The world’s biggest gaming conference, E3, is done and dusted for another year. We laughed, we cried, we lost a lot of sleep. Most of all though, we lusted after gorgeous tech that is either not available to the general public, or we ( I ) can’t afford it, and oh boy, was there a lot to lust after?!
This week’s lust list contains just a few of E3’s offerings. Working from top to bottom, left to right of the image above, here are the announcements that had me the most pumped.
Virtual reality gaming has been gaining momentum for a few years now, and judging by reports from the attendees of the show there was a huge focus on VR this year. Many big names are working on their own special take on VR – some more anticipated than others – but the VR system that excites me the most at the moment is Microsoft’s HoloLens. If you haven’t seen the HoloLens demo from Microsoft’s E3 press conference yet then you need to stop everything and click this link. It’s like a primitive Star Trek Holo Deck, if you could wear the Holo Deck on your head.
Okay. The tech is currently in its early stages still, and this is evident in the varying opinions online of how well the HoloLens works, but it’s only a matter of time before Microsoft perfects it, and from that point onwards the possibilities are endless. Imagine if the BBC could live stream the Glastonbury festival in to your living room, giving you the option to have a life size Kanye West perform in your living room, or a miniature Metallica perform on your kitchen worktop whilst you prepare dinner? Or what about a survival horror game that uses your entire house as its location? Creepy, but undeniably awesome.
Yoshi’s Woolly World Amiibo’s.
I haven’t owned a Nintendo console for a few years now and I wasn’t planning on buying a Wii U anytime soon, but that is all about to change. Based entirely on cute-factor alone, Yoshi’s Woolly World Amiibo’s have convinced me that I need Wii U in my life. For those of you who may not be familiar with Amiibo’s, they normally come in the form of plastic figurines that interact with Wii U games. When placed over a sensor on a Wii U controller, the figurine character will appear in the game you are playing. Instead of a plastic figurine however, Yoshi’s Woolley World comes with a cute knitted woollen Yoshi!
Yoshi’s Woolly World isn’t an entirely new concept. We’ve seen similar titles from Nintendo before. This game has some nice new features though, like Mellow Mode (could also be called cheat mode) where Yoshi is given wings to avoid a fiery death, allowing you to simply fly over any dangers, lay back and enjoy the cutesy art style of the game.
Xbox Elite Controller.
A shiny new controller was announced for the Xbox this week named the Xbox One Elite controller. This baby costs 3 times more than a regular Xbox controller, and is undoubtedly 3 times as sleek. Reports from the floor say that it’s extremely comfortable to hold compared to regular Xbox controllers, although most add that it’s a little overpriced.
Everything on the pad is interchangeable allowing you to really customise the pad to your needs, and is rubberised ensuring no awkward slips during combos. Parts are held on magnetically and look sturdy, including the handy new paddles on the base of the pad.
Do I need one? No. Do I want one? Hell yes!
Before the Xbox Elite controller was announced, the guys at Oculus revealed a new, mysterious controller system that they have been working on for use with their Oculus Rift. The Touch system – nicknamed ‘Half Moon’ – is designed to give users hands inside the virtual world. Until now most Oculus games have required an Xbox controller, and this has often been a barrier preventing the Oculus user from interacting with the virtual world naturally. The Oculus Touch gives the user virtual hands that reports say feel much more natural and intuitive than a game pad, therefore helping the player to feel more immersed in virtual reality. The system is still at its prototype stage, but this exciting tech is a big leap forward for VR gaming. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition.
When Executive Producer for games studio Bethesda, Todd Howard announced Fallout 4’s release date during their press conference I’m almost certain I screamed. Fallout is my all-time favourite game franchise and it’s been a while since the last instalment of the series, Fallout New Vegas. As he described the collector’s edition (the Pip-Boy Edition) of the game, a tear of joy formed in my eye. As the name suggests, the Pip-Boy Edition comes with your own wearable Pip-Boy (a Pip-Boy, for those who haven’t played Fallout, is the device that characters of the Fallout world wear on their arm. It tells you how sick you are, how many items you are carrying, it contains your world map. It’s basically a Fit Bit/Apple watch, but way cooler). After you’ve installed the app on to your mobile, just slot in to the Pip-Boy, attach it to your arm, and use it alongside the game. Yes, you can use it instead of the in-game Pip-Boy. It updates your stats in real time! How exciting is that? As Todd Howard himself said “As far as stupid gimmicks go, this is the best fucking one I’ve ever seen“.
I have been hyped about the Oculus Rift since day one, and somehow I still haven’t managed to get my hands on a demo of it. I came very close to buying the developers kit but decided to hold out for a consumer version, and it’s finally on its way! Pre-orders start at the end of this year, and the first batch is to be shipped early next year.
Did you watch E3? What are you most excited about? Maybe you’re lusting after something I didn’t list here. Let me know below!