Rumor Killers: November 28

Rumor Killers

Have the first details on the PSP 2 been leaked?

The PSP, Sony’s first attempt at a handheld gaming device, has met with mixed success. While the device has gained a following among those looking for a powerhouse handheld, it hasn’t been able to match the success of Nintendo’s wildly popular DS unit, and many developers and publishers have been jumping ship in recent months. This has led to speculation that Sony would not release a follow-up device, and might simply cede the handheld market to Nintendo. It would seem that isn’t the case though, as it appears Imagination Technologies is working on some of the first components of the PSP 2.

According to the European arm of EE Times, Imagination has signed an agreement with Sony that will make them the producer of the PSP 2 processor units. While Imagination hasn’t confirmed the rumors, insider sources are saying that the company has been tapped to supply Sony with SGX55x processors for use in their next generation of handhelds. When Sony was contacted for comment they kept quiet as always, once more telling us that they "don’t comment on rumors and speculation."

Since EE got their information from an anonymous source we can’t verify the claims or confirm or kill this rumor yet. Also, it sounds like it’s still very early in the process of creating the next PSP, so Sony likely won’t be talking for a while either. Still, this would seem to indicate that Sony is going ahead with plans to continue the PSP line, so consumers will continue to have a choice for the forseeable future. We’ll keep an eye out for developments, but in the meantime we have a hunch that this story is on the level.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Likely

Is Assassin’s Creed Heading Into Colonial Times?

Here at TGR we love hearing from Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter because he is one of the most uninhibited sources in all the gaming world. He isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, and sometimes Mr. Pachter even reveals juicy nuggets of information publishers may not want us to know about quite yet. At least that seems to be the case at the moment, as Pachter has revealed that the next entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise is fast-forwarding time, eschewing Medieval Jerusalem for a slightly more modern era: the 1700s.

Pachter is set to spill the beans on an upcoming episode of GameTrailers Bonus Round video podcast, but in the meantime, Kotaku editor Michael McWhertor gave us a sneak peek into the analyst’s insights. Apparently, the next game in the series will be set during the late 1700s and focus on the events of the French Revolution. We don’t know many details on the game, but we’d like to think there’s a level where you’ll be storming the Bastille and a later mission where the player must kidnap Marie Antoinette and bring her to her public execution. The video with Pachter’s full rundown on what he thinks the game has in store will be available on GameTrailers starting December 7.

Ubisoft is calling Pachter’s comments "just a rumor," and has chosen not to make any further statements at this time. While we don’t yet know how accurate the analyst’s reports are, he is defintely a font on insider information and oftentimes his prognostications turn out to be extremely accurate. We’ll wait for something more official before we confirm this rumor, but in the meantime don’t be surprised if you hear that Altair’s next descendant will have a French accent.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Very Likely

Is National Geographic: Afrika Coming Out Very Soon?

The game Afrika, much like the continent it is named after (with distinct misspelling), is quite enigmatic. It pops up from time to time with a brief dash of information, then it sinks back into the tall grasses, stalking silently away until it is ready to strike again with another screen dump or gameplay detail. The most information we had heard about the game in recent weeks was that it had been rebranded as National Geographic: Afrika for its American release. It would seem now that we also have a release date for the game, though it’s starting to look less and less likely by the day.

When reporting on the name change story, RipTen posted what they claim is the release schedule for National Geographic games for the next several months. Lo and behold, listed among the November 2008 releases is National Geographic: Afrika, set to come out on the PS3. Obviously this is very interesting indeed, as November ends in two days and we’ve still yet to hear about the game hitting store shelves.

Neither Sony nor National Geographic have commented on a release date for the title, but barring any sudden surprises we don’t think it’s likely the game will be released in the next 48 hours. The game is already available in Asia, but the November listing was supposed to be an American release date, and yet I continue to sit here not taking pretty pictures of exotic animals in their natural habitats. This rumor isn’t officially dead until Sunday at midnight, but we get the feeling that you shouldn’t be calling your local game store every hour to see if Afrika has come in yet, it seems as though the wait continues.

TGR Verdict: Rumor Extremely Unlikely

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