The Xbox 360 Weekend Warrior: All things E3 and beyond
It’s time for another installment of the Xbox 360 Weekend Warrior, and there’s a lot to cover? How come? Because there was a metric ton of news prior to and during E3 that needs to be looked at. Join us after the jump for all the newsy-goodness that interests you, organized in a timely manner.
It’s time for another installment of the Xbox 360 Weekend Warrior, and we have some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that there was a lot of big news happening at E3 2008. The bad news is that there’s five pages worth of news for us to go through as a result of E3.
That being said, we’ve got a tall order with us today. Let’s dispense with the formalities and bring some order to the chaos that was E3 with a nice, orderly Weekend Warrior roundup.
Here’s how we’ll do it. We’ll start off with the big news prior to E3, and then follow it up with the E3 particulars and the usual QJ announcements afterwards. Each important announcement, which will be made in bold, will essentially be a summary of the various announcements related to that particular title, followed by the list of important links related to that company or game.
If you’ve got all that, feel free to check out our wrap-up below!
Before E3: the price cut and new SKU
Microsoft announced a double whammy prior to E3 by slashing the price of the 20GB Pro model to US$ 299 and announcing a new 60GB Xbox 360 that’ll sell for US$ 349. Unfortunately, this announcement seems to be for the US only.
Link: Microsoft officially announces Xbox 360 20 GB price cut, unveils 60 GB unit *Update*
Spotted at E3: The Xbox 360 Fall Update Called the Xbox Live Experience, this Fall Update looks to essentially upgrade both the looks and functionality of the Xbox 360.
The Xbox 360 will be getting a revamped graphical user interface with avatars, a new community channel, a video streaming service courtesy of Netflix, and the ability to install games on your hard drive to make a game load faster. That bit about the optional installation onto the hard drive is probably the reason why they’re offering bigger Xbox 360 hard drives at the lowest possible price.
Link: E3 2008: Fall Xbox Live system update to get avatars, new community channel
Link: E3 2008: Netflix and Microsoft formally announce video streaming service included in Fall update
Link: E3 2008: Microsoft not “holding its breath” on Home, not ripping Miis off
Link: New Xbox Live Experience details: play from your hard drive, Xbox Guide system, more
Link: New Xbox Experience: hard drive installs to lessen load times by 30 percent, medal implementation for achievements
Link: Now showing: Xbox Live Experience mock-up pictures
Spotted at E3: Fable 2 Some Fable 2 news from E3 this time. Revealed during E3 were some prime facts about the game. Specifically, Fable 2 would have online co-op and would have approximately 12 hours of gameplay minimum. Unfortunately, the game won’t be having a demo, as Peter Molyneux doesn’t seem to fond of them, so folks will have to just buy the game in October if they want to try Fable 2 out.
Link: E3 2008: Fable 2 online co-op confirmed, game coming in October
Link: E3 2008: Peter Molyneux says no Fable 2 demo planned
Link: E3 2008: Fable 2’s main storyline to yield 12 hours of gameplay
Spotted at E3: Final Fantasy XIII and Star Ocean: The Last Hope The announcement of an Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII at Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference was perhaps the most unexpected thing to come out of E3, save for the overhaul of the Xbox 360 interface.
Of course, an expected outcome of the revelation of Square Enix preisdent Yoichi Wada was the rise of their stocks. Unfortunately, however, it seems a 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII is only intended for English-speaking audiences, as Square Enix has decided not to release the Xbox 360 version of the game in Japan.
Also spotted at E3 was Tri-Ace’s Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope. New details have been revealed about the game, which looks to be a Star Ocean game that has its roots planted in a relatively realistic Science Fiction setting.
Link: E3 2008: Final Fantasy XIII also heading to Xbox 360, Square Enix talk roundup
Link: E3 2008: Japan won’t get Xbox 360 FFXIII, Versus XIII still PS3 exclusive, new FFXIII trailer
Link: Square Enix stock shares rise after FF13 Xbox 360 reveal
Link: FFXIII producers talk Xbox 360 version, confirm major shocking FFVII announcement at DKS3713 event
Link: Star Ocean: The Last Hope not tagged as Xbox 360 exclusive, PS3 still possible?
Link: E3 2008: tri-Ace lets loose Star Ocean: The Last Hope details
Not Spotted at E3: Bungie Studios
Another big surprise that occurred during E3 was the absence of Bungie Studios from the event. A big revelation they had planned for July 14 went kaput as “those plans were just changed by our publisher.” On the flipside, Don Mattrick did mention that Bungie was working on a new Halo game. Could that have been the big announcement they were planning?
Link: E3 2008: Bungie does a no show for this year’s gaming event
Link: Microsoft’s Don Mattrick confirms new Halo game in the works
Spotted at E3: game-related announcements
If you’re looking for other assorted E3-related announcements, trailers, and screenshots, this is the place to check out. There’s a ton of tidbits here, so let’s go deal with the important announcements first.
First off, Capcom released some additional info on Resident Evil 5. The game’s coming out on March 13, 2009, and will have features such as online co-op, allowing you to do team-based moves. That, and you’re partnered with a pretty girl. *wink*
Link: E3 2008: Resident Evil 5 demo, features, launch date revealed
Harmonix and MTV Games also released the official tracklist for Rock Band 2. With 84 songs on-disc, and 20 available downloadable tracks available by fall, that’s a lot of music to go around.
Link: E3 2008: Official Rock Band 2 tracklist revealed
Microsoft also announced some Xbox Live Arcade loving for all the fans out there, with an update to Galaga, a special version of Portal, and the sequel to Geometry Wars, among other games listed.
Link: E3 2008: MS announces Portal: Still Alive and more XBLA-loving for this year
Bethesda announced no new games at E3, but some DLC instead. The Xbox 360 and PC versions of Fallout 3 will be getting exclusive downloadable content. What that content is, we have no idea, but if it’s free, you can bet we’ll be picking it up!
Link: E3 2008: Bethesda announces exclusive Fallout 3 DLC for PC, Xbox 360
Capcom also announced (well, David Hayter of MGS fame kinda said it) that a Lost Planet movie was in development. No word on who’s starring in it, so we suppose it’s still in the early stages of development.
Link: E3 2008: Capcom announces Lost Planet movie under development
Midway Games was also on the prowl at E3, releasing new screenshots and information on Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Related to this, it seems that work on Mortal Kombat 8 was scrapped as a result of the MK-DC crossover.
Link: E3 2008: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, new details and screenshots
Link: Confirmed: Mortal Kombat 8 scrapped for MK vs DC Universe
In a surprising turn of events, Activision made it known that Rock Band controllers would be compatible with their upcoming game Guitar Hero: World Tour. This should save you some space in your living room, and it’s certainly a nice, friendly gesture between the competing music game companies.
Link: E3 2008: Rock Band controllers compatible with Guitar Hero: World Tour
Namco Bandai, on the other hand, announced some good and bad news. The good news: Soul Calibur 4 has gone gold! The bad news: There won’t be a demo for the game until after the game is released.
Link: Soul Calibur 4 goes gold
Link: Namco Bandai says Soul Calibur 4 demo will come after game release
As for Ensemble Studios, the guys working on Halo Wars, they’ve confirmed something we’ve always thought we’d be able to do in their upcoming game: play as the Covenant. Sweet!
Link: E3 2008: Covenant playable in Halo Wars
Our last game related announcement is of special import to Naruto fans. Ubisoft has announced the latest game in the Naurot series, and it’s called Naruto: The Broken Bond. Expect to seek out Orochimaru in this one as you try to save Sasuke from getting corrupted by the power of the dastardly snake.
Link: E3 2008: Ubisoft announces Naruto: The Broken Bond
Jack Tretton-isms, Activision Event 08, Metallica, and the nature of exclusivity Rounding off our news tidbits for the day are some thigns that aren’t directly related to E3, but should be of import to you, our readers.
First off, we have some words from the Sony side of things. Jack Tretton says that MGS4 on the Xbox 360 is impossible due to Blu-ray’s power.
Also, Tretton is disappointed that Microsoft is apparently trying to curry favor with third-party developers, probably in this sense referring to the lessening of exclusives and the shift to multiplatform game making.
Link: E3 2008: Microsoft currying favor from third party devs, says disappointed Tretton
Link: E3 2008: Jack Tretton says MGS4 ‘impossible’ on Xbox 360 due to Blu-ray
At Activision Event 08, Activision’s own little shindig held at the same time as E3, the company revealed two new games to the public. The first is an X-Men game that looks at the origins of Wolverine, and the second is a new Transformers game, subtitled Revenge of the Fallen.
Link: Activision Event 08: New X-men, Transformers game revealed
Metallica announced that they would be releasing their upcoming album Death Magnetic on Guitar Hero 3 and (later on) Guitar Hero: World Tour. Yup. The whole album!
Link: Metallica’s Death Magnetic available on Guitar Hero III and World Tour
Lastly, 2K Games’ international PR director, Markus Wilding, explained what it meant to have an exclusive game when it came to BioShock. Simply put, when something becomes exclusive, you don’t mention a thing about the other platforms the game is coming out on or you lose the exclusivity deal.
Link: 2K explains what’s up with BioShock’s Xbox 360 ‘exclusivity’
Yup, even more E3: game trailers galore!
Just in case you thought we were done with E3 coverage, we’ve come back with more! We now come to the smorgasbord of game trailers that some of you were probably expecting at the start of the Weekend Warrior.
Feel free to check out the various links below to see if a game catches your fancy. Just note that Gino D. completely called it when he said that Hydrophobia wasn’t dead in the water.
Link: E3 2008: Hydrophobia screens, teaser trailer finally surface
Link: E3: Mirror’s Edge gameplay trailer
Link: E3 2008: Ghostbusters trailer
Link: E3 2008: Prince of Persia trailer
Link: E3 2008: meet Red Alert 3’s Empire of the Rising Sun
Link: E3 2008: Wolfenstein teaser vid
Link: E3 2008: Ubisoft confirms I Am Alive with trailer
QuickJump Musings: Exclusivity and Multiplatform Gaming
Ever since the announcement of Final Fantasy XIII for the Xbox 360, this blogger has been wondering about the world of exclusivity. Sure, some games are bound to be exclusive, but I personally think the gaming world would be better served by having quality multiplatform games getting released.
The main problems with wresting a multiplatform release lie mostly in the realms of technology and profit. Technology because it takes a certain amount of it to port a game and make it work on multiple consoles (as well as the PC). Profit because, without profitabilty in releasing a game onto a specific console, we wouldn’t be seeing more games in the future.
This leads to the QuickJump Musing for this week, which asks for your preference. Would you prefer that your platform of choice, whatever that may be, have exclusives, timed or otherwise? Or do you think it would be better if we had a world that more games that could reach more than one (not necessarily all) platforms?
In any event, this has been a very long, yet hopefully very informative Weekend Warrior segment for all the Xbox 360 fans out there. Here’s to hoping that next week brings more information on Soul Calibur 4, as well as some new details regarding Final Fantasy XIII!