Joystick Jockeys

« June 2013 »

Memo to Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony: THIS WAS YOUR WEEK.

Sure, technically, yesterday the administration announced that, thanks to the use of chemical weapons, our benign intervention in Syria would start ramping up. And sure, our Middle Eastern benign interventions have a history of going very badly. But hey, at least the 2016 edition of Call of Duty will have a new setting!

And since this year's E3 was this week, let's ignore geopolitics in favor of intracorporate wrangling while we can still pretend those are two different things, on a special E3 edition of SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

Obviously, Microsoft got spanked. Hard. And it's a shame. Well, sort of a shame. I mean, since it's no longer the late 90s and I no longer give a shit about operating systems, I don't have any lingering animosity towards Microsoft just because they're Microsoft. I mean fuck Metro and its tiles, but that's a personal preference, not a corporate alignment. I liked the XBox, and I liked the XBox 360, and I'd like the XBox One if only they'd let me.

But they're making it SO HARD. They're not answering straight questions, because they know we won't like the answers, and they know we won't like the answers because everyone always yells at new, restrictive, consumer-unfriendly policies before giving in to them. And since the console's not out yet, we can't give into them yet.

But requiring Internet connectivity, ridiculous restrictions on lending, giving, and even bringing games to a friend's house, and an always-listening camera that can sense your heartbeat are in fact making people uncomfortable, and Microsoft not only wants you to suck it up, they want you to pay $500 for it. It's as close to a PR disaster as you can get in the world of games.

Meanwhile, Sony came out smelling like a dozen fucking roses. If optics and momentum are all that matters, Sony's 22 second "Used Game Instructional Video" was the closest thing to a knockout blow you'll ever see.

Watch that video while trying to remember that Sony's still going to let individual publishers decide whether or not to be dicks about loaning, selling, or sharing your games. You can't do it. It's impossible. That video is fucking hardball. And they came in at $100 less than the XBox. Microsoft's winter is gonna suck.

Nintendo? Oh, yeah. They're still around. Their console's already out. Apparently, Nintendo realizing that waiting for me to stop playing Lego City Undercover and buy another game is not a valid business model, so they're going to try and get other people to buy WiiU's by doing what Nintendo does.

A Mario game, a Mario Kart game, a Pikmin game, a Donkey Kong game, a Zelda game, and, of course, Smash Bros, which is a game that has Mario and Donkey Kong and Zelda and Pikmin in it.

Now, I'm fine with this, but I accept Nintendo for what they are, and Nintendo hasn't really supported itself off of people like me since the days of the N64. The Wii Bowling Grandmas are not along on the WiiU ride, the game nerds are slavering over raw processor power, and who's left with $300 in disposable income and a surfeit of HDMI ports?

And finally, a shout out to the guys at Ouya, who earned their indie cred by getting the big boys to call the cops on them and block them with semi trucks when they tried to set up shop near E3. I'll be getting one for Soul Fjord, but I think I'm going to pretend I'm just sticking it to the man. At least until Infamous: Second Son comes out.