Tuesday, June 11, 2013

E3: Exciting, Entertaining, Eristic

This year's logo, from rocketnews24.com
The Electronic Entertainment Expo is one of the most anticipated events in the video game world. Gaming companies bring out the big guns and showcase everything they’ve been developing over the past year to the press, whether it’s a brand new gaming console or some exciting new games.
Usually, it generates lots of interesting material for people to argue about in gaming forums, which tend to be about 10% talking about games and 90% unnecessary bickering. I’m not a hardcore gamer by any means; my gaming style is probably best described by the word “casual,” in addition to “very,” but I still find the news from E3 interesting. It’s not because I’m actually going to buy the new Call of Duty game (first person shooters are not my thing); it’s because the rivalries in the gaming industry are amusing to me.
This interest was first sparked when I was a sophomore in high school. Up until that point, video games had held little significance for me, since my family didn’t own any gaming consoles. My boyfriend, however, had all of them. And they weren’t for the general use of the family, they were his. He even had a special television specifically designed for optimal video game enjoyment. He also had a job writing for a gaming review website. His excitement for the upcoming Expo spread to me, enough that I was pretty jealous when he went off to E3 in 2000 without me.
At E3 2000, Sega’s final console, the Dreamcast, was still going strong, and they showed off new games for all their fans. Sony was pretty proud of its recently released Playstation 2, whlie Nintendo was showcasing more new games for the aging N64. There were whispers from Microsoft about their first gaming console, which would, in the next several years, become the Xbox.
He came back, excited about everything he’d seen. He was full of news about new games, booth babes, and Los Angeles traffic.He was also laden with swag, which at that time meant “a pile of ill-gotten gains.” Apparently, just for being at E3, developers and game companies threw merchandise of all kinds at him. I made off with a gift Sony had given him: a navy Adult XL t-shirt with the PlayStation logo on it.
It wouldn't have fit him anyway.
I’ve kept an ear out for E3 news ever since, and I enjoy watching the implosion every year when people start to argue about what the best game is going to be or why a certain company shouldn’t make their products a certain way.
In my opinion, the most interesting years have been when a new console is about to be released. 2006, when the seventh generation consoles were debuted, was fun, and I joined in the conversation and actually did a presentation in one of my classes about why Nintendo’s new Wii was going to be better than Sony’s new PS3. Was I right or wrong? The final outcome is pretty clear when you look at the equipment sitting next to the television in my living room: there is a PlayStation 3 there, but no Nintendo Wii.
This year is pretty exciting, because Microsoft has unveiled the specs for its upcoming Xbox One, followed by Sony’s announcement of what consumers will enjoy if they purchase a PlayStation 4. There’s already lots of controversy about the differences the systems have.
Xbox One vs. PS4 by Scott Behler
My husband and I will probably not be purchasing Microsoft’s new system, not because of the detractors it has, but because we have never owned an Xbox and probably never will. My husband is primarily a PC gamer, and while I am generally a console gamer, I don’t game very often (see above, “casual” and also “very”). It’s probable that we will at some point purchase Sony’s new system, but probably not for a great while. We’re still enjoying our PS3. But I could be wrong. We’ll see what’s sitting next to the television in five years.
One thing I can predict, though, is that I’ll still be laughing at the arguments that come out of E3, or whichever gaming expo generates controversy in the video game world.

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