This year's installment of the Electronic Entertainment Expo is officially underway. The big boys of the video game industry showed their cards during the pre-show press conferences. There was a whole lot presented, but here are the top 15 things you should be most mindful of.
Microsoft Is All About The Games
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were finally released to the public this past holiday season, with Sony taking the early lead. For this year's showcase, Microsoft decided to change their strategy by making it "all about the games". There was virtually zero mention of the entertainment apps, let alone the Kinect, which dominated last year's E3. The gamers rejoiced.
That One Game With Cartoony Cup Guy
The PS4 Is Destined To Be Available In White
Drake's Back And He Looks Good
The next generation is finally here, but it'll take time for developers to master their new toys. Many Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games look great, but still something you could find on the 360 and PS3. But then you have Naughty Dog's upcoming Uncharted 4. Even though it was only a brief teaser, what little was shown made things loud and clear: Nathan Drake is back and he looks totally next-gen.
Both Beyond Good & Evil 2 & The Last Guardian Still Not Ready Yet
There were two notable no shows at this year's show. The first is Beyond Good & Evil 2, a beloved Ubisoft release from over ten years ago. Its sequel was announced many moons ago, but has been seemingly forgotten by the publisher ever since. Last we heard, development was halted so all hands could be on deck for yet another, less financially risky title. Even less known about The Last Guardian, which once upon a time was marquee title for the PS3. Rumors were floating before the show that it was finally cancelled, which Sony refuted. Hence why some here hopeful of an overdue reappearance or at least a status update, but no such luck.
Mirror's Edge 2 Looks Worth The Wait
Meanwhile, one long awaited sequel that actually did materialize was Mirror's Edge 2. Given EA's track record of less than worthy follow ups (see: SimCity), it was a genuine surprise to see it look just as we'd hope it would. Basically, it's a part 2 that tastefully and intelligently builds upon what made part 1 such a success. Plus, we're even going to find out what the deal is with Faith's tattoo under her eye. Can't wait.
Nintendo Going The Sklyander/Infinite Route
Ice T Enters The Battle?
Speaking of Super Smash Bros, you'll finally be able to enter the fracas directly by importing your Mii, plus fight other IRL personalities (or their avatars at least). It was explained that there are three different classes, each with their own move sets, so your virtual self will have the punching power that you've long dreamt of. But more importantly, alongside Mario, Link, and Samus, you can also enter the melee with Ice T, Elijah Wood, and Abraham Lincoln.
At Last, Open World Zelda
This Could Be The Star Wars Game You've Been Waiting For
EA showed a behind the scenes teaser for the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront. The good news is that the makers of the game, DICE, are serious about making it as authentic as possible. Was great seeming them poke around the locations in which the original trilogy were shot, so what little we saw of the game seems steeped in Episodes 4-6. But it's still important to remember that it's by the team who made their name creating ultra detailed military FPSs, which is what Battlefront is closely resembling. It's also worth considering that much of the hardcore, old school Star Wars fan base, are not the gamers they once were. But maybe DICE know this? Hopefully they can reach some sort of middle ground for hardcore types and those who are now classified as casual gamers.
Ratchet And Clank Goes Hollywood
E3 2014 finally offered us our first look at the upcoming Ratchet And Clank's big screen debut. Due out sometime next year, it's going to be an animated CGI flick (sorry all you diehard Michael Bay devotees out there). Otherwise, details are a bit sparse, but hopefully we'll finally find out what the heck Ratchet is.
Bat's Got New Wheels
The latest look at the new Batman game was punctuated by an appearance of the Batmobile. Now, anyone who has seen the Christopher Nolan movies can tell you that it looks less like a car and more like tank. Well, in the new game, it looks like a car but acts like a tank! Oh, and it also transforms into battle mode, but doesn't go the distance by turning into a robot. Better yet, a robot suit for the Caped Crusader. Or maybe it will?
PlayStation Now Is Finally Happening Soon
Sony's PlayStation Now, which is their cloud based gaming service that allows one to play a wealth of PlayStation 1, 2, and 3 games on a variety of hardware, was announced last year. And since then, silence. But it's finally happening. On July 31 of this year, the open beta will kick off for PS4 owners. A handful of PS3 titles will help test drive the initiative, with the service coming to the PS3, Vita, and select Sony TVs shortly thereafter.
Sony's Not Quite The Hit Handheld Reborn As Yet Another Console For Your TV
Many who already own the PlayStation Vita were expecting for Sony to take another stab at convincing the rest of the world that their handheld has what it takes. But instead, they're going another route: the PlayStation TV, a teeny tiny set top box which allows one to play Vita, PlayStation Portable, and original PlayStation games on their living room set. Plus it allows one to stream media like Netflix, a la Apple TV or a Roku box, along with PS3 games via PlayStation Now and PS4 games via remote play. There are so many great Vita games out there, and if it takes people to play portable games on their TV, so be it.
And The Biggest Surprise Game Of The Show Was…
Easily the most pleasant surprise of E3 2014 goes to Ubisoft. In a presentation that was largely more of what we've come to expect (and hey, people like sequels, that's why they make so many of them), came something literally out of left field: called Shape Up. It's a brand new Kinect driven exercise game that one is supposed to play with friends at parties. This doesn't sound very special on paper. As it turns out, the game is filled with all kinds of bells and whistles resembling one of those ultra wacky Japanese game shows, just in your living room. Don't knock it till you've at least seen the trailer.