Granted, it was announced since recording this episode that the 3DS XL is going to have its own circle pad, but that didn’t stop us from wondering a couple of things: a) Why it wasn’t built into the XL, and b) why it wasn’t announced during E3. Sean and Vinnk grapple with the relevancy of the biggest gaming industry event in the US, and come to the terrifying conclusion that just MAYBE Nintendo might not want third parties to succeed…
Did Nintendo try to steal the show, only to stumble? Is the Wii U just an expansion for the Wii, with only enough extra horsepower to run the GamePad screen? Did Sony and Microsoft play it too close to the vest, or can we expect something greater from them in 2013? Sean and Vinnk talk about the ups and downs (sometimes it feels like mostly downs) of E3, Vinnk’s game of the show Project P-100, and all of the reasons we tell ourselves that E3 wasn’t that great, even thought we just really wanted to be there in person.
The Wii U Pro Controller presents two problems: 1) It’s just like the Wii Classic or Wii Classic Pro Controllers: the adoption rate is poor, nothing that works on it NEEDS to work on it, and we totally forget about it. 2) It actually takes off, and threatens one of the core value propositions of the Wii U. Only Nintendo makes games for it, and 3rd parties just ignore it after a while. Vinnk and Sean discuss the problem of hardware fragmentation in video game systems, and trot out some well-worn examples as well as more recent ones: the Sega Genesis 32x, Android’s newest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and more!
Microsoft and Sony were very careful to announce ‘no new hardware’ before E3, and stuck to that promise. Nothing shown at either of their press events was for anything other than the devices that are already out on the market. The closest thing Xbox has to hardware launch right now is a Windows 8 tablet running Smart Glass.
But other publishers show games too.
Ubisoft wowed audiences and critics with a demo of Watch Dogs. Graphically amazing, but also implying a depth of gameplay and sandbox options above and beyond what their own Assassin’s Creed series is capable of. The demo was played on stage using an Xbox 360 controller, but Ubisoft confirmed later that it was a PC version of the game we’d seen.
Ubisoft clearly has a hit on their hands, and usually a game like this gets showcased at a hardware maker’s show. Why would Microsoft pass on Watch Dogs and take Splinter Cell? Easy, Splinter Cell shows a game running on XBox 360, and Watch Dogs won’t look like the demo we saw on Xbox 360.
Ubisoft says the release date for Watch Dogs is beyond 2012. If new hardware (aside from Wii U) does launch in 2013, Watch Dogs could be an important launch title. We’ve been assured that the game will come out on PS3 and XBox 360, but it isn’t hard to think back to 2005/2006 when games like Tomb Raider Legend and Gun launched on PS2 and Xbox with HD versions on PS3 and Xbox 360.
So a week and 1/2 ago, I posted about the supposed new Nintendo DS game that was primed to be an interquel between Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and Lords of Shadow 2, titled “Mirror of Fate”. Lot of speculation began flying around communities about what the game possibly could be about, and that the names “Trevor” and “Simon” Belmont were being heavily dropped.
Seems a lot of that speculation was true, according to the trailer released by Konami at E3 this week.