It’s time for E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo! The various gaming sites offer a wealth of detail, but most useful to me was VentureBeat’s quick, one-page summary of the highlights.
For me, a few things have stood out:
The PS Vita: Formerly known as the “Next Generation Portable”. As with all things Sony, this looks like a marvel of engineering – at first glance, its graphics seem equal to those on the PS3! Its price is also competitive with the 3DS: US$250 for the base version (with Wi-Fi only); US$300 for the version with 3G. Still, don’t throw away your PSP quite yet: the Vita lacks a UMD drive so you’ll have to download PSP titles via the PSN store – but not every PSP game is available via PSN. This goes doubly so if you import games, because titles available on the PSN store are segregated by region. So far, I’ve seen no Vita titles that are must-gets,; the catalyst for me to buy a Vita would be good RPGs and TRPGs (since that’s what I mostly play on my PSP).
Far Cry 3: Sadly, this has not stood out in a good way. I’m disappointed by its choice of setting: an island populated by various gun-toting crazies (including one mohawked guy who looks like a Fallout 3 escapee). This stands in contrast to Far Cry 2, which at least on paper, offered the grounded, “real world” setting of an African civil war, rather than the typical FPS thinly veiled setup for the Adventures of Angry McShootsALot. Granted, Far Cry 2’s gameplay didn’t live up to the theme – in practice, the absence of a faction system or any NPC interaction outside town meant that it boiled down to the Adventures of Angry McShootsALot anyway – but from my limited time with the game, I still really liked the attempt.
Bioshock Infinite: A game set in a steampunk/dieselpunk-themed city in the sky! Now that’s a cool premise. It didn’t hurt that the gameplay conceit of shepherding a female companion initially reminded me of Ico (though upon reading the details, it sounds a bit more like Prince of Persia 2008).
I’ll try to update as E3 rolls on, so stay tuned!