"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

E3 2014

E3 was held this week in LA and once again it was gamer heaven as all the major players in the industry laid out their plans for the next year or so of games. As usually Sony dominated with announcement of Playstation TV (sling games to another TV and play Vita games), a white PS4 combo pack, Playstation Now (rent games) and usual slew of games. Microsoft played it safe by announcing only a bunch of games including a Halo collection. Nintendo, still trying to recover from very poor Wii U sales, also essentially played it safe that once again teased a bunch of potential great games but other than Super Smash Brothers doesn't have anything much left in the tank for this year. Below are links to a detailed summation with trailers for the major press conferences while what follows is really just my overview on things.

Sony | Microsoft | Nintendo | EA | Ubisoft

Sony's approach is essentially "why fix what isn't broken" as they announced the Playstation TV that can play PS2, PSP, and PS Vita Games. The older systems are digital downloads but it will accept the Vita cards. IT also can stream a game from the PS4 to whatever TV it is hooked up too. The cost will be $99. To go with this they announced a new service called Playstation Now that will let you rent games. The costs seems to vary depending on title and duration of rental period. They also showed off a Glacier White PS4 with Destiny game for release on September 9th. The big titles are Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (for 2015), Bloodborne (2015), LittleBigPlanet3 (Christmas 2014), The Order 1886 (2015), and more. Basically if love the direction of the current PS4 line-up, will be pleased with the next year or so plans. And for those that prefer the older games then the PS TV might meet your needs.

For the XBox One, it was all about gaming as they showed off a bunch of games including Forza Horizon 2 (September 30th), Dance Central Spotlight (?), Fables Legends (2015), Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dragon Age: Inquisition and more. Again, like with Sony, if like the gaming direction so far, will get more of the same.

As for Nintendo, they can be summed up yet again as "next year." For the third year in a year. The games they showed off look like they might become instant classics and nearly all of them are slated for a maybe 2015 release. The only huge game coming to the console this year is Super Smash Bros. In addition they showed off Hyrule Warriors (2015) which is a "Dynasty Warriors" style game using Zelda characters and themes. They also teased a new potential new Zelda game but my guess is that title isn't probably arriving until 2016 so whatever. Star Fox for WiiU is coming but again no date so if history is a guide also slate that one for 2016. Bayonetta 2 is coming but no specific release date (maybe around this Christmas) and will have the first game included. No E3 is complete without something Mario related and one the slate for next year or so is Mario vs Kong for Wii U, Mario Party 10, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and the absolutely charming Yoshi's Woolly World where everything looks like yarn. It is quite literally about the only game I am looking forward too since Zelda and Star Fox are essentially vapor ware until later next year. Sadly Nintendo continues to waste their potential back catalog and choosing to let the competition lead the way as Sony is doing with the Playstation Now so any hopes for a turnaround remain unlikely.

So E3 is done and regardless of what console you love, you can basically look forward to more of the same.

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