Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My visit to E3!

7-16-08: This year was my first year to go to E3 under the new format. Gone are the days when it took up several halls and had 10's of thousands of people. It seemed very small by comparison. There did seem to be a lot more HD camcorder equipment all over the place, with editor and reporters of video game magazines and blogs shooting and uploading on the fly.

I was only able to spend one day there, due to my day job obligations back at the clinic. But since there was only one small room with games in it, I was able to see everything in just over an hour--AND play some games! (Before, it took me several days to roam all the halls...and that was barely taking time to play the games!).

Thanks to my friend, Rob, at Golin Harris, I was able to score an invitation to Nintendo's press conf. at the Kodak Theater.

The first famous person to come out to promote one of the newest games was Shaun White, Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding! It utilizes the Wii Fit board, as you can see him demonstrating.
Another game coming out soon is a Star Wars game. I'm a big fan of Star Wars, so I can't wait for this to come out. Yes, it's a bit violent (sword fighting and all), but it utilizes the newest accessory for the Wiimote, the Motion Plus!
This new attachment to the bottom of the Wiimote allows true 3D movement, more so than the original Wiimote. Once you use, it, you'll see what I'm talking about.
It will come bundled with this new game, Resort, which has a bunch of fun games you can play.
One is a frisbee dog catching game, where you can actually tilt the frisbee to do different curves! It isn't quite set up to be able to throw forehand, backhand, or hammers yet, but hopefully they'll work on it and then maybe they'll have an Ultimate Frisbee Game for the Wii!!! Now THAT would really rock and I will stand in line for that and that would cause me to buy my own Wii for home use, even if that means risking sleeping on the couch!!! LOL!
Here's another game from Resort. It reminded me of the American Gladiator's Joust game, where you had to knock off your opponent of the raised circular platform with the big Q-tip. Here, you're using non-cutting swords to knock your opponent's Mii off the raised platform. In this picture, Cammie Dunaway (middle), Exec. VP for Sales and Marketing, is battling her boss, Reginald Fils-Aime (left), President and COO of NOA. Guess who won? ;-)
Another cool use of the Wiimote and the Board is this new drumming game so you can add to the rock band experience. See the video clip below.

Here's another music can play in a band! At the far right end (stage left) is none other than the famous Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of over 100 Nintendo games including Donkey Kong, Mario, and the Wii games and hardware. I was hoping to get my picture taken with him, but no way could I get near him!!!

Here's a close up of the Motion Plus, attached to the bottom of the Wiimote.
Here's a clip of 2 guys battling it out on Resort.

Here's an interesting dancing game by Ubisoft. Check out the video clips to really get an idea of how it's played.

Finally, I saw Beth Bryant (bummed I didn't get her picture!) running the Serious Games booth. No exergames, but other games for health were on display here. (With all the companies making Wii games, there were plenting of exergaming going on!)

Finally, speaking of Ubisoft and games for health, I actually did get into one of the meeting rooms--Ubisoft! I didn't have an appointment, but I made one on the spot and said I wanted to see more about their Quit Smoking game, to be released in Nov. Marcella, a pro gamer on Frag Dames, sponsored by Ubisoft, demo'd it for me. Turns out she's a smoker herself and has just started really using it to see if it'll help her quit smoking! (She's a pharmacy tech by day but doesn't want to use Chantix.) I gave her my card and told her that I help people quit, so we'll see! I also wanted to see their Weight Loss Coach game, but since that's already out, they weren't promoting it there at E3.

Monday, July 14, 2008

XRTZ debuts on Telemundo!

7-14-08: Last night, XRTZ was seen on Telemundo on the weekend show, Al Rojo Vivo. Conchita Portilla, NP, are spanish instructor for our Family Fit Zone class, was the main feature of this segment. She did a great job, even though she was quite nervous. Here we (Conchita, her daughter Natalie, my daughter Summer, and my wife Keri) watching it in the multipurpose room of the XRTZ (neither of us have cable!). And here's a screen shot of Conchita!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Exergaming on Telemundo!

Airing this Sunday, July 13, 6:30 PM PST...don't miss Teacher Conchita Portilla NP's debut, speaking about her Spanish Family Fit Zone class on Telemundo (Ch.52).

If you miss it, you can see it later on their website: Telemundo

She did a great job!!! Here are some shots of her during her interview...

Freelance producer Vanessa Zuniga and cameraman watch correspondent Guadalupe Vicon interview Conchita
Conchita even does the difficult "walk and talk" for the first time without tripping on anything!
Guadalupe plays the Wii Bowling (she's definitely not a newbie!)...
...then explains about her experience on camera. I have no idea what she's saying as it's in Spanish, but I'm sure it's all good.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

1st International exergame tournament!

6-30-08: A few days before our Independance day, the first ever (as far as I know!) international exergame tournament via the Net was held between the US and the UK. It featured the Gamercize equipment and the kids were using it to power a soccer game, which is probably why the UK won this first international exergame! (Hey, XRTZ is located in Redlands, the hometown of Landon Donvan (his family is still here) so maybe if we got him to play, the US could kick us butt! I heard he was a videogamer, as are most athletes.)

But XRTZ has laid down the gauntlet and has challenged Gamercizer's Richard Coshott CEO, Gamercize UK to another international match, date TBD, so stay tuned!!!

If you'd like to see a newsclip of this tournament from the US side (somewhere up in NorCal, near Sacramento, I believe), check out this video clip.

To see the news release on this first-ever international exergame tourney, go to Gamercize's blog.

I just rec'd word from Richard that now that he's done this pilot test tournament, they are working on much larger, multi-country exergame tournament, and we're working on getting XRTZ involved to help represent the USA!!! Watch for details to be announced.

Hopefully, this will spur other vendors to help get involved in exergaming tournaments. I can see our XRTZ members starting to train as soon as they hear about this tournament and will want to join Team XRTZ for this competition!