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Lost Odyssey downgraded

367w ago - Microsoft withholds content from those who refuse to pre-order, and has created an added incentive to pre-order Lost Odyssey: if you don't pre-order, you don't get the full game.

Customers who pre-order the game from participating retailers will get a special redemption card that will permit the download of two slivers of in-game content. Both are described as being "unavailable anywhere else."

The first is "'The Forgotten Song' (found in-game at Virno's Tavern in Uhra)" which apparently 'recalls a fresh reflection of a dream.' Considering the main character, Kaim, is an amnesiac, and a good deal of the game is about piecing together his past, this would suggest that a significant part of the story is being withheld from the non pre-ordering public.

The other bit of content is a "'Master's Secret Script' that grants the skill 'Weapon Guard 2.'" This defensive bonus is effectively a cheat code, making the game slightly easier, and thus more accessible to newcomers. Since it is the hard-core RPG fans that will be pre-ordering Lost Odyssey, this set of training wheels doesn't make a great deal of sense, either.

Lost Odyssey is from Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy. The game goes on sale across Australia on February 7. The Xbox...

Manufacturer attempts to minimize Warner Bros damage by halving some prices

368w ago - Toshiba has reacted strongly to last week's news that Warner Bros had defected to Sony's Blu-ray camp by cutting prices on its HD DVD players in the US by up to half.

According to a report on CNN Money the suggested retail price of its three standalone players will fall by as much as USD 200 - the HD-A3 falls from around USD 300 to USD 150, the HD-A30 drops from USD 400 to USD 200 while the HD-A35 goes from USD 500 to just USD 300.

The company already marketed one of HD DVD's key advantages as being cheaper than Blu-ray, and Toshiba is taking drastic action to keep its format in the next-generation DVD race.

Following Warner's decision Blu-ray now boasts five key players on its side of the divide, while Paramount and Universal support HD DVD.

Toshiba America's group vice president of digital audio and video explained: "While price is one of the consideration elements for the early adopter, it is a deal-breaker for the mainstream consumer."

The company also plans a lengthy advertising campaign to promote HD DVD on TV, print and online.

Wolfenstein movie director arrested following fatal crash

368w ago - The Return to Castle Wolfenstein film's road to release took a tragic turn over the weekend, when its writer and director was involved in a fatal auto accident. The Los Angeles Times reports that Roger Avary, 42, was arrested following a crash early Sunday morning outside a lumberyard. As a result of the accident, Avary's passenger, 34-year-old Andreas Zedini, was killed instantly while Avary's 40-year-old wife, Gretchen, was hurled from the back seat. She remains hospitalized with "serious" injuries.

According to a spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, Avary was booked at the Ventura County Jail before he was released on $50,000 bail. According to the Associated Press, he faces felony drunk driving and possibly manslaughter charges.

Sunday's crash marked dark chapter in Avary's bright career. He won an Academy Award in 1995 for cowriting the screenplay for Pulp Fiction, and most recently executive-produced and cowrote the script for Robert Zemeckis' computer-animated fantasy Beowulf. Games-wise, Avary also wrote the fairly well-received adaptation of Konami's Silent Hill series, directed by Christopher Gans. Return to Castle Wolfenstein had been set for a 2010 release following a delay stemming from the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike.

GoldenEye XBLA canning was Nintendo's fault?

368w ago - Looking for someone to blame over the whole XBLA GoldenEye fiasco? Try Nintendo!

Sources within Microsoft who were very close to the project (and who also pointed us towards the above, alleged screen) have told us the game was canned not because of disagreements between the two parties, but because of Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata, who believes that, as a title which appeared on a Nintendo console, GoldenEye shouldn't be made available on a competitor's system.

This despite a proposed deal from Microsoft that would have seen not only GoldenEye released on the Virtual Console, but other, unspecified Rare games (Jetpac? Sabre Wulf?) as well. How very upsetting.

Before you set your tasers to "hate", though, remember, this is coming from one side of a two-sided story.

PS3 'Pick N Mix' deal is no deal at all

368w ago - For UK-based gaming fans not yet swayed by the considerable lure of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, a brand new hardware and software bundle might yet be the catalyst for change - not least in established Xbox followers unwilling to share their platform allegiance in light of Sony's upper tier pricing.

Specifically, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has this week rolled the covers off what appears (at first glance) to be a rather tempting 'Pick N Mix' retail deal that will see UK consumers able to snaffle the PlayStation 3 and two games for a total price of £349.99 GBP.

While that might not seem like much of a deal, its worth becomes somewhat clearer when factoring in that the games on offer are first-party titles, not shoehorned third-party also-rans bundled in for little more reason than shifting dusty and unwanted stock.

Sony says the offer will launch this coming Friday (January 18) and will run until further notice, with the games open for selection being as follows: Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Formula 1, Lair, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, and SingStar PS3 (with microphone peripherals), Motorstorm, Resistance: Fall of Man, Folklore, Warhawk (with accompanying headset, and Genji: Days of the Blade.

However, The current (Amazon) GBP price of...
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