Blockbusters rule E3 video game kingdom

Blockbuster titles and powerhouse consoles will rule as video game makers from around the world meet in Los Angeles this week for the premier Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

Hotly anticipated games will build on established franchises with slick play mechanics, film-like graphics and increasing sensitivity to how much people love playing online with friends or on the go with mobile devices.

"E3 will be a strange combination of everything from blockbuster retail games like 'Call of Duty' and 'Battlefield' all the way down to apps, social games, and digital downloads," said TechSavvy Global analyst Scott Steinberg.

The latest installments of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" and "Battlefield" will duke it out for the hearts of hardcore shooter fans.

The third chapter in a "Mass Effect" science fiction action game promises a glorious finale to the trilogy. Glimpses will also be provided of new editions of hits "Prototype," "InFAMOUS," "Drake's Uncharted" and "Batman."

French video game titan Ubisoft will continue an "Assassin's Creed" saga set in Italy during the Renaissance and introduce new antics for its zany "Raving Rabbids."

"Like the film industry, people want the big budget, everything-thrown-at-it experience and they also want the American Idol show," said Martin Rae, president of nonprofit industry group Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

The onus is on game makers to deliver must-have titles for play using motion sensing controls recently added to Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 consoles.

"It is not so much pressure as it is opportunity to think about new ways to entertain," said Ubisoft North America president Laurent Detoc. "It is a very exciting time."

Nintendo is expected to ramp up the console competition with a second-generation Wii rumored to be more muscular than rivals and feature touch-screen capabilities in controls.

The Wii successor to debut when E3 opens on Tuesday was expected to be among expo highlights. The console is due to be released next year.

Sony will show off its Next Gen-Portable (NGP) handset that promises to "put the power of the PS3 right in the palm of your hand."

The Japanese consumer electronics giant will be intent on making a splash at E3 to shake off the taint of a massive cyber attack that derailed its online gaming network until a week before the expo.

While the spotlight will be on major titles, games crafted for play on smartphones or tablet computers will be in the wings.

Game publishers are tailoring versions of console titles for mobile gadgets and envision one day being able to let people start playing on one device and then continue on others.

"For a long time the menu of games was thought to be just chicken, meat and potatoes," Konami senior public relations manager Brandon Cox said at the company's pre-E3 event in San Francisco. "Now you have a lot of salads, a lot of fruit. ... It is important to touch people where ever they are."

Electronic Arts plans a glitzy press conference in a theatre for console titles, but has a suite in a nearby hotel devoted to smartphone and tablet games by Chillingo, Playfish, EA Mobile, and Hasbro.

Console video games have been evolving to include online play with friends and stories stretched with digital content made available for download on the Internet.

Many have compelling storylines to reward players for spending $60 on a triple-A title instead of a few dollars or less on social or mobile games.

"Good stories make the world of difference," said Marc Petit, senior vice president of media and entertainment at Autodesk, which makes technology used to create videogames.

Freshly released "L.A. Noire" lets people play homicide detectives in 1947 Hollywood, while players choices in "Mass Effect" follow them from game-to-game shaping outcomes.

Publishers are confident that new "screens" will broaden the gaming audience to include just about anyone.

"There really has never been a better time to be a gamer," Steinberg said. "The options are absolutely staggering."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own