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domingo, 20 de junho de 2010

E3 2010 - Conference's megapost

 

I’m following E3 since I don’t know when. I’m not something like Mr Oldude, but honestly, I do have one magazine talking about the first E3, which happened in 1995 and one of the highlights were Chrono Trigger and Donkey Kong 2. Yeah, I believe is quite possible that many people who plays today not even know about these games, but no problem hehehe. What I’m trying to say is that this “E3 times” brings me a lot of memories and makes me more excited than the usual with the fantastic world of gaming (and I don’t think I’m the only one).

I think it’s quite amazing the possibility to watch the conferences live while some of us are at our desks in our jobs pretending we are working (ahn… yeah….). It’s just great the possibility to talk about what is happening with other people watching everything just like you, live, like we were all there.

It’s nice to notice, specially at this generation of gaming and at this E3, the position the games have reached and how they evolved. Games are more and more cinematographic and with the technologies of interface going beyond. Is astonishing to realize how that bunch of pixels, with sounds which could give nightmares to a few people, evolved into this high definition full of movement and interactivity thing we have today.

No more small talk, my objective here is not look like a catatonic old man sitting in my chair talking things starting with “at that time…”. I just want to talk about something I saw, just that.

Some would say I need to find something better to do with my life, but, hey, everyone with its particular problems, ok? Let’s go then.



Microsoft Conference

I couldn’t ignore the fact that the games they shown were something that could be described as “new versions of things you already know… again!”. I’m not saying this is bad, I do believe that new editions of old ideas can bring amazing and fun things, I’m just giving a “cold analysis”. Don’t get me wrong, Call of Duty will be great, Halo will be great, but it’s another edition, fun, but not new so I don’t think I have much to say about it. The only game that got more of my attention was Metal Gear Solid: Rising, because it’s a new idea with great potential simply because of the people who are handling the project.

 

I think the highlight of Microsoft conference was the details about Kinect. First of all, what f*cking name is this? I’m the only one who thinks Natal was better?

The games they presented gave me that feeling of a bunch of “Nintendo’s Wii games not made by Nintendo”, something a little artificial, trying to be something and not being natural. What I found not artificial and new, were the dancing games and that fitness game by Ubisoft, and that’s funny because I’m not going to play any of those, but they were trying to be something and not to copy something.

Talking about copying, the interface with Kinect, undeniably has the “look and feel” of Wii’s interface, the positioning of the apps like channels, the sounds and so on. I don’t like this kind of posture, it’s important to develop your own identity, especially if you want to hit a market that will not buy something that is what they already know. More than that, isn’t that the posture that saturates and destroys a market, especially one that depends of creativity? I liked the possibilities Kinect has, I really believe good and original things may come.

I noticed some delay in the demos during the conference, which was confirmed by the people who were there at E3 playing the games. There is even an interview with the people from Rare talking about the delay problems and how their objective is to make it not bigger than 150 milliseconds in Kinect Sports. Hope they succeed, after all a hardware like this with serious delay issues is a hardware destined to fail.

I was thinking about the voice controller, how good it is? They always had one regular controller being used simultaneously, maybe it can only control a small set of things. Anyway, it’s cool, I like the potential it has, especially in games, but my insane mind cold not be stopped before starting thinking about stupid commands like “xbox… explode!” hahahha, ou “xbox, do the cha cha now!”, “xbox… grow a mustache!” hahahaha I know, I’m just stupid, but it would really be fun “xbox, buy me some pizza!” hahahaha “xbox fly like a butterfly!” hahaha.

Well. Moving on… sorry hehehe…


About the redesign of the Xbox 360, once again we saw that mentality of copy what is already there. I think the original design looks better and has more personality. The new one looks like a mix between the Playstation 3, Wii and the original Xbox 360 designs. But people loved the fact it is silent.



Nintendo’s Conference

I really liked the opening game was the new Zelda, but what really made me happy was read the impressions of the people who played game to confirm the problems during the presentation were really just wireless interference. The controls work and they are great. I also liked the new Donkey Kong and the Mickey game. Too bad all that is set to 2011.



I didn’t like much of Kirby. It’s not because of the game, it actually looks very nice, all that yarn style, is just that I don’t like him. It’s either because he is a pink ball who swallows creatures, no, I don’t like him because… ahn… well, because I’m stupid.

Like most people I was a little skeptical about the Goldeneye remake watching with a face of “Why that, bro? are you crazy?”. But, the impressions of who played the game, were all very good, everyone liked, saying it was modern and the graphics were fantastic, probably the best looking game in the Wii. Let’s wait to know more about it.

I missed a big Nintendo title for the end of the year, since Zelda and Donkey Kong are set to 2011 (Sorry, Kirby doesn’t count. No way, ok?).

About the DS games, honestly, I don’t remember any specific title, I could go and search, but I think it would be denying the true impression the conference gave me (so poetic, no?). The only think I remember is the new Golden Sun trailer and how I found the graphics dated. Who plays DS knows the graphics look much better in the small screen, so maybe it was only the effect of the projector, I don’t know.

The big star of Nintendo conference (and of all E3 accord to some) was the Nintendo 3DS. I thought that Nintendo would give all the details about the system, but they didn’t. All the game demos made the internet crazy, like Star Fox 64, Zelda Ocarina of Time, Metal Gear Solid 3, but the only game we do know it’s coming (and it seems to be good) is the new Kid Icarus.

Iwata talked briefly about the possibility to watch movies. Once again trusting in the people who were there and had the experience, watch 3D movies in the Nintendo 3D was great.

I was hoping they would talk more and go to something a little more crazy, like make it a cell phone, or if it will use cartridges or if everything will be digital download. All we know is it has sensor of movement with gyroscope, a analog stick, the 3D can be adjusted and the connectivity will be very important.


I was hoping (almost a crazy hallucination, I know, because this is Nintendo) they would release to everyone a development kit, just like Apple does with the iPad/iPhone/iTouch. It would open a entire new world to the DS, giving the possibilities of apps and not only games.

In the world of piracy, that does not exists and of which nobody knows, some people are doing it already. It’s not hard to find scientific calculators, ebooks readers and more to the DS. Can you imagine what market could be open if everything was legal, nice and in 3D?

The graphics of the 3DS, which rumors told would be alien technology, by the demos we can say it is at least something like a PS2, what is very nice.

And that was all.



Sony Conference

Sony started talking about the 3D, how it is beautiful, wonderful and how everyone should buy 3D TVs (the fact that Sony is one of the biggest 3D TVs producers is just a detail, don’t be evil). With the new (awesome) 3D TV you will be able to play Killzone 3 in 3D.


I’m not so sure about the 3D TV technology the way it’s being made. Honestly I don’t think 3D with glasses is the better solution to use at home, at the cinema is different, but at home is very problematic, can you imagine yourself walking all the time with the glasses? I think a big issue is the possibility to make 3D televisions that doesn’t need glasses, this technology exists. So, once this technology became cheaper and better, just then I think 3D TVs will be big and will make some revolution. Their speech was that this will be the year of 3D in gaming and how PS3 would do it, with 3D big games and with uptades to old games to make them 3D compatible.

There is a lot of talk about the 3D version of the games, because to create the 3D effect the resolution needs to go down, so you get 3D but you lose high definition. If you take that together with the glasses issues and the need to buy another not so cheap TV, you can see many people choosing high definition instead of 3D. I don’t think this is the year of 3D TV.

Then there was the time to step on the stage that bunch of crazy old men being kind, funny, who believes every gamers are a freak middle aged man who slaps the butt of his lady asking for bear while tears apart the arms of a creature in god of war with their fat belly growing almost coming to life. It’s funny, it’s ok, but that posture really makes me think.

Just like Microsoft with their motion controller, Sony’s motion controller (the Move) had a small list of “Nintendo’s Wii games not made by Nintendo” including a sports game (now with arms and necks, as they were so happy to announce hehehe). But what I liked was that game of the wizard called Sorcery, it’s simply uses one of that ideas we are waiting a game to use in Wii since its launch and until this day no one did.


Still talking about this “Nintendo provoking + We are the true gamers” talk, I thought it was quite weird to see one mocking something that this same one is copying, you see? I mean, are you really making fun of the posture, strategy and product that you are copying? If you want to copy and make it better, just go make it better, don’t go talking and saying it’s stupid what you yourself is doing. Right?

Still talking about the Move, its price was announced and comparing with the Nintendo Wii’s controllers, the Wiimote with motion plus can be found at 35 dollars and the Nunchuck at 15 dollars. The Playstation Move Wiimote equivalent is set to 50 dollars and their Nunchuck at 30 dollars. To everything works it’s also necessary a 40 dollars camera. There is a pack with Move Sports (yeah, nice name, no?) which comes with the Wiimote like controller and the camera (yes, no Nunchuck like think) by the price of 100 bucks. So, it is indeed a huge investment to the common consumer who will look the Sony solution and the Nintendo solution and will only notice it has the same games (since they are just copying) and will take the cheaper solution.


Other thing that took my attention was how not afraid they were to show games using more than one Wiimote like controller, so depending of the game you may need in a 4 player game, 8 controllers (\o/). So it’s even more money that a consumer will have to spend.

I think that’s a very dangerous strategy, specially because the price difference between the two products is not small. We know games are what sell hardware. So, good and unique experiences may lead to some place different than “I have this 2 videogames with very similar games, but this one is cheaper” or “Why would by the Move if I already have the Wii doing the same thing?”. That’s how the average consumer thinks, they are not gamers, they don’t want to play Modern War Fare, Final Fantasy and God of War. I once heard a story in a podcast (I don’t remember which one, sorry) about a guy who was at the line at the Playstation 2 launch. An old lady came and asked him:
- What is this line for? What is going on?
- It’s the launch of the new Playstation!
- New? What it does that is new? He doesn’t play games like the other one?
- Yes, but now it the games look better!
- What you mean? I have to buy other thing that already does what the one I have does, just because the games will look better? That’s so stupid, it seems like a big cheat!

We, gamers, know that’s not how it works, but to the common person it is truth. Casual market had other ways of thinking and it’s necessary to think in other ways to achieve this audience. By that we can say it’s very unlikely that Move will make PS3 sell more than Wii. However I think it’s ok, because now we can have games like Sorcery (we were waiting for something like that) or Resident Evil 5 and all the shooters that will have Move compatibility, after all is much better to shoot with the Wii controller scheme. But if you disagree Sony will keep the option to play with the regular controller.

There were a few rumors about a PSP2 announcement, but were just rumors. What Sony is going to do now is try to sell more PSP with a marketing camping focused in a boy with bad manners. Makes no sense to me, makes some sense to you?

....

Yeah, just like the expected. Anyway, with this campaign they announced that a lot of titles would be in the psp until in the next 7 months where most of them are new editions of games the platform already has. No problems with that, they have things like a New God of War and Patapon 3, it all will be great, but I don’t think this lineup and this marketing campaign will change de image or the position the PSP already has. I believe they are just making happy the public they have while the PSP2 is in the last lap of the race of the launch (so poetic, no?).

I also want to talk about the Little Big Planet 2 demo. This game looks nice, it’s very fun to create a game, to play the games of other people and Sackboy has more than a hamster in a tuxedo (I’m not being ironic here). However, the big problem of this game is that people don’t have patience to create a game, they prefer to play, but since most people prefer to play there is no much games in the community and among them just a few are good. I think Sony knows that, we know that, even the boy from the PSP commercial knows that, but even so I like to see they giving special attention to a game like that.

The rest of the conference were the announce of the special online service, a bunch of temporary exclusive games, the release date for Gran Turismo 5 and the reveal of Portal 2 and Twisted Metal 3. And about all that, I have nothing to say.