Gaming
Microsoft's E3 2010 Press Conference
Pre-E3 Wrap Up

The annual E3 press conference is almost at hand, and the Internet is abuzz with anticipation of the coming announcements. The big three companies will once again meet to showcase the best new games and hardware heading to store shelves. So what are we expecting to see at this year’s E3 from the big three companies, and what new surprises could be in store for us? NOTE: These are simply the big three companies and their exclusive titles, not mainly focusing on many multi-platform third party publishers (EA, Ubisoft, etc).

Microsoft's E3 2010 Press Conference

Microsoft has been pretty good in past conferences, and will attempt to keep that rep for the coming show. With Xbox Live as strong as ever and plenty of exclusive titles to keep gamers coming back for more, Microsoft is hoping to sustain its interest and gain a lead in the console wars…even if their console still does that thing with the red rings…

This year will be all about Natal. Microsoft gave a demo of their motion control hardware at last year’s E3, holding gamers interest at the possibility of gaming without a controller. While the hardware seemed to work efficiently and looked engaging, the details and software provided will be key in selling this new addition. Not only will the price point play a key factor, but the games included will influence consumers to add this to their wish lists, or save themselves the embarrassment of flailing around like a maniac for a few mini-games that hold your interest for a few minutes.

Not to be outdone by the prime function of their console, Microsoft will be bringing the big titles to E3. Halo: Reach will be sure to lead the pack. With the beta already stirring 2.7 million Halo fans up, we can expect more details and footage to hold our appetites. Though far off in the distance of early 2011, Epic Games is already prepping Gears of War 3 to showcase. The conclusion to the trilogy is offering more mayhem, more co-op, and even more curbstomping goodness that we can feast our eyes on at E3. Good things do come in threes, as Fable 3 will be showcased for it’s Fall release as well, possibly detailing the involvement of Natal for a few elements of its gameplay.

Nintendo's E3 2010 Press Conference

Nintendo has a lot riding on this year’s press conference. Though New Super Mario Brothers and Mario Galaxy 2 are getting critical acclaim and the console has sold nicely in the past, loads of shovelware are continuing to pour out and sales for the Wii console are slipping. Nintendo needs something to convince gamers to pick up their Wii-motes for another year.

When it comes to hardware, Nintendo is pulling no punches. To further their domination of the handheld market (and possibly the world), the Nintendo 3DS will be showcased. Featuring “3-D gaming without the glasses”, this device will capture the whole 3D fetish we seem to have going on in the media lately and put it in the palm of your hand. Not to be outdone, the Wii Vitality Sensor should make another appearance. Being teased every so slightly at least year’s conference, we will finally be able to see what this thing can do in-game, whether it be to enhance the experience or cut off any circulation to your index finger.

As far as games are concerned, the most highly anticipated title will be the new Legend of Zelda. Nintendo has been very hush, hush with details surrounding the game, leaving much to speculation. If the predecessors are any indication, it’s safe to bet that we will dust off our shields to dive back into the dungeons once more. Lest we forget Metroid: Other M, the Team Ninja/Nintendo joint venture that was scheduled to release this month, only to be pushed back until Fall 2010. Expect actual gameplay footage with a demo of the control scheme. Conduit 2 will return, attempting to perfect the shooter from lessons learned in the first title. Even the DS titles are shaping up nicely, with Okamiden soon to bring Okami action gameplay to the handhelds. Epic Mickey fills out the list nicely, promising a platformer with an unusual style.

Sony's E3 2010 Press Conference

The “Year of the PS3″ could be this year indeed. PS3 sales have been climbing since juggernaut titles like Uncharted 2 and God of War 3 have taken the gaming world on a crazy thrill ride, influencing many to purchase the console and join in. With many other titles on the way and the competition heating up, Sony will have to keep the pressure on to combat Microsoft and Nintendo’s popular hardware.

Sony is pushing 3D gaming like no other. Recently announced at a press conference, 20 games are coming in stereoscopic 3D to the PS3 in the company’s next fiscal year. There will be a few adaptations of already released titles, along with a couple of specifically made 3D titles like Killzone 3. Purchasing the game may not be enough, as a Sony Bravia 3D television is going to set you back about a good $2,000-$5,000 bucks. The question that will be raised for gamers is how much they are willing to pay for this new feature. Times like this we must ask ourselves…what would James Cameron do?

The Playstation Move will make its return to E3, looking to give the Wii and Natal a run for their money. There are a good handful of developers lined up to create titles for the Move, and from the looks of stage demos a full length game is possible with the precision of the contr…er…wands. The technology is there and working quite well, but the incentive to purchase will take some convincing.

For Sony specific titles, sequels remain king. Killzone 3, Infamous 2, and even Resistance 3 are said to be making an appearance. The recent announcement of Yakuza 4 has plenty of people talking about the possibile adventures with Kazuma Kiryu to be had. Still, one of the most intriguing games remains to be The Last Guardian, Team ICO’s third game that looks to push the PS3 in visuals like no other title before.

With E3 just a few days away, the speculation and tireless rumors will come to a close as hardware is unveiled, titles are announced, and fanboy wishes are crushed. Until then, the onslaught of questions continue: Will 3D be the new way of gaming? Will a new console arise? Will Tony Hawk dare to come on stage again? E3 cannot come quick enough…

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