Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013

For those of you who play video games, E3 needs no introduction. Just in case I have branched out of my normal circle of friends and reached other people, E3 is the big video game news expo they hold every summer. All the big companies hold press releases to reveal their new consoles, tech, and games. Although I'm not per se an avid gamer, I do love playing video games and even more-so being up to date on the news. So let's start with Microsoft.

Microsoft had the first press segment of the day. I tuned in to the last half hour or so as I forgot it was today. Let me start by saying that a few weeks ago they held a press release for the Xbox One. Rough thoughts on that is the name sucks. They kept mentioning it's an "All-in-one system" as you can watch tv and browse internet and much more on it. Hence Xbox One. This sounds like they are taking a massive step back from their Xbox 360... Why not call it the Xbox AIO (All-In-One) or just Xbox IO. Not only is it a cool sounding name, but it doesn't sound like the prototype or like it's competing with the PSOne from soon to be three generations ago... They are also running into issues with trying to kill any purchasing fo used games or borrowing games and such. It's a mess and they aren't selling themselves very well at the moment. Anyways, I wasn't impressed with their presentation much. I do think the game Titanfall looks pretty sweet. It's a bit of Halo meets Mirror's Edge (2 games I rather enjoyed.) They teased Halo 4. Which was announced like 2 years ago so it wasn't very exciting. And apart from that, nothing really sticks out in my memory.

EA came next. They announced a 3rd person shooter version of Plants Vs. Zombies called Garden Warfare. While I have no interest in this game or franchise at all, they have done well in making this concept stick and even better at parodying the Call of Duty franchise with their naming of this one. The big news was they announced a new Star Wars: Battlefront ggame running on the new Frostbite 3 engine. Other than that, hardly anything happened. They showed some Need For Speed footage as well as some behind the scenes stuff for the Need for Speed movie that apparently is in production. Does anybody care? Thought not. They announced Dragon Age: Inquisition which looks sweet. I'll probably watch Devon play it as that's one of her top game series'. They also announced Mirror's Edge 2. I'm sort of excited. I will probably buy it for 20 bucks or so once the price drops as I did the first. That's all that impressed me from EA.

Onto Ubisoft. This Press conference started with Jerry Cantrell introducing Rocksmith (Cantrell being the lead singer/guitarist of Alice In Chains and Rocksmith being guitar hero but actually learning to play guitar. They also announced South Park: The Stick of Truth which looks like a South Park video game, a very excellent looking Tom Clancy's The Division, and the intriguing Watch Dogs. This game looks like Grand Theft Auto if GTA had a brilliant protagonist who can hack into anything. If you haven't seen the trailer or gameplay yet, here you go: 


While I'm not generally a fan of the GTA open world style games, I will definitely be checking this one out. Ubisoft showed trailers for Splinter Cell Blacklist that looks cool and the Rabbids Invasion
interactive television series. This means you an interact with your Xbox One whilst watching the show.

Speaking of GTA, they announced that there will be a GTA V PS3 Bundle. Again, not a big fan so I'm out. We also got a Beyond: Two Souls trailer starring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. It looks intriguing but not overwhelmingly so as it's mostly just a teaser. There were new trailers fo Gran Turismo 6, The Last of Us, and Batman: Arkham Origins. All of these look beautiful, but Arkham Origins looks incredible. Onto games for the PS4. They announced mny games so I'll just touch on a few: I'll start by saying that their stance on Independant games is brilliant. They are allowing game creators to upload their own games to the store. Final Fantasy XV is coming out. Which is big, but I've not played or really cared about these games. inFamous: Second Son looks to be a sweet spin off game. Mad Max game teaser? okay. Assassins Creed: Pirates? Looks freaking sweet! Kingdom Hearts III: Well they own Star Wars and Marvel now... so Loki and Darth Vader teaming up? One of the biggest announcements was the 12 minutes of gameplay for Destiny. Bungie, the team behind Halo, created this exclusive for Playstation and it looks a lot like Halo in a lighter universe. We will also be getting a game called The Order: 1886, or as I am calling it: Resident Evil 1886. Looks interesting. Worth a shot.

Now onto the system war. Xbox One was announced with several new features. Including a need to connect to the internet every 24 hours to verify the game is genuine, A surcharge for used games in order to register them properly, and the one that most people missed: Xbox One won't work without the Kinect device plugged in. Also the camera will allegedly always be on. Not just when you're playing, always. This is just nuts f it is in fact true. That being said, the Xbox does have some good features. Namely the voice control aspect as well as the picture-in-picture thing. They also have the SmartGlass, which I believe is an app used to make in-game purchases and for multiplayer aspects a la WiiU. Most people focused on the bad things like the insane DRM.
So when Sony had their conference they just mentioned that there was no DRM or anything like that. They merely talked about how their games could easily be traded or loaned out as nearly all previous games have been. They also announced Redbox Instant and Flixster coming to PS4 as well as Sony Pictures producing exclusive PSN content. They did announce that a PSN subscription is required for online play now, which was one of the biggest bonuses PS3 had over Xbox 360.
Of course, a lot of this comes down to price. So when Xbox One was announced to release at $499 Sony got the last laugh by announcing a $399 release price. They learned from last time that having your system be extremely more expensive doesn't sell systems. Anyways, I think Sony and the PS4 are winning E3 so far, but to be transparent, I am a Playstation fan. I may be a bit biased. But that's just me. What do you guys think?

For a more thorough recap go here to check it out.

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