E3 Daily Dispatch: New 'Madden NFL 12' Game Takes Page From TV Sports Broadcasts; Sony Remains Committed to Portable Gaming With PlayStation Vita
EA Sports worked with NFL Films and CBS to replicate TV broadcast experience in new game, while Sony partners with AT&T for new PS Vita game device.
Electronic Arts' New 'Madden NFL 12' Game Takes Page from TV Sports Broadcasts
Gamers who pick up the new Madden NFL 12 or Madden NFL 12 Hall of Fame Edition on Aug. 30 will see something new in the broadcast-style camerawork that envelopes the football video game experience. Electronic Arts' Tiburon Studio worked with NFL Films cameramen to replicate the type of steadicam and handheld cameras that football fans are used to seeing as players come out of a stadium tunnel or huddle up on the field. EA unveiled this new technology at E3 this week.
"We worked with the same NFL cameramen who film the Super Bowl and produce HBO's Hard Knocks every year," said Phil Frazier, producer of Madden NFL 12.
Instead of capturing the performance of an athlete, which is traditionally how motion-capture is used in sports games; EA Sports actually motion-captured the camera perspective using director's camera (DCAM) technology. Working in a 50 by 50 yard space, professional NFL cameramen replicated the type of low angle shots and next-to-the-cheerleaders perspectives football fans are used to seeing during pre-game and in-game TV broadcasts.
Frazier and the game's entire design team spent time in CBS NFL broadcast trucks during last season to see how the flow of a football game from the director's perspective. While the current Madden NFL 11 game uses between 100 and 200 virtual cameras to capture the action in a broadcast presentation, the new game will employ over 700 camera perspectives. EA also worked with Troica to incorporate the same broadcast graphics that are used during NFL telecasts into the video game.
These new camera perspectives work seamlessly with the game's "dynamic player performance" feature, which tracks how key players on a team are playing during the course of a game and the course of a season. If Eli Manning is sacked early in a contest, for example, it will impact his confidence and how accurately he throws the ball. Cold streaks can also influence how other team members play.
NFL broadcasters Gus Johnson and Chris Collinsworth will provide color commentary that brings these "game within a game" stories to life in tandem with the new camera perspectives.
EA Sports' Madden NFL video game football franchise has become a part of pop culture over the years. Electronic Arts has sold more than 90 million copies of the game since it launched in 1988, generating more than $3 billion in sales.
Sony Remains Committed to Portable Gaming with PlayStation Vita
Sony Computer Entertainment will ship its PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) next generation portable entertainment system in the fall. Consumers can choose from a $249 Wi-Fi-enabled device or a $299 AT&T 3G-enabled/Wi-Fi device.
PS Vita utilizes a 5-inch multi-touch organic light emitting diode (OLED) as the front display and a multi-touch pad on the rear. Together with the front touch screen and the rear touch pad, developers are working on new gameplay experiences that allow users to interact directly with games in three dimension-like motion, through "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" finger motions.
The device also replicates the dual analog sticks from the PlayStation 3 controller, which enable a wider range of game genres to be brought into the portable experience, such as shooters, action games, and fighting games.
"We believe this device will change how people think about portable gaming," said Scott Rohde, senior vice president worldwide studios at Sony Computer Entertainment. "New games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss take advantage of new control features like the touch panels and the accelerometer and marry them with the dual analog sticks and the traditional PlayStation buttons."
Rohde said there are over 80 games in development for PS Vita with support from all the major game publishers. Sony showcased its own PS Vita titles like Gravity Daze, Little Deviants, Hot Shots Golf, Reality Fighter, Hustle Kings, ModNation Racers and Super Stardust Delta during the press conference. Immediately following the press conference, all of these games were available for hands-on gameplay demonstrations.
Sony is offering cross-platform gameplay between PS3 and PS Vita with titles like WipeOut 2048 allowing gamers to race head-to-head across different devices. The new role-playing game Ruin will allow players to take their PS3 game on the go, save it to the cloud, and then pick up that same adventure on PS Vita.
Sony is also taking PlayStation games portable on the latest generation of Android smartphones and tablets. Sony Ericsson's new Xperia PLAY phone is the first PlayStation certified phone available on the market. Through PlayStation Suite, mobile gamers will be purchase and play classic PlayStation titles.
"PlayStation Suite will allow the whole world to experience these games," said Kazuo Hirai, president and group chief executive officer at Sony Computer Entertainment. "Once new customers get a taste on these devices, it's only a matter of time before they come knocking on the door of our PS Vita or PS3."