Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Few Morsels of News from E3

Despite what I (and I'm sure many gamers) previously assumed, Wii U will not be backward compatible with Gamecube games, only Wii titles. Honestly since the last generation of consoles, I've stopped expecting backward compatibility. PS3 and Xbox 360 were absolute disasters with respect to that particular feature at launch, hardly working with their previous console iteration's titles. Microsoft made the 360 better while Sony stripped the feature completely. I believe that backward compatibility confusion combined with handhelds only supporting one previous generation (at least Nintendo's) makes this news less surprising than it would have been 7 years ago. I will say this though, I would have been outraged if Wii U wasn't backward compatible with Wii--the new console uses the old's bloody name.

Assassin's Creed, despite its many iterations, still has gamers heart strings wrapped around its deadly little finger. As a result, Ubisoft has announced that an Assassin's Creed title will be coming to Wii U. No other details have been announced, including if it will be a port or a new entry in the series, but I'm sure gamers are already imagining the creative ways to do in their enemies with the new controller.

Playstation Vita has been getting a positively mammoth amount of buzz about it lately, but here comes more. It seems a Sony Europe employee has almost confirmed that the console will not be region locked. This feature, one added by the Nintendo 3DS despite the DS being unlocked, means that gamers can import games from overseas and play them without having to fiddle with hacking their system. I personally believe region locking is silly, so good on you Sony for making the smart choice here. Remember, this is still a rumor, but when it comes from someone working for Sony, it may as well be confirmed.

Sony also made news during its press conference with its announcement of a Playstation branded television. The 24" display will feature full 3D capabilities along with an added feature allowing for 2 people to view different things on the same television with their active shutter glasses. Honestly, this isn't new technology and I'm still confused on how the audio would work, but it's encouraging to see Sony include new features in a gaming-centric display, even if that display is smaller than most gamers' monitors.

Rayman Origins is an odd beast in a generation marked by realistic graphics and dark visual tones. Its gameplay looks simple, but fun, just like the graphics. It's appears like a very cohesive game that sticks to cartoony, dare I say "old school," fun; like an HD remake of a Super Nintendo game with similar gameplay. Rayman fans and non-believers alike should enjoy this new experience. I think this is exactly what the Rayman series needed. The official trailer along with some Ubisoft execs talking after the break.

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