Become A Beta Tester For The Next Halo Game

Bungie, the developer of the popular console gaming series Halo has announced a new program that will let regular player sign up as beta testers for their upcoming games. The program will require users to sign up on the Bungie.net website with a valid email address and notify their interest in becoming a beta tester.

The beta tester will get involved in Playtests and Usability Testing at Bungie, surveys on game playing habits and Alpha/Beta Testing for their next game. That’s no confirmation on whether this shall indeed be the next game in the Halo series though we think that’s likely.

Also, not all those who signed up will be selected as a beta tester. But Bungie has indicated that they will require “hundreds of thousands of gamers” before the final launch happens. Does that make you all the more hopeful?

Downgrade PS3 Firmware To Older Version With PSDowngrade

Before I get to the news in the title, here’s something interesting for the week. Folks at PSJailbreak have announced that they have been successful in jailbreaking into the latest PS3 firmware version of 3.42 and 3.50. The hack is enabled using a USB mod that will enable users to install unapproved software and games to their PlayStation consoles.

If you have jailbroken your PS3 using one of these softwares, it is now also possible to downgrade your system to an older version of the firmware. PSJailbreak have now launched a sister-site called PSDowngrade.com that will assist the user in downgrading their Playstations to an older firmware. The hackers claim that the downgrade process is very easy and intuitive and will take less than a minute to carry out. So there you go.

Play Angry Birds On PlayStation, XBox & Wii Soon

Angry Birds, the simple game where the user launches a flock of birds to hit out at pigs that have stolen their eggs has become hugely popular on each of the platforms they have launched until now – iOS, Android, Symbian,etc. Now, this application that has a passionate following among its users could soon be making its way into the game consoles.

This revelation was made by Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka at the Social Gaming Summit held in London recently. Rovio is the gaming company behind the successful application and according to Vesterbacka the company could also be launching a sequel to the game but with a twist – the story could be told from a pig’s point of view. Vesterbacka did not elaborate much over these upcoming releases.

Nevertheless, a gaming console version could come as exciting news for the thousands of followers and we look forward to an announcement regarding the release dates.

Price Of PSPgo In USA & Japan Slashed

Sony has announced a massive price cut for the PSPgo portable gaming console for consumers in the United States and Japan. The discounted price in Japan looks all the more sweeter with a drop of ¥10,000 off the original price. That is roughy $124 in USD terms. American buyers will now see the device selling at a $50 reduction in price.

So what does all of this mean? If you are in the USA, the new PSPgo will now cost you $199 instead of the original $249. And if you are in Japan, the PSPgo will sell for ¥16,800 ($208) instead of the older ¥26,800 ($332) price. The new discounted prices are expected to be available starting October 26.

Since its launch, the Sony PSPgo has been constantly criticized for its high price. The company had in February this year announced that they may be relaunching the console in the future due to a lack in consumer interest and poor sales. Let us hope the discounted prices now will help resuscitate the sales of this wonderful console.

Future XBox 360/720 Could Be Tablet Consoles?

Epic Games, the developer of the popular Unreal Engine gaming series, had recently announced the launched the imminent launch of Unreal Engine 3 on Apple iPad. As part of the announcement, the company’s vice president, Mark Rein said that the tablet form factor was very much part of the future gaming environment and that the day was not far off when you will have an XBox 360 in a tablet form factor. Rein said,

“Imagine a future Xbox 360 that is actually a tablet you carry around. It will have more power than 360 does today, with technology like Kinect built right in. Imagine walking into a bar with some friends, propping it up on the table and playing games like Dance Central or Kinect Adventures anywhere you go. Then when you get home that same device will use technology like AirPlay or wireless HDMI to connect to your big screen, you’ll pick up a wireless controller, or use your phone as controller to play games like Gears of War.”

Of course, this is not any indication of what is to come in the future. But given Epic Games’ experience in building games for the various platforms, Rein’s words are not entirely speculative either. What do you think?

Nintendo 3DS Launch Date Confirmed

Just a day after German tabloid Bild made a bold speculation about Nintendo launching their new 3DS console on November 11 this year, the official date is out. And Bild is wrong by a big margin. According to the official statement released today, the company shall be launching the new 3D-capable portable gaming console in Japan on February 26, 2011. That’s quite sometime away. The statement also noted the price of the console in the domestic market as 25,000 yen that is close to a $299 price point.

There is no word on when the consoles will make their way out to the other countries. Nintendo has said that they will make separate statements regarding the launch of Nintendo 3DS in USA and Europe and given earlier speculations, that should be close to March 2011.

The console was earlier believed to be launched in Japan by November 20 after a product designer revealed that his designs for the 3DS were launching on that day. Hopefully, the latest statement from the company has put these speculations to rest.

Nintendo 3DS Launch In Japan On November 11?

It seems like we can’t write enough about the speculations surrounding the launch date of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS. Earlier this month, a Japanese product designer had tweeted about his 3DS product launching on November 20 giving us an indication that Nintendo could be launching the device on that day. However, according to a report on the German tabloid, Bild, the Nintendo 3DS could be launching on November 11 in Japan. The report further states that the subsequent launches in the North American and European markets could happen in the end of 2010 and early 2011 respectively.

Bild is not exactly known for reliable reporting and has often been criticized for reporting on unconfirmed reports. The latest report thus needs us take the news with guarded skepticism. But it does not mind. Nintendo is expected to reveal official launch dates very shortly. The company shall be making the announcement on September 29 in Tokyo. That’s tomorrow.

Meanwhile check out the rumored features and specification of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS here.

Now Watch 3D Blu-Ray Movies On PlayStation 3 – New Firmware Released

Sony has released a new firmware version for PlayStation 3. The new firmware 3.50 will offer support to 3D Blu-ray movies on the Sony PS 3 console. The announcement is in line with our revelation last week that the new firmware would release on September 21.

The new firmware will let users play three-dimensional movies on any television set capable of playing 3D content. Apart from 3D support, the new PlayStation firmware also brings enhanced social integration to the console. Developers may integrate their games with Facebook while users can use this integration to have a more social experience on their PS 3. In addition to this, the new firmware also brings a grief reporting function to the console that will let users to send claim reports directly from the XMB for inappropriate messages they receive from other users.

You can check out instructions to download the new firmware by clicking here.

Rumored Nintendo 3DS Features And Specifications Revealed

Though a lot has been spoken already about the upcoming Nintendo 3DS portable 3D gaming console, we are yet to hear anything official about the technical specifications. Well, that won’t happen until we move closer to the launch date, but from sources IGN spoke to, we have been able to round in on a few of the technical specifications. So these are some specs that the new Nintendo 3DS is likely to have

  • 2x 266MHz ARM11 CPU
  • 133MHz GPU
  • 1.5GB flash storage (with SD card expansion)
  • 4MB Dedicated VRAM
  • 64MB RAM

IGN further notes,

“While we were unable to determine which variation of the ARM11 processors the 3DS will feature, we now have a better sense of the system’s capabilities. Currently there are a number of devices being powered by the ARM11, including the Zune HD, a variety of Android smartphones, and prior to the introduction of Apple’s A4 processor, the iPhone and iPod touch. “

So there you go. That’s not a bad specs list and is good enough for us to want one. How do you feel about it? Tell us in the comments.

Sony PlayStation 3 With 3D Blu-Ray Support Coming On Sep 21

Sony has announced that a new firmware update for their game console is coming soon – on September 21 to be precise. The new 3.5 firmware update will bring with it the ability to render 3D Blu-ray content.

Speculations surrounding the new 3D Blu-ray support on Sony PS 3 have been doing the rounds for quite a while now though it is only now that Sony has officially confirmed the impending launch. The technology will require users to wear polarizing glasses.

This upcoming firmware update was recently showcased by Sony at the Tokyo Games Show. Folks at Engadget have caught hold of a pretty convincing video demo to showcase the 3D capabilities on the new Sony PlayStation 3 firmware 3.5 update. Do you like what you see? Tell us what you think in the comments below.