Gaming’s ultimate trade show is officially kicking off tomorrow. Yes, it’s E3 (or Electronic Entertainment Expo). Every year E3 manages to bring along premieres of the year’s biggest games, along with live demos of some of the most anticipated games of releasing that year. Last year’s event brought the world premiere of the Kinect along with some huge game announcements. This year’s event looks set to rival that with anticipated console announcements from Nintendo and Playstation.
What to expect:
The Wii brought gaming to the everyman. The Wii is the most child and family friendly console and focuses itself on the casual gamer. With this new console announcement at this year’s expo, currently nicknamed Project Café but with speculation that it’s simply called Nintendo, comes Nintendo’s plans to recover the more hardcore audience that were lost with the Wii. Rumours flying around say that the new console’s hardware is more powerful than the current generation’s hardware, which will be a big step for creators who are already pushing consoles to their limits. There are also rumours about a completely redesigned controller with a touch screen capable of streaming content from your television.
Also expect Nintendo trying to push their 3DS which has failed to capture the gaming world as was expected.
Next Generation Portable
We’ve already seen the device but we’ve yet to hear a release date. Or a price for that matter! So, on the announcement agenda for Sony’s new console at this year’s event will probably be just that. There will more than likely be more information regarding the console itself as well as some announcements of future game releases. Let’s hope they will also shed some light on its name, too.
You can be sure that Sony will have a lot of groveling to do during its press conference over the PSN network debacle whereby the network was hacked and subsequently downed for 3 weeks leaving PS gamers with only offline play. They have it back up at the moment, but it is very limited. You can also expect Sony’s plans on the future of the PSN and what it is doing with protecting the network from future attacks by hackers.
What we’ve got already:
Kinect Fun Labs
Kinect Fun Labs, announced and available today, sports great new features for the Xbox Dashboard. Only three were demonstrated at E3, the first of which was Kinect Me. It’s a bit like Mii Maker for the 3DS but a lot more sophisticated. It basically uses your Kinect to scan your body and renders an Xbox Live avatar, and it even includes a clothes-scanning feature. Announced second was finger tracking. One of the demonstrations of the app at the event showed 3D drawing. Images can be saved and uploaded online via kinectshare.com. And finally, 3D scanning. Almost exactly like the Kinect Me, this allows users to render objects in 3D by taking pictures of various angles. Microsoft said that this will allow people to put real-world objects into games. Other demos not shown today are Hand Puppets, Virtual Conductor, Keyboard Anywhere and a 3D music visualiser. You can expect more demos of each of these throughout the week.
Fable: The Journey Reveal
Curiously, the new Fable game announced today isn’t titled Fable IV. However, let’s not mind that since Peter Molyneux revealed that the new title will use the Kinect’s functions for aspects like controlling horses while riding in a carriage, casting spells and melee sword combat. The details are slim on this new title, however it’s very early days yet. So expect some more announcements throughout the week.
Insomniac revealed their next title, Overstrike, at EA’s press conference. An action game will feature Insomniac’s signature “exotic weaponry” and humour. The plot focuses on four agents tasked with the breach of an enemy-stronghold. A little wishy-washy at the moment, to be honest. In the release trailer (below), we see the four elite agents along with various weapons and gadgets. There’s no gameplay so far and no release date either. Expect this to be one of the hotly anticipated titles for next year (we hope).
A problem that has plagued Kinect gamers is the amount of space required to play. Thus, many gamers have been forced to move furniture everytime they want to play. However, Nyko have revealed their space-saver accessory, Zoom. The attachment adjusts the viewing angle for the Kinect and can reduce the amount of distance needed by up to 40%. What’s more is, this device doesn’t require batteries and can work with any game. No price or release date yet, but we expect it’ll be sometime before the end of the year.
Nyko have announced battery extenders and an alarm clock for the Nintendo 3DS. The problem most gamers have is the battery life, so Nyko have come up with 3 different battery savers. The Game Boost delivers 1-2 additional hours of gaming. The Power Grip will provide up to 3 times the normal battery life. The Shock n’ Rock gives the same boost to the battery the the Power Grip does but also boasts 4 speakers and vibration feedback. Expect them this year.
The PlayClock is an alarm clock, docking station and speaker system all rolled into one lovely and sleek looking device. There’s also a port for your phone or Mp3 player.
In other news,
505 Games Announced Kinect Shooter
Entitled Blackwater, this shooter for the Kinect is expected for release in Q3 2011. Keep an eye out for further announcements about this game later in the week.
XCOM Release Date
Save The Date: March 6, 2012.
Star Wars: The Old Republic Accessories
Announced today were an LCD keyboard, mouse, gaming surface and surround-sound headset.
At the end of the week, Pop Culture Monster will do a full round-up of all the biggest announcements from E3 2011.