Nothing mind-blowing from any of the big three, then. Some impressive stuff, to be sure, and some things better than others, but no clear advantages for this console war. My biggest thought so far has been “OMG!”:
This is probably going to be a long post…
First the conferences. I stayed up late to watch the Sony one live and, like most people seemed to, came away disappointed after all the hyperbole. Only three games really struck me – Final Fantasy XIII, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Virtua Fighter 5 – and the rest seemed spectacularly unspectacular. Tekken 6 didn’t even look as good as DOA4, and Resistance looked like a browner Call of Duty, for example. I was impressed with the very cool Eye of Judgement demo and the aforementioned three games, but then…$600. It’s not even a generation ahead of the 360 but is $200 more? No thanks.
There is a $500 unit, but who wants that? You lose the HDMI (so none of the advertised 1080p, ever), memory card slots, and wi-fi. At least if you buy a Core 360 you can buy the things to take it up to the premium one at a later date, but with the PS3 you’re stuck with the crippled one. I’m not going to get started on the “amazing innovation” (their words) of the motion sensitive controller but suffice to say that Nintendo must have been pissed.
What made me laugh was listening to Radio 1 the next day which is usually the home of PlayStation fanboy chavs and the opinions that were called in were universally negative. They even said that the consensus seemed to be that they’d “copied Microsoft and Nintendo and slapped a massive price tag on it.” Continue reading E3 Thoughts
Maybe that title’s a bit misleading because I’m not actually at the event on which I’m writing as I was last time I used that syntax, but this time it’s a far more clever Xbox Live pun.
The Internet has made E3 much more of a public event than it used to be when we had to rely on magazine coverage the next month which made audacious (though ineffectual in the following example) stunts like the Saturn launch possible, but from what I’ve seen so far Microsoft should be commended for opening it up more than I’ve seen before. We’ve always relied on third-parties for coverage but this is the first time that I can remember a console manufacturer providing fast access to new show content themselves. Certainly the first time it’s come direct to the console.
Microsoft’s conference isn’t until tomorrow but already Live subscribers (most of them, if my friends list is any indication) have a dozen or so HD trailers to download and a demo of Test Drive Unlimited. The demo is nothing special and Sonic The Hedgehog is the only trailer which struck me immediately, but with any luck we’ll be able to download trailers for the likes of Halo 3 and Gears of War tomorrow, and we already know that we’re getting demos of Lost Planet and Moto GP 06 over the next couple of days. Not to mention that Live Gold is free for the duration of the show and that some of the trailers aren’t even on IGN or GameSpot.
Admittedly some of the stuff is eliciting disinterested reactions, but being able to watch this stuff in HD with 5.1 sound on your own TV instead of a Quicktime window is a nice boon. How much it’s going to do depends a lot on what Sony shows in a bit under three hours, but I hope for Sony’s sake that it looks better than this.
Is it me or are Nintendo deliberately trying to make themselves difficult to get behind? We’re all up for downloadable Nintendo games, downloadable Sega games, new gaming experiences, a cheaper price tag, and the excellent console design, but then they keep trying to cancel out these big pluses with apparent negatives.
First there’s the idea that its maximum output will be 480p. That’s going to look nice on those HDTVs that people are buying. Then the infamous controller, which I’ve come to like but doubt most will. A couple of weeks ago the news that it’s barely more powerful on paper than the Xbox broke which set off all the specs whores. Now they’ve come out with the weirdest console name possible. OK no, Wonderswan still keeps that title.
I’m sure that ‘Wii’ is supposed to be a play on the pronoun ‘we’ and therefore community or family (back to ‘Famicom’, in a way), but to me and my English slang it just means that the new console is effectively called the Nintendo Urine. Urban Dictionary agrees with me.
Ladies and gentlemen, the first shot of the console war has been fired:
“We didn’t want to go out to E3 and show a bunch of rendered videos that wouldn’t necessarily reflect reality. Sony has created that expectation and we’ll have to see if they can deliver on it. We’ll have real content at E3, real games that people can go out and get their hands on.”
Oooh, burn. This is going to get fun.
OK, so SPOnG isn’t known for being the most reliable news source, but they’re reporting that the ESA won’t be allowing nudity, semi-nudity, or even provocative models and somehow related the whole thing to Jack Thompson. Is there anything he can’t be blamed for?
Thinking about this and assuming it’s true, I’m not sure that it’s a bad thing for the industry. Like they say it’s not so good for the image of the industry and its attempts to expand when its flagship show is reliant on two-bit models rubbing themselves over various two-bit games. The only other industry which really does anything similar is the car one, and there aren’t many women that I know who are interested in drooling over a Ferrari FXX no matter how handsome it is. It’ll go a long way towards raising the tone of E3, at least.