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Goodbye Sony PlayStation Portable - We Barely Knew You

300°
296w ago - Whatever happened to the PSP? The device that Sony once touted as "the Walkman for the 21st century" is fast disappearing from popular consciousness, and if you believe the rumors circulating just three-and-a-half years after its launch, it's up for a major rethink in 2009.

Over the crucial month of November, the Nintendo DS shifted a jaw-dropping 1.5 million units in the US alone (up 20% from last year) while the PSP languished, managing just 421,000 sales - actually down 27%, in what was in general a tremendously strong month for video games.

Even the software support is eroding. Despite the PSP's healthy install base of around 13 million consumers, only six 2008 PSP releases scored better than 80% on review aggregating site gamerankings.com, compared with 16 on the DS.

There's a good reason for that: nobody's making PSP games, because outside of one or two hits like this year's Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, nobody's buying them. That's only going to worsen when the superheavyweight Grand Theft Auto series (previously exclusive to the PSP on handhelds) releases its first DS title early next year.

In a lot of ways, it's a shame. The PSP is a far more capable hardware platform than the DS. It's a phone, a portable music player, a pocket-sized movie device, a mobile Web browser,...
 

Suit: Microsoft knew the XBox 360 Could Damage Game Discs

50°
298w ago - A new unsealed motion complete with sealed declarations from Microsoft employees suggests that Microsoft knew that the XBox 360 had a disc scratching problem.

Moreover, Microsoft allegedly considered three possibilities to actually fix the issue including: increasing the magnetic field of the disc holder, slowing the speed that the disc rotated and installing small bumpers. But all of these solutions were supposedly rejected due to practicality and cost.

To quote: Most of the declarations in the court case are sealed, but a newly unsealed motion (read it here) seeking class status quotes from the sealed declarations of Microsoft employees.

The motion says that Microsoft knew that when the Xbox 360 was reoriented with a disc playing inside, the disc could be damaged.

It quotes Hiroo Umeno, a Microsoft program manager, who said in a declaration, "This is ... information that we as a team, optical disc drive team, knew about. When we first discovered the problem in September or October (2005), when we got a first report of disc movement, we knew this is what's causing the problem."

After the Xbox 360 launch, according to the motion, Microsoft sent a team of engineers to stores across...
 

Krome Already Knew About Wii MotionPlus

50°
308w ago - Krome, developers of the upcoming Star Wars The Clone Wars game for the Wii, have revealed that Nintendo warned them about Wii MotionPlus before E3.

Back in August, we heard rumblings that LucasArts weren't very happy with Nintendo's shock Wii MotionPlus announcement prior to their E3 conference in July.

It appeared that Nintendo had chosen not to inform anyone else about their new peripheral before the convention, with games such as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels too late into their development cycles to implement MotionPlus functionality.

In the latest issue of NGamer, producer Ken Fox from Krome, who has been working on Lightsaber Duels for the Wii, had something a little different to say...

"Yes, Nintendo did give us a heads-up about MotionPlus. As far as I know, MotionPlus won't be available until 2009, so it won't be in our game since it launches in November 2008. We feel the original remote enables fans to live out the fantasy of wielding the Wii remote like a Lightsaber. We're very proud of the experience that Lightsaber Duels provides."

Issue #29 of NGamer features a very positive preview of Lightsaber Duels, and should be on sale over the next few days.
 

Sony can't solve all their Problems with Magic, who knew?

250°
322w ago - If any of you have ever been on any PlayStation-related blog at any point in time since the PS3's release (and let's be frank, that'll be a fair few of you) you'll have noticed that the demands for an in-game Xross Media Bar have been ever-ongoing.

Every single post on the the PlayStation.blog (still not understanding the need for that dot) has received streams of comments from the rabid PS3 owners complaining about a lack of service and a lack of respect for the consumer base who've splashed out several hundred dollars/pounds/Euros/et cetera on their shiny black behemoth.

The thing is, I'm wondering why, as a collective, they don't seem to have a single brain cell between them to share some sort of common sense when it comes to developing features such as the in-game-XMB, which we've just received after months and months of demand. Even after we've picked that up, we're still baying for more. My ultimate slating of PlayStation fanboys continues after the hop, skip, leap, jump.

What people don't realize, and I really wish they would, is that Sony aren't a bunch of technological wizards. They can't just magic up an in-game XMB out of thin air, or pull it out of a hat. I don't want to sound like some sort of extremist fanboy here leaping to Sony's defense as if I'm...
 
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