Perhaps I spoke a little hastily. Microsoft had some great pieces at their Press Conference. I still think Sony was the clear winner (although their motion sensing peripheral brought them down a few points), but Microsoft did really pull out a lot of great stuff here.
So let me tell you what I mean. Or rather, who I mean: Sam Fisher. That’s right folks, Splinter Cell: Conviction is my number one pick for the entire show. I was blown away by the game and think that it has been well worth the three-year wait. The demo looks incredible, and it will only get better between now and release (rumoured to be around the holidays, likely next year given Ubi’s track record for predicting release dates accurately).
The show floor is very impressive. I must really impress upon you to check out the Flickr set for my Day 1 photos. I managed to go through everything, although not thoroughly. Tomorrow, I’m going to be hitting mostly the lines to try out all the games first hand. Yes, even the insanely long wait for the Halo 3: ODST multiplayer arena. But who are we kidding? It’s Halo-3-FREAKIN’-ODST.
One of my highlights of the day was the 3D head scanning booth. The scanning is unbelievably accurate and painlessly quick, and the results are just plain weird (check it out in the Flickr set). Another major one was being a part of the audience for G4’s live E3 coverage. I was seeing stars, quite literally…. Olivia Munn, Kristin Adams, Kevin Pereira, Adam Sessler, and Steve Wiebe. Sadly, Morgan had laryngitis and wasn’t at today’s shooting. Hopefully she’ll be around tomorrow or Thursday for some great insight into the gaming world with that sexy little smile of hers.
Square Enix has a MASSIVE screen, probably the largest of the entire show floor, projecting trailers and other content. Their latest and greatest is about Final Fantasy XIII and XIV. Odd that game developers are now starting to announce sequel or franchise titles even before their next iteration (I’m looking at you Bungie); I’m liking the trend so far! EA of course has a massive space, although it seems pretty sparse, with about a third of it dedicated to standing room in front of a podium for speakers and such.
Nintendo’s booth is pretty barren. If I may be so bold, it looks like they rented the entire space to show off Super Mario Bros. Wii which, in all honesty, kinda sucked. No, but really.
And then there’s my love affair with Sony. The PSP Go didn’t disappoint, but it wasn’t impressive either. I like the onboard memory and the slim design, but the buttons are far too cramped, and it felt almost too light for my tastes. The rest of Sony’s booth was packed full of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, Tekken 6, and, of course, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Plenty of sequels, we see. Oh, and Ratchet and Clank Future was on demo and it looked, well, like any other Ratchet and Clank game: fun but repetitive and overdone.
So that’s my wrap up on Day One. The swag is plentiful: t-shirts, giveaways, contests (I won an 8GB Zune!), but it seemed like there’d be more than there actually was. Probably just me. I’m greedy like that.
See you all on Day Two and Three, and then Video Games Live on Thursday!
Speaking of VGL, I should mention that I saw Tommy Tallarico, Jose Sanchez, and Geoff Keighley on my way out of the expo, and we had a good talk for about a half hour; really nice guys, all of ’em.