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Devs hint at stand-alone SingStar application

In a recent interview with Joystiq at E3 the Senior Vice President of SCEA, Phil Rosenburg, made an interesting comment regarding the expandability of SingStar. When approached about a possible stand-alone downloadable application, like the [email protected] client, Rosenburg said that they "showed a sneak peak of that really cool interface using the SingStore. And there's more coming. You might not be too far off."

Whether this indicates the SingStore itself will be downloadable, or that further pieces of software are being released in the future for the SingStar platform, or even just a separate music download service, we're intrigued. We'll let you know as soon as we find out more.

Rumor: Even more features for the new Sixaxis?

Let the speculation begin! Kaz Hirai has tempted us yet again with his fancy words and vague confirmations. He has let slip the new Sixaxis will contain a few more features in addition to the TouchSense rumble capabilities. In fact, he said, "a variety of other things." Unless he means the TouchSense. In that case, boring! Otherwise, we could see anything from a new set of buttons (L4 and R4, really?) or a remote volume control for game music. Maybe a microphone? How about a magnifying glass? We'd really like to see your most inventive ideas to incorporate into the controller, so why don't you go nuts and give us your "features" to add?

Rumor: firmware 1.90 features customized soundtracks?

We're sure there's a more glorified term for the feature other than "customized soundtracks" but we don't feel like using any lavish vocabulary right now. This is coming from a picture supposedly taken at E3, pardon our resizing policy and click the link to see the original, where the PS3's where supposedly running a very different version of the firmware we've currently got. The difference? For starters, the "Select Music" option. It seems all those people crying to stick their own music into a game might get that chance, even if it's just a looping playlist of whatever they want.

Second, the "Adjust Screen Settings" doesn't ring any bells. Could there be resolution-switching on-the-go now, instead of exiting the game back to the XMB? What happened to the assigning of memory card slots? Perhaps these features are specific to what era of PlayStation game you play? As in, slot assignments appear only if a PS One or PS2 game are present?

This is all conjecture, of course, since the picture hasn't been proven real. Some people do have a lot of time on their hands and really enjoy Photoshop, but to mock a picture of bright, blurry text? It's a tough call, since it has been a while for a firmware update. What do you guys think? Is this for real or for bogus?

[Thanks, SpiderMikey!]

Sony to show off PS3 surprises at Leipzig

MCV, the UK video games trade publication, expects Sony to reveal a number of surprises at the Leipzig game conference at the end of August. While Sony have made no specific announcements about possible revelations, MCV already has a few ideas of what we could be seeing in a month's time. Starting with a continent-wide price cut, Sony will then announce a video-on-demand service and Freeview TV features. All rolling out before Christmas.

At the moment this is all just speculation, however. Though David Reeves did say that Leipzig would see the first big peak-season "fireworks", with announcements which will make the PS3 and PSP much more appealing. What surprises are you hoping to see? We've got a whole month to speculate, so get cracking.

[Via CVG]

Rumor: Twisted Metal PS3 hinted at in clownsplosion?

We say "clownsplosion" because at first, the image of an atomic explosion seemed innocent enough (relatively speaking) and we didn't see the hidden image inside the puffs of PlayStation 3 exclusive smoke. We'd outline it, but we're too lazy. There's a madly laughing clown. A lot of debate has been floating around the PS3 Forums about this picture, but most seem to agree -- Twisted Metal. It's been a long time, what with the last TM game coming around the PS2's launch.

Why do we think it's Twisted Metal? What other game has a clown that would be so delighted to have an atomic explosion bearing a laughing clown hidden therein? Only Sweet Tooth will suffice. Yeah, the face doesn't look as dark and sadistic as Sweet Tooth, but the fact remains: there is an explosion and it is a clown. We welcome Twisted Metal coming on the PS3, even if it's a collection of the old games. Though we'd love a new entry with some badass online modes and "Create Your Own" car of sometimes-humorous death.

40GB PS3 for $399 on the horizon? Everybody say "wheee!"

The PlayStation 3 price rollercoaster reaches another peak today as Game Informer puts the rumour out there that a new 40GB SKU is on the cards. The price? $399. We've also heard ourselves that this has been in the planning stages for a number of months. When asked for confirmation, Dave Karraker stonewalled us with the following statement: "We won't be making any further announcements regarding our PS3 model hardware strategy in North America until the 60GB model is exhausted and market conditions are evaluated."

It's clear, then, that we won't be seeing any new price drops or SKUs hit the market until the 60GB PS3s are sold out. Once that happens, as Pachter said, we'll see the 80GB system drop down to the price of $499. If not, we'll see a new 40GB SKU come in at a price of $399. There's no reason why both of these things couldn't happen, but we're not convinced that's the case.

Since the rollercoaster started, we've been saying that the problem Sony is facing is that people can't afford the PS3, not that they won't buy it. A $399 ticket to the PS3 party would be excellent, especially if it were to start before the Christmas buzz hits. However, all this price craziness is making things confusing for potential buyers who keep up to date with PS3 news. Once the mainstream have bought out all of the 60GB models (All 2 to 3 million of them; It could take a while) we'll see something happen.

Rumor: Warhawk already adding vehicles, weapons?

These are all just rumors, but for those of you lucky enough to play the Warhawk beta, this should be good news for you and even better news for those of us who were already excited to get our online battles on. The site posting these rumors is getting a ton of hate, but we're giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that there are, in fact, changes happening between the beta and final release. Whether the changes are those mentioned below or not, we can't say for sure.
  • Huge graphical update
  • Expanded matches -- 32 vs 32 rather than 32 max players
  • Plenty of downloadable content upon launch in addition to bare-bones game
  • Six new weapons
  • Four new vehicles
Hmm, something smells fishy. It's like they took one piece of news that was probably true (graphical update), then spiced it up with other bits of news that would be rather unbelievable. Following the recent IGN interview, it seems that may be the case. In all, though, rumors are rumors, so we'll go ahead and keep them filed next to our lollipop notebook and chocolate hologram disc full of skittles. We love candy.
[Thanks, Joe!]

Rumor: Sony may get extra GTAIV content after all

Coming from a recent interview with Phil Harrison, 1up was curious why Sony was letting exclusive downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV slip through their fingers. It seems that, perhaps, the PS3 will get their own content for the upcoming classic sandbox game. Phil responded thus: " ... we have a great relationship with Rockstar and we're actually working closely with them on a number of initiatives, so I do know some things that are going on, but I'm not able to share those with you now." Insert theories here.

If we can think of anything, we'd imagine that Sony is trying to get the content for the 360 version over to the PS3 version either as standard Blu-ray extras on the game disc (so they aren't technically breaking the "exclusive downloadable content" clause or whatever), or that there is some more original material planned for the PS3 version down the road. What are your thoughts?

[Thanks, Ciaran!]

Fun speculation: 80GB PS3 to come with rumble Sixaxis?

[Update: The SIXAXIS controller has featured a red light in promotional materials since launch. The red light is not indicative of a redesigned controller.]

Let's keep the wave of slightly related news going. With the announcement of the 80GB PS3 and the price drop of the current model, everybody looked over a detail that may be important. Then again, it may be nothing at all. Over at PSU, the writers thought it worthwhile to point out that on the box for the 80GB PS3, the included controller was lit up all red in the circle we know as either the Home button, PS button, or clear button where the "Analog" button used to be. Why is it red? They feel it's because the controller is actually the new Rumblaxis controller (though we just made up the name).

This doesn't sound too far-fetched. Why else would they delay the new SKU until August, if not to wait until they can toss the new controller into the box? While it was just a picture with a lit-up button, we're going to nod along with PSU on this one and say that yes, in fact, the 80GB PS3 launching in August will come with the new rumbling Sixaxis controller.

[Thanks, Justin!]

Rumor: Circuit City ads for post-E3 shows $100 price cut on the PS3

Over at Cheap Ass Gamer there is a forum regular by the name of Speedy1961 who regularly posts early pre-release leaks of ads from Circuity City, Target and Best Buy. He's been doing it a long time and appears to be extremely reliable. And he just released the information on the Circuit City ad for the week following E3 and guess what appears? The oft rumored 100 dollar price cut on the PS3.

People have been calling for a price cut since immediately after last year's E3 and their voices have reached a deafening crescendo recently, so it is by no means a big surprise that Sony would drop the price. Unfortunately, this is still going to be filed under the 'Rumor' category because of the lack of hard evidence. Some supposed scans have shown up on the net, but they're a bit dubious. Also there is confusion over whether or not this is a permanent price cut. It seems absolutely insane that it wouldn't be; a temporary price cut (one week) would just aggravate things. We'll find out next week for sure though!

Rumor: Rumbling Sixaxis gains touch sensitivity, little added cost

Here's a news piece that will be a joy for your hands. You may use them to clap softly to yourself if you'd like, but we prefer shaking them violently as if they were holding a rumble controller with Sixaxis capabilities plus touch sensitivity. At the same price as current Sixaxis controllers. PSM France report that this so-called "Touchsense" ability gives a new sensation to the last-gen rumble we're used to. Random shaking caused by two twirling hammers or whatever. So lame! This new rumble allows your hands to grab a sensation from not only the handles, but through the "levers" as well. We're fairly sure that means the analog sticks. They're kind of levers.

The rumor spawning this information states that the cost to manufacture all this new technology is actually cheaper than previous rumble mechanisms, thus adding very little cost to the Sixaxis, if any at all. Along with this little tip, it seems PSM France found it prudent to claim an upcoming firmware update will enable rumble for backwards compatible titles. We'll see if these rumors are true at E3 next week!

[via Joystiq]

E3 teaser front and center on the PlayStation Store

For E3 this year, Microsoft is offering a ton of content related to the show for download over their XBL service. It's a great way for us mere mortals to taste a bit of the excitement of E3 and maybe even try out a couple of the games. Last year it was a lot of fun, and people were wondering if Sony was going to step up to the plate with their own E3 offering. Unlike Microsoft, they've been rather quiet about their plans -- leading a lot of people to speculate that it was going to be yet another sparce content showing from Sony. But things may not be as they look, as just earlier today Sony updated their PlayStation Store front with an interesting teaser image (seen above). Sony has never used the main Store Top frame to advertise anything that wasn't directly related to the PlayStation Store some how, so this is an interesting development.

Hopefully this isn't just a tease and actually leads to a solid E3 content push from Sony. Toss in a Lair demo and a Killzone 2 video and that would make a whole lotta people happy little campers.

Rumour: Bioware to showcase a PS3 exclusive at E3?

PSU is today reporting that the community director of Bioware has confirmed that they will be at E3. He states that they weren't happy to confirm their presence there until they "were sure that the cool stuff we're going to be showing there was set, ready and very, very cool."

While it's clear that they will be showing Mass Effect and Sonic RPG at the expo, PSU is speculating that they will also be revealing a new PS3 exclusive. Their reasoning stems from a conversation with Richard Vogel, Bioware's Director of Operations, at the GDC, during which he mentioned to PSU that there was a game in development for the PS3. Unfortunately, no further details were able to be obtained.

Checking the Bioware website, the "in development" games list shows a listing for a "new next generation game". We look forward to seeing if PSU's hunch is correct when E3 comes around.

[Thanks Justin]

Rumor: New Timesplitters is in development as a PlayStation 3 exclusive

According to OPM UK, a new Timesplitters game is already under development by the guys over at Free Radical. Though the team is currently wrapping up the timed PS3 exclusive Haze, supposedly work has already started on a next-gen version of Timesplitters's unique brand of monkey and fire fueled mayhem. The best part is that the game is suppose to be a PS3 exclusive, and a real PS3 exclusive unlike Haze.

While this is fantastic news, it was reported by a user on the EU PlayStation forum who said he had read it in the most recent copy of OPM UK, so this is still firmly planted in Rumorville. There is some circumstantial evidence that lends credence to the theory though. Free Radical has expressed an affinity for Sony hardware in the past and even recently in interviews with their top developers. Also Ubisoft hinted that they were working on a PS3 exclusive a couple months ago, and even though a lot of people thought that Haze was that title there have been a lot of rumblings that it was something we hadn't heard about yet.

So who knows, this might be one of those fun rumors that actually turns out to be true! It would make a lot of people happy and would be a nice exclusive feather in the cap of the PS3. There's something that's just so magical about setting a screaming Gingerbread man on fire while running from a pack of rabid Snowmen with machine guns ...

[Thanks Joe!]

Rumor: Starcraft Ghost to be or not to be on PS3?

You haven't forgotten about Blizzard's Starcraft: Ghost, have you? If you have, take a refresher course on it then get back to us. Blizzard ostensibly cancelled the project a few years back when it was nearly through production for the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube. No real reasoning behind it, but we've got a theory. They needed the resources to beef up World of Crackcraft as well as pound away at Starcraft 2.

Why do we come to this conclusion? Because Blizzard's Rob Pardo said so himself. About cancelling projects, he said "We're just willing to cancel the products that fail ... Our most recent one was Starcraft Ghost. With that game we were very stubborn. I still believe in that game and the characters but we were not able to execute at the level we wanted to...Rather than work on that we had to focus on our other games. We're hoping one day to return to it." What this means to us is once Starcraft 2 is out into gamers hands, they might come back to make Ghost a PS3, 360, and PC title. Or work on Diablo 3. Either way.

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