May 16-20, 2001
2001 E3 Show

Introduction

REMEMBER TO REFRESH AS THIS PAGE IS UPDATED SEVERAL TIMES A DAY!!

It's E3 time once again and this year I have decided to put all the news and information into one mega-article separated by console. Here you will find links to all the game previews as well as all the details for new games and announcements. This years show is expected to be one of the most exciting ever with Sega farewelling the Dreamcast with some big name titles which will possibly include Jet Set Radio 2, Virtua Tennis 2 and hopefully a near complete Japanese Shenmue II. Sony will be showing off the Playstation 2 after a mixed launch that is still hurting due to a lack of hardware prior to Christmas. Expect several big titles such as Gran Turismo 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Final Fantasy X to take center stage. This year however will be the show between two new consoles the Microsoft XBox and Nintendo Gamecube. Both companies will be showing off their games and announcing release dates and prices during the show so sit back an enjoy the ride.

XBox

LAUNCH DETAILS
Microsoft has already fired the first shots at Nintendo with an impressive pre-E3 announcement on Wednesday at 8.30am. The announced all the details related to the launch of the system including the following;
Release Date: 8th November 2001
Price: $US299 (approx $AU600)
Availability: 600,000-800,000 units on day 1. Over 1 million by Christmas
Games: 15-20 titles available at launch.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
One of the big announcements for the XBox, excluding the launch details, is the number of third party developers working on online games for the system. The list of developers includes Acclaim, ArtDink, Atlus, Bandai, Capcom, Codemasters, Crave, EA, Eidos, FOX Interactive, Gathering of Developers, Infogrames, Interplay, Konami, LucasArts, Midway, Namco, Rage, Rockstar, Sega, Sierra, Taito, Take-Two, TDK, THQ and UbiSoft.

GAMES
20.5.2001
I have added a preview to Infinite Machine's and THQ's New Legends which is a promising action title expected close to the XBox's launch.

I have added a preview to a new XBox game unveiled by Microsft. The game is called Blood Wake and sees you piloting a gunboat against ships and fortresses. It's looking hot.

UbiSoft have also confirmed they are developing a game based on the hit movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The game will be developed for multiple platforms including the Playstation 2, XBox and Gamecube. As yet there are no details about the game, which should appear in 2002.

19.5.2001
One of the biggest games on display at E3 is Infogrames' Unreal Championship. The game is much more advanced over previous versions with improved lighting as well as all new vehicles to use. Perhaps the biggest, and most stunning news is that the game will be playable online, for up to 32 players! The game is currently expected to be released in late 2001 in America and mid 2002 in Australia.

18.5.2001
Microsoft and Konami have been showing off one of the most impressive flight simulators ever seen on a console. Airforce Delta Storm is set for release around launch time and the graphical quality is quite impressive. I have also added a preview, with E3 screenshots, of Airforce Delta Storm to Future Gamez.

Microsoft and Tecmo have unveiled the first screenshots and information from Dead Or Alive 3 which has been announced as an exclusive on the XBox. Check out the updated preview now.

Eidos have announced a new exclusive racing game for XBox. Titled Mad Dash Racing the game combines mad racing action and combat in one package. Check out the preview for more details.

17.5.2001
The XBox could prove to have the most interesting line-up of games available. While there are bound to be plenty of sequels the majority of Microsoft's titles will be new to the gaming public while they have stitched up deals for exclusive games such as Halo and Oddworld: Munch's Oddyssey which were both shown off again at the presentation to announce the systems release date and price.

Capcom will be releasing 3 titles on the XBox, two of which will be exclusive. The first of these is Dino Crisis 3 the sequel their very popular Resident Evil-ish type series. The second game from Capcom is a robot battle game called BRAIN-BOX while the other game is an updated and enhanced version of the Playstation 2 game, Onimusha.

It seems the Sega are quite happy with the XBox as the company has announced plans to release House of the Dead 3 as well as a game tentatively called Crazy Taxi Next. Perhaps the biggest news is plans to release their Sega Sports 2K2 range of games on the console as well as the 2K3 range which will include online gameplay upon release in 2002.

The first major title announcement is that of a game based on Steven Spielberg's upcoming movie A.I. Little is known about the game yet but it is certain to generate a lot of interest, much like the highly secretive movie.

Also announced is that a game based on the upcoming Dreamworks CGI movie Shrek will be an XBox exclusive.

Microsoft have announced an exclusive license to produce a Bruce Lee based video game. Called Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon the game is currently in development by Ronin Entertainment.


Talk about the E3 XBox announcements in the Xbox E3 Forum.

Gamecube

LAUNCH DETAILS
Well only hours after Microsoft fired off the first shots on the console war Nintendo may have already set off the bomb to do the most damage. Nintendo have announced that their Gamecube will go on sale in America on November 5th, three days before Microsoft! No doubt this announcement will have Microsoft seeing red as Nintendo's machine is already making a splash at E3 with some impressive titles on display.

One interesting thing at the E3 show was a chrome coloured Gamecube on display from Panasonic. The big difference between this unit and the Nintendo Gamecube is that ti will accept normal sized discs and allows playback of DVD's and audio CD's. No word yet on a price or release date.

GAMES
20.5.2001
UbiSoft have also confirmed they are developing a game based on the hit movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The game will be developed for multiple platforms including the Playstation 2, XBox and Gamecube. As yet there are no details about the game which should appear in 2002.

19.5.2001
Were you hoping to see Zelda or Mario at E3. Well your out of luck. Nintendo have decided not to show these games until the Space World show in Japan this August. Shigeru Miyamoto didn't want to have nothing left for the Japanese show later this year. Why do I sense that the best is yet to come?

Acclaim have announced that a new Turok game is headed to the Gamecube and Playstation 2. Called Turok Evolution the game will re-introduce a lot of dinosaurs from the original game. Unfortunately the game was not on display at E3 in playable form.

18.5.2001
Nintendo have today announced that the Gamecube will receive a massive 19 titles between the systems launch on November 5 and the end of the year. That an average of 1 game release per every 3 days on the shelves this year. Impressive.

I have added a preview to Nintendo's flagship Gamecube title, Luigi's Mansion as well as Rare's stunning Donkey Kong Racing.

17.5.2001
One of the biggest surprises on the Gamecube software was the announcement that Sega are working on Phantasy Star Online for Gamecube. While the game has been rumoured for some time, official confirmation of the title was placed on Nintendo's e3 web site today.

Nintendo today announced a list of games for the Nintendo Gamecube on their web site. While no release dates are given you can be certain that most of these games will be released sooner rather then later with most having screen shots already posted.
Zelda for Nintendo GameCube
Mario Kart for Nintendo GameCube
Disney's Mickey for Nintendo GameCube
Perfect Dark Zero
1080 Degree Snowboarding 2
Doshin the Giant
Madden NFL Football
SSX Snowboarder
FIFA Soccer
Resident Evil Zero
NHL Hitz
NFL Blitz
Monkey Ball
Virtual Striker 3
Phantasy Star Online
Mario Sunshine
Mairionette
100 Mario's
Pokemon
Mario Party 4
Thunder Rally
Too Human
Turok


Talk about the E3 Gamecube announcements in the Gamecube E3 Forum.

Playstation 2

NEW HARDWARE
Sony has officially unveiled the PS2 Network adapter in America. The unit will be released sometime in November (any bets on a November 8 date?) and will retail at the very low price of $US39.95 or about $AU80. The adapter will include a broadband connection as well as a V.90 standard modem.

Sony America has announced a new Playstation 2 bundle. The package contains a Playstation 2 console as well as a copy of Gran Turismo 3 for $US329 (only $US30 more the the console itself). The package will go on sale from July 10th, the same date as the game.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sony America has announced that they have shipped 3.7 million Playstation 2's across America.

Sony America have announced that they will be teaming up with AOL (America Online) who will provide Internet connections in America as well as AOL Instant Messenger, e-mail and chat for the Playstation 2. Sony also announced they will be using a Netscape Navigator browser designed specifically for the Playstation 2.

Sony have announced that they will be teaming up with several more companies to assist with the development of online peripherals. These companies include Real Networks who will provide Real Player 8 to be included on the Playstation 2 SDK (Software Development Kit). Real Player 8 will also be build into the Playstation 2 Internet browser to allow streaming media while browsing the net with the Network Adapter. Another of the companies that Sony is teaming up with is Macromedia who will allow Sony to bring their Flash Player to the Playstation 2. Finally Sony have teamed up with Cisco to Develop IPv4 and IPv6 dual protocol stack for PlayStation 2. This will be used to allow the Playstation 2 to connect to the Internet later on this year.

GAMES
20.5.2001
I have added a preview to LucasArts' well received Escape From Monkey Island.

Some big news towards the end of the show for RPG fans. UbiSoft have confirmed that they are porting their Dreamcast game Grandia II to the Playstation 2. The game should be a direct port and is expected to be released by Christmas.

UbiSoft have also confirmed they are developing a game based on the hit movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The game will be developed for multiple platforms including the Playstation 2, XBox and Gamecube. As yet there are no details about the game which should appear in 2002.

19.5.2001
It may well be the game of the show, but even if it isn't Jak & Daxter has earned a lot of well deserved praise. This Naught Dog developed game has graphics to drool over, but gameplay that is hugely engrossing.

Soon you will be able to wiggle your Dual Shock 2 and make Britney move. Developers Enroute have confirmed that they are working on a Britney Spears game for next-generation console systems, beginning with the Playstation 2. No further details are known at this stage but the game is expected to be release in early 2002.

Eidos has confirmed that they are working on TimeSplitters 2 for the Playstation 2. As yet there are no details or a date announced for the game.

One of the hottest new games announced for the Playstation is Sony's own SOCOM which is a game based on the US Navy Seals. With online gameplay this is Sony's attempt at Counter Strike (which is a Half-Life mod commonly regarded as the best multi-player game ever) on the Playstation 2. The visuals are quite stunning and hopefully the game will be as explosive as it looks.

Here's and interesting little tidbit from E3. Apparently Sony America are remaining very quiet about the possibility of seeing Wipeout Fusion, Dropship, and The Getaway on American shores. While the first two games are on display at E3, The Getaway is nowhere to be found. Apparently Sony Europe and America are still negotiating a deal for the games. Another game which is at the show, and without an American release date is Formula 1. I actually received a review copy of this yesterday and can safely say that it is a brilliant game.

Yu Suzuki has commented on the Playstation 2 port of Virtua Fighter 4 stating that he is confident that the home conversion will be an identical port of the arcade game, both gameplay wise and graphically.

Acclaim have announced that a new Turok game is headed to the Gamecube and Playstation 2. Called Turok Evolution the game will re-introduce a lot of dinosaurs from the original game. Unfortunately the game was not on display at E3 in playable form.

Square has confirmed that both Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XI will be a console exclusive to the Playstation 2. The only other system which will receive these games is the PC.

18.5.2001
Namco has been fairly quiet at this year E3 but that doesn't mean they have some major announcements. Today the company confirmed that they are working on both Tekken 4 and a sequel to Soul Calibur, which is still to be named. The arcade version will appear on they System 246 arcade board which is essentially the Playstation 2 system making a port to Sony's system extremely likely.

Square and Disney have released first details about their upcoming joint game, called Kingdom Hearts. The game, which has been in development at Square for 2 years now with 100 people, is a massive RPG, which stars Disney characters such as Donald Duck and Goofy. The game is set in an entire 3D world and we can expect the RPG to be as large as any on Square's release schedules. Unfortunately the game won't be available until late 2002 in America.

One game earning a lot of attention at E3 is Wipeout Fusion. Apparently the controls are silky smooth while the graphics are said the be amazing although there is some apparent slowdown which should be fixed by release late this year.

Majesco have confirmed that their internal development team, Pipe Dream, is working on Playstation 2 ports of Soldier of Fortune and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force for this September. Apparently both games will include 4-player split screen modes and will possibly incorporate online support.

Westwood Studios and Electronic Arts today announced Pirates of Skull Cove for the Playstation 2. The game has already been in development for two years and stars a female pirate, Katarina de Leon. The game was originally scheduled to appear on PC but development moved over to the PS2 after about a years work on the PC game. Expect a worldwide release hopefully late this year.

Almost everybody who has been playing games for the last decade will have heard of Ghosts and Goblins from Capcom. Well now the company has announced a similar game called Maximo: Ghosts and Glory which will be a 3D version of the game and will incorporate over 40 spells and special abilities. The game is currently targeted at a release in America of October.

Square has confirmed that Final Fantasy X won't be available in America until early 2002. This makes Sony's release recently announce mid-2002 date here in Australia pretty solid.

17.5.2001
One of the biggest new titles announced at E3 is Naughty Dog's Jak & Daxter. This platform game is shaping up very well and although having graphics reminiscent of their Crash Bandicoot series (which is not a bad thing) Jak & Daxter is looking a lot more solid.

Sony America has confirmed that Gran Turismo 3 will be release stateside on July 10, 2001. While not mentioned at E3 the PAL version is currently slated for release on the 13th July, which according to Sony Australia is a "very solid date".

Capcom have confirmed that Resident Evil: Code Veronica will be released in America sometime in September. The game will also include a playable demo of Devil May Cry which is slated for release in America sometime in November.

Sony Europe have announced three new titles. The first is a game called Primal which is a Tomb Raider styled action game being developed at SCEE's Cambridge Studio. The second game is called Airblade and is being developed by Criterion Studios (the company behind Trickstyle). The game is in fact very similar to Trickstyle in that you are a hoverboarder out to stop the evil GCP Corporation. The final game is in fact an enhanced version of Time Crisis 2 which can use the G-Con 45's (yes you can use 2 of them) or Namco's new G-Con 2 which will be released alongside this game. Hopefully there will be i.Link support for 2 screen 2 player action.

Capcom has announced that they will be releasing Capcom Vs SNK 2 on the Playstation 2. The game will include 44 characters to select from although no release date has been announced yet.

We've all known that Sony was working on Twisted Metal: Black for the PS2 but E3 has unveiled some new information. Apparently the company is working on an online version of the game, to be called Twisted Metal Online for the Network Adapter's launch. Four other tiles will include online gameplay when they are released later in the year. These games include Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Tribes 2, Frequency, and SOCOM: US Navy Seals.


Talk about the E3 Playstation 2 announcements in the Playstation 2 E3 Forum.

Dreamcast

GAMES
19.5.2001
Some more sad news from Sega today with the confirmation that they will no longer be publishing Black & White on the Dreamcast. This doesn't mean that the game has been cancelled but that a new publisher will need to take over the title. Under the current Dreamcast situation that seems rather unlikely.

Below is a list of all the Dreamcast games on display at the Sega stand at E3. The games include;
Sega Bass Fishing 2, NFL2K2, WSB2K2, NBA2K2, Propeller Arena, Alien Front Online, Floigan Brothers, Bomberman Online, Phantasy Star Online V2, 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker, Crazy Taxi 2, OutTrigger, Ooga Booga, Confidential Mission.

Other Dreamcast games on show in video form only include NHL2K2, NCAA Football, K-Project, Shenmue II and Virtua Striker 3.

18.5.2001
I'll start off today's Dreamcast game section with some sad news. Unfortunately it looks as if Sega have canned plans to release Jet Set Radio 2 on the Dreamcast. Instead the game will be an XBox exclusive, with the name Jet Set Radio Future (working title).

One game which seems to have gone MIA in recent months has resurface at E3. Sega have been showing off Toe Jam & Earl 3 which is looking pretty hot. Hopefully there will be a release this year.

Indications that Sega Bass Fishing 2 will be coming stateside have improved with Sega displaying the title on the E3 floor. Unfortunately there is no news yet of a release date for the game outside Japan.

More good news for Dreamcast owners with Sega and United Game Artists confirming that both a sequel to Space Channel 5 and the new game K-Project are both still coming to the Dreamcast.

17.5.2001
Sega have shown off two of the most anticipated titles this year. The first is Sega Sports Tennis 2K1, which is the sequel to Virtua Tennis and was shown in impressive video form only. Unfortunately it seems as if Sega are still undecided about including online gameplay due to the amount of lag through he internet. An announcement on the situation is expected closer to the games release later this year.

The second major game on show is Shenmue II which is almost complete on the Dreamcast and is still very much in development for the system. Unfortunately although the code is complete in Japan there has been no announcement of an American release date.


Talk about the E3 Dreamcast announcements in the Dreamcast E3 Forum.

E3 Show Conclusion

Well what can be said about this years show? It was certainly exciting, and had a couple of surprises, but it may have failed to live up to the expectations that were set. Below are some quick summaries of each of the major consoles on show;

Microsoft XBox:
Microsoft got off to a great start at the show. A November 8 launch date, and $US299 price point were exactly what was expected from many in the industry. The games on show were impressive and the announcement of a 32-player online version of Unreal Championship was the most exciting thing for the console. The titles announced including Mad Dash Racing, Blood Wake, Dead Or Alive 3 and Airforce Delta Storm show that there is plenty of developer support for the system, as well as plenty of power in it. Microsoft should be happy with their E3 and it should be a good launching pad into their November launch.

Nintendo Gamecube:
By far the most amusing thing that happened during the course of E3 was Nintendo's announcement of a November 5 launch for the Gamecube, a mere 3 days before the XBox. The games on display including Luigi's Mansion as well as Rare's stunning Donkey Kong Racing showed that good lighting and texturing is just as important, if not more so then polygon pushing power in a console. Other titles announced included Perfect Dark Zero, Mario Party, Wave Race as well as the surprise announcement of Phantasy Star Online V2. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the show was the lack of Zelda and Mario both of which are destined to be unveiled at Space World in Japan this August.

Sega Dreamcast:
An extremely slow show for Dreamcast fans with no new game announcements, but finally confirmation of a few games coming to America. The biggest games on show included Shenmue II (video only), Sega Sports Tennis 2K2 (video only), Sega Bass Fishing 2, Crazy Taxi 2, OutTrigger and Bomberman Online. The sad news is that no third parties had any new games and Sega didn't really make any new announcements on the system which has had it's last E3. Farewell Dreamcast.

Sony Playstation 2:
There is alway strength in numbers. If that is the case then Sony would have won the show hands down. Tonnes of titles were on display and included the excellent Jak & Daxter from Naughty Dog. Other major titles on display included Gran Turismo 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Final Fantasy X. The best news from Sony however was the announcement of the broadband adapter for release in November at the low price of $US39.95 (approx $AU80). One of the biggest announcements was a game called SOCOM: US Navy Seals which is a stunning Counter Strike styled game for online gameplay (possibly for 16 players).

So Who Won?
I'm going to be honest here and say that it was damn even. Nintendo showed off several titles all of which were extremely good, but possibly lacking that "killer app". Microsoft also impressed with several big titles, but also lacked the "killer app" for a new system, although Halo is very close. Sony had weight in numbers, and 2 "killer apps" in Gran Turismo 3 and Metal Gear Solid 2, although few new games were shown. I'd call the 2001 E3 show a 3-way tie.