While the actual E3 show doesn't officially start until Tuesday, today is what longtime attendees traditionally call E3: Day Zero.
With press conferences from Microsoft, EA, and others, much of the week's news has already been made--most notably by the Kinect camera peripheral for Xbox 360.
If you haven't kept up on all the E3 news today, this slideshow will give you a quick tour of the highlights and lowlights, and hopefully give you a few things to get excited about for the next several days of E3 action.
LOS ANGELES--Video game maker Ubisoft announced Monday that it expects to publish a game in time for holiday 2010 based on the life and performances of Michael Jackson.
According to a release from Ubisoft, which was timed to the E3 video game convention, the game, which doesn't yet have a name, will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS, and Sony PlayStation Portable. It will also be compatible with Kinect for Xbox and PlayStation Move.
Although it is planned for a holiday 2010 release, it's not clear if it will be one of the 15 … Read more
LOS ANGELES--I had to hold back a laugh or two as Electronic Arts' E3 press conference kicked off. Not because of its scale, which was quite large in LA's Orpheum Theater, but because it began with a video of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, EA's latest vehicular "chase or race" title that features rural mountain police driving Bugatti Veyrons.
How a sleepy mountain town's police force got itself a $1.7 million supercar was never really explained. But the hiss of turbo, the wild revving of million-dollar engines, and the road signs that frequently went whipping by in a blur of yellow only made it easier to forget. After all, it's EA's world, and after sitting through enough of the company's trailers you just end up accepting it as its own form of reality.
As the video transitioned into a live demo of Hot Pursuit, EA's Craig Sullivan desperately tried to catch up with the bad guy in a Lamborghini Gallardo, who was eventually flipped, totaled, and presumably still alive, despite the epic slow motion crash sequence that sent bits of the car showering toward the camera. In other words, exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to happen when you mess with the boys in blue--and their car with tires that cost $25,000.
The pomp and circumstance of the event came just two hours after Microsoft had unveiled a smaller, more feature packed Xbox 360 hardware, and demoed a handful of motion-controlled games that will run on the Kinect platform. EA followed suite, showing off its Active series, which has been designed to get gamers off the couch by turning exercise into a series of mini-games.
The new version of Active (called simply Active 2) comes out in November and works on all three major consoles. However, on stage it seemed to have the best showing on the Xbox 360, which was using a Kinect unit to track the demo player's body movements. The players using Sony's PlayStation 3 and Wii, on the other hand, had to have sensors attached to various parts of their bodies--and even then, the movement looked a little artificial when rendered back on screen.
Casual fitness games were not what stole the show though. Ultimately what got the most applause were… Read more
Crysis 2 "will be the first major video game on multiple platforms to take full advantage of true stereoscopic 3D," according to an EA news release. Until now, we've assumed the PlayStation 3 is the only current-generation console capable of 3D gaming since it supports a newer HDMI specification.
If EA is correct, why didn't Microsoft announce such a thing at the company's news conference this morning? Sony has certainly been riding the 3D bandwagon, so a Microsoft counter-attack wouldn't be out of the question.
The original Crysis took advantage of the horsepower-demanding proprietary … Read more
Fable III is Peter Molyneux's third tale in the epic action-adventure RPG franchise where every decision you make has an impact on your character's ultimate fate. Molyneux was on hand at Microsoft's E3 2010 press conference to briefly discuss the game and described it as "the quest to save Albion."
The title will take place five years after Fable II and will be available on October 26.
Microsoft was quick to show the latest trailer and gameplay footage for Hideo Kojima's latest in the Metal Gear Solid universe. Rising lets players play as the sword-wielding Raiden and gives them ultimate control over where and what the lethal weapon slices.
Still, not a lot is known in terms of a release date and whether Rising will have a timed exclusivity deal with the Xbox 360.
Without a doubt, one of Microsoft's most valuable video game franchises was highlighted Monday at the company's E3 2010 press conference; Halo: Reach takes place before the events of the original Halo trilogy. Gamers can join the Spartan resistance against the Convenant this September when Halo: Reach is set to ship.
The title has already enjoyed success due to the 2.7 million players who participated in the limited multiplayer beta last month.
Just as we suspected back in January, Microsoft has announced an exclusive partnership with ESPN to bring live and on-demand sports coverage to Xbox Live. On hand to reveal the news were ESPN personalities Josh Elliott and Trey Wingo.
The ESPN service will offer 3,500 live events in addition to on-demand content from college football and basketball, MLB, NBA, and soccer games; though there was no direct mention of the NFL and NHL. These streaming games will also offer some DVR functionality too as Elliot and Wingo demonstrated replay modes using voice control through Kinect.
news analysis LOS ANGELES--If one thing was clear in the lead-up to the Xbox 360 E3 press conference, it was that hard-core gamers felt threatened by Microsoft's obvious move toward casual gaming with its forthcoming Kinect motion control system.
But while the company is indeed hoping Kinect and its ease of use and accessibility to just about anyone can help it capture a much larger audience, it also wants its longtime loyalists to know they haven't been forgotten.
That much was evident at the press conference, which took place here Monday morning. Before Kinect was ever mentioned, those in the audience were blasted with demos of purely hard-core titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Halo: Reach, and Gears of War 3. The new Call of Duty, from the developer Treyarch, rather than Infinity Ward, which made the record-breaking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, will be released on November 9, while Halo: Reach is expected in September. … Read more
A certain E3 Expo has swept in to steal the spotlight everywhere, so, of course, we spend the episode breaking down the aftermath of Microsoft's news conference, including an impressive surprise from ESPN. Is the Kinect worth it? Will Nintendo's 3DS be any good? And why are there so many damn shooters? Our guest, gaming/tech expert, E3 veteran, and former Playboy editor Scott Alexander, joins us for some grumpy and impassioned talk.
Next week, Dan will be back from his E3 adventures, hands full of strange pictures and stranger stories. Until then, enjoy the show!