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I may be a humble Search Engine Optimisation engineer during the day but when I get in from work I am either spending time with the girlfriend or playing on the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or PS3 (yes, I have them all and I have a girlfriend too). You can imagine that because of this I was very interested in last week’s E3 conference in LA where all the future gaming creations are unveiled to world. Here are the best announcements from each console.
Microsoft had a lot on offer this year, in fact I wish I hadn’t watched it because I am going to have a very empty wallet by the time October/ November comes.
The big announcement from Microsoft was of course the changing of Natal to Kinect with many of the launch titles announced and demoed to everyone. In case you didn’t know Kinect is going to change the way people play games in that you do not need a controller to play!
Now obviously hardcore Xbox fans are going to get pretty bored of sports games that are only slightly better than the Wii sports games but this is where a sneaky trailer was revealed to the world that is going to change the way Star Wars fans see games.
Use the lightsabre simply by pretending to hold a lightsabre, use the force by pushing your hands like a Jedi Knight would do and crush stormtroopers without even having to pick up a controller.
Other titles announced included Kinect Adventures, Kinectimals and a fitness game. Note everything other than the Star Wars game was given a very successful live demo. Forza Motorsports on Kinect has also been announced.
Kinect isn’t just about the games, it allows all Xbox 360s to use voice activation technology so you can watch movies, connect to Facebook, Twitter and listen to music without even using a controller. Video chat has been added into the mix and the camera will sign a player in automatically when they walk in front of the camera as it recognises the person.
It is also important to note that Kinect is not a new Xbox console but an add on piece of hardware that is compatible with every single past Xbox 360 to date.
Other big announcements came from gameplay of the Halo Reach and Gears Of War 3 games which both look absolutely fantastic. A slim version of the 360 was also launched.
The masters of the casual games finally realised they were going wrong by not listening to their hardcore fans which meant this year’s conference was very heavily based around fans.
This was Nintendo’s biggest announcement and no it isn’t just a simple re-release (again) of the DS. This time the handheld is a brand new system with 3D technology that allows its users to play without the need for 3D glasses. The big surprise for this was that Nintendo announced a old game was being brought back to life, anyone remember Kid Icarus?
There were a number of other big announcements like a remake of the classic Goldeneye game on the N64 as well as another Legend of Zelda title, Donkey Kong Country and a Kirby game. There was a couple of poor party games announced to try and keep the casual gamers interested but it was good to see Nintendo listening to the complaints they got last E3.
Sony’s conference was very reliant on 3D gaming, in fact a little too reliant. Other than this there was more information on the Playstation move and some brilliant exclusive titles announced.
This was the biggest announcement they had and it would seem they have really advanced the technology since last time we saw it. I cannot see this really being much different to the Wii controller other than the fact it can change colour. Sorcery looks to be the game that could really boost the sales of Playstation Move but it simply looks like a Wii Harry Potter game with updated graphics.
This was a big focus for Sony and it would seem that major titles such as Grand Turismo 5, Killzone 3 and many others are all going to be featured in 3D when they are released. Sony seem to be sticking to the hardcore gamers which is very good news indeed. Whilst I will be purchasing move I am not sure it is going to kick off in the same way Kinect will and this is simply because the Kinect technology is not a rip off of Nintendo’s Wii controller.
The definite one to watch this year has to be Kinect and this is because it is just so changing how people play the games. It remains to be seen whether or not it is going to be a huge success or a major fail for Microsoft who don’t forget have not been in the business as long as the other two main competitors.
Of course there were other announcements during the three day event but this is just a summery of what the main three big guns have on offer late 2010/early 2011.