And now, here is the news (according to me)

00:21, May 04 2012

It's been a busy week, so let's dial it down a little and digest some of the news that's caught my newshound eyes this week. 

* Technology site The Verge is reporting that next week Xbox will announce a subsidised Xbox 360 Kinect bundle in the United States where gamers will pay $99 up front, then $15 a week over a two year contract period.

Microsoft hasn't confirmed the bundle ("We never comment on rumour and speculation"), and there's no indication whether such a scheme would come to New Zealand, but The Verge is suggesting that the subsidised US package will consist of a 4Gb console, a Kinect sensor and a two year Xbox Live Gold subscription. The Verge says there will be a termination fee if people break the two-year term.

With Los Angeles' E3 just a month away, is this the first of many pre-show announcement that we're going to get? The rumours and speculation always gets a little louder the closer we get to the trade show.

It's always been Microsoft's intention to get as many Xbox 360 as they can in peoples living rooms and offering such a scheme to people who can't afford the cost of a console outright may well prove attractive.

Many "hardcore" gamers will scoff at such a scheme, preferring to pay for their console outright, but it's a model that mobile phone providers have been using for years: sign up for a two year contract and we'll throw in this $1000 smart phone for free. 

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What do you think about such a scheme: would you buy an Xbox this way if the scheme came to NZ?

* I've got a black PlayStation 3. I'd think those of you that own a PS3 have a black one as well. Black works for me because it goes with my TV, my other AV equipment and my entertainment unit. Well, Sony announced this week that it's turning the colour notch up a bit with a scarlet-coloured PS3 console. Yes, scarlet. Which is like red but a bit darker, I think. 

The bright coloured PS3, which will be available from May 31, has a RRP of $589 and come with two Dual Shock controllers of the same colour and one game from PlayStations Platnium collection. I think in Japan it offers a blue PS3 as well. So, how will that fit with your decor, eh? It's also going to be available in Australia for $AU460.

* Apparently 10 years ago today, the Nintendo GameCube was launched in Europe. I still have a GameCube sitting in my "gaming bits and pieces box" (actually, it looks exactly like the one in the picture) and while I don't have many games for it and it didn't do too well against the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox, it was a fun console.

* An email landed in my inbox this morning telling me that Bethesda plans an online version of The Elder Scrolls for Mac and PC. The actual press release from Bethesda gave pretty much no details about the game so I turned to Eurgamer, which reports (via Game Informer) that the game is set 1000 years before the events of Skyrim. 

So, what gaming news has caught your eye this week?

Stuff you might also find interesting: Game Junkie is on Twitter and you can email him here. He'll even answer your emails not get some smart robot to do it. You can also hear him on Kiwi FM every Tuesday chatting about video games with Glenn Williams, and, if that isn't enough, he has another gaming blog here. It's updated as often as he remembers.