Videogame ‘Journey’ Gets Grammy Nomination

December 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

breaking news: Historic Grammy Nomination Is a Big Win for Videogame Music

For the first time in the 55-year history of the Grammy Awards, a videogame soundtrack has been nominated. The honor goes to Austin Wintory, composer of the score for the mesmerizing PlayStation 3 game Journey, published earlier this year.

The 28-year-old Denver native’s work has been nominated in the Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media, pitting Wintory against a who’s-who of film composers Howard Shore (Hugo), Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Rises) and John Williams (Tintin).

“To be nominated alongside John Williams,” Wintory said to Wired, “is a lifelong dream that I genuinely thought would never happen.”

Wintory’s music has been featured in many independent films and games, but Journey has been his highest-profile work thus far. Earlier this year, Journey‘s score became the highest-charting original videogame score ever on the Billboard 200 chart. (The only game music CD to beat it was a compilation CD released for Activision’s Guitar Hero III.) The soundtrack also dominated iTunes charts around the globe for the “soundtrack” category when it was released in April. On Friday, it won the award for “Best Original Score” at the Spike TV Video Game Awards ceremony.

This marks the second time that games have been recognized in some fashion by the Grammy Awards. In 2010, composer Christopher Tin won ‘Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)’ for “Baba Yetu,” the opening theme for the strategy game Civilization IV.

Wintory says he was unaware of his Grammy nomination until he received a congratulatory e-mail from Tin, his friend.

“It’s a long time coming,” he said of videogames’ recognition at the music industry’s awards show. “I almost feel ashamed that so much great stuff has been done over the last decade that for reasons unknown didn’t make the cut.”

The Museum of Modern Art added fl0w, an early PlayStation 3 game produced by Journey maker thatgamecompany with a soundtrack by Wintory, to its collection earlier this year.

Jenova Chen, creative director of Journey, says that the Grammy nomination and MoMA announcement are a part of a larger trend in which videogames are becoming more respected by the mainstream.

“I’ve always thought that games will one day be a great medium,” he told Wired, “but it’s happening so fast.”

Wintory said that after his work composing for an upcoming independent game called Monaco is finished, his next project will be the remake of the adult adventure game Leisure Suit Larry.

“I get to go from a beautiful, ‘Hero’s Journey’ metaphor to sort of seedy, ’70s era jazz,” he says, “and I’m so excited.”

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Sony PlayStation 3 claims top spot as Netflix streaming device of choice

December 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sony PlayStation 3 claims top spot as Netflix streaming device of choice

As the current gen’s console wars wind down in preparation for the coming wave, Sony’s still playing a wee bit of catch up. The gaming titan may not be the dominant force it once was, but where its streaming video performance is concerned, the PS3 is an undisputed king. That’s according to the company’s PlayStation Blog which touts the newly super-slimmed down device as the top platform for Netflix Watch Instantly viewing, even outstripping PC usage.

Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings credits the console for being an early adopter testing ground, citing the many experimental updates (i.e., full 1080p with Dolby 5.1, second screen controls and subtitles) it’s delivered as firsts to users of the PlayStation 3 over the years.

And the company will continue to innovate on the platform, pointing to the novel "Max" voice UI that’s currently PS3-only. In all, it’s surprising, albeit welcome news given the massive install base of Netflix-capable competitors like the Wii and Xbox 360, not to mention a host of other connected devices. You can check out the full release at the source below.

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Gaming – Telltale’s The Walking Dead season finale coming next week–Nov 21, 2012

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Telltale's Walking Dead season finale out Nov 20 on PSN, Nov 21 everywhere else

Telltale has announced that the final episode of The Walking Dead game series, subtitled "No Time Left," will be available November 20 on the PlayStation Network in North America, and then on November 21 in the EU alongside Xbox, PC, Mac, and iOS versions. Telltale has said this fifth episode will mark the end of the current story, with more expected to follow.

According to our reviewers, the series has gotten better as it’s gone along, and Twitter users seem to indicate the emotional duress of playing it has gone up too. So get those tissues ready, because the story of Lee and Clementine is coming to a close next week.

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Skyrim 1.5 live on 360, hits PS3 ‘this afternoon’

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Skyrim version 1.5 is now live on Xbox 360 and should be live on PS3 “later this afternoon,” according to Bethesda VP of PR Pete Hines.

This update contains, among other things, the addition of kill-cam cinematics for projectile weapons and spells, as well as new kill animations for melee weapons.

Check out all the newness in the trailer above, and check out the full patch notes after the break.

Continue reading Skyrim 1.5 live on 360, hits PS3 ‘this afternoon’

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PlayStation Store Returns To Japan July 6

July 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Good news for those of us waiting to log into our Japanese PSN accounts and pick up more freebies! Oh, and also for people who actually live in Japan. Sony has finally straightened out all the issues holding back the relaunch of the PlayStation Store there, and will fully reactivate the store, Qriocity, and all other inactive services on July 6.

Japan is the last region to be reactivated, according to Sony; thus, with the renewal of all of the PSN services, Sony can now claim that the PSN is back. And we can soon claim our copy of Echochrome.

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Hulu Coming To PlayStation Network ‘Soon’ – Maybe

June 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Once again, Hulu is drawing some attention from a possible partnership with a video game console. According to a report by Bloomberg, Sony may be close to securing a deal to bring a Hulu subscription to the PlayStation Network. In fact, “the partnership could be announced as soon as next week.”

Weeks ago, Reuters ran a similar report, claiming Xbox 360 and iPad would also offer a premium Hulu service. However, these claims have not yet been fruitful. Considering the clamor for Hulu on multiple devices, these reports can be the result of wishful thinking — or Hulu is planning an aggressive multi-platform approach, not unlike Netflix.

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Catan Finally Coming To PlayStation 3

June 3, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The PlayStation 3 version of one of the world’s most popular board games is coming to the U.S.

Gamers will be able to download Settlers of Catan via the PlayStation Network starting June 15, the game’s official site said Wednesday.  Settlers of Catan is a popular board game created by Klaus Teuber. Since its first publication in 1995, the game has sold 15 million copies. Last year, Wired magazine called it a “perfect” game; we were not exaggerating.

Catan will cost $6.50 and support two- to four-player online games.  Xbox 360 owners have enjoyed playing a different version of Catan, developed by Big Huge Games, since 2007.

The PlayStation version Catan was developed by Game Republic, the Japanese developer responsible for games like Genji and Folklore.  But don’t hold that against them. The videogame developer has a little known sideline in board game design. A handful of its tabletop offerings, such as Owner’s Choice and Shadow Hunters, have been localized for American gamers by Z-Man Games.

Gamers in Europe and Japan have had access to the Game Republic version of Catan for more than a year.

Image courtesy Game Republic

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Sony Closing Its Only U.S. PlayStation Store

February 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Sony's PlayStation StoreAs Microsoft ramps up its own retail efforts, Sony will be closing its flagship PlayStation store in the Metreon Mall in San Francisco, California.

It may seem hard to believe, but the 5,500 square foot store has been open for nearly ten years, a substantial chunk of the life of many PlayStation fans. Sony representatives said the lease to the store expires on June 16, and it will not be renewed.

Sony opened the Metreon in 1999 with a principal concept of entertainment and retail fusion, or the “not-quite-a-mall” design. In addition to shopping and dining establishments, the four-story mall included such attractions as an IMAX theater and video arcade.

After Sony sold Metreon to Westfield in 2005, a design overhaul was imminent. The San Francisco Examiner reported last November that a large-scale remodeling effort would involve turning the majority of the space into outward-facing restaurants. The fourth floor has reportedly been leased by Tavern on the Green.

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Analysts Predict PlayStation 3 Price Cuts in 2009

January 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Although it’s not yet official, most analysts expect the NPD Group’s January video-game console report to show Nintendo’s Wii game console as the clear winner for December, with the Xbox 360 a distant second.

Analysts are also predicting that even as Sony’s PlayStation 3 begins to gain some momentum, price cuts may be just around the corner as the once-leading console maker struggles to compete against its less-expensive competitors.

"We expect December {video-game] sales of $2.625 billion — up 10 percent compared to December 2007′s $2.39 billion. We expect next-generation software sales of $2.42 billion and current-generation software sales of $205 million," said Michael Patcher, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan. "Our forecast reflects growth of four percent year-over-year for Xbox 360 software, 71 percent growth for Wii software, and 48 percent growth for PS3 software."

Slashing Console Prices

In September, Microsoft cut the price of its three Xbox 360 models to $199, $299 and $399. Sony responded by increasing hard-drive sizes and maintaining its PS3 pricing at $399 and $499. In October, Microsoft countered with the launch of its holiday bundles with free games Sega Superstars Tennis for the Xbox Arcade, and LEGO Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda for the Xbox 360 Pro and Elite.

"We believe these moves increased hardware sales, and note that the bundled software is not included in NPD’s overall figures, so Xbox 360 software sales may show only a modest year-over-year increase," Patcher said. "Microsoft hardware sales have been up modestly over the last two months, due to a higher value proposition and by having its core model priced below $300, and we expect this trend to continue in December."

Once the PS3 is at a more affordable price point — Wedbush expects a cut to $299 in April — the company thinks sales will begin to grow. However,…

Source: Top Tech News

Microsoft expects PS3 price drop ‘in the next couple of months’

January 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Now that the PS3 costs less to make, shouldn’t Sony be passing on its savings to you? That’s what Xbox 360 product manager, Aaron Greenberg, expects will happen via a price cut before summer.

Speaking to Edge Online, Greenberg said that, “We [Microsoft] absolutely expect the PS3 price drop to happen in the next couple of months,” adding, “We’re frankly surprised it’s taken this long.”

Sony isn’t surprised; it’s poised to turn a profit on the system for the first time … in the next couple of months. SCEI president Kaz Hirai very much wants this to happen — no doubt even more so given the fine mess Sony currently sees itself in — but the pleasing of stockholders just might have to take back seat to making sure PS3 stands a fighting chance with consumers.

Source: Joystiq

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