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The price ceiling for PS3 games is under construction

Nothing in life is free and if 'Fun' had a price, then recent videogames are out to bankrupt you. I mean what with the cheaper medium of CDs and all, who can blame them for charging upwards of 60 bucks for a single game? Okay, sarcasm aside, there's probably a small army of people out there who are ready to hear something official about the pricing of the PlayStation 3's titles.

Our favorite talking bobble head Kaz Hirai is at the presses again spreading the gospel. This time he's finally said something about the game pricing of the next-gen console. "I think it would be a bit of a stretch to think that we could suddenly turn around and say 'PS3 games now $99.99,'" he said to PSM. "So, if it becomes a bit higher than fifty-nine bucks don't ding me, but, again, as I said, I don't expect it to be a hundred bucks."

So it's a "stretch", but we shouldn't expect a three-figure price point for those nifty new Blu-ray games... yet. Actually when you get down to it, what he's saying is that the titles won't be less than $59 or more than $100, while keeping their distance from the latter. They've got such an uphill battle with just the price of the console that I really don't think Sony would have the cojones to push the games to, say, $69.99 or more. Then again, Sony likes to surprise us. But seriously, how much are YOU willing to pay for next-gen games?

With our powers combined... Blu-ray + HD-DVD [UPDATED]

Some want it, others don't. Either way, Sony is going to get Blu-ray into your home one way or another. That's their plan anyway, thanks to the PlayStation 3. Like we've said before, it's not just about the games this time and Sony is in it for the long haul.

That's what makes this little bit of information so intriguing. What would happen if a Blu-ray partner like Samsung, who is technically not supposed to mess with HD-DVD, decides to foster a partnership with Toshiba in an attempt to make a hybrid player? Everyone is talking format wars with HD-DVD and Blu-ray going head-to-head. But what happens when you have a machine that can play both?

Having a dual-player would essentially take the "war" out of the formats. And with Sony trying to smuggle their medium into homes via the next-gen PlayStation, how is this move going to affect their strategy? It gets even more interesting with talks about making an HD-DVD/Blu-ray hybrid disc to go along with it. The kicker is this: Sony knows the PS3 is a good deal, as a Blu-ray platform, as they're trying to appeal to non-gamers with it as well. But would non-gamers still want to invest if they can have their cake and eat it too with a hybrid machine that can play both formats?

[UPDATE: Well, looks like you can cut through this rumor like a knife through warm butter. Check this out for the skinny on the mess. So all of the above is more of a hypothetical scenario. Yeah, that's it-]

New screenshots for Virtua Fighter 5

Here are some images to check out from Sega's famous brawler which is due out next year. The aesthetics are shaping up to that next-gen feel, especially with the environments. Apparently gamers will be able to deck these characters out in different clothes and accessories purchased from an in-game shop. Makes you wonder if they plan on adding any support for micro-transactions over the internet as well.

Reminder: Vote on Blu-ray and the PS3!

Here's a friendly reminder to check out the poll asking "What do you think about the PlayStation 3 and Blu-ray?" We have had over a thousand people cast their thoughts. Can you guess what the popular choice is?

The results may surprise you (or at least a certain audience). Visit the link to see the results up to this point and vote if you haven't already done so. We'll be closing the poll at the end of this week, so hop to it. Another reminder: it's not quite scientifically indicative yet... but we're working on it.

The truth will set you free: old vibes and new tech?

The cost of Sony and Immersion force feedback litigation... $90 million.
One Pelican PlayStation controller bought off eBay... $5.
Proving that the motion-sensing technology and rumble feature worked together ten years ago... priceless.

This is a video that shows off a decade-old controller that worked with not only PlayStation games like WarHawk back in the day, but also PS2 games like Gran Tourismo. You can thank the independent source of PSM for the find, though the video is admittedly awkward.

What does this prove? Obviously vibration feedback and motion-sensing in a controller is not only possible, but it's already been done! So why isn't Sony jumping on this already? Who knows... But it's looking more and more like the bad vibes between Immersion and their patented rumble feature could be keeping Sony from implementing it. With TouchSense claiming to fix it all, and proof that it's been done before, what else could it be?

[Thanks boots!]

New My SingStar screens: it's karaoke for PS3!

Some people just like to hear their own voice. If you're the next aspiring American Idol, you may find this worth checking out. Last week some new My SingStar images surfaced showing off the next-gen karaoke game for PlayStation 3. It gives off a quirky vibe to those who may not be keen on this type of game, but we could be seeing some really sweet applications thanks to the PS3 hardware.

With secret weapons emerging, hardware of the like could provide a fresh angle on a song-driven game like this. Though you can only push an EyeToy or camera so far for a karaoke title. However there's always the possibility of downloading all kinds of new songs over their network platform too. And what about the chance of downloading user-created content as well? Maybe that's just wishful thinking, but hey... it could happen!

Assassin's Creed gets exclusive... or does it?

We've just about heard everyone's opinion regarding the exclusivity of Assassin's Creed and the PS3. Sony fans want this thing to be theirs alone, but popular guesses indicate something different.

Officially, the title "is coming to the PS3. No other announcements have been made." But Luke Smith from 1UP treats it like the elephant in the room: "Assassin's Creed is coming to the Xbox 360. It's one of those secrets no one is supposed to know about ... yet everyone does."

He proposes the possibility of Sony just paying for it to be announced for the new console, allowing them to deliberate later on its exclusivity. That would mean they still have the option to keep it for themselves. Will Sony cough up the cash to keep it out of the Microsoft camp? We'll have to wait and see, because it looks like they may lose a key "exclusive" title if they don't. However, they haven't exactly been willing to pay for the betterment of things lately.

[Via Joystiq]

The secret component to the PS3 hardware

Some of you may recall from last year or around E3 2005 that a rumor was circulating stating that Sony was going to implement a motion-sensing feature similar to the technology seen in Minority Report. The idea was to be able to manipulate on-screen topography with nothing but your own movements and environment; no goofy peripherals needed.

Well according to a "very reliable source," this futuristic hardware will be coming from a stealthy Israeli company called Prime Sense. So what the heck does their component do anyway? "Prime Sense's interactive device can see, track and react to user movements outside the computer, all without change of environment or wearable equipment for the end user."

Think EyeToy on steroids. This description follows closely to a tech demo that Sony showed off at an event last year in LA. But if this technology is so awesome, who knows why Sony didn't make a bigger deal out of it this year. The source also claims that the device will be available on launch day for the PS3, and ready for PC users in the following months. It would be nice to hear more about this from Sony to get a better picture, but for now just think about all the crazy game applications this could provide and file it under "rumors."

[Thanks, Anthony B]

Could 360 GTA4 hurt Sony? He said, she said...

Let the mud throwing commence! You've heard it from the horse's mouth: Jack Tretton of Sony doesn't "think the battle would be any different with or without Grand Theft Auto ... I don't think [losing GTA exclusivity] hurts us. ... I really don't."

Okay, so Sony ain't scared. But let's get real: it isn't like GTA4 won't be coming to their own console after all. Sure, having exclusivity means a lot. Many of you spoke up with concerns just over the possibility of Assassin's Creed being non-exclusive. But this is Grand Theft Auto and it's been all over the place. Would this being cross-platform really hurt anyone?

I guess we'll have to wait and see. The mud slinging continues, however, with a priceless quote from Tretton on the PS3 cost: "Well, I guess if price is the only consideration, then we've won the war, because we've got a $129 PlayStation 2 that outsells the Xbox 360 today."

The juicy Ridge Racer 7 trailer

We know how much you love actual game coverage, even if its a hit-and-run quickie. But all jokes aside (Riiidge Raaacer!) here's a short but sweet teaser of the 7th installment to the franchise.

There's no official word yet on a release date, but the racing series has always accompanied a PlayStation launch since 1994. Given the history, it wouldn't be a surprise to see this on shelves come November. When I said this was short, I wasn't kidding: it only clocks in at a little over a minute.

Rumor control: First look at GTA4 screenshot

So you've probably seen the new 'mace-toting-chick' screenshot of GTA4 that everyone's talking about. No one ever really tipped us off as to which system it was running on, and the graphics don't really convey much either. Well Eurogamer got the skinny and here it is: the image is a fake. Hopefully you don't need a defibrillator after hearing this. They say, "Rockstar told us this afternoon. It really is a hoax."

It's pretty unlikely that they're just trying cover it up too. The "disgruntled Rockstar Games employee" submission should have tipped off everyone to begin with. Here's until the next fake screenshot surfaces.

Sony's standalone Blu-ray player stumbles yet again

The hits just keep on comin' for poor Sony. Their flagship Blu-ray player, the BDP-S1, has been pushed back again, this time all the way to October 25th. What was once slated to release last month will now see a five month delay! The article suggests that maybe they're trying to sync it up with the launch of the PlayStation 3. Who knows?

One thing is for sure: Sony loves to show up at the party fashionably late. With HD-DVD players having gone on sale this month, it won't be until some four months later that they finally get Blu-ray into the scene. This begs the inquiry: can Sony continue playing the "late" game and still keep up with the pace? People have been asking that of the PlayStation 3, now of Blu-ray itself. It's about time for a fourth-quarter comeback...

[Thanks, Paul]

New Virtua Tennis 3 screens

The post about Sega's trailer for Virtua Tennis 3 didn't quite garner the response you'd expect from such an esteemed franchise. Okay, so maybe there's something a little funny about those character models, but at least you can see their veins (according to creative director Matt Woodley). That's always a good sign, right?

Anyway, here are some more screenshots to analyze. There is still something to be said for the consistent gameplay though, seeing as how character aesthetics or veins won't win match points. Sega can serve up an ace with this one for loyal fans, but detractors of the system may find something to criticize.

Consume all things Sony at the PlayStation Center

So what's black, white and geeky all over? The new Barcelona PlayStation Center in Spain. Haven't heard of it? Well basically it's like a really big biased EB Games or some other retail store. Except this place is even better!

Think about walking into a room with 42 inch wall-mounted TVs for your playing pleasure of all the latest games. With accessories bulging out the door and special edition products available, this place makes for a heaven-on-earth for Sony fans. What really takes the cake, however, is the locked room in the upper floor which is made to showcase the PlayStation 3 a week before the release.

We'd like some more of these places please.

Assassin's Creed news, European launch date

Here's a quick update on Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed coming out of Official PlayStation Magazine. If you haven't been following this promising title too closely, it's going to be an open-ended game with some wide environments that gamers will be able to roam around in. You play as Altair the assassin who gets things done with his wrist blade and a slew of other weapons.

According to OPM, multiplayer co-op in this free-roaming world will be available to gamers, as well as downloadable content. Due to its open-ended nature, side quests will also play a major role, so perhaps we'll see some downloadable missions? We'd bet on it. And Europeans will be happy to hear that word has it Assassin's Creed will be landing over there in early 2007 (possibly on Xbox 360 too).

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