Activision Press Conference Live Blog

7:03 – Everyone’s still getting set up here inside what is very obviously a Catholic church. Hell, the confessionals were left completely open. Some people are sitting in them rather than sitting in the plastic chairs. Investors, of course, are sitting in cushy leather sofas with waiters and beverage service. As for the rest of us normal people? Let’s just say that in a room of (rough estimate) 500 people all using laptops and trying to report, there’s a total of 3 power outlets, all in the back of the room for cameras. IGN and the big guys pretty much ave a monopoly on the power supply here. So if I end up losing power before the end of this, that’s why.

Right now I’m sitting next to my pal Coop from Gamervision. We talked with Danny from Gamertag Radio for a bit (Godfree I think is what he goes by) but he had to set up his video stuff. He got a power supply, too. Unfortunately I only have a laptop and not several thousand dollars of video equipment…

7:25 – And the show is off. Nelson Diaz (spellcheck) is hosting. No idea who he is, but everyone seems to love him judging by the applause.

7:26 – Also, Dave’s laptop (which I’m using to utilize his satellite USB card to get Internet) has a power supply smaller than… Something small.

The president of Activision is out, and right away causes the crowd to fall asleep by making the Corniest Joke of E3 thus far. "Let me pause my Guitar Hero DS game first!" followed by the SECOND Corniest Joke of E3 thus far. Something about confessionals.

7:28 – "When I was walking out here I was playing Guitar Hero On Tour for two reasons. First, because someone bet me I wouldn’t actually go through with it…"

7:30 – From where I’m sitting I have a clear view of 9 HDTVs and a giant bigscreen projection of him talking. It feels like I’m being attacked by a group of him.

Now he’s talking about the Blizzard merger, and how much Business Week loved it. Thank God Business Week told me it was a good merger for Activision!

7:32 – Did he just brag about bringing a bigger audience to Kung Fu Panda?

7:33 – A sci-fi shooter which manipulates time? It does sound unique!

7:33 – I’d talk more about the Singularity trailer they just showed, but I blinked and missed it. Time for Ultimate Alliance 2, one I actually care about.

7:38 – Sorry, I couldn’t handle any more puns and bad jokes about sideburns and how Transformers was a 700 million grossing film. I think I had a concussion. Time for new Call of Duty footage.

7:40 – I admit, even though it’s ANOTHER World War II game, it looked good. Lots of guys flaming, planes hitting power lines, and some nice kill graphics. I don’t think it will "Turn WW2 on its head" considering the Pacific theater was a pretty integral part of the war and all, but I’ll play it. Probably.

7:41 – Co-op in the new Call of Duty! Finally!

7:41 – Keifer Sutherland is going to voice the main guy in the next Call of Duty. Nice.

7:43 – The first co-op demonstration was pretty intense. An ambush, lots of fighting, explosions. Nice.

7:44 – The second one seems to be in a drier environment rather than a swamp…yet the people use the same camoflauge to ambush the players?

The flamethrower is nice. Trees light on fire, as does grass (and people).

7:45 – Did Keifer just kill two tanks with a flamethrower? Do tanks work like that?

7:47 – I’ve noticed that tanks in Call of Duty seem to have a tragically short lifespan. Weren’t they used because of how easily they could overrun normal troops? How is a squad of some normal guys who just happen upon tanks taking out tank after tank? And why are there crates of rocket launchers lying in the middle of a warzone? If you want realism make it realistic, don’t just have guns kill people in one shot!

Ohh, Web of Shadows time.

7:47 – Well that was quick. We saw that there was a web. And it was black. "Like a shadow!" Coop happily pointed out.

7:51 – The Web of Shadows wall combat demonstration was interesting. I like the idea of Spider-Man actually being able to move on the walls more than just crawling up. I’m not sure why he just randomly changes suits, though. Kyle, Spider-Man never just flip-flopped between them in mid battle, did he? Pandering to the "OMG I LUV VENOM!" crowd much, Activision?

7:52 – Coop looks very bored. Most of the people here look bored.

Wow, Spider-Man’s voice is awful in this game. I’m waiting for "It’s me! Spidey-Mayn! Hyuck!"

7:54 – Holy ****. The presentation might be corny and completely against Spider-Man, but the aerial combat looks awesome. Spider-Man has been fighting Vulture and some Goblin copycats completely in the air by using his webs. This is the first time I’ve seen a Spider-Man game actually let you FIGHT like Spider-Man, and not just punch, kick, jump, web bullet. I really want to play this game now. Way to go with the combat, guys.

7:55 – "Sometimes I wish I had Spidey Sense, but sometimes I wish I was as cool and suave as this next guy." My money’s on Tony Hawk; Coop bets Slash.

7:56 – Aw, the completely unobvious segue tricked us! It was James Bond! Who knew!

Lots of footage from the upcoming Bond film so far. Yet to see any gameplay after about a minute and a half.

7:57 – The new Bond movie looks fantastic. Thanks, Activision, for showing me a new trailer for it that I haven’t seen before.

Oh wait, isn’t there a game?

7:59 – Time for a history lesson about someone who did something with James Bond. I think the people who own the license? Maybe?

8:00 – Wow. What a Freudian slip. The guy just called Daniel Craig their "blond bomb" instead of "blond Bond."

8:02 – I just accidentally let out a big yaawn during this history lesson. Coop laughed, then yawned himself.

Time to possibly see some actual QoS game footage?

8:04 – Now we’re talking about puzzles? One of the people working on the game is talking about the keys (or puzzles?) for making the new Bond game work. They get a lot of access to the film and Craig (the blond bomb himself), and have a great partnership. They believe gamers are ready for a new great James Bond game. Let me find out.

8:04 – Nope, they aren’t ready yet. Time for gameplay footage though.

8:08 – Looks like it can be fun. I like how when Bond is getting shot and dying the metal door thing (lenses?) close on him like in the intro to every Bond movie, then the screen fills with blood.

Time for clip 2! A new one never before seen by the public.

8:10 – Still looks fun. It reminded me of a mix between Gears and Uncharted gameplay wise. Lots of cover, but also a lot of climbing and environmental manipulation to proceed through areas. Of course, we haven’t had a good Bond game since Goldeneye (and even that’s questionable), so we’ll see how it turns out in November.

So far, the Activision conference hasn’t been too impressive. Some new footage of the Bond game… And that’s pretty much it.

8:12 – Some new information for the Wolfenstein project incoming.

8:13 – With all the corny and bad jokes going on so far in this conference, Activision missed a golden opportunity to promote Guitar Hero World Tour by having someone playing the drums on stage to hit the "ba-dum-cha!" thing. (What’s that called? Kyle knows I’m sure.)

8:15 – Some guy wearing a Naughty Dog t-shirt sitting in the reserved section seems to be falling asleep.

8:16 – Time for some new footage and gameplay of the new Wolfenstein. For more, you have to wait until Quakecon later this month.

In the time it took me to type that sentence, it ended. Wow.

8:17 – Time for one of my most anticipated games, Guitar Hero World Tour.

85 master recordings featuring bands like the Doors, Eagles, and Van Halen will be in the game. This year they’ll also have more rock stars. Bass layers, drummers, vocalists, guitarists, etc.

Metallica’s new album will be available at launch (and the day it’s released) on World Tour as DLC for all the systems.

8:18 – All old Guitar Hero and Rock Band instruments will work with the new Guitar Hero World Tour game. You’ll miss out on some features, but you can play the game just fine with older instruments.

Nice. There’s a slider bar on the neck which lets you play without using the strum  bar. You can tap, slap, slide, etc.

8:21 – The Guitar Hero drums have a thick layer of silicon on top of them to deaden the noise and provide more bounce back. Good news. They also pass velocity data back to the console; the harder/softer you hit the drum kit, the louder/quieter the drumming will be. Good news for the game, bad news for my neighbors.

8:23 – Three ports on the back. One lets you use a splitter (normal headphone splitter) to use two pedals. The one above it is for future expansion.

The biggest port is next to those. It allows people to plug in their own drum kits into the controller, and play the game using their personal drum kit. You can also plug in mixers and such, record things you’ve made and use those in the song creator. Awesome.

8:25 – We have a special guest: Travis Barker! He helped them develop the drums. (And make Soulja Boy bearable.)

8:26 – If the MC goes "Oh, my God!" one more time I think I’m going to pass out.

8:27 – Time to see the Recording Studio.

They have dozens of pre-created guitar styles in the game, and you can go in and change the note scales and all sorts of technical stuff. It looks very complicated. Music people will love it.

8:30 – If you don’t feel like going too in depth making your songs with the drums, they also include machines. Drum, key, etc. are available, and you can use your frets to play beats.

8:34 – There’s also a keyboard machine, which has a ton of options in terms of synthesizers. Tilting the guitar up and down changes the pitch, while the frets are different sounds based on which of the pre-created settings you choose. You can’t get full on concerto piano (probably) but it seems easy enough to lay down some 80s style synth.

8:36 – GH Tunes sounds nice. Basically it’s the online place where people can share and download created songs. It tracks popular downloads, rising/falling genres, and tons of other details.

Right now he’s showing the rock star creation mode. All the original GH guys are back, but the creation is pretty indepth. You can shape the skull/facial shapes, creating different ages and other physical things, in addition with the normal stuff like hair. Guitars and instruments are also fully customizable. For guitars body, fret, inlays, strings, etc. are all custom.

8:38 – Back to Nelson. "Give it up one more time for Brian!" One more time again? Another corny joke; Nelson can make himself thinner with Guitar Hero! Haha!

Ohh, Hayley Williams is here to talk about Guitar Hero. I don’t know for sure who she is. Some pretty blinging nose piercings, though.

And Nelson just totally gave her the once-over. Smooth, Nelson. Smooth.

8:40 – It’s cool to see Paramore’s name among "all the other legendary bands."

8:41 – "What aspirations and tips would you give to aspiring musicians picking up Guitar Hero World Tour?" Their own aspirations, probably.

If Kyle were here I guarantee he’d be taking pictures of her on the big HD screen.

Another surprise! This time it’s the Neversoft band. Activision’s all done with random musician cameos, I guess. Time for some Van Halen action by the guys who made the game as they play "Hot for Teacher."

8:43 – I didn’t see which instrument it was, but one of the Neversoft guys picked easy. It’s your game! Play it on expert you pussy!

8:44 – Neversoft’s drummer kicks ass. Dave, I’m sorry but we’re going to recruit him for our Rock Band 2 session tomorrow morning. The guitarist isn’t bad, but after some simple scales the crowd was going crazy. That’s hard difficulty in Guitar Hero 1/2/3 at the most.

8:45 – The actual game presentation itself looks so much like Rock Band. The only difference is the models and animation in the background doesn’t seem to be as high of quality. The vocals seem improved, though. More subtle variations nad less HIGH-low-HIGH! jagged jumps.

8:46 – The singer is good too. I think he’s the one that picked easy, purely because how loud the sound system is set right now is making the vocal meter jump all over the place. Even in quiet parts he’s going up and down the pitches like he’s singing his big bearded heart out.

8:49 – The drummer has the same problem I do. Once you hit so many notes in a row, you just keep going. But still, the Neversoft band is fantastic. Kudos to them. Nelson wants a standing O, but I cannot, for I have a laptop on my lap.

8:50 – The end. Was anything new announced? I don’t think so. Everything we’ve already seen/heard of. We saw some musician cameos talking (briefly) about how fun Guitar Hero is and how cool the new music creation mode is, and had some other people pitch their talk to the invesors taking up the first few rows. But for the press? Not much to talk about, really.

I’m off to grab a drink and maybe some fruit or a cookie, then it’s time to go back to the hotel.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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