Issue #106
May 31, 2009
'Twas the Night Before E3
Front Page

Welcome to the one hundred and sixth edition of RPGamer's Currents Column!

Can you believe it? E3 starts tomorrow, and some of the biggest news has already been leaked to the public. This week is definitely going to be exciting. This week's column is going to be relatively short, simply because there's a mess of things to get ready for E3. Even though this issue is short, you will find a pleasant replacement for Quickies this week as I round up some fellow staff members to tell you what they want and expect from this year's show.

So now, on to the NEWS!

Leak Unveils New PSP Ahead of Schedule
See, some of the rumors I talk about actually come true...

Yesterday was a very exciting day for PlayStation fans as gaming's worst kept secret was finally revealed to the public. Thanks to a leaked video of the June edition of PlayStation's Qore video show, the long-rumored PSP Go was confirmed by Sony representative John Kohler in an interview with Qore host Veronica Belmont. The video (seen here) shows off a significantly smaller and thinner version of the PSP due to the exclusion of a UMD drive. This new download-only PSP is coming out this fall and features 16GB of internal flash memory, built in Bluetooth support for headsets and phone tethering, and an expansion slot for Memory Stick Micro cards. It's also 43% lighter than the previous version and has a slightly smaller screen at 3.8 inches. Revealed alongside the new hardware were confirmations of new portable iterations of Gran Turismo, LittleBigPlanet, and Metal Gear Solid. All in all, it's pretty exciting news that's sure to steal some of the thunder from Sony's press conference on Tuesday.

I have to admit that when I first saw the blurry leaked shots of the PSP Go, I wasn't terribly impressed. In fact, I was a little disappointed about how it looked, but after a long discussion on the latest RPGCast and some nice, high quality official press photos of the device, I am now eagerly anticipating it. Now that I fully understand its utilitarian design and feature set, its sleek rounded corners and tiny frame are actually quite appealing. I simply love the idea of having around 10 real PSP games stored on the 16GB of internal memory and several more on a high capacity Memory Stick Micro card. Gone are the days of having to pick your 3 favorite games for a road trip, or worst yet, carrying a suitcase full of games because you can't decide what exactly you want to play. All you would have to do is just load up the device, put it in your pocket, and go. Best yet, it truly is a portable system. It's significantly smaller than the old PSP, smaller than the DSi, and only slightly bigger than the iPhone. While I don't think it can actually be an iPhone killer, it still is nice to have a real weighty portable system in such a small package. I can already tell you that one of the first games I'm going to get for the console is going to be the Persona remake, the new Metal Gear Solid, and even the impressive-looking SoulCalibur PSP version. Oh, and for those of you who don't like the idea of this system in the least, not to worry, the UMD drive-enabled PSP-3000 will continue to be sold in stores along with UMD versions of the latest games.

Of course, there are some good reasons for pause here: how much is it going to cost? What games are going to be available for download at launch? How long is the battery life? Granted though, it should be considerably longer now that there is no disc to spin. But most importantly, how is it going to feel in my hands? Those controls do look a little cramped, and I'm curious to see how the new placement of the analog nub will make the thumb feel after long hours of play. Luckily, I should be attending Sony's press conference and will hopefully get to try it out on the show floor. So, if it feels uncomfortable, cheap, or the screen just plain sucks, I'll be the first person to yell it out loud.

Several of these questions should be answered on Tuesday, so I hope Sony still has a few PSP-related news items to impress us with since this is there one real chance to reboot the often under performing system.

Sources: Engadget | Eurogamer
Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine Resurrected
Time to renew my subscription...

While this isn't exactly Pre-E3 news, this still deserves a mention. Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Magazine is coming back thanks to the magazine's founder, Steve Harris. Harris has acquired the publishing rights and trademarks to EGM and plans to revive the magazine in the later half of this year. Harris had this to say about the relaunch,"We have exciting plans for the evolution of what will once again be a leading independent voice for the gaming community."

Ziff Davis is also behind the relaunch of its former magazine, as CEO Jason Young stated, "we are pleased that EGM is now in the hands of its original creator, Steve Harris, and wish him and the publication the best of success in the future."

To be up-to-date on the relaunch: here are links to its Facebook and Twitter pages on its new website. You can expect much more news on EGM around E3.

Pre-E3: What a few of the writers here have to say about the upcoming show.
Let's see how much of this we get right...
  • Risingsuntzu
    I expect to see a lot of impressive games and new hardware/features at this years show. For example, I actually expect some good things to come from the integration of the Zune HD and Xbox Live. I also think that Nintendo will satisfy much of its hardcore audience this year.

  • JuMeSyn
    Alright then, I predict someone will announce Shining Force Feather for we non-Japanese folk at E3.

  • Macstorm
    I think we will see big things from Atlus, as in something thought lost to NA, but it will still be a ways off. I think XSEED's going to have a powerful showing, though we will know all of their announcements before the show starts. Ignition is going to have a lot of buzz around Muramasa and might even toss out another new game for the RPGamer crew. Square Enix is not going to have the mainstream RPGamers drooling like that.

  • SeventhCircle
    For the PSP Go!, I want Sony to provide me with a free way to copy UMDs onto a UMDless system, but you sorta talked about that a few weeks ago. For the PS3, if Sony wants me to buy one, it will need some huge, excellent exclusive RPGs.

  • Kiro
    I hope Bethesda sheds some light on TES: V. I predict MS will bomb.

  • Nyx
    Personally, I'm hoping Atlus will announce Growlanser PSP for localization. Oh, and I want someone to actually create Imagine: Cougarz but that's just me.

  • Green_Nu
    What I really want and think we will see is a new CELDA for the Wii.

  • madhtr
    I wish it'd be over, so I didn't have to hear wishes and predictions.

E3 is tomorrow, and I am eager to get as much news and hands-on previews as I possibly get for all of you. Also, I am happy to say that I made my podcast debut on the latest RPGCast. I really enjoyed the experience chatting with some of the fellow writers.

Ok then, I hoped you enjoyed this Pre-E3 update, see you all later from the show floor.

Follow me on Twitter: Risingsuntzu

Emanuel Merino
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