Episode #39: Good News from Sony… For a Change!

Posted by jeffp2662 on August 08, 2011 in Episodes tagged with
PlayStation 3 Price Dropped to $249.99
Reports from June that Sony would drop the price of the PlayStation 3 at Gamescom have turned out to be accurate. Sony announced moments ago that it’s dropping the price of its 160GB console to $249.99 effective immediately.

It’s been quite a while since the last PS3 price cut. Along with the unveiling of the PlayStation 3 Slim in 2009, the price of all older models were dropped to $299 to match the Slim’s new price — where the system has remained until today.

This now puts additional pressure on Microsoft, which has also gone without a price drop for some time and now has less of a barrier between 360 and PS3. There was a great deal of speculation that it would be slashing the 360’s price at E3, but with the system selling very well in the United States as of late, it may not have made sense to do so then. With the PS3 now available at a lower price, that could cut into 360 sales as we approach this holiday season. Nintendo, meanwhile, cut the price of the Wii just a few months ago.

With the 160GB system now $249.99, the 320GB system falls to $299.99. A new Infamous 2 bundle — which includes the 320GB system, Infamous 2, and 30 days of PlayStation Plus time — is also now available for $299.99, which is an excellent deal considering Infamous 2 is not even three months old.

Small note on Portal 2 DLC
That first (and free) downloadable content pack for Valve’s Portal 2—originally announced in April for a summertime release—will be released mid-September, says the company. That’s “still technically summer,” Valve’s Doug Lombardi assured Kotaku at Gamescom.

Gamescom 2011: That’s a Whole Lot of Huge Monsters in Dark Souls (TRAILER)
There are a few guys around the Game Front virtual water cooler who are pretty excited about Dark Souls. Ben Richardson has been talking up the game for quite a while now, having enjoyed himself thoroughly with Demons’ Souls, the game’s predecessor. But watching this trailer and seeing the many, many huge monsters in it, coupled by the fact that many of the player characters look downright unprepared for what they’re facing, makes me feel like it’s just kinda… scary looking. Like a game that will beat my ass over and over again.

Patch 4.3 – Deathwing, Transmogrifier, Void Storage

Tom Chilton, lead designer for World of Warcraft, answered a couple of questions from Gamona.de on Patch 4.3, and we got a bunch of very interesting news out of it. Patch 4.3 will feature:

New Raid – The Deathwing raid, making it very likely to be the last patch before the next expansion.
3 new 5-man instances – Including one in the Caverns of Time. (War of the Ancients was mentioned as a cataclysm instance a few years ago, but a lot of things have changed since then, who knows!)
The Transmogrifier NPC, which will let you change the appearance of any armor piece on you, while retaining the stats of your current gear. (= T12 stats, but with the Tier 2 look!) Players won’t be able to change the appearance of their armor into another armor type or class armor set, and you might have to own the armor before you can use it to swap the appearance of your existing armor.
The Void Storage is a new type of bank where players will be able to store their old armors in order to free up space in their regular bank.
The Abyssal Maw dungeon is gone for the moment, the storyline wasn’t convincing enough/fitting.

If someone feels like adding information or even translating the article completely, post in comments!

Translation of the original article on gamona.de
We’re at GamesCon in Cologne, Germany, and just did an interview with Tom Chilton, Lead Game Developer and Chris Robinson, Lead Art Director, in which they revealed a lot of details regarding patch 4.3 – and it seems that the announcement of it being huge was no joke:

Patch 4.3 will bring us the Deathwing raid instance! This means it’s likely that we’ll be able to fight the Aspect of Death in an epic encounter within this year. The raid that was originally expected for this patch, the “Abyssal Maw”, was cut from the schedule because, as Chilton states, the setting and the story were not convincing enough.

Furthermore, 4.3 will also bring three entirely new 5-man instances – Chilton assured us that these won’t contain any re-vamped content, but instead be brand new with unique design and models. Chilton also hinted at one of those being within the Caverns of Time, allowing players to experience another great moment of Warcraft Lore first-hand.

The interview also revealed the purpose of the “mystery ethereals” in Stormwind (and likely other cities, too). The “Transmogrifier” NPC will allow players to change the displayed model of equipment to that of another item while keeping the original attributes: Transmogrification is only possible within an armor class – Plate armor can only assume the looks of other Plate armor, for example.

  • Class restrictions apply to Transmogrification – Warriors cannot transmogrify their armor to look like Death Knight tier sets.
  • The developers are considering whether they should only allow using the models of equipment that has already been obtained

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim uses Steamworks on PC
It’s perhaps no surprise to hear confirmation that the PC edition of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will use Steamworks, as Bethesda Softworks has used Valve’s Steam-based tools for its last few releases. Now, how you feel about that announcement, that’s up to you. 

“We can confirm today that we’re using Steamworks for Skyrim,” the official Elder Scrolls Twitter account said today. And that’s all we know for now. Presumably specifics will dribble out later, when Bethesda can find a quiet moment in all the Gamescom hustle and bustle.

What this means for you is that no matter where you buy Skryim, whether at retail or via digital distribution, you’ll have to activate it on a Steam account. Once it’s activated, you’ll have no need for the CD, and Steam’s offline mode should let you play happily without being connected to the Internet. Unless you’re one of the unfortunate few who has trouble with offline mode, that is.

World of Battleships MMOG anchoring soon
Wargaming.net, the team behind the team-based massively multiplayer online game World of Tanks, has announced the final game in its “World of” trilogy, which will focus on naval warfare.

World of Battleships will be a free-to-play naval MMO game based on sea battles throughout the 20th century, offering a variety of warships to provide various tactical opportunities based on individual combinations of firepower, speed, armor, and endurance. The game will also feature naval maps with changing weather conditions and an economic system that will let players distribute resources between each of the “World of” games.

Wargaming.net is a publisher and developer based in Minsk, Belarus. It is responsible for 2004’s Massive Assault series, the Square Enix-published Order of War, and three add-ons for Blitzkrieg II.

Sony: why PS Vita has 512MB of RAM
Vita’s 512MB of RAM enables it to run programs in the background while gamers are playing games, Sony has said.

One of those programs is cross-game voice chat via Vita’s Party system.

“Part of the reason [for including 512MB of RAM] is more RAM means easier development for game developers,” Sony president of Worldwide Studios Shu Yoshida told Eurogamer at Gamescom.

“But as important as that is to allow the PS Vita always to do more while the game is running in the background, or when you switch between the game and other applications or system software functionalities.

“So the reason why we were able to include something like Party, which enables cross-game voice chat, is because we designed Vita so it always has enough resources to handle something like that behind the game while it’s running.”

PS Vita has cross-game chat, PS3 probably never will
Sony has stated that the PlayStation Vita is getting something the PS3 never had, and apparently never will– the legendary feature that is cross-game chat. According to Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, the Vita packs more RAM than the PS3, which is why it’s getting the one feature the PS3 never did.

“The reason why we were able to include something like Party, which enables cross-game voice chat,” he explained, “is because we designed Vita so it always has enough resources to handle something like that behind the game while it’s running.”

The Vita is confirmed to have 512MB of system RAM and 128MB of Video RAM, while the PS3 gets 256MB of system RAM and 256MB of video RAM. Since Yoshida is saying cross-game-chat needs RAM on par with the Vita’s, he has basically stated that the PS3 won’t ever get it. But then, it’s been half a decade since the console launched and there’s never been a hint of it, so that’s confirmation enough.

Brian’s Silent Hill interview from GamesCom

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