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GDC – New Fable III Details

Peter Molyneux has been speaking about Fable III today at GDC and revealed or perhaps more accurately teased some more information about the game. It will feature

Twittering from Albion

Natal support, which presumably will assist with all the touching that is promised for the game. he wouldn’t be drawn on specifics saying only that, “Natal is wonderfully additive to this experience. It really does add to the Fable world.” It would be a reasonable asumption that any Natal functionality will be optional otherwise Microsoft are cutting off a huge audience.

He also mentioned Twitter support, which seems to be 2010’s must have feature.  Peter said, “I Twitter now and, you know, I’ve got followers on Twitter. That’s an interesting mechanic, and we integrate that into the Fable experience.” Expect to be able to send some “amaaaaazing” Tweets from the world of Albion. Maybe he’ll find some way to turn your followers into Twitter followers and we can all swell our ranks.

Lastly, John Cleese will play your butler in the game, once you have become a king presumably. I’d sooner he didn’t but he can certainly effect an annoying British accent.

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GDC Day 2 – PlayStation Move

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Day two of GDC was all about the PlayStation Move, which is the official name for their motion controller. Sony gave a press conference unveiling the latest iteration of their ball on a stick and showed a few games that will supposedly appeal to every gaming demographic.

PlayStation Move Controller

The latest version of their controller looks similar to previous versions and features five buttons on the top and a trigger, which is less than a Wii remote, but give how difficult it is to use most of the buttons on the Wii controller that’s not necessarily a bad thing. On

Move Controllers

Move Controller and sub-control unit

the top of the controller is the glowing ball, which changes colour to help it stand out in your room.

Thankfully Sony have also seen fit to add a second device, which they have called the sub-controller, but will probably be referred to as a Nunchuck by everyone else. The reason for its existence is the analogue stick, which lets you control player movement and give it a chance to be integrated into hardcore games. It also has a d-pad and the face buttons and is wireless, but doesn’t feature any motion detectors. With the additional controller Sony’s move finally starts to make sense, especially when you see it used for SOCOM.

The controllers will be available in a variety of SKUs including just the controller, controller plus camera or a complete PlayStation 3 bundle. A controller, camera and demo disk will be available for under a $100.

The Games

Whilst Sony want us to believe that they will cater for the core gamer, most of what they showed yesterday were casual experiences, which could even be described as HD Wii clones.

Sports Champions

This is possibly the most Wii-like experience being shown, featuring table tennis,

Archery

Hi-def Wii Sports Resort

gladiator, frisbee, golf and archery modes. Players described the motion tracking as very accurate, but still not really giving  1-to-1 tracking, at least not with the sword fighting of the gladiator mini-game. Regardless of how good or bad the accuracy is, the sports game has already been done by Nintendo (twice) and this is not a killer app for the device.

Motion Fighter

This is a street brawler presented in an over the shoulder view and is perhaps one of the

Motion Fighter

Gritty Wii Boxing

games supposed to appeal to the hardcore gamer. In reality it looks like a hi-def Wii Sports Boxing with the cheery graphics replaced by grimy, tattooed brawlers. The demonstration showed it accurately picking up jabs and upper cuts, but ultimately I suspect that the game is as shallow as a Wii boxing game. Interestingly, players were using two of the Move controllers, which is necessary since the sub-controller doesn’t have any motion detection. Does this mean we’ll see bundles with two controllers and a game.

Little Big Planet

This was actually quite interesting, although it wasn’t clear whether we were looking at an add-on or LBP2. The demo showed the game being played cooperatively with one person controlling Sack Boy with a standard controller and a second person using the Move controller to manipulate the environment. This included flipping parts of the scenery, building platforms from smaller parts and catapulting the other player to higher levels. This is something that is a novel use of the controls and typically it comes from Media Molecule who don’t have a shortage of fresh ideas.

SOCOM 4

This is the point when I sat up and took some notice, because what they showed was a 3rd person shooter being very successfully controlled with the Move plus sub-controller and it looked both fun and effective. The Move controller was being used to both control your movement and for direction of your squad, but Zipper seem to have managed that without making you wave your arms wildly round your head.

People that played it said that it worked much better than the Wii Remote, since moving the pointer off-screen wouldn’t confuse the game, unlike similar titles on Wii. The out of control spinning of your viewpoint when ever you gesture on these types of Wii game is hugely frustrating and something Sony seem to have solved with their very accurate motion detection system.

The Other Games

Also, on show or mentioned were games called Brunswick Pro Bowling, Eye Pet, Move Party, TV Superstars, Slider and The Shoot. Third party games we know about are Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 and surprisingly, The Lord of the Rings: Aragorns Quest. None of these looked particularly exciting and does point to the system encouraging the Wii shovelware merchants to bring their dross to PS3.

GDC Day 1 Round Up

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If you were expecting megaton announcements yesterday, then you’ve probably woken up this morning a little disappointed. There were a few little snippets of information, but expect more today as Sony gear up for announcements about their motion controller.

Rock Band 3

Rock Band

Aren't your solos a little short for a stormtrooper?

Whilst not announced at GDC, Harmonix updated their Facebook page yesterday with the news that we will see Rock Band 3 this Christmas. Once again it will be published by MTV Games using the EA Partners programme. Details were scant, but they promised to revolutionize the music genre once again.

No-one would argue that Harmonix have been driving innovation within the rhythm action space. Only last week they released the Rock Band network, allowing smaller bands to get their tracks on Rock Band at a reasonable price, providing another platform for up and coming talent. Harmonix have previously stated a desire to teach people more about how to actually play instruments, but please no new guitars Harmonix.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11

Usually an announcement for the annual update of the Tiger Woods franchise would not be newsworthy, but this year EA announced that the game would be using the Sony Motion Controller. Natal support was noticeably absent from the announcement but according to EA, it was purely a matter of timing.

As well as support for Sony’s new controller, you will also get to play The Ryder Cup, which is a team based competition dear to golf fans everywhere. This actually sounds pretty interesting as it will support online team based play supporting team voice chat – on Xbox 360 and PS3 anyway.

OnLive

Steve Perlman who is the boss of the streaming game service OnLive and he’s giving a keynote at GDC today. According to the OnLive Twitter we should, “Keep an eye on Steve’s keynote address this Wednesday at GamesBeat@GDC. Big events call for big news…”

Expect a release date or an open beta announcement.

Deus Ex 3

According to Eidos Montreal top exec Stephane D’Astous’ Twitter we should expect some news on this much anticipated title this Thursday.

“leaving tomorrow for GDC-SFO, i advise everyone to log-onto IGN thursday the 11th march at around 20:30 PST … little surprise from DX3!”

The game is still due this year on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, but it’s been under wraps for a long time now. Hopefully, there’ll be some gameplay footage shown this week.

That’s all for now, but hopefully tomorrow will herald some real announcements.