With Jeff back from E3 and Mark a little under the weather, preGame welcomes guest host Wilson Tang to help wrap up the highs and lows of E3 2011.
We'll discuss in-depth each major console manufacturer's presence at the show and what it was like to play with the PlayStation Vita and Wii U. We'll even have some never-before-seen footage of Jeff's hands-on time with Wii U and its tablet controller!
The first week after E3 has certainly had it's fair share of controversies, so we'll leave the Duke Nukem Forever talk to The 404 and move on to what we think is this week's sleeper, Alice: Madness Returns.
Finally, we'll check out Nintendo's latest commercial for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D starring Robin Williams!
Be sure to tune in next week when we'll have a live demo of Shadows of the Damned!… Read more
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
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.
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
E3 2011 is officially over, but with it came lots of new details on hardware and software from the three major players in console video games.
Microsoft showed off a slew of upcoming Kinect-enabled titles, plus Live TV on the Xbox and some exclusive games. YouTube and Bing will also be available via the Xbox, while voice control will enable players to interact with the Xbox and future games in a unique way.
Nintendo perhaps stole the show, revealing the successor to the Nintendo Wii: the Wii U. The gaming giant also revealed a special new controller for its upcoming console that contains a 6.2-inch touch screen and other familiars, somewhat like a tablet. The company also celebrated the 25th anniversary of Zelda in grand fashion.
Sony, meanwhile, stunned many with the news that the quad-core handheld gaming device once known as NGP and now known as PlayStation Vita would have two models that cost less than $300. The Japanese company also surprised everyone with the announcement of a 24-inch PlayStation-branded 3D HDTV with dual passive 3D view, enabling two gamers to see different things on the same TV.
Which console company impressed you the most during E3 2011? Vote in our weekly poll. And please be sure to elaborate in the comments section.… Read more
LOS ANGELES--Look around the halls of E3 2011, and you might notice something strangely similar about many of the most-hyped games on display. There's Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, and Mass Effect 3. BioShock Infinite is the third game in that series, and Skyrim is the third modern/console version of an Elder Scrolls game (technically, it's the fifth game in the series, as there were a couple of prior PC games back in the '90s). We've also spotted Saints Row: the Third, Serious Sam 3, and Ninja Gaiden 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (the third game in that series), and there are probably a few others I've missed.
This collection of third-timers is partially a coincidence, and partly indicative of the industry's addiction to sequels. With production and advertising budgets at or near what Hollywood movie studios have been spending for years, there's a natural, and very understandable, attraction to finding a successful formula and sticking with it.
A trilogy is also a familiar construct from the larger media world that consumers are comfortable with, and the format is useful for putting together a compelling story arc over the course of three films or novels. But while most movies quit after three outings, there's no doubt you'll be seeing a fourth chapter in many of the game franchises above within a year or two. … Read more
For a trade show all about the latest and greatest in interactive entertainment, it's somewhat shocking that many of the most popular video games being played right now are either underrepresented, or not represented at all. We are, of course, speaking about the social and casual games that have audiences larger than almost any traditional console game, and what's more, have managed to tap into the recurring revenue stream of microtransactions that seems to elude so many others.
This is no unintentional oversight. Many attendees of E3, the Game Developers Conference, and other industry events say that games such as Farmville and Cityville are not "real games," and that even mentioning them in the same breath as Halo or Gears of War would be to cheapen the entire medium.
At E3, these kinds of games are woefully underrepresented, despite having in many cases tens of millions of players (MAU, or monthly active users, is the standard metric for social games--the most popular game of this genre, Zynga's CityVille, currently has 90 million monthly active users). If you looks around artfully, however, you can still find a few examples. EA's social/casual subsidiary PlayFish, is here, and has scored with games such as Pet Society and Madden NFL Superstars. At E3, a portion of EA's giant floor space was devoted to The Sims Social, a Facebook version of the popular suburban life simulation game. … Read more
LOS ANGELES--One of the most common questions you hear from nongamers as they watch someone playing a game is some variation on, "Hey, can you go over there?" Usually, that refers to being able to open a door in a building, get in a car on the street, or walk down a winding mountain path going off into infinity. For gamers familiar with the visual language of interactive entertainment, it's a silly question, there are simply places you're meant to go, and places you're not. For a casual observer not as familiar with the limitations of virtual game worlds, it seems like a matter of common sense; if there's a shop in the middle of the street, why can't I open the door and walk in? If there's a car next to me, why can't I drive away in it?
For example, the recent game L.A. Noire addresses the issue with a bit of visual shorthand that makes perfect sense to gamers, but is honestly ridiculous if you stop to think about it: only doors with golden doorknobs can be opened. Everything else is shut tight, essentially facades painted on wooden fronts, like a video game version of a Potemkin village.
Few games dare to deal with the demands of creating a truly open sandbox-style world, which surprises me in a way, as the few times it has been done, it has been done to great success and critical acclaim. The best example is Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series, the latest of which, Skyrim, is on display at E3 this week. Like its predecessors, Oblivion (2005) and Morrowind (2002), Skyrim takes on the considerable challenge of letting players inhabit a virtual world so complete that nearly every door can be opened and every computer-controlled character spoken with--a level of interaction many times greater than sandbox-lite games such as Grand Theft Auto (or the previously mentioned L.A. Noire). Perhaps the closest cousin is online games such as Second Life, where the basic rules and building blocks are laid out, and it's up to participants to decide how to use them. … Read more