Ryan gives his thoughts about this years E3 event.
What is there to say about E3 2010? It was an absolutely amazing event this year bringing in well over 45,000 visitors from parts all over the world. We all witnessed the magic of the future of the video game entertainment industry. Both Microsoft and Sony had impressive outings, sending Nintendo a clear message in their attempts to dethrone the current industry leader. The motion capture arena is wide open. As for Nintendo itself, it’s new 3DS hand-held system and upcoming Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword title were it’s premier showcases. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony weren’t the only competition in town, as the PC arena appears to be thriving once again. With companies like OnLive and iGuGu , the PC industry will be available to players as never seen before.
Before I delve right in to the heart of the show, I would like to take this time to personally thank our entire community and and all of GR’s staff members that were in attendance for this years E3 event or working hard for us behind the scenes. Without the loyal dedication of our entire community, this year’s presentation coverage would not have been possible. This year was, in fact, the largest outing that GamingRing.com has ever dispatched for an event of this magnitude. From Day 1 onward our days were over flowing with media coverage that we all hope you will enjoy.
As everyone should know, Gamingring.com was formed with one focus in mind, wrestling game coverage. And this year we simply do not disappoint our loyal followers, as our specialty remains fully in tact. We acquired various exclusive interviews and footage from THQ, AAA Lucha Libre, and EA Sports MMA. Our various coverage is currently on the way and will be displayed throughout the upcoming weeks.
This year we entered E3 2010 with two new goals in mind, widening our console coverage and expanding our coverage into the PC arena. I do believe it’s safe to assume that this task was successfully accomplished.
My E3 coverage started off at 12PM Tuesday afternoon inside the Shrine Auditorium for Sony Computer Entertainment’s Press Conference. This was my first major press conference of this nature. Sony had a difficult task indeed in following the stunning performance of Microsoft’s conference, one day prior. While this may be up for debate, I fully believe that Sony was up to the challenge by delivering an absolutely breathtaking performance of their own. I have one word for everyone here, 3D.
Sony began their Press Conference with Kaz Hirai, their Chairman and CEO, announcing their new 3D innovation, which should take the Playstation and it’s content to a whole new level in entertainment. What Sony did for Blu-ray, they are now ready to achieve for 3D entertainment as well. Sony is without a doubt the undisputed leader in today’s 3D technological arena. Their 3D-Ready Bravia HDTV’s have already begin shipping out as of this moment, with the PS3’s 3D technology expected to be deployed later this year. Among their predominate showings, incorporating 3D technology, were Kill Zone 3, Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, and MLB the Show 2010.
Sony assured us that 20 titles will be created natively in 3D for their PS3 system by March of 2011. Some of the more notable names that will be incorporating 3D are Motorstorm Apocalypse, Gran Turismo 5, Ghost Recon – Future Soldier, Tron Evolution, and NBA 2K11. And what could be better than 3D entertainment? Merging both 3D and their new upcoming Playstation Move system together for one totally immersive experience. The Fight: Lights Out, iPet, Tumble, and MLB the Show will all be incorporating both 3D technology and the Sony Move system.
In the battle of Motion Gaming, I truly believe that the Playstation Move is a force to be reckoned with. The Playstation Move combines both motion sensing technology with the standard hardware controller buttons which are adapted to allow for the best precision possible in any game. As of this moment over 40 Developers and Publishers are working together with Sony on Playstation Move products. Sony released details announcing that the Playstation Move will be available for launch in Europe on September 15, in North America on September 19, and in Japan on October 21. (For once the U.S. finally beats Japan!) With the technology of Blu-ray, each disk will have the capacity to include both the standard version of each game, along with the Playstation Move version, easily assuring developers / publishers that none of their customers will be isolated. The PS Move Controller will retail for $49.99, the Navigation Controller for $29.99, and the PS Move Champions Bundle (Eye Camera, Move Controller, Champions Game) for $99.99. Sony will be releasing 15-20 titles at launch, with well over 40 titles scheduled for the holiday season. Among most of their predominant showings were Heroes on the Move and Sorcery, which will be released in Spring of 2011.
As the Sony Press Conference continued one of the more surprising moments that shocked the world was when Portal 2 was announced for the Playstation 3. After the harsh critical comments made by Valve Director, Gabe Newell, several years ago, it appears that everyone has their price. For those of you who weren’t familiar with Gabe’s previous comments, we will kindly share them with you.
“The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels, I think it’s really clear that Sony lost track of what customers and what developers wanted,” said Newell. “I’d say, even at this late date, they should just cancel it and do a ‘do over.’ Just say, ‘This was a horrible disaster and we’re sorry and we’re going to stop selling this and stop trying to convince people to develop for it.'” – Gabe Newell of Valve Software
Let’s also not forget the surprise move by Sony announcing their PSN Plus subscription based service, immediately after mocking Microsoft’s price tag of $50 for their own service. I’m not sure what Sony was after, but I do believe there was unrest between the PS3 owners.
As Tuesday was winding to a close, I finally made my way down to the Convention Center in the heart of L.A. We were aiming for a special treat in the showing of Final Fantasy 14 Online (w/ developer interviews) by Square-Enix, but we’re unfortunately rejected at their booth by their media representative. It appears that their was a miscommunication between their booking agency and their personal company, as we were confirmed for a 4PM appointment. I won’t dwell too much on the events, but Square-Enix could have asserted a little more effort to rectify the problem. While trapped on the outside, I spent some time viewing their theatrical presentations outside of their booth. I must say that they had a pleasant showing featuring some of their upcoming games such as “The Third Birthday” (Parasite Eve), Mindjack, and Front Mission Evolved. As usual, Square-Enix didn’t disappoint it’s loyal fanbase with their incredibly visually stunning graphics and gameplay.
I had the chance to spend some time with Square-Enix’s upcoming action based shooter, Mindjack. Mindjack is a new I.P. being developed by S.E. set in the near future of 2031, featuring sophisticated forms of mind altering control and other technological advancements as the world falls asunder. The demo played well, with the usual accustomed period. The demo began with us being squared off against one of two factions (blue vs red) in pursuit of total domination. The usual cooperative online gameplay and voice communication were in place. High tech weaponry was all around. The predominate feature of “Mindjack” is their mind altering ability, which overtakes fallen opponents (turning them into your allies for a brief amount of time) and allowing you to possess targets when you fall in battle. It was an enjoyable demo, although short, but should turn out to be an exciting action shooter in the near future.
Our next appointment took us the way of iGUGU’s booth, featuring their upcoming GameCore device. The Gamecore is an easy-to-use system that will transform any Personal Computer into a powerful videogame console. It allows the end user to broadcast the signal of virtually any PC or Internet game on to your home’s large screen television for one immersive experience. We had the chance to demonstrate the Gamecore handheld device in person. While fine-tuning may still be needed, the system brings a sense of fresh air into PC gaming industry.
iGUGU Gamecore – an easy-to-use, innovative system that transforms the PC into an extremely powerful videogame console, enabling gamers to access and play more than 27,000 game titles available for the PC and through the Internet on a television or home theater system.
When paired with a 3D television, iGUGU Gamecore is the only system that allows users to play PC games and experience them in 3D with the intuitive motion-sensing Gamecore wireless controller. We like to call this combination 3.5D and it’s the closest experience you can get to gaming in reality and experience the feeling that you are the one driving a race car, flying an aircraft or behind the weapon in a shooting game.
My last presentation of the day was in the Mortal Kombat booth, showcasing their ninth iteration of the series. Mortal Kombat fans can rejoice as the series is going back to it’s true roots. The game will feature a Mature rating, allowing for some of the most brutal animations that anyone has ever seen. Fatalities are back in glorious detail, with a physics based blood system that will add realism never seen before. The game will feature 2D gameplay with 3D character models in full eye catching detail. The arenas will feature remastered versions from Mortal Kombat’s past in a 3D oriented atmosphere. Mortal Kombat will feature a Tag-team based system with multiplayer action and incorporate a combo bar system that will allow for the deployment of special move sets with every character. Mortal Kombat is looking for a spring of 2011 release and will feature Sony’s 3D technology as well.
Wednesday morning was finally upon us. I started off in my tour of the Gamigo Booth featuring their upcoming free to play mmo, Black Prophecy. Black Prophecy is a space simulation game where “players are whisked to a dark and mysterious future where they must choose whether to join the genetically-perfected Genides or the cybernetically enhanced Tyi. The key features of Black Prophecy are action-packed real-time battles and a modular system of spaceship construction which allows each player to build the ship of his or her dreams”. I was treated with a brief showing and interview of the upcoming mmo. In the free to play arena, Black Prophecy clearly shines through.
Mafia 2 and the 2K booth awaited us next. Easily one of my favorite series of all time, Mafia 1 set the standard in realistic gameplay, leaving Grand Theft Auto in it’s dust. Police chases, action packed joyrides, and gun downs are only a few among the many features that Mafia had to offer. Mafia 2 will not disappoint, set for a August 24, 2010 release date on both the PS3 and Xbox 360, along with the PC. Players are in for one intense thrill ride from beginning to end. Mafia 2’s setting takes place between the era of 1945 to 1955 in Empire Bay, where WW2 Veteran, Vito Scaletta, begins his journey to rule the city.
Next up on our agenda was the Nexon booth, with their fantastic side bar Nexon America was showcasing their latest upcoming free to play titles featuring Vindictus, Dragon Nest, and their already launched Dungeon Fighter Online. During my time inside the Nexon booth, I spent an in depth time with the Vindictus demo. Quite possibly, one of the most visually stunning free-to-play titles in development. Vindictus is a free to play massively multiplayer online fantasy roleplaying game, which is the prequel to the popular MMORPG, Mabinogi. Vindictus flowed extremely well in an action oriented atmosphere, which is unique to the classic mmorpg.
We returned with 2K Games and Civilization 5. Sid Meier’s Civilization 5 just may very well be the best RTS game in development, receiving multiple awards from all over at E3. During our tour of the 2K booth we were presented with a 30 minute showing, featuring the best of what Civilization has to offer. Content was in no short supply. Civilization 5 will feature immersive gameplay inside of realistic worlds with seemingly limitless creation power. The target release date is September 21, 2010.
“In Civilization V, players strive to become Ruler of the World by establishing and leading a civilization from the dawn of man into the space age, waging war, conducting diplomacy, discovering new technologies, going head-to-head with some of history’s greatest leaders and building the most powerful empire the world has ever known.”
Sony Online Entertainment and DC Universe were next. We entered Sony’s booth and were presented with a live demo of their upcoming MMO, DC Universal Online. Unlike typical MMORPG’s, DC Universal features a more action oriented combat system. Heroes and Villains from DC Universe’s past will emerge throughout the game. Like the standard MMO’s, DC Universe will of course feature solo, group, and raid play. Player vs player combat is fluent throughout the game in a variety of match types. The demo that we were able to play inside the SOE booth involved a capture and hold oriented style map. DC Universe Online will have a target release date of November 2, 2010 for release on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. A $14.99 monthly subscription fee will be standard, with no current announcements of a lifetime subscription.
Bethesda had quite a showing, indeed. Fallout: New Vegas and Rage were among their premier showcases. We were treated to an exclusive 30 minute presentation, behind closed doors, of their newly created apocalyptic based I.P., Rage. Rage may very well have been the most visually stunning game of all E3. Players should be familiar with the Apocalyptic genre, as we have all seen throughout the Fallout Games. Rage was designed to cater to the same audience, but appealing to fans of more action oriented combat. Picture Fallout without the RPG elements.
My last booth tour of the day took me the way of Realtime Worlds, showcasing their latest upcoming title All Points Bulletin (A.P.B.) for the PC. Lead by David Jones, the creator of the original Grand Theft Auto and Crackdown, A.P.B was developed. All Points Bulletin is an action oriented massively multiplayer online video game, resembling the thrill and excitement that we all received through the Grand Theft Auto series. A.P.B. takes place in the modern-day fictional city of San Paro, where order or chaos will run rampant through the two competing factions (Enforcers and Criminals). A.P.B. is without a doubt everything that you can expect and more from the original creators of Grand Theft Auto. The city is in your hands.
Thursday morning, I had the pleasure of meeting with the CEO of Bigpoint, Heiko Hubertz, to discuss their latest upcoming browser-based scifi game, Battlestar Galactica Online. Battlestar Galactica Online will premier this upcoming fall exclusively on Syfy.com. The series resumes amidst the galactic war struggle between the Human and Cylon races. BSGO will send players out into the vast corners of space to combat enemy opponents in a pvp thrilled environment as never seen before in browser based games. BSGO sets the standard in many areas, including their glamorous 3D displays.
Bigpoint.com is the largest German gaming portal and one of the top 3 gaming portals worldwide. As the #1 in online games, Bigpoint.com offers a wide variety of high-quality online games.
Trion Worlds awaited us next with one of the most well designed booths of all E3. Trion showcased their two upcoming games in development, Rift: Planes of Telara and End of Nations. Rift: Planes of Telara is a fantasy MMO role-playing game set in a dynamic world being torn apart by powerful rifts from other planes. No part of Telara is truly safe, as rifts between the planes unleash sudden invasions without notice. You will journey together with thousands of players in your effort to restore the world of Telara from the Eater of Worlds, Regulos the Destroyer. While the End of Nations brings the real-time strategy (RTS) and massively multiplayer online (MMO) genres together for a new groundbreaking gaming experience. Work with thousands of gamers to defeat the Order of Nations as you develop your Commander and build out your forces. End of Nations will feature strategic unit selection and the hard hitting core RTS gameplay that RTS fans have come to know and love.
Trion Worlds is the premier publisher and developer of connected video games. With groundbreaking new server platform capabilities, Trion delivers high-quality, fully dynamic and massively social content across video game genres, gaming platforms, and mass-market entertainment formats.
The Riot Booth and League of Legends. League of Legends is a competitive online “free to play” game set in an imaginative world. Gamers take the role of a powerful Summoner, calling forth and controlling brave Champions in battle. League of Legends is an action-RPG, combining elements from both strategy and role playing games. Enter the Fields of Justice with your most trusted allies as you fight for your right to rule the world of Valoran. In it’s brief history since launch, League of Legends has surpassed over one million downloads and has received multiple game of the year awards as voted by IGN and Gamespy.
Our final tour at E3 concluded at the Gazillion Booth with Marvel Super Hero Squad Online and Jumpgate Evolution. As you may expect, Marvel Super Hero Online is the upcoming family oriented mmo based upon the Marvel Universe, set to be released in 2011. In MSHSO your hero awaits as you venture into the family friendly Marvel online world, suitable for all ages.
On the other side of the spectrum was Gazillion Entertainment’s Jumpgate Evolution. Their upcoming space simulation MMO may very well have been the prize of all E3. Take to the vast corners of space and participate in immense online battles, elite space combat, and spectacular player advancement all in one dynamically changing economy. “Nothing can prepare you for the journey that is about to unfold…”
And of course no celebration at E3 can be complete without finding your nearest taxi driver, pulling him out of his vehicle, and setting fire to his cab. Albeit, it was the Laker’s Championship celebration that determined that outcome, but I’m sure we can all relate. Or perhaps, not. It was an interesting few minutes, but we soon discovered that L.A. indeed had a fire department, right after the glorious fire works display.