June 12, 2012

I can't bring myself to care about E3

In the last couple of years I used to do an analysis on the big three conferences.  I would detail good business moves and bad ones, interesting new ideas coming out for the console, and horrible ones.

This year, I honestly am not invested with what's going on with E3.  

Just starting to watch the conferences just makes me depressed.  Sony wasn't super bad, but I'm not convinced that some of their exciting titles will stay nearly as exciting as they were presented.  Beyond is a story that can easily be fucked up, and boat stuff from Assassin's Creed's new installment looks totally staged.  Those are obvious complaints though.  The not so obvious complaint is that it seems Sony took many of the strategies that Nintendo and Microsoft introduced the last few years and just put Sony paint on it.  Also, there's not a lot of genuinely new things to be excited about, but that is a problem with the console industry as a whole.  Really, it's a problem with the video game industry, but that's another post for another day.  Sony is a frequent offender.

I love Nintendo like family.  It is the company that introduced me to gaming and the company will always hold a special place in my heart.  But man, did that conference have too.  much.  talking.  Nintendo is also a great example of focusing way too hard on social networking.  Most social networking that is successful evolves more organically than what they're trying to do.  Also, I have to agree with Cracked.com that there will be phalluses all up on your screen with WiiVerse.  Last year Nintendo won back the hard core gamer, just to lose them again this year with karaoke and online theme parks.  However, I'm sure they'll sell more unit again WiiU is being sold as an all around entertainment system, not just for video games. 

Microsoft had the longest conference, and it had some of the most exciting points.  Too bad those exciting points were not about genuine electronic entertainment.  It also had some of the least exciting points.  I will admit that I'm not a sports fan at all, so devoting a fifth of the presentation to sports game did not inspire me.  And then to add another huge chunk of "look, I can watch movies, and then I can watch them in Spanish!" was not impressive.  Voice control no longer a huge deal, since you've presented it the last three years.  And  no, Usher, despite being an attractive, rich singer, is not going to entice me to play your games.

I think, my fellow gamers, we have to admit to ourselves that we can no longer look to E3 anymore to provide us what we're looking for.  It is now officially covering the broader market of Electronic Entertainment, not just video games anymore.  Sure, there were some relatively smart business moves made this year, but none of them were really for the hardcore gamer, or even a gamer period.  They were for a broad market of consumers, broader than those of us who have lived by the high score and the controller.  

E3 is no longer for us, it's for everyone.  

We should've seen this coming as soon as the Wii became as popular as it did.  I don't want to fault Nintendo for the whole evolutionary change of E3, but it was the beginning of a new era, when it wasn't just for the elite fan who grew up with an Atari or NES in the living room and has had a console ever since.  Sooner or later a company would've have branched out in this way, and it makes sense it's Nintendo, who unlike Sony and Microsoft are, or were rather, wholly invested in video games.  To stay big, they had to branch out, and preferably be the first to do it.  Of course this is the solution.

For those of you feeling abandoned or neglected, do know that there is still a ton of devoted companies hoping to gain your allegiance for their video games, hoping you'll like their new thing.  I'm noticing most of the new things are on the PC, or come out on the PC first before graduating to digital downloads for Microsoft of the PS Network.  But it's definitely no longer going to be about the new video games at E3.  It's only going to be about new entertainment.  

Next year, I think I'm going to be even less invested in it.  I doubt I'm the only one.

No comments:

Post a Comment