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:
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
LOS ANGELES--If there's one story we seem to write at least every other year at E3, its how the gaming industry is overly reliant on sequels and spin-offs, rarely creating anything truly new. This year, the issue seems bigger than ever, with seemingly few original ideas in a sea of IIs, IIIs, and more.
Case in point: The games big publishers are depending on to carry them through the all-important holiday shopping season are for the most part all retreads of existing games. They include Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fallout: New Vegas, Halo Reach, Dead Space 2, Crysis 2, Civilization V, and new installments in the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises (a separate-but-related issue is the "rebooting" of vintage games, such as Kid Icarus or GoldenEye).
Its overly simplistic to blame a conceptual lack of originality for the deficit of new ideas, stories, and characters. Video games generally don't function under the auteur theory that many of the best films do, crafted by a singular creative vision (with a few high-profile exceptions); instead they more often are the ultimate example of art by committee. Game developers essentially create "work for hire" on behalf of publishers, which in turn resemble nothing so much as the classic 1940's Hollywood studio system, where studio bosses pulled the strings and set the agenda. … Read more
This week on preGAME we take an in-depth look at all three major E3 2010 press conferences. If you didn't get to catch those shows live, make sure to tune in here as we run through each conference, picking apart every announcement, game, and hardware debut.
We've got dozens of videos to show, displaying the latest and greatest from the world of gaming, including Nintendo 3DS hands-on, Microsoft Kinect, and PlayStation Move gameplay. Also, we'll be checking out game trailers for blockbuster titles like Portal 2, Twisted Metal, Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Gears of War 3.
So … Read more
A few weeks ago, Nintendo developed a partnership with the American Heart Association. The Wii Fit is one of Nintendo's most successful product/game combinations ever. All new Wiis are now packaged with Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus, along with an approval stamp from the AHA.
It seemed like the stage was perfectly set to trot back out with the Vitality Sensor Satoru Iwata unveiled at last year's E3 press conference.
So, what happened?
LOS ANGELES--The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo is a very visually oriented experience, with game companies spending heavily to create compelling show floor experiences to lure in attendees. You'll typically find plenty of costumed characters, giant physical structures that can hardy be called booths, and more flatscreen TVs per square inch than at your average Costco.
We captured some of the most notable sights from the show floor, as well as from the Sony and Nintendo press conferences. Highlights include some caged zombies from Capcom's Dead Rising, Nintendo godfather Shigeru Miyamoto demoing his latest Zelda game, and the most … Read more
LOS ANGELES--After trying out both the Microsoft Kinect and Nintendo 3DS, we got to test-drive the third big hardware product of E3 2010, Sony's PlayStation Move. We've actually tried the Move before, at its original announcement during the Game Developers Conference earlier in 2010, but this was our chance to dive deeper into some of the launch games.
Of the three major motion-control peripherals for game consoles, the Wiimote, Kinect camera, and Move controller, it's Sony's device that looks the most garish. The black flashlight handle stick is topped with a ball that can change color, depending on its use in a particular game (the ball is actually soft to the touch, which always seems to surprise people), and it looks a lot more like game hardware than Nintendo's understated white controller or the Kinect's multimedia-looking Webcam.
Aside from that, we'd have to say that in terms of acting purely as a video game peripheral, the PlayStation Move is currently our favorite entry in the motion control competition. Kinect works well enough, but it's not always as responsive as you'd want, or at least that's how some of the games we tried felt. Plus, Kinect's opening game lineup is somewhat generic, with more proof-of-concept games than titles that would stand up without the Kinect tie-in. In fact, the Kinect's biggest strength has been largely unheralded--it's excellent ability to recognize and respond to voice commands, which is useful for home theater tasks.… Read more
LOS ANGELES--Can someone please tell me why we've spent the last two days rehashing the highlights of E3 2009?
If you were here for last year's video game mega-convention, you will recall that the big news from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo was the true dawn of the motion control wars. Microsoft unveiled Project Natal, Sony showed off its prototype system, and Nintendo pulled back the wraps on some new improvements to the Wii Motion Plus.
All told, these innovations were going to take us to the next level of video game play, where it's all about gesture-based control and traditional button-based controllers became a thing of the past.
Flash forward to this week, though, and the highlights of the press conferences, at least Sony's and Microsoft's, seem someone familiar. Let's recap. At Microsoft's event on Monday, the biggest news was the formal unveiling of Kinect. This, of course, used to be known as Project Natal.
Microsoft announced that the device would be available November 4 and was able for the first time to name some actual games that will be Kinect-enabled. There will be 15 launch titles, including Ubisoft's Michael Jackson game, as well as six that were featured during the press event, Dance Central, a dancing game from Rock Band developer Harmonix; Kinect Sports, a game that offers soccer, bowling, track, and more; Kinect Joy Ride, a racing game; Kinect Adventures, a game for navigating down rivers and railroad tracks while trying to hit targets; Your Shape, an exercise game; and Kinectimals. However, the demo was very much like the one from a year earlier. … Read more
A roundup of short video clips from Microsoft's press briefing at E3 2010, where it unveiled a new Xbox, announced the latest lineup of games for its console, and showed just what its Kinect motion-sensor technology can do.
Xbox 360 media briefing at E3 2010 CNET's Brian Tong runs through the highlights from Microsoft's E3 showcase on Monday. There's a new Xbox 360 that's a whole lot smaller, Microsoft Kinect uses your body as the controller and introduces a new Xbox 360 interface, and hardcore gamers get their fix of Gears of War 3, Halo: … Read more
Having had a few opportunities to play around with Microsoft's Kinect camera peripheral over the past year (then it was still called Project Natal), we were eager to try the seemingly finalized version displayed at E3 (see the video below for highlights from our hands-on session).
The first thing we noticed was that the Kinect hardware was visually very close (as far as we could tell) to the demo devices seen as far back as E3 2009, despite rumblings from Microsoft reps during the year that the design was subject to change. It's a physically large device, and … Read more