16th Feb2013

Xbox 720 / Microsoft Durango Launch Info, Rumors to Final Specs

by Kuro Matsuri

Xbox 720 Durango Rumors and Specs

This is Kuro Matsuri Video Game’s roundup of the rumors surrounding the launch of the Microsoft Durango, commonly known as the Xbox 720.  At this time, there seems to be less information about the Durango than there is about the Orbis, but it will be updated as new information comes out.

The first piece of this rumor is simply about when final official information should be available: and it currently looks to be E3 2013.  It has been confirmed that Microsoft will make a major announcement at this year’s E3.  While they will not confirm that it’s about the next Xbox, many sources think that it’s the most likely time for the next Xbox to be announced.

Now, let’s dive into the available details:

Name: There’s really no consensus about what the name will be.  The codename has been leaked as “Durango”, and the community at large calls it the “Xbox 720″.  No confirmed information is out there at this point. Not confirmed.

Processor: Sources say that the CPU will be a 64-bit 8-core 1.6GHz processor, but the brand is not yet known, though some sources say it will be an AMD like the Orbis is expected to have. Estimated processing power in Flops is not yet available.  Not confirmed.

Graphics Card: It looks like the graphics card will be a Radeon Direct3D-based 800 MHz GPU, with a claimed 1.2 TFlops (1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second) in raw power.  Not confirmed.

Memory: Current leaked specs are showing 8GB of DDR3 RAM, which, compared to the Xbox 360′s 512MB, is a vast improvement.  That memory is shared between the CPU and GPU, but there’s also a small 32MB faster-running cache for the GPU to us.  Not confirmed.

Storage: The Durango is expected to have an HDD of an unknown size, and it seems increasingly likely that it will utilize 50GB Blu-ray discs, read at 6x speeds.  It could go the route that the Wii U did, and have a slightly modified proprietary Blu-ray format, but probably won’t so that it can have Blu-ray playback.  Some sources say that Blu-ray playback will not be available, though, so it’s pretty much up in the air at this point.  Not confirmed, some sources disagree.

Controller: There’s been practically no information on the controller for the Xbox 720.  It’s expected to be practically unchanged.  Not confirmed.

Compatibility: There is not yet any information about backwards compatibility or region protection.  However, it appears that the Kinect will be compatible.  The big news here is that there is information being spread around that states that the console will not be compatible with used games, which most gamers hope is not the case.  Not confirmed, some sources disagree.

Extras: This is where things get exciting, yet still very unconfirmed.  First off, there’s the small chance that Microsoft’s demoed and very impressive IllumiRoom technology could make it to the Xbox.  It will probably be as an add-on, if it’s available at all, but if it is available, it will be very impressive.  See below:

Additionally, some sources are saying that there will be virtual reality and/or augmented reality glasses, currently codenamed Fortaleza, or unofficially known as Kinect Glasses.  These could potentially be even more interesting than the IllumiRoom technology, but appears to be a later add-on, estimated to be launched some time in 2014.  Not confirmed, lots of variations in sources.

Price Point: Completely unknown.  Wild speculation is placing it between $400 and $500.  Not confirmed, practically no sources.

Launch / Release Date: Many sources are putting the release date as late 2013.  That would be a fast turnaround from E3 2013, though.  Not confirmed, but many sources seem to agree.

The information will be monitored and updated over time.  Both the Durango and the PS4 are looking like significant improvements over their predecessors. Feel free to browse our sources:

http://kotaku.com/xbox-720/

http://www.gadgetreview.com/2013/01/microsoft-durango-xbox-720-specs.html

http://www.vgleaks.com/world-exclusive-durango-unveiled-2/

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121326-Microsoft-Says-Its-On

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/12/the-status-of-microsoft-and-sonys-next-consoles-plus-a-whole-bunch-of-other-gaming-secrets/

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57454653-1/kinect-glasses-coming-from-microsoft/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405922,00.asp

(Last Updated 02/16/2013)

02nd Feb2013

PlayStation 4 / Orbis Launch Info, Rumors to Final Specs

by Kuro Matsuri

PlayStation 4 Orbis Speculation

Kuro Matsuri Video Games will be paying close attention to the details surrounding the launch of the new PlayStation.  The information below, unless otherwise noted, are rumors or supposedly leaked information.  Confirmed information will be tagged as it comes in.

First off, when can we expect official information to start coming out?  It looks like it’s February 20th at 6PM EST when Sony has a conference.  Unofficial sources have confirmed that the PlayStation 4 / Orbis will be announced at that time.  Here’s the teaser trailer (which basically shows nothing):

The conference has occurred! The Playstation 4 is officially announced! (2/20/2014)

Sony has launched a Press Release about the PlayStation 4 specs.  The information from that press release is included below. (2/21/2013)

Jack Tretton has made some statements during an interview with Forbes.  Information from that has been added to this post.  (2/23/2013)

So, here’s the details that are floating around out there right now:

Name: It will be called the PlayStation 4!  Confirmed by PlayStation directly.

Design: The design of the console itself is unknown, but Jack Tretton has stated that we can expect to see the console my E3, or possible sooner.  Approximate time confirmed, design not confirmed.

Processor: Current leaked information states that the processor will be an 8-core AMD processor (Jaguar).  The cores will be split into 2 clusters, simulating a setup with 2 processors that have 4 cores each. Claimed performance: 102.4 GFlops (102 billion floating-point operations per second).  8-core AMD x86 confirmed by Sony Press Release, pictured below.

PS4 Tech Specs

Graphics Card: The graphics card appears to be an AMD R10XX-based card that shares memory with the processor.  It will run at 800MHz and produce an estimated 1.843 TFlops (1.843 trillion floating-point operations per second).  The GPU is on the same die as the GPU.  Confirmed by PlayStation Live Event and Sony Press Release (above).

Memory: Most sources are saying that the PlayStation 4 will have 4GB of RAM, with a 176GB/s transfer rate.  Some sources, though, are saying that Sony wants to try to get 8GB of RAM into the system before it launches.  Compared to the 256MB (system) + 256MB (graphics) that the PlayStation 3 had, either is a vast improvement.  During the PlayStation Event, the RAM was confirmed at a full 8GB of GDDR5 high speed RAM.  Confirmed by PlayStation Event and Sony Press Release.

Storage: Sources say that the PlayStation 4 will have a Blu-ray drive with pretty nice specs, running at around 6x, cmpared to the PS3′s 2x.  That should help with some of load speed issues and required installs that some games have had in the past.  It also looks like at least one SKU will come equipped with a 500GB HDD.  All details confirmed except size of the hard drive.

Controller: It looks like the Dualshock will live on, but it will be modified a bit.  First off, the middle area could be turning into a touch-pad, similar to the one on the back of the PS Vita.  It will include a front-facing speaker, much like the Wii controllers.  The top of the controller will include the PS Move light, allowing you to use the normal controller as a Move controller.  Additionally, Sony has listened to a lot of critics and made the analog sticks a little bit concave, allowing for a better grip.  Here’s a couple of the leaked images for the PS4 controller (keeping in mind that it is a prototype, so it could look a little different at launch):

These are the prototype controllers that were leaked:

ps4 controller prototype

PS Orbis Prototype Controller

Here’s an official picture:

PS4 Controller Back View

It looks like the leaks are true.  The PS4 controller will act as a PS Move controller, as necessary.

Some sources have suggested that there will also be a Share button, but the leaked prototype does not have that button.  It’s not impossible for it to be added, but it seems unlikely.  Confirmed, with Share button, by the PlayStation Event.

Compatibility: The PS4 will remain compatible with Blu-Ray movies, but will not maintain compatibility with PS3 or PS2 games.  However, as a compromise, they have announced some service to announce the live streaming of PS3, PS2, and PS1 games on the PS4.  While they have not announced cost, this appears to be the compromise between PS3 full backwards compatibility, and the limitations of the new system.  PS1, PS2, and PS3 games will be available via streaming.  Depending on the costs associated with streaming, time will tell if it is worthwhile for the consumer.  Additionally, Sony has confirmed that you’ll be able to “suspend” the console at any time and resume gameplay where you left off when you return.

As a bonus: Sony has announced that the PS Vita will support instant cross-platform play with the Vita – did your kids interrupt your play time with Call of Duty?  Immediately switch to the Vita without losing any game time!

Partially Confirmed by PlayStation Event, Real-Time Switching between Home Console and Handheld Console Completely Confirmed.  Gaikai technology will be used to live stream PS1, PS2, and PS3 content, but no details have been released on pricing or whether or not you’ll be able to play the games you already own in this way.

Extras: Confirmed: the system will continuously record your current activities to allow you to share them with friends.  Additionally, some sources are suggesting that the PlayStation 4 will support 4K resolutions, though it’s highly unlikely that games will be anywhere near that even if it does. A new rumor is suggesting that the PlayStation Eye will be upgraded to a dual 720p camera setup with a 4 microphone array, which would significantly upgrde the accuracy and capabilities of the PlayStation Eye and the PlayStation Move.  The system has been confirmed to support automatic recording of live gameplay, as well as sharing of that gameplay through a quick button press to social media networks.  They have also confirmed live gameplay feeds, which can be set up in advance.  The PlayStation Event has confirmed that at least some games will be cross-compatible with common systems like your tablet or your phone; you might be able to plat the next Gran Turismo on your PS4 and your iPad or iPhone, or on your Android phone or tablet!  4k output unconfirmed, sharing and live stream sharing capabilities confirmed, live streaming to more than just the PS4 (including phones and tablets) confirmed, upgraded PlayStation Eye confirmed (but it is not known if it will come with the system or not).

Controller and Playstation 4 Eye Specs

Price Point: A Japanese newspaper (Asahi Shinbum or 朝日新聞), which generally has pretty good info, is pricing the PS4 at 40,000 JPY, which probably means a US price of $400 USD.  The PlayStation Event DID NOT announce the price of the system.  Not confirmed.

Launch / Release Date: A few sources have suggested Christmas 2013 as the release window for the new PlayStation, but only for Japan and USA.  Europe would get it some time the following year. Jack Tretton from Sony has confirmed that it will be released in the holiday season of 2013.  Confirmed through a Jack Tretton interview.

Launch Games: The games that are announced for launch include:

      Knack cute game, reminds me of Trine except that it’s 3D, interesting setting.

      Killzone: Shadow Fall – impressive scale, futuristic environments

      Drive Club – 1st person racing gameplay – can see competitors on the track in real time – certainly has potential as a high end racer

      Infamous: Second Son – political commentary, player on the wrong side of the law, intense

      Witness – Thought-provoking, RPG-like, vague information revealed

      Deep Down, Working Title – looks a lot like Dark Souls, sounds fun

      Watchdogs – be a whistleblower – steal from normal people while you catch the bad guys, without getting caught yourself

      Diablo III  – going to be available on the PS4… and the PS3.  Hopefully it won’t have always online DRM.

Destiny – a new Bungie title, “shared world shooter”, limited information available. Not Sony exclusive, but will have exclusive content.

More info: According to the interview with Jack Tretton, more information will be coming during E3 in California (June 11 – 13), Gamescon in Germany (August 21 – 25), and Tokyo Game Show in Japan (September 19 – 22).  Confirmed.

As a bonus, here’s a series of high-resolution controller pics directly from Sony’s Press Release

Official PS4 Controller 1

Official PlayStation 4 Controller Image 2

Official PlayStation 4 Controller Image 3

Official PlayStation 4 Controller Image 4

Official PlayStation 4 Controller Image 5

There we have it.  The important pieces of information summed up in one place.  To dig in further, feel free to look through some of our sources:

http://www.edge-online.com/news/playstation-4-revealed/

http://kotaku.com/5980781/report-sony-will-indeed-announce-the-next-playstation-on-february-20

http://kotaku.com/5980841/report-the-next-playstation-will-record-gameplay-and-let-you-share-it-online

http://www.vgleaks.com/world-exclusive-orbis-unveiled/

http://www.vgleaks.com/rumors-ps4orbis-touchpad-details-estimated-launch/

http://www.vg247.com/2013/02/08/ps4-could-come-bundled-with-a-dual-camera-playstation-eye-rumor/

http://www.asahi.com/business/update/0207/TKY201302060568.html

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-orbis-dual-shock-4-leak-analysis

https://us.playstation.com/meeting2013/

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=514512

http://www.ustream.tv/PlayStation

(Last updated 2/21/2013)

03rd Apr2010

Clannad for the PS3 Announced

by Kuro Matsuri

Clannad PS3

Clannad is a famous name in an infamous genre. The genre, often referred to as “dating sims”, is usually about meeting people (often girls) and trying to develop positive relationships with them while an interesting story unfolds both as a result of your relationships and sometimes simply as a background story to drive the motivation. The more notorious of the games in this genre tend to reward the player’s efforts towards maintaining good relationships with scenes of a sexual nature, but most of them (especially ones on consoles) do not. Instead, the reward is more story. As a result, the stories tend to be pretty good in this type of game.

Clannad PS3 Gameplay

Clannad has long since been available on the PS2, the PSP, and even the Xbox 360, but this new version has been announced for the PS3. This new version seems to be a retelling of the same story, but with HD visuals and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Fans of the genre should enjoy the upgraded fidelity in both the visuals and the audio. In addition to this, to make the PS3 version more valuable, there will also be a spin-off story available for download on the PSN. Between the current story and the new story, it is reported to take around 200 hours to make it through every branch of the story. And you thought RPGs took a long time to complete!

The Japanese release date has not yet been announced for this title. Also, we are around 99% certain that it’s not going to make it to the US, or any other region outside of Japan.

23rd Mar2010

Nintendo 3DS: Nintendo’s Next Handheld

by Kuro Matsuri

Nintendo 3DS Announcement

Nintendo has announced what their next piece of handheld hardware will be, but with very few details about it. All that is known so far is that:

  • -It’s called the 3DS
  • -It can display 3D without the use of special glasses
  • -It will be backwards compatible with DS and DSi games
  • -It should launch somewhere in the huge window of between April 2010 and March 2011

It is expected, among other things, to:

  • -Have 2 cameras and 2 screens like the DSi
  • -Possibly be launched in Japan before other regions
  • -Be pretty awesome

Rest assured, Kuro Matsuri Video Games will definitely take a close look at the console at launch to see what Japan only games are available.

Source: Kotaku

03rd Mar2010

BlazBlue Continuum Shift Japanese Release Date Announced

by Kuro Matsuri

BlazBlue Continuum Shift Poster

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift now has a release date for Japan! The arcade sequel to the original BlazBlue will receive PS3 and Xbox 360 ports, due to be released on July 1st, 2010. Play-Asia has announced that they will soon have Continuum Shift pre-orders here. After having so much fun with the original, the sequel looks like it will be a lot of fun. From balance tweaks to new characters, there’s nothing not to like about this sequel! Except that it will most likely be a full-priced game… but the prices haven’t officially been announced yet, so perhaps we’ll be pleasantly surprised. No doubt it will be cheaper than importing Final Fantasy XIII, which costs right around $100!

Update: Pre-orders are now available through Play-Asia for both the normal version and the limited edition version. See all the available versions here.

28th Feb2010

Final Fantasy XIV Closed Beta Release Date Announced

by Kuro Matsuri

Final Fantasy XIV

Yes, the Final Fantasy XIV Beta now has an official launch date. March 11, 2010. This is only the PC Beta, so those who bought Final Fantasy XIII in hopes of getting into the PS3 Beta will have to wait a little longer. This news is straight from Vanafest 2010, so feel free to go check out their website to confirm it for yourself.

Kuro Matsuri Video Games is, of course, in the pool of applicants to get into the FFXIV Beta. If we get in, we will be sure to bring you lots of news and videos about it.

07th Nov2009

Final Fantasy XIII Will Include Final Fantasy XIV Beta! (Update: Sorta)

by Kuro Matsuri

Final Fantasy XIV

Yeah, you read that right!

Reports (mainly leaked scans from Jump Magazine) are showing that a Final Fantasy XIV “Campaign Code” (which really means “Beta Code”) will be included in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XIII, which will be released December 17th of this year!

source

Japanese Game Source should have access to FFXIII by the end of the year, and we will continue to bring you updates on the both FFXIII and the FFXIV Beta. You can expect a full review by the end of January, so be sure to check back regularly.

If you’re interested in getting Final Fantasy XIII, and getting into the Final Fantasy XIV Beta, then you can buy Final Fantasy XIII now to enjoy the next upcoming Final Fantasy titles.

Have fun playing! -Kuro Matsuri

UPDATE! So, it has been announced that the “Campaign Code” is NOT a Beta Code, but rather it is a code to get some sort of free additional “goodie” in-game for Final Fantasy XIV (source). ‘Tis a shame, really. I was looking forward to spreading information about BOTH games when it came out!

UPDATE! It turns out that the “Campaign Code” does give you a free goodie in FFXIV, but it also allows you to apply for the PS3 version of the closed beta. Not quite direct access, but it’s certainly better than nothing!

Have fun playing anyway! -Kuro Matsuri