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GDC '09: Sony Upgrades PhyreEngine, Reveals Four New Titles

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277w ago - Sony announced earlier that they upgraded their cross platform engine, the PhyreEngine, to version 2.40.

To quote: New features included 'foliage rendering', which allows for more ultra-realistic trees and leaves, best seen in the PSN exclusive title, Flower.

For gamers though, the bigger news is that Sony has seemingly unveiled 4 unheard of games which are all using the PhyreEngine.

These include an unamed title from Australian developer Big Ant Studios, puzzle/platforming PSN title Topatoi developed by Boolat Games, third person action game Strength of the Sword from Invent Studios, and finally, The 7th Seal by Paul Cuisset's (of Flashback fame and Shaq Fu notoriety) studio VectorCell.

Hopefully as GDC goes on, we'll hear more about these titles.
 

Review: Argon 2 Fourth Generation Chip for the Nintendo Wii

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284w ago - Recently Team InFeCtuS has launched their new 4th Generation Mod-chip for the Nintendo Wii console.

The Argon 2 is both updatable via Internet and solderless, and also capable of running Wii homebrew software available at [Register or Login to view links].

Today we review the Argon 2 drive enhancement chip for the Wii.

I will start with my first impression of the chip itself. In size it is just a fraction larger that the infectus chip, which is not bad at all considering it has an integrated official wiiclip built in.

A quick video of it in action:





Please note: (many others need you to solder one on if you plan to use one with their chip, thus adding to the size of the chip needing it, then you have the added hasle of figuring out which one you need, and once you do solder it on... wait didn't you want a wiiclip because you're not so handy at soldering?)

So for the average user this chip is DIY, and plug-n-play via wiiclip. The PCB hardware itself is solid, and it is easy to see that it is of high quality. That being said, let's get down to actually putting the chip to use.

Upon first installing it my first test was with a dvd-rw,...
 

Four Things Sony Can Do to Turn the Tide for the PS3 in 2009

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286w ago - Arstechnica feels they have the solution for Sony in order to make their PS3 more successful this year.

Their suggestions are broken down into four main areas as follows:

1) Drop the freaking price: The hard truth is, in the current economy people aren't willing to pay $400 for what is primarily a toy.

2) Let's get serious about online: What do we want? Cross-game invites. We want voice chat in all games. We want... well, we want Xbox Live on the PS3. Don't tell me that's impossible to do for free–Valve created what amounts to a PC version of Xbox Live with Steam's social features, and that doesn't cost anything.

3) Stop making us wait for Thursday: Nintendo has Monday, Microsoft releases Arcade games on Wednesday, and Sony forces everyone to wait until Thursday. PS3 owners get Rock Band songs, demos, and even games later than everyone else.

4) Remember that games are for fun: Sony wants you to know that the PS3 is a high-end, high-class piece of technology. This is a recession. People are pinching pennies, and they want to have fun.

The Wii looks fun for kids and adults, the 360 is inexpensive and features an easy to use online system for playing with your buddies, and the PS3 always comes off as a luxury item. It needs to look fun!
 

EA Announces Four New Tracks on Rock Band Music Store Catalog

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289w ago - Harmonix and MTV Games announced today the addition of four new tracks to the Rock Band® Music Store catalog of downloadable content from bands Snow Patrol, Deep Purple, James Gang and Jethro Tull.

Press Release: Scottish alternative band Snow Patrol makes its debut in the Rock Band music catalog offering their first single "Take Back the City" from their new album A Hundred Million Suns (2008).

In addition, the Rock Band music catalog will expand its collection of Deep Purple tracks, giving players access to the classic rock band's single "Space Truckin''" from the influential album Machine Head (1972). Deep Purple's "Highway Star" was featured on the original Rock Band soundtrack.

Next week's offering also includes the classic rock single "Funk #49" from the album James Gang Rides Again (1970) featuring Joe Walsh, Dale Peters and Jimmy Fox.

The Jethro Tull single"Hymn 43" will become the second Tull track in the Rock Band music catalog, joining "Aqualung" which was featured on the Rock Band 2 soundtrack. Both songs are from the band's fourth studio album Aqualung (1971).

These tracks will be available starting December 30, 2008, for the Xbox_360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and January 8, 2008, for PLAYSTATION®3...
 

NXE Increases Active Downloads Queue From Six to Fourty

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293w ago - It has been confirmed that the New Xbox Experience increases the active downloads queue from six entries to a massive fourty.

To quote: Just a quick tidbit for you NXE-loving guys and gals out there. In my eternal thirst to find out more technical information about the NXE, I stumbled across a piece of info you might be interested in. This comes from one of the "Voices" Xbox.com pages:

"Speaking of downloads, the Active Downloads queue has been expanded from six entries to a whopping 40, making it much easier to fill your hard drive with lots of great stuff."

Most of the article rehashes the normally touted features, but I thought y'all might be interested in something a little more fresh.
 
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