As the sun broke through the hotel window, it was an early start again on day two. It all kicked off at 9.15 back at the film house. So we collected our things and made our way to the event, excited to see what todayâ€™s schedule held. To get things started Chris Deering gave another brief introduction and just outlined the plan for the day. A lot of the speakers that day were from the television side of things and their talks were going to show how the gaming world and TV world are both working together for the same goal. This also reflected the overlay of Edinburgh Interactive with the Television Festival, which started the following day but would see some of the speakers from Interactive speak there as well.
The first speaker of the day was Michiel Bakker and was about gaming on TV and if the time was right for there to be a gaming channel. Unknown to the crowd Michiel was going to announce a new gaming channel called Ginx which would be about gaming for gamers 24/7 and would launch on satellite and cable networks this November. The feeling for this was that the channel was going to be an MTV style channel aimed at all gamers from causal to hardcore and would have the latest news, reviews and previews as well as gaming themed shows. The company are the team behind Game Face and the Ginx Files which is shown on Bravo and these shows will continue.
Next Chris Anderson from Gamestreamer was here to talk about digital distribution and how it was the way the industry was going to be moving forward as the retail side of games was ending and more and more people are starting to download games from the likes of Steam and Direct2Drive or using cloud servers systems like Onlive Games to get their games. He explained how things like Xbox Live and PSN were changing the way console users got to play the latest of titles and that big retail stores like Gamestop and Game would have to evolve to stay in the market. A lot of this presentation was based on downloading games. I think that in the future it will be the only way. But just now in the UK there is not a strong enough broad band network to run the likes of these systems for everyone.
After that Nicholas Lovell, who is an advisor on GamesBrief, was next to take to the stage and do a presentation on free to play web based games and the market strategy behind these games, and how the developers would make a profit from a free to play games. He explained that not all users are created equal as many of these games are based on micro transfers and how this has spawned a culture of gamers called whales who will invest money and time into these games more than the standard player. This was a very industry driven presentation, though it did show an interesting side to the free to play games that can be found on the web like Farmville and Battlefield Heroes.
Then there was a quick break before heading back into the theatre for the last three talks of the afternoon session. These last three talks were looking to be fun, informative and very interesting, so we were looking forward to them.
Next up was Margaret Robertson who is the Development Director of Hide and Seek. Her presentation was one of the most interesting of the day because it was based on how games can make you feel happy and how they can change your mood based on what they do, from the style of play, to difficulty, to the choices they make you have to pick. This all shapes how a players mood is when playing a game. This was a look at the psyche and how a gamer perceives the games they play and that these in turn shape their lives and mood in the real world.
Next was one of the talks we had been looking forward to since we heard the schedule for this yearâ€™s event. Jerry Johnson from Xbox Live was going to talk about how Live has changed the face of gaming and where it is going to go in the future. He started his presentation with a brief history of Xbox Live and that there have been around 60 consoles between 1970 to 2000, and how the Xbox was the first to unite gamers of the world on a platform where they can play against opponents from all over the world anytime, anywhere. Live has grown larger than just a gaming platform because now it features social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, also live TV streaming and Downloadable movies. It has evolved from the back room to the living room and with the release of Kinect it will go to the next level. On top of this, Xbox Live is launching on Windows 7 mobiles which will let you play your favourite arcade games on the go and will also allow you to unlock achievements to add to your gamer score. He then went on to say that the goal of Live and Xbox is to transform ordinary entertainment into extraordinary experiences for the player and their family.
The last talk was from Tom McDonnell, Creative Director at Monterosa, and was about the â€œsecond screenâ€. This is where TV programs let you play a game alongside it on the web and was about how this sort of new thinking is going to work with shows like X-Factor and The Apprentice where the viewers can join in on a live forum and vote and have their say about the show in real time. This again was a look at a side of the games industry that is sometimes over looked and was a very interesting presentation about the future technology that is bringing TV and gaming closer together.
That was the last presentation we were going to see at this yearâ€™s event, but before we left Edinburgh we headed around to the Festival Square to get some hands on time with some of the newest games from Sony and Nintendo. We found a huge white tent full of Nintendo games, such as Metroid other M and Super Mario Galaxy 2, and a Sony truck which had Move and also GT5 and Killzone 3 in 3D playable to the public. So definitely something there for every one and we couldnâ€™t wait to get stuck in. The first port of call was the Nintendo tent.
Inside the tent we went straight for Metroid Other M to see what it was like. After a ten minute cut-scene, which was unskippable, we got down to the gameplay which saw us starting in a Laboratory learning basic controls. The game is played by holding the Wii remote on its side with no Nunchuck, but you can switch from third person to first person with a flick of the Wii remote and it plays more like Metroid Prime Corruption. The game is very fast paced and polished for a Wii title and looks like it will be a hit with Metroid fans, though you may need some time to adjust to the new control system of the game. Also on display in the tent were fan favourite Super Mario Galaxy 2 as well as DS favourites like Dragon Quest and Mario Kart DS. So that was what Nintendo had on show. The only let down was we were not allowed to take pictures inside the tent.
Next stop was the Sony truck which was heavily guarded and would only let groups of three people in at a time. Standing in the queue, we wondered what was inside this steel fortress. When our time had come to enter, we walked through a curtain into a chamber decorated in Sony styled spray art. The first game on show was Gran Turismo 5 and, as promised by Ray Maguire the day before, it was in full 3-D and was shown on a top of the range Sony 3-D TV, which comes at a price of Â£1800 for the TV and Â£100 for the 3-D glasses. It was a real treat as it was the first time we had ever played a game in full 3-D.The game was mind blowing in 3-D, it really does add another layer to the experience. We got to take a Nissan 350Z for a test drive around a Tokyo street circuit. As you can imagine the game was awesome, stunning to look at and also great to control.
So the time had come to leave this chamber and enter the next. To our surprise we found not only a free bar but also PlayStation Move was playable. So after a cold one, we got a chance to demo â€œStart the Partyâ€, a game developed specially for Move which was aÂ mix of party games. We got to play the bug smasher game and to be honest it played a lot like the Wii, only with the eye cam displaying you on the screen while playing. It was fun, but not as distinctive as Kinect was the night before. So we moved onto the third chamber in this never ending fun house. As we entered, the room glowed like a disco with light panels on the ceiling, walls and floor pulsing ambient light every thirty to forty seconds. The game on show in this room was a mix of sports games which used Move to play them. As luck would have it one of these games was a sword fighting game, so me and my brother got to duel it out using Move and got to put it through its paces. This was a lot more fun than â€œStart the Partyâ€ as there was a more competitive edge to it with it being a VS game. The game used more of the key features which Move has, like registering the force that you swing the sword with and the direction and pitch aswell.
Then it was time to go to the final chamber, which was holding the greatest surprise of all. It had not only a playable demo but also a full 3-D version of KillZone3 which looked stunning in 2-D let alone 3-D. The demo took place on a frozen battlefield located amongst some oil rigs. The objective was to storm one of these oil rigs and recapture it from the Helghast forces. This was an action packed thrill a minute demo, seeing the fighting take place from wide vistas, where you used your jet pack to navigate the frozen wasteland, to close quarters combat on narrow corridors of the oil rig during the artic storm. Although this was just a taste of the final game, it was already shaping up to be something special on the PlayStation 3.
So there was Edinburgh Interactive 2010, an extremely enjoyable event for both fans and developers. Weâ€™d just like to thank all the developers and publishers for their time, and the guys behind the EIF for putting on an outstanding show this year. We very much look forward to attending again next year!
Salt and Sauce with that?
FuryAc3 & WeeFuryAc3