The UpStream

Xbox Music Ushers Out the Zune Branding for Good at E3

posted Tuesday Jun 5, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Xbox Music Ushers Out the Zune Branding for Good at E3

Microsoft announced at their E3 press conference the end of the Zune. We've known this was coming for a while now, with Microsoft's Windows 8 rebranding process and then confirmed when we learned that they were working on some sort of streaming service. At the conference, however, we found out that the Xbox branding would continue into the music world with Xbox Music.

Formally codenamed "Woodstock", Yusuf Mehdi from Microsoft announced that Xbox Music will be available on Xbox, Windows 8 and Windows Phones. No specific release date was given, however we did see a very nice presentation and demonstration video that was played for us at the event.

UFC Moves to Exclusive Deal With EA SPORTS

posted Tuesday Jun 5, 2012 by Scott Ertz

UFC Moves to Exclusive Deal With EA SPORTS

What a difference a few years makes. In 2009, head of UFC, Dana White, made it clear he didn't like EA, and for good reason. He tried to have a meeting with them to discuss his idea for an MMA-based videogame. He thought it would work because the WWE had been successful for a long time with their games. EA, on the other hand, refused to meet with him because they claimed that MMA disgusted them. He, of course, later went to THQ, who produced the official UFC game from their San Diego studio.

EA went on to make their own MMA game, unlicensed. Needless to say, he was not happy about this, and threatened to ban any fighter who appeared in EA's MMA title. Suffice it to say, it was a pretty big surprise to see Mr. White standing on EA's stage announcing his exclusive partnership with the company that had stabbed him in the back. Obviously EA was not happy with their non-existent sales, so they purchased the contract away from THQ, who has much less of a sports background than EA. I would imagine we will see new EA-powered UFC titles later in the year.

So, what of THQ? They believed it was in the best interest of everyone involved to transfer the rights to EA. Everyone except the employees of their San Diego studio. Unfortunately, THQ has confirmed that they will be closing the studio. They plan to cherry pick the best of the best for other projects and let the rest of the team go. Maybe they can find a new home at EA.

EA Shows Dead Space 3 Gameplay

posted Tuesday Jun 5, 2012 by Scott Ertz

EA Shows <i>Dead Space 3</i> Gameplay

One of the highlights of EA's presser this year was the announcement of Dead Space 3. This is a franchise that has had lots of controversy, including the "your mom hates this game" ad campaign. Controversy leads to sales and sales usually translates into likes, especially when the games are as good as these. Getting to see gameplay from the next installment is enough to get anyone excited.

In the new game, you will be joined by a new companion: John Carver. The addition of Carver also means the addition of co-op play. The game is even smart enough to adapt the story to whether or not your companion is controlled by another human. A scene that might normally involve a conversation with the NPC Carver might become a fight scene with a co-op friend.

Carver will accompany you through new terrains, including a frozen planet. This is a stark contrast to the usual setting for this survival horror genre game, the black of space. It is a good idea to change so much of a game? Will it still feel like the same game when put into an entirely new surrounding? Other games have managed to do it successfully, but many fail. From what we got to see of this scene in the demo, this will be the former.

Amazingly Visceral Games has managed to brighten the landscape without losing the horror or the action. You can look forward to getting your hands on this game February 2013.

Ubisoft: Splinter Cell: Blacklist Does Not Get Blacklisted

posted Tuesday Jun 5, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Ubisoft: <i>Splinter Cell: Blacklist</i> Does Not Get Blacklisted

It wouldn't be a Ubisoft Press Conference without some a new Splinter Cell and that's exactly what we got with Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Sam Fisher looked great and so did his artistic killings, thanks to the "killing in action" system that blends the stealth and action elements of the game together. It makes the pace of the game much faster without losing the challenge that comes along with needing to use tact for survival. Integration with Kinect gives you the ability to interact with enemies by distracting them and taunting them, which is in itself satisfying. You can also issue voice commands to teammates which adds new life to the unique ways you can kill people. We can all look forward to staining our hands with the blood of the guilty in Spring of 2013.

Be sure to stay plugged in as we will also be expanding on other offerings form Ubisoft like Watch_Dog and Assassins Creed III throughout the week. In you were unfortunate enough to miss our liveblog for the event, go here and check out some gameplay footage after the break.

Ubisoft: Assassin's Creed III

posted Tuesday Jun 5, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Ubisoft: <i>Assassin's Creed III</i>

Producer Francois Pelland took the stage to tell us how Assassin's Creed III brings the fight with the Templar to our very own shores. The good news is that the story is set with in a 30 year time frame which occurs before, during and after the Revolutionary War era of the U.S.A. It's also a good thing that the colonists have Conner, the newest assassin, to help put those Redcoats in their place, for now. In a cut scene Conner makes it clear to someone that he is there because of the Templar and the fight between the Colonists and England is not his concern. Find out more and catch the trailer after the break.

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