Week in Review: Xbox LIVE Gets Political, Ensemble Studios Dismantled, Guitar Hero Set List Revealed, and more!

Week in Review: Xbox LIVE Gets Political, Ensemble Studios Dismantled, Guitar Hero Set List Revealed, 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 announced they will be putting out a first-party wireless router in Japan. There are no details as to the capabilities and specs of the router other than it will work both as a router and bridge. Also, the simplistic yet sleek-looking gizmo provides no additional storage functions or special bells and whistles, as far as we can tell. The device will release to the Japanese public on September 18th and will cost 5,800 yen (about $55).

On Tuesday, September 9, Xbox LIVE members were polled about their political leanings. “Voters” have the option of downloading a Gamerpic for McCain, Obama, Other, or Undecided. When the download is complete, they will be automatically entered for a chance to win a Gibson guitar for their part in rocking the vote. With more than 12 million active LIVE members worldwide, this unofficial poll could serve as a sneak peek into young Americans’ perspective leading into November’s elections.

Ensemble Studios, famous for the creation of the Age of Empires series and in the process of bringing out Halo Wars, has gotten its pink slip from Microsoft. The studio will be completely dismantled, effective immediately. However, Halo Wars will still release. As such, crucial members of the team directly involved in the game’s finishing phase will stick around until its release in the beginning of 2009.

NCsoft Corporation announced the formation of “NC West,” a wholly-owned subsidiary of NCsoft with operating responsibility for western regions including the US and Europe. NC West will be led by Chris Chung as CEO, Jeff Strain as president, product development, David Reid as president, publishing, and Patrick Wyatt as CTO as well as yet unannounced European executives. NCsoft’s existing subsidiaries NC Interactive, NC Europe, NC Austin, and ArenaNet will be led as a unified organization under NC West with a dedicated focus towards becoming the world’s premier western publisher of MMOs. NC West is the tentative name for the organization, and the company expects to announce final naming and corporate structure in the near future. NC West’s headquarters is planned to be established in Seattle, WA by the end of 2008.

Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd has announced that its PES 2009 title will feature the UEFA Champions League following the conclusion of an exclusive four year license with UEFA. The newest addition to the Pro Evolution Soccer series will be released for PLAYSTATION®3, Xbox 360 and, PC-DVD on 17th October, followed by a version for Wii in 2009. The UEFA Champions League deal will allow Konami to use all elements and attributes of the competition to create an exclusive UEFA Champions League mode within the PES game. The licence confirms Konami’s commitment to extending the series’ reputation as the definitive and most realistic football series available.

Finally, Activision announced the complete set list for Guitar Hero World Tour. The game will feature 86 master tracks in all. Click HERE for a link to the complete list.

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

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