E3 So Far

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What happened at E3?

Microsoft:

In short, games.  We did see Halo, Forza, Sunset Overdrive and Fable from Microsoft but what we didn’t see was anything that makes me want to buy an Xbox One this year.  I followed the Spike TV coverage and agreed for the most part with what was being discussed that by contrast to last year’s E3, which was interesting by default, this year’s failed to take any great strides into the unknown.  Microsoft, keen to nail down the plan for the Xbox One concentrated their entire conference on games.  Games that were expected, games that were cannon and to me personally not a single game I cared about.

I can appreciate the appeal of Fable, Halo and other first party exclusives but the chances are you already own an Xbox One because you know those games are going to appear at some point.  As good as Sunset Overdrive looks, I’m not sure that it’s a system seller.  Aside from the expected timed DLC exclusives and  cross platform 3rd party games, Microsoft made very little argument as to why I should be shelling out £350 for an Xbox One this year.

Other worthy mentions:

  • The new Tomb Raider made an appearance but with a preliminary release date of Christmas 2015 I can’t understand why this was showed so early on.  Tomb Raider has joined the roster of games that promises a next gen experience, in 1 or 2 years time.  The hype train is almost out of room for more “next gen experiences” but by the time the train rolls into retail, what was shown in 2014 will look dated by the end of 2015, something I’m going to refer to forever from this point forward as “Watch Dogs Syndrome”.

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(Half inched from www.craveonline.com)

  • Tom Clancy’s The Division also made an expected appearance in what I believe is going to be the game that Resident Evil Outbreak should have been, but ultimately will only do well because we are starved of 3rd Person Shooters.  This new engine they are showing off looks like it’ll be slowly scaled back the more we see of it and although the visuals looked good, I’m, going to remain skeptical until I see the finished article.  I expect a new Ghost Recon or Splinter Cell to follow shortly after the release of the division because the ground work will have already been done.

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  • Scalebound, the new IP from Platinum Games, because they just fucking love new IP, and this one is exclusive to Xbox One.  You know who bought a console because of a Platinum Games IP?  No one.  Because Bayonetta 2 isn’t out yet and that’s not the exclusive on offer.  Scalebound looks like a cross between the recently remade Devil May Cry and Monster Hunter.  It’ll be over the top, it’ll look gorgeous and it’ll be deal of the week and forgotten before you know it.
  • New Crackdown.  It’ll come out long enough after GTA for it to be relevant and before Saints Row 5.  If it goes remotely near to to either of these it will sell about 10 copies.
  • Inside, from the guys who brought you Limbo.  Limbo was good, Inside will probably bee good as well.  You know what was good?  Transistor.
  • The Witcher 3 – Has looked good for a long time.  If someone wants to get this for my birthday, please feel free.  I’ll take it on PC though.

The highlight for me?  Ori and The Blind Forest, but it’s not going to get me to buy an Xbox One. but at this point, I don’t know what would.

Sony:

Yet more expected games and a dabble at some new hardware.  Vita has now been downgraded to an accessory for your PS4 rather than a standalone portable.  Vita is simply not capable of delivering a better fidelity of game because all it will ever get is knock offs and ports.  I don’t want to take anything away from the knock offs and ports, because some of them are genuinely solid games that you may want to play while you out and about but after owning a Vita since day one, the only game I have seriously pumped any time into was Persona 4 Golden and you know what?  I sat there thinking, “You know what, this would be great on the telly”.  Fortunately Sony are releasing a cheaper Playstation Vita without the screen and it’s called Vita TV, was it called Vita TV or Playstation TV?  I can’t remember.

Vita Playstation TV allows you to play Vita games on your TV at half the cost of a Vita in addition to streaming Playstation 3 and other content to another TV in your house.  Sure.  This is being rolled out in conjunction with Sony’s Playstation Now service which allows you to stream pretty much anything Sony will have you pay for so you can use it when your internet dies or if you’re the only one in the house using the internet….hang on a minute.  I’m all for cloud computing and streaming services but what exactly happens when for whatever reason my internet isn’t fast enough or I live in a house with 2 other guys who dominate the bandwidth as much as I do?  Does that mean my games will get slow, my content less HD and my overall experience worsened?  Probably.  I don’t know how latency will affect the service but it seems that Sony is putting a fair few of it’s eggs in this content hub basket that just won’t be experienced to the full by everyone as intended.  Hell, I still don’t have Playstation Plus.

Game time:

  • Uncharted 4.  Will sell consoles.  In 2015.
  • Blood Born from From Software.  The same guys that did this:

  • The Order 1886.  I am calling this now, this will be underwhelming and everyone saying that it looks like the best thing ever will be back peddling to try and justify why this is the best thing ever when they come to play it.  The trailer shown at E3 looked amazing, and then I though, this looks like a cinematic set piece consistently relieving the player of control.  My advice, don’t let anyone play it.  That my friends is how Watch Dogs became the fastest selling IP in the UK or whatever it was. Because no one got to play it.  Guess what?

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  • LBP 3.  Sure.
  • Far Cry 4 that multiplatform game.
  • Dead Island 2 that mess of a game that went nuts at retail when GAME couldn’t source any stock and it was £55 odd quid for ages.  Fond memories.

Again, nothing really I personally want and nothing exciting to wake me up at 3.30am this morning.  My money is still heading towards Sony once MGSV and Final Fantasy hit but at the moment it’s not going anywhere.  The PS4 up to this point has enjoyed a better quality of game from 3rd parties and are making leaps and bounds in the community side of gaming and with very little to separate the two until next year, I think the Playstation’s install base will continue to grow ahead of its rival.

The highlight of the Sony Conference was Shawn Layden saying the words “Tales Of Hearts R”.

Nintendo boys are up in an hour.  They might just win this for me if the word Xenoblade is mentioned because I’m not sure anyone else knows what it means to have a JRPG as an exclusive anymore.

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