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Haze weaponry revealed, detailed, explained

Free Radical have recently updated their blog over on IGN, deciding to enlighten us to some of the weapons available in the upcoming, hotly-anticipated shooter Haze. Since there's a lot to say about each weapon, we're going to give you the shorthand version here and leave it up to you to research further.
  • Diplomat pistol -- standard Mantel weaponry, seems most useful in short-range situations.
  • Blacksaw assault rifle -- depleted uranium are the bullets, pain is the result. Also available: silenced version.
  • Donkey Puncher shotgun -- " ... this high-end shotgun is more than enough to kick any ass presented to you." Enough said.
  • Hard Candy rocket launcher -- apparently makes Sloppy Joes out of the enemy.
  • Pinpointer sniper rifle -- it's a sniper rifle. Need we say more?
  • Heavy Gun -- uh, we're not sure, but it sounds extremely useful. Seems to be a stationary weapon of mass destruction.
  • Razor Tongue knife -- standard Promise Hand melee weapon. You can smear it with Nectar, which causes Mantel soldiers to overdose on Nectar if you slice 'em. Nice way to make a knife useful without being ridiculously overpowered (Warhawk).
  • Lobo -- the assault rifle of choice for Promise Hand soldiers.
  • Oso -- shotgun! Notice the trend of Spanish names for Promise Hand weaponry.
  • Mano del Dios -- the "Hand of God" is essentially a minigun you really don't want to see from the wrong end.
  • Dragon de la Gente -- take a guess! It's a flamethrower for the people, by the people.
There are more sniper rifles and grenades to be had, but we think you get the point. All of these weapons are, admittedly, standard FPS necessities, but we can't believe this is all there will be offered. Maybe it is. But if not, we're sure there will be quite a few interesting ways to lace Nectar into more weaponry. We're excited for this one to come out, so we'll wait for November with bated breath.

Japan's 40GB releases with Dynasty Warrior 6 bundle

Believe it or not, Japanese gamers swoon over the thought of getting to hack their way through crowds of hundreds of brain-dead soldiers. Almost all of Koei's games are hits in Japan, which is why the announcement of the 40GB launch date should make more sense to us when you consider its release alongside Dynasty Warriors 6 -- November 11. Yep, the new 40GB white PS3 is getting bundled with DW6 and a white controller, along with a plethora of extras, for just under 50,000 yen.

The extras included in this pack are numerous, going from nine metallic tags featuring some of the most popular officers, to giant stickers, to a book featuring images of the characters and maps. While these are fine and dandy for the Japanese crowd, it is interesting to note that Koei is releasing the game on the 360 at the same time. It should be pleasing to see which console garners the most attention from this title's release in Japan, especially if the PS3 starts selling at its new, lower price point in droves.

40GB to be released in Saudi Arabia


It seems the 40GB PlayStation 3 is slowly taking over the world, one country at a time. Now that it's headed to every major region, Sony has announced its new system bundled with the Spider-man 3 Blu-ray will soon be released in Saudi Arabia for SR 1,799.

"The introduction of the new PS3 has been the result of extensive research into the entertainment needs and preferences of the next generation of PS3 owners," said Abdul Kader, marketing manager at MECL. "It has allowed us to deliver an extremely advanced, yet incredibly affordable high definition gaming and entertainment system, configured to the needs of the next generation of European PS3 owners."

Although we weren't aware Saudi Arabians were big on gaming, it's great to see Sony spreading the 40GB love throughout the world.

PS3 loses Monster Hunter 3 to Wii

One of Nintendo's many bombshells last night had to be the announcement of Monster Hunter 3 for the Wii platform. However, it was unclear at the time whether or not the previously announced PS3 version would be affected.

According to Forbes, it appears that Capcom is abandoning the PS3 version altogether, making Wii the only platform for Monster Hunter 3. "Due to high development cost of titles for PS3, we have decided to switch the platform to which we release our Monster Hunter 3 title," Capcom managing corporate officer Katsuhiko Ichii said. This statement comes just weeks after Capcom pledged increase support for Sony's next generation platform.

While the Monster Hunter franchise has a relatively small following in the States, it is a powerhouse franchise in Japan. The last iteration of the franchise, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd, sold over a million copies when it launched on PSP.

[Via Next-Gen]

Church of England doesn't like Resistance's BAFTA award


Okay, this is just getting plain ridiculous. The Church of England, after initially threatening legal action against Sony if it didn't pull Resistance: Fall of Man from store shelves, is now complaining about the game's recent nomination for an award at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

You might remember that Insomniac spun the church into a tizzy when it included the
Manchester Cathedral as a playable level in Resistance. Why is this such a big deal? We really don't know, but The Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Rev Rogers Govender said they were disgusted "at the virtual desecration of Manchester Cathedral."

Of course, the church wants Resistance pulled as a nominee for the PC World Gamers' Award and has said the bad publicity has actually helped the game's sales. That's funny, because when you think about it, who's ultimately responsible for the game's bad press, and according to Govender, the game's increased sales?

TimeSplitters 4 makes monkey outta Halo, sans poo-flinging


Free Radical made some games in the past that were both humorous and enjoyable. These games came to be known as the TimeSplitters franchise. We do like the parody video announcing the title on IGN. Seems like the game is coming back for a fourth installment on the latest consoles and we welcome them back.

The Free Radical website announces the game thus: " ... We can't tell you the details yet, the monkeys have a loaded banana pressed against our skull, but this game will take the first person shooter to gaming nirvana. Save the world or die laughing, Timesplitters 4 is coming to getcha!" We can't wait to see what sort of juicy, informative fruit is hidden behind that skin. Let us peel away at this banana of mystery in due time -- that is, we'll let you know more on TimeSplitters 4 as we get information!

[via IGN]

Rumour: EU PSN updates roadmapped for the next month

If Videogamesblogger.com are to be believed, the upcoming month could be looking pretty shiny for the European PSN store. Apparently SCEE have revealed a list of full titles that will be released on the EU PlayStation Network store. The full list is as follows:

October 11th
  • Ratchet and Clank demo
October 18th
  • Feel Ski full game
  • Pixel Junk Racers full game
  • Blast Factor: Advanced Research add on
  • Folklore "Kidnapped Folk" add on
October 25th
  • EyeCreate full application
  • Trials of Topoq full game
  • Operation: Creature Feature full game
  • Aqua Vita full game
  • Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection online add on
November 8th
  • Toy Home full game
PS1 games due out during October
  • Crash Bandicoot 2
  • Crash Bandicoot 3
  • Everybody's Golf 2
  • Crash Team Racing
  • Bust a Groove
  • Syphon Filter 3
  • Cool Boaders
  • Spyro 2
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon
If this list is correct, then we're in for a great month. We know that the Ratchet and Clank demo is due out this Thursday in America, but there is no word on whether we can expect it in the European territories as well. As for the games being released on October the 25th - this corresponds with the release of Eye of Judgment and, therefore, the PlayStation Eye which is required to play all of the games listed under that date.

Presumably there will be more demos available within the next four weeks than just Ratchet and Clank. Having said that when it comes to Sony you never know. We'll let you know more as soon as we find out ourselves.

SingStar goes into "further testing" limbo

November 13th was the release date for SingStar. Not anymore! In fact, forget about release dates for a while, especially in regards to SingStar. The PS3 version supposedly needs further testing and as a result, a release date has been removed from the title. As discussed in our upcoming podcast, we believe the SingStore is at fault -- that, and the planned Home integration.

Sony said they want to make the PlayStation Network experience "as rich, simple and accessible a SingStar experience as possible." With that idea, it's implied that the problem does lie with the SingStore as well as licensing issues with music. We'll report more on the delay and let you know when a release date is given as soon as we're given the information. Until then, just slap on a CD and sing in the mirror.

[Via Joystiq]

Fatal Intertia definitely coming to PS3 in 2008

Remember Fatal Intertia? The once PS3-exclusive that went feral, lost its PS3 release date and became a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360? Well apparently it's definitely still in production for the PS3. Koei have revealed that the game will finally be released sometime in 2008. As far as release dates go, that's pretty broad. The PS3 version will also utilise SIXAXIS controls.

While it is nice to know that development is still going ahead, we're more looking forward to Wipeout HD than Fatal Inertia. With a release date as vague as "2008", we're not going to hold our breath. If you're excited about the game, however, then rest safe in the knowledge that you'll be playing it soon. Well - within the next year at least.

Hitachi working on 100GB Blu-ray discs

Just when you thought 50GB of data storage was enough, Hitachi has to waltz in and offer double that amount with a new prototype four layer Blu-ray disc. Normally, you'd need a different optical head to read from a disc of this type, but that doesn't seem to be the case with this one. That is, if need be, Hitachi says it will play in regular Blu-ray drives that exist now (which includes our lovely PS3).

Well, there is a catch. All Blu-ray players would have to have their optical heads tweaked a little bit, but it's something that can be worked out in a firmware update. No word on a release for the discs, but as soon as they finish stabilizing the signal quality, we'll hear an announcement of some kind.

[Thanks, Gunegune!]

Japan gets 40GB, price drop, white PS3


Japan always have it slightly better, right? First the FFVII Crisis Core PSP, then the early DualShock 3 release and now Japan is getting the 40GB and a price drop on the 20GB (they still make those?) and 60GB models. So what's new? Europe is getting the same thing, right? Wrong - Japan is getting a new PS3 colour for the 40GB model as well as matching Dualshock 3 controllers. The new 40GB PS3s and controllers (all in Clear Black and Ceramic White) will be available on November 11th, about a month after the European release, and will sell for 39,980 yen (around 340 dollars or 240 euros). The Dualshock 3s will not be bundled with the console but will be available for 5,500 yen each (about 33 euros or 47 dollars).

In addition to this, effective October 17th the 20GB and 60GB models will be dropping price to 44,980 yen (about 384 dollars or 273 euros) and 54,980 yen (about 334 euros or 469 dollars) respectively. They will also be eligible for a free copy of Spider-Man 3 on Blu Ray for the first 200,000 purchasers, as will the 40GB once it is released. With price drops of about 5,000 yen across the board, and the inclusion of a new budget system, Sony really seem to be pushing forward through this holiday season.

If you're disappointed about not getting rumble until next year, or you just want a white controller, then don't fret. Most of this year's new games will have rumble out of the box so feel free to import the controllers from Japan.

Metal Gear Solid 4 to appear at E for All


E for All increasingly seemed like a joke. Microsoft and Sony, in addition to a number of other high-profile third party publishers have opted out of attending this new consumer game show. However, Konami will be attending the show and one of the games they have scheduled to appear is Metal Gear Solid 4. How it will be shown is still unclear. It could be on video, or it could be playable. If a playable MGS4 is present at the games show, it might almost be worth attending the show. Almost.

40GB PS3 missing key components for PS2 emulation


Many people assumed that the PS3 was software emulating PS2 games, ever since the release of the 80GB model. That system removed the Emotion Engine from the hardware, and required Sony to implement a backwards compatibility solution that involved emulation. Many, including Joystiq, wondered why the new 40GB model couldn't do the same.

SCEE's Nick Sharples sent a technical explanation as to why the new 40GB model loses support for PS2 games. "Backwards compatibility for PS2 titles is largely made possible through the use of actual semiconductors, supported by the PS3 system software. The 20GB and 60GB PS3 models launched in Japan and the USA were equipped with both the PS2 Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesiser chips and we could therefore guarantee over 90% backwards compatibility for PS2 titles.

"The 60GB model launched in Europe was a new model (shared with the 80GB model launched subsequently in USA) which contains only a modified version of the Graphics Synthesiser chip from the PS2 and not the Emotion Engine chip. The European launch model therefore used a combination of software and the modified version of the PS2 Graphics Synthesiser chip to deliver backwards compatibility for PS2 titles. As a result the percentage of backwards compatible PS2 titles was slightly reduced.

"The 40GB model, to be launched in Europe on 10th October, is a new model and is not equipped with any of the semi conductors from the PS2, and backwards compatibility would therefore have to be achieved by software emulation alone." Because each game would have to be individually emulated (much like on the Xbox 360), Sony decided that an effort like that would be much too costly, and opted to remove BC support from the 40GB system entirely. That decision has not only produced a cheaper system for Sony to manufacture, but for consumers to buy as well.

SCEE knows early PS3 adopters may feel cheated

If you feel cheated for buying the PS3 upon its release, Sony UK's managing director, Ray Maguire, understands how you feel. He told GI.biz that it's natural to feel slighted, and "the difference between our industry and many other industries is that if you're selling cars or houses the price goes up steadily. Consumer electronics only goes one way and that's downwards."

Maguire denies that Sony is making buying the PS3 confusing with different options, pricing, and bundles. "As products evolve the offerings change because they have to adapt to the needs of the consumers but I don't think it's been particularly confusing in six months to go from stand alone, to a bundled proposition into a low price entry level model ... We also have to remember that consumers don't search around the world for different configurations. We are a global company but we have to act locally as well."

40GB PS3 headed Down Under

After finally taking the wraps of its new 40GB PS3, Sony has now confirmed its new system will also be headed to Australia beginning Oct. 11 for A$699.95.

While we're sure this news will overjoy Australians who've been impatiently awaiting a more affordable PS3, there's still no word yet whether they will also see the lower-priced 60GB PS3 bundle like their friends in the UK. Either way, it seems Sony has taken care of the largest regions at this point, and it will be interesting to see what other markets are next in line.

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