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PSN Review - Let's Be Honest!

50°
326w ago - It's now been almost 2 years since the PlayStation 3 found its way into consumers hands, and things are looking brighter over the horizon. Blu-Ray has won the format war, there's a good lineup of titles dropping throughout 2008, developers are getting more of a handle on the hardware, and sales are keeping pace - at least with the Xbox 360.

Unfortunately, one area has stayed stagnant since its inception, and there doesn't seem to be much of a sign of improvement until at least this fall. I am referring to the PlayStation Network, and its abysmal showing this far.

As we all know, Microsoft came out of the gate with an extremely strong showing in almost every aspect of their online service. The marketplace, albeit a bit slow in the beginning, was soon filled to the brim with content for users to download.

Whether it be the extremely functional community features, demos of almost every game released for the system, a plethora of downloadable content and titles, or the much hailed foray into downloadable movies and TV shows, LIVE has set the bar in terms of what a console online experience should be.

No one expected Sony to deliver to the same extent as Microsoft, simply because Microsoft had years of experience with the first Xbox, as well as a much stronger software backbone,...
 

PlayStation Store Update for May 29, 2008

100°
326w ago - Per Grace Chen, Senior Manager, PLAYSTATION Store:

Hey, everyone. It's time again for the PLAYSTATION Store weekly update.

Add-on Game Content:
Rock Band
Build your Rock Band library by purchasing these song game tracks. For song credits, visit www.RockBand.com.

"You're All I've Got Tonight" - The Cars ($1.99)
"My Best Friend's Girl" - The Cars ($1.99)
"Moving in Stereo" - The Cars ($1.99)
"Just What I Needed" - The Cars ($1.99)
"I'm in Touch with Your World" - The Cars ($1.99)
"Good Times Roll" - The Cars ($1.99)
"Don't Cha Stop" - The Cars ($1.99)
"Bye Bye Love" - The Cars ($1.99)
"All Mixed up" - The Cars ($1.99)
"The Cars" Album ($14.99) - This album includes "All Mixed Up," "Bye Bye Love," "Don't Cha Stop," "Good Times Roll," "I'm in Touch with Your World," "Just What I Needed," "Moving in Stereo," "My Best Friend's Girl," and "You're All I've Got Tonight" by The Cars.
File sizes: 26.6 MB - 41.9 MB (singles), 288 MB (album)

Rock Band price promotion: "Gimme Three Steps" - Lynyrd Skynyrd and "Dirty Little Secret" - All-American Rejects are reduced to $0.99 until June 5th.
 

Europe: GT Academy goes Live with PSN Tournaments

50°
327w ago - SCEE have announced that the GT Academy has gone live at GTAcademy.eu. The ultimate competitive driving test will begin on June 2nd when GT Academy goes live in GT5 Prologue.

The two best drivers in the competition will have the chance to enter a four month training programme to earn their racing licenses and take part in a real life race in a fully race prepared Nissan 350Z at the 24 Hour endurance event in Dubai in January 2009.

The pan-European competition will be open to residents of the UK & Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany & Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Press Release: Drivers of the world, start your engines - the GT Academy has arrived. The ultimate competitive driving test will begin on June 2nd when GT Academy goes live in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue™. The pan-European competition will be open to residents of the UK & Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany & Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark and sees PlayStationŽ and Nissan unite the worlds of virtual and real-life racing to make the dreams of aspiring race drivers a reality. The competition will run as follows:

Stage One: gtacademy.eu - 2nd June 2008 for seven weeks

The first phase of GT Academy will take place online with a giant Gran Turismo 5 Prologue tournament on PLAYSTATIONŽNetwork....
 

PlayStation Store Update for May 22, 2008

50°
327w ago - Per Grace Chen (Senior Manager, PLAYSTATION Store):

Hey, everyone. It's time again for the PLAYSTATION Store weekly update.

Add-on Game Content:
Rock Band
Build your Rock Band library by purchasing these song game tracks. For song credits, visit www.RockBand.com.

"Beetlebum" - Blur ($1.99)
"Countdown to Insanity" - H-BlockX ($1.99)
"Hier Kommt Alex" - Die Toten Hosen ($1.99)
"Hysteria" - Muse ($1.99)
"Manu Chao" - Les Wampas ($1.99)
"Monsoon" - Tokio Hotel ($1.99)
"New Wave" - Pleymo ($1.99)
"Perfekte Welle" - Juli ($1.99)
"Rock 'N' Roll Star" - Oasis ($1.99)
File sizes: 16.8 MB - 45.4 MB (singles)

Rock Band price promotion: "We Care a Lot" - Epic and "All the Small Things" - Blink 182 are reduced to $0.99 until May 29th.

Game Music:
PixelJunk Monsters Album ($2.99)
The PixelJunk Monsters Album is the original game soundtrack to the popular and addictive tower defense game, PixelJunk Monsters. This charming and distinctive soundtrack includes 24 music tracks by Japanese ambient techno group Otograph. Download the album today!
File size: 62.2 MB

Game Videos (free):
Siren: Blood Curse...
 

PlayStation Home Preview

50°
328w ago - While it may have been delayed almost to the point of silliness, anticipation is still quite high for PlayStation Home, Sony's trump card in the online gaming stakes.

Offering much more of a community approach than it's counter-parts, Home is full of different levels of customization which will allow you to live with your friends in a virtual world of sorts, where you'll be able to hang out and easily launch into the game of your choice with the mere touch of a button, among other things.

At our recent trip to PlayStation Day, we got a chance to play the game for a bit, and we have to say that the amount of detail is impressive. What we found during our short time with Home is that on one level, it's very simple as to not scare off the casual folk, but has many elements that will take some exploration to really get a grasp on.

Wandering around and chatting is certainly easy enough to do, but the experience is really a 'you get out of it what you put in' type of scenario, where people who really spend a lot of time with the product will find many intricacies that others may not notice.

Is an emphasis on community going to change the way we play online?

We sat down for a brief chat with Creative Director Ron Festejo, and Lead Artist John Venables about how everything...
 
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