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2011 E3 SHOW COVERAGE

INTRODUCTION
So here we are at yet another E3 Show and again we expect this to be a massive year for Sony primarily due to the first major unveiling of the PSP2, but also due to a massive list of stunning PS3 software. Of course Nintendo and Microsoft will be trying to steal their thunder with Nintendo rumoured to announce a successor to the Wii while Microsoft are rumoured to be price cutting the XBox 360. We'll bring you all the news as it happens, and at 10am on Tuesday (Australian EST) we'll be liveblogging the Sony Conference to bring you all the details. Stay tuned...

E3 Related Previews

FRIDAY JUNE 10, 2011

We were all surprised by the announcement of CCP's Dust 514 which will tie into their subscription based EVE Online, however the question remained if the PS3 game would also go subscription based - especially as it was noted to be a downloadable game (as well as possibly retail). The answer though is no, this isn't a subscription based game for PS3 owners.

Sort of not E3 related but Sony have officially cancelled the release of Motorstorm: Apocalypse in Japan following the Earthquake over there. Of course Japanese gamers could import the title from overseas if they really wanted it.

Vanillware has confirmed that Dragon's Crown, the rather gorgeous looking 4-player action game for PS Vita was originally intended to be a Dreamcast title. We have to say, we're glad it's still alive and coming to Vita.

According to the developers working on Soul Calibur V the game which includes up to 30 fighters will be made up of plenty of new characters. In fact around half the roster will be new additions to the franchise.

Well the E3 Show was pretty massive this year with around 46,800 people attending. The organisers have just confirmed that 2012 will see the event held in Los Angeles yet again with the show dated for June 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

THURSDAY JUNE 9, 2011

Don't worry about the lack of previews, we'll be getting to them very soon. As for other news, read on...

While we still get used to the name PS Vita, it appears that, at this stage at least, the console will be region free according to Michael Denny. This means that, just like the PSP, you'll be able to import games from other regions.

Talking to the BBC Kaz Hirai has stated that Sony "may never know" what data was stolen during the PSN Security Breach. You can check out the interview here.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 8, 2011

Three years ago Sony proudly announced that Rockstar were developing a PS3 exclusive game called Agent, although nothing has been seen of the game since the announcement. GameTrailers TV host Geoff Keighley asked Jack Tretton at E3 today and the response was so positive about exclusivity with Jack stating "I donít know where weíre going to end up on that." No longer an exclusive? We're guessing it could be going the way of L.A. Noire which was also originally a PS3 exclusive before going multiplatform.

In the same interview questions were raised about the Playstation Vita's release date. At Sony's press conference Kaz Hirai stated a "holiday" release date however Jack Tretton has now stated that it would be released by the end of Sony's financial year, March 31, 2012. As per our prediction before E3, we think one territory this year, and the others early next year. But which ones...

Irrational Gamesí Ken Levine has confirmed that the Playstation Vita Bioshock game will be an original title and not a port of Bioshock Infinite.

Nintendo Conference
Well Nintendo held their E3 Conference today and besides a smattering of Wii and 3DS games, many of which are certain to be crowd pleasers, the big news was the announcement of the Wii U. Yes, that is the very silly name of their next console. It looks like a Nintendo Wii in the consoles form factor, and will use 25GB discs - but not Blu-Ray compatible in any way - and will output 1080p video. Some titles were shown, however it has since been revealed that the third party titles shown were actually using PC, PS3 or XBox 360 footage to represent the final quality. The console, which isn't priced yet, will be out in 2012.

But here's the real kicker, the controller. It all sounds impressive to have a 6.2" touch screen in the middle of the controller but it's so big that holding the controller is akin to holding a tablet to play games. It's massive and to be honest while it may offer some very unique gameplay it looks cumbersome and tiresome. Questions arise too about the price of additional controllers. Still, we all had difficulties believing the Nintendo Wii could succeed in a "HD" era.

TUESDAY JUNE 7, 2011

Sony Conference
Well it's almost time for the Sony Press Conference and we'll update in this liveblog constantly from 10.00am Australian EST. We expect the PSP2/NGP will be a major focus but with a scheduled runtime of 2 hours there will be a tonne of stuff shown and we expect some big surprises. Stay tuned as we liveblog the event...

  • (9:55) Only five minutes to go until showtime... I just sense that with the Playstation Network issues of late Sony will be looking to blow everything out of the water to make this massive...
  • (10:00) Going to be starting a few minutes late apparently, people still filing into the room.
  • (10:10) Apparently we'll be kicking off around 10.20 or thereabouts.
  • (10:16) And the show kicks off... Sizzle video showing PS3, NGP, Move, with plenty of game snippets for each platform.
  • (10:20) Jack Tretton comes to the stage, 6000 people live in the auditorium, talking about the elephant in the room - the network outage. A thank you to third parties for support during the outage, last weeks PS3 sales were up 27% from last year. To the consumers; apologise personally and from the company for outage. Network activity is over 90% the level prior to outage.
  • (10:25) Sony will soon be providing access to CinemaNow to provide more content to the PS3 (we suspect this will be America only).
  • (10:26) Time for Naughty Dog's latest title, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception with Evan Wells on the stage to demo the game. This level takes place on a large ship of some kind which is swaying in rough seas. Lighting is spectacular, and Nathan Drake sways to the movement of the ship too. Stunning water effects, and a game that should reach new benchmarks. June 20th, multiplayer beta released. Tie-in with Subway for Americans to get the online game in October.
  • (10:34) Full trailer being shown for Uncharted: Drake's Deception in 3D for those in the audience. Going to be an amazing game, no doubt about it...
  • (10:37) Jack Tretton back for Insomniac Games to show off Resistance 3. Set 4 years after the last game, the Chimera have won the war, but one man is set to go to New York for one last effort. It looks pretty spectacular, and will be in 3D and Playstation Move as well.
  • (10:41) Resistance 3 Sharpshooter Bundle to be release for $US150 when the game launches in September
  • (10:42) Kratos will be in 3D! God of War Origins is the two PSP games released on PS3. ICO and Shadow of the Colossus collection also in 3D. Both bundles release in September.
  • (10:43) Two new 3D products coming out this year - a Playstation Branded 3D display - a 24" 3DTV essentially - two people playing games see two images from the TV! Two gamers seeing different images on one TV! Damn.. that's awesome. Also, Fall will see the release of active 3D glasses for $69. Full 3D bundle with TV, glasses, HDMI cable and Resistance 3 for $499.
  • (10:46) 2K Sports demoing NBA 2K12 with Playstation Move support called "NBA on the Move" demoed with Kobe Bryant. Due out October 4th.
  • (10:52) New Playstation Move title due this Fall Medievil Moves: Deadman's Quest. A lot of the moves look similar to those in their previous game, Sports Champions.
  • (10:57) Jack Tretton talking about Move titles, and now looking at a trailer for inFamous 2 which is due out tomorrow in fact. This Fall user generated content will be added to the game including Move Support.
  • (11:00) September will see the addition to the Playstation Move functionality.
  • (11:02) From the makers of Warhawk, and due in 2012, comes Starhawk. Trailer looks very nice indeed although only pre-rendered CG, with no in-game footage shown.
  • (11:03) Woo! New Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time trailer shown, although not much there. It's coming out in 2012.
  • (11:05) From CCP in Iceland comes an all new game calld Dust 514, a PS3 exclusive shooter which links directly to their other PC game, EVE Online. The game supports the Move controller, has a dedicated Home Space, and connects to NGP. Game is due out in (US) Summer 2012.
  • (11:09) Jack's back and introduces a 2K title from Irrational Games - yes, it's Bioshock Infinite. In-game footage trailer was short but very nice. Ken Levine is on-stage and talking about his original negativity for Playstation Move, but has been blown away by the hardware and will include Move support in the game. Ken has also announced Bioshock on the NGP! Consumers who get Bioshock Infinite on PS3 get the original game on the disc for free as well!
  • (11:15) THQ - Saint's Row - exclusive game mode and content only on PS3.
  • (11:16) Paramount and Bad Robot are developing Star Trek co-op action adventure game with Playstation Move support. Paramount releasing a Star Trek Phaser modelled Move controller.
  • (11:18) EA will have PS3 exclusive content. SSX will have an exclusive Mt Fuji race, Need for Speed: The Run will include an exclusive Blu-Ray disc with 7 additional cars, Battlefield 3 will include Battlefield 1943 full game for free on the disc.
  • (11:20) Kaz Hirai appears on stage to introduce the NGP and talk networking. Talking about Playstation Suite which will appear on Playstation, but also Android, devices. More information on that in future...
  • (11:23) NGP time... Dual touchpad, dual cameras, OLED screen as we know. Offical name is Playstation Vita.
  • (11:25) "Vita means Life". Talking about tech specs which we know about. Has Wifi and 3G/Wifi models. Partnering with AT&T for exclusive access... Boos and jeers from the crowd! Pricing and deals in other territories soon.
  • (11:27) NEAR to find friends and people close to you to play and share content together. Scott Rohde from SCE Worldwide Studios to demo some of the games coming to the PSV. Sony Bend showing off Uncharted: Golden Abyss which looks stunning and makes use of the PSV's Sixaxis controls and dual touch areas.
  • (11:34) "Social Action RPG" called Ruin which is compatable with PS3. Play on the PSV and then transfer the save to PS3 to continue from where you left off.
  • (11:39) ModNation Racers coming to PSV, however this is a completely new game from the previous titles. They're demoing the level creator on the PSV which has been upgraded for the system to make use of the touch screen. Uses back touch panel to generate terrain.
  • (11:44) PS Vita titles will have cross-platform functionality with the PS3 - including online gameplay with Wipeout, cloud saving and content sharing.
  • (11:45) LittleBigPlanet is coming to Playstation Vita, trailer shown with plenty of touch screen use.
  • (11:48) Capcom's Street Fighter X Tekken coming to Playstation Vita! In conjunction with Sucker Punch Cole from inFamous will be joining the game too! On-stage demo of the game by Yoshinoro Onon from Capcom Japan - and damn it looks nice.
  • (11:53) 80 games in development for Playstation Vita - Sizzle video shows some of the upcoming content - Uncharted, Wipeout, LittleBigPlanet, Hustle Kings, ModNation Racers, Super Stardust, Ruin, Everybody's Golf, Shinobi, Dynasty Warriors, Tennis, among the titles shown
  • (11:56) Kaz is back on the stage, released Holiday season this year - Wifi model priced at $249.99 (249 Euro, 24,980 yen) - major applause - and the 3G model is $US299.99 (299 Euro, 29,980 yen).
  • (11:58) Jack Tretton is back on stage. That's a wrap folks... A great presentation, but perhaps lacking a surpsie or two in our books. The PSV pricing is impressive though and it will sell big numbers.

    Ubisoft Conference
    Ubisoft kick off their 25th Anniversary by announcing Rayman Origins and showing a demo which is delightful to say the least and includes a great little Tetris styled platform section. Includes 4-player co-op. No date or platforms.

    Driver: San Francisco by Reflections given the trailer treatment with promises of some groundbreaking multiplayer. Dan Hay on the stage to introduce a Ubisoft Montreal production - it's a trailer and jaw-dropping on-stage demo of Far Cry 3 which looks spectacular, is back in the jungles, and is due out in 2012.

    Randy Pitchford from Gearbox Games is on stage to announce another new game, a World War II shooter called Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 which is an over the top action game - think Inglorious Basterds. It's due out in the first half of 2012.

    Next up is a film inspired game - Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson introduce The Adventures of Tintin: The Game which is based upon their upcoming films.

    Next up is Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier which looks fantastic as expected and they showed off the Kinect voice controls - let's hope this transfers to PS3. The third person squad-based shooter is looking really nice with 4-player co-op. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online has been announced for PC and is absolutely free! Both games will be linked together so you can carry over aspects from one game to another.

    Talking about social networking and sharing content. Trackmania 2 announced where you can create tracks, share them and play together. Due out in September while developers MediaPlanet are also planning FPS and RPG content creation games as well.

    Just Dance 3 announced and will be coming to Playstaiton Move this October. Rock Smith confirmed for release in America this October. The game uses a real guitar as a controller.

    Assassin's Creed: Revelations is Ezio's final chapter as he looks for the secrets left behind by Altier. It looks fantastic and will be released in November 2011.

    All-in-all Ubisoft have had a very strong showing - with a wide range of content, a few big surprises. Next up, Sony...

    Post-Conference Info: Michel Ancel has confirmed that while Beyond Good & Evil 2 is in development the game won't be released on this generation of consoles. I guess it's still a few years off then, and would that be confirmation of the first PS4 title?!

    Electronic Arts Conference
    Electronic Arts have held their press conference and they showed off a tonne of games. First up was Mass Effect 3 which was dated March 6, 2012, then Need for Speed: The Run followed by Bioware's Greg Zeschuk introducing Star Wars: The Old Republic. A trailer for SSX was shown with January 2012 release date announced and the ability to drop into any mountain range in the world.

    Matt Bilbey showed off FIFA 12 and showed off all-new tactical defending, improved ball control and a new player impact engine. EA Sports Football Club announced allowing gamers to connect and compete online with friends while linking to real-world results.

    Trailer for Madden NFL 12 shown with August 30 release date confirmed. The Sims Social announced for Facebook - virtual cheating on Facebook - Woo!

    Two new games are up next 38 Studios first title, Kingdoms of Amalar: Reckoning is shown and is an mipressive open-world fantasy RPG. The second is Insomniac's title which is going multiplatform. Ted Price is on stage and announces Overstrike. This is a team of four mercenaries (4-player co-op anyone?) out to save the world. The game is set in the real-world and has a realistic action slant. It looks great, and seems to combine the shooting of Resistance with the gadgets from Ratchet & Clank. Time will tell how well it all works though.

    Next up Battlefield 3 which uses the new Frostbite 2.0 engine on current platforms. A short multiplayer clip shown on a map in Paris, and boy does it look impressive. Battlelog Social services announced - and unlike a competing franchise - this will be 100% free! Multiplatform open beta confirmed for September with the game due October 25. And that's it for EA's conference...

    Post-Conference Info: Sadly for many Australian gamers Peter Moore has confirmed that at this stage there is no EA Sports Cricket being worked on for announcement. Also confirmed, there are no plans for a first person Madden title while there will be no NBA title this year, with Tiburon picking up development duties for NBA Live 13 due out in 2012.

    Microsoft Conference
    There wasn't too much exciting at the Microsoft Press Conference - no price cuts and unless you have the Kinect few games to get excited about. There was a tonne of Kinect games announced, Mass Effect 3 allow you to use voice commands and dialogue during discussions, while all future Tom Clancy games will support the device.

    In terms of big games Halo 4 was announced, as was Fable: The Journey, and Forza Motorsport 4 will launch on October 11. XBox Live TV was announced so, with a Kinect, you can say the name of a TV show and it will start playing while Youtube will now be supported too.

    To kick off Microsoft's conference a 10 minute demo of Modern Warfare 3 was shown and as we previously know we will see the expansion map packs released on XBox 360 first for a limited time, as has been the case for the last couple of games. The game is due out November 8.

    Tomb Raider was also given an extensive demo, and it looks pretty spectacular, with a Fall (Q'2) 2012 release date confirmed.

    SUNDAY JUNE 5, 2011

    E3 2011 actually kicked off on Friday with Konami's pre-E3 Conference. We alreay know Hideo Kojima isn't attending E3 this year which is sure to disappoint many. Still Konami had a few surprises, not least of which are remakes of some of their biggest titles. Announced are Zone of Enders HD which contains the two games in a bundle, Silent Hill HD which contains the second and third games. The biggest reveal though was Metal Gear Solid HD which includes Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The great news is that these games aren't emulated, but have been developed to run natively on the PS3, have improved artwork and textures, redesigned interfaces, and trophy support. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker includes a new "Transfarring" system has Kojima dubs it, which allows you to transfer save games between the PSP and PS3 versions of the game.

    The last tease from Konami was a very brief flaming logo in the letter "C". What's that? Well Contra no less although no platforms or details were announced at all.

    Electronic Arts Partners and Insomniac have confirmed that the developers multi-platform title will indeeed be unveiled at this years E3 Show. This is the first game that the Ratchet & Clank developer will be releasing on a non-Sony platform in their history.

    Respawn Entertainment, the company formed from everyone that left Infinity Ward, has confirmed they will not be attending the E3 Show to show off their new product. Likewise Bungie have confirmed they will not being showing off their new "10 year" game for Activision. Staying on the no-show news Konami have confirmed that Metal Gear Solid: Rising won't be at E3 this year, although the game is still aiming for a 2012 release.

    SATURDAY JUNE 4, 2011

    Well E3 week is here folks and unlike last year when I ended up in hospital for a few days I plan pretty extensive coverage this year including a live blog of the Sony conference at 10am on Tuesday morning as well as details of major events at Microsoft and Nintendo's conferences as well as 3rd party companies. Stay tuned...

    Sony Related E3 Predictions
    The 2011 E3 Show should be an interesting year with some major news expected from Sony and Nintendo in particular. Here we tell you what we think will be some of the surprises from Sony at the show...

  • 1. NGP will be announced (and we've already seen rumours of it being called PS Vita), but the system will launch in America this November with Japan and Europe following in early 2012.
  • 2. NGP will be priced at $US299 with a 3G model coming in at $349 at a later date.
  • 3. Sony issue multiple apologies for Playstation Network outage.
  • 4. Much advanced version of Sorcery is shown with a release date set for late 2011.
  • 5. A new fitness title is announced for Playstation Move similar to the EyeToy Kinetic titles.
  • 6. New games in the following franchises to be shown off: Destruction Derby, Contra, Warhawk, Final Fantasy, Tekken, Resistance, Sly Cooper, and God of War.
  • 7. Quantic Dream to announced next game which remains PS3 exclusive.
  • 8. Square-Enix finally announce remake of Final Fantasy VII.
  • 9. New Pixeljunk game announced for PS3 - Pixeljunk Monster 2.
  • 10. Rockstar tease with a trailer for GTAV, late 2012 release confirmed.
  • 11. HD remakes are a big focus from many companies this year. Missed a game years ago? There will be a lot being remade for re-release.
  • 12. New God of War title announced - for release on PSP2/NGP/PS Vita in 2012.
  • 13. Nintendo to have a strong conference with plenty of games for the 3DS and while the Wii get a smattering of new titles, it's the Wii2 announcement that generates massive buzz - although a date and price aren't announced.
  • 14. Microsoft have a pretty average show overall with a lack of major new titles, no new hardware.
  • 15. Sony with the PSP2, 3D Games, Move, and a strong lineup of PS3/PSP2 titles dominate the E3 Show and declared the winner.