Tomorrow heralds the start of the big press conferences that will open E3 2012. We've run a series of prediction pieces this week, playing host to hopes and fears for this year's expo, and I sit down with Jon and Carl once more to chat about what we can expect to hear on Monday. We ask questions of Microsoft's apparent complacency, we discuss Sony's seeming disinterest in its latest console, and we solve all of Nintendo's issues by pitching a game that sees all of Ninty's mascots in space...with Katamari.
PWNCAST | Season 1: Episode 15, Recorded: May 31st, 2012 - (Do note that this was recorded before Star Wars 1313 was announced)
Some of the things that get covered this week:
...and much, much more.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be quite a few instances of strong language.
Click below to play the file, or right click on the banner at the top, and select 'Save Link As' to download the file onto your hard drive.
In the last of our E3 2012 preview pieces, we let loose our imaginations and come up with a list of the things we'd really like to see in an ideal world. Most, if not all, of the following have little chance of actually happening, but it's nice to dream.
Ubisoft apologising for Mr Caffeine. That’s number one right there.
Seriously though, a few things come to mind, and the first is Overstrike being properly unveiled. Insomniac’s next big IP caught my attention last year, and will hopefully make an appearance in EA’s conference. The 4-player co-op setup mixed with their trademark art style and humour seems like a winner for me, and I can’t wait to see it properly in action.
Secondly, while its predecessor absolutely divided opinion (perhaps more so than Mass Effect 3’s ending) I’d love to see what Dragon Age III has in store. If BioWare’s presentation at PAX East is anything to go by, we might be getting the game Dragon Age II should have been, and if that’s the case I will forgive them for their dungeon-recycling madness. Maybe.
And finally, what I’d most like to see happen is for Microsoft, in all of their wisdom, to announce the release of a universal version of the greatest peripheral ever made, the Sidewinder flight stick, at an affordable price. This brilliant move will no doubt be backed up by announcement of a new Wing Commander game; one where players will be able to hop between walking around their carrier with the gamepad and flying in space battles with the joystick. It will spark a gaming renaissance that will bring harmony to the gaming universe forever more.
Failing that, a new Star Wars game that doesn’t suck might be nice.
Hot on the heels of our roundtable regarding our most anticipated games of the show, we broaden our horizons to look at publishing stables. Who's brought the finest collection of virtual entertainment to E3 this year? Which of these fine studios has loked down the best and brightest? We give our thoughts on the most anticipated publisher below...
If I’m completely honest, I don’t think there’s a single publisher that I’m 100% excited for. Of course each have their big hitters, ready to scream in your face until you give it your money, but no one company is truly jumping out at me on at a consistent basis when I look down their list of games.
However, if I had to pick someone based on what we know going into this year’s expo, I guess I would have to go with Take-Two, simply because they are bringing Borderlands 2. More opportunities to Joypuke is just what the (unlicensed) doctor order, and with XCOM: Enemy Unknown also making an appearance as well they have my attention more than most. Finally, could we get to see a little bit more of GTA V?
That said, Bethesda could always pull a Fallout announcement out of the bag and kill us all in a collective euphoric bang.
Continuing our massive two-day E3 2012 preview blowout, we take a more personal, subjective look at the games and reveals we're looking forward to the most. These might not be the biggest games of the show, nor the most overhyped, but these are our personal picks, our most anticipated games for E3 2012.
Of all the news that is expected to come out of E3 this year, it is almost certainly going to be Quantic Dream’s next project that is my number one target. The Kara trailer knocked everyone in the Dealspwn office for six when it emerged from GDC earlier this year. Managing to capture such emotion in 7 minutes that most games don’t manage in 7 hours, it gave us a glimpse into what we can expect from David Cage and his crew.
Of course, much like <em>The Casting</em> was to <em>Heavy Rain</em>, we could end up with something a little different than what we were expecting. Self-aware robot girls might not be in the masterplan, but I’m sure as hell excited to see what is coming up next from Quantic Dream.
In our final look at the big three press conferences, we chat about Nintendo and, unsurprisingly, the big thing on everyone's lips is the Wii U. Will they announce features and specs? What of the console's launch lineup? Will it get a rebranding? And what of the 3DS? Nintendo have a second chance following last year's fiasco to set the record straight.
Oh those guys. Those ******* guys. After an E3 presentation last year which left me horribly disappointed it’s time for take two of the Wii U’s unveiling, but this time they have to absolutely 100% nail it. My hope is that they have used the last year to allow multiple tablet controllers to connect to a console, and perhaps even allow for streaming a game to a tablet over the internet so you can properly play on the go (you know, like the name “Project Café” implied.)
No doubt we will get a smothering of Mario-based products, Zelda will make an appearance, and we will see their attempt to make the 3DS relevant to the casual buyer market, but what I really want is for Nintendo to start being more adventurous and grab my interest in their games again. A guy can dream, eh?
In the second of our big E3 2012 previews, we take a look at the upcoming Sony press conference and discuss the announcements we're looking forward too, along with some of our hopes for what we'd really like to be shown.
It almost feels too easy to say “CLOUD GAMING” at this point, but it certainly looks like that’s the direction Sony are heading in. Perhaps a mix with their PSN+ service will emerge, providing a chance to not only test out games in a streaming demo, but access to full games in a similar manner to OnLive’s Playback Pass subscription.
Other than that, I’m expecting gameplay reveals for The Last Of Us, and Ni No Kuni to grace us with more of its beauty and charm. Ideally I’d love to see Agent appear after years in the development wilderness, and hell, I’d be happy to Final Fantasy Vs XIII or The Last Guardian in some form. In fact, let’s go nuts; a Kingdom Hearts 3 announcement please. Let’s just hope they’ve brought some ammunition for the Vita too, which has been looking a little quiet as of late.
For me, Sony's press conference needs to be all about the Vita. Gamers are already questioning whether their pricey early purchase was a good decision, and Sony needs to ensure that the fanbase is properly excited about a huge number of new and exciting games to look forward to. Plus, games sell systems, and Sony are well aware of this simple fact. Properly announcing PSOne compatibility would help sweeten the deal.
In terms of PS3 games, a new inFamous title wouldn't go amiss, along with some major hype for LBP Karting and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Which needs a shorter name. Or an acronym. We might also expect a fairly dry presentation about PS Plus subscription tiers and an eBook initiative, which they've been rather hot about lately. And to top it all off, Quantic Dreams should be showing off their next project.
Will Sony decide to pip Microsoft to the post by announcing their next-gen console before their longtime rivals? They're certainly looking to release the PS4 first this time around, but I wouldn't hold your breath just yet.
David Cage has had a lot to say about next generation technology in recent weeks, not much of it favourable. Quantic Dream’s latest tech demo ‘Kara’ however, goes a long way toward justifying that particular stance. Running in real-time on a Playstation 3 (albeit in a controlled environment), the video is a masterclass in how to emotionally engage an audience and at the same time deliver something truly jaw-dropping on a technical level.
Heavy Rain used its ‘Casting’ trailer to demonstrate a number of tonal and technological elements that would make their way into the final product, and my hope is that ‘Kara’ is a similar letter of intent from Cage and co. Dyed in the wool Sony developers, Quantic Dream deserve a pedestal from which to preach their love of the current generation during Sony’s E3 conference, and the return of Kara might just be the way to hammer the message home.
Dust 514 should well be making an appearance, and it’ll be interesting to see how comprehensively the first person shooter has been integrated with its older brother EVE Online. The Last of Us is a shoo-in, but remains one of Sony’s most exciting exclusives regardless, and I fully expect Kratos to rear his ugly head and start kicking even uglier heads in an official God of War: Ascension reveal.
With Sony's rich stable of first and second party developers, there'll be lots here for the PS-fan to cheer about - particularly in the form of The Last of Us, Kratos' latest adventure, and whatever masterpiece David Cage and co. have brought along to the show. Oh, and Ni no Kuni...which is shaping up to be utterly fantastic.
I wouldn't expect news on a next-gen console, purely because Sony already have a new console that they must deliver some killer content for, and soon. This is the time for big Vita announcements (Bioshock?!!), a chance for Sony to reveal what's been happening to all of those stellar, rumoured "launch window" titles. A Western release date for Persona 4: The Golden would be lovely too.
But the big news, as Carl suggests, will surely be the final reveal of this hotly tipped cloud gaming partnership. What form will this take? Can we expect PS+ subscribers to greatly benefit? Will it just be demos or full games? Will I be able to play PS games on my android phone via a client? Expect big, gamechanging PSN news.
Also, if it's not too much trouble, could we please have some news on The Last Guardian.
I don't know why but for some reason I'm not that excited about Sony's presentations this year, then again there are one or two things that have grabbed my interest. Kratos' adventures have always looked spectacular and been a joy to be a part of, so it'd be a real treat to get even a tiny peek of God Of War: Ascension especially if it shows how the gameplay's been reworked. Being a big fan of both the Jet Set Radio and Bioshock series, I'm extremely curious to see whether or not their first outings on the PS Vita will be failures or successes.
With E3 just around the corner, we take a look at the upcoming press conferences, giving our thoughts on the reveals we're likely to see, and chatting about our hopes for this year's expo as well. First up: Microsoft.
Other than giving me a reason to keep that damn Gold Subscription going, I’m not entirely sure what to expect from the Xbox camp this year. Call of Duty will almost certainly kick off their presentation like clockwork, Halo 4 will be definitely be there, and we’ll no doubt get told about all the wonderful online media features the US will be getting, but I honestly don’t know what else they have up their sleeves besides how they plan to improve the integration of Xbox Live with Windows.
That said, this gives Microsoft a huge opportunity to blindside me with an interesting announcement. A new IP to help bolster their line-up in the years to come? A genuinely interesting use for Kinect that enhances gameplay? Maybe we’ll see Ryse appear without a horribly scripted demonstation. Surprise me Microsoft!