Category Archives: Reviews
Sorry for the delay! Apparently I forgot to hit send on Monday. #fail. But for you Wednesday subscribers, you get an extra blog post! (Which is as follows):
Depending on who you ask, this year’s E3 was either terrible or merely disappointing. Some are concerned the big three console developers aren’t keeping pace with the times. Others were surprised we didn’t see new consoles from Microsoft or Sony, but at the same time we saw tech that made Nintendo’s latest offering seem irrelevant. And you may have to get used to it, since apparently the Xbox 360 (and likely the Playstation 3) aren’t going anywhere for a couple of years.
This console cycle has been ongoing since November 20th, 2005 with the launch of the 360. That’s not a ridiculous length of time, but when you consider how quickly tech moves certainly these systems are definitely out of date. But there’s no question the next wave of consoles is being held back because Sony and Microsoft have invested a lot in these current consoles and, with a weak economy and evolving gaming climate that focuses more on mobile gaming and the casual market, there has to be a strong set of services with the consoles for new consumers to justify a purchase. In other words: this year, Microsoft focused their E3 conference on services because they feel that’s what will encourage non-gamers to buy an Xbox as opposed to having more new games than the other guys.
Still, not everyone centred their presentation around services. Nintendo seems focused on keeping the WiiU as a games machine. I’ll point out now the release of the WiiU could herald the start of the next cycle but I think their marketing tactics for the Wii have not endeared them to hardcore gamers and, while the Wii attracted the casual market, they failed to keep the interest of that market so it remains to be seen if they can win anyone over with the new device (especially with Microsoft’s Smart Glass offering something comparable, and better). Still, the WiiU’s fairly outdated hardware (expected to be marginally better than current hardware, which is 7+ years old) and none too impressive launch line-up (disregard the title of that article, and look at the fact most of those titles are the same sequels and rehashes we’ve come to expect…and most of the third-party games will be out on 360/PS3 months prior, if not already) means the WiiU likely won’t be bringing us that truly next generation experience anytime soon.
That just leaves Sony, and by most accounts the problem is not so much what they showed off at E3 as what they didn’t show off. They offered glimpses at next year’s games, next year’s products…but not their next console, and not what people have to look forward to this year. They’ve maintained the PS3 has a 10 year life cycle, but it’s becoming abundantly clear older hardware is allowing PC games to enjoy a resurgence and even several conference attendees gleefully talked about their computer game projects that were coming up. It begs the question what Sony can do to reinvigorate their Playstation division.
An obvious answer would be open the next-gen flood gates and let the tech finally catch up on the PC world (for a little while anyways). But right now that seems to be a step no one is willing to take and, until that happens, you can expect the same old boring E3s and the same old boring consoles as the big 3 manufacturers try to find new ways to sell old tech to new customers.