And so it begins: the countdown to E3 is well and truly on and undoubtedly E3 heroes Nintendo are looking set to once again steal the show this year with its Wii U console and the information we have all been looking for.
It was at last year’s E3 conference that Ninty surprisingly announced the Wii U console with a slick video and not a lot of information, but over the course of the year things have pretty much stayed the same!
But now with the E3 build-up in full swing Nintendo are starting to release titbits of information all over the place. First up, at one of Nintendo’s investor conferences global president Satoru Iwata revealed his company’s plans to allow consumers the ability to purchase Wii U games either in a traditional packaged form or as a digital download.
This will mean that games will be available from day one in a physical ‘pop down the shops’ form, or for the lazier gamer there will be a downloadable game from the Nintendo Online Store. The benefit of this would be that Nintendo can reach a wider audience as well as appeasing hardcore gamers who like to physically own and possibly re-sell their console games.
Not only will this feature be available on the Wii U but Nintendo 3DS customers will be have the Download or buy option too. 3DS users will actually have access to the service first as Nintendo will be using the feature first in August with New Super Mario Bros. 2. 3DS owners will be able to download the game to their SD card, either by signing on to the eShop or by purchasing a download code in a retail location.
One of the odd omissions from the purchase/download system is the fact that up until now the Wii U console has shown no signs of a hard drive to support the downloaded games internally, but there is a chance that external USB storage will be supported.
Even though Nintendo are expected to do a big showing at E3, Satoru Iwata has already stated that the console’s full details still wont be showcased at the show, including the pricing plans or precise launch dates for the new HD system.
This will mean we may have to wait a further few months to actually find out when the Wii U will be available and how much it will set us back. However, Nintendo are big fans of the Christmas rush and have in the past released consoles in the build-up to the November/December Christmas rush. We’ve already heard rumours of a November release, so a launch before the festive season is looking promising.
Iwata also stated that the Wii U system will debut this year in Japan, the United States, Europe and Australia.
In addition to the console itself, a trailer has leaked for the forthcoming Wii U title “Rayman Legends“. The video has showcased a few of the console’s features and how the system works.
The trailer offers up a load of information on Nintendo’s future console including the touch controls, potential graphics and near-field communication capabilities.
The trailer appeared on YouTube but was quickly pulled down by Ubisoft. It showed a gamer playing the previously unannounced game and showing off some gameplay features. We see the touchscreen controller in action, giving us hints at how games are likely to be played on the future console.
The trailer also shows the Wii U’s additional reaction to objects that are placed on the tablet, similar to NFC connectivity used on smartphones. In this case the player puts a plastic heart on the tablet screen, which translates into an in-game power-up. This not only adds an intriguing new level to the gameplay and interaction aspects but could prove very lucrative for Nintendo and its publishers if console peripherals were to take off.
Hopefully we will see the trailer again at E3!
Xbox 360 4GB Celebration
Us Brits sure are revelling in celebration in 2012, with the country not only celebrating the diamond jubilee of our dear old Queen, but also with the London 2012 Olympics just a few short weeks away – we are filling our British Pride glasses to the maximum. And what would be the umbrella on top?
How’s about an Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect kitted out fully in the Union Jack?
Yes, Microsoft has given a release date for its Blighty-themed Xbox 360 console which is available from Amazon.co.uk starting May 25th. The pack will include a white Kinect sensor, white wireless controller and special edition Union Jack skins all for £249.99.
Buyers will also get a copy of Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports and a 3-month Gold membership subscription to Xbox Live. You can purchase the console from the 25th but you can lay down a pre-order now over at Amazon.co.uk.
Patriotism is not included!
“Lets get all of your favourite console heroes’and villains together and put them on a multi-platform beat-em-up-style fighting game… We are pretty sure that hasn’t been done yet!”
That’s pretty much how we expected Sony’s “PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale“ initial concept meetings went when the bosses at Sony decided to create an uber rip-off of Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers gaming franchise.
After being rumoured for several months, game developer SuperBot has finally announced the game and let some lucky journalists have a hands-on with the new PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale beat-em-up game.
Sony has allowed SuperBot Entertainment to show-off six of the game’s characters including Fat Princess, Parappa the Rapper, Sly Cooper, Twisted Metal’s Sweet Tooth, Killzone’s Colonel Radec and God of War’s Kratos. Sony will reveal many more characters leading up to the game’s launch, which should occur before 2012’s Christmas build-up.
As you would expect, each character has an individual combat style and references to each game will be seen throughout. With the potential fighters that are available to Sony from a decade or more of great games we could see PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale being a hugely customisable and massively addictive gaming delight.
The fighting levels will also look familiar to Playstation fans as levels from games such as Buzz, God of War, Ratchet and Clank and Little Big Planet will all be accessible and will add a further depth to the game.
Now we didn’t get a chance to play the game ourselves, but what we can tell you is that even if the game is a direct rip-off of the addictive Super Smash Brothers we are excited. We wanna see Sack Boy layeth the smack down on Crash Bandicoot fo’reals!
Google gets Zerg Rush’d
Google has a history of loving its computer games references, and today is no exception as those cheeky chappies over at the big G have gone and paid a little homage to Blizzard’s StarCraft series by including a ‘Zerg Rush’ game in its search engine homepage
Head on over to Google.com and search for ‘Zerg Rush’ for a game homage of Blizzard’s StarCraft series.
Go and do it…
…but be quick!
Check out a bit of gameplay from the PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale… Smash!