E3 2013 – Thoughts and Fears

With the official start if E3 2013 only 4 days away, and the main event that everyone will tune into 5 days away, I thought it was right to bring my own opinions  and thoughts about the arguably the biggest gaming press event of the year. The reveals of both the PlayStation4 and XBOX One started the wait for the event and I will be doing another article on those reveals and my own thoughts on them as well in the next few days.

E3 2013, Nintendo are out of the press event this year for the first time since the start of the Electronic Entertainment Expo back in 1996, they will instead be doing a Nintendo Direct on the following day, Tuesday the 11th; showing off what they want to their fans, as well as announcing upcoming games for 2013 – 2014. My personal eyes will be set on the Pokemon X & Y news they will be releasing on that day, being a big Pokemon game series fan.

Nintendo are the easiest to narrow down, they have already released footage of a new Zelda game, Zelda: A Link to the Past a sequel to the 1991 SNES classic, as well as other games in their last Nintendo Direct back in April this year. The rest that is to be shown by Nintendo is the usual we would expect, possible news on new updates to the WiiU and more games for the WiiU, Monster Hunter 4 news, another personal favourite of mine, and one I can not wait to see.

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In my own opinion Nintendo are just sitting back this year, ruling themselves out of the spotlight as they do not really have much to gain from a massive press conference on a lack of IPs and new content, not meaning at all that Nintendo have a lack in IPs, just the same ones they have been running with the last several years, and in my eyes its a good move for Nintendo.

They are not going after Microsoft or Sony, which is smart as the WiiU in my opinion is not a eighth generation console but something between. It does bring some level of interactivity to the target market of children and families, but nothing in the respect of furthering the future of the games industry and adding their hand to a break through to get out of the current trend.

That being said the WiiU is entertaining to a point, it is fun and fills a spot within the industry that Nintendo fit perfectly, and by staying out of E3 2013 and doing their personal Nintendo Direct, it adds to the feeling they want to distance themselves from the big companies and be their own company without being compared to Sony or Microsoft, again a good move with the current seas of the industry.

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Now Microsoft and Sony are another aspect altogether, both seem to be putting all their chips onto different numbers, Microsoft going for the entertainment system number, and Sony going for the hardcore gaming number. In my personal opinion I have feared that all companies will get to this point in the games industry and fundamentally change it altogether, I have been saying that since the rumours of next gen consoles started.

The fear that I had, (and this was back in 2009), was that sooner or later one of the big companies would go into main stream entertainment, this was by all the ripples at where occurring at the time, (mostly XBOX 360), by incorporating entertainment fundamentally into console systems. The fear of gaming consoles becoming something else than what got them to the place they where now, forgetting the facts that hardcore gamers got them there.

Microsoft at the next E3 proved to be somewhat concerning, if you watched the 2010 E3 you would remember all the entertainment brands that where coming to the XBOX, new features that had nothing to do with gaming, but to do with adding to a entertainment platform of the system. That and also the unavailing of the redesign of the XBOX 360, the XBOX 360 Slim.

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Sony where also picking themselves up from the stumble they had around the release of the PlayStation3, and where trying their best to gain momentum. I thought they would too go toward entertainment, Sony after all being an entertainment company at its core. But they stayed its course, giving promises to its gamers and keeping them, although to a minimum, year after year Sony did that and gave its gamers what they wanted.

Then they decided to change their direction, this was made by Nintendo with their Wii, games that interacted to the player by their own movements; this gimmick changed the balance of the industry. A simple thing that was already on the PlayStation2 had changed the platform for the seventh generation consoles and made Sony and Microsoft go haywire.

A couple of months down the line, both companies realised the Nintendo Wii was out selling them because of their gimmick, and they thought they could do it too. Going in the direction of family marketing, after years of marketing for hardcore gamers and building the reputation.

This decision in my eyes is the starting point of why the industry is falling apart now because of that balance shift, why nothing is certain and anything could happen from now to 2014, because Sony and Microsoft quickly hashed out the same gimmick instead of trying something new.

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The tipping point of this happened with the global depression, companies went under, developers shut down, that was the stone that dropped in the pond and caused the ripples of change for the industry. It started companies to go away from big publishers, Kickstarter became something to the industry, Valve combined with their Steam program began backing small developers as well, it raised the roots of the industry.

Microsoft who where striding away from being a games console and loosing their own internal reputation slowly but surly due to giving up exclusives and adding more to do about entertainment, even then it was all about an American entertainment, people over the sea saw nothing of what was shown to America.

Sony made the play  to keep to their marketing promises to their gamers, giving PlayStation+ a boost and giving away games to people on their service. This was a great tactic, go to your roots and gain the reputation of the people who made the gaming industry mainstream, the gamer.

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Which brings me onto the main streaming of consoles; that was the worst sight I’ve had to witness, since the main streaming of games the gaming industry has not felt the same. It feels that more stress is now on the developers to create something new, most developers crack under the pressure of something they do not know the gamer wants.

Main stream has made it so publishers have pushed out year after year the same rehashed game just so they get money quick and fast because of the loss in companies in the industry. That was made everything go up in the sky about the certainty of what is going to happen for the future.

That is why main stream nearly has destroyed the industry, the games industry being the fastest growing form of media and art, it is still young, still making errors. The main stream of games has made me, a true gamers feel like the industry is slipping away from me, no one wants to admit it but its destroying everything, its all too big for its own good and no anchor is their to yet stop it.

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It is all about the money now, that is the reason why developers are going away from publishers because they are being backed into the same corner and doing the same game over and over, not creating anything of good quality any more. The industry needs to slow down and put quality over quantity.

If companies and these publishers who give in to the main stream nothing will change, they will keep designing to keep their own stock holders happy, because the people will buy. Its all about the money, thats what main stream has taken away from the industry, the feel of imagination and creativity.

With E3 2013 coming up in just a couple of days I will be keep my eye on what the representatives of Microsoft and Sony say, because the future of the next generation is riding on what they bring and what they promise. If they do not go back to the roots of gaming the industry will no longer be what it once was, a endless playground to explore new and unmatched horizons.

It will become an main stream nightmare, causal gamers thinking their true gamers, and the true gamers who got the companies where they are by backing them and buying their games neglected. If you want to do something right, you listen to the first person who made friends with you, not your new one you meet two weeks ago.

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Microsoft have had a horrendous start and shown my point in that if you make a console an entertainment system for the living room where no one wants it, that why you have your TV, DVD and cable box. Sony on the other hand shown of to start off right, show that your about games, for gamers and want a future where games and thrive anew.

Only time will tell if my fears are shown, E3 2013 is the big stone ready to make a wave across the industry, if it is to be saved it needs to make the right wave or games will no longer be the same and only independently backed developers by us true gamers who are on the web forums and giving our money to games and companies who try to break the mole. Those will be the ones trying to fight their way out of the rubble the big companies made.

A lot of information and opinions are in there so sorry about the long article. Feel free to comment on the article as I’m sure your opinion will also show your own fears, and maybe shed light on mine as well. I just hope the gaming industry stays true to who got it where it is today, and everyone remembers that before its too late.

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