E3 2012 Wrap-Up – What went down out There?
E3 2012 is coming to a close, and while we’re sad to see it wrap up so quickly, it has left behind a lot of exciting news for gamers everywhere. This year’s expo was sprinkled with a little bit of everything, from new games and services to electrifying hardware demos.
The “Big 3”
The Big 3 refers to the three largest players in the gaming industry right now: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Each had their own press conference (or two) at E3 this year, much like every year, and they all had some big news to share.
Nintendo was the only major player to have some new hardware to show off this year – the Wii U. Nintendo has officially stated that the Wii U will launch during this year’s holiday season, perhaps as early as October. Apart from an official launch window, we also got a look at the final version of the new GamePad tablet controller.
The GamePad has a large touch screen that can interact with games in a number of different ways as well as all of the standard motion controller capabilities of the original Wii controller. It also features a web cam, IR blaster (TV remote), microphone, speakers, and dual analog sticks.
The Wii U console, while not necessarily in its final form, is looking small and powerful. It’s roughly the same size as the original Wii, but capable of full 1080p video output with graphics performance 1.5 to 2 times better than the PS3 and Xbox 360. Some of the demoed titles, such as the upcoming Zelda Wii U game, look absolutely stunning.
Unlike Nintendo, Microsoft didn’t have any fancy new hardware to show off. Instead, it focused on new and improved services and software coming to the Xbox 360.
Xbox SmartGlass was Microsoft’s biggest announcement. It is a new software layer that integrates your Xbox 360 with all of your Windows 8 devices, such as tablets and smartphones. SmartGlass can sync shows and movies across all of your devices as well as turn them into viewing companions for more immersive video experiences. Your tablet or smartphone can also be used as a remote, ideal for controlling Internet Explorer, now coming to Xbox.
Sony’s announcements primarily revolved around the PlayStation Vita. It was all about cross-platform play, such as using the Vita to play multiplayer games with players on PS3. Sadly, other than that, Sony had very little else to announce other than new games.
Everyone knows E3 is all about the games, so what were some of the most anticipated titles we saw at E3 this year?
The Halo series has always been a favorite among Xbox gamers, and everyone is looking forward to the newest installment, Halo 4. Game play is expected to remain largely similar to the original titles; what everyone is after is the compelling new story line it brings. Release date is scheduled for November 6th of this year (just in time for the winter holidays).
We’re surprised it took Sony so long to come up with a PlayStation variant on the widely successful Smash Bros. series, but it looks like we finally have something with PlayStation All-Stars. Whether or not the title can actually compete with Smash Bros. is yet to be seen, but what’s most interesting about it is the fact that it’s available for both PS3 and PS Vita and capable of cross-platform play.
Gears of War: Judgment
Another Xbox favorite, Gears of War: Judgment offers a prequel to the original title for those curious about the back story of COG and its soldiers. Game play will surely be as action-packed as ever.