Rumor Control: Xbox Next Cartridges and TV on the PSP

[UPDATE] This week: More 24: The Game rumblings and Sonic hits the GameCube again.


Rumor #1: Games for the Xbox Next will come on cartridges, not discs.

Source: The Patent and Trademark Office by way of Team Xbox.

The official story: "This one falls under the 'no comment' policy."--- Microsoft spokesperson.

What we heard: For the second week in a row, the keen-eyed crew at Team Xbox has spotted a game-related patent filed by Microsoft. This time around, it was for a "system, method, and data storage medium for sharing data between video games," something that Team Xbox speculated would allow players to use character information from one Xbox Next game in its sequel. What form will that system take? According to Team Xbox, the patent makes repeated mention of "video game cartridges," raising the specter of a clunky N64-esque game library. [UPDATE] This specter began to materialize further after GameSpot editors consulted with a patent attorney, who pointed out this damning line in the patent description: "Preferably, the data storage media on which the first and second video game programs and/or other video game programs are initially stored are game cartridges having the necessary electronics for interfacing with the control unit 11. The control unit 11 is preferably a video game console that, among other things, includes at least one slot with the necessary circuitry for receiving the game cartridges." Since this line clearly states that the console would "preferably" store data on cartridges, it torpedoes earlier assertions that the Xbox Next would not use them to store game information.

Bogus or not bogus?: Now, this is looking a lot less bogus.

Rumor #2: Sony will upgrade the PSP with a slew of new functionalities, including Web browsing and streaming television.

Source: The PSP information Web site

The official story: Sony Computer Entertainment America reps declined to comment.

What we heard: The PSP 411 story is one of many that surfaced this week regarding a "dummy updater" found on a PlayStation Web site. Besides linking to a video of the updater in action, the site broke down the new features, which include voice text reading, voice chat, PSP Web browser, e-mail, and word processing and spreadsheet software. The site also references a Gaming Horizons article that quotes Sony Computer COO Ken Kutaragi as saying the PSP will be able to stream television shows via Wi-Fi much like Sony's location-free TV, which was on display alongside the PSP at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. It's strange, then, that American Sony reps refused to comment on the PSP updater or even Kutaragi's comments, for which a reliable source can't be found. Still, given the fact that the PSP has the computing power to handle most of the proposed upgrades and TV streaming, Sony would be foolish not to exploit the handheld to its full potential.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus, though not official--yet.

Rumor #3: A game based on the hit television show 24 is well into development in the UK.

Source: British industry site Eurogamer.

The official story: Sony Computer Entertainment America reps declined to comment.

What we heard: Word first began to spread about a game adaptation of 24 last February, when actress Elisha Cuthbert mentioned it during a BBC radio interview. Further evidence of the game's existence surfaced when it was listed on the Official UK PlayStation 2 Magazine's 100 Most Wanted Games of 2005 list. Now, Eurogamer claims to have received inside information that the game is being developed at Sony's Cambridge studio, the shop behind Ghost Hunter and Primal. Unfortunately, that's about all they know, so details on the 24 game remain scarce--and Sony isn't talking for the moment. Let's just hope it's not another Alias.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus.

Rumor #4: Sega is readying another Sonic game for the GameCube.

Source: Blue hedgehog enthusiasts

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

What we heard: In a brief article, cites an interview with Sonic Heroes creator Yuji Naka in Official UK Nintendo Magazine. In the interview, Naka reportedly says he is working on a new Sonic title for the GameCube, and he hopes to finish it within the year. And although the interview itself can't be read online, it is almost certainly true, since Sega has released a Sonic game for the GameCube every year since 2002.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus.

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