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07/08/2007 - 07/14/2007

Sony Puts its Best Foot Forward at E3

July 13, 2007

I had cheezeburger, and heartily recommend it. A wiser, humbler Sony arrived at this year's E3 show and impressed audiences with a wide array of cool software. Still don't think you want to shell out the big bucks for the most powerful console of this generation? Check out Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and get back to me. Breathtaking environments serve as a backdrop for some great puzzles and even greater action scenes starring a hero you can really relate to. Combine that with the whimsy of games like Little Big Planet and you've got a system that people are finally agreeing might be worth the investment.

Consensus at the show floor seems to be that if Sony can keep it up, the system can move beyond the lukewarm press it got at launch and start to make some real waves this generation. Microsoft's head start and the Wii's terrific launch might not seem like such a big deal a couple of years from now, once developers have figured out how to really push the power of the PS3. We'll be watching it closely.

Speaking of watching things closely... Check out FilePlanet's E3 section if you'd like to download game trailers in high-res. Check out the PS3 Section for the latest for the platform.

      -Fargo
Posted by at 3:21 PM PDT
Edited on: July 13, 2007 4:33 PM PDT
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E3 Opening Salvos

July 11, 2007


I had cheezeburger, and heartily recommend it. The Electronic Entertainment Expo Press Summit is underway. Microsoft's early press conference -- kicking things off Tuesday evening -- gave the company the opportunity to fire the first shot. And for Microsoft it was all about the games. Check out GameSpy's coverage or download video of the conference on FilePlanet. Halo 3 kicked off the press event, followed by Rock Band, Viva Pinata Party Animals, and Mass Effect. This time around all the titles featured are slated to be released by November -- it's going to be a strong year for Xbox content.

Microsoft went on to talk about some numbers: the Xbox 360 has the largest next-gen console installed base at 5.6 million, and Xbox Live has over seven million members. This is a good base to build on, with dozens of Xbox Live Arcade exclusives in the works for the rest of the year. A massive deal with Disney will also allow people to download certain Disney movies through Xbox Live Marketplace.

That said, Microsoft didn't have any groundbreaking announcements to make. Leading the console race is great news, but at 5.6 million units, the truth is that it's barely gotten underway. On the plus side... an arsenal of great upcoming games should keep the console high on wish-lists.

As I type this the Nintendo conference is underway. Nintendo is pushing the envelope of interaction, using the Wii controller as a gun or steering wheel and broadening the definition of gaming. For more detailed coverage, check out GameSpy's E3 Index, IGN's E3 Index, or stick right here on FilePlanet for the latest HD videos from the conference.

      -Fargo
Posted by at 9:46 AM PDT
Edited on: July 11, 2007 9:46 AM PDT
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EA Says: 'Maybe We Should Be More Innovative'

July 10, 2007


I had cheezeburger, and heartily recommend it. ...comments which earned a 'noshitsherlock' tag on SlashDot. In This Wall St. Journal Article Electronic Arts Chief Executive John Riccitiello (who stepped up to manage the company in April) said that 'EA and others need both to push more aggressively beyond traditional audiences to court 'casual' consumers and to experiment more with new sales approaches -- outside the norm of selling $50 to $60 discs with 40-hour games that he says few players ever finish.'

Can a company like EA really re-invent itself? I don't think that's a problem. Platforms like the Wii lend themselves to experimentation, and EA is already embracing the new console. The success of Nintendo's platform, as well as games like Guitar Hero, show that the market out there is ready to reward innovation. So my only comment to EA is, "Why have you waited this long to make it a priority?"

We'll see if EA's product backs up the company's word at this year's E3 convention, which (see below) kicks off this week in Santa Monica. EA is distributing Rock Band, which fills my pants with glee, so I'm giving the company the benefit of the doubt.

      -Fargo
Posted by at 10:04 AM PDT
Edited on: July 10, 2007 10:06 AM PDT
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E3 2007: Less Pomp, More Circumstance

July 09, 2007


I had cheezeburger, and heartily recommend it. In the past, the Electronic Entertainment Expo was an orgy of marketing might. Game publishers would spend millions of dollars to carve out floorspace, erecting massive themed booths and elaborate sound and light shows to get attention in an increasingly ridiculous spectacle. Everyone pretty much agreed: It was extremely cool, but admittedly a waste of money.

This year marks a major turning point. The games industry has grown up: instead of a giant show with enormous spectacle, the E3 "Media and Business Summit" will be a smaller press-oriented event scattered across hotels and conference rooms around Santa Monica. There's going to be less glitz, but hopefully more substance: The stars of this show are the games and hardware, not elaborate stage routines.

You'll be seeing a lot of E3 coverage all this week. Where can you find the good stuff?

GameSpy's Index is Now Live
IGN's Index is Already Cooking
and IGN Insider will have Live Streaming Coverage

And, of course, you'll want to Stick around FilePlanet to download high-def videos of new game trailers and more.

What Can We Expect from This Year's Show?

The biggest news will come from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, as all three companies reveal their position and strategy going into the upcoming holiday season. IGN Insider will stream the press conferences live, beginning Tuesday at 9:30 PM Pacific time for Microsoft's conference, then continuing Wednesday at 9 AM and 11:30 AM for the Nintendo and Sony conferences, respectively.

A PS3 Price Drop has already been confirmed, and Microsoft might follow suit in order to keep the numbers good throughout the holiday. Sony has a fight on its hands: the company has to overcome the PS3's so-so reception and demonstrate that the immensely powerful machine is THE next-gen system. I expect the company will spend a lot of time talking about Blu-Ray adoption and the PS3 as a whole home entertainment platform. Microsoft will probably focus on developers and games, both of which have been the 360's strong point this generation.

Meanwhile, Nintendo is in a great position. Every Wii sold earns the company a profit, and the system has done better than just about anyone predicted. But can the company maintain that leadership with a 'gimmicky' console that's far less powerful than the competition? I suspect Nintendo will spend a little bit of time going over the company's fantastic success, and then I expect the presentation will move on to talk about a suite of upcoming games embracing new untapped markets. Nintendo has a system that reaches out to everyone; the company is definitely going to play that up. And of course we can't forget the Nintendo DS, which continues to fly off shelves.

Stay tuned for more E3 coverage all this week on FilePlanet and the IGN/GameSpy Network!

      -Fargo
Posted by at 9:54 AM PDT
Edited on: July 10, 2007 10:13 AM PDT
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