‘Halo 5: Guardians’ Now Available for Preorder on Amazon

Halo 5 Guardians

Microsoft knows that Halo is a system seller. That’s why last year at E3 we saw the TBD titled Halo get a tease. But without knowing when the next Halo would be coming out, they needed to keep the appetite wet for gamers before the hoopla of this year’s E3 kicked in. What better way to do so than open up preorders to the world. If you head to Amazon you can place your preorder on Halo 5: Guardians which is set to ship by end of year 2015 (no doubt, this will be more formally announced with an actual release date at E3 or at least a quarter).

There are two things that stand out about Halo 5: Guardians based off the current cover artwork. The first is the name. Since Halo: Combat Evolved, this is the first proper Halo title to have a suffix attached to it. This leads one to believe it is either because they feel just another number isn’t enough of a differentiator to keep motivating new purchases or these new Guardians are that essential to the plot.

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Kinect-Free XBox One Coming in June

XBox One Kinect

Yesterday, Microsoft dropped what they were hoping would be a bomb, but has truthfully only ended up being a cause for more contention in the console war. After about six months of being outsold by the PlayStation 4, Microsoft has announced they will be releasing a Kinect-free version of the XBox One. Hitting shelves on June 9th, this will be just in time for the E3 frenzy and most likely hope to capitalize on new titles being announced at E3 bringing more popularity to the system. It will also drop the price to $399.

Instead of people being happy about the new lower price, the negative backlash came. Sony fanboys decried the move as desperation. While it can be said that Microsoft did need to do something to put the console on even ground with the PlayStation, it wouldn’t be an act of desperation.

Microsoft listened to the feedback and instead of dropping the price and losing money due to cost, they removed the big elephant in the room that was associated with that higher price point. Had they kept the Kinect and dropped the price or dropped the Kinect and lowered the price below the $399 mark before Sony had enacted any price drop at all on the PlayStation 4, that would have been an act of desperation.

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‘Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist’ Tries to Capture Audience of ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’

Street Fighter Assassins Fist

Almost four years ago, a fan made Mortal Kombat short made its way online which lead to both a resurgence in interest in Mortal Kombat and eventually two seasons of Mortal Kombat: Legacy which lived on the Machinima YouTube channel. While there were some hiccups in the storytelling and even continuity between seasons, no one could argue that Machinima put major promotion behind the series and laud its success.

Now, in a world where you’ll seemingly never see Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat on consoles, MK’s age old nemesis finds its way too to the Machinima channel with Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. Backed by Capcom and Honda (which still leaves one’s head reeling), Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist will debut on the Machinima channel on May 23rd. The narrative will follow series’ favorites Ken and Ryu in their training under their master Gōken before the events of the world warrior tournament come to pass.

As seen in the trailer, Akuma will also make his way into the series and will actually be played by the show’s creator Joey Ansah. In addition to living on the YouTube channel, Content Media says it will also bring it to TV, on-demand, DVD and Blu-ray.

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‘Skylanders’ Gets Its Third Sequel This Fall with ‘Skylanders Trap Team’

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Only a few weeks after Disney decided it was time to shoot a volley in the smart toy war by introducing the Avengers to Disney Infinity, Activision has fired back with a premiere for the latest Skylanders sequel. Again, focusing on innovation with gameplay implications, Skylanders Trap Team is coming to systems in October.

As you’ll see in the trailer below, Skylanders Trap Team introduces a new element to the series. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this means traps. But it isn’t just a matter of trapping defeated foes. This game encourages players to take those villains and use them for good. Boasting 60 new Skylanders and 40 trappable villains, this could be the largest release of Skylanders to date.

It’ll be interesting to see how the traps work but it the trailer hints that specific traps work on specific enemies which means to catch them all, you have to buy them all too. How they are packaged will be interesting though. Skylanders may come paired with a trap or maybe a trap pack will be created with four or five traps sold together. Regardless, Activision has just renewed their license to print money.

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In Case You Missed It: Marvel is Coming to ‘Disney Infinity’

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It’s one of those things you would have figured would be a bigger deal but two weeks later and there hasn’t been a peep heard about it. Maybe I am running in the wrong circles or it really is telling of the popularity of Disney Infinity (or lack there of) but this should have been bigger news to the gaming and geek worlds.

Marvel has unleashed a trailer on their YouTube channel that gives a pretty good indication of a certain star spangled super hero making his way alongside the cast of Disney Infinity. Without getting tacky and talking about the “infinite” possibilities, it is pretty cool to hear this as one of the more public facing interactions between Disney and Marvel since the acquisition.

For those who don’t know, Disney Infinity is a video game that uses smart toy technology similar to that of Skylanders where players place figures on an e-reader stand which causes the character to appear in game as well. This upcoming expansion of characters will be one of the first times where a player can have Marvel characters interacting with those of Disney in Disney worlds as well.

So far, Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters University and The Incredibles are all a part of Disney Infinity but now we are waiting for the moment where we can have Captain America go head to head with Darth Vader. Come on Disney. You own it all. There is no reason not to make it happen. It is literally the option to print money…

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