E3 2004 Ė 10th Anniversary Ė Day 1
10 years already? Time sure flies. This is my first year here and I must say E3 is a buzz of activity. I didnít make the check- in the day before but the shot below shows what the line looked like at . Note: the show started at . When I joined the line it was out of the door.
Approximately 500 exhibitors are
here today including the likes of ATI, NVIDIA,
Phantom Gaming Service
Phantom had a massive booth showing off their new console and service. From what I saw itís very similar to the current range of set top boxes running Widows XP Embedded. Powering the device is an AMD XP 2500, a GeForce 5700 Ultra, 40 Gig local content Cache, and 256 Megs of Ram, and all of this is connected via an Nforce 2 Ultra 400 board. This system could be had for free, if you sign up for a 2 year contract, otherwise, you could purchase the device for $199. There is also a subscription fee of $29.95 which does not include the premium content or any additional titles. In looking at it run, the 5700 was doing a great job with Unreal 2004 on a plasma TV, however, only one user could use the device at a time.
Check out the Infinium Labs site for more information.
The handheld market is getting
more crowded everyday. At E3 Gizmondo unveiled their newest toy, boasting
features such as a 400 MHz processor and running on Win CE, MP3 and Mpeg 4
playback, blue tooth compatibility, SMS/EMS messaging, and networked gaming via
GSM and GRPS. They are currently working with existing service providers here
More from the Gizmondo site.
Discover Game Consoles
Also, here is Discover, who is responsible for creating the engine that allows for the PC Console. Simply put, place a disk in the drive and after several minutes (on first load) you get the in game menu. No install screens, no setup etc. This engine also allows for automatic patching, and driver installation/updates on the system. Some of these consoles are closed boxes like the ApexExtreme, while some, will allow the user to change components. Discover does not plan on developing systems themselves, however, their technology will be used to facilitate the PC Console revolution. The systems is quite ingenious in that it will maintain 25% free space on the hard drive by uninstalling the least recently used games, while marinating the saved information so if the game is reinstalled your hard work is not in vain. Also, the system will automatically manage patching and system update when connected to the net. I must say if they keep their database frequently updated with the latest games and are on the ball with patches they may have a winner on their hands. There is nothing like sitting back and playing Far Cry or Max Payne 2 on a plasma with a wireless keyboard and not having to worry about any PC stuff, just drop the disk in and play away. Mind you, these games were already installed so it took a matter of seconds to get to the menu.
The ApexExtreme features:
Stop by the Discover site for more information on the PC Console.
Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault
This game is shaping up to be a most impressive shooter. Boasting one hell of an engine, the effects are incredible: shadows and bump map metallic textures on the guns, deformable terrain, facial expressions that represent the action the character is performing, massive battles; words and pictures donít do this game any justice. You have to see it running to truly appreciate its beauty. The only thing missing is the searing heat as the burning zero comes crashing down a few feet in front of you under the fire of your AA gun.
*Images from the MOH: Pacific Assault site.
Check out the official site for more screens and the E3 trailer.
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
Bloodlines is also looking rather striking, especially the water effects. One thing I didnít like was the tracer bullets but thatís a minor gripe. The action is fast and furious but this is far from a run-and-gun shooter. Those that played Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption will know this is more along the lines of an RPG than a shooter. The game play varies between first and third person modes, both of which allow for jaw dropping effects thanks due to the Source engine and the modifications made to it.
*Images from the Bloodlines site. More information could be found here.
Blood Rayne 2
Blood Rayne, for those of you that played the first one, brings back more of what you enjoyed (more killing, more sucking, more moves, more guns) and a lot less mindless running around and generic enemies (well from what I saw). The improvements to the engine are looking great, especially the lighting and character animation. Now Rayne moves with an even sexier sway to her strides as her hair flows in the wind. There wonít be a lack of puzzles, but they will be much more varied to encompass the newly added moves.
*Images from the Blood Ryane 2 site. More information could be found here.
Sadly I didnít get to speak to anyone from Nvidia, but we know them very well. They had a massive booth going showcasing numerous games running on Nvidia hardware along with several guest speakers from various companies in the gaming industry talking about using their hardware to achieve stunning effects in their games.
Stop by again for more on CDV, Thrustmaster, Saiteck, Novalogic and Lucas Arts and others.