E3 2017 Thoughts

You can always count on my blog to bring you the latest, greatest news and commentary… so here’s another forgotten post from my Drafts folder.

It is was E3 time again, and for a change, I actually watched some of the presentations, something I have never done before. I watched part of a Sony event on Saturday [June 10th], part of a Microsoft event on Sunday, and part of an Ubisoft event on Monday.

I didn’t intend to watch any of it, but when Twitter started exploding with commentary from people who are normally pretty quiet, I figured I should at least follow along so I would get the Twitter jokes. Overall I found it really weird. It was an extremely odd mixture of a Pro Wrestling vibe and a Ted Talk vibe.

I watched most of them on Twitch, but I watched the Microsoft event on Mixer.com and I have to say it was a considerably higher-quality stream. Twitch has got their work cut out for them if they intend to compete on quality.

What I’ve learned from watching these E3 presentations is that I’m clearly too old and jaded to be watching these things. I saw a lot of games with impressive graphics but zero innovation. Pretty much every new game I saw I thought to myself, “Oh it’s [X game I’ve played before] but with prettier media assets.” Where “X” was usually a shooter from the 1990s.

The live audiences were hilarious. I feel like they would do much better if they got rid of them, because there’s nothing that kills enthusiasm faster than half-hearted, polite applause. The only time I saw a crowd show any real excitment was when the Microsoft announced their backwards compatibility efforts. The biggest applause was for being able to play old games! (To be fair, I imagine most of the audience was press.)

4K is apparently A Big Deal for games now. I can sort of understand that. I play most games in 2560×1440, which is the maximum my monitor handles, which is about halfway to 4K, and it looks pretty nice. But if I don’t get a decent frame rate I have no hesitation dropping back to 1920×1080, and the resolution difference is negligible to my eye, especially in the heat of battle.

I missed the actual announcement but apparently there’s a new Xbox One X, which is like an Xbox One but with Xtra power. Coming in at $499, it’s now the one you have to buy to be considered cool.

Earlier this year, I came really close to buying a PS4 Pro, but then I got distracted with something else and forgot about it. The Xbox One X looks cool and all, but I think Sony still has more exclusives that I’d be interested in (by which I basically mean Bloodbourne and Horizon Zero Dawn).

P.S. For completion’s sake, I watched a re-run of Nintendo’s presentation on Tuesday night. I’m not a Nintendo person so it didn’t make much of an impression on me. The main thing I noticed was that the Switch sound effect that plays at the beginning of videos over the Switch logo sounds like finger snapping, not a “switch” clicking.

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