I was also a bit surprised that neither Sony or Nintendo really talked at all about their online services. Nintendo announced that they'll have that always-connected download service thing, and Sony showed their SingStar song download mechanism they always show, but neither talked about the actual gaming service. I have a feeling Sony's won't turn out quite at the level they want it to, but they'll probably improve it over time to bring it up to speed. Nintendo's will probably be quite similar to the DS method, which is a bit frustrating.
There was also a lot of really cool PC stuff this year, which was nice to see. I was talking with Darren Gladstone, who writes for Computer Gaming World, and he said, "You know what the big news at this show was? PC gaming is back." Games like Spore, Crysis, Bioshock, Supreme Commander, and Railroads! looked great to me. I also saw a closed doors demo of Command & Conquer 3 and though it wasn't playable by journalists, there seemed to be a lot of promise there, with great looking FMV cutscenes and a lot of nice C&C touches. Microsoft has been talking up its plans lately to treat PC gaming as an actual platform--in the way that consoles are treated as platforms--with a lot of centralization and simplification of how games are installed and presented in Vista. They're also in initial talks with retailers about having actual PC sections again, instead of some crappy shelf behind the counter. That sort of thing takes a lot of money, since that's the only thing you can really use to drive retail presentation, but if anyone has the capital and vested interest in making it happen, it's Microsoft. Here's hoping.
On the new releases front this week, New Super Mario Bros. (NDS) comes out. What else needs to be said?
This Week's New Releases
Backyard Baseball 2007 (Humongous | Tue. | GBA, also PS2, GCN, PC in Jun. '06)
New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo | Tue. | NDS)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Double Pack (Konami | Tue. | GBA)
X-Men: The Official Game (Amaze [NDS], WayForward [GBA] | Tue. | NDS, GBA)
Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure (Blue Fang Games | Tue. | PC)
Additional Database Entries
- Keepsake (Hammerhead, PS1, 1999)
- This week, Masem has a great time with Gust's Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny (PS2).
- SixDemonBag isn't too blown away by SCEA's Rise to Honor (PS2).
Obviously I played a whole bunch of games at E3 this week, but in terms of what I really sat down and played myself, just Ritual's SiN Episodes: Emergence. Yesterday, I played through the whole thing, and it was a really fun experience from start to finish. Can't wait to see what comes next.