Monday, May 16, 2005

PlayStation 3 debut?

The latest buzz is that the PlayStation 3 could be more of a factor at this year’s E3 than previosuly thought. We’ll all know for sure by 3PM pacific standard time when Sony’s Pre-E3 media briefing gets underway. The Sony’s briefings are fairly mundane; some powerpoint presentations, a few videos of games, and a guest or two. Very little in the way of surprises, but there were two notable exceptions. One was the 2002 conference, which was a constant stream of celebrities and sports figures. The highlight was a golf match between Cedric the Entertainer (who was live on stage) and Tiger Woods (live via satellite). The other one was 2003 when 1/5 of the audience left early to get good seats at the Nintendo press conference and missed the biggest surprise Sony has every pulled at one of these things. I sat there in shock when Ken Kutaragi held up the UMD disc and an early prototype of the PSP.

Today’s briefing has that 2003 potential.

Anyone who has asked me for game purchase recommendations for the Xbox can attest that I hold Ninja Gaiden in the highest regard. Still, even I was a bit skeptical of a slightly remixed version that included the Xbox Live Hurricane packs. Well, this snazzy Ninja Gaiden Black interview feature on 1up has totally changed my mind. Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki is always entertaining and never afraid to speak his mind about other popular games as the choice quote below demonstrates:

1UP: What do you think of the Dynasty Warriors series?

Itagaki: As a real man, I find no feeling of achievement in beating up millions of defenseless enemies. As for my opinion as a gamer, my free time is too valuable to spend it hacking away at an endless stream of dumb-as-a-brick opponents.

Priceless. I’m most excited about random enemy combinations and placements in Hard difficulty and up. My skills are a match for the Very Hard setting, but the Master Ninja difficulty of the last Hurricane pack was just overwhelming. New cut scenes are also a nice bonus. An easier setting (Ninja Dog) means I can recommend Black to a whole host of friends who were totally defeated by the original. The article says the game will be offered at a discount price, but what is that exactly? Obviously $19.99 would be wicked fresh, but I might cough up $29.99 or perhaps $34.99 on a good day. Check out the sweet hi-res video trailer too. All for free! I have to say 1up’s coverage in general has been very exciting the last few months and their E3 plans looks to be as competitive as the pay sites.

Oooh, less than four and a half hours till the Sony conference. Fingers crossed. Posted by Hello

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