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Get your first look at the Evangelion News Channel

Would you pay 800 yen a month to listen to robot Misato read the news?


You've probably heard about Namco Bandai's unique approach to bringing Evangelion to the PlayStation 3. Now you can see -- and hear -- it in motion!

Namco Bandai opened an official site today for Misato Katsuragi's News Plan. The site offers a product summary along with a first movie.

[end_p text="More on the Eva-themed news service after the jump" /]

In case you weren't keeping up with the gaming news yesterday, Namco Bandai officially announced Misato Katsuragi's News Plan, a new paid news service for the PlayStation 3. For an 800 yen per 30 day fee, Evangelion's Misato Katsurgai will read the daily news to you. Topics include politics, sports, anime, and entertainment. This is the real news, as provided by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.

One of the big attention drawers for the title is the involvement of Cellius, a joint venture formed by Sony and Namco Bandai in 2007. Cellius originally promised to push the PS3's Cell technology, and here the big push appears to come in the form of voice synthesis technology. Misato's voice is generated in real time by the PS3, something that Namco Bandai says required the Cell.

You can get a sampling of the voice in the above video.

If you want my opinion (and if you don't, feel free to skip this paragraph), the voice sounds way too robotic for me to want to listen to it every day. I'm actually more impressed with the cell shaded visuals. Of course, it remains to be seen how well the visuals hold up when viewed in full high resolution (Namco Bandai has only shared low res shots -- you can see the full set in this gallery).

The site also provides a few additional details about the product. As previously revealed, viewers can customize the experience, altering the camera angles, changing the setting, and even altering Misato's appearance. Sample settings mentioned at the official site include Misato's dining room and the classroom that main character Shinji and friends attend. For Misato, you can alter clothing and hair styles. Namco Bandai plans on offering additional clothing in the future.

The service is also compatible with the PSP, although this is via Remote Play.

Payment for all this is handled through something called "licenses." The site is a bit unclear, but there appears to be two types of licenses: a news license and a clothing license. The news license is purchased at 800 yen for 30 days service. This is required to view the news and also to change the background and Misato's clothing. To change Misato's clothing, you'll also need a clothing license. Namco Bandai hasn't shared pricing on these licenses.

The service kicks off on June 6.

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