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E3 2011

The Electronic Entertainment Expo has come and gone once again. The convention is always a mess to cover for the organizations who actually have people there, for a civilian like myself, it’s damn near impossible. So I’ll just tell you about what I’ve gleamed so far.

The biggest news of the show was the announcement of the Wii U, Nintendo’s Wii successor. They said they would be debuting the console at E3 a while ago, and most of the rumors surrounding the new system seem to be true. It is an HD system, probably more powerful than the PS3 and 360. It works with Wii games and all Wii peripherals. Additionally, the console will work with one new controller which everyone is calling the WiiPad. It basically brings DS functionality to home entertainment, giving you a big touch screen as well as all the necessary buttons. The screen has all sorts of sensors, including one for WiiMotes, so you could, for example, set the WiiPad on the floor and swing a WiiMote over it to simulate hitting a golf ball off a tee. It seems pretty cool but it’s obviously still very far off, as Nintendo didn’t have any real games to show. Also, Wii U is the worst name since Wii.

Sony also has a new system coming out this year, the NGP, which has been renamed PlayStation Vita. Vita games look a lot like console games so far, which is probably what Sony is going for. The biggest bombshell on this front was that the base model of the Vita would cost $250, the same price as the 3DS, which has not been doing amazingly well. Sony must think they’ve got a real shot at taking a chunk of the handheld market and I don’t blame them. Of course, the Vita will also have functionality with PS3s, so it will be interesting if Sony tries to get a head start on Wii U-style gaming before Nintendo gets their new system out.

The game everyone’s talking about is Bioshock Infinite, of which we still only have gotten to see choice segments. I’d really like to see how the game plays, but it obviously is going to be extraordinary. I remember the hype for the first Bioshock being pretty crazy, but this sequel has taken that into the stratosphere. It’s a shame it’s so far off.

Bioware seems to be having a strong show, showing off a bunch of Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars The Old Republic, probably the two games I’m looking forward to the most right now. What they showed of Mass Effect 3 makes the shooter gameplay look better than ever. I’m not sure how I feel about the OmniTool being a weapon, but whatever. TOR is looking great too, the GUI has been drastically improved since the last time they showed it and the game looks pretty good. They say they’re hoping to get it out this year. My biggest concern is that the combat doesn’t look that interesting yet, especially compared to a Dragon Age II. But we’ve seen so little of these two games it’s still hard to tell.

Ubisoft showed off the new Assassin’s Creed game, I think it’s subtitle is Revelations. It looks cool, but I’m worried it’s a little worn out. I mean, Ezio looks old as hell. When I played Assassin’s Creed II, I had no idea we’d be getting two more Ezio games, and that worries me a little. But then I remember that Brotherhood was great and probably shouldn’t worry.

We got to see some more Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and God damn, that game looks great. I don’t think I really need to belabor this point.

Now that Bungie has left the Halo franchise we’re getting a bunch of new Halo games. For starters, the original Halo is being rereleased. What’s cool about that is that the game runs on the original engine and you can even turn off the new graphics and play with the original ones. So I’m guessing that means unlimited grenades and all that goodness is back. Also, there’s going to be a Halo 4, which will start a whole new trilogy of games. That’s about all we know about that one, though.

The big pushes are still towards 3D, PlayStation Move, Kinect and the 3DS, none of which I own. There are also plenty of great games out there worth you investigating, I just touched on the biggest games that mean the most to me. For example, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, and Far Cry 3 all made a big splash at the show. So go to a real website and find out what’s going on in the world of games!


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