Video game companies announce new projects at E3 2012

E3

E3

The biggest names in the video game industry announced and demonstrated some of their key projects that are currently in development at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, this past week.

E3, which took place at the L.A. Convention Center in Los Angeles, provided insight into what major companies, such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, have in development as the gaming industry evolves and users call for new experiences.

It also provided an opportunity for game developers such as Naughty Dog, the creative minds behind the hit PlayStation series, Uncharted, or 343 Industries, the studio creating the fourth installment to the Halo franchise, to showcase what new games are currently in development.

Throughout the week, press conferences hosted by the major companies, as well as the game developers, demonstrated and highlighted key projects that each are currently working on. The conferences of E3 were limited to media personnel only, but others could still view them via live streaming online, on cable television channels, such as G4TV and Spike TV, or through their PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 system.

“This is the Super Bowl for those of us that live and die in the gaming industry,” said President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America Jack Tretton about E3 at the beginning of the Sony press conference.

Tretton spoke about the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita gaming consoles and the future of both, with the Sony Wonderbook on the PS3 and the cross-platform connectivity between PS3 and Vita consoles, however, no price drops or major changes to either console were announced at the event.

The most talked about game demonstration came from Sony’s first-party developer, Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us.” This survival action-adventure game follows characters Joel and Ellie as they fight through a world destroyed by a fungus. While the main story of the game has not been released, the gruesome gameplay that was shown during the conference received applause from the audience and a Best of E3 2012 Editors’ Choice Award from GameSpot.com along with a Best PS3 Game Award from the editors at IGN.com.

During the Microsoft conference, Corporate Vice President of Xbox Live, Marc Whitten unveiled what he deemed “a breakthrough in entertainment” called Microsoft SmartGlass. SmartGlass enables users to interact between their smartphones, tablet devices and Xbox 360 while watching movies, television or while playing video games.

“With Xbox SmartGlass, we’re opening new doors for producers, artists and creators to develop far more than just single screen TV experiences,” Whitten said. “Now for the first time, they can create multi-screen entertainment that makes movies, music and TV more amazing.”

In what was expected to be a year of big reveals, in terms of new consoles from Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo was the only one of the three companies to discuss its new console, the Wii U, at the event.

The Wii U is the first to integrate a controller with an interactive screen built in to it. This system was the centerpiece for Nintendo’s conference and showcased games that will be available to play when the console is released. Blockbuster games such as “Batman Arkham City Armored Edition,” “Mass Effect 3” and the newly announced “Pikmin 3” will be available on the release day of the Wii U or shortly afterwards.

University senior Jacob Brown, president of the Bowling Green Gaming Society, said he could see the Gaming Society buying a Wii U simply for the party aspect.

“It really depends on the price point. I think if the system is really more that $300 I’d have to wait for it to drop to that point,” Brown said.

While a definitive price and date for the release of the Wii U was not announced at the Nintendo press conference, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo North America, Reggie Fils-Aime said at the event that the console will be released during the holiday season of this year.

Brown also said in terms of this year’s show he and his friends largely agreed the show was underwhelming.

“There was a lot of content that looks cool, but nothing that blew us away,” Brown said.