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20090428

Because I Feel Like It: E3 Predictions & Thoughts

I'm very excited that E3 is going back to being a show, instead of utterly boring shit. I'm usually not one for spectacle, unless it involves bare breasts, but E3, at its best, is a straight-up celebration for those that identify themselves as gamers, and in this form, there's almost always something for everyone @ E3.

G4TV.com has a good assemblage of quotes
from the big 3, each talking about the upcoming show. Here's a bit of each:

Microsoft, via the Mattrick:
“Microsoft is gearing up for a big presence at E3 which will completely transform how people think about home entertainment,"

Sony, via the Tretton:
"The audience of North American-based and foreign media and key industry partners makes E3 Expo an ideal place for us to unveil the latest PlayStation news and products at our press event on June 2.”

Nintendo, via the Regginator:
"Nintendo has been a long time attendee of E3 and it has our full support,"

Yes, I purposely took the snippet that would most make Nintendo look like a bunch of arrogant pricks, but they make it sooo easy. Truthfully, I'm not a Nintendo fan anymore, but I am HUGE Reggie Fils-Aime fan. I wish he was doing all three press conferences, as he is a fantastic public speaker, and can work a room better than an Olympic-caliber stripper.

Predictions
Microsoft's above self-blowjob tells me that this is the year they show the XBox 3. When compared to the relative life-cycles of the XBox and the XBox 360, they're due. I hope that this doesn't signal the end of the 360, as I think it still has quite a bit of life left in it, and it's more or less the PS2 of this era (super popular, a ton of great titles, terrible hardware problems, cheap price point).

Regardless, I believe that M$ is showing their next console, and I'm eager to see if they expand on cross-platform connectivity between PC and XBox, and further integrate GFW Live w/ XBox Live.

Otherwise, I think Mass Effect 2 & 3 both get dated, since they need to hurry those along if they're both gonna be on 360. I think Uncharted 2 gets dated, and it's shipping far earlier than anyone thought. The pending multiplayer beta tells me that. I think Squenix does something bold, and unrelated to Final Fantasy XIII. I think FFXIII still won't get an American date.

Advice
As always, I say that if every console platform holder has a good show, that's great for gamers. It increases competition and makes for more good games for everyone. In that spirit, I am here, far in advance, to give each of the big 3 some advice on how to make a splash at their respective press conference.

Microsoft
You guys miss Peter Moore's ability to stand confidently in front of a crowd and convey honest enthusiasm for the XBox brand. You miss it badly. Mattrick is a nice guy, but lacks Moore's public speaking ability. He doesn't come off as nervous as poor Jack Tretton, but he also doesn't seem nearly as pumped as Peter did in prior years. I'd give him a lotta help up there. He comes off as personable, which is good, but give him some "friends" on stage to interact with. And stop it with the silly "family games" stuff. Be bold, and alternate between funny and exciting. Act like a winner, and we'll believe it.

Sony
Jack Tretton needs to relax on stage. Like, now. If he can't, I'd find someone else to do the press conference. Phil Harrison would've been my first choice, as he's a decent public speaker (do the British just learn that at some point?), but he's jumped ship to Atari. I thought Sony's presentation, last year, was actually pretty good, aside from Tretton nearly having a heart attack every other word. I think if they stick to showing pretty games, and maybe a surprise announcement, they'll do okay. They're gonna finish behind M$ this generation, no matter what they do, so they need to focus on getting more gamers on board with their hardware, and showing why the PS3 is such a great purchase. They have enough in terms of horsepower, mutli-functionality, and game library to justify it to me, so they just need to focus on that, and do the same for the PSP, and they'll be fine. They have 3 great systems on the market right now, but keep mishandling the public (aside from the last E3 press conference.)

Nintendo
They got Reggie, and quite frankly, they could walk on stage and start executing naked virgins, and the generic people of the world would still happily lap up their "casual" spooge. Between the best public speaker, the hottest console, the worst fucking software lineup in the history of consoles not called Jaguar, and the mindless generic zombies of the world, they don't even need to try, and I expect they won't, just like last year.

What do you guys think? What do you expect to see vs. want to see? What do you think the big 3 need to do to improve on last year?

-Blaine

6 comments:

  1. You completely bum me out with predictions of a new Xbox console. Maybe it's because I'm at the lower end of the economic spectrum and I can't keep up with the crazy hot s--t that comes out on a regular basis. Although, I think it is more because I feel that there is much to be desired in almost every game I have played. Outside of BioShock and Dead Space none of the other games I have played are even close to being a fully polished experience.

    Think about how long it took for Sony to produce it's best games on the PS2 - it was virtually in the last two years before "the next gen" (God of War, Metal Gear Solid 3, Okami, FFXII)and we have certainly not reached that point of quality with what the 360 has offered in comparison.

    In other news, remember that game Alan Wake?

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  2. @Laurance I'm with ya, and I'll note that I pointed out that I feel that 360 still has a lotta life in it. You still need to play Lost Odyssey, by the way. I think that the 360 will continue paralleling the PS2, and still get quite a few great games over the next 2 or so years, but I wouldn't bet that we're gonna see a lot past 2010 or so. I do remember Alan Wake, and look forward to playing it this holiday.

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  3. I don't believe Microsoft will announce a new console. The 360 was released in its time frame because of the poor reception of the original. There is no reason for Microsoft to jump the gun. They are profitting right now. Once they release another console, they will be selling their consoles for a loss all over again and have to make it up in software sales.

    They are still outselling the PS3 and the Wii sales are slowly declining. I believe this is going to be a very long generation. Not everyone can just go out and buy a new console with this economy and I would think that Microsoft took that in consideration.

    I don't know what to expect from Microsoft at this E3 but they better have some amazing game announcements because they need some this year. Halo 3: ODST and Alan Wake are not going to cut it. We need something exclusive and unheard of from them.

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  4. @Xcite79 I wouldn't say that the original XBox was poorly received. It certainly didn't sell as many units as the PS2, but between Halo, Halo 2, KotOR, and a few other titles, it was successful enough to justify another console. I wouldn't call it a mind-blowing success, but I also wouldn't say it was poorly received, either.

    That being said, you make an excellent point about the economy being a factor. That could definitely influence the timing of the next XBox.

    As for game announcements, we're gonna see Mass Effect 2 as a 360/PC exclusive, for sure. There's that Halo spinoff, and Alan Wake as a "maybe." Maybe Forza 3? We'll be seeing a ton of multiplatform stuff, which usually favors 360, especially if there's a heavy online component (Modern Warfare 2, for example.)
    Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

    -Blaine

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  5. I certainly hope MS doesn't show a new console. The last thing the industry needs right now is to start the whole "next gen" battle already. Instead, focus all that time and energy and marketing money on killer quality titles for the current generation. Let us enjoy these awesome consoles for awhile. Especially with the PS3, there seems to be so much more that can be done as developers continue to learn how to push the hardware, or use it minimally on incredible but tiny titles like Burn Zombie Burn. There's still a lot of cash to squeeze out of these machines.

    I do expect a new PSP model announcement, as Sony has seen so much money flying to the iPhone and DS markets. But I don't think it will necessarily be the PSP 2, just another revamp similar to 1up's "story" that broke yesterday.

    I also expect we'll continue to hear about classic titles being revamped for the now-gen. I'm sure Nin will be talking up new adventures for Link...too bad I've lost all interest in him. I wouldn't be surprised to see a new Strider game from Capcom...seems logical considering what they've done with Bionic Commando.

    Honestly, though, I'm most looking forward to new PSN titles being announced. I simply enjoy them far more than the AAA titles coming out these days.

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  6. @JT I do think that M$ is going to show some kind of new hardware, even if it is a modified 360. PS3 has a lot more room to grow, I agree.

    Here's your new PSP: http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3173959

    A new Strider would be rad.

    I need to spend more time w/ PSN games. But I don't.

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