The Last Word: September 25-29

Microsoft drops a slew of announcements at X06 conference; acquisitions abound as the third quarter of the year comes to a close.

Xbox 360 fans may have felt a bit starved for news over the last couple weeks. The headlines of late have been dominated by Nintendo's Wii launch plans and the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, where Microsoft's presence wasn't really felt outside of a somewhat low-key preshow press conference.

That changed this week with Microsoft's Wednesday media briefing for its X06 event in Barcelona, Spain. The publisher promised some big announcements at the show, and relatively few argued that it didn't deliver those.

Microsoft announced that Age of Empires developer Ensemble Studios is working on Halo Wars, a real-time strategy game set in the Master Chief's universe. Grand Theft Auto IV will have two downloadable expansion packs, each about the size of the PlayStation Portable Liberty City Stories spin-off, and both exclusive to the Xbox 360. Both BioShock and the follow-up to Splinter Cell: Double Agent will be exclusive to the PC and Xbox 360.

Cryptic Studios, the City of Heroes developer and one-time target of a lawsuit from Marvel Comics, will be developing the Xbox 360-exclusive Marvel Universe Online. Bizarre Creations is working on Project Gotham Racing 4 for the system. The 360 HD-DVD drive will arrive in US stores in mid-November with a $199.99 price tag and will come packed with a remote and HD-DVD version of Peter Jackson's big-budget remake of King Kong.

The X-Plorer controller.

Speaking of Jackson, the director appeared at the media briefing to announce a pair of new projects he's working on with Microsoft. Both were described as something between a movie and a game, but not really falling into either category. (Jackson went on to discuss his approach to games in a roundtable the following day.) One will be set in the Halo universe, while the other will tell the original story from Jackson and collaborator Fran Walsh. Shortly after the briefing, Activision confirmed that it was bringing Guitar Hero II to the Xbox 360 with a new X-Plorer guitar, but it wouldn't say when the game would be available.

Fortunately, the remaining 167 hours of the week weren't that packed with news. However, there were still some stories that shouldn't be overlooked. Miami lawyer Jack Thompson is continuing his fight against Take-Two Interactive, this time aiding in a lawsuit brought against the publisher by relatives of three people slain in New Mexico in 2004. Cody Posey, 14 years old at the time of the killings, was found guilty of killing his father, stepmother, and stepsister. In his trial, Posey said he had suffered years of physical abuse at the hands of his father. Posey's relatives are claiming that Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City trained him how to kill. Meanwhile, Vice City creator Rockstar Games announced that it would be publishing the debut title from Team Bondi, L.A. Noire for the PlayStation 3.

Thursday saw a slew of acquisitions, as Hewlett-Packard announced that it was picking up Voodoo PC (similar to how HP competitor Dell snagged Voodoo PC competitor Alienware earlier this year), Vivendi Games bought Secret Lair and Ch'in studios to make Xbox Live Arcade games, and Disney-owned Buena Vista Games brought Climax Racing into the fold.

The Climax acquisition casts doubt on the future of one of its franchises, the MotoGP series, as publisher THQ said it will reevaluate its use of the brand after next year. Sony's ATV Offroad Fury games are also developed by Climax, but Sony has yet to publicly state how the acquisition will affect its plans.

MONDAY
Nintendo: 1 million Wiis for NA launch
GTA blamed in court case...again
Rockstar gets L.A. Noire
Retail Radar: Guitar Hero going wireless, Platypus PSP, budget imports
Game vets found Trion World Network

TUESDAY
PS3 games priced at $59.99
Square Enix wants a three-way race
Analyst: Industry to hit $44 billion by 2011
Wii browser free for now
Lego SW demo leads XBL content

WEDNESDAY
X06: Halo Wars revealed at Microsoft briefing
X06: Guitar Hero II rockin' 360s
Sierra crashes Xbox Live Arcade
Q&A: Decrypting the Marvel 360 MMOG deal
Oblivion confirmed for PS3, PSP

THURSDAY
HP casting spell over Voodoo PC
Vivendi gets Secret Lair, adds Ch'in
Buena Vista Games to acquire Climax Racing
THQ's MotoGP spinning its wheels
DFC: Next-gen war potentially win-win-win

FRIDAY
Kutaragi on 360, Wii: "We don't care"
Zune to use Microsoft Points
Feds target gaming (again)
Gears of War gets a Match Made in Hell
ATI speeds to the front lines of health

RELEASES
Shippin' Out 9/25-9/29: NBA trifecta, Just Cause, Valkyrie Profile 2

CHARTS
UK game charts: September 17-23
US PC game charts: September 10-16
Oz game charts: Sept. 11-17
Aussie game charts: Sept 18-24

Written By

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Discussion

77 comments
hello12367890
hello12367890

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Fallen_One_28
Fallen_One_28

All you fanboys are is a bunch of whining babies. Especially 360 fans they can't stop bragging about their systems superiority when they probaly havent even looked at th PS3. In fact the PS3 hardware is stronger in every way plus they have blue ray drives and 22.5 GB disks. Im not saying the 360 sucks, actually I think its a good system, with great games, but the PS3 will have great games too. SO STOP BRAGGING ABOUT THINGS YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT.

boxcarracer565
boxcarracer565

wow. 360 isnt dead, everyone stop making stuff up, its still selling. gah. n64 is an example of a dead console not 360. Stop making stuff up to make your crappy system look better

GrimBee
GrimBee

"GFofgaming The most shocking news was that Spinter cell 5 is to be ps3 exclusive." LOL I thought that "Cody Posey, 14 years old at the time of the killings, was found guilty of killing his father, stepmother, and stepsister." is far more shocking. When I was 14, i never thought of stuff like that (anyone would if it was in a particular position though i think.) but to actually imagine KILLING people.. its shocking enough.. But then.. splinter cell 5... we need another splinter cell game like "we need more deaths!" lol. I thought Splinter Cell was a 360 exclusive now? or is that the current game? Anywho, pretty good news except for the JACK just like sitting there purposefully HOPING some kid does something stupid and has the game to blame. if I was Jack, i would concentrate on actually helping kids, rather than depriving them. Any mother knows that deprivation is not the answer to the growth of a child. An honest explanation and a warning goes a long long way.

Twinset77
Twinset77

ukpet_anime I think you just shot yourself in the foot there sorry. Your in the right saying how people need to think of a reason before they shoot their mouth off at something. Yet you've just replied with a one-liner offensiveagainst the Playstation. I'm a Sony fanboy but I won't crititise this new line up of xbox360 games till I've properly tried them. I've give the original halo a shot amongst other titles but at the end of the day I just prefer a PS2. See? We can all love a console or brand without degenerating to pathetic hate speeches about every other console that we couldnt even be bothered to switch on, let alone look at and sample Wise words

_Sam_
_Sam_

who ever said the 360 was dead

Skypac
Skypac

w00t 360 pwnz all!

ukpet_anime
ukpet_anime

I think you just shot yourself in the foot there sorry. Your in the right saying how people need to think of a reason before they shoot their mouth off at something. Yet you've just replied with a one-liner offensiveagainst the Playstation. I'm a Sony fanboy but I won't crititise this new line up of xbox360 games till I've properly tried them. I've give the original halo a shot amongst other titles but at the end of the day I just prefer a PS2. See? We can all love a console or brand without degenerating to pathetic hate speeches about every other console that we couldnt even be bothered to switch on, let alone look at and sample

Kn0w0ne
Kn0w0ne

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Kn0w0ne
Kn0w0ne

Exactly why and how, with all your wisdom, does the 360 suck? Awaiting an intelligent reply.

bcolter
bcolter

Hey... HuhJustaBox... I see your point, but your missing one critical detail... with the 360, you, the consumer can CHOOSE!

Dolacide
Dolacide

A really informative week.

lumines_god
lumines_god

Fatdawit, the ariticle said the follow-up the double agent is 360 and pc only not for the wii

Phylyn5151
Phylyn5151

Im telling ya: 360: one half of the good games Wii: the other half of the good games PeeS3: Crap.

fatdawit
fatdawit

i don't really think splinter cell belongs on the ps3. Ps3 has enough franchises of its own. Kepp splinter cell on microsoft and nintendo. free motion controls would make for a great stealth action game.

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

The most shocking news was that Spinter cell 5 is to be ps3 exclusive.

toiletduck123
toiletduck123

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

colonicjas2
colonicjas2

So if that posey Kid had such a bad childhood.. but... he had a playstation with GTA.. Doesnt sound too bad to me! (kidding) My childhood was pretty messed up, and if i ever was driven to kill, it was out of pure instinct, not because of some game challenged me to do it. I feel for the kid, but really, GTA games teach you (on a subliminal level) that doing this stuff is BAD. so, did the kid put his mum in a car as a prostitute.. killed her. and then took her money? I dont think so..Effectively there are so many things to do in the game, that challenging ONE aspect is not enough. If it was a game which ACTUALLY trained you to kill, then thereis a good point to challenge it there... but just challenging the game on the sole aspect of "it trained me to kill.."how could you NOT also challenge the fact that "scarface" teaches people to get money from drugs (actually it doesnt, and vice city was largely based on scarface the movie). Or that the terminator "made me walk round naked". Challenging games and films on the premise that it "trained someone to kill" is absolutely stupid! If anything, it makes peopel AWARE of this stuff, but certainly it does not train you how to LIVE. I can see how games could effectively "train" someone to kill, by showing how someone would break an arm.. or steal a car. But actually killing someone in real life, or stealing a car compared to in a game.. is ENTIRELY different. You dont "find" an AK47 after you beat up a gran.. you dont "find" bullets for the exact gun you stole on the ground in some clothes store.. if anything, the game teaches things you CANT actually do, ever. You couldnt press triangle in real life, and then automatically pull out some massive bloke twice ur size out of a car in broad daylight.. Games portray society, or ideologies, just like films do. Kids went round torching cars, stealing stuff YEARS.. Freaking YEARS before games were even made! If anything, GTA portrays the governments laclustre policies and attempts to prevent crime and poverty. Its not like GTA dramatically pulled the concepts out of thin air. The game is based on what the government let happen, and still does happen. GTA is based on the premise that this stuff goes on today, and it gives the viewer (gamer) the opertunity to see this stuff.. the same stuff the government sees happening. The actual content is even far less gratuitous than what else is out there. And another strong point is this, dont bash the game, bash the parents. The game is clearly labelled for 18 years or older (in the uk etc) or rated M or R. why is a 14 year old kid playing this stuff? That fact alone discredits that the cause was that the GAME trained the kid to kill. Infact, i would say that in a position where someone would kill their parents, the game would be the only closure for the poor kid to say, i couldnt imagine the emotional levels which have been broken at a time like that. Its so complex, you cant just blame ONE fact being the cause of the situation. Jack should protest about the things GTA is based on, try attacking the sex industry.. how it exploits women and how it ships in THOUSANDS of girls and women to countries JUST for prostitution (watch a film called LYLJA 4-EVER). OR, jack should maybe go to Iraq, and stop our soldiers killing eachother! Bashing a game, is much the same as bashing a film. A game cant train you how to kill.. if you killed someone with a control pad.. thats a thing to argue against. But how can you say "i pressed X.. and it trained me to kill".. and completely avoid the other entertainment out there which shows you killing in a FAR more realistic and plausable manner!! (much like "i pressed play and it trained me to kill"). jack jack jack...It's like those damn charity people.. They always proclaim that "its for charity". But then why does the charity take a LARGE cut of the donations if they cared so much about their cause? A real charity gives ALL. And a real guy who cared about violence in entertainment should actually go and stop the REAL things these forms of entertainment are trying to show us! Stuff like in GTA happens more than once (far more) on an everyday basis. Yet, Jack would challenge the game, rather than the REAL victims of these crimes which go un-noticed. What im saying is, that Jack Thompson guy is fighting a lost cause. If someone killed someone whilst "listening to marylin manson".. he would believe that this entertainment is forcing people to kill people. But actually miss the fact that people would listen to his music, because it was their only friend and comfort at their time of desperation. I hate single minded people. Once he stops gta.. whats next? Stopping metal gear because "sneaking around isnt good for our society"... sheesh! "kids shouldnt play sonic because it makes them believe hedgehogs are blue and can run fast and effectively fall off sheer drops many times" Take this news example .. for example "a young child lives and dies in a hole in the ground because "he was pretending to be gollum". Its ridiculous to blame a game or a film on the premise of its surreal attitude in bringing entertainment to people in different forms." Cudnt have said it better myself. Actually, i probably cudnt said a quarter of that, lol.But i totally agree with you.

HuhJustaBox
HuhJustaBox

So the HD-DVD add on costs $200 plus $400 (not even considering the $300 tard pack) for the console and you get a whopping $600. So if you get the low end PS3 with blu-ray it only costs $500 and is a better deal? How can this be? PS3 you get free online, HDMI output, and blu-ray games instead of just movies--and it is still cheaper?!?!?!? Hmmmm, sounds like PS3 is more and more of a bargain every day now.

piecake
piecake

no murder down with gta lol why do every murder with ant tv coverage get the person involed to say that gta was to blame i play gta all the time do i go and kill people, No i've played pac man and i don't run around in a darkened room listening to techno and munch pills( thanks Kristian Wilson) rock on GAMES 44 bil thats alot of games the industry is gonna get a real boom from the war !!!

nappan
nappan

"jonaldinho10 GTA killer? I believe the saying goes art imitates life. no longer should we blame our sins on something else. that is the movement of a regressive society not a progressive one. besides most songs and movies are about love so if that logic were to stand than in theory everyone should be loving eachother. " You are completely insane. You've probably convoluted a simple point in the most odd and vaguely schizophrenic end result possible. Tell me, do you believe that 8th dimensional reptiles run the government? :)

GrimBee
GrimBee

jonaldino10.. i should of just said what you said.. would of saved me some time ;) Good post. However, im a very fast typist (3 words a second!) so even though i write a lot.. this very post has taken me about 10 seconds LOL

jonaldinho10
jonaldinho10

GTA killer? I believe the saying goes art imitates life. no longer should we blame our sins on something else. that is the movement of a regressive society not a progressive one. besides most songs and movies are about love so if that logic were to stand than in theory everyone should be loving eachother.

The_X_Factor_69
The_X_Factor_69

Halo Wars is going to be super-awesome-fantastical-sweet and im soooo happy to be a 360 owner right now..

nappan
nappan

" The 360 HD-DVD drive will arrive in US stores in mid-November with a $199.99" Ouch. I own a 360, and I saw this coming, but it still hurts. I realize fanboys are going nuts on all sides, but even though my nuts are in the fire too, I have to laugh at pages upon pages of screaming about the price of the PS3. Well, now we know, a full 360 = PS3. Of course, if blu-ray wins out, then what? If HD-DVD wins out, then what? I'm going to be waiting before I buy a PS3, or that HD-DVD addon until that quetion is answered. The dollar signs are a bit too high to be part of the "decision making process" for this next format. Oh well, I waited about a year until I bought the 360, I'll do the same at least for the PS3 and Wii. I just hope all three succeed. The more games the better. Remember, it's ALL about the games

xplics
xplics

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

carl2tan
carl2tan

i think all the systems will be winners in this upcoming "war" I cant see anyone going bankrupt. .

jthechosenone
jthechosenone

instead of stupidly dissing 360 cuz ur saving up for ps3, why dont you just buy a 360. you wont be jealous of 360 anymore if you have one. lol cuz the few people that are still putting up a hopeless fight against ms are justy looking pathetic now. any suprise the last word was all about ms? i though about which system i wanted for weeks before i bought 360 and decided that the richest company wth also the most experience and success would obviously win. i was right, just look at them now. unmatched marketing, unmatched offers, services, games, price. and ms as said before that they wont stop until they win no matter how badly they fail. they god heart and the money to fuel that heart. my brother is a manager at ms and knows how unstoppable their attitude is. they dont even hire anyone over 25 years old anymore. they figure if they hire the consumers theyll get the consumers needs.

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

My only complain would be, why microsoft is not bringing the HALO wars RTS to windows platform.

timad26
timad26

Oh Dietrich, why did you kidnap Tim and Thor throwing this Last Word to the fanboys and Jack Thompson rants (quality rant though GrimBee). DIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEETRIIIIIIIIIIIIIICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GrimBee
GrimBee

So if that posey Kid had such a bad childhood.. but... he had a playstation with GTA.. Doesnt sound too bad to me! (kidding) My childhood was pretty messed up, and if i ever was driven to kill, it was out of pure instinct, not because of some game challenged me to do it. I feel for the kid, but really, GTA games teach you (on a subliminal level) that doing this stuff is BAD. so, did the kid put his mum in a car as a prostitute.. killed her. and then took her money? I dont think so..Effectively there are so many things to do in the game, that challenging ONE aspect is not enough. If it was a game which ACTUALLY trained you to kill, then thereis a good point to challenge it there... but just challenging the game on the sole aspect of "it trained me to kill.."how could you NOT also challenge the fact that "scarface" teaches people to get money from drugs (actually it doesnt, and vice city was largely based on scarface the movie). Or that the terminator "made me walk round naked". :D Challenging games and films on the premise that it "trained someone to kill" is absolutely stupid! If anything, it makes peopel AWARE of this stuff, but certainly it does not train you how to LIVE. I can see how games could effectively "train" someone to kill, by showing how someone would break an arm.. or steal a car. But actually killing someone in real life, or stealing a car compared to in a game.. is ENTIRELY different. You dont "find" an AK47 after you beat up a gran.. you dont "find" bullets for the exact gun you stole on the ground in some clothes store.. if anything, the game teaches things you CANT actually do, ever. You couldnt press triangle in real life, and then automatically pull out some massive bloke twice ur size out of a car in broad daylight.. Games portray society, or ideologies, just like films do. Kids went round torching cars, stealing stuff YEARS.. Freaking YEARS before games were even made! If anything, GTA portrays the governments laclustre policies and attempts to prevent crime and poverty. Its not like GTA dramatically pulled the concepts out of thin air. The game is based on what the government let happen, and still does happen. GTA is based on the premise that this stuff goes on today, and it gives the viewer (gamer) the opertunity to see this stuff.. the same stuff the government sees happening. The actual content is even far less gratuitous than what else is out there. And another strong point is this, dont bash the game, bash the parents. The game is clearly labelled for 18 years or older (in the uk etc) or rated M or R. why is a 14 year old kid playing this stuff? That fact alone discredits that the cause was that the GAME trained the kid to kill. Infact, i would say that in a position where someone would kill their parents, the game would be the only closure for the poor kid to say, i couldnt imagine the emotional levels which have been broken at a time like that. Its so complex, you cant just blame ONE fact being the cause of the situation. Jack should protest about the things GTA is based on, try attacking the sex industry.. how it exploits women and how it ships in THOUSANDS of girls and women to countries JUST for prostitution (watch a film called LYLJA 4-EVER). OR, jack should maybe go to Iraq, and stop our soldiers killing eachother! Bashing a game, is much the same as bashing a film. A game cant train you how to kill.. if you killed someone with a control pad.. thats a thing to argue against. But how can you say "i pressed X.. and it trained me to kill".. and completely avoid the other entertainment out there which shows you killing in a FAR more realistic and plausable manner!! (much like "i pressed play and it trained me to kill"). jack jack jack...It's like those damn charity people.. They always proclaim that "its for charity". But then why does the charity take a LARGE cut of the donations if they cared so much about their cause? A real charity gives ALL. And a real guy who cared about violence in entertainment should actually go and stop the REAL things these forms of entertainment are trying to show us! Stuff like in GTA happens more than once (far more) on an everyday basis. Yet, Jack would challenge the game, rather than the REAL victims of these crimes which go un-noticed. What im saying is, that Jack Thompson guy is fighting a lost cause. If someone killed someone whilst "listening to marylin manson".. he would believe that this entertainment is forcing people to kill people. But actually miss the fact that people would listen to his music, because it was their only friend and comfort at their time of desperation. I hate single minded people. Once he stops gta.. whats next? Stopping metal gear because "sneaking around isnt good for our society"... sheesh! "kids shouldnt play sonic because it makes them believe hedgehogs are blue and can run fast and effectively fall off sheer drops many times" Take this news example .. for example "a young child lives and dies in a hole in the ground because "he was pretending to be gollum". Its ridiculous to blame a game or a film on the premise of its surreal attitude in bringing entertainment to people in different forms. Rant over ;)

Newnab
Newnab

Anyone who thinks the Xbox360 has nothing but first person shooters is obviously blind, and didnt hear about the GTA, Splinter Cell stuff, Lost Oddesy, Blue Dragion, Trusty Bell, Fable 2, Mass Effect, Viva Pinata, PGR4, Forza 2, exclusive soccer for the next gen, Assassins Creed and hundreds of other stuff mentioned in the press conferances. I know it hurts some of you Sony fanboys to admit the 360's got good stuff.. But it's getting to the point where you guys really can't argue it anymore. ;) Also, Saturn, it seems you only want Role Playing games, and would have us going too far in the OTHER direction. And there already is " Greatest hits" or "Platinum" selection of 360 games with lowered prices in most countries. Batman, if that acrobatic dude with daggers pushed YOU, You would not "Beat his ass". YOU would run home and cry in your mom's arms. And Killswitch: If MS was to make HD-DVD standard then they'd be going against everything they've said about it. I'd expect that from Sony but not from Microsoft, not their games division. I personally don't want to buy a HD-DVD player, and I'm glad I've been given the option rather than have it forced down my throat.

K1LLSWITCH
K1LLSWITCH

All of these games at both TGS and the X06 party are work in progress. Don't expect anything to be perfect or near perfect. With that said, the only problem I have with Microsoft and the Xbox brand is two things:

1) Inconsistant flow of next-gen titles. The Xbox 360 has been out for almost a year and all I see is more games for the XBLA feature than I do games for the console itself.

2) I feel that the console is not "next-gen." In order to make the 360 truly next-gen the player would need to buy the add-on's. Especially the HD-DVD player. $400 for the 360 + $200 HD-DVD player = High end PS3. Plus whose to say that Microsoft won't permanently make the transition from standard DVD to HD-DVD for future titles? Isn't that what most of us is worried about a "trojan" format that will force people into having? Well Microsoft has one too.

Don't get me wrong the games shown at the X06 party look great but there isn't a strong list of titles, most of which will be on other platforms, to satisfy me into the next year.

Batman629
Batman629

yawn, what a load of crap, i can't believe i wasted an hr. watching this crappyass presentation. How are anyone actually supporting this system? Maybe you guys are just mindless zombies that likes to kill thing or shoot things or retelling your tire ass wwii story. Can we let go of the past and move on people? Whats up with the dumb AI in Gears of war? i thought it was suppose to be a great game. How are the crowd in AC smart? They just stand there and get push around, thats call stupid. if some1 pushes you around, you beat their ass. It took 3 pgr just to sell 4 million copies? It only takes 1 NSMB to reach more than 5 million copies and counting. Mario hasn't even been back in the game that long. MS sucks i hope they go down the drain, i am going to buy all their games and softwares copied or get it for free. These suckers ain't getting a dime from me.

Mr_Saturn26
Mr_Saturn26

360 is looking better, but it dont really intrest me at all, When they do these three things all get it 1. $400 dollar modle drop to $200 2. 360 games going to gratest hits or whatever it is 3. Until actully good games that come out, i mean not all freakin FPS games, I mean an actully good game, the only good game that game out so far is Oblivion, thats it, all the others are crap. Games looking forward to seeing 1. Fable 2 Thats all im looking foward to, because most of the other games are FPS the genre is crap, and having about 80-90 percent FPS is CRAP Thanks for listening, dont hate me, and microsoft, get a brain and realize that even though we have over 11 thousand deaths involved with guns in our country, WE LIKE OTHER GENRES TOO U KNOW WE ARE NOT GONNA PLAY A DIF GAME WITH GUNS OVER AND OVER, HECK WE DONT LIKE GUNS THAT MUCH!!!! Thank you.

Po77InAtOr
Po77InAtOr

I have a question. The game is rated Mature. The kid was 14. Coudn't Take-Two sue the parents for letting their kid PLAY THE FRICKING GAME!?!? SWEET MOTHER OF GOD! /rant ended

Evinco_DX
Evinco_DX

All the great news that came out of X06, glad to have a 360 :)

monkkito
monkkito

IF Halo Wars comes out before Halo 3 I might have to buy my 360 earlier than previouslly planned