[UPDATE] Retail sources claim Microsoft and publishers will take a percentage of every used game; Microsoft says reports are "inaccurate and...
Other Site Blogs
GameSpot Versus Beat the Pros Edition is a way for GameSpot members to test their skills against super star pro gamers. From FPS to...
Source: French site 01Net.
What we heard: Sony has been forthcoming with how its Next Generation Portable will look and feel in gamers' hands, but the system's horsepower largely remains a mystery. With (since refuted) reports indicating that the NGP will be as powerful as the PlayStation 3, a new report from 01Net indicates that Sony has scaled back the handheld's technology.
According to the French media site, Sony has informed its development partners that the NGP will include 256MB of RAM, down from the 512MB the company initially planned to include in the system. VRAM has been similarly halved, with video memory now expected to come in at 128MB. To make up for this reduction, Sony has reportedly scaled down the size of the NGP's operating system, as well as opened up an additional 26MB of RAM for data that requires quick access.
Sony has also reportedly ditched plans to include 16GB of internal flash memory. Instead, the electronics company is said to be planning an external memory solution along the lines of an SD card or Memory Stick Duo. 01Net's sources indicate that this memory format--sold initially by Sony--will include security measures to prevent piracy, which has plagued the PSP.
01Net claims that the impetus behind scaling down the NGP's memory was to keep the cost of the system down. 01Net affirmed previous rumors that emerged from a Ubisoft survey, stating that Sony is preparing two different NGP SKUs. A version with 3G wireless connectivity will reportedly cost $350. A $250 version will also be offered, and while it will maintain Wi-Fi connectivity, it will not benefit from 3G capabilities.
Lastly, 01Net's sources addressed Sony's launch plans, saying that the system is still on track to launch in Japan by year's end. The West is a different matter, though, with the website saying it has been told to expect an early 2012 launch outside of Japan.
The official story: Sony had not returned GameSpot's request for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus: Leaning not bogus. 01Net was the first to report increasingly convincing rumors that the Wii 2 will include a tablet controller. Further, Sony does have a track record for scaling down its hardware prelaunch, having substantially downgraded the PS3's specs between E3 2005 and E3 2006.
Source: The Twitter feed of enduring Internet sleuth Superannuation.
What we heard: Sega hasn't done much with its Shinobi ninja franchise since 2002, when it rebooted the series as a 3D action title for the PlayStation 2. That revival proved to be short lived, as the franchise returned to the shadows after Shinobi's 2004 follow-up, Nightshade. However, after more than seven years undercover, it appears as if Sega is preparing its lethal ninja for a new mission.
In a Twitter post today, Superannuation relayed the online resume of an environment artist at Foundation 9's Griptonite Games who claims to be working on a new installment in the Shinobi franchise for the 3DS. Though the resume has since been pulled, the environment artist indicated on it that he had produced "hand painted and photo referenced textures" for the game.
Griptonite Games is no stranger to the industry, with its first released game dating back to 2000. Notably, the Washington-based studio has established its reputation as a studio commissioned to create portable installments of console titles. As one recent example, Griptonite is handling the 3DS and DS versions of Warner Bros.' upcoming Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. That game's console installments are in development at Double Helix, a fellow Foundation 9 studio.
The official story: A Sega representative told GameSpot that the publisher "is not commenting on this at the moment."
Bogus or not bogus?: Looking not bogus. The Shinobi franchise has deep roots at Sega, having briefly served as company mascot in the 1980s. The real question now is whether Shinobi will appear solely on the 3DS or if an as-yet-undetected console installment is also in development.
Source: A tease from Japanese director Takashi Miike about his next project, as reported by the Huffington Post.
What We Heard: The Huffington Post article was primarily concerned with Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, the director's remake of the 1962 classic Harakiri. The article notes Miike's reputation for violence in his films, but the director suggests he's not incapable of working without gore.
As evidence, Miike mentions that his next project will have very little blood, adding, "It is a very light comedy that I am filming now, a court drama, based on a video game, the Nintendo game DS."
The number of comedic courtroom drama games released on the DS is slim, and the number of relevant ones worthy of big-screen adaptation essentially boils down to just Capcom's Ace Attorney series.
While a film adaptation of a family-friendly franchise like Phoenix Wright might seem a mismatch for the man behind twisted efforts like the horror film Audition or Ichi the Killer, Miike's body of work is diverse, as well as prolific. Beyond his shock-driven efforts, Miike also counts more family-friendly adventures like The Great Yokai War, Zebraman, and Ninja Kids among the 84 projects he's directed in the past 20 years.
Miike also has experience working with game adaptations. In 2006, Miike directed a prequel serial for Sega's original Yakuza.
The Official Word: A Capcom representative had not returned GameSpot's request for comment.
[UPDATE]: Shortly after this article went live, a Capcom representative responded to the inquiry, saying, "No announcements have been made."
Bogus or Not Bogus? Likely not bogus. And with Miike's track record, there's a good chance this will be one of those rare game-based movie projects that actually gets released.
Source: Several customer support pages of L.A. Noire developer Rockstar.
What we heard: A posting in the support section of Rockstarís website said the L.A. Noire developer had "received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing L.A. Noire or beeping three times before shutting down/turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models." The posting from Rockstar Support, since removed from the website, attributed the issue to the recent 3.61 PlayStation 3 firmware update, saying, "There have been various reports of this on a few games now, all reporting their PS3s turning off or 'Red Lighting' after having installed 3.61."
Speaking to games industry site next-gen.biz, Sony denied the 3.61 update was causing the problem, saying there is "currently no evidence to indicate firmware 3.61 is causing any issues with PS3s." Moreover, Sony pointed the finger back at Rockstar, citing a work-around recently posted on the developerís site as evidence that L.A. Noire is to blame rather than the firmware update.
The work-around, according to Sony, reveals that the issue is also happening on Xbox 360s, for which L.A. Noire is also available. "Rockstar have now updated their FAQ on the matter, have admitted it's a fault with its latest title L.A. Noire and have offered a work-around," said the platform holder to next-gen.biz. "It should also be noted that the issue with this title is not PS3 specific and is also affecting other consoles."
The work-around, notes Rockstar, has "received a few tickets about some isolated crashes/freezes" and is investigating the cause. It suggests users delete L.A. Noire game data (not save data) on the PS3 or clear the cache on the Xbox 360.
Bogus or not bogus?: At the time of writing, we are waiting for comment from Rockstar and Microsoft. Sony comments: "We have received a very small number of customer support questions about PS3s overheating or shutting down while playing L.A. Noire. At this time, Rockstar Games and Sony can confirm that neither L.A. Noire or firmware update 3.61 are causing the PS3 hardware to overheat. We are both committed to working hard to find solutions to this and any issues that may arise."
It remains to be seen how serious or widespread the issue is, or what the precise cause is; Sony's comment suggests the issue, if any, isn't caused by LA Noire or the 3.61 update. The near-simultaneous launch of L.A. Noire and the 3.61 firmware update may be an unlucky coincidence, though Rockstar's general advice on dealing with L.A. Noire freezes on both consoles falls short of proof that both machines are suffering the exact same issue.
Source: The YouTube video embedded below.
What we heard: Rumors about the Wii's successor floated around for weeks before it was officially announced on April 25. And since Nintendo has said virtually nothing about the device other than its 2012 release window and appearance at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, many of those rumors have lingered.
First and foremost are reports that the device, reportedly code-named Project Cafe, will have a controller with a large touch screen in its center that can stream video from the console. Supposedly, the outside of the controller will have more standard button and thumbstick-based controls.
Now, evidence of just such a controller may have surfaced, courtesy of a grainy video posted on YouTube. The 40-second clip, which has no sound, shows off a mock-up of a large game controller with a rectangular screen in the middle displaying gameplay footage. The screen then cuts to what looks like a shot of a bulked-up white Wii, with a female presenter appearing to stand in front of an early-production, black-hued unit of the console. A second shot of the controller with notes on its details is also shown, but the video is so out of focus they are illegible.
The official story: "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."--Nintendo spokesperson.
Bogus or not bogus?: Unclear. The shot could have been easily staged, as more elaborate fake-console "leaks" have been staged by pranksters in the past--remember the Nintendo On, anyone? Luckily, Nintendo's E3 2011 press conference is set for the morning of June 7, putting the console's official reveal just under three weeks away.
Source: See below.
What we heard: Just five days after the PlayStation Network started coming back online, reports are surfacing of a new security flaw with the online systems. Based on an initial article on gaming blog Nyleveia.com that was reportedly confirmed by NeoGAF users and Eurogamer, hackers have discovered a new, simple exploit to change the PSN users' passwords.
The exploit is reportedly done via the Web pages Sony set up to facilitate the mandatory password changes required in the wake of the three-week PSN outage. All that is reportedly needed to perform the exploit is a PSN user's e-mail account and date of birth, which is among the data that was reportedly stolen from all 77 million PSN and Qriocity users last month. The exploit reportedly does not affect those trying to change their passwords on the PlayStation 3 or PSP, both of which can still access the PSN.
The official story: Though Sony Computer Entertainment America reps had not commented as of press time, a moderator on the European PlayStation.com forums offered the following information:
Please note that PSN sign in is currently unavailable for the following services:
Music Unlimited via the web client
All PlayStation game title websites
Unfortunately, this also means that those who are still trying to change their password via Playstation.com or Qriocity.com will be unable to do so for the time being. This is due to essential maintenance, and at present, it is unclear how long this will take.
In the meantime, you will still be able to sign into PSN via your PlayStation 3 and PSP devices to connect to game services and view Trophy/Friends information."
Meanwhile, Nyleveia.com has reportedly performed the exploit multiple times with multiple volunteers' PSN accounts. Several websites have also posted detailed instructions on how to perform the exploit, so this also looks not bogus.
[UPDATE] Later this morning, Sony Computer Entertainment America's senior director of corporate communications and social media Patrick Seybold confirmed the exploit--and that Sony was quickly working to fix it.
"We temporarily took down the PSN and Qriocity password reset page," said Seybold on the PlayStation Blog. "Contrary to some reports, there was no hack involved. In the process of resetting of passwords, there was a URL exploit that we have subsequently fixed."
He continued, "Consumers who haven't reset their passwords for PSN are still encouraged to do so directly on their PS3. Otherwise, they can continue to do so via the website as soon as we bring that site back up." Sony offered no timeline as to when the sites will return.
Source: See below.
What we heard: On Monday, Activision issued its earnings for the January-March quarter. Other than reporting $503 million in profits, the publisher also further revealed its plans for the Call of Duty franchise. Specifically, the company said that this year's installment--heavily rumored to be Modern Warfare 3--will have "an unprecedented online universe that is accompanying it." The publisher indicated that this "all-new connected digital universe"--also called a new "platform"--was in the works at its newly formed Beachhead studio. In a call with analysts following the report, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said that "We look forward to sharing more specifics on this exciting new endeavor in the coming weeks."
Now, it appears that one of those specifics--the platform's title--may have been leaked a little bit early. A person claiming to work in the tradeshow graphics industry posted several pieces of Activision-related Electronic Entertainment Expo art on the forums of gaming blog Electric Hydra. One is a logo for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The second is something called Call of Duty: Elite, possibly the name of the Beachhead's new online platform.
The official story: Activision had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus?: Given its similarity to Modern Warfare 3 art that has surfaced on both Kotaku and a teaser in Official PlayStation Magazine UK, the Modern Warfare 3 logo looks not bogus--giving credence to the Call of Duty: Elite logo. The title "Elite" also connotes a premium level, something that analysts expect the Beachhead studio's service to be. However, until Activision makes it official, it is unclear what exactly Call of Duty: Elite is--or if it's anything at all.
What we heard: Remedy Entertainment spent some five years crafting psychological thriller Alan Wake for the Xbox 360. And while that extended development period was evident in Alan Wake's strong critical response, the game hasn't proven to be a sales blockbuster. Still, speculation has been rife that Alan Wake will see a sequel, especially considering Remedy has begun work on a new AAA Xbox 360 game.
Now, new evidence for a return of Alan Wake has emerged, courtesy of an artist's LinkedIn resume. Captured by Xboxygen prior to being pulled, the LinkedIn resume showed that during a month spent at Halon Entertainment, the artist contributed to in-game cinematics for Alan Wake 2.
The artist's resume offered no additional details on the project. However, it is worth noting that game companies often offload time-intensive cinematic work to for-hire agencies to speed up the completion of their wares--potentially a particularly sensitive point considering the original Alan Wake's protracted development cycle. Halon Entertainment advertises on its website that it specializes in previsualization cinematics, with credits including the Xbox 360-exclusive Halo: Reach.
Remedy wrapped development on Alan Wake with the release of its last piece of downloadable content, The Writer, in October. The game was the first from the Finnish studio since 2003's May Payne 2, and it follows writer Alan Wake as he retreats to the sleepy Northwestern town of Bright Falls. The psychological thriller pits Wake against a mysterious darkness afflicting the townsfolk, turning them into nightmarish specters.
The official story: Microsoft had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus: Remedy has expressed interest in continuing the Alan Wake franchise with a full-blown sequel. Coupled with Halon's experience working on an Xbox 360 exclusive and the fact that Alan Wake 2 would be an odd choice to simply pull out of a hat, this one is looking not bogus.
Source: A report on gaming blog Joystiq.
What we heard: The Joystiq report is based on a pair of documents surreptitiously slipped to the gaming blog by a member of Microsoft's tech support team. The sheets are labeled "Xbox Supportability - Release Notification" and are intended to bring customer support associates a heads-up on the product rollouts that could be complicating their jobs in the near future.
The note regarding the Xbox 360's spring update includes mention of the previously confirmed new disc format for the system, which is expected to be used by games starting later this year. However, it also contains a handful of other heretofore unknown bits of information, like a launch window for the update and details on a new PayPal integration.
According to the notes, the PayPal integration is the biggest change of the update, and indeed the only one that will be readily apparent to users. For "the only user-facing feature of this update," Microsoft is supposedly enabling PayPal payments through the Xbox 360 console itself, giving users an option to acquire Microsoft points in ways besides credit cards and retail points cards. PayPal support will also be extended to new markets internationally.
Microsoft reportedly plans to release the update in six groups between May 19 and May 30. The staggered rollout is being done "to ensure a high-quality deployment," according to the note.
Another tech support note passed to Joystiq put a worldwide May 27 date on Avatar Kinect, the new peripheral-powered chat functionality for the system first debuted at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. The download, which will be free for Xbox Live Gold members, will let the Kinect read facial expressions and replicate them on Avatars in online chat rooms for up to eight people.
The official story: Microsoft did not return GameSpot's request for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus: It's bizarre to think a tech support staffer would risk being fired for leaking such minor details, but perhaps more bizarre to suggest someone would fake them. Probably not bogus.
Source: British game-industry site and magazine Develop.
What we heard: On April 25, Nintendo confirmed speculation that it would release a new hardware platform in 2012. This week, another report surfaced about the successor to another console--the Xbox 360.
Develop cites "a senior, trusted, well-placed source" as saying that a software development kit (SDK) for the new Xbox arrived at an unidentified Electronic Arts studio last month. As is the case with many early SDKs, the unit is housed inside a PC chassis.
The same source said that Microsoft's new device would launch by the end of 2012 and would likely be revealed at next month's Electronic Entertainment Expo. Nintendo has already confirmed that its next home console will not only be unveiled at E3, but will also be playable at the event, which runs from June 7-9.
"Why let Nintendo steal the thunder in June [at E3]?" the source told Develop. "It doesn't want to lose momentum. That's why I think Microsoft is rushing to make an announcement at E3."
The official story: Though Microsoft had not commented as of press time, EA vice president of corporate communications Jeff Brown had a few choice words about the report. "This story is a total fabrication--[it's] 100 percent not true," he told GameSpot.
Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus, according to EA. However, in March, job listings surfaced that leave little doubt that Microsoft has begun work on its next-generation console.
Source: A since-pulled resume for former Bruckheimer Games employee Justin Leader, captured via Google Docs by Internet sleuth Superannuation.
What we heard: Film icon Jerry Bruckheimer--who helped create big action films like the Pirates of the Caribbean series--partnered with MTV Games in 2007 to create an "incubation studio" called Jerry Bruckheimer Games, where game ideas would be developed but not the games themselves. Little has been heard as to what the studio has been working on since its inception, but now, new information has trickled out.
According to the resume of former Jerry Bruckheimer Games employee Justin Leader, the studio is (or was) working on not one, but three "major unannounced video games, including Xbox 360, and PS3 products." Unfortunately, further specifics were not offered.
The official story: Neither Jerry Bruckheimer Games nor MTV Games--which is all but closed down--could be reached for comment.
Bogus or not bogus: To date, Jerry Bruckheimer Games has yet to announce or release anything pertaining to what it is working on. Additionally, the studio's website is empty and is only accepting registrations. However, it's a near certainty that the studio is developing something, and Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games are a likely fit.
Source: Gaming blog Kotaku.
What we heard: Ever since its existence was first rumored back in mid-April, the Wii's successor has been a lightning rod of speculation. Over the span of 11 days, the console was rumored to have a tablet controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen and day-one support from the developers of Grand Theft Auto IV and Donkey Kong Country Returns. The console was also, according to unconfirmed reports, supposed to sport HD graphics and use Blu-ray discs as its format of choice.
Finally, on April 25, Nintendo confirmed that the Wii 2--reportedly named Project Cafe--would ship in 2012 and would also be playable at the upcoming 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo. However, the dearth of information accompanying the announcement has led to a vacuum into which even more rumors have rushed.
Enter the latest scuttlebutt, in which Kotaku reports that the Wii 2 will not have a hard drive. Instead, the console will come with 8GB of flash memory and, like its forebear, the ability to store game data on SD memory cards. The 8GB of flash memory is the equivalent of the hard drive in the original Xbox, which was released in 2001 with both 8GB and 10GB hard drives, depending on the parts manufacturer. It's also less than half of the first Xbox 360 HDD and the lower-end launch PlayStation 3 HDD, both of which were 20GB. (The higher-end launch PS3 had a 60GB HDD.) Current-model PS3 hard drives range from 160GB to 320GB, with the higher-end slimline Xbox 360 sporting a 250GB HDD and the lower-end Xbox 360 slim having 4GB of flash memory and no hard drive.
Kotaku's sources also report that the Wii's follow-up will also have a proprietary format capable of storing up to 25GB per disc, rather than using the Blu-ray format. The high storage capacity will be for the console's graphics, which will reportedly either be 1080p or 1080i. According to various reports, the console will--at the very least--match the 360 and PS3 in power, making porting games over to the console easier than it currently is on the lower-resolution Wii.
The official story: "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."--Nintendo rep.
Bogus or not bogus?: While the report certainly adds some spice to the rumor stew that continues to simmer, it's not enough to go on definitively. However, such low-capacity storage would severely limit the console's downloadable content capability out of the box and would make future-proofing the console a major concern. That said, with Electronic Entertainment Expo now just over a month away, people shouldn't have to wait long to get firm answers to their questions about the Wii 2.
Source: See below.
What we heard: Yesterday, Sony announced that even though the personal information of some 77 million PlayStation Network accounts may have been compromised during last week's data breach, their credit card information was encrypted. This account appeared to be backed up by a report that said that major financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, American Express, and Mastercard had reported they had found no suspicious activity related to the leak.
Now, though, MSNBC is making headlines with an article that starts off saying that some 2.2 million credit card numbers stolen from the PSN are being shopped around. The story stems from a Twitter post by Kevin Stevens of Trend Micro, a purveyor of Internet security software, which said that cybercrooks were claiming to have the accounts, including first name, last name, address, zip code, country, phone, e-mail, e-mail password, date of birth, credit card number, expiration date, and three-digit security code. That account was backed up by screenshots from a forum by Internet security blogger Brian Krebs.
The official story: As of press time, Sony has not commented on the matter.
Bogus or not bogus?: Probably bogus. Sony said that the PSN, like most online vendors, doesn't store the three-digit security code, so there's no way hackers could have obtained them. Also, by everyone's account, the people claiming to have the information could just be attempting online fraud.
"Yeah, this information about the [three-digit security code] numbers could be bogus. The guys selling the [database] could just be making it up," said Stevens. MSNBC is equally skeptical, saying, "It almost sounds too good to be true. Why, for example, would Sony have the passwords to users' third-party email accounts, such as Yahoo! or Gmail accounts?"
Source: The Twitter feed of Internet sleuth Superannuation.
What we heard: Firaxis' Civilization franchise is one of the most enduring and lucrative in the industry. Still, it appears as if not every installment makes it to the finish line.
Yesterday, Superannuation claimed to have unearthed the online resume of a character artist who currently works at Firaxis and who indicated that Civilization Revolution 2 was in development for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC until 2008. As of press time, the resume has been removed from the artist's website.
If true, the game would have been a sequel to Firaxis' first attempt at bringing the Civilization franchise to consoles in nearly 10 years. That game launched to a strong critical reception in 2008, and Take-Two subsequently indicated that it was a commercial success as part of the game's most relevant quarterly earnings report.
Unfortunately, the developer offered no indication as to the fate of Civilization Revolution 2.
That's not the only mystery brewing at Firaxis, as it turns out. Superannuation also uncovered the studio's plans to create "an unannounced AAA strategy title for PC, XBox 360, and PS3 using Unreal Engine 3." The news comes by way of the online resume of a former Firaxis employee, a Google cache version of which is still viewable.
As for the nature of that big-budget strategy title, Superannuation took an uncharacteristic step by wading into the rumor-mill pool without supporting evidence. In a subsequent Twitter update, Superannuation said, "Rumor time: Apparently this Firaxis game is a new IP--not Pirates 2--slated for release next year," later suggesting that a new Pirates game had been canceled.
The official story: "2K does not comment on rumors or speculation."--A 2K Games representative.
Bogus or not bogus: Not bogus that Firaxis is working on a new AAA strategy game for PC and consoles. Given Superannuation's track record of reliable finds, it also seems likely that development on Civ Revolution 2 has been halted. However, it's unclear where Superannuation's information regarding a new property from Firaxis and a canceled Pirates game came from, and the information should be regarded with a suitable amount of skepticism.
Source: A Reddit report by self-proclaimed PSX-Scene moderator "chesh420."
What we heard: Late Friday, Sony Computer Entertainment America admitted the reason behind the ongoing PlayStation Network outage was an " external intrusion." Now, though, comes a different account, courtesy of chesh420.
The self-styled PSX-Scene moderator says that he suspects the real reason behind the PSN outage isn't some kind of Anonymous-style mass denial of service attack. Instead, chesh420 claims that Sony has shut down the service because of some custom firmware called Rebug. With a few modifications to a proxy server, the firmware apparently lets users simulate a PlayStation 3 debug unit used by Sony's developer network and media outlets such as GameSpot.
According to chesh420, these proxy-server modifications allow savvy hackers to enter fake credit card numbers that Sony won't check on the false assumption that Rebug firmware users are developers or members of the press. This, in turn, allows Rebug users to download PlayStation Store goods for free, undermining the entire PSN economy.
The official story: SCEA reps had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus?: By chesh420's own account, his suspicions are "all speculation." However, his speculation is "based on previous actions and known facts," making this--at the very least--an intriguing theory.
Source: Tech blog Ubergizmo.
What we heard: Anyone walking into a retailer today can find three non-3D types of Nintendo's DS handheld on the shelves: The DS Lite, the DSi, and the DSi XL. However, if the Ubergizmo report is to be believed, that number will soon be down to two. The tech blog has apparently acquired an internal memo from game specialty retailer GameStop, which says that the most venerable variant of the handheld on the market will soon be off the market.
"New DS Lite systems have been discontinued and stores will no longer be replenished on this product," reads the memo. "Once your store sells through its current stock of these units, please remove any corresponding DS Lite (Crimson, Black, and Metallic Rose) display boxes from the sales floor and discard."
The official story: "Nintendo doesn't comment on rumor and speculation." -- Nintendo of America rep.
Bogus or not bogus?: Likely not bogus. The original DS, first introduced in 2004, spent less than three years on the market before being discontinued. The DS Lite first arrived in North America in June of 2006, meaning it has been available at retailers for nearly five years. And with the introduction of the 3DS, the camera-less DS Lite is showing its age more than ever.
Source: Consumer gaming blog Kotaku.
What we heard: With less than two months to go before the gaming industry convenes in Los Angeles for the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the Internet has been hemorrhaging Wii 2 rumors. One of those rumors concerned itself with the Wii 2's controller, which French gaming site 01net claimed would resemble an iPad.
Lending further credence to that rumor, Kotaku reports today that it has been informed by several sources that the Wii 2--which is possibly code-named Project Cafe--will indeed resemble a tablet device. According to the site, the controller will feature two analog sticks, eight buttons, and a camera.
To the tablet tale, the device will reportedly feature a touch screen that measures 6.2 inches diagonally. As a point of comparison, Nintendo's DSi XL features a 4.2 inch touch screen, while the regular DS Lite's screen measures 3 inches of diagonal viewing area and the iPad's is 9.7 inches. The screen will reportedly receive data wirelessly, the content of which is open for developers to decide.
However, it would appear as if the tablet device won't be the Wii 2's only method of input. According to Kotaku, the Wii 2 will also support motion controllers akin to those of the Wii. In fact, the website's sources indicate that motion-controller gaming will remain a core emphasis with the new console.
The official story: "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."--A Nintendo of America representative.
Bogus or not bogus: Looking not bogus that Nintendo will once again be innovating in the controller department for its newest console. However, gamers aren't likely to get reliable particulars until the publisher announces the device.
Source: Gaming blog Kotaku.
What we heard: If the rumor mill is to be believed, Nintendo will hold a dominant presence at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in June with the announcement of a successor to the 85 million-unit-selling Wii. Should that speculation prove accurate, Nintendo may be pleased to know that the rumor mill does not expect the publisher to be in competition with rivals Microsoft and Sony.
Kotaku reports today that it has heard from a variety of sources that neither Sony nor Microsoft plan to release a new console until 2014. "Both [Microsoft] and Sony are telegraphing to each other that they're delaying, to milk the current [generation] and fill in previous craters better," a source told the website.
A source also indicated to Kotaku that while 2014 is the target date for both companies, either could push the launch date forward to 2013 if they feel "pushed."
Of Microsoft's plans, the website claims that the publisher has yet to even decide the exact nature of its next console. According to Kotaku's source, Microsoft is still "wrestling with whether to be profitable on day one" for the next Xbox, similar to how Nintendo was said to have made money off of every Wii sold. Conversely, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were reportedly initially sold at a loss by Microsoft and Sony.
The official story: Neither Microsoft nor Sony had responded to requests for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus: Considering the dearth of leaks concerning Microsoft and Sony's next consoles, it seems highly unlikely that either will pull a surprise announcement at this year's E3. Additionally, by Kotaku's sources' own admission, much remains in flux surrounding the companies' new consoles, so 2014 seems at this point to be not much more than a target.
Source: Freelance games writer Paul Gale's website.
What we heard: Since rumors about the Wii 2 first broke last week, the Internet has been abuzz with speculation about the HD-enabled device. Besides a growing consensus that the console will be shown off at--or before--the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo, there have been unconfirmed reports that it is code-named Project Cafe. Additional reports have it boasting controllers with tablet-like touch screens capable of streaming games from the console itself.
This week came another rumor that Nintendo was courting Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption developer Rockstar Games to craft a launch title for the Wii's successor. Today comes an unconfirmed report of another high-profile developer reportedly confirming that it already has a software development kit for the console--and that it's working on a title that will likely please Nintendo fans.
Citing several sources within the developer, Gale reports that Austin, Texas-based Retro Studios was one of the first companies to receive an SDK for the Wii 2. While that should not be particularly surprising, given the fact the shop is a first-party studio wholly owned by Nintendo, one source did offer a delicate tease about what it was working on. "[It's] a project everyone wants us to do," said the source.
The official story: "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation." -- A Nintendo of America representative.
Bogus or not bogus?: If there are Wii 2 SDKs already in circulation, it's likely not bogus that Retro, being a part of Nintendo, already has one. The more intriguing question is what is the studio working on? Given the fact it saw critical and commercial success with the Metroid Prime trilogy, a new Metroid is a top suspect. However, the developer's most recent title, Donkey Kong Country Returns, has sold over 2 million units since its release last November, making a sequel likely as well.
Source: A purported loose-lipped source speaking to 01net.com.
What we heard: French tech site 01net has been wading deeply into the rumor mill surrounding Nintendo's possible new console, the Wii 2, which the publisher may or may not be announcing as part of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. Last week, the site reported that the console, codenamed Project Cafe, will take on the aspect of a tablet device, or "an iPad with buttons." However, the site's sources said that it would also be as powerful as the Xbox 360.
The site also named third-party outreach as one of Nintendo's major areas of emphasis, and the site reports today that it has lured one of the hottest developers around, Rockstar Games. According to 01net, Rockstar was among the first third-party developers to receive a software development kit for Project Cafe. The studio is reportedly gearing up to deliver a game "early" in the console's life cycle.
Unfortunately, 01net's source did not indicate the nature of that project, nor whether it will be the increasingly rumored Grand Theft Auto V. However, it wouldn't be the first time Rockstar and Nintendo have collaborated. In 2009, Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS. However, though the game scored extremely well with critics, it proved to make only a minor sales impression on the 145-million-unit-selling DS.
The official story: Neither Rockstar nor Nintendo had responded to GameSpot's requests for comment as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus: As with 01net's previous report, the veracity of its most recent claims remains elusive. However, Nintendo has been clear that it hopes to regain the core gaming audience with its next console, and a surefire way to do that is to bring Rockstar on board.