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 411mania » Games » Columns

411 Games Fact or Fiction 6.12.14: Halo 5, Star Wars, E3, More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 06.12.2014

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. As always, I am Daniel Anderson, and I hope everyone has had a good week. It was this week. E3 finally arrived. We were treated to numerous game announcements, and a few surprises (mostly from Nintendo). Anyway, this week we have 411's Todd Vote going against Stephen Randle. Let's see what they have to say, shall we?

1.) So far, you have liked the game announcements at this year's E3 better then you did last year's.

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Todd Vote - Fact: This year we are finally getting a look at what we can expect from the next gen consoles. I know we got a few last year, but you can't really depend on all the launch titles to be built from the ground up for the new consoles. There is always one or two, but you don't get a real feel for what the machines can do. The Dead Island 2 trailer was hilarious, The Order is looking good, Sunset Overdrive may be a surprisingly fun game. Overall, I would say this year was a bit better in terms of games. Last year was all about announcing the consoles.

Stephen Randle - Fiction: I mean, there was stuff I liked (and we'll get to that), but the hype just isn't there this year. Part of that is because this year, most of the coverage was for games that were already announced at E3 last year which still haven't come out, either because they weren't very far in development when they were first revealed (but had to be shown off in order to build hype for new consoles), or because they've been delayed until 2015. There were some new games announced, but a large portion of what I saw was a lot of games that we already knew about from last year.

Score: 0 for 1 - In a way, I enjoyed this year's E3 more than last year's, but there was some hype missing. We did not have any new consoles being announced, but the big companies pretty much focused on games, so we didn't have to deal with any "Deal with it," or anything like that (along with very little sniping between companies). The lack of sniping or visible gaffs made this a more enjoyable E3 overall for me.

2.) You feel that Microsoft had an overall better press conference than Sony did.

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Todd Vote - Fiction: I don't think either one had a bad conference overall. They both focused on games. Each having a few exclusives to show off. While Sony showed a few ports of PS3 titles, Microsoft showed off the Master Chief collection. Sony showed off Uncharted 4, Microsoft had Halo 5. It'll be hard to pick a "winner" from this year's E3.

Stephen Randle - Fiction: We'll call it even. Nobody did anything ridiculously stupid, and both companies smartly focused on the most important thing: here's the games that are coming out, and here are some release dates so that we can prove that there actually are games coming out in 2014 and not everything has been delayed. Microsoft scored points with me for Sunset Overdrive and Phantom Dust, but Sony has a Grim Fandango remake and Uncharted 4. Obviously, I've already made my personal console choice, but if I were walking into E3 still on the fence, at least this year I would have walked away with a bunch of good options for either side.

Score: 1 for 2 - After watching Nintendo's press conference, I will call Sony's and Microsoft's a draw and give Nintendo the nod for the best press conference. I love how Nintendo, instead of giving up, doubled down and came out swinging. I actually am considering picking up a Wii U based on their press conference. That is a miracle given how I felt about the system before now.

3.) We will see Halo 5 before we see Star Wars Battlefront.

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Todd Vote - Fact: Though I am not sure what the statement is implying. Halo is probably farther along the pipe than Battlefront is. EA has said they will only release Battlefront when it is ready. Meaning they do not intend to rush the game.

Stephen Randle - Fact: I don't think Battlefront is anywhere close to done, and Halo 5 is (I believe) set for an early 2015 release. It's really that simple. I know, they probably want to try and get Battlefront out in order to have something to sell copies when the new movie comes out, but I also have a sneaking suspicion Microsoft will do everything possible to get Halo out the door before the end of the fiscal year, which means a March release date for Halo. That said, if Halo isn't out by the end of March, I'd look for both to wait until the holiday season, which means we might see them within weeks of each other.

Score: 2 for 3 - I just have the feeling Battlefront is going to take a while to come out. At least Halo 5 feels like it has a more solid release time frame (since we actually have one and not just, "We will release it when it is ready."

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4.) You liked EA's press conference more then you liked Ubisoft's.

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Stephen Randle - Fiction: EA's press conference can be summed up as "Here's a lot of concept art and renders of games that we'll be working on that aren't coming out for a while. Also we have sports games!" Notice how this year they didn't even breathe a word about NBA Live '15, though. Anyway, while neither conference revealed any games that we weren't really already aware of (Yes, EA, we knew you were working on Mass Effect 4, because we're not idiots), UbiSoft at least showed us more gameplay, more finished (or near-finished) products, and gave us stuff to look forward to both in 2015 and for the rest of the current year. EA...well, they've got Madden! And other stuff...at some point in the undetermined future!

Todd Vote - Fiction: Ubisoft has more on offer that appeals to me. The Division, Assassin's Creed. So I have to go with liking their conference a bit more.

Score: 3 for 4 - EA's press conference was ok. We already knew they were working on Battlefront and Mass Effect 4, but after that, I felt like we didn't get much. Oh wait, at least they are going to turn the camera around when you play defense on Madden this year.

5.) Nothing really surprised you during this year's press conferences.

 photo e3pressconference_zps852fdf54.jpg

Stephen Randle - Fact: There were some things I didn't know about or hadn't figured out ahead of time, but I didn't see anything that I thought was a blow-away surprise that suddenly changed the game. Microsoft already did their big news a couple of weeks ago by ditching Kinect, and they'll be leaning on "Halo is coming" for what seems like most of the next year. UbiSoft and EA, like I said, have all those games that we already knew about. Sony closed with Uncharted 4, which, hey, awesome, but we already knew that was coming, too. That didn't make it bad, there were a long list of games that I was looking forward to ahead of time that I now have more information on in order to get hyped, but the games I was looking forward to before E3 are still pretty much the games that I'm looking forward to post-E3.

Todd Vote - Fact: We didn't really get much that we didn't already know about. There were a few games announced, but nothing really surprising. I didn't see any one thing that has EVERYBODY talking. That's not a bad thing, there was still plenty to talk about.

Score: 4 for 5 - Nintendo did surprise me with their Robot Chicken press conference along with a Star Fox announcement. I think it is interesting that Nintendo had more surprises then Sony or Microsoft did.

6.) You are a little worried PS Now still does not have set rental prices or rental lengths.

 photo psnow_zps8821b888.jpg

Stephen Randle - Fiction: They'll get there, the thing is still in beta, and much like WWE Network, they aren't going to go to full release (and start charging money) unless they are absolutely sure it's going to work flawlessly, because Sony is putting a lot of stock in their streaming service being a big difference maker between themselves and Microsoft. We'll know prices and rental periods long before the thing goes retail, and besides, most people are probably just going to go for whatever monthly fee lets them keep games forever, aren't they?

Todd Vote - Fiction: Not really. They will get to it

Score: 5 for 6 - I feel like opening it up for open beta without knowing rental lengths and prices makes the PS Now feel uncertain. This feels like a stress test of the service, but normally that happens when something is close to release. If it is that close to release, then why do they not have prices or rental periods yet?

Bonus Question: What was your favorite thing to come out of 2014 E3?

Stephen Randle - Grim Fandango remake, bitches! It's not Day of the Tentacle (yet), but I'll take the hell out of it anyway! My only concern is that this might be the reason why I haven't gotten a second half to Broken Age yet. Get on that, Double Fine!.

That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Todd went 5 for 6 coming one answer short of a Perfect Score. As always, I will go ahead and talk about Co-operative Multiplayer. Here is last week's show (recorded on Tuesday and dealing with E3), and I hope you will join us for the live broadcast:

I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.


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