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Five things I learned from E3 2012

E3 2012 has come and gone, the secrets are out, and with so much news all at once it's hard to avoid some of the common themes popping up. We already know that the 2012-2013 game season will forever be immortalized as The Year of the Bow, but what other themes cropped up during the show? Here are five things that stood out as I poured over the deluge of E3 news.

1) Next gen winks & subtle nods

The next generation of game consoles is coming, and I'm not talking about the Wii U. The PS4 and Xbox 720 (or Orbis and Durango if you want to stick to their rumored code names) are sure to come out next year, despite how little Sony and Microsoft are saying.

Nowhere was the evidence more clear than in the presentations of Ubisoft's Watch Dogs and LucasArts Star Wars 1313. Both games showcased graphics that simply can't be done on 360 or PS3. 1313 was especially beyond current gen, and Lucas Arts wasn't afraid to say that the game was running on top-of-the-line PC hardware. Ubisoft stuck to their guns, insisting that Watch Dogs would come to 360 and PS3, while remaining coy about the possibilities for future consoles.

Between those graphical showcases and Epic's latest, ridiculously-stunning Unreal Engine 4 tech demo, there is some truly next-level stuff in the pipeline. My guess: Developers want the new consoles sooner rather than later. They want people talking about next gen technology now, and it is working. And to be perfectly frank, this is a catalyst we need, because...

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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