Mass Effect 2 coming to PS3, Dragon Age II dated

GamesCom 2010: Electronic Arts bringing acclaimed sci-fi action RPG to Sony's console in Q1 2011; BioWare's fantasy sequel arrives March 8; new Need for Speed detailed.

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COLOGNE, Germany--Today, EA held its GamesCom press conference in Cologne. The publisher announced that Mass Effect 2 will be coming to the PlayStation 3 in January 2011, the first time the series has appeared on Sony hardware. It also announced a new stand-alone Sims game, called The Sims: Medieval. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was demonstrated on stage by the actors who play the Weasley brothers in the films, and the game itself will be playable using Kinect on the Xbox 360.

EA is expected to have a surprise or two at GamesCom.

A European date was also issued for the company's upcoming Dead Space 2, with confirmation that the special edition of the game will make it to PlayStation 3 in the region, complete with the HD remaster of Dead Space: Extraction. There will also be a Special Edition of Criterion's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, with exclusive cars and features for those who shell out the premium price.

BioWare's Dragon Age 2 was also dated for March 8, 2011, in the US and March 11, 2011, in Europe. EA Sports has managed to sign footballer David Beckham to EA Sports Active 2, which will appear on the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with all versions supporting a heart-rate monitor. Finally, the publisher confirmed that FIFA 11 will be the first football in the game to support full 11-on-11 online play and will even feature a goalkeeper Career mode.

The GameSpot live blog of the press conference follows.

[7:15] Jen Uwe Intat has taken the stage, who says we can expect 10 games on stage today.

[7:15] "This is going to be a big year for The Sims," he threatens.

[7:16] John Buchanan, VP of marketing for EA Play is now on stage to tell us more.

[7:20] The Sims 3 will be hitting consoles. "Achievements, karma, and community," promises Buchanan. "You will earn karma points to unlock all new karma powers."

[7:20] "Download content from millions of people around the world, without ever leaving the game," he continues. It will be released on October 26 and will be playable for the first time at GamesCom.

[7:21] The Sims: Medieval is next up--a brand new game in The Sims universe. Rachel Bernstein, senior producer is on stage to show it off. "This is your kingdom--from a field to a castle," she says.

[7:23] "Tell medieval stories your way," says Bernstein. The game is a stand-alone Sims title and will be shown off at GamesCom. A new trailer is being shown, for some reason at excruciatingly high volume.

[7:26] Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the next game to be shown, and it will be Kinect compatible.

[7:26] The Weasley twins are in Cologne now! James and Oliver Phelps, who play Fred and George Weasley in the films, are about to play as Harry and Ron in the game.

[7:28] One of the twins is holding out his hands to project a force field via the Kinect interface, while the other waves his arm to cast spells. Potions are changing this year, we're told, and are being used for "big destruction."

[7:28] There will also be live online leaderboards. The game will be hands-on at the Microsoft and EA booth at GamesCom this year.

[7:29] There are two big announcements from BioWare coming up. But first, Dead Space 2.

[7:30] Steve Patoutsis is on stage, the executive producer of the survival horror sequel.

[7:34] Protagonist Isaac Clark is shown flying around a ship in zero gravity. He activates a huge drilling laser and then enters a chair that slings him at incredible speed through space. It's very impressive, overall.

[7:36] Dead Space 2 is coming to Europe on January 28, 2010, with the PS3 special edition also coming to Europe. The PS3 Special Edition will come with Dead Space Extraction, remastered in HD. It will arrive in the US on January 25.

[7:38] Matt Webster is on stage now from Criterion to show the new features of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Autolog is a feature that will show whenever your fastest time is beaten, and you can opt to try to beat it from the main menu. Time for a demo.

[7:41] Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit has progressed some way since E3. A new location is shown, with the race progressing into the night and new slo-mo replays.

[7:42] There will be a Special Edition of the game, including two exclusive cars and access to other exclusive features.

[7:43] Alfa Romeo and Ford Shelby provide two exclusive cars.

[7:44] Webster makes way for Medal of Honor executive producer Greg Goodrich, who has been working closely with the US military.

[7:44] "We'll be across the road at the Sony conference showing a new level called Gunfighters," he promises.

[7:45] The game will be coming out on October 15.

[7:46] BioWare's up next, with Dr. Ray Muzyka set to talk about the Old Republic, "some special news about Mass Effect," and Dragon Age 2.

[7:47] A new space combat video from The Old Republic will be shown on the GamesCom floor.

[7:48] A Mass Effect video is being shown now--Mass Effect 2 will be coming to the PS3 in January 2011.

[7:50] Moving swiftly onto Dragon Age 2. "When you press a button, something awesome happens," according to BioWare.

[7:51] It will be available March 11, 2011, in Europe; March 8, 2011, in the US.

[7:51] The first trailer for the game is now being shown--the protagonist is fighting hand-to-hand with a huge horned humanoid creature.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is shown off on stage.

[7:53] His eyes go red, and he brings out the evil-looking magic.

[7:53] About 12 people wearing "I Love NY" T-shirts have taken to the left of stage. Something Crysis 2-shaped this way comes.

[7:54] A multiplayer demo is happening. New York city's "vertical game space" will offer a new challenge, and the map being played is called Rooftops.

[7:57] The multiplayer demo shows a lot of the nanosuit's abilities, including the ability to climb up ledges, go into camouflage, and use thermal vision. On a separate note, this demo is so loud that two people on the row in front are literally holding their ears to protect them from the aural assault.

[7:58] Crysis 2's time is up, and Tanya Jennsen from Epic is now on to talk about Bulletstorm. She receives numerous wolf whistles from a mainly male crowd.

[8:02] Onto a demo of Bulletstorm now--a new city-based level. The buildings are crumbling around the protagonist and his female companion, but that doesn't stop plenty of slow-motion kicking of enemies, with those that land in the flames burning alive and providing the player with numerous extra points.

[8:05] Heckaton (at least that's how we think it's spelled) is a huge enemy that towers down on you, ending the demo.

[8:05] Something very special now, apparently, from EA Sports boss Peter Moore. He put on shorts and a T-shirt to demo EA Sports Active, so we're hoping for big things.

[8:06] Never one to disappoint, it's EA Sports Active 2. They have an athlete on board to work on the game. And it's David Beckham.

[8:06] The game will be out on November 19. David Beckham is joining the team. Disappointingly, Mr. Posh Spice doesn't seem to be here in Germany.

[8:09] The game will be on the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. All versions will support a heart-rate monitor.

[8:09] By 2009, we saw a billion-dollar business [in the fitness game market]," says Moore.

[8:11] David Rutter is brought out to show FIFA 11. To the astonishment of no one, "hundreds of improvements" are promised.

[8:12] A 360-degree fight for the possession system has been incorporated into this year's game. The team is replacing Be a Pro Seasons with a new Career mode, too.

[8:14] "Probably the biggest announcement for Cologne is that we have true 11-versus-11 online play," says Rutter. You'll be able to do a 15-year Career mode as a keeper, if you're mad enough.

[8:17] A new trailer is now being shown for FIFA 11, with the tagline of "We are 11." A demo is also promised soon.

[8:17] You will be able to play FIFA 11 on the GamesCom show floor.

[8:17] That's it folks--on to the Sony press conference next and that live Medal of Honor demo.

A demo of EA Sports Active 2.

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