The Week in Review and Rumor Round-Up: Robot Entertainment Formed, DSi to Drop in April, PS3 Firmware 2.7 Coming?, and more!

The Week in Review and Rumor Round-Up: Robot Entertainment Formed, DSi to Drop in April, PS3 Firmware 2.7 Coming?, and more!


The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news and rumors over the past week. This weekly article will keep you plugged in and in-tune.

The founders of Ensemble Studios, namely CEO Tony Goodman, announced this week that they have taken a large portion of their crew and have started Robot Entertainment. The new studio’s first project will be to work with Microsoft to provide continued support for Age of Empires and to create additional content for Halo Wars. Also, Robot has announced they are in the process of creating their own original IP. Of course, no details are available at this time.

Diehard WoW, StarCraft, and Diablo players will be happy to know that Blizzard Entertainment has announced that their gaming convention, BlizzCon, will take place in the Anaheim Convention Center on August 21-22, not in October. Hopefully this means hot announcements simply can’t wait till Fall!

Rare is currently under review by Microsoft in order to make it a more prominent and productive organization. This will likely mean job cuts, but it should also translate into better games. In an interview with Develop, studio manager Mark Betteridge noted: “As the entire industry struggles to address the increasing scale and cost of development, we too have felt a need to restructure our current approach so we can speed development and better manage the scale required to create high quality games. With four projects recently underway, now is the right time to make this change.”

Perhaps the biggest news this week came from Nintendo. First, the Big N announced that the DSi will release in North America on April 5 th . The revamped handheld console will launch in Blue and Black and retail for $169.99.

Also, Super Smash Bros. Brawl director, Masahiro Sakurai, and Nintendo have come together to form a brand new development studio. Named Project Sora , the new studio is currently looking for development talent for a brand new IP. The new studio officially opened its doors on January 22, 2009 and will focus on the creation of an original IP to be released in 2011. The game should be something fans can get excited over, as Sakurai stated it will be aimed at the gaming core and not part of Nintendo’s casual fare.

Capcom has teased their latest , unannounced game via an Xbox LIVE ad. In fact, Monday, February 23, an exclusive trailer will be available for download via Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

The annual Interactive Achievement Awards were handed out last night , and the award winners didn’t surprise anyone very much. After all, 2008 was filled with quality gaming experiences across every platform and genre. The biggest news was that of LittleBigPlanet, which took home 8 of the coveted awards , including Game of the Year, Console Game of the Year, and Outstanding Character Performance (Sackboy). For a complete listing of all the winners, click HERE!

Finally, it has been rumored that Firmware Update 2.7 for the Sony PS3 is nearing release. Error screens and cryptic coding seem to point to new PS3 functionality, a new section in Home called Alpha Space, or possibly even a new exclusive title called Alpha Zone 3.

Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!

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