Sony has released the 2.30 firmware update for the Playstation 3, giving a major overhaul to the Playstation Store digital download platform. Sony has not updated the store with new content for two weeks while it worked on the update. Today's upgrade also adds DTS-HD Master Audio support for Blu-ray Discs.
A new version of Nintendo's blockbuster DS handheld could well be revealed at this year's annual Electronic Entertainment Expo. According to video game company Enterbrain, a new DS model may be on the way with added functionality, but it is unclear if it would be an official successor to the Nintendo platform.
A mysterious Playstation 3 error has reporedly caused problems for some users during faulty firmware installations, but Sony has said it isn't "aware of this issue." The error could potentially cause fatal problems with the PS3 and corrupt the hard drive, according to media reports.
Nintendo announced this week that it is working on a new Mario game for the Wii, this time pitting him in a baseball diamond with a whole slate of other Nintendo characters. Mario Super Sluggers will be the latest in Mario's growing library of sports games, which includes Mario Kart, Mario Strikers and Mario Golf.
The Playstation 3's firmware update slated for next week is anticipated because of its makeover to the online Playstation Store platform, but another big update will also be included with the ability to have high-end audio output for Blu-ray Discs. With the new firmware, the PS3 will finally support DTS-HD Master Audio, which is considered just about the best audio technology available for video playback.
Ubisoft's exclusive acquisition of Tom Clancy material for video games for the forseeable future has been completed. Marked as one of the publisher's biggest deals, it ensures that Ubisoft's line of Tom Clancy games will continue for years to come. The contract was finalized by Los Angeles-based Greenberg Glusker, a law firm with specialized experience in dealing with large financial deals in the interactive entertainment industry.
Sony Computer Entertainment has announced the latest slate of Playstation 2 and PSP games that will no longer have support for online connectivity. In total, 14 titles published by Sony will have their online operations shut down by the end of June, including a couple that were made exclusively for online play.
In a surprising move, Microsoft has released a new firmware update for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, which will automatically download the next time users watch an HD DVD movie. The new update includes "compatibility improvements" for specific HD DVD titles as well as "additional support for network features," according to a post by Xbox Live's Larry Hryb in his official blog.
Sony has released details for the next firmware update to its handheld PSP system, bringing more functionality to the Playstation 3 "remote play" feature and also more customization for playback of Playstation 1 games. According to a post on the official Playstation blog, PSP firmware 3.95 will include the ability to customize the button mapping for playing PSone games purchased from the digital download Playstation Store.
Turning the typical argument on its head, a new study has found that playing violent video games makes people more relaxed instead of increasing their aggression levels. The study looked at 292 World of Warcraft players from the ages of 12 and 83, and concluded that they were more likely to feel calm after enduring some intense action with the online game than have increased anger or aggression.
Last week was a blockbuster week for the PSP in Japan, as it sold more units than the Nintendo DS, Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 combined. During the week ending March 30, a total of 129,986 PSP units were sold, according to market researcher Media Create. That was a huge jump from the previous week, when PSP sales were just under 60,000 units.
Nintendo has set aside $40 million for the marketing and launch campaign for Wii Fit, a unique video game that aims to bring physical fitness to Nintendo's home console. In Japan, where Wii Fit was launched late last year, it has become one of the fastest-selling Wii titles to date. It has gained worldwide attention and is one of the most anticipated US Wii titles of 2008.
In 2006, a teenage girl was nearly killed when her home was set on fire, which was later blamed on faulty wiring in the family's Xbox. Now the main lawyer in the case is offering Microsoft an ultimatum - agree to a settlement of $25 million or he will have Bill Gates testify on whether or not Microsoft was aware of the problems in advance.
Sales of the Playstaion 3 were up 73% during Easter week and the Xbox 360 shot up 78%. It's been a close race between the two contenders all year, and according to industry tracking ChartTrack they're in a virtual deadlock for 2008. During the same time, Wii sales went up 37%, the DS climbed 32% and Sony's handheld PSP system saw a 10% boost.
Rockstar announced today that it plans to launch a new website called "Social Club" that will allow users to connect and share content in an environment centered around the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV. Social Club will later be expanded to include communities for other Rockstar games, but the initial features will be things like a dynamic map that shows where all registered users are, online leaderboards, and a GTA IV hall of fame.