So uhh, E3 is next week. But maybe they should just call it E2 this year, since only two of the big three major platform holders will have any noteworthy presence there. I say "noteworthy" because after both Sony and Microsoft failed to impress many people with their respective "next-gen" console reveals, we can only expect them to step up their game, right? Right?
Ok, maybe I'm being a bit silly here. We don't only care about the console manufacturers, we're looking forward to games, games, games! And who gives us games, games, games? Publishers, publishers, publishers!
Maybe we'll find out more about the new XCOM shooter we've heard about so much, or the new Civ V expandalone... Ohhhh wait, no. 2K won't be attending E3 this year. At all. It's not that they don't have news or products to promote either - I feel perhaps they have just drawn what I imagine should be an obvious conclusion: spending all that money to go to a trade show when you could be promoting things just as effectively through other more cost-effective channels is daft.
Personally I'm more than a little curious about Valve's plans with their fabled "Steamboxorwhateverit'sgoingtobecalled" but yeaaah, you guessed it... no Valve at E3 either! So who does that leave us with?
Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubisoft, Squeenix.
We already know that Activision will be showing us that next gen Navy Seal dog they showed off at the Xbone presentation. And I suppose also the next-gen Call of Duty: Ghosts, the next-gen game that you get along with the next-gen dog. If E3 2012 is anything to go by we'll also be seeing gratuitous next-gen footage of "dang un-American (unreal mega-high-quality photo-realistic like never before!) terrrrsts" being stabbed in the throat over and over again, which I think was the overall theme of E3 2012. Stabbity stabbity spurt spurt.
What they won't be showing us is Blizzard's "Project Titan" MMO, since that apparently is being rebooted and pushed back to beyond 2016 (read: "Wow, Guild Wars 2 is doing really well, isn't it? Maybe people DO want something different in their MMOs after all. Well shit - back to the drawing board!")
Ubisoft might be offer something a bit better for us. We'll be seeing more of Watch Dogs, a game that they showed off at last year's E3. And one I'm looking forward to myself, Obsidian's South Park: The Stick of Truth, which Ubisoft plucked up from the decaying remains of THQ earlier this year. Yeah, the thing I am looking forward to most thus far is a game in which a pre-teen boy can blow fire out his butt.
Electronic Arts: Battlefield 4, FIFA, Abunchmoresportsgames, Need For Spe... zzzzz...
*snort* Wut? Sorry.. I dozed off there for a second. Where was I? Oh yeah, Square Enix, what have you got for us?
I'd be lying if I said I was not just a little interested in the upcoming Thief 4 and perhaps even a little about Final Fantasy XIV. And then maybe a bit less about the slew of iOS titles they will be showing off, like Deus Ex: The Fall (presumably it's called The Fall because of how far you have to fall to start doing stuff like publishing only to iOS).
E3 as a show itself has lost a lot of its zing over the years, and its continued relevance is often disputed. It's an industry show aimed at others in the industry, not a show aimed at gamers. But they are trying, I give them that. They have even addressed concerns about exhibitors continually plonking "booth babes" at their displays. So cheers to them for that - I for one am looking forward to our new booth-babes-in-full-bathing-suits-instead-of-bikinis overlords. Oh wait! No I'm not.
A pity that a supposedly respectable publication like Forbes still seems to think that if you are a woman at E3, you could not possibly be taken seriously unless you dressed 'like a cyber/industrial-pro golfer', as one lovely lovely commenter put it. Ouch... I sprained an eye muscle there from rolling. I really really really don't want to give them clicks on such a frellingly fracking* awful article, but I know you, you'll just go and Google it - so here it is in all its shameful glory. *- Bonus geek points if you're familiar with the words 'frelling' and 'fracking' - I bet half the suits at E3 won't and that's why they suck.
But expect buzzwords to be thrown around merrily. Social this, next-gen that, cloud-schmoud. Bold claims of things supposedly impossible with current technology. Never before seen gameplay you've already seen. Cloud computing that saves you time by making your toast for you in the morning and posting it to you because that's quicker than you making it in your own damn toaster.
Finely tuned gamer eyeballs can see right through this stuff, but as I have said, it's not aimed at you - E3 is there to impress shareholders and business partners. The expos you want are ones like PAX where you're the target audience. I'm sure we'll see some idiocy coming from it though, so stay tuned. Pixie’s Twitter
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