PS3 Slim Announced

On Aug. 18, 2009, Sony finally unveiled one of the worst kept secrets of the video game industry; The PS3 Slim. The Slim, which will hit retail chains during the first week of Sept., is 30 per cent smaller than the current PlayStation 3 model. The PS3 Slim will come equiped with a 120GB hard drive (which is also expandable) and will sell for $299.99.

The original PlayStation 3 also received a price cut. The 80GB unit will now retail for $299.99, while the 120GB iteration will sell for $399.99.

The new PS3 Slim will not support the Linux OS, and will not be backwards compatible with PlayStation 2 titles. Gamers who still own PSone discs will be able to play them as they function on all PS3 versions.

This is a great time to pickup a PS3 bundle at a reduced price. Now if it would only come with an HDMI cable.

Camping Video Game Selections

By reading my previous post, most of you might have figured out that I would be camping this summer. Indeed, as I’m currently settled in Bar Harbor, Maine. For this trip I decided to bring a cellphone for emergencies, a PlayStation Portable (PSP) and my iPod Touch. As one might expect, I carefully selected several games for both the PSP and iPod.

For the PSP, I tried to limit myself to games that could be installed on the Memory Stick. Since I’m using a custom firmware on my PSP (I only install titles that I’ve purchased), I can install games that are curently not available in the PlayStation Store. Below are the three of the PSP games that I brought a long on my camping trip.

Resistance Retribution: Quite possibly the best third-person shooter on the handheld. The game’s story and gameplay made this one a no brainer. The developers managed to capture the essence of the PS3 iterations and squeze it down into an interesting portable version. Retribution’s excellent aim assist system make it one of the most compelling and interesting titles on the PSP.

Resident Evil – Directors Cut: The first Resident Evil title is hands down the best campfire game ever. And thanks to its recent PSN release, there’s never been a better time to experience the game that kick started the modern wave of survival horror. Step into the shoes of Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine and uncover the mysteries locked within Resident Evil. Make sure not to smother your screen with marshmellow residues.

Lumines 2: Lets just say that this is one of the best time wasters on the system. The sequel to the PSP launch title offers more of the same with additional songs and scenarios. The best way to unwind from a hectic vacation day.

Camping Along With Your Portable Gadgets

One of my favorite summer activities is camping. If you’re like me, it can be difficult to detach yourself from your connected lifestyle. But thanks to portable gadgets such as netbooks, smartphones and handheld gaming consoles, it’s easier for one to leave the confines of his (or her) digital hub while enjoying a semi-disconnected sabbatical.

Protecting your devices from the elements is one of the most important things one must consider. Purchasing a waterproof case might be the ideal solution, but it might not be the most cost efficient option. If you already own a protective case for your gadget, why not invest in a $5 box of Ziploc Freezer bags. A well sealed Ziploc freezer bag will provide you with extra protection against the harmful effects of humidity.

Keeping your device powered might also be an issue while vacationing outdoors. Mind you, most campgrounds offer electricity as an option, this privilege is not available to those who choose to camp in the wilderness. If electricity is available, it would be wise to bring along a surge protector to avoid any damages due to voltage spikes. A $20 purchase might save you a few headaches down the road.

If electricity isn’t an option, investing in a car adapter (which plugs into your car lighter socket) or purchasing an inexpensive portable solar charger can be an excellent alternative for keeping your devices powered. A car adapter can be purchased for as low as $9.99, while a portable solar charger will set you back approximately $49.99 if you shop around.

If you desperately need to stay connected, accessing the Internet from your wireless handset might not be the most cost effective way to do so. Cellphone roaming costs could easily result in higher than expected usage charges. With this in mind, disabling your phone’s data roaming capabilities, and using public Wi-Fi hotspots to fuel your connected needs would be the ideal solution. These days, many campgrounds have free Wi-Fi access as an incentive to using their facilities. Local cafes might also offer Wi-Fi access as part of their service. A site, such as http://www.wifi.com will assist you in finding a hotspot in which ever area you are visiting.

These are just a few simple tips for using your favorite devices while vacationing. The most important tip of them all is to simply have fun, while knowing when to leave the gadgets behind. As much as you might enjoy the notion of having access to some of your preferred gadgets, keep in mind that those around you might simply prefer that you disconnect yourself temporarily from your digital routine. Always remember that vacation is defined as a period of suspension of work, study or other customary activities, so make sure your take the time to relax and enjoy yourself.

Who are you going to call… Ghostbusters?

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Obviously, the biggest title hitting store shelves this week is Atari’sGhostbusters: The Video Game“, which will be available on all major platforms. As you probably already know, this game is a sequel of sorts in which gamers get to play through moments from the first two movies.

I’m personally going to pickup the Xbox 360 version, but I’m also interested in seeing what the motion controls on the Wii have to offer. We’ve all dreamt of using on of those photon beam.

The game will be available on the PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC and DS and will start appearing in stores on June 16.

A New Xbox in 2010?

Rumors have started appearing on the Internet that Microsoft will be launching a new iteration of its Xbox console in the Fall of 2010. From what I’ve seen thus far, the console would be dubbed “Xbox Natal” and would be more or less the Xbox 360 in a new form factor with the Natal camera system packaged with it.

The new Natal console would be slightly more powerful than the current Xbox 360. Nintendo kind of pulled a similar move with the Wii, which is basically a repackaged GameCube with motion control.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft will respond to this. Keep in mind that the original Xbox was replaced by the 360 four years into its life span.

Personally, I think if this were to happen, it will be what the PS2 Slim was to the original PlayStation 2. The same console in a smaller casing.

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