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Rethinking Open World Games

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The post-E3 news has been all about the new consoles, the Xbox One controversy, DRM, just what the heck Nintendo execs are smoking, and, of course, how painful the wait is going to be. Most of the big news came from differences: how each company plans to distinguish itself from the others and make their product the one you want to drop big bucks on day one. If there’s one thing they could all agree on, though, it is this:

Open worlds are totally sweet.

Seriously. A HUGE chunk of what was announced or shown off at the expo is planned to be “open world” — to the point that I’m not totally sure what it even means anymore. See if I figure it out after the break.

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Sleeping Dogs Coming to PlayStation Plus This Month

Great news fight fans, Sleeping Dogs, one of our favourite games of 2012 is finally coming as a free download to PlayStation Plus subscribers this month. Usually Sleeping Dogs costs about $59.99 at retail and on digital download on PSN but if you’re one of the increasing number of PS Plus subscribers, you’ll be able to download the game (along with 11+ titles) free of charge.

Developed at Vancouver’s United Front Games, Sleeping Dogs casts you as as Wei Shen, a badass undercover cop straddling the line between loyalty to his criminal family and to the badge. You’ll be traversing a fully-realized and open city of Hong Kong, playing through a mature, well-written storyline, and fight using brutal hand-to-hand techniques.

More on Sleeping Dogs after the break. Read the rest of this entry

PS Vita Marketing And Pricing Strategies Need To Change

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Myself and about 2.7 million people own and love the PS Vita. I think it’s a powerful piece of technology that’s held back by limited marketing campaigns and expensive games. Sony knows the issues that gamers have with the system (as the company keeps recognizing and mentioning these issues), but still insists on staying the course. Granted there’s a lot of business know-how that factor into these decisions (including answering to shareholders); but Sony really needs to make some changes to their marketing and pricing strategies in order to remain competitive.

In this piece I’ll be discussing issues that have kept the handheld from success, and what Sony can do to address them. Read the rest of this entry

Final Fantasy X HD Still Coming to PS Vita (With Screenshots)

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Earlier tonight Sony showed a number of gamplay screens of Final Fantasy X HD for the PS Vita at their Sony Heaven press event in Japan. Although Sony didn’t give details on the game’s launch date, they did show images proving that the PS2 classic Final Fantasy X will be remastered in high-definition and is still coming to the PS Vita.

Find out more about Final Fantasy X in HD for the PS Vita (with more screenshots) after the break. Read the rest of this entry

PS Vita To Get A Price Cut – In Japan

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Earlier tonight,Hiroshi Kawano, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan announced that the PS Vita will get a price cut in Japan starting at end of this month. From February 28, 2013 on, Japanese PS Vita prices will drop from 25,000 Yen to 19,980 Yen (Wi-Fi model). The price drop will apply for the 3G model as well.

In addition to the price cut, all PS Vita units sold from then on will include a 7-day trial to PlayStation Plus and a free download for the Torne TV service in Japan. If that wasn’t enough, Sony announced that Uncharted, Ridge Racer, and four other titles will be added to the PlayStation Plus Game collection this month.

Keep in mind that the announcement is only for Japanese PS Vita. However, given Sony’s big reveal and announcement plans on Wednesday, February 20, there’s a big chance that this price cut will also apply to North American and European markets.

Stay tuned to JTM for more news on PlayStation announcements.

(Source: EuroGamer)

PS Vita Firmware 2.0 Bringing PlayStation Plus to the Handheld

The next time you turn on your PS Vita and try to connect to the PSN, you’ll be prompted to download firmware 2.0 update which not only adds PlayStation Plus, it also improves on the web browser, adds new functions to the content manager, adds a few security patches, and introduces a new email app to Sony’s handheld. Firmware update 2.0 is the Vita’s biggest operating system update so far.

Hit the jump for more details about PS Vita’s 2.0 firmware update. Read the rest of this entry

Rumor: PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale Characters, Levels, Modes Leaked Online

PASBR Rumors and leaks abound!

According to the forums at NeoGAF and GameFAQs, information on PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale characters, levels, and modes have been leaked from game data extracted from the beta. According to the leak, levels from classic and upcoming PlayStation games are featured including Bioshock Infinite, Twisted Metal, and Ape Escape just to name a few.

As well, game-specific items, non-player characters, modes and features have been leaked to fans that are looking forward to the PlayStation brawler. Check out the rumored level, mode, character list after the break. Read the rest of this entry

How Should A Shadow Of The Colossus Film Be Adapted?

In what can only be thought of as a huge win for gamers and filmgoers alike, Sony Pictures recently signed Chronicle director Josh Trank to direct the film version of Team ICO’s critical hit Shadow of the Colossus. According to Deadline, the studio is currently looking for writers to work with the director in this visual effects-heavy production.

I’m not quite sure how Sony Pictures is going to translate the Shadow of the Colossus story into film as the game itself was a lonely experience throughout; with the horse Agro as the protagonist’s only companion. And what little (though powerful and provocative) story the game did have was found at the beginning and end of the adventure.

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Metro: Last Light To Premiere Tomorrow

Look out for JTM’s upcoming in-depth coverage of Metro: Last Light.

Metro: Last Light is set for its world premiere in less than 20 hours. On may 24, 2012, the sequel to the cult favourite Metro 2033 will be unveiled and JTM will be covering it. 

This First Person Shooter / Survival-Horror title is set beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow where the remnants of mankind are still struggling to to survive in the tunnels of the Metro against deadly threats from outside – and within. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 Apps PlayStation Vita Needs To Survive

(I wrote and published this article for SonyRumors.Net)

So, you’ve had your PlayStation Vita since launch day. You’ve played the various launch games, tried the various apps, and even watched a number of movies on Netflix. But now what?

While the Vita is first and foremost a gaming console, people these days need to be connected to their friends, family, and extended networks about 60 percent of the day. And lets be honest, not that many of us care to learn the intricacies of the Vita’s NEAR and PARTY apps. We’d much rather be using apps like Facebook, LiveTweet, Foursquare and such.

But what about other apps that the iOS and Android handhelds have like Youtube, WordPress, Pinterest and others? As it stands, the Vita’s app selection is bare-bones at best. Horrid at worst.

Because of that, I’ve listed the top apps that should be on the PlayStation Vita. (Sony, I hope you’re reading this.) Read the rest of this entry

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