Sunday, June 11, 2017

Microsoft and Bethseda E3 2017 Conferences: Better Than EA

Rather than post twice, I'm posting once today with two distinct parts. I'm writing the Microsoft part immediately that conference, and the Bethesda portion after their show late tonight. If you read this before I get to the Bethesada stuff, come back later.

Microsoft

  • Showed 42 games for the new Xbox One console ("X"), which is more than EA did.
  • New DBZ fighter has my fighting game fans hyped.
  • Only cared about four of them: the new Metro game, the Assassin's Creed game, the sequel to Shadows of Mordor, and the MMO-like Anthem. The Ori sequel is a maybe. The other games? Do not care, especially anything to do with zombies or any of their substitutes.
  • Why is there a Life is Strange visual novel sequel? The first one was shit and cringe and bad. Choose Your Own Adventure does this better, did it in print, and did it in the '80s.
  • Subtle SJW virtue-signaling is there, but better subtle over blatant; maybe we'll kill entirely in a few years.
  • Expanded backwards compatibility for 360 games, and adding Original Xbox games to that library: good move, actually desired.
  • Free upscaling and other quality-of-life improvements. Good business.
  • 4K ALL THE THINGS! Bitch I don't even have a TV or monitor that can do 4K, and I don't need one. Until my 1080p TV craps out, I'm good with this. Framerate trumps resolution! You need to chant "1080p at 60 FPS!" and wait for 4K TV penetration to reach global and local critical mass before pushing that out on consoles.
  • Mixer is Microsoft's direct threat to Twitch, down to integration, and they are making it piss-easy to stream to Mixer from Xbox and Win10 machines. Twitch is pissed; as soon as MS did their end-of-conference Mixer pitch, Twitch cut away.

Overall, tolerable. They still aren't using trained presenters, and it shows. They still are lying to us about gameplay footage, as it's clearly pre-recorded. (The dialog is totally fake; I write better dialog in my first drafts.) The games presented, by and large, either already exist on PC or will get PC releases outside of Microsoft's control (Steam, GOG, etc.), so there's still no reason to buy this console because the exclusives won't be so for long; what isn't released shortly after the console exclusive one will get broken and released as a pirate program. The prices are the deathnote: $500 for the new model, and none of the older ones go below $200 past this weekend. Fail. $150-$200 is where they have to go if they want to stop being also-rans to Sony and the PS4, let alone to PC. The Switch will take their place at this rate.

Bethesda

  • "Bethesdaland". Cute.
  • The card game is boring as fuck. Don't care.
  • Skyrim for Switch with Link stuff there. Okay, that's how you sell an old game to a new console base.
  • Morrowind for the MMO. Don't care.
  • VR. Don't care.
  • Evil Within 2. Don't care.
  • DLC for Dishonored 2? Okay. Curious.
  • Quake Champions. Bleh and Meh. Fuck this.
  • New Wolfenstein. NOW I'm interested.
  • Less than an hour long. Sponsored open bar for live guests. Now that's how you do it.
  • Creation Club. So, curated paid mods with official sanction and support. Good luck.

The only other good thing I saw was that everything featured was either already out or would release this year. That's nice to see after a lot of Microsoft and EA titles were 2018 or no firm date at all. Bethesda did the safe thing this year, kept it short so as to not let viewers dwell on the lack of word for new Fallout titles (or other major developments of similar nature) and dipped out as soon as it was over. Good job. Oh, and I hope Jesse Cox doesn't get plastered; he's going to be called upon when Co-Optional next convenes to talk about that conference, and "I don't remember because I got too drunk." will not be appreciated.

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