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Andrew Yoon
New York, NY -

After a fairly lengthy stint as a Community Manager, maintaining websites for Konami, Square, Namco, and others, I became absorbed by the Joystiq crew, and work blog full-time. As the lead PlayStation writer, you'll see my work prominently on PSP and PS3 Fanboy, although I contribute to all the other Joystiq sites as well. As a big anime fan, you'll notice that I'm also the managing video game critic at Anime News Network.

  • Noteworthy games: Ikaruga (DC), Pokemon (GB), Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64), Half-Life 2 (PC), Metal Gear Solid (PS), God of War II (PS2), Resident Evil 4 (GC), Mario Kart: Super Circuit (GBA), Otogi (XB), Chrono Trigger (SNES), Gitaroo-Man Lives! (PSP), Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! (DS), Gears of War (360), Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii), Super Stardust HD (PS3)
  • Currently playing/reviewing:
    Hot Shots Golf 5 (PS3), Persona 3 (PS2), Jeanne d'Arc (PSP), Metroid Prime 3 (Wii), Bioshock (360)
EMAIL: andrew @ joystiq .com

Grand Theft Auto IV features 16 player multiplayer

The PlayStation Holiday event in Canada featured a number of third party publishers, such as Rockstar. Although they were focused primarily on Manhunt 2, inquiring members of the press had to find out something new about Grand Theft Auto IV. Well, it appears that Gaming Excellence succeeded. The development team is considering having an open world from the very start of the game, breaking the long-running tradition of restricting player's freedom at first. Considering how massive the world of GTA IV will be, would that immediate openness become too daunting?

More excitingly, however, is the addition of 16 player online multiplayer. Fans of the PSP Grand Theft Auto games know that GTA multiplayer can be quite fun, due to its variety of weapons and vehicles. More than simple deathmatch is planned, and that has us quite excited.

[Via Digg]

40GB appears in Target, scans for $399

Take this as even further confirmation that the 40GB PS3 is coming. Scheduled to be in stock on 10/28, the new PS3 is ringing up at a nice $399.99. Add a Spider-man 3 Blu-ray disc, remove PS2 support, and you have one of the least surprising price drops ever. Sony won't "officially" announce this yet, of course -- there's just too many 60GB systems lying around.

[Via Joystiq]

PS3 sales surge 178 percent in the UK

And the price drop is the cause. Since releasing the 40GB model and reducing the price of the 60GB one, sales have skyrocketed, besting even the Xbox 360. However, the PS3 was unable to trounce upon the sales leaders, Wii and DS.

With the recent surge in popularity of the PS3, games like Resistance have been climbing up the all formats chart. Insomniac's year-old FPS is now the eight best selling game in the territory.

[Thanks, Boris!]

Rewind to 2006, when PS3 had in-game XMB (seriously)

Remember early 2006? The PS3 was still in development, and people were curious about all the new things PS3 would bring to the gaming community. People were excited for the XMB navigation system, where they'd have access to all the features of the PS3 in one easy-to-understand menu.

Fast forward a few months and now we see restless fans waiting for in-game XMB access. People want to access the XMB's features without having to quit a game -- but wait! We're watching this IGN video from 2006 ... and it clearly shows the XMB being accessed! (Watch at around 2:30 in the video.)

What happened Sony? In-game XMB was the plan all along, but nearly a year after the console's launch, why is this feature still missing?

[Via PlayStation Boards]

Pachter: SCEA reluctant to announce 40GB due to 60GB supply

Signs are pointing to a November 2nd launch of the price (and feature) reduced 40GB PS3. However, where is the buzz? Why is there no official confirmation from SCEA? "These rolling announcements suggest to me that Sony has an inventory control problem, with too many unsold 60GB units out there, and they don't want to have to cut the price to clear them," Wedbush Morgan securities analyst Michael Pachter told

Certainly, it appears that 60GB machines are still in ample supply in spite of Sony's proclamation that the system is no longer being manufactured. Are the systems selling at an even slower rate than anticipated? Seemingly. However, what will happen when November 2nd rolls along, and 60GB systems are still in stock? Sony will have to "accept reality and bundle [the 60GB with] a game and an extra controller for USD 499.99, giving consumers some value for their money." However, in spite of a price drop, it appears that Pachter is not confident that a price drop will significantly increase sales for Sony's system. What price must the PS3 reach for it to appeal to the masses?

PS3 ways to appreciate the environment: Afrika, Aquavita, Planet Earth

The incredible power of PS3 can be used to bring some of Earth's most beautiful environments and creatures to your home. For example, the mysterious upcoming title Afrika looks to be quite the visual feast (HD trailer, after the cut). We don't know much about the game, or how it plays. However, we know the game will help us learn more about this unique environment. With it, we may be able to understand even more why so many people are working to try and save this ecosystem, and the animals in it.

We know almost nothing about the upcoming Aquavita as well -- but we do know this much: it's going to be an Eye-enabled title. With the camera, the PS3 can become a virtual aquarium. Once again, it looks stunning, almost real. But it's not meant to be a replacement for the real thing. Once again, this environment faces real threats on a daily basis, and it's up to activist organizations to help protect the various aquatic ecosystems.

As beautiful as both Afrika and Aquavita are shaping up to be, let's hope it serves as a reminder as to how precious our Earth is. A simple screening of Planet Earth on Blu-ray will turn anyone into an environmentalist. Yeah, the Earth looks great in 1080p -- but imagine how good it looks in real life. PS3 owners have tons of ways of appreciating the environment -- but will they take action to help protect it?

Gallery: Afrika

Gallery: Aquavita

Continue reading PS3 ways to appreciate the environment: Afrika, Aquavita, Planet Earth

40GB PS3 model with Spider-man found at Sony store

Click for high-res image.

Just like before, the signs are becoming clear: the 40GB PS3 is making its way to America ... soon. Model 98006, or "PS3 40GB Spider-," can be found in the computer databases of Sony's store.Supposedly the system will be in stock on October 28th and will be on sale on November 2nd. We think everyone can make a pretty safe guess as to what movie will be bundled with the system based on the description. The system will retail for $400, as predicted by the internet community. We'll have to wait for Sony to provide confirmation -- which we don't think is too far away at this point.

[Thanks, Andrew H.!]

PS Fanboy Week in Review: 10/8 - 10/14

So, who won our week-long Star Wars Battlefront PSP giveaway? Well, here's the list of winners so far: Jonah P. from Joystiq, Silver R. from PS3 Fanboy, Joe from PSP Fanboy, and drinkdrink from PS3 Fanboy. These winners have already been contacted -- congrats to them! Now, check out some of this week's updates on PSF. This week, we're proud to feature four reviews, most of them great, one of them hilariously bad.

  • Everyday Shooter (PS3)
    "Everyday Shooter offers an unparalleled amount of depth for a downloadable title."
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)
    "Even with the disappointing slowdown, this game is a must-buy."
  • Folklore (PS3)
    "Folklore remains one of the more compelling experiences to be found on PS3."
  • Go! Sports Ski (PS3)
    "You get what you pay for. Go! Sports Ski is three dollars for a reason."
PS3 Headlines
PSP Headlines
  • Sony starts extensive PSP campaign on adult swim
    The Venture Brothers brought to you by ... PSP.
  • New Bubble Bobble sequel coming to PSP
    Because the world needed more Rainbow Islands.
  • Vagrant Story a 'natural' choice for next PSP makeover
    Square hints at next PSP remake.
PS3 Videos
PSP Videos
  • For a Hero, You're Pretty Impudent: the trailer
    Play as the bad guy and kill heroes in this new PSP RPG.
  • Behind the scenes of Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
    When did Gabe Logan become such a badass?
  • Sleek new MGS:PO+ trailer
    More Metal Gear love for the handheld.

Really long PS3 ad highlights system features through sketches

We're fond of this new "This is Living" promo video for PS3. It highlights all of the system's features in some pretty clever ways. With an inspired sketchbook look, the PS3 comes across as something artistic. Our favorite part has to be the segment where Remote Play is demonstrated. The PSP talks to the PS3, and they're sent further away from each other. Even with an ocean between the two, they're still able to talk to each other. It's sort of romantic.

Hopefully, this ad will be chopped into bite-sized bits for television use. The aesthetic is great, and certainly does a great job at explaining the many things PS3 can do.

[Via Digg]

A look at Jon Mak's life

Jon Mak is the man that single-handedly made the new PSN game, Everyday Shooter. The game took top honors at GDC's Independent Games Festival, and Sony immediately signed a deal with the one-man Queasy Games. A recent update shows some of the crazy thoughts from the mind of this burgeoning games developer. See his not-1080p TV (it's 12", oh no!), and his aversion to the numbers 4 and 5. In fact, he dislikes them so much, they''re not in a single line of code for the game! Certainly sounds impressive, no?

Stay tuned for our full review of Everyday Shooter.

Brand new Disgaea 3 trailer

SRPG fans have their faces contort in strange ways when they hear Disgaea. Some say this weird anomaly is called ... a smile?

This brand new trailer for this PS3 exclusive is a bit blurry, but shows some of the biggest special effects this "next gen" sequel features. It's weird seeing such small sprites being rendered on a system as powerful as the PS3 -- let's hope Nippon Ichi puts it to great use.

Uncharted box art and screenshots will make you say 'wow'

Click for high-res image.

Isn't that some fine box art? Nathan Drake looks like a capable gunman, shotgun casually resting on his shoulder. The green of the jungle environment and the skull juxtaposed on it give it an alluring sense of adventure. This is quite compelling box art -- some of the best we've seen on PS3.

But that's not the only thing that looks good. New screenshots showcase Naughty Dog's incredible technology, taking full advantage of what the PS3 has to offer. It's undeniable: the game looks stunning, at least from a visual perspective. It won't be too long until gamers everywhere can try our Drake's first adventure.

Gallery: Uncharted

Assassin's Creed facing problems with DVD, PS3 memory

Ubisoft's big game of the year, Assassin's Creed is running to problems on both Xbox 360 and PS3. On Xbox 360, the developers are noting that the size of a traditional DVD is much too limiting for the ambitious action game. Speaking to Pro-G, the team reveals that "right now we have a big challenge on the 360 to make it fit on a DVD, to put five languages, to put all the data on eight gigs. On the Blu-ray side we're really good."

However, developing on the PS3 isn't all roses and candy. The team is struggling for a completely different reason on PS3. "How we handle memory is really different between the two machines and we're struggling right now on the PS3." Thankfully, with a little help from Sony, the team is confident that "the PS3 version is as good as the 360." In a time where developers are making lazy ports to PS3, it's great to hear that such a huge title as Assassin's Creed is getting the treatment it deserves on our system. Oh, and it actually comes out on the same day as the 360 version as well. That's the way we like it.

Stop-motion animation with EyeCreate

We're expecting some pretty good stop motion animation to hit the web when the PlayStation Eye and Eye Create are released by Sony. Eye Create is a free application, downloadable on the PSN, that allows users to edit their captured videos directly on the PS3. A new post on the focuses on stop-motion animation, where a series of still images can be strung together to create the illusion of movement. This is similar to PSP's Go!Cam and Go!Edit program (downloadable from PSP Fanboy). PSP fans took the liberty of create their own pieces of animation, and we expect a similar following from PS3 fans.

PS3 Fanboy review: Folklore

Of all of Sony's titles this year, Folklore may have received the least attention from the gaming community. That's a shame, considering it's one of the most original and fascinating games of the year. The team at Game Republic has crafted a game filled with ephemeral beauty, mystery and intrigue. Yes, it has its share of flaws. However, the thought-provoking story, unique combat system and fantastic art style combine for an experience that no PS3 owner should miss.

The game's protagonist, Ellen, finds herself in the town of Doolin to meet her long-lost mother. However, all she sees is her mother, dead, for a few seconds before her lifeless body is seemingly spirited away. Keats, an investigative reporter of the paranormal, joins Ellen in Doolin, and finds his destiny is closely tied with Ellen's. Unfortunately, the game's opening moments seem to do everything possible to dissuade players from pressing onward. The murder of Ellen's mom is certainly intriguing, but the decidedly drab palette of Doolin and uninspired music make the game feel lifeless. Navigating the town at first feels like a chore, and the confusing pace of the comic book-esque cinematics do little to help invigorate the player. But, the Netherworld beckons, and it's there that the game starts showing off its true potential.

Ellen (and Keats) can both see the dead and journey into the Netherworld. When the player first steps into the Faery Realm, they're greeted by a lush, vivid dream-like world that stands in stark contrast to Doolin. Ironically, the world of the dead is far more alive. Here, players will utilize Folklore's unique combat system.

Gallery: Folklore

Continue reading PS3 Fanboy review: Folklore

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