Mammoth publisher shows off Valve's next-gen console debut, reveals the return of Team Fortress 2, displays its just-announced Wii lineup, and more.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--Electronic Arts is upholding its annual tradition of hosting gala summer press events with--you guessed it--another gala summer press event. The newly redubbed EA Summer Showcase, currently under way at the company's sprawling main campus in Redwood City, will feature a look at many of the juggernaut third party's upcoming titles for both current and next-gen consoles and PC. The event will begin with a stage presentation led by eminent company representatives and will then move on to hands-on time with EA's full playable lineup.
The horde of attendees from the States and abroad have assembled in EA's holding pen, and the show will be starting in moments. We'll be bringing you live updates throughout the presentation portion of the event, so you may ingest any particularly succulent morsels of information in the timeliest fashion. And, of course, you can expect hands-on previews of any and all games shown as the afternoon continues.
2:09 p.m. The show is starting with a musical fanfare from the USC Trojan marching band and an introduction by EA's Jeff Brown. Think this will be a sports-centric program?
He went from teasing us about EA's PS3 plans to telling us bluntly not to expect anything on Crysis, Spore, or a number of other big properties today. Harrumph. Products to look for in the next few hours include Godfather on the 360, Superman Returns, Warhammer Online from recently acquired Mythic, LOTR: The White Council, and, hey, Half-Life 2 Episodes 1 and 2.
2:16 Mythic pres and CEO Mark Jacobs takes the stage, starting by addressing his company's rapid acquisition by EA and going on to run down the company's history, focusing on its biggest success, Dark Age of Camelot.
Jacobs' talk naturally turns to Mythic's upcoming project, Warhammer Online, and we get to see the E3 trailer again. No real information though. Harrumph again.
2:26 Valve's Gabe Newell is now on the stage to show us an updated trailer for Half-Life 2: Episode 2. There are some new images of a strider and smaller walker-like enemies decimating a group of human fighters in the forest. Otherwise, this is pretty much the same trailer we saw at the end of Episode 1.
Newell talks about getting players out of City 17 in the next episode (duh), as well as giving them new weapons and new enemies to use them against. Looks like the Source engine will be getting a lot of upgrades in Ep 2. A "cinematic physics" system is coming from former Weta Digital employee Gray Horsfield, along with new particle systems, better foliage, and more.
2:34 Newell's gone on to discuss the episodic-gaming business model. Short version: Valve likes it. It will even let them explore new types of gameplay in a new upcoming game called Portal (which seems to be a working title). It looks like they took the portal concept from Prey and slapped it on a gun--you can shoot them into walls and floors to solve all kinds of crazy puzzles, teleporting objects around and stuff. Looks like a total mindbender.
TEAM FORTRESS 2. WHERE DID THIS COME FROM? Hey, they're still making it! It's got a totally exaggerated, crazy art style now. Looks a little like Spy vs. Spy or No One Lives Forever, kind of a '60s spy feel. It's going to be the included multiplayer mode in Episode 2! Class-based, etc. You know the drill. Great news for shooter fans. We all thought this game was dead years ago.
And hey, Half-Life 2: Ep 2 will ship for Xbox 360 and PS3 simultaneously with the PC. The console games will basically include all of the HL2 back content, so you'll get everything on there that you can get on the PC. Who expected all this Valve news?
2:43 Steve Gray is now on, showing off the first concept art and now the first trailer from LOTR: The White Council. Looks like it's set before Bilbo finds the One Ring (that is, before The Hobbit). Art style and even all the characters' likenesses are of course straight out of the movies, and there's new voice-over from Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, and Cate Blanchett. Now Christopher Lee, too. Hard to say if any of this stuff is real time, but they obviously want to immerse you in the lore of Middle-earth.
OK, Gray says the impressive visuals in the trailer are the target for the final graphics, so we'll see how they shape up.
2:48 Everybody's favorite Fight Night dude Kudo Tsunoda is here talking about stuff we can't tell you about right now. Sorry!
2:54 Yeah, I'm sure you'll hear about that soon enough. Now EA Tiburon's Dale Jackson appears to talk Madden. First up is 360 07, with a trailer showing off the new Superstar: Hall of Fame mode (more info on that coming soon). New gameplay camera perspectives in this mode and more. Our intrepid sports reporter will bring you all the dirt on this stuff later today.
Now Jason Armenise from EA Canada is up for Madden on the Wii. The Wii seems to have this uncanny ability to make you care about genres you don't even usually play, just to see how they've mapped existing concepts onto that wacky controller. There's a live demo with the controller and nunchaku, showing off the pointer-style "free-motion control." You can even use the nunchaku to juke and the remote to stiff-arm, or raise them both up to pump up the crowd. Lots of interesting ideas going into the control scheme here, looks like.
For whoever asked in the comments, from what I understood the console versions of HL2: Episode 2 will contain all things Half-Life 2, including CS: Source, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. Will amend that info if anything changes.
3:04 Tiger Woods, SSX, NFS Carbon, Godfather--all coming for the Wii. All featuring Wii-specific control features. EA seems committed.
Next up is EAC's Brent Nielsen, talking about NBA LIVE 07's new ESPN integration (EA has an exclusive deal with the sports network, you may have heard). Tons of ESPN content will be available in the game from the Internet. Again, more info coming from our sports guy real soon.
3:14 Finally, Larry LaPierre is onstage to show off Need for Speed: Carbon in a tense-looking nighttime canyon race. Don't forget to check out our recent coverage of Carbon for more info on this stuff.
The cusotmization features look wild in this. You can deform geometry in subtle ways all over the body of the car, the spoiler, hubcaps, everything. It's really impressive how distinctive they've managed to keep these NFS games, considering how fast they crank them out.
Now we're getting a fairly early look at a playable PS3 version of the game. Definitely looks good--right around the level of the 360 one they just showed.
3:19 Jeff Brown's back on stage to wrap up the presentation. I've got to say, way more exciting stuff came out of this thing than I expected (especially thanks to Valve--go figure). We're off to go play a bunch of games now and will bring you hands-on reports ASAP. And don't forget to watch On the Spot live at 4 p.m. PDT for a look at some of the games EA has on the way.
perfect_chao how can you say that theyll never tap the power of the cell processor? youre not a developer are you....you have no idea what youre talking about youre just a halo loving toolbag like the rest of the xbox fan boys....point is, once developers start using the ps3s proc to full potential it will be very very impressive because graphics cards...while nice and all...dont matter as much as sheer horsepower in the proc...youll see xbox will have games that look good, but theyll never catch ps3 once it gets going...and even if they get close theyll have problems running it and itll lag cause they dont have the proc power. but who cares about consoles...we need some pc gaming love...new quad core procs and the 8800 series cards are coming out, wont be long till were playing ps3 calibur games on pcs anyhow...too bad the 8800 costs as much as the ps3 lol
"JacobD1505 perfect_chao!! are you seriously claiming that the 360 graphics card is more powerful than the PS3's? Look at tech spec's. Cell processing! It's all untapped power, and unexplored. PS3's card, destroys the 360's. I have a 360, and yes, I love it. But last gen, when games came out for both systems, I always got it for Xbox. But, this time around, it's gonna be PS3. Do some research before making your false claims." i do my own research you noob, for a start you dont even know about hardware. You refer to the 360 having a graphics "card" when in fact its a chip built on the mobo, and if you knew anything about both machines you would see that ps3's potential will never be used. Not only that but it is not better than 360, it has a weaker rehashed graphics chip (like 2 6800 ultra's) whereas the 360 has a brand new architecture based one. Sure, cell might be a bit better than the 360's triple core cpu running at 3.2ghz but its not better graphics chip wise.
If EA could at least make CS:S and Portals compatible for the Wii, I will offically be blessed! The PC-like pin-point accurate controls, motion sensors, free Wifi services (except when buying games online, of course)...all of which Valve and EA could put in good use. The small number of buttons seems more compatible for Portals, but if there would be a Wii/PC co-op on CS:S, that would be a sweet feature!
screw that im not buying hl2 for console. pc version is way better. pc gaming is not dead. if it were dead no games out be coming out for it. hl2 has been out like 2 years for the pc.
I have it on my pc but its not a high end pc so i played it on low grafix and never even bother buying EP1 bc my pc sux. but i do have a 360 and i cant wait for it to come out !!!! i need it i wanna know what happens after the end of HL2 i wass so mad it just ended and ithat was it i wanna know what happed after he went in the door i cant wait:) the only thing im worryed about if we buy it do we have to play HL2 and beat it then EP1 and EP2 or can i go strait to EP 1 bc i already know HL2 i beat it like a yr ago but maybe ill beat it again on 360 with its full grafix bc i played the low DX 7 look wich sucked. i love HL HL2 i alwes did it was my fav from the beggining ever since i played it on my P2 computer HL i remember that day also i loved TFC and i cant wait to play TF2 the only thing is it looks like incredibals or somthing but i dont mind as long as i get the same game play as TFC man those were the good old das when everything was about game play i love that :) any way enogh about me lol I LOVE HALF LIFE 1 AND 2 AND TFC :)
perfect_chao!! are you seriously claiming that the 360 graphics card is more powerful than the PS3's? Look at tech spec's. Cell processing! It's all untapped power, and unexplored. PS3's card, destroys the 360's. I have a 360, and yes, I love it. But last gen, when games came out for both systems, I always got it for Xbox. But, this time around, it's gonna be PS3. Do some research before making your false claims.
ms is really coming out fighting with the 360.. getting some awesome games, gonna be great for the battle against wii and ps3. best of all HL2 and the source engine will run smoother on the 360 since its an ati card and more powerful than ps3's!
I'm glad Half Life and all the add ons are coming to the X360...I love PC games, but I can't stand PC gaming. Go figure. -=x
Cool, Half Life 2 on the PS3! I always wanted to play Half Life 2 but i dont own a Xbox or a enough beffed up PC to play it on, Thank You EA! :P
this is like so bad ass..i enjoyed counter-strike on the xbox..and now the 360 will be getting CS:Source..thats awesome..as well as HL2 and all its add ons..that is just insane....and its coming out like holiday of this year..i smell a Half Life 2 vs F.E.A.R. v Gears Of War showdown on the 360 this holiday...which is awesome!
I do love how EA, the greedy pricks, bought out valve and swooped in on the exquisite Half Life 2. I sure do appreciate what EA is doing for the gaming market. The more people they buy out, the less competition. Pretty good strategy eh?
highcrash57, do you remember the sony E3 press event and how awkward the head developer of Warhawk was with motion sensing? granted it was given to them two weeks beforehand, but have you herd any other developers actually using it?
Half Life 2 on Xbox 360 = awesome New SSX this year???? Will it hit 360 and PS3 as wel??? Was still hoping for that Road Rash announcement.
Think about it, with ps3 you get the choice of either using the right analog stick or motion sensing for direction!! Good as if not better controls than a mouse!
Think about it, opn ps3 you get the choice of either using the right stick for direction or motion sensing! Motion sensing means good as if not better than mouse controls!
This is the exact reason that I did not buy Half-Life 2 when it came out for the original xbox because for some reason I felt that Valve would pull a move like this especially considering some of the review scores for Half-life 2 on the xbox. And hey packing in all these extras is just icing on one already very delicious looking cake!!
To everyone who keeps saying the PC is dead.... If the PC is dead then why is Micro$oft coming out with Vista still ? Think about it....
landau492 it wont come to the wii cuz is a last time generation system , even the xbox 1 is more powerful than the wii ****************************************** So all the developers saying Wii is between Xbox and next gen are lying? ATi is lying? Are you just naturally this ignorant or is that a symptom of being a fanboy? Looks like EA is actually shaping up some. I'd prefer some more new IPs but it's a start at least.
BOY did I call this one. I knew that if ANY source engine game made it to the 360, Valve would basically put the whole Steam service on there. Now I really can't wait...Counter Strike Source on my 360?! YES PLEASE!!!!
Haaaa! my final proof that I don't need a PC now... HL2 on Xbox360! Scrap the PCs !!! Hiiiiiiiihaaaa !
Some people like Flat_line would think I got Halo skill and I must going to be great at CS........Listen Noob, I have been playing CS for 5 years and Source for 3 years. And yet I dare not to say anything "I am good" because there are just too many CRAZY GOOD CS PLAYERS. Ask any true FPS fan. They will tell you the same thing. Everything (ye including fanboy favor--HALO) else is so easy compare to CS....so Stop posting comment like that to show how noob you are.
So i'm assuming that The Half-Life 2 things for the PS3 and 360 will include Half-Life 2 Half-Life 2 Episode One Half-Life 2 Episode Two Half-Life 2 Multiplayer Half-Life 2: Lost Coast ? Counter Strike Source Team Fortress 2 (Source) Portal That is insane and if they do that... man 60 bucks would be a deal for that much. Just makes you wish Episode Three was out in time for the pack. I'd expect a digital distribution method for Episode Three on the 360 and PS3 though. Along with the boxed copy.
I just think it's crap that PS3 and Xbox360 are our "next-gen" consoles, but all they seem to do is rip PC games, lower the settings a bit, then slap a Xbox or PS3 sticker on it, and boom. Next-gen. If this is "next-gen" I guess PC has been next gen for the past 1 1/2 years.
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