August is now upon us, and with it comes a flood of late-summer gaming goodness. Firmware updates, downloadable titles, and RPGs made for a busy week in gaming. Here are the top stories for the week:
The Showdown: should Xbox Live be free? Following the news that Microsoft would be making Games For Windows Live free for its users, many gamers began to question whether or not the company would follow suit and make Xbox Live free. Frank and Ben weigh the pros and cons in a Showdown.
Game Review: Final Fantasy IV (DS). Square-Enix may be remaking a lot of titles these days, but few of its recreations are as brilliant as Final Fantasy IV. Gorgeous new graphics, some subtle battle improvements, and a refined story make this the best version of the classic title you can find.
EA plans to start selling gaming PCs. Not content with domination over the software development and publishing sectors, EA has announced that its beginning to work on releasing its own brand of gaming PCs designed specifically to leverage its own software. Step aside, Alienware: it's time for the MaddenBox.
Ghostbusters cancelled? Not so fast. Rumors that the upcoming Ghostbusters game had been cancelled were debunked this week as Sierra officially confirmed that the title was still on the way. As for Sierra studios, itself, though, Vivendi may wind up axing the studio altogether.
Epic Games: Unreal Engine 4 ready in 2012. Though developers are only just beginning to master the Unreal Engine 3, Epic has confirmed that the next iteration of the popular game engine will be ready alongside "next-gen consoles" around 2012.
Some other interesting stories from the week gone by:
$180 for a Guitar Hero controller? Here's the Starpex. A real-size, real-wood guitar for Guitar Hero has been unveiled.Mole attack: 360 price cuts on all hardware in September. Ars' industry mole has news of imminent price cuts for the Xbox 360.First look: revamped Games for Windows Live. Ars gets an exclusive first look at the new interface for Games For Windows Live.Interview: PA alum discusses A40 audio for competitive gaming. Ben talks with Josh LaTendresse about his work creating premium gaming peripherals.Analysts fail to see the big picture as EA focuses on new IP. EA stockholders may punish the company for its best business decision in years, which could mean terrible things for the gaming industry.
Be sure to head over to Opposable Thumbs, our gaming and toy journal, for all the latest news from the game industry, game reviews, and more.