The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is in full swing at the Los Angeles Convention Center as it officially kicked off today and will run through June 7th. So what’s new at this year’s convention? Read on to find out more on the next big thing in gaming.
Nintendo’s Wii U
Nintendo aims lure back gamers with the Wii U, the next generation Wii, which features the GamePad – a controller that can be used in conjunction with the Wii U and as a stand alone device when the console is turned off. Plus, hard core gamers will enjoy the Wii U Pro Controller, which makes an easy task of killing enemy squads. The best thing about Wii U is that if you happen to own an old Wii console, you can use your old remote, Nunchuk and balancing board with the new console so more people can join in on the chaotic world of Wii U. It looks like Nintendo could be resurrected by the Wii U, but they still have to be careful. If they price the console too high, gamers will probably turn their backs on the awesome console.
To clarify, Microsoft’s SmartGlass is nothing like the Wii U GamePad since it’s not a piece of hardware but actually a software. SmartGlass helps people connect their devices such as smartphones, tablets, SmartTVs and the Xbox console. Think of it like Apple’s AirPlay, if you must.
The point of SmartGlass is to provide users with a second screen without needing to buy a new device. So it functions like the GamePad but you don’t have to buy a whole new console to use it. You can use your existing smartphone or tablet as your second screen for gaming, like looking into a game map or looking at your stats, or purchasing items from online stores while still playing the game on the main screen.
So which is better? The GamePad or the SmartGlass? It’s too early to say since they’re not yet available commercially, but when they hit stores, gamers will be the judge of which is better.
In other Microsoft news, the company signed deals with 35 new content partners, such as NBA, NHL, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures and later this year, Xbox 360′s ESPN app start offering 24/7 live streaming of several ESPN stations so sport fans would never miss a thing. Microsoft also announced Xbox Music – a Spotify competitor – for all the music lovers out there.
Sony’s Wonderbook and Cross Play
The PS Vita was overhyped and overpriced and people didn’t want something quite so expensive with nothing inside. Sony showed off their Cross Play functionality at E3 this week, which will allow games on the PS 3 to be played on the Vita and vice versa. One of the games that features this functionality is the PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale – a game that features some of the best characters from their most popular games battling each other in various scenes, all taken from Sony’s top titles.
Sony also unveiled Wonderbook, a cross between traditional storytelling and gaming that will immerse you and your kids in a world of make believe. Though some say that it’s more of a game that storytelling, having J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter told in a different manner could probably pique your interest. Wonderbook turns the PlayStation Move controller into a virtual magic wand that transforms you into a virtual wizard. Think of it this way: Wonderbook is your imagination coming to virtual reality. Kids aren’t into reading much these days, but if I were a kid and someone gives me a Wonderbook, I’d probably spend hours exploring it.
Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs
As we learn to depend more on our electronic gadgets, there’s always this little voice inside of us that keeps telling us, “What if someone could access everyones information with just a click of a button and use it to create chaos?” Okay, I know it sounds too paranoid but it’s been the focus of movies, books and even TV series these past years and now, it’s the plot of a new game: Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs.
Aiden Pearce, is a “new class of antihero” who can hack into any connected device. The game focuses on the concept that anyone can be identified and tracked by their digital footprint – as in all your web activities on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
“Watch Dogs goes beyond the limits of today’s open-world games by giving players the ability to control an entire city,” said Jonathan Morin, creative director, Ubisoft. “In Watch Dogs, anything connected to the city’s Central Operating System becomes a weapon. By pushing the boundaries, we can provide players with action and access to information on a scale that’s never been seen in a video game before.”
With everyone pushing people to put their data on the cloud, aren’t we putting ourselves at risk for something like this?