It was at GDC 07 where EA finally broke the silence and confirmed that it had slipped into bed with rhythm game virtuoso Harmonix with plans to publish the studio's next game. That game, of course, was Rock Band, though at the time the future of that announcement was the subject of much debate. After all, it's still popular to look at EA as an evil megacorp, and the partnership between it and indie fave Harmonix was not met with universal acclaim. Not that it matters now, as we're far too busy belting out lyrics to Roxanne. %Gallery-1976%
Of course, GDC being what it is, there was no shortage of techie news emanating from the hallowed halls of San Francisco's Moscone Center, from developer Crytek's first CryENGINE2 demonstration to Sony's tools for helping devs warm up to the still lukewarm PS3 game space. There was also some confusion over "Sony dropping PlayStation 3 chip," which turned out to be much ado about nothing. PS3 owners also got wind of Warhawk's multiplayer focus at the show, news that was understandably met with mixed reactions.
Epic's always outspoken VP Mark Rein also broke news (and gamers' hearts) with news that the company's popular Unreal Engine 3 would not be used in making games for the Wii, though by some karmic twist the engine finally made its way to Nintendo's motion-sensitive goldmine later in 2007.
Microsoft's Games for Windows Live program was also fleshed out for attendees, though to be honest we're still cloudy on the point of the whole thing. Something we could throw our weight behind was Microsoft's search for more originality over Xbox Live Arcade, though this just reminded us that we were (and still are) still waiting for Castle Crashers, and this made us sad.
Of all the news bits that spun out of last year's gathering, few compared to the amount of energy Sony spent in trying to deny rumors that a PSP redesign was on the way, news that of course would be confirmed a few short months later in Santa Monica at E3. We are still waiting for our fuchsia PSP, however, though Bothan intelligence gives us hope that happiness is just around the corner.
Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi also revealed expectations of a worldwide launch of Lost Odyssey in time for the holiday season, particularly interesting given that the game just now made its way to North American retail shelves this week, giving RPG enthusiasts something with which to satiate their thirst for cut scenes and tedious combat.
GDC 07's whirlwind of news was enough to leave our heads spinning, and this year is already shaping up to be bigger and more intensive, making us wonder how in the world we're going to cover it all. It can be stressful, but then we remember to take a step back, breath, and take fistfuls of Advil. After all, it's all in the name of games.