As soon as I saw the Ouya, I knew that for better or worse, I needed to know more. In the media whirlwind that followed over the next few days, I managed to pitch a few questions to Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman. Here's what Julie had to say.
Between Sega Europe's painful restructuring and Activision's dismantling of Radical Entertainment, this past week has been another one of those weeks that we'd rather forget. It's always unfortunate when people lose their jobs, and downsizing doesn't often instill confidence that the affected industry is moving in the right direction. These moves are a continuation of the state of correction that the video game industry is in—especially in the console sector.
It's our E3 spectacular! We talk about the conferences, we talk about the games and we talk about the Wii U! Plus, with all of the recent controversy over violence in video games, as the industry finally gone too far? With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik and Dylan "I still haven't got the hang of this ending thing" Collins.
Extra Credit looks at the latest gaming trend: crowdfunding. It's not quite a household term but going by Twitter, press releases and gaming news coverage in general, it's getting there. Crowdfunding takes money from ordinary people in exchange for, say, a copy of the game or seeing a digital version of that person somewhere in the game. Right now Kickstarter is the company on everyone's lips but it isn't the only game in town. IndieGoGo, RocketHub, ulule and the newly formed Gambitious are all out there trying to help someone create that sequel to TIE Fighter or Star Tropics.
After a year of silence, Nintendo has its press conference where it was demonstrate to the world why it needed a Wii U and 3DS and why it should stay away from smartphones and tablets.
Judging by Twitter, the result was a wash. Nintendo did announce games for both the Wii U and 3DS. The Wii U got Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Wii U Fit, Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3 as well as support for video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and Amazon Video announced. The 3DS got decent titles like New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario Sticker Star and Luigi's Mansion 2.
The thing is that show attendees, and those watching at home, were looking for more—especially from the Wii U. Why, after owning an Xbox 360 and/or PlayStation 3, should someone pick up a Wii U? That was the question that needed answering and it seemed Nintendo didn't do a very good job of doing so. All hope is not loss as E3 (as of this writing) is not over so there is time for more announcements. But after a year's wait, it looks like many are going home to be content with their 360s and PS3s until their successors show up.
Sony was up next. Despite a dearth of PlayStation Vita game announcements, there were some worthy announcements like Assassins Creed III on the Vita featuring the first female assassin. Other highlights from the show included David Cage's Beyond, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, WonderBooks and Naughty Dogs' The Last of Us. The Last of Us was worth the price of admission.
Microsoft's press conference began with a bang thanks to none other than Halo 4. Gears of War got a prequel called Gears of War: Judgment and Forza fans can look forward to Forza: Horizon, confirmed as an open-world racing title. Microsoft seemed to have most of the big AAA titles on display or mentioned in its press conference and it wasn't shy about announcing that it locked up with DLC as well.
What was also on display was the shift for Xbox 360. This E3, Microsoft was also all about entertainment. It introduced Xbox SmartGlass which allows control of the Xbox and Xbox content through other devices. And there was also lots of talk about Netflix, Hulu and the Xbox Music. It's debatable how much of this Xbox 360 owners actually but it is where Microsoft has always wanted to take the 360.
Nintendo wanted to get the jump on everyone and release its "concept presentation" ahead of the big E3 press conferences. Perhaps it also wanted to get it out of the way so as to not cause any confusion—at last year's E3 Nintendo took some heat for not being clear that it was just announcing the system, its name and showing off conceptual game ideas. At any rate, you see the Wii U Gamepad, Mii Universe and some more conceptual game ideas. Hopefully, the games and more specific talk about the hardware will be at Tuesday's press conference.
Although I don't play PC games at all, many people that I follow on Twitter and around the Internet do… and with the release of Diablo III, there were a lot of upset people because of errors and server maintenance that seriously limited the amount of available playing time on launch day.
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