E3 2011 – Microsoft, Sony, EA, Ubisoft Press Conference and Event Roundups

Now that there’s only the Nintendo conference left, here’s a roundup of the previous conferences held. I did a live-blogging (sort of) article for the Microsoft conference, but the subsequent ones were around 3-6 AM here so I didn’t watch those. Manage to catch the PSP Vita portion of Sony’s after I woke up though. I’ll post the related news articles and some coverage of the conferences (so far Microsoft’s and EA’s) with respective timings (so you can skip to whatever parts you might want) since now you can watch the broadcast like any video. Again, I’ll continue to update the post through the day.

Halo 4 Debut Trailer (Xbox 360)

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Official Trailer (PS3, Xbox 360)

As shown in the previous teaser trailer, the NORA members are back, along with a new character named Noel (who seems like the other main character when you’re not playing as Lightning). Serah is also back, as a playable character this time. New features include platforming/puzzle elements and what seems like an immediate transition between exploration and battles. Plus quick-time events and using the ATB system in Gestalt/summon mode. It will apparently be playable at E3, so more details then, I suppose.

General Roundup

Pre-Show Wrap-Up at GameSpot

Bioshock Infinite Trailer Preview (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

As will be mentioned below, Bioshock Infinite will have Move support, no mention of Kinect but I suppose now Move/Kinect exclusivity will be another factor as well.

Tomb Raider First Impressions Preview (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Call of Duty: Elite beta begins July 14 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

The closed, invitation-only beta will be accessible through Call of Duty: Black Ops. If you’re interested, register on the official website. Kinda weird that the only things they ask are your email, platform preference and date of birth. No GamerTag, PSN ID and what not. Then again, I suppose there will probably be a lot of beta participants (i.e. if you register, you’ll get in), which eliminates the need to throughly screen applicants and such.

Prototype 2 First Look Preview (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Prototype was one of the (many) games I wanted to play, but never got around to. Prototype 2 is certainly a game I will want to play, but whether I get around to do so…

Prototype 2

Starring... himself.

X-Men Destiny First Look Preview (DS, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)

I love X-Men, and I love ARPGs, but for some reason I never got around to playing X-Men: Legends (or its sequel) some time back. I did play Marvel: Ultimate Alliance though. Anyway, in Destiny, you’ll play as one of three new mutants, which reduces my interest level just slightly. Controlling a X-Man/Woman/mutant in third-person and spamming your powers does raise it back up though. You’ll be able to customize your character’s powers and make choices in the game which affects the outcome of the conflict between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which is new (for a Marvel game, and at least I think it’s new). It’ll be releasing in Q4 2011, and somehow I think this game seems to be under the radar.

X-Men: Destiny

Force Lightning! No wait...

Mass Effect 3 in effect March 6 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Dead Island – Part 2: Dead Island Begins Trailer (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Updated Preview
(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Mass Effect 3 Preview Impressions
(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Saints Row: The Third Interview With Drew Holmes
(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Microsoft Press Conference/Event Roundup (and GameSpot’s coverage)

For full coverage on the conference, check out my previous article.

Xbox LIVE Cloud Storage

If you aren’t familiar with cloud storage, basically your game information (saves etc.) will be stored on the Xbox Live network, so you can go over to your friend’s house and have him/her join your session without bringing your HDD or USB drive. There is also a “Beacons” feature which act as a notification system. You can set a beacon for a certain game, and you’ll be notified if your friends play that game, or set a beacon for that game as well.

Kinect Star Wars Hands-On Preview

The demo is the same as the one shown during the press conference so it’s basically just a hands-on version. Controls seem simple enough — take a step forward to dash in front; hold out your right arm to activate your lightsaber; swing it by, well, swinging. Apparently there’s a bit of delay when you swing your arm and the game registering it (which was what I thought during the press conference) but there’s still plenty of time before its release (currently Q4 2011). The game takes place sometime during the events of Episode II.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Preview

For the campaign, there will be a cool feature to switch between the original graphics engine (dubbed Classic mode) and a remastered version on-the-fly (apparently). It’ll be nice for fans to remember how the game looked like 10 years ago. Like in Halo 3, you will be able to access terminals and learn more about the backstory. There will be 2 player co-op over split-screen and Xbox Live, and a multiplayer mode that runs on the Halo: Reach engine (which means there will be armor abilities too). 7 remastered maps (1 will be a Firefight map) will come with the game, and you can install the maps on your HDD and access them through Halo: Reach too. The game will be out on November 15 2011, exactly 10 years after Halo: Combat Evolved‘s release, with a RRP of US$39.99.

New Xbox Live coming this fall
Microsoft Xbox 360 New Experience and Kinect Fun Labs
Crytek gets a Ryse out of Kinect

The Gunstringer Hands-On
Gears of War 3 Microsoft Press Conference Demo Preview

Halo 4 Impressions Preview

Dance Central 2 First Impressions Preview

Forza Motorsport 4 Microsoft Press Conference Impressions Preview

Fable: The Journey Preview Updated Impressions

Sony Press Conference/Event Roundup (and GameSpot’s coverage)

Sony PlayStation Vita: Inside and Out

Well, first off, Sony’s Next Generation Portable or PlayStation Portable 2 or whatever you called it, is now officially called the PlayStation Vita. Release window is currently holiday 2011 with no specific date given. The Wi-Fi only model will cost US$249, and the Wi-Fi & 3G model will cost US$299. Service provider for the US will be AT&T. European pricings are at €249/€299 and Japanese pricings are at ¥24,980/¥29,980. This puts it at the same pricing as a 3DS, which is great news. As announced previously, games will come in flash cards, so no more UMD  (yay).

The PlayStation Vita.

As pictured, there will be 2 analog sticks, a D-pad, the standard 4 face buttons and other secondary buttons. Vita also has a touch screen and a rear touchpad, motion controls and GPS functions. The camera can take videos up to 640×480 at 60 frames per second. It has an ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core CPU, which is pretty awesome. For the full specs, check the link.

There’ll be various social/networking features like the 3DS, such as LiveArea and Near which lets users view recent activity of nearby players and gift virtual game items. There will also cross-platform connectivity with the PS3, namely cloud saving and cross-platform content. I doubt I’ll be getting a new handheld anytime soon, but Vita is definitely shaping up to be a strong contender.

Street Fighter X Tekken crossing to Vita

Cole from inFamous will appear in the game, although it wasn’t mentioned if he will appear in the PS3 version.

Street Fighter X Tekken

Shocking news. Or not.

BioShock Infinite gets Move support, Vita game inbound

Besides that, the original BioShock will be included in the PS3 disc as well.

Sony announces $499 Resistance 3D TV bundle

Apparently it will “allow two players to see two entirely different things on the same screen”, however that works.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Preview Impressions

To be honest I haven’t really checked out the previous games…

Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time First Look Preview
PixelJunk SideScroller Hands-On Preview
Starhawk Updated Impressions – Galactic Battlefield

EA Press Conference/Event Roundup (and GameSpot’s coverage)

Conference kicks off with a trailer and demo of Mass Effect 3. I didn’t want to watch this since I haven’t finished the first two games, so…

Presentation is followed by Need for Speed: The Run (8:23). The demo starts off (9:50) with a cutscene which transits into gameplay, where the player races through the streets. Eventually a car crashes into you and the police starts to chase you. For the first time in the Need for Speed series, you will be getting out of the car and engaging in on-foot escape sequences with quick-time events. Feels pretty cinematic. After taking down a police officer, the player makes off in the patrol vehicle while being pursued by a helicopter. Apparently the car is bullet-proof and generally indestructible, until you swerve away from an obstacle and down the road onto a railway track. Demo ends after you manage to break the window and crawl out, just as the train crushes your car.

Star Wars music plays — Star Wars: The Old Republic (14:31). CG trailer starts (16:27), which contains scenes from some of the previous trailers. Pretty epic, awesome and legendary at the same time. No gameplay shown, but the game will be playable at E3.

SSX (also CG) trailer shown (19:12) — “Defy reality, Own the planet. January 2010.” Satellite scanning has been used to re-create major mountain ranges for the game, which Peter Moore says is “massive”. Gameplay centers around “race it”, “trick it” and “survive it”. 3 out of 10 outlined characters are revealed, with 1 more that will be revealed on the game’s Facebook page “before the end of E3”.

FIFA Soccer 12 presentation (23:50). Various features shown which make gameplay more authentic — “tactical defending”, which makes player positioning, timing and tactics more important; “precision dribbling”, which gives players more control over the ball; and ” player impact engine”, which realistically reflects how players will run, fall etc. when being tackled or pushed by another player (e.g. jump over a sliding tackle to retain your momentum and continue running). Trailer plays (25:25), which has commentaries from various footballers etc. Presentation continues with EA Sports Football Club, a live service (which seems to be the fad nowadays), and ends with a trailer (30:08).

Madden NFL 12 promotional trailer (30:20). Players start coming onto the stage with Inception trailer music playing in the background. Releasing August 30 this year.

Another live service — The Sims Social on Facebook. Snide remark on agricultural Facebook games here. Trailer plays (36:41). You can interact with other Sims (i.e. your friends) in the The Sims world — chat, dance, watch movies, kiss and woohoo. Woohoo! Trailer ends with the game logo and “Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/TheSimsSocial”. Heh.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning presentation starts (39:10) with a short introduction of the game and the staff involved — Ken Rolston (Oblivion, Morrowind), Todd McFarlane (Spawn creator) and R.A. Salvatore (writer). Trailer plays (39:59). Coming in “2012”.

Overstrike, Insomniac Games’ new multi-platform title announced (42:00). CG trailer plays (42:52). There’s a Terminator-esque boss fight at the end.

Time for the big one. Battlefield 3 trailer plays (45:31). Second video plays (47:00), which features the Frostbite 2 engine in action — “Animation”, which shows the characters’ fluid animation (e.g. a soldier running and skidding to a stop instead of just stopping); “Destruction”, which ranges from debris flying as you shoot at environmental objects to whole buildings collapsing, “Scale”, which showcases the game’s huge landscapes, “Rendering”, which is basically all the nice lighting and special effects, and “Audio”, which is exactly as it er, sounds. Some of these were covered in the PWNED Battlefield 3 special I posted previously.

Short multiplayer gameplay video shown (48:35) (they really like to break things up) (kinda like me I guess). There will, of course, be a social live service called Battlelog, which is “100% free”. And, there will be a multi-platform open beta in September this year. Live demo (50:31) featuring tank action in a desert starts. Game will be out October 25.

Another thing which has been mentioned throughout the conference: http://www.origin.com/

Origin is EA’s online hub — your EA account (if you had one previously) will be transferred over here, the store is here now, and so is the download manager. Currently they also have exclusive E3 videos too.

Battlefield 3 Preview (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Not sure if this was shown in the Sony conference (probably not since everyone would’ve seen it during the EA conference already), but it definitely wasn’t in the Microsoft conference. Tank controls feel similar to previous Battlefield games.

Overstrike Preview Impressions (PS3, Xbox 360)

There wasn’t much shown besides the CG trailer during the conference, but that was definitely interesting. There was a barrier gun which absorbs bullets and deflects them back at the attacker; an electrical-bolt crossbow; a cloaking device; and a gun which shoots liquid metal that can expand and harden (and do damage). The weapons were used by each of the 4 characters, and the cloaking device reminds me of Hawk from Brute Force. Hopefully this game will be much better than that (not that Brute Force was terrible; it was just not awesome).

FIFA 12 First Look Preview
Star Wars: The Old Republic Updated Preview

SSX Trailer Impressions Preview

Ubisoft Press Conference/Event Roundup

Far Cry 3 First Impressions Preview (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Far Cry 3 takes place on a tropical island inhabited with crazy people. Again, exploration plays a big part here, and the island certainly looks big enough. Beautiful, too. Check the link for a video interview as well, and a slick dual-takedown at 6:20 where the player sneaks up behind an enemy, pulls out a knife from his (the enemy) sheath, stabs him while covering his mouth, and subsequently throws the knife at another nearby enemy. You get experience points for killing enemies as well, represented by “+10″s on-screen (much like multiplayer in Call of Duty and similar games). Not much details on the system but it seems like you’ll be able to upgrade your character that way.

Far Cry 3

Certainly looks crazy enough.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Impressions (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

You’re playing as Ezio again, although this time you’re using a hook blade instead of a hidden blade. Occasionally, while playing as Ezio you’ll re-live (i.e. play as) Altair’s memories. As its name implies, Revelations will answer questions players of the previous games had, apparently. You can check out a video interview here. I should probably play Brotherhood soon.

Rayman Origins Press Conference Demo Preview

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