NostalGeek

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player

E3 2009: Microsoft Press Conference

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Today at 10:30am PST E3 officially launched with the Microsoft press conference. It feature several announcements, some big and some small, some exciting, some yawn-inducing. But overall I think it was a good conference.

Mantra: Showing Not Telling.

NB: Keep in my mind that I will add/update links as HD videos pop up on the web.

The big announcement of the conference was Project Natal. The long speculated camera with movement recognition. It turns out it will also feature facial and voice recognition.
They really pushed it with appearances from Steven Spielberg and Peter Molyneux but it was a mixed bag.

The lame painting demo, though somewhat fun gave me the same feeling as Wii Music last year. Completely gimmicky and useless. Not precise enough to be used in games. The Ricochet demo, likewise, was fun in the sense that the girl who did the demo after 5 minutes seemed ready to jump into the shower. So what of hour long sessions…..

The whole Lionhead demo is also bittersweet. On the one hand the demo itself is sad! Following on the whole new stuff for Live, now you don’t need to press a button with Natal voice recognition, you don’t need to see your friends because you have Facebook and Twitter everywhere and with Milo you don’t even need a friend! Sad really.
But on the other hand if you look past the presentation itself. What it offers in terms of new technology, when harnessed, could be amazing in games. Imaging being in Resident Evil 5 and instead of having to go through ammo inventory management hell, you would just say “give my shotgun ammo” and ..voila! Truly an amazing potential that has yet to be developed.
It is after all still a ‘project’ so let us give them the benefit of the doubt.

In other none-straight-game-related stuff, Microsoft announced new partnerships:

  • Last.fm which will allow access to the famous music site. In addition people with gold subscriptions will have access to it all for free. This feels like this year’s Netflix deal.
  • Facebook. This a a pretty big thing if it’s exclusive but all in all it allows you to do what you already do on your PC and Blackberry from your 360. YAY lazy.
  • Twitter. Same as Facebook, nothing to add.
  • Sky TV in the UK which will allow you to watch live TV.
  • All videos will now be available instantly in 1080p. Nice but I’ll believe it when I see it.

The announcements most of the people who may read my blog (however few) are interested in are the games. On that front I thought Microsoft did pretty well so let’s dive in.

  • The Beatles Rock Band. Paul, Ringo and Yoko! Pretty big PR. Check out the amazing game intro. All You Need Is Love is a 360 exclusive and I am so getting this game! I don’t own it yet and the Beatles guitars look awesome. Out 09-09-09!
  • Modern Warfare 2. They showed the long trailer that came out last week but they also had a gameplay demo in the snow with blizzard weather and snowmobile that was awesome!
  • Final Fantasy XIII. It was basically the Japanese demo of the English version with English voices. I’m still praying for VO in the game though. They unveiled Odin which was cool. It’s set to release in Spring 2010.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction. They showed a very nice demo and trailer. The game looks darker and features some new stuff like an EMP grenade and ‘Mark and Execute’ which allows you to sort of set a sequence and get it going for a fast kill.
  • Left 4 Dead 2. Featured a great trailer and a release date for October of this year.
  • Halo 3: ODST. Another sweet trailer, Bukcle up and prepare to drop! Some gameplay footage in New Mombasa as the Rookie. The game will have a flashback systema nd you will play several ODSTs to build up the plot.
  • Halo: Reach. Unveiling of the game. Set around the time of the novel ‘Fall of Reach’ which was a prequel to the game. No surprise another nice trailer. Set to release in 2010 and there will be a beta access with ODST.
  • Alan Wake. At last!!!! A very nice footage of the game. Walking around at night with a tryst flashlight. It reminded my a lot of Alone in the Dark on the DC. You seem to be facing ghost which are neutralized with a sort of EMP weapon. The game is coming out Spring 2010.
  • Forza Motorsport 3. A short trailer and a live demo showing the different views with the head vision going left and right. A new very deep costumization and video editing system for Live. Release date set for October.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising. and HERE. WE. GO. After Devil May Cry and Final Fantasy Sony lost the Metal Gear exclusive. Aside from this the whole thign was fairly poor. Same trailer we’ve been teased with for weeks (and the countdown hadn’t even reached zero!). Even though it’s called Metal Gear SOLID it Kojima made a point to say it doesn’t feature Solid Snake but Raiden as we knew.
  • Shadow Complex. New Epic Game for XBLA. was unveiled through massive sound problem so we didn’t hear a bunch of stuff. The animation looks a lot like Bionic Commando Rearmed and the map is reminiscent of Metroid/Castlevania.
  • Crackdown 2. Featured a nice trailer but that’s about it.
  • Brutal Legend. Tim Schaeffer detailed some of the voice work and characters in the game with a  fun trailer. Included are Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead’s Lemmy Killmeister, Lita Ford and more. Still coming out Rocktober!
  • Tony Hawk Ride. unveiled the final design for the skate peripheral as well as a basic trailer. nothing thrilling.
  • Joy Ride. A sort of Mario Kart with your Avatars in the cars. But it’s free so there’s really nothing to complain about. Could be fun.

June 1, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lazy Fast Date Update.

YAY!

  • BioShock 2 is announced for PS3, 360 and PC on November 3 (October 30 in Europe)
  • Assassin’s Creed II announced for Q3 2009
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction announced for Q3 2009
  • I Am Alive announced for Q4 2009

NAY!

  • Mafia II is delayed to the first half of 2010
  • Red Dead Redemption is delayed to the fist half of 2010
  • Beyond Good & Evil 2 is…not even announced!!

May 27, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thursday July 24, 2008

Namco Tries to Reassure About Hellgate: London

In the past weeks Flagship Studios has had its share of issues. Even though several employees have been laid off, the studio hasn’t called it quits just yet. While the beta servers for Mythos have been closed,and Hellgate: London is not accepting new subscriptions (all current subscribers play for free), Namco Bandai tried to be reassuring saying that servers were up and that if anything were to happen players would be warned in advance.
Warning which seems to be imminent.

Crytek Buys Black Sea Studios

The German studio announced today that it acquired Black Sea Studios officially becoming Crytek Black Sea. The terms were not disclosed but the Bulgarian studio based in Sofia is currently working on the promising Worldshift and we’ll keep doing so as planned.

DC to Do Mirror’s Edge Comic

Electronic Arts signed today with DC Comics in order to produce a six-issue comic that will focus on Faith, the protagonist of the eagerly awaited game. The project will feature Rhianna Pratchett (Heavenly Sword, Overlord) as the writer and Matthew Dow Smith (Supernatural: Origins) as the artist.
The first issue is to be revealed at Comic-Con.

Sam Fisher the Slug

Ubisoft announced today that Splinter Cell: Conviction, the oft-delayed game, was….well, delayed again. It is now set o come out during fiscal year 2009-2010 which runs from April to March.

July 24, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment