Adam B. Vary: So, John, it's a day after the end of E3, i.e. the annual videogaming expo where companies like Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, EA and Ubisoft show off their newest games, gadgets, and wave-of-the-future hooziewhatsits. And I have to say, between all the giant video screens, booming speakers, gaming pods and mobs of eager gamers with only a cursory appreciation for other people's personal space, I'm still in recovery. How did you take to your very first E3 experience?
John Young: I still feel abused by it all. It's a complete sensory overload that initially seemed really impressive in an oh-this-is-probably-what-the-future-will-feel-like-50-years-from-now way. But after eight hours of being exposed to the rattling bass and the retina-searing displays, it starts doing things to your brain. But I did get to check out some very promising games. The 12-year-old version of me would have had the best time of his life.
Adam B. Vary: No kidding! I think the 12-year-old me would have especially lost his friggin' mind over what's become the biggest story out of E3, Microsoft's possibly-revolutionary Project Natal camera system, which you covered so well earlier this week. But let's face it, the 12-year-old me is so often also the 29-year-old me, and both, um, me's were stoked by the games, man: Nintendo announced a sequel to the crazy-fun Wii game Super Mario Galaxy and demo'd the long-awaited follow up to Wii Sports called Wii Sports Resort. EA presented Mass Effect 2, a sci-fi adventure that blurs even further the lines between playing a game and participating in a choose-your-own-adventure feature film. And Sony showcased the epically aggro God of War III, which had equally epic lines of people waiting to play it on the show floor.
John Young: You're right, it is ultimately about the games, and boy did they look sweet. Unfortunately, most of the ones that totally knocked my socks off weren't playable yet. I'm talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that could genuinely compete with World of Warcraft; Avatar, based on James Cameron's upcoming sci-fi movie, with its breathtakingly realized alien planet called Pandora (Jeff Jensen gushed about the game earlier this week); and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which made the audience at Sony's press conference literally gasp when they saw just how beautiful it was. Speaking of press conferences, who do you think came out on top: Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony?