Week in Review: Nintendo Gets Sued, No More Ninja Gaiden, Sony and Microsoft Squre off, and more!

Week in Review: Nintendo Gets Sued, No More Ninja Gaiden, Sony and Microsoft Squre off, 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.

Nintendo got the week started off right with the release of six WiiWare titles. The game prices vary from 500 to 1500 Wii Points and the depth of gameplay seems to be tied to the price. LostWinds has been an instant fan favorite, and as such, the sequel is already being developed by Frontier Developments. Look for two new installments including Critter Round-Up next Monday.

Continuing with WiiWare, Nintendo icon Shigeru Miyamoto stated that he was looking to American indie developers to be the great innovators for WiiWare . He stated, “I think America has always been better at creating unique products. Here in the United States, you have these independent developers who have managed to get the skills and the training and the development, and also have managed to get access to the technology and the hardware needed to develop it. They’re able to let their own personality and their own kind of unique interests really flourish in the games that they’re creating.”

Unfortunately for the Big N, it was found guilty of infringing upon analog, remote control patents originally filed by Anascape Ltd . According to the original suit filing from 2006, Nintendo’s Wii Classic controller, GameCube controller, and Wavebird controller violated several of the company’s patents. Nintendo will appeal the federal jury’s finding and expects to pay a lot less than the $21 million awarded to Anascape Ltd.

I don’t know about you, but Pitfall was one of my favorite games growing up, but the series has seen a lot of really bad sequels on just about every generation of console. This generation won’t miss the treatment either. Pitfall: The Big Adventure is being developed by Edge of Reality for Activision. The game will be a Wii exclusive as it utilizes the motion controls during action sequences. The new Pitfall will be set in Peru and take gamers through more than 60 levels of varying terrain. Hopefully it will surpass its predecessors.

More importantly, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed will soon release for every gaming platform except PC. As difficult as this seems to believe, LucasArts simply can’t provide a satisfying experience on the PC while maintaining a balance between performance and rig specs. Sorry PC fans!

Microsoft made a splash on Tuesday with their stellar 2008 lineup . Here’s the complete list:

• Gears of War 2. Available in November 2008.

• Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise. No official release date.

• Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Holiday 2008.

• Fable 2. No official release date.

• Too Human. Available August 19, 2008 in North America.

• Ninja Gaiden II. Available June 3, 2008 in North America.

• Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One. Available on Xbox LIVE Arcade May 21, 2008.

Microsoft didn’t stop there. On Wednesday they announced that the Xbox 360 has sold over 10 million units in the U.S. This makes it the first current generation console to break the 10 million mark in the U.S. The U.S. numbers represent more than half of global sales with a total of 19 million units sold worldwide. Finally, Microsoft also revealed that there are a total of 12 million active Xbox LIVE accounts.

To the consternation of many a living room ninja, Team Ninja leader and creator of Ninja Gaiden, Tomonobu Itagaki, revealed that he has no plans to develop any more Ninja Gaiden games . This is rather shocking considering the franchise’s success and fan support, but it also is encouraging when taken in the context tagaki’s statement:

“Personally I think we were able to create the definitive 3D game in this series so I’m not planing on making any other games in the series. So I hope fans treat this as a swan song for the franchise. I think we were able to achieve everything we wanted with this game so anything else would be extraneous.”

In a veiled attempt to deflate the 360 bandwagon, Sony released some key bits of info concerning their projected hardware sales and upcoming first party software. According to Sony, the company expects to move 10 million PS3s, 15 million PSPs, and another 9 million PS2s. Additionally, Sony software sales are predicted to rise to 57.9 million PS3 games, 55.5 million PSP games, and 154 PS2 games.

The SCEA lineup of titles set to launch over the remainder of 2008 and early 2009 includes more than 14 titles across all PlayStation platforms:

  • Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 Secret Agent Clank
  • wipEout HD
  • Elefunk
  • PixelJunk Eden
  • SIREN: Blood Curse
  • SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Confrontation
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • NBA 09
  • BUZZ! Quiz TV
  • BUZZ! Master Quiz
  • MotorStorm Pacific Rift
  • Resistance 2
  • Killzone 2

Last up for Sony was their announcement that the replacement for Phil Harrison as president of Sony Worldwide Studios will be Shuhei Yoshida. Yoshida is an accomplished executive and well liked throughout the industry. Most recently, Yoshida held the position of Senior Vice President of SCEA. As such, he was responsible for the oversight of all games development in the U.S. Furthermore, Yoshida has been part of Sony since 1986 and was one of the key personages in the launch of the original PlayStation.

SEGA Europe Ltd. and SEGA of America, Inc. made waves this week when they announced a worldwide partnership with PlatinumGames Inc. Under the arrangement, PlatinumGames will develop three “ground-breaking new SEGA titles” including MADWORLD, Infinite Line, and Bayonetta. The games will cover a wide variety of genres and employ “innovative design concepts that explore the depths of today’s best-selling platforms.” Additionally, an unnamed fourth title will be directed by gaming icon Shinji Mikami.

Finally, Konami confirmed that the GunMetal Gray Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3 bundle will be available to American gaming enthusiast as well as Japanese gamers. The bundle includes a 40 GB GunMetal Gray PS3, a matching DUALSHOCK 3 controller, and the Limited Edition MGS4: Guns of the Patriots. The bundle will be available exclusively through Konami’s website and will set you back $599 USDizzles! Konami will begin taking preorders on May 19, 2008 for the extremely limited production kit.

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

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