Video battle heats up
VIDEO games are not just child’s play – they’re big business – and the multi- billiondollar industry put on an explosive global show in Los Angeles recently.
Thousands of game developers, critics and costumed enthusiasts descended on the LA Convention Centre for E3 2012 to see what the industry has in store, from new hardware to fresh titles.
While there was no shock unveiling of a new Xbox or PlayStation, Nintendo revealed more of its incoming games console – a creation one expert dubbed ‘‘ a weird hybrid of a tablet and games controller’’ – that could save the company’s fortunes.
A long list of new games also received their first airing, from long anticipated sequels such as and
to new titles including and giving players plenty to anticipate in 2012.
Halo 4 Black Ops II, Dogs Wonderbook,
Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson Call of Duty:
Watch Don’t mention the PlayStation Orbis or Xbox 720 – neither Sony nor Microsoft did in their E3 announcements.
Nintendo was keen to talk about its upcoming new games console, however, and to show off a final version of the Wii U’s control, dubbed the GamePad.
The new, high- definition Nintendo games machine uses the GamePad in usual ways, with its 6.2- inch touchscreen showing different perspectives in games, letting one player plot a course or chase other players, or continue a game in another room.
Nintendo also revealed the GamePad would feature two joysticks and its console could be paired with two GamePads at once.
What the company did not reveal was a price nor a launch date, with Nintendo America’s president, Reggie Fils- Aime, simply saying it would be launched ‘‘ this holiday season’’.
Nintendo senior managing director Shigeru Miyamoto says the vague launch date should not concern potential users, telling IGN. com: ‘‘ As you can see from the show floor, the system is done and it works so you don’t have to worry about us delaying it!’’
Swinburne University communications and media lecturer Dr Mark Finn says the ‘‘ weird’’ tablet hybrid might be a strange release from any other game maker, but a ‘‘ desperate’’ Nintendo could pull it off.
‘‘ They’ve brought out wacky stuff before and made it work,’’ he says.
‘‘ Nintendo is in a bit of a desperate position at the moment, though. It’s made its first loss in corporate history and it needs to recover. They’re trying to build hype for this device.’’
The Japanese company is certainly backing its new console in a big way, showing off 23 upcoming launch titles, including fresh and
MORE SCREENS The other two big names in game consoles didn’t offer new machines, but did add new screens on which to play games.
Microsoft revealed Xbox SmartGlass, a way to incorporate smartphones and tablet computers in gameplay.
The new feature will let players use compatible smartphones and tablets as a game controller – plotting football moves in
or viewing a gun’s attributes in on their mobile device, for example. SmartGlass could also be used to transfer video from a connected smartphone to the big screen or to control TV web surfing from a tablet once Microsoft adds Internet Explorer to the Xbox later this year.
The move is seen as a way to counter Nintendo’s Wii U double screen.
Not to be outdone, Sony also announced ways to use multiple game screens, showing off more games that use both the TV and its handheld console, the PlayStation Vita. Madden NFL Halo 4
Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton says the feature, called Cross- Play, will feature in
letting users battle against up to three friends, whether they’re using a PS3 at home or a Vita on the bus.
Tretton also announced a future CrossPlay feature for that will let players use the Vita as an advanced PS3 controller.
Little Big Planet 2
EXTRA CONTENT In addition to a long list of incoming titles, Sony and Microsoft have added new content to their consoles.
Sony boosted its $ 69.95 yearly subscription service, PlayStation Plus, by introducing an Instant Game Collection with 10 titles for download plus a new game of the month.
Meanwhile, Microsoft announced the addition of movie- streaming service QuickFlix to its Australian offering and also revealed voice- powered internet searches would also be offered in the country this year.