"Halo fans deserve better than this," declared Dan Ayoub, executive producer at 343 Industries, Microsoft's new studio dedicated entirely to flagship franchise Halo. Ayoub was referring to the recent spate of HD remakes which simply slapped on a coat of high-definition paint and threw the result towards store shelves. With the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition, 343 is looking to ensure it's a "celebration of 10 years of Halo".
We've already witnessed the new engine at work - a modified version of Reach's which can also be switched out on the fly with Combat Evolved's ten year-old tech for the misty eyed - but now we have another visual upgrade to get excited for; 3D. Yes, if you have a 3D display you'll be able to slap on a pair of glasses and play Halo HD in three dimensions. But is this all enough?
But before Ayoub and fellow 343 producer, Dennis Reese, were quite ready to show off the new 3D support, they demonstrated the all new Terminal inclusions in the Anniversary Edition. Terminals turned up in Halo 3, abandoned Forerunner libraries of knowledge that filled us in on the first Forerunner-Flood war that led to the creation of the Halo installations. Previously, Terminals had been purely text-based affairs, but for the Anniversary Edition 343 has created a wealth of animated content for intrepid fans to find.
Ayoub demonstrated the first Terminal you can find, firing up a stylish vignette preceding your crash-land arrival on the first Halo ring, where the maniacal AI caretaker, 343 Guilty Spark, detects the incoming Pillar of Autumn and its pursuing Covenant fleet. 343 is unimpressed, until he scans the UNSC vessel and finds Master Chief in cryo-sleep. "A Reclaimer," he muses in a sing-song voice. Cue instant applause.Click here for more on Terminals, 3D and multiplayer!
That's right, Halo fans. You won't just be playing Combat Evolved in HD this November, but in 3D, too. Shown to Dealspwn last week at GamesCom - sorry we couldn't tell you sooner, embargoes and that - 343 Industries showed off the new feature to a packed room of journalists, demonstrating the proprietary 3D tech in the 343 Guilt Spark level, all redone with new models, textures, lighting and, now, 3D.
We've a preview coming up that will you in some more on all this, but if you're still skeptical, know this; we've seen quite a few 3D games in the past year or so, and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition's implementation of the tech is very impressive, indeed. 343 worked very hard to ensure the gun models, environments and enemies all functioned well within a 3D plane, rather than simple tossing in stereoscopic support and be done with it. You can all try it out for yourselves when the game hits store shelves November 15th, this year.
Chatting to Gamespot last week at Gamescom, SCEE senior group studio director Mick Hocking elaborated upon the reasoning behind the lack of 3D on the Playstation Vita, suggesting that with all of the other technology bundled into the console - particularly SIXAXIS control - there were concerns over delivering a quality experience.Click here to read more...
Gears of War 3 is already positively overflowing with new features and content, from the single-player and multiplayer offerings, to Horde and Beast modes. Well, we can now add full stereoscopic 3D support to that list, as Epic have just announced the feature today.Click here for more
Xbox 360 fans have been enjoying Tetsuya Mizuguchi's synesthesia spectacular for a while now - check out Tom's fantastic review. But with 360 owners gyrate their hips and wave their arms with melodic grace, PS3 players have been forced to sit on the sidelines, awaiting an announcement from Ubisoft. Well, it's time to sit up; as Ubisoft have just announced Child of Eden will be hitting the Playstation 3 on September 30th!Click here for more
EA recently cited their displeasure at the "very poor returns" and slow uptake of 3D gaming (which is odd considering that they haven't actually published many 3D-enabled titles), but Sony is taking a more pragmatic approach to the emergent technology. Apparently it costs next to nothing to add three-dimensional functionality to a title, and that their first party developers are actually the driving force behind it. So long as a market exists, they'll continue to offer it. We have the full story and quotes below.Click here to read more...
While the 3D film boom continues to gain steam, raking in the inflated profits while incidentally causing a spike in eye-strain disorders, the 3D games market is veering in a decidedly less successful direction. What with the relative lack of true 3D titles, the steep prices for appropriate television sets and the general public's indifference towards the technology, uptake has been sluggish at best. And according to EA, they're not happy with their "very poor 3D returns".Click here for more
Back in the 90s, I think we'd all have expected to be submerged in a virtual reality by now; a little pod where real life segues into an identical virtual counterpart and where clothing is optional. Instead, we're still bound to controllers and screens - clothing is still optional, though - but we might not have to wait much longer, as Sony is testing possible virtual reality devices in conjunction with 3D displays right now!Click here for more
Microsoft has long dismissed Sony's 3D charge, preferring in recent months to hype Kinect as the Xbox's key differentiator. But now, the Redmond giant is set to announce full stereoscopic 3D for the 360, reveals Eurogamer. According to their source, it's the same effect utilized by the PS3; HDMI 1.4 stereoscopic 3D in the 1280x1470 twin 720p framebuffer configuration. Which means two 720p feeds shot into each eye.Click here to read more...
I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with 3D! Apparently, Sony aren't though, and they're set to talk about it's use on the PS3 at Develop, which is taking place down in Brighton, at the Odeon cinema, later this summer; 19-21st July to be precise.Click here for more info.
Despite choosing film as his output to push forward the merits of 3D as the next step in visual technology, James Cameron - of Terminator and Avatar fame - believes it is videogames who will drive three-dimensional displays forward. Speaking at NAB 2011, a digital media event for filmmakers and technophiles alike where he was once again promoting 3D, Cameron told the assembled conference hall "videogames are going to be the drivers".Click here to read more...
With 3D seemingly saturating every aspect of our lives at the moment from the endless Hollywood movies that are cashing in on its popularity, to sporting events like The Masters, it was only a matter of time before somebody started talking about its use in the video games world.Click here for more.
Speaking to Play, Ken Levine explained that Bioshock Infinite wouldn't feature Playstation Move support because he believes he'd be "cheating" customers. However, while we won't be waggling Sony's remote to batter goons with wrenches, we might be wearing bulky glasses as we do just that in-game. Referring to 3D, Levine admitted "it’s something I’d be more open to".More inside!
Read on for the new juicy Uncharted 3 details...
Sony's lifted the embargo from last week's Uncharted 3 press event, and with it, some juicy new details about Nathan's new antagonist. Katherine Marlowe and her secret society is set to cause the treasure hunter no end of strife- and what's more, the 3D support is looking pretty slick to boot.
Okay, we admit it. Microsoft's showcase was nowhere near as big enough as we- or anyone- predicted. Surprisingly, no new titles were revealed and the industry isn't reeling from earth-shattering revelations. There's still some interesting developments, mind: including a date for Halo Reach's Defiant Map Pack, some new Fable III DLC and several games offering 3D on the Xbox 360. We've rounded it all up into one place for your comfort and convenience.Click here for more details...
Microsoft and Sony have given their keynote speeches at this years Consumer Electronics Show... and there are a few little announcements hidden behind the usual posturing and posing. For your delectation, here's the whole shebang in digestible bitesize form.
Did we miss anything important? Excited about this year's CES- or was it a bit of a damp squib? Drop us a line in the comments!
This is probably the biggest news from CES 2011. Intel have revealed their new Sandy Bridge processor, which is the first 32 nanometer-based chip on the market. Apparently it will offer "a console-like experience on the PC," which means less messing around with graphics options and drivers before being able to play the games themselves. Sandy Bridge will apparently also provide lower manufacturing costs along with improved performance and cooling rates, which will hopefully guarantee a competitive launch price.
Valve's Gabe Newell stepped up to the plate and praised the new chip, stating that "it’s a real game changer." Portal 2 will apparently be optimised to run on the Sandy Bridge processor when it releases later this year.
We're still not completely sold on the concept of 3D gaming- but as you'd expect, Sony are pushing it as hard as they can. Spurred on by the adoption of 3D technology by Sky TV and other television networks, SCEE President Andrew House believes that 2011 will herald a massive surge for the new tech... and that it will catch on faster than HD did.
Rather than saying when the tipping point will be, I do think [3D gaming] will be a faster adoption than the shift from standard to high definition
Our role is to act as a pioneer, as evangelists and to help developers get the right experience with 3D games. We've done some great groundwork and I think you'll see 3D games come to fruition next year.
He's certainly not wrong about the games. Killzone 3 and Motorstorm Apocalypse will support 3D (to name just two)... but as far as outpacing HD is concerned, we're not so sure. Lose the glasses and we'll talk. [MCV]
Have you bought into 3D gaming already or are planning to get involved next year? Reckon it's the future or a fad? Have your say in the comments!
The whole idea of high fantasy meeting Disney whimsy doesn't really work on paper, but Kingdom Hearts has become one of Sony's most beloved franchises. After announcing Kingdom Hearts 3D for the 3DS at this year's E3 expo [too many 3s -Ed], director Tetsuya Nomura has revealed that it will be much more than a spinoff. It will feature every Disney world thus far, and will rival the main numbered games in terms of storytelling and canonical development.
Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts 3D are not the same. However, it is a brand-new adventure starring Sora and Riku. The story is on par with that of a numbered title, and I’m sure the ending will shock fans.
Sounds good. We'll bring you more details as they become available. [Nintendo Everything]
Jonathan Blow, the veteran Indie developer behind the critically-acclaimed Braid, recently conducted an interview with EDGE magazine to discuss the state of the industry. However, a report from CVG (amongst others) contained a number of out-of-context quotes about Sony's readiness to back left field titles; designed to make readers assume that the developer was slamming Microsoft's Indie Games policies. This managed to turn Blow into public enemy number one almost overnight, making him extremely unpopular both in the independent scene and with the Microsoft crowd. The furious developer has lashed out against the allegations.
CVG’s article is a deceptive, manipulative piece of sensationalist crap meant to drive hits by stoking the argument between Sony fans and Microsoft fans. It misrepresents the content of the interview almost entirely.
They fill out their article by pasting in somewhat-out-of-context quotes to support this statement (and nothing else). To believe their account, it was a highly anti-Microsoft and pro-Sony interview.
Yikes. So there. Don't believe everything you read. [The Witness]
However, to provide some balance, Blow definitely did state that Sony were "less conservative" than Microsoft (as reported by CVG)- and he has a point. Microsoft's Indie Games community allow developers to publish their own software without interference... but also without help. Conversely, Sony are willing to take a publishing punt on the likes of Flower, so there might be some truth to it.
England's sportsmen may have crashed and burned in the World Cup and are enjoying mixed success at the commonwealth games, but representatives from our gaming scene have achieved their best-ever results at the World Cyber Games (WGC) this weekend. The prestigious four-day competition was held in Los Angeles, and saw more than 450 players from 58 countries compete in 13 games for a share of a quarter of a million dollars.
Our valiant gaming team was victorious at the Guitar Hero 5 and Forza Motorsport events, which propelled them to joint second in the medal charts - behind (surprise surprise) South Korea and tied with Germany and Brazil.
"We're enormously proud of our UK players. In a thrilling weekend of videogaming competitions we proved we're close to the best in the world - and we hope the achievement this weekend will propel our players to go one better next time." - Craig Fletcher, MD of Multiplay.co.uk
Daveskills and George Boothby did us proud, folks! We hope that the WGC helps to elevate our favourite entertainment medium as well as cement our reputation as a bona fide gaming nation.
Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 have famously comitted to 3D support at launch day, but it appears that Activision has beaten them to the punch. Treyarch has confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops will support stereoscopic 3D on "all platforms" and will be available from November 9th.
Apparently the 3D effect is being used to create a greater depth of field rather than making bullets and shrapnel fly out of the screen, but we're looking forward to. As far as "all platforms" are concerned, we can definitely expect PS3 and Xbox 360 3D support as well as PC compatibility with nVidia's 3D Vision. But the Wii? Not so sure. It will be interesting to see whether CoD's adoption of 3D tech has a knock-on effect for the rest of the industry.
We didn't see this one coming. It's been over 10 years since Panasonic's last foray into the portable gaming scene, but the hardware giant has now revealed The Jungle: a slimline concept handheld that's designed to offer MMO and competitive multiplayer experiences on the move.
A full QWERTY keyboard and some serious hardware grunt will allow The Jungle to deliver a mini-PC experience... and we assume that it will have built-in 3G. Frankly, it had better. Apparently a browser-based Battlestar Galactica MMO will be heading the launch titles, but we assume that Panasonic will be designed for compatibility with other browser RPGs and flash games.
This may sound like an insane pipe dream, but some sources have placed the PSP2's release date at the tail end of 2011. There could be a gap in the market if Panasonic offer enough features for our money.
Remember when Crytek said that they were backing 3D one hundred percent? They weren't kidding. As well as providing 3D support for the PS3, CryEngine 3 will deliver native stereoscopic 3D support for the Xbox 360 and PC. This will require no extra programming or assets for third-party developers who decide to utilise the engine... and will not affect graphics or performance in any significant way.
"In the past year, S-3D has been the most exciting technological development in the world of entertainment. With CryEngine 3 we offer a solution that is far superior to any other game development solution out there. Developers can easily evaluate the new version of CryEngine 3 through our portal."- Carl Jones, CryEngine Director of Global Business Development
So, they're offering 3D gaming for all... with no loss of quality or extra hassle? This could well be the push that launches 3D into the limelight- and provides Crytek with a stream of hungry developers to license the engine to if it takes off! [Gamesindustry]
The Oddworld universe is one of the most bizarre and tragic game settings of all time- and we were overjoyed to learn that Just Add Water were picking up Lorne Lanning's mantle. The UK studio has now announced that their first Oddworld game is a downloadable remake of Stranger's Wrath: the cult FPS that broke the platforming mold.
So far so good... but in a surprising (but not unpleasant) twist, the title has been slated as a PSN release. Move support and a 720P resolution have also been confirmed.
This is more than a little unexpected considering that the original was an Xbox Exclusive back in the day- and isn't backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. However, don't throw yourself off a bridge just yet, Xbox-0wning Oddworld fans. The press release doesn't mention Microsoft's console or the phrase "PS3 exclusive"... so it's possible that other versions just haven't been announced. Stranger's Wrath is set for an Easter 2011 release, and we'll keep you updated by the wire. [Just Add Water]
Another day, yet more delays. Firstly, Take Two has announced that L.A. Noire has been pushed back yet again despite teasing us with some trailers ealier this year. First announced in 2005, this Expect L.A. Noire to arrive in the first half of 2011. Maybe. [1UP]
In other (somewhat less anticipated) news, the Conduit 2 has also been shoved back into the first quarter of next year. Its predecessor certainly didn't managed to secure unanimous praise; but hey, the Wii can always do with another shooter. [VG247]
Notice the Gearbox logo, folks. [Well spotted, Gaming Everything]
Volition, the developers behind Saints Row and Red Facti0n, are reportedly working on a brand new action RPG. According to a new job listing on the Volition website, they're searching for a new design director for the project... as well as an interesting tidbit about potential collaboration.
"[We're] collaborating with a high-powered creative talent in the entertainment industry to develop this original, unannounced franchise".
High-powered creative talent, eh? Like... Guillermo del Toro, for example? Considering that the director's finalising talks with THQ (who own Volition) and is looking to get into gaming in a big way, this can't be a coincidence.
3D gaming is currently a divisive that frequently leads to heated arguments, wailing and rending of garments. We still haven't made up our minds whether 3D gaming is the future or a fad... but Crytek have.
“Crysis on consoles for us is pretty much taking the ground that Crysis games will be 3D now and in the future. Console gamers haven’t seen [the original] Crysis yet and when we launch Crysis 2 it’s kind of like a re-launch of the franchise. We want to make sure people associate the Crysis brand with 3D gaming in the future”- Cervat Yerli to CVG
Yerli and Crytek genuinely believe that 3D gaming is destined to be massive and will take off once the first "affordable" 3D televisions start to appear and some triple-A titles start to push the brand. They've joined Ubisoft in voicing wholehearted support for the 3D gaming scene... and only a couple more developers and publishers will be needed to shut up the haters. Still not sure if I'm fully convinced about the glasses, mind. Build them into a nanosuit helmet and we'll talk. [CVG]
Do you buy into the 3D gaming craze? Are you siding with Crytek or Pachter on this one? Let us know in the comments!
QuakeCon is about to kick off over in Dallas, Texas... and id's founder/Technical Director John Carmack has stated that we're in for a treat tonight.
"I'm showing something neat and unannounced at quakecon tomorrow. Deciding if I should leave it be or sneak a little more code in..."
It's likely that this "neat" announcement concerns Doom 4, which id are furtively developing in tandem with Rage. Carmack suggested that not only will Doom 4 take less time to ship than Rage, but it would also look "three times" better due to its lower frame rate (the devil's tradeoff, I suppose). He also suggested that id wouldn't be rolling out another new IP for at least a decade, though Rage could well deserve a sequel if it's warmly received. Apparently, they have "more IPs than [they] can exploit," and want to focus on supporting Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake and Rage.
Does that mean we could see more Wolfenstein and Quake over the next decade? Let's hope so. Naturally, we'll let you know what id's "neat" announcement turns out to be.