Senior HTF Member
- Apr 16, 2008
- Hawthorne, NV
- Real Name
- Todd Erwin
Microsoft held their XBOX 360 Press Briefing on Monday, June 6 at the Galen Center. The show kicked off with a gameplay demo of the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which included a raid on an enemy submarine. The big news on this multi-platform title was that all add-on content will be available first on XBOX Live, and rolling out to other platforms at a later date.
Crystal Dynamics then gave us a sneak peek at Tomb Raider, a prequel to the successful franchise of the same name as we meet a younger Lara Croft.
Peter Moore of EA Sports announced support for Kinect on four upcoming titles, including Tiger Woods, Madden, FIFA, and an as-yet-to-be-announced title. EA will aslo be adding Kinect support to The SIMS 3: Pets and Hasbro Family Game Night 4.
EA then unveiled Mass Effect 3, which will be utilizing some voice recognition commands via the Kinect. We were also shown a gameplay demo of the fire-arm creation mode by way of Kinect for Ubisoft’s upcoming Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, to a resounding applause from the audience.
But one of the bigger announcements was the continued integration of entertainment on XBOX Live, and further Kinect support. YouTube is coming to XBOX Live, as well as BING, and you will be able to issue voice commands to Kinect to find the game, movie, or music you are looking for. Also announced was future integration of live television, DVR functionality, and a partnership with UFC to enjoy pay-per-view events and predict the winner before the fight.
Epic Games then provided a gameplay demo for Gears of War 3, with assistance from actor/rapper Ice-T.
We also got a sneak peek at Epic’s sand and sandal first person fighter, Ryse.
The long-rumored Halo update was announced. Expect Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary to arrive in stores in November with updated graphics and multi-player functions.
Forza Motorsport 4 is one of the more realistic car racing sims I’ve seen, and will have Kinect support.
The latest in the Fable franchise, Fable: The Journey, will utilize Kinect to make it a first-person, action-fantasy adventure.
And the popular PC hit Minecraft will be making its XBOX debut in the near future.
We were then treated to a slew of Kinect titles that were coming soon. Kinect Disneyland Adventures brings the popular family vacation destination into your home, with re-imagined “rides” from the theme park. Kinect Star Wars allows you to be a Jedi Knight, wielding a light saber and fighting against the Dark Side.
Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster allows children to interact with their favorite Sesame Street monsters, such as Elmo and Cookie Monster.
Kinect Fun Labs is now a permanent addition to XBOX Live. Many of the applications include allowing users to create their own avatars that actually look like themselves, as well as cloud storage for gamer tags, achievements, profiles and game saves. Users can also download mini-games such as Kinect Sports Season Two.
The presentation closed with a teaser trailer for Halo 4.
Ubisoft kicked off their 25th Anniversary with a demo for Rayman Origins by none other than series creator Michel Ancel and programmer David Punset. The title is due later this year.
Mr. Caffeine, Aaron Priceman, shared Ubisoft’s new motto: “Gaming is adventure; gaming is sharing; gaming is life.” He then introduced the company’s latest driving sim, but first asked the audience to imagine what that game would have looked like 25 years ago. Driver San Francisco will have gamers racing through the streets of the Golden Gate city, and will be available this August for XBOX 360, PS3, PC, and 3DS.
Producer Dan Hay and Lead Game designer Jamie Keen announced the latest adventure in the Jason Brody series, Far Cry 3, where our hero is captured by a group of psychopaths. A word of warning: this clip contains R-rated language and violence.
Ubisoft creative director Tommy Jacob introduced the demo for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the latest entry in this successful military co-op battle franchise. The game will hit XBOX 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS, and PSP sometime in 2012. Ubisoft also announced a free-to-play online version that was developed by their Singapore division.
Due this November for XBOX 360 Kinect is Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking. Designer Antoine Henry demoed the whack-a-mole portion of the game, and was then joined by volunteers to demo a shape-filling mini-game where users have to fill a silhouetted shape from behind a shower curtain to fend off the Rabbids and earn points. The contorted group can then have the option to post a photo of themselves on Facebook to share with the world.
Ubisoft’s Gearbox Software division introduced Brothers in Arms: Furious 4. The game, due next year on XBOX 360 and PS3, looks very much like a game version of Quentin Tarrantino’s Inglorious Basterds, as the foursome battle Nazis during World War II.
Speaking of movie tie-ins, Ubisoft showed a trailer for the upcoming game The Adventures of TinTin, based on the upcoming movie of the same name directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson. Developed in conjunction with Paramount Digital, this third-person actioner will be available for XBOX 360 Kinect and Playstation Move in Q4 of this year.
Ubisoft also announced additional titles for Kinect and Move, including Trackmania 2, Shootmania, Questmania, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012, and Just Dance 3. The company has high hopes for Rocksmith, which they promise will be the most life-like and educational guitar sim, raising the bar for future versions of Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
Of course, Ubisoft saved the most anticipated title for last, Assasin’s Creed: Revelations, which continues the saga of master assasin Ezio Auditore as he is on the trail of a Templar. The game is due in November for XBOX 360, PS3, and the PC.
Those were the only two press briefings Home Theater Forum received invites to. Electronic Arts held their briefing on Monday, as well, and in addition to the announcements made at the XBOX 360 Press Briefing, E/A announced a March 6, 2012 street date for Mass Effect 3 and the ability to import game data from Mass Effect 2. Also announced were Need For Speed: The Run, Star Wars: The Old Republic, snowboarding game SSX due in January 2012, SIMS Social will launch on Facebook in the near future, single-player fantasy RPG Kingdoms of Amalur, the fantasy co-op Overstrike from Insomniac Games, and first person shooter Batllefield 3.
Sony Computer Entertainment America has had a hard time in the press of late, but President and CEO Jack Tretton thanked the fans for their support and loyalty, and reminded everyone that PlayStation Network is still a free service, offering users access to Hulu Plus, VUDU, MLB-TV, NHL GameCenter, Music Unlimited by Qriocity, and Netflix. And PSN users account for 30% of Netflix’s streaming data. New entertainment partners will continue to be added, including Best Buy’s CinemaNow streaming service in the coming months. Games announced at the press briefing included Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Resistance 3 (which will ship in a special MOVE bundle including the sharp-shooter add-on for $149), and the big push this year is both 3D gaming and PlayStation Move support, which has sold over 8.8 million units worldwide. NBA 2K12, Carnival Games, Little Big Planet 2, and a PlayStation exclusive game based on the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek sequel next summer will all have Move functionality.
On the hardware front, Sony unveiled a PS3-branded 24-inch 3-D display that will retail for $499.99, and include a pair of active 3D glasses, an HDMI cable, and Resistance 3. Additional glasses will retail for $69.99. Also announced was PlayStaion Suite, a certification for non-Sony mobile devices to bring PlayStation games to Android-based phones and tablets. But the big news was the unveiling of the next generation portable gaming console, the PS Vita. Featuring a 5-inch multi-touch OLED screen, dual analog sticks, rear-touch interactivity, dual front and back cameras, and Sixaxis motion sensing, the PS Vita will come in two flavors, a Wi-Fi version retailing at $249 and a Wi-Fi plus 3G version retailing for $299. The bad news, though, is that AT&T will be offering the 3G access here in the US.
As expected, Nintendo announced their new console, named the Wii U, finally joining both Sony and Microsoft in the HD gaming arena. One of the major disappointments with the Wii has been the cartoony, standard definition graphics, and it has been a bit frustrating with Nintendo’s responses over the last few years that gamers really don’t want high definition games. The big benefit of the Wii U is the newly designed controller, essentially combining your traditional motion-sensing game controller with a 6.2-inch tablet, enabling players to use either their television display or the controller’s built-in display. No games were officially announced, but many of Nintendo’s publishing partners, including EA, have pledged support for the new console.
Monday evening, Free To Play gaming publisher Jagex Games Studios threw a Pre-E3 party at the Redbury Hotel in Hollywood to celebrate their partnership with Hasbro over the development of an upcoming MMO game, Transformers Universe, set to launch next year. The game sits within the “Prime” timeline, along with the book Exodus, the War for Cybertron games, and the Prime cartoon.
Tuesday, I visited with Nexon America and was treated to demo many of their Free 2 Play games, including Vindictus and Dragon Nest. Nexon is one of the leading Free 2 Play publishers, an area of gaming which has been growing over the last few years.
Majesco Entertainment then showcased many of their upcoming titles, many for the Nintendo 3DS, including Camping Mama, Cooking Mama 4, Pet Zombies, and JAWS: Ultimate Predator. They also have Bloodrayne: Betrayal coming tp PlayStation Network and XBOX Live.
NOX Corporation is a fairly new company, designing innovative audio products for smart phones, MP3 players, PCs, game consoles, and home theater systems. Their latest product is set to debut in Q4, The Admiral, a bluetooth wireless Dolby Digital 7.1 headset that is compatible with most gaming consoles, smart phones, and home theater systems. The sound and bass response from this headset was incredible, especially in the very noisy environment of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Wednesday was the busiest day for booth visits.
Gazillion Entertainment is another big player in the growing Free To Play segment, showcasing two of their newest games, both flash-based and playable with just about any internet browser, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. Fortune Online is a dungeon crawler RPG with constantly changing dungeons everytime you play. Marvel Super Hero Squad Online is aimed at kids ages 6 and up, with 26 available Marvel characters for basic members, with more to come. The game has a social network feel, with typing chat, combat missions, simple play commands using your mouse, and family-friendly cartoon violence, offering a fun entertainment experience while playing as your favorite Marvel character. Key to the game’s success is the continuing tie-ins with Marvel Studios movie releases, such as the current Thor and X-Men films, as well as the upcoming Captain America and Avengers.
505 Games also announced a lineup of games for the next 12 months and beyond. Supremacy MMA, coming to PS3 and Xbox 360 this September, is a no-holds-barred, hardcore, and realistic fighter from Kung Fu Factory. The game is not for the squeamish, and has been rated M for Mature. Backbreaker Vengeance is a first-person football obstacle course game that will be available here in the US on XBOX Live and in Europe on PlayStation Network. Blackwater is an XBOX-exclusive shooter, using the Kinect. You become a Blackwater Operative, using military tactics and more than 25 body gestures to complete high-stakes assignments throughout the world. The developers consulted actual Blackwater Operatives to bring a level of authenticity to the game, which is due this Fall. Michael Phelps: Push the Limit is, well, a swimming simulator for the XBOX 360 Kinect, and was developed by Blitz Games. Finally, due in Sping 2012 for XBOX 360, PS3, and the PC, Top Gun: Hard Lock