Mar 28, 2017
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by Jay Randy Gordon
E3: Was It Really Back? Uhh, No Not Really.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last month in LA, many insiders were muttering, "same 'ol, same 'ol." 45,000 went to see 400+ exhibitors, compared to last year's 220 exhibitors and about 40,000. The overall takeaway: The party is over - for the moment, anyway. The industry is undergoing a big shift from product models to service models. Trouble on the horizon.
3D in the Video Gaming World?
Does it matter that there was a 3D Gaming Summit in SoCal in March? (3dgamingsummit.com). No, not really. The installed base and footprint for 3D-enabled TVs will need time "to take" in the market. Though "Killzone 3" from Sony looked good at E3, maybe Capcom took the best shot with "Resident Evil 5." All the way back in 2009, they earned maximum respect by having RE5 be S-3D compliant for NVIDIA' GeForce 3D Vision. Their next big 3D-enabled title, "Lost Planet 2" (for PC), ships in October and will also support 3D Vision.
Darkworks (darkworks.com) seems to be making a end run with a postproduction 3D gaming solutions, but grand-scale, mainstream 3D gaming (as you really want it) is still a 3-Dream. Get your head "out of the clouds" and into cloud computing: that's where the future lives!
Gamer Gordon and the original 'Big Man," Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew. photo: courtesy Jay Randy Gordon
Though Bay Area-based OnLive debuted their streaming videogame service, it will be interesting to see if that model will pay off (we know it plays). In contrast, how about GaiKai from visionary co-founder David Perry? Many feel gamers won't continue to pay $60 for gaming experience (intellectual property) content. GaiKai (no download, no install, one click) will try to bring people closer to games, while OnLive's $15 monthly service (plus a one-time fee per game) feels more like a Hulu for games. True, there are no downloadable gigs of data required for each game, and they provide access to titles like "Assassin's Creed II," "Splinter Cell: Conviction," "Mass Effect 2, and "Batman: Arkham Asylum," but there's a one problem: cancel your monthly service, and you lose all one-time fees for games played. Ouch ! Perhaps the solution is InstantAction, a Web-based platform that embeds triple-A games on any site to trial, play, or own.
Next-Gen 3-Year Wait? Not exactly.
The games will keep coming. A lot of E3 buzz centered on gesture-controlled games, with PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect answering the Nintendo Wii gauntlet throwdown. Wireless joysticks and "up-off-the-couch" gaming will move your body to motion sensor boundaries, making you sweat before you can say "stroboscopic effect." While the Microsoft Kinect will be here this fall as an add-on for the Xbox360, I predict it will be three-years 'til the PS4 and Xbox720 although Nintendo Wii2 could make it by 2012. If you get bored waiting for the next console, go to Rochester, NY, this fall for the unveiling of ICHEG (International Center for the History of Electronic Games) and their "eGames Revolution Exhibit" (icheg.org).
Activision was missing from E3's show floor (as was "FarmVille" maker Zynga), but "Call of Duty: Black Ops" captured a lot of coverage. Mad Catz, which makes accessories for videogame systems and PCs, announced OptiCOM ProGaming Glasses for PS3 and Xbox360, in addition to readying you for racing with their Wireless Wheel for Xbox 360. Music-oriented games have been big in the past two years due to franchises: Activision's "Guitar Hero" and "DJ Hero," EA's "RockBand," and Konami's "DDR." Keep a watch out for "Metroid: Other M" (for Nintendo Wii), as well as multi-platform games "Karaoke Revolution: Glee" (from Konami), the Michael Jackson "Beat It" game (from Ubisoft), plus "Dead Rising 2" and "Marvel vs. Capcom 3" (from Capcom).
Jonesing for Another Show?
GDC happened at SF's Moscone Center this spring, and Sony staged its annual Destination PlayStation, but at a bigwigs-only event in Scottsdale, AZ. So unless you want to go to Comic-Con International in San Diego, July 22-25, or GDC Europe/GamesCom in Cologne, Germany, Aug. 18-22, you're left with PAX Prime (Penny Arcade) in Seattle, September 3-5. See you there!
Jay Randy Gordon works in video and gaming and wrote "BusiBUZZ:"
Posted on Aug 13, 2010 - 03:03 AM