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Sony focused on PS3, PlayStation Vita for 2012 – not PS4

PlayStation 4 on PS3 Image / Screenshot

PlayStation 4 Image

In another interview focused on the impending PS4 reveal, Sony Computer Entertainment America's CEO and President Jack Tretton once again reaffirmed no plans to announced a PlayStation 4 in 2012.

Since the latter part of 2011, we've seen increasing rumors in Microsoft and Sony gearing up for next-gen console announcements. Back at the beginning of January MCV claimed Microsoft and Sony were poised for the "biggest E3" ever. From there, rumors continued to swirl about Sony's possible PS4 reveal.

Of course, this forced Sony to respond to rumors, with Sony chairman Kaz Hirai making it clear that Sony had no intention of revealing any new PS4 hardware or announcing any details about a new console at E3 2012. Hirai emphasized Sony's original plan for the PlayStation 3 to have a 10-year life cycle. Shortly after, Sony's Andrew House, who also voiced his support for the PS3, also said Sony's primary focus for 2012 is the newly launched PlayStation Vita handheld system.

Despite Sony's continued efforts to squash PS4 rumors, they continue to appear. The latest effort comes from Sony SCEA CEO Jack Tretton who said he is far too focused on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita to even think about trying to launch new technology.

"In terms of when you talk about [the next generation] and when you announce it, it really depends on the health of the existing platform and the other things you have going on," he said to IGN.

"And right now, we're focused on PlayStation 3, and I've got another platform [Vita] to get out the door in seven days, so I don't want to be thinking about trying to launch new technology any time soon. I want to focus all our energy on our console business, which is really just hitting its stride, and Vita, which really deserves a dedicated push from us."

While "hitting its stride" might be a stretch, it's hard to argue the PS3's new found success. About a week ago, Sony called January's sales "solid for the PlayStation 3".

“Following a strong December at retail, PlayStation continued the momentum in January through multi-retailer promotions such as 'Play Days' where we saw a 2x lift over forecast in peripheral sales and solid results for the PlayStation 3,” said Patrick Seybold, Sr. Director of Corporate Communications at SCEA, of January 2012's gaming sales numbers.

"I, quite frankly, would be very distracted if I had to be talking about next generation hardware this year," Tretton added when speaking to IGN.

While Tretton didn't exactly say the words, he pretty much ruled out any possibility of a PS4 announcement in 2012. If anything, his statements echo former Sony opinions that 2012 isn't the right time to announce a new console. Whether or not gamers agree with them is another story, but right now it doesn't look as if Sony is looking to launch a next-gen console just yet.

Tags: PS4, PS3, PS Vita

By Matt Liebl

Final Fantasy 11 expansion ‘Seekers of Adoulin’ coming to U.S. in 2013

Final Fantasy XI on PC, Xbox 360, and PS2 Image / Screenshot





Final Fantasy XI — the first MMO in the Final Fantasyfranchise — came to North America in 2003. 10 years later, the game is getting another expansion.Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin will be coming to the U.S. on March 26, 2013 for the Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

The expansion features a new adventure with an unfolding story involving The Royal Family and the Eleven Knightly Orders who have abolished imperial rule. The Sacred City of Adoulin becomes a maritime metropolis that rivals Jeuno. Players will be adventuring and exploring in this city state and the jungles around it. Players also get two new jobs: Geomancers and Rune Fencers. Geomancers harness elemental energies to aid their allies and attack enemies. Rune Fencers are versatile duelists that use both blade and incantations, as well as using the power of arcane runes.

In addition to these new jobs, the expansion includes new gameplay systems, like player-built outposts, new contract work, and the introduction of special "power spots" that are hidden but provide powerful character enchantments.

Square Enix also announced aFinal Fantasy XI: Ultimate Collection Seekers Edition that launches the same day. It is the full compilation of the stand-alone game with all four of the previous expansion, three add-on scenarios, and three battle area add-ons. TheCollection Seekers Edition will be $39.99, while the stand-aloneSeekers of Adoulin expansion is $29.99.

I'm going to be honest, I didn't think anyone played this game anymore. I dabbled with it for a year, but I like to solo, and at that time it wasn't possible. These are some pretty good enhancements to the game, but the trailer is just awful. It shows nothing compelling. It's just showing the empty, lonely environment and some people running. And then there's the sleep-inducing music with text that doesn't explain anything. It's just an awful marketing trailer for an expansion.

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter@Lance_GZ.He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email atLLiebl@GameZone.com

Tags: MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin

By Lance Liebl

If Video Games Were Real proves that game concepts don’t hold up so well in real life

Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii Image / Screenshot

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Image

The comedic duo, Smosh, have made their second entry in the 'If Video Games Were Real' series. This time, they tackle concepts like saving your game, falling off of a level in Super Smash Bros. and the ridiculousness of skinny Cloud Strife being able to successfully wield his Buster Sword.

This video clearly shows how no matter what realism you're looking for in a game (though let's face it, there are no realistic games shown off here) there is always going to be some sort of convention or system in the game that's clearly unrealistic. I think the guys at Smosh truly did an awesome job at capturing the ridiculousness of those games.

[Smosh]

Tags: Smosh, Humor

By Mike Splechta

SOE shutting down four long-running services this month

EverQuest Online Adventures on PS2 Image / Screenshot

EverQuest Online Adventures Image

Sony Online Entertainment have announced that they're closing down four of their online game services by the end of the month. Cosmic Rift, Infantry, Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga, and EverQuest Online Adventures are getting the axe on March 29.

If you're already lamenting the loss of the EverQuest Online Adventures MMO (for the PlayStation 2, of all things), SOE wants to show its appreciation by giving you three months of Gold membership in EverQuest and EverQuest II, two free-to-play games for the PC. Interested players can claim their membership starting Friday, March 16.

"This is not an easy decision," the SOE team said in their farewell letter, "but there comes a time when it's best for our developers to move on to the next adventure, and that day has come."

Billing ceased today, giving gamers a free month with the titles before they go under. Refunds will also be made to any players whose pre-paid time extends beyond the termination date.

Tags: SOE, EverQuest, Cosmic Rift, Infantry, Star Chamber

By Stephanie Carmichael

US lawmaker proposes ridiculous 1% tax on ‘violent’ video games

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A lawmaker in the United States, a country founded on violence, has proposed a new bill that would tax all video games deemed violent. Add this to the list of idiotic bills a "representative" of the United States citizens has tried to pass.

According to this new ridiculous bill, introduced by Oklahoma State Representative William Fourkiller, a 1% tax would be applied to all "violent" games which fall under the rating of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only. This means fairly innocent games like Final Fantasy XIII-2 and even Just Dance 2 would be taxable under this bill.

This means if a consumer buys one of these "violent" video games at new for $59.99, they can expect to pay about 60 cents on top of the state (4.5%) and city (between 3.25%-4%) sales tax.

While the money raised from the tax would go to a good cause – battling bullying and childhood obesity – the overall grounds of the bill are stupid, for lack of a better word.

Aside from no study OFFICIALLY proving video games causing violence, this law singles out video games over other forms of entertainment like television, movies, books, and music. How Fourkiller could blatantly single-out video games just shows how uninformed and quick-to-assume he really is – especially when we have songs like "Pumped Up Kicks" playing on the radio every other song.

Oh yea, did I mention Zumba Fitness 2 falls under the taxable bracket?

Great idea, jacka**. You're now added to the list of politicians who won't be re-elected due to their stupidity. You can join those who still think SOPA is a good idea. This just goes to show you how out of touch the current American politicians are with the public.

[TIMES]

By Matt Liebl

Replay Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories on PSN next Tuesday

Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories on PS2 Image / Screenshot

Disgaea 2

Publisher NIS America is bringing one of the older Disgaea tactical role-playing games to PlayStation Network on January 22, but it's specifically based on an early version.

Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories debuted in 2006 on the PlayStation 2, but it also appeared on the PSP in 2009 as Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days. We gave both titles 9/10 scores.

It's doubtful that this coming rerelease on PSN will include the additional levels, skills, and characters included in the PSP version as this seems to be a straight port of the PS2 game.

Cursed Memories will cost $9.99 as a digital download.

Follow @wita on Twitter.

[Joystiq]

Tags: Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, PlayStation Network

By Stephanie Carmichael

Weekly wrap-up 7/20/2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) on Movies Image / Screenshot

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Image

After a very successful Comic-Con experience, GameZone has returned to its usual format for this edition of our weekly wrap-up. Don’t worry, though, because we’ve still got some delicious Comic-Con leftovers for ya! Check out the latest gaming and movie content right here.

Reviews

Ice Age: Continental Drift review (Movies)

The latest entry in the Ice Age series lacks clever writing and feels so uninspired that it’s hardly worth watching even if you’re a fan of the previous films.

Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure review (3DS)

If you’re looking for a magnificent rhythm gaming experience on your 3DS, don’t miss out on this one. Theatrhythm, ya got some competition!

DYAD review (PSN)

This combination of sights and sounds delivers one hell of an experience. Throw in some wonderfully clever gameplay, and you’ve got an offbeat game like no other.

Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition review (XBLA, PSN, WiiWare)

Frogger returns, and it combines everything people loved about previous games while adding some impressive new gameplay elements.

London 2012: The Olympic Games review (Xbox 360, PS3)

It may not be very memorable, but this Olympics-themed sports game still provides some fun moments.

Kingdom Rush review (iOS)

Looking for one hell of an addictive tower defense game to play on your iPhone? Look no further, because that game has arrived.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD review (XBLA, PSN)

It may be missing the awesome split-screen multiplayer mode that made the original so much, but this HD remake of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is still a ton of fun.

Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection review (PSN)

Want some on-rails zombie action that will put those Move controllers to good use? Here ya go!

Anna review (PC)

While it doesn’t reach the ambitious level of psychological horror design that it could have, Anna is still a worthwhile experience that will give you plenty of scares.

The Dark Knight Rises review (Movies)

The finale of the Dark Knight trilogy is everything you could want in a film intended to end a masterful legend.

Previews

Comic-Con 2012: Elysium preview

Three words: Bald Matt Damon.

World of Warplanes preview and impressions

We get a close look at the upcoming flight-based MMO, World of Warplanes.

Comic-Con 2012: The Hobbit preview

If you’re a fan of The Hobbit, this film may be exactly what you’re looking for in a movie.

Comic-Con 2012: Django Unchained preview

This movie has got Quentin Tarantino all over it, which is to say it’s worthy of your excitement.

Planetside 2 preview: Is MMOFPS a viable genre?

Is this shooter more MMO or more FPS?

Comic-Con 2012: Pacific Rim preview

If you haven’t heard of Pacific Rim, well, now you have. Watch out for it.

Comic-Con 2012: Man of Steel preview

The upcoming take on Superman is interesting and could very well provide an enjoyable movie experience for fans of the comic book hero.

Comic-Con 2012: 'Iron Man 3'/Marvel Studios preview

Marvel outdoes itself at Comic-Con and gives its fans a reason to give a damn about Iron Man 3.

Going hands-on with Stained

GameZone plays the first few levels of this promising 2D puzzle platformer.

Legends of Pegasus: A 4X strategy game you should care about

If you’re looking for a potentially awesome strategy game, watch out for this one on August 10.

GZ Originals

OUYA backers seem confused by what the console actually is

Some folks seem to be unaware of exactly what this promising upcoming console is intended to do.

Wii U impressions after going hands-on with the system

Despite the skepticism, Nintendo’s successor to the Wii has a lot of potential to be great.

Five ways Kinect 2 must improve on the original

There are probably (read: definitely) more than five, but we don’t have that kind of time.

Johann Sebastian Joust interview with Douglas Wilson

We talk indie games, PlayStation Move, Johann Sebastian Joust, and much, much more with indie game designer Douglas Wilson.

Five reasons we need Battlefield: Bad Company 3 before Battlefield 4

Should the next Battlefield title really be a sequel to last year's military shooter?

Nitpick: Repetitive Music

Music is a major driving force behind so many games, so it goes without saying that it’s utterly disappointing when we get repetitive looping and uninteresting themes in our games.

Guides

NCAA 13 Heisman Challenge: Barry Sanders hints

Amazing Spider-Man walkthrough | Oscorp Tower (Pt. 2) photograph guide

Videos

Comic-Con 2012 – Resident Evil 6 Leon gameplay footage

Comic-Con 2012: Kingdom Hearts 3DS XL gameplay footage

Planetside 2 exclusive video demo / gameplay footage

Comic Con 2012: Lost Planet 3 Exclusive Developer Interview

Comic Con 2012: Family Guy Back to the Metaverse developer interview

Comic Con 2012: Is Battleblock Theater the new Castle Crashers?

For a bunch of nonsensical gibberish, follow @thesanchezdavid on Twitter.

Tags: The Dark Knight Rises, Reviews, Previews, Comic-Con 2012, Movies

By David Sanchez

Ico, Shadow of the Colossus producer departs from Sony

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection on PS3 Image / Screenshot

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection Image

Kenji Kaido, the producer behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, announced that he has left Sony. Kaido made the announcement on his Twitter account earlier today.

The producer's plans are currently under wraps, and it is unknown what ventures he'll be pursuing in the future. That said, he seems to look forward to whatever may be next and is excited by the prospect of working on future projects.

For the time being, Kaido plans on continuing to enjoy his summer vacation. Hey, the dude worked on some pretty high-profile games; I'd say a nice break is completely warranted.

Whether or not Kaido worked on The Last Guardian is unknown. Here's hoping the next projects the developer becomes involved in are as grand and impressive as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

[Wired]

For a bunch of indie game and burrito talk, follow @thesanchezdavid on Twitter.

Tags: Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Kenji Kaido, Sony

By David Sanchez

Microsoft: Sony has done a “great job” with HD remakes

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There is no denying, when it comes to HD remakes, Sony is the best there is. For years now, PS3 fans have been able to relive the games they grew up playing with a fabulous HD makeover. They've had the God of War Collection, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, the Tomb Raider Trilogy, and much more. The list of amazing HD remakes could go on. Which begs the question, when will Microsoft begin to do something similar?

Then Microsoft announced Halo Anniversary, the HD remake of the Xbox classic Halo: Combat Evolved. With added Xbox LIVE integration, HD graphics (and the ability to switch to old-school graphics), Halo Anniversary was a celebration of the success of the franchise. Many also thought it was the beginning of Microsoft following a similar path as Sony – remaking older games as HD remakes. Unfortunately for Xbox 360 fans, that may not be the case, as corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios, Phil Spencer, confirmed, "Halo Anniversary wasn't created with that in mind."

"Sony's done a great job with looking at their back catalogue and selling those games again," Spencer admitted in an interview with GameInformer.

As for future HD remakes coming to the Xbox 360, Spencer said that was never the goal of Halo Anniversary.

"It was more a celebration," Spencer explained. "It wasn't' the beginning of an HD remake line."

"I [don't] want to get into a world where people felt like I was just trying to sell them things that they've already played."

I don't know about Spencer, but I personally love playing the games I grew up with on today's consoles. If I've already enjoyed them once, odds are I'll enjoy them again – so why not re-release them as HD remakes? Now I'm not saying go crazy, but there are a few solid selections that deserve the HD treatment.

I think Spencer is missing the mark with his statement. Sony doesn't just sell games people have "already played". Yes, they are the same games people love but with entirely new ways to experience them – with added trophies, 3D support and HD upgrades, and various bonuses. It's not just The Sly Collection. It's The Sly Collection with added PlayStation Move support. It's a brand new experience added to a game you already love.

Whether or not Microsoft will follow up Halo Anniversary with HD remakes remains to be seen, but if they do, I suggest they look at Sony's approach.

Tags: Xbox 360, PS3

By Matt Liebl

Sony has no plans to bring PS2 or PS3 games to PlayStation Vita

PS Vita on PS Vita Image / Screenshot

PS Vita Image

Sony confirmed there are no plans to bring PS3 or PS2 titles to the PlayStation Vita "at this point".

"PlayStation does not have plans to make PS Vita compatible with PS3 or PS2 titles at this point," Sony said in the Vita's FAQ yesterday.

While the door was still left open for them to eventually bring those games to the Vita, at the moment, only supported digital PSP titles and minis can be enjoyed on Sony's newest handheld. Last week Sony revealed the first 270 PSP and PlayStation Mini games that will be available for the PlayStation Vita at launch.

In addition to the 26 launch titles Sony has planned for hte Vita's February 22nd worldwide release, there are a ton of old classics that can be downloaded via the PlayStation Store including Bomberman, Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, and Age of Zombies. Sony has already confirmed if you've already downloaded a compatible PSP title, you can download it directly onto your PS Vita at no extra cost, though some limitations do apply.

In regard to PSone classics titles, "we will announce further details when they are ready," the platform holder said.

Yesterday, Sony released a list of cross platform compatible PS Vita launch titles that support play with the PlayStation 3. These games include MotorStorm RC, WipEout HD Fury DLC, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Sony also confirmed those who own any of these games on PS3 will be able to download the same content to their Vita for free and vice versa.

Tags: PS2, PS3, PSone, PS Vita

By Matt Liebl