Leipzig 2008

Leipzig 2008, the MegaPost.

Unlike other blogs, we’re not in the habit of creating another new post for every single bit of news. For starters, we can’t be arsed, but we reckon it’s easier for our readers to keep all related news together. So, for the day ahead, we’ll be updating this single post will all the news from the conferences and any gossip we can wrangle out of half-drunk PR types.

Latest updates will be at the top. We do plan to run a liveblog of the Sony Conference, but we’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, check out our earlier prediction post, and settle back for a day of fun and games. Important events that we’ll be covering are the EA Conference at 8AM GMT, the Konami one at 9AM GMT, Ubisoft’s at 10AM, Activision’s at 1PM and Sony’s at 4PM, but we’ll see how it goes. We’ll try to avoid the usual ‘liveblog-crap’ that is mostly fluff, and just cut to the news.

Note that this is all via our ‘b-team’ over in Germany, readers, so don’t expect the usual wit and bleeding-edge reporting you’d normally get from us – *insert wink* – but as ever, your comments throughout the day are welcome.

20.30 PM

MEDIA: New trailer: GTI Club+

MEDIA: New trailer: LittleBigPlanet

NEWS: And that’s us, end of post.  We’ll be back to normal service ASAP guys, thanks for the support as ever.  Hope you enjoyed the show round-ups.

19.30 PM

NEWS: Christ on a bike, what a mess. Our hosts decided to do a server update at 4.30pm without telling us. We’ll be getting new hosts soon… Really, really sorry about that.

MEDIA: New screenshots: Killzone 2

MEDIA: New gameplay movie: Killzone 2

MEDIA: New trailer: Heavy Rain / Alternative

17.00 PM

SONY: Oh! LittleBigPlanet will support Trophies, it seems. And, that’s it.

16.50 PM

SONY: Think they’re wrapping up – news of a specific SingStar for the German market (don’t ask) and a LittleBigPlanet trailer.

SONY: Wait! Here’s Media Molecule… It’s a cool live playtest, Sackboys all getting dressed up inside the spaceship, when loads of (we presume) German celebs start to litter the stage.

16.45 PM

SONY: Singstar news – seems like 2.2 million song downloads from the SingStore so far, which is incredible. But now SCEE have the icing on the cake – you will soon be able to feed in PS2 versions of SingStar and grab the songs from them and store them in your PS3 SingStar library. And for the kids? SingStar Disney. Unreal.

SONY: And now, as we strongly hinted at – EyePet. This is something completely new from SCEE, and is basically a super cute virtual pet that you interact with via the PlayStation Eye.

SONY: Heavy Rain next (wow, this is a good conference). It’s a very emotional presentation and the trailer (with real time graphics) does indeed look fantastic – we’ll get this on the site ASAP for you. It’s exclusive to PS3 and due out in 2009, according to the movie.

16.30 PM

SONY: Site completely dead, not even sure anyone can read this… Anyway, music and video are now key areas for the PAL market – the streaming service will launch early next year with a download option later in the year.

16.25 PM

SONY: PlayTV confirmed for the 19th of September, and LittleBigPlanet for the 29th of October, nice. Also, there’s a new wireless keypad which connects to the top of the controller, and will also feature mouse input, which is handy.

SONY: VidZones. Presumably our alternative to the video service the US gets. Will feature unlimited streaming of music on demand and will be completely free of charge – we’ll get clarification on that shortly, but seems like it can be used with your PSP and appears to offer some kind of telephone communication too.

16.20 PM

SONY: Now it’s over to SOE. Three key games: The Agency, DC Universe Online and Free Realms. The Agency and DC Universe Online you already know about, Free Realms is a colourful fantasy action title, pretty.

SONY: Sales stuff, it had to come at some point. 14 million PS3s Worldwide, nearly 6 million in the PAL territories, we think. Also, as of Friday you’ll be able to pick up the 80 GB machine at 399 Euros, and – wow – a 160 GB version for 449 Euros, with what appears to be 70 Euros worth of stuff already on there. Unexpected.

16.15 PM

SONY: Ah, the PSP. Seems SCEE are (rightly) happy with PSP sales in Europe, with Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G and Crisis Core named as key titles. And now it’s the PSP-3000 (told ya!) – seems the same except for a built-in microphone (for Skype and that) and an even better screen – more vibrant colours and works better outside, nice.

SONY: Will launch here on the 15th of October for 199 Euros.

16.10 PM

SONY: Seriously guys, stop refreshing! Just check every 15 minutes or something. Anyway, we’re on. There’s a huge screen showing off the best PS3 games yet to be released (and some that already are): Ratchet and Clank, WipEout HD, Motorstorm 2, Resistance 2, Siren (yeah), Home, Buzz!, LocoRoco, inFamous, The Last Guy, Fat Princess. All very exciting.

SONY: Now we’ve got Helghast soldiers on stage. We’re promised ‘firsts’ today, so fingers crossed.

15.55 PM

SONY: Right on time, the damn site breaks. We’ve switched on WordPress’ Super Cache, which will either help out the database, or it’ll be so well cached that you won’t see any updates. We’ll struggle through, as ever. We’re fucking BRITISH, it’s what we do best.

15.45 PM

SONY: All set. Please let this be interesting and not another boring damn stat-fest. And if it is a boring damn stat-fest, at least let Sackboy do the whole thing again. Or Buzz! They should make questions about how many PS3’s they’ve sold in Europe and make the audience select, and then Buzz can make snide comments about their choice of spectacles or something. Anyway, yeah, look out for a fun-filled hour of announcements about things we already know about (new PSP, anyone) and some things we don’t (we hope). Stay with us, and we’ll see if we can make the site crash again.

15.15 PM

MEDIA: New gameplay movie: Quantum of Solice

15.00 PM

HUNGER UPDATE: now full up, you’ll be glad to hear. Also: one hour to go! Come on Sackboy, show us your secret…

RUMOUR: Uncharted something.

14.00 PM

NEWS: Word around the rumour-mill this afternoon hints at something called EyePet. We’ll leave that with you, and catch up again at 4PM GMT for the Sony Conference, unless anything groundbreaking occurs. In the meantime, get thinking about what the 12 announcements will be from our friends at SCEE… =)

13.55 PM

MEDIA: New gameplay movie: Sonic Unleashed

13.45 PM

NEWS: Acclaim boss David Perry has told Play.tv that Sony has “no chance of making money with the PS3”. Hopefully SCEE will tell us different in a couple of hours.

ACTIVISION: We’ve just got our hands on the Activision press kit too. Seriously, there’s hours of stuff here. Again, we really don’t have the manpower to filter through all these screens and movies, so we’ll direct you to sites that have the goodies a little later as a compromise.

13.30 PM

ACTIVISION: The new Crash Bandicoot / Spyro duet will be released Worldwide in October, although Spyro will be a month later in Europe for some reason. Also available in November will be the new Bond game: Quantum of Solace, which Activision have just demoed to the press. It’s lovely really, really good with some stunning visuals (Daniel Craig looks fantastic in the game) and some familiar cover methods. Hopefully this will be as good as Goldeneye was back in the day.

MEDIA: New trailer: Bionic Commando

MEDIA: New gameplay movie: PES 2009

13.00 PM

NEWS: Just got word in from EA on Need For Speed Undercover. Apparently, the new game has players “racing through speedways, dodging cops and chasing rivals as they go deep undercover to take down an International crime syndicate”. Thankfully the police chases are back, and EA’s trick this year is the ‘Heroic Driving Engine’ which enables high-performance moves at high speed. The game is based around a movie, and is set in what appears to be a fake San Francisco-type area with 80 miles of roads and a massive highway system. It’ll be out over here on November 21st.

12.00 PM

MEDIA: New trailer: Lords of Shadow

NEWS: We’ve just been told that GTI Club is being done by Sumo Digital, who now appear to be under the Konami umbrella, and that the game is actually called GTI Club+ (note the ‘plus’). Sorry team. We’ve been told to say that it’s the most ambitious and expansive addition to the PSN title yet, but we’re not falling for that kind of spin.

HUNGER UPDATE: Starving. Right, lunch time.

MEDIA: New trailer: Afrika

10.50 AM

NEWS: Here’s some GTI Club info translated from the press release: It’s a full remake from the 1996 original, but with new 720p/60fps graphics, 5.1 music and extra content. It supports the PlayStation Eye a la Mario Kart Arcade (plus the mic), and will appear in November as we said already. Game modes include the freerun, arcade and bomb mode, and will feature leaderboards. No price yet, but the game has 4 vehicles, supports 8 players online and will be utterly awesome. 10/10 review forthcoming.

10.30 AM

MEDIA: New screens and info: GTI Club

UBISOFT: One word: ‘Sophies Friends’. We’re surprised it doesn’t end in a ‘z’. This is Ubisoft. There’s also Far Cry 2, Endwar, Prince of Persia and lots of financial slides. All in German, and all very dull. People are walking out.

MEDIA: New trailer: Loco Roco 2 (PSP)

NEWS: The Lords of Shadow thing from the Konami conference is the new Castlevania, right? Here’s the press release and screens, in German.

10.00 AM

MEDIA: New screens: Resident Evil 5

MEDIA: New screens: Street Fighter 4

09.55 AM

KONAMI: Ah, PES 2009. The room is full of happy people, and the game seems pretty much complete. All the visuals have been completely re-done, from the players to the UI, and it looks much better. It’s not FIFA-better, but it’s better. Live demo given on the stage, seems to work just fine. Everything seems like it’s new – the players look far better, and the controls have been re-vamped too: you can now dribble just using the d-pad. There’s a new mode, ‘Become a Legend’ which is much like EA’s ‘Be a Pro’ but with a different word at the end. Game is due this October.

KONAMI: Oh shits, Konami are remaking the Cote D’Azur racer GTI-Club for the PSN, with 8-player online. It’s due in November. Best announcement of Leipzig so far. That’s it from Konami though, basically, apart from a last teaser which is Mercury Steam’s Lords of Shadow, due out on PS3 in 2010.

09.45 AM

MEDIA: New gameplay movie: LittleBigPlanet

KONAMI: Onto Silent Hill: Homecoming. Is anyone still interested in this? It’s still being targeted for November this year on PS3, and the megaton was that a PC version will be available at the same time. Mindblowing. Konami are now flexing their musical muscles with Rock Revolution. Everybody’s doing music games today, expect new music games from studios that haven’t even made games before. Like Jim the ice-cream man.

NEWS: We’ve got promo photos in from Red Alert 3 of the main actors, but none of Jenny McCarthy.

MEDIA: New trailer: Harry Potter 6

09.30 AM

KONAMI: You’re not missing much yet, it’s basically just a couple of Nintendo-platform games. Unless, of course, you’re heavily into DS and Wii games. Dammit, OK, first up is Animal Crossing tribute Enchanted Folk, which is due next Spring. Then we’ve got Castlevania Judgement for the Wii. There you go, see? TSA: we’re lovely, even to Nintendo fans.

MEDIA: New gameplay movie: Killzone 2

NEWS: We’ve just been told by 2K that Bioshock PS3 will hit European shelves on October 24th. We’ve also just got Capcom’s press kit, so we’ll dig through that later and highlight anything interesting, although chances are other sites will do so first, as usual. Still, we try.

NEWS: Also also, confirmation of WipEout HD, from yesterday’s rather predictive post. More soon.

09.15 AM

EA: Rage now, which is the EA-published id-tech driving game. Apparently it’s a ‘new take’ on the FPS experience, and the in-game video shown certainly seems to give weight to that. The driving looks incredible, but the massive environments are really impressive. The video will be available shortly – we’ll try and get a link up for you ASAP.

MEDIA: New screens: Bionic Commando

MEDIA: New gameplay movie: LittleBigPlanet

09.00 AM

EA: On to EA Games. One big EA trailer full of exciting stuff, some we’ve seen before and some new. Old stuff includes Bad Company and Paradise but there’s also snippets of Mirror’s Edge (see new screens below), Mercenaries 2, Skate 2 and Rock Band 2, showing at least some intention of releasing the expensive music game over here in Europe. EA have quite the line-up.

EA: Lots of stuff on Red Alert 3. Can’t remember if this is coming to the PS3 or not, so we’ll not bother with it, except to say that the actors will include JK Simmons and Tim Curry, plus Jenny McCarthy who’s a girl. Still hoping for Need For Speed here.

MEDIA: New trailer: Resident Evil 5

08.45 AM

EA: More ‘casual’ stuff, here comes Monopoly for your PS3.

MEDIA: New screens: Mirror’s Edge

EA: Now they’re showing the new Harry Potter game. Seemingly undeterred by the film’s release, the videogame version of The Half Blood Prince is looking fantastic. Seems like they’re expanding on the free-roaming from the last game, and now including more environments, a full Quidditch stadium (and matches) and lots of broomstick action. James and Oliver Phelps (the Weasley twins) are demoing the game.

08.30 AM

EA: FIFA demo will hit PSN on September 11th.

EA: Seemingly EA want a piece of the SingStar pie, so they’re now demoing Boogie Superstar. It doesn’t quite have the style of SingStar, but this is Europe so they’re going mad for the trashy music and presentation. Germans are dancing, it’s like some kind of bad dream.

08.15 AM

EA: Ok, so the EA Conference is under way. Peter Moore (Hi Peter) is looking well, and clearly this first bit’s all about Sports. So, we’ve got EA Tennis coming next year – lead platform is the Wii, but expect it on PS3 too. And if you were wondering where Wimbledon had got too, it’s OK, EA have it exclusively.

EA: In terms of FIFA, look out for something called Live Season. It’s a new thing for FIFA 09 in collaboration with Adidas, and will take live events and players and feed them into the game. It’ll be free in FIFA 09, and sounds pretty cool. They’re talking a lot about FIFA, which now sports 10 player per team online play, full Be A Pro seasons and lots of new features like better tackling and more intelligent goalies.

08.05 AM

NEWS: As a spoiler to the Konami Conference, we’ve just had an email from them: Hideo Kojima will be here (from tomorrow) and we’re told that PES 2009, Silent Hill Homecoming and Hellboy 2 will all be playable on PS3.

MEDIA: New trailer: GC Killzone 2 Video (Multiplayer)

08.00 AM

NEWS: Seems like the French have ‘accidentally’ wandered into Sony’s Conference rehersals. GameKyo are claiming that there’ll be gameplay footage of Heavy Rain, a final playthrough of LittleBigPlanet and plenty of focus on SingStar Next. We’ve also heard this morning via anonymous email that we should be keeping an Eye out for something new from SCEE during the Conference. Stop toying with us.