Complete Gamecore coverage of E3 2006 by William Vitka, Chad Chamberlain, Alejandro K. Brown, Alberto Araya
Thursday, 9:46PM PT
Trying to get into this party is quite the trick. Sony most certainly has the upper hand in creating a shortage of available tickets to the now almost world renowned event. I say that because this event is often trafficked by VP's, marketing directors, CEO's from various European and Asian countries. If ever there was a melting pot of languages its right here at the Sony party in Dodger Stadium. Tickets are about as scarce as the new Playstation 3 game console. You have to inevitably go through Sony to get tickets. Usually after it ends Sony hands out to all attendees, Sony products that are exclusive to this event, which is very impressive. I know I have tons of stuff from the past few years and I remember each event like it was yesterday. Is this a ploy to get you to remember Sony all year long until the next event or what? Who knows but its working!
Thursday, 9:43PM PT
So if you've ever wondered were most of the E3 game enthusiasts go on the second day of the expo, they go to the famed Sony after party held at Dodger Stadium. Tonight in the smog filled night atop Dodger Stadium, while listening to sound of the rock band Incubus, these game industries sit and talk about upcoming gaming trends, competitors, delayed development dates, new gaming technologies, etc... It's funny to see most of the corporate mode disappear in the night air as they sip on their third beverage and most likely become more open about their thoughts than one would expect. I won't go into all the details but let's just say they are more than friendly here.
Thursday, 6:31PM PT
GameCore wraps up day 2 of the Electronic Entertainment Expo with a bang covering several titles. Some of these titles include Falcon 4.0: Allied Force from Lead Pursuit, a really in-depth flight simulator (stay tuned for more info on this), Earthworm Gym for the PSP, DragonBall Z, and a ton of impressive titles from both Sony and Nintendo. But one thing bothers me about this year's expo. In the past few years that I've attended the E3 expo the massive number of people in attendance was staggering. It seems this year the number of game enthusiasts has dwindled some what. The lines outside of Nintendo's booth this morning as reported by GameCore's Alejandro, are still painstaking long to say the least but the crowdedness that is so familiar to E3 seems somewhat absent this year.
Many journalists find it much easier to navigate through the crowds this year than in the past few. One thing is certain though despite the crowds or lack there of, E3 this year is all about innovation. Most of the titles we've looked at so far including some of todays, really engage the user in rather fresh gameplay mechanics. So is this really what the phrase "Next-Gen" means? Sony certain feels that its new platform/control mechanics and technology, not to mention some of their titles, most certainly are. Boasting proudly about its blue-ray technology and the ease of use for their controls, not to mention free internet play, perhaps Sony is right? Or are they? Or Maybe Nintendo is on the right path with their Wii connect 24 concept where even if your Wii system is powered down, it's still working for you downloading content or perhaps allowing content providers to push things to your system. And then there are the Wii controllers. From first hand experience it really puts you in the game most notably tennis, Metriod and Zelda. So maybe Nintendo has the answers? To be honest I really don't know. Both sides really have strong arguments but I'll let you, the GameCore fans that you are, decide that for yourselves.
Thursday, 1:47PM PT
I sat in on the Gears of War demo at Microsoft for the 360 and Wow. Don't let the Microsoft name and the big guns trick you into thinking that this is a simple Halo knockoff. As our demonstrator stated, Gears of War is more of a "stop and pop" game than "run and gun." Moving from cover to cover is key in keeping you alive as you fight monsters that emerged from the earth and have basically started to exterminate the human race on this remote planet.
The feeling of movement and of stopping, like when your character slams into walls and barriers for cover, is solid. While we only saw the first level, your character has the ability to command a squad of four.
And two gamers will not only be able to play co-op, but can actually take different paths through the level to help achieve their goals. It looks great.
Thursday, 11:42AM PT
I'm not too big on simulation games, least of which flight-sims, but a development team called Lead Pursuit might change that. Tucked quietly away from the sheer madness of E3 is a hall, while not as huge or nearly as decorative as some of the other halls in the LA convention Center, we find the folks from Lead Pursuit. Displaying Falcon 4.0: Allied Force, they were dog-fighting with some computer drones. They have what resembles remarkably the cockpit of an F-16 fighter jet complete with game controls that resemble, foot petals, throttle and flight stick. The controls feel spot on although I'm not an experience fighter pilot, if I played enough of this simulator I feel I would be able to. Although there's no way I can afford to purchase a cockpit much like the one I was able to fit into. Stay tuned for some more info on this title from our experts, who have followed this game and title for quite some time now. More details to come about this title.
Thursday, 10:45AM PT
You know the mobile market is really something. I've been talking to several companies that push games to your cell phones so you can further immerse yourself in mind numbing game play. Some of these companies include Gameloft, and i-play. Apparently, mobile games are really taking off and the growing demand for them doesn't seem to be wavering. The technology involved in the production of these types of games is also growing. It's been said that mobile gaming technology currently available is about six years behind current console hardware technology, which puts it about first generation Playstation One technology on your mobile phone. How sick is that? One such title is the Da Vinci Code based on the movie being released staring Tom Hanks. It allows you to step into the shoes of Hank's character and walk through the game making similar discoveries as he does throughout the movie. Talk about a huge spoiler alert. The D Vinci Code is fairly advanced and is built on some really advance technology that isn't currently supported by most phones, and of that, not many are available here. But then again we all know that we're somewhat behind the times when it comes to mobile technology and mobile phones. The one that was used to demo the game is not currently available in the states.
Thursday, 9:45AM PT
I specifically woke up with my cohort to make it to the convention at 9 AM SHARP when the doors at E3 opened. We even got the coveted parking across the street from the Convention Center, we were that early. We rush straight to the Nintendo booth, and to our surprise and horror. The line wrapped around 2 of the 5 giant walls. The end of the line was a 3 hour wait.
The time you ask? 9:05 am. The lines were so long that Nintendo installed video walls (about 5 feet tall) with live people watching through camera feeds just to talk with the people on line. There was a video wall every 10 or 15 feet. Apparently they expected the wait and I have to give Nintendo credit for setting that up for the waiting masses. They still get negative marks for only having one closed area to showcase their new console. The PlayStation3 is on the showroom floor for everyone to play, but unfortunately no hands on Nintendo Wii action for today.