Activision has posted a multiplayer trailer for Call of Duty: Ghosts. I’m looking forward to the game, but honestly, I’m more into the Skylanders franchise these days. However, I know that several of you RPadholics are into the franchise, so kindly check out the video below and let me know what you think.
I stopped by Bethesda’s E3 2013 booth to chat with MachineGames gameplay designer Sabine Rösgren to talk about Wolfenstein: The New Order. The game is set in an alternate version of the ’60s where the Nazis won World War II. Naturally, it’s up to William “B.J.” Blazkowicz to save the day. Wolfenstein: The New Order combines gameplay elements from the old-school Wolfenstein games with modern touches like laser weapons and giant robots. Check out the video above for more details from Rösgren. And yes, I totally bombed this interview because I instantly had a major, major crush on Sabine. Bethesda needs to warn people before they have to interview dreamy Swedish women that sound like Bjork.
I stopped by the Nyko’s E3 2013 booth to check out a bunch of accessories for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nvidia Shield, and Android. The new PlayPad controllers for Android were particularly impressive. The PlayPad Pro 2 is great for Android users that are heavy gamers. It has a rubberized grip for a solid feel and Alps analog sticks for precision control. It’s definitely one of the best Android gamepads I’ve ever tried. For Android users that are more into multimedia, there’s the PlayPad Media, which features a row of media-specific controls along the top of the gamepad. The PlayPad Media is no slouch in the gaming department either, using the same body as the original PlayPad for Android.
Kindly check out the video above and let me know what you think of Nyko’s E3 2013 lineup.
Special thanks to Rich Brown for his excellent camera work!
After a pair of revealevents, a pair of E3 2013 press conferences, and an evening to think about it all, I’m sure that you have a pretty good idea of what the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 have to offer. Which next-gen console do you want more? Kindly vote in today’s poll and, if you have time, explain your pick in the comments section.
Yesterday I went to three E3 2013 press conferences: Microsoft, EA, and Sony. I watched some of Ubisoft’s with a few friends through streaming video, but quickly got bored (to be fair, I was pretty tired at the time). Here are some random thoughts on the day’s pressers…more
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Yesterday I went to three E3 2013 press conferences: Microsoft, EA, and Sony. I watched some of Ubisoft’s with a few friends through streaming video, but quickly got bored (to be fair, I was pretty tired at the time). Here are some random thoughts on the day’s pressers.
Sony Curb Stomps Microsoft: The biggest talk of the day was Sony giving Microsoft a major beatdown — at least in the eyes of hardcore gamers. Enthusiasts love that Sony isn’t following Microsoft’s strict stance on game licenses, allowing PS4 owners to sell, trade, and gift games as they see fit. Mainstream consumers will see the $100 difference in price points: $499 for Xbox One and $399 for PS4. To be fair, the Xbox One package comes with Kinect, which is required to use the system. The new PlayStation Eye will cost an extra $59, but isn’t required to use the PlayStation 4.
Still, the sentiment right after the Sony presser was one of disbelief. Some people couldn’t believe how thoroughly Sony one-upped Microsoft. Some couldn’t believe the manner in which the company did it, equating it with the beating in American History X, repeated curb stomps, and repeated kicks to the testicles. The words to used to describe Sony’s delivery were fascinating. Some thought it was funny, some thought it was arrogant, and others thought it lacked class. No matter what they thought of the delivery, almost everyone agreed that Sony had a point and shoved it in the competition’s face.
Microsoft hosted a party shortly after the Sony presser was over. Several joked that the party should have been reclassified as a wake.
The Rape Joke: Blogs, forums, and social media services blew up over some trash talk used during the Killer Instinct portion of the Microsoft presser. A guy was trouncing a girl in the game and said, “Just let it happen. It’ll be over soon.” Several people labeled the comment a “rape joke” and lambasted Microsoft for using misogynistic comments in its press conference. I really want to hear your take on the matter.
Rape didn’t come to my mind at all. At first I thought of Muhammad Ali using similar lines against his opponents. Then I thought of an Ultimate Spider-Man arc that had Spidey and Wolverine switching bodies. When Spidey (in Wolverine’s body) got shot in the head, he panicked. Wolverine (as Peter Parker) pulled out the bullet and said, “Relax. Let it happen.” I had no idea that phrase was a rape reference and didn’t think of it as a rape joke. However, I want to check myself. There’s a good chance that I’m ignorant of the connotation because I’m older, a boxing fan, and a comic-book nerd. Did you guys and gals think anything was wrong with comment?
My Indie Darlings: While there were a lot of big-budget games to get excited about, two of the ones I’m amped for are smaller games from independent developers. I was delighted that Capybara Games’ Below was featured at the Xbox One presser and Supergiant Games’ Transistor was featured at the PlayStation 4 presser. I’m a huge fan of these independent developers. Capy is known for the lovely Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, while Supergiant Games created the fantastic Bastion.
I know that most of you aren’t nearly into indie games as I am and that journalists are often accused of overrating indies (though I’m a verbal entertainer, so I’m not sure that I count), but I’ve noticed that independent games have been catching my eye at these shows. At the last few E3s, I recall being enamored with Journey, Sound Shapes, and The Unfinished Swan. Perhaps it’s because I’ve covered and played so many big-budget games; maybe I find indie games refreshing? I’d like to think that I genuinely love these games, but as a philosophy major, I have to question the pattern.
Do you guys and gals pay any attention to the indies? Or is it all about the major releases for you at E3?
The Big Boys: Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall got the most buzz according to the incredibly inaccurate survey I took (i.e. chatting with industry friends). A lot of people were high on Bungie’s Destiny. At the EA presser, the teasers for Mirror’s Edge 2 and Star Wars: Battlefront were met with joyous reactions. While I was psyched to see Kyrie Irving during the NBA Live demo, my inner 12-year old keep chucking at the repeated use of the phrase “ball handling.”
Games shown today that excited me include Dragon Age 3, inFamous: Second Son, Knack, UFC, Crimson Dragon, Kingdom Hearts III, and Final Fantasy XV.
While most of my pals are certain that Watch Dogs will be a quality game, they’re starting to lose interest in it. It never clicked with me and I still don’t see what’s so amazing about the game.
Of course all of this stuff played differently to the people that watched the press conferences at home and/or read about them. What games shown at yesterday’s pressers have you jazzed?
Onto Day One: Tomorrow should be a light day and heavy night for me. I have one important meeting (at the Hooters across the street from the convention center) and will use the rest of my time to play stuff that I care about (journalists rarely get to do this, which is another advantage of being a verbal entertainer). The evening will be the outstanding Wedbush party (my favorite E3 party, affectionately called Pachter-palooza) followed by a Bethesda shindig. If there’s anything you want me to check out, please let me know in the comments section.
This PlayStation 4 meme that pokes fun at the Xbox One’s vaunted television features should be a real advertisement. It’s a simple message that has an element of truth, has a witty edge, and will get the fanboys riled up. While Microsoft is looking to control the entire living room, Sony appears more focused on games. (That’s the narrative so far. It could be a different story after E3 2013.) The meme is edgy and snarky, reminiscent of Sony’s best marketing (ENOS Lives, Kevin Butler, etc.). It’s also fantastic ammunition for flame wars; members of the Sony Defense Force 4th Battalion are going to throw it in the face of every XBoner on the Internet.
Although consoles have evolved into multifaceted entertainment devices, enthusiast gamers are passionate about games first and foremost (duh). The Xbox One’s television and NFL features are novel, but don’t excite the core audience. Sony appears to be positioning the PlayStation 4 as the “gamer’s console” and I’d love to see a full-on ad campaign with an attitude similar to the one used in the meme. It would give SDF fanboys a charge and could possibly help win back gamers Sony lost to the Xbox 360. The Xbox One has (unfairly) been slapped with the “not for us” label by some enthusiast gamers. Wouldn’t it be fun if Sony launched an ad campaign that took advantage of that perception? The flame wars would be glorious. Fore!!!
Round one is over! Sony kicked things off way back in February with its PlayStation 4 reveal. Like an old-school videogame featuring turn-based combat, Microsoft countered months later with its Xbox One press conference. Which company had the more impressive show? Kindly vote in today’s poll and sound off in the comments section!
The excellent Frank Cifaldi from Gamasutra conducted an excellent interview with the excellent group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Shuhei Yoshida. If you’re counting at home, that’s three times the excellence (E3). One of my favorite parts of the interview was Yoshida talking about making the PlayStation 4 accessible to small developers. Check it out:
We believe in smaller developers. They are very creative and they go out of the norm to do something really amazing. So we really want to make it easier for them to come to our platform and publish. And we know there are many things we can do, in talking with these guys and asking what they want us to do. And one effort we’ve been doing in that context is the PS Mobile platform. That doesn’t even require the purchase of a dev kit. It’s totally software driven, and they can develop games…on PC, for example. And once you decide to publish it, you want to test it on the final hardware, but you don’t have to acquire a pricey dev kit.
The approach to PS4 we’re internally working on is, I hope to see somewhere in-between the current model that we have on PS3 and the PS Mobile totally software-driven model. We could continue and go and expand the PS Mobile approach, but the beauty of developing games on console is we allow the developers to go really deep into the hardware, and to unlock the potential. And so in order for us to do that, the developer has to have the dev kit to work on. So at least initially, we have to provide the dev kit to make games on PS4.
One of the things I love about Sony Computer Entertainment is that it has consistently championed independent games from small developers. Games like Journey and The Unfinished Swan have helped developers like thatgamecompany and Giant Sparrow flourish. I believe that Sony has done a much better job than Nintendo and Microsoft at promoting these kinds of games. And it looks like that will continue with the PlayStation 4.
Having a wide variety of content is vital for the ecosystem of any console, especially since the console companies are competing with established mobile ecosystems (Amazon, Apple, Google), as well as each other. Small developers often bring games that are creative and different to the table. It’s cool to see Sony believing in their importance and making an effort to include them.
Millions of gamers and dozens of game journalists were miffed that Sony didn’t show the actual console during its PlayStation 4 press event. From your comments and Google+ messages, I know that a few of you RPadholics didn’t like the move either. Personally, I think people are making a bigger deal out of the omission than they ought to. Either way, people are definitely talking and thinking about the PlayStation 4.
In an interview with Forbes, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton addressed the matter:
You know, that’s really interesting. I’ve heard that from multiple reporters and shame on me that I didn’t see that as a big issue. They’ll see it soon enough. I’m real proud of the fact that we’re talking about [launching in] holiday 2013 and we’ve already got a lot of detail out there, and a lot of game play, in February. But I was so focused on the content that when I think of the console I think of what comes through the screen, not the device that it emanates from. I just think there’s a lot of natural curiosity: What’s the controller gonna look like? What’s the box gonna look like? We made a conscious decision that wasn’t going to be a part of the first reveal, but I would look for E3 as a time when you’ll get a good look at it. Or sooner.
Check out the full interview for more details on the PS4 reveal. As a longtime Tretton fan (as much as anyone can be a fan of executives that aren’t Steve Jobs), I thought it was a great read.
What do you think of Tretton’s explanation? Does it make sense to you? Or did Sony make an unforgivable mistake (as seem people on the Internetz seem to think) by not showing the box?