I watched both the Sony and Microsoft EA conferences today, and I decided to take notes on the positives, negatives, and questions I have. Figured I'd post those here, for anyone who's interested.
General Next-Gen Notes:
Next-gen games could cost upwards of $100.
Excited about what type of game will take the place of the generic FPS/3PS. I don't see the regular first-person shooter keeping itself afloat at the top; particularly when looking at the lack of innovation shown at E3 so far. I predict open world games, about freedom in how you play, will lead the pack.
How does Cloud Computing work PERIOD if your connection is slow? Will features lag, be omitted while your connection is slow, or will the game possibly not be playable if your connection is less than stellar at the moment? It's suddenly not just about having an internet connection, but having a fast and stable one. And how much bandwidth will this extra data transfer take up? Can you even use your internet connection on any other devices when playing games that utilize the Cloud?
Roman game called Ryse, an exclusive... good presentation, but not much else. Looked cliche, and had far too many quick-time events.
New, Xbox exclusive Killer Instinct game. Awesome, and if done well, could possibly hint that Rare is becoming a competent company again.
Insomniac is now a 1st party Xbox dev. Their new game is called Sunset Overdrive... also known as I Am Legend: Hipster Brink Edition.
Microsoft is giving free Xbox 360 games out to all 360 Gold owners, until the Xbox One launch. Two games from a selection, each month. Also coming out with free-to-play World Of Tanks. Therefore, I need a bigger harddrive, lol.
Brand new Super Slim Xbox 360 releasing today. Kind of pointless, but it looks like an Xbox One! So if you can't afford the Xbox One, buy a new 360, and play pretend! Derp...
MGS5: Phantom Pain is a 3rd Person Farcry 3, with emphasis on stealth and story... which is a really REALLY good thing.
Forza 5 uses Drive-Atar AI, rather than traditional AI. There's presumably no traditional AI; it instead purely learns from you as you play, and then your habits are put into an opponent in someone elses game, through Cloud Computing. Meanwhile when you play... the AI opponents are created using the data from other real life players.. Unsure how this works when your internet connection is slow, or if it's even playable. "Fast and Fair" multiplayer, which doesn't sound good... sounds like Turn 10 limiting host options, or implementing forced rubber-banding. They have a history with adding features and limitations for casual players.
Minecraft Xbox One Edition... bigger worlds... no other details.
Quantum Break is just a Defiance clone; TV show/game crossover... it was called a "Remedy Experience" rather than a Remedy Production... shows the floundering attempts by mediocre developers to prove themselves against other entertainment mediums.
D4... some random exclusive episodic murder mystery; doesn't look special. Probably an attempt at giving edge to the TellTale Walking Dead formula.
Exclusive called Project Spark... some sort of game creation, uhh, game, that uses SmartGlass, and Kinnect voice commands. Looks cool, but also looks too simple to be serious about. Seems to do too much for you; DEFINITELY in response to Little Big Planet. Looks like you play God, as if you have too much power. Then again, the presentation was totally scripted, so the final product could impose power limitations when actually playing things people have created.
SmartGlass social media crap... pretty useless attempt at making you spend all your time with games. Going to the restroom? Look at your Achievements! Sitting at work? Watch friends playing games! Driving? Buy some DLC at the same time! All games, all day, is the message I'm getting. Who needs any other social interaction? *insert sarcastic snigger* Anyway, this also automatically saves recordings of your games to the console, for upload to their Upload Studio. It does things quickly and cleanly, but it makes you wonder... a 500gig HDD won't be enough will it... not even close. Using Twitch TV, they also copied Sony's social play ideas, as well as interactivity. People can play your games for you, and help you out, as well as watch you play, and have livestream party things.
Infinite friends list, as well as the ability for everyone using your IP (everyone 'in your house') to use your Gold perks. They also moved to traditional currency, rather than Microsoft Points.
New 'Panzer Dragoon' game, called Crimson Dragon. Nothing special, might even be an arcade title.
Dead Rising 3, Xbox One exclusive... looks both more serious, and much more dynamic/free in how you play. No load times between areas. Modifying weapons isn't limited to just making them more powerful now... in the demo, he put a flashlight on a gun, to see better in the dark. Guns seem to be much more prevalent. Zombies seem smarter. Supposedly 'hundreds of weapons' not including customization options. Is in a city, so vehicles are important now. Zombies can make their way into your car, so it's not a super safe zone anymore. Stupid SmartGlass enabled abilities, that look both overpowered, and out of place. Why integrate such crap? If I wanna play a game, I wanna play a game. I don't want to have to buy a Windows phone or tablet, and switch to that while playing, just to use a damned ability.
Witcher 3... not exclusive. Open world. Easily over 100 hours of non-linear, hand-crafted quests.
Battlefield 4... not exclusive. Just looks like a generic modern shooter, though with much more dynamic destructible environments, possibly revolutionizing the way you go about multiplayer matches..
Below... is... a game?
Black Tusk... did a thing?
Halo: Spartan Assault/5... exists...
Dark Souls 2 is also a game... more of the same with a new coat of paint.
TitanFall, made by the ex-CoD guys, Respawn. It looks like it's trying to compete with Halo... it's Xbox One exclusive. CoD: Future Warfare. Nothing looked special or innovative. Most everything in it has been seen in larger capacity in other games. The culmination of it all is nice, but it still looks aged and stale.
$500 price point is okay... but WTF is a "Day One Edition"? Derp.
Beyond: Two Souls is indeed coming PS3, rather than only PS4.
Arkham Origins is a prequel... nothing special, but it does have exclusive PS4 content.
PS3 exclusive GTAV bundle. $300, as well as a separate GTAV headset.
PS4 looks... unique? Wedge shape.
Playstation exclusive video content is coming. Maybe in response to the Halo series that's exclusive to Xbox One?
The Order: 1886 is some sort of steampunk werewolf shooting game... I think... but it still looks interesting in premise.
Killzone: Shadowfall looks like another Killzone.
Drive Club just looks like another racing game thus far.
Infamous: Second Son looks deeper, more serious, and more immersive, but I'm unsure what else it has to offer.
Knack still looks like just a physics-gasm combine with a 3D platformer. Not that special.
Transistor, by those that made Bastion. Seen it before, looks mildly interesting, but nothing new.
Sony is focusing on including indie devs, using an open, self-publishing style. Lots of (temporarily?) exclusive indie titles shown.
Diablo 3 is on PS3 and PS4, with Playstation inspired exclusive content.
Versus is now Final Fantasy XV (and is still Playstation exclusive), but it's still part of the XIII universe. It also looks as if everything is now running in real time, rather than being pre-rendered. If any of the gameplay is real, it looks to be a wholly unique and engaging experience.
Kingdom Hearts 3 finally exists, and if the gameplay is real, looks a thousand times more dynamic. However, I worry about if Nomura can do it all, as he's heading both this, and Versus.
Final Fantasy XVI is on PS3 and PS4.
Assassin's Creed: Black Flag looks like another generic AC game. But now with regular freezing... and PIRATES *troll face*
Watchdogs looks fun, but it seems to be limited by traditional game build logic, and mission structure. That's not a bad thing, but it begs the question of what it'll do for games in general, and if it could be quickly overshadowed by the other, more dynamic games slated for release? PS4 gets exclusive content.
Animations and graphics look startlingly aged in NBA2K14.
Elder Scrolls Online is a game, and PS4 gets an exclusive window for the beta. Looks like you'd expect.
Mad Max, literally though it was Fallout 4, it had so much Fallout style bleeding from it (though Fallout no doubt got it's style from Mad Max initially anyway)... especially since it was presented directly after Elder Scrolls Online. Also has exclusive content on PS4.
No used game restrictions! And no DRM! F**k Microsoft! Probably the most exciting announcement... though it makes me wonder whether it can keep up with the Cloud Computing on the Xbox One, as that feature essentially allows the Xbox to keep on par with the power of the PC. Though if Cloud Computing does win out, it's not like Sony can't just update the OS to support it. They've already got the Gakai streaming thing coming.
PS-Plus was expanded, and carries over to PS4. Unfortunately online multiplayer now requires PS-Plus. Anyone who has a PS4 at launch, and PS-Plus also can play Drive Club: PS-Plus Edition for free... whatever that is. Sounds like a watered down version of the game to me. Each month, Plus members get a free game; so far only indie titles.
Destiny... takes place on Earth... many years from now, lol. Looks to be much more dynamic and open than Halo was. Seems to have free-jump-in, and free-jump-out gameplay, as well as possibly customizable characters and weapons. Also seems to place more emphasis on tactical, strategic gameplay, as well as exploration, rather than corridor shooter, cover-based antics. Enemy AI looks a little less than stellar at the moment though. Some sort of floating AI partner to help you out, as well as Mass Effect 'Force' powers. Destructible environments shown... possibly scripted? "Public Events"... seem like some sort of player gathering missions. Maybe the use of space ships exists as well? Big mech enemy that was shown doesn't seem to display any need for tactics beyond strafe-and-shoot however; pretty dumb and boring in use at this point. Could possibly have lore and breadth as deep as Mass Effect. Playstation has a long term partnership with Bungie now... so the tables have turned, though Destiny isn't exclusive.
Gakai Cloud Services... available in 2014. Also apparently going to be on PS3, allowing streamed games, as well as possibly play-while-downloading, like on the PS4 version.
$400?! 'Holiday' launch.