Team NINJA recently announced that Ninja Gaiden Sigma, an upgrade to Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden Black would be appearing on the Playstation 3. 1up was able to speak with the game’s director, Yosuke Hayashi. 1up’s interview goes in depth with the upgrades that will be seen in the new game, Hayashi’s approach to the design of the Playstation 3 version, and Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 hardware comparisons.
While Hayashi claims that the team is “putting the most effort into the graphics,” Team NINJA also appears to be tweaking and adding to the original in a number of ways. First would be the previously announced addition of Rachel as a playable character. In addition, new enemies will be featured, and older game mechanics such as water running are getting revamped. Hayashi, perhaps diplomatically, doesn’t seem to want to commit to specific hardware differences between the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, but makes some comparisons to an artist working in different media. The director also claims that gamers familiar with the series should find enough new content, including new playable bosses, to warrant looking into the game.
Read More | 1up
Sony has updated their PlayB3yond.com website with a couple of new videos, with promises of more in the future. The two new videos, “Smarter” and “Capacity,” attempt to highlight the benefits of Sony’s new console. The videos use new game footage of Resistance: Fall of Man and Warhawk to bolster Sony’s claims, and the Resistance footage offers a little Matrix-like interactivity. While Sony plays a little fast and loose with the media storage numbers in “Capacity,” the videos show off the Sony hype machine firing on all cylinders. It doesn’t hurt that the videos are narrated by Lance Henrikson of Aliens fame.
Read More | PlayB3yond.com
Ubisoft today announced their first semester results, and sales overall were up 13% to €172 million year over year. In addition, the company revised its 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 guidance based on their software line-ups for the next semester and upcoming fiscal year. While titles Assassin’s Creed and Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway have been pushed into the 2007-2008 fiscal year, Ubisoft announced that a new title, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 would be launching in their stead. Ubisoft also announced that seven Wii titles would be available at launch, with seven more following by March 2007, including a mystery title yet to be named. Overall, it appears that Ubisoft is championing their current line-up for next-generation consoles, and is leveraging its position on the Wii towards its revised growth figures.
Read More | Ubisoft
Analyst group IDG has released their latest hardware and software sales projections for the North American and Western European territories, and Next Generation has summarized some of the predictions for the North American market.
IDG believes that in the short term, the Xbox 360 will benefit from general hardware shortages for the Playstation 3 and the Wii; the 2006 sales numbers bear this out, with the Playstation 3 moving just short of 1 million units in 2006, and the Wii moving about 1.1 million. This does seem somewhat at odds with other Wii sales numbers; current Nintendo projections have 1 million consoles available at launch alone, with an additional 100,000+ units shipping to retailers each week. Pre-order numbers for retailers also have been much larger for the Wii than the Playstation 3. It looks like console supply shortages will be the largest impact on Playstation 3 sales.
Still, despite these problems, IDG predicts that the Playstation 3 will overtake the Xbox 360 in the North American market by 2010. It is unclear what “winning” the console war will mean to either Sony or Microsoft, since the lead will be effectively split in this territory. Microsoft’s inability to penetrate the Japanese market may give Sony the edge globally.
The Wii predictions seem on the small side. IDG claims that the bundled Wii Sports may reduce software attach rate, but Next Generation’s excerpts otherwise give little reason behind the software sales projections. They could be basing their numbers on a growth path over the Wii, but the unknown factor will be how well Nintendo does with their “Blue Ocean” strategy to grow the video game market.
Read More | Next Generation
While Sony has been revealing more details about their Playstation 3 online network, a few items have been unclear. Chris Kohler at Wired was able to speak with Jack Tretton at SCEA to try and clear things up, and one of the things they spoke about was if the service would support the “achievements” model as seen on Xbox Live. Tretton’s response was that there would be no “pan-platform” achievements or ranking system in place. Instead, it will be up to each game publisher to implement their own ranking system, and none of the launch titles will support an “achievement” type model. While Xbox Live Achievements have certainly added a new dimension of play to the Xbox 360 (to the point where high gamerscores are being auctioned and farmed) this doesn’t seem like a deal breaker on Sony’s part. Still, it does speak to the relative lack of experience that Sony has in maintaining and planning for a global gaming network.
Read More | Game|Life
During Sony’s Gamer’s Day event, IGN was able to take some time and drill down into the features implemented in the Playstation 3’s version of the XMB menu system. IGN examined the User, Photo, Music, Video, Games, Network, and Friends. Some of the interesting things that Sony has implemented on the Playstation 3 include media streaming; according to IGN, the Playstation 3 will support streaming of various media types. Sony demonstrated live streaming of a movie playing on the Playstation 3 to an online connected PSP. Apparently all media types will support streaming, and eventually users will be able to view media stored on their Playstation 3 from anywhere on the Internet. The Playstation 3 will also support MP4 format videos up to 1080p.
IGN was able to touch on backward-compatibility; no Playstation 1 or 2 games were shown running, but Sony did mention that no upscaling or enhancement would take place. In addition, downloadable Playstation 1 games would not initially be supported on the PS3, but will be playable on the PSP. Overall, it seems like Sony has taken the feature set of the PSP and refined and expanded it for the capabilities of the Playstation 3.
Read More | IGN
Sony has issued a press release in conjunction with today’s Gamer’s Day event. Sony’s announcements today included the availability of 20 first and third party games to become available during the holiday season; it was not mentioned which of these would be available day and date with the Playstation 3. Sony also apparently confirmed that first party title NBA 07 would support 1080P. While people have seen early shots of the Playstation 3 network interface, the company today officially confirmed that the Playstation 3 GUI would be based around the XMB (Xross Media Bar) found on the PSP.
Sony also discussed their Playstation store; first-party game titles will be priced at less than $15, and they officially introduced their first downloadable game, Blast Factor.
Accessory pricing has also been finalized for the US market, with the SIXAXIS controller retailing for $49.99, the memory card adapter selling for $14.99, and when the BD Remote Control becomes available, it will sell for $24.99.
Sony also announced that they will be offering a special premium in the first 500,000 PS3 systems shipped; much like the first wave of PSP systems included Spider-man, the first 500,000 Playstation 3 systems will come with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” on the Blu-Ray format.
The full list of launch window titles continues below.
Update: Resistance has been confirmed to be running at 720p.
Read More | Playstation.com
A post from the CheapAssGamer forums lists what are supposedly the first details for the Toys ‘R’ Us Big Toy Book for the upcoming holiday season. According to the poster, the new flyer lists Playstation 3 pre-orders as starting on October 29th, and will require a $50 deposit. Of course, “limited quantities will be available.” Interestingly, Nintendo’s Wii is shown in the catalog, but while the copy apparently tells customers that they can reserve the console, no details are listed. Gamers that missed previous pre-order opportunities may have another camp-out scheduled in their future.
Read More | Cheap Ass Gamer
Sony today cut their profit outlook by 62 percent, blaming battery recall costs, the Japanese Playstation 3 price cut, and weaker than expected sales of their PSP console. According to a Reuters report, Sony reduced its profit target for the year to 50 billion yen from previous estimates of 130 billion yen. In addition, Sony reduced its PSP shipment target to 9 million units, down 25 percent from previous estimates. While Sony has seen the PSP console fail to meet sales projections, Nintendo has raised their sales target over the same period, making Sony’s assertions that they are holding their own in the market suspect.
Read More | Reuters
Sony Computer Entertainment released a version of Linux for the original Playstation 2 through a hardware and software kit, and now it looks like that Playstation 3 will be getting its own version of the open source operating system. Terra Soft will be providing a version of Yellow Dog Linux for the Playstation 3. While the original Linux kit for the Playstation 2 was clearly targeted at Linux enthusiasts with its command line based installation, the new version from Terra Soft promises to be more user-friendly, with a graphical, single-click installation. While specific hardware and peripheral support has not been announced, Terra Soft has indicated that a number of software packages will be included with the distribution, including FireFox and OpenOffice, making the Playstation 3 potentially a fully functioning computer. This could open up the platform to homebrew developers as well, depending on how much hardware access is allowed by Sony.
Terra Soft’s complete press release continues below.
Read More | Terra Soft
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