E3 2014 is just around the corner. Honestly, I’ve been avoiding thinking much about it. My June is pretty nuts — E3, The Vape Summit, hosting a pair of store grand openings, family visits, and more. Obviously E3 shows are something that I always look forward to; they’re wondrous events that are unlike any other trade show I’ve attended (and I’ve attended a ton of ’em). It’s always awesome seeing new games, seeing how other games are coming along, watching the press conference spectacles, watching the publisher pissing contests, and (most of all) catching up with longtime colleagues in the gaming business. Still, I’m so detached from the industry at the moment that I don’t…continued
Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, 50 Cent’s new album, the rumor that Marvel will cancel the Fantastic Four comics to spite Fox’s FF movie, or weeping that AJ Lee is off the market, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
E3 2014 is just around the corner. Honestly, I’ve been avoiding thinking much about it. My June is pretty nuts — E3, The Vape Summit, hosting a pair of store grand openings, family visits, and more. Obviously E3 shows are something that I always look forward to; they’re wondrous events that are unlike any other trade show I’ve attended (and I’ve attended a ton of ’em). It’s always awesome seeing new games, seeing how other games are coming along, watching the press conference spectacles, watching the publisher pissing contests, and (most of all) catching up with longtime colleagues in the gaming business. Still, I’m so detached from the industry at the moment that I don’t have the giddy feeling that I usual get going into E3 2014.
That’s not to say that I won’t be busy. I’ll be spending the bulk of my E3 2014 days working for EGM and a couple of minutes each day doing daily video recaps for a foreign outlet (they love me in Singapore). While I won’t have much “free” time, I’ll be using it to check out a few indie games that I’m high on and checking out stuff for you guys.
So how about it? What are you looking forward to at E3 2014? Are there any games that you’d like me to check out on your behalf? Is there an aspect of the console war that you’d like me to keep tabs on? Is there an executive you’d like me to throw a drink at? Share your E3 2014 hopes, wishes, dreams, and requests in the comments section (please!).
In addition to working on the nerdily anticipated Preacher TV show for AMC, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are teaming up for a movie based on Blake Harris’ Console Wars book. Rogen and Goldberg will be directing and writing the movie. The book’s subtitle is “Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation,” so as you can imagine, the Console Wars movie will cover that chapter in the never-ending saga known as Robotech The Console Wars.
Console Wars focuses on former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske. Known for his brash and aggressive moves, Kalinske helped Sega thrive from 1990 to 1994. At the time, it was unusual for a Westerner to have such a prominent role in a business that revolved around Japan. Of course he also contributed to Sega’s demise with the mishandling of the Saturn console (1995-1996). It will be interesting to see how the book is adapted and what portions of videogame history will be covered.
Sony Pictures and Scott Rudin (Moneyball, The Social Network) are developing Console Wars as a feature film to be directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Knocked Up, Superbad). Rogen and Goldberg are also writing the screenplay. Harris is serving as Executive Producer, and is also co-directing a documentary on the same subject, with Rudin, Rogen and Goldberg producing as well.
Of course I’m excited for the Console Wars movie. The subject matter is near and dear to my heart. I’m also a big fan of the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg duo. I’m sure they’ll treat the topic and the people involved with reverence. Those guys seem like nerds at heart.
How about you? Are you interested and excited for the Console Wars movie? Have any of you read the book? Kindly use the comments section for casting ideas.
Microsoft has posted a list of Xbox Live Gold features you can enjoy on the Xbox One for $60 a year. The expected features of online gaming and premium entertainment apps (i.e. Netflix) are extra. Features touted at the two Xbox One press conferences earlier this year also require Xbox Live Gold — NFL on Xbox, OneGuide, Game DVR, Skype, and SmartMatch are part of the premium service. Check out the nifty infographic above for a visual explanation.
Now that you have more information on what’s free and what’s not on Xbox One, has your opinion on PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One changed? Do you feel that Microsoft is being to stingy with the features that it holds behind the Xbox Live Golden gate? Or do you think these features justify the cost of a premium subscription? Do you believe that the PlayStation 4 is a better value because it offers more features without a subscription? Feel free to have a console flame war in the comments section!
In a major turnaround, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business president Don Mattrick announced that the company will not require an Internet check every 24 hours for Xbox One. Gamers will also be able to trade, gift, sell, and rent games freely. Here are the relevant bullet points from the announcement:
An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games — After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today — There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
During the week of E3 2013, Microsoft was getting slammed by enthusiast gamers and the videogame press for the Xbox One’s Internet connection checks, DRM policies, $499 price, and heavy Kinect use. Sony highlighted Microsoft’s issues during its press conference and a series of viral videos. While some believe that Microsoft had no choice but to pull a 180, others are surprised by the quick reversal. While Microsoft had a horrendous PR week during E3, it’s nice to see that it’s making changes that will make gamers happy.
With all of that in mind, it’s poll time! Are you down with Xbox One now that some of the DRM silliness has been swept under the rug? Or are you still uninterested because of the price and Kinect integration? Kindly vote in the poll below when you have a chance and share your thoughts on the Xbox 180 in the comments section (please!).
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
Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, iOS 7, Ian Ziering working at Chippendales, or Tim Tebow signing with the New England Patriots, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
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!
Sony fired first with its PlayStation 4 salvo and today Microsoft fired back with an Xbox One counterattack. Due to professional conflicts, I am not permitted to write about the performance of executives at the press conference. I’ll leave that to you. Thankfully, I am allowed to respond to any judgements you make about how Microsoft’s executive team did at the Xbox One reveal. For now, let’s do that thing where I make a bullet point and follow it up with rambling thoughts.
Xbox One Will Have an Eight-Core AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) Clocked at 1.6GHz
The CPU and GPU are on the same die, while the system architecture is 64-bit x86. It’s nice to see Microsoft and Sony using x86 architecture. That should make things easier for developers. While there will obviously be differences creating games for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, it should be much easier than previous generations that featured drastically different consoles. One potential issue with x86 architecture is…
Xbox One Isn’t Backwards Compatible With Xbox 360
This counts for Xbox 360 disc games, as well as Xbox Live Arcade games for Xbox 360. I haven’t checked any forums or blogs yet, but I imagine that some gamers will rage about this “issue.” Microsoft could have added an additional chipset for backwards compatibility, but that would have made the console larger and more expensive.
Xbox One Looks Like an Old VCR
I’m digging the looks of the Xbox One. I like the sharp angles and dramatic vent cutouts. If Darth Vader had a bad-ass VCR, it would look like the Xbox One. The lines make it look like a modern version of the original Xbox. I’m guessing that I’m going to be in the minority on this one and that many fans will bag on the console’s looks because it doesn’t have the smooth aesthetics of Apple products. *shrug*
Cloud Computing Continues
Like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One will have several cloud-based features. You’ll be able to access your console’s gaming content, save files, videos, and more from “anywhere.” You’ll also be able to record gameplay clips, upload them to the cloud, and share them with your friends.
Kinect and Xbox One Control Your TV
The next-gen Kinect is a huge part of the new console, with deep integration than ever. One futuristic and potentially cool feature is how Kinect and Xbox One integrate with your television service. The console will feature a UI that beats the crap out of the one most cable boxes use. Kinect’s voice recognition allows you to control the TV. Saying, “Watch ESPN!” to watch ESPN is very Star Trek.
Xbox One Will Have a “Pre-Owned” Fee
RPadholic Smartguy posted a link in the RPad.TV Google Hangout that confirmed that the Xbox One will have built-in measures to combat the used-games market. Xbox One games will have an installation process that’s tied to individual Xbox Live accounts. An undisclosed fee will have to be paid if another Xbox Live user wants to install the game. Personally, I have no problems with this system, but understand that some people do…and am looking forward to the nerd rage over this “issue.”
[Update: The Xbox Support Twitter says that the report on pre-owned fees is incorrect. It’s a little confusing considering that Microsoft VP Phil Harrison was the first executive to mention the fee.]
Xbox One Has Blu-ray, USB 3.0, and WiFi Direct
The first two features are necessary in 2013. I haven’t used WiFi Direct for anything, but imagine it’s useful for quickly connecting peripherals.
The Xbox One Controller is…
The pictures make the controller look cheaper than the Xbox 360 controller, but that doesn’t mean much. I’m guessing it looks better in person. A few of my journalist friends said that they weren’t allowed to touch the controller. Feel is obviously the most important thing. The new controller allegedly features more than 40 improvements over its predecessor. Many gamers believe that the Xbox 360 controller is close to perfect, so I’m curious to see what the reaction will be to the new gamepad.
Halo…the Live-Action TV Show
Steven Spielberg will be the executive produce of Halo: The Television Series, a live-action program that will debut on Xbox Live. The kids will go nuts for this.
Microsoft and NFL Sitting in a Tree
In a move that will be huge in America and nowhere else in the world, Microsoft has the exclusive rights to create interactive experiences that complement NFL programming. Kinect and SmartGlass will be used to enhance the (American) football experience. I’m sure that many of you will love this.
Price, Release Date, SKUs
Those should be announced at E3 2013. You have to save something for later, right?
Now it’s your turn! What are your initial thoughts on Xbox One? How do you feel about the deeper Kinect integration? Are you digging the television features? Any opinions on backwards compatibility and the pre-owned games fee? Share your thoughts like a Care Bear in the comments section (please)!