We’ve finally got some results on some of the rumors we’ve posted in previous editions, so before getting to this week’s rumors we’ll give you a rundown of the results along with our hits or misses.
Andrew Passafiume: +40
Graham Russell: +5
Shawn Vermette: +55
Take Two cancelling its NHL 2K series
Anyone this rumor wanting this rumor to be true is out of luck, as Take Two has announced that NHL 2K11 will be released on the Wii this year, with the series returning to other consoles for 2K12.
Andrew 15% = +35
Graham 50% = +0
Shawn 35% = +15
Gears of War 3 to be released in April 2011
At first glance, Gears of War 3 coming out next April really doesn’t make much sense. After all, Gears of War is a system selling franchise, thus why it has always been released in November. However, with the release of Halo: Reach and Project Natal both likely to happen this fall, it makes sense for Microsoft to push back Gears of War 3 to give themselves a boost in a different quarter. Additionally, April has recently proven to be a great month for releases, with Grand Theft Auto IV and Mario Kart Wii leading the way.
Andrew: Seeing as publishers now realize that the Spring is just as good of a time to release games as the Fall, this seems incredibly likely. Microsoft clearly does not want to release two of their biggest games in the same month or even the same quarter. Also, if Natal does not take off like Microsoft expects it to, then they will have a huge game to fall back on a few months later. 95%
Graham: Guys, I’m just not sold on the “here’s a random month” stuff. It could be March 30 or May 2 and you’d be wrong, and those dates have the same advantages. I just don’t see it being more likely to be April. I can see it as a first-half 2011 title, though. 50%
Shawn: It actually makes sense to me to release big games in April. Hardly any other games for your product to compete against, and everyone has recovered from their holiday shopping binges by that point. Plus, with Halo: Reach likely coming out in September, and Natal coming out soon after, Microsoft already has a full holiday slate to focus on. 95%
Microsoft to announce Xbox 360 ‘Slim’ at E3
Microsoft has revised the hardware inside the Xbox 360 a number of times already this generation, but it has never changed the form factor of its nearly 5 year old console. According to rumor though, that could change later this year. Leaked photos of a revised motherboard claiming to be for an Xbox 360 would require a change in the form factor of the system. A slimline version of the 360 would allow Microsoft to distance themselves from their launch troubles, but is this something they are considering?
Andrew: Rumors like these about upcoming hardware always seem to prove true, and perhaps the success of the PS3 Slim (and other similar systems) as well as a way for them to bounce back from all of the hardware failures, I could see this happening. I think the problem with the original system was that it was rushed, and although a lot of the hardware problems seemed to have been corrected, there are still a lot of improvements to be made. I can definitely see this system being announced at E3, and even released by the Holiday to go with the launch of Natal. 70%
Graham: They’re changing demographics with this system, originally designed to look like a powerful behemoth, to appeal to a casual, Wii-friendly audience. A slimming down would go with the Natal and NXE/Avatar decisions, and the PS3’s redesign and subsequent success can’t have gone unnoticed. 70%
Shawn: It does seem like these hardware leaks are always true, and it makes sense for Microsoft to do this. A new form factor for their system would help them get past all the hard feelings left over from their RRoD struggles, and would also allow them to rebrand their system. Perhaps they are planning it as a simultaneous launch with Natal? They have said they are treating Natal as a console launch. Regardless of the details, I believe this is simply a matter of when, not if. 85%
F.E.A.R. 3 to be released in 2010
The F.E.A.R. series has been very quiet ever since the release of F.E.A.R. 2 in early 2009, but rumor has it that silence will soon be broken with the announcement that F.E.A.R. 3 will be released this holiday season. Warner Brothers bought the rights to the franchise just before F.E.A.R. 2 came out so it’s an important series for them, but is roughly 20 months enough time develop a new game for the series?
Andrew: I don’t see this happening, as it seems like such a short time period between games. I think we will probably hear about F.E.A.R. 3 this year, most likely at E3, but it will probably not be released the same year it is announced. If anything, we will see it early next year, around the same time F.E.A.R. 2 was released. 40%
Graham: There have been some promotional materials leaked for the game, so it’s coming. I also think it’ll be announced at E3. Like Andrew and Shawn, I also think it’ll be an early 2011 release. But we could be surprised with a late-October release or something…the slate’s pretty clean for Q4 at the moment. 50%
Shawn: I agree with Andrew that it seems too soon for us to get a new F.E.A.R. game, unless it is being developed by someone other than Monolith Games. Spring 2011 seems a more likely release date either way, as I would think F.E.A.R. would get lost amidst the holiday craze. 30%