The week in games
New games, dates and DLC details all in one place.
It's news city, so be the mayor with our roundup of all this week's events in the feature we're lazily calling "The week in games". Got a better idea? Tell us and we'll steal it.
Finish the fight
This week's big reveal was that Halo 3 is due out on 26th September and a day earlier in the US. We'll be using those 24 hours as the reason everyone beats us. Unless, that is, we can put in some decent practice on the Halo 3 multiplayer beta, which launched this week and then got patched. Well, it's a beta, right?
Speaking of fights, Sony's not ducking out of the next-gen battle, and ramped up this week at its Gamer's Day event in San Diego, unveiling not one, not two, but over several new games. Folklore is a new fantasy adventure from Game Republic, and PAIN is a curious downloadable game where you throw someone into a city and watch him bounce around comically. Both are PS3-exclusive.
SOCOM surely needs little fanfare but got some anywhere thanks to new instalments on PS3 (a downloadable effort) and PSP (a tactical strategy spin-off), while PSP shoot-'em-up fans can keep an eye on Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow, which picks up where last year's Dark Mirror left off.
Not a game, exactly, but apparently not different enough to break us out of this format either, is the upcoming PSP Store, due to launch this autumn, while Vivendi's TimeShift definitely is a game, and definitely is on its way to PS3.
As does Riddick, who returns in a new instalment called Assault on Dark Athena due out on PS3 and Xbox 360. The first one was a tight, well-designed Xbox and PC game that we liked a heck of a lot.
Meanwhile, third-party land was ablaze with announcements and rumours. Ubisoft unveiled Splinter Cell: Conviction, Activision sped our way with news of Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, and GSC Game World promised to unveil new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games in July.
Perhaps that's when we'll also learn about a rumoured Godfather sequel, which EA hasn't denied, although there was rather less suggestion from Eidos that a Deus Ex sequel might be in the works.
Rockstar was rather more vocal about Midnight Club: Los Angeles, fortunately, promising PS3 and Xbox 360 versions early next year. Vroom.
Not only that, but there was also confirmation of Soul Calibur Legends for Wii, a third Serious Sam game, and a Naruto RPG from Ubisoft.
And Square Enix continued to party hard with reveals for Final Fantasy XI expansion Wings of the Goddess, and Final Fantasy IV for DS.
Dates what I'm talking about
We've already covered the biggest news in release-date land (Halo 3 in September - are you even reading this?), but just as exciting, perhaps, was the steer Valve gave us that Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal could be with us in October. Having played them all this week, I can tell you that's "a good thing".
Elsewhere, Square Enix dated Final Fantasy VI Advance, KOEI told us when to expect Atelier Iris 3, and SouthPeak promised Two Worlds for July.
On the downloadable front, Sony promised to send WarHawk into public beta as soon as next week in the US, although Sony said we'd have to wait a bit for that in Europe.
And on the opposite side of no-man's-land, Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade release list grew by two, as Ubisoft confirmed plans for Prince of Persia, and Hudson told us about its plans for Bomberman on the service.
Before that though, Soltrio Solitaire is already up, and our American friends can download Aegis Wing for free. Interns made it apparently, and yes, those of you with fake US accounts can grab it with a bit of effort. What else is Google for?
Xbox Live Marketplace also welcomed a couple of new demos this week - yes yes, there was Halo 3, but Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Viva Piñata both pitched up in demo form, too. Please play the latter - it really is lovely.
Things were quieter on the PS3 Store, with no new releases today, but MotorStorm fans can start counting the days to 7th June when a new Time Attack mode and other features and tweaks arrive for free.
Finally, Wii owners can pop onto the Virtual Console today (or yesterday, if you're German - wie gehts?) and grab Donkey Kong Country 2 and Mario & Yoshi if that appeals. Our latest Virtual Console Roundup is a good place to find out if it will.