Harrison shows LittleBigPlanet, dates SingStar[ps3]
During the keynote in which Phil Harrison formally announced PlayStation Home, the executive revealed Media Molecule's PlayStation 3 effort, LittleBigPlanet. Mixing a cute aesthetic with physics-based gameplay, the game inspires both cooperative and competitive behavior as players navigate user-created challenges. Set to release in early 2008, a demo will be available later this fall. For more on LittleBigPlanet, check out our preview, screenshots and video.
LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule got its start following the success of Rag Doll Kung-Fu (PC), released via Steam in October 2005. As reported in December 2005, Mark Healey, who had developed the game mostly in his free time, announced he had left his position at Lionhead Studios to form an independent development studio. Joining Healey in his endeavor were fellow Rag Doll Kung Fu developer Alex Evans and Dave Smith.
Harrison also announced the PlayStation 3 edition of SCEE London Studio's SingStar would hit Europe in early June, with a North American release in the fall.
Renegade Kids reveal The Ward on Nintendo DS[ds]
Newly-formed studio Renegade Kid unveiled their initial project, a first person shooter for the Nintendo DS titled The Ward. Calling to mind the spooky atmosphere of Konami and Team Silent's Silent Hill, the game begins as the main character awakens in an abandoned hospital full of grisly trimmings. A dynamic real-time flashlight, controlled via the touch screen, can only illuminate one portion of an area at a time, adding to the tension.
Renegade Kid is currently seeking a publisher for the project, which will hopefully release in the fall. The studio also released screenshots with today's announcement.
Sony gives PS3 developers an Edge with optimization tools[ps3]
Sony Computer Entertainment today announced plans to share first-party development libraries with all PlayStation 3 developers. Revealed during the company's keynote address at the Game Developers Conference, the development suite is known as PlayStation Edge. SCE Worldwide Studios head Phil Harrison expressed hope that the Edge program would streamline development for third parties and allow them to take full advantage of the PS3's RSX GPU and Cell processor.
Third-party Wii games begin using Miis[wii]
The latest media for Sega Sammy's upcoming Jissen Pachinko/Pachislot Hisshouhou! Sammy's Collection Hokuto no Ken (Wii) revealed a pleasant surprise in the form of Mii support. Though Nintendo-developed titles such as Wii Sports have employed the user-created Miis since the system's launch, this represents the first instance of a third-party developer implementing the abstract avatars. As pachinko titles traditionally do not perform well in North America, a domestic release of the game is unlikely, but this bodes well for Mii support in future third-party games.
PlayStation Home screenshots released[ps3]
Following today's unveiling of PlayStation Home, Sony released several sets of screenshots illustrating various aspects of the online social environment coupled with mandatory descriptive captions.
- Character Customization: "Each person can customize their clothes and facial characteristics, with millions of potential combinations."
- Games Space: "The Games Space is where you can meet and relax with your friends with free casual games such as bowling, pool and retro arcade games."
- Basic Apartment/Luxury Apartment: "Your Home Space is your private apartment where you can invite your friends and family. Your free, initial apartment can be decorated and upgraded to the height of luxury with furniture, accessories, pictures and videos from your own collection."
- Virtual PSP: "Your Virtual PSP gives you access to all the navigation, features and options of Home."
- Lobby: "Both game and non-game brands can strengthen their user communities in Home by custom building their own spaces."
- Central Lounge: "The Central Lounge is the large social meeting space and is your initial starting point in Home. Communication is key in Home, and there are many simple ways to get to know people. Emotes are animations that get your point across fast. You can access short phrases using Quick Write, or if you have something big to say you can type with a Virtual or USB keyboard, or talk with a Bluetooth headset."
- Hall of Fame: "The Hall of Fame is the space where your game accomplishments are stored as 3D Trophies and video for public and private display."
- Home Theatre: "The Home Theatre is a shared viewing area for the latest trailers, films and user-created content."
Sega is currently running a poll on its site asking visitors which franchises they would like to see return. Choices include NiGHTS, Streets of Rage, Samba de Amigo, Flicky, and Virtua Cop.
GameSpot highlights excerpts from Koji Kondo's GDC session, in which the composer of Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda fame discusses the elements behind his work.
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Wizball for the Commodore 64. "Almost indescribable, collect colours by bouncing your Wizball (with co-op playable Cat-alyte) through levels, expanding your control scheme as you go. All with amazing graphics and sound!" (submitted by Carnivac)