Sony Acquires Little Big Planet Developer Media Molecule

March 2, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Playstation

In an announcement that will be little surprise to anyone Sony has said that they have officially purchased Little Big Planet creator Media Molecule.

The announcement came via the official Playstation Blog, with Michael Denny, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Studios Europe, releasing a statement on the acquisition.

“The decision was an easy one after meeting five young, talented people with a massive ambition to redefine video games as we know them and create and grow a fantastically talented team at Media Molecule. This was followed by a fantastic exclusive relationship that culminated in the launch of one of the most innovative PlayStation games of recent years. Of course, LittleBigPlanet needs no introduction here, as it was thanks to you that it became a best selling PS3 title when it released in late 2008.

The acquisition will enhance the talent pool within SCE, protect past and current investment and ensure a solid base for future investment. Media Molecule have exciting projects in the pipeline and we’re looking forward to sharing these with you in the not too distant future.

The most important thing is that nothing will change from your perspective; Media Molecule will simply continue to make great games. Welcoming Media Molecule into the PlayStation family will allow us to better support their future titles and ambitions.”

Obviously this means that all future Media Molecule titles will be exclusive to PS3 and PSP, so sorry to those people hoping to see Little Big Planet on other platforms.

Sony Trademarks ‘Playstation Arc’ In Japan

March 2, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Playstation, Uncategorized

The wand like motion control device that Sony revealed at E3 last June is yet to be given a proper name (other than “Sony Motion Controller” anyway), but a trademark filing and previous reports have put us one step closer to finding out just what Sony intends to call its new controller.

Siliconera noticed that Sony has previously filed a trademark for the name “Playstation Arc” in Japan. While companies seem to file trademarks for random names all the time this one is particularly intriguing because VG247 said earlier this year that an anonymous source had told them “Arc” would indeed be the final name.  The domain PlaystationArc.com has also been registered by Sony, whilst THQ’s CEO has referred to the device as “Arc” a number of times.

If we put everything together then it may seem fairly obvious that the device will be called “Arc” when it is released later this year. Of course, we could all be wrong and Sony may just be registering the name for another idea they have in the pipeline. In the end I guess the only thing we can say is to place your bets now and hope that all the evidence is correct.

GDC is coming up next week, so hopefully we’ll find out more details then.

Classic Activision Games Coming to Good Old Games

January 28, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, PC

For the last week Good Old Games have displayed a countdown towards a ‘big announcement’ on their home page. Today the countdown ended, and it was revealed that GOG have secured an agreement with Activision to bring their back catalogue to the site.

So, what do this mean? Well there are two games on the site right now, with plenty of more to come. First up is RPG Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura, followed by the point-and-click adventure game, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. With games like Battlezone and Hexen belonging to Activision it won’t be long before we get some great classics in the GOG library.

“Signing the agreement with Activision is the biggest thing that’s happened at GOG.com since the actual announcement of the service. This is a huge step forward for our site and for digital distribution as a whole, as Activision is one of the biggest publishers in the world with a long history in the games industry,” said GOG managing director Adam Oldakowski. “We’re even happier to bring Activision games back to gamers, as GOG.com is the only place right now, where you can grab the announced titles. We’ve also managed to work on those titles to provide full compatibility with modern operating systems.”

I love GOG.com, and I’ve bought quite a few games from there, so my excitement for a massive publisher like Activision joining the site is sky high. The games are also incredibly cheap too, so you really have no excuse to check the site out.

Nintendo “Turned Down” Chance at Project Natal Tech

January 27, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under Nintendo, Xbox

CVG has learned that Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata was shown an early demo of what would become Project Natal, but he dismissed the technology as he didn’t believe it could be launched at a mass-market price.

An anonymous source revealed that 3DV Systems – the firm apparently behind the technology Project Natal utilises – showed the technology to a gathering of Nintendo execs in 2007. The company was later purchased by Microsoft, paving the way for Project Natal.

“Iwata-San only ever invests in something he can guarantee will work for a Nintendo audience,” the exec told CVG.

“3DV showed off a camera that detected motion in 3D, and had voice recognition – but Iwata-San was unconvinced he could sell it at a Nintendo price point. He also had some worries around latency during gameplay.

Microsoft has never confirmed that Project Natal uses technology gained from the purchase of 3DV, but this revelation means it’s highly likely that this is the case. The source insists upon this.

“Honestly – I’ve heard Iwata describe the prototype he saw at length, and it’s definitely Natal,” added CVG’s source.

Does Nintendo have any doubts?

“We remain unconvinced Natal will deliver on the more sophisticated elements of what Microsoft is promising at the price they’re aiming for.”

I guess not, but I suppose the bucket loads of money they’ve made from the Wii pretty much says it all.

It’s not the first time Nintendo has decided not to pursue a new form of technology for consoles, as they famously cancelled a deal to jointly develop a CD-Rom add on for the SNES with Sony and Phillips. This technology would later be developed into the Playstation, and that’s one major cash cow that Nintendo missed out on.

And the Best Selling Xbox 360 Game of 2009 is…

January 14, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Xbox

Well, take a wild guess?

ELSPA has confirmed that, yes you guessed it; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the best selling Xbox 360 game during 2009 in the UK. It has also won the prize of all-formats and PS3 best seller of the year, so it has pretty much covered all bases.

On top of that the game is said to have grossed over $1 billion worth of sales throughout the world, which is staggering considering the game only came out in November. Whatver you may think about Activision, they damn well know how to hype a game.

Here’s the full 360 top five best selling games:

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  2. FIFA 10
  3. Forza Motorsport 3
  4. Assassin’s Creed II
  5. Halo 3: ODST

Microsoft: Xbox 360 Isn’t “At the Midpoint Yet”

January 13, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, Xbox

microsoft-logo

You can put your cash away, because there won’t be a new Xbox on the horizon anytime soon if what Microsoft says is true.

The senior director of Xbox product management, David Hufford, has told the Guardian that both hardware and software upgrades will help prolong the life of the Xbox 360 for many years to come.

“I think it’s important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we’re able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal,” said David Hufford, senior director of Xbox product management in a briefing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don’t even know if we’re at the midpoint yet.” – Guardian

Hufford also spoke about 3D, saying that the 360 did not need to upgrade to support 3D since Avatar, which has a 3D option, is already running on the console. However, he declined to go into detail about the possibility of a Blu-ray drive or a new chipset.

Personally I don’t believe Project Natal will be the hit Microsoft is betting on (one of the reasons the Wii sold so well is because everything came out of the original box, so are people really willing to buy more peripherals just for something that only a few games might make use of?), but if it prolongs the life of the console then I’m happy with that. Although, another five years or so will see the Xbox 360’s capabilities extremely dated, but at least I don’t have to open my wallet yet.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Traveller’s Tales Founder Speculates That “PSPgo will Die” Unless Sony Prices Games Cheaper

December 4, 2009 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News

PSPgo

Jon Burton, found of developer Traveller’s Tales, says that Sony has to price PSPgo games cheaper or the handheld console will become extinct.

Speaking at the Developer Jury Service Jon believes that Sony cannot expect downloadable games to take over as the new medium of choice if prices remain higher than physical UMD’s.

“I’m betting on Sony making PSPgo games much cheaper than the UMD versions, or the PSPgo will die”

“I own a PSPgo but don’t want to buy LittleBigPlanet, for instance, as I can get it 20 per cent cheaper on UMD from Amazon and could resell it once I’m finished with it. But if I download it, I get no discount, and no chance to resell – how annoying is that?”

I totally agree with his comments, and I think that Sony are effectively shooting themselves in the foot by pricing digital games higher than their physical counterparts. You only have to look at the success of Steam to see that digital downloads work, but it also, like Steam, has to be supported by a cheaper pricing structure in order to be effective. Shouldn’t we be playing less if a disc and physical case doesn’t need to be manufactured and shipped?

Making digital games more expensive will only lead to the demise of a handheld that Sony is supposed to backing as the future of gaming.

(Source)