Portal 2 Materialising In October. With co-op.
We've been covering the developing Portal ARG situation and our sequel suspicions have finally been confirmed. GameInformer has revealed that their April magazine will spill the beans on Valve's latest project, and Valve's own Doug Lombardi has told Eurogamer that Portal 2 will grace our hard drives this Halloween. The Pumpkin is a lie!
We've been hearing rumours about the addition of cooperative play in Portal 2, and Gamestop's leaked product description has finally confirmed it. We'll be seeing a dedicated cooperative campaign with two playable characters; which is very interesting considering that Valve managed to run co-op in the original Portal, but couldn't make it fun. We can't see how this will work unless one player controls portals and the other manipulates objects... an interesting prospect that may well pan out if our sources are solid. Watch this space. Or this space.
Natal won't make Microsoft... soft
Whilst I'm quietly optimistic about the potential of Microsoft's impending motion capture peripheral, most gamers are still apprehensive about the shift in Microsoft's focus from software to hardware. The potential for shovelware and increased focus on Natal-enabled games is a genuine worry for Xbox 360 fans, but Microsoft's European head honcho is keen to allay our fears.
“Project Natal is meant to complement, not replace, the experiences on Xbox 360. We’ve reached new heights in creating a more natural and responsive gaming and entertainment experience for people of all interests and skill levels, whilst maintaining our commitment to deliver quality core games that consistently exceed expectations.”- Chris Lewis, European MS Boss
Personally, I'm not too worried about Natal distracting Microsoft's focus. Since they've delegated specific developers to creating the device, it's only distracted Peter Molyneux's focus. And if Natal keeps the increasingly deranged auteur off the streets for another year then it can only be a good thing. [MCV]
3G Ipad Lauches Next Month
We've had our doubts about the iPad. We know what it is, though we don't yet know what it's for. However, we do know when it'll be arriving: next month.
Apple have announced that the standard and 3G versions of their new inexplicable gizmo will reach storm our beaches in late April (meaning that we'll be receiving the superior 3G version at the same time as the Americans). That means that it will be a lot faster to do... whatever it is the iPad does. [Gamesindustry.biz]
Xbox Live Now Allows Freedom of Expression
In an open letter to the Xbox Live community, Marc Whitten has announced that an update to the Xbox Live code of conduct now permits expression of race, religion, sexual orientation and nationality without being censored. Apparently, this update...
"will allow our members to more freely express their race, nationality, religion and sexual orientation in Gamertags and profiles. Under our previous policy, some of these expressions of self-identification were not allowed..."
Welcome to the 21st century, Xbox Live. Having said that, I've heard some nasty slurs online and it may be difficult to tell the genuine article apart from trolls and racists. Never mind, though: this is a step in the right direction. A step towards a genuinely tolerant online community that places sportsmanship and skill above anything else. It can't come soon enough.