What to Expect From Today’s Xbox Announcement

xbox-720-logo-conceptWe’re just a short few hours from the big next-generation Xbox console. I’d like to say that it’s going to be the Xbox 720 but we really don’t know what it will be called yet. Heck, two weeks ago, we were all convinced that it would be called the Xbox Infinity before we found out that the name and logo was a hoax.

Before we all gather ’round to watch Microsoft’s big show, we take a look at the news and rumours about the final next-gen console to be revealed.

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I’m Tired of Reboots, Remakes and Reimaginings: The Onset of Gamer Fatigue

generic-modern-military-shooter-coverI think I’ve finally snapped. I checked the gaming headlines the other day to find out that Bethesda was doing a “reimagined” Wolfenstein game set in a version of the 1960s where the Nazis won World War II and ruled the world. I’ve played a bit of Wolfenstein 3D  and was thought it okay but I didn’t particularly care much about it even though it’s the grand-daddy of modern first-person shooters (well, pre-console revolution FPSs).

Yet, when I heard about the upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Order, I snapped (or the blogger facsimile there of). As this console generation has slowly ground on, the influx of new intellectual properties being developed seems to have almost stopped. What new multi-platform IPs do we have to look forward to this year? Fuse, Remember Me and Watch Dogs? That’s it?!

It’s tough for me, and I’d imagine many gamers, to be excited about the near future of gaming when there is so little to be excited about. We’re stuck with publishers giving us a series of franchise reboots, remakes, reimaginings and sequels to put some money in their pockets. Quite frankly, it’s wearing me out.

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eSports Won’t Go Mainstream Anytime Soon

mlg-dallas-2013On a whim, I watched part of the recent MLG Winter Championships. I’ve never watched MLG before and never played StarCraft 2 or League of Legends. As such, I was, naturally, completely lost at first. Over the course of the couple of matches that I watched, I was able to grasp the basic concept of the SC2 games was to kill all the opposing units but that was all I was able to grasp.

This made me think of stories and columns I’ve read over the last year or so that speculated that competitive gaming and eSports could break into the mainstream as a sport with sizable interest and possibly make the transition to TV.

While it’s entirely possible that competitive gaming might make it to TV, it’s not going to evolve past the niche audience and break into mainstream consciousness anytime in the near future.

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Caveat Emptor: What Rights Do You Have as a Gamer?

simcity-2013-connection-errorIn the last couple of months, we’ve had some very bad experiences as a gaming community. There was the abysmal Aliens: Colonial Marines that left gamers and fans of the Aliens franchise dissatisfied at best and angry at worst. The SimCity launch was a disaster of the highest proportion. It was probably worse than the Diablo III launch since EA and Maxis couldn’t be bothered to plan for a worst case scenario that we all saw coming. While, not a major issue, Tomb Raider had some serious issues on certain NVIDIA graphics cards.

The problem is that, unlike customers of most products, you have virtually no rights as a customer of the video games industry. Have you ever read the terms of service that you agreed to for digital distributors like Steam and Origin? If you have, you should ask yourself why you would ever buy a game from these people.

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