CES 2010

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Scrap Metal Hands-On

Another surprise within Microsoft's Xbox 360 area at CES 2010 was the debut of Scrap Metal, a brand-new game from Slick Entertainment, the studio who worked with Metanet Software to bring N+ to Xbox Live Arcade. Scrap Metal is essentially RC Pro Am-meets-Twisted Metal.

There wasn't too much of Scrap Metal to show at CES (it doesn't even have a release date yet, just sometime in 2010), but there was promise to be found. I've seen other folks comparing Scrap Metal to David Jaffe's PlayStation Network downlodable Calling All Cars, which is pretty fair. Scrap Metal doesn't appear to be as open-ended as Calling All Cars' environments and there appears to be far more variety to the gameplay in Slick Entertainment's effort.

It's not just about racing around a track or blowing up other cars. The mode with the most potential had me running laps as cars chased me around, Grand Theft Auto-style. Every time you cross the finish line, another cop car starts chasing you. Eventually,  a nearby rep told me, a small army will be doing their best to ensure your destruction (unfortunately, I only made it three laps). It was already enjoyable solo, but it's easy to imagine the fun multiplying with three others.

And keeping with the CES theme, Scrap Metal had a 3D mode. It wasn't the "new" 3D, though, but the old, janky, headache-inducing 3D. Sure, it worked, but I turned it off immediately.

I'll be following up for more on Scrap Metal after CES. Stay tuned!

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Splinter Cell: Conviction Deniable-Ops

Almost one month ago, I traveled to San Francisco to play some of Splinter Cell: Conviction's prologue, which takes the form of a co-op story leading up to the events of Sam Fisher's story. I was extremely impressed and you can read my full impressions here in this preview.

Here at CES 2010, I was able to get some hands-on time with the Deniable Ops mode, which is the game's non-story-based multiplayer component. There are several modes, but I played through the first map in the "Hunter" game mode. This mode is a simple terrorist hunt mode that moves the player through several levels, eliminating a set number of enemies. If seen, enemies will call for reinforcements and the number of targets increases significantly.

Even on Normal difficulty, your character can only take a few bullets so stealth is definitely the way to play. This does not mean that the game is slow-paced. Far from it, in fact. With a bit of careful planning, marking targets, and using the shadows to confuse the enemies, it's quite possible to dispatch upwards of five enemies within seconds.

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Gears Of War 2 Hands-On...In 3D!

It doesn't take long to become numb while walking around CES. The sheer number of electronics vying for your attention quickly turns your brain to mush. But I quickly snapped to attention when roaming the Samsung booth and noticed Gears of War 2 running...in 3D!

Of course, it's not the first game I've seen in 3D, nor was the Gears of War 2 demo specifically engineered to be presented in 3D. Samsung was showing off an internal HDTV technology that can automatically take any picture and create a basic sense of 3D from it. It'd technically work on any Xbox 360 game they popped in, but Gears of War 2 made for a pretty showcase.

Did it add anything to the experience? Not really. Because the 3D wasn't tailored to Gears of War 2, whenever my character hunched down to start running, my world blurred and nausea started to set in. The moments where I was simply walking around the environment or taking out an enemy or two proved better examples of what added depth could bring to video games.

In other words: it wasn't convincing enough to create any real desire for Gears of War 3D.

The guy playing before me was impressed, though. After pulling off a tricky headshot, he handed the controller over to me and dialed a friend on his cell phone.

"Dude, I just did a headshot in 3D," said the stranger.

He does have a point. That is pretty cool.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

The Most Awkward Job At CES 2010 (Of Course, It Involves 3D)

Oh, this poor girl.

Just like any other convention, exhibitors at CES love to hire young women to showcase their wares. They don't need to know anything about the product; these women are hired to stand around, pose for pictures and point people interested in the technology to the nearest rep.

This woman, however, can't even see the crowd! At least, I don't think. You can't see it in the picture, but she was sitting on a chair, legs crossed, pretending to enjoy some 3D. To her left, there was a gawking crowd snapping pictures while they waited in line for a 3D demo.

Someone needs to Photoshop a thought bubble into this one.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Tags: CES 2010, Tech

More CES 2010 Coverage on AOTS Tonight

Attack of the Show's coverage of CES 2010 continues tonight on G4 at 7:00 PM! Kevin Pereira and Alison Haislip will take on even more cutting edge consumer technology, like 3D televisions from Samsung and Panasonic, the Sony W Series Eco Notebook, a new Toshiba satellite with a wireless TV receiver and a time machine. Okay, kidding about the last one.

Check it out tonight! 

Tags: CES 2010

Toy Soldiers TGS 2009 Preview

If you've ever screamed at your TV towards the end of a heated tower defense match, wondering what it would be like if you could take direct control of a unit and turn the tide of the battle, Toy Soldiers is an Xbox Live Arcade release to keep a close eye on. You get exactly that.

Microsoft provided our first look at Toy Soldiers during Tokyo Game Show, but wouldn't let us touch it. At CES 2010, however, Toy Soldiers was tucked away in Microsoft's Xbox section with a controller firmly attached. I'm also happy to report that Toy Soldiers is just as entertaining in practice as it is in concept, positively modifying the base gameplay driving tower defense to the point that I'm pretty much going to demand this from other tower defense games in the future. This is noteworthy innovation.

The ability to hop into the heat of battle changes everything.

In the CES demo, it wasn't possible to take control of individual infantry units on the ground (that might change with more upgrades in the full version), but in addition to giving me the opportunity to man cannons, turrets and mortar launchers, I could hop in a tiny plane and man a loaded sniper tower. I didn't find much reason to actually hop into the sniper tower, but I found myself taking control of my snipers simply because, well, I could. And hey, that's good enough reason for me.

Some units are more ambitious than I'd expected, too. I'd breezed through the demo, upgrading my units and barely paying attention to the battle -- I was much more concerned with trying out all of my toys. Just as the AI was going down for the count, they launched a massive spider thing from the other side. It lumbered across the countryside, clearly eying on my homebase. Attempting to take down the monster exposed issues Toy Soldiers currently has (dropping bombs is extremely difficult, even with optional "bomb view"), but just watching this Transformers-like machine clumsily move towards me was enough to make me giddy. Sure, death was impending, but I was giggling the whole time.

Brian Leahy was off playing Splinter Cell: Conviction (which also looks fantastic), so I wasn't able to check out the head-to-head mode available in the demo, but taking on a human opponent sounds like it could lead to some heated matches. Toy Soldiers isn't far off, either, as the CES kiosk listed the game as a "spring" release. Hopefully, that's sooner rather than later.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

CES 2010 Quick Hit: Intel MultiTouch Wall Review »

This is probably the coolest (okay, maybe not but close!) display at CES 2010. Kevin Pereira checks out Intel's amazing MultiTouch Wall that displays thousands of live feeds using its i7 core processer.

And by check out, we really mean he pokes it incessantly.

Tags: CES 2010

Super Street Fighter IV Fight Club

US SFIV champion Justin Wong shows off new characters and Ultras with the tournament winner.

Last night, Capcom held their second annual CES Street Fighter IV Fight Club. This time, however, it was the upcoming Super Street Fighter IV that was on hand. Lucky community members and the gaming press were able to go hands-on with all of the currently announced characters as well as see all of the new Ultra Combos for all returning and new characters.

I also competed in the tournament. At stake, a brand-new Super Street Fighter IV Tournament Edition Fight Stick, a year of Xbox Live, and 8000 Microsoft points (put up by Microsoft's Major Nelson). How did I do? Well, I won my first match. I ended up losing in my second match to a very good Rufus player that managed to make the top 8.

As such, I only got to play a few rounds as Balrog. His new Ultra is called "Dirty Bull" and is a 720-degree command throw a la Zangief. It doesn't do that much damage, but is still being tweaked. Capcom special advisor Seth Killian tells me that it used to be overpowered. In its current stage, I don't know many Balrog players that would give up his current Ultra based on how easy it is to connect after a headbutt and its ability to go through fireballs.

I'll have an extended session with Super Street Fighter IV later today so I'll bring you guys full impressions later on. For now, you'll have to settle for a picture of me and producer Yoshinori Ono, found after the jump. Also, props to G4tv.com commenter GreedyMcNasty who attended and introduced himself at the event.

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We Predict The 3 Biggest Gaming Trends For CES 2010

Brian Leahy and I have officially arrived at CES 2010. There are a whole lot of...monitors. And computers. And cell phones. Aaaaah! That's about the best summation of the show so far, considering we've only been scouring the floor for an hour or so. We'll be bringing you hands-on impressions, observations, photos and videos directly from CES both today and tomorrow, but if you've heard about something being featured at CES, now's your time to tell us about it. We'll do our best to check it out.

What do you want us to see? We are your eyes, ears and hands, readers!

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Check out photo galleries from the show floor at CES 2010

Microsoft Expects More Regular Xbox 360 Updates Going Forward

I just left an interview with Xbox group product manager Aaron Greenberg here at CES 2010. We talked at length about a number of subjects (including yet another update on the never-ending issue that is the Xbox Live friends cap and when we'll see Project Natal games), but at the very end, I asked him to summarize what Xbox 360 would be about over the next 12 months. What describes Xbox 360 in 2010?

It took him a moment to come up with an answer. He mulled, scratched his chin. Then, he had it.

"Transformative," said Greenberg.

And there you have it. Look for much more from Greenberg soon.

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

CES 2010 Quick Hit: Powermat Review »

You know the future has arrived when the folks at CES 2010 are talking about wirelessly charging your portable devices. Alison Haislip demonstrates the Powermat that allows users to recharge their gadgets by simply placing them on the sleek and stylish station. 

Coming up next: hoverboards! 

Tags: CES 2010

CES 2010: 3D TV, PopBox, Sony F Series Laptop & More Review »

Looking for more gadgets to drool over? Kevin Pereira has some right here from CES 2010, like the PopBox media streaming device, the new Sony F Series laptop with its TX7 digital camera companion and the iHome iA5 dock for your iPhone. He also demonstrates the Kodak Slice digital camera with its touch screen features. Ooooh, shiny.

Tags: CES 2010

CES 2010: Samsung NX10 Hybrid DSLR, HP TouchSmart tm2 & More »

It's gadgets galore with Alison Haislip who previews the Samsung NX10 Hybrid DSLR with 14.6 mega pixels, the HP TouchSmart tm2 Notebook/Tablet computer, and the HTC HD2 Phone that's thinner than the iPhone. Plus, she's also got the Barnes & Noble Nook eReader.

Ugh. Alison is right. All of a sudden, our shiny new gadgets here at home seem pretty shabby.

Check back tomorrow for more coverage from CES 2010! 

Tags: CES 2010

CES 2010: Google Nexus One, Olympus Stylus & More »

Check out the products that Kevin Pereira managed to get his hands on at CES 2010, including the Google Nexus One phone, the Olympus Stylus Tough-3000 digital camera, the sleek Lenovo U1 Hybrid Laptop/Tablet computer, the shiny LG LED 8500 HDTV and more!

Is it too early to start a Christmas wish list? The CES 2010 coverage continues tomorrow, January 8th, on Attack of the Show, starting at 7:00p ET.

Tags: CES 2010

It's 2010, and what a fun, sexy time it is for Feedback. We're kicking off the new year in grand style with Sega's Bayonetta, our Game of the Week. I watched Patrick play it earlier in the week, and my brain's comprehension ability shut down after about a half-hour. But the funny thing is, I couldn't avert my gaze. It's like a high-calorie train wreck that you want to give the MST3K treatment to, but will still end up genuinely enjoying just because of how crazy it is. How did Abbie, Sterling, and Patrick feel about it? You're going to have to watch...

Feedback -- Bayonetta Edition »

Also on this week's agenda:

  • Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata revealed that the next Legend of Zelda game will hit the Wii in 2010. No details were revealed, but it's nice to know that it's only about 11 months away.
  • He also started talking about successor to the Nintendo DS. "Higher resolution" and "motion sensing" were mentioned, which isn't really too surprising given the Wii's success and how old the current DS tech is.
  • The Consumer Electronics Show is happening in Vegas, and the collective geek spotlight is on 3D television. After the impressive demonstration in Avatar, is it something we're willing to wrap our eyes around at home?

Feedback: Suggestively sucking on lollipops since 2009.

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