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E3 Wrap: Nintendo & Sony
It's all about the new consoles. Everything you could possibly know about Sony's Vita (formally NGP) was launched in one gooey, yummy mess. Yes, Vita stands for life. Unfortunately, Sony hasn't confirmed if the console will provide said life like a bottle in an RPG, but what we do know is that the console will throw every bell and whistle into a simple compact form. That includes a rear touch panel (yes, rear end goodness at last!), some kind of motion control and 3G enabled internet connectivity. All while looking like the PSP had a baby with a PSPGo.
Nintendo hit back with a little ditty of its own, the Nintendo Wii U. Stupid name? Maybe, but if you say it fast enough it sounds like Ryu ... much better.
*Ahem* So the Wii U is largely an upgraded Wii console, maintaining the simplicity while expanding motion and touch control with an inbuilt screen in its touchpad/gamepad setup. It's an intriguing concept, but hard to explain, so head on over to youtube and check out some of the videos, specifically Zelda HD. Safe to say, there's plenty of horsepower under the hood.
But the most important thing, despite all this hardware and fancy terms, are the games, and there's plenty of them. LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, Wipeout and more will get the Vita treatment. It's been confirmed that the likes of Batman: Arkham City, Super Smash Bros. and the next Darksiders title are among many in pre-production for Wii U ... so pre, that the trailer used by Nintendo at E3 used footage from other consoles. Very early days yet.
As for other consoles, there was plenty of 3DS to speak of, including the reveal of Luigi's Mansion 2 and confirmation of a portable Smash Brothers title in the future. Sony also showed off a portable 3D TV for its PS3 system
Zelda celebrates 25 years in the business. Expect a host of celebratory specials over the course of the year, including Four Swords on DSiWare, an orchestral score released on CD and a tour across the globe to celebrate said music. Plus by the end of the year we will have the last big Wii title, Skyward Sword.
Finally, the weirdest moment of E3 (besides Kobe Bryant failing at NBA2K12) was Sony's reveal of their wireless provider partner for Vita ... AT&T. For those of you not in the know, they are the 'fastest' provider in the US, and the worst at the same time. Iphone users know what I'm talking about.
Coming up, a rap on all the other juicy details you may have missed.
Here's some of the key notes to take out of Microsoft's announcements at this years E3 so far:
Halo is back in a big way. The original Combat Evolved will be re-released this year in HD (subtitled 'Anniversary') and will include a number of updated multiplayer maps and online co-op. Microsoft also confirmed Halo 4 with a teaser trailer at the end of their presentation, which is expected to land in 2012. No gameplay footage though, no doubt that will be next year's big ticket.
No new gaming hardware was announced, as the focus was largely on the controller free Kinect system that has had reasonable success so far. The motion system will get an upgrade shortly, and the emphasis has shifted to big name, high budget titles. Star Wars, Mass Effect 3 and Ghost Recon will all get the motion (and speech) control systems, Fruit Ninja will also be one of the first Xbox Live Arcade title to feature Kinect support, and Crytek confirmed their new title (not a Crysis spin-off, mind) as a motion controlled exclusive for Xbox.
Fable has a fourth title in the series on the way. Subtitled 'The Journey', it's shaping up as more of motion controlled on-rails adventure than the open world types of the previous games in the series.
In one other interesting surprise, the game that hasn't officially been released but continues to dominate PC's, Minecraft, will be upgraded to Xbox 360 with Kinect support in tow, for later this year.
A number of other titles were confirmed, such as Kinect Sports 2 and Dance Central 2, and a new free to air TV system that turns the 360 into something of a PVR (personal video recorder, for those of you playing at home.)
So, impressed by Microsoft? Underwhelmed? Anyone still agree with me that 'Kinect' is a dumb name? Sound off in the comments! More on E3, including Sony and Nintendo, coming up.
I guess I could go on about the Sony downtime again, but we should all be aware of that story by now, perhaps a little tired of it. So let's consider a few other key moments from the past month.
The ramp up to this years E3 expo in LA started a little early. We're already aware that Nintendo is set to unleash a new home console, rumours swirling over a touch screen control system, HD visuals, a coffee plunger peripheral ... what? It's called Project Cafe! It has to have one, right?
The NGP will also be in full force, there's already a list of launch titles and video's floating around, but expect more to be confirmed. Meanwhile, questions still remain over what Microsoft will announce. Some say they could be waiting in the wings with their own new console, others suggest it could be their worst expo ever...
The big releases have continued on from Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat, with many more sequels (The Witcher 2 for example), new franchises (Brink) and another handful of GOTY contenders (including LA Noire. Speaking of, have you played it in black and white?)
To MobyGames news, and we're looking for some new feature articles. If you have an idea, or want to contribute, let us know by submitting or posting on the forums. I'd also suggest reading over some of the classic submissions from yesteryear if you haven't before, there's some great reads.
Watch out for a full E3 wrap here on MG in the coming days, and keep those contributions coming.