289w ago - Once again, Microsoft has squashed rumors that a Blu-ray drive for a refreshed Xbox 360 may be in the works. The company believes that DVD will remain the more important optical format at this time and that the real format battle may be fought online.
An article published by Home Media Magazine earlier this week quoted Shane Kim, head of Microsoft Games Studios, saying that while Blu-ray "provides some visual boost for people who want a physical HD format", Microsoft does not see "that format taking off, in general." Consequently, Kim stated that Microsoft is not working on "any type of Blu-ray disc add-on for the Xbox 360."
These quotes somewhat contradict a steady stream of rumors coming out of Taiwan, suggesting that a Blu-ray Xbox 360 is set for a September launch. However, according to Kim, the DVD format is still going strong and offers a better value proposition in an Xbox 360 that sells for substantially less than the Playstation 3 at this time.
Home Media Magazine indicated that Microsoft may put much stronger focus on its Live platform than on thinking a new optical drive. Kim told the publication that the "digital distribution business is one of the reasons Microsoft is so keenly focused on Sony, and not Nintendo" in this current state of the console battle....
290w ago - Sony Computer Entertainment is none too thrilled over the fact that online retailer King of Swords is selling an unofficial replica of the Beretta M92F gun featured in PlayStation 3 title Uncharted.
According to a company spokesperson, they will be taking "appropriate" measures against the Web site very soon:
The Drake's Gun is not licensed or in any way sanctioned by SCE and one we certainly do not condone.
We are investigating the source of this product and will proceed with the most appropriate action.
It's worth pointing out that this same retailer is also selling a number of unlicensed swords from the Final Fantasy series.
291w ago - Smash Bros. Brawl Wii Channel is in development ?
According to Famitsu magazine during an interview with Sakurai. Nintendo is hard at work at developing a new channel dedicated to Smash Bros Brawl. More advanced online settings are expected as well as some possible downloadable content are all rumored.
Kid Icarus Wii Bound?
Kombo reported that a new Kid Icarus game is in development for Wii, as a result of the renewed partnership between Nintendo and Factor 5. According to Kombo, Factor 5's Kid Icarus title is being developed from the ground-up for Wii it will not use one of the developer's previous GameCube graphics engines.
"We want to push the hardware. I think for us it's relatively easy for us to push the hardware. It inherently comes. But a lot of it is about exploiting the uniqueness of the Wii. I mean, on the graphical side, we're going to try and do everything to outdo everything else on the platform, the same as we did for the Star Wars games back on the GameCube," Eggebrecht told IGN.
"But one of our main focuses is the innovation around the controls. Everybody is always talking about the motion control, but I think people are overplaying that a bit. I really, really love the pointing aspect of the remote. Although we're going to use everything for...
292w ago - I managed to get my hands on an Age of Conan BETA key this morning, so off I went to excitedly download the client. I'm a big fan of Robert E. Howard's original pulps, and I've been looking forward to the grim and gritty world of Hyboria for a while now.
Most of what I've read about it so far has been very positive (with a few notable exceptions due to some of the design choices). Our own write-up of the overall BETA experience from Michael Zenke was very encouraging with regard to the combat, gameplay, and feel of the world. Overall, it seems like there's a lot to be excited about.
There's just one glaring issue that everyone seems to be having: the graphics are choking their machines.
This isn't a new phenomenon. It seems like every new game on the market in the last few years wants to beat our poor, 1-3 year old computers into lifeless heaps of rubbish with their outlandish and ridiculous system requirements. Even World of Warcraft, a game celebrated for its accessibility and ability to be run on older machines, wasn't that way at launch (though it was substantially better than its major competitors at the time, EverQuest 2 and City of Heroes).
However, this strategy of supercharged visuals has made things hard for a number of games. Vanguard in particular suffered a...
292w ago - Gian Luzio, Play.com's head of games, says Grand Theft Auto IV has become the online store's fastest selling game ever, while specialist UK retailer Game has labeled the title's launch "phenomenal".
"GTA IV is the fastest selling game ever on Play.com and has broken the record previously held by GTA San Andreas," Luzio told Next-Gen on Thursday.
He said that sales had been "neck and neck" between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game building up to release, but that in the last couple of days the 360 version had been "creeping ahead in daily sales". He did add that "the PS3 GTA IV hardware bundle sold out within 24 hours."
Both versions of the title are temporarily out of stock, but Luzio said that customers shouldn't have too long to wait before they can pick up a copy.
"We are receiving regular shipments from Take-Two and they have handled the biggest game release admirably. Congratulations to all of them for doing such a great job in difficult circumstances (enough groveling, give me more stock!)."
While business has been booming in recent weeks for UK videogame retailers, with the likes of Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit and now GTA IV bringing in the pounds, Luzio said that the latter half of the year may yet prove to be even...