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Posts with tag PS Store

Rumor: Sony to reveal massive changes to the XMB and PS Store at E3

It seems every couple weeks we get another rumored list of new features/changes for upcoming firmware releases. They rarely come true and are usually quickly debunked, but are kind of fun regardless. Still, this most recent rumor is pretty juicy and comes from a PS3 Forums regular. Supposedly Sony is going to be showing off a huge overhaul to the XMB and the PlayStation store at E3, with heavy Home integration and the implementation of several features that have been long request. We've broken down the info into tasty little bulleted tidbits:
  • Folder support for all sections of the XMB including Games, allowing you to organize your plethora of demos/ps1 titles/PSN games.
  • User Profile page accessible directly from the XMB that shows off the your gamerscore, profile info and trophies. The page will also be viewable in your Home apartment.
  • PlayStation Store is getting completely redesigned to make it more console accessible and to pave the way for the additional content Sony plans to release by the end of the year (videos, movies, music, etc).
  • You'll be able to select your trophies for use as a t-shirt graphic in Home so everybody can check out your Loco Roco skillz without having to go to your house.
A lot of the things mentioned sound reasonable. For example, the PlayStation Store will have to be revamped if Sony wants to offer a wide range of content there. As it is, it's unbelievably slow and really isn't conducive to prolonged sessions of browsing through content. Also, Phil Harrison has previously mentioned increased integration between Home and XMB, and Eric Lempel recently commented that Sony is indeed working on a gamerscore type of system. But still, take this rumor with a big ol' salt lick -- at least we won't have to wait long to find out if it's true!

[Thanks Joe!]

Tekken 5 takes it online, kicks your wallet

Here's a tasty bit of news that should have fighting enthusiasts drooling at the mouth, mostly because we've yet to get a great online fighting experience on the PS3. Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection is going to have an update soon that allows for online play!

In addition to standard fighting online, there will also be online rankings to show off your mad skills. If you haven't played in a while or are unfamiliar with the combo system, the new Practice mode should help get your online ranking up a little faster -- because you'll train and get better.

There's also the addition of Survival mode, adding in yet another option to an already worthwhile purchase from the PS Store. However, these additions aren't free. To get all this stuff tacked on, you may be charged anywhere from 1,000 - 2,800 yen. We're estimating for the Americas that our addition will come around $7.99 - $9.99, but those are just guesses. What do you guys think? Is it worth the extra output for a lot of extra input content?

PlayStation Underground survey hints at PSP-PS3 possibilities

This one's coming from user sqrtlsqd7 over at the PS3Forums. We've all gotten those e-mails from PlayStation Underground about new releases on the PS Store, or little announcements about games coming out, just released, or off in the distance. What sqrtlsqd7 brings to our attention is something we had nearly forgotten about -- surveys. When we first signed up for the PlayStation Network, we took a survey. But these questions were not found there.

If you can't read the screenshot above, Sony is asking about what you'd like to see with PSP/PS3 connectivity. The ideas highlighted are:
  • Side missions or unlockables for PS3 games on the PSP,
  • Transferring media wirelessly to the PSP (not just what we've got now, we mean broadcast television and new levels for games),
  • Using your PSP while playing the PS3 as additional weapon or utility (radar, 2nd controller, etc),
  • Recording your gameplay for boasting abilities later on in life.
These ideas are interesting. It sort of reminds us of the connectivity between the GameCube and GameBoy Advance, specifically in regards to Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and the Game Boy Fire Emblem games. Except, you know, with a lot more options available. What do you guys think? Would more advanced connectivity options with the PSP get your juices flowing? Would you snag a slim PSP if these proposed ideas came to fruition?

Super Stardust HD interview is super starry

We're not very secretive about it: the latest selection of PS Store games are lackluster. While it's nice for the two people who actually want to download classic arcade titles, we'd all like to see some new, original games that actually benefit from a high definition experience. One such title, we anticipate with cautious optimism, is Super Stardust HD. The guys at Housemarque sat down for a very lengthy interview, perhaps too lengthy for a downloadable title. With that in mind, we'll summarize for you.

  • You should already know what the game's about. If not, let us educate you on the basics.
  • The temptation to put the title on the PSN instead of a budget PS2 title was too great! Online distribution, the developers claim, is so much more efficient for these types of games. We can see their point.
  • As with most virgin PS3 projects, Housemarque had trouble programming for the PS3 from the PC version, but after hacking away and not giving up (see F.E.A.R., Splinter Cell: Double Agent), they got the hang of it and are pleased with the console and their results.
  • What does the Cell bring to the table? Glad you asked: "the physics, collisions and particle effects run natively on Cell ... We are able to get over 10,000 active objects with physics and collisions and over 75,000 particles simulated and drawn @60fps." Wow!
  • You can have real friends play with you! A shared-screen co-op mode will be available.
  • No word on future downloadable content for the game, but we've got a feeling we'll see something.

We have been assured that we won't be disappointed with this game and heaven help us, we believe them. The game is due out by the end of June, but we'll be having dreams about it every now and then. If our brains can actually dream up "over 10,000 active objects with physics and collisions and over 75,000 particles simulated and drawn @60fps." That would be a challenge.

Japanese PS3 game available via Remote Play

If you haven't gotten the newest update for your PSP's firmware to get Remote Play cranking out worldwide awesomeness, you aren't alone. Media streaming and Remote Play seem to be creating frustration with a lot of people. We've got ours working and we can assure you that if you get everything connected ... wow. To add icing to the already sickeningly sweet cake, Sony is making a Japanese PS3 title available for everyone via the Remote Play function.

The game is Mainichi Issyo, some crazy title about a cat doing whatever you tell it to. The game, available as a free download exclusively on the Japanese PS Store, can be played via remote play on your PSP and even access microtransactions in-game for added content. That means there is in-game PlayStation Store support via Remote Play. Even though we've got no idea what's happening in the game, that's an impressive feat and indicative of the potential of this feature. Perhaps someday we'll get Super Stardust HD or other titles available for play wherever we are in the world (assuming there's a wireless access point nearby). Perhaps.

Square Enix teases us with upcoming Kingdom Hearts news

A short interview was conducted with some members of the Square Enix PR department by the folks over at RPGamer. While there isn't that much truly invigorating information, we thought it'd be nice to bring you up to speed on some of the anticipated titles that, we hope, make their way onto the PS3. Also of note are Square Enix's tentative plans for the PlayStation Store. Enticed? Summary below.

  • The PS Store is too young to decide if content is worth posting, says Square Enix. Would we really want another version of a Final Fantasy game anyway? We'd love to see something like Einhander make its way onto the store, though ...
  • The next Kingdom Hearts title (they didn't specify whether it would be the third main installment or another off-shoot title) will get announced at the Tokyo Game Show.
  • Also not-yet-officially-announced is a special party hosted by Square Enix on June 26. It will take place at the PlayStation Store in San Fransisco. More details on that later.

We're fairly sure that the Kingdom Hearts announcement will be for an offshoot title for a handheld. Not sure why; just a gut reaction. As for the PS Store, while it is young, it will never get older if developers don't give it worthwhile titles. In fact, in our latest podcast, we sort of touched on the topic -- Japan is getting a ton of PS One titles and we've gotten none for the past couple of months. Surely this will change soon, Sony?

FolksSoul demo coming this Friday

Make a Japanese PSN account. Now. If you haven't, you're going to continue missing out on all the free demos the Japanese gamer crowd get. It's not tough -- sign up for one in your own language, make notes about what information goes on each page, then make a Japanese one. Why are we insisting you do this? So you can test drive FolksSoul along with us this Friday when a demo hits the Japanese PS Store.

Also known as Folklore in the US, the game had kept a very low key until Gamer's Day, when a new trailer and multiple screens made an entrance and blew a lot of people away. Sure, it's absolutely a Japanese game -- lacking muscular men with big shiny guns, but it does look incredibly fun to play. So that's why we're telling you about the demo. It's rumored to be over an entire gigabyte, so make sure you've got something else to do. Try it out, then decide if it's for you or not!

Championship Sprint heading to PSN, but first, a video

Here's another classic Midway arcade title -- Championship Sprint. For some reason, the title of the game made us think we were going to see some horses racing, but alas, there are no horses. Just horseless carriages. While we'd love to "relive the classic arcade action", we're not entirely pumped to have another really old title hit the PS Store. It may be nice to relive those memories, but personally, preference goes to R.C. Pro-Am for the NES. It's awesome. This? Maybe ... there are crashes, after all.

WarHawk final formats finally figured out

In a lengthy interview with Game Informer, Senior VP of Marketing Peter Dille came out with many fantastic bits of information regarding PlayStation Home, multiple games and other nagging questions we've been wondering about. From the "Hall of Fame" (PlayStation's take on achievements) to E3 to WarHawk, a lot of issues were addressed but we've got to admit the WarHawk info really made us nod.

Here's what Dille said about the final formatting decision on WarHawk: "Warhawk will be available as a download from the PlayStation Network, but we'll also have a retail SKU. There will be differences between the two. The game will be the same, but in the retail SKU we're able to take advantage of that Blu-ray disc and pack that disc with behind-the-scenes information, developer interviews, demos of other games and again, if you've got Blu-ray why not take advantage of that. On top of that, we'll have a Bluetooth wireless headset so that you can jump into the fray on day one and start trash-talking."

So for the cost of $60 in North America, you get WarHawk, oodles of extras and a Bluetooth headset? Sounds like a deal and/or bargain. For those who don't yet have a headset of any kind, this is a fantastic deal. While he didn't comment on the pricing of the PSN download version, we'd estimate they'd keep it at $20-$30 because it is just online and headsets aren't cheap. Especially bluetooth. If you want to learn anything else, check out the complete interview with Dille.

SGD '07: Super Stardust HD gallery shows how planets survive

How do planets survive, you ask? Well, you shoot a rocketship into orbit and force it to fly around your planet and shoot a bunch of rocks, debris, intruders, and other assortments of material to keep it safe and sound. That's basically the premise of Super Stardust HD and while simple on the surface, the gallery we've got shows that there's actually a lot going on on-screen at any time. We're excited for this one, because while Blast Factor was fun, it just didn't deliver on the Asteroids-style game we truly wanted. Maybe this will.

SGD '07: How about a delicious WarHawk gallery?

The one game that just couldn't decide what to be -- retail, download, retail, download, online, offline, online, etc -- has graced us with a new gallery and let us just say: wow. This game looks fantastic. For a title that you download off of the internet and stick directly on your hard drive, this is surely unprecedented. We're very excited for WarHawk to just release already, but we've got to wait until they actually decide once and for all what form of distribution they'll release it on. Right now, it appears as though it'll come in both retail and online versions. It probably will change a few more times. For now, check out a video after the break.

Gallery: Warhawk

Continue reading SGD '07: How about a delicious WarHawk gallery?

No PSN cards "at this time" for Europe and US [Update]

We were as happy as can be when we first heard about Sony's PLAYSTATION Network cards. Buying a card from a retail store and dancing around the whole credit card ordeal seemed like a breath of fresh air, especially for those too young to hold a plastic or those too paranoid about putting any personal information on the internet (what some may dub as "public domain"). We warned you guys that Sony didn't currently say anything about cards outside of Japan. Turns out we were wise not to get your hopes up too high.

No news about North America, but Sony spoke to CVG and stated that no, in fact, they had no plans to bring the PSN cards to Europe at this time. In the future, perhaps? Maybe Sony Europe will take charge and set something up instead of leaving it to the main offices. CVG also points out that during the European launch of XBox Live, there was an issue of the same manner -- no plastic, no online gaming in Europe. Let's hope in the future, this is not a trend.

[Update: We contacted SCEA PR Manager Al de Leon about the availability of the Card in the US. "As far as the PLAYSTATION Card, we don't have any updates to the payment system to announce."]

Rampart trailer is so darn exciting!

We're kidding. Why does this need to be in HD, anyway? In any case, if you were able to think back to the days where Rampart was pretty awesome, then you'll enjoy this trailer's attempt to instill you with the notion there is some high-octane action to be found in this classic title. If you want to stroll down memory lane, watch the trailer. It does bring back memories. It was fun. But no matter how perfect a transition the game may make to the PlayStation Network, that doesn't mean it's still fun. We'll see this Thursday.

No credit card? No problem! PSN tickets are here for you

We've had a lot of comments when we'd write up a post about new additions to the PS Store crying foul against the need for a credit card. Well, Sony has finally addressed the issue with what they're dubbing PlayStation Network Tickets. You can say PSNT if you want, but that reminds me of "pissant" and that's just not nice. These new tickets will be available in early June.

Only available in the Japanese areas (for now), you can go to a nearby convenience store and pick up a ticket valued anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 yen. This is a little different from Microsoft and Nintendo's approach to paying sans credit card -- the values are actually money, not points. That way, you know you're spending money and not subconsciously passing it off as "just 800 points".

Since there is a heavy reliance on convenience stores, international offerings of the ticket may differ. We're not sure what they could be, but there are enough places to pick up the cards in the US -- let's get GameStop, EB Games, and Best Buy on board.

How about some Worms, er, Zwok?

Sony has been hard at work... making some online game that strongly resembles Worms, but it's online! It's called Zwok and it's pretty neat. We have no idea why SCEE would stick this up on the internet when there's a perfectly good PlayStation Network that would love to see some games -- especially in Europe!

To play the game, you've got to sign up. Don't worry, it's free. You then customize your little character... is that a Zwok or just a really ugly thing? Whichever it is, you make it your own. There are two teams for every match: Blooz and Grienz. Yes, that's "blue" and "green" in crazy-speak. Choose a weapon to fire, get into position, and let loose. Seriously -- this is Worms. Regardless, we'd love to see something like this on the PS Store. Wouldn't you?

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