E3 Day 2 – The Revenge

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After dealing with the heavy meetings yesterday, I finally was able to get some free time to check out what I wanted to see, and of course at the top of my list was Konami. Expecting to see a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4, I was surprised to see a trailer for an upcoming remake of MGS 3 called Subsistence. From the last few minutes I was able to see, it appears that the game will now feature online stealth action, obviously to compete against Splinter Cell.

But speaking of Splinter Cell, it turned out the game was lampooned by Konami, as part of the actual Metal Gear Solid 4 teaser. Being designed by Kojima Productions (who's logo consists of the old FOX logo from MGS 3), a group of Spetsnaz soldiers are playing Musical Chairs against Snake, where each of the chairs have a name of Kojima's development staff, but when Snake loses, he ends up gunning down all the soldiers.

The whole clip is made even stranger with a use of a laugh track, almost making it a bit campy. As the trailer goes, we see messages like "No Place to Hide," which then changes to "No Place for Hideo." Later on it actually says "No Replacement for Hideo." It gets scary later on, as Raiden makes an appearance, making it look like he will be the main character of MGS 4 (Please God No!). At that time, someone who looks like Sam Fisher shows up, and ends up fighting Raiden, throwing him off the edge. The goggles are removed, only to reveal Snake, who then sits in a chair that says "Solid Snake in"" and then we see the MGS 4 block lettering. The teaser then ends with a disclaimer saying it was on the PlayStation 2, while the game will be released for PS3.

The other huge event I was able to see was the theater preview for the Xbox 360. While it already listed the ideas I had in mind (Live service in both free Silver and subscription Gold, Wireless controllers, Live Marketplace, and customizable faceplates), I was treated to a preview of some of the upcoming titles.

Quake 4's trailer was stunning to look at, as well as the story. It is continuing the single player story from Quake 2, but now we know the main character was mutated by the Strogg, with the tagline of "To defeat your enemy, you have to become them." Project Gotham Racing 3 and Gears of War (from Unreal developer Cliff Blezynski) were on display as well. Sadly the only title I was able to see for real was Need for Speed Most Wanted, but from what I've seen so far, the X360 is quite an interesting console. I can't wait until tomorrow to see the games for real.

Other meetings for today included one with Joytech, a company well known in the UK but starting to release products in the U.S. as part of a partnership with Take 2. The products they shown me today really wowed me. They have a foldable monitor for the PlayStation 2 Mini with a screen so vibrant, you couldn't tell it was an LCD monitor, and at only $140 it was quite a good deal. Not only was that impressive, but their HD A/V selector switch is quite impressive. The selector has access to four Ethernet connections, as well as optical audio and component video.

But what really impressed me was the price of the system, only $80 while most other HD switchers go for at least $100. The last product they had was the Williams F1 Force racing wheel. The wheel features three force feedback motors, as well as an LED readout to display force type (true force or vibration), feedback strength, and a built in lap timer. The wheel felt of high quality and I'm curious to see how the final product will turn out.

Another company I met with was Red Octane. Now I heard of these guys before when logging onto the DDR Freak website, but after today I found out they are expanding from DDR. True they are making their own dance game called In the Groove, which features new twists to the DDR universe, but also another game called Guitar Hero. Created in association with Harmonix (of Karaoke Revolution fame), the interface of Guitar Hero might look like classic Bemani, but the 3D environment rocks soundly like that in Karaoke. The songs tried out in the demo include those from Megadeth, Metallica, and the Donnas, but I would love to see who else will be added.

The last product I was able to test out was from a company called QMotions, who were releasing both a true swing Golf (for Tiger Woods PGA) and Baseball (for MVP 2005). It took me a while to get a feel for it, but it was quite enjoyable, and I would love to use the baseball one to practice on my swing as it needs a lot of work.

But now with Day 2 out of the picture, only one thing remains, besides the big finale at Day 3, but it is now time for me to see Episode III and end the series once and for all. Hopefully Jar Jar will be killed in the end, but I haven't heard any nationwide standing ovations yet.

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