Slave to the Game

Filling you in on the oddball gaming news

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Besides a new Sony PS2, Sony also announced a new color for the slim Sony PSP in Japan - Deep Red.

The Deep Red Sony PSP (PSPJ-20000) will start selling on December 13th for 22,800 yen (~$198). Sony will also offer it in a bundle with the DMB TV tuner (PSPJ-20001) for 29,800 yen (~$260.)

Sony also announces a new battery charger for all Sony PSP consoles. The PSP-330 is going to sell for 3,800 yen (~$33).

Japan has several more color choices for the Sony PSP already: metallic blue, lavender purple, rose pink and felicia blue. Black, silver and white slim PSP consoles are also available in the United States.

If you want one of the Japanese market only PSP consoles, Play-Asia is exporting them.

The new version of SEGA game NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams on Wii (see our hands-on preview) is set to use real-world data as part of its gameplay. More specifically, NiGHTS will use the Wii Weather channel to decide what the weather will be like in a specific area of the game.

In NiGHTS, there is an area called My Dream where players will be able to interact with the A-Life creatures from the game. The creatures that appear are set to react differently depending on what time of day it is and what the weather is actually like. Due to the tie-in with the Wii Weather channel, this means the creatures you see and how they interact with you will be dependent on where you are in the world.

By introducing this feature, SEGA is randomizing the creatures to some extent, so not everyone sees the same A-Life reacting the same way every where. It also means players will have to play the game at different times of the day and in different weather conditions in order to see everything.

In some ways, this will be a nice feature, but it could also be frustrating for players–especially those who live in areas of the world where the weather doesn’t change very much from day-to-day.

NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is expected to be released across the U.S. on December 18.

That rumour about the new 40GB PS3s using the smaller, quieter 65nm chips? Yeah, no. Least, not yet. German site Heise Online managed to get in touch with SCEE regarding the matter, and were told that while consoles in the coming months would start to ship with the newer chips, those shipping now are still packing 90nm chips. Disappointed? Dry your salty tears with the knowledge that thanks to the use of new components elsewhere in the 40GB PS3s, power consumption is down 32.5%.

ESPN and Microsoft Corp. today announced an agreement that will add high- and standard-definition full-length games, television shows and video game programming to Xbox LIVE, the online games and entertainment network on Xbox 360. Effective immediately, fans of all ages can access a growing catalog of marquee sporting events and timely programming, including full-length NCAA college football and basketball games, Summer X Games 13, "World Series of Poker," "The Contender," "Madden Nation" and much more on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, the leading high-definition video download service.

"Establishing this relationship with Microsoft on Xbox 360 provides an innovative way to reach our target demographic through this dynamic next-generation entertainment console," said Matt Murphy, senior vice president, Digital Video Distribution, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. "This agreement embodies our mission to deliver the best sports content to fans, and does it through an exciting and robust platform that reaches millions of people."

Through this agreement, Xbox LIVE users can download a variety of popular events and shows available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace each week, highlighted by the best matchups from the world of college football and basketball.

For video gamers, ESPN content on Xbox LIVE will include the 2006 and 2007 seasons of "Madden Nation," an ESPN reality series taking fans inside the world of Madden NFL football competitive gaming. Additional programming will include the 2007 "World Series of Poker," the 2007 season of "The Contender," the full-length high-definition surfing documentary "Down the Barrel" and some of the best college football bowl games.

"This is a natural fit for us, as so many Xbox 360 owners are huge sports fans," said Ross Honey, senior director of the media and entertainment group at Microsoft. "We are dedicated to providing our diverse community of Xbox LIVE users the premium entertainment content they want, and partnering with ESPN is a great example of our continued dedication in the video-on-demand space, especially in high definition."

Currently offering more than 3,200 hours of premium entertainment content from more than 30 studios and networks, Xbox LIVE Marketplace is the only online service offering downloadable movies and TV shows in high definition.