E3 2012 sees Microsoft in a unique position among the console companies. While Sony may make game consoles, televisions, and laptops, only Microsoft owns both a console ecosystem and major PC operating system. And with Windows 8 only months away, now may be the perfect time to finally draw a solid line connecting the two. But based on what we've seen at the Microsoft E3 press conference, this may not be the year for that.
SmartGlass, the new multi-screen/multi-platform app from Microsoft, is a good start. While SmartGlass will be available on many types of tablets and phones, … Read more
The days before E3 are always filled with endless pontificating and predictions. The lesson? Throw enough predictions up against the wall and something is bound to stick. Of all the ideas we've heard, you'll probably agree that these are the least likely to happen, although each one still seems like a potential blockbuster to us.
Nintendo SmellDS Nintendo finally explores the next dimension in handheld gaming: olfactory. (Nintendo promises: sense of smell not necessary to enjoy SmellDS; scent slider included.) Reggie Fils-Aime promises, "You've never smelled Super Mario...like this."
Double-glasses 3D We tried regular stereoscopic 3D, didn't catch on. We tried no-glasses 3D, not much better. The answer is finally here: combining two sets of active-shutter lenses for extreme depth, with only a slightly increased chance of migraines.… Read more
A truly epic video game relies on many factors to deliver a compelling experience, but the artistry behind the fancy graphics remains one of the most fascinating aspects of them all.
The 2012 "Into the Pixel" exhibition, hosted by the Entertainment Software Association and the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, celebrates the breathtaking scenes and unforgettable characters created by the often under-appreciated game artists who influence the design of popular video games. A jury of 10 representatives from the video game and art industries chose from a large pool of entrants and came up with 16 original works from games including Journey and Mass Effect 3. … Read more
The collection of games and gear on display at E3 2011 was among the best we'd ever seen. The Nintendo Wii U and PlayStation Vita offered hot new hardware, while games such as Skyrim and BioShock Infinite made for an especially strong software lineup.
Some made their expected release dates (and several were huge hits); some are making yet another appearance this year, either as originally planned or because of delays; and some have seemingly vanished from the radar, and it may be some time before we see them again.
OK, honestly, this is my last post on E3. While this year's show is over and we've seen both surprises and disappointments, another year looms: and with it, we hold out hope that next year's show can deliver on some unanswerables that this year's show conveniently skipped. At least, that's the way I feel. No show can ever hope to bring everything we expect--mainly, because E3 is only a collection of demonstrations from an industry that's constantly evolving--but as I peer into next year's crystal ball, this is what I hope we find.
Games and reasons to buy the Wii U Nintendo's next console, the Wii U, remains shrouded in mystery, in the middle of a year where Nintendo remains in a larger cloud of uncertainty. The Nintendo 3DS feels like a disappointment, and the Wii is in decline. That touch-screen tablet-of-wonders that Nintendo's hawking is a project with no definitive must-have games or applications, and that will need to change next year.… Read more
Sure, you know about the Wii U. You know about the PlayStation Vita. But do you know about the jDome immersive game screen? How about a device that takes physical game pieces and puts them in games? Or, what about a triple-mount TV stand for all your motion-control camera gear?
The E3 Expo is always known for its explosively loud gaming demos and endless play kiosks (not to mention costumed absurdity), but tucked away in the corners are lesser-known companies hawking peripherals and technology that ranges from the intriguing to the absurd. In years past, these odd bits of gaming … Read more
For many gamers, going to E3 is an unfulfilled dream. Attendance is tightly controlled (depending on your definition of tight), so unlike a boat show or comic book convention, you can't just buy a ticket and show up.
But if you do someday make it to E3, the show secrets presented here may help you get the most out of the experience. Regular attendees eventually work out most of these tips, but we're always open to new suggestions--feel free to list your own E3 secrets in the comments section below.
Among all the myriad events and announcements of E3 2011--some bombastic, some evolutionary--the unveiling of the Wii U was one that, no matter who you asked, generated some degree of mixed feelings. As gaming press and players, what we saw from Nintendo's future console controller produced sensations of excitement, skepticism, ambivalence, and intrigue.
That might be due partly to the expectations that Nintendo set for itself. The Wii was a new experience, a new idea. It also might be due in part to Sony's PSVita stealing some of the spotlight a day before; the handheld device actually has … Read more
The big booths, high-profile games, and general spectacle of E3 all ranked very highly with attendees, according to the informal polling conducted during and after the show. Everyone has his collection of the best and worst games, and it's a dangerous minefield to step into that subjective field, so I'd rather avoid that (still, some of my favorites are easy to pick out).
There were, however, a handful of annoyances and missed opportunities. Some are long-term issues, others may have a quick fix. If you're interested in what E3 missed the boat on this year, check out our list below, and offer your own suggestions in the comments section at the end.
The console company press conferences failed to highlight some of the best games. Sony, Microsoft, and, to a lesser extent, Nintendo all use their respective preshow press conferences to highlight notable upcoming games, both first-party (those actually published by Sony, Microsoft, etc.) and from other publishers such as EA.
We saw the latest Call of Duty, Uncharted, and Zelda games, but several of the most notable contenders were missing. Perhaps it was because they weren't calculated to be key sales drivers, in the way that Call of Duty is, or because key partnerships required press conference stage time at the expense of other games.
I'm inclined to agree with a games industry executive who told me immediately after the show that the hottest E3 buzz-builders were BioShock Infinite, Skyrim, and Batman: Arkham City. Of those, BioShock got a brief plug at the Sony press conference while the other two went unmentioned.… Read more
Another E3 has come and gone, leaving gamers and journalists equally dizzy with anticipation. We saw dozens upon dozens of titles at the big show but only a few can be called "best of."
We've wracked our brains to bring you the 20 titles we were most excited about in an easy-to-use slideshow. Not sure you agree with us? Make sure to sound off in the comments section below or click on over to see if the title you're most excited about landed in our short runners-up list.
Even though these titles missed our top 20, there's still plenty to look forward to from:… Read more