Rumor: New PS3 Model to Be Priced at $400

The PS3

Rumors are running a muck over the supposed release of a newer, cheaper, and slimmer PS3 model. Apparently, the new model will contain a 40 gig hard drive and will only cost $400. This is all according to Ars Technica’s mole who seems to be a very reliable source, previously reporting the addition of HDMI ports to the 360 and the the wireless/wired controllers for 360/PS3 versions of Rock Band (respectively). According to the mole, the 80 gig model will be dropped to $500, the new 40 gig model will be priced at $400, and the good ol’ PS2 will be priced at $99. In addition, a Blu-ray version of Spider-Man 3 will come with the purchase of any PS3, or at least with one of the models.

To fuel the flames of this rumor, Sony has filed information about a new PS3 model – CECHG01 – with the FCC and (as you can see in the post below) has announced that there will be a big announcement on October 12th. Could this be the new 40 gig PS3?

A $400 PS3 is exactly what Sony needs to get back on it’s feet. It would put the PS3 within a competitive pricing range of the 360. If they can manage to release some more good games for their console, this could be Sony’s saving grace.

Ah, but take this all with a grain of salt. In fact, take it with an ounce of salt. These are just rumors at this time. Hopefully, for any PS3 fans, they are true. Sony’s big announcement is in only 12 days so that’s all you have to wait to find out.
Well, see you then.

-Burbank

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Preview: Half-Life 2: The Orange Box

Gordon and Alyx From Half-Life 2 Ep. 1 and 2

We’re only weeks away from the premiere of yet another fabulous game, Half-Life 2: The Orange Box. The Orange Box is a compilation of 5 games: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episode 1, Half-Life 2 Episode 2, Portal, and the highly acclaimed Team Fortress 2.

Half-Life 2 has been upheld as one of the best PC games to date. With beautiful graphics, a revolutionary physics engine, and both a compelling story and gameplay, it alone justifies the $59 price tag. Thankfully the developer Valve is packaging in even more! The Half-Life episodic content, Episode 1 and Episode 2 has been additionally added in, but the best surprise is the addition of the action-packed puzzle game Portal.

Portals is another game set in the Half-Life 2 universe where you play as a yet unnamed female character who has possession of an experimental portal gun. With the portal gun she can create wormholes wherever she pleases. In the demo, the character was able to put one wormhole above another and create an infinite freefall or use the momentum gained from the acceleration of gravity from falling into one portal to jet out of the other in order to reach a faraway platform. This is something you HAVE to see yourself. It is a revolutionary gaming experience.

Heavy from Team Fortress 2

The last, and certainly not least addition to this compilation pack is the multiplayer game, Team Fortress 2. You play as one of nine different stylized characters in a multiplayer combat driven arena. Each of the characters have their own specific abilities and strengths. For example, the Spy can become invisible or disguise himself as an opponent character, the Engineer can build gun turrets, teleportation points, and health stations, the Heavy can endure brutal damage and deal it just as well, and the Scout can run incredibly fast and double jump. This unique and engaging multiplayer experience might be the threat to Halo 3 for best multiplayer game of the year.

The Orange Box will be released for the Xbox 360 and PC on October 9th and on the PS3 on the 13th.

Roll this beautiful game footage!

Pirates of the Caribbean 3: Review

Pirates

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is the latest installment in the famed pirate series that we all know and love. In this installment, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley), and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) must scour the Earth for the end of the world and the entrance to the “weird and haunted shores” of Davy Jones’ Locker in order to rescue the famed pirate, Jack *cough* Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from the depths of the underworld. All the while, the East India Trading Company, with the tragic Davy Jones at their disposal, is bringing about an end to piracy on a massive scale and attempting to unlock the mystery of the mystical pirate fetishes, the Nine Pieces of Eight. Davy Jones himself faces drama as he is forced into submission by the East India Trading Company and he comes face to face with the woman he literally cut his heart out for, Calyspo, the goddess of the seas. After numerous story twists, subplots, and backstabbings, the nine pirate nations of the world unite together in one final, dramatic struggle for survival.

I have been very impressed with the past installments in this series, in fact I rate them as some of the best movies I have seen. This movie, though maybe not as good as the last, is no exception. There’s plenty of drama, action, plot, and humor to go around and it is all done very well. Laughs were heard throughout the theater along with “Whoa”s and gasps. Every clash of the sword and explosion of the cannon just made you want to be a pirate. The depth of the story is actually quite astounding as well. But what really sets this movie apart from the rest is the strong sense of ambiance. Every scene has been meticulously designed to create the most dramatic emotional affect and intense sense of beauty. The rain swept decks of the Flying Dutchman, the dripping candles of the pirate meeting place on Shipwreck Island, and the exotic shores of Singapore are all beautifully done. Any still from this movie could be framed and put in a museum. The movie is 168 minutes long (almost 3 hours), but it will seem like mere moments.

On the downside, this isn’t the best installment in the series. The most notable flaw is the convoluted plot. Though still comprehendable, it was so confusing that many viewers thought they were watching Lost. One guy betrays that guy, that guy betrays the other guy, they all compromise and decide to betray some other guy who is planning for them all to betray him, which is all part of the plan of the first guy which goes horribly wrong when the other guy gets stabbed through the heart. It’s kind of like that except with magic! There are also many things that are not satisfactorily explained, like the magic coins and the Davy Jones love plot, among other things. The movie also relies too heavily upon the other two movies for comic material. For instance, the undead monkey is in almost every scene and turtles are continuously referenced for some reason and it really makes for some lame jokes, though these are certainly made up for. Another thing that I personally did not like is that I felt that some of the nuances kind of ruined some of the things that were cool in the last movie. The portrayal of Tia Dalma as a tragic character, for instance, really ruined what we loved about her in Dead Man’s Chest.

Despite these downsides, Pirates is definitely worth watching. If you’re not a pirates fan, go ahead and wait for it to come out on video. Otherwise, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. ARRRRRR!!!!!

+ Awesome ambiance
+ Well preformed action sequences
+ Hilarious
+ Good drama

– Too many references to past movies
– Convoluted plot
– Plot holes

➡ What’s really strange is that Johnny is never seen in this constume in the movie. 😯 Is it a reference to the next movie?
Johnny Depp

Perspective On Console Wars

What does the world need? Love, of course! But we have yet to figure out a way to massively manufacture emotions (though we try). So what’s the next best thing? Video games, (duh)! Video games have forever changed the course of history. Jack Thompson would even attest to the fact that games like Call of Duty 3 inspired WWII. I know what your saying, “Oh Burbank, greatest blogger in the world, we are not nearly as brilliant, hansom, or awesome as you! We’re homeless people and video games are expensive!! How will we ever get our hands on a video game?!!” and this is where the problem lies.

One solution to this problem is to try to pass a law which gives everyone infinite money, but I’ve already tried that and found that no one in congress will listen to good logic these days (Bush administration). Besides that, there’s nothing much you can do, but shop thrifty. Frugality alone will get you nothing, but a pack of bubble gum. You must multi-task and look for the highest quality and most hyped games as well. Good games = fun. Bad games = whatever the opposite of fun is, I don’t know since I only play good games (be like me). Your choice of games is very important, entertainment is not the only thing you must consider, it also has many social implications. If you bring a game like, hmmm….. lets say….. “The Teletubbies” to your friends, they will reject you forever and you’ll go blind, but if you bring a game like “Gears of War”, you are insured eternal life in heaven, plus you have an awesome game to play there. “But Burbank, we cannot think for ourselves, please guide us,” just hold your horses.

The first thing you must you must consider is your choice in what are called “systems”. “Systems” are machines used to run video games. There are various systems out there. As of now, the main systems are the Wii, 360, PS3, DS, PSP, and the computer. That’s right, you can even use your computer as a system and it may seem most logical to do so since you already have a computer at your disposal, but this may not be the best choice. The “console” systems run on your TV which may be far more convenient. They are the Wii, 360, and PS3. Let us examine them for a moment.

The 360 was the first to be released. It was nothing revolutionary, it was exactly what everyone expected. One cool looking wireless controller with a bunch of cool looking buttons connected to a cool looking box which sends cool looking HD graphics to a cool looking HDTV(not included). Many Wii fans have argued that graphics alone cannot sustain a system, but the beauty of the 360’s power is that not only does it create the possibility of awesome graphics, but allows for far greater expanse, detail, and even gameplay innovation which was simply not possible with the predecessor generation systems. Some blaring examples of this are games like Crackdown, Saints Row, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, and the upcoming GTA IV and Assassin’s Creed, though there are many others. The 360 has a somewhat moderate price of $400, but you can buy it used for as low as $250. It is also famous for it’s “X-Box Live” service which allows you to play and communicate with other players online or download extra content, it has a price of $50 per year which is not bad. Another good thing about the 360 is the fact that since it has been out longer than both the Wii and the PS3, it already has a large lineup of great games. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there aren’t many Japanese games for the 360 (no RPGs? GASP!) so you will mostly be playing first person shooters.

The second console to be released is the PS3. The PS2 was the winner of the last generation’s console war and Sony, creator of the PS systems, was confident that with all the the support it had that it would win the war this generation as well, oh how wrong they were. The PS3 boasted an extreme amount of horsepower which greatly surpassed that of the 350 and even the 360, a power so extreme that some PS3s have even exploded and I do remember that the day they came out there was a black out here where I live. This power, unfortunately (or fortunately), was not so much greater than that of the 360 that much a difference could be seen in graphics. And what about games? Well, most of the PS3’s good games will be simultaneously released for the 360 and besides those, most of it’s games suck. It also costs $600. So why would you want a PS3? Well, it has all these cool non-gaming features which you don’t really care about. It’s shiny. You can get attacked by muggers if you’re caught with one (and use the opportunity to become Batman). Yeah, don’t buy a PS3.

Now, the third console to be released is the N-Gage. The N-Gage is probably the greatest system ever invented, you’ll definitely want to look into this one. It’s a cell phone and a game system combined into one! It also has internet! (NO, don’t buy the N-Gage under ANY circumstances)

Now, of course, the Wii. The Wii does things far differently than any of the other consoles. Instead of falling into the same trap the PS3 fell in, the Wii does not concentrate on the quality of the graphics, but on the quality of the gameplay. The Wii uses some new fangled motion sensor technology to mix up the gaming experience. When shooting at alien monkeys, you are actually aiming your controller at your screen and shooting. When flipping a pancake, you actually make the flipping motion with the controller. Needless to say, this is hilariously fun. It also has a great price of $250! Unfortunately (it’s unfortunate any way you look at it, sorry), the Wii’s lack of graphical capabilities is it’s Achilles’ heel. It’s not bad that the Wii doesn’t have HD graphics since most people don’t have HDTVs, but even so, the Wii’s graphics suck, even on normal TVs. They look even worse than that of the Gamecube, some say they border along N64 quality which I must say is a complete lie, Goldeneye 64 definitely looks better then some of the games I have seen for the Wii. The Wii also lacks good games, of course the game developers had little time to develop for the Wii since they just got the developer kits last Summer and the good games are bound to come eventually, but the fact still stands that most of the Wii games that have been released suck. The Wii also has a new “Virtual Console” system which allows the player to download cool games from old systems which is cool except that it seems that only a handful of games are currently available and why would you want to buy them when they are all widely available in ROM format? The Wii also boasts of online play which hasn’t been seen yet either. So do you want the Wii? Maybe, but I think it will be better to wait for the “Wii Too” to come out when all the bugs are cleaned out and HD graphics are added.

For the time being, I can safely conclude that of all these systems, the X-Box 360 is the way to go. So go buy it. Now. If you already bought a PS3 or a Wii, don’t fret, your time will come, but the 360 is really your best bet if you’re looking for a good system right now.

Ah, and what about games? Well, you have already found the answer, my enlightened apprentice. The answer to that question is to keep checking STUFFWELIKE.COM

Your truly,
Burbank

P.S.
DON’T BUY THE N-GAGE!!!!!!!