Electronic Arts Holiday Preview

I recently attended Electronic Arts‘ 2010 Holiday Preview press junket and found the company pushing a large amount of family-friendly video games this holiday season. Expect further announcements from EA regarding embargoed products, but until then you can read about the company’s upcoming Hasbro’s Family Game Night 3, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Littlest Pet Shop Online, Littlest Pet Shop 3: Best Friends, Monopoly Streets, and MySims SkyHeroes after the jump.

Hasbro Family Game Night 3: Hasbro’s Family Game Night franchise returns on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii this October. Featuring both classic and remixed varieties of board games The Game of Life, Clue, Twister, Mouse Trap, and Yahtzee Hands Down, players are able to use their personal Mii avatars on the Wii and Avatars on the 360 to compete with up to four friends. The 360 and PS3 also feature online play for nationwide competitions. The version I saw was pre-alpha and featured a raw look at Life.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Available for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, and PCs this fall, Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the grittiest Harry Potter game ever created. With new lighting techniques EA spokespeople say were developed to take advantage of high-definition televisions, the game feature more action and environmental interaction, such as hiding behind walls, and is more combat focused compared to previous titles. Look for the second part near the film‘s final release in 2011.

Littlest Pet Shop Online: Since its launch last fall, LPSO has expanded to include the recent Kittywood Beat monthly magazine and a plethora of new pets and customizable items. A browser-based, free-to-play Flash game, players can gain access to premium content by purchasing subscriptions online or from special cards inside packages of LPS toys. Premium content includes access to exclusive pets and other goodies. LPSO recently launched its newest community building, Sassy Steps Dance Studio. Expect even more new content to appear during the holiday season.

Littlest Pet Shop 3: Biggest Stars: Arriving this October on the Nintendo DS, Biggest Stars has players competing in the Biggest Stars competition. Featuring 10 mini-games and challenges, players customize one of three team’s pets with accessories and training leading up to the competition. Each game features “unlockables” and premium game content time for Littlest Pet Shop Online, with each team–purple, pink, and blue–having its own Nintendo DS box cover.

Monopoly Streets: With both traditional and City boards, Streets will offer slight twists on the traditional Monopoly formula when it arrives in October for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. Players using the 360 and Wii can import their avatars and Miis, respectively, to play with, while the PS3 and 360 feature online game play. Players can customize their rule sets to take account for the nuances in family play, such as custom money levels and play times. The disc comes with seven classic boards as well as two city boards. Cities place players in a living, breathing environment with landscapes from around the world, and players on the 360 and PS3 are able to download more free and paid boards online.

MySims SkyHeroes: The latest in the MySims series, SkyHeroes pits players in races and dog fights as they battle to reclaim control of the skies. With customizable airplanes and the ability for the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360 players to play either split-screen or online, more hours of game play can be squeezed out than the anticipated six to 10 hours required to beat the game’s story mode. Fans of EA will also see guest characters in the form of Mass Effect‘s Commander Shepard, among others. A developer told me that, while this type of MySims game may appeal more to boys, girls who played the game also liked it, even if they were wary of liking something seen as “boy.” Expect to see SkyHeroes on shelves September 28.

About the author

Justin McCraw

Justin McCraw

Summer 2010 intern for The Toy Book/Specialty Toys & Gifts