While still waiting for a formal announcment, IGN have gotten the inside scoop and revealed that WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 has indeed been made official, and will include a bucket-load of new features to sink your teeth into.
One of the main features that got us very interested is that downloadable content will finally be a reality for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. While no specifics have been mentioned about what this DLC might be, the fact that it will be available in some form is exciting in itself. A new mode allowing players to create their own finishing move will also be present, giving you choices in how to pin your opponent for the three-count.
Also exciting is the interesting decision to make tag-teams an important feature in the game rather than just avoiding them altogether (like they do in regular WWE programming). Players will be able to take part in co-operative storylines in the Road to WrestleMania mode and take advantage of what is apparently an overhauled tag-structure. Tag teams will also be able to use double team finishers and make 'hot tags' to help them succeed in the match, though the new tag features will only be featured in the Xbox 360, PS3, PSP and PS2 versions of the game.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Wii version of the game will feature much more fluid motion controls along with more match types, more weapons and the debut of online gameplay for those with their Wii's online enabled. The Nintendo DS version of the game has thrown out the stylus-heavy controls for a more traditional control screen, though the touch screen will still be usable in some form. The DS version will also include an RPG-like story mode, and will actually feature a Create-a-Superstar mode this time around.
Lots of information there, we know, and still more details to come. The first few superstars of the new roster have been announced, and it's been confirmed that Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Randy Orton, Mr. Kennedy, Undertaker and John Cena are all going to feature in the game.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 will be available for purchase on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, PSP, PlayStation 2 and mobile devices later this year, so keep an eye out for more information and additions to the roster in the near future. We have included some screens from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions in the media panel.