Live streaming technology has changed the way gamers around the globe perceive the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Gone are the days of scouring magazines for second-hand interpretations of the biggest and best reveals from the preeminent trade event in the gaming calender. Now, the most talented developers, most prolific publishers, and most powerful hardware manufacturers in the world are given the opportunity to connect with their audience on a first-hand basis, beaming their heaviest of hitters directly into the living rooms of the people buying their products.
It's rather telling then, that over the last few days, that very audience has taken to social networking sites in force to express their apathy, their disappointment, and occasionally their outrage at an annual event that is steadily shifting from a freight-train of digital euphoria to a rather more pedestrian rechurning of last year's reveals. Are the sunny streets of Los Angeles about to bear witness to the death of E3? Or can something be done to turn public opinion around and get the fading exhibition back on its feet?Is it too late for E3?
We didn't expect a great deal from Microsoft's press conference, there wasn't much riding on it, and it gave us exactly what we thought it would in Halo 4, Forza Horizon, some Kinect filler, huge amounts of media name-dropping, and one or two interesting curios for XBLA.
Halo 4 was a splendid carnival of retina-melting space marine machoism, with plenty for fans to get excited about, intriguing new enemies, lots of hints towards narrative drama with Cortana at the forefront. Elsewhere, Forza Horizon just served to remind me how much I love the outlying areas in Burnout Paradise, and Gears was passed over so quickly that I almost blinked and missed it.
Truth be told, Microsoft weren't here to show off games, this presentation was all about media. After the usual swathe of media name-dropping, most of which meant nothing to anyone outside of the States, SmartGlass was unveiled. Annoyingly this seemingly fantastic, software-based tech was demonstrated primarily in conjunction with TV shows, when what we really wanted was to see how it might blow the fucking doors off of our gaming experiences with simultaneously connected devices enhancing gameplay. Typically, though, Microsoft plodded on in relatively apathetic fashion.
As was the case with all three platform holder pressers this year, it fell to third parties to save the day. Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider is almost certainly going to be one of my games of the show, and I could not be more excited for THQ and Obsidian's South Park : The Stick of Truth. Trey Parker and Matt Stone saved that press conference.
Barely.Click here to read more...
Aside from the usual bit of media company name dropping, Microsoft unveiled their plan for cross-platform media domination...and it's called SmartGlass.
Marc Whitten, the head of Xbox Live, revealed that the service will connect your tablets, phones, and console together. A demo showing how you can send a movie from platform to platform, whilst receiving further information was shown at the Microsoft press conference today.Click here to read more...
Jon gives us the lowdown from inside the Galen Center at Microsoft's E3 2012 press briefing.
There was a strange atmosphere in the long queues outside Los Angeles' Galen Centre. Industry figures and fellow journalists alike weren't sure what to expect from Microsoft's press conference after a couple of disappointing years, and told me so while scarfing down hastily-purchased breakfast biscuits and energy drinks. Once sat down under the harsh glare of the green lights, this aura of anticipation and trepidation amplified tenfold, with a surprisingly subdued crowd talking quietly about the other pressers scheduled for later that day, as well as the welcome lack of white robes and other gimmicky paraphernalia.Click here to read more...
As expected,Black Ops 2 made an appearance at the end of Microsoft's E3 press conference today, with a ten minute new demo that saw what looked like a terrorist attack on a smmit meeting (G20, 2025?) and then featured lots of death, bullets, explosions, crashing vehicles, getting the presidents of the USA and France to safety.
Oh, and LA in ruins at the end.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone revealed the title for their upcoming Colorado-based RPG as South Park: The Stick of Truth. They took the stage at Microsoft's E3 2012 press conference to discuss how they'd been working in conjunction with Obsidian Entertainment to deliver an RPG that really made players feel like they were inhabiting the world of South Park, to nail the mechanics, and make the game as distinctive as possible.
They also hinted at Kinect support, which will allow you to taunt enemies and initiate attacks with voice commands.
It'll be out on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on March 5th, 2013.
Signal Studios announced their brand new IP - Ascend: New Gods - at Microsoft's E3 2012 press conference earlier, alongside two other newcomers: Twisted Pixel's Lococycle, and Gore Verbinski’s Matter, a Kinect title from the Pirates of the Caribbean director slated for release in 2013.
Wreckateer was also at the show, with the Kinect-based ballista bonanza set for release in the summer on XBLA.There are official blurbs for all four after the jump...
Crystal Dynamics took to the stage at the Microsoft E3 press conference to reveal a new demo video for their upcoming Tomb Raider reboot.
Lara sneaks down a mountainside, taking out bad guys with her bow, before getting into gunfight, finding the worst cover ever, pushing a guy off a cliff, and then grappling with death slides, waterfalls, crap parachutes, and other tropical hazards.
Moreover her DLC will be landing on Xbox 360 first, hence the appearance.Check out the Tomb Raider E3 demo after the jump...
There's no better way to open the biggest gaming event on the planet than by blowing the doors off with your biggest title, and that's exactly what Microsoft did. Just watch it, then tell us what you thought. Then watch it again.
Psyched doesn't even begin to describe it.
Microsoft have announced that announced Forza Horizon will release on October 23rd, with a new trailer that showcased the game's emphasis on the open road shown at their E3 press conference.Click here to watch the Forza Horizon E3 trailer...
EA Sports have announced that Kinect voice recognition will be supported in their two upcoming flagship titles: FIFA 13 and Madden 13.Click here to read more...
Ubisoft confirmed Splinter Cell: Blacklist for release in Spring 2013 at Microsoft's E3 2012 press conference today.Click here to read more...
Will Microsoft think outside the (X)box this year? Will we just be privy to Gears, Forza, Halo, and a load of Kinect material? Can Microsoft surprise us? Will there be robes? Find out below after 5:30pm BST.
You can click below to watch the livestream, and we'll be posting links to the key news from the conference as it comes in.Hit the jump for the livestream and news highlights...
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.
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!
It's official. As we all pretty much expected, Halo: Combat Evolved is to be redone in HD and released to celebrate the original's 10th birthday on November 15th. Announced in Microsoft's E3 presser, there'll be a fully remastered, very shiny campaign as well as online co-op and, happily, assassinations.
As if November wasn't shaping up to be expensive enough!
We're expecting Gears 3, a shedload of Kinect stuff and more news on Microsoft's pledge to revitalise the entertainment side of things in the near future. Will Steve Ballmer emerge bearing his own cross? Will the lucky attendees be graced with new gifts? Is there anyway Microsoft can salvage this E3 and prevent themselves from coming in third in the face of Project Cafe and the NGP?Click here to read more...