LittleBigPlanet is ten years old.
Yesterday Sony launched a new PS3. Today we find out why.
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UPDATE 5/7/15 10.55am There's good news today for fans of LittleBigPlanet on PlayStation Vita - Sony has at last confirmed to Eurogamer that the portable game's servers will not close outside of Japan.
Sony's PlayStation business emerged relatively unscathed (stronger, even) from the PlayStation Network hack of 2011, but the legal ramifications are still ongoing.
When 2012 is all said and done Sony will have released three games starring Sackboy, the nondescript hessian bag of fluff and ice cream who made his name in Media Molecule's ground-breaking create-your-own platformer LittleBigPlanet.
Yesterday Sony launched a new, lighter, slimmer PlayStation 3 just in time for Christmas. The PlayStation 3 super slim, or the super duper slim as Bertie called it during our live report of Sony's Tokyo Game Show press conference last week, comes in two flavours in the UK: a mammoth 500GB edition (out now) and a teeny tiny 12GB edition (out 12th October). Sony doesn't set the price of its hardware in the UK (more on that later), but shops are live now with their offers (GAME has the exclusive on the PS3 500GB FIFA 13 bundle for £250).
But why has Sony revised the PS3 hardware yet again? And let's not forget the PS Vita, which by all accounts has sold terribly since its February launch. How's that doing? When will Sony cut the price? And what about those bigger memory cards? And where's 3D gaming gone? Sony used to love that. Now it's on the down-low. And what about the Wii U? How will Nintendo's new console impact PlayStation?
Armed with these questions we spoke with Sony UK boss Fergal Gara at Eurogamer Expo to get answers.
LittleBigPlanet PlayStation Vita developer Tarsier is offering one aspiring game creator the chance to work alongside its top men and women.
The brilliant Borderlands 2 has finally dethroned Sleeping Dogs to take this week's UK all-format chart number one.
It shouldn't make sense. What place does a game in which a chew toy jumps through shoebox dioramas filled with peeling wallpaper, worn rugs and offcuts from grandma's fabric drawer have on some of humankind's most technologically-advanced entertainment hardware? Sony's task is usually to cover up the joins in its work - to arrange the plastic, glass and buttons to resemble sleek, black pebbles popped straight from the future. It seems curious that a game hand-stitched in Guildford should have ended up the poster boy for Sony's corporate wonder-conjuring.
While no game would be better suited to sale on Etsy or a stall at an artisan fête, LittleBigPlanet's handicraft approach runs deeper than mere aesthetic - and it's here that the secret to the synergy is found. In play, you often notice the ropes and pulleys reeling past gaps in the scenery as doors open and bridges lower. The curtain flaps open so you see the sticks on which enemies animate into a scene; the craft behind the magic. You spy the machinations of level design, the digital nuts and bolts that work the level designer's ideas.
LittleBigPlanet shows its workings - not least via the powerful level editor with which much of the game's campaign was constructed - because, at heart, it is a game about the spectacle of ingenuity. I can't believe they did that, it hopes you'll say.
More than seven million LittleBigPlanet levels have now been created by the game series' community.
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita will be released in Europe on 19th September, the PlayStation blog has revealed.
The US must wait until the following Tuesday, 25th September to buy the game.
Pre-order to get the special BioShock or Knights of Old costumes.
Update: Sony has confirmed to us that in the UK GAME will carry the BioShock costumes, while Amazon will ship with the Knights pack. These pre-order bonuses will be live on the retailers' sites tomorrow.
New DLC due later this year will let you use the Vita as a controller for LittleBigPlanet 2, Sony has announced.
MM and Tarsier discuss collaboration.
Sony has opened registrations for the LittleBigPlanet Vita beta.
To have a chance at gaining access to the beta, head to the LBP beta sign-up website to register your interest.
For some reason, to get onto the sign-up website, you have to copy the URL and paste it into your browser. Here's the URL: https://psnbeta.eu.playstation.com/LittleBigPlanetVita/enroll.php
UPDATE 2: Microsoft has stressed that Phil Harrison hasn't replaced former Microsoft Studios Europe executive Peter Molyneux, who left to join Guildford start-up 22 Cans last week.
LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule poured cash into developing brand new products last year, in an effort to address its reliance on its PlayStation platforming franchise.
Sackboy returns on Sony's new portable.
Sony's cards are on the table at last. All six of them, in fact, as part of the WAAR (wide area augmented reality) feature Vita developers have been banging on about recently, with the console able to register up to six cards at once to create fancy AR experiences on the fly.
Sony and its studios make their pre-launch pitch.
Sony will not reduce the price of the PlayStation Vita - despite Nintendo's shock 3DS price cut.
Phil Harrison, then president of Sony Worldwide Studios, wanted LittleBigPlanet to be free-to-play, downloadable and to adopt a brand new business model.
LittleBigPlanet has seen 1.5 million new users since the PlayStation Network outage of April, developer Media Molecule has announced.
Media Molecule has explained studio director Siobhan Reddy's recent comment that the UK developer is "stepping away" from LittleBigPlanet.
Double Eleven, the new UK studio behind LittleBigPlanet Vita, has signed an exclusivity deal with Sony.
Formed by former Rockstar Leeds staff in 2010, the developer will continue to work on the LittleBigPlanet franchise as well as develop new titles for all Sony platforms.
"For us to become strong partners with Sony at such a crucial stage in our own development underlines the unswerving commitment we have made to the quality of our production," commented CEO Lee Hutchinson.
Sony has extended the PlayStation Network Welcome Back offer to tomorrow afternoon.
The next big game made by Media Molecule probably won't be LittleBigPlanet 3, because the studio wants to do something new.
Little-known UK developer Double11 is the studio behind the PlayStation Vita version of LittleBigPlanet.
"It was probably all a terrible mistake..."
Sackboy shown on Sony's new portable.
Sony has lifted the lid on how LittleBigPlanet is making the transition to the newly named PlayStation Vita, promising to "revolutionise portable gaming" in the process.
Sony has defended its "Welcome Back" offer of free games after users criticised the titles available.
More than four million user-created levels have been shared around the world in PlayStation 3 DIY platformer LittleBigPlanet, publisher Sony has announced.
For any youngsters reading, here's something to show your parents next time they tell you to turn the games console off and do your homework.
LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule is working on a new handheld title, according to a recruitment listing.
The LittleBigPlanet Wiki, a new community resource where users can share creative methods, has just gone live, developer Media Molecule has announced.
Games are the most important thing when it comes to the success of the PSP2 Next Generation Portable, Sony has said.
The first batch of games announced for Sony's brand new NGP (Next Generation Portable - a.k.a PSP2) handheld are as follows.
The first whispers of LittleBigPlanet 2 heading to PSP have been heard.
A new LittleBigPlanet web portal, lbp.me, has just launched to help players sift through the thousands of user-generated levels on offer.
Media Molecule's commitment to its community of level designers is impressive. With LittleBigPlanet 2, not only is the developer promising backwards compatibility with the full range of user-generated content out there, but the stages themselves automatically get a visual boost thanks to the radical enhancements made to the game's rendering engine.
For this blog post, which acts as a precursor to an extensive tech analysis tomorrow, LittleBigPlanet level design enthusiast David Coombes has put together a range of small levels designed to explicitly showcase some of the improvements made to the engine, and to test out some of the improvements discussed by Media Molecule's Alex Evans in Digital Foundry's pre-E3 tech interview.
One of the classic tests for lighting accuracy is the Cornell Box, which can be very accurately recreated with the content creation tools in the LittleBigPlanet, and then easily imported into the sequel's beta code.
Eurogamer's 2008 Game of the Year, LittleBigPlanet, can be bought and downloaded today from the PlayStation Store for £16.99/€26.99.
In Digital Foundry's last Saturday feature before the onslaught of E3, we talk to one of Media Molecule's tech masterminds, Alex Evans, about the origins of the company's association with Sony and how they got to grips with unique PlayStation 3 architecture.
Trailer for the premium level kit.
Sony has announced LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy will be joining the cast of drivers in the upcoming ModNation Racers.
Sony's list of strong first-party studios has grown this afternoon with the acquisition LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule.
Sony has revealed a stereoscopic 3D version of hit PS3 game LittleBigPlanet .
Media Molecule appears to be readying a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed update for LittleBigPlanet offering new levels and other gizmos.
Another awards night, another prize for Media Molecule, which last night collected the BAFTA for Best Videogame at the 2009 Children's Awards, having picked up the Artistic Achievement prize at the gaming ceremony earlier this year.
Media Molecule will roll a LittleBigPlanet patch called Leedrammer out today that adds, among other things, four-player online cooperative map-making! Until now, only two could work together on new stages.
Leedrammer also brings location-based matchmaking and a faster, improved save system that backs-up profiles and levels (hooray!). There's twice as much space for photos and costumes on the Popit menu too.
Head over to the Media Molecule website for a roundup of the smaller changes as well as a video walkthrough of the Leadrammer update.
US President Barack Obama has revealed a new education initiative that will enlist the help of games like LittleBigPlanet to get kids interested in science and maths.
Sony has told Eurogamer that the PSP version of LittleBigPlanet will be uploaded to the PlayStation Store in Europe today ahead of the game's retail release tomorrow. It will cost £21.99 online.
"Play, create, share." That's the official motto - or tagline, depending how cynical you are - of LittleBigPlanet. The idea being you play through a series of platforming levels, create your own (with the option to throw in items collected during the platforming bit), and share them online.
That's the idea, but it doesn't sum up everyone's experience of LittleBigPlanet on PS3. For some of us it was more like, "Play, create, realise game design is quite hard actually, give up." For others, "Play, complain about the controls being too floaty, go back to Resistance." LBP may have earned an impressive set of review scores thanks to the charming central character, uniquely realised artistic vision, impressive level of technical achievement and huge scope for creativity, but some people just want to shoot a monster in the face.
If you fall into that category, the PSP version of LittleBigPlanet won't pull you out. Development duties may have fallen to another studio, SCEE Cambridge, but it's clear the team there has worked hard to stay true to Media Molecule's vision. The result is a game which is just as pretty, inventive and enjoyable as the original, and slightly less floaty. Which is of course good news for those of us who were hooked by LBP first time around.
Media Molecule has apparently dismissed the notion of doing a sequel to its PS3 platformer LittleBigPlanet.
"We'd never want to do that," level designer Danny Leaver told Critical Gamer (thanks Kotaku).
"That'd be the most counterproductive thing you could do I think."
LittleBigPlanet will reach its first birthday this month and Media Molecule is releasing some new content to celebrate.
A release date has been announced for the US version of LittleBigPlanet PSP.
Demos for Katamari Forever, FIFA 10, Fat Princess and LittleBigPlanet are the star attractions on the PlayStation Store this week.
Sony has announced that a LittleBigPlanet demo will finally grace the PlayStation Store this Thursday.
The PS3 Store refresher boasts new games, demos and DLC aplenty, while PlayStation Home opens a new Events Space for Buzz!
Get questions right and a tomato will be lobbed at a rotating Buzz statue. Get 10 questions right in a row and you will unlock a tomato head to put on your Home avatar.
Smash Cars and Battle Tanks are the low-key PSN additions, although their price - £12 and £8 respectively - is steep. Conversely, Crash Commando has had a price-cut to promote new content added today.
Sony has had to cut multiplayer out of LittleBigPlanet in order to get it to work on the PSP, but other than that the game's remarkably complete.
Sony has revealed that LittleBigPlanet will soon support water, allowing Sackboys and Sackgirls to swim, sail boats, dive and more.
Sony has unveiled a Game of the Year edition of LittleBigPlanet, which will launch across North America on 8th September. There's no word on European plans yet.
Sony and Media Molecule may be looking to charge for downloadable levels in LittleBigPlanet PSP.
More than a million user-created LittleBigPlanet levels have now been uploaded.
Media Molecule may have been "shellshocked and gutted" when LittleBigPlanet had to be recalled to remove a reference to the Qur'an, but developer Alex Evans has said in hindsight there were some positives.
Due this year, complete with Stephen Fry.
Small but perfectly formed.
Media Molecule's Alex Evans has revealed that LittleBigPlanet will be getting a web-based portal that users can easily share and advertise their levels on.
Sony has confirmed to Eurogamer that Ratchet & Clank content is "in the works" for LittleBigPlanet, "But we don't have any further details at this time."
The company was responding to developer Insomniac's Twitter, which posted a Tweet from "mmalex" (Media Molecule's Alex Evans).
"lbp levells coming, r&c content done, coming soon hopefully, up next for mm, big pack, bigger than mgs even," Tweeted Evans.
Media Molecule has ended the woolly Sackboy giveaway that offered literally everybody in the UK and Ireland a free plush toy.
Media Molecule is offering a free woollen Sackboy toy to literally everybody in the UK and Ireland.
Scratchy Marvel superhero Wolverine is the growl of the town this week; the film launched on Wednesday and the game arrives tomorrow. There's a demo here to try out, and our review is poised, ready to strike. Hint: brutal but banal.
The other eye-catcher is the Steel & Titanium map pack for Killzone 2, adding an extra pair of multiplayer maps. The Cops and Robbers mode - does what it says on the tin - for Burnout Paradise might be worth a look, too. Expensive, though.
The rest is fairly run-of-the-mill. Incidentally, the Brain Challenge Bundle is a brain-teaser game plus add-on packs.
Foppish British brain-box Stephen Fry has confirmed he will also lend his voice to the PSP version of LittleBigPlanet.
Sony has revealed its schedule for new LittleBigPlanet downloadable content in April.
Sony has made and launched an official YouTube channel for LittleBigPlanet.
Here be videos of user-created content and community shenanigans, as well as tutorials from developer Media Molecule, cultural collaborations, challenges and all sorts of hints and tips.
Sony also plans to run special weekly giveaways for the community. The first of these challenges players to pick a country or area of the world, base a level on it, film the level, write the theme tune, sing the theme tune, then submit the film. Grand prize is a pair of around the world tickets, 14 nights accommodation and GBP 1000 spending money.
The number of levels created by LittleBigPlanet players has reached 725,000, according to Sony.
In a candid Game Developers Conference session, Mark Healey and Alex Evans - leading lights of LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule - revealed that the studio wants to develop the game much further.
LittleBigPlanet has nearly two million online users, Sony America said on Friday, and between them they have uploaded nearly 650,000 levels.
Sony has updated the PlayStation Store with a Wheelman demo, some more DLC for Street Fighter IV, Everybody's Golf, LittleBigPlanet and Buzz, and the digital download version of Patapon 2 for PSP.
Media Molecule co-founder Mark Healey has expressed his delight at LittleBigPlanet's BAFTA success, revealing that the Artistic Achievement gong was "secretly the one I really hope we would win".
Sony has announced a trio of big-name titles coming to PSP.
Forget the Oscars, LittleBigPlanet has cleaned up at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' annual awards shindig, collecting eight gongs including best game, best console game and best game direction.
Nobody could accuse of Media Molecule of cynicism. LittleBigPlanet's introduction has the ever-reassuring Stephen Fry refer to Planet Earth as "an orb of dreams", inhabited by creatures boasting "vast imaginations" that are "charged with creative energy". The scriptwriters have obviously never watched Jeremy Kyle or spent an evening down our local Wetherspoons, else they'd be more likely to characterise humanity as being "vastly cretinous" and "charged with GBH".
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is heading up the nominations for the British Academy Video Game Awards this year, which take place in London on 10th March.
Psyonix Studios' Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars heads the PlayStation Store update this week.
Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux has hailed LittleBigPlanet as the most important creative innovation of 2008, ahead of his own dog-filled role-playing adventure Fable II.
Kotaku has spotted that the Asian PSN website has details of the Metal Gear Solid Sackboy costumes for LittleBigPlanet up, and there are a couple of surprises.
There's no change at the top of the All-Format UK Charts this week as Call of Duty: World at War, Mario Kart Wii and FIFA 09 hold firm in the top three positions.
Sony has restocked the PlayStation Store cupboards to include a free Santa outfit for LittleBigPlanet. Ho ho ho.
The same game also hails the arrival of four Street Fighter-themed costumes, featuring togs worn by Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile and Zangief. These are GBP 1.59 a pop, or all four for GBP 4.79.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords - Revenge of the Plague Lord is up for grabs at GBP 15.99. And full games NBA Live '09 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09 can be downloaded for GBP 29.99 and GBP 31.99, respectively.
Sony has said the Street Fighter-themed Sackboy and Sackgirl costumes for LittleBigPlanet will be available to download this Thursday.
Sony has assured disgruntled LittleBigPlanet fans that level-moderation changes are in the pipeline.
As if Sephiroth and Solid Snake were not enough, Sony seems to have lined up a Street Fighter IV quartet for Sackboy treatment ahead of the game's 20th February release.
Sony UK has told Eurogamer that the company is "pleased" with sales for LittleBigPlanet, and believes "Sackboy hasn't even hit his stride yet".
The comments came in response to a lacklustre UK all-formats chart performance for the game, which debuted at four then tumbled, this week, to 19.
"We're really pleased with the initial reaction to LittleBigPlanet, which has been our highest scoring game ever, I believe, with a Metacritic score of 95 per cent and a huge list of 10/10s or 100 per cent scores. We are also pleased with its commercial performance," a spokesperson for Sony UK said.
Creatively-minded LittleBigPlanet players have been given the chance to win a rare Prize Crown via Sony's latest LittleBigChallenge.
Nintendo is back at the top of the Japanese software chart after last week's PS3 shake-up.
Sony has crammed plenty of content onto the PlayStation Store this week.
The most of expensive bits are full downloadable versions of PSP games FIFA 09 (GBP 29.99) and puzzler The Cube (GBP 15.99), which we had no idea were turning up.
However, the most interesting - for us at least - are the new costumes for LittleBigPlanet. Yes, we do like dressing up. There's a free Sack-eating-plant outfit, and four more costumes at GBP 0.79 each: Lily Pad, Hugo (a gorilla), Great Blue and Frost-e. These are bundled together in an Animal Costumes pack for GBP 2.39.
Gears of War 2 has blasted its way to the top of the UK chart while LittleBigPlanet managed fourth behind FIFA 09 and Fallout 3.
Fans are becoming angry about the removal or "moderation" of content created by Guitar Hero World Tour and LittleBigPlanet online communities.
Grand Theft Auto IV has thundered to the top of the Japanese chart this week, selling more than double the number of copies of LittleBigPlanet - which makes its chart debut at three.
Not that Sony will mind too much, as the PS3 version of GTA IV proved the most popular with 133,000 sales - nearly 100,000 more than on Xbox 360, according to Media Create data on NeoGAF.
Both GTA IV and LittleBigPlanet also helped boost PS3 hardware sales, which rocketed up to 39,587, making the Sony machine the best selling console in Japan this week.
After a rather unfortunate sequence of events that resulted in Sony's biggest game of the year being pulled, tweaked and re-pressed after its first shipment, LittleBigPlanet finally hit UK stores this week.
First things first, apologies if you were disappointed, having read our Eurogamer Expo preview on Monday, to discover that the MotorStorm: Pacific Rift vehicle outside the Expo entrance was a monster truck instead of a Humvee. We are also sorry that so many of you missed the chance to touch Bertie's moustache, which endures even now atop the sweater-clad granite torso and arms of news-typing sultriness.
Developer Media Molecule will be offering free Halloween (pumpkin) Mask and Launch Spacesuit costumes for LittleBigPlanet next week.
Sony has said that it is still "investigating the cause" of LittleBigPlanet online issues. Meanwhile, copies of the game on both sides of the Atlantic have been patched to version 1.03.
Uh-oh! Having turned them on yesterday, Media Molecule has had to turn off the LittleBigPlanet servers.
We've had the patch that fixes the song, and with the game starting to filter through to US gamers and heading to UK retail in the middle of next week, Media Molecule has finally flipped the switch on the LittleBigPlanet servers.
Media Molecule is already developing a sequel to LittleBigPlanet, according to a report from BBC technology editor Darren Waters.
In a report published on Friday (thanks vg247), Waters wrote, "Even before the game has hit the shops, the team are already at work on a sequel."
Sadly there's no corroborative commentary from anyone at Media Molecule in the report, and Sony has yet to respond to requests for comment.
I'd like to bring you better news about the tomato-sauce rocket, but I'm afraid I can't. The team spent hours crafting it, nursing it through that eleventh-hour transformation from mayonnaise to ketchup (the switch was made "in case the mayonnaise coming out the end gives people the wrong idea" in the words of our star designer), building it out of polystyrene so that it was light enough to take to the skies but still allowed Sackboy to cling onto it for the ride, and finally constructing, one at a time, the hamburger buns that would cushion its landing.
It's patch city and LittleBigPlanet's the mayor! After this morning's news of a 1.01 patch, heroic reader Luke informs us that 1.02 is now available.
This one does neuter Tourmani Diabaté's song "Tapha Niang", silencing the two lyrics borrowed from the Qur'an, putting the game into the state it will presumably be when you all get hold of it in two weeks' time. In actual fact, it removes the entire vocal track, leaving a pleasant instrumental.
There's no word on what else the patch does, but then you won't notice, since the game isn't out yet. Unless you're in the secret club, obviously, in which case you can join us sulking about how the game servers aren't online yet.
Sony has patched LittleBigPlanet to version 1.01, but this isn't the patch that removes controversial lyrics from Tourmani Diabaté's song "Tapha Niang".
Eurogamer downloaded the patch this morning, but the controversial lyrics identified since the game's worldwide recall last Friday can still be heard.
So what does the patch do? We're waiting to hear back from Sony for the official line, but posters on the PlayStation.com forum noticed that the jetpack can now be turned off with the circle button. Previously you had to shake the Sixaxis or DualShock3.
Atari president Phil Harrison has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes Sony took "absolutely the right decision" in recalling LittleBigPlanet over references to the Qur'an in one of the background songs.
Speaking to the BBC's News at Ten TV programme, Toumani Diabate, the Malian singer of the music track that has caused the delay to LittleBigPlanet's release, has defended his lyrics.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony has clarified that LittleBigPlanet will be released in the UK on 5th November.
Sony Europe has said that LittleBigPlanet "will start to appear in stores no later than the week commencing Monday 3rd November in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, on a country by country basis".
The platform holder added: "We appreciate all the enthusiasm surrounding this much anticipated title and we would like to thank PlayStation fans for their support and understanding."
In case you missed all this, LBP has been delayed after last-minute testing confirmed that one of the background tracks includes Qur'an references. Developer Media Molecule prepared a patch, which would have fixed it immediately, but Sony decided to recall every copy of the game worldwide to replace the disc with a new master version.
LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule has said it is "shellshocked and gutted" at having to recall and remaster the PS3 platformer worldwide after a community member spotted references to the Qur'an in one of its background tunes.
Sony has confirmed that it is delaying the release of LittleBigPlanet and recalling the game from retailers worldwide because it has identified "two expressions that can be found in the Qur'an" in one of the background songs.
Update 5.10pm: Sony has confirmed that LittleBigPlanet will be recalled worldwide due to two references to the Qu'ran in a piece of licensed background music.
Eurogamer is delighted to announce that Michael Williams, better known to you lot as Lazlow, has triumphed in our LittleBigPlanet level design competition!
Sony has told Eurogamer that a LittleBigPlanet PS3 bundle will arrive here on 31st October.
It was the little game with big ideas. A compact, cute PS3 platform game from a tiny indie studio that wanted the world to muck in with its making, using level and object creation tools. But with time (and not very much of it at that), LittleBigPlanet became a very big game indeed.
It took off, like one of its own rocket-propelled skateboards. It became the poster-child for a new generation of gaming; commentators and Sony executives showered it in buzzwords, talking up connected communities creating constellations of content, portraying LittleBigPlanet as Spore in skate pants.
Sony got giddy with all the reflected glory and love. First it promoted the game's Sackboy avatar to platform mascot and ubiquitous totem of cool, and then elevated LittleBigPlanet itself to the status of a triple-A, blockbuster tent-pole of its entire platform strategy. It as good as said that this was the game that would save PS3, and even those who'd loved it at first sight had to wonder whether Media Molecule's funky experiment could take the strain.
LittleBigPlanet has been winning headlines with consummate ease ever since its announcement at GDC last year, so it's my pleasure to tell you that one of the first reviews of the finished game will be posted on Eurogamer at midnight on Sunday.
Just so there's no doubt about that, I'm going to hit the button at 11.59pm. You can all read it a minute later. The game's obviously destroyed our web-servers once, with the beta key giveaway, but hopefully they will hold in two days' time now that we've upgraded them a bit.
LittleBigPlanet is, of course, Media Molecule's fascinating new 2D platform game where every level is something that the player could then go off and recreate in its entirety using the creation tools included.
Media Molecule's Alex Evans has reportedly said that levels created with the LittleBigPlanet beta will be transferred into the final game after all.
1UP ran around after him in Tokyo shouting (probably), and eventually he turned around and with typical mild manners informed them that it's all fine, and their pendulous custom genitals will be preserved.
Yesterday, you may have spotted a PlayStation.com poll that encouraged fans of the game to vote on whether beta levels should be kept or scratched. Not surprisingly, everyone said they should be kept.
Entries for Eurogamer's LittleBigPlanet level design competition are now closed. Thanks for all your submissions!
We want Harold from Neighbours.
Sony wants to know if it should delete all the things you've made using the LittleBigPlanet beta, which ends on 12th October.
"As many of you are doubtless aware, at present we are not planning to make shared creations from the beta test available in the full version of the game. However, we're aware that a lot of time and effort has been put into what you've created so far," the company wrote on the official PlayStation.com LBP forum.
"With this in mind we're going to give you the choice! Whether you took part in the LittleBigPlanet beta test or not your opinion counts - would you rather that created levels and items from the beta test were available when the game launches, or would you rather we removed everything and the shared side of the game started from scratch? Vote before Monday October 13th, and we'll go with whichever option receives more votes!"
Got PlayTV for your PlayStation 3? Planning to buy LittleBigPlanet? If Media Molecule co-founder Mark Healey gets his way, you could end up watching last night's Eastenders in-game and pasting stickers all over Ian Beale's smug face.
Media Molecule co-founder Mark Healey has admitted that controlling LittleBigPlanet "annoys" him, but insisted the studio can "refine" this after the game releases.
Sony has explained to Eurogamer that there has been a slight production hiccup with the Sackboy toys, meaning they won't be shipped in time to be sent with pre-ordered copies of LittleBigPlanet.
Media Molecule co-founder Mark Healey has outlined his vision for a handheld LittleBigPlanet, revealing how gamers could create content on the move to add later into the PlayStation 3 version.
Good news if you missed out first time round: there's still a way to get onto the LittleBigPlanet beta. We've got 150 more keys to give out to people who enter our LittleBigPlanet level-making competition.
Calm down though! In order to give you time to put thought and care into your level designs, we'll be waiting until Friday to distribute the 150 keys to randomly chosen entrants. Anyone who has submitted a level by Friday - including those of you who have already done so - is in with a chance of getting one of the keys.
All we ask is that you try a little harder than emailing us a photo of your cat, as we are verifying the entries as they arrive. Good try though!
Update:All of the LittleBigPlanet keys have gone! Sorry for all those who had trouble connecting during the stampede, and apologies to those who missed out.
LittleBigPlanet needs no introduction, and if it did, Sony would use trumpets and red carpet for the occasion. This, we've been told, is the PS3 game of 2008. And we're inclined to agree.
So, we're excited to have teamed up with Sony to give away a whopping 5800 keys for the LittleBigPlanet beta. 5800! And all you have to do to get one is head to our LittleBigPlanet giveaway page and click a button.
Sony has pushed the release of LittleBigPlanet forward to 24th October (22nd for mainland Europe) - a week earlier than expected.
Spaceman and rare T-shirt.
A list of all the awards you'll be able to win in LittleBigPlanet has popped up on PS3trophies.com.
Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux reckons the PlayStation 3 is still waiting for a console-defining game.
Media Molecule boss Alex Evans has said LittleBigPlanet "as it is" would not work on Xbox 360, mainly because the game had been developed with only one system in mind.
Retailer Play has unveiled a LittleBigPlanet pre-order campaign to give away in-game Nariko Sackgirl costumes.
Media Molecule plans to run a public beta for LittleBigPlanet at some point this month.
"There will be a limited public beta test for LittleBigPlanet in September," said developer "Sam_Protagonist" on the official PlayStation forums, spotted by Kotaku.
"If it will be possible to 'sign up' for this test, full information on how to do so will be made public in advance of the test. Similarly if the test is going to be conducted in an invitation-only [way] we will let you know ahead of time."
Sony has told Eurogamer that official Disney downloadable content for LittleBigPlanet has only been mentioned as an example of third-party support, adding that nothing has been finalised.
Who would have thought, with all the marketing millions and pretensions of cool behind Sony's PlayStation 3, that its most iconic characters in 2008 could end up being a nicotine-loving geriatric in skin-tight latex and a doll made out of burlap cloth? The geriatric, at least, was something we expected. The sack doll? Not so much.
Sony Europe boss David Reeves has revealed that LittleBigPlanet will be released in PAL territories on 29th October.
Media Molecule's ambitious 2D-platform-game-with-physics is the Emperor Penguin of Christmas releases, with Sony grooming cover-star Sackboy as the new face of the PS3.
As well as a full single-player game, LBP's big thing is that you can make your own levels - and could actually build the entire game as it is using the tools provided, which is of course what Media Molecule did.
Sony is grooming LittleBigPlanet character Sackboy to become "the next emblematic character for the PS3".
Sony believes LittleBigPlanet "is going to be a hardware seller" when it's released exclusively on PS3 this October.
Sony has launched a new website for forthcoming PS3 exclusive LittleBigPlanet.
There's not much to see yet, but apparently the site will keep us "informed, educated and hopefully excited" about LBP in future. There's also an interactive feature if you click on the SackBoy at the top right. We've just spent several minutes playing with rainbows and butterflies.
LittleBigPlanet is out this October. You can read all about it, view screenshots and watch videos over on the gamepage.
Pre-order LittleBigPlanet in North America and you'll get some exclusive bonus goodies, according to the US PlayStation blog.
Developer Media Molecule has "a rather scarily long list of great ideas for ways to support the community" after LittleBigPlanet launches - but is waiting to see what people want first.
Media Molecule co-founder Alex Evans wants to do another big "reveal" for LittleBigPlanet - and reckons the game has plenty left to surprise us with.
The Japanese website for LittleBigPlanet is displaying what appears to be a definitive date for the game's release.
Take a look and you'll see October 30th is displayed numerically down on the bottom left.
So will the game get a simultaneous release in Europe? Well, Sony's already promised us it'll be out in October, so maybe it's down for the 30th here too.
Sony Europe has told Eurogamer that all user-generated content in LittleBigPlanet will be free at launch.
The publisher was clarifying comments made by David Reeves to PS3 Fanboy. He said you will be able to make money by selling your LBP creations using an "iTunes meets eBay" system, and even teased that we may see someone become a millionaire off the back of it.
"SCEE and Media Molecule can guarantee that all consumer-generated content will be free at launch. We know how important this is to the LBP community and what we want most is for people to enjoy playing, creating and sharing their content," Sony told Eurogamer.
Soft-spoken Media Molecule co-founder Alex Evans is showing off LittleBigPlanet to a roomful of press, and we're stood behind him blowing raspberries and wailing. Obviously. He doesn't seem to mind. Five minutes in, he asked if anyone wanted to play along, and inexplicably we were the only people to put our hands up (both of them, while hopping up and down). So now we're cycling the Sackboy emotes with the d-pad and using the DualShock 3 tilt function to angle our puppet avatar's head so he's watching his dad.
Media Molecule has snapped up music from The Go! Team and Battles and put it in LittleBigPlanet.
LittleBigPlanet will be making use of the PS Eye for some top secret "creative features".
Media Molecule co-founder David Smith has revealed LittleBigPlanet will run at 30fps in 720p.
Media Molecule co-founder David Smith has told Eurogamer that LittleBigPlanet is already being beta tested and he hopes to include you lot soon.
"A beta trial is really important for us to make a game like this. We already have trials in progress! It should gradually grow to include more people," Smith said.
"The beta is starting off in a very controlled way, but will hopefully open up to lots more people. We aren't at a stage yet to know what direction we need to go with this. Personally, I'd love the beta to have as many people as possible, but we need to wait and see."
Media Molecule's David Smith has confirmed trophies will feature in LittleBigPlanet - and offered a hint at what you can expect.
During a live text interview with Eurogamer Smith said, "We've been having a lot of fun working out what trophies most fit our game. Because we have this catchphrase of 'Play, Create, Share', the trophies (and indeed some of the other scoring systems) reflect this."
He was responding to a question from reader 'will.', who wrote, "Personally, I'm looking out for 'Rocket sack - launch your sackboy into the heavens!'"
Eurogamer readers will be able to quiz David Smith, co-founder and technical director of LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule, this Wednesday, 2nd July.
LittleBigPlanet is the PlayStation 3's great white hope for 2008 - an ambitious, abstract physics game built around user-created content - but developer Media Molecule admits that the hype has taken it by surprise.
Speaking at the SCEE PlayStation Day in London, Kaz Hirai has revealed LittleBigPlanet will be released in October.
Sony has told Eurogamer that it has made no announcements about the LittleBigPlanet beta dates so far.
It was responding after comments from producer Kyle Schubel from Sony in the land of America, who told PSU that a closed beta for the game would begin this summer.
"I'm afraid we haven't yet made any announcements as to the dates of the LittleBigPlanet beta trials, and are not yet able to confirm a specific month," a spokesperson for Sony Europe told us. "In terms of the game's release date, we are still tracking a September launch."
Sony has confirmed to Eurogamer that it plans to moderate user-generated content in forthcoming PS3 exclusive LittleBigPlanet.
Media Molecule has assured those excited about LittleBigPlanet that it's coming along very nicely, thank you.
At one point in our demonstration of LittleBigPlanet, someone asks a simple question about the physical interaction of the materials you can use to create stuff in its sticky-back-plastic platform-game world. It's answered, wordlessly, by level designer Dan Leaver. In a minute or two, he creates a constellation of blocks of concrete, wood and sponge hanging in mid-air. Then he exits edit mode - effectively un-pausing the game - and they crash to earth convincingly, tumbling, bouncing and squashing each other.
Shooters and sports games. RPGs and racers. Strategy and simulation, action and adventure. The lines may blur but for the most part you know where you are with these. If a game's got guns, cars, football or wizards, it's easy to see where it fits.
Sony has confirmed to Eurogamer that LittleBigPlanet will be released in September.
It follows word from a source on Monday who claimed this would be the case, despite Sony's reluctance to stamp its name on it.
LittleBigPlanet is essentially a tool that lets you build your own games within an overarching framework; think variations on a theme. You and three friends can then try them out, or you can share them with the rest of the PS3 community.
A source nestled within Sony has whispered to Eurogamer that LittleBigPlanet will be on our shelves in September, echoing the same suggestions made elsewhere.
LittleBigPlanet hopefuls may have a new trailer of a pirate ship, but they won't be getting a demo this year despite previous comments to the contrary.
Sony has released a new trailer for LittleBigPlanet showing off a pirate ship level.
Debuted during the Spike TV Videogame Awards yesterday, the Go! Team-accompanied 102-second short shows players customising their ship with seaweed, shells and the like before taking it for a ride.
Toward the end the cute, woolly little rag-doll characters zoom down a hill at speed, something they look slightly upset by, before barrelling into some blocks which tumble about the bows as they disembark.
If you've ever wondered what Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime makes of the competition, an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle has the answer: he likes the look of LittleBigPlanet, reckons the Halo trilogy is indispensable and thought BioShock was "tremendously well done".
Perhaps the most exciting thing to emerge from Phil Harrison's keynote address was LittleBigPlanet, a game Sony reckons embodies its "Game 3.0" concept perfectly.
Developed by Media Molecule, it simply presents you with the tools to create your own entertainment. You start as a little brown creature who appears to be made out of wool, in a backyard like environment, bumbling around the place in an effort to work out how to interact with different bits and pieces. Once you've got this under control the whole experience opens up, allowing you to place different objects in your world using a cut and paste type system.
All of the objects are made out of materials, like wood, fabric and metal, and the whole game has a charming look.
Sony hasn't had the easiest ride of late. Giant enemy crabs. Riiiiiidge Racer. The price. The European delay. The backward compatibility issue. Executives saying daft things. It all adds up to massive damage to its reputation.
Better pop October in the diary.