Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

PlayStation news: Reliving the greatness of FINAL FANTASY VIII on PS Vita

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Fancy a flight of fantasy down memory lane? Download PS one Classic FINAL FANTASY VIII to PlayStation 3, PSP or PlayStation Vita.

Revolutionised and revitalised on PS one, the massive Final Fantasy series had reached an all-time high in popularity by the time FINAL FANTASY VIII originally launched in 1999. The success of its predecessor FFVII gave role-playing games a massive profile boost, with the swords and sorcery flavoured genre on everyone’s lips as players wondered what sort of dish its creative developer would serve up next. The answer was a bit of a surprise.

“A bold step”

Rather than using the cute and exaggerated styles of previous Final Fantasy titles, FFVIII’s design took an unusual step for the series at the time, and created a cast of realistically proportioned characters. And while the plot continued to dabble in war, revenge and epic battles, there was a more tender concept at the game’s heart: the young love between the stand-offish Squall Leonhart and warm Rinoa Heartilly.

“The entire story was centred on the feelings of [these two characters] which connected more to me than any game of its day,” says Stuart Barnett, a PlayStation Home designer. “It was a relationship that developed from annoying strangers to an inseparable couple, the sort of character development missing from most games.”

“FFVIII was a really bold step,” agrees Simon Barlow, design manager at Evolution Studios. “Following the massive success of VII was never going to be easy. The more realistic look of the characters, coupled with a lead who was difficult to identify with didn’t help, but in hindsight it was a genuinely excellent game, and perhaps ultimately the right move after all. It has aged very well.”

Dances with death

Along with a new approach, FINAL FANTASY VIII came with Square’s typically grand production values, especially noticeable in its orchestral soundtrack which kicked off proceedings in fine style. “It belts into an opening cutscene more reminiscent of a film trailer for a Hollywood blockbuster than a role-playing game,” recalls PlayStation Network user holmesy1968. “That opening stands up as one of videogames’ finest introductions. At the time it was simply unsurpassed.”

This majestic presentation slotted right at home with the story, resulting in one of its most memorable scenes – an enchanting dance sequence between Squall and Rinoa. “What I love is how clumsy Squall is, and the fact that up until now he’s been so miserable, and Rinoa just laughs at him and drags him on to the floor anyway,” says Barlow. “It’s a lovely scene, and one that lets you pause to consider them as people rather than having them always framed against the backdrop of conflict.”

Not to say there wasn’t a fair share of breathtaking instances from the action, too. “The moment I remember the most was the missile attack on Balamb Garden,” says Jon Wills, field application engineer of PlayStation Home. “It ends up with the missiles hitting an empty crater because the Garden has raised itself from the ground and becomes a mobile platform. Looking back, I’m not sure if it was ingenious or just absurd, but the idea of the Garden literally moving out of the way was something I didn’t expect.”

“I didn’t know videogames could do that”

While each fan of FINAL FANTASY VIII has their favourite moment, most agree that it helped change the way videogames were perceived, as well as define PS one as a system that could offer different gaming experiences. “The game was a big step away from the established,” says Wills. “That helped set the idea that PlayStation wasn’t for making the same game again and again, and more about taking a risk and doing something new.”

“It was a declaration that rival platforms couldn’t compete with: a mature, action-packed, cinematic, emotional experience with the best graphics, characters and gameplay that entertained for hundreds of hours,” agrees Barnett. “Oh, and it let you do damage over 9,999… which was awesome.”

Even the final parts of the game, which could take over 40 hours to see, left a lasting impression on those who didn’t play videogames. “The ending itself stopped those around me in their tracks,” says holmesy1968. “‘I didn’t know videogames could do that’ responded one rather surprised family member. That is why FINAL FANTASY VIII is simply so important, because before it arrived: I didn’t know videogames could do that either.”

New Game +

If you haven’t yet embarked on the unforgettable adventure that is FINAL FANTASY VIII, there’s no excuse to miss out now – this PS one Classic is available to download from PlayStation Store to your PlayStation 3, PSP and PlayStation Vita. Begin a journey that will have you talking for years to come.

Our blog is updated frequently per day with the very latest Free Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on September 13th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

PlayStation news: New from PlayStation at E3 2012

Wonderbook: Book of Spells revealed, BEYOND: Two Souls unveiled and cross platform features detailed at E3 – find out more here.

New on PlayStation 3

Wonderbook, a brand new peripheral for PS3, will put a physical book into your hands and draw you deeper into a story than ever before thanks to incredible augmented reality features.

Wonderbook: Book of Spells will be the first game to work in tandem with the revolutionary new peripheral. Set to bring wizardry to life in your living room on PS3, the game features exclusive new writing from J.K. Rowling and lets you learn the art of spell-casting using your PlayStation Move motion controller.

New from Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream is BEYOND: Two Souls, an unpredictable, psychological thriller starring Hollywood actress Ellen Page.

Elsewhere, the lid was lifted on God of War: Ascension’s breathless single player campaign, while we caught a new glimpse of the harrowing world of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us.

Cross platform features outlined

Gamers will be able to share content between Assassin’s Creed III on PS3 and Assassin’s Creed III Liberation on PS Vita by taking advantage of the new Cross-Goods feature.

Cross-Play will let PS3 and PS Vita gamers play against each other no matter where they are. Games to support this feature include WipEout HD on PS3 and WipEout 2048 on PS Vita, and Hustle Kings and MotorStorm RC on both PS3 and PS Vita.

Upcoming games to utilise Cross-Play include STREET FIGHTER X TEKKEN and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

The Cross-Controller feature lets gamers use their PS Vita system as a controller in games such as ULTIMATE MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 on both PS3 and PS Vita and LittleBigPlanet 2 on PS3.

PlayStation Mobile to expand

PlayStation Mobile is the new name for PlayStation Suite, the fun, PlayStation-style gaming experiences available on PlayStation Certified mobile devices including PS Vita

It was also announced that powerhouse smartphone manufacturer HTC is to join the PlayStation Certified license programme.

Coming to PlayStation Vita

PlayStation One Classics are set to become available on PS Vita. They include the iconic role-playing game FINAL FANTASY VII from SQUARE ENIX, Capcom’s hair-raising RESIDENT EVIL DIRECTOR’S CUT and the vibrant platform adventure, Crash Bandicoot, from Sony Computer Entertainment.

Make sure you keep an eye on eu.playstation.com for more announcements and features from the world of PlayStation at E3 2012, and head to PlayStation.Blog for news from the show floor.

This blog is updated several times per day with the very latest Slim PS3 news.

Posted on June 6th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Games and The Artist – could a retro title win a major game award?

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The Oscars were dominated this year by movies that hark back to the industry’s history. Could the same happen with games?

The key story at the Oscars on Sunday was a simple one. It had nothing to do with an unbearably lugubrious acceptance speech, a particularly ridiculous designer gown or a spurned director. The story was about nostalgia.

This year, the ceremony was dominated by two films – The Artist and Hugo – that festishise the industry’s past. Lots of critics talked about a pervading sense of reminiscence; some wondered if the real reason we love Michel Hazanavicius’ homage to the silent movie era is because we sympathise with the lead character’s sense of dislocation from modern technology. But whatever is going on, Hollywood has embraced the past.

When you look across at the major video game awards, it is usually the most technologically advanced and sophisticated games that triumph. Even at the video game Baftas, where you’d expect artfulness and counter-cultural verve to stand a better chance, the big hitters are technological supremos like LA Noire and Batman: Arkham City. Could a backward-looking game ever win, say, the Spike TV Video Game Awards, or the Best of E3? Could a gaming equivalent of a silent black and white movie triumph in a mainstream ceremony? If not, why not?

Well, of course, we all know one thing: games aren’t like films. Not completely. Basic cinematic technique hasn’t changed for several generations; sure, we have digital technology and stereoscopic 3D now, but the underlying processes and end experience are largely the same. With console games however, platforms are chucked out every 5-10 years so every practitioner has to continually re-learn from scratch how best to exploit the medium. Meanwhile on PC, graphics cards and chipsets update every 18 months or less, opening new visual paradigms every time. Technological momentum is a defining element of the experience.

Some developers however, are seeing a similar nostalgic trend in video games. In the indie sector, especially, there is renewed enthusiasm for eighties visuals and genres: titles like Scoregasm and Heaven Variant hark back to classic shooter-‘em-ups, while the much anticipated island exploration game Proteus draws its graphical style from the days of the Commodore 64. Forthcoming crime shooter, Retro City Rampage explicitly pastiches the early titles in the Grand Theft Auto series.

“Retro is a fashion,” says inde developer Mike Bithell, whose own game Thomas Was Alone, sports simple stylised visuals. “It’s a style that, at the moment, is specifically working for a hardcore nerd audience. For big wins outside of indie awards, that fashion will have to cross over into the mainstream. It feels like ’60s and ’80s retro is coming in a big way in fashion and film, so now might be the time for this look to step up in the game sphere. Even Syndicate had a bit of retro flavoured techyness.”

Of course, it’s almost expected for indie titles to look somewhat nostalgic. Small studios don’t have the resources to produce ultra-realistic visuals – plus, indie titles are often the products of small, sometimes even one-person, teams, so can be more subjective and open to Avant-Garde visuals. Which, of course, is not the same thing as nostalgic.

Dan Pinchbeck, a lecturer in game design and co-creator of eerie indie adventure Dear Esther, does see retrospective stylings creeping into mainstream titles – and argues that they are being appreciated in major industry awards.

“You could easily call something like Super Mario Galaxy retro in a lot of ways,” he says. “It’s really polished of course, but in terms of the visual design it’s definitely keeping a very early console feel to its environments, enemies and power-ups. Most mainstream games are still driven to a large extent by pushing graphics forward, but it does feel a little like it’s leveling out a bit now, like ultra high-def photorealism isn’t the only way to go.

“Skyrim looks dated in a lot of ways, and I think we’re seeing that trade-off working where you are taking open worlds over closed-but-perfect visuals. And that’s assuming we’re talking console and PC titles – there are a load of massively successful, major award-winning mobile and casual games that are definitely retro in most ways.”

Bithell agrees. “The big pixelated elephant in the room is Minecraft,” he says. “That game is winning a lot of awards. Arguably, that’s for multiple reasons other than its aesthetic, but it might set a ‘it’s ok to be retro’ vibe for future games – in the same way that black and white movies arguably stand more of a chance of awards in the future.”

Will Luton of Bristol-based studio Mobile Pie also sees a general shift in game visuals away from photo-realism and toward more mannered and subjective approaches. “It is totally possible for a game to win major notoriety by using retro visuals,” he says. “Videogames are much more prone even than movies, to intertextualise – they are filled with abstract symbols and have a short intense history which is keenly and widely followed. That makes them the perfect medium for a constant revival of its own past – or at least, its own past aesthetic.

Luton, however, feels that the mistake some developers make is in replicating vintage experiences too closely, without contextualising them. “Retro games are fetishised because of emotional attachment,” he says. “But their limitations are often forgotten. The audience has become more sophisticated and that is why reissues that do little to the base mechanics rarely succeed creatively and commercially. The Artist isn’t really a silent movie – it is not paced or structured like one. Similarly, games that use the pace and mechanical structure of a retro game will fail to capture a modern audience’s attention.

“Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery is a visually lush, and award-winning iOS game with retro aesthetics, interspersed with an astute self-awareness. You know you’re playing a modern game, because of the narrative, control mechanic and its feel, even though it looks like an aged point-and-click adventure.”

Games, then, often reference their own past to establish atmosphere, or to convey a specific messages to the player – they might not do it in an overt way like The Artist, but they do it for similar reasons; as a shorthand to explore wider themes.

And this message is getting through to the industry’s award bodies. Interestingly, the Innovation category at this year’s Bafta awards is dominated by titles that use visuals in an offbeat, almost retrospective way. LittleBigPlanet 2 is 2D, Bastion has an old-skool isometric style, Child of Eden litters its landscape with vector-style visuals. And on of the major titles, LA Noire, is essentially a traditional graphical adventure game with limited conversation trees and a highly regimented structure.

Indeed, we probably do mainstream games a disservice by berating their obsession with flashy visuals and specious visual tricks. Underneath the photorealistic textures and intricately rendered lighting effects, there are similar concerns to The Artist and Hugo – a desire to uncover and render universal themes and concepts – to say something.

“I think it’s almost impossible to break how something is represented away from what it is that’s being represented,” argues Pinchbeck. “You can take almost any great work of art and represent it so badly that it just becomes awful. What you can see in the history of games is often the same core concept being re-packaged by developing technology – and in the process of re-packaging, becoming something new; so the representational aspects of a game ARE the game in many ways – it’s not just about the mechanics sitting behind the interface.

“That’s particularly true of things like Skyrim, or Uncharted or Dead Space. It’s not just about being stunning visually, it’s about using that massive uplift in representational power to deepen the experience, to add subtle shades of experience that you couldn’t do before. It was interesting that Rage, which looked absolutely gorgeous, got criticised because the visuals didn’t have any depth behind them, any dynamism, which was seen as an integral part of visual design.”

So a game version of The Artist could well win a video game equivalent of an Oscar if it uses visuals in a way that heightens the underlying experience – even if those visuals are in some ways nostalgic? “I think games are driven by tech, at all levels, including ones we normally call artistic,” says Pinchbeck.

“It’s much harder to separate the art and tech of games out – they are interwoven. But for me, that’s a strength of the medium, not a weakness.”

Games

Game culture

Indie games

Keith Stuart

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Posted on March 1st, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

PS3 Slim news: My PlayStation highlight of 2011

As another fantastic year on PlayStation draws to a close, industry experts tell eu.playstation.com their video game highlights of 2011.

“The unveiling of PlayStation Vita in January all the way through to the launch in Japan on 17 December 2011 has been great. On PlayStation 3, the launch of Killzone 3, LittleBigPlanet 2 and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception stood out, along with the announcement of The Last of Us.” Shuhei Yoshida, president, SCE Worldwide Studios

“What a year it’s been: we started with three massive games in LittleBigPlanet 2, Killzone 3 and MotorStorm Apocalypse, and rounded it off with Resistance 3 and the incomparable Uncharted 3. Add to that some great new PS Move experiences like DanceStar Party, Start the Party! Save the World and Medieval Moves, and there was truly something for everyone in 2011.” Michael Denny, senior vice president, SCE Worldwide Studios, Europe

“There was a ton of great stuff in 2011, and if you were to twist my arm, I’d have to say Uncharted 3. The game just looks amazing and continues a great narrative in a way that few titles have been able to accomplish. No other game gets closer to film quality cutscenes.” Dayne McClurg, community manager, Gotham City Impostors

“Showing off WipEout 2048 and Little Deviants on PS Vita for the first time in public at E3 2011 was a big highlight for me. And playing Uncharted 3 in stereoscopic 3D with my youngest son – it’s just such an awesome game, great story, brilliant pacing, Hollywood style action and all in superb, quality 3D. Hats off to the ‘Dogs’ for another truly amazing game.” Mick Hocking, vice president, SCE Worldwide Studios

“It’s got to be Uncharted 3. I’m a huge fan of the series and it’s a stunning title to experience.” Nick Craig, vice president, Codemasters

“For me it’s been inFAMOUS 2. I loved the first game and I think the second one is just so much better. I’m playing it through for the second time as the villain right now.” Simon Bursey, art director, BigBig Studios

“Killzone 3 showed clearly how far you can push the rendering power of PS3 – great look and feel, and a very well executed game. Batman: Arkham City was a fine successor to the beautiful Arkham Asylum and it’s fantastic to see a small studio like Rocksteady create such a strong new Batman series.” Tore Blystad, game director, Hitman: Absolution

“Not strictly this year, but it has to be Gran Turismo 5. It hasn’t been taken out of my PlayStation 3 since 2010, and it has basically helped me become an actual racing driver.” Jann Mardenborough, GT Academy winner 2011

“It’s been a stupendous year for the discerning gamer, hasn’t it? Call me biased, but seeing EA SPORTS FIFA 12’s online stats go through the roof this year stood out. Also, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City – Deus Ex: Human Revolution too. That’s about three months of non-stop playing right there.” Matt Prior, associate producer, EA

“I always enjoy seeing how game series I used to work on go: Dead Space 2 and Need For Speed The Run are two of those, and both are great.” Glen Schofield, general manager, Sledgehammer Games

“I loved The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and I found Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Batman: Arkham City to be pretty epic.” Ara Demirjian, assistant producer, SCE Worldwide Studios

“Killzone 3 was a lot of fun. I’m about big guns: the bigger the shells the better, and that missile launcher in Killzone 3 [the WASP] was immense.” Randy Varnell, producer, Gearbox Software

Check out our video to view more PlayStation highlights from 2011, including the pick of the year as chosen by Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Slim-PS3 is updated regularly each day with the very latest Free PlayStation 3 news.

Posted on January 1st, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – review

PlayStation 3; £39.99; Naughty Dog/Sony; 16+

Games exclusive to a single console have apparently been subjected to 1940s-style rationing these days, but rumours of their death have clearly been exaggerated. In recent years, the burden of providing a reason to buy a PlayStation 3 rather than Xbox 360 or Wii has been shouldered by Naughty Dog’s action-adventure franchise Uncharted, so the third iteration, subtitled Drake’s Deception, is the company’s great white hope for this Christmas. So it’s a good job that, like a polar opposite of the England football team, it seems able to feed off the pressure and achieve new heights.

As ever, Uncharted superficially adheres to the blueprint established by the Tomb Raider games, in that the game’s protagonist, Nathan Drake, divides his time between acrobatic leaping, climbing and swinging around, shooting and solving puzzles. That’s where the resemblance ends though. Uncharted 3 has a cinematic grandeur that would make Lara Croft choke with envy.

Talk of adhering to blueprints, commendably, is slightly misleading in Uncharted 3’s case. From the beginning, it makes clear its intention to avoid the predictable and obvious, mixing up its gameplay and exotic locations cleverly. It begins with Drake and his mentor Sully, unarmed, taking part in a great brawl in a London pub. Which illustrates two things: first, the game’s hand-to-hand combat engine has been massively improved (although it takes a back seat once weapons enter the equation). And second, that the franchise has raised its game in terms of virtual acting to a level only previously occupied by LA Noire. Those tiny incongruities that remind gamers they aren’t actually controlling a Hollywood movie have been ruthlessly eradicated, and the dialogue is vibrant rather than clunky.

The game’s narrative flow, as tortuous as we have come to expect, also provides an extra level of immersion. It soon busies itself by filling in a crucial chunk of back-story, as you flash back to control a teenage Drake in Cartagena, Colombia – where he first encounters Sully. The game then returns to the present day, apparently competing with itself to take you to ever more exotic locations as Drake’s treasure hunt takes shape.

You wouldn’t say that Uncharted 3’s gameplay is fantastically innovative. It’s very much a traditional game, and takes care to be forgiving for those who wouldn’t describe themselves as hardcore gamers. It does, nevertheless, feel fresh and ground-breaking. It flows magnificently, and is much more tightly plotted than the average movie, despite lurching across the globe. Drake and Sully’s banter compares favourably with that of the best-buddy movies, and is leavened by the occasional reappearance of various allies from previous Uncharted games. The (British, and nicely observed) baddies dog you every step of the way, so bouts of adventuring are usually followed (or even preceded) by shoot-outs. Drake even gets to show off his horsemanship skills at one point. As ever, the shooting places great emphasis on plundering guns and ammo from dead enemies, and different classes of enemy (including heavily armoured tank characters), keep that side of the game interesting. Uncharted 3 is gratifyingly keen to make its shoot-outs more challenging and hectic than its predecessors.

Graphics-wise, Uncharted 3 is beyond impeccable – it is one of the finest looking games ever. The trademark rich, colourful and vibrant environments are present and correct, and the cities are better populated, and therefore much more convincing, than before. And there are a couple of unexpected aspects to the game. At times – thanks to a baddie with a habit of firing darts filled with mind-bending drugs – proceedings become positively psychedelic. And Drake and his cronies have become much more humorous than before, never knowingly sparing the wisecracks.

Decades ago, all the talk in the world of games centred on beating Hollywood at its own game – but what we got, instead, demonstrated how difficult that was. But Uncharted 3, perhaps for the first time, represents what we all hoped games would eventually evolve into. Its production values are sky-high, and it puts you at the centre of a gloriously rich and irresistible world, controlling a character who is heroic, but also convincingly human. It’s also mildly didactic, and feels less dumbed-down than any mainstream movie we’ve come across in years. For once, you’re able to forget that it’s a mere collection of ones and noughts: the sheer slickness and believability of Uncharted 3’s production and characters ought to induce widespread self-flagellation in Hollywood.

Rating: 5/5

PlayStation

Games

PS3

Sony

Steve Boxer

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Posted on October 25th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

PlayStation news: Weekend Essentials 69

Steal the show with Yoostar 2 In the Movies, win big Call of Duty: Black Ops and hit the gas with MotorStorm Apocalypse this weekend.

The camera loves Yoostar 2Move, camera, action! Grab the limelight with Yoostar 2 In the Movies for PlayStation 3 as you star in 80 unforgettable Hollywood scenes. The PlayStation Move motion controller and the PlayStation Eye camera translate your every move into Oscar-worthy performances.

See which scenes you could steal at eu.playstation.com. Sprinkle a little Hollywood stardust on your weekend with Yoostar 2 In the Movies, out now for PS3.

Discover Dragon Age IIRise from the ashes of the Darkspawn massacre to become Champion of Kirkwall in Dragon Age II for PS3. As the indomitable Hawke, every choice you make affects more than a decade of tumultuous history. Burnish your legend in a glorious fantasy world ripe for hour upon hour of exploration. Set off on your journey this weekend – Dragon Age II is available in-store for PS3.   

MotorStorm Apocalypse revs upThere’s a storm of petrol clouds and metallic thunder brewing. MotorStorm Apocalypse is on the horizon for PS3, and you can get in gear by downloading the thrilling demo from PlayStation Store to PS3 right now.

And for a unique spin on this thrilling car-mageddon, check out the MotorStorm Apocalypse Facebook App at apps.facebook.com/webapocalypse.

Mortal KomebackTest your pain threshold with the no holds barred Mortal Kombat demo for PS3. Featuring four classic characters, including Scorpion and Sub-Zero, PlayStation Plus members can download the demo for PS3 from PlayStation Store today and perfect those gruesome finishing moves.  

Back to the Future is hereGreat Scott! Marty McFly and Doc Brown blaze their unique time trail across PS3, as Back to the Future: The Game hits PlayStation Store. It’s a rollercoaster adventure with a DeLorean-sized dollop of humour, so crank your PS3 up to 88 by downloading Back to the Future: The Game from PlayStation Store now.

Prizes aplenty with eu.playstation.com!Head to eu.playstation.com/competitions this weekend to find out how you could win Call of Duty: Black Ops Prestige Edition, complete with its own remote controlled surveillance vehicle.

We’re also giving away a special PlayStation Move Heroes bundle, including a copy of the game, a PlayStation Move motion controller and a PlayStation Eye camera. Hit eu.playstation.com/psmoveheroescompetition to enter.

Lend your voice to the GamocracyHave you got ideas coming out of your ears? Put them to good use – head to community.eu.playstation.com and take part in Gamocracy. Have your say in the brand new game coming in 2011 from The Bearded Ladies Consulting, and a public vote on facebook.com/TheBeardedLadies will decide which idea will be used.

The PlayStation Official App now Europe-wide Take the world of PlayStation with you wherever you go with The PlayStation Official App (v1.05). The one-stop source to keep you ahead of the game is now available across Europe. Find out how to download the app at eu.playstation.com/mobile.

Keep an eye on PlayStation.Blog at blog.eu.playstation.com for the latest PlayStation news as it happens.

Be sure to opt in to receive PlayStation emails when you sign up for a PlayStation Network account. If you already have an account, sign in to your PlayStation Network account settings at eu.playstation.com/registration or via the XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) and opt in. That way, you can keep bang up to date and receive the latest PlayStation news direct to your inbox.

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Posted on March 12th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

PS3 news: Weekend Essentials 58

‘Tis the season for giving, so why not shower yourself with gifts courtesy of PlayStation this weekend…

Download more Drake today!

To celebrate the announcement of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, all Uncharted 2: Among Thieves downloadable content is now half price on PlayStation Store, including the PlayStation Heroes Pack, the Drake’s Fortune Multiplayer Pack, the Sidekick Skins Pack and the Siege Expansion Pack. Take part in your own daylight robbery on PlayStation Store before the sale ends on 5 January 2011.

Do your Duty Call of Duty: World at War now packs even greater value for money as part of the Platinum range. With two brutal World War II fronts to fight on, comprehensive multiplayer options and a wealth of downloadable content available from PlayStation Store, why not try one of the hardest hitting shooters on PlayStation 3? 

Assassin’s Animus

A brand new game mode and a fresh map are added to the excellent multiplayer modes of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood this weekend. Animus Project Update 1.0 introduces the Advanced Alliance mode, which rewards teams who use a stealthier approach to combat, while the winding streets of Mont Saint-Michel are recreated in the new map. Animus Project Update 1.0 is available to download from PlayStation Store now. Duke it out

Taken yourself as far as you can go in The Fight? Then it’s time for a new challenger to step into the ring. The Duke pack is available from PlayStation Store right now, download it today to play through online and offline modes as any of the boss characters from the game, as well as the main man – Duke himself, played by Hollywood hard man Danny Trejo.

Enter the Ewoks

Travel to the forest moon of Endor in a new download pack for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. The Endor Bonus Mission pack is available now from PlayStation Store, presenting an intriguing scenario from The Return of the Jedi. Featuring new trophies and a dark storyline, this is essential for Star Wars fans.

For a lighter take on Force-based fun, the brand new demo of LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars can be downloaded from PlayStation Store now, featuring a huge dollop of humour and more characters than you can shake a cupped yellow hand at. 

Unleash your inner superhero

The wait for DC Universe Online is nearly over, and to prove it a free download of the Beta introduces PlayStation Plus members to the adventure. Create your own superhero – or evil mastermind – and embark on a journey through this unique vision of the DC Universe. Head to the PlayStation Plus section of PlayStation Store and don your mask in readiness.

PS3 goes to Persia

If sun and sand is what you need this Christmas, head to PlayStation Store. There you’ll find Prince of Persia Warrior Within and Prince of Persia The Two Thrones, both enhanced with crystal clear High Definition visuals and playable in stereoscopic 3D. With Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time already available to download, this completes the full original trilogy on PlayStation 3. 

Win a PSPgo system and 10 games!

We’re giving three lucky winners a PSPgo system and ten top games each including Gran Turismo, LittleBigPlanet and WipEout Pure. Head over to eu.playstation.com/competitions for full details of the prizes on offer and to find out how you can enter. Good luck!

We’re on your PS3!

Visit eu.playstation.com on your PlayStation 3 and you’ll find that we’ve undergone a dramatic redesign to make it even easier to keep up with the latest games from the comfort of your living room. Click on Internet Browser under Network on the XMB Menu on your PS3 and say hello to the new official PlayStation website now.

All they want for Christmas…  Finally, to get in the mood for Christmas, over at PlayStation.Blog the great and the good of PlayStation games-making tell us what they want Santa to drop down the chimney this year. To find out which cuddly creature the producer of Medal of Honor is hoping for, and much more, check out blog.eu.playstation.com now.

Keep an eye on PlayStation.Blog at blog.eu.playstation.com for the latest PlayStation news as it happens.

Be sure to opt in to receive PlayStation emails when you sign up for a PlayStation Network account. If you already have an account, sign in to your PlayStation Network account settings at eu.playstation.com/registration or via the XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) and opt in. That way, you can keep bang up to date and receive the latest PlayStation news direct to your inbox.

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Posted on December 23rd, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

PS3 Slim news: Hulu Plus now available to all US PS3 owners

Sony made good on last week’s promise to bring the Hulu Plus video streaming service to all PS3 owners in the US. Unlike the previously offered Hulu Plus service this summer, users no longer need to wait for invites or be PlayStation Plus members. The monthly subscription does cost $10 per month for regular users, but grants users access to full seasons of TV shows from ABC, NBC and Fox, as well as movies from major Hollywood studios.

Users need to download the Hulu Plus app from the PlayStation Store and create an account. Their PS3s need to be linked to their Hulu Plus subscription by typing in a referral code. Current Hulu Plus subscribers can sign in without needing a special transition.

Besides the PS3, Sony supports Blu-ray players, Blu-ray home theater systems, Network Media Players, Dash devices, and connected Bravia TVs.

This site is updated several times per day with the latest Free PS3 news.

Posted on November 24th, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Slim PS3 news: Weekend Essentials – Issue 28

Recent PS3 news:

Fancy winning some tickets to the 2010 FIFA World Cup final in South Africa? Or being transported to worlds of cowboys and princes? Then read on…

Hit the World Cup as a finalist

The glorious multinational football tournament of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is nearly here, and what better way to celebrate the excitement than wining tickets to the final? Well here’s your chance – head over to playstation2010fifaworldcup.com and take part in a competition which challenges you to identify the football legends as recreated using ModNation Racers’ fun mod creation tool.

Go for your guns, padner

Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption offers all the thrills of the Wild West, courtesy of PlayStation 3, complete with wonderful High Definition visuals and addictive rough and ready open world gameplay. Take the role of former outlaw, John Marston, as he struggles to bury his bloodstained past, one man at a time. Or saddle up with friends online for a roaming adventure across the frontier.

Make your PS3 and PSP princely

The Prince is back – and his regal journey is more dangerous than ever before. Coinciding with Disney’s film adaptation of the classic PlayStation 2 title, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands on PlayStation 3 and to download from PlayStation Store on PSP returns to popular storyline established in the Sands of Time.

It only takes a second

Drive your PS3 to the limit with Disney’s Split/Second: Velocity, where the city you race around isn’t just the course – it’s a weapon to be used against your opponents. Speed through Hollywood style action extravaganzas where your actions can change the course to make each lap a different prospect. And if you want to make sure you’re ahead of the competition, download the Time Saver’s pack from PlayStation Store to unlock some of the vehicles and tracks from the game.

It takes a nation…

Have you jumped into the whacky racing fun of ModNation Racers yet? Create your own karts, characters and tracks, and then go online to race and share your creations with the world. ModNation Racers is all about you, and now you can download a demo of the PSP version from PlayStation Store, as well as buy the full game.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a PSP system – the game is also out on PlayStation 3 to enjoy as well, with the Van Man downloadable pack available from PlayStation Store to help spruce up your creation options.

Dodge this

New to PSP is the addictive fun of Coconut Dodge, an arcade style minis title which has dodging coconuts, weaving through airborne mazes and playing beach ball kick-ups to collect giant, shiny treasures. Perfect for some summer time fun, download it from PlayStation Store and go for gold.

Taking you to PlayStation Home

A new event has taken off in PlayStation Home – a two player duel brought to you courtesy of the bite-sized, downloadable minis range. Taking place on the top level of The Observatory space, this event lets you challenge an opponent to a game of memory. Match up the identical tiles (each based on a minis title) from a giant square board to win – but beware, the board contains traps as well as bonuses. Points can be stolen from you or your foes, so keep your fingers crossed and your wits about you.

Winners can gain a minis neon light for their personal space, while this minis related space gives you the chance to play futuristic pool game FreezeBall and purchase and download the latest minis titles for PS3 and PSP.

Take a peek into eu.playstation.com for prizes and more…

There are prizes for the taking in a large number of competitions on offer this week at eu.playstation.com/competitions, with chances to win a signed PS3 in the UFC Undisputed 2010 competition or a Street Fighter IV Arcade Stick controller in the Super Street Fighter IV competition.

If you want to get your creative juices going, then you can also enter the brand new THE EYE OF JUDGMENT LEGENDS competition, which challenges you create your own ultimate creature card, inspired by the game’s fantastic artwork. If your design impresses the title’s developer, Yusuke Watanabe, then you could win a specially created figure of a character from THE EYE OF JUDGMENT LEGENDS, a PSP-3000 system and even a large-scale copy of your designed card.

Keep an eye on PlayStation Blog at blog.eu.playstation.com for the latest PlayStation news as it happens.

Be sure to opt in to receive PlayStation emails when you sign up for a PlayStation Network account. If you already have an account, sign in to your PlayStation Network account settings at eu.playstation.com/registration or via the XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) and opt in. That way, you can keep bang up to date and receive the latest PlayStation news direct to your inbox.

Slim-PS3.com is updated frequently every day with the very latest Free Slim PS3 news.

Posted on May 21st, 2010 by  |  No Comments »

Avatar Producer Explains Why Movie Games Don’t Work

Jon Landau, producer of the video game version of Avatar, has stated that he knows exactly why video games based on movies nearly always fail. It is his contention that Hollywood politics and restrictive studio rules often lead to subpar games. Landau believes that the whole process of making movie games needs to rely less on studios and more on individual directors, producers and other stakeholders.

Hit the break for more. Slim-PS3.com is updated regularly every day with the very latest video game news and reviews.

Posted on April 23rd, 2010 by  |  No Comments »