Week in Review: XBL Scheduled Shutdown, Sony's New Cell Processor, Next Halo Teaser Trailer, and more!

Week in Review: XBL Scheduled Shutdown, Sony's New Cell Processor, Next Halo Teaser Trailer, and more!


The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news over the past week.

Xbox LIVE ran a presidential poll last week to see where their user-base’s political allegiances lie. Well, the results are in and, n ot surprisingly, considering the youthful demographic, LIVE users favor Senator Barack Obama and Senator Joe Biden by 12 percentage points over their Republican counterparts. In all, nearly 100,000 LIVE subscribers participated in the poll, with 43% voting for Obama / Biden, 31% voting McCain / Palin, and 13% for either “Undecided” or “Other”.

In other Microsoft news, Xbox LIVE and Xbox.com will be out of commission for a full 24 hours starting on Monday, Sept. 29. The service will be shutdown starting at 12:01 a.m. PST on Sept. 29 until 11:59 p.m. PST. The scheduled downtime is due to the implementation of the “New Xbox Experience.” For those of you who have been living under rock, the 360’s dashboard is getting substantial changes, avatars will be implemented, Netflix streaming downloads will be added, and a bunch of new community features will be adopted.

This bit of downtime news got many excited as to the service possibly being implemented on Tuesday. However, according to a Rock Band 2 ad banner on XBL, the “New Xbox Experience” will most likely be delivered to consumers in November.

According to Japan’s Nikkan via Engadget, Sony and Toshiba will begin mass production of the 45nm Cell processor in 2009. “The smaller chip, which costs less than the current 65nm Cell to manufacture, also requires 40% less power to run. This opens the door to possible price drops on existing PS3 consoles in 2009, as well as slimmer, cooler running rigs should Sony decide to refresh the industrial design.”

Zsolt Kigyossy, Managing Director at Zen Studios announced on the PlayStation Blog that The Punisher: No Mercy is being developed at their Budapest-based studio exclusively for PSN. The Punisher: No Mercy will be a first-person action title, with heavy multiplayer emphasis, being developed on Unreal Engine 3. The team at Zen Studios promises Marvel fans their full-commitment to the project. Mr. Kigyossy stated, “Our main focus is to create an awesome online multiplayer experience with the style and grit from the Punisher’s world, complete with characters like Jigsaw, Bushwacker, Barracuda, and even Silver Sable (been reading War Journal lately?…).”

Ubisoft announced that Tenchu 4 will launch in both Europe and North America in early 2009 exclusively for the Wii. The development team behind the original Tenchu, Acquire, will man the project and will be in charge of translating Tenchu’s ninja gameplay to motion controls.

Konami added a host of new clubs and national sides to PES 2009. Following the recent announcement of Konami’s four-year agreement to feature UEFA’s Champions League competition in the game, the publisher has also added the Dutch Eredivisie and French Ligue 1 in their entirety, with full kits, player rosters, and affiliated elements. Likewise, key clubs such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, FC Porto, Liverpool, and Manchester United, will also be resplendent in their official livery. Other additions include the likes of Zenit St. Petersbourg and Brondby IF, amongst others. Konami has also added a number of new national sides to PES 2009, with Northern Ireland amongst those added to the International rosters of respected teams like Netherlands, England, and Italy.

The latest teaser trailer for extended Halo 3 content has been released on Bungie’s official website. The new teaser is called Keep It Clean and depicts a major urban catastrophe through the helmet of two different individuals. All signs seem to point to some kind of prequel, but there is no indication as to the actual size of the content. What is clear is that the new material is tied to Halo 3, but it may be substantially more than just additional content.

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

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