Tag Archives: Microsoft

E3 2016: Nintendo, Microsoft, And Sony

Hey Gamers,

Once again, I excitedly share the news about being invited back to E3.

Like, as excited as making bacon pancakes excited.

Like, as excited as making bacon pancakes excited.

I have always found E3 to be one of the biggest highlights of the gaming year, and having had the pleasure of experiencing a couple firsthand, my opinion has only been strengthened in it’s resolve. I always cover the show as Editor-in-Chief of Gamersyndrome (as I will this year, too), but due to server issues, I can’t even log into my own site right now. Oh the frustrating irony of it all.

Like Batman being locked out of the Batmobile.

Like Batman being locked out of the Batmobile.

Like every year, before the show, I always enjoy talking about what we can expect, by throwing around some fun speculation, and generally, shoot the shit about what the fuck we are waiting for. This year is no different, and I want to take this moment now to run down some of the major players and what they have to bring, at E3 2o16. First up, we look at Nintendo and see what massive variety they have planned for the show floor.

That's right folks, The Legend of Zelda is just the beginning.

That’s right folks, The Legend of Zelda is just the beginning (of the end).

It’s been no secret that Nintendo has vowed to finally showcase Zelda NX, in all of it’s beautiful glory at E3 2o16. What’s more, is that the big N plans on having multiple kiosks for Zelda on the show floor for attendees to play and enjoy, along with a Treehouse Live special going on during E3, which has developers hands on with the title, showing off the new Hyrule in all of it’s next gen bravado for the world to see.

If that wasn’t enough, Nintendo has also said Zelda will simultaneously release on both the NX and the Wii U, much to the delight of any Wii U owner, and one of very few delights they will know in the next year or so.

Pictured: Wii U owners reactions when they heard Zelda wasn't coming out until 2017

Pictured: Wii U owners reactions when they heard Zelda wasn’t coming out until 2017

Most of that sounds good, right? I hope it does, because Zelda at E3 is about the only thing Nintendo fans have to look forward to this year. For the third year running, Nintendo has opted out of doing a press conference, which makes some kind of sense, as it would be very hard to rationalize what would ultimately be a 90 minute commercial for Zelda, and not subsequently get pissed on by the collective gaming community. I know it worked for Nintendo with Super Mario Bros 3 and The Wizard once upon a time, but we live in a very different time now.

Very Different Times

“Very Different”

So yes, Nintendo isn’t doing a press conference, and they won’t have anything but Zelda on the floor. That is incredibly unprecedented by any E3 standard, and should help reinforce just how much trouble Nintendo has been in for awhile. Not a “Nintendo is doooomed” kind of implication, but all of these massive underwhelming announcements for the next year, in combination with the complete lack of content for the Wii U in 2016, and Nintendo is struggling to do anything outside of flashing their Zelda bling. Which admittedly, they do well.

As a fan of Zelda, I’m thrilled I’ll be surrounded by my favorite green clad hero. As a critic, I’m like “Dudes, are you serious? One freaking game?” I do my best to rationalize the situation in the sanest ways possible.

Zelda at E3

The upshot to this is that no one is really expecting anything from Nintendo at all this E3, so if Zelda is surprisingly good, they will  get great press about it. Which is perfect, cause they will likely get little press other than Zelda. They have back peddled recently to say they will mention in some capacity a few other titles, like the new Pokémon titles Sun and Moon, along with Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest VII for the 3Ds, but have safe expectations going into the show.

Let's hope Nintendo hasn't done to Zelda 's E3 showing what Link does to love letters.

Let’s hope Nintendo hasn’t done to Zelda ‘s E3 showing what Link has done to love letters.

Safe Expectation: Zelda. Seriously, that’s it.
Impossible Expectation: Nintendo has been lying about not showing the NX this year, and we get a physical look at the console, with an official name.

Next up, we have Microsoft, the tech giant that went from disastrous launch, to admirable sales for the Xbox One, with their system currently outpacing the success of the 360 in comparison of sales to time on the market. MS is still almost twice as far behind as Sony’s PS4 however, and will have to continue to pull out all the stops to catch up.

With one of the stops being continually not bringing up the failure that is the Kinect.

With one of the stops being continually not bringing up the failure that is the Kinect.

I know you wanted the Kinect to be embraced by your core base, Microsoft…but it’s just not going to happen

Microsoft is likely to continue their “games first” strategy that we saw them steam ahead with last year, tech add on’s and vague promises of future upgrades just (haven’t) and aren’t going to satiate the expectations of gamers. With more than 50% of all games announced at last years E3 (from all companies) still not out a year later, MS is going to have to wow the crowds with some concrete content with solid release dates.

Luckily, among the contenders for games likely to be announced at the show this year for the X1, we’ve got Crackdown 3, Cuphead, and Gears of War 4 all riding the hype train to E3. All three of these games have been in the works for some time, and round out an impressive variety that MS has been trying to compete with Sony on, a company that has had a quality stable of varied content in the past couple years.

Not that Sony hasn't had a varied amount of content that hasn't seen the light of day. Everyone is looking at you FF7.

Not that Sony hasn’t had a varied amount of content that hasn’t seen the light of day. Everyone is looking at you FF7.

To that point, we already know Gears 4 will be coming out October 11th, and it’s going to be one of the games to beat this year in terms of hype factor. I’d be surprised if Crackdown 3 didn’t finally have a release date announced, as well as Cuphead finally getting a launch window. I’m excited to finally see Rare showcase Sea of Thieves on top of it all, as they’ve had plenty of time to get the project off the ground, though a 2016 launch for it feels unlikely to me.

I think Recore and Scalebound are doomed to delay till 2017, considering what little we’ve seen of either in the past year. With Inafune heading up Recore, and having trouble getting even a small project like Mighty No.9 out, and Kamiya heading up Scalebound, who’s notorious for being patient in development to put out a quality experience, I will be very surprised if either see the light of day in 2016, but expect awesome previews at Microsoft’s conference non the less. It’s been rumored Halo Wars 2 will finally be announced, and I’m foolishly hopeful that it’s been in development long enough to be ready by years end.

But in he end, this is Halo we are talking about. We will likely be bummed about having to wait a little longer.

But in the end, this is Halo we are talking about. We will likely be bummed about having to wait a little longer.

Other honorable mentions go to Microsoft’s continual need to remind us it owns Mincecraft, some kind of Windows 10 pimping, and perhaps most excitedly, the rumored Xbox One slim, which is suppose to be almost half the size, and with possible 4k resolution support. There have also been rumors of an “Xbox Scorpio” flying about, which is supposedly far more powerful than the Xbox One, and possibly equipped with VR in mind, but with the Slim being the likely candidate (and MS still being mum on any possible VR focus), it would be pointless for Microsoft to announce the hypothetical Scorpio, as Sony and Nintendo have vowed not to bring new hardware to E3.

Which is believable, as Nintendo has barely vowed to bring any software to begin with *twiddles cigar*

Which is believable, as Nintendo has  vowed to barely bring any new software to E3 *twiddles cigar*

Safe Expectation: Microsoft announces a slew of release dates for big games, and the Slim is unveiled with a cool design and reasonable price point
Impossible Expectation: Microsoft shows working prototypes of a virtual reality machine, with a late 2017 launch window.

Last but not least, we discuss what Sony may do come this years E3, and what they have to avoid in order to not be the laughing stock of the gaming community.

Step 1: No crazy expensive announcements

Step 1: No crazy announcements

 

Step 2: No crazy promises

Step 2: No crazy long term promises

 

Step 3: Seriously...just don't be crazy, Sony.

Step 3: Seriously…just don’t be crazy, Sony. Sheesh.

While Sony has had their fair share of missteps in the past, they regularly have an incredibly strong showing at E3. Even when they announce something ludicrous, or ham fist some heavy handed promises, it’s at the least extremely entertaining on a memetic level. Though Sony has confirmed the existence of the  “PS4 Neo”, a new iteration of the PS4 line (much like the X1 Scorpio) which has been confirmed by Sony’s president to be more powerful and more expensive, it has also been confirmed it will not be making it’s E3 debut this year. Sony is still ramping up on showing off it’s not to distant future VR offerings with the PS4 VR add on, Project Morpheus, which will be the cheapest way to get your VR funk on.

No word yet currently on whether or not Sony will offer games which will have you getting funk off of your VR.

Though, unlike their competitors, no word yet on whether or not Sony will offer games which will have you getting funk off of your VR,

PS VR helps to solidify  the PS4 as the most attractive offering on the console side, and Sony has the sales numbers to back that up. There are quite a few games Sony has planned to discuss at their show this year, with some impressive names like Gran Turismo, Ace Combat, and Harmonix showing off titles for Project Morpheus for gamers to enjoy. Other titles which will be explored include Rigs: Mechanized Combat League, Dreams, a project from Little Big Planet Developers Media Molecule, and even a VR version of Rez, the highly acclaimed cult classic rhythm experience.

There are another dozen titles or so planned for PS VR, and it seems Sony is putting a great deal of focus on showing it off this year, which leads me to believe we may get a solid release date in late 2016, with the price point of $400. I know not everyone is sold on the idea of VR, but after having the joy of experiencing it myself at E3 2014, I can’t help but be excited for the future of virtual reality in gaming, which will only become more popular as the price goes down.

And like most major modern day tech innovations, I'm sure porn will most certainly convince everyone to jump in.

And like most major modern day tech innovations, I’m sure porn will most certainly convince everyone to jump in and help expedite cost reduction.

Putting aside the saucy nature of possible VR advancements, Sony has regular software lined up for their conference, including looks at Horizon: Zero Dawn, a futuristic open world third person action game that looks beautiful in motion, and a game I’m crossing my fingers comes out this year. The Last Guardian, which better have a release date this year, or is doomed to catch up with the number of times Duke Nukem Forever was delayed, the long awaited sequel to the gravitationally challenged Vita darling Gravity Rush 2, and possibly the rumored announcement of a Norse myth focused from one of Sony’s biggest, God of War 4.

Spoiler Alert: Kratos will most still be a massive asshole.

Spoiler Alert: Kratos will still be a massive asshole.

The last couple of years I’ve gone, while some companies have delivered the goods in terms of conferences (Microsoft 2014, Bethesda 2015), Sony always seems to be the ones to beat in terms of variety of content and showmanship. Let’s see if they can pull it off again this year.

Safe Expectation: Sony will announce a lot of cool shit
Impossible Expectation: Any of it will be cheap or come out any time soon.

And that concludes my overview of the big three in some of the preliminary analysis of E3 2016. What’s exciting is that the show is always anyone’s game, and even if one company rises above the rest, they all always have a chance to impress, and to collectively succeed to make an excellent show. What’s more is that this year has seen a surprisingly low number of leaks, so there are still a ton of surprises left, with dozens of unannounced projects just waiting to shock and awe. Stay tune as I cover the conferences and the show live from LA, as we all enjoy the awesomeness that is E3 2o16.

~Pashford

 

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Rhetorical Encore

Hey Gamers,

My last couple posts, casually detailing the white noise  involving CoD comparisons, did their job in reminding me of a jarring truth.

Why This Picture May Represent Some People's Next Gen Experience

Why This Picture May Represent My Next Gen Experience

I know I have weird, often insular focuses on what’s going on. I usually focus on the biggest discussions in gaming, which ironically, normally involves the fewest number of people discussing them. This is more due to message boards, online communities and gaming press, representing such a small portion of video game culture at large, even when combined into a single group. In some sense, I have this division from the mass majority, the same group of people who thought the Xbox One reveal was exciting, thinks PC gaming requires a PhD, and who are unaware the Wii U is a video game console.

Then Again, I've Heard This Referred To As "The Nintendo", Which Didn't Seem To Have Much Of An Impact On The Consoles Success

Then Again, I’ve Heard This Device Referred To As “The Nintendo”, Which Didn’t Seem To Have Much Of An Impact On The Consoles Success

I’m partly to blame anyways. In the group of articles detailing these how trivial these events are, I’ve effectively taken focus off of other matters more worthwhile in discussion, which makes me a shitty hypocrite. I can only claim the power of self-awareness in this case of hypocrisy, which is more than I can say for some of the other lost souls drifting around in the virtual ether. I bring up “Resolutiongate” one last time, however, due to some delightful sense of rhetorical rhetoric, and how we all may truly be dangerously distanced from any form of non-virtual reality.

I know for anyone even remotely interested, and I will submit here that in all seriousness most of the Call of Duty fan base is not, we come to a confirmation of an obvious conclusion, the X1 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts  is not native 1080p, though the PS4 version is. You can imagine my surprise (see two hyperlinks ago), when Sony Germany tried removing all traces of their *honest declaration* that the PS4 version of Ghosts is indeed in 1080p. They removed the ad in due time, and I’m frightened to think of why. Some have speculated (and I’ll join in) that the original ad (see: mockery) of the X1, was merely a factual statement that has already been proven true, based on known technical limitations of the machine.

In essence, Sony Germany may have revoked a factual statement about their own tech, because it would make their competition look bad.

QUICK! TO THE LOGIC MOBILE!

QUICK! TO THE LOGIC MOBILE!

So am I to infer from this event, that in the realm of video games, a company can’t even state basic technical limitations of their machine vs another, because they might offend their competition because it’s a mean thing to do?

Imagine that phone conversation.

Microsoft Getting A Call From Sony About CoD

Microsoft Getting A Call From Sony About CoD: Ghosts

Sony Calling Microsoft About CoD

Sony Calling Microsoft About CoD: Ghosts

 The further I continue to fixate on this story, I don’t know if it becomes less or more fucking insane. I continue trying to tell myself, despite Microsoft’s stupid attempts of consumer dishonesty, that this should so be on some level a none issue. The further we go into this rabbit hole, the further we continue to fall deeper into madness. The sheer idea that the ad that removed by Sony about their own product was an objective fact, and that it may still cause problems, may fucking cement the point this industry is too far up it’s own ass for it’s own good. We are talking about measurable technology, honesty to people who should have the right to know, and that this should have never ever been an issue to begin with. Not that the resolution difference doesn’t matter, though the basic arguments seems shallow, it’s that pointing out this difference between the two and having any difficulty in doing so is the far more troubling aspect of this tale.

Which is possibly why I struggle to distance myself from the non-issue, because it has surprising efficiency in remaining problematic, and pissing off just the right people in the right numbers, to stay an issue. I may also be bothered by this, because on the surface level, we are talking about games that find their base in the shallow, immense accessibility key. We aren’t suppose to think about Call of Duty, that’s always been the point. We are simply suppose to “do” Call of Duty, the game representing the perfect distillation of gaming meets consumerism. At what fourth wall point off relevancy does this start to become a toxic way to view the subject at large, and what levels of respect does this implied triviality towards a  game that will make billions really mean in the grand scope of the medium?

Nintendo, Secretly Enjoying Eavesdropping On The CoD Conversation, Knowing This Is The Most Value They'll Get Out Of A Port of CoD: Ghosts

Nintendo, Secretly Enjoying Eavesdropping On The CoD Conversation, Knowing This Is The Most Value They’ll Get Out Of A Port of CoD: Ghosts

That may be where all the issues lie, why even going against my own rationale of showing the surface level pointlessness of this debate, I continue to try to see what’s causing the debate. This subtle sense of “something wrong”, and not thinking fourth dimensionally enough may be why I continue in analyzing this mangled sense of fascinating. I criticize the debate about the slight fidelity issues, based on the PC being the obvious out performer to begin with, and that the gap in quality for consoles is kind of absurd to begin with. However, I persist in pushing myself to care about what a lot of people may not be caring more about. Everything that has come to pass in causing this, once again obscures the real issue, which is obfuscation…the real issue.

Gamers, aware gamers, never forget that this is a business. The underlying issue here is that this fact will inevitably effect everyone, and is a relevant issue in previous thoughts I’ve had on the subject. Microsoft is salty because this CoD debate makes them look bad, and in this instance, looking bad costs money. My problem with this continued sense of information control and money grabbing, is the way it’s being handled. Microsoft is kind of getting away with, at least in the context of this debate, being irresponsible about an inferior product by lying about it. They’re trying to buy their way out of a problem, while lying about the money they’re using to do so. I guess one of the simplest ways to try and make my thoughts on the subject any more explicit, is how much discussion and money is happening over an HD resolution difference, in two games that are going to have the highest profit margins of the year.

I Give The Gaming Industry's Sense Of Priorities Two Thumbs Way Up

Hades Gives The Gaming Industry’s Sense Of Priorities Two Engulfed Thumbs Way Up

I suppose, I may still be failing to articulate this subject properly. I may also have fallen whim to a previously observed flaw, in pondering a very simple idea that ends up taking me down a road far longer than I was expecting to travel. I’ll end this by saying the issue isn’t the 360 pixels of resolution difference in CoD, it’s about how video games have become big enough, where forces within the biggest companies involved, perpetuate corrupting policies in a brutally apparent fashion. They continue in degrading the gaming landscape and derailing efficient progress in new ideas, because it’s more profitable to do so.

At one point, when someone bitched or complained enough about something in gaming, anyone who wanted to use a straw man argument, or utilize a bullshit bully approach of “quit crying” about it, somehow was backed by a vague sense of the importance video games had. It’s bad enough people aren’t looking at a big enough picture with this CoD debate, and falling folly to the most shallow sense of injustice, when far bigger ones have allowed this small one to even exist.

Once upon a time, when someone was taking a problem in gaming too seriously, someone would chime in with “It’s just a game”.

Yeah, well, “Just a Game” is now making a billion dollars.

~Pashford

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Awkward Glory

Hey Gamers,

I know it seems like only a mere five hours since my last post…and yes, I did just hyperlink to five hours ago, but scheduling restrictions have led me to cram in another article in the wee hours of the moment. This brings us to present time.

…and yes, I did just hyperlink to right now.

Calm Down, It's Not A Fucking Time Paradox

Calm Down, It’s Not A Fucking Time Paradox

I’ve noticed I have this bad habit of just about creating something great when I write an article, my Call of Duty comparisons piece a fine example. I don’t think I drove home point enough that while the issue on some level is important to deal with, it’s really not the most important issue we could be dealing with. I love consoles, and for the obvious reasons, but I’m a no bias party in the grand scheme of gaming. Just because I’ve been lazy enough not to upgrade my own rig, doesn’t mean I don’t see the power of preference PC’s bring to the table.

In my own machinations, even if I had top o’ the line in hardware, I would still indeed get both consoles at launch. I could list a number of relevant reasons, but the one my gut tells me to go with is, is the one where I don’t have to waste time worrying about which version of Call of Duty: Ghosts looks slightly better.

Because I'd Totally Be Playing Octodad.

Because I’d Totally Be Playing Octodad.

Despite having a comfy home on my computer, I do wish to see how Octodad will play out on the PS4, and more directly, how the Move will “enhance” the gameplay. I use that word loosely, as I don’t want them to improve the controls in the slightest. The core formula is absolutely where it needs to be, nothing needs to change about this gorgeously goofy game. I merely hope the Move controller translates the controls, in all of their awkward glory, and somehow was beta tested thoroughly enough to make sure you become the awkward glory.

And All That Might Imply

And All That Might Imply

I mean, props to Sony, they’re finally going to get me to buy a Move, three years after the fact…and with a non-first party title. Oh well, Sony didn’t have the goods I wanted, but they bartered their own services to get the goods I needed. Which is more then I can say for Microsoft, who after three years of trying to unsuccessfully sell me the device…

...Has Now Made It Mandatory That I Do So

…Has Now Made It Mandatory That I Buy One

I suppose I could now immediately make a joke about being forced to purchase PS+ when the PS4 comes out…

...But I Would Just Be Making A Joke About Microsoft Again

…But I Would Just 180 Into a Joke About Microsoft Again

Where’s Nintendo in all of this? Making fun of them should be a fucking hate crime at this point. Where are they?

The Great Sea? Oh, Okay, That Actually Looks Pretty Cool

The Great Sea? Oh, Okay, That Actually Looks Pretty Cool

They must have got lucky with that one, it’s probably like the only game coming out in the next 3 months for the Wii U.

Oh Yeah...That's Looking Fun Too

Oh Yeah…That’s Looking Fun Too

Well, surely the 3DS is still fucking it up somewhere…

Well Shit

Well Shit

Okay…so Nintendo isn’t fucking up. For Now.

I’m not entirely convinced Nintendo will keep this up, however, that Sony will make the Move a worthwhile piece of hardware, or that Microsoft won’t try to manipulate my skin with the Kinect, so I’ll just keep a close eye on em.

You hear that guys?

Seriously

You’re All On Watch

Let’s see, did I cover everything I wanted to? Hmm, PC gaming is regularly taken for granted, check, Octodad is super sweet, check, the big three all make fun consoles but make a shit load of mistakes while doing so, check.

Hmm…I guess that’s it. Oh right, I was going to do some kind of quick ode to survival horror or nod to loving a truly gruesome experience.

But uh, yeah, I got nothing.

Fuck You Guys

Fuck You Guys

I don’t know, go play the Resident Evil Remake on the Cube, or Silent Hill 2 on the PS2 this Halloween, or watch this hilariously nostalgic video of the g4 crew talk about their favorite survival horror games, or start watching this and remind yourself of what true horror is all about. There’s plenty of scares to be had, and I can’t possibly provide them all.

Okay, just one more.

Game Journalism

Happy Halloween

~Pashford

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Quickie: U Doing Alright?

Hey Gamers.

As some of you are well aware, Active Time Event has hit a bit of a snag recently, and is having trouble performing on a consistent basis.

I'm getting help from some friends in the right  support group, I swear.

I’m getting help from some friends in the right support group, I swear.

I wanted to have a Muranica prepared for this month’s only post, but completely fucked up that entire plan by not writing one. My current machinations still reside within the realm of straight reporting, one that has me busy on a pretty consistent basis. My original plan, as noted before, was to disappoint any regular readers with a void of good ideas and no new content. I think I’ve done so adequately, but not without a sense of regret.

Something I've had a lot of pointers on recently.

Something I’ve had a lot of pointers on recently.

Microsoft has done well (better than I have with ATE at least) to get back on track. They did this through taking back what they lost, namely their pride. Or more accurately, backpedalling like mad men to make  the mass majority almost forget what a tremendous flop the Xbox One reveal represented. If nothing else, Sony’s strong (or at least reasonable in comparison) performance at E3, influenced Microsoft to start doing the right thing and get their shit together.

Others I’m afraid, are still late in getting the message.

Seen here: Luigi having to whisper to Iwata that Nintendo's fly is unzipped and that they also shit their pants.

Seen here: Luigi having to whisper to the CEO that Nintendo’s  fly is unzipped and that they also shit their pants.

I can’t help but soak in the irony that the first year Nintendo celebrates “The Year of Luigi”, everyone stops paying attention to them.

Anyways…
While Nintendo doom is all the rage just about every gen, the Wii U is making enough mistakes to warrant serious concerns over the consoles focus and current popularity. I thought that the idea of the Nintendo Direct at E3 was initially a fun alternative that would set the company apart in a sea of new hardware. While enticed by some of the software on show, having had some time to think about it, “fun” isn’t the first word starting with the letter F I would use to describe Nintendo’s  decision to skip out on E3.

Fucking losing it is the one I would pick.

Fucking losing it is the one I would pick.

I’m hoping Nintendo is at least just repeating old mistakes, waiting to get their first wind before they start actually participating in this current gen. Normally, Nintendo has  slow momentum in supporting their system, but have at least one  excellent launch title along the lines of Mario 64, Melee, or Wii Sports to blow everyone out of the water with.

The WIi U's best launch title, already confirmed not getting a sequel.

The WIi U’s coolest launch title, already confirmed not getting a sequel.

Keep in mind, I love my Wii U, had a fantastic time with it at launch, and use the thing almost daily. I’m putting aside my fervent gaming bias however, and assessing basic realities in which everyone else lives in. Namely, the one where the best game (opinion alert) at the Wii U launch (Zombi U), sold so poorly, Ubisoft has already denied a sequel, and informed everyone the poor sales on Zombi U was the main reason to make Rayman multi-platform.

Here's to a successful Wii U launch, Nintendo.

Here’s to a successful Wii U launch, Nintendo.

 Pikmin 3 is coming out within a weeks time, and many other titles (even none Zelda ones) are on the horizon for the Wii U. This means little to everyone who have had their console since November, but at least reassures me Nintendo is aware they are a company that needs to make money on an investment at some point. Having the same lack of games throughout this holiday season, with the PS4 and Xbox One launching, would be the last proof I need to convince me everyone on Nintendo is in fact on drugs.

Pictured: The Drug Nintendo Is On.

Pictured: The Drug Nintendo Is On.

 I’m still betting on all three companies, as I have no want or need of another video game console that has absolutely no value. Sony just needs to keep (for once), setting a good example, Microsoft needs to keep following the good example, and Nintendo just needs to be reminded of how to be a good example.

Or else this will be the face of every Wii U owner you will meet.

Or else this will be the face of every Wii U owner you will meet.

 Happy Gaming,
Pashford

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Worst of Both Worlds

Hey Gamers.

Ah, so many games, and so little time…

...and the rocking on.

…and oh so much rocking on.

Today’s post was going to involve,  bears, birds, blood, and a bit of bald boisterousness.

Peter Molyneux, seen here, trying to eat an invisible sandwich.

Peter Molyneux, seen here, trying to eat an invisible sandwich.

Instead, we’re just going to focus on mostly the last one.

While it seems I dump on Peter Molyneux quite a bit, it’s because he provides a large enough target for pray and spray to work so easily. Pointing the canon of ridicule at, and making fun of Shigeru Miyamoto for example, is a far more difficult shot to land.

Because it looks like he's already laughing at your face.

Because it looks like he’s already laughing at your face.

In any case, as mentioned, one of the more interesting pieces of news comes from Peter “The Fable” Molyneux, and his reasonable insistence on focusing on what matters with game consoles…and that’s games.

“‘Look, I don’t want another way of looking at Facebook.’ You know, I’ve got all the ways of looking at Facebook. I don’t want another way of looking at Netflix. Just give me what I’ve paid my £299 for, and that is to play amazing, incredible computer games.”~ PM

One of Pete’s rarer moments of clarity, but not without merit. While recently dispelling doom in regards to Nintendo’s E3 no show, I had myself pondered this idiosyncrasy of modern day consoles, quickly realizing I had the very same thought not a few days prior. I had poked fun at MS, in regards to a number of ludicrous additions, and continue to admire this gloriously over bearing effort, in trying to create an end all be all hub”what if machine” out of the 360.

Pictured: A likely candidate for an Xbox 720 add on accessory.

Pictured: A likely candidate for an Xbox 720 add on accessory.

Peter brings to light one of my own points, and something us gamers should never forget. A console, at the end of the day, will live and die by the content of it’s library, and not the number of apps it can run in the back ground. I know society has this perverse want to combine all of their technology into some kind of Tony Stark engineered Swiss Army Knife, but we might be moving in the wrong direction here.

 

A consumer mock up of what they realistically want out of the Xbox 1440.

A consumer mock up of what they realistically want out of the Xbox 1440.

What I mean to say is, diluting functionality with other paired functionalities, will create a master of nothing rather than a jack of all trades. While I don’t deny enjoyment in watching Netflix on my Wii U game pad, checking activetimeevent.wordpress.com out on my Vita, or simply attempting to commit suicide by trying to  break the world record of “whole pizza’s eaten consecutively without shitting” through Xbox Live’s Pizza Hutt App, I also won’t deny what I like doing more on any of the devices listed.

That’s playing games.

Remember these guys?

The reasons for any seasons.

After seeing some serious reactions to the PS4 share button, and a load of people worried about the always on Nextbox rumors, I don’t have to look far to see the strife being created around everything but the video games for these consoles. I’ve had discussions with several regular gamers, and the core idea stands that as long as the titles hold up, everything is just gravy. Some like it hot, and others still like it smothered, and these are the gluttonous sentiments that may yet further regulate or degrade the console gaming space.

I see two futures ahead of us, separate realities that we will help to create.

 

...but likely won't be able to choose so willingly after the fact.

…but likely won’t be able to choose so willingly after the fact.

Reality A involves the gross eventuality, where our end all be all consoles are so closely related to computers, that they will evolve themselves out of existence.

 

Yes.

A mock up of console fanboys, existing in reality a.

Reality B will unfold in regards to a complete system shutdown, where we repeat historical failings ala an industry wide market crash, and start all over again.

Vis a vie: fucked.

Vis a vie: fucked.

So in these two stipulations laid bare, I have actually reinforced what I sought to dispel in yesterday’s post.

 

Coming to a hypocrite near you.

Coming to a hypocrite near you.

Though, it should be noted, these two realities only exist in both redundancies of excess. If MS, Sony, and Nintendo continue to compete and foster better ideas with focuses on software, we’ll all be fine. If they continue trying to create a swiss army knife out of a console, they will eventually succeed.

It will be called a computer.

Of course, in doing competition the  wrong way, with over burdening costs, consistently fluxing economics, and terrible tactics by greedy corporations, everyone will fail, and we will start a new.

The reasonable route, the one I prefer to dwell on, is we  could just avoid all of this dimensional wish wash, by not over extending our selves, not creating unrealistic expectations, and not shifting focus off of what matters most in this regard.

Video Games.

Remember the key words: DON’T PANIC

Happy Gaming,
~Pashford

 

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Encyclopedia Muranica: Nintendon’t

I’ve been meaning to talk about this one for a little while. The announcement that Nintendo wouldn’t be having a dedicated E3 conference was a big deal. While I was distracted by other affairs, I’d say I wasn’t entirely sidetracked from my more urgent emotions.

Seen Here: My initial reaction to hearing Nintendo not having an E3 event.

Seen Here: My initial reaction to hearing Nintendo not having an E3 event.

Between being stranded in the desert of the real and hungry for the latest and greatest, I had been thinking about the Nintendo related piece of news all the while. My first response was more demonic in tone, but after I was finished vomiting blood out of sheer surprise, I took another moment to gather my thoughts in full.

I suppose I’ll air the side of humor in this analysis, I am responding to cries of doomsday, after all. If you can’t summon a chuckle at someone worried reality is going to end, then existence has likely ceased to being with.

I’m observing the recent outcry, one in a long line of many, in regards to Nintendo’s future. Them not having an E3 event is odd, surely, but what many would lead you to believe is in fact, the end of the world.

I’ll focus on this little declaration, so we can then follow up with some equally absurd analysis.

Pictured: NIntendo's future as a company.

Coming Soon, to a Nintendo console near you.

*Ahem*
Now that we have the obligatory meme out of the way, we can investigate why this likely isn’t so.

1. They survived the Virtual Boy.
2.The 360 is still the console of choice, despite critical failure rates.
3. Sony still exists as a game company, despite the PS3’s  mess of a launch, and this E3 classic.

First point is key. For anyone unaware of why surviving The Virtual Boy is impressive, you should take a moment to watch this game play footage of one of the launch games here:

To simulate this footage more accurately, tape a pair of 3D glasses to the end of a pair of binoculars. Force your head into the pair, so that it’s safely wedged between you and the screen.
Now do that for 2 hours.

Results May Vary.

Results May Vary.

Moving on.

The second stands as another obvious truth, with launches across the board servicing the lowest common denominator in hardware and software quality. The 360 launch lineup was an infamous mess, costing MS billions in warranty damages. This was coupled with  a launch line up so hungry for titles,  a top down arcade shooter was the cream of the crop.

Seen Here: Microsoft's Online Strategy.

Seen Here: Microsoft’s Launch Strategy.

As for Sony? The damage done by both 599 US Dollars, and the unfounded boast worthy claims of the execs at the time, took years to reverse. Several holiday seasons had to pass, with price drop after incentive package, and some of the best titles out this gen to finally undo the negative hype the launch created. Even crazier? Many had speculated the PS3 was also doomed, based on a spotty launch.

How quickly we forget yesterday.

This was Sony's yesterday.

This was Sony’s yesterday.

Why bother mentioning MS and Sony in the regards to Nintendo’s regularly predicted demise? With some context, and a quick compare and contrast, it’s quite clear massive mistakes can be made in the wake of an ultimately successful console. Given the statistics from several outlets, in reporting such a favorable picture for both the DS and Wii, I always stand amazed at how quickly people forget about how good yesterday was, before they start worrying about how terrible tomorrow is going to be.

So yes, while Nintendo not having an E3 is a bit odd, it’s not apocalyptic. While I do believe they could stand to benefit from the tremendous hype a good E3 brings, from the power of Nintendo Directs, to the regularity of in house non-E3 press conferences, E3 is no longer make or break. To once again borrow examples from the other two, this year, both Sony and MS will showcase their new machines before and outside of E3, leaving the show to do who knows what.

I'm waiting with bated breath for  Usher to make an E3 comeback, for example.

I’m waiting with bated breath for Usher to make an E3 comeback, for example.

While I’ve even nervously speculated about Nintendo in more recent times, that’s while I was enjoying the very same system I wanted to see succeed. Considering the commonality of Nintendo’s offenses, how often everyone makes them, and the already massive software lineup recently announced from the last Nintendo Direct, it’s very evident this is just one more rough spot, in a long line of hills and valleys.

So, what do we have, after all is said and done, doom saying redundant, and the apocalypse averted?

We have another Zelda game to look forward to.
ATE New Zelda

A new  Link to the Past.

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Quickie: Eat Me Alive

Hey Gamers.

Moving from examining curious to noticing the  hungry, gaming is never hesitant in trying to satiate all of our major sense.

Though, on occasion, gamers are force fed unnecessarily.

I'm gonna be sick.

Is this even edible?

Among the delicious and less appetizing choices we have on the menu today, there is definitely something here for everybody. First up, I wish to mention that Kirby’s Adventure has finally been released on the Wii U Virtual Console. This title is just another in a long line of treats Nintendo has very leisurely sprinkled out to Wii U owners. Despite the digital titles slow release pace, the game is most certainly fun, and a NES classic that reminds us of the hay day of Nintendo Fare.

Not that Nintendo fans are starved for nostalgia.

Not that Nintendo fans are starved for nostalgia.

The main upshot here is that Kirby’s Adventure is only 30 cents right now, a gift by many standards. While I appreciate the generosity, and will enjoy playing through the game again, the question remains: does Nintendo realize what’s happening? That they’re once again falling into the very same rationing problems of consoles past? With important delay, after unbelievable delay, followed by saddening cancellation, you’d think Nintendo would be working hard to get us newer games faster, or older games to us less slowly. All of this in an effort, to at leaast try and reinforce the truth that “it will be different this time“,  and that “we won’t fuck the software release schedule up for the Wii U” <citation needed>.

Hmm…this all seems vaguely familiar.

In any case, I at least have my consolation prize, in the form of mass gluttonous fun with my favorite pink ball of puff.

Kirby, seen here about to mug Whispy Woods

Kirby, seen here about to mug Whispy Woods

Next on my list of good eats, involves the announcement of the Metal Gear Solid: Legacy Collection (PS3 Exclusive).

!

!

This massive compilation of the best in stealth action, is slated to hit in the not too distant future of June 2013. In this gargantuan gathering of gaming greatness, you have MGS1, MGS2 HD, MGS3 HD, MGS4 (with trophy support), Peace Walker HD, The VR Missions, Metal Gear 1 and 2, and two extra Ashely Woods digital graphic novels involving the MGS series.

Did I mention Snake Eater?

Tasty.

Mmm, Tasty.

While some of you may be miffed about having so recently bought the last MGS collection, give it some time. The amount of content all in one place here is staggering. I’m imagining with solid ports in the collection, and a modest price point, Konami will have people going absolutely ape over this.

The alternative involves Konami back stabbing.

The alternative situation a far grimmer one.

 Next up is a bit of an all you can eat buffet, with just another in a long line of indie bundles that represent delicious in all the right ways. The newest Indie Gala Bundle, offers up a host of great indie and AAA titles alike. For a measly five bucks, you can score yourself a slew of well spoken of indie titles, including Shank 2, a vicious good time. In a some what out of the ordinary move, a huge title, in the way of Mass Effect 2, is thrown into the mix. That game alone is worth more than five bucks, and you’re getting nine more titles for the same price. Not only that, but you can adjust what you pay, so if you want all of the money to go to the developers or entirely to a charity, the choice is yours.

The little guys need to eat too!

The little guys need to eat too!

Lastly, with a mention that may ruin the appetite, is the most absurd mention of eats on today’s menu. While Microsoft has been known to commit downright horrific atrocities, I see they still have the chutzpah to try and top themselves, in an endless cycle of malice. With a most definitely overlooked intention, and intensely obvious repercussions ,  a Pizza Hut app has just gone up on Xbox Live, allowing one to summon any number of calorie orbs, directly through their dashboard, and into their dying faces. Microsoft assures us “It’s better with Kinect”, which is akin to reminding us that animal abuse is easier with a hammer.

Speaking of abuse easier to do with a Kinect...

Speaking of abuse that’s easier to do with a Kinect…

While I’ll ignore criticizing individuals on whatever diets they choose, however poor, I do believe Sterling observed it best: ” I’ll add this to the list of things I’ll crank out the next time Microsoft tries to pretend its Gold account scheme is oh so necessary because otherwise it’d have no cash.” While it hasn’t been stated that one will need a Gold account to access this app, the likely hood is incredibly high. The real problem here, beyond people using their bodies as toxic waste dumps, is the unavoidable bullshit related rationale the Pizza Hut app gives, in providing one more superfluous reason Gold costs $60 (as a reminder, the only way to enjoy mulitplayer experiences on the console).

The act of ordering pizza, which you can do on the phone, or via the internet, is already a free enterprise, like many other travesties advertised as premium on the Xbox Live Dashboard. This mention of pepperoni, and the promise of more cheese, is a sign of foreboding that Microsoft will once again, rationalize a higher price point, or somehow squeeze more inane finance, out of an already broke demographic, with an already broken system. The sad notion is some of us are gorging too hard to care, and others just can’t resist the taste.

Pictured: The Average Xbox Live User, after the Implementation of the Pizza Hut App on Xbox Live.

Pictured: The Average Xbox Live User, after the Implementation of the Pizza Hut App on Xbox Live.

The PC guys laughed from moment one when they heard online gaming was going to cost gamers any money, let alone lots of it.. I turned a blind eye to the Xbox Live price point, and somehow deemed it okay, with the unavoidable truth that my friends had it, and I needed it too. As a person who enjoys all gaming, these truths of peer-pressure frighten me, in the notion I have no real power in my spending habits, when faced with all or nothing. I use the service an untold number of hours a year, and is the only saving grace here, though I’m always left wanting something more refreshing, wanting nothing more than walking away with a cleaner taste in my mouth. A higher price point is good, but the value must be just.

Microsoft never did learn how to temper the gaming masses, or how best to impress them with savory sweets.

You know how best to feed the hungry masses?

Feed them what they're hungry for.

Feed them what they’re hungry for.

Happy Eating
~Pashford

 

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