E3 2003 News Coverage
To save me time and space, I am using a "newspaper" format again this year (i.e. most of the articles on one page). This section will be updated several times per day, so be sure to hit "reload" to get the latest serving of PS2 E3 goodness.
Friday May 16, 2003 (Day 3)
New and Crisp Onimusha Buraiden Screenshots (1:20 P.M.)
We have posted screenshots from Onimusha Buraiden, Capcom's upcoming four player fighting game based around the Onimusha series. We'll have a preview shortly, but for now enjoy the screens.
New Jak II Screenshots (1:15 P.M.)
We have posted screenshots from Jak II, the sequel to Jak and Daxter. We'll have a preview shortly, but for now enjoy the screens.
New True Crime: Streets of L.A. Screenshots (1:00 P.M.)
We have posted even more screenshots from True Crime: Streets of L.A. Remember, to see some True Crime movies, please click the banner at the top of the page -- just remmeber to come back here for more E3 stuff. Also feel free to read more about the game in our previews section.
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing at E3 (12:30 P.M.)
There are already two James Bond games on the PS2, and as expected, the third installment appears to be the best of the bunch. Instead of playing through the game in a first-person perspective, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing has you controlling James Bond in a third-person view, much like Splinter Cell and Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain. As a result, Everything or Nothing will have an auto-aim feature, complete with green indicators over each bad guy. You can even grab stuff in the environment and throw them at enemies.
And once again, some missions in Everything or Nothing will be all about driving. Except this time, you'll eventually have access to helicopters, dirt bikes, and typical sports cars. Of course, you'll be able to use a variety of weapons while using said vehicles. Lastly, Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie) is going to be the official Bond Girl in James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing. Also expect Pierce Brosnan to reprise his role as Bond. Everything or Nothing will be out this November.
Thursday May 15, 2003 (Day 2)
New True Crime: Streets of L.A. Screenshots (10:15 P.M.)
We have posted some new screenshots from True Crime: Streets of L.A. However, they don't really do the game justice. To see some True Crime movies, please click the banner at the top of the page -- just remmeber to come back here for more E3 stuff. Also feel free to read more about the game in our previews section.
Fatal Frame 2 at E3 (10:00 P.M.)
Video games these days never scare me anymore -- except for the original Fatal Frame, which was a truly frightening experience in my opinion. Unfortunately, Fatal Frame was often overlooked in North America. However, Temco announced yesterday that it is giving it another try with Fatal Frame 2, which is slated for release late 2003.
This time, the game revolves around young twin sisters named Mayu and Mio. Not much is known about the sisters, but their curiosity manages to get themselves into a whole heap of trouble. Armed only with a special camera that can capture ghosts, the two girls must find their way out of hell. More on Fatal Frame 2 soon.
Gran Turismo 4 update (9:15 P.M.)
Got some new information on GT4 today. For starters, according to SCEA, Gran Turismo 4 will be able to support up to six players at once and you will be able to chat with other gear-heads via your PS2. No word yet if a broadband connection is required.
In addition, GT4 is planned to have up to 100 courses (including reversed). Some races take place in New York City (Times Square to be more specific), the Grand Canyon, Tokyo, and much more. Accompanying the 100 or so tracks will be more than 500 cars; from past, present, and even some concept cars. Of course, each vehicle is fully customizable. More on Gran Turismo 4 later.
Wednesday May 14, 2003 (Day 1)
Manhunt officially announced (11:53 P.M.)
Remember when we reported that Rockstar had launched a web site for its upcoming Manhunt game a couple days ago? Well, Rockstar Games confirmed today that the game is heading to the PlayStation 2 this fall. Game details are not available yet.
Logitech announces new GT4 'wheel' (11:50 P.M.)
Logitech announced at the show today the Driving Force Pro, which is a new force feedback racing wheel designed from the ground up over a period of nearly two years to enhance the driving experience in Gran Turismo 4. As with Gran Turismo 3, Logitech is working close with Polyphony Digital to ensure the wheel will take full advantage of GT4's advance physics engine.
The Driving Force Pro offers a shift knob to the right of the wheel and shifting paddles behind the wheel. No price is set for the unit yet. Logitech says the riving Force Pro will be available in time for the launch of Gran Turismo 4. More info later.
First details on new Tony Hawk game (11:40 P.M.)
If you think about it, it is difficult to imagine a new Tony Hawk game without it being a complete rehash of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. Neversoft has done so much with the series during the past several years that many people believe that there isn't much left you can do with the skateboarding genre. Fortunately, this is not the case, as Activision is showing a brief video at its E3 booth showcasing features that are scheduled to appear in the sequel to Tony Hawk 4.
One concept Neversoft is working on is the ability to get off of your skateboard, pick it up, and run around each level on foot. Not only can you get running starts this way, but players will be able to climb ladders instead of grinding across wires, for example, to reach high places.
On top of using your skater's puny legs as a form of travel, he or she can also drive a car, according to the video. Not much information on the driving portion yet, but we do know that it is possible to create your own tricks via an interface that looks similar to Agetec's Fighter and RPG Maker games. Huzzah.
Lastly, Activision is boasting that users will be able to scan his or her face into the game, although the details on how this will be done is still being sorted out. Hopefully we won't be seeing people abusing the system by scanning other body parts... More on Tony Hawk Underground later.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater at E3 (10:20 P.M.)
Hideo Kojima, a name that should be familiar to all gamers by now, officially revealed Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater at the Konami E3 press conference yesterday. Game footage was leaked several days in advance, but many were still impressed with the 12 minute trailer that was shown at the event. As usual, Kojima didn't talk too much about the actual storyline or gameplay, but he did mention that Solid Snake will need to hunt for food this time around. If Snake eats a lot of the same animal, he will acquire a positive taste for that specific animal and it will increase his health more than the other food he eats less of. Yes, it certainly sounds weird, but Kojima is known for his unique and somewhat strange concepts.
Kojima-san also said that Snake Eater uses a brand new game engine, because the old engine was not suitable for online gameplay. Finally, Solid Snake will have a few new moves. One of them allows him to hang from objects with one hand and aim his pistol with the other hand -- similar to Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell. Anyway, enjoy the incredible looking screenshots. More info later.
MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 1 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 2 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 3 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 4 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 5 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 6 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 7 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 8 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 9 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 10 | MGS3: Snake Eater Screenshot 11 | Metal Gear Solid 3 Movie
Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain at E3 (9:50 P.M.)
We've never been impressed with Syphon Filter in the past, but the latest game in the series, titled Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, is looking quite good. The main thing that has us excited is the online mode, which will allow up to four people to tackle the game's 17 main missions together. Omega Strain will also be compatible with most USB headsets for voice chat with your teammates. Expect Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain to hit the PS2 in 2004. BTW, Gabe "poop in his pants" Logan isn't the main character this time.
New Colin McRae Rally 04 details (9:30 P.M.)
Colin McRae Rally 3 has just made it to U.S. shores, but Codemasters released a little bit more info on Colin McRae Rally 04 today. If you've played the third game in the series, you'd know that it is only possible to participate in the championship mode if you select Colin himself. Not so this time, as the 4th installment will allow players to choose any driver he or she wishes.
In addition, as previously reported, there will be a new parts-testing challenge mode, in which users can earn new parts for his or her car. For example, if you win a new engine in this mode, you can install it into your car, which should give you an advantage over the competition. Also expect split-screen gameplay for the PS2 version. Colin McRae Rally 04 is due out late 2003.
Castlevania Lament of Innocence at E3 (4:10 P.M.)
Koji Igarashi, the father of Konami's mega-popular Castlevania series, and his team are currently hard at work on bring the legendary Castlevania franchise to the PlayStation 2 for the first time ever. Due out this November, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence will place gamers in the 11th century as Leon Belmont, the forefather of the legendary Belmont Clan and the first in the family's long line of vampire hunters.
Leon will have access to his whip and five sub-weapons (Holy Water, Dagger, Cross, Axe and Crystal) to defeat over 35 different types of enemies in the game. Seven orbs can be combined with 10 action relics in order to create more powerful attacks.
"Building on a 17 year legacy, Castlevania is reinvented on the PlayStation 2 with stunning graphics, classic gameplay and an epic story," says Jason Enos, product manager at Konami of America, Inc. "Discovering the true origins of Castlevania, Dracula and the Belmont Clan are stories that fans have anticipated since the beginning, and now Koji Igarashi and his talented Castelvania team are going to reveal them for the first time."
Tuesday May 13, 2003 (Pre-E3 News)
First Gran Turismo 4 details (11:55 P.M.)
At Sony's E3 press conference today, Kazunori Yamauchi, President of Polyphony Digital, gave a presentation regarding Gran Turismo 4. First off, Yamauchi said that Gran Turismo 4 will definitely be online, although he didn't say how many users could race each other at once. In addition, he confidently stated that the physics engine has been significantly improved and that the environments and vehicles will look even better than its predecessors. Yes, we know its hard to imagine the game looking and playing more realistic.
Yamauchi went on to say that his team is working hard to achieve more human-like opponent AI this time around. Finally, Mr. Yamauchi said his team has searched many locations around the world in order to locate suitable courses to include in the game (one race takes place in Times Square). The number of tracks and cars is still up in the air, but we naturally assume it will be much higher than previous Gran Turismo titles. However, we do know that you should expect more muscle cars than before in GT4. More on Polyphony Digital's highly anticipated racing game soon.
PS2 gets EA online exclusives (11:30 P.M.)
Electronic Arts, the largest game publisher in the nation, announced at Sony's E3 press conference today that every EA Sports title released in 2003 will only have online modes exclusively for the PS2. Surprisingly, EA also plans to include realtime voice chat for all its sports games via USB headset. Does that mean dial-up users won't be able to get in on the action due to the voice chat feature? We honestly don't know yet. More information later.
First Blood Roar 4 info (11:20 P.M.)
Konami announced at E3 today that it plans on publishing Bloody Roar 4 for the PS2 this November. With 17 playable characters, better visuals, and new modes, Bloody Roar 4 should be the best game in the franchise thus far. More info later.
Temporary PS2 price drop (10:45 P.M.)
Earlier today, we reported that Sony Computer Entertainment is bring over the new model PlayStation 2 to North America (scroll down to see the report). Now, according to nearly all major video game retail stores, Sony has informed them to reduce the price of the PlayStation 2 to $179.99 in order to get rid of all units of the current model. When the new and revised model (SCPH-50000) arrives in U.S. stores in June, the price will return to $199.99, but the PS2 will now be bundled with the Network Adaptor for online capabilities. If you don't plan on taking your PS2 online any time soon, we recommend taking advantage of the reduced price.
Sony announces its new portable 'PlayStation' (6:00 P.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. today announced its all-in-one portable entertainment platform, dubbed the "PSP". The actual device was not shown, but some details were given at the press conference.
The PSP will offer a widescreen 480x272 pixel LCD equipped with a backlight for use in dark environments. Software will be stored on Sony's Universal Media Disc format, which is essentially a small disc surrounded by a cartridge. Each disc can hold 1.8 GB worth of data, which is larger than current GameBoy Advance cartridges. The PSP will also be able to connect to your PS2 and PC via the USB port.
On top of games, Sony plans the PSP to play MPEG4-encoded video.
"The PSP will have a huge potential for delivering other forms of entertainment as well as live entertainment through the network, anywhere, anytime," said Ken Kutaragi, Sony Computer Entertainment's president, CEO, and the creator of the PSX and PS2. "This is the Walkman of the 21st century."
The PSP will be available late 2004 at a price that will be announced at a later date. Here are the current specs for you tech freaks:
Display: Widescreen (16:9) TFT LCD with backlight (480x272)
Grand Theft Auto and 'Snake Eater' are PS2 exclusives (5:30 P.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment America announced at its pre-E3 press conference that Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater will be exclusive to the PlayStation 2 Computer Entertainment System. In addition, the company added that the next Grand Theft Auto game will debut exclusively on the PS2. Actual details about each game was not given.
SCEA to publish Final Fantasy XI in the U.S. (5:20 P.M.)
Sony Computer Entertainment America announced this morning that it will be publishing and releasing Final Fantasy XI in North America early 2004. Developed by Square Enix, Final Fantasy XI will require the PlayStation 2 hard drive, which will ship to stores the same time as the game and it will hold 40 GB of data. As with SCEA's other online RPG, EverQuest Online Adventures, FFXI will also require a small monthly or quarterly fee in order to play the game over the Internet. The price of the hard drive and the game are not available at this time. And yes, PC users can still play alongside PS2 owners of the game with dial up or broadband. More info later.
New model PS2 coming to North America (5:00 P.M.)
On April 14, 2003, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. revealed that it would release a new model PlayStation 2 in Japan. Today, during its pre-E3 press conference, Sony Computer Entertainment America confirmed that the "new" PS2 (SCPH-50000) will arrive in the U.S. with all the same great features found in the Japanese counterpart; including progressive DVD playback support, reduced fan noise, and more (please see our PS2 FAQ page in the 'Features' section for more info). In order to grow the PlayStation 2 online community even larger, all the new consoles will also come bundled with a Network Adaptor at the same $199.99 retail price! The revised console will go on sale this June.
Sony confirms PS2 hard drive for North America (4:20 P.M.)
This morning, during its pre-E3 press conference, Sony Computer Entertainment America finally announced that it will ship the PlayStation 2 hard drive in North Amiercan early next year. At this time, the 1st party hard drive is said to be 40 GB large, although Sony refused to state the official price of the unit. Expect an exact retail price and release date of the PS2 HDD later this year.
Monday May 12, 2003
Vote for your favorite game at E3 2003 (11:00 P.M.)
Our friends at the ElectricArtists have put together a tournament in which gamers can vote for the game that he or she considers to be the most popular game that will be shown at E3 2003. The best part is that a random voter will win FREE gaming swag. The first round ends May 16th, so vote now!
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