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The Min-E3 2007 Games Lineup

E3 logoSure, the convention is much smaller this year and all, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a ton of games to be seen. Eurogamer has posted a list of the announced lineups and then some of what you’ll be seeing at E3. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have been quiet on what they’ll be showing, so it looks like we’ll need to wait until their respective showings to know for sure. The event is taking place next week, so expect it to be a busy week in news.

But please, please, please, Nintendo, show me Animal Crossing Wii. Something. Anything. Please?

Read More | Eurogamer

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Bethesda Clarifies Oblivion PS3 Rumors

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion IGN’s preview of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion for the Playstation 3 seemed to trigger some debate about the release, particularly regarding the rendering engine upgrades and optimizations and the fact that many of the downloadable modules for the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game would be missing. Pete Hines, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing at Bethesda tried to clear up some of the issues.

First, Hines clarified that the missing content for the PS3 version was not due to any technical limitations of the console. His explanation was that some of the content was not appropriate for the balance of the game for a new player and that for other content, Bethesda simply hadn’t had time to look into developing content for the Playstation Store; he believes that Bethesda will be making some content available at a later date. Bethesda’s decisions here seem a little flakey; saying that delaying the release of content so that gamers could have a better experience seems a little odd considering that an Xbox 360 or PC user that buys Oblivion this week can have the content on day one. Still, given the choice between having Oblivion in PS3 gamers’ hands earlier without Playstation Network support or facing further delays while Bethesda works on implementing downloadable content, one would certainly want to have the game sooner rather than later.

On the new hardware optimizations, Hines admitted that the PC and Xbox 360 would see the shader improvements in an upcoming release, but indicated that certain vague Cell-specific enhancements would be exclusive to the PS3. Specifically what those enhancements are were left undefined.

Read More | IGN

Oblivion PS3: Improved Load Times, Graphics Over Xbox 360

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Oblivion PS3

IGN recently got some hands on time with the Playstation 3 version of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, and they had some interesting observations. The game is scheduled to ship March 13th, roughly a year after the Xbox 360 release, so one would expect some upgrades for this release. Overall, IGN’s experience with the PS3 version was improved over the Xbox 360 release, including better load times, improved draw distances and sharper textures. It sounds like whatever issues Bethesda had with the PS3 Blu-Ray drive have been resolved, and they have spent additional time optimizing the release for Sony’s Cell architecture. The improved draw distances and frame rates may not stay exclusive to the Playstation 3, however, as Bethesda has promised that their improved shader code will also be hitting the Xbox 360 in the upcoming Shivering Isles expansion pack. In regards to expansions for the Playstation 3, IGN found that of the eight add-ons that Bethesda has made available, only the Knights of the Nine quest will be included in the retail release for the Playstation 3. Other modules might be added later through the Playstation Network, but Bethesda has made no promises regarding availability for neither the downloads nor the upcoming Shivering Isles expansion on the Playstation 3. At the very least, though, it appears that Bethesda has taken their time on the release and gone beyond making the game a simple port from the previous versions of the game.

Read More | IGN

Oblivion Developer: Blu-Ray is Slower

Blu-Ray Disc The latest shot in the HD-DVD / Blu-Ray battle has been fired, this time coming from Oblivion developer Bethesda Software. According to the developers of the game, the Blu-Ray drive data rates are slower than those on, for instance, the Xbox-360’s DVD drive. Says Todd Howard at Bethesda:

“Drive speed matters more to me [than capacity], and Blu-ray is slower.”

What does this mean? Well, in general, longer load times and more cacheing to the harddrive. In fact, in order to get Oblivion to load on the PS3 as fast as it does on the Xbox-360, Bethesda duplicated key data from the game, storing it on multiple places in the disc to lower access times. There’s no word on how much of the code was duplicated, but it still seems to go against Sony’s message that developers need 50GB of storage space. It sounds like, if the drive were faster, the HD-DVD standard of ~30GB / disc could be adequate.

 

 

Read More | Gameworld Network

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion Confirmed For PS3, PSP

Elder Scrolls PS3

An upcoming Official Playstation Magazine will confirm that Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls: Oblivion will be coming to both the Playstation 3 and the PSP, as had previously been rumored. 1up has more details; apparently, a new faction will be available from the start of the new version, called the “Knights of the Nine.” The PSP version will be less of a port, apparently, and more of an interpretation of the game, as the portable version will take place in a different setting. 1up has more screenshots of the PS3 version online.

Read More | 1up

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