E3 2011: Get the Details
E3 2011 just wrapped up at the end of the week, and there was a lot that happened, so much that even if you were there, it would have been hard to see it all. Not to worry, we have the details on all the important stuff, just in case you missed any.
Before E3 even started this year, both Microsoft and Sony held press conferences on June 6th. Microsoft went first, and unlike Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft didn’t have any new hardware to show off and chose to focus only on games. Starting with one of its most anticipated titles, Microsoft demoed Modern Warfare 3, following it with Gears of War 3, Mass Effect 3, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Above all else, Microsoft showed how well these titles integrate with Xbox Kinect’s motion and voice based commands.
Sony’s press conference revolved around its NGP (Next Gaming Portable), finally giving it an official name: The PlayStation Vita. With demos showcasing its 5-inch OLED touch screen, rear touchpad, front and rear facing cameras, and Sixaxis motion sensing, the PlayStation Vita gained a lot of attention. It also features an industry first quad-core processor, capable of producing over 133 million Polygons per second, roughly half the performance of the PS3. Sony hopes to release it in time for the 2011 holiday season, and given its exciting start, the PlayStation Vita is expected to be one of the hottest selling devices this year.
Nintendo held its press conference on the first official day of E3 2011. It was all about the new Wii U, which quickly became the star of the entire E3 show this year. The Wii U brings a much needed hardware upgrade to the Wii, allowing it to display 1080p content over HDMI. Its graphics core has also been overhauled, which judging by the tech demo, now outperforms both the Xbox 360 and PS3 by a wide margin. But all of that wasn’t even the interesting bit. What really stirred things up was the new controller, featuring a 6.2-inch full color touch screen, accelerometer/gyro, front facing camera, and of course the traditional buttons. The built in screen allows for additional views when playing certain games, and even the capability to stream gameplay directly from the console itself, negating the need for a TV screen. The only downside to the Wii U is that it won’t be launching until at least April of 2012.
Games are always a big part of E3, and this year was no exception. Among the most popular titles was Duke Nukem Forever, which was finally released just the other day. Despite demanding the majority of the attention during E3, Duke Nukem Forever is receiving rather poor reviews now that it has launched.
Bioshock Infinite was by far the most loved and best received title at the event. It stays true to the feel of the original Bioshock, while introducing a stunning new environment (a city in the clouds), some slightly refreshed graphics, and optional extras (such as compatibility with PlayStation Move).
Other titles included Uncharted 3, one of the best looking games at the expo; Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, sure to become one of the best selling RPGs of the year; Batman: Arkham City, a potential candidate for Best Action/Adventure Game of the Year; Rayman Origins, a great blast from the past and worthy platformer; and Star Wars: The Old Republic, an up-and-coming MMO RPG.