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E3 Today: The Sims Online
Yesterday The Sims' PS2 version was shown at the E3. Today it was TSO's turn to show off itself at the EA Stands. This upcoming online version of The Sims is set to be released in November this year. New information include screenshots, articles and movies. In the articles we can also get an estimation of the costs of The Sims Online. The Sims Zone will cover info provided by GameSpot and pc.ign.com again, like yesterday...

Update 21:30: Another article was found at GameSpy (More inside)...

To start off with GameSpot: They have posted their first impressions, 5 new screenshots and 2 new movies (GameSpot Complete only). In their article we can read this:
"Maxis is including all kinds of features in The Sims Online to make the experience a bit chattier. For instance, you can send instant messages to other players while they're online, just like you can with a real IM client. If players are offline, your message will be sent as a sort of in-game e-mail that will appear in their inbox when they next log in. Further, the friendship web lets you keep track of everyone you've made friends or enemies with, along with all the people they've made friends or enemies with, and so on. Eventually, your network of Sims friends could exceed your network of real friends."
Of course, that's not all. They go into detail of some functions like chatting and the building of houses. To read the whole thing, go here. That's still not all though: there are also 5 new screenshots which show things like the "Make a Sim" screen and some Sims discussing possibilities of houses in The Sims Online. What is quite noticable, is that the graphics look very similar to those of The Sims as we know it now. These are quite outdated by now though, and could make room for better graphics. We'll probably have to wait with that until The Sims 2 (which is yet to be officially confirmed). Last but not least some good news for GameSpot Complete subscribers: there are 2 new movies showing some gameplay of The Sims Online.

PC.IGN.Com doesn't have as much about The Sims Online. There is one article, where you can also read that TSO looks and sounds exactly like The Sims does. However, it is positive about most of the new features. Near the end they mention another bad thing:
"With all things, there is good and there is bad in The Sims Online. The good is that it's an easily accessible new persistent online Sims game with limitless expandability and an incredibly addictive nature. The bad news is that it'll cost between 10.99 to 12.99 per month (American). That does not include the initial retail price, which will be comparable to other big name, big budget titles."
GameSpot mentioned what group Maxis is targeting: the female teens (because half of the players are female, and half of the players is in its teens). Does Maxis realise that not everybody can go to their parents for money, or pay it all themselves? Unfortunately, those costs will have to be paid. Maybe these costs will cause The Sims Online to be a smaller hit than expected now. Anyway, the full IGN article can be read at this page.

(Updated part 21:30) Furthermore, GameSpy has posted an article with screenshots about The Sims Online. The screenshots are the same as the ones on GameSpot, but the article of 2 pages is different than that:
"Same old, same old? In part, sure. This is a The Sims game. But there were really four things that struck me as special about The Sims Online: The social aspects, the Internet model, the economy and the huge capacity for free-form creativity."
Basically the article deals with those four aspects. It discusses jobs, living together, instant messenging, top 100s, the nearly unlimited freedom of the game, and much more. The whole article can be read here. Thanks go out to Matthew Eastaugh for pointing to this article.

(Original again) Last but definately not least: the Official TSO site has just posted another E3 update about Day 2:
"In our Day 1 update, we told you about "Club Sims," our private room at E3 where we are showing The Sims Online to game developers, retailers and reporters. To get through the door, though, attendees need a special VIP access badge to see the the exclusive demo."
There are also some pictures of the Club Sims room there. To read the whole update (which is not very much), visit this page.

Besides all that news, SimCity 4 has also been showed on the E3 today. Because The Sims Zone focuses on The Sims and not so much SimCity, I will not go into detail about this game. However, you can read articles about this game at GameSpot and IGN too. Click here to read GameSpot's article, and here for IGN's article. No new screenshots or movies have been released now.

This is probably the last we heard from Sim-games at the E3. Nothing to worry though: after the E3 developing continues, and news will keep following. If you're interested about other games and the E3, then find any gaming magazine next month to see at least some coverage on it. Of course, also many gaming sites cover the E3, including GameSpot, IGN Games and GameSpy.
Written at 21:46 on Thursday, 23 May 2002 by ChEeTaH.

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