E3 Day 2

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posted 5/20/2003 by The GN Staff
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Day 2 of E3 was a blast and I saw a lot of really cool products. My first appointment of the day was Logitech. Given the great peripherals that they had in the past, I was pretty excited about the meeting. A couple new corded control pads will be released for the Xbox and PS2 retailing for around $20 - $25. Not much was announced on the PC side but those who don’t have the Logitech MX700 cordless mouse and the cordless Elite keyboard can get the two in a bundle dubbed the Cordless MX Duo at a price of $100. Two new PC joysticks are also on the horizon that should please those who are fans of Logitech’s joysticks. The main showing for Logitech though is the official wheel for Gran Turismo 4. The new PS2 wheel has a rubber coating, stick shift, and pedals. What makes this wheel unique though is the amount of times you can spin the wheel completely around. No longer are you bound by the 180 degrees that most wheels have in turn radius and the 800+ degree rotation makes it a much more realistic experience. I tested the wheel out with Gran Turismo 4 and it does feel great. I hope that they make one for the PC line, as the larger turn radius would give those hardcore PC racers the realism they desire. All in all, a good lineup from Logitech.

My next stop was to the Half Life 2 booth and I have already written up a very detailed article that you can view here. No doubt about it, this was the best thing I saw at the show.

AMD had a little area in the Nvidia area since they didn’t make it to the show until the second day. They talked about the Opteron and the Athlon64 that’s due out in September. The Athlon64 will easily run 32bit and 64bit applications making it a very nice processor for backwards compatibility.

Since I had a little time to kill, I stopped over at Kentia Hall and ran into the Zboard. What’s a Zboardyou ask? Well take a keyboard and offer changeable key configurations for various games and applications. The pieces fold out from three hinged areas and then lock on top of the keyboard base. A Photoshop template, for example, would have all the shortcuts labeled on the keys giving you a quick reference as to how to perform a certain task without going into the menu system. Time to play Unreal Tournament 2003? Well snap off the Photoshop template and pop in the UT2K3 template and you’ll be presented with large movement keys along with various other action keys nicely labeled with pictures of weapons for the weapon selection area. A microchip on each template will automatically program the keys to the functions listed on the template but you can, of course, remap any of the special keys to your liking. It’s only in a PS2 flavor for now with USB in the works. The base unit with base keyboard template will sell for $40 while games will sell for $20 with some application specific templates going for $30. Look for a review of this one soon.

Nvidia was my final stop of the day and they were showing their GeForceFX 5900 Ultra in full force. The booth had a nice tournament area setup and while I was there you could play UT2K3 with some of the developers and win some prizes. For the card, some demos that they showed had the sister of Dawn, Dusk, dancing and a Balrog-like monster using the same particle flame effect as in the Lord of the Rings’ digital creation.

Microsoft was nice enough to let us into Halo 2 and right before we went into the theater, Anna Nicole Smith was stumbling out. A picture can be seen on our photo album article, and yes she’s pretty big in person. Anyways, the Halo 2 demonstration showed off a cityscape battle with the Covenant. Charlie covered what was in the demo so I won’t go much into it but I’m pretty excited to play co-op with it on the Xbox. Looks to be a nice evolution for the series.

This was one of the better E3’s I’ve attended and I hope next year’s will be just as fun. Thanks to all those that took the time to show





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