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E3 2012 Predictions

I love, love, love E3 and I can’t help but spout some predictions.

I’m most interested in the three major players and their press conferences.  Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.  Each planning some big announcements and future plans.  Here’s what I think each major player will have to say.

Nintendo

My biggest interest for E3 2012 is Nintendo’s Wii U console?  Wii sales are essentially dead, 3DS not doing so well…  Can Wii U breath life back or will it show us something we didn’t know we wanted?   Can it show something beyond the Nintendo typical cutsie?   I expect that in typical Nintendo fashion, the Wii U will not focus on tech and be underpowered.  Also, the 3DS needs some life but I’m really meh about it so I don’t care much other that to see what they say about hardware.

Sony

I don’t follow Sony very much, but  I think Sony is in a tight spot and needs to react and show what they have to offer.  They have a lot of games to talk about and I expect a lot of Vita Vita Vita talk.   Sony could announce a price drop on the console, in reaction to the $99 Xbox console deal (rip off tactic).  I’ve heard some news about a cloud service, which could be streaming games like OnLive, but I doubt it.

I’m curious what Sony will say about the Move.  Remember the Move?  Will they give it more promotion or is it a dead peripherial?

Although unlikely, its possible Sony might hint at the PS4 in vague ways to let us know they are thinking of the future. I’ve been really adamant that Nintendo’s Wii U would steal the show and the other players would want to evaluate what Nintendo’s up to and how they fair, but Sony could see it as an opportunity.

Microsoft

There will be no new console announcement from Microsoft in my opinion.  They won’t want to take attention from the Kinect, and I suspect they will be very interested in how the Wii U goes.  Expect more dashboard/software announcements, Live crap, Windowz Phone blah, Windows App Store, meh.  I expect Microsoft to suck it this year as they try to further embrace casual.  I think they are going to approach this from a different angle, laying the groundwork for a Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox 720 future.

I am very interested to see if their presentation makes them appear as if they are getting out of the games business.  On the other hand, Microsoft could have some awesome sh!t happening if they can really integrate the next console with Windows 8 and Windows Phone in a non-sucky/typical Microsoft way.  And maybe Zune has a future!

All in all, what they present should be telling for what could be their path for the next console.  Oh, and probably something about Halo.

Summary

I think Nintendo and the Wii U will steal the show and give us lots to talk about.  I think Sony will be on the offensive and will really pump some fun at us, showcasing the fun gaming “experience”, as well as promote the Vita in a way to make us want to get it.  I think Microsoft is going to be a flop, focusing on other casual crap we won’t really care about while missing the gamer audience.

Wiimote + Droid + HDTV = Fun

I make my own Android Wiimote video., but take it up a notch.

Wii Controller Controls Nexus 1

Although there are a lot of videos about Wii Controllers (after all, they are just Bluetooth) being used with phones, I found this one interesting. Lots of potential here for common users.

A Wii Game Worth Owning

Boom Blox Rocks.

Target had a big 2 day sale which included Boom Blox for $20. Target was sold out, so I went to WalMart and had them match the price.

Totally worth it! It’s a Wii game that I actually turned on to play when the kids weren’t around. The wife and I played for almost 2 hours after the kids went to bed. My eldest son Aidan (5 years) was so excited to play it some more, he got up at 3:00 am to play it.

Tried to play it with my second son, Nathan (3 years) but he had a hard time aiming and then letting go of the button at the right time. He’s not really into video games.

Wii Music isn’t so bad


My wife rented WiiMusic for Thanksgiving weekend. Turns out that it isn’t that bad of a game. Who knew?

When E3 was on G4 I showed my wife Nintendo’s presentation keynote where they debuted WiiMusic. She thought it looked stupid and I agreed. It just had zero appeal at the time. The 40 somethings playing it poorly didn’t help either. It’s more than what you might expect, though I think its target audience is still young children.

The picture above shows my son Aidan (5 years) trying to figure out how to play violin. He is using my Mii. Note, the Christmas tree lights confuse the WiiMotes quite easily.

However, I don’t think it has much longevity. I can’t see myself, or my kids, coming back to it day after day. After trying out a couple modes and eventually unlocking the Mario theme song, I had enough.

What do you get when…

What do you get when you combine a 3 year old, tractors, Wii, and YouTube? A happy 3 year old.My son Nathan loves tractors and for the last year or so we’ve set him at the PC with YouTube and he surfs tractor videos, basically watching one and then clicking one of the next suggested. Now he’s able to do it with the big TV and the Wii remote. He was quite happy.

Soon after, my oldest Aidan and Nathan were grooving out to various They Might Be Giants toons. I was surprised that so many of the songs I dug as a kid were top billings in the searches.

My Wii Story

I got a Wii!

I went to Target with my 4 year old Aidan for a few supplies before our New Year’s Party. We spent 10+ minutes looking for this special butter popping oil to the chagrin of my son and some more time getting other supplies. I’m wasting time inappropriately since there are things to do before guests arrive but I want to get certain things done. Anyway, we move on eventually to the video game isle, specifically the DS they have on display. I coerced Aidan to accompany me by promising he could play some video games. As we approach I do what I always do at Target, look at the Wii spot and see if any happen to be in stock. No dice.

So there we are, Aidan’s playing some candy matching DS game and I’m waiting for the video game playing to get over with. Then something happened, a Target employee with a white box and keys. He goes to the glass doors and opens and puts the box in the Wii location. I’m totally stunned. I don’t believe it. I manage to say: “Is that what I think it is?” To which he repplies something along the order of “Yes, we just got a big shipment in.” My jaw still open, I inquire more and determine there are 30 units in the store at that moment. He walks away to get more, door open. I whip out my phone and call wife, she responds in this gosh!-leave-me-alone-quit-bothering-me-about-how-much-you-want -a-wii-and-just-get-it-already-you-fool way that makes me leap to the open cabinet, grab box and throw it on cart. That’s when I realize the isle is slowly filling with people. At least two other men of similar age and likeness have gathered in the isle and are on their cells, presumably calling wife for purchase permission.

So my trip to Target yielded me a Wii in the most unexpected way. I also grabbed Mario Galaxy. Aidan refers to it as a WiiWii which was borderline inappropriate at the checkout. Wife taught him that to make fun of her brother’s recent purchase at Thanksgiving.

As for my impression of the Wii however, I’m not all that impressed. It’s not really my kind of gaming system since I like a little more violence, smashing, crashing and/or shooting with my video games. I primarily wanted a Wii for the family game system. Aidan is extremely excited about it and strangely better at the boxing than I am. Though I think a untrained monkey could do better than me at the boxing. For now though, I am much more happy playing baseball or whatever with the Wii than the games we have for the PS2. And I am little apprehensive of the 4 year old manhandling of my DS, so this is exciting.