THQ has officially announced its plans for the WWE franchise during fiscal 2005 (ending March 31st 2005), spanning PS2, Cube, Xbox and indeed Game Boy Advance.
The most significant aspect of the announcement is the name of this year's SmackDown title, a) because the Americans lap the wrestling games up, and b) because the last few have been downright hilarious. After all, in the past we've had 'Just Bring It', the sadly unjustified 'Here Comes The Pain' (bad luck punsmiths) and the legendary 'Shut Your Mouth'.
Perhaps wising up to this, this year's SmackDown title from Japanese developer Yukes will be WWE SmackDown! Vs. Raw, which is a nice clash of trademark symbol superscript (WWE! SmackDown! Raw!) but not quite the silly name we were expecting.
Still, the actual games have been excellent in the last couple of years, and this one aims to bring all the biggest wrestlers together under the same banner (rather than splintering the Raw candidates off into their own title), so we'll be keen to actually play it.
Less excellent but still perfectly palatable is the WrestleMania series, for which Studio Gigante is producing WWE WrestleMania 21 for Xbox in early 2005. It's the developer's first stab at the famous WrestleMania brand, which has previously appeared on Cube (with Xbox getting its own Raw titles - you can see how this would all get confusing).
The Cube, meanwhile, winds up with its own title WWE Day of Reckoning (due in the autumn), while little bro the Game Boy Advance is expecting WWE Survivor Series in time for Christmas 2004.
Expect to hear more about them all at E3, although probably not on this website...