Psyonix Studios' Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars heads the PlayStation Store update this week.
The delayed European launch has left the PlayStation 3 with something of a problem - a sizeable proportion of its debut games are already available on the Xbox 360. Indeed, the likes of Fight Night Round 3 have been maturing on the shelves for over a year, while many of the others debuted on the 360 over four months ago. Internet gossip and many online reviews also point to several of these PS3 conversions suffering in comparison to the 360 'originals', an astonishing state of affairs considering that Sony's hardware is newer technology with a price tag that dwarfs that of Microsoft's console.
Of course, it's early days for the PlayStation 3 and any new piece of gaming technology takes time for game developers to get to grips with. That said, many studios (off the record of course) are not entirely happy with the SDK that Sony provides for PlayStation 3 development. The word is that Microsoft's programming environment gives better results more quickly. There's also the question of memory - Xbox 360 gives developers a full 512MB to do with as they will. PlayStation 3 on the other hand divides its internal RAM into two 256MB portions, with one section dedicated entirely to the NVIDIA-derived graphics technology. Up until recently, 64MB of the PS3's system memory was also sectioned off for OS use only, meaning that memory becomes far more of a precious commodity when developing on the Sony platform.
Clearly the PS3 is far from technically deficient up against the 360. While the 360's triple-core PowerPC CPU is an extreme piece of technology, Cell is no slouch in itself. It may only have a single core, but its satellite SPU processors are astonishingly powerful - just one of them can decode 300 MP3s simultaneously in real-time, and there are six of them available to be used in concert while the main CPU runs the core game logic.
The game everyone except all of you has taken to calling "Fighty McNighty" will be arriving on PlayStation 3 in the USA on 12th December, EA Sports has revealed.
It may not be a sucker-punch surprise, but EA has confirmed that Fight Night Round 3 will land blows on PlayStation 3 this winter.
Under normal circumstances it's pretty difficult to get too worked up about another EA boxing game. Sure, they're the best boxing games by a country mile (by virtue of, um, being the only boxing games released in recent years, come to think of it), but the art of pugilism has rarely translated to being a gripping videogame. Whether that's been a technology or a design issue is a tough one to argue. With the notable exception of Rage's excellent Rocky, on a design level the genre's often laboured through unsatisfying and inflexible control systems that never quite give you the feeling of being fully in control, and from the technology perspective the animation's never really been fluid enough to give you the feeling of true, convincing impact - despite the huge strides in character model realism.
But now that we're now riding the next gen wave, there's a real chance for Electronic Arts et al to harness all the extra grunt of the 360 in a more meaningful way than merely delivering the same old gameplay in high def.
It sounds like the fluffy, Tomorrow's World introduction to a typical game conference speech, but imagine a boxing game where the characters move, behave, react and look in such a natural fashion that you no longer need health and energy bars on the screen because you can see everything you need to know by observing their responses. A game where the knockout punches connect with such convincing force and velocity that you physically wince as the stricken boxer crumples in pain, sweat spraying off the aggressor's gloves as it connects, gloopy spittle trails shooting out of the victim's swollen, mis-shapen mouth moments before he hits the canvas with a grace of a felled tree. A game where the detail levels are so high that the character no longer look like computer generated avatars, where sweat glistens on their freckled skin, and boxers move with a precision and grace so believable it's virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. A game where the fighters perform with such varied and convincing tactics that you feel truly involved in a battle: not just of physical might and combo mastery, but of wits, of playing to your strengths and nailing weaknesses with ruthless aplomb.
US gamers who purchase EA's Fight Night Round 3 for PlayStation Portable will have to pay for the privilege of playing the game online - or agree to let ESPN send them all manner of junk mail instead.
Boxing's always been about personalities. I don't follow the sport particularly, but even I can identify most of the people who've been involved in it. Not too surprising, then, that EA's Kudo Tsunoda is quite a character himself. He wears shades in January, talks at about a mile a minute, and constantly says things that I'm surprised his PR minders aren't yelling at him about. When one of the journos questions the presence of a Burger King logo on a replay overlay, he says, "It's because it's the Burger King punch of the round," - an obvious reference to the game's TV styling, which owes a lot to EA's deal with ESPN. "Or, as we like to call it, the Burger King five-hundred-thousand-dollars-for-us punch of the round." Er. "Um, yeah, don't write that down." Too late.
Electronic Arts has released a new demo for Fight Night Round 3, the first Xbox 360 instalment in the hit boxing sim series - and it's now available for download via Xbox Live Marketplace.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that an Xbox 360 version of Fight Night Round 3 is indeed in development, along with the Xbox, PS2 and PSP versions.
FNR3 will feature Arturo "Thunder" Gotti and "Irish" Micky Ward, who will also appear on the PS2 and Xbox game boxes. The PSP and Xbox 360 versions, however, will have a different cover design - with the boxers in question to be announced at next month's Consumer Electronics Show.
Fight Night Round 3 is out on PS2 and Xbox in February, and a teaser site is already up and running and showcasing a trailer for the game.