This week we cover the PSP2, Duke Nukem’s return, and Mass Effect.
Andrew Passafiume: +270
Graham Russell: +214
Eric Schabel: +70
Shawn Vermette: +270
Sony prepping a 500GB PlayStation 3 next
Well, next ended up being the operative word, as Sony used GamesCom to announce 2 new versions of their PlayStation 3 console: a new 160GB version, and a 320GB version. No word on pricing or any further iterations of the console, however; the lack of a 500GB version has rendered this rumor false.
Andrew 50% = +0
Eric 80% = -30
Graham 20% = +30
Shawn 55% = -5
PSP2 to have touch controls
So far, Sony’s “PSP2” is still simply a rumor, as they refuse to comment even on its very existence. Despite this, rumors keep circulating regarding its various features. The most recent, and undoubtedly the most interesting, is the rumor that the PSP2 will feature touch-sensitive controls on the back side of its screen for use in controlling games. No word on how this would be implemented or whether a second screen is also in the works, as Sony refuses to comment.
Andrew: If this is true, it’s pretty obvious Sony is still trying to play catch up with Nintendo (or even Apple at this point). But considering that most handheld devices have some kind of touch screen capabilities, I could definitely see whatever the PSP2 actually is having a touch screen. This is of course assuming the PSP2 even exists; I wonder if Sony is still recovering from the failure that was the PSP Go to even bother at this point. It seems pretty likely that it will come out, but I’m still a little skeptical. 70%
Graham: Well, here I go again with the whole “being technical” thing. The PSP2? If something is the successor to the PSP, then it’ll count. And we keep hearing that they’re making a phone. If that’s the case, it’d certainly have a touch screen, and even if it isn’t, it’s still pretty likely that they’d throw that in. They’re the lone holdout. If they never release a successor, this’ll never be resolved. So I’m pretty confident. 80%
Shawn: The interesting thing about this rumor is where the touchpad is located: the back of the system. I’m not sure that sounds plausible, it just sounds awkward and difficult to use if you can’t see what you are trying to manipulate with your fingers. Will the PSP2 have a touch screen? Very likely. Almost all handheld multimedia devices have them now. Will it be on the back of the screen? Sure, why not? This is the company that released the PSPGo for $80 more than the PSP-3000 and then wondered why people weren’t flocking to stores to buy it. 75%
Duke Nukem Forever returns
We thought we’d seen the end of Duke Nukem Forever when 3D Realms shuttered its doors, but rumor has it now that Take Two has handed the reins of the franchise to Borderlands developer Gearbox. The big issue with such a rumor is whether or not Take Two has the right to continue on with the game without 3D Realms.
Andrew: Duke Nukem Forever just needs to come out already. Anyway, I can definitely see this happening, as Gearbox is the best team I think that can handle this project. I think the only people actually interested in this game at this point only care because of the mystery surrounding this game, not because of the game itself. Either way, if any team is going to do it, it’s going to be Gearbox. 80%
Graham: If Gearbox really is taking over development, the game will release. That said, there will be almost no content from the original, so it’s not really the same game that lived in development hell for so long. I’m not sure the legal issues will be worked out, so I’m going to punt on this one. 50%
Shawn: Duke Nukem Forever seriously needs to either die or be released already. Yes, I do think it is likely that, assuming Take Two can wrest control of the IP from 3DRealms, they will give it to Gearbox. 65%
Mass Effect to be ported to PlayStation 3
Fresh off the surprising announcement of Mass Effect 2 being ported to the PlayStation 3, we’ve got rumors regarding the original Mass Effect. Namely, that it too will be ported to the PlayStation 3, either as a standalone title or as a pack-in with Mass Effect 2.
Andrew: I’m not 100% positive on this, but I’m pretty sure that BioWare has confirmed there will be an extensive prologue in the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 that will cover the events of the first game. Whether or not this prologue will provide anything beyond a lengthy cutscene explaining the events of the first game is uncertain, but I don’t see all of the original game coming to the PS3 in any capacity. 10%
Graham: Probably not. My only hesitation: so much of the game’s charm is the effects previous decisions have on future events. What if you skip them completely? A possible solution would be a quick series of cutscenes that let you pick choices from a menu…but that’s just not the same. I can’t see the end being as satisfying, especially when you get through ME3. (That, I’d assume, is definitely releasing on PS3. Just the second in a series would just be weird.) 15%
Shawn: I’m pretty sure that despite EA’s purchase of BioWare, Microsoft still has the rights to the original Mass Effect. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. However, those rights might simply extend to actually selling Mass Effect on the PlayStation 3. It’s entirely possible EA could integrate the entirety of Mass Effect into ME2, or even give it away for free to ME2 purchasers to get around it. Will they though? I doubt it. I suspect they’ll simply give ME2 a very long, possibly interactive, prologue that covers the salient aspects of the original. 25%