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Tag: E3 (71-80 of 88)

Best of E3: 'Rage' leads the Game Critics Awards nominations

rageImage Credit: Bethesda SoftworksSo what was all the rage at this year’s E3 videogaming convention? Well, the answer is apparently Rage (pictured), the post-apocalyptic first-person shooter from famed developer id Software (Doom, Quake). Rage received five nominations — more than any other game — when the Game Critics Awards announced its Best of E3 2010 nominees Tuesday morning. Along with Rage, the Best of Show category consisted of the motion-sensing dance game Dance Central, the action-adventure game Disney’s Epic Mickey, the puzzler Portal 2, and Nintendo’s upcoming 3-D-without-the-glasses handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS.

The nominations were chosen by an independent group of 31 media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly. We’re personally disappointed that Limbo, an eerily gorgeous indie platformer for the Xbox 360, didn’t receive any nods — but it was only one tiny game in a sea of hundreds, so it could have easily been overlooked. Winners will be announced on July 6, but until then, check out EW.com’s gallery featuring our picks for the 21 best games at E3 this year.

Gamers, did your favorite E3 title get recognized by the Game Critics Awards? What was the biggest snub? And what upcoming games are you craving to play the most?

Nintendo announces the 3DS: Get ready for 3-D gaming without 3-D glasses

E3-nintendo-DS3_240.jpg  Image Credit: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesIf the folks at Nintendo were worried about Microsoft’s Kinect stealing its innovation thunder at this year’s E3, it was game over for those concerns yesterday after the venerable videogame company debuted the 3DS, a handheld gaming device that features a 3.5 inch 3-D screen that works without 3-D glasses. Just look at the screen with your plain old eyes, and a multi-dimensional Mario brightly smiles back at you. The 3DS case looks basically like the current Nintendo DS handheld device (including a second, 2-D touch screen), with a new analog controller, motion sensitivity, and two external cameras that let you take 3-D photos. I got to use a 3DS for all of 90 seconds after the show, and even though the demo was just a series of screens featuring classic Nintendo characters, I’m fairly certain I briefly achieved Nirvana while holding it.

Okay, not really, but it is an uncanny experience, looking at a flat screen and seeing depth with just your naked eyes. READ FULL STORY

E3: Sony sets its (3-D) eyes on hardcore gamers

E3-clownImage Credit: David McNew/Getty ImagesThe main message Sony conveyed during its two-hour E3 presentation Tuesday afternoon was this: “Hardcore gamers, we’re here for you.” While Microsoft has spent most of its energy (and money) touting its intuitive motion-detection device, Kinect, and Nintendo has continued to position its Wii and the new 3DS as family-friendly systems, Sony assured hardcore gamers (men in their 20s and 30s who crave ultraviolent shooters and prefer their controllers to include 84 buttons) that they hadn’t been forgotten. In fact, Sony brought out Kevin Butler, the company’s fictitious vice president in its TV ads, to issue a gaming manifesto. “Gaming is having a ridiculously huge TV in a tiny one-bedroom apartment,” Butler proclaimed to the audience, which erupted into laughter and applause. “(Gaming is) staying up till 3 a.m. to earn a trophy that isn’t real. And it’s girls who know that the way to a man’s heart is through a melee attack. I love gaming!”

True, Sony spent a significant chunk of time on its own motion controller, the PlayStation Move (out Sept. 19), which is basically a supercharged Wii Remote. But the tech giant knew what most of the assembled audience truly wanted to see, and it delivered on that front with demos and glimpses of READ FULL STORY

Microsoft Kinect: We tried out the games, and they're fun (for the most part)

KinectImage Credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP ImagesMicrosoft announced Monday that Kinect, its new motion-detection add-on for the Xbox 360 gaming system, would hit stores Nov. 4 with a slate of 15 games. This announcement followed an elaborate presentation on Sunday that portrayed Kinect as nothing less than a significant step forward in human evolution. Okay, but is it any fun? I got to try my hand at several of Kinect’s launch titles, including Kinect Adventures!, Kinect Joy Ride, Kinect Sports, and Your Shape, and yes, Kinect is certainly fun. But at the moment, the device comes off as merely a slightly upgraded version of the Nintendo Wii. There’s huge potential here, but Kinect still needs some tinkering. After the jump, a detailed report of each game: READ FULL STORY

Kinect: Microsoft's answer to the Wii

xbox_360_slimAfter a year of speculation and a blockbuster presentation last night, Microsoft officially revealed (most) of the important details surrounding its motion-control camera — once dubbed Project Natal, now called Kinect — to assembled gaming press and industry today in Los Angeles. The camera system will debut in North America on Nov. 4 with 15 launch titles and will be compatible with all current Xbox 360 consoles. Curiously, Microsoft did not announce a price for the Kinect, although gaming blog Kotaku is reporting that GameStop is charging $149 for Kinect pre-orders. As a kicker, Microsoft also announced that a smaller, slimmer version of the Xbox 360 (in a shiny black case, with a 250 GB hard drive and wifi internet capability built in) will be shipping to stores today for the same $299 price as the old Xbox 360.

But back to Kinect. Is it worth all the hype? Depends on what kind of gamer you are. READ FULL STORY

Microsoft Kinect: New gaming device debuts at E3 with a mind-blowing presentation

x-box-kinectImage Credit: Elisabeth Caren/AP Images One of the perks of this job is being able to go to some major Hollywood awards shows and performances, but attending Microsoft’s unveiling of its new Xbox 360 motion-detection device, called Kinect, was an experience that trumped all the rest. The tech giant hired the French-Canadian circus group Cirque du Soleil to create an all-out extravaganza that’d introduce Kinect (and kick off the annual E3 videogaming convention) with a bang, and boy did they succeed. I think. See, I’m still trying to process the hallucinogenic fever that occurred Sunday night inside L.A.’s Galen Center. I’ll attempt to describe some of the evening below, but I also encourage you to catch the TV broadcast of the show on MTV this Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (It’ll air again at 9 p.m. on Nick at Nite, mtvU, MTV Hits, and Logo). Now, grab your poncho and let’s begin. No, seriously, you’ll need a poncho for this ride. READ FULL STORY

15 minutes with Stan Lee: Excelsior!

Stan-lee_l Life would be less super without Stan Lee, the legendary comic book creator behind Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the X-Men, and other iconic heroes. We chatted with him last week at E3 in Los Angeles, where the 86-year-old was promoting Activision’s upcoming videogame, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What do you like about this game?

STAN LEE: Just the fact that there are so many characters under your control and the fact that you can team up with three other players at the same time. Every one of them is accurately portrayed. You can be a villain, you can be a hero, you can play with your friends…it’s great. It even has a surprise ending that I can’t tell you about.

You’ve been telling stories since the '60s. What do you make of all of the sophisticated video game tools that are available to the current generation of storytellers? Do you think all of this technology makes their job too easy?

It’s never easy to tell stories. I wish they had these videogames when I was getting into the business. Videogames are like movies but with even more imagination. When you watch a movie you have no control over it, but with a videogame, it’s like watching a movie you can be part of; you can determine which way it will go. It’s like you can be the audience and also the director at the same time. I find that incredibly exciting. I wish that I were more in that field; I wish I knew the technical part and could actually create a videogame; I think it’s much harder to do than a motion picture. You start out with what a motion picture has — a basic story and characters and all of that — but then you have all these options that you thrown in that a motion picture doesn't have. It must be harder to write a videogame than a movie.

EW.com: Let’s say you were Stan Lee in your formative years right now. Do you think you would be still be a comic book creator, or do you think you would’ve been a videogame designer?

Stan Lee: I enjoy creating characters and I enjoy telling stories. Since videogames are a bigger field than comic books right now — they’re bigger than just about anything now — I would want to be in videogames. I would try to come up with some ideas that are different than what they’re already doing or else it wouldn’t be any fun. It would be a challenge. To me a videogame is more of a challenge than a comic book. From that point of view, I’d want to get into it.

Which of the two mediums — movies or videogames — have been better at capturing the essence of the comic book characters that you’ve created?

Certainly, the movies give you more characterization because a videogame, the very nature of what it is, must have continual action and obviously the characters have their own powers and weaknesses, but it's a little hard getting into their personalities the way you can in a movie. A videogame is different; it’s something where you’re a part of it and, at least with today’s games, it’s mostly action. In a movie you probably get more of an actual story. Today it seems that what the public wants is to play videogames and to be part of the action. Videogames are so big today; obviously there is room for something where the action is more paramount than the characterization.

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E3 Wrap Up: Cool games, big turkeys, and eye-exploding spectacle

E3_PS3_l Adam B. Vary: So, John, it's a day after the end of E3, i.e. the annual videogaming expo where companies like Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, EA and Ubisoft show off their newest games, gadgets, and wave-of-the-future hooziewhatsits. And I have to say, between all the giant video screens, booming speakers, gaming pods and mobs of eager gamers with only a cursory appreciation for other people's personal space, I'm still in recovery. How did you take to your very first E3 experience?

John Young: I still feel abused by it all. It's a complete sensory overload that initially seemed really impressive in an oh-this-is-probably-what-the-future-will-feel-like-50-years-from-now way. But after eight hours of being exposed to the rattling bass and the retina-searing displays, it starts doing things to your brain. But I did get to check out some very promising games. The 12-year-old version of me would have had the best time of his life.

Adam B. Vary: No kidding! I think the 12-year-old me would have especially lost his friggin' mind over what's become the biggest story out of E3, Microsoft's possibly-revolutionary Project Natal camera system, which you covered so well earlier this week. But let's face it, the 12-year-old me is so often also the 29-year-old me, and both, um, me's were stoked by the games, man: Nintendo announced a sequel to the crazy-fun Wii game Super Mario Galaxy and demo'd the long-awaited follow up to Wii Sports called Wii Sports Resort. EA presented Mass Effect 2, a sci-fi adventure that blurs even further the lines between playing a game and participating in a choose-your-own-adventure feature film. And Sony showcased the epically aggro God of War III, which had equally epic lines of people waiting to play it on the show floor.

John Young: You're right, it is ultimately about the games, and boy did they look sweet. Unfortunately, most of the ones that totally knocked my socks off weren't playable yet. I'm talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that could genuinely compete with World of Warcraft; Avatar, based on James Cameron's upcoming sci-fi movie, with its breathtakingly realized alien planet called Pandora (Jeff Jensen gushed about the game earlier this week); and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which made the audience at Sony's press conference literally gasp when they saw just how beautiful it was. Speaking of press conferences, who do you think came out on top: Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony?

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Nintendo and Sony at E3: Forget the fancy controllers, bring on the awesome games!

Nintendo and Sony announced nothing at their respective E3 gala presentations yesterday as omigod-if-this-works-I-think-I-may-have-just-glimpsed-the-future impressive as Microsoft's Spielberg-endorsed Project Natal. (Seriously, as a friend pointed out to me, the thing is like watching the earliest version of the holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation, except actually frickin' real.) But that didn't stop Microsoft's competitors from trying super hard to top Natal.

Along with announcing games including Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini's March Again, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Nintendo trotted out what they're calling Wii Motion Plus, a small cube that plugs into the bottom of your Wiimote, allowing the controller extra sensitivity. Nintendo showed off the add-on doohickey by demo-ing a sequel-of-sorts to their insanely popular Wii Sports, called Wii Sports Resort, which lets players take on games requiring subtle, complex movement, like hitting some ping pong, slicing a sword and shooting an arrow. At the very least, the game (out July 26) looked enticing enough to get those who still only use their Wii's to play tennis and go bowling to actually shell out for another game. But the company's claims that the Wii Motion Plus will revolutionize videogaming would be slightly less dubious if they hadn't announced Wii Sports Resort and Wii Motion Plus at last year's E3. Weirder still, the Nintendo folks pretended like those announcements last year had never even happened.

And it's Sony's games that really, truly impressed. From the supple renaissance-era details of Assassin's Creed II to the haunting storybook scope of The Last Guardian to the epic brutality of God of War III, it's becoming more and more clear just why videogames make so much more money than even the most successful Hollywood blockbusters. Nintendo's games looked like they were super fun to play, but it was dry as toast watching other people play them. Not so Sony's games; shot and paced like top-of-the-line movies, I could happily watch someone else playing these (quite intimidatingly complex) games for hours. To wit, embedded below is the (slightly NSFW) demo for the PS3's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves — tell me by the end you aren't thinking it's more fun than Terminator Salvation and X-Men Origins: Wolverine combined. (For comparison, after the jump I've embedded the demo for Nintendo's new Super Mario Bros. Wii — tell me how long you lasted before clicking "stop.")

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Microsoft's Project Natal at E3: No wonder Steven Spielberg is so excited

If you needed any reassurance that the videogame industry is doing just fine, thank you very much, then Microsoft's E3 press conference Monday morning provided it. Hundreds of journalists and industry members crammed into the Galen Center in Los Angeles, creating an unending sea of Twittering laptops and iPhones. The fellow next to me had journeyed all the way from Sweden to be here. Luckily for him, and us, Microsoft delivered. It was a splashy presentation with surprising star voltage — look, it's Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr! And what's this? Steven Spielberg at a video game show? But all the razzle-dazzle didn't overshadow the fact that Microsoft had some pretty substantial products to show off.

The coolest, by far, is a motion-capture camera for the Xbox 360 that Microsoft is currently calling Project Natal. This is what's making Spielberg so excited. Natal, which looks like a rectangular bar that sits above or below your TV, can track your body's movements in three dimensions. Thus, there's no need for a game controller, or as Don Mattrick, the senior VP of Xbox, puts it, "We're using the best controller ever invented: you."

Natal is Microsoft's response to Nintendo's extremely successful Wii, and it promises to trump the Wii in a couple of ways. First off, Natal utilizes face recognition — simply stand in front of your TV, and Natal will figure out who you are and sign you in. Second, Natal features voice recognition, so you can use verbal commands to do everything from playing a movie (simply say "play movie") to having a conversation with a virtual character. The latter is where we enter groundbreaking (and potentially unnerving) territory. Developer Lionhead Studios showed off a Natal project in which players can interact with a virtual boy named Milo, who responds to your voice, movements, and facial expressions. It's best to check out the demo video yourself, embedded below:

With inventions such as Natal, we're quickly approaching a future in which humans can partake in a virtual experience that's nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. And then we'll be faced with intriguing decisions: If a skateboarding video game requires the same body movements as actual skateboarding, why not simply go outside and ride a skateboard? If you can have authentic conversations with a virtual person, will you choose to do so — possibly at the expense of your true relationships? For now, let's admit that Microsoft's Natal made quite an impression. There's no word yet on when the device will be available or how much it'll cost, but it will be compatible with every Xbox 360 system.

PopWatchers, what do you make of Natal? Think it'll be the death of the Nintendo Wii? Or are you not convinced? And who here thinks Milo is a bit too charming for his own good? I think the little guy may be up to something…Skynet, anyone?

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