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Malik (6/17/13)

E3 is now gone and dead for another year. It was fun (well, reading about it was fun since I was not there by any means), but it also highlighted to me some of the big problems looming in gaming. Yes, there are some parts of the future that look bright. There are even parts that look comical and should be worth a laugh. However, I'm a cynical type of person who tends to be more apt to see the negative than the positive.

First off, I have to say that Nintendo is not impressing me. Not one bit. Normally I'm less than enthused about Nintendo ever since the days of the Gamecube, but I could still see some good in their showing. However, it just doesn't feel that way anymore. Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country, and a new Mario Kart is just not going to cut it for me anymore. I don't think I'm alone when I feel like I've been there and done that all a dozen times before. I guess with Mario it's once before in the 3D franchise, and at least a dozen times before in the franchise. Mario Kart is up to nearly ten entries now with the same exact game at the core. Donkey Kong Country is no longer relevant and probably wasn't relevant for a few generations.

Nintendo, unless they can bring about some new IPs and some real new content, is looking quite dead to me. Their console is obviously not going to be the big man on campus this generation, and with less and less in terms of content being announced, they look like they have stalled. The big N needs to either find some way to entice third party developers, or they will become obsolete (in my eyes) before the next generation begins. Hell, they already feel obsolete as of about five years ago.

Microsoft is in desperate need of an outside PR agency to help them out. They cannot get all of their representatives to be on the same page about information that is obviously going to be on the minds of their potential customers. It only gets worse when they have nothing but disdain and contempt to show for their fans. If you don't want an online console, then buy a 360!? That feels one step short of just saying something like, "If you don't want an always online system then you should crawl in a ditch and die like the piece of shit you are!" Show some tact. It only gets worse when they are presenting ahead of Sony, who seems to honestly be having the most fun possible with a stumbling competitor...which still remaining polite enough to not name names when they laugh at a PR disaster in the making.

If Microsoft wants to right their ship before it continues to sink in a rampage of horribly planned and phrased announcements, then they need outside help or they at least need to fire those responsible. When you are asking customers to spend $500 (before adding the price of a gold membership, a game or three, and a controller or three) on a new piece of tech, you need to sell the concept. Why not explain, without insult, what the online will do? Why not show what the Kinect can do if it's supposedly so much more enhanced this time around? Actually, why force the Kinect if Microsoft claims you can all but entirely disable it? My guess is that Microsoft will be bringing about a price drop or other incentive in the near future. Maybe around spring or summer 2014, I'd expect to see either some free bundled games or a $50 price cut after the thrashing of the PS4 has fully sunk in. Of course, it will take several months for the same reason that they now look bad in comparison; too much ego getting in the way. I think Microsoft is showing the natural response of a fanboy (in this case, Microsoft is acting like a XOne fanboy) who refuses to accept that not everyone can perfectly agree with his/her worship over a piece of new tech.

I would say something about how Sony had some problems...but...ummm...Sony simply kicked ass and touched on all the right points. At least they touched on the points that Microsoft made the issues of the day. Microsoft made DRM, price, and online requirements important in our current conversation. Sony responded with fun and respectful messages that answered all we really need to know on these subjects. They did this while including a good amount of information on what games are coming along the pipeline. After Microsoft blundered, Sony gave the perfect mic-drop.

In fact, I was swayed enough to put in my pre-order for the PS4. Yes, my PC can do so much more, but there are some games that you know will be console exclusives, if not cross-platform but not on PC. However, I should add I pre-ordered on Amazon. This ensures that if I'm not happy when the day is nearly upon us for release, I can cancel my order and not worry about a down payment.


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