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Sony Re-Wrote E3 2013 Script Shortly Before the Event to Counter Microsoft DRM Policies

Last year’s E3 saw a showdown between upcoming consoles. Microsoft and Sony had each done a sort of pre-reveal, giving basic details for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively, but E3 was the main event with millions of eyes tuning in to watch. At the time, Microsoft had some controversial policies planned that included mandatory online check-ins and used games restrictions.

These policies would be reversed shortly after E3, but Sony took advantage of their unpopularity during the show, ending their presentation by assuring gamers that PlayStation 4 would not have any of the same restrictions. As it turns out, this section of the presentation (which was by far the most applauded moment of the conference) was added in last minute.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Sony Computer Entertainment head Andrew House revealed that he re-wrote sections of the E3 2013 presentation shortly before the event out of concern that gamers were expecting Sony to implement policies similar to Microsoft.

“It made us feel a little bit clearer about our message. When a lot of the negativity was emerging around DRM issues and used games. I remember reading an article literally the weekend before E3 that was basically saying that this is the direction Microsoft was taking and that it was only a matter of time before Sony adopts the same approach.

“That sort of put me on the back foot and I went and re-wrote portions of my E3 presentation script that weekend and we re-crafted the presentation because there was now an onus on us not to be seen to be going down the same path. All it did was make us come out and state very clearly ‘the status quo has been good to us, consumers like the choice and the balance that achieves.’ It wasn’t a shift in strategy, it was just a feeling of a necessity to go out and communicate something that we just took advantage of.” — Andrew House

While Microsoft would eventually reverse these policies, essentially rendering the end segment of Sony’s E3 conference a non-issue, it was hugely popular at the time and helped Sony establish their place as the early favorite.

Source: Eurogamer

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More Mario Party 10 Details and Screenshots Released

The newest installment in the Mario Party franchise, Mario Party 10, was one of the many games revealed at Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event today. This new title focuses more on Bowser than any of the past entries in the series, allowing the GamePad player to control the villain himself, while other players use their Wii Remotes or Pro Controllers to take him down in various mini games. Nintendo recently revealed a whole slew of new screenshots for the game, as well as a few new details.

According to Nintendo:

  • Grab the GamePad and play as Bowser for the first time in the series. In Bowser Party mini-games, one player gets to be the fire-breathing Bowser as he tries to burn, bonk or blast other players away. Up to four players use Wii Remote controllers to cooperate and survive as they confront the Bowser player, who is using the Wii U GamePad. It’s four against one, and being a party pooper has never been so much fun.
  • Control Bowser in a variety of ways with the Wii U GamePad. In Bowser’s Bad Breath, for example, the Bowser player moves the GamePad around to aim and shoot fireballs at the other players while they attempt to dodge them.
  • Colors and textures pop off the screen as the Mario Party series leaps into high definition for the first time.
  • Enjoy new mini-games in classic Mario Party style with up to four players.

Source: Nintendo

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Report: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS to be Playable at GameStop Locations

A user on the NeoGAF forums recently created a thread about his visit to GameStop. Apparently, judging from his post, Super Smash Bros Wii U and 3DS will be playable as a demo during this year’s E3 at GameStop locations. It has been confirmed by Nintendo the the next installment of Super Smash Bros. will be playable in Best Buy locations during E3, but not, thus far, any GameStop locations.

So i was at Gamestop today pre ordering games, and I finally pre ordered SSB4. The two employees there randomly said that they would have a demo for it for E3, and as I walked out reminded me to check Nintendos site in a week or so regarding locations and such since I seemed interested. — Soulflarz

Obviously this source is pretty unreliable, and so it is only a rumor, but if the information turns out to be true, it will mean more places to try out a demo of Super Smash Bros!

Do you think this rumor is true or not? Post in the comments below!

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Keiji Inafune Unimpressed by E3 Lineup, Criticizing a Lack of Innovation

According to Polygon, former Capcom producer Keiji Inafune was left disappointed by the titles revealed by Sony and Microsoft at E3. Claiming that the absence of freshness and innovation did not inspire him to try out any new titles, Inafune was let down by the current focus on sequels and current-gen games on next-gen consoles:

I was mostly handling interviews during E3 so I couldn’t get around the show floor that much. But with the quick overview I had, I sadly didn’t see any games this time that I really wanted to try out. We’re right at the cusp of new hardware launches, after all, so my impression was that it was nothing but sequels and there aren’t any new titles in the end. With the previous generational shift, too, it seemed like they couldn’t do anything new, and the launch games for the new systems didn’t really seem made for the systems, but were instead previous-gen games made for next-gen systems. That’s the state we’re in right now, and to be honest, I didn’t see anything really new and innovative in this year’s title lineup. — Keiji Inafune

The producer of titles such as Rockman (commonly known as Mega Man outside of Japan) and Dead Rising, Inafune then went on to praise the future potential of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, claiming that, “Of course, my impression is that they’ve got great capabilities as machines. However, instead of focusing on those capabilities, they’re devoting their time to thinking about how to position the gamer with the hardware, or how to get them playing it.” Concluding on a positive note, Inafune stated that E3 pushed him forward and that he’d “like to continue surprising users with how the next generation of games can evolve.

Do you agree with Inafune? Let us know in the comments!

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[email protected] 2013 Miiverse Community Closing Up Shop

The Electronic Entertainment Expo occurred nearly a month ago, and the industry is just now starting to cool down. The news flow is beginning to trickle as the quiet summer season begins before the hurricane that is the pre-holiday season.

Nintendo created a Miiverse community called ‘[email protected] 2013’ to help build hype for their show, while also allowing discussion after the show. Now that the hype has died down, it’s time to kiss the community good bye. He needs to move on and make his own pathway without us. We can do [email protected] 2013 a service by remembering all the good times we had. He was the perfect summer love.

But his hot brother ‘[email protected] 2014’ will be coming next year. I hear he’s attractive and fun to post on.

The community closes up shop on July 8, 2013. Say your good-byes now.

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French Mario Kart 8 Interview Translated

Ever heard of a little gem called Mario Kart? We here at Gamnesia recently came across a French interview with Hideki Konno and Kosuke Yabuki of Nintendo. In it, the two discuss anti-gravity in Mario Kart 8, kart customization, and their favorite tracks, among other things. We previously reported on this interview, giving you a break down and highlighting the F-Zero part, as well as discussing the possibility of Double Dash mechanics making a return. However, in an effort to give you the most information possible, we have translated the full interview from the French to English.

Here you go!

Mario Kart 8: The Developers Respond (Interview by boulapoire) Fri 6/28/2013

[translated by Luke Powers, July 3rd 2013]

Although we met alone last year, Hideki Konno (producer and director of the original Kyoto Software Development Group) was accompanied by Kosuke Yabuki (director of Mario Kart 7 and upcoming Mario Kart 8) for a new Q&A session at E3 2013.

It was a meeting of about forty minutes, translation included, during which the two Nintendo representatives discuss playing with gravity, the use of theGamePad, online functions, personalization options, and the evolution of the series since the 2D era.

An easy question for starters: how did you decide to integrate reverse gravity in Mario Kart 8?

Kosuke Yabuki: Many reasons brought about that integration. The first was that I was already director on Mario Kart 7 and we were forced to reduce the number of polygons on screen so that it would work correctly on the handheld console. This time we had less reason to worry about that, and we can obtain a truly polished visual presentation. Next, Nintendo games like F-Zero and Super Mario Galaxy already used anti-gravity in the past. So we started to ask questions about how to reintroduce this idea in Mario Kart, and we realized that we would have to start from scratch to integrate it properly. But the main reason is that Mr. Konno always pushes us to imagine new and interesting things for upcoming games, so there was some pressure. [laughs]

Hideki Konno: In Mario Kart 7, you could already fly in the air and drive underwater, what could we do after that? [laughs]

Why didn’t you make a new game or a new F-Zero entry instead, given the demand from gamers?

HK: We always have a Mario Kart per console, so we wanted to make a new entry to interest more people further in the new console. But I hope that there will be a new F-Zero.

KY: I think that you too will agree that the Mario Kart universe lends itself well to the turn-arounds and the twisting of tracks linked to anti-gravity.

Was the game developed in-house, or did you have help from other teams, like Retro Studios during Mario Kart 7? Seeing as the game has elements of Sonic All-Stars Racing and that you sometimes work with Sega, was there a collaboration there?

HK: Uh, no, the game was under the charge of EAD Kyoto.

Did you encounter further difficulties when developing the game for Wii U as opposed to the 3DS? What changes the most in the development process?

HK: Each time we develop a new game we encounter difficulties, and it’s still the case here but it’s also funny. The main hurdle for us was the change from SD to HD, not easy but enlightening.

KY: The change in definition required that we include more graphic designers in the creation process to improve the output, but it’s the same for any other video game company.

In the E3 floor show demo, you could say that the GamePad integration was rather forced. Do you plan on adding other functions, or will we have to make do with the kart and the horn?

HK: Our priority is to propose off-screen display solely on the GamePad. We have other ideas, but that’s all we can say for now.

In that case, can you explain somewhat the function of Mario Kart TV? We don’t know if it will be possible to record a whole course or if we’ll have to be happy with sharing segments…

HK: That has yet to be definitively decided, but currently we’re thinking of putting forward the best rounds of the course in a short clip. In the E3 demo, the courses are only two laps, but there will be three in the finished game and we wonder if gamers will really want to watch the whole course. We always aim to please when we make these kinds of adjustments.

Mario Kart: Double Dash introduced an odd idea with two characters per vehicle and that could be interesting to see with the GamePad. Do you foresee tandem courses in a future entry?

HK: When we discuss what we wish to incorporate in a new Mario Kart, this idea sometimes comes on the table. For Mario Kart 7, and 8, we decided not to use it. But it’s a request we hear often, so perhaps we can satisfy that desire.

Ever since bikes were introduced into the series, I always wonder why it’s still called Mario Kart. Have you thought of changing this, or is it a immutable detail, even if other vehicles make their appearances?

HK: As you know, Mario Kart is already a well-known and well-appreciated brand of which we’re proud. For now, we hope to focus on making good games. But if you have a better idea than “Mario Moto,” don’t hesitate to let us know! [laughs]

In the very first Mario Kart, the tracks were much tighter and they required more dexterity to navigate the terrain. Since then, the tracks have gotten larger and larger, and I wanted to know, where did that come from?

KY: We always try to have a balance for each game and it can change slowly from time to time. In Mario Kart 8, the tracks have been scaled back from Mario Kart Wii and better reflect the width of roads.

HK: In Double Dash, the tracks were tighter but there were only eight karts at a time and there was enough space so drivers weren’t on top of one another. On the other hand, the Wii game had twelve drivers: we had to widen the tracks so the vehicles wouldn’t be packed in like sardines and could catch up easily enough. The manoeuvrability of the Wii Wheel was also a factor, given that people tend to make broader gestures with the recognition of movement. We wanted to make a game accessible to all and tracks that were smaller would have frustrated players.

What comes first in the creation of a new Mario Kart entry, the tracks or the characters and items?

KY: There’s no established order, we build the game little by little, with successive layers with some tracks, characters, and items, “à la japonaise” if you will [laughs]. Perhaps it’s not the most effective way, but looking at the final product, we think it’s the best [way].

HK: We perform many experiments starting with prototypes; if it works well, we move on, but if it’s not convincing, we don’t hesitate to go back to basics.

When did you start work on Mario Kart 8?

HK: After Mario Kart 7, the team was dissolved and everyone went on to separate projects, but we regained people little by little to create this entry. I would say that the project began in earnest about less than a year ago.

Entries go by and there is an important character who has never had the right to drive a kart, even though it’s the very first enemy of Super Mario Bros.: the Goomba. Why?

HK: Hmm, because he doesn’t have hands?

Neither does Boo, I believe?

HK: [laughs] That’s true, he just has little arms! But since he’s a ghost he can use supernatural powers.

Fair enough! The next few questions will be geared towards Mr. Konno given that they’re retro-oriented. During our last interview, you mentioned Stunt Race FX and I would like to know if that game influenced the evolution of Mario Kart. Had you [already/previously] tried to bring the series to 3D on the Super Nintendo?

HK: As you know, the game was created under the supervision of Nintendo by the same team [Argonaut Games, author’s note] as the first Star Fox, but it was Mr. Miyamoto who produced the title; I wasn’t involved in the project. It’s also a game with various kinds of vehicles, ranging from buggies to semis. Nevertheless, I was still part of the same division and there at the time and thinking back, I was already receptive to ideas that circulated internally. When Miyamoto worked on Stunt Race FX, he wondered how to break the mold of traditional round tracks that ended after three laps. It’s an idea that often comes to my mind and that I try to incorporate, without forcibly making a racing game much more open as we’ve seen elsewhere. For example, in Mario Kart 7, Cheep Cheep Lagoon has several different paths to quickly reach the finish line; it’s things like that which can be developed. But it’s true that I rarely discuss this type of conceptualization with the team.

KY: I can confirm, it’s even the first time I’ve heard this story about Stunt Race FX!

Today, developers are used to making racing games in 3D, but in hindsight, what were the obstacles when you added in another dimension to the series?

HK: Moving into 3D made life easier from a certain perspective. Instead of having to simulate the backgrounds – no stereoscope, no real volume – with the 2D, we could finally model everything with polygons. Mr. Yabuki isn’t completely aware of this because he comes from the 3D generation, but for those like myself who started on Famicom or Super Famicom, the prospects of 3D games posed too many problems to list.

In that case, could Mr. Yabuki talk about his arrival at Nintendo, his time there, and the games he has overseen?

KY: It must be my eighth year at Nintendo, but I imagine I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve been with the company for so long I can no longer remember how long I’ve been here… [laughs]. My first game was The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

HK: Yes that’s correct, you were in charge of planning. After that there was Mario Kart Wii, Nintendogs + Cats, Mario Kart 7, and now Mario Kart 8.

Of all of the Mario Kart tracks, do you have a favorite? Question for both of you!

HK: That’s a question they ask me in practically every interview and each time I’m able to say, “I like this one best.” But there was one that left a permanent impression on me and that was the first Mario Circuit from Super Mario Kart. That’s the one we used to demonstrate the concept of the game and it’s thanks to that track that we were able to see the potential of Mario Kart.

KY: It’s true that everything comes together perfectly in that track: the length, the curves, the music, the items… But at the moment, my favorite is this one [he points to a poster on the wall], the Möbius band from Mario Kart 8. At one time it would have been impossible to make such a track.

Since we’re back to Mario Kart 8, do you foresee further kart personalization? It’s not an essential element to the series, but seeing as many racing games have offered vehicle modification options for a while now…

KY: Like Mario Kart 7, we allow choice of tires, the body, and type of glider with a bit more choice.

HK:The worry is that if we want to offer a lot of customization, it would be likely that the people in charge of track design will have to do it, and the conception of interesting courses is one of our main priorities. It’s a crucial aspect that requires tremendous time and effort from the team, given the number of iterations we produce for each outline. Perhaps in the future we’ll have the necessary resources to offer further customization while keeping the same level of standards for the tracks, but at the moment those come first. It’s a method that has worked quite well thus far, although I am curious to see what we can do with additional effects and a more open philosophy in regards to the karts.

In regards to the anti-gravity, I noticed that the camera remained fixed when we went from one side to another, but that it turned with the player when you go upside-down. Will this always be the case, or will there be moments when you’re required to play upside-down?

HK: There are always compromises to be made when making a game. It would be easy to make a camera that didn’t follow the kart in upside-down passages, but that would make the driving much more difficult and our goal remains of making a game that is very accessible, easy to pick up, and with the most practical view in the parts where your find yourself upside-down.

KY: Mario Kart has always been a game that is easy to pick up, while at the same time offering a profound design with its own subtleties. I think this has been respected when it comes to the new gravity system, without making driving too much of a hassle.

One for the road: the Feather from Super Mario Kart was an interesting item with several uses, but it has completely disappeared and it’s a shame. Why not reintroduce it?

KY: If we were to introduce that item at this moment, it would lead to a great deal of worries for the game, but we’ll make a note of the suggestion!

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Conan O’Brien Goes to E3 and Picks a Winner

You may know Conan O’Brien. The famous late night talk show host has been well known for his Clueless Gamer reviews, in which he plays upcoming video games with no guidance or previous knowledge. In other words, he has no idea what he’s doing.

Conan went to the Electronic Entertainment Expo. As good as a job I like to think the Gamnesia staff did covering E3, Conan beats every news site out there. Watch Mr. O’Brien take on the PlayStation 4, Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, and Mario Kart 8. We even get to see him and a Bayonetta cosplayer, and watch a winner be declared.

Watch the hilarious video above!

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Every Game at E3 Reviewed in Three Minutes

E3 was two weeks ago. What, you don’t know about any of the games announced there?! Is your name Patrick Star? Because you may have been living under a rock.

In case you missed all of the E3 games, VideoGamerTV has you covered. From the makers of the famed Abridged series comes a brief video reviewing (almost) every game at E3. Poking fun at misplaced hype we see for nearly every game announced nowadays, the film also parodies the rubber band ball of bias that is the video game industry.

Want to see the scores every single game at E3 is going to get? Scroll on up to take a look!

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What it’s Like to Go to E3

As many of you know, I recently returned from a trip to E3, and I thought it would be nice to make you guys a video explaining what the trip was like and how it feels to go. If you like or don’t like the video, please let us know what you liked about it, or instead tell us what or how we might be able to change in order to produce higher-quality content in the future.

Hope you enjoy!

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GameSpot Names Villager Best E3 Meme

A meme is a terrible thing to waste, and GameSpot is making sure that gamers are aware of the best one to come out of this year’s E3. Seb Ford, Video Producer at GameSpot, notes that E3 is a “punching bag,” as he recalls some previous memes to arise from E3.While Ford notes the onslaught of humorous Xbox One bashing that occurred, GameSpot awarded the Best Meme of E3 2013 to The Villager (from the Animal
franchise) in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and for Nintendo 3DS.

As many have noticed, The Villager has taken then internet by storm, and many think it has to do with the clash of his sweet face and his odd placement in a fighting game. According to one Gamnesia staffer:

…because the silent innocent looking villager really is creepy as [expletive] when you really think about it and in a fighting context, he comes off as a serial killer … he’ll chop off your trees and stuff them in his pockets

Innuendos aside, the internet has fallen in love with this new meme. We at Gamnesia advise you to browse with caution, as there may be some content that is NSFW.

What do you think of this choice? Have you created any SFW Villager memes? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bethesda: “Fallout 4 Has Not Been Shown”

There have been some rumors floating around on the internet saying that at this year’s E3 convention, Bethesda secretly showed trailers for a potential Fallout 4. Fans were excited about the prospect of a new Fallout game, and forums like NeoGAF went crazy.

I hate to disappoint, but according to the latest news, on such sites as N4G, Bethesda themselves confirmed that this rumor is false. They may be working on a Fallout 4 in the future, but it’s not coming anytime soon, and no secret trailer was shown at E3.

Well, this puts the rumor to rest. Disappointed? Excited about a new Fallout game? I now give you permission to comment below.

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Nintendo at E3: Abridged and Reloaded

Did you miss Nintendo’s E3 showings? Already? Do you wish you could just watch the Direct all over again, this time sped up and without Iwata’s extremely on-point, slow-burning, polite tone? VideoGamerTV on YouTube made some casual-humor videos based on E3 2013. I highly recommend E3 Abridged and, for the PlayStation-phobic, their PlayStation at E3 video, which helps if you know practically nothing about the console and keep hearing about its newfound glory.

But right about now, you should probably bask in another warm, summery, self-indulgent viewing of your favorite video game maker. So go watch some sloppy ol’ Ninten-joe above.

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33 Minutes of Thief Gameplay, Interviews, and Commentary

Eidos Montreal has shown off Thief and it looks great! GamesHQMedia has uploaded the thirty-three minute look into the game, filled with gameplay footage and developer commentary. We get a good look at the game in action, as well as an interview with the developers.

So there isn’t really 33 minutes of Thief, but we get a ton of information and insight into the development of the game and the goals the team has set for the title. It’s a great watch!

Oh, you want to watch it? Well check it out above.

Thief comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2014.

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Thank God for Jim – New Jimquisition Out Today: “PS4 – Doing Nothing, Meaning Everything”

A new episode of Jim Sterling’s Jimquisition aired today on online gaming magazine The Escapist. For the past few weeks Jim has been on a rant about Microsoft, tearing the Xbox One a new one nearly every week since its debut at the end of May 2013. Today’s episode continued that tradition. However, he also spent today’s episode showing off his dance moves, and praising Sony for all that it’s done. Or, rather, hasn’t done.

Yes, it’s true, Sony essentially won this year’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) convention. Anyone with an internet connection and interest in the gaming community has most likely seen articles, news, reactions, and clever memes depicting this sound thrashing that Sony gave Microsoft. But it should be noted that, just as Jim Sterling pointed out, Sony didn’t actually do anything.

Sony’s announcement of supporting used-games, no DRM (Digital Rights Management), and no required internet connection was a big announcement, to say the least. But when you think about it, Sony’s not actually doing anything different. They’re simply keeping things the way they are. Yet, that seemed to be big news. It’s funny that “the PlayStation 4 can play used games” has to be big new for video games today. Imagine if Sony CEO Kaz Hirai’s announcement in 2006 was “by the way, the PlayStation 3 can also play used games too!” We would have thought they’d gone bananas! Well, they did charge $599 US dollars for the Giant Enemy Crab fighting machine, so I guess there were some bananas to be found. Bananas were also found at the Nintendo booth this year, but those were more of the Tropical Freeze variety.

Yet Sony’s announcement of simply keeping things the way they are now, and doing what any decent company with any sense of what good customer service would do, is being lauded by the internet, the gaming community, and gaming publications all over.

This is just a small piece of a much grander banana cream pie. For the full dessert, please check out Jim Sterling’s video above.

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