QuickJump QuickPeek 34: Of Dark AleX’s epic Time Machine, GTA4’s robust, durable handsets, and white flags foreseen over the format war

QuickJump QuickPeek 34 - Image 1(Editor’s note: With the Comment of the Week compendium over and done with, we’ve got a lot more in store for you guys! Another special edition is already brewing on the side, but that’ll come soon enough. for now, more regular weekly updates!)

QuickPeek 33
was a good issue to set the chess pieces for this week. New Dark AleX homebrew, some GTA4 updates, and oh, what’s this? Toshiba withdrawing support? Oooh. Juicy.

QuickJump QuickPeek 34: PSP - PS3 - Xbox 360 - Nintendo Wii - Image 1

(Editor’s note: Had fun with this week’s special edition? Yeah, we knew some of you would have appreciated it. We might be doing a regular Comment of the Week compendium every now and then, and as you might expect, we just might release one once QuickPeek has reached it’s one-year anniversary sometime this July. That’s still a lot of QuickPeek editions to go by from now ’til then, so who knows who gets written into QJ.NET history this time around! Now on to the regular weekly updates!)

Updates from Issue 33
couldn’t have capped the week better and set the chess board in a more convenient way for this week. We might have gotten a bit of a silence treatment from Dark AleX previously but he’s put up quite a spectacle during the past seven days. Caught everyone off guard, he did.

More hacking news for the Wii, and a thing or two about NPD numbers caused quite a stir in the gaming industry, as did some bout over exclusive features in the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions for Grand Theft Auto 4. There’s even been some news about the format wars enough to rock HD DVD’s boat further.

GDC starts next week already, so before all those big revelations from the event come in, let’s keep ourselves in check first. Time to regroup and keep up with the pace so far.

It’s another big QuickPeek issue this week – ha, what’s new? – so let’s get started right away.

QuickJump QuickPeek 34: PSP - PS3 - Image 1

PSP: Pata-pata-pata-patch! Dark AleX sends us through time

A resounding woot for all of you Sony handheld-holding brewsters. The scene is alive yet again with more releases from Dark AleX and a lot of interesting commercial announcements.

This week opened with a few couple of patches from Dark AleX, those of which had to do with expanded support for 8GB memory sticks. The first release relates to custom firmwares – it lets you load them on an 8GB stick. See, for some reason, some people have been having problems with the DAX releases lately, and depending on your kind of memstick, the CFWs sometimes won’t run.

In like manner, Dark AleX has also patched the Popsloader for the 8GB, however, this one a more minor patch. This is because there’s a bit of a caveat that comes with the release, with DAX reminding people that you can’t initialize your unit without a memstick plugged into it. He’s announced, however, that this will be fixed in a more formal release in the future.

Link: Dark AleX releases patch for 8GB memory stick support on any CFW
Link: Dark AleX patch: Sony 8GB memory stick support for Popsloader 3.80 M33

As for custom firmwares, Dark AleX also released the second version for PSP CFW 3.90 M33. Sweet. He’s fixed some issues about running plugins and made some additional Slim-specific changes. The code for the CFW’s Network Update function has also been improved to become more stable.

He’s also released an update for the fatmsmod module to speed up your memstick readign time. There was a bit of a problem at first – some people reported that media files don’t seem to work properly anymore, if at all. DAX however was quick to patch the, err, patch, and released an update for it.

Link: Dark AleX releases new custom firmware update with CFW 3.90 M33-2 for PSP
Link: Dark AleX releases 3.71 fatmsmod for 3.80/3.90 M33 custom firmware v2

Now for something that we’re sure a lot of you have been waiting for: Dark AleX’s Time Machine. Fresh from the initial release yesterday, this homebrew allows you to load any firmware or custom firmware straight from your jolly memstick.

We previously saw the Time Machine installing the 1.50 kernel and PSP FW 2.70 on the Slim. And even back then, we were all agog. Apparently, it actually does more than just that! The Time Machine supports the loading of various FW or CFWs on your PSP, depending on whether your unit is a Phat or a Slim. Dark AleX plans to expand support for this, so better keep tabs on it. It’s still v0.1 after all, so maybe we can expect future updates to roll out eventually.

Link: Dark AleX releases Time Machine v0.1: load previous FW, CFW from memstick

Let’s get this doo-hickety race going with some pata-pata-pata-news. For those eager to get their hands on the US release of Patapon, the demo for the game is finally made available. You can download it from the PlayStaiton Store PC, or, if you have a PS3, log on to the PSN and download it onto your PSP memstick.

The game’s set to come out into retail in just a few more weeks, so this demo is sure to subside all your pata-fevers you’ve been having lately over having to wait for the game.

Link: Valentine’s treat: Patapon demo now available for North America

If you thinking marching out into a rhythm-based battle with your own horde of black and white one-eyed globules is a bit too funky for you, do note that we can also march into war as the god of war himself pretty soon.

The developers from Ready At Dawn have announced that the game has finally gone gold – ready for mass production on little UMDs for the market. Meanwhile, the official website has finally opened (enter flashback of website slide-puzzle for Chains from a few months back).

Link: God of War: Chains of Olympus goes gold, official website opens

Meanwhile, we’ve been hearing whispers that a couple of people are expecting some changes to the PSP. A new version of the PSP even. The PSP has had quite a life cycle already, and some people expect that Sony would want to spruce up its handheld by releasing a new iteration of their portable device.

The PSP2, as it has been dubbed, could have a touch screen incorporated into it, as well as do away with using the UMD. But that’s not to say that the UMD format will be utterly abandoned. It’s been presupposed that this PSP2 could embrace the Blu-ray format more than it would the UMD.

Link: Industry experts foresee touch screen operable, UMD-free ‘PSP2’

Good god, what a week. Things are definitely looking up for the PSP. The next couple of weeks have a lot in store, that’s for sure.

– QJ.NET’s PSPUpdates Team

PlayStation 3: get yer software bootstraps up!

It’s a long hike we’ve got this week up the mountain of PS3 updates. Barring a bit of a stingy rumor, it’s been a smooth trip this week. Hopefully, by the time we scale the mountain, the view over GDC would be a pleasant one.

First things first, some major announcements. Linux penguins will be happy to find out that the latest version of Yellow Dog (that’s v6.0 since you’re asking) will also come pre-installed with the latest batch of PS3 units.

Meanwhile, if you’ve been helping out with research on proteins and molecules with your Cell, the latest update for Folding@Home has been released. With F@H v1.31, some reconnection issues have been dealt with.

Link: Yellow Dog Linux 6.0 released: comes pre-installed with PS3s
Link: PSN update: Folding@Home bumped up to version 1.31

On to other updates, good man Eric Lempell clued us in on the future that backwards compatibility has on the more recent PS3 SKUs. Though there is no solid plans yet, Lempell does admit that current technologies allow the emulation of PS2 games and that one set up could have these games being hosted by the PlayStation Network.

Link: PS3 BC may live on via PSN – Lempell

Grand Theft Auto 4 caught the attention yet again of a lot of PS3 users (and Xbox 360 users too) this week. For what it’s worth, there seems to be some ongoing squabble over certain exclusive features that one might have over the other.

It started out with a minor slip when Don Mattrick said that a multiplayer feature was an Xbox 360 exclusive. This was quickly responded to by Rockstar themselves who said that the feature is actually supported both on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

While that’s been settled, you guys might also want to check on the preview published on the latest issue of PSM3. The got some good tidbits on GTA4 as well as a couple of screens to tide over the wait until April 29.

Link: PSM3 previews GTA IV PS3; new details out, scanned screenshots
Link: GTA IV’s PS3 version to have multiplayer support after all

And lastly, another stingy rumor that spun off from last week: more dubious PS3 hacking updates. Supposedly, back ups have been successfully run on the PS3, after all that hoopla last week. And with that comes an update as well for that supposed NAND Extractor following the recent exploits we’ve been hearing of lately. Rumor as it may be, we are merely informing you guys of what’s been going on this week. Of course, if it proved to be true, then that’d be a wholly different thing entirely.

Link: PS3 hack rumor blitz: NAND Extractor updated, PS3 backups successfully run?

Take a breather, we’ve still got more news for you Blu-ray supporters down below! And if you wish to hear the 360-specific news on GTA4, just scroll a bit more to catch up on the latest scoop. Will the GDC bring us anything? Well, definitely not MGS4, that’s for sure. D’oh!

– QJ.NET’s PlayStation 3 Team

QuickJump QuickPeek 34: Xbox 360 - Nintendo Wii - Image 1

Xbox 360: robust, durable handsets

Yep, as hinted by the PS3 team, there is some disagreement as to what features are heading for which version of Grand Theft Auto 4. But before all the hullabaloo, we’ve got quite a number of new details spilled this week regarding the game.

You guys might want to check out some videos that rolled out this week: clips of the characters and locations in GTA 4, as well as that in-game cellphone network provider (robust, durable handsets FTW!). There’s also been quite a doozy of details as to how GTA4 is stretching the sandbox game genre, from acquiring objectives to gunfire – heck even that feature of slowing down time in cinematic mode

Link: New Grand Theft Auto 4 videos show characters, locations
Link: Grand Theft Auto 4 redefining the sandbox game
Link: Rockstar’s Dan Houser explains ‘defining moment’ in GTA IV

Now on to the other side of the updates: exclusivity? What’s that? This rumor would have been taking from that other rumor about Microsoft supposedly giving out freebies if you pre-order a copy of the 360-version of GTA4.

A supposedly list of prizes for this whole pre-order gig lists 100 Xbox 360 consoles to give away, thousands of MS points up for grabs, as well as some Gold memberships to be given. Sounds sweet, true. But do know that it’s mere speculation for now.

Link: Microsoft finally reveals exclusive Xbox 360 GTA4 content?

How are those slam dunks coming along? Well, whether you’ve gotten a copy off retail for Devil May Cry 4 already, chances are you probably downloaded the demo beforehand. And if so, you might be pleased to know that you’ve become a statistic! It’s not something to brush aside too: DMC4 demo downloads have already reached one whopping million already!

Link: DMC4 Xbox 360 demo reaches one millionth download

DLC content have to get “gold” status too, y’know. But to be more specific, it’s usually called “Microsoft Xbox Live certification.” Yep, that little status is still pending for Infinity Ward’s latest patch for Call of Duty 4. They’ve already submitted the DLC for Microsoft’s go-signal, and once that happens we get new kill cams and spectator cam view among a lot others!

Link: New CoD4 patch sent for Microsoft Xbox Live certification

To cap all these Xbox 360 news and as transition to the Wii team’s coverage of their week, we take a look what a certain analyst has to say about the future of Microsoft and Nintendo. According to one Even Wilson, both gaming giants are to release new consoles come 2010. Aside from this, it is also this projected year (2010) that the lifecycles of the DS and PSP would likely end.

Link: Analyst: new consoles for Nintendo and Microsoft rolled out by 2010

See ya guys next week after the GDC! We’ll give you guys a lowdown of what’s happened then.

– QJ.NET’s Xbox 360 Team

Nintendo Wii: Hacked. Period.

Well well well. It’s finally happened. If you’ve been keeping up with the latest Wii hacking news (all conveniently compiled in the QuickPeek just for you guys!), then you must have seen this coming.

The Wii has now been fully hacked.

An exploit for the Wii has now been released and can be accessed via a copy of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Though the exploit is still in its early stages and cannot be run on certain versions of the game, it’s still a start.

Link: Twilight Hack v0.1 (Alpha 1) – Nintendo Wii fully exploited

And so it begins… After the exploit comes the first homebrew Wii game, and it’s none other than a reiteration of the classic Pong. To be precise, it’s actually a demo that was previously released for the GameCube, which was then run as an ELF file on the Wii.

There’s still no news whether it’s actually playable – the controls haven’t been sorted out yet – but a public release is already expected soon.

Link: Pong homebrew runs on Wii

OK. Now, before we get on with the usual brawl updates, hear this! Okami‘s catching the attention of some gamers. The port from the PS2 platform will be giving Wii gamers a bit of an extra (aside from the motion-sensing controls, of course).

Okami for the Wii has been confirmed to support 16:9 widescreen output as well as 480p progressive scan. Which sounds like a major delight, given the unique art-style of Okami. All those cel-shaded graphics… drool-worthy indeed. If you don’t want to believe it, get a load of all of them recent videos we have up!

Link: Okami Wii to support 16:9 widescreen, 480p progressive scan
Link: Gameplay trailers of Okami’s new 16:9 widescreen format sighted

And let the Brawl continue! Just a few more days… just a few more weeks! Super Smash Bros. Brawl will finally be in our hands! Muwahahaha! Wanna know how big Brawl‘s been in Japan since their release? The game’s finally broken the barrier and have exceeded 1 million units sold, clocking record speeds higher than Wii Fit and Wii Sports.

Link: Super Smash Bros. Brawl breaks one million units sold barrier

Yes, we know some of you guys can’t wait to get your hands on an English copy. Here’s a little tip off to make your lives easier: Nintendo and Best Buy will be hosting Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournaments in the coming weeks.

Which means… if you get to join, you’ll actually be able to play Brawl way before everyone else does (aside from those who have a Japanese copy, of course)! With this announcement from Nintendo of America and Best Buy, the Ninty folks at Europe are also considering having some Brawl tourneys for the European fans as well.

Link: Nintendo, Best Buy hosts Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournaments
Link: Nintendo looking into Europe Super Smash Bros. Brawl contests

Yeah, there a whole lot of other Brawl updates that came from the Dojo. All you gotta do is check out our game title category to check out all Brawl-related news that shored in this week.

– QJ.NET’s Nintendo Wi Team

No white flags just yet! - Image 1

General Gaming: rising empires

The January 2008 sales report from the NPD Group has already been published. Intrigued of the results? Well, we know how some of you get off on numbers alone, but as it stands, the PS3 zoomed up the ladder, with about 269,000 units sold throughout the month.

The PS3 is right under the Nintendo Wii which is at the top with around 274,000 units. The DS is trailing behind the PS3 with 251,000, while the Xbox 360 and PSP have around 230,000 units sold under each of their own belts.

Link: NPD January 2008 sales numbers: PS3 outsells Xbox 360 for the first time

Still poring over the net for some Spore news? Get a load of this: the release date for Will Wright’s highly anticipated cross-platform simulation title has been revealed. Time to start thinking up of what possible organisms you want to create on your PC, Mac, Nintendo Wii or DS. Spore day is September 7!

Link: Will Wright’s Spore gets September 7 release date

Puzzle-solving players get a special treat this week to. Professor Layton and the Curious Village gets some downloadable content! From here on out, you can download new Layton puzzles every week. As far as DS history goes, this is the first title to make use of the DLC feature of Nintendo’s Wi-Fi service.

Link: Professor Layton downloadable content now up on Wi-Fi service

If you guys fancy another MMORPG to sink your grinding (like, level-grinding, perhaps? ha ha. funny.) teeth into, Square Enix let slip of a new project that they’re getting into. Turns out that they have a new MMORPG in development, and if all signs point the right way, we just might be able to learn more about it during the upcoming GDC.

Link: Square Enix working on a new MMORPG

The end of last week saw the release of a patch for Sins of a Solar Empire. All you 4X foragers might want to download it if you haven’t yet. From UI/HUD fixes to other graphical improvements, this won’t be the last patch you’ll be seeing. Stardock is promising to release future updates as regular as possible to make your gaming experience worthwhile.

Link: Sins of a Solar Empire version 1.02 patch rolls out

Science and Technology: is it wrap up time?

The HD DVD camp received quite a blow this week. On top of some major retailers jumping ship and whatnot, it seems that the format war might be drawing to a close already.

Firstly, Blu-ray found new friends in the form of Netflix and Best Buy. Online retailer Netflix is already making a move to phase out HD DVD products by the end of this year, while Best Buy is promising to focus more on Blu-ray as the months progress and actually recommend it to their customers, however they will still offer HD DVD to those who ask for it.

Link: Blu-ray camp gets new allies in Netflix, Best Buy

Yet a bigger blow to HD DVD is Wal-mart’s announcement. Starting June, their Sam’s Club chains will be offering Blu-ray, and only Blu-ray. Other Wal-mart stores will still be carrying HD DVD, however, they note that the shift to Blu-ray will be prominent regardless.

Link: HD DVD loses another backer: Wal-Mart going Blu-ray exclusive

Now. On to the heart of the matter. Biggest news yet is the possibility of Toshiba eventually dropping the HD DVD format completely. Based on a statement from a company spokesperson, Toshiba seems to be undergoing quite a lot of investigation as to how to proceed in light of their price reductions and market impact.

Link: Format war drawing to a close? Toshiba may drop HD DVD

Right-o. This QuickPeek was well ready to go up already and yet this last bit just came in. Fresh from the QJ.NET stack of news from a few minutes ago, we plucked it and just had to include it in this week’s edition rather than leave it out for next week.

Given the previous story of how Toshiba may drop the HD DVD format, we just got word – from Reuters, in fact! – that they really are withdrawing their support. This was told Reuters by a source, who claims that Toshiba has already planned their exit strategy of dropping HD DVD.

Once they do drop HD DVD, the Japanese manufacturer is expected to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. Though this comes from a source of Reuters, everyone is now expecting a more formal statement and confirmation from Toshiba.

Link: Toshiba to withdraw HD DVD support soon

Odds-and-Ends: a clash of swords

Jack Thompson appeared this week on Fox News, claiming that the recent shootout in North Illinois University was linked to video games. Citing some Harvard brainscan researches, he notes that those who play violent video games can “copycat the behaviors in the game.” As he explains further, “you can rehearse these types of massacres in simulators which are called video games.”

Link: Jack Thompson interview: NIU shootout related to violent video games

You can’t doubt the clout that Square Enix has in the industry. And when they decide to get on someone’s case, they just won’t let it drop. We previously heard of how they’ve sued a Korean company for ripping off Advent Children in a music video (which, admittedly, was pretty well-executed as far as music videos go), and now, Square Enix is suing retailers for selling unlicensed replicas of swords from Final Fantasy.

Link: Square Enix sues retailers of unlicensed Final Fantasy sword replicas

Comment of the Week: why life is truly grand

We were actually supposed to hit up a comment from one of you from that Hannah Montana piece (priceless comments there indeed), but then we remembered seeing this comment made by none other than QJ.NET regular CHUCKINGROCKSATSPACESHIPS.

It might sound like one of them “sarcastic gamer rants” at first, but of course, you gotta take it from its context (linked below). This guy sure puts out a good argument against a crackdown on the classification system that games have to go through and if it still works.

Comment of the Week: CHUCKINGROCKSATSPACESHIPS - Image 1

Link: Game crackdown – British PM to use study by Dr. Tanya Byron

Article originally posted on Feb 16, 2008 at 03:05 PM.

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