June 24, 2013

E3 2013 Aftermath

Hello everyone.  What an E3, huh?  I waited for the dust to settle a bit before I posted this ‘cos I literally didn’t have a lot of time.  Thought I was gonna do more, but I just decided to lump it all into this “aftermath” post.  I wanna talk about the state of the industry now that we know more about XBONE & PS4, then I wanna talk about Nintendo’s showing and the Best Buy Nintendo Experience I “experienced” this last Saturday.

My “state of the industry” post last time was a bit long-winded, so I’ll try to keep this part shorter.  WOW, Sony impressed everyone with PS4…even me.  Mainly ‘cos Microsoft set up the easy “win” and basically handed it to Sony by sticking with the crappy XBONE DRM policies.  Sadly, as was predicted, some select people (or should I say, future communist slaves) are actually excited to be XBONED due to all the great exclusive’s...but for rational level-headed people, it was not impressive at all.

Most of the games at Microsoft’s pre-E3 showing were also coming to other platforms and didn’t look that much better than current generation games.  Yeah, Halo is exclusive, but I really think that franchise isn’t as influential as it once was…basically only with XBOT’s who have to have everything Halo regardless that the last ones were very lacking (due mainly to no Bungie involvement).  One exclusive to XBONE got me kinda excited; Killer Instinct.  I’m a huge KI fan so when I saw that it was coming I was both excited that it was coming, but saddened that was an XBONE exclusive…until I saw it in action and read more about it.  Microsoft has destroyed the franchise and RARE as a whole, the character designs were ruined and the pay-for-character model relegates this game to Perfect Dark Zero territory...I actually pity RARE now  No other exclusives were worth anyone giving up their rights to own what they pay for…no way no how.  And the Microsoft conference itself was sad at points complete with booing and someone even saying “XBOX sucks” at one point.  Microsoft shutting off most one-on-one interviews and spending money to pay shills and marketers to hype XBONE all over the net is despicable…they’re going to continue to buy their “success” with XBONE, but I have to stop myself here ‘cos otherwise this post will be too long.

Next-gen (XBONE & PS4) itself didn’t look that good visually so if the industry is gonna try to rely on the HDx2 to mean anything, they’re going to be disappointed with the results, diminishing returns and all.

With PS4, I think Sony did a lot of things right.  I’ll address some negatives first though, to show how even when there’s negatives, Sony turned them around, unlike Microsoft.  Negative #1 was that PS4 won’t be natively backwards compatible with past PlayStation systems, but we already knew about that before E3 and they mentioned that they’re working on getting that working somehow through streaming…which is more than what I can say about the XBONE.  Negative #2 was that they are now introducing a paywall to play online multiplayer on PS4, but they snuck it in so craftily in the middle of people still cheering for their pro used games policies.  It was to be expected…and they are giving you a lot with PS+, but it’s still sort of a negative, but not so bad since XBONE will make you pay for XBL too.  Negative #3 was that there were a couple of hiccups with the on stage demos, but again , they actually transitioned out of those moments smoothly enough that it wasn’t too negative…especially compared to Microsoft’s on stage performance.

Even with all those minor negatives though, Sony had too many positives to ignore…so maybe there’s a little hope for the game industry with PS4.  Compared to the XBONE, it’s more powerful, yet smaller & cheaper, it’s more about games and indie developers and it has that Destiny game (which was the only “next-gen” game to me) which not only trumps all of XBONE’s exclusives, but is also made by former Halo creators (Bungie) and makes what Halo is today even more irrelevant.  Sony really stuck it to Microsoft at this E3 by seemingly going after the XBOX 360 audience and learning from some of the mistakes of the PS3!  I thought for sure Sony would follow Microsoft on those anti-consumer DRM policies in one way or another in an effort to appease the rest of the industry that obviously wants it…but they didn’t.


I have to hijack this post now with newer information as, again, I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog and I wrote all of the above before Microsoft decided to do a 180 on us and change their minds about the XBONE’s DRM policies.  So for the rest of this post I’ll be taking that into consideration.  I really want to point out though that I still despise Microsoft even though they changed their minds about this situation in light of PS4 getting all the positive feedback during E3.  What I see now though is that Microsoft can wait ‘til they “have the gamers” and then change their minds again on a whim and reinstate these policies.  In fact, Sony could too since they’re “leaving it up to publishers” to decide for themselves about their own DRM.

I don’t really think you could trust this next generation of consoles really…but that goes double for Microsoft with the XBONE.  So, I still see the state of the industry in a bad situation when these things are still not really settled and our rights to actually own what we pay for are still in question.  But that’s the way the world is headed, no matter how anti-consumer it is.  I really am just trying to point out that if you support these policies (or the companies that purvey them) then you get what you deserve.  I imagine that the “game industry” see’s now that it can’t force this DRM the way they want, so they’ll ease it in as this next generation progresses until BAM, Generation 9 will be digital only and have no disc support at all.  We’re already forgoing backwards compatibility like it’s no big deal, when actually it IS a big deal.  That together with all the talk of “the cloud” and all that, a digital only console is probably the only way the industry see’s that they can force DRM now that consumers cry out against what they attempted with the XBONE.

So while, coming out of E3 with PS4’s hype and now XBONE becoming the XBOX 180, the industry appears to be heading in the right direction.  I think it’s more of a delay of the inevitable, though, so its state is still in peril and still on the brink of another crash.  There’s so much more to say against Microsoft’s 3RD XBOX, but I’ll leave that for my “3RD Console Curse” post I’m cooking up.

Now, onto Nintendo…after they announced they weren’t going to have a traditional E3 pre-show press conference I kinda downgraded my hopes a little to avoid disappointment.  What I am disappointed in is the lack of journalistic integrity because of this coupled with all the Nintendoomed articles leading up to E3 this year.  It gets worse with them by the day.  Before the Wii launched some journalists went on a “Nintendo should go 3RD party crusade” no matter how much nonsense that was, they were quickly silenced by how amazingly well the Wii sold, so they seemingly went into hiding on this crusade, or should I say, they just delayed the crusade for the Wii U since it’s not selling out like the Wii did.  So the: “Nintendo should bring their franchises to other platforms” nonsense is back again in full force even though they showed off some great games again this year.  I’m going to say it’s intentional.  Yes, a conspiracy by the industry against Nintendo…call me crazy, but I’ll be posting more about that in another post someday showing that no matter what Nintendo does, they’re doomed, even when they’re not.

I’m kinda glad Nintendo did Nintendo Directs’ this year instead of a traditional showing ‘cos it allows Nintendo to directly talk to potential consumers rather than have it ground up and spit out by the game industry “journalists” who were kinda “cut out” of the mix doing it this way.  It’s like when Nintendo started doing the “Iwata Asks” to ask good questions of game makers instead of garbage that normal game journalists would say like: “Casual, casual, casual, core gamer…you can’t survive without 3RD parties so when are you making games for iOS?” which is way more informative then the typical negative and ignorant drivel most of the industry spews about Nintendo.

Urghhh…well, back to Nintendo’s E3 2013 showing.  I think Nintendo knew they were going to be overshadowed by Sony/MS since they are showing off new hardware this year, but even still, I think they had plenty for the Nintendo-only gamer like me!  I’m just gonna post a bunch of trailers in case you haven’t seen…

The Monolift Soft game “X” and Bayonetta 2 from Platinum games *really* impressed me and Mega Man in the new Smash Bros. is all big news for Nintendo, so yeah, I’m happy.  Since I posted a bunch of trailers, there’s not much else that needs to be said except that I’m REALLY happy how the Nintendo Experience went at the Best Buy in Fairborn, Ohio…it was fun, the games were great, the people were all nice (especially the Nintendo representative Don (or was it Dan) and a girl there that was nice enough to let me have the “Year Of Luigi” coin she earned…THANKS AMY!!!) and all the free swag was awesome, check out this video I made and see…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned to my blog in the coming weeks for my “3RD Console Curse” and “Nintendoomed” posts, as well as other non-Nintendo related posts and pages I’ll be updating!

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