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By 28 May 2010 | Categories: news

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Gift from the gaming gods for faithful followers
 
Some lucky gamers got a chance to test out the forthcoming God of War: Ghost of Sparta game for the PlayStation Portable (PSP). Eric Koch, a senior producer at Sony Computer Entertainment America’s (SCEA) Santa Monica Studios, on Monday invited fans of the series for testing sessions, with the session taking place yesterday. 

Participants needed to be older than 18, had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep info about the game secret, must have “played the God of War franchise and be familiar with its awesomeness” and had to be a resident of Los Angeles with reliable transportation to the testing venue. Successful applicants got the address via email and, as if playing a new game before anyone else wasn’t reward enough, they also received some of Sony’s latest PSP titles for their “time and effort”.
 
Nintendo’s unhealthy environmental ethos
 
Nintendo might have the American Health Association’s (AHA) stamp of approval, but they definitely don’t have Green Peace’s, since they rank last in the organisation’s latest (May 2010) Guide to Greener Electronics. This guide ranks the 18 top manufacturers of PCs, cellphones, TVs as well as games consoles, based on their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.

“Nintendo remains in last place but has increased its score to 1.8 out of 10, up from 1.4,” the Green Peace guide states. “It gains points for adopting the precautionary principle in its approach to managing chemical substances and for publishing its Standards for chemicals management.” Microsoft (16) is just two places above Nintendo (18), scoring 3.3 out of 10, whilst Sony (7) ranks in the top half with a score of 4.9. Finnish mobile manufacturer Nokia ranks numero uno. 
 
Yahoo! partner’s up with FarmVille creator
 
Yahoo! Inc. isn’t only partnering up with Nokia. The company announced on Wednesday that it has a partnership with Zynga, which will result in the integration of Zynga’s popular social games (the likes of the popular FarmVille, FishVille and Mafia Wars) within Yahoo!’s global network.

Yahoo! users will in the coming months be able to access Zynga’s games from Yahoo!’s properties, including the Yahoo! Homepage, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo! Games.
 
Sony UK attempt to boost PSP Go sales
 
In the wake of the significant loss that Sony posted within its fiscal year report for 2009, due in part to dwindling PS2 and PSP sales, the company is seeking to rejuvenate the sales of its PSP Go, at least in the UK. Engadget reported that Sony will be throwing in a whopping ten free games that users can download from the PlayStation Network (PSN).

The ten free titles will include Little Big Planet, Gran Turismo, Wipout Pure, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Need for Speed: Shift. It’s not only new PSP Go owners who qualify for the promotion that kicks off next month, as existing PSP Go users who have registered their system after 1 April will also qualify. No confirmation yet though of the rumoured PSP 2.  
 
Project Natal worldwide launch of 26 October?
 
Gaming news site Edge has it on good authority that Microsoft’s Project Natal is going to launch globally on 26 October, although they don't dismiss the chance of the final date changing by a few weeks either way. Their “trusted source” told them that the motion-based gaming system will come bundled with the Xbox 360 Arcade system for under $300.

“We were informed that prices outside of the US would be determined based on a number of factors, including exchange rates,” Edge wrote. “Based on current rates, the standalone unit would retail for £103 / €121 [approx. R1 130], and the console and Natal bundle for £207 / €243 [just under R2 280].” The name of the controller-less system is apparently not set in stone either, as the final name will be unveiled when the fully developed system makes its long awaited debut at E3 next month.

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