E3 is in full swing. Russ brought you some coverage of the Microsoft press event last night, and today Nintendo and Sony will be having their big monologues. I’m not in attendance, so I’ll be sifting through the mounds of crap that piles over the audience in hopes of uncovering a few interesting chunks that might otherwise be buried. GamesRadar, 1up, and Gamespot all have fine, up-to-the-minute coverage of the event.

Microsoft’s press conference was woefully short on information about the Xbox 360 failure rate, which has been progressing higher through the echelons of media these past couple of weeks. It’s not surprising that Peter Moore and company wouldn’t talk down their brand in the middle of a hype-meeting, but Newsweek’s tech writer N’Gai Croal has stepped up for them. They ought to send him a fruit basket, or something. Via GamePolitics, Croal throws a glove down at Microsoft’s feet: give a full and forthright explanation to consumers for the unusually high failure rate, or issue a product recall. Not exactly was the Xbox team would like to have circulating the web during this week, I’m guessing. I’m also guessing that our Jon Cassady will have a few choice words on this matter come Friday and his Random Setting column. Hes very good about choosing his words, especially "fuck."

This makes me sad, and a little sheepish. A couple weeks ago, 2K Games and Sid Meier announced that a version of Civilization — titled Civilization Revolution — was in development for a number of consoles. The press release mentioned "handheld consoles," so the assumption was made that the game would be appearing both on DS and PSP. When I assume, I make me an ass out of you, or something. 2K Games has announced that Revolutions will be on the DS, and will be showing that game off at E3… but there is no sign of a PSP version, and 2K Games has not announced the possibility. Not a good sign, considering the game’s presence on every other console at E3.

Do you know the name Chris Crawford? He founded the Game Developer’s Conference, has been a game design theorist for longer than I’ve been alive, and has a wealth of experience in the design process thanks to his early work on consoles and computers. He’s also got a lot of ambition. The Indygamer Blog tells us that his latest conceptual project — which I hadn’t yet heard about — has just been released in beta. The game-ish thing is called Storytron, and is concerned with how to create interactive and reactive storytelling. It’s also apparently delicious and sweet, according to the designer. This beta may seem more like a proof-of-concept, but I’m all of the sudden fascinated. Because I’m a narrative whore, and if Crawford’s algorithms can be expanded on successfully, we may at least see a brand new type of roleplaying emerge.

Only a couple of hours now before the Nintendo conference, with the Sony one following up shortly behind that. Enjoy your Wednesday!