Rumor Killers: PS4, 360 Rebranding, Duke Nukem Forever (All at E3?)

A 3D PS4? Xbox rebranding? Valve to make Duke Nukem Forever? Dan Crabtree weighs the evidence and delivers his verdicts.

Rumor Killers

PS4 reveal trailer leaked onto the net showing Modern Warfare 2 in 3D?

Practically as soon as the bungled launch of the PS3, and certainly with E3 2010 less than a week away, gamers have been speculating left and right about the next generation of the Sony gaming console, most likely to be named the PS4. Sony has been adamant that 3D is the wave of the future, and with the most recent PS3 Firmware update, 3D console gaming finally makes its way onto a home console that isn’t the Virtual Boy. But the appearance of a new, apparently legit video on the net has raised some speculation about the extent of those 3D capabilities (along with its precursor video), as well as the console you might see them on.

The minute-long commercial shows a gamer donning the “RealGamer” 3D glasses in an experimental lab, being observed by scientists. However, the experience apparently becomes to intensely awesome, and the gamer gets freaked out, then smiles, and the commercial ends with the scrolling of “PS4.” Also during the video, Kotaku spotted a quick glimpse of a 3D menu for Modern Warfare 2, hinting that the 3D options may become backwards compatible at some point.

However, in the most plain of ways, Game Informer has confirmed that these videos are not legitimate. In fact, according to Sony Hardware PR Rep. Al de Leon:

I can confirm that this video is not from SCE [Sony Computer Entertainment].”

It doesn’t get more busted than that.  But while the PS4 may not already be on the docket for E3 2010 (I mean, it makes sense with the Move debut and 3D gaming already in play), there’s still hope for the future of 3D, as it clearly is a big part of Sony’s plans going forward, not to mention Nintendo’s.

Crabtree’s Call: Fallacious

Xbox 360 rebranding?

Between the talk of 3D for the 360, the 360 Slim, and the actual name for Project Natal, there’s no shortage of Microsoft speculations for E3 this year.  And on June 14th, all is likely to be revealed with the highly anticipated Microsoft Natal event in LA. Until then, though, the rumor-mill is in full swing about the possible complete overhaul of the Xbox 360 brand name.

This news comes from GoFanboy who reports that “a FOX Interactive Media employee… said that the FIM subsidiary IGN was in the process of phasing out the TeamXbox name and site in preparations to consolidate the Xbox-only site’s content into IGN due to Microsoft’s decision.”

So that’s one piece of evidence, but how ‘bout some more? GamerZines apparently found some in the form of new box art. According to the twitter account of UK PR agent Barrington Harvey, the sleeve for an upcoming cricket game shows off the new digs, but still with the Xbox name.

What to make of all this? Like Sony, it’s pretty clear that Microsoft has enough on their hands this E3 with Natal and the plethora of other rumored debuts, so I’d say it’s highly unlikely that they would be too worried about rebranding at this particular point in time. While this may be in the cards sometime in the future, we won’t be seeing it for some time. There may be a new look to the boxes, but that doesn’t revolutionize a brand, just evolves it. For the time being, I’d say that the Xbox name is here to stay.

Crabtree’s Call: Bunked

Valve developing Duke Nukem: Forever?

We are almost sure to hear something about this one at E3. Valve has been up to some more shenanigans, and this time it has absolutely nothing to do with Portal 2. In fact, it may have something to do with the long-dead Duke and his triumphant return.

According to Steam Unpowered, Steam showed off an image for a few minutes two days ago and then mysteriously pulled it.  However, a couple of loyal followers managed to capture the image and reveal some striking background nuances. The basic image is just of a date, 61810, or June 18th, the Friday immediately following E3.  At the bottom are a few logos including Steam, Source 2, T2, and EA.

But here’s the real kicker: When someone “manipulated” the image, they managed to find a backwashed picture of someone looking an awful lot like the Duke right behind the date. Of course, there are plenty of hulking video game characters with ammo strapped around their chest, but this one certainly bears the peculiar familiarity of Mr. Nukem himself.

Speculation has also hinted at Half-Life 2: Episode 3, but Valve’s Gabe Newell says no dice. So if it isn’t Portal- or Half-Life-related, then it must be Duke Nukem Forever, right? Not likely.  Valve rarely puts out any material that isn’t of their own inception, and the likelihood that a Duke-related announcement could just mean an older release on Steam seems much more likely.  While there’s still the issue of the Source 2 reference, I struggle to see this fairly flimsy piece of evidence as any real footing to stand on for that big of an announcement. So while we may see Duke Nukem return someday soon, and may even hear about it at E3, I’m calling a bluff on Valve’s involvement in Duke Nukem Forever.

Crabtree’s Call: Nah Brah


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