* Afrika for PS3 is out and getting good reviews. There has been no official announcement that it will be released outside Japan, which is too bad for Sony because it's one of the few console-exclusive titles that might convince me to buy a PS3. If you like the idea of Afrika but don't have a PS3 or don't read Japanese, you may enjoy "Safari Photo Africa: Wild Earth" for PC, by Ubisoft.

* October is a big month for Xbox 360 owners who like free-roam games:

-- Saints Row 2 will let you visit the Stilwater of the future. The first SR offered first-rate customization options for your avatar, clothing, and vehicles, and this one aims to build on that precedent. (My favorite SR1 car: the Gunslinger, a heavy yet sleek early-1950's 2-door sedan.) SR1 also had very entertaining gameplay and a great UI -- so well-designed that GTA IV took some pointers from it. The writing and setting were crude enough to make the GTA series look like it was written by a bunch of hoity-toity snobs, and the humor was hit-or-miss, but it was enough fun to get me to play through it at least 3 times.

-- Coming out a week after SR2 and on the same day as each other: Far Cry 2 and Fable 2. Far Cry 2 is Afrika with guns instead of cameras, in a world roughly the size of Just Cause (which is to say, massive), and the only wildlife is herbivores, sorry. Fable 2 is a big slightly-post-medieval-fantasy world (i.e., it has guns, but might not yet have steampunk). Both look very promising and both could betray that promise. I have Far Cry (360) and Fable (backwards-compatible on 360) and have never finished either, so we'll see what happens. Which will I play first (assuming I can finish SR2 in the week before they come out)? I'm guessing I'll try Fable first because after SR2 I'll probably be ready for a change of pace from submachine-gun fire.

-- Fallout 3 is from the makers of Oblivion and uses a lot of the same technology. Like Oblivion, it's got a big open world and stylish visuals. Unlike Oblivion, it takes place after a nuclear war and everything looks to have been designed in the mid- to late-1950's. I'm hoping it will also be unlike Oblivion in the number of game-killing bugs present in the initial release.
I finally finished all the activities in Saints Row last weekend (and all Veteran mode levels on Call of Duty 4 twenty minutes ago =D ).
I hadn't played it since GTAIV, fearing that it would be a pretty bad game by comparison (like going back to GTAIII from SA), but it was actually really good.

Playing it post-GTAIV really made me realize how good Saints Row 2 is going to be. Things like being able to use girl parts on your guy character are stupid but they work because Saints Row needs no more justification than 'making a really big fat guy in a dress run around with a machine gun is funny'.
The lack of pressure to be everything to everyone is really working in their favor.
Don't forget about the hypothalamus, which controls the four Fs.

Feeding, fighting, fleeing, and mating.

I'm looking forward to Saint's Row 2 and Fallout 3, at the moment. Far Cry 2 and Fable 2 are mostly a passing interest.

Incidentally, when I bought the Xbox 360 I was hoping that it would be backwards compatible. Turns out that only happens if you have the Xbox 360 hard drive, and I had gotten the Arcade/Core system as a gift instead. At first, I considered getting one of the hard drives, but then I realised: why bother with backwards compatibility if I have a perfectly functional regular Xbox sitting in a box right nearby?

So, I just wound up digging out my regular Xbox, and now both are sitting beside one another so I can switch between the Xbox to play The Godfather or Fable: The Lost Chapters, and to the Xbox 360 to play Saint's Row or Mass Effect (or GTAIV, but that wore out pretty fast... it's just not nearly as complete as the other GTA games).

Actually, I also have a pretty large pile of PS2 games I've rescued from bargain bins that I haven't had the opportunity to play yet. My brother borrowed my PS2.
Jtgibson wrote:
Turns out that only happens if you have the Xbox 360 hard drive, and I had gotten the Arcade/Core system as a gift instead.

Sounds like you've got things sorted out, but I'm pretty sure that if you ever need to a 512MB memory card will do the trick (it'll fill up with save files pretty quick, but it should have room for an upgrade patch).
Sadly, nope. It's nothing to do with space. As far as I can tell, the system expressly forbids writing the compatibility patches to a memory card.

It didn't say anything along the lines of "you do not have enough free space to perform this operation", but rather "you need an Xbox 360 hard drive", even though I had a completely blank 256 MB memory card ready for action.