Northern Ireland Gaming
Uncategorized and music02 Jun 2009 01:49 pm

Microsoft kicked off E3 yesterday evening with their press conference. Nintendo’s conference is at 5 this evening (BST), followed by Sony at 7.

Microsoft’s press conference opened with The Beatles: Rock Band, complete with the two surviving Beatles and the dead ones’ wives. This was followed by another celebrity endorsement when Tony Hawks mounted the stage to show off his new plastic skateboard (complete with accelerometers!). Then he disappeared off stage, presumably to make awkward small talk with the remains of the Beatles.

Then we got a huge surprise. A trailer for Modern Warfare 2 which everyone’s already seem before. There were some explosions and all that kind of gaff.  Messers Yoshinori Kitase and Motumo Toriyama came along to show off Final Fantasy XIII on the 360, although they didn’t have a great deal to say for themselves. Spring 2010, they told the world, presumably for both platforms, but hopefully not.

Following this was something called Shadow Complex. It was slightly unmemorable. Left for Dead 2 was next, then Crackdown 2, then Splinter Cell Conviction. “Driven by his emotions, Sam is now the ultimate predator” and other such gibberish.

There was some driving game, but I’ve forgotten the name of it (it’s just a driving game), then Halo ODST, which looked like… Halo. No huge surprises.

Then there was a lecture on Xbox Live. All sorts of stuff that you can usually do on your computer, you can now do on your Xbox too. Last.fm, Facebook, Twitter, all coming this Autumn. Hideo Kojima crept on stage.

Big announcement: Metal Gear Solid Rising, featuring Raiden as the main character. Not exclusive to the 360, as it turns out. Gamespress gave it away yesterday, presumably by accident.

Microsoft’s killer blow came next. Project Natal. To put it simply, it’s an Eyetoy, but with voice and face recognition. Poor Microsoft. Their two big innovations have been online gaming (PC and Dreamcast got there first) and a beefed up Eyetoy. Steven Spielberg came along to tell us about people being scared of traditional controllers and how historic Natal is going to be. Frankly, he’s a film director. He’s slightly irrelevant, but seems to be trying for the position of archfiend of casual gaming. There was a bit of (rather dodgy looking) painting and messing about with avatars (well BAM there it is).

Someone then told us that “Xbox 360 is home to every hit franchise”, which we all know simply isn’t true, and, a couple of minutes later, it was all over. Frankly, it was impressively star-studded and packed with new games, so Nintendo and Sony and pretty much screwed. Microsoft look set to walk away with E3 yet again.

By the way, there’s speculation that Nintendo are going to be showing a new Mario game because of these photos. Apparently, you can make out blocks, coins and fireflowers through the sheets.

Sparky.

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