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EA Online Pass, Kinect, Virgin returns: 2010 in review - May

EA kick-starts war on pre-owned market as Kinect starts to look expensive

With Richard Branson's return to games being the biggest surprise of May, it's fair to say it was a pretty uneventful month. The calm before the E3 storm.

After just over a decade out of the industry, Virgin made the shock announcement of its return to video games, promising to reveal all at the E3 expo in June. Virgin's status as a games company had essentially ended in 1999, when its assets were purchased by French company Titus Software. Dreams of a glorious return for Cannon Fodder hung in our minds.

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Polyphony honcho Kazunori Yamauchi also dangled a carrot in front of us when he said Gran Turismo 5 was 90 percent complete. He probably thought it would enthuse. Frustration simply grew. Meanwhile, "sources" rumoured that the ongoing delays owed to the last-minute inclusion of 3D and Move support.

They were partially correct. We got the 3D support, and it's pretty bloody awesome, and head tracking made it via the PS Eye. But where's the Move support, eh?

Rumours also proved to be fairly accurate regarding Microsoft's motion-sensing box of tricks, then known as 'Natal'. Not that they brought good news - while it was widely believed the camera bar would cost a mainstream-appealing £50, a Swedish retailer broke the worrying news that it'd actually retail for more than double that, at £130.

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"Purely speculation," Microsoft's Aaron Greenburg called it. Really? We call it 'hitting the nail on the head'.

Hilariously, Sweden proved to be more in the know than the marketing manager of Entertainment and Devices at Microsoft Saudi, Syed Bilal Tariq, who "confirmed" on TV that Natal would be out worldwide in October.

November was the correct answer Mr. Tariq. Get out.

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Not a great month for good news, May was also the month EA chose to begin its attack on the pre-owned market, introducing a new system called 'Online Pass' that would charge purchasers of pre-owned EA Sports games $10 for access to its online multiplayer features.

May was, however, a great month for game launches, with Mario, Alan Wake, Red Dead and more (as seen below) all draining your wallet. And if you had a few spare coins left, Apple finally graced UK with its latest typically cheap (pft) gadget, the iPad.

Wanted awesome games? You got them. Alan Wake on Xbox, Lost Planet 2 on PS3, PC and Xbox, Red Dead Redemption on Xbox and PS3, Split/Second: Velocity on Xbox and PS3, Super Mario Galaxy on Wii and Blur on Xbox all released in May.

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