It’s the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2007! This is traditionally the time of the year that the gaming industry giants unveil their big plans for the next year and beyond. Despite the fact that the conference has been closed to the public and is invitation only (meaning no more insane line ups of fans and no more sexy booth babes to draw in consumers ) the week long event promises to reveal the major news surrounding this years video games.
Microsoft kicked off the big event with their press conference Tuesday evening, followed by rivals Nintendo and Sony this morning. Nintendo stole the show from Microsoft after their lacklustre conference (highlights include Halo 3, and Halo 3 launch camoflauged console, with other goodies). Nintendo releases Wii Fit, a workout and fitness title that we expect will sell a zillion Wiis, as well as release dates on long awaited title such as Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and announcing Mario Kart Wii with online multiplayer. Sony took the final show of the big three, ending just moments ago as of this post, releasing news of their new lighter PSP model and impressive list of upcoming titles including the hugely anticipated titles Killzone 2(stunning preview to end the show!) and Metal Gear Solid 4 which promises to end the storyline and retire Snake and esteemed creator Hideo Kojima.
We expect Blizzard to hold off any announcements until their own BlizzCon, so don’t expect too much news on StarCraft II. Spore has an updated more colorful look, but is pushed back for yet another year. Any other big news will be reported.
We’re excited for many of these new titles and features, many of which you will see in the future at The Matrix.
We’ve listed all the big 3 press conference highlights after the page break.
- New Halo 3 trailer
- Rock Band demo, the new rhythm based game from the creators of Guitar Hero. Bands include The Strokes, Black Sabbath, The Who, and many more. Players will be able to build bands online.
- A new Master Chief green special edition X-Box console to be launched alongside Halo 3.
- Giant list of game demonstrations: Call of Duty 4, Guitar Hero 3, Stranglehold, Dynasty Wars: Gundm, Beautiful Katamari, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect, Tiger Woods ’08, Madden ’08, Assassin’s Creed, The Simpsons Game, Splinter Cell Conviction, Bio Shock, Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground, Naruto: Rise of Ninja
- New X-Box live games announced (Includes Bomberman Live!, Feeding Frenzy 2, Tetris Splash)
- Disney movies available for download on Video Marketplace for X-Box 360
- Grand Theft Auto IV trailer
- Unreal Engine to be married with Windows Live
- Scene It? with a new controller specifically for the game
- Viva Pinata: Party Animals minigames announced
- Miyamato personally introduces Wii Fit, a fitness game with a wireless scale-like step device called the
FatMatWii Balance Board to stand on that detects shifts in weight to recognize your motion and balance to ensure you are performing your workout correctly. This expanded audience game will ensure that the Wii remains a workout console for non-gamers. The title tracks weight, and body mass index (BMI) over time. (Expect Nintendo to sell a bajillion of these. Soccer moms and fitness buffs rejoice, until Tony Hawk gets a game going for this and everyone goes nuts.)
- New gameplay footage of Super Mario Galaxy with release date of November 12, 2007
- Mario Kart Wii announced for early 2008. Full online multiplayer(!), and a bundled custom steering wheel.
- Super Smash Bros: Brawl release date: December 3, 2007.
- Live gameplay of upcoming stellar titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for DS (releases October 1), and Metroid Prime: Corruption for Wii (releases August 27)
- New Wii Zapper machine-gun style addon for the Wii remote bundled with a newly developed Nintendo shooter software. Third party developer software support for Zapper mod include Capcom’s Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, a Wii-exclusive Medal of Honor title from EA, and Ghost Squad from SEGA.
- Wii-Ware. Beginning next year, Wii titles developed for download channel, which includes independent developer software. Are you the next great game designer?
- Check Mii Out, where you can compare, vote for, and download other Miis online.
- Mario Strikers Charged. Full online play
- EA’s Madden ’08 and FIFA Soccer ’08 with full online play.
- Exclusive wireless Les Paul designed Guitar controller for Guitar Hero III
- Flash Focus announced, a simple visual test game, includes batting practise and other quick eye coordination traning.
- Word Coach (DS), a grammar and spelling game
- “My Life Coach” hinted at, a title for organizing life?
- Footage of Soul Calibre Legends (Wii) from Namco Bandai
- Brain Age 2 (DS) released August 2
- MySims (Wii, DS)
- High School Musical (Wii, DS)
- Rayman Raving Rabbits 2 (Wii) nutty as ever
- Guitar Hero III (Wii)
- 80 GB Playstation 3 with Motorstorm packaged in, to take over the current PS3 price
- $100 price drop for the current 60 GB (news spoilt by the Circuit City flyer days ago)
- Playstation Home, a Second Life-esque 3D social network community for the PS3, unveiled in March, has a new polished look, with new features such as accessibility on portable phone, Singstar network accessibility.
- Singstar, a new music download service for PS3 “iTunes meets MySpace”
- Boasts the PS2 as the most successful console of all time, and pushes God of War 2 and continued support for PS2.
- Giant list of PSP titles such as SOCOM: US Navy Seals: Tactical Strike, WipEout: Pulse, Syphonfilter: Logan’s Shadow, NBA ’08, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Silent Hill Origins, Patapon, Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’08, Sonic Rivals 2, Sims 2: Castaway, S.W.A.T. Target Liberty, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
- The new PSP, 33% lighter, 19% slimmer, with more efficient battery. Option to connect to TV set for large display as well for home viewing.
- New color for PS3: Ice Silver, bundled with entertainment pack with Family Guy Friggin’ Sweet collection.
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron for PSP with new limited edition white PSP (with Darth Vader image) introduced by special guest Chewbacca
- 5 of many announced PlayStation Network games shown: Echochrome, a very cool M.C. Escher-esque puzzle game, WipEout HD, Pain, Warhawk, Socom US Navy Seals: Confrontation
- Major exclusive NCSoft MMO titles on the way
- Trailer for Ubisoft’s HAZE, exclusive PS3 title.
- Sony cuts a deal with Epic and Midway with the Unreal Engine, and expect roughly a hundred games in development to utilize the engine.With this deal PS3 locks down Unreal Tournament 3 as an exclusive title for PS3.
- Clips of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Assassin’s Creed, Kane & Lynch, Resident Evil 5, Burnout: Paradise, Madden ’08, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Simpsons Game, Guitar Hero III, Medal of Honor: Airborne, Rock Band, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, InFamous
- Exclusive title Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots previewed, which will retire Snake and his creator Hideo Kojima, who was on stage with the announcement.
- Preview features for blockbuster titles Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Folklore, Heavenly Sword (taking full advantage of Blu-Ray), NBA 08
- LittleBigPlanet preview. A Play/Create/Share content editor, essentially a sandbox for making cute games and movies and sharing them online. Looks great.
- Gran Turismo 5: prologue downloadable on PS3 prior to Grand Turismo: 5.
- Stunning real-time preview of KillZone 2.
Phew! That’s all for the Big 3. Expect more big reveals at the Tokyo Game Show in a few months.