Sony is adding a bit of flair to its PS3 Slim by offering the gaming console in white and upping the console’s on-board storage. Launching in Japan on July 29th, the PS3 Slim will be available in both 160Gb and 320GB capacities — up from the previous 120GB and 250GB sizes. The console will also be offered in the traditional black and the new Classic White with matching white controller. Pricing is set in the Japanese Yen with the 160GB retailing for ¥29,980 (USD$340) and the 320GB version for ¥34,980 (USD$400). Thus far, the launch is limited to Japan; but, hopefully, we will see these models come stateside in time for the holiday shopping season. More →
We’ve heard some rumors about an upcoming PSP refresh in the past — ok, a whole lot of rumors — but new information is casting doubt upon the details of previous information. 1UP is reporting that the new PSP will be christened the PSP Go! and will finally do away with that awful UMD system while taking on a slider form. In place of UMDs, it is said the PSP Go! will come in 8GB and 16GB models meaning a green light for game downloads. As for games, Sony is reportedly planning to have around 100 old and new games ready for launch time. Sadly those of you who were looking for a bit of dual-joystick action will be disappointed to note that according to this new rumor, a second analog stick will not be added to the right-hand side. Such is life, we suppose. Word is Sony will make the PSP Go! official at E3 next month and have it hit the streets in Japan in September with a US launch in either late October or early November — ensuring its inclusion in plenty of letters to Santa. And yes, the image above is a mock up.
With the E3 expo coming up in June, rumors of a refreshed PSP are surging once again. Now billed as yet another “iPhone killer”, chatter surrounding the possibility of a new PSP is reportedly firming up a bit with inside sources seemingly becoming more lose lipped lately. Current status of rumors: slider form factor, touchscreen, two analog thumbsticks in addition to standard controls, “far more similar to the iPhone than the current device” (whatever that means) and a release scheduled before Christmas 2009. No, it certainly won’t look like the sweet mock up above but the more rumors that get pumped into the mill lately, the more they’ve been lining up on common ground. Sony can definitely use the buzz a device like this would create, that’s for sure.
Sony confirmed on Tuesday that its PlayStation 2 console will finally hit the sub-$100 price point. Starting April 1st, the gaming console — now almost ten years old — will retail for a mere $99.99. That low price point will certainly appeal to entry-level gamers shopping for their first console or casual gamers looking to delve into the PS2’s extensive catalog of games. Is this the “big announcement” that has been rumored from Sony or does it have something bigger and better in store for us? Either way it’s not the PS3 price drop the console sorely needs and it won’t do anything for more serious gamers deciding between the thriving Xbox 360 or the troubled PS3, which continues to lose developer interest.
Before we even begin thinking about the rest of the Wii and DS titles Nintendo just announced… Punch-Out! Ok, now that that’s out of the way we can get down to business. Nintendo just unveiled its list of upcoming Wii and DS titles that will hit shelves between now and the Summer. The list is long and continuing record sales are inevitable — there really is something for everyone waiting in queue. Highlights as far as sales are concerned include Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits and a handful of children’s games on the DS, and The Conduit, EA SPORTS Active and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus for the Wii. Oh, and did we mention Punch-Out!? Hit the jump for the full list and let us know which titles all you Wii fans are looking forward to.
A bug that prevented audio signals from being delivered from the Xbox 360 to users receivers/TVs via HDMI has been a huge burden to many people since the issue cropped up with the installation of the NXE update in mid-November, but Microsoft apparently didn’t deem it necessary to address the issue let alone release a patch. Well here we are over two months later and we see that Microsoft has finally decided to come around and push out an official patch to solve the problem. We’re not sure what kept Redmond from remedying the issue sooner but when 360 owners got fed up enough to come to us for help, Microsoft apparantly saw the light. Needy little things those 360 users, aren’t they? The nerve – wanting audio for their video games… It all goes to show that when in doubt, Help Me Howard BGR is on your side.
It looks like Sony isn’t the only company with woes on the gaming console front these days. Sure, Xbox 360 owners might not be forced to sit back and watch as their console manufacturer of choice posts record losses and sees gaming labs begin to snub their platform, but what difference does it make if their consoles becomes unusable? In an Xbox Forums thread currently spanning 23 pages, hundreds of Xbox 360 owners are reporting that recent updates are causing big problems. In a system that currently sits at the forefront of HD gaming, HDMI connectivity is a must. Users are reporting that after installing the Xbox Live Fall Update however, audio has been completely compromised via HDMI. Some users are even reporting video issues as well. Months have passed since the issues first arose and yet countless gamers still find themselves without a solution. Calls to Xbox support have yielded nothing to date – in fact some reps are still trying to blame faulty TVs and cables for the issue. Talk to us Microsoft, what’s up?
Despite the slumping economy, Nintendo sold a record setting number of Wii consoles and portable DS systems in the US during 2008. According to NPD Group’s statistics the Wii dominated the market, selling 10.17 million Wii consoles which accounted for 55% of new console purchases in 2008. Additionally, the four best selling game titles for 2008 were for the Wii console with Wii Play, Mario Kart, Wii Fit and Super Smash Bros beating out the likes of Call of Duty: World at War, Gears of War 2 and even Grand Theft Auto IV. Sales of the Nintendo DS were equally brisk with US consumers purchasing 9.95 million units in 2008, an increase of 1.43 million units from 2007. The DS dominated the portable market accounting for 72% of all portable system sales in 2008 and set an industry record by selling 3.04 million units in December alone. With the Wii still flying off the shelves, the DS being the portable system to beat and the DSi expected to hit the US in the spring, Nintendo will continue to be the gaming platform to beat in 2009.
Using a series of extremely sophisticated environments and 1,440 bit graphics, Sixense used CES 2009 rekindle interest in its next evolutionary step in gaming controllers. Okay, maybe the demo scenarios weren’t quite as impressive as that, but Sixense’s TrueMotion gaming controller is nothing short of awesome. Evolutionary is certainly the keyword here as Nintendo did the grunt work in terms of bringing motion-based game controls to the masses, but TrueMotion takes the concepts put forth by the Wiimote and other motion-based options and really moves them a giant leap forward. Using a base station that creates an electromagnetic field around the gamer, TrueMotion allows for a much more responsive experience that is infinitely more precise. The solution will be compatible with existing games along with games designed specifically with Sixense’s controllers in mind. We’ll let Sixense’s demo video, an oldie but goodie, do the rest of the talking. We do however, now finally have firmed up timing and pricing set by the company – expect TrueMotion to become available for PC by year-end 2009 for around $100 (one remote bundled with a game).
News flash: Nintendo sells tons of Wii consoles. We know, we know – the Wii’s success is hardly news these days. In fact, Nintendo’s console is flying off the shelves almost as fast as the comment count is jumping up over on our BlackBerry Curve 8900 giveaway post. Nintendo did manage yet another impressive feat however, as NPD Group just issued Nintendo’s numbers for November. Drum roll please… over 2 million! That is the number of Wii consoles Nintendo sold – in the US alone – in the month of November. Aside from being a ridiculous number of sales, 2 million+ is a record for single console sales in a non-December month in the US. Wow. On top of that, NPD Group reports that Nintendo also managed to snag the second-place all time for a non-December month in the US with over 1.56 million Nintendo DS sales. In other words, Nintendo broke the non-December single-month sales record with two different consoles in the same month. Sheesh! The Wii recently passed the N64 (32.93 million units sold) to become the fifth best-selling console of all time and we don’t expect it to be much longer until it overtakes SNES (49.1 million units sold) for sole possession of the four-spot.
Konami sure knows how to cause a stir. An update to the official Konami’s Kojima Productions website seems to suggest that Metal Gear Solid may finally make its way to the Xbox 360. We will admit that this might be a bit of stretch but the black and green coloring of the symbol-filled website is reminiscent of the colors used to advertise the Xbox 360. The Universal symbol for Power, which is prominently displayed on the front of the Xbox 360, is now front and center on Konami’s website. Rumors that the Playstation exclusive title will jump ship to the Xbox platform have been floating around for a while now, so such an announcement is not completely unexpected. Wild speculation continues to run rampant though, with Kotaku interpreting the “i” to mean iPhone, DSi, or Wii. The upside down “i” is used in PSP-based Metal Gear Acid so the new announcement may be related to that game and not the console version, Metal Gear Solid. Kotaku also points out that the URL contains the phrase “mgst” which could mean Metal Gear Solid Touch? Konami has been silent on the matter saying that it does not comment on speculation and apologized for providing only the “standard line” as a response. All we can deduce with some degree of certainty is that Konami has something new on the horizon for the Metal Gear franchise and it wants everyone to start talking about it. We will happily oblige them. Any gamers out there? Feel free to chat this up in the comments – additional rampant speculation is not only welcome, it is expected.
As analysts continue to predict one of the worst retail holiday seasons in recent history, Microsoft announced Monday that the Xbox 360 is apparently the exception to the rule. Recent price drops and some solid marketing have combined to create plenty of hype surrounding the console this holiday season and the result has been tremendous. Xbox 360 didn’t just beat Playstation 3 in terms of sales over the Black Friday shopping weekend, it trounced it. Microsoft is reporting that it outsold Playstation 3 by a huge three-to-one ratio and amidst the troubling economic downturn in 2008, sales over Black Friday weekend were estimated to be up a whopping 25%. Game titles are also hopping off the shelves as Xbox continues to hold the top average of 8.1 games per console. Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, had this to say:
We entered into the Black Friday sales period with cautious optimism, knowing that dollar for dollar, Xbox 360 offers more social entertainment value than any other console on the market. Record Black Friday sales in the U.S., coupled with our existing global install base of 25 million and an online community of more than 14 million Xbox LIVE members, have laid the groundwork for continued global sales momentum in 2009.
Microsoft might be losing market share in the computer OS market but there’s no question that it’s strengthening its position in the gaming market. So kids, Xbox 360 is definitely the console du jour this holiday season and if you want to be as cool as your friends come January, you better start nagging your parents for one now – assuming they aren’t able to find a Wii, of course.
Earlier this week Microsoft announced that it would cut Xbox 360 prices in Japan by 30% in an attempt to bolster their abysmal sales. Sales in Japan folks, not here, so calm yourselves. It looks like they have not forgot about their home nation. Starting on Friday, Microsoft will slash the prices on all three versions of it’s consoles. Yay! The Xbox 360 Arcade will fall to $199, booting the Wii out of it’s place as the lowest priced gaming console. Prices on the other two consoles are expected to drop by $50 bringing the prices of the mid-range Xbox 360 model to $299 and the high-end Xbox 360 elite to $399. Boo-yah! Who’s up for a quick beating in Madden?