Tuesday, December 27, 2011

PS Vita Games Announced

Rumors about a successor to the PlayStation Portable began swirling around back in July of 2009, and one year later the Wall Street Journal announced that Sony did indeed have a new portable device in the works that shared “characteristics of game machines, e-book readers and netbook computers.” However, it was not until January 27, 2011 at a “PlayStation Meeting ” held in Japan that the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Kazuo Hirai officially announced what they called at that time the Next Generation Portable (NPG). Since then, details about the PlayStation Vita have slowly been rolling out, and on Saturday, December 17 the device was released in Japan.

Although the PS Vita will not be available in the United States until Wednesday, February 22 (or Wednesday, February 15 if gamers purchase the pre-order bundle), Sony recently released the list of game titles that will be available for purchase the day of the device’s release.

There will be 26 game titles that will be available including: Army Corps of Hell, Escape Plan, Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, Little Deviants, ModNation Racers: Road Trip, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and wipEout 2048. Launch titles from Sony's third-party partners will include FIFA Soccer, Lumines Electronic Symphony, Touch My Katamari, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Plants vs. Zombies, and Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition.

Sony has said that the pricing of the software for the device will cost you anywhere from $9.99 to $49.99. All of the games for the PS Vita will either be available by purchasing a PS Vita game card from gaming retail stores or digitally on the PlayStation Network. It is important for gamers to note that there will be some games that will be offered exclusively on the PlayStation Network and will not be found in stores.

The Wi-Fi-powered version of the device will be available for gamers for $249.99 and the 3G/Wi-Fi version will cost $299.99. There is also a bundle that is available that includes a 3G/Wi-Fi PS Vita, a limited edition case for the device, a 4GB PS Vita memory card and the Little Deviants game. It is currently available for preorder for $349.99.

As mentioned above, the device was already released in Japan. It had a very solid start, but it wasn’t anything record-setting. In the first weekend, Sony sold around 325,000 devices. Just to give you something to compare that to, the Nintendo 3DS sold 371,000 units in the very first 48 hours, and we all know how that ended up doing…not very well. We’ll just have to see how things go for the PS Vita. It seems like a solid handheld that is more practical and useful than the 3DS, so hopefully it will not share the same fate.

Sources: PCMag - Sony Details U.S. PlayStation Vita Launch Titles and PCWorld - Sony Releases PlayStation Vita Bug Fix Before U.S. Launch

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Xbox Live Doing Away with Xbox Live Avatar Guns

Xbox Live Avatar LancerEver since Barack Obama took office in 2008, there has been a lot of talk about our nation's 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. There was talk of the Obama administration attempting to abolish this amendment, making it illegal for Americans to own firearms. While that law will more than likely never pass, ever (come on, do you wanna be the one to try to take guns away from the South?), it does appear that it will be "illegal" for your Xbox Live avatar to carry a piece, or at least buy a new one.

Sure, you may love playing your "M" rated, death dealing games like Gears of War and Call of Duty on your 360 but that doesn't mean that your avatar has to be so violent! The Xbox dashboard is usable by every single Xbox 360 owner, so naturally it is more family-friendly. However, that family-friendliness seems to be going a bit too far as you will no longer be able to buy guns for your avatar.

Epic Games saw a post on its forums that reveals, starting January 1, 2012, that the Lancer and Hammerburst Avatar accessories will no longer be available for purchase. January 1, 2012 marks the launch of a brand new Xbox Live policy that will see the complete removal of "all gun-like avatar items on the Marketplace." Fortunately, you will still be able to keep whatever gun-like items you have already purchased, but don't expect to find them, or any new ones, after the New Year rolls around.

I'm not going to lie, this makes me a little mad. While I don't particularly see the need for such an item, some gamers love decking out their avatars to look exactly like in-game characters. If they want to have their character hold a gun, that is their choice. I honestly do not see how a little cartoon character holding a virtual gun is going to harm anybody. I find this whole change to be incredibly ridiculous.

Source: G4TV - Xbox Avatars Lose Right To Bear (New) Arms on January 1

DVD Video Projectors are exactly what they sound like. A combination unit that combines a DVD media player with a video projector, cutting out the need for multiple pieces of electronics and wiring.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic Early Access Has Commenced!

Star Wars: The Old RepublicThis is the moment fans have been waiting for for nearly three years now, the chance to play the actual, completed version of Star Wars: The Old Republic, EA and BioWare's Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game that puts players in the shoes of their very own Star Wars hero as he or she embarks on a quest to join the Republic and bring peace to the galaxy or side with the Sith and make every inhabitant of the galaxy bow and tremble before them.

BioWare initially asserted that anybody who pre-ordered the game would get early game access as early as December 15, a full five days before the game's December 20 release date. However, the company kicked it up a notch allowing players to get in as early as today, December 13, one full week before the game's launch. I was one of the lucky ones to get in today and you should be thankful I am taking time out of my day to write this piece.

Early access was given out in waves. The process involved inviting players based on when they redeemed their pre-order code for the game, so the earlier you redeemed, the earlier you go in. BioWare decided to insert players into the game in waves for many reasons. The main reason was so the game's servers didn't completely explode on opening day from the millions of players trying to log on simultaneously. The other reason was to reward players' devotion and enthusiasm in wanting to play the game.

Having played the game enough already today to rank my Jedi Consular up to level 6 and also having participated in three beta tests, I can assure you that this game is one of the most fun I have played in a while. I'm not big into MMOs and, to be honest, SWTOR is my first foray into the genre. But I can definitely tell you that I am having loads of fun with this game and I can hardly put it down. I will be writing a more expansive review on the game in the coming days, probably around the time of the actual release of the game so check back here around December 20th to get all the details on what is sure to be one of the biggest games in history!

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