Every year during the final weeks leading up to E3, various rumors and speculation circulate around the anticipated perennial event. Many game developers and publishers like to tease the fans by percolating ambiguous and suggestive information to generate interest, all culminating with major announcements just prior to E3. The following are just a few of the biggest announcements from this past week.
The corporate juggernaut has really led the way this week with news and by answering rumors which have occupied the mindshare of the gaming faithful since revealing the Xbox One on May 21, 2013. Here is a quick overview of the many Microsoft centered announcements made this week:
- In a partnership with Disney, Harmonix has announced a new Kinect controlled music and rhythm game entitled Fantasia: Music Evolved. Players will be tasked with following cues by swiping their arms in rhythm with various tunes. Successful completion of a song will result with injecting life and vitality into the game environment. Fantasia: Music Evolved is scheduled to release in 2014 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
- A new twin-stick shooter set in the Halo universe entitled Halo: Spartan Assault will be released this July for all Windows 8 platforms including PC and Surface tablets. The game will reportedly retail for $6.99.
- This one started out as speculation concerning the announcement of something involving the Fable series. Lionhead briefly teased, then formally announced they will release Fable Anniversary this coming holiday season for Xbox 360. Fable Anniversary will be an HD remake of the original Fable from the first Xbox system which will include The Lost Chapters expansion, improved graphics, improved controls, and an improved save system and user interface.
- The bizarre LocoCycle by Twisted Pixel has been announced to be an Xbox One launch title. An Xbox 360 version is also in development. Expect to see more of LocoCycle at E3 next week.
- Blizzard announced that Diablo 3 is finally coming to Xbox 360 on September 3, 2013. Still no word if an Xbox One version will be released.
- Microsoft finally answered the many rumors which have cast the light of infamy upon the Xbox One brand since its official reveal. A quick synopsis to these answers are as follows: The Xbox One does not require an always online connection to play games, but it does require to “check in” with the servers periodically; the Kinect cannot and will not record users private activities and will only do so for certain games after receiving explicit permission; the Xbox One will not curtail users from playing used games. Microsoft has left this up to the individual publishers. Please click here for a more in depth analysis of Microsoft’s response to these pervasive issues.
Sony seems to be playing safe pertaining to the leaking of information. Still, some news has come out to precede their big press event next Monday evening.
- The free-to-play cooperative shooter Warframe, which is currently available on Steam, will be coming to PS4 at launch with its payment model intact.
- Sony’s FPS MMO Planetside 2, and their super hero charged DC Universe Online, are both coming to PS4 later this year. Both will come complete with their current micro-transaction payment models.
Square Enix released a press statement to announce their E3 lineup earlier this week. Below is a list of the standouts.
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be on prominent display at Square Enix’s booth on the showroom floor. Also, the next generation of Final Fantasy has been teased to be revealed at E3.
- The new iteration of an old franchise, Thief will be on display, as well as a new IP, the “murder mystery” entitled Murdered: Soul Suspect.
- Alongside the Wii U version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut, Square Enix has announced an iOS sequel, Deus Ex: The Fall, will be shown at the event, as well.
- Finally, two HD remakes of popular franchises will be shown at E3. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster will continue the tradition of excessively lengthy game titles for remakes of classic games.
- 2K Sports has announced that NBA 2K14 will be released on Oct. 1, 2013 for Xbox 360 and PS3, while the Xbox One and PS4 versions will release with the launch of the next-generation hardware.
- Mad Catz has announced that they intend to get into the Android micro-console market with their Project M.O.J.O. Expect more details at E3 next week.
- Techland, known for the Dead Island franchise, has released some new details about their new zombie IP, Dying Light. This new title, apparently filled with zombie chasing and parkour mechanics, will release on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 in 2014.
This year’s E3 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and information filled E3 events is recent memory. This is just a sample of the most salient pre E3 news and announcements to come out in the last few days. Surely, there are many gamers out there who would be very excited by some of these preliminary revelations, but this is just the appetizer to what is hopefully going to be a very satisfying main course.
Please keep it right here at gametangents.com for our E3 Podcast Recap series and major announcement coverage starting on Monday, June 10, 2013 with the Microsoft Press Conference at 9:30 am PST. For more scheduling details, click here.