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.
Sony got the week started with an interesting PSP announcement. PSP firmware v. 5.50 was detailed in a blog post by Eric Lempel, Director of PlayStation Network Operations. While improvements to Memory Stick access including the ability to organize data in sub-folders and reduced reserved-space on your card are nice mods, the addition of garbage trial software from Trend Micro is disconcerting. Apparently, trial web security software will be automatically installed onto your handheld. (Not a good move Sony!)
On a better note, EA confirmed that Dante’s Inferno will find a home on the PSP in addition to the PS3 and Xbox 360. In-house development studio, Redwood Shores, will be bringing their highly anticipated game Dante’s Inferno to Sony’s PlayStation Portable. The handheld version will be released alongside the PS3 and Xbox 360 editions. EA Redwood Shores is being assisted with development for the PSP game by Quebec, Canada’s Artificial Mind & Movement (A2M).
Sony will be further supported by 2K Games. It was announced this week that the much-anticipated BioShock 2 will be coming to the Sony PS3 at the same time it will launch for the Xbox 360. For those who have not been following the developments of BioShock 2, players will return to Rapture but this time suiting up as a Big Daddy. Along the way you’ll battle lithe Big Sisters, use plasmids, force your drill into Splicers, and either harvest or adopt Little Sisters while you suck down Adam.
Microsoft also made their presence known; a new Xbox 360 Elite bundle is being launched. It will include the standard Elite goodies (i.e. 120 GB HDD, headset, HDMI cables and outputs, etc.), both Halo 3 and Fable II , and a trial to stream Netflix via the instant queue, all for the normal Elite price of $399 USD. As a bonus, gamers late to the party will be assured of getting the latest, coolest, most stable chip set – a very important factor when picking up a new Microsoft console.
EA and Double Fine Productions announced this week that Brutal Legend will be launching in North America on October 13, 2009 and in the UK on October 16, 2009. Originally developed for an Activision release, the game fell on hard times due to the merger between Activision and Vivendi. Nevertheless, it has already been hailed as a truly innovative and engrossing concept – even garnering a GameInformer cover in 2007. The game’s stroke of misfortune didn’t last long, however, as it was quickly picked up by EA.
Renowned MMORPG maker NCSoft announced that the company is making its top MMO franchises available via Valve’s Steam digital delivery service. Games already available include City of Heroes, Guild Wars, and Lineage. Also, Aion, NCSoft’s latest IP currently in development, will be available through Steam when it launches in Europe and North America in fall 2009. NCSoft has also mentioned that special offers will be featured on their games via Valve over the next few weeks. Iterested parties should check back with the platform frequently to capitalize on the deals.
Perhaps the most exciting bit of news this week concerned the Fallout franchise. Bethesda announced at a press event in London that developer Obsidian Entertainment is currently working on a new entry in the Fallout series. Formerly codenamed Project: Nevada, now entitled Fallout: New Vegas , the game is not simply an expansion or DLC offering, it is a complete game in the same vein as Fallout 3. Details are scant right now, but the game will still be published by Bethesda, and it is set for a 2010 release on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Finally, on Friday it was announced by EA that, for the first time in EA Sports history, two athletes have been selected for the cover of a Madden NFL title . Strong safety Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals got the nod, as they “epitomize the offensive and defensive battles that take place on every play in the NFL.”
Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!