My Thoughts on E3 2011 Day 1

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Videogaming has always come second nature to me whether it involved sports, FPSs, RPGs, action, and all the rest. I have always been fond of the videogaming industry and this year I was able to catch all of the major announcements from Microsoft, Ubisoft, EA, and Sony today thanks to the lovely people at G4. Many big surprises and some disappointments. Mostly, I’ve found this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo is somewhat average, thus far. I don’t own a Playstation 3 or an XBOX 360, but a lot of games they showed today really made me want to buy them, but nothing huge has struck my fancy. Read on and see what I thought of today’s events.

Microsoft

This press conference started out pretty snazzy introducing the next Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I’ve never really cared for COD games, but this trailer and the live gameplay they showed looked completely epic. I’d actually like to play that game.

The newest game to enter the Tomb Raider franchise entitled, Tomb Raider, will revert us back to a 21-year old Lara Croft, giving the gamer an origin story. The trailer is an amazing cinematic experience and it looks like they are trying to piggyback off the Uncharted hype. This game looks a lot more fun than your typical Tomb Raider games of late, but the dialogue and sound was pretty bad to listen to at points. Lara Croft has the appeal of more of a scared girl in a horror movie trying to survive, not the confident treasure hunter we’re all familiar with. We’ll see how it goes.

Mass Effect 3 is integrating the Kinect technology to use voice commands in battle and during dialogue sequences. That was pretty awesome to watch.

The Kinect and XBOX Live system is getting a mass upgrade allowing you to watch live TV. XBOX Live is also partnering with YouTube so you can watch all original content and cat videos at the comfort of your living room.

The teaser trailer for Halo 4 appeared and it teased something fierce. They didn’t really give us any information about the game, but Master Chief is awoken within his cryosleep with his ship on a path to ultimate doom. From the looks of it, I’d say his ship was being engulfed by Unicron.

A lot of the games shown by Microsoft have definitely taken the Kinect approach to utilize the technology, offering more choices than ever this year. They also introduced the Kinect Fun Labs to create more user customization for XBOX Live and such.

I think Microsoft definitely upped their game with motion caption gaming, but they didn’t really bring that much new to the table. It’s great to see that the Kinect is gaining a lot more titles to play with, but will people buy into the “body as the controller bit” or wait another year or three until the next XBOX system is announced/released?

Electronic Arts

The biggest trailer debut was for the still unreleased Star Wars: The Old Republic. Although this game was shown last year, the new trailer made the game look utterly exciting, even though the gameplay won’t match anything that the cut scene videos offered.

EA Games showed their new installments of FIFA and Madden. While watching these presentations it just reminded me of how far we’ve come in videogames since these titles became famous in the early 90s. To show someone who created the first Madden or FIFA the new 2012 editions would probably make them shit their pants and call you a witch. Just look back and remember all these old games that come out with consistent year titles; it’s just amazing.

There was an announcement of The Sims: Social that would be fully interactive with Facebook to capitalize off the Farmville phenomenon. This just looks like a horrible excuse to keep humans from interacting with each other face to face.

Ubisoft

Nothing really impressed me here except seeing the Assassin’s Creed: Revelations trailer. That was pretty ballin’.

Just Dance 3 and the fitness title that they make are just as impressive to showcase on the XBOX 360 with the Kinect.

Sony

Sony was the big star of the day giving us tons of new products and Playstation 3 exclusives.

The Playstation Network fiasco was dealt with first. What was said was that 90% of users were back up and running with full PSN vigor. A lot of PSN network capabilities and interconnecting was shown and it was good to see that they weren’t struck too hard. They have a lot of loyal followers, especially for a free network. Along with Netflix, Playstation Network will add CinemaNow, a similar Netflix like product.

Uncharted 3 was shown again in better detail than we’ve seen before and it looks to be no less than than superior to its predecessor. Uncharted, a PS3 exclusive franchise, has been critically acclaimed as one of the best franchises of the decade. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves won numerous “Game of the Year” awards. This is a series I’d love to buy a PS3 for.

A lot of titles that were multi-platform definitely had a more PS3 exclusive feel to them. Since the Playstation 3 can read Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray discs, many titles are giving Sony a lot more exclusive content than the XBOX 360. I think this will definitely hurt the XBOX 360 sales a bit, especially since it was announced that PS3 sales have risen dramatically in the past year.

But videogame titles were only a fraction of what Sony had in-store for us. Sony wants to give 3D entertainment the push it needs to be more widely accepted into homes. So what did they do? Well they decided to create their own affordable 3D HDTV bundle for $499, which includes a 24-inch 3D HDTV, a pair of 3D glasses, 6′ HDMI cable, and a copy of Resistance 3 3D. How do you like them apples? Most 3D TVs are exorbitantly expensive and this definitely gives casual to frequent gamers the chance to explore 3D gaming to the next level at a fair price.

The biggest announcement was Sony’s big push to capitalize handheld gaming. The Playstation Next Generation Portable was officially announced today and was revealed as the Playstation Vita. I will continue calling it “The Pita” forever. Some people are calling it Vista and thinking it to be a bad omen of sorts. Who knows?

The titles and gameplay they showed were remarkable. The big part of The Pita is that it has a dual touch screen capability without having to open any flap like the Nintendo 3DS or DSi. One touch pad is on the back that you can interact with along with the front screen being crystal sharp and having it touch ready as well. It looked sleek, slim, and playing games on it looks incredible. They even had Uncharted as a choice to play as well as a new Street Fighter X Tekken and Little Big Planet.

The Pita PSVita will definitely give the 3DS a run for its money and potentially take a big chunk out of sales. The bad news is that Sony decided to partner with AT&T to collaborate WiFi and 3G networks on The Pita. Have they not learned from the iPhone fiasco to give users a choice of networks? The Pita will be available on a WiFi platform for $249 and a 3G version for $299, which isn’t bad at all.

What will Nintendo have in-store for tomorrow? Well Project Cafe will officially be revealed and I cannot wait for that announcement! The new Zelda game and more titles for the 3DS will sure to be revealed as well.


About Author

Tyler Schirado is the founder and editor-in-chief of Turn The Right Corner. Legend has it, he’s said to have rode on the back of a T-Rex and has the natural survival instincts to live through the zombie apocalypse. His spirit animal is a corgi.


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