E3 In Tha House
Everyone’s favourite games conference aka press release orgy is here! The most concise way to catch up on E3 press conference porn is to read three posts from Offworld:
Sony and MS are both trying to catch up to the Wii’s motion-sensing Wiimote, and MS’ Project Natal seems most interesting, as it’s a controller-free system, relying entirely on cameras to sense your body position and even recognize faces. That said, until practical questions can be answered (how much? how many games will support it?), it’s best to consider it as a rhetorical salvo in the PR wars and not an actual, tangible thing. Sony and MS both trumpeted their lists of exclusive games, most vague and ages from shipping. Some of them no doubt will be good, but neither could get through their presentations without showcasing some cross-platform games as well.
Nintendo, meanwhile, renewed its license to print money. No, they tried to make nice with the hardcore by announcing a truckload of Mario games.
A few things caught my eye. On the Microsoft side, more details of Halo 3 ODST are welcome (sounds like The Killing with space marines), and I’m happy that Bungie is doing another game in Halo Reach, but I was kinda hoping they’d give the Halo thing a rest for a while and try something new. Alan Wake looked cool, and I really hope Natal works and doesn’t cost a mint, but judging from MS’ track record, that’s unlikely. How much for that 160 gig hard drive again….?!
Sony’s PSP Go! was of course no surprise. But it looks slick, and it sounds like Sony is doing all the right things (woo developers, improve media experience, ditch UMD) to keep the PSP alive. And boy are there a lot of games coming for it, including a new Metal Gear, Assassin’s Creed, and Little Big Planet. But I’m of two minds about Sony. They’re currently fighting two losing battles and I wonder if they shouldn’t just cut their losses on the PSP and concentrate on overtaking MS for 2nd place in the living room. They’ve got so many first party developers tied up with PSP projects, it’s hard to see the logic. I was also really hoping for a price cut on the PS3. Why, why, why, are they not doing that. It’s insanity. I say that selfishly, because I’m looking to get one of the damned things, but it also seems crazy that Sony is sitting in third place with a console almost twice as costly as the competition, and not slashing their price.