E3 2013: PlayStation 4 Reveal: A Rerun Worth Repeating, As It’s A REALLY Good One…

I’ll most likely run trailers of all the games shown here at some point, but you look more tired than I do, so it’s break time! Grab a sammich and a drink, pull up a seat and catch this rebroadcast of Sony’s E3 press conference where they basically slowly drop kick Microsoft’s otherwise master plans for living room dominance in the hind quarters. Granted, talk is cheap… but compared to Microsoft’s attitude towards consumers over time and particularly during the Xbox One reveals, this one’s worth being a bit smug over if you’re a longtime Sony fan. I like games, PERIOD, so I really have no preference. However, I also like to be able to PLAY my games and not have anyone tell me how, where or when to, so Sony’s at least understood that and a few other important things…

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E3 2013: On Used Games, Yeah, Sony Twists That Knife In Microsoft’s Gut…

Well… Sony and their newly revealed PlayStation 4 pretty much made a mockery of Microsoft’s press conference, turning it into the video game equivalent of Game of Thrones’ gory Red Wedding sequence and making the folks in Redmond probably wonder what the hell just happened during that last 20 or so minutes when everything they offered in TWO press conferences was peeled away point by point in favor of core gamers and consumer in general. The video will go down in gaming history as THE moment for many where loyalties changed and the big rectangular egg on the wall over Redmond way collapsed to the pavement. It’s going to be an innnnteresting holiday season, that’s for damn sure…

E3 2013: PlayStation 4: $399, No DRM, Content Galore, PS Plus Required For Online MP…

PS4a

PS4 FrontWell, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for some gamers this holiday season. Or NOW if you hit up Amazon.com and pre-order (which is VERY highly recommended if you want one of these before Xmas).

Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 console comes in at a hundred dollars less than the Xbox One, used games CAN be sold, lent and traded as before (and as they’ve been for decades), PSN accounts with content can be transferred over and there are a really nice selection of games and services on the way. That said, the one wrinkle in the new deal is the requirement for users who want to play online to have a PlayStation Plus account…

But VERY misplaced internet rage aside, this isn’t a bad thing at all, as it’s basically the cost of a new game for a whole year ($60) and Sony will not only add free NEW games to those who buy in, PS Plus actually gets costs DOWN on games you buy in the future from PS One Classics to current and future PSN releases. So it’s really a case of do you want that discount or not. The PSN free ride had to end at some point as Sony has most likely been bleeding money keeping it running for so long.

ALSO (and this is the important part)… that Xbox One price doesn’t include the cost of an Xbox Live Gold membership, mandatory for using that console for pretty much anything. Mama said knock you out, Microsoft… Sony listened to mama, it would seem…

E3 2013: Microsoft, Meet The Real World…

no_dataSo, according to Microsoft, their new Xbox One wonder-box of miracles ABSOLUTELY requires an always online connection, restricts sharing of physical or digital games and does a few other things so terribly wrong for the sake of the “future” that it all means if you live in an area with no, crappy or “borrowed” internet access… you’re screwed.

Actually, you’re not really screwed… you just need to find another console to play your games on. Boo. To paraphrase the original Star Trek’s good Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy: “It’s a console, NOT a cellphone!”

Yeah, well… someone’s going to be in for a big, fat Greek surprise this holiday season and it’s not the consumer who’s decided to move on and spend their money elsewhere. It will be any Microsoft executive expecting a gigantic bonus check for implementing possibly the worst enforced evolution scheme in the relatively brief history of video gaming.  Want to hand a used game down to the kids in another home? Good luck with that. Want to lend someone you recently became acquainted with a game you bought and beat a few days back? Nope – they need to be on your Friends List for at LEAST 30 days. Not 29, 20, 14 or 4, folks. 30 or up. There’s a lot more, but it’s all downhill and garbage gibberish that sounds as if it was randomly generated PR nonsenseContinue reading

Memo to Microsoft: You Can’t Rewrite History By Erasing It…

Call Me IshmaelI was going to save this (or a variation of this) for after Microsoft’s E3 press conference, but I may as well do some (ugh) speculation based on their current mine cart zooming to the cliff full of baskets of freshly laid rotten egg ideas.

Actually, I’ll lay some new-age Nostradumbass foundation here and follow up after the show (or during if I’m able to recover from whatever “major game announcements” they throw into the pot that either make or break their new console as a purchase around these parts.

Anyway, for some insane reason, Microsoft keeps wanting to ignore, avoid or otherwise stamp out its gaming history in favor of shipping out a new console that does even more to be less of a gaming system and more of a cable box with a gaming “service” added in, an always connected all-seeing eye that some are already seeing as having serious privacy rights issues and what’s looking like a near complete focus on North American entertainment tastes, well… sure, go right on ahead. I still have three working Xboxes, two dead Xbox 360’s (and when your first console is better made than your second… that’s a bit of an issue) and a nice chunk of physical media to fall back on.

Sure, you’ll get sales from those who want to buy into your service plans and monetization schemes, but but at what REAL cost at the end of the day? You can indeed keep those shareholders and non-gaming investors and overpaid analysts happy all you want, but torching the forest and salting the ground behind you means no one will remember that Microsoft once (at least outside the U.S. of A.) was KEY is helping create a more important part of game history at one point in the faraway past.

That would be the MSX and its variants and not the Xbox, by the way.

More sane over-thought processing to come during or after E3…

Review: Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land_CoverPlatform: Wii U

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo of America

# of Players: 1 – 5 (offline)

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 +)

Official Site

Score: B+ (85%)

As a launch title for the Wii U (or more precisely, the included pack in for those of you who are interested in or have very wisely purchased the black Premium version of the console), Nintendo Land is, much like Wii Play and Wii Sports, a collection of mini-games that shows how versatile the new GamePad is. Nintendo’s new system has a controller that’s been misunderstood by some in the gaming press and too many people who hang on every word some of those sites print. Fortunately, the game not only mostly delivers the goods where it should, some of the mini-games here end up being memorable enough that one hopes Nintendo decides to expand upon some ideas on the disc in the near future.

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November’s Here (And So Is The Wii U)…

With all the big games hitting this month for other consoles, it’s actually going to be Nintendo’s big Wii U launch that will probably be key to a huge part of this year’s holiday sales successes or failures. The system has a number of solid-looking launch titles from first and third parties with more on the way in enough different genres that almost all bases are covered. Granted, there are a few things that could spoil Nintendo’s financial fun from idiot speculators dooming the console prematurely to families simply not having more money to spend of a new system this holiday season in favor of buying cheaper Wii games or even another console. I know for a fact that NO ONE with half a brain will be buying a tablet or other device OVER a console, despite the fever dreams of those in the mobile industry sitting on the cheap games bubble about to burst and take a lot of them down to reality sooner than later. People want dedicated consoles because they want to play games that aren’t all short bits of pay to play addiction or clear clones of other successful casual games. That and hell, Mario isn’t coming to iOS or Android any time soon and Nintendo has him and a few other classic characters you won’t see anywhere else but on a Nintendo system (which is how fans prefer it). As always, we shall see what’s what soon enough – I think the console will indeed do well, but Nintendo needs to get people used to paying a premium for a replacement controller (the one thing that will make some rethink a Wii U purchase down the road)…

Wii U Launch/Launch Window List: 23 Games on Day 1, Many More To Come…

OK, here you go: the full list of Wii U launch and launch window games. This is definitely Nintendo’s largest number of first and third party titles for a new home console and as you can see, nearly every popular genre is covered. Retailers here that were taking pre-orders have stopped and from what I saw at at least one site, are now taking orders for January shipments. So, if you were on the fence last week, you’re under that fence now. This holiday season will be an interesting one for sure as Nintendo hits the ground running on November 18 and hopes to keep that momentum going into 2013. I’ll let you know in a bit which ones I’m wanting to add to the library here…

November 18
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Activision
Skylanders Giants – Activision
Transformers Prime – Activision
Wipeout 3 – Activision
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – Disney Interactive Studios
FIFA Soccer 13 – Electronic Arts
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition – Namco Bandai Games America
New Super Mario Bros. U – Nintendo
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge – Nintendo
Nintendo Land – Nintendo
Sing Party – Nintendo
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – Sega
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper – Tecmo Koei
Darksiders II – THQ
Assassin’s Creed III – Ubisoft
ESPN Sports Connection – Ubisoft
Just Dance 4 – Ubisoft
Rabbids Land – Ubisoft
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 – Ubisoft
ZombiU – Ubisoft
Scribblenauts Unlimited – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Game Party Champions – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

November
Chasing Aurora – Broken Rules
Cloudberry Kingdom – Pwnee Studios
Madden NFL 13 – Electronic Arts
Trine 2: Director’s Cut – FrozenByte
Mighty Switch Force HD – WayForward
Tank! Tank! Tank! – Namco Bandai Games America
Nano Assault Neo – Shin’en
Little Inferno – Tomorrow Corporation
Toki Tori 2 – Two Tribes

January
Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien – Gaijin Games

Launch Window Releases (Before April 2013)
Funky Barn – 505 Games
NBA 2K13 – 2K Sports
007 Legends – Activision
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 – Activision
Rapala Pro Bass Fishing – Activision
Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game – D3 Publisher
Ben 10 Omniverse – D3 Publisher
Family Party: 30 Great Games: Obstacle Arcade – D3 Publisher
Mass Effect 3 – Electronic Arts
Game & Wario – Nintendo
Lego City: Undercover – Nintendo
Pikmin 3 – Nintendo
Wii Fit U – Nintendo
The Wonderful 101 – Nintendo
Aliens: Colonial Marines – Sega
Jeopardy! – THQ
Wheel of Fortune – THQ
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth – Ubisoft
Rayman Legends – Ubisoft

Source: Gamesindustry.biz

Control Issues: Where The Wii U Could Really Slip Up At Launch…

No, I’m not talking about how well the new GamePad works or anything similar. I’m talking about the fact that Nintendo (of America, at least) isn’t releasing that innovative new controller as a standalone purchase on the same day as their new console. Wait, what? Yes, indeed… and I think this is some sort of wacky first for a new console launch.

Of course, a bit of official spin cycle counterpoint makes it all better, right?  Well, in my opinion… not really.  On the very different (but related) subject of why there weren’t dual controller games at the NYC press event and aren’t going to be additional GamePads on store shelves at launch, Nintendo of America President and CEO Reggie Fils-Amie noted in a great GamesIndustry.biz interview published yesterday:

 

” The reason you don’t see games with two GamePads [at this event] is the technical ability to make two GamePads work was delivered to publishers after they started this current round of development. So you’ll see those two GamePad experiences at a later date; when those games are coming, that’s when we’ll make a separate GamePad available.

 

Look at it this way: when we’re preparing for launch, I need to make consoles and I need to make GamePads, and I need to put them together in a box to sell at retail. And if I’m using my inventory assembling GamePads that don’t support any games in the marketplace, all I’m doing is reducing my available inventory to sell on launch day.”

 

Really? Argh. You had me at hello, Reggie (yep, I’ve already pre-ordered a Wii U). But then you hit me on the head and tried to toss me in the trunk after taking my wallet. Ouch. That’s not how it’s supposed to work with a new console – particularly one that’s so important and innovative…

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Nintendo Wii U Preview Event: About An Hour of Playing With Power

In case you missed it earlier, here you go, the press event in its entirety. Pull up a seat, put on that gamer grin and check out all the new software and services coming your way through the Wii U. There’s a lot of stuff left unanswered on a few fronts, but I’m betting even the nayest of the naysayers will be silenced as all is revealed over time. The only thing that concerns me is I understand that new touch screen GamePad won’t be sold separately. This means that Nintendo is eating a LOT of that cost for the console and yes, you’d better be REALLY careful with that new controller….