This week in LA the mystical wonderland that is E3 descended. This highly anticipated and so called super bowl of the gaming world has transformed from a fan fueled circus into a true industry trade show in the last couple years. This year the large gaming titans did not disappoint.
Nintendo, in a bid to try and hold onto the casual gamers that flocked in record numbers to the Wii, unveiled their master plan for their new system the Wii U. This new console will integrate with an improved version of the already released Wii U tablet controller. The premise for this will be that special content will play on the tablet that does not appear on the screen itself. With new installments of their most popular franchises, such as Super Mario Bros and Pikmin, set to premier with the system it would have been nice if they had also answered the questions of when this console will appear and at what price point. However, the Wii U will allow outside developers to create games for its platform so the three systems will finally be on an even playing field as far as game designers are concerned.
Following Nintendo’s lead but taking their own path, Microsoft has chosen to expand their ‘all access’ idea and revealed Smart Glass. Smart Glass uses Xbox Live and Kinect to integrate all your entertainment devices allowing movement of content between TV’s, phones, and tablets. The new system seems to be taking the ideas behind the Wii U and running with them. Creators have the option to add content accessible from a secondary device such as an app for a weapons inventory or map. Add to that the system will work with competitor made devices such as ipads and iphones and you have Smart Glass set to overshadow the Wii U pretty quickly and if it lives up to its potential can be a very interesting development in the gaming world.
Video courtesy of C/NET TV
That brings me to Sony. Truthfully I’m a bit underwhelmed by what the Playstation crews have brought to the table. I would have been much happier to hear about the plans for the PS4 rather than the PS3 Wonderbook. The Wonderbook is an augmented reality system that combines physical books with onscreen interactions and so far has some new content from JK Rowling for its Book of Spells Hogwarts romp to launch the new system. Now I love Harry as much as the next geek, but I am not at all convinced that this is going to be a good development for Sony at all. It looks cumbersome and there is a real concern that when the novelty of the game interface wears off it will merely serve as a distraction from what otherwise would have been good books.
Sony did, however, redeem themselves with the release of the God of War: Ascension teaser trailer release. It’s a prequel so there is that to be wary of, but the addition of a four on four multiplayer option may just make up for that.
WARNING! THIS VIDEO NOT KID APPROVED
I could watch Kratos rip off heads all day…