Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Activision, Bungie, CAPCOM, Driving, E3, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Fighting, Games for Windows, Games for Windows Live, LucasArts, Microsoft, Namco, PC, Puzzle, Release Dates, Retro, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Special Editions, Sports, Strategy, Take2, Third Person Shooters, THQ, Ubisoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade
Over on Gamerscore Blog, a list has been posted with all of the games being shown at E3 that will be available this year. Xbox 360 games, Xbox Live Arcade games, Games for Windows-branded titles, and Games for Windows Live-enabled games. It’s a lot to digest, and with big name games like BioShock, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Guitar Hero III, Sonic the Hedgehog (the original, don’t worry), Puzzle Quest, Company of Heroes: Opposing Forces… let’s just say there’s something for nearly everyone.
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Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Accessories, Action, Activision, Adventure, Bungie, CAPCOM, Casual, Corporate News, Driving, E3, Electronic Arts, First Person Shooters, Hardware, Microsoft, Party Games, PC, Puzzle, Release Dates, Retro, Role Playing Games, SEGA, Simulation, Special Editions, Sports, Strategy, Survival Horror, Take2, Third Person Shooters, Trailers, Ubisoft, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Live Marketplace
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend E3 this year – instead, I’m on vacation in Cape Cod, using awful hotel Wi-Fi to watch streamed press conferences. Not the most glamorous way to take it all in, but exciting announcements, great games and new details are welcome no matter how you hear about them.
Here’s my personal transcription (in very brief form) of all the announcements and showings, along with some reflection on what Microsoft had to show.
I hate Games for Windows Live. I love the potential, but currently I think it’s a horrible, horrible excuse for an online system. It’s completely gimped in comparison with Xbox Live, and ultimately worthless right now; I could go on and on, but frankly it’s just not ready for mainstream use, and doesn’t warrant any sort of subscription fee. And as far as cross-platform play goes… so far, not the greatest thing in the world. And I’m not the only who thinks so – in an interview with IGN, Infinity Ward’s Grant Collier stated:
Our rep left us a message saying ‘hey, want to talk about this, Live Anywhere, it’s big, it’s cool’, and I thought, well yeah, if you’re playing online poker, but who wants to be playing an RTS on a console and have some guy on a PC clicking and dragging all his troops, attacking your base while you’re sitting there with your thumb sticks. So I think for FPSs and RTSs, no way, but for, y’know, card games or Tetris or something like that. There are games that I think it’s cool for, but there are other games where I don’t think there’s any point. So they just didn’t respond.
So if you’re looking for a safe bet to make with an uninformed friend, gambling that Call of Duty 4 won’t be featuring cross-platform play is about as safe as you can get.
The upcoming Shadowrun has two price points on two different systems. That’s not all that unusual in itself – we’re used to seeing PlayStation 2 versions of games cost less than those on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. But when a game is seeing a simultaneous release on Xbox 360 and PC, and being put in a position to be the flagship cross-platform title, why are Xbox 360 owners paying $60 when the game is only $50 on PC?
Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal hunted down Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Shane Kim to get an answer.
The $59.99 for Xbox 360 and $49.99 for Windows Vista price points are our standard pricing for each platform. This pricing structure is not uncommon in the multiplayer-only first-person shooter genre, as numerous titles have seen success at this price point and gaming model. I think it’s premature to speak to pricing for all future projects, but as of now this is our pricing structure for our marquee titles like Shadowrun. Additionally, MGS has the same development costs as other developers and publishers out there. One advantage other publishers have that we do not is that they can leverage their marketing and development costs over all platforms, while we are focused on Windows and Xbox 360 as a first party publisher.
That still doesn’t quite answer the question; is it impossible to deviate from the standard pricing scheme? This is the first real Xbox 360/PC cross-platform release, so the standard pricing being referred to is nonsensical. And that’s not to mention, of course, the fact that much of the public is in upheaval over the price already – given that there is no single player and a limited number of maps, paying a “standard” price isn’t what gamers want. The studio manager of Shadowrun developer FASA Studios, Mitch Gitelman has frequently retorted that the game offers an innovative experience that adds “verbs” to the FPS experience. We’ll just have to wait and see how gamers vote with their wallets when the game is released on May 29.
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