Silent Hill: Origins for PSP

336w ago - Considering Silent Hill 0rigins' troubled on-again/off-again development process, the final product has certainly turned out better than most Silent Hill fans expected. When initially revealed, this survival-horror prequel broke from series tradition with Resident Evil 4-inspired combat and a not-so-spooky aesthetic overhaul.

Thankfully, Konami had the foresight to dump that L.A.-based development team and completely reset the project, handing it over to a different team across the pond at Climax UK. Their version of 0rigins plays it awfully safe, wisely mimicking the fan-favorite early Hill games with exacting precision.

Here, you once again traverse the famously fog-shrouded burg, dividing your time between thwacking shambling monstrosities and solving fetch-quest puzzles in order to unravel your own dark destiny. As always, the audiovisual trappings provide most of the "wow" factor -- exploring the game's lushly detailed environments (both the dilapidated "real-world" locales and their hellish "other-world" mirror images) remains a thrill, even on the small screen. Until heavy hitters such as God of War and Crisis Core hit in 2008, this ranks as the best-looking game on PSP: Evocative lighting effects, impressive cut-scenes, and stylish grain filters set it apart from the pack. 0rigins also deserves...

SEC closes EA investigation

336w ago - Government regulators have wrapped up examination of publisher's stock options practices with no punishment levied.

Last year, a flurry of publishers saw their stock option granting practices come under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among the companies affected were THQ, Activision, Take-Two Interactive, and Electronic Arts. While some of those inquiries are still outstanding, one of them has wrapped up, as EA this week revealed to investors this week that it is officially off the hook with the SEC.

"On September 14, 2006, we received an informal inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting certain documents and information relating to our stock option grant practices from January 1, 1997 through the date of the letter," the publisher wrote in its latest quarterly report. "We cooperated with all matters related to this request. On October 31, 2007, we received a letter from the SEC informing us that they had terminated their inquiry and that no enforcement action would be recommended."

Of the remaining inquiries, Take-Two's has progressed the farthest. The SEC began a formal probe into its stock options practices, and in August warned that it may file charges and fine the Grand Theft Auto publisher. Take-Two's situation differs from those of its...

Activision commits to revitalising Bond franchise

336w ago - Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has said that the company is committed to revitalising the James Bond brand - "one of the greatest videogame franchises of all time" - while revealing the publisher has two projects based on the license in development.

The publisher secured the Bond licence in 2006 after Electronic Arts ended its deal with MGM Interactive for the rights to create titles based on the James Bond films.

"Bond is one of the great videogame franchises of all time and that really was a result of Golden Eye," commented Kotick at a BMO Capital Markets conference.

"I think the key to re-energising the Bond franchise is going to be ultimately the highest possible game quality." For Kotick, EA's Bond titles - which included GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and From Russia With Love - suffered because the publisher had too broad a portfolio, leaving the brand neglected.

"It suffered a lot because it wasn't a focal point of Electronic Arts' efforts over the past five years and they have such a broad portfolio of franchises that this one didn't get the attention it deserved," said Kotick. "We have our best development studios working on the product, we have a second team working on another Bond product."

BlackSite: Area 51 Blog - Multiplayer

336w ago - Hello Everybody! My name is Josh Hamrick and I'm a game designer on BlackSite: Area 51. I've worked on a several pieces of the project, from game systems to the user interface. BlackSite as a whole has been coming along great and the team is definitely ready to get it out the door and into your hands.

We're extremely proud of some of the things we've been able to pull off for the game including the story, the characters and even our rail shooters which we think everybody is really going to dig. It was important to us as a team to put that sort of love into the campaign but also the multiplayer experience as well.

Today I'm here to fill you in on our competitive multiplayer. Being able to give you guys an update on BlackSite multiplayer means a lot as I've been playing FPS multiplayer since the early days of Doom. While I love single player games, multiplayer is what really gets me excited as a gamer.

I know many of you have been asking and commenting about our removal of the online co-op feature, and unfortunately we just weren't able to get that into the final game. But we do think we've been able to deliver a great multiplayer experience nonetheless, and do still hope that some of you will give it a chance.

We are well aware that there are a ton of gamers...

Forty per cent failure rate for 40GB PS3

336w ago - Sony appears to be having problems with failure rates on the new 40GB PlayStation 3 model, according to retail sources.

Speaking to Dutch site, Belgian games retailer Games Mania has said that while the new 40GB model is selling well, some 40 per cent of the new consoles sold so far have been returned due to hardware defects that result in the console being unable to read Blu-Ray and other discs.

No actual numbers have been made available so far, so it's unclear whether this is simply a case of a single retailer receiving a batch of dud consoles or whether this is a more sizeable problem along the lines of the infamous 360 three red lights issue.

Given the lack of similar reports from around the globe, we'd certainly hold off from declaring the 40GB as unreliable just yet. However, it is worth pointing out that the 40GB model has been made using revised manufacturing techniques designed to lower costs, and features fewer cooling vents than previous models.

Have you had any problems with your PS3, or is it running as smoothly as clockwork? The comments section is just below.

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