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6:15 PM on 06.05.2012

E3: Trine 2: Director's Cut coming to Wii U

Trine 2: Director's Cut was one of the games shown in a montage of third-party software during this morning's Nintendo press briefing. Finnish studio Frozenbyte is building a definitive console version of its well-received c...

Samit Sarkar



E3: Wii U GamePad: 3-5 hours battery, 2.5 hours to charge photo
E3: Wii U GamePad: 3-5 hours battery, 2.5 hours to charge
by Samit Sarkar

Nintendo spent the bulk of its E3 2012 press briefing on the Wii U, focusing on a glossy black version of the hardware in addition to the white console and GamePad that were unveiled a year ago. We still don't have more precise hardware specifications for the console than the information Nintendo gave out last year, but the company released some details on the GamePad today.

The GamePad weighs in at about 1.10 pounds (500 g), a bit lighter than any of Apple's various iPad models, and measures -- protrusions aside -- approximately 10.06 inches (W) × 5.25 inches (H) × 1.61 inches (D). It features a 6.2-inch non-multitouch screen with a 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio, although the display's exact resolution remains a mystery.

Motion-sensing technology inside consists of an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a geomagnetic sensor. The unit also boasts a front-facing camera (resolution unknown), microphone, stereo sound, rumble functionality, a sensor bar and stylus, and a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip.

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1:45 PM on 06.05.2012

E3: Ubisoft's Watch Dogs confirmed for PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Ubisoft stole the show at E3 Day Zero with a surprise unveiling of Watch Dogs, an open-world experience that truly looked like a next-generation title. Based on the stunning lighting effects and lifelike animations, most of t...

Samit Sarkar

11:35 AM on 06.05.2012

E3: Go undercover in this Sleeping Dogs trailer

I'm really glad that Square Enix picked up United Front Games' Sleeping Dogs after Activision dropped the project (back when it was called True Crime: Hong Kong). Hamza's write-up of the hard-boiled open-world crime thriller...

Samit Sarkar

11:05 AM on 06.05.2012

E3: Lara Croft endures in this Tomb Raider trailer

If there's one word to describe Lara Croft in Crystal Dynamics' upcoming reboot of Tomb Raider, it's "resilient." Just look at how much punishment she takes in this trailer, whether from thugs or Mother Nature. At least she ...

Samit Sarkar

12:19 AM on 06.05.2012

E3: Twisted Pixel teases LocoCycle

One of the new games Microsoft announced at its E3 2012 press briefing yesterday morning was Twisted Pixel's LocoCycle, the studio's sixth original IP. Here's the short teaser trailer from the show.The titular motorcycle is ...

Samit Sarkar





11:45 PM on 06.04.2012

E3: Quantic Dream unveils Beyond: Two Souls

Quantic Dream co-founder David Cage came out on stage at Sony's E3 2012 press briefing to introduce his studio's next project, Beyond: Two Souls. Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page (Hard Candy, Inception) stars as heroine Jod...

Samit Sarkar

10:00 PM on 05.30.2012

The Sims Social promises to be a good woman if you return

Numerous online games send messages to lapsed users in an attempt to get those players to come back. Sometimes, they try to guilt you into going back; other times, they look to entice you into returning by offering free goodi...

Samit Sarkar

2:45 PM on 05.30.2012

NBA 2K13 announced with All-Star Weekend pre-order DLC

2K Sports has announced that NBA 2K13 is due out for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii, and PSP on October 2, 2012, in North America, and October 5 worldwide. A Wii U version is also in development; it will be released during ...

Samit Sarkar

12:00 PM on 05.18.2012

Origin to distribute crowd-funded games free for 90 days

EA is looking to expand its support of small studios, this time through its Origin digital distribution service, by capitalizing on the indie development wave du jour: Kickstarter. The publishing giant announced today a new i...

Samit Sarkar

10:30 AM on 05.18.2012

NHL 13 announced, will deliver new AI and skating physics

[Update: You can now watch the debut trailer, which focuses on True Performance Skating.]EA Sports has officially announced NHL 13, this year's iteration of its critically acclaimed hockey series. After releasing two teaser ...

Samit Sarkar



Preview: Making FIFA 13 'predictably unpredictable' photo
Preview: Making FIFA 13 'predictably unpredictable'
by Samit Sarkar

The draw of “reality” television is its ostensibly greater degree of unpredictability over scripted shows, the coveted “you can’t make this stuff up” factor. Many simulation videogames better replicate the infinite variability of life than reality TV does, and one way in which a few recent sports games have gotten there is by implementing real-time physics engines. EA Sports’ venerated FIFA series did that with FIFA 12 last year, delivering often impressive but occasionally laughable results. There was more work to be done; modeling collisions is only one aspect of simulating soccer.

The holy grail in sports games is calculating everything on the fly, taking into account the unending variety of variables in every case. “The philosophy of the team,” explained David Rutter, executive producer for the FIFA franchise, “has been to take all of the inputs that would occur in this real world that we live in, and use them to drive the outcomes of the game that you are playing.” It’s an asymptotic venture, and the talented developers at EA Canada are getting closer every year.

[Editor’s note: I use the terms “soccer” and “football” interchangeably in this article. --Samit]

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Preview: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (Vita) photo
Preview: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (Vita)
by Samit Sarkar

The well-received Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is making its way to the PlayStation Vita this summer, sans Peace Walker; the original PSP game can be purchased on the PlayStation Store, although not through the Vita, weirdly. However, it will include touch controls specific to Sony's new handheld. Konami brand manager Kevin Vlaming walked me through the experience, and I recorded the demo for you all to watch above.

For those who own MGS 2 or MGS 3 on PS3, the Vita HD Collection also lets you "transfar" content from save games. And it includes all the other content that was present on the console HD Collection -- the Substance and Subsistence stuff, as well as the first two Metal Gear MSX games.

The MGS HD Collection launches for the Vita in Japan on June 28. There's no American release date yet, but it's set for release here this summer.

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1:30 PM on 04.26.2012

Lions' Calvin Johnson voted onto Madden NFL 13 cover

EA Sports put the Madden cover to a vote once again this year, and as of last week, the fans had whittled down a bracket of 64 NFL players to just two: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam "Ace Boogie" Newton (the No. 1 seed) an...

Samit Sarkar

12:00 PM on 04.13.2012

A 4-week-old Bastion looked ugly but played beautifully

Videogame development is an iterative process, and games undergo countless changes along the way. In many cases, the final product bears little resemblance to earlier versions, as developers refine their vision and excise fea...

Samit Sarkar



Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 photo
Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13
by Samit Sarkar

If baseball is a game of inches, golf is a game of degrees. The loft of a driver; the slope of a fairway; whether a ball lies above or below your feet; an open or closed club face -- even a few degrees’ variation in any of these respects can significantly alter a shot’s path.

Golf is also an expensive game to play. The necessary equipment alone will set you back at least a few hundred dollars, which is to say nothing of concomitant costs such as caddies and carts.

EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 represents both those aspects of golf very, very well.

[Editor’s note: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 supports Kinect and PlayStation Move, but since I do not own either, I was unable to try out that functionality and will not discuss it in this review. --Samit]

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