eGames expo – The Wii, Sony disappoints, Halo 2 Live Anywhere & the future of eGames

On the world stage, Australia lacks behind in everything besides global warming. We’re decades ahead of anyone in terms of unpredictable weather patterns, but if you talk about technology, we’re the laggard’s laggards. When I first heard of the eGames expo, I immediately thought this was Australia’s chance to rocket into the spotlight of world-first product announcements and showcases.

Today, I visited the eGames expo with high expectations and great hopes. This is what I saw.

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I guess a lot of people had the same idea.

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There’s no doubts about it, the Wii is hot. It’s fun, easy to learn, easy to play and even better with friends. Tennis is so easy to pick up, one button to serve, but extremely fun to play. Warioware is pure gold, a definite buy! Red Steel was hyped to be pretty cool, but from watching numerous players struggle, the side-to-side view control was extremely unintuitive.

However the Nintendo staff weren’t very kind. They wouldn’t even let me take photos from inside the play area. You were only allowed to take photos from the outside. Wonder why? Scared I was going to snatch a Wii?

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No show’s complete without a row of XBOX 360s.

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Everyone should play the XBOX360 with a cushion! It’s the officially endorsed method of playing.

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Sony wanted to make sure everyone knew this was “real” high-definition. You know? With 1080p and all. Although kind of pointless after Microsoft beat them in their own game.

Sony’s presentation was the biggest letdown. They had five Playstation 3’s on stage, 4 were probably plastic molds. The only one active was a debugging unit, and with obvious software glitches. It wasn’t even capable of displaying images on the projection screen. The theme of the keynote was “experience”, yet experience was exactly what’s missing. Game trailers after game trailers. Sony basically wasted everyone’s time with content that anyone could download online. This was also on the same day the PS3 is released in the US. Utterly disappointing.

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Since Sony didn’t have anything else to show, they start regurgitating ancient video-game related quotes.

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Look at how many people are going to be disappointed after they find out there’s no PS3 game demo!

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The Cell is like a thumbtack. It can stand up vertically by itself.

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Game trailer #1: Resistance: Fall of Man

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Game trailer #2: MotorStorm

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Game trailer #3: Heavenly Sword

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This is an absolute joke.

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Wii-note!

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Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

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Quick! Get that Sony television off the stage.

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Wii Channels.

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No Nintendo keynote is complete without a match of tennis.

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Or Zelda fishing.

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Everyone goes berserk for free Wii merchandise. There was even a fight between two people for a Wii-shirt which both caught. The two were literally playing tug-of-war, before one gave up.

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Wii, powered by Windows XP!

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The first presentation to spell eGames wrong.

Nintendo tried to sabotage Microsoft’s presentation which experienced technical difficulties half way through. Trust PowerPoint to break when Microsoft presents.

David Mclean stated Halo 2 for the PC will support Live Anywhere, touting the game’s multiplayer will support simultaneous play between XBOX 360 and PC users. This contradicts earlier reports that Halo 2 will not support Live Anywhere. I don’t know how reliable this information is, I’ll follow it up on Sunday.

Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta is expected to be delivered through XBOX Live early next year, and it will be free to all Live users.

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XBOX360 HD-DVD expansion for Australia! Early 2007. $249.95 RRP.

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Obligatory Halo 3 and Gears of War plugs.

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The best Sony has, is Singstar Legends!

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Way too many 3D ‘virtual reality’ products this year. It feels like 1997.

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SONIC!

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Fencing is a game. Right?

Plus check out all of my entire photo gallery with over 154 photos from the eGames expo!

My impressions

The expo was a lot smaller than what I had imagined, only taking up 2 blocks inside the convention centre. The lack of PC games was also disappointing, with only a few RPG/adventure games showcased from a handful of local developers. Sony’s presence was limited to only the Playstation Portable. Microsoft’s XBOX360s felt out-of-date, not in terms of graphics or gameplay, but it’s been already a year since it’s launch. It’s not “new” anymore. And not to mention, all of the other products ‘launched’ at the expo were almost a year old in terms of US-launches.

The press pass didn’t help at all. Couldn’t access any of the good stuff, like the Gears of War demo. By the time I finally finished queuing, the organizer announced it was the last session for the day. Nor did anyone have any freebies to give away. I’ll try to get those questions answered on Sunday, in private interviewing sessions hopefully.

Is eGames worth visiting? Definitely, even for the Wii alone. Is eGames worth a 2-day pass? I think I can easily cover eGames in under a day. Will eGames be worth visiting in the future? It needs to be bigger with more content.

It’s obvious this will never be the next E3. But it’s the best Australia has got, so it’s worth keeping.

11 insightful thoughts

  1. Definitely, I was kinda disappointed seeing the size of the place. I had bought a two day pass so I’ll be back with some mates tomorrow, but I think I have everything covered today. Hopefully I can get some Wii-bees tomorrow though.

  2. Hey! I was directly infront of Long when we got turned away from the Gears of War tent. I haggled him for atleast a Gears of War Xbox360 faceplate and his response was “Come back tomorrow.” Great publicity that was… I sneaked in anyway and I was in no doubt floored by the visuals.

    Great to meet you Long!

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