E3 2012

It’s E3 time again.. the first day starting off with conferences from Microsoft and Sony.  I’ve been waiting for more info on a few games, but E3 is usually good for info on new games too..

Microsoft showed footage from 360-exclusive Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II, due for release in November, Resident Evil 6, due in October, and Tomb Raider, Spring 2013.

Other games mentioned were Forza Horizon, Dance Central 3, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, for Spring 2013.  Trey Parker and Matt Stone talked about South Park: The Stick of Truth, and the efforts that have gone into making the RPG this far, including making a model of the town which hadn’t even been attempted before in the creation of the show.

There was also confirmation of 360-exclusive DLC for Resident Evil 6 and Tomb Raider, though no information about what content this might add.  These are both games I’m interested in, but I’m really not a fan of exclusive content, nor of DLC announced before the game is even released.

Microsoft announced Xbox SmartGlass, which will connect the Xbox 360 with other devices, enabling companion software for movies on tablets or smartphones, the ability to use a smartphone as a remote for their Xbox, and so on.  Xbox 360 is also to receive some new additions with its own web browser, which would be navigable via smartphone with SmartGlass, the new Xbox Music service, and the inclusion of more entertainment providers on Xbox LIVE.

At Sony’s conference, Quantic Dream revealed Beyond: Two Souls, a story-driven game dealing with death and the afterlife..

Naughty Dog‘s The Last of Us, announced last year at the VGAs, was demoed on stage with a fight between the survivors and a band of hunters and highlighted the lack of ammo and need to ration it.  As yet there is still no release date for the game.. but it’s looking very good!

God of War Ascension has been given a release date, March 12th 2013, while PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, due in December, has had new characters unveiled, including BioShock’s Big Daddy and Uncharted’s Nathan Drake.

Sony also announced that 200 new games will be made available on their network over the next twelve months, including some PSOne classics for the PS Vita, and that a new partnership with HTC will mean PS games for HTC phones.  The PS Vita is also getting special versions of other upcoming games: PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, earlier announced for the PS3, Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, also due this year, and an exclusive Assassin’s Creed game called Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, due at the end of October.  Ubisoft and Sony are releasing an Assassin’s Creed III PS3 hardware bundle, including the game, console and exclusive DLC.  Assassin’s Creed III is also to be released on the Wii U.. a first for the Nintendo platform.

An eBook system is also coming to PlayStation: Wonderbook, which will use the PlayStation Eye to let fans explore and interact with books.. JK Rowling has teamed up with Sony and PlayStation for Book of Spells, which also ties in with the Pottermore online world.

EA revealed dates for the new Need for Speed, due October 30th, Crysis 3, Dead Space 3 and Sim City, all due Feb 2013.  Sim City Social was also revealed; a Sim City game for Facebook, to be released this month with the aim of taking back the city-building crown from the likes of Zynga 😉

Other news from EA revealed that Star Wars: The Old Republic will become free-to-play up to level 15 when the game is updated in July; the update will also introduce a new world and add new content to the game.  EA also announced that they have acquired the rights to the UFC license from THQ; THQ are now shutting down their San Diego studio, where the UFC franchise and some WWE games were made.

Ubisoft announced an open-world futuristic game called Watch Dogs.. this looks rather interesting and I’ll be watching for more news..

Other games from Ubisoft include Just Dance 4 and eight Wii U games in the pipeline: survival thriller ZombiU and a version of Assassin’s Creed III, as well as Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth, Rabbids Land, Rayman Legends, Just Dance 4, Sports Connection and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012.  The most interesting of these for me is ZombiU, which puts players in the middle of a zombie-infested London, with an option for a second player on the Wii U Gamepad to hinder the first player by moving zombies around the map!

Nintendo have upgraded the Wii U to include multiple-controller support; something which was lacking from early demos of the console and caused concerns about multiplayer gaming.  The Wii U will also support media such as YouTube, Netflix and others.

Other news from E3 include the announcement of Painkiller: Hell & Damnation, and a release date of August 21st for Counter Strike: Global Offensive, which will be available on PC, PS3 and 360.

OnLive are celebrating their two-year anniversary, and claim they now have “millions” of users since their launch at E3 2010.  They started with just 19 games in their library; they now boast hundreds of games from over 60 publishers, with availability having increased from PCs and Macs to include TVs, tablets and smartphones.  OnLive have also partnered with LG to integrate their streamed gaming service into LG’s Smart TV range.  Now if only the UK’s broadband infrastructure would be improved to match.. 😉

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