Tony Hawk Ride Microsoft Press Conference Impressions

Skateboarding star Tony Hawk takes the stage at Microsoft's press conference to show off his upcoming game.

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The Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games has had its shares of ups and downs, so it's not so surprising that Activision is rethinking the franchise. On the stage of Microsoft's press conference at E3 2009, the spotlight turned on Tony Hawk himself, who touted the upcoming Tony Hawk Ride. Hawk announced that he has wanted to do a game with a skateboard controller and that the new boardlike peripheral that ships with the game is "packed with technology." Although the segment was relatively short, the skateboarding star still managed to share a few thoughts on the game and hardware.

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According to Hawk, the skateboard peripheral is a bit shorter than a standard board, though it otherwise resembles a standard deck. Hawk emphasized how intuitive the hardware was to use; people of any skill level can be grinding in a matter of minutes, even if they've never skateboarded before. To impress upon the audience just how fun it will be, attendees were treated to a quick trailer in which various skating stars talked about the joys of the deck in quick sound bites. Those celebrities included Christian Hosoi, Paul Rodriguez, and Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins, along with developer Robomodo's Joshua Tsui. Between these sound bites, there were cutaways to skaters in action, laughing and doing high fives while using the skateboard peripheral.

Some actions looked as simple as shifting weight or tilting the board. Others, however, involved simulated skating moves that shifted the position of the board across the floor. Additionally, the skater footage showed a relatively spacious environment surrounding the board, which leads us to believe that the hardware may require a bit of room if you wish to take advantage of all its capabilities. No mention was made of the functions of the buttons on the peripheral's sides, and no gameplay was featured in the demo.

Fortunately, Tony Hawk Ride and its peripheral will be available for play on the E3 show floor, so we'll be able to get our hands on this unusual product and give you some specific impressions later during the show. In the meantime, check out our previous coverage of Tony Hawk Ride.

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