E3 '07: Konami's 15-minute press event raises eyebrows

After teasing attendees with a cryptic e-mail, the Japanese publisher abruptly dismisses them after announcing Silent Hill 5; Kojima publicly questions new E3 format.

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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--Konami helped close the first day of the new E3 with its press conference at Santa Monica's Fairmont Hotel. GameSpot arrived to find attendees lined up out the door and into the driveway, and security seemed unusually high for what we expected to be a fairly standard third-party press briefing. Standard, that is, till we received a cryptic email from Konami's public relations agency earlier today. The email read, in part:

"What better way
to end your day
at Konami's media briefing collecting...
News for a major announcement
you were not expecting."

Mysterious words from the purveyors of such massive franchises as Castlevania and Metal Gear Solid. Notable figures such as MGS creator Hideo Kojima have taken their seats, so we expect the briefing to get underway in a few moments.

[5:56] Konami PR director Marc Franklin takes the stage to introduce the briefing, which he says will move at a rapid clip. Then he introduces new marketing VP Anthony Crouts to discuss Konami's lineup in general terms.

[5:57] Crouts talking about new versions of DDR for the Xbox 360 and Wii, and DDR's sales success and appearance in schools and fitness clubs.

[5:59] We're hearing more about Konami's upcoming lineup. Contra 4, Castlevania for PSP, Hellboy, even MGS4. All games we know about, and no visuals to accompany them yet.

[6:01] Crouts exits the stage as he introduces a new trailer for...Silent Hill 5! They were right, that was fairly unexpected.

[6:01] Producer William Ortell is now onstage to talk about the new Silent Hill, coming to "next-generation platforms."

[6:02] "Sharp interactive visuals, a chilling soundtrack." You play Alex Sheppard, a soldier returning from combat overseas. Sheppard returns to find his father missing and his mother catatonic.

[6:03] Only his brother Joshua can provide solace, but then wouldn't you know it--Joshua vanishes too. You'll embark on a quest to find your brother, and probably whack a bunch of really disturbing monsters with blunt objects as well.

[6:04] Fans will be happy to know Ortell has stated that series creator and longtime sound designer Akira Yamaoka is returning to provide the soundtrack for Silent Hill 5. Applause follows.

[6:05] Even bigger applause when Kojima takes stage. For the first time in GameSpot memory, Kojima addresses the audience entirely in English, rather than relying on the translator. He asks the audience what they think about the new E3 format, and talks about his own justification for coming this year.

[6:06] He talks about the excitement of past E3s, and the way that Metal Gear grew along with that excitement. Now he's been relegated to a small ballroom in a hotel.

[6:07] Kojima: "I hope that my E3 will return next year." At least one prominent developer misses the glitz and glamor. Hey ESA, are you listening?

[6:07] Kojima introduces what appears to be the same trailer shown at Sony's press conference earlier today.

[6:10] Meryl to Snake: "Your cause is our cause now." It seems the focus of the game will be stopping Liquid Snake, who has taken control of Revolver Ocelot's body.

Metal Gear maestro Kojima misses the excitement of the old E3.
Metal Gear maestro Kojima misses the excitement of the old E3.

[6:12] Franklin returns to the stage to...close the show? What? We thought he was kidding, till he reminded us to grab a disc of game assets and the house lights came up.

[6:13] Surely the shortest press conference on record.

[6:14] Yep, one more update just because we went to the trouble. Look for any new assets Konami has chosen to release to hit GameSpot in the next few minutes...

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