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Sony E3 Press Conference

BMcVkQcCIAEHZEmThe showed the PS3 line-up, stating that there will be a special bundle of the PS3 with Grand Theft Auto V with the game and Pulse Headset which will be available on 17 September. The Last of Us which will be released in a few days after E3, and has received very positive reviews from most critics.  They talked about the Vita and its position in relation to the PS4, and it seems to be used as the second device screen but the screen size might be limiting in comparison to tablets, we will see.  But it needs to be used.

  • The Order 1886 – This looks very good.  An interesting setting and themes, showing it is set in like an alternate history period, this was a trailer it showed some gameplay footage but they claimed it was in-engine footage.  Always tough to know with trailers like that when they look very good.  This would be a game worth keeping an eye on.  This is an exclusive game for the PS4
  • Killzone Shadowfall, they showed off a CG trailer for this, but there will be more videos coming on this as it will be on the show floor.
  • Drive Club, it showed some more footage of the game but it is going to be a launch title.  This is similar to what was shown at Ubisoft’s conference with The Crew, with the jump in and jump out style of multi-player gameplay.  This looks like an interesting driving game but it will also be free to PlayStation Plus members (Though I am not sure if this is an ongoing free thing or not).
  • Infamous Second Son will be release 2014 in the first quarter.  They showed the way the game works in a manner not proper game play footage.  It looks great but isn’t quite the same as what I might have thought it was.  Watching this made me think a lot of the original Infamous.
  • Knack, this is going to be a launch title and it has shown some simple footage and CG trailer to show it off.  It has connected gameplay which they are wanting to sell as a big feature, being able to take the game off the PS4 and onto the Vita and from memory this is something they are wanting all PS4 games to support, which does a form of game streaming to the PS Vita.
  • The Dark Sorcerer is said to be a technical demonstration of the ability of the PS4 but they did this for the PS3 and it turned into a game of sorts which was Heavy Rain.  But is foes look wonderful and Quantic Dream know how to create good looking games.

Independent developers they wanted to wooed as well.  There is a hefty line up for independent games being released as they mentioned exclusive or console debut exclusive (meaning first to PS4).  There was some interesting looking one but the New ‘n’ Tasty remake of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssee looks really good.  I enjoyed that game, do it would be great to get that one in HD.  You can look at the complete list which is long here.  This also includes games for the PS4, PS3 and the PS Vita.
They are looking also at the self publishing model, but there isn’t too many details released about that.

  • Final Fantasy  XV (the game formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII) a nice modern setting for a final fantasy game, SquareEnix certainly know how to make CG trailers, they are so impressive if only they are able to bring that to the gameplay.  It is nice to finally see something about this game and it nice to know that they have renamed it as well.  The gameplay footage that they showed did show some traditional menus for attack and items but it seemed very fast paced so it would be interesting to see more on this.
  • They also spoke of Final Fantasy XIV coming to the PS3 and PS4 exclusively as well.  Which is a nice one, another MMO on a console, this could help push things.  FF XIV was slated to be a PS3 title but with the problems with the game and the relaunch of the game as well it makes sense they are putting into the new console.
  • Kingdom Hearts III is an exclusive for the PS4 from everything that I saw and with the up and coming, HD remakes of all of the Kingdom hearts for the PS3 it would make sense to start the journey if you haven’t as weird as the concept and stories might be they are touching stories and up there with some of SquareEnix’s best stories.
  • Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag demonstration looks an impressive game but it is still very much like any of the Assassin’s Creed games I have played.  There were what looked like pauses in the gameplay but it seems to be the console that they were playing had issues.
  • Watchdogs is showing a live demo that is on PS4 from what appears to be.  The populated world looks very realistic in the way people look at you.  The rain effects are also very nice especially when it was on the car.  There was also a bit of interesting with someone on a mobile device but they didn’t really show how this worked properly.
  • NBA 2K14 coming from 2K games obviously, it looks decent but I am thinking that the basketball game you get would be the one from EA and NBA Live 2014.  Just the difference seems to be there, but since this was more a promotional video than showing anything and any of the 2014 sports games will not be released until, well 2014 it is a bit of a nothing comment as more information will be released closer to the time.
  • Elder Scrolls Online, a partnership, though I am unsure that this will entail but it said that it will have an exclusive first beta on PS4, which will be obviously after the launch of the PS4.  From everything I have seen about this game so far it seems more an experience playable on the console than on the PC.  Since there isn’t that need for mapping lots of abilities onto hot bars as there seems to be more emphasis on the real time nature of the combat as in strike and block when you pull the triggers, etc…
  • Mad Max it looked nice, I hope they got Mel Gibson’s voice for it as it wouldn’t be the same.  But the model they used was from the one used from Mel Gibson from the original Mad Max movie, so it would be good.  But it was a CG trailer without a doubt but it looks very good and I will want to know more from this in the future.

No restriction on used games, which is a nice dig at Microsoft which rightly so made the crowd elate in this revelation.  They are talking about that it can be lent, sold, or kept forever without restrictions.  I have no doubt this is a direct dig at the PS4.  Including the PS4 disc based games do not need to be connected online to play.  No authentication if you have the disc and you don’t ever need to authentication and will not stop working within 24 hours, this is another direct dig at Microsoft and the XBOX One.

  • Destiny looks incredible, it really does.  It seems that Bungie has gone all out on this.  I think I may have to try this game, it is a persistent online game where you can play solo and join public events where things happen.  Typical Sci-Fi shooter in many ways but it was a simple demonstration of the game and this is one that I will take great interest in. 
    I was not a fan of the Halo series but I do understand what they did for the console shooter.  I did notice though there were some pauses in this let us hope this is only because these games are rushed into working format for the demonstration and might not be the best code they are running on or running on Dev Kits which are not optimised.
    They showed an interesting use of the touch pad on the PS4 controller by navigating the menus for the inventory.

US$399, €399 and £349 but no comment on Australia though based on often the past this will be AU$549 which means we get screwed yet again.  Some might think that €399 which is US$529 and 349 which is converted to US$543 screws you, and rightly so if you do look at a comparison to the US conversion, ours is US$517.  I do not believe that they can continue this, or legally they shouldn’t anywhere.  Since the machines are all coming from China, it would cost the same to deliver most places around the world.

One of the final mentions is the back catalogue of games that PlayStation has will be served up using Gaikai technology which is a cloud game streaming service Sony purchased.  This would be good as they have some wonderful games that are on the PlayStation and PS2 consoles, and with the PS4 not being backwards compatible, having ways to play your older games on the PS4 makes sense.

Opinion

Sony were slow to start but it seemed that they were warming up and by the end were firing on all cylinders.  No physical date set but I did hear a mention about the holidays.  So this could be November or December, but since Microsoft has not said a date either other than November it could be Sony are merely playing coy about the date, wait for MS or, they are not sure when all the products will be ready and are not setting a date yet.

To me, with the Nintendo Direct event tomorrow I would say that Sony seems to have this E3 in the bag.  The quality of exclusives and the calibre they showed in the press event showed they were not shying away from this or the previous generation.  But there are some games i saw here, that though they might be available on the XBOX One it seems that my mind might be made up for a PS4 version since there are things I am more confident about with the PS4.

The Microsoft Press Conference

  • Rare and a Kinect game, Kinect Sports Rivals, another Kinect game, and another Rare game.  There is no real surprise there that they were going to release another Kinect game.
  • Metal Gear Solid 5 on XBOX One.  This would have been teased with the Revengence game as they were really testing the waters. When they were developing the Fox Engine and then also showing that at GDC did look like they were pushing this towards the One as well, but since the architecture are similar it isn’t that much of a leap.

The applauding in the XBOX Conference seems forced and that they are waiting for it on stage, so it could be like the XBOX One reveal they have Microsoft XBOX employees in the audience.xbox-one1

  • New form factor for the XBOX 360.  Not really sure why.
  • World of Tanks for XBOX 360 – This will make it a little more fun, but can you play with the PC gamers as well or only 360 gamers.  The spokesman for the World of Tanks, doesn’t make me excited for it, it has gone from tanks shooting and blowing things up which is what makes this game appealing, but he has ruined it a little.
    It is Free to download for gold members, but it is a free download for PC without a paid membership. 

This is a good addition and it brings it almost inline with Playstation Plus but 2 games and the first games for free Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3, meh.  Nothing I am wanting to get and take up my hard disk space.

  • Max looks interesting, Kinect, unsure, but there are elements that look like you need Kinect.  But it is a nice platform gamer, looks good too.
  • Dark Souls 2 for the 360 also looks good but I am sure this will also be on the PS4.  But not much other than a teaser trailer was shown.
  • Ryse: Son of Rome for XBOX One – New franchise, it depends on how well it will do.  This was touted as a Kinect core game, but this will be interesting to see if it is.  In the gameplay footage there are quick time events flashing up, so it looks like it is not for Kinect, or Kinect only which is one of the things that they were talking about last year, core Kinect title. 
    Looks impressive as well, the CryEngine  3 looks well implemented on the the One.  Lot of Quick Time events.  The blood effects on the ground look good, the sheen of blood is captured well.  No Kinect as it has been confirmed, so there is no Kinect core games, it might have some gestures etc… or voices but certainly when they were talking about it being a Kinect title and now it is not.  This is also going to be a launch game.
  • Killer Instinct from Rare, nice to see them them return to their roots.  But was this really a surprise, it is good but not that much a surprise.  Is it a new game or a remake.
  • Interesting, Insomniac Games has a 360 exclusive Sunset Overdrive , will be interesting to see what they will have for the PS4.  Nice surprise, certainly, Microsoft is throwing some money at these people.  Though to claim it is only capable on XBOX One is a bit of a stretch.  Mutants/Zombies shooter with Orange jelly in them.  They look like they have some interesting weapons and it certainly looks fun, but it is an MMO.
  • Forza Motorsport 5, McLaren P1 in the game, nice.  “Drivetar”, what wank is this.  Lots of cloud talk which means that the shadow replays are loaded into the internet to enable the you to get your friends, though only XBOX Live friends I am thinking though I am curious to know if they will open it up for all people who play the game.  The trailer, stated as in-game footage, but there is very little that shows the actual gameplay of the Forza 5.
    They are enabling cloud computing to upload telemetry from your driving and process it into an AI profile, this then can be downloaded to used to race against.  This is a good reason for using the cloud computing since then the AI doesn’t need to be processes in real-time since typically they are often complex decision trees, but if it based on real information then it doesn’t need to be processes other than told, do this and this and this.  Promising, and I would like to see more about this.
  • Minecraft for XBOX One, is this included in the exclusive count for XBOX One titles? 
  • Quantum Break.  Live Action v Game included in one, and thing change to make a personalised version of the TV show, interesting, but it isn’t truly personal as it has to be all filmed so there is only a limited number of choices. This looks very nice and very interesting, would be curious to see more of this.

So far there was another announcement of in-engine, but no one has a controller in hand yet. 

  • D4 looks like an independent Kinect title though not really sure what is meant to be for, but the hand prints on the screen do show that it is meant for the Kinect.
  • Project Spark, has interesting creativity game.  It looks like a game creator and usable with SmartGlass and it also seems like it uses Windows Phone as well.  We are now seeing proper gameplay.  Expanding on what has gone before it is a nice touch providing it doesn’t overwrite what is there.  So it is showing building the game world to play the game is it.  So they were playing it while building it live.  They mentioned Windows 8.  The genre changes are really good and different and it all looks very accessible for the moment.

SmartGlass integration and it looks like they are going to include this for all games and I am sure this will be required.  Though the seamless integration of playing Ryse and then switching to Killer Instinct.  A new Mad Catz fight stick for the XBOX one.

Twitch is now included to broadcast games live.  But voice is included in it.  I am hoping that this is an option that can be turned off since I am sure that I don’t like that.  Because I might want to broadcast the game but not include my voice as my little boy tells me “Dad, is he bad?” or having both of my boys

No more MS Points and only hard money which is good.  One gold account can allow any one in the house to play multiplayer games on the XBOX One without the account holder to be logged on.  Good that they are using just cash, MS points meant you lost money or had the potential to lose money.

  • Crimson Dragon, a dragon flight game, mmmm, the crowd sounds during the conference as there were no audio for this game were bizzare, which made me think that there were XBOX employees in the audience.  Though it looks like Dragon Lair from the PS3, but I know that the developer has made dragon flight games before.
  • Dead Rising 3 – They said that XBOX One is the only platform able to fulfil their visiion.  How are they trying to kid, the media, themselves.  Another Zombie game, I am not sure what I can say about it, it looks like a zombie game, anther one.  I know there are people who can’t get enough of zombies but since I don’t like them.  Open world with no loading, other than the initital load I am sure.    It does look good as far as graphics go.  So many zombies so many of them.  They can’t seem to climb onto cars as they stood there waiting for him to get down.  I like them bringing the concept from the other Dead Rising games by fixing up the weapons to make your own.  Thankfully our rating board has introduced an R rating into games as what I saw would be banned under the old system.  Driving and knocking down Zombies looks fun.
  • Witcher 3 is only one XBOX One, but no announcement on exclusive which means it might be coming to PS4. But best will be on PC without a doubt.  SmartGlass use of inventory management, this can be very handy and I really like the idea of it.  I do like the Witcher games the world created by the author is very deep, though Geralt looks very different.  People didn’t like the changes to Cole in Infamous 2 and they changed him back how will they go with the audience for the Witcher.
  • Battlefield 4, they talked about Frostbite 3 engine.  This is known to be coming to PS4 so they have a new engine to go with the new consoles.  There seems to be a problem, is it running on the hardware.   It seems to be a little bit more of a problem, but is has started.  Once again the crowd reaction just don’t seem to be right.  I talking about jumping down in the Call of Duty post, well they did this, they jumped, rolled and the weapon couldn’t be used properly as their other hand was off the weapon and they needed to use it as they rolled on the desk of the carrier.  WOW, exclusive DLC map packs, right, what a crock that is when they come up.
    This looks and sounds better than the footage of saw of Call of Duty: Ghosts.  But there is no Dog, well I am sure it will be the success without a dog.  I love dogs and my dog, but it will not make me get a game over another.
  • Below seems a nice little game, but it looks like a Dungeon Crawler but I am not sure what it is meant to be.

New Studio announcement, Black Tusk, new IP, so Microsoft are creating new first party titles.  The trailer, is nothing much to go on.  There is no title for this either.

  • Halo (this will be 5 since it is from 343 studios) this is not a launch game by the look of it.  This was from 343 studios but they are going on about the TV show and the recently announced windows game.

US$499, €499 or £429 in November, pricey and I am sure that in Australia it will be AU$699.  They are also talking about a day one edition.  Butlooking at what people are saying on twitter it seems to be that people do no like the fact that it is so expensive.  For a rough translation, €499 is about US$661 and £429 is US$668 so considering these amounts 699 wouldn’t be out of the question here and once again, Australia will get screwed over.

  • Respawn game, Titanfall another first person shooter looks interesting the use of mechs in it makes it look fun.  But has the sound and feel of so many other shooters but it still looks interesting at the very least.  The mechs name is a Titan, but you can eject from the mech and continue on foot at any time.  It might be worth a look.  This is not a launch title.

So in all of that we saw games, but there was nothing on DRM, nothing on security or privacy with Kinect or the always on.  They didn’t show much actual gameplay footage.

Opinion

So now that the conference is over I am excited but disappointed as well.  There is a couple of new games that I want to see more.  The Witcher 3, but this will be a PC game I will most like will get.  Titanfall I would like to see more as well as Quantum Break from Remedy.  Project Spark also look interesting.  There is enough there that might make me want to get the XBOX One.  Also, more integration into SmartGlass, the Witcher 3 announced it with the inventory management which seems like a perfect way to use it, have the inventory on the tablet and the maps and then free up the screen real estate for just the game.

So no information on the DRM, why, do they know, don’t know, will they be giving more information later, closer to the date.  Also no information on the Kinect camera and it being on all the time and the data it collects.  I know they talked about having the ability to turn it off, but just what information is being collected and with the recent leak of information from the NSA advisor regarding the government collection policy are they now going to collect data on people playing violent video games and record and keep it and monitor these people.  Sounds extreme but anything is possible.

So in all of that, we see some progress which MS seemed to miss to a point with the 360 as they were relying on Fan Boys and those who seem to buy Kinect games.  But just what Kinect integration and SmartGlass integration are they wanting to include or make the developers use.  This has improved the look of the XBOX One in my opinion but I still need to know more about the questions I have and I know, or hope they will be answered over the months till November.

There will be more to come when I find out more information regarding anything.  But I think it is time for some more coffee.

E3 2013–Call of Duty: Ghosts

In this game play footage, as demoed here from Game Trailers, it is showing the footage of using the dog to scout ahead.  Interesting as I know that dogs are intelligent creatures and having a dog I know how to train them, they will use single commands, so it is odd they are using sentences for the dog to use to attack.  Another real nit picky thing is the dog camera, it is pretty steady.

Since I have not been a total fan of Call of Duty, most shooter really are not my cup of tea, the footage of the dog is interesting, but it reminds, not from a gameplay perspective but a marketing perspective, that of Peter Molyneux talking about Fable II and the companion dog and it brings a wry smile to my face.

I will add one thing, they are trying to make shooters more and more realistic as possible.  But there is one thing that does not seem to ever be improving yet, it is when moving vertically through and environment.  In the footage, it showed the player jumping off a verandah onto the ground.  The jump was a good, 3 m (10’), that kind of jump you are not able to hold the weapon steady in that motion.  Not to mention his partner uses another hand to lower himself down the edge.

It has something I have noticed and I am sure that this kind of realism isn’t exactly what they are going for.

This footage is that of the underwater side of it, it actually looks interesting.  I know at the Microsoft One reveal a couple of weeks ago they touted the AI of the fish and how they reacted to you approaching you in the water.  The fish look good, but is it proper AI and is it enough to be able to tout that the game has fish AI. 

This does look good, the plants and reef look realistic (yes I have been underwater on a reef, though the colour is incorrect, why, it is the way sunlight filters in the water, it does look close, as there is a subdued colour palette here, but it is still a little too vibrant for what you would see underwater.  Nit picking yes, I know, but it does look good.  You don’t see much underwater footage and it looks good.

Will I play the game, possibly not, as it is just another shooter.  I did say I am not a fan of shooters but I have played them, Crysis, Crysis 2, Killzone 2, Killzone 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Call of Duty: Ghosts (E3 All Access)

NOTE:  I am trying to work out a way to embed the video I am using to see into the blog itself  A couple of times I have published this and it hasn’t worked which is why I now have a link.

Addendum

So, E3 2013 is not far now, as you can see from this, this is pre-E3 footage, so we are close.  I will be watching it live from my desk, I will be trying to tweet information as I see it and I will also be putting up blogs throughout the next couple of days.  With Nintendo not doing a proper press conferences but the footage I am watching on Game Trailers there will be an interview with Nintendo.

Also a note, Microsoft also normally hold interviews with the press after their conference, this year though they have cancelled this round table and I am not sure what might come in the place of it.  It doesn’t bode well, but it might be they have given exclusive access to this information to the Microsoft Live event that might be streamed from XBOX Live on the XBOX, makes sense.

But I will try and put out more and more information I can, as I have each year.  This year I will have more information as well.  Wish me luck.

No Nintendo at E3 – Sort Of

This is a response to a post by Tom McShea at GameSpot.  Tom is giving kudos to Nintendo for not going through with their elaborate stage presentations.  This is all OK for those in the press in my opinion who are often privy to information before others, are invited to events like E3 and are able to enjoy these moments when they happen, where they happen.

I agree, these events are really about stroking the egos of the companies that are represented.  It is also a chance for us simple folk waiting for the big heralding announcements of what is coming next in the world of gaming that when E3 winds around we are nearly salivating at the potential for these conferences. 

He does bring up an interesting point, in that due to the poor performance of Nintendo over the last year since the re-release of the 3DS is a XL format, the re-release of the Wii in an XL controller and HD format, one might say what have they got to show.  Yet another Wiiu Mario, Metroid, Zelda, Insert Nintendo First Party Title here for the umpteenth time and only wind of some 3rd Party Support.  We might look more into it, what do they really have to show this year.  No new hardware, there is only so many ways one can repackage the 3DS and 3DS games don’t have that same impact as FULL HD trailers (pre-rendered or not).

Sony has told us that the PS4 is coming this year, so they need us to drool even more than we did when they had their own press event earlier in the year.  We have not heard much from Microsoft so we know that their event will be the release of the NextBOX and the multitude of Kinect games that you can dance to or can jump around to.  So with this information were Nintendo right at pulling out.

Reggie Fils-Aime last year’s, after the announcement of the Wiiu and really did a political number on it.  They were in my opinion the most underwhelming of the 3, he would explain about checking boxes, which they did in the post conference interviews, but personally I couldn’t get past the controller, no so much a Wii HD, but more that they were trying to one up themselves and found it more difficult considering that the Wii was something people seemed to want right at that time.

Their reasons for pulling out once could argue till the cows came home.  But the fact that they will not be there is one small dent in the excitement that was always E3.  Will they be back, yes, if things pick up or change for the better for Nintendo, I can guarantee that they will be back in 2014.  So I applaud them, NO, I could argue that scaling back would be better than not have a conference at all.  No-one said you need to compete with Microsoft or Sony and they normally don’t but they could still provide the information they want to the world and make it cheaper.

Nintendo will still be at E3, but not showing a press conference, they will have their booth on the show floor showing the up and coming first party titles for the 3DS and Wiiu.