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Malik (6/14/10)

I don't know when it happened, but I just feel like the E3 season holds no real meaning this year. Maybe it's the fact that not nearly as much news seems to be coming my way about what to expect, or maybe it's because most of the expected large announcements just are not that fresh anymore. For example, it looks like the main announcements for E3 this year will be the motion sensors for the PS3 and 360. I guess all that I would expect for the Nintendo front to be a bit of hype for the next Wii Zelda title, and maybe some hints about their 3D DS system that's supposedly due out in Japan in the next six months.

As for the motion sensing...this was seen last year. Nothing really new is in the pipeline, except maybe some name changes. Since the technology has been pretty well detailed back in 2009, and with new details emerging periodically, I only except that we'd see some of the new games. Which would be fine if you're hyped for this stuff, but I still haven't even seen any of the real fan based hype. Motion sensing just doesn't seem high up there for the "hardcore" gamers, and the casual gamers seem more likely to be turned off my the simple math of the situation; "PS3 or 360 price + motion sensor price >> Wii price".

As for myself, I have not seen enough titles show off motion sensing in a way which keeps me entertained as it stands. The only great motion sensing games I can think of so far have been Flower (with limited motion sensing) and...ummm...nothing else comes to mind. Everything else just seems to make motion sensing feel forced or it just doesn't handle as well as one would need it to be to be the entire core mechanic of game control.

For example, while I'm enjoying Mario Galaxy 2, the motion stuff is just not something I enjoy. Flying on a bird or rolling a ball with only motion (and a single button to jump on the ball) is a pain in the ass. Even spin attacks with a quick flick of the Wiimote gets annoying when I either involuntarily cause a spin at the wrong moment or when I cannot get a spin detected when it's crucial. A simple button would handle this better, for myself at least.

In the end, all I can see is that motion sensing isn't what matters when the question is "good games, or another expensive peripheral?"

As for the Nintendo side of things...unless there is a big change, I don't see much being shown that is worthy of any attention. Nintendo is notorious for small E3 showings while they hold off most major announcements for the TGS later in the year. If there is anything seen, I don't expect to be wowed by Zelda or a 3D DS.

Zelda will be good. Zelda is always at least good and typically great. So it is just not a hype worthy franchise for the expo and conference environments. It's like being hyped for a new season of a great TV show. It will be good, but it's just not something to get excited for like a new series.

The same goes for the 3D DS. It is still another DS. We've seen four of them now, and beyond some small tweaks, there is nothing new. With DSWare, there is nothing else I can see being "new" to the DS world. Until the DS stops being profitable for Nintendo, there will be nothing new in the portable world, and it will be, like with everything else right now that matters, about the games being quality and not about some hardware changes.


Malik (6/16/10)

No longer does E3 not interest me. This all changed with Sony. I now am going from indifferent to annoyed.

I'm not talking about Move, Kinect, 3D or any of that other crap. I really couldn't care less about trying to make games more immersive when games need to be more focused on being good. For example, the Wii is motion focused and most 3rd party games that focus on the motion sensing action are complete crap. I'm sorry, but the Wii is the home of third party shovelware. It is where shovelware goes to not only propagate, but to thrive and rule the world with mediocrity.

No, what annoys me is the idea of the Playstation Network having a tiered system. The new "Plus" tier will cost about $60 a year to offer more exclusive downloads, free content, and earlier delivery of demos. Well, I really haven't seen the content to make this seem worthy on the PS3. The PSN has almost nothing in the way of demos and content that Live has for the 360. So, after multiple years of being out there, PSN is now going to try to milk extra money for a delivery of something that doesn't exist. At least nothing has been mentioned about this "Plus" system charging for playing games online, but if that happens, I know I'm skipping the PS3 for any online games.

Live Gold has proved it's worth over the years. Live Silver is even a pretty impressive thing, despite no online games. There are still a lot of demos (like for all casual/Arcade games), a good dose of content, and a network structure that is pretty damned stable. Meanwhile PSN seems to go down a little too often, and has far too little to offer in comparison. For Sony to come along now with the $60/year Plus system is either saying they want money and don't give a shit how they take it from the consumer, or they could have done better and just didn't want to.

Anyway, so far the pre-E3 press conferences have delivered about the level of excitement I expected; none. It's all, so far, old news. Move, Kinect, 3DS, Zelda for the Wii...when have I heard about this all before? Oh...I remember...last year. While I don't need the big three to break revolutionary new ground each year, I just want the basic gaming news; good games to look forward to. Beyond Zelda finally being named (at least that's something), nothing here is worthy of more than a passing glance.

If anything, it would be good for another jab from Sony about motion sensing. Instead of just making a joke about Kinect, how about also a barbed joke towards Nintendo? Maybe promising that, unlike with the Wii, third party Move games will be good.


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