We've still got about five months before the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launch in North America, and already blood has been spilled.
From Microsoft gathering an arguably more impressive stable of exclusive games, to Sony revealing the lack of restrictions on PS4 games and a $100 lower price -- to Microsoft now doing a complete 180 on its DRM policies, this next console launch may be one of the most exciting and brutal yet.
And I can't wait to comfortably watch from the sidelines, praising Thor I'm not in either of their shoes.… Read more
Excited about the high-tech look and feel of the upcoming Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4? Better enjoy them while you can, because this might be the final generation of big, dedicated living room game console hardware.
Based on the cheers and jeers coming out of this week's E3 video game trade show about the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, you'd think we were about to enter a new era of cutting-edge game machines, complete with a new arms race of processors, GPUs, and other features. But if you look at how media consumption has changed rapidly … Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Marc Whitten thinks the Xbox One provides an overall better value than the competition.
"I believe we're delivering an immense value," he explained to me at a meeting within Microsoft's booth at E3 2013. The Microsoft corporate vice president and chief product officer for Xbox believes that when you consider everything Xbox One is offering -- with its lineup of exclusive titles and ambitious live TV integration -- there's enough justification for spending the extra $100 come this holiday season.
The company's direct console gaming competitor, Sony, undercut Xbox One by $… Read more
Price: Advantage Sony The PlayStation 4 costs $399. It launched on November 15 in the US, followed by November 29 in Europe and Australia, December for much of Asia, and February 22 for Japan.
The Xbox One is priced at $499. It will launch on November 22 in most countries worldwide.
The Xbox will run you $100 more up front, and likely even more over time. You'll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription, listed at $60/year, to use most online extras, from Netflix to gameplay video sharing. Sony's equivalent subscription service, PlayStation Plus, is required only for multiplayer gaming and online saves. It's also cheaper at $50/year.
Microsoft's pre-E3 Xbox One reveal event in Redmond, Wash., wasn't a presentation targeted at gamers. In fact, most gamers hated it. Why? Because Microsoft used the opportunity to boast about the Xbox One's live TV integration and the seamless experience it will supposedly provide.
That mantra won't fly at E3 2013 in Los Angeles, where the priority is always games. The company teased with some details about what the Xbox One's gaming future will look like, but as of now it's still mostly unknown.
Here's a preview of what Microsoft needs to accomplish … Read more
LOS ANGELES--I've lost track of how many E3 shows I've been to. It doesn't matter. What's important is that the show used to be larger, more vibrant...and more relevant. What happened?
If you boil down this year's show, new hardware was scarce and new software didn't fill the gap. Still, trends were present and lessons, too, that I hope get applied to next year's show. Yes, it was an odd year this year. … Read more
It's trendy at this year's E3 to trash the Wii U. Nintendo's next-gen console has its work cut out for it: strange tablet-like GamePad controller, the challenge of making games for its dual-screen potential, the unknown price, and the looming question of whether Nintendo's core casual-gaming crowd has moved on to Apple's iPastures.
What if the Wii U were to succeed?
Nintendo has had a way of pulling rabbits out hats with strange hardware. I remember hating the Nintendo DS when it first was released; it became my favorite handheld. The original Wii was mocked for its name, its lack of HD, and its games-for-everyone mantra. It only became a household name.
If these things come to pass, I think the Wii U could succeed, too. … Read more
It's unlikely that E3 2012 will go down as one of the more newsworthy installments of this annual trade show. But, while we may lack blockbuster news (or many must-play games), there are several trends on display that paint a clear picture about what kinds of games and interactive entertainment experiences are coming over the next several years.
Hardware doesn't drive the business anymore Gamers should get used to the idea of a longer wait between new consoles. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are well past the half-decade mark, with not a hint of future versions at E3 this year. Nintendo's Wii U is more evolution than revolution, making use of the original Wii's controllers and accessories, and much of the same industrial and UI design.
And guess what? Both gamers and the professional industry watchers attending E3 are just fine with that. New games still look great, even if they don't look noticeably better than last year or the year before. And adding new accessories, such as Kinect, or new features, such as SmartGlass or streaming live TV, offer more bang for the buck than faster processors or GPUs. … Read more
For a trade show all about video games and interactive entertainment, it's surprising to me that some of the most popular games are hardly represented at all. Amid the halls filled with life-size statues of space marines and zombies, you'll see little of the Facebook and social games that remain popular, if uncool.
There's a definite hierarchy to the games and gamers at E3. The PC game types look down at the console types, and they both look down at the social/casual types. Which is, on one hand, not surprising, as much of the audience at E3 is made up of industry enthusiasts who blur the line between fan and impartial observer, and they clearly prefer Halo to CityVille.
On the other hand, it's hard to ignore a huge genre of games that measure users in terms of tens of millions of monthly players (referred to as monthly average users, or MAU).
And yet, ignored these games are. At E3 2012, you'll find Disney and subsidiary Playdom, with Facebook games such as Armies of Magic. EA promotes games such as the brand-new Sim City Social or The Sims Social, both Facebook versions of classic PC games, but I've seen little of the popular games (Bejeweled, Zuma,) from PopCap, a recent EA acquisition. … Read more
LOS ANGELES--Nintendo had already unveiled the Wii U well before E3 started, but there were a lot of things going into this show that we didn't know. Nintendo's keynote spent a great deal of time detailing what the Wii U can do, what its online and app services are, and what games we can expect to see. A small amount of time was also spent on the Nintendo 3DS, but today's event was clearly dedicated to the Wii U.
What we didn't get, however, was a date and price. Not surprising, but anticlimactic all the same.… Read more