Microsoft’s Viva Piñata coming to the DS
An announcement at Comic-Con this week stated that the Rare-developed, Microsoft-published Viva Piñata is coming to the Nintendo DS.

A strategy game about raising colorful piñata animals on a farm, Viva Piñata was a good idea that didn’t really take off on the Xbox 360, most likely because people who generally own Xbox 360’s aren’t 10-year old girls, and the piñatas in question neither exploded nor bled.

The game is being converted into a top-down view for the DS, and is kind of a big deal for a few reasons:

1. This is one of the first times that I can think of where a major company like Microsoft was willing to take a game franchise that they touted as one of their flagship properties and sent it to a competitor’s technically inferior, yet much more ubiquitous and lucrative, piece of hardware.

2. Not only could this set an interesting precedent, it also opens the door for the possibility of the much-rumored Halo DS.

3. Microsoft was rumored to be interested in purchasing a struggling Nintendo only a couple of years ago. The tide done turned, my friends.

Xbox 360 Price Drop Looming?
The week before E3, a few pre-press ads leaked onto the web, showing a $100 price decrease for the 60GB PS3. Sony said that no such thing would happen. Then, a couple of days later, it did.

Microsoft then said that it had no plans to lower the price of the Xbox 360. Of course not.

But alas, two different ads that aren’t public yet, similar to the PS3 ads, surfaced this week on various sites, showing a $50 price-drop for the Xbox 360 at both Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.

Should these photos be believed, this will all transpire on or before August 12th!

Rockstar Games’ PS3 Exclusive
Despite GTA IV not getting any exclusive episodic content on the PlayStation 3 (though it will on the Xbox 360), to appease the ailing company, Rockstar Games has instead made a deal with Sony to release an entirely exclusive title for the PS3…at some point.

From Michael Shorrock, Director of 3rd Party Relations at SCEA: “As part of our long-standing relationship with Rockstar, and the incredible success for both companies with the cultural icon that is Grand Theft Auto, we’ve agreed to the PlayStation exclusive rights of the next great franchise from the Rockstar studios.”

I know it says “next franchise,” which would lead us to believe it’s something new, BUT, my guess would be Red Dead Revolver 2.

Anyone remember that trailer for an “unnamed western” that Rockstar showed at E3 2 years ago during Sony press conference, and then quickly denied existed? I could be wrong and it could be something entirely new but it would make sense. Red Dead Revolver sold fairly well so sequel is inevitable and why not make Sony happy with a little exclusive since they dropped the ball on the exclusive GTA IV content? I also wager that whatever it is won’t be an exclusive for more than 6 months. They never are!