Friday, 13 March 2009

Forbidden Planet to 'rock out' at EasterCon

Forbidden Planet are delighted to announce that, with the help of our friends at Sony and at Harmonix Music, we’ll be presenting David Devereux’s ROCK BAND: BATTLE OF THE BANDS at EasterCon on the Sunday evening.

This is a fantastic chance to play ROCK BAND 2 – before its EU release!

We have a huge range of fantastic prizes, plus loads of freebies and give-aways to be snapped up. And every participant will get an FP flash-code, redeemable for 10% OFF against ANY purchase from - but they’ll have to be quick as the code’s only hot for a couple of days!

Thanks to Harmonix Music, we’ll be supplying the full four-player Rock Band set-up for PS3 (vocals, guitar, bas guitar, drums) plus classic AC/DC track pack – all our rockers will need to bring is themselves, their mates and their beer. And they can rock out solo – we’re welcoming all!

PLUS: thanks to our friends at Sony, we’ll have a full audio/visual rebroadcast set-up in the Rowan Room – screens that everyone can see. With Rock Band 2’s fantastic animation and top sound effects – whatever their band, they’re sure to look good.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Torchwood: Rift War signing at Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet is pleased to announce the launch signing by D’Israeli, Ian Edgington, Simon Furman, Paul Grist and Brian Williamson. They will be signing TORCHWOOD: RIFT WAR at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Saturday 25th April 1 - 2pm.

When Torchwood-3 comes under fire in an all-out attack by extra-dimensional shock troopers, the team are torn in all directions. And with a deadly rift bleeding through into their own reality, time itself could be destroyed if the Torchwood team isn't able to stop it. Rift War is an unmissable epic!

Written by Paul Grist (Jack Staff), Ian Edginton (2000AD, Scarlet Traces), Simon Furman (Transformers, Terminator), Brian Williamson (Wallace & Gromit, Dr. Who) and illustrated by Paul Grist (Jack Staff), D’Israeli (Scarlet Traces), Brian Williamson (Wallace & Gromit, Dr. Who)

Forbidden Planet is the largest store of its kind in the world. Some of the biggest names in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comics and Cult Entertainment have come to our London Megastore for signing events, including: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Simon Pegg, William Gibson, Mark Millar, Guillermo Del Toro, Brian Froud and Stephen King.

For more news about our signings please go to:

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Download Ventolin Catharsis on iTunes

My Bournemouth University video minor Ventolin Catharsis (iTunes) is now available online and for playback on portable devices such as iPod, iPod nano, iPod touch, iPhone and Sony PSP!

I co-wrote Ventolin Catharsis with friend and author Nick Smith in 1995! Nick has subsequently found acclaim with his award-winning novels Milk Treading, The Kitty Killer Cult and Undead on Arrival.

Subscribe to my podcast in iTunes and download it directly onto your iPhone and iPod touch (requires software update 2.2 or later)!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Mike Carey and Kate Griffin signing at Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet is pleased to announce a signing by Mike Carey and Kate Griffin. They will be signing Thicker Than Water: A Felix Castor Novel and A Madness of Angels at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Thursday 26th March 6 – 7pm.

Mike Carey is an extremely popular and well-respected author who has written on several top comics titles such as Lucifer as well as the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Thicker Than Water returns us to the life of Felix Castor, where memories thought left in Liverpool resurface in London. Childhood memories, family traumas, sins old and new come back to torment the city’s favourite freelance Exorcist. Things go from bad to worse until the only question left is – just how much will Fix have to pay..?

Kate Griffin is the name under which Carnegie Medal-nominated author, Catherine Webb, writes fantasy novels for adults. A Madness of Angels is a book about the power of London, Urban Magic, ebbing and flowing with the rhythms of the city, making runes from the alignments of ancient streets and humming with the rhythms of trains and buses. This is the London of Matthew Swift, where rival sorcerers do battle for the soul of the city.

Forbidden Planet is the largest store of its kind in the world. Some of the biggest names in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comics and Cult Entertainment have come to our London Megastore for signing events, including: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Terry Gilliam, Simon Pegg, William Gibson, Mark Millar, Guillermo Del Toro, Brian Froud and Stephen King.

For more news about our signings please go to:

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

20 million users is a new PSN milestone

Remarkable Milestone Achieved in Only 2 Years and 3 Months Since Its Launch on November 11, 2006

Tokyo, February 25, 2008 - Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today announced that the cumulative number of registered accounts on PlayStation®Network worldwide has exceeded 20 million as of February 20, 2009. The registered accounts on PlayStation Network reached 5million in 1 year and 2 months, 10 million in 1 year and 8 months, and exceeded 20 million in only 2 years and 3 months from the service launch on November 11, 2006*1. The number of users connected to PlayStation Network is ever growing, thus successfully building a robust network business platform.

PlayStation Network is a free to access network service for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3®) computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, that has more than 70 million sell-in units*2 around the world both platforms combined. Directly accessible from PS3, PSP or PC, users are able to enjoy a broad range of on-line content and services, including on-line gaming, video chat and text messaging with other PS3 users on-line, as well as many games and video content downloadable from PlayStation®Store. Since its launch, PlayStation Network has expanded its services to over 55 countries and regions around the globe, gaining strong support from users for its breadth of entertainment content available for both PS3 and PSP systems in addition to its free to use basic features and services.

To offer more fun and excitement to users, PlayStation Network is continually enhancing gaming experience through online game features such as online battle and team play, as well as adding more and more downloadable game items. More than 600 titles incorporated with online features have been released for the PS3 system worldwide, including Resistance: Fall of Man™, Gran Turismo™ 5 Prologue and LittleBigPlanet™ from SCE.

PlayStation Store offers more than 14,500 diverse digital content, ranging from exclusive on-line games, downloadable version of UMD™ titles, game demos and items, and titles from “Game Archive,” through which legendary and popular titles from the original PlayStation are made playable on PS3 and PSP, to more than 5,900 movies and TV episodes that are available through Video Delivery Service*3 that started in the United States in July 2008. To date, more than 380 million pieces of content*4 have been downloaded, with total sales exceeding 180 million US dollars*5, and the business scale is rapidly expanding.

PlayStation®Home launched its service in December 2008 and in less than 2 months, the number of users has exceeded 4 million. Within the ground-breaking 3D environment, users are able to meet, share gaming experiences, and enjoy communication with each other. Collaborative initiatives with various game titles and franchises are underway to offer more new fun on games in the world of PlayStation Home as it evolve over time, adding new spaces, features and functions to create a living, growing platform for the PlayStation community.

Additionally, the number of users enjoying Life with PlayStation® has now exceeded 2.6 million*6. Life with PlayStation offers users a new way to obtain information on a TV monitor in the living room by connecting it to the network via PS3. With “time” and “place” as keywords, Life with PlayStation will add more channels to enjoy content on the internet and broaden the world of entertainment beyond the realms of games that is made possible through connecting PS3’s vast computational power to the network.

SCE, along with content providers and users will continue to further expand the entertainment experiences with PS3, PSP and PlayStation Network to create a new world of computer entertainment.

*1 Launched in Japan on November 11, 2006.

*2 PS3: 21.3 million units as of December 2008, PSP: 50 million units as of January 2009.

*3 Launched in July 2008. As of February 2009, over 1,400 movies and 4,400 TV episodes are available for download.

*4 Includes free of charge content (downloadable demos and promotion videos).

*5 As of February 2009.

*6 As of February 2009.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The force is strong with Twitter

This post is for Star Wars fans! Last week @londonfilmgeek tweeted that @starwars was, officially, on Twitter! Follow for the latest articles, blog entries, news, weird Star Wars stuff from the Web, trivia and a lot more!

Only a few weeks prior to the inception of @starwars, @lucasarts started following me! Follow for all the latest gaming news and trivia!

It's encouraging to see established brands appearing on Twitter and directly engaging followers! The addition of both Star Wars and LucasArts to Twitter should assuage any disappointment at the removal of George Lucas' Twitter account; as linked to by The Times newspaper in its The 50 most popular celebs on Twitter article! Presumably this was not the creator of Star Wars himself!

You should follow me on twitter here.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Shop Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV beats street date

Street Fighter IV is garnering rave reviews and looks like it'll erase any residual memories of Street Fighter II on the Commodore 64!

Capcom will be wasting no time with Street Fighter IV DLC, revealing plans to launch a number of expansion packs post launch.

A completely free Championship Mode expansion pack due shortly after launch (no exact date specified) will add:

* Replay Mode - Record, upload, and download top matches to share with the Street Fighter IV community. Players can analyze top tiered fighters matches, leave voter feedback for others, and share their own triumphant victories.

* New Points System - Two new points systems to measure your skill (Championship and Tournament Points)

* Enhanced Tournament Matching System - Skill level matching system offers improved tournament match making for beginners and mid-level players. Competitors earn Grade Points (GP) to earn entry into more advanced tournaments.

Adding to that, Capcom has revealed new costume packs, that are due to hit PSN and Xbox Live throughout February and March. "The packs are grouped by themes and will be available for 320 MS points for Xbox 360 or £2.72 / €3.84 on PlayStation 3 post launch," explains Capcom.

Empire *****
IGN 9.5
Telegraph 10/10
Times Online ****

Shop now for Street Fighter IV on PS3 and XBOX 360!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Twittering about the #INQ1

For almost a week I've been testing the INQ1 from 3 mobile, and posting my initial impressions on Twitter!

Here's a compendium of those tweets to date:

"Setting up Skype on the #inq1 is a breeze! Skype Me: jrhood

Setting up Facebook, Windows Live and on the #inq1!

It's a novelty using a seriously social 3G phone compared to my LG Chocolate! Will I be able to give it back? #inq1

Receiving Facebook notifications directly on the #inq1 isn't unique! And I still prefer Facebook Mobile on the iPhone/iPod touch!

The #inq1 switcher and carousel is simplicity itself! Even if it lacks the GUI chutzpah of Mac OS X or Sony's XMB!

For security, there should be a full reset option on the #inq1! I can't find it! Help!

OK! Found 'Master Reset' under menu! LOL #inq1

'Master Reset' on the #inq1 doesn't clear social network login details! FAIL

The #inq1 doesn't support Twitter out of the box! However, Twitter4Skype provides a workaround until a dedicated application is released!"

You should follow me on twitter here.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

INQ1 isn't just for Facebook!

For Facebook Fiends

3mobilebuzz approached me to trial their brand new INQ1 mobile phone. Dubbed, somewhat disingenuously, the 'Facebook phone' by the media, I grabbed the chance to see what all the fuss was about.

Facebook integration aside, I'm particularly drawn to its Skype functionality and can't wait to test this feature over the next month. If you're interested in helping me out, please add me to Skype: jrhood. Thank you.

The INQ1 arrived yesterday and I'll be writing a full review soon. I hope it plays nice with Twitter or else!

You should follow me on twitter here.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Floral tribute to my Grandfather

Floral tribute to my Grandfather

My cousins and I commissioned a bicycle floral tribute in loving memory of our Grandfather who on Thursday 8th January 2009 passed away, following a short illness, aged 89 at the Colchester General Hospital.

Along with gardening, and maintaining his allotment. My Grandfather was synonymous with riding his bike in and around Stanway, Colchester, Essex. He taught me to ride a bike - poignant in view of Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Therefore I hope that this tribute is most befitting!

Incidentally, the almost moon-like Apple logo was added as an homage to my Grandfather's fascination with computers - he was a collector!