Category Archives: E3 2011

Nintendo of America Localizing Itadaki Street Wii, JRPGs Still MIA!

I’ve been adamant of the Wii not being dead yet. Nintendo’s way of presenting it in this year’s E3 has been very poor, though. From Miyamoto’s comments that he’s moving on from the Wii to lack of coverage of the hidden games coming out this year — it’s been a disaster all around. NOA’s silent treatment towards titles such as Xenoblade and The Last Story has been particularly disturbing to hardcore Wii fans, especially since they’re publishing more obscure titles such as Rhythm Heaven outside Japan. Well, I have another piece of news that may excite yet disturb you all. For 20 years Square-Enix have avoided localizing this series outside of Japan because people just might not get it…until now. Thanks to a partnership with NOA, the most recent installment of Itadaki Street for the Wii will hit shelves, now known as Fortune Street outside of Japan. Since the most recent one crosses over Nintendo’s mascots with Square-Enix’s, it makes sense that NOA is handling the localization. What doesn’t make sense is the fact that this bit of news is from the E3 show-floor, yet IGN has just let us know about it weeks after the event. I’m not blaming IGN; I’m blaming Nintendo of America for not letting this fact known. Another weird factor is that Nintendo’s actually taking a risk on a rather obscure Japanese board game series instead of putting more effort towards safer and more consumer-friendly hardcore IPs such as Xenoblade and The Last Story. I’m rather perplexed by the whole situation. Perhaps it’s easier to localize Itadaki Street as opposed to JRPG which are voice and dialogue-heavy. That’s the only logical thing I can think of. But as many JRPG fans know, we actually don’t mind if the voice work stays Japanese as long as there’s English menus and subtitles. I know that Nintendo of America aren’t the best in providing games with solid voice-overs, nor do they have the will to hire talented English voice actors. At this point, I don’t even care about proper localization as long as I get my hands on those JRPGs. For God’s sake, just keep the Japanese voices intact!

Before I forget, IGN’s featurette also highlights another solid games in the works for the Wii: the next installment of Rune Factory by Natsume. While they completely forgot to mention Mario Party 9 and Rhythm Heaven, IGN does a pretty good job in highlighting the remainder of Wii’s line-up.

A Question Of Exclusives

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E3 2011 is officially over and we did our best to provide you all with live coverage of the conferences and trailer montages, but obviously there was only so much we could do without physically being in Los Angeles.  Something happened at this year’s show that sparked my curiosity.  It’s something that all of us have talked about since 2005, exclusives and what they mean for the industry as a whole.  This generation has seen the term ‘exclusive’ change to ‘timed exclusive,’ which is a kind way of saying ‘we got this before you.’  That’s not exactly exclusive is it?

When I started reading through all the different E3 2011 news and watching far too many trailers for games I shouldn’t be spending money on, I realized something maybe making first party titles isn’t such a bad idea after all.  Do you remember when Sony first unveiled the PlayStation 3?  The media was saying Sony was crazy for not securing Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, etc.  What none of us know, and likely will never know, is was this really ever a viable option.  Exactly what would it have taken to keep GTA exclusive to the Sony platform?  For that matter, what would it have taken Microsoft to keep the Mass Effect series on 360 or BioShock?  This then brings up the next logical question; did Sony make the right move by focusing its resources on creating the Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios?  As it stands now the studio is comprised of the largest number of developers in the world.

 

Should Sony have spent $50 million to keep this exclusive?

All one has to do is look at the past few E3s to get your answer, and I’m starting to think the answer to this question is a resounding yes; it most certainly was the smart move.  Nintendo has done this since day one.  They focus all their efforts on their software; they even make the platform based on games they want to develop.  It’s a little different with Sony and MS, but that’s not the point of this article.  We’re just talking exclusives.  Ask anyone who bought a Wii which games they own for it, and nine out of ten times they will own more Nintendo-made games than third party offerings.  With the PS3 and 360 it gets more complex because of the sheer number of third party software available, and AAA software at that.  The importance of exclusive remains the same though.

Nintendo has always put the focus on their first party offerings before third party titles

This year alone Sony has the following exclusives lined up for the PlayStation 3, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, God of War Origins Collection, ICE & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection, Starhawk, Twisted Metal and Resistance 3.  We also know of two big games for next year including Sly Cooper 4, and The Last Guardian.  That’s a lot of exclusive software, not including the hundreds of third party games also hitting the platform.  Microsoft will also put a lot of their effort into their Kinect offerings like Kinect Sports 2 and adding Kinect modes to virtually every game they make and asking third party developers to do the same.  This ensures the experience on the 360 is exclusive to that platform through Kinect game modes or enhanced gameplay.  You can expect Microsoft to put more and more emphasis on first party games moving forward.  Do you know how many copies of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary they’re going to sell?  Couple that with next year’s exclusive Halo 4 and it’s pretty obvious how important exclusives are to Microsoft as well.

Doesn't it make sense for Sony to focus on first party software?

 

Microsoft knows that first party exclusives can bring big money

It’s funny that so many people used to think Nintendo’s strategy was backwards, but today their strategy is considered ideal.  All three major console developers are adopting the same first party focus, and that will only continue as we move forward.  Look at Sony’s unveiling of the PS Vita, how many first party games were shown?  Oh that’s right, virtually everything shown was made by SCE Worldwide Studios.  By doing this they know right out of the gate to depend on themselves to push the hardware and use third parties to keep players coming back for more.  Who wouldn’t want Uncharted: Golden Abyss as their launch title?

 

See now this is what I call a launch title, and yes it just so happens to be exclusive

To end off, I think how we perceive exclusives has changed and the future of the gaming industry will only continue this trend.  We’re now at a point where exclusives are more important than ever and by created world-class first party titles one can ensure their console continues to move hardware because they can offer an experience no one else can take away.  Now that’s what an exclusive is all about, isn’t it?

There's no way this doesn't excite you

Only One Wii U Controller Works With Wii U

First off a huge shout out to Stephane Fortier for letting me know about this.  I did a little digging and Miyamoto himself has confirmed the Wii U will only sport one screen controller per system.  Apparently it’s not a technical issue why this is, but rather a personal one.  For multiplayer games everyone else is expected to use a Wii Motion Plus controller.  Computer and Videogames has also confirmed this story.  While plans could change moving forward the comments Miyamoto-san say are interesting.

“Our basic premise is that you can use one with a system.  If we got to an idea of having multiple (controllers) it might be just more convenient for people to use their Nintendo 3DS and have a way to connect that.  That being said, we are doing research about if someone brings their controller to their friends house and they want to play together on Wii U to whether or not something like that would be possible.”

I’ll admit that’s quite interesting because the Wiimote doesn’t feature enough buttons to support the games available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  So how would local multiplayer work on those titles?  Would it be limited to online multiplayer?  I know for Nintendo games it’s not a big deal because players could simply use their Wiimotes, but for everything else…

What do you think about this?  If you don’t have the ability to buy more than one controller and are forced to use Wiimotes instead that will obviously mix things up considerably.

 

More Vita Trailers For Your Viewing Pleasure

I managed to score some more trailers for upcoming Vita games outside of the ones I posted yesterday.  As more trailers get posted, I’ll be sure to keep you all in the loop.

Everybody’s Golf (Vita)

Hustle Kings (Vita)

Little Deviants (Vita)

ModNation Racers (Vita)

Reality Fighters (Vita)

Smart As (Vita)

Sound Shapes (Vita)

Super StarDust Delta (Vita)

Top Darts (Vita)

WipEout 2048 (Vita)

Nintendo E3 2011 Trailer Montage

I did a trailer montage for Sony and Microsoft so it’s only fair I do the same for Nintendo.  I’ve posted all the big trailers the company revealed yesterday plus a little hands-on with the Zelda real-time demo for the Wii U.  Enjoy everyone.

The Legend of Zelda Real-time Demo (Wii U)

3DS Sizzle Reel

Mario Kart 3DS (3DS)

Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)

Luigi’s Mansion 2 (3DS)

Starfox 64 3D (3DS)

Super Mario (3DS)

Paper Mario 3DS (3DS)

Biggest Surprises & Letdowns From The Big Three Conferences

Microsoft Conference

Biggest surprises: Minecraft coming to the Xbox 360.  While we would learn later on that the original creator of Minecraft isn’t doing this port it’s still nice to hear such a creative game is making its way to the 360.  I couldn’t add Halo 4 to this list because it got leaked out right before the conference, the same with Live TV.

Biggest letdowns: Where was all the Xbox Live Arcade games and first party exclusives?  In fact, where were all the surprises at all?  Virtually everything announced we had already known about in one form or another before the press conference.

Overall reaction: Microsoft had an intelligent showing in one way.  They focused a lot of attention on Kinect because it has been selling extremely well.  Virtually every game shown had some sort of Kinect-only exclusive features or modes.  Microsoft also used the time to showcase some big third party games such as Modern Warfare 3 and the new Tomb Raider.  Overall their conference felt a little flat only because of the sheer lack of surprises.  A good show, but by no means one I will remember for years to come.

Sony Conference

Biggest surprises: Vita starting at $249.99.  I think I’ll remember this conference for quite a while.  By putting Vita neck-in-neck with the 3DS they have forced Nintendo into a position whereby the company must continue to innovate and prove the 3DS has the same “worth” as the Vita.  This is the first time Nintendo portable hardware has been at the same exact price as the competition at launch.  Will it have an impact, we’ll have to wait and find out.

The other big surprise came in the form of a 3D HDTV bundle weighing in at only $499.99.  That’s extremely lucrative given you get Resistance 3, 3D glasses, a 24” 3D 1080p HDTV and an HDMI cable.  I didn’t see that coming out of anywhere.

Biggest letdowns: Having seen almost all the Vita software the previous week, it wasn’t as striking as it could have been.  While we found out about a couple of news games, like Microsoft Sony didn’t blow open the world with tons of surprise announcements this year.  Oh and where the heck was Kevin Butler or some PSN announcements!

Overall reaction: Sony had an extremely smart conference this year.  They highlighted everything they’re doing right and nothing they’re doing wrong.  We saw some great first party exclusive and some other new games.  There was a heavy focus on Move, as we expected but it wasn’t overkill.  The only negative aspect with Sony’s conference was the lack of any unexpected software announcement.

Nintendo Conference

Biggest Surprise: Obviously the biggest surprise was with Wii U.  While it’s still extremely early, we now know the system is about on par with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in terms of raw power.  The controller is almost exactly as the rumors suggested, and features a whole bunch of wacky new ways to interact with your games.  Overall it’s too early to tell how everything will come together, but it sure is unique. And the concepts look enticing

It was nice to see such a strong lineup of third party developers pledging support for the Wii U.  While we only saw a handful of titles like Arkham City and an exclusive version of Ninja Gaiden, the point was made, this is a Nintendo platform that third parties will embrace and no matter how you look at it, that’s surprising.

Nintendo also had some nice surprises in store like Luigi’s Mansion 2, Link’s Awakening heading to the eShop sometime today and a free version of 4 Swords coming to the DSi.  Needless to say, that’s a lot of solid strong announcements that no one was expecting.

Biggest letdowns: Confusion, confusion, and even more confusion.  We were completely lost watching the press conference as to whether or not the controller was the new console.  We only found out later that no, there’s actually a new console that connect to the TV.  Nintendo likely should have shown us the box first before putting all the attention on the controller.  The other disappointment was again with the lack of killer software announcements we weren’t expecting.

Overall reaction: Nintendo had by far the most confusing console unveiling I have ever witnessed.  Maybe it was clear to them, but to all of us here on the site, it was downright perplexing.  I’m excited to see where their console goes from here, but in terms of a conference I think they could have handled their unveiling a lot better.  I enjoyed virtually everything else shown though from the symphony orchestra to the freebies.

Winner of the E3 conference battle? This is always tough because it depends on where your gaming taste lay.  I think both Sony’s $249 announcement for the Vita and Nintendo’s unveiling of the Wii U will be remembered for years to come, but all three shows could have been more exciting.  I’d say it was a toss up between Sony and Nintendo purely based on what surprises were actually there and the fact Halo 4 was leaked early.  If push comes to shove though, I think I’d score Sony just a bit higher because they didn’t confuse me and you can never have too much Uncharted.

Enough about my thoughts, what about you?  Who came out on top and what did you love/hate about the big three conferences?

 

Wii U Hardware Specs Released

I told you I was going to try and get you guys as much information as I could, and now you have it.  Please keep in mind that these are initial specs and Nintendo is not known for revealing their cards too early.

Release
2012
Size
46mm x 172mm x 268mm
New Controller
6.2 inch, 16×9 touch screen. Rechargeable. Includes power button, two slide pads, Home button, d-pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons, ZL/ZR buttons, accelerometer, gyro sensor, rumble feature, camera, mic, speaker, sensor, touch pen.
Other Controllers
Wiimote (or Wiimote plus) — can have up to four connected simultaneously. Compatible with all Wii controller and input devices, including Balance Wii Board, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro and Nunchuck.
Media
Uses 12cm high density optical disc meant for the new hardware. Can also use Wii 12cm optical discs. (No idea the capacity of the new discs.)
Video Output
1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i. Compatible with HDMI, component, D, S-video and composite cables.
Audio Output
Can output PCM linear 6ch from AV multi out or HDMI
Capacity
In addition to built-in flash memory, memory can be expanded through SD card and external USB drives
CPU
Multi core processor based off IBM Power series
Other
Includes 4 USB2.0 ports. Backwards compatible with Wii games.

We know it doesn’t answer all your questions, but it’s a good start.  As more information breaks I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.

First Pictures Of Wii U Controller & Console

We have no new information to go on except that all your existing Wii contraptions, controllers, etc, will work with the Wii U.  Below are the first two official pictures of the new hardware and the controller.

That’s the first official picture of the Wii U controller.  We don’t have many details outside of what you just read via our Live Blog.  The touch screen is 6.2 inches and features a gyroscope and rumble support.  I’m sure we’ll have tons of new info in the coming hours.

 

There you have the new hardware.  We know nothing about it whatsoever.  If that changes I’ll be sure to update this story.

What do you all think of what was shown at E3 for this new hardware and in particular the new controller?

E3 Trailers – PS3 & Vita Exclusives

Here’s our final video montage before Nintendo kicks off their press conference. I’ll update with more trailers once they’re available and once we have all the Nintendo trailers ready to go.

God of War Origins Collection (PS3)

Resistance 3 (PS3)

Uncharted 3: Darke’s Deception (PS3)

Dust 514 (PS3)

Medieval Moves: Deadmun’s Quest (PS3)

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3)

Uncharted: Golden Abyss Live Demo (Vita)

LittleBigPlanet (Vita)

PlayStation Vita Sizzle Reel

E3 Trailers – Multiplatform Titles

Same as the previous post, tons of trailers for your viewing pleasure, a lot of them in HD quality too. Enjoy.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (PS3/Xbox 360)

Contra Teaser (PS3/Xbox 360)

Tomb Raider (PS3/Xbox 360)

Mass Effect 3 (PC/PS3/Xbox 360)

Just Dance 3 (Wii/PS3/Xbox 360)

Star Trek (PS3/Xbox 360/PC)

Overstike (PS3/Xbox 360)

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon (PS3/Xbox 360)

Inversion (PS3/Xbox 360)

BioShock: Infinite (PS3/Xbox 360)

E3 Trailers – Exclusive 360 & Xbox Live Arcade

This is the first of several posts I’m making today that will highlight a ton of trailers released over the course of E3.  These are only the beginning so more games will be added as the days go by.  If you don’t see a game you’re interested in, just let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to add it.  Let’s jump right in with the big Xbox 360 exclusives and Xbox Live Arcade games.

Halo 4 (360)

Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary (360)

Gears of War 3 Gameplay (360)

Kinect Star Wars (360)

Fable: The Journey (360)

Street Fighter III: Third Strike (XBLA)

Ms. ‘Splosion Man (XBLA)

Crimson Alliance (XBLA)

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (XBLA)

Trials Evolution (XBLA)

As I said before, you can expect many more videos to make their way online in the coming days. Don’t forget we still have a huge press conference ahead of us starting in just under two hours.

E3 2011: EA & Ubisoft’s Press Conference Live Streams Available!

Here’s Ubisoft’s Press Conference Live stream via YouTube, which starts in less than two hours. Serves as a nice appetizer to Sony’s press conference which follows it in a few hours. People say that YouTube’s live streaming is still buggy so you might want to check out Uplay’s link just in case. Click here to go there.

As for EA, they also have their own thing going on. Click here to check it out! Should be starting right about now.