The games industry has three major events every year the biggest and arguably the best is the Electronics Expo held in Los Angeles, USA. This event is where all the major companies announce their plans for the next few months. The following is a summary from some of the key players.
Sony Sony held their annual E3 press conference first and many people believe that they delivered the most exciting news. It’s fair to say that the focus was on software as no mention of new console was announced. However, some of the games they have planned look amazing. Most notable was a game from the makers of the critically acclaimed Heavy Rain. The company, Quantic Dream, announced a new PlayStation 3 exclusive game called Beyond: Two Souls. The teaser trailer released looks really intriguing and performance capture technology used to make the game has you thinking that this game could quite easily be a movie.
The other game that deserves a mention has to be The Last of Us. This game again for PlayStation 3, is from the makers of Uncharted and Crash Bandicoot series, Naught Dog. The game follows two characters in what looks like a post apocalyptic / Zombie out break world. Another Sony exclusive that is sure to be a big hit.
Finally the other main announcement from Sony was the exciting new collaboration with Harry Potter author JK Rowling for interactive book of spells game “Wonderbook” which uses the PlayStation 3 move and camera in an exciting augmented reality game.
Microsoft Next up was Microsoft and again it was a software heavy press conference. Microsoft announced sequels to their two major franchises, which were sadly leaked pre-conference. Firstly Halo 4 and for the first time will not be developed from Bungie. This new Halo will be developed by 343 Industries and the sci-fi shooter will be Halo 4 will be released later this year.
Microsoft also announced a new Gears of War game for Xbox 360. The new Gears of War sees the action from the point of view of Gears’ Baird – who we’ve already seen in past Gears of War games. Gears of War: Judgment takes place five years before the original game in the series, but it promises just as much chainsaw-gunning action.
Finally, Microsoft announced some new software called Smartglass. This connects your Xbox 360 with tablets, smartphones and other compatible devices. Smartglass will let users play media on a Windows 8 tablet and resume it on an Xbox 360. Microsoft says we can expect more gaming-related features in future, letting players manage invites to matches, and browse the Xbox 360 Dashboard menu from a smartphone. Nintendo After months of excitement Nintendo took to the stage to show off some of the experiences we can expect from its new Wii U console. They did not announce the price or when it will be launched but it should be before Christmas 2012.
Nintendo started with a look at new Pikmin 3 game. Players can expect much better graphics, loads more detail and new and exciting types of Pikmin to play with. Nintendo confirmed that Wii U will support multiple tablet controller gamepads and they also showed off the Wii U Pro Pad.
New Super Mario Bros U was also shown and with new social features lets players interact online whilst playing. Nintendo announced that they want to make gaming more social as they are behind Sony & Microsoft on that aspect. Nintendo also showed off some new 3DS Mario games with New Super Mario Bros 2 Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Luigi’s Mansion 2 being the highlights and will all be available in 2012. One very interesting announcement was LEGO City Undercover it feels’s like Grand Theft Auto with LEGO, which looks really interesting. Players will be able to use the Wii U gamepad as an interactive map of the city, which is a nice feature.
Nintendo ended the press conference with a look at Nintendoland. It is made up of a number of mini games for the family and it helps users get to grips with the new ways to play using the tablet. Nintendo will be looking at Nintendo Land and hoping it captures the imagination of gamers like Wii Sports did with their previous console.
Review in association with Duracell Gaming Accessories, which are available from Amazon, Play.com and Zavvi.com Review by Luiz Ferreira, White Room Games.