Several major video games hit store shelves and download services this past week as we approach the beginnings of the exciting fall video game release season and along with a listing of these reviews, we have a pile of important news you may have missed. In this week’s weekly wrap-up, we talk about in-game ads in the Deus Ex prequel, Valve pretending not to be interested in mobile gaming, why Bethesda said no to Game of Thrones, new colorful models of the PS3 and 3DS, Xbox Live coming to PCs with Windows 8, the latest World of Warcraft novel, why Angry Birds is addictive and much, much more!

Video Game News

1. Deus Ex: Human Revolution Patching in Ads.

In-game billboards were the only type of ads featured in Deus Ex: Human Revolution until Square Enix implemented ads that show up during the game’s loading screens, most noticeably the ad promoting the release of the Star Wars Blu-rays. For a game purchased by legitimate owners, being given ads after the game releases is borderline unethical and hence, the slight uproar from the Steam Community. If you’re going to force-feed ads down the throats of your consumers, lower the price of the game. There’s a way to get rid of them, but it involves editing the the Host File which we don’t recommend unless you’re tech savvy.

Source: Steam

2. Valve not interested in portable gaming (yet).

Valve writer Chet Faliszek says “We’re about people sitting on their couches or at their desks” in an interview talking about mobile gaming, from iPhones to the 3DS and Vita. Right now they aren’t interested but this of course, means nothing and eventually they will have portable games as well. Remember when Valve said they weren’t interested in developing for the PS3? Look how long that lasted.

Source: Kotaku

3. Bethesda talks no Game of Thrones game

A few years ago, Bethesda had the opportunity to gain the license for George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, now making waves on television thanks to HBO’s Game of Thrones series. While interested, they turned it down however, to build their own game and continue their epic UP, The Elder Scrolls.

“We wanted to do our own world. That’s where we wanted to put out time into. Before we were even making Skyrim, there was a conversation with George R.R. Martin’s people. They thought it would be a good match–and so did we, actually–but then we thought about if that was where we wanted to spend our time. It was tempting, though.”

Perhaps this is for the best since Bethesda did a poor job in Star Trek: Legacy, another licensed IP. We’re all better off with Skyrim anyway and Cyanide Studio is working on Game of Thrones: Genesis with Focus Home Interactive so we’re still getting it one way or another, albeit in RTS form.

Source: EGMi: The Digital Magazine

4. Colorful PS3s and 3DS

Sony is infamous for lacking on the side of colors and many gamers found themselves importing hardware from Japan just to taste the rainbow. Adding to this tradition, red and blue models of the PlayStation 3 are hitting Japan on November 17th. These boast 320 GB hard drives at a price of 29,980 yen ($390). Japan is also getting the new “Misty Pink” 3DS on October 20th in hopes of reaching out the the female demographic.

Pink Nintendo 3DS

Sources: Siliconera, Nintendo

5. Xbox Live in Windows 8

Major Nelson officially confirmed on his blog that Microsoft’s next PC operation system, Windows 8, will include Xbox Live. What this means is more integration in Microsoft’s entertainment offerings and we can expect synchronization between Xbox 360s, PCs and the Windows 8 powered phones. For us gamers, this means easier development for PC gaming and what we’re really hoping for, is cross-platform play between Windows PCs and Xbox consoles. Below is a screenshot of Xbox Live running on Windows 8.

Xbox Live Windows 8

Source: Major Nelson

6. World of Warcraft: Wolfheart

The newest World of Warcraft novel, Wolfheart, is now available! Written by Richard Knaak, Wolfheart tells the story of “King Varian Wrynn’s struggle to accept the worgen of Gilneas into the Alliance — and come to terms with the wolf within himself. As the Horde threat emerges in Ashenvale, Varian’s ability to triumph over his own shortcomings will determine the fate of the Alliance itself.”

Find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

World of Warcraft Wolfheart

7. Free-to-Play Rise of Immortals launches

This week, Petroglyph launched its free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game, Rise of Immortals and is available to everyone. Sign up here. It’s a PC title with built-in social and cooperative features. After months of testing, the full game is now playable with the in-game store up and running where players can purchase a variety of items, including potions and extra skins. Check out the launch trailer:


8. Trenched is getting re-named

Remember Double Fine’s XBLA title, Trenched? We do. Heck, we have it a 4.5/5 in our Trenched review. Brad Muir and Greg Rice from Double Fine Productions announced last week that when the game releases in Europe, it’s going to receive a worldwide name change to Iron Brigade because without the total change, players with the old game title won’t be able to play online with players of the new title. Strange.

9. Angry Birds on your brain

Have you played Angry Birds? Odds are that you have because everyone in the world with access to modern technology has. Why is Angry Birds so addicting and what emotional impact does it have on you? To find out, click here for a big infographic by AYTM which studies the psychology and sociology behind the Angry Birds phenomenon.

10. Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition

This week, Rockstar Games announced Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition, an absolute must-purchase for any gamer who’s yet to jump into the Old West as James Marston. The re-release hits store shelves on October 11, 2011 for $49.99, and features a new hardcore single-player mode along with every bit of paid DLC to have come out for the game.

Be sure to check out all of our reviews for the week of September 12-18, 2011:

Game Reviews

Tech Reviews

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.