Not your regular reading…regular broadcasting will return

So This blog so far has been all about me and America, but I plan to keep this blog for my student politics involvement and of course my random musings, I feel like I should post less and less gaming stuff on facebook, like opinions etc because I have so much to say I don’t feel facebook does it justice, I want to tackle the harder stuff that extra credits
Or Epic battle cry talk about. Whether it is the cool things I see happening in the industry or the stuff that is just broken and wrong, why it shouldn’t be there and maybe even drawing comparisons to other mediums and art forms. Of course that’s something I want to talk about in a later post, why gaming IS an art form and all the big art snobs who said otherwise (casts a seething look in the direction of Roger Ebert ) are just wrong, but I will get to the reasons why another time. Right now I want to have a little random muse/rant about things from the last few months of gaming. The stuff I have always thought if I wrote a blog I’d take the time to discuss.

Don’t worry for anyone like family or friends who read this for the lulz I will talk about non-gaming things, feel free to skip this post, but I plan to keep this at least informative and hopefully interesting. I f this reaches none gamers and teaches them something, or even perks their interest or shows them gaming in a way they never saw before then great. If nothing else this is good practise for critical analysis and thinking skills for the new degree and the exec but a bit more interesting for me and you guys than boring old labour vs. tory (I know you’re all sick of hearing me go on about it!)

So E3 happened what felt like an Age ago, for anyone unsure of what it is here’s a link.

Tbh, it was a poor year for the big 3, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft didn’t do anything spectacular, If I was to pick a winner I would say sony, not because they had a killer show but because they checked the most boxes, handled the security fail well, (at the conference anyway) and then showed some cool IP’S and the icing on the cake (or maybe cookie in this case since it wasn’t as wow this year!!) would be Sony announcing the price for the Playstation Vita,
And I’m pleased to say they announced it at the price I thought they would, $249 for the basic one hoping it will translate to either the same value in pounds, or at least the same price with the dollar swapped for a pound sign! This is what I was roughly expecting it to be! (BOOM got it right again).

For anyone who doesn’t know anything about the vita, It is a serious piece of tech, a quadcore snapdragon processor meaning roughly having the capabilities of a ps3 in terms of power and graphics all inside something the size of a psp. A screen resolution 5x that of the psp with a touch pad on the back (for insane physics and neat tricks as well as some interesting functionality.)And a touch screen front…and most importantly TWO ANALOG NUBS! Hurrah Sony FINALLY did it. I and every other psp owner have only been waiting for this since the psp launched! So overall a decent show from Sony with some cool things on the way and some great support and cloud computing in the pipeline for the vita.

Now lets get to who arguably came in second, now of course many people especially retailers are arguing about the groundbreaking innovation that is the Nintendo wii U. personally. it looks cool, has some neat tricks, I like the idea you can turn your TV to another channel but carry on playing the game on a beautiful looking screen (great for parents with kids parent watch TV while kid plays console in the same room etc). I am however nervous about putting my foot back in the water with Nintendo. Once bitten, twice shy they say. Like a lot of people I was pissed, and didn’t give Nintendo a second look in these last 5 years when they decided to shit on the hardcore gamer that had made them what they were today, and they proceed to watch them drop shovelware and gimmick and shoddy 3rd party title after title onto store shelves, with such classics as hardy boys; the hidden theft, and a hundred different knock offs of wii sports! Leaving the occasional pearl or diamond star game in the giant shit pile that was the wii catalogue. And when I say a few I mean it. Probably no more than 15 games worth having on the WII in 5 years. I get it’s a family console and for kids etc. But I had a ps1 and ps2 growing up and the good well outweighed the bad, I mean I was playing final fantasy at 7/8 years old. That game rocked, was deep imaginative, funny, challenging and rewarding. Heck it taught me life lessons, what the hell is some of the rubbish they are turning out teaching them? Another movie tie in game really? copy and paste levels/activities with just different characters and names…pretty much. In fact I have a whole separate point of view about how Nintendo actually risks in the long term puling people away from the medium, parents trading back consoles that are never used because the games aren’t pulling them in, Nintendo dominated the market with the wii, but every year figures have dropped by billions! Ok a 3rd of 3 billion is still 2 billion profit but when you are no longer selling consoles AND no one buys your games your in trouble. YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. It was a short term plan and now the WII U is looking to pull back in the hardcore market and there are lots of rumours of big titles coming its way. Nintendo cant expect to rely on the same success with this one, they had to up the graphics and change the market they were going for because well the casual gamer just wont fork out £200 pound for a console that looks a little prettier, same functionality but only ONE PERSON gets to play with a shiny controller (with horrible looking nubs might I add! just saying they don’t look comfortable and too low into the controller for my liking!)

I think everyone saw this coming, it was the logical step, will consumers coming running back to Nintendo? People look excited; the Zelda tech demo was pretty sweet. I don’t know if we will be able to market it and convince non hard core gamers to buy it. Nintendo may just have to live up to the fact the WII U cant sell as well as the WII did. Its old ha to the casual gamer who isn’t that interested or understands just what it can do or why its better to them for the purposes of coming out at xmas so everyone can have a laugh at the drunk uncle trying to dance to gaga in just dance!

overall Nintendo were saved with the mention of a couple of decent titles i.e. skyward sword is shaping up and may make me pick up a wii just to play this Zelda game, but the WII U and the 3ds are IMHO luke warm and will have to wait and see what else the have in store.

Now let’s talk about Microsoft, Now, please lets not call me a fanboy, I try very hard to give balanced opinions, yes I own a ps3. However we have an Xbox in the flat and there are some stellar titles on that console, and some brilliant features that I sometimes wish I could play etc. In saying that, the kinect can go to hell. It has phenomenal applications and is a stunning piece of tech, but just isn’t being utilized at all, the only games we have back at GAME for it are all sports game, crappy ones at that two, arguably dance central and MJ experience are pretty sweet but that just puts it into the equivalent of a WII.

Ok they announced some cool little features and extras for it in certain games coming like fable on rails (or frails) as I have nicknamed it, will have you using your hands to form magic and spells. Or using voice chat to say things in the next mass effect 3. Granted I think saying the phrase then the character of Shepard repeating it will get DAMN annoying but other than that and the announcement of some new sports game and the odd game here and there. The Kinect to me, looks like it adds some “oh that’s cool” functionality. Nothing about it makes me WANT it. I think the use of it for 3d spacial animation and video by hooking 3 of them up to computers is pretty cool. Or creating hadoukens with is sweet. But once again, that’s hack stuff, the stuff MS, isn’t looking at and genuinely font think they are planning to right now, I’m sure they mentioned something about opening up greater dev service and tool kits, but I still think it will be very rigidly monitored and the kinect will become a play toy for hackers. Ok so I don’t think I can avoid NOT talking about halo. Yes there is a new series, a new trilogy, No one should be surprised. MS didn’t really have anything else to pull out the bag this year except this, kinect and some more gears trailers.

I like what they are doing with the original Halo remake. It’s getting a lot of hate, but I look at it like this, if someone offered me a legitimate remake of FF7, as a pure labour of love to the fans as a thank you and just because they could. Then yes, I would bite that hand off and squeal like the little ff fanboy that I am (yes ok I HEART final fantasy too much, it means a lot to me DEAL WITH IT!) So why shouldn’t halo fans be treated to the same thing? its no different to rebooting batman 10 years after the last movie came out with the batman begins (though that’s a reboot rather than a remastering) maybe its more akin to a hd re-release of that Disney movie they only release once every blue moon, like lion king? Or snow white? With all the extras and looking a little bit shinier, ok sure, it isn’t for everyone and may be milking the cow. But it’s making the fans happy, and in this day and age when honestly some companies and retailers are screwing us to the wall at times. Maybe we should take this “HD remake” for what it is the bonus fans wanted, and more power to those fans.

So overall Sony wins E3 not because they had the best amazing show but because they ticked the most boxes for me, didn’t make me sigh, and offered some things I wanted to see. It probably helped that Ms didn’t really show up with anything bar two titles (one we already knew about and one that was bound to role about again) and some kinect shoe horned in (they got to be careful they don’t alienate their hardcore demographic with that!), and Nintendo came crawling back on their hands and knees offering some hybrid monstrosity trying to appeal to the casual crowds and the fabnoys, like doctor Frankenstein praying the crowds don’t light the torches and turn into a mob and burn the monstrosity but see it for the soft family friendly slightly oversized awkward console that it is.

I would like to add this is my first attempt at this, apologies for any typos I have missed, most of this is just me putting out some points on some of the stuff going on in my industry, would you kindly leave a comment on this as a whole, or anything you agree/disagree with? This is also me trying to talk through things and keep my mind sharp for going back to my job at GAME. It’s also nice to think there is a chance I can get some good gaming discussions going!


“A man chooses, a slave obeys.” – Andrew Ryan ( Bioshock).


~ by conorstrife on August 1, 2011.

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