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E3 2012

Discussion in 'General Video Game Discussion' started by Doctor Oak, May 22, 2012.

  1. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    This year’s E3 is a little over a week away, and if - like me - you’re in the UK, you even get the added bonus of two days off just to watch the conferences! (Or something about an 80s rock band crossing over with that annoying kid in the April O’Neil coat from the X-Men or whatever.)

    Each year I draw up a little list of what I, as someone who studies and analyses the industry at any free opportunity, envisage we’ll be seeing at this year’s party - and just as importantly - what we won’t. Obviously, since I can’t actually divine the future, this isn’t likely to be 100%, but some educated guesses based on rumours, leaks, previously confirmed statements and patterns have gone into what I’d consider a likely set of outcomes.

    We’ll go in order of the conferences as they take place, focusing just on the ‘Big Three’ of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.
  2. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord


    Microsoft’s conference this year is at 9:30am Pacific Time (5:30pm BST) on the 4th June and will be streamed live on Xbox Live for the first time.

    What we won’t see:

    Let’s get this out of the way, right now: The next Xbox will not be featured at this year’s E3. Microsoft has gone on statement about this enough times by now that it’s just not even a ‘maybe’, the system just factually will not make an appearance this year. That’s really to be expected, though. The Xbox 360 is enough of a match for the Wii U that Microsoft really doesn’t have anything to worry about right now. Certainly nothing worth rushing into their next hardware cycle ahead of time for. The 360’s got at least another year or two in her thanks to Microsoft’s persistent updates to the operating system; the newer ‘S’ model and Kinect.

    What we might see:

    Saying all of that though, it’s going to be almost impossible for Microsoft to ignore the elephant in the room completely. Expect some form of teaser, or at least acknowledgement that Microsoft has got something ‘big’ in the works to come in the near future - but that’ll be about it.

    In terms of games, we already know that Microsoft’s got a new Halo series to pimp out before Halo 4’s release later in the year. Bungie’s recently revealed Destiny series may also get a mention, although this series will only be a timed exclusive for the Xbox. The new Forza: Horizon game will also definitely be making an appearance. Microsoft also usually takes the opportunity of being the first conference to demonstrate the big non-exclusive titles in its show, too. This year’s Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto V will probably be the biggest hitters in that category, but there’ll undoubtedly be others. Rayman Legends may also be scooped by Microsoft, but we already know it’ll be featured in at least one other conference too...

    It’s hard to pin down what Microsoft’s other studios are up to at the moment - especially since Lionhead just lost Peter Molyneux and likely their last chance to be anything other than the developers of an annual Fable disappointment. It’s probably to be expected though that after last year’s initial push on Kinect integration with ‘core’ titles, we’ll be seeing a lot more of that demonstrated again this year. Especially as the system’s SDK was just upgraded to support features such as facial tracking and tracking a sat user - ideal for combining with a controller.

    Speaking of Kinect, we can also expect a number of more casual games included in the show, likely starting with the upcoming Avengers game and possibly others looking to emulate the, frankly unwarranted, commercial success of Kinect Star Wars.

    A kinect/Skylanders-like NFC hybrid Viva Pinata is also quite likely. It would be a tent pole title for Kinect; would provide solid competition against the Wii U audience with a Christmas release and the success of Skylanders’ toys would be the merchandising win Microsoft and RARE will have dreamt of when they initiated the franchise.

    In terms of the Xbox Software, Internet Explorer will seemingly be arriving on 360s soon, apparently attempting to finally do away with that little ‘x’ in the feature comparison charts against its competitors. Chances are that it will be heavily based upon the upcoming Internet Explorer 10 found in Windows 8 - which actually, isn’t bad. A wide support for new HTML5 and CSS3 standards should actually make it a far better browser than its competitors have managed thus far. Microsoft’s also really pushing the media centre aspect of the system and will likely be announcing further media services and deals at the show. How many of them will make their way across the Atlantic is another matter entirely, but I’d expect that number one on the list will be Spotify integration.

    Metro Apps are also set to be a massive core feature of Windows 8, and the increasing integration among their various hardware platforms makes it likely that some of this will factor into the Xbox as well. It’s possible that, given the rumours of the 360’s successor literally running a form of Windows 8, this will really end up being relegated to that instead, but it’s still feasible that the 360 will be tied into that ecosystem alongside Windows 8’s launch later in the year.

    Crazy Odds:

    While Sony can attack the Wii U’s unique controller head on with PS3/Vita integration, Microsoft seemingly has no such obvious parallel. Except, it actually kinda does. Windows Phones and upcoming Windows 8 tablets certainly have a lot to gain from symbiosis with the Xbox brand, and further integration is pretty much inevitable. But, they could also provide Microsoft with their own in-house tablet controller interface. I wouldn’t place good odds on it happening - certainly worse odds on it being tacked onto the 360 than a design feature of its successor - but it’d certainly help knock some wind out of Nintendo’s sails. Not to mention, light a fire under Windows 8 mobile.

    Another on-going rumour is that Windows 8’s integration with Xbox Live on the desktop would also extend to being able to play Xbox games on your PC. It sounds like a licensing nightmare, but there’s always an outside possibility that something along those lines will make their way into reality all the same.

    Finally, Microsoft always enjoy throwing a complete curveball out there in their conferences - such as the announcement of Metal Gear Rising for the platform a few years ago. Something to really get tongues wagging, and sometimes, like the Metal Gear announcement, to entice foreign audiences to give system a shot. A Monster Hunter exclusive would be pretty successful in doing that. Nintendo managed to prove that even in the West, nailing that franchise as an exclusive is enough to catch some extra attention - but in Japan, it would likely cause a national emergency from people rushing on the low stock of the underperforming system in the region. Not massively likely, but possible nonetheless.
  3. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord


    Sony’s conference takes place at 6pm Pacific Time (2am BST) on the 4th June and will be broadcast live on Playstation Network for the first time, as well as online at us.playstation.com/e3.

    What we won’t see:

    As with Microsoft, a full console reveal from Sony this year is effectively off the cards. While Sony does have the most to gain out of the two from jumping into a new hardware cycle early, the Vita should be enough to extend the PS3’s life that little bit longer. The fact that the PS3 - for all its troubles - is still the only real part of Sony’s entire multimedia business that’s actually making money will play a large part in this as well.

    Also, despite how much of a sweeping statement it may be, it’s also unlikely we’ll really see anything powerful enough to turn the fate of Move around. Microsoft will push Kinect hard, but Sony’s likely to relegate Move to a footnote in terms of compatibility with the software it demonstrates.

    What we might see:

    More than 20 new gaming experiences” at the very least. A lot of these will be previously announced titles like The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension and Super Smash Br Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, but there is set to be a number of completely new announcements among them - a lot of them, supposedly exclusive.

    For the Vita, a new Grand Theft Auto title is quite feasible, although we may not get to see much about it as its release will almost certainly follow some time after GTA V’s. A new Patapon title is also expected, and in general, I’d anticipate a leaning towards Vita in terms of those 20 games.

    Despite a full console reveal being unlikely, a prototype PS4 with some tech demos is definitely a fair possibility. Given the eventual absence of boomerang controllers with the PS3, it’s safe to say that this won’t really reflect the final product that we will inevitably see for real next E3, but would be a good move for Sony to steal some of Nintendo’s thunder. Especially since such a demonstration would focus on the technical maximum power of the system - something which is likely to utterly outclass the Wii U, even if it doesn’t actually translate into a significant difference in released software in the end.

    Crazy Odds:

    Final Fantasy VII will finally get that HD remake, and it will be exclusive to the PS3. Cloud and Sephiroth are licensed as characters in Playstation All Stars as part of the deal.

    A sister system to the Vita will be announced and will run Android 4.0. Effectively, it’ll be a new Xperia Play, but similar to the Vita and compatible with its software as well as the full Android Marketplace.
  4. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord


    Nintendo’s conference takes place at 9am Pacific Time (5pm BST) on the 5th June and will be streamed live through their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Nintendo/app_385608378148291) for the first time, as well as on their website - with a new mobile friendly HTML5 stream. (http://e3.nintendo.com/)

    What we won’t see:

    A Nintendo 3DS redesign. Probably. Not because one isn’t coming (because it, really, really is), but because Nintendo can’t really shoulder two hardware launches at once. The 3DS revision couldn’t possibly launch until after the financial year ending April 2013, so next E3 is more likely, if it even makes its debut at an E3 at all.

    A new main series Pokemon game on the 3DS. Black and White 2 will be taking up that slot for the rest of the year, so - again - it’ll be a year out before we see anything like that. Even then, Pokemon games rarely get any attention at all at E3, let alone announced, so don’t expect it next year either.

    Super Smash Bros. Just not happening. Not yet. I’d really doubt we’ll even get a teaser trailer for it.

    What we might see:

    Well, let’s start off with the obvious: Wii U and its launch titles (in North America). Amongst those titles looks set to be another New Super Mario Bros. title, based upon the tech demo from last year (although conflicting reports indicate that the upcoming 3DS title is that title, while the upcoming Wii U game will be different); Pikmin 3, which has reportedly been ‘finished’ for a while; Rayman Legends, which we’ve already seen a glimpse of; a new Rabbids party game; a new Just Dance (just to demonstrate the ‘Wii’ side of things is here to stay...) and possibly a port of Batman Arkham City, and maybe even Assassin’s Creed III - though that’s a hell of a stretch for launch.

    Lego City Stories will almost certainly make another debut at this year’s E3, but it’s not shaping up to be out this year it seems.

    There's a lot of clout behind the rumour that Grand Theft Auto V will launch on the Wii U, and if Nintendo's going to do turn heads at this year's E3, this will be the most likely title to do so.

    One massively rumoured title that Nintendo is expected to announce is the latest title from Retro Studios - this time, so the rumours go, they’re expected to take the Star Fox and Metroid franchises and smush them together into one game. It’s a dubious concept, but given Retro’s pedigree, it’s worth giving them the benefit of the doubt for now.

    Another rumour also sees them making the first Console Pokemon game since Battle Revolution in 2005. This one is actually lent a little more credence by a Retro studios spokesperson stating that the next franchise they were working on is one they haven’t done before. While a crossover with Star Fox may (cheekily) fit that bill, a Pokemon title would fit it a little better. This would also be the first Pokemon game ever to be developed by a Western studio, if true. The Star Fox/Metroid thing seems to have more legs, though.

    A new 3DS Zelda game is also likely to be imminent, which could - at this point - equally be an all new game, or a remake of Majora’s Mask. Luigi’s Mansion is still lacking a release date, but will almost certainly receive one in the show (for North America). The same will likely go for the new Animal Crossing and Paper Mario titles. Neither of which will be this year outside of Japan.

    Pokemon Black and White 2 will probably receive solid dates at the show. E3’s not normally in a position to do this, but with the games out in Japan that month, and in the West a few months later, it’s extremely likely. We may even get to find out a thing or two about the games, but likely little more than some anglicised names.

    Sonic And Sega All Stars Racing: Transformed seems pretty certain to be announced within Nintendo’s show as a Wii U launch title, too. Chances are it won’t be the only Sonic title on show, either - but an exclusive follow up to Colours may be out of the question, and a port of Generations more likely. A new multiplatform Sonic game may be announced too, but chances are that Microsoft or Sony will get there before Nintendo.

    In terms of what the Wii U itself will bring to the table, I’m predicting (maybe hoping) that Nintendo will do a 180 on some mistakes they’ve made in the past. Their Online system will be more akin to Xbox Live, and will be properly account based. The online market place will be a bit less restrictive and hopefully better supported by Nintendo. We already know that first party 3DS and Wii U games will launch with a digital version on release day, ideally Nintendo will allow you to activate digital copies with the physical copies you bought. (A recently rumoured update to the Nintendo Club system would also remove said digital copies if you traded in your physical copy - but don’t expect Nintendo to say that in the show).

    Another rumour is that Nintendo is prepping physical Gamercards, fitted with a small, monochrome LCD screen. These would basically be your Nintendo account and could connect to other Wii U systems via the NFC tech in the controller. Effectively, they seem to be a way to integrate Streetpass into the Wii U, while also raising another VMU-like ghost from the Dreamcast’s grave. This would probably be under the ‘Crazy Odds’ header if it didn’t evoke comparisons with the PokeWalker. A simple device like this would be relatively cheap - but add a lot more value to the Wii U in terms of a device that works just as well when it’s not taking over a television.

    Actual Crazy Odds:

    Nintendo announce that their online system was done by a third party. This may actually end up being the case (in fact, it was strongly suggested last year that EA would be contributing to it), but Nintendo’s probably not going to outright say so.

    Nintendo actually announces a price for the system. This isn’t really likely at all. Which is disappointing, really - as they did this with the 3DS and waited until the preorders had started flooding in before revealing the eventual price (one they had to climb down from pretty quickly, too). The price will likely be at or under £250 (certainly, it really can’t afford to go for any more than £300), but it’ll be another while before we find out in all likelihood.

    Nintendo announces a Pokemon MMO (but in Nintendo’s definition of MMO, so more or less a single player game with a persistent online connection). It’s a bubbling rumour that won’t go away - and it more often than not gets tied to Retro Studios too. Let’s face it, Nintendo’s heard the requests for such a thing countless times and never once given in - so they’re probably not going to begin now. But hey, if they want to cause the entire Internet to explode on the 5th June, this is as good a way as any.

    Someone finally succeeds in getting Nintendo to change the name from Wii U to something sensible.


    Who Will Win?

    Us, probably. The Wii U has great potential to finally be the console we all wish Nintendo had delivered with the Wii. It certainly stands to reason that the best, and most surprising, software reveals are likely to be in Nintendo’s conference.

    The other two companies will also have to step up their game to get noticed in the year that Nintendo launches their follow up to one of the most successful video game consoles ever released. E3 is increasingly an outlet for the industry to talk to the mainstream consumer and press - something that doesn’t happen regularly. To this audience, Nintendo’s Wii is the king to be toppled, so Sony and Microsoft have to run some serious disruption here if they want to take the throne themselves.

    Hopefully, that will mean they’ll focus on what they have that Nintendo do not - AAA software and franchises from both internal studios and close third party ties that have defined the medium for most players in the past half decade. A very strong software showing to combat a strong hardware showing, if you will.

    Ultimately, I think Nintendo’s got the writing on the wall for this one if they live up to the potential of the Wii U. A weak and confusing demonstration like last year’s, however, and that writing may not be such a good thing...
  5. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Friend Code:
    I have yet to thoroughly read through all of your posts, but the quote above reminded me of this article: http://ca.ign.com/articles/2012/05/16/s ... a-priority

    *Reads the rest of your posts now* :angel:
  6. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    If you read the post, you'll see that it's not something I ascribe a lot of likelihood to happening. :p
  7. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Friend Code:
    I knew it wasn't one of your strong predictions actually, but I found your comment interesting nonetheless - especially since FF VII was specifically brought up in the article that I linked. :)
  8. Demelza

    Demelza Eevee Tamer
    Staff Member Moderator

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    When I first seen this rumour I didn't think it'd be likely to be true because lets face it some pretty crazy rumours always out around this time, and it'd be very easy to throw this aside as one of them. However, the more gets said about this rumour the more I believe it could actually turn out to be true. Normally I wouldn't be that keen to see a Metroid and Star Fox cross, but given the rumour involves Retro Studios I'm more then willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and see what happens. ^^

    This isn't probably isn't that likely, but the Pokémon fan in me would love to see it happen anyways. As you stated, the last console game was back in 2005, so it is about time we had another.

    At this point I wouldn't be overly fussed about another Legend of Zelda game. Last year felt like for Nintendo fans it was all about that series, and while that's a good thing, I think the Zelda fan in me is happy for awhile yet before we see another game. That said, if one is announced I'd like a new game and not just a remake of Majora’s Mask because I think the 3DS needs a Legend of Zelda title to call its own and not just another remake, Majora's Mask can wait a bit.

    Luigi’s Mansion 2 and Paper Mario should see a release date without question (Hopefully we also get more footage of Paper Mario too >>), I do doubt slightly that we'll see a release date for Animal Crossing though. The game is slated for a very late almost end of year release in Japan, Nintendo aren't rushing to give it a date elsewhere and could always do so through an end/start of year Nintendo Direct. It really comes down to if they want to build hype around that game or not. Currently I feel, despite how big a series Animal Crossing is, they want to hype other things, but I guess we'll see~

    All in all this year will be interesting for Nintendo fans. :)
  9. I've actually seen something, I think it was in the UK Nintendo magazine which stated Paper Mario would be released this summer unless it has been pushed back pretty far I'm actually surprised we don't have a solid release date for it yet.
  10. KoL

    KoL Expert FPS Player
    Staff Member Moderator

    I definitely wouldn't want a new Xbox console announced for the same reasons Alex mentioned; we really don't need one yet. The Xbox 360 still has quite a lot of life left in it for now.

    I'm interested to see if the Star Fox/Metroid crossover is shown, and Retro Studios have definitely proven themselves capable of making great games in the past (Metroid Prime series no duh) so if I'd trust any company to fix all the crap that Other M caused while also giving Star Fox some needed time in the spotlight, it'd definitely be them.

    Finally, the idea of a Pokemon MMO sucks and I hope they don't do it.
  11. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

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    Xbox Live:
    I thought "2005? Really?", so looked it up. When you get to my age, things that happened 10 years ago seem like only last year, so thought I should check. Apparently PBR was released on 14th December 2006 in Japan, 25th June 2007 in North America and 7th December 2007 in Europe. So not actually 2005, but still 5 or 6 years ago! And it wasn't even a full game!

    The last "proper" console Pokemon (i.e. with a story) was Pokemon XD, which did come out everywhere in 2005. Why PBR took so long to localise I don't know, since XD was released on 4th August 2005 in Japan, 3rd October 2005 in North America and 18th November 2005 in Europe.

    Also... I hope there is news of Dragon Quest X at E3. All I've heard about it has been in Japanese, followed by lots of fans grumbling that it seems to be an MMORPG. I want news in English, to determine what "online RPG" actually means.
  12. My simple prediction:

    MS will embarass itself some more with the Kinect while announcing more gears of halos.

    Sony will announce hundreds of PS3 ports for the Vita that nobody ever asked for because they already got the original and the PS3->Vita connectivity will get adressed again but will ultimately fall flat.

    Nintendo will win by default (again) simply because they mention like 1-3 games . And of course WiiU.

    I seriously think that the 3DS is the only thing that has a chance of getting any original and good games at all this E3.
  13. KoL

    KoL Expert FPS Player
    Staff Member Moderator

    I'm inclined to agree since the 3DS hasn't really "exploded" yet the way the DS did sometime after its release. Hopefully E3 will be that time for Nintendo to make me want to buy this thing.
  14. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

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    I think it's obvious that Nintendo both has the most to gain and to lose this E3, but Sony should be taking it seriously too. The Vita has been a bit of a financial failure in the country it should be selling best, made even worse by that fact that PSP consistently outsells it. I'd like to see what Sony's going to do to fix this problem around the globe. As it currently stands, I used to have a small amount of interest in the Vita but that's since dropped to nil.
  15. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    The problem with Vita is that a lot of people were burned with the PSP. Sure the hardware on the PSP was always pretty good (though the build quality declined rapidly with each new model), but the fact of the matter is that the software just never appeared for it. The majority of the PSP's biggest hitters were inferior ports of console titles. I can probably list only about half a dozen original PSP games worth picking one up for - Monster Hunters not withstanding.

    I, and I'd assume a lot of others like me, will be waiting for the Vita to not only redesign itself (as Sony has demonstrated is inevitable), but to pick up some major software.

    A new GTA title would be enough to perk my ears, but unfortunately the Vita has too many other weaknesses (the price, the battery life and the ridiculous proprietary storage media that costs the earth being the major ones) to really make a sale even after that.

    Handheld gaming is a front under heavy, consistent attack from iOS and Android - and while Nintendo will always have Pokemon in its corner to fight that battle, Sony has no such stalwart. In the end, the Vita may fail purely because it can't keep up against the mobile platforms in an expanding market.

    A new Xperia handset, with the power and software focus as Vita, however, could be the cure to Sony's ills - which makes me wonder if Sony's more likely to kill the Vita off and push its mobile market instead before too long.
  16. The Vita has the exact same problems the PSP went through 6 or 7 years ago.

    Its odd that Sony went for the exact same thing.

    I think that the PSP DOES have a good library. Better than the first Xbox easily. Its just that it took more than half a decade for it to get those games.
    And if certain people prefer games from limited genres only then of course they will get bored of it fast.
  17. I think that Nintendo will give a lot of info on Pokémon Black and White 2, give us more information on Super Smash Bros. 3DS and WiiU, give us more on wiiU and some of the games and, hopefully, announce a last great Nintendo game for the Wii!
  18. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    There won't be anything substantially new about B/W2 at E3. E3 is just not where these things happen. Anglicised names and a release date? Sure. Anything meaningful about the game itself? Nyet.

    I can also almost completely guarantee that the next SSB fighting game will not feature at all this year. We'll leave a little wiggle room for the vaguest of teasers for it - but given that the game is either REALLY early in development, or hasn't even started yet, don't hold your breath.

    As for a last 'great' game for the Wii - the Wii is dead and gone for all but the Wii Fit and Sports crowd. I entirely expect Nintendo to support it for those players (and by support it, I mean, bundle it off cheap), and for titles like Just Dance, etc, to continue releasing on it for years to come. But that's all just the same as the PS2's extended life span. Nothing worthwhile came out for the PS2 that you shouldn't have picked up on the PS3 (/360) after its release.


    No Star Fox/Metroid cross over (for now).

    That leaves the other major rumour for Retro - the Pokemon MMO-like-thing. Or possibly another franchise entirely. BUT: There will be a reveal by Retro on Tuesday, and it won't be a Metroid or Donkey Kong game. Maybe we'll still get a dose of Star Fox, though?

    I think this entire idea is kind of indicative of a movement within Nintendo to build up some degree of Smash Bros. franchise - rather than just the single series of fighting games. Given how well much attention the series receives, it'd make sense to branch out into other concepts - especially since it takes so long for an SSB game to materialise. Sony's SSB clone may be a kick in the pants to Nintendo to make something happen there sooner rather than later.

    I have to say, a proper SSB platformer or something - with a bit more depth and gameplay to it than the Subspace Emissary from SSBB - would be pretty much right up my alley.
  19. KoL

    KoL Expert FPS Player
    Staff Member Moderator

    As far as Retro is concerned, I'd like to see Star Fox more than anything else. The Pokemon MMO can go fuck itself with a crowbar.

    My only worry about Star Fox is that the series hasn't really brought out a good game since Lylat Wars. Adventures was a weak Zelda clone, Assault was a weak Lylat Wars clone, and Command was just horrible. If anyone can bring Star Fox back on the map it's Retro though.
  20. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Latest Nintendoy rumour is that - one way or another - we'll see new Star Fox, F-Zero and Super Smash Brothers games announced.

    The F-Zero one has a lot of legs, actually - and has been a rumbling undercurrent for a while. In fact, some are even attributing it to Retro now - although that would be an unusual move for a racing game as they tend to be left in the hands of established racing game developers given their need for a robust physics engine. It's more likely, really, that Sega will pick the franchise up again.

    As for the SSB rumour, I still doubt there'll be anything more than a tease here. There's certainly no way any active development has been achieved by this point in order to make a genuine gameplay reveal. Although, that's not to say that a non fighting game SSB could appear...

    Star Fox, I'd attribute as the most likely series for Retro to come out of the gates with.

    In non-Nintendoy news, we've had a few line-up announcements for the other consoles. Some have been confirmed as full multi-platform, including the Wii U, but most are shying away from any possible confirmation that they'll be on Nintendo's system right now. The word going round is that Nintendo is asking developers to keep quiet ahead of E3. Presumably to make a much larger impact in their own show.

    These lists will not be complete as there'll definitely be a few surprises left to come, but for now, they're a good start:


    Dead Space 3 and a number of as-yet unannounced titles will also be on show from EA.

    Other notable titles confirmed are the new Hitman game, the new (and recently delayed) Tomb Raider reboot, Injustice: Gods Among Us - a DC character fighting game from the Mortal Kombat developers, NetherRealm Studios.

    There have also been confirmations that a new Gears of War game will be announced - subtitled 'Judgement' and that Microsoft is working on a companion app for the Xbox 360 that will allow devices running Windows (presumably 8), Windows Phone (presumably 8), iOS and Android to actively control an Xbox 360 and stream music or film content from those devices to the 360. One may also assume that Microsoft will also be looking at this as competition to the Wii U tablet controller and that 360 games can also be streamed to these devices. The app will be called Smart Glass and will be a prominent focus of an E3 demonstration centred on the convergence of Microsoft's products.

    Other bits and pieces of pre-E3 hype include the apparent incoming reveal of an HD collection of the second, third and fourth Hitman titles ahead of the fifth this Winter. A new Star Wars franchise called '1313', which is supposedly going to whore out Boba Fett to all new levels of fan-fuckery. Plus, the return of Metal Gear Rising Revengeance (what is it with Japanese developers and their insane game names these days?) - finally set to come out on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 early next year.
  21. Personally I cant wait for amazing games like Fifa13(tm) , NHL13(tm) and some support failed MMO!
    EA is truly the worst company. Their list is literally 40% annual sports game rehash and 40% more brown&bloom shooter.

    I think I wont follow the E3 until its finally happening and even then I kinda dont think that I should get my hopes up too much.
    But I kinda like surprises so I hope that I will see at least one thing that surprises me positively.

    Who's gonna participate in E3 drinking games?
    Take a sip every time they mention "innovation", down the glass when they say things like "to a wider audience"
  22. Check.
  23. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Summation of Microsoft's E3 conference:

    Halo 4; new Splinter Cell (looks good, actually); sports, more sports, a bit more sports; new entertainment apps on the dash (full list); Gears of War: Judgement; Forza 4; more sports; Microsoft Smart Glass (actually the best thing on show today) and a bunch of Kinect integration - including some Kinect focused games that pretty much all look awful (especially the Fable one).

    And Call of Duty.

    All basically standard par for the course, really. The Smart Glass stuff is easily the best thing Microsoft have brought to the table here, but it could take a while for anything to materialize into reality there. The fact it's not tied to Windows devices, though, is a major key feature and a hell of a smart decision from MS there.

    The South Park game was basically the best game they had on show. I'll be counting down the days to that one.

    Nintendo had a little pre-E3 show last night, too. In it was a fair amount of Wii U information - including the first glimpse at what seems like an actually good online system baked into the console. As for what they've got to show off tomorrow, the latest rumour (from a very reputable source) is that there'll be a new, larger 3DS announced tomorrow and released worldwide this summer. It'll feature a 4.3inch top screen and a second analog slide pad. Also, the Wii U is apparently going to be about £250 (in Yen) at launch. Hopefully that will stay at no higher than £250 when it comes out here - but I don't expect any hard price details to be revealed tomorrow either way.
  24. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
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    Just an fyi, the Kirby Anniversary collection for Wii has been titled "Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition" and is dated for release this September. I'm assuming that this date relates to North America and not Europe but I'm not fully sure. As of now there's still no word on which Kirby games will be included either.

    In other news... I'm hoping that the 3DS Software conference tonight reveals more new games and doesn't just highlight currently known games. :3:

    Edit: Aaaaaand what I hoped wouldn't happen is exactly what happened. Yay?
  25. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    This article has a lot of technical bumph in it about the Wii U capabilities. But one notable thing is the comparison of Arkham City's visuals. It seems that, although the Wii U isn't really that much more powerful than the PS3 and 360, it does at least have a bag of tricks far closer to the current DX11 games heading to PC.

    Bearing in mind that anything demonstrated currently is NOT going to be operating at peak graphical level either, given that the tools are still evolving and being optimised, as well as the developers learning the capabilities and how to push them, it does look like the Wii U might just be able to have a decent horse to run for the duration of this generation.

    The second screen on the tablet controller does seem to hamper its abilities, though - so the best looking games will inevitably feature very little use of that screen. What that means for when you're -just- using that screen, who knows. It may look just as it would on the TV in that instance - but that will likely be something we won't know until launch. Running two tablet controllers reportedly cuts the framerate of the game in half - but as you'll note in the article, the Wii U is designed to run at 60FPS - double the standard we currently enjoy on most games anyway. It would seem that all those extra frames per second are actually there defensively, rather than a key visual bonus point. Ultimately, that won't be a problem in comparison to its current competition. Expect a lot of developers to either abandon using a second gamepad, or abandon their pretty visuals, by the time the next Xbox and PS3 start rolling in, though...
  26. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
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    It's an interesting article and gives as much hope as it does doubts, but I think I'm starting to get saturated with discussion about Wii U's power. It's pretty clear that Nintendo could've pushed the specs a bit further but decided to settle back into a more affordable range. Whether that will be a good business tactic in the long run has yet to be seen, but for their sake I hope it sustains them as long as necessary.

    Specs aside, I'm now more interested in seeing how they'll handle their digital distribution service. A good service with all the bells and whistles of the PSN would do Nintendo wonders, and if they're smart they'll make virtual console games streamable on the GamePad. Would've been nice to hear some of those answers at E3, but guess we'll have to wait for future announcements...
  27. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    I think a lot more discussion about it is necessary - specifically in terms of the system's limitations. It's clear that the system will launch with some strengths and weaknesses in terms of visual parity with the existing consoles. The good news for now is that it's definitely on the higher end than the lower end - but the bad news is, it's still not exactly cutting edge, and that will hurt the system's future. Ideally, the Wii U should be capable of what a mid-range gaming PC is capable of. The components inside my PC are hardly expensive top of the range pieces of kit, but they still outclass a system that will seemingly cost more than the key components in my computer put together. (The Wii U will supposedly retail for £280, according to ShopTo).

    The hardware inside the Xbox 360 and PS3 is more than closer to a decade old than not, now. It wouldn't push the boat out that far to leap ahead of it. Nintendo does seem to be playing safe with costs and playing high with profit. Again. That may work in their favour in the short term (it sure did for the 3DS), but it could just as likely bite them - and everyone that buys the system - in the ass soon after (it sure as hell did for the 3DS).

    But, at the very least, where the Wii U stands today in terms of power will never fall as far behind the curve as the Wii itself did. Even if you compare something amazing looking like Watch Dogs - which was running on a well spec'd DirectX 11 PC for that demo - to current console fare like Assassin's Creed, it's really not that stark a difference. It's an evolutionary step in terms of aesthetics - not a revolutionary leap as we experienced this generation. The discussion of what the Wii U is capable of is definitely valid and with merit - but it would be wrong to place all hope for the Wii U's fortune on that outcome.

    Nintendo's massive leap into offering their own titles as digital downloads on street date release is a massive deal, and it baffles me why it was not even touched upon this week. I have a feeling that third party publishers are feeling a bit twitchy over it as, firstly, it's hard to compete on Nintendo's platform to begin with, and secondly, if they failed to compete well, it could sour their relationships with physical retailers for nothing. Given the issues that GAME has suffered this year, though, Nintendo are making an uncharacteristically foresightful manoeuvre that I hope indicates an understanding that a strong online marketplace will be an invaluable asset to the Wii U's future - and Nintendo's.

    Put it this way, Valve's games are an insanely domineering force on Steam. If they drop a new Portal or Left 4 Dead game, it fucks the market up completely for everyone else. Yet, publishers and indie developers love it and make a major success out of the platform. The reason is that whenever Valve do drop a nuclear bomb like that on the marketplace, they involve the rest of the marketplace in the hype by putting on big subsidised sales. Steam is the diagram for how to make a digital distribution marketplace work. It would be to everyone's credit to copy it - but especially Nintendo, whose market force can only really be matched by Valve's.
  28. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
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    I'm not sure if this was directed at me or just in general, but for me I've just reached the point of "it is what it is". I'm interested to see what it can achieve at its best and what it can't achieve at its worst, but ultimately I'm still buying the thing because I'm rather interested in its other selling points. Since it's an HD console it can only do so poorly, which is reassuring, but it certainly won't be the only console that I own within the next gen. That's partially due to the system's inevitable weaknesses and the mere fact that I like games that aren't made by Nintendo.

    But I won't be buying a $599 US console. :p

  29. That was pretty accurate but I think the real winner was Ubisoft

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