Home shows and that Gizmondo article...
September: Shows on the home front
At last, some English shows that don’t entail more than two hours travelling to get to… excellent! So HEXUS.gaming slams into GDCE and GME with all the force of an iceberg with a bad attitude. First we corner Nintendo’s Marko Hein, who hints about the Revolution’s controller but keeps dragging the topic back to Nintendogs and then Epic's Mark Rein flies by in a maelstrom of swearing and debunking… Always good copy from him.
Top of the list had to be the MS developer day, attended by Nick and David, who, after 5 minutes in the Direct X session both realised that they hadn’t the faintest idea what the guy up the front was going on about. Further consultation showed that the speaker had just thrown darts at a jargon phrasebook and was just spouting random stuff that everyone else was pretending to understand… So feigning phone calls and looking terribly busy and important, our brave HEXUS boys buggered off for a dish of noodles across the road... But then we did get a session with Microsoft's Chris Donahue, who talked us through a whole load of Xbox 360 stuff, what a nice chap.
GME was far more fruitful with Nick falling into gaming jargon talk with pretty much every PR and dev guy there… so much so that David muttered the famous phrase, “Look fellas, I haven’t understood a single word either of you have said in the last five minutes, so I’ll just be over there when you need me, ok?”… Gives you a warm glow inside when you out-geek the uber-geek.
Other highlights include Sam Cordier from the Codemasters showing Nick a very early build of TOCA Race Driver 3 and Nick instantly managing to crash the software… twice.
Sadly for Nick the Ubisoft representatives weren’t as understanding as the Codies when Nick asked them what the point of King Kong the game was… After all, in the film, Kong dies… it’s not exactly a big shocker, the film’s been out 70 years, why make a game where we know what’s going to happen? Success in the game is to climb the Empire State building so we can get shot to death by biplanes? Doesn’t anyone else see the problem?
Vivendi treated us to an early look at FEAR in their private booth, which was a bit embarrassing as David had got the wrong idea of ‘Private Booth’ and had stripped off by the time the video started rolling…
October: Reports, rumours and ricochets
Of course, the rumour mill was threatening to burn out in October with the Xbox 360 due out the following month in the US. Many UK companies stopped taking pre-orders or stopped guaranteeing release day delivery in October too and at the time of writing, some poor sods are STILL waiting.
Gizmondo brought out a financial report that Jeffery Archer would have been proud of with more plot twists and ‘unputdownable’ reading than any book he’s produced. This report had it all from some rather ‘odd’ dealings to blatant nepotism, the weighty report is probably the most fun anyone will ever have with anything connected to a Gizmondo… and it doesn’t have adverts popping up in the middle of it either.
In a change from the usual pace of being slobbed out at a desk writing embittered prose, Nick and Matt are sent on assignment. Having packed their beach towels and sun cream, the pair are overjoyed to roll up in sunny Sheffield at a disused steelworks for a weekend of shooting nine bells of crap out of other players in a massive Airsoft weekend organised by Stirling Services. The pair have a great time laying down massive amounts of suppressing fire, bursting into rooms with guns blazing and lobbing grenades all over the place. Strange that these two would enjoy having other blokes shoot their loads at them… that’s probably why they give them those dodgy masks…
We also spent a fair bit of time with Sony in their London offices, generally pestering the hell out of them and making a nuisance of ourselves. You should see their boardroom up there… it’s a near exact replica of Dr Evil’s lair..muwahahahahaha….