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MGS4 Confirmed 50GB Blu-ray?

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336w ago - It was revealed last month that a Blu-ray disc wasn't big enough to hold all languages for the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4. Since all previous Playstation 3 games have resorted to the more constricted 25GB Disc, it was unclear whether MGS4 was to stray from this trend.

In a Konami retailers meeting yesterday, it was exposed that the game would be produced on a 50GB Blu-ray disc.

Ryan Patyon announced on the Kojima Report Podcast that US/European copies of MGS4 would not contain a Japanese voiceover and visa versa:

Unfortunately because of disc space, we don't have the space to include other languages, other voice over files for the respective versions.

So the Japanese version's not gonna have English voiceover, and the North American and European versions won't have Japanese voiceover.

Many presumed that Kojima decided to go with a 25gb Blu-ray disc to save on costs, but it was yesterday revealed in a Konami retailers meeting that the game is the biggest of the series, and will be presented on a 50GB disc.

What's taking up so much space we can only imagine. There will be hours of high-quality surround sound, and perhaps HD movies even though previous series had cutscenes rendered in real-time. How much space is taken up by game assets is unknown,...
 

Viking: Battle for Asgard Preview!

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336w ago - The recent movie Beowulf seemed to portray Vikings as nothing more than a bunch of blood thirsty, battle-hungry brutes whose sole hobbies included drinking mead and slaying monsters.

Viking: Battle of Asgard doesn't do anything to dissuade this stereotype and we couldn't be happier as the upcoming action/real-time strategy game may even turn the brutality up a notch.

Battle of Asgard is not your typical, run-of-the-mill Viking fable. The title of the game is actually a bit misleading as the story takes place in Midgard (the mortal world) and not Asgard (the heavens). But really, who cares?

What players should care about though is that the Goddess Hel has been thrown out of Asgard by the Zeus of Norse mythology, Odin, and has decided to exact her revenge by raising an undead army to take over Midgard which will, in turn, start Ragnarok (the battle that will destroy the Norse Gods). This is where the hero of the story, Skarin, comes into play as, having been previously killed by Hel's forces, is given a second chance at life by the Love Goddess Freya to defeat Hel's armies.

This objective-based game sees you completing smaller tasks that are appetizers for big fights at the end of each territory. While much of the promotion for Viking is about huge battles between armies of good...
 

Kingdom of Loathing Gamer Sentenced to Death

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336w ago - A footnote in the video game violence debate has been sentenced to die by an Oklahoma jury.

As reported by the Associated Press, jurors deliberated for eight hours before passing a death sentence on Kevin Underwood, 28. The same jury had earlier found Underwood guilty of first-degree murder in the horrific 2006 killing of 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin.

So what is Underwood's connection to the game violence debate?

In a 2006 hearing before the Louisiana Legislature, Rep. Roy Burrell cited Underwood's heinous crime as an example of the supposed negative effects of violent video games. Burrell was, at the time, attempting to persuade his colleagues to pass Louisiana's Jack Thompson-authored video game bill. He succeeded, although the law was later ruled unconstitutional. As I wrote for Joystiq at the time:

Burrell related [to his colleagues] the story of an Oklahoma man accused of the horrendous murder of a child. Why he chose this example... remains unclear, since the 26-year-old suspect was no kid, and the "violent" game he played, Kingdom of Loathing, is a non-retail, non-industry, online product in which stick figures - stick figures! - battle one another... His bill would have no impact on the very example he raised to support it.

A defense psychiatrist...
 

Counting Rupees: Take me to your lead platform

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336w ago - N'Gai Croal of Level Up recently pointed to an interesting development factoid from EA CEO John Riccitiello's 3rd quarter earnings call. A Cowen & Company analyst noted that many publishers have had difficulty in completing PS3 titles quickly and asked whether or not EA had made progress in narrowing the development times between PS3 and 360 games.

The answer appears to be that meeting technical specifications is no longer an issue for games where development led on the PS3 - but where development was either parallel or started on the 360, there's still a notable lag in speed and quality.

Croal e-mailed EA with an obvious follow-up question: If that delay can be eliminated by starting with the PS3, would EA consider mandating that development begin there? Director of Communications Jeff Brown responded that no, the company doesn't provide such edicts and that a number of factors are considered when selecting a game's development path. Why might this be the case? I think this decision probably makes sense from a business perspective for several reasons.

First of all, I suspect that some of this difference is probably illusory. It's well-known that the PS3 is more difficult to develop for than other consoles, which means that converting a game from a less complex to a more complex development...
 

Microsoft Explains 360 Supply Flub

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336w ago - In an interview with Next-Gen, Microsoft has shed a bit more light on why Xbox 360 is having supply issues.

Supply constraints or not, Microsoft can't be too ecstatic that the PlayStation 3 has outsold its console for the second month in a row in February. But the purveyor of all things Xbox expects to get supply back in line in April.

Xbox 360 group product manager Aaron Greenberg told Next-Gen on Thursday just prior to the release of the NPD Group's February US sales data that the shortages are still rooted in larger than expected holiday sales.

Greenberg said that Microsoft's "number jocks" assumed that everyone who would typically buy an Xbox 360 in November and December would instead buy it in September or October after the September launch of Halo 3.

"We were wrong. What happened was the normal seasonality. November was twice the size of October and December was twice the size of November," Greenberg said. "What happened with the Halo phenomenon was just truly incremental on top of the normal holiday cycle.

"...Even at the speed we're running at, it can take a couple of months to react to that."

Greenberg said that Microsoft is currently airshipping Xbox 360 hardware into the market, a practice not typical in normal supply situations.
 
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