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According to our sister site Next Generation, a PSP price drop to $149 may well be in the cards. Sony's handheld been getting spanked by Nintendo since the DS Lite was introduced, and high-paid analysts peg the company as likely to slash $50 from the system's price this fall. Well, those godawful thumb theater commercials can't be helping sales, but saving more than the price of a new game might... particularly now that gamers have to buy a Memory Stick, too, since the accessory-laden Value Pack was axed in favor of a bare-bones box.

Reservoir puppies

Sony's marketing might suck, but Eidos knows what's up. The British company has produced two sizzling new UK-only ads for the Reservoir Dogs game that feature small children (and a lovable grandmother) spouting the unbelievably filthy dialog from the film. If you've ever wanted to see a kindly old lady talk up Madonna's sexual hunger... now's your chance. There's also one of a Mexican standoff featuring some little kids dressed as cowboys, recreating the movie's ending. Warning: we're not kidding - this is a Quentin Tarantino film, folks. These clips are decidedly R-Rated material.

Much friendlier is Coke's new ad, which gives Grand Theft Auto the finger in a surprisingly clever and amusing way. Guess when you make zillions of dollars each year selling people polluted water, you can afford to hire talent to hawk it.

Axe battler

Kotaku has dug up some new info on Guitar Hero II. To sucker you into standing around holding a plastic toy once again, developer Harmonix is adding in new characters, new real-world venues to perform in and even a lighting system that should sync the tunes up with the music. Control is also being revamped: no more chords will force you to hold both fret one and fret five, for example. If you'd like to get the skinny on some more specifics, or learn about whether or not there will be an Amplitude sequel (ok, we'll spoil: there won't) check out Kotaku's original story.

Nothing says "indie" like "Microsoft"

Lately, most talk about Xbox Live Arcade has focused on musty retro remakes like Pac-Man and Street Fighter II. But one of the joys of the setup is that you can buy original games created by indie developers. Admittedly, some are better than others, but it's nice to see games that haven't gone through a perverse marketing obstacle course designed to mold them into the one juggernaut release that will most capture the attention of the key 18-25 year old male demographic. The kicker is, somebody has to make these games - and now Microsoft is making it easier by offering a free toolkit to anyone who owns Windows XP. Users can then (once they've paid a $99 annual fee) join a "creators club" to "build, test and share their games on Xbox 360." The beta begins August 30, and the whole shebang should be ready for the fall so developers can start hocking their wares in time for the holiday season. Microsoft has even suckered schools into teaching using the tools. More deets at Next Gen.

Who needs homebrew?

GameStop has thrown up a product page for an unannounced game, EA Replay, which bundles together a bushel of classics into one reasonably-priced PSP disc. From Road Rash to Wing Commander, Syndicate to Ultima, a variety of the company's hits (or the hits made by developers it bought and then slowly crushed the life out of - whichever) will live again this October. If anything, the only surprises here are that EA has waited this long to milk its back catalog and that it's giving away so many great games on one disc. Three Road Rash games in one shot? Guys, aren't you taking any lessons from Capcom? Space the good stuff out! We contacted EA to find out more but there wasn't any - just click over GameStop.com and check the full list out for yourself if you need more.

August 14, 2006

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