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Friday, February 9, 2007
11:35 PM - February 9, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
We have just posted some more SSX Blur screenshots.
"SSX Blur is everything you expect from the franchise, delivered in a totally unexpected way. Revolutionary controls take full advantage of the Wii's potential by putting you in total command of your skier or rider, on-the-ground & in-the-air, by translating every motion you make into the skills that create mountain legends.

SSX Blur will be available for the Nintendo Wii in March 2007. The game has a 3+ PEGI rating. It is not yet rated by the ESRB."

11:01 PM - February 9, 2007. Posted by hdaniel1.
IGN Update (Multi)

IGN has posted the following:

04:10 PM - February 9, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
Reality Competition Featuring EA’s NBA LIVE 07 to be Televised February 11

ESPN Original Entertainment will present NBA LIVE: BRING IT HOME, a six-episode reality competition series that will feature the eight best players of NBA LIVE 07, the popular video game from Electronic Arts, competing for a cash prize and the right to be considered the game’s best player. The series will be hosted by ESPN.com columnist Scoop Jackson, with appearances by NBA players Vince Carter, Carmelo Anthony, Baron Davis, Antawn Jamison, Dwyane Wade, as well as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. NBA LIVE: BRING IT HOME is produced in conjunction with Roadside Entertainment and will debut Sunday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN HD.

During this one-of-a-kind reality competition, each gamer will compete to advance through the tournament by using home court advantage – the right to play on their own turf, flanked by family and friends. Once on their own home turf, the elimination games begin. After these 2nd rounds, the winners face an even bigger challenge. Each second-round winner must take on the role of NBA LIVE coach to an actual NBA player. Their athletes’ success or failure against another athlete determines home court advantage for the semi-final rounds. When it’s down to two players, they will compete on the ultimate home court – that of the 2006 NBA Champion Miami Heat, the American Airlines Arena in Miami. The winner will take home $100,000.

“Basketball fans everywhere love NBA LIVE, and we believe offering a competition of the game’s best players will be just as exciting to those playing at home,” said Ron Semiao, senior vice president, ESPN Original Entertainment. “Our presentation of Madden Nation was a huge success, and we look forward to continuing our work with EA to bring fans the most comprehensive gaming experience around.”

In addition to the series, EA Sports’ LIVE 07 offers ESPN Motion and streaming ESPN radio podcasts delivered right to the console in-game through a new ESPN integration package available on the Xbox 360™. Fans connected online can watch NBA game highlights, segments from Pardon the Interruption or Around the Horn, interviews and analysis from SportsCenter, and more. Fans can also download and listen to ESPN Radio podcasts as they play NBA LIVE 07, including segments from Dan Patrick, Mike & Mike, Stephen A. Smith and others. All this is in addition to live ESPN Radio SportsCenter updates every 20 minutes, the ESPN Ticker and ESPNEWS.

04:07 PM - February 9, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
Message from Dan Greenawalt.

When we set off to create Forza Motorsport 2 on the Xbox 360, we knew we had to up the ante on realism for console racing simulators. To that end, a big part of our next-gen racing experience lies in the use of controller rumble and wheel force feedback to completely immerse the player. Racing in the real world is a multi-sensory experience with drivers relying on a well-integrated stream of visual, auditory, vestibular, and haptic information -- everything from the sound of the wind and tires to the pressure of the brake pedal and engine vibration traveling up through the steering column – to let them know how their car is performing. For the last couple weeks here at Turn 10, we’ve been fine-tuning the force feedback implementation in Forza Motorsport 2 using the Microsoft Wireless Force Feedback Wheel. In the process, I’ve written a whitepaper on why force feedback is so important to the overall racing simulation package. Below are a few abstracts from the article…

• Visual and audio cues are simply not enough to convey reality. Forza Motorsport 2 uses haptic interfaces to reproduce a realistic sensation of driving. Whether you play our game with a rumble-enabled controller or a full racing cockpit with force feedback wheel setup, Forza Motorsport 2 gives you tactile cues to improve your game.

• Force feedback is the primary language between car, road, and driver. Force feedback is an extremely useful haptic interface. It provides real-time info on several key aspects of Forza Motorsport 2’s physics model. Obviously, force feedback simulates the steering wheel torque created by having the front tires on different terrain types, such as asphalt, rumble strips, or grass. It also simulates load balance between tires as well as slippage.

• Without simulating “aligning torque,” your force feedback is useless. When driving a car in real-life, aligning torque is what your hands “feel” in the steering wheel. Aligning torque wants to point the steering wheel in the direction of travel. Aligning torque auto-corrects the steering wheel when you are over-steering or drifting. Aligning torque helps you find peak friction when you are understeering. Basically, aligning torque is the primary language that your front tires use to talk to you.

• Your hardware is only as good as your software. Most of what you feel, as you play a racing game with wheel-in-hand, comes down to game design and software. When force feedback is poorly implemented in a game, even the best force feedback wheel is often a less effective controller than a rubber-band wheel with a good deadzone.

Check out http://forzamotorsport.net for my complete thoughts on racing simulators and why force feedback is crucial to their accuracy and design. Enjoy!

04:02 PM - February 9, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
Shawn Drotar recently had the chance to attend a motion capture event with the cover athlete of MLB 07: The Show, David Wright.
"It's a cold and snowy morning in Denver. I get to the airport and security goes through my luggage, which consists of a coat, a camera, a notebook and one belt with entirely too much metal in it. Handing my boarding pass to the TSA agent, he notices that I'm a solo flyer, with a return flight less than eight hours after my departure, I haven't checked luggage, and I'm carrying essentially nothing… or in other words: Welcome to the Department of Homeland Security's magical and mysterious "watch list", sir - and enjoy your flight.

But when you get a chance to get out of the blustery winter of Colorado to visit bright and beautiful San Diego, and then get to talk some baseball, to boot? Well, the Feds probably have my entire DNA stored and mapped somewhere already, anyway, so I'll deal with the dirty looks from the airport X-ray jockeys and be on my way."

07:01 AM - February 9, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
Life/Balance/Madden

5WG has posted an article entitled, Life/Balance/Madden.
"Gamers are still fighting an unfortunate stigma; despite being a large and ever-increasing part of the population, admitting that one’s a gamer is still akin to revealing that you’re a leper to most people over the age of 30. Gamers are still considered backward, socially awkward-types who have no sense of balance in their lives, instead frittering away their days with a controller in their hand, acting like mindless zombies.

The Washington City Paper introduces us to two reasons why.

The paper profiles Washington, D.C. residents R.J. Warren, 18, and Justin Chow, 21, and their obsession with Madden NFL 07. Referring to the Electronic Arts/ESPN show “Madden Nation”, in which the winner earns $100,000, the City Paper says that Warren’s “made slackerdom pay off”."


Def Jam: Icon Demo Impressions (360)

Kotaku has posted their Def Jam: Icon demo impressions.
"The game tells you to master the beat to win the fight. As you get into the music, you see the patterns. You know when a good time to toss your opponent towards the black SUV because you know fire is going to shoot out of it once the next beat hits. Then comes the mixing option. Hold down the left trigger and you can use the analog sticks like a turntable to speed up, slow down, fast forward or reverse the song, in turn effecting the world around you. It looks kind of silly watching your fighter spin his fingers atop an imaginary record, but the results can't be argued with."


Chat With the MotorStorm Dev Team, This Friday at 4PM PST

The Playstation Forums have the scoop.
"On Friday, February 9th at 4PM PST, we'll be holding a chat with the MotorStorm Dev Team! Come by and meet with the developers and producers, and ask them any questions you may have about the game. We'll have Simon Benson, Nigel Kershaw, Paul Rustchynsky and John McLaughlin on hand, so we hope to see you all there!"


MLB 2K7 For $29.99 (360)

Slickdeals has the scoop. Thanks to L_E_O from our Forums!
"Hey everyone. Here is MLB 2k7 for xbox 360 for 29.99. This is a preorder I have not seen it anywhere less than 59.82 anywhere else. This is smoking hot.

You can get this even less with $10 GC or $15 off $30 paypal."


Other Stuff...

Well, we didn't lose by 38, but we did lose by 30 last night. Actually, we hung with them after going down 11-0 to start the game, we cut it to 8 at the half. Then the floodgates opened and they fast breaked us for the win. It was 3 on 1's, 4 on 2's all second half as they outran our slow guys. I think that is how most teams will attack us. I was back on D all the time, but there were too many instances when I was the only one back there. If we stop the fast break, we can keep these games close, but I just don't see it happening with the slow guys we have.

I got home just in time for the second half tipoff of the Pistons/Lakers game. Man, Webber is making a huge difference to this team, they are on a roll. That behind the back pass to Tay last night was a thing of beauty!

Enough about me, what's up with you?
  • QOTD: Are you going to watch the NFL Pro Bowl tomorrow?


Happy Birthday to the following OS'ers!

cardsfan09, Linx (25), thedukejr (22)

12:08 AM - February 9, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
We have just posted our interview with Jered Weaver, pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels and cover athlete for MVP 07 NCAA Baseball.
Operation Sports: "Growing up, who was your favorite player and have you met him yet?"
Jered Weaver: "Growing up, Roger Clemens was my favorite player, and I had the privilege to meet him, actually when my brother was with the Yankee’s. Got a chance to meet him there, and then when I won the Roger Clemens award coming out of college, I had the chance to meet him there too. That was something pretty special for me. But nowadays, I’m looking at Jeff. He’s pretty much who I look to for everything. But definitely Roger Clemens growing up, was my favorite player."

Thursday, February 8, 2007
11:38 PM - February 8, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
We have just posted another NBA Street Homecourt movie clip, including a few more screenshots.
"NBA STREET Homecourt gives fans the opportunity to play where legends were made, and will be made,” said Dan Ayoub, lead producer on the product. “Every legendary player got his start somewhere and most of those roots are set in homecourts across the United States. The vision for the game's concept, visuals and gameplay all give a nod to those hometown courts, and will provide fans with an incredibly addictive and rewarding experience."

With a brand new game engine only possible with the power of next-gen hardware, the franchise is once again raising the bar with cutting edge visuals and innovative gameplay putting the ball in your hands. With a new animation engine and control system, NBA STREET Homecourt allows users to create gravity-defying tricks-on-the-fly.

NBA STREET Homecourt merges legendary proving grounds with the homecourts of your favorite NBA stars, featuring 360 degrees of view. The NBA's best are rendered with the same level of meticulous detail, making true athlete likeness a reality and putting you up close and personal with every move and moment. Earn a name for yourself and garner respect as you progress along your hometown journey and become a legend."

11:37 PM - February 8, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
We have just posted some more SSX Blur screenshots.
"SSX Blur is everything you expect from the franchise, delivered in a totally unexpected way. Revolutionary controls take full advantage of the Wii's potential by putting you in total command of your skier or rider, on-the-ground & in-the-air, by translating every motion you make into the skills that create mountain legends.

SSX Blur will be available for the Nintendo Wii in March 2007. The game has a 3+ PEGI rating. It is not yet rated by the ESRB."

11:36 PM - February 8, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
EA Sports has sent us some more UEFA Champions League™ 2006-2007 screenshots.
"Feel the weight of history as you walk out to a deafning roar and onto the biggest stage in club football. In the cauldron-like atmosphere of a stadium alive with the dreams of thousands, take on the most formidably talented soccer players in Europe – and outplay them. Here is the ultimate test. Here history is made. Write yourself into legend with the only official UEFA Champions League™ videogame for the Xbox 360.

UEFA Champions League™ 2006-2007 boasts a completely new way to battle for the most prestigious trophy in club football. Collect, trade and play your way to European glory with a unique virtual card system that allows you to hand-pick everything from your squad members to your match strategy. Build your dream team, back it with carefully-selected Staff, Training, Morale, Fitness and Healing cards, then deal killer Gameplay cards at key moments to influence games.

On the pitch, a completely overhauled game engine means that players are sharper than ever. Thanks to a more fluid, pacier movement system, they perform more incisive, defence-splitting one-twos, first touches and through passes with a ball that’s even more responsive to every touch."

11:34 PM - February 8, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
We have just posted another movie clip from Def Jam: Icon. This is Part 1 of an interview with the Producer.
"EA Chicago’s unique fighting gameplay controls introduce a new way for gamers to fight as they assume the role of top celebrity characters such as Ludacris, T.I. and Big Boi. Innovative controls give better feedback to players so they feel like they’re actually throwing the combat moves. Gamers can now fight with the style and flash of the superstar personalities.

“The Def Jam Interactive – EA relationship has expanded into a new frontier with EA Chicago’s breakthrough technology. We have worked very closely with the team to ensure that authentic hip-hop culture and lifestyle permeates through every part of the product. DEF JAM: ICON will guarantee the ultimate combination of a real hip-hop experience and revolutionary fighting gameplay,” said Lauren Wirtzer, VP Marketing, Def Jam Enterprises.

DEF JAM: ICON is scheduled to ship in March 2007 for the PLAYSTATION®3 system and Xbox 360. DEF JAM: ICON has not yet been rated by the ESRB."

02:15 PM - February 8, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
With the help of our readers and SCEA, we had an opportunity to interview Eddy Cramm, Senior Designer of MLB '07: The Show.
Operation Sports: "Will there be more "Hit Variety" for all difficulty levels this year?"
Eddy Cramm: "This is probably my favorite improvement to this year’s game. Although last year’s title played very well and got a lot of great feedback, I still felt that the game resulted in a lot of “hit it hard, or don’t hit it at all” game play. As a result of this, it felt like the only way a pitcher could feel like he has success is with the strike out. But what about the Maddux’s of the world? What about the ground ball pitchers? How do we represent THEIR effectiveness?

This year that has all changed. We have improved ball reactions to more truly depict what would happen on the field. Now if you swing ahead of that change up on the outside edge, instead of missing, you will probably roll over the ball and bounce out weakly to the left side. Now that the system reacts better to the ball/bat impact, you can fight pitches off and try to work deep into the counts. But personally, my favorite thing is what it does for the pitcher. I can now feel that I beat a batter by making him my pitch. I can try to induce that ground ball for the double play. I can jam him. I can dominate a game without ever striking someone out."

09:26 AM - February 8, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
It's going to be a MLB 07: The Show kind of day today. We have just posted our MLB 07: The Show Developer Diary #1. Make sure you check back later this afternoon, when we post our MLB 07: The Show interview, then later this evening an article from Shawn Drotar detailing his mo-cap session with David Wright.
"Hey everyone. Thanks for checking this out. Over the next few weeks, I (with the help of some of our development team) will be bringing you some Developer Diary entries talking about some of the new features in our game. My name is Eddy Cramm and I am a Senior Designer on the MLB 07 The Show™ dev team at the Sony Computer Entertainment America San Diego Studios. The first entry is going to talk about our new base running controls, which I will call “New Base Running Controls”. Catchy, huh?"

09:05 AM - February 8, 2007. Posted by Steve_OS.
Project Gotham Racing 4 Update (360)

BizarreOnline has posted another Project Gotham Racing 4 update.
"And of course that brings us neatly onto... PGR4. The internal team we have here at Bizarre are pretty familiar with the routine now; everybody knows their place and is really getting on with it at a speedy rate. We've seen a couple of excellent new technologies make their way into the game... of course you'll hear more about these in due time.

Oh, and just to clarify: the X06 trailer wasn't gameplay. It wasn't representative of what we've got planned for the style or locations in the game itself. You won't see outer space racing or anything like that! We have changed our design emphasis slightly from previous titles though... I think we're going to surprise a few people with PGR4!"


Burnout: Dominator Trailer (PS2, PSP)

Fragland has posted a trailer from Burnout: Dominator.
"EA has released a new trailer showing off Burnout Dominator, the latest in the famous series of crash 'n burn racing games which will see the light on PS2 and PSP."


Major Nelson Marketplace Update (360)

Major Nelson has posted the following Marketplace updates:
  • Various NCAA March Madness 07 Themes Available
  • Def Jam Icon Demo Available
    "From the team behind the critically acclaimed EA SPORTS™ Fight Night series brings you DEF JAM: ICON, an integration hip hop culture and gaming like never before. With the hottest music seamlessly infused into the world around you, the game’s environments pulsate, crumble, and explode to life with every bone-jarring beat."


Def Jam: Icon Screenshots (360)

Xboxyde has posted some screenshots of Def Jam: Icon.
"Electronic Arts is not slowing down with the new Def Jam: Icon medias since here are 19 new images of the game. It's also worth noting that the demo is available on the Marketplace since a few hours."


Burnout: Dominator Screenshots (PS2)

Boomtown has posted some screenshots of Burnout: Dominator.
"Amazing what can still be coaxed out of the PlayStation 2 hardware."


Other Stuff...

Had a dental appointment yesterday, that I nearly forgot about. Man, I hate when they dig at your gums with that pick thingy. I feel like shoving it somewhere...

We have some kitchen cabinets arriving today, so I'm not going to work until they get here.

The big 40 game blowout game is tonight. I'm feeling a little better about our chances, I'd say we lose by 38.

Enough about me, what's up with you?
  • QOTD: How often do you workout?


Happy Birthday to the following OS'ers!

wiseman (35), RyGuy78 (29)