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E3 2012 – What to Expect

Super Mario Bros. Wii U
A Super Mario demo for Wii U was shown off at last year’s E3, but this year we should get to see exactly how it’ll play. Whether a completely new project or a development of the New Super Mario Bros. demo seen last year, we’re not yet sure. However, Nintendo of America recently registered the SuperMario4.com domain, suggesting it may be something very special indeed. Being a first-party title, you can bet it’ll make good use of the tablet/TV split of the Wii U.

Wii U mario

Far Cry 3
Fry Cry 3 and Crysis 3 at the same convention? E3 2012 is set to spoil us. Ubisoft has released a teaser vid showing the team’s preparation for the conference, and you can watch it below.

Fry Cry 3 was revealed last year at E3 with a video to announce its existence, and while that told us that the open jungles that have been the series’s staple are still in place and as lush as ever, this year we should be able to get a full hands-on demo.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted
EA’s schedule for E3 2012 has revealed that a new Need for Speed: Most Wanted game is in the works. The last title dubbed Most Wanted was released way back in 2005. It’s a series that could do with a shot in the arm, too. After a run of well-reviewed titles, EA rather messed things up with last year’s The Run – which achieved mediocre reviews and relatively poor sales.

Hardware and Software

“Spotify for Xbox 360” -Codenamed Woodstock
Microsoft is reportedly to show off its music streaming service, code-named Woodstock – at E3 2012. If you’re fully Windows’d up, it could prove to be a great alternative to Spotify. The service will work with Windows Phone mobiles, Windows 8 PCs and Windows tablets as well as the Xbox 360, and if the UI and music library are right, it should be a good all-in-one music solution. But will Microsoft swallow its pride and release Android/iPhone apps too? Even if it doesn’t, it is browser-based too so should be easy to access with any device.

Wii U
It’s hard to believe that there can be that many secrets left to reveal about the Wii U. The hardware was extensively shown-off last year, and it’s hoped to be one sale by Christmas 2012 – as a key candidate for Xmas pressie of the year. The system uses a tablet-style controller with a 6.2in screen and full physical controls, as well as a Wii-like box that plugs into your TV. With Nintendo reporting its first annual loss in decades this year, it can’t afford a flop.
Wii U

Kinect Re-focus
E3 2012 will see the next wave of Kinect games announced, with a predictable part-focus on exercise-related games. Dance Central 3, Just Dance – Greatest Hits, Kinect Sports 3, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved an Zumba Fitness 3 all demonstrate the iterative, fitness-related rut the peripheral is coasting along.

There are some games that divert from this trend, though. Steel Batallion: Heavy Armor is the most delightfully loony of the bunch. It’s a tank battle game, a far cry from the standard casual Kinect fodder. But, thankfully, it doesn’t rely on Kinect entirely – it uses the Xbox controller too. A demo of the game is already available on Xbox Live.

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