Archive for May, 2011

Slim PS3 news: PSN Up and Down, Still No PlayStation Store

Well, it’s May 29th and still we have no PlayStation Store access. Apparently the reports of the store going up this past week were unsubstantiated.

While fans were initially excited about the “PSN Welcome Back Package” with the offer of free games and movies for PSP and PS3 owners, they have not been able to take advantage of it yet. Without the PlayStation Store, there’s no downloading of the package.

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Posted on May 31st, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

Modern Warfare 3 – preview

The latest console news:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is pure 21st century action cinema, a cacophonous opera of destruction and gunfire in intricately recreated cityscapes around the world

Earlier this week, at a studio complex somewhere in Kentish Town, Activision previewed what will certainly be one of the biggest entertainment events of the year. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the latest in the long-running series of first-person shooters, is likely to make more money than any blockbuster movie release, and through subsequent downloadable content, it will continue to generate millions of dollars throughout 2012.

Last year, the Cold War-based Call of Duty: Black Ops shifted something in the region of 18m copies and became America’s biggest-selling game ever. But fans consider the spin-off Modern Warfare titles – developed by the original Call of Duty studio, Infinity Ward – to be the standard bearers for the series.

Of course, Modern Warfare 3 was always an inevitability, but nothing about its development has been predictable. Last year, several months after the release of the smash hit Modern Warfare 2, Activision sacked Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella for, “breaches of contract and insubordination”.

The duo sued Activision, Activision counter-sued and in the meantime dozens more Infinity Ward staff left, many joining their previous bosses at new development start-up, Respawn Entertainment, now working on an undisclosed project for EA. Very quickly, Activision revealed that it had also formed a new studio, Sledgehammer Games, with Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey previously of EA’s Visceral Games at its head, and a remit to work on the Call of Duty brand.

Indeed, the team was already being paired up with a restructured Infinity Ward to start work on Modern Warfare 3. The two companies have shared development duties – an increasingly common set-up in the modern industry, where projects can require teams of up to 200 people.

“We’re taking it to an entirely new level,” says Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling, displaying the customary games industry hyperbole. “We’re taking players into the heart of major cities all around the world, delivering urban combat in places like Manhattan and London. We’re also going throughout Europe, to Russia, parts of Africa, and the Himalayas – you will travel the world.” Yes you will, and judging by the two missions Activision revealed to us at the press event, you will blow most of it up in the process.

The story, apparently, picks up immediately after the close of Modern Warfare 2, in which Russia launched an invasion of the US, while the elite counter-terrorist squad Task Force 141, attempted to gather evidence against Russian ultranationalist leader Vladimir Makarov. “Washington DC is burning, ” explains Schofield. “Task Force 141 is either dead or on the run and battles rage along the eastern seaboard of the United States. You must now join with your delta team in Manhattan to help turn the tide against the Russians who have occupied New York City…”

Titled Black Tuesday, the first mission we’re shown picks up at the opening of the New York campaign. The player starts aboard a Black Hawk helicopter that’s just crash-landed in the city’s financial district. The objective is to get to the stock exchange, but there is a full-scale battle raging. Missiles cut through the sky, taking out vast chunks of Manhattan real estate. A front line of obliterated roads, burned-out police cars and crawling APCs is populated by groups of soldiers cowering behind great chunks of fallen masonry. It is, in short, what we expect from a Call of Duty set-piece – a cacophonous opera of destruction and gunfire, through which the player is closely guided by a computer-controlled superior (in this case, someone called Sandman).

From here, we burst into an office block riddled with bullet holes. An enemy chopper hovers outside, spraying everything with machine-gun fire. Then we’re out into an alley between tenements and fire escapes, before bursting into a jewellery store and engaging in another gun fight amid dozens of glass display cases exploding into shards.

The key moment is when we finally reach the stock exchange and indulge in a lengthy shoot-out on the trading floor, which has been intricately replicated – and then destroyed. Then we’re up a series of scaffolding platforms onto the roof where a thermite charge takes out a satellite dish, blocking enemy communications. From here, we get the grandstanding conclusion.

A comms link is established with a drone craft, and as in Modern Warfare 2, the player is able to remote-guide Reaper missiles at enemy positions, finally taking out a Hind and watching it spin to fiery oblivion in the streets below. But this isn’t quite the end. There’s still time to leap into a Black Hawk, laying down mini-gun fire, and duelling with another Hind between the skyscrapers – the final audacious moments see the two craft firing at each other through the superstructure of an unfinished building. It is every Michael Bay movie condensed into one roaring aerial showdown.

“The campaign is all about that cinematic intensity,” says Bowling, somewhat needlessly after what we’ve just experienced. “We are locked into delivering 60 frames per second; that’s what allows us to combine the high-speed gameplay and tight gun control. But the single player is just one aspect of a much, much larger experience.” Along with the main campaign, we’re promised the now customary Spec-Ops missions, and a two-player co-op option that will be apparently be massively built upon since its Modern Warfare 2 introduction. As for online multiplayer – well, something big is planned and an announcement is due next week.

To close the event, Bowling and Schofield show us another level, this time following the Bravo Six team on a covert mission in London’s docklands. An enemy weapons shipment is being unloaded, and we’re here to gather valuable intel (guided from the air by a voice actor who sounds uncannily like series regular, Craig Fairbrass).

There’s no indication of how this all links in with the Russian invasion of the US, but the air support is picking up heat signatures in a nearby warehouse and our job is, naturally, to take out the bad guys. The player is in control of a character named Burns who’s using a silenced P90 to pick off soldiers. Then we’re out into the dock and a full-on assault, with car alarms going off everywhere and Canary Wharf towering in the background, just visible through the night-time drizzle.

Whatever was offloaded from the ship has now seemingly been spirited off, and we’re giving chase in a truck, which thunders onto railway tracks and down into the tube system, where enemies fire from a hurtling train. We zig-zag between oncoming trains, taking constant fire. At one point, the whole cavalcade whips through a packed station, and we see commuters running in panic. We’re told to watch our fire – and for a second it looks like the infamous No Russian scene from Modern Warfare 2, where the player has to take part in a terrorist raid on a Russian airport filled with civilians. Eventually, the tube train jumps the track and spins through the tunnel in a fury of debris. And we’re out.

It is, as Call of Duty has always been, breathless stuff – a total sensory assault, this time lent an extra dramatic charge by those intricately detailed representations of familiar cityscapes. I wonder if the developers have considered how the use of such imagery will remind some of real-life atrocities in New York and London – and indeed, the trailer has already evoked the hysterical wrath of the Daily Mail, which has claimed that the tube train sections essentially simulate the July 7 bombings. It is an attention-grabbing connection, but it is also spurious; players will understand that the use of recognisable landmarks ramps up both the intensity and the stakes, and these hugely familiar cities have been destroyed countless times over the years in monster and sci-fi flicks.

With the tumultuous demo over, plenty of intriguing questions remain. We’re not sure if any favourite characters from previous Modern Warfare titles are returning, and there’s much to discover about the reworked multiplayer. In gameplay terms, amid the state-of-the art special effects and sheer graphical detail, the corridor-like structure is hugely familiar, a single route plotted through the chaos.

A question mark looms over whether the Modern Warfare 3 single-player mode can innovate beyond the restrictive formula of its predecessors. But then, do its millions of fans want it to?

This is a series based on bombast and bullets, and while last year’s Black Ops made a few interesting narrative sojourns into the territory of the 1970s conspiracy thriller, it looks like Modern Warfare 3 will be pure 21st century action cinema – a gigantic paean to the art of computer-generated destruction.

• Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be released on 8 November for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC






Keith Stuart © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Posted on May 28th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

news: MMA Will Beat the $#!@ Out of Your Console

Latest PS3 news: Supremacy MMA announced for consoles in UK and Stateside; various pre-order bonuses detailed. Slim-PS3 is updated regularly every day with the very latest Free Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on May 27th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

news: MTV Multiplayer – ‘Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3′ Campaign Impressions – Explosions > Innovation?

MTV Multiplayer: If “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2″ had a noticeable weak point, it was in its campaign. A nonsensical, overly-complex (yet ironically half-baked) plot and some redundant cover-to-cover gameplay made the solo campaign feel like a step back from the original “Modern Warfare.” The campaign was trumped in just about every way by last year’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” which means the gauntlet has been thrown, and it’s up to Infinity Ward and newcomer, Sledgehammer Games, to take back the reins of the franchise with “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” This site is updated several times per day with the very latest Free Sony Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on May 27th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

Chatterbox: Friday – Console news

The latest console news:

The place to talk about games and other things that matter.

Friday! Start planning that weekend of games!


Keith Stuart © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Slim PS3 is updated frequently every day with all latest Free Slim PS3 news and console reviews.

Posted on May 27th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

PlayStation news: Game Talk – Red Faction: Battlegrounds

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Find out how the destructive Red Faction: Battlegrounds was created, with the game’s project lead, Stephen Powell, and studio director, Don Whiteford. This site is updated frequently per day with the very latest Free Slim PS3 news and reviews.

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

PS3 news: PSN Welcome Back Programme

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Sony Computer Entertainment Europe reveals details of Welcome Back programme for PlayStation Network users. Our site is updated regularly each day with the latest Free Slim PS3 news and games reviews.

Posted on May 19th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

Wii 2 complete guide

Latest news:

Nintendo’s brilliant scientists are locked in their hollow volcano, feverishly bashing together a successor to the monumentally popular Wii console. While we’re hearing that a playable Wii 2 will be unveiled in just a few weeks at the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles, official details surrounding the new console are still thin on the ground. But rumours — that’s a different story! Here’s what we’ve been hearing through the grapevine…

The Wii 2 will be HD

Game Informer was the first site to break the Wii 2 story in April, citing anonymous sources who claimed the next console — which has taken on the curious moniker ‘Project Café’ — would be able to run games in high definition.

Both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 can already do this, and by comparison the Wii looks frankly ropey, graphics-wise. But don’t take this as a sign that Nintendo will definitely be cramming hi-def holly-jollies into its next console — the success of the Wii wasn’t down to its graphical capabilities, but its accessibility.

We’d think any new console would now be HD-capable by default, but frankly Nintendo’s never taken much notice of what we think a console should be — it’s always happily marched to its own beat.

The controller will have a built-in screen

We’re hearing this everywhere. The rumour goes that the Wii 2’s controller will feature its own hi-def screen. Some sites report it’ll be a touchscreen panel (akin to the lower screen on the Nintendo 3DS), and guesses put it at anywhere between 5 and 6.2 inches on the diagonal.

We’ve even heard that the screen will use fancy ‘haptic’ tech that enables the panel to feel like different things — when you stroke the screen it could feel like a brush or like wood, for example. We’re not sure how Ninty could possibly work that idea into a videogame, but the technology does exist, and the company has a history of adopting weird, unproven tech in its hardware.

It’ll cater to hardcore gamers 

We’ve also read that the controller will feature two analogue sticks, which would make the traditional gaming crowd very happy indeed, as it would prime the Wii 2 for intense first-person-shooter games. Myths abound that the new controller will also be slathered in buttons, shoulder-mounted triggers and a front-facing camera — further inciting rumours that this console will see Nintendo welcoming die-hard, muscly-thumbed gamers back into the fold, possibly with an upgraded online service.

But we wouldn’t count on it. Nintendo’s secured a legion of wealthy casual-gaming enthusiasts with the Wii, and it will be very wary of scaring them off with an interface that resembles an air-traffic control deck. We’re certain the new controller will keep the Wii’s motion-control capabilities, and if it adds anything new it won’t be a mass of buttons, but something more streamlined.

It’s more powerful than the Xbox 360 or PS3

This could well be true — a spot of computational one-upmanship is always welcome when new consoles are announced, and it aligns with the hi-def rumour. French site 01net reports the Wii 2 will pack a Custom IBM PowerPC triple-core CPU, an ATI R700-family graphics processor, and at least 512MB of RAM.

Nintendo’s never made much of a song and dance about graphical grunt, but it’s possible that performance-wise the next Wii could blow the current generation out of the water. There’s something to consider though — price.

The Wii’s success can be largely attributed to its fairly low starting price. Consoles that pack in a warehouse’s worth of spanking new tech are always pricey, and Ninty won’t want to alienate the casual crowd with an expensive bit of hardware. So while the next Wii could outclass the Xbox and PS3 on paper, we’d be surprised if Nintendo opted for the most expensive components it could find.

Backwards compatibility

The current Wii can run Gamecube games, so we’d hope the next Wii could at least run Wii titles. This one’s pretty much a cert.

When we try to apply our feeble human brains to dreaming up a new Nintendo console, the best we can come up with is an HD machine, with a cool controller and great online play. But we’re basically picturing an Xbox 360, and we doubt Nintendo is prepared to behave so conventionally. Here’s hoping for something truly mind-bending when the Wii 2 is unveiled in a few weeks time.

We’ll update this story with new rumours and more information as it becomes clear, but what do you imagine the Wii 2 will be like? We want your insane theories littering the comments, and our Facebook wall. 

 is updated several times per day with the latest video game news and reviews.

Posted on May 18th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

PS3 news: PlayStation Network Back Online! At Least 75% of It

Latest Slim PS3 news:
In a press release, and a surprisingly charming video featuring Kaz Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corp., Sony has announced that the PlayStation Network (PSN) and it’s music service Qriocity are, largely, back online.

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Posted on May 17th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

Sony PlayStation Network woos gamers back with free games and movies

Sony has revealed how it plans to woo gamers back, as the beleaguered tech giant tries to rekindle the love affair between gamers and the hacked PlayStation Network. Sony has now revealed the package of free games offered to UK gamers, including LittleBigPlanet, inFamous and Killzone Liberation. 

The Sony Online Entertainment, PlayStation Network, and Qriocity online gaming and media services packed a bag and went to their mothers’ places to get their heads together almost exactly a month ago. The services have recently been restored, and Sony is now promising users free films, free game downloads and extended subscriptions by way of making up. The company will also big you up to that looker you’ve had your eye on lately.

Gamers can download two free games. PlayStation 3 owners can choose from Dead Nation, inFamous, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty and Wipeout HD Fury. US users can choose Super Stardust HD instead of questing for booty. Sony PSP Go owners can choose from LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers and Pursuit Force or Killzone Liberation; the latter isn’t offered to US PSPers.

PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive 60 days of free membership to the premium level of the PSN, and non-subscribers will receive 30 free days. Music Unlimited subscribers get 30 days free subscription.

Sony has also said that it’s updated the PSN and added additional software-monitoring, vulnerability-testing, encryption and firewall features, so you can feel safe at night and don’t have to go back to your ex — Xbox, that is. 

We done a poll over the weekend, asking if you would stand by your console. It seems most of you will be getting back together with Sony, although many of you will take some wooing. That’s it, chaps and chapettes — play hard to get.

Only a small proportion of you plan to switch to the Xbox 360, an option that was discussed by many. Don’t worry about making that threat, though — you were angry, we were angry and things got said in the heat of the moment. We understand.

The PlayStation Network is back online — here’s how to get online again — but many of you are still having problems. You need to update your PS3 and change your password, and the vast numbers of people doing so has overwhelmed the network, leaving many still frozen out. We can only suggest you be patient — annoying, we know — and don’t be tempted to hit the ‘Forgot your password?’ button too many times, as it could lock you out and will probably delay the password email reaching you.

If there’s still a problem, give your PS3 some space and let it remember why it needs you. If this thing’s gonna work, it’s gonna take a little patience and a little work, so hang in there. And it wouldn’t kill you to buy flowers every once in a while.

Let us know in the comments section below how you’re getting on, and which games you’d like to get as part of your compensation. And remember, we’re rooting for you — you make such a great couple. is updated frequently per day with the latest console news, reviews and features.

Posted on May 17th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »