June 2016 was the month of E3, the Los Angeles fair where the new games soon to arrive are traditionally shown. A place where a lot of good stuff usually comes out, but also (mostly?) guilty for a series of dumb trends for an industry that always succeeds in fooling itself. But this past June was rather important for the Brexit, an event that will substantially affect video games development in the United Kingdom too, and for the celebration of the 11th anniversary of the Nintendo 64 arrival. An historic event as well, all things considered.
The next generation of home consoles debut is approaching fast, and according to Tim “Mr.ZZT” Sweeney PS4&company will be a substantial leap over the current seventh generation. After the words of Epic founder follow the actions with the introduction of new, amazing demos of the Unreal Engine 4 (alternate video link), a 3D engine capable of doing wonders even for indie projects like Primal Carnage (video) and Heavy Gear Assault. Because graphics isn’t everything but it still is an essential asset, for Epic and for all the others as well.
I know, it has nearly become a kind of obsession yet I can’t help but talk about it: is the video games future within digital delivery? Bullshit. And so claims Sony after the disastrous “UMD-free” experiment of the awful PSP Go, hence this has to mean something. On the other hand console games (in this case PS3, but things aren’t any better on PC and Xbox 360) take up space, so much space, and downloading tens of Gigabytes before starting your game isn’t a practical thing and I don’t think it will be so soon. Meanwhile marketers and large dedicated chains say hello to the tiny weight of digital market. And I am with them 😛
This is a recession period and the videogaming industry suffers too, with a sales drop of 23% during May (for USA), a thump unseen since 2007. And yet the executives from the major companies in the field talk about sustained growth for a business that, in 2012, will be 55 billion dollars worth overall. Meanwhile market researches describe a “new golden age for entertainment software” and videogames permanently reside in two third of the American households. That’s an ideal condition, I say, to gather some relevant contents in what should be the last installment of videogames highlights’ old cycle before the new, more minimalistic setup.
Ok I admit it, I’m a certified liar because if my personal review of old classics goes on tirelessly the amount of time required for a post of the series Videogames highlights is always the same, nay it’s getting worse. That’s the reason why I’ll change formula here, and instead of a monstrous and rebellious blob (at least for me writing it) containing any sort of thing I return to a less rich but more selected collection of videogaming stuff of the past month. Hoping that the June post won’t be on-line on September :-/
Are videogames art? Personally I’m not convinced at all, and after 20 years of this hobby now become mainstream I think that the medium need different categories, and that in any case it is too much young to be defined with standards layered through the centuries. Besides this, what is sure is that the amount of promotional videogame contents released by software houses hasn’t lacked even in March, so I end the introduction right now and get on to dealing with the aforementioned contents.
If it’s true that the publishers’ preferred period to launch videogame blockbusters is the month of December, the last remnants of this winter are no less for triple-A releases and delivery of interesting stuff taken from games in development. Be it viral videos, screenshots, trailers or making-of, the nice thing of a videogaming industry that surpassed Hollywood in size is that there is always something to talk about and the hype machine works at full blast without any halt.
Gone-by is the fuddle of Christmas days, when the videogaming hits have as usual flooded the shelves and the e-stores in a relatively narrowed period of time. And 2009 already appears, if possible, even more promising and full of worthy releases among space MMOGs, great comebacks and some unhealthy newborns of an industry desperately in search for ideas. Sometimes the wrong ones.