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BT takes a unique perspective on gaming, MMOs, and character creation. Through analysis, comparison, and a unique, twisted mindset readers receive the basic rundown.

Author: BlueCadwal

Sony vs. Microsoft @ Pre-E3

Posted by BlueCadwal Wednesday July 16 2008 at 4:21PM
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Due to the obvious shift in marketing plans for Nintendo, I will not lump them into this.

This week is when all the pre-E3 press conferences are being held.  While Microsoft press confrence was pretty interesting, the Sony conference left me wanting more.  Since we all know the games, I'll jump right into the content.

Right from the get go, Sony has left me feeling like they don't know their gamers.  While Microsoft has connected gamers through their Live network and MSN ID for years, Sony is just now allowing gamers to do this.  Although they're yet to acknowledge how they'll do this, I personally have enough IDs.  I have my AIM, MSN/Live, and Steam... I really don't want to add a Sony ID to that list for my PC experience.  What they should do is form a partnership with AOL, Facebook, xFire, or Steam and have a connect gamers that way while at work.  Such a partnership would be beneficial to not only PS3 players, but also PC users who don't want to tie up their RAM with another communication tool.  I have enough programs running at once with GAIM, Outlook, Mozilla, and Steam all running at the same time.

With regards to entertainment, Microsoft has Sony beat though.  Gran Turismo TV?  Give me a break.  Not everyone likes racing, and to me the amount of time they spent on that presentation was far too much.  Sure, they have content partners, but where's NBC and ABC?  Last I checked, NBC-Universal (SciFi, USA) and ABC were on top for Primetime TV.  Beyond ABC and NBC, the content on Live and Sony Network look pretty much the same.  LIVE Primetime though is truly innovative for a console, it brings gamers together in what has, in the past, been predominantly a PC market with online content like MSN Gaming Zone, ABC's National Bingo Night and Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Yahoo Games.  Gamers playing along side a TV series or simply games with a live host looks to be an amazing catch for players around the world.  Kudos go to Sony for giving gamers the content now instead of making us wait until "this fall."

Community is a huge part in consoles now.  We've seen avatars on the PS3, Xbox 360, and the Wii.  Now it's time to decide: who has the best avatars?  Honestly, of all the flack I give Sony this year, they have the best community.  Their "Home" gives players to roam a unique community and talk to friends.  I love how Microsoft abused Rare in trying to create a similar network, but didn't fully capture the essence.  I don't know what it is, but it's just the realism of the avatars on the PS3 that I appreciate.  No one can deny that the Miis aren't fun little fellas to pick-up and play with in games though.  I designed a Mii that looks like Chenney who, for some reason, is always watching me bowl. . . it's a little creepy to be honest.

I'd like to take a detour from the consoles and focus on MMOs for a moment since only Sony discussed it.  I've never really enjoyed the MMOs coming out of Sony, but I like the concept behind DC Universe Online.  I'm glad it's not a WoW clone or a City of Heroes clone, and as a huge DC fan I am, I can't wait to play the game when its released.  Something I really like about DC Universe Online is that they are not releasing Super Heroes and Villains seperately, but at the same exact time.  However, the gameplay, at this time, looks very static, which I'm hoping is just the fact that it's still in development (I'm not referring to the redux in graphics which are attributed to streaming, I'm referring to combat).

At the end of the day, the games basically boil down to a fairly balanced library for Sony and Microsoft.  Both companies have their heavy hitters from every genre.    Both consoles have games that interest me, and here's my top 5:

1.  MAG - Massive Squad Based Combat, I've always loved the Battlefield  series for this reason alone and MAG pulls together everything I love about Battlefield and multiplies it by 4.  I think the game is over-hyped because I'm sure a PC can handle 256 players like the PS3 in one battlefield (it was done in PlanetSide), but I'm not going to complain about promotion tactics because the game just looks sweet.
2.  Fable 2 - I loved the first, I loved Phantasy Star Online/Universe, and I love action-RPGs.  This falls to number 2 only because of the concept behind MAG.  Although it doesn't add much new to the genre overall, it adds the multiplayer features that I loved about Lego Star Wars and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles to a game.
3.  Infinite Undiscovery - I enjoy RPGs, but in all honesty, I've never finished a Final Fantasy game.  There's a good chance that I'll never finish this one, but it's definately on my gotta play list because of gorgeous graphics and an amazing story.
4.  Infamous - The big superhero game of next year... the way I see it is it'll be just another city rhomp.  Sure it integrates the whole Fable aspect of developing my character, but the whole city rhomp genre gets boring after a while.  I've played the same Spiderman game 6 times now with different superheroes in a few of them, I don't wanna play it again.  Maybe they'll do something right with this Superhero game.
5.  Little Big World - Seems interesting, though it sounds like something I would only pick-up once in a while.  I don't really see there being much to designing my own game to play through it, and generally player designed levels are extremely difficult to get through - just look at the levels for Super Mario World ROMs that are impossible to beat.