In one swift wave of the hand that made the earth quake from the simultaneous facepalms of old school gamers like myself, Nintendo declared earlier this month that this year would be the “Year of Luigi.” If only the Big N had been playing with power in their PR department that fateful day like they used to, people might be more inclined to take the latest warrior they’ve selected for combat in the ongoing console wars a bit more seriously — especially since most of what Sony unveiled would be on the holiday horizon for the Playstation 4 this year mimics the Wii U’s new features to a tee.
While many who love video games poke fun at Nintendo by welcoming it to 2006 with the Wii U finally bringing us HD and a system for playing online that actually works that isn’t built entirely around those annoying Friend Codes, the real news for this console generation from the House that Mario Built is their wise choice to make further efforts in blazing new trails in strengthening community amongst gamers in constructive ways while making it possible to take the console gaming experience away from the living room TV. By doing so, Nintendo inherently became the first to put up their dukes publicly against the biggest threat against the Big 3: Apple. While they still may not be recognized as gaming devices in the traditional sense, there is no debate that the iPhone and iPad have devoured increasingly large portions of the market, and as a result, it has suddenly become an uphill battle for Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft to make the case that they’re all still very much relevant and that your hard earned cash is much better spent on their crafty hunks of plastic and $60 games.
So if Nintendo is still the one coming up with new ways to raise the bar in console gaming, what edge could Sony possibly have that might make them rise victorious once the smoke from E3 2013 settles?
Replace “economy” with “third party support” in the axiom “it’s the economy, stupid,” and you’ve got the Sony press conference in a nutshell. At the end of the day, nothing else really matters — not the copycat controller and social network-stealing technology, not the supposedly improved online gaming network, and certainly not the shiny new graphics. Consoles live and die by their games, and if they don’t have the games, they don’t get to come to the party next year. Nintendo has somewhat woken up to this reality after the practically barren wasteland that the Wii waggled away in its wake, but they’re a far cry from competing with what Sony now proudly flaunts, and with Valve poised to pounce on E3 with their hotly anticipated Steam Box, it’s going to take a lot more than a couple of pudgy plumbers and a pack of pocket monsters to avoid becoming the next SEGA.
Curious about the specifics of what Sony announced but don’t feel like watching the whole conference? VideoGamerTV’s got you covered with a wrap-up that might leave you in more stitches than a Wii-mote gone nuclear. (Warning: Video contains four instances of profanity.)