Video Games

E3 News and Analysis

E3 ExpoE3 2010 Coverage: Microsoft

To kick off E3, Call Of Duty: Black OPS was shown yet again with BRAND NEW in game footage rather than just a trailer. The game looks very well done as usual from the gang over at Treyarch, showing off the new in game actions as well as the gorgeous graphics and very detailed environments you’re playing in. Looks like there is a lot of repelling this time around, something I really enjoyed from Modern Warfare 2. The biggest news to come out of the presentation of Black OPS was the announcement that Microsoft, Treyarch, and Activision have announced an exclusive three year deal that will bring in the Downloadable Content for Call Of Duty games to the Xbox 360 first before any other console whether it be the PS3, PC, or Wii. The content will be timed exclusives meaning that for a set period of time, you will not be able to play the content on any other console.

This prompted Don Mattrick, Microsoft Head of Interactive Entertainment, to state that “if you’re playing Call of Duty for the next few years, you should only play it on Xbox 360”. This is a dramatic departure from just coming out saying its exclusive only to lose that exclusive deal within a period of months or a year much like the Grand Theft Auto IV Expansions. Then the moment I was waiting for, Gears Of War 3! Cliff once again took the stage early as he usually does at the Xbox 360 presentation and dove right into the Campaign Mode of Gears Of War 3 only this time, with Live 4 Player Co-Op. WOW! Everything moved smoothly and everything was top notch, this game will be hands down the biggest and best Xbox 360 game ever made, nothing will measure up…and this is coming from me watching a live demo.

Power Up: http://i47.tinypic.com/2saf81l.jpg
The Stage Is Set, Are You 2010?: http://i47.tinypic.com/20gbgqx.jpg
Lambent Berserker!!:qdc http://i49.tinypic.com/28ro6fm.jpg

The new weapons were shown off as well as a revamped in game HUD telling you new information about what weapons are set to the specific directions on the D-Pad as well as NEW Assassination Moves that can be done alone or with your Teammates all in real time with NO Slow Down or Frame Rate chipping. Also, finally, you can grenade tag enemies and kick them towards other enemies, now you can do more than just blow up an enemy and hope for more damage or even the reverse effect which is exploding yourself by accident. Covering has been expanded as well as the overall sense of urgency. You are the last of the Human Race since the COG (Coalition of Ordered Governments) has been disbanded and you’re completely on your own.

New moves were shown off as well as the improved AI on the enemies as well as the overall feel of the game, it moves so much faster now. You’re also joined in battle with Anya, the previous games link to Command, she is now a Soldier who fights along side with you. The gameplay footage showed off a huge battle between the remnants of the COG against the Locust and the Lambent/Locust Hybrids. The battle concludes with glimpses of the New, More Violent, Lambent Berserker!! It is also more than one of them this time around. Gears of War 3 looks enormous and I simply cannot wait for it to launch April 5, 2011. Brothers to the End! No word on if Gears of War 3 will support Kinect, hopefully it will not. Next up, once again, Microsoft starts off a long speech about their sales and their success in the Social Media market. With the introductions of Facebook, Netflix, Last.FM, Zune Marketplace, Twitter, and many other services that are available in the other markets, Microsoft has your Music, Movies, Social, Photo’s, as well as Radio all covered. Today, something else will be covered: Sports! Microsoft has announced that the World’s Largest Sports Network, ESPN, will be bringing ALL there live content from the NCAA, NFL, NBA, as well as many live events including the 2010 FIFA World Cup directly to the Xbox 360.

ESPN 360 (Get It?): http://i50.tinypic.com/nej9c1.jpg
What’s This?: http://i46.tinypic.com/2s1ty8g.jpg

Matt & Trey from Sports Center fame were on hand to give an actual live demo of the services that are being offered from ESPN for Xbox Live and from the looks of it, I am very impressed by what is being offered from ESPN. They showed off classic footage from the most recent bowl game featuring USC Vs. Ohio State, the classic winning touchdown was show over and over again much to Trey’s dislike. Now ESPN for Xbox 360 might explain why the departure from the ESPN 360 Website, now things make sense don’t they. ESPN for Xbox Live can be controlled in so many ways; the majority of the content for this service will be in FULL HD and will feature live events as well. You can control anything and everything related to this service whether it is via Xbox 360 Controller, DVD Remote, or the brand new Kinect device with voice and hand gestures.

You can also connect to the ESPN Sports Nation while watching content on your Xbox 360 and vote in polls as well as answer ESPN Trivia all in real time. You can also monitor all your fantasy team stats as well. This is an awesome service being brought over to the Xbox Live Community, and it’s going to be offered to Xbox Live Gold Members for F-R-E-E…yep, ESPN On Xbox Live Is Free For Gold Members! ESPN, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black OPS & Exclusive Content Multi-year Deal with Microsoft and in-between all of this, Metal Gear Solid: Rising finally shows itself. Rising takes place in the Metal Gear Solid 4 storyline as you will assume the role of “Cyborg” Raiden as you travel through the environments from Old Snake’s Final Mission.

The whole design around of the game centers on the Sword of Raiden, you can literally cut ANYTHING in your way, and I mean anything. This was shown in graphic detail as Raiden was slicing his way through enemies, terrain, robots, and even Fruit. They closed out the presentation of Metal Gear Solid: Rising show Raiden slicing up Watermelon slices for the children in a town that is being terrorized by the militia. The precision and detail given to the sword controls is simply astounding.

Slicing & Dicing: http://i46.tinypic.com/t0jb10.jpg
Raiden As A Soul Eater?: http://i50.tinypic.com/3341z52.jpg

The only thing about this game that I can’t quite cut through, still no release date or anything else related to the story line or its relation to the Metal Gear Solid universe. Hideo Kojima once again displayed his latest masterpiece before the crowd and everyone there was very interested in what they saw. Metal Gear Solid: Rising is also one of those “Exclusive” games for the Xbox 360 that is shrouded in mystery as to if it really is exclusive. It will be seen as to how exclusive this game actually is in time I suppose unless it is shown off at Sony’s conference (Yes, I am writing this in real time after watching the Xbox 360 Conference On June 14th, 2010).

With all those bombs dropped in this Console War, the biggest star of the Xbox 360 show was shown off, Introducing Kinect. If you have been living under a rock for the last year, then you haven’t heard of Project Natal, now named Kinect, is a motion gesture, microphone equipped, motorized tilt sensor, as well as High Def equipped device that will allow users to interact in a vast variety of ways whether it be Kinect specific games or the Xbox 360 Dashboard. This was shown off by bringing out Ron from the Kinect Development team. He started up his Kinect experience by simply waving at the device and the device knew who he was an automatically signed him in with his Xbox Live Account as well as Welcomed Him Back, Welcome Back, Ron was shown on the screen alongside his Avatar. He was easily scrolling through the menus as if he had a controller but from the looks of things, it was a bit on the slow side to scroll through the many options.

The voice commands looked very well done and very well thought out, I mean you can literally asked the ESPN Application to show polls and trivia instantly, without hesitation. Using the Zune marketplace was also very quick on being responsive as well but it’s the motion gesture controls that seem to be very, very slow. This was all shown in real time there was no video showing this off, that makes the slow down a very real issue and a very problematic one since this device will launch on November 4th, 2010.

With A Game Like This, I Should Be Confident Right?: http://i49.tinypic.com/2w23fqe.jpg
Forza Motorsport 4!: http://i48.tinypic.com/v8oi2o.jpg

I have been very critical of this device for the last year ever since it was announced last year and shown in a very short video trailer. Meanwhile, Sony shows off their Move even though it was in prototype form, Move was shown functioning with games designed for it. Microsoft was quick to fire back at Sony stating that there not revolutionizing anything nor were they thinking outside of the box with their design. This is valid yet ineffective since Microsoft, since E3 2009, hasn’t made a peep about their device. So what were they basing their argument on? Also, does anyone do any kind of prep work before they show off Microsoft products before a live audience on TV or the Internet?

When the device was working with just one person whether it was via Video Chat, ESPN, Zune it seemed seamless at times. Then you add one more person and it seems like the device had a hard time keeping up. This was most evident in the Kinect Sports game where two players were running track and jumping hurdles. The camera looked like it had to be reset to register both people who were standing before it. Also, the lag time I saw from the menu scrolling via hand gestures was sad. I never heard such a collective groan of silence ever at E3, especially for a Product Unveiling. Microsoft based there whole E3 presentation on the Kinect, everything else was just a mention or an announcement or quick demo. Why Microsoft gave little time to Gears Of War 3 and Halo: Reach escapes me yet they give time to a developer’s daughter to play a virtual pet game that is longer in duration then both Gears 3 and Halo: Reach. What’s the priority here? I don’t think Microsoft got the reception they were hoping for with this device or maybe perhaps the crowd was more hardcore gamer oriented.

Either way, there’s no excuse here, Kinect flopped badly at E3 2010 and the device is launching in 5 months (from the time of this writing), how am I supposed to be confident in this device. Another issue I have, why no price announced? Is Microsoft simply waiting to see what Sony puts on the Move and then they announce the Kinect price? All retailers are stating the device will launch on November 4th, 2010 for $149.99. If that’s the case, Sony can win this accessory battle simply on putting out great software, since the price point is expected to be under $100. That price point was labeled back at the Sony Playstation Day event. Also, Sony also stated they would have Playstation Move bundle sets, unless they back out of their word, which Sony has done on some occasions but let’s face who hasn’t in this industry, Kinect is in big trouble unless Sony just drops the ball badly.

Meet Kinect: http://i47.tinypic.com/wj9nk6.jpg
Kinect Sports: http://i49.tinypic.com/x3fp1j.jpg
Kinect Launch Games: http://i50.tinypic.com/2ko9p5.jpg

Microsoft started off very strong, I was really into the Call Of Duty: Black OPS News, Gears Of War 3, Codename: Kingdom, Halo: Reach. As well as the introduction of ESPN but once they went to Kinect, I couldn’t Kinect. It’s really sad that a revised version of the Xbox 360 got a bigger ovation. Microsoft finally unveiled the Xbox 360 S, which is a slim, smaller, 250GB Hard Drive Equipped, 802.11n Wi-Fi Equipped, launching TODAY for $299.99. This announcement was leaked a bit early via some French gaming site running a flash animation showing off the new console that was yet to be announced. Xbox 360 S will be available no later the June 20th, 2010, just in time for Father’s Day. It should be noted that the Xbox 360 S is NOT compatible with your Xbox 360 Hard Drive or Memory Card, so unless some data transfer kit is released, your data belongs to your old Xbox 360. Also, that HUGE power supply returns, only a bit smaller.

They made it a lot quieter with smaller, more energy efficient fans as well as more vents and touch panel power and eject buttons, much like the PS3. There’s a lot to consider with purchasing one. I may consider since I’m sick of the noise from the DVD Drive, plus I want to listen and enjoy Alan Wake and Gears Of War 3. All in all, before Kinect hit, E3 2010 was a huge hit for Microsoft but once Kinect showed itself, it was as Homer Simpson says “BORRRRR-ing”. Not even Star Wars Kinect could even save it. I just received word that Microsoft WILL have a Data Transfer Cable for current users who wish to transfer their data from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox 360 S. I also got word that the Kinect will require its own power supply only if you have the old Xbox 360, the Xbox 360 S Will NOT Require a separate power supply for Kinect.

Introducing Xbox 360 S: http://i45.tinypic.com/6s6x6o.jpg
Xbox 360 S Spec Sheet From E3!: http://i50.tinypic.com/4ky82c.jpg
Use The Force Young Kinect Jedi’s: http://i45.tinypic.com/qsk0pc.jpg
Xbox 360 S And His Sidekick Kinect: http://i46.tinypic.com/hwz87t.jpg

E3 2010 Coverage: Nintendo

Welcome All: http://i49.tinypic.com/293bxub.jpg
And To Open Up the Show: http://i50.tinypic.com/xg9ngy.jpg

Nintendo kicked off their presentation with a splash: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. And if that wasn’t big enough, Mr. Miyamoto walks out and gives an actual ON STAGE demo of one of the most anticipated Wii games ever. Skyward Sword illustrates a True Zelda experience specifically made on the Wii for the Wii. This has been in the works for a long time and from the looks of it, it has an Ocarina/Wind Waker look to it in that the graphics are very colorful and detailed which are being displayed in a massively engaging world filled with monsters and adventure. The game play mechanics are once again in full effect here, it may be a Wii made Zelda, but it’s still Zelda at its core. Moblins are running rampant as well as brand new enemies as well as New Weapons such as the Whip which was shown predominately.

The Whip really got the shine at the presentation due to how accurately it displays the Wii Motion Plus integration into the Zelda universe. You can flick the whip with your Wii Remote or you can really put your power into it and really Whip It Good (No pun intended). When you whip an item, you can pull the Wii Remote back and bring it towards you which is a welcome addition to Link’s arsenal since most of the time you would need the Boomerang for that long distance item collecting. The controls are very simple and very easy to understand, your Wii Remote controls your Sword’s movements as well as your weapon actions whether it be the Bomb’s, Whip, Slingshot, etc. The buttons on the Wii Remote control your items as well and you can also set an item to the Minus button that can be activated on command when you need it most. Health Potions On Demand, Thanks Nintendo! The Wii remote attachment nunchuk controls the movements of your Shield as well as locking onto enemies that are inbound towards you. It also controls targeting in general.

Whip It Good: http://i45.tinypic.com/2yw8iad.jpg
Link’s New Grappling Item: http://i46.tinypic.com/2rwl05l.jpg
Link Is Ready: http://i49.tinypic.com/os7215.jpg

You use the Z Button to lock on to a target while holding C you simply raise the Nunchuk your shield comes to the forefront. The vast amount of playing time given to Miyamoto was astounding, and they simply opened there show with it which is amazing. Just like Microsoft, Nintendo started there show with a bang. As their presentation went on, more and more potential Classics were shown off as well as the reintroductions of Classic characters like the Return of Kirby! Kirby returns for the first time to his own adventure built from the ground up for the Wii. Kirby’s Epic Yarn was shown to the masses on hand and I have to say that the artwork for this game is simply amazing. Everything looks like it’s outlined in Yarn, giving everything a very good cartoonish look, much like the artwork from Yoshi’s Story from the Nintendo 64 and Yoshi’s Island from the SNES.

It’s the first brand new adventure for Kirby in seven years, so Nintendo is bringing it all without any restraints. Kirby’s Epic Yarn will be available this Holiday Season. The graphics in this game I have to mention again are simply amazing looking. The environments are completely interactive; you can pull threads of string to reveal many hidden items and or locations. Kirby can once again transform into many different forms as he always could from previous Kirby games and there is even a co-op feel to the game as well since a second player can join in and play through the adventure. Most notably, the biggest announcement from E3 2009 from Nintendo was the Metroid: Other M game announcement. Team Ninja and Nintendo are bringing out a classic Metroid masterpiece and it’s going to land on August 31st, 2010.

It will be the first classic Metroid experience in quite some time, since SNES to be exact with the classic Super Metroid. I am mentioning console Metroids, I know of the classics on GBA and DS. Metroid: Other M picks right up where Super Metroid leaves off, you’re once again praising the role of Samus Aran, who after the events of Super Metroid has a baby Metroid sacrifice itself to save her life. This game unlike the others will dive you deep into Samus’ personal life as well as explain her high’s, lows, and reveals her true motivation. The graphics in this game are astounding, at first glimpse, it resembles Killzone 2. Granted, it’s not on a Blu Ray.

Welcome Back!: http://i47.tinypic.com/kaigy9.jpg
Metroid: Other M Box Art: http://i45.tinypic.com/dgm5jm.jpg
Mark Your Calendars For Metroid!: http://i47.tinypic.com/25tdgch.jpg

This experience looks like it’s on par with some major Hollywood action films that involve space and pirates. The voice acting and the attention to Metroid’s roots are very closely followed, the presentation is simply amazing. This game is shaping up to be the Biggest Game Of 2010 for Nintendo, granted that it’s coming out so soon from the time of this writing. Metroid: Other M has another major advantage; Zelda will not show itself until 2011. This game is designed from the ground up to be THE definitive Metroid experience with its classic side scroller gameplay but it also incorporates 3D as well with its large worlds as well as the ability of being able to switch to first person on the fly without any hesitation. And the controls in the first person perspective, you should have no problem doing the first person mode, if you have played Metroid Prime! The controls remained intact and the overall feel to it is quick and free roaming. This game packs Nintendo’s classic gameplay style for Metroid, but Team Ninja is bringing us shear action and suspense.

This game looks like a major player in the 2010 Game of the Year Category; I’m that serious about it. Nintendo keep things moving with another blockbuster announcement so big a caveman couldn’t do it….only Donkey Kong could! Pack your bags, were going back to Donkey Kong Country!! Donkey Kong Country Returns!! Is being developed by the same team that developed New Super Mario Bros. Wii, however, it’s going to utilize the Donkey Kong Country engine. Strangely enough, Rare for some reason is not filing lawsuits or any complaints about this. Everything from the SNES classic is back, and I mean everything. The classic music soundtrack returns as well in all its glory. The gameplay engine is brought back and given a lot of tuning as well as lots of additions like the ability to jump in and out of the background as well as the ability for Two Players to play together at the same time. This is huge, no more waiting for your turn. Co-Op is definitely something Nintendo is working on to make it a new standard for all their games.

The theme here so far from what I am gathering is that Nintendo is now focusing on the Hardcore gamers, they already have a huge install base for their casual games and with Wii Party that will continue to increase as well. But DKC Returns and Metroid: Other M are proof that Nintendo is finally listening to the hardcore gamers. From everything that was shown with DKC Returns, the emphasis is on exploring and platforming, much like it was with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Everything from the SNES classic returns like the K-O-N-G Medals as well as the vast amount of banana’s as well as the rocket barrels and the classic animals you meet that become your friends. Mine Cart jumping returns as well, they even simplified the controls on an already simple game to play with Wii Remote shaking controlling DK’s ground pound as well as his ability to roll like a bowling ball. Diddy Kong brings his trusty backpack from the Classic Series of games to aid in the adventure, like I mentioned before people can jump in and out of the adventure freely and control either character without the need to wait a turn. You can use Diddy’s backpack to help DK with a jet pack, his classic Peanut Pistols, as well as many more abilities yet to be introduced.

This is one of the many new aspects about this game, it’s just not simply a complete rein-visioning of a classic, and it’s an entirely new game all together. I was completely stoked when I saw this, simply a great surprise from Nintendo and a simply must have game for the Nintendo Wii when it ships this Holiday Season! Speaking of surprises, this one was leaked somehow and man was it huge. When speaking of classics, this game only has to introduce its main character: Bond, James Bond! Finally, after 13 years, Goldeneye 007 has returned! And since there was no formal announcement of the hit coming to Xbox Live Arcade from Rare, this game is exclusively on the Wii!

Guess Who’s Back?: http://i46.tinypic.com/2qti9nm.jpg
Destinations Include Donkey Kong Country: http://i50.tinypic.com/2j175lv.jpg

This game was shown at both the Activision and Nintendo Press Conferences; however, it was predominately shown at the Nintendo press conference. The entire game has been restored from its classic Nintendo 64 roots complete with the entire multiplayer experience intact! All of the classic modifiers are also coming back as well including the infamous Big Head Mode and the Paint Ball Mod. You can also use the vast modes that were available for the N64 classic, you can even go online with up to 7 other people in 8 Player Online Multiplayer! Daniel Craig reprises his Bond character, yes sadly, no Pierce this time around due to contract conflicts associated with the current films, Rare, Activision, Nintendo, Microsoft and so many others. Gamers this time around will have a brand new way to play with the Wii Motion Controls; however, Activision is not forcing me to use them! For the first time, a developer got it right with FPS on a Wii.

You’re not forced to use simply the motion controls; you can use the Wii Classic Controller Pro! You can get that classic Nintendo 64 feel now more in depth with new graphics and online play as well as all the action from the single player. Goldeneye 007 returns ONLY to the Nintendo Wii and it will be out this fall! Wow, another major hit for Nintendo. Also, it should be noted, over at the official Goldeneye 007 site for the new WIi game, there is a section titled “NDS”, hmm, another Goldeneye inbound? It’s only got two words in that section, Coming Soon. Nintendo was firing on all cylinders, there were new games shown off for their Casual audience as well as for the hardcore Mario fans with the upcoming Mario Sports Mix which will be out 2011 and the Poke Park: Pikachu’s Adventure which will finally be coming to the US this holiday season. Wii Party will allow gamers to play in a huge party game using their Mii’s, it’s essentially Mario Party but only with you rather than a Mario Character. This game will feature 4 player multiplayers just like Mario Party, however, no mention of online multiplayer. Then the focus shifted towards DS and another blockbuster announcement.

Eye, Goldeneye: http://i48.tinypic.com/2vboqww.jpg
Classic Modes Return!: http://i47.tinypic.com/11wedkn.jpg

Nintendo announce finally GoldenSun: Dark Dawn. The biggest GoldenSun game yet and its finally going to be getting into gamers hands this Holiday Season. The game takes place 30 Years after the events of the last games and it will feature stunning 3D graphics as well the classic GoldenSun gameplay from the GBA Classics including the Djinni Summon Monsters all in stunning 3D spanning across both screens. You can control the power behind all the magic using the touch screen as well as issue commands via the touch screen. GoldenSun: Dark Dawn was the first major RPG to be shown, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies was also shown off. This is one of the most renowned franchises in all of RPG, it’s on par with the popularity of Final Fantasy, and ironically, it’s just another classic from SquareEnix. You can create your hero from the ground up this time around featuring over 900 pieces of clothing to really create a virtual you that will explore this vast world filled with magic, sorcery as well as amazing weapons and a deeply compelling story.

The graphics are simply beautiful for a Nintendo DS game and this is one of the hotly anticipated games for the Nintendo DS. Great news on Dragon Quest IX, you won’t have to wait long: July 11th, 2010 it launches. As the show began to wrap up, Nintendo dropped the bomb on us all, Nintendo 3DS! This is a brand new handheld to there already large collection of hardware on the portable market. The Nintendo DS was released 6 years ago and the Nintendo 3DS looks to continue to build on that legacy of classic gameplay but on the go. Nintendo’s 3DS is going to be the world’s first 3D handheld gaming console; however, it will not require the use of 3D glasses. This handheld is a major make or break move for Nintendo, all eyes will be on them to see if they can pull it off.

Dawn Of A New Day: http://i46.tinypic.com/2qxrqja.jpg
Your Quest Begins Really Soon: http://i49.tinypic.com/2ez01vt.jpg
Introducing Nintendo 3DS: http://i45.tinypic.com/2ns3odg.jpg

The handheld is a direct clone of the Nintendo DS in terms of design, however, that’s just in the design. The entire overall design of the system is only the same with its clamshell and top and bottom screen, outside of that, the 3DS is completely new. The gamers have spoken and Nintendo has listened, Nintendo 3DS will feature a fully functioning Analog Stick which will allow you to move in true, full 360 degree movements. You can also notice the newly implemented buttons under the touch screen, Home, Start, and Select. There on a touch panel so no need to press them in. The bottom screen is completely touch friendly; however, the top screen is NOT.

Mr. Iwata stated that the relationship between touch and 3D is not very friendly at all and that they simply could not have dual touch screens. So to make up for that, Nintendo 3DS’ top screen will be a Widescreen Display! This will allow much crisper, detailed, highly rendered graphics as well as show off the true 3D engine that the 3DS was built upon. Other new additions include the ability to be Online All the Time. Nintendo Wireless Communications were only limited to DS Games or DS Apps, once someone left the session, the communications would end. The 3DS looks to end that all together with the New Nintendo Wireless Communication System specifically for 3DS. Nintendo stated that the 3DS will communicate with other 3DS’ whether there online or in person, they will communicate wirelessly whether you’re aware or not, sleep mode or awake, your 3DS will communicate with others for many functions including Data Transferring, Ghost Data, New Content, Multiplayer, and so much more yet to be announced.

The Power Button was moved to the right side and the headphone jack was move to the bottom of the system, allowing users to use a docking station for battery charging as well as yet to be announced features. My guess here, there preparing some sort of App Store that can be accessed on a computer. The graphics engine on the 3DS was simply amazing; it was shown strongly with the Newly Announced Kid Icarus: Uprising. The first Kid Icarus game since the NES!

Nintendo 3DS Opened: http://i47.tinypic.com/33keouh.jpg
Nintendo 3DS Closed: http://i49.tinypic.com/w6ppq1.jpg
Red: http://i48.tinypic.com/1zwlz74.jpg
Blue: http://i46.tinypic.com/o5szu9.jpg

This game has been in development for some time now and Nintendo is bringing it to the 3DS as a launch title. Many other titles were also announced and or shown off via the conference or on the show floor. The games include: Nintendogs + Cats! Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, Resident Evil Revelations, Star Fox 3D, Animal Crossing 3D, Mario Kart 3D, Paper Mario, Pilotwings Resort, and Steel Diver. All of these games are very early in development so there is NO time table for release. Sadly, Nintendo could not give any concrete information in terms of pricing and availability. The system also features the cameras from the DSi as well as one more additional camera on the back for users to take 3D pictures! All in all, I was very happy with what I saw from this handheld, however, it’s very unfair that it could not be shown on television outside of screen shots and developer video.

This handheld is looking like it’s a portable Nintendo 64/Gamecube, much more as it becomes available about the Nintendo 3DS. I imagine that this device will be shown in more detail at the Tokyo Game Show 2010 since it is in Nintendo’s backyard. Still, very impressed with what I saw, and finally NintenCats!! Kid Icarus looks very good for a handheld game and let’s hope Nintendo can pull off the 3D aspect as they claim they can, if so, they will have a commanding lead in the portable market of 3D gaming. Nintendo came out swinging and they did not stop, there wasn’t a moment were I felt like I was not interested, there was a few moments were I saw a game I was like “meh”, but outside of that, Nintendo was very strong and very impressive. They stuck with Games rather than drown us in sales figures and stock photos of people acting like there playing Wii/DS. Nintendo has a bright future ahead! One more thing: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D!

Nintendogs +Cats: http://i49.tinypic.com/ossia0.jpg
Kid Icarus Flies Again: http://i47.tinypic.com/vpkq2t.jpg

E3 2010 Coverage: Sony

Herrrrrrre’s Jack: http://i45.tinypic.com/xljaz6.jpg

Sony kicked off things with a live demo of 3D gaming coming to the PS3 with the already in place firmware within all PS3’s. There demo’s included Crysis 2, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, and the highly anticipated: Killzone 3. Killzone 3 was the main attraction here since it’s a game that we know will deliver a true PS3 action experience. Building on what they have established in the smash hit Killzone 2, gamers will once again play the role of Sev, the main character from Killzone 2. You will be traveling all over the world of Helghan which is home of the Helghast, you will be traveling through so many different environments and you have a lot of help in the forms of Jepacks! You will use them to your advantage whether they are to attack enemies, travel to many areas, or to use them as a weapon when you’re being attacked by flying Helghast soldiers.

The gameplay was very intense and very quick, once again fulfilling the sense of urgency and warfare much like it was from Killzone 2. And if it looks the way I have seen it, Killzone 3 will be even much larger then Killzone 2. The 3D aspects looked amazing, however, I could not really get a grasp on it due to the fact I do not own a 3D TV, so that’s to be seen at another time and place. Your gameplay in Killzone 3 is much more refined and much more detailed and in depth. Melee attacks have been dramatically improved as well with combo’s as well as new forms of executions much like Halo: Reach. The graphics in the game look much better than they did from Killzone 2 and that is saying a lot. Killzone 3 will ship February 2011 much like how Killzone 2 launched February 2009. New online modes as well as so much more warfare and a deeply engrossing story with incredible visuals and fantastic cut scenes will be ever present with this upcoming Playstation 3 classic. Killzone 3 absolutely had the building a buzz and everyone was simply amazed at what they saw.

Killzone 3D: http://i48.tinypic.com/2wd0h9t.jpg
Killzone 3 takes The Stage Over: http://i49.tinypic.com/18dk7m.jpg
Killzone 3 Boxart: http://i45.tinypic.com/1609co3.jpg

Sony kept things moving quickly with sudden announcements such as the heavily rumored return of Sly Cooper. Sly Cooper returns with The Sly Collection: Remastered In HD for the PS3, it’s a collection of all three classics from the Playstation 2 completely remastered in High Definition as well as added PS3 support such as Move Mini Games as well as Playstation Network Trophies! These are awesome additions to three very awesome Playstation 2 games. Something should be noted here, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves was an early 3D game that required the gamer to wear ridiculous looking glasses since they were modeled after the same mask that Sly himself would wear. Sly Cooper was one of the first games to really combine stealth and style all in one and it was very well received by the masses of PS2 owners. I own 2 & 3 and loved every minute playing them, lots of classic spy movie references to be had here.

Sly Cooper wasn’t the only returning act to be had however, but much more on that later on. But while we’re talking about returning, let’s discuss the recently announced iNfamous 2! Cole once again is on the run but this time it’s more than just running away from the police and government, something far more sinister is at works here and from the looks of it, there are lots of monsters to be had here as well as other elements of power that are against you. Ice was predominately shown throughout the trailer but I have also seen acts of wind and other weather related elements working against you’re simply causing tons and tons of chaos all around. Why am I mentioning these two games together, because if you love playing iNfamous, you are going to love playing iNfamous 2 and the Sly Collection since both are made by the same company!

And once again, these two experiences, only on Playstation 3! The graphics engine in iNfamous 2 looks simply amazing, a huge improvement over the already great graphics engine from the first game. The setting looks to resemble New Orleans in some ways but it’s simply known as New Marais. There are new ways for Cole to unleash his electric powers whether it being new melee attacks or the newly introduced weapon that Cole carries with him that can react to Cole’s electrical output.

Sly Returns!: http://i45.tinypic.com/5xv39d.jpg
The Sly Collection: http://i46.tinypic.com/ipxzd4.jpg
The Most Electrifying Man In Sports…I Mean Gaming Today: http://i45.tinypic.com/rku1hi.jpg

The gameplay is still based on that vast open world system as well as maintaining that same insanely fluid speed and frame rate. This game looks simply stunning. The attention to detail is highly evident here since the trailer shown lots of destruction within the environments, it was a gem to see the environments take a pummeling and not have the game slow down or chug along, the graphics engine is very well done and iNfamous 2 is shaping up to be an absolute smash hit much like the first game. Sadly however, you won’t be playing iNfamous 2 for a while since no concrete street date was given, 2011 is a long time for a release window. Sly on the other hand will see the PS3 this fall. The focus then shifted towards showing off all the new tools and creation abilities in LittleBigPlanet 2.

An on stage demo was shown off of the new features within this new game as well as an actual demo showing off how you can implement new platforms of entertainment with several modes of gameplay that were designed by the creators. The games consisted of Sumo Sliders, Rhythm, as well as a Kart style racing game. The fact that it was done so easily by normal programmers and the fact that these modes play without issue at all is simply astounding. It seems that the folks over at Media Molecule were listening to the community by making it much easier and welcoming to create content for LBP 2. Another major note here, LittleBigPlanet 2 also has gotten a brand new interface to navigate through; it looks like they have removed the Pod all together. Media Molecule once again reiterated that all the currently created content from LittleBigPlanet will be compatible with LittleBigPlanet 2.

That’s a ton of content already for a game that isn’t even out yet! The new ways to interact with the worlds in LBP is simply astounding, anything and everything is interactive and customizable. And with the added support of Playstation Move, LittleBigPlanet 2 looks like it’s going to be a gamer’s game meaning it’s a game that only exists because of the gamers. Unlike other games, LittleBigPlanet & Modnation Racers live forever due to their community functionality. LittleBigPlanet 2 also will support 3D as well, now you can interact with Sackboy…literally. While that feature has yet to be officially announced, I have sources who tell me that 3D will be added to LittleBigPlanet 2 sometime after launch or perhaps even before it. And why not really? It will really bring those neon colors to life and watching Music Videos or Movies made in LittleBigPlanet 2 will make the experience that much better. LittleBigPlanet 2 is going to take the world by storm this Holiday Season! Yet again, only on Playstation. Moving along shall we….

LittleBigModes: http://i49.tinypic.com/23u7lnl.jpg
Electric Tornado: http://i46.tinypic.com/16hwahh.jpg
Return Of The Sackboy: http://i49.tinypic.com/t9gtft.jpg

SquareEnix was the talk of the town last year with epic reveals of Final Fantasy XIII for both PS3 and Xbox 360, but it was Sony’s secret weapon that had the world talking: Final Fantasy XIV Online. The direct sequel to Final Fantasy XI Online (Yes, I know 12 comes after 11), was shown very briefly in the form of videos in a trailer and in a montage. Final Fantasy XIV is shaping up to be just as large as the previous FF MMO, but this time unlike PS2, it’s on a console that is built for Online Gaming and Hard Drive Equipped, things should function better for Final Fantasy XIV. That generated a lot of buzz certainly, but the next major announcement was even bigger. Coca Cola and Sony will be partnering up to unleash a massive ad campaign for Playstation! That’s right, Coca Cola….excuse me but Kevin Butler just interrupted me just as he did at E3. Kevin Butler, VP of Anything Related to Playstation, came out and got the loudest pop I have ever heard for someone at an E3 convention.

Only Kobe Bryant would have gotten a louder pop…okay Kevin isn’t that big really but he has a MASSIVE following and the ads are simply hysterical. Kevin came out to announce that he is spear heading the gamer community to salvation and that he, as well as all of us serves the same king. That king’s name: Gaming. And let Gaming reign forever! When Kevin dropped that one liner, it got a roaring applause. But it was his funny one liners that got everyone oohing and laughing. One liners such as: “Our motion device has many features such as Arms…and Necks”, “Am I crazy or did I just see a French Circus unveil a product?”, “I heard there’s a sale on blue poncho’s”, “puue puee (Gun Sound Mocking)”, Kevin Butler simply smashed Nintendo and Microsoft with simple one liners that are EPICLY LEGENDARY. Sony’s ad campaign for Playstation 3 is the best ad campaign I have ever seen in video gaming history! Kevin Butler then went on to introduce us to Marcus, VP of PSP marketing…man do we have another funny ad campaign on the way.

Kevin Invades: http://i46.tinypic.com/2gv3qdc.jpg
Kevin Interrupts: http://i50.tinypic.com/2zj95dx.jpg

The ad campaign for the PSP is based around the single message of “Step Your Game Up” much like “It Only Does Everything” for PS3. These ads are very well done and the humor is very good, these ads are very reminiscent of the “I’m A Mac, I’m A PC” ads from Apple which were sadly discontinued. However, PSP’s ads take shots at Apple with their line such as “I’m tired of hearing about these weak apps on phones”, “we got good kids playing bad games”, prompting Kevin Butler to go hmm, Phone….PSP, what’s a phone? I have even started seeing these new ads during the NBA Finals! Sony is out for vengeance with PSP, let’s hope they stay true to their word. After the Kevin Butler invasion, Sony went right back to business. They showed off an intro video for their next evolution of Playstation Network: Playstation +. Playstation + is a paid service which includes all of the functionality of the current Playstation Network only in this instance, you can pay either $17.99 for three months or $49.99 for a whole year! Sound familiar?

It should, Playstation + is going to compete directly with Xbox Live. Jack Tretton stated that + will allowed gamers to receive direct downloads of content, early demo access, access to full retail games before they are released and give them the ability to buy the games directly without having to log out, priority beta invites, unlimited access to countless content that is uploaded, all content uploaded will be yours for the duration of your subscription. Playstation + will have so many more features that are yet to be introduced. Let me make this clear, Playstation + is NOT replacing Playstation Network nor is it mandatory that you have to use the newly introduced service. Playstation Network users will continue to have all these features and access to all content and media they already have access to, nothing will change there. Playstation + on the other hand will have more and more features added to it, time will tell on what will be added however. Playstation + will launch by the end of June 2010 and will have two pricing tiers, $17.99 for 3 Months or $49.99 for a year. And those who pay for a whole year get an additional 3 months of access for free! Now, let’s move!

Playstation + Logo: http://i47.tinypic.com/5mz2w8.jpg
Playstation Network Has A New Buddy??: http://i48.tinypic.com/29mw4lc.jpg

Playstation Move was the heavy focus of the presentation whether it is announcement trailers or live demos such as the newly announced Sorcery or the ever popular Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2011. The demo’s were showing off how the Move functions with conventional games as well as how they function with sports games as well as how they work with games that were designed to have functionality with Move. Now, Move was shown in great detail with the newly announced Sorcery, the gameplay of that game was very straight forward, the game reminds me of the cult classic Dark Cloud from Playstation 2 in some aspects due to the exploring aspects as well as the character design. You can move the controller freely and the characters will react to your movements, you literally have full control over your characters body whether it is attacking, running, combing spells, transforming, blocking, creating fire storms, etc. you are in complete control.

There was no lag time what so ever from what I seen with this game. The Tiger Woods demo didn’t have the lag only inside the game am I referencing, the man playing it on the other hand should practice more rather than rely on mulligaGranted he did par the hole and all, he missed a major chance for an Eagle or Birdie, that would have been the icing on the cake for the Playstation Move demo. EA Stated that making Tiger Woods for Move will require you to actually get involved in playing the sport of golf rather than just flicking your wrist. This is an obvious shot at Wii since most games on the Wii can be exploited with simple gestures rather than actually getting into the game. Other introductions for Move include Eyepet getting 3D Support, Heavy Rain getting Move Support, Killzone 3 Move Support, Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition Move Support, as well as the announcement of Heroes On The Move! Heroes on the Move is a collection of all the Playstation heroes such as Sly, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, and Sly’s faithful sidekick: Bentley.

This game is geared more towards Move oriented gameplay and from the looks of it, it has the look of a comedy due to the silly trailer shown. Also, Dead Space 2 is getting move support as well and as an added bonus, the Wii exclusive Dead Space: Extraction is coming to the PS3 all in one box. However, the next announcement was HUGE! Gabe Newell invades Sony’s E3 Press Conference!!

Sorcery Logo: http://i48.tinypic.com/ezeiht.jpg
Sorcery In Action: http://i48.tinypic.com/34ovuqd.jpg
Ladies & Gentlemen, Gabe Newell!: http://i49.tinypic.com/4ili61.jpg
Welcome Back, Human: http://i47.tinypic.com/de0e44.jpg

Portal 2 is coming to the PS3 along with Move Support as well as Steam Cloud and Steam Support. This is the biggest news of E3 that everyone is talking about since Gabe was extremely critical of consoles specifically the PS3. He joked about this by mentioning he was just talking to Kevin Butler, VP of Sharpening Things. Portal 2 is coming to the Playstation 3 folks…happy days are here again. This is definitely a game changer here! Playstation Move has everything going for it, and moving it won’t take long. Playstation Move will have several bundles as well as standalone sets as well whether it is the Playstation Move, Playstation Eye, or the Playstation Move Navigation Controller. Playstation Move will hit retailers on September 19th, 2010 in the US, here are the prices.

For the Playstation Move Controller: $49.99, for the Navigation Controller: $39.99, Playstation Eye: $29.99, Playstation Move Charging Station: $29.99, Sports Champions Bundle Set (Playstation Move, Eye, Sports Champions, and Move Demo Disc): $99.99, Playstation 3 Move Bundle (Same as Sports Champions Bundle only in the same box as a PS3): $399.99. The Shooting Attachment will also be available for $19.99. Yep, they itemized everything but it’s about choices and variety, Playstation Move is for real and the price is right folks. Games for the Playstation Move will not exceed $39.99. And by that I mean games that REQUIRE Playstation Move to play, not games like Killzone 3 or SOCOM 4. Playstation Move is going to be a smash hit for Sony, fantastic pricing and availability. Now that you’re moving, how about you start your engines!! Gran Turismo 5: November 2nd, 2010!! Finally, GT5 is coming.

November 2nd, 2010: http://i48.tinypic.com/r23iva.jpg
Sports Champions Bundle: http://i45.tinypic.com/5uk3si.jpg
Move Logo: http://i48.tinypic.com/xc83li.jpg
Move Charging Station: http://i46.tinypic.com/v8pnv9.jpg

Sony was wrapping things up but then out of nowhere….an assault was unleashed….and it was responsible by one man: David Jaffe! As well as a friend of his…Sweet Tooth!! Twisted Metal is alive and well and coming to the Playstation 3 in 2011, and it was shown in an actual demo on stage showcasing its multiplayer mode which remains intact from the previous games in the library of Twisted Metal. The New “Nuke” mode was also shown off as well. Many new additions are to be had with this new Twisted Metal such as more destructible environments, Flying Vehicles, New Weapons, New Levels, New Story, Same Great Twisted Metal. Returning favorites are welcomed as well. This game absolutely stunned the crowd as much as Portal 2 did. Playstation Move support is also planned for this game as well as potential 3D support as well.

Massively engaging online multiplayer awaits when Twisted Metal hits the PS3 next year! It should be pointed out that David for months was teasing that Twisted Metal was finished and that he was NOT working on a new Twisted Metal, looks like we won’t listen to him that much anymore huh? The gameplay looks to be the same as it ever was and to be honest, it looks much more intense and faster. The multiplayer resembles that of Warhawk in terms of environment and combat, I am stoked to see this game finally. Lastly, if you want to see any and every piece of show content, boot up Playstation Home and visit the digital version of Sony’s actual booth at E3 all in real time! No Demo’s However, only video and screen shots.

Not Making A New Twisted Metal Huh??: http://i50.tinypic.com/2l4z8h.jpg
Hostiles Inbound: http://i47.tinypic.com/6fmu6s.jpg
Hello, E3: http://i50.tinypic.com/8zgvol.jpg

Phew, Sony was absolutely amazing. Now, more than ever, it’s a great time to be a Playstation owner. All the biggest hits and the biggest news was generated on a single platform: Playstation. If you were not convinced about Playstation, wait no longer, go out and experience Playstation 3, Playstation Network, and PSP!

Microsoft’s Rating: D
Nintendo’s Rating: B
Sony’s Rating: B+

Microsoft’s Hits & Misses:

Hits:
-No More Talk, Just Show Us Kinect
-Halo: Reach Looks Amazing
-Call of Duty Content Deal
-Gears of War 3 Is Shaping Up To Be the Best 360 Game Ever
-New Xbox 360 S Available For $299.99 Today!
-ESPN 360 for Xbox Live Gold Members Is Free
-Voice Commands Work like A Charm
-Less Emphasis on Sale Figures

Misses:
-Prop Gamers Were Clueless As To What They Were Doing Live
-Kinect Looks Very Buggy and Incomplete
-Kinect’s Pricing Is High
-Kinect Only Port On Xbox 360 S
-Kinect Will Require Separate Power Supply On Current Xbox 360’s
-Current HDD’s And Memory Cards Not Compatible On Xbox 360 S
-Data Transfer Cable Sold Separately From Xbox 360 S, Same With HDMI
-Kinect Works Very Poorly With More Than One Person
-Kinect Games Look More Like Demo’s
-No Official Pricing Yet (As of this writing)
-The Presentation Got Extremely Boring And Painful To Watch
-More Dance, Music, And Fitness Games
-Needed The Circus To Introduce Us To Kinect

Nintendo’s Hits & Misses:

Hits:
-New Goldeneye 007!
-New Donkey Kong Country!
-Metroid: Other M In August
-New Zelda Finally Shown
-Nintendo 3DS Looks Very Interesting
-Nintendogs +Cats!
-New Always Online System For 3DS
-GoldenSun: Dark Dawn Finally Dated!
-Kid Icarus Flies Again
-New Kirby Looks Very Unique And Different
-Nintendo Is Getting Serious About Online!
-Nintendo 3DS Will Have A True Analog Stick
-Not Forced To Play In 3D
-3DS Backwards Compatible With DS
-Star Fox, Zelda, Mario Kart, and Paper Mario 3DS Bound!
-Finally, Hardcore Gamers Get Respect
-Show Started And Finished Strong

Misses:
-No Pricing Or Dates On 3DS
-No Way To Show 3DS On Stage
-No Hard Drive Introduction
-The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword Is A Long Way From Coming Out
-3DS Games Look Very Early
-More Music, Dancing, And Fitness Games

Sony’s Hits & Misses:

Hits:
-Started Strong!
-Killzone 3 Is Coming In February
-3D Will Be Added In Patches
-iNfamous 2 Looks Chaotic
-Sly Cooper Is Back
-Portal 2!!!
-Playstation + Looks Very Interesting, Launches June 2010!
-Playstation Move Priced And Dated: September 19th, 2010
-Gran Turismo: November 2nd, 2010
-Fantastic Ad Campaign For PSP Finally Unveiled
-Kevin Butler Rules!
-LittleBigPlanet 2 Looks Bigger Then The First Game
-Final Fantasy IX Finally Available On Playstation Store!
-Playstation Move Required Games Will Not Exceed $39.99
-Lots Of Support For Move
-Developers Love Playstation Move
-EyePet Will Add 3D!
-Heavy Rain Will Gain Move Support
-Twisted Metal Lives!! 2011!
-Finished Strong

Misses:
-Lots Of Huge Games Not Shown
-No Mention Of Street Date For Final Fantasy XIV Online
-No Street Date For Kingdom Hearts
-Playstation Home E3 Living Space Doesn’t Contain Demo’s
-No Starhawk
-3D Will Require New TV And Glasses
-Not Enough Punches At Microsoft & Nintendo
-Why So Long To Take PSP Serious?
-Agent, Where Are You?
-No L.A. Noire
-Goldeneye 007, Donkey Kong Country…Where’s Final Fantasy VII??
-Uh, Ape Escape Anyone?

Microsoft’s E3 Website: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/events/e3/default.htm

Nintendo’s E3 Website: http://e3.nintendo.com/

Sony’s E3 Website: http://us.playstation.com/e3-2010/

Special Thanks To The Entire Gaming Community For Their Information And Tips. Happy E3 Everyone

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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