Jimmy Fallon tweeted yesterday that “Gears of War” series mastermind Cliff Bleszinski will be unveiling his new game, presumably “Gears of War 3”, on his talk show “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” next Thursday. Bleszinski said that he planned to show his “newest project” to the public this Spring; most assumed that meant a big show at E3, but apparently the boys at Epic Games have other plans.
Even though there hasn’t been any official word yet on Gears 3, there’s almost no doubt that this new mystery game is the next entry in the series. Word on the street is that Gears of War 3 is on track to go gold some time in April 2011.
Microsoft will be holding a “World Premiere” ceremony for Project Natal at Galen Center in Los Angeles on June 13’th, just one week before E3. The Natal “event” is the latest example of a growing trend for game companies to hold independent press conferences rather than waiting for a major press event. Microsoft plans to hold a formal press conference the day after the event, meaning that the “premiere” will be an extensive demo, similar to Apple’s iPad announcement.
Nintendo officially announced today that their next handheld console, called the “3DS”, is on the way. The new console, as Nintendo showed off today, will build on the tech trend growing in TV and film, playing games in 3D. At first glance, the physical console looks like a another iteration of the DS; it has dual screens and the same button layout as Nintendo’s current console. The similarity is boon, though, as the 3DS will be backwards compatible, playing the entire DS and DSi library. As for the release date, Nintendo only said that the console would launch in Japan sometime before March, 2011. Ultimately, Nintendo didn’t actually say much about the console, but a more comprehensive unveiling will definitely be coming at E3 in June.
If you have been following the rumblings of industry pundits and rumor-mills, then the fact that Nintendo has announced that they’re making a new portable console comes as little surprise: Rumors of the so-called “DS Successor” have been floating around for months. Some have even speculated that Sony may also present the PSP2 at E3, kick-starting the next-gen handheld console war.
UPDATE: Rumors have already begun circulating, filling in some of the blanks left by Nintendo’s bare-bones announcement. According to two separate Japanese business magazines, Nikkei and Asahi, the 3DS achieves its three-dimensional using a technology called a “Paralax Barrier”, developed by Sharp. The illusion is achieved by using a second overlapping screen with a series of slits; the result is that the player sees a different set of pixels with each eye, which is perceived as depth. The trades also mention a special D-Pad for moving in 3D, built-in rumble support, and a tilt sensor, similar to the iPhone.
We will keep you updated on the rumors and announcements as they come.
Gears of War 3 is one of those games that everybody knows is coming. Sure, neither developer Epic or Microsoft have said a word about the next entry in one of the highest profile series in the video game world, but just because there’s no news doesn’t mean the team isn’t already hard at work. According to Edge magazine, Epic apparently already has a timeline in place; according to a “trusted US publishing source”, Epic will announce that Gears of War 3 will reach the public in April, 2011.
According to the source, Epic will be unveiling the game at E3 this June, with a teaser trailer being leaked just before. Apparently the game could have been ready for this holiday season, but with a very heavy winter lineup, (Halo: Reach, Fable 3 and the Project Natal launch) Microsoft has opted to hold the game back until the next spring.
As of now, the announcement is purely speculative. When asked about the statement, Microsoft declined to comment on rumors. On the other hand, Epic VP Mark Rein said that the studio will not be releasing a game in 2010: while that doesn’t confirm anything, is does support Edge’s assertion.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman announced today that the next long-awaited edition of Rock Band is on the way, and should be in stores this holiday season. Dauman, looking to counter speculation in the gaming industry that the era of the music game is over, said in his statement that the game will “innovate and revolutionize the music genre”.
According to various tweets and messages from Harmonix staff sent shortly after Dauman’s statement, Rock Band 3 will produced by MTV Games and distributed by EA. Some media outlets say they’re expecting more information to slip out during GDC this week, but realistically a release this big needs an equally large stage to show off on… So while there may be a few measly details released in the coming weeks, expect the big surprises; video, new controllers, etc, to come at E3.
Remember that “Surprise Sequel” that people have been talking about for the past week or so? Well Sony, on behalf of Zipper Interactive, announced that the developer is working on SOCOM 4, the first entry of the series for PS3. Many people assumed that SOCOM 4 was a long way off, given that Zipper recently released their experimental FPS MAG. Well apparently, that’s not the case.
Here’s what we know: The single-player campaign revolves an operation to sabotage a military coup in south-east Asia. As always, the gameplay revolves around squad-based tactics and combat. According to Zipper’s “senior community manager” Jeremy Dunham, the campaign will unfold in a directorial style similar to “Uncharted 2”. On the technical side, Dunham mentioned that all of the characters’ movements will be recorded via motion-capture.
Dunham also took the time to assure MAG fans that, even though Zipper is working on SOCOM now, they are committed to supporting MAG for the long haul… Unfortunately, this probably means that we won’t be hearing about any plans for MAG DLC in the near future.
Just like everything else right now, while the details are currently few and far-between, expect to get plenty of info at E3 this spring.
Now that fans have been disappointed by Sega/Rebellion’s “Aliens vs. Predator”, many people are looking back and realizing that Gearbox Studios of “Borderlands” fame previewed a game based in the Aliens universe over three years ago! Well Randy Pitchford, never walking away from an opportunity to the press, says that “Aliens: Colonial Marines” is now Gearbox’s number one project. Pitchford, speaking with British news site MCV said; “It’s the thing I’ve been stealing from all my career. Now I’m really working on it, but we’ve been quiet about that so far.”
Apparently, Sega, who is also producing this game, put “Colonial Marines” on hold, choosing to focus on getting the new AvP game onto shelves. It was at that time that Gearbox began working on “Borderlands”. Pitchford also attributed the delay on the game on his firms new success: “Borderlands took over Gearbox,” Pitchford said in the interview, “We had so much fun working on that and when we finished we wanted to carry on. And the DLC — we’ve launched two so far and there’s a third to come which take us to a new level in every way.” It’s understandable; the studio, and Pitchford, have become sort of overnight celebrities in the gaming world.
But now, it’s back to reality. Not very much is actually known about Aliens: Colonial Marines. It’s a squad-based shooter where players step into the role of an alien-killing military outfit. Hopefully Pitchford and Co. will make enough progress to show off at E3 in June.
Nintendo held their US media summit San Francisco today. At the conference, they announced the release dates for their first-party lineup for Spring and Summer, 2010. Most exciting and surprising were the release dates for Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M, which will both be in stores this spring. Galaxy 2 will be coming out May 23’rd, while the new 2D Metroid is set to be released on June 27’th. Frankly speaking, until yesterday’s hint from Nintendo’s Australian summit (They’re going to be having international “summits” all week), it was widely assumed that word would come at E3 that both games would be ready some time around Christmas. Other interesting releases include the US release of Monster Hunter Tri (April 20’th) and Sin & Punishment 2: Star Successor (June 7’th) and whole bunch WiiWare titles, including Mega Man 10 (March 1’st).
You might be asking; “well now that they’ve done all this, what is Nintendo gonna show at E3?” Well, the word is that, regardless of what Nintendo says now, that they will be unveiling the DS-2 at this year’s big show. Announcing AAA titles like Mario Galaxy 2 now will presumably free Nintendo of the responsibility to promote their releases at E3 so they can focus on the console launch.