28th February 2010 - Welcome to the 31st edition of “The Week That Was”. We continue to be drenched in blockbuster releases with the release of Heavy Rain on the PS3 this week. This title pushes the boundaries of gaming, and is definitely worth a look if you enjoy a good story. Other releases included White Knight Chronicles on the PS3, Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce on the PS3 and 360, and Endless Ocean 2 on the Wii.


Xbox 360

Industry analyst Michael Pachter and Natal were back in the 360 news this week, with Pachter once again predicting a US$50 price-point for Natal. Microsoft has previously overcharged for their accessories/add-ons, such as the overpriced wireless adaptors and hard-drives. However, Pachter believes Natal will be too important for Microsoft in its competition with the PS3 controllers, and that they will sell it at, or just below cost-price.


Pachter is also predicting a huge win for Natal over the PS3 motion controllers. Pachter is predicting Natal to outsell “Arc” five to one as Natal  will only require the one piece (Arc may need the consumer to buy more than one to get the most benefit/multiplayer etc.), is likely to be cheaper, and will probably be bundled with new 360 consoles. That’s not to say the PS3 controllers won’t be bundled with new consoles, and in my opinion, its similarities to the Wii controllers might be the limiting factor to its success.


Xbox Live’s “Game Room” has been given an official release date. The virtual arcade download will be available come March 24th and will be a free download. Game Room will feature various classic arcade games with the option to play rounds of these games for 50 cents each, or for anywhere between 240 to 400 points, gamers can purchase the games for unlimited use.


Playstation 3

Big updates are expected for PlayStation Home this year. The director of PlayStation Home, Jack Buser, has assured everyone on the official PlayStation Blog that they have been listening to requests from community members, and that they are “hard at work” on introducing various features, fixes and content. Buser also states that his team will compliment the new features and content “with a renewed focus on open dialogue and service”. Keep an eye out on future Home updates.


SCEA’s Senior Vice President of Publisher Relations, Rob Dyer, is expecting big things for Sony’s motion controller. Dyer believes “arc” is easier to develop for than Natal, and as such, there will be “a lot more games, a lot more innovation”. Hopefully these games will be of a high enough standard to wow all types of gamers as Dyer has said that Sony will not be doing a PR barrage for the controller.


And Sony has filed two new PS3 consoles to the Federal Communications Commission under the model numbers CECH-2101A and CECH-2101B (current hardware is CECH-2001A and B). The filing doesn’t reveal any major changes, and is believed to be a result of Sony finding a new manufacturer for some of its wireless components. Perhaps Sony are pushing it through quicker to help save money on production costs.


Nintendo Wii

The Black Wii is heading down under. During a Media Summit in Melbourne this week, Nintendo Australia announced that the black Wii will hit retailers on March 11th. It will retail at the same price as the current Wii, and will complement the black controllers released this week. Australia joins Japan and Europe as the only regions to get the black Wii so far.


Nintendo also announced the release dates of a couple of major titles this week. The highly anticipated Super Mario Galaxy 2 is set for a May 23 release in the US, and on June 11 in Europe, whilst Metroid: Other M will be arriving on June 27. Australian release dates have yet to be confirmed, so in the meantime, you could try out Sega’s “Welcome to Violence” pack that includes Madworld, The Conduit and House of the Dead: Overkill which will be out on March 11.


And in an interview with CVG, Red Steel 2’s Creative Director Jason Vandenberghe has said that there’s no point in doing realistic games on the Wii. This is mainly because gamers will look at these ‘realistic’ games and compare them with 360 games (which would obviously look better). That being said, Vandenberghe believes that Red Steel 2 will be able to bring core gamers back to the Wii saying, “If you haven’t played on your WIi for a while we’ve got the game for you.”


And now for the other week's news in brief:


· EA thinks this generation of consoles should’ve had more price cuts by now.

· The United Arab Emirates don’t like Heavy Rain.

· Police are on the search for a 43 year old woman that seduced a teen over PlayStation Home.

· It looks like there will be a Motor Storm 3 game.

· If you’re concerned about the responsiveness of Natal, MTV Multiplayer timed the lag between movement and action on screen with a difference of a tenth of a second recorded.

· If demo downloads is any indication of how successful a game will be, then Battlefield: Bad Company 2 should have nothing to worry about. The demo has already been downloaded 3.5 million times.

· Rebellion is happy with the reviews for Aliens vs. Predator and is talking about a possible sequel.

· Warmer Bros. have purchased Rocksteady Studios, the team behind Batman: Arkham Asylum.

· The next lot of Mass Effect 2 DLC is due for late March.

· One of the designers for Criterion’s FPS “Black” believes current FPS games are boring.

· These are your top 10 most expensive videogames ever. Too Human is in the list.... they must’ve lost a lot of money on that one.

· Just to make it clear, there will be no new Nintendo hardware any time soon.

· EB managed to collect 46,000 signatures for their submission to the R18+ debate.

· And remember the visually impaired gamer that was suing Sony? Well the judge has thrown the case out the window.


That’s all folks.


Article written by Phong Nguyen