Friday, January 28, 2011

Sony NGP (PSP2) finally announced!

Yesterday in Japan, Sony unveiled the successor to its PSP handheld. The device, currently codenamed “NGP” for “next-generation portable,” has a 5-inch OLED screen, dual analog sticks, and a touch-screen interface. Of course, those are only the most superficial details. We were there for the press conference, and we’ve already posted loads of info and hands-on impressions. Sifting through all of those stories might be a little daunting, so we’ve compiled the essential information into this one handy location.

Read on for everything you need to know about the NGP, with links to Game Informers complete stories.

Sony’s packing a lot of tech into the NGP, including a 5” OLED screen with a resolution of 960 x 544 pixels, front and rear facing touch pads, front and rear facing cameras, a gyroscope and accelerometer, GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities, two analog sticks, and a d-pad. It’s all powered by a quad-core ARM Cortext-A9 CPU and an SGX543MP4+ graphics processor.

You might be wondering how much something like this will cost…and you’re going to have to keep wondering. Sony’s remaining mum about pricing, but SCE worldwide studio president Shu Yoshida did tell us that pricing has been on Sony’s mind since development on the NGP started in 2008. “Hopefully when we announce the price, people will see the proper value," he told our own Phil Kollar.

Phil got his hands on the device, and reported back his thoughts by what he saw and played. He was particularly impressed with the system’s screen and overall build quality, even going so far as to say it was—gasp—sexy. Scandalous!

The system is abandoning the UMD optical format in favor of a mix between flash-based cartridges and downloads. "Digital distribution’s role and scope and ratio of sales will definitely increase,”says Yoshida. “It’s just a matter of time as people get faster Internet connections. So the role and importance of digital sales will increase. But at the same time, there are people who just want to buy a game at a store and plug and play. That’s why we decided to adopt the flash media format."

Sony has more ambitious plans for its GPS than simple navigation. A new application called LiveArea lets players communicate with friends, and a program called Near shows where you’ve played and displays the most popular games in a particular area.

Now comes the part that actually moves units—games. As sleek and sexy as the NGP might be, without software support, it’s dead in the water. Sony’s confident that it has the support it needs, with a roster of 82 developers and publishers said to be currently working on the platform. Curiously, THQ and EA aren't on the list. Epic Games was among the heavy hitters in attendance, showing off a version of its Unreal 3 Engine running on the NGP.

Activision said that a Call of Duty was in the works for the system, though the company didn’t elaborate whether it was an all-new game or a port of an existing release. Konami showed off footage of Metal Gear Solid 4 on the NGP, but there wasn’t any official word on if it would be available on the platform or if the demonstration was merely a tech demo. Other game announcements included Resistance, LittleBigPlanet, Wipeout, Uncharted, and Killzone.

OK, you didn’t think we’d just mention Uncharted without a little more info, did you? Fine. Phil got his hands on the portable game, and he wrote up his impressions here. The game was definitely designed with the new hardware in mind, including touch-activated stealth kills and sections where you use the hardware’s gyroscope to line up rifle shots. As Phil says, it’s shaping up to be a great look at what this new hardware is capable of.

Phil also got to sample a game called Little Deviants, which he describes as feeling more like a tech demo than a full-on game at this point. It was a great way to put the rear-facing touch pad through its paces, however, including its multi-touch support.

If you’re a trophy collector, take note: The NGP will support those collectables.

Finally, if you want to read Game Informers live reactions from the press conference, check out Phil’s liveblog. It’s not really live anymore, but it’s a fun look at the crowd reaction and our first impressions on all of these announcements.

Monday, January 24, 2011

L.A. Noire coming to PlayStation 3 May 20, 2011

Rockstar has released the latest look at its upcoming L.A. Noire, in a new trailer that focuses on the hunt for a serial killer. You may have remembered this one from Saturday, when it was briefly posted on YouTube and subsequently pulled by 2K Games. It's official now, so you don't have to worry about it going anywhere.

In addition to showing the game in action, the trailer concludes with a release date: May 17. Also, Take-Two announced L.A. Noire is coming out on May 20 in Europe. I've been covering this one from the start, and it keeps looking better and better, and it's not too far away, either.

Watch the awesome second trailer below!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever coming to PS3 May 6, 2011

It has finally come to the day when we get the real release date for Duke Nukem Forever! I've waited for this day forever. We didn't just get the release date, we got a new trailer also. The next step is to play a demo on PlayStation 3.

Watch the new trailer a the bottom of this post, it's awesome! 

Duke Nukem Forever has been in development for a little while. To give you a sense of just how much time has passed since it was first announced, Gran Turismo--a series known for its punctuality--saw releases 1-5 hit shelves in the intervening years. Skepticism turned to actual anticipation last September, when Gearbox unveiled Duke Nukem Forever in playable form at PAX. OK, so the game was really, really, real. A lingering question remained, however: When would we be able to finally take this thing home and play it?

As it turns out, we now know when that's happening.

"Somehow the guys at Game Informer magazine discovered Duke Nukem Forever's launch date before I did," joked Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software and executive producer of Duke Nukem Forever. "But I cannot imagine any better video game news source team than Game Informer to reveal the moment of truth for the most inconceivable, incorrigible and inspiring turn around story in the history of the video game industry – the coming of Duke Nukem Forever on May 3, 2011."

“The moment fans all over the world have been waiting for is almost here,” says Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “May 3, 2011 marks Duke’s return as he unleashes his brash and brutally honest wit on the world. His return is going to be epic and one that will make video gaming history!”

May 3 is the North American release date. May 6 is worldwide. Check it out below.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

I'm saying the same things as last year, I can't believe it's New Year's Eve again! It feels sometimes as if I just wrote a blog post for 2009. 

2010 has been a traumatic year for me. I lost my dad in August, and I've been very sad and depressed ever since. Everyone says that "life goes on" and it does. However, I feel it's very hard to let go of my father. May he rest in peace.

The year had some good moments also. I've played a lot of video games and watched many movies and TV-shows. I've done everything I love and that's what I want with my life, to feel happy.

Maybe I haven't done exactly like I should. I've planned to do so many things, and I just pushed it to the next day! That's one thing I will try to change in 2011.

This New Year's Eve I have for the first time celebrated without my parents, better late than never. It was a lot of fun! I didn't drink so much because I don't like to drink alcohol. I also had to be sober because I was going to fire off some Fireworks like I do every year. They were very nice!

And now I'm looking forward to 2011 with new video games, movies, TV-show and other fun stuff I like to do.

Happy New Year!