Shaline, Vendortron and Joseph check in on their E3 predictions and chat about all the cool (and sometimes not so cool) stuff that was shown at E3 this year!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Catch the live shows on Twitch
Shaline, Vendortron and Joseph check in on their E3 predictions and chat about all the cool (and sometimes not so cool) stuff that was shown at E3 this year!
Contact us at email@example.com
Catch the live shows on Twitch
This week we have gameplay (even some builds) from Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Elder Scrolls Online and event some PvP action in Cyrodiil! Later on we discuss our impressions of “ESO Live’s” first look at ESO on PS4. “What Does Fallout 4’s Announcement Mean for Elder Scrolls VI At E3 2015?” is the subject matter of our rumors section. We feature two mods this week: “Battle For Morrowind” by Lancillotto for Oblivion and “TNF Houses” by GoatlionST’s Workshop for Skyrim. Plus recent news about E3 2015, updates to ESO, riding skill lessons in the crown store, an ESOTR Guild Update, your You Tube Comments from episode 152, emails and ‘This Week in Tamrielic Holdays’. Its a big show, with a lot to discuss, so strap in and enjoy!
Elder Scrolls Off the Record 153: First Look at ESO on Consoles
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If you’ve been following me on Twitter, listening to me on the various shows on the network, or watching these Spiels, you may think that the only thing I play is the PC. Of course, this isn’t true. In fact, many of my articles start by stating that I own both last gen consoles, both current gen consoles, and my PC.
However, I do find it odd that people somehow think that because I play the PC and constantly discuss why I’m disappointed by the lack of a true generational leap in these current consoles, that I have no right expressing such disappointment and should not be allowed to comment on them.
To that minority, you are completely wrong. It is precisely because I own and play consoles that I have that right to be frustrated by them. I own them. I play them. Therefore, I can comment them. It really is that straightforward.
So to the rest of you, I get many questions on a weekly basis asking just why do I even play on consoles? After all, my PC is more than three times as powerful as my PS4. You all know that I prioritize graphics above all else. So then, why would I even bother playing on my consoles?
Let’s construct this answer by laying the foundation of context. Consoles have their place in the industry. I will never say that consoles should never exist. There are many economic benefits that consoles have over PCs. Don’t mistake me here, however. If you want the absolute best in graphics processing, you’ll spend a decent chunk of change on a high performance PC. Additionally, games are generally far cheaper on the PC than on consoles. Finally, you can build a mid-range PC today that is more powerful and capable than the PS4 for not much more $550.
But we must understand the market for consoles. I don’t think it’s too far of a reach to assume that the average age of a PC gamer is higher than the average age of a console gamer. That is, if you are a parent looking to buy your kid the latest video game machine, chances are you will probably buy an Xbox, Playstation, or Wii rather than a gaming PC, especially if your kid’s friends play on those machines already.
It’s easier and cheaper to spend $400 once for a machine that plays games than spending a bit more on a PC that your kid would want to upgrade later…assuming he even knows how. As a parent, buying a console is a single purchase every five or six years. You buy it, plug it in, and forget about it.
All of this leads nicely into the beautiful simplicity of consoles. They have the “pick up and play” mentality. This is something I greatly respect. As an end user, I do not want to have to think about downloading updates, ensuring drivers work, or make sure my HDMI cord is seated properly.
Admittedly, driver downloads on PC are now easier than ever with the ability to tell your PC to download drivers automatically. With services like Steam and GOG, installing a game is usually relegated to a single click. However, it’s still not as simple as the consoles. This is one area I will always respect about consoles.
In addition to this simplicity, consoles have a much smaller footprint than a PC. And this makes sense because consoles are designed to sit in your entertainment center where free space is at a premium. Yes, you can build small form factor PCs, but I find something intrinsically simple about console design. The PS4 is the most elegant console I have ever owned. The angled edges, dual layer casing, and subtle use of LED lighting all come together to create some truly beautiful design language.
On a more personal note, I find consoles have more childish spark about them. This is perhaps more nostalgia than concrete evidence, but isn’t this why we enjoy games? Gaming is very much an emotional hobby and for me personally, playing on consoles evokes strong emotions from my childhood.
I grew up on the PS1. I remember my dad telling my brother and me that if we read 100 books over the summer, he’d buy us the Playstation. And so, my brother and I read with a determined ferocity. There was actually peace in our house. Finally, my dad took us to Toys R Us and bought us the Playstation.
I will never forget the excitement I had when I first played it. I had earned my right to play on this Playstation and now it was mine! It’s this same sense of childish wonder and excitement I get whenever I play on my consoles today.
These are all many reasons why I buy, play, and love my consoles. In my humble opinion, they are pretty straightforward and perfectly reasonable reasons as to why I will always play consoles.
But ultimately, it’s about the exclusives. Some of my favorite games of all time are exclusive to consoles. Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Crash Bandicoot, Infamous Second Son, Zelda, Halo, The Last of Us. These are experiences that you simply cannot find on PCs. Yes, PCs have their own slew of exclusives, but as I said earlier, I grew up on consoles. And these are the games I grew up on. These are the games that introduced me to video games. These games are the reason why I am able to speak to you all now.
One exclusive in particular had an unbelievable impact on me. The Last of Us is one of two games that legitimately changed my life. It showed me the power of impeccable story-telling. It reawakened my belief and love for the industry. Perhaps more than anything, it showed the world the sheer power of video games as an entertainment medium.
This is why I buy consoles. This is why I love consoles. This is why I’ll always play consoles.
Brian’s dead this week as the Heroes are joined by Grand Khan Buradufoodu and Krispy Krackers, making her debut on joining the network! Big discussion this week as we talk about the recent IeSF gender controversy, a certain mobile GPU, as well as speculate on the future of dedicated handheld devices. What do the skills…mean?
Totally Heroes Episode 51: The Krispiest Khan
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The Heroes are back this week and give you their E3 post mortem. They bring handy charts into the mix and dissect Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo’s presentations and tell you exactly what they did right and what they did wrong. Plus, your QOTW satiates your Need for Speed!
In this generation’s console war, who was left standing the tallest after E3? Microsoft or Sony?
Both companies had decent weeks at the show, but Microsoft clearly needed the best showing in order to try to win back some of the momentum they’ve lost to rival Sony over the last few months since the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launched.
Let’s begin by looking at Microsoft and examining how they stand.
Microsoft’s press briefing on Monday was a tribute to gamers and all things gaming, focusing entirely on some of the titles people can expect to be playing on their console in the next couple years. While the idea and execution were brilliant, the content of the briefing was certainly subpar. Many of the games were some we already knew about, and the new titles announced were certainly nothing that rocked our worlds.
But that’s not to say their showing was a disappointment. Games like The Division, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Call of Duty, Dragon Age, Evolve, and Sunset Overdrive gave the conference a level of excitement it needed. But all of these games had been revealed or shown to some degree, and nothing felt like a surprise that swung the tide dramatically in favor of Microsoft.
PlayStation on the other hand, made a massive blunder that could have potentially lost all the momentum it has garnered so far.
The conference began with Destiny, followed by the announcement of a white PlayStation 4 and DualShock 4 controller. Sony then re-focused back on a long barrage of games, similar to how Microsoft did. They showed The Order: 1886, Little Big Planet 3, Bloodborne (which was a new announcement by the way), Far Cry 4, Battlefield: Hardline, and No Man’s Sky. But then, suddenly, Sony slipped on a slippery slope… They delved deep into their upcoming releases of PlayStation Now and PlayStation TV, which devolved into announcements of media streaming, TV shows, and other non-gaming information. It was all entirely unnecessary. Fortunately, they recovered at the last moment and ended the conference in dramatic fashion by showing The Last of Us Remastered, Grand Theft Auto V, and Uncharted 4.
Personally, I was horrified by those 20 minutes or so where Sony focused entirely on the sorts of things we like to bash Microsoft for focusing on in its unveiling of the Xbox One in May of last year. This didn’t seem like the appropriate time to be sharing this information, or at the very least, to be spending this much time on it. Had those 20 minutes not existed, Sony would have blown Microsoft out of the water.
But those 20 minutes did happen, and as a result, we now must weigh the consequences and decide how this will affect them in the future. To be honest, I was surprised how little online reaction I saw in regards to this blunder, and it’s possible I overreacted. Personally, I was on Twitter and texting with friends about how much I thought Sony was ruining it, how they were sinking themselves, and how the momentum just shifted in favor of Microsoft. But what most people seem to remember from this conference is No Man’s Sky, Destiny, and Uncharted, not the crap in the middle.
I’m actually quite excited about PlayStation TV and PlayStation Now, not because I want to watch TV or movies or anything, but because the device and service will allow me to stream PS4 games to a different TV in my house. This will come in handy when the TV that the PS4 is hooked up to is otherwise unavailable. Additionally, PlayStation TV and PlayStation Now will allow me to stream PlayStation titles I don’t currently own directly to my TV. So, for example, as much as I’d love to play Gran Turismo 6, I didn’t want to buy it with Driveclub in the imminent future. But in a couple years after I’ve beaten the world in DC, I can buy or rent GT6 and stream it directly to my TV.
So really, I’m not upset about what Sony shared at the conference (except the whole comic book TV show thing – seriously what the hell?), it’s just that this didn’t need to be shared at this conference in so much detail.
I truly believe Microsoft won the day at E3 this year, and not because they had an amazing conference, but because they didn’t screw up. Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox, led the way and gave gamers exactly what they wanted: games. There weren’t any major new reveals, which in the end may be good, considering the nature of today’s industry and the inevitable delays, but it was decent. I have to tip my hat to Microsoft and say their future looks much brighter this year than it did after last year’s gut punch from Sony.
Sony, you messed up. It may not hurt you dramatically, but if you’d left out the junk in the middle, I believe you had a chance to deal a severe blow to your competitor. Not a knockout punch, as it would take more than a snappy E3 conference to take down Xbox, but it could have been enough to build on your lead.
In the end, I’m happy Sony did screw up. It’s better for gamers when consoles are truly competing for our business. I don’t want a world where one console is dominant, because that company then loses all incentive to innovate. My biggest fear is that Sony will get complacent, arrogant, or even worse, indifferent. They have a sizable lead over Microsoft right now, but all it would take is a few executives thinking they are invincible to ruin all they’ve built so far.
So, how do we stand after E3? Solid. Sony is in great shape, and they just need to keep their wits about them. Microsoft is improving and getting better every month. It won’t be long before they catch and maybe even surpass sales of the PlayStation 4. But regardless of who leads in sales, what matters is that gamers win in the end. Because when Microsoft and Sony continue to try to outdo the other, that can only mean good news for us.
Congratulations Microsoft on “winning” E3 by not over-showing your hand. Sony went all-in when they didn’t need to, and you clearly have a few tricks left up your sleeve. The ball is now in your court to do with as you will. Let’s see what the next year brings.
E3 2014 has wrapped up, and the future of console gaming is looking as bright as ever.
There were game reveals, hardware redesigns, and questionable moments in press conferences, but all-in-all, it was one hell of a celebration of gaming. Microsoft, Sony, and even Nintendo had (mostly) decent press briefings, strong presences at the events, and had fans buzzing with excitement for what’s to come.
It will take a few days to process everything that we saw this week, and there are surely a few gems that either went unnoticed or were unfortunately forgotten fairly quickly, but the three games that stand out the most to me after this week are Rainbow Six: Siege, No Man’s Sky, and Zelda Wii U.
The Rainbow Six franchise is near and dear to my heart. The original tactical, strategic first-person shooter was revolutionary for its time, and though subsequent games weren’t always successful at recreating the formula (with Rainbow Six: Vegas being a serious exception), the franchise has always represented a step above what games like Battlefield and Call of Duty have done. This franchise isn’t about running and gunning, or even merely working as a team. It is about completely controlling every aspect of your experience and the thrill of successfully completing missions as they were drawn up.
Rainbow Six: Siege looks like it could be a return to this formula, though the added multiplayer presents a possible problem. We have seen nothing so far of the single player (if there IS a single player version), and this concerns me. While multiplayer games have taken over the world, completing typical Rainbow Six missions in cooperative play will be much more difficult, as you have to rely on your friends, or complete strangers who may not care about doing it the way you want, in order to get it right. This could completely ruin your immersion and feeling of control, and it runs the risk of killing the game overall.
However, assuming there is a single player mode planned AND that it is a serious focus for the development team – not just a thrown-in afterthought like many of today’s shooters – the revamped visuals and fluid, fast-paced action could make this one of the best shooters in a long time.
I’m not mentioning this game because I’m excited for it, but because I’m intrigued by it. I don’t understand how a team of four have created this massive open galaxy with no load screens. From what we’ve seen it seems like one of the largest games ever, and yet you never have to wait to load a level or planet or anything. The game is designed to be exploratory, offering players the chance to walk around and explore entire planets, then hop in their ship and blast off through the galaxy in search of a new planet to explore.
What I don’t understand though, is what is the point of the game? Is it just to explore? Is it just to look around? That’s a great idea for a game, but what is the incentive to explore? What are the resources you can gather, and how are they used? This game has a long way to go to win me over convincingly, but it’s safe to say I am extremely interested to see what comes of it.
Maybe it’s just because of my recent reading of the book Console Wars, by Blake J. Harris, but this year’s E3 seemed to not be as unfortunate for Nintendo as it has been in the past. Nothing revolutionary was announced, but they teased a little bit from Zelda Wii U, which still doesn’t have a release date or official name, but from the brief glimpse we got, it appears the franchise may finally be growing up a bit. An open world Zelda game? Sign me up!
As I said, it was a very brief glimpse, and we don’t know much about it other than it’s open world. But when we were told we could walk to that mountain in the distance, exploratory gamers like myself everywhere audibly said, “wow!” It looks beautiful so far, and if the final came can come even close to what we saw this week, the Wii U may finally have its ultimate killer app.
E3 is one of the the best weeks of the year for hardcore gamers, and while this year lacked the wow factor of last year’s show, we finally have a good road map of what to expect from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo over the next 18 months. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are a little light in the games department, and the Wii U hasn’t really caught on yet, but there ARE games coming, and there is a lot to be excited about.
Stay tuned to QGN for more hands-on gameplay impressions over the coming days.
QGN’s News Director Joseph Bradford is on the show floor in Los Angeles at E3 2014, and this week we kicked Shank and Dave off the show to make room for all the massive content Bradord brought to the table. We break down the media briefings, hands-on demos, and overall impressions from the gaming community’s biggest celebration.
Totally Heroes Episode 47: E3 2014 Special
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This is a phrase you hear me use many times. The phrase comes from The Silmarillion during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Utúlie’n aurë! The Day has come!
The day has come indeed.
E3 is finally upon us, with the show floor opening in a mere couple of hours. I wanted to give you all an idea of what you will expect to see from me during each day. Remember, there is only one of me here, and I cannot possibly cover everything. There may even be announcements made that I will not hear of since I’m on the show floor, so I will touch on those with a nightly recap post.
Also, I have some interviews lined up with some developers (one of the ID@Xbox game creators and the guys at IndieCade for starters), so expect to see some individual write ups on those.
Here is my schedule, as tweeted out last night, with one change:
12:00 – Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo
3:30 – Deep Silver (Homefront and Dead Island 2)
4:30 – EA/Bethesda (time permitting)
As everyone knows, I have been critical of Monolith’s open world game set in Middle-earth. The backstory, as well as the “wraith-abilities” cause my Tolkien-purism senses to go bonkers. But, if you’ve also noticed, I’ve withheld from saying that the game itself won’t be great, as the ideas behind the Nemesis system are certainly awesome. I will have a full write-up on the game, as well as my thoughts on how the idea behind the game fit into the canon of Middle-earth later on this week.
Also planning on getting hands-on time with the offerings at Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, though I’m not too sure which games they will have playable demos. I’m also going to get my hands on Aztez and see how the game has been coming along since I wrote about it in February. If it’s anything like last year, all of the main games that Sony showcased will be theater presentations, Microsoft will have Sunset Overdrive and Fable Legends as playable, and Nintendo will have…well maybe Mario Kart 8?
After a day filled with a consistently messaged but ultimately underwhelming games-centric Microsoft conference, an utterly pretentious and insulting EA conference, a quirky and numbing Ubisoft conference, it was Sony’s turn to convince us gamers why Playstation is the best place to play.
The following will be a mix of news announcements and commentary on my experience with Sony’s E3 press conference. If you’re one who dislikes hard opinions, feel free to skip the “My Take” section at the bottom.
First, the news and announcements. Starting in true Sony tradition, the conference kicked off with a montage of a lot of squares, triangles, circles, and x’s flying around. Yay face buttons.
This was quickly followed by a CG shot of three astronauts landing on Mars, walking around the red planet. At this point, it was obvious that this was Destiny. A voiceover talked about human expansion enabled by the Traveler (the giant orb). A trailer montage of new gameplay was showcased, featuring the voice of Peter Dinklage expressing that you, the player character, is Earth’s last hope. It featured different characters, various locations, player powers, enemies, and guns.
Next, Andrew House took the stage where he reiterated Sony’s commitment to the gamer by saying Playstation is best play to play giving players “choice, best visual quality (definite dig at Microsoft), and a thriving community of friends.” He announced the Destiny beta coming to Playstaion first on July 17th. Also, starting this Thursday and running throughout the weekend, PS4 owners get to play the Destiny First Look alpha. You can sign up for that here. Also announced was a white PS4 Destiny bundle to launch alongside the game on September 9 and will include the game, a white PS4, and a 30 day voucher for PS Plus.
Also, on launch day, Playstation owners get exclusive content to including weapons, gear, armor, exclusive strike on Mars, and a multiplayer map.
Up next was The Order 1886 where we were treated to new gameplay. It began with Gallahad walking through a hospital (or train station?) He saw a humanoid creature, which then morphed into something ghastly. Gallahad bravely ran away, something I commend. The creature then caught up with him and spoke, indicating that these creatures are definitely intelligent and will pose a significant threat to the player. What I noticed most was the instant and seamless transition between gameplay and cutscene. It was all very smooth.
Next, a new game called Entwined was announced. Developed by Pixel Opus, the game is about two souls in love but can’t be together for some reason. The player will control each character with either analog stick. Surprisingly, it was announced that Entwined for PS4 is available right now on PSN for $9.99, with PS3 and Vita to follow.
Infamous Second Son DLC was announced as well. The player will take control of Fetch and play out an unknown portion of her story this August.
Sony darling Media Molecule took the stage next and announced Little Big Planet 3. They showcased some co-op gameplay, introducing new characters, each with their own abilities. The game looks to be a PS4 exclusive, so no luck PS3 owners. It also features the same robust level creation in first two games and is due out this November. Shuhei Yoshida also revealed that over 8.7 million levels of LBP and LBP 2 were created and shared by the community and that when LBP 3 launches, you can play ANY of these levels with improved visuals on PS4.
Soon after, a new IP by From Software was announced. Titled Bloodborne, it featured a gothic, dark city with what looked to be zombies/infected running around. Expect this in 2015.
An extensive demo of Far Cry 4 was next featuring some truly grand vistas, a lot of explosions, driving and subsequent trashing of a rickshaw, and some wingsuit gliding. All of this showcased the open nature of Far Cry 4, something that is so staple to the franchise.
However, Adam Boyes then dropped some pretty incredible information. When you buy FC4, you can invite PS3 or PS4 friends to join you, even if they don’t own Far Cry 4. This feature is available only on Playstation.
This was followed by a Dead Island 2 announcement and a Battlefield Hardline trailer. Double Fine then announced that Grim Fandango would be receiving a remaster after fifteen years. Fan service, indeed.
A slew of indie titles followed, including Not A Hero, Hotline Miami, Titan Souls, Broforce, The Talos Principle. This was followed by a new Suda 51 game called Let It Die, due out in 2015, and a new game by the creators of Journey called ABZÛ.
Some footage of No Man’s Sky was up next featuring the player character seamlessly going from walking on the ground, getting in a ship, and taking off into space. A brief battle ensued, followed by the character entering a new planet and flying around before flying back into space.
Sean Murray from Hello Games took the stage to discuss his game, explaining that it’s a science fiction game, inspired by the likes of Asimov. It features a procedurally generated infinite universe, one that everyone can share. They will start each player on different planet, so no two players have same experience.
Project Morpheus was shown off to work with the PS Camera, followed by Shawn Layden, the new Jack Tretton, who announced a slew of information.
YouTube is coming to PS4. Now, a simple press of Share button will allow players upload to YouTube. You can also see what friends have shared to YouTube in What’s New the feed. You will also be able to watch and interact on livestreams via Twitch and Ustream, features that were announced during last February’s reveal.
Playstation Now will allow streaming of past Playstation titles, starting with PS3 titles. The service will be available in USA and Canada by open beta on July 31 PS4 with access to more than 100 PS3 games. Shortly after, it will be available on PS3 and Vita. They’re also bringing PS Now to select Sony TV’s (all you need is a Dualshock 3). Currently, they’re still working out rental duration and prices.
Playstation TV was also discussed. This new microconsole can pair with you PS4, allowing you to play PS4 via Remote Play on a second TV in your home. It can also play PS Now. PS TV will have access to nearly 1000 games and will cost $99. There will also be a $139 bundle with a Dualshock 3, 8 GB memory card, HDMI cable, and the Lego Movie video game.
Mortal Kombat X showed off some new gameplay with some truly gruesome combat and finished movies. Yeah, there was a lot of blood and broken bones. Pretty standard per Mortal Kombat.
Some discussion was had about Sony’s TV and entertainment endeavors which I completely tuned out of. I won’t bother discussing it here because I assume most of you don’t care about such things. Moving on…
The Last Of Us Remastered received a released date for July 29 and had a new trailer to boot. And then, in a move surprising this editor, GTA V was revealed to arrive on PS4 (and Xbox One and…PC!!!) this fall. Also surprising, and a direct move to grab up Xbox players, PS3 and Xbox 360 players can transfer their GTA Online progress to the PS4.
An Arkham Knight demo was next, showcasing fluidity of the open world. Batman flew around, seamlessly hopped into the Batmobile and drove along. He then transformed the Batmobile into a tank and started blowing up everything. There will be exclusive PS Scarecrow nightmare missions.
Finally, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was showcased with the caption, “the following trailer was captured directly from a PS4”. I must say, it some very impressive visuals. It feature Drake waking up in jungle, picking up gun, and wandering off. It’s due out in 2015.
I have to say, I am very disappointed by today. Everything I saw fell into two categories: 1) I already knew about the game, or 2) the game shown was nothing new. I didn’t see anything that screamed “next gen” to me. Nothing was jaw dropping.
It seems like every single conference was marked by an unspoken fear to cling to the safety net of the tried and true. There was no risk taking. There was nothing so incomparably impressive to me.
Microsoft was consistent in its messaging, but again, I knew about most of the games announced. A lot were cross platforms titles which are PC no-brainers. I will absolutely not buy The Witcher 3 on Xbox One.
EA meanwhile decided to fill their press conference with pretentious videos, “conceptual prototypes”, and churned up, annualized garbage as is expected of them. Absolutely no excitement. No passion. Just pure mechanical insult to the consumer. What a load of rubbish.
Ubisoft had a more quirky tone than EA, but even here, there was nothing impressive. Nothing.
And then Sony. It was going so well but then you had to talk about TV, didn’t you? True, I liked Sony’s first party lineup immeasurably more than Microsoft’s, but – as is the theme today – I either knew about games announced, or the game shown wasn’t new. And no, remakes are not new games.
And so, I am left disappointed and utterly frustrated by the hype created by IGN on Twitter today. Today was not a step forward. It wasn’t a step anywhere, really. Today just…was.
And still no Last Guardian…