Each year, after E3 comes to a close and financial analysts have a chance to sift through all the news from the gaming industry show, those analysts share their opinions on which companies did well and which left something to be desired. This year, a few analysts, speaking to Gamasutra in an interview, contend that it was Nintendo that did the best job of building hype for its products.
This week on preGAME we're getting an exclusive First Look at Halo: Reach, almost two months before the game hits stores! In the studio today is Bungie Community Director Brian Jarrard, who will show us some of the single-player campaign as well as the revamped four-player co-op mode Firefight.
As E3 2010 comes to a close, we can't help but scratch our heads at a few things we didn't see that we thought were sure bets. Arguably, the biggest surprise absence from the show has to be Hulu on the Xbox 360. All the signs seemed to point to an E3 unveiling, but nothing regarding the video-streaming service materialized during the expo.
We're sure everyone has something they wish came to fruition at E3, but we've collectively come up with 15 items that for one reason or another didn't come together this year. Click … Read more
Just before the show started, CNET editors Dan Ackerman, Jeff Bakalar, and Scott Stein took a stab at predicting the key announcements. How'd they do? Let's take a look:
"Sure bet, take it to the bank!" This category was aptly named--the boys nearly had a sweep here.
Microsoft's Project Natal named/priced/bundled: We got the new name (
Kinect), the release date (Novmeber 4), and plenty of demos and details. But still no confirmation on the price (though it's looking more and more like $149). Score this one a half point. PlayStation Move price, date, launch titles announced: Sony delivered full pricing, bundling, and launch date details, along with a full slate of launch titles. Full point. Rock Band 3 focuses on its new "keyboard" instrument: Behold the keytar. Full point. Additional premium video partners for Xbox Live/PSN: Xbox Live Gold subscribers will get full access to ESPN3's online content--if they're using a supported ISP. However, Sony's PlayStation Plus paid subscription service lacked the same sort of "killer app" video content--so I'm scoring this as a half point. PS3 3D firmware confirmed/dated, with Killzone 3D demo: A pre-E3 firmware update and some newly 3D-ified games meant that the PS3 was firmly in the third dimension by the time E3 started. Sony sealed the deal with an impressive 3D Killzone 3 demo. Full point. New "3D" version of the Nintendo DS: Nintendo's glasses-free 3DS was, indeed, one of the show's big highlights. Full point.
LOS ANGELES--When it comes to making a video game based on the life and performances of Michael Jackson, you can bet that the project didn't just happen by accident.
After all, the rights to the music and the likeness of the king of pop are still some of the most valuable in show business. So it was no small feat for game publisher Ubisoft to pull together not just a game based on and named after Jackson, but to be able to guarantee that the game--scheduled for a holiday 2010 release--will feature, at a minimum, mega-hits "Billie Jean" and "Beat it."
Ubisoft announced the forthcoming game at the mammoth E3 convention here on Monday, just shy of a year since the superstar died last summer. The company said that the game will have Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo Wii and DS versions, and will be compatible with both Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's Move motion control systems. It's not known if it will be one of the 15 launch titles that will be available for Kinect when that system goes on sale on November 4.
The game will "provide an interactive experience that enables players to step into the shoes of Michael Jackson himself and re-live his most iconic performances through their own singing and dancing," Ubisoft said in a release announcing the upcoming title. It "will include the most famous tracks from Michael Jackson's extensive catalog...as well as an array of his awe-inspiring dance moves for players to learn and emulate within the game." … Read more
Nothing makes an E3 show stand out like the collection of costumed characters, full-size monster sculptures, and movielike props that fill the halls, booths, and even the lobbies of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
It's closer at times to a comic book convention than an industry-only trade show, and a pretty good barometer of how the companies involved feel about the overall health of the expo (a frequent topic on conversation over the past few years).
If this last look at E3 2010 has you nostalgic for some of my hands-on hardware testing, trend-spotting, and photo galleries from earlier this week, click past the break for a handy roundup of all my E3 coverage from this year.
The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo typically concentrates on the games major publishers hope consumers will either purchase or put on their holiday wish lists in the coming year. Though there's always a certain amount of hardware, in the form of controllers, accessories, and PCs, for the most part, this a show about software, not hardware.
The exception is when a new game console is launching, and over the many years I've attended the show, I've seen the launches of the Sega Dreamcast; Sony's PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PSP; Nintendo's GameCube, Wii, and DS; and Microsot's Xbox and Xbox 360. That said, 2010 is the first year without a major living room console launch where I've seen almost all the attention focused firmly on hardware rather than software.
Both motion control systems have their strengths and weaknesses, but I thought that Kinect especially had promise for home entertainment control, and the PlayStation Move provided the kind of precision and accuracy that core gamers would most appreciate.
The 3DS, at risk of being written off as a novelty in the era of me-too 3D, was a surprising success (at least in the small doses it was offered up to attendees), with eyeglass-free 3D that actually seems to work. Though that's only a tiny personal screen for now, it makes those expensive, cumbersome active shutter 3D systems feel like a much tougher sell.
If the technology behind the 3DS holds up, it's really only a matter of time and scale before consumers expect all forms of 3D to not require glasses.
These new hardware devices were impressive in person, but they're all still a tough sell; console add-ons have traditionally not succeeded (from the Sega 32X to the Xbox HD-DVD drive), and Nintendo fans may have upgrade fatigue after the DS, DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL.
The second major reason this year's E3 felt like it was all about hardware, was that the software largely failed to impress. This left the field wide open for the Kinect, Move, and 3DS to steal the show.
I've already detailed the overreliance on sequels and spin-offs, many on a rapidly accelerated production cycle to feed the need for annual product installments. But, there was a handful of games in development seen either on the show floor or behind closed doors that made my must-play list (and yes, most of them are sequels). In no particular order, they are:… Read more
Both Microsoft and Sony finally showed their respective motion-controlling hands earlier this week at E3 2010. Of course, we'll have full reviews of these products as their release dates approach, but first we're comparing their basic specifications head to head. Here's how they stack up:
Amid all the hoopla surrounding E3, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told a Japanese publication this week that he plans to bring 3D functionality to the company's next game console.
"If you display a 3D image, the image quality becomes extremely bad, so we'd probably do it with the next system," Iwata told the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. "We're thinking that the timing should be once the 3D television adoption rates crosses the 30 percent mark. We're looking at the adoption trends."
Iwata's comments seem to fall in line with Nintendo's recent … Read more
LOS ANGELES--If the huge crowds and crowds at E3 this week are any indication, the video game industry is in a lot better shape than a lot of people thought.
All throughout the two main halls at the Los Angeles Convention Center where E3 has been going strong since Tuesday morning, throngs of people make it hard to move, and at booth after booth, if you don't have an appointment, there's little chance you're going to get your hands on any of the hot games and hardware being shown here this year.
For more than a year, there's been a hint of doom and gloom surrounding the industry as its leading analyst, The NPD Group, has reported month after month of year-over-year sales declines. In April, for example, the firm bore the bad tidings that the industry as a whole saw 26 percent year-over-year declines, and that hardware revenues were down 37 percent year-over-year.
But on Wednesday, in a confession clearly timed to hit during the industry's premiere event, NPD admitted that its longstanding methodology for measuring industry sales has ignored some significant streams of revenue. … Read more