New PS2, PSP SOCOMs named, dated?

Source: A quickly pulled product page on EBgames.com. The official story: "As of today, we have not made any announcements for future SOCOM franchise products."--Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesperson. What we heard: The PlayStation 2 never had a first-person online shooter that was a...

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Source: A quickly pulled product page on EBgames.com.

The official story: "As of today, we have not made any announcements for future SOCOM franchise products."--Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesperson.

No Caption Provided

What we heard: The PlayStation 2 never had a first-person online shooter that was a phenomenon like the Xbox's Halo 2. However, it did have the SOCOM: US Navy Seals series, one of the most popular online third-person shooter franchises for current-generation consoles.

While the highest-rated and best-selling offline third-person shooter on current-gen consoles is the Grand Theft Auto series, the SOCOM series isn't exactly slouching. According to the NPD group, combined sales of all three PS2 SOCOM games tally nearly 4 million units. That success was passed on to the first PlayStation Portable entry in the series, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo, which has sold more than 435,000 units as of February 2006.

With that kind of track record, it wasn't a question of if SOCOM would return to the PSP and PS2, but when. If a short-lived EBgames listing is to be believed, "when" is this fall. The page (pictured), which was up today for a few hours before being unceremoniously yanked, showed one "SOCOM US Navy Seals Combined Assault." It listed that the game was due November 7, 2006.

According to the page, Combined Assault will let players "battle through an intense Area of Operation with multiple and diverse missions spawning within this deadly region." The game will have "new vehicles and weapons for single player and co-op modes." One of those modes will let four players play through the entire single-player campaign in co-op.

The product page also promised even more integration with another game--whose existence it revealed. The listing promised "more robust Crosstalk with SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2, including a single story arc, and all new action events and unlockables."

So is the page real? Well, the probability that EBgames.com was hacked and an entire fake page was put up is extremely low. The amount of detail in the entry means that it is impossible that it was a mere mis-listing of another product. Then there's EBgames.com's long track record of accidentally revealing games' existence before tightfisted publishers officially tip their hands to the public (Xbox 360 Burnout, Halo 2 Multplayer Map Pack). The odds are leaning overwhelmingly in favor of...

Bogus or not bogus?: ...not bogus.

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