Sony Announcement: PlayStation 2 Now More Affordable Than Ever

Well, it wasn’t the often rumored PS3 price cut that the masses keep talking about, but, Sony has issued a release lowering the PS2 down to $109.99 CDN.

Here’s the official release:

PLAYSTATION®2, THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, NOW MORE AFFORDABLE THAN EVER AT $109.99 CDN

FOSTER CITY, Calif. March 31, 2009 – Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system will be available starting April 1 for $109.99 CDN (MSRP). Since launching in 2000, PlayStation 2 has sold more than 136 million sell-in units worldwide*, making it the most popular system in gaming industry history. PlayStation 2’s vast library of games from all genres for all types of audiences will grow to nearly 1,900 titles this year. This breadth and depth of content along with the new price point make the platform a stronger value than ever, particularly for families, casual gamers, and those seeking to maximize their entertainment dollar.

“PlayStation 2 set the industry standard for worldwide mass market adoption and is a clear embodiment of Sony’s commitment to platforms that deliver 10-year product lifecycles. It’s a tribute to outstanding technology, great consumer value and unprecedented development support that we’ve now been able to do twice what no one else has ever accomplished,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO, SCEA. “Demand for PlayStation 2 remains strong throughout the world, and the new $109 CDN price point will bring in new consumers who will discover how PlayStation platforms are an outstanding choice for their gaming and home entertainment needs. Just as PlayStation 2 is delivering on a 10-year lifecycle and helped expand and solidify the DVD format for home entertainment along the way, we believe PLAYSTATION 3 offers the same promise by helping secure the Blu-ray format and delivering unprecedented value as the total home entertainment solution for the next decade.” SCEA will continue to support PlayStation 2 system with new titles that appeal to families and casual gamers looking for social entertainment experiences. First-party games such as MLB® 09 THE Show™ and MotorStorm®: Arctic Edge as well as major franchise titles from SCEA’s publishing partners demonstrate the continued growth of the platform’s library of content. In addition, more than 250 best-selling PlayStation 2 titles have achieved “Greatest Hits” status, providing consumers with plenty of games to choose from at value pricing.

PlayStation 2’s impact on the industry is unmatched, as the platform played a key role in establishing the popularity of the most recognized and beloved franchises in history, including Guitar Hero® from Activision, Metal Gear Solid® from Konami Digital Entertainment, FINAL FANTASY® from Square Enix, Grand Theft Auto™ from Rockstar Games, as well as Gran Turismo™ by Polyphony Digital Inc. and Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios titles, including God of War® and Ratchet & Clank®. In recent years, this stellar lineup has expanded to include an extensive list of social games and family-friendly titles such as Buzz! ™ and SingStar®, which have helped usher in new types of consumers into the world of gaming. During its lifespan, PlayStation 2 system not only has pushed video gaming to the forefront of entertainment, but it also introduced the concept of an entertainment system becoming a hub in the living room. PlayStation 2 was the first home computer entertainment system to integrate DVD technology, and the rapid growth of the install base helped establish DVD as the standard optical disc media format worldwide. Featuring both DVD and CD playback capabilities, PlayStation 2 system has served as the entertainment centerpiece in many living rooms.

PlayStation 2 remains the most played computer entertainment system on the market, according to a December 2008 report from The Nielsen Company. Last year, PlayStation 2 became the first system in history to reach the 50 million sell-in unit sales milestone in North America, making it one of the most successful technology products ever. PlayStation 2 system was previously available for $129.99 (MSRP).

*Sell-in numbers as of the end of December 2008

Gears of War 2: Snowblind Map Pack


The “Gears of War 2” Snowblind Map Pack Add-on is available for download on Xbox LIVE Marketplace starting today for 800 MS Points.

The Snowblind Map Pack brings us four new multiplayer maps and nine new achievements for an additional 250 point.

Grindyard is a massive industrial complex located in a junk-processing plant from the days of Sera’s industrial excess.

Under Hill takes players through snowbound tunnels that were once billed as a feat of Seran engineering.

Courtyard is a wide-open battle royale containing explosive weapons that once formed the heart of Ephyra’s fashionable Civic Center.

Fuel Depot, back by popular demand, Fuel Depot is a “Gears of War 2” remake of the fan-favorite “Gears of War” map, but winter has set in and the depot is now covered in a blanket of snow.

Here’s the complete list of achievements, points and descriptions:

  • Rookie Gear” (10 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 5 (Public only).
  • Seasoned Gear” (20 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 15 (Public only).
  • Battle-Tested Gear” (30 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 25 (Public only).
  • Battle-Hardened Gear” (50 points): Reach level 50 and play a match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (Public only).
  • Veteran Gear” (75 points): Reach level 100 and win a match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (Public only).
  • Never Eat Red Snow” (20 points): Complete waves 1 through 10 on all Snowblind Map Pack maps in Horde (any difficulty).
  • Icy Dead People” (25 points): Complete waves 1 through 50 on any Snowblind Map Pack map in Horde (any difficulty).
  • Frigid Body Dynamics” (5 points): Play a multiplayer match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (any mode).
  • The Weather Outside Is Lethal” (15 points): Win a multiplayer match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (any mode).

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Collectors Edition


Now’s your chance to give feedback directly to the publisher behind Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

Today on Twitter @Naughty_dog asked:

Been discussing the potential of a Collector’s Edition for Uncharted 2 — Do you want a CE? What would you want in it?

Here is what I would want to see:

  • Exclusive DLC for Collectors Edition
  • Fold out Map/Poster (Double sided)
  • A special edition super-posable 7″ Drake figure w/ accessories (Gun, Belt Buckle, Compass, Treasure, etc…)
  • Character art and/or comic book
  • Uncharted 1: Drake’s Fortune

Post a message to twitter with the hash tag #u2ce and Naughty_dog should pick it up. Don’t have a twitter account? Then leave us a message and we will post it for you.

Lips DLC gets CCR and Boyz II Men

“Lips,” the hit singing party game exclusively for Xbox 360 from iNiS Corp., offers new songs this week, adding to the library of nearly 50 songs available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and the “Lips” in-game “Get Music” store.

Music fans around the world have even more reason to sing their hearts out with the “Lips” wireless microphones with three new songs available for download today. For 160 MS Points each, songs by Local H, Boyz II Men and Creedence Clearwater Revival are available in Xbox LIVE enabled regions.

Available March 27:

  • Bound for the Floor – Local H
  • I’ll Make Love to You – Boyz II Men
  • Who’ll Stop the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Lips,” the singing party game from Xbox 360 and iNiS, includes 40 songs on-disc and two wireless, motion-sensitive microphones.

More information on “Lips” is available at www.xbox.com/lips (photo credit).

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Trailer and Demo

Dynasty Warriors®: Strikeforce is a game unlike any other in the series. For the first time, up to four friends can join together to form a “Strikeforce.” As a team, players will travel to different towns, embark on quests, and use coordinated assaults to conquer heavily-armed fortresses and colossal beasts.

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce is exclusive to the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, and is for 1 to 4 players. Multi-player play is via ad-hoc wireless mode only.

Catch the trailer here.

Download the demo now from the PSN.

Published by: KOEI
Developed by: Omega Force
Release Date: April 28, 2009

Review: MLB ’09: The Show

Platforms: PS3, PS2 (reviewed), PSP (reviewed)

Welcome to the big league Ladies and Gentleman, it is that time of year again and by that I mean its the return to America`s favourite past time, Baseball. Along with the grapefruit league you`ll find Sony`s latest installment of the Majors, MLB 09: The Show.

The visuals on this game are simply superb, Stadiums so real you can easily imagine you are sitting next to the guy with the body odor sitting at behind the plate. Player profiles and in play graphics that would rival the best of TSN’s game producers, real time instant replays and in-game player stats. Both the PSP and PS2 versions of this game offer fantastic visuals, even on the 2.5″ screen nothing is lost visually.

With so many options your going to find more value in this game then you can shake a bat at… (rim shot). This game brings a little something for everyone offering six different game play options; ranging from the quick play Exhibition game, Manager Mode – an Armchair Coaches dream, Rivalry Mode, Franchise Mode – manage everything from concessions to the roster, to a full 162 games in Season Mode. But it doesn’t stop there… If you think you got what it takes “The Road to the show” is for you, build a custom player, make the team at spring training and set your sites on the Pennant.

Spending most of my review time in the exhibition and manager modes, where after several full games, I`m still trying to get the much needed finesse of the pitching and batting controls down, the AI never seems to have an issue knowing what your going to throw or what your likely to swing at. Finding the right pitch, while keeping them in the strike zone but not in the batters sweet spot, or alternatively connecting at just the right time while watching that fastball buzz on bye. It is not as easy as you would think. Controlling runners on the base is easy enough – tell them to take the big lead and steal the next base or prep them for the sacrifice bunt to move into scoring position.

The MLB online system is fantastic offering several great features:

  • Player Card – Track your career online match play stats
  • Leagues – Be the Commissioner of your own league
  • Leader Boards – real time statical tracking of the players on the MLB network
  • Community Center – Mail and message boards, and Sliders (user generated game settings).
  • Headline News – Current events in the MLB on actual games happening around the Majors

Be prepared for long gaming sessions when firing up MLB ’09: The Show, as these virtual games can take just as long as the real thing. I can honestly say I have enjoyed my time and I look forward to the many hours in the future. The seventh inning stretch is coming to and end and it’s time to get back in the game. I’ll see you at the ball park.

Pros:

  • Realistic announcers and commentary
  • Fantastic replicas of stadiums
  • Online services are packed with good stuff
  • Updated real time roster and news
  • Equally good on the PSP and PS2

Cons:

  • Controls are a bit sensitive
  • Scheduling time is important due to potential length of game

Feed Your Console gives MLB ’09: The Show: 8 out of 10

IMHO #1: The End of the Modern Console As We Know it?

Welcome to the very 1st edition of IMHO. This is a new feature we’re going to showcase whenever we get the opportunity to talk about something big happening in the game industry. We also invite all of you, the readers, to weigh in with your comments as we’ll be posting a podcast where the article author and the rest of the writers here at Feed Your Console will discuss and debate the topic at hand. We’ll even be sure to touch base with some of your comments. Without further ado…

Could today be the day that the future of home gaming became a reality? OnLive Inc. certainly seems to think and hope so. Today OnLive Inc. announced that their new gaming service aptly named “OnLive Game Service” was coming to a home near you sometime later this year. Instead of picking up a bulky console, all you need is a small and svelte looking little box that looks to be no larger than a handheld gaming device. The hardware has USB (to work with any USB controller – Xbox controllers included), HDMI, Optical Audio, BluTooth (for wireless communication) and Ethernet. The only thing you really need to provide is an internet connection.

The premise behind the system is to do away with conventional game stores and conventional console hardware by allowing the user to either buy or rent games digitally where the games run and play on a series of servers streamed to your TV all with out any extra hardware. If you’re a PC user, fear not. The service will be available to you too. Gone are the days of costly PC upgrades. They claim that they’ll be upgrading their servers about every 6 months to use the latest and greatest technologies.

This isn’t a new idea as evidenced by the previous attempt by Infinium Labs and their “Phantom” console a few years ago. The real question is: Are gamers ready for this?

OnLive appears to seem to be doing a lot of things right by getting all of the right features in place and getting some big publishers like EA, Take-Two and UbiSoft on board. No doubt they love the implications that there won’t be any software piracy and they could potentially cut costs on discs, packaging and manual printing.

While I’m extremely intrigued by the idea of never having to wait in line for software on cold November nights, going out to the local Blockbuster or even worrying about lack of hard disk space on my console, but a few things jumped out at us right away when I was learning more about the OnLive service.

  1. No cost information has been announced. The heavy expense of upgrading all those servers on a bi-annual basis won’t be cheap and neither will the bandwidth required to push out all that data at the same time which leads me to believe that the cost for all this convenience will be rather high.
  2. I’m not so sure that gamers are ready to give up their shiny discs just yet. They are afterall, kind of like trophies to those of us who collect games.
  3. I want my games in HD. They claim that the games will be HD but the speed of your internet connection is going to require at least a 5MB connection – Some can’t afford that or don’t have the availability of broadband connections at that speed.
  4. Some providers throttle traffic which would no doubt affect game play to some degree (they claim that the connection will optimize itself on the fly)
  5. More and more net providers are using capped systems to curb usage and piracy. What’s a typical game marathon cost a user in throughput? I’m fairly certain that it won’t be astronomical but you are streaming video so it won’t be as small as the packets we see now with Live or PSN.

This is something I would really like to see. Is it possible that Microsoft or Sony was working on something similar to this for the next round of consoles and these guys got the jump on them? There are just too many unknowns about this service. Do I think the idea is cool? You’re damn right I do. Do I want to play with this service and give it a fair shake? Hell yes. Do I think it’s going to work? It’s too early to say for sure. The potential is definitely there, I’m are just not completely sold on this idea yet and am hesitant to think that gamers are prepared for such a dramatic change.

What do the rest of you folks think about this?

Map Packs Galore

On top of yesterdays news about Left 4 Dead getting some free DLC love in the form of new maps and playable scenarios a number of other multiplayer games are getting some spiffy new maps.

First up is The Call of Duty: World at War Map Pack 1. This map pack expands the COD multiplayer game with an additional four maps. Traverse the burning streets of Berlin in Nightfire and battle through Japanese bunkers in Knee Deep. Take the battle into the underground while playing Station, and battle the (Nazi) Zombie hoard in Verrückt.

Next up sees Gears of War 2 getting another set of Maps, Snowblind containing four new Winter themed maps (Grindyard, Under Hill, Courtyard, and the Fuel depot). A title update is also expected that will contain a number of improvements and fixes as outlined on the Gears of War message boards.

Last up is the highly anticipated Halo 3 Mythic map pack, currently only available to those that purchased the Limited Edition of Halo Wars, this will be made available to everyone on April 9th. Bringing the maps Assembly, Orbital and Sandbox to expand your playable matches. Read the full details for each map at the Halopedia. Hopefully with the launch of these new maps we will see price reduction in the Legendary Map Pack, or even a move to make them free like the Heroic Map Pack.

Left 4 Dead DLC is Coming April 21st

Left 4 Dead is one of the most entertaining multiplayer games currently in my console and I’ve logged some serious hours on it. For those of you who love this game but find that you’re itching for some new content mark April 21st on your calendar for that is the day Valve releases the new FREE DLC.

The new content includes 2 new 4 vs 4 maps in the form of the Death Toll and Dead Air campaigns and a new Survival mode where survivors try to survive through multiple waves of the relentless undead. I for one can’t express my excitement for this.

Review: House of the Dead: Overkill

About a month ago my counterpart here at Feedyourconsole.com, Matt, told me about House of the Dead: Overkill. I’m not too sure how I missed this one from the get go. I was a fan of the series back in the arcade days and am what you could call an avid Zombie junkie. He insisted that I should get this game because he knew about my love for all things zombie. I somehow forgot.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks and House of the Dead makes headlines because it was awarded a title of “Most Profane Game” by The Guinness Book of World Records. Being a potty mouth, I felt even more compelled to get this game and immediately rush out to pick it up. When I got it home my wife and I sat down and immediately I was pretty sure I would like this game.

The game and story is presented much like a 70s Grindhouse flick complete with missing sections, hisses and pops in he audio and over the top profanity and sexual innuendos. The base premise of the game pits you as series alum Agent G and his partner Washington as you traverse multiple locales in the relentless pursuit of the game’s antagonist Papa Cesar, the mad scientist responsible for the zombie outbreak.

The gameplay is your typical light gun fare. Point the wii-mote, aim shoot and collect points and items along to way to open up extras found in the main menu. There’s really nothing special to point out with regards to the gameplay outside of the combo system that racks up as you generate multiple kills without missing a shot. It’s quite hard to pull off while engaging in the 2 player action, which is still lots of fun.

The graphics are ok and rather blocky on the largely underpowered Wii system and the frame rate appears to be inconsistent but the presentation of the game kind of makes you forget about that.

By the end of the game, you’ll have laughed plenty (“can I have a lollipop?”), enjoyed a Grindhouse style story line, seen some awfully crazy story points, splattered plenty of brains on the ceiling and walls and heard a whole bunch of F-Bombs.

It’s really too bad that this game has done so poorly as of press time. I really think that Sega should look at it as a stepping stone to a re-launching of the series. If an arcade-y shoot ‘em up games is something you like and you really just want to brush up on your zombie killing skills in preparation of the zombie invasion, you’ll have fun with this game.

So go and get the F..K out of here and pick this title up. You’ll enjoy it.

Pros:

  • Game Presentation: Lines and dirt on the “game film” looked great
  • Sound: Voice actors were extremely cheeseball and I loved it
  • Accessibility: Anyone and I mean anyone can play this. My wife is a zombie killing machine

Cons:

  • Combo system: A little annoying to pull off when playing 2 player
  • Graphics: I wish the graphics were a little more polished looking as I am a graphics junkie.

Feed Your Console gives House of the Dead: Overkill 8.0 out of 10

Published by: SEGA
Developed by: Headstrong Games
ESRB: Mature