E3 & The Aftermath

by Da'Von B.

Obviously E3 2013 will be a big deal mainly because it’s inevitable that Sony and Microsoft will show their hand with their next generation systems, exclusive IP, maybe even discuss release dates and pricing (may be a stretch but it’s more so probable than possible).

This is clear because E3 2012 was a dud to some extent and Nintendo didn’t necessarily help themselves by their showcase of a system that seems to be on par with the 360 and PS3, two systems that have been out for several years. The tablet/controller is interesting but remains questionable in terms of cost and availability of 4 players using the same device on the system. Third party software doesn’t look so great, for example though there are some interesting enhancements to Batman: Arkham City, the game is essentially the same and has been out since October of 2011, if the Wii U is indeed set to be released this Fall or Holiday they would have third-party IP that consumers have played for well over a year, this isn’t much of an incentive to purchase the system. Somehow it seems like Nintendo operated in a world where technological innovation hasn’t occurred since they’ve released the original Wii and the Wii U is a breakthrough system where they continue to withhold critical information.

Zombie U showed off some interesting things of what you can do in terms of utilizing the device and with Ubisoft you can usually expect some amazing content to be shown and demoed but that’s essentially it, the first party software from Nintendo was completely underwhelming, even with their showing of a few more games and the specs of the controller there was no firm announcement regarding release date or the cost of the system which is essentially detrimental to its initial success and adoption rate. No telling when the news will come but it’ll be within the next 2-3 months in the event that the system will be available for the holiday shopping season.

Microsoft had a few announcements that involved a few games but touted the XBox 360 as a complete home entertainment device not just a gaming console.

Halo 4 looks absolutely gorgeous and gamers will be able to have access to episodic content that will play out similar to a season of a television series (this is something that more IP will inevitably try their hand at and will find significant success), other exclusive IP was announced as well including a new Gears of War, and the new Splinter Cell with integrated features applied to Kinect will make it an interesting experience that many are definitely looking forward to. Additional partnerships were announced with NBA & NHL as it should have been expected though internet explorer on the 360 just doesn’t seem like too good of a fit, time will tell as consumers get a hands on feel of the service, if it doesn’t work there’s no doubt it’ll be mentioned over the interwebs.

The announcement that adds a great level of interest is Smart Glass, a service that allows you to use your current smartphone or tablet (yes an iPhone or iPad) to interact with your XBox 360 basically the current features you can get a glimpse of in the video below, many questions remain regarding Smart Glass but the thing is, imagine what Microsoft will do with this interactivity as it grows and increases in usage overtime, imagine what they’ll do with an update to the next gaming system. This will be interesting to say the least.

And then there’s Sony, and their PSP Vita that may not be doing so great sales-wise and though they’ve shown teasers of once to come, the line-up of IP still doesn’t feel as strong as it could be, the PSP Vita will have to be a long-term investment to crack the consumer consciousness for a wider adoption rate. What’s interesting is 3D and Move wasn’t mentioned this year as it was pushed down the throats of consumers and journalists at E3 2011. It’s the exclusive third-party content for the PS3 that moves Sony neck and neck with Microsoft as both remain ahead of the Nintendo Wii U (even though it’s not released yet I’m predicting it’ll still be leagues behind the PS3 and 360). The God Of War prequel looks nice, but what’s more exciting are two new games one being from the company behind Heavy Rain and the other from the company Uncharted.

Beyond: Two Souls, simply looks fantastic and the fact that this is being done on the PS3 imagine what they can achieve on the next generation system. The gameplay remains somewhat of a mystery but as the news develops and more of the game is known this will definitely be a favorite among gamers. And The Last Of Us from Naughty Dog looks absolutely amazing.

So in the end E3 2012 was essentially a sign that this was the end of a generation, but this was a year for third-party developers/publishers, showing off new games and launching this year and next. And a specific title that’s definitely caught a great deal of attention and that’s Star Wars 1313 with no release date and no other details this could be a tease of a next generation title and it looks fantastic.

All in all, E3 2012 was a yawn at some points and at others a tease of what’s to come, so the anticipation for E3 2013 will be fever pitch and all eyes will be on Microsoft & Sony.