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TGS '07 Q&A: Sony's Phil Harrison

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357w ago - On the fourth floor of Sony's Japanese offices in the posh district of Minato-ku, the PlayStation 3-maker held a party Wednesday night to show off 30 of the PS3's upcoming games to an audience of international journalists.

The company remained tight-lipped about what to expect in tomorrow's Sony Computer Entertainment keynote, which starts at 10:30 a.m. Tokyo time on Thursday (2:30 a.m. BST Thursday, 6:30 p.m. PDT Wednesday). However, speculation is widespread that SCEI CEO Kaz Hirai will use his presentation to unveil a rumble-enabled Dual Shock 3 for the PS3, amongst other announcements.

At tonight's event, though, the atmosphere was informal. Informal enough, in fact, for GameSpot to corner Sony Worldwide Studios president and World's #1 MotorStorm fan Phil Harrison over a cold drink. He politely discussed the constant comparisons of the PS3 and Wii, and how Sony plans to move on from the negative press the company has attracted over its latest console's bumpy ride at retail.

GameSpot UK: So can you talk to us about what's going to be announced during Kaz Hirai's keynote tomorrow?

Phil Harrison: No. And I wouldn't remember anyway. [Laughs]

GSUK: We keep seeing stories from Japan about the Wii outselling...
 

TGS '07: flOw Expansion Pack Preshow Hands-On

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357w ago - flOw remains one of the trippiest games released on the PlayStation 3 so far, with the PS Network game's organic-looking design and simple yet appealing gameplay adding up to an almost hypnotic experience. The game's upcoming expansion pack adds a brand-new creature, a new enemy, and some new foods--in other words, more of the same for fans of the game.

The new creature being introduced into the mix shares the same stripped-back look of previous controllable flOw creatures, and looks like a small circle surrounded by hooked barbs. Pressing down any button on the PS3 controller will cause the barbs to close, momentarily protecting the new creature from any enemies. Releasing the button sends the creature into a spin, which also serves as an attack for any nasties that may be around. The new enemy type being introduced into this expansion acts somewhat like a puffer fish--get too close, and this spherical enemy will puff up spikes all over its body.

Introducing a new character essentially adds a new "campaign" to the game--and considering the original game had six creatures in all, that's about 15 percent more flOw for fans out there. Another important addition that comes with the expansion pack is the ability to now play as two different creatures in multiplayer.

A release date for the flOw...
 

TGS '07: Hot Shots Golf 5 Hands-On Preview

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357w ago - Hot Shots Golf may be known by many names around the world (such as Mina No Golf and Everybody's Golf), but in any language the series has become a byword for humorous and accessible golfing action. The game has appeared on every Sony platform since the original PlayStation, so it was no surprise to see it announced for the PlayStation 3. With the game already being on sale in Japan, we were able to play the finished article ahead of the Tokyo Game Show, as well as talk to the game's developer.

The main thing to talk about is how the shot and putting systems have changed in this latest outing. Instead of being indicated by a bar, the shot power is now displayed with visual indicators on the golf club itself. Once you've chosen your club, the circle button will initiate the shot and your player will begin the swing. At the 50 percent power level, the end of the club will flash yellow, and at 100 percent it will flash red. By judging from these two indicators, you have to press circle again at the desired power level to take the shot. At this point, a target reticle will zoom in on the ball itself, and the idea is to press the circle button again just as it encapsulates it to ensure a straight shot.

We found the new shot system to be intuitive, and we had no trouble getting to grips with it from the very...
 

TGS '07: High Velocity Bowling Preshow Hands-On

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357w ago - The PlayStation Network seems to be the outlet for some of Sony's most innovative content for the PS3, featuring games with unique concepts or which make full use of Sixaxis motion sensing technology (and sometimes both). High Velocity Bowling isn't exactly a groundbreaking concept, but it does utilise the Sixaxis controller to choose both the direction of the ball and its power. We tried out the latest build of the game at Sony's pre-TGS press event in Tokyo overnight, and we're happy to report that High Velocity Bowling seems to control much better now than in our last hands-on preview with the game.

High Velocity Bowling is an arcade bowler which features the usual stock standard play modes--there's straight-up bowling, head-to-head competitions (which helps unlocks new playable characters), tournaments, and trick shot challenges. Each character has different strengths in ball spin, speed, and accuracy, and they come with names like Average Joe, Average Jill, Spider, Hero, and more.

High Velocity Bowling draws some obvious parallels with Wii Sports' bowling game thanks to its use of the Sixaxis to control both direction and pace of the ball. You hold the PS3 controller sideways in your hand and will initially have to choose the position of your bowler by tilting the controller, followed by the direction...
 

TGS 2007: Rumble Confirmed

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357w ago - TGS 2007. IGN has confirmed rumble in the Sixaxis. The new Burnout will be the first game to support it. (so they say)

Big shocker at today's Electronic Arts pre Tokyo Game Show press event. While playing a demo of Burnout Paradise, we felt something that we never thought we'd feel from a PS3 controller -- shake!

That's right, Burnout Paradise is the first rumble-equipped PS3 game we've ever played. Which made us think at the time, if the game is making the controller shake, the controller must be a new version of the Sixaxis!

In fact, the controller we were using to play the demo looked exactly like a standard Sixaxis, except that it had a sticker on the bottom that said "RUMBLE." It also felt notably heavier than the standard Sixaxis.

We presume this is a prototype of the PlayStation 3's new rumble controller, whatever it's going to be called.

The rumble itself felt around the level of PlayStation 2 rumble. We're not sure just yet if Sony is using any of that next generation technology Immersion has been talking about for the past few months.

A formal announcement is expected tomorrow at Kaz Hirai's keynote address.

As for the rest of the EA event, as well as details from today's Sony and Konami events, check back at IGNPS3 through the night.
 
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