Tuesday, 11 June 2013

E3 Post Presentation Thoughts

The big console makers have had their presentations, E3 is officially off and racing, and us gamers are left to gather our thoughts after receiving a mind-blowing amount of information over a 48 hour period. So... THOUGHTS! 

I've already posted on the Facebook page about my initial impressions from some of the events so far. My overall feeling is... underwhelmed. I was a bit shocked by this feeling, so I went back and read about the announcements and watched some videos of things that transpired over the last couple of days to try to figure out why this E3 just isn't getting my motor running like it has in previous years. There were some great looking games shown. Two new systems are hitting the market this fall. Why am I not jumping up and down like a 4 year old in Disney World? I think the answer is... the Internet. 

The online world, bloggers, news sites, social networks, even MiiVerse. They all contributed to my expectations being set a little too high I think. You can't really hide much these days. Nintendo, a company that used to be great at hiding things, have had to show pretty much every card they have leading up to E3, because they need reasons for people to buy a Wii U, and showing off upcoming games could be one of them. We knew of pretty much every game except Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. We hadn't seen footage up until now of Mario World or Smash Bros, but we knew they were coming. Mario 3D Land was one of the best mobile games I've ever played. I think I need hands on to convince me that a cat suit and shiny graphics are going to live up to, or surpass, the amazing console experience I got from Mario Galaxy. Mega Man in Smash Bros was a huge announcement that I didn't actually expect to see, but with Mega Man games hitting the Virtual Consolea every week, I kind of figured Nintendo and Capcom were up to something, and even had a chat with some people a couple of weeks ago about how likely his inclusion was.

Sony and Microsoft, as I've said many times before, are going to keep butting heads about the future of high powered gaming consoles. For me, it's become a little boring. Sure, the games all look amazing, but most of the games shown I had already heard about, read about, seen, etc. Many were current gen games with a coat of shiny polish. New COD, new Battlefield, new "Insert Sports Title here", usual batch of launch title racing games... Is that enough for me to jump on a new bandwagon right away? Do graphics really add anything new to the amazing experiences we've seen on 360 and PS3? Judging by how many technical issues both companies had in their presentations, maybe not. Especially in the case of Xbox One, if my Internet goes down or gets a little choppy, will my game run as smoothly with the cloud there to help? Will Xbox One gain as much traction this gen as it did in the last? I got an Xbox 360 because that's what my friends got. It was cheaper, and had Halo and Gears of War and Live was a great service. With so many restrictions, will people care, or will they move to Sony?

Clearly Sony has the upper hand now, after taking so many public shots at Microsoft, but Halo is a system-seller, and MS was smart to at least show a tease for that. I'll probably hold off on getting those new systems and see how things pan out. I picked up a second hand 360 last gen, and never got a PS3. We'll see how it works out this time.

All of this, the unsurprising games, the lack of enthusiasm for having to shell out $400-500 for a new system, have made this E3 one of the least impressive ones in recent memory for me. Don't get me wrong, I know I'm going to log somewhere around 8 million hours in the new Smash Bros, but I wish Nintendo had pulled a "one more thing" type deal and even just shown a logo for a new Metroid FPS with online multiplayer. I think I'd be excited about Halo if MS didn't piss me off with so many of their used game restrictions, high price, and useless "TV" features. Give me an Xbox One for $400 that doesn't include dumb features I'll never use, and we'll talk. 

Until then, I'll be impatiently awaiting Smash Bros and losing track of time in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. 

- Mark

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