I don’t usually write about gaming and I haven’t covered E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) for years. But this year was different. Gaming has risen from the ashes and this E3, the industry got its groove back as was evident from the swagger all around. My top reasons why E3 and gaming is on a roll.
Playstation 4: Finally we moved from conjecture to the real thing. The PS4 is cheaper than the Xbox One, it’s as powerful, has a controller with a touchpad built in that gives you a whole set of new things to do with games, has a second-screen feature with a PS Vita, offers backward compatibility to your old games, has Gaikai cloud gaming, Blu-Ray and a multimedia centre. And did I mention it’s $100 cheaper than the XB1?
XBox One: More arsenal pouring out in this ultimate fight to the finish between the two big consoles. Xbox One may get rid of the very controversial second hand and renting games block, plus it announced fantastic new games at E3, new demos of online play and some fantastic use of the second-screen feature. Still, the sparkle around the XB1 seems to have dimmed a little ever since the dawn of the PS4.The Wonderful 101: While the Wii U isn’t exactly setting sales records, this may well be the game that sets them on fire. You get to control a band of superheroes out to save the world. The difference is that both the gameplay and the controls are so intuitive and easy that, at times, it’ll seem like wizardry has taken over as your little heroes scurry to obey your command. Great use of the Wii U Tablet.
Smart Glass: It’s a cool name and adds new dimension to gaming. Smart Glass for the XBox One is great idea if the implementation can be less clunky. What you get is your console speaking to another compatible smartphone or tablet wherein the screen of that becomes part of the game. It can be your second controller or your additional info screen.
Titanfall: The game that may well send non-gamers kicking and screaming back into the world of gaming. Within the gorgeous graphics, you can be in control of a gigantic robot and be super powerful, albeit slow, or eject out of the mech and play as a fast and agile (but not as powerful) footsoldier. When to switch can be the difference between life and death. Aaaaah…me can’t wait!Alienware Gaming Laptops: These guys keep churning out these giant and super powerful gaming machines at a relentless pace. This time they’ve upped it to 18 inches and this hulk of a beast can play any game you can throw at it without missing a beat. The only time you’re going to regret buying this machine is when you have to actually pick it up to carry it with you. That would be a game in itself!
Disney Infinity: The ultimate morphing of hardware, software and plastic toys. Take your favourite action figure, set it on top of the Infinity board and boom – your toy becomes a character in the game. You can even have power-ups, special features and extra lives added in the same way. Once again, let the Disney magic sweep over you (or your child) and watch the Disney Corporation make even more money than ever before.
Razer Blade: Who says a gaming machine has to be monstrous? The Blade is super thin, super light and super powerful. It’s also one of the most innovative machines I’ve seen in a long time. Check out the multi-screen control display on the side of the keyboard and the general wiz-bangery this one throws up. Gamer or not, every one of us needs one of these.The Evil Within: Think of the most spectacular horror movie you’ve ever seen, add to that a horror move that literally had you cowering under your bed sheets – now multiply both by a 100 and you end up with a game called The Evil Within. An added twist is that you have to use your brains to battle the evil as this isn’t a hack-and-slash zombie fest.
Mad Catz Mojo: It fits in your hand and is so powerful that it plays every Android game on the planet. Attach it to your TV with an HDMI cable and get banging on its wireless controller. Down- load and play any Android game from the Playstore – this is a full blown Android gaming console.
Oculus Rift HMD: I’ve never really enjoyed the whole idea of Head-Mounted Displays. The feel is very disorienting; the resolution of the screen sucks and the gaming experience has always been horrible. Until the Oculus Rift HD. This one is immersive to the point of being scary, as it tracks your head movement. Look left and the screen and game actually tracks with you, look back and you’ll see who is following you, look up and you’ll see the sky filled with birds. Like I said, amazing and downright terrifying!
Smartphones and tablets have made casual gaming a mainstream activity. E3 this year has brought the entire console and video gaming industry roaring back. You can be sure that at least one from above is going to be making its way into your home soon. I can bet my future PS4, my soon to be bought Razer Blade and my about to be ordered Oculus Rift on that!
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
From HT Brunch, June 30
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