(Editor’s Note: Never gonna give you up… Never gonna let you down… Never gonna – blargh. Noooo!!!)
Ready to lock yourself in come the 29th? Grand Theft Auto 4 is just around the bend, so if you’re planning to pick one up, be ready to cut off the lines to your social life for the next couple of days. Before then, we’ll help you prepare with all the things you may have missed out on during the week. It’s twice the fun and twice the surprises here in QuickPeek 44. And we promise, no one will be Niko Bellic’ed.
* Article originally posted Apr 26, 2008 at 12:53PM
(Editor’s Note: Certain cultures regard the number 4 as something rather unlucky.* For our purposes now though, it’s something quite fun. This week, it’s double the fun and double the surprises in QuickJump QuickPeek 44.)
Churning out more news than you can possibly chew this week is the gaming industry. It’s news on top of more news, just the way we like it! If some of you weren’t able to keep up, don’t sweat. Here’s our weekly column to reach out a helping hand to the certain few of you out there who’ve been MIA for the past seven days.
We’ll wrap up the biggest of this week’s happenings in QuickPeek 44, so try to keep yourselves comfy for the next couple of minutes. You would want to keep up with all the goings on and stock up on some deets, right? See, that’ll be good preparation for the coming days when you’ll probably lock yourself in.
It feels like there’s a big storm brewing – one that’ll sweep many a PS3 and Xbox 360 owner off their feet to Liberty City. Grand Theft Auto 4 is just around the bend, so if you’re planning to pick one up on the 29th, be ready to cut off the lines to your social life for the next couple of days.
* Ah. Since you were asking… the word for “Four” in Chinese (and Japanese and Korean too) sounds so much like their word for “Death” that they’ve considered it as awful a number as “13” in Western cultures. For example, buildings often “skip” the fourth floor and replace it with an “F” instead. Taken from Wikipedia, this superstition is what people refer to as tetraphobia – “an aversion or fear of the number 4.” Learn something new every day, huh?
PSP: Burning questions, steamy answers
Heat your soul up this week with some PSP news. It’s all about the hot queries and even hotter announcements crisscrossing our news wires.
Bajumbo moi moi moi jecker-ing their colorful and infectious way into the news stack earlier this week are unconfirmed details about a Loco Roco sequel. And we’re not just talking about the PS3 wallpaper DLC from a few months ago either. The info seems to be for the real deal. What do we have? A supposed release date, hints of missions, features, and a new online mode to be included in the sequel.
Thanks to Herald for the tip!
Link: LocoRoco 2 for PSP: uncomfirmed details roll in
Though some people never bothered to ask, others may be wondering why Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core was only released for the PSP. Saving the day are the Crisis Core producers. No, no; questions of a PS2 port weren’t answered. But instead, talk of a DS release (or non-release, rather) was the order of the day. So why exactly wasn’t Crisis Core brought to Nintendo’s handheld? One word: Demographics.
Link: Devs explain why Crisis Core is PSP-only
Capcom’s success in Japan is snowballing into bigger and bigger proportions. Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G is rising even more with sales figures coming in this week. As it stands, hunting season’s brought in a total of two million Japanese gamers into the fray.
Link: Capcom’s Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G ships 2 Million units in Japan
Now just in case you guys missed it, the Japanese demo for Bleach: Heat the Soul 5 was released this week. If you haven’t checked it out – you can get reassurance from our readers how much of a kickass demo it is. Tag Action finishers are made of pure win!
Link: Bleach Heat The Soul 5 demo released
Now with all that aside, here’s a quick wrap up some homebrew that you might find useful. PSP-Maps finally got the big one-point-oh version status and Art’s old X-Flash app was dug back up from the grave and given some tweaks to catch up with the times. While those who want to play around with their shell/file browser might also want to bump up their NervOS ‘brew to v1.7.
Link: PSP-Maps v1.0
Link: Nostalgia: X-Flash v18l updated to run without firmware checking
Link: NervOS v1.7 – now with new file browser functions and customizable font
See you guys next week! Meanwhile, it’s back to Tag Action! Woot!
– QJ.NET’s PSPUpdates team
PlayStation 3: Sating the hunger
Mmm hmm, while GTA4 updates are tucked in the Xbox 360 team’s turf below, we still have quite a lot of ground to cover as it is. Let’s get the camera rolling…
Earlier this week, reports came in about Sony’s upcoming video downloading service. When will it really go live? According to some sources, Sony’s planning to heat up summer by rolling out their promised video content service. And just how plausible is that? Well, E3 happens in July so could it very well be in that convention that they either reveal it or – even better – launch it!
Link: PlayStation 3 video download service to launch this Summer
So. What else is there to look forward to? Oh, aside from the colossus that is MGS4, y’mean? We’ll get to that in a bit, so before the tidal wave of MGS-related news, let’s check out some developments on PlayStation Home. We hear the closed beta phase has been extended, thereby giving open beta a release window of Fall 2008.
Yes, PlayStation Home open beta willl be arriving come Fa–
[…sudden uproar among people]
Whoa. Chill… Chill! It’s not the end of the world. We understand that some of you guys have been on tenterhooks since last year (and so are we too, so we feel ya!), but there’s really no cause for any hooplah. In the meantime, there’s the MGO beta, and a few weeks after that, MGS4. Before you know it, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, it’s already Fall, just like that!
Link: PlayStation Home Closed Beta extended, expanded; Open Beta to arrive fall of 2008
We’ve waited (not to mention experienced some problems along the way) and we’ve finally getting some live action! Metal Gear Online is finally, well, online! It’s been a grueling wait too, since a couple of users have been reporting login errors and other problems. And when the gates were finally opened, a sudden rush of traffic sieged the servers of Konami land.
A downtime took place for some emergency maintenance, but eventually, it’s all good. The folks at Konami managed to make ends meet, and even threw in an extension of the beta from the scheduled deadline of May 5 all the way up to May 11.
Link: Metal Gear Online Beta update: server downtime, and game extensions
Link: Metal Gear Online now live in all regions
Meanwhile, in MGS4-landia, there’s been some developments. For one, the BBFC finally rated the game. That’s a step further along the process, and the next thing we should be looking forward to is the “gold” status. But to help tide over the wait, a new video – it’s in Japanese, but who’s complaining? – wafted in and it’s looking epic. Epic with a capital E. Just wish we knew what exactly they were saying…
Here’s something clear though. Hideo Kojima himself has again expressed his disdain of not being able to recreate Metal Gear Solid 4 as he originally pictured it in his mind’s eye. Though this isn’t anything new – we’ve heard of his disappointment in the past – we just can’t fathom how much of a luminary Kojima really is.
Link: Hideo Kojima not satisfied with Metal Gear Solid 4
Link: BBFC rates Metal Gear Solid 4
Link: MGS4 Japanese Story Trailer
Time to get some brain bending action this week. It just might be a demo, but Echochrome‘s little slice of Escher is a worthwhile addiction to feed on. Four new maps are available for Call of Duty 4 too – and yes, Chinatown is part of the Map Pack (suh-weeeeet!). There are some new beat-stomping tunes for Rock Band, and a whole slew of other media DLC to pimp your PS3 or PSP with.
Thanks to YunGSaVage157, theaggie, and Sw3RvE87 for the heads up!
Link: NA PlayStation Store April 24: Echochrome demo, CoD4 Variety Map Pack, more
Can’t wait for GTA4? Maybe some of you guys are already thinking of camping out at retail stores this weekend (what, no pre-orders, aww c’mon…), but before you set out, you still gotta do more digging for some action. Take it away, 360 team!
– QJ.NET’s PlayStation 3 team
Xbox 360: Never gonna give you up, never gonna say good bye, never gonn – d’oh!
Ah. The last stretch before Grand Theft Auto 4! And you thought there would be some calm before the storm? Sorry to burst your little bubble, but it’s been anything but calm for the past couple of days. Which is, of course, most definitely a good thing.
First things first, some rather big news. The Week started out with Rockstar asking the userbase for XBL Gamertags and PSN IDs so that they could track people going online, especially of some of them would try to hook up before the 29th (i.e. the game’s release date). For all intents and purposes, it’s as if… it’s as if Rockstar was already expecting leaks and broken street dates for their game. Just as we expected in the previous issue of QuickPeek!
And lo!, what’s this? GTA IV was indeed leaked. And we’re not just referring to “gameplay videos” being uploaded in YouTube and getting purged (which in turn led to the birth of a new Rick Roller, Niko Bellic himself). Actual torrents of the game were seeded on the Internet!
Thanks to Jonas for the tip on the leak!
Link: Rockstar wants UK gamers’ Gamertags, PSN IDs for GTA IV
Link: GTA 4 leaked, thousands downloading via torrent
Now for some last minute details rushing in before the release – the official retail release – of the game! It’s been reaffirmed that multiplayer mode won’t have any split-screen functionality due to a number of possible reasons (care to guess?). We also get a lowdown of some of the weapons available in the game, as well as a new trailer highlighting GTA4 star Niko Bellic.
Link: Reaffirmed: No split-screen multiplayer in GTA 4
Link: GTA IV interview: weapons, cover and combat
Link: Rockstar unveils new Niko exclusive trailer for Grand Theft Auto 4
If you need one final crash course before you hop onto the train to Liberty City, we’ve cooked up a two-part feature outlining everything you need to know about the upcoming game. We give you the 411 on all the pre-release hullabaloo, the game’s characters, a look into GTA4‘s Liberty City, various gameplay elements, combat, multiplayer, and a whole suitcase more!
Link: Grand Theft Auto IV – Everything you need to know, part 1
Link: Grand Theft Auto IV – Everything you need to know, part 2
Grand Theft Auto 4 isn’t the only thing making headlines this week. We also got word of Gears of War 2. We hear that a demo of the game isn’t really in Epic Studios’ project timeline, so there’s probably zero to nil chances of getting to play the sequel before it comes out. Or is it? If you really want to give the game a spin, GoW2 will be popping in as a playabe demo showcased at the Sasquatch! Music Festival event. Good indie music + video game demo = bliss.
Link: Epic Games: No demo for Gears of War 2 planned
Link: Gears of War 2 beta playable demo at the Sasquatch! Music Festival
Still not enough updates for ya? Well, here’s something that’s not entirely news, but still pretty interesting nonetheless. The rumormill has churned out another batch of hot items like a Halo spin off, the supposed GTA MMO, and more upcoming “sequeals” (err, that’d be sequels to make you squeal – sequeals o_0).
– QJ.NET’s Xbox 360 team
Nintendo Wii: inter-Wii, inter-DS interaction
If some of you guys were holding out buying either a DS or Wii due to costs, don’t look to this year for a price cut from Nintendo. This comes from main man Satoru Iwata himself, who revealed that their projections for this year don’t include the price cuts.
Link: Nintendo says it has no plans to cut Wii, DS prices this year
Now, if you so happen to have both a Wii and DS, then you’ll be pretty glad you got them. Japan’s Everybody’s Nintendo Channel finally sees a release in the US in the form of Nintendo Channel. This release will be going hand in hand with Nintendo’s WiiWare service. With it, you can download game demos to your DS as well as get a couple of content straight from Nintendo!
Link: Rumor confirmed: Nintendo Channel to arrive with Wiiware in US
Over at Europe, Nintendo’s also released their schedule of Wii and DS games for the second quarter of this year. Even WiiWare titles have been included. Just some f the games you might want to keep your eye out for in the coming months: Brawl (finally!), Boom Blox, Dragon Quest Swords, Lost Winds, Apollo Justice, Nanostray 2, and the two new Pokemon Mystery Dungeons!
Link: Nintendo Europe’s launch lineup for Q2 2008: SSBB, WiiWare releases
Taking a step back, we look at the year so far for Nintendo in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2008. Guess how much these guys made with the Wii and DS? Well, to give you an idea, (get ready to catch your jaws just in case they start dropping to the floor) they’ve earned 73% more than what they did last year. That a whole lot! Considering that they’ve already earned a whole lot last year, adding an extra 73% to that would lead to astronomical numbers for this year!
Link: Expect more Wii, DS: Nintendo earns 73% more than last year, profits at 115.6%
– QJ.NET’s Nintendo Wii team
General Gaming: Rank and file
When you’re talking about the state of the game, do you know how your console is doing? BusinessWeek’s recent report might shed some light. In their recent findings, they found out that, based on products alone, users put Apple at the lofty spot of number 1 in terms of innovation. Microsoft clocked high among the big three console manufacturers too, with Nintendo and Sony trailing after.
Link: BusinessWeek: Microsoft ranked above Sony and Nintendo in innovation
As for sales reports, the era of Nintendo seems to be drawing to a close – probably because everyone and anyone who was thinking about getting a DS or Wii has probably already gotten one, thereby not have some contribution to hardware sales. Sony has a different story though. The PSP has claimed the top spot yet again in its fifth consecutive week as king!
Link: Japan: PSP on top for the fifth week running
Science and Technology: They did… what?!
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been geeking out over the science blog (Europa FTW!) and yet this time, the tech industry puts its better foot forward with more advancements for the sake of, well, advancement!
Don’t look now but… (d’oh! you looked, huh?) AMD will be launching one big beast in the form of its Shanghai chip series. The manufacturing company will roll out a 12-core 45nm processor later this year. No word yet on specific details like pricing or availability, but dang!, that baby will make run Crysis in a snap.
In other news, Apple is reaching out to Blu-ray technology by announcing of its upcoming plans for what they call BD Touch. Basically, it’s going to enable you to sync your iPhone or iPod Touch with your Blu-ray player so that the devices could interact with each other. One functionality mentioned was that the Apple devices could become some sort of remote control interface between the user and their Blu-ray player.
Link: AMD to launch 12-core Shanghai late this year
Link: BD Touch: Blu-ray player technology fusion with Apple devices
And now for something that might have been taken from the pages of Twilight Zone: the first true bionic eye has been successfully implanted. Of course, this technology isn’t anything new, hence the distinction of it being the first true bionic eye.
This is because older versions of the bionic eye have only allowed the blind to differentiate light and dark. Now, we’re moving closer to clearer and clear vision, complete with color. While all that’s good, let’s just hope there aren’t any horror stories cropping up about seeing freaky ghosts all around the formerly blind patient. Aww, if you’ve seen the original Asian film of The Eye, then… *shudder* Or, if you’ve seen Jessica Alba horrifically bad version, then just as well… *shudder*
Link: World’s first true bionic eyes successfully implanted
Odds-and-Ends: Back to the drawing board
Care for some dessert? Here’s something sweet and light to end a full meal of news.
Passionate video game to movie producer Uwe Boll was spurned yet again when he tried to approach Blizzard Entertainment with an offer to direct the World of Warcraft movie. Story goes that the folks at Blizzard “practically laughed Boll out of their offices when he approached them about making a World of Warcraft adaptation.”
Link: Blizzard rejects Uwe Boll’s offer to direct World of Warcraft movie
Comment of the Week: No such thing as a “final” work
On the subject of Hideo Kojima supposedly being dissatisfied of Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PS3, we know that he probably has his reasons for feeling that way. But in the midst of commenters coming up with their own speculations of hardware restrictions and whatnot, we hear something from zoogr2 that echoes deeply among a lot of people across various industries and art forms – yes, even us as journalists.
See, sometimes, when you’re a perfectionist and you have a perfect vision of what you want to give to the gamer, you can’t help but think that there will always always always be something to improve on. No matter how perfect you may strive to be, no matter how much effort you put in, no mater how much satisfaction you want to convince yourself of achieving… there’s always room to do better.
* Article originally posted Apr 26, 2008 at 12:53PM