E3 is the world's premier trade show for computer and video games and related products. The show is owned by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies, publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet.
We will discuss Microsoft and EA and all of the wonders they present.
We'll talk about Sony and Ubisoft and all of the fun they bring with them.
We'll talk about Nintendo and the hidden treasures from everyone's conferences.
Many of you saw EA's Battlefield 3 presentation but what you may or may not have noticed was the soldier holding a toy dinosaur at the beginning of the video. If you are like me you probably skipped right over it assuming it to be a piece to tie the game with reality. Boy were we wrong.
Not only is it not to tie in with reality, it is to reinforce the false reality that is 4chan. We have spoken of the insanity that is 4chan, such as the war with Tumblr or their open attack on Scientology but we have never spoken of their truly positive influences on society, through insanity, of course. Someone posted, shortly after the Modern Warfare 2 launch, claiming to be an Activision employee, asking what people thought of the game. The reaction was unanimous - a total lack of dinosaurs.
Now, I know what you're thinking, "It's true. There were no dinosaurs in the game, but why does that matter?" It doesn't, it was the first thing someone thought of and everyone followed along. You can see the posts in the image on the right. Apparently it grew to be such a big thing that the guys at DICE decided to try and appease the 4chan community by including a dinosaur in their game. They were so proud of their little joke on Activision that Gustav Halling, a designer for DICE working on the game, Tweeted to make sure everyone understood what happened.
Like TBS, very funny.read more...
For those of you who have listened to PLuGHiTz Live! Radio - Episode 207 - E3 2011 Day 3, I have some good news and some bad news for you. For those of you who have not, you should listen and then I can explain. The good news is I was right again about my analysis of Nintendo's press conference announcements. The bad news is I didn't want to be right.
As you probably know by now, Nintendo showed off the controller for their new Wii U console to a lot of fanfare. What else would you expect from a totally wireless controller with a large touchscreen that can also serve as a screen for the console to play full titles without the TV as well as a secondary view of a game also on the television. The presentation left a lot more questions than it answered, however. The most common being "will the console support more than one new controller?"
To find out the answer, hit the break.read more...
E3 2010 brought us the celebration of Mario's 25th anniversary. This year, we get the opportunity to celebrate Zelda's 25th anniversary. The presentation even started with a live orchestra playing music from Zelda games. While we won't be getting a Hyrulian Wii, we are getting a huge collection of new games and accessories.
The accessory that was announced to coincide with this celebration is a special golden Wii remote with the Triforce in the middle. It is planned to launch with the release of the newest Zelda title, Skyward Sword, slated for this Holiday Season. It is the epic game we spoke of last year that even Shigeru Miyamoti, reigning Nintendo badass, was excited to announce was finally complete. I won't get into the nitty gritty details on the game but if you need a refresher on it, check out our review from last year.
What else has Nintendo got in store for us? Hit the break to find out.read more...
Coming into E3 this year I knew that Nintendo couldn't afford to wait another year to do something with their next console and it seems they did as well. Before we get into what Wii U is all about I want to mention Nintendo's stage this year. It was actually a 3 tier stage which had a nice 3D effect that wasn't over done. The icing on the cake, though, was how they tailored all the video specifically to conform with the stage. I didn't think I would be awarding Nintendo my 'Best Setup' award this year but they earned it. Sony had some improvements in their design as did Microsoft but Nintendo's made a statement. Congratulations Nintendo.
Getting back on track, I was really impressed with the theoretical implementation of the Wii U controller. Wait, controller? Yes. How can they release a controller before the console? I'm glad you asked. They didn't actually release anything, instead they showed us a cool video and talked about it. We did see a lot more of the controller than we did the Wii U console which was hiding out on a shelf under the TV. A live demo would have made a much more profound statement but Reggie even mentioned the footage about the Wii U games were in 'prototype' form, so they didn't have anything real to show us.
The device itself boasts a hefty 6.2 inch touch screen, there are built in motion controls like a gyroscope that have some interesting gaming applications as well as an accelerometer. I also can't forget about the mic and inward facing camera as well as WiFi. This controller actually includes the inner workings of a full fledged handheld gaming system but it's not intended to be. This is why Nintendo is using WiFi to essentially tether the device to your console and TV.
Check out Nintendo's goal for the Wii U system and its E3 debut by hitting the break.read more...
Sony came back with vengeance after debuting the PlayStation Move at E3 2009 and showing it off last year and dealing with the bad press from the recent PSN outage problems. They actually did a lot of things better this year and ended up with the coveted PLuGHiTz Live! Best of the Big 3 at E3' award... almost by unanimous decision. No, we didn't see it coming either but they deserve it and if you want to hear me swallow my pride on air and say lots of good things about Sony then give Episode 207 - E3 2011 Day 3 a listen and download it for your historical records. Of course you want to know about all the awesome stuff Sony did and between all the hosts here we're keeping you plugged in, so kick off your shoes and stay a while. As for the 'Vita' fans out there I have something here that your going to like.
I actually started paying attention to the Vita about 6 months ago when it was still the NGP. Back then I was a little skeptical that Sony had actually addressed the past problems with their handheld gaming devices and only beefed up the hardware. I was glad to find out that wasn't the case after getting to see it in action. For example, the range of controls has extended from 'stick control,' the two mushroom sticks, to 'touch controls' that include the front screen and the back touch pad. We saw a little bit of the new control implementation in the Uncharted: Golden Abyss demo that is attached at the bottom of this article. The old XCrossMediaBar operating system was always a bit of a pain and although we didn't get to see the functionality of the new OS as much as we wanted to, it seems pretty clear that it has gone away in favor of a more smartphone-ish OS like Android. The game demos also highlighted other hardware elements like the 6 axis gyro and the Quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor that ran everything like a champ. Wait, there's more, check out the hardware specs after the break.read more...
Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the latest installment in the acclaimed Assassin's Creed series by Ubisoft. I must start off by saying that I love the song playing in the trailer, available after the break. Anyway, we see our dear protagonist, Ezio, in his later years. He seeks the end to the war between the Assassins and the Templar for good.
The trailer shows that though Ezio has seemed to grow older, his skills are still just as sharp as ever, until he has a cognitive vision of his ancestor Altair. As the soldiers triumph over Ezio and escort him to his death by lynch off the edge of a high point of the castle, Ezio sees Altair once again taking almost the same footsteps to his death. The hood comes off, and the rope is placed around Ezio's neck as you see his trusty eagle flying in the distance (fitting because Ezio means "flying eagle in Arabic), and he turns around to attack, ending the trailer.
This game brings together all the Assassin heroes from past to modern day. There will be parts where you will play as Desmond Miles, Ezio, of course, and even Altair! Now Ubisoft has made it clear that this will be the last game featuring Ezio and Altair, which hints that future games could possibly continue with the modern day assassin Desmond. November 15th is the date and I can't wait!
If you can't wait, either, hit the break to see the full trailer in all of its glory.read more...
Last year, Sony showed off a little of what PlayStation Move was and what it could do, but all I really took away from it was Sorcery (yeah!). It was clear they had other ideas but no one had had the time or interest to create the things that were in their head. This year was a totally different story. After a full year of thinking Sony was going to waste away on the technology of Move they surprised us with a huge showing of games and concepts surrounding Move.
Some of the games used it in an original Wii-style waggley way but others used it in a way that enhanced the gameplay instead of shoving Move controls in to be part of the cool crowd. Let's start off by saying, while we have talked a lot about the success that Microsoft has had with Kinect, Sony is having a pretty impressive time with Move. Over 8 million units have sold, which is not too far behind Microsoft's 10 million Kinects. By the end of 201, they expect to have over 200 titles available that take advantage of Move.
Of course, some will be good, many will not. Hit the break to find out which are which.read more...
With a lack of slideshow presentations (and Kevin Butler) and an organizational approach to the event, Sony showed off some interesting new products and games at this year's E3. Of course, along with those games came the hardware to support it and a strong, ongoing push for 3D, as Sony is pretty much the creator of the technology.
This year, Sony was proud to announce a new set of 3D games to add to more than 100 3D titles already on the PlayStation Network. That says a lot for a device that just recently got the upgrade for 3D. Also, 3D comes with a price, and that price exists with the hardware that you need to make 3D work. You need a pair of 3D glasses, which usually run at a price of $200 a pair, so to fix that sting, Sony will be releasing a pair of PlayStation branded 3D glasses for only $69.
However, that's not the only thing that is preventing more users to get down with the triple D. Customers are demanding a more affordable solution to fight the $1,000 3DTVs out there. Sony hears you on this, so they are offering a pretty sweet bundle. You can pick up a PlayStation branded 24" 3DTV that is capable of displaying two simultaneous images in 3D to individual pairs of 3D glasses. This is perfect for co-op or competitive multiplayer gameplay with two people in the same room. We can't figure out how this technology works, though, and would love to get our hands on it! Along with the TV you will be getting a pair of the $69 3D glasses, a six-foot HDMI cable, a Move controller and Resistance 3. All of that will only run you $499, and we hope to see the package pieced out so we can buy the TV!read more...
Ubisoft proved that they have what it takes to develop games across all major genres. From TinTin to Ghost Recon plus the addition of rhythm games, these guys are covering the bases. This year, they gave us a lot more rhythm than we were prepared for.
Of course we had the sequel to their incredibly popular Just Dance series with the aptly named Just Dance 3. Having started its life on the Wii, the game is now available on all three major consoles supporting Wii Motion Plus, PlayStation Move and, of course, Microsoft Kinect. The game has been enhanced with new music and game, while maintaining all of the greatness that has made the series one of the best dance simulators ever. You can play with new multiplayer features as well as importing music from previous versions of the game.
To see the promo video and read about their NEW rhythm game, hit the break.read more...
I was first introduced to the bright-eyed, young and adventures British boy named TinTin during Ubisoft's press conference this year. Apparently the 'The Game' part of the title indicates that the story came from somewhere else entirely, like a book or a movie. In fact, it is a film inspired game from Paramount Digital Entertainment which in turn originated from a variety of other French books.
In developing the game, people who helped produce the movie worked closely with Ubisoft to transcribe the look, feel and adventure of the movie in a way that worked. All the environments in the game are based on settings from the film to keep the world familiar to those who have only recently come to think of TinTin as a video game. The design is very clean and true to an early 20th century setting which is in keeping with previous iterations of the story. It almost has a young Indiana Jones appeal to it as TinTin seems like a nice young man but also has it in his character to shoot someone and not really think twice about it. In that way I find it amusing.
Hit the break to check out more info and the Ubisoft presensation of TinTin.read more...
It seems like focusing on events has helped the some of the presenters this year. Nintendo was no different as they focused on three key items. They talked about the new home console Wii U, The Legend of Zelda's 25th Anniversary and what we're going to discuss this time, the Nintendo 3DS.
Reggie came out and started going right for it and didn't dance through the presentation, per usual Reg-style.
Nintendo definitely delivered on that quote. Between the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo's new home console, the Wii U, Reggie said there would be "Something for Everyone", and were they right about that.
We have the upcoming 3DS titles and announcements, including the Virtual Console, upcoming work and the E-Shop after the break.read more...
You want to talk about a development studio that knows how to thrown down at a press event? Let's talk about Ubisoft! Even if you remove the Rabbids, Ezio Firenze, Rayman and Jason Brody, all which blew my mind, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Solider stole the show on its own. If you thought what you saw with the Gunsmith feature from the Microsoft event, you, my friend, are sadly mistaken. Future Soldier takes the Tom Clancy franchise to a whole new level.
The game feels like it was specifically designed as a tactical, strategic co-op shooter, not like the game was added in as an extra on top of an arcade-style multiplayer or as a single player campaign bonus. This is simply the best cooperative multiplayer I've ever seen done as a first person shooter hands down.
For details and the gameplay footage, check with us after the break.read more...
Due to the conflict with the show last night we have no Sony Live Blog, but we are back at 11 for the Nintendo press conference. You won't want to miss it!
EA didn't just show off their own projects- they also showed projects from the EA Partners program. This is a collection of developers who are independent but publish through EA. Several notable developers are in the list, including Respawn Entertainment. Three Partners showed their wares on the EA stage this year: DICE, Insomniac Games and 38 Studios.
Jon covered what DICE had to show off - Battlefield 3 - the latest in the Call of Duty competition series from EA's Partner. Jon will do the game more justice than myself, but suffice it to say, I'm impressed and I don't like the FPS genre.
What did the other guys have to show? Hit the break to find out.read more...
Microsoft didn't just show off AAA Kinect title, like Mass Effect 3 and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. They also showed off a community for project developed by Xbox owners like you; it's called Kinect Fun Labs and everyone is invited to join. Whether you are a developer interested in the Kinect platform or a user who enjoys the latest creative projects, this is the place to go.
Since the launch of Kinect and the open availability of the development tools, people all over the world have created unique ways to use the Kinect - many that Microsoft had never thought of themselves. This is why the Fun Lab was created - a centralized way to show off the crazy fun projects people have created using the Kinect.
Want to know what has already been created? Hit the break.read more...
Coming off of a wonderful year in 2010, with over 51 game awards and over 42 million copies of FIFA 11 sold, it was almost a sure thing that FIFA 12 was going to be impressive and even more ground-breaking. It also doesn't hurt that EA has had unimpressive press briefings at E3 for the past few years, so the anticipation for select titles was heightened.
So what's new in FIFA 12? A whole lot of stuff, including the mission to make FIFA available everywhere. Because soccer is one of the world's most popular sports, EA wanted to connect every gamer to the world's sport and vice versa.
First, a couple of new features to help the game along. We'll start with Tactical Defending, which allows you to not only control when and how you go in for a challenge or tackle, but also control where your body is in relation to the ball to make sure you are always goalside on defense. There was an issue in FIFA 11 where you sometimes just couldn't get in the right position to make a play on the ball, even though last year's game was miles (or kilometers) ahead of the year before it. Along with that came Precision Dribbling. Tired of taking a touch too far forward and the defense immediately takes it? This year you can control exactly where and how hard each touch on the ball will be, so you can remain more in control and slip past defenders with ease just like the pros. The last enhancement added was the Player Impact Engine. Gone are the canned animations regardless of how a tackle appeared, but the good news is that they didn't go straight to rag-doll physics. Instead, a patented EA system will allow players to react realistically to where contact is made, which will allow for less arcade style playing and more accurate response. Soccer (football) is all about "feeling" the game, and these enhancements truly make you feel like you're in the game.
There is one more thing that perfectly connects every FIFA fan in the 2012 version, though. Want to know what it is? We have the scoop after the break.read more...
EA's E3 events have traditionally been a little difficult for me for various reasons over the years but I feel like they delivered some interesting things this time around. Of course FIFA 12 and Madden 12 were on the roster along with SIMS Social. If a new title for anyone of these wasn't released, it just wouldn't be an EA event and the universe would be torn asunder. There were some other things they showed us like Overstrike which is a witty combat game but I'm going to focus on my personal favorite of the keynote, Battlefield 3.
I guess there are a couple of reasons why this looks cool. Pretty much everything in the environment can be destroyed. Why is this important you ask? Because sometimes just killing people doesn't cut it. Been there, done that, a million times before. Not that it isn't fun but killing someone with a 40 story office building is new and exciting. It also adds an element of strategy to firefights when you can't bank on your cover to take mortar strikes and RPG fire like a champ. The massive scales also adds to the realism. When your freedom to move is restricted only by the things trying to kill you and not so much space limitations, the amount of people and intensity of events can only increase. This pretty much turns what would be a small firefight in other games into a large scale engagement for Battlefield 3. Karl Magnus did mention a huge variety of vehicles that would be available but the one they focused on for the demo was the tank.
They embarked on a full out tank assault whose goal was to annihilate an enemy base and encountered a lot of resistance along the way which made for a couple close calls. It was easy to see what I meant about the gameplay elements I talked about previously. We did get to see an air strike called in on some artillery that was making it rain and I don't mean the dolla dolla bills kind. This alludes to their claim of a wide variety of weapons and vehicles. Overall the graphics were smooth as I would expect and they even introduced Battle Log, a free service that allows you to connect more easily with other players and keep up on your stats, even across platforms. Battlefield 3 is set to release on October 25th this year and I'm guessing they meant for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. As far as multiplayer is concerned, it will go into beta September of this year.
Am I just nuts or is anyone else excited to get their hands on this?read more...
The Microsoft Keynote at E3 this year was a bit different than last years. Not as exciting but still packed a punch with some sweet Xbox Live announcements and a ton of game related announcements, almost all of which were designed for the Kinect. This really is the year of the Kinect so I'm going to take a moment and highlight some of the most exciting ones.
I suppose Microsoft had it right by starting off with the one major title which wasn't specifically designed for Kinect. That of course is the new Tomb Raider from Crystal Dynamics. Basically, Laura is shipwrecked on an island and has to use her skills to escape. The game seems very gritty and starts off with Laura getting impaled by a sharp bone fragment after falling 30 ft. The interactions at first are at key moments of the opening scene as most of this sequence played out like a movie. Her "survival instincts" light up pieces of the environment that you can use, kind of like in Mirror's Edge but not as obvious. The scenes are very intense and there is a boulder chase that is reminiscent of Indiana Jones. At the end she makes it out of the caves to an ocean view of shipwrecks. There isn't a lot more to say at this point but the availability is set for fall 2012.
Get more on the newly revealed Kinect titles by hitting the break, because you know you want to.read more...
Last week when Microsoft posted that the "Xbox = entertainment" they really weren't lying. Today's E3 2011 Microsoft Event proved just that as they dove in to all of the media, social and Kinect aspects of the Xbox 360 that will definitely keep the console in the living room for years to come.
Microsoft's Marc Whitten took the stage to make it known that the television needed a new voice: yours. The goal was to keep the technology out of the way while still being able to enjoy the content you want. To help the cause, the Xbox 360 will feature a New Xbox Experience dashboard that looks absolutely stunning and explains why the small refresh a few months back had the tiles looking clunky. Instead of a shuffling of menus to navigate through, you can simply use your voice to pull up Games, Music, Movies and TV with ease.
For more on what's going to keep you entertained well into next year, click the break.read more...