Saturday, August 26, 2006

Games Convention Update #3

Hi everyone. This is my last update from Leipzig and a more general impression of the show. Nintendo's showfloor booth was stylishly designed, featured cool shows and seemed to generate some hype for the DS. Sony's booth was much larger and featured more loungy areas, but also appeared a little empty at times because of it. At either booth, next-gen consoles played little to no role. Only trailers were shown.

Inside the Business Center, which was accessible to media, trade and industry professionals only, the Wii was the clear winner. People waited for about half an hour to play it. Among the playable titles were Battalion Wars, Wii Sports: Tennis and WarioWare. There was no Metroid Prime 3 and no third party titles. Some third party developers had Wii consoles, but there was some confusion as to whether filming was allowed.

All Wii displays featured finished hardware. At Konami's booth, I lifted a running console out of its stand and was told off by a rep immediately. It felt surprisingly light, much lighter than, say, two kilos. When I wanted to open the front flap, I was asked not to. They allowed me to open the flap housing the Gamecube controller ports, though.

Finally, the most sought after goodie of the show were the sleek Wii bags Nintendo was handing out. When they ran out of them on the third day, they put up notices to stop every other person asking.

However, even if Wii had had a less strong showing, it would have "won", if you will. The PS3 was officially not present at all. Sony offered the trade or media professionals no playable games. Some second and third parties had development kits, though (which are significantly smaller now, about the size of a very large DVD player, only almost a metre deep).

Sony proudly showed off the very first fully functional console. It remained switched off, but appeared to be the real thing, weighed 5 kilos (according to Sony reps, they wouldn't let anyone else handle it) and featured an internal power adaptor. No external brick. That may be an advantage for consumers, but also means that the consoles will have to be manufactured specfically for each country (for every type of power plug, anyway).

I spoke to quite a number of people from Sony Computer Entertainment Germany and they all seemed genuinely confident about PS3. General interest media, though, were pretty much forced to report about Wii because of the lack of PS3 consoles. I was surprised to find that even our affiliate station featured Wii (they had previously overlooked Nintendo if they ever reported about home consoles).

Lastly, I want to respond to your questions about the Nintendo event scheduled for the 14th. I have not been told about it or were alerted to any similar event to take place in Europe. It's very unlikely I will be invited to the US event. As I posted in my first update, a reliable source told me that news would come very soon, though. Rather cryptically, I was also told that especially I would find out when something is about to happen. That may have been hinting at some cooperation with a television station, perhaps similar to the Xbox360's unveiling on MTV.

32 comments:

Blizz419 said...

Odd that they ould let you open the gamecube flap but not the front flap, Nintendo i believe has even said themselves that there are only SD Card slots under that flap now i wonder if they are hiding anything else under there and what it could be we all know or atleast should know that there isnt any type of projector of any sort so what could they be hiding under there, unless it was just not a final version and was empty under the flap and didnt want any of the media to notice it

Anonymous said...

This is what Matt from IGN had to say:

"Looks to me like Wave Bird receivers will fit just fine in the GCN docking station's controller ports on the Wii hardware. I opened the flap and had a look. It's perfectly flat, so there shouldn't be any problems. Meanwhile, I popped open the front flap again and yes, it's just an SD Card slot and the SYNCHRO button -- not a 3D hologram laser or a time machine."


*somegermanguy*

D-Bone said...

Wii presented on the LifeTime channel.

Ok, I kid.

julencin2000 said...

There is too much secret under the front flap to be only SD Card slot and a button...

[I have to wait 2 or 3 weeks only]
[I have to wait 2 or 3 weeks only]
[I have to wait 2 or 3 weeks only]
...

D-Bone said...

julencin2000,

Please don't torture yourself. There is no secret under the flap.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they just didn't want anyone pushing the SYNC button after all their hard work getting the right Wiimotes sync'd to the right Wiis.

nz guy said...

maybe it was dirty nd they didnt wana hav ppl jkin bout nintendos dirty flaps...

its late nd im very tired.

superuser said...

GC06 was a bit lame, don't you think?
What's about the "Wii Prove Our Promise" thing?
Had Nintendo planed to reveal much more, but decided to do not bc of Sony lacking any real news about PS3? Why were there no MP3 playable (for business guys only anyway...). Is there really more to come? I hope so, bc the info about no 3rd party launchgame supporting wifi sucks a lot. If there are more such negative infos flashing up like (imho) stupid control-method for NFS-Carbon maybe no "real" Resident Evil, and 3rd party games lacking graphical quality (to judge from pics and vids) compared to Mario Galaxy, then it will not be only me who feel a bit underwhelmed...

Why can't the fucking 3rd party-guys just do something right? Ok wifi-support-issue is Nintendo's fault, but most non-nintendo games look at least a bit crappy to me. I had high hopes for Red Steel, but the latest gamevids are not much better gameplay-wise than those fom E3. The players movement in the game looked like it was played with traditionel analog-stick and not like someone used the wiimote... I hope the playing guy was just a really bad gamer.

Please tell me that all will be good, that motion-sensing gets adopted well by the devs in the end, and that graphics in SMG are the lower end.


Mybe I just, wanna get hyped again...

superuser said...

Just one last other Red Steel annoyance:

The "crosshair" ist the worst that i've ever seen. Its so fat and lacks any bit of stylish design, that it makes the game look much worse than it probably is. They should just use a "industry-standard" design for it or allow players to turn it off, what would be more immersive anyway.

Anonymous said...

Red Steel graphix suck

Sonic graphix are okay

Rayman graphix are okay

Metroid graphix suck

Mario graphix are good

Falafelkid said...

Anonymous.

Red Steel graphix suck (...) Metroid graphix suck

They do if your only sources are YouTube videos and screenshots. You haven´t seen any of those games in action. So stop with those unreflected comments already.

Obviously we aren´t going to get the same graphics quality as PS3 and Xbox360. But it´s not too far off. This coming generation is much less of a step in terms of graphics than the last ones and this is true for all three consoles. Just compare Gran Turismo on the current PlayStation and the next. Or look at Heavenly Sword: great details, but most levels conmpromise greatly on drawing distance. Even Gears of Wars is no huge step up from Xbox games.

People just need to understand that no console will offer the same generation leap that we are used to. And to say that MP3 and RS suck is just wrong.

gasface said...

Where are Wii screenshots?
Where are Mario,Metroid teasers,updates?
Where are third-party screens and videos?
Where are the final specs?
Where is Ati?
Where is Reggienator?
Where is Godfather,Call of Duty 3,
Far Cry,Resi, etc.?

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere???????

Anonymous said...

Falafelkid,
Please look at SplinterCell Double Agent,Gears of War,Kane and Lynch,Bio Shock,Metal Gear Solid,Lair,Saints Row,Madden,Fight Night 3,Virtual Fighter 5,Oblivion,etc. for a moment and then think again!
There IS a hell of a difference between now and then!
Besides Mario Galaxy there simply isn't a game that looks timely on Wíi!
Red Steel isn't even Resident Evil 4 niveau!
It makes me angry!
Furthermore I have seen Hi-res videos of most Wii games on IGN and neither matches 360 even rudimentary.

Anonymous said...

Germans are a little hard on their stomachs I'm afraid

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonym.

Please look at SplinterCell Double Agent,Gears of War,Kane and Lynch,Bio Shock,Metal Gear Solid,Lair,Saints Row,Madden,Fight Night 3,Virtual Fighter 5,Oblivion,etc. for a moment and then think again!
There IS a hell of a difference between now and then!


Please consider what kind of generation gap we have grown accustomed to. Saturn to Dreamcast, PlayStation to PS2, N64 to Gamecube. If you are trying to tell me that the step up from Xbox to Xbox360 and PS2 to PS3 offers the same kind of improvements you´re blind.

Again, there is a noticable difference between most Wii games and those on the other two next-gen consoles, obviously. But it doesn´t hold true for every game. And there is simply no denying that this coming generation is far less of an improvement than any generation gap we have witnessed in the past.

ials said...

Yo Flaff what up?

You need to listen to Dangerdoom-the mouse and the mask !
Very nice nimble modern sound!

Mass Media is cool by the way!
What year was that?Never heard of it!

Oh,and whoms sample was it at the beginning of "product of the environment"?

James Brow I assume? :)


-IALS

ials said...

Noooooo Kid,
I think the gap is quite similiar from PS or N64 to PS2!

Look at Conkers Bad Fur Day for example and compare it to early PS2 games!
The gap is comparable!

But the general problem that people have with Wii is that there is no visual standard where you can messure the graphical range
in Wii titles!
Banna Blitz is not even Dreamcast level and Galaxy in comparison is a little better than GameCube I would say!The range is too big!Nobody really knows what to expect eventhough we are merly 2-3 months away from launch.Strange...

ials said...

Maybe the September 14 event will shed some light on the graphics issue..
Its about time KID!

-IALS

Falafelkid said...

Okay, going off-topic here.

Mass Media is cool by the way!
What year was that?Never heard of it!


It´s Steinski and it´s from 1983 to 1985.

Oh,and whoms sample was it at the beginning of "product of the environment"?

No, it´s Maceo & The Macks - "Soul Power ´74", samples of which were used so many times I cannot list them all. And yes, that´s Maceo Parker if you know your jazz.

ials said...

Cool,cool!

-IALS

ials said...

By the way,James Brown was a joke!
Thats why I put the smiley behind it if you didn't notice!
Anyway,enjoy music.

-IALS

Anonymous said...

danger doom pwns. my buddy introduced me to that last year. shit's awesome. it's all about the track "Crosshair".

also... lot of stuff "blurred out" on matt's nintendo invitation. wonder what it says? let's hope that event just steamrolls the competition. i'm STILL holding out for some big big news.

falafelkid, did you hear about CoD3Wii not supporting online multiplayer? rumor has it that nintendo isn't releasing wiiconnect24 APIs until march of next year... what the hell is up with that? they're trying to make 3rd parties get on board, and STAY on board... why the hell would they restrict their online service?

seriously... who is going to buy CoD3Wii without online? it's a friggin WW2 shooter for cryin' out loud.

well, here's to waitin' another 2.5 weeks with the hope of more good news!

-"superfan" tactics.

Falafelkid said...

IALS.

I think the gap is quite similiar from PS or N64 to PS2!

Seriously, you cannot be serious. You might want to compare Gran Turismo on PSOne and PS2 again. You can´t possibly think that´s the same gap as we´re getting now.

Anonymous said...

Falafel - I don't think they will have to differentiate the PS3 internal power supplies between regions as you mention in your post. If they use a switching 110/220V transformer as present in PC's

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonymous.

I don't think they will have to differentiate the PS3 internal power supplies between regions as you mention in your post.

You are totally right. The PS3 features an IEC socket which, of course, will work in any country (they only have to change the cable).

Sorry for that error on my part.

ials said...

@Falafel

but racing games are not the best choice to illustrate the differences.
Take Saints Row for example and compare it to its GTA counterparts on PS2 and Xbox.
Their IS a huge gap between them as far as detail and lightning is concerned.
The polygon count on each characters is three or four times that of CJ in San Andreas!
You also have to consider the gap between PS2 and normal-mapped Xbox titles!I can't imagine Halo 2 running on PS2 for example!
So I would say the gap between Xbox and 360 might not be as evident as the gap from the previous generation of consoles but if you compare early PS2 titles like TimeSplitters with second generation 360 titles like Gears of War it's indeed a comparable gap if you ask me but you know whatever.
Regardless of gaps,I am still a tad dissapointed with Wii titles lacking polish or the hardware respectively.
I am not sure maybe it's just due to the high-learning curve involved to get everything right with the controlls thus the graphics seem to be in the waiting line.Anyway,I keep my fingers crossed that everything turns out good.There is still some time left to make enhancements to engines before Wii launches...


-ials

ials said...

GC: Pro Evolution Soccer: Interview with Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka



Q: You only released one Winning Eleven for the GameCube, (Ed: Winning Eleven 6 Final Evolution in Japan only) what kind of plans do you have for Wii?

Seabass: That’s not a next-gen engine (laughs) but I shouldn’t say that for good reasons. The graphics are not really the same as the 360 or PS3. But the controller is simply unique. We are already discussing with Nintendo – we have always been discussing with all parties. In our discussions with Nintendo it’s how we utilize this new controller. As a creator I am looking forward to how to make use of the controller. At the same time I fear that it’s going to be tons of work and innovations that I have to come up with to create PES on Wii.


-IALS

ials said...

Gonintendo posted the comments from your interview.


-IALS

ials said...

*RUMOR* French blog claims insider Wii info

Superfan Tactics on Gonintendo :


this is what i’ve been saying all along. i know it’s true! i just know it!!!

-”superfan” tactics.

LOL
:)

-IALS

Grandmaster B said...

Yes and some guy on Zogdog wrote Nintendo an email and they denied that the rumour was even true.

All I hear you talk about IALS is graphics and graphics most of the time. Why do you play games?

As for Takatsukasan, he can get stuffed. If that is his attitude towards innovating the industry then as far as I am concerned he is in the gaming industry for the wrong reason. Or should I say for the Sony reason.

Anonymous said...

The Reggie speech circulating the net right now is a fun read.
I'm just surprised no one noticed the main reason to tell the papers are fake.
Just look at the position of the bigger crumples on the papers. They're exactly the same on all of them.

More dreams ripped appart... ;-)


*somegermanguy*

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