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Wii To Offer Video On Demand



:ahaha:

The Nintendo Wii will soon have a video on demand service, with the company confirming that it has tied up a deal with Japanese advertising firm Dentsu to develop the service. Scheduled to arrive in Japan next year, Nintendo is looking to follow its console rivals into the VOD market and is expected to roll the service out to other markets after gauging reactions in its home nation. "Nintendo and Dentsu shall use the environment surrounding the Wii so that living rooms with Wii-ready TVs would become more of a fun area for communication among families and friends," the firms said in a joint statement.

( www.techradar.com )


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PlayStation 3 Console Sales Lag Behind The Competition



:ayokona:It looks like the third wheel this time around is Sony. Going back several console generations, there have always been one or two successful systems, and then one or more also-rans. When the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo were battling for supremacy in the early 1990s, the TurboGrafx-16 settled for table scraps. In the next generation, Sony's original PlayStation and the Nintendo 64 took first and second place, while Sega's Saturn barely even made it out of the starting gate. Sega again took it on the chin when its initially promising Dreamcast was trounced by the PS2, and Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube dueled for second. Now the Nintendo Wii is lapping the field, while the Xbox 360 has carved out a solid following that's growing again with the recent price cuts. But the PS3 is turning into a punching bag. In November, sales of Sony's console actually fell from a year ago, while the Wii and Xbox 360 numbers grew. What's the problem? Price.

While the PS3 has a handful of good exclusive games, there's enough overlap between the games on the PS3 and the Xbox 360 that the average gamer is going to decide which system to get based largely on the price. And the PS3 sells for $399, while the cheapest Xbox 360 model goes for $199. That decision basically makes itself for most gamers. ( www.tmcnet.com )

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Game Addiction Similar To Drug Addiction

:blush:A new scientific study proves that video gamers who crave to play their favorite game exhibit about the same symptoms, neurologically speaking, as drug addicts looking to score their next dose. The same areas of the brain lit up, when MRI imaging was used on a few “game addicts,” whereas in the control group, those areas remained unaffected. The mechanisms that trigger the activation of these areas are still largely unknown, and researchers are working hard to determine what it is exactly that keeps people locked in front of a computer for hours. The research was prompted by the fact that nearly ten or more million people are engaged in the on-line game World of Warcraft (WoW), with many players spending an insane amount of time playing on-line. Some people even play for 16 to 20 hours a day, which leaves them with virtually no personal life to speak of. Thus, the only satisfaction they get in life is doing the same actions over and over again, while their families and friends are lost, as is their health. Chih-Hung Ko, a neurobiologist at the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues placed 10 WoW fans in the MRI machine, alongside 10 non-addicts, and followed their brain images while the test subjects were shown pictures of the game. While in the ten people in the control group there was little reaction, in the “addicts” several portions of their brain lit up “like a Christmas tree.” ( news.softpedia.com )

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PC Game Industry Rocks, AMD Says



:woooh:Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced that the PC gaming industry is "blooming," following the industry's positive reception of the company's ATI Radeon HD 4800 graphic card series. Randy Ho, AMD's channels sales manager of the graphics and chipset business in ASEAN, said AMD has sold around two million units of the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series recently, and that the momentum continues with a growing list of high-performance gaming systems announced by their partner OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), including Acer, Fujitsu Siemens, Gateway, HP, and Medion. Ho added that Alienware, Falcon Northwest, Velocity Micro, Maingear, CyberPower, iBuyPower, Commodore Gaming, ExtremePC, Biohazard, Puget Systems and other system integrators have also announced systems shipping with ATI Radeon HD 4800 series graphics. The executive said a lot of their company's partner OEMs and system integrators (SIs) are now delivering immersive game play with the use of the ATI Radeon HD 4800 line of graphics cards. He said the card series is available in numerous configurations, including systems based on AMD Phenom X3 and AMD Phenom X4 processors, as well as Intel Core i7 and Core 2 processors. ( www.pcworld.com )

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Wii Outsells Xbox Three To One

:astig:Nintendo's Wii outsold the Xbox 360 by nearly three to one last month. While Microsoft managed to shift a fair few of the boxes it was just not enough to stop punters taking the Wii. According to research outfit NPD, Nintendo shipped 2.04 million Wii's in comparison to the Xbox's 836,000. Sony's PS3 shipped 378,000 units, better than a poke in the eye with a short stick, but jolly disappointing. A breathless Vole told us last week that sales of the Xbox had increased by 25 per cent in comparison to last year and it was pretty sure it had beaten the Paystation 3 by three to one. Its sales, it said were spurred by the recent release of hot-selling games like Gears Of War 2, Fable II, and Lips. The small matter of the fact it slashed its console by nearly a third and enabled it to start streaming HD movies might have helped a bit too.
( www.theinquirer.net )

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Sony PSP-4000 Releasing In 2009

:bringiton:

Hot on the heals of the recent PSP 3000 launch, Sony plans to refresh the PlayStation Portable yet again in 2009 with the planned release of (yep, you guessed it) the PSP-4000 model. The news comes courtesy of unnamed games publishing sources talking to Eurogamer.net, who suggest that Sony will follow the PSP-3000 next year with another 'iterative approach'. If so, this means that the recently rumoured PSP mark 2 might not be seen by gamers until 2010 at the very earliest.

( www.techradar.com )


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PlayStation Home Hacked



:ayokona:

Developers have found a way to exploit vulnerabilities within the software's code to allow them to customise their PlayStation Home experience beyond the options provided by Sony. PlayStation Home, a Second Life-like virtual world that providea PS3 users with a three-dimensional social gaming space in which to interact and communicate with other players, was launched on Dec 11. One hack uses a combination of the Apache web server and DNS re-direction to allow users of PlayStation Home to watch their own movies on display screens within the game, and change text and music to whatever they choose. A second hack enables players to download any file they want from PlayStation Home's servers, such as a fellow user's profile or avatar, the cartoon-like representation of themselves they create to appear in the virtual world. But the most worrying vulnerability found in the Home software is the security loophole that allows tech-savvy users to upload any file to the Home server, or delete any file from the Home server. It raises the spectre of malicious hackers spreading viruses and malware across the PlayStation Home platform, or even launching sustained attacks on the virtual world's servers to force it offline. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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Nintendo Sued Over 'Dangerous' Wii Controllers



:sobrakana:

The class-action lawsuit, filed by Molly Elvig, a mother from Littleton, Colarado in the United States, claims that the wrist strap attached to the controller is "ineffective". Mrs Elvig decided to file the $5 million (£3 million) claim after alleging that her 52in Samsung television was damaged by a Wii controller that flew out of her son's hand as he played a game of virtual bowling. It's not the first time Nintendo has been criticised for the safety of its Wii controllers. Since the launch of the Wii in 2006, Nintendo has released three different versions of the strap used to attach the controller -- which players gesticulate with while playing games -- to the gamer's wrist, following a spate of injuries and breakages. The first strap, which was little more than a cable hung around the wrist, was replaced by a second strap with a slider mechanism to tighten the loop more securely. The most recent strap features a 'lock' for the slider, to keep the tightened loop in place. In 2006, Nintendo and the US consumer safety product commission warned that the strap may break if "excessive force" was used. But according to the documents filed on behalf of Molly Elvig by her legal team, the "defective nature" of the Wii remote wrist strap was never disclosed by Nintendo. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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Nintendo Turns DS Into E-Book Contender



:ahaha:

After Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader, the latest entry to the electronic book market is surprising in that it isn't actually new – in fact, it's the Nintendo DS. Boxing Day will see the release of a £20 DS cartridge called 100 Classic Book Collection, which contains – you guessed it – 100 classic books. Working with publisher HarperCollins and developer Genius Sonority, Nintendo has developed an interface that allows readers to turn the electronic pages by brushing a finger or the stylus from right to left on the touchscreen while holding the DS vertically like a real book. The titles in the first release include Treasure Island, A Tale of Two Cities and Pride and Prejudice, while more offerings are due to be made available to download.

( www.techradar.com )


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Has The Xbox Killed The Desktop Gaming PC?

:siga:

The all-knowing man on the internet who loudly proclaims that it's game over for the PC doesn't, it transpires, know much at all. Not only is there this sad tendency to declare the PC the Latin of games platforms, but there's also a constant hunt for a smoking gun. Is it Microsoft abandoning it in favour of its own Xbox? Is it piracy? Is it complexity and cost? The key mistake is the confusion of 'change' with 'death'. It seems outlandish to accuse an industry that was worth $10.7billion in 2007 (according to a recent study by the vague-of-purpose PC Gaming Alliance) of being in anything less than rude health. Another report, from research firm John Peddie, suggests that the hardware market is in even better shape than the software market: "From Q3 2005 till Q3 2008, 196 million gaming PCs shipped, and 10 million of them were in the Mainstream Enthusiast class—and if we include mainstream desktop and high-end notebook, we could add another 187 million units—now that really is a lot." ( www.techradar.com )


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Nintendo Wii Still Tops The Gaming Charts

:astig:The Nintendo Wii has not yet lost its unprecedented popularity as it is yet again set to top the charts for most popular gaming console at Christmas time for the third year in a row. Despite claims that the gaming sector - although usually doing alright in poor economic times - is crashing, Nintendo Wii sales seem to be actually improving. The apparent reasons for the immense popularity of this console are not only its unique motion detecting technology and innovative game playing experience, but also its welcome from non-gamers. Whilst in previous years the Wii has been hard to find during the festive season as it has flown off the shelves from the month of November onwards, this year Nintendo has announced that it has increased production of the Wii by 50 percent over last year. The NPD Group reported yesterday that Nintendo sold 2 million Wiis last month, which is shocking since not only is this a non-December sales figure but also because the Wii was released way back in November 2006.
( www.theinquirer.net )

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Sony Quashes Recent Rumours About PSP2

:scream:

Sony has decided that the rumours concerning the possible release of a next-generation PSP console have gone too far, and has issued a flat out denial. Speaking to MCV, Sony Computers Entertainment Europe President David Reeves has confirmed that the company has no plans for such a device. The rumours emerged after the firm was said to have signed a deal with a memory chip manufacturer to use the hardware in the PSP2. "No, there are currently no plans for a PSP2. I go to Tokyo quite a lot and no one has referred to it – I think they have their hands full at the moment," he confirmed. "We just launched the PSP-3000 so we are still focused on this generation of the platform." ( www.techradar.com )


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World of Warcraft To Blame For College Dropouts Says FCC

:sobrakana:Do you want to know why your teenager is dropping out of college? According to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it apparently has nothing to do with the cruddy state of the job market, discouraging prospects for graduates and exorbitant university fees. Instead, World of WarCraft is to blame. Activision Blizzard's World of Warcraft has something of a rep for being addictive, with nerdy fans spending hours in rain, hail and snow just to buy a copy of the Lich King that they could very well have just ordered online. Even South Park managed to fill two whole episodes with the subject, when Guitar Hero only achieved one. But according to FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, the game is not just a fun distraction, but represents a dire threat to the education of an entire generation, and only she can undertake a quest singlehandedly to stop it. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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Meta Data: Xbox's New Clothes

:ahaha:With Sony's social networking platform, Home, set to launch in beta Thursday, Microsoft has displayed impeccable timing in reminding everyone that it already has a robust 14 million-member online community on its Xbox 360 console. It is no surprise that a cleaner, friendlier and better organized marketplace has spurred the sale of downloadable content. Greenberg says it's a sign that the NXE's new social features (avatars and a "party mode" that keeps players together as they move from game to game) appeal to mainstream consumers. On average, movie downloads increased by 49% and television show downloads increased by 30% the week after the launch of the NXE. The sale of Xbox Live Arcade games tripled. And sales of "UNO"--a game released in 2006 and recently retrofitted to include Xbox's new avatars--jumped by 650% the day after the NXE launch. ( www.forbes.com )

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Resident Evil: Degeneration Coming To Mobile



:bringiton:Pocket Gamer : "We've been watching the N-Gage development of Resident Evil: Degeneration very closely, including its exciting teaser trailers, and it's crossed our minds once or twice as to whether this game might also appear on the mobile platform. Our predictions were apparently correct, as Capcom just got in touch to tell us a mobile version of Resident Evil: Degeneration is indeed in the works." "Capcom Mobile is honoured to be bringing the next exciting chapter of the Resident Evil series to mobile phones everywhere," said Midori Yuasa, Capcom's president. "Mobile is the only place where fans can play Resident Evil: Degeneration and experience this thrilling story from a unique adrenaline-fuelled perspective."
( www.pocketgamer.co.uk )

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Sony: PS Home Launch Has Technical Problems



:ayokona:Posting over on the PlayStation Home forum, a Home community manager by the name TedTheDog has announced that the roll out of the Open Beta has run into technical problems.
( www.videogamer.com )

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Namco: Bringing Tekken To 360 Was A Matter Of Reaching Europe And The US

:bringiton:

Namco Tekken boss Katsuhiro Harada has told Kikizo that doing a 360 version of Tekken 6 was a matter of common sense: there are simply too many green consoles in the world market to ignore. Snip:

Kikizo: You remember close to the beginning of the series, a time when Tekken was very closely associated with PlayStation. Obviously it’s not just PlayStation now, so what would you say the sort of die-hard PlayStation fans who maybe feel ‘betrayed’?

Harada: Yes, we have developed it PlayStation 1, 2 and now 3, so it is true that we have really grown with the PlayStation brand - we have a lot of fond memories, and we worked very closely with Mr Kutaragi as well, so we had a really good relationship. We love the platform. But rather than some fans feeling disappointed, there are a lot of Xbox users out there at the moment, and a great deal of fans who only have an Xbox and really want to play Tekken, which is the number one in the fighting genre. And we just had so many fans that said “we really want to get our hands on it, but can’t.” So we wanted to answer those fans. And it’s also the timing at this point - at the moment we have two high spec consoles on the market at the same time; the Xbox has a huge installed base in Europe and America. So it was more about trying to answer the fans’ requests and having as many as possible be able to get the game - that was the objective there.

There’s loads more through there, Tekken fans. ( www.videogaming247.com )


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Full Game Downloads Coming To Xbox 360



:ha?:

Full videogame downloads may soon become a reality for Xbox 360 users, according to Fable creator Peter Molyneux. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Molyneux hinted at full game downloads, saying: "I think it would be a great thing for this studio to work on. I can't say anything else on it – I would be killed to death."

( www.techradar.com )


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EA And 2K Add PhysX

:astig:

NVidia has something to celebrate at last. Top game makers Electronic Arts and 2K Games have announced they will use Nvidia's PhysX technology. PhysX will appear in EA's Mirror's Edge, in which a courier has to outrun armed troops under the command of an oppressive government. Quite why a Postman Pat style game needs PhysX is not clear, particularly when his cat is black and white anyway. The game has come out on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles and will be released in January for PCs. Those who have seen the PhysX version say it shows improved image processing, in which shattering windows spray glass shards, banners flutter, fabric tears and bullets hit walls more realistically. We guess the post van looks better too. An Nvidia GeForce spokesman said that everything was fully destructible, and he was not just talking about chips for a change. ( www.theinquirer.net )


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PS3 Leads Consoles In User-Generated Content

:astig:

Sony PS3 owners can certainly boast about their console being better than Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360 in one area – that old Web 2.0 favourite, user-generated content (UGC). Sony's Michael Denny recently heralded the success of online titles on the PS3 such as LittleBigPlanet, Buzz and SingStar. Sony claims that LittleBigPlanet users have created nearly 180,000 levels to date, playing them over 22.4 million times online, while Buzz quiz fans have created over 100,000 quizzes for the game, played over seven million times. "I think if you look at Worldwide Studios heritage in Europe, we always - whether it's internally or externally - work on innovative new products," Denny told gamesindustry.biz. ( www.techradar.com )


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Korea Aims For World Video Games Domination

:astig:

The Korean government clearly hopes gaming is about to become a significant source of national income, as it has just announced a cash injection of 350 billion Won (£162 million) for the industry there. Korean culture minister Yu In-chon announced this week that the money will be used to fund 60 new gaming projects that he hopes will raise the domestic games profile above those of neighbours Japan and the US. ( www.techradar.com )


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Wii Begins To Speak

:hi:Nintendo launched today a new communications tool – Wii Speak which is an accessory to the Wii Speak Channel. This launch will aid Nintendo in creating a new social gaming experience. Also today comes the launch of new Wii game, Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City which will be one of the games which will highlight the full potential of Wii Speak – this comes bundled with the game. This new service will enable users to speak directly through their Wii console to other users using the free-to-use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The Wii Speak device can be placed either on top of the TV set or in the middle of the room – this means that you can converse will a whole room of people at once, should you wish to of course. Launching simultaneously with the Wii Speak application is the Wii Speak Channel which will act as a portal to allow up to four different locations to connect, chat and share images and texts anywhere in the world at no extra cost. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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Uncharted 2 Details Revealed



:ahaha:

The game will follow adventurer Nathan Drake as he re-traces the footsteps of 13th-century voyager Marco Polo. It will add free-climbing and stealth mode elements to the gameplay. A teaser trailer for the game, developed by Naughty Dog, shows a weary, battered Drake walking across a snowy wilderness to grab a jewelled dagger from the ice. Among Thieves is also reported to feature all-new locations and characters, and a strong narrative thread and story arc. The first game in the franchise was a surprise hit when it was released shortly before Christmas last year. More than two million copies of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune were sold worldwide according to VG Chartz, and the game's protagonist, Nathan Drake, was hailed as the new Lara Croft. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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Piracy: Nintendo's New DSi Already Hacked



:ayokona:

One major aspect of Nintendo's latest handheld refresh, the beauty that is the Nintendo DSi, was the attempt to crack down on software piracy. It seems that enterprising hackers have already destroyed Nintendo's best laid plans, having already cracked the new DSi with an R4DS-like device doing the rounds in Japan. ( www.techradar.com )


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Buy Your Own Sackboy



:ahaha:On the off chance you’re not already sick of LittleBigPlanet’s over-exposed Sackboys, boy, are you in for a merchandise-related treat. Officially-licensed replica Sackboys are now available for purchase from online retailer Play-Asia. They’re small (at either 4” or 10"), they’re ugly (what, no adorable slack-jawed grin?), they're guaranteed to not sing offending verses of the Quran and they go for either $9.90 (4") or $15.90 (10") each. Watch them sell out like *that*.
( kotaku.com )

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Valve Boss Lets Off Steam About DRM

:astig:President of valve software Gabe Newell has said that he thinks the DRM on computer games is "just dumb". In email correspondence with a fan, Newell wrote that "The goal should be to create greater value for customers through service value (make it easy for me to play my games whenever and wherever I want to), not by decreasing the value of a product (maybe I'll be able to play my game and maybe I won't)... We really, really discourage other developers and publishers from using the broken DRM offerings, and in general there is a groundswell to abandon those approaches." Recent PC games - including Spore, Bioshock and Mass Effect - have caused outrage among gamers for refusing to work across multiple machines, even when uninstalled.
( www.theinquirer.net )

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How to Fix GTA IV Crashes And Freezings On PC?

:ayokona:One of the most anticipated PC games of the year, Grand Theft Auto IV did not have a great start: except from the fact that those who opted for digital distribution had no pre-loading options, it appears that those who managed to install the game are constantly suffering from GTA IV crashes, freezings and other performance related issues. Is there a way to fix these problems? For the moment, Rockstar remain silent – it’s probably still early and they have to analyze the tons of reports regarding poor performance and lock-ups. However, one thing is clear: there are many people having problems and we only have one possible suggestion right now for trying to fix the game: try defragging your hard disk drive after installing GTA IV. It might be a long shot, but it’s worth trying, since a heavily defragged game (and with a 15GB install, Rockstar’s title can do that) can lead to crashes, freezings and other problems.
( www.unigamesity.com )

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Girls' Knickers Mark Difference Between Xbox And PS3

:ahaha:The main difference between Microsoft Xbox360 and the PS3 is nothing to do with technology. It is all down to girls' knickers. Obsessive hacks at kotaku.com did a side-by-side comparison of two versions of Soul Breed which is an RPG game that hit the PS3 last autumn which has now appeared on the Xbox 360. The monster-killing and baby-making RPG requires punters to capture the hearts of game heroines to 'create' a successor. When you manage this there is a movie which we guess implies that there's some adult action going on... and then the new successor is then revealed. Kotaku notes that the difference between the two versions comes down to knickers. For some reason the love interest in the Xbox360 version has a pair of slightly more sensible white silky pants, while the PS3 has something black and red which actually shows less in the buttock department. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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New Xbox Arcade With 256MB Memory

:ha?:

Gamers were mildly concerned last month that the Xbox Arcade model, with no internal memory, would not be able to run Microsoft's shiny new Xbox Live Experience. Microsoft originally hit on the idea of offering free memory cards, but even that seemed a bit of a clumsy workaround. Microsoft is now planning on releasing Xbox Arcade units with 256MB of internal memory.

( www.techradar.com )


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Gran Turismo 5 Dated For Christmas...09



:ahaha:

A Spanish Sony exec has gone on record to state that Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5 – arguably the PlayStation 3's most-wanted game – will be releasing at Christmas In 2009. Sony's chief executive in southern Europe, James Armstrong, told Spanish newspaper Il Finaciero: "For next year, the chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment for southern Europe said that they are developing a new game thriller, in which the player may be designing their own history, and the new version of Gran Turismo, which will arrive at Christmas." Will Freeman, over on Trade Mag MCV, thinks that, if true, the news suggests "a summer 2009 release in Japan, with the US and Europe seeing the game hit retail in the weeks leading up to the festive season in the same year." ( www.techradar.com )


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Xbox 360 Jasper Mobo Out In Wild



:woooh:Code-named 'Jasper', it comes with a 65nm GPU, which Microsoft hopes will further alleviate some of the infamous Xbox 360 RROD problems. Xbox-scene's forum members have once again come up with the scoop and low-down. Multiple Arcade Xbox 360 SKUs have been spotted with the new motherboard. The new power supply is now rated at 150W (25W less than those used with previous Falcon boards) and the plug format has changed so you can't accidentally poke this PSU into an older Xbox 360. It's reported the system is quieter than original 360s, but the DVD-drive is the same, meaning you'll have to install your games to a separate HDD if you want to get the most out of your quieter console. ( www.atomicmpc.com.au )

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