E3 Press Conference Review


The best of both worlds
The Sony Press Conference1:

Sony Computer Entertainment American head Kaz Hirai is making the first speech, telling people first about the history of PS2, shipping over 103 million units worldwide in just six years. with 10 million more due in the next fiscal year. The PS2 online service has signed on over 3 million players since its launch in 2002. New PS2 games like Guitar Hero II and God of War 2 are still due out in the next year. He also talked about the PSP portable console which has shipped over 17 million since its launch about 18 months ago. Trailers for upcoming PSP games like Killzone Liberation and Gangs of London were shown along with a new product called Planet PSP which turns the console into a travel guide. A "greatest hits" line of re-priced PSP titles will ship later this year. Upcoming featues includes a camera, GPS and more.

Things then switched to the PS3 console starting with a film showing a ton of Playstation fans from all over the world talking about how excited they are about getting the upcoming console. Hirai then went over the tech specs for the console once again with the Cell multiprocesor, the Blu-Ray disk drive, pre installed and removable hard drive, support for up to 1080p HDTVs, and connections with USB, SD cards, Compact Flash cards and Memory Stick. The PS3 can play both PS1 and PS2 titles. Sony said that they have research that shows that the PS3 could increase HDTV usage. The PS3 will launch in early November worldwide in a clear black color. Some PS3 games shown at E3 will be playable on the final PS3 machine.

The stage then went to Phil Harrison, the head of Sony's worldwide game dev studios. He introduced Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo racing series who showed off a prototype of the PS3 game Gran Turismo HS (1920x1980p) using assets of Gran Turismo 4 and pumping up for the PS3. The demo began by looking at some menu screens, selecting tracks and cars and the the demo really began as the audience saw some near photo realistic and crisp graphics showing off the Tokyo tackin the game. The cars, track, and even the lighting effects were really spectacular, looking a little better than the Xbox 360 title Project Gotham Racing 3. Loading times for Gran Turismo HD are just a few seconds. We then saw another road race track that again looked just as good as the Tokyo track with diffuse light that was caused by light clouds. The final track showed off the Grand Canyon in spectacular style. The first PS3 game in the GT series should be released shortly after the launch of the PS3 and online multiplayer should be part of the mix

A new game called The Eye of Judgement was up next which made use of the EyeToy to interact in a Magic: The Gathering like card battle game. The demo showed the player manipulating the card and its interactive monsters in battle with the EyeToy. The game will be playable on the show floor at E3.

Kaz Hirai returned to the stage, talking about the online network for the PS3, including messaging, chat, and more features. PSP will soon get downloadable PS1 games and one was demoed live onstage via the Memory Stick. It turned out to be the original Ridge Racer racing title. Micropayments for downloadable content will be supported including pre-paid cards called the Playstation card (similar to the Microsoft Points for the Xbox 360. We then saw a PS3 online interface which was used to demo the Singstar music and video content. The game will use the PS3 to buy new songs to add to the game. There is also a MySpace feature called MySingStar that will use a camera to record your own performance to the online network.

The next PS3 game demoed was Genji II, a Japanese themed action game. This Dynasty Warriors-like hack and slash game looked pretty good with lots of cool combo moves. We were told that battles on horseback and even on sea ships will be possible. The battles in the demo, including a gian crab, looked excellent on the big screen.

A new Formula One racing game was demoed next and showed off linking the PS3 to the PSP with a wing camera on the PSP screen that can be seen by the players. Another hack and slash game, Heavenly Sword, was shown next. This game looked even better than Genji II with excellent character models and impressive animation and physics effects.

Next up were some trailers for a number of upcoming P33 games, including the dragon themed game Lair, the next game in the crime action game series The Getaway, the safari thened title Afrika (with some outstanding models and animations for the African animals), the arcade style sports game Everybody's Golf, and the horror-fantasy RPG Monster Kingdom.

Then came demos of two all new never before seen PS3 titles. The first, from the London studio, is the action-racing game Eight Days, which looks to be the game that fans of the Driver franchise have really been waiting for. The car models, visual effects and physics were well done as a battle surrouding a desert gas station in Arizona was featured. The other game is from developer Naughty Dog (creatos of the Jak series) and is a third person action game with some great jungle visuals and some impressive hand to hand as well as firearm combat (the game does not yet have a title)

Then came a new demo of Resistance: Fall of Man, a first person shooter from developer Insomniac Studios that was first shown at GSC in March. In the E3 demo we got to see some urban warfare as your character battles aliens from left and right. It looks like and has the pace of Call of Duty but with aliens. We were told that the game takes place in an alternate 1951 in the UK. It will also have multiplayer modes for up to 32 players.

The next portion of the conference was all about third party titles for the PS3. Footage was shown of the UbiSoft game Assasians Creed, the Bandi Namco mech action game Gundam Mobile Suit, the Konami action game Coded Arms Assault, the Bando Namco racing game Ridge Racer, the Bandai Namco fighting gmame Tekken 6, the next Sonic game from Sega, the next Virtua Tennis game from Sega, Virtua Fighter 5 from Sega, the Midway game Stranglehold, the Koei future racing game Fatal Inertia, the Koei action game Bladestorm, and the mech action game Armored Core 4.

Electronic Arts CEO Larry Propst then came onstage for two PS3 demos. The first was NBA Live 07 and it looked visually a tad better (but not much) from the Xbox 360 version. The other demo showed off EA's new mocap animation showing off golfer Tiger Woods in virtual form on the PS3. In a word the animation on Woods' face is incredible and is so close to live video it's uncanny. EA will have around 10 games for the PS3 launch and Propst mentioned a new Need For Speed title called Need for Speed Carbon (no other details were announced).
Then came the Final Fantasy XIII trailer from Square Enix which, well, looked like a Final Fantasy game :). Finally its Metal Gear Solid 4 time with a new trailer for the Konami action game. The scene shown in a demo looked like a Middle Eastern desert village with battle mechs and a very old looking Solid Snake that is shown at one point putting a gun inside his mouth. As usual the MGS4 trailer is weird in its storytelling and perhaps not as action pack as we were expecting. The game is due out in 2007.

Sony Playstation head Ken Kutaragi then took the stage to introduce the new Playstation 3 controller which looks on the surface much like the Dual Shock 2 controller for the PS2 but now has six degrees of movement just by using the hand movement and not by any buttons or stick. The new development certainly answers at least some of the features for the Nintendo Wii Remote controller. The controller was used to show off Warhawk, the future flying game from Incognito and it was very well handled. It looks like it will be easy to fly the ships in the game and move them around just by hand movements. Visually the game also looks pretty good as well.

Finally, the launch details for the PS3 were announced. Two PS3 models will be launched, one with a 60 gig drive and one with a 20 gig hard drive. The US launch will be on November 17 with $499 for the 20 gig drive and $599 for the 60 gig version. Sony claimed that they will have 2 million PS3 during the launch window and six million by March 2007.

The Nintendo Press Conference2:

Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference was held earlier today at the Kodak theater in Hollywood (the site of among other things the annual Academy Awards broadcast The program started with Nintendo's legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto dressed in a tuxedo and acting as a conductor to a number of virtual concert players on the main stage screen. The program switched over to the first Nintendo Wii titles, showing an off road racing game and the UbiSoft gun and sword fight title Red Steel that were being controlled by two players with the Remote controller.

Nintendo America marketing manager Reggie Fils-Aime came on stage next proclaiming that their products were not next generation is something new, He took a dig at the graphics for Sony and Microsoft consoles, saying " Because what you see is not always what you get" The video on stage showed players once again controlling Nintendo Wii titles, including a new Mario platformer, a bi-plane game, a table tennis title, and yes, the next Metroid Prime title with the player actually doing John Woo style gun tricks Other titles included a baseball title where you swing your arms to hit the virtual . Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was also shown using the controller, including fishing.

File-Aime then came back on stage, saying that the pre-E3 briefing would reveal some, but not all, of Nintendo's secrets. He emphasized that while everyone has seen a TV show or movie or read a book, not everyone has played a video game. Nintendo's plan is to expand the market for all those people who have not played games. Once again he took digs at the video game industry's emphasis on making games look better and not expand on the actual gameplay experience. File-Aims decided not to release any info on price or exact release dates for the Wii but he did say it will be cost effective and due out in the fall time period. As far as the name Wii, he joked, "We want to thank everyone who wrote good things about it. Both of you." However it looks like Nintendo is sticking to the Wii name.

New Wii game trailers were then shown from both first and third party titles including Rayman, Fire Emblem, Sonic, Madden and more with some of them showing how the Wii controller would be used. Fils-Aime then confirmed that Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii would be available on launch date. (a separate Gamecube version will also be released on the same day). The wireless portion of the Wii will be able to make the person aim with a bow and arrow. The controller will also have a small speaker inside that will allow the player to actually hear the bow being cocked. You can pick up objects with the A button and then throw it with a quick flip of the Wii Nun chuck controller. Graphically the new Zelda game is not looking that much better than current gen console titles but that's to be expected.

Then Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was seen briefly as well as the new Mario platform, Super Mario Galaxy. Nintendo also has three all new games. The first is Exictra, their off-road truck racing game with the ground deforming beloew Project H.A.M.M.E.R features a big guy with a big hammer swinging against enemies. Disaster; Time of Crisis, an human-against-nature action game was also shown. Third party titles like the Wii version of Madden and Tony Hawk Downhill Jam was also mentioned. Ninendo said there will be a whopping 27 playable Wii titles at E3 tomorrow (no launch title numbers were revealed UbiSoft then had a live demo of their first person shooter Red Steel. This game does look more like a next gen console title in terms of graphics with some good looking fie and weapons effects, reflections, and some solid level textures. The demo also showed a lot of interaction and destructibility. The game also has the ability to freeze time temporarily to target specific points on a enemy's body.

Nintendo then switched over to talking about the Ninendo DS console with company vice president George Harrison saying on stage that since the launch in late 2004 the portable console has sold over 16 million units. Nintendo claimed that sales of the Sony's PSP (not just shipping numbers) are "millions less". 1.3 million players have signed onto the free Nintendo WiFi Connection online service since its launch in six months. The Brain Age game in America have sold around 120,000 units in its first three weeks. Nintendo DS Lite will be launching in June and the all new DS Super Mario Brothers game is due out next week. Two new Pokeman DS titles are due out on September 18. Starfox, Yoshi and Diddy Kong titles are also due for the DS in the near future. Nintendo said over 100 new DS titles will be out by the end of the year.

Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, came on stage next. He talked much as he did during his GDC address, saying he wanted to attack not just hardcore gamers but former gamers who have lost interest and non-gamers. Iwata stated that the Wii controller breaks down the barriers that he feels keep some people from playing video games. He also talked about certain video game "features" like long load times that he finds frustrating. Iwata also revealed that the Wii will be able to do things even when it appears to be shut off. WiiConnect24 will be able to constantly connected to the Internet even when the console is only using the power of a miniature light bulb, receiving messages and info. "What we are aiming for is a new system every day", he said. As far as software, a new title called WiiSports will have simple games like golf and tennis will be able to bring non-gamers into the mix, according to Iwata. "Today there are people who play and people who do not We are helping to destroy that barrier," he said.

Nintendo then brought up the Scott Dyer, the winner the AOL contest to play with Miyamoto a Wii game, the tennis portion of Wii Sports in an entertaining gameplay demo. File-Aime then concluded the pre-E3 briefing with a summary of Nintendo's idea for the game industry. All in all the briefly was a good way to get introduced to Wii and we are eagerly awaiting getting on the show floor tomorrow to try out the games for ourselves.


The best of both worlds
The Mircosoft Press Conference3:

The Grauman's Chinese Theater was by far the smallest venue for the third and last major pre-E3 press conference with Microsoft's presentation. The press conference began with a spectacular trailer for Epic Games's shooter Gears of War. Epic Games' lead designer "CliffyB" then went on stage for a live demo for the game. It showed part of the beginning of Gears of War with a terrific looking and gritty firefight with yor character against some pretty nasty looking aliens. Visually the demo really showed off the power of Unreal engine 3 as your character fights through a blasted out building, with heat and weapon effects and some terrific looking character and weapon models on display. It is easily one of the best looking games we have ever seen. Oh, and the blood splats are pretty good too, especially when you use your character's chain saw on the enemy :)

Microsoft's Xbox head Peter Moore then took the stage. He talked about the launch of the Xbox 360 console and how they tried to get as many of them out to the marketplace. They claimed that by the end of June they would have sold over 5 million units since its launch in November, faster than the PS1, PS2, and even the iPod. Moore talked about their vision of a connected entertainment system, beginning with the Xbox 360 version of Xbox Live which they claim will reach 6 million by May 2007. Microsoft said that 57 percent of Xbox 360 owners have signed onto Xbox Live (no word on the numbers of paid subscriber) Moore then showed off some upcoming Xbox Live Arcade titles, including Pax-Man, Frogger, Mortal Kombat, Contra, Defender, and Sonic. Moore also talked about the expansion of original indie games for Xbox Live Arcade, including Lumines Live, RoboBlitz, and more.

Then it was time to talk about the mainline Xbox 360 titles, showing off trailers for games like Rockstar Table Tennis, Mass Effect Too Human, Madden NFL O7, Dead Rising, and more. Moore said there will be over 160 Xbox 360 games for sale by the end of the year A brand new game was revealed during the conference, the Lionhead developed RPG Fable 2 with a trailer that looked interesting. Forza Motorsport 2 was also revealed during the press conference, giving racing sim fans more choices to customize their vehicles. . Over 300 cars will be available and it will launched this holiday. The game will also work with the newly announced Xbox 360 racing wheel which will have force feedback and will be wireless A new wireless camera and headset for the console were also announced and available this fall.

Moore then introduced a new movie showing off a new Japanese based game, Blue Dragon. Dead or Alive Extreme 2 was also officially announced but not yet shown. Moore then showed off a new trailer for Splinter Cell: Double Agent, the next game in the Tom Clancy spy series. The trailer showed a variety of scenes, from a Middle Eastern desert to an Artic location to a HALO jump drop. The Rare kids based game Viva Pinata was shown next and, well, if your kids like this sort of cute animal fantasy game then they should like this. One interesting thing is that this game can use Xbox Live Marketplace to buy new items and even trade with other players.

Moore then talked more about Xbox Live Marketplace, saying there have been over 18 million downloads so far with over 1,000 individual downloads available. Moore said that having demos for upcoming games help sales of those games. When the demo for Fight Night Round 3 went up in January, pre-orders for the full game went up 500 percent. Moore said that a docu-drama on the making of Gears of War will debut on Xbox Live Marketplace and conclude with a half-hour special on MTV. Moore then showed off the Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on which will be available this holiday (no pricing yet). Moore then pulled out what he called "the big guns", revealing in a new tattoo on his arm that Rockstar's crime action game series Grand Theft Auto IV to debut on the Xbox 360 on Oct 17 2007. In addition, episodic content from Rockstar will also be available for the console in the future.

Moore then went to talk about Games For Windows, their new PC gaming push. They showed off a live demo of the upcoming Crytek first person shooter Crysis. The demo showed some spectacular battles with a War of the Worlds like alien tripod. Moore then showed off how Microsoft's Vista OS and DirectX10 would enhance PC games with trailers for Age of Conan, Microsoft Flight Simulator and Crysis. Moore said Vista would make PC games will make those games easier to install and manage. Moore finally announced what we revealed earlier this week with the PC-Xbox 360 game Shadowrun, which Moore said will have it will have weapons unlike any in first person shooter. The game is due in January The other announcement was Alan Wake, the Remedy mystery action game that will also be released for both the PC and Xbox 360.

Moore then introduced Microsoft's head man Bill Gates in his first Micrsoft E3 press conference appearance. Gates talked about how Microsoft plans to use the gaming industry to further Microsoft's plan to link their products seamlessly. Gates then said that they will have 10 million Xbox 360 consoles sold before the other two new consoles debut this fall. He announced Live Anywhere which will launch with Windows Vista, which will link players from PCs to Xbox 360 consoles and mobile phones among others.

He announced Live Anywhere which will launch with Windows Vista, which will link players from PCs to Xbox 360 consoles and mobile phones among others. Gates then demoed how Live Anywhere works, logging onto the game Shadowrun, showing a friends list that has shows friends not just on Xbox 360 but for Windows PC and mobile phone. the demo showed off how a player can play a friend in Shadowrun whether they are on the PC and Xbox 360 and then play the game in both Windows and on the Xbox 360 at the same time. You can even used you mobile phone to, as another demo showed, send content for Forza Motorsport, picking out a car to play on your mobile phone, customizes it out for the P and race it on the Xbox 360

Moore then joined Gates on stage, and they finally showed off what was highly rumored, the trailer for Halo 3, the next game in the Bungie first person shooter series. The trailer showed off Master Chief on some kind of Covadent base, with his holo pal Cortana flashing in and out of screen. The trailer, if it was using in game cinematic, looked awesome as you see Master Chief looking downward on a based with alien ships flying about. The trailer said the game is due out in 2007.


Note; I don't wanna hear it. Seriously.

RoaCh of DisCord

Premium Member
Sexy article, thanks.