August 25, 2008 - Inevitably drawing major comparisons to E3, the annual Leipzig Game Convention is among the top game industry events in the world. It turns out Germany was the place to be last week. Running from Aug. 20 to Aug 24, this year's convention broke attendance records, featured more than a few hot announcements, and was even subject to a controversy or two. Most major publishers in attendance took the opportunity to unveil new hardware and demo upcoming releases slated for the holiday season and beyond. With the massive five-day event now drawn to a close, we look back at some of the hot and not-so-hot moments of GC 2008.
In the months leading up to GC, the internet was abuzz with speculation and rumors of a potential new PSP design on its way - rumors that turned out to be true. Last week, Sony tipped its hand with an official announcement of the PSP-3000. At a glance, the PSP-3000's design is virtually the same as the PSP-2000 (Slim & Light) released last fall. However, the newest model will have an upgraded LCD screen that features anti-reflective surfacing for better visibility, higher contrast, a wider color gamut, and faster response time. The unit will also feature a built-in microphone and expanded video-out capabilities. Sony's announcement is good news, if you've been waiting for an excuse to finally pick up a PSP - even if the current dearth of new software is a drag. The PSP-3000 is scheduled to ship this October in North America. Sexy!
Guitar Hero: World Tour Wii Exclusives
The Wii versions of the latest plastic instrument-wielding, pixel-rocking rhythm games have typically lacked some of the key extra features of their higher-powered console competitors. This will change slightly with the next major installment. Guitar Hero: World Tour on the Wii will offer a Mii Freestyle mode that lets players rock out as their Miis. If that wasn't awesome enough, the Wii version features the ability to play air drums with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
Rock Band - Guitar Hero: World Tour Instrument Compatibility
Perhaps slightly trumping the Wii announcement, it was confirmed the PS3 and PS2 versions of GH:WT will work with Rock Band instruments from the same platforms. This follows an earlier-yet-similar announcement for the Xbox 360 version. Still no word on the compatibility between the Wii versions of Rock Band and GH:WT, but Wii owners are keeping their fingers crossed.
Updated Xbox 360 Controller
Europeans, Asians, and Latin Americans currently displeased with the Xbox 360 controller's d-pad will have a crack at picking up an updated controller with an optimized d-pad this fall. Unfortunately for North American gamers, it's currently only planned for release in those three territories as a tie-in with the upcoming Pro Evolution Soccer 2009. The limited edition controller, which comes in a vile shade of green, is currently slated for an October 24 release. There's some speculation circulated about whether or not we'll see it stateside with the release of the fifth installment of a certain hotly anticipated brawler. Only time will tell.
160GB PS3 and Wireless Keypad Controller Peripheral
Is the recently upgraded 80GB PS3 still not packing enough storage capacity to meet your hardcore gaming needs? Fear not; the supersized 160GB model PS3 aims to please, with double the space. The über PS3 announced last week will make its way to the U.S. in November as part of a $499 bundle with Uncharted, a DualShock 3 controller, and a voucher to download PAIN through the PSN.