E3 - Vomit Of The Mind (#DAYDUO)

Come see a distilled version of some of the news from day two of E3 2013. The good, the bad, the ugly, some confusion, and a little dash of unexpected excitement.

By Tony Walter | Jun 11, 2013

Hello again. It's day two of E3. I'm going to be continuing live updates of the event right here. Though today will probably run a bit differently than yesterday. There aren't really any conferences I'll be covering - save for perhaps Nintendo Direct - so, instead I'll probably be posting more detailed thoughts on the events of yesterday, whatever news comes up, and perhaps some thoughts on the games being shown off today. Check back regularly for more updates.

Let's start with some good news.

So, let's start off with something pretty grand. One of the announcements Nintendo made today, through Nintendo Direct - which is their own platform for announcements this week, they've opted out of a traditional press conference - is that Super Mario 3D World will be coming to Wii U. Not to be confused with Super Mario 3D Land, on the 3DS. More exciting though, is that Peach will be playable in a Super Mario Bros. game for the first time since Super Mario Bros. 2.

And now some not so good.

Sony had a good reception last night. It was downright electric. I mean, there was a standing ovation. That doesn't happen at these conferences. Well, at least not past the rows where employees are sitting.

But, that jerk named reality decided to come ruin the honeymoon. He rented a bunch of porn through the hotel TV, he ordered room service, and even broke the alarm clock on the nightstand. Now you're at the front counter and have to pay up. 

Okay, so it's not all that bad. Two things, really. First of all, The Last Guardian, guess what? That's on hiatus. Wait. Does that mean I was supposed to think that it was still coming out? When did that get announced again? 2009? So, no surprises there. Maybe a little disappointing to know that it is officially on hiatus rather than just assuming, "well yeah, it's totally on hiatus." 

The second bit is a little confusing, so here's the way I have it broken down.
Xbox One - Microsoft is leaving it up to the publishers how they want to handle used games. There is a system in place that will allow the publishers to make it impossible to resell games used. Also, it will not allow rentals (at launch) - or, this is what I heard, at this point it's kind of hard parting reality from rumor. Further, the Xbox One will require an online authentication once every twenty-four hours. You must be connected online once a day to play your games. 
PlayStation 4 - It was made clear, much like Microsoft, that Sony is allowing publishers to handle used games how they see fit. However - and this is the key difference - there are no systems built-in on the console to accommodate this. It will be up to the publishers and developers to create their own systems for blocking used games, if they wish. Rentals seem to still be okay, providing the publisher sees fit. No online authentication either, though a publisher could probably find a way force that too.

Basically, it sounds like the PlayStation 4 will be largely the same as modern systems. No innate DRM restrictions, but publishers are allowed to implement their own (see: online passes). The Xbox One has features built in that, if publishers so desire, will make it really easy to disallow consumers from reselling their games and sharing their games. Also, you have to have a stable internet connection to play Xbox One.

Can we just go back to the point where I put a game in a system and played it?

And, the ugly.

There was an unfortunate bit of communication yesterday during the Microsoft press conference. If you were following along with my liveblog, you may have noticed when it happened.

12:26 - ...nice subtle allusion to raping your co-host, guy. I guess you need to appeal to the fight game crowd somehow, right?

The one woman present, and that's including playable video game protagonists, was involved in a demonstration of Killer Instinct. Well, I guess technically it was a demonstration of the Twitch feature set. Actually, it was more a demonstration of the general boys-club atmosphere Microsoft perpetuated yesterday. And it's unhealthy for us all.

For context sake, the line the man said as he was handily beating the woman in a staged bit was, "just let it happen, it'll be over soon." Like a rape. Get it? Pretty funny, dude. Except you're supposed to be a professional demonstrating video games to a consumer base, not inflating your machismo ego in front of your shitty friends. This can broach on the whole 'rape joke' issue. Which is a very complicated debate, but that's not even the point here. And, you might say he didn't mean it as rape. Or you might say he wasn't serious. Or that he misspoke. Or he meant nothing bad by it.

Does it matter what it was meant as? Does it matter if it was serious? Does it matter if the guy who said it was doing so with no ill intent? No, it doesn't. Since when has misogyny ever been something those perpetrating have been aware of? That's not even the debate here. And if you don't want to bring the 'rape joke' argument into it, that's fine. But the entire skit was still condescending and humiliating to the one woman present during the Microsoft briefing. And that's still a big problem. It's limiting, hindering, ignorant, and self-destructive. Video games will absolutely never be taken seriously if half of the population is being perpetually alienated. So, please, for fuck's sake. Stop being jerks.


Remember what I said about The Last Guardian being on hiatus? Okay, so that's not true. It's still in active development still. Still. STILL?

I liked Deus Ex: Human Revolution, mostly...

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a pretty good game. It was one of those things that came out of nowhere for me. I hadn't been paying attention to it, mostly because I had no nostalgic attachment to the series. There were also rumors that the game wasn't coming along super well, and despite trying to ignore rumors, it can be hard not to be discouraged when you hear that. Well, it came out, I bought it on a whim, and I enjoyed it. Well, mostly.

The boss fights in that game were bad. I don't mean that you bust your head against it a couple times, and then move on. I mean, these were weirdly difficult, jarring, unpleasant, and harmful to the overall enjoyment of the game. And guess what? They weren't even made by the people who made the game. That's right, they outsourced the boss fights. Weird, right?

Well, Eidos Montreal decided for the Wii U version of the game that they would, while implementing some extra features, rework those boss fights. Honestly, I was a little jealous those Wii U folks were getting a better version of the game. But today, Jean Francois Dugas revealed that the Director's Cut version will also be coming to PS3, 360, and PC. Go them. And, go us. Though, no answers on if it is an entirely new package, or to be sold as DLC for those who already own the game. Either way, I think I'm interested in playing it again. 

An annotation to the PlayStation 4 DRM thing.

So, I was pretty much spot-on with my statements earlier. Well, it seems that way for now. I mean, heck, the way this has been playing out, who knows what could be the case tomorrow, right? But, here's some new news. Scott Rohde says goodbye to online passes. Well, not in so few words. The impression is that, since PlayStation Plus will be required to play online, Sony doesn't want publishers to stack extra fees on top of that. But he also sort of qualified his statements.

In general, we're all businesses. Sony or Microsoft is never going to be able to tell EA or Activision exactly what they can do. What we like to say at PlayStation is that we set the precedent. The way we are approaching this is that we want this to be extremely consumer-friendly, extremely retailer-friendly, and extremely publisher-friendly. My personal opinion is that it's hard for me to believe that any major publisher is going to put an extra set of used DRM onto game titles because that wouldn't put them in a good spot, right?

So, I guess it's just highly unlikely that online passes will continue. I guess? Hey, I only get as much information as they are putting out there.

A big budget game that I'm actually kind of looking forward to.

I generally am not the type that jumps on the hype train for the next big game. Well, I mean there are exceptions to the rule. Generally speaking though, I pay attention to these events so that I can pick up information. Get a better understanding of what I can expect from games. But I try not to let myself jump when they say jump, it seems pointless. It can be so hard to tell if a game will meet expectations. Then, there are those developers who generally know what they're doing within a genre, and you see an idea that really makes sense for them. And, sometimes, they'll show the game off and it'll actually look better than you expected.

Destiny looks like a less abrasive version of Borderlands, with a more interesting customization system, and being built by a developer who I trust to build better worlds and better controlling shooters. This is weird, but I think I'm going to let myself look forward to Destiny. Don't disappoint me, Bungie.

That's a wrap.

That's it for the second day of E3. I hope you enjoyed what coverage I was able to bring. It can be really hard to parse together solid details when you're getting conflicting information from different sources. E3 is an exciting and dangerous beast. It was quite the experience attempting to cover it, as opposed to my usual of standing on the sidelines just watching. Hopefully I offered some sort of unique perspective. In some weird way, I think there's an advantage to not actually being there.

No comments:

Post a Comment