The Week in Review & Rumor Round-up: Sony, Sony, and More Sony News and Rumors, Blizzard's New IP, Left 4 Dead not Forgotten, and More!

The Week in Review & Rumor Round-up: Sony, Sony, and More Sony News and Rumors, Blizzard's New IP, Left 4 Dead not Forgotten, 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.

A lot of news came out of the Sony camp this week, it appears the electronics giant is going to do whatever it takes.

According to Japanese business news agency, Nikkei, Sony is putting together a team to bring consumers a gaming/phone hybrid in order to better compete with not only Nintendo but also Apple’s iPhone. Sony plans to go forward as early as July, according to Nikkei.

Also, it appears Sony Computer Entertainment has filed a patent in the U.S. that may bring back backwards compatibility; not through hardware but through software coding. According to the patent application, rather than “interpreting” code, the Sony tech will decode and recompile it into the host language. In essence, this would allow for backwards compatibility of PS2 games on the PS3 via a simple, cost-effective firmware update.

Additionally, it has been once again rumored that the PS3 Slim, remaining unannounced at E3 2009, may very well see store shelves in July/August. According to Engadget and IGN, Sony has signed agreements with three companies, Foxconn, Pegatron, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Ltd. to produce the PS3 Slim in order to have them ready for a late summer launch to coincide with recent murmurings of an imminent PS3 price drop.

Finally, Sony has recently applied for yet another patent for a motion control scheme. This time, conventional controls are abandoned altogether in favor of everyday objects. According to the application, players will be able to scan mundane items such as plates, glasses, mugs, etc. via the PlayStation Eye into the PS3. Then, instead of holding a wand, a controller, or steering wheel, players can simply use the junk from around the house to control their favorite game.

Shifting gears, Blizzard has confirmed this week, to an uproar from core fans, that LAN functionality “will be absent from Starcraft II’s multiplayer component, as both a piracy prevention mechanism and a quality-assurance initiative.” A Blizzard representative told GameSpot that “We don’t currently plan to support LAN play with Starcraft II, as we are building Battle.net to be the ideal destination for multiplayer gaming with Starcraft II and future Blizzard Entertainment games. While this was a difficult decision for us, we felt that moving away from LAN play and directing players to our upgraded Battle.net service was the best option to ensure a quality multiplayer experience with Starcraft II and safeguard against piracy.”

On a better note, Blizzard filed a trademark request with the USPT office “in the fields of computer games, paper-based products, and online entertainment services,” for one Cataclysm IP. While WoW shows up nowhere in the application, the domain wowcataclysm.com expired on June 26th, and it is now “held by GoDaddy, who… handles Blizzard domains.” Current speculation reasons that Cataclysm is likely yet another expansion to World of Warcraft. That being said, Blizzard is currently working on a ton of projects, most of which will never see the light of day, or which will be refined and transformed into something entirely different. In fact, Cataclysm could just as likely be a “next generation MMO” or a pen and paper RPG based on the franchise. Regardless, assume Cataclysm is the biggest project presently in the works at Blizzard, whatever it might be.

The sale of Midway, the bankrupt Chicago developer/publisher, to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment was finally approved by the Delaware judge overseeing the bankruptcy and the sale of the company’s remaining assets.

Last but certainly not least, Left 4 Dead will in fact be getting more DLC content ahead of the release of Left 4 Dead 2. According to Valve’s Doug Lombardi, “We plan to keep supporting Left 4 Dead 1. There will be some announcements coming before summer’s out about what’s coming there, and then we haven’t shown everything that’s in Left 4 Dead 2 yet.” Lombardi continued, “I think 8 – 9 months from now, once everything’s been out for a while and everyone’s had time to see the complete product of Left 4 Dead 2 and see continued support for Left 4 Dead 1, they may sort of see what we were up to and what the method of our madness was there.”

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

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