Microsoft, This is How You Blow Your PS3 Lead in Japan

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287w ago - So Microsoft is doing pretty good in Japan. Not great, but good. Good enough to beat the PS3 last month. This is the Xbox 360 display at Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara. Back in August, the Xbox 360 sold out in this very store.

If you've been to Akihabara, you know that this is a very large retailer. Lots of shoppers! So for Microsoft to sell out right here is a good sign, and it's great for the Xbox 360's reputation in Japan.

This demo set-up is not. Well, no, the set-up is fine, it's the upkeep. But just as Microsoft starts to gain ground in Japan, an old friend rears its ugly head...

Out of all the demo kiosk consoles Microsoft needs working in Japan... Doubt this will catastrophically affect Xbox 360 sales in Japan. Microsoft will most likely sell lots of consoles this holiday season. (So will will Nintendo and Sony. Everyone wins!)
 

Video: Tokyo Game Show 2008: On the Floor

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287w ago - Per Jeff Rubenstein (Social Media Manager) via PS Blog today:

Ever since I've returned from Tokyo, I've been bombarded with questions of "How was it???"

In a word: awesome. But it's kind of difficult to describe the overwhelming hugeness of Tokyo (that's what the Travel Channel is for). As far as Tokyo Game Show is concerned - yeah, I can take that on.

Now I know many of you have been to shows such as PAX, The Old E3, E for All, or something smaller or more regional. TGS is much bigger. So with camera in hand, I tried to share with you the scope of TGS 08, as well as to show you what we had at our booth.





Tokyo Game Show *is* open to the public, and the 2009 edition will take place in September. Start saving your Yen now.
 

How to Speed Up the PlayStation 3 with an Intel X-25 HDD

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288w ago - ExtremeTech has found that replacing the PS3's hard drive with Intel's new X-25 solid-state 80GB drive can reduce a games load times by up to 40%.

However, the drive does not greatly improve install times as the read performance of the Blu-ray drive holds it back. If anyone is considering this upgrade, it will set you back $600.

To quote: We've already raved about the stellar performance of Intel's new X-25 solid-state drive, which just happens to come in an 80GB capacity and 2.5-inch SATA form factor. Perfect for a PS3!

So after a quick FAT32 format, we dropped the drive in the PS3 unit we keep in the HDTV lab here (an original 60GB unit) to see what kind of impact it has on install times, game start times, and load times.

We took four games notorious for long installs or load times and timed them both with the original 60GB hard drive and the Intel SSD. The results may surprise you–but at $600, it's certainly not a cheap upgrade.

Install Speed

There's a lot to love about the PS3, but install times isn't one of them. Many games require lengthy installs before you get to play, and after waiting an eternity for a large demo to download, you get to stare at a progress bar while it installs. Yuck. Does the speedy 80GB Intel X-25 SSD speed this...
 

Tokyo Game Show 2008 Hands-On: Spelunker for PSN

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288w ago - Spelunker is a remake of the NES classic from Irem. Does it look familiar to you? Do you remember the game from way back in the day, 20 years ago?

If you do, it's probably because the aesthetics haven't changed much. Though boasting updated, modern graphics, the game's visuals retain a retro-stylized feel. The 2D characters are still there.

The lifts and ladders are still in the places they would've been. Overall, it looks like an interesting title for those old-school gamers looking for a blast from the past.

Of course, the question is: How does it play? First off, the controls are simple enough. It's a 2D game with a focus on platform jumping, with other actions including: riding down elevators; leaping over pits; climbing ladders; and dodging fire, steam, and toxic liquids.

You can collect items such as bombs to demolish obstacles in your way, or keys in order to progress through locked sections of a stage.

It all sounds very simple, familiar and arcadey -- in other words, a perfect fit for a PSN game. Right?
 

Why PlayStation Home Should Not be Shown at Game Shows

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288w ago - Home should not be shown at trade shows. Absolutely not. Not under any circumstances. Why? Because it is boring. Home is not a game. It's not even a user interface. It's a... thing.

Once Sony get around to deciding what that actually is will probably be the time they decide to release it, but until then - and especially in the state it was in for my TGS demonstration - it should be kept as far from prying eyes (and hands) as possible.

TGS is a games show. It's for games. Loud, exciting, playable things. But Home? So not a game. The build I was treated to yesterday went a little like this: I log on as "Ricky". Who was a girl, but hey, who am I to question someone else's naming conventions. Then I move around a bit. And I find, about three seconds into the experience, that I'm running around a near-perfect recreation of Sony's TGS booth.

Great! I think. Yeah, I'm already at TGS, and can play all these demos, but wouldn't it be awesome if people at home could be doing this, and seeing the trailers I'm seeing, and playing the demos I'm playing? It would. But in this build? No way. Not a single demo pod was active. Not a single booth was running a trailer. The main Sony theater screen (the in-Home one) was showing a short, looped trailer, but it wasn't the same stuff I could see with my real eyes...
 







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