Ben's Week In Review: All E3
Well, E3 has come and gone, and we certainly had a lot of fun covering all the news that came out of the Sony conference. I'm sure Arnold had a ball for himself sampling all the games, too, and many industry critics agree that Sony stole the show. As far as I can tell, neither Microsoft or Nintendo had any major, groundbreaking news to report, and Sony had a pretty darn good presentation. Check out the highlights I remember best:
Killzone 2 and MGS 4 Trailers...oh, dear Lord
I haven't been impressed by two preview videos since I saw Final Fantasy VII way back in 1996. These were the best trailers at E3, and if you've seen them, you already know why. Kojima showed off the latest MGS 4 trailer after Sony announced the much-anticipated action/stealth title would remain a PS3 exclusive. As usual, Konami and Kojima are responsible for the absolute best choreography in the business; the lead-off cinema was downright gorgeous and the following battle scene was amazing. It's too bad we have to wait until 2008, but that doesn't matter...this is gonna be gigantic.
And Killzone 2 is looking damn good. The sheer amount of intricate detail displayed in those gameplay clips is breathtaking, and to be perfectly honest, I think it looks much better than Halo 3. Clearly, the original Killzone was no "Halo-killer," but this sequel just might be...I have the highest expectations for it after watching that trailer. Kick-ass from front to back.
PS3 dropped in price...but not really
I just don't know how consumers are going to respond to this major revelation. On the one hand, it seems like a shrewd - almost deceptive - move by Sony, announcing the price drop for the 60GB, but holding off on the news that the lower-priced version will soon disappear. It causes sales to spike, smoothly introduces a new model while pushing the price drop for the old model, and then Sony says they'll "reevaluate the market situation" when the 80GB is the only model on store shelves. On a purely business level, it seems to be borderline ingenious, but I'm just not sure how consumers will interpret the announcement. For most, it may come across as, "yeah, the PS3 dropped in price!.......but not really."
But on the other hand, they had a great E3, which means interest for the PS3 is at an all-time high in this country. It will also spark a buying spree among gamers who want to take advantage of the now-limited-time $499 PS3. From a personal standpoint, I'm just very glad I have my 60GB PS3 with the graphics synthesizer chip that allows for full backwards compatibility with my PS1/PS2 games (of which I have nearly 100). I hate the idea of software emulation. I just want all my old games to play the same way I remember them, the instant I put them in. And I have that now. I just hope it lasts...when I have to replace it, I'll have to go with the 80GB PS3, and then I'll have to buy a PS2 right along with it to play my old games! :(
PlayStation Home looking awfully sweet
When Phil Harrison started talking about Home at the conference, I almost tuned out a bit just because I didn't expect to hear much of anything new. But as it turns out, the updated details are all wicked cool: being able to wander around in an open-air environment, more personal spaces that become available for sale online, the ability to take pictures with your cell phone and transport them to your Home space, and finally, the one that intrigues me most: we'll be able to launch any game from within the Home service! So, if I understand it correctly, that means we can wander around the virtual area, seeing if any friends are "home." And if they are, we can invite them to play a round of Resistance online, which we can kick off immediately! How sweet is that?
I'm still wondering just how often I'd use the Home service, but the simple fact that it's an option makes me happy I own a PS3. And considering the fascination the current gaming culture has with online "virtuality," it should prove to be a major selling point for the console when the service launches this fall.
Unreal Tournament 3 A 2007 PS3 Exclusive!
It will also be on the PC this year as well, but the announcement that only the PS3 - and not the Xbox 360 - will get UT 3 in 2007 was absolutely huge. As soon as I heard the news, I instantly began to wonder why Epic decided to do this...and then I learned why a couple days later. Epic's Mark Rein talked about the game in an interview, and it was all good news for PS3 owners. Not only did he say they had worked hard to optimize UT 3 specifically for the PS3, but he also said the game was currently running better on the PS3 than Gears of War was running on the 360 last year! Yeah, well, I finished GeoW earlier this year, and that game rocked. So this is awesome news, as far as I'm concerned.
So of course, I have to get this game; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But it only serves to make my list of "must-have" games for 2007 that much bigger...
Games I Absolutely Need This Year
I figured I'd be more set with such a list after E3, and I was right. But it pains my wallet to look at it. Heh.
- Grand Theft Auto IV (Platform: Undecided, but probably PS3)
- Devil May Cry 4 (Platform: Undecided)
- Unreal Tournament 3 (Platform: PS3)
- Warhawk (Platform: PS3)
- Half-Life 2: Orange (Platform: Undecided)
- Assassin's Creed (Platform: Undecided)
- Hot Shots Golf 5 (Platform: PS3)
P.S. I'm getting Ninja Gaiden Sigma in a couple weeks. I also can't wait to try Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and Wipeout HD on the Network.
- Halo 3 (Platform: Xbox 360)
- Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (Platform: PS3)
- Bioshock (Platform: Xbox 360)
- Madden NFL 08 (Platform: Undecided)
- Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (Platform: PS3)
- Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (Platform: Undecided)
- Heavenly Sword (Platform: PS3)
- Folklore (Platform: PS3)
- Lair (Platform: PS3)
- Blue Dragon (Platform: Xbox 360)
- Two Worlds (Platform: Xbox 360)
- Medal of Honor: Airborne (Platform: Undecided)
- Dark Sector (Platform: Undecided)
Yeah...that's just too many. But it just shows how many great games there are gonna be! :)
7/14/2007 Ben Dutka