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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Just When I Thought 2013 Was Too Sparse:

2013 is an ill-fated year.  It doesn't have an Olympics or a World Cup to look forward to.  There isn't even an election season to get excited over.  Apparently the world has collectively decided not to care about the year 2013, to just leave it off the calendar for any fun events we could get excited about.

Or. . .maybe not!

E3 2013 changed all of that.  2013 is now going to go down in memory as the year of gaming.  The release of the new XboxOne and the Playstation 4 are the events of the year.  And both consoles come with tons of games right out of the gate.  When the PS3 came out in 2006, it only had 26 titles to choose from that were released in the same year.  When the PS4 comes out later this year, it will have 100 titles to choose from in the first year.  The original price of the PS3 was $599.  Now, seven years of federal reserve money printing later, the PS4, a far superior machine in every aspect, is going to sell for $399.  Yes, $399!  Unbelievable value for money.

The graphics of the PS4 look gorgeous.  People have been carping about how there isn't much of a difference between PS3 and PS4 graphics, but if you were watching the videos at E3 you could tell how wrong they were.  Everything looks richer, more detailed, more fluid, and better on the PS4.  It's like night and day.  We're about to enter a golden age of gaming, and the flagship title of this new golden age is Final Fantasy XV.  The vaporware known as FF XIII-Versus, which at various points people said had been cancelled, turns out to be a game too difficult for the PS3 to handle, a game only the PS4 could play.  Because it looks a hundred times better than any previous Final Fantasy that has ever come before it.  They hadn't cancelled the game, they were just waiting until the time was ripe, because they loved the game too much to waste it on a filthy console like the PS3.  FFXV could be the best game they've ever made, and it's something only the PS4 made possible.  It's just all the more impressive that Square Enix will also be releasing FFXIII-3 and FFXIV this year.

Final Fantasy aside, a ton of good games are coming out soon.  From the makers of the Xeno series, the next installment is coming out for the WiiU, with the simple title of 'X.'  There's also a new Smash Brothers with my all-time favorite character Megaman, a new Mario Kart, a new sequel to my all-time favorite Zelda Game, (A Link to The Past).  A new Donkey Kong, a new Pokemon, etc.  The WiiU is finally giving people a reason to buy their console.

Then there's the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3.  Metal Gear Solid V.  On and on.  The new console generation has finally begun -- the WiiU is getting fun games, and not just ports of old games from the PS3 and Xbox 360, the PS4 and the Xbox1 are coming out, and the whole universe is going to change.

Recent news has said that America has 220 million gamers and the world as a whole contains a billion gamers.  But this by including silly games like Angry Birds on your smartphone.  In reality, there's around four hundred million gamers worldwide -- the number of gamers who have bought a Wii, Xbox 360, or PS3, plays games on a tricked out gaming PC, or plays with someone who has.  And these gamers have been waiting a long time for something new to come their way.  E3 2013 is a reply to this crowd.  New consoles, new games, and new franchises for everyone.  Do you want to play Titanfall?  Or maybe Destiny?  Watch Dogs?  Never heard of these games before?  No wonder, they didn't exist until now!

Combine this with all the great games coming to PS3 for English speakers this year or next year -- FF X + X-2 HD, Tales of Symphonia + Symphonia 2 HD, Tales of Xillia, Dynasty Warriors 8. . . It's just been a good year for gaming.

Let's add in a bit more spice by mentioning an Ender's Game movie, only 25 years late or so, with the perfect actor of Harrison Ford along for the ride, coming out this November.  Also a new Hobbit movie for December.  See, the West can produce some good things, from time to time. . .  2013 might lack any big sporting event, but it has a movie of one of the best books ever, so that should count for something, right?  Now if they'd just make a Wheel of Time movie already. . .

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