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Confirmed: PlayStation Vita is region free photo
Confirmed: PlayStation Vita is region free
by Dale North

We kind of thought that the Vita would be region-free, and at E3 we heard some positive news, but now we know for sure.

According to 1UP, Sony Computer Entertainment's president of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida confirmed it. In response to a question sent to him on Twitter about Vita being region free, he said, "Yes, it is."

Guess what I'm doing in December?

I said I wouldn't be buying boxed games for the Vita, but now it looks like I am. That's cool. If the PlayStation Network stays the way it is, you'll need a Japanese credit card or point cards to pull down PSN titles. Still, it's great to hear that importing is officially a go. If Japanese language and terrible exchange rates aren't a hurdle for you, get your order in now!

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Metal Gear Solid & Zone of Enders HD collection revealed photo
Metal Gear Solid & Zone of Enders HD collection revealed
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Zone of the Enders is coming back in glorious HD format! Both Zone of the Enders games are being remastered in HD and is hitting the PlayStation 3 AND Xbox 360. Zone of the Enders will be out in 2012.

As for the Metal Gear Solid HD collection, it will include Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The MGS collection will be out this November. This will also hit the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Konami states that these HD version isn't an emulator. It's optimized and rebuilt specifically for the PS3 and Xbox 360. There's a new user interface, redrawn high-res 2D art, new trophies and Achievements and improved audio quality.

Additionally, both collections will have a new feature called "Transfarring." Yes, it's really spelled that way. Transfarring will allow PlayStation 3 and PSP owners to share one save that works between the two versions of Peace Walker. So far that will be the only game that works with Transfarring. The feature is also in the Zone of the Enders HD collection but Konami wouldn't detail why exactly. Possible PSP or NGP releases coming?

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PlayStation Store is back with a stampede of updates photo
PlayStation Store is back with a stampede of updates
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Good news: The PlayStation Store is back online in North America! Bad news: There's so much new content that was put out all at once that it's simply overwhelming. Not saying it's bad news for the consumer, but it's just a shame that all these games are basically trampling over each other for proper exposure.

While the Store is back, there might be some spotty issues while the service is fully restored. Destructoid editor Conrad Zimmerman can access only some of the Store content at the moment. You should also know that the Welcome Back freebies aren't online just yet. Grace Chen on the PlayStation Blog states that the free games are "in the final stages of testing and will be available to download soon."

The PlayStation Blog has the full list of new PlayStation Plus content; price changes; new downloadable games for the PS3, PSP and PSP minis; demos; PSone Classics; add-ons; like, a hundred Rock Band songs; music; avatars; and themes. All the games you can fully purchase are listed below so you don't have to sift through it all.

PlayStation Store is Available and Updated Now [PlayStation Blog]

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Rumor: Sony NGP to be called PlayStation Vita photo
Rumor: Sony NGP to be called PlayStation Vita
by Jim Sterling

We're a week out from E3, but that doesn't mean the rumors have to stop just yet. According to a supposed E3 fact sheet, Sony's PSP successor, codenamed NGP, is going to be known as the PS Vita. 

Yes, it sounds like something you'd call a bottle of overpriced posh water. 

Sony's E3 press conference is going to happen on June 6, where it's expected we'll get the final look and name of this thing. Sit tight until then!

Rumour Time: NGP’s Official Name Revealed [Games Pundit]

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PSP Remaster title series coming to PS3 photo
PSP Remaster title series coming to PS3
by Dale North

We already told you a bit about Sony's upcoming PSP Remaster ports for PS3 in our Monster Hunter Portable 3rd news item, but we wanted to pass along a few more details on this series of games.

Remasters will be PSP titles customized for PS3, released on Blu ray discs. Expect high-definition graphics, full DualShock 3 control support and even the possibility of 3D visuals. You'll be able to use your PSP game saves on these ports, and ad hoc play will be supported through the PS3's ad hoc party feature.

The releases will start out in the Japanese market. It kicks off with Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Ver., but Sony makes it sound like they have more lined up for us on this front. I'm sure we'll hear more at E3 in a few weeks on what to expect for our country. 

I'd love to see some of my PSP titles live on and go HD. Give me Crisis Core, for sure. Valkyria Chronicles II? Yes, please. Hell, even Metal Gear Acid would make a fine candidate.

What PSP games would you like to see ported?

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PSN update: Sony says private info may have been stolen photo
PSN update: Sony says private info may have been stolen
by Nick Chester

Sony Computer Entertainment has just come out and said it: it thinks it's possible that all of your private data may have been obtained.

In a recent PlayStation Blog update, Sony says that while its "still investigating the details of this incident" it believes that an "unauthorized person" may have obtained your private information. By "information," it means basically everything: your name, address, country, email address, birthday, and your login and password. Also possible: this person has your credit card information if you provided your data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity.

"Out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained," writes Sony's Patrick Seybold.

Finally, it's repeated that Sony is "working day and night" to make sure that both PSN and Qriocity services are back online. It expects "some services" to be restored this week. Considering the breach, I think playing Killzone 3 or Call of Duty: Black Ops online should be the least of your concerns, though.

For more details, follow the link below to the PlayStation Blog, which also provides contact information that might help you protect your privacy.

Update on PlayStation Network and Qriocity [PlayStation Blog]

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Sony drops PSPgo price to $150, gamers shrug photo
Sony drops PSPgo price to $150, gamers shrug
by Dale North

Back when the PSPgo came out it felt like I was the only one excited about it. It was small and sexy. It sold...some. At $250 for what really was a lesser game system that what it was supposed to stand in for, the PSPgo was a bit hard to swallow. Then, before last Christmas, probably because it wasn't selling, Sony dropped the price to $199. I know that helped a bit, but still, the cheaper PSP-3000 was lighter and had a freakin' UMD slot.

Don't tell anyone, but I sold my PSPgo on eBay. I realized I was carrying around my PSP-3000 everywhere, all the time. Never the PSPgo. Sony would cry if they knew.

Now Sony drops the price again, probably in an effort to get these things out the door before the NGP hits. It's now $149, which is where they probably should have started at in the first place. This could help clear out stock, but it probably won't. Why? The PSP-3000 is now $129. It's still a better system at a better price.

Here in Japan, where everyone and their mom carries a game system on their person, I almost never see a PSPgo. You trip over people with a standard PSP, but the PSPgo is still rare. 

[Artwork via the f'n amazing Conrad Ruiz -- This is actually a 70" x 110" watercolor on canvas!]

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Counterpoint: Why Sony's PSP2 (NGP) will succeed photo
Counterpoint: Why Sony's PSP2 (NGP) will succeed
by Josh Tolentino

[Note: We’re not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that they may not jibe with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]

Yesterday, Samit told you that Sony's "Next Generation Portable," or PSP2, or whatever they end up calling it in the future, would fail, due to the hardware giant's betting once more on the failed strategy of using powerful technology to ineptly ape the home console experience.

Sony had supposedly missed the sea change that occurred in the gaming space as smartphones and other, less dedicated platforms muscled their way into prominence, offering experiences in "bite-size chunks." They should instead have produced a device capable of playing games that could only be played on the handheld platform, games that were unique, innovative, convergent, emergent, and suited to all manner of game-design buzzwords.

Today, I'm here to tell you that that fundamental change goes much deeper and far further than the portable space, and that it's exactly the reason why the NGP can succeed.

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Why Sony's PSP2 (NGP) will fail photo
Why Sony's PSP2 (NGP) will fail
by Samit Sarkar

[Editor’s note: We’re not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that they may not jibe with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.

And whether or not you agree with this article, keep an eye out tomorrow for a counterpoint from my colleague Josh Tolentino.
]


A week and a half ago, Sony officially unveiled its next handheld gaming device, which is currently codenamed “Next Generation Portable” (NGP). That might be one of the least creative monikers of all time, but it’s ostensibly appropriate -- at least from a hardware perspective. The NGP sounds like a beast of a handheld, packing two quad-core processors (CPU, GPU); a bevy of wireless radios (3G in at least one model, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth); an OLED touchscreen and a rear touchpad; front- and rear-facing cameras; and six-axis motion-sensing capabilities.

But is Sony misinterpreting the handheld market by betting, as usual, on technological superiority?

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Destructoid discusses Codename: NGP, the PSP successor photo
Destructoid discusses Codename: NGP, the PSP successor
by Jim Sterling

In the dead of night, Sony lifted the lid on the long-awaited PSP successor, a system codenamed Next Generation Portable. In addition to this, it also revealed a cross-platform mobile gaming service, the PlayStation Suite. 

Naturally, the Destructoid editors had a lot to say about it. We discuss the potential price, the worth of a touchpad on the back of the system, and whether this handheld behemoth can tackle Nintendo's 3DS. It's a spirited discussion, so leave your flames at the door and come on in!

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Games announced for the NGP include Uncharted, Killzone photo
Games announced for the NGP include Uncharted, Killzone
by Conrad Zimmerman

Sony showed a lot of both hardware and software at today's PlayStation Meeting 2011. So what games do we know of for the device? Live demonstrations of Uncharted and Hot Shots Golf were performed at the event, as well as Capcom's Lost Planet 2 and a new samurai title from Dynasty Warriors developer Koei. 

The PlayStation Blog has a rundown of other franchises which Sony has shown or talked about at the event. Major properties such as Killzone, LittleBigPlanet and Resistance obviously top the list and Call of Duty appears as well. Pool simulator Hustle Kings is listed, along with a number of new projects such as Little Deviants, Gravity Daze, Broken and Smart As.  

Furthermore, Sony has released a list of third-party developers and publishers. All the major players seem to be on board, though I'm happy to point out that Capybara, PopCap and Grasshopper all seem to be working on projects for the handheld. I can't wait to see what those studios in particular wind up doing with the Next Generation Handheld. Who do you want working on it?

Next Generation Portable (NGP): All the early details [PlayStation Blog] [Image]

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Sony announces PSP2, codenamed NGP (Updated) photo
Sony announces PSP2, codenamed NGP (Updated)
by Samit Sarkar

[Update: Sony has posted photos and hardware specifications of the NGP here. The CPU is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and here's the size of the unit: 7.17" (width) × 3.29" (height) × 0.73" (depth). You can check out 13 photos of the NGP in the gallery. In addition, Sony has confirmed that "NGP will be able to play PSP titles, [PSP] minis, [PSOne] classics, video and comics from the PlayStation Store."]

At PlayStation Meeting 2011 in Tokyo today, Sony officially announced the successor to the PSP. It's codenamed "NGP" ("Next Generation Portable"), and it appears to have an answer for many of the common complaints about the PSP platform -- and then some. As you can see, its body looks very much like a PSP, but it's larger than the PSP-3000, since it's packing a five-inch multitouch OLED screen at 960×544 (four times the pixels of the PSP). Here's what else we know about the hardware:

  • two analog sticks (yes, you read that correctly: sticks, not nubs like on the PSP -- they rise above the surface of the device)
  • 3G, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and GPS radios
  • the same motion sensors (three-axis accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope) as the PlayStation Move
  • a multitouch touchpad on the rear of the unit that's the same size as the front screen
  • front- and rear-facing cameras
  • a quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4+ GPU
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PlayStation Phone leak details specs, PS Pocket software photo
PlayStation Phone leak details specs, PS Pocket software
by Nick Chester

It's increasingly looking like Sony Ericsson's Android-powered "PlayStation Phone" is legit, despite the firm not revealing the device at this week's Consumer Electronics Show. Why bother, though, when random folks from China can leak details for you?

The latest comes from Chinese website IT169, which got its hands on the device, confirming a ton of details about the phone, its internal hardware, and a mysterious "PlayStation Pocket" software launcher.

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The Destructoid Show Awards show: Part Two photo
The Destructoid Show Awards show: Part Two
by Jonathan Holmes

Here it is! The big finale! The climactic closing to our two part awards show special (in case you missed it, here's part one). In this episode we have even more special guest stars, including game developers, game characters, Jim Sterling, Scott Stapp, Hamza Aziz, his alter ego "Ham", other Destructoid personalities, and even a birch or two. It's quite a wild ride.

As far as categories go, we cover Best DLC, Best Musical Score, Most Improved Series, Best New Intellectual Property, Best Remake/Revival, Best Competitive Experience, Most Surprising Announcement, and the all important Reader's Choice Award. If you were sad that one of your favorite games wasn't mentioned in part one, be sure to check out this installment. You might be pleased with what you see.

Speaking of sad, I'm sad to announce that this episode marks my final scheduled appearance as co-host of The Destructoid Show. I can't say for sure what will happen in the long-term, but for for now, I have responsibilities here on the east coast that restrict me from making regular appearances on this program (which is shot in California). I plan to stay as involved with the show as possible though, so if you know what's good for you, you better treat Max Scoville (the show's new co-host) with the respect that he deserves. Otherwise, I may have to start a new regular segment on the show about how annoyed I am at you for being mean to poor old Max.

Oh, and before I forget, you can subscribe to us on YouTube or iTunes. It's like getting sexy candy kisses from a sexy sugar spouse, FOR FREE!

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Live blog: Spike Video Game Awards 2010 photo
Live blog: Spike Video Game Awards 2010
by Nick Chester

[Update: The awards are over -- you can find a full list of winners, as well as the evening's premiere's right here.]

Spike's Video Game Awards will air tonight, starting at 8:00 PM Eastern. You can watch it on Spike TV, or you can just follow along with our live blog. Hey, why not do both? 

Right now, Spike is currently streaming a pre-show online, and have already given out two awards at the time of writing. The award for "Best Original Score" has gone to Red Dead Redemption (Bill Elm and Woody Jackson) and "Best Team Sports Game" has gone to 2K Games' NBA 2K11

Live blog is below, and right below it you can check the nominees -- we'll be updating with the winners as they roll in. 

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The PSP2: What We Want photo
The PSP2: What We Want
by Jim Sterling

Sony is terrible at keeping secrets. Killzone 3, Resistance 3, the PS3 Slim, the PSPgo, Sony has no end of cats to let out of its bag, and rare is the time we are ever surprised. The PSP2 looks set to continue this trend, with rumors and gossip surrounding what now looks like an inevitable announcement. 

Still, even though we know it's coming, the announcement of a new handheld is always fun, and the pre-release speculation never ceases to amuse. With that in mind, here's a list of things we'd personally like to see in the PSP2, in order to put it above and beyond the original PlayStation Portable.

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