The Week in Review & Rumor Round-up: Tons of Game Annoncements Made, Activision and Double Fine Settle, Netflix to Wii and Apple Handhelds?, and More!

The Week in Review & Rumor Round-up: Tons of Game Annoncements Made, Activision and Double Fine Settle, Netflix to Wii and Apple Handhelds?, 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.

This week saw more rumors and unconfirmed info than hard news. Along those lines, Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski cryptically intimated that the next Gears of War may have a female Gear in it. The unofficially confirmed info was dropped during a session of Xbox LIVE’s 1 vs. 100 last weekend, when host Chris Cashman prodded out the non-committal answer from Epic’s figurehead.

The Netflix to Wii rumor resurfaced this week. This time Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch platforms were also included in the conjecture. According to a MediaChannel report, Netflix, Nintendo, and Apple will soon bring streaming video through their Netflix’s Watch Instantly service. While Neflix, Apple, and Nintendo have yet to confirm the news, an “industry executive familiar with Netflix’s plans” assures MediaChannel that the service is in fact in the works.

On Thursday, SEGA released a countdown teaser site of an upcoming RPG. From the look of the graphics used, it appears the Skies of Arcadia franchise is likely to get a reboot. The news should be confirmed by August 20 th at the latest, as the site pinpoints that date for the big reveal.

The Conduit producer Joshua Olsen was interviewed by the Radio-Blodec podcast, revealing that the team at High Voltage is keen to bring Wii owners yet another entry in The Conduit franchise. “We are very interested to make a sequel to The Conduit, it’s quite a robust world and there are more stories we want to tell.” However, more copies of the original game are going to have to fly off shelves if a sequel is ever to surface.

Shifting away from possible upcoming games to confirmed ones, Jonathan Blow (renowned game creator of indie darling Braid) revealed that The Witness will be his next game to drop. Hard details are scant, but what we do know is that the game will be “An exploration-puzzle game on an uninhabited island.” On the game’s official website, it states that the game is “To be released on multiple platforms — whatever makes sense in late 2011…”

Despite fan concerns to the contrary, Valve announced that more DLC for the original Left 4 Dead is forthcoming. Called Crash Course, the new add-on is set to drop next month (September). Moreover, as promised, those who purchased the game for PC will get the additional content for free. Unfortunately, Xbox 360 gamers will have to shell out a few bucks for the goods – 560 MS Points or around $7. According to the presser, “the latest DLC delivers new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay to both platforms. Targeted for release in September, “Crash Course” bridges the gap between the end of the “No Mercy” campaign and the beginning of “Death Toll” in the original game, expanding the game universe with new locations, new dialogue from the original cast, and an explosive finale.”

Lots of software news came out of Activision this week. During their quarterly financial call, President Michael J. Griffith outlined the release schedule of Activision games set to drop in 2010. Most of the games we’ve already known about, but three in particular were fresh announcements. Gamers can expect yet another Bond title to hit store shelves. This announcement was quite unexpected, as Bond 23 isn’t set to release in theaters till 2011. That means Activision’s next Bond will likely not be a movie tie-in.

The same observation can also be made for the next Spider-Man title from Activision. Spider-Man 4 isn’t coming to a theater near you until summer 2011. However, it’s not quite as surprising, as Web of Shadows (a Spidey game with no movie support) found both critical and sales success.

Additionally, yet another Tony Hawk game will launch from the gaming giant. Whether it will be a sequel to upcoming Tony Hawk RIDE or not is unknown. However, considering the pricey peripheral that’s being sold with RIDE, it almost assuredly will be related.

Furthemore, Treyarch, not Infinity Ward, has been tapped by Activision to port “2007’s FPS phenom” – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – to Wii. The game will launch on November 10th alongside the launch of CoD: Modern Warfare 2 for Xbox 360 and PS3.

Also, Activision notified the Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday that they had reached a settlement with developer Double Fine over the release of Brutal Legend. Spokeswoman for the court, Vania Stuelp, confirmed that the injunction hearing initially set for Thursday morning was canceled at the behest of Activision’s attorneys. However, no official filing or comment from the parties involved has yet been released validating the story. Nevertheless, it is almost inconceivable that the reported information is false.

Finally, Microsoft made headlines when it released its list of Games on Demand launch titles (click HERE to check them out), as well as pricing for the service. Games downloaded via Games on Demand – due to launch on August 11th – will cost gamers between $19.99 and $29.99.

On the PC gaming side of Microsoft, Games for Windows 3.0 (GFW 3.0) update was released. Other than some slick cosmetic changes, the biggest additions to the service are that players can now purchase add-ons to their favorite games without exiting the title itself. Also, you can realize account management changes without exiting. Simply by accessing the dashboard in-game, you can change credit card info, buy MS Points, edit your gamertag, etc.

For developers and publishers, GFW 3.0 gives developers and publishers greater piracy protection. While some gamers might not be thrilled by the increased difficulty whilst pirating, Microsoft is confident that top companies in the gaming industry will flock to Games for Windows because they are more likely get paid for their work.

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

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