E3 Day 3 Impressions

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posted 5/24/2005 by The GN Staff
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Logitech had their new PSP peripherals showing with my favorite being the PlayGear Street. The PlayGear Street lets you wear the PSP in a protective case while giving you access to the audio ports. You’ll also be able to fit three UMDs and four Memory Sticks in there. All in the same polycarbonate case of their PlayGear Pocket. The PlayGear Amp is a portable speaker system that’s styled the same as a PSP. A center cradle gives you a place to sit your PSP but you can use any audio device that has a headphone jack. The speakers also fold up for easy carrying. Logitech demonstrated the speakers and they sounded great for a portable solution. Logitech also recommitted to PC gaming so they’ll be announcing some more PC products in the near future.

I’ll let my colleague Charles talk about Alan Wake but that game, even at its early stages, looks amazing. ATI always has a must see in their theater and this game was it. Alan Wake’s details are still pretty vague but the direction of the game from what I saw looks very promising.

My final appointment was with major peripheral developer Mad Catz. Their range of products being released is amazing and they are getting into the software side of things. To list all that I saw would take me too many pages but I’ll highlight some of the best. As you probably know, they have a long line of licensed controllers consisting of the NBA, NFL, MLB, Fantastic Four, and Batman Begins. The GameBoy Advance has a cool case that features the chest design of Batman’s costume in a cool 3D design. If you’re big into dance games, not much come bigger than Pump It Up and Mad Catz will be the exclusive distributor for the game. 100 songs will come with the game and it will be released in the summer for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Is country your thing? Then MC Groovz Country Dance Craze will be your cup of tea with a double wide dance pad and dance steps that mimic actual country dances. A unique peripheral for Mad Catz is the Game Trak. Basically, a unit on the floor equipped with two analog wired sensors that attach to gloves track how you swing a golf club or baseball bat for example. The wires can detect if you swing too high or too low or even if the club face isn’t square. There’s going to be a baseball and golf game initially for the system and I hope that other companies take a look at the product and incorporate it for them as well. It would be nice to use it for Tiger Woods or MVP Baseball. Finally, some pre-production examples of Xbox 360 peripherals where shown. Besides MicroCon based controllers, there’s a unique modular controller that’s built specifically for first person shooters complete with a trackball. Since its modular, you can flip flop the parts around and even reverse them if you are left handed. There are plenty of other products for other systems coming out from Mad Catz and it looks like they won’t have a shortage of peripherals for you to buy.

Overall, I had a great time at E3 especially meeting everyone there. To see the beginnings of three new consoles and witness the beginning of the next generation of games was a great experience. It’s been a long three days but I’m glad to be home. Here’s to next year May 10-12.
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