While not as lucky (and deserving) as Russ to be at E3 in person, here are my very random impressions of the Big Three’s Keynote Presentations and other gaming news.
I have immeasurable excitement for Rock Band. I dread, however, the repeated trips to Home Depot when I go Daltrey with the microphone.
Jeff Bell reminds me of ever creepy lawyer I’ve come across in the past three years. Between the firm handshake-hugs and his “hey we’re friends, right” banter with Reggie Bush (who was by far Microsoft’s best presenter), I couldn’t wait for him to get off the stage.
Could they have pick a more boring level for Call of Duty 4? How about a level where you get to shine your boots and clean your footlocker? Oh wait, that’s a joint Wii-DS release next year, Mama’s House Clean-up.
The Project Gotham Racing guys looked about as comfortable as a spelling bee champion at the prom.
Halo music, Halo live action, Halo 3 trailers, Halo console. Next week they’ll be announcing Halo the Flamethrower (the kids will love it). A Halo Special Edition console? That’s the big closer? Actually, I have to commend Microsoft with starting the presentation with a bang and then bringing it to a screeching halt to ease it into the end. Takes real courage. Why end big when you have all those crickets laying around?
Reggie opened the 9 am gathering with, of course, statistics. For a numbers nerd like me its fine, but I imagine some attendees were fighting shy-guys three minutes into the event.
Maybe it’s just my dysfunction with the Resident Evil 4 Wii controls or my recent arguments that the Wii configuration should lend to a better FPS, but I’m incredibly excited for the Wii Zapper. Some post-event reports are that it’s awkward, but it looked so natural to me. Makes Umbrella Chronicles a must purchase.
You know what the presentation needed, more videos of people playing Wii.
In utterly expected news, Nintendo is going to squeeze in Super Smash Bros. Brawl just before Christmas. With the December 2 release date so late into the ever growing Holiday Season, it makes me wonder if the game will be as polished as fans want it to be.
Phantom Hourglass got a near perfect score in Famitsu? It must be great because Famtisu never gives established series inflated scores. In a neat feature, Phantom Hourglass replaces the DS stylus with a shoehorn. Of course, when I’m raving about the game in a few months, I’ll deny the existence of this paragraph.
I hate the Wii-Wheel. Hate it. Frrankly, I’m not sure that I want to play a Wii-style Mario Kart game (especially after my Excitetruck hate), but if the game is going to be included with the Wii-Wheel (the only way people were going to buy it), I’ll give it a shot. The best past of Mario Kart online, no microphone. The last thing I want to hear is some 10 year-old telling me that I got my mushroom ass splattered by a red shell.
I just replaced the Ambien in my medicine cabinet with some Iwata.
Wii Fit has already earned a spot in my house. After months of hearing my wife asking why they haven’t made a Wii fitness game, I finally have an answer. I can already hear the downer music as my BMI creeps through the overweight category.
You might say you’re serious about online, Reggie, but I’m still not sure.
The show opened with a shot of Mr. Personality, Jack Trenton, in his “Home.”
The audio feed on the stream and G4 wasn’t synced to the picture so after Trenton hit the stage, it appeared that Trenton was intentionally lip-syncing when discussing Home, which I thought was funny. It wasn’t until the glitch continued for 15 minutes that I realized that the comedy was merely unintentional.
During Trenton’s thorough Home presentation he dropped this nugget of gold “I left the door open so I hope those hot chicks from before come over.” Of course they will, who can resist Mr. Personality.
I don’t get Home. It looks like nothing more than massively wasted motion. My desire to build a virtual world is nil. Put the money into developing some games or a processor that doesn’t for PS2 emulation.
Sony also decided to unveil the long-rumored PSP Slim. Looks thinner, weighs less, slightly amped up, yawn. But that’s not all for PSP. After Trenton introduced a Star Wars Battlefront trailer, which looks like complete shit, he introduced . . . some tall actor in a Chewbacca costume to help announce the Star Wars PSP. The end result, an even more underwhelmed crowd reaction than for the Halo 360.
Phil Harrison then came out to embarrass Sony some more and introduced . . . Echochrome? Wait, this looked great. Harrison made a skillful presentation. Oh shit, I just lost a bet.
The last half-hour included Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD stats and trailers. Lots and lots of trailers. I love how Heavenly Sword looks, if the PS3 can take off, this will be along for the ride.
The conference ended with the Killzone 2 trailer, which elicited some audience cheers. I cheered that the presentation was finally over.
Tons of trailers, nothing too unexpected, but nothing embarrassing, which is a victory for Sony.
Overall, Microsoft had the best "looking" presentation, while Nintendo spent way too much time on clips of people playing Wii and now I’m even less excited for Home.
PS3 Price Dip
The big pre-E3 news was the PS3 price drop. The 60 GB PS3 drops from $599 to $499, which made the Big Box retailers celebrate like its V-E Day. But then Sony decided that it didn’t embarrass themselves at E3 and needed to make up for it. On Friday, Sony announced that it is ceasing production of 60 GB PS3 models and that after July, a $499 PS3 will be no more.
While the PS3 is the “best” console out there, a permanent price drop would have revealed that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sony, however, decided that it likes being in third place too much and it’s not going giving it up without a fight.
Finally, as Ian reported on Wednesday, Newsweek editor N’Gai Croal “demanded” that Microsfot either release its failure rate data or outright recall the 360.
Croal’s theory is that with the holiday series of titles, gamers are going to push consoles to their limits. With this increased use, the number of console breakdowns will increase, causing more and more gamers to become disillusioned with their 360. This despair will cause gamers to band together and leave the 360 behind them.
It’s a sound theory and while Croal echos the sentiments of various gamers, Croal counts on something I can’t see happening, gamer revolt. It didn’t happen last year, when the Wii and PS3 gave gamers the alternative and if Microsoft can get by with the neosporin and bandaids of warranties and repairs, rather than the surgery of a recall, Microsoft will gladly make the midnight runs to Walgreens.
As I wrote last week, a Microsoft report with actual failure rates is the holy grail for a gaming journalist. But let’s be honest, even if that report saw the light of day there wouldn’t be gamer upheaval, no revolution, no march on Redmond. As long as Microsoft continues to come out with quality hardcore games and maintains it dominance over online play, gamers will bite the red ringed bullet.
That’s all for now.