This week in rumors
From now until June, all ears will be fine tuned to whispers of what's to come at E3. Were not even into May but already the list of possible announcements is growing: two new IP from Sony, one from Microsoft, a new Resident Evil from Capcom, a return to the limelight for Prince of Persia... and thats just this weeks reports.
Besides all that, your PS4 may get get a musical treat in an upcoming firmware update, and Batmans next-gen debut could be in for a heartbreaking delay, if recent rumors prove accurate. Head on in for all the deets in this weeks roundup...
New Prince of Persia game in the works
The Rumor: Ubisoft Montpellier is said to be working on a new 2D Prince of Persia game. French website Le Portail du Jeu Vido claims to have learned of a new game being developed with the UbiArt Framework most recently used for the 2D Rayman platformers. Shortly after this report, Drew James, who is believed to be an Ubisoft employee, added fuel to the fire when he posted the above teaser image before his Twitter account was deleted.
Our Take: Theres no official word on a new Prince game, and Ubisoft has declined to comment when approached on the above reports. But the last PoP game was 2010s The Forgotten Sands, so a new game staring the athletic prince is well overdue.
Assassins Creed Unity to feature 4-player co-op
The Rumor: Assassins Creed Unity, the next major series installment due out later this year, will be the first to include 4-player co-op gameplay. Thats according a report on the Escapist, which cites "a legitimate Ubisoft source. The co-op bit is said to be a four-player "narrative" mode, and will reportedly be unveiled at E3 in June.
Our Take: Multiplayer in Assassins Creed has been a relative success, so itll come as no surprise if Ubisoft wants to expand on the interesting cat-and-mouse gameplay that it has built. Ubisofts E3 press briefing is on June 9. All eyes on that, then.
Batman: Arkham Knight delayed to 2015
The Rumor: During a presentation at the recent comic convention WonderCon, three DC Comics panelist showed a trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight before apparently casually mentioning that the project was no longer targeting a 2014 release. According to a report on Bleeding Cool, the panel said the game was "no longer as 2014 project ... but a 2015 project."
Our Take: We wouldn't reach for the picket signs just yet. Developer Rocksteady hasn't made any official delay announcement, and the games official site still has coming 2014 plastered all over it in giant font. Such a delay also seems too big a deal for it to be flippantly announced at a comic convention by a DC editor, and not by the game developer itself. Its also possible Bleeding Cool--or one of the panelists--simply made a mistake.
PS4 to get sound file playback (possibly MP3) in May
The Rumor: PlayStation 4s next firmware update, Version 1.7, may add sound file playback (possibly MP3 format) to the console. NeoGAF user Tidux, who has earned notoriety for accurate Sony leaks in the past, hinted as such in a series of cryptic forum posts related to new features to be added in the upcoming PS4 system software update.
Our Take: The exact nature of Tidux's hints are unclear. The tipster appears to suggest that sound media playback will be enabled via an import/export feature to be included in Sonys new SHAREFactory video editing software. Either way, if MP3 playback arrives it will be a step in the right direction. But therell still be a long way to go before the PS4 is the multimedia powerhouse we originally expected it to be.
Entwined and Kill Strain are new games from Sony
The Rumor: Sony could be cooking up two new download titles. The platform holder was spotted registering trademarks for Entwined and Kill Strain recently, both said to pertain to "computer game software; downloadable computer game software via a global computer network and wireless devices.
Our Take: If Sony has some new IPs up its sleeve, E3 in June would be the place to show them off, and the June expo is a matter of weeks away. While neither title has been announced officially, these trademarks could be the first hint of Sony readying some new properties for an E3 unveiling.
Resident Evil 7 bound for E3 reveal
The Rumor: Capcom will unveil Resident Evil 7 for next-gen platforms at E3, claims a report from Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun. According to online translations of the report, a PS4 version is on the cards. No other platformers were mentioned, but the game is not expected to be platform-exclusive.
Our Take: While the source of this report is unclear, it was previously rumored that Resident Evil 7 has been in production since November 2012--the month after the release of RE6. If accurate, the timing would seem about right for an E3 2014 unveiling. We can only hope Capcom takes the series back to its tense horror roots, instead of the action focus it adopted in RE5/6.
Diddy Kong set for Mario Kart 8 seat
The Rumor: Diddy Kong will make a welcome return to the race track in Mario Kart 8, according to unconfirmed claims. Website Nintendo Enthusiast has a scan of the Spanish Official Nintendo Magazine which clearly shows Diddy Kong to be among the Wii U games playable roster. Diddy has not been officially confirmed for MK8.
Our Take: While the DK family has made several appearances in Mario Kart since the SNES original, Diddy himself has only appeared in the last two home console iterations; Mario Kart Double Dash and Mario Kart Wii. But he was a secret unlockable character on Wii--if he remains an unlockable in the new game its possible Nintendo will hold off announcing him to preserve the surprise for early adopters. Well see when the game is released next month.
Microsoft working on online game 'Eden Falls'
The Rumor: Trademark hawks have spotted a new filing from Microsoft for an on-line computer game titled 'Eden Falls. The listing, filed April 16, appears to be accompanied by an empty Twitter account, @EdenFallsGame, where there are indications that it's a project at Microsoft-owned studio Lift London. A Google search also turns up what appears to be an official domain, with a tagline that points to it being a cyberpunk RPG.
Our Take: Theres plenty of evidence that Eden Falls is a real thing that is happening, and we dont expect to hear anything until that big gaming expo shindig thats happening in June. What's it called again? E... something or another.
Whats your take?
What would you like to see from Resident Evil 7? Is the series in need of an overhaul? Does a Prince of Persia game powered by the 2D Rayman engine tingle your tastebuds or would you prefer a full 3D adventure? And does Assassins Creed Unity need a new 4-player co-op or should Ubisoft be focusing its efforts on innovating the single-player campaign? Let us know in the comments below.
Want more? David Houghton discusses why Just Cause 3's (probable) confirmation is great news for the industrys health, while Lucas Sullivan ponders signs that Uncharted 4 could be in trouble.