Liveblog

Liveblog: Microsoft’s E3 2013 Xbox press conference

Can Microsoft make us love the Xbox One? Because so far, a lot of people hate it very much.

By John Teti • June 10, 2013

 

Welcome to The Gameological Society’s liveblog of Microsoft’s E3 2013 press conference, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time. Video games have been one of few bright spots for the flagging tech juggernaut lately. As Microsoft has lost relevance in the personal computing realm, its prominence as a tastemaker in the game business has stayed solid. But even that position is in peril as Microsoft hits a turning point with its Xbox enterprise. The first Xbox was practically a proof of concept: Microsoft saying, “We’re not afraid of you. We can make a game machine, too.” And they did. Having proven their worth, they made the Xbox 360, a console whose versatility and longevity surpassed the expectations of most, I would guess.

But the Xbox One has had a rocky coming-out party, starting with Microsoft’s bungled unveiling a few weeks ago—in which, for the most part, the company boasted in the vaguest terms about the One’s ability to let you watch TV. It has only gotten worse since then. As Microsoft has grudgingly offered more details about the One, they have raised the specters of an Orwellian surveillance infrastructure in theory and an ultra-complicated mess of DRM in practice. Look for Microsoft executives to “set the record straight” by “clarifying” the capabilities of the One. But don’t forget about the Xbox 360, which still has some life left in it (and had its own difficulties early on). There are some 76 million Xbox 360s out there in the wild, after all, and not a single Xbox One. So the 360 will still get plenty of stage time today.

The liveblog is above, and so is streaming video of the event, courtesy of Twitch. You can also watch the press conference live on your Xbox 360, on the Spike network, and at xbox.com. Please say your piece in the liveblog’s comments—the commentary is moderated, but we’ll try to publish as many smart/funny/insightful remarks as our clicking fingers allow.

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/deejaytaufiq Mohamad Taufiq Morshidi
    • ferrarimanf355

      I fail to see the humor.

      • Effigy_Power

        Calling the combination of console gaming and junk food “unprecedented”.
        That’s the humor.

    • NakedSnake

      I keep finding new things that delight me here. Like why do they have a disclaimer explicitly stating that Microsoft is not a sponsor? If they are not a sponsor, then… what??????? In what sense are they teaming up, and why is there Xbox stuff everywhere?

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Holy shit is that real? Because good lord.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    I anticipate the XBOX One’s big E3 reveal to be that we’ve all actually been living within the system for three years now.
       An impeccably-dressed kung-fu master of mixed racial heritage is going to inform us we have been plugged into, or “Gold-Membered” in the system since the cataclysm following the Great Console Wars of the 2000′s.
       Our actual bodies are incubating in a broth of carbonated high-fructose corn syrup and nacho-cheese flavor-dust inside the bombed-out shell of the LA convention center.
       There is no opposition.  The Wii-sistance has been crushed.  Do you want to buy a hat shaped like Kazooie for your avatar? 

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      “What is the Kinect?”
      “The answer is out there, Neo, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to…and don’t disable that function in the settings menu.”

      “You press the blue X – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You press the red B – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

      • Electric Dragon

        Unfortunately, no-one can be told what Microsoft’s DRM system is. You have to get burnt by it yourself.

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    I can’t see the live comments but I imagine a lot of people made good jokes.

  • RidleyFGJ

    $500. It’s like they never saw Sony’s conference from 2006.

    • CrabNaga

      GIANT ENEMY SENTIENT ROCK MONSTER doesn’t have the same ring to it, so they’re safe.

      • RidleyFGJ

        Their insistence on calling it Rock Man was not only lame, but it served to drive Capcom’s dagger even further into my heart.

    • Citric

      It’s weird, it’s like they’re Sony on a time delay.

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      It sounds like they’re building their profit margin into the box itself. That’s consistent with their Reveal event, which promoted the Xbone as a multimedia entertainment device instead of a game console. They want to sell this thing to people who don’t play video games, so they need to make a profit off of people who don’t play video games.

      • Effigy_Power

        Yet that won’t mean that games are going to be less than 50, 60 bucks.
        Microsoft truly knows how to spread the fun around.

  • Effigy_Power

    Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring.
    Unless the word revolution means rebranding, repackaging, remaking, rebooting, sequeling and copying, this was a real stinker.

    The entire focus was on extinguishing life, even the initially interesting “Spark” game devolved for the majority of the video into mass combat.
    Ryse or Ryze or whatever didn’t look in any capacity better than Witcher 2 looked years ago on the PC. The Forza guy was digging deep for creepy eroticisms and then showed a game that appears to only be hindered by having a player. Dead Rising 3… I can’t really do more than sum that up in one rude word. Battlefield Boatblaster was blurry, smokey, covered in water and generally shaky. And the so-called highlight was basically Planetside 2 for the XBone.

    The joy I take from this? The World of Tanks community is going to lose some very definite shits, which could be fun to watch. And at $500 entry-price, I am really looking forward to telling friends who buy this that they just wasted half a thousand bucks. Enough to build a decent gaming PC.

    I for one am going to fly the Steam flag a bit higher now. And enjoy all that media crap on my PC, like I have for the last decade or so.

    • ferrarimanf355

      At least you aren’t white knighting Sony over this like everyone at Destructoid is doing. That could only end in tears.

      • Effigy_Power

        I’ve never understood the point of console wars beyond the truth that people need a banner to rally under in order to avoid having to actually concede points sometimes and make compromises.
        If Sony comes out with the same boring slew of games, they are no better. If they present themselves better, good for them.
        XBone does however get an extra poo-stain for that Kinect… that thing just doesn’t sit well with me.

        • neodocT

           The one thing I like about the PS4 so far is that Jonathan Blow’s new game is an exclusive (timed exclusive? I don’t know). They get some points for that, but not my money.

        • The_Misanthrope

           Sony would make me happy if they outdid Microsoft by doubling sown on the indie games, but they won’t because those kinds of games don’t show off next-gen graphics. 

        • PaganPoet

          I’m with @The_Misanthrope:disqus here, if Sony keeps it up with exclusives like Journey and Guacamelee, then they have me sold. The only XBox360 exclusive that made me wish I had one is Fez.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

          @PaganPoet:disqus: And now Fez is available for PC anyway.

        • Enkidum

          If Sony keeps it up with Ps+ then, honestly, I’m probably going to get the PS4. Holy shit it’s a good deal. But other than that, I’m uncomfortable with all the hype surrounding… well… all of this.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          @PaganPoet:disqus Fez, and originally Braid both gave me a teeny, tiny XBox inkling (maybe Alan Wake a bit, but much less so). Now all of those are out on PC. Sony definitely seems to do better with the exclusives. I haven’t yet caved, but there are definitely still PS3 games I’d like to try, and it looks like PS4 will have plenty of indie exclusives, and if the Last Guardian hasn’t turned into vaporware, it will likely be a PS4 release at this point.

      • Halloween_Jack

        Not so much “white knighting” as “they’ve taken off the black hat”. If Sony had been as stupid as Microsoft, or if Microsoft had offered the same deal as Sony (even without backward compatibility), then it would be a different story. As it is, I’ll be using my 360 for a while longer, and if Redmond gets its shit together and puts out a revision that deals with the more egregious problems (such as having a not-always-on Kinect, not requiring a daily connection, and, oh yeah, cheaper), then I might take another look. No one’s forgetting the PSN hacking/outage, the de-PS2-backward-compatibility-fying, or even the CD rootkit scandal. Well, I’m not, anyway. 

    • miketernet

      Hear hear

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Johnson/501651 Kevin Johnson

      The sheer amount of “military-related shooters” were mind boggling. Like, I know there are a lot of them now, but I feel like this presentation was out-of-control. They didn’t even have “gimmicks” – FUSE at least had that!

      Did… did developers just give up? I seriously can’t believe this.

      • Effigy_Power

        Forza was the only XBone game reviewed that didn’t require you to kill anyone, if I recall correctly, which I might not, none of the trailers really left a real impression. I blinked a few times and may have missed some.

      • http://twitter.com/zhandlen Zack Handlen

        But one of them had wind speed! WIND SPEED, Kevin. This is game changer!

    • PaganPoet

      This post is basically your avatar made manifest into words.

      • Effigy_Power

        The sad thing: I’ve never managed to draw ‘exasperation’ the way I did for my avatar.

        • PaganPoet

          Is that the expression? I was thinking “haughty disgust.”

        • Effigy_Power

          Little bit of column A, little bit of column B.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

      I’m not the kind of person who needs each generation to innovate or show me new gameplay possibilities. I’m fine with bigger, faster, and better. But this was not bigger, faster, or better. All Microsoft did was show us what was already boring, and then they somehow made it even more boring.

      They want to make a military shooter? Fine. But don’t show me the same teal-and-orange setpiece I’ve seen a dozen times and tell me it’s awesome. They want to make a Roman action-adventure game? Fine. But don’t give me QTE-based combat and tell me it’s exciting.

      The Xbox One seems to be all about slightly prettier games that play a lot worse* than current-gen games. If that’s what the market wants, then so be it. But if multiplatform titles go the same way in the next gen, then don’t expect me to follow.

      (*I’m not worried that the gameplay looks simpler. In fact, streamlining complex gameplay often works for the better. But I am worried about gameplay that looks unengaging at best and incidental at worst. That’s what I saw during the Microsoft presser.)

      • George_Liquor

        In terms of hardware capabilities, I think we’re looking at the same level of diminishing returns that we saw at the end of the 16-bit era. Though now we’ve run out of dimensions to add. 

        Sort of off-topic, but still relevant: When I found out that Hyperkin resurrected the Game Genie for the PS3, all I could think was “Why? When was the last time I played a modern game difficult enough to require a 3rd party cheat device?” It seems that the cardinal sin of modern gaming has become allowing the player to lose. Even BI’s vaunted 1999 mode doesn’t add much more challenge to the game, at least as long as you have cash to spare. Sure they disabled the magic objective-indicating arrow, but since you have to beat the game once to unlock 1999 mode, its usefulness becomes pretty marginal. My Heroic-mode march through Halo 4 was a stroll in the park compared to even the first Halo game. I didn’t even realize I’d reached the end until the credits started to roll. 

        • Citric

          In fairness, I have become significantly worse at games as I have aged, possibly because I don’t have the time to be obsessive anymore, so I like how everything is easy.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          “ I think we’re looking at the same level of diminishing returns that we saw at the end of the 16-bit era.”

          I’m having trouble parsing this sentence. At the end of the 16-bit era, they were wringing some truly glorious things out of the SNES hardware. And while the shift to 32-bit was overwhelmingly an aesthetic (and in some areas, gameplay) downgrade, it was a major paradigm shift, and not really a case of “diminishing returns” in the same way this this upcoming generation. That was a period of awkward change. This is a period of boring saminess.

        • George_Liquor

          @paraclete_pizza:disqus Right, those games looked fabulous coming from the SNES. But I emphasize coming from the SNES. Regardless of its 3D prowess, each console in the 32-bit generation could sling loads of giant, 24-bit color sprites around the screen with ease, and they all sported 2D games that looked as good or better than anything the SNES could muster. 2D had become mundane; bigger color palettes, more sprites and fancy scaling & rotation effects no longer wowed the audiences, so the next big thing became the move to 3D.Likewise, I think we’re seeing a similar level of diminished “wow-factor,” for lack of a better term. I’m sure the Xbone can really sling the polygons, but nothing in the gameplay footage indicated to me that it’ll be as big an improvement over the 360 as the 360 was over its predecessor. Unfortunately we don’t have another paradigm-shifting Next Big Thing waiting around the corner this time.

    • The_Misanthrope

       I like the idea of game-creation software, but generally, the more user-friendly they make these things, the less customizable they are.  I don’t want to create Generic Fantasy World #2554; I want to make something unique.

      • Effigy_Power

        Spark was the only trailer that seemed interesting at first, despite looking a bit Spore-y, but well… it devolved into the same hack and slash thing every Fantasy-setting seems to be damned to.
        Can’t I just get a nice, big sandbox game set in a fantasy landscape that lets me build and rule and create? The way Settlers used to? Until that became Command and Conquer?
        Guess not.

        • George_Liquor

          It reminded me of Spore meets Skylanders. Oh, and you need about a thousand dollars worth of extra hardware to play it.

  • Swadian Knight

    Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to make a rape joke directed at one of the only two women to appear on stage? 

    • Effigy_Power

      I repressed that scene, but yeah.
      I’ve had an employee who had to go to a Union-mandated sensitivity seminar for saying something similar to a female co-worker.
      But not at fun Microsoft, kids! It’s imitateable!

    • neodocT

       I missed that, what happened?

      • Swadian Knight

        They announced a new Killer Instinct and brought out a woman to play against the other presenter. The guy said “Just let it happen, it’ll be over soon”, followed by “You like this” shortly before winning the match.

        • neodocT

           Ugh, that is awful…

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

             Un-fucking-believable.  Blood is pouring from my eyeballs in complete disbelief.

        • George_Liquor

          Wow, I missed that part. That’s pretty damned awful.

        • Bad Horse

          Boy, I can’t wait for Microsoft to just be a model of failure on all fronts. They’re like a dumber, more awful Apple in 1995.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          WHAT THE FUCK. I can’t even begin to process how awful and idiotic that is.

        • DrZaloski

          I actually didn’t miss that at first, I was actually in denial for a short time. I just shrugged that off, thinking “Oh, he just misspoke, my dirty mind desperate to find things to hate just wanted to hear what I think I just heard.” Then, after watching the tenth-billionth commentary I saw on the convention, I heard to “you like this.” 

          At that point I was just thinking “WAIT. NO. NO. WAIT… NO. WHAT THE FUCK. NO. Well, at least I’m an oversensitive asshole.”

        • Halloween_Jack

          Dude deserved a swift kick in the nuts.

    • anachronautics

      Wait, what??

      • emisan

        During the Killer Instict demo, the guy said something like, “Just let it happen, it’ll be over soon.” I cringed and couldn’t believe my ears.

    • Effigy_Power

      Basically a developer of Killer Instinct played a quick match against a woman who is not a developer and dropped lines like “Just take it”, “It’s over soon” and such, while she sounded fairly frustrated and repeated that she didn’t like what happened.
      Definitely not meant on purpose, but oh-so-unfortunate.

      • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

        At least his casual sexism answered the most burning question I had about a “Killer Instinct” reboot: Will Black Orchid still kill her opponents by flashing them? The answer is almost certainly “yes”/

        • Effigy_Power

          Resoundingly so.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        The worst part, though, was that we never found out what a “shark” was.

        • evanwaters

           Apparently it’s like in pool- someone who pretends to be bad at a game to sucker people in.

          Of course that’s not something they should expect everyone to know…

    • Fluka

      I’ll just repost what I said to said to my computer screen when that happened:

      Uruuuuuurrrggghhhhh.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        Incidentally one of the most popular sound effects in video games!

        • Citric

          Between all the grunting and rape jokes I was quite happy to have headphones in my office.

    • Pgoodso

      Hm.

      So, a serious question: if he would have said “I’m going to murder you”, would it have been better or worse?

      I understand the problems inherent in the normalization of rape language, but I wonder about how desensitized we are to all kinds of violent language, and if that means we’re too sensitive to these kinds of things overall or not sensitive enough, depending on whether that desensitization matters or not.

      Was that woman (and the viewing audience as spectators) a victim, or have we all said worse on Xbox Live and not given a damn because murder is literally part of the game and we’re ok with that? Why is, say, corpse humping so much more humiliating than, say, continuing to fire into a corpse long after the opponent is dead?

      If a big tentpole game could be produced where the goal was to commit vivid lifelike rapes as spectacularly as possible, that would of course be awful and it would get shut down way before release
      (at least in America)… but replace rape with murder, and you’ve just sold a million copies.

      Basically, has even the intimation of rape become worse than the actual depiction of murderous savagery, and is that good or bad? Why is fictional sexual “honor” more important than fictional life? And being fictional, does it even matter?

      I don’t have any answers here, just was interested to see so many people trigger on the insinuation of abusive sexual behavior between collegial
      seeming coworkers while, behind it, they were pretending to beat each other to death for our enjoyment.

      • Pgoodso

         Also, I hate copying and pasting in to Disqus… SO. MUCH.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        Short answer: Murder, which can be a quick, necessary act, is sometimes justified. On the other hand, rape, a prolonged display of power, is never justified.

        • Roswulf

           I don’t think this logic works.  Pedantically, there’s a killing/murder distinction. In modern legal systems a killing that qualifies as necessary is not murder by definition.

          But more fundamentally, when someone in a trashtalk context goes “I’m going to slice you into pieces with this big pointy stick” (or…er…something less phallic) I can’t imagine there is generallyan implied “in a manner consistent with societal standards for cruelty and torture, and only on the understanding that it is strictly necessary in defense of myself or others.” Violent trashtalk consists principally of threats to break societal norms. It is a means of acting out in a fantasy context aggressive drives that are in no way justified in the real world.

          I do however think @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus’s point that rape-associated trashtalk is particularly problematic, idiotic, and loathsome in the context of a console game marketing event given the well-understood flaws in the game industry’s treatment of women is completely on-point.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

          @Roswulf:disqus: I was responding more to @Pgoodso:disqus’s broader questions than the trash talk specifically. Bottom line: “I’m gonna kill you” and “I’m gonna rape you” have two very different connotations.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        While I do agree that the simulated murder I actively participate in every time I game has a troubling dimension, it’s not really equivalent to this.
           The games industry has a very real problem with representation, harassment, identity and inclusiveness.
           It does not, that I’m aware of, have a problem with rampant murdering.
           To have one of the few (only?) females present at the event be on the receiving end of an astonishingly tone-deaf rape joke during an official, streaming, corporate event is a sad public extension of what actually occurs daily within the industry.
           Sweaty, performance-enhancing ninjas drop-kicking werewolves does not. 

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          Also, society at large – beyond the game industry –  has a larger problem with raping than murdering. Somewhere between a fifth and a quarter of all American women are raped. Which is like 10-12% of ALL AMERICANS, not including male victims, which would push the number higher. (Contrast this with America’s murder statistics, which are yearly 5.3 per 100,000, or .0053% of the population annually). And outside of the ‘First World’ there are places where statistics are much worse.

          And the victims of rape are overwhelmingly women, which makes joking about rape to a woman pretty much analogous to, say, intimating you are going to ‘lynch’ a black person (which typically would qualify as ‘hate speech’).

          @Roswulf:disqus , @Pgoodso:disqus 

      • aklab

        Dude.* @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus said it best, but I would like to note that “how can you complain about rape when you’re playing a murder game?” is like the “I don’t mean to sound racist, but…” of modern gaming discourse. If your comment can be construed as any version of “well, rape isn’t as bad as this,” just, you know, choose not to post that comment. 

        *I’m presuming.

        • Pgoodso

          Please know I thought that the comment made by the developer was as distasteful as you did. I was merely attempting to explore that discomfort as, perhaps, merely being culturally standard instead of being universally standard. Especially considering that, as everyone is tacitly or directly agreeing with me, this is a culture where mass murder, fictionalized or not, can be considered “ok”, and even entertaining.

          I will take your attack on my supposed support for rape culture in the spirit it was intended, but choose to remain conversational, if you don’t mind.

          @Army_Of_Fun:disqus The interesting thing is that I find it incredibly probable that he would have said the EXACT same thing up there if his opponent was a man, especially considering my (and I’m assuming most people’s) experience on Xbox Live. And it probably wouldn’t have even been remarked upon for that very reason, which is why I appreciate your “lynch” comparison. Still, it’s not quite apt: NO ONE has ever threatened to lynch me online, so that taboo is pretty strong, and I’ve never been threatened with, say, slavery. But I will say, plenty have threatened to rape me, and plenty more have called me the n-word. Perhaps lynching and slavery have been relegated into the past as real threats, but rape and denigrating whole peoples with words are still “in style” enough to be used as attempted comical epithets.

          Hm. I wonder if a large part of it is that death is so simultaneously everpresent and bizarrely beyond our ken, along with the fact that the dead can’t continue to hurt.

          I mean, think about it this way: I had a friend whose mother died when were young. We were used to saying “your mama” jokes to each other, but we always had to be “Oh, right, his mom is dead” when instinctive “Your mama!”s came up.

          Applying that logic to this situation, it means we are instinctively saying “Oh, right, she could have been or could still be raped” about her, but, if my supposition is true, most of us would not likely say that about a man in the same situation, and, I think just as interesting, none of us think, “Oh, right, being punched/shot/crushed like that would hurt” or “Oh, right, dying is a terrifying and omnipresent inevitability” about what’s happening in the games themselves. Which means we see and empathize with a potential rape victim in the female developer, but wouldn’t in a male one, and none of us see potential death victims on either side.

          As silly (and perhaps obvious) as that seems, I do mean it as a serious observation. It’s interesting what we choose to focus on.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          @Pgoodso:disqus If he were playing against a white man and said “Oh, I’m totally going to lynch you!” it would have probably stung less than if he had said such a thing to a black person. Just because he might have said the same thing to a privileged person doesn’t mean that it was in any way to say it to a different person.

          And, of course, it’s arguable that it wouldn’t be okay to say that to the privileged person, either.

      • Army_Of_Fun

        Murder is an equal opportunity violent act, rape is overwhelmingly, although not exclusively, a violent act committed against women. Maybe the act itself isn’t objectively worse, it’s more about the culutural connotations that the act brings with it. Along similar lines, it would be culturally insensitive to threaten to “lynch” your opponent, while threatening to “choke them to death” is probably fine uh, in the context of a Killer Instinct match.

      • Swadian Knight

        I don’t think any sort of trash talk would have been appropriate on stage during this sort of presentation. In fact, violent trash talk is the sort of thing I could only consider tolerable in a context where you have a pretty good idea of the boundaries of everyone involved (and even then it would put me off immensely).

        I’m not saying I’m okay with the fact that most of the games announced were some variation of a shooter or with all of the protagonists being white men. I’m just saying that using this kind of language in front of worldwide audience (and among which, statistically speaking, there are probably a great number of survivors of rape and sexual assault) is a remarkably shitty decision that reflects negatively on a medium that already struggles a lot with sexism and harassment.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        How about don’t say either? jesus christ.

        And yeah, if you’re playing a murder game saying “i’m gonna kill you” doesn’t seem so harsh because you are obviously talking about killing the avatar they are controlling. Also how many murder victims do you think were in the audience? How many rape victims? 

        Yes murder is bad, fucking obviously. What even is your point?

        • Pgoodso

          Sigh. Yes, murder is bad fucking obviously, and yes rape is bad, fucking obviously. I’m glad we can ALL agree. That’s not what I’m attempting to discuss though.

          I actually agree with most your statements. But it could just as conceivably be supposed that his rape metaphor was pointed at her avatar as well, the metaphor of sexual power subbing in for his supposed combat superiority, which, since it’s a game, he likely doesn’t really have, and ESPECIALLY since later she just as easily woops up on him, making it ALMOST like they had players of somewhat equal skill playing pre-planned fights for the benefit of the audience, meaning his smacktalk was doubly meaningless.

          That’s my point: I sincerely doubt he meant his comments as a serious threat, I doubt she actually felt threatened (in either the game OR in life), and I doubt his comments would be meant as such if his opponent were a man, or if he’d said he was gonna kick her ass, despite the very real threats of both rape and violence in this country. I was just attempting to explore why we (yes, WE, me too) found it so distasteful, especially when surrounded by other similarly fictive crimes. I appreciate your and others’ answers.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          I don’t see the point in playing this weird game of “why are people upset at rape jokes?” because it just comes off as rape culture apologia. I’m sure you’re intentions were noble or whatever, but that kind of thing doesn’t seem constructive, especially in regards to the context at hand. Nerd/gaming culture has enough shittiness without people trying to handwave this stuff away.

          And if he was talking about his avatar raping the other players avatar well how is that not fucking problematic? I’m just so fucking sick of hearing people in online games say “haha yeah we totally raped the other team!!” or whatever. It’s not alright. 

          And if his opponent was a man? Are you kidding? If his opponent was a man he wouldn’t have said it, but that is really fucking irrelevant because that’s not what happened. As if women don’t get shit on enough. I’m trying really hard to give you the benefit of the doubt here, but I’ve seen this kind of argument hundreds of times when discussing these things online. Apologies if I come of as harsh, but I really don’t have the patience for this kind of shit.

        • Pgoodso

          Hm. I see your point. I suppose I meant it as “we got justifiably upset about the rape joke between colleagues, but we do not get upset about the graphic violence his ill-worded metaphor was referencing”, but all it came off as was me attempting to say “violence is ok, so why can’t rape jokes be?”. Which is not what I as attempting to do at all. And I’m certainly not attempting to handwave the issue, either: otherwise, I wouldn’t be so ridiculously wordy.

          I do worry, sometimes, whether questioning the origin of certain
          attitudes gets conflated with being against them. I was attempting to do
          the former, while appearing to do the latter. and I apologize for sounding that way.

    • Toparaman

       The scripted banter during that match was terrible, rape jokes aside. 

      Lots of scripted banter during the other gameplay demonstrations as well.  Which naturally makes me think that all the gameplay was pre-recorded footage.

  • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

    Well, I was rather interested in that Panzer Dragoon spiritual successor until I found out it’s a Kinect game, so… guess all I care about is Swery65′s new game!

  • Pgoodso

    If you thought we oversold the TV thing, just wait til we oversell you on Smartglass… as soon as we get the sound working!

    I’m happy to see Killer Instinct again, legitimately, but very sad about the 499 US DOLLARS.

    As a sidenote, between this, the Tonys and the every-weekend-lameness of SNL, live broadcast sound designers seem to be getting shittier and shittier. Who are they hiring and how can they stop?

    • PaganPoet

      Killer Instinct looked rather fug…is it just me? I did used to enjoy that game as a teen, but I think it was the whole ultra combo gimmick, I can’t imagine it would hold my attention now. Then again, the Mortal Kombat reboot was pretty good, actually, so maybe I’m just being cynical.

      • Effigy_Power

        I remember it less rapey. But yeah, the original Killer Instinct was just Mortal Kombat with more furries and weapons.
        I generally find it ironic to make a big deal out of a 2D beat’em up at a Next-Gen press conference.

        • Pgoodso

          While they both had similar violence quotas and fatalities, Killer Instinct’s combo system and playstyle, whether you liked it or not, was WAY more involved and much different than Mortal Kombat’s, especially with the combo breakers and mid-fight fatalities.

          I hope I’m not sounding overly defensive, but to me, that’s a little like saying that the Castlevania games were just Mario with a whip: yes, in that they are both jumpy platformers; no, for so many other reasons.

          I’m not saying this as a superfan of the franchise by any means. But I think there’s as much difference between Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat as there is between those two and Street Fighter or Soul Calibur.

        • Effigy_Power

          Fair enough. I never really got into it and the disc very quickly gathered dust. The presentation of those two games however is fairly similar, even if the mechanics might be different.

        • George_Liquor

          All I can recall about Killer Instinct is being constantly juggled by the computer opponent until dead, and not being able to do a damn thing about it. That soured me toward the whole series. 

        • Nudeviking

          C-C-C-Combo Breaker!!!

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        It looks as though Rare is styling the reboot to evoke the plastic sheen of the original sprites.
           Which strikes me as being as misplaced a stab at nostalgia as I’ve ever seen.

        • Effigy_Power

          ESPECIALLY at a “Next-Gen” thing.

      • miketernet

        I like how in TJ Combo’s level you fight in his boxing gym. Like why would anyone allow all these scary creatures to come in and fight in a public boxing gym. Surely the manager was PISSED.

  • NakedSnake

    The great thing about growing up is how you get to know something will be shitty just by looking at it. You don’t need to work so hard to convince me, Microsoft… I already know.

  • Citric

    Someone here would know better than me: Couldn’t I get a totally acceptable PC for $500? I remember when consoles were significantly cheaper than PCs.

    • Effigy_Power

      For $500 you can buy a barebones computer (which at this point has pretty much everything but OS) that plays ME3 easily and maybe beyond.
      Skyrim might just be stretching it, but a small GPU upgrade can handle that. Plus a PC can do all the other stuff consoles are currently bragging about.

      • George_Liquor

        Bear in mind that most big-name PC releases these days are just console ports, and they’ve kept the state of the PC gaming art relatively static for years. That will change dramatically once the XboneStation4 hits the market. A $500 budget rig capable of squeaking through ME3 or Skyrim likely won’t be able to hack what gets released in the near future without some potentially expensive upgrades.  

      • Citric

        I’ve been thinking I need to upgrade pretty soon anyway, since my PC is something like 7 years old now. It can still handle some stuff but it’s pretty long in the tooth.

        And it looks like MGSV is next gen and that’s all I really want so far.

      • Bakken Hood

        Yeah, but here’s the thing: you never have to upgrade the damn Xbone.  I’ve had my X360 since early 2007, never upgraded it, and it runs Skyrim and BF3 as well as it theoretically would have when I bought it.  This is the one drawback of the PC platform that the Xbone hasn’t adopted, and the only reason I’m hesitating to defect over to the PC side.

        • Effigy_Power

          You say “don’t have to”, I say “can’t”. Skyrim, the example you chose, looks stunning on a good, admittedly more expensive computer. It allows for modifications. You can make content for it.
          The console version can’t do any of those things. You could say that you don’t have to mod Skyrim, I say you can’t on the console.

        • Bakken Hood

          Very true.  I’m jealous that PC players get mods and bug-fixing console commands and all that other good stuff.  That’s not what makes gaming PC’s expensive, though.  I don’t want to pay the estimated $200/year just to keep up with purely graphics-driven system requirements.  I don’t mind suffering through low-res textures.  Hell, I didn’t mind that DAO and Brutal Legend look marginally better than PS2-era console games.  I just want the gameplay, and consoles give you that much without the cost and headaches of regular upgrades.

          Me, I’m crossing my fingers that the Steam Box is successful enough to create distinct “generations” of PC hardware– that is, that publishers are obligated to make sure that 2018 games run on a mere 2014 rig.  Players that want a billion polygons at 300 fps are welcome to open their wallets.  Just don’t force me to do the same, dammit.

        • George_Liquor

          @Bakken_Hood:disqus Then you’re in luck. What with most PC games being half-assed console ports, a PC gamer hardly needs to upgrade his/her rig at all. My gaming desktop was built in 2007, and has been graced by very few hardware updates since. It runs all the latest games like a champ, which says less about my PC-building prowess than it does the fact that PC gaming has stagnated. 

        • Joel Rasdall

          I’ve never paid anywhere close to $200/year to keep my PC up to the latest grafics specs.  Where on earth did you get that number?  I’ve been playing PC games since I had an old XT running in CGA and I’ve never, ever paid anything like that.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          You never ‘have to’ upgrade your PC, either, though. The PC that was playing XBox 360 games at higher quality than the XBox 360 four years ago, is still playing XBox 360 games at higher quality than the XBox 360 now. It only suffers by comparison to newer/upgraded computers.

          PCs afford you the option of upgrading. If there’s any setup that deserves the verb “have to” it’s the console, where you “have to” use the hardware that came in the box indefinitely, and you “have to” use that company’s online system, and “have to” buy your downloadable games through it, etc.

          I say this as a person who until recently only really played games on Nintendo consoles, apart from DOSBoxed retro games and smaller indies on my creaky old former PC. I recently got a PC actually capable of playing contemporary games, and it’s all but completely erased my latent desire to pick up a PS3 or to look at any of the upcoming consoles with genuine interest.

        • Bakken Hood

          I’ll spell it out again.  In 2007, I bought my 360 for $400.  Could you build a solid $400 gaming PC in 2006?  Probably.  Could it run Oblivion?  Maybe with some tuning.

          About five years later, I got Skyrim.  My 360 ran Skyrim just fine.  Could that non-upgraded, half-decade-old $400 PC run Skyrim, even with all the sliders bottomed out?  Harrumph.  It takes some seriously fuzzy math to make PC’s as economical as consoles, even $500 consoles.

          Not that any of this means I’ll be buying a Xbone.  They’re adopting most of the PC’s shortcomings with no indication that they’re borrowing any of its virtues (user mods, Steam sales/Humble Bundles, etc.).  I still might turn traitor this gen, but only under protest.  I have better things than draw distances and water textures to spend my money on.

      • Simon Jones

         As @George_Liquor:disqus  says, what saved PC gaming from itself was the last gen of consoles effectively freezing system requirements for the past five or so years.

        What you’re effectively telling your friends to do is get in terms of gaming is a really expensive, slightly shitteir Xbox360 that’ll eventually require more money to keep u up with current gen. You buy that Xbone and that’s all the money you’ll have to spend until it gets broken or stolen.

    • http://mathmanmustdie.blogspot.com/ Mr. Glitch

      Sure, but that has as much to do with the falling costs of PCs as it does the rising cost of game consoles. Old consoles didn’t pack in nearly as much hardware as PCs, either. They had no mass storage, minuscule amounts of RAM and CPUs that were either old and under-powered themselves, or based on old designs. What we have coming up will likely give even the most powerful gaming rigs a run for their money. 

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      I built my current “gaming” computer which runs everything I could ever want at the highest settings for about $600 and change last year. I bet the same rig could probably be built for $500 and change this year.

  • Toparaman

    For what it was, I don’t think the conference was that bad.  The focus really was 100% on games, for once.  It’s difficult to tell what was actual gameplay and wasn’t, but there were definitely a few titles with potentially interesting gameplay.  Assuming you’re into shooters, that is.

    And say what you will about Kojima, that guy knows how to make a trailer.  Jesus Christ.

  • PaganPoet

    So EA wins for the Mirror’s Edge 2 trailer.

    • Fluka

      AWWWWWW YISSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

      (Also, Dragon Age!  Morrigan finally put on a shirt!)

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        I just beat DA yesterday.

        One of my funniest memories from the game was my endless quest to find Morrigan an outfit that had better stats than her default suit – that idiotic ill-fitting boob-drapery. After searching Ferelden high and low, I finally found a warrior mage robe that suited her stats, and looked rather bad ass and in-character for her.

        I almost immediately then did the Flemeth quest and was rewarded with Morrigan’s ultimate armor – which was identical to her stupid starting outfit! ACK! Bioware, why do you do this to me?

        My version of DA apparently came with DA2 and all of the DLC – one of which includes an extra Morrigan story. Part of me is curious to give it a spin so I can continue Morrigan’s Quest for Reasonable Attire.

        • Fluka

          I’m pretty sure like 50% of Morrigan’s arcane magicks are dedicated to mammary support.  Otherwise it must be really painful when she runs!  (Also, I wonder if that’s the same battle robe I had in DAO…it was delightfully midriff-covering!)

          Play DA2!  (Someday I’ll get around to playing the DLCs for both games…I haven’t actually played a single one, huh.)

      • Simon Jones

         Morrigan is only Morrigan if she has to wear a series of ridiculous and demeaning hats.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.arnow Rick Arnow

    Anyone know if Microsoft means to extend their general asshatery re: live and used games to current 360 owners?   I’d hope not, but they don’t necessarily seem to have a problem with scorched earth…

  • DrZaloski

    Well, at least I can express and tame my pent up sexual frustration by stripping in front of the Kinect hoping someone is watching and masturbating on the other end.