At the 2012 Electronic Electronic Expo (E3), a games industry-only event which wrapped in June of this year, Sony president Jack Tretton equated the tradeshow to the Super Bowl, and there’s no doubt that anyone who considers themselves a gamer is paying close attention to what companies announced at the confab. Its most important revelation: That there’s a continued and growing trend towards blockbuster games that are designed for the core gamer, and our list of the following 10 best new video games clearly reflects this – as well as a few choices that are also appropriate for all ages. Looking to get a head start on your holiday wish list? Here’s what gaming fans will want to keep top of mind going forward.
(in alphabetical order)
Assassin’s Creed III – Ubisoft – The popular series set in history travels to the time of the American Revolution, as a templar named Connor battles the British. In addition to familiar stealth/adventure gameplay, the game will also feature intense nautical battles on the high seas. October 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii-U and PC
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Activision – With a narrative that skips between two time-periods, Call of Duty: Black Ops II puts players in the position of having their actions in the past affect the future. Players can see firsthand the consequences of their actions as they battle terrorists in 2025 Los Angeles. November 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
God of War Ascension – SCEA – Kratos is back, and this time he has a new weapon to battle his mythological enemies with: the ability to reverse time. This sure-fire hit will feature large and impressive bosses, such as an elephant-headed monster or the dreaded kraken. Spring 2013 for PlayStation 3.
Halo 4 – Microsoft – Master Chief and Cortana are back, and they must once again battle the alien scourge. Featuring an immersive single-player game and an equally as impressive multiplayer-focus, Halo 4’s gorgeous graphics and perfectly-tuned shooter mechanics make this one of the top must-have titles of 2012 for any game system. November 2012 for Xbox 360.
Hawken – Adhesive – This larger-than-life free-to-play multiplayer game features impressively scaled mechs battling each other in a variety of modes, with strategy playing just an important part in victory as the size and scale of your weapons and movements. December 2012 for PC.
Injustice – Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment – This all-new fighting game franchise from the makers of Mortal Kombat features DC Comics Icons like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and more. Each character has unique abilities and interact with the environment in their own special way. – 2013 for PS3, Xbox 360.
NintendoLand – Nintendo – Touted as the game that will give Wii-U gamers the same “a-ha” experience that Tennis did for the Wii, NintendoLand features a dozen different games based on familiar Nintendo characters and locations, while utilizing the Wii-U’s tablet-like GamePads to create new ways for gamers to interact with the action – separate from the TV. Holiday 2012 for Wii-U.
Skylanders Giants – Activision – 2011’s smash hit Skylanders is back in 2012 with Skylanders Giants, featuring 16 more collectible action figures and an all-new adventure. Skylanders Giants features even more of the great co-operative gameplay as the original, and again lets gamers take their Skylanders with them for play on any of their friend’s game systems. October 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS and PC.
Sleeping Dogs – Square Enix – Set in the streets of Hong Kong, this open-world crime game is perfect for gamers who can’t wait for the next Grand Theft Auto game. Sleeping Dogs follows the story of an undercover cop dealing with the explosive and bloody consequences of his cover being blown. August 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Watch Dogs – Ubisoft – Goodbye Zombies, hello hackers. With impressive graphics and an intriguing story about the power of hackers to wreak havoc on the world, Watch Dogs promises to be an open-world blockbuster when it’s released next year. 2013 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
It was more than just games on display at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles – there were also tons of the hottest new video game gear, gadgets, accessories and devices designed with gamers in mind to sample. Looking to give your playroom an upgrade in 2012? Here’s a look at some of the best controllers, headphones, joysticks and more that we could find.
Afterglow Wireless Headphones – PDP– The Afterglow wireless headsets provide 10 hours of wireless use, with high-fidelity surround soon and bass-boosting capability. The devices also feature multi-colored lights, and are a great complement to the company’s popular line of Afterglow controllers.
AV8R Arcade Flight Stick – MadCatz – With a design based on historically accurate WWII aircraft, the AV8R Arcade Flight Stick is designed to accompany the aerial combat game Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron WWII. The game actually marks MadCatz’s first foray into the world of video game publishing, so you can be sure the AV8R Arcade Flight Stick will be a perfect complement for the Damage Inc. game experience.
Dice + – Dice + – This real-life six sided die is seemingly blank, but when it comes close to your smartphone, tablet, TV or other BlueTooth device, it can be used to play a variety of game apps which come free with purchase. There are a wide variety of custom-made and traditional games, such as backgammon, that will have you gathering around your screen like a gameboard with friends or family.
Fusion Controller – Power A – Billed as the controller that “built for gamers by gamers,” Power A’s Fusion line of controllers feature interchangeable soft-touch and regular grips, an ergonomic design that’s been refined down to the millimeter by pro gamers, and buttons that have been machine-tested to withstand millions of presses. With its own hard carrying case, it’s sort of the equivalent of a baseball mitt or personal bowling ball for those serious about video games.
Inflatable Tablet Case for Kids – CTA – Here’s something that’s simple yet brilliant: an inflatable cube with a pocket for your iPhone or tablet computer that will allow your pre-schoolers to play with it without fear of it falling and breaking. Measuring about two feet on each edge, the cubes are currently available in licensed versions featuring Dora or SpongeBob, or in a more generic design.
Moga –Power A –This mobile gamepad hooks up to any Android device and can also be used with any tablet computer, giving gamers on the go access to more traditional home console game experiences using their mobile device. Developers are eager to create games that utilize this additional functionality, as it can allow for deeper game experiences created with more than just touch and swipe inputs.
Power Grip Pro – Nyko – This 3DS attachment promises to triple the battery life of the 3DS while also providing another circle pad on the right side of the screen, just next to the buttons. Although it makes the system’s profile about 25% wider, the proposition of longer battery life and better control is something that makes the larger size worth it.
Razer Taipan – Razer – This ambidextrous mouse from the pioneers in precision gaming is comfortable, lightweight and incredibly precise. Pro gamers helped design it, and you can customize everything from pointer speed to a personalized lift off range for the ultimate PC gaming edge.
Sphero – Sphero – If this glowing orb were simply a customizable and programmable toy device that can be controlled with your mobile phone, that would be cool enough for us to recommend it. But it also can be used with a number of free apps ranging from those that allow easy video-taking and sharing to games that have you put Sphero in your hand on a table to be used as a controller.
Turtle Beach Headphones – Turtle Beach – With designs for nearly every level of gamer, Turtle Beach’s headphones come in nearly configuration available. Gamers can find the design that’s right for them, whether it’s wired or wireless, stereo or surround sound, Xbox or PS3 and more.
When Apple unveiled the first iPad in 2009, it drew some scorn. “It’s just a big iPhone,” said critics. “Who’s going to want it?” As it turns out, a lot of people. The iPad’s popularity drove other smartphone manufacturers to develop their own tablet computers and now there’s a huge selection at shopper’s disposal. But which are the best tablet PCs money can buy? Good question: The answer depends on what you want to do with the devices in question, and which operating system you prefer—not to mention your personal budget. All tablets are extremely convenient for mobile surfing, games, applications, and e-book reading, but some boast specialties as well.
Here are the five best tablet PCs currently on the market:
Apple New iPad (aka the iPad 3) – The iPad remains the best-known tablet, and it’s not hard to see why. It utilizes iOS, the same operating system that runs the iPhone and iPod Touch, which makes it comfortably familiar to use. The iPad’s universal interface also makes it a snap to download new applications: Everything is done through the App Store, same as the iPhone. The iPad’s connection to the App Store and its plethora of software programs makes it the number one choice for music, movies, productivity, TV, games and more.
Asus Transformer Pad – Unfortunately, the Transformer Pad doesn’t turn into a little robot on command, but it’s still a good tablet. It runs on Android, and can typically for under $400 USD. It’s a more economical choice for anyone looking to pick up a tablet for work and web browsing.
Sony Tablet S – The Sony Tablet S also runs on Android, and it’s an excellent alternative for anyone who’s not a fan of iOS. Fans of retro PlayStation games will especially appreciate the tablet’s ability to download and play certain PSOne and PSP titles, including Crash Bandicoot, Wild ARMs, and Jumping Flash.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 – The quality of Samsung’s mobile offerings is enough to keep Apple on its toes, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is no exception. It’s light, it’s thin, and it’s 1280 by 800-pixel resolution screen makes it ideal for web surfing and e-book reading, as well as enjoy killer multimedia content.
Kindle Fire – Amazon’s Android-based Kindle Fire eReader is smaller than the iPad, but far cheaper too (typically selling for $199.99 USD). Its portability makes it easy to tote around as an e-book reader, to say nothing of its direct access to the Amazon Appstorem and ability to play video and music on-demand. The Kindle Fire can also be used to surf the web and play games, making it a worthy iPad alternative that costs far less.
For more a detailed breakdown of these tablets, visit:
Best 5 Tablets on CNET
How to Buy the Best Tablet at PCMag.com
Side-by-Side Tablet Comparison at Popular Mechanics