GEEK REPORT: E308, Day Two

NOTE: Hollywood Chainsaw Blogger (a non-gamer) respectively turns over this post to indie filmmaker Glen Baisley, a total game geek who has been covering the E3 Media and Business Summit from . . . I dunno, his living room?

Take it away, Glen!

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Yet another day goes by that I sat glued to the tube watching G4’s live coverage of E3.

Day 2 of E3 featured Nintendo and Sony’s press conferences.  Yesterday, Nintendo announced that a new add-on to the Wii remote called the Wii MotionPlus.  Today, Nintendo unveiled just what it is that this new gadget can do. Here’s a look at the top 5 coolest things that Nintendo had to offer at E3:

1. Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus

The highlight of the conference was no doubt the announcement of Wii Sports Resort which will come with the new Wii MotionPlus add-on, an attachment that plugs into the bottom the existing Wii remotes giving the control enhanced motion control.  Try playing a racing game on the Wii.  Forget about it.  The controls often over steer due to the lack of precision so it’s no wonder why one of the many games included in Wii Sports Resort that was showcased with the new controller add-on was a jet ski racing game.  Two additional games shown that are included in the pack were a Frisbee game where you play catch with a dog and a sword fighting game.  Wii Sports Resort looks to be as much fun as its predecessor.

2. Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii

To the surprise of many critics, this was the one of the big showcase titles that Nintendo launched their conference with.  While my 11-year-old kid enjoys the previous Animal Crossing DS game it’s not a title that will have die-hard gamers salivating.  It is, however, the springboard for yet another new peripheral – Wii Speak.  Wii Speak will be included with the game and is nothing more than a speaker phone.  Why Nintendo elected to not come out with a full webcam is baffling.  Perhaps the rationale was to target younger users and prevent the ability of them seeing something that they shouldn’t should an older gamer be online and make obscene gestures.  Regardless, the new gadget allows users to interact with each other while traversing the virtual animal world living simulated lives.  Now our younger gamers can find more reasons to never leave their houses and still have the ability to diss total strangers.

3. Wii Music

This was really cool.  Rather than following the footsteps of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, Wii Music is designed so that gamers do not have to read music, play an instrument or follow rhythm guides.  They can have fun creating music with over 50 instruments simply by moving their bodies and making gestures ala air guitar to play the instruments.  For those longing for a little more realism, the game does include a training session on how to play the drums.  The game was demonstrated with 4 players participating in an orchestra.

4. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Nintendo promises that this all original exclusive will contain every bit of mayhem that gamers have come to know and love despite it being on the kid friendly system.

5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Uber Star Wars geeks will delight to being able to swing their Wii remotes like light sabers and go up against the big baddies of the forthcoming cartoon feature film that premieres in theaters on August 15th.

MEANWHILE .  . .

Sony was a bit of a let down.  In his keynote speech, the president of Sony said that their focus for 2008 was going to be on software and not hardware.  Here’s what they ahd to offer:

1. God of War 3

The highly anticipated sequel to the Playstation 2 game.  No game play footage was shown but this game will be hot.

2. Resistance 2

The game was showcased with a bad ass 300 foot tall monster ripping apart high rise buildings as the gamer scrambled to escape… upward!  The monster picked up the gamer and threw him across the screen and through several windows before he landed only to fire off a barrage of missiles back at the looming beast. Sony even unveiled a new game exclusive to the PSP.  Now you can play Resistance on the go! Where do I reserve my copies?!

3. Playstation Network’s Video Store

Sony is launching their new Video Store today on the Playstation Network.  Users can rent and buy standard and high definition television shows and movies.

4. Home

Home looks to take Microsoft’s Community Channel to the next level.  Gamers can create even more detailed avatars than what will be capable on the XBOX 360 this Fall.  In addittion, gamers create their own homes and can go to virtual social spots in a virtual world to meet and play with other gamers.  Home will even feature living game spaces that can mirror environments of such games like Resistance.

5. MAG

MAG stand for Massive Action Game and by what I’ve seen so far it looks like it stands to deliver on the title.  The game is an online first person shooter that allows 8 player squads and up to 256 players online at once in one huge world!

6. DC Universe Online

Okay, I said 5 things but this was just too cool to not include.  Gamers can now fight alongside or against all the famous heroes and super villains from the DC universe. The character animations and their powers looked intense and authentic. This game looks killer.

Well, that wraps it up for E3 day 2 coverage.  For the rest of the week, G4 will be covering any additional announcements that the game heavies have up their sleeves and I’ll be in front of my TV drooling over all the new goodies.  If I owned a house I would have to take out a mortgage for the wave of gamer goodness that’s on the horizon.

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