Alex covers desktops, everything from fancy to practical. He's also an avid (addicted) gamer and loves following the industry. More by Alex Cocilova
To be the ultimate gamer you must sculpt the perfect body and mind. Alright, so that's not entirely true, but it does help to hone your reaction times and quick critical thinking skills to get out of those sticky situations. Here are some free games that can be your workout regiment to train for those big titles announced at E3 this year.
Armando is an Android nerd, covering both apps and phones, and a former programmer. He is also a world-class heckler on Twitter. More by Armando Rodriguez
LOS ANGELES—Gaming's most important platform has been mysteriously absent at this year's E3. Companies attending the week-long expo have shown off plenty of games for the PC and all the major consoles, but games for smartphones and tablets have been almost nonexistent. After making my rounds through the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, I found a total of two games playable on mobile devices—Terraria and Deus Ex: The Fall.
It's rather disappointing that a show that's supposed to be the biggest video game expo on Earth seems to be ignoring the fastest growing segment of the gaming market. According to a 2013 study conducted by the Electronic Software Association, 36 percent of gamers play games on their smartphones. Furthermore, 25 percent of people who play games play on "wireless devices," a category that includes tablets, iPods, and similar gadgets that don't connect to a cellular network. It was surprising to see that companies with extensive mobile game portfolios, like EA and Ubisoft, hardly promoted anything beyond games for PCs and consoles. Mobile gamers make up the vast majority of the gaming population, but they got no love from E3.
LOS ANGELES—Sonic Lost World is shaping up to be a pleasant return to form for the legendary blue hedgehog, re-imagining that quintessential, blisteringly fast Sonic experience. And it’s also largely invisible at E3 this week, lost amongst a sea of zombies, military shooters, and whatever’s going on with Microsoft’s tone-deaf PR.
Sonic’s not-so-heralded return matches another classic gaming icon mounting a comeback. Like Sonic, Mario is back, in the form of Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8. And like Sonic, few people seem to care.
Alex writes reviews, How-To Guides and features to help you work smarter and game harder. More by Alex Wawro
LOS ANGELES—Internet access is always a hot topic at E3—Wi-Fi access is notoriously scanty—but this may be the first year that attendees are more concerned about the health of their home networks. Microsoft and Sony built their next generation of gaming consoles expecting that they'll be jacked into a broadband connection most of the time; Microsoft took it a step further, advising players with poor Internet access to skip the Xbox One entirely and content themselves with current-generation hardware.
Bold words. Bold enough to be borderline rude, as Microsoft is effectively placing its latest product beyond the reach of people who can't afford to keep it hooked up to a reliable Internet connection.
But don't forsake the message in your haste to shoot the messenger. Microsoft is doing a piss-poor job of showcasing the positive side of an always-online game console—namely, that developers can make games with the expectation that most players will be connected to the Internet most of the time. That simple premise unlocks a new frontier of multiplayer development, allowing game designers to create crazy single-player/multiplayer hybrids that simply aren't possible on unconnected hardware.
Brad Chacos spends the days jamming to Spotify, digging through desktop PCs and covering everything from BYOD tablets to DIY tesla coils. More by Brad Chacos
LOS ANGELES—After you’ve birthed the classic Halo series, and breathed life into it for more than a decade, what do you do next? For Bungie, the answer is to embrace Destiny, the cooperative, sci-fi, open-world, “shared experience shooter” that the company demoed at E3. It’s on the way for every major platform available: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4. Bungie would neither confirm nor deny a future PC verison.
Whew! That’s a lot of adjectives. Most are pretty straightforward, but what, exactly, does “shared experience shooter” mean?