In the second day of the E3 conference, we had all three big console makers on our schedule. The day started off at 9 AM with Nintendo. However, the team that does the appointments was running late and we didn’t get to start until almost 9:20. This caused our thirty minutes with Nintendo to be cut well short.

However, we did get a chance to take a peak at Pikmin 2, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, and Mario Kart Double Dash.

In the surprise of the show, our Assistant Editor, Emily, defeated me in an eight player Mario Kart race. I will lick my wounds and wait for the title to be released later this year.

Our Nintendo guide wasn’t much help with the other titles. He could not answer my questions or provide me with any basic information about the games… At least he got us to the front of the Mario Kart line! That is about all he was good for. It just seems that like our booth appointment, Nintendo is not ready for E3. The games they are showing do not stack up well against the competition.

While I had many appointments today, there is only one non-“big three” appointment I want to discuss in this journal. Mad Catz, the new 800 lb. Gorilla of the Accessory world, was showing a new PS2 controller called the RetroCon. This is an NES style PS2 controller that includes all normal PS2 buttons but is shaped like the old NES controllers. It is the best accessory seen at the show this year.

Sony was up later in the afternoon with their big titles. I had a chance to look at Jak and Daxter 2, Ratchet and Clank 2, Gran Turismo 4, and Arc the Lad. Unfortunately, while my appointment with Sony was great, I knew more about the new Arc the Lad than my PR person did. So we only briefly looked at the title before moving to Ratchet and Clank 2. R&C2 is much larger than the original title and has even more weapons. For those who have played the first game, you will be in for a treat when this one is released in November.

Jak 2 is set immediately after the events of the original. However, Jak is kidnapped and evil experiments are done on him with Dark Ico. He is freed by Daxter two years later. Thus a revenge-filled quest is born to destroy those who did this to Jak. The game still has some cute elements–but it is much darker than the original. It should be a great platformer when it is released later this year.

Microsoft has a ton of great games in their booth this year. Slowly, they are building up a respectable first party. This year, the standout titles are the same as we spoke about in the article covering their press conference. But since I have already covered what I saw at Nintendo at Sony, I will briefly describe what Microsoft showed us. Microsoft Music Mixer and Project Gotham Racing 2 were the only two titles we had time to see.

Both of these titles are going to be great and you can read more about PGR2 in a few of the previews we have done. We should have a preview of the Xbox Music Mixer up soon.

Both Sony and Microsoft look dominant this year with Nintendo taking up the rear. While I generally love everything Nintendo does, I have serious doubts about them at least until they show off some bigger titles. Lets hope we don’t have to wait until next year’s E3 to see them.

Besides the “big three,” we had a big interview with Jason Ford from Sprint PCS. We will be delivering this to you as soon as we can get it typed out. More than likely, it won’t happen until after E3.

Just one more day to go and my body can’t wait. This is a rough show to cover due to all the crowds and heavy stuff you have to carry around. We hope to go out with a bang tomorrow! But don’t worry, we have plenty of things to cover during our Post-E3 coverage.

By Kaleb Rutherford – 05/15/03

Screenshots for E3 2003 Journal 5/15/03