Friday, June 6, 2008

Qore is Out, Shady Things Afoot

So, Sony's new interactive video magazine thing, Qore, went up last night and, as I had mentioned on Tuesday, I was debating purchasing an annual subscription. I held off because I kept hearing varying stories on whether you actually got Calling All Cars for free, or if you had to pay $2.99 for it, or if there was any promotion at all. No official site mentioned it at all.

Turns out you do get the game for free with an annual subscription, but in the meantime I learned something else: The big exclusive they are touting with this first issue is that you get access to the SOCOM: Confrontation public beta when it begins. Only, that isn't strictly true. You get access to the beta 2 weeks after it begins.

So who gets to play those first 2 weeks? People who pre-order the game. So if you want access to the Beta you can either pay $2.99 for Qore and get in 2 weeks late, or you can pre-order the game for FREE (because you can either cancel your pre-order or the $5 will go towards your purchase) and get in at the start. What's wrong with this picture? If Beta access was invitation only this wouldn't be so bad, but when anyone can get into the Beta not only for free, but 2 weeks earlier, why would you pay $3? You wouldn't, which is why it's pretty crappy that Qore is being promoted this way. Anyone who shelled out the $3 for the beta just got, as they say, hosed.

I thought Qore sounded fairly cool in and of itself, but this doesn't instill much confidence in me as far as future "exclusives".

Thursday, June 5, 2008

COD4 Back on Top

Call of Duty 4 was unceremoniously knocked out of its long held position as Most Played 360 Game when Grand Theft Auto IV was released a month ago, but today it has reclaimed its spot while GTAIV has fallen to third place, behind Halo 3. In celebration, all COD4 players will receive double experience points when playing this weekend.

To be honest, I was surprised it took this long. It was pretty clear that the game was topping the charts based mainly on people playing the single player game, so once they had their fill, unless they moved onto regularly playing the multiplayer, the game was going to drop like a rock.

I have to hand it to GTAIV, keeping so many people involved in a single player game for a month is no small feat. Can it climb back to the top when the still mysterious "episode" drops in the Fall?

[via fourzerotwo]

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

MGS4 Is Eighth Game to Receive Perfect Famitsu Score

Between 1998 and 2007 Famitsu only awarded 6 games a perfect score of 40/40 (four 10's from four reviewers). In 2008 they have handed out two 40's already, the first to Super Smash Bros. Brawl and now to Hideo Kojima's magnum opus, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which releases worldwide on June 12th.

This marks the first time Famitsu has given two perfect scores in one year and also the first time a Konami title has received the honor (only Nintendo, Square, and Namco games have gotten perfect scores before).

Also of note is that Famitsu has never awarded a perfect score to more than one game on any specific console. Will the PS3 be the first to buck this trend? Final Fantasy XIII is still on the way after all...The DS (which scored a 40 with Nintendogs of all things) is also still a viable system and has Dragon Quest IX coming later this year.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sony Launching Interactive Video Mag on PSN

Starting Thursday, PS3 owners will have access to a new PSN service called Qore. What is Qore? Let me allow Veronica Belmont to explain:

From Crackle: Qore preview

So basically, it's the online equivalent of the now defunct Official PlayStation Magazine, complete with exclusive demos.

Yes, that's right, there will be demos for certain games that will only be made available through Qore, which I'm sure is not going to go over well in some quarters.

The first "issue" will be available sometime on Thursday for $2.99 and will give you access to the SOCOM: Confrontation Beta, whenever that begins. There is also an option to subscribe for a year (13 installments) at $24.99, which will also net you a copy of the PSN game Calling All Cars for a limited time.

I'm debating signing up; at worst I get Calling All Cars out of it (which I've always wanted to try anyway) and I just don't resubscribe next year. I also like that Veronica Belmont hosts the show as she's more than just a pretty face; she actually knows what she's talking about, which is more than you can say for anyone hosting a show on G4.

[via Kotaku]

Monday, June 2, 2008

RUMOR: Microsoft Has Two Major 360 Titles Up Its Sleeve

Citing "well placed sources close to Microsoft" CVG is reporting that Microsoft will be revealing two more "big" 360 titles at E3, that will be a part of their 2008 lineup. Currently, two big Microsoft titles are in limbo: Halo Wars and Alan Wake, but it's unknown whether the announcement will be for completely new games or a confirmation that these two will hit in 2008 after all.

CVG further speculates that one of the titles may utilize the rumored 360 motion controller (how awesome would Halo Wars be if you could use a motion controlled pointer device!?) but I'd say that if Microsoft really does have a motion controller in the works, they'd be crazy not to incorporate it into all of their first party games to some extent. Certainly Banjo Kazooie 3 as well as Viva Pinata 2 will both use it considering Rare are the ones rumored to be spearheading development on the controller.

In any case, it's nice to think there might be some surprise announcements at E3. Last year's press conferences were a joke. Now all we need is for Nintendo to pull out something more exciting than WiiFit and for Sony to show games that will actually be out by this time next year. And not just games like InFamous and Killzone 2 which they showed last year (and 2 years before that in Killzone's case). I'm betting Final Fantasy XIII will be a major part of their briefing. That game has got to be nearing completion, right? Right!?

[via CVG]

Friday, May 30, 2008

New Resident Evil 5 Trailer Astounds

GameTrailersTV premiered the new Resident Evil 5 trailer tonight and damn, does it look awesome. Hordes of zombies, huge explosions, and arguably the best graphics ever seen on a console. You don't have to take my word for it though, watch it below through the magic of embedded video!

They don't show any kind of co-op gameplay but the female character at the end is presumably the mercenary that the second player will control.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Steam Gets Cloudy

Steamcloud! Sounds like some cool cyberpunk game right? Well, not exactly, but it's still pretty cool.

Steamcloud is a new feature coming to Valve's Steam service which will let users store their game data server side. Save files, control configurations, in game preferences can all be stored online and retrieved through your Steam account.

I'm not really a PC gamer, but I had hoped for similar features out of the 360 before it launched (particularly online save storage) seeing as we all shell out $50 a year for the service. Now that Steam is offering it up for free, it gives me hope that we might see it on consoles at some point.

As time goes on MS is going to have to justify Live's annual price tag against the PS3's free service which is rumored to soon be adding a universal friends list as well as several other features that are currently 360 exclusive. Adding a Steamcloud-like feature would be one way to keep a leg up on the competition.

[via Kotaku]