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PS3 downscales games if your TV lacks 720p?

Initially, this seems completely contradictory to the answer IGN gave the other day. If your TV is only 1080i capable (I actually think my big screen is just that, yet... we were able to get some HD 360 games going on it), expect a downgrade to low-res gaming sadness. 480p is going to be your cap, if there's no 720p support. Some of the games guilty of such a crime are, including but not limited to, Resistance: Fall of Man, NHL 2K7, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, and Need for Speed Carbon.

Dropping them down to 480p instead of up to 1080i really, really, really sucks and it occured with both HDMI and component cable setups. IGN gives you a briefing on what these resolutions mean in pretty easy to understand terms and promise to update once they get a return call from Sony. We'll stay on top of it, too. Hopefully this will be an easy patch to fix and not a permanent curse.

No USB coming with the SIXAXIS... dammit Sony!

Okay, this is incredibly stupid. We'll make this quick, just like a bullet to the head. In an incredibly shocking move, Sony has decided to not include a USB cable with the retail SIXAXIS controllers. You need the damn cable to charge the controller's battery or it's useless. However, the retail PS3 has a USB cable in the box, so you've got one. If you've more than one SIXAXIS, you can either trade off controllers as one charges and the other gets used or go buy yet another peripheral that should be included with the controller it's to be used with. Lame. Really lame. But if you've got to get that peripheral sales number rise, this is one way to do it. A dirty, dirty way. To make this information a little more manageable, let's post another picture of Assassin Creed producer, Jade Raymond. There. That's a little better.

eBay blocks users from selling the PS3, for realz

Tough luck! Let's quickly breeze over the new rule for eBay in the UK -- British eBayers can't sell the PS3 until February of 2007 and can only offer one PS3 that was purchased within the UK. All right, now let's go over the new US rules. First, you've had to have taken part in 50 auctions (I've been on it for four years now, and only been in about 20). You need at least 98% feedback. Only then can you try to sell your PS3/preorder. You must guarantee a 30-day dispatch, provide a photo of the pre-order receipt, and have the item listed as an auction, not a "Buy it Now".

Why? eBay's Cathy England gives her explanation: "a high number of well-intentioned sellers [were] unable to meet obligations due to restricted supply" in past console launches and she'd like to avoid a repeat situation. This is also a quote from the original article -- it bears no changing by us. "Reports are also circulating that Japanese gamers are driving up the price on PS3 orders in the Far East in order to disrupt the practices of sellers who queued up to buy a console they specifically intended to resell." So... be careful, eBayers. There may be a coalition of people growing to screw you out of your genius plan. But probably not.

Waiting for the PS3? Wear kevlar, or you'll get shot

Technically, you'd still be shot regardless whether or not you've got a kevlar vest on, but I digress. This isn't really news, just something very, very disturbing. Recently, there was a drive-by shooting at a Best Buy, injuring four people waiting in line for a Playstation 3. Collect yourselves, I know you want to laugh, but bear with us.

The bullets were merely BB's, but those things still hurt. One of the injuries fell upon Elizabeth Dorsett, a news reporter who was interviewing someone at the time. Now, local police are standing in line too. Not to get a PS3, but to protect the poor individuals waiting in line. If the console war turns into some kind of gang war, I want out. I'll just keep playing every system I currently own, cursing those dastardly kids who shoot each other for wanting different things. Silly news, silly, silly news.

David Braben hugs, loves the PS3... not literally

"It's my love-box, Hershel, and her name is Sony." High five? Anyone? Anyone? Classic Family Guy, apparently. Anyway, David Braben (who at a distance looks a lot like the Michael Bluth character from Arrested Development), creator of classics like Zarch and Virus (haven't played them, honestly) and the PS2's Thrillville says that Sony has gotten some key decisions absolutely right. Okay, I'll feed you baby birds. He thinks that "at the moment there's a fashion to knock Sony and I think it's a big mistake. The fact that they have succeeded very well twice, they're one of the few companies to have gone outside core gamers. Don't write them off." Ooh, bold words. He follows this up with a criticism of the Dreamcast, saying that the press and industry killed that system before it could get off the ground. So, then, is the same thing happening to the PS3? I wonder...

Braben also agrees with Krazy Ken Kutaragi's point of view on the PS3 -- web browser, keyboard support, etc: "
When you put it together with the fact that it supports a keyboard and things like that, people may start to regard it more as a cheap PC than an expensive console. Or a new thing that's somewhere in between." Maybe, maybe not. Setting aside all fanboyisms or flaming walls of flaming flames, is it not a PC? How is it not? It is -- just as they say. But most people, especially the hardcore gamer, will want it for the games first, browser a distant... not first. As a final note, Braben also likes Blu-ray, saying people are writing it off too early. What do you think? Is Braben onto something with the Dreamcast example? Will the media and inexplicable consumer hatred destroy the PS3 before it can show you what it can do?

[edit: Family Guy, not Simpsons. I sweat there was a similar Simpsons joke with Cletus. Alas.]

Surprise! Enter Grimsquad, a new squad-based shooter

Wow, this one came out of left-field. Very cool screenshots. Coming to you by the fellows behind Killzone: Liberation, Guerrilla Games, enter Grimsquad, a new squad-based shooter taking the over-the-shoulder perspective growing more and more popular. Apparently, "this game boasts tons of polygons and over the edge particle effects utilizing the processing power of Play Station 3. The character's armor is divided into 15 parts which gets destroyed when damaged." The destroyed part is okay, but there better be more than "shiny armor" and then "destroyed armor"... you know what I mean?

You control a four-man squad and face off against, you guessed it, an alien threat. Oh, and you can have 4-player co-op if you'd like, or go online in a 24 player bout. What else is surprising the the completion ratio of this game -- it's about 40% done. An expected release area is the first quarter of 2007, but since Killzone 2 was so harshly criticized by gamers, Guerrilla Games is remaining tight-lipped about this game.

Europe still go for launch in March, says Sony

Phil Harrison didn't want to etch it into stone, but Sony sure as heck wants people to know they fully intend to keep to their previous statement. So, no worries, European gamers! You'll most assuredly receive your PS3 in March (which is increasingly when the rest of us seem to want it... work out the last minute kinks, get more games, whatever) of 2007. That's a good thing to discuss... if we could have a choice, gamers o' the world, would we rather wait until March to get a huge, multimillion unit launch with some more kick-ass titles? Or have we already waited enough and it's go-time? Let's assume you can keep your preorders and whatnot. And... discuss.

Taiwan -- already sold out of PS3's

According to the Taipei office of SCEH (Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong), the initial shipment quota of the PS3 to Taiwan is completely, utterly, fully, 100% booked. The actual number of allocated units wasn't revealed, but according to the office, if you didn't throw down an advanced order, you're probably not going to be able to get your grubby hands on the insanely easy-to-dirty PS3.

Of course, there have been a couple of imports into Taiwan via "unofficial channels" with prices far higher than normal. Is anyone surprised? Doubt it. Quoth the sources: "The 60GB model (CHCEA07) imported by unofficial means is currently available at some non-designated stores at prices ranging from NT$36,000 to NT$48,000 (US$1,100-1,468), compared to SCEH's suggested retail price of NT$17,980." Wow! But still, not too surprising. Geez, Sony, it's almost like this was your plan all along. Nah, let's not give you too much credit. But soon you've got to beef up the supply! Please?

Is Wal*Mart sold out of the PS3 online bundle?

Quite a few of you have sent this in -- the Wal*Mart PS3 bundle. For a meager price of $1,421.98, you can get your hands on a brand new PS3, an extra SIXAXIS, memory card adaptor, your choice of 12 PS3 launch titles, and 2 Blu-ray movies of your choice. Think that's utterly ridiculous? Apparently not. Rumors are that the bundle has sold out -- thus the out of stock warning.

But... has it sold out? One could argue that they will say they have none in stock until, well, they're allowed to sell the system. If that is the case, could this price be far too much for any mortal to stomach? Also to question: how many of the PS3's will they be selling in this bundle? All of them? Maybe just the 60GB model? That would be awful. There's not really much more to say about this, so we'll leave further discussion in your hands -- too expensive? Sold out? Not sold out? Only 60GB model? Geez, let's just go camp out at Wal*Mart. Actually, I'll do you one better. I'm going to call the store near me and see what's going on. I'll let you all know what I find out later today.

[thanks to all those who sent this in!]

Phil Harrison says: PS3 will be well-rounded (and very shiny)

The new, semi-official Sony site Three Speech has lifted up some comments from Sony's Phil Harrison regarding the PS3 and its launch title library -- and B3YOND, er, beyond. What'd Phil say? In response to a question asking about which title Sony is relying on to sell the PS3, he said "a lot of people talked about the 'killer app' and actually it's the killer catalogue you want. It's not about having a single title like a Mario or a Sonic on which you rest the entire platform personality on. It's about having a wide catalogue that satisfies a number of different consumer tastes and styles." Yes, it so is.

When asked about what changes the PS3 will spark in the gaming industry (PSX, sorry, PSOne brought 3-D, PS2 brought free-roaming games like GTAIII), Phil actually didn't go the graphics route -- instead, he cited artificial intelligence and physics as well as the whole push to this 1080p HD thing.

Asking first about the best use of the SIXAXIS so far and then if rumble is gone forever, Phil didn't cite a "best use" for the SIXAXIS, but said what he liked. As far as rumble is concerned, it's probably gone. Sorry, mates, let's leave that to a third-party mod and software developer support.

Interestingly, Phil Harrison said that Sony is working on a way for you to record your own gameplay footage, save it to the hard drive, then upload it onto the web. That's pretty cool, especially if you really like to show off your madd skillz.

Firmware updates? Will they be few and far between or a weekly plague like Windows updates (sorry, but I'm sick of that little icon popping up each time I boot up)? Phil says they are focusing on the day one update and will probably have another one in time for the European launch.

There are a couple more questions that yield surprising and interesting answers, but you'll have to check out Three Speech for yourself. Or you could get the full interview in the upcoming Official Playstation Magazine, on sale November 15th.

[via Three Speech]

More PS3 questions you probably wanted answered!

Welcome to our latest installment of PS3 -- Q&A 4 U 2 C. Or PS3Q&A4U2C for short. IGN has their retail unit (ignore my angry fist shake towards the sky) and they've taken time out of their busy schedule to answer some more pressing questions. Let's do the usual... please, continue reading. We've got word that any HDMI cable will work with the PS3. That's good. Anyway, continue reading for news just as cool.

Continue reading More PS3 questions you probably wanted answered!

Merrill Lynch still thinks Sony will sink...

This is sad, all things considered. I mean, my Visa is a Merrill-Lynch version/sponsored/bonus point crap card. They'll probably refuse to give me my 6,000 or so points when I use the card to buy a PS3. Credit cards are awesome. Anyway... what was I doing? Oh yeah. Blogging stuff. Merrill Lynch has released an updated financial forecast and estimates a multi-billion dollar loss for Sony, related to the PS3. For the stock market inclined out there, here's a fun visual:

Target share price revision: ¥4,700 --> ¥4,000 ($40.05 --> $34.09 at ¥117.35/US$1)

Total PS3 operating loss expected over 5 years: ¥738.9 billion ($6.3 billion at ¥117.35/US$1)

Ouch, Merrill-Lynch! Or should we say, Merry Lunch? ...Mob Lynch? Someone out there can surely think up a better insult than me. I'm just too nice. If you hadn't heard, the PS3 sold out in hours throughout Japan -- not unexpected, really. A similar result will probably occur in the US and Canada -- also not unexpected. The second shipment will better illustrate the reliability of this forecast. Anyone got any stock in Sony? Are you nervous?

Sony comments on that pesky backwards-compatibility

Hot on the heels of our prior post about issues the PS3 is having with some PS2 titles, Sony has given an unofficial response and then a more official response, with no official solution set in stone as of yet. Japan's has compiled a list of about 196 PS2 titles that have some glaring problems (this does, however, count multiple versions of the same game -- greatest hits, special edition, etc) ranging from sound issues to games freezing up. IGN contacted Sony and here's what went down.
First off, let's go over what Sony's PR department said. Let it be known that this person was probably, or should be, fired. Even though Sony generally says stuff this arrogant. Anyway. The PR rep said that Sony expected from the get-go to be less than 100% with backwards compatibility. What is there right now is good enough, said the rep, and some people can put up with playing games that lack sound. Should be fired. Rude. Now for Sony's semi-official response. Sony says they will begin fixing the issues with system updates, perhaps even resorting to patches for individual titles that are particularly difficult. No date yet on these updates. Expect them soon enough.

GameStop/EB Games not getting as many PS3's as thought

Egads! The numbers just keep crunching into smaller and smaller amounts! If numbers were air, we'd probably be suffocating under the pressure of all these crunched, decreasing numbers. That really made more sense in my head. But the underlying message is the same -- GameStop isn't getting as many PS3's in to match the preorders they took. Not that we expected them to, honestly. Wal*Mart has bought up so darn many (approximately 10 for every single store, which brings the total to about 412 million... joking, joking...) that it isn't surprising the electronic entertainment store won't get their initial allocation.

Some of you who did preorder your system may have gotten a call from your friendly neighborhood gaming store saying that your PS3 will be available and waiting for you. You get excited, pumped, whatever. A few hours roll past and just as you break out that special bottle of champagne, you get another call. "Oh, nevermind," the GameStop employee says matter-of-factly, "you're going to have to wait until the next shipment. We're not getting as many as we thought." Then, you drink the champagne. Not out of celebration, but out of the biting realization that not only will you not get your system, but the champagne will go bad unless you drink it. As Lucille Bluth says about wine, "It only becomes alcohol if you let it sit." Go ahead, fellow readers, now is the time to sit in a hypothetical circle and crack a hypothetical brew... give us your sob story, or your celebratory story. Cheers!

[thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Thanks, Red Kawa! Let's convert our video files to be PS3-friendly

A new store has appeared on this strange set of tubes called the interweb (thank you, old episodes of the Daily Show). This store is called Red Kawa, and they've got a treat for us today. See, we know the PS3 can playback a lot of video formats, but there are some that it has a little bit of trouble accepting. Enter the PS3 Video 9 -- a free video conversion software program that changes your anti-PS3 video formats into beautiful, loving formats the PS3 will love and cherish forever and ever. Take those .wmv and .avi and change them into:

  • MPEG-4 SP
  • H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
  • MPEG-1
  • MPEG-2 PS
  • MPEG-2 TS
This development team was also responsible for the PSP Video 9, so you can be fairly sure you're getting a pretty well-thought out, quality product. For free. Grab your PS3. Download this software. Spread the love. Let Red Kawa know you think they're great for doing this.

[thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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