E3 09 Roundup

Eee, I've been committing to a few too many things lately, so this won't be as elaborate as I had planned.

Aside from the conferences I watched and summarized, there were other behind doors and non-filmed conferences from the likes of Konami, Capcom, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Square-Enix. This is where things like the next console Zelda title were hinted at. Many trailers were premiered this week, a lot of game play was showcased, and many things received greater explanation. So let's take a look at some of the incredible things that came out of E3 this year. You can also see many of these on the console of your choice.

Many of the major announcements (like God of War 3 and Assassin's Creed) I already highlighted in my previous blogs, so this time I'll be looking at everything else. There are plenty I'm ignoring, but I'm trying to point out the big titles (and will certainly be passing over games like Super Star Petz or whatever).

Here's a quick reference to my other E3 posts:

Spore Hero for the Wii. An action adventure game with the full creature creator from the PC game to use to make your hero.

Tekken 6. I shouldn't have to say anything else. If you don't already know what that is, then you probably aren't interested.

Arcania. A new take at the Gothic series. PC, 360, PS3.

Mafia 2. PC, 360, PS3

Demon's Souls
A gorgeous looking PS3 RPG from SCEA and Atlus, that will hopefully play as well as it looks.

A Boy and His Blob
- a new look at a classic game.

Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time for the PS3

White Knight Chronicles - PS3 RPG from SCE; might be worth getting a PS3 for.

Nostalgia - a great looking RPG for the DS from Tecmo

Rogue Warrior - PC, PS3, 360; Bethesda game based on the books by Richard Marcinko.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade
- Nintendo Wii, very stylized JRPG.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom - Wii

Magna Carta II - from Atlus for the 360

Alpha Protocol
- think Mass Effect but with spies instead of aliens

Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny for the PSP, now with Kratos fighting action!

Warriors Orochi 2
for the PSP

Bayonetta - sexy female gun slinging action

The Agency - MMO espionage for the PS3

Saw - You know, of intense horror torture is your thing

Batman: Arkham Asylum - one of the most anticipated games of its genre, complete with Mark Hamill Joker

Overlord II: the first was a lot of fun, but very clunky. I played the demo last night and while they certainly fixed some things (they added a much needed mini-map), there are still some problems with the controls. Also I got stuck on a DEMO, which is not a good sign. In this one you topple the Roman Empire and club baby seals to death.

Astro Boy - DS, Wii, PS3, PSP

Quantum - action adventure game from Tecmo

Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier

Fat Princess - Never has there been so much controversy over a "save the princess" game; rescue your overly large beloved princess and capture your enemy's.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - PS3 and 360, with help from Hideo Kojima.

DC Universe Online - the other highly anticipated title of its genre.

Ace Attorney Edgeworth - Aaaah I can't wait! I hope it's out in time for my birthday, or at least Christmas.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
- all those boobs are just for the PS3

Heavy Rain - mystery thriller for the PS3

Alright I think that about does it. Most of the rest I've already talked about in my conference posts. Hopefully with everything you've found plenty of games to look forward to! I know I have!


E3 2009 - Sony

Sony now. I have to be honest here and say I don’t give a crap what Sony’s showing. I don’t have a PS3 or a PSP, and have no near or future intentions of getting either. The only thing I have an interest in is Team ICO’s next title, which might be enough to make me want to get a PS3, but it won’t be out for a while anyway. I don’t even care about God of War 3; I enjoyed the first 2, but I’m kind of tired of it personally.

And here it goes. Montage video to start with. Overlord, God of War, Little Big Planet, Ratchet and Clank, Singstar, FFXIII, Batman, Brutal Legend, Ghost Busters, Saw.

Please welcome Jack Tretton, CEO. “Wow. Thank God you guys showed up.” He’s joking about the leaks. Saying they won’t be outdone by anybody with press leaks. 364 games coming out on PS platforms this year. That is a BIG screen. Apparently it’s not worth watching anything unless it’s shown that big. He’s going over figures and history. 30% of total sales in 2008 were from Sony. Modern Warfare 2, FFXIII, Ratchet and Clank, Batman Arkham, Heavy Rain, Rock Band Beatles. But at least 3 of those will also be on the 360 Jack.

Talking about the PS2 now and how it’s still kicking ass 9 years later. Mine is still kicking, surprisingly. PS2 will get 100 new titles this year. “Today’s PS2 owners are ultimately tomorrow’s PS3 owners.” More facts and figures. More figures regarding PSN.

What consumers really care about – great games. Haha he says some of you have bags under yours eyes because you’re playing Infamous. It’s one of the more than 35 exclusive PS3 titles for this year.

Naughty Dog and Uncharted Drake’s Fortune. Co-Pres of ND is coming out for Among Thieves. Multi-player beta starts tonight. Demo – nice graphics. He’s scaling a building. Big sweeping view of the gorgeous environment. Showing off different player abilities. He’s shimmying across a wooden beam and a helicopter shows up and starts shooting at them. Big shoot out, and an explosion. It’s a really good looking game, fast paced, pretty intense.

Jack is back. Says “Only on Playstation” means not only exclusive, but because it’s only possible to make on Playstation. He’s talking about MAG now. They talked about this last year. It’s a huge massively multiplayer FPS game. 256 players fight each other on a single map. They’re pulling a bunch of people to show off a full 256 person battle live. Ground vehicles, air strikes, ground assaults. Squads are assigned objectives. A LOT of stuff is going on. It looks like there’s a bit of tactical strategy type stuff going on as well. It’s great that you can play with so many people, this massive battle, but the game itself (graphics, gameplay, etc) isn’t blowing me away or anything (it’s not bad, it’s just not OMG amazing).

Jack is back to talk about the PSP. It’s for gamers looking for a richer, deeper portable experience he says (a shot at Nintendo). Dissidia Final Fantasy on Aug 25, Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines in November, and a Rock Band title. Tween girls again. Hannah Montana with a Lilac PSP. People cheered, haha.

Kaz Hirai, CEO Sony computer entertainment. He’s talking about making the PSP better. I’m assuming this a lead up to the PSP GO, which was leaked last week. Wow it’s tiny; he pulled it out of his pocket. LOL “We call it the worst kept secret of E3.” It will not replace the PSP 3000 or the UMD. So they will still support the UMD format. PSP Go, by the way, is digital only. 50% smaller and 40% lighter than the original PSP. 16 gigs of internal flash memory (pretty good). The controls slide out, has Bluetooth tech and an M2 memory port. Media Go, used to access the Playstation Store. Sense Me – analyzes your music library to create a play list based on the mood you select. That’s neat. PSP toolkit price is being lowered by 80% to help developers. All future titles will be released on UMD and digital. So you can have either and still play all games. Available for $249 on October 1st.

He’s talking about a video delivery service. Now you can use it with the PSP. More content being added to PS store. He’s naming off a bunch of networks that will add content (Starz, G4, Showtime, Manga, E).

Kazunouri Yamauchi for Polyphony Digital. Introducing Gran Turismo for PSP. Full scale Gran Turismo (60 frames per second). 800 cars, 35 tracks with 60 layouts. Everyone’s got a new racing game this year I guess. Single player mode and mission challenge mode. Emphasizing that this is a full game, not shrunken down. 4-player racing. Trading and sharing of cars with other players. Video of the game in action. Great graphics. October 1.

Kaz again. Quality and authenticity. It’s a Metal Gear announcement. So here’s Hideo Kojima. Poor guy; will they ever let him make anything else? Does he want to? Oh, his translator is kind of cute. Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker for PSP. 10 years after MGS3 in the 1970s. Kojima is writing and producing and the MGS4 team is working on it. “It’s not a spin off or a side story.” Trailer. Takes place in Latin America (Costa Rica specifically). Has all the elements of a MGS game. “The legendary ‘missing link’ in the Metal Gear Saga,” the trailer says. “Monstrous foes incapable of feeling pain.” Uh, there are 4 Snakes here (clones?). LOL @ cardboard box; two Snakes hide under it and then run off.

Jack is back again. Resident Evil again, for the PSP. Little Big Planet, Socom, Monster Hunter, Motorstorm, Hannah Montana and Harry Potter, all on the PSP. Video of PSP titles. LBP, Ratchet and Clank, FF Dissidia, MGS, Soul Calibur, Tiger Woods, Persona (!!!!), Warriors Orochi, Tennis, Fat Princess, Rock Band, Petz.

Jack is back to talk about the PSN. Facts and figures. 51 PS1 classics are being added, starting today with FFVII. Talking about Home now. Talking about the poor saps who bought millions of virtual items.

PS3 montage now. Uncharted, Infamous, Madden, FF XIII, Batman AA, Brutal Legend, Ghostbusters, White Knight, Ninja Gaiden, Buzz, Ice Age, Tekken, Tiger Woods, something with a hamster, Overlord, Fat Princess, Singstar, DCU Online, LBP, Saboteur, Bioshock 2, Ratchet and Clank, God of War 3.

Jack is back, talking about Rockstar. Agent, PS3 exclusive. It’s an espionage game, set in the 70s.

Assassin’s Creed 2. Sebastian and Patrice from Ubi to show the game. Demo! Ubi showed a glorious cinematic, this is gameplay. Says it picks up right where the first left off. Beautiful. This guy isn’t an assassin at first, but becomes one, working with people like Leonardo Da Vinci; Ezio is using the flying machine to sail across Venice. Wow look at him go. Action slips right into a scene perfectly. Ooooo I can’t WAIT for this. Ezio has new techniques, like jumping from a tower and stabbing a guy, and double stabbing two guys next to each other. Now he stabs a guy while hiding in the hay. 30 different weapons in the game, 6 additional if you played Bloodlines on the PSP and connect it to the PS3. Wooooow. He has smoke bombs now. And he can SWIM. Oh wowowowowow. AC2, this holiday (Bloodlines too). Too bad I’ll be getting it on the 360, Sony. But thanks for getting me excited.

Jack is back to introduce Square-Enix. Here’s a video for FFXIII. Beautiful. Cinematics, in game scenes and gameplay, all look amazing. Boy Sony it trumping MS with all the extra footage they’re showing. Now he’s showing FF….WHAT? 14?????
Is he serious? Oh…no he’s not. That is not a nice joke. It looks really good. It’s NOT a joke. FFXIV Online. 2010, only on the PS3. I haven’t heard of this before. “So there’s one that didn’t leak out, huh?” I didn’t even know they were working on that. It’s not clear what it is; another MMO? Have to look it up later. It's just a cinematic, but it seems to be a new MMO. Not sure why they're making another one and not just adding to the one they already have. And I wish they'd stop putting them in the numerical series; they should be separate, like the Crystal Chronicles and Tactics games.

Jack is talking about motion control now. It’s a new controller. He’s assuring everyone it’s just a prototype (it’s kind of tacky). Live tech demo. 1:1 tracking. It’s basically a Wii mote for the PS3. It looks like it’s using the camera to track motion. The eye cam or whatever it’s called. So it tracks your movement as well as the object you’re holding in your hand. VERY early stage of development. Now he’s using it as a pencil to write on a piece of paper within the game. They’re just showing off various uses of the tool. As weapons, paintbrushes, with strategy games, and character control (he’s using two controllers, one as a sword one as a shield). It’s very sensitive and precise. Talking about this coming out by spring 2010. Would have been more impressive if MS and Nintendo hadn’t already shown of theirs (and theirs was in more advanced stages as well).

Jack is back to talk about LBP. And introduces Mod Nation Racers. “Play, create, share.” It’s a cutesy car racing game. You can create racers and race tracks. Well he just drove through a tree trunk, so it doesn’t seem super realistic. Will appeal to people who enjoy stuff like LBP more than people who like racing games. Good track creation tools, quick and simple, you can even change the weather. You can upload your tracks online.

Jack is back for a sneak peak at another title from TEAM ICO! Finally (though this was leaked, too). The Last Guardian. In Ico you climbed around a bunch of ruins with a girl. In Shadow of the Colossus you took down gigantic bosses. A big monster is chasing a kid through a hall in some ruins, and the kid drops off the ledge. The monster picks him up; it’s his friend. The boy climbs up onto its head and looks out over a ruined landscape. Absolutely beautiful. It’s this HUGE pet dog/bird looking thing (like a giant griffon almost), and it’s carrying him around everywhere, helping him up on ledges, swimming with him under water. Now THAT is worth buying a PS3 for.

Gran Turismo 5
teaser. Cars racing. Whatever. Still giddy over Last Guardian.

Here’s another franchise. This is likely GOW3. Yup. Design director is going to do a live demo. Kratos takes down some nasties in classic Kratos style. I assume if you liked the others you’ll like this one as it’s more of he same. Kratos is using harpies to fly across large gaps. A huge Titan approaches in the distance. Kratos glides across a smaller gap with some dark wings that come out of his back, then kills some stuff. And some more stuff. The Titan is still fighting its own battle in the background. Button combos for special attacks are back. I guess this is Apollo flying around on a flaming chariot, fighting the Titan. A big nasty chimera sneaks up on Kratos, and Kratos precedes to take him out. LOTS of blood. He rips the things horns off and stabs it in the head with them. March 2010.

Good spot to end things. Jack is back. Again with the “not just exclusive to the PS3 but only possible on the PS3.” “Other companies imagine the future of gaming, we show you the future of gaming.” Sony is always so snarky. And he wraps it up.

Come back later this week for a posting of various trailers and games that weren't announced during the big conferences.

E3 2009 - Nintendo

Nintendo is first this morning. Finding it hard to get excited. Last year they were so disappointing. I don’t really know what they’ll have this time. There’s supposed to be a core announcement (ie: a Mario or Zelda…and hopefully not just the new Zelda DS that’s already been announced – Spirit Tracks).

It was stormy all morning, but it’s calmed down now. If it gets nasty again later, I can just unplug the laptop and keep going.

Watching some G4 blabber.

Is the Nintendo DS(i) going to remain the dominant handheld? What’s going to beat it, the iPhone? Hahahaha. I think Nintendo is safe. iPhone may have good games, but it’s not a gaming platform.

Silent Hill 1 is getting redone for the Wii (also PS2 and PSP). Developer assures that it won’t just be a port or something, but will be a different game.

“Stop announcing stuff for soccer moms and 5-year-olds” G4 says. No kidding.

They’re running some trivia up on the screen, which you can see over at Kotaku. Some are really easy, some are a little hard.

And here it goes. Here’s Cammie, all in white (she was in black last year, yay fashion). She’s talking about how big video games are (as big as home video, etc). Now she’s mentioning that gamers aren’t the only players anymore, but your uncle or some random lady play games too now. Leap forward in game control and surprises in places you thought there wouldn’t be any left.

Talking about the biggest game icon now, sounds like Mario. Yup. Video showing the history of Mario…sort of. Really short. Moving Mario into the 4th dimension is the next surprise. New Super Mario Bros for Wii.

Treehouse Group guy mentions it’s not just more levels, etc, but more players. Four people are playing Super Mario. You can run around on your own or do cooperative actions (like carrying each other to reach higher places). It’s classic Mario, just with co-op play. Some new items, like a propeller suit. If the lead player gets too far ahead, everyone else…falls off the screen? Not clear if that’s a “death” or something. Cammie didn’t do so good: “This is why I make my living selling games not playing them.” Holiday 2009.

She says even Mario isn’t big enough to attract all consumers. Talking about Wii Balance Board/Wii Fit. Wants to make Wii fit easier to use – Wii Fit Plus. Helps develop a work out routine (sounds like what Ubi and EA were talking about yesterday with their programs) with a personal trainer. Adds some new activities. Choose programs to target specific body parts (like Ubi’s), and keeps track of calories (like EA’s). There’re also some fun games to play too. So Ubi and EA answered with their products, and Nintendo is basically countering with similar programs. Fall 2009.

Here’s Reggie Fils-Aime (Pres Nintendo of America). He’s talking about mainstream appeal just like Cammie was. Interface is the primary component. OK he’s talking about motion plus. Makes a game feel and play more real, not just look more real. Getting gamers off the couch (which the regular Wii mote didn’t really do). Fancy video that isn’t really showing anything. Ping pong player, basketball player, and a swordsman are waving a Wii mote around like a paddle/ball/sword; now an archer, golfer. Basically it’s showing that it’s like you’re doing the real thing. Microsoft’s Natal, if it works, will take this a huge step further.

Bill Trinen is back to demo with Wii Sports Resort (déjà vu, they pitched this last year). A Mii is skydiving and he’s moving him in the air with the ‘mote. A big group of Miis is falling in formation, and the parachutes open and you land in the Resort. Now he’s showing archery. It’s already loads better than Wii Play, which was the last game packed with a remote. Sports Resort will come with the Motion Plus add on. He’s using the ‘chuck as the bow string and the ‘mote is the bow in your hand. He’s bringing Reggie out to play some basketball with him. Bill “You shoot the ball at the hoop; you now that this is, right?” Reggie, sarcastically: “Yes, I do.” They’re being a little snarky about each others abilities. Shooting 3 pointers. You raise the remote and shoot like you would a real basketball.

Reggie is talking about Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, which will use motion plus (they will be packaged together). So will Grand Slam Tennis (also from EA like PGA) and Sega’s Virtua Tennis. “This new game in physical reality will have you muttering the same bad words you do in real life.” Red Steel 2 will be playable ONLY with motion plus (there ya go, have to have it to play). More 3rd party games were sold for DS and Wii than other platforms (really?).

Talking about RPGs, the story goes on inside your head. It’s a Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles game. The Crystal Bearers. Looks good. Also coming to the DS – oh this is the Kingdom Hearts game. This I WANT. Good looking trailer with Utada singing Passion.

“Bowser really does suck. And I mean that in a good way.” LOL Reggie. It’s called Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story; it’s for the DS. This fall.

A legendary RPG name is on its way back to portables. GOLDEN SUN DS! AWESOME. It looks great. 2010. Have to get that.

Cammie is back to talk about the DS and innovation. She’s talking about James Patterson (a mystery writer). Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion – an interactive novel for the DS. I don’t read a lot of modern novels, and I don’t read any mystery, so I don’t know what this will be. But it looks OK.

New intellectual property from Ubisoft – Cop: The Recruit. About an undercover New York cop named Dan. He used to be a street racer, but got arrested, so now he works for the force. Racing and shooting.

*sigh* Girly fashion game for tweens and women in their 20s. Style Savvy for the DS. It’s the Japanese game Girls Mode.

Nintendo DS = diversity, Cammie says. “Something for everyone.” She’s talking specifically about the DSi now. Video of mostly a bunch of girls and a couple guys talking about the DSi. Personalization is the difference between the DS Lite and DSi. People don’t just consume, they create and share. Flip Notes Studio, an animation program, is coming this summer. Mario vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again will be the first to let players design levels from the ground up. Available only as a download June 8th. Wario Ware DIY lets people design their own games from scratch. Cammie is better when she’s bubbly and smiley; she’s kind of subdued today. This summer you can upload DSi pictures onto Facebook. “No Nintendo DS creation is more anticipated than….Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks.” She didn’t give a release date for that.

Video “Everyone’s Game.” Another montage of random stuff. And here’s Satoru Iwata (global Pres.).

Aw isn’t he adorable with his heavy accent (he is). Talking about globalization and audience expansion (which he says people think is falling). Talking about targeting “Maybe” players to get new players. 149 people in US, Japan, Europe who “might” play video games. For every 2 people playing there’s 1 more waiting to play, he says. Those who never played games in the past will never play games in the future, he says. He says that people assume games are too complicated (I think that’s what he meant). But if they lower the bar they won’t satisfy skilled players. There’s a big gap between the experienced and the novices. Wants to use New Super Mario Bros, Wii Fii and Sports Resort to help bridge the gap; they’re “everyone’s game.” But he says this might not be entirely convincing. So he has one potential answer. Wii Vitality Sensor.

It’s like a pulse taker you put on your finger. …. So, this is for…what? It goes hand in hand with Wii Fit, I guess. He says it can help with greater relaxation. Traditionally video games give increased excitement and stimulation, but it will not be long before they help people unwind or even fall asleep, he says. Again…what is this going to do? …. Uh well…. Huh. That was…odd. He didn’t really give any real example of what would be done with it.

Cammie is back with more Mario news. For the first time ever, she says, a second full 3D title will appear on a single Nintendo console. It looks a little like Mario Galaxy. Um, OK a lot like Mario Galaxy. Exactly like Mario Galaxy. And it’s called Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Reggie is back. He’s naming off all the things they just announced. “But I’ll be honest, I read the blogs too. And I’ve been a gamer myself for a long time. I know there are still people out there listening: OK great, but I want more.” And he says this is usually associated with 3rd party titles. A new IP from Sega – The Conduit. Retails in 3 weeks. It’s a FPS with aliens. Capcom – Resident Evil The Darkside Chronicles. Leon, Claire, Steve, with some classic RE action. These are all really short trailers that aren’t showing much. Dead Space Extraction from EA.

What about Nintendo itself, says Reggie. Could a new edgy game be coming. A fresh look at a franchise. Team Ninja and Nintendo. That looks really nice. Looks great actually. Metroid: Other M. Samus is kicking some ass. Flips back and forth between 3rd person and platforming. 2010. Nintendo is delivering this year. But…where’s Miyamoto? Big finale? Zelda console maybe?

Reggie is talking about their goals of making everyone gamers again. …. No Miyamoto? A Nintendo conference without Miyamoto???? Wow. That was it. Sony is later.


E3 2009 - Ubisoft

Ubisoft now. Last one of the day. Tomorrow is Sony and Nintendo.

Ubi is opening with a mix of game shots – Ninja Turtles, Avatar, Rayman, etc.

The Soup’s Joel McHale? Whyyyyyy. I can’t stand this guy’s show. His kids are distracting him from his gaming time…which is funny, but…. Man I really don’t like this guy. Why is he introducing Ubi games? It’s basically a stand up comedy routine. He’s going to introduce someone but is joking about how he can’t reveal the name for whatever silly reason. And here comes the CEO, Yves Guillemot. Very heavy French accent, a little hard to understand.

Talking about…media conversions. Bridging the creative talents. I’m feeling bad because I can barely understand what this guy is saying. It sounds like he just said they created Bill Gates. Oh, now he’s talking about U Play. Allows consumers to create content to share. U share, U win, U help (will let someone help you if you get stuck in a game), and U shop. That’s cool. Launch at the end of the year for Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and Avatar. Creating bridges with Lightstorm and Fox. Probably going to see some Avatar footage later.

Oh, there’s been a merger of talent. They’re going to work with Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg for Paramount’s Tin Tin (?). Now he’s talking about exploring technological break throughs (Wii mote, DS, iPhone).

Redsteel 2. Rayman and Shaun White, big sellers. Now talking about using cameras and microphones. Sounds like what MS was showing off during their conference. Wanting to be mass market, expand the gaming market, etc.

Managing director Yannis Mallat is here to talk about (in a much easier to understand accent) shaping the industry. Achieving true content convergence with Ubisoft digital arts. He’s talking about their work on movie special effects. Like James Cameron’s Avatar. He is thrilled to announce today that they are “devlahping” over 100 shots for the film. Ubisoft Digital Arts working on real time engines with pre-render technology (like AC) for movies. Assassin’s Creed 2 short movies….live action? For promotion. That sounds awesome, I can’t wait. Is Ubi trying to be the new WETA Digital? Ubi is becoming a full 360 (degree, not Xbox) development company (meaning branching out into many technologies and media areas).

James Cameron is here. Wow, there is some serious star power at E3 this year. He’s here, of course, to talk about Avatar. Every time I hear about this game I always think “The Last Airbender.” He’s talking about how when he first created this 15 years ago he was told it would be impossible with the current technology, so now he’s out to try again. He’s describing the film’s setting and characters – a forested moon called Pandora. Avatars are hybrid human and…the race they’ve created (which I can’t spell…Navid maybe, Navee). ….Good gracious he’s going over the whole freakin’ plot of this thing. I’m glad he’s excited but uh, leave us some film to watch, you know? Took him 9 years to develop some of this film technology. Sounds awfully impressive. How ‘bout showing us some? No, now he’s going on about picking the right video game company (Ubi, obviously). James, dear, we don’t have this kind of attention span (or I don’t anyway). Talking about developing a game both similar to and separate from the movie. Boy, 2 years of this, 4 years of that. This movie/game must be freakin’ amazing for all the time being sunk into it. Talking about working together hand in hand with Ubisoft to develop the game and film; some back and forth aid. Oh the movie is in 3D, so he wanted to get Ubi to make the game in 3D and…they went for it. Man, Cameron is really long winded. How about some footage of this amazing film/game? No…but he is telling us the game won’t contain movie spoilers (it comes first). And on and on and on. He’s getting a little repetitive now. Demo available this week. OH FINALLY. I have great respect for him but geez! That went on forever.

And here’s Joel again. ….. Wait all of that and no footage, WTF? Joel is afraid of the French guys. So, did they bring this guy in to tell jokes to wake them up after Cameron’s loooooooong speech? Too bad he’s not that interesting either. He’s talking about Redsteel 2 and Wii Motion Plus. FINALLY a trailer of something. A guy is swinging the Wiimote around (big sweeping motions) while the character in the game slices up some baddies. Graphics look good. He’s having a sword fight with a bad guy now, switches to a gun, and blows him away.

Creative director, Jason Vanderburg (that is NOT how it’s spelled) for RS2, with the lead designer. They’re going to do a live demo. Character is being dragged on the ground behind a motorcycle and you have to dogdge various things, like oncoming traffic and burning barrels. Neat looking cut scene, looks a little cell shaded. Some first person action with the sword. It’s mapped 1:1 with the Wiimote. So like Twilight Princess but way more movements and more precise, and it also measures the force you swing with. You can quickly switch back and forth between sword and gun. Looks like he’s moving the character around with the nun chuck. “We really believe that hitting things is fun.” Like doors apparently. Oh that was rad. He threw a guy up in the air, then jumped up and slashed down at him. This is really cool looking; it’s very responsive as well (and 60 frames per second, Jason says). Game will be bundled with Wii Motion Plus at launch.

Joel again. Blah blah lame attempts at jokes. More Shaun White is coming. Ought to work with Tony Hawk to use that skateboard peripheral, but then, they have the balance board with the Wii already. The new Tony Hawk game will be a good competitor for this.

Soccer, Academy of Champions. And here’s…Pele, a big time soccer player apparently. Some technical difficulties here. Joel jokes “The game does much more than this, right Pele?” Pele asks Joel if he speaks Portuguese or Spanish while they try to make the trailer work. Pele jokes that he doesn’t speak English (oh so this girl is his interpreter). Pele is doing really well with English for someone who can’t speak English. Oh, now he’s not speaking English anymore. Pele is happy to be there. Pele is talking about how important soccer (futbol) is to him. Joel shuts up (hooray) and lets the guy talk. Pele talks about how important children are. And now he’s talking about the game in general, and how happy he is to work on it. And now the trailer. Rated E for “comic mischief.” It looks like it’s about kids at a Harry Potter type school for soccer. It’s exactly like Harry Potter for Soccer. Clearly something meant to be cute and fun for kids than a serious soccer game.

“The only guy back there not speaking French” jokes Joel as he unfortunately takes over again. Talking about reinventing a successful product. Introducing…producer and creative director for Splinter Cell – Alex Parizeu and Max Beland, with French last names I can’t spell. Saw Splinter Cell earlier during MS’s conference, minus the adorable French guys. But that’s OK, because it looks totally bad ass. Oh the targeting thing is called “mark and execute.” It looks like it works really well. Joel is super excited, he seems to be a fan of the series. Max is going to play a demo. This is all the same stuff from earlier today. Sam is on his own in this one, looking for his daughter’s killer.

Joel is back making more bad jokes. Evolving interfaces. What is this? Ruse? Something about commanding armies, so probably a strategy game. Two way too intense guys are fighting a battle with a navy assaulting a beach. It’s a cool looking trailer; they’re moving their pieces around on a tabletop screen (not how the game works but it’s a neat effect). It’s a RTS. Joel makes more bad jokes.

Joel said “the industry’s fastest growing category: casual games.” NOOOOO. *sigh* A single guy claps for his “game packages are hard to open” joke. Sr VP of marketing Tony Key. Says he wanted to present the biggest seller. Asked the audience what the biggest seller was; I think someone said “Petz.” It’s Imagine. Oh joy. Pokemon, Imagine, Brain Age, Petz, Mario Kart, DS top brands. *sigh* Ubisoft tween games 2.0. Ugh geez. Tony says everyone wants to copy Ubisoft. By making games for little girls? Well EA had a whole to-do about them, so maybe so. *bangs head on table* Blah blah blah blah. Oh look, take a picture of yourself with your DSi and give yourself a makeover. Make crappy jewelry with your DS then order it in real life! The stars of Petz 2009. It has stars? Oh they’re hamsters or something. Teach your pets to become super stars! Oh it’s a new tween brand – Style Lab. Tony is definitely a sales guy, he’s pitching this stuff hard.

“What is the fastest growing genre over the last 12 months.” Fitness apparently. Felicia Williams, lead content designer, working with cameras in games. Sounds very similar to what EA is doing with Active. Tony makes a bad joke about the camera adding 10 lbs. What camera do they keep talking about? The MS camera I guess? Burn! She’s saying you shouldn’t have to use balance boards and wii motes, but your own personal exercise equipment or nothing at all. She basically said “all those others are not realistic and they suck.” Theirs is called Your Shape for the Wii…with a camera (so they’re competing with Wii Fit and EA Active). So not the MS camera. What camera? I guess…OH there we go, lol. It comes with the game. It scans your body, then you select the body area you want to work on, and it tells you what to do. A very chipper girl demos the game in a video. Why are all these fitness games on the Wii? Wii Fit, EA Active, Your Shape, all on the Wii. Where the market is I guess; lots of families have one.

Joel is back agaaaaain. Introducing Rabbids Go Home and Adrian Lacey. PLEASE stop making the Ryan Seacrest jokes Joel. Adrian runs out pushing a Rabbid in a shopping cart, and being chased by another. Boy Adrian is EXCITED. So you use shopping carts to collect stuff and build things. This is a cute trailer. A Rabbid jumps out at some poor kid grocery shopping. Havoc ensues and the Rabbids steal everything from cars to clothes from the humans. Now they’re gonna demo the game. Adrian is doing some jokes about Rabbids invading the Wii mote or something. He is way too into this. Bunny abuse is perfectly legal, as this guy throws a Rabbid around a closed space. You can customize your own Rabbid that will appear in the game and in cut scenes. Alright, I’m way bored now. It’s kind of funny, but I’m not really interested. You run around, collect things, run over people. You can also customize your cart. Did he just call it a “Wiimoot?” The Rabbids knocked an engine off an airplane and attached it to their cart for crazy movement. Ah, they’re done

Joel came back to introduce Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and NA Pres. Laurent Detoc. Another French guy. Oi, how long had I been sitting here? Boooring. He’s introducing some Game Arts people in the audience. Trailer. Leo and Shredder. Splinter and April. Mikey and Don. Play anyone, it says. Fight everyone. Have a brawl. It looks like Smash Brothers with Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up. Those graphics are…not that good. Sept. 22.

Big titles? OH OH a sequel to a multi award winning title. It’s No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. Now I want my boyfriend to shut up. He keeps making sarcastic comments and I can’t hear anything, lol. OK he went away. Anyway, I wasn’t at all interested in No More Heroes the first time so…I don’t really care this time either. Here is Tetsuya Yamiguchi (Mizuguchi?) (in the audience). Uh…so they said “Hey we’re making No More Heroes 2 but we’re not telling you anything about it.” Oooook.

Assassin’s Creed 2 now. Seriously this game is looking way sweet. “We are going to unveil something very, very surprising to me. I could not believe the quality of the visuals.” Oh? SHOW US. Yes, I know you sold millions of them (over 8 to be exact). November 17! Yay. Here’s a trailer. 1486 Venice, Italy. It’s a Carnival. Some guys in masks are standing around. And here he comes. Fireworks going off. Stabbed in the face! Er, neck. Blood gushing out. And there’s Ezio with a slow smile (oh he’s handsome, yay!). And another smirk as he stabs some guy with a pole. He’s jumping around (btw, you can swim in this one). This is gorgeous. OH YEAH. Yeah you don’t diss on his momma. He will stab you. He shot the blade out of his glove. Kick ass.

Good way to end the conference, with a bang. That was pretty much totally boring. Nintendo and Sony, tomorrow morning.

E3 2009 - EA

*huff, huff, pant* Man it's hot outside. Made it out to the mall, got my glasses fitted, and back home in half an hour. Love my glasses (almost the same as my previous frames), not so happy about my sunglasses. The frames are bigger than I remember, which meant the lenses are too. And they’re THICK. So all I see out of the corner of my eyes is thick plastic. And it sucks. They look very clinical, and not at all stylish or sexy. Might see if that’s a significant complaint to go and pick new ones (they’ve got a 30-day guarantee; not sure if this sort of thing applies, but if not, what does?).

OK, the blog really hates MSWord. It keeps trying to code it, but I just want to copy paste. Unfortunately it’s so much easier to type in Word than straight into the blogger for long posts like this. I’m going to have to find a way to work around it, because I wanted to go back in and add some trailer links, and it kept yelling at me. Annnnd problem solved.

Also, flip flips (the ones with the thing between your toes) are not made for walking…any sort of distance. I wore them downtown yesterday, big mistake, because I have blisters now, and they hurt.

And here goes EA.

Zombies? Oh no this has got to be for Dante’s Inferno. And it looks exactly like God of War, so if you like GoW I expect you’ll like this. I’m not really interested in the butchering of a classic piece of literature myself.

This guy is…I’m not sure (back edit: was John Riccitiello, CEO of EA). He’s taking about the Sims 3 launch tonight at midnight. Pointing out people in the audience who worked on Dante and Sims. Now they’re showing Sims 3. What I’ve seen so far has been really cool. The game takes another huge leap in innovation. Which is great, because no one wants to play the same damn game over and over again (I’m looking at you Animal Crossing).

12 great games from 12 creators. Chip Lang (?). To talk about stuff for the Wii I think. Oh he’s the general manager of EA’s Hasbro division (hate Hasbro, they ruined Dungeons and Dragons). He’s talking about Littlest Pet Shop games. *sigh* No one sitting over there is going to give a crap about this. Marketing – you buy the stuffed animal, type in a code and use the pet online.

Dyan Williams, SR producer of…Charm Girls Club. So I guess today is EA’s little girls debut game. Great. How do you start with Dante’s Inferno and then go to this? Some little girls onstage are playing the game on the Wii. They’re…teasing hair. They kind of look like Bratz. I was never very girly so…I really couldn’t care less. It’s makeover, clothes, crap like that. It’s a mini-game collection I think.

Need for Speed Shift. With Patrick Suderlond (?). More racing. Zzzzzz…. Is Need for Speed better than Forza? I have no idea. Driver profile – ties you in emotionally or something. “How you drive on the track defines who you are.” Tech problems with the trailer. So I guess what they’re saying is you can level up some sort of skill set based on how you drive. I’m not sure. He’s basically saying if you’re aggressive, you bump people (duh), and if not then you get better speed, etc. So…it’s literally how you use your controller. That’s not…anything special. It sounds like a bunch of fluff terms. Maybe I’m just not understanding what he’s trying to say. Wow that was some wreck; the camera moves around in the car and you look like you’re really crashing a car. And…he’s giving away a car to someone on Thursday. That’s nice.

Dragon Age Origins. Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk from Bioware (why can’t game people have normal spelled names). Mentions that it’s one of their most ambitious games, it’s dark, etc, with major decisions you’ll have to make. Trailer. Scantily clad lady there. Nasty orcs, demons and dragons. Very bloody, blood spewing everywhere. Girl in her undies…because I’m sure they totally had lace panties and bras back then. Armor looks good. SWEET. Oct. 20.

Mass Effect 2. Talking a bit about the first game, and Sheppard. “He’s a kick ass hero who will get the job done at any cost.” He sure is. Suicide mission into the heart of enemy territory. Shooter action, new characters, new worlds. First full game play trailer. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. There’s the Normandy. Voice over sounds a little like Sheppard. “Sheppard, but you’re dead” says a blue alien chick (forgot what they were called). Some shooting here, guy falls out a window. Seth Green is back as the pilot. “It’s not the Geth.” So new enemies then. Explosions. Logo.

Moving on to EA Sports now it seems. Pretty much anything I cared about from them has already been shown. Sooo losing interest. Montage of real people doing sport things. And here’s Peter Moore. “Personal access to the emotion of sports.” “There’s no win like a sports win.”

Fight Night Round 4. Showing Ali and Tyson fighting each other. Talking about the physics engine. Where’s my manga…. Physics, strategy, style. Giving the characters real stats and size based on their stature and moves, so some realism here is what they’re going for. June 25.

New franchise. MMA. MMA? Oh, mixed martial arts.

Talking about their success with their sports games. Steve Chiang now to talk about online play. Tiger Woods PGA (browser game) and the new EA sports website. Team Builder for NCA Football 10 user content, team creators, all online. Team Builder is available now, game comes out in a month.
“We believe this next feature will end productivity in the American workplace.” Again building online communities. You can use your iPhone.

Bold new direction, eh? EA Sports Active. Talking about the Wii now. Peter is talking about the abuse and cynicism toward video games, but that EA Sports has helped lift the stigma. Video about active, showing people using it to exercise. Alison Sweden (?) is coming out to talk about Active as an exercise and weight loss program. 600,000 units sold.

Grand Slam Tennis on Wii, comes out next week. Works with Wii Motion Plus. Live stage demo, Peter’s gonna play with another EA guy (game’s producer). LOL at Peter’s comment on EA Sports execs being follicly challenged (they’re both going bald). They’re not doing so hot. A guy just snuck up behind them; professional tennis player I’m going to assume. It’s Pete Sampras (?), 14 time Grand Slam champion. “Let me explain how to play tennis.” Haha. Very good movement reactions. And that’s it from Peter.

Tom French, lead designer for The Saboteur from Pandemic. Trailer – skanky hoes dancing with soldiers. He tosses a guy from the roof that falls down in front of another soldier and splatters blood everywhere. Nice color scheme here, black and white, with red. Then it cuts to full color. Good looking game. “The Will to Fight” - when Sean fights the Nazis, the color comes back into Paris. That’s a really cool idea. “And yes, you can absolutely climb the Eiffel Tower.” Stealth, disguise, assassination, sabotage. Some 3rd person shooter action, then he hops into a car and drives off, to hide in the red light district. Haha, he got some while he was hiding in there, too.

EA Partners. He’s (the pres or VP, missed his name early on…oh it’s John Riccitiello) talking about partnering with other developers, etc. Leading up to:

Brutal Legend, Tim Schafer. He’s talking about the amazing cast they have. “People say did you make this game just to meet all these people? Yeah.” He’s talking about the story and characters. Showing part of a trailer. “Out of the light comes….a roadie. Armed with the power of metal and destined to become…a Legend.” Game looks pretty funny. Oct. 13. Video message from Jack Black. Should have gotten him to show up, though Jack Black can’t really compare to Ringo and Paul. Jack being Jack and a brief clip of game play.

CEO of Crytek. Cevat Yerli. Cyrsis 2. 360, PS3 and PC, simultaneously. So…maybe people will actually be able to play this one.

Sometimes you have the pleasure of actual news? Lol, is that what he said? Real Time World studio. Here’s Dave Jones for All Points Bulletin. So…it’s an online GTA sort of something? Showing off some great character customization tools. Trailer shows lots of crime, car jacks, robberies, shoot outs, car chases, boobs. This seems interesting, if I’m understanding it correctly. It looks like an online game where you can all play together in this city, interacting, fighting each other, etc. But they didn’t really explain and….

Now there’s some Star Wars music. And people in costumes walking across the stage. They have light sabers. Oh these have mics; must be developers in Jedi robes. Bioware and Lucas Arts. Ray again and Darrel Rodriguez. Star Wars TOR MMO. The fist ever fully voiced MMO. That’s pretty cool. One of the largest voice over projects in the history of games, Ray says. Every class will have its own unique story. This game has always sounded impressive but…also overly ambitious. I trust Bioware, but I worry as well. Cinematic trailer now. Sith lord walks by, takes down some bitches. Transport ship crashes through the wall and runs over some Jedi. Big light saber battle. Wow this looks amazing…for a cinematic. Game won’t be like this of course. (It will look like this.) But this is totally bad ass looking. “You were deceived, and now your Republic shall fall.” Ooooh snap. Oh Bioware, I love you so. Hell yeah that was stunning.

And they’re done.

E3 - Microsoft

Not real excited about E3 this year. It just seems like everything's already been announced, you know? The big titles have been out of the box for a while now, and there are trailers and screen shots and interviews. Over the weekend, a lot of stuff was leaked out - oops. What's left to surprise?

Microsoft has the first big conference this morning. Going to do my best to live blog it here. Though there seem to be some time discrepancies between Kotaku (whose live blog I watch to help me keep track of people's names and other things I don't immediately know or recognize; I learn a little more every year) and G4 (which will be airing the conferences). So we'll see. Borrowing my boy's computer for this, as it's a laptop, and instead of looking back and forth between the TV waaaaay over there and my computer waaaaay over here, I can just plop comfortably on the couch and save some neck movements or something. Anyway it just makes it simpler. Except that his computer seems to have an aversion to Firefox,which is annoying, because I hate Internet Explorer.

I do have a review for Paradise Kiss about halfway written, but I'll put off posting it until after the E3 mess, or I'm afraid it would get lost in the midst of everything else.

Alright, got the time stuff figured out. Everything is good to go. Just going to have to get used to typing on a different keyboard here. Shouldn’t take too long. Watching G4 crap. Morgan, Adam and Kevin. I can’t stand any of them, to be honest. Especially Kevin. I respect Adam as a person, because he’s got good opinions, and is likely the only thing keeping G4 afloat with any dignity (though there’s not much left), but I don’t care to watch him. He’s so freakin’ WIRED; if you watch their coverage you’ll see what I mean. As the week plays out and he gets more exhausted, he pumps more caffeine, and it’s just insane.

Holy crap that’s a LOT of green. I wish I could punch Kevin in the face. GET OFF MY TV. Maybe one of these years I’ll actually get to go TO E3, instead of having to listen to these ‘tards. If there’s still an E3. As usual, there are already cries of “This is their last year to prove themselves,” “this will be strike 3 if it doesn’t work,” etc. Gonna read some Fruits Basket while G4 peeps go on and on about Gears and Halo (don’t care, hated Gears).

Oh, they mentioned something that bugs me, and that I share the same opinion on. Paying for wallpapers. I refuse to do so, especially since there are no previews, so you can’t see what the hell you’re buying. Oh and PS – avatars still suck. Saw something recently where they showed the previous designs Rare had come up with, and every single one of them was LOADS better than what we ended up with.

Here we go. Kotaku’s live blog isn’t working properly for me I don’t think. Herm…
Opening crap – Beatles Rockband (really pretty looking video actually, it’s the opening cinematic). Now they’re gonna talk about it. Game will be simultaneously released with the re-release of 14 remastered Beatles albums. Now there’s a big group onstage playing the game (3 singers, 2 guitars, drums, but I don’t think they vocals are being used in the game). And they got people who actually know how to play the damn game; that’s good.

OH SHI glasses place just called and they’re ready! Gonna have to wait…um…a while to pick them up. MS conf is 2 hours, lol. They weren’t supposed to be in until Wed; they’re early.

Well that was exciting! Good way to launch the conference. Ok, I have no idea who these people are that keep talking. But they’re still going on about the Beatles. Ah, some of my fave songs being showcased here (they could fill a single CD, so there aren’t many). Game looks good. Full album downloads (starting with Abbey Road, wow). My boy is a big Beatles fan; maybe we’ll snag this at some point. Proceeds for All You Need is Love DLC will go to a charity (360 exclusive). Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison? ….they just came out, waved, and went away, lol. What was the point of that? Paul and Ringo! Seriously??? Wow. Oh and THEY got mics, lol, they get to talk. Praising the game Ringo: “the game is good, the graphics are good, and we were great.” And they’re gone. :(

VP John Schappert. Oh it was Doctors Without Borders (not sure what that is, charity). Yes, I want to have fun and enjoy tv, movies and music. Showing not telling (yay no charts and graphs!). 10 world premiere games, never before seen (haha I bet, we’ll see). LET’S GO. Tony Hawk here. Uh, this is far from new. Showing off the new skateboard controller for his game, Tony Hawk Ride. Boy I hope that thing works right or it will be a financial disaster. Video of real people skateboarding, and then playing the game.

Trailer for Infinity Ward game Modern Warfare 2. Good looking game, not a lot of gameplay shown. Comes out in November. Jason West and Vince Zampella for MW2; demoing the game. Oh sweet, guy is climbing an icy cliff with uh...whatever those things are called…ice pick climbing gear things. Some shooting now. Good environments; snow is blowing around making visibility difficult, but the gun has a radar screen on it, useful. Scene jump again – big shootout at an airbase. Pretty realistic as far as physics, etc, go.

Takasi and Toriyama from Square for FFXIII. Stage went from green to blue with lights lol. Some FF history. 20 years since the first FF was released and saved Square’s ass. Did he just call it xbox-san? Cute. Trailer in English – looks good. Some gameplay footage. Ooo that’s pretty. Moves along pretty quickly. Talking about attack menu, multiple ATB bars. SUMMON, bad ass, Odin. Spring 2010 (geezes).

John again. Introducing…360 exclusives. Epic Games, Donald and Cliff. Newly resurrected E3 he says (Cliff) – one can hope. Donald’s mic is cutting out (so he’s just gonna yell now). Shadow Complex. Don is demoing the game. 10 hour long campaign (this is an Arcade title I think). “Gotta love live demos” someone shouts out as the character glitches and walks on air. This summer.

John again. New way to play on Live. Joy Ride from Big Park (?). Avatar oriented game on the Arcade. Some kind of racing game. Free to DL, free to play (but you pay out the ass for cars, maps, etc, DLC haha). Winter.
New chapters of favorite franchises…Halo? Nope, Crackdown 2. Nice graphics. Good setup.

Another trailer, this one’s for something with nasty looking zombies. And head explosions. Lol “If we run out of bullets, they gonna wish we hadn’t.” Left 4 Dead 2. November.

Ubisoft: Fischer is…oh Sam Fischer. This is uh, Splinter Cell Conviction. Looks nice, great graphics. OOOOO haha he owned them.
Max and Alex (creator, producer)…they’re French so Ubisoft. Here to talk about SCC and play the demo. “Sam has changed, and this time he’s on a personal mission.” Sam is beating up, I mean gently questioning, some guy in a bathroom. Gameplay, environments, looking good. Sam shoots out a light, then a guy’s head. Now he’s hanging outside on a window ledge and shooting guys inside a room. Good targeting system. “Now that we’ve seen how powerful Sam is in stealth, let’s see what happens when he charges through the door.” He kicks some ass is what happens. Big fire fight, lots of explosions, he maneuvers around the ledge on the outside of the building. Fight cuts right into a cut scene, seamlessly. Fall exclusive on 360.

John’s back. “The platform for the hottest games.” Racing games apparently. Zzzzzzz…. Forza Motorsport 3, from Turn Ten, in October. SHORT trailer, and now Dan from Turn Ten to talk and demo and show off a real car. Where’s my Furuba book…. They’re showing off the car paint system in the game. People talking about their love for cars. It looks good…I guess? I don’t pay attention to racing games.

Joe (Koe?) Staten from Bungie. Halo ODST. Beautiful. They’re dropping, a Covenent ship warps, there’s a big explosion, and they crash. New Mombasa, weeks before the start of Halo 3 (so it takes place between 2 and 3). ODST members have access to equipment Spartans don’t? Haha, poor Master Chief. Anyway he’s demoing some gameplay. Looks like Halo (meaning like it’s supposed to). Lowlight vision visor. Very good looking game. Game flashes back to other ODST guys, where you fight as them, to piece together the clues of the story. Short of it is, if you like Halo, you’ll like some more Halo. September 22, 2009.

OH OH. Another team at Bungie has been up to something secret (Halo Reach?). “From the beginning, you know the end.” LOTS of explosions on a planet seen from space. Yep it’s a trailer for Halo Reach (secret already blown over the weekend). Fall 2010. When you buy Halo 3 ODST you get an invite to the Reach multiplayer beta. Not that there’s anything wrong with Halo, but will Bungie ever do something else? Ever again?

Sam Lake. All in game footage for…Alan Wake. Wow that’s a beautiful aerial shot. Alan is researching/writing a book, and I guess ends up right in the middle of a bunch of shit. Unfortunately I know little about this one, so I can’t really comment on what’s going on in the footage. It looks really creepy though. Good character movement (he reacts well to various effects). Alan lights a flare torch and the graphic rocks. He goes into a house and it collapses off a cliff. To be continued. WOW looks amazing. Spring 2010.

Innovation for Live (John again). Music coming to Live. With Last.fm. Whatever that is (don’t listen to the radio, or internet radio, or whatever). Live Gold (like Netflix) for free. Netflix – queue straight from your Xbox (nice). Sky TV partnering with Live for the UK and Ireland (since they can’t do Netflix). Zune video (to help quality (1080p), speed, and world wide availability). No discs, no downloads (video marketplace). 10 new countries are being added to the service. One more new feature – OH. So we can finally watch Netflix with friends over Live now? Uh…they didn’t really specify.
Felicia Day to talk about Facebook integration. She’s from The Guild and Dr. Horrible, fyi. Can combine facebook friends and Live friends together; uses Live avatars. Photo albums. Status updates (oh, joy). Facebook Connect. Post screens, texts in real time to Facebook. In addition to FB…Live and Twitter (oh geez). Don’t care about any of this personally, but it’s nice to see a girl up there. Fall.

Holy shit, I’ve got 4 pages, sorry guys. It’s not over yet either.

Senior VP Don Mattrick. What blockbuster are we missing? I don’t know Don, what? Oh, it’s Kojima (MGS). MGS coming to 360 (that’s what their agonizing, slow PR drip was about I guess). MGS Rising. OH it’s NOT Solid Snake Kojima says. “But Don, I didn’t say anything about Solid Snake.” 3 second trailer with a shot of Raiden’s face (not much of a reveal since it was on their site).

Don is talking about Live. Motion Control. Oh, with the camera? “Can we make YOU the controller?” A guy is playing a fighting game by moving around, and now a racing game with hands held like a wheel. Yeah, we knew about this already, but it looks interesting. Some guy scanned his real skateboard in and is now using its image in the game. Facial recognition (the game logged her in when she walked in front). Video chat. Voice recognition. Impressive. Scrolling through the movie list with their hands (wow). Woman says “goodnight” and the thing turns itself off. Project Natal. Will work with every 360 past and future (well I sure fucking hope so). It’s a kind of sensor bar that plugs into the console.

Steven Speilberg (wow this is some celeb line up they’ve got going on; hard to follow MS). Talking interactive entertainment. He is excited about Natal. “It’s not about reinventing the wheel, it’s about no wheel at all.” How much of this stuff is real? How much of this stuff is LEFT is what I want to know.

Kudo Tsunoda. He’s demoing Natal. Moving his avatar around with his body. A girl is leaping around the stage kicking a ball around to hit some bricks. Well beyond the movement required by a Wii game. You have to get up and MOVE. This is amazing stuff, really. Alright this is all more of the same. A guy is splatter painting by calling out the color he wants, then throwing the paint on with his body. Use your body to make a stencil shadow pose. This is very “stuff for kids” right now, but it has amazing potential.

Peter Molyneux (yay!). Says the controller is a huge barrier for creation and interaction. A boy named Milo within the system is interacting with a real person. Talking, emoting, moving. Freakin SWEET man. He’s totally reacting to what she’s saying and how she says it. He gives her some goggles and she moves to pick them up. This is really amazing. She draws a picture, hands it to him, and now it’s in his hand in the game. She’s leaving, and he tells her not to forget her mom’s birthday (suggests a level of inputs from the player).

And that’s it. Gonna go pick up my new glasses before EA and Ubi.

Check back again as I add in trailer links between conferences.