This is 3 articles in one. They are on the Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo press conferences. The last one is about the games of E3 and that is in its own post.
It's Not Copying If You're Making It Better
A Breakdown of Microsoft's E3 Press Conference
by Adam Gaetan aka RadicalPersona
No time was wasted in the Microsoft press conference as the new Call of Duty: Black Ops trailer was shown to open the show. The game looks just as good, perhaps even better than Modern Warfare 2, and the ability to fly a helicopter looks pretty awesome! Along with Black Ops, Microsoft also announced that for the next 3 years, all Call of Duty content will be available on the 360 before every other console.
And from one blockbuster to another, Hideo Kojima came out to of course mention details about Metal Gear Solid: Rising. I am honestly not a Metal Gear Solid fan, but from what I saw in the trailer, I may just be a MGS fan after Rising. It has a hack-n-slash feel to it, but I know there will be stealth elements integrated into it, so right now it has my attention.
And again, one more blockbuster, Gears of War 3. I'm not a Gears fan either, and I admit it looks good, but I never got into the first two, so I'm not impressed much by the newest entry into the series. However, the new addition of four-player co-op story mode looks pretty cool.
I thought the blockbusters were done, but then Peter Molyneux came out and now my friends, I was out of breath. I can't take it anymore and now I get to see Fable 3?! For those of you that do not know, in Fable 3 you will be able to rule all of Albion. However, the trailer did not show anything new or interesting, so Peter was just screwing with us.
Microsoft then announced a partnership with a developer known for pushing the boundaries of graphics in the industry, Crytek, also trailering a game called Kingdoms. Nothing really surfaced though, so who knows what it'll be like.
And then when you thought you escaped hearing the name...HALO came out, surprise! Of course they had to show some HALO: Reach footage. The game looks very much the same to me, with a nifty grenade launcher though that shoots bouncing grenades. There's no doubt in my mind that people will be going nuts over this title when it’s released.
Then they finally revealed Project Natal, which has now been renamed Kinect. It looks very much like the photos we've seen, containing a 3D depth sensor, an RGB camera, a built-in multi-array microphone, and the ability to tilt by its own motor. The first cool thing is how you sign in with the Kinect. The guy standing there just waved, and it recognized him. Selecting things is also simple by just talking to the mic. Say Zune, you open Zune. Pretty cool! They then showed Video Kinect, or the Xbox's video chat. The cooler thing is that you can select videos and watch it with the person you are chatting to (movies, sports, news, etc.).
Then another partnership. Microsoft is partnering with ESPN to provide sports updates and live/on-demand sports events. Whoa! Want to watch that college football game? You can on your Xbox. And not only can you watch the game, but you can access game scores and highlights while watching that same game.
Now a couple looks at Kinect games that would be coming out on its launch. The first is Kinectimals, a game where kids can play with exotic animals, in this case at E3, a baby tiger. Kinect recognizes voice commands such as play dead and come here, and through the motion sensors, you can pet the baby tiger and it will react to you. Second is Kinect Sports, basically Kinect's Wii Sports featuring soccer, bowling, track and field, table tennis, boxing and volleyball. Third is Kinect Joy Ride, a kart racing game like Mario Kart Wii but without the steering wheel. Fourth is Kinect Adventures, an obstacle course game where you're dodging objects and reaching in certain angles and directions to collect pins for medals. Fifth is Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, a Kinect version of Wii Fit, but completely about your entire body, not just what's touching the balance board. Finally, there's Dance Central from Harmonix, a game that puts moves together like it was choreographed and you have to perform them correctly with Kinect. All seem very cool, but who knows how well it will truly respond at launch.
They then teased a Star Wars game that would use Kinect, which of course means wielding your own lightsaber. The footage shows the ability to deflect lasers, push objects and of course, the ever classic force push. Looks very cool!
They also teased a Kinect version of Forza Motorsport, which is very cool and looks just as good as Forza 3 does, Kinect is not killing the graphical possibilities. The coolest part is you can select a car and just walk around it like you would at a car show. You can also get in the car and check out all the gadgets that new Ferrari has that you will never be able to sit inside and see.
Finally they closed the show by revealing the Xbox Slim, a smaller, slicker Xbox with a 250GB hard drive, built in Wi-Fi, and will be the same price as a normal 360. Here's the best part...it's out next week!
Seems like Kinect is copying a lot of Wii stuff. But from the looks of things, Kinect isn't copying the Wii's past attempts...it's going to make it so much better.
Blast From The Past!
A Breakdown of Sony's E3 Press Conference
by Adam Gaetan aka RadicalPersona
Sony started off with where I expected them to, the topic that everyone else is striving to be the best at: 3D gaming. They announced that 20 games would be available immediately for download that can be played in 3D, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift and Wipeout HD to name a couple. The biggest 3D game for Sony at E3 came immediately as well. Killzone 3 looks simply...real. I have never seen sharper graphics, even Crysis has competition with Killzone 3. The battles were intense and they showed a jetpack-like device to make you fly a little over areas. The game looks very intriguing and will be out in February of next year. They also announced that several other games will be in 3D such as the new Motorstorm, Mortal Kombat and Gran Turismo 5 to name a few.
Now onto one copying topic to another, Sony went onto the PlayStation Move (aka the counter to the Wiimote). After a long speech about what it "can do", they began to reveal games that will use the PlayStation Move.
The first game is called Sorcery, a basic 3rd-person shooter but with magic spells. Looked very nice, but is really a game that to me doesn't feel like it's any different from something that could just have been on the Wii earlier. Though it is pretty neat to make a line of fire and then throw a whirlwind at it to make a firestorm. Sorcery will be released in the spring of next year.
They next advertised the new Tiger Woods. I first thought "oh, it's the Wii version on the PS3" but I was very wrong. There is no preset animation and it just calibrates your power and angle, the swing with the PlayStation Move is completely just like your swing. It's even more authentic than the Wii version and will be available as a downloadable update once the Move comes out.
A new game then came up that will feature many Sony platform legends. Heroes on the Move will feature such characters as Ratchet, Jak, Sly Cooper, Bentley, Clank and Daxter are all together in one big game, again using the PlayStation move. It looks like a lot of fun, as I was a huge Sly Cooper fan, and played the odd Ratchet game.
Then Kevin Butler came along, and now I began to smile. Come on, who hasn't laughed at one of the PlayStation commercials he appears in as the "Sony Representative".
But unfortunately, we had to be brought back down to Earth. They finally announced that the PlayStation Move will be available on September 19th in North America and the Europeans will be lucky, getting it four days earlier. They also announced a set of games, new and old that will get the Move's functionality including a new Time Crisis, Ruse, Heavy Rain and RE5: Gold Edition, the last two getting software updates to allow Move functionality.
They then moved off the PS3 and onto the PSP. As Kevin Butler campaigned the PS3, he has a colleague on the PSP. A new kid's on the block, a young, hip, African-American teen named Marcus Rivers who brings my "personal favorite" gangsta attitude towards everything. As much as I hate that voice, he's actually very funny and clashes with Kevin Butler or "K.B." to him, very well.
Game wise, they announced a number of things. A game called InviZimals uses a camera on the PSP that gives you a virtual reality experience. But who cares?! There's a new God of War game! God of War: Ghosts of Sparta proves that they are not willing to let this series go away with another game that will likely be the exact same as the first four games. Ugh...
Other games advertised include ModNation Racers, Ace Combat: Joint Assault, Hot Shots Tennis, Patapon 3, Fat Princess, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, The 3rd Birthday, Persona 3 and Ys: The Oath of Felghana.
After a quick talk about the PlayStation Network, they segued into Little Big Planet 2. Basically, they're adding new elements to create games with, such as NPCs, music composition and much more. That much more is the fact that it's not just platforms you can create. You could create racers, real-time strategies, fighters, anything you can think of.
Then a couple EA representatives were brought onto the stage and advertised a few games, Medal of Honor and Dead Space 2, showing how the PS3 was getting limited editions and the other consoles would not be.
But hearts all stopped at the biggest guest of the conference...GLA-DOS. Yep, that's right, forget Half-Life 2: Episode Three, we're still gonna wait for that, cause they were too busy working on Portal 2. GLA-DOS has rebuilt herself and the journey will begin again at Aperture Science...though from what I saw, it is still in ruins so there are vines and branches sticking around the area.
And now came my moment of the show, a brief look at Square Enix's second shot at a Final Fantasy MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV. Though looking better graphically, there was no gameplay footage, so I've got to assume and hope that it won't be as terrible as the first attempt was.
After mentioning Mafia 2 and another Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood trailer, a look at Gran Turismo 5 finally came. One of the most stunning games I've ever seen, I really can't say much more, we all know it will be the best racing game to date and finally has a release date, November 2nd. Infamous 2 was also advertised, showing that not only will you have electrical powers, you will apparently have frost powers now as well. And then one final surprise, Twisted Metal will make its return onto the PS3 next year.
This year, Sony definitely focused on bringing back games and making them better in order to bring more and more fans to their consoles. Who knows, maybe even in time, the PlayStation Move will be better than the Wii MotionPlus. Only time will tell.
Say No To The Wii, Yes To 3D
A Breakdown of Nintendo's E3 Press Conference
by Adam Gaetan aka RadicalPersona
Cutting right to the chase, Nintendo went straight to the new Zelda game, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. With the new Zelda, Nintendo is aiming to make the game much more about using weapons and items like you actually would, and less about analog stick/d-pad movement. However, the controls looked very sloppy or Shigeru Miyamoto is the worst Zelda player of all-time. It seemed like the controls would not pick up until a half a second after you do the action required and it looked like the Wiimote even with the MotionPlus was not picking up directional slashes as easily. They were claiming there was serious interference with the Wii's WiFi, but to me that's really no excuse for clunky controls, especially from a company who advertises the best motion-sensor controls in the gaming industry. There were a few interesting new items, such as a whip and a beetle that you can throw into the air to scout the field and grab hard-to-reach items. The game session ended with the announcement that while there's no official release date, it will not be until next year.
Then we had a section of sports games, first announcing a Wii-exclusive version of a brand new NBA Jam. Then a Mario sports game was revealed called Mario Sports Mix, featuring volleyball, hockey, dodgeball and basketball in the usual Mario arcade-sports style that we've known with Mario Tennis, Mario Golf and many more. Keeping with the Mario tradition, a new Mario Party was released...oh wait! They exchanged all the Mario characters, replaced them with your Mii characters and are now calling it Wii Party. Real original, Nintendo...
Then a bunch of quick titles were shot out, Just Dance 2 for the Wii, Golden Sun returns with Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the DS which looks very impressive for the returning title of one of the best handheld RPG series. And of course the most awaited remake is going to be on the worst possible console...Goldeneye is getting a Wii-remake. No Pierce Brosnan, it's gonna be Daniel Craig's version of Bond and the story is being adjusted to suit his version of Bond as well. Oh! But the multiplayer's gonna be there again! Doesn't matter if you ruin it on the Wii! Goldeneye is meant to be an analog controller game like it was on the Nintendo 64.
They also showed a little of the very dark-looking Epic Mickey game, where Mickey has the unique ability that will allow you to erase and/or restore parts of the levels to make that place completely unique to you. With another Nintendo cliché with the Mario games having you switch between 3D and 2D levels, the game looks interesting, but doesn't really do anything new other than show Mickey in a whole new light.
Finally, after 7 long years, Kirby gets his first game back. Kirby: Epic Yarn is a unique Kirby game that you guessed it, has Kirby looking like an outline of himself made of yarn. The game's art style is very cool and unique, looking almost like as if you were playing on top of a massive quilt. The game was announced to be released this fall.
Another set of quickies were announced. The Japan-crazed Dragon Quest IX for the DS will be released on July 11th, featuring a deep multiplayer that can have you quest with up to 3 friends. Also, Metroid: Other M was announced for the end of August, literally the end of August 31st. The new Metroid looks phenomenal, mixing 3rd-person action with 1st-person action like the older Metroid Prime games. Finally, the next Donkey Kong Country was also announced and in total surprise to me, it's back to its 2D sidescrolling roots!
Finally, to close off their press conference, Nintendo showed off the long-awaited Nintendo 3DS. The most important thing about the 3DS is the claim that you will not need glasses to enjoy it, which is a landmark in 3D entertainment (if it actually does what advertised). You will be able to use a slider to either maximize the 3D effect or completely turn it off. The touch screen is still around of course, but the 3D system will not work with it, so only the top screen will be 3D- rendered. They've also added a slide pad (like a laptop mouse pad), motion sensors and a camera with two lenses that will actually allow you to take images and render them in 3D. Also, it is possible that you will be able to see 3D movies on the Nintendo 3DS, again without the stupid glasses.
Also in the 3DS section, they revealed what Project Sora was actually meant to be. Kid Icarus will return onto the gaming scene in a new game on the 3DS which looks utterly amazing for a handheld, it can compete with PlayStation 2 graphics. Though unfortunately, Kid Icarus: Uprising has not been given a release date. Also announced, the communication system on the 3DS will be improved whether by microphone or over the Internet.
I thought they were closing with the 3DS, but I was wrong. Another quick set of games. The 3DS will have its own version of Nintendogs+cats, but they then showed a list of new third-party games for the 3DS. DJ Hero 3D, Professor Layton, Kingdom Hearts, Saints Row, Madden and FIFA, Dynasty Warriors (don't quote me on this one, the logo on the screen was not 100% clear, but I interpreted it as such), Resident Evil, Batman, Assassin's Creed, Ridge Racer, and finally a Metal Gear Solid game on the 3DS.
Thus ends the Nintendo press conference.