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Kate! When she's not busy blowing the heads off of enemies to get to the next level, she's usually playing video games.

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Sony 2010 E3 Keynote Highlights

The keynote Sony gave today was pretty amazing. I watched online and was trying to take notes as feverishly as possible, but they were announcing so many things, it was hard to keep up. These were a few of my favorite thiiiiiings:

3D GAMING
To me, the most exciting announcement was about their 3D gaming capabilities. Nintendo announced the 3DS, which is cool, but Sony is really at the forefront of 3D technology. I wish I’d been able to go to E3 and experience some of their 3D titles first-hand to see if they’re as cool as the keynote made them look. But they did say they PS3 will get a firmware update and there will be 20 titles available by 2011. And the glasses aren’t lame. They look like sassy sunglasses. (You can see them in the collage above.)

Sony announced that Gran Tourismo 5 will be out in November 2010 and will come with both the 3D and 2D gameplay modes available on one disc. No price point was announced, though. I’m wondering if the 3D games will be more pricey.

PSMove
Sony gave us a look at the PSMove with a demo of Sorcery. It really did seem to mimic the player’s movements like a champ. The controller not only knows where you’re holding it, but also how hard you’re swinging it and at what angle. I was pretty impressed when the dude grabbed a potion by motioning toward it with the wand, shook it up to prepare it and drank it by tipping the wand toward his mouth. There didn’t seem to be any kind of lag between the player’s movements on stage and the character’s movements on screen. We also got a look at some Tiger Woods PGA Tour gameplay that put Wii Golf to shame.

They said there will be 15-20 titles available on day one for PSMove and more are coming this holiday.

Other games on the horizon include Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, Shawn White Skateboarding, Ghost Recon, Tron: Evolution and NBA 2K11.

NOTABLE PRICE POINTS AND DATES
PSMove: Sept 15 – UK, Sept 19 – North America, Oct 21 – Japan

For PS3 owners, the main Move controller & PSEye will sell for $49.99 and the navigation controller will be $29.99.

For those who don’t already have a PS3, you’ll be able to get the bundle (PS3, PSeye, controllers) for $399.99.

PlayStation Plus is the equivalent of an Xbox LIVE Gold membership and will be $49.99 a year or $17.99 for three months. Your first three months will be free and you’ll get exclusive features like early demos, full PSN games, themes and PS Store discounts. You can keep the content as long as your subscription is active.

FUN MOMENT
Kevin Butler came out on stage following an announcement about a partnership with Coca-Cola. Apparently, you’ll be able to buy Coca-Cola products for a chance to win the PSMove, a PS3, PSN points and various games. He gave this totally epic speech about loving gaming and I transcribed part of it:

I love gaming, ok?

I love walk-off homers and headshots.

I love drifting the turn at 100 miles an hour and boss battles with a six hundred foot tall Greek God who may or may not be your father.

Gaming is having a ridiculously huge TV in a tiny one-room apartment.

Staying up ‘til 3am to win a trophy that isn’t real … but IS.

And it’s girls who know that a way to a man’s heart is through a melee attack.

I love gaming.

And I know you love it too. It’s why you’re here. And why millions of people are pretending to work while they watch this at their desk.

Deep down inside, we all serve one God. One king. And his name is gaming. Forever may he reign!!!

Whoever wrote that speech, my hat is off to you, my friend. That was good stuff. The melee attack line may be my favorite quote ever. You can watch the whole speech yourself here. It starts at about 45:00.

YAY!
Another major announcement: PORTAL 2, ya’ll. WOOT! It’s about damn time. It’s due out in October. Which still feels so very far away. But at least we know it’s coming. This will be the first console game to support Steam Cloud.

We can also look forward to Little Big Planet 2 with tons of new mini games.

And if that weren’t enough to get you hot and bothered, Sony showed off a PS3 exclusive: a brand new Twisted Metal. The game supports 16 players online and 2-4 player split screen.

That’s the skinny. Out of all three 2010 keynotes, I really feel like PlayStation took the cake (the one that wasn’t a lie.) The 3D gaming technologies combined with PlayStation Move is like a hybrid of Kinect from Microsoft and the 3DS from Nintendo. And I’m looking forward to playing with them all.

If you want to watch the press conference for yourself and berate me for all the things I should’ve talked about but didn’t, you can check it out here on GameSpot

Nintendo 2010 E3 Keynote Highlights

So I was super proud of myself for remembering to tune in and watch the Nintendo E3 keynote earlier today. I have a tendency to lose track of time and miss stuff. :-/ But I tuned in right around the time they were showing off Mario Sports Mix. Due out in 2011 on the Wii, Mario and some of his Nintendo buddies battle it out all sportsmanlike in volleyball, hockey, dodgeball and basketball. I’d missed the announcement about Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword but you can get the details from 1Up.

And then I remembered I had a lunch appointment. So I kept the live stream going and paused it hoping it’d be TiVo style and I could come back and see what I missed after I got back. Sadly, that was not the case. So now I have to be like everyone else who missed it and dig around for what I missed out on. Bummer.

The big, pee-your-pants-a-little announcement was for the new 3DS. It looks pretty much like the regular DS except for the analog stick on the left hand side as shown in this picture I stole from CNET.

And because I stole it, I’ll be nice and tell you to check out their report here for all the nitty gritty details and more pictures. But the coolest feature is that you can see things in 3D without having to wear those retarded 3D glasses. HOORAY!

When I went to Nintendo.com about 20 minutes ago, there was a video posted with developers talking about how cool they thought the technology was, but it looks like it’s down for the moment. They’ll probably repost shortly, so keep checking back. I was most excited about the 3D Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid. But there were a bunch more.

Other game announcements:

  • Kirby’s Epic Yarn
  • Epic Mickey
  • Metroid: Other M
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • Kid Icarus Uprising

Microsoft 2010 E3 Keynote Highlights

Microsoft kicked off E3 this morning with their press conference at the Wiltern Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Here are some of the highlights:

KINECT

Gone are the days spent worrying how to pronounce Natal correctly. Now it’s called Kinect. And from what I’ve seen from various articles and the Kinect section of the Xbox site, it looks like we’ve got ourselves a fancified Wii Sports. I’m really hoping that game developers will take advantage of the new technology and come out with some intensely creepy horror games. I want to see more than simple sports games and cute animal games for kiddos.

NEW GAMES TO COME

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising
  • Gears of War III
  • Fable III (shipping in October)
  • Codename: Kingdom
  • Halo: Reach

360 SLIM

The Xbox 360 Slim features a 250 GB hard drive, built-in wifi (802.11N), and, like all other Xbox 360 models, support for Microsoft’s upcoming motion-sensing, controller-free device Kinect. The price is the same as the Elite at $299.

More details and pics on PCMag.com»

Happy Birthday, Pac-Man!

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man, Google gave us a little arcade action right on their home page. Check it out, play a few rounds and see if you’ve still got what it takes.

Ah, the 30th birthday. Now Pac-Man will suddenly start noticing those little Pac-lines. He’ll long for his teenage years when he could eat Power Pellets all night without worrying about a hangover. And one day, when he thinks to himself “Man, why are all the ghosts chasing me so young?” he’ll sadly realize that it’s not the ghosts who have gotten younger, but he who has gotten older. Stay strong, my brother. Stay strong.

Why My Kid Will Hate Me


Mario Bros. Costumes $35.99 from ThinkGeek.com

One of these days, I’m going to bring a little zygote into this world. And when Halloween comes around, you can guaran-damn-tee I’ll be putting them into costumes like these from ThinkGeek. Sorry, future baby. You’re doomed. And until you’re old enough to tell me you don’t really want to be baby Yoshi or a 1-Up shroom, that’s exactly what you’ll be.

Alan Wake Prequel: Bright Falls

Agencytwofifteen released the first two episodes of Bright Falls, a series of six shorts promoting the release of Alan Wake on the Xbox 360. Apparently, Agencytwofifteen has no shortage of brilliant brains on staff because they not only created these creep-tastic shorts, but were also the ones behind some badass promos for Gears of War, Halo: ODST, Viva Piñata and Xbox 360 which you can check out on their site.

Those of you who were at E3 back in 2005 might remember seeing stuff about the Alan Wake game. But the developers (Remedy Entertainment) wanted to make sure the title got all the attention it deserved and delayed the release. The game is due out on the Xbox 360 on May 18 in the U.S. and from what I’ve found out about it so far, it sounds amazing. Here’s a little blurb from Wikipedia that caught my interest:

Light plays a significant role in gameplay and strategy. The enemies, called “the Taken” in the game, are sensitive to light, encouraging the player to take advantage of environmental light sources and placing significant emphasis on the flashlight as a primary weapon. Players also have the ability to set traps that illuminate when triggered, either damaging or temporarily immobilizing an enemy. They are then destroyed and turned into batteries.

So you’re surrounded by darkness filled with creepy things and light is your weapon? Sounds like this game falls into the “pee before you play” category.

Check out the official Alan Wake site to find out more»

Splinter Cell Promotion Goes Awry

Monaco Corporation is getting a lot of flak over the results of a recent promotional stunt in New Zealand for Splinter Cell Conviction. They decided it’d be really fun to dress an actor up like Sam Fisher – complete with bandaged hand and gun – and send him out to scare the shit out of some unsuspecting people hanging out in Auckland’s Viaduct Basin.

According to the NZ Herald, “Game promoters Monaco Corporation said they hired another marketing company to organise the event and had no idea that a gun would be used.” (Kind of suspicious that this “other marketing company” was unnamed.)

The NZ Herald reported that about 20 people were just minding their business, sipping on cocktails outside of the Degree bar at about 8pm last Friday when the actor allegedly pointed his gun at a few of the patrons. Freaking out ensued as the tipsy bar patrons dove for cover under tables and tried to escape a game promo gone bad.

Police made it to the scene where they took away the weapon – which they didn’t realize was plastic until they had it in hand. Maybe the whole thing could’ve been avoided if someone had been walking around with an Xbox controller in hand, actively playing the actor (and hopefully steering him AWAY from crowded patios filled with drinkers.)

While no shots were fired, I’m sure a few of the people responsible for this stunt were.

SOURCE: Promotions Prank Ends in Armed Police Callout by Bevan Hurley

The Pac-Man On The Moon


PIC FROM: HUFFINGTON POST

Guys are from Mars. Girls are from Venus. And – at least according to this shot from NASA – Pac-Man is from Saturn.

The moon is named Mimas and it’s shown on the left in what the NASA site refers to as “visible light.” (Is there such a thing as invisible light, I wonder?) Anyway, whatever light it’s in, even NASA admits it looks like the Death Star. The image on the right shows Mimas’ temperature map which looks like Pac-Man about to chomp down on a power pellet.

Part Death Star. Part Pac-Man. Totally awesome. Mimas is now officially the coolest moon ever. I wonder if there’s a colony of gamer nerds living there in harmony. If there is, and your colony leader sees this post, I would like to let you know that I would not at all be opposed to an invitation to visit. :D

See the original post on NASA.gov»

Evony Puts the Whore In Horrible

The boob-driven ad campaign for Evony – a browser-based MMORTS that launched last year – never ceases to amaze me. What started as a respectable game campaign:

was quickly abandoned when some Art Director decided to start taking advice from his favorite stripper. You can see the demise of the campaign with a ton of different ads and how they evolved (or devolved, rather) here. And the hits just keep on coming. I forget what site I was on, but this ad popped up for me today:

I think the copy switched to “Play Now.” I didn’t have a chance to capture the other frame. But whatever, the point is that somewhere, in some creative group, SOMEONE APPROVED THIS AD. How did that conversation go down?

Art Director: So I was getting a lap dance last night, and Candy had this great idea for our next ad.

Creative Director: Go on …

Art Director: Well, up to this point, we’ve been showing women in lingerie. But I think it’s time to take things to the next level. I say we LOSE THE BRA. Candy says all you really need is pasties.

Creative Director: Pasties? PASTIES?! Come on, man. Pasties are so trashy. We need something classy.

Art Director: Ok, ok. Not a problem. What if … and I’m just thinking out loud here … but what if they aren’t pasties at all, but instead flecks of GOLD?! Huh? Huh?! Am I right?!

Creative Director: Oh my God. It’s genius. But wait!!! Shouldn’t we have SOME tie to the game in there besides the Play Now messaging?

Art Director: I can add some knights behind her.

Creative Director: You think that’s enough? We’re talking about a massive franchise here, dude.

Art Director: I’ll put a dragon in the cloud, too.

Creative Director: YES! Make it happen, man. This is powerful stuff. I’m so lucky to have such a creative mastermind on my team.

Art Director: Wanna go out to my car and huff some paint?

Creative Director: Do I ever say no to that question?

ANNNNNNNNND scene.

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In the Media

Game Heroes
Video podcast appearance
—June 2008

Sweet Flag
Interview
—May 2008

Attack of the Show
“The Loop” panelist
—November 2007

CrotchMail.com
Interview
—June 2007

TiedTheLeader.com
Interview
—April 2007