Author Archives: Benjamin Nied

Sony Hands Out Rainchecks in Lieu of PS3s

Let’s face it; Sony’s PlayStation 3 launch isn’t exactly going as well as they planned. Aside from gaining the ire of gamers everywhere with their questionable tactics, they’re faced a massive console shortage that has left many gamers wondering when they’ll finally be able to get a hold of one of the super-consoles. While American buyers have 400,000 consoles to fight over (let the eBay wars begin!), Japanese gamers are only getting 100,000 consoles to divide amongst themselves. So Sony, it its infinite wisdom, is handing out rainchecks (to Japanese gamers only for the time being) that functions as an IOU when new consoles arrive next year. Again, only the Japanese market seems to be receiving this deal, as American buyers are more likely to, er, “reject” such an offer.

[via IGN]

ATI Gets Assimilated into AMD’s Brand

Analysts have been predicting that this would happen forever, but most didn’t assume that it would happen so fast. I’m speaking, of course, of AMD’s “retiring” of the ATI brand after the two companies successfully combined. The first hint comes when you try to visit ATI’s website; not only is the ATI logo gone, but the URL is now Also, a new marketing campaign by AMD proudly proclaims “AMD + ATI = The New AMD.” However, a new press release finally puts any and all doubts to rest about the fate of the ATI brand; to read it, hit the jump!


PSP Firmware Hits 2.82

Awww, Sony’s little handheld is growing up so fast! All kidding aside, all you happy PlayStation Portable owners have another firmware update to go grab (or to ignore, for all you homebrewers). Version 2.82 doesn’t add anything earth-shattering, aside from some security updates. I’m sure that translates to “your cracks won’t work”, but the hackers are not to be denied and it’s only a matter of time before this update is re-opened to the world. The update can be downloaded from these links: N. America, Japan, Europe.

[via IGN]

Sony Unveils PS3 Downloadable Content

At long last, it’s becoming clearer now as to exactly what Sony has in store for the gaming world with their PlayStation Network Platform. They’ve unveiled the first set of downloadable PlayStation 3 games set to hit by the end of the year as well as detailed a few things about how the new network service will work with Sony’s PSP handheld system’s upcoming PSOne emulation. The PS3 game downloads include Blast Factor, flOw, Lemmings, Kazuo (a number puzzle game), Puzzle (only a working title for the time being) and Mainichi Issho. As for the rest, hit the jump!


Lik-Sang Shuts Down, Blames Sony

As if Sony needed any help to lessen its popularity among the masses, import/export company Lik-Sang has shut its doors for good, blaming Sony’s legal tactics for its demise and calling for angry customers to “blame Sony.” Sony, for their part, basically said that Lik-Sang is being a whiny baby about the whole mess by not showing up in court to contest Sony’s lawsuit:

‘Lik-Sang’ did not contest this case (i.e. they did not turn up and therefore incurred no legal costs). We have been awarded substantial costs against Lik Sang which have not been paid. We would therefore strongly deny that our actions have had anything to do with this website closing, and would suggest that this release is sour grapes on behalf of Lik-Sang.”

So ladies and gentlemen, should you decide that you need to get one of those newfangled PS3 consoles before everyone else, it’s looking like eBay or a bit of luck in obtaining a pre-order are now your only chances.

[via GamePro]

WoW: The Burning Crusade Delayed

In a very rare move for Blizzard Entertainment, the brains behind World of Warcraft, we’ve been given a solid release date for the MMORPG’s long-awaited expansion, The Burning Crusade. In a very common move for Blizzard, they’ve also delayed said expansion to allow for more beta testing and refinement, meaning that users will need to wait until January before embarking on the long, treacherous journey to Level 70. On the plus side, delays from Blizzard usually indicate the desire to make sure that the forthcoming product is as bug-free as possible, and I’d much rather wait a few more months than need to deal with a series of irritating bugs and half-completed features; the griffon paths are annoyance enough. To see the official announcement, hit the jump!


Microsoft to Design Xbox 3 CPU

In the gaming world right now, IBM is king. Its processors, come November, will be powering all three next-generation consoles, meaning that you’ll inevitably end up on a POWER-based machine at some point. This won’t be the case with the next generation of machines, as Microsoft has decided to make the Xbox “720” a completely in-house operation, designing and manufacturing the CPU on its own. This would be a first for Microsoft, as they’ve never designed a chip from the ground up before. It remains to be seen how well these design sessions go (and how much cash Microsoft is willing to sink into gaming); with any luck, it’ll turn out better than Vista did.

[via GamePro]

Konami Announces Special Gift for Castlevania Pre-Orderers

As a huge Castlevania fan, the release of each new game is something I look forward to (especially considering the latest entry in the series seems to finally be kicking the Symphony of the Night remake pattern at long last). So, to celebrate the fact that this is Castlevania’s 20th anniversary, Konami has decided to try and entice users to pre-order the upcoming DS title Portrait of Ruin by including one of the coolest pre-order gifts ever. So, what do you get from shelling out the dough early? Hit the jump!


Sony Blocks European PS3 Importing

Wow, Sony must really, really hate Europe. Aside from leaving them out of the PlayStation 3 launch party in November due to console shortages, it now appears that Sony is taking extra measures to ensure that European customers don’t get a console before March. Specifically, Lik-Sang, everyone’s favorite import/export experts, will be forbidden to sell imported PS3s based on a ruling that forbids them from selling imported PSP handhelds. While I’m not sure what the legal limitations are on applying a ruling based on one product to a separate item, Sony seems hell-bent on making sure that consoles that don’t meet the European Union’s standards don’t reach European shores. So, unless you have a Stateside or Japanese relative willing to shell out the $500-$600 for you, it appears that Europeans will need to find another way around Sony’s embargo.

[via GamePro]

UPDATE: Sony Vague on Shipment Quantity, Not Date

To update a story we ran on Friday, it appears that the PlayStation 3’s launch date isn’t in question; the console will still launch on November 17th as previously reported. What is in question, however, is exactly how many consoles the world will see by the end of this year. The launch quantities of 400,000 (North America) and 100,000 (Japan) haven’t changed, but recent comments by SCEA co-chairman Jack Tretton seems to say that the 2 million console mark Sony hopes to hit by year’s-end is more of a goal than set in stone.


Sony to Miss November PS3 Release Date?

Ohhh boy. Just when Sony was beginning to get some positive press over how impressive its console really it, this dandy little blurb pops up over at Bloomberg, basically saying that the date we thought was finalized, November 17, is really just more of a “target,” at least according to SCEA co-chairman Jack Tretton. Decide for yourself what his words really mean, but I would personally warn Sony against irritating its user base any more than it already has. Read the statement after the jump.


PS3 Pack-In Details Revealed

In the gaming world, few events have been anticipated like the launch of the PlayStation 3. Aside from wondering if Sony’s behemoth console is as good as they’d have to believe, gamers are probably also wondering what, exactly, they’ll be receiving in their packages and how many body parts they should have ready to pay for accessories. Well, wonder no more; Sony has informed us as to exactly what will be included in the box and how much a new controller/game/memory card adapter will run you guys.


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