With one small feature, iOS 7 might introduce the biggest change in iOS gaming since the App Store.
There's something I've wished for on both the iPhone and iPad for years: a true, universal, dedicated game controller. iOS 7 has granted my wish: indeed, one of the small but very significant additions to the next mobile OS announced at WWDC allows for third-party controllers. It's funny this happened to be announced during E3, because it just might be the trigger to change the mobile gaming industry.
Why it's big Third-party accessory-makers have tried making game controllers … Read more
LOS ANGELES--It's been a big year for the people behind Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game console, and its growing ecosystem. Month after month, the machine tops the console sales charts, and it boasts some of the most anticipated exclusive games in the industry.
This week, of course, the Xbox team is cheek-by-jowl with all of its partners and developers, and its competitors. It's E3 week, after all. And at its Monday media briefing, and at its mammoth booth at the Los Angeles Convention Center here, Microsoft has been touting its latest attempts at separating the Xbox from … Read more
For a trade show all about video games and interactive entertainment, it's surprising to me that some of the most popular games are hardly represented at all. Amid the halls filled with life-size statues of space marines and zombies, you'll see little of the Facebook and social games that remain popular, if uncool.
There's a definite hierarchy to the games and gamers at E3. The PC game types look down at the console types, and they both look down at the social/casual types. Which is, on one hand, not surprising, as much of the audience at E3 is made up of industry enthusiasts who blur the line between fan and impartial observer, and they clearly prefer Halo to CityVille.
On the other hand, it's hard to ignore a huge genre of games that measure users in terms of tens of millions of monthly players (referred to as monthly average users, or MAU).
And yet, ignored these games are. At E3 2012, you'll find Disney and subsidiary Playdom, with Facebook games such as Armies of Magic. EA promotes games such as the brand-new Sim City Social or The Sims Social, both Facebook versions of classic PC games, but I've seen little of the popular games (Bejeweled, Zuma,) from PopCap, a recent EA acquisition. … Read more
LOS ANGELES--You can forget about your dreams of an Xbox 360 Portable. That's so 2006. No, at this year's E3, Microsoft did something much more surprising: instead of getting proprietary, it hopped on everyone else's platform instead.
Xbox SmartGlass was the touted application, service, technology -- whatever you want to call it -- that stood for a new product at Microsoft's E3 press conference this morning in Los Angeles. It needed some jolt of new produce excitement, arguably, and SmartGlass can stand in as this year's "what is that?" buzzword, a second-screen concept for turning seemingly any smartphone or tablet into an additional display when watching movies, playing games, or browsing online. … Read more
LOS ANGELES--Aside from Halo 4, the most interesting thing at Microsoft's E3 press conference was SmartGlass, the multidevice sharing app for games, videos, and Web surfing. But SmartGlass was only sketched out in the broadest of terms (and probably very carefully chosen ones at that), so we're left with several burning questions, especially about how it will work with Windows 8.
What devices will it actually work on? Microsoft says "all your devices." Does that mean all your Windows devices, or are Android and iOS included? (Update: We're hearing now that iOS and Android are included.)
Is it a downloaded app or Web-based? Will SmartGlass be a standalone app or an HTML 5-based Web service? Or some combination of the two depending on what platform you're on? Windows 8 tablets seem to be included, but are Windows RT tablets?… Read more
Apple, the 800-pound gorilla of the industry, never has an official presence at shows like CTIA (mobile), CES (consumer electronics), and Computex (PCs). But if you read between the lines of the press conferences and press releases, every company at those shows is implicitly talking about -- and reacting to -- the latest Apple gadgets, new or anticipated.
And now, as we approach the annual E3 trade show, the focus naturally turns to Apple's role in the video game industry.
As we head toward E3 2012 in Los Angeles, I've noticed something curious in the air:
No one really cares.
By "no one" I mean no one who's not a gamer, of course. The general public, even the casual technology fan. Compared with years past when friends would try to pump me for information on when the next PlayStation would come out, whether there would be anything new for the Wii...well, this year, it feels like radio silence. The video game fan at my local Starbucks who kept asking me about the Nintendo 3DS a year ago barely has any questions to ask. My friend who bought a Wii two years ago doesn't seem interested. I couldn't use E3 to start a conversation if I tried.
It's seemed that way on the appointment-making end of things, too: other than Nintendo's inevitable reveal of more details on the Wii U, we're entering this year's E3 with a stunning lack of new hardware...or even of new hardware rumors. The oft-wondered-about "When will we get a new Xbox or PlayStation?" chatter has already been shot down by Sony and Microsoft, which claim there won't be a PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720 at this year's E3.
I do know one thing, though: E3 needs a new product.… 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
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