July 2008

When Rock Band was released last November, I passed on it. I had played Guitar Hero and I sucked at it. I had fun, but I was terrible. I figured Rock Band would be more of the same and instead it would prove to embarrass me in more ways than just my lackluster guitar skills. I’ve fought off Rock Band fever despite the claims of many that it’s one of the greatest gaming experiences out there.

This year at E3, I got a first hand look at what makes Rock Band great and I’m proud to say that I’m hooked. The fine folks at Harmonix and EA invited us to a private demo of the upcoming sequel to the best music game out there, Rock Band 2. READ MORE

As a total newbie to the whole E3 experience, I really had no clue what to expect when heading into the Sony Press Conference at the Shrine Theatre. Upon entering the auditorium, we were greeted by 7 massive screens and 50 some odd smaller displays. The larger screens had people playing Gran Turismo, SOCOM, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Metal Gear Solid, and Pixel Junk Eden.

The presentation had a lot more flash than the Nintendo one, but it was also a lot more mechanical in that Jack Tretton did most of the talking and at times you could tell he was reading from the prompter. Despite that, there were some real gems to come out of the press conference including Resistance 2 and the newly announced MAG. READ MORE

The NPD numbers for June are in, and there’s a new market leader in the US: the Wii has now officially surpassed the Xbox 360 as the top-selling home console in the last major market. But there’s a lot more to this month’s numbers than just that one tagline, so let’s jump in.

The NPD retail month of June is a 5 week month that started on Sunday, June 1st and ended on Saturday, July 5th. Since the time period covered is 5 weeks long instead of the 4 weeks like 2 out of 3 months, comparing weekly averages from month to month allows for a more accurate comparison of sales shifts. We’ll start at the top of the list and work our way down. The first number will be this month’s sales, followed by the weekly average in parenthesis, then last month’s sales with the weekly average, and finally June 2007’s sales and weekly average. READ MORE

This year’s Nintendo E3 briefing confirmed a few things that I was hoping were on the horizon as well a few things that I really wasn’t expecting. The briefing started with Executive VP Cammie Dunaway telling an anecdote about a recent snowboarding trip that resulted in a broken wrist. She used this story to introduce the forthcoming Shaun White Snowboarding for the Wii. Shaun White Snowboarding takes full advantage of the Wii Balance Board and was developed with extensive input from Shaun. Shaun White Snowboarding is being developed by Ubisoft and will be released as a Wii exclusive by the end of the year. READ MORE

Day 1 of this year’s E3 Expo, I mean Summit, is officially in the books and I can no longer say that I’ve never been to the show. After driving up from San Diego yesterday morning, my brother and I had a full day of gaming and press conferences and I’ll be posting hands on impressions of some of the show’s best games including the following:

Major Minor’s Majestic March
Rock Band 2
Wii Music
Skate It
Fallout 3

We will also have full writeups from the Sony and Nintendo conferences, but here are a few images from the show floor to kind of capture what our day was like.