Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rumour: October Release for PS Vita

Someone somewhere spotted a Blockbuster advert suggesting a 28 October release for the PSV. Sony will unveil the release date in a couple of weeks, so take your pick from that, November and the end of year dates we've seen around the place.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fighting Fantasy Trailer and Date for PSP

Hate Friday pub press rrleases, don't tgey know there's drinking to be done. Anyway, Fighting Fantasy, out on the 16/17th August link to video below. Thanks and good evening.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

505 Games Bringing Supremacy MMA for PS Vita

Just to prove that the PS Vita can mix it up with the best of them, 505 Games has just announced that the Kung Fu Factory-developed Supremacy MMA title will make the leap from Xbox and PS3 to the Sony Vita in the Autumn - which bodes well for an early console release.

UPDATE: Correction, the full press release states PS Vita for Holiday 2011, which is still this side of 2012, just!

The Vita version will offer new fighters and arenas exclusive to the handheld. No visuals or video yet, but you can enjoy this console trailer showing off the vicious detail that the game gets into.

Black Rock Shooter gets Accessory Bundle

Not only will Black Rock Shooter be available with an awesome figurine in the super-duper edition, but Andriasang points out there's also going to be an accessory bundle for real Rock-heads. The set includes a hard case, a soft pouch and a pair of headphones, all arted-up with black-tinged designs.

Available separately, there will also be a decorated 4GB memory stick that comes with a code for a BRS theme and wallpaper. So, if you're pre-ordering in the game, why not splash out on these neat little extras. Love the idea of decorated sticks, would have been great if most bundles came with their own art-sticks.

Sony PSP Sales Up, Despite the Hype for PS Vita

Okay, didn't see that one coming, Sony PSP sales have shot up by almost half a million from this time last year to 1.8 million for Sony's recent quarter (up 100,000 units on the last quarter), perhaps the price cuts and plentiful cheap games have helped it out.

However, Sony's game sales for the PSP dropped from 9 million to 6 million, possibly because Sony hasn't developed any new games for it recently. Sony's general business operations were affected by the Japanese tsunami and earthquake.

In a similar vein CapCom, saw a drop in game sales, and while Monster Hunter Portable 3 is still selling well, perhaps if they'd released it in the west by now, it would have seen some better numbers.

Nintendo's Response to PS Vita, 3DS Price Cut and Free Games

You knew it was coming, with the less than stellar sales of the 3DS, (only 700,000+ in the last quarter) Nintendo is slashing the price of the console and offering a host of free games to users. From August 12, the price will drop to $169 in the U.S. with similar cuts around the world.

By way of an apology to those who paid the full launch price, gamers will get a whopping 20 free titles, although some of these will be Virtual Console NES titles and the like. Which means the PS Vita on launch will look pretty pricey, although some 3 million people snapped up the 3DS at its original launch price.

The price cut was always going to happen at Nintendo, but you suspect they would rather than got another year out of the 3DS before having to do it, how long did the Wii sell at its full price for? This also acts as a spoiler for when Sony announces the PSV release date at GamesCon in August, good timing, but still not something Nintendo would have wanted.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Need for Speed: The Run Video, Another PS Vita Game?

In EA's recent release list (mentioned earlier) it seems that Battlefield 3 will likely appear on PS Vita, along with the last Harry Potter game, also listed as a handheld game (but which handheld?) was Need for Speed: The Run for which this video has also appeared.

UPDATE: Criterion, the developer of NFS is now hiring for a PS Vita engineer, looks like this game will be coming to Vita soon.

So, again you have to wonder how the quality will compare between the Vita, if that is the destination, and big console versions, but its still a game I'd like to play, although nothing will ever match NFS Porsche Challenge in my mind.

EA's Battlefield 3 Listed for PS Vita

In a recent update (although the source is sketchy), EA has mentioned both PS Vita and mobile versions of the massive combat title Battlefield 3. Now, while the mobile versions stand to be weak imitations, the PS Vita version could really show how powerful the handheld is.

UPDATE - Found the reference, its in EA's latest financial filing and goes a little something like this:

Q3    Games   Battlefield 3 Console/Handheld/Mobile  PC

The videos of the big console versions do look awesome and the Vita version has the potential to really push the new hardware. While it'd be fun to think of crossplay mode too, perhaps that's pushing it a bit for a first effort. Still we look forward to this with great anticipation.

EU PSN Store Update: Sale Time, Split/Second Pick of the Bunch

Nothing new in the store this week for PSP gamers, but plenty of onsale items to pick up with Split/Second: Velocity being the pick of the bunch:

PSP Essentials
Split/Second: Velocity (£7.99/€9.99)
Tron: Evolution (£7.99/€9.99
Toy Story 3 (£7.99/€9.99)
Hannah Montana: Rock out the Show (£7.99/€9.99)

Rageball (was £2.99/€3.59 – now £1.99/€2.49)
Sports Superbike 2 (was £2.99/€3.59 – now £1.99/€2.49)
All Star Boxing (was £3.99/€4.99 – now £2.39/€2.99)
Super Slammin’ Dodgeball (was £3.19/€3.99 – now £2.39/€2.99)
Miracle Space Race (was £2.39/€2.99 – now £1.59/€1.99)
ATV Racers (was £2.39/€2.99 – now £1.59/€1.99)
Rascal Racers (was £2.39/€2.99 - now £1.59/€1.99)

Vibes (was £3.99/€4.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
Cubixx (was £2.49/€2.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
Ace Armstrong vs. The Alien Scumbags (was £3.99/€4.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
Stellar Attack (was £3.49/€3.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
Duael Invaders (was £2.49/€2.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
Dr. MiniGames (was £2.49/€2.99 – now £1.24/€1.49)
321… Supercrash (was £2.49/€2.99 – now £1.24/€1.49)
Mad Blocker Alpha (was £3.99/€4.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)

PS Vita's Social Features Could Appear on the PS3

Having described the Vita's updated social features at Develop last week, news comes that Sony may bolt some of them into the PS3. Sony's Phil Rogers, head of R&D, said the company is "thinking about it" according to Eurogamer, which would make a lot of sense.

While it might need an extra column in the XMB that takes you off into a more Vita-like space, it would follow on with the new idea of game transfers to allow you to keep a conversation going across the devices. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was even an iPhone or Android app (like the PSN app) for the purely social aspects to make it a fully portable experience.

Final Fantasy Type-0 Soundtrack Unveiled, Could be Played Live

Square has shown off the gorgeous boxed soundtrack for Final Fantasy Type-0 in Japan, which will be available to buy in October. In slightly related news, there will be a symphony playing of the best Final Fantasy themes in Los Angeles during September to be played by the Distant Worlds Orchestra

There's a site dedicated to the soundtracks where you can listen to some of the anthems. The box set does look awesome and should make a great import gift for fans

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

US PSN Store Update - Now Not Bothering with PSP

The US store seems to have forgotten that the PSP exists with just a paltry couple of sale items this week, with the latest WWE game at least getting a decent price cut. .

Mx Vs Atv Untamed Umd Legacy – Sale (PSP) (now $9.99, original price $19.99)
Mx Vs. Atv Reflex Digital – Sale (PSP) (now $14.99, original price $29.99)
UFC Undisputed 2010 Digital – Sale (PSP) (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2011 Digital – Sale (PSP) (now $19.99, original price $39.99)

Final Fantasy Type-0 Directors Interviewed, Vita Version Inevitable?

How do developers have time to make games when they're always at trade shows, developer conferences, being badgered by the press etc.? In the very final stages of coding the awesome looking Type-0, its creators,  Hajime Tabata and Yusuke Naora, have been interviewed by Dengeki, which has been handily translated by Andriasang.

You can read the full thing here, but here's a couple of choice quotes.

On Multiplayer Play
Here's a bit about how the game's multiplayer component will work. As previously detailed, Type-0 isn't played multiplayer for extended periods. Instead, other players come into your game to assist briefly during battle.
On the Main Map
You're free to roam the game's world map even when you're not taking on a mission. If you encounter a monster, you'll get into a battle. The world map is full of play elements, Tabata noted. There's an RTS (real time strategy) component, for instance.
With a release due soon in Japan, you have to wonder if they will bother with a western release on the PSP, or just rip this over to the Vita where it will receive a far more enthusiastic response. Square games do take a while because of the vast amount of dialogue (and this is a dual-UMD game) so a western release could be well in to 2012.

Hysteria Project 2 Screaming Its Way on to PSP

Sanuk have regaled the PSP with a number of fun minis recently and the run continues with Hysteria Project 2, due for release on August 10. The game continues where the first episode ended, you wake up on a hospital bed and discover that you have a new tattoo on your arm.

With a frantic succession of filmed sequences, puzzles to solve, 360° scenes with clues to find, and life-critical threats where quick, decisive action is required, HYSTERIA PROJECT 2 takes you on a hardcore ride through laser fields, corridors of flames, and the untidy premises of an abandoned medical facility. Feel the fear from your character's rapid breathing while descending into the heart of hell!

For just a couple of pounds/euros/dollars, this looks a cut above most minis and with its adult themes is decidedly more scary than most. It might be simple in terms of gameplay, but still looking forward to it.

Sound Shapes Devs Talk About the Vita's First New IP

Sound Shapes won several awards at E3, suggesting there is still nothing like a great simple-looking game with high playabililty, no matter how advanced the technology. Lets face it Lumines was the highest rated PSP game for years until God of War came out.

Now, the developers have been talking on the Sony blog about the game, with a pretty in-depth interview, and there's a neat video to watch of it in action, this really is something new in gaming.

PSB: Did you always plan for Sound Shapes to be a portable game?
Jonathan Mak: Because Everyday Shooter came out on the PS3, so we thought we might have a lead there, though we weren’t really thinking about a platform at the time. The PS Vita was a happy coincidence, because the touchscreen makes it a lot easier to compose and edit in the game.

Sound Shapes will be a Vita launch game and is clearly something that, while its not high on visual fidelity, will make the most of the console's user interactions in ways that we won't have seen before.

PS Vita's Near and Other Social Features Explained

Gameplanet has a good run down on the social power lurking within Sony's PS Vita, as discussed at last week's Develop event. Not a million miles from what Nintendo offers on the 3DS, users can see what nearby gamers are up to, what games they play. The voice chat works as a casual intercom system and you can talk to people regardless of what game you, or they, are playing.

The idea of dropping and receiving gifts is pretty neat, but the whole bundle of features should create a thriving environment for gamers. Better that the one or two people I can usually find for a game of WipeOut Pulse on the PSP. With Sony Vita being put in the hands of gamers at both GamesCon and the Tokyo Games Show, (given that Sony said there were only five of the handhelds in Europe last week) anyone still hoping for a 2011 launch could be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Disgaea 3 Mentioned for PS Vita

UPDATE - A full announcement from the company is due next week, so expect a full unveiling, and perhaps news of some other titles then.

A leak of NIS' release schedule in Japan showed, rather briefly before the document was removed, that Disgaea 3 is down as Sony Vita launch title. The first two in the series (Hour of Darkness and Cursed Memories) were well rated on the PSP and spawned the off-spring Prinny games.

The third game in the series was released in 2008 on the PS3 and warmly welcomed in the west, with a fourth title due sometime. A Vita release is pretty much a no-brainer as the series has fans around the world and should be an easy update for NIS.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Marvel Pinball Coming to Sony Vita

Marvel's well-rated pinball superhero game is coming to the Sony Vita sometime in 2012. The announcement was made at San Diego Comic-Con with the likes of Captain America, Spiderman, Iron Man and other heroes in the frame.

Find out more on the game's homepage. Marvel announced new tables for the existing versions of the game featuring Ghost Rider and others, so they might make it into next year's releases too.

PSPs Go-ing for £50 With 10 Games

The gaming store chain, Game is flogging off its last PSP Go machines for only £49.99 with 10 games which works at £5 a game, according to this story. The deal is in-store only with the items shown as out of stock and priced at the old £129 online.

Note sure what the games are (probably the same ones in the original PSP Go deal) but since you'll be able to redownload and play them on the Sony Vita, it might make a cheeky investment and you get to own a quirky bit of gaming history

Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death PSP Interview

With the Fighting Fantasy book heading to PSP as a mini, publisher Laughing Jackal has put up part one interview with series creator Steve Jackson to rake over some of the coals of this legendary series.

LJ: Talisman of Death was one of the most controversial books in the series. Why was this?
SJ: During the mid-80s, Fighting Fantasy was in its prime. At one point we had the top 3 positions in the Sunday Times best-seller chart. Inevitably there were going to be critics. Sure enough, the series became viewed by some religious groups as the work of the devil. A group called the Evangelical Alliance appeared in the media protesting publicly about the appearance of Gods, Devils, Demons etc in Fighting Fantasy.
The game itself will be available in August and will bring a tear to the nostalgic eye of older gamers and could bring the series to a whole new generation who think of books as funny looking dust traps. Look out for Part 2 of the interview next week, plus a trailer, which should one of gaming's more placid affairs, unless they get Brian Blessed to do the voice over.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Shorts: DigiMon and Frontier Gate PSP News

Andriasang has some new screens for the upcoming RPG Frontier Gate (more on the game here) and has news that DigiMon (whose site went live earlier in the week) is being developed by Tri-Crescendo who were responsible for Eternal Sonata. Pretty safe hands for a major project like this.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sony Likely To Announce PS Vita Launch Dates at GamesCon August 16

Sony has announced the date for its big GamesCon press event when, more than likely (and assuming the information hasn't been leaked weeks in advance) it will unveil the formal release dates for the Sony PS Vita.

The date is Tuesday August the 16th, between 7-8PM and should feature some all-new game announcements and third-party information. Book the date, and wait for the likes of some noddy online store to blab about the launch date in advance.

While the last rites are out for the PSP, there may be a few new games on show that are worth your time and money.

Monster Hunter vs. Dragon Quest: A Title Grab Beckons

Capcom rules Japanese PSP gaming with Monster Hunter and Square's Dragon Quest isn't far behind on Nintendo platforms, so its interesting that Square has just  acquired the rights to the "Monster x Dragon" title for PSP, which would be a truly mighty crossover.. 

Perhaps its something else entirely, but with crossovers seeming to be a integral part of Japanese releases recently, think Street Fighter x Tekken, never say never, especially as the two companies would like to see their franchises expand across other consoles. 

The news originally came from German sources and remains a highly speculative rumour at this point, but its certainly something to drool over. 

Still Life in the PSP: Games to Look Forward to: MHP, NBA, Madden and more

Despite the rumours, the PSP isn't quite dead yet with quite a few big-sellers left on the release schedules plus a host of smaller niche games that true gamers will appreciate. Hopefully some of the big hitters from Japan will make their way west, so here we have the best stuff still to come for the PSP. I'll round-up the more niche games later on.

Black Rock Shooter

Grand Knights History

Madden 12 (Video of Madden 11 - but it won't look much different)

Monster Hunter Portable 3

NBA 2K12 (Again, footage from 2K11, but won't be greatly different)

Second Grand Knight's History Video - Hot Golem Action

Its been a while since the first video (I was starting to worry, if you follow my tweets) but the developers Marvelous have finally put up the second of 10 videos for Grand Knight's History showing a brief bit of battle against a chunky golem. Strangely, the video isn't actually on the game page, keep an eye on that for future videos of this highly stylised title.

Luvley Jubblies, Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos intro video gets all bouncy

After boobs day a little while ago, here come the girls of Queen's Gate again in their latest intro video which is fairly mild stuff for the all-girl fighting game that's out on PSP in Japan soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Naruto PSP Screens Out at Comic-Con

Naruto Shippuden looks like its trying to throw endless enemies at the bandaged hero. Some new pics have emerged from Comic-Con showing off button-timed events and super-sized monsters plus the endless cookie cutter hordes you'll be battling. 

Some more news on this title here.

More Black Rock Shooter Video Mayhem

With around a month to go until launch, there have been plenty of BRS videosdoing the rounds, but we've all got time another one right? This one includes a massive, almost Transformers 3-like, boss and plenty of shooting action to enjoy

Xperia Play on Sale for $100 at Verizon, Successor Phone on the Way?

US gamers who need some PlayStation action or just want Android games that they can actually control can now pick up the Xperia Play for just $100 down from $150 on a contract. The deal is classed as a back-to-school offer but may be the start a trend to make what is basically a mid-range phone cum gaming device less pricey than hardcore smartphones.

Having been playing with one for a week, it does make a fine games machine and there are now plenty of Android games tweaked for its buttons. Its only the Sony side letting things down just a few games added recently to bolster a limp line-up.

If Sony gets a move on, there is time to make the Play a real star, or is Sony/Sony Ericsson marking time for a more powerful successor phone that can play PSP/PS2 games which will have more relevance to the modern gamer? Its not a mad an idea as it sounds with many smartphones getting six month refreshes and this device was first announced last year.

DigiMon PSP Site Goes Live

DigiMon for PSP was announced last week and now the Japanese website is live with some fantastic looking images and a brief welcome message, expect more information soon. With its modern look it may well attract gamers who thought they'd grown out of the monster-collecting games.

Naturally, no idea on a western release, we can but hope.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Baseball and Drums Sell Well in Japan (Charts)

The Japanese game charts look colourful this week (guess it must be the silly season there too) with five new entries kicking out the old guard from the top five. Cutesey baseball game Jikkyou and Drum Master from Namco do the biz for the PSP in the top five [Andriasang] while Unchained Rexx hits the Top 10. There are six PSP games in the top 20 with the 3DS sales of StarFox looking surprisingly limp.

[PS3] 1. Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball 2011 (Konami): 117,759 NEW!
[PSP] 2. Taiko Drum Master Portable DX (Deluxe) (Namco Bandai): 80,215 NEW!
[WII] 3. Inazuma Eleven Strikers (Level 5): 74,227 NEW!
[PSP] 4. Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball 2011 (Konami): 73,247 NEW!
[NDS] 5. Puyo Puyo!! (Sega): 34,903 NEW!

3DS is back on top of the PSP in the hardware charts, helped by StarFox and a few other new releases, looks like this leap frogging could go on for some time.

Sony PS Vita Hits Top 15 on Amazon's Most Wanted List

As news and information on the Sony PS Vita grows, more and more people seem to want it. A recent Japanese poll shows it being a must-have item. Now, the Vita is rising up the Amazon games rankings. With hope of a November launch still high, although 2012 may be more realistic, they hype will only continue to build as trade shows and games events are used to unveil more of the Vita's power and the games that will launch with it.

Sony Talks PS Vita Tech at Develop: Games for All

Various sources including Gamespot are reporting on Sony's head of development services talking at the Develop conference in the UK. Kish Hirani told the assembled coders nothing dramatically new, but he covered the details that:

  • It is designed to attract a range of games from mobile and mini-style titles to full AAA hits. 
  • Lots of first and third-party studios have had input on the design to make it dev friendly. 
  • All the developer tools are already in place.
Will update if anything new or cool appears from the conference but looks like all the good stuff is being saved up for GamesCon or ComicCon.

Famitsu Poll Results Look Good for Vita

Good old Andriasang has the results of a recent Famitsu survey on the Sony Vita in Japan. Over half thought it was cheaply priced which has to be good news, over 40% said they'd buy the 3G version which may be a nod to their more mobile culture while the most popular feature was the OLED screen.

44% planned to buy it when it comes out with another 42% planning to get it at some point. Uncharted (a western game - oooh!) was the most popular of the announced titles but Monster Hunter was the game everyone wants to play.

16+ Tech Firms Supporting Vita Development

From the Develop conference in Brighton comes news from Sony that some 16 middleware developers have made their tools available for use on the Sony Vita, with others in the pipeline, offering easier ways for developers to get their code, sound and graphics onto the Vita with the minimum of fuss.

The list includes big names like Epic, RAD and Terminal Reality but also lots of little companies whose logos you see on the credits of many games but don't really know what they do, those guys are the glue of the games industry, holding all the cool stuff together and its good to see them supporting the Vita. Full list:

Autodesk (including Scaleform)
Blitz Games Studios
Epic Games
Gamespy Technology
Premium Agency
RAD Game Tools
Terminal Reality
Vicious Cycle
Web Technology

EU PSN Store Update: Sale Time (with video)

The PSN store is light on new content again this week, but there's a few new minis to tempt you out of a couple of quid/euros. The links lead to video so you can see what's on offer.

Me Monstar! Hear me Roar (£3.99/€4.99)
JellyCar 2 (£1.99/€2.49)
Dr. Maybe and the Adventures of Scary Girl (£3.49/€3.99)
One Epic Game (£2.49/€2.99)

PSOne Sale
    Rageball (was £2.99/€3.59 – now £1.99/€2.49)
    Sports Superbike 2 (was £2.99/€3.59 – now £1.99/€2.49)
    All Star Boxing (was £3.99/€4.99 – now £2.39/€2.99)
    Super Slammin’ Dodgeball (was £3.19/€3.99 – now £2.39/€2.99)
    Miracle Space Race (was £2.39/€2.99 – now £1.59/€1.99)
    ATV Racers (was £2.39/€2.99 – now £1.59/€1.99)
    Rascal Racers (was £2.39/€2.99      – now £1.59/€1.99)

minis Sale

    Vibes (was £3.99/€4.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
    Cubixx (was £2.49/€2.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
    Ace Armstrong vs. The Alien Scumbags (was £3.99/€4.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
    Stellar Attack (was £3.49/€3.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
    Duael Invaders (was £2.49/€2.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)
    Dr. MiniGames (was £2.49/€2.99 – now £1.24/€1.49)
    321… Supercrash (was £2.49/€2.99 – now £1.24/€1.49)
    Mad Blocker Alpha (was £3.99/€4.99 – now £0.99/€1.19)

One Epic Game Coming to PSN Today

The EU PlayStation Blog got an update from Grip Games about its One Epic Game mini that hits the store today. Still not sure about the single platform route seen in the trailer but it certainly packs action and pyrotechnics. You can find out more at the official site.

Will have the full update for you soon...

SNK Heaven on the PSN Update

Not sure when these will hit the EU PSN store, but the American update included a host of SNK goodies including the legendary Ikari Warriors (well, it was legendary in my local arcade). All the games are $2.99 with Guerrilla Wars free for PSN+ users:

Fight against UFOs, meteors, comets, and dock with the mothership before your energy runs out in SNK's first arcade game originally released in 1979. Ozma Wars stands out as the second released vertical shooting arcade game, but is also known as the first game with disparate levels!

Play as Sasuke, who must protect the Shogun from Ninja in this 1980 classic arcade "gallery shooter", one of the first games to feature bosses!

VANGUARD, famous for being one of the first scrolling shooters ever made, was originally released in 1981. Shoot your enemies in all four directions or get an energy pod and ram them in this classic arcade game!

Help Marvin defend his Maze from the terrible Robonoids in this cute and addictive arcade puzzle-action game, originally released in 1983.

HAL 21
As Captain Clain, attack enemies in the air and bomb ground targets on your way to the boss in this classic shooting title originally released in 1985.

Join Athena, Princess of the Kingdom of Victory as she opens the "Forbidden Door" and descends into a world of fantasy in this classic platform arcade game originally released in 1986.

As colonel turned mercenary Ralf, use your machine gun, grenades, and jump in tanks to defeat countless foes. Infiltrate the enemy base and complete your mission in this '80s run-and-gun mega-hit!

Enter the jungle and ruined cities of a tropical island to overthrow its tyrannical dictator, and liberate the nation held in his grip. Don't forget to rescue your captured comrades along the way! Hail the heroes of the Revolution!

Watch FF Type-0 Being Played by its Director

At Sony's weekend public unveiling of Final Fantasy Type-0, the director Hajime Tabata got his mitts on a PSP and gave the crowd a play through of the demo. Worth a peek just to see how good the game looks on the PSP's screen. A cleaner-looking playthrough can be found here.

PSN Android/iPhone App Updated

The weird little app that keeps you in touch with PS mates on your phone had an update yesterday, adding a few new features, including the ability to sort your PSN friends by status, compare trophy collections, rate PSN blog posts, view PSN Facebook and Twitter updates and view PSN YouTube videos.

Of course, that's all pretty much useless for PSP owners but it'll be fun to have when the Vita kicks into gear and you've left it at home (for some odd reason).

Japan Gets A New PSV Portal for the Latest Vita News

Sony has opened up the consumer site for its Vita console with breaking news, game information and social chat. The site translates rather well into English in Google Chrome, you can sign in with your existing PSN account details and get some sense of the interviews and comments.

Double Eleven Becomes Exclusive PS Vita Dev.

The UK team currently working on LittleBigPlanet for the Vita have been signed up to work exclusively on Sony's shiny new handheld. This means they'll be working on new titles alongside the besacked one. The company is currently hiring programmers and testers if you fancy a career in Middlesborough.

Founded by members of the former Rockstar Leeds team, they have extensive PSP experience with the Grand Theft Auto games, Manhunt and others, and look well positioned to come up with some top notch titles for the Vita.

New Final Fantasy Type-0 Super Trailer, Release Date Nailed

Having teased us over the weekend with some 30-second clips, Square does a proper job with this five minute trailer showing off the game which is now slated for an October 13th release date in Japan, at a slightly higher price for the dual-UMD game. It does look pretty awesome, but you'd have thought that they would have scaled up the video a bit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pretty New Sony PS Vita Pics: Various Visuals, Very reVealing

CNet Asia, possibly at a similar Sony Style event to the one in The Philippines, have got hold of a PS Vita and photographed it against a white background, ideal for easy cutouts, and have taken lots of nice close-ups of the ports and angles.

Image (C) CNET

Check them out here to satisfy your handheld cravings, they've even compared it against a PSP and 3DS.

There May, One Day, Be a 3D PS Vita

Talking at Develop, Sony's Mick Hocking mentioned that the company may be up for a 3D version of its handheld console at some point. With Nintendo's 3DS a proof-of-concept (I like it, but not sure how long I'd play it in 3D mode for) Sony has time to improve and refine the technology for its own handheld. Its a good in-depth read on the whole 3D market, so please take a look, but here's the Vita-sentials

Is the PS Vita a good candidate for 3D?
As you know our purpose at Sony is to build the world’s most awesome handheld games machine, and I think the focus – right now at least – is to build the most capable handheld games machine on the market.
Of course in the future we may look to build the 3D experience on a handheld. The tech is rapidly evolving, so we may well in the future include a high-quality 3D experience on the small screens. Whether this comes to Vita will have to be seen.

The big question would have to be would it come as a second generation Vita in a couple of years or would Sony wait the full lifetime of the Vita before adding this to a proper sequel... interesting idea to kick around but definitely one for the future. Would you be interested in a 3D Sony handheld? Have you tried the 3DS and what do you think.

El Shaddai Off-Shoot Likely for PS Vita

In an interview on Destructoid, an Ignition rep reckons that the PS3/360 game will see spin off titles launching on the Sony Vita or Wii U, possibly with a female protagonist to get the most out of the brand. The game is out towards the middle of August, hope for some good sales numbers if its to appear elsewhere.

Its cartoony 2D/3D gameplay and mix of platform and combat action really makes it stand out. It scored 34/40 in Japan's Famitsu and with its unique look should win over fans if the gameplay carries over and resonates with western gamers.

Sony Vita On Show in The Philippines

If you happen to be in The Philippines, Sony's Vita is getting an airing at a Sony Style event today at the Orchard Road Sony Store.

Unlikely to be any new news from the event, but if you're in the area, send us a photo. Not sure how long the event runs for, but get down there if you can. 

Sony Shows off S1/S2 Tablet Gaming in New Trailer

Sony's PlayStation Certified tablets the S1 and S2 are getting closer to launch and Sony has another of its Mousetrap videos to show off their gaming prowess. Admittedly it is still only show off Crash Bandicoot, but we're hardly in core gamer territory here. Gotta love the videos though!

Final Fantasy Tactics Hitting PSN Today plus Kyuiin, Me Monstar (With Video)

America finally gets The War of the Lions on PSN along with a host of minis including the legendary Ikari Warriors and Me Monstar. There's also the perky-looking Kyuiin, a Japanese PSOne platformer

PSP Games
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions

Baseball Stars 2
King of Fighters 95


Me Monstar: Hear Me Roar

Angry Birds
Guerilla Wars
Hal 21
Ikari Warriors
Marvin’s Maze
Ozma Wars
Sauke vs Commander

Monday, July 18, 2011

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Hits for Xperia Play

Having just got hold of an Xperia Play, expect a fair bit more games news for it. Like this gem from Droid Gamers who found an Xperia Play exclusive of Battlefield Bad Company 2 hiding on EA's own Flexion store.

The site is just spinning around on my XP right now, so guess the game isn't available outside the States, but will keep trying. A short while later... I get a Download button, you click it and the game starts downloading with no mention of price, file size or anything - the EA Flexion store really is appalling presented.

Having found the file I just downloaded, then accepted a load of T&Cs for a 60 minute free trial, I then need to download the 320Mb main game file... none of which is conducive to user-friendly gaming experience. This really is stupidly complex for something as simple as playing a game.

Once it is installed and running... things look pretty impressive but as this is the first game I've played which uses the thumb pads, it'll take some getting used to. More on the game soon. The store... that gets a big thumbs down.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Hands-On

So, I got my hands on an Xperia Play at the weekend and will get out some game reviews over the coming weeks. But first, some thoughts on the phone itself. Note, this isn't a full-bore review, just bits and pieces that spring to mind as I play with it and explore the Android and PlayStation features.

Plus Points:

  • Hardware: Really like the design. Yes, it is chunky but that gives it a solid feel. With the controls out, the Xperia Play does feel slightly cramped, so I wouldn't expect to play it for hours on end. 
  • Hardware: The screen is bright and great for gaming, with vivid detail, almost a shame that most games don't let you stop and enjoy the view often. 

Minus Points:

  • Hardware: Don't like the should button placing at all, they really need to be bigger. 
  • Sony: Dislike all the different store fronts and gaming locations - this stuff is so much easier on the iPhone.
  • Games: Developers seem to be putting the wrong features into mobile games, seeing way too many dialogue-heavy cut-scenes that get in the way of the actual game. 
  • Android Issues: Browser does a horrible jerky-font jitter when scaling in and out of sites. Yes, it does play Flash video, but its really jerky. Also the phone seems to drop my Wi-Fi connection a lot easier than the iPhone. 
  • Android Store: What a mess in comparison to the iOS stores. 

The Xperia Play I got to try out has now gone home, do I miss it? Unfortunately not at all. There was nothing exclusive enough or essential enough to make me want to fork out for one, even as the prices are crashing.

The majority of the Gameloft titles were very poor excuses for console rip-offs and not games trying to make the best of a mobile environment. The PlayStation content is laughable, almost a disgrace and while the Xperia Play is clearly, a powerful and capable little machine, it looks like no one has the desire or focus to do anything great with it.

Hideo Kojima Talks Sony Vita, Metal Gear

On a PlayStation Blog post, the voluble driving force behind Metal Gear has been on about how great the Vita is looking. The man seems keen:

As for the multitouch pad on the back of the console, I do not want to force users to use it. The PS Vita has cutting-edge technology and it’s the best there is – especially with integration with the PS3 – and I am very pleased I can offer it to users.
 And also confirmed that the Metal Gear games will be upgraded to HD and then ported over to Sony Vita:

Peace Walker is the first step. It is a PSP game in HD that lets one go back and forth between one PSP and a PSP. The next step is to take PS2-quality games, such as Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3, to HD and then to take them to Vita transferring.

Klonoa: PS1 Legend Coming to PSP

Door to Phantomile is a quirky PSOne 2D/3D combo platformer from Namco that has been earmarked for a rerelease on PSN via a new ESRB rating. Look out for it on the PSN store in the near future, there's some decent info on Wikipedia, if you're unfamiliar with the series.

PSP Remasters Site Goes Live

It's pretty much a Monster Hunter-only zone at the moment, but Sony has launched its Remasters site in Japan as the site for all the news about games being tarted up from PSP to PS3 (and then Vita presumably).

Now that PS3s are pretty cheap it might be a neat investment if you're really into your PSP games, especially if you get Sony's 3D TV gaming bundle. 

News Explosion for Final Fantasy Type-0, First Impressions.

FFT-0 was showcased at a Sony event over the weekend with the near-as-dammit finished game looking pretty much awesome. Players have been leaving some comments about what it features over on Andriasang while Famitsu has also weighed in with its first impressions.

Over the weekend, Japan also got its first (if, rather brief) advert for the game:

DigiMon Coming to PSP from Namco Bandai

Not-quite-as-popular-as-Pokemon, Namco's gotta-collect-em-all Digital Monsters is making a belated appearance on PSP in Japan. Digimon World Re:Digitize is a revamp of the genre taking place in a cross-realm between the 'real' and digital worlds.

The official site will open up in a few days once the timer expires and should give us a decent look at the game world. Hopefully, with art by Devil Survivor pen-man Suzuhito Yasuda, it will look the business and there's a couple of mag scans showing off a few sneaky images.

Get Your Teeth Into Mammoth in the new Carnivores Hunting Game

This looks really bad, but hey - some folks might like the idea of slaughtering extinct species. Perhaps you really hate the characters in the Ice Age movies, this is your chance to get some revenge.

This mini will be out in August via BeatShapers with a range of landscapes and weapons to indulge your bloodlust against some badly rendered creatures.

Legend Of Heroes: Trails In The Sky Coming to PAL PSP

Publisher Ghostlight is doing its best to keep the PSP ball rolling with another corking new release. Legend Of Heroes: Trails In The Sky is a Falcom classic boasting some 50+ hours of RPG action where getting the order and turns of your teams right in battle is the key to success.

The game is already out in the States but will make a welcome appearance in Europe soon. Ghostlight is doing sterling service for the PSP, having brought Persona 3 our way and digging out other quality Japanese games to our shores like Aedis Eclipse.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Check Out Some Final Fantasy Type-O Action

With the game nearly finished, Square has unleashed a bunch of short videos showing off various in-game scenes and combat. Certainly looking good for this two-UMD product.

PES 2011, Lumines and Pocket Legends Hit Xperia Play

Proper control-optimised versions of the latest Pro Evo (£4.40) and the classic Lumines (£1.99) plus the corking looking Pocket Legends have landed on the Android store for Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play.

Looks like the march is really on for Xperia Play games with some recent PSOne classics and plenty to come frm the likes of Gameloft. Hopefully the price will continue to drop making the machine more accessible too.

Fun Thoughts on the Mysterious Microsoft/Sony Domain Names

I wasn't really surprised to see this news [vg247] about Microsoft registering some Microsoft/Sony related domains. In all likelihood, it is something to do with either Windows-powered Sony tablets (like future versions of the S1 and S2 running Windows 8) or Vaio PCs running Windows 7/8.

But, one tiny part of my soul wonders that, since Microsoft doesn't have a portable gaming device and isn't releasing a portable gaming device (phones/tablets not really counting, as they're all third-party products) that it might just be thinking about letting SOME of its third-party core gaming titles roll over to the Sony Vita or adopt an own-branded version (Microsoft Xbox-Go or something).

Now, don't expect to see Halo running on a Sony platform, but why not throw out a version of Forza to compete with, what will presumably be a much delayed, Gran Turismo on the Vita. Not only will it eat into GT's sales and sell millions in its own right, but could nudge Japanese gamers (which MS still lusts after) into getting an Xbox to play the next big-screen version.

Similarly, Viva Pinata, Perfect Dark and some other older series could well get a revitalising kick if shared around on another platform. Never mind some of MS's old PC franchises like MechWarrior, Train Simulator (which would go down a storm in Japan on a handheld) and so on.

Sure, this is probably just wishful thinking and there are any number of good reasons why it won't happen, but hey - lunatics only have to be right once every now and again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Capcom Planning Four Vita Games for Starters

Capcom has a host of good stuff planned for Sony's Vita console. Talking to Middle East Gamers, Capcom Euro boss said:

  • There will be one unannounced launch title
  • Street Fighter X Tekken
  • One game based on a popular Japanese IP (Monster Hunter Vita)
  • A further unannounced title
All of which should help the console fire out of the blocks around the world, and particularly in Japan. 

Is Growlanser IV the Most Boring Game In History?

I only ask because Andriasang has 44 screenshots of this PS2 rehash and they ALL LOOK THE SAME! The Atlus title, officially called Growlanser IV Over Reloaded, is a tactical RPG but all you can tell from the screenshots is the characters are a bunch of moody cows and whining toffs.

Let's talk for another half hour, then some action might happen!

Seriously, never has one collection of screen shots put me off a game so much in my life. I think I'll be passing on this one. The trailers the same, I know I'm hardly the core demographic or culture for this game, but these guys really seem to be going out of their way to shovel annoying characters down the player's throats. /rant over/

MMOs Likely To Thrive on Sony Vita? As Final Fantasy XI Looms

With the peculiar news that the Final Fantasy XI MMO may be ported over to the PS Vita, it makes you wonder what else we could get? World of Warcraft is the daddy of all MMOs, but with plenty of MMOs going free-to-play in the PC space, there are dozens of fee or paid games out there that could find a new home on the handheld.

Anarchy Online is 10 years old and one of my favourites that I've gone back to a number of times.

EVE Online  offers a whole universe to explore with huge spacecraft and empire building at the heart of your mission.

World of Tanks puts you in charge of a tracked big guns and other armoured vehicles in hectic close combat.

Lord of the Rings Online Since most RPGs are based on Tolkeinesque lands, why not go straight to the original? Expensive, but a great realm.

Any of these and the many other PC MMOs could be easily ported (FFXI is a PC-based title) to the Vita and could throw open new avenues where you could game on one format, then carry on playing on another.

The biggest problem for the Vita is that most of these games are multi-GB downloads to start with endless patches appearing week after week and that alone could easily swamp the Vita's storage. Then, there's the consistent barrage of net data coming in which would limit how big worlds could be due to the Vita's limited internal memory (PCs can reserve acres of memory for this data).

That makes it more likely that ground-up Vita MMOs would be the way forward as they can be tailored to the console's strengths.

Sony and Namco's Research Team Developing Vita Ridge Racer

A while back Sega mentioned that its technology development team had come up with such a good idea for a Vita game that they swung it into full production. Now, Sony's equivalent room of ubergeeks, called Cellius, have been playing with the Vita and tasked to come up with the new Ridge Racer game in partnership with Namco.

According to a widely quoted interview:
“Cellius got its start with the Cell processor architecture; the concept was to be an outfit that researched ways to use this technology to create neat things. So it’s not exactly pure research; it’s more about finding ways to expand the things that can be done with the PlayStation family.”

The experiment should get the maximum out of the Vita's various control methods and processing power, while hopefully bringing something new (but not too new) to the world of Ridge Racer. Check out the concept video here, which made us think it was all going a little bit WipEout.

New Black Rock Shooter Vids - Seriously Awesome PSP Title

Every time I see this game, I want to get a hold of it right now. A couple of new videos are out for stores to show the Japanese gaming public, and if I saw them in a shop I'd buy about five copies just for me. The Imageepoch game is just about ready for release and available in a cool limited edition.

The next video has more in-game action and you can check-out some previous character-based trailers here and here.

New PSP Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos Pics - Naughty, Naughty Girls

We've had some previous fun with Queen's Gate Spiral Chaos pics. Now Andriasang has a host more plus some art to oggle over of the fighting/RPG game. The game is basically an update of the 2009 version with characters from the spin-off adventure novels.

It does look a lot of fun with some the oversized characters making a big impact. There might just be enough English in the screens to make it playable, since there's zero chance of a western release. Did anyone try the original? 

New Shinobido 2 Confirmed for PS Vita

A new game in the series was announced back at E3, but like so many others, only casually with no formal details. Spike and Acquire have now given the Japanese version a formal name,  Shinobido 2: Sange, which is French for monkey, but I doubt that's relevant.

The new trailer looks very detailed and Famitsu has some new pics and a little info which translates, rather poetically to:

The open world full of color is unique to Japan, with PlayStation Vita by utilizing the power of expression, rich emotion has been drawn up to elegant suspicious. The darkness that was beautifully expressed with unique stealth ninja action, with blossoms of blood on arms sometimes go to various missions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PSP Takes back Hardware Crown in Japan

The Japanese Media Create charts are out, and its the PSP that's the best selling hardware in Japan knocking the 3DS back into second place. Most system's sales are down a few thousand as we hit the summer quiet slump.

    PSP: 26,373 (29,871)
    3DS: 22,943 (30,233)
    PS3: 22,900 (26,441)
    Wii: 13,068 (12,423)
    DSi LL: 4,811 (4,963)

On the games side, there are a host of Western games infiltrating the Japanese charts which has cramped the PSP's usual dominance with only five games in the top 20. Of those Little Battle Experience is nearing 250,000 sales Steins Gate is approaching 100,000.

Speedy Web Features on Sony's New S1 S2 Tablets

TechCrunch has spent some time with Sony's soon-to-be-released pair of tablets. They seem impressed with the sleekness and Sony has let slip that these will ship through AT&T in the States. For heavy web users, there's a couple of interesting speed-enhancing features. We've seen some video recently and the original unveiling info is back here.

However, there are a couple tidbits of new information that may be of interest. For one, Sony has implemented some new technologies on both the S1 (folding-design 10-incher) and S2 tablets. “Quick View” is a user-managed setting that helps load websites faster than your average tablet by loading pictures first, and java script afterwards. In a demo, an S1 with Quick View turned on loaded pages three to five seconds faster than an S1 with Quick View turned off. The other technology is called “Quick-Touch Panel” and is a special software that increases the perceptiveness of the touchscreen for both scrolling and multi-touch gestures. 

The PlayStation certified devices will play PSOne games and other content from the PlayStation Suite as and when it becomes available. Certainly, I wouldn't market them as games machines with the feeble exclusive line-up currently being touted. 

PSN Store Updates Dry Up for Summer

Oh, dear! Yesterday, the PSP US store got a single mini, Mighty Flip Champs! DX, while the EU PSN store gets a skinny bag of mini bones for PSP gamers in:

Arcade Pool & Snooker £3.49


Awesome Summer Minis Bundle £4.99
Which consists of:

  • A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks!
  • Young Thor
  • Widget Odyssey 1 and 2
  • Zombie Tycoon
If none of those grab then I'm currently playing Sky Force and Ninjamurai which are a pair of minis worth a go. There's a few bright spots on the horizon with new minis on the way like OMG Zombies and Fighting Fantasy but for big games 

Japanese Gamers Getting Some Final Fantasy Type-0 Goodies

Square has a big part in Fuji TV's Odaiba, Expo 2011 in Tokyo which starts at the weekend. Visitors will be able to pick up a new Final Fantasy Type-0 five-track soundtrack and some additional merchandise for the game which will be playable at the event.

The event has its own English language page if you'd like a flavour of what else is on offer and I'm guessing there are lots of other gaming displays there among all the TV show-themed events. There's piles of Type-0 screens and videos from not long ago

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bioshock For Vita An All-New Game

MTV has some comments from Irrational's Ken Levine suggesting that the PS Vita is an all-new construct. While Bioshock Infinite wowed everyone at E3, I'd be happy with another dose of sub-aquatic city spelunking and it'll definitely be a core game, not just the mini-games or some other mad idea, yay!

So, we'll see an entirely new "BioShock" released on the Vita platform. Levine also went on to clarify that the handheld game isn't a tie-in to "Infinite," and was "being built from the ground up." That said, it also doesn't sound like a port of the first game has been entirely ruled out. Levine seems to insulate that a portable "BioShock 1," would likely be ported outside of Irrational – a common practice when it comes to re-releases.

Possible Vita News From Comic-Con

The media splurge that used to just be about comics is rolling again next week with games companies all over the shop. Destructoid has all the details of gaming related events, with several new announcements due to be made from the likes of Activision, Capcom, Namco and Marvel.

Will anything Vita related be unveiled? Dunno but we'll keep an ear out.

Thursday 21:
Street Fighter x Tekken - 3:15-4:15 Ono will be there, on-stage matches, surprises
Resistance 3: 5-6 p.m. - A first look at new game content and other surprises for this PS3 shooter
Batman: Arkham City 5-6 p.m. - Reveals for game and characters -  Sefton Hill Iindigo Ballroom

Friday 22:
Uncharted 3 4-5 p.m. - Nolan North and others on hand to discuss the mo-cap, story side of game
The World of Capcom 5-6 p.m. - A new game reveal, Hiroyuki Kobayashi on hand, Dragon's Dogma
Resident Evil Round-up 6-30-7:30 - 15 anniversary celebrated, RE4 & Code Veronica HD shown, surprises

Saturday 23:
Activision: 10-11:30 a.m. Stan Lee visiting, a big panel of all things Activision
Marvel vs Capcom 11-12 - New announcements expected!
Marvel Interactive: 12:30-1:30  -It's Marvel, Baby. All their games coming this year, reveals planned
Dark Horse and Bioware 4-5 p.m. - Covers Old Republic and Mass Effect games and comics
Namco Bandai Fighting Panel 4-5 p.m. - All their stuff: Tekken, Tekken movie, Naruto & Soul Calibur
Twisted Metal 6-7 p.m. - David Jaffe will show of the opening movie, new content, a new boss - 5AB

Sunday 25:
Starhawk 10-11 a.m. Lightbox will be there to show their new baby off - 25ABC

Mini Zombies Rampaging to PSP/PS3

Laughing Jackal has taken the monochromatic approach to its next PSP mini, OMG-Z, to make the blood stand out just that much more. The zombie horde splattering fest offers

Players will use their chain reaction skills to explore (and explode) 81 waves of zombie hell across 32 environments. Earn 324 shiny medals and cold hard cash, and use it to buy 70 different upgrades for maximum gore spreadage!

With the ever-increasing threat of a zombie horde in your area, think of this more as practice rather than gaming.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Check out the PSP/PS3 mini Boasting Big Things

"One Epic Game" is a big, big boast for a small title. But, hey, it looks good, plays fast and has a range of weapons in a colourful 8-bit style. Developed by Czech outfit Grip Games, it brings back memories of the endless C-64 and Spectrum side scrolling shooters.

A bit worried about the lack of other levels/platforms in the missions, and getting a certain whiff of Commander Keen/Green Beret from somewhere, but look where that got little old id Software.

Sony Unveiling a Surprise on GTTV This Week

Sony have lots of places they can drop new news on the world and is doing pretty well at spreading its efforts around the various trade shows, developer events and so on. Its next new piece of news, which may be a Vita/PS3 or both affair, or something like the new PSN redesign that has been talked about. Whatever, it will be shown off this coming Friday (15th) on GTTV.

The last one of these was the unveiling of Starhawk for PS3 but with the so much in the pipe, it could be almost anything.

Friday, July 8, 2011

F1 2011 Gets First Gameplay Video

This game is confirmed for the Vita and while this is likely a PS3 video, the portable version shouldn't look that different. With all the features of the 2011 season, and hopefully all the drama, plus career management, it really does look the game that F1 deserves.

New Vita Video Shows off Social Skills

The loving close-ups made me think this was another E3 video, but nope - this is a new Sony video showing off the Vita's social and cross-play skills with a smidge of gameplay.

Sorry to go on, but really hope Sony keeps its focus on the games and not all the piffly peripheral stuff that is only a sideshow to kick ass gaming. And, a reality check for Sony's marketing. No idiot would ever stand in the middle of an open public space with their Vita at arm's length - its practically inviting crime.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sony Brings the Original PlayStation WipEout to Xperia Play

Xperia Play gamers finally get a decent addition to their PS1 library with the addition of Psygnosis' original WipEout title. I still play this on my PSP from time to time, and sure its a little creaky now, but is still a great reminder of the leap ahead that the first PlayStation made.

More importantly, hopefully this is the start of some regular updates for the PlayStation Suite and that other Android devices will soon be able to join in the fun.

More Black Rock Shooter Video Delights

Another trailer leaps out to smack us westerners in the face, who currently aren't getting this top-looking game. This one shows off White Shooter, who's the great looking pack-in figurine in the deluxe version.

Check out the more-action packed trailer here for a better look at the game and there's another moody one here - really really want this!

Vita is Sony's Most Developer-Friendly Platform Yet

At the Develop 2011 conference in Brighton, Sony execs are taking it in turns to line up and say how "challenging" its previous consoles were to develop for. Recognising that the world has moved on from hyper-complex hardware and pipes to an "it just works" philosophy.

In a Develop Mag article, Sony says; “In terms of smoothing the development process, certainly what the Vita offers is close to that of the PSP, and with some of the help we’re giving to developers, I would say it is the easiest and most well supported platform yet."

“In terms of performance, and the graphics power and programmable shaders and so on, what you can get out of it is far closer to PS3. It’s a great contrast of ease of development to the output you get from the system.”

Which all bodes well for lots of titles that are developed for players to play, and not just as an engineering challenge.

Bad News Folks: PSN Comics Being Culled

I'd hoped for some happy news for this blog's 500th post, like a Vita release date, an exclusive Vita title, but it wasn't to be.

Sony's US blog has announced that it is stopping updates for the PSN comic service. I never got to use this because my Japanese PSP wouldn't access the app correctly, but it was something I always fancied and, years later, along came the iPhone Marvel and DC stores which I peek in on from time to time.

However, on a brighter note, the existing library will remain and still be accessible and Sony will continue to bring the comics service to other devices, which presumably means the S1/S2 tablets, and, of course, the Vita.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dr Maybee and Scarygirl Coming to a PSP Mini

Based on the Scarygirl graphic novel (something I'm not familiar with), Dr Maybee and the Adventures of Scarygirl is a freaky looking platform adventure through the Scarygirl universe, as she attempts to discover the identity of the mysterious, bearded man haunting her dreams.

With help from her friends, the quick-witted Bunniguru and Blister the giant octopus, she will journey from her treehouse home in the forest to an overwhelmingly unfriendly city in her quest to locate Dr Maybee. The Tikgames title launches on 20 July.

Hope the unique visual style is matched by some unique gameplay, this was originally a Flash game, so you can give it a try here.

New Videos Show Off Sony's S1 and S2 Tablets

Its been a while since the official unveiling, and Sony's tablets have been more coy than a Victorian lady in a long, long dress. But we're starting to see more stuff from these PlayStation Suite offering tablets now. Here's a video from an Italian site showing some lucky chap pawing over the S1.

He could have done some more actual touching of the screen, and there's even less action on this second video of the S2 - what are these idiots thinking when they have a neat new slab in their hands?

EU PSN Store Update 6 July (With Video)

A bit light on content would be an understatement this week. Remember to check out the awesome retro minis, Sky Force and Ninjamurai if none of that grabs. Still playing Ridge Racer 4 myself,

Cohort Chess £1.99

PSone Classics
Gex: Deep Cover Gecko £7.99

Will Sky Go Land on the PS Vita?

Way back when, in the UK, Sky briefly offered a service where PSP owners could download Sky Sports and TV content to watch on their consoles. It was a neat prototype before the many phone-based iPlayer-like services hit. Now, Sky Go is a massive expansion of that theme, currently for iPhones and iPads plus PCs.

Current Sky Subscribers get it free, non-subs can get it for a monthly subscription. Currently the service offers the four Sky Sports and News channels, all wrapped in a neat interface and using WiFi or 3G. Its not too hard to imagine the Sony Vita getting such an app or service. And, as Sky has divisions around the world, it could play happily in Australia, Italy and other territories.

Hopefully, others will follow and the Sony Vita with that lovely screen could soon play home to all your favourite entertainment. Check out the great trailer for Sky Go...

Japan had the TV tuner for its PSP, did any other regions get TV services with the PSP, and what would you like to get on the Vita?

Will Sky Go Land on the PS Vita?

Way back when, in the UK, Sky briefly offered a service where PSP owners could download Sky Sports and TV content to watch on their consoles. It was a neat prototype before the many phone-based iPlayer-like services hit. Now, Sky Go is a massive expansion of that theme, currently for iPhones and iPads plus PCs.

Current Sky Subscribers get it free, non-subs can get it for a monthly subscription. Currently the service offers the four Sky Sports and News channels, all wrapped in a neat interface and using WiFi or 3G. Its not too hard to imagine the Sony Vita getting such an app or service. And, as Sky has divisions around the world, it could play happily in Australia, Italy and other territories.

Hopefully, others will follow and the Sony Vita with that lovely screen could soon play home to all your favourite entertainment. Check out the great trailer for Sky Go...

Sony Vita Pre-Order Demand Picking Up

Last week, pre-orders on Amazon for the Sony Vita jumped by 37% suggesting a big increase in interest as the gadget moves towards the top 100 in video games. The positive glow and awards from E3 and rumours of launch dates must be helping interest rise.

As the games line-up solidifies after the summer and a launch date is announced, expect things to go bonkers, so pre-order early, if you plan on getting one before the rush.

New PSP Frontier Gate Screens

As Frontier Gate gets closer to opening, an ever larger stream of images is coming out of bigger, nastier monsters and more exotic locales. Andriasang has the latest batch of eight including some character artwork from the Konami/tri ACE monster hunting game.

Still no release date or idea if its headed west, but its looking pretty hot. Check out the recent trailer here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Final Fantasy Type-0 Delayed

Square's final opus on the PSP has been declared 80% complete and its launch is being delayed until Autumn, the news in a Famitsu interview [Andriasang] suggests that a lot content has been cut down from the game to get it to fit on PSP, making you wonder if a Vita or PS3 Ultimate Edition is in the works, to capitalise on all that investment.

It still looks pretty epic with around 100 hours play in total and multiplayer, and there are all kinds of interesting quirks in there like weather-affected weapons and more.

Monday, July 4, 2011

EA to Unveil PS Vita LineUp At Summer Event?

Having been pretty quiet on the PlayStation Vita front, Electronic Arts may well choose its Summer Showcase as the launch platform for any titles it has planned for the format. The event takes place later this week, on Thursday with an EA spokeslady promising big news:

..back to work preparing for the big EA Summer Showcase on Thursday. Big announcements ahead!

Wouldn't it be great to get some portable Dead Space or Battlefield to enjoy?

America gets a Welcome Back Extension for Fourth of July

Just in case any Americans are too busy, hung over or partied out and have forgotten to grab their Welcome Back PSN content, Sony US is offering an extension until Tuesday to give them some extra time to get things sorted.

With Japan just about to go back online with PSN, it'll form a neat cross over point and hopefully this sore spot in Sony's history can drift off into history and we can get on with playing the fun things in life.

Fate/Extra Coming to PSP

With all the games devs/publishers pretty much shutting down for the month, our games news ends up coming from a range of other sources. Take the news that Fate/Extra is coming to the west on PSP and PSN which comes from the LA Anime Expo.

The RPG from Imageepoch apparently has many, many endings with your character choice, dialogue choice and other factors changing how the game ends.

LittleBigPlanet Creators Speaking at PS Vita Heavy Develop

Having spoken last week of its desire to move away from the world of LittleBigPlanet, UK developer Media Molecule will headline this year’s Develop Conference, which takes place 19 – 21 July in Brighton. Given the event will already get a PS Vita keynote, it should make a fascinating event, and perhaps we'll find out what they're up to next.

Former Sony head Phil Harrison will interview the team, to share their thoughts about the future and explain to other devs some of the trials and tribulations of their past. As a Sony-owned developer, it'd be a fair bet to assume that they'll be working on something for the PS Vita and will be finding cunning new ways of using all those inputs and controls.

Capcom Trying to get PSP Remasters in the West

Those funky PSP Remasters of the likes of Monster Hunter and Metal Gear Peace Walker are only confirmed for Japan at the moment, but developers/publishers are pushing for a wider release with Capcom mentioning during a Q&A that it is currently pushing for it to happen.

Jump to around the 11:30 mark for the specific conversation, which mentions PowerStone a couple of times. It makes sense since there have been endless comments from PS3 gamers who want to try them but don't own a PSP and would be a valuable source of revenue for devs beyond the usual boring reissues.

Xperia Play Sneaks into David Guetta, Flo Rida Video

The Xperia Play continues its charge into the social Zeitgeist with an appearance in David Guetta's Where Dem Girls At? video. Naturally, I was just watching it for the technology....

Its around the 1:20 mark, but like you really care :)