Fool's Chaos on Soundcloud

Monday, June 3, 2013

(Games) 2013 E3 Pre - assessment - Wecome to the Next Gen!!

If you have read any of my previous posts regarding last year's E3, you know that I view this time of year as a gaming Holiday. These are the days that developers and publishers reveal their upcoming AAA titles,. their new hardware, and new IP (hopefully!). This year it's June 11th though June 13th.

Before E3 hits, I thought I'd actually write what I would like to see this year, and my thoughts on what the big three (Sony, MS, and Nintendo) are going to show and announce. I also will list what I hope to see on PC.
I am also going to talk about the new consoles. (This will be a long one....)

Let's start with Microsoft. (Confession: I am an Xbox fan and bought the first two Xbox's at launch.)
MS has had a very difficult time since late last year and then after their Xbox One reveal earlier this month.
Microsoft seems very focused on the media capabilities of the Xbox one, and their reveal was literally summed up in a Youtube video as TV, TV, TV, SPORTS, SPORTS, SPORTS, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY, DOG, CALL OF DUTY

It's also of course, the new watercooler

Seriously though, I have never seen a console announcement go this badly in my entire life. I have seen funny and underwhelming E3 appearances or product announcements, but never a announcement that had so many people up in arms. Most people were just underwhelmed about the reveal, the rage didn't start till after it was over. MS's Phil (former Sony Vice President) Harrison's interview where he mentioned the console needing to check in every 24 hours online (so if your internet was down a xbox for you) which came after months of speculating and anger about a always online console, the talk of DRM and no used games, or changing the way we currently use used games, the required Kinect which had to be connected for the console to function, and the lack of a cohesive and transparent message from MS regarding the outrage just fueled the fire. Gamers literary went nuts, and there was enough negative press to print and fill a pool with it and drown in. MS even disabled the comments on their own Youtube channel regarding Xbox One videos.

All the above plus no backward compatibility, 33% percent less powerful than the rival PS4, no self publishing for indies, the Xbox One being region locked, some type of visual DRM regarding moviesachievements for watching TV, and it's taken weeks for MS to come out and give us a clear message on what they are going to do and not going to do. According to online reports, the reveal was one of the most watched ever online, and per IGN's poll, also the most disappointing. As of this writing, MS still hasn't really given clear indications of it's plans. Xbox fans are not happy. It doesn't help MS's that their execs are not really making the message clear or in a positive way.

Let's talk about the good now, and forget about the bad for a moment. The Xbox One has a HDMI in that you can connect your TV to and control the TV with the new more powerful Kinect. It's voice activated and you can tell it what channel to watch. (I keep thinking that if I was a kid and had a brother playing a game, I would love walking by his room and yelling "Xbox Lifetime" so it changed from his in progress multiplayer game to a lifetime movie (You know that's going to happen lol) It uses the Smartglass tech even more than before to work with your smartphone and tablet. They are going to have their own TV programming on Xbox live and announced a new Halo live action series. They will have a deal with the NFL and it will be great for fantasy football players. It's not really the reason I want a console, but there are some great features there if thats your thing. I am not into Sports and don't watch TV and movies all that much. The new features that are media based don't really matter to me. (Rather than link everything, You can watch the actual reveal here)

The Console itself is kind of a strange departure from the 360, and more of a throw back to the original Xbox. I loved the original Xbox and even "The Duke" controller, so the size doesn't really bother me all that much. The streamlined and slim Xbox 360 design was a big departure from the original, and MS seems to have gone back to it. I have seen many derogatory comments calling it a VCR but I actually like the black stereo receiver or cablebox like design. The Xbox One has a ton of outputs and inputs on the back, way more than I expected and compared to the 360, that might be confusing for some, but being a Geek, any input is a good input lol. The slot loading drive is a great touch and is Blu-ray this time. While that is great, it seems to mean that like the PS3, you have to install a game to the HD before playing and thats a complete drag. That along with the PC like insides of the unit make it more of a PC than console. I guess the days of placing in a disk and playing it immediately are gone. The unit has a 500GB hard drive that will quickly fill up so the Xbox One has USB 3.0 that will allow for USB 3.0 storage. Thats great but I would have rather had a removable drive like the 360 or PS3. If the Xbox One's Hard drive dies, you cannot repair it yourself which I dislike. Supposedly it's HDMI only, so anyone still using component will be unhappy. I hope that it works with VGA adaptors, I have on old projector that I might want to use it on sometime.

The best thing so far about the Xbox One (I'm going to call it Xbone from now on) is the new controller, it looks awesome. It's a redesigned 360 controller with some very nice new features. The best new feature is the rumble triggers so you can have feedback when using them, that might be alot of fun or a gimmick, i wont know till I actually try it. They got rid of the bulky battery pack and its a smooth back now, it has a micro or Mini USB connector, it uses AA batteries rather than proprietary battery packs. It has a better designed thumb pad, bumper buttons are better designed, and a very clean look overall. It's not backward compatible with the 360, and I have no idea if it will work on PC out of the box. I imagine with the USB cable it should work, but wireless wise I have no idea.

The new Kinect looks HUGE compared to original kinect, and very different looking. It is much more powerful this time, and should actually be useable for games other than casual or dancing games now. They have improved the latency issues, and upped the specs quite a bit. It now has a 1080p camera rather than just VGA, has a closer useable range (which is one reason I never owned the original), can track up to six people rather than two at a time, and does it all faster. I have heard that you will be able to scan yourself into a game and possible create a real avatar based on you. That will be a neat feature if true :) Currently, there are some security issues that many are concerned about.

Overall the jury is out on the Xbone, as until MS tells it like it is, many people will be on the fence. I think they are hoping that once people see the console in action at E3 and all these games they are planning to show, people will just forget about all the negativity. I think people (especially gamers) have long memories so I hope MS actually listens to its fans and customers, and doesn't do a typical MS move "Where we go, the world will follow".

Game wise, the reveal was a major disappointment but they said they are going to focus all that at E3. I am not a huge Call of Duty fan. I loved the original two games of the series, and the first Modern Warfare, but lost interest after that. Call of Duty 2 is still my favorite in the series and I was blown away the first time I saw it on the 360 and PC. So, I wasn't that excited about the Call of Duty:Ghosts reveal but I did think it looked interesting and it was pretty. I love animals and I tend to dislike games that have dogs in it as they always kill the dog or place the dog in a unwinable situation to tug at your heartstrings, and I imagine this might the case with COD:Ghost. They showed a Forza trailer but I am not a huge racing game fan, I love Rallysport games in that genre the most, so I guess im looking forward to a next gen Dirt title.

I'm a big fan of Remedy, so I was excited about a new remedy game but disappointed that it wasn't Alan Wake 2. Sam Lake, Remedy's writer, released a very cool video about why the new game wasn't Alan Wake 2. The video had a nice little ending that was geared to AW fans. I hope that we will get a sequel someday, but I haven't finished American Nightmare so I guess I should do that first. I am really looking forward to Quantum Break. I first Played AW on Xbox 360 but bought the PC version laer on Steam, it's so much better on a great PC :) Quantum is supposed to run alongside a TV style show, so it will be a bit like Defiance I guess.

They hinted at things to come art E3 with 15 exclusives and 8 new franchises, and that they are spending a Billion dollars in development. There was an article saying that MS bought rights to games because they were running behind on exclusives so that may be the case with that billion spent. Rumored exclusive games are the first game from the studio that was formed from COD developers Infinity Ward.

Update: - I should have mentioned some games I am looking forward to seeing from MS. Fable 4 is number one, Halo 2:Anniversary edition kind of remake, more RPG's, more platformers, a new mechassualt, less Kinect type of games.

MS says that they are aware of the anti-DRM movement and and I hope that they listen to their fans and take notice. What they decide to do might affect how well the Xbone does this gen, or consoles in general if the PS4 goes the same way. MS has given much goodwill away to Sony and their PS4, and Sony has been very quiet, letting MS take the heat and not being clear what they are going to do. I suspect the publishers made this a must when discussing support of the new consoles, and Sony is being pressured by them to follow the same route. Gamestop said in an article/statement that 70% of used game trade in's go back into the costs to buy games and gaming hardware. If DRM does get pushed, they better lower the prices like Steam does or I see the PC becoming a force in gaming again. With Steam and a Xbox controller, you literally have a next gen console now, but its' more expensive, confusing to some, and usually bulkier. I love the PC, and I see the new consoles PC like insides being a boon to porting games easily to PC's, so hopefully no more bad ports and even more of those games coming to PC.

MS has alot to prove at E3 this year, I hope they do it right, and tell the gamers out there what they want to hear, and stay true to what gamers want. I guess we shall know in less than a couple of weeks.

Next Part: I'll cover Sony and the PS4.

No comments:

Post a Comment