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E3 2009

TheFeed's Nightcap

Do not separate yourself from your computer, my friend: Tonight at 6PM PST you'll have the rare and unique opportunity to watch history in the making, as G4 premieres TheFeed's Nightcap, a post-E3 wrap-up of the day's most important events, streamed live to your monitor.

Tonight's show features our own Billy Berghammer hanging out and talking game smack with Brad Shoemaker (the editor of Giant Bomb) X-Play host Adam Sessler, and Victor Lucas from Electric Playground.The boys will be discussing all things games, and which of the big three press conferences blew up and which fizzled.

Do not miss this half-hour power-hour of awesome and surprises -- it's the greatest E3 wind-down you could imagine, and it's live, so anything can (and will!) happen!

Check out our Nightcap site around 6PM PST to watch the stream.

Last Guardian

The trailer leaked out a week or so ago, but today it's official: The Last Guardian, a soaring cinematic fantasy game from Team Ico, the creators of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 3.

No word on a release date as of yet...but, judging from the apparent complexity on display in the trailer, it's probably a ways out.

Final Fantasy XIV Online

Sony dropped a bit of a bomb at its E3 press conference by revealing Final Fantasy XIV Online. Perhaps even bigger for Sony fans is that the game will be a Sony exclusive, and will be released in 2010. Given that FF XIII is expected early next year, this announcement is easily one of the most surprising of E3 so far. Well done, Sony.

Update: Well...maybe not totally exclusive. According to Square Enix's press release, Final Fantasy XIV Online will also be available on PC. So it's a Sony console exclusive, anyway. Check out the game's official site.There's not a whole lot of information there, but there is confirmation that the "Online" designation at the end of the title indeed suggests an MMO. That's right, folks, another Final Fantasy MMO will be yours to behold in 2010.

Update 2: Here's your development team:

  • Producer: Hiromichi Tanaka (Final Fantasy I, II, III, XI)
  • Director: Nobuaki Komoto (Final Fantasy IX, XI)
  • Art Director: Akihiko Yoshida (Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII)
  • Music: Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series)

In order to provide gamers with a "gaming experience closer to real life than anything we've seen," Sony has unveiled a motion-sensing control system for the PlayStation 3. The thing combines the PlayStation EyeToy camera with a controller and allows one-to-one tracking as well as allowing scanning of objects in a game. Seems to me like a cross between Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus and Microsoft's webcam motion controller.

Sony showed off a number of tech demos, including a sword-fighting game, tennis, a painting game, archery, a real-time strategy title and a first-person shooter. The system will be available in Spring 2010.

Wait, I thought the PS3 already had motion-sensing controllers...

It's a little late, but a lot happened yesterday that we needed to wrap our heads around. Plus, technology can be a real jerk sometimes. Anyways, what follows is just what we thought was "cool" during the opening press conferences, and by no means "the best" of anything. We're saving that for later, so keep your arguments warming in the oven until then. Without further ado, here's the G4tv.com Nerd Army E3 Battle Report, Day 1.

Brian Leahy, Games Editor

I think the coolest thing of the day was actually the Facebook Connect integration for Xbox Live. While it isn’t a game, it’s a big deal for making the social aspect of Live even more ubiquitous. It’s a good partnership that will offer a lot of exposure for the Xbox 360 on Facebook. Your move, Sony.

Facebook/Xbox Live Partnership

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Agent

After touting past PlayStation exclusives from Rockstar games, Sony's CEO Jack Tretton announced a new, PS3-only game coming from Rockstar. Agent is in development at Rockstar North and features a gritty, 1970s setting.

Sony hasn't revealed any information about the title... but, remember last year when Rockstar announced L.A. Noir? What the heck happened to that open-world crime game set in 1940s Los Angeles?

Anyway, no release information is known about Agent at this time, but if I hear anything, I'll let you know.

Gran Turismo on the PSP

While we still haven't heard anything about Gran Turismo 5 for the PS3, racing fans should be pleased to hear that Gran Turismo will be coming to the PSP on October 1 of this year.

The game will run at 60 fps, feature 800 cars, 35 tracks, and 60 track layout variations. It also supports four-player multiplayer over an ad-hoc network, and will make it easier than ever for players to trade and share cars between garages and other players.

Update: The Gran Turismo team at Polyphony Digital Inc. has made it a point to bring all of the franchise's depth, complexity and impressive visuals to the PSP version of famed racing series . Players will be able to unlock vehicles in the game's Challenge Mode, which includes over 100 events, and, for the first time in the series' history, players will be able to trade cars with others, with some of the cars only available via trade. Sony plans to release the game on UMD as well as on PSN for PSP Go users.


Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker

At its press event today, Sony brought out legendary game designer Hideo Kojima to introduce the next Metal Gear game. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.

According to Kojima, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker "is not a spin-off or a side story." It's a true sequel to the Metal Gear franchise. Kojima says he was "deeply involved" in the game's development. He wrote the script and helped produce the game, plus, the main MGS 4 team participated.

In Peace Walker, players take control of the famed Naked Snake. According to Kojima, the game takes place in 1974, and features "incredible visuals and its unique new game system designed specifically with the PSP in mind." Download and hardware bundle will be available.

The game adds special PSP elements. Judging from the trailer, Peace Walker contains all the stealth, action and humor Metal Gear Solid fans love. Can't wait!

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is coming in 2010.

Sony PlayStation Portable PSP go

Sure it's the least shocking announcement of E3, but PSP fans should be pleased to know that Sony has officially revealed the long-expected PSP Go, the digital-content-centric redesign. Info about the new PSP leaked pre-E3, but it's good to see it on display in all its slide-screen goodness.

Update: Sony has released some specs and content service info for its new digital darling the PSP Go. The new handheld features 16GB of internal flash memory, WiFi and Bluetooth support, and will cost $249.99. Sony is also releasing a new music service called “SensMe,” which sort of acts like iTunes' Genius Bar only it suggest music based on your mood rather than what music is in your library. The old Media Manager will be replaced by Media Go!, a new, free application that lets users manage media content between PSP devices and PCs.

TheFeed's own Patrick Klepek managed to squeeze in a little hands-on time with the new PSP Go, so be sure to check out his impressions from the E3 show floor.

According to Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony, there are 35 PS3-exclusive games coming in the next year.

At the Sony press event today, Triton boasted that Sony was the only company leading in three spaces: consoles, handhelds and online.

Tretton said there are 364 games coming out on PlayStation platforms this year, if you include all platforms. Tretton went on to mention that the PlayStation 2 is in its ninth year, and thus it proves the wisdom of Sony's decade-long platform life plan. But even though the last-gen system is nearing its obsolescence date, Sony will "keep supporting it as long as consumers see value in it."

What do you think of Tretton's look at Sony's present state and prospects?

It may not be another Duke Nukem Forever or Chinese Democracy, but it does seem like we’ve been waiting for Alan Wake — the action game from Max Payne developers Remedy Entertainment — for a very long time. Though after seeing a demo of the game at Microsoft’s press conference, and then getting to play the same demo later that day, we’re thinking it may have been worth the wait. Er, will be when the game is finally released on the 360 (we hope) next Spring.

At its core, Alan Wake seems to be a third-person, gun-loving, survival horror game in the vein of Silent Hill (only less atmospheric), Resident Evil (only less B-movie), or Alone In The Dark (only less sucky). Playing as the titular character, you embark on a quest to find your wife after she goes missing while you’re on vacation in a small Northwestern town. The problem is that there’s a supernatural force at work, one that’s oddly just like the one you’ve written about in your most recent, but still unpublished book.

 

Alan Wake E3 Trailer »


Or — SPOILER ALERT — so you think. One of the phrases that the Remedy guys kept saying was “You think.” As in, “you think inanimate objects are possessed by the dark force, and you have to use light to burn it out of them.” This whole supernatural thing might just be in your head, and your wife might’ve just run off with some guy. And therein lies one of the central mysteries of the game.

Read More »

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The original Forza Motorsport was voted “Best Racing Game” by many magazines and websites when it came out in 2005, and its sequel, Forza Motorsport 2, not only got the same accolades when it was released two years later, but it is the best reviewed racing game of the current generation. So when the developers at Turn 10 boasted that Forza Motorsport 3 — which is slated to be published by Microsoft for the 360 this October — would be, and this is a quote, “the defining racing game of this generation,” it’s not a boast you dismiss easily. 

Forza Motorsport 3 Demo From E3 2009 »


But while we’re not sure that the game will indeed redefine racing games, we were still rather impressed with the short demo and hands-on time we got with the game at a Microsoft event the company held just hours after unveiling the game at their E3 press conference.

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At their E3 press conference, Microsoft unveiled a new way to play games: a motion-sensitive camera controller they’re currently (but hopefully not permanently) calling “Natal.” Taking motion-sensitivity to a new level, we were certainly intrigued by the possibilities when we had a chance to test it out at a Microsoft event later that night.

“Natal” works kind of like the PlayStation’s EyeToy camera, in that it senses your motion, basically turning you into a big controller. But unlike the EyeToy, which put your image (rather badly) onto the screen, where you’d interact with bubbles or ninjas or whatever, “Natal” can transfer your motion to an on-screen avatar. Or it can transfer it to nothing (as we’ll discuss in a moment). Microsoft have also said that it will feature voice- and facial-recognition, and will be a simple way of navigating the dashboard’s menus, since you can just wave your hands to shift between, say, the movies on your Netflix queue, kind of like how you can use your finger to flip through the albums on your iPod Touch or iPhone.

 


For our demo, though, we got to test it out on a real game. Microsoft put a copy of Burnout Paradise into a regular Xbox 360, connected a “Natal” unit — which looks like a longer version of an EyeToy or the Microsoft camera, just with more lenses — and after tweaking things a little, made Burnout Paradise a racing game that didn’t need a controller.

Instead, I stood in front of the TV and the “Natal,” and held my hands at 10 and 2 like I was holding an invisible steering wheel. I then stepped my right leg forward and away I went. Okay, away I went into a wall, and then another wall, and then a parked car, but after playing with it for a few minutes, I was able to steer in and out of traffic like I would with a regular controller. I could even brake by moving my right leg back (insert your own hokey pokey joke here), and could activate the boost by jerking my right arm back much the way you would if you were shifting in a car with manual transmission.

Admittedly, you won’t be able to do this right out of the box with any ol’ game. The game will have to be made for this controller. Or will have to be patched, since a game’s developer could, very easily, adapt their original controls to work with the “Natal.”

If there is one complaint about “Natal” that we can make from our brief time with it, it’s that, like the Wii and the EyeToy, it seems like it’s going to get kind of exhausting after a while. Even just holding my arms up like I was steering got tiring after only a few minutes, though that could just be because I’m so old and out of shape that I perpetually feel like Danny Glover in a Lethal Weapon movie: I’m getting too old for this, well, you know.

I also kind of felt that steering might’ve felt more car-like had I been holding something circular, like a plate. But that would defeat the purpose of this hands-off controller.

Ultimately, like any controller, the “Natal” will only be as good as the game you play with it. What those might be, we don’t know yet, but we’re certainly curious to see what Microsoft and other developers do with this thing, whatever they call it.

 

DJ Hero First Look

bleahy
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Posted June 2, 2009 - By bleahy

DJ Hero First Look

DJ Hero is going to do something that hasn’t been done in a rhythm game to date. The primary soundtrack will consist of around 80 mash-ups of licensed master tracks. Some of these tracks have been remixed by artists like DJ Shadow and DJ Z-Trip. Many were created in-house by the DJ’s at Freestyle Games. I was able to see a gameplay preview and get a detailed explanation of the game’s mechanics and peripheral… and I want this game.

For some context, I’m a huge fan of rhythm games, but also of Konami’s Beatmania. Like many fans of the Bemani game, I initially thought down upon DJ Hero. Until I saw it in action, I was convinced that I just wanted another Beatmania game. The two games are very different and this is due to the peripheral.

DJ Hero’s controller isn’t very button heavy, with only three buttons to press during gameplay, but the revolutionary (ha!) change is these buttons are placed on the turntable. During gameplay, gems fall on three different lanes. The green lane represents the first track, the red lane represents samples, and the blue track represents the second track. When both tracks are present, you’ll be tasked with hitting buttons (Guitar Hero style) as gems cross the bottom of the lane. You’ll also have to hold a button and scratch the turntable when prompted. At the easier difficulty levels, you’ll be able to pretty much scratch during the section, but as the difficulty rises, scratching up or down will be required in different places.

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At the company's E3 press event today, Nintendo revealed a new WarioWare game. WarioWare DIY is a touch screen and camera mini-game collection for the DS.

The game's big innovation: WarioWare DIY allows players to create their own mini-games for the system, and then share them using the DSi's online capabilities. WarioWare DIY allows customized characters, environments, actions and goals to be added to mini-games.

I'm terrified of the games you will create.. but, if you have any fantastic ideas, leave them in our comment section below.

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