It’s that time again, E3 is about to begin! Like last year, Microsoft will be kicking off the conferences, and they’ll have to make up for a lot. Last year saw them getting a lot of lip from Sony’s conference, and their old DRM policies were making fans shy away from their newest console, the Xbox One. But it’s a new year, and many things have changed. There is a Kinect-less Xbox One on the horizon, dropping the price of the console down 100 dollars to $399 US, same as the PS4. Now the question is, what will Microsoft show to convince fans to come back to Xbox?
In an interview with GTTV’s Geoff Keighly, Microsoft’s Don Mattrick was asked about how exactly they’ll court people into getting an Xbox One should they have no stable internet connection (or any for that matter). He replied with, “Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of content. It’s called Xbox 360.” In other words, if you’re not ready to sign in every day at the parole offices of Xbox One, well then you’re not ready for Xbox One. Stay on the Xbox 360.
Mattrick probably won’t get any flak for this from his staff, but this is just a boneheaded thing to say. Right now, while Microsoft is still poised to sell Xbox 360 consoles, they’re primary focus is to sell as many Xbox One consoles as possible at launch. His comments also smack of his whole “Backwards” comment he made. I mean, it’s okay to tell your consumers to get an older console if they’re more comfortable getting that one, like Nintendo and Sony have done. But the delivery of his message is just arrogant.
They say that for each console manufacturer, the third consoles are the ones that see the company falter due to an overabundance of arrogance. It happened with the Gamecube (though it’s not the third). It happened with Sony and the early life of the PS3. And now it’s happening to Microsoft. I guess companies never learn.
Thanks to David for the heads-up.
Today is the day that’ll shape the future of Microsoft’s newest console, the Xbox One. Reaction so far has been less than enthusiastic, with news of used games being limited somehow, required internet connections, privacy and Kinect, and a complete and total lack backwards compatibility, even with XBLA games. Microsoft said that this conference is all about software. What will they show that will sway the public opinion of the Xbox One in the right direction?
The press conference will begin at 12:30PM EST. The above embed is a live reaction of us watching the conference.
Please please please let this rumor come true. Ever since the beginning of the Xbox 360’s lifecycle, owners had to deal with Microsoft’s choice of using a points system instead of prepaid cards or a digital wallet with real dollar amounts. At first, it wasn’t too bad, but Microsoft’s method of conversion from U.S. dollars to Microsoft Points became a pain in the ass. With MS Points, full dollars come in multiples of 80 (or if you want to simplify, turn 80 into an 8). So 80 MSP = $1, 160 MSP = $2. By that account, 800 MSP = $10, 1600 MSP = $20. Sadly, not everything in the Marketplace have easily convertible asking prices. This conversion was worse in other places like the UK, Japan, and Canada (though this made some things in the U.K. cheaper).
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Oddworld Inhabitants founder Lorne Lanning dished some dirt about his company’s fall after the release of Stranger’s Wrath, and the poor marketing and business choices made by the game’s publisher, EA. In the interview, he mentions how the money made on games EA publishes don’t go back to making more games and funding developers. “Our agreement is, you won’t be seeing our profit being spent on Ferraris and shit like that… Our profits are going back into games so we can ultimately raise to the point where we can grow our audience…” He went on to state, “The owners [EA] are flying jets, do you think they care about the customers just one fucking per cent? Not at all.”
Sine Mora is a side scrolling shoot ’em up game exclusive to the Xbox Live Arcade that has you controlling a team of time traveling animal pilots trying to stop a crazed serial killer from committing genocide on their precious world. The game has been praised by critics for its fresh take on game modes, story (which can be hard to understand) and gameplay of this type of genre. Now the possibility of Playstation holders being able to play this game is coming to reality.
By Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality, Sine Mora came out in March of this year on Xbox Live Arcade. The response that this game has been receiving has allowed the developers to bravely release the game later this year for the vita (which was shown at E3). It has been confirmed by publisher Balazs Horvath (Digital Reality) that the game is also coming out for the Playstation Network later this year on December 31, 2012. There has been no confirmed price but knowing how these digital store games work when going multi-platform, it is safe to assume it will be priced the same (which goes for $15.00 on the Xbox live arcade).
Editor’s Note: Since Kotaku’s Richard Eisenbeis published an article relating to this topic, I figured I’d go ahead and finish this one off. I wrote this back in September, with the last revision being on Sep. 29. It was all written, but I lost interest in wanting to publish it. But now the topic’s flared up again, and I got back the motivation to publish it. Consider this an expansion of that article.
Some of you may already be aware of the fact that Japan and The West press different buttons to confirm or cancel when using a Playstation controller. So to those people, you probably don’t need to read this, but stick around for the end. As for everyone else, I’ll provide you with an explanation as to why the X and Circle buttons serve different purposes in Japan and The West. For the purpose of this article, X is “X“, and Circle is “O“. Now I know there are many gamers out there that play import games from Japan. Some of them are new to it and are still having trouble adapting to pressing circle for nearly everything menu based. Some of you probably don’t play import games, but encountered the Japanese Button Configuration in games that forgot to change it (like Xenosaga). Some could probably just brush it off as just something weird that Japan does (which is nothing new). But there is a deeper explanation as to why the X and O buttons are configured that way in Japan and why it’s different The West, and we may have Nintendo to thank for that.
No one knows for sure, but it’s one hell of a ball to drop if the rumors turn out to be true. According to Kotaku, a “trusted source” told Kotaku that along with the next Xbox supporting Blu-Ray and a new Kinect, the system would reject used games if the player happened to put one in. A rep emailed Kotaku later on with the usual PR bullcrap and dodging the speculation with, “Beyond that we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.” If the the no-used game feature is true, services like Gamestop and GameFly would suffer immensely, GameFly especially. Since this generation began, publishers has been fighting tooth and nail to halt the selling of used games with DRM, Online Passes, or simply skipping retail and selling online only. This would be the first time in consumer electronic history that used products would be banned.
I Stand On My Soapbox is a series of editorials that cover more specific topics in the games industry and community. These articles are a little more extreme than normal editorials published here, and could just degenerate to outright ranting. Have fun and enjoy the show!
“The next generation is a wireless one.” That was the slogan for the Xbox 360 controllers that were advertised during the launch of the 360. This was going to be the new standard, as opposed to previous gens where your wireless fix came from third party manufacturers, or you spent more money on the official one. But this generation, nah-ah, you got a wireless one right in the box. Before you knew it, that slogan proved very true, as the PS3 and Wii controllers were wireless too. Finally, no more lowering or raising the wire to let people pass, or them tripping and potentially dropping the consoles from whatever precarious ledge the console was perched on (like my Gamecube… 6-foot-drop, still lives). So far, the only thing that is wired on the consoles now is the TV cables and the power supply (and you know they’re not going wireless anytime soon), and they’re in no one’s way. So with this new found freedom to game anywhere in the house without worry of bodily harm to the console, I have one question: Where the hell did I put my controller!?
Ahoy Fellow Fishes! It’s E3 time again. Kicking things off for the Big Three is Microsoft. Last year, Microsoft placed a lot of emphasis and time on their Kinect device, displaying games like Kinectimals and Kinect Adventures. The hype train was in full force during the holiday season. However, once the dust settled, the Kinect became an afterthought to most gamers. It did gain notoriety the other things you can do through hacks. But for actual game uses, barely any support has been seen. In the days leading up to today, Microsoft has almost nothing surprising. Gears of War 3 and Forza (I think) are the only games worth noting that Microsoft will show. And there are rumors of Microsoft debuting a TV service. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Microsoft’s Press Conference starts at 12:30PM (EST) (9:30AM PST). Once the Conference begins, click the link below.