3:30pm: Checking in for my appointment with EA. They weren't actually "waiting" for me, it seems. I simply get assigned to the next available handler and walked through the gauntlet of their suite in a group. My group consists of myself and that gal who licked a PSP once. I forget her name. She asks interesting questions. I wonder how it tasted?
Gamecock's quickly building a reputation as the most lighthearted publishing house in existence, and EIEIO was their brand come alive. Everyone from the Gamecock publishing house was wandering around the premises wearing rooster outfits, inviting people to various bungalows, in which individual companies under the banner were showing off their games. The whole experience felt more like a barbecue at a buddy's house than a stuffy, over important convention, and on the third of five very long days, it was a welcome atmosphere.
While I was there, I managed to check out three different games: Hail to the Chimp, Dementium and Legendary: The Box.
Our time at Sega's E3 suite was largely unimpressive, but I did find a couple of gems hidden in the back, in their "PC Room."
The PR flak almost didn't take me there, concerned, I guess , that it would eb a waste of my time. Barred the way, asking if there was anything else I'd rather see instead, anything I hadn't seen. When I told her Id been through the whole suite, had a few minutes to spare between appointments and that I really did want to see what they kept in there (Really. I really do.), she relented. Grudgingly. And handed me off to someone else to make the introductions.
It was worth the effort.
Making my way through the show, one of the questions I had in mind was why I bothered to buy a Wii when Wii Sports is the only game I like on the console. At this point, no one's gotten the Wii's "it," and even Nintendo has seemed a bit lost. Luckily, a few shops - ranging from EA on down - are on the right track.
We spent hours and hours and hours at EA's three E3 venues, and played over a dozen of their new games. I'll tell you what I think of Rock Band, Army of Two and EA's attempt to raise the casual flag and "conquer that hill."
Walking through Bioshock's world is akin to entering an overly cerebral funhouse, with new horrors around each corner, and an overriding feeling of dread at what the place represents, and what has become of it. It's an experience few games can match, and one we've been without for far too long.
"LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga is the first game where you can swing a lightsaber with the Wii remote. It will not be the last."
Our time at Lucasarts was well spent. We found what might possible be our next favorite party game, got a look at two new games featuring exciting technologies and saw the first-ever use of the Wiimote to swing a lightsaber. These are days when one loves ones job.
Blizzard's presence at E3 this year wasn't substantial - they have their own conference after all - but we did get a chance to take a look at StarCraft 2, and it was like going home again. I'm just not sure if that's as great as it sounds.
Part of the intro movie for Bethesda's Fallout 3 made it out onto the net several weeks ago. Their presentation at E3 today revealed the rest. And yes, the entire thing was narrated by Ron Perlman, and yes, he said "War never changes" (the tagline from the original) at least twice.
After we watched the movie, Bethesda Executive Producer, Todd Howard, played through about 45 minutes of the game, revealing a number of weapons, demonstrating the various control schemes and making a lot of things go BOOM.
Chances are, if you enjoy even a passing interest in MMOGs, you know Richard Garriott. You know Lord British, his online alter-ego from Ultima Online, is a name he takes seriously. So when he walked into the presentation room in which I was sitting in sci-fi military regalia - with a beret and black cowboy boots and spurs - and introduced himself as General British, I had to stand up and salute.
Eidos takes the prize for both decoration at this year's E3. The Age of Conan booth featured moody, Conan-esque decor and shrunken heads, and the latest title from IO received the full treatment: cocaine under glass.
When we got a chance to take a look at EA's rather extensive lineup yesterday, it was like jumping into a time warp to old E3: loud noises, terrible ventilation and too many bodies in too small a space. However, Rock Band was there, and I had to make a pilgrimage. And yes, it's cooler than everyone I know by at least a factor of 11.
There was a dead possum in the gutter.
The short walk from where the shuttle buses dropped us off and Sony's studio in Culver City was about three blocks, and halfway there I saw it. It was a possum. And I was pretty sure it was dead.
I could have poked it just to be sure, but the smell was a fairly definitive statement. This possum wasn't playing; it was dead.
My first reaction was to feel sorry for the poor critter. My second was to think that someone from Sony should have been more careful than to leave such a dangerous metaphor lying around on their big day.
Today, 33 weeks after the launch of Nintendo's Wii console, there is still a shortage. Nintendo has sold over 40 million of the devices and they are still flying off of store shelves as fast as they come in. And it is a hit among key, market growing demographics. Mainly with adults and adult women ( a third of all women polled in households with a Wii report using it "regularly"), the demographic frequently called "the other 90%."
"We see today as a celebration," said Fils-Aime, "for all of us." And by "all of us," he means the entire industry.
If sales of the new generation of consoles were a NASCAR race, it would look something like this:
Microsoft is off to an early lead, having suited up and lapped the track for a full year before Nintendo and Sony even arrived at Daytona. But in the eight months Nintendo has been in the race, they've been burning through tires as fast as Dunlop can make them, and so far they've halved the Microsoft's lead, and are still coming on strong.
Meanwhile, Sony, in the number three car, is laboring just to match their own time from the previous race and Microsoft has been forced to take number of emergency pitstops, which may not cost them the race, but certainly can't help.
Race prediction: Nintendo takes the checkered flag before Christmas, Microsoft hangs on to an impressive, but relatively weak number two position and Sony fires their driver and throws the old car back into the race so they can at least claim "former glory."
Also, Jeff Gordon is a weenie.