Right, hello everyone. This update comes in a little later than the ones from Nintendo's recent Wii event. So I am sure you have heard the news already: no price drop, two exclusive GTA IV episodes within weeks of the launch, next Splinter Cell game to be exclusive to Xbox360 and that funny deal with Peter Jackson that noone quite understood. No mention of Resident Evil 5, by the way.
Altogether, the media crowd (including myself) was wowed with Gears of Wars I played a quick deathmatch at the party - and it is nothing short of awesome. Some very minor graphics bloopers did not spoil the overall impression that it's a stunning game. And gameplay appears just as good. Taking your enemy out at close range with the chainsaw gives you quite an adrenaline rush (though I only managed one ordinary frag myself).
Seeing Blue Dragon and that other Japanese game (sorry, will update this once I get hold of the press material) really made me wonder if the console is ever going to sell properly in Japan. Mass Effect and especially Assassin's Creed looked very polished, though. Microsoft has raised the bar for Sony, no doubt.
In a private session after the main event, broadcast media were able to ask that European Microsoft fellow, Peter Moore, Peter Jackson and Shane Kim questions. I asked Peter Moore if he was confident enough to meet Nintendo and Sony head to head without a price drop, especially since they had to retract from their initial target of selling ten million consoles within the first year. He just laughed, basically, as if the suggestion of a price drop would have been the last thing he'd consider. And if you think about it, why should they?
Wrapping up, the Xbox360 staying with their original price point is mainly good news for Nintendo (since it validates their pricing strategy) and not too bad news for Sony, since the Xbox360 plus optional HD-DVD drive will not be cheaper than a PS3.
As far as games are concerned, Sony will most likely not be able to up some of the titles shown tonight, if they can deliver the same standard at all. I spoke to a good friend of mine who just returned from TGS and he said that PS3 games there had good resolution but lousy framerates (some seemed as low as 20), so Sony has got a lot of work to do, it seems.