If anything defines gaming in June it’s that annual event that we all know and love; those few days that we spend glued to our screens (and in Alex’s case, in LA) in order to find out about the latest games – that defining event being, of course, E3. In fact, the very first post to kick off the month of June was the news of a live E3 Stream in Home. This was followed by a huge number of trailers and posts and – naturally – news of the PS Vita. Once we actually hit those busy few days of E3 much more was teased, confirmed and trailered.
Obviously, one of the main focuses of Sony’s E3 conference was their new console: PlayStation Vita, which received an official naming and reveal-of-sorts during E3, despite the console being confirmed months before. In true internet fashion some information was teased and other news leaked before the event, with lots of games confirmed before the show started. Obviously, even more Vita titles were announced during E3 – enough to put Nintendo’s efforts with the 3DS launch to shame.
Sony weren’t the only ones revealing a new console, Nintendo decided to follow up last year’s 3DS unveil with a home console announcement; although details of their announcement (dubbed Project Café at the time) leaked beforehand. However, we didn’t know exactly what it was they were announcing at first, since Nintendo’s conference was downright confusing. This confusion and miscommunication certainly wasn’t helped by the name of their new console – the Wii U. Add this to the fact that they decided to ignore the console itself and instead focus on the controller throughout their conference and the result was some very baffled residents of TSA Towers.
The full details were soon released, and we learned that it was in fact a new HD console that features a tablet-like controller and graphics to rival the Xbox 360 and PS3. It was also revealed that the console would feature many of the best multiplatform titles. It all sounded very interesting, but Nintendo had more tricks up their sleeves for their press conference, announcing 3DS games such as Mario Kart, Super Mario Land, Luigi’s Mansion and even a new Smash Bros. (though prematurely, it seems).
Whilst Microsoft didn’t have a new Xbox of any form to show off at their E3 conference, they did feature many games with a heavy focus on Kinect. A good number of titles were confirmed to have Kinect support (Mass Effect, Ghost Recon, etc.) and the new Xbox 360 UI was also revealed. Some games were announced too – Fable: The Journey, Sesame Street and Ryse for Kinect, as well as two Halo games; a remake of the original Halo, with the Anniversary Edition suffix added, and Halo 4 – which had leaked earlier in the day.
Outside of the announcements at the hardware manufacturers’ conferences we had plenty of games revealed at this year’s expo. EA announced Overstrike – their new game with Insomiac, Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning and a version of The Sims for Facebook, as well as giving us a few release dates and trailers for confirmed games. Then Ubisoft, with their ridiculously annoying host who shall not be named here to avoid further discussion, went on to show us Far Cry 3, Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 and trailers for their other games in the most hyperactive and over-the-top way possible.
Phew, that’s E3 out of the way, we can play games now. That was the exact reaction from the TSA Staff minutes after E3 had ended. Despite June usually being infamous for lacking large releases, the sixth month of this year managed to change that. Whilst it didn’t match up to other months in the year, there did seem to be an unusually high number of game releases, most notably inFamous 2, Red Faction: Armageddon, Green Lantern, Outland, Child of Eden, Alice: Madness Returns, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Shadows of the Damned, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and the title we thought would never see the light of day, Duke Nukem Forever.[drop]June saw TSA post 561 articles – hundreds of which were news from E3 posted live as the conferences happened. We were all very organised and managed to fit in the usual dosage of features, reviews and other posts amongst the mayhem of those few days, with our normal service – featuring less news posts – resuming after posting all of the trailers from the conferences.
Outside of the Los Angeles Convention Centre, the real world was very quiet throughout June in comparison to other events and disasters that seemed to plague 2011. TSA celebrated its fourth birthday towards the end of the month (although no-one sent us cake, so there were mixed feelings about it all) and, weather-wise, despite a few sunny spells with some heat at the end of the month, it was the coolest June across the UK in ten years.
So that’s June – a very big month for gaming yet a rather quiet month for world events. Perhaps July will be sunnier and less gaming-focused, but who knows? It’s not like it happened five months ago or anything, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.