Kairi on E3 2012: Microsoft Edition

Another year, another Microsoft press conference that people were bitching about halfway through it.  “Show us some games!” people tweeted after watching trailers for new Halo, Gears of War, Fable, and Forza titles.  Jesus guys, the show was like 80% games, and that even included games you might want to play for a change!  As opposed to last year, where people had to feign interest in Sesame Street for Kinect.

Microsoft could have replaced the Halo 4 trailer with a static screen that said “coming in November. We didn’t bother putting together any footage. No need. You fuckers will line up at midnight to buy it anyway.” I think I speak for everyone when I say “here here!”

Of course, Microsoft still has no sense of showmanship.  They opened the conference with Halo 4, the only major title they have coming out this year.  Well, besides Forza.  They closed the show with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, a game that is coming out on everything.  I mean everything.  You Colecovision enthusiasts out there are in for a real treat.  But, in essence, this means that Microsoft devoted a good portion of its show and the driver’s seat of their presentation to marketing a game where 45% of the copies (or more) will be sold on a competitor’s machine.  Oh sure, it gets the DLC first.  Not exclusively.  Just first.  Content that will probably be ready day one, which means it might as well ship with the game for free.  It’s like Activision is bragging “hey Microsoft fanboys, you get to suck our dick first.  Sony fanboys will have to taste your saliva on our cock.  Doesn’t that make you feel privileged?”

Speaking of things that suck, a new Fable was announced.  That is all.

I will grant Microsoft this: they have mastered the art of shameless pandering.  If the opinions of those attending the conference were anything like mine and the guys I follow on Twitter, a collective groan was let out when EA Sports took the stage.  Microsoft then strategically defused this by showing new Gears of War, Forza, and Fable trailers immediately following that.  Nintendo used to manipulate audiences like this.  Then they hit the honey pot with Wii and quit trying altogether.

Something did catch my attention from the EA Sports part: more realistic sports games.  How so?  Because the officiating is now crap and you get in trouble for cussing a bad call from an official.  They actually highlighted this while showing the new FIFA game.  The referee blew a call, the player cussed about it, and was slapped with a red card.  Oh goodie.  I guess someone at EA has been watching the Eastern Conference Finals.  It did make me wonder what happens if you’re playing the game and a spider crawls on you.  If that happens to me, every player on the team is getting ejected.  Although it did give me an idea of how to screw with Bryce the next time I see him playing Madden.  I’ll just blurt out and the worst possible time “hey ref, blow me!”  Good times are on the horizon.

More running, shooting bad guys, and wearing neon-green floodlights that could be seen from a mile away on a clear night. Behold: the latest stealth game!

Of course, everyone is talking about Xbox SmartGlass, which was previously known by its codename: Wii U.  I’m kidding of course.  SmartGlass actually is a smarter design, and it did that by making the tablet entirely optional.  No offense, Nintendo, but I’m not looking forward to holding a portable TV set to play video games on a television screen.  As neat as the features are, Nintendo already did similar things with the Gamecube and Game Boy Advance.  In Wind Waker, for example, you could use the Game Boy as a map for the dungeon, and even set off bombs to attack enemies.  Most people aren’t even aware this feature was in there, even though they had all the hardware needed to do it.  Why wasn’t it used?  Because our fucking attention was focused on the TV screen.  I don’t want to have to look up and down to play games!  The whole point of playing games is to focus your attention on one thing, so that all other reality ceases to be.  Between SmartGlass and Kinect, Wii Pads and Motion Controllers, Eye Toys and Moves, you game companies are really harshing our mellow here!

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4 Responses to Kairi on E3 2012: Microsoft Edition

  1. GaTechGrad says:

    So many re-hashed FPSes at E3 today. Doesn’t anyone have any creativity anymore?

  2. The thing about using SmartGlass to look up character locations in Game of Thrones made me laugh. I can see why it might sound fun, but doesn’t that mean you have to stop watching for a few seconds? So it’s basically a pointless interruption.

  3. The Grumble says:

    Well oddly I enjoy motion gaming…… when it works and doesn’t feel like its slow as kinect seemingly does. But I was really disappointed by the Microsoft showing.
    A new gears of war game, where they showed no gameplay.
    Fable the Journey the on rails kinect shooter which is one of the games that got Peter “I have confidence in every game I make being great” Molyneux basically quit Lionhead studios over.

    The best out of it was the Twisted Pixel game which barely showed much.
    This Smartglass thing will probably end up being terrible/ not working really. While I get your point about the Nintendo thing its basically going to be a map / MSN thing built in. The Wii U doesn’t need it to play you can use the pro controller or even the old Wii controller. The main thing the Wii U tablet will be used for is MSN esc stuff but unlike the present xbox version which pauses the game and removes you from it (Also crashes some games if you use it on a loading screen).

    I think the main annoyance were the comments about more kinect stuff and more extras like the Nike stuff and Microsoft trying to be the “only media platform you need” while Nintendo did their own version by turning the Wii U tablet into a virtual screen universal remote for everything you have already.

    It seems more of a case of Microsoft not getting why they got to where they are and trying to flog what is essentially a dead and redundant piece of hardware in the Kinect.

    microsoft seem to have been focussing more and more lately on kinect and not the stuff that is a well done thing for gaming, things like the witcher 2 xbox release etc.

    Heck worryingly at the consumer electronics one they were as bad if not worse as they refused to talk to any media.

    • On Kinect: I think what we’re starting to see is actually the true face of Kinect – not motion controls but a central voice control system for a web of connected entertainment devices. That doesn’t impress me, but it does make me think that motion controlled games were never the point of Kinect in the first place, and that whole thing was just a sly feint.

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