For our last edition before E3, we’ve got new rumors, new results, and a new staffer atop the standings.
Andrew Passafiume: +155
Graham Russell: +45
Eric Schabel: 0
Shawn Vermette: +145
Red Faction 4 to be a prequel
Earlier this week, a teaser trailer for Red Faction: Armageddon was released, showing a Mars 50 years after Red Faction: Guerrilla. So while it is possible they may make a prequel someday, Red Faction 4 is definitely not it.
Andrew 20% = +30
Graham 50% = +0
Eric 50% = +0
Shawn 40% = +10
Hulu to join Xbox 360’s multimedia offerings
Over the past year or so, Microsoft has made a concerted effort to bring in more multimedia offerings to the Xbox 360, hoping to make it more attractive to the non-gamer scene. Recently there’s been talk of Microsoft even starting its own TV Channel for the 360. This may not be the same thing, but it’s a step in that direction if true. Rumor has it that Hulu, one of the best places to stream old TV shows, may be showing up on the Xbox 360 soon, with more details to come out during E3.
Andrew: This seems practically confirmed at this point. Microsoft always has something to announce regarding the 360 and something that isn’t exactly game related. Last year we had last.fm, Facebook, and Twitter. The year before? Netflix. Hulu definitely seems like a worthy successor to those services, and one that would become very popular. 90%
Graham: I think it’s totally confirmed that Microsoft wants this. My hesitation comes from the history of roadblocks put up by content providers whenever Hulu tries to expand. With all the subscription rumors going around…you just can’t be sure what Hulu will do these days. 80%
Eric: This is one of the rumors that I want to be true, but I really can’t tell how it will turn out. It certainly makes sense that Microsoft would try to get Hulu on their Xbox Live service; it would fit right in with Netflix and Last.fm, but other than that I’ve got nothing. 50%
Shawn: I hope this rumor is true, as I would vastly prefer to watch Hulu on my TV rather than my computer monitor. Luckily, history is on my side, as Microsoft makes a habit of having at least one big non-gaming announcement for the 360 at every E3 90%
Next Assassin’s Creed game to take place in Egypt
Assassin’s Creed 2 blew the socks off of gamers with its many improvements to the gameplay. Now, gamers wanting more may have just been told the location for the next Assassin’s Creed game. Ubisoft released a picture on their website this week that appears to depict an assassin in Egyptian garb, standing in front of two pyramids. Ubisoft has yet to comment on anything about this rumor, preferring to let us go nuts over the possibility, apparently.
Andrew: People are always speculating what the next major location will be in the new Assassin’s Creed game, and based on what we’ve seen, Egypt seems pretty likely. Although sometimes it’s hard to tell with Ubisoft, so you can never be absolutely certain. But Egypt definitely seems more likely than any other predictions I’ve heard so far. 65%
Graham: This could be a red herring. It’s probably not, though, and the entire Mediterranean area is suitable for the gameplay. Moving the location is a nice way to keep things fresh, and the only other logical location, the Middle East, may be just a bit too dicey for Ubi to want to touch right now. (Note to readers: we’re not talking about Brotherhood, as it’s a spinoff and not a true sequel.) 90%
Eric: You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Even though Ubisoft isn’t commenting on the rumor, I think the picture they posted says it all. Given how Assassin’s Creed II ended, I thought things might go in a different direction with the third game, but with a storyline has twisty as Assassin’s Creed’s, anything is possible. 80%
Shawn: I think many of us were hoping for an asian flavor to the next game(feudal Japan anyone?), but Egypt would fit right in, and the picture sure seems airtight, unless it is purposeful misinformation. I’m not sure Ubisoft would do that to us though. 85%
Richard Branson to make an announcement at E3
There’s really not much to say regarding this rumor. Richard Branson is the eccentric chairman of the Virgin Group. Virgin used to publish games in the 1980s and 90s, but sold off the entirety of their gaming presence in the late 1990s. Rumor has it though that he wants back into gaming and may use E3 to announce his intentions.
Andrew: I really have no idea what to make of this one. Sure, I could see it happening, but is there really room for another big game publisher? Probably, but will Virgin will be as big as it was back then? It seems a big doubtful. But if they do announce something, I expect they will have big titles to back it up. 50%
Graham: I could get burned by this, but I seriously doubt he’d take E3 as his opportunity, even if he did want back in. The Big Three dominate the show, and for Branson to stand out, he’d have to announce either (1) a console or (2) some major, major studio acquisitions. I don’t see either happening, and what’s more, he can get press together anytime if he ever wants to make the leap. He doesn’t need the platform of E3, and he won’t use it. 1%
Eric: I really don’t have any insight into this rumor, and even if it is true I don’t think it is something I would be excited about just yet. It’s certainly been a long time since Virgin has had their hands in the gaming business, but a new publisher is nothing without some good developers to back it up. 50%
Shawn: Richard Branson has his hand in many pies already, so it wouldn’t really be a surprise if he wanted back into games. After all, the industry is about 5 or 6 times bigger than it was when he left it. At the same time, it’ll be hard for any new publisher to make their way in an already very crowded publishing environment. I think this is unlikely simply due to the toughness of his competition. The industry has changed a lot since Virgin left it. 35%