E3 has come and gone (last week). We still have one more article to write about E3, so Joe and I decided we should write this article together in a chat-style format. Since we don’t have our own equipment to do podcasting, nor did we have any time to get together during the week, we’re doing this the ol’ ghetto way. Joe coined the term chatcasting(TM) and we hope this will take off and slowly rid of liveblogging, much like how podcasting is taking over live talk radio. (Okay maybe not, lulz)
Without further ado, here’s our chatcast (and our longest blog post yet) on what went down on E3!
Joe: So we’ve been covering E3 for the past week now and I have to say this year really brought out the sequels, remakes and series reboots. All of the big three console makers had a bunch of these during their press conferences.
Jesse: Yeah. Pretty much the same story from the last E3. Not to say it was boring or predictable mind you. There was a fair share of “wow” moments.
Joe: Halo, Mario, Metroid, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, I’m surprised Sony didn’t announce a new Crash Bandicoot.
Jesse: Crash Bandicoot is no longer owned by Sony and Naughty Dog by the way.
Joe: Well let’s talk about one of those “wow” moments, Kojima announced not just 1, but 3 Metal Gear titles.
Jesse: Yeah, it was a bit of a “wow” moment.
Joe: We got Metal Gear Solid: Rising for the 360, Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker for the PSP, and Metal Gear Solid for the arcade which looks like an arcade version of Metal Gear Online.
Jesse: I was a bit surprised about an MGS announcement for the 360… and disappointed.
Joe: Were you hoping for MGS: 4 to be ported?
Jesse: Not necessarily. At first I thought, “awesome, Kojima is handling this new MGS for the 360.” Then when he showed up on the Sony press con, he said that him and his MGS4 crew will work on MGS: Peacewalker. Which makes me a bit pessimistic as to who’s actually handling MGS: Rising. Is Kojima actually directing, or is he just Jerry Bruckheimer?
Joe: Not only that, but the way Kojima talked about how MGS: Peacewalker was a TRUE Metal Gear Sequel, he made it seem like he was talking down his earlier appearance at the MS press conference.
Jesse: Yeah, exactly. I’m not a trying to be strictly rooting for the 360. As a primary 360 owner, it is a bit disheartening. But, business is business. I really need to get a PS3.
Joe: Well you are forgetting one important thing with MGS: Rising, something we don’t know that could change everything. Lighting bolt action baby!
Jesse: Hahaha. Because of that tagline, I’m expecting Raiden to do naked cartwheels like he did on MGS2. Hopefully, Kojima’s second string team can do a good enough job to pull it off.
Joe: Well moving on from that disturbing image, let’s take a step back. So we posted our thoughts on the big three’s press conferences, but let’s talk about defining moments of those press conferences were. You go ahead and start with Microsoft.
Jesse: There’s no question that Microsoft pulled out a rabbit out of its top hat with Project Natal. Now, first of all, yes it’s a prototype and yes it’s not proven, and yes this could be just like that Killzone 2 “in-game” graphics trailer back in E3 2006. But much like Killzone 2’s announcement 3 years ago, Project Natal kinda does lead to new gameplay and interactive possibilities. It could be the start of something big. Maybe this is where the Holodeck begins!
Joe: I agree that Natal was Microsoft’s big moment during the press conference.
Jesse: Will it replace traditional gaming in the near future? I don’t think so.
Joe: I defintely don’t think so at all either. However, I like how they took an existing technology and idea and really refined it into their own.
Jesse: But, game developers, nay developers in general should continue the research and development of gameplay without the aid of a controller or handheld device.
Joe: It’s really taking motion control to a whole new level, with 1:1 body 1:1, and speech recognition. I’m glad Microsoft is taking a risk. Will it work out?
Jesse: Well, not for all games anyway. I wouldn’t want to play Street Fighter, for real.
Joe: Hey as long as I can control my menus all Minority Report style, I’m good to go!
Jesse: As to will it work out? I think if any company can do this, it’s gotta be Microsoft. (Or Google, but they’re not in the games business, thank god)
Joe: And we’ll be one step closer to sentient machines taking over and enslaving humanity, I mean the Natal prototype does look like a mini Hal after all.
Jesse: LOL Yeah it kinda does. But hold on. If Sony or Nintendo announced Natal, do you think the media would take it seriously?
Joe: That’s a good question, I could see Sony, but not Nintendo.
Jesse: I’m not an expert in computer engineering, but I’d assume it would take considerable research, manpower and resources to even attempt this.
Joe: I mean if you look at Nintendo’s track record, they don’t tend to repeat technology, so it’s hard to think they would announce something that basically says, “Hey guess what those Wiimotes? Throw them away! This is the real shit!”
Jesse: And with Sony being in last place, and Nintendo doesn’t have as much technical resources, only MS can do this because the company has all three.
Joe: And they have the Wii Motion Plus anyways. Which they claim is more accurate than Natal is.
Jesse: That’s true.
Joe: Which is a good segue yeah?
Jesse: Well, one more question, and then let’s move on. Now the bigger question is, is Microsoft too late to do this? I think, in the public eye, Microsoft have jumped in the bandwagon too late. Or maybe, they didn’t have the chance at all. The one major hurdle to MS’ plan for world domination, is itself.
Joe: Well I think people need to realize that consoles are no longer limited to 10 year or less life cycles.
Joe: Natal could very much well come right in the middle of the 360’s life cycle. Or maybe it could lead the way to the next generation console.
Jesse: I don’t mean to suggest that the 360 is nearing its end. I’m suggesting that the timing for MS to jump on the motion sensing controller bandwagon is not good. They should’ve done so in the beginning, same with Sony. Public perception will take this as, MS and Sony copying Nintendo. Even though theirs could be superior to Nintendo. Don’t you think so, or are you done with this question? LOL, I thought you wanted to be serious business with this “chatcasting.”
Joe: That’s chatcastingTM
Jesse: Okay, how about this… NEXT! Nintendo, better or worse than last year’s showing?
Joe: And well, it’s blantantly obvious they are copying Nintendo by jumping onto motion control.
Joe: Nope! Let me get one last comment off.
Jesse: Type faster!
Joe: Really it comes down to the games. The technology is awesome and all, but just remember motion control was revolutionary when it was announced for the Wii. I just hope developers really think of creative ways to use this technology instead of just more shovelware, but in HD. So that’s also a good segue into Nintendo!
Jesse: The press did test out Burnout Revenge with Project Natal, so maybe there’s hope for high fidelity games with motion controls. Okay, so yeah… Nintendo, worse or better than last year? You answer that first.
Joe: Defintely better, I was listening to an interview with Denise Kaigler, the VP of Corporate Affairs and Nintendo. She said they defintely heard the outcry to last year’s press conference of Cammie smiles and Ravi Drums. So in response, they drugged Cammie up something good so she wouldn’t smile… ever!
Jesse: LOL. So they replaced her with a cyborg?
Joe: In a stylish 70 style white bottom deal too! I think they did a good job of not relying too much on sales numbers, but I can say I am really sick of seeing all these marketing photos they use of casual people enjoying the Wii and DS.
Jesse: I thought it was a better presentation too, but it’s still a far cry to what MS and then later Sony had to offer. I think the best part of Nintendo’s presentation is the first and last game they presented.
Joe: Yeah it seemed a bit subdued compared to the other two, but at least they announced games that the audience would actually care about.
Joe: I’m honestly really excited about New Super Mario Bros Wii
Jesse: And the new Metroid game from Team Ninja… at least a little excited about it.
Joe: The DS version of New Super Mario Bros was awesome and the 4 player co-op is really icing on the cake. It’s looks really chaotic playing with all 4 people.
Jesse: I agree, I love 2D Mario platformers. And this one looks like a blast.
Joe: Finally a party game that doesn’t involve 50 million mini games.
Jesse: I don’t know about you, but I’m more excited about this than Super Mario Galaxy 2. Although you know that I don’t like Mario in 3D.
Joe: I am excited about Super Mario Galaxy 2, but I just can’t shake the feeling that it should be an expansion pack if anything.
Jesse: Hopefully New SMB Wii will have hidden levels and crazy glitches like New SMB for the DS. This is like the first “true” sequel to a Mario game isn’t it? I mean, in the NES you have SMB 1, 2, 3
Joe: Yeah unless you count Yoshi’s Island.
Jesse: SNES only had one with Super Mario World.
Joe: But even Yoshi’s Island 2 had enough differences from the first one to make it feel like a new game.
Jesse: Okay correction, first “true” sequel to a Mario game in a LONG time.
Joe: That launches this holiday doesn’t it?
Jesse: I think so. But don’t take my word for it; I don’t really keep track of 3D Mario games. Hahahah
Joe: Well that last game they announced, man was that a real surprise to me. After not warming up to the Prime series, the trailer makes it look like the next gen Metroid game I always wanted.
Jesse: Yeah, but the more I watch the trailer, the more I realize that, it isn’t your typical Metroid game.
Joe: People are already QQing about it, saying those kind of sentiments.
Jesse: I mean, I don’t remember Samus ever speaking with an actual voice.
Joe: They also complain that it doesn’t give you the same feeling of isolation that the other Metroid games had.
Jesse: LOL. I’m not saying it’s bad per se, I just realized it is all.
Joe: Honestly, are people going to complain about a new Metroid game?
Jesse: If it turns out horrible, then yeah I can see it happening.
Joe: It’s like I can imagine Nintendo right now being like “WHAT THE F— DO YOU WANT CORE GAMERS???”
Jesse: LOL. Well speaking of getting what you didn’t ask for. What is up with the Vitality Sensor thingy that Iwata presented?
Joe: Uhh yeah that made the audience give out a collective, uhh what? Basically Iwata was like, hey guess what screw 1/3 of the gaming population. They NEVER will get into gaming! So I’m going to bridge the gap with this!
Jesse: Or maybe he’s going senile?
Joe: You could use it to you know, check your heartrate? Maybe we could make a lie detector game?
Joe: Maybe when you die in real life, your character dies?
Jesse: What could’ve helped if there was an actual game that uses this. A demo, anything!
Joe: I’m Iwata, and I’m rich bitch! And I’m OUT!
Jesse: Hold on. I have this feeling that the reason they even brought this out was that they’re trying to combat MS’ Natal. They’re trying to be different.
Joe: More like they were like, “Quick come up with something! We got nothing!!!”
Jesse: LOL. Exactly! The picture of their heart monitor thing, looks like it was photochopped in a few minutes. I guess that’s pretty much it with Nintendo. I know there were a lot more games that they presented compared to last year.
Joe: You need to post some of those up on the site.
Jesse: But personally, it’s nothing to write home about.
Joe: So let’s move on to Sony. Sony I think, really hit it out of the park this year.
Jesse: Yeah for the first time in this generation.
Joe: The PSP GO! Your thoughts?
Jesse: Firstly, I noticed that Sony was a lot more self-deprecating this year, than in years past. They made themselves look more likeable instead of the big badass company you love to hate.
Joe: Yeah they poked fun of the fact that they had information leaks. Including the PSP Go! Which seemed like it really wasn’t supposed to be leaked.
Jesse: They made themselves a bit endearing and at least sympathetic. Yeah the PSP Go! What is up with the (!) exclamation point? LOL
Joe: It’s like Punch-Out!!! You gotta say it with enthusiasm.
Jesse: There’s nothing to be enthusiastic about the PSP Go to be quite honest.
Jesse: Can I explain myself for a bit?
Joe: Yes please.
Jesse: (1) It’s priced at $250, (2) you can’t play your PSP UMD-based games, (3) it’s fatter than an iPhone, (4) and also, after the Apple keynote address at this week’s WWDC conference, the PSP Go is effectively useless to the crowd its trying to appeal to. I don’t know if you remember that part of Sony’s conference. Kaz Hirai pointed out that the PSP Go’s main target is really the iPhone/casual crowd.
Joe: Yeah I do remember that.
Jesse: He didn’t say it specifically, but he mentioned “people on the go” and “a casual demographic on the move.” I doubt he’s talking about the DS, because the DS has more hardcore gamers than casual.
Joe: Well even the design of the PSP Go itself seems to appeal to that kind of demographic. Very minimal, just the screen itself. Slide out controls.
Jesse: Even still, I think again, it’s one of those “too little, too late” situations.
Joe: Honestly, points (1) and (2) you made are more than enough, to turn off most people.
Jesse: (1) and (2) turned off the hardcore crowd. But that’s not Sony’s motive with the PSP Go in the first place. It reminds me of how they lost their dominance in portable music to the iPod. They thought their Walkman brand is unbeatable. As it turns out, iPod took over Sony’s seat in the portable music player category. I doubt the iPod crowd will even flinch to think about getting a PSP Go, over the iPod Touch/iPhone. So, anyway, even though Sony’s press con was a lot better than years past, the first hour was really dull and rocky, don’t you think?
Joe: I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it’s that hopeless, but I will say it’s defintely underwhelming.
Jesse: It barely had anything, except for Uncharted 2 and MAG, but most of the time was friggin’ montages.
Joe: And yes all the talk of the PS2
Jesse: And PS Home!
Joe: and the PSP games, which really ehhh I’m not interested in.
Joe: I don’t have time for epic style games. I have them for games I can play on the can.
Jesse: However, they did pick up steam in the second half of their presser.
Joe: Yeah once they got to the games for PS3 it defintely picked up momentum. The announcement of Final Fantasy XIV was one of the biggest shockers. It was like hey we know we’re not even done with FFXIII yet, but here’s the next game!
Jesse: I almost forgot about that game… I mean, I shouldn’t have, but I almost did.
Joe: Even if it is just an MMO, it was still a great surprise announcement.
Jesse: Yeah it was a shocker, but while I was watching it, I noticed that the graphics weren’t PS3 graphics, so I immediately knew it was the sequel to FFXI.
Jesse: Or the very least, a spiritual successor.
Joe: Hopefully the next MMO from the Square Enix won’t be as hardcore as FFXI was.
Jesse: Ugh, tell me about it. But that’s for another time!
Joe: If they can appeal to the World of Warcraft crowd, I think they can really give Blizzard a run for their money.
Jesse: Help me refresh my memory a bit though, what other games they presented?
Joe: MAG. 256 player online!
Jesse: That’s in the beginning. I mean, refresh my memory of the second half.
Joe: To not go in order God of War 3.
Jesse: MAG by the way does look amazing.
Joe: God of War 3 to sum it up, looks like more of the same. BUT for me, not a bad thing. It could be just what Sony needs to really have a definitive must play action game for their system.
Jesse: No not at all. Not too exciting, but not bad. Kind of like Halo: ODST or even Halo: Reach.
Joe: Uncharted and Ratchet and Clank were great, but I don’t think they’ll draw more Halo-ish kind of gamers than God of War could. Another announcement was a racing version of Little Big Planet.
Jesse: Yeah, even though Uncharted 2 in particular looks amazing.
Joe: Called Mod Nation: Racers
Jesse: I hate cart racers, and I’m sure I’m not gonna like this one either.
Joe: Yeah this looks like a real hit or miss. The idea is novel, but it doesn’t have that general appeal that platformers have that makes Little Big Planet work.
Jesse: I don’t know, I don’t get why they chose a cart racer out of all the possible genres. I guess it’s the only “kid-friendly” genre that adults can play? But I digress.
Joe: Well we’ve come a long way since Fighter and RPG Maker for the PS2! The last big announcement was The Last Guardian, the next Team Ico game. Once again it was all trailers, but Team Ico has yet to dissapoint to really redefinte what an epic game is.
Jesse: Yeah, I’m excited, but I really wish they’d show gameplay.
Joe: I’ll defintely be keeping my eye out on the progress they make for it.
Jesse: I think we’re at a point where, CG cutscenes are no longer exciting. And should never be used in marketing a game ever again.
Joe: Well we’re at a point where CG cutscenes ARE gameplay.
Jesse: But some companies still use CG cutscenes that doesn’t use actual in-game graphics. Like the new Wolfenstein game.
Joe: And Dragon Age.
Jesse: Wolfenstein’s cutscenes looks like it came from 10 years ago.
Joe: Anyways I’m glad to see that Sony took a lot of momentum out of their press conference this year.
Jesse: Not showing off numbers too much (or at all) is always good. So, let’s wrap this up.
Joe: Yeah I was thinking the same thing
Jesse: Who “won” the E3 press conference show-off?
Joe: For me personally? Sony
Joe: It finally gave me a reason as a PS3 owner to be glad I made that purchase.
Joe: To know that they actually have exclusive games coming out.
Jesse: Really, that’s unexpected. For me, it’s Microsoft… but only by a VERY small margin.
Joe: Yeah honestly it really is close, if I didn’t own a PS3 I would give it to Microsoft.
Jesse: I’m excited for Sony because of MAG, Uncharted 2 and its other exclusives.
Joe: This definitely was the E3 of “Hey look at all these exclusives we have!”
Joe: After last year’s announcement of FFXIII on the Xbox proved no franchise is safe from going multiplatform.
Jesse: I’m also excited for Microsoft because of Alan Wake (finally showed some gameplay), Splinter Cell Conviction, MGS: Rising, etc.
Jesse: But really the icing on the cake and the 360’s X-Factor is Natal.
Joe: Yeah there’s a lot we didn’t talk about, which leads me to one final question I want to ask.
Joe: What one game did we not talk about are you most excited about?
Jesse: I think this question should be saved for a later chat session, but real quickly, out of these 3 press conferences, the game I’m really excited about… this is a shocker… New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Joe: Wow, will that be the game that finally makes you get a Wii?
Jesse: Maybe, maybe.
Joe: Or at least start hanging out more often with people who own them lol!
Jesse: Hahahaha, yeah, I hope you get the game, so I don’t have to! But seriously, I might get the game, and it’s probably a good time to get a Wii, especially since there’s a few nice games that are coming out for the system.
Joe: Muramasa for one.
Jesse: And games that doesn’t have “party” in the title! How about you? Out of the 3 press conferences, and only these conferences, which game are you excited about?
Joe: For me, it is quite a tough choice but I am going to say God of War 3. I was surprised about how much I loved the first game. And the second game felt just as fresh despite being very similar.
Jesse: The third game looks like it’ll be just as good, if not even more epic.
Joe: I want to see the next generation upgrades they made, plus for me, the storyline has always been a big draw. I love their take on twisting Greek Mythology, and if you didn’t know God of War 2 ended on a cliffhanger, literally. So I need to know how it ends! LOL
Jesse: Hahaha, well on that note then, we should leave a cliffhanger of our own. Are we going to do an overall discussion on the games themselves that were shown at E3?
Joe: Yeah maybe we could do like an actual podcast style next time with some of the other crew.
Jesse: Alrighty, well on that note, we’ll end it right here. So take it away man! LOL
Joe: Hope you all enjoyed this first ChatcastTM! Remember the Unwound Show is on every Sunday at 5PM PST.