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E3 2011: Big 3 wrap-up

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E3 has come and gone and everyone is going nuts, yall. Let's recap all the big news from the big three. WITH BULLETED LISTS.

Microsoft

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the flavor of CoD you'll be getting this year. In an attempt to see how terrible developers can make the game before people stop playing it, an underwater level was prominently featured here.
  • The Tomb Raider reboot was shown, making everyone watching uncomfortable with Lara Croft's constant pained moaning.
  • Do you like Kinect? You goddamn well better, because everything will have Kinect support: pretty much every EA Sports game, Mass Effect 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, some game called RYSE, and all kinds of other stuff you'll try out for ten minutes before switching back to a regular controller.
  • A new Dashboard interface is coming that's more Kinect friendly. Also YouTube and Bing support are coming, and you can watch TV and UFC fights on your 360 while interacting with other people watching.
  • In the first of several awkward celebrity appearances at E3 this year, Ice T. played Gears of War 3 with Cliffy B.
  • Forza 4 is coming out October 11. It features cars and Kinect support. If you can believe it.
  • Peter Molyneux showed off a new Fable game, Fable: The Journey. Yes, he hyped it too much. Yes, it uses Kinect.
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary unveiled. The campaign looks like it's exactly the same game (running on the same engine even) with a new coat of paint. Graphical quality looks a hair or two above the "HD Collections" popping up all over the Playstation 3 lately. Multiplayer looks a bit more impressive, possibly running on the Reach engine. Release date November 15 this year.
  • Minecraft is coming to 360. Also, a Disneyland theme park simulator, looking like a collection of Kinect-based mini games. Fist bumping is optional, but encouraged.
  • A Kinect Star Wars game was demoed, complete with massive input lag. Hey Microsoft: the Wii's been out for something like five years now, and there's never been a good motion-controlled Star Wars game on it. This is why.
  • Tim Schafer, creator of such legendary games as Maniac Mansion, Grim Fandango, and Psychonauts, announced he is making a Sesame Street game for the Kinect, presumably as an act of vengeance against his fans.
  • Remember all the cool stuff hackers have been doing with the Kinect on their computers? Now you can do the least impressive bits of it at home with Kinect Fun Labs! You can take a picture of yourself and draw on it, take a picture of yourself and make it into your Avatar, or take a picture of something and turn it into a 3D model of the same thing.
  • Wii Sports 5: Kinect Sports: Season 2 (working title) was shown with golf and football and who cares.
  • Dance Central 2.
  • Those who watched this much of Microsoft's preshow conference without succumbing to the effects of lethal boredom were rewarded with a pre-rendered teaser trailer for Halo 4, coming in the 2012 holiday season. The start of a new trilogy, it seems. The reveal would have been even more awesome if it hadn't been accidentally published on XBox.com two hours earlier. Whomp whomp.

Sony

  • Sony started their preshow conference off strong with a three-minute montage video of things we've already seen.
  • Jack Tretton immediately addressed "the elephant in the room," thanking Sony's partners and customers for their support during the recent extended PSN outage. Upon realizing this, the actual elephant in the room sheepishly sat back down, crushing four IGN staffers.
  • Lots of Uncharted talk. Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra demoed an as-yet unseen part of Uncharted 3 in which Nathan Drake is sneaking around on a ship. He blows a hole in the hull through the power of dumbassery and must make a daring escape while the whole thing turns and fills with water around him.
  • I forgot to mention this, but Jack Tretton plugged Sony 3D televisions and the Playstation Move more throughout this conference than the number of times everybody from Sony apologized for the PSN fiasco combined. So after you read every bullet point from here on out, just add "play this in 3D! DO IT!"
  • Speaking of, Sony announced a Playstation branded 24" 3D "monitor" coming this fall. This is an attempt to make 3D gaming cheaper for the everyday consumer. The monitor will come bundled with an HDMI cable, one pair of Playstation branded 3D glasses, and a copy of Resistance 3 for $500. Extra pairs of the Playstation branded 3D glasses will be $70. One unique feature about the monitor is that you can play a two-player split screen game on it except both players have the whole screen to themselves (of course, both players have to be wearing a pair of 3D glasses). The technical explanation for how this works would take too much space here, so...ghosts.
  • Celebrity appearances continued as Kobe Bryant took the stage to demo NBA 2K12 using Move controls with somebody from 2K Sports. They engaged in awkward bro-style sports banter, and Kobe talked about how "terrifyingly realistic" the game is. He then left the stage, where he screamed at the sight of his own shadow.
  • Some depressed guys demoed Medieval Moves, a Move-controlled game which has you running around attacking skeletons and shooting arrows at things. The commentator's enthusiasm was about as genuine as the audience's applause afterwards.
  • Lots of pre-rendered fluff shown: Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Starhawk, and Dust 514.
  • A trailer for Bioshock Infinite was shown, surprisingly not pre-rendered. It showed blimps, a giant metal bird monster, crazy zipline antics, and some girl who was always crying. The series' creator Ken Levine then took the stage to expel a large amount of sweat and backpedal uncomfortably regarding his decision to not include motion controls in Infinite, saying the game will support the Move somehow. He also revealed that a Bioshock game is in the works for the NGP.
  • Tretton returned to talk about PS3-exclusive tidbits for upcoming multiplatform games: Bioshock Infinite will have a free copy of the original Bioshock on the disc; Saints Row 3 (November 15) will have some undecided exclusive content; the game based on next year's Star Trek movie will have an exclusive downloadable prequel chapter on PSN; the PS3 version of the new SSX snowboarding game will have a Mt. Fuji course; and Battlefield 3 will have Battlefield 1943 on-disc.
  • Kaz Hirai talked about the NGP, which will officially be known as the Playstation Vita. Wikipedia reports of his ritual suicide were greatly exaggerated.
  • One model with WiFi only will retail for $250, while the other, wiith WiFi and 3G, will sell for $300. AT&T, in its ongoing battle to consume all manner of telecommunications, will be the exclusive provider of 3G service for the Vita.
  • Several underwhelming games were shown, including Uncharted: Golden Abyss and PSV versions of LittleBig Planet and Mod Nation Racers.
  • Continuing the trend of platform-exclusive guest characters that has become so popular in fighting games, the PSV version of Street Fighter x Tekken will feature InFAMOUS lead and Bald Male Protagonist #4496 Cole MacGrath as a playable character.
  • Sony closed their conference with another montage video, this one of the PSV games they literally just announced.

Nintendo

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