E3 09: Top 10 things you need to know about today - Tuesday edition

Maybe you’re overwhelmed by our constantbarrage of tweetsand our relentless live blog updates from the floors at today’sSonyandNintendopress conferences. Maybe you’re drowning in the sea of E3 info that’s flooding the web. Or maybe you’ve got a life and don’t have time to waste reading previews and staring at screenshots for games you’ll never care about. That’s why we’ve filtered out all the bull to bring you the exciting news that matters the most. So please excuse our smelly hands and enjoy the announcements you need to know about from day two of our round-the-clock E3 coverage.

1. The console war has been replaced by the peripheral war
Nintendo revealed the new Vitality Sensor, which makes unprecedented and unparalleled leaps forward in videogame pulse-reading technology. Nintendo claims that (beyond all the obvious uses for reading a pulse) it will have the ability to detect nervousness and how focused you are while playing a game.

Above: Nintendo cleverly corners the videogame pulse-reading market with the Wii Vitality Sensor

Not to be out accessorized, hours later Sony revealed a prototype for a wand capable of being motion-tracked by the PlayStation Eye. It had a nice glowing orb attached to the top of the a big black rod, which looks absolutely nothing like a dildo. The demo featured the not-dildo-object being swung around while an onscreen virtual sword, baseball bat, flashlight, and several other mundane objects mimicked the wand’s movement, before transforming into virtual laser whip. No word yet on whether or not motion control will actually prove to be fun.

Above: Two guys show you how to have fun with their special wand

2. New Super Mario Bros Wii adds evil co-op
We were prepared for the worst when Nintendo’s press conference began with a demonstration for New Super Mario Bros Wii. The stage shown in the demonstration featured what appeared to be nothing more than a slightly redesigned version of the first level in the original New Super Mario Bros - only with four people and a new propeller suit. Um, okay? Oh and you can carry/knock other players around and collect points together. Great? So wait, will this be just a modified port of a DS game for four people?

Above: More of the same? We say nay

Actually, not at all. These are definitely new levels (meaning: different from the DS version) with new power-ups like the Penguin suit (freeze enemies). Oh and you can play the game single-player or up to four-players with drop in/out mechanics. Multiplayer also promises some competitive aspects. What we mean is that you’ll need to work together to progress through levels and you gain points towards one collective score, but you can also keep people from going through pipes or you can just knock them off ledges to make sure you’ve got the top score at the end of the round. Sounds fun and a little evil. We don’t know about the other Care Bear casual gamers out there, but we plan on tossing our friends into flying turtle shells, stealing all the power-ups and charging ahead to get everyone’s coins.

3. Final Fantasy XIV announced before FFXIII releases. Heads explode
Flying in the face of schedules and traditional sequence, Sony announced that Final Fantasy XIV will be released in 2010 as a PlayStation 3 exclusive, but did not specify if it was coming before or after its precursor, Final Fantasy XIII, which is also due out in 2010. We can only responsibly assume XIV will be released first.

The trailer for FFXIV was full of the flashy combat and sleek renders FF is known for, but it lacked any indication of what the game will be like to play. The biggest clue came at the end of the video, when the word “online” appeared under the game’s title.

4. Nintendo throws a bone to hardcore gamers with Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Another M
Nintendo’s presser continued to hammer home the point that gaming isn’t just for hardcore gamers anymore. But President and COO of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage to calm our growing worries that Nintendo stopped giving a crap about the people who love, ya’know, real games. After a brief intro, he almost seemed to say, “Here ya go. Have Super Mario Galaxy 2. Now leave me alone.”

And to be fair, Galaxy 2 looked pretty damn good. During the demonstration, we saw Mario defying gravity as he flew past asteroids and strode along the underbellies of planetoids. One huge thing was different, though. That’s right, Yoshi will appear in Galaxy 2, and he’s packing a whole lot of tongue. Now you can ride the huggable dinosaur while in space. Looks like Yoshi can use his tongue to whip around platforms and even balloon out to float. It also appears Mario’s got a new top power-up that enables him to drill through surfaces.

Above: Mario grabs Yoshi by the back of the head and rides him hard. Now that’s what we call hardcore

The conference closed on a high note, with a presentation by Team Ninja, who showed off a little bit of Metroid: Another M. The trailer mixed impressive cinematics with hot gameplay and appears to be delving more into Samus’s past. Gameplay footage included third-person action with Samus shooting charge shots, bicycle-kicking a baddie, throwing an enemy to the ground, platforming, first-person shooting, and finishing moves, making Metroid: Another M, the most hardcore Wii game Nintendo on show this year. The bad news: You’ll have to wait until 2010.

Above: Metroid: Another M

5. Sony plays down the PSP Go leak, but it still looks kinda lame
Days before Sony’s E3 press conference, leaked footage from the June 2009 video of Qore made its way around the internet pre-empting Sony’s official reveal of the new PSP Go. But Sony’s Kaz Hirai played it cool, jokingly referring to the new device as the “worst kept secret of E3.” Here’s everything you need to know:

Above: Kaz Hirai called the PSP Go an “object of desire” for users of digital content

The sexy system specs for your object of desire:
- 3.8 inch screen
- 43% lighter than the PSP-3000 (so you don’t have to worry about the rippling biceps you built up from carrying your old PSP around)
- 16GB of Internal Flash Memory
- Built-in wi-fi
- Bluetooth support
- No UMD drive
- Memory Stick Micro slot (aka the ‘M2’ slot)
- Download/play music (because iTunes and your iPod are worthless)
- New ‘Sense Me’ application will create playlists for you based on your mood (because you’re too dumb to make your own)
- Download/play movies (because let’s face it, your TV sucks)
- On sale in North America and Europe October 1, costing a WHOPPING $249/ £249

Above: Leaked footage from the June 2009 Qore video that set the internet on fire before Sony could officially reveal the PSP Go