This one comes straight from Microsoft-owned developer Rare and has already lead to much speculation around SPOnG's vodka-cooler. The basic fact is that San Diego's Comic-Con was stunned into silence as it was announced that Viva Piņata on DS "is a reality".
Okay, so not stunned into silence.
According to the Rare release, "This is a full-size Viva Piņata game in your pocket, featuring not only the entire range of paper beasts from the Xbox 360 title but also a few new ones thrown in to spice things up for those familiar with the established cast.
You'll also be given free rein with an expanded selection of tools and tool actions, upgraded forms of the Journal and Encyclopedia, and brand new game modes such as Sandbox (for full and easy access to your favourite Piņatas) and Episodes (tying in more closely to the TV series and allowing fans of the show to spend quality time with familiar faces)."
But one of the biggest changes is obviously the control method, with stylus input transforming the way in which you interact with your menagerie. Design, nurture, instruct, protect and care for your garden and animals through direct touch. The DS WiFi service also lets you send prime Piņata specimens to your friends, making the act of parading your Doenut around in a humiliating pirate outfit easier than ever."
So, does this mean that Microsoft is getting into bed with Nintendo in order to put a toe in the waters of handheld gaming? Or does it mean that Microsoft is giving up any thoughts of handholding in games world? Or does it simply mean that Rare is acting autonomously having seen the dollar signs available from attaching itself to the meteoric DS? We're finding the answers to all these questions and will report back ASAP.