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Rumor: New 40GB PS3 at $399.99 for the holidays

Ars Technica has their very own mole, who they say is very good at what he does. Looks like he dug up some interesting stuff on Sony's plan for the holiday season. The rumor is as follows: the 80GB PS3 falls to $499.99, and a brand new 40GB PS3 is offered at $399.99.

Analysts have predicted the 80GB price drop before. As for this 40GB model, we've had a few tip offs that it might be in the works. In addition, the mole adds that Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray may be packed in with one or both of the bundles, and the PS2 drops to $99.99. Of course, these are merely rumors, so don't hold your breath while waiting for lower priced PS3s. We expect to find out more at Tokyo Game Show.

[via Digg]

Rumor: Sega may be counting down to new Yakuza

A lot of Sega fanboys would cry out for Shenmue 3 at this point, but we don't think that's what's getting announced at the Tokyo Game Show in a matter of weeks. If you check out the official Japanese website for Yakuza 2, at least what we assume is Yakuza 2, a strange thing happens -- a knife stabs a piece of paper and a number, written in Japanese, pops up. It's the number 8, and it's apparently been counting down for a while.

What's in eight days? According to IGN, the first Tokyo Game Show briefing. Will Sega announce a new entry into the surprisingly decent Yakuza franchise for the PS3? Rumors about that the game is supposed to move players beyond anything felt in recent games. Sega's most successful game to move players is arguably Shenmue. People weren't as excited over Shenmue 2, regardless, a third entry into the series has been desired by fans for years. But why would it be advertised on a Yakuza site? They are remotely related -- they've got similar gameplay and storytelling aspects. Whatever the ultimate result, we'll bring it to you on the 14th!

[via IGN]

Rumour: Sony to announce a Heavenly Sword + Formula 1 EU Starter Pack


We're classing this one as a rumour because we have no experience with NeoGAF user Robinspain's backstory. Regardless, the other NeoGAF users seem to have no qualms in believing him today when he revealed that Sony will be announcing a new PlayStation 3 Starter Pack in Europe. He even posted a nice promo image of the box, as you can see above.

While the price remains the same (€599/£425) the contents of the box has changed to include an extra controller and the games Formula 1 and Heavenly Sword. Generally speaking, Heavenly Sword and Formula 1 appeal to completely different tastes. Perhaps this is Sony's way of making the console appeal to different members of the family. A Blu-Ray player for the dad, a racing game for the son and a woman-power adventure game for the daughter/mum? It screams of check-all-the-boxes, target-every-demographic marketing which, until games like Singstar are released, won't work too well.

This is all moot, of course, as ever since the Starter Pack was released shortly after E3, stores have been soft-bundling different games with the PS3 at the Starter Pack price. It's no harder to pick up a PS3 with Genji and Ridge Racer than it is to get one with Motorstorm and Resistance at the same price. Lastly, you may have noticed that neither of the in-box games have two player split-screen, so why the extra controller? Remove F1 and stick in the Warhawk Blu-Ray disc and the bundle suddenly becomes far more worthwhile.

Kojima implies music customization in MGS4

At Leipzig's Konami booth, Hideo Kojima made a little presentation and hinted at a couple of interesting things he's been tossing around in his mind for Metal Gear Solid 4. After the big trailer finally played (it had trouble the other day due to some technical errors), a rabid fan asked Kojima about the opening and closing tracks for the game. Kojima, not quite sure what the person was asking, shot out a tease answer anyway, "I almost slipped, but there might be a special feature where maybe you can play your own favorite tunes."

Now, we're about 85% sure that he meant an option to play all the tracks from the game would be unlockable, but he did say our own favorite tunes. Since Kojima has a lot of fun making his games, who's to say Snake won't come across an MP3 Player on his journey that just so happens to be full of your favorite songs? Snake can rock out while hiding in a barrel, we guess. What do you guys think? Misinterpretation, or a hint at things to come?

Rumor: DualShock 3 to rumble with GT5 Prologue


Supposedly, the upcoming Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will support DualShock 3 -- at least according to a NeoGAF retelling of Japanese publication Dengeki PlayStation. This has sparked discussion that the controller featured on the official GT5 website (pictured above) is actually a DualShock 3, not a Sixaxis. But honestly, we all expect the rumble-enabled PS3 controller to look identical to our current Sixaxis controller. A silhouette won't tell us much.

Hopefully, we'll find out something at Leipzig later today.

[Via Joystiq]

Bioshock PC demo config file hints strongly at a PS3 version


A member of the GameTrailers forum has found the best evidence so far that the critically acclaimed Bioshock will be coming to the PS3. While poking around in some of the config files for the demo, an interesting entry was stumbled upon:

[Console]
;; Console (XBox360, PS3) specific settings

;; StreamingDynamicFloatingLimit:
;; If this is a positive number, then instead of using the fixed per-level
;; limits, the StreamingDynamic resource will use as much memory as is
;; available as long as the total memory allocated by the game is less than
;; the specified number. In other words, StreamingDynamic will grow and
;; shrink to fit to the available memory instead of being locked to a fixed
;; budget
StreamingDynamicFloatingLimit=500

The file is locate at C:\Program Files\2K Games\BioShock Demo\Content and is called ConfigINI.IBF for anybody who wants to verify this on their own computers (we've verified it on ours). It will be interesting to see when 2k Games comes out and finally admits that Bioshock is coming to the PlayStation 3. Hopefully it will turn out to be a Q1 2008 release so we don't have to wait that long.

[Via PSU]

Rumor: Sega may bring Vikings onto the PS3 at Leipzig

It seems like the Rumor Robot is all charged up and zapping stuff out of the sky today. This rumor comes from reports that Sega is working on a new title called Viking: Battle of Asgard and since Norse mythology is all the rage in games today, we expect it to be just as brutal as we imagine the battle of Asgard would be. In fact, the idea this game is even going to pop up at Leipzig is just speculation on other sites, so there's really no evidence to point towards that. However, remember the RPG listing compiled in the previous post? The second game is by Sega and has the word Valkyrie in it. Sega working on two Norse-themed titles at once? Hmm.

Either way you spin it, the game's listed on Gamestop as an early '08 release (with an N64 Roadsters graphic to boot) and we'll probably hear more about it at either Leipzig or Tokyo Game Show. Sega needs to step it up before they lose more credibility -- they're notorious for making games fans simply don't want as of late. Look at it this way: worst case scenario, you have a game featuring vikings and a game featuring valkyries with no relation to each other.

Rumor: Another Level 5 title set to create new genre

If you've been wondering if Level 5 is up to anything other than getting themselves knee-deep in White Knight Story programming code, we've got some good news for you today. Seems a preliminary list of RPG's to show at the Tokyo Game Show compiled by RPGFan denotes a few Level 5 titles, one of which has yet to claim a title of its own. The interesting thing is the description released in the game listing: "set to create a new genre". That's pretty ambitious.

What could this game be? What platform will it land on? We don't have any answers yet, but since Level 5 has a strong connection with Sony and a lot of their time is going into White Knight Story, we don't think it'll be another PS3 title, rather, a PSP title. Yeah, it's not as exciting that way, but do you really think a company would really want to work on two PS3 titles at once? Leave us your thoughts, hypotheses, or guesses!

[via PS3 Forums]

"Gamercard" spotted at Edinburgh Interactive Festival

During the Unreal Tournament 3 screening at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival today (that's in Scotland, by the way) Games Digest noticed something strange in the game's menu. The option, "Gamercard", was quickly covered up by Mark Rein, who was giving the presentation. "Oops," he said, "you shouldn't have seen that."

Due to the "no camera" rules there is no photographic evidence, but we're still happy to commence the speculation. Especially since Mark was so secretive about it. Is it a UT3 feature? Is it Sony's answer to the 360's Gamertag? We're not sure, but we'd definitely like to know. No doubt we'll hear more before the release of Unreal Tournament 3, at least. We'll try and contact Mark for a statement, but expect him to remain extremely tight lipped. What do you suspect it could be?

European Call of Duty 4 release date accidentally revealed

At a recent European press event in Europe a senior brand manager unwittingly revealed the European release date for Call of Duty 4 on PS3. The date, November 9th, plonks it firmly in the middle of the "too many games!" season, with Ubisoft alone releasing two top titles (Haze and Assassin's Creed) during the surrounding weeks.

There's no word yet on an American release date, but expect it to be around the same time as the European release. Activision are maintaining a "Winter" release for CoD4, saying nothing more specific than that. November 9th is clearly a target date, so don't be disappointed if it gets pushed back. But as PS3 owners, we're used to that. Right?

Konami to announce new MGS projects at Leipzig


According to Play, Hideo Kojima has some surprises lined up for us at this month's Leipzig Gaming Convention. Not only will there be a playable Metal Gear Solid 4 on-hand, Konami has mentioned that they will be also be announcing new Metal Gear Solid projects from Kojima Studio. It's interesting to see that the franchise is staying with Kojima Studio, considering Hideo Kojima has said he will no longer have a hand in Metal Gear Solid after MGS4. But it's cool to hear that he'll still at least have an eye on the series.

Also, Kojima said he will be bringing a 'mystery guest' with him to the show. No hints were given at who this person would be, but the mind runs rampant with possibilities. Suda 51? David Hayter? Who knows! It would be awesome to see him pull a Jack Tretton and come out with a 7 foot tall Wookie. Snake vs Chewbacca -- exclusive on the PS3. (Hey, we can dream right?)

Crysis for PS3? New evidence surfaces - we're not yet convinced

Oldmike, a user on the PlayStation 3 official forum, has posted a couple of photographs which, he believes, indicates that a PS3 version of Crysis is on its way. There's a fun wee story that goes along with the photos, too. Whilst in a local Gamestop oldmike spotted a PS3 box with some Crysis promo art on it. When he asked about it the manager overheard and, after getting flustered, yelled at the shop assistant that they shouldn't be on the shop floor yet. Alledgedly.

An intriguing story, with interesting photos attached. We're still not convinced, however. Shops do crazy stuff all the time (HMV, anyone?). We love the idea that Crysis might be coming in the future, but until official word comes from Crytek then we're going to remain skeptical.

Click the "read" link below for the full forum thread. The pics are on the fourth page

Analyst predicts 80GB PS3 and price cut for Japan

The chief marketing analyst for Japanese analysts group Enterbrain, has stated that he believes Sony Japan will follow SCEA's lead and will introduce the 80GB PS3 in Japan as well as slash the price of the current 60GB model. He feels that Sony Japan is unlikely to go the Sony Europe route and merely introduce a new bundle, but will slash the price and bring out a new SKU in response to struggling PS3 sales.

While Hot Shots Golf 5 has helped boost the sales of the PS3 by over 200% in the Land of the Rising Sun, the sales still pale in comparison to the Wii and it seems likely that Sony Japan will need to slash prices to help keep the sales spike going. Hopefully they'll take notice of the sales generated by titles like Hot Shots 5 and Ninja Gaiden: Sigma as well and realize that as important as the price of the console is, available and attractive games are really what sells a system.

[Via N4G]

L.A. Noire still listed as exclusive to PS3

Yeah, the trailer isn't new, but a lot of people have no idea what this game is. The latest financial reports from Take-Two have rolled around and we found it interesting to note that on the list of upcoming titles and platforms, L.A. Noire is still listed only as a PS3 title.

We don't find this necessarily shocking. In fact, Take-Two's previous financial reports said the same. However, it is nice to see not only further confirmation of exclusivity, but another piece of evidence pointing towards developer support for the PlayStation 3 -- optimization of games on each platform is going to be much more important this generation for all consoles. If you have no idea what to expect with L.A. Noire, go watch the movie Chinatown. It's an excellent film and then imagine that as a game, with plenty of action riddled in between the narrations.

Rumor: Leipzig to be vehicle for three new PSN titles

As Phil Harrison said at E3, over 80 PSN titles are going to slide our way before the end of the fiscal year. The big Leipzig show is coming up and rumors are three of these titles will get announced and detailed there. The three games below are the ones that are most likely to get such announcements:
  • Aqua Vita
  • Operation Creature Feature
  • Trials of Topoq
That's not to say they are getting announced or detailed, but that's where the pendulum appears to be swinging. Now, Aqua Vita was actually announced a long, long time ago but there's never really been any detail on the title. The others sound like some sort of arcade-style games, but not necessarily analog-stick hungry shooters. We've got lots of those. So, we'll take this time to let you decide what these games are all about.
[via N4G]

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