Extra Credit looks at the latest gaming trend: crowdfunding. It's not quite a household term but going by Twitter, press releases and gaming news coverage in general, it's getting there. Crowdfunding takes money from ordinary people in exchange for, say, a copy of the game or seeing a digital version of that person somewhere in the game. Right now Kickstarter is the company on everyone's lips but it isn't the only game in town. IndieGoGo, RocketHub, ulule and the newly formed Gambitious are all out there trying to help someone create that sequel to TIE Fighter or Star Tropics.
After a year of silence, Nintendo has its press conference where it was demonstrate to the world why it needed a Wii U and 3DS and why it should stay away from smartphones and tablets.
Judging by Twitter, the result was a wash. Nintendo did announce games for both the Wii U and 3DS. The Wii U got Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, Wii U Fit, Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3 as well as support for video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and Amazon Video announced. The 3DS got decent titles like New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario Sticker Star and Luigi's Mansion 2.
The thing is that show attendees, and those watching at home, were looking for more—especially from the Wii U. Why, after owning an Xbox 360 and/or PlayStation 3, should someone pick up a Wii U? That was the question that needed answering and it seemed Nintendo didn't do a very good job of doing so. All hope is not loss as E3 (as of this writing) is not over so there is time for more announcements. But after a year's wait, it looks like many are going home to be content with their 360s and PS3s until their successors show up.
Sony was up next. Despite a dearth of PlayStation Vita game announcements, there were some worthy announcements like Assassins Creed III on the Vita featuring the first female assassin. Other highlights from the show included David Cage's Beyond, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, WonderBooks and Naughty Dogs' The Last of Us. The Last of Us was worth the price of admission.
Microsoft's press conference began with a bang thanks to none other than Halo 4. Gears of War got a prequel called Gears of War: Judgment and Forza fans can look forward to Forza: Horizon, confirmed as an open-world racing title. Microsoft seemed to have most of the big AAA titles on display or mentioned in its press conference and it wasn't shy about announcing that it locked up with DLC as well.
What was also on display was the shift for Xbox 360. This E3, Microsoft was also all about entertainment. It introduced Xbox SmartGlass which allows control of the Xbox and Xbox content through other devices. And there was also lots of talk about Netflix, Hulu and the Xbox Music. It's debatable how much of this Xbox 360 owners actually but it is where Microsoft has always wanted to take the 360.
Nintendo wanted to get the jump on everyone and release its "concept presentation" ahead of the big E3 press conferences. Perhaps it also wanted to get it out of the way so as to not cause any confusion—at last year's E3 Nintendo took some heat for not being clear that it was just announcing the system, its name and showing off conceptual game ideas. At any rate, you see the Wii U Gamepad, Mii Universe and some more conceptual game ideas. Hopefully, the games and more specific talk about the hardware will be at Tuesday's press conference.
Although I don't play PC games at all, many people that I follow on Twitter and around the Internet do… and with the release of Diablo III, there were a lot of upset people because of errors and server maintenance that seriously limited the amount of available playing time on launch day.
Mortal Kombat and Portal 2 combined last April to move well over 1.5 million units. Compare the significance of those two games with Kinect Star Wars, and Prototype 2. You really can't. Even adding The Witcher 2 to the mix, these games simply don't have the same kind of selling power as last April's slate of game releases. Without prominent and captivating game releases, consumers aren't going to spend money on software… or hardware, for that matter.
The announcement of the BioShock Infinite delay to late February of 2013 doesn't surprise me in the slightest. The original October 2012 release date seemed a bit risky, given the already-impressive lineup of software that is slated to ship near the same time. Assassin's Creed III, Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Wii U hardware, and other games would likely have eaten into potential sales for BioShock Infinite. Would these other software releases have led to disappointing sales for Infinite?
Since the days of Morrowind, players and game critics alike have often described Bethesda's beloved Elder Scrolls series as "an offline MMO." The titles have had many of the elements that make Massively Multiplayer titles like World of Warcraft a huge hit, but it's never allowed for other players to come together and share the experience—until now.
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