Along with the birthday blog post, one other tradition here is a look at the 3 keynote speeches from the platform holders. Normally, I’d break it down by each one, put bulletpoints on the major announcements and then sum things up individually. This year, I can sum up all 3 with a single pic…
I cannot give you any particular winner of this years keynote speech battle because they were all kind of weak. But I can tell you who the biggest losers were and that would be us, the gamers!
Well, I guess I can sum them up quickly
WTF? Microsoft has now become the new nintendo. In previous years, they tried to entice more casual users to Xbox using crappy kinect games while announcing big titles for core gamers (and forcefully shoving kinect stuff into them). This year, they pretty much went “FUCK YOU!” to the group which got them to their position in the first place. They spent a ridiculous amount of time hyping up the streaming services on Xbox live and had next to no games to speak of! EDGE magazine tweeted that the keynote was the most contemptible event they had seen at E3 and I agree!
For years, Microsoft spent a ridiculous sum of money for timed exclusives for big titles in order to get core gamers to buy their systems. Ever wondered how much they spent to keep the GTAIV DLC exclusive or to get FFXIII onto the 360 at the same time as PS3? I bet it was more than a pretty penny. But now that they have invaded homes, they are now treating the core gamers as a sort of trojan horse and now that they are in, they don’t care about them anymore. All gamers got from the keynote were token scraps of early DLC from a handful of games and they opened with video of a a new entry of a series which ended years ago and didn’t ask to be resurrected (Halo 4) and ended with a multiplatform game (CoD:Blops2). I hope 360 fanboys enjoy their scraps. It looks like gamers have been totally abandoned by Microsoft.
In stark contrast to Microsoft, Sony spent every opportunity to thank gamers for sticking with them. The biggest problem they had was simply a lack of content. But it was a massive lack of it! On the plus side, they opened and ended with videos of 2 completely new IPs. They also showed off more of their smash bros clone. On the down side, they had very little Vita info (which was a shock because you’d think they’d push it hard, considering that it’s not selling too well) and a ridiculous amount of time hyping up their new wonderbook AR system along with their tie-in with J.K Rowling and the Harry Potter series. It’s a very good idea and will appeal to a lot of people but they spent way too much time demoing it and it felt like they were using it to pad the conference out because they didn’t have anything else to show! But at least they showed games and tried to appeal to gamers.
Ninty took the unprecedented step of showing off some details of their Wii U system before their keynote speech and said that their conference would be focused on Wii U games. Since they went last, you’d think that they’d have an easy job outdoing the other 2. So how the heck did they manage to screw up so badly?
They started strongly by showing off Pikmin 3 and then followed up with New Super mario bros 2. Then things went pear shaped very quickly. They promised to show 22 games for Wii U and they did. But the problem was that many of the games were adaptations of old games or multiplatform games which don’t really do a great job distinguishing themselves from the other versions. There’s no real reason shown why you would get the wii U version of Darksiders 2 or Assassins creed 3 over the PS3 or 360 version since the additions are superfluous. And I really don’t think anyone is going to care about a new version of Arkham City, a game which will be over a year old when the wii U version hits! There were a few bright patches but the whole thing just underwhelmed to a ridiculous degree. Ninty simply failed to sell their new platform to gamers and their speech seemed to still be geared towards casuals rather than core gamers. The worst part was that there were actually some good looking games on the wii U, they just didn’t use them in their conference and we were only told of them later.
Basically, the 3 keynotes basically made me want to curl up and ignore gaming for the next 4 months until the christmas period and then forget about it again until next year. It says a lot when a 3rd party publisher completely outdid all 3 main platform holders (ubisoft with Watch Dogs). Microsoft failed really hard this year and are pretty much burning their bridges at an alarming rate while the other 2 just missed the mark and lacked content. God, this years E3 is looking like a major waste of time… the next 12 months isn’t going to be too fun…