The Game Developers Conference has come a long way since it’s inception in 1987, where it was humbly located in Balance of Power creator Chris Crawford’s living room. Now, the largest annual gathering of game developers is currently taking place at Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Highlights include the 10th Annual Independent Games Festival, and the 8th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards.
– Gears of War 2 will be released in November. A teaser trailer was shown, but it shows absolutely no in-game footage.
–XNA Game Studio was unveiled; it’s a set of tools to foster the development of independent games for the Xbox 360, PC, and Zune. Announced four years ago, the first framework was available for game makers two years ago. In that time, 200 entries were created and the top six are currently available on the Live Marketplace for a limited preview. While all the games are comparable graphically to current Live fare, only Dishwasher held our interest for more than a few moments.
– Ninja Gaiden 2 will be available on June 3rd. Perhaps developers Team Ninja are going easier on players with the addition of regenerating health to the series (ala Halo).
– Another sequel, Fable 2 should be available this year. Creator Peter Molyneux showed two player on-line co-op.
– The Big “N” countered
Microsoft’s XNA Community with an announcement that the Wii-Ware Channel will
be launching May 12th, with “hundreds of titles in development”. According to project development senior officer Tom Prata, “eighty percent of the games we’re seeing are coming from entities which haven’t published on Nintendo platforms before”. Let’s see what indie developers can do with the Wii hardware.
– WiiFit, Nintendo’s exercise game/hardware hybrid that has sold over 1.4 million copies in Japan, will be coming to American shores on May 19th. Ten games that use the hardware are in development.
– Currently, gamers who want PSP content have to download the data to their PC. Soon, a PSP-Wifi Store will be available, according to SCE’s Chris Eden.
– Echochrome was unveiled, an Esher-esce downloadable title. Although a PSP version has been shown in Europe, no American version was discussed.
– Pixel Junk has a trailer available for their latest, and possibly most obscure title to date, Eden.
– In other Sony news, the God of War: Chains of Olympus demo is now available for download.