The eight most talked about stories of the week (8-12 February 2010)

A lot of stuff happens in the world of games every week - some of which you might have missed. Here's a quick round-up of what we considered to be the most talked about news stories of the past five days....

The new Ghost Recon replaces its advanced warfighters with future soldiers. It's coming from the same dev team that worked on the two GRAW games and is down for release at the end of 2010. The game's future soldiers will be armed with 'prototype high-tech weaponry'. And if the quote at the start of the trailer is to be taken literally, this is what soldiers of the future will look like:

But without the fishnets and stilettos. We couldn't find any soldier legs. Soz.

Nintendo like money. They like it a lot. So when 24 year-old scamp James Burt took it upon himself to copy and upload New Super Mario Bros. to the internet - where it could subsequently be downloaded illegally - it made Nintendo angry to think of all the money it was losing. To absolve his wrongdoings, the naughty pirate was told to pay Nintendo $1.5 million. Justice prevails!

But hang on. What's this? The case was settled 'out of court' and Kotaku has its own very plausible theory about what really went down.

A bunch of tasty Xbox-related bobbins emerged from Microsoft's X10 gathering in San Francisco. Final Fantasy XIII bundle for the US. Pics of Gears of War boys Dom and Marcus making a cameo in Lost Planet (along with Resi's Albert Wesker). And more ambitious Fable III talk from ambitious dev Peter Molyneux. Oh yeah, and the Halo: Reach beta begins May 3rd. No details on how gamers without ODST will be able to get a slice, but it's going to be one of the year's hottest tickets.

Apparently the Wii and DS colossus is actually doing some work. While addressing the Annual Japan Media Arts Festival, the smiling-faced face of Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto, revealed that he's currently beavering away on a new Motion Plus game for Wii (no, it isn't the new Legend of Zelda) and the company is working on new hardware. Maybe after seeing Apple's oversized iPad, Nintendo thinks gamers are ready for a DSi XXXL...

Online review embargoes for Quantic Dreams' interactive drama Heavy Rain lifted this week, just in time to neatly coincide with the arrival of the demo on PlayStation Store. And it was undoubtedly this week's most talked about game as passionately debated - and entirely subjective - opinion went into overdrive. We gave it a 7.

CVG picked up on a tweet from UK magazine NGamer saying that Sonic the not very good Hedgehog will be a playable character in Mario Galaxy 2. Apparently NGamer got the information from a "trusted source". We spoke to NGamer to see if we could find out more, but were brick-walled with "NGamer doesn't comment on rumour or speculation". We're sure we've heard that line somewhere before...

The slightly dangerous-sounding UK TV show 'Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance' decided to do a little test with video games. Same old story short - the kids that played 20 minutes of a first-person war game were found to have slower heart beats while watching violent news footage, compared to the kids that had been playing a sports sim. The inevitable, sincerely concerned voice-over conclusion: "Shockingly, just 20 minutes of violent gameplay was enough to densensitise the boys."

We would be outraged, but luckily The Guardian Games Blog was outraged for us. So we don't have to be. If you'd like to be outraged, why not watch 'Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance' for yourself. Honestly, it's a bloody outrage.

Man keeps NES and five games in cupboard for years thinking his kids would be interested in playing it. Kids not interested in playing dad's antiquated console. Dad puts whole lot on eBay. Sells it for $13,105. Is happy (assumed, but not confirmed at time of writing). Why the big profit? Turns out that one of the games, Bandai's Stadium Events, is something of a collector's piece due to being produced in pretty low numbers. Very kerching.