Monday, October 31, 2011

Football Manager, FIFA 12 and PES Top the PSP Charts

There's a distinct football flavour to the top of the PSP charts this week with the new Football Manager deposing FIFA and PES sneaking behind the midfield at No. 3. All of which combines to give the PSP chart a bit of a shake up from last week

1 Football Manager 2012, Sega
2 FIFA 12, EA
3 PES 2012, Konami
4 LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney
5 WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011, THQ
6 Persona 3 Portable, Ghostlight
7 Football Manager 2011, Sega
8 Dissidia 012, Square Enix
9 Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky, Ghostlight
10 LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars, Activision

See Virtua Tennis 4 touch controls in action on Vita

Virtua Tennis 4 (Power Smash Tennis in Japan) showed off its Vita touch-control moves with some screenshots last week, now there's a video doing the rounds demonstrating how it works in practice (about 30 seconds in). And it looks pretty good, with various ways to play the game.

You can use the motion sensors as the racket head, play multi-player on a single console with an olde-style overhead view and much more. Looks like this is one game where some effort has gone into the additional control modes and while 95% of us will probably stick with the sticks, I'll at least give these a go.

Friday, October 28, 2011

PS Vita boxart appears on Amazon

Originally, Amazon just had some game logos against blue backgrounds (there's still quite a few up there). Now its putting up some decent looking box shots. These might not be the official versions, in fact it has "package not final" stamped at the bottom of each, but are still better to look at than the first efforts and won't be far off I imagine what we'll be buying in a couple of months.

Post 888: Assault Armies Screenshots for Vita

Having mentioned Assault Armies yesterday, the developer, Bloober, got in touch to offer up some more screen shots of this fun-looking shooter/puzzler, one of the few European developed games launching with the console in Japan in LESS THAN TWO MONTHS TIME.

Looking at the shots, players can parachute, rappel and march around the levels, interacting with explosives, generators, precariously positioned boulders, ramps and other tricks and traps.

How it all gels together, I think we need a video to see, but it certainly packs bags of charm, and if the puzzle element is set just right, should be a corker to play.

Okay, its not quite up there with the likes of Uncharted, but its the kind of game that any console (especially handhelds) need in between the blockbusters to keep the fun going.

Virtua Tennis Vita gets touch controls

Not only does Virtua Tennis on the Vita look just as good as the big consoles, but it will also take advantage of the touchscreens. Not sure if this will be a natural method of play, but I'd be prepared to give it a good go...

New Frontier Gate trailer, another PSP big hitter

Konami is getting ready to release Frontier Gate, Tri-Ace's first PSP title, with its mix of exploring, massive monsters and varied terrain. Sure its just a Monster Hunter alike, but it looks like it packs in a great deal of gaming and should be well worth a look. This four minute video shows off some of the highlights.

New Army Corps of Hell video

Square are pushing Army Corps of Hell pretty hard with barrages of screenshots and videos for the game. Here's another one with your horde of minions fighting off a giant horned demon to a thumping soundtrack, bring on this game.

Vita pre-order, get-it-early, offers being lined-up

Got an email from the (U.S.) PSN service offering a one-week early delivery of the PS Vita bundle that comes with a 4GB memory card, limited edition case (although it looks rather bland from the pic) and a copy of Little Deviants for $349.99 (3G) or $299 (Wi-Fi).

Here's hoping the UK PSN has a similar offer up soon, definitely worth it to be enjoying some Vita action a little early.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Polish Dev bringing Assault Armies to PS Vita

There may just be too many games with Army in the title heading to the PSV. The latest we got a snip about back in May, when the developer of Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder mentioned it was working on the Vita. Now, Bloober has signed a publishing deal with Kemco in Japan and will be bringing Assault Armies to the PSV for launch.

Not only is this the first Polish game ever to make it as a launch title on a console, it comes on the back of other Polish-developed games like Witcher and Blood Island, making the country a hot-bed of developer activity and innovation.

We're light on detail at the moment, there's a story on a Polish PSP site, but the game is a platform-game-puzzler, in the style of Lemmings and Lost Vikings which can't be a bad thing. The game will probably have a different publisher in Europe and the US but should be one to look out for.  That story also makes note of Tate's Urban Trials moto-x game, also from a Polish developer, also well worth a look.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Japanese Charts: Naruto kicking it

The new Japanese charts are out and there's a strange lull in PSP games, with just the two titles in the top ten. Perhaps the PS Vita launch is weighing on gamer's minds. Unsurprisingly Namco just rolled in decent profits and should be doing even better next quarter judging by its dominance of the chart.

01. [PS3] Macross F Hybrid Pack (Namco Bandai, 10/20): 142,607 -- NEW
02. [PSP] Naruto Narutimate Impact (Namco Bandai, 10/20): 53,148 -- NEW
04. [WII] Go Vacation (Namco Bandai, 10/20): 47,209 -- NEW
03. [WII] Just Dance (Nintendo, 10/13):45,580 (135,619)
05. [PS3] Dead Island (Spike, 10/20): 39,945 -- NEW
07. [PS3] FIFA 12 World Class Soccer (Electronic Arts, 10/20): 25,640 -- NEW
06. [PS3] Winning Eleven 2012 (Konami, 10/06): 22,902 (356,724)
08. [PS3] Ace Combat Assault Horizon (Namco Bandai, 10/13): 18,120 (167,591)
09. [PSP] AKB1/48 If I Loved an Idol in Guam (Namco Bandai, 10/06): 17,562 (288,263)

On the hardware side, PSP has dropped down to No. 3.

1. 3DS: 73,933 (55,025)
2. PS3: 23,897 (28,596)
3. PSP: 22,095 (25,271)

FIFA 12 on Vita makes good use of the touchscreens

Some lucky soul has had an early go on FIFA 12  for the PS Vita and comments on the interesting use of the touchscreen to improve on the basic game (glossy pics here), which is pretty much the big console version in your hand.

The Vita offers a couple of features that you don’t get with a console, most notably the touch-sensitive front-mounted display screen and the rear-mounted touch-sensitive pad. FIFA makes use of both of these enhancements with varying levels of success. Players can tap any teammate on the game’s display to immediately pass the ball to that person. The longer you hold your finger there, the more power gets put into the pass. It makes inventive use of the touchscreen and it’s cool in theory, but it definitely didn’t feel convenient or even particularly intuitive to take one hand off of the device to tap for a pass. 
The Vita’s rear-mounted touchpad, on the other hand, is put to fairly brilliant use in FIFA 12. One problem that fans of soccer and hockey simulations have faced for as long as those genres have existed has been putting shots on goal in specific places. FIFA 12 addresses this directly in its Vita release by allowing players to aim for specific parts of the goal with pinpoint accuracy using the rear touchpad.

PSN Store Update, Soul Calibur vs Tekken

A range of stuff for the PSP this week led by an excellent fighting bundle with Silent Hill PSOne also out, which I thought had been available for ages, could be a territory thing, some mini bundles too, so get cracking and remember there's some overnight PSN downtime between 2:00 and 8:00 on Thursday morning.

Full Games

Soul Calibur : Broken Destiny + Tekken 6 Bundle (£23.99/€29.99)

Exit 2 (Re-Convert) (£7.99/€9.99)

Open Emotion Studios Triple Pack (Mad Blocker, Ninjamurai, Revolting' Youth) (£2.49/€2.99)

Carnivores Bundle (£3.99/€4.99)

Bee Wars (£2.49/€2.99)

Silent Hill (£5.49/€6.99)

Xperia Play Gets a Global Gaming Boost

Xperia Play is having one of its good weeks, after a lull activity recently. In Europe, there's a couple of new Xperia Games out:

9MM A GTA-alike for the phone in typical Gameloft fashion. You are Californian cop John ‘Loose’ Kannon. You have taken millions from a Mexican drug lord – and he wants his money back. Will you take down his gang before you and your team get taken out? With a free-roaming gaming style, 9mm will have you on the edge of your seat. (NOTE: Video contents naughty words)

Due soon from Pixelbite is Reckless Racing 2, with new cars, tracks and, presumably, lots of unsafe racing to enjoy.

Meanwhile, Japan is getting the Xperia Play this week, and new owners are starting to see some fruit on the PSN store with a bunch of PS One titles headed their way, some of which will be familiar to western audiences:

Kurushi (Intelligent Qube), Kula World, Devil Dice, Philosoma
Popoplocrois, Jet Rider, Jumping Flash, Destruction Derby
Ganbare Morikawa Kimi, Gannazu Haven, Fluid
Tiny Barrett, The Adventures of Alundra, 
Crime Crackers, Medievil, Dochimo Mecha Mecha, Bealphareth

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sony US offers another PSP bundle

U.S. gamers still in need of some PSP fun, can get a 3000 model, FIFA 12 and Cars 2 plus a 2GB stick for $159 (£99) in the States. Sounds like a bargain to me. Would Sony UK care to respond? In fact would Sony care to start marketing the budget PSP E1000 that's been on-sale for a couple of weeks now but I've yet to see a single advert for it.

Get some more information over on the US PlayStation blog.

Grand Theft Auto V announced, GTA goes Hollywood?

The Grand Theft Auto site has been updated with a GTAV logo and a tease for a trailer appearing on 2 November. No formats are mentioned but Vita could be a possibility given the franchises good run out on the PSP with the Stories series.

UPDATE: Remember, the unveiling happens at 4PM UK time.

Early rumors were the game would be set in Hollywood, but there's also been mention of London as a possible location, personally, I'd love Paris. Any preferences?

I was thinking about the hardware implications of what formats GTA V appears on, but Kotaku has spelt it out pretty well. Whatever formats it does appear will shift an extra million or two just on its appearance.

Final Fantasy Type-0 pre-launch images

Square has mentioned that you'll need to swap the two UMDs a couple of times when playing through Type-0, but it shouldn't be too drastic. To celebrate the launch this week, there are a load of new shots and art out that Andriasang has thoughtfully put in a neat gallery.

Here's some of the cooler ones:

New PSP Fairy Tale game from Konami

This one seems to have sneaked out of nowhere from Konami's dev teams, a third anime-based Fairy Tale adventure for the PSP featuring the wizardly Zeref. The subtitle Zeref Awakens suggests a revisiting of some of the earlier tales.

Just the one image, c/o Siliconera, which has a tiny bit more info, but it looks like early days for this project. You can find out a bit more about Zeref on the Fairy Tale wiki.

Top 10 PSP games in the UK

Don't do this very often, but just for those still rocking the PSP boat, here's the UK top 10, courtesy of  MCV:

1 1 FIFA 12 EA
2 2 WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2011 THQ
3 3 LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Disney Interactive
4 4 LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars Activision
5 5 Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy Square Enix
6 6 Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Square Enix
7 7 Football Manager 2011 Sega Europe Ltd
8 8 Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable Ghostlight
9 9 WWE All Stars THQ
10 10 The 3rd Birthday     Square Enix

Metal Gear HD screens appear for Vita

The Metal Gear HD site should be going live any hour now,

UPDATE; Site live now

which covers the PS3/Xbox versions but Hideo Kojima has tweeted some pics of the Vita version for you to drool over. Sure, you can download the PSOne version and enjoy Metal Gear Solid in its original form right now, but give it a few months and the HD version will be sooo much better to look at.

And in the spirit of all things HD, there's also a Peace Walker HD video to enjoy, remember to crank up the resolution:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Under the hood of Ridge Racer, drift, multiplayer and tuning

Sony/Namco have promised some new features for the PS Vita release of Ridger Racer and Famitsu has some details and pics. First up is the level of drift which can be set to your chosen spec, presumably now any car type can drift as much as you like.

In multiplayer, which was the main theme of the first Ridge video, we have the "Planetary League." As well as straight racing, teams and drivers can play other modes that have specific objectives to achieve, by winning points - the translation also says "kill a rival" but that might be rather non-literal.

Finally, there's the new tune-up options which looks a little groovier than previous versions but still seems to offer the same set of basic boosts to the car.

New Katamari Damarcy Vita Pics

Famitsu has a new bunch of Katamari pics up to enjoy, and at least they don't have to resort to silly titles to sell the game. The humans look decidedly like they're out of the Dire Straits 'Money for Nothing' video, everything else is classic Katamari that should handle better than ever on the Vita.

EA's Starts Unveiling Its Vita Wares - First FIFA pics

EA has been really quiet on the Vita front, with just a couple of soccer games announced, and none of the obvious titles (Need for Speed, The Sims that saw loyal service on PSP, getting a sniff - so far). Hopefully that changes from today as  the company starts dropping screens and names.

First up is FIFA 12 for the Vita, which will follow its brothers out as a launch title. The screens are all the replay types, no action and were supplied as massive resolution shots. So, how realistic they are of actual play remains to be seen, but scaled down still look superb and whereas the PSP lacked most of the new features of any FIFA update, the Vita should be able to handle all the big boy consoles tricks and features.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Videos from Sony's Hong Kong PS Vita Launch

Hong Kong gets the Vita just a few days after Japan, for HK$2,280 (Wi-Fi) and Hk$2,780 (3G). Unwire has got a host of pics and videos of the games and gear, here's some new to me. I love the Google translation of the Vita's size - "Mountain big but feel good."

Starting off with the Vita's game card and memory holder

And some action...

And finally, because she's definitely worth it...

Little Battlers PSP gets a boost

Little Battlers from Level 5 hit No. 1 on the Japanese charts earlier in the year and no wonder, an anime/mecha title with real models. Of course it was going to do well. No surprise that its getting a boost with an updated edition with bigger, better mech combat, co-operative mode and other improvements.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Twitter shown running on a PS Vita

Missed in the rush of launch announcements, Hong Kong also gets the PS Vita before Christmas, and at a launch event in the territory, someone was showing off Twitter in action as one of the apps that will come with the Vita. Pretty slick, if hardly the most compelling use for a quad-core beast of a handheld. A little more detail at Engadget.

Katamari Vita gets a saucy title for America

Katamari will launch with the PS Vita on 22 February next year, but it won't be any old Katamari, in the U.S. at least, it'll be Touch My Katamari, which has all kinds of juvenile connotations. There's some basic info on the US PSN blog post from Namco and while we pretty much know the drill for this game, the Vita adds another level of play:

Players use their fingers to stretch and squeeze the ball into oblong shapes that will help the Prince navigate under short passageways or into narrow crevasses. Just a quick tap of both fingers on the rear panel and *SPROOOIIING* – your Katamari is perfectly spherical again!

Wonder if the British version will be called Carry on Katamari where you have to chase busty ladies in 60s outfits around the levels?

New Trails in the Sky Trailer as PSP launch looms

Ghostlight keep up the good work with a new trailer for Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, out for PSP in a couple of weeks. Really looks the business and if it claims to be the largest handheld adventure ever, who am I to argue!

New 7th Dragon 2020 Trailer, great limited edition

The bobble-headed role-player from Imageepoch and Sega is getting closer to launch and a new video shows off some of the action, earlier screens made it look a more sedate affair, but this looks like it has bags of charm and character.

The game is out in Japan on November 23 and there's a smart-looking limited edition for it with a PSP back plate, arted-up ear buds and other goodies.

PS Vitas turning up on eBay for import

So, avid gamer, your choice is wait a few months and pay £229/£289 for a western console on 22 February. Or dash online to eBay and pay £369 for the WiFi version (plus £40 - ouch - postage when you read the small print) to get one in the UK (hopefully) in time for Christmas.

A few other chancers are putting up adverts closer to £480 including postage while some are advertising 16GB memory cards for the Vita at £90 (4Gb a bargain at only £62). All-in-all, despite really wanting one, I'll hang on for a few months thanks.

Also, if its anything like previous gadget launches, there will be plenty of scams and dodgy offers around, so if you do decide to import, be careful!

MLB11: The Show's eerily accurate World Series prediction (so far)

This game is out on PSP (but I don't think it got a EU release - still easy enough to find if you fancy it), so I can cover this story, even though the video is from the PS3 version - which also has all game's smarter features.

And, as one of the probably few Brits watching (via ESPN America) the World Series its spooky to see that a humble video game can predict the future.

After last night's heroics, go Texas!

Konami's Frontier Gate for PSP paints a pretty picture

Some games have really dumb box art, that barely deserves the term. Frontier Gate has gone the Lord of the Rings way with a stunning picture that sets the scene for this stunning looking RPG. The game is due out at the end of the year in Japan and you can try out the Japanese demo here.

Xperia Play gets Tiger Woods and indie game Inc

With Sony having announced that Android OS 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich) will be coming to the Xperia Play and other Xperia models, plus the reduced prices in many stores, it looks like the gaming phone has bags of life in it as a device. And, the games continue to trickle out for it with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2012 and Inc out this week.

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12 has some of the world’s most renowned golf courses including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, TPC Sawgrass, Hazeltine, Doral, Greenbrier, TPC Boston as well as the fantasy PREDATOR course. The game also features a full season mode.

INC is an original title from Orange Pixel, considered one of the finest independent developers in mobile gaming today. The game features simple gameplay within a unique, cartoon style post-apocalyptic setting. It offers an addictive platform gaming experience- shoot anything and everything that gets in your way!

Shining Blade lights up for PSP

Update, the game is launching in the middle of March and Sega is having a marketing push with lots of Twitter icons and activity, check out a recent video and see the main site for all the details. 

Sega Japan has opened its site for the new PSP title Shining Blade, not sure if its a Vita version as well, but since you can download it from PSN, it will play on the new console. Looks pretty good and may include some novel features, chances of a western release are minimal.

Looks like another No. 1 RPG on the PSP - will they ever end?

Which games need the PS Vita's main memory card?

Kotaku has compiled a handy list of which titles can use the memory on the game card and which will need to use the PS Vita's main memory card for storage. With 4, 8, 16 and 32GB cards available, which will have to store your DLC and PSN games, looks like you might want aim higher up that scale than you might have hoped.

This could be  because the game uses almost all the space on the card, or it has extensive save file requirements, Ridge Racer seems an odd choice, but if a game would cost $5 more if they have to put it on a bigger game card, I'm happier sticking in my own bigger storage card to keep prices down.

The list is:

Uses' game card storage:

  • Asphalt Injection
  • Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
  • F1 2011
  • Dynasty Warriors Next
  • Shin Kamaitachi no Yoru
  • Dark Quest Alliance
  • Army Corps of Hell
  • Shinobido 2
  • Power Smash 4
  • Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend
  • Michael Jackson
  • Mahjong Fight Club
  • Let's Try Bass Fishing Fish on Next
  • Lord of Apocalypse

Needs separate memory card:

  • @field
  • Uncharted
  • Dream Club Zero
  • Disgaea 3 Return
  • Hot Shots Golf 6
  • Monster Raider
  • Ridge Racer

Tales of Heroes videos show off high action

While Tales of Innocence will roll out for Vita, the Tales series is still making waves on the PSP thanks to Tales of Heroes Twin Braves. Namco has a pair of new videos showing off the twin heroes, Jude and Milla in action - minimal role playing involved by the look of these clips.

Namco confirms Ridge Racer, Katamari and Shinobido for EU Vita Launch

Not much of a surprise, as the titles aren't exactly dialogue heavy but Namco has confirmed its three lead-off games for the PS Vita launch in Europe with Ridge Racer leading the way, Katamari rolling along behind and Shinobido sneaking around in the shadows. So, start saving and remember to book 22 February off as holiday.

New Tales of Innocence R Trailer

Namco has popped up another trailer showing off some of the characters that you'll party with in the upcoming Vita RPG along with some more combat action. Not sure if I want a stoned green monkey in my party, but its good to have choices. Some earlier news and videos are here and here. The game is due for release in Japan in January 2012, not long after the consoles release.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Army Corps of Hell Videos unleash the beasts

There are three types of Goblin characters you'll control in Square's upcoming Vita launch game, and the developers have released videos showing off exactly what they do, which isn't really hard, based on the titles. Only warriors are good at getting up close and personal, the others are better used hanging back and throwing spears or spells.




Fighting Fantasy: Warlock of Firetop Mountain releases next week

Laughing Jackal has announced the next Fighting Fantasy game will release next week The first ever book in the series, Warlock of Firetop Mountain will be available in Europe on the 26th for £3.49 and on the 1st of November in the US for $4.99.

It features a new tile-based combat system to go alongside the dice used in the Talisman of Death game released in August and the same nerve-jangling, page-turning gameplay

PlayStation Store Appears on Sony Tablets

The promise of classic gaming for buyers of Sony's S and T tablet models has come true with the launch of the the PlayStation Store for the pair. With a line-up of 10 PSOne classics, Sony is once again starting small, something Xperia Play users will have suffered with in the first months of the that phone's life.

Sony is also discussing bringing the PlayStation Suite  to other Android, and possibly iOS, devices in an attempt to maximise the spread of the classic gaming wave. The games are priced pretty much as the PSP store, at €4.99 or £3.99 each and include:
  • Everybody’s Golf 2
  • Twisted Metal
  • Jet Rider
  • Jumping Flash!
  • Destruction Derby
  • MediEvil
  • Kula World
  • Jet Rider 2
  • Kurushi Final
  • Cool Boarders

Installing the PS Store is easy. Sony Tablet S owners will receive a notification letting you know that the PS Store has opened and is available for download. From there, simply follow the on-screen directions to download the PS Store App and start downloading games for the Sony Tablet S.  This service is available in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Australia.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

PSN EU Store Update: Speedball 2 ups the PSP's iron intake (videos)

Not much on again this week for PSP gamers, but what there is, is all good stuff. One shame, while trying to find a video of Tiny Claws, the top results onYouTube is adverts to download dodgy copies. Christ, its only a mini - reported them for fraud anyhow. Now on with the games:

1000 Tiny Claws £1.99

Speedball 2 Evolution £2.49

Fighting Force 2 £1.99

New Legend of Heroes: Trails of the Sky Trailer

With just a couple of weeks until the UK launch of Trails of the Sky, Ghostlight has put up a new video on the PlayStation blog, check that out for some screens and info on the combat system which sounds delightfully challenging!

Naruto Ultimate Impact ships for PSP in the States

Approaching 10 million sales, the likely last big Naruto game for the PSP is out in America now from Namco. It has an 11 November UK on-sale date, so not long to wait folks! Ultimate Ninja Impact puts players in the middle of epic, large-scale battles with single and multiplayer. If you want a decent stroll through the game, someone has uploaded most of it to YouTube:

Final Fantasy Type-0 Rates Near Perfect in Famitsu

Square's grand farewell to the PSP ends up scoring 39 out of 40 in the latest issue of Famitsu. The double-UMD game gets top billing, with a host of other PSP games reviewed, looks like the big game season is here. Sure, Famitsu scores are pretty meaningless these days, but its good to know Square really threw all its weight behind this game.

[PSP] Final Fantasy Type-0: 10, 9, 10, 10
[PSP] Senritsu no Stratus: 8, 8, 7, 7
[PSP] Ragnarok Hikari to Yami no Koujo: 8, 8, 8, 8
[PSP] R-15 Portable: 6, 6, 5, 6
[PSP] Tanteibu The Detective Club: 7, 7, 6, 6
[PSP] NBA 2K12: 7, 7, 7, 7

I ran through the Japanese demo a while back. The actual review isn't publishing until tomorrow, check back for some choice quotes. By the way, bonus points to anyone who can figure out what the hell Ragnarok is from this trailer... all I get is Venice and bad manga...

Vita Golf ramps up online modes.

Hot Shots Golf has always been great fun, but the addition of plenty of online modes will see it's appeal expand even further. I think the Japanese PSP games had some of these modes, but hope they'll come over to the west with the Vita.

From Andriasang:

Available on launch

Daily National Tournament
    Compatible with 3G and Wi-Fi. Download a daily tournament and play it offline. You only need to connect online to make the download and to upload your results.

Real Tournament
    Wi-Fi only. An online tournament with support for up to 30 players. Positions are updated in real time.

Forthcoming features

Multi Battle Mode
    Compatible with 3G and Wi-Fi. A mail-like match mode. You play your game, then send your score to a friend who plays his game then sends his score to you, and so forth.

Battle Room
    Wi-Fi only. Create a room, setting the course, clubs and other areas, and face off against other players.

Harrison Ford advertising the Vita in Japan

Good old Indy has been dragged out to pimp both Uncharted 3 on the PS3 and the PlayStation Vita to the Japanese market. There are a few making-of YouTube videos doing the rounds with the adverts being aired in a couple of days

Anyone else getting that Lost in Translation vibe?

Western PS Vita launch date: 22 February

Sony has crunched the production numbers and come up with a date at the end of the February, and that's official! So, a month earlier than widely expected is pretty good news. No word on launch titles, but the likes of Ridge Racer, Uncharted, WipEout and others are all good to go.

The announcement was made by Jack Tretton at the Web 2.0 event in San Francisco, of all places... why not Comic-Con New York where people might actually care? He said he was aiming it at a younger audience, but that audience was 3,000 miles away - another example of Sony's half-assed marketing. Similarly, there's a video on the Sony blog post, but its dated August, so Sony has managed to announce the date with the minimum of fuss and extra announcements. Hope it doesn't keep this low-key for the launch.

The release covers the US, UK, Europe and Australia (a day later), so pretty much a global release minus Japan who'll be getting their gizmos on December 17. Pricing as expected is £229 for WiFi and £279 for 3G, which is the usual £/$ rip-off rate, but still not bad for all that quad-core goodness. Of course, you'll need to add in memory and a decent case to keep it safe

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sony Online Bringing Games to the Vita

In an interview with Gamespot, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) president John Smedley, mentioned that its range of games may come to the PS Vita. With the likes of Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies, DC Universe and others in its roster, any of them would make a fine addition for the Vita to encourage social gaming.

There are few limitations other than storage to what developers can put out on Vita. With some of SOE's games being, or soon to be, free-to-play titles, that may tie in with earlier messages that Sony may bring FTP titles to the handheld. From the article:

GS: Earlier today, a Sony rep was selling developers on making games for the Vita, saying it would support all manner of subscription and microtransaction business models, not unlike the ones SOE uses. You've gone on record as having at least expressed interest in the Vita. Any more concrete details on plans to support the hardware? Any plans to tie in functionality to any current SOE titles, for instance?

JS: SOE will be supporting Vita. We are a proud member of the PlayStation family of companies, and you can expect us to support Vita. I can't say which titles yet, but you can expect us to support it in a big way. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sega's Shining World page updates, new Vita game due?

UPDATE: Famitsu has confirmed a new Shining PSP title is on the way for early 2012, no further news.

Shining Hearts was released on PSP late last year, while Shining Force Cross Raid continues to roll on the PC. So why has the main world site been given something of a makeover in the last day or so? Could it be that a new PS Vita game is due to be announced, perhaps to coincide with the launch and the anniversary of the PSP title?

No firm news as yet, and, as the PSP edition never made it west, its unlikely to have that much of an impact over here. Still, perhaps worth keeping an eye on if you're into your Japanese role players, or perhaps if you fancy a Shining Hearts themed multi-raid game the Vita? Anything to sell a few more of these cool Shining World figurines?