Late Night Consoling

The news, where is it? Here you go, mudslinging and speculation.
  • Sony's Harrison: PC Unnecessary, Sony Introduced Realtime 3D

    [ps3]

    German site Spiegel Online published an interview today with Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios' outspoken boss Phil Harrison. Harrison touched on the system's motion sensing capability, Blu-ray functionality, PS3 as a media device, and Sony's ability to cater to different markets.

    On the recently announced motion sensitive controller, Harrison finds the idea that the company "stole Nintendo's idea" understandable, but also "a little stupid." "When we launched Playstation [sic] in 1994 we introduced the concept of real-time computer-generated 3-D-graphics, did you hear us say, 'Nintendo, you've stolen our idea?'" Harrison asked. "Of course not." He stated that both Nintendo and Sony have been working on similar motion sensing innovations for "a long time," and it is unsurprising that both companies have announced similar features. Interestingly, on the topic of how many games would feature motion sensitivity, Harrison said, "I expect every game to use the feature in some way." At this year's E3, only one game, Warhawk, used the feature, and most developers did not find out about its existence (or the removal of rumble technology) until Sony's pre-E3 press conference. Harrison's answer may indicate that Sony plans to strongly encourage developers to design games around the feature. Such a move would also potentially also allow Sony to claim an additional feature bullet point for multiplatform titles over their Xbox 360 versions.

    Harrison expressed high expectations for the extent to which PS3 owners will rely on the machine, which perhaps sheds some light on the reasoning behind the console's price tag. It may even replace the PC, he says, downplaying the significance of Microsoft's recently announced Live Anywhere initiative, which aims to integrate Xbox 360, PC, and mobile devices. "We think that Playstation 3 is the place where our users will be doing their gaming, their movie watching, their Web browsing and a lot of other computer entertainment functions," explained Harrison. "That will satisfy them. Playstation 3 is a computer. We don't need the PC."

  • Microsoft's Moore on Sony, 360 Backwards Compatibility

    [xbox360]

    Microsoft's Peter Moore spoke with Kikizo about the company's current and future plans regarding Xbox 360. Moore took several opportunities for potshots at Sony, and spoke on the possibility of larger hard drives for the system as well as the state of Xbox backwards compatibility.

    Regarding Microsoft's gaming competitors, Moore had words for each. "I think Nintendo's doing their job, in broadening the look and feel of what games are about for the consumer," he said. "And, you know, Sony wants sell high definition movies." In regards to Sony's launch plans, he seemed to imply that the electronics giant may have taken some inspiration from Microsoft's setup. "It sounds awfully familiar," he reflected. "Dual SKU, launch in November, online network... who'd have thunk that?" On PS3's recently announced price and its potential effect on Microsoft, he predicted that Sony won't have any trouble selling its units at launch, though it is important to eventually be able to reach a price point under $200 over a console's lifespan.

    Moore did not state outwardly whether plans for larger capacity Xbox 360 hard drives are in the works, though he confirmed that Microsoft is examining the issue. "People are pretty good at managing their hard drives, I manage mine," he said. "But there's going to be a time when we need to look at what we're doing there - but no announcements now."

    One area in which Xbox 360 has taken some heat is that of backwards compatibility with Xbox, which is implemented on a game-by-game basis. Interestingly, Moore downplayed the issue, even stating that Microsoft "under promised and over delivered" on the feature. "More are coming, but at some point, you just go, there's enough, let's move on, or people aren't as worried about a game being backwards compatible," he said, "and I like to think we've upheld our end of the bargain in making at least two or maybe three hundred games backwards compat." (For the record, the official compatibility list contains 207 titles, including expansion packs such as the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack.)

  • Sony Can't Connect?

    [psp]

    Back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, Sony put a great deal of focus on the multimedia functions of its PSP console, outlining upcoming integration with Sony's Connect media download service and showing various upcoming peripherals for the device. Connect was promised to undergo a major relaunch this March, which would coincide with its PSP functionality. The company also showed a demo of the PS3 interfacing with Connect to purchase additional songs for karaoke game SingStar. Obviously, nothing happened in March, and the delay still yet to be publically addressed by Sony.

    CNET News.com has a detailed report on what has been going on with the iTunes competitor, with issues ranging from political clashes to technological problems. This week, it was revealed Phil Wiser, one of Connect's internal supporters and Sony America's chief technology officer, would be leaving the company. GameSpot (a CNET site) attempted to contact Sony on the matter for the specific implications on PSP, which were unaddressed in the News.com article, but received no response.

  • Pornography Appears "Out of Thin Air," Images Displayed "Magically"

    [psp]

    Portable gaming just gets more and more insidious by the day. Back in February, astute journalists discovered that crazy criminals can track you down using your Nintendo DS, and now Fox 9 News of Minneapolis/St. Paul has discovered that Sony's PSP can "access porn out of thin air." The news story actually uses the phrase "out of thin air twice," also noting, "What mom thought was just a game is actually a very sophisticated piece of electronics that a clever kid can use to capture pornographic images out of thin air." In case you weren't clear on the apparently supernatural properties of the device, it seems that PSP is able to "magically display images of naked women." Reports that the images are in fact stored on a Memory Stick and displayed by means of a liquid crystal display are unconfirmed as of press time.

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    The Wall Street Journal has a profile of Andrew "Bunnie" Huang, one of the more high-profile members of the hacking community attempting to fully decode Xbox 360.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2/PS3

GameSpot takes a look at CyberConnect2's Naruto: Ultimate Ninja (PS2).

GCN/Wii

Screenshots: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, GCN). Super Mario Galaxy (Wii).

PORTABLE

IGN previews Square Enix's Itadaki Street Portable (PSP) and EA Tiburon's DS version of Madden NFL 07 (NDS, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PS3, X360, Wii, PSP, GBA, PC). GameSpy checks out both vbersions of Mega Man Battle Network 6 (GBA).

MULTI

GameSpot checks out hand co.'s One Piece: Pirates' Carnival (PS2, GCN). Eurogamer previews Sonic Team's Sonic the Hedgehog (PS3, X360).

Movies: Micro Machines V4 (PS2, Xbox, DS, PSP, PC).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Pooyan for the Atari 2600. "Shooting arrows at wolves, dangling from balloons? Pooyan Rules. Who's with me?" (submitted by Judecca)