Obviously the biggest news of the week is the fact that E3 is changing yet again, only this time it’s shedding the lighter and tighter facade and instead opting to return to the spectacle of old. As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the ESA has decided to revert to the 2006 version of E3, scrapping the invite list and opening the show to more than just press and a few select industry types. The show is expected to balloon in attendance once again, back into the tens of thousands. Obviously this begs the question, can the public get in?
Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal originally reported that the show would span 4 days, and that the first two days would be restricted to the media and business types, while the weekend dates would be open to the public, a la the Tokyo Game Show. Croal quickly backtracked on the story though, saying that his original source may have been "incorrect," and that he was unsure if there was any plan to admit the public after all.
So what’s the latest? Where do we stand? Should you book your flight to LA right now to avoid the rush? ESA president Mike Gallagher has spoken, and you may not be too thrilled with what he has to say.
"Here’s the deal with the consumer element that you’re referencing: there will be lots of ways for the consumer to experience what’s going on at this terrific formatted show. They’ll be able to experience that through the media that are attending. This is not a consumer show that is open to the public. E3 has never been a consumer show, even in the past years when it was much larger."
Sorry boys and girls, looks like even with the new format, you’re still not allowed behind the curtain. Fear not though, we’ll be back at E3 next year brining you all the latest and greatest show news, so it’ll be just like being there, but without all the sweaty people and elbow wrestling. Of course, you’ll also miss out on the booth babes, but they’re not that hot. Oh who am I kidding, of course they are.
TGR Verdict: Rumor Killed
Are Zombies Set to Infect Grand Theft Auto IV DLC?
Grand Theft Auto IV and its elusive Xbox 360 DLC has been the subject of quite a few RK features, as well as new stories, but the latest juicy tidbit really takes the cake. It seems as though Liberty City may soon be suffering from a zombie infection, which is way worse than Russian mobsters.
The rumor springs from an "ad" in the Rock Star Social Club, posted by the fictional company Eugenics, Inc. The full text of the ad reads:
"Quarantine: Contagious Disease
"No one shall enter or leave this premises without the proper documentation issued by Eugenics Inc. No person expect an authorized agent or employee of Eugenics Inc. shall alter, destroy or remove this sign. Anyone violating these regulations will be arrested and prosecuted by the federal authorities.
By order of Liberty City Police Department / Eugenics Inc."
While it is indeed enticing that the "quarantine" might be hinting at DLC, it is more likely a reference to the zombie multiplayer mode that has "infected" the game. If you check out the top window of the social club you’ll see a news story devoted to a zombie outbreak in Liberty City, just in time for Halloween. The new feature grants access to a special zombie character skin as well as the "Let Sleeping Rockstars Lie" Achievement. So now when you shoot someone in the head, you just might contract a zombie virus, score!
So while the presence of zombies in Liberty City is confirmed, it looks like they won’t be the theme of the upcoming DLC. Still, there are zombies roaming the city, so maybe you should board up the doors and windows and get out the shotgun. Either that or head on over to the Liberty City airport and get the heck out of Dodge.
TGR Verdict: Rumor Killed
Is the Wii Rock Band Bundle Going to be Delayed?
When it comes to Rock Band, Wii owners have sort of gotten the shaft. First, the original version doesn’t make it’s Nintendo appearance until months and months after the other consoles (and sans DLC and Music Store no less), and then we find out that Rock Band 2 won’t even be available for the Wii until December. Now, Nintendo’s console takes one more hit, as reports have begun coming in that the full Rock Band 2 Wii bundle won’t even see store shelves until early 2009.
According to an email allegedly circulating around to GameStop employees, the game and instrument bundle has been pushed back to January 6, 2009, missing the holiday sales period entirely. If true, this is an unfortunate situation for Wii owners, who are already seeing their version of the game drop later than the PS3 and Xbox 360 iterations once again.
Thus far, the delay only appears to affect the bundles, and the game itself should still be available for the Wii in December. Harmonix and MTV have not commented on the rumor, so we’ve been left out to dry on this one. So it appears that if you own Nintendo’s console and were hoping to upgrade your instruments, it appears as though you may just be out of luck until after you ring in the new year. Sorry.
TGR Verdict: Rumor Somewhat Likely