Kotaku have posted their first impressions of the new PlayStation 3 wireless keypad. Similarities will obviously be drawn with its Xbox 360 counterpart, but then Microsoft hardly owns the QWERTY layout (or have they reverse-patented this too?).

My personal thoughts are that this looks quite weird sticking out in front of the controller rather than set in between the hands where the Xbox 360 chatpad sits. Although the Kotaku writer personally preferred having the keypad out of the “gaming zone”. Other differences include the peripheral being lighter and thinner, as well as requiring its own power source (the Xbox 360 chatpad draws power directly from the controller). Because it does not connect to the PS3 controller (it just snaps on), it makes its own connection to the PS3 via Bluetooth.

Finally it features a “touchpad” mode not found on the 360 chatpad. Presumably this turns the keys into a touch sensitive slate where you can run a finger along it as you might a touchpad. Interesting feature which would seem to have some potential. ButtonMasher community member McFadge has concerns about the keypad obstructing access to the shoulder buttons – he makes a good point!

More pics after the break.

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Konami have released a cryptic message on their Kojima Productions website.

The website URL is: http://www.konami.jp/kojima_pro/mgst/?ref=kjp_jp

Read what you will into the “mgst” part of the URL, and note the message appears to be in the colour green, and the answer to the equation closely resembles the power button logo on Microsoft’s console. Of course that’s pretty much the international symbol for power, but it is in the style adopted by Microsoft.

Without wanting to jinx anything, this would surely have to indicate a change in the current PlayStation exclusivity of series. Or else that’s a huge number of fans to set up for disappointment.

What does the “t” in “mgst” stand for?

I have a reflexive flinch. A tic that manifests whenever I hear the words “Need for Speed”. Call it a traumatic past experience. Call it a reaction to the rape of a treasured childhood memory. Call it Need for Speed Underground.

Back in what I’ll gratuitously refer to as “my day”, there was a game called The Need For Speed. I played this on my 486 gaming pc, taking any one of 8 cars around one of three tracks or along one of three road courses. I was the man at that game. And it was a fantastic game. But somewhere along the line, the concept was watered down. What had started out trying pretty hard to be a modern and accurate Test Drive became an arcadey thrasher.

I feeeel the need...

But there were some high points. Hot Pursuit explored the getaway-style running from the cops gameplay that made the original’s head-to-head mode so enjoyable (though it was flawed in that first attempt) and did a good job of it.

Then, eventually, along came Need For Speed Underground. A game that actually rewarded the player for buying pointless “upgrades” to make their car uglier and less good. To say that I loathed it would be a gross understatement. To say that it’s the worst driving game ever made is wholly inadequate. The point I’m trying to make is this: I’ve learned to fear Need For Speed titles. I’ve been burned. Dare I put my hand back into that flame?
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Who ever thought they would see one of the best Nintendo 64 titles downloadable on any console but a Nintendo one? Not me, that’s for sure. But then I never thought Rare would ever leave Nintendo’s side back in those days. I was upset back then when I heard Microsoft had purchased Rare, and I was even more upset to see that nothing but average titles had come from that studio since then, but everything would have been fine if I had known back then that the original Banjo Kazooie would be getting a release as hauntingly sexy for its original fans as this.

If you played and enjoyed even a minute of the original please do the following.

  1. Do not read this review.
  2. Head to your nearest 360.
  3. Spend the 1200 points required to purchase Banjo Kazooie.


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SCEE are offering up some festive fun with a new five track SongPack available for download from the SingStore. At a cost of NZD$13.50, you will now be able to skip midnight mass on Christmas Eve to sit at home singing the following Christmas songs with the family:

Celine Dion – Christmas Eve
Toni Braxton – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Babyface – Sleigh Ride
Paul McCartney  – Wonderful Christmastime
Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone

To download the SingPacks, just get your PS3 online, choose “Online” from the SingStar menu and select “SingStore” to find hundreds of extra tracks as well as the new range of awesome five-track SongPacks to boost your SingStar experience.

Now that an update has finally allowed Guitar Hero drums to work in Rock Band 2, ButtonMasher community member DoubleMANTIS is reporting that the PS3 2.53 firmware update has broken Rock Band drum compatibility with Guitar Hero: World Tour. He says:

I go to play some GH:WT with my Rock band drum kit tonight and are prompted to do the 2.53 update. So I do…

Once done I start up GH:WT only to find that now my drums are only recognized as a microphone!!!!

DoubleMANTIS of course has the Rock Band ONE drums – Rock Band 2 is as yet unreleased in New Zealand.

Have you upgraded to firmware version 2.53 and have you had similar problems?

UPDATE: DoubleMANTIS has been able to get his Rock Band drums to work again after the following process which may be of use to anyone suffering the same problem:

I deleted both rockband and GH:WT game updates/patches from my HDD and then reinstalled the GH:WT 1.01 update, then the rockband 1.03 updated. I am happy to say GH:WT now sees my drums as drums

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Although the game is already available, EA are expecting huge numbers at tomorrows NZ launch of Need for Speed Undercover. Tomorrow, from 4pm – 6pm, Caltex Fanshawe Street in downtown Auckland will be taken over by EA who will be offering the choice of either $50 worth of free petrol or a free copy of Need For Speed Undercover on Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PC or Wii (while stocks of games and petrol vouchers last). Not only are EA offering free petrol, but the Need For Speed girls will be there pumping the gas too!

So, what’s it going to be – petrol or the game?!

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According to CVG, the next Harry Potter game is likely to follow along the lines of star wars, Indiana Jones and Batman to become of the Lego variety.

We’ve got no solid details on what form the game will take but an action-adventure type of romp taking its lead from the books (or movies) would be the safe bet. Expect lots of Hogwarts, and big fat Hagrid and a little boy with Lego hair then.

Now I’m not much of a Lego game fan, but I have been known to enjoy a Harry Potter novel or two or seven. Maybe this is just what I need to entice me into the Lego genre!

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According to Wall Street Journal, Sumner Redstone has sold his majority stake in publisher midway for a measly $100,000. It is estimated that Redstone has spent between $500 – $700 million on Midway stock since 1983, but he seems to have lucked out with shares dropping from $23 per share in 2005, to 38 cents last week. Despite the huge loss in the sale, Redstone stands to gain from tax benefits. Investor Mark Thomas purchased the majority stake.

It’s time to start a new ButtonMasher Tournament and in preparation we have 3 copies of Motorstorm Pacific Rift to giveaway. To win all you need to do is add your Playstation Network Username to the thread in the forum (found here).

You have until 6pm on the 13th of December to enter. If you are an existing member of the forum that has already added your username simply post a comment here to enter.

The tournament will kick off in few weeks time. So get practicing.