(Editor’s Note: Attention kids aged one to ninety-two! There’s some great news right here in front of our Jackfrost-nipped noses! It’s time for QuickPeek 26 – one of our biggest issues yet! – can you say “FW overload?”)
Looks like the gaming industry won’t be having a silent night this Christmas. If last week weren’t testament enough, it’s nothing but big news after big news topping one another. Time to spread some Christmas cheer!
Originally Posted on December 22, 2007, at 2:48 p.m.
(Editor’s Note: Attention kids aged one to ninety-two! Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe help to make the season bright. For most in the gaming world though, Christmases can’t get any merrier without great news of things to come. Or just simply, great news of things that are right here in front of our Jackfrost-nipped noses!)
Looks like the gaming industry won’t be having a silent night this Christmas. If last week weren’t testament enough, the way things are going, it’s nothing but big news after big news topping one another, bells, whistles, and all.
Being the last weekend before Christmas hits, we’re sure you’re all busy with some last minute shopping. And since all that’s pretty stressful as it is (we’re sure some of you are fit to explode right now), here’s to loosen up all that tension: more Christmas cheer from the gaming industry this week!
Better prepare yourself with one big dose of PSP news this week. By god. We just have to exceed the alloted slots for news items for this week. Can’t help it. It’s the season for giving, anyways. And give away news, we shall.
As promised last week, Sony finally unleashed PSP firmware v3.80. At first, there doesn’t seem to be anything that snazzy to take note of, aside from the Internet Radio and other touch ups. However, almost without any fanfare at all, Sony had actually unleashed something that has driven PSP (and PS3) owners have been raving about all week.
As it turns out, PSP FW 3.80 goes hand in hand with the also newly released PS3 FW 2.10. If both your devices are upgraded to the most recent firmwares available, your PSP could actually play original PSOne titles via Remote Play with the PS3.
Link: PSP Firmware 3.80 out now
Link: PSP plays original PlayStation games via remote play with PS3 update
Scrumptious news, eh? Well if that’s not enough to fill your belly, some of you are probably expecting it already. What’s a week of firmware updates from Sony without some form of response from Dark AleX and the rest of the team.
What’s new with FW 3.80? If you thought it was just like any other update with “minimal changes,” you might actually be surprised. There are quite a number of substantial security tweaks, and DAX says that Sony’s even created a new compression algorithm altogether. It’s potentially gonna bring a setback to homebrew, but good news!
If you think back on Mathieulh’s previous statement, about how they won’t be releasing a CFW for every single FW out there, DAX believes that 3.80 warrants one. In fact, he may already be working on it as we speak.
Thanks to Black_Omega for the tip on DAX working on the CFW!
Link: Dark AleX: Observations on PSP firmware v3.80 changes
Link: Dark_AleX working on 3.80 M33 CFW
Meanwhile, Math has other things in mind. As he’s discovered, FW 3.80 doesn’t only play PSOne games and nor does it have a new compression algorithm. Mathliuelh has investigated on a certain “kd/pspbtcnf_03g.bin” string in the new firmware, and is now led to believe that a new PSP could be in the works.
As he suggests, they believe it’s still the third generation hardware to be used, however, whether it’ll eventually roll out as a slimmer PSP Slim or as a PSP phone, only time can tell.
Link: Mathieulh: PSP 3.80 firmware reveals new psp model in the works
For the here and now though, at least we’re happy to note that Pandora still runs on PSP 3.80. That’s a relief. _HellDashX_ has even created a Pandora Battery creator plugin specifically for 3.80.
Link: Video: Pandora still running on PSP Firmware v3.80
Link: Pandora Battery creator plug-in for 3.80, emulating syscon
FreePlay has also succeeded in hacking the Internet Radio feature, by starting up your own web server. It may take a bit of know-how to recreate the hack, but nothing a tutorial or two couldn’t solve.
Link: PSP firmware 3.80 Internet Radio Player hacked
What else is there to look forward to? A new way of seeing the XMB, that’s what. If all goes well with Auraomega’s work on this homebrew, we’ll be getting a Project4 XMB Replacement. The projected specs look astounding, and the even just the GUI is enough to impress us. Have you seen the video for yourself?
Thanks to Auraomega for emailing us about the project!
Link: Proof-of-concept video: The Project4 XMB Replacement
Square Enix junkies have quite the picker-upper this week. The RPG giant has finally given everyone a big hurrah of upcoming titles. Firstly, they revealed their 2008 lineup of games. Including, of course, Crisis Core. Grab the Materia. We’re going shopping March 25!
Right after the announcement, Square Enix also revealed the teaser for the US version of the game. Finally. After many months of Japanese material, we finally get something specially tailored for the English-speaking fans. Yeah, it’s just a 40-second video, but it’ll be worth your bandwidth and time.
Link: Square Enix 2008 lineup – Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII dated
Link: Finally! A Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 teaser for US version
Maaaan. What. A. Week. ‘Nuf said.
– QJ.NET’s PSPUpdates Team
PlayStation 3: You can’t spell “FTW!” without “FW!”
As with its handheld brother, the PS3 has had quite a week as well. All these FW-related news might be a bit hard to keep track of, so let us help you guys out on it. We’ve got quite a lot to cover, so let’s get to it, shall we?
Even prior to the release of the latest firmware, it’s actually already been confirmed that it will have DivX technology as well as support for Blu-ray Profile v1.1. There was that whole ordeal about the whole pull out of the published changelog in the PS UK site, but nonetheless we’re happy.
Thanks to Mentality and YaMi_SeNsEi for pointing out the pull out dilemma!
Link: Heads up! PS3 Firmware v2.10 tomorrow, DivX, Profile v1.1 confirmed
Not long after the confirmation, PS3 FW 2.10 finally went live. And true enough, it could support the DivX and WMV formats, and bumped up the machine’s Blu-ray Disc Profile v1.1. What’s Profile v1.1, you ask? The long and short of it is that, aside from it enhancing playback with Picture-in-Picture interactivity, it’s a step closer to web-enabled Blu-ray content.
But as the PSPUpdates team already discussed earlier, Sony sneakily put in that big update that, coupled with PSP FW 3.80, allowed PS3 2.10 to play PSOne games via Remote Play.
Now while that’s all good, a bit of a hitch for the homebrew hacking scene comes in the form of findings from an online hacking team. Upon some investigation, it turns out that PS3 FW 2.10 has implemented a security measure which blocks access to the RSX engine.
Thanks to Someon_PR for the tip about the RSX blockage!
Link: PlayStation 3 firmware 2.10 now live
Link: PS3 Firmware 2.10 blocks RSX access?
Eric Lempel of the PlayStation Network has given some insights on what we could expect of future firmware updates too (as if we aren’t short on things to busy ourselves with this current one already, but, ok).
We haven’t heard much about in-game access to the XMB lately, and fortunately, Lempel brought it up again, saying that, yes, they know about the overwhelming demand for the feature, and that, yes, they’re looking into it. No specific date on when it could happen, but at least we have Lempel’s word to cling on to with hope.
Link: PSN looking into in-game XMB access for future update
All this talk about the new firmware, let alone all the things that it’s hinting at what direction Sony’s taking the Cell microprocessor-sporting machine, analysts have already forecasted what might be instore for the PS3 in 2008: domination.
While that isn’t quite a new forecast, what’s interesting here is that the analyst of Screen Digest, Piers Harding-Rolls, attributes the PS3 domination in the console war to its being – or in this case, its becoming – a media hub console.
The shift to set-top boxes seem to be the in thing these days, and on the outset, Sony and Microsoft seem to have quite a competition cut out for them during the months to come.
Link: Analyst: PS3 to dominate 2008 as media-hub console
Now while you’re mulling things over, there’s a big batch of goodies that managed to find its way to the PlayStation Network this week. There’s a free demo of Area 51: Blacksite to go alien-hunting with, not to mention the Warhawk Omega Dawn pack that everyone and their mothers’ friends’ hubbies have been waiting for.
Link: US PlayStation Store update for December 20: Omega Dawn, and more
Could next week do justice to this week? Will it be just as astounding? Well, people might be too busy hibernating next week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a couple surprises here and there. Who knows, really?
– QJ.NET’s PlayStation 3 Team
Xbox 360: Chances are…
While Sony may be having a firmware spree this week, the Xbox 360 had its fair share a few weeks ago when the Dashboard Fall Update was released. That doesn’t mean that we’re devoid of any firmware-related news clipping from this week though.
Microsoft is in a roll. They’re still following through with their effort to thwart modded and hacked consoles. We’ve just gotten word that more people using the iXtreme custom firmware for the Xbox 360 have gotten banned from Xbox Live.
Link: Microsoft resumes crackdown on modded Xbox 360s
There’s also been much talk this week of Grand Theft Auto 4‘s release date. And by “much talk” here, we also include something along the lines of “much whispering.” Because while we do have confirmation on one hand, we have a rumor on the other.
After the announcement of the 360-PS3 title, Take-Two Interactive has finally confirmed a much more specific release date for their game: They just confirmed that Grand Theft Auto 4 would be coming out simultaneously on the Xbox 360 and PS3, sometime between March and April. For UK though, and here’s the rumor bit, GTA 4 could come out on April 25.
Link: Grand Theft Auto 4 to launch between February and March 2008
Link: Rumor: UK release of Grand Theft Auto pinned on April 25
Interesting findings this week from the NPD Group reveal that half of Xbox 360 owners also have a copy of Halo 3. If you’re Bungie Studios, that’s evidence of success. Hey, 4-million copies sold to date? That’s a number you can’t easily shrug off.
Link: 52% of Xbox 360 owners have Halo 3, says NPD research data
On to other concrete matters, we’ve got a lot of new stuff waiting for us in XBL – assuming you haven’t checked it out yet, that is. Sensible Soccer was up eariler this week. We say it in the past tense because it was made available and then pulled out again. Good thing is it should be back online by now. Free demos available online are Kane & Lynch and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.
If you got the time and disk space to spare. You might want to check ’em out. There’s a couple of add-on packs for other games too.
Link: Xbox Live: Tempest, Sensible World of Soccer priced and dated
Link: Kane and Lynch: Dead Men demo available on Xbox Live
Link: New Guitar Hero 3 songs now live on XBL
Link: Radiohead headlines new Rock Band DLC batch
Yep, keep those guitars strumming to the beat! We’re seeing you guys next week.
– QJ.NET’s Xbox 360 Team
Nintendo Wii: Brewing to perfection
Something’s brewing at the Nintendo labs. No. Correction: something could be brewing at your very own labs, actually. Nintendo just opened up their Opera Software Development Kit (SDK) for public use – which means… you guessed it. This could lead to a proliferation of Wii homebrew!
Just as long as you’ve Java- or HTML-savvy, you can openly submit your brew into the Internet Channel for others to check out!
Link: Nintendo opens Wii Opera software devkit to public
Now some of you guys may have had your happy white console since launch last year, and through the months, you’ve probably already amassed a couple of games from the Virtual Console. Ever notice how some games tend to lag or freeze up entirely?
Apparently, as a Nintendo representative clarifies, this is caused by the piling of games in your memory storage space. Users are now advised to make sure to clear up their memory the game freezes don’t happen again. Good to see the folks up at Nintendo keep a wary eye over users and their complaints.
Link: Nintendo representative clears up Nintendo Wii-SD card issue
And lined up perfectly like stockings on the mantel, regular updates on Super Smash Bros. Brawl have teased us even more. While we do get to check out more about the characters and other stuff to spice up your Brawl, the great news comes as an update on the Co-op Events and Target Smash modes.
Also, if you just can’t wait ’til February for the game to be released, then one option is you can head on out to Japan. (Mmm hmm, assuming you have the money, of course.) The Jump Festa event will be showcasing Brawl, alongside Galaxy and Mario & Sonic.
Link: Super Smash Bros. Brawl update: Co-Op Events and Target Smash modes
Link: Super Smash Bros. Brawl going to Jump Festa
Now if it’s not Brawl you’re waiting for, chances are it’s (also) Mario Kart Wii. Now while we’ve heard the first couple of details of the game, Nintendo Power recently published a write-up on their experience with a demo of the wacky racer.
The write-up actually paints a pretty picture of the game, and probably reaffirms the prior expectations most of you might be having.
Link: Mario Kart Wii details from Nintendo Power
Just in case you guys missed it, we finally get NiGHTS: Journey into Dreams this week.
– QJ.NET’s Nintendo Wii Team
General Gaming: All is fair in love and war
No matter which side of the fence you’re sitting in, do note that, despite all the differences between the consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, there’s one thing in common that they all share: a microprocessor from IBM.
Yes, the microprocessors themselves are different. But the fact of the matter still remains: they’re made by IBM… And that doesn’t seem to sit well with Intel.
Intel’s now taking the agressive and has approached video games console manufacturers with a prospect for the future. Intel is inviting the manufacturers to use their Intel chips for future generation consoles, saying that it could vastly help in taking the brunt of executing code. We’re looking at a trillion calculations per second here – that’s a lot.
Link: Intel wants in on next-gen console race: motion-sensing, markets
Happiness comes in the form of a teaser from Duke Nukem. No, not that kind of teaser. But teaser trailer. Yep, a trailer for the FPS title has been released (with accompanying age check). Make sure you stick it through to the end to hear Duke’s line. He’s talking about bricks… but we’re assuming it’s definitely not the kind of brick in the “paperweight” sense.
Link: Duke Nukem Forever trailer released
Odds-and-Ends: Mmm… Flesssh…
Fine. There might not be any word yet from Capcom on that “Resident Evil on PSP” petition, but what we did get this week is something else to moan and groan about (in a zombie-rifically good way, mind you).
A teaser trailer for the Resident Evil: Degeneration movie finally mutated into life. Or in this context, undeath. The trailer first actually cropped up as screenshots, and soon after, the actual video finally brought life (or, again, undeath?) to the screens.
We get about one minute worth of clips, montaging scenes of what seems to be the beginning of Leon and Claire’s new nightmare – the movie is set seven years after the Racoon City incident. More than that, we’re not given any hint as to what direction the rest of the story would go.
Some have already compared Degeneration to FF 7: Advent Children, but still, the trailer for Capcom’s first ever full length CG movie doesn’t fail to impress.
Link: First screenshots of Resident Evil: Degeneration movie
Link: Resident Evil: Degeneration trailer creeps in
Moving into live-action movies now, some new information on the new Street Fighter movie have surfaced. Hmm…. Capcom’s on a roll now, aren’t they? Anyways, the projected collaborative movie between Capcom and Hyde Park Entertainment now includes none other than Kristin Kreuk as one of the actors to be on board.
Kristin Kreuk, who became popular after playing her role as Lana Lang in Smallville, is said to appear in the new movie as Chun Li. For those who have been following news on the planned movie, it’s said to be centered on Chun Li this time around, and a few months back, there was actually a proposal to have Jessica Alba play the key role.
Hmm. Alba or Kreuk?
Link: Kristin Kreuk to play Chun-Li in upcoming Street Fighter movie
Unfortunate news this week though. A pair of babysitters have been charged with murder, upon the death of one Zoe Garcia. Apparently, she had been beaten into unconsciousness while being babysat by Lamar Roberts and Zoe’s half-sister, Heather Trujillo. Despite efforts to revive her, Zoe succumbed to death due to multiple injuries.
There have been numerous accounts and testimonies as to what actually happened, but one of the things that seemed to have been pointed out was that the babysitters were imitating some moves from Mortal Kombat on Zoe. If this is true, then Jack Thompson must be having a field day.
Link: Alleged Mortal Kombat-imitating babysitters charged with murder
Science and Technology: Brewfest?
Remember the supposed stalemate between Blu-ray and HD-DVD that was suggested a while back? (huh? what stalemate?) Well, recent developments have now led analysts to believe that we can expect this stalemate to end come next year.
The projection sees a possible key figure in the industry – a movie studio, perhaps – that could eventually form a lasting pact with one format and ultimately tilt the scales. Unfortunately, no names were dropped as to which possible “key figure” this could be, so all we could do is wait. 2008 isn’t all that far off anyways.
Link: Big storm brewing: Blu-ray HD-DVD stalemate over by 2008
On a related note, Sony seems to be cooking up something that eludes the rest of us. At first glance, it looks to be some new kind of television and home entertainment system that features a broad list of entertainment media.
Details from Sony’s original patenting of “Mezone” suggests interconnectivity among certain devices, including, of course, the PS3 and PSP. Somewhere along the way, the patent even mentions set-top boxes. Hmm…
Link: Sony is coming out with Mezone – but what is it?
Comment of the Week: Virtual Reality, the real reality?
Remember a few weeks ago when we featured a comment from EdSquareCat that basically just gave the dictionary meaning of the word “Game”? That, technically speaking, it’s all about having fun. This comment from shabghai360 this week rings true to that.
Now we know that the article (the one about motion-sensing versus high def) was published towards the tail end of last week, and doesn’t necessarily fit in this week’s time frame. But the comment was made just a few days ago, this week – a sign the we also check comments in old articles too. Shabghai360, hats off to you, and a merry Christmas to all!