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PlayStation 3 rises above while Wii goes MIA

On the heels of a "positive news recap," it makes it even sweeter to report that the PS3 has moved up on CNET's Weekly Hit List to take the #6 spot. This top 20 catalog is based on visitor interest, so it's great to see Sony's brainchild advance three spots from 9th place (it's "Still Warm" according to placement).

Interestingly enough, the Nintendo Wii has dropped off the chart entirely. Last seen at #18, the console had been on it for almost 60 weeks. At least we know what's on CNET visitor's minds.

[Via Punch Jump]

Entitle this! Sony names their own achievements

A wise man once said, "The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity." Having said that, a recent EGM Live podcast revealed what Sony could be calling their own version of game Achievements. Enter... the Entitlements!

At a point during the first third of the podcast, Dan Hsu spoke about how these Entitlements could be a key player in the next-gen cross-platform scene. Due to the infamously rising development costs, bringing the same game from one console to another is shaping up to be a very cost-effective alternative to exclusive titles (sad as it may be). So if you earn some Achievements on a certain ported game, chances are you will be able nab the same Entitlements on Sony's service just as easily.

The editors also made a very sharp point: wouldn't it be great to see something tangible awarded to those gamers with high Entitlements? Perhaps a free retro game to download, or an honorary icon/avatar for your profile?

Check it: WarHawk footage for the flyboys

Some of you might have seen this before, but for everyone else, here is a nice and quick video of what you may be able to expect from WarHawk. Sorry, no controller action for you to see, but just use your imagination!

Overall, the video is too short to critique, but the graphics don't seem that bad (given the quality of the footage and all). It'll be interesting to see how it changes between what we see here and the release date. I wonder if they will try and incorporate their new Eye Toy and the potential motion-sensing apparatus into it.

Detractors of the PS3 reach out, grab nothing

It shouldn't come as a surprise to know that with the lull in the biz during this time of the year (the hot, greasy summer), many people are floundering for something tangible to talk about. And nothing says "Urgent!" like an apocalyptic headline about Sony biting the big one.

Whether it's opinionated articles stabbing at the high cost or mole hill-stories becoming mountains over nothing, detractors of the PlayStation 3 would like nothing more than to stir up the pot and chip away at the foundation of Sony. For instance, on the heels of the SmackDown "cancellation" news, certain outlets would love to make people believe that all of the developers are just throwing in the towel and pulling support. In reality though, nothing was cancelled at all!

Like this write-up suggests, the summer is slow and Sony's next-gen console is an easy target for quick publicity (or just malicious take-downs). We're not advocating that anything critical which is said about the PS3 is unfounded, but use your head next time you read something about the console and if you feel like it's blown out of proportion, dismiss it as such.

Stranglehold: can you taste the cinema?

Anything that has John Woo's name on it should automatically come with a warning label. You're almost guaranteed to walk away with a bruised noggin... if you walk away at all. Enter Stranglehold: his brand new PS3-powered videogame sequel to none other than the oh-so-action-packed Hard Boiled.

IGN got the chance to chat it up with Jason Kaehler, who is the Art Director on the game. They talked about how much effort is going into just creating the detailed characters you will see in the title. For example, instead of relying on sketches and concept art alone, Midway actually had a casting call where hundreds of extras came in to have their likeness captured via photographs.

So next time you see a call for "Gritty, rugged, mean-looking bad asses," keep your options open because you could find yourself immortalized in the next interactive cinematic videogame. Check out the article for more (and some new screens too).

Let's play the patent game: more Wii controllers?

We thought we were past this whole "Sony copied Nintendo copied blah" stuff, but CVG via Tech-On points out that the new patent we blogged about earlier could possibly be perceived as another pass at Nintendo's Wii controller. You know, besides the other one.

If you take a close look at the odd picture that comes along with the patent, you will notice a pen-like apparatus used in conjunction with the camera. This is for image-mapping and converting movements into the 3D environment. But what exactly are we seeing here anyway? I don't think Super Scribbler 3D is in the cards, so could it be a controller not unlike the Nintendo Wii's?

Even more motion-sensing from the Sony camp could backfire. But not if they decide to bring us back our old controller in favor of this new motion-sensing one. Of course, Nintendo fans would have something to say about it if this pen-like device stepped up to replace the DualShake as we currently know it. And then again, maybe we're shooting in the dark here and it's nothing to give any attention to at all. Your thoughts?

The Intelligence Factor: analysts speak out... again

We know, we know. You've been seeing this regurgitated analyst stuff for months now, and you'd be hard pressed to find something that cites Sony in a good position at this point. Well, unfortunately, DFC Intelligence isn't ready to change that trend.

"Why should anyone even bother reading something from a bunch of researchers outside of the industry anyway," you ask? Actually, DFC has been covering the games biz ever since 1993. They've been around the block a few times, so even if you don't like what you're reading here (and if you're a Sony fan, you won't) it's still just food for thought.

Lots of research and 600 pages later, they've come out with a comprehensive forecast of the industry. What they say is that "two things are clear: 1) the high price of the PlayStation 3 is going to slow overall industry growth, especially for software and 2) if Sony does not change its current strategy for the PS3 the system will probably end up in third place in installed base. Microsoft and Nintendo have been handed that golden opportunity and both companies have a chance to make their systems the market leader."

What's this about software growth and Sony inhibiting it? On the contrary, with their free online platform, Sony could be poised to offer all kinds of commercial and independent (heck, even homebrew) games to a wider audience right out of the box. This could be just as much of a golden opportunity if they play their cards right. As for Blu-ray and the other software medium, we've already heard from one developer that he believes it could make all the difference. So take this analyst report as you will, the rest of us are waiting for November.

[Via Joystiq]

PlayStation 3 game prices revealed from Best Buy

That's right boys and girls, Best Buy Canada is touting bold game prices on their website. For the ripe price of $74.99, these jokers don't come cheap. But if you thought the next-generation of gaming was going to cost you anything less than an arm or a leg, you might as well dust off your cartridges.

Does this really come as a surprise though? With a console as steep as the PlayStation 3, it'd be naive to think the games would be bargain-priced. As much as I'd like to say "Keep your eyes out for an amended page" or be wary of the current costs, we may be kidding ourselves thinking that next-gen games are going to be anything cheaper than 75 bucks a pop.

Start your engines: PS3's are in production

According to certain reports, Asustek Computer has started shipping PlayStation 3's back to Sony in small numbers as the manufacturing process is clearly underway. Two hundred thousand component sets were shipped to Asus in June and over one million are planned for September and October.

This means the hardware has finally been ironed out and that they're ready to get things started. Higher volumes are expected in the coming months, so it looks like their projected 2 million unit launch availability will happen after all. However, those units are going to be stretched thin over many a region, and if demand spikes then we could see a shortage before the end. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

PlayStation 3 shows up the Wii in Japan, according to...

Polls and surveys, in their ever-accurate representation of market share, can at least show how certain audiences are reacting to what companies are offering. Take this latest chart for example. Amazon of Japan has some numbers which show the next-gen Sony console climbing past the Nintendo Wii in popularity. To be specific, we're talking about the 60GB version as the 20GB PS3 was the least popular.

Yes, this does in fact contradict a Famitsu poll that showed quite the opposite (with the Wii taking 73% and the PS3 pulling out 17%). What readers need to understand is that this is coming from Amazon's vantage point and doesn't take into consideration the opinions of retailers or developers. It's a relative poll showing some positive feedback, which is always welcome, but it's not definitive (and as Sony fanboys, we know about over-reacting and how to avoid it).

In the end, this does show some good news for Amazon of Japan though. However we're still waiting on those scientifically proven surveys to come out (should be any minute now...).

[Via Joystiq]

The Darkness Lead Designer favors Blu-ray scored some Question and Answer time with the Swedish studs at Starbreeze Studios. Having ironed out The Chronicles of Riddick among other titles, they're now tackling The Darkness (based on the comic) for PlayStation 3.

A notable quote from the interview came from when Lead Designer Jens Andersson spoke on his personal experience with developing for the PS3 and the new Blu-ray medium: "Personally, I think Blu-Ray is going to be the thing that will make most difference. Since the start of the development we've been discussing whether or not we will fit the game onto one DVD, and that is not counting all the bonus materials we want to cram onto the disc."

So having all that extra space is showing some merit already. There are some in-house readers who would agree with that, based on our previous Blu-ray poll. Now it's just a matter of time before we see the advantages for ourselves.

Sony files for the spiffy new Eye Toy

Remember that neat little "secret component" everyone was talking about last month in regards to some extra hardware? You know... the next-gen Eye Toy? Well here's the return of it as Sony has filed big number 2006-178948, which is the patent for a new camera that "will recognize every move and position of an object and will translate these actions accordingly to an object inside a game." What used to take multiple cameras now takes one, thanks to a patented mapping technique.

It's like motion capture for the average Joe. But what ever happened to that Israeli company called Prime Sense? Weren't they supposed to come into the scene with their own interactive device which sounds a lot like this one? Well at any rate, Sony is on the move to get this camera inked in their name. Let's hope they don't step on any toes with this, because they haven't had the best of luck in the patent area lately.

Could the camera also have videoconferencing features added into it as well? Thanks to Avistar and company (and the magic of licensing), this new Eye Toy could be your next long-distance video phone. Yet another testament to Sony's desire to bring the PlayStation brand out of "For gamers only" territory and into a wider audience.

[Thanks, Fan]

The results are in: You embrace Blu-ray! (Some of you)

We decided it was time to take the Blu-ray inquiry out of limbo and officially close the poll. As you can see, over 1,400 readers had something to say about it. So, what do you think about Blu-ray? More than half of you embrace the strategic move by Sony to include the next-generation format in the new console. This speaks a lot to the kind of people we have interested in the system: those who opted for the first choice are willing to take the price spike for the new medium.

On the other end, over 30% said they should have the right to decide for themselves. Two versions of the console would cut the cost considerably, but leave Sony more vulnerable to HD-DVD by not smuggling Blu-ray in with every PS3.

At any rate, thanks for voting! And if you harbor a burning desire to know what the community here thinks and have an interesting question to ask the audience, let us know.

Multi-platform title Theseis is "dropped" for PS3

It's unfortunate that this bit of news is circulating with so little information included, but word has it that Track7 has "cancelled" their multi-platform game Theseis. The culprit? High development costs: "If Sony were to offer us assistance in producing a PS3 version we would be more than happy to oblige!" This coming from inside the company.

Heading to Xbox 360 and PC, this title was also popularized as a PlayStation 3 game. However, they were quick to nip this in the bud with an announcement on their website: "Track7Games would like to clarify that we never cancelled something that did not exist in the first place. We plan to develop "Theseis" for PC and Xbox360 in the near future. As for the PS3, we simply made a strategic decision to not move ahead because we deemed it not probable at this time."

So there you have it: Theseis was not "cancelled" so much as it was just dropped in the interests of business. Either way, Sony fans are still holding out for some dedicated third-party support.

The future-proof risk takers talk total potential

Here's some more quote cud to chew on, this time from CEO Howard Stringer. The big boss has admitted that they're taking a pretty big gamble with the price of the new console, but if the full potential is realized then the console will essentially be "future-proof" while kickin' around for years to come.

The "total potential" is the key point to that issue. The only way we're going to see the full potential lived up in the console is if third-party developers can push the hardware as far as they can (and how about some more innovation while we're at it?). Of course the more complicated the system becomes, the harder that's going to be. But once that happens, fans might be echoing his sentiments of the competition: "I don't think anyone will be worried about Nintendo or Xbox's cheaper price." We'll see!

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