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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.
10 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #588: Scattered Thoughts on E3 2013 Day Zero”
I’d have to disagree that factoring the Kinect into the Xbone price somehow makes it seem like it is priced accordingly. The Kinect is not an accessory anymore. It is necessary to boot the machine. Just a nitpick on my end I suppose.
I really like the indie games shown. I do wonder if this means Steam will see less of these indie titles in the future though. That is worrisome since I love buying those things on impulse during awesome steam sales. Octodad and Transistor look great. I didn’t see Below so I can’t comment on it.
Agreed on Watch Dogs. I’ve never seen the appeal of it. Granted with the recent NSA stuff hitting the news that game seems a bit more appropriate but I’d rather just play GTA.
I’m glad Sony is taking the adverse approach of MS with consumer ownership. I think MS did their crazy scheme to appease EA.
Ray give me your ticket to Pachter Palooza. He seems like an awesome guy and I’d like to go. Thanks.
Not a nitpick at all on the PlayStation Eye thing. Your opinion is totally valid and many people agree with you. I actually don’t have an opinion either way — just throwing out the argument some people are using.
Definitely check out Blow when you have a chance. It’s charming.
Pachter is definitely an awesome guy. Maybe he’ll let me be his intern this year!
Dude! I have that issue of Ultimate Spider-Man where he switched bodies with Wolverine. It was probably the single funniest comic book I have ever read in my life! I literally laughed at almost every page in that book.
My favorite part was when Logan (in Peter’s body) was “hitting” on MJ.
I absolutely loved that Mirror’s Edge 2 was announced, but I am a little pissed it will not be available on xbox 360. I never expected it to be on the 360, but I’m still mad that it won’t be.
Don’t really care about the rape joke, but I can see how it might have gotten some people upset/mad about it. Really though we are all gamers, and would be shocked if no one had ever heard phrasing like that while playing video games before, so, Frankie says relax.
I don’t see any possible way that Microsoft comes out ahead this generation. One thing I found interesting that I recently saw online: the last time that Sony undercut another console by $100 it was against the Sega Saturn…and we all know who won that battle. It still doesn’t help that I’m not really a Playstation fan, and I still don’t like their controllers, but they are quite obviously the system to have this generation. I seriously doubt I will be buying either of these consoles, but if I ever do it would probably be a PS4. I think my plan will be to just pick up older series that I want to play on my 360 and just stick with that, all the new 3DS games I want, and try to convince my wife that we need to buy a WiiU once more of the first party games get released (the lack of a dvd drive is still a pretty big hindrance though).
Sort of off the subject, but has anyone heard from the great N8r? Place isn’t the same without him.
All the time via google hangouts with the rest of the crowd. Join us.
Would I have to “register” with Google? I’m kind of paranoid knowing that the NSA is collecting data on people (illegally) so I wouldn’t want to give them too much information about me.
Yes, you’d need a Google account to play with us in the Google Hangout.
Great opportunity to get rid of that embarrassing AOL account!
Besides AOL, Sprint, and Yahoo! have already sold you out.
HA! You’re talking to a guy that cross-dressed for a “talent show” in front of the student and administrative body at the University of Miami and streaked naked across a campus of an all-girl high school. I’ve dressed and acted like a clown. I’ve had pies thrown in my face during a large social event. I inline skate at a roller rink while exposing my pasty white thighs. I’ve danced the Macarena, electric slide and the chicken dance back-to-back-to-back at a wedding while drunk. You really think that a domain name is going to embarrass me?
… but yeah, I kind of figured that everyone is in on it. I’m kind of trying to figure out how lead the crusade to get them to stop snooping on people. The ACLU suing the administration seems to be a good start. But seriously, millions of people should be marching in DC right now with pitchforks and torches. This is beyond Orwellian.
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