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Activision commits to revitalising Bond franchise

372w 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

372w 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

372w 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 Gamed.nl, 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.

IGN launching "PlayStation Network Portal"

372w ago - If you're a casual reader of the web site IGN, you may have stumbled across this web page.

It's a new portal for the PlayStation Network, ostensibly, so we can assume IGN and Sony have partnered up to develop some sort of exclusive news site.

Microsoft Service "Sucks" Xbox 360 Boss Says

372w ago - The head of the Microsoft Xbox operation in Australia, David Mclean, who is becoming famous for what he doesn't say rather than what he does, is set to hear from yet another very "angry" Xbox 360 customer who is so angry with Mclean and his operation that he has packed up his second broken Xbox and shipped it directly to him with a letter that says: "Microsoft sucks you can keep your busted Xbox". He also said that he will never deal with Microsoft again.

This year Microsoft has allocated over $1.3 billion to fix faulty Xbox 360 consoles with retailers reporting a console failure rate of up to 30%.

Marcel Ollmann of New Zealand claims in a letter to Mclean that he is now on his second Xbox 360 and like a lot of other Xbox 360 users who have had problems with Microsoft over their gaming consoles, it is not the failure of the Xbox that galls him but the "shocking" service that Ollmann received when he attempted to get his first Xbox 360 fixed.

He has also had major problems with Microsoft support and Microsoft Live. In a blunt letter to Mclean he states: "It is fair to say that for the past year Microsoft has treated me like shit".

"Rather than following New Zealand law and providing replacements at a point of sale I was forced to call the Xbox support and get a resolution...
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