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PS3 Firmware Update 2.17 released!

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337w ago - Update: Per Jeff Rubenstein (Social Media Manager, PlayStation Blog): In case you were wondering what it's all about, the operating stability of some online PS3 titles has been improved. Hope that clears things up!

It's now official- Sony has indeed skipped a retail release of PS3 Firmware 2.15 (Debug) in lieu of PS3 Firmware Update 2.17 which is out now via Network Update or below!

Download: PS3 FW Update 2.17 (US) / PS3 FW Update 2.17 (EU)

There isn't an official changelog available yet, but it appears to be primarily a bugfix update at this time.

Also, for what it's worth a little birdie told us Sony Devs already have 2.20 so perhaps another quick update will follow soon? :P
 

Exclusive: Inside The Making Of Call Of Duty 4

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337w ago - The new March 2008 issue of Game Developer magazine has an exclusive creator-written article on the making of Infinity Ward's Call Of Duty 4, and Gamasutra has extracts from the piece, discussing a second 'new IP' team once working at the developer and the relative successes of CoD4's PC and Xbox 360 demos.

The postmortem, written by Infinity Ward's Zeid Rieke and Michael Boon, is described by the Game Developer editors as follows:

"Call of Duty 4 is one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2007, and the authors make no secret of their pride in the product. There are many important lessons in here, from sticking to your ideals for a game (even if you aren't completely in charge of the series), to maintaining focus when alluring new IPs loom."

The Evolution Of CoD4

In this first extract, the Infinity Ward team discuss the start of the project, and some of the thought processes the team went through when creating the highly rated title, which Activision is claiming is the best-selling game of 2007 at 7 million copies:

"Call of Duty 4 was Infinity Ward's third Call of Duty game, and as such we approached it knowing we needed to do something fresh. We don't want to pigeonhole ourselves any more than we have to, and many members of the team came off Call...
 

SEGA warns of Dreamcast site converted into phishing scam

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337w ago - This past weekend, the Dreamcast.com site relaunched, inviting all owners of the now-defunct console to enter in their DC serial number along with other personal details to get a @user.dreamcast.com email account. Some assumed that the site was launched in preparation for the console's 10th anniversary.

Needless to say, we were skeptical, seeing as an IP lookup on the site revealed that it was hosted on a shared server in Orlando, Florida.

Sure enough, the site is indeed a phishing scam designed to harvest registration details. Speaking to Japanese website Mainichi, SEGA confirmed that it does not own the Dreamcast.com domain name anymore. The company is considering to take further action against the fraudulent site.
 

Nintendo, Infinity Ward, Blizzard Top First-Ever 'Top 50 Developers' Countdown

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338w ago - Think Services' Game Developer magazine and Game Developer Research division - sister divisions to Gamasutra.com - have announced a major new study ranking the top 50 game development studios worldwide.

By combining empirical market data with a detailed survey taken by game development professionals via Webby Award-winning site Gamasutra.com, the Top 50 Developers report features a first-ever holistic view of the top game developers, using both sales and reputation data.

For the first-ever countdown, of which the Top 20 Developers are listed and detailed in the March 2008 issue of Game Developer magazine, Nintendo's Kyoto studio came out on top - thanks in no small part to incredible sales of a healthy lineup of DS and Wii software, notably Wii Play, Wii Sports, and two Brain Age games.

These titles rarely left Japanese and Western sales charts, demonstrating Nintendo's mastery of the casual games market. Survey comments heaped praise upon the Japanese giant for its focus on quality, and this was reflected in high review scores all around.

The second place went to Activision-owned developer Infinity Ward, thanks to both the resounding critical and commercial success of its 2007 release Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and high scores and healthy...
 

Sony/Ready at Dawn's God of War: Chains of Olympus

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338w ago - This week's edition of the regular Critical Reception column examines online reaction to God of War: Chains of Olympus, a PSP-exclusive prequel that "hit[s] the mark on every level of production," according to critics.

After seeing its 2005 debut on the PlayStation 2, Sony's God of War won critical acclaim both for its solid action-based gameplay and for its attention to visual and audio production. Boasting a strong narrative atypical of its fellow hack-and-slashers, God of War pushed the expected limits of its platform, and its presentation quality and polished gameplay resulted in an experience that is widely regarded as one of the best of its kind on the PlayStation 2.

God of War II was released last year to similar acclaim, and the recently released series prequel God of War: Chains of Olympus has been credited with challenging the PlayStation Portable's hardware as much as its predecessors did with the PS2. Chains of Olympus currently averages a score of 94 out of 100 at Metacritic.com.

Matt Leone at 1UP.com gives God of War: Chains of Olympus a rating of A, praising developer Ready At Dawn's aptitude at translating console hits to portables. "With Chains of Olympus, Ready At Dawn has cemented its reputation as a master mimic," he says. "In 2006, the studio reenergized the Jak and Daxter...
 
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