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What to expect when the game industry invades Los Angeles

Hayden Dingman | June 9, 2014
The future of virtual reality, Steam Machines, and of course games, will play out next week at this mega-show.

Games. We need games. These systems have been released for over six months, and still neither console has a definitive answer for a fairly simple question: "What game should I buy to go with my Xbox One/PS4?" That's a problem. People need a reason to care, other than simple tech lust.

Gaming's Switzerland

I do hope for the continuation of one incredible trend: The PC as neutral territory. The PC is always going to miss out on a few console exclusives--I wouldn't hold my breath for Halo on PC anytime soon.

But I hope we'll see more of the Titanfall model. Titanfall was an Xbox game, and Microsoft will not let you forget it--except, you know, it also released on PC. For that matter, it was a better game on the PC, thanks to increased resolution and a steadier frame rate. PC ports are given more care these days than at any time in the past, and it's a welcome change. Hopefully Microsoft and Sony can wage petty warfare with exclusives and leave the PC crowd above the fray.

The same model is in place for many indie titles. Sony's seen an upswing in indies with this console generation, driven by its faith in the niche and the Vita hardware--a lot of these smaller indie games are perfect for on-the-go gaming. Microsoft has its defenders though, and certain games like Capy's title Below are Xbox-exclusive.

The PC is still the premier place for indie titles, though. You can expect to see a hefty number of indie titles thrown about at both E3 and the Game Developers Conference (GDC) for credibility, but always as "console exclusives." Make no mistake, though: That's a convenient euphemism for "Oh yeah, it's also coming to PC."

And then there are the PC stalwarts--companies like CD Projekt Red, CCP, Blizzard, Crytek, et cetera. E3 is a console-friendly show, so there's never a ton of PC-exclusive news. But damn, I'm excited to hear more about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. And my editor seconds that emotion.

Seeing is believing

Hardware won't be nearly as important this year as last year, but there are a number of experiments on the horizon worth paying attention to.

Oculus blew apart March's Game Developers Conference by revealing the amazing Dev Kit 2, the first purchasable hardware update since the original Oculus Rift virtual reality headset shipped over a year ago. Does the team have something more in store for E3? Hard to say. We're all waiting on the consumer Rift, but I don't know if we're going to get a release date yet.

I fully expect to hear more about Sony's Project Morpheus headset during the press conference, though. Sony's a sucker for showing off peripherals during E3, and this is a great chance to show off the gadget to the gaming community at large.

 

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