The Week in Review & Rumor Round-up: Nintendo's Playin' Footie, Germany's Got Game, 250 GB Xbox 360 Coming?, and More!

The Week in Review & Rumor Round-up: Nintendo's Playin' Footie, Germany's Got Game, 250 GB Xbox 360 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.

Polyphony Digital kicked off the week – even though the info revealed was actually a holdover last week’s Gamescom – that Gran Turismo 5 is set for release in Q4 of 2009. Info at the presser and scatter around the event in the form of publicity leaflets declared that over 1,000 cars will be featured along with 20 courses that are drivable in 60 different layouts. Rounding out the package will be extensive online leaderboards as well as real-time damage modeling (which has been very difficult for Polyphony Digital to incorporate) according to preliminary hands-on reports.

Nintendo confirmed this week that Wii Sports Resort has sold 1 million units in just five weeks since its launch on July 26 in the United States. The U.S.’s sales figures added to those already posted in Japan and Europe have the game selling over three million units worldwide.

Nintendo also submitted a patent application this week for a football controller for use with the Wii remote and Nunchuk attachment. It also appears as if it can accommodate Wii MotionPlus. Apparently, players will be able to seat both of the controllers and the extra motion attachment into the squishy ball and hold on to it while strapping in. For an image of the proposed peripheral, click HERE .

Rockstar Games tried to break the Nintendo mold by bringing the Grand Theft Auto franchise to the DS. Alas, poor sales numbers don’t lie (despite outstanding reviews across the board), so the company has decided to bring Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars to the PSP. It’s set to release across North America on October 20th.

We also found out that Gears of War 2 will receive a game of the year edition rerelease on September 1, 2009. This new package will be the complete Gears of War 2 ensemble. It will include the All Fronts Collection and all 19 additional multiplayer maps and the Road to Ruin add-on (extra chapter for main campaign) all for just $39.99.

Another Microsoft marquis franchise also made headlines this week. In an interview with VideoGamer’s James Orry, Bungie Community and PR Director Brian Jarrard admitted that closing the door on the Halo franchise would be rash. As of right now, the company just isn’t sure what they’d like to do after Halo: Reach. Orry’s interview ncovered this nugget from Jarrard: “I think there’s a lot of work just to get Reach done between now and next fall. At that point anything’s possible. We’re going to keep looking at making the games we want to make. Maybe that’s Halo. Maybe it’s not. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Last up from Microsoft was the expected Xbox 360 Elite price drop that had recently been rumored. The Elite will now cost just $299.99 USD, while the Xbox 360 Pro model will be phased out of production. The Xbox 360 Arcade version will maintain its current price of $199.99. New Elite models will exclude the HDMI cable from the bundle (as evidenced by various retailer advertisements), but a composite cable will still come packed in.

Meanwhile, a peculiar (awesome) Xbox 360 Elite bundle was spied this week that included a 250 GB HDD, two wireless controllers, and Forza Motorsport 3 for just €279.99 through Amazon Germany. Unfortunately, the product is no longer locatable on the retailer’s site. Nevertheless, a snapshot of the product entry was taken, leaving us to think it likely is a leaked forecast of a prospective product. Whether this bundle will come to North America (or anywhere for that matter) remains to be seen.

Sticking with the German theme, it was revealed via the USK (the German ratings board) that Crystal Defenders, a tower defense-like game that uses Final Fantasy Tactics A2 characters and enemies, is headed for the PSP. Due to the game’s small file size it will almost assuredly be a PlayStation Mini application, adding Square Enix to the short list of developers – including indie studios and EA – that have already signed on to support the service. Look for other mobile titles such as Final Fantasy Legend and Secret of Mana, as well as Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Lost Episode and Kingdom Hearts Coded to get earmarked for PSP porting.

Germany rounds-out their gaming news with the announcement that Hans Zimmer, Oscar-winning composer of such blockbusters as Rain Man, Gladiator, The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, and both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, has been signed on to compose the musical themes for Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Finally, Batman: Arkham Asylum has received a very nice accolade indeed. According to Guinness World Records, Batman: Arkham Asylum is the ‘Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever’ because of its Metacritic average of 91.67. The former holder of this title, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for Dreamcast, had merely a 90.

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

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