GBAtemp ponders E3 2013 -- Microsoft

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Microsoft's show is over. Our initial writeup is available in the thread below.
GBAtemp ponders E3 2013 -- Microsoft writeup

Welcome to GBAtemp's coverage of the stage and big shows of E3 2013 (Our e3 schedule thread). This E3 is set to be somewhat interesting on many fronts as people are properly announcing new hardware, Nintendo have a seriously diminished presence and E3 may be said to be waning ever so slightly with many big companies doing things outside E3.
The EA and Ubisoft conferences are often worth watching as they tend to be given a short interval in the hardware maker conferences and then it is their conferences that show the game and what it is about. That said we are taking all bets on what types of failed humour will happen, what kinds of unintentional irony will be observed when calls of "no celebrities/non games related people" will be made only to be followed up 30 seconds later by bored looking sports people, singers or actors being booted onto the stage and what the best buzzword bingo card will be. We would like to be less cynical but both Sony and Microsoft have made their own presentations and both failed to truly enthuse so it would not be the wisest path.

Microsoft
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By the time you read this the pre shows for those two sites will have started​

Microsoft has a lot to get right now for they are launching a new console and following a less than well received announcement conference during which "we'll have more at E3" was second only to "we like TV".
For those unfamiliar with the state of affairs Microsoft announced the successor to the well liked xbox 360, the new console was not the xbox 720, the xbox infinity, the durango or any of the other options but instead it is the xbox one. What little hardware info is out there says kind of on par with the PS4 (also announced some time before E3 but with slightly less info) which would have been great. They had a massive focus on the ability to watch TV through it which could be nice and could be ignored if you wanted it.
What was troubling was the months of rumour, counter rumour, evasive dismissal concerning how their online policy would work.
The short version is
To play games the console will have to phone home once a day (in effect a version of always online).
Games are tied to the account that gets them. You can resell them (publishers getting a cut if they want), you can gift them (to people on your friend list for more than 30 days and only once). Rental is possible but not available at launch.
To Microsoft's credit this does come with a handful of kind of upsides in that you can share games with friends/family... like you could already do by giving a disc.
More on the matter and links to the policies (released some time after the announcement) can be found here.

In short a radical shakeup of the way people traditionally approach console or even a lot of PC games. Though the other things were definitely troubling it was the neutering of the second hand market, though not as badly as something like steam, which did not go over well in a lot of circles.

The announcement promised many games and many exclusives. This also happened in the past but there it was code for "lots of kinect games" or at better points "between rereleases, remakes anniversary celebrations and spinoffs of Gears of War, Fable and Halo we can have an impressively large number".

In short Microsoft has it all to play for in this if they want a level of popular support among those that play games. How going first will help or hinder this remains to be seen.

EA

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Like or dislike them it is a fact that EA are a major player in the games world and they do a lot of note. Recently they were observed to being stopping their disliked "online passes" program for future games and are slowing rescinding it for older ones as well, this was done when the Xbone stuff was at best a rumour so this might be seen in a different light now. Most are not really expecting much more than sports games, need for speed, Medal of Honor and Battlefield but as several of their big name franchises (mass effect, crysis, army of two, burnout and dead space to name but a few) have finished a given run, have already been released this year or have not been seen in a while things could happen. Likewise they have an intellectual property catalogue that rivals anything and they are in a need of a bit of cash injection so we could see something along the lines of "well, if it works for Nintendo" happen*.
*add ours to the collective will for "not another Syndicate like experience".


Ubisoft
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Ubisoft.png
One of the few companies that do not make hardware that can punch at EA's level. Whether EA or Ubisoft are the present villain of the week reminds us of the old quantum thought experiment "Schrödinger's cat" but like their rival they do a lot of things in the games world. For those that need a rundown they work with Tom Clancy (Splinter Cell, Rainbow 6, H.A.W.X and Ghost recon), have Assassin's Creed, largely could be said to have won the "most interesting game of E3" last year with Watch Dogs and they have Rayman so they are definitely worth paying attention to. Anything about Watch Dogs will be studied in minute detail but with Assassin's creed having a reception less favourable than the previous entries and Splinter Cell showing some fairly radical changes there are some things to watch.

Sony
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The PS4 conference was a thing that happened back in February and not a great deal has happened since.

We now see it to have fairly similar architectures to the Xbone (which is to say somewhat tweaked PC architecture) which is interesting as the Sony online offerings are slowly catching up to Microsoft's, indeed in some ways with their paid offerings it eclipses what Microsoft have done, and this last go around with the consoles led to the PS360 being a thing; there were still a handful of exclusives but take off things that got sequels (spiritual or otherwise), equivalent franchises or eventual ports/remakes and the respective libraries were very similar, extremely so compared to previous consoles. To this end many reckon Sony could "win" by default if they just turn up, say "we have some games", show they are not Microsoft and go home. The shape of the PS4 console is set to be unveiled but if the colour or shape of the console is something you get excited about, assuming it functions as it needs to and does not have wired controller ports at the back or something, then you might be setting about this game playing thing wrongly.
The PS Vita is floundering a bit as well but an injection of a few games, something which the last few months do show as quite likely to happen, would probably see that do well.

Nintendo
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Nintendo are not having a big presentation like years past and instead have "Nintendo directs" timed to match up with this and the fairly interesting move of games being playable in various shops during E3. This is seen as a somewhat interesting move by many as the Wii U and 3ds are not doing as well as their predecessors (both Ubisoft and EA have potentially done some disservices in recent months though Ubisoft have said they are committed). In the case of the Wii U not many first and second party games, what many see as the reason to get such a console and the business types observe as the reason Nintendo are still around, have been released or announced and many are anticipating good things here.
 

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The show is over and probably best summarised as "could have been worse, probably not what they needed after the previous showing though".

360 games.
Despite it being the tail end of the 360 they still showed a handful of games for it. There is a new 360 Sku released today and they appear to be adopting the free games for gold members model that Sony have been enjoying with the PSN plus.
Assassin's creed 2 and Halo 3 are the first offerings with others to follow. Apparently they are “to keep” but that was not elaborated upon.

World of tanks is coming to the 360 with 15 on 15 play. Free to play some point soon (“in the summer”).

Max curse of the botherhood
“<Prof9> DreamWorks the game?” was the IRC quote of choice here.
It seemed to be another in the indy platformer style, that said it was not you are playing as a shadow and had some interesting looking mechanics at points.

Dark souls 2.
Demon's souls did pretty well and many were happy to see a successor come to the 360 in the form of Dark Souls. Now there have been some troubling things coming out of the mouths of the developers but it looked pretty enough and will probably deliver upon it.

The xbone
November this year.
$499
€499
€429
No word of any subscription pricing models.
No points – only currency.
As long as one user on the console has gold then everybody does.

Not even a peep about the lockdown features.
Stats for various games are to be made available.
There is a “gamedvr” which allows edits, commentary and more. How well it will work in practice remains to be seen but looked to be far better than nothing.
Twitch.tv or something got added – it is a streaming service or something.

Background play is available when waiting for matchmaking.

The Xbone games.
Many of these sported token “smartglass” or kinect functionality but with the exception of Kinect sports rivals there was nothing of great note. Of course that probably also means nothing would be entirely ruined by it either.

Prior to the event we got rare makes Kinect sports rivals – climbing, wave race, tennis, bowling, Soccer and target shooting apparently feature. They claim kinect (which remember ships with all of them) works this time.

One Mr Kojima had a game open the actual show. Horses sporting some metal gear solid characters. The choice IRC quote of “<@mthrnite> red dead solid” probably says it all.

Not quite buzzword bingo but somewhere close
“new breed of stealth”
“realtime weather”
Various modes of transport.
“”tactical espionage” redefined”.
“Unparalleled strategic freedom”
"ripped from the headlines 3 years ago when we started making this".
Actually that last one was not them but shortly before that we got adverts within an advert (for a watch in this case) and so copying them stopped.

Ryse - Son of rome. A launch title.
Romans are the order of the day which is a new enough historical period to investigate for games, how well it will work (Romans do not make the most sympathetic characters) remains to be seen. It looked like someone was taking notes with the various crusades/templar themed games a couple of years back and corrected some of the faults.... or it did until it descended into QTE hell.
The choice IRC quote “<~p1ngpong> saving Private Maximus.” in reference to the opening scene.

Killer instinct
It is apparently back though not necessarily under those that made it great the first time. It was used to demo the video capture features and looked like a perfectly functional fighting game (there should be a stick for it at launch of the title).

Insomniac (Ratchet and clank developer) were trotted out to demo their exclusive “Sunset overdrive”.
Stylised it seemed to be the distillation of various films and whatnot into the game (the tea tray grinding, the shooting not zombies with LPs) but it could be a nice blend of movement and shooting (or was until Titanfall ended the show).

Forza 5
A shiny driving game. They spent most of the presentation peddling metrics being taken and leading to improved AI... just like most fighting games for years and driving games where they used playtester/driver laps but done on a grander scale. We refuse to use the term they used as it has a worse mouthfeel than phablet.

Quantum break
Xbone exclusive as most already knew. We were treated a pretty “in game” cutscene though how much was animation in earnest and how much was mocap we will have to debate at some other point in time.

D4
Swery85, developers of Deadly Premonition, are back with “D4”. Other than it had some less commonly seen visual effects (of note was the over-sharpened effect) we could not tell you much.

Project spark.
Probably best described as MS does little big planet with a dash of black and white. Seemingly an open world game in the vein of minecraft and other building toys it was actually fairly interesting looking. How many people that frequent these sorts of sites will want a copy remains to be seen

Speaking of Minecraft it is set to exist on the xbone.

Crimzon dragoon
Kind of successor in the Panzer dragoon franchise. The first effort was on the Sega Saturn but the original xbox had a nice entry in the series. It was shiny but so was everything else.

Dead rising 3.
Capcom Vancouver were trotted out for this one. About all we can say is “Prettier (as in what GTA4 wanted to be) but without half the charm” and not so many of the gripes fixed (he dropped his rifle as soon as it ran out of ammo) save perhaps tighter movement. Could it be that it is another game ruined by the grim and gritty virus or might it represent a positive step?

Witcher 3. Wild hunt.
The Witcher hit a couple of years back and gained a following for being a mature RPG title, the eventual sequel followed along with that quite well. This is set to the be the third and possibly final part in this given story and we are told it is to be free roaming where the others were not really. The buzzword bingo card did pretty well from the developer being up on stage though.

Battlefield 4.
Bravely they opened with a ship assault mission. Looked like a slightly prettier version of previous titles, set pieces were somewhat above and beyond the average set pieces but looks like it might work if you like that sort of thing. Some timed exclusive dlc if it matters.

There was some more after that but it amounted to yay demoscene which was capped off with a Halo tease. Apparently Microsoft are investing heavily in up to four new studios to make some stuff though.

Titanfall.
Respawn, a studio comprised of several former COD developers, have a futuristic shooter as an xbone exclusive due out some time in early 2014.
Nice jetpackish movement with guns and user pilot-able mechs. Possibly “lost planet – good version” but it remains to be seen.
 
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emigre

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My baseless predictions:

Xbone will cost $599
F2P gaems will only available to Gold subscribers
Silver accounts will not be able to watch tv
Halo 5 will utilise the power of the cloud
Rare are making a gaem that actually looks good
 

lokomelo

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My baseless predictions:

1- Xbone will cost $599
2- F2P gaems will only available to Gold subscribers
3- Silver accounts will not be able to watch tv
4- Halo 5 will utilise the power of the cloud
5- Rare are making a gaem that actually looks good

Your 5 baseless predictions are all real but number 3. Xbone its all about TV, TV, TV...
 

Joe88

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My baseless predictions:

Xbone will cost $599
F2P gaems will only available to Gold subscribers
Silver accounts will not be able to watch tv
Halo 5 will utilise the power of the cloud
Rare are making a gaem that actually looks good
silver accounts won't even be able to play games, you have to pay a $10 fee every time you buy a new game to play it with a silver account
 

emigre

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MGSV for XBone. I guess it'll also be on PS4.

New 360 model.

Two free gaems a month from July. AssCreed II and Halo 3 to start off. I guess they want to advertise the sequels.

World of Tanks is F2P

360 getting a 2.5 platformer!
 

Joe88

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so they pick the 2 games pretty much everyone owns?
it looks like it only up to the release of xbone
 

Devin

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Xbox 360;
Xbox Redesign
Xbox PSN+ Deal (Assassin's Creed 2, and Halo 3 next month. Free for Gold Members.)
World of Tanks (Free To Play.)
Max The Curse of Brotherhood
Dark Souls 2

Xbox One;
Ryse: Son of Rome (Xbox One exclusive, Launch Title.)
Killer Instinct 3
Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One Exclusive)
Forza 5
Minecraft
Quantum Break
D4
Project Spark
Panzer Dragoon
Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One Exclusive)
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Battlefield 4
Battlefield 4: Second Assault DLC (First on Xbox One.)
Below
Halo Assault(?) (Xbox One, and Windows)

RELEASE DATE NOVEMBER 2013, PRICING; $499.

Moving from Microsoft Points to $$$.
If one person on the Xbox One has Gold, all members have Gold.

I'll be updating this..
 
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Qtis

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Online still requires Live? Meh. Is the new 360 revision still a Slim or is it something along the lines of the PS3 SuperSlim?
 

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