The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news over the past week. This weekly article will keep you plugged in and in-tune.
In a revealing interview with Venture Beat, Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime noted that the gyroscopic technologies that make 1:1 motion controls possible in Wii MotionPlus was known about since before the Wii’s launch. However, these technologies were far too expensive to be considered for inclusion at the console’s outset. Well, we always knew Nintendo was business savvy.
As if creating a virtual band weren’t enough, Harmonix and MTV Games announced the opening of a new specialty shop at RockBand.com where Rock Band 2 enthusiasts can create and order customized merchandise featuring their in-game Rock Band characters and bands. Hey, every band needs swag for their roadies, right?
At a press event in Tokyo last week, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata detailed the way in which the Wii storage solution will be remedied. According to Iwata, consumers will be able to download directly to SD cards in order to amplify the Wii’s memory capacity . Unfortunately, this “solution” doesn’t really solve the problem, as gamers will still have to shift games around from SD cards to the Wii’s internal flash memory before they can play them. In fact, the only advantage this solution has over the original format is that players won’t have to re-download games they’ve already purchased.
Nintendo announced this week that DSi-specific software will not be region-free. That means consumers won’t be able to import Japan-only DSi releases and play them on the new handheld. This marks the first time that portable Nintendo software has been locked. However, DS software will continue to be region-free and will be able to be played on the DSi. The news of the locked software comes as no surprise, considering most of the software will be purchased via download and will have regional marketing and parental control constraints.
During Microsoft VP and Xbox LIVE boss John Shappert’s keynote, it was announced that the expansion to Halo 3, Halo 3 Recon, will be making its way to the 360 in Fall 2009. The second half of the trailer that debuted last week was on display at TGS. Halo 3 fans will be treated to a “new campaign” with a “new hero.” The TGS trailer in its entirety and the official fact sheet can be found by clicking HERE .
The New Xbox Experience (NXE) was officially dated as Nov. 19, 2009. Interestingly, another addition to the increased functionality will include the option to install games. Players will still be able to play games directly from the disk should they so choose, but the ability to install the bulk of the game to the 360’s HDD will greatly reduce the amount of noise the 360 makes. Nevertheless, game installs will take up a sizeable chunk of HDD space and close to 10 minutes to complete. Players can later delete the install via the dashboard and leave their game saves intact.
Tomb Raider: Underworld DLC was announced by the dev team at Eidos. However, it will be available exclusively for the Xbox 360. The downloadable content includes two extra chapters that provide for another five or six hours to the game. The first chapter, “Beneath the Ashes,” will release before the Holidays. However, the second chapter, “Lara’s Shadow,” won’t release until early on in 2009. The two chapters will introduce a new environment, more objectives and enemies, and even a new playable character.
Graciously, the folks at Capcom have announced that local split-screen co-op will be available for Resident Evil 5. That means gamers who actually have friends, in addition to their virtual ones, will be able to enjoy the horror title with split-screen functionality. Why this isn’t a standard feature for every title is beyond our comprehension.
Though still a long ways off, a new entry in the Castlevania series was announced at the Konami press event in Tokyo. ITmedia reports that the game will be available on both the Xbox 360 and PS3. There are no details as to whether the game will be a 3D or 2D title, but a short trailer featuring a man (similar to Alucard) holding a blood red sword was on display.
As was widely speculated for months now, the PSP will have direct access to the PlayStation Store via its infrastructure mode (internet connection hot spot). It was made official at Sony’s conference at TGS 2008. In other words, having to link your PSP to a PC or a PS3 will no longer be necessary. The service will first launch in Japan on October 15th, and will likely be available worldwide shortly thereafter.
The folks at Marvelous Entertainment and Grasshopper have gotten back together and are working on the sequel to No More Heroes, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle. The teaser trailer for the hardcore Wii exclusive depicts Travis Touchdown with a new, Katana-like beam sword facing off against a hotty with a nasty jetpack. Travis is sporting a T-shirt that says Travis Strikes Again, and the anti-hero drops the classic Terminator line, “I’ll be back!” Click HERE to link to the TGS trailer.
Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!