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Sony - bad at hardware. Official.

Don't take it from us - according to one of Sony's top executives, it is. Our brothers at Next Generation report that Ken Kutaragi, the man known as the "father of the PlayStation," has admitted that the component shortages - which have slashed the number of PS3s available at launch to next-to-nothing - prove that "Sony's strength in hardware is in decline." First, he told you you'd need an extra job to buy a PS3. Then, he compared it to a fine dinner in a bizarre attempt to justify its cost. Sony - can you stop this guy from putting his foot into his mouth for five seconds, or what? Ken Kutaragi: Sony's own worst enemy. At least as far as the PR department is concerned.

In better news, Next Gen drops the news that, among the few PS3s that will actually reach the market, 80% of them will be the preferable, full-featured $600 package. We feel the pain of gamers who got stuck with the 360's Core Pack. The companies have got to cut this crap out. 

Cheap thrills

Ever-vigilant Nintendo snob Chris Kohler reports on his Game|Life blog that Vibe magazine - better known for pretending people are still interested in Puff Daddy than its hard-hitting video game reporting - has let fly with a $149 price tag for Nintendo's Wii. We expected it to be affordable, but that's just crazy talk. Or maybe it's not... either way, we should know this Thursday, when Nintendo finally lets it all hang out in a press conference in New York City. We'll tell you then.

Do they even make LEGO Batman toys?

According to our British sister site CVG, the same minds behind LEGO Star Wars have turned their sights on Batman. Though there's no official confirmation just yet, the developer has confirmed that it does have plans to make more LEGO-based games in the future... but not what they are. Yeah, it sounds good right now, but we can see this run into the ground in about a year and a half. Just wait till somebody hooks up with Kubrick.

Namecheck

So you didn't get in on one of the 10,000 open beta slots for Battlefield 2142? These were only available to FilePlanet subscribers... not, say, Battlefield 2 players. Happily, Electronic Arts has recognized that BF2 owners are actually going to be the ones who pick up the sequel, so they've announced a "Battlefield 2142 Veterans" program where you'll be able to pre-reserve your super-special tough guy name before some newbie nabs it.

"TenderUnicorn" was already taken? Dammit!

The worst-tasting sushi ever

Anybody remember Seaman? If you had a Dreamcast back in 2000, you probably do - it was this creepy fish-man thing that talked smack. That was pretty much it; you raised it, it insulted you and eventually, it died. Somehow, this was major news back then... probably because it was so hard to believe in the first place. Well, courtesy of the official Japanese Seaman site, we've learned that a sequel is on the way. No details about the platform or anything else just yet; we'll know more in a couple days. Fans of evil, scaly freaks take note; everyone else, just keep on walkin'.

PSP gets re-packaged, but it's the same old...

We never get sick of Sony news! Well, we do, but obviously Next Gen doesn't. It happens to turn out that the company has announced a new PSP pack with more crap crammed in... instead of dropping the price. The new box will contain a PSP, a UMD movie (title not revealed - but we bet there are plenty of unsold discs to choose from,) ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin' Trails and a 1GB Memory Stick. Well, it's a nice little starter pack for a PSP-free gamer, but it doesn't solve a fundamental problem: as slick as it is, the PSP can't match up to the DS when it comes to games. Let's hope that getting more of them in the hands of gamers gives some publisher - anywhere - the kick in the pants it needs to start making some original, exciting games for the thing. And yeah, we don't know how much it's going to cost yet.

New screens

Touch Detective (DS)
Bully  (PS2)
Half-Life 2: Episode Two (PCPS3360)
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes  (PC)
Splinter Cell: Double Agent  (Wii)
Bomberman  (PSP)
Test Drive Unlimited  (360)

New video

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots  (PS3)
Half-Life 2: Episode Two (PCPS3360)

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