Rumor Control: KOTOR II coming by Christmas and Doom 3 shipping July 31

This week: The Beyond Good & Evil trilogy, the Nintendo Gyroid, and the obligatory Half-Life 2 rumor.


RUMOR #1: Doom 3 is shipping July 31.

Source: The in-store computers at many GameStop locations.

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

What we heard: Around midweek, reports began to come in that the in-store computer systems at GameStop locations around the country were listing the ship date of Doom 3 as "July 31." Calls to local outlets of the nationwide game retailer revealed those reports to be inaccurate--by one day. "Uh, the computer here says 'August 1st,' but I think that's wrong," one clerk told GameSpot. "We should have it on Monday, though," continued the clerk, who also said his location was not planning any special events for the much-anticipated PC shooter's release. When informed that Doom 3 isn't supposed to ship until Tuesday, August 3, the clerk responded with a thoughtful "huh." An early ship would not be unusual, though: With a rumored 2 million preorders being mailed out, some copies of Doom 3 are bound to arrive early. In fact, some people already have it, as shown by the mounting photographic evidence on the Web (pictured).

Bogus or not bogus?: Technically not bogus. Some stores will get the game over the weekend. Whether they actually put them on the shelves, though, is another matter.

RUMOR #2: Half-Life 2 is going gold next week and will ship out in September--just like it was supposed to last year.

Source: Headcrab haven

The official story: See below.

What we heard: In what has become a weekly ritual, a Half-Life 2 fan site has posted comments from a senior Valve staffer promising that the long-delayed game is on the verge of completion. This time, it was Half Life Source quoting Valve PR director Doug Lombardi. "According to recent conversations we've had with Valve's Doug Lombardi, Half-Life 2 will be passed on to publisher Vivendi for final mastering and duplication within days for its early August target. The official appearance will make store shelves sometime in mid- to late September." This theory jibes nicely with comments reportedly made by Gabe Newell last week, which say that the game had entered its final round of debugging and would be ready in "16 days." However, Lombardi would not confirm that he had even made the statement to GameSpot, meaning nothing is official--yet.

Bogus or not bogus?: As with all things Half-Life 2, we'll believe it when the box is in our hands.

Double-click the video window for a full-screen viewRUMOR #3: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has been moved up to a holiday 2004 release.

Source: The latest trailer for the game.

The official story: See below.

What we heard: When the latest trailer for the role-playing game hit the Web on Wednesday, it riled up the already easily excitable fans of the first KOTOR. Besides revealing that members of your party will follow you as you turn to the dark or light side of the Force, the trailer also promised that the game will arrive in "winter 2004"--two months earlier than its previously announced ship date. However, a phone call to LucasArts revealed that the publisher may be using some variant of the Orthodox Christian Calendar, which celebrates Christmas on January 19. "Winter 2004 extends to February 2005," said a rep, meaning that there's still a chance Obsidian Entertainment's first game won't make its debut until next year.

Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus insofar that it's been expressly moved forward (although the trailer certainly gives you that impression). It could still make it by Christmas, though.

RUMOR #4: Ubisoft is making two more Beyond Good & Evil games.

Source: The devout flock of Mario worshippers at GameCube Europe.

The official story: "No comment." --Ubisoft rep.

What we heard: When Beyond Good & Evil was released last year, it got solid reviews, but it was discounted to just $19.99 within months due to disappointing sales. So when GameCube Europe reported that "Ubisoft does not plan on letting Beyond Good & Evil fade away and has announced there will be another two games," many reacted with skepticism. Rightly so, as it turns out. Though the GameCube Europe story makes it sound like it was taken from an official Ubisoft statement, it lists a Q&A with BG&E designer Michel Ancel on the French site OteraGame as its source. In the Q&A, Ancel discussed the abruptness of BG&E's ending, saying it was because the game was "the first episode of a trilogy." He made no mention of any concrete plans to make a sequel to the game, let alone two. Any further ambiguity was dispelled by informed sources who told GameSpot that no BG&E games are currently in Ubisoft's pipeline. "Sounds like wishful thinking on the fans' part," they said.

Bogus or not bogus?: C'est bogus.

RUMOR #5: Nintendo's next-generation console, code-named "Revolution," will feature a wireless gyroscopic controller that will allow for physical interactivity with games.

Source: The acolytes of Satoru Iwata at N-sider.

The official story: Nintendo did not comment.

What we heard: This week, many sites floated the subject of the Revolution having a controller that will allow players to control gameplay through physical movements. However, all those articles had a common origin, a column on N-sider that discussed--at great length--the "Nintendo Gyroid." Citing a 2001 deal between Nintendo and Gyration, "the first company to produce game controllers enhanced with gyroscopic motion-sensors," the article discusses how the controller would work ("the player, by using natural gestures both horizontally and vertically, can interact with the game he/she is playing") and what shape it might take (a lightsaber-like rod or Minority Report-style gloves). However, many gamers overexcited by the possibility of physical congress with Metroid Prime's Samus overlooked one thing--the entire article is about what technology the Revolution might feature. "We aim to look at what is entirely plausible as well as some fairly imaginative ideas," reads the introduction.

Bogus or not bogus?: We'll find out when Nintendo unveils the Revolution at next year's E3.

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