294w ago - Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has said that Guitar Hero IV will be receiving extra peripherals, including a microphone.
Kotick commented on the future of the franchise in an interview with Conde Nast Portfolio magazine (according to IGN). He also mentioned that the next instalment will let players strum along with bands local to their area.
"It's not just about guitars," Kotick said. "We'll include a lot of other instruments, vocals. It will help us expand internationally. It's the first game we've had in which we can use local content and local bands."
But whether or not you'll be able to sing along with your local pub band (ho-ho) is insignificant next to the price. Will Activision undercut the £180 price point of Rock Band with Guitar Hero IV? This could get interesting.
295w ago - If -- for the purposes of the standard preview preamble -- we were to liken the Grand Theft Auto series to the U.S. primary education system, it breaks down quite conveniently. So what the heck, let's do it:
GTA, GTA 2, and its London expansion are like elementary school: They're fun, but in retrospect they're simple -- an opportunity to learn the basics, discover new ideas, and make new friends.
GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas are the high school years. Emerging from a game-development puberty, awkward motor skills and imperfect appearances are matched with a rebellious mindset as well as that endearing brand of adolescent immaturity that generates quite a bunch of fun...when it's not getting you into trouble with the authorities. Popularity is paramount; you start dating, and are even concerned about what you wear.
But then someone asks you the question: "Where are you going after high school?"
An older and wiser Rockstar is going to Liberty City. We've finished Grand Theft Auto IV, and without spoiling our upcoming set of reviews in Electronic Gaming Monthly and here on 1UP, the game truly serves as a commencement ceremony for the series. While we wait for the slow passage of time between now and the game's release, here's a quick orientation for when it arrives:
297w ago - Each generation of consoles has made an advance in gaming unlike any other. For the N64/PS1 generation, it was the jump to 3D; for the Xbox/PS2/GC generation, it was online gameplay and sandbox games. But what about now?
Aside from prettier graphics, micro-transactions, and (arguably) motion control, what has defined this generation of consoles? The answer: nothing. Yet.
This year, however, that's going to change. 2008 will go down in gaming history as the year of user-created content's rise to prominence, with XNA and LittleBigPlanet leading the charge.
XNA was actually touted before the Xbox 360 had even made its star-studded debut on MTV. But regardless of its apparent age, the idea behind XNA has always been the same.
Through it, Microsoft wants to provide budding game designers and hobbyists with a method to realize their dreams. And now, with Microsoft's announcement that XNA-developed games will appear on Xbox Live for even the lowliest of gamers to play, XNA's true potential is beginning to show through.
LittleBigPlanet appears, at first blush, to be a traditional-style game. But first glances can be deceptive. The player guides a hilariously (googley-eyes are merely the beginning) customizable "sack-boy" through 2.5D platforming-focused stages. After a...
298w ago - The PS2, released to market in 2000, is still going strong. After all, Sony promised they would support the console for at least ten years, and they've definitely kept true to that promise thus far. The company plans to support its handheld gaming device, the PSP, for just as long, according to marketing head John Koller:
We look at it just like our console business being a 10 year cycle, but we do see iterations as we go along to really adjust to the market.
What we've done is the 2000 series adjusted to the market in terms of making it more portable. What we're seeing now, at least in the near- to mid-term, is going to be firmware updates that add features and other functions that the consumer's asked for.
Not surprising one bit as the PSP still has much untapped potential, which will undoubtedly be further exploited by firmware upgrades and the like. What's interesting, though, is Koller mentioning that we may see future iterations of the handheld. Time will tell...
299w ago - According to the bods over at Engadget, the Blu-ray 2.0 spec (or BD-Live) is just days from launch. Sony just announced that the next PlayStation 3 Firmware updated -- v2.20 -- will add the new interactive features to your PS3.
As such, PS3 owners should expect downloadable video content, ringtones, interactive movie-based games, and the always intriguing "more" when the software is released in "late March." In other words, in the next 11 days. The update will also allow you to copy photos and music playlists over USB from your PS3 to your PSP. The rest of the new features after the break.
-- "Resume play" will enable PS3 system to start playing a Blu-ray disc
and DVD at the point it was stopped, even if the disc had been
-- "Audio Output Device" will be a new Remote Play setting, enabling PSP
to serve as a remote control for music played through PS3.
-- PS3 system's Internet browser will be enhanced: Video files directly
linked from a Web page will be able to be streamed, and the browser's
view speed will be improved.
-- DivX and WMV format videos that are larger than 2GB will be playable.
-- "Mosquito Noise Reduction" will be added as an AV setting in the
control panel of the DVD/BD player for improved movie playback.(*2)