Archive for July, 2012

PS3 news: Borderlands 2 is Take-Two’s third most pre-ordered game ever

The latest PS3 news: Take-Two shared encouraging news for the upcoming release of Borderlands 2 during its financial results conference call today. is updated regularly each day with the latest Free Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on July 31st, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Razer Ouroboros mouse channels Dark Knight Rises’ The Bat – Console news

The latest news:

It’s the gaming mouse you deserve, but not the one you need right now. Because it’s the middle of the morning and you probably have business to attend to. But when it’s fragging time, you could do worse than the Razer Ouroboros, a frightening new peripheral that channels The Bat, Batman’s ludicrous flying tank.

It might look like a wee version of Bruce Wayne’s latest runabout, but it’s packing serious firepower of its own. Just like a superhero’s supervehicle, the Ouroboros can extend its body and arch its back to fit your hand, and the side panels can be swapped for ones with wings to better suit your grip.

There’s a mighty 11 programmable buttons — it’s ambidextrous, so it’s easy to switch around for southpaws. It gives you the choice of wired or wireless connection too, for precision or convenience (although Razer reckons it performs just as well wireless). Wireless use is powered by a rechargeable AA battery.

Both a laser and an optical scanner on the bottom of the fuselage give a sensitivity of 8,200dpi — brilliant if you often play Starcraft 2 on an IMAX screen. It even has bright green backlighting on the scroll wheel and under the side buttons, as well as the battery level.

Ouroboros is an ancient Egyptian symbol of a snake eating its own tail. I have no idea what that has to do with a ridiculous Batmouse, but it reminds me of Pop Will Eat Itself, and that’s only ever a good thing. PWEI’s Clint Mansell did the soundtrack to Mass Effect 3, which you might want to play with this mouse. See? It’s all circular.

Razer has a reputation for making bonkers neon kit — my previous favourite was the utterly nuts Naga Epic MMO mouse, with its telephone-style button bank on the side. The Ouroboros looks to be a riposte to Mad Catz’s astounding Cyborg RAT 9, with its Transformer-style popped hood and unnecessary dials.

The Ouroboros will be out in time for Christmas, and will set Santa back an eye-watering $130, which will probably mean around £100 here in the UK. But will anyone else you know have a Batmouse? No. No they won’t. is updated frequently each day with the latest games console news, reviews and features.

Posted on July 28th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Sony PlayStation Vita overheats, tech watchdog investigates – Console news

Mind your fingers, gamers — the Sony PlayStation Vita has suffered problems with overheating while charging.

More than 30 people have complained about the Vita heating up: 23 in Japan and eight in the US, Europe and Australia. That’s not many in the grand scheme of things, but it is enough for Japanese consumer body the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation to investigate the complaints.

The Vita is reported to overheat while charging, with the cable burning out and changing colour. Sony blames customers getting their Vita grimy: “When the PS Vita or multi-use terminal on its USB cable have foreign matter or liquids on them and are connected for charging etc, a partial short that leads to the terminal burning out can occur.”

Sony adds, “There is no defect”, and will not be recalling any units.

Anyone affected by overheating can exchange their Vita, but for a fee — so don’t get liquid, food or general gunk on your charging cable, you mucky pups, or you’ll have to fork out.

The Vita suffered early problems when it was launched in December last year. It sold in the hundreds of thousands in the first weekend on sale in Japan but some of those wouldn’t turn on.

Still, it’s a rare bit of kit that works perfectly for everyone from day one. The new iPad, iPod nano and Sony Bravia TVs have all been known to overheat to varying degrees of meltiness.

Does your Vita overheat-a? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Slim-PS3 is updated regularly every day with all latest Free Sony Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on July 27th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Imagine a Pixar video game …

The creators of Wall-E and Up once had an interactive division. Why did they close it, and does it matter?

Shortly after playing through Brave: The Video Game, the companion piece for the new Pixar movie, I was given the chance to ask the film’s director and producer a few questions. One was right at the head of the queue. Why does Pixar, a studio that creates brilliant movies and clearly has impeccable standards, content itself with farming out the interactive side to third parties?

“We try,” says Brave’s producer, Katherine Sarafian. “We worked quite closely with the game developers [Behaviour Interactive] and Disney Interactive because we want it to be great but, more importantly, we want it to feel like the movie even if it can’t quite look like the movie.

“The game expands the world, so it’s very important to us that any new characters or environments in there feel like Brave, which is why we work so closely and give so much of our time to it. Because if we just farmed it out then we’d be disappointed with the result. And Disney Interactive would be too.”

Some of Sarafian’s points have to be conceded – the game’s art style and enemy design certainly fit thematically with the movie. And the few cast members that feature in both game and movie emphasise the work that goes into the tie-in.

“I kind of got more into the game, in the sense that there was more dialogue than in the movie,” says Kelly Macdonald, who plays Brave’s lead character, Merida.

“There was just more to do, a lot of the sessions were for games. I’d do a couple of lines for Mark [Andrews] and Katherine before I started the games session, with a guy called Ben who was more of a voice on the line – the film stuff tended to happen in person.”

But none of this quite answers the question. It’s the old licensed games lament, about a standard genre piece given appropriate visuals and sent out to shift units.

“We can’t control everything, they’re two different deals,” says Brave’s director, Mark Andrews. “The games have their parameters they have to work within, the companies making them have their parameters they have to work within and they each have budgets. So how do you get the best quality in that frame you’re working to?”

That nails it. Don’t get the wrong idea – Brave: The Video Game is, as far as licensed games go, pretty good. And the concept’s solid, blending the Lego series’ family-friendly platforming with a 3D twin-stick shooter.

But it utterly lacks the magic or even production values you might expect from something with Pixar on the box. Would the people at Pixar ever consider making their own games?

Andrews says: “No.” He says it firmly.

“We actually had something like that in-house a few years ago,” Sarafian says. “I don’t think we would consider it now because we want to focus on the primary business of film making, but there was a time back in the late nineties where we did interactive games.”

The Pixar Interactive Division was short-lived, existing from sometime in the early nineties and through the release of Toy Story before being shuttered in 1997.

In that time it produced two things – the Toy Story Animated Storybook (skip to 24 minutes if you want to see Buzz Lightyear moonwalking on an arcade cabinet). The second was the Toy Story Activity Centre, a more straightforward collection of minigames.

The first, to my very young self, was a delight; as brilliantly animated as you’d expect, it goes through the film’s story and lobs in puzzles and minigames as it steams along.

The company’s co-founder, Ed Catmull, told Variety Magazine in 1999 that: “Given the talent we put on this project and the return we got, we did the very best and only did fine financially.”

The Toy Story Animated Storybook sold well, in terms of a quasi-educational CD-Rom, especially when you consider it was published by Avanquest, a French software house more inclined to stuff like antivirus programs.

Not enough. After the division’s closure a Pixar press release said the company said it would redirect its valuable talent into the main business of making movies.

“When we had that in-house division we wanted and needed those artists to be working on the films,” Sarafian says. “So we kept on borrowing them and were thinking ‘Why are we doing this? Let’s just make the movies.’ That’s where our passion is.”

It’s hard to argue with that. “We spend as much on video games as we do on movies,” Andrews later tells me, somewhat unconvincingly.

But Brave does reach beyond the home consoles – Temple Run: Brave is a themed version of last year’s hit app, while Brave: Storybook Deluxe is a much more interesting case.

This is one of Disney Interactive’s newest forays, and Brave is one of a series of offerings such as the Lion King and Tangled. They all share the same template.

And when put next to stuff like The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore (watch the trailer) or the Numberleys (watch the trailer) you see the difference. Both of these “interactive storybooks” are made by Moonbot Studios, two of the three co-founders of which have a history with Pixar, and next to them the Brave Deluxe Storybook feels like those Activity Packs you used to get on long car journeys.

Are they games? Does it matter? Only in the sense that, as you toy with and watch the Numberlys, you wonder whether that first experience burned Pixar a little too badly.

Thinking of movies and games as totally distinct enterprises ignores all the blurring that happens at the boundaries, where new ways of telling stories and engaging audiences are constantly being born.

Pixar is superb at what it does, and clearly doesn’t want to muddy that with what it sees as a loss of focus. But I don’t want Pixar to make Dark Souls.

Last week I re-watched The Incredibles, and all I could think of was what Moonbot would do with it. Yesterday I downloaded the Brave Deluxe Storybook, and just wished it had a bit more magic to it. A bit more imagination. A bit more Pixar. Is that too much to ask?


Game culture



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Posted on July 25th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

news: 10 of the Best: Downloadable games under £10

Discover some of the best PlayStation Store bargains available to download to PlayStation 3.


Explore shimmering sands on your way to a distant, mysterious mountain in Journey. You can make the trek alone or team up with other, anonymous travellers you meet along the way. Each is a fellow member of PlayStation Network, from anywhere in the world. All you can be sure of is that you’ll share their wonder at this unique adventure – find out why by downloading it from PlayStation Store now.

MotorStorm RC

Get set for masses of miniaturised mayhem as MotorStorm RC brings radio- controlled buggy racing to PS3. Whizz around arctic ice bowls and desert dirt tracks in a variety of dinky monster trucks, beach buggies and motorbikes. Even better, you can get muddy on the move by taking advantage of the game’s Cross-Play feature to continue racing on PlayStation Vita – at no extra cost. 


Manipulate time in this uniquely styled adventure on PS3, as you travel through a series of dream worlds in search of an abducted princess. Braid is a platform game with a twist: with every puzzle you solve, a new fragment of the story is revealed. Yet each world contains its own unique challenges, each requiring a brand new way of thinking. Get ready for an endlessly inventive game when you download it from PlayStation Store.

Beyond Good & Evil HD

First released on PlayStation 2 back in 2003, Beyond Good & Evil is an action adventure with a difference: assault rifles and combat squad mates are replaced by high-powered cameras and a boar-like guardian named Pey’j. You play as photojournalist Jade on a quest to expose a government conspiracy. Pilot hovercraft, solves puzzles, beat epic bosses and sneak into high-security facilities in this remastered critical smash. Download it now from PlayStation Store.

Rainbow Moon

More than 50 hours of gameplay, 17 different classes of tricky monsters, over 120 exciting special skills and 50 PlayStation Network trophies to show for your efforts. The numbers are impressive and Rainbow Moon is one of the most involving PS3 games available from PlayStation Store. A turn-based, role-playing game filled with towns to explore and dungeons to brave, it’ll transport you to a colourful world where skill and determination are your best weapons.

Trine 2

Beneath the beauty of Trine 2 is a fast-paced, thoughtful adventure designed to encourage you to scrutinise your surroundings for the way ahead. You take control of three distinct characters and switch between them to find the one most suited to the conundrum at hand. Pretty to look at and immensely satisfying to explore, Trine is a game that rewards your imagination with even more amazing sights.


Nothing is as it seems in Datura. Opening with your character in the back of an ambulance, things only get more bizarre – a few moments later, you awake in an unnerving forest, where you’re plagued by sudden flashbacks that require quick thinking. The longer you spend with Datura, the thicker the mystery becomes. Have you got the nerve to see it through?


Wage wacky warfare in Worms on PS3, as tactical battle hits the dirt. Take it in turns to launch wave upon wave of ridiculously over the top strikes against your opponents, then sit back and giggle at the resulting cutscenes. Whether you choose to wield the notorious bazooka or the deadly banana bomb, you’ll leave a deep impression on your enemy – not to mention on the soil around them.

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown

Limber up for the ultimate edition of Virtua Fighter 5 on PS3. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown has been refined to include several brand new features, such as new, interactive arenas, specially simplified controls to ease new players in and 19 honed fighters to play as, including series newcomer Jean Kujo. Visit PlayStation Store to download the game and enter the ring.

inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood

It’s Pyre Night in the city of New Marais, and hero Cole MacGrath is distracted from the celebrations when he answers a woman’s cries for help far beneath the raucous streets. It’s a trap: Cole is attacked and infected with ancient vampire Bloody Mary’s deathly thirst. He has a single night to drive a stake through his nemesis to save the city and himself. It’ll be a night to remember.

These great games and many more are available at wallet friendly prices, in a place where the title you want is never out of stock. Visit PlayStation Store from your PS3 now and play your next favourite game.

Slim-PS3 is updated frequently every day with the latest Slim PS3 news and hardware reviews.

Posted on July 23rd, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Slim PS3 news: Shenmue 3: HD Release of Series Could Revive the Franchise

The latest Slim PS3 news: “For anyone who hasnt heard, Sega is making HD remakes of their greatest hits including games like Jet Set Radio. An HD re-release of the Shenmue series could be just the push Sega would need to make the pending third installment a reality.” is updated regularly each day with the very latest Free Sony Slim PS3 news.

Posted on July 22nd, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Slim PS3 news: G.F.Y.S. Episode 2: MP Attack

The Sworrior puts Pop-Gamers in their place about multiplayer. Slim PS3 is updated regularly each day with the very latest Free Slim PS3 news and games reviews.

Posted on July 21st, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Halo 4 Xbox console leaks as live-action series gets trailer – Console news

The latest gaming news:

Halo 4 fans will be able to get their hands on a themed console this autumn — one that sports glowing blue LEDs — while a teaser trailer for the accompanying live-action Halo 4 web series has also been released.

The limited-edition bundle was posted to Microsoft’s online shop, but was soon taken down, though not before eager gamers grabbed all the tasty details. The Halo 4 bundle includes a specially designed console and two controllers, IGN reports, plus a black headset and a copy of the new game, natch.

The limited-edition designs seem a little so-so, but what I’m really keen on is the promise of blue LEDs on both the console and controller, and custom sounds when you turn the console on or eject a disc. Fingers crossed for Master Chef Chief doing an a capella rendition of the Xbox start-up theme.

The console comes with a 320GB hard drive, while buyers also get Halo 4 downloadable goodies including a unique armour skin, weapon skin, an emblem and an avatar outfit and prop. The whole shebang was up for pre-order at $400, or about £260.

Meanwhile Microsoft has (intentionally this time) revealed a new trailer for its upcoming Halo web series. Unironically titled Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (it’s the name of a space frigate), the trailer reveals that the five-part series will be some kind of futuristic high school drama featuring an alien invasion, and is confirmed to feature the line, “What the hell are those things?”

Forward Unto Dawn comes out later this year, while Halo 4 is out in November. The eighth instalment in the popular Halo franchise (if you include the HD remake of the original), the anticipated title made its way into our prestigious top 10 most exciting games and gadgets of E3 list.

Are you excited about Halo 4? What do you think of the live-action trailer? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Image credit: IGN is updated several times each day with the latest Free Slim PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on July 20th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Is this the new PS3?

Just last week we heard that a slimmer PS3 was on the horizon, and now here are some pictures showing off what could very well be the console.

A filing with a Brazilian telecoms regulator revealed the pics, which were snaffled up by Tecnoblog, SlashGear reports. If genuine, they reveal a new PS3 that looks remarkably similar to the PS3 Slim, but with a ridged texture. It looks smaller too, and instead of the disc slot, it looks like it has a top-loading disc tray.

It could be positioned as a more budget offering too, with a 16GB size coming alongside 250GB and 500GB versions, according to the Brazilian telecoms company’s database. So it could challenge the Xbox 360 S as a budget console.

Previously we heard Sony was readying a slimmed-down version of the PS3, to be unveiled at next month’s gamescom trade show in Germany — though details were pretty sparse. If genuine, these (admittedly low-quality) pictures do shed some light on the new console. The PS3 is in its sixth year on sale, so it could do with some revivifying. It’s a common practice of Sony’s, with it shrinking down its original PlayStation in the form of the PSone and keeping it on sale.

The PS4 is widely expected to launch next year.

But does Sony really need to launch new consoles? It bought cloud-based gaming service Gaikai recently, after all, enabling it to deliver games over the Internet straight to your TV or set-top box. All the processing is done on servers elsewhere, eliminating the need for powerful, bulky, and expensive consoles in the lounge. So the PS4 could be the last console Sony launches.

What do you think of the ridged texture? Would you buy a smaller PS3 with the PS4 said to be just a year away? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

Our blog is updated frequently each day with all latest Free PS3 news and reviews.

Posted on July 19th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Slim PS3 news: The Five Best 2012 PS3 Games So Far

As we move into the second half of 2012, it’s time to assess the first two quarters of the year when it comes to the world of PS3 gaming. There haven’t been a lot of influential titles, but there are a handful of PS3 games that could be called must-play. From the emotional experience of “Journey” to the controversy of “Mass Effect 3″ to the best baseball simulation of all time, here are the five games that every Sony PlayStation 3 owner should check out and the titles most likely to end up on a best-of list at the end of 2012. Read on and tell us what we missed…

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Posted on July 18th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »