Looking at the calendar, we're less than two weeks away from what will be one of the most important E3 events in recent memory when it comes to what I call the Hardware Trinity—that is Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. Each of the three companies have issues to address. Nintendo is facing lackluster 3DS hardware sales and the lame-duck status of the Wii until its new platform is launched. Sony has to deal with the aftereffects of one of the largest online security breaches in history and major losses in the last year. Microsoft may seem bulletproof, but the stagnant nature of the Kinect sensor and a slow trickle of software for it call into question the viability of the technology.
I'd been hearing some chatter about the recent roguelike dungeon crawler from NIS called Zettai Hero Project: Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman (PSP) and I finally managed to lay hands on a copy. I'm a fan of the genre when it's done well and word on it had been fairly positive, so I had my fingers crossed.
3DS! PSP! Smartphones! Which represents the true future of mobile gaming? Plus: Our most anticipated titles of 2011, and you'll struggle to hold back tears as Richard becomes a man. (NOTE: We recorded this episode before the big PSP2/NGP announcement—you'll marvel at the semi-accuracy of our predictions!) Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "The Timely Producer" Spaeth.
2011 has the potential to be a big year for video games. We're weeks away from seeing the Nintendo 3DS hit retail, motion control technology for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 will continue to mature, and there's going to be plenty of software just waiting to be bought. Before the year really gets into high gear, I'm going to log five predictions here about some events that I think will happen.
Here comes the gushing: It's the best 3-D platformer ever made. I said it on the podcast, and I'll say it here too: Every level is like opening a present. No game released this year offers such a relentless onslaught of creativity and joy.
So you're Nintendo. You've been sitting atop the handheld mountain for like 20 years. During that time you've seen challengers come and go—Atari (Lynx), NEC (TurboExpress), Sega (Game Gear), SNK (Neo Geo Pocket Color), Bandai (Wonderswan) and finally Sony (PlayStation Portable). All of these devices possessed features and technology that surpassed anything Nintendo offered, but Nintendo still outsold them and did so with a single, very simple philosophy: release cheap, existing technology with a long battery life, at a low price. It worked so well that with every new competitor, Nintendo would fall back on that practice.
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