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GDC 2008: LucasArts prioritizing PS3, unleashing Force!

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347w ago - Star Wars studio's "new baseline" will be Sony's console; Force Unleashed publicly demoed for first time by publisher--which almost made KOTOR3 instead.

In recent months, the PlayStation 3 versions of many multiplatform games have been released after their Xbox 360 counterparts--or canceled outright. Others, like Grand Theft Auto IV, have seen both versions delayed because, having optimized the game first on the 360, the developers encountered difficulties with the PS3 edition.

This week at the 2008 Game Developers Conference, a major studio laid bare the pitfalls of cross-platform development on the current crop of consoles--and talked about how it plans to deal with it in the future. In an expansive and informative lecture, Haden Blackman, project lead for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, discussed which platform the company's "built from scratch" development team began work on in 2005.

"Multiplatform development was one of our biggest challenges," he told the jam-packed hall in the basement of the Moscone Center. After George Lucas famously urged the studio to "go build that game" upon seeing the first test reels from TFU, they began work straight away on Xbox 360 dev kits in late summer 2005--because that was all the studio had.

"It took a very long time for us to reach a...
 

Resistance 2 multiplayer for PS3 will be a challenge

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347w ago - A Bungie employee has said Resistance 2 looks "interesting" but its ambitious 60-player multiplayer will be a "challenge".

Speaking on Bungie's latest podcast, Luke Timmins, multiplayer engineer on Halo 3, said that he was interested in how Resistance 2 developer Insomniac would keep 60-player multiplayer games from feeling like "just running around in a chat room".

The ambitious Resistance 2, touted by fans as Sony's Halo-killer, is scheduled for release on the PS3 exclusively some time in 2008. It will have an impressive eight-player campaign co-op and massive 60-player competitive modes which will focus on squad-versus-squad combat.

Speaking on the Bungie podcast, Timmins said: "Some of the stuff that Resistance is doing about trying to keep jacking up the number of guys in a game... I've played Resistance, and I'm a huge Battlefield 2 fan but I'm still interested in how do you keep that number of guys in a game and make it seem like you are actually playing together and not just running around in a chat room. It's real interesting and I wish them well but, yeah, it's a challenge."

Is Bungie's Luke Timmins right? Will Insomniac face a challenge making 60-player multiplayer games fun?
 

Sony sees easing of PS3 price pressure

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347w ago - Recent strong sales of higher-priced PlayStation 3 models may be an indication that Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) does not need to cut prices of the flagship video game console soon, a U.S. executive said on Thursday.

When Sony lowered U.S. prices of the PlayStation 3 last November, it was surprised to see that consumers bought as many $500 models as $400 models, said Scott Steinberg, vice president of product marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America.

"So we're seeing that the hard-core gamer is not afraid to throw another $100 at the PlayStation 3 because the value proposition is so rich," Steinberg told Reuters in an interview.

The main difference between the two models is that the $500 version has an 80-gigabyte hard drive, double that of the cheaper model.

"We're still in the phase of studying what this means for the potential roadmap for the year," Steinberg said.

Asked if that meant the pricing pressure posited by many analysts had not materialized, Steinberg said. "It's leading us to think so."

Sales of the PS3 lagged those of Nintendo Co Ltd's (7974.OS: Quote, Profile, Research) Wii and Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Xbox 360 last year, with many analysts citing its higher price and lack of must-have...
 

19 Hottest and Most Anticipated Games of 2008

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347w ago - We've spent the past few weeks researching ahead, and we are proud to bring you a list of our staff's most anticipated games, presented in alphabetical order...

Alan Wake: This psychological action thriller, from Remedy, (of Max Payne 1 and 2 fame) is published by Microsoft Game Studios, exclusively for Windows Vista and Xbox 360 (unfortunately, the previously planned PlayStation 3 version was nixed). The main character is based on Ilkka Villi, a Finnish professional actor and writer.

Disaster: Day of Crisis: This new "Survivor" Wii game uses natural disasters as the impetus to inspire rogue Special Forces, while players race cars down mountains, dodge toppling buildings, and try to avoid the devastation of an earthquake, in addition to swimming through a raging flood.

Endwar: Best-selling author, Tom Clancy's story, set during World War III, was designed by Ubisoft Shanghai. Previously known as "Firehawk," it is a real-time strategy game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Nintendo DS.

Fallout 3: Those who have viewed development blogs and screenshots have said that this game appears to be re-done from the ground up; designed for true fans of the Fallout series. It seems like a true departure from the first two games, released 10 years ago, but it is promised to "stay...
 

Metal Gear Online Looking to Take Over PSN

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347w ago - After the success of the online portions of Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence on PS2, Konami is Gearing up to conquer the online gaming world with Metal Gear Online for PlayStation 3, which may be released as a part of the Metal Gear Online Starter Pack.

While being set against the backdrop of the upcoming Guns of the Patriots, MGO is looking to rival online juggernauts such as Call of Duty4 and Team Fortress 2 for dedicated fans. There are features that MGO, if properly integrated, could prove to be quite a memorable experience. A few notables are:

- Tried and true arsenal, including the VZ.83, AK10Z and M4s
- New system called SOKKU, which quickly gathers info about your allies.
- 16 player death-match, capture the base, along with other sneak and attack combat which is still TBA
- Character creation and leveling up, rivaling Call of Duty 4

It is still too early to tell if MGO will be commanding a legion of fans or just lag out into nothing more but hype. Even without any characters from the leading cast (although some screens suggest Snake will make an appearance), Konami still feels that this game will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has previously played anything from the Metal Gear franchise.

It is still unknown if MGO will be sold independently....
 
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