As the weekend before Explosion Day heaves into sight, we're treated to the PlayStation Vita's apparent ability for making people yell "uncanny valley!" while running out of the room.
The PlayStation Vita's facial recognition system cranks up the creepiness factor a little too high. Sony released a video (seen below) that demonstrates how the handheld's front-facing camera transforms your visage into an anthropomorphic cat or a baby-faced girl with the most wide-set eyes I've ever seen. Apart from the demon-possessed eyelid fluttering, the Vita's video chat system mirrors the Kinect's ability of pasting facial movements onto user avatars.
Split/Second developer Black Rock Studio closes its doors. Publisher Disney Interactive released a statement to Eurogamer confirming the closure, saying, "Disney Interactive confirms that Black Rock Studio's current project has not been greenlit for further development. Consequently, the company informed employees yesterday of the intent to enter a consultation process on the proposal to close the studios." An anonymous source told Eurogamer that Disney handled Black Rock's resources "clumsily," an easy feat considering the unwieldy size of Mickey Mouse's gloves. The source said that Disney preferred outsourcing projects instead of utilizing Black Rock's talent, resulting in a dearth of marketing for racing games Split/Second and Pure.
Media Molecule plans on rocket-blasting away from LittleBigPlanet. At the Gamelab Conference in Barcelona, Spain, Edge heard Media Molecule Director Siobhan Reddy reveal the company's intention of "stepping away" from Sackboy's antics within the wildly popular platformer series in order to "focus on some new ideas." No further details on the studio's plans but it's a safe bet we'll see another stroke of creativity in some form. Or we might see another brown-colored military shooter. The sky's the limit.
The free-to-play bug bites into massively multiplayer game Age of Conan. Thankfully devoid of woodenly acting Austrian bodybuilders, AoC's setting within author Robert E. Howard's artificial mythology now allows fledgling barbarians to chop off heads free of charge. An in-game store allows the purchase of weapons, armor, and vanity items, but pulling the "chic loincloth" look is harder than it looks. Free accounts only have access to two character slots and four of the game's 11 classes while also being limited to the original launch areas and the "Gateway to Khitai" zone of the Rise of the Godslayer expansion.
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