Electronic Arts is doubling down on the digital-gaming space with the launch of a new direct-to-consumer platform, called Origin.
Launching later today, Origin will allow gamers to purchase and download over 150 games directly to their PCs. So far, the content on the site is limited to games from EA "and its partners," the company said in a statement today. In the coming months, EA says that it will offer more games, including the highly anticipated Battlefield 3, FIFA 12, Madden NFL 12, and Mass Effect 3.
"Origin is a game service with two fundamental features," … Read more
Sony has posted several videos to its U.S. PlayStation blog, showcasing the company's upcoming portable-gaming device, the Next Generation Portable.
The NGP, unveiled earlier this year, comes with dual thumbsticks and a 5-inch OLED touch display. Sony says that the graphical capabilities of the NGP will be substantially greater than those of its predecessor, the PlayStation Portable. To help add some more flavor to the platform, Sony has added a touch surface on the back of the device as well.
In the videos posted to the PlayStation blog, people are seen playing several titles that will be available … Read more
We've been cautiously optimistic about online streaming game service OnLive since it launched about a year ago. For the uninitiated, it's essentially cloud-based PC gaming that originally allowed nearly any laptop or desktop to play high-end PC games by offloading the CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks of actually running the game software to a remote render farm, then beaming the gameplay back to you as a streaming video.
Later, the company added a MicroConsole--a small box that connects to a TV via HDMI and acts as a streaming dongle for the games, which are played with a wireless controller … Read more
At last year's E3, the Nintendo 3DS was arguably the headlining tech of the whole show, if for nothing more than its successful use of glasses-free 3D in a handheld game system.
Nevertheless, since the launch of the 3DS this March--just a few short months ago--the system's been luffing in a dying breeze. While the 3DS' capabilities show promise, the actual games, price, and battery life (or lack thereof) have soured the equation. Add to that the fact that the 3DS still doesn't have its Web browser, online e-shop, or last year's promised Netflix streaming … Read more
I haven't plugged my Kinect into my Xbox 360 in nearly six months.
The reasons are, to some extent, mine. But not mine alone. Still, whatever excitement I might have felt during the Kinect's debut has withered. It's not essential, not compelling. It's not why I play my Xbox 360. And if I don't have mine plugged in, I'm wondering how many other Kinects are suffering the same fate.
The Kinect's motorized movements get annoying. The Kinect camera is meant to sit under my TV and be innocuous, but it isn't. The … Read more
Since then, all three devices have been released commercially, each to great initial success and generally positive reviews. But, we've also noted, in anecdotally talking to people in and out of the industry, that a user's interest level in all three of these groundbreaking projects can drop off quickly in many cases.
The primary culprit seems to be a lack of must-play software. The number of new Kinect games slowed to a trickle almost immediately after the motion-sensing camera launched, and the same is true of the PlayStation Move (although that camera at least works with high-profile games such as Killzone 3 and SOCOM 4). The Nintendo 3DS, groundbreaking as it is, also suffers from a lack of killer apps. Big buzz games aren't here yet, nor are long-promised features, such as 3D video recording and streaming, although the built-in 3DS shop is set to go online next week.
So, our question here for you is: Of the big three hardware releases from E3 2010, the Xbox 360 Kinect, PlayStation Move, and Nintendo 3DS, which ones have you purchased but now rarely, if ever, use? … Read more
Six years. That's nearly how long it's been since the Xbox 360 first debuted back in the fall of 2005. The next year, the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 followed.
Typically, new consoles emerge no later than five years after the debut of the last iteration. This generation seems to be the exception. Perhaps that's because of the ripples of a recession, but we can also credit the Wii, PS3, and 360 for being hardy, versatile consoles. In fact, looking back at what these systems were compared with what they are now, it's hard not to … Read more
Even though it's supposedly an industry-only trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is an event of epic proportions for video game aficionados, as evidenced by the legions of fans who follow the show's daily announcements online, through blogs, news outlets, and (a more recent development) video feeds.
But despite its decade-plus place in the public consciousness (I've been attending since 1999), the E3 show has been to the brink of extinction more than once, and while it has pulled off a remarkable recovery over the past couple of years, there's still a chance history may repeat itself.
In brief, what happened was the trade show equivalent of a boom and bust cycle. Throughout the 2000s, game companies competed to outdo each other, with excessive budgets and outlandish displays, creating literal mini cities inside the Los Angeles Convention Center that easily trumped anything seen at the larger Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place in Las Vegas every January.
The trend peaked in 2006, after which the participants collectively realized that entirely too much money was being spent on the show, which had long since stopped being a place for retail buyers to make deals with publishers, and had become essentially a weeklong press conference. Simply put, the week's worth of media hits was judged to be simply not worth the investment.
At the time, the Entertainment Software Association, a trade organization that runs the event, agreed to retrench, scaling down the 2007 version into what then-Entertainment Software Association President Douglas Lowenstein called a "more personal, efficient, and focused" show. E3 went from 60,000 attendees the previous year to about 4,000, and from 400 exhibiting companies to fewer than 40. E3 2008 was a similarly small affair, returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center, but keeping the small, low-cost format.… Read more
On today's episode of preGame we'll be previewing the biggest gaming event of the year, E3! Join us along with special guest Scott Stein as we dive deep into E3 2011 predictions, anticipated games, and more previews than you can handle; from the Wii 2 to the NGP, and everything in between.
We'll also have an in-depth conversation about today's announcement from Activision regarding Call of Duty Elite. This brand-new premium service will enhance the online multiplayer experience by leaps and bounds. But is it worth a premium price?