Week in Review: Home Closed Beta Extended, New Halo Content, Go! View for PSP, and more!

Week in Review: Home Closed Beta Extended, New Halo Content, Go! View for PSP, and more!


The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news over the past week.  This weekly article, in conjunction with the Rumor Round-Up, will keep you plugged in and in-tune.

Konami Digital Entertainment announced the official title of the soon-to-be-released Silent Hill game:. Silent Hill: Homecoming .  Despite the game’s advanced stage of development, there is no firm release date for North America. Europe should see the title hit shelves this September.

Due to an extremely large amount of server errors, the Metal Gear Solid Online Beta was officially closed in Europe and the United States on April 21. Konami was forced to close down the Beta to non-Japanese participants as they were woefully unprepared for the sheer volume of testers that were bombarding their servers. Fortunately, the Beta is now back up and running .  Consequently, the date of test closure has been extended from May 6, 2008 at 24:00 (PDT) to May 11, 2008 at 24:00(PDT).

Ubisoft announced that they are hard at work trying to work out all of the bugs and glitches that have marred the Assassin’s Creed for PC.  The patch will address the majority of issues reported by fans and will be released in the near future. Additionally, the patch will remove support for DX10.1 in order to rework its implementation.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced that it will be forced to expand the Closed Beta testing for PLAYSTATION Home further into summer 2008. That means the PLAYSTATION Home Open Beta service won’t commence until Fall 2008.  Sorry, but all five of you are going to have to wait even longer before the service goes live.

EA Bright Light Studio and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced that the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be released later this year to coincide with the film based on J.K. Rowling’s sixth Harry Potter book. The game will release for all gaming platforms including Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC, and Macintosh. Look for both the movie and the game to come out this fall. Here’s a clip from the press release:

Interplay announced on Tuesday that it has plans to resurrect the Earthworm Jim brand in several different ways.  The game franchise will get a brand new title called Earthworm Jim 4, a new animated series is in the works, and possibly a feature film will get the nod. There are no hard details as to what the content or release dates will be, but look for the first two games in the series to release on the Virtual Console later this year

1991’s Splatterhouse for the TurboGrafx-16 is not only available on the Virtual Console, but will get a complete current generation treatment.

Top Nintendo of America executives, including Reggie Fils-Aime, sat down with Wired and released some interesting Wii news.  First, the Nintendo Channel will be released alongside WiiWare and will provide owners with game reviews, streaming video, and DS demos, etc.  Second, the launch of WiiWare titles will be staggered in a format similar to the Virtual Console.  Third, the Wii’s average shelf life is only about one hour in North America.  Subsequently, production of Wii consoles will increase from 1.6 million to 2.4 million units per month .

According to the Microsoft Careers page, another set of Halo goodness is in the works.  This time it looks as though Bungie will be largely, but not entirely, left out of the plans.  Redmond, WA based publisher, Microsoft Game Studios, is looking for key talent to head up the new project.  Specifically, Microsoft is looking for a program manager, software engineers, game designer management, and a builder .  In the job descriptions Microsoft states that, “Microsoft Game Studios’ Halo team is looking for a developer to help develop a new game in the Halo universe. Work on one of the most exciting and creative intellectual properties in the industry; we are gathering an incredible team to help drive the future of Halo.”

Sony has just unveiled Go!View for the PSP in Europe. Go!View is a video download service that is being created with the help of Sky . Americans may be familiar Sky Sports and News. The service will allow consumers to download and watch television programs and evens movies to the portable rig.

Electronic Arts announced today that former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre will be featured as the cover athlete of Madden NFL 09 .  Madden 09 will hit shelves on August 12.

Finally, Codemasters announced that they have acquired SEGA Racing Studio. The 40+ members of the old studio will be directly incorporated into Codemasters’ racing team.  As such look for the DiRT sequel to be a thing of beauty!

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

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