Gamescom 2011, day one impressions

So today was the first day of Gamescom, and probably the most announcement-heavy thanks to the press conferences. I’ll get to a few thoughts on my own stories below, but first a few scattered impressions from stories that I didn’t personally cover.

It seems about the right time for a PS3 price drop, and this only lends more weight to the idea that Microsoft and Sony are preparing for new hardware reveals sometime next year. It’s entirely possible that the Wii U sped this along, but I tend to think the timeline is right for new consoles anyway.

Speaking of Sony, I’m not quite sure what to make of this sans-Wifi new PSP model. I suppose it’s trying to undercut the 3DS price drop, or maybe get more traction against the DS as both systems fade out, but it also seems to undermine their efforts lately to focus on digital distribution. You could still download onto your PS3 and then transfer, I suppose, but that seems like a lot of trouble.

Also, is this waving the white flag to pirates? The system has suffered a lot due to software piracy, and Sony has been combating it (apparently ineffectually) by requiring firmware updates. But if they’re going to put the system out there without wifi, I have to think they’ll stop requiring the latest firmware too. Otherwise you force people to download updates and transfer them, which again, seems super-inconvenient. Besides which, a $99 PSP means pirates can easily pick one up to be their cracked system and have another that updates as a safeguard. I suppose it’s too late to matter now at any rate. This isn’t a subject I’m an expert in — I’ve never hacked my PSP — so I could be misreading the situation.

Unsurprising: Uncharted 3 trailer looks fantastic, Buffy the Zombie Slayer looks fan-bizarre-tastic.

  • Free-to-play really seems to be gaining traction among major publishers lately. So there’s that.
  • EA’s presentation was mostly an RPG sandwich with FIFA as the bread, but they ended on Battlefield 3 for obvious reasons. The co-op didn’t look entirely surprising or unexpected, but including vehicles seems like a cool feature you often see done right.
  • Ordered by my personal recommendation, if you haven’t played one or more yet: Mario Galaxy, Super Paper Mario, Punch-Out. Punch-Out is great, but requires more twitch-reflexes than I have these days, and I love the whole Paper Mario sub-series. I haven’t played Charged, so I can’t really offer a ranking there.
  • As a Resistance fan who also thinks the Vita looks kind of cool, I hate to say that Resistance: Burning Skies did not look that great in the presentation. Maybe it shows better in person, but the demo visuals didn’t seem anywhere near the fidelity of Vita games like Uncharted or LBP.
  • Vampires? Friggin vampires? I know the Infamous world is very pulp and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but c’mon! I blame you for this, Stephanie Myer! (That said, I will almost definitely play it. I love Infamous. And Sucker Punch.)

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