May 20th, 2001
6:32 PM CST -
As expected, Mortal Kombat was in extremely limited exposure at this year's E3, with absolutely no signs of the game on the floor of anyone's booth including Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. While the announcement was made that the next Mortal Kombat game will be dropping the number 5 from the title, several developers mentioned that the game's title is still being decided and nothing has been solidified. Also, don't expect broadband Internet capabilities for sure in the next Mortal Kombat. The fast-action gameplay and in-close action requires an extremely low latency (or ping) connection. Until broadband connections are developed with a latency around the low teens between two clients, Internet play will not work with intense fighting games like Mortal Kombat.

On the whole, this year's E3 was relatively small, yet contained a myriad of extremely strong games for all next-generation consoles.

Nintendo's booth was jam-packed every day, showcasing a handful of GameCube titles, including Super Smash Brothers Mele, a jaw-dropping Luigi's Mansion, an intriguing Pikman, a puzzling Star Fox Dinosaur game, a Metroid Prime video and a few others. Game Boy Advance also had a large presence. Super Mario Advance (SMB 2), F-Zero and Mario Kart Advance were all playable and look very nice on the GBA screens. Also shown was a short video of Metroid IV, which looks like it will be a very hot game when it is released.

Capcom showed a very sweet looking Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Revival on GBA. SSF2 ran very smooth and managed to look a little bit better than its SNES counterpart. Seeing and playing SSF2 immediately brought ideas of the prospects of a Mortal Kombat title for the GBA, as the system could easily support an equally impressive version.

Sony's presence was as strong as ever. The Gran Turismo 3 area contained 6 stations, all connected via an network, complete with driving chairs, Logitech force feedback wheels, and pedals. With the exception of an occasional hitch in the network, GT3 looks good to go for the PlayStation 2. Along with Sony's 'A' list games, there were a multitude of very popular games to supplement the PlayStation 2's future lineup, including MK development team favorite, Devil May Cry. Sony's drought of decent PlayStation 2 games seems to be coming to an end.

Microsoft's Xbox took center stage in their booth this year. Earlier announcing the system's price at $299.99 and launch date of November 8th, Microsoft has given the system the 'lime-green' go light for their initial foray into the console arena. Jet Set Radio Future and Oddworld: Munch's Oddes
were Xbox's premier titles, gaining positive responses by those who witnessed and played them. Xbox will be a system that will have to rely heavily on third-party support; however, with Electronic Arts, Sega, Midway, Capcom, and Activision all in their corner, they have a very good shot at taking a run at Sony and Nintendo.

Sega's presence at the show was limited to a behind doors area, with nothing to show to the public. Fortunately, we had access to the restricted area and had a chance to check out Sega's future lineup. For the now-discontinued Dreamcast, Sega had Sonic Adventure 2 and Crazy Taxi 2 playable, featuring new gameplay options, including multiple destination pickups and low riding cabs, all set within the surroundings of New York City. Also, Sega showcased their Dreamcast 2K2 sports lineup, including NBA 2K2, NFL 2K2, Virtua Tennis 2K2, NCAA College Football 2K2 and NHL 2K2, which sat out last year to incorporate online play in this year's version. Videos of Shenmue II, Virtua Fighter 4, Virtua Striker 3 and a new ToeJam & Earl game were also shown. Sega's outstanding software is in a position to dominate the market with their support of all platforms with their Sports titles. Although they will no longer be a major player in the hardware arena, Sega will still be a major player in the industry.

Many other outstanding games were shown -- too much for us to cover here in our little corner of the gaming world. Check out GameSpot VideoGames' outstanding coverage of this year's E3 at GameSpot at E3 2001.

We would also like to extend a personal thanks to the staff of GameSpot VideoGames for their continued support of TRMK and for their generous hospitality.

We had an outstanding time at E3 this year and plan on continuing the tradition of being there every year as long as we can. Next year's E3 should be very exciting for MK fans. Development on the next Mortal Kombat should be more mature and perhaps far enough along for the game to be playable on the show's floor.

Early this week we plan to feature some exclusive footage taken from the floor of Midway's booth. Make sure that you check back later for that. You will not want to miss these images.

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