Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gamescom got me excited

Here are some of the stuff that got me really excited from the biggest video game convention of Europe from Cologne, Germany.

PS3 Slim
Coming September 1st PS3 will be slimmer and will be retailed at about 300$. PS3 was already a big value for buck, but now it is only 300$ for 120GB, that further makes it the most valued console in the market well ahead of the Xbox 360. While this news doesn't neccessarily concern me as I still have the 40GB PS3, but it means more people will buy the PS3 and thats good news for all existing PS3 owners as developers will throw more support our way.

PS3 Firmware 3.00

The big firmware update came, how I love firmware updates! While many of the requested features are still not present like Cross-Game chat and Cross-game invite, this firmware simplifies the interface alot and replaces the boring info bar with a much more useful and resourceful 'Whats New' section. Another really neat thing is the animated themes, just look at the Sackboy theme at the end of the video and you'll geth the idea, the community can really take this feature to amazing places! Watch the video for a brief preview and here is the list of things added by the new firmware which should be out soon. 
  • “What’s New” – The “Information Board” will be replaced with a “What’s New” section, which allows you to enjoy interactive PlayStation news every time you start the PS3 system. Located under the PlayStation Network icon, “What’s New” displays the latest and greatest game, video, PlayStation Network and PlayStation news and releases, as well as your recently played games, in a sleek, new animated format.
  • Status Indicator – In the top right corner we’ve added an indicator bar, which displays your user icon, friend icon, the number of friends you have online and a small message icon to let you know if you have any new messages. The indicator also includes a scrolling ticker that features the latest news from PlayStation Network. In addition, when you press the PS button, the battery life indicator will no longer cover up the clock.
  • Friends List – Now your PlayStation Network friends will appear in a slightly redesigned format on your Friends List. Also, messages will now be viewable from each of your friends’ respective profiles.
  • PlayStation Store Shortcuts – We’ve added a handy shortcut icon to the PlayStation Store under both the Game and Video categories so you can access the latest content quickly and easily.
  • Personalization – Personalize your PS3 with new dynamic custom themes and avatars. Dynamic themes as well as free and premium avatars will be available through PlayStation Store. A dynamic theme takes your screen to a whole new level as it incorporates animated objects into the background.
  • Trophies – Showcasing your hard earned trophies just got better. Update 3.00 gives game developers the ability to modify how they display trophies for add-on content. Base and add-on game trophies will continue to be combined into a single list so you can see where you stand in a game as a whole. Within that list, trophies will be broken out into subcategories—base trophies and add-on trophies—that way, you can easily view the percentage of your base game trophy collection, and separately track your trophy progress in add-on packs. Look for this enhancement to be included in upcoming games.
 Gran Turismo 5 info overload
We still didn't know much about the leading car sim in the market, until now. It is confirmed it will have like 1000 cars and 90 tracks at launch! What got me excited the most is the head tracking feature by the PS Eye. Imagine turning your head right and you'll see the camera of the dashboard shifts right as if you are right there driving, now thats moving forward! It will also have alot of features too big for this post like youtube video uploads, etc will make things alot more interesting. Just hope that the damage models are better than what they have showed at the convention, which is not much to say the least and hope it covers alot of cars.  

Motion Controls
Last but not least, Sony will show motion controls and possibly upgaming games to make advantage of it later this year at TGS 09: Tokyo Game Show 2009.

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