So E3 2011 if pretty much over, as usual it’s been a very fun event and it’s the big thing every year gamers look forward to for their most wanted announcements and surprises, a lot of people expected some announcements that they have been waiting a while for this year only at some points to be dissapointed, sure the conferences were enjoyable but I didn’t have the thought in my head that I have every year for really any conference, that is “I really cannot wait for this!” Personally, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t hear really any those announcements we gamers have been waiting a very long time for, which is why I’ve compiled a list of what I want, and what Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, should unveil at next year’s E3 to “wow” us.
Sony has no doubt done good for quite some time in the gaming department, spitting out hit exclusive after hit exclusive year after year and showing those games in all their glory at their E3 conferences, I enjoy that part of their conferences every single year, games are something that Sony has been mastering since the start and continues to excel in today.
What are they missing though? I’m sure every gamer knows what I’m going to say, PSN. For a completely free service(free unless you pay for PlayStation Plus) it is a very good service, think about it, you can play games, communicate with friends, go in PlayStation Home, and the list goes on for absolutely free. Sure, PSN is much better than when the service first launched but the last time we had an even considerable update was 2 years ago (text chat and the PlayStation Store remake), since then, it’s only been minor updates to PSN player cards and other small things.
PSN users have been wanting many features, some are big, but some are really small, easy features that have yet to show up, like auto-syncing PSN trophies and pressing the PS button to activate a notification for its details. There’s also the big ones like a party feature and voice messaging. It still leaves me scratching my head as to why Sony hasn’t announced anything yet, they have even set up a website on the subject called PlayStation Blog Share, and they definitely use it, just not for the top-needed features have been added yet. I want them to go on the E3 stage next year and blow us all away with PSN features we have all been dying for, will they do it though? I don’t think so, but they certainly need to.
The PlayStation Move is also something big for them, they need to show that they actually are serious about supporting it. Last year I did not purchase a Move because I was going to wait a year to see if Sony would fully support it, and sadly this year does not see much support. support for PlayStation exclusives is pretty good, but not so much for third party, this thing doesn’t look that hard to set up on third party games either so I don’t see why Sony at least push them to add it at least as an alternate controller scheme from the Dualshock controller. Also, where are the big games made JUST for the controller, an example would be PlayStation Move Heroes, I didn’t see much of those shown this year.
Sony is doing a pretty good job on the gaming front but I’m still waiting to see them wow us with Move support and especially PSN features, let’s hope next year’s E3 will cover us!
Unlike Sony, Microsoft will support the hell out of their motion device, their advertising campaign for the Kinect was well done last year, they certainly sold a lot last year and many people, even those who weren’t big gamers knew what Kinect was because of the advertisements and the same people had no idea what the PlayStation Move was. They also showed a lot of Kinect for the hardcore games along with casual games also this year which I thought was nicely done.
Xbox Live is also a really good online gaming network, with other networks like PSN still trying to catch up to them, they offer a robust amount of features and quite simply, not much needs to be added to the service right now , but if they really want to do something cool next year, why not add on cooler things, you see what Call of Duty Elite is doing? Why not add those social and informational features from the service for all games across the board, that way you will get to know much more stats about friends in any game, and not have to pay extra for external services to do that same thing.
One huge gripe I have about the Microsoft conferences year after year is their exclusive game line-up, I know it’s hard to get exclusives these days but take a look at the exclusive line-up for the Xbox 360,. Forza 4 releases soon, the fourth Fable game just got announces, Halo 4 just got announced, and I’m betting Gears of War 4 will probably be right around the corner on the announcement pipeline. These are still fun games for many players, but some are starting to get old and will people keep buying 360′s if the same games, just with a new number at the end release yearly? Well, maybe they will, Nintendo has no problem doing that.
That’s one thing I like about Sony, even though they are releasing sequels on their PS3, they also are not afraid to release some new IP’s, because honestly, new IP’s that are good like Heavy Rain become some of our favorite experiences, and man, I am still waiting for Microsoft to bring something impressive and new to the table in the hardcore gaming department, they haven’t really done so in over a year or two. At the end of the day, it’s all about the games and when someone is buying a new game console and they see the same IP’s still hitting shelves on the 360, they may decide to buy a PS3 because of its exclusive line-up that doesn’t just involve sequels, the exclusives for the Xbox 360, at least for the hardcore, is something that is losing its appeal on the Xbox 360, and something that needs to be addressed in my opinion, go out on the stage next year and show some new and interesting IP’s Microsoft!
Nintendo announced their new console at their somewhat confusing conference this year and it addressed a few things that we have been asking for, one mainly being HD support and better hardware and storage, even with that, this console still is missing some big stuff, I still can’t even play DVD’s on this console, which I’m pretty certain this console will be fully capable of, much like the Wii was, Nintendo is not disappointing me too much in the innovation department as usual. It’s also nice that the ggraphics card on this thing is said to be even better than the PS3 and the 360.
Another key problem is their online network, which we can all agree, is still absolute crap, a far cry from what it was originally supposed to be. Both PSN and XBL are services that easily allow different people to easily connect, find, and contact each other no matter where they are on their consoles, needless to say with friend codes and other contributing factors, the Wii’s online network does not have the qualities to keep online users connected without some frustration. Especially given the fact that Nintendo has actually claimed that they will essentially be caring less about their online service with this new console!
Gamers are becoming more connected online and my prediction is that eventually when we will be streaming games through the internet with the networks from the big 3 companies. Nintendo will most likely be unprepared for this and will once again have to play catch-up. Why on earth are they not serious, or even paying attention at all at their online service? I realize it’s a casual console but it needs some connectivity at least, especially since multiplayer, not just offline, but also online, is becoming a major focus point for gamers around the world. I would have a blast playing Mario Kart or Super Smash Brothers online with other people with actual usernames that I could easily connect with. At E3 next year, Nintendo needs to really announce an organized online service.
One more thing is their game line-up, which, just like Microsoft, desperately needs some new IP’s. When they do make a new Zelda and Mario game, they’re usually still good, somehow Nintendo can milk the same two gaming characters for decades and they’re still good. I do want to see some new experiences from Nintendo, new gaming characters and adventures we’ve never seen before, they really need to stop playing it safe with their games and try something new from time to time.
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So, as you can see, all three companies have some work to do on their systems and quite honestly, most of these features have been wants for quite some time, hopefully next E3 is what we have been waiting for… but, we can only hope.