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Activision’s E3 Expo Lineup

With just over 24 hours till the official opening of this year’s E3 Expo, Activision have revealed what they’ll be wetting our appetites with at the show. Activision will be showcasing what they’re dubbing as “a new era” for the Call of Duty franchise with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the latest in the innovative Skylanders series and the hugely anticipated Destiny will be playable on the show floor, as will Skylander Trap Team.

“This year’s E3 has been years in the making for us,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “Each game we are showcasing is the result of our commitment to quality and innovation: our first 3-year development and our first new lead developer on the  Call of Duty franchise in a decade with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Our biggest innovation since we invented the Toys-to-Life category with  Skylanders Trap Team. And the result of over four years of passion, partnership and investment to bring Bungie’s vision for Destiny to life. I think this is the best slate in Activision’s history and I can’t wait for gamers to get a closer look.”

 


Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

While Sledgehammer Games had a hand in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, they’re now running the show with the development of their first Call of Duty title in the new tri-annual Call of Duty cycle. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare promises to deliver gamers a truly exceptional experience with an immersive and compelling narrative, stunning visuals and all new gameplay which will redefine how Call of Duty is played. With the power of a mechanical exoskeleton, players become an advanced future soldier empowered by an arsenal of never before seen weaponry, new abilities and gameplay mechanics to match. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the first Call of Duty is the first in the franchise to be developed with the now current-gen Xbox One and PS4 consoles as the primary development focus. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare retains its early November slot, this year releasing on the 4th on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and Windows PC.

 

Destiny_31Destiny

From the creators of the infamous Halo, Bungie brings us Destiny. An epic action-packed adventure title set in a mysterious universe that resembles our own. Destiny is trailblazing a whole new way to play first person shooters with a story-driven universe filled with single player, cooperative, competitive, public, and social activities, all seamlessly connected in a vast, persistent universe, creating the world’s first “Shared World Shooter”. Players take the role of Guardians of the last city on Earth, wielding incredible powers and exploring the extremities of our solar system. From September 9th, Destiny will be available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. 

 

 

Skylanders-Trap-Team_Snap-ShotSkylanders Trap Team

After the roaring success of Skylanders, see  our review here, Toys for Bob are hard at work creating Skylanders Trap Team. In the next chapter of the Skylanders journey, kinds will be able to take characters out of the digital world and bring them into the real world. In  Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most wanted villains in all of Skylands, taking them out the game by capturing them in Traps. Players can then send the villains back into the game where they become playable characters, fighting for good. Skylanders Trap Team will include the Traptanium Portal, a ring of magical energy that enables kids to not only bring their Skylanders to life, but also capture villains using Traps.  Skylanders Trap Team introduces new heroes known as Trap Masters and will be available on October 5th in North America for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U. A completely unique version will be available on the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system.

 

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E3 Expo LIVE on UGP

E3 Expo LIVE right here on UGP!

 

E3 Expo 2014 was a fantastic event with some really awesome unveils and news coming out of L.A.

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Sony reveals E3 Expo lineup

 

Sony Logo  - Ultimate Gaming ParadiseThe list of games that Sony are going to exhibit at the E3 Expo this year has been revealed and consist of over 50 titles including DestinyDriveClub and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX.

The official Sony PlayStation press conference will be held at 6:00pm PDT on June 9 (that’s 2am Wednesday morning UK time).  From June 10, Sony will hold a 3 day live stream showcasing game demos, developer interviews and new title trailers.

“One more thing: I’m pleased to reveal a selection of fine PlayStation software that will be showing in our E3 booth,” said Sid Shuman via the PlayStation Blog”Obviously, we can’t dish on every game that we’ll be showing at E3, but consider this a conversation starter. See you Monday!”

Here’s the full list of what Sony will be giving us insight to at E3 Expo this year.

  • Aaru’s Awakening (Lumenox, PS3)
  • Akiba’s Trip Undead & Undressed (XSEED, PS Vita)
  • Apotheon (Alientrap, PS4)
  • Assault Android Cactus (Witchbeam Games, PS4)
  • Axiom Verge (Thomas Happ Games, PS4)
  • Big Fest (SCE / On The Metal Ltd., PS Vita)
  • The Binding of Issac: Rebirth (Nicalis, PS4)
  • Chasm (Discord Games, PS4)
  • CounterSpy (SCE/Dynamighty, PS4/PS3/PS Vita)
  • Danganronpa 2 (NIS America, PS Vita)
  • Destiny (Activision/Bungie, PS4)
  • Diablo III: The Ultimate Evil Edition (Activision Blizzard, PS4)
  • Disgaea 4 (NIS America, PS Vita)
  • Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes (Disney Interactive, PS4)
  • DRIVECLUB (SCE/Evolution Studios, PS4)
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn (Bandai Namco Games, PS3)
  • EarthNight (Cleaversoft, PS4)
  • Freedom Wars (SCE/SCE Japan Studios SHIFT and Dimps, PS Vita)
  • GALAK-Z: The Dimensional (17-BIT, PS4)
  • Gravity Crash Ultra (Just Add Water, PS Vita)
  • Guilty Gear Xrd (Aksys Games, PS4)
  • Gunship X (Hidden Elephant, PS Vita)
  • Helldivers (SCE/Arrowhead Game Studios, PS4/PS3)
  • Hohokum (SCE/Honeyslug, PS4/PS3)
  • Home (Benjamin Rivers Inc., PS Vita)
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (Devolver, PS Vita)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine, PS Vita)
  • Invizimals: The Alliance (SCE/Novarama, PS Vita)
  • Jamestown Plus (Final Form Games, PS4)
  • Killzone Shadow Fall Intercept (SCE/Guerrilla Games, PS4)
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix (Square Enix, PS3)
  • Legend of Raven (Nicalis, PS Vita)
  • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Warner Bros, PS4)
  • MechRunner (Spark Plug Games, PS Vita)
  • Metrico (Digital Dreams, PS Vita)
  • MLB 14 The Show (SCE/San Diego Studio, PS4/PS Vita)
  • Murasaki Baby (SCE/Ovosonico, PS Vita)
  • N++ (Metanet Software, PS4)
  • Nidhogg (Messhof, PS4)
  • Night in the Woods (Finji Games, PS4)
  • Nuclear Throne (Vlambeer, PS4)
  • Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc, PS4)
  • One Way Trip (Beret Applications, PS Vita)
  • Persona 4: Arena Ultimax (Atlus Games, PS3)
  • PS Vita Pets (Spiral House, PS Vita)
  • PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate (Double 11, PS Vita)
  • Planetside 2 (SOE, PS4)
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (EA, PS4)
  • Project CARS (Slightly Mad, PS4)
  • Race the Sun (Flippfly PS, Vita)
  • Road Not Taken (Spry Fox, PS4)
  • Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door, PS Vita)
  • Samurai Warriors 4 (Tecmo-Koei, PS4)
  • Secret Ponchos (Switchblade Monkeys, PS4)
  • Shadow Warrior (Devolver Digital, PS4)
  • Source (Fenixfire, PS4)
  • Starwhal: Just the Tip (Breakfall, PS3)
  • Super Exploding Zoo (Honeyslug, PS Vita)
  • Switch Galaxy Ultra (Atomicon, PS Vita)
  • Tales of Xillia 2 (Bandai Namco Games, PS3)
  • Teslagrad (Rain Games, PS3)
  • The Crew (Ubisoft, PS4)
  • The Golf Club (HB Studios, PS4)
  • The Order: 1886 SCE / Ready At Dawn, PS4
  • The Swapper (Curve Studios, PS3)
  • To Leave (Freaky Creations, PS Vita)
  • EA Sports UFC (EA Sports, PS4)
  • Valiant Hearts (Ubisoft, PS4)
  • Velocity 2X (FuturLab, PS4)
  • Zen Pinball 2: The Walking Dead Table (Pack Zen Studios, PS3)
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Nintendo closes European HQ

nintendo-wii-u-systemNintendo has announced that it is closing its European HQ in Großostheim, Germany, laying off 130 employees in the process. The firm’s offices in Frankfurt will be the new home of for the European HQ operations. It is understood Nintendo are also looking at “outsourcing and reorganising some functions” within Europe.

“These intended measures have not been made lightly and have only been arrived at after thorough analysis and careful consideration,” the company said in a statement.

“The intended measures will sadly have a direct effect on some of the employees based in the Großostheim and Frankfurt offices in Germany and would lead to the release of approximately 130 permanent employees.”

Nintendo is going to seek consultation before the closure and lay-offs are finalised and is hoping that in the long term the measures will “better enable the European business to adapt to the rapidly changing business environment.”

Last month, May, Nintendo’s published accounts showed a net annual loss of £135 million while predicting a somewhat measly 3.6 million annual sales for its flagship WiiU console for 2014/15 financial year.

 

Full Statement from Nintendo Europe

Nintendo of Europe has entered into a consultation process on a number of changes it is intending to make to its European business which, in the long term, will better enable the European business to adapt to the rapidly changing business environment.

The measures include the consolidation of the current European headquarters in Großostheim (Germany) to Frankfurt (Germany), the closure of the warehouse and office in Großostheim, as well as outsourcing and reorganising some functions.

These intended measures have not been made lightly and have only been arrived at after thorough analysis and careful consideration. The intended measures will sadly have a direct effect on some of the employees based in the Großostheim and Frankfurt offices in Germany and would lead to the release of approximately 130 permanent employees.

Nintendo of Europe is committed to a fair consultation process with the local Works Council in Germany with the objective of providing clarity and support for all affected employees as soon as possible.

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Xbox One to get 45 new apps

 

With little time to go till the big annual Xbox briefing at E3 Expo, it has been announced that more than 45 new entertainment apps are coming to the Xbox platform. Some of the big names that folks will get excited about are Twitter (a specially designed app for viewing Twitter on a TV with additional functionality), Vine, HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, Comedy Central and Major League Gaming are all scheduled to release by the end of the year, alongside many more apps. With the addition of over 45 new apps, it will bring the total catalogue up to 225 apps around the world, just remember though that that number includes Xbox 360 apps as well!

Xbox say that with over 180 apps currently available on both 360 and One, entertainment usage of the consoles outside of gaming has continued to shoot up. With one of the core visions of Xbox One being a system that allows gamers to switch seamlessly between gaming and TV shows, movies, and apps they love, this announcement is just another step forward in providing that all-in-one entertainment system.

“Xbox fans are spending more time than ever on the console, spending more than five hours a day on Xbox One,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Devices and Studios at Microsoft. “Today as we announce new commitments from dozens of our partners, including deep integration with experiences like Twitter and Vine, we hit an important milestone in our journey to deliver unique experiences on Xbox. We’re thrilled to break new ground in social TV experiences like we’re doing with Twitter on Xbox One.”

 

Xbox One Twitter Mini-guideTwitter for Xbox One

A version of the Twitter platform is being designed and built specifically for  Xbox One. However, it’s useless to us in UK as we’ve got zero integration with television services other than the upcoming launch of Now TV, which you shouldn’t bother with incidentally, it’s cheaper to just go and get a Sky subscription and you’re given a better TV experience with more channels. There’s no mention if the Twitter app will integrate with Now TV, assume it won’t!

What the Twitter app will do for those in the USA is thus. Twitter will integrate directly with the Xbox One’s TV viewing system and optimised to run on any size of screen, much bigger than the traditional laptop, desktop, tablet and mobile phone screens Twitter is currently viewed on of course! While watching a programme, viewers will be able to see Tweets relating to the show currently viewed in real time, while watching. Additionally, TV listings will have Twitter integration in the OneGuide where viewers will be able to see what shows are currently “trending” on Twitter so if you care, you can stay up to date with what’s popular…even if it’s utter tripe! During advert breaks in shows, Twitter springs into action and presents to the viewer what is being said about the current show in the Twittersphere.

“People turn to Twitter every day to enjoy and engage in the real-time conversations about their favorite TV shows,” says Jana Messerschmidt, VP Business Development and Platform at Twitter. “We’re enhancing that experience on the Xbox One with a unique Watch with Twitter integration. It will now be easier to discover what shows are trending in real-time on Twitter, tune-in and follow the conversation right from within the Xbox One interface. We are excited to work with the Xbox One team and continue to deliver unique entertainment experiences.”

 

More partners come to Xbox

Twitter integration is just one example of how we’re expanding the world of entertainment on Xbox this year.” says the Xbox Wire blog. 

The blog post goes on to say that Major League Gaming is building an app for Xbox One after the success of their Xbox 360 app and Vine is getting in on the action with an app of their own also.

Here is the full list of new apps being released on the Xbox platform throughout 2014. The list shows app, console and what countries the app is to launch in.

  • Antena 3. Xbox One: ES
  • ChiliTV. Xbox One: IT
  • Comedy Central. Xbox One: US
  • Crunchyroll. Xbox One: AU, AT, BR, CA, DE, ES, FR, IE, IT, MX, NZ, UK, US
  • ENCORE Play. Xbox One: US
  • EPIX. Xbox One: US
  • Filmbox Live. Xbox 360: AR, AU, AT, BE, BR, CA, CL, CO, CZ, DK, FI, FR, DE, GR, HK, HU, IN, IE, IL, IT, JP, MX, NL, NZ, NO, PL, PT, RU, SA, SG, SK, ZA, KR, ES, SE, CH, TW, TR, AE, UK, US
  • Fox Play. Xbox One: MX, BR. Xbox 360: MX, BR, AR, CO, CL
  • Frightflix. Xbox One: US
  • FXNOW. Xbox 360: US
  • Gol TV. Xbox One: ES
  • GoPro. Xbox One: US, CA, MX, UK, FR, DE, IT, ES, AU, BR, AT, NZ, IR
  • HBO GO. Xbox One: US: Xbox 360: MX, BR, AR, CO, CL
  • iHeartRadio. Xbox One: US
  • Infinity. Xbox One: IT
  • IVI. Xbox 360: RU
  • KDrama. Xbox One: AU, AT, BR, CA, DE, ES, FR, IE, IT, MX, NZ, UK, US. Xbox 360: AR, AU, AT, BE, BR, CA, CL, CO, CZ, DK, FI, FR, DE, GR, HK, HU, IN, IE, IL, IT, MX, NL, NZ, NO, PL, PT, RU, SA, SG, SK, ZA, ES, SE, CH, TW, TR, AE, UK, US
  • maxdome. Xbox One: AT, DE
  • MLG. Xbox One: US, UK, CA, AU
  • MOVIEPLEX Play. Xbox One: US
  • MTV. Xbox One: US
  • NBA. Xbox One: AT, AU, BR, CA, FR, DE, IE, IT, MX, ES, NZ, UK, US
  • NHL. Xbox One: US, CA, MX, UK, FR, DE, IT, ES, AU, BR, AT, NZ, IR. Xbox 360: US, CA, MX, UK, FR, DE, IT, ES, JP, AU, BR, NL, SE, RU, TW, PL, IN, HK, TR, BE, AT, NZ, SA, AR, NO, CH, SG, ZA, IR, DK, CO, CL, FI, CZ, HU, IL, GR, PT, SK
  • Now TV. Xbox One: UK
  • Picturebox. Xbox 360: UK
  • Popcornflix. Xbox One: US
  • Showtime Anytime. Xbox 360: US
  • Sky News. Xbox One: UK, IE, US, CA. Xbox 360: UK, IE, US, CA
  • Sky Online. Xbox One: IT
  • STARZ Play. Xbox One: US
  • STV. Xbox 360: UK
  • Syfy Now. Xbox One: US
  • Target Ticket. Xbox One: US
  • TuneIn. Xbox One: US, CA, MX, UK, FR, DE, IT, ES, AU, BR, AT, NZ, IR
  • TV2. Xbox 360: DK
  • Twitter. Xbox One: US
  • USA Now. Xbox One: US
  • VEO. Xbox One: MX. Xbox 360: MX
  • Vevo. Xbox One: CA, US, AU, FR, DE, IR, BR,ES, IT, UK, NZ
  • VH1. Xbox One: US
  • Vine. Xbox One: US
  • WATCH ABC. Xbox 360: US
  • WATCH Disney Channel. Xbox 360: US
  • WATCH Disney Junior. Xbox 360: US
  • WATCH Disney XD. Xbox 360: US
  • Watchever. Xbox One: DE
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Finish Him…. It’s Coming Soon To The Next Gen Consoles, Mortal Kombat X Announced!

Mortal-Kombat-10-Fan-Screen-1.1Suddenly appearing on Amazon today, Mortal Kombat X has been ‘outed’ by developer NetherRealm and publisher Warner Brothers. The slip-up by the US online retailer said the game was to be launched in 2015, at some point? However, co-creator of Mortal Kombat and Creative Director of NetherRealm Studios, Ed Boon has been quietly, well as quietly as you can with nearly a hundred thousand followers, started to tease the release of one of the most influential video games in history. The presses, from the bastions of press release re-writing like IGN to the gutter rags like Metro have all started to go ‘viral’ about the announcement of Mortal Kombat 10 or X depending on where you are reading this. Mortal Kombat is a game that changed everything. In 1993 a game was released which trigged a slight ‘controversy’. To put into context, the BBC paid great lip service to Warner Bros’ release of Mortal Kombat saying it “was the equivalent of Disney distributing Reservoir Dogs or American Psycho on Sesame Street.” Mortal Kombat has become a brand that has survived long after the demise of the myriad of consoles it has enlightened. The news that Mortal Kombat X will hit the ‘next-gen’ consoles has already started to wet fans’ appetites about thumping Sub Zero or thrashing Raven in beautiful high def, or as high def as one 720p can go with the next gen consoles! More news will be forthcoming as the developer releases more information. So keep tuned!

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morpheus

Sony announce Virtual Reality tech development for PS4

And so it begins. The next step in the evolution of gaming well under way with Sony now entering into the fray with PS4 virtual reality technology. So far we’ve seen fledgling virtual reality (VR) like the Oculus Rift and Microsoft has announced that it is developing virtual reality technology for the Xbox One.  Now Sony are getting involved and are revealing their plans at Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco. A move away from viewing on a panel towards being totally immersed in the gaming experience and using your body as the controller seems like natural progression. It won’t be long before a “gaming room” resembles Jean-Luc’s Holodeck!

Sony’s virtual reality development is named “Project Morpheus” or Morpheus for short. It is a virtual reality system designed for the PlayStation 4 that promises to take gaming into the future with a new level of immersion.  

Playstation-4Logo-HD

Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios had this to say – “At SCE we view innovation as an opportunity to build on our mission to push the boundaries of play. Project Morpheus is the latest example of innovation from SCE, and we’re looking forward to its continued development and the games that will be created as development kits get into the hands of content creators.”

Morpheus gives developers the power to build games the generate a sense of presence, the feeling of being actually in and part of the game compared to looking in and controlling an avatar. Morpheus’ goal is to increase the emotional experience players feel as they navigate their way through a game world. A head mounted visor will deliver a seamless experience right in front of the player’s eyes, working with the PlayStation camera to do so. Head movement is tracked with pinpoint accuracy thanks to inertia sensors in the visor meaning that as a player turns their head, the game world will intuitively turn with you as you look around. To further the sensation of being in the game world, supporting games will utilise the PlayStation Move Motion Controller as a control object such as a sword or bat. In game, the player’s hand and relevant object will be recreated further blurring the divide between game and reality.

Essential to any reality substitute is satisfying the sense of sound. Morpheus adopts Sony’s uniquely developed 3D audio technology to recreate sounds from the typical front, side and rear as well as noise from above and below the player. The true third dimension will be vastly improved with an audio stimulation of above and below. Players hear sounds change depending on their head orientation creating a highly realistic and immersive 360 degree audio environment.

To date, the PlayStation 4 has vastly outsold the Xbox One, racking up over 6 million unit sales in just three and a half months. With these kinds of numbers, it’s fair to say that developers are likely to be give more attention to developing VR games for PS4 rather than any other console.

We will be keeping a close eye on how virtual reality technology progresses and will be sure to keep you informed of any developments.

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