Perhaps second only to Comic Con on the list of geekiest trade shows, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo
never fails to disappoint as a launch pad for new interactive game consoles and titles. Regardless of its reputation, the following introductions made at last week’s E3 are not only the subject of industry buzz, but are also, well, irrefutably cool.
: Sony’s latest handheld gaming device
awed attendees with its clean design, rapid processing power, and brilliant display quality. In addition to flaunting an accelerometer, a touchscreen in front, a touch pad on the back, two knob-like joysticks, and front and back cameras, the Wi-Fi enabled device allows gamers to play against one another. (Vita gamers can also play against PlayStation 3 users over the recently restored
PlayStation Network.) Many of the new proprietary titles for the Vita highlight gaming’s increasing reliance on integrating the real world into gameplay; Reality Fighters
is one such augmented reality game. The Vita will be released this fall, just in time for holiday gifting.
Nintendo Wii U
: It’s revealing that Nintendo reps are reportedly calling the titles for its forthcoming console “experiences” rather than games
. Expected to whet consumer appetites for the future of 3-D gaming, the new Wii U offers 360-degree interactive gaming through the use of a 6.2 inch touch screen tablet controller. One demo performed for journalists at the convention saw the tablet act as a tee in a golf game. When the player swung at it, a virtual ball flew through the air, ultimately appearing on the television set. Plus, while it’s not intended to be a portable device, it can be used for gaming, and video chatting, without a TV
EA Sports Football Club
: The top dog of sports video games, EA debuted the 12th
installment in its FIFA
franchise. A complement to the launch was the introduction of the EA Sports Football Club, a live “social experience” that allows FIFA gamers to connect and compete with one another, join fan forums, and track competitors’ performance on a global leaderboard. Furthermore, real-world matches pulled straight from the news will be played out through storylines and challenges, meaning that even if one’s favored team loses an important game in the physical world, they still have a chance at revenge in the virtual one
. Going forward, the club will be integrated into all FIFA games.