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The internet's hottest PS3 rumours: debunked

PS3 Slim, GT5 release date, more... PSM3 sifts rumour from fact

Summer, as ever, means 'crazy season' for PS3 news; turning games aggregation sites like N4G or NewsNow into a lucky dip of wishful speculation, extreme (and mostly contrary/gently insane) opinions and raving banality about screen resolutions 'dipping to 600p', and the like. Some rumours, however, refuse to die, so we thought we'd weigh in with our thoughts on the issues 'du jour', as they don't say in France, like PS3 Slim, GT5's release date and 'Batman-gate'.

Does PS3 Slim exist?

See the latest speculation here.

Verdict: Yes, almost certainly.

We're not really interested in the semantics of whether the 'leaked' Chinese production shot of PS3 Slim is real, all we know is that - unless we've been handed a Peter Mandelson-worthy slice of misinformation - it will launch this year, most likely in early September. Price? Less sure, but not much cheaper, if at all, from the current model. They'll announce it at the GamesCom in Cologne, Aug 19-23rd, for near-certain.

Will GT5 launch in 2009?

See the latest speculation here.

Verdict: Quite possibly

Look at Sony's Q4 PS3 line-up: bar Uncharted 2, the only other big 'core' game is Ratchet and Clank: ACIT. (MAG, Heavy Rain, GoW3 are all 2010, with The Last Guardian potentially further away still). Sony need a big, mass-market title to push alongside PS3 Slim, and they don't come bigger, or more mass market, than Gran Turismo 5. It'd really help shift PS3s if (or more likely when) Sony shave the PS3 price, too.

On the reverse, it would mark an unprecedented turnaround, since GT5 wasn't present in any sensible form at E3, so Sony would be effectively 'rush' launching a game in a 3-5 month window before December. It's unlikely, but Sony need a left-field gamble to wow doubters, and this is the perfect fit. We've been told to expect big things from Sony's GamesCom press conference, and this would add 'wow' factor, after the expected announcement of PS3 Slim. Still, Sony could use Uncharted 2 to push PS3 Slim/the expected PS3 price cut, and this might just be idle speculation.

For us, mind, it's a less-than-insane left-field bet...

Are all current Batman: Arkham Asylum reviews 'bent'?

Verdict: Unlikely, since finished Batman AA code looks great.

See the latest speculation here.

We're not in a position to comment on the deals struck, or NOT struck, by other magazines, but this we can say a) Eidos were implicated in a 'score scandal' around Kane and Lynch, and our legal folk would (sensibly) frown if we speculated any further and FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY b) We're playing finished Batman AA code as we speak, and - shock, horror - it's incredibly good. If there was any score/deal skullduggery at work it would be largely insane/self defeating since Batman has the pedigree of an honest-to-goodness 90% scoring game, although we're sure a few contrary souls - or folk who just genuinely didn't like it as much - will pop up with some lower scores as the weeks go by. As you'd expect, when the number of reviews go from one or two, to, like, hundreds. On a wider note, why would a magazine elect NOT to cover on a potentially 90% scoring AAA title just because some folk think it's got a 'whiff'? If you were running a magazine, would you choose not to cover on a game to placate a vocal minority of conspiracy fans, even if you honestly thought it was worth 90%+? There's a wider debate in there, but we'll leave it at that. On a side note, we were mailed by a friendly, but non-affiliated, European multi-format games magazine Editor the other day, who was shocked by Batman AA's quality, and wanted to ask if he was insane to give it a 'nine'.

Our Batman review will go live on August 21st, 5pm BST, if you're seeking another less conspiratorial view.

Even speculating about speculation makes us tired. Tune back in a few months and see how right we were. Less so if we're, like ,wrong.

Have a great night