Now the E3 hype has somewhat died down, we can all feel warm at night after seeing trailers and learning release dates. But let’s step back and take a look at E3, what exactly is it, and why is it such a hype festival.
It’s easy to get caught up in the energy and spectacle of extravagant press conferences, to be blown away by dazzling graphics or game mechanics, but how many times has this come back to shank us right in the nasty parts? The answer is too many, too many times.
I’ll admit I’m guilty of succumbing to excitement in times like this, at PAX I was giddy and weak kneed. I’m not saying this to make an excuse for any sensationalist writing or tweets I’ve done, I’ll stand by them, some of these things are exciting (VR Batman for one), but I am saying it to acknowledge that hype blinds us from some glaring things that should be despised in the industry.
As with any source of information, E3 presentations have a spin on them, and during this time that spin can be lost in the noise of a cheering crowd, especially when you have that one token crowd member losing their shit so spectacularly they are heard by millions of people around the world. How many times have we heard someone in a nice suit say that their game uses industry leading technology, or their system is the most powerful ever made. No, they haven’t got statistics to back that up, and nobody in the industry is being led by Call of Battle 19, but they will spout it for oohs and ahhhs.
Do you think Xbox know that the Scorpio is the most powerful console ever created? They had it as a tagline in the show. Yet, we don’t have specs for the new PlayStation, so comments like that just seem to be thrusting away at your wallet with no regard or care.
Phil Spencer did tone it down a bit after the video that introduced us to “the most powerful Console ever,” by saying “next year we believe it will be the most powerful console ever built.” Well… I BELIEVE I am William Shatner, but there is an 85 year old Canadian man out there who can prove that isn’t so. Also, I’m not using that comment to sell shit with pretty much a massive lie. I say “pretty much,” not because I am secretly William Shatner, but because maybe it will be the most powerful console, but they don’t know that yet, so don’t say it. If something isn’t confirmed as being a thing, it’s not yet a thing.
This brings us nicely to my next point. Who lost it when they saw how beautiful some of the gameplay trailers were? I know I did, I kept thinking why do these games look so much better than anything out already? Oh, that’s right, because they won’t be like that when they come out. There really should be a book on lies told by video game companies. It’s just something that happens, and everything we saw at E3 is possibly up for being a page in that book.
If the past is anything to go by, then we can expect quite a few games to be dramatically different. I can’t even be bothered putting examples here, if you’ve ever watched E3 and bought a game shown at it before, you know what I mean. One thing is for sure, most of the release dates will change, and they will change last minute. Look deep into your hearts, you know it to be true.
Putting it bluntly E3 is pretty much the advertisement Superbowl, with pre-orders being the developer’s prize. It wasn’t too long after Bethesda’s conference for EB Games Australia to post about pre-orders for all we saw from the showcase. And to boot these were mostly EB exclusives… Yay? Can’t wait to pay up for that Corvo mask at whatever price they decide to put it at.
Okay, it’s not all bad. A lot of the conference material I do enjoy, but it’s hard not to have that joy smashed to pieces knowing what most things are prone to become these days. I hope I’m wrong. In every single article which I’ve speculatively ranted, I always hope I’m wrong. Buuuut, I’m also not a tiny idiot and have been stung enough times to warrant this jaded cynical fuckery I’m writing now.
Now let’s all watch that trailer for Batman: Arkham VR again, because it was the bee’s bollocks.