QuickJump QuickPeek 20: Of DAX and StrmnNrmn’s comeback, Kratos and Gray Fox’s comeback, and other odds-and-ends

QuickJump QuickPeek 20 - Image 1(Editor’s Note: Well… Gunpowder treason and plot aside, last week’s QuickPeek was a bit of a riot – and had a lot of things not to be forgot. But hey! Today marks QuickPeek’s 20th edition! Wohoo!)

Hellzyeah. It’s QuickJump QuickPeek 20! The big Two-OH, baby! To celebrate, we’re adding a whole new section to QuickPeek (sorry, no spoilers)! More on that and other industry news behind the jump!

Article originally posted on Nov 10, 2007 at 02:38 PM.

QuickJump QuickPeek 20 - Image 1

(Editor’s Note: Well, well, well. Gunpowder treason and plot aside, how is everyone doing? Last week’s QuickPeek was a bit of a riot – and had a lot of things not to be forgot. And guess what, guys! Today marks QuickJump QuickPeek’s 20th edition! That means we’ve been at this for… ohnoes, math… twenty weeks divided by… ummm… carried over to… err… square root of 16… base times width times half of heigh – oh heck. To be safe, let’s just say we’ve been at this for quite some time now! Check out how far we’ve come since QuickJump QuickPeek issue #01 back in June! Maaan, it feels like decades since then.)

Hellzyeah. We’re rolling out QuickJump QuickPeek 20 today! This QJ mainstay solely dedicated to deliver you guys a weekly “update of updates” has truly evolved in many ways. From our QJ.NET teams frequently pushing the envelope on the alloted number of articles to feature here (get back here you sneaky little squeak!), or even up to a simple flourish in format (hey, it’s a new QuickPeek banner!), some of you who’ve been with us since Day One may have noticed some significant changes – site layout redesign notwithstanding (more updates on that when the time comes).

Guess what though? To celebrate this milestone, we’re adding a special section for QuickPeek! What is it? Oh, we won’t spoil it for you guys. Safe to say, it’s something that we could all probably relate to. Call it our salute to gaming culture and its many quirks, nuances, and perks. Video games are an art form, anyways. Might as well celebrate it, right?

Before that though, let’s get some peeking done! Lots and lots of big news again this week. Hope your chair is warm and comfy.

QuickJump QuickPeek 20: PSP - PlayStation 3 - Image 1

PSP: It’s just breakthrough after breakthrough after breakthrough…

Warning. The inevitable clicking of links and downloading of files may ensue. Be prepared. This edition of QuickPeek plays witness to a great week in homebrew history. Not one, not two, but.. quite a lot of remarkable releases have parked their merry bottoms in our blog.

Right after last week’s QuickPeek edition rolled out, StrmnNrmn finally released his Daedalus R13 Nintendo 64 emulator for the PSP! Yep, after months of waiting for the next version of what could arguably be called the American Idol – PSP Idol? Whaaaa–? – of the PSP homebrew emulator scene, it’s finally here.

Though StrmnNrmn has given us the savestate feature – which we all know he would incorporate in R13 a few weeks prior to its release – what caught everyone by surprise was that the latest version also boasted a 20% speed up in emulation.

There are still a couple of chinks in the chain, but nothing a few frameskips can’t fix. Regardless, it’s still a substantial improvement for all you Daedalus fans. Heck, if you can’t say thank you enough, StrmnNrmn’s even opened up a Daedalus Icon Design contest! All releated downloads and contest details are provided in the links below.

Link: StrmnNrmn’s Daedalus R13 released: savestates, +20% speed up
Link: StrmnNrmn opens Daedalus icon contest
Link: Daedalus icon design contest update: icon sizes

Up next we had another breakthrough, this time coming from one _HellDashX_. He just released Custom Firmware 3.72 HX-1, and the interesting thing to note here is the fact that _HellDashX_, who’s already known to do some reverse engineering before, has based this CFW 3.72 HX-1 off of the existing 3.71 M33-2 CFW from none other than Dark AleX himself. Indeed, if DAX has “retired,” then we’re just pretty glad that someone’s still picking up where others have left off.

Is your mind running wild yet? Apparently, this has caused quite a stir among the PSP community. This whole scenario seemed familiar and a lot of key elements in the release of CFW 3.72 HX-1 are a bit too coincidental… The question was inevitable: is _HellDashX_ just another one of Dark AleX’s many pseudonyms? Well, there’s the Spanish changelog. There’s the whole reverse engineering thing… But see, we won’t make any conjectures and conclusions about who _HellDAX_, err, _HellDashX_, sorry, is. That’s for you to make at your own leisure. Respect the coders, respect the community. Long live homebrew!

Link: Reverse engineered from DAX: Custom Firmware 3.72 HX-1

Before you could even ask “reverse engi-whatta?,” we’ve got the biggest bomb that dropped this week: Dark AleX himself resurfaced with an astounding CFW 3.71 M33 Update 3 with – get this! – a new PopsLoader! Take note that to install this update, you’d have to have CFW 3.71 M33-1 or M33-2. Once you’ve got that done, you can install your PopsLoader. Now whether you’d want to remain on FW 3.71 or bump up to 3.72, it’s all up to you.

Link: Dark AleX releases CFW 3.71 M33-3 + PopsLoader

Nice. With all of these homebrew breakthroughs, the PSP homebrew scene might be picking up again – not that it died down, really. We did also see that cross-platform Doom PSP v1.3 this week, as well as the PSP emulator for the PC. Thinking about it though, if this momentum keeps going, bets are now open for when Sony will release FW 3.72++.

– QJ.NET’s PSP Team

PlayStation 3: Unlimiteeeed paaooowaah!

Good things come in big packages. Yup, yup! After a month’s (or so) worth of waiting, the PlayStation FW 2.0 is out and about lurking around the PlayStation Network campus. New features include the ability to turn the PS3 on and off using the PlayStation Portable via Remote Play, just like the demonstration during TGS 2007. There’s also a new internet security system which is, best of all, free.

We even bagged a video demonstration of FW 2.0’s features (you can check that out below in a bit). Meanwhile, other people have discovered other features that weren’t apparent in the changelog. These features include a new Video Chat, faster loading times for the Internet Browser and PlayStation Store, and the ability to sort demos, PSOne titles and downloaded games in folders. Suh-weet!

Link: PS3 firmware 2.0 out November 8
Link: PlayStation 3 firmware 2.0 goes live – with video demonstration
Link: Hidden features in PS3 firmware 2.0

This week also, Kazuo Hirai is giving everyone the real deal about the 40GB’s Cell Processor. Despite earlier reports, people still seemed to be confused about the processor’s size. Kaz now reiterates that the 40GB will be using a 65nm Cell Processor instead of the old 90nm versions. Do note though that there are no performance differences expected, except for power efficiency benefits for the 40GB version.

Thinking forward, Kaz also addressed questions on the future of the 60GB and 20GB Sony PlayStation 3 models. What’s going to happen to them anyways? Kaz says that while both SKUs remain in stock, production has been halted for both. Before that frown gets even more sullen, lighten up. It’s been hinted that 20GB and 60GB units may be produced in the future depending on market feedback.

Link: Hirai confirms 65nm Cell, claims 20GB, 60GB PS3 not dead

And oh! Would you look at that? As it was bound to happen, we finally get confirmation of God of War 3 for the the PS3! This confirmation comes at a price though. The director which handled GoW 2 just left SCEA. As to how much this could affect the outcome of God of War 3 is yet to be seen. As spokesperson for Sony states: “Moving forward, we are confident in the God of War team, as they are an extremely talented group of people that are passionate about the franchise and dedicated to creating even more epic content with God of War: Chains of Olympus for the PSP and God of War III for PS3.”

Link: God of War II director leaves SCEA, God of War III confirmed

This sounds promising: Mark Rein just expressed his own thoughts about Unreal Tournament III after he got to play its PlayStation 3 version. A recent interview with Rein reveals just how much potential UT3 holds (even if it’s arriving late), with the Epic VP claiming that the PS3 port would be looking even better than the Xbox 360’s Gears of War.

Link: Mark Rein: PS3’s UT3 looking better than Gears of War

Moving on, get your PS3 storage space ready. Just in case you’ve been lost without a map this week, the demo for Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is finally online, available for download. It’s going to clock in a little over 1GB of space, so you better clear out the deck for ample storage. This demo bring you to the first part of the fourth chapter of the game.

In other Uncharted news, this demo’s caused a bit of confusion though. See, it’s a region-locked demo. If you happen to live in Japan and in Europe, take note that there’s no way that you can acquire the demo. The main reason is in development and localization for specific areas.

Link: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune demo now charting PSN US
Link: SCEA explains why Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is region locked

Oh hey! And just in case you missed it – and though it’s technically not PS3 news – a compact PS2 SKU is to be rolled out early next year for US$ 99.  Happy 7th anniversary, PS2! We still luuurve you!

– QJ.NET’s PlayStation 3 Team

QuickJump QuickPeek 20: Xbox 360 - Nintendo Wii - Image 1

Xbox 360: Stake your claim over Live

Stay connected, people! Whether it’s about fragging people online in the latest FPS title or staying in touch with you e-purse of MS Points, here’s a QuickPeek update to get you guys covered. What’s in store for the future (aside from Mass Effect), a bunch of DLC and some easy “cash” to fuel your 360 appetites.

The moment most of you’ve been waiting for is finally here! Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare hits retail shelves this week! No, not just its Xbox 360 version, but also the PS3, PC, and NDS versions! So, did all those open beta shenanigans over Xbox Live pay off? Yeah we’re sure help you get your bearing at least.

Now that we finally get our grubby hands on the Infinity Ward title, look back to last month. Remember how OXM gave CoD4 a perfect 10/10? What’s your take on it? How does it compare to BioShock and Halo 3? Answering that question might be asking to be flamed, but hey! As we always say, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion!

Link: On Shelves This Week: November 4 to November 10, 2007

Here’s some good news from Microsoft. If you’re strapped for some cash and are a tad bit low on MS Points, the marketing team for Battlestar Galactica is offering to give up a total of 600,000 points to lucky winners. The sweepstakes runs for a full year, so that could probably increase your chances.

The 600,000 MS Points will be split among 12 lucky monthly winners, each getting 52,000 points, while minor prizes worth 4,000 points will likewise be given away as consolation every month.

Link: Battlestar Galactica raffle: over 600,000 Microsoft points at stake

More good news coming in… Bungie Studio manager Harold Ryan revealed that they are currently working on new IP as well as more downloadable content for Halo 3. While not much details have been given about the new IP – except the fact that it got placed on the back burner due to the production of Halo and Halo 2; yes, this new IP is that old – not much about the new Halo 3 DLC could be said either. They are making good progress on it though, as Ryan says.

Link: Bungie Studios creating more Halo 3 DLC, more Halo games, new IPs

Sad fact of life: some people don’t have Internet connections at home. Xbox 360 fun fact #438: using your mobile phone as some form of hub to get a makeshift Internet connection set up. It’s rather simple, really. And as in the case of this individual who thought up the solution, desperate times call for desperate measures.

It involves a 3G-capable phone having Windows Mobile – in this scenario, it’s a Samsung i607 Blackjack. The gist goes: connect phone to PC, connect PC to 360. That’s the bare bones outline of it, and we’re sure this kind of set up isn’t all that new. Regardless, here we have it, and you can check out full instructions via the link below.

Link: Cellphone provided Xbox 360 with Internet connection

Oh, Mass Effect… where art thou?

– QJ.NET’s Xbox 360 Team

Nintendo Wii: A busy weekend before we launch off to the Galaxy

OK fine. We didn’t quite achieve a Brawl-free QuickPeek last week. We hardly did. This time around, we’re not going to be beating (uhh, brawling?) around the bush.

Regular updates from the Smash Bros. DOJO website have us wanting to just go into hibernation all the way until February – by the time we wake up, it’s Smash day! For one, if you thought that having Solid Snake as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, you might be interested that the first MGS-related trophy has been revealed: Gray Fox. His skills as an Assist Trophy just ooze with killer finesse and that uber-cool mono-eye.

Other updates include the lava-filled Norfair stage from Metroid fame, Lucas’ psychic powers, a video of Fox (Star, not Gray) and Diddy duking it out, and Fire Emblem theme, as well as some resurrected items from the good old bad days of Super Smash Bros.

Link: Super Smash Bros. Brawl update: say hello to Gray Fox, and how to grab foes

For those who haven’t checked out their Virtual Console yet, you might want to fire it up (make sure you still have some Wii Points though). This week’s VC releases sees Super Mario Bros. 3 finally hit North America. And pretty timely too since we get Super Mario Galaxy next week! Super Mario Bros. 3 (costs 500 Wii Points in the VC) is the game famous for the Tanuki Suit – which more often than not caused gamers to ask, “How could a raccoon suit make a plumber fly?” Other releases this week include Alien Soldier and Power Golf.

Link: U.S. VC update: Super Mario Bros. 3 hits U.S. VC today

Oh, and speaking of Super Mario Galaxy, it seems as if someone’s broken the street date. Though the game is officially to be released on Monday, November 12, in North America, someone’s been able to purchase Mario’s latest 3D adventure from Best Buy. There have been numerous reports of Best Buy branches in different areas already selling the game, but any official statement from Best Buy or Nintendo is yet to be given.

Link: Best Buy breaking Super Mario Galaxy street date

As for official statements from Nintendo, they’ve just announced via press wire that the new Check Mii Out Channel will be available on November 11. Ah, perfect to while away the weekend! Following the Everybody Votes Channel, this new Mii-centric Wii Channel is downloadable for free via the WiiWare section of the Wii Shop Channel.

Check Mii Out allows users to submit their very own avatar creations – whether of themselves or of historical figures. There’s also a contest section where Mii avatars compete for votes from other people, based on certain challenges given every two weeks.

Link: Nintendo announces Check Mii Out channel

Well, it looks like a busy weekend for you guys. Either it’s playing SMB 3 or trying out the new Mii channel, that’s enough to get you by, while waiting for Galaxy to hit shelves.

– QJ.NET’s Nintendo Wii Team

 Mark Wahlberg in The Shooter - Image 1

General Gaming: It’s all official!

It’s official, folks! Elder Scrolls junkies get quite a treat from Bethesda. After much whispering and rumors going around, an Elder Scrolls MMORPG is finally confirmed – confirmed by Peter Hines himself. They’ve invested a whopping US$ 300 million to spend on the online title’s development. Has WoW met its match? We’ll see…

Link: Pete Hines makes Elder Scrolls MMORPG official

If you’ve not much of an Elder Scrolls fanatic, the listen up WoW players. Time to let loose on PTR. It’s about to end with the looming release of World of Warcraft patch 2.3. Here’s what everyone’s been waiting for: actual confirmation on an exact date of when it will roll out. Get your red marker, patch 2.3 goes live on November 13. That’s next week already! Which means… if all things go as planned, Arena Season 3 will commence a week after. Time to level grind! Whappishhh! For the Horde!

Link: Drysc announces WoW’s 2.3 release date, Season 3 opening

Those following the plight of Manhunt 2 in Target might want to know this – despite it being fairly obvious already. There’s now an official statement from the management in Target that they are, indeed, pulling Manhunt 2 off their shelves. That’s for all versions of Rockstar’s game – on the PSP, PS2, and Nintendo Wii – and encompasses ALL branches down the Target line.

The decision to pull out the copies isn’t because of the game being violent per se, but actually (and quite unfortunately) because of the hack that “un-filters” the game’s violent scenes.

Link: It’s official: Target cuts Manhunt 2 from shelves

Odds-and-ends: Shooters and their guitar heroes

As promised, a new subsection for QuickJump QuickPeek! We’ve got some odds-and-ends from this week that we thought that some of you might want to hear about. What makes this different is that, this section covers the miscellaneous aspect of the gaming industry – not really about the games themselves per se.

Let us try to explain: this section is all about some highlights of the week that involve gaming culture and how it overlaps other industries. Music, movies, TV show, books, what have you! Yes, we’ve been doing this for quite some time under the General Gaming section, but now, since it’s our 20th edition, after all, we decided to dedicate one whole section for it on its own. Hopefully, this continues down the lines of QuickPeek – we’d definitely appreciate some feedback on this too. Now, first up: some real and solid pain Payne.

The the rights to adapt Max Payne into a movie have been bought as far back as 2003; now, we’re finally seeing some development. The question in everyone’s mind is… who’s playing Max Payne? Variety reports that actor Mark Wahlberg is negotiating with Twentieth Century Fox for the chance to play the NYPD cop “haunted by the tragic loss of his family.”

We understand that Max Payne holds a special spot in your hearts – heck, it did make the “bullet time” feature quite iconic in video gaming history. Here’s to hoping that Mark Wahlberg resprises Payne’s role effectively and does Max Payne justice. Hopefully, the directors of the movie will leave out any scenes involving Marky Mark suddenly bursting out in song (i.e. rapping), with nothing but a baseball cap, a pair Calvin Klein boxers, and baggy pants.

Link: Mark Wahlberg to play Max Payne

More on spotting video games in the film industry, from movies… we head to TV. The latest episode – aired last November 7th –  of South Park put Guitar Hero in the limelight. Especially with the release of Legends of Rock the other week, this couldn’t come at a better time. Well, for those who remember, this isn’t the first time South Park has alluded to, featured, or focused on video games for an episode. Most notable of these video game cross-overs would be the “Make Love Not Warcraft” episode (which won an Emmy BTW).

In this episode entitled “Guitar Queer-o”, Kyle and Stan go on a Guitar Hero spree. From bagging 100,000 points and then later reaching up to a full million (which is classic scene BTW – LOL), the two Colorado kids get in for a wild ride through the music scene – not to mention a couple of speed bumps along the way.

Link: South Park uses Guitar Hero for upcoming episode

Science and Technology: Calling occupants of interplanetary craft

We’re not alone. To be specific though, our solar system isn’t alone in its likeness. As it turns out, with the discovery of a new planet, the 55 Cancri system some 41 light years away shows some eerie signs of it resembling our very own star space. The new planet that’s just been found situates itself as the fifth (discovered) planet orbiting55 Cancri’s sun.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the International Astronomical Union (IAU) would “Pluto-fy” this new planet? Y’know, call it a planet and then some 70 years later demote it (buhuhu, we feel for you, Pluto!) from its status? Well, this new planet in 55 Cancri is supposedly 45 times the mass of our Earth so chances of it being called a planetoid are zero to nil. Until of course the IAU starts calling everyone else planetoid, including our own that is…

Link: New planet found, 55 Cancri system becoming eerily similar to our own

Speaking of making contact, Google‘s finally getting its game on. They’re now planning to release their very own open-source mobile OS so that third-party developers could go crazy in making applications for Google-optimized phones. Google already approached a number of mobile phone manufacturers and conferred with them about the production of handsets specifically made compatible for the use of Google software, like the ever-useful Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube, among others.

Link: Google planning to release open-source mobile phone platform

Comment of the Week: Gee, wizz… we didn’t think of that

On account of the cheaper, more compact PS2 announced to roll out next year, a quick and rather funny remark slipped through from DVSDevise. Nothing too flammatory, just clean, witty humor without intending to to ask for a fight. And hey. Maybe some of you even agree?

Comment of the Week - DVSDevise - Image 1

Article originally posted on Nov 10, 2007 at 02:38 PM.

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