We'll be live-blogging the three major press conferences of E3 – Microsoft (Monday, 10:30am PST), Nintendo (Tuesday, 9:00am PST) and Sony (Tuesday, 11:00am). Naturally we’ll be here all week reporting every scrap of information we can about the biggest and loudest E3 in years.
Follow along LIVE at the appropriate time, and sound off in our comments section at the bottom of the page!
Brett: OK! Live! Sony clustershart got it all started late, but it's all on now. Lez go!
Mikel: So far, Jack Tretton is covering familiar territory in his opening address. Sony has three successful systems, tons of games are coming out and sales are strong, even for the PS2.
Mikel: We're on to Sony's retail sales in Latin America. Nothing too exciting yet.
Eric: Why are they telling us about Uraguay and PS2?
Mikel: inFamous is talked up to great applause. Now we're on to Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Mikel: Starting tonight, Naughty Dog's president says, we can join them online in the Uncharted 2 beta.
Chris: Uncharted 2 beta tonight at midnight!!!!!11
Mikel: Nathan Drake climbs a dilapidated building and looks out over a vast, slightly ruined cityscape before ziplining down to another roof. Looks pretty damn amazing.
Mikel: Now he's outrunning fire from a helicopter gunship as the environment crumbles around him AND he has to shoot it out with some goons. This is wicked hectic.
Chris: there is more hootin' and a'hollerin' going on here than any other conference.
Chris: Hopefully you folks at home aren't seeing footage projected on the inside of a bathtub.
Mikel: Uncharted 2 demo comes to a close and is met with thunderous applause and cheers from the audience.
Eric: True story - the voice actor for Nathan Drake was one of my clients when I lived in LA. Nolan North. Nice guy. He was also on the soap Port Charles and did some random voices for the early episodes of Family Guy.
Chris: Genuine laughs and applause had by Uncharted 2. Go Sony!
Mikel: Moving on to MAG, we're about to see our first demonstration of live gameplay.
Mikel: Eight members of the Zipper team are here to show us a full 256-player battle. Lots and lots of cheers. Man, this crowd is way into it.
Mikel: Looking over the tactical map reveals actual player locations, as well as objectives and the terrain. The player assigns an objective to his team by looking at a bunker icon and telling them to destroy it. Have to say also that this is looking really pretty, with or without the bathtub warping of the weird screen here.
Mikel: Bonus points are awarded for any action taken in relation to the misison objective.
Mikel: Choppers swoop in, providing a convenient respawn point for the squad once the landing zone has been taken and secured.
Mikel: After a weird little hiccup with the sound system, we're on to the PSP. Get ready for a big reveal (that everyone already knows about).
Mikel: 15 million PSPs sold in the last year, says Jack. Not bad.
Mikel: Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines and Final Fantasy Dissidia are on the near horizon for the portable.
Mikel: Kaz Hirai takes the stage!
Mikel: He's really excited to be onstage again, he says.
Mikel: Here we go... the next step in the PSP's evolution is about to be revealed.
Mikel: OK, now we're looking at a big rotating render of the PSP Go.
Mikel: AKA "the worst-kept secret of E3," says Kaz.
The controls certainly look more comfortable
Eric: I call it "where the heck is my second analog stick"
Mikel: Kaz promises a price drop and all-new media capabilities. Will they compensate for the continuing absence of a second stick? It's too early to say.
Mikel: PSP Go will cost $249.99, and also 249.99 euros. Oh, and for those of you who still want to buy physical media, well, the original PSP is still a going concern!
Mikel: OK, after a brief flurry of technical difficulties, we're back with Polyphony and Gran Turismo 5.
Mikel: Sorry, not 5. PSP.
Mikel: Trading and sharing cars in your garage with those of other players will be a key feature of the PSP edition, which apparently won't be just a scaled-down version of the full-sized versions.
Mikel: More talk about the importance of connecting with friends. OK, can we see the game yet?
Mikel: OK, so far the GT video is mostly about showcasing the PSP Go.
Mikel: It sure looks hot, but it's hard to tell for sure because the video presents the action on little floating PSP screens.
Eric: I'd be a lot more convinced if I wasn't looking at a render of the actual system.
Mikel: Cool, new Metal Gear Solid. Kojima's here!
Mikel: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Looks like a follow-up to Portable Ops.
Mikel: Set 10 years after MGS 3, Kojima says Peace Walker is a "true sequel of the Metal Gear franchise."
Mikel: He'll also be very deeply involved in the writing and design of the new game.
Eric: 360 got lightning bolt action and sony gets peace walking? Not to make a snap judgment, but it sounds like Sony got shafted.
Mikel: Shut up shut up it's starting now. Test patterns, the profile of a nuclear missile launch... so far it's vintage MGS.
Mikel: Snake's army is apparently recruited as the mercenary military for Costa Rica. Interesting.
Mikel: Snake's army is apparently recruited as the mercenary military for Costa Rica. Interesting.
Mikel: Sweet. Snake can now kidnap dudes by tying weather balloons to them as they doze.
Mikel: In general it looks a lot sharper and more colorful than the last two Portable Ops titles.
Mikel: Neat, four Snakes at once. Is it multiplayer? Honestly, it looks more like a cutscene.
Mikel: Close with two Snakes hiding under the same box. Genius.
Mikel: The PSP presentation is over and Jack Tretton retakes the stage. "Clearly, it's gonna be a tremendous year for PSP," says Jack.
Mikel: New announcement - an original Resident Evil game is coming to PSP.
Mikel: PSP LBP and a new Jak & Daxter? What more could you want? Well, maybe MotorStorm. Which is apparently a go.
Mikel: Oh, nice. Soul Calibur is on its way, too. So's Persona, looks like.
Eric: That Soulcalibur looks fantastic.
Eric: You know what I really want to hear him say? "You can install your existing UMD games and their saves onto the PSP Go."
Mikel: Oh wow, Final Fantasy VII is coming to PSP! FINALLY.
Eric: Let me just second that FINALLY!
Mikel: Now we're on to a video showing us how far Home has come since its launch. Oh look, it's the ad that went online several weeks ago!
Mikel: I don't know about you guys, but I'm not seeing a whole lot of differences between this and launch.
Eric: Poor Home. I wants to be a virtual world, but it's too busy advertising all the time. I never thought I'd say this, but they should look at Free Realms and borrow some of its ideas.
Eric: Bowling as Chun Li does look appealing, though .
Joe McNeilly: everyone turned into furries ewwwww
Mikel: The demo reel of upcoming PS3 games is so far stuff we've already seen, which isn't bad... although there's a snippet of Joker gameplay from Arkham Asylum, which of course looks awesome, however brief.
Eric: Okay, as a die-hard RPG fan, I really am eager for White Knight Story
Chris: Please show me something I haven't seen, PS3!!! I've been really good this year
Mikel: Tekken 6, Overlord II, Tiger Woods, Dark Void... none of this is that surprising.
Eric: Was that Wet, with the girl wall-running?
Uh... looks like there's some kind of PlayStation Eye virtual pet thing on the way that plays in your room? Weird.
Chris: Once again, PSN titles look excellent. Can't wait for PixelJunk Shooter
Mikel: Something by Rockstar is appearing at E3? Unheard of!
Mikel: It's called Agent and will be exclusive to PS3, and is set in the 1970s. I'm already sold.
Mikel: Aw, we don't get to see it. Oh well, on to Assassin's Creed II!
Eric: Agent is huge. Granted, GTA IV DLC would be good too, but that's still huge
Mikel: OK, after a few more connection problems (damn AT&T!), we're back. Assassin's Creed II looks great; you've got fireworks, renaissance crowds, Florentine architecture and Leonardo's flying machine. Best of all, there'll be connectivity between the PS3 and PSP AC games, and you'll be able to unlock six exclusive weapons in the PS3 version if you've played through the PSP game.
Mikel: But now we're well into the demo for Final Fantasy XIII, and it looks like everything we've expected: Lots of cutscenes, cool battle sequences, amazing graphics.
Mikel: Final Fantasy XIV will be exclusive to the PS3 in 2010, announces Jack. PS3 fans everywhere, rejoice!
Mikel: Oh, it's... online...
Chris: It looked a lot like Panzer Dragoon.
Mikel: Apparently Sony's launching its own motion-control initiative. Take that, Project Natal!
Mikel: Apparently it involves some sort of wand with a glowing sphere on the end, which the PS Eye can track.
Mikel: The demo they're running with it doesn't look like anything too fancy, but it does show 1:1 tracking between the real-life wand and the one on TV. Oh, now it's suddenly turned into a convincing racquet, and then a baseball bat, that the presenter is holding in his hand (in the game).
Mikel: Actually, the simulated morning star looks pretty sweet.
Mikel: Ooh, now it's a flashlight!
Brett: Wow that looks like the Singing Sword from Roger Rabbit... it's cartoony but in a semi realistic way
Mikel: Nice. You can also switch to an FPS mode that tracks the wand's movements from the perspective of the person holding it.
Brett: Neat tech or no, this reeks of "oh crap, Nintendo made a motion wand, let's get one into development"
Mikel: Anton, one of the presenters, uses the wand to write on a virtual notepad. Everyone applauds.
Mikel: Huh. Using it to lay out and topple lines of dominoes is kind of a neat idea.
Mikel: And now it's being used not only to direct troops in a cartoony little RTS, but also to aim their cannons.
Mikel: And now it's a sword. A sword he's using to beat up a motionless ragdoll skeleton.
Mikel: one-to-one shurkien tossing is an idea whose time has definitely come.
Brett: Oh my goodness, what CAN'T this magic wand do??? Can I juggle next???
Mikel: And now he's using the wands to fire a bow. Didn't we just see this at Nintendo's press conference?
Brett: Wow, that's two motion archery demos in two press conferences. Didn't we all JUST leave the NIntendo conference more tired than ever of motion control?
Mikel: OK, on to LittleBigPlanet. Disney's onboard! And they're rolling out Pirates and Incredibles costumes. Hooray!
Mikel: Another new franchise is about to debut: ModNation Racers.
Mikel: It's a "thoroughly modern" approach to kart racing. Looks a little like LittleBigPlanet meets designer toys meets racing.
Mikel: In spite of the simplistic presentation, ModNation actually looks pretty slick in motion.
Eric: Does this import your LittleBigPlanet models? If not, why not? It totally should.
Mikel: Creating a track looks as easy as just driving in the direction you want the track to go. Why didn't anyone think to do that sooner?
Joe: Mod Nation Racers looks more fun than MS's avatar kart racer.
Mikel: Adding terrain looks pretty simple. If you've ever done any terraforming in a SimCity game, you already have an idea of what to expect.
Even laying down background villages is as simple as dragging a stamping tool around.
Mikel: Aw. The same is true of adding wildlife (in this case sheep) to the track.
Eric: That actually looks really cool
Mikel: And now we're on to Trico, which is now officialy titled The Last Guardian. The art style looks a little different from the trailer you might have already seen, and the little boy and creature look significantly different, with the latter now having a much more dog-like appearance.
Mikel: And Gran Turismo 5 is not only apparently real, but also looks slick, assuming it's in-game.
Chris: It looked more NASCAR than Gran Turismo.
Mikel: OK, now we're on to the REAL meat: God of War III.
Mikel: So far, GOW III looks like more of the same, but prettier. Which is all we've ever asked of it, really.
Mikel: Kratos' fight with a centaur shows off the new mbattle system nicely. Here comes the gut-spilling zipper technology...
Mikel: The Titan Kratos is trying to assist is huge. Apparently, it's kind of tiny for a Titan. Other ones will be large enough to be moving levels.
Mikel: The manticore fight here is pretty awesome; the beast switches between three different forms as Kratos defeats each one in turn. Then it gets its head impaled by its own horns.
Mikel: Oh, but we didn't get to see Helios' head get ripped off! THAT IS TERRIBLE.
Mikel: Jack's wrapping things up. While other companies ask you to imagine the future of gaming, Jack says, Sony brings it to you.
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