This past week was E3, the biggest week in the video gaming calendar and we’ve got the rundown for you right here at AfterEllen.com.
Microsoft held a smart press conference that wasn’t without its dig at Sony. The conference pretty much started with them saying they were going to concentrate on the games and not the facts and figures — and that’s exactly what they did.
The biggest announcement from the Microsoft camp came to us in the form of “Project Natal” (said Natal as in the hot Russian spy name Natalia, not the baby popping “pre-natal”), a new motion sensing controller that seems to promise everything from full 3D motion sensing to doing your laundry.
Geek girl cutie Felecia Day was on hand to inform us about social network sites Twitter and Facebook both coming to Xbox Live. This is a cool addition for addicted tweeps and their peeps. This should be out in the Fall.
A surprise announcement regarding the “Metal Gear Solid” franchise was cleverly integrated with “Metal Gear Solid: Rising” being announced. The title won’t feature “Solid Snake,” who remains within Sony’s grasp for the time being it seems, given they too had a MGS announcement themselves.
Also covered in some depth was “The Beatles Rock Band,” which actually kicked off the MS conference. The instruments look cool, but really, who needs another plastic guitar? If you love The Beatles then you’ll love this when it’s released Sept. 9.
The Beatles Rock Band
Pro skateboarder Tony Hawk also made an appearance to plug his new title “Tony Hawk: Ride,” the game that utilizes a full skateboard controller peripheral. Yes, just when you thought you had enough large plastic gaming peripherals, there’s more! This looks pretty cool.
Other things mentioned of interest included a stunning trailer of “Modern Warefare 2,” which featured some sweet ice-climbing and snow mobile chases. Upcoming Xbox Live arcade racer “Joy Ride” also made an appearance and looked like it might be fun (assuming it has tight controls). A nice “Final Fantasy XIII” trailer was also shown and it looked astounding (release spring 2010). “Splinter Cell :Conviction” was also shown and it’s looking sweet for those ladies that like sneaking around (in games obviously).
There were a few other titles on offer, but none got us as excited as once particular game released later this year. Yes we’re talking zombie shooter “Left 4 Dead,” back with its follow-up, the cleverly titled “Left 4 Dead 2″. The game will feature four new survivors and new melee weapons, including the chainsaw, now tell us you didn’t just squeal just a little.
The big name in gaming, Sony, had quite a few cross over trailers, a load of facts and figures (they do love those) about how well the Playstation is selling and a few exclusive bits of news. Sony did have one big surprise though:
As though they had decided that MS and Nintendo were going to take over the world with their motion sensing controller technology, Sony once more lept in with something of their own. The Sony motion sensing wand controller is in its prototype stage, but is said to bring true 1:1 motion control to Sony Playstation. It wasn’t as interesting as Natal, but it had some fairly impressive technology of its own.
Our standout title of the Sony conference was “Uncharted 2,” which is looking gorgeous. Other big titles on show were “The Beatles Rock Band,” “Final Fantasy XIII,” “Ratchet and Clank Future,” “Modern Warfare 2,” “Gran Turismo PSP” and the impressive looking 256 player game “MAG.”
All in all, the Sony conference though was a bit of a let down and featured way too many facts and sales figures that the games press seem bored with.
Nintendo marketing VP Cammie Dunaway (love her!) hit the stage for Nintendo, which is far better than when Reggie does, so that was a good start. Cammie talked gaming trends and pointed out Nintendo’s strides in expanding the gaming audience, something they have certainly done well this year.
Mario gets a mention and Nintendo blow everyone away by announcing “New Super Mario Bros. Wii.” Fans of Nintendo may have been disappointed at the lack of Zelda during their conference, but the new Mario Bros. somewhat stemmed that sting.
There were no huge surprises at the Nintendo conference, but there was Nintendo quality. Wii Motion Plus was once more brought out along with “Wii Sports Resort” and it will finally hit shelves in the U.S. on July 26.
Other news out of the Nintendo conference comes to us in the form of tennis favorite “Virtua Tennis” coming to the Wii. Crime writer James Petterson is bringing “Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion.” Ubisoft showed their upcoming DS cop title “Cop: The Recruit”, which looked pretty nice for a DS title. “Mario Galaxy 2″ also made a swift and colorful appearance and finally “Metroid: Other M” seemed to garner a lot of interest.
Overall our stand out moments of E3 2009 had to be Microsoft’s “Project Natal.” If this thing does half the things it promises, it’s going to take gaming to the next level and we applaud that. “Uncharted 2″ by Sony is looking like a cracking title and it’s nice to see a cool title like “Super Mario Bros.” getting all updated for the Wii platform.
Over at LesbianGamers.com we’ve got more in depth coverage of E3 2009, along with trailers and news all with a lesbian twist.