Six years. That's nearly how long it's been since the Xbox 360 first debuted back in the fall of 2005. The next year, the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 followed.
Typically, new consoles emerge no later than five years after the debut of the last iteration. This generation seems to be the exception. Perhaps that's because of the ripples of a recession, but we can also credit the Wii, PS3, and 360 for being hardy, versatile consoles. In fact, looking back at what these systems were compared with what they are now, it's hard not to … Read more
Even though it's supposedly an industry-only trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is an event of epic proportions for video game aficionados, as evidenced by the legions of fans who follow the show's daily announcements online, through blogs, news outlets, and (a more recent development) video feeds.
But despite its decade-plus place in the public consciousness (I've been attending since 1999), the E3 show has been to the brink of extinction more than once, and while it has pulled off a remarkable recovery over the past couple of years, there's still a chance history may repeat itself.
In brief, what happened was the trade show equivalent of a boom and bust cycle. Throughout the 2000s, game companies competed to outdo each other, with excessive budgets and outlandish displays, creating literal mini cities inside the Los Angeles Convention Center that easily trumped anything seen at the larger Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place in Las Vegas every January.
The trend peaked in 2006, after which the participants collectively realized that entirely too much money was being spent on the show, which had long since stopped being a place for retail buyers to make deals with publishers, and had become essentially a weeklong press conference. Simply put, the week's worth of media hits was judged to be simply not worth the investment.
At the time, the Entertainment Software Association, a trade organization that runs the event, agreed to retrench, scaling down the 2007 version into what then-Entertainment Software Association President Douglas Lowenstein called a "more personal, efficient, and focused" show. E3 went from 60,000 attendees the previous year to about 4,000, and from 400 exhibiting companies to fewer than 40. E3 2008 was a similarly small affair, returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center, but keeping the small, low-cost format.… Read more
On today's episode of preGame we'll be previewing the biggest gaming event of the year, E3! Join us along with special guest Scott Stein as we dive deep into E3 2011 predictions, anticipated games, and more previews than you can handle; from the Wii 2 to the NGP, and everything in between.
We'll also have an in-depth conversation about today's announcement from Activision regarding Call of Duty Elite. This brand-new premium service will enhance the online multiplayer experience by leaps and bounds. But is it worth a premium price?
Today Nintendo announced that its DS Lite handheld, originally released in 2006, has had its retail price reduced to $99. This comes a week before the annual E3 expo in Los Angeles, and a week after the Nintendo Wii dropped its price to $150.
The DS Lite was always a well-received handheld, and was the last Nintendo portable to support Game Boy Advance cartridges, but it's currently two generations behind. The Nintendo DSi, released in 2009, still sells for $150, and the Nintendo 3DS, released earlier this year, sells for $250.
It's not surprising to see price drops … Read more
LOS ANGELES--If there's one story we seem to write at least every other year at E3, its how the gaming industry is overly reliant on sequels and spin-offs, rarely creating anything truly new. This year, the issue seems bigger than ever, with seemingly few original ideas in a sea of IIs, IIIs, and more.
Case in point: The games big publishers are depending on to carry them through the all-important holiday shopping season are for the most part all retreads of existing games. They include Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fallout: New Vegas, Halo Reach, Dead Space 2, Crysis 2, Civilization V, and new installments in the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises (a separate-but-related issue is the "rebooting" of vintage games, such as Kid Icarus or GoldenEye).
Its overly simplistic to blame a conceptual lack of originality for the deficit of new ideas, stories, and characters. Video games generally don't function under the auteur theory that many of the best films do, crafted by a singular creative vision (with a few high-profile exceptions); instead they more often are the ultimate example of art by committee. Game developers essentially create "work for hire" on behalf of publishers, which in turn resemble nothing so much as the classic 1940's Hollywood studio system, where studio bosses pulled the strings and set the agenda. … Read more