Sunday, April 16, 2006


I wanted to very quickly counterpoint my last entry with a list of things that I assume will be announced by Microsoft and Sony at E3 2006. Keep in mind that videogame announcements are small potatoes when compared to hardware because a game that is announced at E3 will usually come out more than a year later. Also games that are playable at E3 are never a final build, a rule that Nintendo may break if they are going for an early launch. Undoubtedly they had many games in a playable form last E3 but they were unwilling to show them because they didn't want to let the cat out of the bag so early.

I list Microsoft first because it comes first in the alphabet. :)
Microsoft will have several big announcements including (I assume) a playable version of Halo 3 which will not be ready until this holiday season when it has the greatest chance to undermine the release of the PS3. I would guess that Microsoft's big showing at E3 this year will be the titles they announced last E3 only in a playable form. Gears of War, a SquareEnix game and I'm sure a few others. Second will be a few titles that will be announced during the press release, games thet will really start to tap into the power of the 360 graphically. They will also announce a price drop of $50 or so on both of their console bundles. Last but not least is the possible announcement of the Xboy or whatever they will call it. Such a device will have to come into direct competition with the PSP with the ability to play movies and music as well as games. I seriously doubt that the press will go ape of this device as it does not fulfill a consumer need anywhere. My opinion of such a device is something I will get into if such an announcement actually takes place.

Last in the alphabet.
Sont has a few announcements about their PS3. Namely, what the crap will be in it? When they told us about it last E3 it could play games, every movie ever made, run your whole house full of consumer electronics, cook your dinner, change the baby, and launch a shuttle all at once. This thing was supposed to be packed full of options that such a scant percentage of the population would even be able to take advantage of that it was quite rediculous. They have since retracted and scrapped a few things out of the hardware and one wonders whether it is finalized yet. My guess would be no. The obscene dollar price for the manufacture of the PS3 with many of these options will make it impossible for a lot of people to pay the retail, regardless of how much they want it. Sony need to give us a finalized product and a price tag at E3, esspecially if they want to launch later this year. I expect Sony to wow us with more tech demos but this time maybe these demos will actually run off real hardware. A few of the games announced last E3 will be in a near final playable form but most of the big-ticket games like Killzone and Warhawk will still be in an early stage because of problems programming on Cell and the inability of Sony to finalize their hardware. Sony is entering some dark days my friends. The exclusive agreements they enjoyed 5 years ago have all expired. They are creating a system well outside of a normal consumer price-point. They have made a system that is difficult to program for, and has virtually no development tools. The PSP is still not profitable, not by a stretch. On top of all this they are still getting more and more competition in the consumer electronics department which drops the bottom line of the entire corporation. If you haven't heard, Sony has stopped developing and manufacturing the Aibo and Qrio, basically meaning R+D has taken a major budget cut.

The middle finger of the gaming alphabet.
We already talked about Nintendo in depth in my last article. I only put this here to contrast the fact that Nintendo will own the show at E3 2006. Undisputed. They calmly took a backseat last E3 while Microsoft and Sony stole each other's thunder and now they have full control of the microphone and the full attention of every media person, unrivaled. Get ready for an insane showing from Nintendo.


Anonymous Tim said...

The "xboy" I hope not...I am an xbox fan but I must say looking at the figures for the psp I think it wouldn't be a good move to go into the hand held ring at this time. I think that handhelds should play games and that's about it!! I don't want to pay 1000$ for a hand held that has a satellite receiver can play movies music ect.

April 17, 2006 5:36 PM  
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