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Posts with tag PlayStationNetwork

LittleBigPlanet is almost done, public beta in a few months

Are you just itching to find out more information about LittleBigPlanet? Today we've got a quick summary for you, as PSU had a fairly detailed hands-on report to dish out, not unlike our own glowing review. If you are curious about LBP but don't want to read for ten minutes, we'll summarize the important points for you to take into consideration.
  • Your character has different moods (changed by hitting a direction on the D-pad) and depending on these moods, he will control differently. He will bounce as he moves if happy, or keep his head low and walk like he's pouting when sad.
  • Player vs. Player mode will be available -- there's more than just cooperating to create a level. An example of this would be the "Racing Mode" where levels are built for speed. If you've ever played the final stage in Earthworm Jim 2, we expect something like that footrace with Psy-Crow. That was a hard level.
  • LBP is nearly complete and a public beta is supposedly hitting the PSN sometime this fall prior to release.
That's about the high and low of it. We never expected this PSN title to burn so brightly in the Hype Furnace, but we can't resist the warmth of its glow. It looks fantastic. However, does anyone think its a system mover? Will the idea of this game and more to come like it push people into rethinking about the PS3's price? We'd like to imagine so, especially with the immense number of exclusives coming this holiday season.
[Thanks, Justin!]

Stick-figures get their hero in Echochrome

Enter Echochrome, one of the most interesting and engaging new titles popping up at this year's E3. "Least graphics, most game play is their angle," said Sony's Phil Harrison, as he introduced Echochrome in the midst of Sony's E3 keynote. In addition to our earlier description as, "Jenga blocks, plus stick figure man plus acid," game play seemingly bears a distant resemblance to games like Crush (PSP) and the upcoming PC release Portal. Echochrome looks like it will have players assembling the game world to steer the stick-figure hero to his end goal. An orchestral score keeps an ambient atmosphere, which should help for those ultra-tricky sections that will be sure to induce cold sweats. Ah, the intense pleasures of a great puzzler. Echochrome certainly looks promising and the fact it will arrive on both UMD for the PSP and the PlayStation Store as one of the "more than 80 first-party games available" makes it all the more desirable.

Paid subscription a possibility for the future of PlayStation Network

Paying for a subscription would certainly seem to be a possibility, especially as the long-rumored feature upgrades come filing into the PlayStation Network. When speaking with Geoff Keighley on the latest edition of Gametrailers' Bonus Round, Eric Lempel spoke about the PlayStation Network's current free service and that, "in time, anything can change." Comparing the PlayStation Network to Microsoft's Xbox Live service, Lempel, Sony's director of Network Operations reconfirmed "we're working on an achievements system," describing its inclusion as "an important feature." Voice-chat across all games is also something (thankfully) that Mr. Lempel touched base on, saying "talking across games ... definitely builds momentum for games and actually migrate(s) users to other games and keeps you in touch with your gaming community." We couldn't agree more.

Exactly when these implementations will make it to a PS3 near you, via firmware upgrade, is uncertain. "It's not in the next firmware update but it's something we're working on," says Mr. Lempel. We certainly hope so, though we are catching wind of the potential trade-off here. What do you think? Would you pay a subscription fee (similar to Xbox Live) for a plan that allows cross-game invites, built-in voice chat for all multiplayer games and a similar achievement points implementation? Or would you rather say the heck with all that, and voice to keep the PlayStation Network free for all, setting it apart from Microsoft's Xbox Live service?

[Via Next-Gen]

Championship Sprint motors hits PSN tomorrow, we're still bored.

The PlayStation Store seems to be on a mind-numbing sprint through the bargain bin of old classics, however this recent entry might struggle with even that very definition. Championship Sprint was an arcade treat in its heyday, but without the acrid smell of burnt pizza cheese permeating the air and the ching-ching-ching of tokens being dispensed nearby, we're not sure reliving this classic on the PS3 is going to evoke the same sense of guilty pleasure we once experienced. Pray tell, why exactly would anyone care to relive this classic without standing at the machine itself with a vice-like grip on the steering wheel (sans Force Feedback, we might add)? There is plenty of ripe fruit in the Sony catalog, so where are the classic gems from the lucrative and expansive PlayStation gallery? How many times can we ask for Twisted Metal? How about SOCOM? Honestly, lets skip the brussel sprouts and head right for the ice cream.

For interested parties, Championship Sprint hits the PlayStation Store tomorrow, on May 31st, for $4.99. We suppose it's better than nothing, but not by much. Comments and suggestions on preferred PlayStation Store titles would be a fantastic addition here, so post away. Give Sony some ideas! Now, if you don't mind, we're heading back to the recesses of our couch to complete our Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray marathon. Wake us up when something more worthwhile is on.

Latest PlayStation Network numbers, 1.5 Million accounts

Any fear that the PlayStation Network wasn't pulling its fair share of subscribers can be put to rest. PlayStation Universe says 1.5 million user accounts were created since its inception, with 775,000 stemming from North America alone. Barring the fact users could have subscribed twice for multiple regions, the numbers are still impressive. Xbox Live only garnered 500,000 in the same six month time frame (including Silver and Gold memberships). Six million pieces of content were downloaded during this time. These numbers build on earlier reports of 1.3 million subscribers with over 3.2 million pieces of content downloaded.

As far as gobbling up content, our appetites are always demanding more. Not to worry. As Sony Gamer's Day coverage should indicate, we have a feast coming very soon.


California Games comes to the PlayStation Network

From the ashes of Epyx, London-based System 3 will be bringing the nostalgic California Games to both the Wii and PS3 consoles. When confirming its destination for the Wii console, CEO Mark Cale dropped word that it would also make its way to the PS3. According to Mr. Cale, "you will be able to buy it online," and "as a retail product." No word on if the title will include multiplayer over the PlayStation Network or if it will be revamped for its next-gen arrival. It would be silly to waste all that space on a Blu-Ray disc, so lets keep our fingers crossed for a bunch of extras (we secretly hope it's something other than its dreadful sequel, California Games 2). At any rate, it'll be nice to hit that silly seagull with a footbag again.

Rumor: Sony wants a $500 million Club Penguin

Montgomery & Co. virtual online company, Club Penguin, is supposedly in exclusive acquisition talks with Sony for the rumored price of $500 million. One has to wonder where that cash would be coming from, after such reports on Sony's recent financial situations. Nevertheless, if the acquisition is successful, it would allow Sony to cater to a much younger audience. Club Penguin offers games, activities and even kid-friendly chat. We'd imagine Sony would incorporate this into the PlayStation Network or even Home somehow, allowing a haven for young tykes to duke it out in Resistance play silly games and chat with their friends.

Club Penguin's incorporation into the PlayStation Network might even convince parents to fork over $600 beans in order to get their kids the PS3 system. Not a bad idea, really. Sony could use more niche markets to increase the PS3 penetration and convince third party developers to start bringing the games.

Rampage: World Tour tosses a trailer your way

The PlayStation Store is gearing up for some more tasty, old school releases. Midway announced the release of six titles throughout the year, and they've already released Mortal Kombat II, Gauntlet II and Rampart. Well, Rampage: World Tour is just around the corner now. Originally released in 1997, the graphics on this version have been pumped up a bit for HD, yet they still look a bit dated. Midway is betting their titles will appeal to gamers yearning for a trip down memory lane. Which is good, because we love the releases of classic titles from yesteryear and thus far, have enjoyed pwning friends with Jax in MKII. Game play on Rampage: World Tour seems similar to what we recall, which will dictate your interest in this go-round of the Rampage franchise. It's a lot of smashing and grabbing. Personally, I've always found gobbling up the damsels in distress quite satisfying. So, what do you think? Is this a title you'll be heading over to download on release?

PLAYSTATION Network planned expansions to benefit publishers

Phil Harrison wasn't the only Sony exec at the Online Game Developer's Conference in Seattle this week. Michael Shorrock, Sony's developer of third party developer relations, outlined more details on planned expansions for the PLAYSTATION Network. "It's designed to be a profitable eco-system for both developers and publishers," as well as "a marketing platform for games and content."

Mr. Shorrock also outlined six key components of the PLAYSTATION Network, including a video on demand (VOD) service as well as their previously announced Home service. Apparently, Sony envisions publisher and developer "pavilions" within Home. For example, users could enter the Activision's pavilion through Home, and download or play games from the publisher's selection of content. Marketing and advertising also play part of that six-part expansion, though we sincerely hope not to be bombarded with game advertisements while we watch downloaded movies.

Nevertheless, the designs make the future brighter, giving additional content to the non-gaming audience (which helps with any significant other). Rounding out the expansion plans, Mr. Shorrock also pointed to the company's desire to incorporate more wireless connectivity between the PS3 and its younger brother, the PSP. There are a lot of interesting ideas unfolding here. The future is looking bright. Now, where are my shades?

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."]

High Stakes poker brings EyeToy-enhanced Network play


Sony Online Entertainment has just revealed a new downloadable title for the PLAYSTATION Network. The much too awkwardly titled High Stakes on the Vegas Strip: Poker Edition will be released this summer on the Network for $9.99. A variety of play modes will be available, including Texas Hold'em, Super Hold'em, Billabong, Tahoe and Shanghai. Each style can be played as limit, pot limit or no limit poker.

The greatest draw for the title will be its online multiplayer, with up to six people playing at once. Players will be able to play quick matches, or choose to play through an entire season. There will be online leader boards, in-depth statistics, and customizable characters. Over time, players will be able to collect points and unlock new items for their characters.

One of the unique features of the game has to be its integration with cameras. Users will be able to connect a camera to the PS3 to enhance the game play experience. "Being among the first PLAYSTATION Network publishers to release a game that takes advantage of the EyeToy™ USB Camera (for PlayStation®2) and other PC compatible USB cameras is not only exciting, but also puts the player into a realistic game play setting featuring live audio and video feed," said Michael Lustenberger, VP of Marketing for Sony Online Entertainment. Screenshots can be found, after the break.

Continue reading High Stakes poker brings EyeToy-enhanced Network play

More screens unearthed for retro PSN games

Sony Online Entertainment sure loves the PLAYSTATION Network. With 300,000 downloads under their belt, of course they'd be happy. In addition to revealing High Stakes today, SOE has released some new screenshots of two of their upcoming Network titles. Two classic titles, Championship Spirit and Rampage World Tour, will run in glorious HD ... but does that really matter? As these new screens reveal, the titles look decidedly retro.

Do we need these games to be released on PSN? Or, would you rather have the PS3's incredible power harnessed for something a bit more visually arresting?

Continue reading More screens unearthed for retro PSN games

Make VOIP calls with your PS3

Voice communication is coming to the PS3 in a big way. A VOIP service provider by the name of Jajah, has tailored an interface with the PS3 in mind. Users can head to the Jajah website via the PS3 web browser to setup the number they wish to initiate a call with. Jajah already provides VOIP supports extensions for Firefox, Outlook and even PDAs. Gamers already have voice chat while in game over the PlayStation Network, if games decide to include and support it. However, Jajah's VOIP service could allow one solution for gamers, regardless of voice support, on all PS3 titles. While the process isn't quite as streamlined as another network we heard about, it's still a welcome step in the right direction. Solidifying the good news is word that Intel has invested $15 million in the company, via its Intel Capital arm. Perhaps this is the beginning of a more unified voice chat solution on the PlayStation Network?

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?

Metareview + Our Take: Mortal Kombat II

Today gives us the opportunity to look at the reviews given to the PS Store's downloadable Mortal Kombat II. Before we get into our impressions, we'll do as we always do and cite the big-name review sites. Their scores for this game were surprising. There aren't too many reviews on the game, though. Without further ado, here are some of the scores given to MKII.

  • IGN: 7.3 / 10
  • GameSpot: 7.9 / 10

What we noticed in these reviews is that the reviewers didn't actually review the title as what it is, rather, as what it was. "Oh, this game was great in 1993!" were slapped over both reviews, listing what the game offered back then and how it still does all those things. What our impressions were entailed how that doesn't matter two kicks of the donkey -- the game as it is now really sucks. Read on to listen to our reasoning, or just flame away for no reason now.

Continue reading Metareview + Our Take: Mortal Kombat II

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