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Analysts lay out '08 expectations

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342w ago - Colin Sebastian banks on consoles for the first half, PCs for back end of the year, while DFC Intelligence projects hardcore fare to define the market.

With the first month of 2008 nearly in the books, industry analysts are wrapping up their latest round of predictions for what the coming year will mean to gaming.

In a note to investors this morning, Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian picked out two trends to watch for. For the first half of the year, Sebastian expects growth in console gaming to be a big story thanks to the release of high-profile games like Devil May Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Metal Gear Solid 4. However, Sebastian expects the PC market to gain prominence after June, buffeted on the strength of releases for Activision Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II, as well as Electronic Arts' Spore.

Will Wright's intergalactic life sim isn't the only EA game Sebastian is looking forward to. The analyst listed a number of other interesting titles from the publisher slated for its next fiscal year, which runs from this coming April through March, 2009. In addition to a new Burnout, Sebastian listed the BioWare role-playing game Dragon Age, an as-yet unconfirmed F1 racing game, and a new Fight Night on the company's expected fiscal 2009 release...
 

PlayStation Home feedback has led to look-and-feel changes

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342w ago - Feedback from users who were testing the PlayStation Home beta has led to key changes.

Changes include: it nows starts off in an outside space(rather then a closed room) with fully functional chess and draughts game tables, some entrance points to key content areas have been made more recognizable, the screening areas of the theater have all been moved downstairs because users said the 12 second walk to the top was too long.

Home is currently on track for a spring 2008 launch.

To quote: What had been an enclosed room with a large window showing a lush view has now been transformed into a serene outside space, with plenty of room for people to interact, and tables with fully functional chess and draughts games included.

Venables and Festejo also revealed that it was now possible to take your avatar out onto a balcony from your own apartment, and that there would be "around eight or nine" different apartments available at launch, although no new details on potential pricing options for the premium apartments were available.

One of the premium rooms displayed was called Norwegian Lodge, a large wood cabin, much bigger than the basic apartment, and while all of the existing apartment designs were based on real-world locations, Festejo commented that he could see more...
 

No confirmation of Final Fantasy XIII in 2008

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342w ago - After the new Famitsu scans were released, we got the exciting news that Toriyama is hoping to give the fans a glimpse of the game in the form of a demo sometime this year. He also stated that 2008 will be the year that we finally get solid details on Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Somehow down the line this is been misinterpreted by many game sites, specifically Joystiq, that Tetsuya Nomura (Character designer) has promised the game will release in 2008. This, infact, is rather wrong. First, it's isnt even Nomura speaking, it's Motomu Toriyama, the games director. Instead he says that he hopes he can show the public a demo of Final Fantasy XIII this year. This is neither a promise or a release date. Another site Gamernode also makes an even worse mistake by publishing that Nomura stated this in an interview with Joystiq, which again is wrong because all the information comes from the new Famitsu scans.

Joystiq go on to say that Nomura has also promised a demo for the Playstation Network "a while before the games release", which is also false. Again, Nomura isn't even mentioned in the article and the Playstation Network isn't mentioned once. There might well be a demo on the Playstation Network at some point, but this article certainly does not confirm it for this year.

This...
 

Have you noticed the ads in Paradise?

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342w ago - IGA, one of the biggest in-game advertising agencies have been working with a wide range of leading brands including BURGER KING, Diesel, Gillette, CompUSA.com, Sling Media, Vizio, JL Audio and others to incorporate static ads, including billboards, retail stores, radio stations and vehicles into Burnout Paradise.

What we want to know is have you noticed them? and if so have they in anyway affected your enjoyment of the game?

In game advertising has been a talking point for a while now, but if such adverts feel like part of the game by blending in with the background without overpowering the experience, then is it something us as gamers should be concerned about?
 

Europe Gets Starter Pack PS3!

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342w ago - According to a source in Spain Sony Computer Entertainment's vice president for Spain and Portugal, James Armstrong has confirmed that a new Starter Pack is due to go on sale on 31 January.

The Starter pack comes with 40GB console, two Sixaxis controllers and copies of:Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

The Console comes at the estimated price of 499.99 euros which is a lot more for your buck.
 
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