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Last month's dazzling PS Vita game Gravity Rush - released in Japan as Gravity Daze - has also been confirmed for a North American release, on June 12. Marking the announcement is a new Gravity Rush trailer which Sony is offering, along with a few screenshots posted on its PlayStation blog. Although that earlier video with 15 minutes of gameplay still kicks a whole lot more gravity-defying ass.

Gravity Rush wallpaper

Meanwhile, the game's Japanese version will enjoy three weeks of downloadable content, with one new DLC pack launching each week, starting from March 22. (...)

>  Continue reading 'Gravity Rush American Release, Japanese DLC'...
Sony Japan is taking the fist steps into the PSP online business, announcing that all future first-party products made for this tiny, yet classy and incredible useful console (at least while you're waiting for your booze partners to join you in an all-night alcohol session), will be also available for download. UMD releases will still ship, of course.


This probably comes as a self-marketing thingie for the PSP Store extravaganza, which was also confirmed. So, if you have a store, you are bound to have some games to fill that store. Or something. According to Gameindustry.biz, the first downloadable titles will be something alongside Secret Agent Clank, Patapon 2 and LocoRoco 2.

Japan only so far, though my bet is that a European and a North-American follow-up is soon to follow.
As of today, the new president of Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) is Shuhei Yoshida. "Who?!", you might ask for various reasons, and I wouldn't blame you. For various reasons. Luckily, for all of us ignorants who haven't been following Sony's constant leadership changes over the past couple of years up close and personal, they provided us with a quick bio of Yoshida-san, which we're generously copy-pasting below.
"Yoshida joined SCEI in 1993, and was one of the initial members in establishing the PlayStation business. He was appointed Producer of the Product Development Department in April 1996, and joined Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. as Vice President of Product Development in April 2000, where he held various positions in product development, producing many global best selling franchise titles. In February 2007, Yoshida was promoted to Senior Vice President, US Studios, SCE WWS."

Commenting on the appointment, the group's CEO and president Kaz "Riiidge Racer" Hirai said that "SCE WWS will accelerate the software development for the PlayStation 3 and PSP platforms and vigorously expand the gaming market", under the leadership of Yoshida. Yeah, like, ganbatte!


Habemus President!
The salesmen from Sony Computer Entertainment are over-pleased with themselves, for their impressive achievement of having shipped over 50 million games from the Gran Turismo "racing and car-life simulator" franchise. And because they obviously did all the hard work themselves, they're barely mentioning the series' developing studio - Polyphony Digital - just once in their pompous communique.

The series began in late 1997, so the 50 million shipments, spread over a 10 years (and 4 months) timeframe, would average to nearly 5 million Gran Turismo games shipped every year; and presumably a very solid percentage of that sold, too. It would be interesting to see a similar figure from EA's Need for Speed franchise. Wanna bet which one would come on top?

For old times' sake, here's a list of all the Gran Turismo games and "prologues" released over the years:
Gran Turismo - December 23, 1997
Gran Turismo 2 - December 11, 1999
Gran Turismo 3 A-spec - April 28, 2001
Gran Turismo Concept 2001 TOKYO - January 1, 2002
Gran Turismo 4 Prologue - December 4, 2003
Gran Turismo 4 - December 28, 2004
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue - December 13, 2007

Oh, and a big-big personal thanks from Gran Turismo producer Kazunori Yamauchi, to all the fans out there. I've only been one for a year or so (since the NFS series is going nowhere fast), and I don't have a single shred of regret for switching over to Sony's team.
"I would really like to thank all the fans who have supported the Gran Turismo series over the years, for all their passion and love of the game. We’d like to continue making every effort to create cutting edge, high quality games, so that we don’t disappoint anyone’s expectations."
- New Red Alert 3 details have been discussed in the latest BattleCast web-show, including the revelation of the new faction: The Empire of the Rising Sun, "which was produced after a desperate Soviet leadership went back in time to erase Einstein, presumably to stop him creating the atomic bomb". One does not simply erase Einstein.

- Okami finally gets a firm release date on the Wii (or delay, from GameSpot's point of view): April 15. Cool, right on my birthday. But something tells me I'll still be busy air-punching my comrade in Super Smash Bros. Brawl at that time.

- IGN talked to Ubi about the new stuff in Assassin's Creed for the PC, such as four new investigation missions (archer assassination, rooftop race challenge, merchant stand destruction challenge and escort challenge). And they also got some new screens. The PC version is coming in early April, having slipped again.

- Dark Sector is also coming a bit later than expected, in April, with a demo "likely" to precede the final launch.

- A fresh new release schedule we received from cdv USA lists Sacred 2: Fallen Angel as coming in September 2008 on the PC and Xbox 360. Precicely, yet another delay. Also, Stranger releasing this March 17, Sudden Strike 3 on March 24, and Theatre of War on May 12 (it's been out in Europe since last autumn).

- Demigod, at least, is not getting delayed... yet. Gas Powered Games' new strategy game is "completely playable" and "fairly certain" for a 2008 release. Should be worth the wait, "heck [they] have a giant walking castle as a demigod"!

- A Grimm preview is up on GameTap (the very website that will be launching this dark episodic game in July), with quotes from American McGee, who seems rather frustrated by Disney's versions of the classic murderous fairy tales. "Look at Pinocchio, for instance. In the original story he kills Jiminy Cricket, his conscience. Pinocchio was a real jerk in the original story. But nobody knows that because they've only seen the Disney version."

- A game based on the TV show Dexter is in the works, through a partnership between Showtime Networks and Marc Ecko Entertainment. Right, as in Marc Ecko's Getting Up pile-o-crap from a couple of years ago.

- Sony Japan confirms Skype for PSP from March 18, plus new hardware and limited edition Bronze handheld. Any colour you like.
A huge sigh of relief is in order, I believe, now that the prolongued silence has been broken on the PlayStation.Blog. As you can see below, the upcoming SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation for the PlayStation 3 looks light-years better than the disgusting screenshots which are still lingering on the game's official website. Although, truth be told, it's still not as good looking as we've come to expect from a future PS3 title.


Along with these screenshots, David Seymour (the game's Design Director from developer Slant Six Games) offers a few more info on SOCOM: Confrontation, but leaves the best for EGM magazine's cover story in their May issue. Still, one thing he specifically wants to tell the fans, again and again and again (yeah, he actually wrote it three times), is this: "There is an option to use classic SOCOM camera! It looks and feels like the original classic camera!". Great, now how about a release date, other than that elusive "2008"?
Heh, what do you know, so the stupefying rumour was true, after all. Phil Harrison, the former president of Sony's Worldwide Studios, has exchanged one presidency for another, like a dirty pair of corporate socks. Very, very expensive socks... As announced last night by Atari's parent company from France, Phil has become the new President and Directeur Général Délégué of Infogrames Entertainment (thank God for copy-pasting, those accents are killers), while also joining the company's Board of Directors.

The genuinely surprising move follows shortly after the appointment of David Gardner (ex-EA executive) as CEO of Infogrames, and now the two white-collared buddies are promising to "form the basis of a transformational leadership team at Infogrames that will grow the Atari brand into a leading online game company". Phil's daily duties will range from "reinforcing [Infogrames'] franchise portfolio of products, developing its new packaged and online games, and strengthening its internal and external studio capability through attracting world-class design and development talent to the organisation". Sounds like... umm... fun. So how does Phil feel about all this? (...)

>  Continue reading 'Phil Harrison, From Sony To... Infogrames'...
Much like the Chains of Olympus teaser ad included in God of War II's retail box (if my memory serves me right), God of War III for the PlayStation 3 is also being hinted as "coming soon" inside the package of the new PSP chapter launching this week. This time, however, there's not even a vague release timeframe like that "2007" initially announced for God of War: Chains of Olympus... which, as it turns out, was completely wrong anyway. My guess is that if they didn't even bother to write "2008" on the GoW3 ad now, they sure won't manage to launch it this year. Or simply put: God of War III coming in 2009. I dare Sony to prove me wrong.
Yes, I admit, I've been shamelessly (though strategically) slacking for the past week, leaving my comrade to face the GDC madness on his own, while I turned my perverted eye to our flat-chested sister-website Animekon (some great new stuff there lately, by the way). But all good things must come to an end, so... back to gaming.

- Chief among our bypassed GDC news was the announcement of Gears of War 2, coupled with this teaser trailer teasing at a november 2008 release. CliffyB proclaimed that it's "going to be bigger, better and far more badass than the first one", with chainsaw duels and stuff. But no Gears of War comic after all.

- More recently, Motorstorm 2 was also revealed in a BBC article. It's "due out in time for Christmas and moves the action away from the desert locale of the original. Gamers will be able to race around a lush island environment, full of interactive vegetation". Interactive... vegetation. That's super. At least it will have 4-player split-screen.

- Still, the hottest topic these days remains EA's $2 billion bid on Take-Two, which was rejected, but will be taken under consideration once again on April 30, right after the release of GTA IV (not by coincidence). Meanwhile - new Take-Two details revealed.

- This year's Leipzig Games Convention might be the last one, as from September 2009 it could effectively be replaced by a new event called GAMESCom, to be held in Cologne, Germany. The Leipzig organizers are not amused, but still hope for a GC 2009.

- Telltale has just sent along the trailer for Sam & Max episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs, which is hereby officially unravelled. But where in the world is Carmen Sandiego Bosco? Find out in mid-March.

- The next Indiana Jones action game has gone into production. Yeah, just now. But you won't see me complain, since LucasArts spent more time with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which looks so cool in this GDC 2008 trailer.

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Offset Software, the guys who blew our mind with their Project Offset tech demos a couple of years ago (but kept mostly silent ever since) have been acquired by Intel. Five bucks to whoever can say what this will mean for their potential game. I'm clueless.

- Molyneux despairs at the "tragic" state of PC gaming, because "The Sims and World of Warcraft [are] sucking all the air out of the PC market". And I feel like I'm right in the ventilation duct, what with patch 2.4 coming up and everything... By the way, "Cliff's an idiot!".

- As of tomorrow, February 29, Phil Harrison is no longer the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios. This week he resigned from Sony after 15 frustrating years with the company, leaving his warm chair to Kaz “Riiiidge Racer!” Hirai (who also remains President and Group CEO of SCEI). Where to next, Phil boy?
Destination Playstation is a nice and cozy meeting between Sony representatives, retailers and 3rd party developers, which takes place in Arizona, every year. If you are a console freak, then you probably know about all this bullshit, and even more, if you are a proud owner of a Playstation, be it a handheld, be it a PS3, or be it a PS2 for all those juicy bishojou games out there, you’ll be pretty interested in this.

First off, we’ll get a Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots PS3 Bundle in Q2 2008, which will include a nice 80 GB Playstation 3, a retail version of Solid Snake’s upcoming adventure, plus a Dualshock 3 controller, all for only 499.99 USD. The price is good, I must say, the only thing that I do not know for sure is the presence (or absence) of the dreaded backwards compatibility.

Secondly, PSP owners will get a huge boner when this pretty God of War PSP Entertainment Pack hits the shelves, for a mere 199.99 USD. The bundle will include a nice custom red PSP, with Kratos’ face forever carved into the handheld’s back, the upcoming God of War: Chains of Olympus, plus the voucher to freely download Syphon Filter: Combat Ops from the Playstation Store.

Last, but certainly not least, the much awaited Dualshock 3 will finally get its ass on the North American market, starting with April, 2008. It will be charged with no less than 54.99 USD, and it is said to be compatible with over 100 PS3 games. Frankly, I still think Sony lost a LOT with delaying this launch, but, hey, better late than never.

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