255w ago - In a press demonstration today, thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen gave us a sneak peek at the latter half of Flower, addressing some of our curiosities, while adding a few new mysteries.
Back in December, we got to play through the first three levels of the PSN title, which has you flying around in the dreams of flowers, collecting petals and beautifying the environment. You can read our impressions here and watch us talk about it on The 1UP Show.
But, like many of you out there, we were curious what came next - the first two levels are quite similar in nature, with the third just hinting at things to come. Will Flower have more than four levels? Do you get to do more than fly around in the sunshine? Now we know the answer.
Flower will have seven levels, which Chen estimates will take first-time players approximately two to three hours to play through - a length deliberately chosen to mimic the film-watching experience, complete with the emotional ups, downs, and eventual climax. At the demo, all levels were present, except for the last. And as a bit of a teaser, Chen let us in on a twist: The final level won't be a flower.
255w ago - Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg proclaimed the New XBox Experience as a fresh start for the XBox 360, and claims that it reinvented the system for the older users and making it more attractive to others.
He added that owners should be prepared for lots of new things to roll out over the duration of this year.
To quote: Aaron Greenberg, the group product manager for the Xbox 360 at Microsoft, talked about the NXE at the recent CES convention. He went on to say that the update was devised as a fresh start for the Xbox 360 and that it reinvented the console for its old users, making it more attractive and friendly to new ones, who would purchase the console in the future.
He then mentioned that a lot of things could be added to this new interface and that Xbox 360 users needed to prepare for new things in the coming year.
"When we approached the NXE, we really thought about it as if we were launching an entirely new console. When we started thinking about all the changes and possibilities, at first we thought 'Well, we'll update this, change that.'
Then we thought, well, 'What if we just completely wiped the slate clean and completely reinvent the console From The ground up?' It was a pretty massive undertaking, a massive amount of work and we've been very happy...
255w ago - Too often, analysts and journalists forget that with the sheer amount of information available these days, it can be difficult for a consumer to make a decision.
I can distinctly recall working down at EB during the launch of the PS2 (yes, I'm that old; just shut up), and it became painfully clear that most consumers, even some who considered themselves gamers, were dazed and confused.
"Just too many conflicting reports," or something to that affect, is a commonly heard comment. So, how did you decide upon your console purchase?
Bear in mind I'm only talking about this new generation, so if you've purchased a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii, I want to know why. How did you arrive at the conclusion? None of these, even the relatively inexpensive Wii, is cheap enough to be considered an "impulse buy," so obviously, one would assume a great deal of thought went into your purchase decision.
I am well aware of the fanboys who plunked down their money without doing any research whatsoever, but if they bothered with responsible research, they wouldn't be embarrassingly biased, now would they? Anywho, I suppose I'll start; I own a PS3 and a 360, and here's why-
The Xbox 360 Purchase
I had an Xbox, and although it turned out to be a far less reliable machine...
256w ago - The PlayStation 3 is "still in its early adopter phase", Sony has claimed, despite the console being out for over two years.
Speaking in an interview with Gamasutra, John Koller, director of hardware marketing at SCEA, said that the kind of person who was interested in the PS3 was "tech-oriented" and that for them, the console's main appeal was its "multi-functionality".
Sony's PS3 has come under fire from a number of analysts in recent months, many of whom have pointed towards its high price as explanation of its current third place sales position behind the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360.
Sony, for its part, has continued to resist calls for a price cut, pointing towards the PS3's high-value as a Blu-ray player and powerful games machine.
What do you think about Koller's comments on PS3? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
260w ago - PlayStation Home's director Jack Buser has told MSNBC that the interest in PlayStation Home has simply been off the charts.
However, Buser himself failed to give out any specific numbers but added the whole point of Home is to help people form deep relationships.
To quote: "The interest in PlayStation Home has been off the charts," Jack Buser, Sony's director of Home, told me earlier this week, though he declined to reveal any specific numbers.
A visit to Home during this, its first week open to the public, certainly reveals a place bustling with visitors - even into the wee hours of the morning.
What Buser will say is that, "Home was born out of this Need for a social network for gamers. The idea was that we could provide this extremely realistic, immersive environment that would allow people to get to know one another.
When you meet someone in Home, and you hang out with them... you really start to feel like you know this person. And that was our hope - to enable people to form deep relationships.