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I Saw MS at E3…

I was able to catch Microsoft's presentation at E3, thanks to G4. More than anything, I was impressed with the president of Square-Enix, who just barely spoke English and still made a dramatic showing of his company's lineup for the 360. "The Last Remnant" looked promising, and what they showed made the dialogue seem less like it was translated (although I know it was) and more fit for American viewing.

Microsoft put a huge emphasis on its new social networking features. I've never seen a business make such a big deal on the type of avatar you could create, although I think it's a cool little feature. I really liked the idea of a partnership with Netflix and the idea of creating your own rooms to do whatever you like, such as trade photos or music.

It all kind of irks me, though, because it makes me realize that my time, the time of the hardcore gamer, is long over. I didn't realize until today; Nintendo may be winning the console war, but Microsoft and Sony are thinking on a much more global format; they want to control your entire living room. Microsoft is succeeding, I think; I know one person who doesn't make a lot of money who owns a 360. He uses it to store and play music more than anything else; he doesn't own four games for the system.

It is easier to break into the games business through Microsoft than it is with Sony or Nintendo, and I wonder with a little bit of dread; in the Day of the Casual Gamer, is there any room at all for the hardcore gamer?

Just barely.

I take refuge in niche titles like DragonBall Z: Burst Limit for the niche market and Ninja Gaiden 2, which certainly isn't for everyone. One of the things Shane Kim was sure to mention was that a majority of the upcoming titles were "E to Teen". With so many games aimed at the global market, I wonder, as the last hardcore gamer finally on the development end of the table, do I even have a chance of succeeding? Is there even a market for what I want to do (story-based entertainment) anymore?

I have to grumble a little bit, knowing that the same people who made my life hell in school for loving video games are now the same people keeping the business going.

Nintendo may be dominating the games market, but it's only fair to say they're winning if they were competing. I don't think Microsoft and Sony are competing with Nintendo anymore. They aren't on the game level. Nintendo just does games better than the other two.

Microsoft and Sony want it all.

Maybe…one may begin by becoming successful at casual games, and in order to do that, you have to somehow make your title stand out from the pack. After you accomplish that, maybe then you can do it at the hardcore level.

But that's just me.


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