E3 2011: Armchair Edition – The Prequel

E3 2011 is upon us!

While the show didn’t “officially” start until today, yesterday’s pre-show conferences were an excellent way to kick off the week-long celebration, with big announcements from Mircrosoft, Sony, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft.

Microsoft’s presser was very much Kinect centric, with MS announcing a slew of new Kinect enabled games, expanded 3rd party support and deeper functionality with existing software. It was a decent enough showing, though it definitely lacked the punch of MS’ last few E3 shows. Of course, though, they saved the best for last.

As the show was wrapping up, MS finally pulled back the curtain on Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the long-rumored ground-up remake of the original Halo. The real treat, however, was the official announcement of Master Chief’s return next year, in Halo 4.

Way to blow the roof off the place, Microsoft.

Sony closed out the day with, arguably, the best conference of the day. From trailers of all the pre-announced upcoming first-party blockbusters, to exclusive content from 3rd-party games like Saints Row: The Third, Battlefield 3, Star Trek and Bioshock: Infinite.
Sony rocked the house, take a look.

Awesome, right?

The bulk of Sony’s showing this year went, quite understandably, to new hardware. Unveiled at a special conference a few months back, the successor to the PSP, then dubbed NGP (Next Generation Portable) is now Playstation Vita (PSV). I’ll let the video speak for itself…

I’m in love.

As fantastic as all of that was, and as excited as I am about everything Sony showed off, I literally got chills while watching this:

And that, my friends, was the pre-show! I’ll be back tomorrow with impressions and highlights from all of the official first-day news, including my thoughts on Nintendo’s newest family member, the Wii U.


One Response

  1. I am personally more excited about Halo Anniversary than I am about the Halo 4 announcement, and this is coming from the biggest Halo fan that you know. Yeah Halo 4 should be awesome, but it’s so far away that my hype machine won’t go live until this time next year.

    Being able to play Halo CE co-op and multiplayer over Live, however, is a dream come true. Technically it’s not a “ground-up remake” as you said, though. It’s a combination of the Halo: Reach graphics engine and the original visual redone in HD, then layered over the original gameplay coding, so as to make it feel exactly like the original Halo. If they had changed the gameplay at all, everyone would cry foul.

    Seeing the new graphics and playing over Live is enough for me though, I still own the first Halo and can play it whenever I like, just not online. The only part of that announcement I found a little disappointing was that they multiplayer will be running on the Reach engine, so as to not split the fan base. While I understand the reasoning, I disagree with the decision because there’s a particular classic feel that the first Halo multiplayer had that presumably won’t be there when it’s running on the Reach engine.

    All that said though, I’m excited to see forthcoming updates from 343 Industries for the next year.

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