When I briefly spoke with John Blakely, VP of development for Sony Online Entertainment – Austin, at E3 last week, he promised that "DC Universe Online" has something for everybody.
For anyone who's a fan of DC Comics, they can, of course, expect nods to various aspects of the DC Universe. "The DC fan is going to be like 'I want to see Superman, I want to see Batman.' There's Bizarro, Big Belly Burger and those kind of things," Blakely said, without revealing too many details before a playable version of the game hits Comic Con later this week.
And for the MMO gamers, they can expect the familiar features they've grown accustomed to. "We are an MMO company and we know what our players like," he said, matter-of-factly. "You can look at the feature sets that we have in our existing products, and we're going to draw a lot of those pieces in... People are used to it."
At E3 last week I talked to PlayStation marketing man Peter Dille about a range of topics, the first of which, naturally, had to be the announcement by Microsoft that the formerly PS3-exclusive "Final Fantasy XIII" was also going to debut on the Xbox 360.
Did the announcement hurt Sony? I asked, and he said...
It was not the mocked stage presentation of "Wii Music" that prompted my skepticism about Nintendo last week. It was something else, something less flashy but more pervasive.
Several times throughout the week, I witnessed the company, its most ardent fans and the E3 press fail to communicate with each other. These misunderstandings -- these wrong answers to right questions and right answers to wrong ones -- were not always Nintendo's fault. But the fissures are real and must certainly be a concern to company and fans alike.
First, though, no one should get too hung up on "Wii Music." It's not the problem.
Last Thursday I stopped by the pool at Los Angeles' Hotel Figueroa and thought I'd "briefly" jump onto the E3-closing edition of the 1UpYours podcast. Photo proof right here. They kept me (and Klepek) for 50 minutes! That was after two hours of the 1UpYours crew talking to some talented game developers such as Denis Dyack and Randy Pitchford.
But only I could bring news on the graphics-free Wii remote sex game. (At least I hope only I did -- I haven't listened to the first two hours yet.) Essentially, two players shake Wii remotes to orchestrate the pre-recorded sounds of two people who are in the midst of feeling very passionate about each other. More info about the game at its official site.
On the podcast, I also talked about "Rhythm Heaven," "Flower." And I'm pretty sure I argued that "Resident Evil 4" is sometimes overrated. Is that allowed?
Listen to more E3 chatter from me, Klepek and others at the 1UpYours official site. ["MATURE" AUDIENCES ONLY: The podcast features lots of swearing and anatomical references, though not by me. I'm too classy for that. Even when describing "Dark Room Sex Game."]
Last Monday I got a chance to step inside Capcom's E3 booth for an early look at "Resident Evil 5" and a chat with the game's producer Jun Takeuchi. With the help of a translator, we talked about the game, its controls, whether he owns a chainsaw, exploding barrels and race. Why'd I bring that last topic up? Because Multiplayer blog has played a big role in the discussions about "RE5" and race. I wanted to bring things full circle. Takeuchi was certainly up for it.
Read on for the full interview.
Michael Pachter, analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, writes a good e-mail subject line. The quotable gaming expert titled his note to investors this morning as "Entertainment Software: E3 2008 Review: The Bad, The Great, and the BORING!"
In it, he made his pick for best E3 press conference:
Microsoft had the most impactful presentation of the three console manufacturers, in our view, with an expanded offering of interactive games (e.g., 1 vs. 100) and the announcement of a partnership with Netflix. We think that Sony had the least impactful presentation, trying to address too many topics for the time allotted. Nintendo’s presentation was “just right”, but hardcore gamers were disappointed at the lack of a major Mario or Zelda game announcement.
He named the top publisher of the show:
I hope everyone has been enjoying and been engaged by our E3 coverage this week. We tried hard to show and describe some of the most interesting and most important aspects of gaming's biggest week. And now, three of us are hopping on planes to go home!
So please forgive our lighter posting schedule today. We'll be back on Monday with a lot more coverage post-E3. I have dozens of stories I still want to share about what I saw and who I talked to. I know Patrick and Tracey are eager to share more material as well.
We saw The Who. We saw countless games. We interviewed endless luminaries. E3 2008 has come to a close, and it's time for everyone to go home. Me? I head back to San Francisco. Tracey and Stephen? Off to New York. But we have plenty more E3 coverage to come in the next few weeks (not to mention Comic Con!) -- stay tuned!
I saw "Rock Band 2" this morning. Both the new guitar and enhanced drums look great.
But I wanted to know their reaction to Activision's announcement that "Rock Band"'s peripherals would be compatible with "Guitar Hero: World Tour."
Unfortunately, they didn't have much to say. "Rock Band"'s public relations representative told me they were "surprised" by the announcement. They didn't know Activision was planning to incorporate compatibility.
That said, they were happy to hear the news (and so are we!). There should be an official statement from Harmonix soon.
Here is yet another look into the sordid life of a game journalist. Today Stephen runs through his impressions of some of the biggest titles that are showing at this year's E3. Watch and find out what he thinks of "Wii Music," "Banjo-Kazooie," and more. Also, see what game Mr. Totilo can't get enough of (hint: it'll only be on the big black console ).
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