4th October 2009 - After a one week hiatus, All Age Gaming's "The Week That Was" is back! My apologies for a lack of an article last week, but I was on holidays! We’ll start with a quick re-cap of last week’s events before moving into this week’s news.

News from September 20-26

There were plenty of game releases in this week, but the most notable releases were Halo 3: ODST and Section 8 on 360, and Katamari Forever and Cross Edge on the PS3. The Wii didn’t see any exclusives, but Mini Ninjas was released across all platforms.

Nintendo Wii

The Wii featured prominently in the news with the rumoured price-cut occurring on the 27th of September. Nintendo’s Denise Kaigler insists it was not brought on by the recent PS3 and 360 price cuts. Unfortunately Australia gets the shaft once again, and will not see any price-cuts, and will get new bundles instead.

Xbox 360

Microsoft was also in a rumour-confirming mood a couple of weeks ago, confirming the new wireless adaptor that will support 802.11n. Meanwhile, Australia finally received the price-cut for the Elite, now retailing for AU$449.

There was also plenty of Xbox Live news, with XBLA revenues up 200% thanks to the Summer of Arcade (that’s US summer) promotion. This news comes as Microsoft officially increased the XBLA size limit to 2GB.

Playstation 3

And in PS3 news, the new Slim model has already moved 1 million units worldwide, including a strong performance in Australia. Australia will also see a 250GB bundle that will be available from October 15.

Leaked SEGA documents revealed some exciting PS3 news in the previous week, with plans for PS2 and Dreamcast emulation on the PS3. It also revealed a March 2010 release of Sony’s motion technology in Japan. It is planned to have the technology supported by existing titles as revealed at the Tokyo Game Show.

And the PS3 may finally get cross-title voice chat support by the end of October. This feature is believed to be added in the next Firmware update, 3.10. 

Now let’s get into this week’s news!

In game releases this week, FIFA 10 arrived across all platforms and is definitely worth a purchase for all you football (or soccer) fans out there. If you’re more of a fan of managing the beautiful game, then Championship Manager 10 on PC is an option. 360 and PS3 gamers could also pick up King of Fighters XII, but don’t expect good online support, and WET also arrived on both platforms. And Wii owners had Cursed Mountain, Spectrobes: Origins and Toy Story Mania to choose from. I should also mention the release of Scribblenauts on the DS which will present endless hours of fun for those with a decent imagination!

Xbox 360

In Xbox news this week, the re-release of Fable II as five downloadable episodes went live. And as an added bonus, the first available episode is being offered free of charge. The overall package, titled Fable II: Game Episodes, will be the same as the disc-based version of the game, inclusive of achievements. Game saves will also transfer seamlessly between episodes as they are released and downloaded.

Kotaku has revealed this week that Microsoft may be working on a universal video capture system for the 360. When interviewed by Kotaku, a developer (whose identity has been hidden) was asked whether or not they would implement video capture into their game similar to that in Halo 3. His answer was somewhat revealing: ““We’d love to have video capture in our game, but why work on something that the platform holder is already developing.” Microsoft have yet to comment on this.

In Natal news, Microsoft’s Kudo Tsunoda has said that patching of older games to work with Natal is unlikely to happen. The Natal demos present at the various gaming events this year required significant alterations to the game’s code, meaning existing games would have to be updated and re-released if they were to work with Natal.

And finally, Halo 3: ODST has had a stellar week in the Australian gaming charts coming in at number one. The Limited Edition version also performed well, coming in at number seven on the charts. An impressive result considering the hype surrounding this title was probably not as much as with the original Halo 3.

Playstation 3

In PS3 news this week, the PSN saw the release of the Uncharted 2 Multiplayer demo. The demo includes four maps, four competitive modes and two co-op modes. The game looks like it may live up to the hype so this is definitely worth checking out. In other Uncharted 2 news, the people at Naughty Dog have decided to remove the game’s Twitter feature. As part of this feature, the player’s Twitter accounts would be updated every time a chapter was completed. After realising that this might inundate some Twitter accounts, Naughty Dog decided to disable the feature.

Another PS3 game garnering a lot of attention is Gran Turismo 5, and it finally has a worldwide release window. Japanese gamers should be able to finally play the game come March 2010, whilst North American and European gamers should see a launch soon after. And despite this iteration of the series taking extremely long to see a release, GT5 producer Kazunori Yamauchi does not think the next game will take so long.

PlayStation Home saw the arrival of update 1.3 this week. As part of the new update, “universal game launching” is now available through Home. Other updates include “in-store item previewing”, new emotes and actions and more item types. The new update will also include the new “Neptune Suite” personal space, an underwater abode that will include its own mini-games and even pets.

And finally, there are rumours of an exclusive Rockstar franchise for the PS3 based on an already existing franchise. It is now believed that the deal involves porting the PS2 Grand Theft Auto games over to the PS3, and possibly getting revamped visuals similar to what will be available with the God of War Collection. An announcement isn’t expected until next year.

Nintendo Wii

The Wii saw the release of a new firmware update this week, update 4.2. This update is not a major update as the main purpose of it is to improve overall system performance. However, it has been found that the update will remove the Homebrew Channel as well as any other unauthorised things on the system. It has also been found that the update has “bricked” some consoles, so unless you really need to update the system (which is required to access the Wii Shop), it might be a good idea to wait a while.

In other Wii news this week, the follow up to the super successful Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus now has an Australian release date. The game will be available come October 15, with the game-only pack set to retail for $29.95. The bundle with the Wii Balance Board will retail for $159.95. The original Wii Fit has performed extremely well since release, and expect this sequel to perform just as well, just as Wii Sports Resort has done thus far.

And just briefly, New Super Mario Bros. Wii has been given a European and Australian release date. It will hit store shelves on November 20, just 5 days after the North American release. 

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

- The PS3 has managed to fight off piracy for quite some time, but the first PS3 modchip might be in testing.

- This year’s Tokyo Game Show attendance was down, and it may have something to do with how close it is to Gamescom.

- Dynamic in-game advertisements will be coming to Dead to Rights: Retribution on the PS3 in 2010.

- The sequel to Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter 4 has been confirmed for Spring (our Autumn) 2010.

- The Movie Show’s Margaret Pomeranz believes that a lack of an R18+ rating for games is turning people into criminals.

- Despite the fact that DJ Hero hasn’t been released yet, Activision are already planning DJ Hero 2.

- The October 20 Queen Rock Band track-pack looks pretty awesome.

- Australian game creators will be receiving more funding in what’s known as the Downloadable Games Initiative.

- It’s Modern Warfare 2’s turn to get its own energy drink.

- Remember that guy that wanted to sue Sony for kicking him off the PSN for being an idiot? Well the judge has dismissed the case.

Thanks for reading, see you next week!


Article written by Phong Nguyen