Monday, June 28, 2010

E3 2010: Moderate Disappointment

by Ben Hofferber

When the lights on the screen with the Xbox 360 symbol started to light up at the Microsoft Press Conference at E3, I immediately flashed back to the amazing announcements of last year's system update and Project Natal. There were several moments during that press conference that shocked and awed me. However, this year is nothing but disappointment on Microsoft’s part.

Everything important can be summed up in this short paragraph:

Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Dead Space 2 are coming out this year. Epic teamed up with People Can Fly to make Bulletstorm, which looks like fun. Project Natal is renamed as Kinect which reminds me of the child play-set. A new Xbox has been released with WiFi, but no news as far it having the red ring issue. ESPN has partnered with Xbox to allow Live members to access games on demand.

Honestly, unless you are a sports fanatic who needs a new Xbox, nothing at the conference really wowed or awed anyone. Kinect looks lame in comparison with its competitors and until I see a good reason to get it I am going to try to stay away from motion control for a while.

The Nintendo press conference seemed to be a step forward for the company. However as a hardcore gamer I think that I would have liked to see them completely get rid of the Wii and upgrade to a high definition console with user friendly controls. Epic Mickey looks amazing however, and I think that they have a good lineup of games including their new Zelda game. I also think that the 3DS is a good move forward.

Sony’s Press Conference really sold me on getting a Playstation 3 but not because of any of the 3D features but because of the strong implementation of their games. Games are starting to get better on the Playstation and although it still seems to be a little overpriced, they have made considerable progress and games like Final Fantasy actually run better on the Playstation 3. Thats really all I had to say about that. They really showed that their community was growing and improving and that is a big plus to me.

There were also several games that I looked at that were not focused on in the press conferences that I enjoyed hearing about.

Fable may have given me some hope for this time around. I absolutely was disgusted by Fable II after playing the first one. People that never played the first one seemed to like the second one more. However, Fable III seems to have gone back to the good old adventuring system of the first game which just feels so much more rewarding to me and there is a real sense of freedom. Also, the game looks a lot more interesting than the second one because the plot is a lot less linear and they seem to have opened up the areas a little more. Still last time they said they were turning the game into an open world game we all saw what happened.

In the demo I saw of the game on, I was impressed by the visuals and by the new user interface system. There is no longer a 2d menu any more and it has been replaced by a personal player space equipped with your own butler. In this space you can change your weapons and clothing and fast travel through the map. The map also provides a real time view of the world, weather and all.

Another game that I enjoyed seeing more of was the new Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic. They announced a new trailer that looks kick ass and they showed off some of the game in Stage Demos. Although there was no new news to hear of in relation to the game, seeing it on stage gave me a good feel for the game and made me exited for it’s release that is a little under a year away.

Ben Hofferber
Fable III
Fable II

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Xbox 360 250GB Elite

At an E3 2010 media event on Monday, Microsoft made a surprise announcement of a new Xbox 360 console -- the Xbox 360 250GB Elite -- available for pre-order now and delivery beginning June 19.

The new Xbox 360 sports a 250GB hard drive and a built-in Wi-fi as well as an updated case design. Also ready for the controller-free Kinect, once available.

Xbox 360 250GB Elite