Formula One Championship Edition Pitstop Video

This new video from GameTrailers.com primarily serves as a demonstration of rather lackluster driving at Montreal. However, it also shows off the game’s interesting pitstop mechanism, which turns every refueling and tire change into a mini-game of sorts. As you can see, it’ll take some quick reflexes to get the 8 second stops you’ll see in a race on TV. If the above version isn’t good enough, you can view or download a higher res one at the game’s page at GameTrailers.com.

rFactor Patched to 1.250

As seen at Blackhole Motorsports, race sim du jour rFactor has been the recipient of a new patch, bringing it to version 1.250. The patch includes a number of nice new features:

Image Space Incorporated has released the much-awaited version 1.250 of rFactor. This update contains several new features and improvements, including a spotter for oval racing, more dynamic drafting calculations, better caution period handling, a forced cockpit option, and improved driver swap functionality. Also included are various bug fixes and expanded options for modders.

After the rather lackluster support and post-release expansions granted to other ISI-based games, it’s great to see rFactor getting such attention this long after its initial release way back in 2005. You can download the patch at the official rFactor site.

1.5 PS3 Update Includes Intriguing New Feature

PS3 Card Reader

We mentioned yesterday that the 1.5 update for the PS3 fixed a lot of the graphical oddities gamers were suffering when trying to play PS2 games. Well, as it turns out, it also added support for one of the most interesting…and disturbing new peripherals ever to hit a console. As reported by SCI FI’s Tech blog, the PS3, which already supports a variety of types of memory cards, now supports a new kind of card: your credit card.

Yes, via a small USB-based adapter (currently available only in Japan) you can swipe in your credit card to automatically pay for those downloadable add-ons that should have been included in the game in the first place. With the PS3 still having compatibility problems with numerous HDTV sets and with the Playstation Store lacking a number of key features (like the ability to queue up downloads), it’s good to know Sony developers’ time is being spent wisely.

Project Gotham Racing Coming to PSP?

PGR on PSP

The answer is no, but this is just too funny not to pass on. As seen at Evil Avatar, Sony’s PSP Connect site contains a rather…interesting banner, shown above. Don’t see the humor? Check out the site, then check out this promotional image from the Bizarre Creations’ Project Gotham Racing 3 site.

Yellow McLaren? Check. Multi-color TVR? Check. F-40 in the background? Check. Utilizing the competitor’s product to promote your own? You bet. Shame and ridicule? That’s up to you.

netKar PRO Goes Hillclimbing

As seen at SimHQ, The folks behind netKar Pro have posted up their first news update since October including an interesting new direction for the game: hillclimbing.

The Marangoni Group, operating in various sectors of the tyre industry, was in search of a driving simulator which could realistically reproduce the most important hillclimb race in Italy: the “Trento-Bondone”.

Logically, it is of extreme importance for the Marangoni Group to simulate this hillclimb race in the most authentic way. What is better than the full support of the winner of the 2006 Italian Speed Hillclimbing Championship? Simone Faggioli won the 2006 championship driving an Osella PA-21 prototype and helped the netKar PRO crew to accurately simulate this car in the netKar PRO engine.

If you’ve not seen the Trento-Bondone, or a hillclimb in general, you’ll probably dig the above video at Yahoo showing some of the action from last year’s running, displaying the incredible breadth of autos typically found at a major hillclimb event. No word on exactly when this expansion to the game can be expected, but in the mean time you can read the rest of the news at the official netKar PRO website.

3.19 Million Wiis Sold

Is that Wii or Wiis? Whatever it is, Nintendo’s sold a couple of tons of them, 3.19 million total units, a pretty monumental achievement for a brand new console that many were calling a joke last summer. There are another 800,000 on the way to stores at the moment, and Nintendo plans to manufacture a further two million by the end of March. Those are some amazing numbers and, with folks still lining up in the US to get their hands on one, it’ll be interesting to see just how long this crush of sales will last before things settle down a bit.

Euro PS3 Launch Details

Eurogamer has a bevy of updates surrounding the European launch details for the PS2. March 23 is the date, with a price of GBP 425 / EUR 599 for most territories. An impressive (and much more comprehensive than what we got) list of 30 launch titles will accompany the console to stores, though this counts the PS3’s library of generally uninteresting online titles. Included are five racers and auto-related games: MotorStorm, Formula One Championship Edition, Full Auto 2: Battle Lines, NFS: Carbon, and Gripshift.

Finally, the official list of peripherals and prices are covered, with SIXAXIS pads going for a costly GBP 34.99. Interestingly, the memory card adapter that has yet seen extremely limited release in the US isn’t on the list here, so if you’re hoping to take your GT4 garage with you to the new console, you might just have to wait a bit yet.

Many PS3 Backwards Compatability Issues Fixed

Some PS2 Game on PS3

Despite Sony’s claims of perfect backwards compatibility with the entire Playstation catalog for the PS3 right out of the box, that hasn’t quite been the case up to now. One of the more common problems was horrible dithering, aliasing, and general blurriness problems in PS2 games, resulting in many titles with unreadable text and unacceptable visuals. The 1.5 update to the PS3, released yesterday, fixes much of this, resulting in PS2 games that, well, still look like PS2 games. At least they don’t look any worse.

However, it’s worth noting that many of the specific compatibility issues, like GT4 crashing if left sitting at the title screen, remain unfixed. Here’s hoping future updates will address them.

Alonso and the MP4-22 Go Simming

It seems the modders have been paying close attention to the F1 launches over the past few weeks, which really should come as no surprise. As seen at Blackhole Motorsports, the above video shows the sexy new Vodafone liveried McLaren MP4-22 driven by one Fred Alonso (whom I’m sure some would also find sexy) in what looks to be the venerable F1 Challenge. Sadly I don’t have any more info than that to pass along, such as where or when you can download it, but surely it’ll be hitting the regular channels soon..