Need for Speed Goes Carbon

NFS Carbon

Electronic Arts has been known for making hit games…and then beating them into the ground with sequel after sequel until they aren’t fun to play anymore. With that history there was no doubt that there would be yet another Need for Speed title, and everyone assumed it would be Most Wanted 2. And why not? There was a Need for Speed Underground 2, and the first Most Wanted was just as popular. However, the next title will be called Carbon, named after some canyon. So the classic racing series has taken a new turn into canyon racing…great.

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More Bad News for PS3 Fans

Seems we have another case of a Sony exec saying stupid things, this time it’s Kaz Hirai talking to Official Playstation Magazine. He has not one, but TWO frustrating/dumb things to say. First is this quote picked up on by 1UP:

I think it would be a bit of a stretch to think that we could suddenly turn around and say “PS3 games now $99.99” I don’t think the consumers expect the software pricing to suddenly be double…if it becomes a bit higher than fifty-nine bucks don’t ding me, but, again, as I said, I don’t expect it to be a hundred bucks.

In other words, PS3 games will cost more than $60, and possibly upwards of $99.

If that’s not bad enough, he goes on to claim that MS is copying Sony, as picked up in this Eurogamer article:

Every time we go down a path, we look behind and [Microsoft is] right there – we just can’t shake these guys…I wish that they would come up with some strategies of their own, but they seem to be going down the path of everything we do.

Everything you do like…an integrated hard drive? Or a unified online system? Standard wireless controller? Hrm…

ExtremeTech Dissects DX10

As seen at Evil Avatar, ExtremeTech has an interview posted with some key MS engineers on the topic of DirectX 10.

When DirectX 10 rocks your PC with the release of Windows Vista early next year, it will come courtesy of a trio of forces: The graphics card companies obviously play a huge role, as do the game developers, but DirectX is Microsoft’s baby. Ultimately it is up to Microsoft engineers to work together with IHVs (the independent hardware vendors that build the graphics cards) and game developers (aka ISVs—independent software vendors) to define the API.

We managed to sneak some time into the busy schedules of two key Microsofties to find out what makes DX10 tick, and why they think you’re going to want to migrate to a DX10-capable computer for the best experience the PC has to offer. Chris Donahue is the Director of Business Development in the Games for Windows Entertainment and Devices Division, while David Blythe is a Software Architect with the Graphics Platforms Unit.

Full Interview at ExtremeTech

Riiidge Raaacer Back on PSP

Kaz Hirai

IGN has info from a Famitsu article providing some details on the follow-up to Kaz Hirai’s favorite PSP’s racer: Ridge Racer.

Ridge Racers 2 adds a number of new modes to the original. In addition to the World Tours, Time Attack and Wireless Battle (still with 8 player ad-hoc support) from the original, you can now take part in Arcade, Duel and Survival modes. Arcade mode is set up like an arcade racer, where you attempt to reach a goal in a set time and earn additional time when crossing check points. Specifics on the Duel and Survival modes have yet to be revealed.

Full Article at IGN

The game’s due in Japan in 9/14.

SimHQ Interviews Professional Modder Hudson Kerr

Re-Textured Toban

The concept of “professional modder” may sound like an odd one, but Hudson Kerr seems to be making it work with some impressive re-workings of the tracks in rFactor, along with miscellaneous tools for sale on his site. He talks about the process of creating his mods (most of which sell for a couple bucks each) along with some challenges facing the modding community at large.

Unlike planes and trains, the automobile genre is crippled by [licensing issues]. For some reason, race teams and car companies are much more in tune with what goes on in the game biz. Whereas most plane and train companies view it as free promotion, companies here want control and a piece of the action. Things will have to be fantasy, or you must get permission or a license. I think for the most part, freeware modders will remain free to do most anything they please. This is one of the big pros about freeware, and partly why it won’t ever disappear.

Full Interview at SimHQ

More Info about Hudson Kerr

Test Drive to the Max

AC Cobra

Atari have announced that European gamers will have a chance to get their hands on Test Drive Unlimited for the first time at the Max Power Live festival in Birmingham (England, not Alabama), which promises three days of “madness, live action, beautiful babes and hot motors.”

Between the 30th June and the 2nd of July 2006, the NEC in Birmingham will be crammed with the country’s best modified motors, stacks of gorgeous babes, the coolest ICE and an unbelievable new addition….The Speed Arena. Every person that buys a ticket to the show gets a seat to view this 45 minute spectacular show of speed, stunts, smoke, babes and mayhem!

Max Power Live 2006 Website

Read on to see the slightly more mature sounding press release from Atari.

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Micro Machines Reviewed

GameSpot has posted their review of Micro Machines V4, and they sadly didn’t take much of a liking to it.

This game has more weapons, more tracks, and more cars than you could possibly know what to do with. But for all that content, V4 just isn’t fun to play. The novelty of racing tiny cars isn’t as entertaining as it used to be, which leaves V4 sitting on four flat tires.

Full Review at GameSpot

IGN seemed to enjoy it a bit more:

Micro Machines V4 is a surprisingly deep little racer that, while not without its problems, offers quite a decent trip down a virtual racetrack. But keep in mind, if you’re a hardcore driving nut then you should probably lower the score below a good one to two points… as this game isn’t really made with you in mind. Who it is made for, however, is an adolescent player who recognizes the toy line, is altogether new to gaming, or likes to keep their racing nice and simple. If that sounds like you or someone you know, then you may want to raise that score a point or two instead.

Full Review at IGN

More Cars for PGR3

The RUF RK Spyder

Now that Live is up and operational again, you can get back to your racing…and soon you’ll be able to do some more downloading. Eurogamer brings news of an article on the UK Official Xbox Magazine detailing this follow up to the already released Speed Pack.

As with the Speed Pack, it’ll cost 400 Microsoft points (or that’s the current plan) and it’ll also be able to download the cars individually too for 60 points – with one, the RUF R.K. Spyder, available for free.

Along with the Spyder, the Style Pack includes the 365 GTB4 (“Daytona”), BMW M3 CSL, BMW M6, BMW MINI COOPER S, BMW Z8, Chrysler Firepower Concept, Ferrari 430 Challenge, Gumpert Apollo Coupe 4.2 V8, Mercedes CLK DTM AMG, Pagani Zonda F and Vanwall GPR V12.

Fatal Intertia

Fatal Inertia

So the title is definitely lame, and the concept is a little tired. (Another anti-grav hover racer? Ho hum.) But, Fatal Inertia is looking like it could be good fun when it launches alongside the PS3 this fall. Mixing in expansive outdoor environments and deformable terrain could make for some interesting races. Read on for a handful of new screens and to see the game in motion.

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Xbox Live Downtime

If your copy of PGR3 won’t get you online today, it’s not your crummy internet provider failing you yet again. Xbox Live is down, at least between the hours of 10am and 2pm GMT (that’s 5am to 9am for us East Coasters). Only a little while longer before you can go back to doing donuts at the ‘Ring.