News Pop! 04/11/07
By Eli Green
April 11, 2007 - 23:59

And we're back! Here's hoping all of you had wonderful Passovers or Easters, whichever you celebrate (or don't if you don't). Things have been quite busy with us away, Sony in particular. The company has added more downloads to the Playstation Store, including an update to Gran Turismo HD Concept, the GTA IV: Things Will Be Different teaser, a free Armored Core 4 demo and more movie trailers. If you weren't already aware, Sony also dropped the price of the PSP Core model from $229.99 CAD to $199.99 CAD and added Daxter and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror on the Greatest Hits list, effectively dropping their price to $24.99 CAD. Microsoft announced their Xbox 360 Elite. The system will be priced at $479 USD and approx. $550 CAD and will include a 120GB Hard Drive, an HDMI port and cable, and will also be black. There will be black accessories to complement the console, so don't worry about that. As far as dates go, the current release date for the system in the U.S. is Sunday, April 29th. That may also be the case for Canada, though much of what we have seen so far suggests a May 4th release instead. One final thing about the Elite, just to clear up any confusion people might have about it, it does not come with an HD-DVD player included!

Now for a quick store stock check before we get into the rest of the day's news. Playstation 3s are in abundance. You can pick one up pretty much anywhere you want, if you want. Xbox 360 are no problem either, as well as PSPs. DS Lites have finally reappeared in stores after a sudden disappearance a couple of weeks ago. Nintendo retail reps we spoke to didn't have much to say about it, except that April is going to be a much better month for seeing the systems on the shelves. That also applies to Wiis, in the case of most retail chains at least. It's probably safe to assume that Toys'R'Us will still be running its bi-weekly flyers with limited quantities of Wiis in it for some time to come. This is one of those weeks, by the way. Now for the rest of the day's news.


EA's Glenn Entis to speak at SIGGRAPH

SIGGRAPH 2007 announced a new addition to its featured speaker lineup today, in replacement of what is normally a single keynote speaker. G lenn Entis, Chief Visual Officer of Electronic Arts will be the first of three featured speakers at the show. Entis will speak about recent accomplishments and upcoming challenges for interactive graphics in video games at the 34th International Conference & Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques being held 5-9 of August at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Entis is the former CEO of Dreamworks Interactive and his responsibilities at EA include working with the world’s finest gaming industry artists and designers on the pre-production and visual development of game software. He also serves on the Board of Governors for the Emily Carr College of Art and on the Advisory Board for the Masters of Digital Media, a new graduate school program at Great Northern Way in Vancouver, BC.


Noise cancelling microphone headset, that's Genius

We can't help it if it's so easy to play with the name, it just works. Genius announced the availability of its new surround sound headset today. The new HS-04U Dolby Gaming USB Headset has what Genius calls “an open-air design” that makes it comfortable to wear, using a lightweight headband and soft-cushioned ear pads. The most notable part of the headset though, is its “military grade”, noise-cancellation microphone, which allows others to hear them clearly no matter what. The headset runs for $49.90 USD. For more information on the headset and its specs, you can check out


Boom Boom Rocket launches

EA's first Xbox Live Arcade game, Boom Boom Rocket, launched today. The new rhythmic fireworks game is now available in Canada, the U.S. and Europe for 800 Microsoft Points and is rated E for Everyone. Players play by triggering rockets to the beat of the music while travelling through a 3-D cityscape. The fireworks have been choreographed to ten original tracks created by Ian Livingstone. The game has single and in-house mutliplayer modes, as well as a few different difficulty levels. More interesting though, are the Freestyle Mode and the game's built in Visualizer, which allows people to watch a fireworks display to their own music. Though the game is currently only available in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, EA is already working on versions for future release in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

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