May 05, 2012 10:01 AM EDT
This year's E3, Electronic Entertainment Expo, is just right around the corner and the biggest names in video games are gearing up to make the industry's largest announcements.
Competition between Nintendo and Sony are heating up with the two powerhouses preparing to debut their next-gen consoles along with debuts of their hottest game titles. Unsurprisingly, the Wii U will take center-stage as Nintendo plans to debut the console ahead of competitors Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox 720.
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Nintendo's legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto drew first blood with his comments about Sony's handheld gaming console the PlayStation Vita.
"It's obviously a very hi-spec machine, and you can do lots of things with it," said Miyamoto in an interview with Edge magazine. "But I don't really see the combination of software and hardware that really makes a very strong product."
Miyamoto's commentary on PlayStation's woes follows the financial crisis Nintendo experienced last month. Nintendo announced an annual loss of $533 million, the first annual net loss the company has experience.
The loss was partly blamed on the Nintendo 3DS handheld console sales and Miyamoto agreed to the speculations with these comments about the 3DS.
"When we launched the 3DS hardware we didn't have Super Mario 3D Land, we didn't have Mario Kart 7, we didn't have Kid Icarus: Uprising. We were striving to have all of these ready for the launch, but we weren't able to deliver them at that time," said Miyamoto.
Despite the gloomy numbers, Nintendo remains optimistic about the future with a lineup of probable announcements for E3 2012.
Wii U CONSOLE & CONTROLLER
The Wii U console is expected to make its official debut with possible demos and release date announcements. Hardware rumors report that the console runs 1080p gaming on HD displays as well as being backward compatible with past Wii video games and accessories. Other possible features may include 3D displays, voice control and facial recognition sensor.
Controllers for the next gen console is speculated to have NFC technology that uses tags to interact with objects. Leaked video footage from Rayman Legends showed off players using the Wii U tablet controllers to manipulate the game's level environments. Players were also seen placing figurine objects atop the Wii U tablet and translating them into interactive items for the game.
Nintendo also recently gained two newly granted patents that will be sure to generate new gameplay experiences for gamers. Images depict a gun styled holder which places the new touchscreen Wii U controller atop two grips. Users will be able control the device for aiming and firing while facing the controller's display screen.
Wii U GAMES
The Wii U will also penetrate the online games market with their new digital distribution strategy. Fans can now purchase from the company's eshop as well as through a code from a retail store. This is the first time Nintendo will be allowing third party retailers to offer options for downloadable versions on 3D. Partners such as Google's Android OS, may be a big part in Nintendo's online strategy.
Game titles expected to make debuts include Super Mario and Pikmin 3 for the Wii U. Other possible appearances may include Luigi's Mansion 2, Animal Crossing 3DS and Paper Mario 3DS.
Nintendo holds high potential to impress at E3 2012, but Miyamoto is not making any promises about expectations at launch.
"The company now has to develop software for the Nintendo 3DS, has to prepare for the Wii U launch and has to finalize the hardware functionalities. With these circumstances in mind, if I said that an overwhelmingly rich software lineup would be prepared from day one, it would be too much of a promise to make," said Miyamoto.
Sony has confirmed little about the debut of their PlayStation 4 console, other than it will be released ahead of Xbox 720. Among the competition, Sony's PlayStation 3 console is receiving good levels of usage frequency. According to a Strategy Analytics Consumer survey, PS3 consoles out does the competition with a 44 percent use on a weekly basis. Xbox 360 has a 40 percent rating while the Wii falls third with 30 percent. This could give Sony some confidence heading into E3 2012.
Announcements for particular big titles such as God of War: Ascension and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, have already made a public debut by Sony.
GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION
Last week's announcement of PlayStation 3's anticipated title "Gods of War: Ascension" would make it the seventh title in the God of War franchise. God of War is based off of ancient mythology and Greek Gods walking among the earth. A new multiplayer mode was added to the mix as players focus on competitive modes with co-op partners, and new features such as horde mode.
PLAYSTATION ALL-STARS BATTLE ROYALE
The big brawl title gathers popular characters from the Sony gaming universe and pits them against one another in a 4 player onscreen battle. Characters to be featured in the game includes Twisted Metal's Sweet Tooth, , Parappa the Rappa, Sly Cooper, Unchartered's Nathan Drake, Killzone's Mael Radec, Fat Princess, and God of War's Kratos. More may be announced at E3.
MORE SONY GAMES
Other exciting titles that may see an E3 appearance includes LittleBigPlanet Karting and Gravity Rush. In LittleBigPlanet Karting, players will be able to race other LittleBigPlanet characters in customized karts, weapons, and levels. PlayStation fans will also be awaiting for the highly anticipated title "Gravity Rush" as players control Kat, the blonde haired girl with red eyes, and her gravity controlling super powers to save the people of Hekseville from bad gal "Gravity Crow" and the Nevi.
Though unlikely, the PlayStation 4 "Orbis" may be making announcements about its high powered hardware and graphics capability. It is rumored that the PS4 features AMD's A8-3850 - a quad-core 2.9GHz processor with an integrated APU graphics chip. The console can display resolutions up to 4096x2160. Currently the PlayStation 3 is capable of playing 3D games at 720p, but the new PS4 will allow 1080p visuals.
E3 2012 will be the ultimate stage for Sony and Nintendo to gain momentum for it future sales. Fans will be eagerly waiting for June as the best of gaming will be unleashed.
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