E3 2018 Highlights

This year’s E3 was solid. Most of the conferences learned to just focus on showing games which led to less boring sections and dull moments in the conference. Personally, there wasn’t anything that blew me away. This is my favorite showings at this year’s E3.

Kingdom Hearts 3: January 29, 2019

I’m happy that Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally coming out. As a fan of the series, it’s great to see an actual launch date. The game looks absolutely gorgeous and the Pixar/Disney worlds are awesome. Having new Keyblade weapons for each world adds a lot of diversity into the gameplay. I only worry about the storyline and how it will connect everything. Nomura has stated this isn’t the last KH game so hopefully, I don’t have to wait 14 years for a sequel.

Super Smash Bros: Ultimate: December 7th, 2018

I like Smash Bros. Sakurai gave Smash fans every character that they asked for with Ridley and all returning past characters. (No Goku because that’s stupid) The game looks beautiful and I’m glad to have a new Smash game to play. All the gameplay changes look interesting for competitive but I’m more of a casual fan.

Daemon X Machina: 2019

I dunno what this game is about. It showcases awesome mecha action and the color palette is appealing.

Super Mario Party: October 5th, 2018

I’m excited to play a Mario Party on the go. It will be interesting to connect the Nintendo Switches to try out new mini-games. Thank god the cart is removed from the game and the new character-specific dices make playing your favorite Maro characters more interesting. There’s actually new strategies to the game and Stars return to the normal format. Yell at your friends again.

Overcooked 2: August 7th, 2018

When I play Overcooked, I understand why Gordan Ramsey yells at people in the kitchen. It’s so much fun as a couch co-op game but 2 brings online and wireless play (on the Switch). They improved the colors on the characters so that you stand out more and the kitchen environments have gotten even crazier.

The Last of Us Part 2: TBD

Finally gameplay footage. The gameplay shows that Ellie will be the main character which feels like the natural progression after the first game. She looks faster and just as brutal as Joel. All of the enemies are humans which are concerning because what happened to all of the infected? The story is still unclear but it looks like Ellie may be part of a surviving human faction and has a love interest.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: September 7th, 2018

I am a huge fan of Spider-Man and the game looks fantastic. The combat looks similar to the Batman Arkham games but that makes sense. The trailer shows more villains and the Sinister Six will be involved. Also, either Miles Morales or Venom is saving Spider-Man at the end of the trailer because you can hear the thwip noise.

We Happy Few: August 10th, 2018

A creepy dystopian world where people are intoxicated by joy. The story looks interesting and the gameplay confuses the player what is real and what is fake. The gameplay looks relatively slow but the environment and story are fascinating.

 

Will the Next Generation Console be the Last?

As the video games industry evolves, so does distribution of video games. Recently, digital downloads have become the main form of distribution for all games. It ranges from indie titles to AAA games. Ubisoft‘s CEO, Yves Guillemot, predicts the next generation of consoles will be its last.¬†Guillemot’s belief is that cloud-based streaming services will dominate the gaming industry and games will be available on any screen rather than console exclusive. Although streaming games aren’t common, Guillemot believes as technology advances, it’ll become the mainstream.

Microsoft spoke to Variety that gaming is about having the ability to access your game from any system. Smartphones and tablets bring in the highest profit for gaming companies and it can be argued that the growth is due to the ease of accessibility. Being able to play your games on a handheld from anywhere is consumer friendly than buying a video game console for dedicated players. Guillemot stated that streaming “is going to help the AAA game industry grow much faster…we have to work on the accessibility of those games to make sure they can be played on any device.”

Whose on board?

While Microsoft and Ubisoft see this as the future of gaming, Nvidia is already taking steps to start streaming video games to any computer. Nvidia announced their beta streaming service,¬†Nvidia’s GeForce Now, this year at CES. It’s designed to offer digital games to even basic computers. It will even port your Steam games to GeForce Now so that you won’t have to repurchase your games. The games run properly as its stream from Nvidia datacenters throughout the United States. Image result for video game streaming

Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of gaming for Microsoft, is looking towards different ways Microsoft can do for gaming. They have a unique form of distribution as they sell computers and video game consoles. Spencer stated, “I care less that people can play Minecraft on an Xbox One, but that people can play Minecraft no matter what console or device they have in front of them.” Since 2016, Microsoft stopped announcing the sales numbers for the Xbox One. While clearly doing worse than the PS4, Xbox has tried alternative distribution of games such as cross distribution with the Windows Stores and Xbox Live and their stellar backwards compatibility. “I look at investing into three key areas: content, cloud, and community – that is, making great games, making the experience of accessing and playing them better and improving things for the players overall. It helps lead gaming for everyone – not just Microsoft – into a better place for everyone.”

What about PlayStation and Nintendo?

One example of streaming being utilized is for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard for the Nintendo Switch. Although there are physical versions, the Japanese exclusive port will be a stream version only. This may be a taste for things to come. However, Nintendo launched the Switch last year to rave reviews and has sold more than 1 million units in a year. The Switch is a unique console that can be a handheld and console. PlayStation didn’t comment on the trend towards streaming. However, John Kodera, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), stated that the PlayStation 4 is in its final phase for the life cycle. He also mentioned an interest in handheld gaming rather than streaming service. Hopefully, they’ll do a better job for their next handheld after the PS Vita which recently stopped manufacturing physical games.

Streaming Pros and Cons:

It cost less for companies as they don’t have to pay for packaging and discs. Anatomy of a $60 Video GameVideo game development has become more expensive. A prime example is God of War (2018) which cost $44 million. This also saves money for companies. Retailers currently take a cut of the profits of $15 for new video game sales. The cost of making, packaging and shipping game discs to stores cost $4 each. Finally, not all games sell, so the expense of returning unsold inventory eats up another $7. A Con would be for consumers with Wi-fi issues. If you have a poor internet connection, your gameplay will be choppy or have a low framerate.

Do you believe the next step in delivering games is streaming?

Sources:

Variety

The Verge-Nvidia GeForce

2

Eurogamer – God of War COM

Cost to make Games

The Verge – RE 7 for Switch

PlayStation – John Kodera talks about PlayStation 4 life cycle