May 10-12 is the day of E3. The superbowl of gaming, the wrestlemania of game companies
Final Fantasy XIII Announced
Square-Enix announced that not one, not two, but three Final Fantasy XIII titles are now under development; two for PlayStation 3 and one for cell phones. The company also unveiled two Wii games, including one launch title--Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors. Furthermore, US role-playing game fans will be pleased that FFXII finally has a North American release date: October 2006.
The three FFXIII games currently in development are: FFXIII and FF Versus XIII (both for PS3) and FF Agito XIII for cell phones. All three titles are part of something that Square Enix has labeled the Fabula Nova Crystallis Project, which it describes as "numerous original titles that run parallel with one another" and share a common mythology. Square Enix promises additional projects in the Fabula Nova Crystallis Project beyond the three games announced today. Given the company's expressed commitment to "polymorphic content" it's a safe bet that some of those additional projects will be in non-game media like film.
Wii Secrets Unveiled
Here is a recap of some of the more interesting news unveiled at the Nintendo E3 press conference today:
There will be 27 playable games for the Wii on the floor at E3
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will be released in two different versions on the same day that the Wii launches in Q4 2006. One will be for the Wii and the other will be for the Gamecube.
There will be a speaker in the nunchuck attachment that will produce sound effects that are motion related.
Nintendo Wii games unveiled:
Metroid Prime 3 Corruption, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Quest Swords, Fire Emblem, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Cars, Super Mario Galaxy, SD Gundam Breaker, Tony Hawk, Sengoku Action, Necro-Nesia, ExciteTrucks, Elebits, Red Steel, Rayman 4, Super Swing Golf, Sonic Wild Fire, Project H.A.M.M.E.R., One Piece Unlimited, Horse Racing, Madden NFL, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
HD DVD for XBox 360
Microsoft announced at their press conference that they would have the USB connected HD DVD for their XBox 360 out for the holidays. This would put them in the stores at the same time as Sony's PS3.
Microsoft also announced that they would have 10 million of their consoles to market by the time the PS3 ships, and 160 games available for it by that time as well.
Microsoft's 'Live Anywhere' Service
Microsoft announced their "Live Anywhere" service today. Integrating the XBox 360, cell phones and their Vista OS, it is planned for release with the Vista OS. This would allow for cross platform gaming and communication.
This is Microsoft's play to not only get more XBox 360's sold, but also to make them a major player in the online gaming arena. It will never be as easy or quick as they think it will, the users will use whatever they enjoy most, and offers the popular games. That has rarely been Microsoft.
Miscrosoft claims that no one else could offer this sort of cross platform service. And with their OS being dominant for now, they may be right. Their chore will be to make the integration mean something, and offer the users what they want at a price they are willing to pay. A gamble for them, but one that could pay off handsomely if they can make it appealing.
Spiderman 3 Trailer
Faithful fanboys can now get their first glimpse at the Activision game based on the upcoming Spiderman 3 movie.
If you are interested, you can check Spidey in all of his next gen glory right here.
Spiderman 3: The video game is due out in May 2007
Opera Browser on the Nintendo Wii / DS
Opera announced today that they will soon release a version of their browser for use on the Nintendo DS and the upcoming Wii console.
In my opinion, this is a brilliant move on Opera's part. There is no question that IE and Firefox dominate PC's - but Opera has made a play to be the dominant presence behind the emerging console market.
As computing continues to move out of the office and into the living room, this step could mean big things for Opera.
Opera plans to release the DS browser in Japan this summer, and the Wii browser shortly after the Wii launch in Q4 2006.
Resident Evil on the Wii
Capcom announced today that a new Resident Evil is being developed exclusively for the Nintendo Wii.
Naturally, the game will take advantage of the new controller, so fans can look forward to a whole new zombie kiling experience when this game finally hits the shelves.
Say what you want about the Wii being underpowered or having a stupid name - the bottom line is that every game that is released is made that much more exciting because of the limitless possibilites that the new controller brings to the table.