LittleBigPlanet PSP
  • ModNation Racers PSP
  • Pursuit Force
  • Killzone Liberation

In Germany, they get  Everybody’s Golf 2 and Buzz Junior Jungle Party  instead of the rather old Pursuit Force and Killzone Liberation.

Well, I own Killzone and LBP, so ModNation Racers and Pursuit Force it is for me. Not bad, but hardly the games fiesta I think more were expecting. Tell us what you'll get and how happy (or not) you are about it.

PS3 owners get a pair of games from the this lot:

  • LittleBigPlanet
  • inFamous
  • Wipeout HD/Fury
  • Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
  • Dead Nation

Which isn't much better is it?

Rapid Updates Coming to the PSN Store, Once Its Back Up

Sony has promised multiple updates per week to get the delayed content back on the store as quickly as possible, once the store itself is back up and running. There's a few PSP games in the backlog plus a few minis that are bursting to get out.

Those, and everyone downloading their two freebie titles, will create another massive headache for Sony as the download servers get clogged, so expect further downtime or very slow service when everything finally does get back up and running. There is no official word on when the store is coming back, but hopefully within a few days, definitely before the end of the month, or else!

Xperia Play Price Cuts Hitting Already

After its problematic launch, slow sales and the fierce competition in the mobile market, it looks like stores are already discounting the Xperia Play in an attempt to shift units. A Phones 4 U full page advert in The Sun was offering £120 off the phone, which is £5 off a month for a 2 year Vodafone contract.

That comes with 100 minutes calls, 500 texts and 500Mb of data. Will it be enough to start shifting the phone and build game sales? The offer has shot to the top of the most popular on P4U, but with new, superior phones appearing all the time, it looks like the wait might be on for an Xperia Play 2 that comes with a full PS2 rental library as part of the contract.

Final Fantasy Type-0 Site Updates

New artwork, and information adorns the Japanese site for the (presumably) last PSP Final Fantasy game. Unfortunately, most of the text is in Flash content, so not translatable, but its still worth a look around at all the pretty pictures and a listen to the anthemic tunes.

The screens do look awesome for a PSP game with decent ranges of emotion written across the character's faces, but you do wonder just how many hours of dialogue we'll have to wade through to get into the game...

PSN: Up, Down, Flying Around, Users Looping the Loop... What's Going On?

Sony opened the floodgates with its EU/US PS3 firmware update at the weekend and since then all kinds of madness has broken out:

Japan remains firmly offline while regulators check if the security is up to spec.

PSP users around the world are left out in the cold, so far. Pity the poor PSPGo owners who have been bereft of any new gaming joy for nearly a month now, that's what you get for being part of Sony's IP-only experiment. One that presumably now has a big FAILED sticker stamped all over it.

PS3 users who have updated are now waiting for their new password resets, this is due to the massive demand, before they can go about having any fun. Apparently Sony had to shut everything off and then back on again at one point!

There's still a long way to go, and no word as yet on what -by-way-of-apology-freebies we'll be getting, they had better be good is all 70-odd million people are saying!

The end message as always is: Remain Calm and Carry On!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tecmo Koei Bringing New Blood To NGP?

All of Japan's games companies announced their financial figures last week, making some forward looking statements about Wii2 and Sony's NGP. Naturally, none of them can say anything specific ahead of the E3 unveiling for both consoles, but Tecmo has said it plans to have titles for both ready for launch. 

Certainly, the Dynasty Warriors games have to be up there as contenders, but Disgaea and Dead or Alive could also do with a makeover. Or, perhaps its time for the heavily sequelled games to have a rest and for some new blood to arrive on these new machines. 

Project Diva Coming to NGP?

Haven't written an NGP story in a while, but it looks like Hatsune Miku may well appear on the next PSP console with Sega's spokesperson publicly discussing how the franchise would have to evolve for the next-generation machine.

The details are on [andriasang] but the key issue is about the look of the game, according to the people developing the series:

 "If we made it for NGP, the models would likely become high poly, but what should we do about the shading? It's the PSP followup, so we should probably not change the image too much. Of course, I have a feeling it really depends on if everyone buys the system."

PSP God of War Games Come to PS3, What Else Could Follow?

Nothing ever goes to waste in computer-land, you can still buy Spectrum games and C64 music decades after their sell-by dates. Similarly all the fun PSP games that might have sold well, but not in their gazillions, are ripe for the picking as repackages for other consoles.

Not just for the little screen, perhaps?

So, Sony is now offering the two PSP God of War games as a PS3 package, cramming both Ghost of Sparta and Chains of Olympus into a HD update bundle. I'd guess we can also expect similar treatment from Konami for Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker (perhaps on the Wii2), Square Enix for The 3rd Birthday, or even Dissidia getting the big screen treatment.

PSN Coming Back Up, No Joy for PSP owners

Sony has started bringing the PlayStation Network back online with limited service. Apparently, so far, the PS3 matchmaking service is up and running after gamers install an update. Checking on my Euro PSP, there is no sign of the store or an update to refresh your password or security.

Kaz is on video, looking rather like a smug overlord, going on about upgraded security and thanking us for our patience. The welcome back package details will be announced by region in the coming days.

Interestingly, the log in has vanished from the PSN blog screen and you have to sign up again, not sure if this is a temporary glitch of the restart or something else, but I'm not creating another account just yet.

The EU PSN blog is down to text only at the moment, so presumably is getting hit pretty hard by visitors, a sign up the interest in things getting back to normal? Or people coming to stone Kaz's message with more angry comments?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pro Evo PES 2012 Confirmed for PSP

Just a quickie (and a quick yee-haw) to say that the next Pro Evo is listed as coming out on the PSP, as well as the PS2, which means its unlikely to be ditched in favour of an NGP version (although I'm sure there will be one of them too).

Not too sure that all the fancy tricks and moves from the video will make into the smaller format, but we can dream... the original PSP version (2007 or 08) was the most played multiplayer PSP game ever, in our office anyway, so we can't wait to get a new version.

PSP Dominates Japan's Golden Week

Sorry for the radio silence, but Blogger is now back up and running, after a day long outage - but at least we didn't lose any posts, so on with the show:

First up is the news that the PSP maintained its hold on the top of the Japanese hardware charts:

  1. PlayStation Portable - 55,140
  2. Nintendo 3DS - 29,149
  3. PlayStation 3 - 20,883
  4. Nintendo DSi - 19,516
  5. Wii - 11,520 
Next up, the PSN service might be coming back up sometime soon (how many times have we said that in the last few weeks) VG24/7 has some detail on what is just a rumour, but anything to cheer us up. And that's it for a truncated Friday - take care!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Xperia Play Games Sales Off to a, umm, Slow Start

There haven't been any reports of Xperia Play unit sales, so we imagine its not setting the world on fire, but there are some info on software sales. They are, putting it charitably, on the slow side. Recombu reports that sales are mostly in the hundreds, which is what you expect with the fairly lame line-up of PSone titles.

Sony still seem pretty confident about things but you would have expected some more activity on the press front and in the games line-up, but things seem to have dropped off the radar rather, if it wasn't for Gameloft's range of games, things would look decidedly poorly.

While Sony might be happy, it would be interesting to hear from any XP owners who were expecting a decent supply of PSone games for their device. Are you unhappy with the current line-up, the lack of additions or feel your phone's special features are less than utilised?

Things could get a little better when o2 finally gets around to launching its exclusive white version in the UK June, three months after everyone else. Surely the first sales figures will be out soon, and if it isn't doing too well, hopefully a price drop will be on the horizon. We'll ask around and see if anyone else has any numbers that could help figure out how the PlayStation Phone is doing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

PSP Still Killing It in Japan

Its a good job Dragon Quest Monsters is doing such a good job on the DS, otherwise the games charts in Japan would look rather lop-sided. In a rather quiet week for sales, as most of Japan is on holiday, the other four spots in the top five are all PSP games.

1. Dragon Quest Monsters (NDS) 43,886 sales
2. Patapon 3 (PSP) 21,546
3. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (PSP) 20,090
4. Final Promise Story (PSP) 18,185
5. 2nd Super Robot Wars (PSP) 13,670

You can see the full chart over at Andriasang, with three other PSP games in the top 20.

New Naruto PSP Game Hitting September: You can't beat fighting giant octo-monsters

There was no NGP news from the Namco Bandai Level-Up event from Dubai this morning, which seems a waste of a very expensive event, if you ask me. However, the company is still churning out Naruto titles for the PSP (how many does this make now?) There is a trailer for the new one, Ultimate Ninja Impact, which is due out in September.

PSP: Black Rock Shooter Getting Awesome Bundle in Japan

The upcoming Black Rock Shooter is an awesome looking Imageepoch manga-based action game coming to PSP in Japan in August. We hope it'll get a western release, NIS America is supposed to be on the job. In which case, can we please get the limited edition bundle that is coming for it in Japan.

Who wouldn't love that on their desks? It's out on 25 August if you fancy importing it. Imageepoch are busy bunnies at the moment, also bringing 7th Dragon 2020 to PSP. Check out the noisy Black Rock Shooter video...

PSP Getting Sequel to 7th Dragon

7th Dragon was a cutesy Nintendo DS RPG game, but the sequel is appearing on the PSP later this year in the guise of 7th Dragon 2020, developed by Imageepoch. In it you'll get to play as a samurai, psychic or hacker, among other classes and will battle dragons and other nasties in Tokyo dungeons (does Tokyo have any dungeons?) and skyscrapers... make of that lot what you will.

Doubt the PSP sequel will make it to the west, as it looks like the DS one never travelled, but the original was well rated in reviews and sold decently.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First Signs of Life on PSN?

Taking a quick look on the Japanese PlayStation web pages via my PSP, I noticed the first upload since 28 April, a new PS3 video for some odd Japanese title, which one isn't really important. As its the first upload in almost a fortnight, is Japan getting ready to reactivate the PSN?

Hopefully we'll know soon enough, Anyone got a Jap PSN account to check - there is no sign of life on the European PSN at the moment. Logic would suggest that Sony will upload a range of test files over time to test the new system's function before relaunching, as this site links to Japan's PSN it could be a place to watch.

PSP: Check Out the New Grand Knights History Character Video

The old character select screen is usually pretty dull, but Vanillaware has done a decent job with Grand Knight's History, showing off easy-to-create characters and made them a little more interactive than the usual shop dummies...

UPDATE: And here's some new screens, just published by Vanillaware, showing things off in a little more detail

Looks like a game of rare beauty where effort has gone into improving all the little details we take for granted, can't wait for a western release. 

Sony Unveils Branded PSP Headphones

The bud headphones provided with the PSP are okay, but not great. Most users have hopefully long since moved on to a big proper pair of headphones to enjoy the decent sounds that the PSP can produce, but are head to hear from the speakers.

To be honest, I doubt these will be particularly fantastic, but they look good and are branded with the PlayStation logo. Available in Japan from July, they will add a little style to your PlayStation gear. 

Namco Rakes in the Cash on PSP, Looks Good For NGP

Financial reports are pretty dull, but a couple of things stand out about Namco's latest quarterly figures. For a start the company has had a massive 59 portable games out in Japan over the year, but only 12 in the west which shows how much more important the PSP (and DS) platforms are over there.

No wonder then that the PSP is the second best-selling platform for Namco, behind the PS3, raking in 4.5 million sales (and to think Capcom's Monster Hunter managed that on its own). We can also see that Namco has plans for 25 more PSP titles before this time next year, which is pretty healthy for an ageing system, outstripping the new and sexy 3DS which has 17 planned titles.

Top selling for PSP was God(s) Eater burst with 470,000 sales, so I'm fairly confident we can expect an NGP sequel to that to compete with MHP. Naruto and Tekken (whose developer says he wants to do an PSP2 version) have probably also performed solidly, and I hope Namco keeps up with Ace Combat as the NGP version would definitely rock.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Which PSN Games Would You Like as Your Freebies?

Assuming the list will be limited to Sony- and partner-developed titles, which of the following would you like to see offered on the list of apology games (listed by franchise rather than specific title) that will be available as free downloads?

That is once the PSN store is back up and running, and after its crashed a few times under the demand from users changing their passwords and PSP Go owners desperately downloading something to play?

Which PSP Game Would You Like As Your Freebies?
Ape Escape
Gran Turismo
God of War

pollcode.com free polls

If your preferred game isn't listed, please leave it in the comments.

PSN May Not Be Back Up Before the End of May

Ouch! In a piece with Bloomberg Japan, a Sony spokesman has said the service may not be fully back up and running until the end of the month. Which means we might see some services restarted earlier, and of course, Sony America and Europe may be on different schedules.

Sony's share price in Tokyo is down about 200 points since the start of the shutdown, from around 2,500 yen, to 2,300, having bounced back 2% today, but was down by 10% at its worst. This news could see the price fall further still as the negative press it will generate will have some impact.

Sony Europe updated its blog over the weekend, saying that the company is still testing and working towards resumption of service:
As you’ve heard us say, our utmost priorities are the security of the network and ensuring your data is safe. We won’t restore the services until we can test the system’s strength in these respects.

So, basically, its not over by a long shot!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sony Showing off PSP2/NGP's LiveArea/Store/Social Interface

NGP will link games/stores and social details in a step up from existing console/PC products. A neat video from Japan (with English screens and voice over) shows how it all works, so beautiful and seamlessly, far beyond the likes of Apple's GameCenter and so on.

The video was posted on PSlifestyle, and there seems to be a lot more, but it cuts out shortly after this demo. Will be interesting to see if anything else springs up. Note its running on a 3G model but the best thing (for me) is the level of social interactivity within the game area.

Sony's NGP - What to Look Out For at E3 Pt.1

This is a tricky one to call as it depends if Sony will want all its partners to Shuttheheckup before its big unveiling on June 6th. Assuming there is some give and take on this, then here's what to look forward to in June:

Konami: 2 June

However, Konami is having its big pre-event in various locations on 2 June with web broadcasts for the rest of us, there's a massive countdown page here, so you don't forget. Hideo Kojima was on-stage at Sony's NGP reveal earlier in the year, but didn't announce any titles, instead showing off Metal Gear 4 assets running on the NGP at around 20fps - a proof of concept if nothing else.

If Konami does get the nod from Sony then we can expect to see a genuine Metal Gear announcement for NGP. Possibly, Metal Gear Solid 5 that will run seamlessly across both PS3 and NGP using Hideo's much-desired cloud-system. Of course, the release date for that is probably to be measured in decades, so there is more likely to be a Peace Walker revamp as well as some Konami staples, like the new Pro Evo Soccer (hopefully also with PS3-NGP interplay) and Silent Hill.

Sony: 6 June

The big one, with hopefully the name, price, release date and region details. I really wouldn't be surprised if there is a delay after all of Japan's troubles so am prepared for that. What I would like to see is:

  • A continuation of the region-free approach taken by the PSP.
  • New IP and plenty of imaginative uses for the touchscreens.
  • Acknowledgement of minis and casual games as a reality.

All the big games we've covered already and it'll be great to see final titles and additional content to make the games like Uncharted and Resistance something beyond just PS3 ports. I'd also expect to see upgraded versions of PSP hits like the two God of War titles and, of course, the odd surprise announcement - personally I'd hope Blizzard will be involved as World of Warcraft in some form could easily be the Western equivalent of the Japanese Monster Hunter phenomenon.

Electronic Arts

EA hasn't announced its event yet, but this has to be big on NGP if Sony is to have the full confidence and backing of major western publishers. EA has supported the PSP with its core annual titles and tried some Medal of Honor and Army of Two to mixed results. But, with some full support (perhaps a little portable Dead Space) and we've already seen the Mass Effect/Battlefield rumours.

Pt. 2 tomorrow.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sony's PlayStation Sites to Get Hacked This Weekend

Welcome to Infowar, folks! According to CNET, the hackers responsible for the first two attacks on Sony's PSN network will this weekend strike (digitally bugger them to shreds, might be a more appropriate line) at Sony's websites to protest at how Sony has got the feds and security services involved.

Don't ask me about the logic of that, or which crew is responsible. But, if you can't access a Sony site this weekend, be it the PSN blogs or playstation.com, don't be too surprised. What I would expect is some arrests fairly soon because no matter how smart the hackers are, the FBI will have a drop on at least one of them and will want to make a big show of nailing the bad guy(s). Even if that is, ultimately, rather ineffective.

The incoming attack could stop Sony communicating about when the PSN will come back up, but the good news of free games, should keep users checking the service's status. If I was Sony, at this point, I'd be decentralising my servers at high speed, and praying that any of the information stolen in the past attacks isn't going to be unleashed on the public.

Just to think, most hackers do the hack and then blackmail the company nice and quietly for their data back, Sony must be wishing that's what had happened this time.

Euro PSP/PS3 Users to get Free Games When PSN Comes Back Up

UPDATE - Hackers plan to trash Sony's sites this weekend, expect trouble seeing them!

European users aren't getting identity theft protection like the US PSN victims because its rather complicated across all the nations. Instead, we're getting a choice of games, its rather limited - two games from a choice of four titles - but its better than some silly ID package.

Sony's full blog post mentions the offer, but not what the games are yet, the important bit is:

Also, look out for more information on the rest of our Welcome Back programme, including which free content you will be eligible for. We will be offering PSN users the opportunity to select two PS3 games from a list of five, as well as offering PSP users the opportunity to choose two games from a list of four. We will let you know exactly what games are available very soon.
Hopefully they'll be more recent titles and not just some old launch-era tosh.

Sony PSN Update - Coming Back Soon(ish), Maybe

An update on Sony PSN's blog suggest normal service is close to being resumed with the systems undergoing final testing. Sony says:

Today our global network and security teams at Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment began the final stages of internal testing of the new system, an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.
As previously mentioned, we’ve been working around the clock to rebuild the network and enhance protections of your personal data. It’s our top priority to ensure your data is safe when you begin using the services again.
We understand that many of you are eager to again enjoy the PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment services that you love, so we wanted you to be aware of this milestone and our progress. We will provide additional updates as soon as we can.

Notice that the Vice Chairman in Charge of Fun (or whatever his title was) Kevin Butler has been remarkably quiet these last couple of weeks, not so cocky now are you?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

PSP Stomps on Rivals in Japanese Hardware Charts

Sony's PSP raced ahead in the hardware stakes in Japan over last week, notching up a healthy lead over all rivals. But the PSP Go isn't getting any boost from the announcement that it will soon be out of circulation. PSP sales rose by around a third, but the Xbox managed to nearly quadruple its sales, good stuff!

Media Create's charts are about the only regular idea we get of how consoles are selling and its pathetic you can't get regular information for western markets.

1. PSP: 76,974
2. 3DS: 28,413
3. PS3: 23,954
4. Wii: 10,889
5. DSi LL: 9,235
6. DSi: 7,584
7. X360: 4,082
8. PS2: 1,582
9. DS Lite: 319
10. PSP go: 251

Sony Offering Mega Minis Collections on UMD?

While browsing Amazon after writing up the Persona 3 story, a look at the upcoming list shows three products from Sony, titled as Mega-minis UMD collections that should be out tomorrow. There are no pics or details, but these could provide a useful way for anyone with access to, or trust in, the PSN store to get hold of some of the fun games in miniland.

Will try and figure out what games are being offered and even if these products are ever really being launched.  Depending on how many titles are there, and whether they are of the Angry Birds, Fieldrunners quality, the price could be great value or just meh!

Persona 3 Portable Tops the UK PSP Chart

Ghostlight's Persona 3 game has shot to the top of the UK PSP charts, dethroning Final Fantasy IV, FIFA 11 and sitting above other big hitters like Lego Star Wars III The Clone Wars. In fact, that's the healthiest the UK PSP chart has looked in some time and while there are no sales numbers next to the games, its all good.

Ghostlight's Ross Brierley has put a blog post celebrating the event and hinting at some possible future titles. Persona 3 Portable is doing pretty well in Amazon's sales chart too, but there are less than 10 copies left if you want one! Go, go, go...

If you want to support Ghostlight's efforts further, when the PSN story comes back up, Aedis Eclipse, is well worth a try if you like Japanese-origin games.

Final Promise Not Actually No. 1 Shocker

Um, that Japanese charts article from earlier today, about the early Japanese chart, umm, if you could just erase it from your mind.

In fact, the chart-with-sales-figures has just appeared and there's a DS game at No. 1 parked firmly ahead of Final Promise, and Patapon is actually only at No. 4, still healthy sales all round.

[NDS] 1. Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional (Square Enix, 03.31.11): 74,000 (411,000)
[PSP] 2. Final Promise Story (Imageepoch, 04.28.11): 60,000 NEW!
[PS3] 3. El Shaddai (Ignition Entertainment Limited, 04.28.11): 58,000 NEW!
[PSP] 4. Patapon 3 (SCEJ, 04.28.11): 49,000 NEW!
[NDS] 5. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (Pokemon, 04.21.11): 33,000 (92,000)
[PSP] 6. 2nd Super Robot Wars Z Hakai Volume (Namco Bandai, 04.14.11): 27,000 (379,000)
[PSP] 7. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (Konami, 04.14.11): 22,000 (122,000)
[PS3] 8. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (Konami, 04.14.11): 17,000 (128,000)
[PSP] 9. Starry Sky in Winter Portable (honeybee, 04.28.11): 15,000 NEW!
[PSP] 10. Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (Capcom, 12.01.10): 11,000 (4,457,000)

EA Says Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 Going Handheld, But Which Ones?

While announcing improved financials in its quarterly report, EA has added mobile/handheld versions of both Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 to its release list [PDF]. Now, these could be cut-down iPhone games, but they could, thanks to the power of the NGP, be creditable ports that allow you to play the game on your home console and then carry on the adventure on the go.

That's what lots of developers seem to think NGP is capable of, and what Sony is aiming for. Whether it will happen for the first generation of NGP games is rather a big stretch, but if it does happen, it would be awesome (ignoring the having to buy two copies or a special bundle of the game issue).

We probably won't hear the real details until E3, or even later, and it would be cool to think EA has the imagination to try this, or we could just end up with an iPhone on-rails shooter and a 3DS mini-game collection, such are the strange whims of big gaming corporations these days.

EA states, "With Battlefield 3 we are mounting the biggest launch campaign for a game in EA’s history.
We think the franchise is worth it.  We know the opportunity is worth it.  Still, this is a big
commitment of resources." which sounds promising, that game is down for a Q3 release while Mass Effect 3 has already slipped into next year.

Final Promise Tops Japanese Charts, Patapon 3 makes it a 1-2

The early Japanese charts are out (without numbers) showing that the PSP still leads the way with the first two games (both new entries) and six of the overall top ten. Thanks, [andriasang]. Hardware charts should be out later today. Since most of Japan is on holiday, guessing there won't be huge numbers, unless the whole country went shopping mad.

01. [PSP] Final Promise Story (Imagepoech, 4/28) -- NEW
02. [PSP] Patapon 3 (Sony, 4/28) -- NEW
03. [PS3] El Shaddai (Ignition, 4/28) -- NEW
04. [NDS] Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional (Square Enix, 3/31)
05. [NDS] Battle & Get Pokemon Typing DS (Pokemon, 4/21)
06. [PSP] 2nd Super Robot Wars Z (Namco Bandai, 4/14)
07. [PSP] Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (Konami, 4/14)
08. [PSP] Starry Sky in Winter Portable (Honeybee, 4/28) -- NEW
09. [PS3] Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (Konami, 4/14)
10. [PSP] Otome wa Obokusama ni Koishiteiru Portable Futari no Eruda (Alchemist, 4/28) -- NEW

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Star Wars Blu-ray version details out, but will there be a HD digital download?

So, all the Blu-ray features for the Star Wars monster box set are out, listed here, but will there be a digital download voucher/version on the BD disc for HD devices, tablets, phones, NGP or other devices? Its a valid question and one the (currently rather busy) site doesn't seem to answer.

I know the aim of many lives is just to watch the movies on the biggest screen in the latest tech possible, but I wouldn't mind the odd bit of Death Star run on the go. So, come on LucasArts, give the fans a ticket to watch their films in the way we want.

New Widget Added To Site

I've just added 2leep's cute story-adding widget that makes both PSP2roundup and Wii2roundup a little more exciting to look at and adds an extra little. Do you think it makes the site look busier, more newsy, or is it a distraction?

Let us know, hopefully you'll like it, but if it gets a big thumbs down then I'll can it. If you like it, then its free to add to your own Blogger, Wordpress or other site and comes with a neat stats page so you can monitor additional views that it helps bring to your site.

Not sure about the use of random (I think) pics to some imageless posts, that could get a bit tricky if the wrong keywords are triggered, but we'll see. I've also asked the devs for an option to only show posts from the last week to increase relevance. Now, on with the show.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WipeOut Trinity/2048 for NGP? - Zooming Past Your Eyes Soon

Sony has just registered the websites wipeout2048 and wipeouttrinity.com (which just links back to Sony's main page for now). One is likely a PS3/NGP remix while the other is the new NGP title, with the full game is likely to be unveiled at E3 as one of the handheld's launch titles. The Trinity tag suggests another remastering of the classic versions as appeared in Pure and Pulse on the PSP.

Given that the two WipeOut games on PSP did a great job with extra track and music packs, long before other games started on the DLC route, hopefully Sony will keep this up with the new version - and hopefully there will be more to it than just a reworking of WipeOut HD.

With Polish firm Bloober announcing that it is working on another title, it looks like the drip feed up to E3 is starting now, enjoy the ride.

Poland's Bloober Developing NGP Launch Title

Missed this a while back due to holidays, but the Krakow-based developer that has enjoyed success with Paper Wars Cannon Fodder will be making one of the NGP launch titles. No info as yet, but some news is promised this month and the company does seem impressed with the hardware and Sony's approach to developers.

Hopefully this is one of the teams that, unencumbered with legacy IP, will be able to do something truly creative with the NGP's inputs and create a neat genre-buster offering. The company's release says it all:

Bloober Team, an innovative and experienced developer in the heart of Europe, has been tapped by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe to develop a launch title for its upcoming new handheld, currently codenamed the Next Generation Portable Entertainment System (NGP).
“Obviously, it’s quite a tremendous honor to be included in the initial, day-one launch titles for such an impressive piece of new hardware as the NGP,” said Piotr Babieno, President of Bloober Team. “SCEE has been extremely interested in our title since we first showed it off, and have been more than accommodating getting us everything we need to make a great game. The NGP is a truly revolutionary piece of tech and being one of the first to develop on it has been both a tremendous joy and privilege.”
Babieno and the rest of Bloober Team have thus far marveled at how receptive and flexible the development has been on Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.’s Next Generation Portable Entertainment System (NGP). “After spending some time with the NGP SDK and trying a few tricks and shortcuts, we’re honestly floored at what they were able to cram in there,” Babieno added. “SCE is really taking a developer-centric approach this time around to give us and the other choice developers ideal conditions for both software and business development. We’re thrilled that our title will be included in the launch of what is sure to be a successful platform.”

Xperia Play Coming to Australia and New Zealand

Aussies and Kiwis will soon be getting their hands on the shiny controls of the Xperia Play. Virgin will be offering the Play in Oz for nothing on a AU$79 tariff while in New Zealand it is being offered by Vodafone and NZ Telecom with an RRP of NZ$1,099 which seems horribly steep.

There's some detail on the Aussie offers here and you can read about some of the latest games for it here, and find more details on the phone. Should be interesting to hear some sales numbers now the phone has been out for a couple of months in other territories soon.