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Ask a Dork: The “Big Three” at E3

Now that MS has revealed the Xbox One, what does each of the “Big Three” need at E3 to steal the show?

The biggest problem I think a lot of people probably had with the Xbox One reveal, outside of the interesting name choice or VCR-like design, was the glossing over of what many consider to be the most important element of any video game console’s success: the games.

The day of the reveal, I kept waiting for the announcement of new and exciting IPs or even sequels, but, outside of a nifty Remedy first-party reveal, I felt kind of blue-balled. We saw next generation Kinect technologies, sports games, entertainment partnerships, sports games, television applications, sports games, Call of Duty dogs, and a few more sports games. Don’t get me wrong — I do love my Xbox 360 and want its predecessor to be a success, but I walked away from the live show feeling almost as though the console was being repositioned as a device for dude-bros. It didn’t sit well.

We’re at a weird place in the console industry. Indie gaming is making great strides, PC gaming is starting to convert once-dedicated console gamers, and the failure of AAA releases are toppling publishers left and right. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that we’re right on the cusp of great marketplace change. Something bigger than new console releases.

You’ve felt it, I bet. These console announcements are kind of lacking and it’s probably making you question where you stand on video game hardware. The Wii U looked interesting, but has kind of fizzled sales-wise since release. The PS4 hasn’t actually been revealed and people are already doubting it’s environment. Now, the Xbox One has been formally announced and I can’t comfortably say that I’ll buy it upon release. The feeling just sucks. I used to get pumped by new console announcements. I remember losing my sh*t last generation and the gen before that, but now I just don’t care that much. I don’t think its because I’m getting older either.

What these systems need in order to get back into my (and likely your) good graces is a mix of decent game release schedule and many games to be released. I want a lot of decent games too, or at least more than a small handful of great games. I don’t want to wait another year to play them either.

E3 is going to be make or break this year for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo (at least in the eyes of this consumer). In a world where console makers are fighting to hold onto the gaming crowd as they migrate to mobile devices and PC gaming, the “Big Three” have to prove their worth by bringing out their A-game.

Nintendo needs to show more Zelda: Wind Waker U (possibly even the new Wii U Zelda title), announce a new Mario AAA-title, and demonstrate a number of new and interesting ways to take advantage of the Wii U environment and game pad. Otherwise, I’m not sure this next financial year will be much better. Sony needs to actually show the PS4 and bring the noise with both new IPs and recognizable favourites. So far, we have a lot of promises regarding what the console can possibly do, but I’ve yet to see the proof .Microsoft needs to demonstrate all the capabilities of the new Xbox Live, whereas Live is one of the biggest selling points of their current platform, not mention anything related to television or entertainment applications, and announce games that don’t involve shooting guns or throwing balls. If all three can actually pull that off, I may actually not give up on this generation of consoles.

Trent Seely

I'm not that crazy about me either.

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