LOS ANGELES | E3—One of the largest video game publishers in the world also happens to have one of the largest booths on the show floor. Eleven miniature auditoriums ring an open area packed with games for systems from the iPad to Facebook to the Xbox 360.
After a several year absence, the snowboarding franchise "SSX" is returning to the downhill. EA has a great hook as they reboot the series: the game let's you circle the globe and drop into boarding challenges on every major mountain range on Earth. The team captured actual geographic data from the regions and used that to plan out the kind of crazy, action-packed snowboarding that defines the franchise. It is an impressive mix of real world locales and outlandish extreme sports stunts. "SSX" is set for a January 2012 launch on 360 and PS3.
The final chapter in the award-winning sci-fi trilogy, "Mass Effect 3," will be in stores on March 6 of next year. The fate of the Earth is at stake (which is probably good news for the "SSX" fans above) as the highly customizable series heads for the blockbuster ending. Although arriving for 360, PS3 and PC, at this year's E3 it was revealed that the 360 version will include an option for Kinect controls. Eschewing the usual motion controls of Kinect, "Mass Effect 3" instead uses the device's built-in microphone to let the player control dialogue choices by simply speaking from the script options on the screen.
This report is based on products featured at E3 2011. Products may change by time of final release.