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Sony Acquires Evolution, MotorStorm 2 Confirmed

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363w ago - MotorStorm developer Evolution Studios has been acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment, along with Evolution's Bigbig Studios subsidiary, which is responsible for the Pursuit Force series. Both studios will be incorporated with SCE's Worldwide Studios, with Evolution's Managing Director Mick Hocking appointed Group Studio Director for all three studios.

"Our strategy is to create the best games by working with the best talent and Evolution and Bigbig are world-class additions to our team," said Phil Harrison, president of SCE Worldwide Studios. "The incredible people in these studios further extend the depth and skill of the industry's largest platform-exclusive development resource."

Along with news of the acquisition, Sony announced that Evolution Studios is currently at work on a follow-up to MotorStorm, with an expected Blu-ray release in 2008. Evolution Studios is also prepping additional downloadable content for the original MotorStorm, while Bigbig is putting the finishing touches on Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice, which is expected to launch for the PSP this holiday season (though GameStop currently lists a January release). A PlayStation 2 iteration of Extreme Justice should follow early next year.
 

Sony: The PlayStation 3 is still a game machine

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363w ago - Despite previous attempts in promoting the PlayStation 3 as a super-computer, Blu-ray player, and multimedia device, Sony Computer Entertainment president Kaz Hirai recalibrated the PS3 as a game console in statements made during his Tokyo Game Show keynote.

"As the fundamental point of our system, I think [PS3] is still a game machine," Hirai said (via GameLife). "We want people to first enjoy it for the possibility of interactive games. If we pursue too many directions, people will keep asking us, 'What is PlayStation?'"

The PlayStation exec took a somewhat humble tone during the keynote while admitting that the PS3 hasn't had the best of starts. As a result, the company hopes to listen further to ongoing gamer concerns.

To start, Sony promised better development support in addition to continued support of the popular PS2. To increase the quantity and quality of available games, the company plans to share assets and know-how with third-party publishers.

Additionally, Sony will solicit feedback from publishers by setting up an advisory board to meet on a regular basis Hirai said.
 

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

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363w 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...
 

Sony reinvents the joypad

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363w ago - We're all waiting for the new Dual Shock 3 controller to be (shock!) unveiled at this week's Tokyo Game Show. But after a little digging, we've uncovered info suggesting that Sony isn't limiting itself to mere rumbling. It has bigger ideas to work on.

Thanks to the wonderful public database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, we've located an intriguing document filed by Sony back in September 2006. Buried within the interminable bureaucratic wordage are two high-potential projects: Voice-active consoles and pressure-sensitive buttons.

Voice-active consoles? The intention seems to be to use microphones housed on a console with voice-recognition software, for actions like analysing your voice to match you with a game's character, or recalling your personal config settings at the sound of your voice. There's even a suggestion that noise-making gizmos could be packaged in cereal boxes, with the specific noise they make triggering an unlockable item in-game.

Then there's some crazy talk about GPS positioning and speaker/microphone paradigm locators. But we can't say we really understood what it meant.

As for pressure-sensitive buttons, it's not exactly a new idea. The Dual Shock 2's buttons were somewhat analogue - ever...
 

Rumor: Sony to unveil PS3 rumble at TGS this week

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363w ago - Several online reports suggest that Sony will likely unveil PS3 rumble technology at the Tokyo Game Show this week.

The rumor stems from a 1UP podcast published last week in which co-host Shane Bettenhausen said DualShock 3 is "confirmed" for PS3, and that it will be officially announced at the Tokyo gaming event this week.

In early August, game developer blog InnerBits reported that rumbled-enabled Sixaxis controllers would be coming in two-to-three months. The site also said the announcement would be coming at Germany's Game Convention which wasn't the case.

Following the report, Sony responded by saying, "We have not added rumble [to PS3], and have no announcements regarding this feature."

Sony has been widely criticized for omitting rumble on the PS3, a technology which company vice president Phil Harrison recently called a "last generation feature."
 
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