E3 has begun and as usual, we’re not there. Therefore, like you, we’re mostly reliant on bigger sites to bring us the news straight from the show floor. With that in mind, here’s our take on the show to date.
Next Generation Console Wars
One major development is the discrepancies between Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One (one of the most irritatingly named systems since the Pippin – what the Hell do we call the original Xbox now?). Let’s run down some of the points both sides have made.
The Xbox One has a pseudo always-online requirement that has to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours. This is an unusual requirement. Why bother, Microsoft? Sony doesn’t require any such connection which makes it sound more convenient, right off the bat.
Microsoft is ditching Microsoft Points at last, going with real-world currencies instead. I honestly don’t know what took them so long. On the subject of console premiums, your PS3 PlayStation Plus account will transfer to your new PlayStation 4, again making the PS4 sound rather convenient.
If I had to stand behind one of these systems, with what I’ve heard so far the PS4 sounds like the better system for the end user. Personally I don’t really like Sony as a brand and I can’t stand the Dual Shock controller style, but what they’re providing seems to be pretty sweet.
The PS4 is intended cost $400 when it comes out (the date hasn’t been disclosed yet), a cool $100 less than the Xbox One’s $500 price tag when it comes out (allegedly) in November.
Games for All
As for games, I haven’t seen too many games that scream, “must have!” being announced this year. Some games intrigue me, like Saints Row4 and Grand Theft Auto V but we have known about them for months. I am interested to see what EA Sports does with NBA Live 14. They have my hometown Cleveland Cavaliers’ star point guard Kyrie Irving as their cover boy, and they’re talking up a new ball-handling mechanic that sounds interesting. Not much is known about it yet. Also, word is NBA 2K14 will be coming to PC again this year, which was a concern among a faction of its fanbase.
Nintendo is expected to announce a new Mario Kart Wii U, Super Mario 3D Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which all excite me in theory (I’m a Nintendo fan boy since the NES) but they need a blockbuster of some sort to keep their floundering console going and so far I just don’t see it coming.
The “Master System” is a Wallflower
PC gamers again find themselves looking at the shiny new consoles as they soak up developer love, leaving their beloved gaming rigs to play catchup. As has become the norm for a new console generation, the PC will get shafted for a year or so, getting belated ports or nothing at all from big titles released. The usual excuses, “Current gen PC’s aren’t powerful enough,” “PC’s aren’t popular enough,” and “The PC gamer market isn’t big enough” will be trotted out by a lot of developers until the next-gen novelty wears off. Some big games, like Elder Scrolls Online, Battlefield 4, Saints Row 4 and the new Thief will appear on PC so it’s not really doom and gloom.
I’ll keep you up to date as more information comes out.