Rumor Control: Next-gen controllers and Revolution rumblings

This week: Steam gets infected and Team Ninja's next-gen plans.

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RUMOR #1: Pictures of both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 controllers have been leaked.

Source: Ourcolony.net and several sites citing Whitefusion.com.

The official story: Sony did not respond to requests for comment, but Microsoft said, "We're aware of the fact that Ourcolony.net has captured the imagination of thousands of gamers across the world and that these gamers have taken control of the site and are making it their own."

What we heard: With E3's approach looming, rumors are flying fast and furious about the consoles that will be unveiled there. This week, pictures surfaced of two controllers. The first was from the Microsoft-linked Ourcolony.net. It's been seen before, albeit out of focus. The now clearly gray controller now clearly shows the Xbox's X, Y, A, and B buttons, askew thumbsticks, and D pad configuration, as well as what appear to be shoulder buttons. However, it also shows a cord clearly attached to the front of the controller, which would contradict reports that the 360's controllers are wireless. However, sources close to Microsoft said the final controllers will indeed not require a cable other than for charging...and that the controller pictured is indeed the 360's. Meanwhile several sites have been showing off a bizarre-looking controller they claim is that of the next PlayStation. However, sources at Sony said they had never before seen the controller, which resembles a Dual Shock with one thumbstick swapped out for a trackball. It turns out the device in question is the "Reflex Control," a controller made by the Michigan-based peripheral maker, White Fusion. According to the company's Web site, the device "combines the speed, precision, and natural control of a mouse with the handheld comfort and compact, ergonomic design of a console controller." It also mentions nothing about next-generation consoles and says the Reflex Control is slated for an "intended release." (Whatever that means.)

Bogus or not bogus?: Xbox 360 Controller: Not Bogus. PlayStation 3 controller: Bogus.

RUMOR #2: One bigmouthed developer has leaked a boatload of details on the Nintendo Revolution.

Source: The forums of E-mpire.com.

The official story: "Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation."--Nintendo spokesperson.

What we heard: Hot on the heels of last week's rumor that the Revolution might include 3D technology is a rebuttal saying that it won't. It comes courtesy of an anonymous former Nintendo employee who is now developing games for his former employer's next-generation console. Besides trashing the 3D rumors, the ex-Nintendite reveals many features about the console. He or she says the Revolution will have wireless pressure-sensitive controllers that will add a new level of force feedback. "It will be sort of like controlling a game with one of those stress balls," said the source. "You squeeze it, and you go faster." The source also said the Revolution "will also include voice control more advanced than anything seen so far," and it will come with wireless headsets. He also said the Revolution will come with an online service superior to Xbox Live...but totally free. "The only way I can describe it is as an Internet service," said the poster. "Imagine turning it on and checking your mail on the system. You see previews and demos of DS and Revolution games that you can download. A magazine similar to Nintendo Power will be exclusive to the system, and you will be able to access it on the Revolution’s home page." The source also said that besides Nintendo, which has at least seven next-gen titles in development, Capcom, Namco, EA, Sega, Zoonami, and Activision are all currently working on Revolution games. However, the poster remained coy about what the exact "Revolution" would be. "I’m not going to tell you the revolutionary aspect of the system. Nintendo has some cool pre-E3 plans for that."

Bogus or not bogus?: Interesting? Most definitely. Bogus, perhaps? We'll see at E3.

RUMOR #3: Dead or Alive 4 and Dead or Alive: Code Cronus to be Xbox 360 launch titles. Any truth to that?

Source: Famitsu Xbox, by way of UK gamesters Computer and Video Games.

The official story: Tecmo did not respond to requests for comment.

What we heard: According to C&VG, Famitsu Xbox ran an interview with the Tomonobu Itagaki, head of Tecmo's infamous internal developer, Team Ninja. Besides hinting that a "perfect edition" of Ninja Gaiden was in the works--which CV&G astutely assumed is the almost certainly-soon-to-be-announced Ninja Gaiden Black--Itagaki-san says that Dead or Alive 4 will be a Xbox 360 launch title. That would make perfect sense, since the next installment in the series wouldn't come until this fall--at the earliest--which is when the Xbox 360 will be released. However, Itagaki's comments about Code Cronus, which will apparently be an action role-playing game set in the Dead or Alive universe, are less clear. In fact, he only "suggested" that Code Cronus will be an Xbox 360 title at all, let alone a launch title.

Bogus or not bogus?: DoA 4 @ Xbox 360 Launch? Not Bogus. DoA: Code Cronus @ Launch? Probably bogus.

RUMOR #4: A computer virus has been released that infects the client .exe of Valve's Steam download service.

Source: GameSpot's second-favorite hardware site, [H]ardOCP.

The official story: "We looked into this and found nothing."--Doug Lombardi, Valve's director of marketing.

What we heard: Since Valve launched Steam, millions and millions of gamers have used the service to download games, patches, and other assorted content updates. So it was natural that alarm bells began ringing when [H]ardOCP posted a screenshot from a reader reporting that his Panda Anti-Virus picked up an infection located in "c:\program\files\valve\steam\steamclient.dll". [H]ardOCP editors themselves had never heard of such a virus and asked the site's readers to let them know if they had experienced something similar. For its part, Valve quickly responded, telling gamers not to panic. "With millions of gamers connected via Steam, I'm certain we'd know if it was a real issue," Lombardi said. "Best we can tell, this is a completely erroneous report."

Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus, apparently.

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