Japanese Retailer Lists PSP-4000

There was no announcement of any major changes to the PSP platform at E3 2010, which was a surprise to some. Still, a posting by Japanese retailer Geo indicates a new PSP model may be coming.

Geo puts Gran Turismo 5, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and an unannounced PSP-4000 model for a release in 2010. This could signify a redesign of the basic PSP hardware is coming, as has happened twice in the past.

Source: Siliconera

Google May Be Launching Facebook Competitor

Given Facebook’s massive base of hundreds of millions of users worldwide, it would take an investment by a massive web company to rival that. It may come soon, if a tweet by the founder of Digg.com Kevin Rose, is any indication.

“Huge rumor: Google to launch Facebook competitor very soon ‘Google Me,’ very credible source,” wrote Kevin Rose.

Between Google Profiles, Buzz and Latitudes, the company has already put together the ground work for personal pages, status updates and location sharing. “Latitude has 3 million users reportedly (per Google), but Buzz may be all but dead,” said Greg Sterling, contributing editor to Search Engine Land. “[But] a merger of Latitude and Buzz would be interesting and potentially useful.

This is in addition to online communication and collaboration tool Google Wave, but none of the above mentioned features have the mindshare of Facebook. “Google Buzz has not made the mark Google hoped it would,” said PCMag.com editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff. “And Wave is exciting, but still far too esoteric for most people. In other words, Google has yet to get it right on the social-interaction side. I expect it will keep trying — because it can — until it does.”

“What Google and everyone else has to remember is that Facebook was not an overnight success,” said Ulanoff.  “It took years to get here and it s still on the rise. I doubt Google Buzz will ever challenge Facebook.”

“You know, I’m not sure that Google should try to take on Facebook,” Harry McCracken, the founder of tech site Technologizer.com. “The fact that Buzz got off to such a rocky start shows that people don’t necessarily want their relationship with Google to be a foundation for social networking.”

“So far, Google’s failed to have a hit in the social-networking space, swinging and largely missing with both Orkut and Buzz,” noted Search Engine Land’s editor in chief Danny Sullivan. “It’s unclear whether a third, new service (or a renamed Buzz) will do that much better.”

Source: FoxNews

Sony Looking For More PS2 HD Conversions

The God of War Collection sold very well for a remake, and Sony has already announced the The Sly Collection, bundling the PS2 Sly Cooper trilogy together. Indeed, Sony is looking into converting more of their PS2 titles on to the PS3.

“Santa Monica Studios had the brilliant idea to upgrade and improve God of War for PS3 with the God of War Collection that we released last year,” SCE’s President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said. “There were a lot of positive reactions from consumers in doing that, and now we get a lot of suggestions for types of packs they’d like to see.”

“So we are looking to continue to do these HD conversions,” he added.

Source: IGN

Heroes Of Dotnia Auditions

Oh 3D Dot Game Heroes, your tongue-in-cheek humor is translating to the promotional material. Witness these “interviews” with presumptive heroes of Dotnia.

{video link no longer active}

Predators On the Hunt

Just like the Aliens franchise is seeing a new movie entry without the Predators, now the Predators are getting a movie without Aliens. The aptly named Predators movie has some decent star power behind it and what looks like some cheap and quick fun.

{video link no longer active}

Move, Kinect Running Even With Gamers So Far

Both Sony and Microsoft have been beating their chests quite a bit about their motion controllers, Move and Kinect, respectively. However, EEDAR have examined GameTrailers Stream Stats and IGN GamerMetrics and not noticed either taking a huge lead.

“Whilst the Kinect had more absolute interest among IGN viewers, on a relative basis (by weighting the install bases of both hardware consoles – the Xbox 360 having a larger base) both Move and Kinect showed near equal popularity,” said EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich.

Purchase intent for both Move and Kinect are low right now. Still, games that appeal to core gamers are few and far between for both controllers and Kinect doesn’t have an official price.

Apple Talks iPhone 4 Reception Issues

While the release of the iPhone 4 appears to be a hit, there are certain issues that seem to have come up, like the reception of the new frame. Apple, for its part, is not overly concerned by the issues.

“All phones have sensitive areas,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs to Ars Technica. “Just avoid holding it in this way.”

The edges of the handset are designed to enhance the signal, though holding the lower left corner is said to reduce reception. Moving one’s hands or using rubber bumper frames (sold seperately) solves the issue.

Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas,” said Apple in an official statement. “This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. Avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.”

Source: AFP {link no longer active}

Capcom’s Inafune On Western Development

Keiji Inafune is a legend in the Japanese gaming industry, having worked on franchises like Mega Man and Onimusha at Capcom. He’s also well aware of the situation of the Japanese gaming industry, which is reinforced every time he comes out to E3.

“Every year that I come to E3, year in and year out, the one thing I’ve noticed is that it seems like the Japanese game developer share seems to be getting smaller and smaller,” said Inafune. “If you look at the major titles, they’re now primarily Western. If you look at all the different signs and all the billboards, most of those are Western titles. A lot of the key announcements are also Western titles. I think to myself sometimes, if we keep on this course, the Japanese gaming market will disappear totally. That is one of the valid concerns that I have, which is why as a Japanese publisher, as Capcom, we really want to fight the good fight, and try and make our games work within this more primarily Western market.”

“So, of course, we can’t just rely on our own skill, our own Japanese developer skill and know-how, to steer us through this dark time,” Inafune continued. “It’s going to have to come through collaborative efforts and co-operation. It’s our U.S. staff, our European staff, working closely with them. Of course we are working with a lot of different Western developers as well. It’s being able to share their knowledge and information, to collaborate with them on a very in-depth level, that’s going to allow us to grow as a company and to be able to understand how the market is changing in the West, and allow us to be competitive in those markets. That’s going to be essential for us.”

“While Western developed titles like Dark Void and Bionic Commando haven’t turned out the way Capcom would have liked,” Inafune asserts that Dead Rising 2 will be different.

“With Dead Rising 2, right now, we have finally reached it. We have learned what areas work, what areas don’t work, and that has helped us to create Dead Rising 2, which looks very much like the first one, feels like it’s got that Capcom essence to it, yet there are a lot of ideas and concepts in that game that a Japanese development staff would not have come up with. So it does take the best of the West and the best of Japanese game aesthetic design,” said Inafune. “Now that we have that knowledge, we can use that in future Western titles going forward. It’s not an easy process. It took some growing pains, but we finally got there.”

“The other thing that’s changed is that come this last April, I became the global head of all R&D throughout the world for Capcom. Now I’m able to give them sound advice to all the development teams, as well as synch them up so that we all are collaborating and we’re not separate companies just because we’re on different sides of the globe. I think that’s helping a lot, too,” he added.

Source: VideoGamer.com