Friday, June 5, 2009

Enchanted by E3

The popular 3-day video gaming expo known as the Electronic Entertainment Expo was in Los Angeles last week. Instead of grabbing some grub, a bunch of us decided to check it out during lunch.

It was the 2nd day of the Expo. We saw a few peeps protesting the upcoming game 'Dante's Inferno' outside the convention center. I later learnt it was a new game that gives you a virtual tour of hell :) Religious protests perhaps? Who knows. As we entered, instantly I got the feel of being lost in futuristic sci-fi movie set. Larger than life screens dazzling with neons were on display. Nintendo, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and Sony had the largest presence.

The highlight of the event seemed to be 'The Beatles: Rock Band' by MTV games. Their booth was the most extravagant… it looked like a recording studio that you would enter through a door. Really fancy set up. Heard Paul McCartney had launched it on day 1. Long live Beatlemania.

Nintendo as usual had a wide range of exciting products. I overhead my gang discussing "their approach to interaction and their approach to social gaming is mindblowing". I nodded like I understood. What can I say, video games are not my thing :) Wii was showcasing Wii-Sports Resort. It had everything from basketball, golf, kayaking to archery. I'm brand new to Wii. The only game I've tried out is Wii Fit and after it called me a couch potato and said my Wii age was 53, I'm not too keen on trying their other products. Just kidding. It's phenomenal! Sony was making some big announcements and seemed to attract a lot of bees. The PSP Go! has an iPhonish look. Compact, sleek and convenient. I just remember one of their new titles 'god of war 3' which apparently allows more than 200 people to play simultaneously.

But the craziest of the lot was Microsoft's Project Natal. The game has a video cam that maps every inch of your body. So whether you're playing a fight game or skateboarding, the game is watching you every bit. There is NO controller. It's Wii without the controller. I bet there's an audience for it but just too spooky for me. I still like old-fashioned games like chess where the pieces behave the way they are supposed to, as inanimate objects. But if you see me at the Best Buy check-out lines during thanksgiving holding Project Natal, don't call me out ;)

The general impression I got was that every company was offering games that were highly customizable. For instance, a racing game where you could customize everything from your car and all its nuances, the race track, the background score and a whole lot more. I think that's what defines our demands these days. We don't prefer anything off the shelf. It has to have our signature.

That's all I had time for (and appetite for) at the expo but being a part of this 40,000 peeps geek ocean was a thrill in itself.

Peace out.

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