GiantGamer

Giant News for the Gamer

Why did the PSP almost die?

Recently, new games released from week to week were featured on every system except for one. Know what that one system was? The PlayStation Portable it is.Lets all face it, the PlayStation Portable has not been showing its power in the market recently. Just like what was stated before, PSP games have been nonexistent with few to no new releases debuting in the past couple months.

How did Sony end up like this? Lets take a look at the history of the hand held gaming market. In the early hand held gaming days back with the original Game Boy, Nintendo had no real competitor. No real competition had ever posed a challenge to Nintendo’s ruling on the hand held market until one day at E3 2003 when Sony announced a new hand held gaming device was to show up on the market. Sony unveiled their new device named the PlayStation Portable which was to steal buyers away from Nintendo using its higher graphics quality, larger amounts of storage, and multimedia features. Everything was looking good for Sony, and many consumers were looking to purchase a PSP.

So with all the good promised features and higher quality, why did the PSP not sell as highly as expected? No one can say that there was only one reason that hindered the PSP from selling as well as its competitor the Nintendo DS did. Yes there was that one hundred dollar price difference that definitely turned away consumers, but why wouldn’t consumers want a quality handheld with a capability to browse the web and listen to music or watch videos? The problem for Sony was that consumers already had easy portable devices that could achieve the same features, or go beyond what the PlayStation Portable was capable of. MP3 players, Laptops, and other portable multimedia devices offered the same features and the PSP was way to pricey to get the same features that consumers already had a better solution for.

Sony is a big company with trusted products, so why doesn’t its handheld device sell as much as the Nintendo DS? Sony only started in the handheld business with the PSP, while Nintendo started from the original Game Boy. Nintendo has experience in gaming devices, be it console or even handheld. Nintendo also has its own line of very famous, great selling first party franchises to support any system it creates. If consumers want to play the newest game of Mario, or run through the detailed lands catching Pokemon, they have to buy a Nintendo system.

So if your wondering why the PSP did not have a strong release list late last year and early this year, the reason being that not many people are even picking up a PSP to play or use. There is no demand for PlayStation Portable system’s as of late, and many developers choose to develop for the Nintendo DS with its higher install base, and growing hold in the market.

February 24, 2009 Posted by | PlayStation, PlayStation Portable, Sony | , | Leave a comment

Metal Gear Solid Touch Trailer

A new game to the Metal Gear Solid series, Metal Gear Solid Touch will be released onto iPhone and iPod Touch. The game will utilize the power of the iPhone and iPod to feature good graphics and in-depth gameplay. You can see the trailer for the upcoming title here:

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Trailer | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Game Releases for the week of February 22nd 2009

Wow, the week many have been waiting for has arrived. Playstation 3 gamers have been waiting for years for the final release of Killzone 2, a graphically-inclined First Person Shooter which recently has been hogging the pre-order lists, topping many pre-release sales on popular game-selling store websites. Another hot game, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, is a under-the-radar title which has shown its capabilities, but has not taken the gaming community by storm compared to Killzone 2.

So heres the current list of new releases for the week beginning on February 22nd, 2009:

PC:

Tom Clancy’s Endwar

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix

Shellshock 2

Wii:

Yamaha Supercross

Dead Rising: Chop till you Drop

Playstation 3:

Killzone 2

50 Cent: Blood on the Sands

Shellshock 2

Xbox 360:

50 Cent: Blood on the Sands

Shellshock 2

Stoked

Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Nintendo DS:

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix

C.O.R.E.

Legacy of Ys: Books I & II

Imagine: Ice Champions

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Game Release Lists | | Leave a comment

New Game Releases for the week of February 15th 2009

This week certainly is no slow week, with many hot new game releases hitting store shelves. Big releases such as Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II and Street Fighter IV give this week high hopes and expectations.

Xbox 360:

Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV: Collectors Edition

Race Pro

Disney Sing It: High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Playstation 3:

Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV: Collectors Edition

Disney Sing It: High School Musical 3: Senior Year

PC:

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II

Penumbra Collection

The Dark Eye: Drakensang

Playstation 2:

Disney Sing It: High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Nintendo Wii:

Battle Rage

Solitaire and Mahjong

Puzzle Challenge: Crosswords and More!

Disney Sing It: High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Nintendo DS:

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride

Jake Power: Policeman

Jake Power: Fireman

Rollin’ Rascals

PSP:

Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Game Release Lists | , , , , | 1 Comment

Microsoft Opening New Line of Stores [UPDATE:] What items can you find?

To take on the success of its competitors, Microsoft last week announced it will open its own line of stores.

Of course, Microsoft has not made specific what exactly will be sold or featured in the store, but we can predict a couple of items such as Windows, Xbox items, Windows applications, and video games.

One thing that Microsoft did announce however is David Porter, a former executive at Dreamworks will be taking the head position of the division. David Porter has also worked for 17 years as President of the Wal-Mart entertainment division.

Microsoft has already opened one private facility titled the “Microsoft Retail Experience Center” in January 2009 to fulfill the goal to test innovative retail technology. Check the video below for a detailed view and interview of Microsofts new exciting retail chain.

[UPDATE:]

In the video above, Microsoft gives a view of the Microsoft retail facility. I have taken some still shots of items that I saw in the video:

Laptops anyone?

Laptops anyone?

Choose between a million different SKUs of Windows!

Choose between a million different SKU's of Windows!

Xbox 360s ready for your living room

Xbox 360's ready for your living room

Need a new Monitor?

Need a new Monitor?

Can you find the items in the background?:

What I have found:

  1. Xbox 360 games
  2. Platinum Hits
  3. Zune
  4. Windows Software
  5. Latops
  6. Games for Windows

Can you find anything else?

Microsoft has implemented some solid sale features such as the Television to help you find a specific item, to the Shopping Cart to help you shop with a virtual shopping list and prices very similar to those that you would find online:

February 15, 2009 Posted by | Microsoft, PC, Xbox 360 | 4 Comments

Unlocking the Keyhole of Exclusivity: Kingdom Hearts 3

As we all know, Kingdom Hearts, an RPG series developed by Square Enix, has seen most of its titles debut on a Playstation system or handheld. Never has the Kingdom Hearts series turned to a non-Playstation device except for Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories on the Game Boy Advance, or a few select titles on cell phones. Square Enix has undoubtedly favored Sony’s Playstation brand over the other competitors since the Playstation’s first debut, giving it exclusivity with almost every Final Fantasy game.

However, a sudden change in development occurred when Final Fantasy XI was released on the Xbox 360 in April 2006. Many fans were upset with Square Enix going the Xbox route, but easily forgot about the disturbance when the next game in the series, Final Fantasy XII, released exclusively on the Playstation 2 later that year.

Final Fantasy XIII, officially unveiled at E3 2006, was planned for release on Playstation 3 only. The game excited veteran fans to the series for a few reasons, better graphics and a new system to play it on. Unfortunately for Playstation owners, Microsoft announced at E3 2008, two years after the initial debut, Microsoft announced that Final Fantasy would be headed for the Xbox 360.

As we get closer to E3 2009, the expected announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3 is almost upon us, will it be on Xbox 360? If the recent events continue down the road, we may indeed be seeing an Xbox 360 version.

But with all that said, what about a Wii version?

I highly doubt it.

February 15, 2009 Posted by | Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 | 45 Comments

Battlefield 1943 Details

Battlefield 1943, shown off at the New York Comic Con, is the newest addition to the Battlefield series. Taking place in World War 2, Battlefield 1943 gives the player three maps to enjoy with 24 players, a small, but surprisingly action-packed 12 versus 12 battle for survival. Players can choose to play as either a soldier of the U.S. Marines or a soldier of the Japanese Imperial Army.

In previous installments to the Battlefield series, players could choose from up to four different classes, but in 1943, players have the choice of up to three different classes, or kits. The first class, Riflemen, is best known for its mid-range weapons and abilities. The second class, Infantry, caters to the short-range, more run-and-gun type player. Using short-range weapons, Infantry players can battle in close-quarters combat with the opposing players. The infantry load-out also includes anti-tank/vehicle weapons such as a Bazooka to take down the pesky vehicles. The third and final class in Battlefield 1943 is for the long-range sniper oriented player. Named Scout, it includes Sniper Rifles and other various long-range weapons. Scouts also are equipped with demolition weapons, but it is unexplained as to which exact weapons these will be.

Battlefield 1943 will include one game mode titled Conquest. Originating from its former Battlefield counterparts, 1943 utilizes the flag-capture mode to gain territory and spawn points closer to the enemy. The game indicates which flag is the players by the color blue, and indicates the enemies’ flag by the color red. Unlike Battlefield Bad Company where “Double Assault” mode in which players could capture all the flags was used, 1943 features “Head-On Assault”, where each team has a locked base which cannot be captured.

Bomb Dropping from Rear View

Bomb Dropping from Rear View

Many changes have been made from Battlefield 1942 to Battlefield 1943, including the addition of parachutes. Bridges can also be blown-out, meaning you can blow up bridges to stop an oncoming enemy, but they can also find another route around to the other side. Also, Gordon Van Dyke of DICE Studios states “If you have played Battlefield 1942, you will recognize the maps included in the game, but also notice the many changes that have happened to them over the time between the two games.” Battlefield 1943 will also introduce a new form of game play, unlimited ammo and rechargeable health means no medics or support classes needed giving a reason for only being three classes in the game (stated above). The game will not feature any unlocks meaning that every player will have every weapon unlocked for them at the beginning of the game.

The mini-map, included in all previous installments of the Battlefield series did not appear in the pre-alpha build shown off at the NYCC, but is said to be added into the game by the time of its release. The spawn-in map shown at the beginning of the game is where the player can pick his or her class and choose a place to spawn in (represented by a flag). There are two systems for choosing a spawn-point, one named “Front-Lines System” in which the game automatically spawns the character in the middle of the action, while there is the “Regular Choice Spawn” in which players can choose where they spawn.

Classes and Spawn-In

Classes and Spawn-In

Battlefield 1943 will feature the Frostbite Engine used by EA and DICE for Battlefield Bad Company, and will be released as a download-only game on Playstation Network (PSN), Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA), and the PC.

February 8, 2009 Posted by | PC, PlayStation 3, PSN, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Battlefield 1943 Announced!

The latest edition to the popular Battlefield series by EA is Battlefield 1943. Starting off 1 year after the first Battlefield game, Battlefield 1942, players are yet again sent to fight in some of the most famous World War 2 sites, including Iwo Jima, Wake Island, and Guadalcanal. DICE is hard at work on the upcoming sequel to one of the most popular games in the series, and is planning for the game to be download-based. Battlefield 1943 has no confirmed release dates, but one can only hope that it will be released later this year or early next year.

February 7, 2009 Posted by | PC, PlayStation 3, PSN, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Battlefield Heroes be released in Playstation Home?

Like many social networking sites (AKA MySpace, Facebook), Home gives millions of Playstation 3 owners the ability to interact with others. What makes Home so special is its look and feel, with avatars and public spaces to move around in.

Unveiled at the 2007 Game Developers Conference, Home swept the internet with speed. Intriguing many Playstation owners, players began to generate ideas of how developers could stretch the game to expand the playability and enhance the feeling of the service. Ideas such as different areas, custom homes with custom furniture, and in-game games all came to life.

Many developers have been tracking the progress of Home, working on ideas to expand the game. One developer named Electronic Arts (EA), creator of the Battlefield Series, announced its new Playstation area to be released soon named the EA Sports Complex.

EA Sports Complex will feature banners advertising the titles the company has announced, and a variety of games for users to play while in the space. EA is adding a Poker table for multiplayer Poker, and a new arcade-style 3D racing game named Formula 1 Racer. In Formula 1 players can race each other around a virtual track and compete in matchups.

Now you may be saying that Battlefield Heroes has nothing to do with EA Sports. EA has already shown what they can create, and with the ability to create, comes the ability to expand. Battlefield Heroes, being a very highly-anticipated free-to-play game, can make sales for EA, not through charging playtime, but through advertisements for the upcoming and newly-released games.

“Online gaming garners a massive audience,” said Gerhard Florin, EVP Publishing Americas-Europe at EA. “People want to play games in new ways, with easier access that is quick to the fun. With Battlefield Heroes, EA brings its first major franchise to North America and Europe with a new distribution model and pricing structure adapted to the evolving way that people play.”

Battlefield Heroes is a brand new game from the team behind Battlefield 1942™ and Battlefield 2™. It’s fun cartoon-style graphics and gameplay caters to players of all skill levels. It is easy to pick up and play but with robust character customization and a deep online meta-game, gamers can spend hours building up their characters and conquering the world.

“We put a different twist on this Battlefield game going with the cartoon-style graphics and gameplay,” added Ben Cousins, Senior Producer at EA DICE. “There’s something here for all types of players — be it our core Battlefield fans or casual gamers. With the new online model, we will continually add new content to keep the game fresh and keep players engaged, while integrating player feedback in real time. As a game developer, it is such a cool new way to make games.”

http://www.battlefield-heroes.com/news/battlefield-heroes-press-release

How likely is it for Battlefield Heroes to show up on Home? Well, if EA keeps up the current pace with its Home expansions and ideas, it is very likely.

February 2, 2009 Posted by | PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Home | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ensemble Studios: The End of a Legacy

Halo Wars

Ensemble Studios, creator of the Age of Empires series all the way to the upcoming Halo Wars game, has been a dominating developer for Real Time Strategy (RTS) games. Ensemble cranked out a total of ten RTS games including Halo Wars and expansion packs, most if not all of which were high-rated top sellers.

Formed in 1995, Ensemble strived to create good quality games for gamers. In 1997, Ensemble Studios releases its first hit, Age of Empires. Age of Empires, based in ancient times, gave the players the experience of commanding soldiers and building armies through four ages: the Stone, Tool, Bronze, and Iron Age. This entirely new game became a sensation, selling 500,000 copies within a six month time period. Not long after in 1998, Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome is delivered, an expansion to the first Age of Empires, giving the players the ability to command Roman soldiers and Armies.

Soon, in 1999, the second installment, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is released. This sequel is set in the Middle Ages, a time of castles, fortresses, and swords. Players were able to play up to thirteen different civilizations, where the main object was to gather food and supplies, and build their towns and armies to defeat the enemy. In the following year, Age of Empires II: The Conquerors expansion pack is sent out. Giving five new civilizations, The Conquerors expansion is indeed a good seller.

After realizing the studios potential, Microsoft buys Ensemble Studios in 2001, ceasing the studio as being an independent developer.

After a quiet year, Ensemble releases its new series, Age of Mythology. The new title relies less on historical events, but more on mythological creatures and legends of Greeks, Egyptians, and Norse. An expansion pack for Age of Mythology is released in 2003, titled Age of Mythology: The Titans. The expansion enhances the game play with new units, buildings, and three new gods.

Finally in 2005, Age of Empires III is released with major enhancements including a new physics engine to animate battle scenes and is set in newly-found America. Players play as new European nations moving to America and battle on American soil during the Colonial Times. A new multiplayer system is setup on Ensemble Studios Online (ESO), allowing players to battle and chat with each other online.

2006 brings a new expansion to Age of Empires III, Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs. War Chiefs gives players three new native civilizations to play with new Home City cards. The expansion also adds a new single player campaign and new units. By 2007, Age of Empires: The Asian Dynasties is rolled out. The expansion brings three new civilizations: the Indians, Chinese, and Japanese. The Asian Dynasties was however created together by Ensemble and Big Huge Games for a purpose probably related to the secret development of Halo Wars by Ensemble.

To be released on March 3rd 2009, Halo Wars is the last game to be created by Ensemble Studios. Announced and shown off at X06, Halo Wars is largely spread over the internet as the new Halo game. The first Halo-based game to not be a FPS, Halo Wars will redefine the way the Halo Universe has been depicted.

It was a sad day on September 9th, 2008 for Ensemble and its fan base. Microsoft announced that lifelong RTS developer Ensemble Studios would be shutting down after the release of Halo Wars. Not all is lost however, when Ensemble Head Tony Goodman announced his plans for an independent studio after the closing of Ensemble on January 29th, 2009, in which many former Ensemble Studios employees have been offered positions.

Age of Empires III

February 2, 2009 Posted by | PC | Leave a comment