FutureFive NZ - BIG NEWS FROM E3

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.


THE ANNUAL Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) took place at the Los
Angeles Convention Center between June 15th and June 17th. Although it
all went down as we went to print, Game Console did manage to catch the
very fi rst round of announcements.

First up was Microsoft, with an event one day before E3 proper during
which the company offi cially announced the new name of its
motioncontrol peripheral previously known only by the working title of
‘Project Natal’. The controllerless, camera- and voice-based device is
now offi cially called “Kinect”.

Microsoft also unveiled the fi rst batch of fi rstparty titles for
the device, including Kinectimals (which lets you train and play with 20
different virtual cats), Joyride (a racing game where players hold an
imaginary steering wheel), Kinect Sports (boxing, bowling, beach
volleyball, track and fi eld, soccer and table tennis), Kinect
Adventures (a fourplayer river-raft and obstacle course game), and Dance
Central (developed by MTV Games). Kinect will launch (along with 15
compatible titles) on November 4th.

This was followed the next day by Microsoft’s offi cial E3 press
conference and the announcement of a new Xbox 360 console, offi cially
the Xbox 360 S. The redesigned version is substantially smaller than the
original console, sports a 250GB hard drive and integrated Wireless N
wi-fi . It’s also worth mentioning that, while Kinect is supported by
all models of Xbox 360, the Xbox 360 S features a custom port for the
new peripheral. When used with older models, Kinect will need to be
plugged into a separate power outlet. The new Xbox 360 will retail in
New Zealand from July 9th for $499.

At its conference the following day, Nintendo unveiled the rumoured
Nintendo 3DS, the major sell of which is that the user is not required
to wear glasses in order to view its 3D visuals. The 3DS boasts a
3.5-inch widescreen display, a smaller touchscreen, an analogue control
input (a fi rst for a DS device) and two front-facing camera lenses
(which enable 3D still photographs). The unit will have increased
graphical capabilities over existing Nintendo DS handhelds, and it will
also play 3D-encoded movies. The rather large list of upcoming 3DS games
include Kid Icarus: Uprising, Mario Kart, StarFox 64 3D, Paper Mario
and Resident Evil: Revelations. There was no word on the availability of
the 3DS in New Zealand at the time of writing.

Among Nintendo’s other major announcements were Wii titles such as
The Legend of Zelda: Skywards Sword (scheduled for release in 2011),
Mario Sports Mix (also 2011), Wii Party, Just Dance 2, and a reimagining
of the classic N64 fi rst-person shooter Goldeneye. Sony revealed
further details of PlayStation Move and its 3D-gaming initiative with
demonstrations of Killzone 3 (now pegged with a February 2011 release
date) in stereoscopic (glasses required) 3D.

Sony also confirmed the rumours that a ‘Premium’ PlayStation Network
subscription will be introduced soon for $US49.99 a year (approximately
$NZ70), and that the long-time-coming Gran Turismo 5 will fi nally be in
gamers’ hands this November. However, among the surprises at Sony’s
conference were that a new Twisted Metal title is headed to the PS3 in
2011, and the unlikely news that Valve’s Portal 2 is also en route to
the PS3.

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