Korean electronics manufacturer LG has filed a set of patent infringement claims against Sony that, if enforced, would prevent the sale of all Sony Blu-Ray players in the US, including the PS3. According to Eurogamer, the claims, which were filed with the International Trade Commission yesterday, allege that four components used in Sony’s current Blu-Ray player designs are proprietary LG designs. Though LG’s claims would likely effect all Sony Blu-Ray players, LG pointed specifically at the PS3 as a product in question.
Whether or not the claims are legitimate, it’s unlikely that the claims will bear fruit. LG and Sony are respectively the second and third ranked television producers in the world, and legal issues between the companies aren’t uncommon. It is rumored that these claims are revenge against Sony for a similar set of lawsuits filed against LG in December. In those claims, Sony alleged that LG infringed on seven different cell phone-related patents.
Sony confirmed last week’s Kotaku report that the next PS3 firmware update will allow Playstation Plus subscribers to save their games online, making them accessible via their PSN profile. The new service, called “Online Saving”, comes in extra handy for players who regularly use more than one console, allowing them access to their saves without a flash drive or memory card. It also makes switching consoles (or more likely replacing broken ones) much less of a hassle.
Until now, Playstation Plus offered access to exclusive demos and DLC. While those features are nice, they haven’t been enough to make Playstation Plus as successful as Xbox Live Gold: Online saving might not be enough to make the service a success overnight, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
According to an interview in the upcoming March issue of EGM, Developer Just Add Water is working an HD remake of PS1 classic, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. Just Add Water is already working an HD port of the most recent Oddworld game, Stranger’s Wrath. In the interview, Oddworld series creator Lorne Lanning describes the new Oddysee; “It’s basically Abe’s Oddysee being redone in a 3D physics engine as a 2D side-scrolling platformer.” You might argue that this description implies larger changes, but Lanning assures fans that the goal is to update, not change; “<We’re> not trying to reinvent any wheels. It’s like, ‘Can we make that experience in a new engine, with new tech, in the old way?'”
With all the remakes and collections flooding the market (Sly, Ico/Shadow of the Colossus, etc) the Oddworld series seems like a logical choice for revival. Let’s hope it sticks!
According to a circular from a South African video game retailer, PS3 owner may get to try their hand at motion-control gameplay sooner than expected. BT Games’ June sales ad announces that gamers should “watch out” for Move during the month of July. The possibility of this being true is weak at best: BT Games has said nothing about a specific release date, and Sony made it very clear that they plan to release the Move and its initial software lineup in the fall. Plus, the idea of releasing a piece of relatively expensive gaming hardware so far away from the holidays seems like a disastrous plan from a business perspective.
Still, BT Games has built a little of credibility in these matter, the chain broke the news about the 250 GB Xbox 360 in an ad months before Microsoft announced it’s existence. It is possible that the BT ad refers to pre-ordering the controller, or possibly some kind of promotional event. Regardless, the Move’s future will be set in stone in just over two weeks at E3.
“Resistance” developer Insomniac announced today that they’ve signed an exclusive publishing agreement with EA. The deal revolves around a brand new IP Insomniac is designing, which EA will produce for both PS3 and Xbox 360. Insomniac has been in the business of pumping out Playstation exclusives since the days of the original Playstation. After 16 years, Insomniac hopes bring this new game to Xbox 360, so they’re linking up with EA to make that happen.
Insomniac has not disclosed any information about the mystery IP, simply saying that they’ll disclose more info “when <they’re> ready.” According to rumors, Insomniac is currently hard at work on “Resistance 3.” Does the EA deal throw that news into doubt? Realistically, no. If anything, the timing of the announcement implies that we’ll be seeing “Resistance 3” sooner rather than later.
Bottom line; if there isn’t a big announcement from Insomniac at E3, I’m going to be VERY upset.
According to VG247, Sony plans to announce a paid subscription for a premium version of PSN service some time this year. The british game blog claims the info came from a “highly-placed” source at Sony. Of course, with June 13th rapidly approaching, E3 seems like the natural place to make such an announcement.
According to the source, the premium service will not be required to do anything currently available via PSN – don’t worry, you won’t be forced to get it if you don’t want. For “less than £50 per year,” the service will give players access to premium downloads and new features. In fact, the premium service may allow players to download 2-4 PSN games for “free” every month. On the other hand, the source said that cross-game voice chat, a long requested feature by PS3 owners, will definitely not be a premium service feature.
Rumors about new premium service options for both PSN and Xbox Live have been circulating for the past year or so. The question has always been and continues to be whether the features provided by a premium service be effective in drawing in a large enough chunk of users. If the PSN subscription is just a monthly PSN gaming stipend, it probably won’t take off. Sony most likely knows this, so expect the service’s best features to be revealed at E3… Or whenever Sony decides to do so.
Sony announced yesterday that “LittleBigPlanet 2” is on the way. Being one of Sony’s successful exclusive franchises, there was little doubt that a sequel has been in the works – particularly since SCEA bought LBP developer Media Molecule earlier this year. Once again the game will emphasize gamer customization and creativity using the “Create” mode.
Building on the gameplay of the original, LBP 2 will expand the range of things that players can do in their unique worlds. In LBP 2, Sack-Boy, the malleable hero of the game, will have access to new tools like a grappling hook, “power gloves”, and a “magic bag”. Also, LBP 2 will support Playstation Move; according to Sony, motion control may only be used in specific Move-ready levels.
While players will not be able build levels using the Move, LBP 2’s CREATE mode will add some new options for aspiring game developers including programmable NPCs, health meters and the ability to create a unique control scheme. Lastly, LBP 2 will be backwards compatible, meaning that players can import their games from the original LBP so they can tweak their games, or simply play them with updated graphics.
Media Molecule told 1up.com that more information about LBP 2 will become available at E3 next month, including info on the soundtrack and hopefully (fingers crossed) a release date.
Sony announced via PSN promotional video “Qore” that the firmware update allowing PS3 to utilize 3D TV technology will be coming this summer. Sony originally announced that they planned to make PS3 3D-ready when they first unveiled their line of “Bravia” 3D TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
The Qore video also announced a lineup of games that will be made 3D-accessible retroactively via the firmware update. “Killzone 2”, “Gran Turismo 5”, “Little Big Planet”, “Wipeout HD Fury”, and “Super Stardust HD” will become playable in 3D via this update. There’s currently no word on whether other past releases would be made 3D-ready in the future.
Posted in Industry News
Tagged 3D gaming, CES, FIrmware Update, Gran Turismo 5, Killzone 2, Little Big Planet, PS3, PSN, Qore, Sony, Super Stardust HD, Wipeout HD Fury
I can’t believe that it’s actually been five years since Sony jumped into the portable console market, releasing the PSP in the US. As the console enters the home stretch, (Strong rumors suggest that Sony will unveil the PSP2 at E3 in June) the PSP has had a pretty amazing run, selling over 17 million consoles stateside. Though the console has definitely hit it’s hardware limits, one can’t help but feel that the PSP is only now just starting to come into its own. The PSP-Go, which ditched Sony’s failed UMD tech in favor of playing downloaded content exclusively, painted the machine in a whole new light. Hopefully, the PSP will ultimately represent the growing pains necessary to create a great new console the next time around.