Holy hell, it feels like 2012 just started, yet the first quarter is already over.
The first three months of 2012 have been quite a spectacle for the gaming industry, with big releases and even bigger controversies. Some quick highlights from the quarter that was:
-Sony launched the PlayStation Vita, an impressive new handheld with dual touch capability, 3G and Wi-Fi compatibility, and the strongest launch lineup in recent memory.
-The highly-anticipated release of Mass Effect 3 is mired in controversy, from day one DLC outrage to pure mayhem regarding the game’s ending. The backlash included petitions to change the ending, the formation of Retake Mass Effect, and cupcakes sent to BioWare’s office.
-Major console releases include Soul Calibur V (Jan 31), Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Jan 31), Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Feb 7), The Darkness II (Feb 7), Twisted Metal (Feb 14), UFC 3 (Feb 14), Asura’s Wrath (Feb 21), Syndicate (Feb 21), Mass Effect 3 (Mar 6), Street Fighter X Tekken (Mar 6), MLB 12: The Show (Mar 6), MLB 2K12 (Mar 6), Mario Party 9 (Mar 11), Silent Hill: Downpour (Mar 13), Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Mar 20), Ninja Gaiden 3 (Mar 20), Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (Mar 27), and Ridge Racer: Unbounded (Mar 27). Not a bad haul for the first three months of the year, with some early GoTY contenders (Mass Effect 3, Amalur) making their presence felt.
Q2 2012 doesn’t have as many big releases as Q1, but that doesn’t mean April through June will be all quiet on the western front. To put it simply: it’s CONVENTION season. Starting with PAX East this coming weekend, gamers will have plenty of news and game announcements to keep them satisfied, including that thing called E3 in June. Here’s what to watch for in the next three months:
-PAX East in Boston (April 6-8)
The city of Bahston once again becomes home to the Penny Arcade Expo. Industry heavyweights like Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Take-Two (2K/Rockstar), and Capcom have already announced their plans for the show, including an impressive list of playable demos: Borderlands 2, Max Payne 3, Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition, and more will all be there for fans to try before release. Couple that with any announcements and news that may surface from the show, and there’s plenty to pay attention to during Easter weekend.
-Captivate 2012 (April 2-4, embargo lifted between April 9-11)
Capcom’s annual event impressed last year, revealing Dead Rising 2: Off The Record, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, and Dragon’s Dogma. What does The House That Ryu Built have planned for the next year? We’ll find out soon enough. Hopefully something close to my predictions.
A light month overall does have some heavyweights mixed in, but this is no holiday rush. Releases include Kinect Star Wars (Apr 3), Xenoblade Chronicles (Apr 6), Skullgirls (Apr 11), The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings for 360 (Apr 17), Disgaea 3 for the Vita (Apr 17), Trials Evolution (Apr 18), Prototype 2 (Apr 24), and Risen 2: Dark Waters on PC (Apr 24)
May is a big unknown as far as news and announcements is concerned. Considering what goes on the first week in June, it may just be a month of basically silence, but it’ll be worth it. Releases to watch out for are Fable Heroes (May 2), Starhawk (May 8), Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition (May 9), Diablo III (May 15), Max Payne 3 (May 15), Dragon’s Dogma (May 22), Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (May 22), Risen 2: Dark Waters for consoles (May 22), and Resistance: Burning Skies for Vita (May 29).
The Super Bowl of gaming. The pinnacle of gaming conventions. The industry will flock to Los Angeles from June 5 to June 7, bringing with it media briefings, game announcements, and two halls worth of demos to play and videos to watch. This is the biggest information source of the entire year, and every major outlet worth a damn will be there covering it for you the fans. That includes G4, IGN, Kotaku, and for the first time ever…
That’s right, this fair website will be represented at The Show, bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of everything that goes down at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Expect previews, reactions, and more RIGHT HERE on Leviathyn.
Other than E3, June is relatively quiet on the news front (talk about coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb). Of course, there’s enough news there to sink a battleship, so this makes perfect sense. As for games to play, June sees the release of Inversion (Jun 5), Lollipop Chainsaw (Jun12), The Last Story (Jun 19), Steel Battalion Heavy Armor (Jun 19), The Amazing Spider-Man (Jun 26), Darksiders 2 (Jun 26), and Spec Ops: The Line (Jun 26).
All of this action during the first half of the year…I can only imagine what will be unleashed on us during the second half of 2012. For now, though, all we can do is speculate on what the next three months will bring to the gaming world. Predictions will be made, questions will be answered, and games will be played, but it will be a hell of a ride.
Bring it on Q2! I’m ready for you!