So I’ve been keeping up with the conferences and here a few notes on the games or news that I found interesting and notable.
XBox One X Price and Name
We finally got the details on the new Xbox One that will be released later this year with 4K support and everything from a vapor chamber (?) and a gazillion teraflops. It will be called a Xbox One X, which is a bit confusing, bland, and ridiculous. It fills like it went through several focus group tests and marketing meetings. Scorpio joins the pantheon of the code names being a lot better than the final console name like Katana, Revolution, and Durango.
However, the big story is the $499 price. With all of the power and tech jammed into a form factor smaller than any previous Xbox, five hundred dollars seems like a reasonable ask, but, for a consoles, especially one that is losing to Sony by a two to one margin, this is just too much. This tells me that Microsoft isn’t necessarily going after Sony’s market, but maybe building towards a better one for the next cycle. The tech here is great and the best in the business, but the price and story won’t compel people to switch or new buyers to pick MS. But the games sure look great.
A Way Out
This game came out of nowhere and looks super interesting. A co-op prison break game that looks like it is set in the 60s/70s is definitely something new. I am never a fan of split screen play. However, if you notice during the gameplay videos, the size and position of the split changes to fit the mood and situation in the game. I am extremely eager to play this.
EA’s Destiny with the Bioware name stamped all over looks solid but honestly very bland to me. Nothing from the trailer or gameplay tells me it is any different from The Division or the aforementioned Destiny. This isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t exciting. I do like the idea of flying around with a jet pack, but the character designs don’t do it for me at all.
Ori and the Well of Wishes
I loved the first Ori. I don’t actually need the sequel to be different. I just want more. I realize that I am quite biased.
The news was that the first game didn’t do the best commercially, although it reviewed well. It is very cool that the same team is having another crack at making a huge hit.
State of Decay 2
There wasn’t much detail that could be gleaned from the trailer. But the game looks good and it boils down to co-op DayZ with Rust base-buiding without having to deal with PVP and griefers.
I wonder how the NPCs and cooperative play will affect each other, but maybe those details will come later. Too bad that the release window is 2018 though.
Shadow of the Colossus Remake
SotC is one of the greatest games ever made in spite of all the framerate issues, outdated textures, spotty camera. If the remake can address just two of these three issues, this will be an easy purchase.
Super Mario Odyssey
Honestly, I didn’t like most of the Nintendo “press conference”. I never cared for Yoshi or Kirby, and the new Zelda DLC seems fairly empty. However, the last trailer for Odyssey was worth the wait and superb. Odyssey looks like the real deal and showcases everything that Nintendo does well - creativity, whimsy, weirdness. With the most recognizable and beloved character in all video games, Super Mario Odyssey has a chance to be one of the best games in a generation.
Despite a mostly lackluster library, Nintendo could end up releasing two of the best games in a decade seven months apart. The Switch has its system sellers.