The Xbox 360 is no more than about six months from being launched, but many developers -- and Microsoft -- still apparently have their work cut out for them.
Few of the actual Xbox 360 games shown at the conference were anywhere near completion -- Gears of War, for instance, was just 35% of the way along, Epic's developers said. And those demonstrated titles were running, at best, on "alpha" versions of the Xbox 360 hardware. That alpha version only has one CPU, as opposed to the three-processor chip the Xbox 360 is supposed to have, and it has an older graphics card than will be employed in the final device.
But some developers were able to show off games on nominal Xbox 360 hardware. Other developers apparently weren't further along. Activision, for instance, has four games in development for the Xbox 360 hardware. But at E3, Activision's demos of those games, which include Call of Duty 2 and Quake 4, were all PC versions -- not the Xbox 360 ones -- company representatives said.
Grand Theft Auto on the LamI met with Paul Eibeler, CEO of Take-Two Interactive (TTWO - Get Report). Eibeler talked about the moves the company is making to diversify beyond its flagship Grand Theft Auto franchise and how the company is approaching the next generation of consoles. Some excerpts:
The next-generation consoles may be revolutionary, but the games demonstrated for them at E3 were generally evolutionary, at best. Indeed, as some industry watchers noted in conversations with me, all the publishers seemed to be in a rush to copy ideas or do new iterations of their own, earlier games. Except for The Godfather game, the Xbox 360 games from EA, for instance, were all new iterations of venerable titles such as Need for Speed, Madden NFL Football and FIFA soccer. On the showroom floor, Take-Two demonstrated its latest version of Top Spin tennis game for the Xbox 360.