Tag: XBox 360

E3 2012: what we know now

Insights and opinions with Anotherdae, Verdeberg and Zoidberger:
Had to hold off and let E3 2012 sit in before starting a recap post for this year. My gut reaction (which you can find examples of on Twitter) was disappointment. I knew going in we weren’t getting any new consoles, that we hadn’t previously seen, so there was a lackluster ambiance to the whole event. You could almost see the strain in the G4 and Spike on air staff desperately looking for a story to latch onto that they could use as the headliner. Instead, we saw a lot of cool new games and a few new tech demos that are all very cool but either too expected or lackluster.

I felt a lot like this E3 was a summer movie announcement where 85% of the new movies were sequels. I didn’t see a lot of innovation or anything else I’ve come to expect from an E3.

I agree with Verdeberg, this E3 felt like a summer of movie sequels. The annual tour of Modern Warfare, Halo 4, Dance Central 3 and others just shows how safe the game industry is being with their funds for game development. Innovation carries the risk of failure where as past success bring with it the customer base and community support. With that being said games like Beyond: Two Souls and the new Tomb Raider reboot really stood out to me.

Dead Space 3 is yet another sequel in the works

I’m starting to wonder if there will even be next gen consoles at all. With the advent of browser gaming and streaming services like Onlive it only makes sense to me to remove the costly hardware the video game industry is a custom to. Cloud gaming is already serving to store our game saves removing the hard drive necessity. Though storage space will be a major issue. 
I predicted in the Microsoft keynote recap that we wouldn’t see the next generation console war start until next years E3. The other big two (Nintendo already announced the Wii U last year) wouldn’t risk unveiling their systems only to lose interest when the last of the two steals the spotlight at next years E3. You always want that momentum on your side the closer you are to release, which is why, releasing it this year would have made no sense for either Sony or Microsoft.
I agree that Cloud systems will play a part in the next generation of games. I cringe at the thought of web browsers on my video game console. The game controller doesn’t allow for easy browser navigation. I turn on my game system to play games not to browse the web. With the growth of tablets in the last two years I see the need for a browser diminishing in our game systems. I am also curious as to how far the processor and graphical envelope can be pushed by these new consoles.
I’d expect that there will always be a need for a console gaming system, other than processor speed, I just don’t know where the big leaps and bounds will be. Where graphics are now, I wouldn’t expect much of a huge development there. I’d really hope that loading screens will be a thing of the past also hoping that “casual/mobile gaming” or touchscreen controls don’t take up too much of developer’s time. Much like how the Wii sparked a scramble for motion controlled gaming, I’d hate to see another gimmick take focus.
I also hope that with stronger processors, larger and longer, more involved games will become more standard. Stronger processors are the one big advantage PC gaming has over console gaming.
One big disappointment I’ve experienced with the new crop of action adventure games has been that game time in main campaign story modes has been sacrificed in lieu of an involved multiplayer experience. I would really like to see a better balance between the two. 
This E3 has reminded me of a fun fact: I don’t like waiting for new games to release. I hate hearing about and seeing teasers for games a year-plus from release. Yes, I like to know everything, so this issue won’t change, but I wish they would take a more queues from companies like Apple and release games and hardware the same day as an announcement. 
I agree with the “hate to wait” but as we have seen with blockbuster movie sequels you need the “hype” to move units. You need your fan base to get excited and you also need to give time for people new to a genre or series to familiarize themselves with the product. I to also hate to wait, but I understand the marketing strategy behind it. 
100% agree. Don’t tout a game as the next big step in gaming and then reveal that the release is another year away. That is basically saying that the games I buy in the meantime are totally not worth it. If a car maker made a mass consumer announcement that their next breed of cars would require two thirds less gas as the current crop, people would wait to buy.
Metal Gear Rising Revengance, along with a host of other
announced titles, will not be released until 2013

Looking forward to the new Need For Speed game from Criterion. I know Verde’ and Zoid were both big fans of Criterion’s Burn Out Paradise too. If this is anything close to what a sequel to Burn Out would look like, I’m on board. 
Beyond: Two Souls looks rad. I’ll be watching for that. I’ve really grown to love games that play like really good movies with a strong focus on story and characters. Also the new game from Naughty Dog, The Last of Us. Naughty Dog won my allegiance with the Uncharted franchise. 
I need to do one of two things, either punch Verdeberg in the face for taking the two games I was going to mention or check my room for hidden cameras. Apart from Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us, I am genuinely excited about the Tomb Raider reboot. It looks very gritty and much darker than the previous Tomb Raider installments. Looks like a complete remake in the game engine with a more Uncharted feel to it. 

The Tomb Raider (2012) reboot is looking to have a very different Lara Croft
Picking an E3 winner is a moot point, however, in my opinion Sony has their house in order the best. Lots of new offerings on many different platforms from them and Jack Tretton speaks very well. I was hoping to hear something new from them related to their cloud gaming deals. Either a new streaming way of playing games off your XMB or maybe the next “iteration” of Playstation. 
I think Sony came out as the winner this year but for a different reason, last year was a PR nightmare for Sony with the hacking of the PSN. This year was all about setting themselves up for next years presumed console unveiling. I think they did a great job last year PR wise and this year was to remind everyone of just how great the lineup of games the Playstation can have.
They were also less about the Playstation: Move compared to the amount of focus that Microsoft put into The Kinect. In my mind, the less they talk about those gaming peripherals the better. Sony also had the 2 games that came out of nowhere to really get me excited, Beyond: Two Souls and The Last Of Us. I feel that Sony was really humbled by what happened last year and this year they put their fans first with a slew of solid titles and a reminder of just how good Sony can be. 
2011 was a rough year for them as far as customer concerns go. With the hacking of PSN and the subsequent month-long outage. With this year’s lackluster PS Vita release they recorded a huge financial loss. To me its not about winners and losers, it’s about companies that are as loyal to me as a consumer as I am to them. The Sony E3 address was all about thanking their customers and I appreciate that. As a Playstation 3 owner I want to feel good about not having to buy another game system right away. As long as Playstation continues to keep me happy, I’ll keep buying Playstations. 
Sounds like we all have high hopes for E3 2013. With a year lacking in surprises expectations will be compounded. I expect a year of speculation and “leaked photos” ahead of us, so in other words, life as usual.

E3 2012: microsoft keynoteby zoidberger

This could very well be the final E3 before Microsoft’s next generation console is unveiled to start the third generation of console wars. This allows Microsoft to release an amazing slate of Triple A titles in the coming year. One title that will be front and center this year will be Halo 4. After receiving a teaser trailer at last years E3 there is little doubt of a playable demo this year. An annual release of the newest installment of the Call of Duty series is also immanent.

Apart from the games will also be the extension of more Kinect services on the Xbox. The interesting part will be how many new titles will be announced with the limited time left on these current consoles.

Hit the jump for E3 play by play.

Keynote available online at: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3/

The Microsoft Keynote starts with a Halo 4 introduction cinematic follow by in game footage from a playable demo on the stage. This came a little early in the show I feel.
Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment, Don Mattrick, starts off the show as the introductory speaker. He leads with the Splinter Cell: Blacklist cinematic trailer, followed by an onstage demo by Alex Parizeau and Maxime Beland from Ubisoft. Splinter Cell: Blacklist is due out Spring 2013.
Head of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson, demos the FIFA 2013 Kinect controls. He is joined on stage by Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana to demo the Madden 2013 Kinect controls.
The trailer for Fable: The Journey is followed by Phil Spencer, Head of Microsoft Studios.  Phil talks about the large library of games set to be released in the coming year. He then drops the trailer for Gears Of War Judgment due out in 2013, also shown is a first look at something gear-heads have been looking forward to: Forza Horizon.
Yusuf Mehdi, Head of Marketing and Strategy, tells us about all the new content being added to the Kinect Bing voice chat feature. As well as, announcing new partnerships with Nickelodeon, Paramount Movies, Machinima, and Univision as additions to the already large library of Xbox content providers. Apart from the television and cinema additions to the Kinect were also the additions to the sports viewing partners on the Xbox. Xbox will be adding NBA LeaguePass, NHL GameCenter, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPN U.
Stefan Olander, VP of Digital Sports for Nike, introduces the Nike Plus Training System for the Kinect.
Mark Whitten, Head of Xbox Live, unveils the Xbox Smart Glass system that connects your existing tablet and smart phone devices with your Xbox. We get started with a Sherlock Holmes and Game of Thrones connectivity features. Tablet gameplay features are also shown for Maddenand Halo 4. Mark announces that a version of the Internet Explorer browser will be coming to Xbox. To show us the features of IE for the Xbox he runs a Prometheus video trailer as well as an Aston Martin webpage search.
Game Director, Daniel Bisson and Studio Head, Darrel Gallaher from Crystal Dynamics, show off a playable demo of the new Tomb Raider.

Phil Spencer returns to announce Ascend: New Gods and Matter both due out in 2013

Executive Producer, Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Game Director, Eiichiro Sasaki from Capcom, play a demo of Resident Evil 6. Followed by another playable, this time Kinect-only demo of Wreckateers by Alex Ruiz from the Xbox Live team.          
Trey Parker and Matt Stone come on stage to introduce South Park: Stick of Truth and are followed by the announcement for Dance Central 3 with a live performance from grammy winner, Usher. Donn Mattrick closes the keynote with a 15 minute live demo of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
The Microsoft keynote was strong they had some hard hitting titles like Halo 4 and Modern Warfare. The gameplay footage from Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider and Resident Evil 6 was amazing. The Gears of War and Fable announcements strengthened the lineup of exclusive titles slatted for release. Microsoft needed to bring out a star studded lineup of games in what could be the final E3 before the next console war begins and I think they most certainly did.



E3 2012: home viewing guide

E3 2012: home viewing guide

Once again, it’s that time of year to gaze upon the oracle of gaming-to-come, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). My NeverEnding Story of trying to get inside is still being written. The gatekeepers to the kingdom of gaming (the E3 committee Sphinxes’) have thwarted even my most “Atreyuian” moves towards the gates.
Nevertheless, E3 2012 is happening June 5-7th with major keynote addresses starting on Monday, June 4th. You’re viewing choices have grown (slightly) this year over last, with more network choices and dedicated streams over the Internet. Televised on Spike TV and sister Viacom Media Networks, including MTV2; MTVU; VH1; Tr3s: Música y Másand will all air the coverage simultaneously. Check your local listings for their correct channels. The Microsoft keynote will be airing for the first time on XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360. I’m starting to wonder if by attending E3 you actually risk not seeing everything; and the best move may be getting all the information in one massive media download.

It’s interesting to ponder what’s in store and its affect on how the industry is fairing. E3 has high expectations associated with it, namely first look at new consoles. While I personally don’t think we will be seeing any new hardware besides the Wii U, there are some highly anticipated games we can expect to hear about.

The Gamedae E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide is below.

GAMEDAE E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide
A Guide to Where and When to get the most of E3 from your Couch.

FRIDAY JUNE 1st (Weekend before the expo)

10:30 PST / 1:30am EST || Konami Pre-E3 Show

 || Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 2012

MONDAY JUNE 4th (day before the expo opens)

9:30am PST / 12:30pm EST || XBox: Entertainment Evolved
  • Expectations: Halo 4, Fable: The Journey, the newest Call of Duty and a Spotify-like Music Service
  • On XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360.
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || Electronic Arts: The Download at the Orpheum Theater in LA
  • Announced Featured Content: SimCity, Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13 and other unannounced projects
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.ea.com/e3 & GameTrailers.com
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || Ubisoft
5:30pm preview, 6pm PST / 8:30pm preview, 9pm EST || Sony

TUESDAY JUNE 5th (First day of Expo)

9am PST/ 12pm EST || Nintendo All-Access
  • Expectations: New Mario Launch game, Wii U redesigns, release date and price
  • TV: Spike TV or MTV2 networks, watch the presentation live with no commercial interruptions
  • WEB: the Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012 website at http://e3.nintendo.com
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6th (Second day of Expo)
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
6pm PST/9pm EST || Nintendo Software Showcase
    •  WEB: http://e3.nintendo.com/

THURSDAY JUNE 7th (Third day of Expo)

3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage

E3 2011: microsoft xbox 360 keynote

Thank god this years XBox 360 conference is not bathed in the horrid green glow they used last year. The XBox conference took place at the Galen Center in LA. Per usual, they kick off the week of events at E3 this week “The future starts here” as their saying goes.
Unfortunately XBox fails to hit with their core audience. This was sort of expected. They pick up right where they left off last year with a focus on continuing to support Kinnect; furthering Kinnect’s connection into all of the content available on the XBox. The new features they are showcasing are voice activation/control and a new design for Dashboard, the navigation system. The Dashboard will become the access point to rich media, not just games.

“…change the living room entertainment experience forever” —Don Mattrick @ Microsoft

Will a new Dashboard and voice activation integrated into their games be enough to please the core audience or are they further driving them away with a focus on family friendly and children’s programing? Are we witnessing the birth of the voice activated TV?
Hit the jump for a rundown of the cast and games from the show.

Photo from Kotaku.com
  • Conference kicks off with dimmed lights and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 extended review. Opening jitters consist of a “Please reconnect controller window appearing!” Lol. The gameplay trailer features some divers planting bombs on a sub then reveals that the battle is taking place in the near future, Manhattan, complete with freedom tower. My neighborhood has really looked better. Robert Bowling @ Infinity Ward & Glen Schofiled @ Sledge Hammer were on hand to give us a release date of November 8th.
  • Don Mattrick, President of Microsoft, comes out to greet the audience saying that last year was the biggest year in XBox history.
  • Extended trailer for Tomb Raider. “Intense and visceral survival” The trailer starts with Lara hanging upside down in a cave. She escaped of course. Great lighting effects from her torch. The whole cave scene reminds me of The Hills Have Eyes. The game looks great, almost a shamed to be spoiling it but I couldn’t look away. After her cave escape Lara emerges to the surface and we see her on an island of some sort with ships from all different times. Is this the Bermuda Triangle?
  • Peter Moore @ EA Sports announces four new EA Sports games with Kinnect support, including a new Tiger Woods, Madden and Fifa. All take advantage of voice commands and arm movement. They also announced other non-sports games, like the Sims, as well.
  • Dr. Ray Muzyka @ Bioware steps up with a little hands on Mass Effect 3. Touting the “epic scifi universe” now with with voice recognition via Kinnect. They seem to be speaking their dialogue answer choices as well as able to give orders to team members during action scenes. “move up”.
  • Yves Guillemot @ UBIsoft presents Tom Clancy: Ghost Recon Future Soldier. Use Kinnect to customize any weapon. Sports 28 million custom combinations. Customizing with Kinnect looks neat, shooting kinda looks like he’s doing spirit fingers. Also Ubisoft claims all future Tom Clancy titles will support Kinnect.
  • Mark Whitten @ XBOX Live “speaks” more to the innovative new way to experience entertainment: voice control. Shows off the new Dashboard which is very similiar to Windows 8 OS (not surprisingly). YouTube is a new partner as well as an intergrated Bing search engine. “You say XBox finds it”. Live television comes to XBox this fall. This reminds me of my voice control R2D2; is this going to be as responsive as they say it is? Cause R2 sure wasn’t.
  • Phil Spencer @ Microsoft presents the exclusive XBox titles with some surprises. “At its core is games”. Exclusives included Gears of War 3. Rock music War Pigs and games trailers rules. Cliffy B & Ice T (cast member) co-op a level together. Features some neat looking mech armor and a “shoot the glowing spot boss battle”. Ice also announces Bodycount will reunite for a song to support horde mode.
  • Ryse is a Crytek period piece taking place in Rome. Very mysterious and a welcome break from the cartoony Kinnect graphics we mostly see. Kinnect sword fighting.
  • Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary celebrates 10 years of Halo. It is the first game remastered and hits shelves Nov. 15th.
  • Dan Greenawalt @ Turn 10 Studios presents Forza Motorsport 4 as the ultimate game for the car community. Real cars and monthly DLC expansions. Super impressed with the Kinnect head tracking. Releases in Oct 2011.
  • Fable The Journey is presented by Peter Molyneux @ Lionhead. “a hundred times more involved”. Fable graphics are a lot cuter than say Dragon Age. The demo shows a horse buggy being chased, looks like they are being chased by The Nothing (Random Never Ending Story reference to see if your paying attention).
  • Control the horse buggy with a literal reins movement.
  • Phil Spencer returns to the stage with a jaw dropper: Minecraft! Another XBox exclusive.
  • Disneyland Adventures is the start of a new collaboration between Disney and XBox. It features the entire park! They demo kids playing Peter Pan’s Flight and Alice in Wonderland croquet game. Super cute and available this holiday season.
  • Star Wars Kinnect spans all the movies. Now this is pod-racing (damn I miss that game) and features Lightsaber fights and racing. Voice activated “lightsaber on” action. Either this gameplay is being faked or the controls have a serious delay. Looks like you dash by leaning forward.
  • Tim Schafer @double fine has a sure fire money maker: Sesame Street Once Upon A Monster. Boasts valuable life lessons for family and Cookie Monster and Elmo? This is going to sell a ton of copies. They show it off with a father and son playing together.
  • Two years ago they announced Kinnect. Now you can play with Kinnect gadgets from the community and programmers with Fun Labs. Demos included: avatar creating via the camera that even pick up your clothes; finger capture drawing in 3D and object recognition where you can scan in your favorite objects. Scan your car and drive it. Fun Labs goes live today.
  • Nicole Makila @ Big Park Studios announced Kinnect Sports 2. The new sports pack has skiing, baseball, tennis, darts, football and golf. It takes advantage of the new voice commands and in game gestures available.
  • Kasson Crooker @ Harmonix was recognized for Dance Central 2. DC2 has more music than any other dance game. In this new version, Kinnect can track two dancers at once. The body tracking looks spot on, it also looks hard.
  • Don Mattrick @ Microsoft returned to close out the ceremony saying the XBox and Kinnect will “…change living room entertainment forever”. He concluded with what everyone has been waiting for, due to an early morning leak on the XBox website. The final trailer, the start of a new trilogy for XBox, the Halo 4 teaser due out Fall 2012.

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