Sony’s backward compatibility database has gone online, and there is good news and bad news. The good news is that out of the door, Sony is listing 1,782 titles as compatible with the 1.60 firmware update. The bad news is that there are many high profile games not on the list, and many that are on the list are listed as having “noticeable issues.” God of War 2 is listed as having no known issues, along with most of the games in the Grand Theft Auto series. Unfortunately, San Andreas is listed as having noticeable issues, as are Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. Final Fantasy XII has minor issues, but Final Fantasy XI is nowhere to be found. Gran Turismo 4 Prologue is on the list, but the full game is not. The Metal Gear series looks to be compatible, though. And for those wondering, like the Xbox 360, Barbie Horse Adventures is fully compatible with the PlayStation 3. The full list is online here.
Read More | GamesIndustry.biz
Sony is changing the hardware specifications for the Playstation 3 in Europe and other PAL territories, according to a report by Reuters. The report, confirmed by Sony, indicates that backward compatibility for PS2 and PS1 games will now be provided by a combination of hardware and software, rather than the hardware solution in the Japanese and American Playstation 3 consoles. This move may be a cost-cutting measure for Sony; software emulation would allow the company to remove the costly Playstation 2 hardware in the console used in other territories. Sony claims that PS1 compatibility will be high, but that PS2 compatibility will be limited as Sony focuses on “developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3.” One would expect high compatibility for PS1 games; Sony’s emulator for the PSP already seems to work with a large number of games tested by PSP hackers. Without full compatibility for PS2 games, though, Sony may find itself competing against its previous generation console more than expected. Given that the European territories already face the highest adjusted price for the console, this announcement can’t be good news for Sony fans abroad.
Read More | Reuters
The ‘semi-official’ Three Speech blog today confirmed that the first 500,000 gamers that register their Playstation 3 console in Europe will receive the Blu-ray release of Casino Royale. Unfortunately the movie will not be a pack-in for release, and users in non-English territories will have to wait until the localized version of the movie is available. Still, this would seem to beat the Talladega Nights pack-in that the US received; on the other hand, one would expect the incentives for the console release in Europe to be slightly better, if only for the high price that those consumers are paying relative to the United States.
Read More | Three Speech
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced that the Playstation 3 will be available across Europe on March 23rd. Sony expects to have one million PS3 consoles available for the initial launch. Only 60 GB configurations will be shipped to Europe initially, for Euro 599 or GBP 425. At current exchange rates, this puts the UK price point at approximately 840 US dollars and the Euro price point translates to about $780. The pricing of the Playstation 3 has roughly a 50% price premium over the Xbox 360 Premium configurations in Europe, about the same in the US. The delay in Europe does give Sony the advantage of a fuller launch line-up; assuming that there are no further delays, this means that titles that missed the US launch will be available during the launch window in Europe, including games like Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Motorstorm It was also announced that the downloadable HD port of Tekken: Dark Resurrection will be available, a title that has not yet seen a release in the US. Hopefully the delay for Europe will mean that Sony’s launch goes much smoother than it did for other territories. Given the low bar the console set in the US and Japan, though, it seems that Sony has nowhere to go but up.
Sony’s full press release continues after the jump.
Nintendo of America celebrated the success of the Wii and the DS in North America, now Nintendo of Europe is doing the same in their territory. Sales monitoring company Chart Track has released their sales numbers for the month of December, and in the UK Nintendo sold nearly 200,000 Wii consoles and 500,000 DS handhelds.
In Europe, Nintendo moved more than 700,000 Wii consoles and an amazing 1.7 million DS handhelds. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess nearly matched the attach rate in the US, selling 500,000 copies to 70% of Wii purchasers during December. With huge sales in Europe, Nintendo has basically stormed across the globe this holiday season.
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Nintendo of Europe has released their sales numbers for the launch weekend of the Wii in Europe, and to no surprise, the sales trends mirror the US numbers. Nintendo of Europe managed to move 350,000 consoles in the first two days of sale. Along with those consoles, Nintendo sold 240,000 copies of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess; ¾ of the people buying the Wii also purchased Zelda. Again, like in other territories, the success of the Wii does not seem to be leeching sales from the DS; Nintendo sold 515,000 handhelds in the same week as the Wii launch.
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You can’t blame Sony’s Phil Harrison - after talking up the PS3 so much and promising console numbers and release dates that never materialized, he’s got to start being a little more cautious. But I think his current statements shed some light on just how dire Sony’s production problems are:
Appearing in this month’s official Playstation magazine, Harrison states:
On asking if the PS3 will definitely be out in March in Europe…
“Given that all of our previous statements about launching in Europe simultaneously with the US and Japan turned out not to be the case, I would not like to make any definitive statements on that. It’s not my job to comment on hardware supply issues other than to say some very smart people are working very hard to catch up. In fact, the ramp up is already starting to happen in supply and output, just obviously too late for us to have launched in Europe at the same times as the US.”
So Sony, what you’re telling us is that Sony might not even meet its thrice-delayed launch date in Europe?? Can you tell us anything definitive about the European console? Is it ever going to make it to Europe? From our ends, it sounds like you’re just barely making your production quotas and hedging your bets. Please, tell us we’re wrong.
Read More | ThreeSpeech.com
Speaking with Gamesindustry.biz, Sony of Europe has issued a complete denial of any overheating problems with the Playstation 3. Now, one could understand if Sony stated that gamers won’t have problems with the PS3 once they get their console home, but the statement includes this:
As could be seen on the TGS floor by the tens of thousands of media and public attendees, both the hardware and software worked flawlessly
This statement would seem to be categorically untrue, unless the images of the Tokyo Game Show worker attempting to cool off an overheating Playstation 3 with a clip-on fan have some other explanation. Many people have reported that the facility for the Tokyo Game Show was unbearably hot, due to the large amounts of hardware present, lack of any real air conditioning, and the massive swarms of bodies. So one could expect that ambient temperatures would be higher than a normal operating environment, and this would cause issues with the hardware. But to claim that there were no issues, when problems were reported by Kotaku and others seems laughable.
Read More | GamesIndustry.biz
Nintendo’s final press releases dropped today for both the European and Australian territories. In the UK, Nintendo will be making the Wii available on December 8th for 249 Euros, £179 (roughly $330 US). Nintendo first party games will retail for between 49 andd 59 Euros or £34 – £39. The European package will be basically the same package as the US, including the console, a remote, a nunchuck controller, and Wii Sports Additional remotes will sell for 39 Euros (£29), nunchuks for 19 Euros (£14) and the Classic Controller will sell for 19 Euros (£14). In addition, Nintendo of Australia announced console availability on December 7th, for $399.95, roughly $299 US. The Australian console release also features Wii Sports, a single remote and nunchuck attachment. The full European press release continues below.
European Gamers will get a free week of Xbox Live Gold action from September 20th through the 29th. Similar to the promotion that US gamers got earlier this summer, Xbox 360 owners in Europe with a broadband connection will be able to experience Gold membership status, thanks to a sponsorship from Windows Live Spaces. Like the previous US free week, Microsoft plans on hosting several special events for gamers signed into Live during the nine days of the offering, including contests, newcomer nights, and the opportunity to face off against special guests.
Read More | Xbox.com