Monday, June 10, 2013

E3: What Will the Console Makers Bring?

What will they bring?

For all intents and purposes, E3 begins today with Microsoft's presentation regarding its recently revealed Xbox One. With the console and features already exposed, gamers can look forward to actual games, both of multiplatform and exclusives. E3 has usually been about new software and new console reveals but as the industry gets bigger and is becoming more than a niche to only self-proclaimed gamers, console makers try to stuff in features that are neat but just aren't necessary to the average gamer. With Microsoft's revelation of their latest console, gamers are feeling that the company isn't paying attention to their gaming needs (thoughts here). Microsoft needs to show it cares for the gamers, while maybe scaling back on its anti-consumer policies on the Xbox One (though a showing of Metal Gear Solid V and Killer Instinct just now is helping the former). It should also show off the price for the Xbox One, since it's expected to be released in Holiday 2013.

What about the Playstation 4?

Sony revealed its next console back in February, but seemed to have forgotten one little detail...the console itself. While the controller was shown off, the console was noticeably absent as it was claimed that the console itself was not in its final design. Instead, Sony opted to glorify the new features , such as a touchpad, new analog sticks, a dedicated share button that could be used to share content to places such as Facebook and Twitch.tv, and cloud gaming. Sony also announced partnerships with various game makers but had little to show off in actual games. In this sense, Sony has much more to show off than either Microsoft or Nintendo: they must show off the console itself if they want to get in on the Holiday 2013 rush; they must show off exclusives and games that would convince an on the fence gamer why they should invest in the PS4, and (as gamers hope) they must show how their policies are different from Microsoft's efforts; that is, no anti-consumer DRM or always online gaming. It wouldn't hurt to also show what the PS Vita is made of by showing off desirable and unique games.

How will Nintendo stack up?

Unlike the previous two, Nintendo has neither a presentation to do nor a console to reveal. The latter already exists in the form of the Wii U and the former was a decision made by the head honchos to be replaced by the well received Nintendo Directs they've published lately. This doesn't mean Nintendo's presence won't be felt at E3 as they do have space on the showfloor. In addition, Nintendo recently announced that E3 demos will be available to play at select Best Buy locations, though it seems to be only two days and limited to four demos. Regardless, the Wii U, while a great console in this bloggers opinion and others, is floundering a bit with a lack of games; Nintendo has yet to release its heavy hitters as New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land didn't capture the attention of the gaming populace and third-party efforts have only been decent ports (or late!) such as Injustice: Gods Among Us, Need For Speed Most Wanted, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. What Nintendo needs to do is generate the interest for the Wii U itself by releasing the heavy hitters such as the Mario's, the Zelda's, and the Metroid's. The company's handheld offering in the 3DS is already taking off after an abysmal start with this year's Pokemon X and Y and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 2 (tentative title), so it's not crazy to think the Wii U will take off. With promises of the next Smash Bros., Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, partnerships such as with Platinum Games (Bayonetta 2) and Sega (Sonic: Lost Worlds), if Nintendo shows off the games, the gamers will come.