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PlayStation Portable

The Features and Functions of the PlayStation NGP

The announcement event for Sony's new hand-held console, the NGP, also unveiled some of the early software for the device that'll keep us clicking, tapping and playing our way through the holiday of 2011. 

The Games

At today’s unveiling, Sony demonstrated just a few actual NGP games. Recognizable franchises heading for the new platform include LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, Killzone, Resistance, Hot Shots Golf and WipEout. New titles include Little Deviants, Broken, Reality Fighters and Gravity Daze. Little was actually shown of these titles, however, although word of a super-secret Uncharted demo had gamers excited with the promies of near-PS3 visuals and a touchpad-slash-gyro-controlled Nathan Drake!

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Meet the NGP: Tech, Specs and More

Our man-on-the-scene at Sony's press event for the unveiling of the NGP -- the codename for whatever the PSP's successor will eventually be called -- had a chance to chime in with the exact specs of the new device. Sleek, refined and loaded with tech, the NGP is no doubt looking to provide a quasi-PS3 experience directly in the palm of your hand.

Screen & Controls

The most striking feature of the NGP is its large 16:9, five-inch OLED touch screen display. It’s noticably larger than the iPhone’s 3.5” screen and features a resolution of 960x544. The back of the device contains a touch pad which can be used in conjunction with the screen’s touch capabilities for a unique  control experience. 

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Sony Announces the PlayStation NGP

The very first details about the release of the PSP follow-up, the PlayStation NGP, have traveled half-way around the world from Tokyo, straight into your brain. After weeks and months of speculation, Sony announced to a group of eager gamers that the PSPs successor, the NGP (short for "Next Generation Portable") will appear on store shelves during the holiday season of 2011.

Features will include...

  • 5-inch OLED sceen
  • Front and rear touchpads and cameras
  • GPS functionality
  • 3G speed
  • Raised dual analog sticks
  • SixAxis controls
  • Plays NGM (or "New Game Media")

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Hans Smith

Prepare your heart-strings. They are about to be tugged. Dig this story: Hans Smith, a 25-year-old uber baseball fan, has never actually played the game. He has cerebral palsy, so Smith plays a lot of video game baseball instead.

Smith wrote a letter to Sony, creators of The Show series of games, and the company was so impressed with his passion that they included Smith as a playable character in MLB 10: The Show. With MLB 11: The Show, the company has gone even further, and created an entirely new mode for the disabled. One-button mode allows you to play the game with, you guessed it, a single button, allowing just about anyone to experience the joy of playing virtual baseball. The mode is titled after a new organization Smith has created, the Association for Disabled Virtual Athletes, which is also featured in the game.

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EA Confirms Dead Space 2 Multiplayer

This Week's New Releases -- LittleBigPlanet 2, Mass Effect 2 For PS3

Dead Space 2

Two Worlds 2

This Week's New Releases -- LittleBigPlanet 2, Mass Effect 2 For PS3

Breach

Dead Space 2

Two Worlds 2

Click through to see more new releases for Wii, DS, PSP, and PC.

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Console Check-in

Research firm NPD Group reports video game hardware sales generated $6.29 billion in 2010, down 13 percent compared to 2009. Console sales for December came in $1.84 billion, down 16 percent over the previous year as well. Despite the declines, Microsoft and Nintendo both set company and industry sales records for the year.

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THQ Reveals New Company Logo

THQ officially revealed its newly revamped company logo today during a press event in New York City. The new logo has been designed to reflect THQ’s “new strategic and creative vision with an enhanced visual identity.”

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CES 2011: The Video Games of the Sony Booth - Killzone and and MBL 11: The Show Dominate

Sony's massive booth at CES was dominated by their 3D offerings, while a gigantic screen blared 3D images and trailers, and ladies walked around handing out glasses, cigarette girl style. Even the games were all presented in 3D, although Sony's PlayStation area was fairly modest. They had Killzone 3, inFamous 2, MLB 11: The Show, LittleBigPlanet 2, and a couple of PlayStation Network titles. What they didn't have? The PlayStation Portable or the PlayStation Phone. Plus, the inFamous 2 demo was the same one we'd played last year, although it was extremely buggy and kept dropping frames or chugging through busy scenes. We'll chalk it up to a busy unit of a bad build, but ouch ... it looked bad.

What did look good was MLB 11: The Show, which now has built-in Move and 3D support. 3D Support is throughout the game, but Move only works with Home Run Derby. At first I thought this would feel gimmick, but after finally nailing a few homers into the stands (428 feet, thank you very much), it's something I wish carried over into the full game. It will read left or right-handed batters and puts a bat onscreen held by an invisible batter that you can waggle back and forth. Pointing towards the outfield to call your shot is optional. It takes a few tries to nail the swing mechanic, but once you do it feels natural (and is a workout) and lots of fun. Sony is hoping to bring more Move integration to the next iteration of the title.

And then, we played Killzone 3 in 3D, and with the gun peripheral. Did it rock our world? Read on to find out.

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The PlayStation Phone still doesn't officially exist but YouTube videos have appeared showing the device playing PlayStation 1 games. The video shows a phone similar in appearance to the PlayStation Go playing Rage Racer and Resident Evil 2  or as its known in Japan, Biohazard 2.

The rumored phone is called the Xperia Play. The phone shows a title menu that reads ROM Buddy, most likely an emulator the games are running off of. Sony president Kaz Hirai made no mention of the PlayStation Phone during the company's CES keynote last week, even though media leaks continue to trickle out and seemingly confirm the device's existence.




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E3 2010: DC Universe Online Hands-On Preview

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What Sony Didn't Announce at CES 2011 ... and What We Wish They Had

Sony left us gamers a bit out in the cold at the CES 2011 Keynote, hyping their new 3D products but skimping on any game details. They mentioned Killzone 3 and Gran Turismo 5, and showed us the "already seen round the world" trailer for Uncharted 3, but other than a passing mention at a "Play Memories" photo app that can handle 3D photos and a Music Unlimited feature coming to Qriocity on the PlayStation, there was no gaming information at all. Heck, they didn't even tease Little Big Planet 2 or DC Universe Online, both of which come out this month.

While the show hasn't even started yet, and this was really a platform for product launching, we're surprised that there wasn't any more hype for Sony's "It Does Everything" machine. With the Move just released recently, we thought we heard more about that, for sure, and where was the rumored/leaked PlayStation Phone or the PSP 2 that we keep hearing rumblings about? At any rate, a terrifically gamer-centric Sony Keynote unfolded in the fantasy realm of our heads using pure 3D and Sony's own "Make. Believe." slogan. Read on to find out what we wish Sony would have announced at CES 2011.

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CES 2011: The Sony Keynote

Sony wailed rock music at the audience, most likely in an effort to whip them into a fever pitch with their CES Keynote kicking off the evening before the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show got underway. Sony's booth, located in the Las Vegas Convention Center's Central Hall tends to dwarf other nearby exhibitors, and they had everything ranging from 3DTVs to cameras to the PlayStation 3 to the shot-up Black Beauty car from their upcoming reboot of The Green Hornet

But did they drop any video game news? Read on to find out.

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Red Dead Redemption

Game rental service GameFly has revealed the top 10 most requested titles across all major platforms for 2010. As you’d expect, megahits such as Red Dead Redemption and Call of Duty: Black Ops made the list, but there were a few surprises, like God of War III being the only console-exclusive to make the cross platform list and the absence of Gran Turismo 5 from the PlayStation 3 top 10.

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EA Planning Big Server Shut Down

As is customary from time to time, Electronic Arts will begin shutting down another wide selection of game servers over the coming weeks. EA killed the The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth servers last week, and The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 will get the axe on January 11. Both shutdowns were the result of EA losing its licensing deal with Middle-earth Enterprises. The rest of the games losing their online functionality range from old EA Sports titles like FIFA Soccer 07 to the not so old like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09.

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