QuickJump QuickPeek 48: Of Solid Snake’s last farewell, Jack Thompson’s plight in court, and Captain Planet’s strike against the PS3, 360, and Wii

QuickJump QuickPeek 48 - Image 1(Editor’s Note: Hawtdayum, this summer’s gonna be a scorcher – with or without global warming!)

Not only are we giving you a generous dose of news in this week’s QuickJump QuickPeek… From MGS4 news and XBLA updates, all the way down to how Jack Thompson’s finally gets overruled, we’re serving up a more-than-generous scoop of industry news. Heck, our generosity’s even spilled over to Comment of the Week!

QuickJump QuickPeek: PSP PS3 Xbox 360 Nintendo Wii news recap - Image 1

(Editor’s Note: Aaah… Summer.. Can you guys already smell it? Depending on your school’s schedule, you might be one of the lucky ones who already are – or will soon be – on summer break. Man. Sun, sand, and surf. Mmm… and oh, some firmware updates and a couple few new games would indeed be something to look forward to in the coming months as well. Hot damn, this summer’s gonna be a scorcher – with or without global warming!)

So what do we got for you in this issue of QuickJump QuickPeek? Ah, even without telling you guys, we know you already expect the same old usual franken-update of news. To say that this we got one heck of a monster this week may be a gross understatement.

Seriously though. With every issue growing ever bigger than the previous one, this whole QuickPeek thing ain’t getting any quicker than what the name suggests. So… Well, you’ll see in the future.

We’re planning something new for QuickPeek, and it’ll only be a matter of time before we let you guys in on it. Just a couple more editions, and this weekly feature will finally turn a year old! So who knows what’ll happen come QuickPeek 52 and beyond? The QJ.NET labs are indeed buzzing like crazy.

So, enough talk about the future though! Let’s get it on with the present!

QuickJump QuickPeek: PSP - PS3 news - Image 1

PSP: Further up, further in – expanding your horizons

Turning up the temperature for the PSP’s summer is none other than John Koller, Sony‘s senior marketing manager. He gave a couple details on upcoming peripherals for the PSP, namely the keyboard and GPS unit. There’s also some talk of bringing over Japan’s PSP TV tuner and making it compatible for North America’s infrastructure.

He also shed light on a certain change in direction they’re taking in approaching their target audience. Well, he’s Sony’s product marketing dude, anyhoo, so if there’s someone to talk of demographics, it’d be Koller. He says that they’ll be shifting to a younger and multi-ethnic audience, whereas before, they were targetting 28 to 34 year old professionals. With all this, he promises growth and expansion of the PSP as a device.

Koller’s also announced via the PS blog that there will be a new PSP bundle to be released. Come August 12, the Madden NFL 09 PSP Entertainment Pack will be made available for US$ 199.99. That includes a limited edition Metallic Blue PSP, Madden NFL 09, an NFL UMD video, a PSN voucher for Beats, and a 1GB memstick.

Link: Sony senior marketing manager on GPS device, PSP keyboard, and new demograph
Link: Madden NFL 09 PSP Entertainment Pack announced

Let’s turn our eye now over to Japan where they get some sweet swag that we can only wish would eventually end up in other regions. As some might expect, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G has new DLC for the week from Capcom. Challenge Quest 05 gives players the change to go meat hunting in a special chef armor.

Though North America gets a different PSP demo this week (more details below), Japan got Valhalla Knights 2. Unlike MHP 2nd G, we’re now sure that Valhalla Knights 2 will be heading to our shores soon enough. Marvelous Interactive’s announced a Fall 2008 release window, so let’s hope this free demo would also find its way to the PlayStation Store PC soon enough in North America.

Link: Iron Chef extreme: details of new DLC for Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G
Link: Japan’s PlayStation Store gets the Valhalla Knights 2 demo

As for regular updates on the PSP homebrew scene, we’ve got some dev notes about the upcoming CFW 3.95. There’s some good news and some bad news. Firstly, the positive side of things: the Slim version of CFW 3.95 GEN (as it’s now dubbed) is now 99% done. The unfortunate thing is there seems to be a hitch with the PSP Phat version of the CFW.

Thanks to MaGiXieN for the CFW tip!

Link: Custom PSP firmware 3.95 GEN project update

Other notable homebrew this week comes in the form of one of the longest-running SNES emulator for the PSP, the Snes9xTYL project. Since the emulator has been released to the public, various coders have been releasing their own versions with various tweaks.

This time, we have a group of Japanese coders who have released Snes9xTYLsmcm. Two updates were actually released this week: the first being their third test release, while the more recent one has some notable increase in speed.

Those looking for something cool to download this week might also want to check out NervOS. It’s a sleek shell that’s been in development for quite some time now, and just recently it got another update. A very, very beefy update at that.

Link: Snes9xTYLsmcm Test 3 16/05/08 Release – SNES emulator for PSP
Link: Snes9xTYLsmcm 23/05/08 Release – speed increase noted
Link: PSP homebrew shell: NervOS 2.0 released

Care for some PlayStation Store goodies? Ah well. We’ll hand you over now to the PS3 team for all the updates on that. Take it away, guys!

– QJ.NET’s PSPUpdates team

PlayStation 3: Counting down to the MGS4 release

What’s new, what’s new? Quite a lot. So let’s get things started with something from across the globe: Mainichi Issho, the Sony cat mascot in Japan, is introducing a new feature for the PS3 devkit.

Developers will be able to capture footage in-game (for now, in Mainichi Issho’s game) and directly upload them straight into YouTube! Pretty sweet, huh? Here’s to hoping that we see this feature getting dispersed out into the greater world.

Link: PS3 SDK gets YouTube upload function, shows it off in Mainichi Issho

Speaking of the greater world, Konami’s pretty much got everyone on tenterhooks for June 12. Just a couple more days from now and boooyah! Solid Snake ends his lifelong journey and finally gets closure in MGS4.

During the Konami Gamers’ Day, Ryan Payton and Ken Iamizumi talked about a lot of things. Not least of all is the fact that progress on the Collector’s Edition for the game is going well. In fact, it’s already done! Just a matter of getting those babies out on the market.

Also, the Assassin’s Creed costume we all supposed was nothing more than an April Fool’s Day prank is actually very much real and included in the game. Turns out that Hideo Kojima and Jade Raymond got Konami and Ubisoft to see each other at eye level and sneak in this special costume for the gamers.

And as if it needed more clarification: yes, MGS4 is indeed the last game in the Solid Snake saga. BUT! (yeah, there’s always a big “but”, we know.) This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the Metal Gear franchise. In fact, Kojima’s already thinking about MGS5.

Link: Ken Iamizumi and Ryan Payton talks MGS 4 faves and collector’s edition
Link: MGS4: Assassin’s Creed costume confirmed, Snake gets closure, more
Link: Famitsu: Kojima thinking about Metal Gear Solid 5

Now just in case you guys missed it… Special details also flapped in: a supposed 4GB of HD space will be required to install the game, and, based on a PlayStation magazine, that the game will have 90-minute cutscenes. Yes, we know. Sounds a bit bogus, and maybe it’s because of little nuances with the wording. But an article in PSW magazine #108 reports of the long cutscenes. And for those who are asking: yes, the cutscenes can be skipped.

Link: Metal Gear Solid 4: Box cover indicates 4.66 GB HD space requirement
Link: MGS4 to have 90-minute cutscenes

Speaking of magazine stories, PSM3 and an upcoming issue of EGM have finally let the cat of the bag – the ultimate “I told you so” gig. It was long rumored about and debunked so many times by different people. But now, it turns out to be true and very well confirmed: Bioshock is heading to the PS3.

Link: PSM3 cover, EGM confirm BioShock for PS3

Time to go online and check out some stuff available on the PlayStation Store: more tracks for Rock Band are available, as are two demos for Hot Shots Golf 2 for the PSP. If you can wait a couple weeks more, you might want to reserve some bucks for that God of War-inspired track for Guitar Hero 3. Meanwhile, Warhawk finally gets another patch, one that addresses some issues pointed out by the gamers: resapwn times and playlist layouts, among others.

Link: PS Store update for May 22: Rock Band tracks, Hot Shots Golf 2 demos, more
Link: Warhawk patch update goes live today, changes revealed
Link: God of War-inspired track for Guitar Hero 3 to hit PSN next month

Gah. We’re pooped and tired. No rest for the wicked, eh? It’s the last stretch before Metal Gear Solid 4, guys! Let’s hope things run smoother from here on out. And just in case the street date gets broken… well. Let’s just hope for the best.

– QJ.NET’s PlayStation 3 team

QuickJump QuickPeek: Xbox 360 - Nintendo Wii news - Image 1

Xbox 360: Upping the ante

Are we on? Of course we’re on! Online and kicking, as some might say. In XBL land, there’s some good news… and… some unfortunate changes.

David Edery reveals this week that the file size cap limit for Xbox Live Arcade games will be increased. From the cap size limit of 150MB, Microsoft is now raising the bar to a whopping 350MB! Like whoa! With that, you can expect some awesome games! Sweet!

Link: David Edery on XBLA file size limit being increased to 350 MB and more

On a related note, speaking in behalf of Microsoft, Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten revealed this week that they’ll be taking down underperforming games on XBLA. Sounds like a bit of tough love, but of course, the delisting won’t be done abruptly out of the blue.

The conditions for the removal from XBLA require that the game would have to have been at least six months old since it was put up online and that it’d have a Metacritic score would be below 65. If these conditions are met, the developers are given a three-month notice. With this, Microsoft aims to “[focus their service on] high quality games.”

Whitten also explained that there won’t be any significant changes in this year’s Xbox 360 Spring update. This further debunks (as if it hasn’t been debunked enough already) the rumored “wish list” of features to be incorporated in the coming dashboard update.

Link: Microsoft to delist underperforming XBLA titles, launch first-party studio
Link: Marc Whitten: no significant dashboard changes this Spring

We got some updates on Gears of War for the Cog-friendly shooters out there. There’s been a clarification on the supposed four-player co-op in the game. The reason why many thought this was a feature in GoW 2 was because of an interview with Cliff Bleszinski. When he said… “…multiple difficulty for co-op players,” some listeners heard the “for” as “four” and hence the confusion.

CliffyB also revealed this week that the squad-ordering feature in the first game was taken out from the sequel. We’ve got some juicy details about the chainsaw battles too, and with it, some hi-res screens from the video that was released the other week.

Link: Microsoft: Gears of War 2 four player co-op unconfirmed
Link: Gears of War 2 update with screens
Link: Gears of War 2: Bleszinski says squad-ordering removed in Gow 2

Waiting for other upcoming games? Listen up! Ninja Gaiden 2 is coming along just as scheduled. The game just got gold status this week, so you can expect it to be available on retail shelves come June 3.

The Viva Piñata sequel is also shaping up with some cool features. Well, it would have, actually, if it ever got to the final version of the game. See, during development for Trouble in Paradise, the team was able to use the Xbox Live Vision Camera to read card codes on video screens like that of the ones on the Zune or iPod.

Turns out they were also able to achieve this feat on the Nintendo DS! Yeap, there’s a Viva Piñata title geared up for the DS after all, in the form of Pocket Paradise. Sad truth is it didn’t fit well in their development cycle, so any 360-to-DS interconnectivity is a no-go. It is possible, but it’ll never happen.

Link: Ninja Gaiden 2 goes gold
Link: Xbox 360-DS interaction possible in Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise

Lots of good stuff happening, ya? We’ll see you guys next week! Meanwhile… Penny Arcade’s game, Precipice of Darkness, is now available on XBLA!

– QJ.NET’s Xbox 360 team

Nintendo Wii: Do the hussle (tut tut tut tutut tu tut tu-toot…)

Breaking a sweat and losing some calories? Make sure you’re not doing it over a thick fluffy carpet though. Yeap. Wii Fit is finally available in retail this week, and it’s already getting lots of people playing hooky from their yoga lessons at the gym. There was a slight confusion during its launch though. While the Nintendo World Store at NY had an early release, others thought it applied to every single retail store.

Link: May 19 or May 21? Confusion hits Wii Fit’s U.S. launch

Over at the Electronic Gaming Summit 2008, Nintendo announced their joy of receiving such staggering sales enough to compete with other console giants’ sales. Turns out that for the first 18 months of the Wii’s life cycle on retail, it’s already gotten over 50 millions games sold. That’s more than the numbers of the PS2 console’s first 18 months!

Link: Electronic Gaming Summit 08: Wii nets highest software sales during 18 months

Some rather unfortunate news for some who have been waiting for certain games. For one, disaster strikes Monolith Soft as they announced that Disaster: Day of Crisis will be pushed back from their original Fall 2008 release window in Japan. As of writing, the game’s release status is notched at TBA.

Link: Disaster: Day of Crisis delayed indefinitely

NEWSFLASH! This just in; piping hot and steamin’ up Wii consoles by the minute! Forget the beta version, now we got the real deal! The Wii Homebrew Channel has finally been released! The installation is pretty straight-forward, but that’s only if you understand all of it fully at the get-go. Reading the documentation is of course a must.

With this Homebrew Channel in place, the gates of Wii Homebrew have finally been opened!

Link: Wii Homebrew Channel released

The Wiibrew race is on! Now let’s see if we can find more homebrew getting released from now on.

– QJ.NET’s Nintendo Wii team

Greenpeace against the consoles - Image 1

General Gaming: Objection overruled

Suh-weet. If you guys wanna hear the latest in Rock Band Hero Guitar Hero World Tour news, time to start twirling those drumsticks. Yeah, yeah… We’ve already heard so many feedback about how the nomenclature of the franchise doesn’t quite fit well anymore since the fourth installment now throws in other instruments, but let’s just  all put those nit-picky naming convention gripes aside, shall we?

Guitar Hero World Tour (AKA Guitar Hero 4, and different from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith) is heating up the bandwagon by strumming in with a full set of band instruments. Bands already making the tracklist for the game include Van Halen, Sublime, and The Eagles.

Even some real-world drummers and band artists are taking part in development in the game. “Development” here means testing out the drum instrument, and in Travis Barker’s case, motion capture for the game visuals. Now if the recent teaser ad/trailer for the game holds true, we might see Lenny Kravitz songs in World Tour!

Link: Lenny Kravitz riffs featured in Guitar Hero World Tour video
Link: Guitar Hero World Tour details: drums, online mode, more
Link: Real-life drummers test new drum peripherals for Guitar Hero World Tour

Probably a new hero to many a gamer right now is one Judge Dava Tunis. She’s the judge who presided over Jack Thompson’s case; a while back, the attorney at law was charged with 31 different acts of misconduct on the court of law or to the general public.

The verdict: Jack Thompson was found guilty in 27 charges out of the 31 filed against him. Come June 4, there will be a court hearting on the sanctions that Mr. Thompson could receive for his proven acts of misconduct.

Link: Florida Bar finds Jack Thompson guilty of misconduct

Science and Technology: With your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!

While the three major consoles of this generation still seem to be very much in a heated war, the PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii are fighting yet another battle together – one set in the arena of environmental concerns.

Greenpeace is in an ongoing struggle to make known the environmental threats that the major console pose. They just published a document entitled “Playing Dity: Analysis of hazardous chemicals and materials in games console components”.

A mouthful for a title, yes, but basically it outlines certain data that show the harmful chemicals and materials that these consoles use. Nintendo has so far been the only one to release a statement in response to Greenpeace’s findings.

Link: Greenpeace: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii still ‘playing dirty’, using harmful materials
Link: Nintendo responds to Greenpeace allegations of ‘playing dirty’

Odds-and-Ends: aaaaand…. CUT!

Lots of off-topic news waltzed on stage this week via the red carpet of Hollywood. It’s all about the lights, the cameras, and action for the Odds-and-Ends section. You might know of a couple video games (supposedly) heading to the silver screen – Halo, WoW, Gears of War, and Castlevania just to name a few.

Among which, you must have also heard about the Tekken and Prince of Persia movies. We got updates on them, both of which reveal the cast of actors to breathe life into the pixeled personas.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s a pretty popular name – won an Oscar and everything, even. Famous for Brokeback Mountain, Jarhead, Rendition, and… Bubble Boy, Gyllenhaal’s next task is to play the lead role in the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time movie.

While QJ.NET commenter omegaridley suggests that Oded Fehr of The Mummy and Resident Evil: Apocalypse/Extinction fame could be a better prince (since he’s supposedly got Persian ancestry after all), it’d still be interesting to see how Gyllenhaal would take on Prince Dastan’s role.

Link: Prince of Persia: SoT lead role to be played by Jake Gyllenhaal

Meanwhile, the Tekken movie is slowly taking shape and starting to roll out the punches. The list of cast members is populated by Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters – and some pretty good ones too. Cung Le, for one, will be reprising Marshal Law’s character.

There’s also Jin Kazama to be played by Jonathan Foo. Some might him remember from Tom Yum Goong (and according to IMDb, played a role in Batman Begins, only uncredited). What’s interesting to note is that he’s seen in a production shot for Tekken, in a more-thuggish-than-usual appearance than Jin is depicted in the game.

Link: Tekken movie: Cast list and pics of film’s Marshall Law and Jin Kazama

Comment of the Week: Triple whammy!

Remember last week when we gave out an honorable mention to DisposableDweeb for his TMI comment? Well, some of you may have already seen it thanks to JaXeRiR’s resourcefulness, so now, we’ll put that aside for something a tad bit interesting this week.

We’re feeling generous, and it’s been a while since we did this, so… here goes.

Not one, not two… but THREE people win comment of the week! Well, mad props to damonous because he’s the first one who posted his comment. And spicyhamster (you again?!) and Xastabus followed up on damonous’ argument. For that, they all deserve the award! Their comments sort of help build each other up, and posting only one of them sort of defeats the whole purpose.

What are they responding to anyway? It’s about the Greenpeace report, saying that the PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii are not so eco-friendly. Here’s what the three have to say:

Comment of the Week: damonous, spicyhamster, Xastabus - Image 1

Link: Greenpeace: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii still ‘playing dirty’, using harmful materials

(Editor’s note: here’s a little PS. Another honorable mention just like last week, so to speak. But now, I’ll actually post the comment here, just to share it with you guys. Oooh, you’re in for a shocker! It’s also related to the post above, but found in the article where Nintendo responded to Greenpeace’s report. Read ’em and weep ’em, ladies and gentlemen: there is hope after all! ISOHaven and FreePlay finally agree on something! Has hell frozen over? LOL I kid, I kid. Glad to see you guys seeing eye to eye on this! Now what say we put aside all our differences and make friends with MCS?)

honorable mention comment of the week - Image 1

Link: Nintendo responds to Greenpeace allegations of ‘playing dirty’

Originally posted May 24, 2008 at 05:33PM

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