Entry 89: Overconfidence and fan base strategy.
Overconfidence Is Your Weakness............
Again this year - yet in an entirely different manner and environment - the three majors took the floor at the beginning of E3 and just shared only one thing: overconfidence. But how can we blame them? The head honchos of this industry act accordingly like any professional devoted to the job: they are supremely convinced to propel their respective products to unparalleled heights. This could well reveal their weakness too; but now let's just look the good: we, gamers, can only revel when seeing such a spectacle of enthusiasm on steroids. Tons of good looking games are catapulted to our eyes along a wide assortment of new hardware. Of course, the similitudes end here when scrutinizing each. Microsoft proposed something rather conventional, an almost wretched geeky montage of surefire bets concluded by the unavoidable Halo 3. Peter Moore did well nonetheless, despite showing a little megalomaniac side to conquer the planet. Nintendo was obviously hardware oriented, with a family friendly Reggie wanting to conquer all the families of this planet. The Wii Zapper & Wheel and all are very cool though. Finally - finally! - Sony revealed tons of games within not necessarily the best presentation, yet games themselves embrace the vast majority of the footage. Sony guys want them to take the planet by storm too.........That's probably why many users declare the big S as the slight winner here: GAMES. I think all three made the best possible and stuck to their mottos.
Unfortunately, the weakness inherent to all this goodness pulled over our eyes can't be ignored too. Microsoft is still battling proven franchises, yes, but mostly Halo 3. What next? They extend the x360's warranty to quell some disgruntled users about defect units, as if we clearly see NOW how precarious was the platform's launch. They speak about Windows games, and a ''new Renaissance'' of PC gaming with great shooters, yes, but still based on aged gameplay mechanics. Microsoft is still only targeting the existing fan base - like Sony, in a way. In a way because Sony has a ( little?) additional incentive: the incorporated Blu Ray drive, probably to attract some HD geeks like me. Sony's exec became overly off topic during the speech though, when babbling about the merits of a winning format over the competitor HD DVD. Both Sony and MS continue to slave use into the constant upgrading era à la Windows: new hardware packages this fall, following the 360 Elite there will be a new bundle and coincidentally, Sony follows with a 80 gb PS3.
Now Reggie talks to all the good families of this Earth in the name of Nintendo, disclosing new hardware accessories to complete our dancing gaming. Very cool; but how can Marioware succeed with the very same library of genres traditionally coveted by conquered fans? I have nothing against kiddie games, family games, puzzles, platformers, far from it. But they won't attract HD enthusiasts, nor action addicts wanting some violence and blood. Or big MMOs. In the end, Nintendo may conquer additional female gamers which is a very good thing. They might add to the market share, without any swindle to the existing fan bases all platforms taken into consideration.
To be honest, Sony may have won by a notch if you only consider the upcoming games displayed. Personally, I don't see any uppercut winner this year if each manage to deliver most of the stuff through Q1 2008. Moreover, we can even put Nintendo ahead for being the only one to really care for the future gamers having never played - that is a card Reggie played well, or at least tried even if the results shouldn't tackle the other empires. Because in the end...............
.................The Fate In Your Fan Base Is Yours.
Microsoft's presentation was all flash over substance, but with a strong support for both the x360 and Windows PC, fans should be pleased - and not surprised but the upcoming releases. As for the PC Renaissance thing, yes but at a geeky price: full HD and DirectX10 hardware required.
Nintendo's conference had little to offer more than the library of revamped genres we all know BUT had, again, very cool innovative accessories that will most likely influence the whole industry in the long term. Fans should be delighted ( not to mention Nin's the only one to specifically target women and older fathers ).
Sony's VIPs talked about lots of games, many violent ones targeting the existing gamers, also via an increasing interconnectivity between the PSP and PS3. Fans should be mostly pleased, some delighted.
P.S.: interesting, Epic's moves, right? With their engine's licensing, the legendary developer is now playing strong in the middle: Gears Of War will be ported to the PC after months of X360 exclusivity, this time a port looking more promising than the Halos. And now we should get UT3 on the PS3/PC BEFORE the X360.............Everyone has a part of the cake I guess.