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  1. Kingdom Hearts III was arguably one of the biggest announcements during Sony's E3 press conference on Monday, but the brief trailer leaves much to the imagination in terms of actual details regarding the game. Of course, we can't expect tons of info since the game is still in development; we still don't even know exactly how far into development it is, but the lack of any real story scenes seem to indicate it's fairly early-on in the cycle. Here are a few things we do know regarding it, however. So What's It About? If you haven't been following the storyline at all, this will tread slightly into spoiler territory, so skip to the next question if you want to avoid spoiling any of the story thus far. In Kingdom Hearts III, the game once again focuses on an older Sora as he and Donald and Goofy journey to different Disney-themed worlds in order to stop antagonist Master Xehanort from starting a war against the tyranny of light, which the latter believes will restore equilibrium to light and darkness. The specific plot of the game has Sora, Donald, and Goofy searching for the Seven Guardians of Light and the Key To Return Hearts while Riku and King Mickey search for previous Keyblade wielders. What Disney-Themed Worlds Will Be In It? Square Enix won't say just yet, but according to a representative from Disney, the game is confirmed to feature worlds that have yet to be seen in the series. Siliconera reportedly asked if Pixar worlds would be in the game to which they said they couldn't comment at that at this time. Will There Be Multiplayer This Time? Funny you should ask. In the Q&A segment at E3, Nomura was asked the same question and he mentioned that it was under consideration. He also mentioned online possibilities as well, so if they decide to go ahead with it, online multiplayer could be in Kingdom Hearts' future. So Is This The Last Kingdom Hearts Then? Not definitively, but this will be the last game in the Xehanort saga, according to series creator Tetsuya Nomura. Where the series goes after that is unknown, but Kingdom Hearts is a huge success for Square-Enix and Disney so you can expect them to carry on with more games and expand the mythos in the future. What Team Is Developing it? Square Enix revealed yesterday at a Q&A session (via Siliconera) that it isn't the original Kingdom Hearts team, who are now hard at work (along with Kingdom Hearts series creator Tetsuya Nomura) on Final Fantasy XV. Instead, the Osaka studio, which worked on Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Kingdom Hearts 3D, and most recently, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix, are hard at work on the much anticipated third installment. What Platforms Is It Coming To? Kingdom Hearts III is only confirmed to be coming to PS4 and Xbox One at the moment. Initially, it was thought to be PS4-only when it was revealed at Sony's pre-E3 conference, but Square-Enix later clarified the game was indeed making its way to Microsoft's next-gen console as well. No Wii U Release? The game is said to make use of DirectX 11, which raises the question of whether a Wii U release would even be possible since it's currently unclear whether the Nintendo console is capable of the graphics equivalent. Still, a Wii U release would seem like a probable situation in the future if sales and the install base pick up for the fledgling console. It would certainly make sense given the fact that the Kingdom Hearts fanbase is almost equally split between Sony and Nintendo due to four of the games being on Nintendo handhelds (GBA, DS, and 3DS, respectively), so don't rule it out entirely just yet. And that's what we know so far. Hopefully it won't be too long before we get more details. If there's a time and place for that, we'll most likely hear more at the Tokyo Game Show later this year, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for additional information there. Are you looking forward to Kingdom Hearts III?
  2. If you think that Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III will be PS4 exclusives, then think again! Square confirmed during their conference today that both titles will also be available on the Xbox One. This means that Final Fantasy XV loses the Sony exclusivity back when it was called Versus XIII, and also marks the first time a Kingdom Hearts game will be on a Microsoft platform. Which version of these games will you grab?
  3. Nintendo's "surprise announcement" during their E3 Nintendo Direct was revealed to be a new installment in the Donkey Kong Country series. This is the second game in the series to be developed by Retro Studios and is called Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The story this time around sees Donkey Kong Island invaded by viking animals from the north. Iwata also mentioned that Dixie Kong would be returning as a playable character in the game (complete with her helicopter hair move) and that new barrel blast sequences would show a dynamically changing camera movement around levels for a psuedo-3D effect (similar to Klonoa) despite the game being played on a 2D plane. Underwater levels, which were famously missing from Donkey Kong Country Returns, also look to be returning here as seen in the 26:41 mark in the trailer. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is set to release on Wii U in November later this year.
  4. Jason Clement

    E3 2013: Mario Kart 8 Announced For Wii U

    Nintendo previously announced that they would show off a new Mario Kart for Wii U at E3 2013, and today they delivered on that promise as Mario Kart 8 was announced in the latest Nintendo Direct presentation. Mario Kart 8 looks to carry on the gliding mechanic introduced in Mario Kart 7, as well as driving underwater, and also adding the ability to ride a motorcycle (as in Mario Kart Wii) but the new gameplay focus in this version is on anti-gravity. Players will be able to play through courses that shift to driving on the walls as well as driving upside-down. Iwata has promised that the game would feature the "best collection of multiplayer modes the series has yet seen" as well, so stay tuned for more information on that in the future. Mario Kart 8 is currently slated for release in Spring 2014. You can check out a trailer for the game below.
  5. There aren't too many details at the moment but it appears that most of Giantbomb's equipment was stolen somehow tonight. This is really unfortunate to hear, especially since it seems like everyone is mostly pretty professional at E3 and there to enjoy the show, not to stake it out. In any case, I hope they find the perpetrators. Here's what Jeff Gerstmann had to say regarding it: Update: Giantbomb has posted about it on their website. You can check out the full story there.
  6. Marshall Henderson

    E3 2013: Sony Conference Recap

    A lot of people were excited to see the large showing of games for the Xbox One, but there were still some issues. The PlayStation 4 has been playing ti close to the vest, however, as to whether they've got any responses to that, Now, at E3 2013, the battleground has been set. Will this be when Sony decides to take off the kid gloves and start punching Xbox in the face? Or has the library revealed for the Xbox One, as well as the hype train from it being more recently announced, given Microsoft a chance to win E3 once and for all? Check out the recap below to find out! [6:17 PM] Okay, so they were almost 20 minutes late, but hey, it's finally starting! Some sweet jams play while swirly ribbon-y things flip around the screen. Face button shapes appearing and whatnot. [6:18] The jams are being pumped up, while we get a montage of a bunch of different games. The Last of Us, GTA5, Final Fantasy X, some baseball, other stuff. We are now moving into our third genre of music. [6:20] Jack Tretton takes the stage. The bass has been dropped, now he's going to drop some Sony business... after he talks about how much he loves everyone. The feelings are high. [6:22] He said "Playstation Vita," which I thought was illegal for Sony. Time to drop some knowledge about the Vita. "Vita owners have purchased an average of ten games." He doesn't specify what kind of games, so that is probably the most inclusive statistic. Arkham Origins, Counterspy, Doki Doki Universe, Kill Zone Mercenary, and Tearaway. God of War HD 1 and 2, Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, Flower, Dead Nation are all coming to the Vita. [6:25] The Walking Dead, 400 Days, is coming this summer to Vita. A bundle with the full first series and the new one come this Summer. The Vita's supposedly super-attached to the PS4. It's supposed to be the ultimate companion app. [6:26] PlayStation 3 game lineup time. They're opening with The Last of Us, which Tretton identified as "Game of the Year candidate." I think it's already pretty clear how dope this game is supposed to be, based on reviews and stuff. [6:28] Puppeteer is next. The trailer shows off the platforming and stuff. Very LBP-esque. Immediately after that, the trailer for Rain, coming this Fall. Soft music and stuff to make us all cry openly. [6:29] Beyond: Two Souls. Willem Dafoe's here, telling Ellen Page to go join the military, and the rest of the trailer os far is about her doing just that. Running through tires and firing guns and stuff. [6:30] Now Ellen Page has to go hunt down terrorists. This trailer makes it look basically like a military shooter, with mild sexual tension between Ellen Page and Random Guy. [6:31] Gran Turismo 6! More cars that look good, more driving around. Weird emphasis on solar panels. It has a new physics engine, so your car can flip. New tire models, new suspension model. New aerodynamics model. Adaptive tessellation. New rendering engine. [6:32] So the lesson to take away, as with every racing game, is that cars go fast, stuff looks mad real. You should more or less know what to expect with this stuff. [6:33] That was all for PS3 stuff. Tretton's now talking about The Last of Us again. [6:34] It's Batman time. Bane was there, Black Skull have a small amount of face time. Black Mask is not happy with Batman, so he puts a hit out on The Batman. Deathstroke, Deadshot, and Bane. [6:35] If your fears about Troy Baker as the Batman were sincere, you have nothing to worry about. Gadgets are different, even in a prequel, they're better. As usual. The Joker had a bit of voice-time as well. [6:36] Some PlayStation-exclusive stuff. Also, an exclusive GTA5 bundle for $299 for PS3. Also, a headset, because you want to use stage time to talk about peripherals. [6:37] Sony dreams of bringing a more "Immersive, innovative experience." Let's go ahead and check that off of everyone's bingo lists. [6:38] Andrew House is here to talk about PlayStation 4. [6:39] The PlayStation 4! It's....! Well, it's a black box. Kind of looks like the PlayStation 3 mixed with a Wii? Or like a Blu-Ray player. [6:40] They strive to assure that their services are relevant and meaningful, House says. They're showing a bunch of videos and stuff, so I guess they're covering the Microsoft in the livingroom stuff... Why? [6:41] CEO of Sony Entertainment Michael Lynton takes the stage. Lynton says they're ready to do next generation stuff "for gamers." He's discussing the music and other media, and name-drops Daft Punk, Nine In Nails, and Jack White. The '90s live! [6:43] Sony's big connections to all forms of media are apparently to play into the PlayStation Network, and the programming is to be tailor-made for gamers, so he says. [6:44] Video Unlimited, where you can buy videos and stuff. [6:45] Music Unlimited is still a thing, and can be used on non-PlayStation stuff. [6:46] Redbox Instant is coming to PlayStation Network. They're making a point where, as they talk about the media-oriented stuff, they keep saying, "This is tailored to gamers." [6:47] Shuhei Yoshida is taking the stage now that they're done talking about that junk. [6:48] "I'm so excited to begin... *pause*" Yoshida is wearing a really sleek suit. "We, the gamers, use social media" for the purpose of discussing games. Yoshida discusses his Twitter. [6:50] "A highly imaginative new IP, coming exclusive to the PS4." Santa Monica Studios. Looks sorta of Steampunk-y. Victorian-esque setting, airships of some variety, as well as guns. Whitechapel. A woman with a gun, some guys with awesome facial hair. [6:52] Uh oh! The carriage driver was killed! They have radios, and subway trains. [6:53] A bunch of groaning humanoids are all in the fog and causing a ruckus, so the characters are killing them. The Order is the name of the game. [6:54] Yoshida says the demos and stuff will be online on their Facebook and Twitter, and on PlayStation.com. [6:55] Killzone Shadow Fall. As expected, it's another FPS, though this seems a little more colorful, and the gadgets include a drone that can put up shields and stuff. [6:56] RACING time! Driveclub, which was just pretty cars and driving fast. [6:56] inFamous: Second Son. The main dude is a vandal, his brother is a cop. The facial capture is really good. [6:58] Nirvana remix in the trailer... [6:58] Another look at Knack, which still looks pretty good. Very briefly. [6:58] All three of those games will be released on launch. Q1 of 2014. [6:59] Quantic Dream has done another tech demo, this one named The Dark Sorcerer. The Old Man is back! He's the Dark Sorcerer. [7:01] Oh, it's a funny! It's a film-screen room! (Note: It was not funny) [7:03] Time to talk about indies. Adam Boyes takes the stage. He says that Shuhei Yoshida has the most infectious smile in the industry. He is not wrong. [7:04] Supergiant Games's Amir Rao Greg Kasavin take the stage. Transistor is to make its debut on PS4 early next year. Cloudbank is the city, where everyone has a voice, but some people are disappearing. The art style is similar-ish to Bastion, and the gameplay is not dissimilar, but the feel of the game seems pretty different. [7:06] Indies are to be able to self-publish their own content. [7:07] Don't Starve is apparently PS4-bound. Tribute Games is working with them again to bring Mercenary Kings to PS4. Young Horses is joining. Octodad: Dadliest Catch is coming to PS4. Secret Ponchos, a shooter/fighting(?) game, Outlast, Odd World Inhabitants. New remake of Oddworld. Galaxy, a sidescrolling space shooter. [7:10] Each of these above are PS4 exclusives. [7:11] Diablo III will have exclusive items from PlayStation games. [7:12] Tetsuya Nomura left a video message about Square Enix. There's a Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer. That child's face is stupid-looking. [7:14] A little bit of gameplay. It's action-oriented, some wall-climbing. It looks largely like a hack-and-slash. Some familiar classic monsters, like a Behemoth, Leviathan... Well, it's Final Fantasy XV now. [7:16] A new Kingdom Hearts trailer! Recaps of the old games, and now Sora is on Destiny Island, in a different version of his KH2 outfit. Actual gameplay! "Now in Development," meaning we'll see it in 20 years. [7:18] Final Fantasy XIV will be coming to PS4 and PS3. Pirates PIRATES Assassin's Creed: Black Flag pirates. [7:20] The environments look pretty great, a rich forest, fog and stuff. [7:22] The gameplay looks mostly samey, but if you like AssCreed, the jungle environment might be reason enough to pick it up. [7:23] Back to set-pieces! And Kenway's on a boat now, because pirate. Ship-to-ship combat and what not. The demo's freezing to business. They cut it. [7:25] Watch_Dogs. You can drive, go in coffee shops. [7:30] A little more gameplay than we've seen in the past, showing off some of the hacking and ranged stuff. [7:31] Ugh, it looks like they're using the hacking as a generic puzzle-solving method. [7:33] PlayStation owners get an hour of additional gameplay for Watch_Dogs. [7:33] Sports time! Lebron James is playing basketball digitally. It's a bunch of glamour shots. NBA2k14. [7:35] Bethesda time, The Elder Scrolls Online. For the first time, this actually looks like a TES game to me. It comes to PS4 Spring, 2014. It will have a beta first on PlayStation 4. [7:38] Some dead bodies, a junked up car... Is... Is that a Raider outfit...? Is this... [7:39] Is this.... Oh. It's just Mad Max. [7:40] Exclusive Road Warrior survival kit only on PlayStation. Jack Tretton is back on stage. [7:41] PS4 won't impose restrictions on used games. The audience is crapping themselves right now. [7:42] Just as the applause dies down, it starts back up again. They don't require an online connection, yet another audience cheer. [7:44] Cross-game voice chat, transition to friends network, share button, whatnot. PlayStation Plus is a focus now. PS+ membership carries over to PS4. They secretly slipped in that multiplayer is a little more in-line with Microsoft's previous stuff, in that you have to pay for multiplayer. [7:45] PlayStation Plus gets Driveclub on PS4 at the PS4 launch. [7:46] A new game every month for free, Don't Starve, Outlast, Secret Ponchos as examples. "PlayStation is all about games." [7:47] Now, Destiny is on-screen. Some ambient music, "Earth, Many Years from Now." Landscapes. A small collection of rusted out cars, and some bug monsters jumping around and scoping down planes and stuff. [7:50] It's some normal FPS gameplay so far, multiplayer. They're approaching a huge city. The lighting is pretty, it's fairly colorful as a game, relatively-speaking. There's some magic. He summoned a "ghost" which flies around and provides a flashlight. [7:51] There are integrated HUD features, like the ammo count on an LED screen on the gun, but it stil lhas a conventional hud for some reason. [7:52] A little combat. Iron sights, soe melee. The bad guys can fire Spirit Bomb-looking things. I think Jack Tretton just cackled. [7:54] Jack Tretton's a terrible team player. It has loots and stuff. [7:57] A third player shows up, a public event. Apparently a lot of people can join and they are fighting in an arena. Dropship is dropping stuff, including a gant robot spider monster. [7:58] Lots of people showing up now. They're shooting the legs off of the robot spider. [7:59] Despite the awful stage banter, Destiny looks like a pretty solid FPS. [8:00] Andrew House is back. They're discussing the cloud-based videogame stuff. Cloud service is available in 2014, including PS4, PS3, and PS Vita, allowing fast gaming networks. [8:02] PlayStation 4 is priced at $399. It'll be out this holiday season. And that's it! Sony had one little slow point, but they apparently were geared to fight in this E3. They addressed people's fears about Microsoft, brought out a strong and diverse line-up, and even nailed it on price. Online connection has to be paid for now, and the Vita got very, very little love on stage, but other than that, it looks like a categorical victory for Sony. Recap written by Marshall Henderson. Screencaps provided by Jason Clement. But who wore it better? Sony. Sony wore it better, but if you disagree, or just want to let loose, hit the comments below and let your voice be heard!
  7. Earlier at Ubisoft's E3 press conference, they announced a new racing title called The Crew. It seems to be inspired by Need for Speed, but Ubisoft is touting that it has more variety of cars and vehicles in a persistent online open-world that is bigger than ever, referring to it as an "open-world playground" of sorts. In The Crew, you'll be able to take over a criminal organization one city at a time. A live demo was shown on stage which showed off the game's impressive graphics and draw distance. Also shown was the ability to strip away a car's parts and customize and rebuild it exactly as you want. The Crew is coming to Xbox One and PS4 early next year.
  8. Marshall Henderson

    E3 2013: Microsoft Conference Recap

    This is it. Microsoft is out to prove the Xbox One's worth today with a number of exclusive game announcements, features, and more. Did they manage to surprise us? Check out our recap of the conference below and let us know what you think! [9:36] IT BEGINS! After Keighley spent the last minute stalling, Big Boss has to go to Afghanistan. It's Metal Gear Solid 5, obviously. Man, Ocelot is telling Snake to use binoculars, and that seems really insensitive... Would a binocular with one lens just be a nocular? The open-worldedness has Snake on a horse... doing Horse stealth. It's all very pretty. Apparently with real-time weather and hanging off the side of a horse for stealth. Snake can ride in cars and hop in the back of passing-by trucks to hide and whatever. Good news, smoking is still an option. Seriously, this is really pretty. Realistic passage of time, so they say. Snake has to save Kaz from Afghanistan, so that's cool. Another female sniper, a little kid named Eli, a guy named Skull Face (apparently Ghostface Killah was taken). Emmerich is back. Ocelot, an old dude named Codetalker. Was Snake just choking Chico out? "Punished Snake" is what they're calling him in this. Okay. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looks exciting. "Kaz. I'm already a demon." [9:42] Don Matric and Kojima are here. Kojima is talking about the graphic power and stuff. Can't argue, it looks mad dope. Kojima just left. Okay. So he just showed up to say that, then leave. [9:43] Yusuf Mehdi takes the stage, to share some information about the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 is being updated to look like the Xbox design... available now. [9:44] "Our commitment to the Xbox 360 has never been stronger." Gold members receive two free game downloads per month. Assassin's Creed 2, Halo 3 are the first two. "Hundreds of new games coming to Xbox 360." Splinter Cell Blacklist, Arkham Origins, Lightning Returns, Grand Theft Auto 5 are some examples. [9:46] World of Tanks is coming to Xbox 360, for the first time ever on consoles, apparently tailor-made, as trustworthy as an Xbox person can be to tell you that. World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition. [9:47] Victor Kislyi showed up. They decided the Xbox 360 apparently because of the large Xbox Live community. He basically just said "We did it cause you have a big community." [9:49] Mehdi's back, to share two more of the games for 360. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. Max searches a spell to get rid of his brother, and it works, so now he has to go into a magical world to go find him. Looks very Limbo-esque, though more colorful. [9:51] Dark Souls 2 is the second. Looks pretty standard-fare for the series, angsty background music and grim level design. Giant monsters. "Go beyond death." It looks pretty decent, yeah. [9:52] Phil Spencer takes the stage. "Welcome to the new generation of games." Everything from here on in is for Xbox One. [9:55] Ryse is a Roman game. "Brave man dies once, a coward dies a thousand times over." Probably was intentional to quote Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" here. Third-person action game with some QTEs, hack-and-slash-ish?, it looks. You're clearly in the role of the leader, you can form a phalanx and stuff when you're with people, which they're using in the demo to have the player move towards a tower filled with archers. [9:59] So basically, Ryse's combat seems pretty Uncharted-y, except with sword and shield rather than guns. Like if a hack-and-slash and Uncharted had a beautiful Roman baby. There are squad-based things as well. Dismemberment, graphic deaths. All the high notes. [10:00] Cevat Yerli takes the stage. Marius Titus, and you fight as a general of the Roman empire. Ryse: Son of Rome is an Xbone [10:01] Killer Instinct, all the character designs are VERY modernized and not Battletoads. [10:02] Ted Price from Insomniac is taking the stage to talk about Sunset Overdrive. [10:03] A "living-world game." The game is altered by player-input and stuff. Art style is cartoony as business, there's some parkour-ing with this guy in the bowling shirt. [10:04] Sort of Borderlands-esque 'cartoony' violence that is fun and silly. [10:05] Forza 5. Racing games! It's all about how cool cars are great. WHOA STROBE LIGHTS. And now there's a car on stage. [10:06] The graphics are pretty, but he's talking about "air you can taste and texture you can feel," so you know, graphics that are so good that your eyes operate other senses. [10:08] "Driveatar" logs your speed and style and learns how you play so it can emulate it. Your Driveatar--which is the worst word--goes worldwide and bases the AI of other people's games on your play style. [10:11] Phil Harrison--or possibly Moby--takes the stage. "Push the boundaries" and the usual new console rhetoric. [10:13] Minecraft for Xbox One, because a game that can be played on cell phones is truly the backbone of the Xbox One's boundary-pushing hardware. [10:14] Remedy is here to talk about Quantum Break. The choices made in the game create a personalized version of the television show. "This will be the ultimate Remedy experience." [10:15] It's all rendered in-engine, but it's entirely a cutscene of a localized frozen time thing called "zero state." [10:16] Swery65's new game, a murder-mystery named D4. Cel-shaded style and stuff. It got far too little screen time, and was barely spoken about. [10:17] Art, science, and magic. Two of those words don't fit together, unless you're watching the Sorcerer's Apprentice. [10:18] Dave McCarthy is here. "This team came together for one purpose: To give the gift of games to everyone." Project Spark. "Spark, show me rivers. Make that mountains," and it does it. Using smartglass, you can do personal touches. It looks like the most mid-'90s science thing ever. [10:20] You can add behaviors to stuff, like rocks. It'll make the rock jump and follow. "Come on everybody, let's rock and roll," Claude says. Damn it, Claude. [10:21] Multiplayer options, including morphing landscapes. [10:22] Rockman becomes... Rock Mech. Okay. It's like Lionhead and '90s sci-fi had a baby. You can use it to build game-type things or scenarios or something. [10:23] Marc Whitten takes the stage. [10:25] SmartGlass demo, showing off how it works. Compare stats, pop into games with people, timeline changes while doing it. It has tips and stuff. [10:26] Shows off Killer Instinct. Good, trashtalking with the most stilted dialogue. "Just let it happen, it'll be over soon." Well, that's a horrible thing to say. Killer Instinct looks like Killer Instinct. The game was automatically recorded for the Game DVR, and can be shared on the cloud. with whatever commentary he wants to add or whatever. [10:28] Partnership with Twitch, so you can automatically stream games as you play them. Great if you care about that sort of stuff and have a good internet connection. [10:29] More than 100 friends, and a moving away from MSP to real currency. Anyone in your house can enjoy your Gold benefits, including online play, even without being logged in. [10:30] Crimson Dragon demo... they lost audio, apparently, but it sure looks like Panzer Dragoon... I guess. It looked like it was cool, except it had no audio. [10:31] Josh Bridge and Mike Jones take the stage to announce Dead Rising 3. It's three days after a big outbreak, and the new hero is in a fight for his life. City's all burning, car horn is blaring, and zombies are making zombie noises. The new main character, Nick, is apparently a mechanic. Oh boy, if you don't like red-screening, you're probably not going to like this game. Attacking enemies with melee apparently causes blood spatter on the screen in a pretty big way. [10:33] It's an open-world game, meant to be like a real city, including some destructable environments. [10:34] In-field weapon customization, like taping a flashlight to a gun. You can distract zombies with things like flare guns. Assault rifles apparently are just lying around. Nick comments on stuff, and weapons are readily available to just be picked up on the fly. Cars are still a thing to get around. [10:37] SmartGlass gives you a unique way to deal with zombie outbreaks, like calling in artillery strikes. That as a SmartGlass thing probably will make some people unhappy. Equally, Dead Rising 3 is exclusive to Xbox One. [10:38] The Witcher 3. It's open-world. Optional voice-commands, free-roam. This sounds pretty familiar... [10:40] Geralt looks super awesome with a beard. "Multi-region Open World." There are mermaids, the gameplay seems a lot more free-flowing than the rigid combat in previous games. Different environments, weather, the usual stuff, but it looks pretty baller. Maybe the biggest applause I've heard so far. [10:42] Patrick Soderland and David Silverman show up. It's about Battlefield 4. It's a live demo now, so... No sound, so they decided to start the trailer over. "We will start over. *pause* It will happen, I promise." Some heckling now. HERE we go, audio's back, after Patrick almost surrendered. [10:44] Military Jargon, dark, murky sea. It's very naturalist, very Open Boat. There's a minimap, the usual shooter type thing. The team's trying to get off of a boat, which sems to be coming apart. Big set pieces! Its very pretty. [10:47] The top right corner says to press backspace for Battlelog... The Xbox One is closing the gap between PC games and console games. [10:49] The first Battlefield 4 map pack will be launched on Xbox One before anywhere else. [10:50] Capybara's new game. "Below." It's a very simple hand painted-looking artstyle, pulled-back camera, supposedly Roguelike gameplay... Well, that was all of it. [10:51] Microsoft is invested in Black Tusk to get them to pump out AAA games on Xbox One. Now that's done. [10:52] It's all windy, there's a person dressed in a bunch of cloth while walking through the desert... to a bunch of dead bodies. Gravity, which was wonk, is now unwonked, and a giant robot is coming out of it... OH NO, IT'S MASTER CHIEF! EVERYONE IS SHOCKED NOW... why was he wearing cloth over his armor? It's not like he'd get sand in his eyes or whatever... [10:54] Bonnie Ross is taking the stage. She's discussing the Halo television series and Xbox One's Halo. It runs at 60 frames per second, and it comes out in 2014. [10:56] $499 for the Xbox One, in November. [10:57] The final Exclusive Title, by Respawn Entertainment. "They're going to call us marauders, terrorists... or worse..." It's all sci-fi, giant ships, filthy, high-tech cities, jumpsuit-type things with rocket launchers, fighting giant robots. "This is our land, and we'll fight for it." There's stealth and stuff. It's Titanfall. [10:59] Vince Zampella comes out to talk about it. It uses a lot of cloud stuff and stuff beyond the hardware. The demo shows that, despite the trailer being all third-persony, the actual gameplay itself is first-person, which is disappointing. [11:02] Gameplay itself looks like a pretty typical FPS, with some rocket jumps and wall-running. You can summon forth a mech to ride around in, which seems to turn it into a regular FPS except you're in a mech. [11:05] Spring 2014, Xbox One exclusive. And that was it for the E3 2013 Xbox One conference! They surely did maintain the fact that it was about games, with phrases like "open world" being the watchwords here. There was a degree of indie love, but it seemed like the core Triple A's were at the core. Aside from that, there wasn't much said to actually address the issues people have had. Is Microsoft just moving past it? Recap written by Marshall Henderson. Screencaps provided by Jason Clement. What did you think about the Microsoft Conference? Let us know in the comments!
  9. This E3, Nintendo has more to prove than ever before. While they had a free shot at getting the Wii U the attention it needed in the conferences over the last two years, the initial information they announced was confusing to many (where it wasn't even immediately known if the Wii U was a Wii add-on or a new console) and the launch line-up was somewhat lackluster. Now they have to contend with two new powerful consoles from their competitors and will need to come in with all guns blazing if they hope to secure the "talk of E3" as it were. Yes, Nintendo needs to drop the bomb and make some big announcements in order to get people excited for the future of Wii U, not only in the short term, but in the long term as well. If there's any time they're poised to do that, it's now, and they may just deliver on some of those big surprises on Tuesday. The good news? We already know that Nintendo is slated to show off a new 3D Mario game, a new Mario Kart, and we'll finally get our first look at the next Super Smash Bros. title. It's also highly likely that Retro will unveil their next game since it's been 3 years since Donkey Kong Country Returns originally released on Wii; more than enough time for development on their next title to be mostly complete. Beyond those announcements, who knows? Here's what the GP staff is predicting from the next Nintendo Direct. Retro At Last Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief The possibility of Retro Studios showing off their latest title is extremely high; almost guaranteed. But the question is, what have they been working on for so long? Many believe it's a new Metroid title, likely continuing from where they left off with Metroid Prime 3, but something tells me that it might be something else. You see, over the years, Retro has had many of the key players on the Metroid Prime team depart, but in that time they've acquired quite a bit of talent from other super-talented developers, including Naughty Dog, Vigil, and more. Eric Kozlowsky, formerly of Naughty Dog has said about Retro's new project that "if all goes well it might just be one of my crowning achievements as an artist." Current rumors are indicating that it may be a new IP, and I think they might be right on the money. After all, why waste Retro's talent simply reinvisioning older Nintendo franchises? They did spectacular work with the Metroid Prime series and Donkey Kong Country Returns, but Retro is absolutely Nintendo's equivalent of Naughty Dog; why not utilize their talents to the fullest potential and create something entirely new? Nintendo probably realized this as well, and that's why I believe they've given Retro the go-ahead to create something that Nintendo's in-house teams could not - a new IP that is attractive to Western and mature audiences. Has Retro finally created Nintendo's Uncharted? We'll find out shortly as all eyes (and ears) center on the next Nintendo Direct come Tuesday morning. Animal Crossing Adds Paid DLC Marcus Estrada | Managing Editor Nintendo had previously given out free DLC for the more modern Animal Crossing games (Wild World, City Folk) and are doing so with New Leaf as well. However, they have never had the audacity to charge for it. Because Animal Crossing is always such a popular series, though, I think they might seriously consider adding it in. Of course, then they would need to navigate between what is worthy of being paid DLC versus the free ones given out in SpotPass. It's Been A Long Time Coming Gaiages | Community Manager So, Nintendo has shown quite a bit of support for the 3DS this year... Link to the Past 2, Mario & Luigi Dream Team, and the list goes on for all the great portable titles Nintendo's giving us this year. It really seems like the Wii U isn't getting any love... yet. Do I expect the Wii U to get some attention? Certainly, but if my prediction is correct, it'll all be drowned out by the massive fan noise that'll generate from the announcement of the Mother 3 translation. Think that's farfetched? It's really not. With Earthbound coming to the Wii U VC, and the fan translators offering to give their high quality translation to Nintendo for free, the Big N might just take that leap and bring one of the most asked-for games over to the West. Of course, it'd have to be on the 3DS VC since it's a GBA game, so that'd kind of downplay any Wii U news, but still... Pokemon Ready To Rumble John Kidman | Contributing Writer Skylanders proved to the world that a game could make you pay for characters on your disc while receiving very few complaints. Disney followed suit with the announcement of Infinity, but how could Nintendo pass up such a cash cow for its western audiences? My prediction is that Pokémon Rumble U will utilize Surf to reach the West. I can envision this Japanese eShop title to be localized for North America and Europe just in time for the holidays. Pokemon Rumble U will likely still be an eShop title, but there is a possibility that Rumble U could also receive a physical release with a few starter Pokémon to help stock the shelves this holiday season. Parents would gladly pay $2-3 for new characters, albeit a smaller toy for a much shorter game, over the MSRP of Skylanders and Infinity characters that range anywhere from $10-15 each. Release Dates and Windows - Near and Far Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief So far this year we know that The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD are coming to Wii U, but is that all? Not by a long shot. Nintendo knows they need to go big or go home if they hope to distract consumers from the impending launches of the Xbox One and PS4 so they'll have a few more big marquee titles on the way. The biggest? 3D Mario and Mario Kart will also hit the Wii U before the end of 2013. Those two would act as the one-two punch that many have been waiting for all along, and if you remember in 2011, that was the masterful move Nintendo made on the 3DS with the release of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. As for what else might release? Expect to see Pokemon Rumble U release in the Fall in order to get all the kids on board with actual toy pokemon collectibles this time around. If Skylanders is any indication, it could be huge. As for other games, expect to see Monolith Soft's X (which will also get an actual name) and Bayonetta 2 get a release date in 2014 (likely in the latter half). More Japanese Games Make Their Way West Barrel | Moderator After the recent success of Fire Emblem: Awakening and the anticipation for Shin Megami Tensei IV (which has been doing well in Japan), I expect Nintendo to actually make a localization announcement for Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem for Wii U at the next Nintendo Direct and show a tiny bit of gameplay. Also, in much more bold speculation I expect Treasure (the developers behind stuff like Sin & Punishment 1/2 and Ikaruga) to make a new action game for Wii U, but not necessarily a shmup or bullet-hell like their pedigree would suggest. I could see them getting creative with the system's capabilities by having something similar to The World Ends With You in terms of gameplay flow where you alternate between the gamepad and touch-screen while also changing your focus on the TV to the gamepad. Crazy? Indeed. But I feel like Treasure has been sitting on a new project after a steady stream of re-releases on Xbox Live Arcade, and it would be the perfect time to show it off when Wii U owners are hungry for new titles, no matter how bizarre. For the 3DS, I expect to see Camelot Software Planning tease another Golden Sun sequel (those who have seen the end of Dark Dawn will know why) or possibly a new RPG series altogether for 3DS. Oh, And Just One More Thing... Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief In the past, Nintendo was known to end their conferences with one super big last announcement; a coup de grace, if you will. In 2004, they ended their conference with the huge bombshell reveal trailer for what would later become The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. In 2009, they revealed the the first trailer for Metroid: Other M, which, at the time, looked downright exciting; they also shocked fans everywhere with the partnership between Nintendo and Team Ninja on the project. Expect them to end on a big note again this year. Interestingly enough, rumor has it that Nintendo's conference ended on a strange note last year (with a doubly long Nintendo Land segment) because Retro's game was pulled from the presentation (at Retro's request) at the last moment for not being ready. If this is true, it would seem to corroborate that we will likely see the game this year, so perhaps Retro's new project will get the famed final spotlight during the conference? It's possible; if I were a betting man, that would be the safest bet to go with. Last we heard from Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma is that it would take some time for them to develop the Wii U Zelda title, and that they are currently in the conceptual phase so it's unlikely we'll see any video content of it. So if the big announcement at the end isn't Retro's game or Zelda, what could it be? Why, another big exclusive in the vein of Bayonetta 2, of course. Bayonetta 2's reveal as a Nintendo exclusive was one of the biggest shockers in recent Nintendo history, especially given the game's source material and Nintendo's family friendly image, but if anything, it's proof that Nintendo realizes they need big AAA games that appeal to older gamers as well. Expect to hear of another big exclusive snapped up by the big N. Shenmue 3, perhaps? Hey, a guy can dream... What do you think? Do you have any predictions for what Nintendo will announce?
  10. Whatever your opinion is on Sony, there's no denying that the PS4 is the next-gen console that clearly has the most momentum coming into E3, especially after a few weeks of negative PR for Microsoft's Xbox One, thanks to a backlash against DRM implementation that will require an online presence once a day and more. When Sony's successor to the PS3 was announced earlier this year, they made sure to come out of the gate running. This was a system that would be first and foremost dedicated to games, and the message was clear to both consumers and developers. That same game plan still holds true going into E3; by focusing on the gamer and not the average consumer (at least not yet), Sony hopes to win the hearts of fans everywhere with what many expect may be a killer launch line-up that will likely be fully revealed on Monday. What other announcements might Sony make? Join the GP staff as they ruminate on their predictions for the upcoming conference. No Price... Just Yet Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief "If anything, the one thing I don't think Sony will do is announce an official price for the PS4, contrary to popular belief. While it's true that they did announce the Vita's price at E3, the PS4 is an entirely different beast altogether. Think back to 2006 when Kaz Hirai presented the PS3 to the world; that conference had a plethora of bungled moments, but the one that really cost them was the announcement that the price of the console would be $599. Kaz saying that it represented "significant financial investment" from the consumer only further twisted the knife, in a sense. So if Sony learned anything from that conference, it's that the price can undermine everything. They could have the best, most surprising announcements, but if the price is wrong, it'll cost them dearly. No, Sony will announce the things people want to hear - games, exclusive deals, price-drops on PS3/Vita, new accessories - but they'll leave the pricing announcement for another day in order to preserve the good PR they'll no doubt receive from fans and press alike... at least for a time. Expect the price to be announced sometime before the Fall begins, likely sometime in August." Nothing But Games John Kidman | Contributing Writer "My prediction for Sony is that they will hold a conference that echoes Kaz Hirai's statement that the Playstation 4 is "first and foremost" a console designed for gaming. The press conference will likely reiterate a few of the features, but the primary focus will be on the console's launch line-up and the console's powerful specs. Of course, how can we forget the actual unveiling of the console beyond a few blurry teaser trailers? The VITA will also receive its own share of the limelight with a few key games, but the use of the VITA as a PS4 peripheral will be a major focal point for the device. Also, be prepared for a major pat on the back regarding the stellar Playstation Plus program. My predictions for the Sony conference are less about what I'm expecting to see, but rather what I am not expecting." Power in Simplicity Gaiages | Community Manager "Sony saw how the Xbox One conference failed to impress gamers, and they're not about the same mistake at E3. Of course, that means they're going to focus on the games, but there's another way Sony can one-up the competition... and that's with the PS4's interface. I think Sony's going to show off how exactly the PS4 works... from turning on the first live system they're going to bring to the floor. If they show off how easy it to turn on and simply play a game, then I believe they'll have a clear-cut advantage over Microsoft. With all of the Xbox One's complexities coming from trying to do everything, the possible simplicity of the PS4 might be just what gamers need... if Sony wants to play their cards that way." The Wait Ends For One Long Awaited Game, And A New Era Begins At Sony Santa Monica Barrel | Moderator "With the Playstation 3, I don't expect to see [Final Fantasy] Versus XIII, but I'm going to be the crazy person and say I do expect to see The Last Guardian at long last. It's crazy, and I'm more than lying to myself, but I could see Sony at least act like they are bringing it for real... in 2014. Also it will have like a fraction of a second of gameplay footage, which people will be dissecting/complaining the heck out of about how it looks pretty different from what they expected in earlier trailers. For Playstation 4, I expect to see a new IP from Sony Santa Monica Studio to make a big splash and possibly be the talk of their conference. Yes, something not God of War related. I'll go the extra step and guess something with a modern day realistic-ish setting with a sort of unserious twist, in contrast to their God of War titles and more artsy downloadable stuff like Sound Shapes." Vita's Lukewarm Presence Continues Barrel | Moderator "As much as I want the Vita to succeed, I sense a lukewarm presence at best for it at E3, even though smaller publishers like XSeed, Aksys, and Atlus will surely put stuff on the show floor. That said, I can see Sega to surprising us by announcing the US version of Phantasy Star Online 2 for Vita and promising more info to come in the following months (since they don't want to talk about PC specifically and the compatibility with it at a Sony event). I also expect some throwaway talk with Killzone: Mercenary working with Killzone 4 on PS4; Possibly working similarly to how Resistance: Retribution worked with Resistance 2." Focus On Move, Streaming, And Social Features Continues John Kidman | Contributing Writer "Don't expect Sony to abandon the Playstation Move in the least. We already know that the peripheral will be supported and Media Molecule's upcoming sculpting game will be a next generation release, so we will likely receive our yearly conference fill of waggling. Also, we will undoubtedly hear more information on the PS4's Facebook integration, but I am not expecting any major surprises in this area... unless they happen to bring Zuckerberg on stage." Barrel | Moderator "Expect to see something heavily related to Gaikai, and this will... slightly waver consumer trust despite how new and old IPs will be shown earlier in the conference. I say this because the PS4 will be implied to have online DRM functionality (which won't be directly answered during the show, for better or worse) while also having supposed other community related benefits." What are your predictions for what will be shown at Sony's conference?
  11. Microsoft has gone back to the starting point with Xbox One. No longer should we focus on the original Xbox or Xbox 360 but look toward a brand new era of digital entertainment. Do you watch TV shows or movies? Microsoft wants to own your living room and have you enjoy all that media through Xbox One. Oh, and the device will have something to do with games too. Although the Xbox One reveal had nothing to do with games, it has been proclaimed that Microsoft's E3 presence will be all about the games. What about these supposed fifteen exclusive games - will they all be shown? Will we get much-needed answers to our questions about used games and online connectivity? The staff of Game Podunk have put on their "game analyst" hats and are ready to share their best E3 predictions. A Rare Opportunity Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief "Most of us have heard the news by now - Microsoft will be announcing a sequel to a 'historic' Rare franchise, but the question is which franchise are they referring to? Many people seem to think it will be none other than the long dormant Killer Instinct series, and for good reason - Microsoft recently renewed the trademark for the series last Fall. While Killer Instinct is clearly the frontrunner in all this speculation, what if the Rare sequel in question isn't from that series? The Banjo Kazooie series is probably Rare's hallmark franchise and what people love them most for, but somehow I don't think that will be it either. No, we're going to need to go back in time a bit more. There are two series that haven't been considered that would push fans' nostalgia buttons like crazy if Rare were developing a new game for them - Battletoads and R.C. Pro-Am. While neither series has been relevant for some time, they might provide the nostalgia bomb that Microsoft is looking for in getting some people to jump onboard with the Xbox One. The problem with R.C. Pro-Am is that Microsoft already has a popular racing game in Forza, so unless the former does something dramatically different, we can probably rule it out for now. Which leaves us with Battletoads. Crazy? Sure, but it might just be crazy enough to work and give Microsoft the big surprise they're looking to shock people with." Silence Is Golden (When It Comes To DRM) Marcus Estrada | Managing Editor "Microsoft has recently explained the problematic parts of the Xbox One and is unlikely to step away from them now. So what can they do to calm gamers down during their conference when all they're currently arguing about is a 24 hour internet check in and changing used game market? Simple, they won't talk about it at all! They're going to focus on their games and other properties but not say a single thing about the online pushback against their decisions. They already canceled their after-conference appointments with journalists so it's likely Microsoft will just clam up about any of this. They've given their answer via the official Xbox news website and are now done discussing it. Take the Xbox One or leave it because the console's controversial features are (probably) here to stay!" The Great Used Games Tax John Kidman | Contributing Writer "I suspect a speedy retreat from the poorly articulated 'fee' surrounding used and borrowed games. Microsoft hit everybody in the jaw when they initially announced the existence of this surcharge, so expect a few audible 'boos' from the audience when they first begin to address the issue that sent the twitter feeds and gaming websites into flame spirals. Microsoft will likely fully articulate a smaller-than-anticipated ($5 or $10) fee after a few pithy comments, perhaps about 'not believing everything you read on the internet.' I suspect this fee will similar in structure to online passes. The gaming industry is like any other industry, consumer driven, and imposing a large fee is truly a bad business model. A much better business model would be embracing the used game market on consoles by creating the ability to buy and sell ownership of digital titles, sending 10% of the proceeds of the transaction to the developer and paying the seller the balance in whatever monopoly money the console creator decides to implement." A Double Dose of Halo Gaiages | Community Manager "At the Xbox One reveal, it was stated that the Xbox One was going to get a bunch of exclusive, some of them even being new IPs, so they better flaunt their gaming power at the biggest gaming conference of the year! As to what they will show, that's anyone's guess... and my guess is that we'll be seeing a new Halo game. Yes, I know, there's the Halo TV series, but what better way to hype that than with a tie-in game? Also, Halo is pretty much one of Microsoft's system sellers, so what better way to hype their new system than with a new entry into the franchise?" 15 Exclusives, 8 New IPs, 1 to Rule Them All Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief "One of the biggest things about Microsoft's conference is that they're set to announce 15 first-party games for release within the console's first year on shelves. That's a lot of games, especially for a launch console's initial year, which is typically rife with delays and periods of game droughts as gamers weather the wait for the true next-generation games to arrive in year two. While we don't know if MS can make good on that proposition for sure just yet, we can guess as to what they'll announce as part of the 15 exclusives. Let's start with a few that we actually know of already: Ryse and Ascend: Hand of Kul (formerly Ascend: New Gods). The former was announced in 2012 and is a new IP being developed by Crytek, and the latter is a free-to-play online role playing game being developed by Signal Studios, who created Toy Soldiers for XBLA, and though the game was originally announced for 360, I have a sneaking suspicion that it has moved to Xbox One. Both games would also fulfill the new IP condition as well. What else do we know is coming? LocoCycle from Twisted Pixel was recently announced. Not surprisingly, Forza 5 is also on the way. Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment's latest game Quantum Break was revealed as a new IP at the Xbox One reveal event. Is it likely we'll see Halo 5 release in the Xbox One's launch year? Likely not, though it's probable if 313 Industries simply continues using Halo 4's engine without any huge upgrades. You can also bet on seeing some type of new Gears of War title being announced; possibly Gears of War 4. Let's assume Lionhead isn't only working on Fable Anniversary as well and has been working on another next-gen Fable; that would round out the big 4 MS franchises. And last but not least, Black Tusk Studios is reportedly working on MS's next big game, and it's assumed to be a new IP as well. Breaking down what we know and what we're predicting- 1. Forza 5 2. LocoCycle 3. Quantum Break 4. Ryse 5. New Halo title 6. Gears of War title 7. New Fable title 8. Black Tusk Studios title 9. Ascend: Hand of Kul (?) Assuming Ascend: Hand of Kul does make the leap to Xbox One and that three of the 15 games are new entries in the Halo, Gears of War, and Fable series, then that accounts for 9 of the 15 exclusives that MS is referring to. As for the remaining 6 games? We'll have to wait and see. Expect them to be a mix of smaller XBLA-like titles and a perhaps a few AAA titles. One thing seems certain, though - MS is banking big on at least one big game to really get people talking, and it could very well be the Black Tusk Studios title. Stay tuned as we find out the answer in just a few short days." What do you think? Do you have any predictions for Microsoft's Pre-E3 Conference?
  12. Sony revealed their PlayStation 4 months ago now but that doesn't mean they're about to ditch their press conference slot for E3 2013. Unlike Nintendo, they are still keen on showcasing their games for the massive amount of journalists and gamers via one standard press conference. As with previous years, their conference will be streamed online. The PlayStation Blog gives a complete rundown of Sony events as follows: Monday, June 10th | PlayStation E3 2013 Press Conference | 5:30pm Pacific Time/8:30pm Eastern Time Tuesday, June 11th | PlayStation LiveCast show | 12:00pm to 6:00pm Pacific Time Wednesday, June 12th | PlayStation LiveCast show | 10:00am to 6:00pm Pacific Time Thursday, June 13th | PlayStation LiveCast show | 10:00am to 6:00pm Pacific Time Where can you watch all these streams, including the press conference? There's a ton of places to go so hopefully if one site is struggling to load you can just switch to another instead. You can watch on the Facebook, Google Plus, PS Blog, PS.com, PS Home, and Ustream. Sites such as GameSpot are also going to stream each conference. Finally, you can watch through PS3 (without Home) but selecting "What's New" under Videos or via Vita with the Nico Nico video app.
  13. Jason Clement

    Next Nintendo Direct Scheduled During E3

    In the past, Nintendo usually announced Nintendo Direct presentations only a day or two before they actually happened, but this time they're giving everyone plenty of notice for their next one which is scheduled for their usual time slot in the past when they would normally have a E3 press conference. That is, the Tuesday morning after Microsoft and Sony have their conferences the day before; this year, that day falls on June 11. Like the last Direct, this one is slated to focus on upcoming Wii U software for the Fall and beyond. Nintendo has already confirmed that they will be showing off new information and have playable versions of new 3D Mario, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. games, and it's likely they'll have a slew of other games to announce as well. So mark your calendars for June 11, 2013 at 7am PST/10am EST if you plan to see what Nintendo has in store for E3 and the Fall. Are you excited for Nintendo's announcements?
  14. As I'm sure every gamer on Earth is aware of, we recently saw the public unveiling of the Playstation 4 in the last month. But really, what information did we actually learn? We had a confirmation of the system's specs, we saw a lot of social media stuff, and a rough estimate of the system's release date. I'll admit Infamous: Second Son was a pretty big surprise, but everything else was pretty small beans considering Sony was announcing the next generation of Playstation. We got some pictures of the controller and some small studio games, and that was pretty much it. But I think there's a real reason for this, and I'm going to explain it below. The battle for the next gen is just beginning. First and foremost, let's start with the obvious. Microsoft has absolutely no choice but to show off their console now. There's no way they can go all the way to E3 without having to deal with the fact that people are going to be seeing next generation multiplatform titles over the next few months with no mention of their new console, thanks to it still being under wraps. There's also the problem of people being unable to keep a secret in the gaming business. Already in the weeks since the Playstation 4 announcement, we've heard details leak about the next Xbox from different developers working behind closed doors. If Microsoft waits too long, their console secrets will be announced without them able to control it. But here is where the problem lies. It can take months of work to get a full presentation together to show to the world. This is evidenced by the rumors that Microsoft won't be holding a conference till at least April. Odds are they were already working on a conference before the Sony announcement, but being forced to put it so close to E3 might end up biting them in a few month's time. While I could be wrong, I see Microsoft wanting to make a bigger impact than Sony did at their reveal conference. This means bigger games being name-dropped, more gameplay presentations, and it definitely means they'll be showing the actual console to the people watching as a dig at Sony for not revealing what the actual PS4 looks like. But then what? They've got two months to prepare for E3 and they've just given away some of their bigger reveals at their conference leading towards E3. They'll definitely have a better reveal conference than Sony did, but then they'll be going into E3 with things we've already seen. They'll have the advantage of those things still having a relatively high hype from the previous conference, but gamers watching online are a ravenous breed. We want new things, even if that means ignoring the cool things we've already seen. While I'm certain Microsoft will still have a few big reveals set aside for E3, like the Xbox's price and a big game trailer, I can't help but feel Sony is planning something big as well. Again, really look at what Sony revealed at their conference: social media, indie games and tech demos. We got a taste of some of their bigger offerings with Killzone: Shadow Fall and Infamous: Second Son, but there must be more information waiting to drop. Just look at how Square Enix made an announcement about making a future announcement regarding a Final Fantasy title. They clearly have heavy hitters waiting in the wings. A screenshot of The Witness, a timed exclusive on PS4 Sony had a rather small reveal for their next console. It was still enough to get people excited, but it wasn't the full picture we need to get a real feel for their console. I think Microsoft would be wise to follow the same route as Sony for their conference seeing as they know exactly how much they need to show to do just as well as Sony did, but you have to remember this is a war between companies. They'll want to do a bigger reveal so they can say they had a better conference, but they'll just end up handing E3 over to Sony and Nintendo, and they just can't do that. Of course, I could be wrong and Microsoft might just go the same route as Sony by just giving a taste for what is in store for E3, but I don't see that happening. Whatever does happen, however, should be exciting no matter what, and I can't wait to see what all three of the console giants have prepared for us. As always, thank you for reading.
  15. There was a moment during yesterday's Wii U Direct broadcast when Nintendo President Satoru Iwata mentioned that the next Super Smash Bros. game for both Wii U and 3DS would be shown at this year's E3. But in this stage of development, you wouldn't really expect much. However, Masahiro Sakurai, who we all know as the father of Super Smash Bros. and the well-praised Kid Icarus: Uprising, has given Iwata's announcement some clarity via Twitter, and it appears that we could be getting a little bit more than we expect. The English translation of Sakurai's tweet (he's Japanese, in case you hadn't realized) reads "Wii U and 3DS versions -- I would like to show you both." He goes on to mention other announced games and what to expect from E3 2013, saying that “Other games have had visuals shown, but you still have to wait for Smash Bros. But we'll be able to release something better.†Something better? During yesterday's Wii U broadcast, Iwata told us that they would be showing "screens" of the new Smash Bros. From what Sakurai says, however, it sounds as if we might actually be getting something more than that. A trailer, perhaps? Later in Sakurai's tweet session, he apologized for announcing the game long before they even began working on it, but he promises that fans of the Smash Bros. series will be getting more from the new title, and that they should prepare themselves. So get ready, Smash Bros. fans, 'cause something big's heading to E3! How excited are you to see the new Smash Bros. at E3? What do you think Sakurai's bringing to the party that's "better" than visuals?