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The Playstation Home Fiasco And Its Aftermath

Slap fight!!For you gamers out there reading our blog who don’t also visit Kotaku.com regularly, you should! These guys have shown themselves to have real journalistic/bloggeristic integrity this week. For those of you that missed out, here’s a blow-by-blow account of what will one day doubtlessly be known as “The Playstation Home Fiasco”

For a few weeks, Phil Harrison had been talking about how the PS3 news to be presented at the GDC would make gamers “very happy”. Around this time, Kotaku starts hearing from “sources” rumors that Phil’s big announcement will be Playstation Home, described as fellows:

Basically, you get to make an avatar for your console (like a Mii) and this avatar has a room. As you play games and accomplish certain tasks, you will receive items with which to adorn the room that are specific to the game (achievements). The kicker is that this is going to be a new requirement for every PS3 game.

Before posting this story, Kotaku asked Sony if they had any comment. Instead of just replying with a standard, coy “Sony does not comment on rumors and speculation”, the reply this time was “post that story and you won’t enjoy the consequences”. So, being the good journalists that they are, Kotaku ran the story.

Well, this evidently went and made some folks at Sony very mad (thus only adding to the veracity of the rumor), and Sony decided that they would no longer deal with Kotaku. In fact, Sony dis-invited Kotaku from all future exclusive events, and asked for their PS3 dev kit back. Then the uproar REALLY began. Joystiq, noting that this meant the rumors were obviously true, reported on how Sony was blackballing Kotaku, a story that got some serious diggs.

In the end, Kotaku and Sony kissed and made-up, but I think Sony learned a valuable lesson about treating their bloggers right. Next time, let’s just keep people salivating with a standard “we don’t comment on rumors” reply, OK Sony? It’ll save everyone a lot of grief.

Read More | Kotaku


Warhawk PS3 Downsized, Downloadable

Warhawk PS3It looks like the rumors that Warhawk for the PS3 was in trouble might have been correct. Sam Kennedy at 1up is visiting Incognito to preview the latest developments on the follow-up to the Playstation title, and he indicates that Warhawk has been downsized from its original ambitions as a retail PS3 title. Supposedly the title is now slated to be a downloadable title with multi-player support only, a pretty drastic change from the original offering. If the title can bring a strong multi-player experience while maintaining the graphic quality at a reasonable download price, Sony might have a good reason to get on the Playstation Network, but it will still be pretty far from their original promises for the game.

Update: Sony has officially denied the rumors to Kotaku with a non-denial denial stating that they “have not made any decision with regards to distribution for Warhawk

Read More | 1up

Game Crazy POS Shows Black Xbox 360 Date, Price

Posted by Christopher Sasaki Categories: Hardware, Rumors, Xbox 360

Xbox 360 BlackA post on the Cheap Ass Gamer forums indicates that a new Xbox 360 SKU has been loaded into the system, appearing as

GM-XBOX 360 (black/ 120GB) $479.99 NEW $439.99 USED

. The release date is currently listed as 5/1/2007. Some of the posters in the forum were able to confirm this, and Kotaku was able to get independent confirmation from various Game Crazy stores as well. Now, this could be just a phantom in the system, an update created based on speculation at Game Crazy, so one can’t really describe this as a confirmation that there is a black Xbox 360 coming out, but this, along with the previously released alleged box art would seem to be tipping the scales further and further in favor of its existence.

Read More | Cheap Ass Gamer via Kotaku

What Will iPhone Gaming Be Like?

the iPhoneThe iPhone looks to be one of the first great, albeit pricy, “convergence” gadgets out there. Running a version of MacOS X that will allow you to surf the web, play 4GB worth of MP3s, watch videos (in near-widescreen format), and make phonecalls, the iPhone holds a lot of promise. Still, nothing’s been mentioned yet about the real reason folks will be picking up this $499/$599 monster - it’s a new way to play Snood, Solitaire, and Bejeweled on the go!

Apple may not have announced anything yet, but Gamesindustry.biz is reporting that Electronic Arts is in talks with Apple to produce games for the new gadget. EA has already produced games for the ubiquitous Apple iPod, including translations of Mahjong, Mini-Golf, Tetris, and Sudoku built for its click-wheel interface. Given that the iPhone will have a multi-touch interface, a faster processor, and a nice widescreen display, it seems that EA could be able to produce some really advanced content for this piece of hardware. Perhaps a Madden clone where you can draw-out your playbook on the screen? Or a first-person shooter where you aim and shoot with touch-controls? We’ll have to wait and see how ambitious EA gets, but it’s looking like there’s a lot of promise in this platform.

Read More | GamesIndustry.biz

Ghostbusters Game In The Works? Maybe…

Whether it be a mod of Gears of War, a dedicated fan, or a pitch for a game that never came to be, these videos on YouTube have us wanting more… and remind me that I should go back and watch the original Ghostbusters again. Chances are we’ll never see this game on a console, but we can dream, can’t we?

The videos on YouTube feature some Gears-style 3rd-person gameplay, some very nicely lit driving movies and what look like tests of the Bill Murray character model. Be sure to click the jump for the rest of the videos!

Rumor: Saints Row Coming to PS3?

Posted by Michael Cardiff Categories: Action, PlayStation 3, Rumors, THQ

PS3 Saints Row?

EBGames/Gamestop’s website is quickly becoming the source of choice for new game rumors that end up being true. So when their website listed Saints Row for the PS3 and then quickly took it down, it set off quite a buzz. Now keep in mind, Gamestop probably has their fair share of bad web programmers and crappy database administrators working for them, so this could all just be a simple mix-up of placing the game under the wrong console. But if we didn’t fan the flames of interesting rumors, we wouldn’t be good bloggers, now would we??!

Read More | destructoid.com

Xbox 360 To Get IPTV? We’ll Know Soon Enough

Xbox Video Marketplace Details are sketchy at the moment, but it appears that Microsoft may be planning on integrating some sort of IPTV into the Xbox 360. Whether this means that you’ll be able to watch streamed (instead of downloaded) video content on your 360, or that you’ll be able to stream purchased videos from your 360 to some sort of mobile, wireless-enabled device *COUGH* Zune! *cough*, we can’t yet say. What we can say is that Dean Takahashi posted and then quickly removed an article about how the Xbox 360 would soon function as a set-top box for IPTV.

Could this be Microsoft’s response to PS3’s LocationFree streaming capabilities? We should know soon enough…

Read More | Engadget.com

Radiant Silvergun 3, Nights Appear On Japanese Release List

Posted by Christopher Sasaki Categories: Rumors, Wii, Xbox 360

Radiant SilvergunInsert Credit is reporting that Japanese gaming site G-rev has listed Radiant Silvergun 3 for the Xbox 360 and Nights for the Nintendo Wii on an upcoming software release list. Insert Credit stresses that the site’s credibility isn’t the best, so gamers should consider this a weak rumor at this point, but both of the titles would be much anticipated releases for their respective platforms, particularly a Nights update that takes advantage of the Wii’s motion-sensing remote.

Read More | Insert Credit

Wii With DVD Playback Coming in 2007?

Posted by Michael Cardiff Categories: Hardware, Nintendo, Rumors, Wii

Wii DVD EjectedNintendo, ever the master of shooting itself in the foot, has quite possibly found the worst time to unveil some of their future plans for the Wii. Originally, way back in 2005 Nintendo stated that the Wii would have DVD playback, and the fans rejoiced - this was a much-lauded departure from Nintendo’s strategy with the Gamecube of focusing ONLY on gaming. After a long silence, Nintendo confirmed earlier this year that the Wii would NOT in fact have DVD playback. The reason given was that this would help to lower the cost of the console for consumers and ultimately wouldn’t make much of a difference, given that DVD player penetration is already quite high, worldwide.

Now comes the curious news… just today (barely a week before launch) Sonic Solutions announced that they had been tapped by Nintendo to create a DVD-playback solution for the Wii. The announcement stated that the Sonic Solutions will be working on a software-based playback method that will be released with an updated Wii console sometime in 2007. First of all, there’s the question of firmware updating - given that Nintendo has engineered a relatively flexible, updatable OS for the Wii, why hasn’t Nintendo thought about figuring out a way to implement this software on the current Wii console via a software update? Can the current Wii not handle this amount of processing? And second, REALLY REALLY bad timing Nintendo… are you trying to convince anyone that might be wavering on whether or not to pick up a Wii to wait until 2007? The current news really doesn’t make any sense at all - we can only hope that Nintendo will clarify all this and hopefully tell us that our circa 2006 Wiis will eventually be DVD-compatible.

The full announcement can be found after the jump.

Read More | Sonic Solutions Press Center

Could Microsoft Charge for a Halo 3 Demo?

Halo 3My old friend Billy at Game Informer just posted a rumor that we could see a Halo 3 demo by mid 2007. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that were the case, but I’d guess Q3 if it were me. But the more interesting part is that this could be the first demo to come with a price tag.

Pop Quiz: What’s the best way to raise the price for a game beyond the acceptable mass-market threshold without actually raising the price?

Answer…Hide the upcharge in something else that the customers will buy without a second thought. In this case, a chance to play a stripped down, early version of the game (probably multiplayer only) a few months early. My gut instinct is that Microsoft could charge 800 points ($10) for the demo and fans would pay it. That would effectively make the price for the full game $70.