Welcome to the latest installment of Finishing the Week. It’s time for the DNF crew — along with a few random special guests – to get together and toss back a few brewskis while cracking wise at the latest and greatest news the video game industry has to offer. Click the links, enjoy the banter, and feel free to talk back in the comments section below.
M. Rambler: Something called E3 happened, we should talk about it.
D.Conrad: *Sob Sob*
M. Rambler: It’s okay Donald… I know the Wii U didn’t blow your doors off, but it’s nothing to cry about.
GlowPuff: Ah-hoy-hoy! I am NOT a pirate.
M. Rambler: But it says so on your business card.
Brad: My business cards have somebody else’s name on them, and are from a company I’ve never worked for. Also, they have a different job title than I do.
M. Rambler: All this talk about business only makes me want to get down to it, so let’s talk about some news!
The Skinny: Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, redefines the notion of a console launch by stating first party games will be coming down the pipeline in a 3 to 4 month “launch window”.
The Source: IGN
D.Conrad: I had some interest in the Wii U. Then I watched the press conference. Way to win the core gamers back with… Pikmin 3?
M. Rambler: What is a core gamer anyway? All these years of sitting on my butt in a dark basement playing video games has left my core feeling a little soft.
GlowPuff: Launch window? The only thing I launch through my window is a ROCK. When I was a kid, I once launched a baseball through my friend’s front house window, though!
M. Rambler: Yeah, when Reg started talking “launch window”, I wasn’t sure if he was debuting some gimmicky new Wii U peripheral, or some gimmicky new way to spin the fact that Nintendo wants to get their console out for the holiday buying season even though they won’t have any frigging games ready f0r it until spring.
Brad: You know what? I’m done indulging Nintendo in their naming insanity. From now on, I’ll be referring to the Wii U as the “Wii 2″. Though I guess it’s going to sound stupid either way since the thing still has “Wii” in the title. Aw screw it, from the looks of things, we’re not going to have to discuss the Wii U for more than a few months anyway.
The Skinny: Ubisoft wows E3 and talks about their surprising new franchise, Watch Dogs.
The Source: Game Informer
D.Conrad: Dear Reggie, this is how you blow something up at E3! This looks so cool! It’s like four square the game.
GlowPuff: I found it interesting that they were “cagey” about answering which systems the game would be coming out for. Since when is a developer wary about answering a question like that?? It must be a difficult time to be a triple-A development house right now. In one hand there are the current systems, and in the other there are the new hardware platforms looming on the horizon. Which platforms do you develop for, knowing that by the time your game is ready, the new hardware could be out, or at least right around the corner. Where do you put the development dollars?
M. Rambler: Given the level of graphics in that trailer, it looks to me like Ubisoft picked next-gen for Watch Dog’s development dollars… I’d probably be a little cagey too if I were showing off a game for systems that haven’t even been officially announced yet.
Brad: Or, they had just come out of the press conference for the Wii U and were suddenly feeling reluctant to admit they had actually made a game for it.
The Skinny: Rumors have Overkill Entertainment working on a prequel to Valve’s Left 4 Dead franchise, and (UPDATE) it turns out those rumors were wrong.
The Source: CVG
D.Conrad: Do we really need to see how it happened? Isn’t the point that it is happening? Will you spend s few mission mowing your lawn and waving at your neighbors?
M. Rambler: I’d rather mow my neighbors and wave at my lawn.
Brad: Exactly… well, not the part about waving to your lawn, but yeah, has anyone ever really been that invested in the why aspect of the zombie apocalypse? It’s the part where you get to beat them with shovels and shoot them in the head that people get excited for. You could probably have the story be a bunch of people just going “Let’s be zombies because zombies are awesome!” and that would be enough of an explanation for most people as long as what came after involved a lot of violence.
GlowPuff: You should check out the updated article. They are not working on a sequel to Left 4 Dead. This news blurb just got c**k blocked.
M. Rambler: You sure you’re not a pirate, GlowPuff? ‘Cause you talk like a sailor! All I know is, I want me some more Left 4 Dead, and I’d much prefer it were brought to me by Valve.
The Skinny: Former Eat Sleep Play founder, David Jaffe, talks a little about the gaming industry and the intentions of his next project, an un-named free to play shooter.
The Source: Gamesindustry
D.Conrad: Sometimes listening to Jaffe talk makes me mad. But you know what? I think he could make a really awesome Free to Play game. Because he hates everything. So he probably hates how they work now.
GlowPuff: I tried playing that free to play Battlefield game a couple years ago. Hated it.
D. Jaffe: Oh yeah, well I hate you all.
M. Rambler: Oh, cheer up, Mr. Grumpypants. Here, try some of this coffee. I just milked the beans myself.
D. Jaffe: No thanks.
M. Rambler: You sure? It’s free. Who turns down a free coffee?
D. Jaffe: I hate free coffee, it usually tastes like crap.
M. Rambler: Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ll give you this free coffee and then you can buy some cream and sugar to put in and make it taste better.
D. Jaffe: Dude, that business model sucks.
M. Rambler: How about I just sell you a coffee with cream and sugar already in it then?
D. Jaffe: No. There’s got to be a better way to do this.
M. Rambler: I’m sure there is… in a place called CRAZYTOWN! Good luck to you, sir, I really can’t wait to play your awesome free game someday.
Brad: Couldn’t we just get Twisted Metal 2 for free? I really liked that game.
The Skinny: Reggie Fils-Aime discusses the Wii U launch price by proclaiming consumers will be in for a “pleasant surprise”.
The Source: CVG breaks down and IGN interview
D.Conrad: Well let me save up “pleasant surprise” dollars right away!
M. Rambler: And by right away, do you mean “right away window”?
D.Conrad: Hey another “pleasant surprise”, I wasn’t given one reason to care about the Wii U during E3!
Brad: Maybe the “pleasant surprise” is that it’s all been a big practical joke and they’re not really going to go through with this train wreck. I’m going to miss Nintendo. Mostly for nostalgic reasons, but still.
M. Rambler: Really, Debbie Downers? What about the fact that the console also comes in black?!? I’ll be “pleasantly surprised” if the black version is available from day one… or at least sometime during the day one, four month “launch window”.
GlowPuff: I will be “pleasantly surprised” when this new device fails horribly. I’m more interested in seeing an LCD screen attached to my tricycle. You know, for when I pedal it backwards, I can see where I’m going.
Brad: It’ll be pleasant, but not much of a surprise when this thing fails. Maybe a more accurate name for it would be Gamecube U; people were actually excited for the Wii.
R. F-A: This is a tough crowd.
The Skinny: Microsoft unveils SmartGlass, a new concept that could help link the Xbox 360 console with smartphone and tablet devices.
The Source: Engadget
D.Conrad: My phone has an app that controls my Xbox. It’s so awesome that I don’t use it. I would have to try this before I never use it again.
Brad: I have no interest in this at all, but that’s only because my phone is so old that when it drops a call, it blames it on sabotage from the Soviet Union.
GlowPuff: I am aware that my phone has an app that controls my Xbox. It’s so awesome that I have never even downloaded it to try it out in the first place. My Harmony remote control works just fine for that, thanks. My Harmony also controls everything else in my entertainment center. Except my PS3. Because Sony had the brilliance to use fricking bluetooth instead of a normal infrared receiver.
M. Rambler: Oh yeah… Well, I think the new Xbox U is going to be simply AWESOME!! Hey Microsoft, have you heard of this great new concept called a “launch window”? You should launch your new Xbox next year and make it a six month ordeal. Call it a “launch box”. Just get the console out before the holidays and then you could release day one launch titles anywhere within the next 180 days. It’s brilliant. Really.
The Skinny: Naughty Dog shows off an extended game play preview of their anticipated title, Last of Us.
The Source: Naughty Dog
D.Conrad: THAT! That is how you shotgun a dude’s face off! Right there! IN HIS FACE!
Brad: See Nintendo? This is how you get people excited for upcoming projects. The Wii U could have used a lot less social networking and more shotguns to the freaking face.
M. Rambler: But Brad, the Wii 2 could have shotguns to the freaking face. You will just have to hold the 45 pound controller with the screen in it up to your real TV screen and not be annoyed by the fact that the crappy little screen is blocking your view of the real screen you want to see as someone gets shotgunned in the freaking face.
D.Conrad: Joel seems to have some anger management issues… that he resolves with a freaking SHOTGUN TO THE FACE!
GlowPuff: Because it hasn’t been said enough already: SHOTGUN TO DA FACE!! IN DA FACE, IN DA FACE!!!!!
The Skinny: Check out the latest tech demo for Epic’s next-gen gaming engine, Unreal 4.
The Source: IGN
D.Conrad: After seeing the Square-Enix engine demo, I emailed Cort to ask him how “next gen” that was. Apparently, it was just a smoke and mirror routine. But he said this, while it contains smoke and mirrors also, is closer to what we will be playing. Remember when people told us that graphics would never get better?
People: I didn’t really say that. I’m pretty sure you’re just putting words into my mouth there. I don’t like it when people put words in other people’s mouths.
Other People: Word.
GlowPuff: While watching this, I thought it was a trailer for a future Diablo 3 expansion pack.
Brad: Man, those graphics look almost as realistic as the ones of the Ridge Racer girl back when they announced the PS2. I’m not saying all hardware demos are a lie, but… well, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
The Skinny: If certain issues don’t get ironed out before next year, E3 could be leaving Los Angeles.
The Source: LA Times
D.Conrad: In other news, as long as cool announcements come out of where ever they hold it I don’t care about where it’s held.
GlowPuff: I agree, Donald. Srsly. Does it matter where it is held?
M. Rambler: Surprisingly, it does. I tried to hold it a few years ago and E3 felt I was getting a little too “handsy”. With the current restraining order in place, I can no longer get within 500 feet of E3.
Brad: I have to think the plan is to move E3 to a different city, and not tell Nintendo, so we don’t have to deal with any more Wii U coverage next year.
The Skinny: Assassin’s Creed III Liberation is coming to the PlayStation Vita.
The Source: Official PlayStation Blog
D.Conrad: Let me take a moment and be very happy about this! Assassin’s Creed on the go? Please!
Brad: I like how the article makes it out as if it’s this huge surprise. A popular franchise coming to a portable system? Why, I’ve never heard of such a thing! I’m shocked, absolutely shocked, I say!
D.Conrad: I know it’s not on topic, but we all saw the boat battle footage from Assassins Creed 3 right? Wow!
GlowPuff: Yes, that ship battle footage was INCREDIBLE. Honestly, I’d be happy playing a game with JUST THAT in it. I hope in the finished game, you can ship battle whenever you want, because that was just awesome.
M. Rambler: And you call yourself NOT a pirate… not foolin’ me, buddy!
M. Rambler: Wow, it was almost impossible to wade through all the gaming news this week. I’m exhausted. I think I’ll go play Skyrim. Then I’ll probably play some more Skyrim, maybe eat some dinner and Sky some Rim and Skyrim some more. Anyone else?
Brad: I’ve finally stopped playing Minecraft and moved on to Deus Ex: Human Evolution. Unfortunately, when I really get into a game like I did with Minecraft, the next few games I play tend to suffer by comparison. I’m a little disappointed, but I might not really be giving it a fair shake. I ought to play a really bad game in between to clear my palette. Too bad we’re not in the Wii U “launch window” yet, or I’d have tons to choose from.
GlowPuff: Well, I got my Wizard in Diablo 3 to 60 this week, and bought some elite gear in the Auction House. I don’t even farm for loot anymore. I farm gold, then BUY STUFF with it in the Auction House that others have found for me. It’s easier to farm gold than it is to farm a specific piece of gear. I have a full gold finding gear set on my Demon Hunter, so gold is rather easy to come by.
D.Conrad: I made a discovery this week. Torchlight is the perfect game. Our youngest was having some stomach issues and the only thing that made it better was sitting upright. Well, he fell asleep on me in this position. I had one hand free. Seeing how I cannot fall asleep while holding a baby like that I crept to the computer. I was going to just read E3 news but Steam was open. I loaded Torchlight – because that is what Steam is for lately. It’s not super easy with no hand for casing spells/drinking “potions”, but it’s doable. I cleared two floors. Then he pooped, this resolved his issue.
M. Rambler: Wouldn’t it be great if that was how we all resolved our issues? And, err, speaking of that… I’ve got some pressing matters to attend to. Let the resolution begin!Tweet