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This week our news section focuses squarely on what happened in the opening days of the E3 expo in Los Angeles. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all had press confereces, and if one thing is clear from all of them, motion control is going to be a big marketing focus this holiday season as Sony premiered its “Move” controller and Microsoft showed off a newly named “Kinect” (formerly Project Natal).
Microsoft – Matt’s recap at Multiplayergames.com
If there was one press conference that polarized us (and to some extent the coverage in general) the most, it was that of Microsoft’s. Matt called it “out of touch” in his recap, and others have stated it was too focused on Kinect and largely ignored the hard-core gamer. The team from Redmond started out strong, showing off Halo Reach, Gears of War 3, Metal Gear Rising, and Call of Duty Black Ops. All looked spectacular.
But it’s there the divide began, as Microsoft focused the bulk of it’s presser on the new Kinect controller, that they had already introduced at a special event the night before. The tech is great, no argument from us there, but Phil and Matt share a different perspective on motion controlled gaming. This article at Kotaku examines one of the potential issues with Kinect, while High Def Digest looks at what is right about it.
Also showed off was the ability to control your Xbox with voice and hand gestures, a very cool partnership with ESPN3.com and a all new smaller Xbox 360 that’s shipping to stores now.
Matt’s Grade – D
Phil’s Grade – B+
Sony clearly spent more time focusing on just gaming at it’s gathering, a lot more time. The event lasted just over 2 hours and was WAY too long most have agreed. Too many montages seemed to drag, and by the time the biggest news dropped at the end, Twisted Metal, fatigue had set in. Kevin Butler saved things a bit in the middle, but it wasn’t enough. Sony also showed off Infamous 2 and Killzone 3 as well as Portal 2.
The big news for Sony was split between 3D, which took up a large portion of the event (to the chagrin of those watching at home sans 3D glasses and displays) and the new Move motion control software, also know as the Wii controllers painted black. Sony also unveiled the Xbox Live Sony Playstation Plus subscription service which will run $49/year.
Matt’s Grade – C
Phil’s Grade – C+
Nintendo – Matt’s recap at Multiplayergames.com
Nintendo did a lot right with it’s effort. Shorter than Sony, more game-focused than Microsoft. Golden Sun, Goldeneye, Donkey Kong Country, Kirby, Epic Mickey, and Metroid along with Kid Icarus for the newly unveiled 3D handheld 3DS that was showed off. Movies for the 3Ds were announced as well, but not too much information was revealed.
The 3DS holds the key in a lot of ways for Nintendo, if it succeeds, they likely will come away with the most out of their 2010 E3 efforts. If it fails, it’s back to the drawing board in some ways.
Matt’s Grade – B+
Phil’s Grade – B
June started much better for Blu-ray after a dismal month of May. Revenue was a healthy $31.7 million, but better yet, marketshare vs. DVD hit 16%, the highest since March.
One the sales side, Alice in Wonderland crushed it for Blu-ray, easily taking the top spot. Wolfman was second with only 19% of the sales of Alice. Avatar slipped to third at nine percent, and the Life boxset from BBC/Discover was fourth with a nice 8.9%.
Combind Blu-ray/DVD sales served Tim Burton’s tale well also. A nice sign for Blu-ray, four of the top five films in the combined list sported marketshare nearing or better than 40%. Life did 54% of its business on the HD format.
Vitals: MPEG-4 AVC, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
This is a hard movie to watch. Make no mistake, it’s a very good movie, but it’s difficult to digest. A man and his son try to survive in post-apocalyptic America and encounter all kinds of obstacles. It’s a harsh look at life, with dozens of undertones for those that look for them. Well acted and written, it’s an ugly film. That’s not a knock, it’s what it’s supposed to be. Colors are almost non-existent (save for flashbacks) and black levels are pretty poor. Detail shines at times and is soft at others. All in all, the video reflects the tone of the film very well. Audio fares a bit better, with nice pop when needed. Dialogue stuggles a bit at times, the main thing holding this up from being a top-notch audio disc.
See our E3 coverage above.
What we’ve seen/are watching
- Geek Tonic’s listings show us a pretty slow slate. Sunday Scoundrels and The Gates premiere on ABC (9 and 10 p.m., respectively) and Treme wraps its first season on HBO (10 p.m.).
- The U.S. Open, World Cup and game 7 of the NBA Finals vie for your attention this week in HD Sportsman land. ABC has game 7 Thursday at 9 p.m. ESPN continues its coverage of the World Cup with games at 7 and 9:30 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. ESPN also gets early coverage of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, with NBC taking over for the weekend.
The Blu-ray releases for June 22 are a bit better than recently, with a trio of concert films led by U2’s Rose Bowl appearance as well as Green Zone and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 3D.
As for deals, some hardware this week:
- Logitech Harmony 900 $250 (regular $400) Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IC0YL8?ie=UTF8&tag=breevageeton-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002IC0YL8
- Walmart $99 Xbox Arcade ($50 e-giftcard) – http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/16/xbox-360-arcade-reduced-to-99-during-walmart-fathers-day-sal/
- Kelly’s Heroes/When Eagles Dare for $9.99 total – http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001XURJCS/ref=nosim/panandscathed-20
- Save $10 on Blu-ray “When in Rome” – http://video.movies.go.com/wheninrome/
- Godfather I, Godfather II and Forrest Gump each $11.99 Amazon – http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/Amazon/Disc_Announcements/HDD_Spotlight_Bargain:_The_Godfather,_The_Godfather_II,_&_Forrest_Gump_Blu-rays_$11.99_at_Amazon/4895
- Leon – The Professional $10.99 Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002O5M4SA?ie=UTF8&tag=insidepulse08-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B002O5M4SA
- 2012 for $12 – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032KNA4I?tag=panandscathed-20
- Best Buy – Hurt Locker $17.99, Avatar $19.99
- Target – $22.99 (Shutter, Alice, Sherlock), $14.99 (District 9, Zombieland), $9.99 (Hancock, Rudy)
- Buy 2 get 3rd free BD at Barnes and Noble – http://video.barnesandnoble.com/u/DVD-Movies-Box-Sets-TV-Show-DVDs/379000696/
Click here to download Episode 36!
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