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E3 2008: Live from the EA Media Briefing

We are seated for the Electronic Arts E3 2008 Media Briefing. We start the conference off right, with a montage of a ton of upcoming titles, focusing on some new sports titles, upcoming Sims releases, and a bunch of casual games like Monopoly, Boogie, and Operation (aw yeah!) Of course, Spore is also featured here as well.

John Riccitiello hits the stage to talk about what EA has this afternoon to show us, and he says they won’t be doing PowerPoint, statistics, or sales figures. Instead, they are going to focus on the games, and we will be hearing from the people that make the games.

Rod Humble of The Sims Studio comes out to talk about The Sims. He announces Sim Animals. in this game you create groups of animals and their friends, habitat, etc. Some animals are friendly like deer and rabbits, while wolves and bears can stir up trouble. We then get a trailer. We get a baby cub bear interacting with a squirrel, and then a fox joins the fray. It seems that you basically control the game by using the world as your UI, you have a hand similar to Black and White. Will be exclusive to and Nintendo DS in January 2009.


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Bleeding Edge TV 281: E3 2008 EA Highlights: Left 4 Dead, NBA Live 09, Spore Origins, Mirror’s Edge

At , we got to see some amazing new games from EA.  Among the games demoed were Mirror’s Edge, the freerunning/parkour spy-courier game; Dead Space, a space horror dismemberment fest; Left 4 Dead, an intense zombie first-person shooter; and more from the ever-anticipated Spore, including an iPhone version called Spore: Origins. If you are into sports, Peter Moore shows us the evolution of a bunch of EA Sports titles like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 and NBA Live 09 with Dynamic DNA.

We’ve highlighted the best of the media briefing here, so be sure to hit the video above to get a look at all the goods yourself. Oh, and if you missed it, be sure to check out our full coverage in our E3 2008 EA Media Briefing live coverage.


Peter Moore Has Big Plans For EA Sports

Peter MoorePeter Moore, long known as the public face of Microsoft‘s Xbox division, stepped into his new digs as EA Sports president last week and started off saying he wants EA Sports’ brand to compete in a broader arena than just the video games market, facing off against general sports brands like Nike and ESPN.

Despite selling millions of copies of its flagship titles each year, EA Sports has struggled to expand effectively and EA seems to be banking on Moore to help them widen their reach. “That could mean broadcast sports, sports camps, the ability to license consumer products around the EA Sports brand,” he told the New York Times. Moore is also looking to leverage EA’s technology to create social networking and news sites, all centered around sports and of course the EA Sports name. “I think we have an opportunity to aggregate information and bring it to life with video technologies,” he said.

“If we look at this connected world we’re entering, sports is a sort of social and cultural glue that reaches across the globe,” Moore continues. “There is an opportunity for EA Sports to evolve beyond a games brand to become a true global sports and entertainment brand, and I think we can compete there.”

Read More | New York Times via Level Up


Madden 08 Lands in Stores With a Crunch

Madden08

Today 08, the latest installment in the perennial bestselling series from , hits stores around the country. It’s available for pretty much every system you can think of, although naturally the big contenders are the technically superior and versions. A lot of press in the weeks leading up to this release has noted the framerate differential between the two: the Xbox 360 version runs at 60fps, whereas the PS3 version runs at 30fps. Some might argue that the human eye can only register up to 24fps, so this is a moot point, but many FPS fans swear by blistering framerates and therefore would say that the difference is huge. Whatever side you may take in that debate, word on the street says that the PS3 game does indeed look choppy at times, although it’s not a dealbreaker.

The new Madden showcases a big new feature that designates top players at all positions as “Weapons”. You might have a fast receiver, a big hitter, and a smart QB, all of whom can outperform their competition in certain areas and are capable of some awesome plays. These designations go a long way toward rendering each team unique, a far cry from old school games where you could only tell an Pro Bowler from a rookie by the number on his jersey. Aside from this new feature, classic Madden gameplay has been tweaked and tightened up based on praise and complaints about previous incarnations to give us more of what we want.

If you’re looking to pick the new Madden up soon, take a look at Toys R Us, where you can get any other game in the store for 50% off if you get Madden on the same receipt.

Read More | Gamespot

Madden NFL 08 Side-By-Side PS3 And Xbox 360 Comparison

GameVideos compiled some footage of Madden NFL 08, which you all know by now has one distinct difference between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions – the PS3 version will run at 30 frames per second, while the 360 version will run at 60. The above allows you a pretty good look at seeing what the difference is.

Personally, I really notice the difference at 100%. That could be because I spend a ridiculous amount of time playing sports games and that sort of thing catches my eye, though. It becomes extraordinarily apparent, though, when they slow the video down to 50% and 25%. Now, you could argue that it doesn’t matter what the game looks like at those speeds, but it really illuminates the difference of what you’re actually looking at.


Phil Harrison Interview With 1UP

GameVideos has posted a video of an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment’s Phil Harrison, head of worldwide studios, which took place during this year’s E3. 1UP.com’s Sam Kennedy and EGM’s Dan Hsu talk with Phil about Home, LittleBigPlanet, Madden’s 30 FPS woes, the Wii’s success, and more.

Be forewarned that if the pronunciation of the word “beta” as “bee-tah” irritates you, you may want to skip the portion pertaining to Home.


GamerAndy Live! Episode 86: Chocolate Rain

Finally, now that the dust has settled from E3, we have finally found the time to get our thoughts in order and give you an extra-long episode of GamerAndy Live!

This week, Edie and Hawkes chat up all that happened before E3, during E3, and after E3, including:

OUR E3 COVERAGE
- How Edie spotted Slash, missed Ron Jeremy and got groped by China Doll;
- Edie defends why she thinks Nintendo “won” E3 this year;
- Why Hawkes wasn’t as impressed at Killzone 2 as many others;
- Burnout Paradise;
- John Woo’s Stranglehold;
- Fallout 3;
- Hellgate: London;
- Katamari Damarcy;
- PGR4;
- Assassin’s Creed;
- Why Activision will get sued over Guitar Hero III;
- The big scoop we

almost

had;
- Rumor that E for All may not happen

NEWS
- Peter Moore chucks MS job for EA Sports;
- EA Sports: Hockey-less in ‘08;
- Chocolate Rain;
- Bully revamped for release on 360 and Wii;
- Wii Fit
- MGS4 coming to 360?
- Shoutouts and Shoutats;
- Problems for Unreal Engine?
- X07 gone;
- Xbox extended warantees;
- PS3 price drop…er, clearance sale;
- The Jaime Kennedy Embarassment;
- South Park’s WoW episode nominated for Emmy

Enjoy!


Microsoft’s Peter Moore Resigns To Head EA Sports

Peter MooreThe man who has really been the face of Xbox for the past several years, Peter Moore, has just resigned as corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business. (IEB oversees both the Xbox and Games for Windows divisons.) He has decided to leave for personal reasons and will move his family back to the Bay Area. Don Mattrick, former president of Electronic Arts, will take over and lead the IEB division.

“Peter has contributed enormously to the games business since joining Microsoft in 2003 and we are sad to see him go,” said Robbie Bach, president of Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “Since that time, he presided over the global launch of the Xbox 360, spearheaded a revitalized and rebranded Games for Windows business, and helped steer the console’s ascent.”

1UP initially reported rumors earlier today that Moore was leaving to head up EA Sports. Microsoft denied the rumors, but there has now been a confirmation from both Microsoft and Moore himself that this is indeed the case.

I wonder what he’s going to do about those tattoos…

Read More | 1UP

EA Sports Family Play Makes It Easier To Play Madden, NBA Live, And FIFA

Family Play Madden offense controls

Most gamers that play sports games, either casually or hardcore, have certainly run into the problem of attempting to explain complex controls to a friend – which usually results in your friend QB scrambling or shooting half court jumpers each time he or she gets the ball. But the new Family Play feature, which is debuting in this year’s Wii versions of Madden 08, NBA Live 08 and FIFA 08, is aiming to make it easier for youngsters or game novices to jump in and play against friends and family who would otherwise wipe the floor with the competition.

When playing, you can choose either Advanced or Family Play. The former allows you to make use of both the Wiimote and Nunchuk, while the latter assists the player in-game and requires them to use only the Wiimote. Family Play users will control only the key actions, like shooting, passing, throwing, etc. And by simply plugging in a Nunchuk, someone playing with the Family Play style can easily try out Advanced mode.

This sounds like a truly fantastic idea – sports games have a huge market, especially Madden, and by opening the floodgates and allowing for an otherwise complicated game to be played by most anyone, EA Sports is poised to make quite a bit more money, while also allowing gamers to begin experiencing a new genre.


This Year’s Football Offerings Run At 60 FPS on Xbox 360, 30 on PlayStation 3

Madden NFL 08 cover1UP is reporting there’s a pretty major discrepancy between the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of All-Pro Football 2K8, Madden NFL 08 and NCAA Football 08 – the 360 versions will run at 60 frames per second, while the PS3 versions will do just half that. Especially in a football game, that’s a major issue, as minor animations are what really make the on-screen action gel. And this isn’t just an issue one developer is having – EA Sports is the developer of Madden and NCAA, while 2K Sports is behind All-Pro 2K8; clearly, there’s some issue to be had.

“We have already proven that sports titles can run on the PlayStation 3 at true HD with 1080p output with NBA 07,” says Dave Karraker, Sony CEA’s senior director of corporate communications. “If you have questions about specific third-party games, you should speak to those publishers.”

1UP went ahead and did just that. 2K gave a “no comment,” while EA exec Todd Sitrin chose to reply.

“We want to make sure that we give the best experience we can on each platform. In designing a game, there are all sorts of tradeoffs that include frame rate, visuals, features, AI, etc. Football is an extremely challenging sport to replicate because of the number of people on the field, their interaction, and the scope of the environments. As you can see, every company making a football game this year made a decision that the best experience for the Xbox 360 included 60fps whereas the best experience for the PS3 was 30fps. We certainly believe that both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are our football products are outstanding experiences and recommend that each gamer look at the entire experience, not just one aspect. We think they’ll be very happy no matter which version of the game they play.”

Head over to the 1UP story for the full scoop and some further analysis on what might be behind all of this.

Read More | 1UP

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