If you’re on the internets, you probably have an inkling of an idea that there’s some kind of video game thing going on now. It’s E3, or Electronic Entertainment Expo. Traditionally it’s where all the big game developers brag about the big games they have coming out to reporters, hoping they’ll write about it and help fuel the hype for the 6 months until Christmas. This year, with more and more people opting to play games on their 4 inch phone screen instead of their 40 inch TV and two new systems coming out it makes for an interesting E3.
This year seems to really be the story of companies rising and falling, and perhaps rising again.
Here, for those who just want a summary so you can sound cool in front of your video game nerd friends, are brief summaries of everything that’s going on:
After having what was probably the most popular console of this past generation, the XBox 360, they just can’t seem to make a good decision.
First it came out that their new system would require a Kinect to be attached and on at all times. The Kinect is a controller that includes a webcam and microphone that are constantly watching/listening to you waiting for you to make a command to it. It also came out that the new XBox would require to always be connected online to function properly. Having an electronic in your living room spying on you sounded a little too 1984 to people. How long until the XBox would pick up on people saying Bomb or Terrorist, and then repost directly to President Obama.
Besides going all NSA on their customers, Microsoft went a little heavy on the DRM (Digital Rights Management). All games, whether being played online with other people or all by yourself require a connection to the internet once every 24 hours to make sure you are the rightful owner. Want to lend it to your friend? Only if you go to their house and login under your account at their house. And then that requires a connection to the internet every hour. Want to sell your game to someone else? Sure that’s okay. But only once. If the new owner want to sell it they’re out of luck, it is not permitted. They might as well use the disc as a coaster, it’d be more useful that way.
Is that enough mistakes for a company to make? No? How about calling it the XBox One, even though it’s the third Xbox? That’s like if the next Fast & Furious movie is called Fast & Furious One? Wouldn’t that just confuse the crap out of everyone. Oh yeah, and they also want $500 for it.
Sony seems to be the universal choice as “winner” of E3. Why? Because their new system, Playstation 4 (it’s the fourth version of the system, makes sense right?) has features that used to be standard. I’m talking about such bells and whistles as not spying on you and letting you play used games.
It’s not all roses for Sony. In the past a subscription was not required to play games online. Microsoft have always made their users pay to play online, and now Sony is also adopting that notion. Sony has always offered a premium subscription service that gave users free games every month, ironically Microsoft is adding that feature to there’s. So now both systems will require a yearly fee to play online, but you get some free games out of it.
Sony may have really won the day though, when they announced that their new system would be $400. Not exactly cheap, but at 20% cheaper than the XBox One, it seems only kind of expensive instead of very expensive.
With both Sony and Microsoft introducing new consoles, it seems everyone is forgetting about Nintendo this year including Nintendo, as they didn’t even hold a press conference this year. Instead Nintendo made their presentation via a laggy streaming video.
Nintendo played it safe, by introducing new installments of popular series such as Super Mario, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong (who’s biggest feature is that you can see his fur!) and Smash Brothers. Also a remake of a 10 year old Zelda game. While nothing new or exciting, the games all do look like the usual awesome that comes out of Nintendo.
Perhaps if Nintendo had also mentioned that their system wasn’t spying on you are crippled by DRM they could also have been picked as winners.
Oh, by the way, you dress up as a cat in the new Mario game… so that’s pretty cool.
With more and more people playing games like Plants Vs. Zombies, Candy Crush and Fart Machine on their iPhones, you would think Apple would try to get in on the E3 action. In fact, they even held their own press conf… I mean “keynote” at the same time as Microsoft.
So what did Apple show off? An update to Siri, you know that feature that everyone who buys an iPhone thinks is cool for the first two hours and then never uses again. And a computer that looks like a waste paper bin.
My pick for best looking game of the show would have to go to The Division. It takes place in a future New York City affected by a plague and it looks pretty: