Robert “402” Bowling from Infinity Ward has posted about some upcoming changes to the Call of Duty 4 beta on his blog. The most significant announcement is the closing of the beta on September 30th, but he also revealed that two days prior the level cap, which has been at 16 for a couple of weeks after being lifted from the initial cap of 11, will go up to 25. That gives beta testers only two days to jump from 16 to 25 before the beta closes down in anticipation of the game’s release November 5th.
Part of the post hinted that CoD4 had gone gold, but Bowling refused to come right out and say it, saving the announcement for more official channels. He did say that Infinity Ward had received congratulations from the Sony of America and the Xbox 360 certification team, which leaves little room for doubt that the game is in the final stages before shipping.
The beta has been an excellent marketing tool for Infinity Ward since the strength of the game is quite evident from the limited, multiplayer-only test version. Even though the game is likely gold, the beta continues for developers to continue gathering data for the inevitable title upgrades and expansion packs. The raising of the level cap so close to the end of the beta is, speculatively, due to the launch of a certain multiplayer juggernaut a few days prior.
Read More | Fourzerotwo's Blog
This year’s TGS is awash in media from loads of promising Japanese RPGs. The spiky-haired adventurers in Infinite Undiscovery (ouch at that title), The Last Remnant, and Lost Odyssey promise to take the genre to new excruciatingly emotional heights. But the most impressive of them all, the one that may even melt the heart of the most cynical hater of all things spiky and stat-laden, is Level 5’s White Knight Story. Level 5 is the development studio behind Dragon Quest VIII and Rogue Galaxy, so you just know this game will deliver the goods when it comes exclusively to the PS3 next year.
And now we have this video. It isn’t direct feed, runs about 4 minutes long, and Obi-Wan Kenobi blocks the screen for part of it, but trust me…the whole thing is worth the watch. The animation is so fluid and seamless that the game’s battles come across as balletic performances, not turgid turn-based fights. And check out the awe-inspiring transformation near the end of the footage. You’ll be nodding your head wondering what the fuss is, and then the White Knight will appear and you’ll smile and say, “Okay, that was pretty cool.” Bank on it.
Read More | GameSpot
At Sony’s pre-TGS press conference, Kaz Hirai announced that rumble is coming back to the PS3 in a big way, in the form of the new DualShock 3 controller. Gamers have been clamoring for force feedback ever since Sony first unveiled the PS3’s Sixaxis controller sans rumble. We just couldn’t properly enjoy shooting aliens without the little vibration telling us that we were shooting aliens. At any rate, Sony heard the call and is making amends.
“We have not made any changes to its outward appearance and design, but it does have vibration,” Hirai said. And fear not, motion control fans…the waggle feature isn’t going anywhere. The wizards at Sony have found a way to include both features.
Which brings us to the catch: the DualShock 3 will be available this year, but only in Japan. Everyone else will have to wait until next Spring.
Read More | Eurogamer
Konami has announced that the PS3 game the whole world wants will be playable on the showfloor of this year’s Tokyo Game Show, which kicks off later this week. That’s right, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will make its playable debut to the tune of fifty demo kiosks at Konami’s booth. Knowing the history of the franchise, you have to wonder if a PSN demo isn’t too far behind.
Drool over impressions of Metal Gear Solid 4 in the next week. Finally break down and buy the game and that damned PS3 (it’s exclusive, kids) when the game is released next year.
As if releasing a new dancing MP3 Player isn’t enough, Sony BMG has also teamed with the Universal Music Group and devised the Ringle, which contains 3 tunes and a ringtone in a slip-sleeved cover CD. At this point, Sony is the only company that will be offering them at retail outlets. They figure that if we can download tracks and ringtones individually, we will rush right out to purchase them for a $5.98 or $6.98 list price. Excuse our naivety here, but isn’t downloading the way to avoid overcrowded shopping malls?
Read More | Reuters
Say hello to Rolly, the dancing egg. This Sony MP3 player can spin around with sensors that allow volume control when turned clockwise or counterclockwise or switch music with a push or pull. Weighing only 11 oz., it holds 1 GB of flash memory and built-in speakers. Bluetooth capable, it is programmable with software that will analyze music and then create choreography for the little bugger. It also doubles as an alarm clock. Rolly can keep going for about five hours before needing a recharge, and will hold 100 to 600 tunes, depending on the complexity of its dance steps. Only available at this point in Japan, its MSRP is ~$354.00.
The next installment in the popular Sony franchise God of War, subtitled Chains of Olympus and a prequel to the original God of War, will be debuting on the PSP March 4, 2008. The news may be a little disappointing for some hoping to add the flagship first party title to Sony’s handheld this Christmas, but Sony has also announced that it will be putting out a demo at the end of this month. When the game’s official website launched back in April, Sony included the opportunity for North American gamers to sign up for a special UMD-based demo version prior to the game’s release.
The limited edition demo will include part of a playable level plus extra goodies including behind-the-scenes footage. A copy of the demo without the extras will be released later this year.
Read More | GameSpot
A research paper from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research has been released that suggests that games with online support can be crucial to a game’s retail success. Not surprisingly, another way to boost sales is to create a quality game (defined as those with a 90+ score on Metacritic), with these well-reviewed titles outselling the average release well above 5-to-1.
While making good games typically means making good money, naturally, it is a bit surprising to see the report indicate that sales can be doubled by dropping in an online mode. With online games selling twice the number copies that offline titles do, it’s curious to note that over half of games released don’t offer even basic online support.
Read More | Ars Technica
Sony’s PS3-exclusive Heavenly Sword hits stores next week, but if you really can’t wait that long, check out this new GameTrailers video. We realize that video footage is no substitute for the real deal, but this one shows off some more of the counter-heavy arena fighting you saw in the demo. Even better, you get some crisp direct feed footage of the big showdown with evil King Bohan’s slow-witted blob of a son. And yes, the game still looks gorgeous.
Read More | Playstation.com
Ignoring a collective shrug on the part of game reviewers, Electronic Arts has announced that the formerly Wii-exclusive rhythm game, Boogie, is headed to the DS and PS2. EA tells us that the PS2 version will incorporate a music video creator and allow players to record themselves singing along with their favorite pop songs. Meanwhile, the DS version jettisons the karaoke element entirely and revs up the minigame factor. In addition, Boogie DS boasts “the first 3D gameplay on the handheld system,” thanks to the snazzy (or not) 3D glasses that will come packed in with the game. Check out the DS trailer above, but only if you can stomach a whole lot of Brickhouse.
Read More | EA