Yesterday marked the launch of two major titles heading into the madness that is typical for the fall release cycle. While both Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Battlefield 4 are sure to move millions of units, the intriguing aspect is that they are poised to be tentpole titles for both the outgoing consoles and the soon to be launched PS4 and Xbox One.
While I’m not overly concerned about Battlefield 4 as I will most likely adopt that later at a lower price (perhaps even on the PC), the Assassin’s Creed launch has put me in a peculiar situation. I’ve supported the series since its inception back in 2007, even through last year’s disappointing outing of Assassin’s Creed III.
With only a few more months until the new console launches from Sony and Microsoft, I think my seventh generation consoles sensed the writing on the wall. First my PS3 decided to die on me with a optical drive failure last spring. Now it seems my Xbox 360 is joining my PS3 in the ward for partially crippled consoles. My 360, the longest tenured and steadfast of my entertainment setup, suffered incapacitation at the hands of a eject function failure. Both consoles still effectively function, but the loss of my entire physical collection of games is too much to handle, especially with the massive lineup for Fall (and a little game called GTAV).
I guess I can play the Wii to tide me over.
Sony launches an offensive volley from GamesCom
Although I speculated last week that Sony would sit on the launch date for their PS4, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sony will begin sales on the PS4 November 15th in North America (Nov 29 for Europe). The date comes at a time where Microsoft is expected to have a late November launch, giving Sony at least two weeks alone in stores. Not that it matters, with Sony PS4s being reportedly pre-ordered at a higher rate than the Xbox One.
In fact, it appeared that Sony is sticking with the battle strategy of “we’re not Microsoft,” despite Microsoft’s change in attitude and improved public reception. Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House took the stage at GamesCom and said, “While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires.” I can’t fault Sony from taking the approach because it so far has masked their weaker initial software lineup and put them in a position of advantage while Microsoft scrambled to regain its footing.
I hope for both Sony’s and the overall growth of the industry that they strive to be more than just not being Microsoft because ultimately, there will be a push for more digital content. Ideally there will be tools created that can accomplish both a reasonable amount of things gamers desire like game sharing and purchasing options while allowing manufacturers to find success in new technologies in digital delivery and ownership rights. We might be a ways off from that but it won’t be because it was better to play it safe. Continue reading
Forget the undercard. 2013’s E3 was clearly about two heavyweights, going toe to toe. In what the netizens of the internet have clamored that Sony played Frazier to Microsoft’s Ali, the new generation of console wars is at fever pitch, and it has only just begun.
E3 officially begins today, as the show will open to denizens of reporters (not named Theory Flaw) ready for terrible food, hourly deadlines and product demos galore. But while many games will get their moment of glory in the coming days, the major players have already opened their hands for heads-up poker. Franchise reboots, new exclusives, new consoles and product strategy highlight this list of the biggest news to come out of the pre-show presentations.
10. Crimson Dragon
I had to try my hardest not to write Dragoon because this is clearly designed in the vein of the stellar dragon riding series Panzer Dragoon. Even bringing back Panzer Dragoon series director Yukio Futatsugi this Kinect based Xbox One game features massive bosses and gorgeous dragon-borne aerial combat. While I fear it may play a little too closely to Child of Eden, this is clearly a bold move by Microsoft.