Day two of E3 is almost in the books, and while Justin brings you his impressions from the show floor (Saints Row 4, my gawd), here’s a round-up of some of the day’s more interesting news.
SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED TO HAVE ALL THE DC. NO, SERIOUSLY.
A few weeks prior to E3, developer 5th cell revealed the latest entry in their Scribblenauts franchise, Scribblenauts Unmasked. A DC-themed take on the previous games’ word based problem solving sounded promising, but for a series that prided itself on including a ludicrous number of objects to create and interact with, the question became just how many DC characters were we actually going to get. Turns out it’s somewhere between a ton and “seriously, where do you guys find the time?” In an interview with Joystiq, studio co-founder Joseph Trigali said, “We definitely started… we wanted to get all the top treatments, all the top IP. There’s dozens of versions of Batman, Superman, a lot of the major tier 1 heroes. Then we went through and added the rest of them. DC is such a big, expansive universe that it’s not possible to get everything that’s ever been created.” Oh, yeah, I suppose that’s true. So what are we talking here like two, three hundred? Try 2500 and counting. For fans of niche DC characters this may be your one and only chance to see your beloved hero/villain in digital form, so keep an eye out for Unmasked this Fall. I know that if they manage to work in a certain hockey-mask wearing vigilante, at least two CHUD members are going to be VERY happy.
MICROSOFT SPACE BUCKS WILL AUTOMATICALLY BECOME REGULAR SPACE BUCKS
Speaking to Joystiq, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that current 360 users will have their supply of Microsoft Points converted automatically to real currency to coincide with the upcoming Xbox One release. Will Microsoft has yet to lay out an actual date for the switch, according to the rep “When the transition takes place, the balance of Microsoft Points in an account will be retired and the customer will be given an amount in local currency that is equal or greater in Marketplace value. That value will be stored in your account and can be used similar to Microsoft Points to make purchases in the Xbox Live Marketplace.” Assuming the going rate stays the same, that works out to about a dollar per 80 points. Considering Microsoft has already taken the half-step of including real money payment options for many of its features, this seems like a welcome loss of redundancy. Still, it’s not all good news. As a longtime member of the Xbox Rewards program (yeah, that still exists), I doubt I’ll be receiving a complimentary quarter on my birthday. 20 points just sounds so much more legitimate!
UBISOFT’S NEW TITLES BRING CASUAL CO-OP TO TABLETS
While the idea of a secondary, casual co-op mode may be anathema to the hardcore dude-bro elite (see: “girlfriend mode” and also “idiot”), the truth is it can be a useful tool for engaging people who might not be interested in the more complex, traditional game experience. Or maybe your friend just insists on playing some baby game like Super Mario Galaxy and you figure, hey, collecting star-bits will give you something to occupy your hands while you mock them. Either way, Ubisoft is looking to expand the traditional co-op experience with their upcoming titles Watch Dogs and The Division, both of which will include a companion app for either Android or iOS tablets (no word yet on Windows 8). Speaking to Polygon, lead designer of The Division Matthias Karlson said that tablet players will be piloting drones that can provide buffs as well as engage in combat directly. Watch Dogs will also have some form of direct interaction, though details are still vague at this point. Ubisoft’s other big upcoming release, Assassins’ Creed 4: Black Flag, will also include tablet functionality, though as of now it appears to be strictly informational. You can check out The Division‘s drone in action below, skip to the 3:45 mark to see Chris save the day.
And now for some quick bites:
According to the Wall Street Journal, gamers in Asia won’t be seeing the Xbox One until 2014, and even then only in the target “high-growth” markets of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and India. No word yet on a Japan release date, which has to be troubling for the dozen, or perhaps even dozens of loyal 360 users in that country.
Ubisoft is getting into the movie business hard, with announced plans for films based on their Watch Dogs, Far Cry and Rabbids series. These join the previously announced Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon movies currently in development. Considering they’ve seen first hand how bad a half-assed adaptation can be (Far Cry was already subjected to the Uwe Boll treatment), here’s hoping these get a little more TLC. Sheer volume would suggest that at least one of these video game movies has to be good right? Right?
Finally, according to a tweet from Devlover press agent Stephanie Schoop, Hotline Miami 2 is playable on the E3 floor. That’s all we’ve got at the moment, but you’d better believe I am sending Justin a haranguing e-mail ASAP.
Credit to Sam Howzit for the header image.
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